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Logan banner and the Logan republican. [volume] : (Logan, W. Va.) 1911-1914
Place of publication:
Logan, W. Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Logan, Logan, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
George Dean
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 23, no. 7 (Aug. 18, 1911)-v. 26, no. 7 (Aug. 14, 1914).
  • English
sn 86092008
Preceding Titles:
Succeeding Titles:
View complete holdings information

The Logan County Banner, The Logan Banner and Republican, and The Logan Banner

The Logan Banner, known for its Republican politics, began as the Democratic The Logan County Banner in 1889. The first editors, Henry Clay Ragland and H. K. Shumate, were local Democrats who promised to be fair to their Republican opponents. As a Democratic paper, the Banner defended free trade policies, attacked protection, and celebrated former Confederate heroes, including Jefferson Davis. Embracing a Southern identity, the Logan editors reminded their patrons that, "unlike the people of the North," who "are of a cold calculating disposition," the people of the South "are warm and impulsive, quick to act and ever anxious to bury the animosities of the past" (December 26, 1889). Their statement was consistent with the reconciliation movement—an effort to heal national rifts and downplay emancipation—that influenced American politics in the years following the Civil War.

The Logan County Banner underwent a startling change in 1903, first as The Logan Banner and then as the Logan Banner and the Logan Republican in 1911. No longer Democratic, the new editor, George A. Dean, openly endorsed Republican politics, although he seldom consulted with Republican leaders. Dean spent much of his editorship reporting on the Mine Wars, a period of conflict between coal companies and miners (1912-1921). Dean articulated sentiments familiar to the Logan Democrat that more or less entailed support for miners who remained at work but not union "agitators" and strikers. Dean had especially harsh opinions toward Mother Jones, the Irish-born union organizer and co-founder of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). On Valentine's Day, 1913, he shared a "biography" of Mother Jones that accused her of prostitution and being a "vulgar, heartless, vicious creature, with a fiery temper and a cold-hearted brutality rare even in the slums." The article evinced no sympathy for a working-class woman with "a record of never advocating peace nor arbitration, but being for strife and war."

Dean was not entirely anti-union. He believed laborers had "the natural and legal right" to unionize, with the caveat that "the honest, toiling contented men, who receive full pay for every hour's work, should be left free to pursue their work, undisturbed by agitators and trouble makers" (October 3, 1913). The addendum to his statement about "trouble makers" was probably the truest expression of his feelings, since Dean usually advocated for industrial paternalism, the use of welfare programs to pacify workers and mitigate strikes. He published a host of articles that praised mine operators for their welfare policies and the working conditions they created. Miners had the best insurance in the form of the Workmen's Compensation Act, he claimed, and their jobs were safer than farming. Dean printed a speech by Governor Hatfield urging miners to seek employment in West Virginia, a land of good health and opportunities. The irksome matter of unions went unmentioned.

After a long battle with delinquent subscribers, Dean sold the Logan Banner and the Logan Republican to OJ Deegan. Deegan espoused Republican politics, although he dropped "Republican" from the title. The newest iteration, the Logan Banner, kept its local character and prospered under consecutive owners and editors. As of 2021, it is still in print.

Provided by: West Virginia University