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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
June 30, 2016     Clinch Valley Times
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June 30, 2016

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Vol. LVIII, No. 26 576 EX/C Smalltown Papers 217 W. Cota Street Shelton WA 98584 " 'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many things...' '" Thursday, June 30, 2016 Saint Paul, Virginia PRESS 50 cents At the monthly IDA meeting, the St. Paul IDA voted to transfer to the Town of St. Paul two small parcels that are part of the Corporation originally Oxbow Center property, became the owners. A Both parcels were missedrecent survey brought it to when the Oxbow the IDA's attention that Celebrate the 4th in St. Paul St. Paul will host its annual Independence Day Celebration on Monday, July 4. The day's activities will get underway with the tra- ditional Pancake Breakfast at the St. Paul United Methodist Church from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Admission will be free to the St. Paul Swimming Pool, 12 noon until 4 p.m. with free watermelon. Starting at 4 o'clock, activities begin at the Miners Exchange Bank parking lot. Those who enjoy Bingo will find the traditional game set up under the tent beginning at 4:00 pm, and the younger set will have access to fire truck rides from this site. There will be games including a hula hoop con- test, bowling, watermelon eating contest, pick up ducks, Ms. Firecracker and inflatables. Free watermel- on and free ice cream will be available. The traditional popular cake walks will begin at 5:00 p.m. Food vendors will be available. Music by the band "Retroville" will begin at 7:00 pm. The evening's highlight of fireworks'begins at 9:30 p.m. with mote music after the fireworks. Beating the heat on a very hot Sunday afternoon. AA-Sundays and Tuesdays: Big Stone Gap, 8 pm, Episcopal Church. Tuesdays: St. Paul, 6:00 pm St. Paul United Methodist Church. Wednesdays: Wise, 8 pm, Trinity United Methodist Church. Fridays: Clintwood, 7:30 pm, Clintwood United Methodist Church. ST. PAUL IDA BOARD-Fourth Mondays, 6 pm, St. Paul Town Hall. ST. PAUL TOWN COUNCIL-Third Mondays, 6 pm~ Town Hall. CASTLEWOOD W'& S A-The Castlewood Water & Sewage Authority Board of Directors, 6 pm second Mondays. . ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT-First Tuesday, 1 pm, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens officG Claypool Hill. Free. NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS - Tuesdays and Saturdays, 8 pm Presbyterian Church, Norton. CASTLEWOOD LODGE #231 -Stated meetings will be held the third Saturday of each month. The School of Instruction will be held on fourth Thursdays at 7. ST. PAUL LODGE #343-Second Thursdays, 7:30 pm, Stated Communication; First Thursday, 7 pm School of Instruction. VFW POST #8652, DAV CHAPTER 12- 4th Tuesday, 7 pm, VFW, Riverview, Coeburn. RUSSELL CO. BOARD OF SUPER- VISORS-First Monday, 6 pm, Lebanon. CLINCHFIELD LODGE #256-Stated Communication, I st Iil[ll!l!l!JitlU! !i!l[llil Thursdays, 7:30; School of Instruction third Thursdays, 7 pm RECOVERY GROUP-The Wise County Mental Health Center conducts a recovery group for sub- stance abusers and fam- ilies Fridays at 10 am Call 276-679-0810. ACOA MEETING- Adult Children of Alcoholics meet Mondays, 7 pm, First Baptist Church, Coeburn. Call 762- 0016, 276-395-6588 or 276-679-7371. LITTLE LEAGUE- The Clinch River Little League Board meets at 3 pm third Sundays at Ma Whitenack Little League Field. All inter- ested persons are invit- ed to attend. H.O.P.E. HOUSE- H.O.RE. House pro- vides emergency shel- ter for victims of domestic violence in Wise, Russell, Dickenson, Lee, Scott and Buchanan counties and the City of Norton. Volunteers needed- training available. Call 1-800-572-2278. SENIOR CITI- ZENS-The Castle- wood Senior Citizens meet at 10 am Wednesdays at the Castlewood Lions Den. Anyone 60 or over is invited. The Dante Senior Citizens meet ~ each Monday and Tuesday at 10 am at the Dante Fire Department. Russell County residents 60 or older are invited. RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY-Hours at the Russell County Public Library, Lebanon, are Tue & Thur 10am-8pm; Wed & Fri ! 0am- 5:30pm; Sat 10-3pm. Closed Sun & Mon. MATTHEWS LIBRARY-Hours at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul, are: 9:30am- 6pm Monday; 10:30am-7pm Tuesday,; Closed Wednesday; 9:30-6 pm Thursday and Friday. Saturday Closed. Sunday Closed. DICKENSON- BUNDY-The Dickenson-Bundy Log House is open weekly Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 to 4 and Sundays 1 to 3. SOCIAL SECURI- TY-The Wise Social Security Office is open Mondays-Fridays from 9am-4pm. Phone num- bers are 1-800-772- 1213 or 276-679-7633. LIBRARY FRIENDS-Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul meet at the Library on first Thursdays at 4 pm. VFW POST 986zb VFW Post 9864, Lebanon, welcomes new members. If you served overseas during any war, write VFW Post 9864, P.O. Box 1419, Lebanon, VA 24266 and send name, address and phone number. Transfers wel- comed. HEALTH SER- VICES-The Wise County Health Department, Wise, is open from 8am-8pm first Thursdays. Clinics will be offered in famil~ plan- ning, pediatrics, school and adult physicals, WlC, Paps and immu- nizations. Appointments are nec- essary for all but immu- nizations. For an appointment, call 762- 328-8000. FACILITIES AVAILABLE-The Tacoma Community Center is available for reunions, birthdays and showers, All proceeds reha- bilitate the Tacoma School as a Community Center. For informa- tion, call 395-6398. 100TH BIRTH- DAY-Appalachian Agency for Senior Church and church-related activities Citizens recognizes persons in Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan and Tazewell counties who are 100 years old or older. Call Dana Collins, 1-800-656- 2272, to advise AASC of any upcoming 100th birthday. SUPPORT GROUP-Women sur- vivors of sexual assault are invited to attend Clinch Valley Communication Action, Inc./Family Crisis Services' sup, port group meeting with victims of similar situations Mondays, 10:30 am-12 noon. For information call Rande Hackler, 276-988-5583 or Ranetta Davis, 276- 889-8206. FREE ADULT ED- Free adult educa[ion classes are available in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Daytime and evening classes for adults who want to' improve their basic skills. Instructors also assist adults with job- related skills including resume, writing and interviewing. For details, call 1-800-422- 3433 or 276-386-2433. TRANSPORTA- TION- The Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens pro- vides disability trans- portation services in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties to individuals with disabilities, regardless of age~ Call 1-888-656-2272. - GENEALOGY GROUP-The Russell County Genealogy Group meets 5:30 pm first Thursdays, Russell County Public Library, Lebanon. Grouppurpose is "to learn, to share and to perpetuate family history." William T. Fuller, 276-623-3410 See CALENDAR, Page 8 calendar on page 3 these two parcels were part ed an extension until of the public access and December 2016. The needed to be transferred to extension was requested the Town of St. Paul. pending final approval of Next, Chairman Bob the historical tax credits. Harrison reported that the The IDA Board also $1,000,000 VCEDA loan voted unanimously to closing for the Western authorize Chairman Front Hotel has been grant- Harrison to contact the original contractor to make needed repairs at the Hillman House Welcome Center. The work needed includes replacement of rotten wood on one of the windows, scraping, and painting. unnecessary... 99 by Jerry Couch Before we begin this week's article, some back- ground information is in order. During World War I, the mining of Southwest Virginia's coal took on strategic importance. By extension, local railroads shared that importance. Without them, shipments of coal from the region would have ground to a halt. During this time of national emergency there was also a perception, fed by the press, that the coal- fields were hotbeds of" Bolshevism and Anarchism. This percep- tion provided a convenient opportunity for coal inter- ests to demonize and sup- press labor unions. Feeding hysteria and suspi- cion can be highly prof- itable. If not, it wouldn't be happening today. When doing research for this column, I've been surprised by the number of strange local incidents I've run across. I've often won-, dered how a community the size of St. Paul could support so much DRAMA. Today, our drama will begin with the transcription of a newspaper article fea- tured in the May 28, 1917 edition of "The World News" which was located in Roanoke, Virginia. This story was also carried by every metropolitan news- paper in the state, as well as the Clinch Valley News of Tazewell and the Big Stone Gap Post. The "ringleaders" men- tioned in this story have living descendants. Therefore, I have chosen to refer to these men by their initials JWP and WVM instead of their full names. This is to protect the priva- cy of people who might be embarrassed by the content of this article. After all, it's the actions, not the perpe- trators, that are of primary interest. Keep in mind that this was an early article rushed to press. As such, it con- tains inflammatory asser- tions not proven in court later that year. We see the same thing today when local prosecutors announce arrests or grand jury indict- ments but later fail to men- tion the case was not pros- ecuted, dismissed at trial, or the alleged perpetrators were exonerated. The object lesson here is justice - the foundation of which is proof and facts, not opin- ions and assumptions. +++++++++++++++ BOLD CONSPIRACY TO DEFY DRAFT LAW FOUND BY AGENTS WVM and JWP in Jail Here, Alleged Leaders in Most Astounding Scheme Investigators of Department of Justice Declare Mountaineers of Border Counties Had Banded Together Under Solemn Oath to Defy Registration, Kill Revenue Officers and Land Owners, and Confiscate Property WOULD BLOW UP TUNNELS, BRIDGES, BANKS AND HOMES A most carefully out- lined plot, in which a great number of participants were to have joined in defying the government of the United States in regard to the conscription act, was discovered and frustrated Saturday afternoon through the instrumentality of Arthur J. Delvin, special agent of the Department of Justice, when WVM and JWP were arrested at St. Paul, Virginia, and lodged early Sunday morning in the Roanoke jail. Assisting Mr. Devlin in the work were Agent L. O. Thompson, of Lexington, Kentucky; S. R. Brame, chief revenue agent for Virginia, and M. B. Herron, Deputy U. S. mar- shal of Swords Creek, Va. Plans were discovered whereby over two hundred mountaineers of this state were forming themselves into a military organization under the leadership of"~ WVM and JWP with the avowed intention of resist- ing the conscription act to the death~!~ and further to blow up all the bridges in that community, destroy the banks, kill the revenue agents in that section and all the wealthy land own- ers. After their plans had been set on foot, the land, money and personal belongings of their victims was to be divided among the conspirators, and it was estimated that each would receive approximately $15,000 in money, land or personal belongings. An Oath had been signed by the members of the con- spiracy, in which they pledged they would obey the commands of their superiors even to the sever, ance of their heads from their bodies, and a declara- tion of war had been issued to the men commanding to "get ready" for the out- break, which was expected as soon as conscription was put into actual force. WVM Fomented Plot, Is Claimed. WVM, it is said, was at work going about the mountains picking men that he knew, and those that he could rely upon to join the movement he was initi- ating to defy the conscrip- tion act. The old man would walk up to a neighbor, and in the course of his conver- sation would talk against conscription, which led the informants of the move- ment to suspect his actions. Several of the young mountaineers of conscrip- tion age were approached by informers of the govern- ment and asked concerning their views of conscription, and their reply in every case was that "there will be two dead - the man that comes after me and myself." Upon this infor- mation reaching the agents, they immediately got busy to get at the bottom of the conspiracy that was afoot. War on Revenue Officers In the course of the investigation by men that had been placed in the mountains around St. Paul, it was discovered that the mountaineers who were flocking to WVM's stan- dard were contemplating the death of the "revenoo- ers" as the revenue agents have been called since the mountain folk and their habits have been known, that they were to blow up the banks, bridges and tun- nels, and kill all of the free- holders, and finally that the property thus confiscated by their military organiza- tion was to be apportioned out to each of the men who had signed the oath, and it had been estimated that some $15,000 would be the share of each man, whether in money, personal belong- ings, or land. In the course of the investigation conducted by the men placed in the mountains for this purpose, it was found, according to the officers, that WVM had a right hand man who h'ai$ br~h given the title 6f general in the military organization that was in progress. This man was JWP, who held the respon- sible position of foreman in the extract plant at St. Paul, and JWP was supposed to have already signed the oath volunteering their services to the commands from "General" JWP and "Commander" JVM, and were awaiting the call. Campaign Marked by Secrecy JVM, it seems, had the recruiting of the men in absolute charge, and when he would approach a man, and after'sounding him out on the proposition, would take a piece of paper from his pocket and have him sign the oath of allegiance. All of the oaths were signed separately, and then the recruit was cautioned against saying anything or writing anything that would give their movement away. The recruit was then sent out into the mountains to recruit others to the scheme. When several men were secured, JVM was to be notified, and a regular code was used in conveying the information from some remote part of the mountain to JVM's headquarters, at St. Paul. In one case a note was found to JVM which read as follows: "The medicine and pins cured my horse. Send twenty more doses." This was to imply in the terms of the mountaineers that twenty more men had been secured by this spe- cial recruiting agent for the movement that JVM and JWP were inaugurating. Another note that was intercepted read, "Have secured fifteen scholars for your handwriting school." This meant that fifteen men had been secured from the section from which this note was sent. Old man JVM was known to have been an expert penman, and the "handwriting school" was a ruse used in the letter. TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK