Guide to the Matewan Development Center Records, 1989-1995

Summary Information

Title: Matewan Development Center Records, 1989-1995
Collection: AC.393
Extent: 4.0 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.

Creator: Williams, John Alexander, 1938-

Biographical/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.

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.


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

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.393: Matewan Development Center Records, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C., USA.

Container List

Series I: Matewan Project Files, 1989-1995

Series Description

This series deals primarily with establishing an interpretive plan for the town of Matewan, West Virginia. Documents include correspondence, interpretive plans, meeting minutes, articles, contracts, and research papers.

Battle of Matewan Anniversaries 1989-1990 Box 1.1
Ideas for Interpretive Themes Box 1.2
John Alexander Williams Speech, May 19, 1993 Box 1.3

Matewan Audio Program - Project Outline and Script 

Box 1.4
Matewan Centennial, 1995 Box 1.5
Matewan Contract/Confirmation Box 1.6
Matewan: History Preservation & Partnerships Box 1.7
Matewan Interpretive Plan, July 21, 1993 Box 1.8
Matewan Interpretive Plan Appendix I: "Matewan Massacre Participants in the 1920s Manuscript Census" Box 1.9
Matewan Interpretive Plan Appendix II: "Matewan Folklife Survey - A Preliminary View" Box 1.10
Matewan Interpretive Plan Appendix III "Fieldwork Survey and Preliminary Recommendation on Matewan Cultural Project" Box 1.11
Matewan Interpretive Plan Appendix IV: "Coalfield Photography: A Survey of Published Sources" Box 1.12
Matewan Interpretive Plan Appendix V: "Guide to Selected Feature Films about Appalachia" Box 1.13
Matewan Interpretive Plan Appendix VI "Signs of Life in the Anderson Hatfield Cemetary" Box 1.14
Matewan National Historic Landmark Nomination, 1994 Box 1.15
Matewan Newsletter, 1995 Box 1.16
Matewan Project Consultant Contracts, 1991-1992 Box 1.17
Matewan Project Correspondence Box 1.18
Matewan Project Documents Box 1.19
Matewan Project Meeting, September 1992 Box 1.20
Matewan Proposal Box 1.21
Matewan Walking Tour Brochure Box 1.22

Series II: Matewan Project Research, 1991-1992

Series Description

This series contains research files, primarily from John Alexander Williams in developing the Matewan Project. Documents include correspondence, interpretive plans, articles, photographs and research papers.

Acadian Cultural Center Box 2.1
Art Box 2.2
"The Battle of Matewan: A Larger, Broader Historical Context," by David A. Corbin, 1992 Box 2.3
"Beyond Culture: Space, Identity and the Politics of Difference" by Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson Box 2.4
Coalfields Community and Change Box 2.5
David Reynolds Questions and Answers Box 2.6
Elizabeth Anne McCoy Matewan Questionnaires Box 2.7
Interpreting Coal Landscapes Box 2.8
John Alexander Williams Research File Box 2.9
Matewan Fire Box 2.10
Matewan Photographs Box 2.11
McCarl Photos Box 2.12
"The REAL Story" Newsletter, Fall/Winter, 1992 Box 2.13
"The Story of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud," 1991-1992 Box 2.14
Sources Box 2.15
Wheeling Heritgage Development Plan Box 2.16

Series III: Oral History Transcripts , 1989-1990

Series Description

This series consists of transcripts of oral histories conducted with Matewan residents, by the Matewan Development Center during the summers of 1989-1990. The files are in alphabetical order by the interviewee's last name.

Accord, Dixie Box 3.1
Adkins, "Smokey" Mose Box 3.2
Allara, Mattie Ruth McCoy Box 3.3
Aliff, Ruby Mounts Box 3.4
Aliff, William Box 3.5
Backus, Jim Box 3.6
Ball, Elder Ted R. Box 3.7
Barrios, Manuel Box 3.8
Berman, Henry Box 3.9
Blackburn, Vicie Box 3.10
Bland, Archie Box 3.11
Boothe, Edith Box 3.12
Bowens, Jesse Box 3.13
Brewer, Richard Box 3.14
Burgraff, Hawthorne Box 3.15
Cannada, Rebecca Box 3.16
Chafin, Tom Box 3.17
Collins, Maggie Box 3.18
Cook, Eva Box 4.1
Curry, James Box 4.2
Damron, Bertha Collins Box 4.3
Darwin, Louise Box 4.4
Dickens, Harold Box 4.5
Dickens, Sallie Box 4.6
Dixon, Hawkeye Box 4.7
Dotson, Cora Box 4.8
Elliott, Charlie Box 4.9
Faddis, Everett Box 4.10
Francis, Thomas Box 4.11
Fullen, Johnny Box 4.12
Gilliam, Roger Box 4.13
Grimmet, Jennie Box 4.14
Harless, Buck Box 4.15
Harmon, Howard Box 4.16
Harmon, Rex Box 4.17
Hatfield, Basil Box 4.18
Hatfield, Dutch Box 5.1
Hatfield, Ernest Box 5.2
Hatfield, Eveline Box 5.3
Hatfield, Grace Box 5.4
Hatfield, Margaret Box 5.5
Herzbrun, Maurice Box 5.6
Hood, Gladys Box 5.7
Hope, Josephine Allara Box 5.8
Howard, Rev. L. C. Box 5.9
Huff, Robert Box 5.10
Lively, Paul Box 5.11
Mayse, Vada Box 5.12
McCoy, Bob Box 5.13
McCoy, John L. Box 5.14
McCoy, Orville Box 5.15
Moore, Dan Box 5.16
Morgan, Herschel Box 5.17
Morrel, Mack Box 5.18
Morrel, Venchie Box 6.1
Morrel, Venchie Box 6.2
Mounts, Bill Box 6.3
Mounts, Fred Box 6.4
Nennie, Eddie Box 6.5
Nennie, Nel Box 6.6
Nowlin, Addie Dixon Box 6.7
Nowlin, Daisy Box 6.8
Ore, Rosa Nennie Box 6.9
Phillips, Aileen Box 6.10
Phillips, Hiram Box 6.11
Phillips, Kenneth Box 6.12
Presley, Stella Box 6.13
Radford, Harold Box 6.14
Reams, Geraldine Box 6.15
Roberson, Pauline Box 6.16
Sanders, Charlotte Box 7.1
Shewey, Fred Box 7.2
Simpkins, Jeanette Box 7.3
Smith, Betty Box 7.4
Smith, Lawrence "Chicken" Box 7.5
Starr, Rufus Box 7.6
Staten, Bertha Box 7.7
Stewart, Bill Box 7.8
Sutherland, Howard Box 7.9
Taylor, Rev. John Box 7.10
Taylor, William Box 7.11
Triolo, Melvin Box 7.12
Ward, Mary Marie Box 7.13
Ward, Mary Smith Box 7.14
Warren, George Box 7.15
Webb, Jeff Box 7.16
Whitlock, John Box 7.17
Wolford, Edna Box 8.1
Wolford, Rosa Box 8.2
Wright, Delma Box 8.3
Wright, Estes Box 8.4

Series IV: David Reynolds' Research Notes, undated

Series Description

David Reynolds was a research assistant with the Matewan Project. This series consists of Reynolds’ research materials dealing with the Matewan Massacre. The series is predominately made up of excerpts from the oral histories that relate to the alleged participates. The files are arranged alphabetically by title.

Blankenship, G. T. Box 8.5
Bowen, William Box 8.6
Boyd, Jesse Box 8.7
Brewer, Isaac Box 8.8
Burgraff, Albert "Ab" Box 8.9
Burgraff, Fred Box 8.10
Buskirk, R. W. Box 8.11
Chambers, Dan Box 8.12
Chambers, Ed Box 8.13
Chambers, Elbert "E. B." Box 8.14
Chambers, Hallie Box 8.15
Chambers, Lee Box 8.16
Chambers, Reece Box 8.17
Chambers, Talt Box 8.18
Chambers, Thurmond "Broggs" Box 8.19
Coleman, William Bouser Box 8.20
David Reynolds’ “Felts” Notes Box 8.21
Excerpts from “West Virginia Mine Wars: An Anthology” Box 8.22
Hatfield, Sid Box 8.23
Kiser, Charlie Box 8.24
Lively, C. E. Box 8.25
McCoy, Sailor Box 8.26
"Migration from Matewan" Box 8.27
Mounts, Ben Box 8.28
Mounts, Doug Box 8.29
Notes from 1920 Manuscript Census Box 8.30
Overstreet, Claire Box 9.1
Stone Mountain Coal Company Box 9.2
Testerman, Cable Box 9.3
Tinsley, Clarence Box 9.4
Webb, Fred Box 9.5
Williams, Art Box 9.6
Williams, Charlie Box 9.7

Series V: Audio-Visual Materials, 1994

Series Description

This series consists of electronic copies of the oral history transcripts, an oral history interview with Walter Andrews in May 1994, and the "Battle of Matewan Audio Presentation". There are CDs of both the audio presentation and the oral history, copied from audio cassettes.

"Battle of Matewan" Audio Presentation, (access copy), May 1994 Box 9.8
Matewan Oral History Transcripts, CD Box 9.10
Oral History Interview with Walter Andrews, Galax, Va., (access copy) May 1994 Box 9.10
Matewan Oral History Transcripts, 6-3¼ in. discs (originals) Box 10
Oral History Interview with Walter Andrews, Galax, Va., (2 original cassettes and CD master copy), May 1994 Box 10
"Battle of Matewan" Audio Presentation, (2 original cassettes and CD master copy), May 1994 Box 10