Marker Text: This episode is result of August 1882 election-day fight. Tolbert, a son of Randolph McCoy, exchanged heated words with Ellison Hatfield, which started a fight. Tolbert, Pharmer and Randolph McCoy Jr. stabbed Ellison to death. Later the three brothers were captured by Hatfield clan, tied to pawpaw trees, and shot in retaliation. Presented by Pikeville-Pike County Tourism.
Location: Near Buskirk, KY State Highway 1056 about 3/4 of a mile from the West Virginia/Kentucky border from Matewan, WV. Erected by the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways in 2000.
Photo taken looking south on KY Route 1056, road north goes to Matewan, WV only about a mile away. Click any photo to enlarge.
I have spent the last three evenings watching the History Channel series on the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. I have taken many photos related to these two families and will be sharing them in the next couple of weeks. The History Channel program helped to make the stories and lives of these two families more genuine. Regardless of how terrible the events of the feud were to these two families, we are talking about families and their often flawed relationships.
According to most historical accounts, the significant turning point in the feud occurred during the Election Fight in August 1882. Three of Randolph McCoy’s sons ended up in a violent dispute with two brothers of Devil Anse. During the chaos of the fight one of the McCoy brothers stabbed Ellison Hatfield multiple times and then shot him in the back. Authorities in Kentucky soon apprehended the McCoy’s, but the Hatfield’s interceded, spiriting the men to Hatfield territory in West Virginia.