Devil Anse Hatfield

Chuck Roberts/ WVPB

Spring, summer and fall in Gilbert, West Virginia, in Mingo County, most days you can find a barrage of ATVs rolling through town. 

Most of the riders are visiting for an adventurous vacation. The asphalt road runs are usually a short trip from their cabins, or hotels to the woods onto the Hatfield and McCoy Trail systems. 


Chuck Roberts/ WVPB

By branding southern West Virginia “Hatfield & McCoy” country, are we re-affirming negative stereotypes in Appalachia?

In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll look at how some communities in southern West Virginia are hoping to jumpstart their local economies through tourism. In particular, we’ll explore a type of tourism that caters to ATV riders along the Hatfield and McCoy trail system.

But what do we gain, and what do we lose, when we market ourselves to visitors? Are people able to remain true to their real identity, and claim ownership of their own narrative? We'll discuss that and more in this week's episode.


October 30, 1825: Feudist Randolph McCoy Born in Logan County

Oct 30, 2019
Randolph McCoy
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Feudist Randolph McCoy was born in Logan County on October 30, 1825. He married his cousin, whose father gave the couple a small farm in neighboring Pike County, Kentucky. There, they raised 13 children.

January 1, 1888: Hatfields Attack McCoy Cabin Killing Two

Jan 1, 2019
Without Devil Anse himself being present, the Hatfields set fire to the cabin of Randolph McCoy, the head of the McCoy family.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

The night of January 1, 1888, marked the worst atrocity in the long-running troubles between the Hatfields of Logan County, West Virginia, and the McCoys of Pike County, Kentucky. That evening, New Year’s Day 1888, Hatfield patriarch “Devil Anse” Hatfield launched a scheme that he hoped would end the feud once and for all. It was led by his uncle, Jim Vance. Without Devil Anse himself being present, the Hatfields set fire to the cabin of Randolph McCoy, the head of the McCoy family. Although Randolph escaped, two of his grown children were killed.

December 10, 1844: Clergyman William "Uncle" Dyke Garrett Born

Dec 10, 2018
 SharePrint Uncle Dyke Garrett
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online & Lillian Porter Smith

Clergyman William Dyke Garrett was born on December 10, 1844. Known affectionately as “Uncle Dyke,” Garrett was a legendary figure in Logan County history. At the beginning of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate Logan Wildcats regiment. Being deaf in one ear, he wasn’t forced to fight. Instead, he was named chaplain of the unit.

Killing the McCoys Munsey mag
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

One of the pivotal events in the Hatfield-McCoy Feud occurred on August 8, 1882. Tensions between the two families had started rising a few days earlier, when Ellison Hatfield—the brother of Hatfield patriarch “Devil Anse”—was mortally wounded by three of Randolph McCoy’s sons in a drunken election-day brawl. Apparently, the fight occurred over a small debt owed on a fiddle.

After learning of the incident, “Devil Anse” Hatfield gathered up his wounded brother. His sons and other family members captured Tolbert, Pharmer, and Randolph McCoy Jr.

E Willis Windy Wilson
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

West Virginia governor E. Willis Wilson was born at Harpers Ferry on August 11, 1844. The Democrat was elected to the state House of Delegates in 1869 and to the senate three years later.

After moving to Charleston in 1874, he again served in the House and became speaker in 1880.