The Outlaw and his Lady
Thomas Talton "Bad Talt" Hall &
Talton 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 Hall married Marinda "Rinda" Triplett
October 12, 1868, in Letcher County, Kentucky. Marinda
was born in 1846, a twin to Marilda Triplett and adaughter of Wilson and Eleanor (Isaac) Triplett. Marinda
died 07 Jun 1888, Memphis, Shelby County,
Tennessee. Marinda Triplet, who was Talt Hall's legal
wife, was his first cousin.
His birthplace, a simple
log cabin, is still to be seen on the banks of a
small mountain stream, appropriately named
Many of the families involved in these disputes had
intimately woven family bonds, which made for fused
family connections or sometimes blood feuds. Arminda
Baker was born 1855 in Scott County, Virginia,
the daughter of James & Nancy (Triplett) Baker and was a
second cousin to Talt Hall’s wife, Marinda Triplet.
Arminda Baker married John Franklin Pierce Salyers, born
13 Jul 1853, Copper Creek, Russell County,
Virginia and died 06 Mar 1887, Perry County, Kentucky.
He was the son of Samuel & Lydia (Culbertson)
Salyers. Arminda (Baker) Salyer had passed away giving
birth to their child Ida Bell, born September 1,
1873 in Perry County, Kentucky, so
Frank then married Lucinda Roberts in Wise County,
Lucinda Roberts was the daughter of Shadrack and Martha
(Courtney) Roberts. Shadrack Roberts was
born about 1825 in Grayson County, Virginia and married
13 Dec 1849 in Scott County, Virginia Martha
Courtney born 1833 in Scott County, Virginia. Frank and
Lucinda later moved to Knott, County, Kentucky.
Lucinda was 16 when she married Frank Salyers and was
about 21 when he was murdered.
The death of Frank Salyers is one that Talton Hall was
charged with, and one that he denied being guilty
of until his death at the gallows. Talton said, “Even
now some believe I am guilty of the murder of Frank
Salyers, in Knott County, Kentucky, though I've stood
trial and was acquitted.”
Talt said, “It was said that I killed Frank and ran off
with his wife. Frank moved from Wise County, Virginia,
to Knott County, Kentucky, in the year of '84. It seemed
that he did not like Kentucky and was talking of
going out West. One day as I was passing there I saw
Frank's wife and I asked her if they were going away.”
Lucinda said, "Frank has been talking of it and I
suppose he will go."
I said, "Ar'nt you going with him?"
She replied, "I don't know; he don't care what becomes
of me just so he gets away."
Talt told her if Frank went off and left her he would
take care of her, and just about that time Frank came
After talking a short while he and the fellow who was
with him, Wilburn Hall, went away. About 3 o'clock Frank
sent his wife to get Talt. He told her he would be up in
a day or two and sent the same message back to her
husband. When he saw Frank Salyer the next time he said
he intended to go west and leave his wife.
He said he wanted me to give him $40 and he would let
her keep what she had on the place. I told him he
had a very sweet woman and a very good one and that he
had better keep her.
He said "No. I'm going to take a woman by the name of
Lucy Hall and go to Texas."
Lucinda begged Talt to give Frank the $40, and said she
would pay him back as soon as possible. He felt
very sorry for her and paid the man the money. He said
when he went off he was going alone and was
coming back the 1st of March, 1885 to get the Hall
woman, and went on to show Talt some letters he had
Now, about this time Salyers swapped horses with some
fellows by the name of Johnson and traded them
a horse that was blind. After the Johnson’s discovered
the horse was blind, they were very mad and came
to Frank and told him they had to have some boot, as he
had cheated them and swapped them a blind horse.
In addition to the row about the horse trade, Frank had
loaned a pistol to a man to kill Johnson. Johnson said
he would kill Frank for giving the pistol to the man who
was another of his enemies. Talt told Salyers that he
was in danger and he had better look out and stay in the
house at night or he would be killed. Mr. W. W.
Adam's wife and her two brothers heard me tell him.
Talt was in Salyer’s house one night and he walked
to the door when some one from the outside shot him
Talt said, “Every one knew it was the man who had
threatened him, and had I wanted him killed I would not
have warned him so often; and I also asked Johnson not
to harm Frank, as it would make things hard on me.
After all my precautions to save the man's life and my
appeals to him not to desert his wife, I was jerked up
and tried for murdering him or having it done, but came
out all O.K.”
Frank’s sister, Hattie Salyers, was the wife of Sylvan
Taylor. Further more, Sylvan was the son of
Marshall Benton ‘Doc’ Taylor. To complicate matters
more, Hattie was a sister to Enos Hylton's wife. Her name was Helen C. Salyer. and after Enos Hylton's
death, Helen married Judge Solomon E. Baker
of Letcher County, Kentucky. Possibly for that reason,
controversy arose over the death Frank Salyers,
as he was a man Talton was accused though not indicted
of killing. Lucinda went to stay with Talt Hall at
Vicksburg, Mississippi and from there she went with him
to Memphis. Talt Hall's downfall might have
originated with his obsession with Frank Salyer's wife.
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.
Hall had grown to a stature of six feet in height,
straight and squarely built. His eyes were dark gray and
set far back in the skull with a heavy, firm jaw, a high
forehead and there were periods of time when
Talton wore a full beard.
Talton became 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 United States
Marshall for the Eastern District of Kentucky. In his
biography Talton claimed that from the year of
seventy-eight or seventy-nine into the eighties, he was
a United States Marshal, and was constantly
having little "bouts" with moonshiners and outlaws. The
bouts did not amount to much, except that it
made him enemies who quickly allied themselves with
others to get him out of the way. He said that
when he was marshal he always treated his prisoners as
kindly as possible, and had all due regard
for their families. He stressed that many was the time
when he went to arrest a man his wife would put
her face in her apron and cry, while the little children
would cling to him and say: "Papa, don't leave us."
This was enough to touch his sympathies, or even move a
man with a heart of stone, and he would
tell the man to meet him at another place to get him
away without such a pitiful scene. Time and again
he did this to save, to some extent, the feelings of the
wife and little children left to their own efforts.
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 protectively 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.
History has it
Talton Hall began his career of crime at a very early
age. When he was thirteen years of age his brothers,
John S. and Marshall Hall were killed by George Houk.
They were Confederate soldiers and Houk commanded
what some referred to as a bush-whacking company, known
as the 10th Kentucky Mounted
Infantry. Talt's brothers were returning to the army
from a furlough, when Houk took them prisoners for
purposes of robbery and revenge and then killed them.
Talt swore revenge, and started off by killing his
brother's assassins. Hall was a Kentucky feuds man,
known by many as one of the mountain-border ruffians who do their deeds of deviltry on one side of the State line that runs the crest
of Black Mountain, then stepped over to the other side to escape the laidback arm of mountain-justice.
He was little sorry for what he had done,
except, doubtless, for the reason that the deed would
hamper his freedom.
Talt & Marinda had the following children:
Maryland Byrd Hall
Talt’s plights in his youthful years left a shadow that
would go before him to adulthood, even till the time of
The material on this webpage holds a
2010 by Nancy Wright Bays & Patty May Brashear
Wright Roots-Bates Branches