A correspondent named “Jennings” from Halcyon on Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on August 11, 1922:
Miss Freddie Dingess and Miss May Cooper were visitors in Halcyon this week. The girls seemed to enjoy themselves very much. They went in bathing in the creek, rode a log, turned turtle, went barefooted, rode a mule and so on. They sure were a jolly couple. They took back to Shamrock bottom lots of sunshine. Most of the people take back moonshine.
Miss Tom Dingess from the Logan hospital and Von Dingess of Shamrock Bottom were visitors in Halcyon recently. The jolly things they did were innumerable and is believed they took away both moonshine and sunshine to Shamrock valley.
Everything is unusual around here. We have good crops of which we are reaping the benefit of now. All are jolly and the goose is hanging high.
Appalachia, Burl Dingess, Caney Branch, Charles Gore, education, Everett Dingess, genealogy, Halcyon, Harts Creek, Hattie Dingess, history, Holden, Ira Gore, Joe Gore, Lee Dingess, Logan Banner, Logan County, moonshine, teacher, W.W. Gore, West Virginia
A correspondent named “Aunt Meg” from Halcyon on Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on September 22, 1922:
Times are good and everybody happy and gay in the old town, but as some of us have never purchased our winter shoes our toes have begun to smell jack frost.
There is some town gossip that Everett Dingess will return to Pennsylvania with his wife and baby where he has spent a few years.
Miss Hattie Dingess has left our town and will teach school on Caney for a few months.
Our home school is progressing nicely under the supervision of Mr. Chas. Gore as teacher. His motto is: “Do good and leave moonshine alone.”
Pete, you walk as if you had spent your past few days in the White House. Has she gone back on you?
Mr. Ira Gore and Burl Dingess made a hurried trip to Holden last week. Boys, what’s your hurry?
Mr. W.W. Gore of Holden spent the weekend with his brother, Joe Gore, of this place.
I wonder why Lee Dingess rides so fast up the hill on his way to the ‘ville. Ask Kris. She knows.
Harvest time has come, boys. Shake off your sleepiness and go to work.
Good luck to the Banner and readers.
Appalachia, Bedford Queen, Big Creek, Daisy Coal Mines, Earl McComas, genealogy, Gordon Lilly, Hamlin, history, Indiana, J.E. Whitehall, Lilly's Branch, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, moonshine, section foreman, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on April 14, 1922:
Little Earl McComas died yesterday (Tuesday) at 5 P.M. Burial was made the following day in the family burying ground.
Dr. J.E. Whitehall has been at this home in Indiana since last Thursday on a vacation. We are looking for him to return soon.
Mrs. Stone, our boarding house keeper, who has been ill is now improving and will soon be able to attend to her duties again.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Bedford Queen Tuesday night, a fine boy baby.
The Daisy Coal Mines have resumed operations and are running daily now since a temporary shutdown.
A little son of Mr. Bledsoe, the section foreman, is reported quite ill at this writing.
Mr. Gordon Lilly, one of the pioneer settlers on Lilly’s Branch, is reported out again after a severe illness. Uncle Gordon is one of the oldest citizens in this neighborhood and is past 84 years in age.
Mr. Burgess, of Logan, has moved into the house recently occupied by Dr. Chafin who has moved to Hamlin.
Quite a little excitement prevailed here last week when a colored man and his wife engaged in a free for all and the wife was assisted by a third party. The battle raged in earnest until the arrival of an officer who was required to shoot before the trio could be subdued. Moonshine was at the bottom of the trouble and they were hauled before Squire Lowe where they were each heavily fined.
Appalachia, Battle of Middle Creek, Brandon Kirk, Breaks, Breaks Canyon, Breaks Interstate Park, civil war, fossils, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, James A Garfield, Kentucky, Marion, moonshine, moonshining, Native American History, Native Americans, photos, Phyllis Kirk, rafting, Saltville, Union Army, Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story of a revenuer raid written by county historian George T. Swain and published on 27 May 1927:
NEWSPAPERMAN FINDS EXCITEMENT AS COMPANION OF OFFICERS WHO RAID COVES WHERE MOONSHINERS ABOUND
Last Friday was a hectic day in the life of a certain newspaperman. Being invited by members of the state police and a deputy marshal to accompany them on a moonshine raid this reporter was naturally quite interested in viewing a moonshine still in operation. He had never seen an apparatus in action, having been all his life on the consuming end and not the manufacturing end of the industry.
However, we were assured by the officers that more than likely we could see a still in operation and have the added thrill of viewing them making a capture of the operators. So we were up bright and early as Popys would say and were off at record speed for a journey of many miles to Verner, where we left our car and headed for the mountain coves.
Nearing the nest of the moonshiners the party divided. Sergeant Jay Rowe elected to take one hollow and dispatched Deputy Marshall J.T. Reynolds and Trooper Wilson up another while he sent Trooper Fred Russell and ye reporter up the third one. All were armed with pistols and high-powered rifles save the reporter who was armed with a kodak.
We had been warned should we meet with the moonshiners and a battle was to ensue to get behind a tree or fall to the ground. We tucked this advice away in our little brain for future use. The matter of locating moonshine stills, we learned, is pretty much a matter of deduction.
The officers would get to the middle of a small branch and follow the stream ahead. Invariably right at the head of the stream they will find a moonshine still if there is any in the vicinity. Up the mountain side we clambered with a thicket as dense as a hedge on every side. Yet up and up we climbed while ye reporter’s legs grew weary and his breath came short and fast.
All at once Trooper Russell halted and we prepared for a nose dive. Pointing up and right ahead he said: “There she is” and sure enough there was a still still smoking while the embers were growing cold beneath it. We climbed up on the little mountain bench and there we found all necessary ingredients for the manufacture of the fluid that keeps the undertakers in business.
We sat there and patiently waited for the other officers to “close in” and they were not long in coming. Had the operators been there they would have been captured for we had it well surrounded by they evidently had left it only a few short hours before. We got out pictures and was informed that Trooper C. Wilson and Uncle Jim Reynolds had found another.
Everything being finished the officers started their work of “mopping up.” Everything was broken into smithereens and the old gasoline tank that served as the still was rolled to one side where she could be pumped full of holes. Ye reporter’s attention was diverted for the moment and Trooper Wilson raised his rifle and fired a hole through the tank. Thinking it was the moonshiners opening fire ye reporter kissed mother Earth one resounding smack and she sure tasted sweet. Already scared to death that little previous advice was well followed.
We mopped up on three stills and 200 gallons of mash and started for another when we found Mingo county officers had beat us to it. A tired and weary newspaper man arrived in Logan and is just now getting the kinks out of his legs from the weary climb. He prefers to do his hunting trying to find the characters on the keyboard of an Underwood, rather than climbing mountains while half scared to death trying to find moonshine stills set up ready for action. The mash nearby was enough to satisfy our thirst for strong drink. The concoction would surely kill a hog but men will continue to drink it.
Appalachia, Bill Bird, Capital Theatre, Chafin Hotel, Chapmanville, genealogy, George Chafin, Harts Creek, history, Hugh Butcher, Huntington, Irvin Carter, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mack B. Lilly, Main Street, Maston White, moonshine, moonshining, Perry Butcher, Wade Rice, West Fork, West Virginia, Yantus
Appalachia, Bill Bird, Buck Fork, Chapmanville, Crawley Creek, crime, deputy sheriff, Ed Hensley, Harry Butcher, Harts Creek, Henderson Maynard, Henlawson, history, Hugh Butcher, Irwin Carter, Logan Banner, Logan County, moonshine, moonshining, Mud Fork, Smokehouse Fork, Wade Rice, West Virginia, White Oak Fork
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story about Harts Creek moonshiners dated February 1, 1927:
Raiders Find Three Stills Along Harts
Mash In Abundance is Located But Shiners Are Wary, Alert and Fleet.
Prohibition officers, federal and state, made sweeping raids along Harts Creek last Thursday. Two moonshine stills complete and part of another, together with 900 gallons of mash and 12 gallons of moonshine were seized and destroyed. Operators of the stills escaped the dragnet.
An 80-gallon copper still was found in operation by the raiding agents at the mouth of Buck Fork of Harts Creek, along with 400 gallons of mash and eleven gallons of moonshine. No one was at the still when the officers arrived, according to the latter, but later two men approached carrying sacks of half-gallon fruit jars. At sight of the officers, they turned and fled, escaping.
A 36-gallon capacity still, 300 gallons of mash, and a small quantity of liquor were found by the officers on Smoke House Fork of Harts Creek. Three men fled from the scene on approach of the agents and made good their getaway. Forty-two empty one-half gallon fruit jars were also found there and destroyed.
In the same locality the officers found the worm and other parts of another moonshine still, together with 200 gallons of mash.
Officers participating in the raids were: Federal Agents Lilly and Bill Bird and State Agents Hugh “Ridgerunner” Butcher and Harry Butcher, of Chapmanville, Irwin Carter, and Wade Rice.
These men believe they seized the still that made the liquor that was consumed by those present when ____________________ were shot to death.
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story about Crawley Creek and Harts Creek moonshiners dated April 8, 1927:
‘Shiner Totes Still and Makes Escape
An all-day raid Tuesday on Crawleys and the upper reaches of Harts Creek by five officers resulted in the capture of three stills and 22 barrels of mash.
Five shiners were seen at a distance working around a still but they were able to escape and take their still with them owing to their better knowledge of the country. A couple of shots were fired at the man who carried the still but he “carried on” with a stout heart and saved his “mint.” This was on White Oak of Harts.
This raiding party was made up of Prohibition Agent Ed Hensley, Deputy Sheriff Henderson Maynard and State Policeman Rowe, Wilson, and Russell. They went to the head of Mud Fork Tuesday morning and scouted along the ridges, reaching Henlawson late in the day where a car awaited them to bring them home.
The signal system along Crawleys and Harts works so effectively, it is said, that it is nearly impossible for the officers to catch a moonshiner at his still or get hold of any of his product, although stills and mash are often found. If the officers raid the country in daylight they are seen and warnings are sent out in various ways to all concerned. If they travel at night, they must use lanterns or flashlights which are of course detected and reported.
Appalachia, Cam Pridemore, Chapmanville, Democratic Party, deputy sheriff, G.S. Ferrell, H.T. Butcher, history, Hubert Toney, Huntington, John Webb, Logan Banner, Logan County, Martin Johnson, moonshine, moonshining, Peach Creek, Republican Party, Route 10, Squire Barker, Sutton, W.H. Phipps, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on July 2, 1926:
The grading of our road is not quite done, but the road is open to traffic to Huntington.
W.H. Phipps of Peach Creek was here Monday and Tuesday of this week.
Cam Pridemore is the best deputy sheriff we have had for years.
Squire Barker is kept busy hiving bees these hot days.
Ask John Webb what it costs to get a taxi here.
Martin Johnson has purchased the wholesale feed store of G.S. Ferrell. We like to see new capital come to town.
Hubert Toney and wife left his morning for Sutton to visit Mrs. Toney’s parents at that place.
The Democrats can’t see how there comes to be so many Republicans here this time.
H.T. Butcher is making the bootlegger’s life a hard one these days.