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The Evening standard. [volume] (Ogden City, Utah) 1910-1913, December 31, 1910, Part Two, Image 12

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058397/1910-12-31/ed-1/seq-12/

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r N nteruiw with 1 Cap Hatfield m His
ttjMountaln Eyrie and an Appreciation of His
Helpmeet Who Has Shared Stolidly His Perils and
Hardships a Salient Type of the Mountain
Wnman II
yr oman
CCotlrrll1Jt 1011 br tho New Tort Herald Co Alt rlchU reMrraU
I you chance to be travelling1 through Virginia on
a local tralu running down from Columbus to Nor
folk you will strike a little corner In the mountains
whore three Staten come together The brakeman
will point It out to you and name the States Vir
ginia West Virginia and Kentucky A moment later
ho will call the station Panther using his most official
voice although Panther Is not much of a towna few
wooden house built half up the hillside the railroad
at tho bottom and hills crowding nil around >
Tim hlllt are no dose It Id impossible to get n view
of the sky from the car window One must get out
ou the station platform tip ones head back and look
straight up There Is the sky uninteresting enough
OK at one end of the platform you will llnd the flguic
of a wan sitting on a horse Haw boned both of them
leuu and long and lank The bore looks half starved
and altogether ugly the man all of that is at tho
runic time tired and forlorn
The million agent If he bas time in the excitement
of the trains arrival will answer your query with
a laconic Cap Ilatflcld watch out for him
Any one not knowing who Cap llatlleld Is would
laugh nt Iho Idea of watching out for this halffed
man lie wear u blue homespun shirt old fashioned
pull boots that reuch to tho knee and across his lap
lies n muaket or Go Etc mlghf be n civil war figure
left behind by the armies that swept Virginia from
the mountains to the sea But he Is fnr from that
The barrel of his gun is tied to tho butt with pieces
nf dirt ixvlni vet the JMIII can shoot mid It has
killed mon
Cap Hallleld is lie last remnant of the llatfleld
McCoy loud which was in Its turn one of the last of
those savage family wars which waged back and
forth across the border line between the three Stales
Mrglnla West Virginia and Kentucky
The HatfieldMcCoy feud Is at an end because the
McCoys are all dead except one who ran away to
Texas and has not been heard from since In tin
meantime Cap Uattlcld would take anything he really
wauled from a chew of tobacco to a ton of steel rail
Ho would kill any one who got in his way ns easily
as ho would shoot a turkey and he Is the most notori
ous moonshiner among the mountain whites Alto
gether he Is about as lawless as a rattlesnake hi Au
gust which in those mountains is saying a good deal
If you want to meet Cap ITatlleld there Ls just one
man to introduce you If you want to call ut his moun
tain home there Is Just one man to take you there
Ho is James Baldwin one time police captain now
railroad detective of Roanoke Va Captain Baldwin
expects to dlo with his hoots on the when and where
has no particular Interest for him You might go
with him as we went In the last warm days of Octo
ber uy horses and over mountain roads And it is
worth while Just to see those two fighters together
both so clearly tho spirit of feudal days when all men
lived to tight
Cap llatlleld Is afraid of the tall white haired man
from Hotmoke Baldwin has rare guns and a clear
bead He is the only man who ever caught the
mountaineer and carried him In to Jail Cap Ha field
admires a man who can do that and so far IK It Is in
him to be friends with any one he Is friends with this
man of the law
There are both State and government warrants out
for Cap Hntflclds arrest and many u deputy In the
United States service has tried to get a hand on him
Some years ago ho moved from Plko county Ken
tucky where he was born and raised and where he
spent his tlmo killing McCoys and distilling whiskey
contrary to the law It was a bit dangerous to live
at rikovlllo under the eyes of tho Judges and the
paves of the county Jail So he moved himself his
boss his wife and his children a few miles east
Into Buchanan county Virginia where thu hills arc
almost unpeopled and the trail Is hard to Hail Uo
bud been Ocr there many a time when the law of
Kentucky was after him but this time he went to
SillY Ho built his cabin on the top of n mountain
which Is heavily wooded and thick with undergrowth
The mountaineer had plenty of children nine of
them In all but some died Cap scarcely knows how
many there are alive now Even so there are enough
of them to guard that hill and keep busybodies away
There Is Just one trail np the mountains In the first
place and a stranger may try that war If he dnvej
Plug will come the first bullet snapping through the
trees The heoond will come nearer and tho third if
any one Is foolish enough to pursue the Journey will
come might
home Theme will be no other sign of
humans the Ifaltlelds always light under cover They
might shoot you full of hole and you would have
nothing to prove It was they If you go with Captain
Baldwin you put your faith In him The revolver in
your hip pocket might better be candy or chewing gum
for tho children
Up the Mountain Trail
Captain Baldwin Roanoke and Cap Uattleld of
Buchanan county have an agreement of pence Until
within a few years the Hnttlulds
were always playing
Jokes on the railroad pulling ties
up or Liking the stove
from some station house
along the
way Sometimes
they needed the stove but often they were merely out
for a good Umcllmt
was their moonshine Idea of fun
Captain old Baldwin followed their trail until even the
man got nervous So It happened that when he
was last
In Jull for
some small offence he bUbmlJted oto
a peace agreement lIe promised not
to play with
railroad proircrty nor to make
trouble In his corner of
the world And the man from lloauokc who held some
warrants In
reserve with the throat of Kentucky Jus
them all agreed not to arrest thu old
man This contract has
held for sir
or more
und when Ca
Captain Baldwin goo to visit the UntQelds
nowaday It Is to give u word of wl1rnln
warning or a bit of
o ui bat
> may fall duo I
In the lit tt uii duv of October the mountains arc
A Typical Mountain Woman
beautiful Every roadway and open space Is cov
ered with a thick bed of yellow loaves the pines stand
In patches of dark green against the mountain sides
and tho view of the valleys Is softened with blue
haze The horses climb up narrow trails regardless
of the tree branches that slap in your face It Is a
hard ride of some twenty odd miles from the railroad
nature Is gracious and inviting but after the first turn
from the road the trail does not assist the traveller
upon his way
We who hud never made the Journey were at first
garrulous we laughed and mnde foolish puns But
as the mountains closed around us and we came near
to the tiring line time stillness made Itself felt above
our din Captain Baldwin fell Into the habit of his
work and was quiet pointing out an occasional bird
as It flea up on our passing Once It was a buzzard
under our very noses and again It was a wild turkey
far off The trail dwindled away until It was Just a
faint break In the trees we climbed over rocks and
under low tree branches We were scratched and
mauled and our horses were panting when we came
to the last turn upward and Captnln Baldwin said
Here we arc
No one wanted to lalk after that although Cap
tain Baldwin had laughed at the Idea of danger
telling us there was nothing to fear We were
perhaps not afraid but the Idea of n bullet whiz
zing through the underbrush was not reussminir
And who could tell what mistake of judgment the
brats at Captain Ilntficld calls them might
make They might see us and not our leader they
might aim high and hit low there were a dozen
mights that made us pull our necks dowu into our
collars and sit perfectly still as we rode It Is a
paralyzing thought that you are riding under the
gun eye of the enemy even though the enemy bu
nothing more than three half grown boys
Long before we clime out Into the open we could
hoar the yapping of dogs and once tin sciillle of
leaves near at hand In the undergrowth frightened
at least one of us dumb
Captain Baldwin rode on
silent and unmindful although he knew the brats
were near and watching every step of our way
When we rode into the clearing near the cabin there
they stood armed and ready And Cap Hatfield
leaning against the cabin a motionless lazy figure
held his old fashioned tllnllock across one arm ready
for work If trouble came
Our host did not greet us and we got down from
our horses as best we could fell off one of us did
from sheer numbness and fear When Captain Bald
win motioned to one of the boys to take our bridles he
did It hesitatingly not daring to disobey
Smiling Captain Baldwin wont forward with a
cheerful How do you do
Howdy answered the mountaineer staring at us
The captain nodded our way carelessly Vomon
folks home he asked They came to make u call
Our host neither moved nor turned an aye but in a
thin mountain voice called Maw
Immediately tho cabin door opened and a white
frightened face appeared Smiling and with as much
friendliness as we could muster we said How do
you dos
The woman looked anxiously toward her old man
Its all right Vo didnt come to make trouble
These folks want to talk to you And Captain Bald
win again nodded his head toward us
We stepped forward expecting to go in with her but
she thrust her arms akimbo thereby blocking the door
way while her eyes devoured ns Ai o such eyes
Gray and fairly cold with suspicion but now shining
almost black as her curiosity got the better of her
Could we havo a drink 1 I asked by way of awak
ening her although she seemed scarcely to hear as she
stared Pointing with one bony hand to a pail that
stood on a bench at the door and remaining silent and
Immovable she drank us In
We drained the cup not because we were thirsty
but to give her time Then after a long silence 1 said
Its quite a Journey up here
Come for she asked still not moving
From the station I replied wltli my most friendly
cmltn Do you go down oflten
She shook her head her i yes ranging from my
1 necktie to bolt buckle and shoes It was difficult but
I inRed gently I xupposc you go down In the sumo
j mer whcn Its warm
Nope sure answered and ns her face shadowed 1
1 could see it was nut n happy story she had to tell
Still I did not suspect how hard It was asking un
thinkingly Werent you there this summer
I Aint been bur in four your she sighed Aint
seen no folks scppln brats hero
It seemed almost impossible
But arent you lonely we protested
And having said it we were sorry for a look of
pain came over her face and her eyes sought the trail
sharply There are some things that are never spoken
yet thetrouble of years can dissolve Into a feeling
and pas between people until each person under
stands It was so in this case the buffering of her
I lonely hunted life wan qs keen to mo as If she
had told It word for word We each looked toward
the trail and 1 for the first time saw the opening lu
the trees far below where the trail was revealed IIoiv
many times her eyes had looked toward that trail 1
could but partly guess How many times she had
watched for enemies and seen her boys coming homo
hurt from n fight I How many times her old man had
gone that way and the had waited wondering If be
would ever come back How many times her eyes had
followed the trail longing to go out Into the world
and how much of the worlds misery and bitterness
must have dragged up that way to lodge at her door
She hew her breutiu with a hard quick SOIl1l1llIlICl
we knew She had scarcely spoken n word und yet
hnd told her story as she had not words to tell It I
turned toward her eager to spenk my sympathy but
her drawn white face made that Impossible She was
wringing her hands nervously In her apron For a
moment she wavered hen stepped back from the
door with a quick lIul
In the One Room Cabin
We went into a one room log cabin without win
dows which means without light or air At one side
the chimney sent a smudgy smoke Into the room The
beds on the other side were double decker berths lllled
with corn husk ticks There was a pine board table
with benches on each side and at the far end of the
room stood a cupboard tilled with dirty tins a cracked
plate or two some corn meal and a bag of suit Near
the tire bung borne sides of pork that had been re
cently smoked The cupboard was by far the most
Important piece of furniture in the room since It held
the eating and cooking paraphernalia for tie house
hold Flour and water corn bread made up their bill
of fare When the old man went Into town with a
jug of whiskey and traded it for tobacco he some
times opened his heart and purse for coffee Once In
u great while he came home with an orange which he
had bought as a curiosity but they usually kept It to
look at until It was lIrlecJ beyond eating
We sat down on the benches and pretended to feel
nt home although the dogs and chickens fairly ate us
up The woman shooed roughly Im feared It alut
what yer used to here she said
Oh Its great fun we answered trying to believe
It ourselves
Taint like what you come from I reckon she
questioned wistfully
Well you see we live In the town apologized
and lieu to change the subject Do the children go to
She folded her arms and I saw that had hurt her
although she answered bravely enough Gawd no
they aint no eddlcatlon worth caouutln up here I
reckon you ben ltldlcu ted 7
Ive been to school I admitted
Kin you write good she asked eagerly Then as
I uoddccj my head I wanted my girls to hey ediUca
tlon but 1 caynt git If nohow There a growln up
here like the hawgs TJiero aint nothln I kin do
Scorns llviu aint no partlkler fun she added shaking
her head i
You must ImveUad a hard lime I said as kindly
as iwsslhle
Theres ben trouble aplenty she answered with
n hard note In her voice Theres allus ben trouble
with him Mon folksf hard to get on with
Werent you afraid all alone so much f for It
vtne plain there had been no chivalry In her life
She held her bond high Law no Aint nothln
to be ftfunrln of folks dies they dies and thats all
there Is on It I lost plenty of folks too with nil this
trouble of mini an cf they goes why they goes you
cant help It nohow
And with this piece of philosophy she settled back
Into n stolid silence which gave ono again the Im
pression of years spent waiting It may have been
those yean of waiting and watching and never
knowing which gave to the mountain women n cour
age their men hare not The men tight from cover
and run they never choose to meet the enemy face to
fare But the women have braved any danger to
help their folks In the history of the Hatflcld
McCoy feud there are plenty of women who wont to
n ht and went unarmed
Early In the history of the feud there appears the
mother of Knndolph McCoy thirteen years old who
was captured by the Hatflolds The boy was held a
prisoner In a lonely cnbln nnd you may believe well
guarded But his mother went in the middle of the
night trumping for miles over the mountains to reach
her boy On her knees she begged Bad Anso Hat Held
whose mime wag well earned to kill her nnd spare
the boy It rather spoils tluv story of the feuds to
ft know that he literally klckeu Her out 01 thc cutout
II door On another occasion some brave McCoy women
notified their cinnamon that trouble was ahead And
as n result the trouble cane to them for the fiat
fields rode up to their cnjfn in the night killed their
rinii drat pt1 them out of doors and horsewhipped
them until their ribs wore broken
And another time when the cabin of Old ltand1
MiC > j was surrounded by the enemy In the night it
vas Mrs McCoy who opened the cabin door and
walked out Into tho mob to reach her girls who Lund
been sleeping In II cabin near at hand One of till
Haillcld not thiuklng her worth shooting struck her
with the butt of his gun She fell to the ground
badly hurt but drugged herself along on hands and
UnciK still lioiifbn wiving her children and Cap Hat
llold nt one of his tribe kicked her and killed her
That was all right to their minds for what use was
a woman but to do as a man told her In the LTargis
Cockrlll feud there was a woman named Mrs George
Johnson Mrs Johnson without a gun or any klllng
of the enemy on her part fought through tho yearn
s hllt her uncle brother and sou were shot and her
husband was driven Into exile Her brother was
afraid to appear In the street because ho know 081n
sins were following him And for years ha walked
with his sister between him nnd the possible enemy
Once when he was going to the railway station a sis
ter walked on each side of him and he carried hLs
baby In his arms if murder had hc attempted one
other than himself must have been sacrificed
It never coined to occur to the men that there was
anything unmanly In that sort of thing Cap Uatfleld
would treat his woman as well as he would treat his
horse and consider himself kind enough in so doing
His woman Is undoubtedly braver than he She may
not shoot HH straight but she has fought and she does
not fear the open
You dont kill McCoys any Miorc I was bold
enough to ask the old man as he sat on a bench at the
cabin door
He grinned sheepishly Nope
Why not I urged to start him on his story
He took a corncob pipe from his mouth to answer
Aint none around yere
Killed them all off
Yep I
His Man Killing Record
Whom arc you going to kill now Just for fun
This was n rather unnecessary
question but he took It
good naturedly
Xo mi I reckon Too old
He fumbled his musket
and we looked at Ita
great old faahloiied thing which has killed more than
one man He would nor let it out of his hnuuJ even
when he turned It over and pulled It around It was
tied with innumerable bits of string and a piece of
rusty wire held the trigger In place It was a breech
loader with u ramrod and leading us Into lime house
lie showed us his bullet mould his ladle and u piece
of lead pIpe eertulnly not come by honestly from
whkh hid bullets were made It was all so old maim
honed it ceased to seem dangerous and we asked
Have you killed any one with this
He nodded his head referring to It as thongh it I
were n matter of factory which in trnth It Is
T other side of Tug Elver there wus three was a
monotonous drawl
He hosltnfcd and we wnlfod br nfhlf 9s whfTo hrIli
got the better of his judgment and he went on
Up to ole KandLs there wua a couple Up In tf hills
thr with a nod over his shoulder One o them
Sheriff fellers como alongmin ole man down
3yonderpointhigand a couple o more mnybo
the lost ns though n man or two were not worth
But It was not nil done with a musket of GO Cap
Hatfiold has eight lend mens scalps at his brit and
he will show you with pride his shooting Irons Two
revolvers of recent pattern he reserves for his own
use Ills oldest boy dragged to the front can pro
duce nn older pair guns that have poon good sorvle
Aaid each child In turn is armed according tj his
age They ore trained to firearms from the cradle
and to look upon revolvers ns a necessity of life
Cnp Hatfield Is as childlike about some things as
any of his children He will go to the railway station
and alt for hours watching the trains como anti go
with their freight of humans from the outside world
He was Just as much Interested In us And we were as
queer to him as bo nnd his family could possibly have
been to ns He showed us his knives made out of
butcher knives sharpened on both edges and worn
with use until their original purpose Is no longer ap
parent The women have no knives for cooking but
all the children have knives for killing men and when
some meat Is needed they borrow a man killer to
carve the bacon
There was little enough to show but CoP Hntfleld
did the honors with pride Maw whores that there
collar ho questioned when his tools had been care
fully handled and praised
Maw did not know but the children scrambled
under flue bed all of the little ones helping to bring tho
collar to view it was a gnudy affair the kind few
cowboys oven in the good old days have worn But
T onCC TIll ttlhl Caps brother went to Colorado once
In JSST und when he came home a couple of years
later he brought a complete cowboy outfit much as
they MO 11 In stores Ills hat Lund silver stars em
broidered on tho brim Ills coat was leather fringed IiII
at tIll seams and with embroidered collars and cuff J
done In silver and scarlet Tie was as proud of that
outfit ns a Hatfield girl could hove been with a silk
All of the Hatfield men fell victim to IU charm
For once In their lives they were indiscreet they went
to the nearest photographer In a body nnd one by ono
they put on the hat and coat armed themselves with
revolvers after the true cowboy fashion and had
Ihelr pictures taken Needless to say they had never
bad their pictures taken before and never would
The coat and hat nre gone worn out by the hand
ling of admirers but the collar remains the treasured
possession of the one leader who lives to wage war
upon the world Jonce Uatfleld now dead waa tho
ugliest one of Devil Anse Hatflelds children He fell
In love with Jlose Ann McCoy and carried her off to
hIs fathers house Two years later he drove her
away by his brutality and rite went home carrying
her baby boy with her When the boy WaR nine years
old a band of Hatflelds led by Jonce made a raid on
the cabin one night They battered down the door ot
the cabin where the boy wan Bleeping with the girls
of tho family Alfara McCoy the eldest girl stood
In the doorway to protect the others and was shot
Ellison Hatfleld was afterward captured tried and
bunged for the murder Jonee Hatfleld breaking Into
the loom over the girls dend body saw the figure of
some one lying in bed covered with blankets Ho
fired and almo killed his own boy nn Incident which
was considered a great Joke among the Hatllelds
ThLs was the cabin of Randolph McCoy one of the
originators of the feud It all came about over two
hawgs as the mountaineers would call them Han
dolph McCoy and Floyd Hatfield claimed the same
two razorbacks and when Floyd Hatfield brought
suit to recover them he had the case called before
Justice Matthew Hatficld The settlement naturally
in favor of the Ilutfields canned bad blood and at tho
next county election when there was too much moon
shine whLskey the Ilatfields and McCoys got together
In their first real fight After that Intermittently for
years the war was raged They made raids on houses
at midnight killing men women and children they
set fire to cabins and lay iu ambush to shoot and kill
It was barbaric warfare such as might have pre
vailed n century before The mountaineers are at
least a hundred years behind the time and strangers
to the present ways and doings of the world
Cap llnfflelds eldest girl took the red neck ribbon I
handed her and clutched It to her breast with a savage
Joy In her eyes She was like a wild animal She did
not seem grateful or to have any thought of the gift a
part of It She had the ribbon and she hung on to It
as If we would take It away from her Indeed
we were time only ones who did not try to snatch 1L
All of the family even her father wanted It and held
out greedy hands The boys chewed the gum we had
given them and said nothing but looked volumes
limp little girls screamed and clawed until their father
kicked nt them as he had Just kicked the dogs Lie
would undoubtedly have kicked them Into the cornel r
aa unthinkingly but they were spry midgets and got
out of the way
Back to the Outside World
We did not choose a long call on the Hottlelds
There were a few words of warning delivered on the t
side between the two captains we took n last look
toward the tall where we MOW a wonderful view and
climbed on our horses to get under way for the Jour
ney down Cap Hatllcld walked beside us as far as
the timber and the boys ran nil the way to the trail at
the foot of the bill Each member of the family left
us regretfully devoured by curiosity concerning us
and looking at UB with big eyes as long as wo ww
In sight
Queerer to them thnn they arc to us I said as we
turned Into time trail
limo Captain from Itoanoke shook his head and
laughed But after all that Ls true for they In their
minds and hearts are still In the pioneer period Our
pioneer ancestors lived In fortified cabins and fought
men There was no bad blood with them they fought
to protect themselves und their law The Hatfleldi
protect themselves against law and tight for pioneer
rights which other Americans have long since fore r t

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