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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mt. Lookout, WV
    Posts
    698

    WV - Irene, 8, & Mary Agee, 6, Egeria, 1 Nov 1954

    OK, all my fellow Mountaineers, you'd think we'd have enough mysteries floating around in "our neck of the woods", but I found one today that I had never heard before. Some of you may be more up on things than myself......

    On November 1, 1954, in the Raleigh County community of Egeria (I had never heard of that, supposedly about 23 miles out of Beckley) Mary and Irene Agee disappeared on their way home from school, never to be seen again.

    Mary, age 6, and Irene, age 8, were the daughters of Steve Agee, age 49, and Hilda Hubbard, age 40, who had a common law marriage. This was a very rural area and the family lived on a small farm.

    Mary and Irene had left school and stopped to visit at the home of some new neighbors that lived about 2 miles from the Agee home. Lewis Hatmaker (neighbors name) and his wife had 7 kids and the Agee girls had met them in school (Egeria school) and liked them. Mrs. Hatmaker said the girls stayed about 30 or 40 minutes and then she sent them on their way. They never made it home. And the area received about 6 to 8 inches of snow overnight.

    Mary and Irene lived in the home with Steve and Hilda (parents). Also living in the home was their 8 year old nephew. Steve had an older daughter, Lessie Blatcher who had a 3 year old daughter, Linda, and an 8 year old son, Carmen. Carmen seemed to live at the Agee home and even used the surname Agee. Linda lived in Ghent but visited the home often.

    They also had a boarder in the home, Fred Matherson (maybe Matheson).

    The only income the family had was $42 per month, per child in welfare. Dad was upset in one article because there wasn't going to be anymore money with the girls gone.

    There are several articles about this and there are different facts in a few. Dad's comment to reporters when they asked what he thought had happened to the girls "anyone's guess is as good as mine." He supposedly didn't stop working on his junk car engine the entire time he was being interviewed.

    When they tried to talk with the Boarder, Fred Matherson, he hopped on a horse and left.

    Mom thinks they were kidnapped, but didn't have anything further.

    One article stated that Carmen was also walking with the girls that day but was slightly ahead of them.

    If you search Steve Agee on newspaperarchives, it will pull all this up.

    I'm assuming these girls are still missing. Will look for a free article I can link to.

    Anyone familiar with this?

    PS Also found some info about the bones of a 3 month old baby that were in a shallow grave near the Affinity mine in Raleigh County. Never id'ed. Didn't mention an exact date, but am thinking it was spring of the same year - 1954.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Virginia West
    Posts
    280
    I was a child when this happened, I remember it but can't believe it was 1954. I know it is correct, but it is unbelievable that I remember it since I was so young.

    The children, if I am remembering correctly, were found later frozen to death. Try a search again to see if you can confirm this-seems the story was that the children got lost on their way home and froze.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mt. Lookout, WV
    Posts
    698
    Fox, so glad you had heard about this one. An article dated January 5, 1955, gives the details of them being found by coon hunters (funny, another article says they were hunting possums) near their home.

    I honestly searched for an update on this and couldn't find it. I still can't find an update in the Beckley papers (Huntington had it).

    Do you remember the story of the babies remains? That was in April 1954 and I found an article that says the child was only 3 weeks (not months old) and it had "'negro" characteristics.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Virginia West
    Posts
    280
    Lisa, Glad you found the article-wonder why it is not in the Beckley paper-
    Remember my family listening to the radio about the Agee children. Seems the children got lost because it was snowing and never made it home if I am remembering the story right.

    I have never heard anything about the baby that I can remember.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Penn's woods
    Posts
    17,195
    I don't have an active subscripton to Ancestry but I was able to save this snippet I found of an uploaded Article.



    The girls were found deceased on 02 JAN 1955 according to this article.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1
    my father was alive when this happened, he wrote a very touching song about the agee girls that I am getting to record, but he had the name agness instead of mary. does any one know of any articles about this name he had? the name of his song is agness and Irene agee. thanks, sawmandarel



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