The Doughboy Honors Heroes

This was originally published on Martha Sparks’ My West Virginia Mountain website and is reprinted here with her permission and our special thanks.

The DoughboyThe Doughboy Honors Heroes

He was an Italian by birth and American by choice. He was born in Favaro, Italy, October 22, 1885 and came to Logan county to become a citizen.

His name was Pete C. Minotti. He was a dedicated American who pursued the American dream. He was energetic and became a local contractor.

Pete had a dream. In every town and hamlet, no matter how small, the people had erected some kind of memorial in Italy to honor their dead heroes. However, his heroes came from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia — places like Logan county.

For the next few months, Pete would work with those who wanted to become part of his dream to memorialize his heroes. The American Legion played a large part. Pete visualized a khaki-clad doughboy hurling a grenade while standing among the entanglements of thick strands of barbed wire.

He wanted the monument to serve as a reminder of the great debt we owe to those brave men and women that have gone to war to preserve the American way of life.

The American “Doughboy” in full equipment was sculpted by E. M. Viquesney of Americus, Georgia. Ralph Queen of Logan has the working model and has supplied much of the information used in this article.

The Doughboy was unveiled in Logan on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, November 11, 1928- a Sunday at 2 p.m. He stands seven feet tall and is made of bronze, and sits atop a 12 foot base of gray granite. He was erected at the western and main entrance of the Logan County Courthouse. The hand grenade in the right hand is represented by a 200 candle power electric light. The bronze tablet at the base is inscribed (1917-1918) and lists 39 men who died in action of wounds or diseases while in service. Further down it says Pete Minotti Memorial and the date 1928. The American Legion crest is also on the plaque.

At first, the statue was to represent only those killed in action. However, after deliberation, the “Doughboy” stands to acknowledge all that served. Mr. Minotti, in his presentation speech, reminded the people that this memorial was erected so that people passing by hurriedly in pursuit of riches might take a quick glance up at the soldier and remember the boys who fell fighting for freedom and democracy.

Here is the Roll of Honor of those men killed in action from Logan county: Willard Ball, Clarence Bartram, Floyd W. Clay, Newton Cook, Tony Curia, Oscar Dial, Edward Gunther, David Hensley, Roy Lowe, John B. McNeely, John Martin, William F. Munsey, James L. Robinson, Roy Simms, Willie F. Smith, Bee Stewart, Mike Tarka, Ulysses B. Vance, Peter White, Keefer Jennings Whitman, Byrd Workman.

Those dying of wounds were: John L. Blankenship, Elmer Cook, Homer Hobbs, Noble J. Lax, Lawrence Marcuzzi, Denver Mullins, William R. Nowland, Haskell Phillips, Henry D. Runyon, Harold Thompson.

Those dying of disease in Europe were: Allen Bryant, Thomas J. Cox, Fred E. Hahne, Joe Hardy, Allen Tabor, Homer Vance and Levi J. Vance.

Those who died from disease in the United States, but whose names do not appear on the tablet were: William O. Bailey, Elbert Billups, Jas. Linord Brown, Elbert Carter, Sam Dillard, George D. Fletcher, Bert W. Green, Calvin Hughes, Wilbert S. Jeffreys, Sam Johnson, Claude B. Justice, Druie Mounty, Mess F. Stone, James Weaver, and Roy White.

The soldiers from Logan county who were wounded in action but whose names do not appear on the tablet were: Albert Adams, Zatto Adkins, William W. Adkins, Lovell H. Aldridge, Willie Allen, Frank Ball, Elisha Ball, Frank J. Bell, Walter S. Blake, Everet Blankenship, Tom Boring, George F. Breeden, Hil Brewster, Charles Brewster, Hirse C. Brown, Floyd Chambers, James Chapin, Greenway Christian, Gay T. Conley, George E. Covey, Ella Craddock, Dan Craft, Jim F. Crawford, John H. Crittendon, James G. Cyrus, Thomas Y. Davis, Bird Dingess, Rector H. Elkins, James M. Ellis, Carl Ellis, Frank Ferrell, Sidney Ferrell, Robert L. Gore, Burton W. Gore, Ben H. Gosney, Meddie Graley, Orville Grubb, Earl Hager, William E. Hanshaw, John H. Harris, William Harris, Stonewall Hensley, James Jackson, Albert Jeffrey, Henen Jerrell, Ned Johnson, Floyd Johnson, Thomas P. Justice, Luther Lacy, Tony Ladas, Charles Burton Litten, George Luty, Herbert L. McKinney, Nich Mallozzo, Charlie Munsey, Spencer Mullins, Thomas R. Newman, Clarence W. Parkins, James D. Peters, Arlie J. Price, Alfred Prichard, Finnie Walter Pugh, Bert Rayborn, Frank C. Reynolds, John Roberts, Dennie Robertson, Jennings Robinson, Otto Sanders, Burnie G. Sanson, Lee Shelton, John A. Shepherd, Mack Smith, Patsy Vance, Frank Ward, John L. Ward, Charlie Warcovies, Thomas Weir, Joseph White, John B. Wilkinson, Jr., Frank C. Wilcoxen, Tom Williams, Will Wilson, Jasper Wooten, and Wilson Workman.

The Doughboy at Midleburg Island

Originally situated on the Logan County courthouse lawn, the Doughboy now resides at Midelburg Island on the Logan High School campus where he stands guard over the War Memorial. The War Memorial lists the casualties from WWII, Korean, and Vietnam conflicts.

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14 Responses to The Doughboy Honors Heroes

  1. Michelle Workman says:

    I find it very disturbing that my grandfathers name is NOT on this

  2. Sue Hensley Maynard says:

    Yes, I’m Stonewall Hensley youngest daughter, I have a 97 year old sister and 7 more siblings ,we are all blessed because of my father’s hertage.God blessed him ,he was our hero and he gave all his life serving the Almighty God.

  3. oldsoldier79 says:

    Tom Moore, a fine old black gentleman whom I called my friend, and the only living veteran of World War One in that county, was the Guest of Honor, along with a Brig, General from Fort Knox, Kentucky for the dedication of the refurbished “Doughboy” statue and stones with all of Logan County’s dead fro WWI, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam on November 11, 1983.

    It was a wonderful day and a ceremony for people of Logan to remember for a long time


    Luther Lacy was my grandfather brother

  5. Kim Ritchie says:

    My great uncle was Elisha Ball. His parents were Harrison and Mary Ball. His youngest brother Andrew Jack Ball, my grandfather served in WWII.

  6. Jerry jerrell says:

    Did the wounded in action names of WW1 get added to the tablet -we see Henen Jerrell our grandfather on the list for wounded in action but wanted to know if the names ever got scribed on the tablet after the memorial was refurbished –

  7. Sandra West D'Acunto says:

    Edward Gunther was my Great Uncle.

  8. Pam Brennan says:

    In 1983 The Doughboy was given a makeover. The original statue had been vandalized, so money was raised and the statue was repaired.

    This is also when they added the other memorial to Logan’s soldiers for all the other wars since World War I. I was working for Ervin Queen, at P.R.I.D.E. in Logan County, Inc., then and remember his tireless efforts to see The Doughboy refurbished.

  9. Shelby Burgess says:

    Three men from the little community of Blair lost their lives in ww2. They were: Alvie Burgess, Luther Smith, and a Mr. Tipton. All were US Army members.

  10. Jane Jamison says:

    I don’t know whether the names included all the wars or just World War I and II. In War World II, my cousin, Frank McDonald of West Logan, died in the North Atlantic. He was in the U.S. Navy. Also, Jim Rowe of Peach Creek, died in the Korean War – or Conflict, if you’d rather.

    • Shelby Burgess says:

      I believe I remember the Frank Mc Donald you mention. Was he raised in Big Creek,(Chapmanville) ? He had a nickname ” scrap iron “, as he did salvage pickups. Also, because he loved to fight other boys his age.

    • oldsoldier79 says:

      Sorry to counter you post,Ms Bernnman,

      I do not recall Ervin Queen having anything to do with refurbishing the “Doughboy” statue on Mecklenberg Island…..

      This was an effort which was accomplished by “the Doughboy Committee” of Logan County, and the JROTC program that was formed at that school..
      My name is Ray McKinney and I commanded the JROTC when it was formed in 1983 at Logan High School. Willie Akers was the Assistant Principal there. …

      When I took the job at Logan High School, the “old Doughboy” was standing lonely and visually abused on the island… with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and missing the right arm where he held the granade high, in the stub of an arm, an empty beer can had been jammed in the open damaged arm. … was a disgraceful sight that was supposed to honor a part of our nations history, but as it was, it didn’t honor anything…it was a disgrace to the veterans as he stood. ……

      I formed the “Doughboy Committee” and we said we would “either fix him up… or take him down”………..We fixed him up.

      I, and the other members of the “Doughboy Committee”, as I recall, did not include Ervin Queen, worked tirelessly to raise over 37,000 dollars to fix him up, and to create the beautiful marble monuments that are to his back with all the veterans name of all wars inscribed ….I do remember Ervin Queen was in charge of P.R.I.D.E. at that time.

      Some of the members of that committee were; Bill Abraham, Clyde Freeman from Chapmanville, Lila Hinchman from Logan who wrote for the Logan Banner, Charlie Moore who was Commander of the Chapmanville American Legion…and others I cannot remember…….

      To the best of my recollection, Ervin Queen was never a member of this committee and had nothing to do with the restoration of the Doughboy or the creation of that memorial park…..if praise belongs to anyone, it should go too Bill Abraham, Lila Hinchman, Clyde Freeman, and Charlie Moore, and the little corp of junior cadets of that school for their efforts……..

      I do not mean any resentment to your post, but the truth should be told in this matter as to who worked hard to repair that piece of history in Logan Country, West Virginia…..