OLD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES - 1928
Scanned By Howard Osburn
Presented by The Wayne County Genealogical & Historical
(WCN - 1/9/1928) WAYNE COUNTY MAN SOUGHT IN LOGAN MURDER
Crazed with liquor, Frank Adkins, former Wayne county man, entered the
bedroom of his paramour in the rear of the Dingess pool room in Shamrock Bottom,
at Logan Thursday morning and with a club beat her to death in the presence of
her daughter and her cousin, Edna Dillon, according to a report by The Logan
Banner. Adkins is 32 years old and is the son of Jeff Adkins, who lives at
Shamrock Bottom at Logan. Adkins was born and reared in Wayne county. The dead
woman is the daughter of John Dillon of Marrowbone Creek, near the Wayne-Mingo
line. The story of the killing as published by the Banner continues: The dead
woman, Rosa Hannan, had been living with Frank Adkins at Shamrock Bottom for
over a year and the tragedy was the culmination of several months of trouble
between the two. Brookie Hannan, the 11-year old daughter of the dead woman,
related between heart-breaking sobs the tragedy. According to the girl, Adkins
entered the bedroom which is in the rear of the pool room and aroused the three
sleepers. He invited Rosa to drink with him but she refused. Her refusal to
accept the liquor incensed Adkins and he replied, said the girl, that "he loved
her enough to kill her." Seizing a club he beat her on the head until she was
unconscious. Blood stains on the bed clothing and the floor indicated the
gruesomeness of the slaying. Her skull was crushed and mangled by the blows that
the drunk man rained on her head. After she became unconscious he turned his
attention upon her two terror-stricken companions presumably with the intention
of killing them also. Edna Dillon was severely wounded by the club beater and
was removed to the Logan hospital after the killing. Her right arm was broken
and her face was badly cut by the blows. The daughter of the dead woman escaped
with a deep cut in her forehead. The dead women was 28 years old and the mother
of seven children. Three of the children were living with her in the house and
the other four with relatives at the head of Marrowbone, Mingo county. She had
not been Living with her husband for several years. She was a daughter of John
Dillon and her husband's name was Isaac Harman. This is the third tragedy to
occur in the Dillon family within the past month, Mrs. John Dillon having died
instantly on Christmas eve, the day after her son Dewey shot himself fatally.
Edna Dillon, one of the victims of Adkins' attack, is the daughter of Mrs. Riley
Damron, by a former marriage. She is 16 years old. Authorities were not notified
of the killing until several hours later. A search for Adkins was commenced
immediately by the state police and deputy sheriffs, but no clues as to his
whereabouts have been obtained. Adkins and the Hannan woman were both arrested
several times last year, officers say, for violating the prohibition laws. One
officer recalled that she had him arrested once and placed in jail and then came
to his aid and helped to bring about his release from custody.
(WCN-2/2/1928) Death Of Col. Mansfield Is Described In Letter
The following letter from Rev. Lawrence Dickerson, former well known Wayne county man, deals with certain historical facts of interest to a number of the readers of Wayne County News:
January 30, 1928
Wayne County News,
Wayne, West Va.
The account of the removal of the remains of Col. J. J. Mansfield from Wayne to Elmwood after a period of 66 years brought to my mind les what was told me by a Baptist preacher right close to where Col. Mansfield was shot during the Civil War. It seems that the next day after the little battle at the mouth of Scarry, on the Kanawha, Mr. Mansfield started home the nearest way possible. He doubtless went up Scarry, crossed the ridge, and went down a long branch which empties into Trace Fork of Mud River. Just after he reached the main road on Trace Fork, he started down the creek, when a "sharp-shooter" on a wooded point shot him in the back. The shooting took place in Putnam County at least fifteen miles from the mouth of Scarry where the battle was fought. I held a pastorate in Putnam county for eighteen years and six months.Within that time my business called me occasionally to the Trace Fork of Mud River. More than twenty-five years ago I was spending a night in the home of a young Baptist preacher on the Trace Fork. In the course of our conversation I mentioned that a man from my old home county was killed on this creek, and he said "what was his name?" And when I told him he said "yes he fell off his horse just across the creek there." Next morning I had him take me over the ground, from where his horse was caught just as he was crossing the week. We went up the road about one or two hundred yards and just as the road turned down the grade, my informant stopped and said "right about that spot is where he fell. It seems that just as his horse started down grade he fell off, and on the lower side of the road. I solemnly stood still on the sacred spot feeling sad. I thought of dear "Aunt Manda." After lingering a few minutes on that spot we quietly walked up over the road his horse ran, after he was shot. About a half mile up the road my friend stopped again near where he said he was when he was fired on. He also showed me the house to which he was carried, and also said he died in that house. I suppose now he must have been mistaken about that. The house was a good one for that day, a hewed log house and was still standing twenty-five years ago in a good state of preservation, and being used as a barn. Now why was Col. Mansfield shot, as he peaceably rode through a good neighborhood on the way to Trout's Hill to see his family before moving with the army into Virginia? It was at least fifteen miles away from the battle ground of Scarry and through a sparsely settled country. Reliable facts cannot now be found .My friend gave me the name of an old man then living at Milton who was said to know how it all happened, and got W. L. Mansfield's consent to get the facts, but just failed to do it. It was too far away from the force for a picket port. It is possible he might have been taken for someone else. Within four hours from the time he was shot he would have been on Trout's Hill if he had not been interferred with. I think "Aunt Mande."' told me she never heard it until his body was brought to town. Many times have I heard my father tell of his death, and also the killing of William and Lindsey Dean. The death of William Dean was a shameful affair. Only within the last two or three years since I have learned that he was shot by a Confederate soldier. The death of Lindsey Dean has one comfort in connection with it. It was a fair death according to war. He and my father slept in the same fence corner the night before he was killed and I have heard him tell many a time what they talked about. Just close to where Kellogg now stands our boys were fired on and Lindsey fell dead. Lieutenants Spurlock and Walker were in command. One of them commanded ‘Halt’ the other 'forward' the latter command was obeyed. But soon as they could, they dismounted and searched for the enemy, but none could be found. There will come a time when "they shall learn war no more." "Swords shall be beaten into plow shares and spears into pruning hooks." and I hope some may see the day when they can plow and prune, and have no fear of war.
(WCN - 2/9/1928) BOY, 19, GIVEN LIFE; KILLED FORT GAY MAN
FRED HICKS, 19 year old boy, was convicted of first degree murder in Logan
county last week, for the killing of Sam Bartram, age 34, a former Wayne county
man. Hicks was immediately sentenced to serve life in the penitentiary. It will
be recalled by our readers that Bartram was killed last November. He formerly
lived at Fort Gay, in this county, and was the son of the late Sheridan Bartram.
Bartram was shot three times during a liquor brawl and died instantly. The jury
that tried Hicks for the murder last week deliberated only 30 minutes beore
bringing in a verdict of guilty of first degree murder, with recommendation for
mercy. Hicks plead self-defense for the killing of his former friend, Bartram,
who was a large man compared to the other's immaturity and was Hicks' senior by
fifteen years. The boy had known Bartram all his life, and they had been friends
up until shortly before the killing when the two are said to have become rivals
lover a woman, a Mrs. Sevinas. Evidence in the case showed that the two had
quarreled early in the evening of the killing, and Hicks alleged that in that
instance Bartram taunted him with death. Later in the night, according to Hicks,
Bartram in a drunken condition visited him at his boarding house in Bandmill
hollow and attempted to start a row with him. He then urged him to go with him
to the home of Mrs. Basil Crank at another point in the hollow, and when he
refused, Hicks claims, Bartram grappled with him and fairly dragged him to the
Crank house. Inside the house and on a bed in one of the rooms they wrestled for
several minutes, when Hicks claims Bartram said he would kill him and started to
reach for a gun he had earlier seen in his pocket. Hicks then dived for his own
gun, he declared, and at this move Bartram is said to have yelled for help to
Dan Morrison, who was in another bedroom of the house. Morrison. rushed in
together with Mrs. Crank and the Sevinas woman who had been in the room with
him, and at once promiscuous shooting began. Just who fired the shots which
seemed to be coming from every direction, and whether more than Hicks and
Bartram were firing, was an uncertain matter. Bartram was shot three times,
dying almost instantly with one wound in each breast and a third in his hip.
Mrs. Crank was struck in the back by a bullet, but later recovered from the
injury. Dan Morrison also suffered a slight wound, a bullet grazing his right
(WCN - 3/8/1928) THREE WAYNE FOLKS KILLED IN CAR WRECK
Three former Wayne county people were killed in an automobile wreck near
Chattaroy in Mingo county last Wednesday, February 29, 1928. One other person
was killed and two others probably fatally injured in the same wreck. MRS. LEONA
JOHNSON, 30, died on the way to the hospital. Her mother, MRS. ALICE RAKES, 53,
died at the hospital. Mrs. Johnson's son BRUCE JOHNSON, age 11, was killed
instantly. All three of these were born and reared in Wayne county and were well
known to many people here. JOHN FLETCHER, 52, of Naugatuck, a farmer, driver of
the wrecked car died an hour after the accident. Noah Johnson, 28, Chattaroy
miner and husband of Mrs. Leona Johnson who was killed, is in the Logan hospital
in a very serious condition, with a fractured skull. His daughter, Darline
Johnson, 8, is also in the hospital with a badly fractured skull. It is doubtful
whether either recover. Reports from Williamson indicate the car plunged over a
20-foot precipice, alighting on the Norfolk and Western railway track. The
accident is attributed to defective steering apparatus. It occurred in one of
the widest stretches of state route No. 8. There the railway parallels with the
state highway for a distance and during the recent construction of the highway
it was necessary to erect a retaining wall at the scene of the wreck, making a
sheer drop of 20 feet to the tracks below which wall is unprotected by guard
rails. There was considerable doubt as to the probable cause of the wreck for
sometime but State Trooper Cochran and Hall, of Kermit Post, learned that Jay
Brown and a Mr. Bentine, of near Kermit, were in a car a short distance behind
the Fletcher machine. They declared that they noticed the automobile in front of
them suddenly careen from one side of the road to another and that the driver,
apparently familiar with the dangerous nature of the road at that point, steered
his machine into the bank in an effort to avoid going over the wall. The
automobile while not traveling at an excessive rate of speed, appeared to
rebound from the bank and then plunged over the wall with a crash that could be
heard for a great distance. The car, a Chevrolet sedan, which was demolished and
crushed as if constructed of cardboard, was the property of a Mrs. R. L. Gibson,
of Williamson, a sister of Fletcher. The sedan had turned completely over in the
air and had landed on the railroad tracks on its side, crashing every window in
the machine and converting it into a twisted and tangled mass of steel. None of
the occupants had been thrown clear of the machine, although their bodies in
different postures of horror and suffering were found partly pinned beneath the
weight of the car. Brown and Bentine, the only eye witnesses to the wreck,
hurriedly stopped their machine and rushed to the tracks below. They were unable
to lift the machine from the bodies but fortunately at this juncture Andrew
Herald, of Williamson, a telephone repairman, came along. Mr. Herald, realizing
that train No. 29 was then due and that there would be further loss of life if
the train ploughed into the wreckage in the tracks, ran up the track and
signalled the passenger train which was then approaching. Following this he
climbed one of the nearby telephone poles and, utilizing his emergency telephone
set, got in touch with Williamson doctors and authorities, requesting that aid
be dispatched. With four of the injured an ambulance left as soon as possible
for Logan hospital since the new Williamson hospital did not open until this
week Funeral services for Mrs. Rakes, Mrs. Johnson and her son, Bruce, were held
Sunday at Goodman cemetery at Chattaroy. John Fletcher was buried at his home at
(WCN - 4/19/1928) WAYNE MAN IN TEXAS WRITES GOOD LETTER
Wayne County News is privileged this week to publish a decidedly interesting letter from a former Wayne County man, Cullie F. Walker, who now lives in Montell, Texas. He is proprietor of a garage in that town and getting along nicely. It is interesting to get Mr. Walker's frank opinion of Wayne County and its advantages, after having been away from us for many years. Walker is a nephew of former circuit clerk Chas. E. Walker, of Wayne, and is the son of Millard Walker, deceased. who was born and reared in Wayne County. Mr. Walker's very interesting letter follows:
April 14, 1928
Wayne County News,
Wayne, West Virginia.
Having come to Texas from Wayne County, I am going to take advantage of your offer to write to all the folks back home through the column of the News. Since I have been gone so long, I rather think a word of introduction would not be out of place, and I will, therefore tell you, that I was born on Two Mile, near Wayne, and went to school there at Wayne until I was a pretty good sized chunk of a kid. My first teacher was Miss Angy Fuller. She taught in a little one-room log house at the mouth of Two Mile Creek. I left many a toe-nail on the rocks around there as a hard game of `nigger' or `stink base' did not allow a fellow much time to watch his step. We used to have barrels of fun also at the 'ole swimmin' hole' and that swimmin' hole, by the way, was just wherever the water looked cool and deep enough. We would just shuck and dive in. Ask Booker Lloyd, Newt Crockett or Grasshopper Walker if "one piece" bathing suits ever kept us from blistering our backs in the sun?
At this time Wayne did not have the fine graded and High schools you have now. I went about one term to the public school there; it was in a little one room house out on the edge of the hill near some church, on the same street that goes by the Masonic lodge building. Clitus Stevens was teaching. Later I went to Prof. McClure's Acadmy on the hill. I was in class with Lawrence McClure and was there the day he rode the old bear the Italian brought up there for our entertainment. As far as I am personally concerned, the above is plenty. If I did not have more of a subject than myself, I had better save my time and yours. I want to say something about my adopted State.
I am living out in west Texas, not far from the Rio Grande (Reeo Grande.) This is strictly a stock raising country and no good much for anything else. It is drouthy here and for that reason, farming would not be much of a go. We are very dry now but hope for rain every day. We may get it and may not. Texans are always full of hope, but far to wise to prophesy even a day ahead as to the weather. They will all tell you that a weather prophet here, is either a blank fool or a new comer. It may stay dry as a bone for six months
then cut loose and rain a foot, in two hours. I saw a twenty inch rain fall in twelve hours. Where there is permanent water to be had, irrigation is successfully practiced. I am in the edge of the winter-garden country, from which, thousands of cars of winter vegetables are shipped every year. All streams are lined with native pecan trees and we sell millions of pounds of nuts also.
The main effort in stock growing is the Angora goat. A lot of folks may think a goat is a goat and all enjoy and thrive on a diet of tin cans, old rubber boots, etc. The Angora is a goat, but he is a goat that is different. He is so valuable that hard fisted old ranchers have paid more than a thousand dollars for one billygoat. Hundreds of them have sold for as much as five hundred dollars each. They are valuable for their fleece and flesh. Examine the upholstery in high priced automobile or passenger coach, or try to buy some pure mohair dress goods. You will see why. The raw hair is worth about a dollar a pound. I would like for some of them to be tried in Wayne county. They would turn the blackberry bushes and sassafras into hard cash.
You often read of the West as being "wild and woolly,"" but from items in the Wayne County News I believe it is not near as "wild" as Wayne county. It is woolly alright. Texas has more sheep than any other state in U. S. A., otherwise it is tame.
A traveler might think the woods full of bad men from seeing so many officers in one of our border towns. We do have more officers than further inland because we are on the border. But really, they do not have much to do. Lots of toughs from both sides of the Rio Grande drift in here and they have some pretty "active" times on the Mexican side, but when a rough neck shows signs of being a "bad hombre" on the Texas side it is only a short time till some Ranger shows him where to head in. The Ranger is the officer you read about and he is "IT." The law compels him to carry two six shooter guns and they can make arrests in any part of the State. Dallas had some rioting once and called on the governor for Rangers and a single man was sent up there. When he arrived, the police chief met and asked him where his partners were. The Ranger was a little peeved the policeman that if he did not have but one riot he had no use for any more help.
We have a fine system of roads. As good as you find anywhere. Great asphalt beds are being mined right in our midst and that gives us an advantage over some places. Our neighbor may be miles away, but we are all connected up with rural telephone and one can sit in his home and visit or jump into TIN HENRY and run over for dinner and bridge. High voltage electric lines and small Delco plants give us light and refrigeration without ice, and with the radio, well suppose your next door neighbor is ten miles away ? Distance lends enchantment, etc., etc., besides their old domnecker will not scratch up our 'ingerns! Bear in mind, that what I am saying applies to the part of Texas in which I live. Texas is a "whopper" in size and disposition: Some parts need ditches for irrigation whereas other parts could only use them for drainage, where there is too much rain. You can pick oranges in South Texas and need an overcoat on the same day in Northern part of the state.
This letter is getting entirely too long, but I must say that I think Wayne county is much better than a lot of folks realize. You may see pretty pictures of peaches, read of "sun-kissed" this and that, but you are not told how the sun kissed the man's back that produced them. Nor of worry about water, rents, storms, etc., and how darn little he got for the stuff when ready to ship. You have soil, natural rainfall and market right at hand. In fact, if you have to ship your products across the continent, the producer is likely not to
see much profit. You folks in Wayne county have a lot of advantages that you ought to be thankful for. The pastures may look greener away from home, but take my word for it you will find your own good, county of Wayne hard to beat.
With warmest regards to all,
CULLIE. E. WALKER
(WCN-8/9/1928) E. L. BOOTH, a former Wayne county man, is being sought by
Florida officials on a charge of murdering his wife's grandfather at Lake City,
Fla., last week. Booth is known to many people in Wayne county, having lived
here before moving to Ohio. Saturday Florida authorities charged Booth and his
wife, Helen Booth, with the murder of Mrs. Booth's grandfather, age 78, wealthy
man of St. Clairsville, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Booth were from Mingo Junction, Ohio,
near Steubenville, from which place they went to Florida a few days ago. The
coroner's jury found that Simmons, whose body was found in the woods near Lake
City, Florida, came to his death "by a deadly weapon, a blunt instrument, at the
hands of E. L. Booth and Helen Booth, and the same was murder in the first
degree." The couple disappeared and despite a statewide search, authorities have
been unable to locate them. Witnesses testified that they saw the Booth car
traveling along the highway at a high rate of speed with the young husband
standing on the running hoard beating the aged man over the head, while Mrs.
Booth drove. Simmons and the couple had spent two weeks in a one-room cottage at
a tourist camp and during that time witnesses related many quarrels took place.
The trio left from the camp Monday night, and Tuesday Simmons' body was found by
C. B. Messer, operator of the camp where they stayed. The blood stained Booth
car was found abandoned in Jacksonville and since then no trace of the missing
couple has been found. Authorities believed the old man was robbed of a large
sum of money which he was reported to have possessed. Simmons was said to have
sold a large amount of Ohio real estate for cash before leaving his home to
accompany the couple on their honeymoon trip to Florida. The Booths were married
at Follansbee, W. Va., March 30.
(WCN-10/25/1928) RECORD SHOT OF EXPLOSIVES DROPPED IN WAYNE GASSER
The largest shot of explosives ever put in an oil or gas well in the United States East of the Mississippi river was put into a gas well in Wayne County last week, jarring the earth to a tremble around the well.
The well that was shot last week is located on Jennies Creek in Wayne county, about four miles up from the mouth of the creek. The well was shot by the Marietta Torpedo Company, of Marietta, Ohio. 1,365 quarts of nitro-glycerine was used for the charge, and the explosives formed a shot column of 1,200 feet. Eight men were on the job as shooters, in addition to Mr. Goe and Mr. Bosley, president and general manager of the Marietta Torpedo Company. These ten men directed the shooting, which required constant
work from 5 o'clock p. rn. Tuesday until 3 o'clock a. m. Thursday of last week.
The nitro-glycerine was brought to the well in light motor trucks. There were twelve load of 120 quarts each. In addition a truck load of torpedo shells were brought, which shells had to be specially built for this job. The shells used near the bottom of the well were triple re-inforced and those used at the center were double re-inforced. It required three weeks for the company to build the torpedo shells for this huge shot.
This gas well was drilled by Thompson Brothers, of Wayne, composed of R. J. Thompson and J. M. Thompson. (My dad, Rice Osburn and his brother Clyde worked for this company for years. Clyde was present at this shooting) The well was drilled for the Old Colony Gas Company on the Caldwell-Colton tract of mineral.
When the shot went off at 3 o'clock Thursday morning of last week, smoke and fire were thrown into the air for a distance of more than a thousand feet above the well. The well was 3,100 feet deep and had been producing about a quarter million feet of gas a day. This heavy shot doubled the gas flow from the well. This is a shale gas well, which came in at the sand just below the Berea.
The big shot last week was more or less of an experiment and was the first shot of this kind ever attempted. For that reason it was closely watched by officials of the Marietta Torpedo Company. The shells were especially built so as not to retract from force of the shot and still have sufficient force.
Shells and glycerine used for this shot weighed more than ten thousand
(Note- My Uncle Clyde Osburn worked for this company and was one of the crew who loaded this enormous quantity (1356 quarts) of nitro-glycerine into his well and shot it. In his later years, I worked on a drilling rig with him, and heard many of his early stories. This was the most remarkable one of them -- Howard Osburn, web-master)