Appalachia, Aracoma, Athelyn Hatfield, Beatrice Taylor, Bertha Allen, Big Island, Big Rock, Bill Ellis, board of education, Brooke McComas, C&O Railroad, Charles Avis, circuit rider, civil war, Cleveland, Coal Street, Dingess Run, E.M. Ford, education, Elma Allen, F.O. Woerner, Florence Hughes, Fred Kellerman, Free School Act, G.O. Nelson, George Bryant, George T. Swain, Guyandotte Valley, Hickman White, history, Isabella Wilson, Island Creek, J.A. McCauley, J.L. Chambers, J.L. Curry, J.W. Fisher, James Lawson, Jennie Mitchell, Jim Sidebottom, Joe Perry, Joel Lee Jones, John B. Floyd, John Dingess, Kate Taylor, Kittie Virginia Clevinger, L.G. Burns, Lawnsville, Leland Hall, Leon Smith, Lettie Halstead, Lewis B. Lawson, Lillian Halstead, Logan, Logan County, Logan Democrat, Logan High School, Logan Wildcats, Lon E. Browning, Lucile Bradshaw, Maud Ryder, Maude Smartwood, Minnie Cobb, Morgantown, Ohio, Old Fork Field, Pearl Hundley, Pearl Staats, Peter Dingess, principal, R.E. Petty, Roscoe Hinchman, Sarah Dingess, Southern Methodist Church, Stollings, Superintendent of Schools, Tennessee, The Islands, typhoid fever, W.V. Vance, W.W. Hall, West Virginia
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, in a story titled “Schools and School Houses of Logan” and dated September 14, 1916, comes this bit of history about early education in Logan County, courtesy of G.T. Swain:
The hardest proposition encountered by the author in the preparation of this book was securing the following information relative to the early schools of Logan. We interviewed numbers of the older inhabitants, but owing to their faulty memories we were unable to obtain anything accurate. Nor were the county school officials able to give us any information regarding the schools of the early period. In making mention of this fact to Professor W.W. Hall of Stollings, who is District Superintendent of the free schools in Logan district, he graciously offered to secure as much information as he could from an old lady by the name of Sarah Dingess, who lives near his home. Thus, when we thought that we had exhausted every effort along this line, we were surprised and doubly appreciative of the efforts of Professor Hall, who secured for us the data from which the following article was compiled:
When the first settlers of Logan left the civilization of the East and came to the fertile Guyan Valley to carve homes for themselves and their children out of the forest, they brought with them a desire for schools for their offspring. One of the first pioneers of this valley, Peter Dingess, very early in the last century, erected a pole cabin upon the ruins of the Indian village on the Big Island, for a school house. That was the first school house erected within the limits of Logan county. In that house the children of The Islands (the first name of Logan) were taught “readin’, writin’ and spankin’.” After they ceased to use that house for school purposes, the people annoyed Mr. Dingess so much, wanting to live in the building, that he had his son, John, go out at night and burn it down. Thus the first school house for the children of Logan disappeared.
After the cabin on the Big Island ceased to be used for a school house, Lewis B. Lawson erected a round log house near the mouth of Dingess Run, where W.V. Vance now resides, for a school building. In that house George Bryant taught the children of Lawnsville (the name of Logan at that time) for a number of terms. A Mrs. Graves from Tennessee, wife of a Methodist circuit rider, also taught several terms there. Her work was of high order as a few of the older citizens yet attest.
A short time after Mr. Lawson built his school house at Dingess Run his brother, James, erected a school house on his land at the forks of Island Creek in the Old Fork Field, where J.W. Fisher now resides. The Rev. Totten, a famous and popular Southern Methodist circuit rider, taught the urchins of Aracoma (the name of Logan at that time) for several terms in the early ’50s of the last century.
After the passage of the Free School Act by the General Assembly of Virginia in 1846, the people of Aracoma and Dingess Run erected a boxed building for a school house by the Big Rock in the narrows above Bill Ellis’ hollow. The county paid the tuition of poor children in that school. Rev. Totten taught for several years in that house. He was teaching there when the Civil War began, when he discontinued his school, joined the Logan Wild Cats, marched away to Dixie, and never returned. Each of the last three named houses was washed away in the great flood in the year 1861.
When the Civil War was over and the soldiers had returned to their homes, they immediately set about to erect a school house. They built a hewn log house on the lower side of Bill Ellis’ hollow. That was the first free school building erected within the present limits of the city of Logan. In that house one-armed Jim Sidebottom wielded the rod and taught the three R’s. He was strict and a good teacher in his day. That house served as an institution of learning till in 1883 the Board of Education bought about an acre on the hill where the brick school houses now stand from Hickman White. A few years later additional land was bought of John B. Floyd in order to get a haul road from Coal street opposite the residence of Joe Perry’s to the school building. The old frame building was erected on the hill in 1883, and it furnished ample room for the children for more than two decades.
After the completion of the Guyan railroad to Logan the phenomenal growth of the city began. The growth of its educational facilities has kept pace with its material progress. In 1907 a brick building of four more rooms was added. Then they thought they would never need any more room. In 1911 they built a two story frame school house. In 1914 the magnificent new High school building was erected. Today, nineteen teachers are employed in the city, and within the next few years several more teachers must be employed, while the buildings are already taxed to their capacity.
In the year 1911 the Board of Education employed W.W. Hall as district supervisor. He asked for the establishment of a high school, and the citizens strongly endorsed his recommendation. The high school was established and Mr. Hall went at his own expense to the state university at Morgantown to find a principal for the high school. He secured F.O. Woerner, and the school was organized in 1911, on August 28. The next year Miss Maude Smartwood of Cleveland, Ohio, was added to the high school teaching force. In 1913 J.A. McCauley died from typhoid fever before the school closed, and George EM. Ford was employed to finish the term. In 1914 the school offered for the first time a standard four-year high school course and was classified by the state authorities as a first class high school. Today it is regarded as one of the best high schools in the state. It has more than one hundred pupils enrolled and employs seven regular high school teachers. It has a better equipped domestic science department than any other high school in West Virginia. When the high school was organized in 1911, there were only seven pupils in eighth grade in the city school. These seven were taken and pitched bodily into the high school. Of that first class, Fred Kellerman, Leland Hall, Roscoe Hinchman, Leon Smith, Kate and Beatrice Taylor continued in school until they were graduated June 2, 1915.
The first common school diploma examination ever held in Logan county was conducted by Supt. Hall as the close of his first year’s work at the head of the Logan District schools. He also conducted the first common school graduation exercises ever held in the county, in the old Southern Methodist church, on May 28, 1912.
Logan is indeed proud of her schools, and the efforts made by the faculty and school officials toward the training and educational development of young America meets with the hearty approval and commendation of all citizens.
Those in charge of the county schools are: Lon E. Browning, county superintendent; W.W. Hall, Logan district supervisor; the Logan district board of education is composed of J.L. Curry, president; and J.L. Chambers and L.G. Burns, commissioners. Chas. Avis is secretary of the board.
The faculty consists of F.O. Woerner, Principal of the Logan High School and instructor in mathematics; Joel Lee Jones, languages; Minnie Cobb, science; Isabella Wilson, cooking and sewing; Maud Ryder, commercial subjects; Jennie Mitchell, history and civics, and Mrs. R.E. Petty, music.
Lucile Bradshaw, English, literature, and mathematics; Florence Hughes, geography, history, and physiology, of the sixth and seventh grades departmental.
The following are the teachers in the grades: G.O. Nelson, Principal; Athelyn Hatfield, Pearl Staats, Brooke McComas, Lillian Halstead, Elma Allen, Lettie Halstead, Pearl Hundley, Kittie Virginia Cleavinger and Bertha Allen.
Appalachia, basket meetings, Big Creek, Burke McComas, Cecil Hager, Charleston, Florence Wheeler, genealogy, Gladys Saunders, Guyandotte Valley, history, Huntington, Jess Harmon, John Mitchell, John Mobley, Laura Hager, Lillie Estep, Lloyd Ellis, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lonna Hager, Lulu Harmon, merchant, Myrtle Mobley, Nannie Lilly, Nannie Mobley, Norma Saunders, P.D. Bradbury, Pearl Mobley, Peter M. Toney, Tom Vance, Ward Shively, West Virginia
An unnamed correspondent from Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following news, which the Logan Banner printed on September 5, 1924:
Dear old Banner, here I am with a bit of news from our little city Big Creek, one of the most leading little cities on the Guyan Valley.
Miss Lulu Harmon is very ill at this writing.
Mrs. John Mitchell was calling on Mrs. John Mobley Sunday.
It was sad to see Mr. Burke McComas baptized Sunday. He is very ill and not expected to live.
Mr. Lloyd Ellis seems to be enjoying himself of late.
Misses Florence Wheeler and Gladys Saunders has returned home after a short stay in Huntington.
A fine new boy arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Mobley.
Don’t forget the basket meeting Sunday on Big Creek. Everybody invited.
Misses Nannie Lilly, Myrtle Mobley, and Cecil Hager were out car riding Sunday.
Mr. Jess Harmon and Miss Norma Saunders were out picnicking Sunday.
Mr. Tom Vance and Miss Pearl Mobley motored to Logan Sunday.
John Mobley has accommodated all loafers. He has made a loafers bench under his shade tree near his store.
Ward Shively has returned to his home after a short stay in Charleston.
Peter M. Toney made a flying trip to Huntington to see his home folks.
We all were sorry when Mr. P.D. Bradbury found his span of mules drowned Sunday. They were tied with a rope and fell over the high bank.
Mrs. Nannie Mobley was kodaking Sunday evening.
Miss Lillie Estepp returned home after a short stay with her parents.
Miss Gladys Saunders and Miss Myrtle Mobley had a happy meeting when first they met after Gladys’ return home.
There are plenty of cars and good drivers nowadays.
Mrs. Lonna Hager of Huntington is the guest of her sisters, Laura Hager.
Appalachia, Ashland, author, authors, coal, Guyandotte Valley, history, Kentucky, Logan Banner, Logan County, physician, poems, poetry, Thomas Dunn English, Three Forks, Viola Ann Runyon, West Virginia, writers, writing
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Veola Ann Runyon, authoress-poet of Logan County. The story is dated January 13, 1922:
LOGAN COUNTY HAS AN AUTHORESS-POET
Mrs. Veola Ann Runyon, of Three Forks, Has Had Much of Her Work Published.
We never know in what nook or corner we may find unknown talent or beneath what bushel measure we may and a shining light unless, perchance, we may trip across a clue that may lead us to a welcome discovery. Such was the case with a representative of The Banner on a recent trip to Three Forks, when he fortunately learned of the presence there of Mrs. Veola Anne Runyon, a poet and talented writer of fact and fiction.
Mrs. Runyon was born in Ashland, Ky. Her grandfather was a French physician and author. From him she derived the gifted talent at at the early age of sixteen she began writing stories and for the past ten years she has been a regular contributor to several of the largest magazines of our country. She has in preparation at the present time a romance which will be happily connected with the coal mining industry, while she has in the hands of her publisher two other books, one dealing with scientifical and botanical work and the other on entomological facts.
The story now in preparation will be eagerly sought by all readers in Logan County, due to the fact that part of the plot will be based upon knowledge gained within this county. Mrs. Runyon was requested by her publishers to write a story closely connected with the mining industry and so not knowing the details connected with the industry she came to Three Forks, and while stopping at the Club House there she is gathering facts that will prove invaluable in her latest work.
Mrs. Runyon is a gifted writer and is filled with the love of the work. She is also deeply interested in botanical work and the study of nature. Through persuasion we were able to secure some of her poems for publication in The Banner, and we are pleased to announce that arrangements have been made with her for regular contributions to the columns of this paper.
Her presence here will recall to mind another author who came to Logan County in years gone by. Dr. Thos. Dunn English recognized the beauty of these mountains and the nearness of true nature and came here during the period between 1850 and 1860. Some of his poems deal with life in the Guyan Valley.
With her ability and fluency of language, Mrs. Runyon should find in these grand majestic mountains and wonderful natural beauty an invaluable aid to inspiration that will enable her to complete a wonderful story that should attract the favorable attention of the most critical.
Note: I cannot locate any biographical information for this writer. Three Forks, according to one source, is also known as Saunders (Buffalo Creek).
Abner Vance, Alexander Varney, Ali Hatfield, Andrew Hatfield, Appalachia, B.H. Justice, Bettie Vance, Big Sandy River, Cabell County, Celia Hatfield, Ephraim Hatfield, Ferrell Evans, Frank Evans, genealogy, Guyandotte Valley, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry Clay Ragland, history, Humphrey Trent, Jacob Hatfield, James Hatfield, James Justice, John Justice, John Toler, Joseph Hatfield, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan County Banner, Logan Court House, M.A. Hatfield, Matewan, North Spring, Peter Cline, Phoebe Hatfield, sheriff, Thomas Hatfield, Thomas Smith, Valentine Hatfield, West Virginia, William E. Justice, Wyoming County
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for the Hatfield family, printed on May 11, 1937:
History Of Hatfield Clan Recorded In Banner Files
Ephraim Hatfield Was One of The Quietest Men In The County—Yet He Was Father Of Those Engaged In Famous Feud
Henry Clay Ragland, editor of The Logan Banner in 1896, was, among other things, a genealogist for Logan county.
He lived at a time when most of the children and grandchildren of Logan county’s first settlers were still alive and he had access to a wealth of first-hand information that has served as the basis for family histories in Logan county up to the present.
An account of the entrance of the Hatfield family into this section of the country is clipped verbatim from a Logan County Banner dated Wednesday, April 29, 1896.
“At what is still known as the Hatfield place on Horsepen, Valentine Hatfield, of Washington county, Va., settled at quite an early day. He was the father of nine sons and three daughters, and from them have sprung many of the Hatfields of the Guyandotte and Sandy Valleys.
“Valentine Hatfield married a Miss Weddington, and he was a half brother of Thomas Smith. His sons were Ali, who married a daughter of Ferrell Evans; Joe, who also married a daughter of Ferrell Evans; Ephraim, who married Bettie Vance; (This Ephraim was one of the quietest men in the county, and was for a long time a justice of the peace, yet he was the father and grandfather of the Hatfields who were engaged in the Hatfield-McCoy feud) Andrew, who married a daughter of Humphrey Trent, and whose descendants live in Wyoming county; Thomas, who married a daughter of Frank Evans; John, who married a daughter of Abner Vance; James, who married a daughter of John Toler; (Squire M.A. Hatfield and James Hatfield are the sons of this marriage) Jacob, who married a daughter of Peter Cline; and Valentine, who was never married.
“Of his three daughters, Phoebe married Alexander Varney; Celia married James Justice, who was at one time sheriff of Logan county, and who was the father of John Justice, a prominent merchant in Logan Court House (the name of the city at that time), B.H. Justice, a merchant and timber dealer of Cabell county, and William E. Justice, a merchant at North Spring and at one time a member of the West Virginia legislature.
“Joseph Hatfield, a brother of Valentine Hatfield, settled about the same time at Matewan.”
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history relating to coal and the Guyandotte River, dated 1927:
UNPLEASANT AND HARMLESS TASTE NOTED IN CITY WATER—IS CAUSED BY PHENOL WASHED INTO RIVER
The local water company has lately been flooded with telephone calls relative to a strange taste and odor in the city water supply. At the request of the water company the County Health Department has made an investigation. It has been found that the queer taste and odor is not due to excessive use of chlorine disinfectant, as most people seem to believe. A great many people have remarked that the odor especially resembles that of carbolic acid. As a matter of fact, the compound causing it does not belong to the same family. The taste is caused by a phenol compound which is a coal tar product found in coal mine wastes. The heavy rains this week have washed some of this deposit from the upper Guyan Valley coal fields into the river. There is no known satisfactory method to remove phenol from water, so it goes through the water paint; part of it combining with the chlorine used for disinfecting and producing the taste so prevalent for the last few days.
The water is entirely safe and it is not injurious to health. It will probably last only a few days, until the flood waters in the rivers subside.
The situation is not a new one; various towns over the state, using stream water from coal field drainage districts, report “chloro-phenol” taste from time to time. The only remedy is to keep the coal waste from draining into the streams. Some work has been done in Pennsylvania along this line but so far little has been accomplished in West Virginia.
Logan County Health Department
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 21 October 1927
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
A.A. Lilly, American Legion, Appalachia, Beckley, Braeholm, C.C. Lanham, Calvert Estill, Casey M. Jones, Charleston, Emmett Scaggs, First Methodist Church, G.R. Claypool, Guyandotte Valley, Harrisville, Henry D. Hatfield, Herbert Hoover, history, Hugh Ike Shott, Huntington, John M. Mitchell, John W. Davis, Kentucky, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lundale, M.Z. White, Naaman Jackson, Peach Creek, photos, Point Pleasant, politics, Princeton, Republican Party, Ripley, Teddy Roosevelt Jr., W.C. Lybarger, W.C. Price, W.G. Conley, W.J. Fields, Welch, West Virginia, Williamson, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, World War I, YMCA
On October 17, 1928, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. visited Logan, WV, and gave a speech to approximately 10,000 people. The Logan Banner offered plenty of coverage for the event:
War-Time Buddies to Greet Col. Roosevelt
After His Meeting Here Wednesday Night–General Conley Will Also Speak at Open-Air Meeting That Night–Whale of Rally Assured
Every ex-service man in Logan county is urged to meet Col. Theodore Roosevelt when he comes here to deliver a campaign address in front of the Court House next Wednesday night. A reception in honor of the distinguished son of a distinguished sire will be held in Republican headquarters on the fifth floor of the White & Browning building after the political meeting is ended. There he will be greeted by his war “buddies” and every soldier, sailor and marine who served in the World War, regardless of political affiliations, is asked to be present.
Col. Roosevelt is billed three speeches on Tuesday. He is expected to speak at Welch in the afternoon and at Princeton at 5 p.m. and at Beckley that night. He is in great demand and Logan Republicans are elated over the definite promise from state headquarters that he is coming here.
General W.G. Conley, Republican nominee for Governor, will accompany or join Col. Roosevelt here and both will speak at the Wednesday night meeting. It is probable, too, that Dr. H.D. Hatfield and A.A. Lilly, former attorney general, will be here at the same time. General Lilly is billed for a speech at Braeholm on Monday night.
Logan (WV) Banner, 12 October 1928
Col. Roosevelt and General Conley Speak in Logan Tomorrow Night
Open-Air Rally at Court House Expected to Attract Delegations From All Sections of County–Service Men to Hold Reception for Col. Roosevelt After Speaking Is Ended
With the coming of Theodore Roosevelt and General W.C. Conley tomorrow for what is expected to be a memorable night meeting, the speaking campaign in this county may reach a climax. They will be the chief speakers at an open-air meeting in front of the Court House. It is probable that Governor Gore will come also and in that event he may serve as chairman of the meeting.
A.A. Lilly, former attorney general and Hugh Ike Shott, Republican nominee for congress, who addressed a huge gathering at Braeholm and Lundale last night, will speak at Peach Creek tonight; Senator Jackson and E.F. Scaggs also spoke at last night’s gatherings. Mr. Shott will remain in the county up to Wednesday night.
Governor W.J. Fields of Kentucky will address a Democratic meeting in the court room tonight.
Widespread interest has been aroused in the Roosevelt-Conley meeting and delegations are looked for from every section of the county. Ex-service men are to turn out in force to meet and greet the distinguished soldier-son of the beloved soldier-president of the same name. A reception to which all ex-service men are invited will be held on the fifth floor of the White & Browning building after the big meeting is concluded. Roosevelt’s war record, his activity in helping to organize the American Legion, and his fondness for those who served with him have endeared him to World War men everywhere.
A prohibition rally sponsored by the W.C.T.U. will be held at the Court House at 7:30 Friday p.m. Everyone is urged to come. The speakers for this occasion have not been announced.
Col. Roosevelt Center of Interest of Biggest Crowd Ever Seen Here
Republicans Stage Rally Eclipsing Any of the Past in Guyan Valley, With Attentive, Enthusiastic Crowd Estimated At Around 10,000 Mark
GEN. CONLEY AND OTHERS TAKE PART
Ex-Service Men Add Zest to Ovation for Gallant Soldier Son of Beloved T.R.–Rev. Mr. Lanham Is Chairman–Flowers For Teddy
Before the largest crowd ever assembled in Logan county, Col. Theodore Roosevelt, eldest son of the late president, made an eloquent and elaborate appeal in front of the Court House Wednesday night for the election of Hoover and Curtis on November 6.
His oratory, his Rooseveltian grimaces, his deep-furrowed smiles, his warm and radiant fellowship, and genuine camaraderie in meeting and greeting ex-service men, won the hearts of all. And how game he was! Exhausted by his effort to make himself heard to the far corners of the crowd confronting him and really surrounding him, following a strenuous ordeal of many days, traveling at night and speaking several times a day, he had difficulty making his way from the platform back through the crowd and into the Court House corridor. To several companions he hoarsely confided, “I’m a wreck!” Nevertheless, he tried to shake every hand and exchange a friendly greeting with those who swarmed about him. His exit was marked by a renewal of the ovation that greeted him when he, General W.G. Conley, Senator M.Z. White, County Chairman and Mrs. G.R. Claypool, Casey M. Jones, Calvert Estill and others in the party wormed their way through the crowd to the platform erected at the foot of the steps on the side of the Court House.
After the meeting the distinguished visitor was whisked to Republican headquarters where ex-service men in large numbers held a reception in his honor. Again and again he was “dee-lighted” and thrilled to find some “buddy” who had belonged to some military unit with whose history Roosevelt is familiar. Then he would cry out to his pal Casey Jones, Charleston newspaperman and bosom friend for more than a decade,” What do you know about it, Casey, here’s an old pal that served with” so-and-so company or regiment.
Not only ex-service men but more than one professional man of Logan, miners and others whispered to him, or yelled out to his wake, “We’ll be voting for you some time, Teddy!”
Hits the Line Hard
After the reception the Colonel returned to Charleston, to make ready for a busy schedule yesterday. He was billed for speeches at Harrisville, Ripley and Pt. Pleasant, and had arranged to get back to Charleston last night and to speak both at Beckley and Welch today. All day yesterday here whenever the matter of his visit was discussed in any group the prediction was advanced that he was too terribly exhausted to adhere to his schedule. And his Logan friends are sincerely concerned about him. However, he will return to New York at the end of the week.
Wednesday night’s rally will be remembered for years, say political observers, not only because of its size but also because of its direct bearing on a momentous contest for supremacy.
Most estimates of the attendance hover around the 10,000 mark. John M. Mitchell, court bailiff, who has been familiar with political activities in this county for half a century, said it exceeded twice over any crowd he had ever seen in the county. Others say the only meeting ever held here worthy of comparison was that addressed by Senator Pat Harrison in the 1924 campaign. To the writer the crowd seemed more than half as large as that which heard John W. Davis in Huntington in 1924. That crowd was estimated at 25,000, but that was an obvious exaggeration–a characteristic of the estimates of political assemblages.
The Folks Were There
Cloudy weather and a light rain that set in at the hour when the meeting was scheduled to start doubtless kept away a considerable number and caused scores to leave. On the outer edges it was impossible to hear the speakers and so there was a steady going and coming of persons wishing to see and hear. windows in about half a dozen buildings were occupied, small boys were atop the Old Stone building, and there was a good-sized crowd clustered on and about the platform, steps, windows, portico and corridors of the Court House.
Roosevelt has a good voice but it was put to a terrific test here, considering what he had undergone recently. His voice is better than his father’s was and he is more humorous, but the only striking resemblance between the two as public speakers is that grinning grimace that once seen can never be forgotten. In his speech he did not delve exhaustively into any one issue or phase of the campaign but he gave a comprehensive review of the issues and personalities that Republicans generally assume to be involved in this campaign. As for Tammany he panned it as it has never been panned before hereabouts. He recalled, too, that his grandfather had fought the greedy Tiger: “My father fought it; I am fighting it, and if it lives 20 years longer, I expect and hope my son Teddy III will be fighting it.”
Rev. Lanham Presides
It was after 8 o’clock when the speakers arrived–more than half an hour late–whereas all available seats and many vantage points had been occupied for nearly if not fully two hours. At the home of Mr. and Mrs. G.R. Claypool they had been entertained at dinner–or supper, as Teddy and most of us call it. Besides the Colonel and General Conley there were six other guests: Hugh Ike Shott, Republican nominee for representative in Congress; Senator M.Z. White, Williamson; C.M. Jones, publicity man and side for Mr. Conley; Calvert N. Estill, Charleston correspondent for the Ogden chain of newspapers, and Senator Naaman Jackson.
Rev. C.C. Lanham, pastor of the First Methodist Church, who has been a leader in the fight to avert any backward step on prohibition, was chairman of the meeting. He filled the role with tact and good judgment and introduced the various speakers in happy style.
General Conley was the first speaker, but sensing the crowd’s desire to hear the Colonel he cut short his remarks. He did not take up state or national issues but after a word of congratulation to those who had sponsored such an immense turnout he withdrew.
Flowers For Colonel
Next a pretty little surprise was sprung. Mrs. W.C. Price, of Huntington, who is taking the lead in organizing the Republican women of the county, was introduced. Turning to Col. Roosevelt, after bringing a basket full of beautiful flowers into view, she told him of the esteem in which he is held by the women and presented the flowers in behalf of the woman’s Republican Club as a token of appreciation of his services in this campaign and of his zeal in promoting the public welfare. His face wreathed in wrinkles and aglow, he replied: “I accept with thanks. And I would much rather stand high in the esteem of women than of men. They are more important. I know, for I am married.”
The chairman then introduced W.C. Lybarger, secretary of the railway Y.M.C.A. at Peach Creek, who in turn introduced Col. Roosevelt. He paid the visitor a splendid tribute for his valor on the battlefields of France, touched the high points of his political career, and said he had a leading part in organizing the American Legion.
At the outset Roosevelt sketched the character and growth of the orphaned Hoover and gave some intimate glimpses into the habits of living and of thought, of his working and his industry and resourcefulness in solving problems of public and playing, of his zeal in tackling concern. Between these two men there is a close friendship, and there was no mistaking Roosevelt’s whole-hearted admiration for the farm boy of Iowa who has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the minds and hearts of his countrymen and even of the folk of many other lands.
Logan (WV) Banner, 19 October 1928
African-Americans, Alva Grimmett, Appalachia, Austin Grimmett, Baileysville, Big Cub Creek, Bruno, Buffalo Creek, Christian, Cole and Crane Company, Devil Anse Hatfield, Dingess, Edith Grimmett, education, Elk Creek, Ettie Grimmett, farming, genealogy, general store, Green Perry, Guyandotte River, Guyandotte Valley, Henderson Browning, Henderson Grimmett, history, Holden, Horse Pen Mountain, Johnny Grimmett, Landsville, Lilly Grimmett, Logan, Logan County, logging, Madison Creek, Mallory, Man, McGuffey Readers, McKinley Grimmett, Mingo County, Mud Fork, Nancy Grimmett, rafting, Ralph Grimmett, Rose Grimmett, Sand Lick, Sanford Grimmett, Slater Hatfield, Tennis Hatfield, Thomas Hatfield, Tilda Hatfield, timber, timbering, Travis Grimmett, Verner, Walter Buchanan, West Virginia, whooping cough, World War I, Wyatt Belcher, Wyoming County
McKinley Grimmett was born on November 30, 1896 to Henderson and Nancy (Hatfield) Grimmett at Sand Lick, Logan County, WV. On May 14, 1916, Mr. Grimmett married a Ms. Plymale, who soon died, in Logan County. One child named Alva died on June 21, 1919 of whooping cough, aged fourteen months. His World War I draft registration card dated September 12, 1918 identifies him as having blue eyes and light-colored hair. He was employed by Mallory Coal Company at Mallory, WV. On November 13, 1919, he married Matilda “Tilda” Hatfield, daughter of Thomas Hatfield, in Logan County. He identified himself as a farmer in both of his marriage records. During the 1920s, he served as a deputy under Sheriff Tennis Hatfield.
The following interview of Mr. Grimmett was conducted at his home on July 17, 1984. In this part of the interview, he recalls his family background and early occupations. Logging and rafting in the Guyandotte Valley are featured.
Would you mind telling me when and where you were born?
Right here. I was born about a mile up above here. I was borned in Logan County. The post office was Christian at that time. Christian, WV. It’s changed now. They throwed Christian out – it was over here at Christian – and they throwed it out and moved it over here to Bruno. Christian went… The mines stopped over there. And that’s where I was born, right here at Bruno, Logan County. Been here all my life.
What day were you born?
November 30, 1896.
Who were your parents?
Henderson Grimmett and Nancy Hatfield Grimmett.
What kind of work did they do?
They did logging work. All they had that day and time. Mule teams and ox teams.
Where did your dad do his work?
All over Logan County.
Did he have his own farm?
Oh yeah. Yeah.
How big was his farm?
It was about 287 acres.
Can you describe his house?
Well, the house was a two-story building. But he never did get… He took the fever and he never did get the upper story, all of it completed. He died at a very early age of 74. He put him up a little store. Got ahead a little bit. Had a store here. Come down and bought this place off Walter Buchanan and he deeded his five kids the homeplace up there. And then he stayed on it from ’21 to ’29. He died 19th day of January, 1929.
Who were your mother’s parents?
Oh, Lord, I can’t… Slater Hatfield was her daddy’s name. And I don’t know my grandma. My daddy, now they both was born in Wyoming County. Baileysville or somewhere in there. I think my mother was born over there in Big Cub Creek. She was a Hatfield. I don’t know where…
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
I had three brothers and three sisters. Sanford was the oldest one. Austin and Johnny. They’re all dead. I’m the only one that’s living. All my three sisters… Lilly was the oldest one, and Rose was the next one, and Ettie was the youngest. They’re all dead. All of ‘em but me.
Were you educated in Logan County schools?
Yeah, that’s all we got. Free schools. I believe we started off about three months out of the year. Right over there where that first house is sitting – a one-room school house. All of us kids.
What was the last year of school you completed?
I believe it was about 1914, I’m not right sure. ’15.
Did you use the McGuffey Readers?
That’s all we had. And the spelling books. And in the late years, why we had a U.S. history… A small one. Most of it was just about West Virginia. It wasn’t about the whole United States. And geography, we had that. Arithmetic. That was about all we had in free schools. We had to buy them all then. They weren’t furnished.
How did you meet your wife?
She was born and raised over here at Horse Pen in Mingo County. And that’s how we met. We were just neighbors.
What was her maiden name?
She was a Hatfield, too. But now they were… There’s three or four sets of them.
Was her family related to Devil Anse Hatfield?
Well, they was some… Not very close, though, I don’t think.
Which church did you belong to?
I don’t belong to any.
Did you belong to a church when you were younger?
No, never did. If I ever would have joined, I’d have stayed with it.
Do you remember the year of your marriage?
Yeah, I sure do. November 13, 1919.
How many children do you have?
Four. We have two boys and two girls. Travis Grimmett is the oldest. And Ralph, Edith, and Nancy.
What was your wedding like?
Well, we just got married and come right home. At that time, they didn’t have such things, to tell you the truth.
Who was the preacher?
Green Perry. Rev. Green Perry on Elk Creek. Rode a horse back when I went up there to get married. A pair of mules. I rode them mules.
Where did you first live after you married?
Right about a mile above here at the old homeplace.
You have lived here all of your life?
All of our life.
Was it always this populated?
No, no. Wasn’t three or four houses on this creek at that day and time. It was farm land. It’s all growed up now. All them hills was put in corn, millets, and stuff like that. If they couldn’t get a machine to it, they cut it by hand. Some of them raised oats and some of them raised millet, corn. Raised hogs and cattle and sheep and selling ‘em.
Who owned this property back then?
Burl Christian owned this here, but I don’t know… My daddy bought his… A fellow by the name of Wyatt Belcher. Wait a minute. Browning. I can’t think of his name. He lived over here on Christian and he bidded in… It sold for back taxes and he bidded in. Henderson Browning.
What kind of work did you do after you married?
Just the same thing as I worked at before I got married. I first started out – my daddy was a boss for Cole and Crane on this river. I first started out working in the log business. I worked two years at that and then I decided… Mule team – I worked about eighteen months at that. Then in 1913 the coal company started in and I went to work in carpenter work. I helped build all of these houses down here at Landville. The superintendent, we got done, they was wanting to hire men, he give me a job keeping time for a while. And he wanted me to learn to run the drum – that’s letting coal off the hill. I learned it and about the third day I was up there, a preacher was running it, and he told me they’d just opened up and they didn’t have much coal to run off the hill, he told me, that preacher, he rolled out two cards and he said if that preacher fails to go out and work on that side track today you give him one of these cards. Well, I didn’t give him a card. But he come out that evening, the boss did. And he said, did the preacher work. And I said, no he refused. He said, I’ll fix him. He fired him. And I took the job and stayed with it four years and then I got married and then I went to work over here at Christian running a drum and I stayed there 34 years.
When you worked for Cole and Crane, did either of those men ever come up here?
Oh yeah. One of them was. Cole was. I don’t think Crane was ever here. A little slim fella.
Did you get a chance to talk to them?
No, they wouldn’t talk to us working men. They’d talk to the boss. They’d go away from us and talk to theirselves. We just got a $1.10 for ten hours. Eleven cents an hour.
What kind of a person did Cole seem to be?
Well, he knowed how the men was. They’d raft timber and go down this river to Guyandotte. Had what they called locks and dams there to catch the logs. This river was full of logs. He bought timber everywhere. Plumb at the head of it.
Did you ever ride a raft?
Oh, yeah. I went with my daddy. I wasn’t grown.
Can you describe it?
Oh, they’d raft the logs, poplar. Now they didn’t raft hardwoods. They’d sink on them. Some rafts, a big one would be 160 to 200 feet long, about 24 to 26 feet wide. Oar on each end of it. If it was a big raft, they had two men up front all the time plumb in to Guyandotte. I was the second man on it when I got to go out on it. My dad had timber and he rafted it, took it there and sold it. Took what they called dog wedges and cut little basket oaks and rafted them, stringers across ‘em, you know. Lots of people get drowned, too.
Were you ever in an accident?
No, I never was in no big one. I’ve seen about six or eight drown.
Could you describe how it happened?
Oh, if he couldn’t swim, sometimes the best swimmer drowned, you know, if he got under a lot of logs or something. According to whatever happened there with him. He could get out if there wasn’t no logs on top of him no where to hold him under, you know. If logs were on top of him, he was gone. Now about the last ones I seen drowned was two colored people. They was building a railroad from Logan to Man up Buffalo Creek. So we was working on a log gorge down there at the lower end of Landville. And there was four colored men… 1921. Had a saloon up here at Verner. They wouldn’t allow one in Logan County. And they went up there on the 21st day of December to get ‘em a load of whisky. And they come back… They’d seen white people ride these logs. Some county people would get on one log and ride it plumb to Logan, as far as you wanted to go. And they thought they could ride it. And they got on. Rode ‘em off the gorge and they was running into eddy water and they would hit the back end, it would, and the other end would swarp out and they’d pull out that way. And they got on ‘em with their whisky and everything and two of ‘em got out and two of ‘em drowned.
When you rode the raft to Guyandotte, how did you get back to Logan?
Oh, we had to walk. We’d get a train up to Dingess over here. You know where that’s at? We’d ride down up to there. And then we’d have to get off and walk across the hill there and come right straight out at the mouth of Mud Fork, Holden there, and up another little drain and down Madison Creek down here. And walk… Man alive, our feet would be so sore, I’d be up for two or three weeks I couldn’t walk, my feet would be wore out so.
NOTE: Some names may be transcribed incorrectly.
From the August 20, 1926 issue of the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about heavyweight champion boxer Jack Dempsey:
Bear Cat Clemons, once upon a time the idol of the fistic fans of the Guyan Valley, is now in Jack Dempsey’s training camp at Sarasota Lake, New York, where Dempsey is training for his fight with Gene Tunney in New York, September 16.
Clemons goes two rounds with Dempsey every day. The champion lambasts him furiously and messes up his features, but he always is back the next day for more. When Dempsey and Clemons face each other in the squared circle, it is Logan county versus Logan county.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 20 August 1926.
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this interesting bit of railroad history titled “High Officials of C. & O. Pay Visit to Guyan Valley,” printed on January 11, 1917.
HIGH OFFICIALS OF C. & O. PAY VISIT TO GUYAN VALLEY
In a special train of four cars, President G.W. Stevens and other high officials of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway company made an inspection up through the Guyan Valley on last Tuesday of this week, and that evening held a lengthy conference with Chamber of Commerce leaders and other prominent citizens of the city in regard to the needs and prospective improvements of the region, and during which many matters were placed upon a very satisfactory basis and better understanding.
Accompanying President Stevens were J. Paul Stevens, general manager; L.B. Allen, general superintendent; E.L. Bock, division superintendent; E.D. Hotchkiss, general freight agent; Mr. Walls, real estate agent; Mr. Trumbull, chairman of the board of directors and a number of other men prominently identified with the great railroad system, all of whom were enthusiastic over the wonderful development of the local coal fields and highly pleased with their trip.
As a result of the meeting it is understood that the long sought chair car on all Huntington trains will become a fixture in the near future, and that several other important and highly desired railroad improvements will very soon be started or accomplished.
Appalachia, Burks and Prichard, C. Dingess & Company, Cole and Crane Company, Fridman Lumber Company, Guyan River Coal and Mercantile Company, Guyandotte Valley, history, Hugh Dingess & Company, Huntington Advertiser, Ironton Cross Tie Company, Little Kanawha Lumber Company, Logan County, Logan County Banner, Logan Timber Company, logging, McClintock & Son, Panther Lumber Company, Penn Lumber Company, R.H. Prichard, Ratliff and Shannon, Sliger Lumber Company, timbering, Wayne County, West Virginia, Wittenburg, Yellow Poplar Lumber Company
A partial list of timber companies active in the Guyandotte Valley of West Virginia during the 1890s, based on Logan County deeds, the Logan County Banner, and the Huntington Advertiser:
C. Crane & Company (1891, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1900)
C. Dingess & Company (1891, 1892, 1893, 1894)
Fridman Lumber Company (1899)
Guyan River Coal and Mercantile Company (1897)
Hugh Dingess & Company (1893)
Ironton Cross Tie Company (1897)
Little Kanawha Lumber Company (1891, 1892, 1893, 1895, 1898)
Logan Timber Company (1897)
McClintock & Son (1895)
Panther Lumber Company (1896)
Penn Lumber Company (1898)
R.H. Prichard or Burks and Prichard (1891)
Ratliff and Shannon of Wayne County (1890)
Sliger Lumber Company (1896)
Yellow Poplar Lumber Company (1893)
Appalachia, Christmas, Cincinnati, Clinton Crane, Cole and Crane Company, Fred Cole, genealogy, Guyandotte River, Guyandotte Valley, Henry D. Hatfield, Highland Avenue, history, Logan, Logan County, Logan Democrat, logging, Ohio, optometry, photos, timber, timbering, W.H. Cole, West Virginia
The following news items relating to Clinton Crane (1844-1917) and Cole & Crane Co. were printed in the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, in 1917:
HONOR FOR LOGAN CITIZEN
C. Cole Appointed Member of State Board in Optometry
C. Cole of this city has been appointed by Governor Hatfield a member of the State Board of Examiners in Optometry, and the senate has confirmed the appointment.
It will be Mr. Cole’s duty to meet at the state capital with the other members of the board at regular intervals to prepare examinations and to examine applications who wish to practice optometry in this state, and to issue certificates to those who pass a satisfactory examination.
Mr. Cole has been practicing optometry for about sixteen years, and when the law requiring a certificate came into effect, he would have been exempt from taking the examination on account of his long practice, but preferred to take it.
In 1912 he passed a satisfactory examination and secured a life certificate, and since that time has been practicing in this profession and has taken an active part in the state optical work.
He has supervised the training and study of his two sons, W.H. and Fred Cole, who also hold certificates.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 1 March 1917.
CAPT. CRANE IS BETTER
Veteran Timberman and Lumber Manufacturer Will Get Out Again
Capt. Clinton Crane of Cincinnati, millionaire timber and lumber dealer and manufacturer, who has been very ill for several weeks at his home in the Ohio metropolis, and whose life was for a time despaired of, is now improving, according to advices received by friends and business acquaintances here.
The messages state that Capt. Crane will be able to get out again as soon as the weather improves.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 8 March 1917.
Work on remodeling the Cole residence on Highland avenue, which was damaged by fire before Christmas, is progressing rapidly. W.H. Cole, son of C. Cole, expects to build a house for himself later on the lot above his father’s.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 27 April 1917.
CLINTON CRANE DEAD
Well Known Lumber Magnate Passes Away At His Home In Cincinnati
The death of Clinton Crane, a well known lumber man, at his home in Cincinnati, last Friday, came as a shock to a number of people in Logan county who were well acquainted with him.
Mr. Crane had extensive holdings in West Virginia, being junior partner in the firm of Cole & Crane. He was 77 years old. He entered the West Virginia timber market about 1880, and came to own thousands of acres in the Guyandotte valley. His firm had booms at the mouth of the Guyandotte river and drifted millions of logs from the upper waters, rafting them to the booms and then towing them to Cincinnati. Lately, they have used trains mostly for this work.
Mr. Crane kept in close touch with his vast business interests. He also had large coal interests in the Guyan valley. He leaves a widow and two daughters. He was buried last Monday. His interests in Logan county were put in the hands of trustees before his death, so his passing will have no effect on the companies in which he held interest here.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 10 May 1917.
The late Clinton Crane, who died recently in Cincinnati, was among the first to recognize the vast resources of this part of West Virginia. He accumulated over a million dollars as a result. The same opportunities that were open to him are still open to others. The coal development of Logan county will produce many more millionaires within the lifetime of the present generation.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 17 May 1917.
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this letter from James R. Branch of the Branchland Coal Company, dated May 15, 1913:
Kitchen, W.Va., May 9, 1913
Editor Logan Democrat,
It may be of interest to you to know that the mines in the Guyan Valley operated by the Branchland Coal Co. adopted this month the nine hour day and two monthly pay-days suggested by Governor Hatfield.
These miners are probably the first in West Virginia to pay off on the double pay-day system, Saturday the tenth of May being the first day the men were paid off. I must say that it seems to make them happy and contented, and I am of the opinion that the changes will benefit the operator as well as the employee, for although men will have been scarce we are being flooded with them now. Miners live a hazardous life and are entitled to more consideration than they frequently receive. Our effort has always been to keep in touch with them and their complaints and troubles which are sometimes almost childish, but by sifting the real from the unreal and then acting justly the men are not hard to deal with, and they soon learn to trust those who treat them with consideration, justice and humanity.
West Virginia’s welfare and prosperity largely depend on her mines, and while I do not wish to pose as the preceptor of others, I sincerely believe that nearly all of our labor troubles could be adjusted by showing the miners as much liberality and kindness as possible.
Jas. R. Branch, Pres.
Appalachia, Bulahann Church, Cabell County, Enon Church, From Youth to Old Age, Grant District, Guyandotte Valley, history, J.D. Carter, John A. Petit, John J. Perry, John J. Rowsey, Lincoln County, preacher, Salt Rock, Susannah Church, Thomas H. Perry, timbering, Tylers Creek, Union District, West Virginia, Zoar Church
About 1910, Rev. Thomas H. Perry reflected on his long life, most of which was spent in the vicinity of Tylers Creek in Cabell County, West Virginia. In this excerpt from his autobiography, Mr. Perry recalled his early days as a preacher in the Guyandotte Valley.
After I had preached my first sermon, I then preached in the school houses in the most isolated places. I had two reasons for this: first, I thought I would meet with less intelligence; and second, that they heard so little preaching, but to my surprise the people would come for miles to my meetings, and I would wonder why they came. Do they come through evil curiosity, or do they come from a sense of duty? I would pray to the Lord, down deep in my heart and soul that He would help me at this hour to preach His word with such power that these people, who have come here this day through vain curiosity, that they may be made to feel the weight of their sins, but if they have come for the good of the soul that they may go away from this place feeling it was good to be at church to-day. The hardest struggles I had in my work was from the time I entered the church to the beginning of the sermon. The presence of strangers and noted people generally embarrassed me to some extent until after I had announced my subject and read my text. After that I did not notice them anymore than others. I never tried to change my voice from the natural or make it appear I was educated, but put my whole soul and heart in my subject with the hope that somebody might be saved to-day.
About the time I began to preach there were three other young men who entered the ministry, J.D. Carter, John J. Perry and John A. Petit. These young men lived on Tyler’s creek. John J. Perry was the founder of Susannah church, one of the good churches of Grant district. He was killed by falling timber, near Salt Rock, in 1884. John A. Petit was the founder of Bulahann church in Union district. This church was named in honor of my mother, because of the interest my father and John J. Perry took in its organization. Bro. Petit was a fine preacher and had a great many friends. He was pastor of a good church in Ohio. He died, I believe, in 1885. Bro. Carter was the founder of Zoar church, another good church in Grant district. He was a large man of fine personal appearance. His ability as a preacher was second to none in this end of the state. He died in 1906. Knowing these three men as I did, I considered them the three greatest lights that ever went out from Enon church.
Many time I have put corn in my saddle-pockets and rode up the Guyan valley as far as I could by eleven o’clock, and in good weather I would meet from fifty to seventy-five people at a school house. Some of the men were bare-footed, and had their guns and a poke of salt with them and some of the old women would smoke their pipes while I was preaching to them. The men said to me, “we came prepared to salt our cattle and kill a mess of squirrels as we go home.” Sometimes on my way home I would think a people that had so little regard for the Sabbath and not enough respect for a preacher to feed his horse were not worthy of the gospel; and then I would think if nobody will preach to them they will never do any better, and as Christ had said: “Preach His gospel to every creature,” and as Paul had said: “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel.” I felt I could not live, or that great calamity would come to me if I did not preach the gospel.”
About this time I was going to school at Salt Rock. A Mr. John J. Rowsey, a very noted teacher was our instructor that year. Some of the old men tried to discourage me by saying if God had called me to preach I did not have to go to school to learn how. But I felt the need of a better education and knew that some of my appointments did not pay me one dollar a year and I was hard pressed financially. These things would discourage me very much. I saw at once there was a race to be run and a battle to be fought in this life, and I remembered that the Bible said the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to them that put their trust in the Lord. I believed every word in the Bible was the word of God, I could not treat it with indifference. I was determined to preach all I could and go to school all I could, and raise my finance all I could, and as to those people that go to church with their guns and those that sit and smoke during preaching, I have a great love for them as well as others; for their souls are as precious in God’s sight as the souls of the rich and most refined.
Source: From Youth to Old Age by T.H. Perry, Chapter 10, p. 25-27.
Appalachia, B.W. Drake, Buffalora Post Office, Chapmanville Post Office, Enoch Hager, genealogy, George S. Claypool, Guyandotte Valley, history, Huff's Creek Post Office, J.H. Hindman, Lincoln County, Logan County, Logan Court House Post Office, post offices, Rich Creek Post Office, Ten Mile Post Office, Thomas Buchanan, Tolbert S. Godby, U.S. South, West Virginia
Below is a list of Guyandotte Valley post offices located in Lincoln and Logan counties, West Virginia in 1868:
Buffalora, Enoch Hager (postmaster), Logan County
Chapmanville, Tolbert S. Godby (postmaster), Logan County
Huff’s Creek, George S. Claypool (postmaster), Logan County
Logan Court House, Thomas Buchanan (postmaster), Logan County
Rich Creek, J.H. Hindman (postmaster), Logan County
Ten Mile, B.W. Drake (postmaster), Lincoln County
Source: List of Post Offices in the United States (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1868)
Alvin Spurlock, Barboursville, Big Ugly Coal Company, Branchland, forest fires, genealogy, Gill, Guyandotte Valley, history, Lee Adkins, Lincoln County, Lincoln Republican, Logan, Mae Sperry, Palermo, Philip Sperry, Spurlockville, West Virginia, William McKinley Sperry
“Reporter,” a local correspondent from Gill in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Lincoln Republican printed on Thursday, April 5, 1923:
Prof. Lee Adkins, of near Palermo, has just closed a successful singing school here, and is going to teach another one in the near future.
There is a lot of sickness in this neighborhood.
The Sunday school has opened up at this place with a good attendance.
Philip Sperry was a business visitor at Branchland last week.
The Big Ugly Coal Co. has closed down operation here.
There is some talk that the Railroad Co. is going to double track the Guyan Valley from Logan to Barboursville in the near future.
Forest fires have been raging in and around Gill the past week.
Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Spurlock, from Spurlockville, were the recent guests of Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Sperry.