By Clarence H. Frey
Published in 1952
The City of Logan was 36 years of age when Henry Clay Ragland published his first issue of The Logan Banner. Mr. Ragland was a prolific writer and copies of his newspaper record much current news and feature poems and history of the county most of which he personally prepared.
The machinery for a weekly newspaper printed 64 years ago was simple and uncomplicated. But moving it from the manufacturer to the hills of Logan County was a project that required more skill and hard labor than moving the mammoth complicated printing machines of today.
Ragland’s worry began after the arrival of machinery at Marmet. At that point it was loaded on a wagon and drayed to Guyandotte. Loaded on a barge it began its perilous journey by water to Logan.
Ragland owned and edited The Logan Banner until his death in 1911. It was a Democratic newspaper under his ownership. The Brazie brothers, Charlie and William, continued publishing the newspaper, but later changed its political affiliation and it has continued to represent the Republican party since.
Ownership of The Logan Banner has been transferred several times, but the struggle for survival was a pressure that kept its doors closed and the press silent many months of the early part of this century.
The present ownership found a challenge too much to its liking and struggled with its publication through many discouraging years. Saddled with debts and depressions The Logan Banner began a steady and healthy growth from 1921. As the years passed the debts gradually faded and The Logan Banner today is one of the dominant state newspapers, housed in its own modern building, with machinery and equipment not equaled in a town of the size in any state.
The Logan Banner has not set itself up a crusader, but it has continuously and without fear fought for decency in public office, even to exposing corruption in its own party ranks.
The Logan Banner operates its own photo and engraving plant for the purpose of illustrating its news; it operates complete printing plant for commercial work; a subsidiary office supply store is one of the most modern in the state. Active sponsorship of Logan’s first radio station has proved The Logan Banner’s leadership in attaining completed projects in the face of discouraging advice, but enthusiastic support.
The publisher of The Logan Banner was one of the early presidents of the West Virginia State Newspaper council, an organization of leading state newspapers devoted to the principles of high ethics and honor in newspaper publishing and editing.
Commercial radio was not yet of age when Radio Station W L O G was licensed to broadcast over local channel 1230 on May 26, 1940. Pittsburgh’s K D K A was heard over ear phones in Logan in 1920.
Some citizens of Logan prior to 1938 had actively surveyed the Guyan Valley market to learn if commercial radio would support itself in Logan. Lack of support caused early planners to abandon the project. One local furniture store actually possessed a permit to build a station.
National and international developments became o f such interest in late 1938 the decision was made by Clarence H. Frey and Robert O. Greever to apply for a license to construct W L O G and give the people of Logan County access to the convenience and Necessity of a radio broadcasting station.
The station was 18 months old wen the second world was began. W L O G became a center of war activity and community service which gave the owners a sense of pride in having had the opportunity and ability to meet the demand for radio service when broadcasting service was really needed.
The facilities of W L O G were used by police, Red Cross and other emergency group affiliates, the armed services, coal operators and miners union locals—it was Logan’s only emergency outlet. Its service through floods here and in Huntington proved the necessity of Logan’s radio station in the newer, faster-moving century over which nostalgic curtain is being drawn on the city’s history.
*Source: 1952 Centennial Program Booklet published by the City of Logan and deemed not to be copyrighted. The content on this page is for educational purposes and is used in accordance with the Fair Use Law (Per Title 17—United States Code—Section 107). This is a not-for-profit website and absolutely no commercial gain is derived from its operation and publication.
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