Appalachia, Aracoma, Bluestone Valley, Boling Baker, Deskins Addition, Guyandotte River, Hatfield Island, Henry Mitchell, history, Island Creek, John Breckinridge, John Dempsey, John Dingess, Joseph Workman, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Montgomery County, Nancy McNeely, Native American History, Native Americans, Nimrod Workman, Peter Dingess, Shawnee, Tazewell County, Virginia, West Virginia, William Dingess, Wythe County
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Logan’s earliest Anglo settlers in a story printed April 1, 1937:
First White Settler To Make His Home In Logan Lived on Hatfield Island
The first white settler to make his home near Logan was James Workman who was with the force of men who struck the blow that broke the power of the Shawnee in the valley of the Guyandotte.
He was a member of the group of white settlers who pursued Boling Baker from a settlement in the Bluestone valley to the island that is now known as “Hatfield Island” and there burned an Indian village and mortally wounded Princess Aracoma. Boling Baker escaped.
After Workman had a glimpse of the beautiful lush valley of the Guyandotte, it took little persuasion by John Breckinridge, who had been granted much of the valley after the battle of the Islands to get Workman and his two brothers Joseph and Nimrod to make settlement there, Breckinridge was forced to settle the land by the law of 1792 in order to hold title to it.
Workman and his two brothers came to the island in 1794 and built a cabin and planted a few acres of corn. In 1795 and 1796 the brothers planted the same land and James, who was a man of family, brought his wife and children from their old home in Wythe (now Tazewell) county, Virginia, where they continued to live until about the year 1800 when they moved to a farm nearby which was later owned by Henry Mitchell.
The first recorded permanent settlement was made by William Dingess, son of Peter Dingess, a German. Dingess was the oldest in a family of eleven children.
He was born in Montgomery county in 1770 and married Nancy McNeely. He purchased a survey of 300 acres, which covers the present site of the courthouse and a portion of the land across the river which is now Deskins addition.
Dingess moved to his survey in 1799 and made his home. John Dempsey came with him and built a cabin on the island, but afterwards moved to Island Creek.
William Dingess was said to be almost a giant in strength, but so peaceable that no one could induce him to fight. He was a relentless Indian fighter in the Guyan Valley, however. A story is told that he was with a force of whites who pursued a band of Indian marauders as far as the falls of the Guyan where they killed several braves.
Dingess cut a portion of the skin from a forearm of one of the braves and tanned it using it for a razor strop until his death.
The first settler had no children by his first wife. In 1800, Peter Dingess and John Dingess joined him and built their homes in the fertile land on each side of the river near the islands. Other settlers followed in time and the little settlement grew to a thriving frontier town.
From the Richmond Enquirer comes this bit of history about counterfeiters in present-day Logan County, WV:
LAWS CASE. At the late term of the Federal Court, Judge Caldwell presiding, holden at Staunton, on the 2d of this month, the trial of Peter Dinges came up on a charge of having passed counterfeit notes purporting to have been issues by the bank of the United States. Upon a full investigation, which lasted several days, the jury found the prisoner guilty of the offense, provided there was then in existence any law which punishes such an offense; upon this verdict the court gave judgment for the prisoner. There were several other indictments against this man for similar offenses, and demurers being filed to all of them, on the ground that the bank charter having expired, all further prosecution was at an end, and the court being of that opinion, the prisoner was discharged; but forthwith taken into custody by the State authorities.
We understand it to be a principle of criminal law, that when a statute creates an offense, and defines its punishment, and is limited in its duration, no conviction can lawfully be had after the expiration of the statue, unless such an event be officially provided for. No such provision is contained in the bank charter.
This man being one of the principal chiefs of counterfeiters, and venders of base money, it is to be, regretted that he was not brought to trial during the existence of the law against which he has offended. His example in the country in which he has resided must have been very pernicious. He possesses considerable property, is a colonel in the militia, and has been elected twice to the House of Delegates by the citizens of Logan county, where he resides.
Two of Dingess’ confederates, of equal consideration with himself, were arrested by the deputy marshals appointed for the purpose, but made their escape, and have left the country. Two others, having a separate establishment, were indicted, and held to bail, and shortly before court sat, left the State, their securities accompanying them. Four others have been sentenced for long periods, one to the penitentiary at Richmond, the others to the penitentiary in the District of Columbia.
These prosecutions have totally broken up the establishment for counterfeiting notes and bills on the Bank of the United States, and on the various Banks of Virginia, which had so long infested the Southwestern part of this State.
Much credit is due to the marshal of this district for the plans laid by him to detect these men, and the address with which he carried them into execution. In this matter he has been engaged for two years past and has accomplished much for the security of society.
Source: Richmond (VA) Enquirer, 7 June 1836
Appalachia, Big Sandy River, Cabell County, Guyan Valley Bank, Guyandotte River, H.M. Booth, Hamlin, history, Huntington, James Barbour, Logan, Logan County, Mary Morris, Pennsylvania, Peter Dingess, Philadelphia, Richmond, Robert Brooke, Robert Morris, Robert Morris Grant, Russell County, Tug Fork, Virginia, West Virginia, William Crammond, Wythe County
320,000 Acres of Land Hereabouts Sold for Five Shillings According to Old Records Found in Old Vault
H.M. Booth, in cleaning out the vault of the old Guyan Valley Bank preparatory to moving his offices from Logan to Hamlin, uncovered a number of old documents that dated back to the time when “horse and buggy days” were a fact and not merely a political equation.
Many of these old papers, including deeds, receipts, account books and other papers of a semi-personal nature, are originals, while others are notarized copies of originals. They make interesting reading in these days of speed, radios, high prices and typewriters.
The old documents were all hand written, in clear, flowing script, the capital letters often decorated with fancy scrolls and shaded lines. Many of them were written with a quill pen.
Of particular interest is one deed, 12 ½ by 15 ½ inches, written on sheepskin. The ink has not faded, and although the skin is old and discolored, the deed is easily read. It was made in the days when Logan county was unheard of, and all this vicinity was part of Cabell county, Virginia. It seems strange, now, to think of a governor in Richmond, Virginia, parceling out land in Logan county.
The deed reads, in part: “James Barbour, Esq., Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia: To all whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Know ye, that by virtue of a Land office Treasury warrant, No. 6126, upon the 9th day of Sept. 1780, there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto Peter Dingess, a certain Tract or Parcel of Land, containing one hundred and twelve acres, by survey, bearing date the 31st day of March, 1813, situate in the County of Cabell, joining to his own deeded land, and bounded as followeth, to-wit:”
Then follows a detailed description of the boundaries of the land, in which prominent trees and landmarks play a common part. After the description of the land, which was written in pen and ink, came the regular printed form as follows:
“In witness whereof, the said James Barbour, Esq., Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, hath hereunto set his Hand, and caused the Seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed at Richmond, on the twenty-fifth day of October, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand eight hundred and fourteen, and of the Commonwealth the thirty-ninth.”
Down in the lower right hand corner of the paper can be plainly seen the signature of James Barbour, governor of Virginia at that time.
A notarized copy of another land deed was signed by Robert Brooke, Governor of Virginia in 1795, and was dated March 23 of that year. It deeded through the Land Office treasury warrants numbered from 472 to 530, inclusive, a parcel of land containing 480,000 acres, “by a survey made the 10th of September, 1794.” The land was described as being in the county of Wythe, on the Tug and Guyandotte rivers. This grant of land was known as the “Robert Morris Grant.”
Evidently, from the records, Robert Morris became involved in difficulties, for after a considerable amount of legal red tape, all duly recorded, there is a document showing where “Robert Morris and Mary, his wife, of Philadelphia, sell to William Crammond of Philadelphia as well for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings lawful money of Pennsylvania to them well and truly paid do grant bargain and sell, alien and enteoff release and confirm to the purchased 320,000 acres of land in the counties of Wythe and Russell, lying on both sides of Sandy Creek.”
Among the records of accounts paid found by Mr. Booth were numerous fees paid out for “boating freight from Huntington.” Six dollars and fifty cents is entered “for a suit of clothes,” and another entry shows where four dollars and a half were paid for two pair of shoes.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 19 August 1936
Appalachia, Chapmanville, Chloe Dingess, Crawley Creek, David Dingess, genealogy, Guyandotte River, Harvey S. Dingess, Henderson Dingess, history, James Butcher, John Dingess, John Dingess Sr., John Gore, Julius C. Dingess, Logan County, Nancy Chapman, Peter Dingess, Virginia, W.I. Campbell, West Virginia, William B. Chapman, William Dingess, William Straton
Appalachia, Big Creek, Crispin S. Stone, Elizabeth Conley, Elizabeth Lilly, Elizabeth Thompson, Garland Conley, Guyandotte River, Hannan Survey, Henry Conley, John Godby, Joshua Butcher, Judith Thompson, justice of the peace, Logan County, Peter Dingess, Polly Conley, Thomas P. Thompson, Virginia, West Virginia, William Straton, William Thompson