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Matewan Development Center records

 Collection — oversize: E2, drawer: 5
Identifier: AC-393

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of oral history transcripts, but also includes correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, and photographs. The oral histories deal with Matewan history, with emphasis on the Matewan massacre which occurred May 19, 1920. In addition to oral history transcripts, this collection also contains information on the Hatfield and McCoy feud, Matewan Project, and the Matewan Development Center.


  • 1989-1995


The materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions. An appointment for research is recommended.

Historical Note

Matewan, West Virginia is a small coal mining town located in Mingo County. The town is most famous for an incident that occurred on May 19, 1920. The incident, most commonly referred to as the Battle of Matewan or the Matewan Massacre, was a shootout between local miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. A group of detectives had come to town that day to evict several miners and their families from the Stone Mountain Coal Camp. The miners had been fired from their jobs for trying to organize with the United Mine Workers Association. Matewan Police Chief Sid Hatfield intervened on the miners behalf, and intercepted the detectives, who were on their way to the train depot to leave town. Hatfield told the detectives he had warrants for their arrest from the Mingo County sheriff. Detective Albert Felts then produced a warrant for Sid Hatfield’s arrest. Matewan Mayor Cabell Testerman inspected the warrant and declared it a fraud. By this time, the Felts’ detectives had been surrounded by armed miners and only rumors exist as to who actually fired the first shot. At the end of the battle, seven detectives, including Albert and Lee Felts, Testerman, and two miners were dead. Fifteen months later the Baldwin-Felts Agency retaliated by killing Hatfield on the steps of the McDowell County Court House.


7.05 Linear Feet (8 boxes, 1 half-sized manuscript box, 1 small CD box, 1 oversize folder)


The Matewan Development Center Records contain records related to the Development Center/Visitor Center and to the history of Matewan, West Virginia. Matewan is a small town located in Mingo County along the Kentucky Border. The town is known for the "Matewan Massacre" as well as the Hatfield & McCoy Feud. The materials in this collection include oral history transcripts, correspondence, newspaper and magazine articles, and photographs.


The collection is divided into five series: Matewan Project Files, Matewan Project Research, Oral History Transcripts, David Reynolds’ Research Notes, and AV Materials.


A46.3.5.1 through A46.3.6.4 and one oversize folder in oversize drawer E2.5

Acquisitions Information

The materials were donated to the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection by John Alexander Williams. The accession number is AC.2000.002.

Processing Information

Initial processing by Simms Toomey and Michal Duffy, ca. 2008. Processing completed by Kelly R. Grimm and Grant Maher, 2011. Finding aid encoded by Cynthia Harbeson, 2011.

AC.393: Matewan Development Center Records, 1989-1995
Kelly R. Grimm and Grant Maher
July 21, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository