Johnson "Johnse" Hatfield [00003] Newspaper Articles

Virginia Murdered Caught

Publishers Press Dispatch Williamson, WV, July 20, Deputy United States Marshall Dan Cunningham, with two detective aids, late on Monday night, on Poplar Creek, in this county, captured the notorious Johnson Hatfield. Hatfield was taken by surprise and surrendered. He was hurried to Kentucky. Hatfield was wanted for the part played by him at the time the McCoy home was burned and a defenseless woman, Alafair McCoy, and a male member of the McCoy function (sic faction) were killed by the Hatfields in the time of the vendetta on News Year’s night, nine years ago. Since then a charge of murder has stood against him, and a large reward has been offered for his arrest. He had outwitted the constables time and again. It was reported here this morning that deputies were after Hatfield’s father, Devil Anse, and others of the clan, and that serious trouble seemed imminent.


New York Times March 12, 1900

Hatfield Must Go To Prison

Murderer of a Woman in a Feud to Serve Life Sentence

Special to the New York Times

Frankfort, KY, March 11 – After ten years Johnson Hatfield must go to prison for life for the murder of Alifair McCoy. This marks another step in the Hatfield-McCoy feud, which created a reign of terror in Kentucky until ten years ago, and has broken out at intervals since, but only in the way of individual killings. Most of the leaders have either been convicted or have been shot to death. The case of Johnson Hatfield was affirmed by the Court of Appeals yesterday. His victim was a woman. He was convicted in Pike County, and given a life sentence and has fought the case desperately to the end. Hatfield was indicted in Pike County for the murder of Alifair McCoy in August 1888 and also was indicted for having previously conspired with others to kill her. Hatfield had ten years of freedom before he was finally apprehended. He was arraigned for trial the first time in September, 1898, when he obtained a change of venue to Floyd County on the ground of prejudice. Hatfield then appealed from the life sentence of the Floyd Circuit court on the ground of errors in instruction. The Court of Appeals in a decision by Judge Burnam sustains the verdict. The case is notable as being one of the few successful convictions in the feud, yet of all the men accused of murder not one has ever been hanged.

Note: Actually, Ellison "Cotton Top" Mounts was hung for the murder of Alifair McCoy, February 18, 1889 and Valentine Hatfield, Johnson's uncle, was convicted and sentenced to life in 1889.


Washington Post, April 22, 1922

“Devil Anse’s” Son Dead

Johnst Hatfield Served Term for Killing McCoy Clan Member

Williamson, WV, April 21 – Johnst Hatfield, son of the late “Devil Anse” Hatfield, and an active participant in the Hatfield – McCoy feud of years ago, died in his mountain cabin at Wharncliffe, near here, late last night. When the feud was at its height Johnst, who was known as “Devil Anse’s” righthand man in the war on the McCoys, was captured by Kentucky authorities in West Virginia and hurried across the Tug River. He was convicted in Kentucky of the murder of a member of the McCoy clan and served thirteen years of a life sentence.



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