A. Gill, A.A. Low, A.B. Lowe, Aaron Adkins, Abijah Workman Jr., Abner Vance, Al Brumfield, Albert Adkins, Albert G. Abbott, Allen Tomblin, Amanda McComas, Anderson Fry, Andrew D. Robinson, Andrew Elkins, Andrew Jackson Browning, Archibald Harrison, B.F. Scearcy, Ballard Lambert, Ben Walker, Bird Brumfield, Blackburn Lucas, Blackie Lucas, Cain Adkins, Caroline Brumfield, Catherine Dingess, Charles Adkins, Charles Browning, Charles Brumfield, Charles Kinser, Charles Lucas, Charles W. Mullins, Clementine Dingess, Cumberland Adkins, Cynthia Ann Mullins, David F. Smith, David Farley, Ed Dingess, Elias Vance, Elisha Vance, Elizabeth Elkins, Elizabeth Lucas, Elizabeth Mullins, Elvira Baisden, Emily Dingess, Emily Rakes, Emma Vance, Ene Adkins, Enos "Jake" Adkins, Evaline Sartin, Ezekiel K. Johnson, Farabell Vance, Floyd Rakes, Francis Vance, genealogy, George Alderson, George F. Miller, George Fry, George Shepherd, Hamlin, Harmon Stroud, Harts Creek, Henry C. Sias, Henry Workman, Hiram Lambert, history, Hugh Evans, Isaac F. Nelson, Isaac Fry, Isaac Gartin, Isaac Workman, J.B. Pullen, J.H. McComas, J.L. Caldwell, J.M. Brammer, J.S. Payne, Jake Adkins, James H. Marcum, Jefferson Lucas, Jeremiah Lambert, John B. Pullen, John H Fry, John H. Adkins, John Henry Adkins, John M. Thompson, John McCloud, John Messer, John Mullins, John Vance, John W. Sartin, Joseph Browning, Julia Alderson, justice of the peace, Lace Marcum, Laura Fry, Lewis C. Queen, Lewis Nelson, Lincoln County, Logan County, Logan County Banner, Louisa A. Wiley, Malinda Adkins, Malinda J. Vance, Malinda Nelson, Margaret Browning, Marine Spurlock, Martha J. Fry, Martha Sias, Mary A. Mullins, Mary L. Nelson, Mary Slate, Melissa Adkins, Melvin Butcher, Miles B. Browning, Minerva McCloud, Minnis W. Perry, Mitchell Browning, Moses Toney, Nancy E. Lucas, Nancy Jane Adkins, Nancy M. Workman, Olive F. Adkins, Peter M. Mullins, Peter Mullins, Pinkston Queen, Polly C. Bryant, Polly Spurlock, Rebecca Bell, Richard Adkins, Robert Fry, Robert Mullins, Rosa A. Fry, Rosa Browning, Rufus Pack, Rush Slate, Salena Vance, Sampson Brumfield, Sarah A. Perry, Sarah Ann Brumfield, Sarah B. Maynard, Sarah E. Gore, Sarah E. Thompson, Sarah E. Vance, Sarah M. Adkins, Sol Adams, Sophia Kinser, Stephen Lambert, Susan Stroud, T.R. Shepherd, Telitha Spears, Thomas H. Harvey, Thomas J. Adkins, Van Donley Lambert, Victory Thompson, Weddington Mullins, West Virginia, Wilford Fry, William Bell, William Conley, William Dingess, William Manns, William Toppins, William Workman, Wog Dalton
Between 1879 and 1910, the following men served as justices of the peace in the Harts Creek community. The primary source for this material is “Commissioner’s Record of Destroyed Title Papers 2,” which is located at the Lincoln County Clerk’s Office in Hamlin, WV. Material is arranged based on the person’s name as given in the deed, the date of the deed, and the date of the deed’s acknowledgment by a JP. I have also found JPs listed in Deed Book 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, and 60. Deed Book “S” at the Logan County Clerk’s Office as well as numerous records in the Logan County Circuit Clerk’s Office have also provided information. Many thanks to the county clerks and their employees who have always been so helpful to my research these past twenty-five years.
Stephen Lambert (Logan County) 1879, 1885-1886
State v. John Mullins (1879-1880)
NOTE: Moses Dalton stated that he was a “magistrate” in c.1885.
Deed: W.T. Butcher to Birl Farley 11 September 1885 11 September 1885
Deed: William and Emily Dingess to Polly C. Bryant 25 January 1886
Hall v. Baker 30 September 1886, 16 October 1886
NOTE: Stephen Lambert died, according to court docket files, on 21 October 1886 or 23 October 1886
A.B. Lowe was appointed justice in place of Stephen Lambert, deceased 8 November 1886
Andrew D. Robinson (Lincoln County) 1879
State v. John Mullins (1879-1880)
John McCloud (Logan County) 1881-1884, 1890-1892
Deed: Margaret Browning 01 October 1879 29 January 1881
Deed: A.A. Low to Stephen Lambert 1 June 1881 25 March 1882
Deed: Weddington Mullins 14 March 1881 18 July 1882
Deed: Charles Browning 1 June 1881 22 July 1882
Deed: Francis Vance 1 July 1882 10 March 1883
Deed: John Messer 15 September 1882 12 February 1884
Deed: Henry Workman v. Melvin Butcher 24 March 1884
Deed: Henry Workman v. Melvin Butcher 28 March 1884
Deed: Ezekiel K. Johnson 1 July 1882 30 December 1884
Workman v. Butcher 24 March 1884, 28 March 1884, 9 June 1884
Deed: Robert Mullins to Sarah E. Gore 25 November 1890 3 December 1890
Deed: Sophia Kinser 1 June 1881 12 November 1891
Deed: Farabell and John Vance to Salena Vance 11 October 1892
Jeremiah Lambert (Lincoln County) 1881-1884
Deed: John Henry Adkins 10 May 188? 3 June 1881
Deed: Archibald B. Harrison 1 July 1882 7 July 1882
Deed: John H. Fry 1 July 1882 16 August 1882
Deed: Sampson S. Brumfield 1 July 1882 17 August 1882
Deed: Minnis W. Perry 1 June 1881 13 April 1883
Deed: Enos Adkins 1 July 1882 3 June 1883
Deed: Sarah E. Thompson 23 March 1883 23 June 1883
Deed: Miles B. Browning 14 April 1881 10 August 1883
Deed: Elisha Vance 15 September 1882 10 August 1883
Deed: Moses B. Toney 21 August 1882 21 August 1883
Deed: Jeremiah and Ballard Lambert 1 July 1882 12 September 1883
Deed: Van D. Lambert 15 September 1882 30 January 1884
Deed: Albert G. Abbott 23 March 1883 14 February 1884
James H. Marcum (Lincoln County) 1881
Deed: Harmon and Susan Stroud to Louisa A. Wiley 18 November 1881
Canaan Adkins (Lincoln County) 1885-1888
Deed: Mitchell Browning and Charles Kinser 23 March 1883 5 March 1885
Deed: John and Chloe Ann Messer to Floyd Caldwell 16 March 1885 16 March 1885
Deed: Aaron and Nancy Jane Adkins to B.W. Walker 12 June 1885
Deed: John M.P. and Victory Thompson 1 July 1882 18 July 1885
Deed: Sarah E. Vance, Mary L. Nelson, and Peter M. Mullins 25 April 1883 8 August 1885
Deed: Aaron and Nancy Jane Adkins to B.W. Walker 12 June 1885 12 June 1885
Deed: Abner Vance 21 August 1882 6 October 1885
Deed: Telitha Spears to Blackburn Lucas 26 July 1886 26 July 1886
Deed: Charles Lucas to Blackburn Lucas 18 September 1886 18 September 1886
Deed: Charles Lucas to William Bird Brumfield 18 September 1886 18 September 1886
Deed: Sarah A. Perry 14 April 1881 14 February 1887
Deed: William and Jane Manns to Josephine Robinson 19 February 1887 19 February 1887
Deed: Andrew Jackson Browning 23 March 1883 17 June 1887
Deed: Elvira Baisden 1 July 1882 19 November 1887
Deed: Aaron and Nancy Jane Adkins 24 August 1887 24 August 1887/14 February 1888
Deed: Jeremiah Lambert to Van D. Lambert 30 April 1888
Deed: Floyd and Martha Caldwell to Melvin Kirk 7 July 1888 7 July 1888
A.B. Lowe (Logan County) 1886
A.B. Lowe was appointed justice in place of Stephen Lambert, deceased 8 November 1886
Hall v. Baker 18 November 1886
John B. Pullen (Lincoln County) 1888
Robert Fry to Wilford Fry, Martha J. Fry, and Rosa A. Fry 3 January 1888
Elias Vance (Lincoln County) 1889-1896
Aaron and Nancy J. Adkins to Malissia Adkins 14 August 1889 14 August 1889
Marine and Polly Spurlock to Laura Fry 6 November 1889
Polly C. Bryant to children 15 July 1891
Minerva McCloud 15 September 1882 7 November 1891
2 June 1893
Andrew and Elizabeth Elkins to Thomas J. Adkins 27 March 1894
George A. and Julia Alderson, Floyd and Emily Rakes, and C.D. and Vietta T. Haverty to J.L. Caldwell 7 December 1894
Enos Adkins et ux to Allen Brumfield 28 December 1894 14 May 1895
Charles Lucas to Sarah Brumfield 6 July 1895 6 July 1895
Samuel Workman to Melvin Kirk 29 September 1896 29 September 1896
On 26 August 1898, JP Vance was sentenced to serve two years in the state penitentiary for embezzlement.
David F. Smith (Lincoln County) 1892-1907
Richard and Olive F. Adkins to Sarah M. Adkins 18 June 1892
Peter Mullins to Jerry Lambert 12 January 1901
Lewis and Malinda Nelson to A.E. Wagner 4 December 1906
Anderson Fry to A. Gill 7 January 1907
Jefferson and Nancy E. Lucas to Cumberland Adkins 11 April 1907 12 April 1907
Hiram “Hi” Lambert (Lincoln County) 1893-1894
Deed: Farabel and John Vance to John H. Adkins 6 December 1893
Deed: Salena Vance 25 December 1893 25 December 1893
Deed: Peter M. and Mary A. Mullins et al to J.L. Caldwell 24 November 1894 29 November 1894
J.S. Payne (Lincoln County?) 1894
I.N. and Elizabeth Mullins to J.L. Caldwell 1 September 1894 7 September 1894
Sol Adams (Logan County) 1895-1897, 1899, 1907-1908
Between September and October of 1895, the Logan County Banner referenced him as Squire Sol.
Between February and September 1896, the Logan County Banner referenced him as Squire Sol.
Deed: Allen and Sarah Tomblin to William Conley 07 July 1894 09 April 1897
Cynthia Ann Mullins deposition 21 October 1899
Deed: Charles Washington Mullins to Jerry Lambert 18 June 1907
Deed: Clementine and Ed Dingess et al to Catherine Adkins 1 October 1908 16 October 1908
Deed: Clementine and Ed Dingess et al to Ann F. Davis 1 October 1908 16 October 1908
Isaac Fry (Lincoln County) 1897-1904
Richard and Spencer Adkins to D.P. Lambert 17 July 1897
Charles Adkins to Malinda Adkins 25 April 1898
Russell S. Stollings et ux to William D. Farley 24 March 1900
25 June 1900
Susan and Levi Rakes et al to J.L. Caldwell 28 July 1900 30 July 1900
28 July 1904
Jefferson Lucas (Lincoln County) 1899-1907
Isaac G. Gartin to William Manns 3 January 1899 3 January 1899
William Manns to William H. Manns 3 January 1899 3 January 1899
John P. Lucas to A.B. Staley 12 March 1907
William Bird Brumfield (Lincoln County) 1899-1904
J.H. and Amanda McComas to Blackburn Lucas 30 August 1899 30 August 1899
William and Rebecca Bell et al to Thomas H. Harvey and George F. Miller 12 January 1900
Malinda J. Vance to Emma Vance 21 July 1904 21 July 1904
George F. Frye (Lincoln County) 1901-1902
Farabell Vance to Salena Vance 7 May 1901
Enos Adkins to A.G. Adkins and F.E. Adkins 15 February 1902 15 February 1902
Rufus Pack (Lincoln County) 1903-1909
Isaac and Nancy M. Workman to Abijah Workman, Jr. 2 February 1903
Henry C. and Martha Sias to Isaac F. Nelson 17 February 1909
Charles Adkins (Lincoln County) 1905-1910
02 November 1905
Charles and Caroline Brumfield to J.M. Brammer and B.F. Scearcy 7 November 1906
Blackie Lucas to Elizabeth Lucas 15 July 1907
Asa and Rebecca Williamson to Hugh Evans 18 February 1908
William Workman to Joseph Browning 15 July 1908
Malinda Adkins to Isaiah Adkins 20 July 1908
02 January 1909
Joseph and Rosey Browning to Lace Marcum and T.R. Shepherd 1 April 1910
William Toppins (Wayne County) 1907
Deed: L.C. and Pinkston Queen to Sarah B. Maynard 18 December 1907
Hugh Evans (Lincoln County) 1908
Deed: John W. and Evaline Sartin to George Shepherd 29 July 1908
A.E. Wagner (Lincoln County) 1910
Deed: Anderson Fry to Rush and Mary Slate 14 January 1910
J.M. Brammer et ux to David Farley 11 April 1910 19 April 1910
Arkansas Traveler, Billy in the Lowground, Birdie, Black Bottom, Brandon Kirk, Brushy Fork of John's Creek, Charles Conley Jr., Charlie "Goo" Conley, Charlie Conley, Dixie Darling, Dood Dalton, Down Yonder, Drunken Hiccups, Ed Haley, Ella Haley, fiddle, fiddler, fiddling, Garfield's Blackberry Blossom, Goin' Across the Sea, Handome Molly, Harts Creek, Hell Among the Yearlings, history, I Don't Love Nobody, John Hartford, Logan, Logan County, music, Pickin' on the Log, Stackolee, The Fun's All Over, Twinkle Little Star, West Virginia, Wog Dalton, writing
After a few minutes of downplaying his ability, Charlie had his wife fetch his fiddle from inside the house. With some hesitation, he put it against his chest and took off on “The Fun’s All Over”.
After he’d finished, I asked him if Ed played with the fiddle at his chest and he said no — he put it under his chin.
Charlie played some more for us: “Birdie”, “Stagolee”, “Twinkle Little Star”, and “I Don’t Love Nobody”.
He seemed a little displeased with his playing, remarking, “Boys when your fingers stop working like they used to, you don’t do as you want to. You do as you can.”
Brandon asked Charlie, “Do you remember how Ed pulled his bow when he played?”
“He held it like that toward the middle and just shoved it,” Charlie said. “He played a long stroke. When he’d be playing a long stroke, I’d be a playing a short stroke and every now and then you’d see him turn his head around and listen to ya. If you missed a note, buddy, he called you down right there. ‘That ain’t right,’ he’d say. ‘That ain’t right.’ Man, he’d sit in playing ‘er again just like a housefire.”
I asked, “When Ed would play a tune, how long would he play it for?”
“He’d play as long as they’d dance,” he said.
Would he play it for fifteen minutes?
“No, hell, he’d play for an hour at a time,” Charlie said. “After he finished a tune, he’d hit another’n.”
I wondered if Ed ever played “Down Yonder”.
“Yeah, I’ve heard him play it,” Charlie said. “He played everything in the world, Ed did.”
What if someone asked him to play something he didn’t like?
“He’d shake his head no and he’d play something else,” Charlie said. “That’s just the way he was…he was a stubborn old man. He had one he played he called ‘Handsome Molly’.”
“That’s almost ‘Goin’ Across the Sea’,” I said. “Did Ed play ‘Goin’ Across the Sea’?”
Charlie said, “Yeah, that old woman would sing it.”
I got out my fiddle, hoping to get Charlie’s memory working on more of Ed’s tunes. I played “Blackberry Blossom” and “Brushy Fork of John’s Creek” with little response other than, “Yep, those are some of old man Ed’s tunes.”
Then, when I played “Hell Among the Yearlings”, Charlie caught me off guard by saying, “That’s called ‘Pickin’ on the Log’.”
At that juncture, he took hold of his fiddle and played “Arkansas Traveler” and “Billy in the Lowground”.
I could tell he was loosening up, so I got him to play “Warfield”. It was about the same thing as the Carter Family’s “Dixie Darling”, to which it would be real easy to sing:
Goodbye girls, we’re goin’ to Warfield.
Goodbye girls, we’re goin’ to Warfield.
Goodbye girls, we’re goin’ to Warfield.
Naugatuck’s gone dry.
It was great to watch Charlie because he was the first active fiddler I’d met on Harts Creek.
During our visit, Brandon and I were able to formulate some idea of Charlie’s background. He was born in 1923. His father Charlie, Sr. went by the nickname of “Goo” to distinguish him from his uncle Charlie Conley — the one who’d killed John Brumfield in 1900. Charlie’s earliest memories of fiddling were of watching his father play “some” on old tunes like “Drunken Hiccups”. He also remembered Dood Dalton.
“Yeah, I’ve heard him play,” he said. “I don’t know how good he was, but I’ve heard him jiggle around on the fiddle. He used to come up home. I was raised right up in the head of this creek up here. Him and my daddy was double first cousins and my daddy had an old fiddle. They’d get it out and they’d play on it half of the night — first one and then another playing on it — but I couldn’t make heads or tails of what they was playing.”
Charlie didn’t know that his great-grandfather Wog Dalton had been a fiddler.
Charlie told us a little bit about his early efforts at fiddling.
“My daddy had that old fiddle and I heard him fool with it so much I said to myself, ‘Well, I’ll just see if I can do anything with it.’ And I started fooling with it and the more I fooled with it the more I wanted to fool with it and I just got to where I could play it a little bit.”
Charlie got good enough to fiddle for dances all over Logan County, sometimes getting as much as fifty dollars a night at Black Bottom in Logan.
“You had to duck and dodge beer bottles all night,” he said. “Man, it was the roughest place I ever seen in my life. They’d get their guts cut out, brains knocked out with beer bottles and everything.”
It sounded a lot like my early days back home.
I asked Charlie how he met Ed and he said, “I got acquainted with him up there at Logan when him and his wife played under that mulberry tree there at that old courthouse. And I’d hear about him playing square dances. I was playing over there at this place one time — he was there. This guy had got him to come there and play, too. He just sit down there, buddy, and we set in playing. We fiddled to daylight. People a dancing, I’m telling you the truth, the dust was a rolling off the floor.”
Charlie said the last dance he remembered on Harts Creek was in 1947.
I got my fiddle out and played for Stump, hoping to generate some detailed memories of what he’d seen Ed and his father do. He watched me play for a while, then said, “You play exactly like the old-time fiddlers played, and I’m gonna tell you why. You’ve got the smoothest bow of anybody I’ve heard in a long time. Now that’s what they strived for, Ed Haley and Dad — them old-time fiddle players. This herky-jerky stuff, they didn’t go for that.”
Brandon asked, “What about Bill Adkins down at Harts? Did he play that style, too?”
Stump said, “He was pretty good. Bill had a little jerk to his. Bill had what I call a stiff wrist. All these players taught themselves. Dad, all of them.”
Dood Dalton, Stump said, started playing the fiddle when he was about six years old. A little later, he played for dances in the town of Dingess and on Mud Fork near Logan.
Brandon asked Stump if he knew the names of any more old fiddlers around Harts.
“My grandpaw, Wog Dalton, he was a fiddle player. One of the best, they said.”
Did Ed Haley know him?
“Ed said there wasn’t a fiddle player in this country could play with Wog Dalton,” Stump said. “Now, I barely can remember him. He was the spitting image of Devil Anse Hatfield.”
Wog was apparently a pretty rough character, too.
“My granddad was playing for a square dance and he and this guy had been into it,” Stump said. “Somebody came in there and told old man Wog, said, ‘Whatcha call it’s out there and he’s gonna cut you with a knife.’ He just kept playing that fiddle and here come this guy through there. He grabbed Granddad Wog and Granddad Wog just pulled his knife out and they just took each other by the hand, son, and started cutting each other.”
Stump laughed and said, “I think Granddad Wog was laid up about two months over that.”
I wanted to know more about Stump’s memories of Ed’s technique and repertoire, so I asked him the same kind of questions I’d asked Lawrence Haley in previous years.
Did Ed hold the fiddle up under his chin or down on his chest?
“He laid his chin right on it, like he was listening to it,” Stump said.
Did you ever see him play standing up, like at a contest?
“No. Now, old man Ed did play in fiddle contests. I know of two. One of them was in Ohio, ’cause he come in our house right after he done it.”
I wondered if Ed sang much.
“I never heard him sing a song in my life. Maybe a verse — just stop along there and sing a verse. Now, him and Dad both would do that. But to put the poetry to it, I never heard him really do that.”
Did he pat his foot a lot when he played?
“He patted both feet,” Stump said. “He’d switch off, and sometimes he’d pat both of them together. He just got himself into it.”
Did Ed ever play tunes in cross key?
“Now that there one I give you, ‘The Lost Indian’, was a cross key,” Stump said. “I remember that real well. That was one of the prettiest fiddle tunes. I asked Dad, ‘How are you tuning that fiddle?’ and he was tuning it in a banjo tuning.”
I asked if Ed traded fiddles much and Stump said, “No, he didn’t do much trading, I don’t think. And a lot of times he’d come without a fiddle. He knowed Dad had fiddles.”
I wondered if Ed brought a different fiddle every time he came to Dood’s and Stump said, “No, he had one fiddle he’d really like. But now, he’d bring an extra one once in a while.”
Stump thought for a second then said, “Now Ed would bring all his bows to Dad, after he’d broke up the hairs in them. Dad had horses, you know, and Dad would re-string that bow.”
How many bows did Ed carry around?
“Well, he’d just have maybe two in his case.”
Did he always have a case?
“No, a lot of times he’d just have a bare fiddle.”
Did you ever see him play anything besides the fiddle?
“I never seen him pick up anything besides a fiddle.”
Brandon asked Stump if he remembered the first time Ed came to see his father.
“I was born in 1929 but he was coming there, I know, in the thirties,” he said.
There were big musical gatherings at the Dalton home in those days.
“I’ve seen people all over the place,” Stump said. “My mother, she had a long table and she would have any kind of meat on that table you wanted to eat, any kind of bread on that table you wanted to eat. We raised all this stuff now. And sometimes you’d feed two tables full of people just through the week. Instead of cooking one pot of beans, she’d cook two. And we raised our own meat. We’d have sheep meat — what they call mutton — and pork and beef. We ground our own meal. The only thing we went to the store for was sugar, salt, and things like that. And I’ve seen people there lined up to eat — just country people gathering to enjoy themselves and that was it.”
Was there any drinking going on?
“Had one incident: this guy, he thought he was mean. My dad had my sister in his lap and we had music a going. This guy shot down in the floor there near my sister. He didn’t last long. Just somebody a drinking.”