A.S. Christian, Appalachia, Barnabus, Blue Goose, crime, deputy sheriff, Don Chafin, Elliott Northcott, Emmett Scaggs, F.C. Leftwich, Frank Lewis, George W. McClintic, H.S. Walker, history, Huntington, John Browning, John Chafin, John S. Marcum, John T. Gore, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mallory, Mine Wars, Prohibition, sheriff, Simp Thompson, Superintendent of Schools, Tennis Hatfield, Volstead Act, W.F. Farley, Walter Wright, West Virginia, William Avis, William Dingess
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about the trial of Sheriff Don Chafin, dated September 26, 1924:
Trial of Don Chafin Set For Monday, October 6
Logan’s Sheriff Will Answer to Charges of Alleged Violation of Volstead Act.
Trial of Don Chafin, fighting sheriff of Logan county and a figure of national prominence, indicted by the grand jury in federal court on two counts, one charging conspiracy to violate the Volstead act and the other engaging unlawfully in the retail liquor business, will come up before Judge George W. McClintic, in United States Court at Huntington Monday October 6.
The same day was fixed by the court for the trial of John T. Gore, a deputy sheriff, and H.S. Walker, who were indicted jointly for alleged conspiracy to secure the arrest and conviction of one Frank Lewis, a negro, on a pistol toting charge because he had been a witness against another negro charged with violating the prohibition law.
Sheriff Don Chafin and Gore were given their release under bond of $5,000 each, but the court declined to admit Walker to bail, and he was remanded to the county jail, and held without bail until Wednesday at which time he was released under [error here in layout] mitted to jail Friday afternoon, after bond of $5,000. The last named was arrested and committed to jail last Friday afternoon, after he was alleged to have administered a severe whipping to William Avis, a witness before the grand jury. The alleged assault was said to have occurred when Avis returned to Logan from Huntington Tuesday.
The court at the same time continued the cases of five other Logan county officials indicted along with Sheriff Chafin, Gore, and Walker to the March term in Huntington [error in layout] in each of these cases the defendant obtained release under $3,000. They were: Emmett Scaggs, now county superintendent of schools in Logan, and the democratic nominee for sheriff, indicted for alleged illicit possession of liquor; Simp Thompson, a deputy sheriff under Chafin, indicted on a charge of alleging that for a $200 consideration he released Walter Wright, in whose possession a still and quantity of moonshine had been found; John Chafin, a relative of the sheriff and a deputy under him, indicted on a charge of having had liquor at the polls at Mallory, Logan county during the conduct of a national election; William Dingess, a deputy sheriff, indicted on a charge of selling liquor; and John Browning, a deputy sheriff, indicted for alleged possession of whisky in the basement of the court house at Logan.
Indicted jointly with Dingess on a charge of selling moonshine was Garfield Maynard. He did not appear for arraignment with the rest of the accused and the court ordered a capias issued for him.
Appearing in court with the famed fighting sheriff of Logan and the rest of the indicted persons were Colonel John S. Marcum and Judge F.C. Leftwich, engaged as defense counsel for the entire group. The formalities were brief and required but a comparatively short time of transaction. After furnishing their bonds the accused, with their bondsmen, who included W.F. Farley and A.S. Christian, left the court chamber in a body, accompanied by their counsel.
The indictments against the Logan officials were returned by the federal grand jury Friday morning, coming as the outgrowth of an exhaustive investigation of affairs in Logan county which the government, it was said, has been conducting here for the past six months or more. According to reports, as many as 20 agents of the department of justice were at work in Logan at one time.
Tennis Hatfield, Republican nominee for the office of sheriff of Logan county, who served a jail term of eleven months and paid a fine of $1,000 for violating the prohibition law, was understood to have been the principal witness against Sheriff Don Chafin before the grand jury.
According to statements emanating from the office of United States District Attorney Elliott Northcott, Hatfield offered testimony to the effect that Chafin was his partner in the ownership and promotion of the notorious speakeasy once conducted at Barnabus in Logan county. This establishment, known as the Blue Goose, flourished from 1914 to late in 1922, when federal men closed up the place.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 26 September 1924