THEME WRITTEN BY:
Malta Ellen Davidson
1891, Fariston, KY
Death of Nickolas Combs
On the 19th day of April - 1889, Alice Combs [Alcie, or Granny Dutch] was sweeping her yard at the Grandville [sic] Combs house, about 4 miles north of Hazard, Kentucky. She had an uneasy feeling and kept looking down the road. Her son Nickolas Combs had gone to Hayden [sic] from Hazard, Alice's brother Josiah H. Combs was judge and Joseph Eversole - Nick's best friend, were going with him to attend court at Hayden [sic], the county seat of Leslie county Kentucky.
Nick was riding her horse, John. She went in the house and just as she came back outside in the yard, she saw the large bay horse coming up to the fence - his saddle was empty and there was blood on the saddle - She pulled her apron off and threw it over the saddle and rode to Nick's house up Big Creek, about five miles from the house she found Nick lying by the side of the road. He had been shot several times and his eyes were shot out - Nick was still alive and lived for a few minutes after she found him. Joe Eversole had been shot about the same number of times of Nick. Joe Eversole was dead - Nick's mouth was full of blood and couldn't talk to his mother. Nick and his friend Joe were buried in the same coffin and the same grave.
On the same day Susan Eversole [daughter of Josiah H. Combs] was taking her three young children to church - Her two oldest sons Cashus and John B. were in Virginia studying at law school. Her husband Joe Eversole was a merchant and always insisted on her wearing nice clothes. She had on a nice taffeda dress when he died - After she took her children and left them at church, she went to spend the day with her Aunt Sarah Hundly who was keeping house for her dead sister's husband, Ira J. Davidson was Clerk of Perry county at the time.
The pastor of the church at the time was a visiting preacher, they were serving dinner for the preacher and had a fine dinner ready to set on the table - When a man arrived and told them Joe Eversole had been killed. He came to take her to town. There was blood on the saddle of the horse he brought. Joe Eversole's horse ran across Tawn Mountain, across Big Creek, crossed the Kentucky River and passed through town on his way home.
Nick Combs and Joe Eversole were murdered by men who ambushed them hidden behind a screen of bushes. The men who ambushed them and killed them were sent to prison and later pardoned. Tom Smith later confessed and said that he walked out in the road to see if Nick Combs was dead - Nick said "Tom don't shoot me again you have already killed me." He then shot Nick's eyes out.
Joe Eversole had earlier had trouble with a man named Fult French but had made friends and said that they would not cause each other any more trouble. This feud was known as the French and Eversole war - It was a bloody feud.
I was only a little girl - little more than four years old. But I can still see Uncle Nick with his eyes shot out and my Grandmother Alice Combs stuffing my Uncle Nick's eyes with cotton as she made him ready for burial - Nick Combs was half brother to Ira J. Davidson, my father - My Grandmother married Grandville [sic] Combs after her first husband Joe Davidson died.
MH: End of 1st letter.