Cherry Tree News

Cherry Tree News

Logan Banner news paper clippings from the scrapbook of Kayte Atkins, mother of  Doris Atkins Vranch and Eddie Atkins.

White, Wallace Daniel 30 Nov 1966

White, Wallace Daniel 30 Nov 1966

White, C Paul 28 May 1987

White, C Paul 28 May 1987

Webb, Lucy Evelyn 29 Sept 1975

Webb, Lucy Evelyn 29 Sept 1975

Walsh, Ben 5 Jun 1967

Walsh, Ben 5 Jun 1967

Walker, Sarah Jane 7 Sept 1954

Walker, Sarah Jane 7 Sept 1954

Walker, Gay Steele 19 Apr 1972

Walker, Gay Steele 19 Apr 1972

Vinson, Florene M Rankin 22 Sept 1981

Vinson, Florene M Rankin 22 Sept 1981

Varga, Joe (Joe Vargo) 15 May 1979

Varga, Joe (Joe Vargo) 15 May 1979

Tiller, Rebecca 6 Apr 1978

Tiller, Rebecca 6 Apr 1978

Tiller, Kenneth 22 Apr 1965

Tiller, Kenneth 22 Apr 1965

Tiller, Doug 8 Jun 1982

Tiller, Doug 8 Jun 1982

Tarkany, Anna 18 July 1978

Tarkany, Anna 18 July 1978

Szakal, Elsie -Bus Driving Career 31 Oct 1978

Szakal, Elsie -Bus Driving Career 31 Oct 1978

Smith, Esther E 16 Dec 1965

Smith, Esther E 16 Dec 1965

Seagraves, John H 20 Jun 1968

Seagraves, John H 20 Jun 1968

Sansom, Oscar 24 July 1983

Sansom, Oscar 24 July 1983

Sansom, Oscar 1974

Sansom, Oscar 1974

Sansom, Harriet

Sansom, Harriet

Samson, Ned 1987

Samson, Ned 1987

Samson, Katherine Ann

Samson, Katherine Ann

Sagraves, Ruth Mcneely 11 May 1981

Sagraves, Ruth Mcneely 11 May 1981

Raikes, Marie H 17 Aug 1967

Raikes, Marie H 17 Aug 1967

Parsons, Richard O, Son of James & Velma Parsons 17 Feb 1988

Parsons, Richard O, Son of James & Velma Parsons 17 Feb 1988

Nagy, Doris -Dem Exec Committee 1982

Nagy, Doris -Dem Exec Committee 1982

Nagy, David 25 July 1991

Nagy, David 25 July 1991

Nagy, Alex Sr

Nagy, Alex Sr

Nagy, Alex Sr (2

Nagy, Alex Sr (2

Morrison, Timothy 1978 , grandson Harvey Napier

Morrison, Timothy 1978 , grandson Harvey Napier

McNeely, Rev J Green - Obit

McNeely, Rev J Green – Obit

McNeely, J Green Rev 30 Jun 1943

McNeely, J Green Rev 30 Jun 1943

McNeely, J Green Mrs

McNeely, J Green Mrs

McNeely J Green, Rev & Mrs 50 -Wedding Ann

McNeely J Green, Rev & Mrs 50 -Wedding Ann

McCormick, Ronald C 1951

McCormick, Ronald C 1951

McCormack, Clovis B 1 Nov 1989

McCormack, Clovis B 1 Nov 1989

Long, Roscoe

Long, Roscoe

Long, Ernest H Dec 1990

Long, Ernest H Dec 1990

Lacy, Clifford 22 Mar 1967

Lacy, Clifford 22 Mar 1967

Jeffrey, Leadress 14 July 1940

Jeffrey, Leadress 14 July 1940

Herald, Richard 23 Dec 1961

Herald, Richard 23 Dec 1961

Herald, Myrtle

Herald, Myrtle

Herald, Myrtle 4 Feb 1972

Herald, Myrtle 4 Feb 1972

Hannah, Suzie

Hannah, Suzie

Hannah, George 1967

Hannah, George 1967

Hager, Bobby 10 Oct 1969

Hager, Bobby 10 Oct 1969

Gore, William (Willy) 28 Oct

Gore, William (Willy) 28 Oct

Gore, Sally 4 May 1983

Gore, Sally 4 May 1983

Gore, Lona 25 Mar 1996

Gore, Lona 25 Mar 1996

Gore, John T 19 Dec 1964

Gore, John T 19 Dec 1964

Gore, Freelin

Gore, Freelin

Farley, Miller-Mgr Bakery 13 Jan 1972

Farley, Miller-Mgr Bakery 13 Jan 1972

Dingess, Zeva

Dingess, Zeva

Dingess, Zeva 5 Nov 1976

Dingess, Zeva 5 Nov 1976

Dingess, Simon 1951

Dingess, Simon 1951

Carver, Frank H 6 Feb 1984

Carver, Frank H 6 Feb 1984

Butcher, John T 17 Dec 1959

Butcher, John T 17 Dec 1959

Butcher, Jennie 3 Jun 1963

Butcher, Jennie 3 Jun 1963

Bush, Sophia 10 Mar 1978

Bush, Sophia 10 Mar 1978

Bush, John L 7 May 1974

Bush, John L 7 May 1974

Browning, John B

Browning, John B

Browning, George 6 May 1967

Browning, George 6 May 1967

Blankenship, Earnest II - Army control operator

Blankenship, Earnest II – Army control operator

Biggs, Mildred -Wedding 1944

Biggs, Mildred -Wedding 1944

Biggs, Bill -Vietnam 1968

Biggs, Bill -Vietnam 1968

Belladonna, Roland L 24 Mar 1969

Belladonna, Roland L 24 Mar 1969

Belladonna, Dante Jan 17 1961

Belladonna, Dante Jan 17 1961

Barath, Robert  1951

Barath, Robert 2 Mar 1962

Barath, Robert 2 Mar 1962

Adams, Orien B

Adams, Orien B

Adams, Joan Carol - Marriage

Adams, Joan Carol – Marriage

History of Cherry Tree – Eddie Atkins

 

The EARLY YEARS And Beyond  By Eddie Atkins 3/12/2003  

Eddie Atkins

Eddie Atkins

 

My Dad, Edward L. Atkins, Sr, was one of the first land owners in Cherry Tree when in about the year 1905 he,along with a land developer from Wise County Virginia named W P Henritze came to Logan by way of the N&W railway to Dingess, WV, then by horses to Aracoma. This was shortly before the name of Aracoma was changed to Logan. Mr. Henritze bought the sandy corn field known as Ellis Bottom from the owner—a Mr. Ellis ( ancestor of Logan attorney Glen Dial Ellis) who had a homestead at the location that was than know as Ellis Addition (Deskins Addition or Black Bottom). Mr. Henritze had this tract of land surveyed, lots and street laid out and had it registered at the county court house as Henritze Addition to the town Of Logan, which is the way all property is listed in land deeds for this area. My dad bought 10 of the lots ($50.00 each). He then returned to Virginia but came back in 1910 to start building houses with the intention of renting them to the men that had just started the opening of the Harry S .Gay Coal company mines at Mt Gay. I am presently living in a building constructed on two of these lots.

Early Cherry Tree


Early Cherry Tree -Courtesy of F Keith Davis

The name “Cherry Tree Bottom” was the common name given to the upper section of Henritze Addition. When it was being developed a man named White had a farm on the south side of island creek at the location now called “White’s Addition”, and he had an orchid of apple, peach and cherry trees at the upper end of the bottom. When Mr. Henritze had the primary street laid off on the map– this street running from the western end of the bottom to the cherry tree section of the orchid was named Cherry Street. An early local name for the extreme lower section of the bottom was “Lower Ram Cat”—the back street running beside the creek from the junk yard of “Uncle Harve Parmer” to the foot bridge crossing the creek to Fisher Bottom was called “Ram Cat Alley.” A foot path along the creek bank on the Fisher Bottom side ended at a colorful establishment with the name “Linger A While”. Fisher Bottom was part of the original land areas bought by Mr. Henritze.   Several early property owners of Henritze Addition joined with a company named Logan Light & Power and Cherry Tree had street lights as well as sidewalks before 1930

Billy Goat Junction
Billy Goat Junction

In the early years an Italian merchant named S.” Joe” Scaramizzino” (Namesake of S Joe Alley) operated a large general store in Mt Gay, He raised goats & sheep on the hill side to feed the many coal miners—many favored sheep over beef or pork this section named Monitor Junction was also called “Billy Goat Junction or Mud Junction. Before 1940 the primary employers were Gay Coal Co, Monitor Coal Co, and Island Creek Coal Co. as well as several smaller coal mines that had opened on all forks of Island Creek. In the years before WW11, there were several grocery stores in Cherry Tree: John Tarkany Grocer, Ventry Grocery, Alex Nagy Grocery, Joe & Jimmy Cherico Grocery (later Victory Grocery), Tony Dress Grocery, Browning Grocery, Veto Esposito Grocery and DeHaven‘s Store. Several small stores went out of business during the great depression that started about 1932 and lasted until 1940. Several larger businesses were operating in Cherry Tree before the start of WW11 such as The Logan Battery Shop, a battery repair shop that was operated by the McCormick brothers (Okey McCormick later opened McCormick’s Store in Logan). Tom Robinson operated a large machine &repair shop. Ed Kohotek operated a shoe repair shop in the large block building (Handy Andy) that was later a used furniture store –.Leonard Scites operated Scites Mattress Repair Shop in the building that was the first store opened by Alex Nagy Sr. before he moved to the Gore building about 1936- Steve Rats Sr. operated an auto paint & body repair shop for several years before he moved to Monitor. The Dee Dee Donut shop opened by Roland Belladonna Sr. was located in this building.  Tennis. K. Killen opened National Cable Inc. and used this building as a storage room for mine cable.  The building has been torn down and now the empty lot is used as a parking area for the Appalachian Powder Coat Company owned by Harry Slater.  John Bush Sr. & John Bush Jr. operated an Esso service station at the upper end of Cherry Tree. When the elder Bush died a relative, (Little Johnny “gizmo”Bush), came from Cleveland to help run the station until he went into the army.

Bob Piros recalls his mother, Helen Piros, talking about Joe Tira who had a store in lower Cherry Tree next to the first bridge.  The Tira family were Hungarians and they lived in an apartment above their store.  Much like another Cherry Tree resident, John Tarkany, Joe started out as a coal miner and then became a store owner.  Public records show that Joseph Tira was born in 1898 in Alsovadasz, Hungary, a village in northern Hungary known for its richness of brown coal, the lowest rank of coal.   He arrived in the US through Ellis Island in 1914.

Joseph & Veronica Tira

Joseph & Veronica Tira

Joe Tira married Veronica Koshausky from Pennsylvania in 1919.  Their children were Joseph, Veronica and twins Andy and Elizabeth.  Joe probably opened his store around the year of 1924.  Veronica married Joseph Dudas in 1939 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Holden, WV.  About 1940 the Tira and Dudas families moved to Cleveland, Ohio.  Joe Tira died in Cleveland in 1969.

Eddie Atkins relates his memories of the Tira family from his days of delivering the Charleston Gazette.  During that time the paper boy was the local news carrier from family to family. On Saturdays when we collected for the paper, we would visit with our customers and pass on the news from one end of cherry tree to the other.

Helen Piros is correct regarding the location of the Tira store.  It was the first building south of the bridge.  Their storage building was across the street across and was owned by my dad’s business partner, Lee Spratt.  My memory of the store was it having a glassed in porch with windows on each side of a single door.  I was only in the front section where there was an ice cooler for the cold pop.  No doubt they sold other staples but I can’t remember more than the cold “Nehi orange” pop.

Young Joe Tira worked some with the Ola family in their moving business.  Also living with the Tira family was an older man by the name of John.  We called him “Yunco” and he spoke mostly Hungarian.   (This would be John Dudas, coal miner who was born Dec 11, 1878 in Hungary and died August 16 1956 at Logan General Hospital according to public records.)

When the war began many people were moving into Cherry Tree to work in the mines.   Others were moving to Dayton and Cleveland to work in the defense factories.

My favorite member of the Tira family was an old lady they called  Ma Maw Tira who raised beautiful flowers on the side of the store walkway.  Honey suckle and morning glories climbed the side walls of the store.  My mother would stop and talk with her about flowers, which my mother loved, and they would trade flower slips to start plants.  On Saturdays I would talk with her and drink a “Nehi orange” drink.  Once I helped her loosen the dirt in her flower pots and she brought out a “wurst sausage” which I had never heard of but it was a treat.  I still eat them to this day.

My dad, Edward Atkins, and Lee Sprat owned all the houses on the right side of the road below the old Pepsi plant building to the creek and these houses made up the colored section of Cherry Tree.  Dad and Mr. Spratt bought several old houses that bordered the creek across from Fisher Bottom which would have been back of Tira’s store.  They sold these old houses to “Doggie White” who tore them down and built duplex four room houses.

Dad and Mr. Spratt were carpenters and they built houses for the experienced colored coal miners that Harry Gay brought in from the Alabama coal mines.  In fact one of Dad’s renters was “Red Berry,” the older brother of “Chuck Berry,” who was a real swinger and musician.  I would stop my delivery of papers to listen to him play the boogie and blues and he danced just like Chuck.  I knew Red Berry around 1941. He worked for Mt Gay Coal Company on the  repair crew as a carpenter and also worked for dad and Mr Spratt part time repairing their rent houses.  He told us he had a younger brother that was a better musician than he was however it was in the 70’s before I ever heard of “Chuck Berry.”  He probably left shortly after the start of WW11 ( 1942 )

One of the first colored fellows in cherry tree was “Daddy Fikes” who lived to be over a hundred years old.  He collected slop (table scraps) for his hogs.  During the war when it was difficult to get meat, “Daddy Fikes” would bring you a big mess of fresh pork when he butchered his hogs if you had been saving slop for him.  Most people that lived in the upper section of Cherry Tree didn’t go down to lower “Ramcat” but I delivered papers and knew most everyone.

After the war the Bush family sold the Esso Station to John Green & his wife Masil.  Dante Belladonna, Patsy Ferzacci and Miller Farley opened the Logan Bakery Corp… Their famous “Butter Crust” bread was sold & delivered throughout southern West Virginia. Toney Dress owned & operated Aracoma Beverage & Falls City Beer Distributing Co.  W. Gore opened the Logan Transfer Co.  Russell Baumgardner opened & operated the R C. Bottling Co.  Andy Ola & John Tira operated a Transfer & Storage Co. The DeHaven family ran DE Haven’s Transfer& Storage Co. The Browning Brothers (Ernest, Forest, Thamer, and Riley) ran a repair garage for autos and motorcycles.

Robert Samson started a Maytag sales & service company.  Ray Barnes Sr. & Ray Jr. operated Barnes Motors (Dodge, Plymouth & Desoto Automobiles). The Crutcher’s (Mrs… Lucille Von Péchy’s family) ran a Plumbing business.  John Elkins had a dealership in used cars, ( Reo, Hudson, Teroplane Automobiles and Shaack trucks). Dixie Seamons ran “Dixie’s Hotels. “Plato Kitchen ran a boarding house for miners. The Lovins brothers, Johnny & Floyd, ran a used furniture store. Frank Carver was a mechanic who had a garage beside his home. The Egg House was a processing plant that candled & packaged cold storage eggs and was run by a man called Miklos Boche (he was a cousin to John Nagy — The title “Boche” is a Hungarian title of mister.). John B. Butcher’s son Max was a major league baseball player with the Yankees during the Babe Ruth era. Betty Hatfield Caldwell (baby daughter of “Devil Anse Hatfield) lived several years with her daughter Mrs. J. B. Browning and her eight grandchildren in the two story house across the road from Cherico’s Store.  Simeon Dingess was the county clerk in Logan and he was known to walk from his Logan office to his home in Cherry Tree and then return to Logan during his lunch hour. Rev. J. Green McNeeley was the circuit clerk in Logan and an associate of the famous preacher “Uncle Dyke Garrett.  Richard Herald & John T. Gore were sheriff’s deputies; Posey Griffith was the dreaded truant office who always threatened to send us to Prunty Town if we skipped school. The Skeens boys (B. J., John and Burl) were motor cycle riders who wore black leather jackets, rode “Harleys” and were heroes to all the alley boys.  Mason “Bub” White operated White Taxi Service and lived in a big house on the hill above Fisher Bottom. Johnny Davis operated a wood working shop making custom furniture.

Five bridges crossed island creek before 1940-a swinging bridge at the Whites Farm, a low water crossing at the Thompson Farm at the upper end of Cherry Tree, a swinging bridge that crossed to the hill side farms of Guy Gore and John Deskins, a foot bridge crossing from the west end of Cherry Tree to Fisher Bottom that had to be replaced after any high water and the concrete bridge on the main road that still stands. About 1940 The hill on the north side of Cherry Tree from Monitor Junction to the Monitor Coal Co. Mines was declared a State Game Reserve and the Logan County Sportsmen Club under the direction of the county game warden (Ira Carper) & Bill Neal stocked twenty deer brought in from Michigan—one was albino (white) deer which was the start of the white deer herd that grew to five or six before most of the deer in Logan County died with the black tongue plague.

As a kid growing up in the ‘40’s, the main past times of Cherry Treeers were swimming & fishing in the creek, climbing the mountains, playing ball, shooting marbles, playing night games like “lost trail”, playing Cowboys & Indians and bike riding for those few that were rich enough to own a bike and making scooters out of old roller skates . Another pastime was rolling old auto tires and wheel with hoops as well as following the ice truck in summer and getting in coal & kindling in the winter. Of course if we were lucky, we came up with a dime on Saturday in order to go to the Middleburg theatre and visit with our cow boy heroes: Buck Jones, “Hoot” Gibson, Ray “Crash” Corrigan, John “Mack” Brown, Lash La Rue, Hawk Of The Wilderness, Gene Autrey, Roy Rogers, Lone Ranger and the new comic characters Mickie Mouse and Donald Duck. Saturday night was bath time and then getting to stay up until 9:00 pm listening to” The Grand Ole Opry” and my favorite “Inner Sanctum Mysteries” on the radio. Cherry Tree was the only world we knew but life was great back then—at least that’s the way I remember it.

I remember Mrs. John Nagy made  the Hungarian delicacy called “Ribbons” during World War II.  She made them for the alley kids about twice a year.  They were a thin strip of psaltery covered with powdered sugar.  This was about all the sweets we got during the depression years and I’m sure that anyone that was there would remember Mrs. Nagy’s “Ribbons.”

If my source is right, the Cherry Tree School was built about the time of the First World War (1917).  One of the carpenters was Mr. L. E. (Ed) Steele.  He was the father of Edna Steele who was married to Doc Erwin hall (Hall’s Drug Store).

The name of the man who owned the shoe repair shop in the building that became Handy Andy Grocery was Edwin Khotek and since none of us could pronounce his name we all called him “Mr. Shoemaker.”  After he died his son Joseph Edwin Kohotek moved the shoe repair shop to Deskins Addition where he operated the shoe shop along with a bicycle repair shop until he died in the early 1990′s.

I am not really sure about the Italian girls from Holden that worked at the Bakery.  My mother, Katye Atkins, worked for a while in the cake department and she believes their names were Mary Petrone (Mrs. John “Dutch” Barber), Rose Torlone, Llaura Sorrente. Lena Belladonna and her sister Blanch Belladonna worked for a time on the cake department, then in the office.  The Logan Baking Company used the trade name “Velvet” for their cakes.  The boss of the cake department was Attillio Justi.  In 1947, I worked with Lena Belladonna at the Dee Dee Donut Shop which was owned by her brother, Roland Belladonna.

I attended the Pilgrim Holiness Church faithfully from 1935 to 1940 and received a number of awards (called religious mottos) for thirteen Sunday continuous attendance.  At one time I believe a man named Everett Hanners was our Sunday School Superintendent.  Our Sunday school teacher was Chester Adams.  As an award for not acting up in class and learning our Sunday school lesson he would take the entire class on a Saturday afternoon hike.  One trip I well remember was a trip walking the railroad track from Cherry Tree to Chaunchy and back with no food or water.  The elders that I most clearly remember from that time period were:  Fred Hutchinson, Bill Clark, George Browning, Ned Samson, Walter Dings, and Mr. White.

“Once during a revival meeting a woman evangelist played “Onward Christian Soldiers” on an accordion. Most of us kids had never seen or heard an accordion.  Some cried, some hid under the seats and others tried to leave.  I don’t remember which group I was in but I will never forget the sound of that accordion.”

CHERRY TREE NEWS

These newspaper clippings from the Logan Banner came from the scrapbook of Kayte Atkins generously donated by her daughter, Doris Atkins Vranch.

Monitor, West Virginia (Post Office Wilkinson, WV)

 

Monitor Collage

Roscoe Thornsbury Letter

Roscoe Thornsbury Letter

The Monitor Coal and Coke company was opened by 1906 according to the displayed letter for Roscoe Thornsbury.  Company offices were at Monitor # 1 in a large stone building beside the railroad track.   The other two Monitor company mines were number two ( 2 ) and number three ( 3 ) . Company houses were scattered through these three coal camps.  The large stone building at Monitor # 1 also housed the Wilkinson post office.  That building is still standing.  

Monitor # 1

Monitor # 1

 This building later became DeHaven Moving and Storage.   A red brick building next door housed the coal company office.  This building  later become the post office which later became a private residence owned by Ellwood Carver.  The most recent Wilkinson post office was located at Monitor # 3. Monitor # 2 was referred to as the Yuma camp and was where the first school was located.

Yuma School 1926

Yuma School 1926

 According to Goldie Nagy that two room school was destroyed in the 1937 flood.  My mother, Virginia Taylor, grew up at Monitor # 3.

Virginia Taylor -Teacher at the old Yuma School 1930s

Virginia Taylor -Teacher at the old Yuma School 1930s

 After taking normal teaching classes at Logan High School, she began teaching at Switzer Grade School before teaching at her home school at Yuma about 1932.  

 There was a swinging bridge crossing the creek between Monitor # 3 and Monitor # 2 (Yuma Camp).  A later three room school which some of us remember stood at the base of the hill below the Yuma cemetery.

Monitor # 3 from Cooks Hill

Monitor # 3 from Cooks Hill

 Monitor # 3 was the larger of the three residential camps and was where the company officials lived on Cooks Hill overlooking the coal camp.

 

Monitor Ball Park -Virginia Taylor and friend

Monitor Ball Park -Virginia Taylor and friend

At the upper end of the camp was a large ball field the community enjoyed for many outdoor activities.That site later became the Monitor Drive In Theater.

Arthur Downing, listed as naturalized citizen from England in the 1920 census, was also listed as Superintendent of mines. His brother, Thomas F Downing, was listed as General Manager.  In the 1940 census C A Cooke was listed as Superintendent. He lived in the big white house above the number one mine on Cooks Hill.  Eddie Atkins delivered newspaper to Mr. Cooke for a couple of years and Eddie’s family, residents of Cherry Tree, purchased groceries at the company store. This would have been about 1939. Rossmore Coal Co, the Micco Company, the Monaville Coal Co., the Crystal Block and several mines at Omar were opened by different rich investors from the north. Later some of the little mines were sold to the bigger companies like Omar Mining and Island Creek. Monitor Coal & Coke remained under the Monitor Coal & Coke  name until they closed shortly after World War II.

Alonzo Clyde Taylor, after returning form service during WW 1 in France, went to work for the

Alonzo Clyde Taylor  WW i

Alonzo Clyde Taylor WW i

Monitor Coal & Coke Company and lived near his parents Scott and Alice Taylor who lived at # 303.  Arthur Downing requested that Clyde man a machine gun for the Coal Association during the mine uprising.  Clyde refused saying that he had already seen too blood shed over seas.

 

 

 

 

Some insight from Ron Curry regarding the Wilkinson post office:

 Now,  about Monitor # 3 coal camp and environs!  Robert, if you have a copy of Carla’s book, “Monitor Road”, go to page 144 and you will see what I am going to tell you about who was postmaster before my mother, as well as when they started as postmaster.  Carla did the research, and I am presuming that her research is correct regarding the date on which the previous postmaster, before my mother, became postmaster.  I know for a fact that the person who Carla references was postmaster before my mother.  The official postmaster before my mother at Wilkinson, WV was Thomas F. Downing, who Carla references in several places in her book.  Thomas F. Downing was the head man and the Superintendent of Monitor Coal and Coke Co. at Wilkinson.  He was also one of the principal owners of Monitor Coal and Coke Co.  Downing was from Shamokin, PA, which is about 30 miles NE of the capital of Harrisburg.  And old Thomas F. Downing was a very astute guy too.  Early on in the life of Monitor Coal and Coke Co., and this is my supposition here, when Wilkinson got an established post office, Thomas F. downing got himself appointed as the “official” postmaster, and according to Carla in her book, the date of that appointment was February 18, 1915.  My mother’s appointment was May 24, 1950, and she actually took over the responsibilities as postmaster on July 1, 1950.  She served as postmaster until July 1, 1958, just about a month after you and I graduated from LHS, when she went back to school to finish her teaching degree.  Now, when I say that old Downing was astute, here is why.  He was the “official” postmaster from that time in 1915 until July 1, 1950.  And the rest of this is my supposition, Robert, but Downing paid a whole series line of people to actually do the work of postmaster, probably as his approved assistants by the post office department.  I have no idea whether Downing paid those assistants himself, or if they might have actually been employees of the Monitor Coal and Coke Co.  Either way, astute old Downing had all those who worked as postmaster at Wilkinson, from his appointment in 1915 to July 1, 1950, work out a 35 year pension for Downing himself, from the post office department.  He is the one who told my mother that he was from Shamokin and that after he got all of Monitor Coal and Coke shut down, that he was going back to Shamokin, PA.  He had lived in Logan County for all those years, but he went “home” after he had made his fortune and all that, including his retirement from the Post Office Department.  So, the Mr. Penn you mentioned as postmaster was one of those people working out a retirement for Downing.  And incidentally I remember when the old company store there was open.  After they closed the actual company store, they moved the post office into the red brick building which had been the general offices of Monitor Coal and Coke Co.  That red brick building was adjacent to the old company store on the downstream (toward Logan) side of the company store.  The post office was in that red brick building when my mother became the postmaster, and she got permission, after a year or so, to move the post office up to a building my family built out behind our house at Monitor # 3 and adjacent to old U.S. 119 which ran up through there then.  There was a young woman, Doris White, from White’s Addition, who was actually doing the work of postmaster for Downing when my mother took over those duties.  Doris White trained my mother to do the job for 2 or 3 weeks at the time.

 Yes, that number, 321, was assigned and put on that house by Monitor Coal and Coke Co.  The metal numbers 321 were just to the right of the front door as you approached it from the dirt street which ran up through the middle of the camp.  Every one of those old houses at Monitor # 3 had their own number in that location on the right side of the front door of the house as you looked at it from the dirt road street.  Of course, down at Monitor # 1, where the company store was located probably had the houses number in the 100’s, and I am guessing that over in Yuma Camp, that was monitor # 2, and therefore all the houses were numbered in the 200’s.  I am just guessing that since I don’t remember actually observing those other camp house numbers, but I know definitely how they were numbered at Monitor # 3.  I delivered The Logan Banner there from 1951 to 1956 and distinctively remember all those numbers on the sides of the houses.  The numbering began down at the lower end of the camp, with the first house next to route 119 being # 301.  The lower house on the back side of the dirt street next to the railroad was house # 302.  Where your mother lived in the second house next to the “hard road” or route 119 was house # 303.  All the odd numbered houses were next to the hard road, and all of the even numbered houses were on the back side next to the railroad.  Our house was the eleventh house up from the beginning house, # 301, and was therefore numbered “321.”

–Ron Curry

The Scott Taylor arrived at Monitor from Kentucky about 1912.  Scott Taylor had done some mining as well as farming in Carter County, Kentucky. Scott Taylor Family With four sons almost grown and three young daughters, Scott Taylor came to Logan County seeking more financial security for his family of 11.  He would remain at house number 303 at Monitor # 3 for more than twenty years.

Monitor # 3 Camp

Monitor # 3 Camp

 

 Monitor Coal & Coke ScriptMonitor Coal & Coke Script

 

 

List of Neighbors at Monitor # 3 

Monitor # 3 1930

Front Row Back  Row
301  Waugh, Sam  (still there 1940) 302  Jones, John, later Hatfield, Dewey  ( Monitor # 1 in 1930 but later lived in 301,304,303 )
303  Taylor, Scott (Hatfield Dewey 1940) 304  White, James  (still there 1940)
305  Minick, James 306  Staggs, Dan (still there 1940)
307 308
309 310
311 312
313( Later Moss Burgess) 314
315 316
317  Taylor, Jesse ? 318
319 320
321  (Salino Murder 1918)( Curry Family 1947) 322 Nagy, Dan( arr abt 1931, there 1940)
323 324
325 326
327 328
329 (Rosemary Vidovich 1950s) 330
331 332
333 324
335 336
337 338
339 Church-  Probably built 1950s
341 342
343 344
345 346 Morris, Albert (still there in 1940)
347 348
349 350
351 352
353( Jones, Nathan ? Upper End camp) 354
355

Coal Mine Safety News 1941

 

Mine Safety News p 1Mine Safety News P 2Mine Safey News P 3Mine Safety Neews P 4

Transcribed Census Records:

1920 Census Monitor Number 3

1930 Census Monaville Village

 

Picture Gallery of  Monitor:

 

Introduction by Paul Dyer:

Paul Dyer

It seems that as we grow older, we finally come to the realization that there really is a limit to the number of days we have to exist upon this world.  And it seems that with that realization comes remembrances of things past, people and places that we once loved and were a part of.  Our thoughts turn ever increasingly toward home.

Home is more than a place to lay your head.  Home exists in the here and the now:  this place where we live our lives day by day but home also exists in the past. Those of us who are not native to our present “home” sometimes cannot understand the ambivalence of those around us who are “home”.

Home to me is that certain someplace where I was raised: the little community of Cherry Tree, a place that, if suburbs existed at that time, would have been considered a suburb of Logan, West Virginia.  It’s a place where, during the summer, the sun does not peep over the eastern rim of “the mountain” until around nine o’clock.  It is a place where you never really see a sunset, the sun goes down behind the western ramparts of “the mountain” at four or five o’clock in the afternoon.

But children never pay much attention to the rising or setting of the sun and during the summer vacation from school, time never meant a whole lot to us.  We arose when we wanted, we ate when we wanted and we went to bed when we wanted.  My parents expected certain attitudes and behavior from me in exchange for the latitude they granted me but it truly was a small price to pay for the total freedom that I experienced as a child.

Cherry Tree was an ideal environment for boys to grow in.  Sometimes on the banks of Island Creek and sometimes under Island Creek,  Cherry Tree nevertheless provided myriad havens of opportunities for adventurous small boys.  There was always “the creek” and “the mountain”.  Can you imagine a place without fences?  Can you envision a place where there were no man-made obstacles, only those created by nature and we never considered those to be obstacles, only challenges.  If we could not go over it, we would to around it and if you could not go around it or over it, chances were that you were not supposed to be there anyway.

On a visit back to Cherry Tree several years ago, I was staggered by the changes that had been wrought to the little community.  The creek that figured so prominently in my childhood, a stream that I recall was wide enough to float boats and car tops in was no more but had become a mere brook that a person could very nearly just step over. I can remember actual creek banks that were sandy and a creek large enough to swim in and catch fish out of.

Needless to say, most of the little community was simply gone.  In its stead were mining equipment shops and such.  What few houses remained looked absolutely ancient.  The alleys and byways we children traversed to the little two-room school house were no more.  Fisher Bottom, across the creek from Cherry Tree, of course ceased to exist in the early sixties when the “boulevard” was pushed through and road construction was, by its very nature the major reason why the place I grew up, the place that I call “home”, exists only in my memories.  No, you can’t really go home again.  Things change, people change and we ourselves change; only in memory can we return once again to what we once were.

Clarence Stacy – Cherry Tree Resident Makes Good

Clarence Stacy – Cherry Tree resident makes good as Singer, Actor, Song Writer, Producer, Author and Playwright.

Clarence Stacy -Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Author & Playwright

Clarence Stacy -Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Author & Playwright

Clarence Stacy and his mother, Alice, lived the second house above the Cherry Tree school beside the home of Milford Long.   He has happy memories of his childhood in Cherry Tree and chumming around with Joe Piros, Jr and Jack Tiller. His own record label was Coal Mine Music & Audiosonic.

Recordings by Clarence with YouTube links:

  • Lonely Guy  (1961)
  • Forget Me (1961)
  • Jack the Ripper  (1961) –written by Clarence, his brother Charles Stacy and Joe Simmons).  This song led to the popularity of Screaming Lord Sutch and became his signature song.  Other groups that recorded Jack the Ripper were White Strips, The Horrors, The Black Lips, Gemesomes. The One Way Street, and The Fuzzytones.

Clarence produced “Where Has Time Gone” in 1983.   It was sung at the high school graduation of his daughter, Theresa Bell Stacy, for her ring day and was recorded on the Coal Mine label, Clarence worked in the recording studio of Audio Sonic & Variety Recording Studio in NYC for thirty years.

Clarence has worked with such movie stars as Dustin Hoffman, Telly (Kojac) Savales, Woody Allen, Robert Culp, and Richard Pryor.  A musical play, “Kids Around Town” was written by Clarence and performed three different times Off Broadway   He is currently writing a book about his life growing up in WV, his music and his life in NYC.  Stacy resides in NYC with his wife, Nora.  He has two children, Theresa Belle Stacy and Calvin Apolius Stacy, and one grandchild, Cameron Stacy Bubb.

Cherry Tree Map/Residents

Cherry Tree Map of 1940's (Mt. Gay Post Office)

Cherry Tree Map of 1940’s (Mt. Gay Post Office)

Residents fo Cherry Tree, Whites Addition and Fisher Bottom as remembered by Bruce Davidson. This list was abstracted and edited by Robert McCormack.Editing was based on notes from Helen (Tarkany) Piros and from his own memories.“As a child I heard many times that at one time there were two very large cherry treesin the upper end of Cherry Tree. about where Steve Tarkany’s “Handy Andy Grocery” later stood . –Robert McCormack.Additions and corrections are welcome. It is not possible to indicate what period of time any family lived in these homes.In some instances, only one or two members are known.In many instances the names of the parents are not known.You can check census records or tax records to further pinpoint when a family resided in Cherry Tree.Much of the community has disappeared due to the economy, floods, etc.—Robert E. McCormack

1 Zeberoski, Benny
2 R C Cola Plant
3 Ross Adkins Grocery; Adkins, Arlene, Imogene
4 Browning, Charley, Arthur
5 Sam’s Place (Beer Garden)
6 Cherico Grocery; Cherico, Joe
7 Smith, Stanley, Esther, Alice, Nettie, Helen & Sarah  (Large Victorian house)
8 Butter Crust Bakery (later name changed to Sunbeam Bread)
9 Nord, Louis, Ward, Annabell (Enyart)
10 Stone, Charlie, Anita
11 Dee Dee Donuts, owned by Roland Belladona (about 1947-Eddie Atkins; Mildred Hannah worked there-and always gave me extra donuts -Robert McCormack)
12 Smith, Ray
13 Ratz, Steve, Virginia, Steve Junior, Virginia, Mike
14 Steve’s Duco Shop
15 Seagraves, Ernest; Walker, Ralph,Gay; Reed, John; Nagy, Alex Jr
16 Nagy’s Grocery
17 Nagy, Alex Sr (residence was over the garage)
18 Napier; Mabrey, Louise , Sidney (daughter & grand daughter of Richard and Myrtle Herald)
19 Herald, Richard, Myrtle (Richard Herald was a Logan County deputy sheriff. House was built in the 1940’s -Myrtle Herald lived there alone in later years -Helen Piros)
20 Brick duplex home; Biggs, Jim, Carrie, Billy, Elbert, Mildred; Piros, Joe Sr, Helen, Joe Jr, Bobby; Other side: Tarkany, Steve, Anna; (Steve Tarkany built a cable shop on the rear of the lot next to the railroad.)
21 Vacant lot belonged to Edward Atkins.
22 Tarkany, John, Anna (Sterz); Nagy, Julia (mother of John Tarkany); Tarkany, Margaret, Anna, Goldie, Helen, Elizabeth, Ruby (Six daughters of John and Anna Tarkany -Helen Piros)
23 John Tarkany’s Grocery -an addition to the Tarkany home.
24 Hickman, Rev Hattie; Sexton, Emma; (Rev. Hickman was pastor of the Pilgrim Holiness Church and Emma was her house mate and personal assistant. Later Emma Sexton became a nurse and worked at the Logan General Hospital -Robert McCormack)
25 Sansom, Oscar, Harriet, Sonia; Adkins, Roscoe; Samson, David (son of George Samson)
26 Browning, Elmer, Excel, Jean, Naomi, Doris; Hager, Margaret, Bobby
27 Handy Andy Grocery owned by Steve Tarkany (Building Purchased from Mr. Shoemaker who made, sold and repaired shoes. -Helen Piros Mr Shoemaker was really Edwin Kohotek but since it was hard to pronounce he was called “Mr. Shoemaker”.-Eddie Atkins)
27A Upstairs apartments: Piros, Joe, Helen, Joe Jr, Bobby, (1939-1946); Tarkany, Steve, Anna; Kathleen and ED ? (Kaddy is a sister to Bruce Davidson); Szakel, Elsie, Ronnie, Bobby, Tina, Anne -Helen Piros
28
29 Stacy, Alice, Clarence; Hartman, Vivian
30 Long, Milford
31 Cherry Tree Grade School, Logan County, WV, Grades 1-4 (built about 1917, one of the carpenters was L. E. Steele (Ed), father of Edna Steele who married Doc Erwin Hall, owner of Halls Drug Store). -Eddie Atkins
32 Kidd, Dwight, Victor
33 ESSO Service Station -John Bush Sr,. John Bush Jr
34 Hall, Arthur
35 .Bush, John Sr.
36 Cline, Warren; Coffee, Ethel Mae, Gene, Juanita, June Bub; Stone, Charles,, Anita; Butcher, Bertie, Bertie Jr
37 Gore, Bill (Willie), Estel, Mary, Sally
38 McCormack, Clovis (CB) Virginia, Ronald, Bobby (Virginia was a Logan County teacher, taught piano lessons),
39 Wiley, John, Dallas, Edith, James, Judy; Mays, Alexander (AE), Floria Atless, Bill, Skipper, Harold, Lee, Pete
40 Duplex – Hannah, George, Suzie, Mildred; Davidson, Dora, Bruce; Biggs, Carrie, Billy, Elbert (Carrie Biggs taught Sunday School at the Pilgrim Holiness Church)
41 Pilgrim Holiness Church
42 John Bush warehouse
43 Bush, John Jr, Anna Mae
44 Long, Roscoe, Maude, Barbara
45 Webb, Dexter, Lucy, Richard Lee (Lucy was a daughter of Myrtle Herald across the street)
46 Allen, Herb, Tressie (Logan Co School bus driver); Upstairs apartment above garage on back of lot) ; Porter, Bill
47 Atkins, Edward, Kayte, Eddie, Doris
48 Mullins, Donald
49 Browning, Mrs, Hargis, Lava (Tootsie) Yvonne
50 Belladonna, Leland, Roland, Teresa, Blanche, Lena (supervisor at the bakery -Helen Piros)
51 Tony Dress warehouse; later The Logan Transfer
52 Highley, Ed, Cledith, Dave, Sue, Donnie
53 Kidd, Jimmy, Dwight
54 Parsley, Jack
55 Bryant, Greta
56 Steel, Doris
57 Kirk, Helen, Bill, Phyllis
58 Allen, Nathan (plumber)
59 Browning, John, Osie, Sarah, Justine, Janice, Drury, Grant, Latelle, Margaret Jane (Pixie) & grandmother Hatfield Caldwell (granddaughter of Devil Anse Hatfield) Reed, Joe
60
61 Butcher, John (Vocational teacher at Man, WV), Lloyd (grandson)
62 Dingess, Simon, Zeva Simon Dingess was County Clerk, (Zeda followed him in that job after his death)
63 Clay, Elbert, Grace, Elbert, Louvetta
64 Oli, Andy (Hungarian) -owned a moving company -Helen Piros
65 Curry, Mimrod
66
67
68 The Log Cabin –Lacy, Clifford, Faye, Charlie, Leanna (Fay was a sister to Gay Walker)
69
70 Edmondson, Kenneth, Dana, Jack, Pete, Janice. Glen, Paul (Mrs. Edmonston taught Sunday School at the Pilgrim Holiness Church)
71
72 George, Bobby, Helen
73 Hannah, Hobert, Izetta
74 Gore, John T, Anna, Freiland, Ernest (Anna was a Logan County School teacher; Freiland broke his neck diving; Ernest was accidentally shot with a 22 rifle)
75 Dingess, Darrell, Pearl
76 Dingess, Simon, Zeva, Mabel, Darrell, Merle, Ruth, Billie & Norma Jo
77
78 Carver, Frank, Ora, Jane, Elwood, Reggie
79 Bochie, Charley (means Gentleman in Hungarian -Helen Piros); worked for Alex Nagy
80 Cornwell, Ben
81 Corns, Ronnie, Reggie, Ann (Mrs. Corns was active in the Logan Salvation Army)
82 Cornwell, Curtis
84 McGuire, Bob, Jack
85 Vargo, Susanne, Joe
86 Davidson, Dora, Bruce; Tiller, Claude (Dink), Becky, Sam, Jean, Sis, Kenneth, Jack, Karen Sue, Charles (Charles died of bad tonsils when he was in second grade)
87 Linville, Ma, Richard, Buddy, Ethel, Jenny
88 Walker, Ralph, Gay, Sammy, Jimmy; Laberty, Bill, Coffee, Ethel Mae, Gene, Juanita, June Bug; Stone, Charles,, Anita; Butcher, Bertie, Bertie Jr; Stone, Charles,, Anita; Butcher, Bertie, Bertie Jr
89 Butcher, Cecil (house moved to Monaville when road wash built)
90 Blair, Jim, Martha, Benny; Black, Clifford, Frank, Alvin, Betty, Weasel, Clinton, Marilyn (African American family. Clifford Black taught at Aracoma High School, Logan High School)
91
92 Burgess, Cutis, Paul, Betty
93 Esque, Bobby
94 Gunnoe, Charley
95 Fikes, Daddy (African Amercan -had a push cart to gather food scraps)
96
97 Walsh, Sherman D, Bobby
98 Ripley, Martha, Thomas
99 Kirk, B.H., Connie, , Nary Jane
100 Hood, Jackie, Davie, Dickie Bill
101 Palmer, Harve
102 Smith, Mrs, Emma (African American, Emma was the grand daughter of Mrs. Smith)
103 Samson, Ned, Roxie
104 Samson, Elba, Jennie
105 Samson, Luther, Katie
106 Samson, Luther
107 Samson, Bob, Opal, Bobby, Wendell
108 Gore, Guy, Lona, Margaret, Estell, Peggy, Polly, Mary, Joe Anne, Ruth, Helen, Judy, Simon, Virgina, Lana
109 Deskins, Buddy, Emerson, John Doren
110 Barath, David (Moose), Bobby
111 Thompson, George
112 Cox, Jimmy
113 White, Charley, Eli
114 Damron, Jennings, Dot
115 Perkins, Louis
116 Samson, George, Belva, Silvia, Beulah, David
117 Stoneoff, Jimmy, Robert, Staton
118 Dameron, Gay, Paul, Virgil, Lowell, Nowel
119 Jenkins, Wesley, Luella, Dude, Bob
Families from Fisher Bottom
Dehaven, Raymond
Walsh, Jim, Chester, Roeana, Bub, Patty, Juanita
Southward, Patty
Gore, Patty, Gary, Carson, Billy Ray, Joyce
Fisher, Harold, Ronnie
White, Miriam
Perry, Junior

1940 Census of Monitor & Cherry Tree, Logan County, West Virginia Taken April 6 – 18 by Ruby Mae Walsh

In attempting to transcribe this census from microfilm there are undoubtedly errors.  In some cases I made a guess as to the spelling of a name.  My purpose is to try to sort out in a logical order who were neighbors.  Did Ruby Mae Walsh go up one side of the community and down the other, criss cross through the community, do a lot of back tracking?  Any insight as to putting neighbors in order would be appreciated. 

Transcribed by Robert E McCormack   lhswildcat1968@gmail.com

1940 Census of Monitor and Cherry Tree (pdf)

Memories of Cherry Tree by Mrs. Helen (Tarkany) Piros

Interview conducted by her son, Bob Piros in November of 2002.

Helen Piros LHS Cafeteria

Helen Piros LHS Cafeteria

My first memory of Cherry Tree was in 1919 when I was 7 years old. My father, Gabor, and 1 walked down from Mona Hill to visit with my Uncle John Tarkany who lived with His family in the two story wood house almost across the street from the Pilgrim Holiness Church the roads were unpaved and there were few houses and buildings in Cherry Tree. My Uncle John had a grocery store in Cherry Tree in the white house that later became the home of the Nagy’s. The entrance to the store was in the rear near the railroad tracks. There was a plank one had to walk down to the entrance.

I remember inside the store there was a big dark brown piano that my Aunt Anna (Stercz) Tarkany played. The store was well stocked with everything—lunch meats, canned goods, eggs ,flour and fresh produce. My Uncle John would go from house to house taking orders and then he would deliver to them once a week with his truck.

1 think the Cherry Tree School was already there in 1919. I think my Uncle John’s children went there. I think John Bush Sr. had his gas station then. The family lived in a long wooden house next to the gas station. My family moved from the area in 1924 and then moved back in 1935. At that time the store that Steve Tarkany purchased was owned by a Mr. Shoemaker. He lived there with his wife and a daughter who had diabetes. He made, repaired and sold shoes for a living. Next to the store was an alley, then a long white wooden house where Excel Browning lived with her husband and three girls. She was a member of the Pilgrim Holiness Church. Oscar Sansom and his family lived next door to the Brownings.

In 1937,the John Tarkany store was gone and a Mr. Ernest Seagraves and his family lived there as it was made into a house, not sure if it was rebuilt. Alex Nagy Jr. moved into it until the new addition was added to the store, but Doris had problems with the stairs so he moved the family back into the white house. That new addition was built about1948. Also the Hearld house was built about 1945

Across the street from Nagy’s store lived a Mr. Aldridge and his family. He worked with Joe Piros in his business there in Cherry Tree. Also in 1937, Mr. Nagy Sr. helped Helen Tarkany get a job at the Bakery. Mr. Farley was the supervisor. The Bakery was owned by the Belladonna family. They lived across the street from the Bakery. The Bakery had two floors. Downstairs the bread was made and upstairs the cakes and pies were made. Working hours were 8 am. To 6 pm., six days a week. Possible pay was $12 a week. There were five Italian women upstairs and a baker. The women were Mary, Rose, and Laurie from Holden, Lena from Cherry Tree and Della from downtown Logan. Helen worked there for six months. She married Joe Piros in November 1937.

Pilgrim Holiness Church

The Pilgrim Holiness Church (Wesleyan Church)

 

Pilgrim Holiness Church
Pilgrim Holiness Church

Pilgrim Holiness Church is a religious denomination associated with the holiness movement that split from the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1897. It was first organized in Cincinnati, Ohio as the International Holiness Union and Prayer League. The organization later became the Pilgrim Holiness Church which eventually merged with the Wesleyan Methodists in 1968 to form the Wesleyan Church.

 

 

 

Recollections of the Pilgrim Holiness Church at Cherry Tree:

The retired (due to health) Rev Hattie Hickman lived in the big Victorian house across the street from us In spite of her strict fundamentalist demeanor, the church experienced good growth in the 1930’ and early 1940’s under her leadership. Rev. Hickman had previously also served as pastor in the 1920’s. Emma Jean Sexton was her housemate. Rev. Hickman and Emma baby sat me for one school year while my mother was teaching school so I heard many of her church stories. Emma became a practical nurse after Rev. Hickman’s retirement.

I clearly remember Revival meetings & one pastor, Rev Ward VanBriggle (a polio survivor, I believe), playing hisviolin and we sat mesmerized as his wife Mrs. Margaret Jessup VanBriggle gracefully moved her fingers across the piano keyboard. She sometimes would lead the congregational singing with embellishment from her shiny

Margaret Jessup VanBriggle

Margaret Jessup VanBriggle

trombone. My minds’ memory can still recall her blasting out on “Look & Live, My Brother Live.” This was sometimes a prelude to the brothers and sisters running the aisles and shouting “Glory” as they experienced their religious fervor. A falling away of attendance finally lead to the demise of the congregation in the early 1990’s.

—-Robert McCormack

Quote from Eddie Atkins:

“I attended the Pilgrim Holiness Church faithfully from 1935 to 1940 and received a number of awards (called religious mottos) for thirteen Sunday continuous attendance. At one time I believe a man named Everett Hanners was our Sunday School Superintendent. Our Sunday school teacher was Chester Adams. As an award for not acting up in class and learning our Sunday school lesson he would take the entire class on a Saturday afternoon hike. One trip I well remember was a trip walking the railroad track from Cherry Tree to Chauncy and back with no food or water. The elders that I most clearly remember from that time period were: Fred Hutchinson, Bill Clark, George Browning, Ned Samson, Walter Dings, and Mr. White.”

Once during a revival meeting a woman evangelist played “Onward Christian Soldiers” on an accordion. Most of us kids had never seen or heard an accordion. Some cried, some hid under the seats and others tried to leave. I don’t remember which group I was in but I will never forget the sound of that accordion.”

Sunday School at the Pilgrim Holiness Church

Grandma Kitchen with her black stockings and long dresses immediately come to my mind. One of the Fred Hutchinson grandchildren one time kindly referred to her as “Mother Goose.” That, in itself, brings a smile and I do see the resemblance as I think of the colorful story books of my childhood. Bible stories and the colorful Bible character rolls hanging on the basement classroom wall stand out clearly in my early memories. One page from that role would become a prize for our perfect attendance during the quarter.

Ollie Kitchen (Grandma Kitchen)

Ollie Kitchen (Grandma Kitchen)

I see the familiar Grandma Kitchen leading us in singing “I’ll be a Sunbeam for Jesus.” Now I realize that it certainly wasn’t her voice, but rather her enthusiasm that infected us. We would run up the stairs to the sanctuary where we sat with her for the birthday offering and the Sunday School secretary, Robert Stoneoff (or was it Jimmy? ), would read the attendance and Sunday School offering figures. Sunday school would never again be as much fun as we moved on to the older classes and some of our peers dropped out. Others teaching Sunday School which come to my mind are Erie Wiley, Carrie Biggs, Harriet Sanson & Mrs. Edmondson.

–Robert E. McCormack

 

Church Pastors Submitted by:

William C Clark
Archives Director
World Headquarters
Wesleyan Church Corp

  • 1921-22 G. M. Cunningham
  • 1923-24 J. C. Wakefield
  • 1925-28 J.S. Hayton
  • 1930-33 Hattie Hickman
  • 1934 H. Hickman starts Fayetteville, Everett Bailey takes Logan
  • 1935-38 Everett Baily
  • Harry Ensley (Supply?)
  • 1939-43 Hattie Hickman
  • 1944 J.E. Alba
  • 1945 Roy Bellomy
  • 1946-50 Vard Van Briggle
  • 1951-52 E.E. Leadingham
  • 1953 J.H. Berrige
  • 1954-57 Everett Wooten
  • 1958-64 John Nester
  • 1965 Noel Davis
  • 1966-67James F Scalf
  • Merger to form The Wesleyan Church
  • 1968 James F. Scalf
  • 1969 No Pastor/ to be supplied
  • 1970 Donald Walker

 

The Pilgrim Holiness Church (later the Wesleyan Church) closed in the early 1990’s. The records cannot be found. This is a list of some of the families who were members or who attended the church. The church was so strict that many faded away after a while and found another church home.
Adams, Chester Sunday School Superintendant, Sunday School teacher, Husband of Lucy Adams
Adams, Lucy Wife of Chester Adams
Adams, Maude Sister of Willow and Chester Adams
Adams, Willow Sister of Maude and Chester Adams
Atkins, Eddie Son of Edward and Kayte Atkins; Sister to Doris Atkins
Bailey, Annette Daughter of Donis & Betty Bailey
Bailey, Betty Wife of Donis Bailey
Bailey, Donis Husband. of Betty; Sunday School Superintendent
Bailey, Fred Son of Bessie Helen Bailey
Bailey, Gary Son of Donis & Betty Bailey
Bailey, Greg Son of Donis & Betty Bailey
Bailey, Gwen Daughter of Donis & Betty Bailey
Bailey, Jack Son of Bessie Helen Bailey
Bailey, Rosemary Wife of Jack Bailey
Bailey, Sharon Daughter of Bessie Helen Bailey
Bailey,. Everett, Rev Pastor 1935-1938
Baisden, Johnnie Daughter of Nole Baisden
Baisden, Nole Mother of Johnnie , Staten Stonoff, Robert Stonoff
Ballard, Kyle Husband. of Ollie Ballard
Ballard, Ollie Wife of Kyle Ballard, daughter of Ollie Kitchen
Biggs, Billie Son of Carrie Biggs
Biggs, Carrie Sunday School Teacher, Mother of Bill, Elbert, Mildred
Biggs, Elbert Son of Carrie Biggs
Biggs, Mildred Daughter of Carrie Biggs
Blevins, Imogene Daughter of Mrs. Blevins
Blevins, Mrs. Mother of Imogene; Sister to Everett Hanners
Brooks, Gwendolyn Daughter of Elizabeth Taylor Brooks Keathley; Granddaughter of Scott and Alice Taylor
Browning, Anna Wife of George Browning
Browning, Donna Gayle Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Doris Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Doris Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Elmer Husband of Exel (Browning)
Browning, Exel Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Wife of Elmer Browning; Mother of Naomi, Jean, Doris, Joan, & Dona Gayle
Browning, George Husband of Anna Browning
Browning, George Son of Pliny Browning
Browning, Jean Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Lena Daughter of Pliny Browning
Browning, Maude Daughter of Pliny Browning; Wife of Roscoe Long
Browning, Naomi Daughter of Elmer and Exel Browning
Browning, Pliny (Aunt Pliny) Mother to George, Maude, Lena
Buchannon, Mr. Husband of Sadie Buchannon
Burton, Bessie Mother of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Marvin Son of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Michael Son of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Nary Wife of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Phillip Son of Willard J. Burton
Burton, Willard J. (Junior) Son of Bessie Burton; Husband of Nary Burton
Buskirk, Beatrice Wife of Joe Buskirk, daughter of Alice Taylor
Buskirk, Joe Husband of Beatrice Buskirk, killed in auto accident at Switzer about 1939
Cadd, Hazel Wife of Oakley Cadd
Cadd, Hazel Daughter of Oakley and Hazel Cadd
Cadd, Karen Daughter of Oakley and Hazel Cadd
Cadd, Oakley Husband of Hazel Cadd; Son of Bessie Burton
Cadd, Oakley, Jr Son of Oakley and Hazel Cadd
Cadd, Wilmer Son of Oakley and Hazel Cadd
Carver, Elwood Son of Ora Carver; Husband of Carolyn Tiller
Carver, Jane Daughter of Ora Carver, Wife of Sam Tiller
Carver, Ora Mother of Jane, Elwood, Reggie
Carver, Reggie Son of Ora Carver
Clark (Hannah) Martha Mother to Bill and Bethel Clark;Wife of Van Buren Clark
Clark, Bethel Brother of Bill Clark; Sang with brother Bill, and played the mandolin. Became evangelistic singer
Clark, Bill Husband of Ruth Clark; Former Sunday School Superintendent; 14 years -song leader; special singer with guitar;. Pressman at Pilgrim Publishing House in Indianapolis. IN
Clark, Billy Son of Bill and Ruth Clark
Clark, Judy Daughter of Bill and Ruth Clark
Clark, June Daughter of Bill and Ruth Clark
Clark, Ruth Wife of Bill Clark; Mother of June, Billy, Johnny, Judi; Daughter of Guy & Lena Smith; Sister to Ray Smith
Clark, Van Buren Husband of Martha Hannah Clark; Father of Bill Clark and Bethel Clark; ; Died 06-1942 ; Funeral at church
Conley, Ernest Son of Mae Conley
Conley, Freda Daughter of Mae Conley
Conley, Mae
Cornwell, Ben Father of Cutis and Ernest
Cornwell, Curtis Son of Ben Cornwell
Cornwell, Ernest Son of Ben Cornwell
Cox, Edward Husband of Mrs. Cox; father of Jimmy
Cox, Jimmy Son of Edward
Cox, Mrs. Wife of Edward Cox; Mother of Jimmy
Curry, Stella Wife of Wayne Curry
Curry, Wayne Husband of Stella
Deskins, Buddy Son of Robert and Maude Deskins; Engineer in Texas; Pastored in Wayne, WV until his early 70’s; Children: Sandy, Terri, Susan & Kim
Deskins, Doran Son of Robert and Maude Deskins
Deskins, Freida Daughter of Robert and Maude Deskins
Deskins, John Son of Robert and Maude Deskins
Deskins, Kim Daughter of Buddy and Lois Deskins
Deskins, Lois Wife of Buddy Deskins
Deskins, Maude (age 103 in 2003) Wife of Robert Lee Deskins; Mother of Buddy, Doran, John
Deskins, Robert Lee Husband. Of Maude; Killed in 1935
Deskins, Sandy Daughter of Buddy and Lois Deskins
Deskins, Susan Daughter of Buddy and Lois Deskins
Deskins, Terri Daughter of Buddy and Lois Deskins
Dingess, Alberta Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Betty Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Darrell Son of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Lilly Wife of Walter Dingess; Sunday Sschool Teacher-Young Married Class;
Dingess, Mary Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Merle Son of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Norma Jo Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Ruth Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Simon Husband of Zelda Dingess; Logan County Clerk
Dingess, Virginia Daughter of Simon and Zelda Dingess
Dingess, Walter Husband. Of Lilly Dingess; Sunday School Superintendent;
Dingess, Zelda Wife of Simon Dingess; replaced Simon after his death as Logan County Clerk
Edmondson, Mrs. Mother of Pete Edmondson; Sunday. School Teacher; Moved to Ohio
Edmonsdon, Pete
Ensley, Rev. Harry Pastor Supply 1937
Frye, Bernard Husband of Betty Fry; Daughter of Hattie Herald
Frye, Betty (Herald) Wife of Bernard Frye, Daughter of Hattie Herald
Frye, Deana Daughter of Bernard and Betty Frye
Frye, Kathy Daughter of Bernard and Betty Frye
Frye, Patti Daughter of Bernard and Betty Frye
Gore, Anne Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Estell Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Helen Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Judy Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Lana Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Lona Second wife of Guy Gore
Gore, Margaret Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Mary Jo Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Peggy Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Polly Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Ruth Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Simon Son of Lona & Guy Gore
Gore, Virginia Daughter of Lona & Guy Gore
Hanners, Everett Sister of Mrs. Blevins, Worked at Pilgrim Publishing House in Indianapolis, IN
Herald, Hattie Mother of Betty, Jimmy, Lafe, and Virginia
Herald, Jimmy Son of Hattie Herald
Herald, Virginia Daughter of Hattie Herald
Hickman, Rev. Hattie Pastor 1939-1933; 1939-1943
Hutchinson, Bertha Wife of Fred Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Doris Daughter of Fred and Bertha Hutchinson; Doris & another young lady did some pioneer church work in Arizona.
Hutchinson, Fred Husband of Bertha Hutchinson; Children: Virginia, Paul, Silas, Freddie, Ruth, Doris
Hutchinson, Freddie Son of Fred Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Mae Pearl Daughter of Fred and Bertha Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Paul Son of Fred Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Ruth Daughter of Fred and Bertha Hutchinson
Hutchinson, Virginia Daughter of Fred and Bertha Hutchinson
Hutchinson,, Silas Son of Fred Hutchinson
Jessie, “Uncle Bob”
King, Mrs. Several daughters, Pauline
King, Pauline
Kitchen, Chester Son of Ollie Kitchen; Husband of Shirley; Pastored in Wayne, WV
Kitchen, Claude Son of Ollie Kitchen, Husband. of Stella; Sunday School Teacher
Kitchen, Claude Son of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Husband of Stella; Sunday School Teacher
Kitchen, Ernest Son of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Esther Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Ethel Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Operated the Stringer Children’s Orphanage on Mud Fork
Kitchen, Exel Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Wife of Elmer Browning
Kitchen, Jenny Daughter of Tony Dress; Wife of Olus, Played the piano
Kitchen, John Son of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Margie Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Ollie Wife of Plato Kitchen; Mother of Claude, Ethel, John, Margie, Ollie, Ernest, Olus, Excel, Chester, and Esther; Primary Sunday School. Teacher
Kitchen, Ollie Daughter of Ollie and Plato Kitchen
Kitchen, Olus Son of Ollie and Plato Kitchen; Husband of Jenny Dress Kitchen
Kitchen, Shirley Wife of Chester.
Kitchen, Stella Wife of Claude
Lacy, Charles Clifford Son of Clifford and Faye Lacy
Lacy, Dana Son of Clifford and Faye Lacy; Preacher with program on WLOG radio station
Lacy, Donna Mae Daughter of Clifford and Faye Lacy
Lacy, Faye (Steel) Wife of Clifford Lacy; Mother of Charles Clifford
Lacy, Leanna Daughter of Clifford and Faye Lacy
Leadingham, Earl Son of Rev. E. E. Leadingham
Leadingham, Everett Son of Rev. E. E. Leadingham
Leadingham, Phillip Son of Rev. E. E. Leadingham
Leadingham, Rev. E. E Pastor 1951-1952, sons: Everett, Earl and Phillip
Long, Maude Wife of Roscoe Long; Mother of Barbara Long, sister to George Browning, Daughter of Pliny Browning
Long, Barbara Daughter of Roscoe and Maude Long
Long, Roscoe Husband of Maude
Marushi Freda Mae Daughter of Virginia Marushi
Marushi, Gloria Daughter of Virginia Marushi. Pianist, Married a minister who pastored at Barboursville, WV
Marushi, Virginia Mother of Gloria and Freda Mae
McCormack, Bobby Son of Virginia, grandson of Scott & Louis Taylor, Brother to Ronald
McCormack, Ronnie Son of Clovis and Virginia McCormack
McCormack, Virginia Daughter of Scott & Louis Taylor, Husband of Clovis McCormack; Mother of Bobby & Ronald McCormack
Nester, Carolyn Daughter of Rev. John Nester and Mae Nester
Nester, Debbie Daughter of Rev. John Nester and Mae Nester
Nester, John Son of Rev. John Nester and Mae Nester
Nester, John E, Rev Pastor 1958 – 1964, Children: Carloyn, Mary, John, Debbie
Nester, Mae Wife of Rev. John E. Nester; mother of Carolyn, Mary, John, Debbie
Nester, Mary Daughter of Rev. John Nester and Mae Nester
Nunley, Ben Husband of Nan; Church janitor-slept in basement
Nunley, Nan Wife of Ben Nunley
Robinson, Mrs.
Rogers, Margaret Wife of John Rogers, Mother of Hattie Herald
Samson, Beulah Daughter of George & Rena Samson
Samson, Bob Son of Ned and Roxy
Samson, Elba Son of Ned and Roxy
Samson, Luther Son of Ned and Roxy
Samson, Mae Daughter of Ned and Roxy
Samson, Mrs. Mother of Beulah, Belvia, Silvia, David
Samson, Ned Husband of Roxy
Samson, Rena Wife of George, Mother of Beulah
Sansom, Harriett Wife of Oscar Sansom, Mother of Sonia
Scalf, James F. Rev Pastor 1966 -1968
Smith, Lena Lena was church janitor, Mother of Esther Smith
Staggs, Blandine
Staggs, Cora Mother of Arthur Staggs; Later married Mr. White then Mr. Dell
Staggs, Dorothy
Staggs, Rosie
Stonoff, Robert Son of Nole Baisden; Active in Youth Society, went to Indiana to Frankfort Bible College, became an educator
Straight, Lorraine Wife of Roger Straight; Sunday School Teacher
Taylor, Alice Wife of Scott; Mother of Virginia McCormack; grandmother of Bobby McCormack; Sunday School Teacher
Taylor, Elizabeth Daughter of Scott and Alice Taylor; Wife of Johnny Jones; Mother of Johnny Jones Jr. and Gwen Brooks; Later married Clarence Brooks, then Lee Jess Keathley
Taylor, Scott Husband of Alice; Father of Virginia McCormack, grandfather of Bobby McCormack
Taylor, Virginia Daughter of Scott and Alice Taylor; Wife of Clovis McCormack
Van Briggle, Nancy Daughter of Rev. Vard VanBriggle and Margaret Jessup VanBriggle
VanBriggle, Margaret Jessup Wife of Rev. Vard VanBriggle; Mother of Nancy; Pianist, played the trombone
VanBriggle, Vard, Rev Pastor 1946 – 1950; Father of Nancy
Wakefield, Jj. C., Rev Pastor 1923 – 1924
Walker, Donald, Rev Pastor 1970
White, Ditha Wife of Wallace, mother of Doris
White, Doris Daughter of Wallace and Ditha White
White, Wallace Husband. of Ditha
Wiley, Erie Sunday School Teacher, local preacher
Wilson, Charlie Husband of Florence, father of Evelyn, Esther, Elvie, Lilly, Maxine, David, Doreen, William and James
Wilson, David Son of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Doreen Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Elvie Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Elvie Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Esther Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Evelyn Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Florence Wife of Charlie Wilson; played the piano
Wilson, James Son of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, James Everett Son of Charlie and Florence Wilson, Husband of Violet Wilson
Wilson, Lilly Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, Maxine Daughter of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wilson, William Son of Charlie and Florence Wilson
Wooten, Bean Wife of Rev. Everett Wooten
Wooten, Corda Second Wife of Everett
Wooten, Everett Pastor 1954-1957, Husband of Bea; Husband of Corda; Father of Russell and Margaret
Wooten, Russell Son of Rev Everett Wooten; Became a minister; and pastored many years
York, Carolyn Daughter of Norwood York
York, Chester Norman Father of Bessie Helen Bailey
York, Helen Daughter of Norwood York
York, Larry Son of Norwood York
York, Patti Daughter of Norwood York

Visit the Gallery of pictures. Click Galleries at top of page and select Pilgrim Holiness Church  or click on this link:  Pilgrim Holiness Church Gallery of pictures

John Tarkany, a Prominent Early Cherry Tree Resident

Based on interview of Helen Tarkany Piros (niece of John Tarkany) conducted by her son, Bob Piros in November of 2002.

John and Anna Tarkany with daughter

John and Anna Tarkany with daughter

John Tarkany was born on June 26,1881 in Csesznek, Hungary. He worked in the coal mines at an early age with his father George SR. and his brothers, Gabor, George JR. and Mike. The coal companies in the United States sent representatives to Hungary to sign up coal miners to come to America to work in the coal mines. John emigrated to the U.S.A. on the vessel N. Finland and he arrived at the Port of New York in the State of New York on the 9th day of March 1903 .He started working for the Pocahontas Fuel Company in Virginia. He married Anna Stercz on July 31,1904 at the Presbyterian Hungarian Church in Pocahontas. In 1908, John moved his family to Cherry Tree West Virginia and he started working for the Island Creek Coal Company. John worked as a transportation agent going back to Hungary to hire laborers to work in the coal fields. He made good money and he purchased some land in Hungary that was used by other Tarkany members left there. John made many trips back there. He would sign the miners up and then go with them by vessel back to the U.S.A. During the two weeks it took to get to the U.S.A., John would educate the men about the goings on in America.

During the time that he lived in Cherry Tree with his family, John purchased a house and some other lots. He owned a two story house. He also either gave or sold a lot on which the Pilgrim Holiness Church was built. John also had a duplex built on the lot behind the Church. Due to the large influx of coal miners coming to work for Island Creek Coal Company, John was advised that he might be able to make more and easier money by hauling food to the coal miners. In 1918, John opened up a store in Cherry Tree and he started taking orders from the coal mines and miners. At onetime there were some 2,500 miners working for Island Creek; most of them lived in the Holden and Whitman Creek areas. Island Creek Coal Company built the houses for their workers to live in and the miners purchased most of their living items from the company store located in Holden. Communities sprang up all over Logan County. This is how Cherry Tree got started. Some people purchased acres of land and then sold them off in separate lots. As more people came into the area, there became a need for more services. Thus up went stores, gas stations, repair shops and other business enterprises.

During the Depression years, John Tarkany and his wife Anna lost everything that they owned except the two story house. They built a store on one side and Anna sold items from the store and John took orders and made house to house deliverys.

During the time John went back to Hungary he would always take boxes of clothes and other things to give to the Tarkany family members left in Hungary. John died in 1941 and his wife Anna still sent things back to the relatives. Her last letter to them was in 1947 and she told them that since none of her daughters could write in the Hungarian language and that due to her illness no more letters or packages would be sent. When we started our search for family members in 1987 and found the rest of the Tarkany family, they sent us pictures and letters that Anna Tarkany had sent them through the years. They said they had thought that all the Tarkany family members had died. They didn’t know that Anna had died in 1957.

Memories of Paul Dyer From The 50’s & 60’s

Cherry Tree was a homogenous blend of folks from just about anywhere in the world. Hungarians, Italians, Poles and some, such as my family, whose origins was suspect but believed to be descended from the mixture of the Scotch-Irish peoples who inhabited the Appalachian Mountains from early on.

Daddy Fykes, also a resident of the upper end of Cherry Tree, was a black carpenter who often gathered food scraps from the slop buckets that were hung on nails outside a dwelling to feed to his hogs.  Sadly, I recall his sorrow when the flood of ’63, or was it ’64, drowned the huge sow hog he had so laboriously taken care of.  We little white kids were always a mite skittish about going around Daddy Fykes although I can’t recall a single instance of harm that he brought to anyone. Vivid in my mind is the memory of him laying out and accurately sawing a stair stringer, which, as I have learned since, is no mean feat. I recall his wife but not her name; my, what a good, good heart she had. She often would pass apples to me and my two sisters over the little ramshackle fence that separated our yards. To this day for some reason, the smell of cinnamon evokes a strong image of her.

  Grade School days

Vivid in my memory are the late summer days in Cherry Tree’s little two-room schoolhouse when, just every now and then, through the drowsy summer air, came the hum of the tires of a passing automobile and that those same humming sounds that wafted through the open doors and windows of the school made it increasingly difficult for a small boy to concentrate on the lessons so ably given by Mrs. Frema Dingess and Mrs. Lucille Von Péchy. They were the only teachers I recall at Cherry Tree School. It was after all, a school containing the first three grades of grammar school.  My good friend, Bob Piros, informed me that he had a very nice chat with Mrs. Dingess who is now 91 years old and resides in Chapmanville.  She confirmed that yes, indeed, she was the principal and teacher of grades 2 and 3 at Cherry Tree Grade School and that Mrs. Von Pechy, who passed away in 1988, was the first grade teacher and assisted her with grades 2 and 3 as well.

How well I recall walking down the alleys of Cherry Tree with my sister Elsie, on our way to the little schoolhouse. I recall the spelling bees, the recesses spent outdoors, where, forsaking the swing sets and merry–go-round, we would pile sandstone into “castles”.  How well I recall winters when a pot of water on the big Warm Morning heater in each of the two rooms would provide much needed humidity in the dry wintry air.  And I remember Mrs. Von Péchy telling us we should always sleep with the window just slightly open for fresh air.

It’s so strange that a person can recall such a trivial memory about keeping your bedroom window slightly open but has completely forgotten what probably more important events were.  Our memories are like that although sometimes a smell or taste or sight can trigger a memory that has lain dormant for years and years.  Diesel fumes for example trigger memories of my father working at the city bus garage and the smell of hay evokes memories of the Quonset building near downtown Logan that sold cow and chicken feed and hay and straw.  It was always a pleasure to pass by the front of the building and smell such pleasant smells coming from within.

 The Dingess Boys

How old was I when Lanny and Ronnie Dingess entered my life? Twelve, thirteen? I cannot recall with certainty but I am certain that Lanny and Ronnie, as boyhood friends, did exert a tremendous influence in my life.

Ronnie Dingess was about a year older than his brother Lanny and me, small for his age but somehow wiser than his years. He had a sharp mind in that he was able to figure out mechanical things and an innate sense of what a problem was and what it would take to eliminate it. A consummate cigarette smoker, just about any time you saw him, Ronnie would have a cigarette dangling from his lips. As children, we’d all been told that smoking would stunt our growth. I always thought that Ronnie felt that his growth was already stunted so what would one more cigarette hurt?

So fond in my memory is the day we discovered a boat chained to a tree on a Guyandotte River bank.  Ronnie found a way to get it unchained and what a grand and glorious time we had exploring the reaches of the river.

And the Dingess family was much like my own. There were five or six children as I recall. Lanny and Ronnie had a brother named Ernest. They also had three or four sisters. Jill was the oldest. Then there was Cathy and the youngest, Fonda. I recall their mother’s name Pauline, who still resides in Logan, and their father’s name, Charles or Charlie.

My closest childhood friend was Ronnie’s brother Lanny. Although I had natural brothers in abundance, Lanny was more brother than friend. We shared everything together–all our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams. If it could be thought of and done, I could always count on Lanny’s help to get it accomplished.

Lanny was a tried and true friend who embodied all things well and good. He could never tell a lie and theft was foreign to his nature. He was faithful and trustworthy to a fault. In short, Lanny Dingess was all and everything a friend could and should be. I, like most, left a lot of things behind when I left Cherry Tree, but the thing that I miss the most, even today, is his friendship. I never considered a life where Lanny was not around but Viet Nam got into full swing in the early sixties and a lot of things changed because of it. At that time, U.S. military forces utilized the draft.  If a boy had turned 18, he was subject to be drafted into the Army.  It was either join or be drafted unless you were in college. I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1964, shortly after graduation from Logan High School.  Lanny joined the U.S. Army the next year and was stationed in Great Britain.  From what I understand, he married an English woman and settled in Cleveland, Ohio after his tour of duty.  Sadly, I lost touch with Lanny shortly after my naval stint but I shall keep his boyhood friendship close to my heart for the rest of my life.

Hot summertime and cold watermelons just seem to go together and Fortuna’s Produce Market always seemed to have the coldest, sweetest melons. As I recall, they were 50 cents apiece and, when the fifty cent pieces were available, a small troupe of kids would make the trek across the two single-lanes, concrete bridges that separated Mount Gay from Cherry Tree and return with that prized melon. It would be cut outside by my mother and distributed all around to the kids who could then spit watermelon seeds with wild abandon.

Also in the summertime, a horse or mule drawn wagon would enter the little community and the driver would hawk the canvas-covered frozen water to the neighborhood mothers who needed the ice for the ice-boxes of the day. The chips of ice that he would hand out to the eager children who clustered around the wagon on those hot summer days were sweeter and better than any candy bar.

Folks were more friendly in the fifties and folks would sometimes make sacrifices for you and do for you what you could not do for yourself. These were the days before television. These were the days of front porches and neighbors who knew each other by name. Gone forever are those days of unlocked front doors and wide open windows and the sense of trust you had in your neighbors. And, when mentioning kindness to one another, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the name of Joe Chirico. Joe Chirico was like that. I’m sure that all the groceries that left his store to feed some of the neighborhood children were never sold at a profit. My mother at that time had a silver dollar that she would often “pawn” to Joe Chirico for a loan. Although times were hard and resources were scarce, Mom always managed somehow to redeem that silver dollar from Joe.  So many times that silver dollar would grace the pot of cabbage my mother would cook for our New Year’s dinner, after which the coin would be tucked away for safekeeping. It was a custom my mother said that would assure a family would always have good luck, and money, that New Year.

I remember Bob Piros owning a ’56  Chevy during our high school days. It was a quiet, clean car, dignified, as was Bob himself. Sometimes we’d ride home together after school, rather than ride the school bus.

Much of my memories have depended on the recollections of Bob, who seems to recall much more than I about our childhood days.

There was a set of twins in the neighborhood, David and Dale Scott –brothers and twins at that but completely different in their personalities. David seemed to be more outgoing than Dale who was more withdrawn than his nearly identical brother.

Adjoining Joe Chirico’s grocery was a small beer joint owned at that time by Wilson and Carrie Gallion.  Wilson was a crack shot with a .45 service pistol as I remember and sometimes would regale us with tales from his exploits during World War II. His son Gordon and I were friends during the time that the family lived in Cherry Tree. Gordon was a fun-loving sort of fellow who played drums in the junior high school band.  From what I understand, Gordon lives in Ranger, West Virginia.  Gordon also had a brother named Ronnie and a sister whose name I believe was Sue.

Sheila Dingess, lived across the street from Joe Chirico’s store. Although she was called a tomboy by the neighborhood children, I can’t remember Sheila being much involved in our activities. Perhaps she was tagged with that reputation because of the blue-jeans she wore with the rolled-up cuff. In my mind’s eye I see her peddling her bicycle down the street with her long pony tail streaming out behind her. There were a lot of Dingess families in the Logan area but Sheila was not related to Lanny Dingess that I am aware of.

Lana Gore, who later became a good friend of my sister Elsie, lived across the first swinging bridge that connected Cherry Tree to White’s Addition. Lana was a pretty girl and every time she crossed that bridge, whether coming or going, my friend Kenneth Johnson would whistle at her. I can still recall her face flushing from embarrassment.

Kenneth Johnson was just about the same age as me. He had some older brothers and sisters. Jack, the oldest, suffered from a nervous breakdown and only occasionally visited his mother. Neal Johnson, another brother to Kenneth, was a little older than us.

I recall Neal climbing a big buckeye tree back on ‘the mountain’ and I also recall the sharp crack as the top of the tree broke off and the wild ride Neal had with it down to the ground. He hit with such a terrible thud, I just knew he had killed himself, but after several moments of grave concern on my part, he sat up and dusted himself off and asked me if he could borrow my comb. He and Kenneth were much alike. Both were always neat and clean with their hair always combed just so.

I have forgotten Kenneth’s oldest sister’s name but Linda was his other sister’s name. Linda was a good friend of my sister, Phyllis.

There were the Blair children — Jimmy, Nancy, Ricky and the youngest sister, Luigi.  Nancy and I were childhood sweethearts; we shared our first kisses together. Their father’s name was Elmer but I don’t recall their mother’s name.

I recall the sand lot games of touch football and how quick and agile Jimmy was. Usually if you saw Neal Johnson, you would also see Jimmy Blair. And with Neal and Jimmy would be one of the most memorable characters of my life, David Cline.

David Cline was a natural comedian with a keen mind and a very sharp wit. Any time David was around, you were guaranteed a good time. He could keep you in stitches. If the jokes didn’t do it, his impersonation of Donald Duck could.  I can still recall my mother’s hearty laughter at our kitchen table over David’s jokes and comments.

David had a younger brother, Billy, but I don’t recall any other brothers or sisters. Neither do I recall where David’s family originated.  As with most young men in that area, David and Neal joined the U.S. Army.

Penny Rice and her sister Hattie I believe came from Chicago. Both of them were very pretty girls and, for a while anyway, I could claim Penny as my girlfriend. Alas, Penny and Hattie’s family moved back to Chicago as I recall.

Donald Pack was a friend of mine who lived in the same neighborhood.  I do not recall when Donald picked up the habit of chewing tobacco but more often than not, he would have a big cud parked inside his cheek.  His daddy’s name, I believe, was Ernest and his mother’s name was Rosie.  Rosie, I think, was daughter to Grandma Sheppard and sister to Martha Sheppard.  Martha was the first woman I can recall who drove a truck, which was unusual in that day and time.  Martha had a brother named Harrison and another brother named Frank and, if I am not mistaken, she either had a brother named Cecil or was married to a Cecil.  Unfortunately, I do not recall Cecil’s last name, be it Sheppard or otherwise.

If I am not badly mistaken, my Aunt Florence’s maiden name was Sheppard.  Aunt Florence was married to my uncle Ernest.

Donald Pack was sort of a jolly fellow and when and how we lost contact with each other I do not recall.  Someone, perhaps my mother, told me that Donald had moved to Toledo, Ohio, lived there for several years and passed away somewhat early in life.

No doubt there were other children in that small neighborhood whom I have forgotten to mention. And also, this was only a part of Cherry Tree. The lower section that was situated to the south of the bakery has not been mentioned with the same frequency because, with the exception of Robert Piros, I never really knew those children well.

However, I do recall the Nagy boys, David and Shawn and I remember Donald Pack. I also recall Mike Ratz whose Dad owned a bearing and alignment shop where my uncle “Dude” worked. There was a younger boy named Billy Booth (?) There was Carolyn Tiller, whose father, Dink, was the local sheriff’s deputy.

Although not a youngster by any means, one of the more colorful characters in that end of Cherry Tree was Roscoe Long. If anything at all was happening in the neighborhood, Roscoe could tell you. Most of Roscoe’s time was spent out on his porch where he could watch the comings and goings of his neighbors. Roscoe’s daughter’s name was Barbara who married a man name Opie.

And then there was Mr. Porter, an older, heavy-set man who resided in an apartment above Mr. Nagy’s garage.  Mr. Porter (I never knew his first name) was fond of sitting on the porch attached to his apartment and who, like Roscoe, observed his neighbors activities with interest.

Jerry Johnson (no kin to Kenneth) was a good friend of mine. Jerry and I joined the Navy together in 1964. Jerry’s mother and grandfather, from overseas somewhere, Czechoslovakia I believe, kept a tight rein on Jerry although not tight enough to keep him from sustaining a broken arm when he yelled “Geronimo!!” and lost his grip on the cable swing back in “the mountain”.   When Jerry discovered a way to get into the RC storage building next to his home, he and I enjoyed our share of soft drinks, compliments of RC bottling.

As I mentioned, Jerry and I enlisted in the Navy together, supposedly under the buddy system, but after boot camp Jerry went one way and I went the other.  I do not know for sure what became of Jerry.  It seems that I recall my mom telling me that Jerry did some sort of secret work for the government and afterwards relocated to Baltimore, Maryland.

Danny Greene

There was Jerry Greene and his brother Danny. Tragically, Danny was one of the first Viet Nam casualties from our small part of the world.

 My Family

I suppose that my family was the largest family in Cherry Tree. My mother bore eight children and, with the exception of the oldest, Phyllis, all were born in Logan, West Virginia.

My daddy’s name was William Ples Dyer, Jr. and Mom’s name was Mae. There were several aunts and uncles spread out around the Logan area. My uncles were Anthony (Doc) and Ernest Dyer.  Cousin Barbara, daughter to Doc, still resides there. My mother’s brothers were Robert (Bob) and Dude Jenkins. Dude had no children but Bob had a son, Robert Jr. who still lives in Logan.

Mom and Dad must have been quite young when they settled in Logan or, more specifically, Cherry Tree. The oldest child, Phyllis was born in Freeburn, Kentucky. Phyllis, or Sis, is four years older than I and I, myself, was born in Logan General Hospital in April of ’46. Next came my sister Elsie and then Roger, David, Danny, Sharon and Eddie. Sis, I and Elsie spent all of our childhood in Cherry Tree and graduated from Logan High School.

Mom and Dad relocated to Toledo, Ohio when the youngest child, Eddie, was still a toddler. After spending several years in Toledo, they removed to Abilene, Texas where my brother, Roger Dean, still resides.  My younger brother, David, chose to remain in Toledo and is still a resident of that area.

Mom and Dad passed away while in Abilene and are buried there. My younger brother Danny Joe (named for Joe Chirico) also succumbed in Abilene and is buried there. My younger sister Sharon passed away in 2003, and her husband, John, acceded to her wishes and scattered her ashes in Oregon.

The recollections that I have noted here are memories that time is sometimes not kind to. There are other lives I am sure that have touched mine, but I have forgotten them after this half century of life.

When I left Cherry Tree to join the U.S. Navy, it had already changed much due to the road construction in the area; my last visit revealed a Cherry Tree that was alien to me, a place that I still call “home” but only because of memories of what once were part of my life.