That’s the way the story was told for the next 85 years — that is, if anyone in Dickenson County spoke of it at all, which most people did not. Folks did not want to upset the men’s numerous descendents.
That would have been the end of it, except for Jenny Cooper, who is a granddaughter of Mullins and a genealogical sleuth. Cooper’s mother had always told her that the tragedy on the courthouse steps was not the result of some family feud. Cooper’s mother always claimed that her father had died in the line of duty.