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.
Appalachia, Beech Creek, Ben Creek, Big Creek, Big Fork, Bluff Mountain, Clear Fork, Coal Branch, Coal River, Cow Creek, Crawley Creek, Crooked Creek, Crooked Run, Double Camp Branch, Elkhorn River, Flat Top Mountain, Grapevine Creek, Green Shoal Creek, Guyandotte River, Harts Creek, history, Huff's Creek, Island Creek, Laurel Creek, Laurel Fork, Lick Branch, Lincoln County, Little Coal River, Logan County, Marsh Fork, Mate Creek, Middle Fork, Mill Creek, Millers Branch, Mingo County, New River, North Fork, Peach Tree, Peter Huffs Creek, Pigeon Creek, Pine Creek, Rattlesnake Branch, Rock House Fork, Spruce Fork, Trace Fork, Tug Fork, Turtle Creek, Twelve Pole Creek, Virginia, West Virginia, Wolf Pen Creek
The following list of regional place names of streams is derived from Surveyors Record Book A at the Logan County Clerk’s Office in Logan, WV. Each document generally lists three dates for the survey; I chose to identify the earliest and the latest date. The purpose of this list is to document the earliest usage and spelling of a place name in my region. Logan County was extremely large in the 1820s and has since been partitioned to create new counties, so many of these places are not located in Logan County today. This list will be updated periodically.
Beech, a branch of Tug Fork (24 May 1825, 12 October 1825, p. 64)
Big and Clear Fork of Guyandotte River (1 October 1818, 26 June 1826, p. 79)
Big Creek (11 December 1817, 25 October 1824, p. 34)
Big Fork of Guyandotte River (18 July 1825, 17 February 1826, p. 73)
Bluff Mountain (1 October 1818, 21 February 1825, p. 37)
Coal Branch of Guyandotte River (17 December 1824, 31 March 1825, p. 42)
Cow Creek of Island Creek (13 December 1823, 11 October 1826, p. 87-88)
Crawley (10 June 1824, 8 July 1825, p. 47)
Crooked Creek (16 February 1825, 1 April 1825, p. 43-44)
Double Camp Branch of Clear Fork (1 June 1821, 29 December 1825, p. 69)
Elk, a branch of Pigeon (16 February 1825, 18 August 1825, p. 51)
Elkhorn River (30 April 1825, 1 November 1825, p. 65)
Flat Top Mountain (22 November 1824, 14 February 1826, p. 72)
Grapevine, a small branch called Grapevine (8 July 1825, 14 October 1825, p. 63)
Green Shoal Creek (15 March 1826, 10 October 1826, p. 86-87)
Harts Creek (17 February 1824, 10 October 1826, p. 87)
Hewetts Creek, a branch of Spruce Fork of Coal River (20 May 1813, 11 April 1825, p. 44)
Huff Creek (11 December 1822, 11 March 1825, p. 40)
Jacks Branch of Clear Fork (6 January 1824, 16 December 1825, p. 66)
Left Fork of Island Creek (4 February 1817, 28 October 1824, p. 35)
Left Hand Fork of Ben, waters of Tug Fork (13 December 1823, 11 October 1826, p. 88)
Laurel Creek and Crooked Run, New River (10 May 1825, 25 August 1825, p. 56)
Laurel Fork of Pigeon Creek (17 December 1824, 10 October 1826, p. 85)
Laurel Fork of Twelve Pole (3 November 1813, 19 March 1825, p. 40)
Lick Branch (24 May 1825, 10 October 1826, p. 85)
Main Right Hand Fork of Big Creek (24 May 1825, 8 September 1825, p. 54)
Marsh Fork of Cole River (17 February 1823, 9 March 1825, p. 39)
Mate, a branch of the Tug Fork of Sandy (8 July 1825, 11 October 1825, p. 62)
Mill Creek of Island Creek (10 January 1823, 29 October 1824, p. 36)
Millers Branch of Tug Fork (4 May 1826, 16 September 1826, p. 81)
North Branch of Big Creek (18 July 1825, 7 September 1825, p. 52-53)
North Fork of Big Creek (4 April 1825, 9 September 1825, p. 54)
Peach Tree, a small branch called the Peach Tree (24 May 1824, 7 October 1825, p. 60)
Peter Huffs Creek (13 December 1823, 12 November 1825, p. 66)
Pigeon Creek (16 February 1825, 15 October 1825, p. 63)
Pine Creek of Island Creek (4 February 1817, 27 October 1824, p. 35)
Rock House Fork of Middle Fork of Island Creek (17 February 1824, 5 October 1825, p. 59)
Rock House Fork of Pigeon (6 February 1825, 22 March 1825, p. 41)
Spruce Fork of Coal River (16 February 1825, 22 April 1825, p. 45)
Trace Fork of Big Creek (16 February 1825, 8 September 1825, p. 52)
Tug Fork of Sandy River (10 March 1825, 24 March 1825, p. 42)
Turtle Creek, a branch of Little Coal River (13 December 1824, 12 April 1825, p. 45)
Wolf Pen Creek, branch of New River (10 May 1825, 25 August 1825, p. 56)
Wolf Pen Creek at mouth of Rattlesnake Branch (10 February 1825, 11 January 1826, p. 71)
Appalachia, crime, farming, genealogy, Gilbert Creek, H.E. Ellis, history, James E. McDonald, James Stimpson, Joseph Bragg, justice of the peace, Logan, Logan County, Logan County Banner, logging, M.A. Hatfield, merchant, Mingo County, timbering, West Virginia, William Johnson
From the Logan County Banner of Logan, WV, come these items about Gilbert in present-day Mingo County, WV, dated 1894:
On yesterday William Johnson lodged James Stimpson and Joseph Bragg in jail here. They were sent on for further trial by Justice M.A. Hatfield, on a charge of breaking into the store of H.E. Ellis, on Gilbert creek. The boys confessed to the offense.
Logan County Banner (Logan, WV), 24 May 1894
From Waco, written on July 7, 1894 from Gilbert:
EDITOR BANNER: Farmers are very busy with their crops. Corn is looking as well as could be expected. Oats in most cases are promising.
Two or three applications have been made for our school, but it is thought that Prof. James E. McDonald will teach it.
That log tide which failed to materialize makes it hard on taxpayers and merchants.
Logan County Banner (Logan, WV), 12 July 1894
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of news relating to coal miners on strike in Mingo County, dated March 31, 1922:
Mine Workers Cut Mingo Miners’ Wage
Will Reduce Strike Benefits to $3 to Men in Mingo Field, According to Letter
WANT AND FAMINE SURE TO INCREASE RAPIDLY
Fight Has Been a Losing One for Many Weeks and as Big Strike Looms Further Aid is Gone
The miners who have been fighting and striking in Mingo county for recognition of the union have just received word that their schedule of relief had been cut to $3 a week which would show that their fight has been a losing one.
This long story of suffering, want and privation in Mingo county will now be added to with additional misery, for the coming strike cannot be reckoned in days. Surely we of Logan county should be glad of the fact that our miners are working with their employers and not against them, and the first man who would suggest the Mingo conditions as better than the ones we are now enjoying should be properly dealt with by his fellow workers who are sure of year around employment at good wages to the $3 a week or less that is given to the strikers in Mingo. Surely the union officials will realize some day the suffering their greed is causing and stop this movement toward anarchy.
The following is the letter sent to miners on strike in Mingo county:
Williamson, W.Va., Mar. 20, 1922
Dear Sir and Brother:–
As you well know the drain upon the International Treasury for sometime has been very great. Notwithstanding that we have continued to supply the miners of Mingo county with a very liberal amount of relief. The amount of relief issued in the Williamson field has been greater than that in any strike in the history of the organization. The miners have been working on slack time throughout the country and on March 31, 1922, the present working agreement will expire and the miners of Mingo county will be standing side by side with the other miners of the country. The other miners of the country have given you more consideration than they have given themselves and are still willing to give further consideration through the long duration of your strike.
It will require a considerable amount of money to carry on negotiations so that it will be necessary for us to reduce the relief at this time.
I am therefore advising you that beginning with the week of March 27th, the schedule of relief will be men $3, women $1, child 50 cents a week. I am not sure that I can continue to pay even this amount if the general suspense of mining should last any length of time. However the miners of this country will do the best they can and continue to send in the liberal relief amount as long as possible.
With every good wish, I am,
Very truly yours,
International representative and financial agent
United Mine Workers of America