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Wayne County News
June 10, 1926


The names of 36 Wayne County veterans of the Civil War have been reported to this paper, since its request for a list of the names and addresses of local veterans who are still living.

The names of 33 old soldiers were reported in our columns last week and the week before, and three more have been received this week, as follows:

ALDERSON WATTS, formerly of this county, who now lives near Portsmouth, Ohio, who is 81 years of age. A news story concerning Mr. Watt's recent visit to this county appears in this issue. He was a Confederate veteran.

JESSE QUEEN, a Union veteran, who now lives at Salt Rock, on Guyan River. He makes his home with his son, Jim Queen. Mr. Queen is 86 years old, and is in very poor health at present.

JOHN ADKINS, who lives with his son William Adkins, at the mouth of the Parker Adkins Branch, just above the mouth of Raccoon Creek. He is a Union veteran and served for 18 months in the Civil War. Mr. Adkins formerly lived in Cabell county.


After an absence of more than thirty-five years, Alderson Watts, Sr., former well-known citizen of this county, returned last week for a few days' visit with friends and relatives in Wayne and East Lynn.

Watts is 81 years old, having celebrated his 81st birthday [in] May. He is the son of John Hansford (Hanse) Watts and the only brother of Harrison Watts, who died a few months ago at his home near Huntington.

Watts was born near East Lynn on what is now the W. R. Osburn place and lived for many years [near] East Lynn. He later lived at the mouth of Wilson's Creek and at Buffalo Shoals in this county. At the present he is living near Portsmouth, Ohio, where he is farming.

Although advanced in age, he still possesses a strong constitution and agile mind. He is raising a big crop this season, and he engages in the most interesting conversation. . .

Watts is a veteran of the Civil War, having served in the 16th Va. Cavalry of the Confederate Army under Col. Jim Ferguson. He enlisted when he was only 15 years old. An ususual fact about his service experience is that he served in the Civil War with his father, who was also a Confederate soldier in the 8th Va. Cavalry under General Corns. Another interesting angle is that when John and his son Alderson went to war in the Confederate Army, Attison Watts, a brother of John. and his son Milton Watts went to war in the Union Army. It was a case of father and son fighthing brother and uncle and visa versa.

During his trip here last week, Mr. Watts discussed the days of conflict between 1861 and 1865. He was in the war three years, fighting most of the time in Virginia and Pennsylvania, but principally in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Although he endured hardships, Mr. Watts says he enjoyed the experiences he had in the War. Being a boy of 15 when he went in, he regarded it as a thrilling adventure.

He recalls that one time he went for [days] without any food and the first thing he ate was an ear of raw corn which in found on the road and which had been trampled by the feet of many horses. He said that he ate every grain of corn on the ear and thought it was one of the best morsels of food that he had ever tasted.

Mr. Watts participated in the Dry Mountain battle in Virginia. The location is called Dry Mountain because the crest of the mountain is above most of the rain showers. In one particular engagement on this mountain, he recalls that the Confederate Army fought in sunshine on top of the mountain while the Union soldiers were struggling in rain and mud at the foot of the mountain in preparation for their attack. In this instance the Confederate Army of sixteen hundred men met the Union forces that numbered thirty thousand (hundred?). He had a close call in the Battle of King's Salt Works, near Tazewell, Virginia, and also in other engagements, but finally survived the war a little worse off for the experience.

Mr. Watts returned to his home in Ohio last Friday. Before leaving he expressed great admiration for the progress that has been made in his home county during the 35 years that have intervened since his last time home. He spoke of the present modern school system in comparison with the first school that he ever attended which was taught by "Uncle" Thomas Napier, one of the pioneer teachers in this section of the state. The school building was made of hewn logs and had dirt floors. The building was heated by an open fire built of wood on the dirt floor in the middle of the room. There were unsatisfactory means of escape for the smoke, and Mr. Watts says that the pupils' eyes were filled with tears from the smoke most of the time. In that school everyone studied "out loud." That was the custom in all schools then. "It sounded like bedlam," Mr. Watts says, "for everyone seemed to be trying to make more noise than anybody else, but somehow we managed to get along and to learn something of our three R's--Readin', 'Ritin' and 'Rithmetic."

Next to our schools, he believes the most progress has been made in our roads. He said that when he had to make the trip from Wayne to Huntington by automobile last Friday, he was amazed at the splendid condition of our roads. Other roads which he traveled in the county made it possible to go by automobile to places that were practically inaccessible for any kind of vehicle only a few years ago.

"Wayne is a great county with a glorious past and a wonderful future," Mr. Watts said in an interview with this writer, "and my advice to the young men and women is not to leave home, but instead remain here in Wayne county and lend your efforts helping to make it an ever better place to live than it now is."


On the night of May the 29th about fifty Klansmen in robes and masks climbed to the top of Well's Mountain with beautiful wreaths of flowers and placed them in token of their friendship and love on the grave of Y. B. Salmons, who had been a loyal and faithful Klansman. The Klansmen came from various parts of Wayne county, some from a distance of at least twenty miles, and after parking their cars at the base of the mountain, they ascended on foot to the brow of the mountain where they assembled themselves in due form around the grave.

The service of the memorial was introduced by prayer after which a very fitting talk for the occasion was delivered by a well-known and well-informed minister of the gospel. After the short service the Klansmen all in white and by the light of the bright burning candles circled around the grave to deposit a wreath as a last respect to their brother, after which they started for the vicinity of Coleman to do likewise to another Klansman's grave.


Wayne County News
Wayne, W. Va.

Dear Editor:

In response to the request recently published in your paper, I shall give you a brief sketch of my service in the Civil War.

I first enlisted in the First Kentucky Capitol Guards where I served for seven months. I re- enlisted out of State Service into the United States service in the 53rd Regiment, Company K, on April 5, 1865, and served until September 15, 1865. I was in service altogether over twelve months, and my discharge record shows me now 79 years of age.

I lived in Kentucky during the War and for a few years afterwards, moving to Wayne county about forty years ago, where I have lived ever since.

James H. Ferguson


Branchland, W. Va.
Route 2, Box 45
June 8, 1926

Wayne County News
Wayne, W. Va.

Dear Editor:

In last week's paper I read an article by Mrs. Donald Clark, stating that she believed she had the only trundle bed in West Virginia, and naming some other rare relics, which was very interesting for me to read. At the same time, it caused my mind to reflect back to childhood days when I used to fill the bobbins for my mother to make the winter clothing for the family.

I will say there is yet another trundle bed in the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. W. McClellan near the Wayne-Lincoln line. You can see also two of the four-poster beds in this home, well corded and laden with the homemade blankets and coverlids which Mrs. McClellan made on her big old loom which she also has yet with its many belongings. She also has drafts of many designs for making coverlids and she has not forgotten how to use them.

She has a shawl that was woven on her loom, size five by seven feet. Mrs. McClellan has the cards for making rolls, also the spinning wheel used to spin the rolls into thread. This wheel has been in use for ninety years. She also has the old-time reel. Another article of interest is an old bread tray in which she has made hundreds and hundreds of pounds of bread. This tray is made of lynn timber and has been used by Mrs. McClellan for over fifty years. She also has in her kitchen a cupboard, with metal doors instead of glass, carved with flowers, which was made by "Uncle Billie" Rice of near Nestlow many years ago. The shawl which I have mentioned is woven in "Bird-Eye Twill."

Mr. and Mrs. McClellan have lived in Wayne County for forty-eight years, coming here from Scott County, Virginia. Mr. McClellan is 74 years old and Mrs. McClellan is 70.

Mrs. Sarah V. E. Shuff
Wayne, W. Va.
June 8, 1926


A heavy bloom indicates that there will be a big crop of blackberries in Wayne County this year. According to J. W. Mitchell, postmaster at Wayne, one of the old signs for determining in advance whether there will be plenty of blakberries is that rainy weather on June 7th means few berries and dry weather insures a big berry crop.

Transcription by June White

Wayne County News