Lawman Malcolm Malachi ‘‘Mack’’ Day (July 29, 1873-February 14, 1925) was born in Virginia. His father, Joshua, abandoned the family, and his mother, Narcissa, later remarried and adopted stern religious beliefs that became the core of her son’s life.
Day left Virginia as a young man to become a miner in McDowell County. He educated himself among much younger students at Bottom Creek Grade School, and began contracting to deliver timber. His position in the county was solidified when on Christmas Day, 1898, he married Charlotte June Milam, from one of the region’s first families. Going on to sire 12 children, Day became a pillar of McDowell County. He was saved and baptized, and later ordained a minister; built a 14-room house on top of Belcher Mountain; joined the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias; and finally became sheriff of the county. He joined the Ku Klux Klan during the brief 20th-century revival of the Klan in West Virginia.
Claiming that God had called him to enforce Prohibition, Day attempted to dry out one of the state’s wettest regions, even arresting an uncle and his own son. Legend has it that Day performed one man’s wedding, later shot him, and went on to preach his funeral. Though his shootist reputation is considerable, Day is known to have killed on only three occasions. In 1925, Mack Day himself was shot and killed by a bootlegger at Pageton. The Klan and other organizations marched through Kimball to the cemetery on Belcher Mountain, where he is buried.
This Article was written by Jean Battlo
Last Revised on October 15, 2012
Battlo, Jean. Booger Man: Recalling Revenuer Mack Day. Goldenseal, (Summer 1996).