PIKEVILLE—The feuding Hatfield and McCoy families were made notorious by their long-standing grudge that spilled over into bloodshed in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. But in the 150 years since, these two families have not only made peace, but have become advocates for goodwill in the Appalachian region, and the world.
On Saturday, September 26, 2015 during the annual Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days in Pikeville, Kentucky, descendants from both families came together for a dinner and fundraiser for the purpose of reuniting, sharing stories, planning the reconstruction of the McCoy Homeplace, and raising funds of the Grace Fellowship Community Kitchen.
“As Hatfield and McCoy descendants, we are always looking for ways to give back to Pike County, the place we call home,” said Ron McCoy, Randolph McCoy descendant. “We are impressed with the work Grace Fellowship Community Kitchen is doing in the community and we are proud to support them.”
“Our reconciliation as families is such a powerful story and I am so glad it lends itself to helping and investing in worthy causes like the Grace Fellowship Kitchen,” said Billy Hatfield, a descendant of Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield. “There are many hurting and hungry people in this economy. That we could have a small part in alleviating their suffering is humbling.”
Another descendant of “Devil Anse”, Judy Hatfield, was also in attendance to show her support for the Grace Fellowship Kitchen, among the other positive initiatives.
“I would like to thank Ron McCoy, Judy and William Keith Hatfield and the decedents of the Hatfields & McCoys family, Pike Tourism and the all those involved in hosting this wonderful fundraiser and for their generous donation of $750 for the Grace Fellowship Community Kitchen,” said community kitchen organizer Kathy Hamilton. “What an honor and a privilege to receive such a generous donation. This will help us feed hundreds of people in our community. It will make an immediate difference in the lives of the people in Pike and Pike county. We appreciate it so much and thank them for their heartfelt donation.”
“I was excited that the Hatfield and McCoy families wanted to help raise funds for the Grace Fellowship Community Kitchen, but absolutely thrilled at the generous response,” said Debby Bailey, Pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Pikeville. “Our budget is small and the funds they donated will help offset costs for several months and we’re deeply appreciative. The Community Kitchen serves a free lunch over two days at the end of each month. We just started this in May and already give out an average of 300 lunches each day. I am both grateful and humbled by the compassion of the Hatfields and McCoys and their desire to help those less fortunate in our community.”
Old Kentucky Logs, a company out of Corbin, was also in attendance with charity on their minds. Bob Scott, owner of the Randolph McCoy homeplace, along with Bobbi Smith of Old Kentucky Logs revealed a model of the Randolph McCoy Cabin that was burned down during the New Years Eve Massacre of 1888. Old Kentucky Logs has committed to providing the logs needed to rebuild this historic building, furthering tourism’s goal of creating a more fully featured Hatfield McCoy destination.
This event was held at the Pikeville Hampton Inn, with catering provided by Pikeville Hilton Garden Inn.