Scott County

A Community History



Scott County is one of the extreme southwest counties of Virginia. It is traversed by a number of narrow, trough-like valleys extending northeast and southwest. These valleys are separated by Little Pine, Clinch, Stone and Powell's Mountains, and Copper and Moccasin Ridges.

The valleys are drained by the north fork of Holston and Clinch Rivers, and Moccasin and Copper Creeks and their tributaries. The county area of about 528 square miles is divided into thousands of small farms upon which are located most of the homes of its 24,826 people. These people, for the most part, earn their living in agricultural pursuits, and were thus engaged when the war of 1917 came on to disturb "the even tenor of their-way" by upsetting many of the old economic and social usages to which they had been long accustomed.

The people of Scott County, who, in August, 1914, read the news items from overseas, stating that Germany had declared war against France, and had violated the neutrality of Belgium, little thought that the war thus begun would ever assume such proportions as to have any direct personal interest to them. The probability of the United States becoming involved in a war so far away seemed too remote to be considered. Some sympathy was felt for Belgium because her rights had been so ruthlessly trampled upon, and some admiration was felt also for the plucky little nation that so bravely fought to protect her sovereignty and turn back her brutal despoiler. Aside from these feelings of sympathy and admiration, the average Scott Countian had little or no interest in the war at this time. By and by, as the war dragged on year after year and nation after nation became involved in it, as Germany's submarine policy, like a giant octopus, reached out to destroy the commerce and lives of neutral and enemy nations alike, the sense of justice and fair play, characteristic of Scott County people, was powerfully appealed to. The apathetic interest in matters pertaining to the war, which had prevailed in its earlier stages, at length began to quicken. This increased interest was to he measured in part by the avidity with which all classes of the people now began to read newspapers and periodicals. Those who were not already subscribers to some newspaper subscribed, and many of those who were already receiving papers, subscribed for others. In this way the county, to an extent never before known, was transformed into a newspaper-reading public. This ever-increasing newspaper audience was daily becoming more and more responsive to the teachings and leadership of the press. Pathetic incidents, such as the execution of Edith Cavell, the drowning of Leon C. Thrasher, the first American to fall victim to Germany's submarines, and especially the sinking of the Lusitania with its precious cargo of more than a thousand human lives, including one hundred Americans, were placed upon the throbbing heart of the county. Yet in spite of these incidents and the sympathy which their recital called forth, there was a deep-seated aversion on the part of the majority of Scott County people to entering this war. However, it was not possible to behold such a struggle as that daily being presented to them in the public press without taking sides. Public opinion was divided, but divided into very unequal parts. The majority sympathized with the Allies. A few-a very few-sympathized with Germany-and this number was mostly made up of those who were unable to forget the circumstances of our Revolutionary War with England.

Such editorial utterances as the following appeared in the Gate City Herald:

"Gentlemen, you may take sides with Germany- it gives you pleasure to do so. As for us, we are Americans and stand for America. Long live the Stars and Stripes."1

"Talk for Germany- and abuse the French all you please, then tell us, please, how it is that German spies are prowling through this country and French spies have never done so."2

The recital of the cruel incidents of the war-and the newspapers were rather full of such things-instead of provoking belligerent thoughts in the minds of the people, tended to increase the aversion to war already existing. Many thought. or at least hoped, that the necessity for war could be removed by diplomatic agencies: that all differences could be composed by some favorable agreement, peaceably arrived at.

On account of our relations with Mexico, the newspapers, in the early days of the war, had much to say about preparedness, but the people of the county manifested little interest in the subject. For the most part they regarded the agitation for preparedness as propaganda disseminated by the manufacturers of munitions of war and by military men.

On April 6, 1917, Congress voted to declare war against Germany. This declaration was followed closely by the announcement that the military forces of the United States would be composed of men chosen by selective draft, and June 5, 1917, was named as the day on which the drafting would begin.. The tone of the newspapers changed almost overnight. They now set for themselves the task of changing and shaping public opinion in conformity with the course determined upon by the President and Congress. Only momentarily was there pause and inertia, not to say uncertainty, as to the unanimity with which public opinion would sustain the action of the President and Congress. However, in the short space of sixty days Scott County public opinion was changed from strong opposition to the war to active and hearty co-operation in carrying it on.


The Christian people of the county, without regard to denominational preferences, sincerely believed that the United States had entered the war for just, unselfish and humanitarian reasons. Hence the churches, without hesitation, assisted in the various drives made in the interest of Belgian Relief, the Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A. and the W. C. T. U. Special services for soldiers were held in the churches. In the newspaper accounts of church services during the war period such texts as these are found: "The War at the End of Three Years," "Bolsheviki," and "Our Daily Bread" (a sermon on the Conservation of food).

The schools and churches of the county actively participated in the various campaigns or drives launched in the interest of war work. School children gave to Belgian Relief and Junior Red Cross funds. All public exercises, even school commencements, were decidedly patriotic in tone. "Duty and Patriotism" was the subject of the literary address in one of the high schools. The subject, "Resolved, That selective conscription is the most effective and the most satisfactory means of raising an army to satisfy any demands of our country during the present war," was publicly debated at the commencement exercises of Shoemaker High School, 1917.

The Scott County Teachers' Association, at its annual meeting in 1917, discussed military training, Red Cross work and food conservation.

School children constituted no small part of the audiences in the various war works campaigns. Shoemaker High School students often came in a body to the court house on occasions of public speaking.


The first draft day passed without an unfavorable incident anywhere, and Scott County, together with the rest of the country, was in the World War.

Under date of May 19, 1917, C. W. Dougherty, sheriff, was notified by Governor Stuart that he had been appointed a member of the Board of Registration for Scott County. He was directed to appoint registrars at each voting precinct in the county, and to wire the names of the persons so appointed on May 25th.3

The registrars at the various voting precincts of the county were as follows: France, J. A. Ford; Rye Cove, J. H. Johnson; Duffield, M. S. Jennings; Clinchport, W. A. Pierson; Pattonsville, Charlie H. Neely; Rollers, T. M. Darnell; Jennings, H. H. Reynolds; Powers, T. J. Freeman; Estillville, Robert Benton; Winingers, W. T. Shelton; Big Cut, J. I?. Metcalfe; Smiths, F. G. Pannell; Stony Point, U. S. McMurray ; Hiltons, C. J. Hilton; Nickelsville, N. T. Moor; Addington, J. H. Redwine; Stoney Creek, J. M. Harris; Peters, W. H. Nash; Osbornes Ford, Esau Huneycutt; Hoges Store, F. B. Horne.4

At the same time the notice of registration was given, a call was made for a meeting of all patriotic citizens of the county. This meeting was to be held at the court house on June 2, 1917, just two days prior to the draft. The call was signed by J. F. Sergent, J. H. Johnson, Sam'l Haynes, J. H. Peters and A. W. Stair, committee.5

"Saturday (June 2) patriotism rode on the crest of the wave in Gate City. The people came out from all sections of the county and demonstrated that mountaineers are still lovers of liberty and of their country."6

Patriotic addresses were delivered by Rev. C. R. Cruikshank and Rev. G. A. Crowder, E. T. Carter, J. H. Peters and Prof. P. T. Fugate. Patriotic airs were rendered by the Kingsport Band. This meeting was considered a success because it angered well for the draft.7

There were 1,756 white men in the county who registered for the first draft and 41 colored men, making a total of 1,797. The number of white registrants by precincts were as follows: Stony Creek, 192; Peters, 79; Estillville, 221; Big Cut, 88; Winingers, 61 ; Hoges Store, 42; Osborns Ford, 109; Hiltons, 43; Smiths, 60; Stony Point, 67; Addington, 68; Nickelsville, 157; Jennings, 60; Pattonsville, 77; Powers, 57; Rollers, 73; Clinchport, 81; Duffield, 51; Frances, 59; Rye Cove, 94; registered by the board, 17. Colored registrants by precincts were Stoney Creek, 9; Estillville, 18; Big Cut, 4; Osborns Ford, 7; Pattonsville, 1 ; Powers, 1; Rollers, 1.8

The draft was the chief topic of interest to the people of the county during the summer of 1917. Few, indeed, were the families that were not affected by it. Like the Destroying Angel that passed over Egypt, it came into the homes of the county and set apart the strongest and most promising for the god of war. Many were the speculations as to the kind of offering fate or chance would bring to the young man of military age. Both the draftees and their anxious friends tried to remove the uncertainty and solve the mystery that hung over it all. Anything was better than suspense. To the untraveled drafted man a trip overseas was an adventure that admitted of many dangers. Therefore, service in this country was sought in preference to service in the trenches. Most of the volunteering was done in the hope that a choice might be had as to the kind of service.

All persons drawn in the first draft were called by the local board for physical examination on August 6, 7 and 8, 1917. The order numbers of those included in this call ran from 1 to 365, inclusive. Emmett McClellan, of Wayland, Virginia, held order number 1.9

On August 21, 1917, the second contingent of drafted men was called to appear before the local board for physical examination. The order numbers of these men ran from 366 to 764, inclusive.10

The local examining board was composed of Dr. C. R. Fugate, physician; C. W. Dougherty, sheriff, and J. F. Richmond, county clerk.11

Of the 400 young men first called before the board 57 failed to pass and 343 were pronounced sufficiently robust to endure the hardships and fatigues of army life. Of the number that passed, 268 claimed exemption, the greater part of them doing so because of the fact that they had families dependent upon them. A few made the plea of dependent parents; 75 did not apply for exemption. Those claiming exemption were given ten days in which to file certificates supporting their claims.12

"Whatever some may think about it, the Herald is convinced that our Local Exemption Board has striven to discharge its duty with the utmost fairness to all. It has had a big task, one that would sorely test the patience of any group of men. Besides, the board had specific instructions by which to be guided, and little was left optional with it. Our country had to meet grave conditions and the board was appointed to meet these conditions here. If you have been disposed to criticize any act of the board, pause and reflect, put yourself in the place of the men who have gone so patiently through the stupendous task, then we think you will be less critical. The board deserves our gratitude for the manner in which it has discharged its ditty, and is discharging it.13

The first contingent of soldiers sent from Scott County to Camp Lee were as follows: Daniel Rhoton, Clinchport ; Hugh Summers, Bellamy ; Benjamin Rhoton Clinchport ; An-10S Ervin, Clinchport; Preston Wm. Elliott, Mack; Win. Pressley Elliott, Nickelsville : Ballard Chandler, Fairview; Hubert Adolphus Quillin, Gate City; John Henry Berry, Riggs: Lucian Horton Wininger, Yuma; Joe Wolfe Jessee, Nickelsville.14

The local board placed Hubert A. Quillin in charge of this group. The day of entraining was made an occasion for a patriotic celebration. Stores, offices and business houses were closed, court adjourned, and a great crowd assembled at the station to bid the boys good-bye.

The ladies of the W.C.T.U. presented each of the young men with a bouquet of flowers and a khaki bag or comfort kit, each containing a New Testament, a pair of scissors and other articles useful in camp life.15

On Sunday, September 16, 1917, all the churches of Gate City united in services held for the benefit of the young men who were to go to Camp Lee on the 19th of September. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Samuel Wolfe, of Knoxville, Tenn., from the text, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."16

On Wednesday, September 19, 1917, the local board sent a second contingent of 72 men to Camp Lee. Hundreds of friends and relatives of the men gathered at the station. The local band rendered patriotic airs. The people, though serious, restrained their emotions that the young soldiers might take their departure in a cheerful frame of mind. Charles Clinton Pendleton was put in charge of the soldiers, with J. D. Carter, Jr., and Robert McConnell as assistants. Two extra passenger coaches in which the young soldiers were to be carried to Bristol were brought to Gate City on the day preceding. Little school girls from the Shoemaker High School presented each young man with a beautiful bunch of flowers. The W. C. T. U. of Gate City and Nickelsville presented each of the soldiers with comfort kits.17

"Last Tuesday the following men went to Camp Lee, having by some means been prevented from going with the others on Saturday before: Conley Arwood, Isaac Gilliam, Patton Peters, Conley Wise. Scott now has 157 men in Camp Lee. The remaining men who should have gone with the last contingent were prevented from doing so by illness. They have all made satisfactory explanations to the Exemption Board and expressed a willingness to go as soon as they are able. This makes a fine showing for Scott County."18

On October 29th the first contingent of colored soldiers were sent to Camp Lee. On the Friday night preceding a banquet and rally for the colored people was held at the Prospect colored school house. Patriotic addresses were made by E. T. Carter and others. On the day of entrainment the W. C. T. U. presented each colored soldier with a comfort kit similar to those presented to the white soldiers.

On Saturday, November 3, 1917, nine more men were sent to the training camp at Petersburg. This made a total of 178 men from the county, and teas only two short of the county's quota. A few days later two more men were sent to camp, thus completing quota up to date.l9

On December 15, 1917, the Local Exemption Board began to make preparation for the second draft of soldiers from the county. A number of questionnaires were mailed out daily, and the registrants were warned of the penalty attached to a failure to fill them out. About 1,250 questionnaires were sent out. The board was assisted in this work by E. L. Taylor, Roie M. Dougherty, Richmond Bond and Edgar Counts.20

All drafted men who were in need of dental work and unable to pay for it, could get a certain class of work done by applying in writing to any of the following dentists of Gate City Drs. James Semones, W. H. Perry, E. A, Hoge 21

The 1918 January term of court continued only one day. It was adjourned "till court in course" on account of drafting soldiers. 22

Under date of March 21, 1918, the Local Exemption Board issued warning to those who had been given deferred classification on account of dependents, that unless they actually supported their dependents, recommendation to change them to class one would be made to the District Board.23

The second installment of colored soldiers was sent to Camp Lee on April 26, 1918.24

On June 5, 1918, 174 white men and one colored man registered as having become 21 years of age since the first registration.25 On June 20, 1918, six white and two colored registrants were added to the above number.26 Thirty-three young men were registered on August 24, 1918.27

The following citizens volunteered to act as registrars anti assistants in enrolling the names of those required to register under the new draft law. The first named at each precinct was the chief registrar: Addington, John Henry Redwine and Frank Hilton; Nickelsville, R. M. Daugherty, S. E. Wampler, James A. Bond and Ernest C. Grigsby; Osbornes Ford, Dr. N. W. Stallard W. H. Loudy and Hobart Stallard Hoges Store, H. B. Blackwell, A. W. Peters and Charles H. Fraley; Big Cut, J. E. Metcalf and A. T. Peters; Winingers. T. C. Rogers and T. P. Shelton; Estillville, C. W. Dougherty. F. E. Stewart, I. P. Kane and J. H. Peters; Peters, R. L. Webb and Roy Gillenwater; Stoney Creek, J. M. Harris and W. B. Sanders; Frances, John L. Pendleton and J. A. Ford; Clinchport, H. C. Kidd and J. A. L. Perkins; Rye Cove, J. H. Johnson and C. D. Stone; Duffield, W. B. Horton and J. C. Parrish; Pattonsville, J. D. Carter and Charles Neeley ; Jennings, H. H. Reynolds and E. L. Taylor; Flat Rock, A. J. Wolfe and Farley Palmer; Fairview, T. M. Darnell and Eugene Darnell; Hiltons D. B. S. Stone and Bryan Hilton; Stone), Point, U. S. McMurray and I. W. Larkey; Smiths, C. L. Miller and Garnet Shelley.

This registration enrolled 2,532 men for military service in the county. Nearly one-third of this number were between the ages of 18 and 21.28

According to the muster roll in the clerk's office, Scott County had 693 men in the various branches of the service.

In the reports of the local board, the words "delinquent" and "deserter" were written after less than a dozen names, and most of these persons later placed themselves in charge of the board and were sent to camp without arrest.

The call for the county's quota of men to entrain October 7, 1918, to October 11, 1918, was cancelled until a later date because an epidemic of influenza was raging in the camps. This call was renewed for November 15th, but before that tune arrived the Armistice had been signed, thus cancelling the call a second time.

Company H, Second Virginia Infantry, was stationed at Clinchport for a few months following the outbreak of the war. Nineteen Scott County soldiers were members of this Company. The company entrained for Roanoke for mobilization in the army on August 16, 1917. 29

The following list of soldiers wounded in the World War was compiled from the Gate City Herald: John Wolfe Maces Springs; Samuel Falin, Gate City; Stephen J. Dougherty, Nickelsville; Charles Preston Fleenor, Benhams; Craig Dixon, Hiltons; Garland Whited, Gate City, ; Alfred L. Chapman, Snowflake; Charles H. Greear, Wood; Charles W. Harris, Nickelsville ; Grower L. Carter, Duffield ; Thomas E. Starnes, Rill; Oscar Lee Fleenor, Gate City; Kelly Fugate, shell shocked, Nickelsville ; Horton Winegar, Yuma; Corporal Samuel Thomas Haynes, Yuma; William E. Hillman, Nickelsville ; Willie Powers Clinchport; Conley B. Ringley, Hiltons; Samuel P. Castle, Nickelsville.

The following is Scott County's gold star list:

Stanley McMurray, pneumonia, camp in Colorado.
Charles Sanders, pneumonia, Camp Upton, Georgia.
Arthur Price, influenza, Camp Gordon Georgia.
Samuel D. Lane, pneumonia, Springfield, Mass.
Wilburn P. Neeley, pneumonia, Camp Humphries, Va.
Joe Wolfe Jessee, killed in action, August 8, 1918.
Malcolm Palmer, died of disease, French hospital.
Elbert Maddux, accidentally killed, Camp McClellan.
William T. Coley, died of disease, October 9, 1918.
Ernest A. Fletcher, died of wound, October 18, 1918.
Isaac Gilliam, accident, January 31, 1919.
Connie Lambert, killed in action, October 20, 1918.
Hiram Lane, killed in action, October 2, 1918.
John W. Meade, died of disease, October 18, 1919.
Conley Wise, died of disease, January 26, 1918.
Clarence Sherman, died of disease, October 6, 1918.
George Dewey Artrip, September 30, 1918, navy.
Charles Claren Fletcher, October 7, 1918, navy.
Joseph Stephen Taylor, killed in action July 19 1918.
Clayton Hammonds, killed in action July 15, 1918.

Clayton Hammonds was the first Scott County soldier to be killed in the war with Germany. It is an interesting fact that his great-grandfather, John Wolfe, was a German, born and reared to young manhood in the Valley of the Rhine. The names of two Scott County soldiers appear on the Distinguished Service list of Virginia. They are Isaac Estep, of Clinchport, and John Samuel Hartsook, of Nickelsville. Isaac Estep was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross and John Samuel Hartsook received the French Croix de Guerre. The citations accompanying these awards may be found in "Virginians of Distinguished Service in they World War,' source volume I of the Virginia `War History Commission's publications.



On May 31, 1917, J. H. Peters, cashier of the People's National Bank, was appointed sub-chairman for Scott Count. "to perfect a plan of campaign for the sale of Liberty Bonds. Mr. Peters named N. M. Horton, of the First National Bank, J. L. Q. Moore, of the Farmers and Merchants Bank; W. 1' C. Blackwell, of the Bank of Dungannon: R. L. McConnell, of the Farmers' Exchange Bank, and J. H. Peters to receive e subscriptions for Liberty Bonds. D. C. Sloan made the largest subscription, $10,000, and Mrs. J. B. Craft was the first lady of the county to buy a Liberty Bond.

The Liberty Loan campaigns did not meet with generous response in Scott County. The total quota assigned was $953,200, and the amount subscribed in all drives totaled only $323,750.30 Lack of interest is the reason assigned for this half-hearted response.

A Victory Loan rally day was arranged for May 7, 1918. There was a parade including old Confederate soldiers and veterans of the World War at 11 in the morning, followed by an automobile parade, including a Red Cross float. Hon. Preston W. Campbell addressed the soldiers at the court house, and after dinner an address was made by Chaplain John L. Weber, of Camp Jackson, S. C., followed by a moving picture, "The Price of Peace," and music by a band.31

Below is given the amount of Liberty Loan subscriptions handled by the banks in the county: Bank of Dungannon, $10,900; First National Bank, $45,000; Farmers and Merchants' Bank, $15,450; the People's National Bank, $70,000; total, including items not here given, $118,150.

The amounts of allotments and sales by districts in the county in the June, 1918, drive are as follows: Dekalb District was allotted $12,000 and paid $13,120; Estillville District was allotted $25,000 and paid $28,000; Floyd District was allotted $10.000 and paid $10,000; Powell District was allotted $12,000 and paid $13,700; Fulkerson District was allotted $10,000 and paid $8,800; Johnson District was allotted $14,000 and paid $11,450, and Taylor District was allotted 17,000 and paid $11,225.32

The most intensive of all the drives was made for the sale of War Savings Stamps during the Fourth Liberty Loan campaign. Rev. J. B. Craft was director and Professor A. W. Stair was his assistant. The following men had charge in the various Magisterial districts: Dekalb District, W. S. Cox and H. C. L. Richmond; Eastville District, S. W. Coleman and Professor A. W. Stair; Floyd District, L. P. Fraley and J. F. Sergeant ; Fulkerson District, J. P. Corns and W. H. Nickels; Powell District, J. H. Catron and J. D. Carter; Taylor District, E. T. Carter and S. Claude Bond.

Hon. L. P. Summers and Judges W. E. Burns, of Russell County, and Preston W. Campbell, of Washington County, made speeches in the county in this campaign.

The county's quota was $500,000.

The committee in charge made a list of about two hundred citizens who seemed to be able to invest as much as $1,000 in War Savings Stamps. A letter, signed by the committee, was sent to each person on the list. The letter read, in part, as follows:

"To purchase War Savings Stamps is no sacrifice on your part, but it shows your manhood, your patriotism and your willingness to help. Do not hesitate. For the sake of all we hold dear, for the sake of our county, which is yet far behind most of the counties in our section, respond at once. Sign your pledge card for the sum you have been assessed. Should you not have the money at the time your card is due, borrow it. Thousands are doing this everywhere. Let us have your help and encouragement and we will remain in the field with you until the last dollar has been raised."

This letter was signed by W. D. Smith, chairman: W. J. Rollins, M. B. Compton, W. F. C. Blackwell, E. T. Sproles. W. W. Ramey, secretary. The committee was designated as "The Committee of One-Thousand-Dollar Subscriptions."

At the first public meeting in this campaign held at the court house, $40,000 was pledged. Twenty--six one-thousand-dollars men were in the meeting. Floyd District was the first to "go over the top" with its quota of $40,000. The total amount of subscriptions in this drive was about $550,000.


On May 3, 1917, a company of "voluntary and disinterested citizens" issued a proclamation setting forth the importance of "increasing and conserving the food supplies" and calling upon the "people of this county to meet us at the court house in Gate City next Saturday, May 5, at 1 o'clock P. M. to effect a county" organization." The proclamation urged all farmer and farmers' wives, all school teachers, school boards. and all county and other officers, also all citizens interested in helping Scott County" feed itself, to be present. The proclamation was signed by A. W. Hedrick. county agent; J. H. McConnell, mayor; J. W. Carter, N. M. Horton, W. S. Pendleton, J. H. Peters, John H. Johnson, C. M. Quillin, I. P. bane, W. . D. Smith, B. M. Francisco, T. R. Wolfe.33

In response to the above call the farmers of the county met and effected an organization by electing Rev. T. R. Wolfe. chairman, and J. W. Carter, secretary. Meetings for the purpose of organizing local clubs were arranged throughout the county. Pledge cards were distributed for the signatures of those who handled food in the homes.

Mr. A. W. Johnson was appointed Food Administrator for the county and enforced the regulations concerning flour substitutes, conservation of sugar, etc. On and after March 11, 1918, merchants were required to sell an equal amount of flour substitutes with each pound of flour. In September, 3918, the fifty-fifty rule as to flour was abrogated and "Victory mixed flour," a combination of eighty-twenty, was used instead. The millers' certificates were rescinded and the new regulations permitted families to have sixty days' rations instead of thirty."34

On September 12, 1918, the Food Administrator addressed an open letter to the merchants of the county asking them to send in the twenty five-pound certificates for sugar. He also stated in this letter that he often had letters of four to six pages, adding, "ten words gets as much sugar as ten pages."35

A joint meeting of the threshermen and threshing committee of Scott County, held at Gate City on Wednesday, July 3, 1918, adopted the following resolutions:

  1. "Be it resolved, That we, the owners and operators of threshing machines in Scott County, realizing the great demand for wheat at this time, will use the utmost care for its conservation.
  2. "Resolved, That there be no threshing done in this county before the 15th day of July, 1918, and then only when the wheat is thoroughly dry.
  3. "Resolved, That every owner and operator of threshing machines have his machine in good repair before starting- to thresh, and that it be kept in good repair.
  4. "Resolved, That in view of the fact that we agree to thresh only when the wheat or other grain is thoroughly dry, we, the threshing committee, do insist that the farmers take every precaution in stacking and saving their grain.
  5. "Resolved, That the price for threshing shall be seven bushels.
  6. "Resolved, That any violator of the above resolutions will not be considered a member of the Scott County Threshing Committee."

The resolutions were signed by A. W. Johnson, Food Administrator; A. C. Starnes, R. A. Smith William Spivey, J. A. Hurt, J. F. Meade, Clint Robertson C. L. Wade, R. Moscow Addington, W. T. Larkin, W. L. Osborne, J. W. Home, J. S. Culbertson, S. C. Dougherty, J. W. Frazier, N. C. Davidson, Judge Mullins, R. V. Trent, C. C. Carter, Will Tavlor, AV. H. MItchell. The names of five additional men who left before the meeting adjourned should have appeared in the above list."36

The Fuel Administrators for the county were John H. Johnson, chairman; J. W. Carter, secretary, and R. R. Kane.

It is remarkable how uncomplainingly the people suffered the restrictions to be thrown about them by the government as to the use of flour, sugar, coal, wood, gas, and even daylight.

Farm products brought very high prices and this tact greatly increased the price of real estate during the war and immediately following its close. There was often an increase of more than 100 per cent over the former prices of land.

The local Council of Safety sought to enroll all citizens who were capable and willing to work in the shipyards of other places where the government might need them. The Council further sought to enroll all those who might have oats, corn and potatoes to spare. The members of the Council were A. J. Wolfe, W. J. Rollins and J. F. Sutton.37

The local paper on May 3, 1917, had the following to say:

"You do not see many farmers idling about town these days. The farmers are discharging their duties like the truest and best of soldiers. They realize that they have to feed themselves and their families anal they rest of the world and are buckling like horses to the task. Don't waste your time urging farmers to produce big crops; get out, everybody who can, and help them. By so doing you will be wielding the most effective weapon against the high cost of living."

Strangers whose behavior was in any way unusual were apt to be looked upon as German spies. This attitude of suspicion toward those whose business was unknown almost rid the county of tramps and hobos during the period of the war.

There was no organized labor in the county during the war except perhaps the local workers on the railways traversing the county.


A mass-meeting was called for Tuesday, June 26, 1917, at the court house. The object of this meeting was for the purpose of inaugurating a campaign in Gate City and Scott County in the interest of Red Cross work and also in the interest of "Armenian and Syrian Relief."38

The Red Cross campaign was discussed at the Southern Methodist Church, Sunday, June 24, 1917, and "by a standing note in the congregation the conviction was shown to be that the people of Gate City and Scott County should get busy at once and do their part along with the rest of the country in this great humanitarian cause."39

A committee composed of Ezra T. Carter, J. W. Carter and Mrs. E. Thompson Carter was appointed to inaugurate a campaign for Red Cross funds.40

At a mass-meeting held at the court house, June 16, 1917, the following organization was effected: Executive committee-Ezra T. Carter, chairman; J. W. Carter, treasurer; John Henry Johnson, Secretary. Ways and means committee-Mrs. S. H. Bond, Mrs. E. G. Quillin and Miss Esther Kane. Publicity committee-Mrs. E. Thompson Carter, Mrs. Ed. Whited and Mrs. J. F. Richmond.

Through the Gate City postoffice many contributions were made to the Red Cross.41

The Scott County Red Cross issued the "Scott County Cook Book," made up of recipes for cooking furnished by whomsoever was interested enough to furnish a recipe. The proceeds of the sale of this book were paid to the local chapter of the Red Cross.

August 3. 1917, was named as the date on which all members of the local Red Cross and all other persons interested in such work were requested to meet at the court house for the purpose of effecting a larger organization. This organization immediately launched a drive for membership. Red Cross booths were placed in Nickel's Department Store, M. J. McConnell & Son's store, and the Gate City Pharmacy. In addition to this, several young ladies solicited members on the streets and in the different stores. The young ladies most active in this work were: Janie Richmond, Lillian Wood, Maxie King, Kathryn Kane, Reba Barker, Mae Boatright, Amelia Richmond, Georgia Whited, Lake Dougherty, Sudie McConnell and Mary Davidson.

The officers and members of committees of the Scott County Chapter, American Red Cross, Potomac Division, were as follows:

Officers-T. R. Wolfe, president; Dr. J. M. Dougherty, vice-president; John Henry Johnson, secretary, and Leona Jordan, assistant secretary.

Committee on organization and development-H. C. L. Richmond, chairman; E. T. Carter, I. P. Kane, W. D. Smith, Jr. Publicity and entertainment-C. M. Herron, chairman; Fay Palmer, Emily Richmond, Anna Ward. Woman s work-- Mrs. E. T. Carter, chairman; Mrs. P. H. Nickels, Mrs. C. M. Perry. Hospital garments-Mrs. E. Thompson Carter. chairman ; Pearl Hash, Mamie Richmond, Mrs. W. M. Winegar, Surgical dressings-Mrs. E. M. Corns, Mrs. H. S. Kane, Mrs. J. W. Carter, Mrs. Henry Jennings. Knitting-Mrs. N. M. Horton, chairman; Mrs. J. A. Counts, Mrs. U. E. Barker. Purchasing supplies-Mrs. J. B. Gilley, chairman; Mrs. L. M. Smythe, Nell Counts. Shipping-E. G. Quillin, chairman ; Mrs. A. W. Stair, Mrs. D. A. Sergent. Civilian relief -- J. H. Peters, chairman; D. C. Sloan C. M. Quillin, Maxie King and Grace Stair. Membership-Eliza Wininger, Maxie Kind- and Grace Stair. Junior Red Cross in schools-Professor A. W. Stair, chairman.

Growing out of and subsidiary to this county organization were the magisterial district organizations, which were as follows:

Dekalb District-J. M. Harris, chairman ; Geo. E. Carter, Geo. C. Bevins A. J. Greear, Professor A. Alley, S. P. Harris, r Harris, William Franklin, W. L. Johnson, Mrs. P. E. Carter. Sadie Cox, Mary Baker and Mrs. W. H. -McConnell. Floyd District--Dr. N. W. Stallard, chairman ; W. F. C. Blackwell. l.. G. Osborne, B. T. Culbertson, C. K. Fraley, W. J. Done. Mrs. A. J. Wolfe, Mrs. Barney Hagan, Mrs. U-. H. Loud . Mrs. P. M. Dingus, Mrs. J. H. Bickley. Powell District -T. R. Hurst, chairman; Rev. C. P. Rogers, Jas. H. Ervin. T. M. Darnell, E. H. Jennings, E. N. Watson, Ira P. Robinett. J. Henderson Wolfe, Mrs. J. W. Stephenson, Fannie M. Wolfe, Mrs. E. G. Parrish and Eugenia Darnell, Taylor District J. L. Q. Moore, chairman; M. W. Quillin, J. C. Parrish, J. M. Tomlinson, S. P. Spangler, W. J. Rollins H. V. Gillenwaters, B. F. Johnson, C. S. Pendleton, Professor W. P. Kennedy, Mrs. H. H. Necessary, Sadie Cox, Mattie Taylor. Johnson District - Jas. A. Bond, chairman; J. M. Darter, Dr. J. M. Dougherty R. L. McConnell, H. F. Addington, C. M. Perry, Rev. C. H. Gibson, Rev. F. R. Snavely , Mrs. Alfred Dougherty, Corrie Quillin and Cleo Wampler. Fulkerson District-Rev. J. W. Grace, chairman; John L. Darnell, H. J. Gardner, Dr. Sylvester Gardner, W. H. Hensley, Rev. J. W. Pullon, Emmett Pannell, Professor J. H. Hilton, Professor R. M. Addington, S. G. Owen, Effie Ehelley, Mrs. C. O. Johnson. Estillville District-C. W. Kels, chairman - W. A, Wininger, J, Q, Shelton, J. W. Carter, D. C. Sloan. C. M. Herron, J. F. Sergent, John T. Carter, Mrs. W. D. Smith, A. R. Jennings, Mrs. F. E. Stewart, Mrs. J. W. Whited.

Generous rivalry among the various districts was encouraged. An intensive speaking campaign was inaugurated, embracing speech-making in the school buildings at Fort Blackmore, Dungannon, Nickelsville, Hiltons Speers Ferry, Alley Valley, Clinchport, Mannvilie, Laurel Hill, Cowans Branch, Flat Rock and Pattonsville.

The Red Cross campaign was opened at Gate City by Frank Hall Ray, of Boston. Clad in the garments of a comrade killed in battle and displaying the scant remnant of a sleeve shot away when that comrade lost an arm, Mr. Hall earnestly implored his audience to "stand behind the tired man at Washington with deep lines of care in his splendid face."

The Scott County Fair Association in 1918 turned over to the county chapter of the Red Cross a building on the Fair Grounds, to be known as the Red Cross Building. This building was used as a reception room in which various articles made by the chapter and its auxiliaries were exhibited. An active canvass for membership was conducted during the fair.

Professor A. W. Stair organized the schools of the county and the Junior Red Cross Auxiliaries for the purpose of gathering walnut and hickory nut hulls, peach and prune seeds, to be used in manufacturing antidotes for poisonous gases.

Miss Mary S. Sanders, a graduate nurse, was employed by the local Red Cross to give her time and attention to the sick with influenza "while the epidemic continues."

The Red Cross prepared and sent many boxes of needed articles to the boys overseas.

Many Junior Red Cross Chapters were organized in the schools of the county. A school which raised an amount of money equal to twenty-five cents per pupil was eligible to membership in the junior Association. Hundreds of school children contributed to Red Cross funds, but data as to how many schools qualified for membership in the junior Association is not available.

In one report, Mrs. E. T. Carter, chairman woman's work, stated that 32 sweaters, 13 pairs socks, 1 pair wristlets, 10 wash cloths, 31 hospital bed shirts, 20 pairs pajamas, 7 pairs bed socks, 35 pairs pillows and 150 property bags had been sent to division headquarters, Washington, D. C. In another report she stated that 310 garments for the French and Belgian Relief and 96 hospital bed shirts had been forwarded to division headquarters. These reports indicate the range and character of the work done by the women of the chapter. In addition to this work, hundreds of women also contributed in money to the Red Cross fund.

In 1917 the county's Red Cross quota was $2,190, and up until November 19, 1917, only $1,200 had been collected. :fit this time few Scott County boys had gone overseas, and the interest of the people in Red Cross work was not so easily appealed to. When many had gone overseas conditions changed and contributions were more liberal.

The Red Cross amounts as contributed by magisterial districts were as follows:

District Contribution
Estillville District $2,278.55
Taylor District 623.25
Floyd District 606.50
Johnson District 354.30
Powell District 334.33
Dekalb District 247.90
Fulkerson District 150.25
Total $4,605.10


The M. E. Church, South, appointed the following committee to solicit funds for the Armenian and Syrian sufferer: J. P. Corns, J. B. Quillin, Mrs. C. R. Cruikshanks, Mrs. H. S. Kane and Mrs. C. W. Dougherty. This committee was approved by the other churches. Mr. Corns, Mr. Quillin and Mrs. Cruikshanks were chosen to act as a permanent committee of relief "to the starving multitudes in the Holy Land."42

The Gate City Herald solicited contributions for a fund to be used in the relief of the suffering people abroad. Hundreds of school children contributed to the fund, mostly pennies and nickels. The amount contributed was $155.63.


The W. C. T. U. was an organization already functioning in the county at the time war was declared against Germany. It was thus an easy matter to direct the energies of the organization to war work. September 22, 1917, the W. C. T. U. gave an entertainment at Nickelsville, the proceeds of which were used in furnishing the Scott County soldiers with comfort bags. It became the fixed purpose of the organization to furnish each soldier with one of these bags, and on January 4, 1918, a meeting was called in order to provide money for this purpose. It may be added in this connection that the schools of the county assisted in collecting funds for the comfort kits.

The W. C. T. U. engaged in collecting old rubber, boots, shoes, auto inner tubes, jar rubbers, in fact, any material which could be salvaged and used in war work enterprises. Under the auspices of the W. C. T. LT., April 24, 1918, was known as "rubber day." It was further urged that the value of all "April Sunday eggs" be contributed to the W. C. T. U. to be used in its war work funds.


Late in the year 1917 a campaign was launched to arouse interest in the Young Men's Christian Association. Hon. W. C. McCarthy, on November 13, 1917, addressed an audience at the court house in the interest of this organization. Mr. McCarthy had been in Europe and had seen actual conditions there. Thus he was enabled, to give graphic first-hand pictures of the needs of the boys in the trenches. E. T. Carter was made chairman and Sam'l Haynes, editor of the Gate City Herald, secretary, of the Y.M.C.A. in Scott County-. At the close of Mr. McCarthy's address more than $700 was contributed to the Y.M.C.A. fund. In the same campaign Nickelsville contributed $46.50; Rye Cove, $107; Clinchport. $136; Manville, $48; Dungannon, $160; Prospect colored school, $10.30, making a total of $1,200.

"The Red Cross Society, the Young Men's Christian Association and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union are organizations that are doing all in their power to comfort, relieve and help the soldiers. They are helping them at every stage from the doors of their homes to the trenches and prisons of Europe. Let's help these organizations in every way in our power."43


The first issue of the local paper after the Armistice carried the following head lines: "Peace Terms Signed; Hostilities Cease Monday, November 11, at 6 A. M.; The Great World War Comes to a Close."

In another column the following news item appeared:

"The first intimation we had here that peace had been made came from the Kingsport whistles at daylight Monday. Soon our church bells were imitating old Liberty bell, guns were being fired, children were marching the streets waving flags, and everybody was wildly rejoicing. It was a great day in America."44

The signing of the Armistice put an end to the drafting In a short time the Local Exemption Board received the following telegram from Adjutant General Stern:

"Do not entrain any more men or call any more for entrainment on any call already issued. Men already on the way to camps will be returned to local board."

The soldiers of the county, on being discharged, returned to their homes one by one or in small groups. Mention of their return was seldom made in the local paper.


  1. Editorial paragraph, Gate City Herald, February 15, 1917.
  2. Editorial paragraph, Gate City Herald, April 19, 1917.
  3. Gate City Herald, May 24, 1917.
  4. Gate City Herald, May 31, 1917.
  5. Gate City Herald, May 24, 1917.
  6. Gate City Herald, June 7, 1917.
  7. Gate City Herald, June 7, 1917.
  8. Gate City Herald, June 14 1917.
  9. Gate City Herald, August 9, 1917.
  10. Gate City Herald, August 23,
  11. Gate City Herald, August 9, 1917.
  12. Gate City Herald.
  13. Gate City Herald, September 6, 1917.
  14. Gate City Herald, September 6, 1917.
  15. Gate City Herald, September 13, 1917.
  16. Gate City Herald, September 20, 1917.
  17. Gate City Herald, September 27, 1917.
  18. Gate City Herald, October 18, 1917.
  19. Gate City Herald.
  20. Gate City Herald, No. 821.
  21. Gate City Herald, April 18, 1917.
  22. Gate City Herald, January 3, 1917.
  23. Gate City Herald, March 21, 1918.
  24. Gate City Herald April 25, 1918.
  25. Gate City Herald, June 13, 1918.
  26. Gate City Herald, June 20, 1918.
  27. Gate City Herald, September, 1918
  28. Gate City Herald, September 19, 1918.
  29. Gate City Herald, August 23, 1917.
  30. Report of Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  31. Gate City Herald No. 840.
  32. Gate City Herald, July 18, 1918.
  33. Gate City Herald, May 3, 1917.
  34. Gate City Herald, September 5 1918.
  35. Gate City Herald, September 12, 1918.
  36. Gate City Herald, July 11, 1918.
  37. Gate City Herald, February 21, 1918.
  38. Gate City Herald No. 794.
  39. Gate City Herald.
  40. Gate City Herald No. 794.
  41. Gate City Herald No. 795.
  42. Gate City Herald No. 794.
  43. Editorial, Gate City Herald, November 22, 1917.
  44. Gate City Herald, November 14, 1918.