Clipped From The Bakersfield Californian
Hatfields, McCoys officially end feud HARDY, Ky. (AP) - Descendants of the feuding Hatfields and McCoys — including two who were alive at the time of the battles — gathered gathered Saturday at a tangled, vine-covered cemetery cemetery beside Blackberry Creek and officially closed one of the bloodiest chapters in the nation's nation's history. About 300 persons stood in a steady downpour as a granite monument was dedicated at the McCoy family cemetery. Two ministers, one a Hatfield and the other a McCoy, called for "peace in the valley" as the two famous families formally buried the hatchet. An inscription on the monument read: "Six of the 16 children of Randolph and Sarah McCoy lie buried here, having suffered untimely death. The three died bound to paw paw trees at the mouth of Blackberry Creek in August 1882." The three, Tolbert, Pharmer and Randolph Jr., were killed by William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield and several of his relatives in retaliation retaliation for the earlier murder of a Hatfield. Before Before the feud was finished, more than 100 men. women, and children had been killed or wounded, and the states of West Virginia and Kentucky were on the verge of open warfare. The cause of the feud between the two clans was never clear. Some said it was over the theft of a McCoy hog by the Hatfields. Others said it stemmed from a grudge left by an incident during during the Civil War, when the Hatfields fought for the South and the McCoys for the North. A buffet luncheon followed the dedication. Two men who remember the feud ~ut the cake. Willis Hatfield, 88, of nearby Logan, W.Va., said he had long since given up any ill feelings. "Some of those McCoys are pretty good fellows," said the last living son of Devil Anse. Hatfield, who was only a youngster during most of the fighting, was standing beside "Grand- paw" Jim McCoy, 92, of Hardy. McCoy still lives near the old homeplace and says he well remembers remembers the. night in 1888 that the Hatfields burned down his family's log cabin home and killed two of his cousins. "My daddy pulled me out of the cabin/' he said. "All we were able to save were our nightclothes." nightclothes." Like Hatfield, McCoy said he also bore no grudge. He said<he soon forgave the Hatfields and even drank moonshine with Devil Anse a few years after the cabin burning. "The Hatfields are my good friends," he added. "Just the other day a Hatfield boy brought me over three squirrels he had killed. Imagine that — a Hatfield doing that for a McCoy." The monument dedicated Saturday was donated donated by Leonard and Joseph McCoy, wealthy coal operators from Phelps, Ky. The massive block of granite was carved and delivered by the Hatfield Monument Co. of Sarah Ann, W.Va. The McCoy cemetery is just across a narrow valley from the old McCoy homeplace and is some 10 miles south of the Tug River, which divides divides the two states. Back in the 1880s, the McCoys were the most powerful clan on the Kentucky Kentucky side & the river, and the Hatfields called the tune on the northern bank in West Virginia. The shooting stopped before the advenfof the 20th century. Pike County, Ky., school superintendent superintendent James Dotson, a relative of both families, families, presided over the dedication and referred to those bloody days in his speech. But he also pointed pointed out the two families have now lived together peacefully for many, many years, "Perhaps too much of the memory remains. Because like many other things, the Hatfield- McCoy feud has become a product of commercialization," commercialization," he said. "Are there still those in faraway states ... who believe they could come to these mountains and still hear gunshots? Perhaps so. "For those people, I can only say that I sincerely sincerely wish that they could come to these mountains. mountains. I wish they could see Hatfields and McCoys working side by side, walking side by side, or sitting sitting side by side in our churches on Sunday morning. morning. I wish that they could feel the love of these mountain people — mountain people proud of their deep, rich heritage, be it Hatfield or McCoy.