Coal Miner’s Daughter

By Dolores Riggs Davis (1936-2014)

My Articles

I am a coal miner’s daughter from the mining town of Dehue in Logan County, West Virginia. The town of my birth is only a ghost of the past. Like all the underground coal mines when they were worked out the towns were torn down.

My name is Dolores Riggs Davis, and I married Donald Davis who is also from Dehue. I am an author of two books, and many articles. Loving Dehue like I do most of what I write is about our once thriving town.  I also research our family history.

My parent’s were Rev. Emmett B. Riggs, Sr. & Gladys Marie Brickey-Riggs. I have one brother, Emmett B. Riggs, Jr. who lives near me. Dad’s favorite flower was a dogwood, and that’s why Mom and I had a spray of dogwood etched on dad’s headstone. It brings a smile to my face every time I go there to visit. Now mom lies beside dad, and the praying hands on the headstone are for her. I think of them often, and still miss them.

Dolores and Donald Davis – 1994

Above: Ben, Danny, Sam, and Heather Watson after Danny’s promotion to Major ceremony  on November 1, 2010. Major Watson is a JAG attorney in the Air Force.


Memories of West Virginia,
I miss the old homeplace.
Memories of West Virginia,
Where a true friend is to be found.

I’m going back to West Virginia,
Where the mountains meet the sky.
I’m going back to West Virginia,
Let me stay there till I die.

From a song by: Mayo Spence

Alphabetical Listing of My Articles

  • A Gaping Black Mouth – Macbeth 1937
  • A Time to Weep – Bartley 1940
  • A Trip Back in Time
  • Another Day Older. . . And Deeper in Debt
  • Bluegrass Rules
  • Dark as a Dungeon – Holden, March 8, 1960
  • Death Comes a Knocking – Willow Grove, Ohio 1940
  • Dehue Past and Present
  • Does Mamie Thurman Still Walk Those Hills?
  • Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
  • Family Tradition
  • Final Thoughts
  • Footprints in the Sands of Time
  • Goodbye My Darlin’ Hello Vietnam
  • Letters from the Logan County Honor Roll
  • Little Egypt Lost – Havaco Mine – JANUARY 15, 1946
  • Logan County People and Places
  • Lyburn Mine Fire
  • Number Please?
  • Our Family Album and Stories
  • Part Two, The Mamie Story Continues – The Trial
  • School Daze
  • Snow Birds
  • The End of an Era
  • The Historical Hinchman House
  • The Reverends and the Revenuers
  • Times Have Changed!
  • Tragedy at Burning Springs – Kermit 1951
  • Where Have the Days of Our Lives Gone?
  • You Can Go Home Again

  • The company that hosted my guestbook has discontinued the service. The guestbook used to be the only way to leave a public comment on a web page.  Now,  you can use the standard comment/reply option.

    13 Responses to Coal Miner’s Daughter

    1. Donna Rowland says:

      Delores, my grandmother is buried at Man cementary. My mother lived in Christian & Accoville. Grandad was a teacher in Accoville & Christian. Do you have any info on the one room schools in the 1900s. Around 1915 to 1929? Thanks

    2. Harold Hollingsworth says:

      I worked with and talked to Delores Davis Riggs a few years ago about history. It was very enjoyable.

    3. Richard L. Taylor says:

      I once talked to you about Dehue folks, and you even offered a telephone number for an old friend,
      sadly I didn’t accept. I was shocked to learn of your death a few years ago and felt a great loss, for myself, her family and the family of Dehue.

    4. w rood says:

      I have not viewed Coal Miner’s Daughter for a few months. I am sorry to see that Dolores has passed on. She must have been an exceptional person to have created this blog.

    5. Harold Hollingsworth says:

      Deloris Riggs Davis, Several years ago you and I had a lot of correspondence Through Diz Harris.
      I believe I read your book. I can no longer find Diz’s site and that’s where I got on to yours. I have a new e-mail add.

    6. Elizabeth Nunley says:


    7. Elizabeth Nunley says:

      Dolores my parents names were Donald and Lousie dad’s my grandparents name was Edward and Millie Nunley and on my mom side was Thomas and Carrie Haywood..just a little more info to help me ..I send you a note earlier..I hope u can help me with information on Macbeth…thank again.

    8. Elizabeth Nunley says:

      Dolores do u have any pictures of Macbeth W.Va that’s where am from..all my life I thought it was Dehue in till I found out last night from my brother Bert that it was step mom told me I was from dehue so all these yrs that’s what I thought in till last night my brother Bert told me she was wrong it was Macbeth I was young when we moved and my memories was all wrong now am trying to find out history on the town am not good with the internet Bert got me a Kindle fire Hd.can you point me in the right direction to get info on Macbeth..thank you for your time .

    9. Harold Hollingsworth says:

      Dolores, I see it gives a date of birth and death for you. I am sorry and we are all losers so to the family my condolences. I enjoyed our talks on your site several years back. You and Diz Harris were very informational. I did enjoy thanks for the great site. Harold Hollingsworth

    10. Marie Perkins says:

      Hi Delores,
      I am also a coal miner’s daughter from Lyburn, Wv. I was born in Earling, wv. Before going to school I lived awhile in Peach Creek, Wv. Rest of the time, I was living in Lyburn, Wv. Would love to know how to find about my relatives but I have hardly no inf., on the ones back farther than my grand parents. My parents are deceased, grand parents deceased and I only have 1 sister of my immediate family other than my 4 children. It seems to cost money everywhere you turn and then its not what you were looking for. How would I find info. for free. I thought public records were free but apparently not. Haven’t a clue where to start. I congratulate you on finding your relatives. Looks like you have a big family. Nice talking to you. I will keep plugging away i guess. Thanks for listening.

    11. Shelby Burgess says:

      I remember one of the miners listed as being dead in the McBeth explosion. His name was George McCormick. His parents were Mr. & Mrs. Asa McCormick, of Ottawa, Boone co. WV. His siblings were: Mike, Shelby. Eloise

    12. Brent George says:

      Grew up in Holden, W.V. and knew a Kristin Brickey, related to Horseys in Central City and Eros matriarch in Mitchel Heights. Kris hailed from Chalotte, N.C. and her father, Mr. Brickey was froom Saltville, Va. I noticed the name Gladys Marie Brickey Riggs and wondered if she might have been related and what ever became of Kris Brickey.

      • My mother, Gladys Marie Brickey was from Elliott County, KY which is near Sandy Hook. She married Emmett Riggs from nearby Lawrence County, KY. Some of the Brickey’s and Riggs families migrated from Virginia to KY durning the Civil War. We are at our condo in Titusville, FL for the winter, but when we get back to Ohio in the Spring I can see if their is a connection. I have a lot of information on the Brickey’s. Several of the Brickey’s published books and I have one of them. My cell is 440 667-2710 if you should have questions before we return home sometime in May. Dolores Davis