Posted in Logan

Cigar box of Logan documents passed down 6 generations.

Sepia tone watercolor by Charles Patterson Logan
Sepia tone watercolor by Charles Patterson Logan

When you compare my family history with my wife’s there is a stark difference.  My family was mostly poor country folk from the hills of Caldwell County, NC.  Sally’s family was a tad more aristocratic from Rutherford County, NC down into the 96th district of SC.

Her grandfather Charles Patterson Logan was a farmer, cartoonist and water-color artist.  His father, James Andrew Logan was a U.S. Marshall born in Rutherford County, NC in 1868. James Andrew Logan was a U.S. Marshall for 16 years.  His wife Katherine and children were under quarantine for measels for a while so he lived in a hotel room and would go and visit them in Asheville.  He died of a heart attack, alone in his hotel room at the age of 40.  James was the son of Judge George Washington Logan.

George was the Clerk of Court of Rutherford County from the time he was in his early twenties. George was a general during the Civil War but also served NC as a representative in the Second Confederate Congress as a member of the Peace

James Andrew Logan
James Andrew Logan

Party from 1864-1865. After the war he served in the NC Senate from 1866-1868 as a member of the Republican Party and was a leader in the Union League and was a personal friend of Governor Holden. He helped re-write the NC Constitution in 1868. In 1866 he helped his son start the Rutherford Star Newspaper which was a mouthpiece for unionist ideas. He was nominated to run for Governor at least 5 times but never had a successful bid for the office. He was appointed judge in 1868 where he gained a reputation for rulings prejudiced by politics.  In 1871, the conservatives  in Rutherford County formed chapters of the Ku Klux Klan and Red Shirts to wreak havoc in Rutherford County to suppress the Republican vote and run Republicans out of office.  The Klan ransacked George’s Rutherford Star, lynched many of his political allies and unsuccessfully tried to get George himself but he was out of out of town.  George was summoned to Capital Hill to give testimony to congress which helped pass the Ku Klux bill in 1871. George went on to convict many members of the KKK.  In Dec of 1871, members of the NC Bar wrote a letter to NC Congress requesting that Judge Logan be impeached.  The impeachment failed

George Washington Logan
George Washington Logan (clerk of court, general, confederate congressman, superior court judge, state senator, newspaper publisher, enemy of the KKK.

by a vote of 23 to 80 which is quite surprising considering the NC House was a majority Democratic at the time. In 1872 Logan and his son Robert decided to shut down the Rutherford Star newspaper. George died at his home in Rutherford County October 18, 1889. The Logan House sits on Lake Lure and is stilled lived in by a descendant of George.

George was the son of John Logan, born in South Carolina in 1775. He died in Rutherford County February 2, 1841.

The Logan Documents

We have a cigar box full of receipts and letters of John’s dating back to 1805. This box has been passed down from John Logan to John W. Logan to Dovey Annabella Logan to Charles Patterson Logan to Katherine Patterson Logan to my wife. In total, there are 170 documents and I have scanned all of them and have started transcribing them and creating an index of names.  I’ve decided to start a series of blog posts starting with the oldest document and provide you with a scanned image, transcription, background information on the people in the documents and historical inferences to give you a little historical perspective.  If you have ancestors from Rutherford County, I highly recommend you subscribe to this blog!

Previous Post: Capt. James W. Murdoch of the Southern Railway

Next Post: William Estoll Receipt August 30, 1805


Jonathan Medford is an experienced genealogist who specializes in researching North Carolina records. Contact him at

3 thoughts on “Cigar box of Logan documents passed down 6 generations.

  1. What a wonderful story and great find. Thank you for sharing the information.

    You asked about Benjamin Franklin Logan. Here’s some information about him. Benjamin Franklin Logan was the son of John Randolph Logan and Sarah Patterson Jackson Logan from Cleveland County, NC. B.F. Logan was born 24 June 1842 and died 7 December 1890 in Cleveland County, NC.

    John Randolph Logan was the author of “Sketches, Historical and Biographical, of the Broad River and Kings Mt. Baptist Associations From 1800 to 1882.” He was a surveyor and laid out the town of Shelby, NC, and Gaffney, South Carolina.

    Sarah Patterson Jackson was born 27 February 1818 in York County, SC. She was the daughter of David Jackson and Elizabeth Gordon Jackson. She died 1 October 1869 and J.R. Logan eventually remarried.

    Ben Logan and his brother, Leonidas Marion (L.M.) Logan, both served in Co. E., Cleveland Guards, 12 NC Infantry, CSA. Their brothers, John Pinckney “Pinck” or “Pink” Logan, and David Jackson Logan, also served in the Confederacy as did a younger brother, Henry Gaffney Logan (Junior Reserves). John Pinckney Logan and David Jackson Logan were both killed in the war. David Jackson Logan was the subject of the excellent book, “A Rising Star of Promise” by Thomas and Silverman. Ben Logan was wounded in the war as was L.M. Logan.

    John Randolph Logan served as deputy sheriff under Charles Blanton, the first sheriff of Cleveland County. Besides Benjamin F. Logan serving as sheriff, Hugh Allison Logan was sheriff (another son of John R. Logan by his second wife) as was a grandson, Hugh Allison Logan, Jr.

    Benjamin F. Logan was indicted under the Federal KKK Act of 1871. There is a reference to Gaffney Logan (Henry Gaffney Logan) appearing openly in KKK regalia. It’s a little unclear when you look at both references whether Benjamin F. Logan fled the state or Gaffney Logan or both. Ultimately, Ben Logan came back and served as sheriff. Henry Gaffney Logan ended up a doctor in Arkansas.

    This Logan family is not connected with the Francis Logan family. John Randolph Logan was the grandson of William Logan, one of the 4 Logan brothers of the Battle of Kings Mt. in 1780. John Randolph Logan carried on an extensive correspondence with Lyman C. Draper who wrote “Kings Mt. and Its Heroes.”

    If I may add any other information, just let me know. Thanks again for your work!

    Mike Jones
    Sun Prairie, WI

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