Category Archives: Features

Circuit riding preachers were challenged and determined

Jadon Gibson

The state of Virginia acquired the Natural Tunnel and 100 surrounding acres in Scott County in 1967. In 1971 an additional 850 adjoining acreage was acquired and the Natural Tunnel State Park was opened.

Called the Eighth Wonder of the World by 4-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, Natural Tunnel has attracted thousands of visitors to the area for over a century. Natural Tunnel was thousands of years in the making as groundwater dissolved limestone and other material. Stock Creek took the path of least resistance, through the cave on its way to the Clinch River, after the tunnel was formed. Continue reading Circuit riding preachers were challenged and determined

Bad Talt Hall, first hanging in Wise, VA.

Jadon Gibson

It was no secret that Bad Talt Hall was making a list of men “he wanted dealt with after his demise.” The famous author, John Fox Jr., was told he was on the list and asked Hall’s priest to suggest that he would be more honorable to include in his confession that he didn’t want any further criminal action done on his behalf.

“An ambush on us would be easy as we passed through the laurel and rhododendron,” the author wrote. Continue reading Bad Talt Hall, first hanging in Wise, VA.

Events leading up to Talt Hall’s hanging

Jadon Gibson

When Doc M. B. Taylor was returned to Wise, Virginia, to stand trial for the Ira Mullins murders he was put in a cell adjoining that of his old nemesis, Talton Hall. Hall had exhausted all of his appeals and was awaiting the hangman’s noose.

The Fox feared Talt Hall and offered to shake hands to heal old wounds. Hall responded by cursing and striking at him with his manacles.

“I ain’t shakin’ hands with no one that kills women and children,” Talt Continue reading Events leading up to Talt Hall’s hanging

How to Start a Business After a Career Setback

Photo By William Stitt

Sometimes in life, the best thing that has ever happened to you is disguised as the worst. Getting passed over for a promotion at work or getting laid off unexpectedly can be devastating blows. But what if you look at these setbacks as an opportunity to pursue what you are really meant to do? If you’ve ever thought about starting a business, this is your time to make it happen! Being your own boss is hard work, but there is also a multitude of benefits. Here are some reasons why you should become an entrepreneur, Continue reading How to Start a Business After a Career Setback

A slaughter at Killing Rock and Bad Talt Hall on trial for his life

Jadon Gibson

May 14 of 1892 was a court day in Gladeville, Virginia, and U. S. Marshal M. B. Taylor was noticeably absent from his duties at the murder trial of his archrival Talt Hall. Gladeville was the name of Wise before it was changed in 1924.

Doc Taylor, also known as The Red Fox, had arose early that morning and headed up Pine Mountain for a clandestine meeting with two desperate characters, Cal and Henan Fleming. Doc had information that “Bad Ira” Mullins would be bringing a substantial amount of illicit liquor Continue reading A slaughter at Killing Rock and Bad Talt Hall on trial for his life

Talt Hall Found Guilty and Doc Taylor goes on the run

Jadon Gibson

The famed author John Fox Jr. wrote that Dr. “Doc” M. B Taylor stood by Bad Talt Hall’s side ‘with a huge pistol in each hand and a peculiar smile on his face’ when they met the infuriated crowd at the Norton Depot upon their arrival from Memphis.

The smile was because the prospects were good that he would soon be rid of one of his two worst enemies. The second, Bad Ira Mullins, was under surveillance by some of Doc’s cronies at the same time Continue reading Talt Hall Found Guilty and Doc Taylor goes on the run

Bad Talt held for trial in Wise

Jadon Gibson

Doc M.B. Taylor was still a U.S. Marshal in good standing when he took a train from Norton, Virginia to Memphis to take charge of Bad Talt Hall and return him to the mountains for incarceration in the Wise County Jail.

Doc Taylor was a knowledgeable and complex man to say the least. In the years after the Civil War he was a house doctor calling on the sick and injured where they lived. He also preached at churches and small meeting houses in the mountain area of southeast Kentucky and the Continue reading Bad Talt held for trial in Wise

Bad Talt Hall evades capture, found in Memphis

Jadon Gibson

My grandfather, Walter Brownlow Gibson, was just one of many Hancock County, Tennessee residents who went to Wise County, Virginia, in the early 1900’s to work in coal mining or logging. This was near the time that several bad men such as Bad Talt Hall were brought to justice on the gallows at Wise.

Talton Hall was born in a log cabin along Troublesome Creek in Letcher County, Kentucky, and became a notorious clansman, feudist and killer and the first to be hanged in Wise County, Virginia. Continue reading Bad Talt Hall evades capture, found in Memphis

Maximizing Relationships Key to Local Development

Jeff Rubin

It’s graduation time in Madison County, as it is in many college towns across America. That got me thinking about relationships; not just the ones between students and their impending Alma Mater, but between a community and its college (if you live in a community that is fortunate enough to have one). That’s the question I asked myself in preparing to write this column. In short, what type of relationship has typically existed between a community and its college and what should it look like today? Continue reading Maximizing Relationships Key to Local Development

Love blossoms in Claiborne County, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

I’m adding to the preface I included at the beginning of this true story. Everyone has ups and downs in life. If your life gets turned upside down just shrug your shoulders. Things will go better. Later you’ll laugh at yourself for the foolish thoughts you put yourself through. Remember the pendulum of happiness can turn on a smile.
Let’s equate it with athletics. How often have you seen a team win a big game against a rugged, capable opponent only to turn around and stub their toe against a team they should have beat in their sleep? I’ll say again… one of your worst Continue reading Love blossoms in Claiborne County, conclusion

Love blossoms in Claiborne County

Jadon Gibson

My story ‘Love blossoms in Claiborne County’ has an unhappy ending so I want to preface this story with the following remarks.

Everyone has ups and downs in life. I learned long ago not to get too far up when things are going good, nor get too far down when they’re not. When things seem to be going bad for you, simply tell yourself to bide your time and they will go better. The worm will turn, as the ancient proverb says, and you’ll soon have the world going your way. Often the pendulum of Continue reading Love blossoms in Claiborne County

Mary Ingles, early American heroine, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

William Ingles was elated with the unexpected return of his wife Mary in November of 1755 though she was emaciated, injured and weak. She had trudged through the wilds for six weeks without food or adequate clothing, motivated by thoughts of returning to her husband and others like herself. She wasn’t much more than a skeleton.

Mary sent for Duchess with whom she escaped from the Shawnees at Big Bone Licks near present-day Cincinnati. During their travels, Continue reading Mary Ingles, early American heroine, conclusion

Family and Consumer Science: An Evolution in the Making

Jeff Rubin

If you’re of a certain age, you may remember home economics as an elective you took in high school when you couldn’t find anything “easier” to take. If you could sew a button, boil water, or knew where to place your knife and fork you could usually get by. But you would have missed the point of what home economics and now consumer and family science is all about. It was, in fact, a revolutionary way to define, elevate, and change the role that many women played in the later 19th and early twentieth centuries as housewives and homemakers. It serves today as an Continue reading Family and Consumer Science: An Evolution in the Making

MARY INGLES, EARLY AMERICAN HEROINE, Part 14

Jadon Gibson

Adam Harman and members of his family hardly recognized their friend and neighbor Mary Ingles after she showed up at the edge of their property in November of 1755.

Mary was kidnapped in July of that year along with her two sons and sister in law. She gave birth to a daughter during the travel to the Indian village in Ohio. Mary’s sons and baby were taken from her. The infant was adopted by an Indian chief but died not long Continue reading MARY INGLES, EARLY AMERICAN HEROINE, Part 14