From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history relating to coal and the Guyandotte River, dated 1927:
UNPLEASANT AND HARMLESS TASTE NOTED IN CITY WATER—IS CAUSED BY PHENOL WASHED INTO RIVER
The local water company has lately been flooded with telephone calls relative to a strange taste and odor in the city water supply. At the request of the water company the County Health Department has made an investigation. It has been found that the queer taste and odor is not due to excessive use of chlorine disinfectant, as most people seem to believe. A great many people have remarked that the odor especially resembles that of carbolic acid. As a matter of fact, the compound causing it does not belong to the same family. The taste is caused by a phenol compound which is a coal tar product found in coal mine wastes. The heavy rains this week have washed some of this deposit from the upper Guyan Valley coal fields into the river. There is no known satisfactory method to remove phenol from water, so it goes through the water paint; part of it combining with the chlorine used for disinfecting and producing the taste so prevalent for the last few days.
The water is entirely safe and it is not injurious to health. It will probably last only a few days, until the flood waters in the rivers subside.
The situation is not a new one; various towns over the state, using stream water from coal field drainage districts, report “chloro-phenol” taste from time to time. The only remedy is to keep the coal waste from draining into the streams. Some work has been done in Pennsylvania along this line but so far little has been accomplished in West Virginia.
Logan County Health Department
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 21 October 1927
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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about author George Martin Nathaniel Parker, dated 1926:
WELL KNOWN AUTHOR FINDS LOGAN JAIL BEST MANAGED IN WEST VA.
EATS UNUSUAL DINNER OF PRISONERS
Having inspected more than 100 jails in West Virginia as a humanitarian effort to better conditions for his fellow man, G.M.N. Parker, author, editor, and former Logan school teacher, this week visited the Logan county jail and highly commended the administration of the institution under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Hatfield and the management of Jailer Kummler.
He wrote a description for The Banner giving his impressions of the Logan county institution. The writer was born in Mt. Nebo, N.C., and became a school teacher in his youth. Forty years ago he was persuaded by Judge John B. Wilkinson to come to Logan from Kentucky, where he then was teaching, to take charge of the school here in the old wooden building on Reservoir Hill. He taught here a year.
From the school work, Parker devoted himself to writing books in connection with editorial newspaper work. Of late years, he has made his home at Princeton, W.Va.
Published books of this writer include “From the Rio Grande to The Rhine,” “Lights In The Old Home Window,” and “Footprints From City to Farm.” His latest volume is “The Key to Continent,” now on the press.
“In this connection,” said Parker, “at Kingsport, Tenn., in the back woods one of the largest book publishing plants in the United States. Here my books are published. The plant turns out one and one-half million volumes monthly. The paper, cloth, and other materials used in the books are manufactured in one big plant. It ought to be a matter of pride to the South to realize that the biggest bookmaking plant in the nation is in Tennessee.
“I came back to Logan for a brief visit with old friends being hungry for the hills. I was born in the hills and like to come back to them from time to time.
“In addition to noting the remarkable change in the Logan county jail, I note other remarkable progressive changes in Logan.
“Of the 100 or more jails in West Virginia I have inspected, I find that the Logan county institution is the most progressive and best type and best operated institution of its kind.”
The article dealing with his visit at the Logan county jail follows:
Even at its best, human life ever has been and ever will be a continual battle; education battling against ignorance, society against selfishness, democracy against aristocracy, right against wrong.
Right is synonymous with law, and law is synonymous with legal master. As the rod is to the parent in the home, so is the prison to the legal master in the country. As the rod is to the home, so the prison is to correct disobedient men and women in the county.
Some prisons correct them only with punishment. These are usually political plums passed out as rewards for campaign activities, and those to whom they are passed go on the philosophy that the more the punishment, the more successful in the correction.
Under this philosophy, prison keepers swell their bank deposits by shrinking the prisoners’ food and by furnishing an inferior quality; a quality so poorly prepared that only the half-starved can eat it; so poorly prepared that the most consecrated Christian could not consistently say grace over it.
The prisons are no better. I have visited some whose floors were common cuspidors so thickly covered with tobacco quids that their sickening fumes almost knocked me back as I entered the door. On my way along the corridors, I have heard prisoners beg for bunks that were free from lice, and have seen green flies swarming in the cells.
We measure the strength of the chain by its weakest link. We measure the morale of the county by its prison. This measurement is an enviable tribute to Logan. In the management of the prison the county sees more than money; sees men. Sees more than punishment; sees purity. Seeing we are all human chameleons in that we absorb our surroundings; that suggestions are the steps in the mental and moral stairs; that cleanliness is the rising road. Logan county has adopted cleanliness as a creed and requires all prisoners to live up to it so that the air circulating through the cells is as free from offensive odors as the breezes that fit the leaves on the surrounding forest peaks.
A word about the way the jail food is prepared. Though a stranger and visitor, an unexpected one at that, I went to the prison when the court house clock was striking 12, and asked the keeper to let me eat dinner with the prisoners. He unlocked the iron door and passed me in—at the same time saying that dinner would be sent in directly.
I was not expecting roast lamb, quail on toast, an English pudding—neither did I get them. All I got were the old familiar Bs: bread, bacon, and beans. But they were good, as good as my mother prepared, way back when I plowed corn in Logan’s hills. In fact, while chasing a chunk of bacon around through my pan of beans—trying to make it stop long enough to cut off a mouthful with my spoon—I seemed again to be a plowboy—happy because I had more than I had when plowing barefooted on the backwoods farm.
Amid the rattling of spoons on the tin pans I watched the prisoners, most of them young, some good and some bad—some are good or better than you or I. All qualified and encouraged to go forth like the graduates from a school and bless the country with ideal citizenship.
I said then that Logan’s prison ought to become as famous as Denver’s juvenile court; that what Denver’s juvenile court was doing for boys and girls, Logan’s prison was doing for young men and young women.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 24 August 1926
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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
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A correspondent named “Big Peat” from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on March 17, 1922:
Our school is progressing nicely at this place.
We are having some nice weather now, and it makes us think about making gardens.
Charley Bryant was very seriously injured when he fell from the porch where he had been working for Arnold Christian Saturday.
Millard and Pearlie seemed to enjoy the sunshine Sunday.
Say, Jim, don’t you think you had more than your share of girls Sunday?
Rev. Carter of Monaville has moved to Chapmanville to take charge of the Church of God.
Annie looked blue Sunday.
Miss Fannie Brown was very ill Sunday, but we are glad to say she is able to be out again.
Miss Maud had a ten cent smile on Sunday.
We saw Rev. Hensley in town Sunday.
Miss Lucy Ellis is visiting out of town.
Mr. McNeeley looked tired Sunday. He said he was not used to walking so much in one day.
Mr. Clinton Ferrell of Logan was calling on some of our girls Sunday.
Sidney Ferrell was calling on his friends in Chapmanville Sunday.
We understand Everett Fowler is going to be the new manager of the Tompkins mines.
Clinton, were you with the blonde or the brunette Sunday?
Julius, did you dye those trousers white?
Is John Bry our bank boss now?
Mr. Newt Muncy, one of our business men here, attended services at the Holiness Church Sunday.
The Children’s Prayer meeting conducted at the Christian Church is well attended.
Mr. George Chapman was seen riding through our streets Monday.
Will call on you again if this escapes the waste basket.
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
A.K. Bowling, Abraham, Alma Wagner, Anna Bowling, Appalachia, Busy Bee Pool Room, Butcher Pool Room, Chapmanville, Ed Conley, Eunice Ward, Everett Fondee, genealogy, Gordon Adams, Guy Dingess, Guyandotte River, history, J.D. Turner, John Dingess, Logan, Logan County, Millard Brown, Monroe Conley, Mont Tabor, Omar, P.M. Ferrell, Ray Swann, Silas Smith, Star Supply, West Virginia, Wonderland Theatre
A correspondent named “Slow Sam” from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on March 10, 1922:
The revival at the Holiness church, conducted by Rev. Johnson, is still going on.
Three very interesting sermons by Rev. Langdon were delivered at the Christian church.
Monroe Conley’s house was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning.
We are glad to say that Dr. J.D. Turner’s baby is improving rapidly.
Mrs. Larkin, of Omar, is visiting her parents, Rev. and Mrs. Langdon of this place.
Mr. Silas Smith, of Abraham, was visiting at A.K. Bowling’s Monday.
The free show given at the Wonderland Theatre was well attended Tuesday night.
Mont Tabor, of Logan, was seen on our streets Sunday.
Mr. Everett Fondee and Miss Eunice Ward were calling on Miss Anna Bowling Wednesday evening.
Mr. P.M. Ferrell and Miss Alma Wagner were seen walking our streets a fine evening ago.
Wanda looks lonesome this week!
Mr. Millard Brown is calling quite often at the Star Supply. There is a good looking girl working there.
Mr. Gordon Adams killed a fine hog, Ernest said.
Mrs. Ferrell is visiting friends here.
John Dingess looks pleased. Wonder why?
Guy Dingess was seen talking to some girls down the street one day this week.
Jim was glad the show was free!
Mr. Ray Swann is working at Chapmanville now.
The Busy Bee pool room is doing good business.
The music is fine in the Butcher pool room as well as the business.
Mr. Mathenie has moved back to his home at this place.
Ed Conley has moved across the river.
Good luck to The Banner!
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