The following was taken from "The Millennium in Review", Published by the Smithville Review in December 1999. The article was written by Chris Tramel. The trial was mentioned in the "Liberty Herald" issue of March 27, 1895. Thanks to Chris for allowing me to use this.

by Chris Tramel

We have all heard of the Hatfields and McCoys, the feuding families of Eastern Kentucky made famous by books and film. The families fought for years, with words and gunfire, acclaiming national attention. But DeKalb County had its own feud going on during the late 1800's. The Foutch-Malone feud had gunfights, courts battles, and a divided community caught in between.

It all seems to have started during the Christmas season of 1893, when Mr. Lon Foutch of Walker's Creek found his widowed sister, Adelaide, weeping hysterically. When asked as to the reason for her tears, she explained that Dr. Sydney Stanton Malone had made an "improper suggestion" towards her. During the 19th century and improper advance or foul language in the presence of a lady was a most definite non-accepted practice, and Dr. Malone seems to have crossed this limit on at least one other occasion, having been put off of a train for "language in front of ladies." Mr. Foutch, looking to uphold the honor and reputation of his sister, set out to find Dr. Malone and set things right.

The 12-day long Christmas holiday during the 19th century was a time when families celebrated with church events and big dinners held at homes of friends and family. On December 30th, Dr. Malone was at such an event at the home of Capt. Billy Foutch (the present day farm at New Hope), when Lon Foutch rode up. Lon dismounted his horse and stood in the Captain's front yard calling Dr. Malone out. Upon hearing this, Dr. Malone stepped out onto the front porch. After some exchange of words, and Lon's apparent dissatisfaction with the Dr.'s explanation of the previous events, Lon pulled out a double-barreled shotgun from beneath his coat, pointed and fired, killing the Dr. where he stood.

After being arrested for his crime, there were some attempts to hold a trial in DeKalb County, but due to the divided loyalties and hot tempers from friends and family on both sides, the trial was moved to neighboring Wilson County. There, he was convicted, but was only sentenced to two years in jail. Dissatisfied with the verdict, the brothers of Sydney Stanton Malone, Sam and William, vowed the would kill Lon Foutch if ever their paths would cross.

A few years later, William and his son, Liv, were on horseback driving cattle down Walker's Creek when near the farm of Mr. Ollie Williams, they met up with Lon Foutch. With tempers still hot from three years before, pistols were drawn and shots fired. Lon raised his pistol and pulled the trigger, but the gun misfired. William fired, hitting Lon in the chest, but the bullet hit one of the brass buttons on his coat and ricocheted across his rib cage leaving a grazing wound. All parties were able to retreat without serious injury.

The feud would carry on for several more years, but without anymore gunplay or serious fights. Lon and his brother, Tom, eventually left the Walker's Creek area and moved to Putnam County, where they started the Foutch Meat Company. This would ease tensions partially, but for years after, some Malones would not associate with any Foutchs, and some Foutchs would not associate with any Malones.

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