A Hatfield shoots a non-McCoy

Posted by | September 24, 2009

New Victim Falls by Hatfield Pistol
Charleston, WV: Jan 1—

Dr. Edwin O. Thornhill, aged 35, a well-known physician and business man of the southern section of West Virginia, was shot dead today in a drug store at Mullens by Willis Hatfield, son of the noted feudist, “Devil Anse” Hatfield.

The physician was attending an injured person when the shooting occurred. Hatfield, it is said, asked Dr. Thornhill to issue a prescription for a pint of whiskey. The doctor refused, and when Hatfield used abusive language the physician slapped him.

Hatfield, it is alleged, immediately drew a revolver and fired two bullets into Dr. Thornhill’s body. Stepping close, Hatfield fired two more shots, each taking effect in the head of the prostrate man.

Hatfield then ran from the drug store, but was captured in a few minutes by persons who witnessed the shooting. Fearing that he would be lynched, Hatfield pleaded with the officers to protect him, and he was taken to Pineville, the county seat, where Deputy Sheriffs tonight are guarding the frail prison.

source: NY Times, Jan 12, 1912, online at http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9801E0DA163CE633A25751C0A9679C946396D6CF

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