A True Story in Mis’sippi by Hewitt Clarke
This is a long buried true story, dark and foreboding, some of it almost unbelievable. Kemper County, Mississippi didn't actually take it's moniker, "Bloody Kemper" from the bright red soil, as some local parents would like their children to believe.
The expression comes from an earlier time when the rule oflaw held little relief for a man wronged. The families here lived by the Code. Call it what you like, code of the hills, an eye for an eye or, perhaps even revenge, it was a stern uncompromising way of life that would allow no quarter when a man's honor was at stake.
In the 1890's a sinister doctor entered into a conspiracy with local merchants. He poisoned as many as fifty of his own patients to collect life insurance. Newspapers called it the most heinous crime in the history of the nation.
The story flashes back to the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. A bitter feud between two prominent families, the Gullys and the Chisolms, led to what is called "the massacre". They say blood ran in the streets that day.
The deep piney woods still cover the county of Kemper, the soil is still red and county continues to be called "Bloody Kemper." And, of course the old feud has long since pasted into the pages of history. Well, hasn't it?