Albert Queen, Appalachia, Arnold Workman, Big Creek, Charlie Tomblin, coal, Elmer Frazier, Emery Bryant, Eva Workman, farming, Francis Fork, Frank Mann, Garland Spry, genealogy, history, hunting, Jinks Mann, Kiahs Creek, Lincoln County, Logan Banner, Minnie Workman, Monroe Workman, Nancy Shepherd, Ocie Spry, Ora Mann, Queens Ridge, Silas Spry, Victoria Maynard, Virgie Mann, W.H. Tomblin, Wayne, Wayne County, Wayne Maynard, West Virginia, Wiley Queen, Woodrow Workman
A correspondent named “Mike and Ike” from Queen’s Ridge at Lincoln-Wayne counties, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on March 2, 1923:
Minnie and Eva Workman took dinner with Ora Mann Monday.
Garland Spry was rabbit hunting Sunday.
Minnie and Eva Workman made a flying trip to Francis Creek Sunday and back home Monday. They reported a good time.
Ora Mann and Eva Workman are going to the commencement exercise of Mrs. Victoria Maynard’s school next Wednesday.
W.H. Tomlin is grieving about his son Charlie, who is about to get married. He says if Charlie marries he is broke up.
Nancy Shepherd, who was reported sick a few weeks ago, is some better.
Virgie Mann was visiting friends on Francis Creek Sunday.
Minnie Workman is going to school every day. She says her school will soon close and she will go to Wayne to go to school.
A few weeks ago the farmers were thinking of planting corn. Now they are better satisfied sitting by the fire.
I wonder when Wayne Maynard is coming back home.
Arnold Workman has built a new chicken house. He says he can’t feed his poultry and chickens together.
Woodrow Workman got his fine coon dog caught in a trap. He says he will soon recover.
Frank Mann made a business trip to Big Creek Monday.
Wiley and Albert Queen were on our streets hauling coal last week.
Wonder where Silas Spry was Sunday? Guess he ran into a stump and bumped his nose and stumped his toes.
Elmer Frazier and his hat are getting along fine.
Emery Bryant was calling on Sallie Mann Sunday.
Jinks Mann is still going to see Ocie Spry every Sunday.
Little Monroe Workman is drawing a pension. He had his dog’s life insured and killed the dog to get the insurance.
NOTE: Geographically, Queens Ridge is located entirely in Wayne County but the post office area included a section of Lincoln (and Logan) County for a certain number of years.
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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Route 3 dated October 14, 1927:
“Changes Can Be Noted” In Island Creek Hills
Madison Editor Waxes Interesting on Old Times and Primitive Conditions–Surfaced Highways Mark the Paths Through Woodland That Were Traveled a Generation Ago.
An article of special interest to Logan folk is here reproduced from the Coal Valley News (Madison) of which M.L. Jones is editor. In a reminiscent mood he tells of road conditions and other conditions that prevailed hereabouts a generation ago. Exceptions might be taken to one or two statements, but the whole article is interesting indeed and informative.
It is considered appropriate that West Virginians should sing the “West Virginia Hills,” and year after year the teachers in their institution disturb their neighbors with this song, while “Tears of regret will intrusively swell.” There is some romance and merit in the song; but it strikes us that it is about time for a revision of this line.
“But no changes can be noticed in the West Virginia Hills.”
To prove our point we quote from memory.
For some years after 1882, there lived in the extreme head of the left fork of Island Creek, or Main Island Creek, a man named Bob Browning. It was 18 miles from Logan. The house was a two-room log cabin, surrounded by palings; and the valley was so narrow that it was difficult to find enough level ground for a garden. Apple trees and peach trees were scattered over a few acres of cleared mountain side. The family subsisted by a little farming, a little hunting and much ginsenging.
This place was between two low mountain gaps. A dim road, usable for wagons in dry weather, led down the creek to Logan, and forked at Browning’s house. One fork led east over one gap to Horsepen and Gilbert of Guyan; the other went west over the other gap to Pigeon creek, and by more or less roundabout ways connected with Ben Creek, Beech Creek, Mate Creek and Pigeon Creek, all of Tug river. Hence, it was a possible road route.
The nearest house down Island creek and on Horsepen creek was two miles; and on Pigeon creek about three-fourths of a mile. A wagon, lightly loaded, passed here on the average six times a year. Horsemen may have averaged one a day, though often a whole week passed without a traveler. It was simply a log shack in the head of the hollow, four miles from a school, ten miles from a store, without anything “which exalts and embellishes civilized life,” and so very remote from the haunts of men that when “Devil” Anse Hatfield and his followers concluded to surrender Tug river to Frank Phillips and the McCoys, they picked their “last stand” on Island creek, four miles below the spot we have been talking about.
Now, in the close of 1927, can “changes be noticed?” We have not been there for over 30 years. But we recently received a present from John W. Smith, commissioner of agriculture , Charleston, W.Va., entitled “West Virginia by Rail and Trail,” containing 22 maps and 174 pictures reproduced from photographs of different parts of the state, and for which we sincerely thank whoever got our name on Mr. Smith’s mailing list.
From this book we learn that when we laboriously trudged through the Horsepen gap or the Pigeon gap, from 45 to 35 years ago, we failed to foresee that within on generation men would pick those two gaps, within less than a miles of each other, as a route for one of West Virginia’s leading roads; and not only for one, but for two, of West Virginia’s leading roads. As we will explain:
Route 3, connects Huntington, Wayne, Crum, Williamson, Gilbert, Iaeger, Davy, Welch, Bramwell, and Bluefield. From Huntington to Wayne and about 15 miles above Wayne, it is mostly on the waters of Twelve Pole creek. It then bears west to Tug river and follows it from Crum to Williamson, about 25 miles. It then bears east to Pigeon Creek, which it follows to the spot we are writing about, in the head of Island creek, some 20 miles. It then goes through the two gaps and down Horsepen creek to Gilbert, on Guyan; up Guyan and Little Huff’s creek, of Guyan, and across the mountain to Iaeger, on Tug river. It then follows up Tug, by Welch, to the head of Elkhorn and then on the waters of Bluestone to Bluefield.
In all, Route 3 is in seven counties, though less than a mile of it is in Logan county, in the head of Island creek. It is graded all the way about 60 percent of it is hard surfaced, including about 25 miles at and near the Bob Browning place. Thus Bob, if alive, can ride on a hard surfaced road from his old home almost to Williamson, one way, and to Gilbert on Guyan the other way; and he could continue south by graded road, until he strikes hard surface again. The last fifty miles next to Bluefield is all hard surfaced, also the lower 25 miles next to Huntington.
But this is not the only big state route hitting this “head of the hollow.”
Route 10 runs from Huntington to the very same spot, a distance of 100 miles, through Cabell, Lincoln and Logan, and is all on Guyan or its tributaries. It is paved, or hard surfaced, from Huntington to West Hamlin, on Guyan where the Hamlin-Griffithsville hard-surfaced road turns off. It is also marked paved for seven miles north of Logan and twelve miles up Island creek. This leaves six miles up by the “Devil” Anse Hatfield place to the Bob Browning place to pave, and it is marked, “paved road under construction.” The only drawback to No. 10 is that from West Hamlin to Ranger is a patch where the grading is not yet satisfactory. Doubtless, within three years both 3 and 10 will be hard surfaced all the way. Even now, from the Browning place, the people can take their choice between an evening’s entertainment in Logan or Williamson.
But that is not all yet. The chances are heavy that there will never be but one hard surfaced road from Logan to Williamson. There will always be a heavy travel from Charleston to Williamson. It will be by our No. 2 to Logan; by No. 10 to the Browning place; and by No. 3 to Williamson. Within a few months it will all be hard surfaced.
From all this we conclude.
First; that we let a good chance slip when we failed to buy a half acre of land where No. 10 joints No. 3 for a hotel and filling station. We could have multiplied our investment by one thousand. But so far as we could see that spot was fit only to hold and the rest of the Earth’s surface together, and to get away from as rapidly as possible.
Second; that “changes can be noticed in the West Virginia Hills.”
We might add that thousands can remember crossing the Kanawha at Charleston on the ferry, because there was no bridge; and few, if any, three-story homes. The writer hereof did his first plowing with a two-horse turning plow in the center of what is now Huntington. It was a cornfield then. It is a fashionable residence district now. He boarded at an isolated log house on a hill back of the Huntington bottom, where now are miles of mansions on paved streets. Even in and about Madison and all over Boone county, it is hard for people to visualize how things looked a short ten years ago. Mrs. Sarepta Workman, on her recent visit to her old…
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An unknown correspondent from Whirlwind in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 14, 1914:
Forest fires have done considerable damage in this section recently.
Drs. Carter and Ratcliff were Whirlwind visitors one day the first of the week.
Mrs. James Baisden of Dingess died at her home Thursday, November 12th.
Miss Burlie Riddle was shopping at this place on Tuesday last.
Misses Julia and Roxie Mullins were Whirlwind visitors one day this week.
Miss Mamie Adkins was visiting at Uncle Tom Smith’s Friday.
W.J. Bachtel transacted business in Mingo county the first of the week.
T.J. Carter is on the sick list at this writing.
Mrs. David Tomblin of Buck Fork was here Wednesday.
J.M. Adams transacted business at Whirlwind Friday of last week.
Mose Tomblin, Jr., made a business trip to Bulwark Friday.
Jacob Alperin of Charleston was here on business one day recently.
Rev. N. Barber returned Sunday from a business trip to Mingo county.
Miss Ethel Chaffin of Wayne is visiting Naaman Borders at this place.
Little Earsel, the five-year-old child of Will Farley, took the croup last Saturday and died in a few hours. The bereaved ones have our sympathy.
Miss Dora Workman of this place visited relatives at Breeding last week.
The schools of this place taught by Mr. and Mrs. Borders are progressing nicely.
James Mullins, our prominent merchant, bought a fine span of mules recently.
Revs. Vance, Curry, and Border preached at McCloud school house Sunday.
The folks on Buck Fork have organized a Bible school, which all the folks are invited to take a part. That begins to look like the good people of that place are moving in the right way. If all our neighbors would do the same, our young men would find it even more interesting that the disgraceful card table or Sunday baseball. And I am sure it would do more to elevate our country. People are going to engage in something on Sunday, if it is things that are sinful. So let us interest them in something that is elevating and has a wholesome moral uplift. Where we have a Bible school or Sunday school we have a sort of round table in which all may have a say in the subject. There are a thousand and one things that are intensely interesting in the Good Old Book that many educated people are wholly ignorant of, and I am surprised to see so few school teachers that take such little interest in these things. How long will things be thus?
Now that the election is over and the lucky ones are happy and the unlucky ones have bid their loved ones at home goodbye and are on their way up the hated Salt River we wish the dear fellows all a safe voyage.
‘Lasses makin’ is over and the frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
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An unnamed local correspondent at Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on 3 July 1925:
Mr. and Mrs. Rosco Dingess, of Blair, spent the week end visiting friends and relatives at Harts.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dingess, of Logan, and sister, Miss Ina Dingess were visiting relatives at Harts, Sunday.
Miss Jessie Brumfield, of Harts was shopping in Logan, Saturday.
Mr. and Mrs. Fisher B. Adkins, of Harts, spent Sunday at Camden Park in Huntington.
Mr. and Mrs. John McEldowney returned to their home at Charleston, Sunday after a few weeks visit with friends and relatives at Harts.
Mrs. John Beamins, of Holden, was the guest of Mrs. Robert Brumfield, at Harts, Sunday.
Miss Sylvia Shelton, of Sand Creek passed through our town Sunday.
Mr. Amon Ferguson, of Huntington, was calling on Miss Ora Dingess at Harts Saturday and Sunday.
Mr. Chas. Brumfield and little son, Howard were visiting relatives in Huntington and Ashland, Ky. this week.
Mr. James Auxier Newman, of Huntington, was calling on friends at this place, Monday, while enroute to Big Creek.
People at this place were glad to see Hendrix Brumfield on our streets again.
Rev. Gartin is teaching a successful singing school at Harts. Everybody is invited to come.
Miss May Caines, of Wayne, was calling on Miss Jessie Brumfield, at Harts, Sunday.
Herbert Adkins was transacting business in Logan, Saturday.
It was a great shock to the people of this place to hear of the death of Bill Porter, for he had a wide circle of friends at Harts.
A.B. Lowe, Aracoma, Cabell County, Harts Creek, history, Huntington, Island Creek, Lincoln County, Logan County, Logan County Banner, mail, Mud Fork, post offices, Trace Fork, Twelve Pole Creek, Warren Post Office, Wayne, Wayne County, West Virginia
This brief editorial regarding Warren Post Office appeared in the 6 March 1890 issue of the Logan County Banner, printed in Logan, WV.
“Warren, in Lincoln county, from which all the people on Harts Creek and upper Twelve Pole receive their mail, is eighteen miles from this place, but it takes us a full week to get a letter from that place. A letter arriving to this place from Warren has to go by Brownstown, thence by the C. & O. Ry. to Huntington, thence by Wayne C.H., and thence to Warren, a distance of two hundred miles. The route from Wayne C.H. to Warren should be extended up Harts Creek and Twelve Pole and then down the Mud Fork of Island Creek to this place, with new offices at the Mouth of the Trace Fork of Harts Creek and at or near A.B. Lowe’s on Twelve Pole.”
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The following post offices in Wayne County, West Virginia, represent some of my favorite locations: Adkin’s Mills (1869-1891), Cove Creek (1869-1912), Cove Gap (1877-?), Kiahsville (1884-?), Queen’s Ridge (1884-?), and Stiltner (1906-?). This list will be updated as time permits.
Adkin’s Mills Post Office (1869-1891)
Chapman Adkins: 19 August 1869 – 19 February 1873
Noah Peters: 19 February 1873 – 11 August 1874
Joseph Workman: 11 August 1874 – 14 March 1876
Nathaniel Turner: 14 March 1876 – 5 July 1876
John H. Napier: 5 July 1876 – 8 October 1877
Albert Watts: 8 October 1877 – 23 April 1879
Chapman Fry: 23 April 1879 – 8 January 1880
William Vaughan: 8 January 1880 – 20 September 1888
Charles W. Tabor: 20 September 1888 – 15 August 1889
Thomas Jackson: 15 August 1889 – 14 January 1891
Changed to East Lynn: 14 January 1891
Cove Creek Post Office (1869-1912)
Walter Queen: 17 May 1869 – 11 August 1870
John H. Queen: 11 August 1870 – 31 July 1871
Post office discontinued: 31 July 1871
Jackson Adkins: 8 April 1873 – 25 November 1874
Jesse Fry: 25 November 1874 – 31 May 1881
Walter Queen: 31 May 1881 – 16 August 1889
Walter Frasher: 16 August 1889 – 27 August 1909
Lindsey Frasher: 27 August 1909 – 15 July 1912
Post office discontinued: 15 July 1912, mail to East Lynn
Cove Gap Post Office (1877-?)
John McCoy: 10 January 1877 – 9 October 1877
Alexander Collins: 9 October 1877 – 23 October 1878
George W. Wiley: 23 October 1878 – 31 August 1885
Charles W. Tabor: 31 August 1885 – 20 January 1886
Frank M. Dickson: 20 January 1886 – 16 August 1887
William P. Mankin: 16 August 1887 – 12 October 1889
Rufus Pack: 12 October 1889 – 11 November 1889
G.F. Collins: 11 November 1889 – 8 March 1890
Mrs. Malinda M. Enochs: 8 March 1890 – 17 April 1896
Winfield S. Enochs: 17 April 1896 – 28 July 1898
Walter G. Sparks: 28 July 1898 – 6 November 1900
Rayburn Adkins: 6 November 1900 – 30 January 1901
Leander J. Adkins: 30 January 1901 – 31 January 1903
George W. Wiley: 31 January 1903 – 8 August 1912
Rayburn Adkins: 6 June 1914 – 6 January 1921
Samuel Dyer: 6 January 1921 – ?
Kiahsville Post Office (1884-present)
Joshua Queen: 16 June 1884 – 19 July 1895
Thomas P. Maynard: 19 July 1895 – 1 December 1921
Raymond Maynard: 1 December 1921 – ?
Queen’s Ridge Office (1884-?)
Louis C. Queen: 16 June 1884 – 5 May 1914
Checker S. Queen: 5 May 1914 – 13 September 1917
Willie Jones: 13 September 1917 – ?
Stiltner Post Office (1906-?)
Sherman Maynard: 12 November 1906 – 31 May 1907
William D. Frasher: 31 May 1907 – 18 June 1914
Frank H. Fry: 18 June 1914 – 7 December 1918
William D. Frasher: 19 April 1929 – ?
Source: U.S. Appointments of Postmasters, 1832-1971, maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Additional notes provided by Lucian W. Osborn in his “History of East Lynn Community” (1927): “There was no post office in this section until after the Civil War and the people here and for many miles above here had to go to Wayne Court House for their mail. But in 1868 Adkins Mill postoffice was established at the water mill then owned by Attison Adkins, one and one-half miles from our present community center. Chapman Adkins was the first postmaster. I am told that the amount of mail then received was so small that no mail bags were required to carry it in, and the mail only went once a week. After a few years the office was moved to the community center, and after going through various hands W. D. Vaughan was appointed postmaster in 1876. He moved the office down to where “Uncle Robert” Napier lived, a short distance from where the railroad depot now stands. Later Mr. Vaughan moved the office to where he now resides and kept it till about 1888 when C. W. Tabor was appointed postmaster. The office was then moved back to the community center and placed in H. Watts’ store. Soon after this the name was changed from Adkins Mill to East Lynn. Mr. Vaughn informs me that when he took charge of the office the pay for one month was only about five dollars and that not as much mail was received at the office in two months as is now received in one day.”
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A few weeks later, Brandon called Nellie Thompson in Wayne, West Virginia. Nellie reportedly had the picture of Milt Haley and Green McCoy.
“I don’t know if I have anything like that or not,” Nellie said, “but I do have an old letter from Green McCoy.”
Almost hyperventilating, he asked her to read it over the telephone.
Nellie fetched it from somewhere in the house, said it was dated May 19, 1889, then read it to him and said he was welcome to see it.
The next day, she called Brandon back and said, “I think I’ve found that picture you were looking for. It’s a little tin picture with two men in it.”
A few days later, Brandon drove to see Nellie about the picture and letter. Before dropping in on her, he spent a little time at the local library where he located a story about Spicie McCoy.
“As I promised last week, today we will explore the life of a lady who claimed to have a cure for diphtheria,” the story, printed in the Wayne County News (1994), began. “Spicie (Adkins) McCoy Fry was so short that if you stretched out your arm she could have walked under it. Anyone who lived in the East Lynn area knew who Spicie Fry was because she had probably been in almost every church around to sing at a revival meeting, something she loved to do. Spicie was well educated. She saw that her children went to school. Once out of grade school, Spicie’s sons took advantage of correspondence courses in music, art, and any other subject they could get thru the mail order catalog. Spicie’s son Monroe Taylor Fry was a self-taught musician.”
After a short time, Brandon drove to Nellie’s home, where she produced a small tin picture of two men sitting together. One of the men was obviously Green McCoy based on the picture we had already seen of him. The other fellow, then, was Milt.
As Brandon stared at the tintype, Nellie handed him Green’s letter. It was penned in a surprisingly nice handwriting, addressed to his brother Harrison, and was apparently never mailed. At the time of his writing, it was spring and McCoy had just moved back to Harts — probably after a short stay with his family or in-laws in Wayne County. He may’ve been there with his older brother, John, who’d married a girl almost half his age from Wayne County earlier in February.
Dear Brother. after a long delay of time I take this opertunity of droping you a few lines to let you know that I am well hoping when these lines reaches you they may find you all the same. Harrison you must excuse me for not writing sooner. the cause of me not writing is this[:] the post master here is very careless. they let people brake open the letters and read them so I will write this time to let you know where I am and where Lynza is. I have moved back to the west fork of Harts Creek and Lynza is married and living in wayne co yet on beach fork. everybody is done planting corn very near in this country. every thing looks lively in this part. tell Father and mother that I[‘m] coming out this fall after crops are laid by if I live and Lynza will come with me. tell all howdy for me. you may look for us boath. if death nor sickness don’t tak[e] place we will come. Harrison I would rather you would not write anymore this summer. people brakes open the letters and reads them so I will not write a long letter. Brumfield and me lives in 2 miles of each other and has had no more trubble but every body says that he will kill me if I don’t kill him. I look to have trouble with him so I will close this time.
On the back of the letter was written the following: “My wife sends her best respects to you all and says she would like to see you all. my boy is beginning to walk. he is a spoiled boy to[o].”
Clutching carefully onto the tintype and letter, Brandon asked Nellie what she’d heard about Milt and Green’s death. She didn’t really know much, but her brother Goble Richardson said he’d always heard that pack-peddlers who boarded with Paris Brumfield never left his home alive. These men were supposedly killed, tied to rocks, and thrown to the bottom of the Guyan River where the fish ate their rotting corpses. Soon after the “disappearance” of these pack-peddlers, Paris would be seen riding the man’s horse, while his children would be playing with his merchandise.
When Brandon arrived home he studied over Green McCoy’s letter — all the cursive strokes, the occasional misspellings, trying to extract something from it beyond what it plainly read.
Strangely, the letter didn’t reveal to which Brumfield — Al or Paris — Green referred when he wrote, “every body says that he will kill me if I don’t kill him.” It seems likely, though, based on what Daisy Ross had said, that Green referenced Paris.
Still, it was Al Brumfield who was ambushed only three months later.
What started their trouble?
And who was the careless postmaster who allowed people to “brake open the letters and read them?”
At the time of the Haley-McCoy trouble, Harts had two post offices: Harts and Warren. The postmaster at Harts — where McCoy likely received his mail — was Ross Fowler, son to the Bill Fowler who was eventually driven away from Harts by the Brumfields. Ross, though, was close with the Brumfields and even ferried the 1889 posse across the river to Green Shoal with Milt and Green as prisoners (according to Bob Dingess) in October of 1889. A little later, he worked in Al Brumfield’s store. The postmaster at Warren was Andrew D. Robinson, a former justice of the peace and brother-in-law to Ben Adams and Sallie Dingess. Robinson seems to have been a man of good credit who stayed neutral in the trouble.
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In the late summer of 1996, Brandon and Billy turned their genealogical sights on John W. Runyon, that elusive character in the 1889 story who seemed to have stirred up a lot of trouble and then escaped unharmed into Kentucky. They arranged a biographical outline after locating two family history books titled Runyon Genealogy (1955) and Alden Williamson Genealogy (1962). Then, they chased down leads at the Cultural Center in Charleston, West Virginia; the Wyoming County Courthouse at Pineville, West Virginia; the Wayne County Courthouse in Wayne, West Virginia; the Martin County Courthouse at Inez, Kentucky; and at various small public libraries in eastern Kentucky. Runyon had left quite a trail.
John W. Runyon was born in February of 1856 to Adam and Wealthy (Muncy) Runyon, Jr. in Pike County, Kentucky. He was a twin to James Bertrand Runyon and the ninth child in his family. His mother was a daughter of James Muncy — making her a sister to Nellie Muncy and an aunt to Milt Haley. In other words, John Runyon and Milt Haley were first cousins.
According to Runyon Genealogy (1955), Adam and Wealthy Runyon left Pike County around 1858 and settled on the Emily Fork of Wolf Creek in present-day Martin County. In 1860, they sold out to, of all people, Milt Haley’s older half-brother, Moses Parsley, and moved to Pigeon Creek in Logan County. John’s grandfather, Adam Runyon, Sr., had first settled on Pigeon Creek around 1811. The family was primarily pro-Union during the Civil War.
At a young age, Runyon showed promise as a timber baron.
“The first lumber industry in Logan County of any importance was started on Crawley Creek by Garrett and Runyon during the year 1876,” Bob Spence wrote in Land of the Guyandot (1978). “Garrett and Runyon deserve credit for their efforts in opening the lumber business in Logan County. They were the first to hire labor in this field. It might be of interest to note here that they originally brought trained men from Catlettsburg… In a few years, Garrett and Runyon left Logan [County], and soon Enoch Baker from Nova Scotia came to Crawley Creek to take their place.”
John may have put his timber interests on hold due to new developments within his family. According to Runyon Genealogy, his mother died around 1878 and was buried at Peach Orchard on Nat’s Creek in Lawrence County, Kentucky. His father, meanwhile, went to live with a son in Minnesota. In that same time frame, on Christmas Day, 1878, Runyon married Mary M. Williamson, daughter of Stephen and Ellender (Blevins) Williamson, in Martin County, Kentucky. He and Mary were the parents of two children: Aquillia Runyon, born 1879; and Wealthy Runyon, born 1881. John settled on or near Nat’s Creek, where his father eventually returned to live with him and was later buried at his death around 1895.
During the late 1880s, of course, Runyon moved to Harts where he surely made the acquaintance of Enoch Baker, the timber baron from Nova Scotia. An 1883 deed for Henderson Dingess referenced “Baker’s lower dam,” while Baker was mentioned in the local newspaper in 1889. “Enoch Baker, who has been at work in the County Clerk’s office and post office for several weeks, is now on Hart’s creek,” the Logan County Banner reported on September 12. Baker was still there in December, perhaps headquartered at a deluxe logging camp throughout the fall of 1889.
After the tragic events of ’89, Runyon made his way to Wayne County where he and his wife “Mary M. Runyons” were referenced in an 1892 deed. Wayne County, of course, was a border county between Lincoln County and the Tug Fork where Cain Adkins and others made their home. He was apparently trying to re-establish himself in Martin County, where his wife bought out three heirs to her late father’s farm on the Rockhouse Fork of Rockcastle Creek between 1892-1895.
In the late 1890s, John’s two daughters found husbands and began their families. On January 3, 1896, Wealthy Runyon married Clarence Hinkle at “John Runyonses” house in Martin County. She had one child named Hattie, born in 1899 in West Virginia. On March 29, 1896, Aquillia Runyon married Samuel W. Porter at Mary Runyon’s house in Martin County. They had three children: John W. Porter, born in 1897 in West Virginia; Aubrey Lee Porter, born in 1899 in Kentucky; and Izella Porter, who died young.