Corbett Brumfield Residence (1991)

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Corbett Brumfield Home Copyright

Corbett Brumfield, son of Robert “Jaker” and Nora (Pack) Brumfield, once lived in this residence at Harts, WV. Later, he moved to West Madison, WV, where I visited him several times in the 1990s. Corbett and his wife were wonderful hosts and very helpful in providing family stories. I miss them.

Chapmanville News 05.14.1926

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An unknown local correspondent from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on May 14, 1926:

We are having some nice weather at this writing.

Mrs. Rosie Price was visiting her daughter, Mrs. M.C. Conley, Sunday.

Arnold Barker and Virgil Ferrell were out walking Sunday.

Miss Opal Johnson seemed to be awful busy sewing flower seeds Saturday afternoon.

Walter and Carlos Ferrell were seen walking the lonesome road Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Munsey and Jack Conley were working on their automobile Sunday morning.

The Phico girls and boys seem to enjoy coming to Chapmanville church nowadays.

Miss Gracie Workman was out horse back riding Sunday afternoon.

Wonder why Mr. L.F. Price is visiting in Big Creek so often.

Mrs. Garnet Jeffery and children were visiting her mother Saturday and Sunday.

Wonder why Arnold Barker is looking so downhearted nowadays? Cheer up, Arnold. Maybe it is not so.

Walter Workman escorted Miss Connie Bentley home Saturday night from church.

Robert Carter was out horseback riding early Saturday morning.

Brack Walls escorted Elna Cox home from church Friday night.

We all hope Miss Beulah Ballard and Mr. Snidow will get along fine with the Diploma test this year.

Opal Johnson, Lillian and Agnes Whitman were out walking Sunday.

Misses Hazel Conley and Minnie Workman were out walking Saturday afternoon.

Tom Barker is enjoying life fine, going up Lowe Hollow nowadays.

Interview with Frank Hill of Big Creek, WV (2004) 2

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On June 2, 2004, Billy Adkins and I visited Frank Hill. Mr. Hill, a retired farmer, bus driver, and store keeper, made his home on Ellis Fork of North Fork of Big Creek in Boone County, West Virginia. Born in 1923, he was the son of Edward W. and Annie Elizabeth (Stollings) Hill. Billy and I were interested in hearing about Mr. Hill’s Fowler ancestry and anything he wanted to share about his own life. We greatly enjoyed our visit. What follows is a partial transcript of our interview:

FRANK HILL

I was born April 22, 1923 up the Ellis Fork Road. When I was born there, we had a four-room Jenny Lind house. It was an old-timer: double fireplace that burned coal and wood, you know. My mother had eleven children and I was the last one. When she saw me, she give up.

EDUCATION

I went to the Stone School, a one-room school just up Ellis Fork. My wife’s grandpa, Albert Stone, gave them land to build this school. It wasn’t a big lot – it might have been 300 feet square. We played ball there in the creek. We didn’t have much dry ground. Well, I went through the 8th grade around there. Arithmetic was my best subject. I had good handwriting, too. I thought I could go into the 9th at Chapmanville but they wouldn’t let me. They said I hadn’t took this test you were supposed to take as you left the 8th grade.

I walked a mile and six-tenths to school. We’d had bad teachers. They couldn’t get no control over the students. Dad got this old fellow from Madison and he said, “Now, I’ll give you ten dollars extra on the month.” I think the board paid fifty dollars a month. Back then, young men and women went to school. Twenty, twenty-five years old. They were so mean the teachers couldn’t hardly handle them. I had an older brother that was one of them. A teacher whipped a younger brother he had one day and he said, “Old man, wait till I catch you out. I’ll give you a good one.” And he meant it, too.

JOHNNY HAGER

Little Johnny Hager was a fiddle player. He was a little man, never was married. And he never had a home. All he had was a little suitcase with a few clothes in it. He’d stay with people maybe a month or two and the way he paid his keep was he whittled out lids or fed their pigs and stuff like that. He’d stay there a month or two till he felt he’d wore out his welcome then he’d go to another house. He was a well-liked little guy. Us boys, we followed him wherever he went cause he could sure play that fiddle. He played one tune called “Hell Among the Heffers”.

DEPRESSION

We had a hard time in this world. You couldn’t buy a job then. I had a brother-in-law that worked for the Pure Oil Company in Logan that was the only man that had a public job in this whole hollow. People grew tobacco to pay their taxes and bills they had accumulated. It was terrible. I remember my daddy had a little barrel of little potatoes when spring come and this old fellow lived above us, he was a musician. His name was Carlos Clark. He’d come out of the coalfields in Logan and he lost his home. His wife was a cousin of mine. He was trying to teach me to play the guitar. I’d go there and she’d lead the singing and he’d pick the guitar and I’d try to play second. He give me eleven lessons for that barrel of potatoes.

We had two or three around here that went to work in the CCC camps. Lloyd Ellis from Whitman’s Creek was one of them and Seymour Ellis was another one from Six Mile. In his last days, that was all he wanted to talk about. They went plumb into California in the CC camps. Then war broke out and they just switched them camps over to the Army. The Army operated those camps anyhow. That’s why they was so successful. They had control over boys to teach them how to do things.

DANCES

We got just as wild as any of them. Ed Haley used to come over here and play. The Barker family had a full band. Now, they could make the rafters roar. There was an old lady lived in here married to Walter Fowler who called the dances and there wasn’t a one of us really knowed how to dance but we put on a show anyhow. They had them in people’s homes. No drinking allowed but there was always a few that did. They always had a lot of good cakes.

CHURCHES

It was mostly Church of Christ around here. The main preacher up here in these parts was Pope Dial from Huntington. I’ll tell you another one that came in here that followed him sort of was Melvin White. Vernon Mullins followed up years later when he preached in here. I remember the first sermon he ever preached was around here in the one-room Stone School. He established a lot of different churches in the country but that was the first one. He’d talk about how he started here, preached his first sermon. Every funeral he conducted on this creek, he’d tell that story.

Jessie Brumfield Residence (1991)

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Jesse Brumfield House copyright

Jessie Brumfield (1902-1997) was the daughter of Charles and Caroline (Dingess) Brumfield. She was educated at Morris Harvey College and taught school for many years. This home stood across Route 10 from the new Harts Middle School in Harts, Lincoln County, WV.

Interview with Frank Hill of Big Creek, WV (2004) 1

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On June 2, 2004, Billy Adkins and I visited Frank Hill. Mr. Hill, a retired farmer, bus driver, and store keeper, made his home on Ellis Fork of North Fork of Big Creek in Boone County, West Virginia. Born in 1923, he was the son of Edward W. and Annie Elizabeth (Stollings) Hill. Billy and I were interested in hearing about Mr. Hill’s Fowler ancestry and anything he wanted to share about his own life. We greatly enjoyed our visit. What follows is a partial transcript of our interview:

JOHN PATRICK FOWLER (1827-1911)

Grandpap [John P.] Fowler lived at Ferrellsburg at one time. He was a timber specialist, I’d call him, because he always run a timber job and hired lots of men. He’d cut out all of the timber on a farm and then buy another one and cut it. They didn’t make much back then but they could get a little money together.

My grandmaw [Margery Ann Fowler] was born, I’d say, down there at Ferrellsburg. My mother lived there at Ferrellsburg when she was a teenage girl and she told me she’d plowed corn right there in Ferrellsburg Bottom before the highway or the railroad either one came up through there.

Grandpap bought a tract of timber on Big Ugly and he moved to where it was at. That was virgin timber up there. Hadn’t been cut for years. He just followed the work. He went through Big Ugly and over to Fork Creek. He sold out over there to a coal company and they just paid him so much a month. Then later he got over here on North Fork. He lived in a two-room log house just above our place.

Grandpap Fowler was well-liked. He was a pretty good sized man. My mother thought the world of him because he raised my mother. She lost her daddy [Charles Stollings] when she was ten. Her mother died of what they’d call cancer today. My mother had two sisters and a brother younger than her. The baby one was just two years old and that was Willie Stollings. Grandpap Fowler took in all four children.

My mother, she had a third grade education. She could sign her name. She met my dad when he come in that area saw-logging. His name was Edward Hill and he was a timberman. Cut timber all over this country. They’d have contests. They’d drive a stake out there and cut this tree and bet who could drive that stake on down with that tree when it falls. And he won a many a time. He was accurate. He could chop right-handed or he could chop left-handed. Anyway, there’s a record of their marriage in the courthouse down here at Madison. Preacher Ball married them, I believe.

Grandpap [John P. Fowler] had a boy named Jones that lived over on Big Ugly and he was digging coal with a pick, just enough to do tonight and tomorrow, and a rock fell in on him and killed him. And Grandpap had loaned him his pistol ‘cause him and this Johnson wasn’t getting along good. They was neighbors over there. But that was the first man got there to help get this rock off of him. But Grandpap Fowler sent my mother as soon as they buried him over there to get that pistol. She went right up here and crossed the hill and come down Estep Branch and told his wife that Grandpap had sent after that pistol. She give it to her and on her way back when she come off’n the hill here she knew that Grandpap and old man Dan Harmon wasn’t very good friends. And just for meanness, she shot five or six times and that fellow took her for a warrant. And Grandpap had to go over there to Madison Court House and pay a fine to get her out of it. She was nervy, I’ll tell you that.

Frank Hill Store

Hill Store at the mouth of Ellis Fork of North Fork of Big Creek near the Boone-Logan county line. 19 October 2013.

Chapmanville News 05.07.1926

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An unknown local correspondent from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on May 7, 1926:

Here we come with some our bit of news from Chapmanville.

Miss Delmas Barker, Susie C. and Hazel C. were the evening guests of Miss Gracie Workman, Sunday.

Laura Workman made a flying trip to Chapmanville Sunday evening to visit her parents.

Daily scenes: Dan C. disappointed by Gracie W.; Beulah and her nice dress; Margaret B. and her sweet smiles; Gracie looking for Jim T.; Minnie and her fellow; Opal and her house dress; Ina going to Logan; Flossie and her old checked coat; Tom looking for Gracie; Davis looking for a sweetie; Arnold calling on his sweet mama.

Banco News 05.21.1926

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An unknown local correspondent from Banco in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on May 21, 1926:

Well here we come with some more Banco news.

Everything is looking lively around Thomas Circle these days.

Gid Toney and Bessie Isaac were out walking Sunday.

Miss Onna Varney was seen at the Thomas store house Sunday. Wonder who she was looking for? Ask Bob. He will tell you.

Bob Jarrells and Bert Mullins were walking around the lonesome road Sunday.

Gardner Baisden and Don Estep were sure enjoying themselves Sunday evening.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Varney were visiting relatives here Sunday.

Tom Duty of this place is seriously ill at this writing but is still walking the lonesome road.

Willie Thomas was a business caller in Banco last Saturday.

James Duty, who has been on the sick list, is improving nicely.

Charley Varney says that Mr. A.J. Thomas of Big Creek has sure supplied this place with wharf rats.

There were several boys of East End who enjoyed themselves eating boiled eggs at Thomas’ Circle Sunday.

Gardner Baisden seemed to be all smiles Sunday. Wonder what he was pleased over? Ask Hazel. She may tell you.

Mack Varney of Needmore was the guest of Bob Justice.

P.D. Bradbury and Oley Adkins were loading out telegraph poles this week.

Mrs. Vick Thomas of Big Creek has been making soap this week for her daughter, Brooke. Brooke has been on the sick list this week. Hope she will soon recover.

Wonder who Nella Varney was looking for Sunday? She was seen up on the hill.

Hope Tom Duty will get him a sweetie soon. He seems to be downhearted.

J.A. Thomas of Estep is getting ready to put up a broom factory. I hope he will succeed nicely.

J.A. Duty and brother R.F. Duty are farming heavy this year. They have about twenty acres of corn planted and expect to grow about twelve acres of tobacco. R.F. says he can’t work any this summer and he is going to give his job to J.A.

Etta Thomas of Thomas Circle has been on the sick list the last few days.

Carl Varney was visiting home folks.

Good luck and best wishes to the dear old Banner.

Daily happenings: Brooke and her glasses; Burt and his Beech Nut tobacco; Gardner and his mules; Charley and his blacksmith shop; Tom and his smiles; Onna and her bobbed hair.