Category Archives: Features

Double Murder at the Country Club

A happier day at the country club

‘Marion Miley Killed by Burglars,’ the lead story on the front of the September 28, 1941 Lexington Herald-Leader blared. The 27 year-old golf celebrity’s death even rated a two-column headline on the front page of the New York Times.

Miley was a six-time winner of the Kentucky Amateur Golf title and at one time bested Babe Didrikson, one of the greatest female golfers of all time. Continue reading Double Murder at the Country Club

A focus on Simon Girty, the white savage

Jadon Gibson

Simon Girty was one of the most hated men in early America, disliked more than the warring Indians. In the mid 1700’s he became a white leader of Indians, a traitor to his own white race. He was a liaison between the British and the Native American tribes during the American Revolution.

In author Stephen Vincent Benet’s fictitious work “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and in the movie with the same name, Simon Girty is said to be “the renegade who saw white men burned at the stake and whooped with the Indians.” In the story he was a member of Satan’s jury, comprised supposedly of the worst characters in American history. Continue reading A focus on Simon Girty, the white savage

The Value of Labor is More Than Just Work

Jeff Rubin

Now that the final sale days of summer are behind us, this would be a good time to consider the real meaning of Labor Day. It might also be a time to think about our own sense of labor and the role it plays in bringing meaning to our life and well-being to our community.

A creation of the labor movement, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions workers make to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The first Labor Day was held in New York City on September 5, 1882. However, it wasn’t until 1894, when Congress passed legislation making the first Monday in September an official federal holiday, that it achieved nationwide recognition. By that time, 23 states had already recognized Labor Day as a legal holiday. Continue reading The Value of Labor is More Than Just Work

Politics Makes for Strange Bedfellows

Jadon Gibson

Alfred A. “Alf” Taylor and Robert L. Taylor were brothers from Happy Valley in eastern Tennessee. Growing up they loved hunting, fishing and fiddling. As young men their interests turned to debating.

The similarities ended there as Alf became a republican and Robert a democrat. Alf Taylor was chosen in 1886 as the republican candidate for governor of Tennessee. Continue reading Politics Makes for Strange Bedfellows

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

Floyd Allen was overwrought, half crying and half praying, as he limped to the death chamber where he was to be electrocuted on March 28, 1913.

He and his son Claude received the death penalty for their part in the Hillsville Courthouse shootout that left several court officials dead and 32 fatherless children. Claude’s cell was in the immediate area. He would also face the electric chair as soon as the commonwealth was finished with his father. Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, conclusion

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, part 8

Jadon Gibson

Floyd Allen blamed his problems on politics, saying that Dexter Goad and others conspired against the Allens because of their work for the democratic party.

Judge Robert Jackson, of Roanoke, VA, who presided over the circuit court of Carroll County prior to his retirement, had known the Allens for years and he wrote a letter to Virginia Governor William Hodges Mann of his recollections. Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, part 8

The Key to Better Health Is Right Under Your Nose

Jeff Rubin

Say the words “oral hygiene” to someone and the first thought that comes to mind might be “brushing and flossing.” However, the term encompasses much more than simply avoiding cavities. So much so, that today more than 200 national dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, have adopted a new definition to draw attention to the term’s significance.

Traditionally, oral health had been defined as the absence of disease. However, as The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), recently pointed out, a new definition was necessary “to expand on its many facets,” and convey oral health as a “fundamental Continue reading The Key to Better Health Is Right Under Your Nose

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, Part 7

Jadon Gibson

The authorities confiscated Sidna Allen’s home, farm and store after the shootout at the Carroll County Courthouse in Hillsville, VA, March 13, 1912. His family had to move and took up residence in Hillsville. Although they had lived in the area their entire lives they found life very difficult.

Meanwhile Sid Allen and Wes Edwards were hiding in the hills. After five weeks they decided to leave the area and go west. Although wanted posters offered a reward for their capture they passed through Mount Airy and proceeded to Winston Salem, NC, traveling at night and sleeping during the day. They were wearing the same clothing, bullet holes and all, that they had worn on the morning of the courthouse shootout. Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, Part 7

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, part 6

Jadon Gibson

Virginia Gov. William H. Mann reacted immediately to the dire situation following the shooting, March 14, 1912, on court day in the Carroll County Courthouse in Hillsville in southwest Virginia.

“Save the honor of Virginia and bring the desperadoes to justice,” Gov. Mann directed to Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Felts. “Put as many men in the field as you need. We can help with up to three thousand additional troops. Hunt every suspected culprit until they’re accounted for. Virginia will back your efforts as long as there is at least one penny in the Treasury.” Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, part 6

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, Part 5

Jadon Gibson

Carroll County in Virginia was without law enforcement officers after the death of Sheriff Lew Webb on March 14, 1912. Virginia statutes at the time disempowered deputies in the event of the sheriff’s death. Governor William H. Mann declared martial law with enforcement by the Baldwin Felts Detective Agency, a security company with offices in Virginia and West Virginia. They were also to bring in others involved in the Hillsville Courthouse shooting.

Floyd Allen was severely wounded in the barrage of gunfire and could not ride, falling to the ground as he attempted to mount his Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, Part 5

Honor Flights Do More Than Honor Veterans

Jeff Rubin

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a friend of mine named Mike. He had called to ask me if I would pass along some information regarding “Honor Flights.” There are two, in fact.  One takes off September 6th and the other on October 14th. As I was unfamiliar with the term, let alone the program, I inquired further.  What I learned about Honor Flights has been inspirational to me and nothing short of a life affirming, personally rewarding, and moving experience for all who have benefited from its mission. I further discovered however, that the nature of these flights added a sense of urgency to an objective that was becoming more and more critical every day. Continue reading Honor Flights Do More Than Honor Veterans

KentuckyOne Health Offers Free Heart Health Screenings

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, and KentuckyOne Health is working to raise awareness among community members.

To help educate men and women on the importance of heart health, staff from KentuckyOne Health Heart & Vascular Imaging will offer free screenings on Thursday, July 27 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The screenings will be offered at KentuckyOne Health Heart & Vascular Imaging, located at 1042 Center Drive in Richmond. No appointments are necessary for the screenings. Continue reading KentuckyOne Health Offers Free Heart Health Screenings

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, Part 4

Jadon Gibson

Jezebel Goad, daughter of the Carroll County Clerk, ran to the courtroom when she heard gunfire soon after 8 a.m. on March 14, 1912. The courthouse is in Hillsville, Virginia. She saw her father and recognized immediately that he was in extreme danger. She grabbed his arm and attempted to pull him from the room but he pushed her away and continued shooting.

Jezebel noticed someone was holding the door and preventing members of the jury and others from getting away. She grabbed the individual by the arm and pulled him from the door. Several jurymen quickly scampered through the doorway and escaped. Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, Part 4

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout Part 3

Jadon Gibson

Floyd Allen went on trial March 13, 1912, for interfering with Carroll County deputies Pinky Samuels and Peter Easter in the performance of their duties.

 Floyd hired David W. Bolen and Walt Tipton to defend him in court. Bolen was a former judge. The two men who he considered his greatest enemies, Commonwealth Attorney William M. Foster and Court Clerk Dexter Goad, were involved in his prosecution. Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout Part 3

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, Part 2

Jadon Gibson

Sid and Wesley Edwards were indicted by the Carroll County Virginia Grand Jury for disturbing public worship, a misdemeanor, outside Rev. Garland Allen’s church in May of 1911.They were both in their early twenties. Rev. Allen was their uncle.

The two young men went to the home of their uncle Floyd Allen who had been like a father to them after the death of their own father. Mr. Allen could readily and easily pay the moderate fine but he wanted to look into the matter because the other youths who participated in the ruckus were not charged. He advised Sid and Wesley to cross over into North Carolina.  Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout, Part 2

The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout

Jadon Gibson

Sid and Wesley Edwards were both in their early twenties as they sat near the back of the school house on a Sunday morning in 1911. Their uncle Garland Allen, a Baptist minister, was preaching in rural Hillsville, Virginia.

Sid and Wesley were singing along with the congregation before the preaching commenced. Sid instinctively looked back when he heard someone at the door soon after hearing horses arrive. His eyes met those of a young man by the name of Thomas. Continue reading The Hillsville Courthouse Shootout

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