DescriptionThe infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud started in the Tug River Valley near present-day Matewan on Aug. 7, 1882, when Ellison Hatfield was killed by three McCoy brothers. The argument was said to have originated over a stolen hog, although court records indicate trouble between the families of William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield and Randolph McCoy as early as the Civil War. The violence lasted only 6 years, but the press continued to sensationalize the feud for many years afterward.
The town of Matewan was established in 1895 with the extension of the Norfolk and Western Railway and the opening of the Williamson Coalfield. In 1920, as the United Mine Workers of America attempted to organize miners, a strike led to an armed confrontation in which 10 people died. The Matewan Massacre, as the incident came to be known, led to widespread clashes between miners and coal operators, police and federal troops.
Things to SeeMatewan Depot Replica Museum and Welcome Center