Bernie Adams, Big Harts Creek, Bulwark, Bulwark School, Daniel McCloud, farming, genealogy, history, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lora Martin, Lucy McCloud, singing school, Twelve Pole Creek, West Virginia, Whirlwind, Wilburn Mullins
An unnamed correspondent from Whirlwind on Big Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on May 10, 1927:
Mrs. Alla Mullins was the guest of Daniel McCloud Monday.
Daniel McCloud made a business trip to Twelve Pole Monday.
All the farmers are getting very busy in this vicinity.
Wilburn Mullins was calling on friends at Daniel McCloud’s Sunday.
Lucy McCloud visited her aunt Lora Martin Sunday.
Bernie Adams has just returned from a business trip to Logan.
Daniel McCloud is teaching a singing school at the Bulwark school house. All report a nice time.
Daily Acts: Florence and her straw hat; Lucy and her pink dress; Lenville carrying milk; Roy making whistles.
Appalachia, attorney, attorney general, Big Sandy River, Bill Smith, Cap Hatfield, Catlettsburg, Devil Anse Hatfield, feuds, genealogy, Georgia, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, Howard B. Lee, Huntington, Jim Comstock, Joe Glenn, Kentucky, Logan, Logan County, logging, Mate Creek, Matewan, Mingo County, Nancy E. Hatfield, Ohio, Ohio River, Portsmouth, Tennessee, timbering, Tug Fork, University Law School, Wayne County, West Virginia, Wyoming County
Howard B. Lee, former Attorney General of West Virginia, provided this account of Nancy Hatfield (widow of Cap) in the early 1970s:
“Mrs. Hatfield, we have talked much about an era that is gone. Feuds are ended, railroads and paved highways have come, the huge coal industry has developed, churches and schools are everywhere, and people are educated. Now, I would like to know something about you.”
This is the brief life-story of the remarkable and unforgettable Nancy Elizabeth Hatfield, as she related it to me.
She was Nancy Elizabeth Smith, called “Nan” by her family and friends, born in Wayne County, West Virginia, September 10, 1866. (She died August 24, 1942). In her early years, she lived “close enough to the Ohio River,” she said, “to see the big boats that brought people and goods up from below.” She attended a country school three months out of the year, and acquired the rudiments of a common school education, plus a yearning for wider knowledge.
While she was still a young girl her parents moved by push-boat up the Big Sandy and Tug rivers into what is now Mingo County, then Logan County. They settled in the wilderness on Mate Creek, near the site of the present town of Matewan.
“Why they made that move,” said Nancy Elizabeth, “I have never understood.”
In her new environment, in the summer of 1880, when she was 14 years old, Nancy Elizabeth married Joseph M. Glenn, an enterprising young adventurer from Georgia, who had established a store in the mountains, and floated rafts of black walnut logs, and other timber, down the Tug and Big Sandy rivers to the lumber mills of Catlettsburg, Ky., and Portsmouth, Ohio.
Two years after their marriage Glenn was waylaid and murdered by a former business associate, named Bill Smith–no relation to Nancy Elizabeth. Smith escaped into the wilderness and was never apprehended. The 16-year-old widow was left with a three-weeks old infant son, who grew into manhood and for years, that son, the late Joseph M. Glenn, was a leading lawyer in the city of Logan.
On October 11, 1883, a year after her husband’s death, at the age of 17, Nancy Elizabeth married the 19-year-old Cap Hatfield, second son of Devil Anse.
“He was the best looking young man in the settlement,” she proudly told me.
But at that time Cap had little to recommend him, except his good looks. He was born Feb. 6, 1864, during the Civil War, and grew up in a wild and lawless wilderness, where people were torn and divided by political and sectional hatreds and family feuds–a rugged, mountain land, without roads, schools, or churches.
When he married, Cap could neither read nor write, but he possessed the qualities necessary for survival in that turbulent time and place–he was “quick on the draw, and a dead shot.”
“When we were married, Cap was not a very good risk as a husband,” said Nancy Elizabeth. “The feud had been going on for a year, and he was already its most deadly killer. Kentucky had set a price on his head. But we were young, he was handsome, and I was deeply in love with him. Besides, he was the best shot on the border, and I was confident that he could take care of himself–and he did.”
Nancy Elizabeth taught her handsome husband to read and write, and imparted to him the meager learning she had acquired in the country school in Wayne County. But, more important, the she instilled into him her own hunger for knowledge.
Cap had a brilliant mind, and he set about to improve it. He and Nancy Elizabeth bought and read many books on history and biography, and they also subscribed for and read a number of the leading magazines of their day. In time they built up a small library or good books, which they read and studied along with their children.
At the urging of Nancy Elizabeth, Cap decided to study law, and enrolled at the University Law School at Huntington, Tennessee. But six months later, a renewal of the feud brought him back to the mountains. He never returned to law school, but continued his legal studies at home, and was admitted to the bar in Wyoming and Mingo counties. However, he never practiced the profession.
Nancy Elizabeth and Cap raised seven of their nine children, and Nancy’ss eyes grew moist as she talked of the sacrifices she and Cap had made that their children might obtain the education fate had denied to their parents. But her face glowed with a mother’s pride as she said:
“All our children are reasonably well educated. Three are college graduates, and the others attended college from one to three years. But, above everything else, they are all good and useful citizens.”
As I left the home of the remarkable and unforgettable Nancy Hatfield, I knew that I had been in the presence of a queenly woman–a real “Mountain Queen.”
Source: West Virginia Women (Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974), p. 153-154.
Appalachia, Aracoma Drug Company, Charles Bennett, Ford McDonald, history, J.G. Hunter, K & H Drug Store, Logan, Logan Banner, Mingo County, O.D. Griffith, Omar, sheriff, Tennis Hatfield, Valley Drug Store, Victor N. Griffith, West Virginia, Williamson
From the Logan Banner of Logan, West Virginia, comes this item of history relating to Aracoma Drug Company, dated May 20, 1927:
K. & H. Drug Store is Sold to New Co.
A new company composed of local business men has purchased of F. Kerwood the K. & H. drug store fronting the northeast corner of the Court House. An inventory of the stock was completed last night but the store will not be re-opened before June 1. Meanwhile, elaborate improvements will be made in the front and the interior.
The purchaser is the Aracoma Drug Company, newly incorporated, among the organizers being Victor N. Griffith, office deputy under Sheriff T.S. Hatfield, and his cousin, O.D. Griffith, present manager of the Valley Drug Store. The latter will be in charge of the business. He has been here about three years and is widely known in this section.
Mr. Kerwood, who has been engaged in this business for three years, has made no definite plans for the future, he said last night.
The founder of this store was W.O. Poole, now in the drug business in Williamson, and formerly of Omar. From him Ford McDonald acquired it. Then it passed to Charles Bennett by whom it was sold to Mr. Kerwood and J.G. Hunter, hence its name K. and H.
Appalachia, Ben F. Donley, Cabell County, Claypool Chapel, Crump and Reardin, Dan Westfall, Giles County, Guyandotte, history, Huntington, J.S. Thornburg, Kanawha County, Kenova, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Orville, Pittsburgh, Tazewell County, W.T. Workman, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Methodists in Logan County, WV. The story is dated April 26, 1927:
PLANS FOR SUNDAY’S DEDICATION OF FIRST M.E. CHURCH PROMPT REVIEW OF 100 YEARS OF METHODISM HERE
Methodists from all parts of Logan county and even more distant points are expected to attend the dedication next Sunday of the new First M.E. Church in this city. As previously announced, an impressive program for the day has been arranged. Dr. Daniel Westfall, of Pittsburgh, Rev. J.E. Bird, of Huntington, and Rev. J.S. Thornburg, of Kenova, will be here to assist the pastor, Rev. Ben F. Donley.
It is more than a century ago that Methodism took root in Logan county. There are authentic records telling of the activities of the followers of the Wesleys as far back as 1825, the year the county was carved out of Tazewell, Giles, Cabell and Kanawha. Students of local church history are convinced that Methodist ministers labored in this field prior to that date. Their first goings and comings antedate the West Virginia Conference, which was established by the General Conference while assembled in Pittsburgh in 1848.
For the following review of the history of Methodism in Logan, the Banner is indebted to an adherent of the church who has just been delving into the subject:
First Church Prepares for Dedication
Methodism had its beginning in what is now Logan county in the year 1825 of which we have record, but we feel sure that even before that there were Methodist preachers in the confines of the county.
The History of Methodism in Logan county beings even before we have a West Virginia Conference. It was established by the General Conference while assembled in Pittsburgh in 1848.
Methodism, like all other denominations in Logan county and elsewhere, has been intermittent, not always able to have ministers enough to supply all its work; but wherever possible having local men to exhort the people, and some of these men became great ministers of the church.
Logan County’s Methodism has fared somewhat like that. It has been intermittent in its work. They have had many ministers and many times they have been without a minister. Because of this a large portion of the history has been lost, so far as records are concerned, but in the heart and mind of Methodist people there remains the story of Methodism in Logan county which has been given to them by their ancestors.
At Guyandotte in 1804
We know from the general church history that Bishop Asbury preached in this section of the country before the year 1825 and the minister who was preaching in Guyandotte at the mouth of our river came into the county and preached as early as 1804.
The local church has within the jurisdiction property that was deeded to the church as early as the year 1844 and at this time is defending in the Circuit Court of Mingo county title to property that was deeded to the church in 1882.
The First Methodist Church has been using the old church building or 21 years. It was started by the Reverend J.W. Bedford, who is now living at Parsons, W.Va., and who is still active in serving a church. He began traveling this field in 1872. His circuit included these places as some of the appointments: Claypoool Chapel, Logan, Orville, Starr Chapel, and others that made a circuit of over a hundred miles in length. He walked most of the time and won for himself the name “Walking Joe,” which holds to this day.
The Rev. J.S. Thornburg, a brother of the Rev. Thornburg of this city, was the first preacher in the new church built in 1904. This building has served its people well, but now the needs of the present congregation are so great that they cannot be served in the old building.
In 1924 the Rev. Ben F. Donley was appointed pastor of the local congregation. Upon arrival he found a very much discouraged people, but that willingness that has characterized the Christian people from the beginning–a willingness to arise and work.
Without much ado, or even any shouting from the housetops as to what they were going to do, they set themselves to the task of doing what seemed the impossible.
Planning for Future
The church board made a survey of the community and of the church to find out its needs and to see if it were possible for them to supply them. The first one that arose was the need of a new church building, Sketches were drawn of a building that would care for the church for a number of years, but upon consideration it was decided that the coat was prohibitive. It was then decided to build a part now and complete the plans in the near future. This included departmental rooms and a modern parsonage.
Contract was let to the firm of Crump and Reardin, of Huntington, and ground was broken on November 23, 1926. The corner stone was laid January 13, this year by W.T. Workman, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the A.F. & A.M., of West Virginia.
The new edifice to be presented for dedication on Sunday, May 1, is of English architecture, a very beautiful structure.
Appalachia, Cap Hatfield, civil war, Devil Anse Hatfield, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, Howard B. Lee, Island Creek, Kentucky, Logan, Logan County, Nancy E. Hatfield, Pikeville, Randolph McCoy, Tennis Hatfield, West Virginia
Howard B. Lee, former Attorney General of West Virginia, provided this account of Nancy Hatfield (widow of Cap) in the early 1970s:
“Mrs. Hatfield, your husband and his father bore the same given names: ‘William Anderson’. How did they get the nicknames of ‘Cap’ and ‘Devil Anse’?”
“It is very simple,” she replied. “Early in life Devil Anse’s name was shortened to ‘Anse.’ During and after the Civil War he was called ‘Captain Anse’. The son, because he had the same name as his father, was called ‘Little Cap’. As the boy grew larger, the word ‘Little’ was dropped. Also, because of their fierceness in feud combats, the McCoys called the father ‘Devil Anse’ and the son ‘Bad Cap’. The newspapers took up the names and they stuck. Devil Anse liked and cultivated the title; but eventually the word ‘Bad’ was dropped from Cap’s nickname.
“Was I afraid? For years, day and night, I lived in fear. Afraid for my own safety, and for the safety of my loved ones. Constant fear is a terrible emotion. It takes a heavy toll, mentally and physically.
“I now think that my most anxious moments, as well as my greatest thrill, came years after the feud was over. In 1922, Tennis Hatfield and another deputy sheriff went over to Pikeville, Kentucky, to return a prisoner wanted in Logan County. While there, Tennis visited the aged Randolph McCoy1, surviving leader of his clan during the feud. (Tennis was born long after the feud was over.) The old man was delighted to see Devil Anse’s youngest son’, and Tennis spent the night with him.
“The next morning, Randolph told Tennis that he was going home with him. ‘I want to see Cap,’ he said, ‘and tell him how glad I am that I didn’t kill him. I am sorry Devil Anse is gone. I would like to see him, too.’ Tennis was worried. He didn’t know how Cap would receive his old enemy. So he left Randolph in Logan while he acme up to our place to consult Cap.
“Cap listened to Tennis’ story, and said: ‘Does he come in peace?’ ‘Yes,’ said Tennis. ‘He comes in peace.’ ‘Does he come unarmed?’ ‘Yes, he comes unarmed.’ ‘Then I shall be happy to greet him in the same way. Bring him up for supper and he shall spend the night with us.
“My anxious moments were just before these two strong-willed men met. I knew how they had hated each other, that each had tried to kill the other, more than once, that each had killed relatives and friends of the other, and I was afraid of what they might do when they stood face to face.
“My thrill came when I saw them clasp hands, and heard each one tell the other how happy he was to see him. They talked far into the night, and bother were up early the next morning, eager to continue their talks. Tennis came about one o’clock to drive Randolph back to his Kentucky home. Cap watched them until they passed out of sight up the creek, and then remarked, ‘You know, I always did like that cantankerous old cuss.’
“Cap and Randolph never saw each other again.”
1Should be Jim McCoy, son of Randolph.
Source: West Virginia Women (Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974), p. 152-153