From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this editorial originally printed by the Huntington Advertiser regarding mountain violence. The item is dated January 7, 1915.
From the Huntington Advertiser–
Every time neighbors fall out in the West Virginia or Kentucky mountains, and one of them is killed, the New York newspapers discover a feud, and discourse upon the lack of civilization that permits such things to be.
Yet in this same New York, the constituted authorities have proven themselves helpless in dealing with gangs of “gun men,” and there is more flagrant defiance of the law in certain sections of New York today than anywhere in the Kentucky or West Virginia mountains.
So complete has been the failure of the New York authorities to deal with the problem of the “gun men” in any effective manner, that the business men of the east side are organizing a citizens police force to accomplish the work the New York police have been unable to accomplish. This organization of citizens is no more, no less, than a revival of the vigilance committees in the hurly-burly days in the western gold fields, and that the greatest city on the western continent should be compelled to resort to the methods of the mining camp in dealing with offenders against the law and against the decency is a sorry comment upon the metropolis.
But the New York newspapers will remember nothing of this the next time there is a lynching in the south, or there is a “feud” outbreak in the mountains.
Appalachia, Armand Emanuel, boxing, California, Charleston, Charleston Gazette, Estelle Dempsey, Gene Tunney, history, Hollywood, Jack Dempsey, James J. Corbett, Logan Banner, Los Angeles, Mickie Walker, Mike McTigue, New York City, photos, San Francisco, Summers Street, Virginia Street, West Virginia
The following items relating to Jack Dempsey, heavyweight champion of the world from 1919-1926, were printed in the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, in 1928:
“Fight Gene, Sure” Says Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey has begun light training, says a dispatch from Los Angeles, but says he is merely trying to keep fit.
“There’s nothing in the wind. I don’t want to get fat, and the only way to keep from it is to have a regular training diet,” he is quoted as having said.
“Fight Tunney again? Sure. But I’m not in the mood to do any elimination bouting to get another crack at the title.
“Of course, I might take on one or two preliminary scraps if there was a definite program in sight, but there’s absolutely nothing to report that one has been drawn up.”
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 10 January 1928
DEMPSEY WINS ANOTHER TILT
Jack Dempsey came out with flying colors in court at New York City last week when a jury decided that he did not owe his former manager something like $700,000. Kearns sued Dempsey claiming that he was entitled to a certain percentage of the profits earned by Dempsey, but the jury decided in favor of Dempsey, and did not award Kearns one penny. It was a sad blow for the former manager of the former champion, who now makes a living piloting Mickie Walker, middle-weight champion.
Now that Dempsey has all the legal worries off his mind he will get down to business to pick up a little soft dough managing his twenty-two-year-old protégé, Armand Emanuel, of San Francisco. Dempsey sent word to Emanuel last Wednesday to start for New York at once, as he had a mach in view. Emanuel boarded the first train from San Francisco east.
When Emanuel arrives in New York, James J. Corbett, former heavy-weight champion, will look him over. Corbett is a graduate of the Olympic Club in San Francisco and so is Emanuel. The latter was the national amateur heavyweight title in 1925. He has been a professional since 1926. He has not lost a decision in 28 bouts. His last fight took place in San Francisco Monday night when he fought a draw with the veteran Mike McTigue, of New York City.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 1 May 1928
DEMPSEY LIVED IN CHARLESTON CLAIMS GAZETTE
Jack Dempsey, retired pugilist and former world’s champion, once spent several months in Charleston, according to several here who knew him well. He is said to have made his headquarters in the old Hauck and Schmit billiard room at Summers and Virginia streets. He is remembered as serving as “bouncer” in the place, living in a room above. He kept in the best of condition, taking long walks and engaging in boxing exhibitions that finally took him to other sections.
Now Mr. Dempsey is in New York where he went from Hollywood, Calif., to see the Tunney-Heeney fight. Estelle Taylor Dempsey, his wife, has left the Pacific coast to see Jack in New York to make a movie picture, it is stated.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 3 August 1928
In 1913, the Bennett Theatre opened in Logan, WV. The Logan Banner offered plenty of coverage for the new attraction:
The Bennett Theatre
Messrs. Middleburg and Lopinsky, lessees of the new Bennett theatre have been here several days looking after the interior finishing, installation of curtain, scenery, drops, chairs, picture machine, etc. The seating and electrical equipment, as well as the stage and box office arrangement are of the very best, and every care, and precaution, has been taken for the comfort, safety and convenience of patrons of the Bennett. Step in and have a look at it. The house opens for business Tuesday, January 21st.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 17 January 1913.
A Piano by Express
The Bennett Theatre piano went astray in shipment and the manager, F. Middleburg, bought another in Huntington today and shipped it by express. How’s that for a hustler?
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 17 January 1913.
The Bennett Theatre
This beautiful new theatre opened last night with pictures only, to a large audience of our best people. The entertainment proved first-class both as to the management and the operation. Three fine Association photoplays were presented–an Edison novelty, Essanay drama, and a Selig Western. Manager Midelburg has surely struck the right key-note in selecting this line of entertainment for Logan, between dates of the theatrical attractions he has booked for the season. Announcement of policies and prices will be found in another column.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 24 January 1913.
Albert Ferolio, Alex Defobio, Antonio Iaquinto, Appalachia, Caio Duilio, Caio Duilio Lodge, Charles Bennett, Dante Belladonna, David Ferzacca, Fairmont, Frank Vinci, genealogy, Gentile Varzza, history, J.C. Gates, John Caldarazzo, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, merchant, New York City, Patsy Ferzacca, Patsy Veltri, Petro Defobio, Petro Toriano, Sons of Italy, Vincinzo Procobio, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story about the Sons of Italy dated January 14, 1927:
Local Italians, led by Vincinzo Procobio, president of all the lodges of West Virginia, organized a local lodge of Sons of Italy at Logan, Saturday night, January 8th. Seventy-six charter members enrolled on the night of the organization, and prospects are good for a large local lodge.
The following officers were duly elected and installed: J.C. Gates, president; Frank Vinci, vice-president; Patsy Ferzacca, treasurer; Gentile Varzza, corresponding secretary; David Ferzacca, secretary of finance; Charles Bennett, orator; Petro Defobio, Petro Toriano, Antonio Iaquinto, John Caldarazzo, Dante Belladonna, trustees.
J.C. Gates made an excellent speech in which he emphasized the importance of unity among the members of the Italian race resident in Logan county, for the purpose of fostering a brotherhood among Italian people. Mr. Gates has the distinction of being instrumental in bringing the organizers to this county. He also eulogized the newly elected officers, and spoke of the well known the objects of the order of Sons of the other officers of the lodge, for their qualifications and special fitness for the offices to which they were elected.
The objects and purposes of the lodge of the Sons of Italy are as follows: To become a volunteer, secret, beneficiary organization, operating by the lodge system, with a representative form of government to perpetuate the objects of the order of Sons of Italy of America as shown by the constitution and laws of the order; To unite fraternally all persons of Italian birth or blood who are of good moral character and sound bodily health, and between such ages as may from time to time be designated; To give all possible moral and material aid to its members and those dependent upon them; To provide relief in event of sickness or distress among its members; To promote the moral, material, and intellectual betterment of its members; and To respect without distinction, whatsoever religious, philosophic, or political beliefs its members may respectfully entertain; To encourage and assist its members in obtaining American citizenship.
Patsy Veltri is the grand deputy of the lodge. He also took a very active part in organizing the local lodge. The local lodge is named for a famous Italian–Caio Duilio–and will be called the Caio Duilio Lodge of Logan.
The headquarters of this order is at Fairmont, West Virginia, and the Supreme Office is in New York City.
Albert Ferolio, local merchant, asked today what he thought of the prospects of the local lodge, was very enthusiastic in speaking of the plans for it. Mr. Ferolio says the Italians intend to organize all of their people, and that it will bring his people closer together in a social way. It will be a material help to them in learning the English language and in the work of preparing them for citizenship. Alex Defobio is also enthusiastic in his support of the enterprise.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 14 January 1927.
Appalachia, Barney Carter, Belvia Mullins, Burlie Riddle, Canterbury, Charles Curry, Charley Mullins, coal, genealogy, Harts Creek, history, Hoover Fork, J.H. Workman, James Mullins, John McCloud, Julia Mullins, Lawrence Mullins, Logan Banner, Logan County, McCloud Cemetery, Mosco Mullins, New York City, Oilville, Peter Mullins, Pink Mullins, Pond Creek, Sam Mullins, singing schools, Sol Riddell, teacher, Twelve Pole Creek, West Virginia, Whirlwind
J.M., a correspondent from Whirlwind in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on February 20, 1914:
Business is dull in this section.
S. Riddell left Thursday for New York City.
Miss Belvia Mullins is visiting friends at Canterbury this week.
Peter Mullins left Tuesday for Oilville where he will engage in the carpenter’s trade.
Singing school is progressing nicely under the skillful management of Rev. Chas. Curry.
A large crowd attended church at Hoover Sunday.
J.H. Workman has accepted a position as clerk in S. Riddell’s store at this place.
Sam Mullins returned to his work on Pond Creek Monday.
Miss Julia Mullins was shopping at Pink Mullins’ Saturday.
Charley Mullins is on the sick list this week.
Mrs. Jno. McCloud died at her home on Twelve Pole Friday and was buried in the McCloud cemetery.
Lawrence Mullins and Barney Carter are getting out a fine lot of telegraph poles at this place.
Mosco Mullins died here last Wednesday. Fits was the cause of death.
Burglars made a raid on James Mullins’ store a few nights ago; names of visitors not learned yet.
John Carter is furnishing the town with coal this winter.
Miss Burlie Riddle is teaching school on Hoover.
archaeology, Bill Bryant, Bill Mccoy, Billy Adkins, Brandon Kirk, Brownlow's Dream, Cheryl Bryant, Chip Clark, Dale Brown, David Haley, Doug Owsley, Green McCoy, Haley-McCoy grave, Harts Fas Chek, Jimmy McCoy, Joanna Wilson, John Hartford, John Imlay, Lara Lamarre, Lawrence Kirk, Malcolm Richardson, Milt Haley, New York City, Rebecca Redmond, Smithsonian, State Historic Preservation Office, Steve Haley, Ted Park, Ted Timreck
Sometime during the next few months, we decided that the grave exhumation would take place on May 6, 1998. I rolled into the Harts Fas Chek parking lot on the 4th and hung out with Brandon and Billy until after midnight. Steve and David Haley showed up the next day, as did Jimmy and Bill McCoy and their families. It wasn’t long until Doug Owsley arrived with his crew. His team consisted of four people: Malcolm Richardson, (his former boss and) the field supervisor; John Imlay and Dale Brown, chief excavators; and Rebecca Redmond, recorder. Along to chronicle the event was Chip Clark, a professional photographer; Ted Timreck, a video documentary specialist from New York City; and Ted Park, a writer for Smithsonian magazine.
I knew right away that these guys meant business.
We all went up to the grave that evening, but “the dig” didn’t start until early the next morning.
The weather was perfect and the hillside became alive with people. In addition to myself, the Haleys, the McCoys, Brandon, and Owsley’s crew, there was Billy Adkins, Lawrence Kirk, Bill and Cheryl Bryant (the property owners), and Lara Lamarre and Joanna Wilson of the State Historic Preservation Office.
Most of the day was filled with probing, scraping, talking and then — well — more probing, scraping and talking. Within an hour, the diggers verified that it was a single-shaft grave. As the day progressed, it became obvious that the grave was deeper than the estimated two feet.
Actually, it seemed to just keep “going,” causing us realize that the probes had been a bit deceiving.
At some point, Owsley’s diggers bumped into a coal seam, which had a small underground stream beneath it. Rich said the stream was a bad find because it had probably deteriorated Milt and Green’s bodies in its seasonal cycle of drying up and trickling over the last hundred or so years. He still felt, however, that teeth and certain larger bones might be preserved.
Just before nightfall, Rich said it would be best to stop working and cover the hole because it was supposed to rain sometime in the next few hours. Owsley mentioned that we were only inches away from the shaft floor…only inches — and he was sure of it this time. We were all too excited to go to bed, so we gathered around a big fire up by the grave. The Smithsonian folks requested that I play some fiddle tunes. I played “Brownlow’s Dream” and joked to Brandon that it might help “raise” Milt out of the ground. All jokes aside: it was a little spooky up there, in spite of the twenty or so people clustered around the fire. I remember shining my flashlight up the hill toward the grave every now and then just to make sure…
After about a half an hour, rain began to sprinkle on our gathering. We filed off of the hill and settled in to bed in Harts. Brandon and three of his buddies pitched a tent near the grave and spent the night as “guards.” All were descendants of major participants in the 1889 feud: either mobsters or members of the burial party. The rain soon dissipated, creating a starry night, and left them gathered around a fire and talking about the feud that claimed the lives of Milt and Green. It was an incredible night of stories. So many things had come full circle. For Brandon, it was overwhelming to just think about how he had earlier stood at Milt’s and Green’s grave surrounded by many descendants of the feudists. Expectations and anticipation was at a high water mark. Such was the excitement that Brandon and his friends didn’t go to sleep until around 5 a.m. when a heavy rain forced them into their tent.
Unfortunately, the rain came down in buckets during the early hours of the morning and created horrible working conditions for the forensic team. Their crude covering over the grave was no match for the rain, which whipped in from all angles. Most horribly, the rain caused the underground stream to gush forth and fill the bottom of the grave shaft completely.
After only a few frustrating hours of digging through clay, mud, and several inches of water, Owsley concluded that the crew had reached the bottom of the grave. They had not located a single bone, tooth, belt buckle or bullet fragment.
Even when Brandon fetched a cheap metal detector, the diggers couldn’t come up with anything.
Milt and Green were gone.