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Talton Talt Hall
and Marinda Triplett

Talt Hall
Article About Talt Hall's Last Hours Written Sept 1, 1892 Unknown Paper
Talton Talt Hall b 1846 Ky d 2 Sept 1892 Wise Co VA by hanging; buried Wright Cemetery, Dunham KY; s/o David Hall and Anna Johnson. Talt Hall m. Marinda Triplett b 1847 Floyd Co KY d 7 Jun 1888 Memphis TN; d/o Wilson Triplett and Eleanor Isaacs. Children of Talton Talt Hall and Marinda Triplett;

1. Floyd Hall b 1869 Floy Co KY d 10 Sept 1875 Floyd Co KY

2. Maryland Byrd Hall b 1872 KY

3. Marion Hall b 1875 KY d 29 Mar 1950 Bevinsville, Floyd Co KY; m. Louisa Bell Hopkins b 16 Apr 1877 Caney Creek, Pike Co KY d 23 Jun 1949 Bevinsville, Floyd Co KY; d/o James Calvin Hopkins and Mary Elizabeth Little. Children of Marion Hall and Louisa Bell Hopkins;

i. John Melvin Hall b 1896 Melvin, Floyd Co KY; m. 24 Dec 1913 Knott Co KY to Rose Anna Caudill b 13 Aug 1892 Floyd Co KY d 10 Jan 1957 Johnson Co KY; d/o Alamander L Caudill and Martha Thornsberry. Children of John Melvin Hall and Rosa Ann Caudill I. Henry Arthur Hall b 15 Feb 1915 Floyd Co KY d 29 Jan 1916 Melvin, Floyd Co KY; buried Melvin, Floyd Co KY. II. Grace Hall b 1916 Floyd Co KY.

ii. Mary Elizabeth Hall b 21 Mar 1899 Melvin, Floyd Co KY d 30 Nov 1989 North Vernon, Jennings Co IN; m. Harrison Bevins Buddy Hall b 11 Aug 1891 Kite, Knott Co KY d 20 May 1938 IN; s/o James Harrison Hall and Elizabeth Bates. Children of Harrison Bevins Buddy Hall and Mary Elizabeth Hall; I. Ollie James Hall b 21 May 1916 OH d 23 May 1966. II. Virginia B Hall b 31 Oct 1918 Painter Harve (Now Melvin), Floyd Co KY d 18 Feb 2004. III. Evelyn Emilia Hall b 1919 OH d 1992 IV. Eugene Clyde Hall b 25 May 1926 OH d 10 Dec 2000 Flint, Genesee Co MI V. Agnes Mae Hall b 26 Jan 1929 OH d 8 Jan 2007 VI. Delano R Hall b 13 Nov 1933 OH d 16 Sept 2000 MI

iii. Cara Hall b abt 1902 Melvin, Floyd Co KY

iv. Desta Hall b abt 1904 Painter Harve (Now Melvin), Floyd Co KY

v. Susanna Hall b abt 1906 Painter Harve (Now Melvin), Floyd Co KY

vi. Kittie L. Hall b abt 1908 Painter Harve (Now Melvin), Floyd Co KY

vii. Charles F. Hall b 14 May 1910 Melvin, Floyd Co KY

viii. Curtis Hall b 8 Aug 1912 Painter Harve (Now Melvin), Floyd Co KY

ix. Jal Hall b abt 1915 Painter Harve (Now Melvin), Floyd Co KY

x. Ruby Hall b abt 1919 Painter Harve (Now Melvin), Floyd Co KY

4. Evaline Hall b 1879

5. Sophia Hall b 1883

6. Annie Hall b 1885

Bad Talt Hall
Source: Denise Marie Newman Stapleton
Email: twokudes@yahoo.com

Talton Thomas Hall was born in 1846 on Little Carr Fork or Trace Fork of Rockhouse Creek, a branch of Beaver Creek in Letcher County, Kentucky, the son of David and Anna (Johnson) Hall. He was the grandson of Anthony (1752-1846) and Rutha Butler (1770-1855) Hall. Talton married Marinda "Rinda" Triplett October 12, 1868, in Letcher County, Kentucky. Marinda was born in 1846, a twin to Merilda Triplett and a daughter of Wilson and Eleanor (Isaac) Triplett.

As a very young man Talton became accustomed to the murders which happened almost daily. Gunfights and bloodshed were the general way of life in the feud ridden area of Beaver Creek. His father, Dave Hall, was a strong willed man in his own right who had killed several men in individual disputes. Talton, himself, was well known for his ability with his guns. When the man with the gun was Bad Talton Hall, proceeding with an argument was not only dangerous, but could be suicide. It was a well known fact that Talton did not shoot to bluff and did not miss when he shot. A close associate, Anderson Belcher, stated, "Talt's guns are anything but good to look at, but when it comes to shooting they are dead center."

Supported by his relatives Talton Hall became a deputy sheriff. It was his boldness with a gun which enforced his desire for an official capacity and carried him forward to the position of (Deputy) United States Marshall for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The more powerful station of Marshall also elevated prospects for others of the Hall family. Already well organized, they then traveled together, armed to the teeth and under the shield of the law. They were in all appearance deputies, if not officially, then unofficially. Talton was credited with the killing of near 100 men, though the number was probably much less. Not counting those he killed during the Civil War, he confessed to the killing of only five men. He confirmed he killed Henry Maggard, Henry Houk, Mark Hall, and a man named Triplett. He was acquitted of murder in all these cases.

It was generally thought that Talton Hall killed Frank Salyer, March 6, 1885 , yet this was not one of the killings he admitted doing when taken into custody for the murder of Police Chief Enoch B. Hylton. Talton had become romantically involved with Salyers wife, and shortly afterward, Salyer was murdered by ambushers. The circumstances of this murder, as well as the actual killing, were what brought about the end of Talton Hall's life. The last murder he confessed to was that of Enoch B. Hylton, for which he paid the ultimate price. After a long man-hunt Talton Hall was arrested for Hylton's murder. His trial got under way January 26, 1892. The trial was short, lasting only five days. On January 30, 1892 the jury reached a verdict of guilty. Talton Hall gained his place in history when he became the first man to hang for murder in Wise County, Virginia, September 2, 1892.

Talt asked "Devil John" Wright to have his body brought back to Kentucky for burial and, of course, his friend agreed. He was buried in the Wright Cemetery at Dunham, Kentucky, just across the border from Virginia, along with John & Mattie's two sons, James & Johnny Phillip and other members of the Wright family.


Several families of Halls lived near "Will" and his family on Right Beaver. "Will's" twin daughters Mirinda and Marilda married the Hall brothers Talton and Jackson. After the war Talton married Marinda Triplett and worked in the timber business with his father-in-law "Will" and brothers-in-law Henderson, Aycherson, Henry, and Billy Triplett. Jackson Hall, who married Mirilda, purchased property in Hollybush and also worked with the family.

Just how Talton Hall and the Triplett's developed their early differences is not known, but most likely, some of the incidents that occurred during the War could not be forgotten. Talton, before hangng in 1892, confessed to killing Henry Triplett over what he termed a political quarrel.

Nonetheless, many tales and stories have been told about their differences which eventually brought the Triplett's to Lincoln County, West Virginia. Since many of these stories have been handed down from the relatives in both Kentucky and West Virginia, it is difficult to put them in chronological order. They are recorded here only because Talt Hall had such an affect (sic) on the Triplett family locating here. To omit them would not be an accurate account of our family history.

One such story was that Henderson Triplett cut the ears off a horse belonging to Talt Hall, or that Talt cut a horse belong to "Will". Later an acquaintance of Talt tried to intervene in the dispute and was killed. Rumors circulated that Henderson was guilty but he was never charged. Talton had served in the Civil War under the Confederate Captain Anderson Hays. The Rebels often made raids on the local farmers, taking what they could to supply their troops. The lands of "Will" Triplett were often looted by these raiders. Later, local politicians were very much divided on who supported who during the war. Naturally, many of those who had been raided sympathized with the Union and became Republicans, including the "Will" Triplett family.

The most bitterness occurred when Talt's wife, Mirinda Triplett, disappeared. Talton had decided to move his family to Memphis, Tennessee, but apparently Mirinda was reluctant to leave her family on Hollybush. The move to Tennessee was very brief and when Talt returned to Kentucky he explained that Mirinda became ill along the way and he buried her somewhere in Tennessee. The Triplett's accused Talt of her murder and were set on revenge. Talt hired a man from Virginia to kill Billy Triplett. The ambush occurred near Billy's cabin and during the exchange of bullets, wife Dinah could recognize the sound of Billy's gun. The hired gun was killed and Talton retaliated by attacking Billy's cabin at night. During the attack, Dinah tossed a churn of milk into the fireplace to keep the family from being seen. Jefferson Triplett, the nine-year-old son of Aycherson Triplett, was living with Billy and Dinah. He was wounded in the left hand as he hid under the table.

Billy had a reputation as being one of the best younger brawlers in that section of Floyd County. He could handle anyone in a fist fight. The local champ was always crowned on the election grounds and the spring election of 1880 brought Talt and Billy face to face. Both were drinking and Talt was attempting to tell Billy how to vote when Billy kicked him in the stomach and a scuffle developed. The incident is described by the noted Floyd County historian Henry Scalf in his book, Four Men of the Cumberlands.

"I've always been that coward, Talt Hall", he said. "After this, I'm going to be called Bad Talt Hall." He walked away from the astonished crowd, climbed a rail fence with the smoking gun in his hand, turned and crowed like a rooster. He was sure he had killed his brother-in-law Billy Triplett but he hadn't. Rumors circulated that Billy had died from his wounds but actually he recovered and moved to West Virginia. Talt continued to live on Beaver Creek and quickly joined forces with the gang of Devil John Wright. The gang inaugurated a reign of terror in the mountains. Murders were the daily amusement of the gang. Although frequently arrested, the terror they inspired assured their acquittal when brought to trial. It was well known that any juror who fought to convict any of the desperados would be marked for [revenge by] their friends and as a consequence, the outlaws always escaped.

Aycherson [Triplett] had an opportunity to capture or kill the Kentucky badman in 1882 but, surprisingly, he failed. Talt and a number of his cohorts were gathered at a mountain spring when Aycherson and some others approached the popular watering hole. The evening was late and no one in the darkness was recognizable. Aycherson could hear their conversation and immediately identified Talt's voice in the crowd. Aycherson continued traveling toward the spring until he was within a few feet of his intended victim. Then without a sound he fired several shots into the darkness in the general direction of Talt's now silent voice. Mysteriously, the shots missed their intended target. Talt and the others quickly fled into the surrounding laurel.

Talt Hall killed Henry Triplett the following summer. Henderson, Aycherson, Henry, George Isaacs and three others had formed a posse to arrest Hall. Talt and another companion were hiding in a cornfield and were separated when pursued by the posse. This incident is recorded in Crimes, Criminals, and Characters of the Cumberlands, page 48.

"All the pursuers except Henry Triplett had a revolver and Hall a Winchester [rifle]. Triplett could not get his weapon out in time, and he sprang upon Hall and there was a terrible struggle for half an hour. The corn was torn down in a square of a dozen feet. Hall wrenched loose at last and shot his antagonist, then he lay down by the side of the dying man, hoping that his groans would bring the others of the posse to him and give him a chance to kill some of them, but none of them came. Triplett was his brother-in-law. {Note: Where the quotation ends is unclear.]

The brothers could hear Henry's cries for water and as darkness approached, George Isaacs was able to crawl to him, carrying water in his hat. Hall fled into the night while the brothers attended to the dying Henry. The Tripletts went about burying Henry, but did not let up in their search for Talt. They came so close to capturing him that he actually hid in the freshly dug grave of Henry Triplett.

Aycherson and Henderson were able to indict Hall for Henry's murder but he continued to go free when no officer of the law would attempt to arrest him. Fearing that Hall and the gang of Devil John Wright would harm their families, they decided to join brother Billy in West Virginia. Sister Mirilda and brother-in-law Jackson Hall would also join them. Aycherson and Henderson left behind an aging father, a dead mother, brother, and sister, hoping West Virginia would be a much better place to raise their families. The news of the Tal Hall hanging finally came to West Virginia and some of the others, including Jackson and Mirilda, returned to Kentucky. However, Aycherson was quoted as saying he had no desire to return to a land where you had to work with an axe in one hand and a rifle in the other.

(Now Wise, Virginia)
By Luther F. Addington

No one knew better the gruesome tales of the hangings at Gladeville than the late Charles Renfro, whom the writer interviewed.

Charles Renfro said: "When I was made a member of the Wise County Vigilantes back there in 1892, I little dreamed that I was to become the scaffold maker or noose knot tier for all the six men who were to die on the gallows in my country. But it was that way.

The Vigilantes had been organized in Big Stone Gap, Virginia by Josh Bullitt as a protection against the bad men of the hills when the first coal boom came. John Fox, Jr., the author of the Trail of the Lonesome Pine, was a member of the guard, I recollect.

The Hanging of Talt Hall

And when it was norated* around that the desperado Talt Hall, a native Kentuckian, who had been committing crime on the Virginia side of the line for some time, had been jailed for the wanton killing of Enos Hylton, Chief of Police of Norton, and that his buddies in Kentucky were going to storm the jail and remove him, the volunteer county guard was increased to more than one hundred members. Josh Bullitt came up from Big Stone Gap and drilled us fellows at the county seat every day. A part would stand guard while the others were drilling. I was made a member of the guard although I was then in my teens.

Talt Hall was tried and sentenced to hang by the neck until he was dead. Then it was that a message came from Kentucky to the effect that some of Talt's friends intended to storm the jail and take him out. The old jail was none too secure and the judge ordered that Hall be taken to Lynchburg for safe keeping while the higher courts were examining the motion for a retrial on the grounds of a writ of error.

But the higher courts sustained the county court and Hall was sent back to be hanged. His execution date was fixed to be September 2, 1892. And what a day in the county seat town of Gladeville that was! In order to get the full color the occasion afforded, we herewith leave the narrative of jailer Renfro and switch to an account by John Fox, Jr. in his book:

"Bluegrass and Rhododendron", page 239.

Fox wrote: "Through mountain and Valley, humanity had talked of nothing else for weeks, and before dawn of the fatal day, humanity started in converging lines from all other counties for the county seat of Wise - from Scott and from Lee; from wild Dickenson and Buchanan, where one may find white men who have never looked upon a white man's face; from the Pound which harbors the desperadoes of two sister states whose skirts are there stitched together with pine and pin-oak along the crest of the Cumberland; and, further on, even from the faraway Kentucky hills, mountain humanity had started at dawn of the day before.

A stranger would have thought that a county fair, a camp meeting, or a circus was the goal. Men and women, boys and girls, children and babes in arms; each in his Sunday best - the men in jeans, slouch hats and high boots; the women in gay ribbons and brilliant homespun; in wagons and on foot, on horses and mules, carrying man and man, man and boy, lover and sweetheart, or husband and wife and child - all moved through the crisp September air, past woods of russet and crimson and along brown dirt roads to a little straggling mountain town where midway of the one long street and shut in by a tall board fence was a courthouse, with the front door closed and barred, and port holes cut through its brick walls and looking to the rear; and in the rear a jail; and to one side of the jail a tall wooden box with a projecting cross beam in full sight, from the center of which a rope swung to and fro, when the wind moved.

Never had a criminal met death at the hands of the law in that region, and it was not sure that the law was going to take its course now, for the condemned man was a Kentucky feudsman, and his clan was there to rescue him from the gallows, and some of his enemies were on hand to see that he died a just death by a bullet, if he should escape the noose. And the guard, whose grim dream of law and order seemed to be coming true, was there from the Gap, twenty miles away, to see that the noose did its ordained work.

On the outskirts of town, and along every road, boyish policemen were halting and disarming every man who carried a weapon in sight. At the back window of the courthouse and at the threatening little port holes were more youngsters manning Winchesters. At the windows of the jailer's house, which was of frame and which joined and fronted the jail, were more still, on guard, and around the jail was a line of them, heavily armed to keep the crowd back on the other side of the jail yard fence.

The crowd had been waiting for hours. The neighboring hills were blocked with people waiting. The house tops were blocked with men and boys, waiting. Now the fatal noon was hardly an hour away, and a big man with a red face appeared at one of the jailer's windows; and then the sheriff, who began to take out a sash. At once a hush came over the crowd and then a rustling and a murmur. It was the prisoner's lawyer and something was going to happen. Faces and gun muzzles thickened at the port holes an the courthouse windows. The line of guards in the jail yard wheeled and stood with their faces upturned to the windows.

There in the sashless window stood a man with black hair - Talton Hall. He was going to confess - that was the rumor. His lawyers wanted him to confess. The preacher who had been singing hymns with him wanted him to confess. The man himself wanted to confess, and how he was going to confess. What deadly mysteries he might clear up if he would. His best friends put the list of his victims no lower than thirteen - his enemies no lower than thirty. And there looking up at him, were three women who he had widowed or orphaned, and one corner of the jail yard still another, a little woman in black - the widow of the Norton Constable whom Hall had shot to death only a year before.

Now Hall's lips opened and closed, and opened and closed again. Then he took hold of the site of the window and looked behind him. The sheriff brought him a chair and he sat down. At last Hall asked that he might give his sister a secret message. The Judge who was also on guard felt obliged to deny the request and then Hall haltingly asked aloud that his sister bring a white handkerchief and tie it around his throat - afterwards - to hide the red mark of the rope. Tears welled in the Judge's eyes. He pulled out his own handkerchief and pressed it into the woman's hands.

But would Talt confess to all the murders he had committed? He had shot Harry Maggard, an uncle. He had killed two brothers-in-law. He had killed Henry Monk, Mack Hall. Through cunning he had escaped punishment. Now he could clear up these cases and many more, if he would.

But he didn't admit any of his crimes. He rose and went out with a firm step. I was one of those assigned to do duty inside the hanging box. Hall stood as motionless as the trunk of an oak. The sheriff was a very tenderhearted man and a very nervous one, and the arrangements for the execution were awkward. Two upright beams had to be knocked from under the trap door, so that it would rest on the short rope noose that had to be cut before the door would fall. As each of these was knocked out the door sank an inch, and the suspense was horrible. The poor wretch must have thought that each stroke was the one that was to send him to eternity but not a muscle moved. All was ready at last and the sheriff cried in aloud voice, 'May God have mercy on this poor man's soul!" and struck the rope with a hatchet. The black-capped apparition shot down, and the sheriff ran, weeping, out of the door of the box."

Now let's go back to Charles Renfro's few last words about Talt Hall. He said, 'I put the black hood over Talt's head, and dropped the noose over his head. After he was dead I felt terrible although I knew Talt was a bad man. I sort of hoped I wouldn't have to help hang another one.

Hazel Green KY, Wednesday, June 3, 1885
The Herald, Spencer Cooper, Editor
Kentucky Clans All Knott County in Arms
A Murder in Floyd by a Band of
Freebooters Starts a War
A Pitched Battle and a Number Slain

Catlettsburg, May 27 (1885) A gentleman who arrived here this evening brings the news of a neighborhood war on the headwaters of Beaver creek, Knott county. The leaders in the difficulty are Talt Hall on one side and Clabe Jones on the other. Each had from 20 to 30 desperate followers. The origin of the trouble is said to be the killing of a man by the name of Salyer some time last March (1885) in Floyd county, at which time Jones charged that Hall was responsible for the murder.

This caused Hall, who has killed 2 or 3 men, to put on his war paint and go in quest of Jones' scalp. The latter being apprised of Hall's movements, rellied his friends, and Hall had to take the defensive. A few days ago the Hall party were driven into a house by Jones and his men, and since then the war has been waged in earnest. Hall and his men are still fortified in the house which is surrounded by Jones and his followers. On several occasions the Hall party attempted to fight their way out but were driven back.

So far 5 men have been killed and several others wounded. No person is allowed to pass through the neighborhood, and those living in the immediate vicinity are fleeing for safety. The greatest excitement prevails. Hall and his men cannot get any assistance from their friends, while Jones' party are being reinforced daily, and it is only a question of time and a short period too, until Hall and his party will be exterminated.

Jones and Hall, the leaders of the opposing forces are both desperate men, and their followers care nothing for God or man. The civil authorities are doing nothing to quell the trouble, and they would be powerless were they to try it. Nothing but annihilation of one or the other of the factions will permanently end the trouble, and fresh trouble will begin when the officers try to prosecute the victors. There is a call for the governor's peace commission on the headwaters of Beaver creek to preserve the good name of his namesake, the county of knott.

Another Account of the Same Gang

Mt. Sterling, Ky., May 27, 1885. In knott county is a band of lawless desperadoes who are always armed. They number 45 and are backed and have the sympathy of the town and drinking class. They make their homes in the bush, and whenever in camp have pickets on duty. The good people have grown weary of this lawlessness, and have to some extent, taken the law into their own hands. Since the organization of this county the band of men have murdered outright some 12 or 15 men. Not that there were existing feuds, but because they wanted money. They are termed by your correspondent's informant as thieves, cutthroats and highway robbers.

On March 6, (1885) last this party, believing that Frank Salyers, a prominent man of that section, had money, made a dash on his home, and would have immediately murdered him but for the timely interference of J. C. Jones, an old and respected citizen of that county, who persuaded them to go away and spare his life. They left at that hour, but returned later in the evening and murdered Salyers and robbed him of what money he had.

At an inquest on the day following, this party, believing it better for them to put Jones out of the way for fear that he would testify against them, made several attempts to murder him. Mr. Jones began to rally his friends about him until the western part of the county to a man is arrayed against the eastern.

On the 19th of this month 5 of the friends of Jones armed for a death struggle. Their foes met them on the head water of Beaver, at Fort Gibson, where a bloody struggle ensued. The murdering band, headed by Bowling Hall, numbered 6. When the smoke of battle had cleared away it was discovered that 3 of the desperadoes were mortally wounded and 1 of Jones' friends.

Jones and the others engaged in the trouble left the county. Then it was that the civil authorities, who had, because of fear to be in feud with these outlaws in full view, determined to try what virtue there was in the law, and with warrants sworn out against Jones and his party for shooting with intent to kill, the sheriff went in search of them, came upon Jones, Richard Vance and Cubb Isaacs near Covington today, where he arrested them and started with them for knott county, where they will have their examinging trial.

The sheriff, R.A.L. Draughn, made the above statement tonight, and further says that every good citizen lives in terror. At some points the mails have been stopped and robbed, and postmasters have been forced to abandon their posts of duty. The captain of the desperadoes, Bowling Hall, is now living with the widow of Salyers, whom he murdered last March.

The sheriff says he himself is afraid, but will do his duty toward the county, though he die in the attempt. There is an intense feeling in the county, and it is believed on the return of these persons the two arrayed parties will come together and much blood will be shed. Should there be another engagement there will be 100 or more to the side.

All peaceful citizens who can get away are abandoning their homes to the mercy of these cut-throats. Anybody who they suspect has money is in danger of losing his life. The sheriff says the county in its present state of affairs will discount Rowan in the darkest hours.

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