Haslam Family of Monaville, WV

Submitted by: Carla Haslam Herkner
Updated May 27, 2010

Monitor Road - A book by Carla Haslam Herkner

Monitor Road – A book by Carla Haslam Herkner
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I really appreciate seeing the Logan website.  I was born in Logan, and I lived there for the first three years of my life.  I have always counted on Logan and West Virginia, in general, as my home.  I am especially grateful to my parents for being dedicated to returning to West Virginia several times each year to visit with our family.  I graduated from West Virginia University, as did several of my family members and I have always been grateful for my education and friendships formed there.

My father was raised in Monaville, and he was a great, vibrant story teller.  I always felt as though I was right alongside him as he enjoyed his neighbor’s ethnic cooking and the camaraderie of his many friends there.  My mother always says that Dad loved Hungarian food and she attributes that to the many good families who shared their table with him through the years.  When Dad was about 4 or 5 years old, his father would have him sit on the kitchen table and assemble the pieces of a railroad lantern which would amaze and entertain his father’s friends.

After his father’s passing, Dad and his mother ran the Monaville Y.M.C.A.  When we look at the pictures of what is now a church, Mom can point out the tiny window at the top of the building which is where my Dad would run the movie projector at the “Y.”  My parents were afforded rich and enduring friendships with the good folks of Logan and Boone County.  That is my heritage and I will always be so appreciative.


John James Haslam

John J. Haslam, age 92, of Honey Brook, PA, formerly of Vienna, Virginia died peacefully on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 at his home at Tel Hai Retirement Community, following a long illness.  His life was well lived and was a blueprint for younger family members to come after him.

John was born on July 27, 1917, in Logan, WV.  John was raised in Monaville, WV where as a youngster, he and his mother ran the Monaville YMCA.  He was the son of the late Gertrude Turnell Salino and Francesco Salino.  He was the adopted son of the late Mary Ann Wall Haslam and William Haslam.  John was the husband of Thelma P. (Powell) Haslam, with whom he shared 66 years of marriage.  John and Thelma were residents of Vienna, Virginia for over 50 years.

John attended Morris Harvey College in Charleston, WV and it is there that he learned to fly during Naval flight training school.  Due to an injury, he had to discontinue his Naval flight officer’s training and he continued teaching at the flight school during WWII.  He was later stationed in Palowan, Phillipines during WWII with Acorn 52.

John was a purchasing agent for DECO Electronics, in Leesburg, VA for many years.  He was responsible for purchasing all of the components of the telescope and communications satellite installation at Arrecibo, Puerto Rico.  John was the purchasing director responsible for supply acquisitioning for the U.S. Navy Communication Moon Relay System.  This four station network linked Washington and Hawaii in the first operational communications system to use a celestial body as a passive reflector.  He later continued his career in purchasing while working for Sanders Associates of Nashua, NH.

John was a devoted community volunteer during his 50 years of residing in the town of Vienna, VA.  He was a 45 year, active member of the Vienna Lions Club, a Mason, and an active member of C.H.O. or Churches Helping Others.  He continually worked as a volunteer on the various maintenance needs of the Vienna Presbyterian Church.  John often drove various community members to doctor’s appointments and was known as one who was always ready to help others.

He was an inventive, creative person who always had a woodworking project, a building project or an active hobby.  Some of his hobbies included lapidary, gemology, metal sculpture and decoy art.  He built a carport and family room addition to his home.  His retirement occupation was centered around his custom picture framing business which he ran out of his home.

John and his wife, Thelma, enjoyed travel and trips to visit John’s relatives in Sezze, and Biella, Italy.  At home in Vienna, they were very involved with small church group activities and could be relied upon to join in making homemade apple butter each fall.

John was a vibrant, entertaining guy who could tell a joke in the blink of an eye.  He will be sorely missed and is survived by his devoted wife, Thelma Powell Haslam, daughter, Carla Haslam Herkner, son-in-law, David Herkner and granddaughter, Dana Goodwin Schuetter and her husband, Scott Schuetter.  He is also survived by two great grandchildren, Cade and Alice Schuetter.

John Haslam on Donkey

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16 Responses to Haslam Family of Monaville, WV

  1. Michael Taylor says:

    I remember the pleasant smile Bob’s dad Paris Wellman always had on his face as he walked up and down the highway!

  2. The author, Carla, and I grew up in Vienna, Virginia and graduated high school in l967. Carla’s parents, John and Thelma Haslam, were like parents to me too. John used to loan me tools once in awhile and he always made sure I knew how to use them properly. After the instructions on use came the question of when was I going to return them! I always had them back ahead of time because I did not want to know what would happen if I didn’t. Even as a child I also knew that I needed to be able to borrow John’s tools because my Dad was not so inclined to repair and build things. After John retired he took up picture framing. One day I was visiting in Oakton, Virginia and saw a beautiful picture of a Native American Brave, Eagle, and Horse. It was $200 and at the time that was steep for me but I had to have it. John framed it and I paid for it but I think he gave me a steep discount. Buy the book and visit the area. They are nice people. Love & Peace, Deborah

  3. Craig Dameron says:

    I used to go over to the (Y) at lunch time when I went to Monaville Grade School, it was a great place for us kids then, and today I live in the same row of houses that the “Y” is in. But its a church now.

  4. Carla Haslam Herkner says:

    Our family was so blessed that Dad could be reunited with Jim, his dear WWII buddy! Thank you Jim and Lucia, for your wonderful post and for being such a devoted friend and now, family member. You are a blessing in our lives, for sure!

    • Shelby Burgess says:

      I too was assigned to a Naval unit called an Acorn unit in ww2. I objected on the grounds my training did not call for any special units. I suspect many mountain men were assigned to units because of their backgrounds. I was re-assigned to ship duty at sea., thanks to my chaplain. (I was a Signalman, qm, 2/c. so the mistake was soon rectified. This was during WW2. Also, we had taken huge combat losses at Coral Sea battle, and we help fill a void.

  5. James L. Giorgi says:

    I first met John on the 18th of January 1945. I had just been flown into Alameda Naval Air Station from the Auxiliary Naval Air Station in Fallon NV with esoteric orders for an overseas assignment into Component J-7C 310. Presenting my orders to the O,D. I was told to sit next to “that sailor over there.” That sailor was John J. Haslam. Because of the similar nature of our orders, we were both perplexed and curious. Under such circumstances what better way to start a conversation could you ask for? Although the chatter would prove to be irrelevant, the bonds of camaraderie quickly set in the manner of plaster of paris.
    We were assigned to “splinterville,” the section where the oldest barracks were located. There we learned that we were part of the Aviation Ordnance section of ACORN52—whatever that stood for.
    From there we went to Port Hueneme CA, then to 29 Palms CA, back to Hueneme and then overseas to Palawan PI. In the process we became Naval Infantry; wearing greens, sporting a helmet, carrying a knapsack with mess gear, carrying a carbine and bayonet and sleeping on cots in tents heated with a small kerosene stove. How’s that for a transition. Our purpose was to set up an advanced seaplane facility and were scheduled to take part in the invasion of the Japan—until the atom bomb changed everything. During that period of time John and I were quite close in spite of the fact that I was assigned to the small boat unit and he to the armory.
    The rapidity of demobilization was such that little thought was given to the importance of maintaining contact and our encounter became relegated to a wartime memory. Fortunately a member of our Unit took a chance and used the American Legion magazine to attempt a reunion. It was that initial occasion (1993) that led to our seeing each other again. Since then my wife Lucia and I have maintained close contact. Their hospitality was always overwhelming and our appreciative reciprocation often felt by us as not quite adequate enough.
    John was a good friend and buddy. Thelma too falls into that category because both were inseparable. We are thankful and proud to have become part of their lives.
    James & Lucia Giorgi

  6. John H. Elkins says:

    I was born and raised in Monaville WV. Went to elementary school in the old 6 room wooden school bldg. which stood along the highway in Monaville. It was a great community to grow up in. My father was Hewie Elkins.He died in 1975. My mother was Rosa Elkins. She died in 1972. I visited the Y.M.C.A. you mentioned in your story almost daily as I was growing up. It was the social center of the area during this era. Many memories made there. Later as an adult I was a deacon in the Church that was in what had been the Y.M.C.A. earlier. What made Monaville so great during my childhood years was the love and concern people had for one another during this time.
    It was a time in which neighbors helped one another.If someone was sick and unable to work and support their family, the other neighbors pitched in and helped until they recovered. Also people watched out for each other’s children. You might get a spanking from a neighbor as well as from your parent if they saw you being mischievous. I suppose this is enough of my ramblings about my memories of growing up in Monaville,but I just wanted to share a few of my thoughts of how life was during this time.

    • Carla Haslam Herkner says:

      John, it is great to read about your Monaville memories. You are so right. It is a special place. My Dad had been orphaned for the second time by the age of 20, and a couple from Monaville wanted to adopt him! He was 20 years old, and he thanked him very kindly, but told them he had already gone through two sets of parents and he decided he would just go join the Navy! But, that shows the kindness of those folks who wanted to give him a home. He used to tell me stories about Mr. and Mrs. Kayser (I am totally unsure of the spelling). So, I don’t know if they were the ones with the big hearted offer or not. (Maybe it was “Kaiser.”) I just don’t know. Anyway, thanks for your rememberances.

  7. Bob Sanders says:

    My condolences on the loss of Mr. Haslam. My dad served as XO of Acorn 52, I may possibly have a photo of Mr. Haslam in a couple of group photos I have. Please let me know if you are interested and I will email them to you.
    Bob Sanders

    • Carla Haslam Herkner says:

      Thank you, Bob! I would surely be interested in obtaining the pictures. I do have some from Acorn 52 and maybe yours are different. Many thanks!
      ~Carla Haslam Herkner

    • Frank Hebner says:

      My Father-In-Law was assigned to Acorn 52 from 20 Nov 1945 to 20 Apr 1946.
      Would you possibly have any information regarding locations, duties, pictures etc. Anything would be helpful in my research. Thank You

  8. Deborah J. Boyd says:

    I am sorry for the passing of John Haslam. John & Thelma lived about 100 feet from my home at 610 Cottage St. in Vienna, Virginia. Carla and I went to the first grade together in the Vienna Elementary School where Thelma was a wonderful teacher. I considered them as a second set of parents and when I lost my mother in 1987 they were there, I lost my father, Robert Harold Boyd, in 1995 and they were there. I lost the house in 2001 about a month prior to 9/11/1 and Thelma helped with the “garage sale” but John’s health was failing. I can still see him with his walker on the sidewalk across the street from my house. Carla and I went through many years and many challenges in life. I like to think we are now beginning to see the best life has to offer.
    Carla has a wonderful daughter and now a wonderful husband. It is through this posting I learn that she is a Gradmother. I am now working on my PhD in Educational Leadership at Keiser University of Florida. Carla followed Thelma’s lead and became a teacher. I did so many different things I decided I was born to be a writer. I got my Bachelor & Master degree after leaving Vienna. They were both in IT. It is not hard to find something I have written on the Internet but some, as in facebook, are under my persona of Powerpeace. John is at least partially responsible for being an influence in my life. What I remember the best is that he had all the tools I needed and framed a beautiful picture for me in his basement in Vienna. That picture, with one of me and my parents, is with me every day in my office/bedroom in Arlington, Va.

  9. Carla Haslam Herkner says:

    @Frank Thompson
    Thank you so much for posting Dad’s obituary. He loved growing up in Monaville and the Logan area. I am so blessed to have had him as my Dad and Mom and I will miss him terribly. He is our jolly angel now.

  10. Frank Thompson says:


    I want to offer my sincere condolences on the recent loss of your father. May God’s blessings and peace be with you and your family.

  11. Robert L. Wellman says:

    I grew up in monaville. Joined the Navy 1964, Retired from the Navy 1989. Live in Charleston, S.C., but have seen many places while in the Navy. Boot Camp,Great Lakes, Il.,
    (USS FEARLESS(MSO-442 San Diego, to Vietnam),( Vietnam (PBR’s – River Patrol Boats Mekong Delta Vietnam), then to Naval Air Station in Maine, then to Cherry Point, N.C. loading merchant ships with bombs going to vietnam. Naval Air Station Atlanta, GA., Naval Reserve Center Detroit, Mi. Then to the Pentagon working for Chief of Naval Operations, Then (USS FEARLESS MSO-442 – Charleston, S.C.),, then (Carrier Air Wing 20)Jacksonville, FL, Then (USS FORRESTAL CVA-5), Jacksonville, Fl.) retired then went back to Charleston, S.C., was here during hurricane HUGO, (6) trees on my house, also pine tree right thru the front window, thru the floor board of my son’s mustang.

    If anyone in Logan County, wants to see the world, Join the Navy.

    My dad was Paris Wellman (preacher and coal miner) was in #22 Mine when it blew up. He was at the face of the mine getting ties and got out of the mine safely. Lot of his friends died that day. Can relate to the families at the SAGO MINE, it really is a hard , hard, hard job, you can get killed any minute. My dad died from Black Lung a few years after he retired.

    I think Monaville was the greatest place in the world, except for the spring floods.
    I knew everyone that lived there back then. Love the mountains of W.VA., my heart will always be there.

    W.VA. and Monaville will always be a special place to me, it was so great growing up there.