Articles provided by Jean Hounshell Peppers (Be sure to read all the articles, as this page contains several from various time frames)
Funeral Held for Tennis Hatfield, Grandson of McCoy Feud Leader | New York Times | December 21, 1978
Sarah Ann, WV: Dec. 20 (UPI) – Services were held today for Tennis Hatfield, a grandson of Anderson Hatfield known as “Devil Anse,” patriarch of the famed West Virginia clan involved in the famous feud with the McCoy family. Mr. Hatfield, 80 years old, a resident of Sarah Ann, died Saturday in a Charleston Hospital after a long illness.
His grandfather led the Hatfields in a bitter feud with the McCoys of Kentucky in the late 1800’s. The Hatfield-McCoy dispute has become the subject of several books, plays and songs, and dramas.
Note – All indications are Mr. Hatfield was age 60 at time of death not 80 as stated in the article.
October 28, 1889
Huntington, West Va., Oct. 27.—Information was brought by courier today from Hamlin, Lincoln County, that about midnight Friday a mob surrounded the Lincoln County Jail, forced an entrance after a short resistance by the authorities took two of the prisoners, Green McCoy and Milton Haley, and hung them to a tree a short distance from the jail building.
Haley and McCoy were natives of Kentucky and were allied to the McCoy faction of the outlaws whose murderous feud with the Hatfields is familiar to the public. McCoy was engaged in a shooting scrape with Paris Brumfield of Lincoln County about a year ago, and about a month ago he, in company with Haley, ambushed and attempted to murder Al Brumfield and his wife.
This shooting occurred on a Sunday night and both the victims were badly wounded, Mrs., Brumfield being shot in the breast and her husband in the leg. For a time it was thought the woman would die, but she finally recovered.
McCoy and Haley escaped to Kentucky, but not until there had been two more attempts at assassination in the county, in one of which a man named Adkins, a friend of the Brumfields, was wounded., The two would-be murderers were arrested at Benn Post Office, Martin County, Ky., and were confined in jail there.
Friday they were looked up in the Lincoln County (West Va.) Jail, and, in the absence of definite information, it is supposed they were lynched by some of the Hatfield sympathizers.
November 3, 1888
The New York Times, Page 2Charleston, West Va., Nov. 2 – Detectives and the West Virginia contingent of the Hatfield McCoy gang met Monday, and as a result the detectives arrested Ellison Mounts and a man named Chambers. Chambers was shot in the hand and escaped, but not until he shot one of the detectives in the area.
Mounts was clubbed and frightfully beaten before subdued. He was taken to Pikeville, Ky., and lodged in jail. The detective who was shot is named J. W. Napier.
Charged With Murder
Charleston, West Va., June 3. – Today J. W. Napier of Kentucky, known along the Big Sandy as “Kentucky Bill,” and one of the stanchest of the McCoy partisans, went before Justice Adkins at Brownstown, where Dave Stratton was found dead some three weeks ago, and swore out warrants for “Anse” Cap Johns and Elliott Hatfield, Thomas Mitchell, Frank Ellis, and Clayton Bishop, charging them with being the cause of Stratton’s death.
Stratton was found lying beside the track of the railroad at Brownstown and it was given out that he had fallen from a train during the night. It is believed by the McCoys that he was murdered by the Hatfields, and hence the arrests.
All the accused stoutly maintain their innocence and at the same time breathe threatenings against the McCoys. If held on the charge the Hatfields will have to be extradited to Kentucky.
|July 26, 1888|
The New York Times, Page 2
A Battle With OutlawsWheeling, West Va., July 25. – An operator of the Eureka Detective Agency came in today with Wild Bill and a stranger to claim the reward for arresting two of the Kentucky Hatfield-McCoy outlaws.
They report a sharp fight Monday at the mouth of Peters Creek, Kentucky, with a band of men who had Winchesters and determination. One of the McCoys was killed and several wounded. The detective and his companions declined to talk with us much about the trouble, but interesting news may be looked for.
|The Washington Post, April 16, 1888|
A Famous Kentucky Feud.
Why Ex-Gov. Knott Is In Washington.
He Tells an Interesting Story of the Hatfield – McCoy Vendetta.A florid – faced man of medium height, with a bristling gray moustache, stood in the lobby of the Metropolitan. It was ex-Gov. Proctor Knott, of Kentucky. The air of prosperous content with which nature has abundantly endowed him shows no sign of abating one jot or tittle.
“I am in Washington,” said he to a Post reporter, “to act in conjunction with Gov. Wilson, of West Virginia, in the matter of the Hatfield habeas corpus case. We are equally desirous of having it advanced on the calendar of the Supreme Court if possible in order to have the matter settled, either by the release of the Hatfields or by bringing them to trial.”
The history of this case dates back to one of the most remarkable vendettas that is recorded in the history of the country. The border counties of Logan, West Virginia and Pike, Kentucky, lie side by side. The country is wild and mountainous.
The inhabitants are simple, honest, and brave to recklessness. Their hates and friendships run to extremes. In 1872 several of the Hatfield family crossed from their homes in Logan into Pike where they met several of the McCoys who were distant relatives of theirs. There is every reason to suppose that the meeting was entirely friendly, but before they separated a quarrel arose over some trivial matter between a Hatfield and a McCoy, which ended in a general melee, in which Ellison Hatfield was badly cut by one of the McCoys.
These two were arrested by the Pike County authorities and were being taken to jail, when the Hatfields rallied, took both the wounded man and McCoy from the hands of the officials and carried them into West Virginia. Ellison Hatfield soon died from his injuries, whereupon the Hatfields took McCoy over into Pike County, tied him and his young brother, a boy about thirteen, to a tree and shot them to death, literally riddling them with bullets.
Here the feud was begun which has raged furiously and spasmodically ever since. “That fall several of the Hatfields were indicted in the District Court for the murder of the two McCoys, and bench warrants were issued for their apprehension. These warrants stood out against them, but it was impossible to catch them.
Matters remained thus for several years, with occasional reprisals on each side, until last September, when Gov. Buckner, of Kentucky, made a requisition on Gov. Wilson, of West Virginia, for the bodies of the indicted Hatfields, and appointed one Phillips a commissioner to receive them and deliver them to the sheriff of Pike County.
Gov. Wilson refused to issue warrants under the requisition, alleging certain informalities, which allegation, however, would not have been sustained in any Federal court. Gov Buckner remedied the alleged defects, but still Gov. Wilson failed to issue the warrants.
Finally, matters took a new turn. Last December a party from Pike County, of which Phillips was a member, without warrant or authority of law crossed the line into Logan, kidnapped several of the Hatfields and took them into Pike County. Here the authorities of Kentucky, in the person of the sheriff of Pike, finding the indicted men within his jurisdiction, arrested them and threw them into jail.
“A few days later the Hatfield family, armed to the teeth, rode into Pike and attacked the McCoys. Old man McCoy barricaded his house and made a desperate resistance, finally escaping into the woods when his son and daughter had been killed, his wife severely wounded, and his house was in flames above his head.
Again a party went from Pike into Logan in January last, were ambushed and fired upon, and returned the fire with considerable effect. This time they captured more of the Hatfields, took them into Kentucky, where, as before, they were arrested and put in Pike County jail. By this time there were nine Hatfields imprisoned.
“Governor Wilson now bestirred himself and requested Gov. Buckner to release them. Gov. Buckner replied in a polite note, in which he expressed his regrets that certain lawless men of Kentucky, without authority of law, should (sic not) have gone into another State, take men by force and bring them into Kentucky.
But the men whose release Gov. Wilson requested had been arrested on Kentucky soil by lawfully constituted officials on lawful bench warrants, issued on regularly found indictments. Consequently they were in the hands of the judiciary of Kentucky, and much to his regret, the executive was powerless to interfere. He further pointed out that the legality of their incarceration could be easily and quickly tested under writs of habeas corpus.
“Gov. Wilson took the hint, secured writs of habeas corpus, and the matter came up for immediate hearing before Judge Barr, of the United States District Court. Judge Barr denied the writ, upheld the legality of the arrests and the prisoners were remanded to jail. The cases were immediately appealed to Judge Jackson, of the Circuit Court, who sustained the decision of the District Court. An appeal was then taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, and, as I said before, I am here to aid in forwarding it upon the calendar, and then to argue in defense of the arrests.”
“What recourse has one State against another when an executive refuses to issue warrants on a requisition?” asked the reporter.
“If you will look at this case of McGoffin vs. Denison, 24, Howell, you will find that Chief Justice Taney delivered an opinion to the effect that while morally bound an executive is not legally bound to deliver under a requisition. There is no recourse.”
|Please note that I believe this article confused the raid on Randolph McCoy’s homestead on January 1, 1888. To the best of my knowledge, Randolph did not have a brother named Sim & the description of the raid doesn’t even closely parallel the actual raid on Randolph’s home..|
Washington Post Jan 20, 1888
Another Bloody Chapter
The Lives of Five M’Coys Sacrificed In The Feud With The Hatfields
Charleston, WV, Jan. 19 – Information reaches here from Oceana, Wyoming County, that another bloody chapter in the McCoy-Hatfield feud was enacted on Saturday night last in which the lives of five McCoys were sacrificed.
It will be recalled that about the beginning of the new year the feud, which had been stilled for some months, broke out again between the two families in which the Hatfields were worsted.
After the funeral of the victims the Hatfields proceeded to annihilate the family of Randall McCoy. They surrounded his house, across the Kentucky line, and setting fire to it drove McCoy’s wife, son and daughter like sheep into the shambles, to be ruthlessly slaughtered. Randall McCoy escaped to the woods.
After this battle was over and the dead had been laid away the McCoys organized a posse and made an unfriendly call on the Hatfield settlement in West Virginia. They did not find the Hatfields at home, but had not long to wait in the adjoining woods when the Hatfields were upon them, and a regular pitched battle ensued.
Victory perched on the McCoy banners and when the smoke had cleared away it was found that the Hatfields had three killed, while none of the McCoys were injured.
There was most intense excitement in the whole neighborhood. The authorities were paralyzed, and the people are not surprised at hearing of the latest shocking butchery in which the horrible practices of the savage aborigines who once occupied the ranges and valleys of the Blue Ridge are again revived.
All details that have yet been received of Saturday night’s massacre are simply that the Hatfield gang made a raid on the house of Sim McCoy, a brother of Randall.
The McCoys were completely surprised. Mrs. McCoy was tied to a tree and shot to death. The eldest son was next tied up and riddled with bullets. Sim McCoy barricaded the back room and made a weak defense of his home against great odds. Finally, the Hatfields set fire to the house, and McCoy and his two youngest children were burned to death.
|March 21, 1894. Washington Post, Pg. 1|
HATFIELD-M’COY FEUD REOPENED.
Two More Hatfields Killed – The War to Be Carried Into Kentucky. Parkersburg, WV, March 20 – Logan county citizens who arrived here this morning state that the Hatfield McCoy feud, which terrorized that vicinity a few years ago, has broken out afresh, with indications of bloody times ahead.
The renewal of the trouble was brought about by a visit of Frank Phelps, of Kentucky, leader of the McCoy faction in the old feud, to Peters Creek. He learned while there that Bob Hatfield, son of old Anse, lived in the neighborhood.
Phelps was shot in the shoulder during the former fights and always claimed Bob did the shooting. Last week Phelps laid in ambush armed with a Winchester and as Bob came along shot him dead.
Mose Christian, a prominent member of the old Hatfield faction, attempted to assist Bob, when Phelps fired again, wounding him mortally. Phelps, who had seven of the old McCoy gang with him, escaped to their homes in Kentucky immediately after the double murder.
The Hatfield faction is greatly worked up and are collecting in large numbers, declaring their intention to avenge Bob’s death, even though they have to go into Kentucky to do so.
|Big Sandy News|
December 20, 1888
JOHNS HATFIELD DEAD.There is no doubt that the notorious Johnson Hatfield, of the well known Hatfield gang, died last week at Granville Thompson’s a few miles from this place. Some time since, a party passing through the country in a wagon was compelled to leave the deceased owing to his serous sickness, at Mr. Thompson’s. The sick man’s name was given as Vance.
After a few days some of the party returned to ______ but found ________ moved. He shortly afterward died and as there was a suspicion that it was a Hatfield an investigation was made. He was identified by one or two parties who knew him and there is little doubt that it was Johns’ Hatfield. The remains were cared for by the county.
Note – This article is inaccurate. Johnse did not die in 1888. He lived several years after this article appeared.
|The New York Times, Pg. 4|
Editorial Article 2
January 27, 1888The feud between the McCoys of Kentucky and the Hatfields of West Virginia seems to be taking on some of the proportions of an inter-State war. The Sheriff of Pike County has “invaded” West Virginia to capture the Hatfield gang, and the Logan County Sheriff has called out his posse to drive these invaders back into Kentucky.
The Governor of the latter State has also been called upon for troops to withstand the Hatfield sympathizers. It appears that the Peter Creek Guards joined the McCoy forces in invading West Virginia, which creates a lack of local militia for defending the Kentucky jail in which nearly a dozen Hatfields are caged.
The trouble between these formidable families goes back many years, but it was in 1882 that one Hatfield and several McCoys were killed in Kentucky. During the last month the raids and counter-raids across Tug River, the Potomac of the strife, have been bloody indeed, and one estimate is that in all, from the outset, sixteen persons have been killed in the two factions, and many wounded and captured. One might suppose that such losses would diminish the force, if not the fury, of the combatants in this border warfare.
|Old Hatcher’s Loss|
Postal Sleuths Reveal Tragic Chapter in Feudist’s Life.
Money Gone, He Slew WifeHarrison Hatfield, Who Almost Caused Civil War in West Virginia, Was Robbed of $2854 by Postmaster – Died recently In Penitentiary While Serving Life sentence For Murder.
A story tragic in its intensity and romantic in its sentiment has been disclosed by postoffice inspectors regarding Harrison Hatfield, of the family of feudists of that name, who died recently in the penitentiary at Moundsville, WV.
The narrative is of the loss by Hatfield of $2,854, the recovery of a part of the amount, of the murder of Mrs. Hatfield by her husband in a fit of insanity caused by the loss of his money, and of the circumstances which finally brought to an end the career of one of the most remarkable feudists in the history of the country.
Harrison Hatfield lived near Horsepen, in the mountains of West Virginia. He was widely known as “Old Hatcher” and was a leader of the Hatfields in the McCoy – Hatfield feud, which amounted almost to civil war and disrupted several counties on the borders of West Virginia and Kentucky.
Lost Eye In Raid.
One of his eyes was shot out during a raid which the Hatfields made into Kentucky some years ago. The Hatfields owned large areas of land in West Virginia, from which they realized considerable money.
“Old Hatcher” deposited $2,854 in the Guyan Valley Bank, at Logan, WV. Subsequently, having need of the money, he authorized Alexander H. Trent, postmaster at Horsepen, to direct the bank to forward to him the money by registered mail. Hatfield called at the postoffice repeatedly for the registered letter, but when it arrived, on April 24, 1907, he had left the office only a short time before to assist an intoxicated friend who could not sit astride his mule alone. Hatfield directed Postmaster Trent to take special care of the letter, lest it be destroyed by fire in the postoffice.
Early on the following morning the postoffice was destroyed by fire, the contents of the sale alone being saved. Hatfield’s letter was not in the safe. Postmaster Trent declared he had placed the letter with the ordinary mail, all of which was burned.
An investigation of the fire and of the disappearance of the letter was made by postoffice inspectors. It was discovered that Postmaster Trent had obtained a typewriter from a Chicago concern by fraudulent representations, to which he confessed. Later, Postmater Trent and his father were indicted for having stolen the registered letter.
Postmaster Trent finally confessed to the theft and made preparations looking to the refunding of the money. He produced from a jar hidden under the barn the sum of $1,280, which, with $500 obtained from his bondsmen, was eventually turned over to Hatfield. Trent was convicted of the crime, but escaped from jail and now is a fugitive from justice.
Poisoned His Wife.
Becoming insane from worry over the loss of his money and the sudden elation at the recovery of a considerable part of it, Harrison Hatfield poisoned his wife, who was an Indian woman. He was sentenced to the penitentiary for life, and there he died only a few days ago. It was not until his death that the postoffice inspectors felt justified in revealing all the facts respecting the case.
|Big Sandy News|
August 5, 1921
Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers Shot To Death At Welch
Sid Hatfield, age 26, leader in the mine war at Matewan, WV, and Ed Chambers, his pal, were killed at Welch, McDowell Co., WV last Monday morning.
C. E. Lively, George Pence and Wm. Salters are held under $10,000 bonds, charged with the killing. They are all Baldwin – Felts detectives. Salters is a son of Harvey Salters of Lawrence Co., KY and has helped _____ the detective agency nine years. He was formerly a deputy sheriff of this county.
Hatfield, Chambers, and 17 others from Mingo were taken to Welch on a charge of shooting up the town of Mohawk. The two men were starting up the steps of the courthouse when the shooting began. The following account from the Williamson News appears to be about the best yet published:
Hatfield and Chambers, accompanied by their wives, had started up the steps leading from the street to the courthouse entrance. The two men were in the center of this group of four; their wives being at the ends. Behind them, and near the first step from the street, were from six to twelve of their friends from Matewan and vicinity. At the top of the staircase stood C. E. Lively and several other men.
Just what significant motions of hands and of hips, what glances of hate may have preceded the shooting will never be learned fully and accurately portrayed. Pistols were brought into play like a flash. Reports indicated that Lively’s brace of guns were the first in the fray. He had one in either hand and fired both pistols in rapid succession.
Hatfield drew at least one of his pistols, possibly both. It is believed that he shot one of them five times before he fell dead riddled with bullets. Chambers went down about the same time. Although as many as 19 shots are supposed to have been fired, it was all over in 10 seconds say many eyewitnesses.
Mrs. Sid Hatfield is said to have thrown up both hands as soon as the shooting started and asked that her life be spared. Mrs. Ed Chambers, it is declared stood motionless. When the firing ceased, she walked hurriedly up the steps carrying a parasol.
She stopped in front of Lively, who had not moved one step since the gun battle started, looked him squarely in the eyes and said, “You” (using an epithet) have murdered my husband.” Lively, who had reloaded his pistols or was then reloading them, returned her gaze and coolly remarked, in substance, “I beat him on the draw and shot him.”
After Lively reloaded his pistols, he placed one in his pocket and kept the other in his hand ready for action, and stood motionless and silent, except for his remark to Mrs. Chambers. Near him were several men, most of whom it is said, had pistols in plain view.
At the bottom of the steps were the friends of Hatfield and Chambers. They had crouched down when the shooting began. Some of them, it is said, drew guns but did no shooting. State police and other officers soon reached the scene and aided in preventing a renewal of hostilities.
It is believed that someone besides Lively and Hatfield took part in the battle. Friends of Chambers declare he was unarmed while others say a pistol dropped out of his pocket when he fell with eight bullet wounds in his head and body.
Word comes from Welch that out of 18 or perhaps 19 shots fired at Hatfield and Chambers, 18 took effect. Moreover, nearly every one of the 18 inflected a wound that would have probably proved fatal. Stranger still, according to a message from the scene of the trouble, the wounds of the two men were very much alike. Each it is asserted was shot twice in the head and above the eyes, once in the neck, and the other bullets took effect in the breast.
A Smith & Wesson “Squeezer” with a 2 inch barrel, was found on or near Hatfield. It is believed that he fired five times. Five bullet marks were found in the wall of the building just behind where Lively was standing. All had gone over his head, by a narrow margin evidently.
Sid Hatfield married Mayor Testerman’s wife two weeks after he was killed in the Matewan tragedy in May 1920. Eight Baldwin – Felts men were killed at that time also, one of them being a Felts.