Albert Joker Dingess, Appalachia, Chapmanville, Decoration Day, Dingess Cemetery, Ed L. Carter, Ferrell Cemetery, Godby Crossing, Guy Johnson, Hubert Lowe, J.D. Price, J.D. Turner, James I. Dingess, Jeff Hale, Knights of the Golden Eagle, Logan Banner, Logan County, Peter M. Dingess, West Virginia
A local correspondent known only as “An Eagle” offered this writing about Decoration Day in Chapmanville, West Virginia, which the Logan Banner printed on June 4, 1926:
The Knights of the Golden Eagle invited a number of people in their hall [on] Decoration Day when they served sandwiches, ice cream, and pop. Everybody present had a real nice time.
After refreshments were served, the members dressed in their regalia, and carrying the Stars and Stripes visited the graves of the deceased members. They marched from their hall to the Dingess cemetery at Godby crossing, when they decorated the graves of Hubert Lowe and Guy Johnson. This is a beautiful location for a cemetery, a high rolling knoll overlooking the river. It is surrounded by a nice fence–has a few cedars, and a giant oak stands sentinel at the farther end. As we walked among the graves the writer noticed the grave of Peter M. Dingess who was thrown from a horse and killed many years ago. But what attracted my attention was the age, 52 years. I being a boy then thought him a very old man, and now about that age myself look and wonder how it happened so soon and what changes can take place in so few years. I noticed the graves of James I. Dingess and Jeff Hale, and it seemed but yesterday that I shook their hand and talked with them. I must not neglect to state that this, for a country cemetery, is well kept, and from the flowers and other evidence, had been visited earlier in the day by a large crowd. Albert (Joker) Dingess accompanied us to the cemetery and showed us his plot, so if anyone should outlive him we will know where poor old Joker’s body lies.
We tramped back from there and decorated the graves of J.D. Price and Dr. J.D. Turner in the cemetery at Godby Branch. This is also a nice cemetery, and in good shape.
After leaving there we came back to the Ferrell cemetery, and decorated the grave of Ed L. Carter.
Of the four members whose graves we decorated, all were comparatively young, and all died very suddenly. Hubert Lowe was killed by a train. Dr. Turner in an auto accident. Carter and Price died after a very brief illness. Such is the uncertainty of life, and should remind us that our going out might be as brief.
The crowd disbanded, hoping to live and perform the same duties again next year.