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