Archives and History
Archives and History Staff Member Attends Hatfield and McCoy Festival
On June 8, 2013, Randy Marcum, historian at Archives and History, attended the Hatfield and McCoy Festival in Mingo County, West Virginia, with a display at the Matewan Depot Museum of items from West Virginia State Archives collections relating to the Hatfield- McCoy Feud and the Matewan Massacre.
Various photographs of the Hatfield family, including the two best-known family portraits of Anderson “Devil Anse” and Levicy Hatfield and their children, were displayed. Copies of legal documents related to the Hatfield family and the feud, including land deeds and a map relating to the disputed “Cline Lands” on Grapevine Creek; Johnson “Johnse” and Nancy (McCoy) Hatfield’s divorce order; and chancery records relating to the Hatfield and Vance families that described land and business dealings, were also presented. Marcum prepared genealogies of the Hatfield family from various sources in the West Virginia Archives and History Library, along with a time line and map of the Matewan area for visitors to the display.
Marcum also compiled informational booklets examining three of the men either involved in the feud or known as a friend of the Hatfields. The first booklet examines certain aspects of Devil Anse Hatfield’s life, describing his vital statistics records, Civil War military service, timber operations; companies he was involved with; land transactions and Hatfield family estimated land holdings; and various court proceedings. The second booklet presents the life of Alexander Messer, who was employed by Devil Anse in his timber operations, and was one of the executioners of the three McCoy boys. Messer’s military service in the Civil War and events surrounding his capture by detectives from the Eureka Detective Agency of Charleston are examined. William Dyke Garrett is the subject of the third booklet. As a spiritual leader of Logan County and surrounding counties, including Mingo County, Garrett had great friendship and influence with the Hatfield and Chafin families. The information contained in these booklets was found in primary and secondary sources readily available to our patrons at the West Virginia Archives and History.
One of the more popular portions of the presentation was a collection of photographs of the Hatfield family. Rare photographs of various members of the Hatfield family were mounted in a flip viewer that enabled visitors to view family pictures taken at various times in their lives. Two large family portraits consisting of Devil Anse, Levicy and their children in one portrait and Devil Anse, Levicy and their extended family in the other portrait are the most reproduced and readily identifiable photographs of the feud participants.
The display also included photographs and booklets about the Matewan Massacre that occurred May 19, 1920. Though separated from the feud events by nearly 35 years, many of the feud participants were connected by family and business ties.
Marcum prepared additional booklets examining the lives of Sid Hatfield, Mayor Cabell C. Testerman and his wife, Jessie (Maynard) Testerman. Information included their vital information: birth, death and marriages, as well as their genealogy and important events during their lifetimes. An important aspect of their background was their ties to the Hatfield and McCoy families of the feud era. Sid Hatfield was a cousin to Devil Anse Hatfield, and Jessie (Maynard) Testerman was a grandniece of Sarah and Randolph McCoy. Again, the information contained in these booklets came from primary and secondary sources readily available to our patrons at the Archives and History Library.
The Matewan Massacre part of the display contained a flip viewer displaying photographs of various participants involved in the shootout on May 19, 1920, and of the town of Matewan during the early 1920s.
The Matewan Depot was open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2013, and was the finish line for the Hatfield and McCoy Marathon that drew over 900 runners. During the course of the day Marcum spoke to more than 275 people.