A.S. Christian, Appalachia, Barnabus, Blue Goose, crime, deputy sheriff, Don Chafin, Elliott Northcott, Emmett Scaggs, F.C. Leftwich, Frank Lewis, George W. McClintic, H.S. Walker, history, Huntington, John Browning, John Chafin, John S. Marcum, John T. Gore, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mallory, Mine Wars, Prohibition, sheriff, Simp Thompson, Superintendent of Schools, Tennis Hatfield, Volstead Act, W.F. Farley, Walter Wright, West Virginia, William Avis, William Dingess
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about the trial of Sheriff Don Chafin, dated September 26, 1924:
Trial of Don Chafin Set For Monday, October 6
Logan’s Sheriff Will Answer to Charges of Alleged Violation of Volstead Act.
Trial of Don Chafin, fighting sheriff of Logan county and a figure of national prominence, indicted by the grand jury in federal court on two counts, one charging conspiracy to violate the Volstead act and the other engaging unlawfully in the retail liquor business, will come up before Judge George W. McClintic, in United States Court at Huntington Monday October 6.
The same day was fixed by the court for the trial of John T. Gore, a deputy sheriff, and H.S. Walker, who were indicted jointly for alleged conspiracy to secure the arrest and conviction of one Frank Lewis, a negro, on a pistol toting charge because he had been a witness against another negro charged with violating the prohibition law.
Sheriff Don Chafin and Gore were given their release under bond of $5,000 each, but the court declined to admit Walker to bail, and he was remanded to the county jail, and held without bail until Wednesday at which time he was released under [error here in layout] mitted to jail Friday afternoon, after bond of $5,000. The last named was arrested and committed to jail last Friday afternoon, after he was alleged to have administered a severe whipping to William Avis, a witness before the grand jury. The alleged assault was said to have occurred when Avis returned to Logan from Huntington Tuesday.
The court at the same time continued the cases of five other Logan county officials indicted along with Sheriff Chafin, Gore, and Walker to the March term in Huntington [error in layout] in each of these cases the defendant obtained release under $3,000. They were: Emmett Scaggs, now county superintendent of schools in Logan, and the democratic nominee for sheriff, indicted for alleged illicit possession of liquor; Simp Thompson, a deputy sheriff under Chafin, indicted on a charge of alleging that for a $200 consideration he released Walter Wright, in whose possession a still and quantity of moonshine had been found; John Chafin, a relative of the sheriff and a deputy under him, indicted on a charge of having had liquor at the polls at Mallory, Logan county during the conduct of a national election; William Dingess, a deputy sheriff, indicted on a charge of selling liquor; and John Browning, a deputy sheriff, indicted for alleged possession of whisky in the basement of the court house at Logan.
Indicted jointly with Dingess on a charge of selling moonshine was Garfield Maynard. He did not appear for arraignment with the rest of the accused and the court ordered a capias issued for him.
Appearing in court with the famed fighting sheriff of Logan and the rest of the indicted persons were Colonel John S. Marcum and Judge F.C. Leftwich, engaged as defense counsel for the entire group. The formalities were brief and required but a comparatively short time of transaction. After furnishing their bonds the accused, with their bondsmen, who included W.F. Farley and A.S. Christian, left the court chamber in a body, accompanied by their counsel.
The indictments against the Logan officials were returned by the federal grand jury Friday morning, coming as the outgrowth of an exhaustive investigation of affairs in Logan county which the government, it was said, has been conducting here for the past six months or more. According to reports, as many as 20 agents of the department of justice were at work in Logan at one time.
Tennis Hatfield, Republican nominee for the office of sheriff of Logan county, who served a jail term of eleven months and paid a fine of $1,000 for violating the prohibition law, was understood to have been the principal witness against Sheriff Don Chafin before the grand jury.
According to statements emanating from the office of United States District Attorney Elliott Northcott, Hatfield offered testimony to the effect that Chafin was his partner in the ownership and promotion of the notorious speakeasy once conducted at Barnabus in Logan county. This establishment, known as the Blue Goose, flourished from 1914 to late in 1922, when federal men closed up the place.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 26 September 1924
Appalachia, Belle Dingess, Chapmanville, Charles Curry, Cora Adkins, Cora Kelly, Dude Tomblin, Easter, Ferrellsburg, Ferrellsburg School, fox hunting, genealogy, Gracy Horns, history, Homer Tomblin, Hugh Farris, Huntington, John Dan, John Lucas, John Pitts, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lula Tomblin, Martha Fowler, Martha Mullins, merchant, Piney Fork, Ross Fowler, Route 10, sawmilling, Stella Mullins, Walt Stowers, Wayne Brumfield, West Virginia, Wilburn
A correspondent named “Blue Eyes” from Ferrellsburg in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on April 6, 1923:
The hard road is being rapidly worked on here at this place. We hope Logan County will keep her part of this road worked to make a speedy finish.
Mr. J.W. Stowers is still at home; he doesn’t go out much. Sometimes he fox hunts with his hounds.
Hugh Farris, a merchant from Piney, is here looking after business interests.
Mr. John Lucas made a rushing trip to Chapmanville Tuesday.
Mr. Bartley returned from a home visit in Huntington Monday.
Miss Martha Fowler made a trip to Logan Monday looking after business matters.
Mrs. Belle Dingess is visiting her sister Miss Martha Fowler this week.
Rev. Charles Curry and other Baptist ministers preached at Ferrellsburg school house Easter Sunday.
A Holiness revival will begin here this week by Brother Wellman and wife. We are certainly proud to announce the meeting because the people in this section have got their eyes on this highway of holiness. We are expecting a large crowd and a good meeting.
Mrs. Cora Adkins has been very ill for the past few weeks, but is improving now.
Mrs. Stella Mullins is visiting her sister in Ferrellsburg, Mrs. M. Tomblin.
Mr. John Pitts was on his way to work Saturday night when he fell and shot himself and now is in the Logan hospital.
The beauty of this place left here yesterday—Miss Cora Kelly.
Mr. W.E. Fowler, a merchant of Ferrellsburg, has gone to saw milling.
Mrs. Martha Mullins isn’t very well pleased with this noisy place.
Miss Gracy Horns returned to Ferrellsburg yesterday after visiting her sister at Wilburn, W.Va.
Mr. W.C. Brumfield was calling on Miss Lula Tomblin Saturday and Sunday.
The girls in Ferrellsburg are very sad at this writing on account of bad weather and bad roads, and are hoping the hard roads will be completed in a short time so they can begin joy riding.
Mr. Homer Tomblin and friend John Dan are taking a vacation this week. They will begin work Monday.
Abner Vance, Alexander Varney, Ali Hatfield, Andrew Hatfield, Appalachia, B.H. Justice, Bettie Vance, Big Sandy River, Cabell County, Celia Hatfield, Ephraim Hatfield, Ferrell Evans, Frank Evans, genealogy, Guyandotte Valley, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry Clay Ragland, history, Humphrey Trent, Jacob Hatfield, James Hatfield, James Justice, John Justice, John Toler, Joseph Hatfield, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan County Banner, Logan Court House, M.A. Hatfield, Matewan, North Spring, Peter Cline, Phoebe Hatfield, sheriff, Thomas Hatfield, Thomas Smith, Valentine Hatfield, West Virginia, William E. Justice, Wyoming County
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for the Hatfield family, printed on May 11, 1937:
History Of Hatfield Clan Recorded In Banner Files
Ephraim Hatfield Was One of The Quietest Men In The County—Yet He Was Father Of Those Engaged In Famous Feud
Henry Clay Ragland, editor of The Logan Banner in 1896, was, among other things, a genealogist for Logan county.
He lived at a time when most of the children and grandchildren of Logan county’s first settlers were still alive and he had access to a wealth of first-hand information that has served as the basis for family histories in Logan county up to the present.
An account of the entrance of the Hatfield family into this section of the country is clipped verbatim from a Logan County Banner dated Wednesday, April 29, 1896.
“At what is still known as the Hatfield place on Horsepen, Valentine Hatfield, of Washington county, Va., settled at quite an early day. He was the father of nine sons and three daughters, and from them have sprung many of the Hatfields of the Guyandotte and Sandy Valleys.
“Valentine Hatfield married a Miss Weddington, and he was a half brother of Thomas Smith. His sons were Ali, who married a daughter of Ferrell Evans; Joe, who also married a daughter of Ferrell Evans; Ephraim, who married Bettie Vance; (This Ephraim was one of the quietest men in the county, and was for a long time a justice of the peace, yet he was the father and grandfather of the Hatfields who were engaged in the Hatfield-McCoy feud) Andrew, who married a daughter of Humphrey Trent, and whose descendants live in Wyoming county; Thomas, who married a daughter of Frank Evans; John, who married a daughter of Abner Vance; James, who married a daughter of John Toler; (Squire M.A. Hatfield and James Hatfield are the sons of this marriage) Jacob, who married a daughter of Peter Cline; and Valentine, who was never married.
“Of his three daughters, Phoebe married Alexander Varney; Celia married James Justice, who was at one time sheriff of Logan county, and who was the father of John Justice, a prominent merchant in Logan Court House (the name of the city at that time), B.H. Justice, a merchant and timber dealer of Cabell county, and William E. Justice, a merchant at North Spring and at one time a member of the West Virginia legislature.
“Joseph Hatfield, a brother of Valentine Hatfield, settled about the same time at Matewan.”
Appalachia, Bank of Huntington, Bob Greever, Bud McDaniel, C.W. Jones, Cabell County, Frank James, Henlawson, Henry Lawson, history, Huntington, Island Creek, Jesse James, Logan, Logan County, Merrill Mines, Robert T. Oney, Tennessee, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about the James Gang’s robbery of a Huntington bank…and the fate of a safe:
Historic Safe In Offices Merrill Mines, Henlawson
Bank Safe Robbed by Jesse James’ Gang at Huntington in 1875 Now in Fire-proof Vault at Henlawson
Used As Storage For Old Files
The Merrill Mines at Henlawson have a safe in their payroll office which has a unique history.
The safe is being used by the company as a storage place for old records and is in a fire-proof vault.
But it was not always thus.
According to Bob Greever, payroll clerk, who became interested in the history of the safe and clipped a news story from a Huntington newspaper to support his story, the depository was once in the old Bank of Huntington on Third avenue and Twelfth street and was robbed by members of Jesse James gang, who made their getaway with $14,500 on Twelfth street to Fourth avenue, thence to Tenth street and out Tenth street to the hills, closely pursued by a hastily formed posse.
Old-timers in Logan still remember the posse which followed the gang to Logan and lost its trail at the forks of Island Creek long enough for the gang to make their escape to Tennessee.
Reports came back to Logan that the posse overtook the band in Tennessee, killed one of the gang, Bud McDaniel, and arrested another by the name of Webb or Keen. The man the police arrested was brought back to West Virginia and was sentenced to the penitentiary for 20 years. Most of the money was recovered.
An excerpt from the news article describing the bank robbery reads:
“On Monday, September 6, 1875, between the hours of 1 and 2 o’clock a group of men later discovered to have been members of the dreaded James gang, descended on the Bank of Huntington and, at the point of a pistol, forced Robert T. Oney, cashier, to open the bank’s safe in order that they might rifle the contents.
“They complimented the cashier on his courage and insisted on restoring to him an amount of money shown to be his by a credit slip on the counter.
“Reaching the outside of the bank the four men sprung into their saddles, brandished their pistols in the air and galloped away, yelling like Comanche.”
“It was definitely learned that Jesse James was not among them, but there was uncertainty as to whether or not Frank James was in the party. Colder Young was present and may have been leader of the detachment.”
C.W. Jones, general manager of the Merrill Mines, said that the old safe, which weighs every bit of two tons, was first owned by Henry Lawson, lumber operator at Henlawson.
Lawson brought the safe from Huntington by pushboat and put it in his lumber offices on the site of the Merrill Mine offices.
When the Merrill Mines opened their workings, the safe was left near its original site and a fireproof vault was built around it.
The safe is showing the ravages of nearly a century of service. The combination is broken, it squeaks on its hinges, and some of the cement which is encased between steel plates on the safe doors is beginning to crack.
However, the safe is in its final resting place, the door of the vault is too small to get the safe through.
Logan (WV) Banner, 13 May 1937
baseball, Brazil, Canada, England, genealogy, history, Huntington, Ireland, Jerry Crowley, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Marietta, Mt. Gay, Murphy's Restaurant, New York, Ohio, repairman, Stratton Street, Syracuse, Wales, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about J.E. “Dad” Crowley, a familiar Irish repairman, in 1937:
J.E. “Dad” Crowley Here Since 1884 As Repairman
Ninety-Year-Old Irishman Worked on Sewing Machines In Brazil, England, Ireland, Wales and Canada; Never Sick A Day
This will be the first time that Jerry E. “Dad” Crowley’s name has been in a newspaper.
Not that Dad doesn’t have an interesting story to tell, but just because no one ever “discovered” him before. (Dad has never been in jail, either, though he has walked twice across the continent and calls himself a “tramp.”)
Dad Crowley, 90-year-old sewing machine repairman who has been working spasmodically in Logan county since 1884, was born in Syracuse, New York, member of a family of 14 children.
During the 90 years since the time of his birth he has walked twice across the United States, gone across the continent more than 100 times by rail and has repaired sewing machines in Brazil, Wales, England, Canada, and Ireland.
Dad says he has never been sick more than a half day in his life, has had only one contagious illness, has never taken a drop of medicine to date and up to now has had no ache or pain more serious than a toothache or a corn.
His only illness was whooping cough. He had this affliction at Marietta, Ohio, when he was 76 years old.
“I guess the Master just figured I was entering my second childhood and had better give me something to remind me of the fact,” Dad said with a chuckle.
“I just whooped ‘er out, though. No doctor, no medicine, no thing.”
“Dad” says he’s not bothered with any aches or pains now.
“I haven’t any teeth no, so—toothache won’t bother me, and my feet are so battered up that a pain there wouldn’t be noticeable.”
When asked how many miles he believed he had walked during his 90 years, the leathery, little Irishman—he’s “Shelalaigh Irish” and proud of it—rattled off the figure of 23, 367, 798, 363 miles without a blink of the eye, then later admitted that “I lost track of mileage after the first 20 billion miles.”
Dad declared that in his first and last job of work that he held for a person other than for himself he walked more than 10,000 miles.
He was operator of a treadmill for a Syracuse citizen named Hamilton from whom he learned the mechanism of the sewing machine, thus making it possible for him later to be independent of all bosses.
The whitehaired old chap repaired his first sewing machine on the Mounts farm in Mount Gay in 1884 when he first came into this section of West Virginia from Huntington.
Since that time during his intermittent visits to Logan county he has canvassed nearly every home here and has worked on many of the sewing machines in the county.
Dad is a close friend of the Murphys who operate a restaurant and poolroom on Stratton street. He affectionately calls Mrs. Murphy “Mom” because he thinks she looks like his mother, who died when he was only two years old.
Dad can be found at Murphy’s Restaurant any afternoon when the baseball scores are coming in. Baseball next to repairing sewing machines, is his consuming passion. One will find Dad wearing a cap on his graying locks, smiling broadly and ever ready to spin a yarn or talk baseball.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 1 July 1937
Appalachia, Blair Mountain, Cabell County, coal, crime, deputy sheriff, Edgar Combs, H.W. Houston, history, Huntington, lawyer, Logan County, Mine Wars, Thomas West, United Mine Workers of America, West Virginia
Aggie Lucas, Appalachia, Big Creek, Big Ugly Creek, Earling, Ernest Lucas, genealogy, George Lucas, H.M. Gill, Herbert Feels, history, Huntington, Irvin Lucas, Jim Brumfield, Jim Gue, Joe Lewis, Leet, Lillie Lucas, Lincoln County, Logan Banner, Lorado, Lucas, Madison Creek, New York, Nora Lucas, Pearl Brumfield, Pleasant Valley, Sylvia Cyphers, teacher, Thelma Huffman, Toney, Vergie Brumfield, Wayne Brumfield, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Leet on Big Ugly Creek in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on September 12, 1924:
Dear old Banner, here we come with our bit of news.
L. Hoffman has just completed the new school house at the Pleasant valley, Leet, W.Va.
Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Gill spent a few days vacation on Madison Creek last week.
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Gue made a business trip to Huntington last week.
Mrs. Joe Lewis and family of Lorado were visiting friends at this place last week.
Mr. Wayne Brumfield was calling on Miss Thelma Huffman Sunday.
Miss M. Lucas of Toney, W.Va., and Mr. Boyer of Big Creek were quietly married Wednesday. We wish them much happiness for a future life. They will spend their honeymoon in New York.
Miss Pearl Brumfield’s school is progressing nicely at Lucas, W.Va.
Miss Aggie Lucas, Miss Thelma and Rosa and a bunch of other girls were at a party Saturday night and reported a nice time.
Let’s not forget the 4th Sunday in this month the big meeting in the new school building here at Leet, W.Va.
Mr. Irwin and Ernest Lucas were the guests of Miss Thelma Huffman Friday and Saturday.
Miss Vergie Brumfield left Sunday evening for Earling, W.Va., where she will remain to teach school.
Miss Thelma Huffman entertained a bunch of girls and boys with piano and Victrola music Sunday.
Mr. Ernest Lucas was calling on Miss Sylvia Cyphers Sunday.
Miss Nora Lucas and George Lucas were out horse back riding Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Feels were down to visit home folks last week.
Miss Lillie Lucas was calling on homefolks Saturday and Sunday.
Mrs. L. Hoffman seems to be really busy now a days canning fruit.
NOTE: In the mid-1990s, I enjoyed several telephone calls and an exchange of letters with Vergie and Pearl Brumfield, who were daughters of my great-great-uncle Jim Brumfield.
Albert Dutch Lucas, Albert Gill, Alvis Walls, Appalachia, Big Ugly Creek, Burnie Lucas, Charley Lucas, cholera, genealogy, history, Huntington, Irvin Lucas Cemetery, John H. Brumfield, John Toney, Laura Lucas, Lawrence Toney, Leet, Lillie Huffman, Lincoln County, Linzie Huffman, Logan, Logan Banner, Lower Fork, Lundale, Rachel Brumfield, Susan Lucas, Susan Lucas Cemetery, Thelma Huffman, West Virginia
A correspondent named “Black Eyes” from Leet on Big Ugly Creek in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on August 10, 1923:
Mr. Linzia Huffman has returned to Logan to his same job.
Mrs. Lillie Huffman is on the sick list.
Lawrence Toney, son of John Toney, died Sunday evening at 5:30, July 28. Dear old Aunt Susie Lucas, age 80, died August 2, 9:30 A.M. The baby son of Dutch Lucas [Burnie Lucas] died August 3, 5:30 P.M. All died of cholera morbus. They were laid to rest in the Lucas cemetery. They will be missed by their many friends.
Miss Thelma Huffman has purchased a fine Victrola.
Thelma Huffman entertained a large number of friends Sunday with her music.
Mr. Albert Gill is putting up a nice dwelling house.
Miss Alvis Walls of Huntington is the guest of Laura Lucas this week.
Charley Lucas and daughter of Lundale have been visiting friends on Lower Fork.
There will be a big meeting at Leet in the grove on the 4th Sunday. There will be eighteen baptized. Everybody come.
NOTE: “Susie Lucas” was a daughter of John H. and Rachel (Haskins) Brumfield.
Alvie Purkey, Appalachia, appendicitis, Atenville, B.D. Toney, Big Creek, David Crockett, Earl McComas, genealogy, Hamlin, history, Howard McComas, Huntington, James B. Toney, Lincoln County, Logan Banner, Logan County, pneumonia, Rachel Spry, West Virginia
An unnamed correspondent from Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on April 17, 1922:
Mr. B.D. Toney and J.B. Toney, of Big Creek, have been attending circuit court at Hamlin this week.
Baby Earl, son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard McComas, has been very ill since last Saturday with broncho-pneumonia.
Alvie Purkey, who had been ill with appendicitis, died Wednesday, March 29. He was operated on at a local hospital at Huntington, after which pneumonia fever developed.
A banquet was given after the lodge meeting at the K. of P. hall Wednesday night.
Mrs. Rachel Spry, of Atenville, has been very ill with pneumonia fever, but is now very much improved.
Dr. D.P. Crockett, of Big Creek, was in Logan Thursday. Dr. Crockett has been ill for several days having had an appointment at the C&O hospital at Huntington for abscess of frontal sinus.