Levicy Chafin Hatfield: All There Is to Know about Devil Anse Hatfield’s Wife

Levicy Chafin Hatfield

Levicy Chafin Hatfield was the wife of Devil Anse Hatfield. Anse was a patriarch of the Hatfield clan during the Hatfield-McCoy feud along the Big Sandy River, West Virginia-Kentucky, between 1863 and 1891. Anse led the Hatfields of West Virginia, while Randolf “Ole Ran’I” McCoy led the McCoys of Kentucky. The rivalry caused by a land dispute resulted in more than a dozen killed from both sides and nine Hatfields imprisoned. Anse survived the feud, and he agreed to put it to an end in 1891.

Did Levicy Chafin Hatfield participate in the feud? How many children did she have? Keep on reading to find out.

Levicy Chafin Hatfield Bio

Levisa “Levicy” Chafin was born on 20 December 1842 to Nathaniel Chafin and Matilda Varney. She married Devil Anse Hatfield on18 April 1861 in Logan County, West Virginia. The couple was blessed with thirteen children: 9 sons and four daughters born between 1862 and 1890. Levicy outlived her husband, who died in 1921, by eight years. She died on 15 March 1929. No records indicate Levicy’s participation or support of her husband-initiated feud.

Levicy Chafin Hatfield Children

Johnson Hatfield “Jonse” (1862-1920) was the firstborn child of Levicy and Anse. His siblings (in order of birth) were as follows: William Anderson Jr. “Cap” (1864-1930), Robert Lee “Bob” (1868-1931), Nancy Bell “Nannie” (1869-1939), Elliot Rutherford (1872-1932), Mary Hatfield (1873-1963), Elizabeth Caldwell “Betty” (1876-1962), Elias M. Hatfield (1878-1911), Detroit W. Hatfield “Troy” (1881-1911), Joseph Davis “Joe” (1883-1963), Rosada Lee “Rosie” (1885-1965), Emmanuel Willis Wilson “Willis” (1888-1978), and Tennyson Samuel “Tennis” (1890-1953).

Some of Levicy’s children were killed during the feud. Her son Willis became the seventh governor of West Virginia and served from 1885 to 1890.

Levicy Chafin Hatfield’s Husband

William Anderson Hatfield, better known as Devil Anse, was born on 9 September 1839 in West Virginia to Ephraim and Nancy (Vance) Hatfield. Anse enlisted in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He served as a First Lieutenant of Cavalry in 1862, protecting the territory along the Kentucky-Virginia border where loyalties of both the North and South mixed. He later enlisted as a private in the 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry and was appointed first lieutenant and then captain of Company B.

Being a Southern sympathizer, his unit patrolled the border area, and he was connected to battles and killings of several Union fighters. Anse and his uncle Jim Vance formed the Confederate guerilla fighting unit, Logan Wildcats. He was suspected of involvement in the killing of his rival Asa Harmon McCoy, but since he was ill and at home at the time of the killing, he suspected his uncle was involved.

This murder and the land dispute from a McCoy relative, Perry Cline, sparked the start of the notorious feud between the two families, which claimed many lives from both sides. Devil Anse was the patriarch leader, and his family and Randolf McCoy fought in one of the bloodiest American feuds in history. Most of his sons were eventually arrested for the murder of the McCoys. After his baptism in September 1911, he became a Christian and founded a Church of Christ congregation in West Virginia.

Anse died of pneumonia in Logan County, West Virginia, on 6 January 1921, aged 81. His grave in the Hatfield Family Cemetery is topped by an Italian marble life-sized statue of himself.

Wrapping Up

The Hatfield-McCoy feud was a significant historical event that led to the 2012 miniseries Hatfields & McCoys and the 1963 collection of short stories Who Fears the Devil? by Manly Wade Wellman.