Historical Marker #1728 marks Dils Cemetery in Pikeville. Dils Cemetery is the resting place of Randolph and Sarah McCoy, as well as their daughter, Roseanna, son, Sam, and Sam’s wife, Martha.
Each of these McCoys had their lives shaped by the feud with the Hatfield clan. Randolph, or “Old Ranel,” was the patriarch of the McCoy family and lost numerous family members to the violence, while his clan inflicted similar losses on their opponents. His wife Sarah, or “Aunt Sally,” was the matriarch of the clan and sacrificed several of her children to the feud, even watching some perish before her eyes while being beaten and having her home torched (covered on marker #2062). Roseanna had experienced the pain of a lost love amid her doomed relationship with Johnse Hatfield and the birth and untimely death of their daughter Sally. Sam was a feudist who happened to survive the violence, unlike five of his siblings. One imagines these events cast a shadow over the lives that he and Marta subsequently carved out for themselves.
Yet, despite the violence and losses of the feud, the conflict eventually died out and moved to the realm of folklore and tradition. The families made peace and relegated the feud to the past, commemorated by family reunions, headstones to the fallen and historical markers to the tragic events.
Historical Marker #1728 was originally dedicated in 1983.
The marker reads:
McCoy Graves Here
Among some 500 graves in Dils Cemetery are the resting places of Randolph McCoy, clan leader in the Hatfield-McCoy feud; his wife, Sarah; their daughter and son, Roseanna and Sam; and Sam's wife, Martha. This Appalachian vendetta, from Civil War to 1890s, became well known. Dils Cemetery is part of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud Historic District. See over.
The feud resulted, in part, from Civil War conflicts, romantic entanglements, family-oriented discord, property and election disputes, mixed with mountain pride. Violence surrounding clan leaders Anderson Hatfield and Randolph McCoy eventually involved governors of Kentucky and West Virginia. Deaths and time brought an end to the feud. See over.