Warfield Saltworks and Coalmines
Warfield, formerly in Lawrence Co. until 1870, when the town became the first county seat of the newly created Martin Co., was established in the early 1850's as a coal, salt and lumber community by George Rogers Clark Floyd and John Warfield of Va. Products shipped by river boats to Cattlettsburg.
Floyd was a son of Governor John Floyd of Virginia and had served as Secretary of State for the Territory of Wisconsin under Polk from 1845 to 1848.
On March 3, 1857, George Rogers Clark Floyd deeded all the Warfield property to his brother John B. Floyd. [Lawrence Co. Deed Book E, p. 405] and in turn purchased 64,000 acres in Logan Co. from Anthony Lawson and moved with his family to Logan Co. VA. The same year, John B. Floyd, formerly Governor of Virginia, was appointed US Secretary of War under President James Buchanan.
In December 1860, John B. Floyd resigned his position as Secretary of War and subseqently served as brigadier-general in the Confederate Army. His vast Warfield property of 15,000 acres came under a sheriff's sale January 21, 1862 and was sold to Colonel Laban T. Moore and wife Sarah, Col. George W. Gallup and wife Rebecca, and Joseph Tromstine and wife Bertha. [Lawrence Co. Deed Book F, pp. 555-559/559-566, recorded September 11, 1862]
At the beginning of hostilities production had ceased at Warfield and the coal mines were used throughout the Civil War as hiding place against marauding by enemy. On Aug. 16, 1862, according to Damian Beach, Confederate cavalry repulsed and defeated a unit of Kentucky Home Guards near Warfield."
On August 26, 1863, General Floyd died near Abingdon, Virginia, at the home of his adoptive daughter, Mrs. Eliza Johnston Hughes, a niece of Confederate Maj. General Joseph E. Johnston. Her husband Robert W. Hughes was a US district judge from Norfolk, Virginia. Just eight days prior to his death, on Aug. 18, 1863, John B. Floyd had bequeathed all his estate to his wife Sallie B. Floyd.
[John B. Floyd Will, Martin Co. Will Book]
On Sept. 14, 1866, after the close of the Civil War, the Moores, Gallups and Tromstines sold the Warfield property to Robert W. Hughes for $ 3500, relinquishing all rights and title to the said property under the former sheriff's sale in Lawrence Co.
[Lawrence Co. Deed Book H, p. 522]
On July 2, 1867, the Warfield Coal and Salt Co. was deeded to Sallie B. Floyd, conveying all of Warfield, under general warrantee to her.
[Lawrence Co. Deed Book I, pp. 245-247 ? /285-287].
On the same day, Robert W. Hughes was appointed her Executor and Trustee
[Lawrence Co. Deed Book I, p. 284-285]
Map of Warfield in 1879
For larger image click on map
In December 1881, a correspondent of the Louisville Courier-Journal reported that "After a series of years of failure, mismanagement and disappointments, the [Warfield] estate fell into the hands of James A. Barrett of Martin Co., KY, a colonel in the Confederate army and a gentleman of rare intelligence. Knowing the value of associating capital in joint stock companies, Mr. Barrett has capitalized his estate and formed a company that develop its vast resources and bring untold wealth to its members.
[Ashland Independent, Dec. 29, 1881]
Researched and compiled by Marlitta H. Perkins [October 2002]