Andrew Chapman, Appalachia, C.C. Watts, C.W. Campbell, constable, crime, Dode Adkins, Elisha Chapman, Eustace Gibson, Frank Guthrie, genealogy, Gibson & Michie, Hamlin, history, Huntington Advertiser, Ira J. McGinnis, John Chapman, Perry Stevens, West Virginia, Wilson Branch
From the Huntington (WV) Advertiser come these stories about a Chapman fracas in Lincoln County, WV, in 1887:
One of the most desperate affrays that ever occurred in this State took place at Hamlin in the adjoining county of Lincoln, last week, between Elisha, Andrew and John Chapman, on one side, and Perry Stevens, Wilson Branch and Dode Adkins on the other. It was a family affair, all the parties being related by blood or connected by marriage. The trouble originated some weeks ago between Wilson Branch and Andrew Chapman, a woman being the cause. On the day of the trouble Branch swore out a warrant and had Andrew and Elisha Chapman arrested. The two men were brought to the Court House by a constable, and while under arrest and awaiting examination by the Justice, Dode Adkins began to abuse Andrew Chapman, which he resented, and the row began. Wilson Branch, seeing the two men about to fight, drew his revolver and began firing. Andrew Chapman was hit in the right breast and left hip and fell in the road. His brother, Elisha, dropped a moment later with a bullet in his groin. Branch then turned to shoot the remaining brother, but his pistol snapped and John sprang at him with a big knife and buried the weapon in his back. Dode Adkins then rushed at John, but was stopped by the deadly knife penetrating his right shoulder. Some fifteen shots were fired during the fracas, and when it was over four men lay on the ground desperately wounded and bleeding frightfully. Elisha Chapman and Dode Adkins are the most severely wounded, the former fatally it is thought, though he was doing well at last accounts.
Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 5 March 1887.
The indictment against Andrew, Elisha and John Chapman, and Paris Stevens, for the shooting affray which occurred in Lincoln County between the Chapmans and the Adkinses some months ago, was tried at the present term of the Circuit Court. Andrew Chapman was fined $25.00 and each of the others $5 and the cost. Wilson Branch engaged in the same difficulty and also under indictment came into court, confessed judgment and was fined. Gibson & Michie and C.W. Campbell defended the Chapmans, and Gen. C.C. Watts [defended] Wilson Branch. Judge Frank Guthrie presided during the entire term of the court, he and Judge McGinnis having exchanged circuits temporarily.
Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 25 June 1887.