Branch Limb of Imperial Apple Resulting In Improved
Formerly Lived GateCity
Edgar M. Quillin, former Gate Citian and now president of
a Waynesboro, Va. nursery concern, was in receipt
of information today that a patent had been granted him on
perfection of an apple tree improvement bearing fruit found by
investigation to be a “distinct, new variety characterized by
uniform full red color development weeks ahead os normal York
The telegram received by Quillin after his production had
been fully patented was:
“We take pleasure notifying you of grant of United
States plant patent number one hundred twenty-five covering your
Red York Imperial apple stop Recognized by Department of
Agriculture and United States patent office as distinct new
variety characterized by uniform full red color development
weeks ahead of normal York type.”
Thursday, January 17, 1935
Name List Civil War Vets
To the list of surviving soldiers of the Civil War
previously published in the Herald we add the name this week of
Mr. E. M. Thompson of Clinchport, Virginia, whose age is 103 years.He was born October 8, 1831
This name makes the total list reported so far, seventeen
The List ---
L. Johnson, Ft. Blackmore, Va.
M. Frazier, Ft. Blackmore, Va.
M. McConnell, Nickelsville, Va.
H. Wilhelm, Snowflake, Va.
W. Hill, Slant, Va.
W. T. Lane, Clinchport, Va.
Campbell, Hiltons, Va.
D. Ridgeway, Hiltons, Va.
Hill, Mabe, Va.
P. Rhoton, Duffield, Va.
E. Hooker, Hiltons, Va.
P. Ketron, Hiltons, Va.
P. Thompson, Duffield, Va.
Roller, Speers Ferry, Va.
H. Baker, GateCity, Route 4
W. McDavid, Gate City, Va., Route 1, age 92.
M. Thompson, Clinchport, Va., age 103 years.
The Herald will greatly appreciate any other names that
should be added to this list in order to make it complete.
Thursday, August 29, 1935
Virginia, May 6, 1944)
George W. Vineyard, Co. H. 48 Reg.Va. Vols.In Battles of McDowell, Winchester, Cross Keys, PortRepublics, Cedar Run, 2ndBull Run (wounded here), Fredericksburg (again wounded).
D. S. Godsey, Private Co. D. 37thVa. Regt.Henry H. Smith, Co. H. 45thVa. Reg.
Thos. E. Reynolds wounded at the battle of Manassas.
James M. Harris, Co. D. 37thVa. Reg. Wounded at Gettysburg.
William L. Hilton, Co. H. 48thVa. Regt. F. M. Smith, Capt. 27thVa. Regt.
Partial List of Soldiers from ScottCounty in the Civil War.
This list was made up from various sources.It may contain the names of soldiers from other counties as
accurate identification could not always be made.It is believed, however, that the list, for the most part,
Company K, 48th Regiment, Jones Brigade.
Jno. M. Payne, Capt., to rank from Feb.
14-63; Charles R. Skinker, 1stLieut., Capt.; R. Cross, Lieut., dropped S.O. 44, Feb. 22,
1865; T. Alderson, Lieut., M. L. Carter, 2nd Lieut.,
resigned S. O. 36, Feb. 13, 1862; Starr, ____, Lieut., Geo. W.
Edwards, Carpl., 3 years; Pryer,_____ Corporal., W. S. Archer, was
1st Sgt. Co. F. 21st Regt.Made 2nd Lieut. Co. K. 48, 1863 captured 9-22-64 at FortFisher and sent to FortDelaware; J. A. Buckle, F. M. Bumgardener,
T. N. Burrus, private; Samuel Burrus, do; F. W. Broadus, do; Riley
Clifton, died in Elmire & bd. In Woodlawn Natl. CemeteryN.Y.; James Campbell, James Carpenter,
Thomas Dickens, died and buried at Pt. Lookout, Md.; Nathan B.
Dougherty, Co. A 22 Regiment; Geo. W. Edwards 3 yrs. Wdd. At Bulls
Gap; M. J. Hubbard, died in service; William Hurt, Sur. Appo.; Ed
Hessee, Md. Line Soldiers Hore; John Hamilton , Private; J. M.
Jones, 4 yrs., Pulaski P. L.; Robert King, Floyd P. L. John
Kesner, died in Elmira & buried in Woodlawn Nat. Cemetery, N.
Y.; E. K. Statzer, Sur. Appo.; J. R. Stanley, Sur. Appo.; George
W. Vineyard Co. H. 48 Reg. Va., Vols.H. Williams, private; Charles Williams, do.
Thursday, October 10, 1935
Court Records Reviewed
Prof. I. C. Coley
This indenture made the 6th day of April in
the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine between
Hiram Kilgore of RussellCounty and State of Virginia, of the one part and Andrew
McClellan of SullivanCounty and State of Tenn., of the other part witnesseth
that for and in consideration of one hundred pounds to the said
Hiram Kilgore in hand paid the receipt whereof he the said Hiram
Kilgore doth hereby acknowledge hath granted, bargained and sold
and by these presents doth grant, bargain and sell unto the said
Andrew McClellan a certain tract or parcel of land lying and
being in Russell Co., Virginia, on both sides of Obey’s Creek
containing two hundred acres more or less the tract of land
being part of the same tract that was granted James Dusart by
patent bearing date 20th day of Feb., 1786 and
bounded as follows to-wit:
Beginning at the lower corner on Obey’s Creek and along
the several courses of the line till coming to the other side of
the conditional line which is marked to have and to hold the
said tract of land with all its appurtenances to him the said
Andrew McClellan, his heirs, and assigns forever, and the said
Hiram Kilgore for himself and his heirs do here covenant and
grant to and with the said Andrew McClellan his heirs and
assigns the tract of land aforesaid with its appurtenances
against the claim of all persons whatsoever and by these
presents forever defend in witness whereof the said Hiram
Kilgore have hereunto set his hand and sis seal the day and year
first above written, April 6, 1799
At August Court 1799:
This indenture of bargain and sale of land from Hiram
Kilgore to Andrew McClellan was produced in court and
acknowledged by the said Hiram Kilgore and ordered to be
James Albert, John Carter, Thomas Strong and Samuel Clark
reviewers appointed by an order of this courtmade on the 10th day of October, 1815, this
day made their report in the words following to-wit:
We the undersigned in pursuance of the appointed
conferred by the within order, being first sworn proceeded to
review the way proposed and commenced at reviewing at David Cox
Sen. And passing around his farm to the right, thence to Clinch
River and crossing the same at the fish trap at themouth of Rock Branch, thence op the same to the head
thereof, thence through the gag of Copper Ridge, thence to the
plantation of Laurence Owens, and through a part of his
plantation who consents thereto, thence down Owens Branch to
Obey’s Creek thence down the last mentioned creek to an old
trace and then crossing the creek to the plantation of Thomas
Strong and passing over his land who consents to its passing
over his land thence down Copper Creek, crossing it three times
thence up the Bluff by Blair’s plantation and through the
lands of Thomas Black who consents thereto thence down a hollow
to the Cove Road thence to the court house and we are of the
opinion by the opening of this road will afford a considerable
convenience to many persons in accommodating them with a road to
travel to the court house and will be of considerable utility
all of which is respectfully submitted to the honorable County
Court of Scott by your humble servants.
In the name of God, Amen-----I, Andrew McClellan of the
County of Scott being sick and weak in body but of sound mind
and disposing memory for which I thank God, and calling to mind
the uncertainty of human life and being desirous to dispose of
all such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me
with-----I give and bequeath the same in manner
following-----that is to say I give to my wife Rebecca
McClelland twenty seven dollars, one mare and colt, three cows
and calves, one steer, one bull and heifer, one bed and all the
pot ware and all the furniture and all the shelf ware,
plantation tools and all the geese and one chest, one flax wheel
and cotton wheel for and during the time of her natural life,
and after her decease I give the same to my children hereinafter
named equally to be divided among and to be enjoyed by them
I give my son George McClelland two dollars, to him and
his heirs forever.
I give to my son Josiah McClellan two dollars, to him and
his heirs forever.
I give to my son Moses McClellan one rifle gun, one Ewe
sheep to him and his heirs forever.
I give to my son Samuel McClelland the plantation I now
live on, one horse and bridle and saddle, one steer and heifer,
one rifle gun, one bed and furniture to him and his heirs
I give to my daughter Betty Casteel two dollars to her
and her heirs forever.
I give to my daughter Mary Lane two dollars to her and her heirs
I give to my daughter Rhodah McClelland one cow and
yearling steer and bed and furniture to her and her heirs
And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my friend
Henry Wood executor of this my last will and testament hereby
revoking all other or former wills or testaments by me
witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 17th
day of May in the year 1819.
sealed as and for the last will and testament of the above named
Andrew McClelland in the presence of
GateCity Herald Thursday, August 29, 1935
The first paper published in ScottCounty was the Scott Banner, the
publication of which began in 1873.Samuel Haynes, for many years prominently connected with
newspaper enterprises here, was of opinion that there was a
newspaper published in the county earlier than the Scott Banner.He failed, however, to remember its name and
characterized it as “a small affair.”
The Scott Banner was edited by Charles A. Heermans, of Tazewell County, Va.The printer was Geo. B. Terrill.The office equipment consisted of an old Washington hand press, and a small quantity
of type.S. P.
McConnell, then county clerk, owned a small job printing outfit
with which he printed such forms as were needed in the clerk’s
outfit was purchased and added to the Banner equipment.
In a short time Heermans sold his interest to Rufus A.
Ayers and George B. Terrell.Terrell soon sold his interest to Ayers, who thus became
the sole owner and editor.In
taking charge of the paper, April 27, 1876, Mr. Ayers wrote as follows:
After an absence from the editorial and business
departments of this paper for nearly six months it has fallen to
the lot of the writer to become its sole editor and proprietor
and as it is customary on such occasions to say something by the
way of introduction to the public, the writer has to say that
the paper will continue as heretofore to support the State
Conservative and National Democratic parties, but whilst the
paper will be as loyal to the reasonable demand of party leaders
and representatives as any in the district---yet we will not
blindly follow the dictation of the representatives of any party
further than their views and actions consist with right and the
interest of the great body of the people, who create them, and
to whom they are justly responsible for an abuse of their trust.
“It will be the aim of the paper to discuss the
question of the day fairly, fully, and independently.We claim the right to legitimately criticize the views of
other journals, and recognize their right to criticize ours.
“We deprecate and will studiously endeavor to avoid the
personal and individual attacks upon each other which some of
our neighbors of the quill have been wont to indulge.
“The writer will always endeavor to treat his brother
journalist with courtesy and respect which he hopes to receive
at their hands.We
will endeavor to faithfully and impartially represent all
classes and all the varied interests of this section and make
the paper interesting to all as prompt, full exposition of the
news of the day.To
that end we desire the influence and support of all the good
citizens within the range of it circulation.”
Some time subsequent to the presidential election of 1876
the Scott Banner seems to have suspended publication.In the meantime, however, a paper supporting the
candidacy of Col. J. B. Richmond for Congress was published
during the congressional campaign.
On August 3, 1881, the Scott Banner was again
sponsored this time by Smith H. Merison, Walker Morison, and R.
A. Ayers, with John A. Mahoney and Samuel A. Smythe as printers.It then changed hands several times, passing under the
control, in the order named of Samuel Haynes, Robert L. Smythe,
Thomas B. Garner, and, at last an old man from Washington whose name the author could not
publication was discontinued in the year 1892 or 1893.
In 1883 a stock company of which Judge M. B. Wood was
president, purchased a newspaper outfit, and began the
publication of the Progressive Age with J. B. Adams, editor, and
George B. Terrell, printer.The Age was published three or four years, and then
outfit was later moved to Big Stone Gap, Va.
John A. Mahoney conducted a paper called the Gate City
Gazette about the year 1890.The Gazette was succeeded by the Scott County Journal
which was published for a number of years.It was succeeded by C. C. Bausell’s Scott County Leader
which was discontinued in 1903 or 1904.
In the late nineties, H. A. W. Darter began the
publication of a paper called the Messenger, the control of
which soon passed to a man named Brown, who continued its
publication for a short time.
The Sentinel was founded by Gus Vicars, but it had a
brief existence owing to the plant’s being consumed by fire.
In 1903, the Gate City Herald was founded by C. C. and J.C. Boatright, who were later succeeded in the ownership
of the paper by L. B. Boatright.The Herald’s successful publications to this day.It has recently been purchased by J. M. C. H. Rollins.
From Addington’s History of Scott County.”
GateCity Herald Thursday, February 7, 1935
Taylor Will Made In Year 1834
I. C. Coley)
On the 12th day of Dec. 1832 personally
appeared in open court of the county court of Scott County and
state of Virginia, now sitting Nimrod Taylor, resident of Scott
County and state of Virginia, aged 76 years, who being duly
sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following
declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of the 7th
of June 1832.1st
that he as a volunteer entered the service of the United States
the first time for three months under the following named
officers, and served as herein stated, that is to say he does
not recollect precisely the year in which he entered the service
on the first tour but that the company marched from Fauquer
court house Va., in the fall of the year before Cornwallis was
taken, for Philadelphia, under Col. Triplett and Capt. John
Blackwell, who was called Marshey John, Lieutenant and Ensign
forgotten, that they marched on some distance when they got
orders for all the married men to go home and fix off the young
men for winter quarters, this applicant being married returned
home and there remained till his second tour herinafter
mentioned, but that he does not recollect that he got any
discharge, nor can he tell how long he was in service this first
tour, except that he thinks it was bout one month, but that he
stood ready and constantly expected to be called until the tour
expired, nor can he say what time he remained at home, before he
went on the second tour, but he supposes it was a year or
2nd that he in a second tour or three months
being drafted, entered the United States Army under the
following named officers, and served as herein stated, that is
to say he entered the service in the year in which Cornwallis
was pent in Little York, but he does not recollect the date
precisely, that he then lived in Fauquier Co., Virginia, left
home the first days of June of that year and marched to Mobbin
Hills in Virginia under Capt. William Grigsby, Lieut. John Baker
and Ensign Thomas Nelson, where he joined the army under the
command of General Demarchus Lafayette, Colonel Elias Edmunds,
and Major Welch, who was then a young man, but he does not
recollect the precise day, except that they marched as speedily
as possible from home to the army.That they lay there at Mobbin Hills for some time and
then marched from there to some place, the name of which he has
forgotten, except that they marched through a place called
Chikahominy swamps one very dark night, and from this latter
place they went to Williamsburg and lay there a short time,
during which time 1800 of them were called out one night about
dark to go down to the British lines at Little York, but he does
not recollect under what officer they went, when they were
formed as this applicant supposed to arrest the British light
horse, but they did not come out, that they stayed there till
about 10 or 11 o’clock the next day and marched back that day
to the army, soon after this a relief (new recruit) came and
they were discharged, having been out nearly four months on a
three months tour, but the applicant does not recollect that he
or any of the rest of the soldiers ever got any written
discharge, nor pay, soon after this applicant got home he was
taken sick and so remained for five months.
That on the second tour they marched through Hanover
County, and the places above stated in going to Williamsburg;
that they marched from Mobbin Hills to Williamsburg in company
with regulars of Demarchus Lafayette, and that they were
encamped near them while there.This applicant has no written evidence of the above
declaration, and he knows of no person living by whom he can
prove the same.He
hereby relinquishes all claim whatever to any pension or annuity
whatever, except the present and declares that his name is not
on any pension roll of any agency of any state whatsoever.
Subscribed and sworn to this day and date above written.
of Nimrod Taylor
I, Nimrod Taylor, Sr.,
of the county of Scott and state of Va., do hereby make my last will and
testament in manner and form following: this to say:
desire that all the perishable part of my estate be immediately
sold after my decease, on twelve months credit and out of all
the money arising therefrom all my just debts and funeral
expenses be paid.
the payment of my debts and funeral expenses I give to my wife,
Mary one third part of th4e money and all of my land for and
during her natural life, and after her decease I give the same
to my children hereinafter named equally to be divided among
them and enjoyed by them forever.
desire that my sons, William Taylor, James Taylor, and Nimrod
Taylor and daughters Nancy Carter, Polly Davidson and Liddy
Johnson shall have my land all equally divided among the except
a piece I sold to my son Nimrod and have received the pay for
I do hereby constitute and appoint my son James Taylor and
Son-in-law Charles Carter, executors of this my last will and
testament hereby revoking all other former wills and testaments
by me heretofore made.In
witness whereof I have hereinto set my hand and seal, this Feb. 5, 1834.
Polly Taylor above named married Henry Davidson and had
one son James (Jimmy) who married Mary Dorton and their children
were Robert, John (married Florence Carter, sister to the late
C. W. Carter), James and Melvin.One of the girls married Harry Riggs, one married Emory
Hill, one married Billy Cox and another married Thomas Horton.The boys went to Kansas several years ago, but I
understand that John and his wife are living yet or were lately.
Nancy Taylor married Charles Carter and was the Grand
Mother of the late Judge C. T. Duncan of Lee Co.Liddy Taylor married James Johnson and was
the grand mother of the late John M., James, George, C. C. and
B. F. Johnson and William Johnson still living.
Nimrod Taylor, Jr. married Judith Stewart, daughter of
William Stewart, Sr. whose wife was the daughter of Joseph
Carter, who died in Rye Cove in 1807 and who was the grand
father of the late Joseph H. Carter who died in 1909, Nimrod
Taylor’s son were William Taylor and James A. Taylor.James A. Taylor represented ScottCounty in the legislature in the late
seventies, and two of his grand sons, J. Mitchell Taylor and the
late M. P. Taylor did likewise quite recently.Nimrod Taylor made no will but the wills of James Taylor
and William follow:
The last will and testament of William Taylor of the county of Scott and state of Virginia.I William Taylor considering the uncertainty of this
mortal life and being of sound mind an memory do make and
publish this my last will and testament in manner and form
following, that is to say:First
I give my son James W. (Wick) Taylor the west end of the tract
of land where I now live to the southwest corner of the clover
lot, thence running something like a northwest course so to
square the line with the rang of the valley, by said J. W.
Taylor paying annually during the lifetime of William Taylor and
Mary his wife to wit:fifty
bushels of good sound corn and three hundred pounds of good
merchantable port, also five dollars in money, the first
installment to be due in 1849, which is intended for their
support, said J. W. Taylor is also in addition to the above to
pay two hundred and fifty dollars as follows to-wit:one hundred and seventy five dollars in trade at trade
rates, the seventy five is to be paid in money, out of which
there has been thirty one dollars of the money paid, the balance
of the trade and money to be paid in six years after their
death, if it should not be paid to the said William Taylor and
Mary his wife during their lifetime.It is to paid to the several heirs as follows:William Lawson’s heirs, and Benjamin B. Taylor’s are
to have thirty dollars each the advantage in the divide, then
the remainder to be equally divided among the several heirs of
Wm. W. Taylor’s children to heir his part.
Secondly I give to Nelson H. Taylor and Isaac T. Taylor
the entire balance of the tract of land where I now live by
their paying two hundred and fifty dollars as follows to-wit:Nelson H. Taylor is to pay one hundred dollars in trade
at trade rates and fifty dollars in money.Isaac T. Taylor is to pay one hundred dollars in trade at
trade rates; the land is to be equally divided between them two.Nelson H. Taylor is also to pay sixty bushels of good
sound corn and forty dozen o oats annually during the lifetime o
William Taylor and Mary his wife in order for their further
stipulated sums to be paid as soon as convenient after my death
and out of the monies arising therefrom all my just debts and
funeral expenses to be paid.
2nd after the payment of my debts and funeral
expenses I desire the remainder of my estate both real and
personal to be disposed of as hereinafter provided.
3rd I will and desire the heirs of above in
James W. Taylor’s payments.
Thirdly I give my son Isaac T. Taylor one year mare colt,
one cow and calf, one sow and one bed, furniture and stead.
Fourthly and lastly provided my wife Mary Taylor should
live longer than I do I give and bequeath all the rest and
residue of my personal estate to her authorizing her to sell at
private sale a sufficiency of the personal property to pay any
and all demands that may be against me if any there be so that
no public sale be made of any of my property.In witness whereof I set my hand and seal this thirtieth
day of May, 1849.
James H. HortonWit.
Robt. P. Spencer
William Taylor’s wife was Mary Horton.
Aug. 14, 1949
The sons of William Taylor were:Wm. W., James W. (Wick), John, Benjamin B., Nelson H.,
and Isaac T.Wm. (Wash) married Elizabeth Buster, John
married Catherine Lane, Nelson H. married Martha Lane, James W. married Belinda Speer,
and Isaac T. married Elizabeth Lane, one daughter, Eliza married
William Lawson --- They had 14 children, only one of whom is now
I, James N. Taylor of the county of Scott being of sound
mind and memory do herby make my last will and testament in
manner and form following, that is to say:1st I desire my perishable estate be sold my
son Nimrod Taylor and Caroline Taylor his wife, (Nimrod Taylor
married Caroline Tyler in 1848) a certain portion of my land
herein named: Beginning on a corner near the spring between John
Duncan, Enoch Pendleton, William Horton and myself thence with
the line down the branch to a sugar tree corner to Enoch
Pendleton, thence with the line between said Pendleton and my
self to a black walnut, corner to William Horton and Enoch
Pendleton thence a straight line running in the same direction
as the line between William Horton and Enoch Pendleton to
Benjamin Bolton’s line on top of the ridge, thence with the
Bolton line to a chestnut and poplar corner to John Duncan,
thence with said Duncan’s line to the beginning, with all its
appurtenances to have and hold forever.
4th I desire the balance of my land to be
equally divided between the rest of my heirs as I shall herein
name, Polly Clark wife of John Clark.The heirs of Elizabeth Wood, wife of Wm. M. Wood, the
heirs of Rosemond Pendleton, the wife of Ira N. Pendleton,
Matilda Carter, wife of Elijah E. Carter, and James Taylor,
(Monkey Jim) and amount of a debt I had against the estate of
Ira N. Pendleton for one hundred and fifty nine dollars and
fifty cents shall be taken from the part that will belong to the
heirs of my daughter Rosamond Pendleton, and divided equally
among my several heirs to-wit: Polly Clark, the heirs of my
daughter Elizabeth Wood, Matilda Carter, and James Taylor and
the heirs of Rosamond Pendleton.
5th I will and devise the remainder of my
perishable estate after paying all debts and funeral expenses
shall be divided into six parts and divided as follows:One sixth part to my daughter Polly Clark, one sixth to
the heirs of Elizabeth Wood, one sixth part to Matilda Carter,
one sixth part to the heirs of Rosamond Pendleton, one sixth to
the heirs of Nimrod Taylor and one sixth to James Taylor, and I
will and desire that Elizabeth Wood my daughter shall have one
dollar of my estate.I
also will and desire that my son Nimrod Taylor shall have my
rifle gun and that he shall have any of the land I have willed
to the heirs of Nimrod Taylor and Caroline Taylor his wife that
he may desire to cultivate so long as he may live.I also desire that the balance of the land be kept in the
family, and any desiring to sell shall try to sell so it can be
kept in the family and if not do the best they can.I appoint Elijah E. Carter and James Taylor, Jr. my
James N.XTaylor Mark
Charles T. DuncanWit.
H. Clay Carter
George W. Mullins
Aug. 9, 1864
GateCity Herald Thursday, August 29, 1935
Tell Of Old Raft Days
Of rafting Read Like Romance;
Best Timber Sold On That Plan
L. Osborne and Logan Osborne
There are yet many people in ScottCounty who remember the days of rafting
on the Clinch, but for the sake of those who did not live in
that period and those who shall yet crave to know something
about the days when we were much more in the backwoods than we
are to-day, we write this story.
Most of the fine timber in ScottCounty was gone before a good market
better price should have been paid for the logs that went down
rafting began about 1880 and continued until the completion of
the C.C. &O Railroad about 1909.It would be difficult to estimate the millions o feet of
the County’s best timber that was sold in this way.
In the beginning, Mr. James Brickey from near Ft.Blackmore bought all the timber on the
ridges along the Clinch from Ft.Blackmore to RussellCounty.He paid one to two dollars a tree.The best walnut brought two dollars.This timber was easily logged.Much of it could be rolled or skidded with little effort
to the edge of the river.Mr.
Brickey used but two or three yoke of oxen for the entire
cost about $65.00 a yoke.A
good driver received a wage of fifty cents a day or $10 a month.
Some other timber was later cut that had to be hauled a
short distance to the river.All the timber close the river was gone when the railroad
was built.One large
boundary in the mountain above Ft.Blackmore was manufactured at F. Blackmore
after the completion of the C.C. & O. and earlier than that
another large set was sawed out at the base of the High Knob on
the Stoney Creek.Reforestation will now begin in this area with the
organization of the Lake-mountainNational Forest and we hope to see a Civilian
Conservation Corps Camp established on the ScottCounty side of this forest
The technique of raft making will soon be a lost art.It has probably served its day and will never be revived.Yet it was an economical way to get the timber to the
Much of this timber was delivered at Clinchport to men
who took it on down the Clinch into the Tennessee to Chattanooga or Clinton.A crew of them men brought the rafts thru the rough
waters from Dungannon on the Clinch to Clinchport.Here men were turned back and still others as the work
became less hazardous.
These rafts were made up of 150 to 250 logs and contained
50 to 100 thousand feet.The
rafts were started as single rafts, but after the worst water
was passed two were tied together to form a double raft.These rafts were steered by large oars.A nice slim chestnut of sufficient strength was used for
an oar stem.This
stem was 25 to 35 feet in length.The paddle was a well seasoned 15 ft. board, three inches
thick at the end which was fastened in the stem, and shaved to a
thin edge to make it “flip;” as the stroke was completed.
The logs were bound together with young hickory saplings.These were split in the center.At First spikes were tried, but these were not
pins were used for successful rafting.The holes for these pegs were made with a two inch auger
through the binder and one and one-half inch auger into the log.
These rafts were not always brought through the rough
waters, such as the Slate Cliff and the Blue Cliff above
Dungannon, and Stoney Creek Shoals at Ft.Blackmore, and Ervin’s Bend at Hill Station.Many rafts were torn up in these places, and most of the
logs lost.Men were
hurt and some killed.Hop
Duncan was killed while trying to swim out of a wreck in the Stoney Creek
Sometimes a wreck was tied up until the tide went down
and was repaired to be floated again on the next tide.This was sometimes the following winter.These wrecks were relatively few, for these expert
steersmen who knew the trick of the river, and when the tide was
high enough and not too high.When the tide was too high they would have to tie up and
Steersmen to Clinchport through the bad waters were P. H.
Osborne, B. F. Osborne, Logan Osborne, Kenny Ramey and David
would direct the hazardous work of drifting the rafts out of RussellCounty and upper ScottCounty.John Catron, John Church, Isaac Horton, Tom Neff were
steersmen on to Chattanooga.
This work had to be done in the cold weather of winter
young men were required.Many
times they could have to swim out through floating ice and spend
the night around a camp fire.Food was stored on the raft and cooked there, on a hearth
of mud and stone or sometimes in a small cook stove.The bunk was built in the middle of the raft, and straw
was carried for bedding.
Steersmen were paid two dollars a day and other
hands one dollar a day.The
round trip to Clinchport took about a week.The trip on into Tennessee was slower and usually took
about a month.
We wish it were possible to collect the stories of the
experiences of the men who rode these rafts through the rapids
of the Clinch.Z. D.
Collins at Dungannon had all his money tied up in two large
were approximately 300 feet long.P. H. Osborne was steering one and David Sluss the other.The rafts started out from SandyPoint at Dungannon.Each raft was worth about $1000.Bill Bryant, Will Collins, Evan Collins, Hoge Osborne,
Fleet Osborne, and Loge Osborne were on the two rafts.The rafts were very heavy and they had been forced to tie
cable had worn out.They
got through and were nearing Clinchport.The oars were broken in an effort to tie, and the ropes
would not hold.It
looked like the rafts would be lost by running into the railroad
bridge at Clinchport.Three
attempts were made to tie.P.
H. Osborne and Z. D. Collins broke a boat loose nearby and
paddled with all their strength ahead to get a rope.They over took two men from Chattanooga, who had two ropes.Collins said, “I can not tie my rafts and all have will
be lost.Loan me a
rope a few minutes.”“We
will do no such G__ D___ thing.We are taking care of ourselves; you do the same.”“Sell me a rope.”Collins begged.“Nothing
shaking,” the other replied.“Now you get to hell off of here before I cut your head
off with this axe.”“You
put that axe down or I will Kill you” Collins said, if you
will not loan nor sell we will take a rope.”At that a fight started and P. H. Osborne untied a rope
and they started back up the river with cursing and threats from
the owner.The raft
which was now a double raft, was tied up just in time to keep it
out of the bridge.The
rope was returned and owner forced to take pay for its use.
One winter Kenny Ramey was steering a raft for Jim Marcum
and Marion Stapleton.Loge
Osborne, P. H. Osborne, Charlie Wheatly were on the bow.“Happy” Blevins and Kenny Ramey were on the stern.The raft was loaded and cut loose at Isaac Porter’s at
good start was made.But
Kenny saw a friend on the bank and began “hollering” to him.The friend was Lonzo Semones.This joking and fun took the steersman’s eye and mind
off the job.Sinking
Shoal Cliff was just ahead.When Kenny was aroused to the danger he gave the command,
“Quick, up! Lay her over to the right.”It was too late.The
raft hit the cliff, tore off the oars and ripped the binder back
half way.Many of
the best logs were lost.On
down thru the rapids, ripping, bumping with loose logs rolling
under the raft, men screaming, but not daring to leave the
wreck.What was left
reached an eddy and was tied up, and rafted for the next tide.
Many trips were made on many a tide in the roughest
weather, down the Clinch.And
many are the stories that these old rafter still tell to the
children and grandchildren around the winter fires, while tides
come, but the rafts float no more.
The oxen are found no more in the woods, the powerful
truck hauls the logs to the market, or to the railroad station.The railroad came and had its day like the rafting tide
and now the good highway and the auto-truck.But nothing today compares in adventure to those days of
logging with the oxen and the floating of the mighty rafts down
Truly the history of man progress is the
history of transportation.But
do we have better men with it all?Have we in ScottCounty builded men as we have builded
roads and school houses?The
nations security depends not upon these material things but upon
the character of men.In
the shadow of the monument of material success we seek a way
Plenty of railroads, too much cotton, too much wheat, too
many hogs, too much clothing in warehouses, too much money in
the banks, too many school houses and teachers, too many
churches and preachers, too many colleges.The wealth of plain and mountains, of soil and mine still
here.Yet we lost
something that brought us down into the trough of the greatest
“depression” in the history of our country.What had we lost?We
had lost that quality that enables men to trust each other.
GateCity Herald Thursday, August 29, 1935
Compton Writes Article Revealing Indian
Traders Preceded Settlers
C. V. Compton)
Few characters in our local history have been so
universally ignored as the Old Indian Traders of Southwest
Virginia and EastTenn.The majority of his contemporaries, including colonial
authorities, travelers, writers, and even the Indians themselves
fail to make mention of him in our section of the country.Nevertheless we know they were here in great numbers and
not altogether without worth, nor wanting in qualities that made
some of the early pioneers interesting and colorful.
The early Indian traders were the pathfinders for
civilization, whose role, in the westward swing on this
continent, cannot be over-estimated.As a class they were restless and venturesome, courageous
to the point of recklessness, and disdainful of physical
Even in the closing decade of the seventeenth century
this region was visited by traders from Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Spain and New France, but the credit for developing
this great fur region belong largely to the traders of Philadelphia.When the fur fields east of the Blue Ridge in Virginia, and the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania had been exhausted these daring
adventurers crossed over to the little known region lying on the
western slope of the mountain.Each year they cam farther and farther west and southwest
in search of the skin of the beaver and pelt of the deer.
Cornelius Daugherty (Dority or Doherty), a hunted man by
the court of William and Mary, came to either Maryland or
Virginia in 1688 and opened up one of the first trade routes in
1690 with the Cherokee Indians of Southwest Virginia and East
He died in 1788 at a very advanced age.He said, according to record a year or so before his
death, that he was 120 years old then.Possibly he was the first great English trader to come to
Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.
I shall give the names of a few of the great traders that
came down to Southwest Virginia and some into Tennessee:
Abraham Woods, Christopher Gist, Aaron Price, James
Needham, Gabriel Arthur, George McConnell, James Adair,
Cornelius Daugherty, Andrew Greear, Jared Williams, Henderson
and whole host of others who preceded the settling of the
wilderness from to fifty years.Even these first traders to the Cherokee country found
that the French and Spaniards had been trading with them for a
long time before they arrived.
These old traders would arrive at the forks of some creek
or river in the early fall and trade his ware consisting of
guns, bullets, flints, knives, tomahawks, hatchets, hoes,
blankets, petticoats with many ruffles, stockings, ribbons,
bracelets, scissors, awls, looking glasses, salt and sometimes a
little liquor, on the promise of a group of Indian bucks’
Indian men would go out from the various Cherokee villages, make
their hunting lodges in woods near the creeks during the fall
and would spend the whole winter in hunting.
Many of these Indian braves hunted along Copper Creek,
Moccasin, Clinch River, Stoney Creek, CampPlank and all over southwest Virginia.They would kill their game and dress the skin and deliver
it to the traders at “let us say” Ft. Blackmore, Kingsport, and
various other places where towns are now located and exchange
their pelts and hides for the manufactured goods.
In after years it was these trading centers which formed
the first settlements.
In the early spring hundreds of packhorses could be seen
going to either Philadelphia or Baltimore, each horse carrying about one
hundred and fifty pounds of pelt, and always wearing a bell.These packhorses were trained to follow a leader through
narrow chasms, and in mere paths for a road.The trip from Southwest Virginia to Philadelphia with a drove of packhorses would
consume about three weeks time.
About twenty packhorses formed a trader’s outfit of
live stock.Along up
toward East Radford many traders would unite and
form quite a caravan going to the eastern market.Bertram’s Travels published about 1800 says that they
always traveled in Indian style, the veteran in the van and the
newer horses in the rear.He
says when the caravan nears a fort that constant ringing of the
bells, smacking of the cow hide whips, whooping and the frequent
oaths of the drivers caused an incessant uproar and confusion
which could be heard for miles.
Philadelphia about 1700 was becoming the
center of a large fur trade, even outranking New York and Boston.These traders came down the “great trough” to the New River as early as 1670 and each
succeeding year found increasing numbers of them venturing
farther into the west.As
early as 1725 they had penetrated into the Yadkin, Holston, Clinch, Green Briar, and even
as far southwest as the French Broad and the Tennessee.Much of the fur bearing animals of Virginia had been annihilated by 1750.
These old traders in reaching the territory around East Radford met with a very peculiar
terrain, different from any region with which they had
heretofore come in contact.Here they found a river on top of a mountain, cutting
across hills and flowing in an opposite direction to any stream
they had yet found.The
New River proved to be the greatest distributing farce in scattering fur traders
and settlers west, north and south of any river in America.
Many of the traders followed the river into North Carolina, opening settlement which was
the first great real estate boom ever heard of in America.Settlers came to the YadkinValley from New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland.Just prior to the Revolutionary War every colony of America had its quota in this valley.
From the New River region the settlers followed the traders down to the great Kanawha,
over to the Green Brian, across the highlands to the headwaters
of the Holston, and from the mouth of Wolfe Creek in to the Clinch region.These traders buy a supply of cheap goods trekked out o Philadelphia usually on their own initiative
and resourcefulness had enabled them to make money and to gain
for their home country virtually the southwest.
We are sorry that we do not know more about these old
Thomas Walker explored southwest Virginia and ScotCounty in 1750 he found the Clinch
named for an old trader whose name even by 1750 had been
forgotten as it had taken place years and years before.We know that some of them were men of wealth and of
true that many of them were indiscreet, governed by the present
day standards of social behavior, but their faults were common
to the men of their day, therefore they should no be judged too
It was trade that first brought George McConnell, Shelby,
McClung, Blackmore, Woods, and a whole host of other people to
know about ScottCounty and Southwest Virginia.During those days it was considered honest and
resourceful to cheat the Indians wherever it could be done.Finally Pennsylvania passed a law against the
cheating of the Indians, which drove many of the traders to Virginia and East Tennessee.
I have copied from an old play titled “Ponteach”
written by Robert Rogers in 1766 which gives an interesting bit
of history in reference to the Indian Traders; McDole tells
Murphy what it takes to make a good Indian Trader:
--- “tis very well; your articles are good; but now the thing
is to make profit from them, worth all your toil and pain of
fundamental maxim then is this, that it is no crime to cheat and
gull an Indian.
--- How!Not a sin
to cheat an Indian, yousay?Are they not men?Haven’t
they a right to justice as well as we, though savage in their
--- Ah! If you boggle here I say no more; this is the very
quintessence of trade, and every hope of gain depends upon it;
none who neglect it ever did grow rich, or ever will, or by
this old Ogden built his stately house,
purchased estates and grew like a king.He like an honest man, bought all by weight and made the
ignorant savage believe that his right foot exactly weighed a
pound by this for many years he bought their furs and died in
quite like an honest dealer.
--- Will, I’ll not stick at what is necessary but his device
now has grown old and stale, nor could I manage such a barefaced
--- A thousand opportunities present to take advantage of their
ignorance; but the great engine --- I employ Rum, more powerful
made by certain strengthening drugs.This is distributed with a liberal hand.
Which makes them think me more generous than just, and
give full scope to practice my art.I then begin my trade with watered rum.The cooling draught well suits their searching throats,
their fur and peltry some in quick return; my scales are honest,
but so well contrived, that one small dip will turn three pounds
to one --- which they poor, silly souls; ignorant of weights,
and rules of balancing, do not perceive.
This description is not altogether unjust.History has not dealt fully or accurately with the
traders who preceded the settlers.But from records we find where some dealt absolutely
honestly with the red men and they usually followed “Gresham
Law of Money” the bad soon drove the good out o circulation.
In our search we find many nationalities represented
among these early traders.According
to Volwiler’s “Life of Croghan” the majority of them were
Irish and Germans with a few Jews scattered among them.
We know for years James Adair was the “godfather” of
the Cherokee Indians.Doubtless
he hunted and roamed over some of ScottCounty territory.He married, as the major part of all Indian Traders an
Indian squaw, and one of his sons by his marriage married a
woman by the name of Kilgore.
Adair bore about the same relation to the Indians just south of ScottCounty that Croghan did to the Indians
of Pennsylvania, and McGillivary to the Southern Tribes.
Adair has left possibly one of the best accounts of these
Cherokee Indians and traders but his account would be much more
valuable had he not eternally attempted to prove to the English
people that these Indians were the “Lost Tribes of Israel.”
Much valuable information is still stored in musty
archives in Philadelphia, Richmond, and Baltimore on these fur traders of Southwest Virginia.
Thursday, July 25, 1935
Walker Lane Found Guilty Malicious Wounding;
Jury Recommends 6 Years
Pleads Self Defense In Attack Upon Starnes; Avers He Sought
Break Up Attentions To Married Woman
The plea of self defense
was unsuccessful for Walker Lane, 36, charged with malicious
wounding in the shooting of Charles Starnes, school teacher,
near Dungannon last month.
A ScottCounty criminal court jury deliberated
25 minutes to find him guilty of malicious wounding and
recommended a sentence of 6 years, when its verdict was returned
at Tuesday afternoon.
Lane’s attorney signified and appeal was probable.
Starnes, a ScottCounty school teacher for the past
three years, graduated from MilliganCollege, Milligan, Tenn. Receiving an A.B. degree.
He testified he sought to flee from Lane as the latter
approached with an accusation he, Starnes, had wronged him in
some way unknown to Starnes.
Starnes declared the bullet wound numbed his left arm so
much he did not realize he was shot until he saw blood on his
shirt front and tried to move his left arm in a defense movement
against and alleged attack by Lane.
Lane testified he did not shoot Starnes in the back or
through the left shoulder blade as the wound apparently
indicated from appearances of the point of entrance and exit,
but shot only to protect himself from a knife wielded by
The defendant said the shooting culminated efforts on his
part to break up an alleged attentions of Starnes to his
sister-in-law, Clarice Carter.
Lane was represented by S. H. Bond, Hagan Bond, and Cecil
Coleman conducted active prosecution examination in assistance
with J. Frank Sergent, Commonwealth Attorney, and L. P. Fraley.
Thursday, August 15, 1935
Attend Wolfe Reunion Here Sunday; Senator Todd Makes Speech
Has Appearance Political Convention As Hundreds Throng To
GateCity took on the appearance of a town playing host to a political convention
Sunday when hundreds thronged here to attend the Wolfe families
Throughout the day, the courthouse and lawn were
virtually packed as the program scheduled for the day was
carried out, with two widely known men making the keynote
Rev. A. J. Wolfe, Big Stone Gap, was the principal
speaker during the morning session, followed by State Senator
John R. Todd, representing Sullivan and Hawkins Counties, Tenn.,
making the principal address during the afternoon program.
The program was carried out was: Morning Session: Victor
S. Wolfe, president of the Reunion presiding, the following
committees were appointed:
of U. J. Wolfe, Houston, Tex., B. C. Wolfe, James Tate.
committee: W. A.
Wolfe, O. C. Grim, H. H. Taylor.
Sermon by Rev. A. J. Wolfe. Morning
session closed --- Lunch served on Court House Green.
E. T. Carter introduced the principal speaker of the afternoon,
Senator John R. Todd.
A. J. Wolfe presiding
Committee reported, naming the following officers:
President, Victor S. Wolfe, Nickelsville, Va.; Vice-pres. Gladys Roebuck, Big
Stone Gap, Va.; Vice-pres., Mrs. Carl C. Brown,
Spokane, Washington, Rt. 8; Vice-pres., U. J. Wolfe, Houston,
Texas; Treasured, E. R. Wolfe, Gate City, Va.
b.Resolutions committee report:
highly appreciate this meeting and sincerely thank our many
friends and relatives for this attendance.
highly appreciate the interest that the relative, Rev. A. J.
Wolfe has taken in these meetings and thank him for his interest
and labor in our behalf.
our thanks to Judge Carter for tendering us the Court House for
Senator John R. Todd for his splendid address and hope he will
attend our meetings in the future.
especially thank the ladies for the bountiful and most excellent
that we meet again in GateCity in the year 1936 on the 3rd Sunday in August.
It was decided to erect a suitable marker at the grave of
John Wolfe, early pioneer settler, who is buried near GateCity.Funds were donated and the
Treasurer was ordered to open an account in The First and
Peoples National Bank, GateCity, name of Wolfe Reunion, for same.
Motion by Mrs. Flora Wolfe, seconded by U. J. Wolfe ---
carried --- to select one member from each of following Klan to
collect funds for Monument to John Wolfe.
Wolf Klan ……...... A. J. Wolfe
Wolfe Klan …….... R. V. Wolfe
Wolfe Klan ..... C. R. Lane
Wolfe Klan ……….. E. R. Wolfe
Wolfe Klan ……....
Funds collected to be deposited in First and Peoples
Bank, GateCity to account of Wolfe Reunion.