Appalachia, Battle of Blair Mountain, Democratic Party, Don Chafin, Ed Chambers, Ephraim Morgan, history, Logan Banner, Logan County, Matewan, Mingo County, Mingo Republican, politics, sheriff, Sid Hatfield, United Mine Workers of America, West Virginia, Williamson
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this item about Don Chafin, sheriff of Logan County during the Armed March. The story is dated November 6, 1925.
Don Chafin Renowned as Sheriff of Logan
His Prowess During Threatened Invasion of Union Miners is Recalled in Mingo Republican
Bids Friends Goodbye
Don Chafin, former sheriff of Logan county, paid what might be his farewell visit to Williamson for a long time on Tuesday. While here he expressed to many his appreciation of their concern for him in his present plight.
Chafin was the most famous sheriff in the United States during his regime in Logan county, where he ruled with an iron hand. He was the main prop in the Democratic machine there and a prominent figure in the life of the county.
Sheriff Chafin won his greatest fame during the threatened invasion of Logan county by the armed march of 5,000 or more miners bent on destroying the Logan court house and finally reaching Williamson to release from the local jail a number of union men charged with violations of Gov. Morgan’s martial law.
Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers, two well known union men of Matewan, had just been killed on the court house steps at Welch and the passions of the miners were thoroughly aroused. The armed march was once halted but was resumed after a midnight battle between the officers and miners on the county road near Sharples.
The invasion then began with forts and vigor. The defenders of Logan under the leadership of Sheriff Chafin were intrenched along a wide front and several clashes took place. The fame of the the doughty sheriff caused many from the outside to rally to his banner.
Mr. Chafin has numerous relatives and friends here to whom the parting was one of real regret. They are steadfast in their belief in his innocence, claiming that he is the victim of a frameup. Chafin was profuse in his expressions of gratitude over the loyalty of his friends on this side of the Logan line.