Appalachia, Devil Anse Hatfield, genealogy, George W. Lawson, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry P. Clark, history, Ira L. Clark, Jacob Cline, James A. Nighbert, Logan County, Perry Cline, S.S. Altizer, West Virginia
Appalachia, Devil Anse Hatfield, genealogy, George W. Lawson, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry P. Clark, history, Ira L. Clark, Jacob Cline, James A. Nighbert, Logan County, Perry Cline, S.S. Altizer, West Virginia
Appalachia, Betty Shoals, Big Branch Shoal, Big Creek, Big Cub Creek, Blackburn Mullins, Burrell Morgan, Byron Christian, Chapman Browning, Charley Toler, Copperas Fork, Ed Robertson, Eli Blankenship, Eli Morgan, Elk Creek, Ellis Toler, Epson Justice, Fred B. Lambert, Fred B. Lambert Papers, G. Pendleton Goode, genealogy, Gilbert, Guyandotte, Guyandotte River, H.C. Avis, Hickory Shute, history, Hugh Toney, Humphrey Cline, Huntington, James A. Nighbert, James Pine Christian, Jesse Belcher, John Buchanan, John Justice, justice of the peace, Lane Blankenship, Lark Justice, Leatherwood Shoal, Lewis Mitchell, Little Kanawha Lumber Company, Logan County, Logan Court House, logging, Marshall University, Mingo County, Morrow Library, Paren Christian, Peter Cline Jr., Peter Cline Sr., Peterson Christian, Pineville, pushboats, rafting, Raleigh County, Roughs of Guyan, Salt River Shute, Sanford Morgan, Simon, Spice Creek, Staffords Mill, West Virginia, White Oak Cliff, Wyatt Toler, Wyoming County
Recollections of A. Peterson Christian of Simon, WV, provided by G. Pendleton Goode of Pineville, WV, January 1, 1944:
I was born on Spice Creek, Logan Co., now Mingo County, West Va. on Oct. 12, 1857 — Now 86 years of age, Son of Rev. Byron Christian, and grandson of James Pine Christian (1800-1892), one of the justices who organized Logan County in 1824.
About 1867, people began what we called saw-logging. Dr. Warren from Big Creek brought the first six yoke ox team to our neighborhood, used them two years and then sold them to Chapman Browning who lived on Spice Creek. There sprang up among us, what we called timber merchants, among those were Paren Christian, Chapman Browning, Col. John Buchanan, H.C. Avis, Blackburn Mullins and Epson Justice and many others. Besides hauling and rafting their own timber, they would buy rafts of other parties and run them to Logan Court House and sell others to John and Lark Justice and afterwards to Ed Robertson and James Nighbert.
I entered the logging business in 1875, on a small scale. Lewis Mitchell and I bought some timber and made up a raft, and when the river reached rafting stage, Brother Mont Lewis and I started down the river with the raft which swung across the head of “Island 16,” but when the big July 12th freshet came it swept our raft away and we lost it. My next adventure in logging was in the spring of 1876, when Mont and I bought some timber in the bluff opposite the mouth of Elk Creek and with some loose logs in “Island 16,” we made up two rafts, but there was no rafting stage that summer, but when the ice went out the next winter, both rafts went with it and we lost them also.
Rafting down Guyandotte River from Reedy to Logan Court house was a great art during the 1870s and 80s. There were different opinions about the bad places along the stream. People at Logan Court house thought that the river from Spice down was real bad; but the river men around Spice did not mind running from there down, but said that up Copperas Fork, the Betty Shoals, Staffords Mill, and the White Oak Cliff was too bad for anybody to run a raft. The river men around about Gilbert said that the river from there down was a little rough but they didn’t mind it, but from Epson Justice’s up to Reedy was so rough that no person had any business trying it. But when you came up to Big Cub, Long Branch and Reedy and talked with the old pilots, such as Jesse Belcher, Lane Blankenship, Peter Cline Jr., Humphrey Cline and Peter Cline Sr. and numerous other persons such as oar carriers and seconds they would say something like this, “Well, the river for a few miles is pretty rough, especially at Wyatt Toler’s mill dam, the Fall Rock, near Charley Toler’s mill dam, the Hickory Shute, the Leatherwood Shoal, the Big Branch Shoal and the Salt River Shute, but if a man has good judgment about the drain and the water he will have but little trouble.” So you see all depends on whom you are talking to as to where the rough is on the Guyandotte River. The only way to find this out is to go through on a raft yourself.
I remember very well the thrill I got the first time I went through the “Roughs” on a raft. I got on at the mouth of Big Cub Creek; in a few minutes we were at the upper end of Leatherwood Shoal. We worked the raft to the proper position in the hole of water just above the shoal. We could look along the top of the water to the upper end of the shoal but there was such a fall there we could see the water until we dropped over the upper end of the shoal. The bow of the raft struck a wave and the water flew over our heads. I was carrying the oar and held the stern down on the raft while my second held my clothes to keep the oar from throwing me off. From there on to the lower end of the shoals (about ¼ mile) as soon as the raft would rise on one wave, it would plunge into another until we got through the shoal. From that time (1876), I followed running from Reedy to Guyandotte until about 1890.
It took 4 men to run a raft from Reedy or Cub to Spice. Then 2 men could take it from there to Logan C.H. Then we would latch two of those rafts together and 2 men would take those rafts through to Guyandotte.
In 1889, the Little Kanawha Lumber Co. came to Wyoming County and began logging on a big scale. The winter was warm and rainy. All goods and supplies were hauled from Prince Station on the C. and O. Ry. The roads through Raleigh were so muddy that a four-horse team could pull only 1000 or 1200 pounds, so in April Alec, Henry Blankenship and I made a push boat 50 feet long and 6 feet wide and 18 inches deep. We landed it at the mouth of Reedy Creek and started to Guyandotte with five men. I had about $95.00 in money, and the men from here to Elk sent money by me to buy flour. When I left Elk, I had about $260.00. Among the men that sent money by me to buy flour were Burrell Morgan, Ellis Toler, Eli Blankenship, Eli Morgan, Sanford Morgan and Chapman Browning and the only one alive now is Burrell Morgan. We reached Guyandotte the 3d day, where I bought 45 lbs of flour, 300 lbs of bacon and a lot of other things and after laying over at Capt. Toney’s for 2 days on account of high water, we arrived at the mouth of Spice Creek in 8 days from Guyandotte. I received $125 per 100 lbs. freight which gave me a nice profit for my trip. At that time and long before the people of Logan brought their goods up on push boats.”
Source: Fred B. Lambert Papers, Special Collections Department, Morrow Library, Marshall University, Huntington, WV.
Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Arthur I. Boreman, Battle of Kanawha Gap, Boone County, Boone Democrat, Chapmanville District, Charleston Daily Star, Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company, civil war, Confederacy, Democratic Party, First Wheeling Convention, Franklin Pierce, Grover Cleveland, Guyandotte Valley Railroad Company, Hardee District, Henry Clay Ragland, history, Horace Greeley, Horatio Seymour, Isaac E. McDonald, James A. Nighbert, James Buchanan, James K. Polk, James Lawson, John Bell, John Breckenridge, Lewis Cass, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan County Banner, Logan District, Magnolia District, Martin Van Buren, Parkersburg Sentinel, Parkersburg State Journal, politics, Samuel J. Tilden, Second Wheeling Convention, slavery, Stephen Douglas, Triadelphia District, Virginia Ordinance of Secession, West Virginia, West Virginia Statehood Referendum, William H. Crawford, William Jennings Bryan, William Straton, Winfield Scott Hancock, Wyoming County
Democrats who lived in Logan County, West Virginia, prior to 1896 may best be thought of as Democrats of the Jeffersonian and particularly the Jacksonian variety. The earliest settlers and their immediate progeny likely carried popular political viewpoints across the mountains from Virginia. Logan County Democrats appear to have believed in states’ rights, although few residents owned slaves. The old Democrats of the Civil War generation guided Logan County’s political scene until the 1890s, when the national political climate shifted toward issues relating to gold/silver, imperialism, etc. Still, the Confederate veterans of the county continued activity until the 1910s, even raising the Confederate flag over the courthouse as late as 1911. The Logan County Banner (later the Logan Banner), a Democratic organ since its inception in 1889, remained silent about issues that divided the Democratic Party in the 1890s. Based on its editorials, the Banner—operated by men of the Civil War era—was more concerned about industrial progress, particularly the development of a railroad in the Guyandotte Valley, than the national political issues that emerged in the 1890s. Examination of the active participants in the railroad effort include both Democrats and Republicans, locals and outsiders…
Logan County was organized in 1824. Voting trends from 1824 until 1856 reveal a strong preference for Democratic candidates:
1824: William H. Crawford (Democratic-Republican)
1828: Andrew Jackson (Democrat, 90+ percent)
1832: Andrew Jackson (Democrat, 90+ percent)
1836: Martin Van Buren (Democrat)
1840: Martin Van Buren (Democrat)
1844: James K. Polk (Democrat)
1848: Lewis Cass (Democrat)
1852: Franklin Pierce (Democrat)
1856: James Buchanan (Democrat, 80-90 percent)
We know, based on the above presidential tallies, the county was heavily Democratic. Because the Democratic Party was closely linked to slavery during this era, it is useful to consider local slave statistics.
1850 Logan County Slave Census: 26 slave owners in Logan County; 84 slaves (largest slave owner had 10)
1860 Logan County Slave Census: 27 slave owners in Logan County; 80 slaves (largest slave owner had 7)
We know the county voted heavily for John Breckenridge in the 1860 presidential election. What is remarkable to modern residents is this: Logan Countians gave no votes to Abraham Lincoln (see below):
Logan County Presidential Election Results (1860):
John Breckenridge (Southern Democratic), 271
John Bell (Constitutional Union), 100
Stephen Douglas (Democratic), 6
Abraham Lincoln (Republican), 0
We know Logan County’s delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention favored secession. James Lawson, the delegate to the Secession Convention for Logan, Boone, and Wyoming counties, voted in favor of the Ordinance of Secession on 17 April 1861.
We know the county did not favor anti-secession political developments in Wheeling. Logan declined to send delegates to the First Wheeling Convention (May 13-15, 1861).
We know the voters of Logan County favored secession. Here are results for Logan County regarding the Secession Ordinance in Virginia (23 May 1861):
We know Logan County did not support the political gatherings in Wheeling. Logan County sent no delegates to the Second Wheeling Convention, First Session (June 11-25, 1861). Likewise, it sent no delegates to the General Assembly of the Reorganized Government of Virginia (July 1-26, 1861) or to the Second Wheeling Convention, Second Session (August 6-21, 1861).
In the mind of local people, Logan County was invaded in 1861. On 25 September 1861, Union soldiers attacked Confederates at the Battle of Kanawha Gap (Chapmanville). The battle was a Confederate loss.
Due to the absence of its men and election irregularities, Logan County did not vote heavily on the question of “West Virginia.” This was true for many counties in western Virginia: West Virginia Statehood Referendum (24 October 1861): 34 percent turnout statewide; 18,408 for statehood and only 781 opposed! We can be sure that Logan did not favor “West Virginia.” Logan County sent no delegate to the West Virginia Constitutional Convention (26 November 1861).
Logan Countians overwhelmingly enlisted to fight for the Confederacy (60-90%). According to one estimate, Logan County contributed over 780 soldiers to the Confederacy. Contributions to the Union Army were less than 60. Based on the 1890 census, the following number of Union veterans lived in Logan County:
Chapmansville District: 7
Hardee District (later Mingo County): 16
Logan District: 13
Magnolia District (later Mingo County): 9
Triadelphia District: 11
During the war, Logan sent delegates to participate in the Confederate government in Richmond. Isaac E. McDonald represented Logan, Boone, and Wyoming counties at the Confederate General Assembly from 1861 to 1863. James A. Nighbert represented Logan, Boone, and Wyoming counties at the Confederate General Assembly from 1863 to 1865.
Because Logan was known as a Confederate stronghold and recruiting station, the town was invaded in 1862. Union troops burned the Logan Courthouse (15 January 1862).
Logan County was one of 15 counties in WV that did NOT vote in the 1864 U.S. presidential election (most were south of the Kanawha River).
After the war, Logan Countians refused to recognize West Virginia as a legitimate state and refused to pay taxes to the new state. Guerillas and gangs were active in the county. Governor Arthur I. Boreman sent troops into the county in order to collect taxes and maintain order.
Ex-Confederate disenfranchisement was common after the war. In 1868, of 888 voters in Logan County, only 125 voted for president. In 1870, 220 voted for the Democratic candidate for governor while 70 voted for the Republican (total 290). In Logan County, it was difficult to find any men who had NOT served in the Confederacy who could hold political office (or practice law, or teach).
Maj. William Straton (namesake of Stratton Street) typified Logan County political leadership during this time.
After the war, Democrats and Republicans largely chose/maintained party identification based on their views of the war. Logan had been heavily Democratic before the war; Logan was pro-Confederate during the war; Logan was strongly Democratic after the war
Logan County in Presidential Elections After the War:
1868: Horatio Seymour (Democrat)
1872: Horace Greeley (Democrat)
1876: Samuel J. Tilden (Democrat, by 90+ percent)
1880: Winfield Scott Hancock (Democrat, by 90+ percent)
1884: Grover Cleveland (Democrat, by 90+ percent)
Winfield Scott Hancock’s victory in Logan County is somewhat noteworthy considering that he was a former Union general.
On 30 October 1886, the Parkersburg Sentinel reported: “Logan county is so intensely democratic that there are thirteen democratic candidates running for the legislature and only one republican. Nevertheless one of the thirteen democrats will be elected.”
In 1888, Logan Countians voted for Grover Cleveland (Democrat).
The Logan County Banner was established on 7 March 1889 by Henry Clay Ragland (editor) and J.A. Nighbert (business manager). On 28 March 1889, it stated:
The paper will be devoted to the best interests of the people of Logan county. To the improvement of the education and morals of its people, and to the development of its great material resources. Politically, the Banner will be Democratic. Every one connected with it is a Democrat, but at the same time it will be fair to the opposition, and will heartily accord to the Republican party due credit for any good work which it may do. In addressing the questions which may arise in the Democratic party, as to its management and its leaders, the Banner will be Independent and will acknowledge no faction or factions, but will labor earnestly and zealously for the success of the party, and not for any individual.
In 1892, it reported: “Three years ago in order to furnish the people of Logan county with a home paper, we unfurled the Banner. We expected neither money nor glory, and our expectations have been fully realized.” On 3 January 1895, Ragland stated: “When I first went into the newspaper business I had no idea of continuing on for any length of time. My only desire was to see a newspaper in Logan county which would truly reflect the character of its people and be able to defend them from the many slanders which have been heaped upon them by the outside world…”
The Banner‘s reputation as a Democratic organ was well-known. In April 1889, the Parkersburg State Journal referred to it as “Democratic to the core.” On 11 July 1889, the Charleston Daily Star said: “The Logan County Banner is being made one of the best country weeklies in the State. As long as it continues as it has begun Logan may be depended upon for her customary Democratic majority.” On 13 January 1898, the Boone Democrat said of the Banner: “We cheerfully hail it, and hope that it may long continue to wave in the vanguard of Logan Democracy.”
The Banner never failed to applaud Democratic gains. On 6 November 1890, it stated: “Glorious old Chapmansville always does her fully duty. The Democratic vote increased from 205 in 1888 to 210, and the Republican vote decreased from 28 in 1888 to 14.”
This editorial, from 15 September 1892, is one example of Banner political commentary:
We have heard that there are several so-called Democrats born and reared in the mountain fastnesses of old Logan who have avowed their intention of ‘scratching’ one or another of the nominees of our party when they ides of November shall roll around, but we hope for the credit of Logan’s ‘rock-ribbed, copper-bottomed’ democracy that such reports are false. It is but natural that bitter feelings should be engendered by the clashing of the claims of rival candidates before our conventions but the conventions have done their work now, well and conscientiously, and every true Democrat in hearty and earnest response to the bugle call of freedom must face about with his brethren and forgetting all private feuds and grievances join in the charge upon our friends the enemy. That Democrat who falters in his duty in this the crisis of our party’s need betrays the trust reposed in him by the party of the people, forfeits his claim upon the confidence and good will of his compeers and deserves to be incarcerated in the bottom-most pit of damnation. You cannot afford to let a petty desire for revenge prevent you from casting a straight Democratic ticket on the 8th day of November. If you have ever harbored such a thought, exorcise the evil spirit that has taken possession of you and come back to the fold on bended knee and ask forgiveness for the wicked thoughts of your heart. The people have spoken and ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God.’ We feel sorry for that Democrat who, when the glorious news flashes over the wires next November that Cleveland, MacCorkle, Alderson and Mahood are elected can’t forget one or more of them was scratched on his ticket. Verily, like the Judas of old, he will feel like sneaking off with down cast eyes and hanging himself to the nearest tree. Logan expects every Democrat to do his whole duty during this campaign. The eyes of friend and foe alike are turned towards the mountains of old Logan whence cometh our help. Every Republican in the county is alert, active and zealous in the support of his whole ticket, and it behooves every Democrat to see to it that he does not prove a traitor in the camp of his friends. Stop a minute, friend, and think of the issues involved in the fight that is now upon us. Do you want the robber tariff barons to keep on heaping up their multiplied millions from your hard-earned dollars? Do you want your polls to be manned by Federal soldiers or maybe negroes from Virginia or North Carolina?
In 1892, Logan Countians voted for Grover Cleveland (Democrat).
During the mid-1890s, the Banner offered more brief political commentary. Here are some examples. On 21 June 1894, it stated: “The Logan Republican club was organized last Saturday night, with 20 members.” On 9 September 1896: “There is a meeting of the W.J. Bryan club at Chapmansville next Saturday evening. Everybody is invited to attend.”
Logan Countians voted for William Jennings Bryan (Democrat) in 1896 and 1900.
36th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Appalachia, civil war, Confederate Army, Elizabeth Nighbert, genealogy, George W. Nighbert, Germany, Henry H. Hardesty, history, James A. Nighbert, Knights of Honor, Logan, Logan County, Montgomery County, National Democratic Convention, R.A. Brock, Revolutionary War, Richmond, U.S. South, Virginia, Virginia and Virginians, West Virginia, Wythe County
From “Virginia and Virginians, 1606-1888,” published by H.H. Hardesty, we find this entry for James Andrew Nighbert, who resided at Logan, West Virginia:
Is descended on his father’s side from German ancestors who many years ago settled in America. They were a family of patriots, and as bravely served in the defense of their adopted country as they had done in their Fatherland. Both paternal and the maternal grandfathers of the subject of this sketch were Continental soldiers in the Revolutionary war. George W. Nighbert and his wife, Elizabeth Scaggs, are the parents of James Andrew Nighbert; the father was born in Wythe county and the mother in Montgomery county, Va.; their son, James Andrew, was born in Montgomery county, Va., and moved to Logan county, same State, in 1844. Here he has since resided. He espoused the Southern cause during the civil war, and served as first lieutenant in Co. B, 36th Va. Inf., and was major in 1st regiment Va. State Line; was member of the Virginia Legislature from 1863 until 1865; President of the County Court, Logan county, from 1880 to 1888; was one of the delegates to the National Democratic Convention in 1888; at the present time he is the largest resident land owner in Logan county, in the management of which he is at present engaged. He is a large-hearted, generous citizen, thoroughly interested in the progress of his State and county, always ready to devote his time, talents, means and influence to aid a progressive movement, and has contributed largely to render Logan one of the leading counties in the State. Mr. Nighbert is a member of the Knights of Honor.
Source: Dr. R.A. Brock, Virginia and Virginians, 1606-1888 (Richmond, VA: H.H. Hardesty, Publisher, 1888), p. 836.
Allen B. Straton, Bella Wilkinson, civil war, David Straton, genealogy, Henry Clay Ragland, history, James A. Nighbert, John B. Wilkinson, John F. Aldridge, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mary Perry, Minnie Straton, photos, U.S. South, Vicie Nighbert, West Virginia, West Virginia Legislature, William Straton, Williamson
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