Anna Meadows, Appalachia, Chapmanville, Charles S. Whited, Charleston, civil war, Craneco, deputy clerk, Ella Godby, Ewell Deskins, genealogy, George W. McClintock, H.A. Callahan, Harriet Totten, Harts Creek, Hattie Rothrock, history, Huntington, J. Green McNeely, J.C. Cush Avis, John A. Totten, John W. Buskirk, Logan, Logan Banner, Mud Fork, poetry, preacher, Raleigh County, Robert Whited, Russell County, Slagle, Southern Methodist Church, T.C. Whited, teacher, Thomas Harvey Whited, U.S. Commissioner, Virginia, W.B. Johnson, W.G. Whited, W.W. Beddow, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner we find this entry for Thomas C. Whited, who resided at Logan, West Virginia:
“Uncle Tom” Whited, United States commissioner, one of the county’s oldest citizens, and poet, came to Logan, or the present site of Logan, on October 11, 1877.
He was born on a Russell county, Virginia, farm in a one-room log cabin on November 25, 1854, the son of Robert and Anna Meadows Whited, who reared a family of ten children, nine boys and one girl.
“Uncle Tom” has only one brother living, the Rev. Charles S. Whited, a preacher in Raleigh county. His sister is dead.
His home was broken up by the Civil War, and Mr. Whited began the life of a vagabond, wandering about over the country seeking happiness, but never finding it until he came to Logan. He discovered the little frontier settlement as he was making his way on foot back to his Virginia home to take a job in a store.
“I just dropped in here, tired and sore-footed and decided to attend a teacher’s examination that was advertised for the town–mostly just to see what kind of a certificate I could get among strangers,” Mr. Whited said.
He received his certificate and taught his first term of school at the mouth of Mud Fork in 1877. Then followed terms at Chapmanville, Craneco, Logan and Hart’s Creek until 1883 when he was asked to take a position in the clerk’s office as deputy clerk.
Among the well-known citizens that “Uncle Tom” taught in his educational forays in Logan county were the Rev. J. Green McNeely; Ewell Deskins; Mrs. Ella Godby of Huntington, mother of Mrs. W.W. Beddow of Slagle; J.C. (Cush) Avis, and several of the Conley family.
From the position as deputy clerk, Mr. Whited rose in succession to circuit clerk, county superintendent of schools, city councilman, and United States Commissioner. He served a total of 18 years as circuit clerk of Logan county.
In 1930 Federal Judge George W. McClintic appointed “Uncle Tom” United States Commissioner which office he will hold for life unless removed by the judge on charges of misconduct.
“Uncle Tom” is a poet of no mean ability. His poetry is recognized throughout the county and some think his best work was a poem dedicated to the old elm tree in the court house square which was recently cut down.
He was instrumental in saving the tree when it was just a sprout and John W. Buskirk was about to dig it up to plant a locust orchard near the site of the present courthouse. “Uncle Tom” requested that the sprout be left to grow. It was not moved from the original spot where it sprouted until it was cut down in 1931, Mr. Whited said.
Mr. Whited married Miss Harriet Totten, daughter of the Rev. John A. Totten, pastor of the Southern Methodist Church in Logan, on March 4, 1887.
The couple reared a family of five children–two boys and three girls. All are still living. They are Mrs. W.B. Johnson, W.G. Whited, and Mrs. H.A. Callahan, all of Logan; Mrs. Hattie Rothrock, Charleston; and Thomas Harvey Whited whose residence is unknown.
Though 81 years old, “Uncle Tom” still manages the affairs of U.S. Commissioner and finds time to dash off a line or so of poetry now and then.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 17 April 1937.