from History of
and Representative Citizens,
W.S. Laidley, Richmond Arnold Publishing Co.,
district is next above
on the north and east side of the Kanawha. It
's creek, at the mouth of which was the famous
salt spring that brought the Ruffners to Kanawha. It has
as its town, which once was larger than
, had more business and more money, and was the
headquarters for the salt trust for years. It is called a "has-been",
but there is more history in it than one book could hold.
The principal streams are
's creek, Burning Spring creek, and Simmon's
creek, all flowing southwest and emptying into the Kanawha. The surface is
rough, and it may be said to consist of "mountains of coal,"
outrivaling both in quantity and quality any locality of similar extent in the
It is said that the first cabin was erected by Abraham Baker in the year 1790.
Among the earliest settlers were David and Joseph Ruffner, John Alderson and
Samuel John Shrewsbury. The first settlement was made just above the mouth of
Tinkersville, the oldest town in the district. The Ruffners were prominent men
in developing the mining and salt manufacturing interests in this locality, a
notice of which has already appeared in this history. They built the first grist
mill ever erected within the limits of the district, in the year 1803. It was a
water-mill with one run of stone. An old pioneer says it was a model
The first school appears to have been taught about the year 1820, by a gentleman
named Ezra Walker, of
. His successor was George Taylor. The building
was a one-story frame, erected by Gen. Lewis Ruffner, at his own expense. It was
the first school building in the district, which is now well provided with both
white and colored schools.
old Kanawha Salines postoffice was one of the first in the valley. It has
recently been discontinued, and
is now the only one in the district.
It is not recorded who preached the first sermon. The Methodists and Baptists
appear to have held meetings contemporary with the first settlement, but no
organization appears to have been perfected until 1816, when Rev. Henry Ruffner
organized the First Presbyterian
The town of
, was incorporated in 1883, but in 1885 the
charter was allowed to lapse after the marshal had been shot by an intoxicated
man. The first mayor of
was Mose Norton, the second, William Reynolds,
and the third, Dr. Potts. The town has at different times had different names,
they being in their order as follows: Terra Sallas, Kanawha Salines and
. There are five general stores in the town, as
follows: L.P. Oakes, J.E. White, W.H. Goodwin, W.J. Krantz and W.E. Casper. E.
Oakes has been postmaster since 1903. The only physician is Dr. W.F. Shirkey.
The town has two hotels, and one two-room school which is taught by Miss Lorena
Canterberry, principal, and Miss Florence Shamlin. The former has a class
enrollment of 21 and the latter of 56.
Masonic Lodge of Malden has a membership of 130 and has its own lodge room. The
lodge was organized in 1827, the present charter dating from 1865. The
worshipful master is Lawrence A Christy; senior warden; treasure, Frank D.
Jones; secretary, J.N. Scott; senior deacon, M. Chambers; junior deacon, Preston
Snowden; tyler, Squire R.P. Shrewsbury.
Lodge No. 77, I.O.O.F., was instituted
September 15, 1875
, with five charter members, as follows: C.S.
Abbott, D.A. Cole, F.M. Atkins, J.J. Jacobs and J.J. Krantz. All of these are
dead except J.J. Jacobs. The lodge building and fixtures were burned twice and
were partly insured each time. There are now 99 members and worth of the lodge
is about $3,000.
Lodge K. of P. No. 87 was instituted
Jan. 1, 1894
, with 25 charter members. At present there are
Kickapoo Lodge, Improved Order Red Men was instituted in Ocotber, 1893. It has a
present membership of 68.
Council No. 16, Ancient Order American Mechanics, was instituted in 1883 with
about 40 members. The highest membership was 128. At the present time there are
65 members. They own their lodge room and the property is valued at about
$1,500. Mr. Oakes gave $200 to the building.
was built between 1832 and 1840. About 1844 or
1846 the church divided. There are about 60 or 75 members. A new church edifice
is now in the course of construction, which will be a brick structure 35x50 with
an alcove back choir, vestibule four feet extra and will cost $45,000. The
present pastor is Rev. Rowe. The building committee is composed of H.J. Hervey,
Aubrey Kratz, J.E. White and Dr. W.F. Shirkey. The church is practically on the
same site as the old one except that it is about ten feet to the front of the
old church. The church is in a prosperous condition.
and Putney constitute the charges of the
The Southern Methodists took charge of the
now known as the Northern Methodist by reason
of a majority in the voting, but after the Civil War the property was restored
to the Methodist or what is known as the Northern branch of the church by the
courts. The Southern Methodists erected a very neat structure but are not
holding services in it.
The Baptists have a strong membership at
Kanawha Salines Presbyterian Church,
or the "Licks" as it was afterwards
called was organized by Dr. Henry Ruffner. Dr. J.M. Brown was the first pastor
. After the separation Rev. Brown remained with
church and Rev. Stewart Robinson was the first
regular pastor of the church at
after the separation. The present pastor is
Rev. J.W. Carpenter who came here in 1907.
The first house of worship was called a meeting house, which was located on the
Ruffner estate below Georges creek. This building was in use until about 1838
and could be used by all denominations for religious services. About 1839 or
1840 Col. David Ruffner erected the present house of worship with his own means
and since that time this brick structure has been used as a house of worship by
the Presbyterians. Kanawha Salines church was organized
September 1, 1841
, it having been known previously as the Kanawha
Presbyterian church at Kanawha Salines and
The present membership of the church is 72.
At one time 42 salt furnaces were in operation in and around
. Now there is only one furnace owned and
operated by J.Q. Dickinson & Co.
J.Q. Dickinson & Co. plant or furnaces were erected for the manufacture of
salt in 1832 by
or by Dr. Putney. The plant was destroyed by
flood in 1861 and rebuilt by J.Q. Dickinson early in the seventies. Capacity,
150 barrels, daily. Other products are calcium chloride and bromine. Five or six
tons of calcium chloride are produced daily and 125 pounds of bromine.
The brines found in the Kanawha valley are different from those discovered in
other parts of the country. By analysis of the W.Va. Geological Survey, Vol. 5,
they are found to be 98.28 per cent pure, whereas the reports in the same volume
of the product of one of the plants in the Ohio district is given as 91.31 per
cent pure, and another of the Ohio plants, 95.32 per cent pure, both of which
indicate that the salt has 3-7 per cent less impurities than the salt in other
districts. Owing to this purity this product has an exceptional value as a meat
curer or preservative. With the exception of the Snow Hill plant this is the
largest plant ever operated in the valley. The last furnace to cease operation
was the Brooks furnace two or three miles above
. The next to the last was the Snow Hill
furnace, operated by Dr. J.P. Hale. Mr. Charles Dickinson has been in charge of
the plant since 1898. The furnace is run by gas piped thirteen miles from Boone
A combination of gas and coal is used for fuel.
It is expected to increase the capacity of the furnace to 175 barrels daily.
The stock breeders especially in the blue grass district use the salt
manufactured in the Kanawha valley.
Campbell Creek Coal Co., located at
or just below is a very old company and has
operated and worked out several mines.
has one saloon.
It was on the night of
the 24th of December, 1875
, that Thomas Lee was waylaid and murdered by
Rufus Estep and John Dawson, on the iron bridge spanning
's creek at
. On the next day (Christmas) the perpetrators
were arrested by the officers, taken to
, and lodged in jail, there to await trial on
the charge of murder. The murder of Lee was so unprovoked that a mob was at once
organized, resolved to avenge his death by lynching Estep and
. Philip W. Morgan, high sheriff of the county,
together with John W. Lentz, John T.S. Perry and Silas Morgan, having learned of
the intention of the mob, under cover of darkness removed the prisoners to
Barboursville, and placed them in the Cabell county jail; but, fearing that the
mob might learn of their whereabouts and follow on, they, two days later,
removed them to the Wood county jail at Parkersburg.
Here they remained until the convening of the circuit court of Kanawha county in
January, when the court and prosecuting attorney having concluded that there was
no longer danger of mob violence, ordered the sheriff to return the prisoners to
the jail at
, that they might be ready for trial. But no
sooner were they brought back than "Judge Lynch" announced himself
ready for work, accordingly ordered the circuit court to at once try and convict
the prisoners, else he would proceed to the execution himself. On
the 24th of January, 1876
, the prisoners were brought into court and
arraigned upon the charge of murder. Their attorneys R.H. Freer and Abram Burlew,
asked for a change of venue, and offered, as a reason for doing so, the fact
that an armed mob existed, and owing to its presence, it would be impossible to
secure a fair trial for the accused. Their motion was strongly opposed by John
E. Kenna and James H. Ferguson, attorneys for the state. Judge Joseph Smith
reserved his decision until the next morning, and the prisoners were remanded to
Meanwhile, the matter was being discussed at the courthouse. Thomas Hines, a
journeyman tailor at
, walked into a shoe shop on
, and cut the throat of J.W. Dooley, a colored
shoemaker, who died from the wound in twenty-five minutes. Hines was at once
arrested and lodged in jail. Judge Smith never rendered his decision, for that
night a mob surrounded the jail and took Estep and Dawson, and at the same time
it was joined by fifty colored men, who took out Hines. All marched to
Campbell's creek bridge, and there the two former paid the penalty of their
crime on the very spot on which they committed it; and at the same time Hines
expiated his by hanging to the limb of a honey-locust tree three hundred yards
above the bridge. The mob dispersed, and the bodies were cut down and buried the
next morning, under orders from the authorities. Thus met and adjourned the
first and last court over which "Judge Lynch" has presided in Kanawha.