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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Logan County place names:

Naming of Logan County Towns and Creeks Related By Logan Banner Reporter

While the first white settlers who entered the county near the middle of the 18th century had to have names for the creeks and runs in order to locate their homes, the children of these first settlers had to have names for each large settlement in order to have their mail delivered to them. Both groups used interesting methods of naming the landmarks.

Early Indian fighters who had contact with Boling Baker and his horse-thieving found little trouble naming the mountain which rises behind Mountain View Inn at the head of Island Creek. Because of the renegade’s custom of using one of the steep hollows for a corral, Captain William S. Madison, an early pioneer, named the mountain Horse Pen. Likewise, Gilbert Creek was named for Jim Gilbert, an Indian scout, who was killed in an Indian skirmish on that tributary of the Guyandotte. Near the place where he was killed there is an old salt lick which is named “Twisted Gun Lick.” The story is told that Gilbert, before he died, hit his gun barrel against a tree to keep the Indians from using it on his comrades. His friends, coming to the lick several hours later, found Gilbert scalped and the twisted firearm lying nearby.

Huff Creek was similarly named for a Peter Huff, whose scouting party was ambushed by a roving band of redskins and Huff was killed in the ensuing battle. They buried Huff on the banks of the creek near the present town of Mallory.

Buffalo Creek, however, received its name in an entirely different manner. The first settlers who hunted in the valley of the Guyandotte found buffalo herds so plentiful on this creek that they called it Buffalo Creek.

Dingess Run was named for a pioneer family of Dingesses which settled in its broad bottoms. William Dingess was the patriarchal head of the family and his children named the run in memory of him.

Island Creek received its name from the Indians who were awed by the beauty of a large creek flowing into the Guyandotte with such force as to cut an entirely separate bed, thus forming an island in the middle of the river. Old timers say that in the early days of the county Island Creek entered the Guyan river at the upper limits of Aracoma. Only during flood time did the creek meet the river at its present point.

As for the towns which have sprung up in the county since coal became king, many were named for prominent people living in them at one time or another or for pioneer families who lived in the towns when the coal companies first came in.

A unique method was used, however, in naming Micco. It received its name from the first letters of the Main Island Creek Coal Co., which formerly operated the mines there.

Omar was named for Omar Cole who was closely associated with the development of the town. The Cole family held, and still holds, extensive mining leases in the vicinity of that mining town.

Sarah Ann acquired its name from the wife of Colonel Edward O’Toole, who was manager of the coal company when the town applied to the government for a post office. The town is generally known as Crystal Block.

Barnabus received its name from Barnabus Curry, a pioneer settler whose home was near the town.

Stirrat was named for Colonel Stirrat, who was manager of the Main Island Creek Coal Company at one time.

Chauncey was named for Chauncey Browning, well-known son of a pioneer family who owned much of the land near that town. For many years the town of Chauncey was not large enough to be made a post office, but after the Litz-Smith Coal Company opened its mines there the town grew to proportions large enough to warrant a post office.

Dehue was given its name in honor of D.E. Hue, the first superintendent who operated the mines there.

Cham, a small place about two and one-half miles above Dehue, got its name from a Chambers family who lived on Rum Creek.

Chapmanville was named for the Chapmans, Curry for the Curry family and Aracoma for the famous Indian princess.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 25 March 1937

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