Appalachia, crime, deputy sheriff, Devil Anse Hatfield, Ephraim Hatfield, genealogy, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, J.M. Jackson, James Allison, John Hatfield, Logan County, logging, Mingo County, sheriff, timber, timbering, Valentine Wall Hatfield, West Virginia
In 1871-1872, Ephraim Hatfield was accused of stealing “with force and arms” twenty saw logs valued at fifty dollars from James Allison in Logan County, WV. Most likely, the Ephraim Hatfield of this record is Ephraim “Big Eph” Hatfield (c.1811-c.1881), father to Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield. Other possibilities include Ephraim Hatfield (b. c.1851), son of John Hatfield, and Ephraim Hatfield (b. c.1856), son of Valentine “Wall” Hatfield.
Appalachia, Aracoma, Big Creek, Boone County, Brooke McNeely, Camp Chase, Chapmanville District, Charles Williams, civil war, Claude Ellis, coal, Confederate Army, crime, Dave Kinser, Democratic Party, Douglas Kinser, Elbert Kinser, Ethel, Fort Branch, French River, genealogy, ginseng, Harts Creek, Hetzel, history, J. Green McNeely, Jake Kinser, Jane Mullins, Jefferson Davis, Jim Aldridge, John Carter, John Kinser, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, logging, Malinda Kinser, Malinda Newman, Mary Ann Ellis, Mud Fork, Otis Kinser, rafting, Scott Ellis, Smyth County, Stonewall Jackson, timbering, tobacco, Virginia, Washington Township, West Virginia, Wythe County
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.
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.
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.
A.J. Mullins, Annie Butcher, Appalachia, Ben Adams, Ben Adams Family Cemetery, Brandon Kirk, Cecil Butcher, Chatillon's Improved Spring Balance, Dave Fry, distiller, Emalina Baisden, feud, Garland Fly Conley, genealogy, Harts Creek, Henderson Bryant, history, Kathy Adams, Lincoln County, Lincoln County Feud, Logan County, logging, Matthew Babe Dempsey, Melvin Conley, Mont Baisden, Mose Workman, Nab Smith, New York, photos, Pilgrims Rest Church, Reece Dalton, Rosabelle Fry, Smokehouse Fork, Spottswood, timber, Trace Fork, Van Butcher, Warren, West Virginia
Benjamin “Ben” Adams (1855-1910), son of Joseph and Dicy (Mullins) Adams, was a prominent logger, splasher, distiller, and tavern operator at Warren-Spottswood in Logan County, WV. He was a key participant in the Lincoln County Feud.