Cougars in Pocahontas County

July 16, 2014 |

We recently came across mention of Francis McCoy–known as “the strongman of the mountains” in the 19th century–who supposedly killed the last panther in West Virginia is 1887. The story relates that McCoy and his friend Col. Cecil Clay of New York, who had lost one of his arms in the Civil War, treed and shot the panther on a hunting trip up the Williams River. After falling from the tree, the panther began to maul their hunting dogs, before McCoy killed the cat with his hands! While researching this story, we found the following Pocahontas Times article from April 1976 when a cougar was shot and killed in the southern part of the county.

Pocahontas Times from April 15, 1976.

From the Pocahontas Times article of April 15, 1976.

Col. Cecil Clay accompanied Francis McCoy on the hunt that supposedly killed the last panther in Pocahontas County in the 1880s.

For more from Traveling 219’s panther tales series click here!



Category: Blog, Marlinton to Lewisburg, Panther Tales, Stories

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