Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 9, 2014

Sign commemorates death of Sid Hatfield

WELCH — A sign commemorating the death of Sid Hatfield was erected at the McDowell County Courthouse in Welch Thursday.

Sid Hatfield, the former sheriff of Matewan and his deputy Ed Chambers, were shot on August 1, 1921, on the courthouse steps in Welch, according to McDowell County Historical Society President Jay Chapman.

“The state historic marker was a project of the late Tom Hatcher who was involved with the historical society and I took it upon myself, along with others, to get the sign in place,” Chapman said.

The marker talks about the historic incident, and on the other side tells some of the history about the courthouse, Chapman said.

The men were murdered on the courthouse steps by Baldwin-Felts agents. Three men were charged in the murders but were acquitted.

“We have a lot of tourists coming into McDowell County to learn about coal and rail history but there is not much for them to look at, so we thought this sign would add some history to the county,” Chapman said. “Every town needs to head in the direction of bringing history back to life. Having a bed and breakfast, opening an old hotel for people to stay at and having a gift-shop for people to visit are things all towns should have.”

The historical society will hold a dedication of the historic marker on August 1, the actual date of the shooting, Chapman said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at

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