From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, come these small items relating to former Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin, a prominent figure in the Mine Wars:
Chafin’s Petition For Parole Now In Hands of Sargeant
Attorney General Sergeant has placed the application for parole of former sheriff Don Chafin “on file,” indicating that it has been shelved temporarily according to reports received here.
It is understood, however, that the federal pardon board, sitting at Atlanta prison has recommended Chafin for parole.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 11 June 1926.
Don Chafin Freed From Prison Is Due Here on Wednesday
Don Chafin, former Logan county sheriff, received his parole from the federal penitentiary at Atlanta this morning at 10 o’clock, according to word received here at noon by Wallace Chafin.
The last obstacle for his parole was removed several days ago when an indictment against him in the federal court at Huntington was nollied.
Chafin left Atlanta immediately upon his release and is expected to arrive in Logan Wednesday night.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 24 August 1926.
Ex-Sheriff Chafin Returns to Logan Friday From Prison
“Don” Greeted At Station By Many Friends As He Comes Back on Federal Parole.
Don Chafin, former sheriff of Logan county, returned Friday to Logan from the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, after serving eight months of a two-year sentence imposed by Judge McClintic in federal court for violation of the prohibition act.
The former sheriff was paroled after months of strenuous work in his behalf by relatives and friends who contended his conviction was largely political.
A large number of friends met Chafin at the station in Logan on his arrival. At his request there was no demonstration here to greet him. Plans to meet him with a brass band, which had been widely broadcast, were abandoned at his request.
The former sheriff gained weight during his absence and arrived here looking well and hearty. He has consistently refused to make any statement to the press since his release at Atlanta. His only public statement in Logan for the newspaper was as follows:
“I have nothing to say for publication. All I ask is to let and be let alone.”
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 31 August 1926.
Don Chafin Visits Williamson Friends In Trip On Tuesday
Don Chafin, ex-sheriff of Logan county, motored to Williamson last Tuesday morning and spent the greater part of the day here visiting friends. His visit was entirely social, says the Mingo Republican.
He stated that he was in the best of health and was glad to get back with his family and friends.
On the eve of the general election held in 1924, Chafin was indicted and tried in the Federal court at Huntington upon a conspiracy to violate the prohibition law. He had been a dominant figure in Democratic politics for many years, having held respectively the offices of assessor, county clerk and sheriff, to which latter office he was elected twice. He was sheriff of the county during the time of the armed march and gained national prominence because of his stand for law and order. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention held in New York City in July 1924.
It was alleged at the trial that the presiding judge was prejudiced against Chafin and several affidavits were filed to prove this. However, the judge did not permit the affidavits to be filed and the case proceeded to trial resulting in the conviction of Chafin. The principal witness against him was Tennis Hatfield, the present sheriff of Logan county, who gained the office by virtue of a decision of the Supreme Court.
The most damaging evidence introduced against Chafin was an alleged receipt which Hatfield testified Chafin had given him showing the payment of a certain sum of money which was supposed to represent the proceeds derived from operation of the once famous Blue Goose Saloon at Barnabus. Chafin alleged this paper to be a forgery and applied for a pardon on this ground.
Pending the application for pardon the Parole Board recommended Chafin’s parole and while Judge McClintic strenuously opposed it the pardon was approved by the Attorney General on Tuesday August 24, and Chafin arrived in Logan on Friday, Sept. 3. He was greeted at Huntington by several hundred of his friends and when he arrived in Logan an enthusiastic reception by friends in his home county.
It was first planned to stage a monstrous celebration but after Chafin learned of this he requested that this not be done and said that he wanted his home-coming to be of a quiet nature and to be received informally by his friends.
Throughout all of his trouble his friends proved their loyalty to him and steadfastly maintained his innocence. Many of those who met him here Tuesday have known him since boyhood.
He expressed to his friends here the intention of devoting his time to his private business. He has many large and various interests which will require constant attention and most of his time. He returned to Logan Tuesday afternoon.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 10 September 1926.