One of the most famous local stories of a paranormal haunting revolves around a woman who was killed and dumped on 22 Mine Road in Logan.
The case of Mamie Thurman has never been solved — no one knows who killed her. Information about her seemed very suspicious at the time. However, the information they had was to determine for sure that the killer was someone she was around when she lived near Stratton Street in Logan.
Some say that when you travel up the mountain at night, people see a woman walking up and down asking for a ride. Once they leave the mountain, she disappears. Another phenomenon reported is when you put your car in neutral toward the side of the bridge, people have claimed to see handprints on the back of their windshields. Her story begins in 1932.
Mamie was a housewife in Logan. She and her husband, Jack Thurman, had moved to Logan from their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1924. Jack and Mamie rented a small two-room apartment over a garage, located in the backyard of the Harry and Louise Robertson home. Robertson worked for the National Bank of Logan and served as treasurer of the Logan Public Library. His wife was the treasurer of the Logan Women’s Club and both were said to be active church members.
“Some folks said Mamie had been a good wife, a saintly woman and a faithful church worker at Nighbert Memorial, a prestigious church near the train tracks at the intersection of Cole and White Street in downtown Logan,” according to an article in the Logan Banner. “Others surely smirked as they murmured across the picket fence that this same lady was a married woman living fast and loose in a small town that could keep few secrets.”
At about 8:30 on the evening of June 22, 1932, Harry Robertson and his Black handyman Clarence Stephenson were both arrested and taken to the Logan County jail for questioning. Stephenson had never been married and lived in the attic of the Robertson home. He did many odd jobs for the Robertson family, but his main duty was to feed and care for Mr. Robertson’s dogs. Robertson was a prominent sportsman.
“Robertson had readily admitted to having an affair with Mamie for nearly two years,” according to the website, westvirginiahauntsand legends.com. “The meetings were arranged by Clarence Stephenson who feigned hunting trips with Harry Robertson, then dropped him off at certain rendezvous points to meet Mamie. However, Harry Robertson was never indicted by the Grand Jury. Stephenson continually stated he was innocent but was indicted and stood trial for the death of Mamie Thurman. He was found guilty and sent to Moundsville Prison.”
On June 22, 1932, Garland Davis, a 32-year-old, was picking berries near the top of Trace Mountain when he stumbled across the grisly sight, the body of a young woman who had been shot and stabbed and left discarded in a ditch. When the police arrived, the body was identified as Thurman.
Quickly, several names came up leading to two suspects — Harry Robertson and the handyman who boarded in the attic of Robertson’s home, 29-year-old Clarence Stephenson. While the funeral was being held and the whispers were beginning around town, Robertson’s house was searched by state police and there was a indentation on the basement wall that was suspected of a bullet hole. Bloodstains were found on both the carpet and a razor. Bloodstains were also found on the seat and window of the Ford Sedan owned by Robertson.
People started believing that it was more than just one person who killed her. For me, all of my evidence that I managed to get together was actually Robertson’s wife and Clarence. I found it odd that Mrs. Robertson kept visiting Clarence in odd fashions. She stayed quiet until she talked to Clarence. Plus, I believe she found out about the affair, got to the point where she couldn’t handle Mamie anymore and did the job for herself. Since she wasn’t strong enough to carry her, she had Clarence to help and drop her off the side of the road. However, that’s just my personal theory.
It’s been almost 90 years since her death and it’s still an unsolved mystery. Logan always has a play every Halloween to try and help determine who killed her. They have boxes on who to vote on and posters to show evidence for each person. This story is one of many that I find the most interesting, especially since it’s from my hometown.