William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, Captain [00001] Newspaper Articles

Newspaper Article – Date & Source Unknown

Feudist Going On Stage

“Devil” Anse Hatfield to Relate in Vaudeville Some of His Experiences.

Charleston, WV: October 1 – “Devil” Anse Hatfield, of Hatfield-McCoy feud fame, will appear in vaudeville at a local theater tomorrow night. Hatfield is 74 years old. He will recount some of his feud experiences, which embrace some of the most desperate encounters in West Virginia’s history. Hatfield was here with his son, Dr. George Hatfield, calling on Gov. H D. Hatfield, a relative, when a tempting offer to go on the vaudeville stage was made to him, and he accepted.

Newspaper Article – Date & Source Unknown

“Devil” Anse Converted

Feudist Hatfield Tired of Gun Work; Embraces Religion

Logan, WV: October 16 – Anse Hatfield, known throughout Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee as “Devil Anse” Hatfield of Hatfield-McCoy feud fame, as embraced religion. At a revival meeting near his home, at the head of Island Creek, Hatfield made public confession and was baptized by Rev. W. D. Garrett, better known as “Uncle Detse.” Hatfield says he is tired of feuds, of which he has done his share of the gun work. It’s the simple and quite life for him from now on.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph, January 8, 1921

Pneumonia Ends Career of Devil Anse Hatfield

Noted Feud Leader Had Always Predicted He Would Live to Die Natural Death
Had None of Attributes Bad Man in Character
Spent Last Fifteen Years of His Life Quietly and Peacefully on Small Farm He Owned in Logan County
Will be Buried There Sunday

Huntington, WV, Jan. 7 - Funeral services for "Devil Anse" Hatfield, noted feud leader, who died at his home on Island Creek, Logan county, Thursday night of pneumonia, will be held at three o'clock Sunday afternoon.

Williamson, WV, Jan. 7 - Reports reaching Williamson tonight were that Devil Anse Hatfield, leader of the clan in the Hatfield-McCoy feud in the 80's and 90's, had died at his home on Island Creek, Logan county, of pneumonia last night. Relatives here were without word of the death.

Anderson ("Devil Anse") Hatfield was one of the leaders of the historic feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families in the mountains of West Virginia and northern Kentucky. Shot at from ambush and in hand-to-hand combat scores of times with the McCoys, he had always predicted he would live to die a natural death, as he now has at the age of eighty, without bearing any marks of battle.

"Devil Anse" had a reputation as a crack shot, that was known throughout the mountainous region of the two states, and at the age of seventy he could shoot a squirrel out of the tallest timber. He often turned the trick for admirers, with the old rifle that he carried ready for action at all hours, and with which during the early eighties, he would shoot on sight any member of the McCoy family.

The celebrated feud of the Hatfield family with the McCoys was started over some hogs, one of the Hatfields winning a lawsuit that was brought to determine their ownership. Soon after that a brother of "Devil Anse" was shot and wounded in more than fifteen places by one of the McCoys. The feud then started and did not end until the few remaining McCoys went over into Kentucky, where they now reside.

"Devil Anse" had none of the attributes of the "bad men" in his character. He always was recognized as a loyal friend of the many with whom he was acquainted. Numbered among those who believed he had been right in the position he took during the feud days, were the late Judge John J. Jackson, known as the "Iron Judge," who was appointed to the federal bench by President Lincoln, and former Governor E. W. Wilson, the former protecting Hatfield form [sic] capture when he had been called into court, and the latter refusing to honor a requisition of the governor of Kentucky, for the arrest of "Devil Anse" on a charge of killing some particular member of the McCoy family.

Detectives, real and alleged, had arranged for the capture of Hatfield, spurred by a reward, after they had seen to it that he was indicted on a charge of whiskey selling, in 1888. Judge Jackson was on the bench at the time and was informed of the danger that awaited the accused man. Judge Jackson sent word to Hatfield that if he would appear in court with out an officer being sent for him, the court would see that he had ample protection until he returned to his home in Logan County.

Hatfield appeared and was acquitted of the charge against him. Some of the detectives pounced upon him soon after he left the court room, but Judge Jackson summoned all of them before him, and threatened to send them all to jail, directing special officers to see that Hatfield was permitted to reach his home. After Hatfield was well on his way, Judge Jackson told the detectives that if they wanted their man they would have to get him, just like the McCoys had been trying to do for a number of years. They never went.

"Anse" Hatfield spent the last fifteen years of his life quietly and peaceably on a small farm he owned in Logan County. He raised a good many hogs and but seldom left his community. Once he was prevailed upon by some enterprising amusement manager to go on the vaudeville stage. He made all preparations to do so but abandoned the idea when an old indictment was produced, which had been quashed on condition that the old mountaineer agree to remain at home the rest of his days.

Hatfield was born in Logan county, West Virginia, but then in the domain of the Old Dominion, in 1841, a short distance from the old cabin in which he died.

Charleston Gazette, January 10, 1921

"In the Beginning...Saying Goodbye to a Legend.
The funeral of William Anderson 'Devil Anse' Hatfield

At the funeral of Devil Anse Hatfield, there were many stories in local papers about what happened but this from the Charleston Gazette of January 10, 1921, is an excerpt about a special baptism that day.

At the grave "Cap" Hatfield told "Uncle Dike" Garrett that he had made his peace with God and was ready to be baptized whenever the minister said "I will baptize you boy," said the old preacher, "in the very hole where I baptized your pappy." "Cap" Hatfield raised his hands above his head and declared that he was done with malice and with fighting and that if any man wanted his life or his blood he would not resist.

The casket, covered with flowers, was borne around the mountainside by twelve strong men. Rev. Green McNeely companion preacher to "Uncle Dike" Garrett who calls him his son in the gospel, spoke a few simple words, not of the dead man, but of the lesson of death, and loosing flowers upon the coffin, now incased in a steel vault, pronounced the words "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." Present at this scene were the eleven surviving children of "Devil Anse," almost all of his forty grandchildren and several great grandchildren. There are about seventy-five direct descendants.

The farewell of the widow was taken at the home. At seventy-five she was unable to follow around the mountain after the body of the man with whom she had lived for sixty-one years. Prayer at the grave was offered by W.A. Robinson, who was a Confederate soldier in the company commanded by Captain Anderson Hatfield.

The Island Creek train which bore the funeral contingent from Logan waited at Stirrat, the nearest point to the Hatfield home, until its passengers returned. The word had gone forth that a patriot had fallen, and in response there was a gathering of the clans. From all directions came men, women and children until thousands were assembled in a spot chosen originally because of inaccessibility in an accessible land. The day was raw and ugly, rain and snow falling alternately while the damp air pierced to the bone. The crowd followed and stood in the rain during the services.

Like those of the house they were unusual as compared with such services outside the mountains. Sid Thompson and his young choir sang song after song, old time chants that fell strongly upon the ear of lowlanders. The old preacher exhorted those about him that they too must shortly go and there was a scene when the family and near relatives gathered to say goodbye to the dead. The casket was opened and an umbrella was held up to keep the rain out of the casket while they said farewell. The body was laid to rest in the family graveyard beside those of Troy and Elias, the two sons whose tragic deaths in Fayette County a few years before occasioned the only break in the family circle before the passing of the patriarch.

Newspaper Article – Date & Source Unknown

Statue of Noted Feudist Erected

Life Size Figure of “Devil Anse” Hatfield Placed in Family Cemetery

Huntington, WV: April 12 – “Devil Anse” Hatfield, West Virginia’s most noted feudist, has been memorialized by a life-sized statue shipped here from Carrara, Italy, where it was carved by a worldfamous sculptor. The statue shows Hatfield standing erect in the typical garb of the mountains. It is cut from Italian marble from a design furnished by F. C. McColm, of this city. The statue is thirteen feet high. It has been erected in the Hatfield family cemetery, on Main Island Creek, Logan County, near the old feudist’s home. The statue was made at the request of the widow and children of “Devil Anse.” On the front of it is inscribed:

"Captain Anderson Hatfield, 1839-1921.”

On the opposite side is engraved the names of his thirteen children.

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