Archiver > HATFIELDS-N-MCCOYS > 2004-12 > 1103041118

Subject: Re: Ellison Mounts
Date: 14 Dec 2004 09:18:38 -0700

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Sorry this is not the most timely reply, but I just now came across your posting about family ties to Ellison Mounts. I’ve gathered some information about him and his family from various sources over the past couple of years because of my interest in his role in the feud. In my opinion, he and Roseanna McCoy were the two most unfortunate – and saddest – victims of the feud.

Anyhow, here is what I’ve learned. Ellison was the illegitimate son of Ellison Hatfield and Harriet Hatfield, who was a daughter of John and Isabelle (Vance) Hatfield. Ellison Hatfield and Harriet Hatfield, then, were first cousins. Ellison “Cotton Top” Mounts, who was born in 1864, evidently took the Mounts name when his mother married Daniel Mounts in 1867. Little has been published about Ellison Mounts’ life beyond his role in the feud – the paw-paw tree killings and the New Year’s morning raid on the McCoy home among them – and his hanging in Pikeville, Ky., on Feb. 18, 1890.

The fact is, he was married at the time of his death. He married Rebecca Justice, a daughter of Joab and Elizabeth (Ferrell) Justice on either Dec. 1 or Dec. 25, 1882. According to the 1880 census, Rebecca was living in the home of Elias Hatfield, was listed as servant and her age given as 36. In the same year, Ellison Mounts was living in the home of Daniel Mounts and his age was given as 16 – so there was a big age disparity, as you can see, and this raises some questions in my mind. There is no record of their having had children.

Also, Ellison Mounts had a brother, George, whose name is recorded as both George Hatfield and George Mounts. I’ve found George Hatfield the more common use of his name. He is also believed by some to have been an illegitimate son of Harriet Hatfield and Ellison Hatfield. George Hatfield or Mounts married Risby Elkins on April 16, 1888. Now, a mystery appears. Barely 18 months later, Risby Hatfield – listed as a widow – marries a James G. Grimmett, who was single, on Nov. 15, 1889, in Logan County, W. Va. A widow? What happened to George and what (or who) was the cause of his death? No clue. Also, note that Risby’s marriage to Mr. Grimmett occurs three months almost to the day before Ellison Mounts was hanged, although who can say if that’s significant? Another coincidence is that some researchers believe Harriet Hatfield Mounts might have been married to a man named Grimmett before she married Daniel Mounts.

One last point. Local (Pikeville, Ky.) legend has it that Harriet Hatfield Mounts died on the day her son was hanged as she traveled on horseback over the mountains to see Ellison for the last time. In fact, that is the belief among many people to this day. However, a couple of reliable researchers say she actually lived in Bruno, W. Va., until her death by natural causes in 1916.

Hope this is helpful.

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