Maston Conley Family Cemetery

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Maston Conley, son of Henry and Mary “Polly” (Thompson) Conley, is buried here. I descend from his uncles William H. Farley and William Patton Thompson. 11 January 2019

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Maston Conley, “Confederate Soldier.” The cemetery is located in Chapmanville, Logan County, WV. Visitors must have permission from property owners in order to visit this location. 19 January 2019

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Maston Conley, private in the 129th Virginia Militia, was a likely participant in the Battle of Kanawha Gap. The battle site is almost visible from the cemetery.

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Paw Paw Incident: Sarah McCoy Deposition (1889)

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The killing of Tolbert, Pharmer, and Bud McCoy by a Hatfield-led gang on August 8, 1882 represented one of the most sensational events of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. What follows is Sarah McCoy’s deposition regarding the affair:

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The Commonwealth then introduced Sarah McCoy who proves that she is the mother of Tolbert, Pharmur and Randolp (sic) McCoy, that she and Tolbert’s wife went to where her boys was in a school house on Mate Creek in West Va. On the night they (sic) boys were taken there it was after dark when she got there she found the boys all tied together and on the floor in the school house. Saw Defendants there. They had guns. It was raining. And after she had been there some time she was begging praying and crying for her boys and Charley Carpenter told her to hush up, was not going to have any more of it and to get out. They made her Leave. It was dark and she went to Doc Rutherford’s in the dark and through the water. It was about 10 or 11 o’clock when she got there she came back to the school house next morning and staid around there until two or three o’clock. When I left them at school house there was a great many persons there at the time. Can’t tell the names of all. Was greatly excited. Saw the defendants with guns and Pistols. Saw Doc Mayhorn ask Tolbert for some tobacco and he give it to him. Cannot say whether Deft. was around at the time I left or not. Next time I saw my boys they were dead, hauled home on a sled. Randal’s head top was shot off. Tolbert’s arm was up before his head was shot _____ it and through the head. The other boy was bad shot. Was at the school house when the news came that Ellison Hatfield was dead. Heard nothing said about what would be done with my boys if Ellison died. They were making a coffin for Ellison Hatfield at Sam Simpkins as I came by. The defendants objected to and moved to exclude all the evidence of witness to acts done in the state of West Va. The Court overruled the objections and motion. Defts. al the time excepted.

Chapmanville News 02.10.1922

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A correspondent named “Duck Head” from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on February 10, 1922:

The high school of Chapmanville is progressing nicely under the management of Mr. Earl Klinger.

Chester Cook passed through Chapmanville Saturday with a fine drove of hogs.

Mr. Wayne Brown and Mr. Shirley Workman were quietly married at the Holiness Church Sunday.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Millard Brown a 15 pound baby girl, February 2.

Guy Dingess was calling on his best girl Sunday.

Nathan Booth and Mary Bryant were seen on our streets Sunday.

Miss Lucy Ellis will leave next week for Terra Alta for her health.

If this escapes the waste basket I will call again next week.

Leet News 09.21.1923

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A correspondent named “Blues” from Leet on Big Ugly Creek in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on September 21, 1923:

We are having some nice weather at this writing and everybody seems to be enjoying life.

School is progressing nicely here under the management of W.J. Bachtel, principal.

Here we come with our bit of news.

Born, to Mr. and Mrs. Linzie Huffman, a big girl baby.

Mr. James Gill and wife and little granddaughter are spending a few days of their vacation in Salt Rock, West Virginia.

Miss Thelma Huffman, Miss Tinnie Brumfield and some other girls were out car riding Sunday afternoon.

Mrs. Betty Hannah has been visiting friends in Leet.

Mr. J.B. Parsley and daughters of Ottawa visited Mr. Huffman Sunday.

Miss Wealtha Lambert and two sisters were out walking Sunday afternoon.

Misses Laura and Edith Frye will give a party Wednesday night.

Mr. Irvin Lucas was calling at the home of Miss Dora Skeens Sunday.

Nora Lucas, Angie Lucas, Clarence Lambert were out horse back riding Sunday afternoon.

Mrs. Lizzie Frye visited at Mrs. Huffman’s Saturday evening.

Mr. Walton Payne visited home folks last week.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. John Hordon, a fine boy baby.

Miss Tillie Lucas has gone back to her work at Hamlin.

Mr. Evert Brumfield is visiting friends and relatives at Leet this week.

Guyandotte Valley Drought of 1881

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On June 4, 1937, the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, offered an interview with an elderly resident who recounted a terrible dry season in the Guyandotte Valley in 1881.

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Guyandotte River between Harts and Ferrellsburg, Lincoln County, WV. June 2015.

Pioneer Citizen Recalls Dreadful Drought of 1881

Attorney J.E. (Ned) Peck Says Weather Was So Hot That Corn Was Hoed In Moonlight; Animals Died From “Black Tongue”

Attorney J.E. (Uncle Ned) Peck was in a reminiscent mood early this week as a result of the hot weather which preceded the storms yesterday and the day before.

While everyone else was complaining about the extremely hot weather coming so early in the spring. Uncle Ned contentedly maintained his usual tenor of life and kept himself cool with memories of the summer in 1881 when a drought of proportions such as have never been heard of before or since struck Logan county and lasted for four months.

Attorney Peck told how the weather became so hot that everybody hoed their corn by moonlight to keep the stalks from withering under the blazing sun which would begin to bear down at 7 o’clock each morning and increase in intensity until 6:30 in the evening when the mountain peaks would give some surcease from the bright yellow infernos of mid-day heat which surrounded everything in a furnace-like grasp.

Uncle Ned related that the banks of the Guyan were lined with animals from the hills, all enmity forgotten, staking their thirst side by side for days on end.

He was just 13 years old then, but he says he distinctly remembers standing in the yard of his home at Pecks Mill with his mother and counting more than a score of deer in a river bottom cornfield below the house.

Wild animals died like flies and a plague of “Black Tongue” ravaged the many herds of deer which roamed the mountains and river valleys of Logan county.

A total of 1500 deer died that summer, Uncle Ned said, and Albert Dingess, old resident of Harts Creek, found 101 deer, dead and dying, their tongues blackened and swollen from their mouths, packed, in a lick near his home.

Deer pelts sold for $4 each, but the flesh was inedible after the animal had died of the plague. Licks throughout the county were rancid with the smell of burning carcasses which had been skinned and stacked in huge piles to be made into pyres.

Water in Guyan river became so low that one could stop the flow over shoals with the hand, and his father had to slow corn meal production to one grinding a week at their grist mill, Attorney Peck said.

The only way that corn could be ground was to allow the dam which spanned the river to fill and then run the mill until the water was used. Then it would take another week for the dam to refill.

No persons died of heat in the county that summer and the crops were not materially damaged, though the toll on animal life was high.

When the leaves began to turn and light frosts added a crispness to the air, the animals started an exodus from the river valley back to their haunts along creeks and in dark hollows and Logan countians knew that the drought was ended.

With such an experience, and with the summer of 1881 in mind, it is easy for Uncle Ned Peck to say in all sincerity: “We’re having a mighty cool spring this year.”

Chapmanville News 02.03.1922

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A correspondent named “Cutie” from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on February 3, 1922:

We are having some nice weather at this writing and everybody seems to be enjoying life.

School is progressing nicely here under the management of W.J. Bachtel, principal.

Rev. Langdon is holding a revival here at present. He is having great success, large attendance and several have been converted.

We think the Tompkins mines will have to be enlarged since the Chapmanville boys have gone to work.

Mr. Chilton Chapman took Miss Lola Ferrell home Sunday night. Call again, Chilton.

Red caps are stylish here now. I wish I were a girl, but you know boys don’t wear red caps.

There is a bunch of boys and girls employed here in letting S (?) pass.

Miss Maude Ferrell was wearing a ten cent smile. Wanda, did you get a good letter?

Miss Devonah Butcher will leave for Charleston the first of the month where she will enter high school.

Mr. Jim Bryant and Millard Brown have just returned from New York where they have been taking mechanical training.

Mr. Klinger and Miss Gay Stone seem to be enjoying the morning air. Gay says Klinger is all right. Now, what do you girls think about it?

We are sorry to say that Mrs. Julia Conley is very ill at this time.

Miss Maud McCloud seems to be very lonely now days. Cheer up, Pearlie will come back again soon.

Will see you again next week.