Henry D. Hatfield

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Henry D. Hatfield
Henry Hatfield.jpg
United States Senator
from West Virginia
In office
March 4, 1929 – January 3, 1935
Preceded byMatthew M. Neely
Succeeded byRush D. Holt Sr.
14th Governor of West Virginia
In office
March 14, 1913 – March 5, 1917
Preceded byWilliam E. Glasscock
Succeeded byJohn J. Cornwell
President of the West Virginia Senate
In office
GovernorWilliam E. Glasscock
Preceded byL. J. Forman
Succeeded bySamuel V. Woods
Member of the West Virginia Senate
In office
Personal details
Born(1875-09-15)September 15, 1875
Mingo County, West Virginia
DiedOctober 23, 1962(1962-10-23) (aged 87)
Huntington, West Virginia
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)South Carolina "Carrie" Bronson Hatfield
Alma materUniversity of Louisville (DMD)
Hatfield during his time as Governor

Henry Drury Hatfield (September 15, 1875 – October 23, 1962) was an American Republican politician from Logan County, West Virginia. He served a term as the 14th Governor of the state, in addition to one term in the United States Senate. Hatfield was nephew to Devil Anse Hatfield, leader of the Hatfield clan.

Hatfield was born in Logan County (present-day Mingo County, West Virginia) on September 15, 1875. He graduated from Franklin College in New Athens, Ohio. He later obtained medical degrees from what is now known as the University of Louisville and later from New York University. In 1895, he married South Carolina "Carrie" Bronson.[1]

He was appointed as surgeon for the Norfolk and Western Railway (1895–1913) and surgeon in chief of State Hospital #1 in Welch, West Virginia (1899–1913). He entered local politics first as commissioner of district roads of McDowell County (1900–1905), eventually becoming member of the State senate (1908–1912), and serving as president of the senate in 1911.

He was elected as Governor of West Virginia in 1912, when the southern coalfields were embroiled in the deadly Paint Creek–Cabin Creek strike. His predecessor, William E. Glasscock, had imposed martial law and imprisoned many striking miners. Hatfield began his term by pardoning Mother Jones and the miners who had been imprisoned by military courts, and then moving to negotiate a compromise to end the strike. He appointed a board of arbitration, and he himself chaired the board. The settlement presented to coal operators by Hatfield and the UMWA was staunchly opposed by local Socialists. In response, Hatfield deployed soldiers to force miners to agree to the compromise and ordered presses at Socialist newspapers in Huntington and Charleston destroyed.[2] Following the expiration of his term in 1917, he entered the United States Army as a Major in the Medical Corps, serving as chief of the Surgical Service at Base Hospital No. 36 in Detroit, Michigan.

He was discharged in 1919 and returned to West Virginia. In 1928, he was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican, and served from March 4, 1929 to January 3, 1935. He was defeated in a bid for reelection in 1934.

After leaving the Senate, Hatfield settled in Huntington, West Virginia and established a private medical practice, where he worked until his death in 1962.


  1. ^ "West Virginia's First Ladies," West Virginia Division of Culture and History, June 2007.
  2. ^ David A. Corbin, "Betrayal in the West Virginia Coal Fields: Eugene V. Debs and the Socialist Party of America, 1912-1914," March 1978.

External links[edit]

  • United States Congress. "Henry D. Hatfield (id: H000342)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Biography of Henry D. Hatfield
  • Inaugural Address of Henry D. Hatfield
  • e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia
Party political offices
Preceded by
William E. Glasscock
Republican nominee for Governor of West Virginia
Succeeded by
Ira E. Robinson
Preceded by
Howard Sutherland
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from West Virginia
(Class 1)

1928, 1934
Succeeded by
Thomas Sweeney
Political offices
Preceded by
L. J. Forman
President of the West Virginia Senate
Succeeded by
Samuel V. Woods
Preceded by
William E. Glasscock
Governor of West Virginia
Succeeded by
John J. Cornwell
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Matthew M. Neely
Class 1 U.S. Senator from West Virginia
Succeeded by
Rush D. Holt Sr.