Evelyn was a court reporter, serving in Wise County and the city of Norton for more than forty years. She belonged to the Fortnightly Club, the Senior Citizens group, and was a charter member of Gladeville Chapter No. 171, Order of Eastern Star. Additionally, she was a member of the Pound Historical Society, was on the Board of Directors for the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia, and charter member of the Wise County Historical Society. At the time of her death, she was on the committee which planned, collected records, pictures, and family histories for The Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton – 1856-1992. This new history was published September 1993.

Evelyn Dale Slemp March 9, 1993 By Sue Stewart Gilliam

Evelyn Dale Slemp

Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia

We the members of the Wise County Historical Society, regret with sad hearts the sudden death of our beloved member, Evelyn Slemp (June 6, 1919 – March 9, 1993), yet we bow in humble submission to God’s will, though deeply feeling our sad and irreparable loss.

She was an earnest and consistent member, interested in all our work and always charitable to others.  Her sweet and happy disposition endeared her to all of us.  Thus she has left a memory which can be incentive to us.  We extend our deep and profound sympathy to her sons, Craig and Gary, their families and other relatives in their bereavement.

Mary Evelyn Dale Slemp, 73, of Wise, Virginia, died Tuesday, March 9, 1993, in Holston Valley Hospital, Kingsport, Tennessee.  Born June 6, 1919, she was the daughter of John Webster Dale and Bertie Estelle Hillman, and was a great-great granddaughter of Arter Dale and Judy Cotton.  On February 7, 1943, Evelyn and William D. Slemp were married.  Two children were born to this union: William Craig and Gary Dale.

Evelyn was a court reporter, serving in Wise County and the city of Norton for more than forty years.  She belonged to the Fortnightly Club, the Senior Citizens group, and was a charter member of Gladeville Chapter No. 171, Order of Eastern Star.  Additionally, she was a member of the Pound Historical Society, was on the Board of Directors for the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia, and charter member of the Wise County Historical Society.  At the time of her death, she was on the committee which planned, collected records, pictures, and family histories for The Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton – 1856-1992.  This new history was published September 1993.

As can be expected from the above interests, she owned a vast collection of genealogical material, records, and old pictures.  She supplied many pictures of pioneer people and places for pictorial books of the area.  The Wise County Historical Society will probably be the repository for  the Evelyn Slemp Collection.

Survivors include the two sons: Craig, of Wise, with six children; and Gary of Pound, with daughter Allison, Son William, and a new daughter Mollie Dale born September 25, 1993.

Services were conducted at 11:00 a.m., Thursday March 11, 1993, Jr. officiating.  Members of the Wise County Bar Association served as active and honorary pallbearers.  Burial was in Powell Valley Memorial Gardens.  Sturgill Funeral Home was in charge.

Roy Lee Sturgill – Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia

Roy L. Sturgill October 5, 1993 By Gladys Stallard

Roy Lee Sturgill, 79, of 1168 Rhode Island Ave., Bristol,  VA, died Tuesday, October 5, 1993, in Bristol Regional Medical Center. He was a native of Coeburn and had lived in Bristol for 45 years.  He was a member of Shelby Masonic Lodge No. 162, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia, The Wise County Historical Society and American Association of Retired Persons.

Roy was the author of “Crimes, Criminals and Characters of the Cumberlands and Southwest Virginia,” Nostalgic Narratives and Historical Events of Southwest Virginia,” and “Album of Steam Railroading.”  He also wrote many articles for the historical society. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. and was of the Methodist faith.  He was a Shriner.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara V.  Mullins Sturgill, Bristol; two sisters, Lillian Tucker, Florida and Cynthia Taylor, Big stone gap; one granddaughter; three grandsons, and two great grandchildren.

Weaver Funeral Home was in charge of the service.  Graveside services were conducted at Temple Hill Memorial Gardens in Castlewood.

Roy Lee Sturgill always claimed Coeburn, Virginia, as his hometown, having been born there December 4, 1913, the son of King and Mary Sturgill.  Due to the death of his mother in 1922, the young family  of two boys and three girls became separated. Fifty-seven years later, in 1979, they all had a grand reunion.

At age 19, Roy met Barbara V. Mullins.  They were soon married.  He was a coal miner for ten years, then served a stint in the U.S. Navy.  Later, he became a Railway Postal Clerk until passenger service was discontinued in 1969.

He was of the Methodist faith.  He belonged to the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the AARP, Shelby Masonic Lodge, No. 162, and was a Shriner.

Because of his extensive collection of railroad pictures and memorabilia, Roy Sturgill was persuaded by his son, Phillip to write his last book, “Album of Steam Railroading.”  Phil typeset the book, and managed to get it completed, printed, and in the hands of his father before Roy died in the Bristol Regional Medical Center, Tuesday, October 5, 1993.  On Saturday, October 9, the family brought the new books to the Wise Fall Fling.

Edward Blair, Jr.

Edward Blair, Jr.

Edward Blair, Jr., was a son of Edward Blair, Sr., and Elsie Hamilton Blair.   He was born on Indian Creek in 1921 and grew up in Pound. He has one brother, James Blair of  Titusville, FL, and one sister, Patsy (Imogene) Markham, Leesburg, VA.  Ed married Ruth Powers of Dunham, KY and they had three daughters: Patricia Bayer, Brookville, MD; Wilma Edwards, Gaithersburg, MD; and Linda Monahan, of MD.

In 1947 Ed married Grace Sallenburger of Gettysburg, PA, and they had one son, Allan Blair of Viewtown, VA.  Ed has eight grandchildren and five great grand-children. During the years . 1952-1963, Ed took courses in business finance, real estate and insurance, mutual funds and real estate as s second job.  He bought a farm in Culpepper county in 1962  and raised beef cattle until 1974.    Retired in 1981, he sold the farm and moved to Pound in 1984.

In September 1985, Ed married Virginia (Osborne) Blair, daughter of Hampton and Lillie Munsie Osborne. They lived at Pound, VA.

Ed was a retired Superintendent  of passenger stations of Amtrak, with 39 years of railroad service.  He was an army veteran of WWII, member of Pound  lodge # 59, AF  & AM, Pound chapter # 67 of the Eastern Star, Past President of Pound Lions Club, and member of First Presbyterian Church of Pound. Ed is no longer with us and is missed by the Historical Society.

Shelby Blaine Sturgill February 14, 1917- February 17, 1996

Shelby Blaine Sturgill

Shelby Blaine Sturgill was born February 14, 1917 in Flat Gap, Virginia, the only child of Willard Sturgill and Callie Bolling Sturgill.  He graduated from Flat Gap, High School and Milligan College, majoring in chemistry.  At Milligan while ill, he was lovingly nursed by his dormitory mother Mrs. Cochran.  He never forgot her kindness, and sent her flowers on Easter every year for thirty-five years until she died.  After college, he taught chemistry at Appalachia High School until he entered the Navy a few months prior to Pearl Harbor.  He earned his wings at Pensacola Naval Air Station.  During the war, he flew a Kingfisher scout plane for the battleship U.S. South Dakota, and served in the Atlantic and in the Pacific.  For bravery under enemy fire during an island bombardment in the Pacific theater, he received the Naval Air Medal.

After deciding that he might live through the war, he married Nannie Ellison.  To this marriage were born Donald, Thomas. and Vickie.

To support his family, he completed Pharmacy School at the Medical College of Virginia.  His life-long friend Harold Mullins attended Dentistry School at MCV.  He operated the Pound Drug Store from 1953 until 1984.

He was a local personality to say the least.  He never considered time wasted talking to his friends and neighbors.  He retired to care for Nannie, who died after a lengthy illness in 1988.

Throughout his life he loved the camaraderie of community organizations such as Methodist Men, the Pound Lion’s Club, and the Pound and Wise County Historical Societies.

He met Louise Delp in 1993 and fell in love for a second time.  They were married on October 15, 1995.  “To have a friend, be one,” read the advertisements from Blaine Sturgill’s pharmacy.  More than a motto, this was his creed, his life.

Shelby Blaine Sturgill Gladys Julian Stallard

Shelby Blaine Sturgill, 79, died unexpectedly at his home in Pound, Va., Saturday, Feb. 17, 1996.  Services were held Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. in the Pound United Methodist Church, of which Blaine was a member.  Officiating were the Rev. Warren Wattenbager, the Rev. Sylvia Jones and Pastor Bob Kespeher.  Interment was in Powell Valley Memorial Gardens.

Survivors are his second wife, Louise Delp Sturgill; the children  from his first marriage: Donald Blaine, Pound, VA.; Dr. Thomas Wayne, Charlottesville; and Vickie S. Swindall, Big stone Gap; several grandchildren and two stepchildren.  Two half-sisters, Maggie Sturgill Campbell and Betty Sturgill Poore, also survive.

Blaine Sturgill was born Feb. 14, 1917 at Flat Gap near Pound, the son and only child of James Willard Sturgill and Callie Bolling Sturgill.  From a second marriage of Willard, Blaine acquired two half-sisters.

After attending the local schools, Blaine received a B.S. degree from Milligan College, Tennessee and began teaching chemistry in the high school at Appalachia.  He enlisted in Naval Aviation on June 6, 1941.  He served through World War II.  He was awarded the Naval air Medal and Citation for Meritorious Achievement in Aerial Flight and was a Naval Lieutenant at the time of his discharge, September 1945.

Meanwhile, during a furlough, Blaine and Nannie Ellison were married on September 1, 1944.  After the end of the war, the Sturgills returned to the Pound and both taught school for a short time.  Then, using the GI bill, Blaine entered pharmacy school in Richmond.  Back home again, he opened the Pound Pharmacy for which he was druggist for 30 years.

Nannie Ellison Sturgill died Jan. 20, 1989.  On Oct 15, 1995, Blaine Sturgill married Mrs. Louise Delp of Norton, VA. Together they shared many common interests, being active members of the Pound Historical Society, the wise County Historical Society, with Louise doing volunteer work at two Norton hospitals.  Blaine also belonged to the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia.

In his own community, he was a charter member of the Pound Lions Club and a member of the Pound Masonic Lodge, No. 59.  He was generous with his buildings, time and money, especially during such events as Pound Heritage Days.

A gentleman in every sense of the word, Blaine Sturgill will be greatly missed by his family and all whose lives he touched.

An entertaining personality, Blaine’s fund of jokes and “Yarns” were inexhaustible, all told with a straight face, but a twinkling eye. His pharmacy  motto was, “To have a friend, be one!”

Emory L. Hamilton Memorial Tribute by Rhonda Robertson

Emory L. Hamilton

Emory L. Hamilton, born April 10, 1913 in Wise County and christened Emory Lee; he was the son of Jessee and Sarah Baldwin Hamilton.

His love of history began at the feet of his parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents listening to stories of his ancestors told around the fireplaces and
porches of Wise County. Emory was a descendant of the earliest of pioneer families having settled on the frontiers of Southwest Virginia.

He often told of himself and his younger brother, J. B., studying by candlelight in the loft of their old log house in the community known as Hamilton Town.  They poked holes in the daubing in the walls and roof so they could lie in their beds beneath feather ticks and look at the stars glinting in the dark sky. Beautiful as this was there was a drawback, and he laughingly told that in winter the snow would sift down through the openings and softly fall on them, making them keep their heads under the cover all night because they didn’t dare tell their parents what they had done.

When Emory graduated from high school there weren’t many  opportunities for young men in Wise County so he traveled to New York to study navigation with the Merchant Marines.  It was while living in New York and working on board the Merchant ships that the Depression came and everyone lost their jobs causing his return home to Wise.  He worked odd jobs until he applied for and was accepted by the WPA.   his assignment was to document and record the early settlements of Wise County.  The only problem was that his investigation and recording of these settlements was limited by how far he could walk or with whom he could hitch a ride. The assignment only fueled his love of  history and from this work came his manuscripts of Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, The Early Frontier, Early Settlements and Early Houses.  In addition to the hundreds of articles that appeared in various publications ad local newspapers.

After his enjoyable work in the WPA, World War Ii came and Emory enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 14,  1941 at Roanoke, VA and trained as an Administrative Specialist, being promoted to Technical sergeant in the 3539th Base Unit.  He transferred on January 23, 1942 to Australia, and then on to the battles and campaigns of New Guinea and the Northern Solomons.

Emory related that it was so hot everyone had to sleep outside at night n hammocks strung between the trees.  These hammocks were covered with netting that not only served to keep out the mosquitoes, but he also told that at night, things would fall out of trees onto the netting and roll onto the ground.  Those things were snakes!  Emory reenlisted in the 309th Army  Air Force at Greenville, South Carolina on November 19, 1945 and was discharged from the service on January 11, 1947 in Greenville.  He might have made a career out of military service, but he returned to care for his widowed mother.

When Emory returned home he worked for several years in the County Circuit Court Clerk’s office until a position opened in the Wise County Vocational School where he taught sheet metal and drafting until his retirement.  Many are the men who took drafting and sheet metal under his tutelage.

Emory was a founding and charter member of the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia and served as its secretary for 30 years before giving up the position due to ill health.  Emory answered hundreds of letters and phone calls each month from people searching out their family genealogy and the early history of Southwest Virginia. Had Emory lived to see the beginning of the Wise County Historical Society he would have been one of its most avid supporters and would have been in the office daily to answer questions and help out.  He took great enjoyment in helping people in their quest and was a fount of knowledge which is sorely missed and cannot be replaced.

From his love of history came his passion for antiques and he had a most impressive collection of porcelain mustache cups and pattern glass pitchers and creamers.  His pitchers and creamers are on display at the lonesome Pine Regional Library.

Along with his keen interest in history and genealogy, he also had a great interest in astronomy and harbored a secret desire to have been an archaeologist.

Emory contracted cancer of he lung, which recurred after a short remission and passed away on November 3, 1991 while hospitalized in Kingsport, Tennessee.  He is buried by his mother and father in the Wells Cemetery in Esserville, VA

I Like to think of him like Indiana Jones, in a leather jacket with a battered fedora, turning to doff his hat in goodbye as he prepares to stride off to a new adventure.

Darthula (Dot) M. Carroll By Dorothy H. Witt

Dorthula "Dorothy" Carroll

Darthula M. (Dot) Caroll, 72 years of age of Big Stone Gap, Wise County, VA died on December 28, 1998 at Norton Community Hospital in Norton, Virginia.

Dot was of the Baptist faith and was a member of East Stone Gap Baptist Church.  She was a wife, mother, homemaker and friend, and a lifelong resident of Big Stone Gap.  She was preceded in death by one son, James Michael “Mickey” Carroll.

Her survivors include her husband, Clinton Carroll; four daughters, Mildred Ann, Cora Sue, Donna Jean and Sharon Denise; and five sons, Robert Morris, Gary M., Scott, Melvin Gregory and Clinton Mark; grandchildren and one great-grandchild; two sisters, Easter Adams and Margaret Robinette, and several nieces and nephews.

Dot was an active member of the Wise County Historical Society and contributed much time and effort to the making of the first volume of the Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton.  She is  greatly missed by the Historical Society.  Dot was also a long time member of the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia.

Dot was buried in Powell Valley Memorial Gardens, Big Stone Gap, VA.

Hetty Jean Swindall Sutherland Courtesy of the Sutherland Family

Hetty Swindall Sutherland

Local Genealogist and Historian, Hetty Sutherland, of Clintwood, Dickenson County, Virginia, died June 6, 2004; at the age of 102.

Hetty was born December 14, 1901 to Milburn Eddie and Ardelia Austin Swindall in a log cabin at Osborns Gap (now Norland), Virginia, north of Pound River and “South of the Mountain” in Dickenson County. Her early education was at a one-room log school house. She attended “Big Seven” School in Clintwood where she boarded seven miles from her home and walked home and back each weekend. After one year of “Big Seven” School, she passed the state teacher’s examination and then taught grades one through seven at a one room school house; 1 year at Camp Creek & 1 at Honey Camp.

In 1921 she went to Fort Worth, TX where she took a six month course at the National Business School. Her first business job was secretary to Lawyer John Flannagan, later Congressman for the 9th District of Virginia. In 1926 she married Elihu Jasper Sutherland, lawyer, judge, historian and genealogist and settled at their home “Sunset Hill” in Clintwood where he lived until his death in 1964 and where she lived the rest of her life.

Hetty was a charter member of the Southwest Virginia Historical Society (served as treasurer for over 20 years), the Dickenson County Home Demonstration Club and the Dickenson County Historical Society, which honored her by establishing the “Hetty Swindall Sutherland Archives” at the Johnny Deel County Library in Clintwood. She was a member of the Sandy Basin Historical Society, the Mountain People and Places, and the Clintwood Senior Citizens.

In 1978 she compiled, supplemented and published her late husband’s information on the Counts family and related families in Some Descendants of John Counts of Glade Hollow (Southwest Virginia) 1722-1977 & in 2003 published a larger supplement to this book. In 1984 Hetty, with Gregory and Joan Short Vanover, published Pioneer Recollections, personal interviews with pioneer citizens of Dickenson County collected, compiled and edited by her late husband. In 1996 she published Swindall-Austin Families of Virginia and North Carolina 1622-1995, information she had collected, compiled and edited on these and other related families.

With her vast and intimate knowledge of family and relatives, her remarkable recall, and her tireless efforts; persons asking local authorities in Clintwood about local area or family history were routinely referred to her by the Post Office, Library, County Officers, members of the Senior Citizens Center and Historical Society members.

Hetty is survived in death by a sister, Lora Anita “Betty” Swindall Hibbitts of Clintwood; two sons William Sutherland and his wife Thora McElrath Sutherland, St. Paul, VA; James Sutherland and his wife Marjorie Ann Pearson Sutherland, Clintwood, VA; two grand-children Sharon Sutherland of Georgia, and Susanne Sutherland and her husband Micheal Frame, and her great-grandchildren April Beth Frame and Ian Sutherland Frame of Telluride, Colorado.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and eight siblings; William Theodore “Ted” Swindall, Flora Etta Willis, Arnold Joseph Swindall; Leonard Bruce Swindall; Arizona Powers; Robert Ervin “Bob” Swindall; Lyle Noel Vernon Swindall and Nile Austin “Jack” Swindall. Surviving sisters-in-law, Hester Moore Swindall and Ruby Cox Swindall

Pallbearers are Freddie Mullins, Gary Mullins. Larry Mullins, Richmond Short, Russell Sutherland, and Leonard Douglas Swindall. Honorary pallbearers are her nephews and grand nephews.

Hetty requests that there be no flowers, except one pink rose, and that donations be made to the charity of your choice.

Clintwood Colley Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements with visitation at 7 pm Thursday, June 10 and funeral services at 11 am, Friday, June 11 at the Funeral home; followed by burial in the William Sutherland Memorial Cemetery, Fairview, on Frying Pan Creek, Dickenson County.

A Tribute to Dorothy Hall Witt

Dorothy Hall Witt our distinguished first president and charter member of the Wise County Historical Society was instrumental in the compiling and publishing of The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton, Volume 1 and 2, among other publications. She was also instrumental in the establishing of the Wise County Historical Society. She served as the President of the Historical Society the first years of its establishment.

Dorothy at Work

First President of Wise County Historical Society

We, the members of the Wise County Historical Society, would like to take this opportunity to offer a tribute to our first president, Dorothy Hall Witt. Without her foresight and perseverance the Historical Society of Wise County would not exist today.

Dorothy Hall Witt our distinguished first president and charter member of the Wise County Historical Society was instrumental in the compiling and publishing of The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton, Volume 1 and 2, among other publications. She was also instrumental in the establishing of the Wise County Historical Society. She served as the President of the Historical Society the first years of its establishment.

While helping on the Lee County Book Committee in the creating of the Bicentennial History of Lee County Virginia published in 1991, Dorothy felt the need for the same in Wise County, and was instrumental in forming a group of Wise County historians who published their own Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton Volume 1 in 1993. She was Chairman of the Book Committee and was elected President of the Wise County Historical Society when it was organized.

For the past 8 years Dorothy has served as recording secretary for the Wise County Historical Society and has worked a day or two a week at the office in the courthouse. She also is the editor of the Aging Gracefully segment of the Appalachian Quarterly published by Wise County Historical Society. She along with her friend and co-worker, Wanda Rose traveled over the county working on volume 1 of Wise County and the City of Norton, and installing lifelines for disabled and the elderly, she became interested in interviewing older people, which was the birth of Aging Gracefully in Appalachia.

Dorothy’s heritage is completely Appalachian as her father was a native of Lee County and her mother was a native of Russell County. Dorothy was born in Norton, grew up in Powell Valley, graduated from East Stone Gap High School, lived in Coeburn for twenty years and has lived in Wise for the past 33 years. She completed several courses at Clinch Valley College in English, Creative writing and Appalachian culture.

Dorothy worked for 14 years for the Department of Social Services, then worked as a medical transcriptionist and secretary at Wise Appalachian Regional Hospital for 19 years, retiring in 1989 to travel and pursue all the volunteer activities in which she was interested.

She has two sons, Hal Addington of Pinckney, Michigan, and Tim Addington of Atlanta, Georgia, and one granddaughter, April Addington, a sophomore at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Dorothy is married to Harold Witt and they reside in Wise.

Dorothy is a dedicated member, wife, mother, and grandmother. She is good company and has a great sense of humor.