Appalachia, Battle of Blair Mountain, Charles Town, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, coal, Democratic Party, deputy sheriff, Don Chafin, geography, history, Huntington, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, mine guards, politics, Republican Party, West Virignia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this editorial about mine guards, dated June 30, 1922:
MINE GUARDS OF LOGAN
The attorneys for the defense in the miners’ trials at Charles Town, which have been in progress for the past several weeks, have taken every opportunity of referring to the deputy sheriffs of Logan county mine guards as “thugs” and “two-gun men.”
Logan county is, and has been for several years, ruled by officers elected on the Democratic ticket. The Logan Banner adheres to the party of Lincoln, Grant, Roosevelt and Harding. It believes in the policy of the Grand Old Party and so long as that belief endures we will be found advocating the doctrines as preached by the leaders of this political organization.
Politics has no place in the discussion of the so called mine guard system in Logan county. We hold the love and respect of our homes far above any reverence to political parties and when the good name of Logan is attacked we forget political lines and join with the good people of this vast community in resenting any reflection on the fair name of Logan.
It has always been a mystery to us why the demand for the abolishment of the extra number of deputy sheriffs in this county should come from parties who are non-residents of the county? Who has demanded their abolishment? What cry has been heard from Logan county for aid? What facts have been presented of any unlawful acts committed at the hands of officers in this county?
Logan is filled with men of the highest type of intelligence. Likewise, they have many, many men here who are as brave as any men to be found in the nation. These men would not, for an instant, be a party to crimes in the county without raising their voices in protest. When it is all sifted down, it is found the hue and cry for a change of conditions is raised by those other than citizens of Logan county. Here are four points that must be borne in mind when considering Logan county:
- Due to the natural geographical conditions, Logan is rather isolated from other sections of the state.
- Due to this isolation and the fact that it is far removed from through transportation facilities, it is hard to attract labor here.
- In order to secure labor it becomes necessary to employ many who have had previous criminal careers.
- The county is mountainous, the operations are many and widely scattered, and the forces of deputies are not too many but otherwise too small to maintain order and uphold the law in an area of 400 square miles
Logan is situated among the mountains with but one natural outlet. This is by way of the C. & O. branch line to Huntington. The county is naturally divided by creeks, valleys, and branch railway lines. On these can be found many operations, employing hundreds of laborers, and to successfully cope with the lawless the sheriff is naturally required to employ more than the usual amount of deputies.
If Logan county was situated on the trunk line of any railway system, it would be a much easier task to supply the mines with labor, but due to the fact that it is far removed from any other section of the state and that in order to reach any other point, east, west, north or south it becomes necessary to travel over a distance of 75 miles to Huntington, labor is hard to obtain.
In securing this labor to fill the requirements of the large corporations operating here, it is necessary to visit the employment agencies located in the larger cities. Anyone acquainted with these agencies recognize the fact they are not scrupulous about whom they list, and the natural consequence is that many brought here on transportation are recognized criminals and members of all nationalities. Not all of them, thank goodness, are of the lawless class, but many are. They require constant watching and close scrutiny to see that their criminal tendencies do not become too pronounced. In order to do this it becomes imperative to have a large force of officers.
In view of the fact that there are 142 operations in this county and that approximately 50,000 people are laboring within our borders it can be readily seen that 35 deputies are a comparative small force to exercise supervision over such a huge population. Should a riot break out within our county it would require at least eight hours to obtain help from any section of the state. The fact that Logan needs as large a force of officers was amply attested when the armed march was made on Logan last August.
This article is not written in the defense of Don Chafin or his deputies. They need no defense at our hands. It is not written in defense of a policy adopted by any political party in the county. Regardless of the political affiliations of the sheriff, the Banner would earnestly recommend to anyone, be he the most rabid Republican in the county, if they should be sheriff, the retention of an official force as large as is now employed.
A great hue and cry has been raised because the salaries of these officers have been paid by the coal operators. Let us for a moment realize that the coal industry in the county is the sole industry in our midst. Upon the shoulders of these operators fall the burden of the peace and happiness of their employees. It is in order to furnish these employees protection and security that they have gone into their pocket books and paid for this protection. Who objects? Have you heard a taxpayer in Logan county object? Not one. They are perfectly willing that this cost shall be borne by the operators. They might as well object to the operators subscribing to better schools in Logan. Also voice opposition to better roads, the burden of which falls on the shoulders of the operators.
No one has heard a Macedonian cry from Logan for aid? Not even when union fields of the state were appealing for bread. If there was ever an example of the benefits of the non-union shop plan it was simply exemplified during the recent dull period. Logan worked and fared well. We have no ills to cure nor any abuses that need redress. The propaganda put forth pour from the foul mouths of others than citizens of Logan county and we beseech them to busy themselves with affairs other than ours, for we are perfectly able to take care of ourselves, and when we need their assistance, or advice, we will call for them loud and long.
A.B. Gillan, Annie Dingess, Appalachia, Atenville, Beatrice Adkins, Bessie Adkins, Bill Adkins, Bill Farris, Caroline Brumfield, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, Cora Adkins, Fred Shelton, Hamlin, Harriet Dingess, Harts, Herbert Adkins, Huntington, Inez Adkins, Jessie Brumfield, Laura Lucas, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Man, Myrtle Mobley, Nora Brumfield, Sadie Powers, Sand Creek, Sesco Messinger, Sylvia Shelton, Tom Brumfield, Vina Adkins, West Virginia, Whirlwind
An unnamed correspondent from Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 27, 1925:
Here comes Harts at the tip top again.
Mrs. Vina Adkins and children of Man are visiting relatives at Harts at the present time.
Mrs. Chas. Brumfield and children were the guests of her daughter, Mrs. Robert Dingess, of Whirlwind, Sunday.
Miss Sylvia Shelton and Laura Lucas of Sand Creek were calling on friends at Harts Monday.
Mr. Bill Faris is quite a popular fellow with all the girls at Harts now.
We wonder why Mr. Spencer is taking dinner with Mrs. Sadie Powers so often now?
Mrs. Herbert Adkins attended the circuit court at Hamlin the past week.
Miss Cora Adkins of Logan spent Sunday with home folks at Harts.
Mrs. Beatrice Adkins was shopping in Logan Saturday.
Miss Jessie Brumfield is progressing nicely with her school at Atenville.
Mr. Tom Brumfield and Sesco Messinger have opened up their new garage at Harts.
Miss Myrtle Mobley of Big Creek and Fred Shelton of Sand Creek were seen out walking through Harts Saturday evening.
Mr. A.B. Gillan, C. & O. operator of Huntington was calling on Miss Jessie Brumfield Monday evening.
Miss Harriet Dingess of Logan is visiting friends and relatives at Harts this week.
Combinations: Sadie and her red coat; Inez and bobbed hair; Bessie and her wrist watch; Nora and her powder puff; May and her purple dress; Tom in his garage; Bill and his grey suit; Jessie and her diamond ring.
Dear old Banner, we will see you again next week.
Albert Kirk, Appalachia, Beatrice Adkins, Bessie Adkins, Big Creek, Bill Adkins, Caroline Brumfield, Catherine Adkins, Charles Brumfield, Charleston, Cora Adkins, Ed Brumfield, Enos Dial, Fred Shelton, genealogy, Hamlin, Harriet Dingess, Harts, Hendricks Brumfield, Henlawson, Herbert Adkins, history, Hollena Ferguson, Huntington, Inez Watson, Jessie Brumfield, John McEldowney, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Ranger, Shirley McEldowney, Thelma Dingess, Tom Brumfield, W.C. Smith, Watson Adkins, West Virginia
An unnamed correspondent from Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on December 4, 1925:
Here comes Harts again. All the boys and girls seemed to be enjoying themselves at Harts Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. John McEldowney are with relatives at Harts.
Mr. Charles Brumfield was looking after business matters in Huntington Tuesday.
Mr. Albert Kirk of Henlawson was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Watson Adkins at Harts Sunday.
Misses Thelma Dingess and Cora Adkins of Logan spent Sunday with homefolks at Harts and were accompanied by Miss Jessie Brumfield.
Mr. Tom Brumfield is visiting friends at Charleston this week.
Mr. Adams of Big Creek was calling on friends in Harts Sunday.
Mr. Fred Shelton was in town Sunday.
Mrs. Beatrice Adkins and her sister Miss Harriet Dingess were in Harts Saturday.
Mr. W.C. Smith of Ranger was calling on Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Brumfield at Harts Saturday.
Mr. Robert Adkins of Hamlin was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Adkins Sunday.
Combinations: Inez and her cape; Bessie and her new dress; Jessie with furs on; May with her red sweater on; Hendrix and his saddle pockets; Sesco in his rattle trap; Hollena on her cane; Ed on his mule; Watson and his pipe; Bill and his best girl; Aunt Catherine with her bathrobe on; Nora and her curls; Enos with his straw hat on.
Dear old Banner, see you again next week.
Appalachia, Charleston, coal, Herald-Dispatch, history, Huntington, John L. Lewis, John Mitchell, Kanawha Field, labor, Logan, Logan County, Mingo County, New River Field, Ohio, Portsmouth, Samuel Gompers, United Mine Workers of America, West Virginia, Williamson
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this editorial regarding a visit to the region by UMWA officials in 1925. The story is dated September 4, 1925.
A STATEMENT OF INDISPUTABLE FACTS
The Sunday issue of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch contained a most interesting editorial which told the unvarnished truth about the recent visit the officials of the United Mine Workers to the Logan and Williamson coal fields. The editorial follows.
Within the past three days officials of the United Mine Workers of America have visited Logan and Williamson and some of the mining operations near these prosperous West Virginia cities. Up to the hour of this writing the visitors have made no statement either as to the purpose of their visit or the impressions they have gained from the conditions encountered.
It may be taken for granted, however, that the gentlemen representing the United Mine Workers are not highly pleased. They did not find in the miners of the Logan and Williamson fields the “serfs” and downtrodden creatures professional agitators have described. They did not find beleaguered camps of concentrados crying out for release through the medium of membership in the U.M.W. They did not find gunmen and desperadoes awaiting them at the train to turn them back with broken heads and verbal abuses. The absence of these things were disappointing.
But for the purpose of the U.M.W. the things these visitors did find were even more disappointing. They found for example miners who earn more dollars per year than any others in the bituminous fields in the world. They found more miners living in better houses than are to be found in any of the mining camps of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana or Illinois. They found miners and their wives and children better fed, better clothed and with better living conditions surrounding them than any others in the United States.
They found in Logan and Williamson fields men who are content and who are unwilling to leave steady employment, good wages, and good homes with all the comforts of life, to take up a miserable existence in the tents of professional strikers there to subject their wives and children to unwanted hardships and deprivations.
In short, they were not welcomed as needed deliverers. The miners in these fields know that it is not the purpose of these gentlemen to bring about a betterment of the conditions under which they live, but to create a condition which will cause coal production to cease. Organization is a fine thing and should be encouraged when it is for the good of the organized. But the proposal of the United Mine Workers, as it affects these miners and the business and labor interests of this section in general, is sinister and destructive. The unionization at this time of any considerable part of the Williamson and Logan fields would mean a strike. A strike, if effective, would paralyze business in all of Logan county, and in Huntington the result would be almost disastrous. An effective strike in these fields would paralyze Huntington’s wholesale and jobbing business. It would close many of the factories and worst of all would almost immediately result in unemployment for hundreds of railway shop workers and scores of train crews all the way from Charleston to Portsmouth with the brunt of the blow falling upon Huntington.
The United Mine Workers is no longer the helpful, constructive organization it was twenty years ago. Its ranks have been decimated and its policies have been so radical and unreasonable in many cases as to bring it into disrepute with the public, including the legitimate labor organizations whose members are ruled by reason. In West Virginia dues paying members have dwindled to almost the vanishing point. In strikes, fomented in an effort to destroy West Virginia coal in the interest of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois mines and the mine workers in those states, West Virginia has cost the U.M.W. millions and the officials now face the impending anthracite strike with a sadly depleted treasury.
The desperate plight of Mr. Lewis, his organizers, and well paid cabinet naturally produces its own results. The strike in northern West Virginia has had no effect other than to keep some thousands of men out of employment and deprive thousands of women and children of the comforts the pay envelope would provide. The mining of coal in the Kanawha and New River fields the Miners Union has, to use a baseball term, “struck out.” Attempts to force upon the operators a wage scale which prohibited the mining and marketing of coal at a price less than a ruinous loss have resulted in strike after strike in those fields until the union is but a band of disorganized stragglers whose representatives, when they bolted the State Federation of Labor convention in this city two weeks ago, went away unwept and were not urged to return.
If the miners of this district had any prospect, even remote, of gaining anything by organization, no self-respecting man could afford to oppose or discourage the movement. But the weight is all on the other side. If they needed the union, public sentiment would see that they got it. We are living like that today. But since they do not need it, since the movement is directed against their welfare and against the thousands of legitimate unionists and all business and all industry in this great tri-state area, the organization effort, if it is being seriously contemplated–which we very greatly doubt–has no appeal either to the miners or to public sentiment.
The Logan and Williamson miners do not want to exchange the well filled pay envelope for the miserable weekly doe from the U.M.W. treasury. They do not want to trade their comfortable, well furnished and well lighted homes for leaky tents with tallow candles. They do not want to take their families from places and stations of comfort and respectability to sloth and degradation.
Organization means strike. Strike means starvation and, if the bloody history of Mingo’s experience with the United Mine Workers is to be repeated, bloodshed, terror, and bold assassination. Mr. Lewis, by a blind and unreasoning insistence upon the impossible Jacksonville agreement, has gotten himself into a dilemma of the most embarrassing kind. He is at end of his tether. The treasury is low. The organization is in a state of decay, with miners every day discovering they are better off without it than with it.
If, instead of uttering strike threats; if, instead of trying to enforce a wage scale which is a grotesque economic absurdity and rank impossibility; if, instead of leading the miners into hardship and strike, he would lead them in the ways of peace by consenting to wage adjustments in keeping with the state of the coal market, the organization might regain public confidence, recover its vitality, and reclaim its usefulness. And Mr. Lewis himself, instead of facing the imminent danger of becoming a discredited industrial adventurer, would be acclaimed a leader, as was John Mitchell, and as was Samuel Gompers.
Andrew Adkins, Appalachia, Beatrice Adkins, Bessie Adkins, Bill Adkins, Bob Powers, Catherine Adkins, Cora Adkins, Cora Dingess, Curt Dempsey, Delphia Dingess, Fisher B. Adkins, genealogy, Harriet Dingess, Harts, Hendricks Brumfield, Herbert Adkins, history, Hollena Ferguson, Inez Adkins, Jessie Brumfield, Lewis Dempsey, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Luther Dempsey, Man, Ora Dingess, Pearl Adkins, Ranger, Sadie Porter, Vina Adkins, Watson Adkins, West Virginia
An unnamed correspondent from Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 27, 1925:
Business seems to be improving at Harts now.
Messrs. Herbert and Watson Adkins made a flying business trip to Ranger Tuesday.
Mrs. F.B. Adkins and sister Miss Harriet Dingess was calling on Misses Pearl and Cora Adkins of this place.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Adkins of Man were the week guests of Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Powers of this place.
Miss Jessie Brumfield was seen passing through Harts Tuesday evening.
Miss Cora Adkins spent Sunday and Monday with homefolks here. She is working in Logan.
Mr. Bill Adkins of this place seemed to be enjoying himself all alone Sunday. Never worry, says Billie, She will come.
Mrs. Hollena Ferguson has been ill for a few days, but seems to be improving now.
R.L. Powers has two fine hogs. Hope he soon makes pork.
Mrs. Delphia Dingess and sister were calling on Miss Cora Dingess Sunday.
Bill Adkins was calling on Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Powers Sunday.
Mrs. Vina Adkins and Mrs. Sadie Porter were calling on Mrs. Watson Adkins Sunday.
Combinations: Uncle Gibb and his horse; Pearl and her new dress; Cora and her callers; Sadie and her new sweater; Inez and her bobbed hair; Jessie meeting the tarin; Lewis and his mule; Luther and his truck; Herb and his flat tire; Bill and his yellow breeches; Beatrice and her purple umbrella; Ora and her beaux; Hendrix the mail carrier; Bessie at the pump; Kirt and his water bucket; Watson and his pipe; James and his dog; Aunt Catherine and her curls.
Appalachia, Big Creek, Charles Brumfield, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, Cora Adkins, Fisher B. Adkins, Florida, Fred Shelton, genealogy, Hardin Marcum, Harts, Hendricks Brumfield, history, Huntington, Jessie Brumfield, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Mae Caines, Ranger, Robert Dingess, Sand Creek, Tampa, Tom Brumfield, Toney Johnson, Verna Johnson, West Virginia
An unnamed correspondent from Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 13, 1925:
Here comes Harts with a splash again.
The C. & O. has erected a new operator house at Harts again. Look out all you flappers.
Mr. Tom Brumfield was calling on Miss Mae Caines Sunday.
Miss Cora Adkins of Logan was a guest of homefolks at Harts Sunday.
Mr. Hardin Marcum of Ranger was calling on friends in Harts Monday.
Mr. Fred Shelton of Sand Creek was in town Sunday.
Mrs. Fisher B. Adkins, of Harts, returned to her school at Big Creek Sunday.
Mrs. Robert Dingess of Harts was shopping in Logan Saturday.
Miss Jessie Brumfield of Harts is attending the Teachers’ Association in Huntington this week.
Mr. and Mrs. Toney Johnson, of Tampa, Florida, have been visiting relatives at Harts the past week.
Chas. Brumfield has been on the sick list for several days.
We are glad to see Hendrix Brumfield able to be out on our streets again.