Hatfield Pioneers

Submitted by Frank Adams
*From the 1952 Centennial Program Booklet


By Coleman A. Hatfield

Coleman A. Hatfield

About the year 1800 the territory out of which Logan county was carved, was a vast wilderness and hunting ground of the red men. In the year 1792 a band of Shawnee Indians raided the white settlements of the Clinch River and killed a settler named David Musick at what is now Honaker in Russell country, Virginia. Musick’s widow and five children were carried away by the Indians but were subsequently overtaken by a party of white men who rescued them. One of the rescuers was Ephraim Hatfield, a young settler of Thompson’s creek now in the New Garden District. Some two years before that time Ephraim’s wife, Mary Smith Hatfield, had died, leaving two small sons, Joseph and Valentine.

Sometime after the rescue of the Musick family, Ephraim Hatfield and the widow, Anna Musick, were married and, like many other sturdy pioneers, set out with their families across the mountains toward the Sandy River country, not many miles from the present city Matewan, West Virginia.

The second son, Valentine, later became known as “Wall” Hatfield, who settled on Tug River at the present site of Sprigg in the County of Mingo. “Uncle Walley,” as he was known in later years, reared his family of twelve children, among whom was the second Ephraim. “Big Eaph,” as he was called, was born in 1811 and settled on Mate creek. He became a mighty hunter and once killed a panther with a hunting knife on a rocky hilltop at the head of Mud Lick Branch near Red Jacket.

“Panther Killer” Ephraim’s second son, Anderson, was born in 1839 and became the captain in a company of Virginia militia which trained in Logan from 1856 until 1860. Anderson entered the Southern Army under the command of General Alfred Beckley and early earned a fighting name of “Devil Anse” Hatfield.

Following the Civil War, “Devil Anse” took up a tract of approximately five thousand acres of land on the north side of Tug Fork of Sandy near the mouth of Peter creek. He lived there for some fifteen years when local warfare broke out which has been later known of the Hatfield and McCoy feud. A river which marked the boundary between the states of West Virginia and Kentucky became the deadline, across which it was unsafe for any enemy to pass.

Much has been written and many stores have been exaggerated regarding the conflict, which lasted during the ‘80’s. There were approximately one hundred fifty men who participated at various times and places in the pitched battles along the border. Invading parties from both families would often ride across the line into enemy territory where bloodshed would result. The governors of the two states refused to honor extradition papers for the participants living in the opposing state, it being charged that the sovereignty of both states had been violated by outsiders in quest of the scalps of their enemies.

Few are living who remember the clashes of galloping raiders across the border of seventy years ago. The and McCoys alike as as their neighbors whose ancestors feud days have all come from the pioneer stock who pushed the frontier of civilization across the hills.

Marooned in the wilderness, they engaged in the struggle of subduing the forest and establishing homes for their families. The patriarch settlers established homes for their sons and daughters around the old homestead, so that it is easy to understand how large families developed in many areas with their kith and kin who held the frontier prior to the great industrial development of this century, including mines, highways, schools and churches.

Funeral of Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield

Devil Anse Hatfield

— End of the 1952 Centennial Program Booklet Article —

Dr. Coleman C. Hatfield (1927-2008): “My father, Coleman A. Hatfield, the son of Cap Hatfield, spent the majority of his adult life researching Hatfield and McCoy feud history. Besides being a Logan attorney, he was a gifted writer and researcher in his own right. He kept meticulous journals and audiotapes throughout his life about his historical findings, before passing away in 1970. In addition to his research, Dad remembered and recounted many of the stories and tall tales that he personally had heard Devil Anse and his wife, Levicy, tell the grandchildren through the years.”

William Anderson "Cap" Hatfield Jr.

William Anderson “Cap” Hatfield, Jr. (1864-1930) Logan County, W. Va. Cap was the 2nd son of Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield and father of Coleman Anderson Hatfield. Used with permission & courtesy of www.wvhistoryonview.org

Emmanuel "Willis" Wilson Hatfield (Feb. 10, 1888 - May 25, 1978). AP photo taken Nov. 14, 1975 by Charles W. Harrity (Purchased. DO NOT COPY). “Willis Hatfield, alive and well in his 87th year, sits in 20th Century comfort in his son’s dining room in Logan W. Va. The last surviving offspring of Devil Anse Hatfield recalls his childhood in a house with log walls and his father and eight brothers eating supper every night with rifles across their laps.”

Emmanuel “Willis” Wilson Hatfield (Feb. 10, 1888 – May 25, 1978). AP photo taken Nov. 14, 1975 by Charles W. Harrity (Purchased. DO NOT COPY). “Willis Hatfield, alive and well in his 87th year, sits in 20th Century comfort in his son’s dining room in Logan W. Va. The last surviving offspring of Devil Anse Hatfield recalls his childhood in a house with log walls and his father and eight brothers eating supper every night with rifles across their laps.”

Submitted by Dodie (Smith) Browning
The New York Times, Page 1
October 28, 1889

Taken From Jail and Lynched

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 locked 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.

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*Source: 1952 Centennial Program Booklet published by the City of Logan and deemed not to be copyrighted. The content on this page is for educational purposes and is used in accordance with the Fair Use Law (Per Title 17—United States Code—Section 107). This is a not-for-profit website and absolutely no commercial gain is derived from its operation and publication by the owner.

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38 Responses to Hatfield Pioneers

  1. donald smith says:

    Dodie Smith Browning my dad was hurst smith, larkin jr. son. what I have found was mary polly smith was the mother of Thomas smith. she married Ephraim hatfield, valentine’s mother. ericus was Mary’s dad. they came from rhodeisland to Virginia. her grand dad was also named ericus. he came from what I can find from Sweden. I cant find who thomas’ dad was. the war hero is suppose to be for the battle of point pleasant. his name is supposed to be on the placa in the park where the battle took place. Thomas also had a daughter named mary polly smith. she married petter heck cline

  2. Don Smith says:

    Give me a call at 740 277 3567 Maureen.

  3. Don Smith says:

    Maureen I am your cousin my dad is Hurst Smith .

  4. Cary A. Hatfield (maiden name) says:

    I started genealogy in 1985 My Uncle Bud said we were related to Devil Anse Hatfield. Still trying to prove it. My GGF was John H. Hatfield from Eastern Tennessee according to family words. He had 5 brothers and 1 sister. His brothers fought in the Civil War. John was born ca.1838 TN and married in Marion County, Illinois 1857. I can trace him in Illinois 1860,70,80.s Sure would like to find his origin in E. Tenn. His father’s name was said to be Ansel. Any help appreciated. C.A. Hatfield, Southern Illinois 2/24/2016

  5. Tim ward says:

    Obida workman is my great great grandfather was he envolved with the hatfields can any one help?

  6. Carol Mccoy says:

    Hi Dodie its so nice to once again read your work, I know we lost touch after the Va. gen web was lost. Keeping you in my prayers. Carol Nixon Mccoy

  7. Susan Irgens says:

    Hi I am an elkins my daddy grew up in mingo logan his family had been there since they came up from va.n in the late 1700s. He left to go to war in 1940 or 41. I was told we were related to the hatfields. I think that some one had a baby out of wed lock and that they took the name elkins thers maiden name because the hatfield (john?) would not (maybe would not recognize the child) does anyone out there know how the logan mingo county lily and elkins familyl fit in. and if so what was the mother and childs name?

  8. rachel sperry says:

    My grdmother was Mary Hatfield Burgess Redman Cassell Coffman,daughter of Joseph and Annie Belcher Burgess,my grdmother was the illigimnate daughter of devil anse, i have a picture of 2 men in a boat of a river,the back of the pic.says elliot hatfield,doesnt say who the other man was ,is their any pics of elliot around? i have a small booklet of the hatfield family looks like something from a museum that was also in her posesions. My grdmother was not regonized as a hatfield,it was told that if he claimed her his wife would divorce her. Where find info on elliot picture

  9. Judith Ann Knott Peyton says:

    My name is Judith (Judy) Knott Peyton and I grew up next door to Luke and June Hatfield Rutherford and their children Judy and Matthew Rutherford. Willis Hatfield (June’s father) lived with them at the time and worked , I believe, at the water plant for Youngstown Mines at Dehue. Judy was my best friend during my childhood in the fifties and her Grandfather, Willis, drove us to the theatre in Logan many Sundays during this time. Willis liked to garden and always had some kind of animals in a pen across the creek from Dehue on the side of the hill . I remember he had a mule and one time after he bought some chickens and put them in his car they somehow escaped after he stopped by a local establishment on his way home and he had a mess to clean up when he got them home. Willis was never a big man but he had a very big appetite and June would always fix him three large meals every day. His breakfast would consist of eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and either biscuits or toast every morning along with fried apples and/or tomatoes. I kept in touch with Judy Rutherford Merritt for a long time but with time and other factors I have lost contact with her. The last I know she lived in Chicago and taught school…..

    • Judith Ann Knott Peyton says:

      wanted to add, family called me Blondie and Judy, Red, since we were inseparable and both Judys. We were best friends from first grade through High School…

      • Bob Piros says:

        Hi Judith,according to my LHS 2010 Class Directory,
        Judith married a Richard Morgan & they live at
        5219 S.Kenwood Ave.,Chicago,IL.60615.
        e-mail is merrittrwmjam@aol.com.
        You might also check Anywho.com.
        There is also a Logan High School site.
        Take Care.

  10. George Scofield says:

    My wife a Hatfield. Her father George Hatfield from Marksville LA. His father Preston Hatfield place of berth not known. Looking for a connection to West VA Hatfields.

  11. Karen Smith says:

    Being a West Virginia Girl, I loved this. West Virginia is still home.

  12. bud noe says:

    did willis have aa nickname of buzzard? and had a grand daughter Judy . she had deep red hair. lived across tracks going up Dehue on right?

  13. Larry Anthony says:

    I am looking for William Anderson Hatfield Jr. His nickname is Cap. I
    am looking for either an original signiture or even a copy of his
    signiture. I know he died in 1930 and was a Logan deputy sheriff.

  14. Susie Coomes Lucas says:

    My grandmother was Minnie Hatfield. She was born in the 1800’s died in January of 1971. Her dad was Willis Hatfield. According to her, she was a 2nd cousin to Devil Anse. Can anyone verify this?

  15. tammy workman harrison says:

    I have found a possible 14 hatfield workman marriages and 5 confirmed. Are these the Workmans who are desc of jans dircks woertman, Abraham, Joseph and James,etc?

  16. My first cousin, Kathryn Riggs married John Hatfield who was the son of Willis Hatfield. They all lived at Dehue. Willis was not the youngest son, but the last to die and he is buried at the Hatfield Cemetery. Kathryn and John are both deceased now and also buried there. Kathryn owned a beauty shop in Logan called “Kitty’s Hat Box” that was located on the corner of a bank building. I don’t recall the name of the bank, but it was on the corner. John was a car salesman. A boy I graduated with in 1955 told me his dad baptized Devil Anse. I knew that was not true, so I called Kitty and ask her to give me some information. She wrote me a letter which is somewhat interesting. I will try to scan it to post, but if it is not legible I will type it out and post it here and on facebook. John had a lot of Hatfield memorabilia which he sometimes loaded to school children to show and tell at school. I don’t know what happened to all the things John had, but his youngest sister, Fannie Kae Riggs and her brother John Riggs (now deceased) took care of the estate, so I will try to find out if she knows what John Hatfield had and what happened to everything. We lived next-door to Willis and his family at Dehue. I was just a baby. I was born on November 9, 1936 and when the miners were on strike in the summer my folks took me to Ky to my grandparents. When they returned Willis wife had died of consumption (TB). He never remarried. Willis also had two daughters, June (who I was named after (Dolores June) and Ruth. June was very close to mother and mother spent a lot of time trying to console her when they returned from KY. June married Luke Rutherford and Willis lived with them at Dehue in later years until his death. They are no longer living. Ruth did live in Huntington, but I am not sure if she is still living or not. Dolores Riggs-Davis

    • John Mahoney says:

      Hi Dolores. Aunt Kitty’s shop was, and is still named, “Kitty’s Beauty Box” and is located on the 3rd floor of the former Logan Bank building on Stratton Street. When she retired, her longtime assistant, Jane, took over the business. I’ll ask mom whatever happened to all the Hatfield memorabilia.

      • Thank you John. I hope Kae knows where it is, and if she has it put away safe. Surely John had pictures that may have never been seen by others. I know he used to let school children take something to school for maybe “show and tell,” but I don’t think he ever said what he gave them to show at school. How is your mom. She has been on my mind all week. We call each other now and then, an laugh over the “old days.” She was aways so good to me and when I was in grade school she was in high school. I slept over whenever I could. She always made candy, and I loved taking a bath in their old claw-foot bathtub. She would give me clothes that she grew tired of, and liked shampooing my hair. We had some good times back then. I love hearing from you. Take care. Dolores

      • Judith Ann Knott Peyton says:

        Also wanted to mention that Willis Hatfield drove a “Willie” Jeep while on the job. Not sure why we called it a Willie Jeep….

    • Judith Ann Knott Peyton says:

      I remember Kitty Hatfield (wife of John Hatfield, son of Willis) as being a very beautiful petite woman who was meticulous about her appearance and her home. She was a beautician and once when there was some kind of Sunbeam bread contest to see who could emulate Little Miss Sunbeam’s hairdo, Kitty fixed her niece’s hair (Judy Rutherford) to look just like Little Miss Sunbeam’s hair. The last time I saw my childhood friend, Judy Rutherford Merritt was at John Hatfield’s funeral. Kitty and John were a very, very close couple (I don’t believe they had children together). Kitty sat in a chair placed next to John’s casket during the entire service and the minister said Kitty said the most touching prayer he has heard a wife say. After the funeral, the family gathered together at John and Kitty’s home in Midleburg and when some of the family brought food into the living room , Judy Rutherford Merritt (Kitty and John’s niece) said , “oh no!, Kitty would not like anyone to eat in her living room….

  17. richard witfoth says:

    to dodie (smith) browning = can you tell anything on nancy (hatfield) vance my mother is a vance her grand father is wayne preston vance am trying find out more on the vance family if you can help. thank you

    • Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

      Hi Richard,
      I’m neither a Vance nor a Hatfield descendant, but related to both. What time frame are we talking about for Wayne Preston Vance and Nancy Hatfield? Were they husband and wife or from different generations?

      • r Witfoth says:

        He was born we believe 1855 . He was married to Emma (Emily) Swann. We are trying to figure out who his parents are. We were told that there is a relation to Bad Jim Vance and the Hatfields but we are stuck at that point. Thanks

    • Jamie Vans says:

      Richard, I research the Vance family (I have more than 20,000 of them in my database) and I’d be happy to try to pin down your ancestors if you get in touch. You can reach me through my website or email me at jvans@dsl.pipex.com.

  18. Debra (Workman) Wade says:

    My brother directed me to your website. Our family is from that area and I wondered if you could give me information on family history. My father (now deceased) was Harry Workman, His father, was Harrison Workman, Harrison and his first wife had 3 children; Truman, Violet and Madge. Harrisons’ first wife died and he then married my grandmother Pearl Robison. Pearl Robison had also been married before she had one child by the first marriage; Esther Cook. Harrison and Pearl had three children together; Naomi, Helen, and Harry (my Dad). Dad had cousins with the last name Browning who visited us when I was young. We would greatly appreciate any info, Dads mom died when he was young and his father died when Dad was in the military, nobody kept any records of family history so all I have to go on is what I know for sure and a few family rumors. Thanks, Deb Wade

    • Frank Thompson says:

      Hello Debra,

      I know how frustrating it can be when trying to find information about your ancestors; especially, when you keep running into dead ends. I’ve been involved in searching my family tree for over twenty years. I have spent countless hours searching census, birth, and death records, etc. Although my search has been very frustrating at times, I have enjoyed it. I am sorry that I can not personally provide the information you seek. Hopefully, someone visiting this site can be of help to you. Good luck in your search!

  19. Ann Smith says:

    My name is Ann Marie Smith, my mother is Nellie Smith (Workman), and her 14 brothers and sisters (one is Iva-Sue Harrison) are the children of Mary Louise Workman (Hatfield) and Gilbert Arval Workman. I have a great Aunt named Carolyn Belcher (Hatfield) My great-great-great grandfather I believe was Thomas Hatfield. They lived in Logan, WV in the 70’s, some of them still do on Coal Branch Hollow. I love reading about the history of the Hatfield-Harrison-Workman family.

  20. Kyle Workman says:

    Dodie, You know me Sweetie, I’m for publishing…But I also understand your point of view. That’s what makes you Dodie. I told Dickie Fortner today that I thought you had more knowledge about Logan County History and Families than anyone else that I had contact with.

  21. Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

    Thanks for the update, Kyle ( and the kudos). I knew Ed from the time we moved to City View when I was 5 years old. He lived with his brother Charles (wife Rachel Mae) until he married the strikingly beautiful Grace. Rachel Mae was a very close friend of my Mother’s. Ed “sort of” dated my sister Ruth when they were teenagers. Seems like I do remember hearing something about his valve replacement, but I didn’t know he had died. I’m glad you are enjoying the book. I can’t put all chapters online because some things might bring up some things best left unshared. I doubt that I will ever make chapter 7 public. The title of that chapter is “Mountain Murders And Mathem”. Everything in that chapter is from public records and much of it already online, but descendants of some of the people might be hurt or offended. You and I discussed alot of “stuff” several years ago though.

  22. Kyle Workman says:

    Hey Dodie, Our friend Ed Harrison passed away some years back. You know he had one of the first Heart Valve Replacements anywhere. At that time it was experimental. He survived a few years after the operation but passed away some years later. He was like a brother, I loved Ed and Grace. Gracie stayed in Logan for many years after that and later remarried. Somewhere along the line we lost contact. Although my kids were very small they loved the outdoors with Ed and Gracie. Fishing off the boat and eating while camping. They got to play in the creeks and chase crawdads and just have a great time. Also I wanted to say that each chapter I read I say I really liked this one the best, then I go back and read the other one and say, no, I like this one the best. To tell the truth, I’m envious of your talent. Thank you my friend for putting all that wonderful information together and sharing it with others.

    Your Admiring Friend


  23. Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

    Hey Kyle,
    I had no idea you and Pat were friends with Ed and Grace Harrison! If the same couple, they lived in the downstairs of our house (City View) when they were first married. Next time you see them or talk to them, give them my best!

  24. Kyle Workman says:

    While traveling to Dewey Lake {Jenny Wiley State Park} in Kentucky back in the mid 70’s, my wife and I stopped at a small flea market somewhere in Kentucky not to far from Nolan, WV. While browsing my wife Pat and I ran upon a 32 caliber Owl Head pistol. After negotiating for sometime we made a deal and I put the old pistol in our van. We were visiting Ed and Grace Harrison at the lake for the weekend with our kids for some fun on the lake. A couple of days after returning home I decided to pull the old owl head out and clean it up. I took the Ivory handles off and on the inside was the inscription Anderson Hatfield. Needless to say I was stunned. I called Henry Hatfield who was a friend of mine and frequented the barber shop where I worked. He said indeed there was talk of a 32 Owl head pistol in the family. I took the pistol to work the next day and Henry and Jack Hatfield came down to the barber shop to take a look at the old gun. After some discussion and trading around my wife Pat and I decided to give the old owl head to the Hatfield Brothers. The last I heard of it someone gave it to the Hatfield Museum at Omar or somewhere near there. I remained to be friends with Henry and Jack the rest of their lives.

  25. Coleman failed to mention that Mary (Smith) Hatfield had a son named Thomas Smith before she married Eph Hatfield. It is not known if Mary had other Smith children. Some historians say that Mary was a Goff, first married to a Smith, but others claim that she was the daughter of Ericus Smith of Russell County, VA. It is a fact that Mary and Eph Hatfield shared in the estate of Ericus Smith of Russell County VA. The relationship to Ericus Smith was not stated, but in order to be an heir, she had to either be a daughter of Ericus Smith or the the widow of a deceased son of Ericus Smith. Thomas Smith (AKA Thomas Smith Of Horsepen) was born about 1780. Henry Clay Ragland mistakenly called Thomas Smith a Revoultionary War Hero, but he was too young to have been in the Revolutionary War. Thomas Smith (of Horsepen) was definitely a half brother of Ephriam Hatfield though.

    • Maureen Gerrity says:

      RE: Thomas Smith (AKA Thomas Smith of Horsepen) Still looking for information / confirmation that Thomas Smith is indeed son of Mary Smith Hatfield who also gave birth to Joseph and Valentine Hatfield. Can Anyone help with newly discovered documentation of Thomas Smith of Horsepen parentage? Thomas’ son John had son Larkin who had son Larkin. Larkin junior is my Dad’s Father, so would love to find anything. May I ask how you knew Mary was Thomas’s mother? Also half brother of Ephriam??