Appalachia, Brandon Kirk, cemeteries, Coney Isle, Ed Belcher, Elbert Garrett Family Cemetery, fiddler, Fort Branch, Frank Hutchison, genealogy, guitar, harp-organ, history, Lake, Logan Banner, Logan County, music, New York, Okeh Company, Omar Theatre, Peach Creek Theatre, piano, Sheila Brumfield Coleman, Stirrat Theatre, Stollings, West Virginia, West Virginia Rag, William Hatcher Garrett
baseball, Brazil, Canada, England, genealogy, history, Huntington, Ireland, Jerry Crowley, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Marietta, Mt. Gay, Murphy's Restaurant, New York, Ohio, repairman, Stratton Street, Syracuse, Wales, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about J.E. “Dad” Crowley, a familiar Irish repairman, in 1937:
J.E. “Dad” Crowley Here Since 1884 As Repairman
Ninety-Year-Old Irishman Worked on Sewing Machines In Brazil, England, Ireland, Wales and Canada; Never Sick A Day
This will be the first time that Jerry E. “Dad” Crowley’s name has been in a newspaper.
Not that Dad doesn’t have an interesting story to tell, but just because no one ever “discovered” him before. (Dad has never been in jail, either, though he has walked twice across the continent and calls himself a “tramp.”)
Dad Crowley, 90-year-old sewing machine repairman who has been working spasmodically in Logan county since 1884, was born in Syracuse, New York, member of a family of 14 children.
During the 90 years since the time of his birth he has walked twice across the United States, gone across the continent more than 100 times by rail and has repaired sewing machines in Brazil, Wales, England, Canada, and Ireland.
Dad says he has never been sick more than a half day in his life, has had only one contagious illness, has never taken a drop of medicine to date and up to now has had no ache or pain more serious than a toothache or a corn.
His only illness was whooping cough. He had this affliction at Marietta, Ohio, when he was 76 years old.
“I guess the Master just figured I was entering my second childhood and had better give me something to remind me of the fact,” Dad said with a chuckle.
“I just whooped ‘er out, though. No doctor, no medicine, no thing.”
“Dad” says he’s not bothered with any aches or pains now.
“I haven’t any teeth no, so—toothache won’t bother me, and my feet are so battered up that a pain there wouldn’t be noticeable.”
When asked how many miles he believed he had walked during his 90 years, the leathery, little Irishman—he’s “Shelalaigh Irish” and proud of it—rattled off the figure of 23, 367, 798, 363 miles without a blink of the eye, then later admitted that “I lost track of mileage after the first 20 billion miles.”
Dad declared that in his first and last job of work that he held for a person other than for himself he walked more than 10,000 miles.
He was operator of a treadmill for a Syracuse citizen named Hamilton from whom he learned the mechanism of the sewing machine, thus making it possible for him later to be independent of all bosses.
The whitehaired old chap repaired his first sewing machine on the Mounts farm in Mount Gay in 1884 when he first came into this section of West Virginia from Huntington.
Since that time during his intermittent visits to Logan county he has canvassed nearly every home here and has worked on many of the sewing machines in the county.
Dad is a close friend of the Murphys who operate a restaurant and poolroom on Stratton street. He affectionately calls Mrs. Murphy “Mom” because he thinks she looks like his mother, who died when he was only two years old.
Dad can be found at Murphy’s Restaurant any afternoon when the baseball scores are coming in. Baseball next to repairing sewing machines, is his consuming passion. One will find Dad wearing a cap on his graying locks, smiling broadly and ever ready to spin a yarn or talk baseball.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 1 July 1937
Appalachia, Chapmanville, Charleston, Chilton Chapman, Devonah Butcher, Gay Stone, genealogy, history, Jim Bryant, Julia Conley, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lola Ferrell, Maud McCloud, Maude Ferrell, Millard Brown, New York, Tompkins mines, W.J. Bachtel, West Virginia
A correspondent named “Cutie” from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on February 3, 1922:
We are having some nice weather at this writing and everybody seems to be enjoying life.
School is progressing nicely here under the management of W.J. Bachtel, principal.
Rev. Langdon is holding a revival here at present. He is having great success, large attendance and several have been converted.
We think the Tompkins mines will have to be enlarged since the Chapmanville boys have gone to work.
Mr. Chilton Chapman took Miss Lola Ferrell home Sunday night. Call again, Chilton.
Red caps are stylish here now. I wish I were a girl, but you know boys don’t wear red caps.
There is a bunch of boys and girls employed here in letting S (?) pass.
Miss Maude Ferrell was wearing a ten cent smile. Wanda, did you get a good letter?
Miss Devonah Butcher will leave for Charleston the first of the month where she will enter high school.
Mr. Jim Bryant and Millard Brown have just returned from New York where they have been taking mechanical training.
Mr. Klinger and Miss Gay Stone seem to be enjoying the morning air. Gay says Klinger is all right. Now, what do you girls think about it?
We are sorry to say that Mrs. Julia Conley is very ill at this time.
Miss Maud McCloud seems to be very lonely now days. Cheer up, Pearlie will come back again soon.
Will see you again next week.
Aggie Lucas, Appalachia, Big Creek, Big Ugly Creek, Earling, Ernest Lucas, genealogy, George Lucas, H.M. Gill, Herbert Feels, history, Huntington, Irvin Lucas, Jim Brumfield, Jim Gue, Joe Lewis, Leet, Lillie Lucas, Lincoln County, Logan Banner, Lorado, Lucas, Madison Creek, New York, Nora Lucas, Pearl Brumfield, Pleasant Valley, Sylvia Cyphers, teacher, Thelma Huffman, Toney, Vergie Brumfield, Wayne Brumfield, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Leet on Big Ugly Creek in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on September 12, 1924:
Dear old Banner, here we come with our bit of news.
L. Hoffman has just completed the new school house at the Pleasant valley, Leet, W.Va.
Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Gill spent a few days vacation on Madison Creek last week.
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Gue made a business trip to Huntington last week.
Mrs. Joe Lewis and family of Lorado were visiting friends at this place last week.
Mr. Wayne Brumfield was calling on Miss Thelma Huffman Sunday.
Miss M. Lucas of Toney, W.Va., and Mr. Boyer of Big Creek were quietly married Wednesday. We wish them much happiness for a future life. They will spend their honeymoon in New York.
Miss Pearl Brumfield’s school is progressing nicely at Lucas, W.Va.
Miss Aggie Lucas, Miss Thelma and Rosa and a bunch of other girls were at a party Saturday night and reported a nice time.
Let’s not forget the 4th Sunday in this month the big meeting in the new school building here at Leet, W.Va.
Mr. Irwin and Ernest Lucas were the guests of Miss Thelma Huffman Friday and Saturday.
Miss Vergie Brumfield left Sunday evening for Earling, W.Va., where she will remain to teach school.
Miss Thelma Huffman entertained a bunch of girls and boys with piano and Victrola music Sunday.
Mr. Ernest Lucas was calling on Miss Sylvia Cyphers Sunday.
Miss Nora Lucas and George Lucas were out horse back riding Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Feels were down to visit home folks last week.
Miss Lillie Lucas was calling on homefolks Saturday and Sunday.
Mrs. L. Hoffman seems to be really busy now a days canning fruit.
NOTE: In the mid-1990s, I enjoyed several telephone calls and an exchange of letters with Vergie and Pearl Brumfield, who were daughters of my great-great-uncle Jim Brumfield.
Perceptions of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud and of Southern Appalachia in general often differ greatly among insiders and outsiders. The following letter from Lafe Chafin of Mingo County, WV, reveals his disdain for inaccurate reporting by the New York Times about the feud and his community:
Chafin Scores New York Times For News Story
Mingo Prosecutor-Elect Takes Exception To Story Recalling Old Family Feud and Tells Some Facts About State.
Penchant for publication by New York newspapers of news stories calculated to place West Virginia in an unfavorable light before the public and to ignore publicity matter favorable to the state is charged in a communication forwarded by Lafe Chafin, prosecuting attorney-elect of Mingo county in The New York Times on December 12.
The letter reads:
The New York Times.
New York, N.Y.
Your attention is invited to an article published in the New York Times on Sunday, November 16, 1924, on page 20 of section 8, headlined, “One More Hatfield Bites the West Virginia Dust.” The article appears on the back page of section 8. Hence, it is apparent to the reader that you did not care to dignify it as news matter for the public but simply used as filler. No doubt you had run out of anything else to print on this page and so ran this in the thought that it would be interesting reading for those who have heard of the feud days in West Virginia. The article is unsigned. Hence, I am taking you, as editor, to task for permitting the publication of it and what I shall say will be offered in a spirit of friendly criticism and I hope you will accept it as such.
To begin with, you deliberately publish an untruth when you say, at the head of the article, that Alex Hatfield was killed and that Mingo county was humming and teaming with excitement. It is true that a man by the name of Alex Hatfield was shot about ten days prior to the recent election, but it is not true that he was killed, or even seriously wounded. He sustained a flesh wound and this is known only to a few people. Alex Hatfield is not the son of the mountaineer who started as bloody a feud as the south has ever known. In fact, he is not related in any way to the Hatfields who were involved in the so-called Hatfield-McCoy feud. The writer of the article simply seized upon the fact that a Hatfield had been shot as an excuse to rehearse his conception of the so-called Hatfield-McCoy feud, and he proceeds to write in a dime-novel fashion his notion of what happened in the fight between the Hatfields and the McCoys.
If it were not for the fact that your paper is read so universally and by people who do not know of conditions in West Virginia and Mingo county, I should not write you this letter. The so-called Hatfield-McCoy feud is dead and has been dead for twenty-five years or more. Every community, like every family, has its family skeleton, but we bury our skeletons and try to keep them buried until someone like you comes along and resurrects them.
I shall not take the time to point out all the slander and untruths included in this article, because most of it is untrue, as all who know conditions here will attest. I want particularly to call your attention to the fact that the apparent excuse for the article, if any there is, lies in the fact that a man by the name of Hatfield was shot about ten days prior to the recent election. Notwithstanding the fact that he only sustained a flesh wound, you carry a story in this article almost a month later, to-wit, November 16, 1924, that he was killed and that the county was all in excitement and that it has never forgotten the days of the so-called feud. A publication of the standing of The Times cannot afford to publish such misstatements and to libel this community in such manner.
Would it not be better to publish facts about West Virginia and about our community? In the thought that you were misinformed in this instance, I purpose giving you some facts that you can publish with safety and without fear of contradiction.
The population of West Virginia in 1920 was 1,500,000. Ninety per cent of the population is native white American. Less than four per cent is foreign born. Ninety-eight per cent of the farm population is native American stock. Less than six per cent of the population is illiterate. The per capita wealth is $1,429.64. There are twelve state educational institutions to train for leadership in the professions. There are 213 high schools, with an enrollment of 35,000. There are 1,800 high school teachers. Five thousand five hundred complete high school courses each year. There are 500,000 enrolled in the elementary schools. The per capita cost of education based on enrollment is $44.20.
This is the kind of publicity we want and we feel it is the kind that we deserve. Our natural resources are unmatched by any other state in the union. While these resources are decreasing, our human resources are increasing, in value. Like any community, we have had, and how have our problems, but we are doing our best to solve them. You are not helping us to solve them by publishing such articles as you published in our issue of November 16.
I would be glad to know that you have given some attention to this letter, and it seems to me that in justice and fairness to our county the party responsible for the article appearing in your issue of November 16, should be taken to task.
It so happens that I am the prosecuting attorney-elect of Mingo county and I resent such libel, not only as a citizen of the county, but as an official. Since I cannot prosecute the writer of the article for this libel, I think I at least ought to take this matter up with you as the editor and ask you to correct it insofar as you might be able to do so.
Yours very truly,
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 19 December 1924.
Andrew P. Price, Appalachia, Canada, Cayuga, Chillicothe, Cumberland River, Dekanawida, Five Nations, Great Lakes, Greenbrier Valley, Hiawatha, history, Iroquois, Jackson River, James Fenimore Cooper, Kanawha River, Lancaster, Logan Banner, London, Marlinton, Mingo Flats, Mohawk, New York, Ohio, Oneida, Onondago, Ototarha, Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War, Rio Grande River, Seneca, Seneca Trail, Shawnee, St. Lawrence River, Tennessee, Tuscarora, Virginia, Warrior's Road, West Virginia, Winchester
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about the Iroqouis and West Virginia dated October 7, 1927:
West Virginia Part of Iroquois Domain
Confederation of Five Nations, Pledged to Peace, Endured For Two Centuries — Hiawatha One of Founders — Vast Indian Drama Told By Andrew P. Price, “Sage of Marlinton.”
You keep hearing of the Shawnees who overran this country prior to the Revolutionary War, and you keep hearing of them to the east and then to the west. You know that when 72 men went from this (Greenbrier) valley to fight them at the mouth of Kanawha, that they were living in Chillicothe.
The mystery of the Shawnee being to the east and then to the west is explained as follows:
When the whites first began to record history the Shawnees were far to the south and were split into two tribes. One lived on the Atlantic seaboard, around Savannah, and the other west of the mountains in the Tennessee country. They were forced north by their enemies and they were sometime after that found with towns at Winchester, in the valley of Virginia, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and in other places in Pennsylvania, while those from the Cumberland basin in Tennessee came north into Ohio. The eastern tribe moved first and no doubt the communicating road between the settlements at Winchester and eastern Pennsylvania traversed West Virginia. They would have to cross Seneca Trail, or Warrior’s Road, and the military town of Mingo Flats lay in their line of travel and that is the occasion of the corrupting of that place and making the garrison traitor to the Five Nations.
The whole of the Appalachia Range of mountains was owned, policed and controlled by the Iroquois or Five Nations. This was the highest type of Indian north of the Rio Grande. For centuries they held a commanding position, their country extending from the mouth of the St. Lawrence river, west on both sides to the Great Lakes and turning there took all the mountain country as far south as Georgia, and they had at least 50 towns along the way from north to south. History deals more with the Mohawks around New York, but the westernmost part in which we live was occupied and kept by the Senecas. The list of the Iroquois or Five Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondago, Cayuga and Seneca. When the Tuscaroras came in in 1726 they were called the Six Nations.
Government Older Than Ours
This conference lasted for more than two centuries and was perhaps the most notable government ever set up by savages. They are the Indians that James Fennimore Cooper wrote about and they are entitled to every bit of praise that he gives them. They had a council that was noted for its dignity, faith, and ability. The kinds of Europe sent ambassadors to that council for many generations which made treaties, and it was well known in the London of that day as the American Congress is now. The Nations early agreed with the whites to allow the Europeans to settle and thrive on the Atlantic seaboard and they, the Five Nations, kept the mountains and western part of their countries.
Probably the first fraud practiced on the Five Nations was the Greenbrier Colony grant of 100,000 acres on waters that flowed into the Ohio, and this was held up for more than 30 years and only matured after the colonies had gained their independence. It is evident that it was first granted on the mistake of fact, that is, that the Greenbrier, like the Jackson River, flowed into the Atlantic.
Hiawatha an Organizer
The formation of the Five Nations was accomplished about the history the year 1750 and was the work of two Indians of great fame, Dekanawida and Hiawatha. The name of Hiawatha is famous by reason of Longfellow’s poem, but it does not contain a single fact of the history of Hiawatha. The two Indians posed as medicine men and magicians and spent their lives to bring about the league to promote peace and to end war. At the time they commenced their work, war was the religion of the tribes. Hiawatha was a Mohawk, and at times the Mohawks were cannibals. The two Indians traveled from council to council, proposing the scheme of the league to promote peace, and it was debated on the council fires, and it encountered the most bitter opposition. The name of the tyrant Ototarha comes down in history as the most formidable opponent to the peace makers.
The first success they had was to make it unlawful to prosecute family feuds and murders generally. For every murder the killer was required to pay the family of the dead man ten strings of wampum, as the value of a human life. Later the law was amended to require the payment of an additional ten strings of wampum, on the construction that the first payment was compensatory, and the second string to take the place of the life of the murderer which was forfeited under the old law to the blood kin of the slain man.
In time the confederation was formed. First by the Mohawk, Cayuga and Oneida. Then the Onondaga came in and last, the Senecas came in with reservations, and plenty of them. The Senecas refused to disband their armies and were thereupon made the police force of the Iroquois nations, and kept to themselves the department of war and foreign affairs. They gave up murder and cannibalism but clung to their military life.
The league got along pretty well until the introduction of fire-water and gunpowder. After that it was hard to keep the peace. The end of the league of the Iroquois came when they joined the British to fight the colonists. They came out of the Revolutionary War, doomed, and most of the survivors moved into Canada, though some are still to be found on the reservations in the State of New York.
From the August 20, 1926 issue of the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about heavyweight champion boxer Jack Dempsey:
Bear Cat Clemons, once upon a time the idol of the fistic fans of the Guyan Valley, is now in Jack Dempsey’s training camp at Sarasota Lake, New York, where Dempsey is training for his fight with Gene Tunney in New York, September 16.
Clemons goes two rounds with Dempsey every day. The champion lambasts him furiously and messes up his features, but he always is back the next day for more. When Dempsey and Clemons face each other in the squared circle, it is Logan county versus Logan county.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 20 August 1926.
abolitionists, Appalachia, Aracoma, Ben Bolt, Bergen County, Columbian Fountain, Daily Dispatch, Democrat, Democratic Party, history, Logan, Logan County, Lucretia Mott, New Jersey, New York, New York Daily Tribune, poet, politics, Thomas Dunn English, U.S. Congress, Virginia, West Virginia, William and Mary College, writers
From various newspapers come these items relating to Thomas Dunn English, the famous poet who once lived in Logan County, (West) Virginia:
The Columbian Fountain (Washington, DC), 19 September 1846
Thomas Dunn English is to be the Democratic candidate for Congress in the fifth district, New York.
New York (NY) Daily Tribune, 27 December 1850
Doctor Thomas Dunn English will lecture concerning Hungarian matters on Sunday the 22d inst. and Lucretia Mott concerning Woman’s Rights upon the 29th of December, Sabbath evening.
Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA), 29 July 1853
Dr. Thomas Dunn English is engaged in making geological exploration for some New York capitalists in Western Virginia.
Richmond (VA) Enquirer, 6 March 1855
We have seen the proof-sheets of a selection of the poems of Thomas Dunn English, the author of “Ben Bolt.” The same author is collating and arranging materials for an illustrated history of South-western Virginia.
Nashville (TN) Union and American via Richmond (VA) Enquirer, 6 September 1861
THOMAS DUNN ENGLISH MOBBED.–This gentleman was mobbed in Bergen county, New Jersey, on Friday, while on his way to speak at a peace meeting. He was severely maltreated by the Abolitionists, and, though he fought his way boldly, was with difficulty saved from assassination by the sheriff of the county. Dr. English resided in Logan county, Va., for several years. He represented Logan county in the legislature several years ago, and last year he delivered the poem at the commencement of William and Mary College. He is a genial poet and eloquent speaker. Since 1855 he has resided in New Jersey.