This is an extremely rare jugate pinback button showing Sid Hatfield & Ed Chambers. The button shows Hatfield the sheriff & Chambers the deputy sheriff of Matewan, West Virginia. The button was issued in 1921. The story of their background with the United Mine Workers & the important role that they played in union history & the rights of American workers is in the writeup below. Hatfield & Chambers led the United Mine Workers Strike in Matewan, West Virginia on 19 May 1920 during what became known as the Battle of Matewan Massacre.Hatfield & Chambers were later assassinated on 1 August 1921 by the Baldwin-Felts detectives (which had been hired by the mine owners), because of their support of the union & for their part in the 19 May 1920 strike. This button originally would have had a red, white, & blue ribbon with gold lettering which is now missing. THE RIBBON WHICH IS MISSING would have had the wording They Fought The Fight And Kept The Faith That Justice And Liberty Should Not Perish In Mingo County. The pinback button has a 1 3/4 inches diameter. The front bottom edge has the maker's mark of The Whitehead & Hoag Co. The design used by the preeminent Whitehead & Hoag Co. For this Hatfield & Chambers jugate can be seen on TR-Johnson & Wilson-Marshall jugates from the 1912 campaign. This extremely rare & historically important Hatfield & Chambers jugate button circa 1921 rivals even the rarest examples of the TR-Johnson jugates & Wilson-Marshall jugates.
In over 50 years of being heavily involved with pinback buttons we have only heard of a couple of examples of this button. In any event, to say the least, this is an extreme rarity as well as being of major historical importance in American history. There are a few dark stains at the edges.
There are a few tiny brown stains. When viewed at an angle in bright light we see six tiny pinprick size indentations in to the surface & minor surface wear. The stains can be seen when the button is held straight on in the light. But, the other flaws cannot be seen when the button is held straight on in the light.The back circular metal section has some rust which is rough to the touch. The back retains, what is possibly, the original pin. The reason we say "possibly" is that the pin in the back is original to the period but it is a somewhat shorter than we would have expected. So, we will represent the pin in the back intact as found & possibly original.
Here is the info on: The Battle of Matewan (also known as the Matewan Massacre) was a shootout in the town of Matewan, West Virginia in Mingo County on May 19, 1920 between local miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency: A contingent of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency arrived on the no. 29 morning train to evict families that had been living at the Stone Mountain Coal Camp just on the outskirts of town. The detectives carried out several evictions before they ate dinner at the Urias Hotel and, upon finishing, they walked toward the train depot to catch the five o'clock train back to Bluefield, West Virginia. While the detectives made their way to the train depot, they were intercepted by Matewan Chief of Police Sid Hatfield, who claimed to have arrest warrants from the Mingo County sheriff.
Hatfield, a native of the Tug River Valley, was a supporter of the miners' attempts to organize the UMWA in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. Detective Albert Felts and his brother Lee Felts then produced his own warrant for Sid Hatfield's arrest. Upon inspection, Matewan mayor Cabell Testerman claimed it was fraudulent. Unbeknownst to the detectives, they had been surrounded by armed miners, who watched intently from the windows, doorways, and roofs of the businesses that lined Mate Street. Stories vary as to who actually fired the first shot.
On the porch of the Chambers Hardware Store, began the clash that became known as the Matewan Massacre, or the Battle of Matewan. The ensuing gun battle left seven detectives and three townspeople dead, including the Felts brothers and Testerman. The battle was hailed by miners and their supporters for the number of casualties inflicted on the Baldwin-Felts detectives. This tragedy, along with events such as the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado six years earlier, marked an important turning point in the battle for miners' rights.
At the time, the United Mine Workers of America had just elected John L. During this period, miners worked long hours in unsafe and dismal working conditions, while being paid low wages.
A few months before the battle at Matewan, union miners in other parts of the country went on strike, receiving a full 27 percent pay increase for their efforts. Lewis recognized that the area was ripe for change, and planned to organize the coal fields of southern Appalachia. The union sent its top organizers, including the famous Mary Harris "Mother" Jones. Roughly 3000 men signed the union's roster in the Spring of 1920.
They signed their union cards at the community church, something that they knew could cost them their jobs, and in many cases their homes. The coal companies controlled many aspects of the miners' lives. Stone Mountain Coal Corporation fought back with mass firings, harassment, and evictions.
Matewan, founded in 1895, was a small independent town with only a few elected officials. The mayor at the time was Cabell Testerman, and the chief of police was Sid Hatfield. Both refused to succumb to the company's plans, and sided with the miners.
In turn, the Stone Mountain Coal Corporation hired their own enforcers, the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency, dubbed the "Baldwin Thugs" by the miners. The coal operators hired them to evict the miners and their families from the company owned houses.
As a result, hundreds of miner families spent that spring in tents. On the day of the fight, a group of the Baldwin-Felts enforcers arrived to evict families living at the mountain coal camp, just outside of Matewan. The sheriff and his deputy, Fred Burgraff, sensed trouble and met the Baldwin-Felts detectives at the train station. News of the evictions soon spread around the town. When Sid Hatfield approached Mr.
Felts served a warrant on Sid Hatfield, which had been issued by Squire R. Stafford, a Justice of the Peace of Magnolia District, Mingo County, West Virginia, for the arrest of Sid Hatfield, Bas Ball, Tony Webb and others, which warrant was directed to Albert C.
The warrant turned out to be fraudulent. Burgraff's son reports that the detectives had sub-machine guns with them in their suitcases. Sid Hatfield, Fred Burgraff, and Mayor Cabell Testerman met with the detectives on the porch of the Chambers Hardware Store. It is still unknown whether it was Hatfield or the leading detective, Albert Felts, that shot Mayor Testerman first, though what followed was Sid Hatfield shooting Albert Felts.
Later Thomas Felts (brother of Albert and Lee Felts who died in the battle) and the Baldwin-Felts spy Charles Lively spread rumors that Sid shot Mayor Testerman because he had feelings for his wife. The rumors were never confirmed, although he did marry her after Mayor Testerman's death. After the detective and mayor fell wounded, Sid kept firing, but Felts escaped.He took shelter in the Matewan Post Office, and Hatfield eventually found him there and shot him. When the shooting finally stopped, the townspeople came out, many wounded. There were casualties on both sides.
Seven Baldwin-Felts Detectives were killed, including brothers Albert and Lee Felts. One more detective had been wounded. Two miners were killed, Bob Mullins, who had just been fired for joining the union, and Tot Tinsley, an unarmed bystander. The wounded mayor was dying, and four other bystanders had been wounded.
Cornwell ordered the state police force to take control of Matewan. Hatfield and his men cooperated, and stacked their arms inside the hardware store. The miners, encouraged by their success in getting the Baldwin-Felts detectives out of Matewan, improved their efforts to organize.
On July 1 the miners' union went on another strike, and widespread violence erupted. Railroad cars were blown up, and strikers were beaten and left to die by the side of the road. Tom Felts, the last remaining Felts brother, planned on avenging his brothers' deaths by sending undercover operatives to collect evidence to convict Sid Hatfield and his men. When the charges against Hatfield, and 22 other people, for the murder of Albert Felts were dismissed, Baldwin-Felts detectives assassinated Hatfield and his deputy Ed Chambers on August 1, 1921, on the steps of the McDowell County courthouselocated in Welch, West Virginia. Of those defendants whose charges were not dismissed, all were acquitted.
Less than a month later, miners from the state gathered in Charleston. They were even more determined to organize the southern coal fields, and began the march to Logan County. Thousands of miners joined them along the way, culminating in what was to become known as the Battle of Blair Mountain. Here is the info on: William Sidney "Sid" Hatfield (May 15, 1891 or 1893 Aug 1, 1921), was Police Chief of Matewan, West Virginia during the Battle of Matewan, a shootout that followed a series of evictions carried out by detectives from the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency.Hatfield was born in Blackberry, Pike County, Kentucky, the tenth of twelve children (of whom nine survived infancy) of Jacob Hatfield c. 1843/45 1923, a tenant farmer, and his wife Rebecca Crabtree b. His grandfather, Jeremiah Hatfield, was a half-brother to Valentine Hatfield (1789 1867), grandfather of William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, leader of the Hatfield family involved in the famous Hatfield-McCoy Feud (see Hatfield Family Tree).
According to the 1900 Census, two older brothers, Orison and Hereford, an older sister Chloe, and a younger sister and brother, Martha Alice and Freeland, were then still living at home with him and their parents. His eldest sister Vandalia or Vandella was already married by this time, and an older brother, Melvin, had left home. As a child, Hatfield worked on his father's farm. He became a miner in his teens, and then worked as a blacksmith for several years. He received his nickname, "Smilin' Sid", because of the gold caps on several of his upper teeth.He seems to have had a reputation for hard living and fighting, and his appointment in 1919 to the post of Police Chief of Matewan, by the mayor, Cabell Cornelis Testerman (18821920), surprised some of the more'respectable' townsfolk. However, he was a staunch supporter of the United Mine Workers of America, as was Testerman: together, they were instrumental in leading the mining community's resistance to the Baldwin-Felts operatives. Operatives offered both men substantial bribes to allow them to station machine guns in the town. The Battle of Matewan was precipitated by the Baldwin-Felts agents' attempts to evict the families of unionized miners. On June 2, 1920, in Huntington, he married Jessie Lee Maynard (18941976), the widowed second wife of Testerman, who had been mortally wounded in the battle. The speed of the marriage led to an attempt at arrest and accusations by Thomas Felts and the Baldwin-Felts spy, Charles Everett Lively, that he, not Albert Felts, had shot the Mayor because of his desire for Jessie. However, according to Jessie, her first husband, aware of the danger of their situation, had asked that his friend take care of her and their young son, Jackson (19152001), should he be killed. The battle had given Hatfield a degree of celebrity. He appeared in a short film, Smilin' Sid, for the United Mine Workers (UMWA), and was photographed with other UMWA activists, including Mary Harris'Mother' Jones. However, he was aware that his life was in danger from Felts, who sought vengeance for his brothers Albert and Lee. He was indicted on murder charges stemming from the Matewan shootout but was later acquitted by the jury. He was sent to stand trial with his friend and deputy, Edward Chambers, on conspiracy charges for another incident, in Welch, West Virginia. Both men arrived in Welch on August 1, 1921, unarmed and accompanied by their wives.
Several Baldwin-Felts men shot them on the McDowell County Courthouse steps. Hit in the arm, and three or four times in the chest, Hatfield died instantly. Chambers was shot several more times, as his wife tried to defend him, and finished off with a bullet in the head by Charles Everett Lively. None of the Baldwin-Felts detectives was ever convicted of Hatfield's assassination: they claimed they had acted "in self-defense". There was an outpouring of grief for the fallen local heroes at the funeral, which was attended by at least 3,000 people, and conducted with full honours from the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and Redmen (he was a member of all of these organizations).This item is inventory #7314. Is an estimate and the actual cost may differ. The item "1921 SID HATFIELD & ED CHAMBERS MATAWAN, WV MINERS UNION MASSACRE PINBACK BUTTON" is in sale since Thursday, November 02, 2017. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Pinbacks, Bobbles, Lunchboxes\Pinbacks\Campaigns, Elections, Politics". The seller is "imajgin" and is located in Lampeter, Pennsylvania. This item can be shipped worldwide.