Holden, WV

Holden, Logan County, West Virginia

Island Creek Coal Company opened its first mines here. The company built a rail line to Logan and shipped its first load of coal from here in December of 1904. The community was named for Albert Fairchild “Bert” Holden (1863-1913) who was one of the founders of Island Creek Coal Company.

Holden, WV about 1948

Holden Theater and Drug Store about 1948. Used with permission and courtesy of www.theprichardcollection.com © 2009 Kevin Bannister.

The 2011 winner of America’s Got Talent, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. lived here and it was also once the former boyhood home of Champion Jack Dempsey.

Holden, WV Aug. 8, 1926 Postcards

Island Creek Safety Club’s Second Annual Meet, August 8, 1926, Holden, W. Va.
Click for larger view or view super-size pdf.

Holden Photo Gallery

You can help preserve a bit of Logan County history by sharing your vintage photos with us. To share a photo with this site, please email it to the admin loganwv.us@gmail.com. Please note that you must own the photo you are submitting or ensure that no one has a copyright claim on it. Preferably, photos of individuals should be no later than the 1970s.

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42 Responses to Holden, WV

  1. Larry Bowen says:

    My name is Larry Dwayne Bowen , I was born in holden WV on march 16 1959 at holden hospital.

    • Constance Curry says:

      Have you tried testing with DNA?
      I suggest Ancestrys
      .They do Autosomal DNA
      (both sides..)

      My mom is remembering
      BOWEN families
      from that area.and era..

      I went to school with Bowens also.

      I moved from Logan for 4 yrs
      In 1960 -64
      and lived in Mt Hope.

      I went to School with 2 Gwinn sisters
      and they lived on our Street.

    • Bob. Piros says:

      Larry, you might do some
      research at familysearch.org.

  2. Loren Tomblin says:

    As a teenager back in the day I used to hang out in Holden and hitchhiked back to 22. If I missed the last ride, usually around 1130 PM I had the walk 22 Mountain from main Holden. Mamie was always a companion in my young mind.

  3. Virginia Stepp the former Virginia Curtis says:

    Thank you for the walk down memory lane. I was born at the Holden Hospital on November 22, 1958. As a fourth grader living at Mud Fork, we would drive thru Holden. Even then it stood out as one of the more “influential” communities.

  4. Bob Piros says:

    Yes Holden had a lot of wonderful black & white
    people who lived there during the 1950’s as my
    Dad Joe Piros use to sell them produce & eggs.
    He had a couple of delivery trucks.

  5. roger gallion says:

    My name is roger gallion ,my dad had the garbage trucks back in the 60s&70s. holden was the best place to grow up in i went to holden jr high,the best school ever was .had the greatest cook ever ,miss burroues

  6. Michael (Mickey) Hayner says:

    Back in the 1950’s, Appalachian Power in Logan would rent the pool at the rec. center in Holden 1 evening per week. Spent a few hot summer evenings in the refreshing pool. A real treat in those days. Had to drive from Chapmanville. Michael (Mick) Hayner

    • sandra maynard pinkston says:

      I went to the pool from Trace Creek by bus almost every week at least one day! Great fun! Probably 1950-52

  7. sandra Maynard pinkston says:

    Are any of the houses at #21 still standing and are there any pictures? I was born there in 1943 to Bill and Golda Maynard.

  8. Charles D Isaacs says:

    Thanks for the look back. My earliest memories of Holden were from the 1960s. My mom used to go to my Aunt Iris Browning’s beauty shop. I would hang out in the pharmacy/soda shop. It was a really nice neighborhood. The Island Creek Store was still in operation and so was the school.

  9. My parents met in holden while staying with their sisters. Each lived in split, two story housing, and according to my mother talked over the bannister. She left for a short time to work in a ammunitions plant in Maryland. After marrying they moved to holden for a while before eventually settling on Trace Creek. Should have been in the early forties.Millard Vance and Dixie Preece. My Aunt Leilah Vance Allman lived many years there and her son still resides there. She was a nurse at Logan General. Wonderful memories of her and my Grandmother Betty Ann Vance, who also lived in holden. Many family members in and around there. Love these pictures.

    • Barbara Murray says:

      my mother Mayme Baran was an RN and worked at that hospital. Must have been around 1933 or so. My grandfather Andrew Baran Sr. was a coalminer in Holden.

  10. David Roomy says:

    Does anyone have a photo of the Christmas tree in front of the Superintendent’s home in Holden, WV? This would be very dear for my mom, Helena White Roomy, soon to be 97.

  11. Connie says:

    Do you have a picture of Vivian.?
    Orville’s wife Joanne , recently passed away.

  12. Rick Evans says:

    My dad William Evans used to work at Island Creek #25. We lived at Chattaroy . He and a few other would ride together. This would have been late fifties and early sixties.

  13. Sandy Shea says:

    Does anyone know where Fred and Polly Wooten lived in Holden? Might anyone have a picture of the holler or the house?

    Sandy Shea

    • Bob Piros says:

      Sandy & to all others looking for relatives,
      this website has some old phone books that
      one can look through in searching where
      their relatives might have lived.

  14. Douglas E. Nelson (Gene) says:

    My Name is Gene Nelson, Number 5 and 6 Holden is where I was born on April 21st 1943. I was born in a boarding house around the side of the jr. high school. My Mom and Dad were Joda Mae (Watkins) Nelson, my dad was Eli Zion Nelson. Dad lost both of his legs in a mining accident in 1947 in a mines in Big Creek.

    • Barbara Murray says:

      Hello, my uncle Stanley Baran learned to play the piano at that boarding house. I would have to look up exactly where my family lived there.

  15. Barbara Murray says:

    Correction to the Baran comment.
    My grandfather was Andrew Baran, Sr. Sons: Stanley (named after his brother Stanislas (sp?) in new Jersey and Andrew Jr. One daughter (my mother) Mayme born August 4, 1912 in Utah.
    They must have moved to W.Va. while she was very, very young.
    Barbara Baran Roberts Murray

  16. Barbara Murray says:

    Does anyone have any memories of the Baran family? My grandfather Stanley Baran was a Polish immigrant. His wife, also a Polish immigrant, was Marianna. They had three children: Stanley Jr., Andrew, and Mayme.
    My grandfather worked in the mines and my uncle Andrew repaired the coal mine trucks.
    I thought there was a boarding house in Holden where my uncle Stanley taught himself to play the piano.
    My grandmother Marianne is buried somewhere there (she died in 1940) and Andrew, his wife Mayme Skibo, and Stanley Sr. all moved to Florida in the 1950s.

    • Bob Piros says:

      Barbara,familysearch.org shows the
      death record for Marianna,born in
      1888 & she died in 1940.
      She is buried in Logan Memorial Park,
      Shows her husband as Andy Baran Sr.

  17. William D. Mullins ( BO ) says:

    I wish there were more pictures of Holden WV

  18. Bernard Humphrey says:

    I have enjoyed looking at the pictures of Holden, I lived in Holden with my parents while my Dad was working in the mines, My Mother passed away in 1939 and i was 7 yrs old. and we moved away. The only thing I can recall living in the last house on the street and a church across the street and up the Hollow was dairy farm. also I recall playing in the street when a young man had a bobcat on pole that he has trapped.
    I was back this past summer to long a go, could not find anything.
    also my Grandfather Humphrey was a ,mine inspector in Holden, during this time.
    Any info drop me a e-mail Thanks and God Bless.

  19. Barbara says:

    Hello Everyone,
    Just looking for any info on Holden, WV as my mom (now almost 92 years old) was born there. My grandparents were Bert & Lena Mezo, Hungarian immigrants. He worked in one of the coal mines. They lived at 304 (?) Curry Hollow in Holden when my mom was born in the early 1920’s. I went there with my parents in the 1990’s & it was just a small road facing a very little stream with maybe 6 small cape cod style homes…not too far from the hospital I think. Can anyone supply info or a link to maps/photos of Holden and the surrounding communities in the years 1920 to about 1937? I’d appreciate a photo of that road/homes from that period or later. Does anyone know of my mom’s family…Albert, Teddy, Olga, Blanche, Julius, Alex, Kelly, Elizabeth, Esther? At some point, the family also lived in Sarah Ann & finally in Whitman before moving to NYC. Many thanks!

  20. Dwain Schroeder says:

    I am interested in finding out the exact location of the famous Mingo oak tree. I know that it was about 5 miles west of Holden along the Trace Creek, and that there was once a small park there. There were regular services held there, probably back in the early 1900s. The tree died and was cut down, I believe in 1938. Does anyone know of a map etc that would better describe the location of the park. Is the park, or remnants of the park still there? thanks, Dwain

    • delsphotos says:

      The Mingo Oak was over they hill from Trace Creek, on the upper part of Pigeon Creek. In today’s terms, if you were at the gap on US119 where the turn to 22 mine is, and headed west, within a mile or so the location of the oak would be down the hill to your left. Sorry I can’t be more precise.

  21. CBBaldwin says:

    Thanks. I was born and raised in Holden. Nice to see what is was. Not much left now.

  22. leslie h marcum sr. says:

    Hello Heather I’m Rena’s son. Mom lives in Laporte,In. message me.

  23. Heather says:

    Hi, I am looking for information on my ancestry from Holden, WV. Names are Johnson (Bethard, George), Clark (William and Martha), Allen (Martha), Ghee (Thomas and Sarah), Marcum (Rena or Toni), and Adkins (Regina or Dodie). Any information would be very helpful. Thank you. 🙂

    • Eudora Milligan says:

      I knew a Dodie,she was married to Carl Johnson,who was the pasture of Shamrock Freewill Baptist Church they left Holden and I believe moved to Indiana or Illinois when I was a child.

    • Raymond Edward (Eddie) Adkins says:

      Hi Heather. My name is Eddie Adkins. Martha Clark was my grandma Adkins’sister. I remember Bethard and Ollie Johnson, and their children: Carl, Tuggy, Glenda Faye, Leonard, and Macky. I know some more about your ancestry and even have a couple of pictures of grandpa and grandma Clark.

      • Daniel says:

        Did you know a Vivian Johnson, her sister Effie Mae and brother Dillard? Their parents were Vester Johnson and Bessie Spaulding. I am Vivian Johnson’s grandson, she passed in 2004. They lived in Frogtown. Any pictures or memories are appreciated.


        • Heather says:

          Oh my goodness! My Dad and I were just talking about your family today lol. Look me up on facebook. 🙂 Heather Sheets in Mountain Home Idaho.

        • Connie says:

          Your Vivian Johnson was probably married… for a time.. to my Paternal Uncle , Orville Curry? Did she ever remarry?

          • Connie says:

            I just saw where she was your Grandmother..in re- reading..

          • Daniel@omsitransmissions.com says:

            I asked my mother (her daughter) and she said yes she was married to an Orville when she was young. My grandma did remarry and had 4 daughters. They lived in Eastlake, Ohio.