Jack Dempsey Working in a Coal Mine


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Jack Dempsey, raised in Logan County, WV, was the heavyweight champion of the world from 1919 to 1926. Photo credit unknown.


Wife of Logan Banner Editor George A. Dean Disappears (1912-1913)


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In 1912-1913, Logan Banner editor George A. Dean married the former Lena Gross, who soon thereafter disappeared. Here are a few stories about the event:

Editor Dean Married

On Monday, Nov. 11 in the minister’s study, Geo. A. Dean and Miss Lena Gross of Virginia, were united in marriage by Rev. W.L. Richardson.

Mr. Dean is the hustling editor of the Logan Banner and is well-known in this city and surrounding country as a man of push and energy, while the bride was one of the charming dining room girls at the Hotel Jefferson.

Mr. and Mrs. Dean will be at home to their friends after Nov. 18.

Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 14 November 1912.


George A. Dean Logan Banner LB 01.24.1913.JPG

Logan (WV) Banner, 24 January 1913.


Editor of “Most Fearless Weekly” on the Trail

West Virginia editors who have failed to receive the Logan Banner on their exchange tables during the past three weeks, no doubt, marveled at its absence. But there is a reason–a tragic, gnawing reason which has caused the editor, Geo. A. Dean to suspend temporarily editorial duties and to embark upon a quest which means more to him than journalistic honors or the mere touch of hollow gold.

Readers of the Banner will remember that there appeared graven upon its front page four months ago Mr. Dean’s and his wife’s own announcement of their marriage. The paragraph attracted more than usual attention, partly because of its unique construction and partly because of its unique construction and partly because of its unique construction and partly because of the unusual manner of its presentation, but more than all because Mr. Dean was very prominently in the editorial limelight because of recent rather prominent mention in Collier’s Weekly. But that is history, and in mere prelude to the situation which now confronts him: to-wit: that of a married man, wifeless, disconsolate, yearning for the things that were.

Mr. Dean, who has been in Huntington and vicinity for two days seeking a trace of his evanished spouse, speaks frankly of his bereavement, and is importunate that the home-loving public shall, if possible, assist him in finding and restoring his lost treasure. In brief, Lena Boyd Nelson Dean has gone away and, some fear, forever departed. She went without the tender formality of a farewell husband’s kiss. She went away surreptitiously, mysteriously. She went, and Mr. Dean, who has sounded the very depths of heaven and earth, is no whit the wiser whither. Descriptive circulars, telling her height, weight, complexion, color of eyes and hair, manner of dress, and all that pertains to accurate and dependable description have been scattered broadcast all over the territory in which it might be surmised that she would be obscuring herself from the eyes of love and yearning. Mr. Dean stated last night, in conversation with the Herald-Dispatch, that he had absolutely no heart for business, that he had known no rest, no surcease from the terrible heart-longing that had seized upon him and held with tenacious grip from the morning of his wife’s departure. He has searched high and low. He has communicated with every known relative of his wife, without being able to get even the shadow of a clue tending to lead to the discovery of her whereabouts. He gives the following verbal photograph, which is almost as good as the ordinary studio product, and much better than a tintype:

Lena Boyd Nelson Dean, formerly of Williamson and Matewan and Bluefield. Four months ago she served as waitress, cook, and house girl at Logan, W.Va. Last seen at Kenova on Sunday morning, March 2. Physical description: Age 26. Height 5 ft. 2. Coal-black eyes given to starry twinkle. Raven black hair. Rather full lips. Gold filling in front teeth. Deep, well modulated musical voice, with a tendency to coarseness in time of cold. Can not read or write much as her early education was neglected. Her costume is described as being strict in the style of today. Raincoat, drab-colored; blue-serge, two piece coat suit. Beaver hat, embellished with four black ostrich plumes. Leather suitcase, canvass trunk and gold-headed umbrella.

Mr. Dean feels that his wife may have returned to one of the three occupations ascribed to her in the opening paragraphs.

He has important mail for her, both registered and ordinary, and is awaiting anxiously any news of her, and his arms are open to her return. The Logan editor’s plight is positively pitiful. He has grown emaciated, hollow-eyed, faded, wan. The tireless vigil, the ceaseless search, the anxious waiting hours, have all played their part in preying upon his splendid vitality. He is discouraged but not defeated, and will continue the search as long as human endurance will permit, or else sooner find the partner of his joys and immediate cause of his great and overpowering grief. His plight has elicited much sympathy. For what is life without a partner?

Source: Huntington (WV) Herald-Dispatch via Logan (WV) Democrat, 13 March 1913.


George A. Dean's Wife Missing LB 03.21.1913 1

Logan (WV) Banner, 21 March 1913.

George A. Dean's Wife Missing LB 03.21.1913 2

Logan (WV) Banner, 21 March 1913.

George A. Dean's Wife Missing LB 03.21.1913 3

Logan (WV) Banner, 21 March 1913.

George A. Dean's Wife Missing LB 03.21.1913 4

Logan (WV) Banner, 21 March 1913.

George A. Dean's Wife Missing LB 03.21.1913 5

Logan (WV) Banner, 21 March 1913.

George A. Dean's Wife Missing LB 03.21.1913 6

Logan (WV) Banner, 21 March 1913.

Jack Dempsey and Bill “Bear Cat” Clemons (1926)


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From the August 20, 1926 issue of the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about heavyweight champion boxer Jack Dempsey:

Bear Cat Clemons Training with Jack Dempsey LB 08.20.1926 3

Bear Cat Clemons, once upon a time the idol of the fistic fans of the Guyan Valley, is now in Jack Dempsey’s training camp at Sarasota Lake, New York, where Dempsey is training for his fight with Gene Tunney in New York, September 16.

Clemons goes two rounds with Dempsey every day. The champion lambasts him furiously and messes up his features, but he always is back the next day for more. When Dempsey and Clemons face each other in the squared circle, it is Logan county versus Logan county.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 20 August 1926.

John Philip Sousa to Visit Huntington (1900)


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Sousa Coming HA 03.12.1900 2

Sousa is now on his sixteenth semiannual concert tour, a brief trip of only eight weeks, before going to the Paris Exposition and on a rather protracted European engagement. Sousa and his band will open at the Paris Exposition April 14, having been appointed the official American band. The forthcoming tour will extend no farther west than Omaha. Our own city is in for a concert on Wednesday afternoon only, March 21. The programmes for this tour are especially prepared and are illuminated with bright things. The soloists are Miss Blanche Duffield, soprana and Miss Bertha Bucklin, violinist. Seat sale opens March 14th.

Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 12 March 1900.

Aaron Adkins Deed to Moses Adkins (1906)


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Aaron Adkins to Moses Adkins 1

Deed Book __, page __, Lincoln County Clerk’s Office, Hamlin, WV. Note: The deed references “a school house lot.”

Aaron Adkins to Moses Adkins 2

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

Chapmanville News 04.06.1928


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An unknown correspondent from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on April 6, 1928:

The Platonian Literary Society of the Chapmanville school entertained the Demosthenian Literary Society Friday evening, with a party at the school building. Every student present reported a very enjoyable time.

We are sorry to report the death of Mr. and Mrs. A. Lunsford’s baby, which occurred Saturday, March 31.

Mrs. Renner spent the week end in Huntington with homefolks.

Mrs. Inez Barker Grace spent the week end in Huntington with Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Nunley.

Mrs. A.F. Carper who has been very sick is able to be out again.

Miss Glenna Beckett of Charleston is visiting homefolks here at the present time.

Sid Ferrell of Henlawson spent Sunday in Chapmanville.

History for Boone County, WV (1928)


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A story titled “Old Times in Boone County Told About By Historian” and printed in the Logan Banner in Logan, WV, on April 20, 1928 provides some history for Boone County:

Old-timers and students of local history should be interested in the following excerpt from the history of Boone county by Prof. W.W. Hall. The family names mentioned are familiar ones.

What is here reproduced was taken from the Coal Valley News:

About the year of 1798 Isaac Barker reared a pole cabin on the brow of the hill on the lower side of White Oak Creek, near old lock seven. This was the first white man’s home established in Boone county. The second settler in the county was Johnson Kinder, a brother-in-law of Barker. He settled on Kinder Hill a few months after Barker came. The first settler on Little Coal River was John Halstead, who settled at the mouth of Camp creek about 1800. A few months later Jackie Dolin was married to Isaac Barker’s daughter and led his blushing bride, attired in her homespun, through the trackless forest up Brush creek and over the hill to a scantily furnished home on Camp creek. Not long after this Thomas Price, a daring hunter from North Carolina, wandered over the Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap to Maysville, Kentucky, where he embarked in a canoe, ascended the Ohio, the Kanawha, the Coal and the Little Coal rivers to the present site of the town of Danville, and became the first settler there.

For some years after the coming of the white men there were no churches, but when an Old Baptist or Methodist preacher would arrive in the settlement, word was passed around to the neighbors and that night earnest prayers, exhortations and hallelujahs would ascend from those rude homes. The first church erected in the county was the Olive Branch Baptist church at the mouth of Turtle creek. The first term of the circuit court held in the county after its organization in 1847 was held in this church. The grand jury made its investigations while seated on the framing in Ballard’s old water mill near by, and the petit jury retired to the paw paw bushes below to consider their verdicts.

The daring hunters, adventurous pioneers and brave soldiers who came from the best families in the east to establish home in the wilderness, were not contented to let their children grow up without the rudiments of an education, so they established Old Field schools in the slave cabins, tanneries, country churches and abandoned dwellings, when an itinerant teacher who could read, write and cipher a little came along. The first free school in the county was taught by John Morris, just after the Civil War, in an old house abandoned by Dr. Church. The old house stood across the hollow from W.H. Turley’s present residence in Madison. Within the next year or two a log school house was erected near the upper end of Danville and another on the point across the river from Hadalton. The children of Madison had to go to Danville or Hadalton to school until 1885, when the people of Madison, by mandamus, compelled the board of education to give them a school. The first school house erected in Madison is now used by Dr. Smoot for a barn. While the course of study in these early schools was meager and the work crude, yet they did succeed in inspiring a few boys to strive for higher education. Former United States Senator John E. Kenna was born in Boone county and attended his first schools in a log house on Big Coal river. Dr. Marshall A. Estep, an eminent physician of Texas, and his brother, Judge Charles L. Estep, of Huntington and Logan, were reared in the “Promised Land,” the name of their father’s mountain home on the summit of Spruce Ridge, and attended their first schools in a log house on the Spruce Fork. One of these early log school houses still stands on the head of Mud river, remote from the highways frequented by trade and travelers. Two of the most recent prosecuting attorneys of the county, two clerks of the circuit court, two of the clerks of the county court, four county superintendents of schools, chief U.S. Marshal for the southern district of West Virginia, and two prosperous dental surgeons attended school when boys in that little log school house on the head of Mud. The attendance in it was never large.