A.S. Bryan, Appalachia, Aracoma Lodge 99, banker, banking, C.C. Crane, C.H. Bronson, Charleston, Cincinnati, Cole and Crane Company, Ettye Robertson, First Presbyterian Church, genealogy, Gilbert, Guyan Valley Bank, Harry N. Robertson, history, Huntington, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Indianapolis, J. Murray Robertson, John Edwin Robertson, Kentucky, Knight Templars, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Louisville, Mae Robertson, Mary S. Robertson, masons, merchant, Ohio, politics, Portsmouth, Robert S. Shrewsbury, Ruby Robertson Parris, sheriff, Shriners, Spring Hill Cemetery, Stirrat, Sydney Robertson, W.B. Miles, West Virginia, Wheeling Consistory
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this obituary for former sheriff Sidney B. Robertson, dated June 22, 1923:
S.B. Robertson Dies At Huntington Home
Former sheriff of Logan county, Sidney B. Robertson, of 501 Fifth Avenue, Huntington, died Monday afternoon at 5:40 o’clock after a lingering illness. He has been in failing health for over a year, but it was not until about four months ago that his condition was regarded as serious. The best medical skill in the country was employed in his behalf, but none could make a diagnosis of his condition.
Funeral services will be conducted this afternoon, at 2:30 o’clock at the late home by the Rev. J.L. Mauze, pastor of the First Presbyterian church of which Mr. Robertson was a member. The body will be interred in Spring Hill Huntington cemetery following the services.
Mr. Robertson was born, August 3, 1864, and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Edwin Robertson. He early entered into business, and was prominent in lumber circles for some time, being associated with the late C.C. Crane, of Cincinnati, in that business. He served as sheriff of this county from 1900 to 1904 and following that engaged in the wholesale grocery business, until the time of his retirement, a year ago, which was necessitated by ill health. He had extensive holdings in coal mines of the county.
Mr. Robertson was in Logan about a month ago with Laryed Buskirk, on business connected with the purchase of the Stirrat-Gilbert right-of-way–at that time Mr. Robertson was in very poor health and told friends that it was doubtful if he would ever be in Logan again.
On February 22, 1884, he was married to Ettye Bryan, of Logan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A.S. Bryan. Four children were born of this union. Fifteen years ago, in the fall of 1907, the family moved to Huntington, which has been their home since that date.
Mr. Robertson was prominent in Masonry. He was a member of the Huntington chapter, No. 53, was a Shriner in the Charleston Beni Kedem temple, was a member of the Kanawha Commandery of Knight Templars of Charleston, held the thirty-second degree in Masonry in the in the Wheeling Consistory, and was past master of Aracoma lodge 99, of this city. He was also a member of the Logan chapter of I.O.O.F. He was at one time president of the Guyan Valley Bank and held a great number of offices in the different companies in which he was interested. He was a member of the First Presbyterian church of Huntington and was a member of the Men’s Bible class of that church.
Mr. Robertson is survived by his wife, Mrs. Ettye Robertson, three sons, Dr. J.E. Robertson, of Louisville, Ky., Harry N. Robertson of Logan, and J. Murray Robertson, of Huntington, an uncle, Sydney Robertson of Mana, Ark., three sisters, Mrs. C.H. Bronson and Mrs. W.B. Miles of Huntington, and Mrs. Mae Robertson of Pawtucket, R.I., and three grand children, Robert S. Shrewsbury of Huntington, John Edwin Robertson, Jr., of Louisville, Ky., and Mary S. Robertson of Logan.
Mr. Robertson’s only daughter, Mrs. Ruby Robertson Parrish, met a tragic death only a few weeks ago, dying as a result of injuries received when the family automobile went over a cliff near Portsmouth, O., while returning from the Memorial Day races at Indianapolis.
Appalachia, Delorme, Democratic Party, Devil Anse Hatfield, Evaline Marie Hatfield, genealogy, Grace Ferrell, history, Huntington Business College, Island Creek, Joe D. Hatfield Jr., Joe Hatfield, Levisa Hatfield, Logan Banner, Logan County, Marshall College, Mingo County, politics, Republican Party, sheriff, Stirrat, teacher, Tennis Hatfield, Tug River, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of political history dated December 13, 1927:
J.D. Hatfield Announces Candidacy For Sheriff
Native Son Will Ask for Republican Nomination in May Primary–That He Would Enter Race Was Expected, and That He Possesses Unusual Political Strength Is Undisputed
Joe Hatfield will be a candidate for the Republican nomination for sheriff in the primary election May 29.
That announcement will doubtless arouse tremendous interest but will create little surprise. For many months the public has expected that at a seasonable time his hat would be quietly tossed into the ring and remain there until the voters had registered their approval or disapproval. Having determined upon a course of action, he will go straight ahead.
Born and reared in Logan county, in love with its every stream and mountain, hoping and expecting to spend the remainder of his life amid the rugged hills to which his ancestors were lured by fate a century ago, he says he has long had an ambition to serve as sheriff of the county beloved of his kith and kin.
The statement that he was born in this county calls for this qualification: Joe Davis Hatfield was born at Delorme, on Tug River, then in Logan county but now in Mingo. That was 44 years ago. Except for a period at Huntington Business College and a year (1903-4) at Marshall College, he has lived hereabouts and his life is an open book. He attended country school on Island Creek and had some experience as a relief teacher, though at no time did he ever consider that his vocation. He is a brother of Sheriff Tennis Hatfield and a son of the late Captain Anse Hatfield and Lovisa Chafin Hatfield–their fourth youngest child, Tennis being the youngest.
Joe was married in 1917 to Grace Ferrell of a Mingo county family and is the father of two children, Evaline Marie, aged eight, and Joe D., Jr., aged five.
His fraternal affiliation are limited to the Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America.
In commenting on his announcement, Mr. Hatfield said, “I’m not running for the office solely for the honor and rewards it might bring, but also because I believe I can fill it in a way that my children and friends will be proud of. I want to give the people a square deal for their sake and mine–why should a man in an important office like that want to do less? I expect to be nominated, but if not I’ll do my part for the man who beats me; and when nominated I’ll plan to wage an active and winning campaign. Besides my experience and observation have given me some ideas about what a sheriff can and should do and I’ll probably discuss these with friends and perhaps in the papers at the proper time.”
It is not The Banner’s purpose to espouse any man’s candidacy before the primary, yet there is no hesitancy in saying here and now that Joe Hatfield will be regarded by voters of all parties as a formidable candidate for the nomination. Quiet, suave, friendly, neat and attractive in appearance, on intimate terms with hundreds and even thousands of voters in the county, the scion of a prominent pioneer family, his strength is obvious to the humblest citizens as well as those trained in politics. And while on the subject of politics, let it be recalled that Stirrat, Hatfield’s precinct, was the banner Republican precinct in the county in 1926. The Republican vote varied from 310 to 312 for the different candidates; the Democratic vote from 54 to 58. The precinct won a flag for the largest registration of Republican voters before the primary and won a silver cup for the largest Republican vote in the election, the prizes having been offered by the county committee. Incidentally, that feat was credited largely to Joe Hatfield and brought the first prophecy the writer heard that he would be the next sheriff of Logan county.
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for Sheriff Don Chafin. The story is dated February 10, 1922:
REJECT SHERIFF’S RESIGNATION
Don Chafin Presents Same to the County Court But Would Not Be Accepted
ACTION OF SHERIFF DUE TO LACK OF COOPERATION
He Has Agreed to Serve Out Term of the Office After Urging of Court and Friends
Last week Don Chafin tendered to the county court his resignation as Sheriff of Logan county. The county court promptly rejected his resignation and Mr. Chafin was prevailed upon by his friends to let the matter drop and continue to serve the county in his official capacity.
The direct cause of his resignation was the lack of cooperation on the part of some of his deputies. To those who are unacquainted with the official duties of a Sheriff in Logan County the duties of the office might be considered one of ease and pleasure but to those who are initiated with the trials and tribulations of the position it is a well known fact that the life of a Sheriff in this county is anything but a bed of roses.
The Banner is directly opposed to the political policy of Don Chafin but it must be remembered that when Mr. Chafin offered himself as a candidate in the fall of 1920 for the office of Sheriff he was elected by an overwhelming majority in keeping with the choice as expressed by a majority of the citizens of the county. The Banner accepted the result and resolved to extend to the incoming Sheriff all the assistance within our power in fulfilling the duties of his office. Since that time we have had no occasion to regret our course. The previous term of Sheriff Chafin had satisfied us that the duties of the office would be fulfilled honestly and faithfully and the short time that he has served during the present term has justified our faith.
Logan county is in many respects far different from any other county in the state. We are in one sense of the word isolated from other sections of the state inasmuch as we are situated on a branch of a railway system with only one outlet. Consequently it is no easy matter for the mining operators in this field to secure labor. In their efforts to supply their mines with labor it is necessary for them to draw on the supply of raw labor of the larger cities. This brings into our midst an element of labor that is not always of the most lawful type but in many instances the men are of foreign birth and of various races hence we are sometimes so unfortunate as to admit many men of criminal tendencies.
Not one tenth of the labor required in the various industries of the county are of native birth, the other 90 percent being men who have no interest here other than the wages they may receive. Thus if may be seen that it requires constant attention to duties by the authorities of the county to maintain the law and prevent crime. To do this not only requires courage but tact and diplomacy as well.
How faithfully Don Chafin has performed the duties of the office the world is well aware. When thousands of armed men had banded themselves together with the avowed intention of invading our peaceful county last fall it was he that said, “They shall not pass.” They did not pass. Don Chafin stood like a stone wall and while the army of angry men stormed at the gates of our county he firmly held his men on the defensive and saved our county from invasion. Ho well he performed this duty is attested by commendation from all parts of the nation and needs no repetition here.
This is the second term of Don Chafin as Sheriff of this county. The citizens to the county called him to serve. While the routine of his duties may prove most irksome and perplexing we trust that he may exercise the fullest measure of patience and continue to serve the citizens of Logan county during the remainder of his term. The Sheriff needs the cooperation not only of his official family but of every law abiding citizen of the county and we should be quick to express our appreciation of duties well performed by giving to him all the assistance within our power.
Appalachia, Cherry Tree, Cora, crime, Democratic Party, deputy sheriff, Deputy U.S. Marshal, Don Chafin, Ed Dingess, genealogy, Henry Sansom, history, Hugh Deskins, Ira P. Hager, Joe Hatfield, John Dingess, Lee Belcher, Logan, Logan County, Mine Wars, politics, Randolph Dial, Republican Party, Simp Thompson, Tennis Hatfield, Thomas Fisher, U.S. Commissioner, West Virginia
Political history for Logan County, West Virginia, during the 1920s was particularly eventful; it included the latter years of Sheriff Don Chafin’s rule, the Mine Wars (“armed march”), Republican Party ascendancy, and the rise of Republican sheriffs Tennis and Joe Hatfield. What follows are selected primary source documents relating to this period:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Before the undersigned authority, Ira P. Hager, a United States Commissioner in and for said District, Ed Dingess, who after being by me first duly sworn, says that he is thirty-seven years of age, married, resides at Cherry Tree Bottom, Logan County, and works in the ice business during the summer season.
That on November 2nd, 1924, affiant was in the Marshal’s office at Logan, when a man who lived at Cora came in and reported that Lee Belcher had ordered him to leave Cora, where he lived, on account of his having Republican literature on his car and house, stating that the said Lee Belcher, Deputy Sheriff had threatened to do him bodily injury, that affiant along with Henry Sansom was deputized by one of the Deputy Marshals to go to Cora and protect the man, he being afraid to return to his home without protection. That affiant and the said Henry Sansom were in Cora, guarding the man, and Lee Belcher came up and said, “Are you fellows here to guard these men out of here?” And I said, “Yes.” And he said, “The county ought to be filled up with good looking men like us.” And I replied “that it was pretty well full.” He then went away and did not make any trouble for us. On the night of the election I went to the Court House at Logan to ascertain the results of the election, and as I went through the corridors of the Court House I met Lee Belcher, and he said, “What was you doing in Cora, you god-damned son-of-a-bitch, that is my town.” He said, “I am running Cora,” and made at me with his pistol, and John Dingess, who used to be a deputy, pulled his pistol and said, “Give it to him, god-damned son-of-a-bitch,” and repeated it several times. John Dingess kept his pistol drawn on me while Lee Belcher beat me about the face. The scars and bruises are visible on my face where I was struck. I tried to shove off his licks, but he hit me twice, and Simp Thompson ran in and stopped him, and I presume that Thompson saved me.
I bled right much and suffered considerable pain as a result of the blows.
Taken, subscribed and sworn to before me this the 8th day of November, A.D., 1924.
Ira P. Hager
United States Commissioner as aforesaid.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Before the undersigned authority this day personally came Thomas Fisher, who after being by me first duly sworn, says:
That he was deputized by Hugh Deskins, at Mud Fork, on election day, after the said Hugh Deskins, Deputy U.S. Marshal, had been assaulted by Don Chafin, Sheriff of Logan County, and that the said Hugh Deskins gave affiant a pistol, and about thirty minutes after affiant was deputized, the said Don Chafin came around and arrested affiant, and took the pistol away from affiant, and turned affiant over to Deputy Sheriff Randolph Dial, who took affiant to jail, where affiant was kept until the next morning. Affiant lost his vote. Affiant asked the said Randolph Dial to let him vote, having told the said Randolph Dial that affiant had not voted, and the said Randolph Dial said, “I haven’t time to fool with you.” So affiant lost his vote.
Affiant saw Don Chafin assault Hugh Deskins, Deputy U.S. Marshal. Hugh Deskins was standing on the election ground and Don Chafin drove up in his car. Hugh was standing with his hands folded and Chafin walked up and hit him on the side of the face under the left ear. Deskins backed off, and Chafin said, “Don’t you like that? If you don’t, I will give you some more.” Chafin drove off in his car and in a little while came back and one of the Mounts boys called to Don and pointed me out and then Don arrested me. When Chafin arrested me I told him that I was deputized by a United States Deputy Marshal and he said, “That don’t go here.”
Taken, subscribed and sworn to before me this the 8th day of November, 1924.
Ira P. Hager