The following news items from the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, provide some history about the final years of Levisa Hatfield, widow of Anse Hatfield:
MRS. HATFIELD BETTER
Mrs. Levicy Hatfield, widow of Ance Hatfield, continues to recuperate from a serious illness and is now able to walk about the home of her daughter, Mrs. F.M. Browning, of Holden, where she has been cared for. She is 84 years old.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 03 June 1927
Mrs. Hatfield Hurt
Mrs. Lovisa Hatfield, widow of the late “Devil Anse” Hatfield, is suffering from injuries received in a fall at her home on Island Creek Sunday. She hurt her hip and shoulder and forehead and her condition was such as to cause some concern, yet she was able to sit up yesterday. Two or three of her daughters are helping to take care of her. She is 85 years old.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 20 September 1927
DEVIL ANSE’S WIDOW, AGED 86, RECOVERS FROM PNEUMONIA
In recovering from her recent severe illness Mrs. Levisa Hatfield, widow of the late “Devil Anse,” has again demonstrated her remarkable vitality. Though in her 87th year, she is now recovering from pneumonia with which she was stricken on December 28. Monday of this week her lungs began to clear up, and her son, Sheriff Joe Hatfield, said yesterday that she seemed to be assured of recovery.
So critical was her illness for several days that half a dozen physicians were summoned to her bedside. These included Dr. H.D. Hatfield, L.W. Lawson, J.O. Hill, Brewer and Moore as well as Dr. E.R. Hatfield, of Charleston, a son of the aged patient.
Mrs. Hatfield celebrated her 86th birthday at the Hatfield homestead near the head of Island Creek on December 20.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 18 January 1929.
Devil Anse’s Widow Died Early Today
Mrs. Levisa Hatfield Succumbs Unexpectedly In 87th Year
10 Living Children
Hers Was Life of Storm And Stress for Several Decades
Funeral services for Mrs. Hatfield will be held at 2:30 Sunday at the Hatfield cemetery on Island Creek.
Mrs. Levisa Hatfield, widow of “Devil Anse” of Hatfield-McCoy feud fame, died at the family homestead up near the head of Island Creek at about 8 o’clock this morning. Though she was frail and had been in ill health all winter, the news of her passing caused much surprise and regret among relatives and friends outnumbered. Still, her condition yesterday was unsatisfactorily, indicating she had suffered a backset.
Mrs. Hatfield celebrated her 86th birthday on December 20. Eight days later she was stricken with pneumonia, and for several weeks her condition was alarming. Despite her advanced age, her indomitable grit and wiry strength and endurance triumphed, having as she did the tender, constant care of her children and other kinfolk, neighbors, and friends.
Hers was a stout heart, otherwise it could not have, withstood the storms that raged about her home and her family for many years. But long before her interesting career ended, peace and contentment had come into her life, and her declining days were brightened by the successes that had come to her children and grandchildren.
The decedent was born and reared on Mate Creek in what was then Logan county but now in Mingo. She was a daughter of Nathaniel Chafin. In her teens she was married to a neighbor youth, William Anderson Hatfield, who shortly thereafter entered the Confederate army and attained the rank of captain. That was a trying experience for a bride, but a longer and more terrifying one came in the early ‘80s when her family became involved in a now historic private war with the McCoys, a large family living on the Kentucky side of the Tug River. Even after the feud ended and a tacit agreement was carried out whereby her family moved back from the Tug and over the county divide and their foes went farther away from the Tug in the opposite direction, tragedies cast their shadows across her pathway. Chief of these was the slaying of her sons Troy and Elias by a drunken miner in Fayette county in 1911. The miner, too, was riddled with bullets after his victims had fallen mortally wounded.
Ten children survive Mrs. Hatfield and three are dead, Johnson, the oldest, having died in 1922 on Ben Creek, Mingo county. The living are: William A. (Cap), who shared with his father the leadership of their clan in the days of the feud, now a deputy sheriff and living at Stirrat; Robert L., Wharncliffe; Mrs. Nancy Mullins, living just above the Hatfield place; Dr. Elliott R., Charleston; Mrs. Mary Howes, at home; Mrs. John (Betty) Caldwell, Barnabus; Sheriff Joe D. Hatfield; Mrs. Marion (Rose) Browning, Holden; Willis, deputy sheriff at Lundale; Tennis, former sheriff.
She is survived by two sisters and a brother: Mrs. Betty Hatfield, widow of Elias Hatfield and mother of U.S. Senator H.D. Hatfield; Mrs. Rebecca Hatfield, of Logan, mother of Hibbard Hatfield, and Tom Chafin, who lives on Mate Creek.
Mrs. Hatfield and devoted to her home and family. And her home as well as herself was widely known for hospitality. There the friend or wayfarer ever found a welcome. She was a member of the Church of Christ and was baptized along with her husband by Uncle Dyke Garrett some years before her husband’s death.
No announcement was made this forenoon as to the funeral arrangements. Squire Elba Hatfield, a grandson, said he supposed the funeral would be held Sunday. Burial will be in the family cemetery.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 15 March 1929
Great Crowd At Funeral of Mrs. Hatfield
Throng Surpassed That of Any Previous Funeral In County
Pictures Are Taken
News of Death of “Devil” Anse’s Widow Travels Far and Wide
Hundreds of relatives and friends and neighbors paid their last tribute of affection to Mrs. Lovisa Hatfield Sunday afternoon. It is declared to be, by persons capable of judging, the largest funeral crowd ever assembled in the county. Perhaps the maximum attendance of the afternoon was no larger than that at the funeral of Charles Dardi last November, but on Sunday people were coming and going for an hour or more before the hour set–2:30–for the services and until the services were concluded.
Early in the afternoon a crowd began to form both at the Hatfield cemetery and the homestead. A cool, steady, stiff breeze made it uncomfortable for those who gathered at the cemetery, with the result that they did not tarry long there; and on account of weather conditions a great many did not leave their cars, which were closely parked along both sides of the highway from Sheriff Joe Hatfield’s home up to and beyond the home of the decedent.
The attendance at Sunday’s rites exceeded that of the funeral of Mrs. Hatfield’s widely known husband, “Devil Anse,” which was held on Sunday, January 9, 1921. At that time there was but a semblance of a highway up toward the head of Island Creek and most of those who attended the rites of the old feudist chieftain rode on a special train that was run that day or walked for a great distance.
At the homestead there were scripture readings, sermons, and tributes by Rev. Joe Hatfield, a nephew of the decedent, of Matewan; Rev. Halsey Gibson and Rev. C.C. Lanham, pastor of the first Methodist church of Logan. Before the cortege left the house R.A. Woodall, local photographer, took pictures of the body at rest in a beautiful metallic casket and of the grandchildren and perhaps others who were grouped on the porch.
At the grave the services were conducted by Rev. W.R. Eskew of Omar and a solo by a Mr. Woods of Huntington featured the singing. Mr. Eskew paid a tribute to the generosity and hospitality of Mrs. Hatfield, to her love of home and her devotion to her children and other loved ones.
As related in Friday’s paper, Mrs. Hatfield died at about 8 o’clock that morning, after having nearly recovered from pneumonia. Her age was 86 years, two months and 25 days. She was a daughter of Nathaniel and Matilda Varney Chafin and was born on Mate Creek, now in Mingo county. Her sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Hatfield of Huntington , Mrs. Nancy Carey, Pittsburgh, and Mrs. Rebecca Hatfield of Logan, and her brother Tom Chafin of Mingo were at the funeral.
All over the country the news of Mrs. Hatfield’s death was flashed and it called forth much comment on the old Hatfield-McCoy feud that for a long time held the close attention evidently of millions of newspaper readers.
An old sketch of “Devil Anse” says he had none of the attributes of “bad men” in his character. He was always recognized as a loyal friend of the many who had some sort of claim to his friendship. Numbered among those who believed he had been right in the position he took during the feud days were the late Judge John J. Jackson, known as the “Iron Judge,” who was appointed to the federal bench by President Lincoln, and the late Governor E.W. Wilson, the former protecting Hatfield when he was called into court, and the latter refusing to honor a requisition of the Governor of Kentucky for the arrest of Devil Anse on a charge of killing some particular member of the McCoy family.
Detectives, real and alleged, had arranged for the capture of Hatfield, spurred by a reward, after they had seen to it that he was indicted on a charge of whiskey selling; in 1888, Judge Jackson, hearing of these plans, sent word to him that if he would appear in court voluntarily the court would see that he had ample protection until he returned to his home in this county.
Uncle Anse appeared and was acquitted of the charge against him. Some of the detectives pounced on him soon after he left the court room, but Judge Jackson summoned all of them before him, threatened to send them to jail, and directed special officers to see that Hatfield was permitted to reach his home. After Hatfield was well on his way, Judge Jackson told the detectives that if they wanted to get him they could proceed, just as the McCoys had been doing for a number of years. They never went.
Captain Hatfield spent the last 20 years of his life peacefully on his farm then in an isolated section of the county. Once he was prevailed upon by some enterprising amusement manager to go on the vaudeville stage but the lure of his home in the mountains soon proved stronger than the lure of the footlights.
In the splendid account of the death of Mrs. Anderson Hatfield, estimable woman who passed away at her home Friday, it was stated that Mrs. Hatfield was one of the last of either the Hatfield or McCoy family directly connected with the feud and that all the McCoy principals are believed to be dead. This last is in error as James McCoy, who resided in Pikeville for many years and latter came here, where he lived with his family for a number of years, and after the death of his wife only a few years ago again returned to Pikeville and is now living there. He is a highly respected and esteemed citizen and was the eldest son of the late Randall McCoy, of Pike county, and was one of the main principals of the feud.
Catlettsburg cor. in Huntington Advertiser
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 19 March 1929.