Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
WOMAN'S LOVE MAY END SENSATIONAL AND
BLOODY KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN FEUD
Winchester, Ky., Jan. 18. One
woman, through love, is trying to
end the bloody feud between the
Deatons and Callahans.
For 15 years there has been
war to the death between the two
families. The fighting was not in
the open. An ambush, a puff of
smoke, and a Deaton or a Calla
han was added to the death total.
The rifles never missed.
Jim Deaton was shot and killed
15 years ago. Edward Callahan
was arrested, tried and acquitted.
The Deatons believed Callahan
was responsible for the murder.
They were quiet, but they did not
A few years after three of the
Deaton boys were shot while-going
through a mountain pass. No
body in particular was ever
blamed for these killings, and the
murderers were never brought to
trial. But the anger of the Dea
tons was smoldering.
One morning Ed Callahan was
standing at the door of his store
in Breathitt county. His "little son
was playing near. Suddenly Cal
lahan toppled over on his face.
His son ran to him.
Ed Callahan was deat There
was a bullet through his heart.
Hargis Callahan, an eleven-year-old
boy, was left to carry on the
Fletcher Deaton, brother of
Jim Deaton, and uncle of the
three boys killed, was arrested.
He was indicted for conspiring to
kill Ed Callahan. He was not
There is never enough evidence in
Breathitt county for that.
The jury in the first trial dis
agreed. Deaton is awaiting his
Outsiders believe that if Fletch
er Deaton is convicted the feud
will end. Mountaineers, who
know the temper of the hillmen,
shake their heads and say it can't
be done. Feud is in the blood,
and there is no end in sight.
There are three principals left
in the feud.
Fletcher Deaton, now in jail, is
a mild-mannered man, and his
broad chest is adorned with all
kinds of pins and medals emblem
atic of fraternal societies. Fletch
er radiates benevolence. But he
is charged with the murder of Ed
"I would have done anything in
the world for Ed," says Deaton.
"I had no animosity toward him."
Little Hargis Callahan, the
typical mountain child, bred in
the feudal atmosphere, does not
believe Fletcher Deaton. He is
regarded as the natural avenger
of his father. He so thinks of
Little Hargis calmly accepts
the role of avenger. Already he
can shoot straight. "I expect to
get even for this some day," he
say6, with a snap of the jaws, and
a cold, straight look from his old
ish, steel-gray eyes.
But his sister is fighting with
love to break this spell of destiny.
She does not want her brother tc
areed with the murder, have the blood of Fletcher Dea-