Appalachia, Battle of Blair Mountain, Blair Mountain, Charleston, crime, deputy sheriff, Edgar Combs, Ephraim Morgan, genealogy, governor, Harold Houston, history, Howard Gore, Huntington, J.E. Wilburn, John Gore, John Wilburn, labor, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Moundsville, prosecuting attorney, United Mine Workers of America, West Virginia, West Virginia Federation of Labor, Wheeling Metal and Manufacturing Company
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, in a story dated August 14, 1925, comes this bit of history relating to the “armed march” on Logan and Mingo counties in 1921:
FEDERATION ASKS PARDON FOR MAN WHO KILLED GORE
The West Virginia Federation of Labor has been holding its annual convention in Huntington during the past week.
On Tuesday morning the convention unanimously passed a resolution calling upon Governor Howard M. Gore to pardon or parole Edgar Combs who is serving a sentence imposed in connection with the murder of John Gore who was killed on Blair mountain when the “Red Necks” made their famous “armed march” in an attempt to invade Logan and unionize this field.
The resolution was presented Monday by Attorney Harold Houston, of Charleston, counsel for the United Mine Workers in District 17.
The resolution was as follows:
“Whereas Edgar Combs is now confined in the state penitentiary at Moundsville serving a life sentence imposed by the circuit court of Logan county for the alleged murder of John Gore, killed on Blair mountain during a clash between members of the ‘armed march’ of 1921 and a posse of Logan county; and
“Whereas he is now the only person serving in the penitentiary for an offence connected with said uprising, the Rev. J.E. Wilburn and John Wilburn, his son, having turned so-called ‘state’s evidence’ and been pardoned by Governor Ephraim H. Morgan, the said pardon to take effect early in the year 1926; and
“Whereas all of the many hundreds of prosecutions growing out of said trouble have been dismissed and abandoned by the prosecuting attorney of Logan county; and
“Whereas Edgar Combs has a wife and five infant children dependent upon him for maintenance and support, his wife at the present time working for the Wheeling Metal and Manufacturing company in an effort to keep her family together.
“Therefore, be it resolved by the eighteenth annual convention of the West Virginia Federation of Labor assembled at the city of Huntington W.Va. that we earnestly petition the Honorable Howard M. Gore, Governor of West Virginia, to grant and extend executive clemency to Edgar Combs, and either pardon or parole him for said alleged offense.
“And be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be immediately forwarded to Governor Gore for its consideration.”
American Revolution, Andrew Lewis, Appalachia, Battle of Point Pleasant, Cayuga, Chief Cornstalk, Chief Logan, Daniel Greathouse, England, governor, Guyandotte Valley, history, Iroquois, James Logan, John Murray, Lord Dunmore, Michael Cresap, Mingo, Native American History, Native Americans, Ohio, Oneida, Pennsylvania, Six Nations, Susquehanna
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for Chief Logan, printed in 1937:
Family of Chief Logan Was Brutally Murdered After Battle of Pt. Pleasant
Chief Logan, the Cayuga Indian leader who was an important figure in the Indian Confederation in the early days of the Revolutionary war and for whom the city of Logan was named, was an instrument in the hands of Governor Dunmore, appointed by the English Parliament to conduct the affairs of the 13 colonies.
The family of Chief Logan was brutally murdered soon after the battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774, in order to incite to new acts of murder and rapine the Indians whose order for fighting the courageous white settler was beginning to wane.
In the Battle of Point Pleasant the Indian Confederacy, commanded by Chief Cornstalk faced the white settlers under General Andrew Lewis and got a taste of the treatment they might expect in event England and the Colonies went to war with themselves on the side of the mother country.
Dr. Connelly, a deputy of Governor Dunmore, realized that the Indian desire for white scalps was somewhat satiated by the battle of Point Pleasant and the tribes were once gain becoming interested in their everyday life of hunting and shing. In order to offset this feeling of contentment, Dr. Connelly employed the English trader named Greathouse to incite the Indians to new acts of bloodshed.
Trader Greathouse knew of the popularity of the Cayuga chief Logan and rightly judged that an injustice done him would be an injustice to the majority of the tribes of the Confederacy.
Greathouse well-versed in the Indian situation west of the Alleghenies set out to the greatest harm to the Indians in the shortest time and chose the family of Chief Logan as the best possible victims of a white man’s outrage, knowing full well that Dr. Connelly had chosen a colonist well-known to the Indians to hold the “bag.”
The trader, posing as a representative of the English government, gained admittance to Chief Logan’s camp deep in the wilds of the Alleghenies while the latter was away on a hunting expedition. At an opportune moment when he knew that he would not be detected, Greathouse entered Chief Logan’s family circle of tepees and murdered the squaw and the Chief’s favorite children.
When the outrage was discovered by the braves, Greathouse, by instruction from Connelly, told of seeing a white Army officer’s horse near the camp that night before but though it to be of a courier. The unsuspecting braves took the explanation as good and allowed Greathouse to leave soon afterward.
Chief Logan returned from his hunting trip, found his family murdered and demanded retribution from the English.
Dr. Connelly definitely fixed the murder on a Captain Cresap, who at the time of the slaying was at his home in Maryland.
This, however, was enough for Chief Logan. A colonist, a member of the paleface band with whom a treaty had been made following the battle of Point Pleasant, had violated the trust. He returned to his Confederacy and began the work that Governor had anticipated.
The Indian tribes began new raids on the white settlers homes in the West and sufficiently retarded organization of a settlers’ regiment to allow Dunmore to make new inroads on the angry colonists in the East who were laying plans which culminated in the rebellion in 1776.
Dunmore’s strategy triumphed and probably held up the Revolution for at least a year.
Logan (WV) Banner, 19 April 1937
Life of Chief Logan Is An Interesting Narrative
Indian Chief Was Peaceful Until Massacre Of Family At Pt. Pleasant Changed Him To A Veritable Devil; Father Was French
Logan, chief of the Mingos, stands out as a romantic figure in the history of Indian warfare of this section.
His was a tragic role player on the shifting stage of border warfare between the white settlers who were attempting to penetrate the “wilderness” and the Indian tribes who were attempting to cling to their priority rights in this section before being pushed farther westward to the plains.
Logan was his place in history as an orator as well as a famed Indian warrior.
He was a true friend of the white man until, through the machinations of the English in an effort to incite the Indians to further bloodshed, his family was killed by a treacherous white trader named Greathouse.
Logan’s father was a French child who was captured by the Indians and adopted by the Oneida tribe that inhabited Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New York.
When he grew to manhood, he was possessed not only of a commanding stature, but of all the arts, wiles, traits, and characteristics endowed by nature and intellect to an Indian warrior.
By virtue of these he became chief of the tribe of the Susquehannas, who made their home in the Susquehanna valley of Pennsylvania.
The mother of Logan was a Mingo, or Cayuga, which tribe was a derelict branch of the Iroquois and the Six Great Nations.
It is believed that the influence of Logan’s mother on her son caused him to have attitude of tolerance and friendship toward the whites. Whether he husband influenced her sentiments for the whites is not definitely known.
As a matter of fact it was she who christened her son, the great and mighty warrior, “Logan,” in honor of James Logan, who was then secretary for Pennsylvania.
Logan’s Indian name was Tah-gah-jute, meaning “the young and mighty warrior.”
He was after a time chosen chief of the Mingo tribe of this section. As chief of the Mingos he was slow to anger, indulgent, considerate, and dealing in a kindly manner with those who dealt kindly with him.
Chief Logan married an Indian maiden whose name is not recorded. He reared a family in territory of the Guyandotte watershed and was relatively happy, living at peace, with man, until the English changed him from a peaceful Indian to a veritable devil by having massacred his family at a camp in the Ohio.
The stories of Chief Logan’s campaign against the white man after the atrocious murder of his family is recorded in history and tradition.
He lived to see his beloved hunting grounds desecrated by the white man and died a broken-hearted old chieftain somewhere in a camp on the Ohio.
A bronze replica of the mighty warrior has been erected in front of the courthouse at Williamson in memory of the Mingo chief. Logan and Logan county has honored his name by taking it for themselves.
Logan (WV) Banner, 1 May 1937
Abraham Lincoln, Appalachia, Barnabus, Ben Creek, Betty Caldwell, Betty Hatfield, Bob Hatfield, C.C. Lanham, Cap Hatfield, Charles Dardi, Charleston, deputy sheriff, Devil Anse Hatfield, E. Willis Wilson, Elias Hatfield, Elliott R. Hatfield, F.M. Browning, Fayette County, feud, genealogy, governor, Halsey Gibson, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry D. Hatfield, Hibbard Hatfield, history, Holden, Huntington, Island Creek, J.O. Hill, Jim McCoy, Joe Hatfield, John Caldwell, John J. Jackson, Johnson Hatfield, Kentucky, L.W. Lawson, Levicy Hatfield, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lundale, Marion Browning, Mary Howes, Mate Creek, Matewan, Matilda Chafin, Mingo County, Nancy Carey, Nancy Mullins, Nathaniel Chafin, Omar, Pike County, Pikeville, Pittsburgh, pneumonia, R.A. Woodall, Randolph McCoy, Rebecca Hatfield, Rose Browning, sheriff, Tennis Hatfield, Tom Chafin, Troy Hatfield, Tug River, W.R. Eskew, West Virginia, Wharncliffe
The following news items from the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, provide some history about the final years of Levisa Hatfield, widow of Anse Hatfield:
MRS. HATFIELD BETTER
Mrs. Levicy Hatfield, widow of Ance Hatfield, continues to recuperate from a serious illness and is now able to walk about the home of her daughter, Mrs. F.M. Browning, of Holden, where she has been cared for. She is 84 years old.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 03 June 1927
Mrs. Hatfield Hurt
Mrs. Lovisa Hatfield, widow of the late “Devil Anse” Hatfield, is suffering from injuries received in a fall at her home on Island Creek Sunday. She hurt her hip and shoulder and forehead and her condition was such as to cause some concern, yet she was able to sit up yesterday. Two or three of her daughters are helping to take care of her. She is 85 years old.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 20 September 1927
DEVIL ANSE’S WIDOW, AGED 86, RECOVERS FROM PNEUMONIA
In recovering from her recent severe illness Mrs. Levisa Hatfield, widow of the late “Devil Anse,” has again demonstrated her remarkable vitality. Though in her 87th year, she is now recovering from pneumonia with which she was stricken on December 28. Monday of this week her lungs began to clear up, and her son, Sheriff Joe Hatfield, said yesterday that she seemed to be assured of recovery.
So critical was her illness for several days that half a dozen physicians were summoned to her bedside. These included Dr. H.D. Hatfield, L.W. Lawson, J.O. Hill, Brewer and Moore as well as Dr. E.R. Hatfield, of Charleston, a son of the aged patient.
Mrs. Hatfield celebrated her 86th birthday at the Hatfield homestead near the head of Island Creek on December 20.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 18 January 1929.
Devil Anse’s Widow Died Early Today
Mrs. Levisa Hatfield Succumbs Unexpectedly In 87th Year
10 Living Children
Hers Was Life of Storm And Stress for Several Decades
Funeral services for Mrs. Hatfield will be held at 2:30 Sunday at the Hatfield cemetery on Island Creek.
Mrs. Levisa Hatfield, widow of “Devil Anse” of Hatfield-McCoy feud fame, died at the family homestead up near the head of Island Creek at about 8 o’clock this morning. Though she was frail and had been in ill health all winter, the news of her passing caused much surprise and regret among relatives and friends outnumbered. Still, her condition yesterday was unsatisfactorily, indicating she had suffered a backset.
Mrs. Hatfield celebrated her 86th birthday on December 20. Eight days later she was stricken with pneumonia, and for several weeks her condition was alarming. Despite her advanced age, her indomitable grit and wiry strength and endurance triumphed, having as she did the tender, constant care of her children and other kinfolk, neighbors, and friends.
Hers was a stout heart, otherwise it could not have, withstood the storms that raged about her home and her family for many years. But long before her interesting career ended, peace and contentment had come into her life, and her declining days were brightened by the successes that had come to her children and grandchildren.
The decedent was born and reared on Mate Creek in what was then Logan county but now in Mingo. She was a daughter of Nathaniel Chafin. In her teens she was married to a neighbor youth, William Anderson Hatfield, who shortly thereafter entered the Confederate army and attained the rank of captain. That was a trying experience for a bride, but a longer and more terrifying one came in the early ‘80s when her family became involved in a now historic private war with the McCoys, a large family living on the Kentucky side of the Tug River. Even after the feud ended and a tacit agreement was carried out whereby her family moved back from the Tug and over the county divide and their foes went farther away from the Tug in the opposite direction, tragedies cast their shadows across her pathway. Chief of these was the slaying of her sons Troy and Elias by a drunken miner in Fayette county in 1911. The miner, too, was riddled with bullets after his victims had fallen mortally wounded.
Ten children survive Mrs. Hatfield and three are dead, Johnson, the oldest, having died in 1922 on Ben Creek, Mingo county. The living are: William A. (Cap), who shared with his father the leadership of their clan in the days of the feud, now a deputy sheriff and living at Stirrat; Robert L., Wharncliffe; Mrs. Nancy Mullins, living just above the Hatfield place; Dr. Elliott R., Charleston; Mrs. Mary Howes, at home; Mrs. John (Betty) Caldwell, Barnabus; Sheriff Joe D. Hatfield; Mrs. Marion (Rose) Browning, Holden; Willis, deputy sheriff at Lundale; Tennis, former sheriff.
She is survived by two sisters and a brother: Mrs. Betty Hatfield, widow of Elias Hatfield and mother of U.S. Senator H.D. Hatfield; Mrs. Rebecca Hatfield, of Logan, mother of Hibbard Hatfield, and Tom Chafin, who lives on Mate Creek.
Mrs. Hatfield and devoted to her home and family. And her home as well as herself was widely known for hospitality. There the friend or wayfarer ever found a welcome. She was a member of the Church of Christ and was baptized along with her husband by Uncle Dyke Garrett some years before her husband’s death.
No announcement was made this forenoon as to the funeral arrangements. Squire Elba Hatfield, a grandson, said he supposed the funeral would be held Sunday. Burial will be in the family cemetery.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 15 March 1929
Great Crowd At Funeral of Mrs. Hatfield
Throng Surpassed That of Any Previous Funeral In County
Pictures Are Taken
News of Death of “Devil” Anse’s Widow Travels Far and Wide
Hundreds of relatives and friends and neighbors paid their last tribute of affection to Mrs. Lovisa Hatfield Sunday afternoon. It is declared to be, by persons capable of judging, the largest funeral crowd ever assembled in the county. Perhaps the maximum attendance of the afternoon was no larger than that at the funeral of Charles Dardi last November, but on Sunday people were coming and going for an hour or more before the hour set–2:30–for the services and until the services were concluded.
Early in the afternoon a crowd began to form both at the Hatfield cemetery and the homestead. A cool, steady, stiff breeze made it uncomfortable for those who gathered at the cemetery, with the result that they did not tarry long there; and on account of weather conditions a great many did not leave their cars, which were closely parked along both sides of the highway from Sheriff Joe Hatfield’s home up to and beyond the home of the decedent.
The attendance at Sunday’s rites exceeded that of the funeral of Mrs. Hatfield’s widely known husband, “Devil Anse,” which was held on Sunday, January 9, 1921. At that time there was but a semblance of a highway up toward the head of Island Creek and most of those who attended the rites of the old feudist chieftain rode on a special train that was run that day or walked for a great distance.
At the homestead there were scripture readings, sermons, and tributes by Rev. Joe Hatfield, a nephew of the decedent, of Matewan; Rev. Halsey Gibson and Rev. C.C. Lanham, pastor of the first Methodist church of Logan. Before the cortege left the house R.A. Woodall, local photographer, took pictures of the body at rest in a beautiful metallic casket and of the grandchildren and perhaps others who were grouped on the porch.
At the grave the services were conducted by Rev. W.R. Eskew of Omar and a solo by a Mr. Woods of Huntington featured the singing. Mr. Eskew paid a tribute to the generosity and hospitality of Mrs. Hatfield, to her love of home and her devotion to her children and other loved ones.
As related in Friday’s paper, Mrs. Hatfield died at about 8 o’clock that morning, after having nearly recovered from pneumonia. Her age was 86 years, two months and 25 days. She was a daughter of Nathaniel and Matilda Varney Chafin and was born on Mate Creek, now in Mingo county. Her sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Hatfield of Huntington , Mrs. Nancy Carey, Pittsburgh, and Mrs. Rebecca Hatfield of Logan, and her brother Tom Chafin of Mingo were at the funeral.
All over the country the news of Mrs. Hatfield’s death was flashed and it called forth much comment on the old Hatfield-McCoy feud that for a long time held the close attention evidently of millions of newspaper readers.
An old sketch of “Devil Anse” says he had none of the attributes of “bad men” in his character. He was always recognized as a loyal friend of the many who had some sort of claim to his friendship. Numbered among those who believed he had been right in the position he took during the feud days were the late Judge John J. Jackson, known as the “Iron Judge,” who was appointed to the federal bench by President Lincoln, and the late Governor E.W. Wilson, the former protecting Hatfield when he was called into court, and the latter refusing to honor a requisition of the Governor of Kentucky for the arrest of Devil Anse on a charge of killing some particular member of the McCoy family.
Detectives, real and alleged, had arranged for the capture of Hatfield, spurred by a reward, after they had seen to it that he was indicted on a charge of whiskey selling; in 1888, Judge Jackson, hearing of these plans, sent word to him that if he would appear in court voluntarily the court would see that he had ample protection until he returned to his home in this county.
Uncle Anse appeared and was acquitted of the charge against him. Some of the detectives pounced on him soon after he left the court room, but Judge Jackson summoned all of them before him, threatened to send them to jail, and directed special officers to see that Hatfield was permitted to reach his home. After Hatfield was well on his way, Judge Jackson told the detectives that if they wanted to get him they could proceed, just as the McCoys had been doing for a number of years. They never went.
Captain Hatfield spent the last 20 years of his life peacefully on his farm then in an isolated section of the county. Once he was prevailed upon by some enterprising amusement manager to go on the vaudeville stage but the lure of his home in the mountains soon proved stronger than the lure of the footlights.
In the splendid account of the death of Mrs. Anderson Hatfield, estimable woman who passed away at her home Friday, it was stated that Mrs. Hatfield was one of the last of either the Hatfield or McCoy family directly connected with the feud and that all the McCoy principals are believed to be dead. This last is in error as James McCoy, who resided in Pikeville for many years and latter came here, where he lived with his family for a number of years, and after the death of his wife only a few years ago again returned to Pikeville and is now living there. He is a highly respected and esteemed citizen and was the eldest son of the late Randall McCoy, of Pike county, and was one of the main principals of the feud.
Catlettsburg cor. in Huntington Advertiser
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 19 March 1929.
Appalachia, coal, Coal River, Coal Street, Cole Street, Collis P. Huntington, general, George Rogers Clark Floyd, governor, history, Huntington, James Buchanan, John B. Floyd, John Floyd, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan Junior High School, Nighbert Memorial Church, T.C. Whited, Virginia, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Coal Street dated September 7, 1928:
C-O-A-L IS CORRECT
Acknowledging that it has long been in error, The Banner announces on good authority that the name of the street running from the Wilkinson property up past Nighbert Memorial church and Junior High school is Coal street, not Cole. In some way it was impressed on the mind of the writer soon after he came to Logan that the proper spelling was C-o-l-e. That impression seems to have been widespread and fixed. Wherefore, when street signs were recently placed at the intersections preparatory to the establishment of mail delivery service and the name of “Coal” was made conspicuous at strategic points on “Cole” street, this writer and others were peeved about it. We thought it would cause endless confusion and perpetuate an inexcusable error.
In a desire to dispose of the matter with some finality we asked T.C. Whited about the spelling of the street’s name, the origin of the name, when, why and by whom was it selected. He replied that the street was named Coal by Col. George Rogers Clark Floyd, one of the most brilliant and beloved men that ever came into these mountains. Col. Floyd, a brother of John B. Floyd, who sat in Buchanan’s cabinet and later won renown as a general and who also, like his father, John Floyd, was a governor of Virginia, owned 700 acres of land in this immediate vicinity. It included what is now the west or main business section of the city. That was long before the railroad was built but Col. Floyd envisioned the industrial development that has come. In fact, he believed it would come long before it did, and his miscalculation led him eventually into financial difficulties. When he bore about the same relation to Logan village that Collis P. Huntington bore to the village of Huntington, the residents of this hamlet obtained coal for their own use from a mine opened up near the site of Mrs. Perry’s boarding house at the head of what is now Coal street. So, he gave it that name, says Mr. Whited, and having done so, there is no reason why it should not be preserved and why all confusion about it should not cease.
At that time Coal was perhaps the most logical and appropriate name, whereas under present conditions that name might be as appropriate for one street as another in any town in Logan county.
Once there was the same confusion about the name Coal River, some historians contending the name intended was Cole, in honor of a noted pioneer surveyor of that name. But that question was long ____ geographers and of those who dwelt on the banks of that noble stream.
NOTE: Today the street sign reads COLE STREET.
Appalachia, Blood in West Virginia, Boone County, Charleston, Charleston Gazette, Coal River, genealogy, governor, Gretna, Hamlin, Henry H. Hardesty, history, Jacob B. Jackson, Joseph E. Chilton, Kanawha County, Kanawha Ring, Kuna and Walls, lawyer, Lincoln County, Louisiana, Mary Elizabeth Chilton, Pelican Publishing Company, politics, prosecuting attorney, teacher, West Virginia, West Virginia University, William Edwin Chilton
From “Hardesty’s History of Lincoln County, West Virginia,” published by H.H. Hardesty, we find this entry for Joseph E. Chilton, who resided at Hamlin in Lincoln County, West Virginia:
Was born at the mouth of Coal river, Kanawha county, (now) West Virginia, December 6, 1855, and came to Lincoln county in 1878. He is a son of William Edwin and Mary Elizabeth (Wilson) Chilton. Joseph E. Chilton taught in the public schools of Kanawha county, West Virginia, five years, two years of which were spent in Charleston. He read law in the office of Kuna and Walls while teaching, and at the age of twenty-one was admitted to the bar. In 1880 he was elected prosecuting attorney of the counties of Lincoln and Boone, West Virginia, which office he still holds. Mr. Chilton is a regent of West Virginia University, having been appointed by Gov. Jackson in October, 1882.
Source: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, Vol. 7 (Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974), p. 109.
NOTE: Mr. Chilton briefly appears in my book, Blood in West Virginia: Brumfield v. McCoy. For more on the very important Chilton family, follow this link: https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1167
Public Papers of Governor A.B. Fleming of West Virginia, February 6, 1890 to March 4, 1893 (Charleston, WV: Moses W. Donnally, Public Printer, 1893).
“Isaiah Mullins, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, August term, 1891, of unlawful cutting and sentenced to one year’s confinement in the penitentiary. Pardoned December 8, 1891, for reasons entered in the pardon record as follows: The application for pardon is supported by the recommendation of the Hon. Thos. H. Harvey, the judge who presided at the trial, and who says: ‘This man Mullins, when sober, is represented as quiet and peaceable and tries to provide for his family, which, I understand is quite large, and who are now in very needy circumstances, depending largely on the assistance of neighbors and friends. I am inclined to believe it would now be a mercy to his little children to exercise the Executive clemency, and pardon him, which I respectfully recommend.’ The prosecuting attorney, clerk of circuit court, and nine of the jurors, also ask for the prisoner’s release.” (p. 96-97)
“John Brumfield, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, February term, 1892, of unlawful shooting, and sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary for two years. Pardon granted November 21, 1892, for reasons entered in the pardon record as follows: It appears that the prisoner was but fifteen years of age at the time of the commission of the offense. The petition for pardon is supported by the recommendation of the Hon. Thos. H. Harvey, the judge who sentenced the prisoner; by Rome Lambert, the person who was shot; by Wade Lambert, the father of the injured party; by most of the persons who witnessed the difficulty; by the prosecuting attorney; and a large number of citizens.” (p. 103)
Boone County, Charleston, crime, D.E. Wilkinson, governor, Green Wiley, H.C. Shelton, Heenan Smith, history, Ira Adkins, J.M. Hollandsworth, John Jenkins, Lincoln County, Linford Jarrell, Marcus Maynard, Moses W. Donnally, P.S. Blankenship, Public Papers of Governor William A. MacCorkle of West Virginia, Thomas H. Harvey, Wayne County, West Virginia, Wheeling Intelligencer, William A. MacCorkle, William Jones, William Kelley, Wirt Bias
Public Papers of Governor William A. MacCorkle of West Virginia, March 4, 1893 to March 4, 1897 (Charleston, WV: Moses W. Donnally, Public Printer, 1897).
“Wm. Kelley, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, August term 1890, for shooting with intent to kill, and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. Pardon granted August 10th, 1894, for reasons entered in the pardon record as follows: It appears that the prisoner is in the last stages of consumption, and is dying. The pardon is recommended by the warden of the penitentiary, by the physician, chaplain, and several members of the Board of Directors. The prisoner is pardoned in order that he may be taken home to die.” (p. 90-91)
“Green Wiley, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, August term 1892, for shooting with intent to kill, and sentenced to one year confinement in the penitentiary. Pardon granted April 27, 1893, for reasons entered in the pardon record, as follows: “The petition for pardon is supported by the recommendation of the judge who tried the case, the prosecuting attorney and assistant prosecuting attorney, the clerk of the circuit court, P.S. Blankenship the man who was shot by Wiley, and by very man citizens of Lincoln county. The prisoner was convicted on very slight evidence. I extend to him a pardon for the following reasons: 1. The testimony against him in the trial was very inadequate. 2. The evidence of the witness upon which defendant was convicted has since been found entirely untrustworthy and the accused showed no malice in the act, but that it was a mere hot headed fight.” (p. 78-79)
“H.C. Shelton, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, ____ term 1892, for assault, and fined $318. Remission of fine granted August 16, 1896. It appears from the petition in this case that Shelton is a very poor man, and utterly unable to pay the fine imposed upon him, which has been standing nearly four years. He has had a great deal of sickness in his family, and since his conviction his wife has died, leaving him with a large family of small children entirely unprovided for except by his labor. Were the petitioner to be confined in jail upon a capias pro fine, his children would be entirely helpless and thrown upon the citizens of Lincoln county. The remission of the fine is urged by nearly all the county officials in Lincoln county and a large number of the best citizens of the county. It is utterly beyond the power of the petitioner to pay this fine, and confinement in jail upon a capias pro fine would be entirely useless and result in no good to the State and only hardship to the petitioner.” (p. 481-482)
“Ira Adkins, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, June term, 1894, for burglary, and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. Pardon granted November 29, 1895, for reasons entered of record as follows: The petition for pardon is signed by every member of the jury that tried the case and a large number of citizens of Lincoln county. The pardon is asked for by these petitioners on the grounds that there is now ‘some doubt arising in the minds of said petitioners caused by circumstances which were learned of since his trial, when convicted and sentenced.’ The good petition further shows that his conduct has been good, during confinement, that his health is very much impaired by reason of his confinement, and that he has a wife and family in destitute circumstances.” (p. 437)
“Wirt Bias, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, October term, 1894, for unlawful assault, confinement in jail for six months. Pardon granted April 2, 1895, for reasons entered of record as follows: The petition for pardon is supported by the recommendation of Hon. D.E. Wilkinson, prosecuting attorney of Lincoln county, J.M. Hollandsworth, sheriff, and William Jones, jailor, of said county, and by several members of the bar and a number of good citizens of the county. The petition shows that the prisoner is in bad health, the result of his confinement, and that the jail of Lincoln county is very unhealthy and that further confinement would seriously impair his health. The prisoner’s wife is also in very delicate health and needs his attention.” (p. 425)
“Heenan Smith, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, February term, 1894 [1896?], for manslaughter, and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. This case is surrounded by many mitigating circumstances. Maynard had gone to Smith’s house; had been hospitably and kindly treated; had taken supper at his house and was staying all night. At bed-time they all retired and Maynard went to bed with the host (Smith), who is the father of Heenan Smith, the defendant in this case. A little girl, 13 years old, the daughter of the host and sister of Heenan Smith, retired in a separate bed in the same room. Late in the night Maynard got up out of the bed with the host and went over and got in with the little girl and attempted to have criminal connection with her. The child made an outcry and the old man raised up, and Maynard ran out of the house and disappeared. The next morning he was met by Heenan Smith, the defendant, and brother of the little girl, and an alteration occurred, in which Smith knocked this man down. A few hours afterwards Smith went to the post office and he met Maynard on the road. Another altercation occurred between him and Smith, having revolvers and both firing almost simultaneously, in which altercation Smith killed Maynard. The court sentenced Smith to the penitentiary for five years. The judge who tried the case writes a letter, and requests Smith’s pardon. A large number of the best citizens in the county join in the petition. I think that under the circumstances that it is a case deserving of executive clemency. (p. 463-464)
NOTE: The Wheeling Intelligencer of February 25, 1896 reports: “Herman Smith, who murdered Marcus Maynard in Lincoln county, last year, was found guilty of murder in the second degree to-day [Feb. 24] and was sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary by Judge Harvey.”
NOTE: The Wheeling Intelligencer of March 5, 1896 reports: “Two prisoners were received yesterday. One, John Jenkins, from Wayne county, two years, for grand larceny; another, Heenan Smith, Lincoln county, seven years, for murder in the second degree.”
“Linford Jarrell, convicted in the circuit court of Lincoln county, for burglary, at the July term, 1896, and sentenced of five years in the penitentiary. Pardon granted February 13, 1897. From all the evidence in this case it seems that this man was an ignorant and feeble minded person and as a matter of reality was not cognizant of his crime. This statement was made by Judge McClaugherty, who presided at the trial. Judge McClaugherty is extremely careful in matters of this kind and universally refuses to sign letters asking for clemency. In this case he makes a request for the pardon, and sets out that under the legal rules it was impossible for him to set aside the verdict. This prayer for clemency is joined in by ten of the jury which tried the case and by a great number of the best citizens of the county of Boone, where the case was tried and where the boy lived. There is no doubt in my mind but that the boy should not have been convicted.” (p. 466)