B D E F K L M N P T W

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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Hall, Charles Harvey (part 2)
Biographical note: Charles Harvey Hall was born in Calvert City, Kentucky on July 12, 1917. He graduated from Chillicothe Business College and Paducah Junior College. He also attended the University of Louisville and Murray State College. Hall worked for George Jessup as his personal secretary and later executive assistant on the Kentucky Dam Project from 1938 to 1944. In 1945 he founded a wholesale electronics business in Paducah, which he sold in 1952. Charles Hall worked for the Channel Master Corporation from 1956 until 1976 when he returned to Calvert City to become president of the Calvert City Bank. In 1983, he retired and began volunteer work with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), including two years at their office in Washington, D.C. He died on August 1, 2010.
Description: Charles Harvey Hall served as the personal secretary and later executive assistant project manager, George Jessup, of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) during the Kentucky Dam Project from 1938 to 1944. The first interview, conducted on December 29, 1994, he discusses his duties as secretary, experiences working in the TVA offices and the managers in charge of the Kentucky Dam project. He describes topics such as the “Safety Men”, accidents and fatalities, racial relations, employee relations, Kentucky Dam Village and the dam’s involvement in the Manhattan Project at Oakridge, Tennessee. The second interview, conducted on October 5, 1995 focuses primarily on the conditions of Marshal County, Kentucky in the decade before the Kentucky Dam Project began, as well as the security measures in place during the presidential visit of President Harry S. Truman in 1945.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1994 December 29 and 1995 October 5
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH202
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Hortin, Loren Joseph (part 2)
Biographical note: Loren Joseph “L.J.” Hortin was born at Albion, Illinois in 1904. He graduated from McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois in 1927. After graduation, he taught at various high schools in Illinois and worked as a reporter for the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch. In 1928, he was hired as a faculty member at Murray State Normal School as an instructor of journalism. From 1930 to 1947, he was a staff writer for the Associated Press, Louisville Courier-Journal and Paducah Sun-Democrat. He acquired a Master of Arts degree from Murray State College in 1943. In 1947, he became director of the School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Hortin returned to Murray State in 1967 and acted as head of the journalism program until his retirement in 1974. Between 1928 and 1938, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Lower Tennessee Valley Association, which sought to construct a dam on the lower Tennessee River. He also served as the manager of the City Chamber of Commerce at Murray from 1934 to 1938. He was elected into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1981 and received honorary doctorates from McKendree College and Murray State University. He died on November 27, 1992.
Description: Loren Joseph “L.J.” Hortin discusses the political aspects of the decision to build the Kentucky Dam. He explains how prior to the creation of the Lower Tennessee Valley Association (LTVA), which sought to build a dam in Aurora, Kentucky, and how that evolved into the region’s Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He describes the leadership of the LTVA and the actions of significant individuals, particularly Luther Draffen, who encouraged the construction of a dam on the Tennessee River. He also mentioned the opposition to the dam and the debate between a purely navigational dam verses a hydroelectric dam.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Herndon, Jerry
Date of interview: 1976 February 20
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH204
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Derington, William “Bill” (part 2)
Biographical note: William “Bill” Derington was born in northern Marshall County, Kentucky. Beginning in 1937, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the State of Oregon. In 1941 he was employed for six months by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a laborer during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He relocated to Detroit, Michigan to work for Briggs and Stratton when the Second World War began. From the summer of 1945 until the fall of 1946, he traveled between Detroit and Marshall County working at both Briggs and Stratton and the Kentucky Dam. After October of 1946, he remained permanently in Marshall County.
Description: William “Bill” Derington of Marshall County, Kentucky discusses his experiences as a laborer during the construction of Kentucky Dam and working in Detroit, Michigan during the Second World War. He describes working conditions and the impact of labor unions in both Kentucky and Michigan. He recalled the many changes brought to Marshall County, Kentucky when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began construction of the dam and after its completion. He recounts safety issues, race relations, hiring practices, alcohol consumption in the camps and work related injuries.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Derington, William “Bill”
Date of interview: 1994 October 21
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH195
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Jarvis, Victor
Biographical note: Victor Jarvis was born in Symsonia, Graves County, Kentucky on March 25, 1916. In July of 1939 he began work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam Project and remained there until he was drafted into the Army in 1944. He was discharged after a training accident. Upon discharge he returned to Graves County. He died on December 14, 2004.
Description: Victor Jarvis describes the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kentucky Dam Project and its impact on Graves County, Kentucky and the surrounding area. He explains the economic conditions prior to the project and his being hired in 1939. Topics discussed in the interview included daily wages, training received, employee and racial relations, turnover rate and injuries and fatalities during construction. The interview concludes with Jarvis recounting his short time in the military and return to Graves County.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Conner, Dorena
Date of interview: 1995 March 31
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH206
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Fields, Joe
Biographical note: Joe Fields was born on June 29, 1926 in Benton, Kentucky. He graduated from Benton High School in May of 1943 and began to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam in July of the same year. In May of 1944, he volunteered for military service in the United States Navy. After his discharge he returned to TVA and worked on other construction projects until 1958 when he resigned and began to work for the Gilbertsville Post-Office.
Description: Joe Fields of Marshall County, Kentucky discusses his experience with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He recounts the day he was hired and his assigned duties as a mail-carrier on the worksite. He recalls employee horseplay, safety concerns, alcohol consumption on the worksite, thievery, social interactions, labor unions and racial relations.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Meyer, Jeff
Date of interview: 1995 November 29
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH199
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Irvan, Daniel W.
Biographical note: Daniel W. Irvan was born on September 12, 1919 in Hardin, Marshall County, Kentucky. He farmed until 1941 when he began to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam project. Irvan continued to work for the TVA until he was drafted into the Army on January 18, 1943. After being discharged he returned to farming on a small scale while also working at a plant in Calvert City. He retired in 1980 and died on May 14, 2003.
Description: Daniel W. Irvan describes the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kentucky Dam project and its impact on Marshall County, Kentucky. He describes farm life and economic conditions in Marshall County prior to the construction of Kentucky Dam. He explains the hiring process performed by the TVA, the duties he was assigned and work conditions on the jobsite. The interview concludes with an examination of the economic impact of the project on Marshall County and the surrounding area.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Marshall, Tim
Date of interview: 1995 December 8
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH205
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Joyce, Thelbert
Biographical note: Thelbert Joyce was born on July 30, 1918 in Trigg County, Kentucky. He worked with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) building roads in the area and later employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He worked for the TVA from 1941 to 1944, after which he entered the United States Navy. When he was discharged from the Navy he was reemployed by the TVA. Joyce later owned a grocery store and worked for the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. He died on June 26, 2010.
Description: Thelbert Joyce describes life in Trigg County, Kentucky prior to the construction of the Kentucky Dam and his years of employment with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He describes his duties during the dam’s construction prior to and after his service in the United States Navy during the Second World War. The topics discussed include working conditions, unions, hiring practices and the economic and environmental impact the dam had on Trigg County and the surrounding areas. Joyce also mentions his military service in the Navy, the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Night Riders, racial and class discrimination in Trigg County and the effects of the Social Security program.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Miller, Chamonie S.
Date of interview: 1995 November 16
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH208
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Moore, Robert (Part 1)
Biographical note: Robert Moore was born in Little Cypress, Marshall County, Kentucky, where he grew up and worked on his family farm. His family home was lost during the Flood of 1937. In 1940, he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority as a laborer and machinist’s apprentice when the Kentucky Dam was under construction. Moore worked for six months as a machinist before being reassigned to deliver water to other employees working on the Dam’s locks and spillway. After the Dam’s completion, he worked as a machinist’s assistant for eleven years in the power plant.
Description: Robert Moore discusses his experiences working on the Kentucky Dam during the 1940s. He mentions his early childhood on a farm at Little Cypress, Kentucky and the Flood of 1937 which destroyed his family home. He describes his terms of employment with the Tennessee Valley Authority and responsibilities as a laborer and a machinist’s apprentice. He recalled the accidental deaths of two workers, joining the laborers union, a three day strike that occurred in 1940 and relationships between management and employees. He also discusses the impact the dam had on nearby communities.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 November 22
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH212
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Moore, Robert (Part 2)
Biographical note: Robert Moore was born in Little Cypress, Marshall County, Kentucky, where he grew up and worked on his family farm. His family home was lost during the Flood of 1937. In 1940, he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority as a laborer and machinist’s apprentice when the Kentucky Dam was under construction. Moore worked for six months as a machinist before being reassigned to deliver water to other employees working on the Dam’s locks and spillway. After the Dam’s completion, he worked as a machinist’s assistant for eleven years in the power plant.
Description: Robert Moore discusses his experiences working on the Kentucky Dam during the 1940s. He mentions his early childhood on a farm at Little Cypress, Kentucky and the Flood of 1937 which destroyed his family home. He describes his terms of employment with the Tennessee Valley Authority and responsibilities as a laborer and a machinist’s apprentice. He recalled the accidental deaths of two workers, joining the laborers union, a three day strike that occurred in 1940 and relationships between management and employees. He also discusses the impact the dam had on nearby communities.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 November 22
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH212
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Morrow, Robert (Series 1, Part 1)
Biographical note: Robert Morrow was born at McCracken County, Kentucky in 1916 and resided at his grandparent’s dairy farm in Lone Oak. He attended local public schools, graduated from Paducah Tilghman High School in 1933. He began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority on the Kentucky Dam in the latter part of 1939 for several months and again in the early 1940s. He was drafted into the United States Army on July 8, 1941. After the war he worked as a plumber in Paducah until his retirement.
Description: Robert Morrow describes working as an office secretary, plumbers apprentice and pipe fitter during the construction of the Kentucky Dam from 1938 to 1941. He recalled being part of the plumbers union and being paid one dollar an hour. He mentioned union activities, race relations during construction of the dam, segregated villages, safety procedures, accidents, deaths and fights among employees. Just prior to the Second World War he worked at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, where the Black Horse Squadron had been stationed, as a plumber in preparation for the war. He was drafted into the United States Army in July of 1941 but remained stateside during the entire war. He also reflects upon living in Lone Oak during the 1920s, working for the Federal Housing Project at Paducah, painting the Illinois Central Railroad Bridge across the Ohio River and the impact of the dam on the surrounding communities Alben Barkley had worked for his grandfather as a farm laborer.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by:
Date of interview: 1995 May 12 and 1995 November 27
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH213
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Morrow, Robert (Series 1, Part 2)
Biographical note: Robert Morrow was born at McCracken County, Kentucky in 1916 and resided at his grandparent’s dairy farm in Lone Oak. He attended local public schools, graduated from Paducah Tilghman High School in 1933. He began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority on the Kentucky Dam in the latter part of 1939 for several months and again in the early 1940s. He was drafted into the United States Army on July 8, 1941. After the war he worked as a plumber in Paducah until his retirement.
Description: Robert Morrow describes working as an office secretary, plumbers apprentice and pipe fitter during the construction of the Kentucky Dam from 1938 to 1941. He recalled being part of the plumbers union and being paid one dollar an hour. He mentioned union activities, race relations during construction of the dam, segregated villages, safety procedures, accidents, deaths and fights among employees. Just prior to the Second World War he worked at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, where the Black Horse Squadron had been stationed, as a plumber in preparation for the war. He was drafted into the United States Army in July of 1941 but remained stateside during the entire war. He also reflects upon living in Lone Oak during the 1920s, working for the Federal Housing Project at Paducah, painting the Illinois Central Railroad Bridge across the Ohio River and the impact of the dam on the surrounding communities Alben Barkley had worked for his grandfather as a farm laborer.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by:
Date of interview: 1995 May 12 and 1995 November 27
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH213
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Morrow, Robert (Series 2, Part 1)
Biographical note: Robert Morrow was born at McCracken County, Kentucky in 1916 and resided at his grandparent’s dairy farm in Lone Oak. He attended local public schools, graduated from Paducah Tilghman High School in 1933. He began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority on the Kentucky Dam in the latter part of 1939 for several months and again in the early 1940s. He was drafted into the United States Army on July 8, 1941. After the war he worked as a plumber in Paducah until his retirement.
Description: Robert Morrow describes working as an office secretary, plumbers apprentice and pipe fitter during the construction of the Kentucky Dam from 1938 to 1941. He recalled being part of the plumbers union and being paid one dollar an hour. He mentioned union activities, race relations during construction of the dam, segregated villages, safety procedures, accidents, deaths and fights among employees. Just prior to the Second World War he worked at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, where the Black Horse Squadron had been stationed, as a plumber in preparation for the war. He was drafted into the United States Army in July of 1941 but remained stateside during the entire war. He also reflects upon living in Lone Oak during the 1920s, working for the Federal Housing Project at Paducah, painting the Illinois Central Railroad Bridge across the Ohio River and the impact of the dam on the surrounding communities Alben Barkley had worked for his grandfather as a farm laborer.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by:
Date of interview: 1995 May 12 and 1995 November 27
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH213
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Morrow, Robert (Series 2, Part 2)
Biographical note: Robert Morrow was born at McCracken County, Kentucky in 1916 and resided at his grandparent’s dairy farm in Lone Oak. He attended local public schools, graduated from Paducah Tilghman High School in 1933. He began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority on the Kentucky Dam in the latter part of 1939 for several months and again in the early 1940s. He was drafted into the United States Army on July 8, 1941. After the war he worked as a plumber in Paducah until his retirement.
Description: Robert Morrow describes working as an office secretary, plumbers apprentice and pipe fitter during the construction of the Kentucky Dam from 1938 to 1941. He recalled being part of the plumbers union and being paid one dollar an hour. He mentioned union activities, race relations during construction of the dam, segregated villages, safety procedures, accidents, deaths and fights among employees. Just prior to the Second World War he worked at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, where the Black Horse Squadron had been stationed, as a plumber in preparation for the war. He was drafted into the United States Army in July of 1941 but remained stateside during the entire war. He also reflects upon living in Lone Oak during the 1920s, working for the Federal Housing Project at Paducah, painting the Illinois Central Railroad Bridge across the Ohio River and the impact of the dam on the surrounding communities Alben Barkley had worked for his grandfather as a farm laborer.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by:
Date of interview: 1995 May 12 and 1995 November 27
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH213
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Oakley, Jewell
Biographical note: Jewell Oakley was born on June 23, 1915 near Aurora, Kentucky in Marshall County. At age fifteen his family relocated to Calvert City, Kentucky, where he worked on the family farm. He was hired as a laborer by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the fall of 1939 and after a few months he became an apprentice. He was drafted into the United States Army in the latter part of 1944 and served as a trainer in a field artillery unit. An illness prevented him from going overseas and he later was discharged for medical reasons. After the war, Oakley returned to work on the dam until it was completed. He later farmed and worked in construction. In 1950, he was hired by Air Products and Chemical Company at Calvert City in their maintenance department. He remained at the plant for twenty five years before retiring in 1975.
Description: Jewell Oakley describes working for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam from November of 1939 until he was drafted into the United States Army in the latter part of 1944. He recalled his childhood and early adulthood on the family farm in Marshall County, Kentucky. He told of accidental deaths at the dam, workers being crippled and construction equipment failures. He discussed his daily duties as a laborer and equipment maintenance apprentice. He spoke of horseplay among workers, race relations, schedules, safety procedures, joining the union, the Thanksgiving strike of 1940 and working under severe weather conditions. He concludes with the many changes the dam brought to nearby communities and the Flood of 1937.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Marshall, Tim
Date of interview: 1995 November 29
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH214
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: O’Dell, Edward (Part 1)
Biographical note: Edward O’Dell was born at Calvert City on September 11, 1918. He attended local public schools and graduated from Calvert City High School. He briefly attended Murray State Teachers College for a few years before he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the summer of 1938 during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He worked at the mill in Calvert City and as a laborer with the county highway department before working on the dam. He worked as a laborer and warehouse supervisor for the TVA until he left for military service in late 1943.
Description: Edward O’Dell describes working for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He discussed his early years of living in Calvert City and Marshall County, Kentucky during the 1920s and 1930s. He recollected working as a laborer in the strawberry fields, the mill in Calvert City, aboard a steamboat and for the county highway department. He detailed his daily duties as a laborer and warehouse supervisor. He mentions alcohol being consumed on the job, the theft of government property by employees, problems between laborers and iron workers, interactions between labor and management, race relations, industrial accidents and social events at Kentucky Dam Village. He concluded by highlighting the many positive changes that occurred in the region following the completion of the dam.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Meyer, Jeff
Date of interview: 1995 June 12
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH215
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: O’Dell, Edward (Part 2)
Biographical note: Edward O’Dell was born at Calvert City on September 11, 1918. He attended local public schools and graduated from Calvert City High School. He briefly attended Murray State Teachers College for a few years before he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the summer of 1938 during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He worked at the mill in Calvert City and as a laborer with the county highway department before working on the dam. He worked as a laborer and warehouse supervisor for the TVA until he left for military service in late 1943.
Description: Edward O’Dell describes working for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He discussed his early years of living in Calvert City and Marshall County, Kentucky during the 1920s and 1930s. He recollected working as a laborer in the strawberry fields, the mill in Calvert City, aboard a steamboat and for the county highway department. He detailed his daily duties as a laborer and warehouse supervisor. He mentions alcohol being consumed on the job, the theft of government property by employees, problems between laborers and iron workers, interactions between labor and management, race relations, industrial accidents and social events at Kentucky Dam Village. He concluded by highlighting the many positive changes that occurred in the region following the completion of the dam.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Meyer, Jeff
Date of interview: 1995 June 12
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH215
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Peek, Kenneth (Part 1)
Biographical note: Kenneth Peek was born and raised in Milan, Tennessee. Prior to being employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority he resided in McKenzie, Tennessee. He was employed by the TVA and relocated to the Kentucky Dam Village in 1941. He was drafted into the United States Navy in the latter part of the Second World War. He served overseas in the Pacific Theater. Peek returned to his position as security officer in 1946. In 1969, he left the Village to work at the TVA’s branch office in Paris, Tennessee. He retired in 1981.
Description: Kenneth Peek discusses his experiences as a security guard for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam and afterwards as a public safety officer at the Kentucky Dam Village. He described his training as a public safety officer and fire prevention agent in the Village from the 1940s to the 1960s. During the Second World War, he recalled being taught to spot, identify and report aircraft flying over the dam. He recounts that the Village was divided by sex and race, the “white village” and the “colored village.” He described the dormitories, private residences and recreation and community buildings. Peek also mentioned race relations, the impact of the war on construction and security, minor problems with drunk driving and public drunkenness, the unionization of workers, women guards serving during the war years and other TVA projects related to the dam and the Village.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 January 9
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH216
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Peek, Kenneth (Part 2)
Biographical note: Kenneth Peek was born and raised in Milan, Tennessee. Prior to being employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority he resided in McKenzie, Tennessee. He was employed by the TVA and relocated to the Kentucky Dam Village in 1941. He was drafted into the United States Navy in the latter part of the Second World War. He served overseas in the Pacific Theater. Peek returned to his position as security officer in 1946. In 1969, he left the Village to work at the TVA’s branch office in Paris, Tennessee. He retired in 1981.
Description: Kenneth Peek discusses his experiences as a security guard for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam and afterwards as a public safety officer at the Kentucky Dam Village. He described his training as a public safety officer and fire prevention agent in the Village from the 1940s to the 1960s. During the Second World War, he recalled being taught to spot, identify and report aircraft flying over the dam. He recounts that the Village was divided by sex and race, the “white village” and the “colored village.” He described the dormitories, private residences and recreation and community buildings. Peek also mentioned race relations, the impact of the war on construction and security, minor problems with drunk driving and public drunkenness, the unionization of workers, women guards serving during the war years and other TVA projects related to the dam and the Village.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 January 9
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH216
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Phillips, Mary & Joe (Part 1)
Biographical note: Mary Broadfoot Phillips was the daughter of the Hollis Broadfoot was the construction engineer of the Kentucky Dam project managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. She was born on July 17, 1923 at Florence, Alabama. She arrived with her parents at Kentucky Dam Village in the summer of 1939. After the dam’s completion, her father became project manager of the dam and was influential in constructing the road over the dam and the addition of another electric generator. She graduated from Benton High School and attended Murray State Teachers College from 1943 to 1944. She married in 1945 and moved to Benton, Kentucky. She died at Benton on September 6, 2013. Joe Brooks Phillips was born in Marshall County in 1921. He attended local public schools and graduated from Benton High School. He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Second World War. He owned and operated the Phillips Chevrolet in Benton. He died on October 27, 2001 at Benton.
Description: Mary Broadfoot Phillips recalls her father’s activities during the construction of the Kentucky Dam from 1939 to the early 1950s. She describes living at Kentucky Dam Village from 1940 to 1945. She remembers the community being very close and that many had resided at other Tennessee Valley Authority built villages elsewhere. She recollected temporary housing in 1939 being brought up by barge from other TVA construction sites and the later building of permanent houses. She mentioned social events and activities, the effects of the Second World War, segregation and race relations and the many forgotten families which resided in the Village. Joe Brooks Phillips referred to his experiences living in Benton and Marshall County before the dam was constructed. He recollected that the communities in the region did not have electricity or indoor plumbing prior to the completion of the dam.
Descriptors: Jackson Purchase (Ky.) -- Social life and customs.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 January 5
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH217
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Phillips, Mary & Joe (Part 2)
Biographical note: Mary Broadfoot Phillips was the daughter of the Hollis Broadfoot was the construction engineer of the Kentucky Dam project managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. She was born on July 17, 1923 at Florence, Alabama. She arrived with her parents at Kentucky Dam Village in the summer of 1939. After the dam’s completion, her father became project manager of the dam and was influential in constructing the road over the dam and the addition of another electric generator. She graduated from Benton High School and attended Murray State Teachers College from 1943 to 1944. She married in 1945 and moved to Benton, Kentucky. She died at Benton on September 6, 2013. Joe Brooks Phillips was born in Marshall County in 1921. He attended local public schools and graduated from Benton High School. He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Second World War. He owned and operated the Phillips Chevrolet in Benton. He died on October 27, 2001 at Benton.
Description: Mary Broadfoot Phillips recalls her father’s activities during the construction of the Kentucky Dam from 1939 to the early 1950s. She describes living at Kentucky Dam Village from 1940 to 1945. She remembers the community being very close and that many had resided at other Tennessee Valley Authority built villages elsewhere. She recollected temporary housing in 1939 being brought up by barge from other TVA construction sites and the later building of permanent houses. She mentioned social events and activities, the effects of the Second World War, segregation and race relations and the many forgotten families which resided in the Village. Joe Brooks Phillips referred to his experiences living in Benton and Marshall County before the dam was constructed. He recollected that the communities in the region did not have electricity or indoor plumbing prior to the completion of the dam.
Descriptors: Jackson Purchase (Ky.) -- Social life and customs.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 January 5
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH217
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Schmidt, Draffen
Biographical note: Draffen Schmidt was born at Marshall County, Kentucky in 1913. He worked as a water boy, laborer and pump and crane operator for the Tennessee Valley Authority from July of 1941 until spring of 1945. He was laid off briefly in 1943. After the completion of the Kentucky Dam, he worked various construction jobs along Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. He retired in 1978.
Description: Draffen Schmidt recalls his experiences in rural Marshall County, Kentucky prior to the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He described hourly pay rates, being hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority, job responsibilities, working the nightshift, accidental deaths, employee injuries, safety procedures, apprenticeships and the training of workers. He mentioned relationships between management and laborer, labor unions, segregation, race relations and community activities.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Hosking, Michael
Date of interview: 1995 November 13
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH218
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Sears, Richard E. (Part 1)
Biographical note: Richard E. Sears was born at Paducah, Kentucky on April 28, 1915. He was raised in Paducah, attended local public schools and graduated from Tilghman High School in 1933. He attended Murray State Teachers College from 1933 to 1934 and the University of Kentucky from 1935 to 1938, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He briefly worked with the National Youth Administration at Paducah before he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the spring of 1939 to work on the Kentucky Dam. He remained at the Kentucky Dam until 1948 when he was transferred to another TVA construction site. He continued to work for the TVA on numerous other projects including the Watauga, Boone and South Holston Dams in Tennessee and the Shawnee Fossil Plant near Paducah. He retired from the TVA in 1976. He died on March 25, 2008.
Description: Richard E. Sears describes his experiences as a draftsman and electrical engineer working with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam. He recalls the region prior to the construction of the dam, including the lack of industry, rural road system and ferries crossing the river. He recollects participating in the National Youth Administration at Paducah before being hired by the TVA. He discusses the hiring process, salaries, his duties and responsibilities, labor union relations with management, public safety operations, living conditions at the Kentucky Dam Village, racial relations (no mixed race work crews in his department), work related accidents and construction problems.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Meyer, Jeff
Date of interview: 1995 November 13
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH219
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Voeglin, Glenn
Biographical note: Glen Voegelin was born in the State of Oklahoma in 1912. He served as an assistant field engineer and chief surveyor at the Kentucky Dam during its construction from the latter part of 1941 to the early part of 1946. Prior to being hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority, he worked in construction and as a surveyor in Oklahoma.
Description: Glen Voegelin discusses his years of employment as a field engineer and chief surveyor for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He discusses how he was hired by the TVA, his duties as chief surveyor, work related accidents and deaths, race relations, segregation and living at the Kentucky Dam Village.
Descriptors: Kentucky -- Politics and government.
Interviewed by: Miller, Chamonie S.
Date of interview: 1995 November 20
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH223
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Ward, Joe Pat
Biographical note: Joe Pat Ward was born in Calloway County, Kentucky on August 17, 1923. He was raised and educated in the county. Before being hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority he worked on the family farm and was a mill laborer at Murray (Kentucky) Milk Products Company. He worked for the TVA from the spring of 1941 to the spring of 1943. He was drafted into the United States Army in March of 1943. He saw combat duty in three major campaigns in Europe. He returned to Calloway County in 1946 but did not work for the TVA.
Description: Joe Pat Ward discusses his employment as head mail clerk for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He describes the living conditions and lack of industry in the region prior to the building of the dam. He recalls working on the family farm, the Great Depression, being hired by the TVA, work conditions, salaries, duties he performed, work related accidents, race relations and the benefits of the dam to the region.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Meyer, Jeff
Date of interview: 1995 October 15
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH224
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Williams, Howard (Part 1)
Biographical note: Howard Williams was born in Marshall County, Kentucky on October 9, 1909. He was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a laborer during the construction of the Kentucky Dam in 1938. He was eventually promoted to a carpenter’s apprentice and later as a carpenter. Prior to working for the TVA, he worked several months in Detroit at the Dodge motor plant and briefly on the Paducah flood wall. After the dam was completed he became a building contractor. He served as the Building Trades representative in Paducah for five years. He died on March 12, 2000.
Description: Howard Williams recalls his experiences working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. The interview contains many detailed stories related to the dam from the late 1930’s through the mid 1940’s. He describes how the TVA deceived some land owners into purchasing their land, the TVA’s hiring process, dangerous working conditions, accidental deaths, salaries, labor unions, working the graveyard shift and various other projects he worked on. He retells a story of a black laborer who found a vein of gold while working on the dam and sealed it in concrete so as to prevent others from discovering the vein.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 November 17
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH229
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Williams, Howard (Part 2)
Biographical note: Howard Williams was born in Marshall County, Kentucky on October 9, 1909. He was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a laborer during the construction of the Kentucky Dam in 1938. He was eventually promoted to a carpenter’s apprentice and later as a carpenter. Prior to working for the TVA, he worked several months in Detroit at the Dodge motor plant and briefly on the Paducah flood wall. After the dam was completed he became a building contractor. He served as the Building Trades representative in Paducah for five years. He died on March 12, 2000.
Description: Howard Williams recalls his experiences working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. The interview contains many detailed stories related to the dam from the late 1930’s through the mid 1940’s. He describes how the TVA deceived some land owners into purchasing their land, the TVA’s hiring process, dangerous working conditions, accidental deaths, salaries, labor unions, working the graveyard shift and various other projects he worked on. He retells a story of a black laborer who found a vein of gold while working on the dam and sealed it in concrete so as to prevent others from discovering the vein.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 November 17
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH229
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Woolfolk, James
Biographical note: James Woolfolk was born at DeQueen, Arkansas in September 4, 1920. He and his parents relocated to Nashville in 1929. He attended local public schools and worked several jobs prior to being employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1941. Woolfolk served as a public safety officer at the Kentucky Dam from August of 1941 until he was drafted in the United States Army in November of 1943. He returned from the war in 1946 and continued to work for the TVA until his retirement on January 1, 1981.
Description: James Woolfolk discusses his experiences as a public safety officer for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction Kentucky Dam from 1941 to 1943 and afterwards from 1946 to 1981. He describes the infrastructure of his division, the Division of Reservoir Properties, which was responsible for maintaining the reservoir. Woolfolk describes the duties of his position, patrol routes, and events and activities in Kentucky Dam Village. He mentions practical jokes that took place during the construction of the Dam, such as men nailing their coworker’s lunch boxes to the floor.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Hosking, Michael
Date of interview: 1995 November 30
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH230
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Fox, Johnny B.
Biographical note: Johnny B. Fox was born December 3, 1924 in Eddyville, Kentucky. He began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on construction of the Kentucky Dam in 1942 and remained until the dam was completed in 1945. After the dam’s completion he worked for the Kentucky Department of Parks and resided in the Kentucky Dam Village before it was dismantled. He later was employed as the chief of maintenance for the Crounse Corporation at Grand Rivers, Kentucky. He died on June 2, 2003.
Description: Johnny B. Fox of Lyon County, Kentucky describes his employment with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of Kentucky Dam. He recounts how he was hired, his regular duties and activities on the worksite. He recalled social interactions among workers, injuries and fatalities, racial relations and the high employee turnover rate. Fox described his responsibilities as a park ranger for the Kentucky Department of Parks after the dam's completion and further discussed his daily activities while residing at Kentucky Dam Village from 1942 to 1946.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Marshall, Tim
Date of interview: 1995 November 20
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH200
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Evans, Mayme (part 1)
Biographical note: Mayme Evans was born in 1920 in New Columbia, Massac County, Illinois. In 1939 she began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of Kentucky Dam in the accounting office. She remained in the Kentucky Dam Village until her husband was discharge from the United States Army in July of 1945. She died on May 30, 2002 in Vienna, Illinois.
Description: Mayme Evans discusses her experiences working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. She describes the hiring process and her responsibilities working in the accounting office. She recounts issues such as office interactions, employee turn-over rates, moonlighting and safety issues. The second half of the interview examines her experiences residing in the Kentucky Dam Village during the early 1940s. She recalls the daily life of the workers, racial interactions, social gatherings and extra-curricular activities during her residence in the village.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Unknown.
Date of interview: 1995 May 10
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH198
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Hortin, Loren Joseph (part 1)
Biographical note: Loren Joseph “L.J.” Hortin was born at Albion, Illinois in 1904. He graduated from McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois in 1927. After graduation, he taught at various high schools in Illinois and worked as a reporter for the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch. In 1928, he was hired as a faculty member at Murray State Normal School as an instructor of journalism. From 1930 to 1947, he was a staff writer for the Associated Press, Louisville Courier-Journal and Paducah Sun-Democrat. He acquired a Master of Arts degree from Murray State College in 1943. In 1947, he became director of the School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Hortin returned to Murray State in 1967 and acted as head of the journalism program until his retirement in 1974. Between 1928 and 1938, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Lower Tennessee Valley Association, which sought to construct a dam on the lower Tennessee River. He also served as the manager of the City Chamber of Commerce at Murray from 1934 to 1938. He was elected into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1981 and received honorary doctorates from McKendree College and Murray State University. He died on November 27, 1992.
Description: Loren Joseph “L.J.” Hortin discusses the political aspects of the decision to build the Kentucky Dam. He explains how prior to the creation of the Lower Tennessee Valley Association (LTVA), which sought to build a dam in Aurora, Kentucky, and how that evolved into the region’s Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He describes the leadership of the LTVA and the actions of significant individuals, particularly Luther Draffen, who encouraged the construction of a dam on the Tennessee River. He also mentioned the opposition to the dam and the debate between a purely navigational dam verses a hydroelectric dam.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Herndon, Jerry
Date of interview: 1976 February 20
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH204
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Moore, Eugene
Biographical note: Eugene Moore was born on Route 3 in Murray, Kentucky on December 9, 1924. He attended the Murray City School, Murray State School, and Almo School. When the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began construction on the Kentucky Dam project he worked for his father who owned a lumber company, which cleared timber where the reservoir presently exists. In 1943, he was drafted in the Navy and served in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War. After he was discharged, he briefly attended Murray State College before he worked with a trucking company from 1948 to 1959. He and his wife later opened a restaurant and a small clothing store in Murray.
Description: Eugene Moore discusses life in the Jackson Purchase area of Kentucky before, during and after the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began construction on the Kentucky Dam. He describes the history of the area and the early pioneers that settled in the region around the dam. He recalls the impact the dam had during the Second World War and the post-War era. Much of the interview focuses on biographical information pertaining to Eugene Moore and family history.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Hosking, Michael
Date of interview: 1995 November 13
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH211
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Sears, Richard E. (Part 2)
Biographical note: Richard E. Sears was born at Paducah, Kentucky on April 28, 1915. He was raised in Paducah, attended local public schools and graduated from Tilghman High School in 1933. He attended Murray State Teachers College from 1933 to 1934 and the University of Kentucky from 1935 to 1938, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He briefly worked with the National Youth Administration at Paducah before he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the spring of 1939 to work on the Kentucky Dam. He remained at the Kentucky Dam until 1948 when he was transferred to another TVA construction site. He continued to work for the TVA on numerous other projects including the Watauga, Boone and South Holston Dams in Tennessee and the Shawnee Fossil Plant near Paducah. He retired from the TVA in 1976. He died on March 25, 2008.
Description: Richard E. Sears describes his experiences as a draftsman and electrical engineer working with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam. He recalls the region prior to the construction of the dam, including the lack of industry, rural road system and ferries crossing the river. He recollects participating in the National Youth Administration at Paducah before being hired by the TVA. He discusses the hiring process, salaries, his duties and responsibilities, labor union relations with management, public safety operations, living conditions at the Kentucky Dam Village, racial relations (no mixed race work crews in his department), work related accidents and construction problems.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Meyer, Jeff
Date of interview: 1995 November 13
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH219
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Watkins, Sanders
Biographical note: Sanders Watkins was born at Birmingham, Kentucky on September 7, 1916. He resided at Birmingham until he was required to relocate to Briansburg due to the rising waters caused by the Kentucky Dam in 1943. He attended Murray State Teachers College on a basketball scholarship but quit after several weeks. He began to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1939 as a laborer in the lumberyard. A year later, he was assigned a position as an ironworker’s apprentice. He served three years as an apprentice before he was promoted to ironworker. In 1955, he was laid off by the TVA. The same year he was employed by the GAF Corporation from where he retired in 1981.
Description: Sanders Watkins recalls his experiences as a laborer, carpenter and iron worker for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He discussed the purchasing of property along the banks of the Tennessee River by the TVA and lack of assistance provided by the United States government to relocate the families. He describes the his experiences during Great Depression, the difficulties he had getting hired by the TVA, salary levels, former supervisors, seeing President Harry S. Truman, witnessing the first train to cross the dam, the Thanksgiving Day labor strike, segregation, race relations, accidental deaths and the effects of the dam on the region.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Conner, Dorisanna
Date of interview: 1995 May 3
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH226
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Stice, King (Part 1)
Biographical note: King Chandler Stice was born at Calvert City, Kentucky on October 11, 1915. He attended local public schools and after graduating high school worked as a radio inspector at Crosley Radio Corporation in Cincinnati. He returned to Calvert City and was hired as an electrician with the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1938 and worked there until 1939. He enlisted in the United States Army in January of 1942 and served as a communication chief until 1946. After the war, he worked as an electrician. Stice retired as a maintenance foreman from Pennwalt Corporation in 1980. He passed away on October 4, 2006 at Calvert City.
Description: King Chandler Stice describes his experiences as an electrician working for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He explained in detail the process of building the locks and the different machines and mechanical devices required to complete the project. He recalled the Tennessee River freezing over in the winter of 1938/1939 and that construction continued even when temperatures dropped below zero. He discussed the role of trade unions and apprentice programs. He mentions the Great Depression, previous employers, the construction of public schools in Marshall County, his military service during the Second World War (27th Coast Artillery Battalion), working conditions at the dam, moonshiners in the region, resistance of inhabitants to relocation, Flood of 1937 and other stories related to the history of Calvert City and Marshall County, Kentucky.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 November 21
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH221
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Thurmond, James (Part 1)
Biographical note: James Wilber Thurmond was born on September 5, 1918 in Calloway County, Kentucky. At age fourteen his family relocated to Murray where his father established a feed mill and coal distribution business. He was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in November of 1941 as the senior typist for the project historian. He was drafted into the United States Navy in April of 1944 and served the final year of the Second World War as a typist at battalion headquarters. After the war, he was employed by the Bank of Murray as a bookkeeper and later as a branch manager. He worked for the bank for thirty seven years before retiring in 1983. He died at Murray on June 6, 2007.
Description: James Wilber Thurmond discusses his experiences while working as a typist for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He described the Great Depression, living conditions and employment opportunities in the region prior to the construction of the dam. He recalled his daily activities as the typist for the project historian. He mentioned his family history, childhood and early adulthood experiences, the Great Depression, industries in Murray before the construction of the dam, departure of area men to seek work in Detroit and Akron, colleagues and supervisors he worked with, six day work weeks, labor shortages, women replacing men leaving for the war, service in the United States Navy during the Second World War and the positive effects of the dam on the region.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 October 3
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH222
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Stice, King (Part 2)
Biographical note: King Chandler Stice was born at Calvert City, Kentucky on October 11, 1915. He attended local public schools and after graduating high school worked as a radio inspector at Crosley Radio Corporation in Cincinnati. He returned to Calvert City and was hired as an electrician with the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1938 and worked there until 1939. He enlisted in the United States Army in January of 1942 and served as a communication chief until 1946. After the war, he worked as an electrician. Stice retired as a maintenance foreman from Pennwalt Corporation in 1980. He passed away on October 4, 2006 at Calvert City.
Description: King Chandler Stice describes his experiences as an electrician working for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He explained in detail the process of building the locks and the different machines and mechanical devices required to complete the project. He recalled the Tennessee River freezing over in the winter of 1938/1939 and that construction continued even when temperatures dropped below zero. He discussed the role of trade unions and apprentice programs. He mentions the Great Depression, previous employers, the construction of public schools in Marshall County, his military service during the Second World War (27th Coast Artillery Battalion), working conditions at the dam, moonshiners in the region, resistance of inhabitants to relocation, Flood of 1937 and other stories related to the history of Calvert City and Marshall County, Kentucky.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 November 21
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH221
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Smith, Ralph
Biographical note: Ralph Smith was born in Marshall County, Kentucky on August 11, 1926. He grew up and attended local public schools in Marshall County. He was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the fall of 1943 as a laborer. He was drafted in the United States military in 1944. Smith served in the South Pacific and saw action at Peleliu and was awarded a Purple Heart. After the war, he worked as a carpenter and maintenance man for Airco Carbide for twenty years and later for the GAF Corporation. Smith retired in 1993 and died on May 9, 2012 at Calvert City, Kentucky.
Description: Ralph Smith describes working the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a laborer during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He recalls the region prior to the construction of the dam and being hired by the TVA. He describes pouring concrete, working twelve hour shifts, the construction of concrete barges, safety procedures and other duties he performed while employed for the TVA. He concludes with a description of the many changes which occurred after the completion of the dam.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Hosking, Michael
Date of interview: 1995 November 30
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH220
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Washam, Barbara
Biographical note: Barbara Evelyn Moore Washam worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority in the commissary at Kentucky Dam Village from 1942 to 1945. She arrived in Paducah from Nashville in 1940. She later worked as a bookkeeper at her husband’s optometrist office in Mayfield. She died on January 14, 2011 in Paducah.
Description: Barbara Evelyn Moore Washam discusses her experiences working for the Tennessee Valley Authority in the commissary at Kentucky Dam Village during the 1940’s. She vividly describes the people, social events and community facilities of the village. She recalled living in the dormitories, rationing during the Second World War, recreational activities, entertainment, segregation, company managed stores, race relations and segregation in Paducah.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 January 6
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH225
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Johnson, Larman
Biographical note: Larman Johnson was born in Graves County, Kentucky on April 18, 1917. As a child his family moved to Paducah and attended school at Reidland and later Hardeman School in Mayfield. He did not graduate but became a carpenter’s apprentice at Paducah. He began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority on October 2, 1939. He performed construction work at both Kentucky and Douglas Dams during the 1940s. He was laid off by the TVA just before the completion of the dam. He relocated to in Evansville, Indiana and was employed at a shipyard for fifteen years.
Description: Larman Johnson describes working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He recalls working as a laborer at the quarry at Birmingham, Kentucky and as a carpenter’s apprentice. He mentions the Great Depression, how he was hired by the TVA, labor unions, salaries, the hospital at Kentucky Dam Village, accidents and deaths at Kentucky Dam and Douglas Dam, the capture of a German spy, work conditions and the affects the dam had on the region.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Conner, Dorisanna
Date of interview: 1995 May 5
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH227
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Thurmond, James (Part 2)
Biographical note: James Wilber Thurmond was born on September 5, 1918 in Calloway County, Kentucky. At age fourteen his family relocated to Murray where his father established a feed mill and coal distribution business. He was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in November of 1941 as the senior typist for the project historian. He was drafted into the United States Navy in April of 1944 and served the final year of the Second World War as a typist at battalion headquarters. After the war, he was employed by the Bank of Murray as a bookkeeper and later as a branch manager. He worked for the bank for thirty seven years before retiring in 1983. He died at Murray on June 6, 2007.
Description: James Wilber Thurmond discusses his experiences while working as a typist for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He described the Great Depression, living conditions and employment opportunities in the region prior to the construction of the dam. He recalled his daily activities as the typist for the project historian. He mentioned his family history, childhood and early adulthood experiences, the Great Depression, industries in Murray before the construction of the dam, departure of area men to seek work in Detroit and Akron, colleagues and supervisors he worked with, six day work weeks, labor shortages, women replacing men leaving for the war, service in the United States Navy during the Second World War and the positive effects of the dam on the region.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 October 3
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH222
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: McGehee, Jack F.
Biographical note: Jack F. McGehee was born November 18, 1914. He graduated from E. W. Grove High School in 1932 and began working for the Golden Peacock Corporation, a cosmetics firm, while residing in Paris, Tennessee. In the spring of 1941, he began work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the Construction Department on the Kentucky Dam project doing clerical work. As the construction phase neared completion, McGehee was transferred back to Paris and worked in the Payroll Office until April of 1955. After leaving the TVA he worked for an insurance company until his retirement. Jack McGehee died on August 11, 1996.
Description: Jack F. McGehee discusses his time of employment with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the construction of Kentucky Dam from 1941 to 1946. He described his work experience prior to being employed by the TVA and the process by which he was hired. He recalls the daily tasks and worksite conditions, including wages, racial and gender relations and worker safety. The interview concludes with McGehee providing a list of names of possible individuals to interview at a later date.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Hosking, Michael
Date of interview: 1995 October 30
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH210
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Washam, Barbara
Biographical note: Barbara Evelyn Moore Washam worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority in the commissary at Kentucky Dam Village from 1942 to 1945. She arrived in Paducah from Nashville in 1940. She later worked as a bookkeeper at her husband’s optometrist office in Mayfield. She died on January 14, 2011 in Paducah.
Description: Barbara Evelyn Moore Washam discusses her experiences working for the Tennessee Valley Authority in the commissary at Kentucky Dam Village during the 1940’s. She vividly describes the people, social events and community facilities of the village. She recalled living in the dormitories, rationing during the Second World War, recreational activities, entertainment, segregation, company managed stores, race relations and segregation in Paducah.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 January 6
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH225
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Brooks, Baisel and Courtney
Biographical note: Baisel and Courtney Brooks were residents of the Kentucky Dam Village in Marshall County, Kentucky from 1944 to 1945. Baisel was one of the first employees to work at the dam after its completion. He retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Kentucky Dam in 1975.
Description: Baisel and Courtney Brooks discuss the history and impact of Kentucky Dam on western Kentucky. The interview begins with a biographical outline consisting of their relocation to Western Kentucky in 1944 and their job responsibilities at the dam. Baisel discussed working conditions during construction and the impact the Kentucky Dam and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) had on the region. Included in the conversation was river trade and traffic, Murray State College (presently Murray State University), the creation of Land Between the Lake during the 1960s and the proposed purchase of the dam by the Ford Motor Corporation. The interview concludes with an explanation defining the purpose of the Kentucky Dam Village Oral History Project.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1994 December 31
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH192
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Gunn, Pete, Jr. (part 1)
Biographical note: Pete Gunn Jr. was born August 18, 1920 in Winchester, Tennessee. His father moved the family to Benton, Kentucky on September 3, 1939 to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam. In September of 1941 he began working on the Kentucky Dam. While on the dam project he trained as an engineer. In 1943, he worked for a shipyard in Texas and later on the Manhattan Project at Oakridge, Tennessee. He returned to Benton in 1946 and worked in the automotive and sporting goods businesses, before joining his father-in-law in the insurance business in 1947. He was the founder and former owner of Morgan, Trevathan and Gunn Insurance, a former elder and deacon at the Benton Church of Christ and the Briensburg Church of Christ. He died on June 9, 2002.
Description: Pete Gunn Jr. describes his experiences while working with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam and the Manhattan Project at Oakridge, Tennessee. The interview contains a biographical accounting of his life and career through the late 1940s. He discusses his duties as a company messenger, training as an engineer and the interactions he had with management. Gunn covers a variety of topics including horseplay, safety, injuries and fatalities, employee relations and significant events. The interview concludes with a discussion on his time at Oakridge as part of the Manhattan Project.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Miller, Chamonie S.
Date of interview: 1995 October 30
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH201
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Hall, Charles Harvey (part 3)
Biographical note: Charles Harvey Hall was born in Calvert City, Kentucky on July 12, 1917. He graduated from Chillicothe Business College and Paducah Junior College. He also attended the University of Louisville and Murray State College. Hall worked for George Jessup as his personal secretary and later executive assistant on the Kentucky Dam Project from 1938 to 1944. In 1945 he founded a wholesale electronics business in Paducah, which he sold in 1952. Charles Hall worked for the Channel Master Corporation from 1956 until 1976 when he returned to Calvert City to become president of the Calvert City Bank. In 1983, he retired and began volunteer work with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), including two years at their office in Washington, D.C. He died on August 1, 2010.
Description: Charles Harvey Hall served as the personal secretary and later executive assistant project manager, George Jessup, of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) during the Kentucky Dam Project from 1938 to 1944. The first interview, conducted on December 29, 1994, he discusses his duties as secretary, experiences working in the TVA offices and the managers in charge of the Kentucky Dam project. He describes topics such as the “Safety Men”, accidents and fatalities, racial relations, employee relations, Kentucky Dam Village and the dam’s involvement in the Manhattan Project at Oakridge, Tennessee. The second interview, conducted on October 5, 1995 focuses primarily on the conditions of Marshal County, Kentucky in the decade before the Kentucky Dam Project began, as well as the security measures in place during the presidential visit of President Harry S. Truman in 1945.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1994 December 29 and 1995 October 5
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH202
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Holt, George Washington
Biographical note: George Washington “G.W.” Holt was born on February 22, 1918 in Birmingham, Kentucky. He began work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam Project in 1939 and worked on the dam for five years. Holt worked as a pipefitter and was a member of the Steamfitters Local 184. George Holt died on March 2, 2009 in Benton, Kentucky.
Description: George Washington “G.W.” Holt describes his experience working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam Project from 1939 to 1944. He provides a short explanation of his duties as a pipefitter on the dam. Topics discussed in the interview include his opinions on George Jessup, racial relations, work procedures, injuries and fatalities, training, and the Kentucky Dam Village.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Miller, Chamonie S.
Date of interview: 1995 November 17
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH203
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Crockett, Paul (part 1)
Biographical note: Paul Crockett was born October 11, 1910 near Big Sandy, Tennessee. He attended Big Sandy High School and Austin Peay College (now Austin Peay University), worked for Bethel College and briefly as a high school teacher. In 1940, he applied for a position with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a Public Safety Officer and on April 14, 1941 was offered a job at Watts Bar, Tennessee. In 1944 he was transferred to Great Falls Dam at Rock Island, Tennessee and in October of 1945 to Kentucky Dam. He lived and worked at the Kentucky Dam Village prior to its creation as a campground. He achieved the rank of Area Security Chief prior to his retirement in 1975.
Description: Paul Crockett details his employment as a security guard and safety officer with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and describes the final phase of construction of the Kentucky Dam in 1945. He explains why he sought employment with the TVA in 1940 and the qualifications which were required to manage the facility’s security. He recalls the day-to-day operations he witnessed during construction and discusses issues such as theft, drinking on the job and the sometimes tense relationship between laborer and management. He further describes Kentucky Dam Village and the daily experiences of the residents in the community. The interview ends with a commentary on the dedication of the Kentucky Dam by President Harry S. Truman in 1945.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Unknown.
Date of interview: 1995 April 12
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH193
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Edwards, Henry Buel
Biographical note: Henry Buel Edwards was born on March 21, 1921 in Marshall County, Kentucky. In 1941, he began working for Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He worked for the TVA for two years before being drafted into the United States Army. After the Second World War, he attended Murray State College (presently Murray State University) and later served as an environmentalist for the Marshall County Health Department. He died on February 27, 2004.
Description: Buel Edwards of Marshall County, Kentucky describes his experiences as a messenger boy working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He discusses the social, economic and environmental impact of the TVA on Marshall County, Kentucky before, during and after the construction of the dam. Edwards examines the construction of the dam in detail. The interview concludes with Buell Edwards’ wife discussing family and local history and the preservation of artifacts from the era before the dam.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Miller, Chamonie S.
Date of interview: 1995 November 14
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH197
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Derington, William L.
Biographical note: William L. Derington was born in 1947 in Palma, Marshall County, Kentucky. His father, William “Bill” Derinton was a construction worker on the Kentucky Dam during the 1940s. He enlisted in the United States Marines during the Vietnam War in August 1967 and was took part in the Tet Offensive of 1968. After he was discharged he returned to Marshall County. Since 1987, he has been employed by the Facilities Management Department of Murray State University.
Description: William L. Derington discusses the changes that took place within Marshall County, Kentucky in the years following the construction of Kentucky Dam. He discusses the social and environmental changes of the county in the years after the dam’s completion and the influx of chemical factories and other industry into the region. The interview concludes with his opinions on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and labor unions
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Derington, William L.
Date of interview: 1995 December 2
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH196
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Martin, Travis
Biographical note: Travis Martin was born about 1913. She began work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1939. She worked at the Land Acquisition office for the Kentucky Dam in Paris, Tennessee. Following the Second World War, she was transferred to Gilbertsville, Kentucky and lived in the Kentucky Dam Village.
Description: Travis Martin discusses her experiences working with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the construction of the Kentucky Dam. She outlines her duties working with land acquisition for the Kentucky Dam and describes her life at the Kentucky Dam Village. Topics covered in the interview include racial relations, recreation, public safety and the dam’s dedication by President Harry S. Truman.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Conner, Dorisanna
Date of interview: 1995 April 4
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH209
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Gunn, Pete, Jr. (part 2)
Biographical note: Pete Gunn Jr. was born August 18, 1920 in Winchester, Tennessee. His father moved the family to Benton, Kentucky on September 3, 1939 to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam. In September of 1941 he began working on the Kentucky Dam. While on the dam project he trained as an engineer. In 1943, he worked for a shipyard in Texas and later on the Manhattan Project at Oakridge, Tennessee. He returned to Benton in 1946 and worked in the automotive and sporting goods businesses, before joining his father-in-law in the insurance business in 1947. He was the founder and former owner of Morgan, Trevathan and Gunn Insurance, a former elder and deacon at the Benton Church of Christ and the Briensburg Church of Christ. He died on June 9, 2002.
Description: Pete Gunn Jr. describes his experiences while working with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Kentucky Dam and the Manhattan Project at Oakridge, Tennessee. The interview contains a biographical accounting of his life and career through the late 1940s. He discusses his duties as a company messenger, training as an engineer and the interactions he had with management. Gunn covers a variety of topics including horseplay, safety, injuries and fatalities, employee relations and significant events. The interview concludes with a discussion on his time at Oakridge as part of the Manhattan Project.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Miller, Chamonie S.
Date of interview: 1995 October 30
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH201
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Barrett, Charles
Biographical note: Charles Barrett was born in 1919 in Marshall County, Kentucky. In 1940, he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam.
Description: Charles Barrett discusses his employment with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He describes his life growing up in Marshall County, Kentucky, and the development of the area prior to the construction of the dam. He recalls construction techniques used when building the dam and labor and management relationships during the 1940s. Topics such as pay rates, unions, race relations and the impact of the dam upon the residents of the region were discussed.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Marshall, Tim
Date of interview: 1995 November 20
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH191
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Hall, Charles Harvey (part 1)
Biographical note: Charles Harvey Hall was born in Calvert City, Kentucky on July 12, 1917. He graduated from Chillicothe Business College and Paducah Junior College. He also attended the University of Louisville and Murray State College. Hall worked for George Jessup as his personal secretary and later executive assistant on the Kentucky Dam Project from 1938 to 1944. In 1945 he founded a wholesale electronics business in Paducah, which he sold in 1952. Charles Hall worked for the Channel Master Corporation from 1956 until 1976 when he returned to Calvert City to become president of the Calvert City Bank. In 1983, he retired and began volunteer work with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), including two years at their office in Washington, D.C. He died on August 1, 2010.
Description: Charles Harvey Hall served as the personal secretary and later executive assistant project manager, George Jessup, of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) during the Kentucky Dam Project from 1938 to 1944. The first interview, conducted on December 29, 1994, he discusses his duties as secretary, experiences working in the TVA offices and the managers in charge of the Kentucky Dam project. He describes topics such as the “Safety Men”, accidents and fatalities, racial relations, employee relations, Kentucky Dam Village and the dam’s involvement in the Manhattan Project at Oakridge, Tennessee. The second interview, conducted on October 5, 1995 focuses primarily on the conditions of Marshal County, Kentucky in the decade before the Kentucky Dam Project began, as well as the security measures in place during the presidential visit of President Harry S. Truman in 1945.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1994 December 29 and 1995 October 5
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH202
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Jessup, George P., Jr.
Biographical note: George P. Jessup, Jr. was the son of noted dam engineer George P. Jessup. He was born on November 13, 1923 at Iron Mountain, Michigan. When his father began to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) around 1935, the family moved to the Wheeler Dam site in Alabama and later to Paducah, Kentucky. While in Paducah he attended Paducah Tilghman High School. After the Kentucky Dam was completed the family returned to his father’s home in Ithaca, New York. There George Jessup Jr. attended Cornell University. He died on October 8, 2005.
Description: George P. Jessup, Jr. describes his father’s, George P. Jessup, Sr., involvement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of Kentucky Dam from 1938 to 1944. He provides a biographical sketch of his father’s life prior to working for the TVA and details his father’s employment on the Kentucky Dam. He also mentions his father’s interactions with TVA engineers and other employees. Jessup concludes with recollections on his father’s opinions on labor unions, racial relations, supervision of employees and the hierarchical structure adhered to by the TVA.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Rousey, Eric
Date of interview: 1995 January 12
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH207
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Depriest, Frank
Biographical note: Frank Depriest was born on July 21, 1909 in Lyon County, Kentucky on the east side of the Tennessee River. In 1921, he went to Charleston, Missouri with his brother but later returned to Lyon County in 1928. In 1936 and 1937 he worked on the East Alton, Illinois dam construction project. In May 1940, he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He quit the TVA in March of 1942 and returned to farming. He later owned a grocery store in Eddyville. He died in an automobile accident on April 30, 1996 at age 86.
Description: Frank Depriest discusses his experiences while working with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of Kentucky Dam and the relocation of homesteads in the early 1940s. He recalls the region prior to the construction of the dam and the impact of the TVA on the residents living in the Tennessee Valley. He describes his duties as a construction laborer and the various work related projects associated with the dam. Issues such as racial relations, job safety and interaction with co-workers are mentioned throughout the interview.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Marshall, Tim
Date of interview: 1995 November 28
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH194
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Derington, William “Bill” (part 1)
Biographical note: William “Bill” Derington was born in northern Marshall County, Kentucky. Beginning in 1937, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the State of Oregon. In 1941 he was employed for six months by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a laborer during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He relocated to Detroit, Michigan to work for Briggs and Stratton when the Second World War began. From the summer of 1945 until the fall of 1946, he traveled between Detroit and Marshall County working at both Briggs and Stratton and the Kentucky Dam. After October of 1946, he remained permanently in Marshall County.
Description: William “Bill” Derington of Marshall County, Kentucky discusses his experiences as a laborer during the construction of Kentucky Dam and working in Detroit, Michigan during the Second World War. He describes working conditions and the impact of labor unions in both Kentucky and Michigan. He recalled the many changes brought to Marshall County, Kentucky when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began construction of the dam and after its completion. He recounts safety issues, race relations, hiring practices, alcohol consumption in the camps and work related injuries.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Derington, William “Bill”
Date of interview: 1994 October 21
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH195
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Crockett, Paul (part 2)
Biographical note: Paul Crockett was born October 11, 1910 near Big Sandy, Tennessee. He attended Big Sandy High School and Austin Peay College (now Austin Peay University), worked for Bethel College and briefly as a high school teacher. In 1940, he applied for a position with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a Public Safety Officer and on April 14, 1941 was offered a job at Watts Bar, Tennessee. In 1944 he was transferred to Great Falls Dam at Rock Island, Tennessee and in October of 1945 to Kentucky Dam. He lived and worked at the Kentucky Dam Village prior to its creation as a campground. He achieved the rank of Area Security Chief prior to his retirement in 1975.
Description: Paul Crockett details his employment as a security guard and safety officer with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and describes the final phase of construction of the Kentucky Dam in 1945. He explains why he sought employment with the TVA in 1940 and the qualifications which were required to manage the facility’s security. He recalls the day-to-day operations he witnessed during construction and discusses issues such as theft, drinking on the job and the sometimes tense relationship between laborer and management. He further describes Kentucky Dam Village and the daily experiences of the residents in the community. The interview ends with a commentary on the dedication of the Kentucky Dam by President Harry S. Truman in 1945.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Unknown.
Date of interview: 1995 April 12
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH193
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: White, Zelma (part 2)
Biographical note: Zelma White was born in Reidland, Kentucky on March 25, 1926, and lived in Reidland until age 31, when she moved to Paducah. Both she and her father worked for TVA on the Kentucky Dam project. White was employed by TVA, working both in the administration building and later as an office clerk in the hospital in Kentucky Dam Village. White was employed by TVA from May 1944 until December 1945, when she left employment instead of moving to a new TVA project in Parsons, Tennessee.
Description: Zelma White discusses her experiences working as an office clerk for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of Kentucky Dam from 1944 to 1945. She describes working both in the TVA administrative offices and in the office of the Kentucky Dam Village hospital. White relates encounters with Luther Draffen and George Jessup and discusses Jessup’s reputation among the TVA employees. White also discusses observation visits by Chinese engineers to the Dam and talks about President Harry Truman’s visit to the Dam, at which she was present. White also discusses the physical layout of Kentucky Dam Village and life in the Village.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by:
Date of interview: 1995 November 17
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH228
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: White, Zelma (Part 1)
Biographical note: Zelma White was born in Reidland, Kentucky on March 25, 1926, and lived in Reidland until age 31, when she moved to Paducah. Both she and her father worked for TVA on the Kentucky Dam project. White was employed by TVA, working both in the administration building and later as an office clerk in the hospital in Kentucky Dam Village. White was employed by TVA from May 1944 until December 1945, when she left employment instead of moving to a new TVA project in Parsons, Tennessee.
Description: Zelma White discusses her experiences working as an office clerk for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of Kentucky Dam from 1944 to 1945. She describes working both in the TVA administrative offices and in the office of the Kentucky Dam Village hospital. White relates encounters with Luther Draffen and George Jessup and discusses Jessup’s reputation among the TVA employees. White also discusses observation visits by Chinese engineers to the Dam and talks about President Harry Truman’s visit to the Dam, at which she was present. White also discusses the physical layout of Kentucky Dam Village and life in the Village.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by:
Date of interview: 1995 November 17
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH228
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Kentucky Dam - Oral History.
Name of person interviewed: Evans, Mayme (part 2)
Biographical note: Mayme Evans was born in 1920 in New Columbia, Massac County, Illinois. In 1939 she began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of Kentucky Dam in the accounting office. She remained in the Kentucky Dam Village until her husband was discharge from the United States Army in July of 1945. She died on May 30, 2002 in Vienna, Illinois.
Description: Mayme Evans discusses her experiences working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. She describes the hiring process and her responsibilities working in the accounting office. She recounts issues such as office interactions, employee turn-over rates, moonlighting and safety issues. The second half of the interview examines her experiences residing in the Kentucky Dam Village during the early 1940s. She recalls the daily life of the workers, racial interactions, social gatherings and extra-curricular activities during her residence in the village.
Descriptors: Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.
Interviewed by: Unknown.
Date of interview: 1995 May 10
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH198
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.