HATFIELD FEUD RENEWED
FOUR MEN KILLED IN DESPERATE FIGHT IN KENTUCKY
Attempt to Arrest Ephraim Hatfield Signal for His Father to Open Fire on the Officers
Williamson, West Virginia March 29,1902
Reports were received to-day about another fight with the Hatfields, in which four were killed, among them being
Harry Watts, proprietor of the Palace Hotel here. John Rutherford, a detective, had a warrant for the arrest of
Ephraim Hatfield, who is wanted in South Carolina. He finally located Hatfield in Pike County, Kentucky. Watts
went with Rutherford, and they found Ephraim at the home of his father, Thomas Hatfield, on Blackberry Creek.
Rutherford and Watts broke in the door and had secured Ephraim, when the father opened fire on them. Shooting at
once became general, and Watts and Rutherford and both Hatfields were killed. Ephraim Hatfield's wife and little
children witnessed the tragedy.
The Rutherfords were relatives of "Cap" Hatfield of feud fame. Rutherford was a brother of the two Rutherfords
killed at the election in 1896, by "Cap" Hatfield. Watts was well known throughout the Southern part of the
state. He was wealthy and popular. It is said he could have saved himself had he not stopped firing for a moment
when one of the Hatfield children was within range.
The feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families was declared off in April, 1897, and to seal the compact the
family of old Randolph McCoy and the descendants of old Deacon Ellison Hatfield, led by the notorious "Devil
Anse" gathered on the banks of the Big Sandy River to sanction the wedding of Mary McCoy and young Aaron Hatfield. This
was the fourth peace gathering. It was not long, however before there began to be talk of a fresh outbreak. In
nearly all the cases of ruptured compact moonshine whisky has been responsible.
The first blood of the feud was shed years ago, when Parish and Sam McCoy shot and killed young Bill Stayton from
ambush. The trouble began over two razor-backed hogs. Old Randolph McCoy lived on Pond Creek, in Pike County, Ky.,
and Deacon Ellison, "Devil Anse" and the rest of the Hatfields on the Logan County side of Tug River, West Va.
Floyd Hatfield, a brother of "Devil Anse" lived in Kentucky, near Randolph McCoy. The McCoys accused the of
stealing the two hogs, and the case came up for trail before Matthew Hatfield, who was a justice of the Peace.
Floyd Hatfield won the case and the hogs because he had the best witnesses.
Shortly after the trial Bill Stayton, brother-in-law of Floyd, and his chief
witness, was fishing with his son in Tug River. Randolph McCoy and two of his sons came along. A quarrel ensued, in the course of which Randolph called
old man Stayton a perjurer. Young Bill struck Randolph on the head with a stone. A few months later Parish and Sam
murdered young Bill from ambush, but were acquitted in a Kentucky court.
Peace was patched up, but was broken again by Johnson Hatfield, and outlaw in Kentucky. Election time came around,
and to further the interests of a mutual candidate, another truce was patched up. Too much moonshine was used in
sealing the compact, and Deacon Ellison was shot as the result of the quarrel which sprung from a trival cause.
Farmer and Talbot McCoy were arrested for the crime, and while they were being taken by the Constables to
Blackberry Creek "Devil Anse" and several other Hatfields took them captive and kept them in a schoolhouse until
Deacon Hatfield died. Then they were driven across the Kentucky line and shot in cold blood.
This fanned the hatred to white heat and resulted in several killings, the most notable of which was the murder
of Jeff McCoy, one of the most peaceable members of the family. In another raid Allaphare McCoy, a daughter of
Randolph, was murdered. Calvin McCoy was shot in the fight that followed. The feud was again declared off in 1891,
but was renewed in 1895, and was kept up until the marriage in 1897.
For more information
about the Hatfields and McCoys
Visit Libby's Genealogy
Country and Western Clipart