Aracoma Hotel, Boone County, C.A. Brubeck, Chamber of Commerce, Herrin, history, Illinois, Kanawha County, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mingo County, Ohio, Pomeroy, United Mine Workers of America, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about a visit to Logan by United Mine Workers of America officials in 1925. The story is dated August 28, 1925.
Local Citizens Resent Visit of Union Officials
Chamber of Commerce Adopts Resolutions At Special Meeting, and Informs Visitors That They Are Unwelcome Guests
Just how thoroughly the citizens generally of this community are opposed to the activities and methods of the United Mine Workers of America was amply demonstrated this week when officials of the organization were frankly and almost bluntly told by committees waiting on them that their presence here was not desired and they were invited to make themselves conspicuous by their absence.
Two weeks ago eight officials prominent in the affairs of the organization paid a visit to this city and cloaked their activities with a secrecy which tended to excite suspicion. After a stay of a little over a day they departed for an unknown destination, leaving behind the information that they would return shortly. Tuesday four of them again made their appearance and immediately matters began to move with startling rapidity.
A special meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was hurriedly called. Before the visitors had been in the city a half hour members of the Chamber were being summoned by telephone and by messenger to assemble in special session. The response to the call was quite general for the business men of the community realized what the future promised where United Mine Workers methods prevailed. Pomeroy, Ohio and Herrin, Illinois, did not appeal to them as a possible future for Logan, so all other affairs were dropped and the meeting was promptly in session.
The subject of the visit was thoroughly discussed and it was unanimously decided that the best interests of the community demanded that unquestioned action should be taken. The experiences of other cities and communities where United Mine Workers methods prevailed were gone into thoroughly and in detail and the members went on record by unanimously adopting the following resolutions:
WHEREAS, it has come to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Logan that certain officials of the United Mine Workers of America have made a recent visit to our city and are now back again, and
WHEREAS, we believe it is their desire and intention to stir up industrial strife in attempting to form an organization of the miners in this field, and,
WHEREAS, we have a peaceful, quiet community of good law-abiding citizens, and the miners in our section are now doing well and everything is peaceful and pleasant and that the relations between the coal operators and the miners is pleasant and agreeable, which is conducive to the peace and prosperity of our county; and
WHEREAS, the results and experiences in sections where efforts towards organization on the part of the United Mine Workers of America have been so destructive and disastrous to the industrial success of such communities such as Pomeroy, Ohio, Herrin, Ill., Northern West Virginia and Kanawha, Boone and Mingo Counties, which communities are still suffering from the effects of such attempted organization, and believing that the usual tactics would be pursued in this field if such organization is attempted.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this body in meeting assembled, unanimously deplores the fact of any such attempted organization and go on record as being unqualifiedly opposed to say activities towards such attempted organization on the part of the United Mine Workers of America, or any of their agents, servants or employees.
AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be spread on the minutes of this meeting and also delivered to the press.
This resolution unanimously adopted this the twenty-fifth day of August, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty Five.
Logan Chamber of Commerce.
H.A. DAVID, chairman
C.A. BRUBECK, secretary
It was decided that a committee be appointed to wait on the visitors and in plain language inform them that their presence here was not desired and inviting them to transfer their activities to some other territory remote from Logan.
Shortly after the meeting adjourned, a committee of some twenty-five or thirty members paid a visit to the Aracoma hotel, where the officials were making their headquarters, and conveyed to them the feelings and decisions of the business men of the community. When the officials entered the parlor, where the committee had gathered, the spokesman conveyed to the visitors the reason for their interview in substantially the following words:
Men: Those assembled represent the business interests of the community members of the Chamber of Commerce. We know that you are not here for any good purpose, either for the good of the business interests or the good of the citizens of Logan county or its interests. We know your history in the past. We know what you did to Boone county and we…
Appalachia, Buck Fork, farming, genealogy, George Hensley, Harts Creek, Hensley Chapel, history, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mingo County, Perris Hensley, Sampson Hall, Stonewall Hensley, West Virginia, Willie Tomblin
An unnamed correspondent from Whirlwind in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on August 7, 1925:
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Stonewall Hensley a fine boy.
Willie Tomblin was calling on friends on Buck Creek Sunday.
People are getting behind with crops and hay, owing to the we weather.
Revs. Perris and George Hensley preached at Hensley chapel Sunday.
Sampson Hall of Mingo attended church here Sunday.
Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency, C.E. Lively, Charles Lester, crime, Ed Chambers, Huntington, Ira P. Hager, Logan Banner, Logan County, McDowell County, Mine Wars, Mingo County, Sid Hatfield, Stirrat, Welch, West Virginia, YMCA
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, in a story printed on January 30, 1925, comes this bit of history for C.E. Lively:
CENTRAL FIGURE OF FAMOUS CASES ARRESTED HERE
C.E. Lively, Prominent In Mingo and McDowell County Murder Cases, Arrested By Local Officers and Held for Federal Court
PLACED UNDER $10,000 BAIL
C.E. Lively, who has attained considerable notoriety in this section of West Virginia, was arraigned before U.S. Commissioner Ira P. Hager Tuesday on a charge of possession of liquor and held under bonds in the amount of $10,000 for appearance in the federal court in Huntington.
Officials had been aware that Lively was making headquarters in the Y.M.C.A. at Stirrat, posing under the name of Charles Lester and were very curious as to his activities. It was said, upon what appeared authentic authority, that he was making a number of inquiries of various citizens and those who were acquainted with his previous history were curious and apprehensive as to his objects.
Monday deputy marshals descended upon him in his room in the Y.M.C.A. at Stirratt and confiscated a bottle said to contain a quantity of corn liquor. The room was occupied by another man, who was working in the mines. It developed that this man had left the room early in the morning and had not returned. That when the maid gave attention to the room and made the beds, no liquor was in evidence, but about ten o’clock when the officers paid their visit, the liquor was found in the bed occupied by the other man, but Lively was the only occupant of the room and he was placed under arrest. The baggage in the room was thoroughly searched and a number of letters, alleged to be the property of Lively, were taken charge of by the officers.
Lively gave the name of Charles Lester when arrested, but admitted his identity as Lively when confronted by citizens who knew him well. At the hearing he closely examined the witnesses who appeared against him and objected strenuously to the heavy bail under which he was placed, claiming it was out of reason for the charge on which he had been arraigned.
Commissioner Hager questioned the prisoner closely and frankly informed him that suspicions had been around concerning him and his activities in this section, and officers admitted that a determined effort would be made to uncover the purpose of his activities and the interests back thereof.
Lively was connected with the famous Baldwin-Felts detective agency for a number of years and was decidedly active in this part of the state. He was considered the star witness in the famous murder trials in Mingo county some time ago, and was arrested in connection with the killing of Sid Hatfield and Chambers at the court house in Welch. He gained considerable notoriety as the result of his activities in these and cases, and suspicions seem to be aroused wherever he makes his appearance.
He told Commissioner Hager that the reason he had came to Logan county and was staying at Stirrat was a desire on his part to avoid trouble in that section of the state where he made his home and had acquired considerable of his notoriety.
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this item dated September 2, 1921 about Kanawha County sheriff H.A. Walker and his role in the “armed march” on Logan County, WV, by UMWA miners:
IS KANAWHA PROUD OF HER SHERIFF?
We presume the citizens of Kanawha county are justly proud of their sheriff, H.A. Walker.
When Kanawha county citizens, all miners, last week decided that since Logan county was enjoying an unbroken peace of seventeen years, or from the time coal operations began, it would probably overlook the state pistol toting law and the United States treason laws and remain peacefully subservient thus allowing them to pass as quietly through Logan county as possible which might include pillaging a few homes and only a murder or two. Did Logan’s sheriff permit it? Let’s see.
This mob was allowed to gather in Kanawha county by their sheriff who visited their camp, saw armed sentinels and is said to have received authentic information of pillaging and looting and auto holdups in his county yet sends in the report of “everything orderly.” This then means that a person or several hundred persons may carry arms in Kanawha county so long as they are orderly even though he or they should hold up an auto or two “to see if the driver was carrying whiskey to the campers along the road.”
For shame, Kanawha. You permit a man to hold this high office who allows all of this in violation of his sacred oath, because he fears to disarm these men who came down through Boone leaving a trail of blood along the way, into Logan where families forsake their homes at two o’clock in the morning and drive to Logan city for protection; where every available man is pressed into service for fighting while his mother, wife, daughter and sister spend sleepless days and nights preparing food for him.
You should be pleased, Kanawha, that some of your citizens have produced this reign of terror, but it remained for Logan county’s sheriff to uphold the laws of the State of West Virginia and the laws of the United States and stop this mad rush of Kanawha county citizens into Mingo which would have ended in a manner which God alone knows.
There is no place in modern civilization for the Kanawha demonstration. It is wrong in principle, subservient to anarchy and flagrantly outrageous in the reputation it gives the state. It is the fault of Sheriff Walker that the name of West Virginia is once again disgraced as one of the United States, but thanks to Sheriff Don Chafin and Logan county citizens, the laws are upheld before the more serious encounters ensued.
Alexander Breedlove, Appalachia, Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency, Charleston, crime, history, James Bolles, Lick Creek, Logan Banner, Matewan Massacre, Mine Wars, Mingo County, United Mine Workers of America, Welch, Williamson
The following story appeared in the Logan Banner on July 8, 1921, providing some history for events in Mingo County, WV, after the murder of Baldwin-Felts agents in Matewan and before the killing of Sid Hatfield at Welch:
TROOPER SHOT IN MINGO FRAY
WOUNDED MAN MAY LOSE USE OF ARM AS RESULT OF THE AFFAIR
Trooper James A. Bolles, of Charleston, who was shot June 14 while engaged in searching for arms in the Lick Creek tent colony near Williamson, Mingo county, may lose the use of his right arm as a result of the injury. The search followed a complaint that automobiles passing on the public highway had been fired upon from the tent colony.
A detachment of state police, assisted by some 10 citizens who had volunteered and been sworn in as special state police, went to the camp to seize arms found there in order to prevent further shooting, the identification of any person using his rifle viciously and recklessly being impossible while many of the residents of the colony had arms.
With a party of 15 special state police, Trooper Bolles came upon a group of armed men. He ordered them to put down their weapons but was answered by a number of shots. The trooper and the citizens with him returned the fire with the result that Alexander Breedlove, on of the armed group, was killed.
Shot From Hillside
Some person hidden away on the wooded hillside opened fire and Trooper Bolles was struck in the back, the bullet breaking several bones and severing a number of nerves. Although severely wounded, the state police officer attempted to lift his rifle. He fell to the ground and was guarded by two armed civilians while others attempted vainly to locate the man who had shot him.
When first taken to hospital, Bolles’ chances of recovery appeared slight but the doctors later announced that he would get well but might lose the use of his right arm. The popularity of the injured trooper was such that many citizens of Williamson called upon him daily in the hospital.