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
Ammar Brothers, Appalachia, Bell Department Store, Democratic Party, Don Chafin, history, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan Jewelry Company, Logan Jewelry Store, Nate Rosensweig, New Eagle Restaurant, Nick Savas, sheriff, Stratton Street, West Virginia
The Logan Banner of Logan, WV, offered these items relating to former sheriff Don Chafin in 1927:
Don Chafin In Another Realty Deal
Announcement was made today by Don Chafin of the disposal of more of his Logan property, following the sale of his oil and gas business and service stations consummated last week. The deal just closed disposes of two business buildings on Stratton street, one the three-story brick block occupied by the Bell Department Store, the other the adjoining one-story brick structure containing two store rooms, one occupied by the Logan Jewelry Company, the other by the Army and Navy Store of Nate Rosensweig. The consideration of the two sales is about $127,000. New owners of the properties are Nick Savis, of the New Eagle Restaurant, and Ammar Brothers. The Bell Department Store will continue to occupy the ground floor of the three-story building in its present location under the existing ten-year lease, while the Logan Jewelry Company and the Army and Navy Store will remain in their rooms in the other building until their present leases expire, at least.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 23 August 1927
DON CHAFIN WILL NOT BE A CANDIDATE FOR SHERIFF NEXT YEAR
Former Sheriff Decides Family and Business Need Him More Than Politics
STATEMENT IS FINAL ONE
Will Take No Active Part In Primaries; Asks That Insistence Cease
Under no circumstances will Don Chafin, former sheriff and recognized Democratic leader, be a candidate for sheriff at the next election. This was the text of a statement made to a Banner reporter this morning.
“Please tell my friends in both parties that my several business interests prevent me from making the race,” added Mr. Chafin. “I appreciate the many kind offers of support, and I know every person who has approached me is sincere in wanting me back in political action, but my family and business interests require my entire time, and I would not be fair to either if I neglected them to make the fight that would be necessary.”
Asked if he would take active part in the support of the Democratic candidate, the former sheriff said, “I will make no active campaign for any one in the primaries, but successful party nominees may expect my untiring support for their successful election in November, provided they are of the proper material.”
Mr. Chafin also wanted it made plain that his friends would be doing him quite a favor if, after this statement is made, they will take it as his final word, and make no further insistence. “It really takes up much of my time and distracts me from my work to have so many callers each day insisting I make the race,” he said.
This announcement of Mr. Chafin’s will cause more surprise from those who felt he positively would make the race at the proper time. No Democratic announcements for sheriff have been mentioned outright, each waiting to see what Don had in mind. This settled now, it is expected the field will be immediately flooded with the many who have looked with longing eyes on that important office.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 23 December 1927
Appalachia, county clerk, genealogy, history, Laurel Fork, Little Coal River, Logan, Logan County, Roanoke Republican, Spruce Fork, Stratton Street, Thomas Mullins, Virginia, West Virginia, William Straton
From the Alexandria (VA) Gazette comes this bit of history for William Straton of Logan County, (West) Virginia, dated December 4, 1860:
FATAL SHOOTING ACCIDENT.
The Roanoke Republican states that on the morning of the 15th ult., Wm. Stratton, esq., Clerk of Logan county, Va., and a young man, Thos. Mullins, of the same county, left the hunting camp on Laurel Fork of Spruce Fork of Little Coal river, in pursuit of deer. They became separated, for some time, and Mr. Stratton thinking he spied a deer, through a small aperture in a laurel thicket, about fifty yards distant, fired at it, and to his horror, found that he had shot his companion, Mr. Mullins, through the body–the ball entering his left side just below the ribs. No one was near, to whom the alarm could be given for aid, as they were about a mile and a half from the camp, and their camp companions may have been in an opposite direction from them. They, however, came to their assistance before night and making a litter on which they placed a bed, bore Mr. Mullins to the camp, which he died about 10 o’clock that night.
NOTE: Stratton Street in Logan is named for Mr. Straton.
Boone County, boxer, boxing, Cecilia Dempsey, Cecilia Smoot, Chapmanville, Charles Smoot, Chicago, Colorado, Don Ellis, Dyke Garrett, Enoch Baker, Gay Coal and Coke Company, Gene Tunney, Hiram Dempsey, history, Holden, Huntington, Huntington Hotel, Island Creek, J. Kenneth Stolts, Jack Dempsey, Jack Kearns, John B. Ellis, Joseph Ellis, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Manassa, Salt Lake City, Scott Justice, Simpson Ellis, Stratton Street, The Long Count Fight, Utah, West Virginia, Wiatt Smith
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about champion boxer Jack Dempsey dated September 9, 1927:
Jack Dempsey’s Mother Pays Visit to Logan
Travels from Utah to See Relatives and Old Friends and Neighbors
Maiden Name Cecilia Smoot
Uncle Dyke Garrett Among Welcomers; Dempseys Once Owned Site of Holden.
While Jack Dempsey is fighting to regain the heavyweight championship of the world, his mother Mrs. Hiram Dempsey will be the guest of Logan relatives and friends. She is expected to arrive at any hour for an extended visit to the scenes of her childhood.
Mrs. Dempsey arrived at Huntington Sunday and then planned to come here the next day. Later, word came that she would complete today the last lap of a motor trip from Salt Lake City to Logan.
Interviewed at Huntington Mrs. Dempsey told of her desire to revisit girlhood scenes and inquired about old friends. She spoke of Uncle Dyke Garrett and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he is still living. Uncle Dyke read the interview (his wife is an aunt of Wiatt Smith, the interviewer) and despite the nearness of his 86th birthday, came back up from his home back of Chapmanville to welcome Mrs. Dempsey.
This beloved old mountain minister never knew Jack Dempsey, but he remembers Jack’s mother as a girl, her maiden name being Cecilia Smoot. She was a daughter of Charles Smoot, who came to Logan from Boone county, and who lived and died up on Island Creek. After his death, Mrs. Smoot (Jack Dempsey’s grandmother) married Simpson Ellis, who died but a few years ago, after serving a long period on the county court.
Scott Justice, who divides his time between Huntington and Logan, was among those who greeted Mrs. Dempsey at the Huntington Hotel yesterday. He remembers the marriage of Hiram Dempsey and Cecilia Smoot, and also recalls that the site on which the town of Holden now stands was sold by Hiram Dempsey to Mr. Justice’s father when the family decided to migrate westward.
According to Mr. Justice, the tract of 200 acres changed hands for a consideration of $600.
“Uncle” Enoch Baker was another caller to greet the challenger’s mother. Mr. Baker was engaged in business in Logan county when the Dempseys lived here, being well acquainted with the family.
Mrs. Dempsey was accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. J. Kenneth Stolts of Salt Lake City. They made the trip from Utah, where Jack’s mother now has her permanent home, in a large automobile, traveling in easy stages. They arrived in Huntington Sunday evening and are leaving there today.
She called her famous son in Chicago by telephone Sunday night to advise him she had arrived here safely.
While in Logan, Mrs. Dempsey will visit her half-brothers, Don Ellis of Stratton Street, and Joseph and John B. Ellis of Island Creek, and others.
She has never seen Jack in the ring and will probably receive the result of the coming battle from friends in Logan.
The difference in the ages of the champion and challenger will not be an advantage to Tunney, Jack’s mother thinks. “If Tunney will stand up and fight, I expect Jack will give a good account of himself. But if Jack has to chase him all the time, Tunney may turn around and give him a licking in the end. I believe they are pretty evenly matched and lucky may figure in the outcome,” she said.
The Dempseys left Logan in 1887 and William Harrison (Jack) was born in Manassa, Colo., in June ’95. While he was a mere child they returned to Logan county. Jack remained here until a young man, having been employed by the Gay Coal and Coke Company as late as 1913, and then went west alone to seek pugilistic fortune. He met Jack Kearns on the Pacific coast, from which point his spectacular climb to the pinnacle of the heavyweight division furnished the sport with one of its most romantic episodes.
In view of the fact that Dempsey is said to have lived in this county and because of the interest in the approaching fight, the foll
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story dated May 23, 1913:
The Call to Arms
Ladies of Logan, we need you, and ask your unfailing support against filth and flies. With your full assistance we expect to make the men “help the women do the work.” We want you to help us develop the pride and civic duty which promotes cleanliness. Enlist the whole household in this crusade against filth and flies–breeders of disease.
With the homes, the yards and the streets clean, screened receptacles for kitchen waste, which we will remove without expense, the free use of lime daily, our city will be respectable and commendable.
Lend us your aid and imbibe the slogan, “Cleaner, Healthier and Better Logan.”
ROBERT BLAND, Mayor
By order of the Common Council
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story dated August 22, 1913:
Spreading Their Tracks
What has become of the city cow-bell ordinance? If it can’t be enforced, why not repeal it and substitute one demanding that each animal provide itself with a portable bathroom with regulation sewer connection–or, to use plain every-day English, a slop-bucket securely tied to its tail. One “special privilege” lady cow has been roaming the streets at night with a bell that makes you think the ice man is coming, but that ain’t him at all. It’s the milk maid patting along up the walk! Yes, right up the front steps and rings the bell! This particular lady cow is not satisfied with brick pavements and macadam roads, she prefers cement sidewalks. A blind man could tell you which way she went and where she stopped–in fact she don’t stop at all. If she did, there would be no occasion to write this article. She plods along all night, leaving her trail behind her. We don’t know who owns this madam bovine and we don’t care Adam. We have told her “past and present” just as we might have told of “John Brown’s Raid”–up the Guyan–the “raid that made the Chafins famous!” But we leave that also for the “city papers” to dope out. Good night!