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Gate City Herald - 1935
Contributed by Don Lane

The Gate City Herald
Thursday, June 6, 1935

Former Gate City Man Given Patent On Nursery Plant


Improves Branch Limb of Imperial Apple Resulting In Improved Productions; 
Formerly Lived
Gate City


     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 type.”

     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.”


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, January 17, 1935

Seventeenth 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 in number.


--- The List ---

W. L. Johnson, Ft. Blackmore , Va.

R. M. Frazier, Ft. Blackmore , Va.

James M. McConnell, Nickelsville , Va.

Joseph H. Wilhelm, Snowflake, Va.

Ira W. Hill, Slant, Va.

W. T. Lane , Clinchport , Va.

Frank Campbell, Hiltons, Va.

W. D. Ridgeway, Hiltons, Va.

Benjamin Hill, Mabe , Va.

E. P. Rhoton, Duffield , Va.

J. E. Hooker, Hiltons, Va.

J. P. Ketron, Hiltons, Va.

H. P. Thompson, Duffield , Va.

Jacob Roller, Speers Ferry, Va.

C. H. Baker, Gate City , Route 4

W. W. McDavid , Gate City , Va. , Route 1, age 92.

E. 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.


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, August 29, 1935

Scott Confederate Soldiers


(Abingdon, Virginia, May 6, 1944)

     George W. Vineyard, Co. H. 48 Reg. Va. Vols.  In Battles of McDowell, Winchester , Cross Keys, Port Republics , Cedar Run, 2nd Bull Run (wounded here), Fredericksburg (again wounded).

     D. S. Godsey, Private Co. D. 37th Va. Regt.  Henry H. Smith, Co. H. 45th Va. Reg.

     Thos. E. Reynolds wounded at the battle of Manassas .

     James M. Harris, Co. D. 37th Va. Reg. Wounded at Gettysburg .

     William L. Hilton, Co. H. 48th Va. Regt. F. M. Smith, Capt. 27th Va. Regt.

A Partial List of Soldiers from Scott County 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, is correct.

     Company K, 48th Regiment, Jones Brigade.

     Jno. M. Payne, Capt., to rank from Feb. 14-63; Charles R. Skinker, 1st  Lieut., 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 Fort Fisher and sent to Fort Delaware ; 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. Cemetery N.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.


Scott County Herald
Thursday, October 10, 1935

Interesting Court Records Reviewed

Abstracted by
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 Russell County and State of Virginia , of the one part and Andrew McClellan of Sullivan County 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

                                   Hiram Kilgore


     William Kilgore

     Adam Sherrell

     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 recorded.

Teste:___________  Henry Dickenson,

     Scott County , 1815:

     James Albert, John Carter, Thomas Strong and Samuel Clark reviewers appointed by an order of this court  made 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 the  mouth 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.

     John Carter,

     Thomas Strong,

     Andrew McClellan.

     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 forever:

     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 forever.

     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 forever.

     I give to my daughter Rhodah McClelland one cow and yearling steer and bed and furniture to her and her heirs forever.

     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 heretofore made.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 17th day of May in the year 1819.

     Andrew McClelland

     Signed, sealed as and for the last will and testament of the above named Andrew McClelland in the presence of

     Susannah Miller

     Sarah Elliott

     Hannah Strong


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, August 29, 1935

Early Scott County Newspapers


     The first paper published in Scott County 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 office.  This job 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 published.  It was 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 obtain.  Its 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 suspended publication.  The 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.”


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, February 7, 1935

Nimrod Taylor Will Made In Year 1834

(By 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 upwards.

   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.

Nimrod Taylor

Will 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:

     1st  I 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.

     2nd  after 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.

     3rd  I 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 the same.

     4th  lastly 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 .


Nimrod  X  Taylor


Elijah E. Carter
Zechariah Fugate                            Witnesses
Ghomar Babb

     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 Scott County 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:

William Taylor’s Will

     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 support.  The above 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.

William Taylor


William Horton
James H. Horton                               Wit.
Robt. P. Spencer

     William Taylor’s wife was Mary Horton.

Probated 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 living.

James Taylor’s Will

     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 executors.  This June (unreadable), 1859.

James N.  X 

John Duncan
Charles T. Duncan                            Wit.
H. Clay Carter
George W. Mullins

Probated Aug. 9, 1864


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, August 29, 1935

Osbornes Tell Of Old Raft Days

Experiences Of rafting Read Like Romance;
Best Timber Sold On That Plan

Roy L. Osborne and Logan Osborne

     There are yet many people in Scott County 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 Scott County was gone before a good market existed.  Perhaps a better price should have been paid for the logs that went down the river.  The 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 Russell County .  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 boundary.  The oxen 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-mountain National Forest and we hope to see a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp established on the Scott County 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 markets.

     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 satisfactory.  Wooden 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 Shoals.

     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 wait.

     Steersmen to Clinchport through the bad waters were P. H. Osborne, B. F. Osborne, Logan Osborne, Kenny Ramey and David Sluss.  These men would direct the hazardous work of drifting the rafts out of Russell County and upper Scott County .  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 and spring.  Hardy 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 rafts.  These rafts were approximately 300 feet long.  P. H. Osborne was steering one and David Sluss the other.  The rafts started out from Sandy Point 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 up frequently.  The 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 Sinking Shoals.  A 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 the Clinch

     Truly the history of man progress is the history of transportation.  But do we have better men with it all?  Have we in Scott County 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 out.

     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.

The Gate City Herald
Thursday, August 29, 1935

Compton Writes Article Revealing Indian Traders Preceded Settlers


(by C. V. Compton)

     Few characters in our local history have been so universally ignored as the Old Indian Traders of Southwest Virginia and East Tenn.   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 dangers.

     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 Tennessee.

     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’ winter hunt.  The 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 , Camp Plank 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 Yadkin Valley 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 traders.  When Dr. Thomas Walker explored southwest Virginia and Scot County 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 education.  It is 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 harshly.

     It was trade that first brought George McConnell, Shelby, McClung, Blackmore, Woods, and a whole host of other people to know about Scott County 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:

McDOLE --- “tis very well; your articles are good; but now the thing is to make profit from them, worth all your toil and pain of coming hither.  Our fundamental maxim then is this, that it is no crime to cheat and gull an Indian.

MURPHEY --- How!  Not a sin to cheat an Indian, you  say?  Are they not men?  Haven’t they a right to justice as well as we, though savage in their manners.

McDOLE --- 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 Indian Commerce.  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.

MURPHY --- 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 fraud.

McDOLE --- 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 Scott County 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
Scott County 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 .


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, July 25, 1935

Walker Lane Found Guilty Malicious Wounding; Jury Recommends 6 Years


Lane 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 Scott County 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 12:25 Tuesday afternoon.

     Lane’s attorney signified and appeal was probable.

     Starnes, a Scott County school teacher for the past three years, graduated from Milligan College , 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 Starnes.

     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 D. Quillen.  Mack Coleman conducted active prosecution examination in assistance with J. Frank Sergent, Commonwealth Attorney, and L. P. Fraley.


Gate City Herald
Thursday, August 15, 1935

Hundreds Attend Wolfe Reunion Here Sunday; Senator Todd Makes Speech


Town Has Appearance Political Convention As Hundreds Throng To Meeting


     Gate City took on the appearance of a town playing host to a political convention Sunday when hundreds thronged here to attend the Wolfe families reunion.

     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 address.

     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:

1.     Resolutions committee:  composed of U. J. Wolfe, Houston , Tex. , B. C. Wolfe, James Tate.

2.     Nominating 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.

     Afternoon Session:  Judge E. T. Carter introduced the principal speaker of the afternoon, Senator John R. Todd.

     Business session:  Rev. A. J. Wolfe presiding

   a.  Nominating 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:

     1.  We most highly appreciate this meeting and sincerely thank our many friends and relatives for this attendance.

     2.  We most 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.

     3.  We extend our thanks to Judge Carter for tendering us the Court House for this meeting.

     4.  We thank, Senator John R. Todd for his splendid address and hope he will attend our meetings in the future.

     5.  We especially thank the ladies for the bountiful and most excellent lunch.

     6.  We ask that we meet again in Gate City 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 Gate City .  Funds were donated and the Treasurer was ordered to open an account in The First and Peoples National Bank, Gate City , 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.

Jonas Wolf Klan ……...... A. J. Wolfe

Jacob Wolfe Klan …….... R. V. Wolfe

Katherine Wolfe Klan ..... C. R. Lane

John Wolfe Klan ……….. E. R. Wolfe

Peggy Wolfe Klan ……....

     Funds collected to be deposited in First and Peoples Bank, Gate City to account of Wolfe Reunion .

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