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Logan publisher helped with History Channel
Originally Published in THE STATE JOURNAL
Apr 18, 2012 5:20 PM EST
Logan County book publisher Keith Davis is among the sources used during the filming of accounts about the legendary Hatfield and McCoy feud that took place in the Tug Valley of West Virginia and Kentucky in the 1880s.
Davis, an author and local historian from Chapmanville, was interviewed along with Raamie Barker, senior advisor to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, for an upcoming two-hour documentary. The show is scheduled to air on May 25 on the History Channel, the day before the debut of a three-part mini-series on the feud, which will star Kevin Costner.
During the interviews, Davis, who is also the CEO of Woodland Press, a publisher of more than 30 books, talked about the history of the feud and the historical research and writings of Dr. Coleman C. Hatfield.
A former journalist with The Logan Banner newspaper, Davis said he worked extensively with members of the Hatfield family. He co-authored a book on the feud several years ago with the late Dr. Hatfield, the great- grandson of patriarch Devil Anse Hatfield.
"I'm honored to be a small part of this effort to tell the true story of this famous vendetta," said Davis. "It looks like the History Channel is focusing on the Mountain State throughout the month of May and June. It's quite exciting."
According to his research, Davis said the story of the feud has been often exaggerated or distorted in the past.
"A lot of people will talk about how it started over a pig trial and all that," he said. "At least what I hope I brought to the documentary is that although there was a trial and things that happened during the Civil War that started tensions between the families, I believe the true start of the feud happened in 1882."
That was the year that Ellison Hatfield was killed by three members of the McCoy family.
"When he died, the Hatfields then killed the three boys who were involved in that murder," said Davis. "From that point on, it was a true feud as we think of it today."
It was an intense situation gaining national attention for the next 10 to 15 years.
Although they do not know if the interviews will be used in the final cut, Davis said he was honored to be considered for such a project.
Barker, who is also from the Logan County town, focused his discussions on state laws and political climates in both Kentucky and West Virginia at the time of the vendetta.
The filming was conducted by director Mark Cowen, working in conjunction with Think Factory Media, of Los Angeles. Video production team members for the day were from Trifecta Productions of Huntington.
Cowen has worked in the documentary field for years , making of "The Band of Brothers," as well as "Apollo's Man Walking on the Moon."
Additionally, nationally known author Anne Black Gray, who penned a new title, "The Devil's Son," and others were interviewed for the program. Photograph collections by Davis and the Hatfield family are being used. Part of that documentary includes reenactments of the feud events filmed at Huntington's Heritage Farm Museum and Village.
Apr 18, 2012 5:20 PM EST/
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