Burbus C. Dial Deed to Brad Toney (1891)


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B.C. Dial to Brad Toney 1

Deed Book __, page ___, Lincoln County Clerk’s Office, Hamlin, WV.

B.C. Dial to Brad Toney 2

Deed Book __, page ___, Lincoln County Clerk’s Office, Hamlin, WV.


Don Chafin Returns to Logan, WV (1926)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, come these small items relating to former Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin, a prominent figure in the Mine Wars:

Chafin’s Petition For Parole Now In Hands of Sargeant

Attorney General Sergeant has placed the application for parole of former sheriff Don Chafin “on file,” indicating that it has been shelved temporarily according to reports received here.

It is understood, however, that the federal pardon board, sitting at Atlanta prison has recommended Chafin for parole.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 11 June 1926.


Don Chafin Freed From Prison Is Due Here on Wednesday

Don Chafin, former Logan county sheriff, received his parole from the federal penitentiary at Atlanta this morning at 10 o’clock, according to word received here at noon by Wallace Chafin.

The last obstacle for his parole was removed several days ago when an indictment against him in the federal court at Huntington was nollied.

Chafin left Atlanta immediately upon his release and is expected to arrive in Logan Wednesday night.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 24 August 1926.


Ex-Sheriff Chafin Returns to Logan Friday From Prison

“Don” Greeted At Station By Many Friends As He Comes Back on Federal Parole.

Don Chafin, former sheriff of Logan county, returned Friday to Logan from the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, after serving eight months of a two-year sentence imposed by Judge McClintic in federal court for violation of the prohibition act.

The former sheriff was paroled after months of strenuous work in his behalf by relatives and friends who contended his conviction was largely political.

A large number of friends met Chafin at the station in Logan on his arrival. At his request there was no demonstration here to greet him. Plans to meet him with a brass band, which had been widely broadcast, were abandoned at his request.

The former sheriff gained weight during his absence and arrived here looking well and hearty. He has consistently refused to make any statement to the press since his release at Atlanta. His only public statement in Logan for the newspaper was as follows:

“I have nothing to say for publication. All I ask is to let and be let alone.”

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 31 August 1926.


Don Chafin Visits Williamson Friends In Trip On Tuesday

Don Chafin, ex-sheriff of Logan county, motored to Williamson last Tuesday morning and spent the greater part of the day here visiting friends. His visit was entirely social, says the Mingo Republican.

He stated that he was in the best of health and was glad to get back with his family and friends.

On the eve of the general election held in 1924, Chafin was indicted and tried in the Federal court at Huntington upon a conspiracy to violate the prohibition law. He had been a dominant figure in Democratic politics for many years, having held respectively the offices of assessor, county clerk and sheriff, to which latter office he was elected twice. He was sheriff of the county during the time of the armed march and gained national prominence because of his stand for law and order. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention held in New York City in July 1924.

It was alleged at the trial that the presiding judge was prejudiced against Chafin and several affidavits were filed to prove this. However, the judge did not permit the affidavits to be filed and the case proceeded to trial resulting in the conviction of Chafin. The principal witness against him was Tennis Hatfield, the present sheriff of Logan county, who gained the office by virtue of a decision of the Supreme Court.

The most damaging evidence introduced against Chafin was an alleged receipt which Hatfield testified Chafin had given him showing the payment of a certain sum of money which was supposed to represent the proceeds derived from operation of the once famous Blue Goose Saloon at Barnabus. Chafin alleged this paper to be a forgery and applied for a pardon on this ground.

Pending the application for pardon the Parole Board recommended Chafin’s parole and while Judge McClintic strenuously opposed it the pardon was approved by the Attorney General on Tuesday August 24, and Chafin arrived in Logan on Friday, Sept. 3. He was greeted at Huntington by several hundred of his friends and when he arrived in Logan an enthusiastic reception by friends in his home county.

It was first planned to stage a monstrous celebration but after Chafin learned of this he requested that this not be done and said that he wanted his home-coming to be of a quiet nature and to be received informally by his friends.

Throughout all of his trouble his friends proved their loyalty to him and steadfastly maintained his innocence. Many of those who met him here Tuesday have known him since boyhood.

He expressed to his friends here the intention of devoting his time to his private business. He has many large and various interests which will require constant attention and most of his time. He returned to Logan Tuesday afternoon.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 10 September 1926.

John Fry Deed to A.S. Fry (1856)


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John Fry to A.S. Fry Deed 1

Deed Book C, page 449, Logan County Clerk’s Office, Logan, WV. John Fry is my great-great-great-great-grandfather. I descend from three of his children.

John Fry to A.S. Fry Deed 2

Deed Book C, page 450, Logan County Clerk’s Office, Logan, WV. This property is located in present-day Lincoln County, WV.

Big Creek News 04.09.1926


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An unknown correspondent from Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on April 9, 1926:

Here we come with a bit of Big Creek news.

We sure did have a nice Easter. Plenty of eggs and a good time.

The teachers and pupils of this school were seen on the hill hunting eggs Friday afternoon. I bet they were all boiled hard eggs, don’t you, Nannie?

We are sorry to chronicle the death of Mrs. P.D. Bradbury of this place, who died at her home Saturday about 1:30 a.m. and was buried in the Chapman cemetery Sunday afternoon. She was a good Christian woman and will be missed by the children of God as well as other friends.

We are having nice weather at this writing and hope it will continue.

F.W. Saltsman seems rather downhearted. Cheer up, Saltsman. Winter is over.

We would be very glad if some one would come to Big Creek and preach some for us.

Mr. Chafin of Chapmanville has been doing some classified work at the Big Creek school.

We wish the school much success with their cooking.

Miss Harmon has a girl that suits her at last.

Wonder where Archie goes every Sunday when he is up? He always has to run to keep the train from leaving him. Ask Princess where he was.

Miss Thomas, what have you done with Mr. Adams?

What has become of the cook? We guess A.C. has taken his place.

Come on Banco, Manila, Chapmanville and Henlawson. Come on with more news.

Luther Wheeler demonstrated spring Monday by taking a joy ride on his bicycle.

W.G. Lucas, who has been sick for quite a while, is much better.

Marie, where is your Kennedy?

Combinations: Ikey and her sweetie; Miss Richardson going to school; Princess and her books; Martha going to Lincoln; Marie looking for Kennedy; Saltsman and his new cap; Nannie and Dell going to the show; Mr. Kennard spitting his tobacco juice; Archie going to Millard’s.

Good night, old Banner. Hope to meet you in dreamland.

If this is published, will call again.

Little Sorrel (1886, 2018)


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Old Sorrel Dies HA 03.20.1886 2

Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 20 March 1886.


Visiting with Little Sorrel in Lexington, VA. 9 July 2018. Photo by Mom.


Little Sorrel in Lexington, VA. 9 July 2018. For more about the VMI Museum, go here: https://www.vmi.edu/museums-and-archives/vmi-museum/


Little Sorrel in Lexington, VA. 9 July 2018. For more about Old Sorrel, go here: http://www.horseandman.com/horse-stories/stonewall-jacksons-horse-little-sorrel/11/11/2014/

Ranger News 01.13.1928


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An unknown correspondent from Ranger in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on January 13, 1928:

We have been neglectful in our writing, but our town is still on the map and our memory still lingers on the dear old Banner.

We are glad to say the cold spell has passed and the weather is more agreeable.

Cecil Estep of Peach Creek met with an accident Saturday morning, losing two fingers.

B.E. Smith of Peach Creek was calling on Miss Mary Estep Sunday.

Barney Saunders of Hubball was seen in our town Monday.

Golden Saunders was the pleasant guest of Miss Opal Adkins Wednesday evening.

John Estep was visiting his sister of Peach Creek this week.

L.C. Hatfield was a business visitor in Hamlin Monday.

Misses Freeda and Olive Adkins were seen in our town Saturday.

M. Frazier who visited homefolks at Stollings last weekend, returned to his work Monday.

Cecil Kidwell was seen in our little town Monday. Dorothy was smiling out loud.

Irma was looking for Paul Saturday evening. Irma, Golden hasn’t purchased his 1928 license is why he didn’t come.

Rufus Hatfield was calling on Miss Dova Adkins Sunday.

News is scarce this week but look out for Ranger next week.

Wedding bells were not heard this Christmas, but listen for them next Christmas. This is leap year, boys.

Best wishes to The Banner and its many readers.


Queens Ridge News 09.03.1926


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An unknown correspondent from Queens Ridge (Harts Creek) in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on September 3, 1926:

We are having much rainy weather at this writing.

David Dingess made a business trip to Chapmanville Monday.

Miss Inez Barker of Chapmanville has been visiting Miss Ula Adams of Queen’s Ridge for the past week.

Sidney Mullins made a flying trip to Logan last week.

Edward Brumfield and Enos Dials of Harts were the guests of Misses Inez and Lucy Dingess Saturday and Sunday.

The people of this place enjoyed a fine meeting Saturday and Sunday when fine sermons were delivered by Rev. I.M. Nelson and Revs. J.W. Renfroe and Short from Ashland, Ky. There were a number of conversions.

Ward Brumfield, deputy sheriff of Lincoln county, attended church here Sunday.

Mrs. Rosa Workman of Mud Fork was the guest of her mother, Mrs. Sol Adams last week.

Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Harris of Mud Fork were visiting relatives of Smoke House Fork, Sunday.

Miss Maudie Adams and Rachel Keyser were seen out walking Sunday.

R.L. Dingess is teaching school at Bulwark this year. We wish him much success.

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Adams are raising water melons this year.

Times are very lively on Trace now since Mr. Dials made a visit up the left fork.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dingess, a fine son, named J. Cary Dingess.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Farley made a trip to Roach last week, visiting the former’s parents.

Wonder why so many boys visit Mr. Baisden’s now?

Cole Adams looks lonely these days. Cheer up, Cole. Bessie has come back again.

Wonder who the barber is on Jonas Branch nowadays?

Some combinations: Howard and his wash bowl and pitcher; Liza and her flowered dress; Ewell going to Harts; Maudie and her powder puff; Kate and her bobbed hair; Sally and Bunt packing beans.

History of the West Virginia Penitentiary (1901), Part 1


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In 1863 the state was admitted as one of the constellation of states of the union. Virginia had seceded from the union by a majority vote. The strong and indomitable minority citizens of the Old Dominion residing in the western part of it, many of whom were Scotch and Irish descendants and natives of the adjoining states, who had taken up their homes in the valleys and on the hillsides, were loyal to the Union, loved well the flag, and reverenced with an undying affection the builders of the union of states for the greater blessing of the people, and stood firm and unyielding for an indivisible united country. By their hands and brave hearts they built a state stretching from the Potomac to the Ohio river, carved out of the Old Dominion. The war-born daughter of the historical commonwealth proved, in subsequent years, to be rich in the production of materials in active demand in the marts of commerce, and she now outstrips her mother state in the race for greatness, prosperity, and happiness.

Many regions of the state are mountainous, and the principal industries are lumbering, mining, and oil production. Many of the white people are typical mountaineers and somewhat rough and uncouth in manner, while the negroes, many of them, have drifted from North and South Carolina, Alabama, and other southern states to be employed in the development of these industries.

There are very many respectable farmers, professional and business men, and cultured ladies residing in these almost inaccessible parts; but the rough element in many places predominates, and the order of the day and night is drinking and brawling, ending as a rule in desperate encounters and murder. Most of the white and black inmates of the penitentiary have been and are now composed of the lawless men from these regions, from the time it was only a stockade of ten acres in 1866, when Hon. J.W. McWhorter of the Tenth Judicial District was appointed warden by Governor Boreman. He resigned this position after viewing it. In a letter to Warden Hawk he states it was for the reason that there was not so much as a building erected for the shelter of the inmates, and he thought he could not work the convicts to advantage under the circumstances. The penitentiary has been improved from time to time to the present, by additions, until it is a massive structure of stone and iron, with a high stone surrounding wall. It has 695 inmates at the present writing.

The center, or main building, is built after the old baronial castellated style of architecture, and with its several stories height, it makes an imposing appearance. It is flanked on the north and south by the stone and strongly-barred buildings, wherein the old and first built stone cells and the modern steel ones–900 in all–are placed. Entrance is to be had into the prison proper by means of a round turning iron-barred cage in the main hallway of the central building.

Source: E.E. Byrum, Behind the Prison Bars: A Reminder of Our Duties Toward Those Who Have Been So Unfortunate as to Be Cast Into Prison (Moundsville, WV: Gospel Trumpet Publishing Co., 1901), pp. 73-75.