Logan County

Blackhawk Mining says it's closing three mines and two preparation plants in West Virginia amid weak global coal markets.

The Kentucky-based coal company on Tuesday announced the idling of its facilities in Logan and Mingo counties.

August 30, 1921: John Wilburn Leads Miners Against Blair Mountain

Aug 30, 2019

On August 30, 1921, John Wilburn of Blair assembled between 50 and 75 armed men to attack Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin’s troops, which were entrenched at the pinnacle of Blair Mountain.

The 45-year-old coal miner and Baptist preacher told his followers it was time for him to lay down his Bible, take up his rifle, and fight for the union.

August 28 1921: Armed Miners March on Blair Mountain

Aug 28, 2019
Heidi Perov / WV Humanities Council

August 28, 1921, was a pivotal day in the armed miners’ march on Logan County. The march by thousands of pro-union miners, which had begun in Kanawha County three days earlier, was a key event during the Mine Wars.

Union District 17 president Frank Keeney had caught up with the marchers at Madison and implored them to return home. To this day, nobody’s quite sure whether Keeney was secretly giving the miners a different message in private. Regardless, his words had a mixed effect. Some miners began to return home, while others pushed on.

February 26, 1972: Coal Mining Dam Collapses in Buffalo Creek

Feb 26, 2019
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / via Earl Benton

 On February 26, 1972, a coal mining dam collapsed at the head of Buffalo Creek in Logan County. Over the next three hours, 132-million gallons of black water raged down the hollow. The deluge obliterated or badly damaged 17 communities and claimed the lives of 125 people, including entire families. The disaster also injured 1000 people and left 80 percent of Buffalo Creek’s residents homeless.

February 4, 1951: Fiddler "Blind Ed" Haley Dies in Ashland KY

Feb 4, 2019
For years after Haley’s death, stories circulated about the fiddler’s remarkable talent.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

Legendary fiddler “Blind Ed” Haley died in Ashland, Kentucky, on February 4, 1951.

The Logan County native never made any commercial recordings during his lifetime because he feared that record companies would cheat a blind musician. However, just by playing on street corners, courthouse squares, and other public places, he became one of the most influential fiddlers of his day. Fiddle great Clark Kessinger considered him the best he’d ever heard.

January 30, 1895: Mingo County Formed

Jan 30, 2019
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

West Virginia’s youngest county came into existence on January 30, 1895, when the legislature created Mingo County from Logan County. When West Virginia entered the Union in 1863, it had 50 counties. Grant, Mineral, Lincoln, and Summers counties were added during the first four years of statehood.

January 1, 1888: Hatfields Attack McCoy Cabin Killing Two

Jan 1, 2019
Without Devil Anse himself being present, the Hatfields set fire to the cabin of Randolph McCoy, the head of the McCoy family.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

The night of January 1, 1888, marked the worst atrocity in the long-running troubles between the Hatfields of Logan County, West Virginia, and the McCoys of Pike County, Kentucky. That evening, New Year’s Day 1888, Hatfield patriarch “Devil Anse” Hatfield launched a scheme that he hoped would end the feud once and for all. It was led by his uncle, Jim Vance. Without Devil Anse himself being present, the Hatfields set fire to the cabin of Randolph McCoy, the head of the McCoy family. Although Randolph escaped, two of his grown children were killed.

December 10, 1844: Clergyman William "Uncle" Dyke Garrett Born

Dec 10, 2018
 SharePrint Uncle Dyke Garrett
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online & Lillian Porter Smith

Clergyman William Dyke Garrett was born on December 10, 1844. Known affectionately as “Uncle Dyke,” Garrett was a legendary figure in Logan County history. At the beginning of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate Logan Wildcats regiment. Being deaf in one ear, he wasn’t forced to fight. Instead, he was named chaplain of the unit.

October 9, 2001: Actress and Model Dagmar Dies

Oct 9, 2018
Born Virginia Ruth Egnor in Logan County in 1921, she moved with her family to Huntington.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Dagmar, Milton Berle, Frank Sinatra, Life Magazine, Dagmar's Canteen, Ceredo, Huntington, 1921, 2001, Huntington

The entertainer known as Dagmar died on October 9, 2001. In the 1950s, she was one of the most recognizable faces on television and even graced the cover of Life magazine.

August 9, 1954: Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin Died

Aug 9, 2018
In 1921, Chafin led the resistance to the miners’ armed march on Logan County.
E-WV

On August 9, 1954, former Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin died in Huntington at age 67. Chafin had been elected Logan County assessor at the young age of 21 and sheriff at 25. After a term as county clerk, he was reelected sheriff in 1920.

  

Sheriff Chafin bitterly opposed labor unions, and, with funding from coal companies, used his deputies—including ones hired off the street—to keep the United Mine Workers of America out of Logan County.

Sid Hatfield
E-WV

On August 1, 1921, Matewan police chief Sid Hatfield and his friend Ed Chambers were gunned down by Baldwin-Felt Detectives in front of the McDowell County Courthouse in Welch.

The trouble between Hatfield and the Baldwin-Felts had started more than a year earlier. In May of 1920, a shootout in the Mingo County town of Matewan had pitted Baldwin-Felts detectives against Hatfield and a crowd of angry miners.

A shootout left seven of the detectives, two miners, and the town’s mayor dead in the streets of Matewan.

Elk
CommonsHelper2 Bot / Wikimedia Commons

A group of elk transported from Arizona to West Virginia in March have been set free from their holding pen.

News outlets report the Division of Natural Resources released 46 elk on Tuesday in Logan County.

Lifebridge AmeriCorps

A former coal miner and veteran from West Virginia has been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in volunteerism. Wayne McDonald has volunteered over 9,000 hours, over five years, helping fellow veterans through AmeriCorps & VISTA. 

McDonald is an Army veteran who served during the first Gulf War. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when he returned to West Virginia. The local Ceterans center in Logan County actually helped him find medical care. Later, they approached him about joining AmeriCorps, through their VetCorps Program. 

January 26, 1850: Virginia General Assembly Creates Wyoming County

Jan 26, 2018
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On January 26, 1850, the Virginia General Assembly created Wyoming County from part of Logan County. The original county seat was located at Oceana but was moved to Pineville in 1907.

The county’s first major industry was timbering, which began on a large scale about 1889. Before the arrival of railroads, logs had to be floated down the Guyandotte River to the Ohio River at Huntington.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., America's Got Talent, Landau, Logan
Wikimedia Commons

News reports say a West Virginia prosecutor has dropped domestic violence charges against "America's Got Talent" winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

Murphy was charged in July with domestic battery and domestic assault after his girlfriend reported he struck her in the face with a golf club, slammed her on the ground and banged her head into the sidewalk following an argument.

Elk
CommonsHelper2 Bot / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia wildlife officials say 60 elk will come to the state next year through a partnership with their counterparts in Arizona.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has approved capture of five dozen elk to be transported east as part of West Virginia's ongoing elk restoration project.

Chris Workman

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting and A Change of Tune, this is 30 Days of #WVmusic, the interview series celebrating the folks who make the West Virginia music scene wild and wonderful.  

And today's interview is with an Appalachian acoustic punk rocker who isn’t afraid to sing about hills, pills and unpaid bills. This... is Sheldon Vance.

Richard Ojeda
@ojeda4congress / Twitter

A West Virginia man has been sentenced to up to five years in prison for assaulting a state Senate candidate last year.

Jonathan Porter of Holden was sentenced Wednesday in Logan County Circuit Court in the May 2016 attack on Richard Ojeda.

Richard Ojeda
@ojeda4congress / Twitter

The trial for a man charged with attacking a then-state Senate candidate at a political cookout last year has been moved out of Logan County.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports a judge on Monday granted a request to move 42-year-old Jonathan Porter's trial to Kanawha County.

Logan County, Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

West Virginia mine safety authorities say a 54-year-old coal truck driver has died from injuries he suffered last week in Logan County.

The Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training says the loaded truck driven by Franklin Vannoy Jr. of Delbarton unexpectedly overturned while he was delivering coal to the Greenbrier Minerals Elk Lick Loadout dump site about 7:25 a.m. on Feb. 3.

A former coal employee in Logan County has been sentenced to five years' probation for his role in a kickback scheme.

Thirty-five-year-old Chadwick Lusk of Davin was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Charleston for his guilty plea to a charge of honest services mail fraud. Lusk also was ordered to pay $230,000 restitution to Arch Coal.

Mingo County
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On January 30, 1920, the United Mine Workers of America launched a concerted effort to unionize southern West Virginia. Relations between the UMWA and coal operators had regularly turned violent over the previous 30 years.

However, the two sides had reached a tenuous truce during World War I. During the 19 months the United States was involved in the war, coal production soared and miners’ wages rose.

West Virginia Legislative Services

Logan County Delegate Rupie Phillips will officially file his paperwork with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office today to become the only “Independent” in the West Virginia Legislature.

Elk
CommonsHelper2 Bot / Wikimedia Commons

Officials are trumpeting the return of an elk herd to West Virginia for the first time since 1875.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and officials from the state Division of Natural Resources are set to introduce the elk on Monday in Logan County.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court denied a Logan County circuit judge's appeal to remain on the bench and wrote that voters can't be penalized because of errors made by poll workers.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that after losing his race by 59 votes to Joshua Butcher in May, Judge Douglas Witten argued that irregularities in the polls should void the votes cast at several county precincts.

Brian Turner / Wikimedia Commons

A special court has certified Logan County's election results and dismissed a petition filed by a county circuit judge, which sought to overturn votes so he could remain on the bench.

After losing in his race by 59 votes to Joshua Butcher, Circuit Judge Douglas Witten claimed that irregularities in the polls in May should void the votes cast at several county precincts.

Blair Mountain Battlefield
WV Humanitites Council

On August 30, 1921, John Wilburn of Blair assembled between 50 and 75 armed men to attack Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin’s troops, which were entrenched at the pinnacle of Blair Mountain.

The 45-year-old coal miner and Baptist preacher told his followers it was time for him to lay down his Bible, take up his rifle, and fight for the union.

Curly Ray Cline
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

Musician “Curly” Ray Cline died on August 19, 1997, at age 64. The Logan County native was one of the best bluegrass fiddlers ever to emerge from West Virginia.

In 1938, at age 15, he got together with fellow friends and relatives from Logan County to form the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers. For the first decade, the band had an old-time music sound.

That changed in 1949, when they were joined by Larry Richardson on banjo and Bobby Osborne on mandolin. Overnight, the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers became one of the pioneers of bluegrass music.

Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

On August 9, 1954, former Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin died in Huntington at age 67. Chafin had been elected Logan County assessor at the young age of 21 and sheriff at 25. After a term as county clerk, he was reelected sheriff in 1920.

Sheriff Chafin bitterly opposed labor unions, and, with funding from coal companies, used his deputies—including ones hired off the street—to keep the United Mine Workers of America out of Logan County.

Suzette Cook Logan County Schools
WCHSTV

Suzette Cook has been named interim superintendent of Logan County schools amid a state investigation.

WSAZ-TV reports the county Board of Education named Cook during a meeting Monday. She replaces Phyllis Doty, who announced her retirement last week.

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