Factual But Fictional

Tolbert McCoy (1854 - 1882)


Tolbert McCoy, 28, has been found dead in Buskirk, Kentucky across the river from Matewan West Virginia. Tolbert McCoy was eldest son of Randolph McCoy, who is leader of the McCoy clan in what has become known as the Hatfield McCoy Feud.

Tolbert is said to have been killed in retribution for the murder of Hatfield clan leader Devil Anse Hatfield’s brother Ellison. Days earlier Tolbert and his brothers Pharmer and Bud became involved in a fight with Ellison Hatfield at the election grounds in Blackberry Kentucky.

During that fight Ellison was stabbed 26 times and shot. He later died of his wounds. Tolbert and his brothers were subsequently taken across the river into Kentucky, tied to a stand of Paw Paw trees and executed by a group of Hatfield loyalists.

One witness indicated Tolbert was shot twice in the head and four times in the body. Tolbert was said to have been involved in a number of altercations with Hatfield family members in recent years.

Tolbert’s parents are Randolph McCoy and Sarah Elizabeth McCoy.

A small graveside ceremony will be held on the family’s land across from his parent’s home.

~ Obituary written by Bill Richardson