As the months go racing onward, and the old years fade away,
We are often prone to thinking of a dead and bygone day,
Of course we know it does no good to dwell upon the past,
But somehow something makes us drift to things that did not last.
No doubt it's human nature, to desire to go back,
Upon the road of yesterday, and scan the almanac.
For mankind cannot seem to face the fact that time has gone,
We cling to golden yesteryears, as time goes marching on.
We live again through memory, and that's why we recall
The periods of happiness that mattered most of all.
So it is and always will be, and I know you will agree
It is a tonic for the heart to drift in memory.

Published many years ago in the Grit Newspaper and copied recently
from the column of Alice Fay Bragg, Charleston Gazette.




Divider Evelyn Miller, written April 2003.

" This is how Glen Alum, West Virginia was born. I am the daughter of Leonard and Martha (Cloud) Miller. The granddaughter of Benjamin and Maltida (Hatfield)Miller.

Benjamin Miller's mother was a Williamson. She married a Miller. I don't know what his first name was. Benjamin Miller's grandfather was a Williamson. He passed away. At that time, the city of Williamson, West Virginia belonged to Mr. Williamson. He left Williamson, West Virginia to his daughter, which was Benjamin Miller's Mother. When she passed away, she left Williamson, West Virginia, to her son, Benjamin Miller, which was my Grandfather, in later life. He traded Williamson, West Virginia for Glen Alum, West Virginia because there was coal on the land. The city of Williamson, West Virginia was named after Benjamin Miller's Mother, because she was a Williamson.

Benjamin Miller leased a right away across his land to the Norfolk and Western Railway for $90 a year, so the Norfolk and Western railway could ship coal to the Great Lakes.

My Daddy, Leonard Miller and my Mother, Martha (Cloud) Miller got married in May 1911.To this union they had ten children. Ralph, Edward, Fred, Buster, Evelyn, (which is me), Bill, Margaret, Helen, Phyllis, and Betty Gale.

At this time, there was no transportation in the coal field, but by train. Trains ran at all hours thru the day and all night, from Bluefield, West Virginia to Williamson, West Virginia, then you had to catch a train from Portsmouth, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio.

My Daddy was a contractor in the mines for Glen Alum Coal Company. He saved his money up and went into a taxi cab business. He hired drivers to drive to the depot and pick up passengers and bring them up to Glen Alum Hollow to do business with the mines. We had a club house which fixed meals for the drivers and Coal Co. officials My Daddy had three taxi cabs, a Chevy, a Nash and an Oldsmobile, They delivered the cars to him on boxcars by railroad. John L. Collins and Doc Collins , who were brothers, drove two of the cabs. Glen Meade drove the other one.

I was born April 12th, 1919. Along about the year 1922 or 1923, my Daddy still had those cabs in operation. They decided to build a road from Glen Alum to Ben Creek and Gilbert, West Virginia. I remember asking my Daddy what that big steam shovel was. He explained to me that it was a machine to build a road from Glen Alum to Gilbert, West Virginia.

Glen Alum Coal Company belonged to Mr. Watts. Mr. Watts had Mr. Yost as the superintendent of the Coal Company. Mr. Suiter was the assistant superintendent, Mr. Whitley was the store manager, Mr. Sherman Murray was the head clerk in the store.  Mr. Butch Monday was the butcher in the meat department. Mr. John Clever was the book-keeper who took care of issuing script to the miners, so they could do their trading with the store.

Every two weeks they would get a statement of their earnings and their account, taking out what they owed the company. Rent was $7 a month, the company Doctor 75 cents, every two weeks, and coal was 50 cents a ton. Delivery was included in that.  Mr. Totten delivered the coal in a wagon pulled by two big horses . He was the father of Garfield, Albert, Mayme, Eddie Mae, Lonnie and Lillie. There may have been more but I have probably forgotten them.

We had a lodge hall in the mining town. We had social events, such as cake walks, box suppers, which a young girl would make a box up with all kinds of good food and a young man, if he had a crush on the young lady, would bid on the box, and the highest bidder would get to eat with the young lady. The money they made on these events went to buy uniforms for our baseball team at that time.

Later on we had a boys and girls basketball team for Glen Alum, West Virginia. These events helped to buy the uniforms and pay for transportation to other places to play other teams. The baseball team won their games. My Uncle George Cloud was on the team, and my brother Ralph and Ed were on the team. This baseball team was sometime before the Glen Alum school basketball team. My brothers, Fred and Buster were on the basketball team. My cousin, Viola Cloud , on my Mothers side, was on the girls basketball team. Glen Alum school won the championship, but I don't remember what year.

Toney Cline was the basketball coach. He was from Gilbert, West Virginia. School only went from premier, which is kinder-garden now, to the eighth grade was as far as the school went in Glen Alum. Mr. Denzil Jarrett was the principal of the school. When you finished the 8th grade, you had to go to Gilbert. Buster Miller was the only one out of ten children that graduated.

My Daddy, Leonard Miller, belonged to the klu-klux-klan(please see note at bottom of page) in Glen Alum. He also belonged to the organizations of Red Men, Odd Fellows, and the Elks lodge.

We would also have cake walks at the lodge hall and they had a victrola to play records. You had to crank it up and the music would play. When the music stopped playing, whoever was on the line would win the cake. There was a charge for each person that walked in the cake walk. They also had home-made cakes with prizes under the cake stand . They would sell chances on these, and who ever guessed what was under the cake won the cake. They sold ice cream, which was home made, and sandwiches. They made a lot at these events.

I am now getting ready to tell you about our sheriff of Glen Alum, West Virginia. Uncle Hubert Butcher was the sheriff. I do not know for how long. It was before my time. He was killed by Harold Robinett, some time around 1926. Ed Ferrell was the other one. He also was killed by Tom Amos. I do not know what year.

We also had a saloon in Glen Alum. It was operated by my uncle Hubert Butcher, who was married to my Daddy's sister Lucinda Miller Butcher.

Now I am going into the great depression. When Mr. Yost became superintendent, the coal company quit contracting their coal mining job out to my Daddy. They hired Mr. Jim Roache and my Daddy as the general mine foremen.  Harve Mayas was the assistant mine foreman. In 1929 we lost my sister, who was almost six years old and we also lost my Mothers sister, Clare Murray. That was a terrible blow. But I'm ahead of my story. In 1925 we lost my sister Helen, who was only three months old. We never did raise a garden at that time, because my Dad was making good money, and we bought everything at the company store.

We had great big trees on our land up the branch where Grandpa Miller lived. His house was located at the mouth of this branch. My Grandma Martha Cloud, which was my Mother's Mother, got a small check, from her husband being killed in the mines in 1917. She ordered my Daddy a cross cut saw from Sears Roebuck. My Daddy and brothers sawed trees down and used Grandpa Miller's mule to haul them off the hillside and take them to the saw mill , which was run by Lincoln Bragg, Julius Bragg's brother. My Daddy gave Lincoln Bragg trees to saw our lumber up so we could build our house. My Daddy's brother, John Miller was a carpenter. He built the house high off the ground so my Daddy could build more rooms when we would get the money.

They put big locusts post under it to make the foundation. This was during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. We didn't have money to buy sheet-rock to put in the house so we would have privacy. We just had the two by fours to make each room off to itself and we hung blankets and sheets up on the rafters so we could take a bath in a #three galvanized tub. We had floors made out of big wide lumber, which they called a sub-floor. We had big cracks in our floor and it was cold . Me and my Mother went under the house and took carpet tacks and card-board and tacked it over the tacks to keep the cold out. My brothers used a plane, and planed the weather-board smooth, so it could be put on outside the house to keep the cold out. It probably is known now as plastic siding. It was rough, but we survived.

My Daddy was far in debt to Glen Alum Coal Co. for rent, Drs. payment for the family and coal. That was when we got out of debt with the company. President Roosevelt was in his second term of presidency. I guess it was about 1935--my Daddy helped to organize the United Mines workers union in the year about 1933. I used to sign the men into the union. My Daddy was not all that great a writer. Later on he became a mine foreman, so he could not belong to the union. Later on he started getting a pretty good pay check and he bought doors and windows and sheet-rock from Tug River Lumber Co. and started to finish the house. Also flooring to put over the sub-flooring.

Later on, about 1935, my daddy got a job at Lobato, West Virginia, as the general mine foreman. We moved there in the fall of 1935. I transferred from Gilbert High School to Matewan High School. In April of 1939 we moved back to Glen Alum. My sister Betty Gale was born on May 24th at Lobato. My brother Buster graduated from Gilbert High School in May of 1937. I was 18 years old when my baby sister was born. I left Glen Alum, W.VA. when I was 21 years old in the spring of 1940.

The last time I remember the lodge hall being used for any social event was when I gave my brother a going away party at the lodge hall in January 1943. I hadn't been married long at that time. He was leaving to go into the army. Him and my brother Fred served in the world war two. This is as far as I can go about Glen Alum, as I was never down there to live, only just a visit. I don't know what happened after this. There's probably some way back before 1930 that I forgot to put in. But this should be enough to give you a general idea what it was like. This generation could not live the way we had to live. They don't know what hard times were like.

Evelyn Miller ----

Leonard Miller's daughter"

Divider Jean Collins Cline

Times were hard, but memories remain pleasant, as recalling the long-gone mining town of Glen Alum proved to be a treat for Jean Cline.

Jean Cline, 63, of Lakeland, Florida, said she remembers a lot about Glen Alum, the people, places and things going on in the small town.

Cline described Glen Alum as a quite, busy town. "It was such a booming little coal mining camp," she said.

Recalling her school days at Glen Alum, she said, "I remember our main school. It was a brick building that burned. Then we went to school at a teacher's house. Glen Hatcher was the teacher. From there we went to (school) in some type of hall at Glen Alum until they built the new school."

The "new" school has been taken down and the bricks from it were used to build the former Hardy- Union Grade School.

Cline said the hall (actually the Masonic Lodge) where she attended school was a place for recreation for the people of Glen Alum. It was the site of dances and other community functions, she said.

During the winter, getting to and from Gilbert High School was quite a task for the youth of Glen Alum. Cline said the kids from Glen Alum who attended Gilbert High had to miss school or stay at friends ' houses when a big snow came, because the mountain to Glen Alum was impossible to cross.

Describing Glen Alum was an easy task for Cline as she noted that the small community was "a good place to live."

"We were a very close community and everyone got along really well," she added.

One of the things she remembered about the coal camp was the church she attended as a young girl. "We had a little Methodist Church at the mouth of Pistol Row," she said. "That's the church I attended when I was growing up".

The daughter of former Glen Alum electrician John L. Collins and Vesta Collins, Cline said her brothers and sisters were all brought up in the town. "All the kids were raised back there," she said. Cline said times were hard when she was growing up and noted rationing as one of the things they had to do during those rough times to conserve their resources. "We would receive ration stamps," she noted. "We were allowed one pair of shoes (per each family member) a year." Lard, sugar and meat were other goods rationed out by the U.S. government at that time.

Cline added that the people of Glen Alum got whatever they needed by riding the train out of town and getting what they had to have and then catching another train to bring them back to Glen Alum. We went shopping with C.P.Carter at the train station," she recalled. "WE would use the train for places we needed to go," she added, explaining that very few people in Glen Alum had automobiles.

According to Cline, miners were paid in cash each payday, but they could come into the company store and cut scrip. This meant they could receive a pay advancement which would be written down and taken out of their pay at the end of each pay period.

Cline noted that she had worked in the company store, under the supervision of the brother of former resident and current Glen Alum historian Louis Bobbera. "I worked for Gino Bobbera in the store," she said. Remembering her former place of employment, Cline recalled how the miners would gather at the company store after they were off work. "They had a long rail on the porch of the company store, where miners would come and gossip," she said.

The people at Glen Alum weren't well-off or rich, she noted, adding that there was  not a lot of money. We were all alike." Cline said the people of the area were so much alike that they each had their houses painted the same color. "All of the houses were painted gray and were one-story or two-stories," She said.

Cline left Glen Alum in 1952 because she got married. She and her husband, who was in the Air Force , were stationed at the Panama Canal zone and then returned later to Mingo County where she resided in Justice.

Divider Dorsey Taylor

Dorsey Taylor, now a Charleston resident, said his parents moved to Glen Alum in 1933, because his father, Earl Taylor, needed work. Taylor said his father was hired on at Glen Alum to do carpentry work on the houses in the coal camp. "He lived there until 1962," said Taylor.

Taylor described two major events that caused the breakup of the Glen Alum community. "The old Glen Alum Coal Company (formed around 1900) a bunch of investors, came in and built the coal camp and developed the mines. They leased the mines." Taylor said around 1949 the Coal Company ceased operations when the mining industry went into a recession. "It made a tremendous impact on our family," Taylor commented. "A new company was formed, the Ames Mining Company formed with the Cox-Morton Company - who owned the land that Glen Alum was developed. They came in and commenced several mining operations. They kept this operation in business until 1962," Taylor said.

According to Taylor, the second big event to help bring about the downfall of the mining town happened in 1962. "They abandoned the company in '62. The decision was made to go in and "cannibalize" the coal camp - to tear down the houses." "This could have had something to do with the way the lease was structured," Taylor noted. He said he isn't sure whether or not the company was made to tear down the houses as part of the lease.

When I came along, things were beginning to come to an end. Dad was one of the last people to move out of Glen Alum. It was just a short period of time after he moved out, that the Ames Co. went out of business.

Divider Bill Kennedy

"After I got out of school from Marshall," said former Glen Alum native Bill Kennedy, "this new coal company bought out the old Glen Alum Coal Company. That particular summer before I started teaching in the fall (the company gave him a job)".

Kennedy was supposed to go on to pre-med school at a school in Maryland, but couldn't make it because his father was injured in a strip mining accident which incapacitated the elder Kennedy. My father had been a coal miner all his life. He was out exploring a hollow where one of the strip mines was (on his day off)." Kennedy's father did not know of the work being done above him and was injured when "a huge rock rolled down the hill and busted his hip," said Kennedy.

Kennedy's father was forced to retire which forced him to withdraw from pre-med school. "Because of the situation, and because the Morton's were such good people to work for, they gave me a job that summer, " Kennedy noted.

After getting a job at the Mingo County Board of Education, Kennedy said he taught school for one year. "I taught math, art and physical education." Kennedy then went to work for the Ames Mining Company, as an engineer.

Fond memories still come to mind for Kennedy when he speaks of his former home. "If there was ever a simple life that had to be it. There was nothing like crime or drugs or people not being friendly. People went to bed with their doors unlocked. I wish things were that way today."

Kennedy said there aren't many people his age who lived at Glen Alum still living. "I'm one of the oldest living. I knew more of the past history," Kennedy said. "I was born in 1924.  My father had been working for them (the Glen Alum Coal Company) all his working years." Kennedy said his father had worked for Glen Alum many years before his birth.

Kennedy remembered the old coal company which owned Glen Alum Coal. "The old coal company was called Briar Mountain. Briar Mountain owned Glen Alum. To tell the truth, it's possible that some of the Cox-Morton family was involved with it. Back then, everything was a small world and you didn't have all these conglomerates."

Kennedy commented that after he lost his parents, he never returned to Glen Alum.

Divider Louie Bobbera

Former Glen Alum resident Louis Bobbera recalls many things about the once booming mining town - the coal company that practically owned the town and its residents, the people who lived there, and how they kept their town alive for many years.

"I knew every crook and turn up there," said Bobbera. "I was born and raised there." The 76-year old said coal was the lifeblood of the town and when that coal was gone, the town couldn't survive and died.

Bobbera also cited the exodus of people in the town and a lack of migration into the area as being reasons for Glen Alum becoming a virtual ghost town. Bobbera said he and his family lived in Glen Alum "all of my life." Bobbera was born in the town in 1919. The son of Valentino and Juditta Mocotis Bobbera, Bobbera said he moved from Glen Alum to Gilbert after serving as a soldier in World War II.

Bobbera said he moved to Gilbert after he received a job at Gay Mining. Bobbera noted, "I came here (Gilbert) after I was married."

Bobbera's mother and father came to America from Italy to work for the coal company. He said his father was a carpenter for the coal mines, building homes in the coal camps. His mother could speak English, but once she was home she only spoke Italian.

According to Bobbera, Glen Alum had 149 houses, all company owned. "Jess Miller rented the first house in Glen Alum. The last house, number 149, was rented by Tom Cole." Bobbera said he and his family lived in company house number 102. The mining town covered a stretch of about three miles, which went from the Glen Alum Train station to the company store.

Bobbera said there aren't any of the old structures left in Glen Alum. Most have been left standing and have been torn down or have fallen down from standing uninhabited throughout many years. Bobbera said the Glen Alum area is now owned primarily by another coal company.

Bobbera reasoned that the cause of Glen Alum's demise was the loss of the coal industry in the mining town, as the coal company had taken out all of the coal leaving the people without jobs and without income. As machines came in to do faster, possibly better work, and took the jobs of residents, the coal was stripped from the hills surrounding Glen Alum, leaving nothing but empty shells of houses and areas where once beautiful homes of a happy community stood.

The Glen Alum Coal Company employed 350 workers and was in existence from 1904-1951. "That was the owner of Glen Alum," said Bobbera. The coal company itself, was owned by people operating out of Bluefield. "They had three coal companies, Glen Alum, Premier, and Gilliam."

The Glen Alum Coal Company employed people of many different nationalities, Bobbera said, including American, Italian, Hungarian, and Polish. Although the town had many different nationalities and traditions, Bobbera noted, "everyone got along just fine." "Each of the nationalities had its own customs," said Bobbera. Families of different nationalities had their own holiday traditions which they brought with them from their own countries.

Workers labored all day loading railroad cars with coal. When the coal car inspectors or bosses found a piece of slate among the coal, the company took the entire car and didn't pay the worker anything at all. This was one of the things which caused the union to come in and organize at Glen Alum, Bobbera said.

Workers at the Glen Alum Coal Company were paid advancements with currency known as scrip. Bobbera noted that the workers would "cut" scrip, so they could buy other goods at the company store. Cutting scrip was the same as receiving a pay advancement. The worker would sign for the scrip at the payroll office and the company would deduct that amount from their pay.

The coal camp only had one doctor's office. The coal company employed three doctors, and the miners would not go underground unless there was a doctor present in the camp. When workers were injured, they were taken out of the mine shaft on a stretcher and were carried to the doctor's office or house. In later years the coal companies started using dump trucks to haul coal and the injured workers would be driven to the doctor's home in the back of these or they would be brought to the doctor's office in the back of a delivery truck.

After the union took over and the coal company couldn't afford a physician, a doctor would be hired from some other area, and would be on call all of the time.

Workers loaded the coal cars by hand. Coal would be "shot" down and loaded by hand. After doing this for so many years, Glen Alum acquired the first loading machine, which was taken into the mines, but only lasted one night. The coal miners were distraught that a machine was taking jobs away from them. The upset miners used dynamite to destroy the loading machine.

Whites and blacks enjoyed good relations in Glen Alum. There were three schools, one of which was a black school. According to Bobbera, blacks had to go to their own school (this was during the years of segregation, before schools were integrated) unless they could get a way to Liberty High School in Williamson.

Glen Alum residents made use of a train station where goods were shipped. Railroad boxcars brought goods in, and they were delivered to the train station. Goods delivered to the station were flour, feed, hay and groceries. C.P. Carter was the train station agent.

The secluded town also had three coal tipples. One of the tipples, number five, is gone, but the two others still stand today.

Glen Alum made their own power with a town power plant. They made their own power and electricity before Appalachian Power even thought of being in existence. Workers dug coal and dumped it into the power house to be used to make electricity. The power plant made power for the entire camp and the mine.

Glen Alum also had a stable. The stable kept all of the mules for the two mine operations. They would pull the coal out of the mines with mules to a loading point. Then they were loaded onto tram cars and brought to the tipple with a motor. The mules were later replaced by horses which pulled wagons delivering coal.

Also at this stable, the company kept a bull, to service the cow. The coal company provided a bull for breeding. About every family in Glen Alum always had a cow for milk.

Glen Alum's other big business was its moonshine distilleries. Glen Alum was known for its moonshine. They made real good corn liquor. Bobbera described the moonshine makers as two of the best in West Virginia and even went as far as to say that the two moonshine makers, at Glen Alum and Lindsey were "the best in the country."

Divider Fleming Hurley (submitted October 12, 2011)

Fleming was raised on Tug River below Glen Alum .

Ellison Hatfield....... The way it was told to me.

If you put ten people in a circle, give a story to the first person and ask them to pass it on to second and pass it on, by the time it gets back to the first person it will be a whole different story. Why? Because every body always adds a little to it or changes the story to make it sound better. That is why it will never be the same as when it started.

The same applies to information on people. Births,deaths, marriages and famlies. Somewhere down the line a name will get changed and wrong information is added.

That applies to my Grandfather. When he died my Uncle Fred (His son) gave information for his death certificate but the information he gave was wrong. He knew that Granpaw's Father was a Hatfield and his mother was a Hurley but he gave the wrong first names for both. He gave Wall Hatfield as Father and Ruth Hurley as mother. Both were wrong.

If you search for a Wall Hatfield you will find that there was only one listed in the Hatfield family.

Valentine Wall Hatfield,Sr (son of Ephriam Hatfield and Mary Pollt Smith) was born 1789 in Russell,Va, and died May 1872. He married Martha Mattie Weddington, daughter of Henry Weddington.

Children of Valentine Wall Hatfield,Sr and Martha Mattie Weddington are:

+Thomas Hatfield, b. 1818, Kentucky, d. 1900, Gilbert,WV.

+Aly Hatfield, b. May 24, 1804, Virginia, d. March 1870, Logan,Wv.

Joseph Hatfield, b. 1806, Russell,Va, d. April 16, 1854, Pike co,Ky.

+Ephriam Hatfield, b. 1812, Floyd co,KY, d. 1881, Newton Mingo co,WV.

Andrew Hatfield, b. 1813.

John Hatfield, b. 1813.

Virginia Jane Hatfield, b. January 10, 1814

. Jacob Hatfield, b. 1819.

+James Hatfield, b. 1825.

Valentine Hatfield, b. 1831, Pike co,Ky.

Ceclia Hatfield.

Phoebe Hatfield.

Nowhere is a child named Harrison listed as one of his children. Wall died in 1872, that would be two years after my Grandfather was born in 1870. Wall was 83 when he died not likley to be my Grandfather's Father at the age of 81, besides Grandpaw's sister Sarah was 4 yrs younger than him.

So the information that my uncle gave on my Grandfather's death certificate was wrong. The information on Wall Hatfield proves it. So one name change can change a famlies history.

The real truth is that Ellison Hatfield and Sarah Hurley were my Great Grand parents. They had four children, Ellison Jr, Anse, Harrison and Sarah. Harrison was my Grandfather. When Ellison was killed in 1882 Sarah went back to the name of Hurley to get away from the Hatfield name and moved to Ohio to live for some time. The two older boys, Ellison and Anse kept the name Hatfield and my Granpaw Harrison and his sister Sarah took up the name Hurley and it was never changed back.

If you read up on Ellison Hatfield as it is written you will read that his wife's maiden name was Straton. (Not True). That his wife's Father was Bill Staton. (Not True). That he had nine children(Not True).Truth is that Sarah married a Bill Staton when she was 18 yrs old and Bill was killed 3 months after their marriage and she kept the Staton name instead of going back to Hurley. When she married Ellison on Sept. 3, 1865 she married him under the name of Staton there for as history is written her maiden name was Staton. But when she moved to Ohio to get away from the Hatfield name she went back to her real maiden name, Hurley, that not too many people knew about. She was known as a Staton to most . Sarah lived till Nov. 29,1935.

Sarah's Death Notice: Sarah Ann Hurley - Feb. 2, 1844 - Pike Co., KY [Married Ellison Hatfield Sept. 3, 1865 - Pike Co, Ky (4 Children)Ellison Jr, Anse, Harrison, Sarah [d. Nov. 29,1935 - Newton, Mingo Co., WV][parents: William Hurley + Nancy McCoy

Another exception was with my Aunt Eddie Hurley. Her death notice read, Eddie McCoy Chaffin. She married Ben McCoy first then when he died she kept the McCoy name and when she married Nate Chaffin she married under the name of McCoy. So 50 years from now people will think her maiden name was McCoy just as Staton shows up as my Great Grandmother's maiden name.

ELLISON HATFIELD, brother of Devil Anse, was born in August, 1841. He was just the right age for military service in the Civil War. For four long years, Ellison served in the Confederate Army. He rose to rank of first lieutenant.

He was in the Battle of Gettysburg all the time of the July 1-4, 1863, struggle. When Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, one of the young officers who surrendered his command was Lieutenant Hatfield.

AFTER HIS RETURN from Appomattox, Ellison did not reach home until July, 1865. Then he and Sarah Ann Hurley known as Sarah Ann Staton were married.

There is a picture of Ellison on file with this on it: The inscription at bottom of photo reads: "Ellison Hatfield Died Aug 1882 Father Age 33 years Gone but not forgotten." See that is another mistake in history. He was born in 1841 and died in 1882 that means he was 41 years old not 33. People make mistakes but what I tell you was not taken from books or stories , I tell you what I was told by my Great Uncles and my Grandfather.

Now a little about me and where I got the information that I am telling you.

I met my Grandfather's Brothers and Sister in 1943, I was 9 yrs old and I am telling you what they told me about the way things happened.

I went to live with my Grand Parents when I was 4 yrs old. Harrison(Bumbo) and Vain Hurley. My Grandpaw Harrison was a son of Ellison Hatfield. One of four kids. Three boys and one girl. Ellison was my Great Grand Father. Sarah Staton his wife was not a Staton. She was married to a Staton for about 3 month and her husband Bill Staton died so she kept the name of Staton when she married Ellison but her Maiden name was Hurley. When Ellison was killed in 1884 she went back to using Hurley to get away from the Hatfield name and moved to Ohio where she lived before coming back to West Virginia. The two older boys kept the Hatfield name but my Grandfather and his younger sister took the Hurley name. My Grandfather's Brothers use to visit him when I was about 9 yrs old. My Grandfathers Brothers last name was Hatfield and his name was Hurley, I ask why and was told how it happened and that is where I learned about my past. I lived with my Grandparents till I was about 14 yrs old and all these things were told to me. I don't think you will find this info in any book or news paper. It was given to me first hand by the people that lived it.

My Grangfather Harrison was 12 yrs old when Ellison was killed. He was old enough to remember what happened. Some of the things that they told me was how the McCoys, Tolbert McCoy, 31, Phamer McCoy , 19, and Randolph McCoy Jr., 15 that Killed Ellison were killed. In the stories that were written about the death of the McCoy boys says they were shot, but my Grandfather and his Brothers have a different story. They were there the night when the McCoys were killed and so was 13 other people. My Grandfather and his brothers did not have anything to do in the killing but they saw how they died. The McCoy boys were killed the same way they killed Ellison, with knives not guns.

The McCoys were tied to trees and a large camp fire was built, where the people involved in the killing would set and drink and ever so often one of the group would go over to where the McCoy boys were and would cut flesh off of them and bring it back and throw it in the fire. This kept up long into the night till the McCoy boys were dead then they left them there. Not one McCoy had a bullet hole in him.

The truth of how they died was never told until now. I am telling you now because that is the way it was told to me. I have no reason not to believe it. Why would my Grandfather and his brothers talk about what happened if it were not true.

I know and so do you that a lot of things happened back then that were never told or talked about. All the truth will never be known.

I use to set and lister to Grandpaw and his Brothers talk about back when. Devil Anse was not the mad man that people made him out to be. He was a gentle man and would go out of his way to help a neighbor out. But don't mess with family, paybacks were hell and that is how the name Devil Anse was tagged on him. Grandpaw use to tell of a visitor that would come and stay for a while with Anse. They knew who it was but nobody would call him by his name (Jesse James). Grandpaw told me he remembers him when he was about 8 yrs old. That would be 1878. My Grandpaw was born 1870. Jesse was born 1847 and died 1882 same year that my Great Grandfather, Ellison was killed.

....Written by Fleming Hurley (10/2011)