Marker Text: Among the graves in the McCoy Cemetery are those of Randolph McCoy's three sons - Tolbert, Pharmer, and Randolph Jr. - all killed by the Hatfields. Also buried here are Alifair and Calvin McCoy, who were killed by the Hatfields when cabin was burned. Cemetery is part of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud Historic District. Presented by Pikeville-Pike County Tourism.
Location: In McCarr, Kentucky on KY Route 319 east of the intersection with Route 1056, next to the McCarr Post Office, at the same location as the Hog Trial and Election Fight historical marker on the same lot. Erected by the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways in 2001.
While traveling through Pike County I found this marker about the McCoy Cemetery while taking photos for the Hog Trial and Election Fight marker. I attempted to look for the cemetery but only later realized the cemetery was located on top of the hill behind the McCarr post office. I looked on Google Earth to locate the cemetery and noticed the road leading to the cemetery would not have been easy to find, at least for someone unfamiliar with the area. While doing research on the cemetery I discovered I probably could not have entered the cemetery or taken photos since the cemetery is now located on private property and there is no public access.
I attempt to seek photos of graves related to markers, but I also respect private property and will not violate someone's property just to get a photo. Occasionally, there is someone I can ask to gain permission, but often not and some have big No Trespassing Signs prominently displayed. While living in southern WV I discovered hundreds of small family cemeteries existed throughout the hills of Appalachia and often are called by family names, but there can also be multiple cemeteries sharing the same family name.
Though this marker states it is about the McCoy Cemetery, it should also not be viewed as The McCoy Cemetery. For example, Randolph McCoy and his wife are not buried here, they are buried in the Dils Cemetery in Pikeville, KY. While doing research I discovered stories of a couple of McCoy burial places in the area and even some who state the individual's mentioned on the marker are buried here or state they are not buried here, but in one of the other McCoy burial sites. According to one account there are only eight graves in this cemetery, but it warrants a marker because whose buried here were the major victims of the Feud.
The McCoy Cemetery marker is on the right in the background on the same site as the Election Fight/Hog Trial marker. Click any photo to enlarge.
The McCoy family experienced many losses due to the feud. Family members who died as a result of the Pawpaw Tree Incident and the burning of the McCoy home are reportedly buried here in the McCoy Cemetery not far from locations of both of these events.
According to some stories about the Pawpaw Tree incident, the bodies of the McCoy boys were placed on a sled drawn by oxen and made a slow trip up Blackberry Fork. At the headwaters of the creek, the bodies were taken over a ridge and down the other side of the mountain to a tributary of Pond Creek where the Randolph McCoy cabin was located. While another account states, the bodies of the three boys were buried in hillside graves a few hundred feet downstream from the McCoy cabin. Meanwhile, Dutch Hatfield, whom I quoted in my post on “Hatfield-McCoy Feud” marker in Matewan, WV, said he doesn't believe the bodies in any of these locations. He states that an old man familiar with the feud told Hatfield in his youth that the bodies were buried further up the creek on the other side of the hollow.
Different stories by different individuals is what makes understanding the facts of the feud difficult, but that is the story of the infamous feud, a lot of legends and few facts and lot of “yellow” journalism by the media at the time.