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The killing of Tolbert, Pharmer, and Bud McCoy by a Hatfield-led gang on August 8, 1882 represented one of the most sensational events of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. What follows is Plyant Mayhorn’s deposition regarding the affair:


Bill of Exceptions

FILED Sept. 1889

G.W. Pinson, Clk



The defendant had sworn as a witness Plyant Mahorn who proves that I was at Doc Mayhorn house on Beech Creek when Eaf Hatfield came and said that Ellison Hatfield had been stabbed shot and killed and that his father had Wall Hatfield had sent word for them to send him his horse and Doc went down to Wall’s House. He was away from home and at the mouth of beech. I went back home and got my horse and at the request of Wall’s wife who is my mother in law me and Doc took Wall’s Horse to him. We found him near the mouth of Beech Creek some ten miles above Blackberry. We all concluded we would come down and see Ellison that at that nor no other time was there any thing said by him or by Wall or any other person in his presents that they was to be any harm done to any person. That he did not know who had hurt Ellison until he got to Blackberry Creek. Then they learned who it was and that they had taken Ellison out and they then heard that the boys that had cut and shot him. Ellison was to have a trial up on Blackberry that day and they that is he and Doc and some others concluded to go up and hear the trial. They went up and Just above Rev. Anderson Hatfield’s they met quite a crowd coming down the creek with the McCoy boys. Ance, Capt., Jonce, Wall & Elias Hatfield, C. Carpenter, Alex Messer, & others were along. I reined my horse and of the ___ and let them pass and fell in behind. They went on down to Rev. Anderson Hatfield when they all stopped for dinner me, Doc, John C. France, Mose Christian and perhaps others turned our horses in the pasture below the house and after dinner we got tired waiting for trial and went down into the field to catch our horses and while or as we came up through the field with our horses the crowd was going down around the field. We come out and soon got on our horses and went on down. When got to the mouth of Blackberry I seen the McCoy boys sitting on a log. Me and Doc went across to McFannin’s store and I went in. Did not see them cross the river. Doc was in the yard and I heard they had crossed and [I cropped bottom of photo] an hour me and Doc got on our horses and went on down to Anderson Ferrell’s where Ellison Hatfield was and staid there and helped to wait on him all night. Did not see the McCoy boys until next morning. Went to the school house. Was there a short time. Did not see Mrs. McCoy there. Was back there again that evening and did not see her there. He did not see her over there. Was only at the school House twice. Had no gun nor pistol from the time I left home during the whole time I was gone. Was not across the river in Kentucky any more until after the Boys was killed. Had no understanding with any one nor did I know that such a thing was to be done. He heard no intimidation from any one that the boys were to be killed. That he went up the river with Wall & Elias Hatfield and Elijah Mounts to Jo Davis and staid a short time and went back and went just below the mouth of Sulphur ___ heard the firing of guns or pistols. I said to Mounts want (sic) in the worlds does that mean and Mounts said I don’t know. I was shocked. Did not know what __ ____. Went on down River and up Mate. Me & Doc staid at Henry Mitchell’s all night next went and helped bury Ellison and went across the hill home. Remained there at work until we was brot over here I had at no time any purpose of mind in me or any intention of doing harm to the McCoy boys or any one else. I was a good friend to the McCoy boys. Never had any thing against them when we met them coming down blackberry __ between Rev. Andersons once what called the waste hous it was about ¼ mile above Andersons me and them Did not hear an owl hoot or a person hoot like an owl between the time we left Jo Davis and the time the crowd from over the river come to us on Mate that he heard nothing that was said between Jo Davis Wall & Elias Hatfield. He was ten or 15 steps away at the time. My brother Sam and Dock went with me to the mouth of Beech and we left with Wall about day. It is about 3 miles from Wall Hatfields to the mo. Beech.

Written on left margin (and marked through): We left home on Tuesday and got a ___ ____ of Br__ where Wall was about daylight.

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