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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title West Virginia: A Film History

Filmmaker Mark Samels

Company West Virginia Humanities Council

Format DVD


Albert Sidney Hatfield. He was thin and frail looking but Sid Hatfield was anything but weak. He drank hard, gambled and kept two pistols always by his side. Hatfield claimed to be a relative of Devil Anse, but wasn’t. Jug ears gave him a boyish appearance. His wide grin showed off gold-capped teeth and led everyone to call him Smilin’ Sid.

Dixie Accord: Sid was an uncouth, self-made person. He was rough, tough and nasty. When he got the job as chief of police in Matewan, a lot of the better people even questioned that.

Stuart McGehee: Matewan was an incorporated community, it was not a coal community. There is no police force in a coal company town. Matewan was a social center and a service center for lots of company towns in the area. It was absolutely wide open. Trains of prostitutes coming down on the weekend. The town was for sale. To keep law and order in a town like that, you needed a man with a reputation something like Sid Hatfield. The people in the town were scared of him. He was capable to mobilizing guns and people who would use them quickly. He was the voice of law and order in a place that needed it.

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