Hatfield Brothers Killed in Shootout

Montgomery News
October 20, 1911

A Triangular Shooting

Results in the Death of All Participants at Harewood, Near Montgomery, Tuesday, Shortly Before Noon

Elias And Troy Hatfield Dead

Octtavio Jerome, Italian Who Fired the Fatal Shots Into the Bodies of the Hatfield Brothers is Also Dead as a Result of Troy Hatfield's Effective Return Fire

The first break, or death in a family of thirteen children, sons and daughters of Anderson and Levisa Hatfield, occurred Tuesday shortly after the noon hour when Elias and Troy Hatfield succumbed to bullet wounds inflicted upon them by Octavio Jerome, an Italian who resides here in Montgomery with his family and who was also killed by Troy Hatfield, after he had received his death wounds.

The shooting occurred at Harewood a short distance below Boomer, and about three miles from Montgomery on the Kanawha & Michigan railroad, in the house of another Italian by the name of Angeline with whom Jerome was transacting business matters when the Hatfields arrived.

The killing is the outcome, it is said, of the violation by Jerome of an agreement that existed between Carl Hanson, who conducts a saloon at Boomer. It is said that at the time the Cannelton saloon was established, an agreement was made between Hatfield and Hanson that neither would encroach upon the others territory in the sale of beers and liquors and that a certain boundary was defined which was mutually satisfactory. Jerome was employed by Hanson to solicit orders from Italians and others along the K. & M., for liquors and beer and that he made regular deliveries of the goods sold in this manner. On several occasions, it is said Jerome violated the agreement and on these occasions, he was warned by Hatfield not to repeat them. The warnings had no effect and recently Jerome was taken severely to task, and it is alleged was given a thrashing. Still Jerome continued to solicit orders at will where-ever he pleased and on Tuesday he boarded the 11:10 train at Cannelton and went to Boomer, it being his intention to meet a wagon at Boomer that he had started in that direction from Cannelton loaded with beers and liquors. It is further stated, that Elias Hatfield learned of this, and in company with his brother, Troy, started down the railroad track to see Jerome about the matter. On the road they met the wagon and caused the driver to turn and go back, toward Cannelton and then they proceeded to the house of Angeline where Jerome was.

The two brothers walked upon the front porch of the house and knocked on the door, and the door was opened to them by Angeline, who occupied the house with his wife and children. Elias knew Angeline well and shaking hands with him, asked if Jerome was there. Angeline responded in the affirmative, stating that he was in one of the back rooms. Elias, started into the house while Angeline stepped out on the porch, and just as he stepped within the room a pistol shot rang out. Turning slightly he stepped farther into the room and two more shots were fired and the elder of the two brothers fell to the floor, with three bullets in his body, Troy stepped over his brother's body and in quick succession three more shots were fired by the Italian all of them striking Troy. Troy ran out of the house in pursuit of the Italian who had jumped out of the back door into the back yard, and with his life blood took deadly aim and in a flash flowing freely from the wounds, had sent four bullets into Jerome. The first bullet fired by Troy struck the Italian in the right side of the head and came out through the left eye causing instant death. Upon being hit by the first bullet the Italin turned fell front to Troy, who was supporting himself by leaning against the house and as the foreigner was falling forward three more bullets pierced his body. These bulletts [sic] entered the breast, one below each nipple and the other midway between these two.

Another story of the affair is to the effect that the entire trouble arose because of the objection of Hatfield to Jerome supplying trade formerly supplied by him, and that recently an argument with reference to the matter ensued between Elias Hatfield and Jerome in which the latter came out pretty badly used. It is said by persons at Boomer that Jerome had been warned, that the Hatfields were on their way to Harewood on the day of the shooting, and he was prepared to meet them. It was stated that Jerome was on the porch of the house and he saw the Hatfields coming, and remarked that he had better be going, and went into the house leaving his friend sitting on the porch. The brother then arrived at the house and following incidents were about as stated in the beginning of the account of this affair.

Elias Hatfield lived but a minute or two, and managed before life left his body to crawl to the back yard. He said something to his brother and indicated on his body the location of the wounded Troy, lived forty-seven minutes and was conscious up to the last.

Another brother of the Hatfields, Joseph, who was at Boomer arrived at the scene of the trouble within a few minutes and conversed with his brother, Troy. The dying man told his brother that no one but Jerome, Elias and himself were mixed up in the affaira [sic], and that it was his desire that no further trouble be raised about it. His exact words are said to have been "Let no further trouble come of this, as only we three are concerned, and we will all be dead."

News of the affair was received in Montgomery within a few minutes after it occurred and caused no little excitement, as details were lacking.

Constable Parry, policeman Warren and other officers went immediately to Harewood in Judge Simms automobile but their services were not needed. When they arrived Angeline had been placed under arrest by an officer, but was released when Troy Hatfield told the officer that he had nothing to do with the shooting or the trouble that led up to it.

While the account of the affair as given above is generally thought to be as nearly true as it will be possible to ascertain, many other reports have been circulated differing somewhat as to just how the shooting was done, and as to the causes leading up to it, but all of these stories have as a basis alleged encroachment of Jerome, upon territory that he should not have gone on. It is also said that Elias Hatfield fired at least one of the shots that struck Jerome, but this is not thought to be true. His pistols were found lying on the floor of the room in which the shooting started, but the authorities or others have been unable to find the persons who picked up the revolvers, neither have they been able to locate the weapons. Troy Hatfield's pistol contained four empty shells, and those who are familiar with his ability to shoot, are reasonably certain that only he and Jerome did any shooting. Jerome used a 32 Colt's Special, and fired the six bullets, dividing them evenly, three at Elias and three at Troy, all of them taking effect. The bullet which caused the almost instant death of Elias entered the back just below the right shoulder and passed through the body coming out at the left breast. One other bullet struck him in the left side and one in the right side. Troy was shot through the left wrist, the muscle of the right arm and in the stomach. The fact that one of the bullets passed through the muscle of his right arm renders his shooting remarkable in no small degree for every shot he fired found lodgement in Jerome[']s body at a point where either would have caused his death.

Troy Hatfield was considered, one of the best marksmen with a revolver in the country. Stories of his wonderful marksmanship have been related often in this city, and many persons here have been witnesses to feats of marksmanship performed by him that would hardly be believed by other than an eye witness. One of his favorite stunts with the revolver was to shoot half dollar coins pitched in the air by friends who were willing to sacrifice the value of the coin just to witness the marksmanship of young Hatfield. Many donated their coins not fearing they would be hit, but in all such cases these "Doubting Thomasses," came up short fifty cents.

Troy Hatfield and his brother, Elias were both well known here in Montgomery and those who knew them can not say that they ever met more pleasant gentlemen than they. Elias Hatfield had been engaged in the saloon business at Boomer for a number of years and his business affairs brought him to Montgomery almost daily. Upon these frequent visits he was met by a large number of Montgomery people, as was his brother who also visited the city frequently. They were always pleasant in manner and because of their pleasant attitude toward all with whom they came in contact, they became extremely popular here, and the news of their untimely end caused much regret among their friends in this city. They were quiet and unassuming men, who had the reputation for tending to their own business.

They were both married, Elias, having married the daughter of J. Holland, a well known coal man of Keeney's Creek. To this union one child was born, and Mrs. Hatfield with this child are among the surviving relatives.

Troy Hatfield was also married, but no children were born to the union. He had been at Boomer in the employ of his brother for several months.

Octavio Jerome the Italian has been a resident of Montgomery for about two years, during a greater part of which time he was employed in the restaurant which is conducted in the Mammoth Cave saloon. Four months ago when the saloon at Cannelton was opened, his services were transferred from the local saloon to that at Cannelton. He continued his residence in this city, however, having rooms in the old hotel Montgomery building. His daughter was recently married to Mr. Sam Nicastro, one of the best known young men of Montgomery, who is engaged with his father in the grocery business.

He was extremely popular among his countrymen and Americans who had become acquainted with him, in this city liked him very much. He was unusually well informed on American customs, and by close application had gained an excellent knowledge of our language, being called upon often as interpreter in the local courts and in business transactions between Americans and Italians.

The funeral of Jerome was held Thursday afternoon at two o'clock from the Catholic church, of this city, Rev. Father T. H. Collins, officiating. Interment was in the Montgomery cemetery.

Troy and Elias Hatfield were sons of Anderson and Louvisa Hatfield, who have been life long residents of Logan county. Elias was born in Logan county, near Williamson now in Mingo county November 4th, 1877, and lacked but eighteen days of being 34 years of age when he met his death. Troy was born in the year 1879, at the same place as his brother, and where both of them resided with their parents until they had grown to be sturdy youths, when the family moved to a point near Logan Court House.

To Anderson and Lovisa Hatfield who are now 71 and 60 years old, respectively, thirteen children were born, nine boys and four grils [sic]. The family has been bound together, as it were, by cords impossible to sever, and at no time were any of the brothers separated by such distance as to render it impossible for them to get together within a few hours. Such love and devotion as existed between the members of this family is probably unparalelled [sic] in the history of time, and the death of Elias and Troy, is the first break that has ever occurred in the family. All of the surviving brothers arrived in this city within a few hours after the death of their brothers and remained here until Wednesday noon when they left to accompany the remains to Logan county.

The remains of the two Hatfields were brought to this city and placed in charge of the Davis Undertaking company Tuesday afternoon and the bodies were viewed at the undertaking establishment Wednesday morning by hundreds of friends and acquaintances and ma[n]y who went out of curiosity.

Likewise the body of Jerome, was viewed at the J. W. Montgomery Undertaking establishment, where it was taken Tuesday afaternoon [sic] to be prepared for burial.

Elias and Troy Hatfield are survived by their parents, now residing on the old Hatfield home place twelve miles out of Logan, the county seat of Logan county, and seven brothers and four sisters, as follows: Johnson and Robert, of Warren Cliff; W. A., of War Eagle, Joseph D., of Boomer; Dr. E. R., of Eventon; Willis, of Herberton and Tennyson, also of Herberton, he being the youngest of the seven surviving brothers. The sisters surviving are Mrs. Nancy Vance, Mrs. Mary House, Mrs. Bettie Caldwell and Mrs. Rosie Browning, all residing near Oilville, Logan county.

Two caskets, laden with many floral designs, were placed on train No. 3 at noon Wednesday and taken to Huntington and from there to the old home place at Oilville, and today, Friday, will be interred in one grave.

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