Notes for James H. McCoy: He married Melissa Smith February 20, 1873 in Pike Co., KY; died Unknown. Notes for James H. McCoy: Washington Post, September 7, 1929 Death Claims Last of Feud Survivors James McCoy Took Part in Noted Strife Between Kentucky Clans 100 Slain in Long War Pikeville, KY, Sept. 6 (N.YY.W.N.S.) – James McCoy, 80, last of the men who actively engaged in the noted Hatfield – McCoy feud 40 years ago, died here today. Only one member of the family survives, Mrs. Fannie Charles, of Williamson, WV. McCoy had been converted to Christianity and had given much attention to religion in the last ten years of his life.
The Hatfield – McCoy Feud cost nearly 100 lives. It began in a quarrel over ownership of a mountain sow and pigs and continued for years. Pike County, KY, and contiguous territory across Tug River in West Virginia were swept by the factional warfare. Tug River was the scene of more than one killing, when fugitives from one or the other of the clans tried to escape by swimming and were picked out with rifles by trained marksmen of the enemy.
James Most Noted James McCoy, with “Devil Anse” Hatfield, was the most picturesque of all the hill men who engaged in the feud. Soon after the two families became warring clans, James McCoy was made a deputy sheriff of Pike County and as such arrested many Hatfields. He was in practically every major encounter of the clan war which ended when “Devil Anse” Hatfield’s forces had been more or less dispersed and a majority of McCoy’s slain. Formal enmity was ended 25 years ago when a mountain preacher brought the leaders together and a new peace treaty was made which was faithfully kept. James McCoy, after the feud ended, moved to Pikeville and lived quietly, taking part in various movements to improved conditions in the county.
Last Active Figure With his death passes the last picturesque active figure of any feud which has marked Kentucky mountain battling in the last 50 years. McCoy is survived by several children. The outstanding tragedy in so far as the McCoys were concerned was the slaying of little Alaphare McCoy, sister of James McCoy. A Hatfield raiding party attacked the cabin one night, beat the venerable Mrs. McCoy, residing there, and when Alaphare, the youngest girl in the family and pet of all the male members, tried to escape, she was shot to death. The McCoys tried reprisals without effect. It has been said James McCoy never recovered from his sorrow at the death of Alaphare.
More About James H. McCoy: Alternate/Nickname: Uncle Jim Occupation: Sheriff of Pike Co., KY