129th Regiment Virginia Militia, 12th Regiment Virginia Militia, Abner Vance, Adam Browning, Appalachia, Barney Carter, Big Creek, Calvary Hatfield, Chapmanville District, Charles Staton, civil war, David Mullins, Eli Gore, Evans Ferrell, genealogy, George Avis, George Bryant, Gilbert Creek, Gordon Riffe, Granville Riffe, Green A. Clark, Guyandotte River, Hardy District, Harts Creek, Harvey Ellis, history, Huff's Creek, Jack Dempsey, James H. Hinchman, James J. Hinchman, John Chapman, John DeJournett, John Dempsey, John Hager, John Hatfield, John Starr, Joseph B. Browning, Joseph Hinchman, Logan Banner, Logan County, Louis White, Magnolia District, Martin Doss, Mingo County, Nathan Elkins, Pecks Mill, physician, Reece Browning, Triadelphia District, Ulysses Hinchman, Union District, Virginia, West Virginia, Wheeling, William Dempsey, William McDonald, William Stollings, Wyoming County
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for Logan County printed on November 3, 1936:
Time-Dimmed Record of Early Logan County Families in 1852-1877 Period in Old Books Found at Pecks Mill
Thumbing the now-dimmed pages of a yellowed book which recently came to light in old Peck’s Mill, members of Logan county’s oldest families may read in a painstakingly-kept record of the years 1852 to 1877 how their forefathers were brought into the world, married, educated, governed.
The record is written in pen and ink with the quaint flourishes and old-fashioned double letters of the 1800s by James J. Hinchman, who was clerk of the 12th regiment of the Virginia militia from 1852 to 1858; and by one, Ulysses Hinchman, who was clerk of the 129th regiment from 1858 to the Civil War; and later pastor, doctor, and trader.
The first entry, dated Nov. 3, 1852, records the meeting “at the house of Wm. McDonald near the mouth of Huffs Creek” of the Twelfth regiment of the Virginia militia in the days when Logan county was the property of Virginia.
Among the officers present were Major John Hager and Capt. James J. Hinchman, who was also clerk.
Most of the records at the first, which deal entirely with the regiment, are devoted to the salaries paid for “drumming and fifing,” the fines of 50 cents each for failure to report at meetings, and the excuse of members from duty “because of physical infirmities.”
Among the interesting entries is one relating, it is believed, to an ancestor of ex-champion Jack Dempsey, which reads:
“William Dempsey for fifing one day in Capt. Miller’s company.”
Two dollars, according to numerous accounts, was the regular salary paid for a day of fifing or drumming. For three days training, officers received $10.
Among regiment members mentioned are Calvary Hatfield and Reece Browning, forefathers of the Hatfield and Browning families of today.
On Sept. 10, 1858, the record is transferred to that of the 129th and is kept by Ulysses Hinchman. His first entry tells of a meeting at which John De Journett was elected colonel; K. McComas, first major; Reece Browning, second major; and Ulysses Hinchman, clerk. Officers attending were Captains George Avis, James H. Hinchman, John Starr, John Hatfield, John Chapman, and Barnabus Carter; and Lieutenants Martin Doss, George Bryant, Granville Riffe, Louis White, Charles Staton and Green A. Clark.
Interesting in these pages are the forming of new companies in which the names of the creeks and localities are for the most part the same as today. Among the familiar names are Huffs, Gilbert, Harts and Big Creek, Guyandotte river, and Trace Fork.
There is no mention of the Civil War, but it is mutely attested to by two entries, the first, dated 1862 at the bottom of one page and the second dated 1866 at the top of the next, which read:
“Apr. 5, 1862—Abner Vance and Nathan Elkins received their claims.
1866—Rec’d of Eli Gore, county treasurer for my last year’s services, $50.
“Ulysses Hinchman, superintendent of schools.”
The next year, we are gratified to learn, his salary has increased to $300.
We learn that Logan, which then included Mingo and Wyoming counties, was at that time composed of five districts, Union, Triadelphia, Hardy, Chapmanville, and Magnolia; and that the county’s finances were all handled through Wheeling, then the only city of size in West Virginia.
The records contain long lists of certificates awarded to teachers for $1, among the recipients being John Dempsey, Eli Gore, Joseph Hinchman, Harvey Ellis and Evans Ferrell.
In the midst of the records of 1866 and ’67 we come upon the terse paragraph which informs that:
“The sheriff failed to settle for taxes of 1861.”
The board of education’s budget for 1869 was $2077.60 and was apportioned to these clerks of the various townships; Union, David Mullins; Triadelphia, Gordon Riffe; Magnolia, Joseph B. Browning; Hardy, Adam Browning; and Chapmanville, Wm. Stollings. Increased expenses that year made it necessary to levy a tax of “5 cents on $100.”
An enumeration of all children “between the ages of 6 and 21” in 1868 totaled 2139.
In 1871, our patient scribe becomes “Dr. U.S. Hinchman” and the record his personal account book. We learn much of the practices and hardships of the first country doctors and that his troubles in collecting the pitifully small fees of those days were as great as those of any “specialist” of today.
Dr. Hinchman had no set rates, but based on his charges upon the number of miles traveled (usually 50 cents per mile); the number of days and nights spent, and—quite evidently—the circumstances of his patient.
His customary charge for a delivery, if it chanced to come in the day time, appeared to be $5.50; but if the child arrived in the night and required many miles of travel it was a more expensive proposition—the fees sometimes reaching as high as $9.
The birth of one of these $9 babies is graphically recorded as follows:
“Labor two nights and days–$7
10 miles at 50 cents–$5
The doctor’s highest charge was one of $10 on a case which required three days and nights.
Interspersed freely with the accounts of births, and sicknesses are frequent entries of marriages at $2 each.
Toward the last of the book, in 1877, the author’s handwriting becomes more labored and the fine shadings and flourishing gradually disappear—evidence that his years of soldiering, school teaching, and doctoring were taking their toll.
At this time, too, he begins to record not only his receipts, but his expenditures and trades, and we read, not without envy, of purchases of “one bushel of sweet potatoes, 50 cents,” and “one and a half bushel of Irish potatoes, 75 cents.”
One of the last entries, dated Aug. 1877, tells of his receiving for his professional services a large amount of coffee which he traded for $5 cash, a suit, and a round of shoes,” the latter evidently referring to horseshoes.
As, regretfully, we close the book; we feel that we know that patient and prolific old settler of Logan County, Ulysses Hinchman—his honor as a soldier and officer, his strict accounting of himself as a public official, his hardships and struggles as a country doctor; and through all, his conscientious, faithful keeping of records. And we share, with his descendants, a great pride in him.
Somehow we know that when, with failing hand, he concluded his long accounts in another book; his record was clear and straight—his house was in order.
Andrew Lewis, Appalachia, Aracoma, Battle of the Island, Big Creek, Boling Baker, Coal River, Dingess Run, Elizabeth Madison, George Booth, Gilbert Creek, Guyandotte River, Hatfield Island, history, Island Creek, John Breckinridge, Kentucky, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mingo County, Montgomery County, Native American History, Native Americans, Spruce Fork, Thomas Madison, Virginia, Washington County, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of information about Logan’s early history printed on April 26, 1937:
Land On Which City Of Logan Now Stands First Owned by Breckinridge
The tract of land on which the city of Logan now stands and the Island–now “Hatfield’s Island”–once belonged to John Breckinridge, scion of an old Kentucky family and leader of the attacking party which broke the control of the Shawnee Indians in the Guyandotte valleys in the “Battle of the Islands.”
Princess Aracoma was killed in this battle and Boling Baker, her renegade white husband, was banished forever from the lush river valley where he had spent his days since his desertion from the English forces in Virginia.
Captain Breckenridge led the attack which made the valley safe for white settlers, and, in appreciation of his services, the new government allowed him 300 acres at the mouth of Island creek.
The land grant was made early in the 1780s along with a few others on Island Creek, Dingess Run, Gilbert Creek, Big Creek and the Spruce Fork of Cole River.
Surveying parties from Montgomery and Washington county, Virginia, braved the wilderness and apportioned the land in Guyan Valley and vicinity to early Indian fighters who had contributed their services to opening the valley for white settlement.
Included in the surveys made by deputy surveyors from Montgomery county were grants apportioning much of Island Creek, Spruce Fork, and Dingess Run to persons whose names are still remembered in the county has holders of much of this county’s land.
In these early surveys Andrew Lewis was given 3000 acres on Island Creek along with 2000 acres on Big Creek, and 3000 acres on Gilbert Creek.
Thomas Madison was given 2000 acres on Spruce Fork, 1000 acres on Dingess Run, and 2000 acres on Gilbert Creek.
Others who figured in this early allocation of land were Elizabeth Madison, who was given much of Spruce Fork; George Booth, who was awarded several thousand acres along Guyan River and on Island Creek; and George Booth [same name listed twice in this story], who received much of the land along Island Creek.
Later in the waning years of the 19th century other grants were made by the new government with the stipulation that settlement be made immediately, but these early grants were rewards for work well done in opening the valley of the Guyandotte for settlement.
Andrew Johnson, Appalachia, Atenville, Cabell County, county clerk, genealogy, Guyandotte River, Guyandotte Valley Navigation Company, history, John Chapman, justice of the peace, Lincoln County, Lock No. 5, Logan County, Spencer A. Mullins, Virginia, W.I. Campbell, West Virginia, William Straton, Willow Bar
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
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!
On June 4, 1937, the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, offered an interview with an elderly resident who recounted a terrible dry season in the Guyandotte Valley in 1881.
Pioneer Citizen Recalls Dreadful Drought of 1881
Attorney J.E. (Ned) Peck Says Weather Was So Hot That Corn Was Hoed In Moonlight; Animals Died From “Black Tongue”
Attorney J.E. (Uncle Ned) Peck was in a reminiscent mood early this week as a result of the hot weather which preceded the storms yesterday and the day before.
While everyone else was complaining about the extremely hot weather coming so early in the spring. Uncle Ned contentedly maintained his usual tenor of life and kept himself cool with memories of the summer in 1881 when a drought of proportions such as have never been heard of before or since struck Logan county and lasted for four months.
Attorney Peck told how the weather became so hot that everybody hoed their corn by moonlight to keep the stalks from withering under the blazing sun which would begin to bear down at 7 o’clock each morning and increase in intensity until 6:30 in the evening when the mountain peaks would give some surcease from the bright yellow infernos of mid-day heat which surrounded everything in a furnace-like grasp.
Uncle Ned related that the banks of the Guyan were lined with animals from the hills, all enmity forgotten, staking their thirst side by side for days on end.
He was just 13 years old then, but he says he distinctly remembers standing in the yard of his home at Pecks Mill with his mother and counting more than a score of deer in a river bottom cornfield below the house.
Wild animals died like flies and a plague of “Black Tongue” ravaged the many herds of deer which roamed the mountains and river valleys of Logan county.
A total of 1500 deer died that summer, Uncle Ned said, and Albert Dingess, old resident of Harts Creek, found 101 deer, dead and dying, their tongues blackened and swollen from their mouths, packed, in a lick near his home.
Deer pelts sold for $4 each, but the flesh was inedible after the animal had died of the plague. Licks throughout the county were rancid with the smell of burning carcasses which had been skinned and stacked in huge piles to be made into pyres.
Water in Guyan river became so low that one could stop the flow over shoals with the hand, and his father had to slow corn meal production to one grinding a week at their grist mill, Attorney Peck said.
The only way that corn could be ground was to allow the dam which spanned the river to fill and then run the mill until the water was used. Then it would take another week for the dam to refill.
No persons died of heat in the county that summer and the crops were not materially damaged, though the toll on animal life was high.
When the leaves began to turn and light frosts added a crispness to the air, the animals started an exodus from the river valley back to their haunts along creeks and in dark hollows and Logan countians knew that the drought was ended.
With such an experience, and with the summer of 1881 in mind, it is easy for Uncle Ned Peck to say in all sincerity: “We’re having a mighty cool spring this year.”
Appalachia, Charles Adkins, county clerk, Edmond Toney, Elizabeth Adkins, genealogy, Guyandotte River, Harts Creek, Henry Adkins, history, Isaac Adkins, Isaiah Adkins, Jane Toney, Lincoln County, Logan County, Lydia Eveline Mullins, Mary Jane Adkins, Parthena Adkins, Spencer A. Mullins, Virginia, W.I. Campbell, West Virginia, William Straton