Anna Hatfield, Appalachia, county clerk, Electious Hatfield, Elexius Hatfield, Ephraim Hatfield, genealogy, George Hatfield, history, J. Dixon, Jacob Smith, Jeremiah Hatfield, John Dils, Kentucky, Leck Hatfield, merchant, Nancy Hatfield, Pike County, Preacher Anse Hatfield, S.K. Damron, sheriff, William P. Johnson
NOTE: The Jeremiah Hatfield named in this case is likely the son of Ephraim and Anna (Musick) Hatfield. Elexius “Leck” Hatfield (1834-1914), a nephew to Jeremiah, was the son of George and Nancy (Whitt) Hatfield. He was also a brother to “Preacher Anse” Hatfield.
Allen Hatfield, Altina Waller, Appalachia, Beckley, Beech Creek, Brandon Kirk, Cap Hatfield, Coleman Hatfield, Delorme, Devil Anse Hatfield, Dutch Hatfield, Ellison Mounts, Ephraim Hatfield, feuds, genealogy, Hatfield Cemetery, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry Hatfield, history, History Channel, Jean Hatfield, Jim Vance, Johnson Hatfield, Levisa Hatfield, Logan Banner, Logan County, Matewan, Mingo County, Nancy Vance, Otis Rice, Randolph McCoy, Red Jacket, Route 44, Sarah Ann, Stirrat, Tennis Hatfield, The Hatfield and McCoy Feud After Kevin Costner, The McCoys: Their Story, The Tale of the Devil, Thomas Dotson, tourism, Truda Williams McCoy, Valentine Wall Hatfield, West Virginia
In 2001-2002, I wrote a series of popular stories for the Logan Banner that merged aspects of well-known Hatfield-McCoy books written by Otis Rice and Altina Waller in the 1980s. I had previously enjoyed Rice’s narrative and Waller’s analysis; I did not conduct any new research. Even though I believed the definitive Hatfield-McCoy Feud book remained unwritten, my purpose in writing these stories was not a step toward writing a book; my purpose in writing these stories was to revisit the narrative with some analysis for Banner readers. My hope was that readers would see what I saw: first, fascinating history (or folk story) for its own sake; second, the power of history to create a popular type of tourism.
I was fortunate during this time to meet Jean Hatfield. Jean, born in 1936, operated a Hatfield family museum at Sarah Ann, WV. Jean was not a native of West Virginia but had lived her entire adult life locally and had personally known several of Anderson Hatfield’s children. I really appreciated her desire to promote regional history. She “got it.” She inspired me. Anytime that I drove up Route 44, I stopped to visit Jean at the museum. She was always welcoming. Knowing her reminded me that every Hatfield (and McCoy) descendant is a source of information–-and that for the most part they have yet to tell the story in their own words. Three notable exceptions include The McCoys: Their Story by Truda Williams McCoy (1976), The Tale of the Devil (2003) by Coleman Hatfield and Bob Spence, and The Hatfield and McCoy Feud After Kevin Costner: Rescuing History (2013) by Thomas Dotson.
What follows is Part 4 of my interview with Jean, which occurred on August 7, 2001:
What kind of house did Johnse have?
Probably just a frame house.
I don’t know much about what he did for a living.
I really don’t know either. There’s not that much on him. Maybe he just spent his time chasing ladies. I don’t even know what type of work he did. But he had to work. He worked for his father, for one thing. But now there’s some of his grandchildren still living. But I’m like you, he’s not as good looking as most of the other boys were. But then when you’re like eighteen years old, everybody’s good looking at eighteen.
I wonder what Devil Anse thought about people taking his photo?
There was just always somebody wanting to take his picture. Now this is by Life magazine. They done a story.
I love the one in his hat.
That’s a very rare one. And the one with the long rifle. Because most of the time in the pictures you see him with his little shotgun. But that has the long rifle. I think that’s the muzzle-loading type.
Not nearly as many photos of Randolph McCoy.
This one here, when we did the McCoy monument, they didn’t have any pictures. We had gathered up quite a few of the McCoys and we made a collage picture and that one was in it. That’s the one mostly you see of him is that one. But I have a couple here somewhere when he was younger but it’s not a very clear copy. But he looks very sad and very old and very sick in that one. But he was like thirteen years older than Grandpa, though.
Did your husband hold any grudges?
Was he raised to?
Oh no. He says on the History Channel tape that he went to school with McCoys and he never did have any animosity towards any of them. In fact, our postmaster down here, she was a McCoy before she married. And she and I get along real good.
So not all of Devil Anse’s brothers were involved in the feud…
Well now, like Wall Hatfield, he wasn’t concerned in it nowhere and they took him before a jury and found him guilty of murder, which he didn’t do. And he died in the pen just not long after he got in because he just couldn’t handle penitentiary life. And he’s buried down under that highway. The highway went over the graves of the prisoners that were buried there. Isn’t that terrible? That’s what the family said. Uncle Allen Hatfield from Beech Creek was one of his children. That’s where that come from.
Where did they bury Ellison Mounts?
I think he’s buried over at Hatfield Cemetery at Matewan. That’s where Grandma and Grandpa’s mother and father is buried. Ephraim. He was buried there.
Are they marked?
Yeah. I think they have a small marker is all. Devil Anse’s father was Big Eph Hatfield and she was Nancy Vance. That’s where Uncle Jim come in at. That was her brother. So that would have been Grandpa’s uncle. He loved Grandpa so well, he would kill for him, that was all there was to it. And Grandpa didn’t have to tell him. He went out on his own and done it. I think that had a lot to do with it. In all that I read, Grandpa’s personality just didn’t seem like he was that type of a person.
Did they ever talk about him doing things like singing or whittling?
He was a joker. Like my mother-in-law said, Tennis had give her a new diamond ring. And she was out helping Grandpa milk the cow and she was showing him her pretty ring and he said, “I’d just soon have a pewter button.” He was always joking with people and things like that. Now my mother-in-law was a very scary person. And if he’d a been a mean person she wouldn’t have stayed around him. But her and Tennis lived with them until they had two children. He couldn’t have been very threatening.
Who had the home when it burned?
Tennis. He inherited it from his momma. It burned after she passed. That was on the land that he inherited. All of the children got a certain amount of land.
Did Devil Anse sell out in Mingo County?
Yeah. Cline got it. He just let him have it all and he moved over here.
Who owned the old property where the cemetery is in Mingo County?
That’s part of the other estate, I’d say, Ephraim. That would be part of his. Delorme and up in that area was where they were all at mostly. Delorme, Red Jacket. I don’t know a whole lot about Mingo County. And we lost one of our good little relatives over there: Dutch Hatfield. He used to be chief of police of Matewan and he knew everybody. And him and Henry was really close together and they passed within a year of each other. But he was pretty well up on all of the relatives and who was whose child and all of that.
Why was Cap’s family not buried with the other Hatfields?
Cap and Grandpa and the boys, seems like there was a rift there all the time. He was at Grandpa’s funeral but they hadn’t had much dealings from what I can understand. So when he died he just wanted to be buried on his own land. They started their own little cemetery down there. They may have had some people die before that and buried them there.
Where is Johnse buried?
Johnse is buried up here.
Any of his wives buried with him?
That’s sad that he had so many wives and none are buried with him.
Yeah. That’s a lesson to those men. Better find one and be loyal to them.
I hope someone can figure out how to make this tourism work here.
If you happen to see them down at the Chamber of Commerce, you ask ‘em about a road up here. See if we can get it changed some way. Because if they’re going to use this for tourism they’re going to need to be able to locate it. This is 44. 18 miles from the boulevard to the top of the mountain—that’s as far as 44 goes. And they’re advertising it through the rest stop areas. And Sarah Ann’s not even on the map. Stirrat is.
They don’t have it together in the county seat either.
No. I think it’s one group pulling against another group and if they don’t get together nothing gets done.
Have you ever seen that play in Beckley?
No. I’ve had people say it’s good. I don’t like to stay overnight away from home. I’m a home body.
Jean died in 2011. I miss seeing her when I drive up Route 44.
Abner Vance, Alexander Varney, Ali Hatfield, Andrew Hatfield, Appalachia, B.H. Justice, Bettie Vance, Big Sandy River, Cabell County, Celia Hatfield, Ephraim Hatfield, Ferrell Evans, Frank Evans, genealogy, Guyandotte Valley, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry Clay Ragland, history, Humphrey Trent, Jacob Hatfield, James Hatfield, James Justice, John Justice, John Toler, Joseph Hatfield, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan County Banner, Logan Court House, M.A. Hatfield, Matewan, North Spring, Peter Cline, Phoebe Hatfield, sheriff, Thomas Hatfield, Thomas Smith, Valentine Hatfield, West Virginia, William E. Justice, Wyoming County
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for the Hatfield family, printed on May 11, 1937:
History Of Hatfield Clan Recorded In Banner Files
Ephraim Hatfield Was One of The Quietest Men In The County—Yet He Was Father Of Those Engaged In Famous Feud
Henry Clay Ragland, editor of The Logan Banner in 1896, was, among other things, a genealogist for Logan county.
He lived at a time when most of the children and grandchildren of Logan county’s first settlers were still alive and he had access to a wealth of first-hand information that has served as the basis for family histories in Logan county up to the present.
An account of the entrance of the Hatfield family into this section of the country is clipped verbatim from a Logan County Banner dated Wednesday, April 29, 1896.
“At what is still known as the Hatfield place on Horsepen, Valentine Hatfield, of Washington county, Va., settled at quite an early day. He was the father of nine sons and three daughters, and from them have sprung many of the Hatfields of the Guyandotte and Sandy Valleys.
“Valentine Hatfield married a Miss Weddington, and he was a half brother of Thomas Smith. His sons were Ali, who married a daughter of Ferrell Evans; Joe, who also married a daughter of Ferrell Evans; Ephraim, who married Bettie Vance; (This Ephraim was one of the quietest men in the county, and was for a long time a justice of the peace, yet he was the father and grandfather of the Hatfields who were engaged in the Hatfield-McCoy feud) Andrew, who married a daughter of Humphrey Trent, and whose descendants live in Wyoming county; Thomas, who married a daughter of Frank Evans; John, who married a daughter of Abner Vance; James, who married a daughter of John Toler; (Squire M.A. Hatfield and James Hatfield are the sons of this marriage) Jacob, who married a daughter of Peter Cline; and Valentine, who was never married.
“Of his three daughters, Phoebe married Alexander Varney; Celia married James Justice, who was at one time sheriff of Logan county, and who was the father of John Justice, a prominent merchant in Logan Court House (the name of the city at that time), B.H. Justice, a merchant and timber dealer of Cabell county, and William E. Justice, a merchant at North Spring and at one time a member of the West Virginia legislature.
“Joseph Hatfield, a brother of Valentine Hatfield, settled about the same time at Matewan.”
Appalachia, crime, deputy sheriff, Devil Anse Hatfield, Ephraim Hatfield, genealogy, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, J.M. Jackson, James Allison, John Hatfield, Logan County, logging, Mingo County, sheriff, timber, timbering, Valentine Wall Hatfield, West Virginia
In 1871-1872, Ephraim Hatfield was accused of stealing “with force and arms” twenty saw logs valued at fifty dollars from James Allison in Logan County, WV. Most likely, the Ephraim Hatfield of this record is Ephraim “Big Eph” Hatfield (c.1811-c.1881), father to Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield. Other possibilities include Ephraim Hatfield (b. c.1851), son of John Hatfield, and Ephraim Hatfield (b. c.1856), son of Valentine “Wall” Hatfield.
Alex Messer, Appalachia, Beech Creek, Blackberry Creek, Bud McCoy, Cap Hatfield, Charlie Carpenter, Devil Anse Hatfield, Doc Mayhorn, Elias Hatfield, Elijah Mounts, Ellison Hatfield, Ephraim Hatfield, feuds, G.W. Pinson, genealogy, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry Mitchell, history, Joe Davis, John C. France, Johnson Hatfield, Mose Christian, Pharmer McCoy, Plyant Mahon, Plyant Mahorn, Preacher Anse Hatfield, Sam Mahon, Tolbert McCoy, Valentine Wall Hatfield
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:
COMMONWEALTH VS DOC MAYHORN &C
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.
For more information about this incident, follow these links:
Appalachia, Bud McCoy, Doc Mayhon, Ephraim Hatfield, feud, feuds, G.W. Pinson, genealogy, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, Jeff Whitt, Kentucky, Pharmer McCoy, Pike County, Plyant Mahon, Tolbert McCoy, Tug Fork, Wall Hatfield, West Virginia
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 Ephraim Hatfield’s deposition regarding the affair:
COMMONWEALTH VS DOC MAYHORN &C
Bill of Exceptions
FILED Sept. 1889
G.W. Pinson, Clk
I know Jeff Whitt. I had a conversation with Jeff Whitt the day Wall Hatfield was tried and after he had been sworn as a witness on said trial. In said conversation he said That if he swore on the trial of Wall Hatfield that Dock and Plyant Mayhone was on this side of the river where the McCoy boys were killed. He didn’t know what he was saying. That he was scared and that they were not there.