bear, Big Laurel Fork, Brandon Kirk, Francis Fork, horses, Kiahs Creek, Lincoln County, Mountain Home Cemetery, nature, New Salem Old Regular Baptist Church, photos, Phyllis Kirk, Wade Adkins Branch, Wayne County, West Virginia
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, Ashland, author, authors, coal, Guyandotte Valley, history, Kentucky, Logan Banner, Logan County, physician, poems, poetry, Thomas Dunn English, Three Forks, Viola Ann Runyon, West Virginia, writers, writing
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Veola Ann Runyon, authoress-poet of Logan County. The story is dated January 13, 1922:
LOGAN COUNTY HAS AN AUTHORESS-POET
Mrs. Veola Ann Runyon, of Three Forks, Has Had Much of Her Work Published.
We never know in what nook or corner we may find unknown talent or beneath what bushel measure we may and a shining light unless, perchance, we may trip across a clue that may lead us to a welcome discovery. Such was the case with a representative of The Banner on a recent trip to Three Forks, when he fortunately learned of the presence there of Mrs. Veola Anne Runyon, a poet and talented writer of fact and fiction.
Mrs. Runyon was born in Ashland, Ky. Her grandfather was a French physician and author. From him she derived the gifted talent at at the early age of sixteen she began writing stories and for the past ten years she has been a regular contributor to several of the largest magazines of our country. She has in preparation at the present time a romance which will be happily connected with the coal mining industry, while she has in the hands of her publisher two other books, one dealing with scientifical and botanical work and the other on entomological facts.
The story now in preparation will be eagerly sought by all readers in Logan County, due to the fact that part of the plot will be based upon knowledge gained within this county. Mrs. Runyon was requested by her publishers to write a story closely connected with the mining industry and so not knowing the details connected with the industry she came to Three Forks, and while stopping at the Club House there she is gathering facts that will prove invaluable in her latest work.
Mrs. Runyon is a gifted writer and is filled with the love of the work. She is also deeply interested in botanical work and the study of nature. Through persuasion we were able to secure some of her poems for publication in The Banner, and we are pleased to announce that arrangements have been made with her for regular contributions to the columns of this paper.
Her presence here will recall to mind another author who came to Logan County in years gone by. Dr. Thos. Dunn English recognized the beauty of these mountains and the nearness of true nature and came here during the period between 1850 and 1860. Some of his poems deal with life in the Guyan Valley.
With her ability and fluency of language, Mrs. Runyon should find in these grand majestic mountains and wonderful natural beauty an invaluable aid to inspiration that will enable her to complete a wonderful story that should attract the favorable attention of the most critical.
Note: I cannot locate any biographical information for this writer. Three Forks, according to one source, is also known as Saunders (Buffalo Creek).
Appalachia, Charles Bennett, crime, Draper Building, Falls City Construction Company, German, history, John B. Wilkinson, Lanham's Plumbing Shop, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan Court House, mayor, Poole Drug Store, R. Topin, Robert Bland, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, come these items of local news during the year 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.
Logan (WV) Banner, 23 May 1913
The Latest Craze
In Logan now is PAINT–house paint and everybody’s doin’ it! The most recent ones are the Draper Bldg., Judge Wilkinson’s residence and office, Lanham’s plumbing shop, the Poole drug store, German restaurant, etc. More paint was spread in Logan this year than ever was known before, and considerable of it was “red” too. It can truly be said that nearly every building in town, of importance, has been or will be painted this year, in fact a few almost worthless old houses now look like new. A bucket of paint surely works wonders sometimes. A sign writer has also been at work the past week or two putting gold lettering on windows.”
Logan (WV) Banner, 4 July 1913
Logan County Prisoners Working Roads, They Like It Better Than Confinement
Two wagon-loads of prisoners were taken out of the county jail Wednesday morning, under guard, and worked on the roads in this vicinity. A 5-lb rod, about two foot long, was locked around an ankle of each prisoners. They seemed to like their outing.
Logan (WV) Banner, 12 September 1913
A Prairie Home Companion, Appalachia, Appalachian Heritage Day, banjo, bluegrass, Bobby Osborne, Branson, Braxton County, Buddy Griffin, Charlie Sizemore, Cincinnati, David O'Dell, fiddler, fiddling, Glenville State College, Goins Brothers, guitar, Jackie Whitley, Jeff Roberts, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Katie Laur Band, Landon Williams, Larry Sparks, Logan, Mac Wiseman, mandolin, Missouri, music, Nicholas County, photos, Robert C. Byrd, Rocky Top X-Press, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, The Hard Times, Vandalia Award, Vetco Records, West Virginia, West Virginia All-Star Bluegrass Band, Wheeling, WWVA Jamboree
A native of Nicholas and Braxton counties, Buddy Griffin is a master musician on several instruments and a dedicated teacher and mentor. Raised in a musical family, Buddy began performing at an early age, excelling at banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. In 1973, he was hired in the staff band on the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, where he came into contact with Landon Williams, who lured him to Cincinnati to play in his band, The Hard Times. He and banjoist Jeff Roberts joined the Katie Laur Band in 1975. Buddy also played with the Goins Brothers. He later worked as an engineer at Vetco Records in Cincinnati and played in Charlie Sizemore’s band. He recorded with Mac Wiseman and has worked with Jim and Jesse, Larry Sparks, the Heckels, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, and Jesse McReynolds. He played in Branson, MO, for several years. In 1997, he returned to West Virginia and taught music at Glenville State College, where he was instrumental in developing the world’s first degree program in bluegrass music. He is a studio musician and has performed on various radio shows, including NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” In 2011, he was awarded the Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor. In 2016, he played fiddle with Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-Press. He often performs with the West Virginia All-Star Bluegrass Band.
A.C. Rouse, A.R. Browning, Appalachia, Bill Blizzard, Blair, Blair Mountain, Charleston, crime, deputy sheriff, District No. 17, Don Chafin, Ferndale, Frank Keeney, George Munsy, H.M. Miller, history, Hubert Ferrell, J.E. Wilburn, J.L. Workman, John Gore, Lens Creek, Logan, Logan Banner, Madison, Marmet, merchant, Mine Wars, Mother Jones, Savoy Holt, sheriff, T.C. Townsend, United Mine Workers of America, Warren G. Harding, West Virginia
Here is one article from the Logan Banner relating to Bill Blizzard and the Armed March on Logan County, WV, popularly remembered today as the Battle of Blair Mountain:
Blizzard Gloated at Gore’s Death, Said
“That’s fine! What’s the matter you haven’t killed any others?” William Blizzard, mine workers’ officer, was quoted as saying after he heard of the death of Deputy Sheriff John Gore and two companions at the hands of a party of union miners, according to testimony Monday at Blizzard’s trial upon an accessory to murder indictment growing out of the armed march against Logan county in 1921. Blizzard is charged with having participated in the plans that caused the death of George Munsy, one of the Logan defenders killed with Gore.
Hubert Ferrell, of Ferndale, the witness who quoted Blizzard’s words, declared the mine workers’ office made the statement in a speech to the armed miners gathered at Blair on the afternoon of the day after they had returned from Blair mountain where the Logan “defenders” were killed.
“It don’t seem like it would take any more nerve to kill Don Chafin (Logan county sheriff) and his thugs than it would a sheep-killing dog,” Ferrell testified Blizzard continued in his speech. “Right tomorrow I want you to fix up to go over the top. It don’t matter about losing a few men. I want you to go over to Logan and let the men out of jail and tear the thing down to the ground.”
Under cross-examination Ferrell added that Blizzard had told the men he wanted them to eat dinner the next day “on the jail house step.”
Ferrell, according to his testimony, failed in his first effort to visit the men who participated in the armed march when he was stopped by guards at the mouth of Lens Creek where the marchers first assembled. He denied that he had ever desired to join the march and said he went there only to see if there were any men there whom he knew. T.C. Townsend, one of the defense attorneys, cross-examined Ferrell vigorously upon that point. The witness said he was on his way to Charleston to buy clothing at the time. Later he said he went to Blair intending to go on to Logan and visit his half-brother, but was prevented by the armed men in Blair from either going on or returning and eventually returned home on a special train after federal troops took charge of the situation.
While he was at Marmet at the mouth of Lens Creek and unable to go farther up the creek because he could not give the guards the password and did not belong to a union, Ferrell said Fred Mooney, secretary treasurer of District No. 17, United Mine Workers, and a man who was said to be C. Frank Keeney, the district president, were there in an automobile. Mooney, the young man told the jury, asked the guards if any guns and ammunition had arrived and on being told he had none informed them that two truck loads had left Charleston. The man pointed out as Keeney told the men he did not believe they were sufficiently prepared and that they would do better to go home, “get prepared and then go over and get Don Chafin and his thugs.”
On the day before Gore and Munsy were killed, Ferrell said Blizzard also made a speech from the porch of the school house that served as base for the armed forces on the union side at the mountain and asked what was the matter that they were not having more success and told them they ought to go over and “get Chafin and the thugs and get it over with.”
Mrs. J.E. Wilburn, wife of the miner-preacher who was one of the principal witnesses for the state now serving a sentence of 12 years for his part in the killings on Blair mountain, testified that guns and ammunition were stored in the parlor of their home. She did not know Blizzard, she said, but men who took the arms into the house said Blizzard had brought them, she testified.
A.R. Browning, a merchant at Blair, told the court that members of the armed forces there got merchandise at his store and told him to charge it to the United Mine Workers of America. The things they got, he said, included shoes, overalls, and other clothing and also some women’s clothing, which he thought, they got for their wives and daughters.
H.M. Miller, a constable at Madison, said that just before Keeney made a speech at the ball park near there which he counselled the marchers to return to their homes, he had a conversation with the union president in which Keeney said that “if the federal troops would keep out he would take these men and go through Logan with them.”
Earlier in the day, J.L. Workman and A.C. Rouse of Marmet had testified as to the occurrence during the assembling of the men on Lens Creek. Workman told of “Mother” Jones’ efforts to get the men to go back to their homes and her declaration that she had a telegram from the President of the United States, which he said Keeney called a “fake.” Later that day both Workman and Rouse said Savoy Holt in a speech from the running board of an automobile said the union officials were their but could not address the men and that he had been instructed to tell them that the telegram was not genuine and that they were to “go on.” Rouse said Keeney and Mooney were in this automobile and that Blizzard was in another nearby. A man he did not know spoke from the running board of the automobile in which Blizzard was riding, telling the men to go on, and Blizzard’s car drove up Lens Creek followed by the armed hordes.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 6 July 1923
This site is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and promotion of history and culture in Appalachia.
Genealogy and History in North Carolina and Beyond
A site about one of the most beautiful, interesting, tallented, outrageous and colorful personalities of the 20th Century
For Readers, Writers, and Lovers of Historical Fiction