Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Hugo Janutolo, January 18, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Birth in Virginia, living in Italy, and returning to the United States

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Mr. Hugo Janutolo for the Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project by Dale Deaton at approximately 11:00 a.m. on January 18th, 1979 at Owls Nest, Leslie County, Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Hugo Janutolo talks about his birth in Virginia, why his family moved to Italy when he was a child, and why he decided to return to America when he was eighteen. He talks about the process he went through to return to the United States. He talks about working in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky as a stonemason.

Keywords: Apprentices; Birth certificates; Brick layers' union; Building; Construction; Hatfields; Hazard-Hyden Bridge; Highway bridges; Parents; Passports; School; Traveling; Working

Subjects: Families.; Italy; Kentucky; Stonemasonry; Virginia; West Virginia

00:06:33 - Hyden, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Well, when you came here in 1929, do you remember what Hyden looked like then, and this area?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the town of Hyden when he arrived during the 1920s, describing buildings and social activities. He talks more about his work as a stonemason, including his wages and the process of cutting stone.

Keywords: Accents; Banks; Concrete mixers; Courthouses; Cutting stone; English language; Hotels; Hours; Jails; Moonshine; Quarry; Restaurants; Socializing; Square dances; Stonemasons; Stores; Wages; Wagons

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Building, Stone; Hyden (Ky.); Stone-cutting; Stonemasonry

00:13:38 - Great Depression and the Works Progress Administration in Hyden, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Well, you, you said a while ago that the Depression was a really rough time here.

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the effects of the Great Depression in the Hyden area. He talks about the work he did to earn money at the time. He discusses the Works Progress Administration and the structures that were built around town, including a school, the courthouse, and roads. He talks more about stone masonry.

Keywords: Bill Young; Buildings; Churches; Courthouses; Drugstores; Families; Farms; Headwalls; Houses; Roads; Schools; Social security; Stonemasons; Stonework; Traveling; WPA; Wood; Working

Subjects: Building, Stone; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Hyden (Ky.); Stonemasonry; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.; United States. Works Progress Administration.

00:22:48 - His and other stonemasons' work

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Partial Transcript: Were there any stonemasons around here who were local people?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks more about the stonemason work that was completed during the Works Progress Administration, as well as the work he did himself. He talks about working on houses for Kate Ireland and Judge Lou Lewis. He talks about the wages that stonemasons could earn.

Keywords: Basements; Brickwork; Building; George Bowling; Houses; Jess Stidham; Judge Lou Lewis; Kate Ireland; Laborers; Professions; Stone masonry; Stonework; WPA; Wages

Subjects: Building, Stone; Leslie County (Ky.); Stonemasonry; United States. Works Progress Administration.

00:30:43 - His brother's capture during World War II

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Partial Transcript: Were you, were you drafted into the army or did--

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about volunteering to serve in the United States Army during WWII. He talks about his brother who served in the Italian Army and was captured and sent to America. He tells the story of visiting his brother before he was sent back to Italy.

Keywords: Aberdeen, Maryland; Blackhills, South Dakota; Boston, Massachusetts; Brothers; Captured; Cousins; Italian army; Malaria; Northern Africa; Ordinances; Pennsylvania; Volunteers; WWII

Subjects: United States. Army.; World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Africa; World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons

00:37:34 - Italian stonemasons in Eastern Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Did you do any of the, of the, uh, stone work at all on any F.N.S. buildings, the, the chapel or the old hospital or--

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo says that he did not work on the Frontier Nursing Service hospital, but did help remodel the old hospital in town. He talks about other Italian stonemasons who did work across Eastern Kentucky, as well as local men who were also stonemasons.

Keywords: Chapels; Eastern Kentucky; George Bowling; Hotels; Old hospital; Remodeling; Retaining walls; Stidham family; Stonemasons; Stonework

Subjects: Building, Stone; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Italian Americans; Stonemasonry

00:41:18 - Local judges / elections

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Partial Transcript: I've heard a lot of people talk about Judge Lou Lewis. Did you get know him very well?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about Judge Lou Lewis and his interest in prosecuting rape trials. He tells a story about being arrested while drinking, being released from jail, and then drinking with Judge Virgil Maggard. He talks about whether he was ever involved in local elections, and talks about the first time he voted.

Keywords: Arrested; Birth certificates; County court clerks; Democrats; Drinking alcohol; Drunk; Election days; Jails; Judge Lou Lewis; Judge Virgil Maggard; Lawyers; Letcher County (Ky.); Money; Moonshine; Rape cases; William C. Wood

Subjects: Distilling, Illicit; Hyden (Ky.); Judges--Kentucky; Kentucky--Elections; Leslie County (Ky.)--Politics and government; Voting

00:50:10 - Coal mines and unions

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Partial Transcript: Did you work in the coal mines or--

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about working for the Cutshin Coal Company, and his trouble getting black lung benefits. He talks about the attempts to unionize the mines in Hyden, Kentucky. He talks about the wages people earned in the mines and the other benefits unionized workers received.

Keywords: Birth certificates; Black lung benefits; Coal operators; Cutshin Coal Company; E.J. Davis; Health department; Hospitals; Pay scales; Scared; Shot; Union benefits; Unionizing

Subjects: Coal miners--Labor unions--Kentucky; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Hyden (Ky.); Wages--Coal miners

00:58:40 - Technology in Hyden, Kentucky / mineral rights

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Partial Transcript: A--m--most of the time that you've lived in Leslie County, have you lived up here in Owls Nest?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about when electricity, telephones, and better roads were first introduced in the Hyden area. He talks about the destruction of his property due to strip mining because the mineral rights to his land were sold before he bought the land.

Keywords: Augering; Coal companies; Compensation; Destruction; Electricity; Haulage bills; Mineral rights; Owls Nest (Ky.); Pine trees; Private telephone lines; Remodeling; Telephone party lines; Wes Combs

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Hyden (Ky.); Leslie County (Ky.); Rural electrification; Rural roads; Strip mining--Law and legislation--Appalachian Region; Technological innovations; Telephone

01:05:46 - Frontier Nursing Service funding

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Partial Transcript: W--about the time you came in here, and on, on up through the present time, w--were you aware much of, of the Frontier Nursing Service around here?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about having his picture taken posing with a homemade stretcher for use in Frontier Nursing Service advertisements to potential donors. He talks about whether the local people realized the true cost of the services they received.

Keywords: Betty Lester; Complaints; Don Eversole; Donors; FNS:Pictures; Feuds; Films; Labor; Lois Harris

Subjects: Breckinridge, Mary, 1881-1965; Childbirth; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Fund raising; Medical care, Cost of

01:10:58 - Changes to the Frontier Nursing Service

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Partial Transcript: At--as, as far as you can, can tell, has there been any changes brought about in Leslie county because of the FNS being here?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about how the FNS has changed over the years.

Keywords: Changes; Doctors; FNS; Fees; Health office; Money; Private

Subjects: Breckinridge, Mary, 1881-1965; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Leslie County (Ky.); Medical care, Cost of

01:15:49 - Building roads

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Partial Transcript: Well, the, the, the road from, from Hazard to Hyden was opened in 1929, when--

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the roads that were built in the area during the Works Progress Administration, and when gravel roads were replaced with blacktop.

Keywords: Blacktop roads; Compressor drills; Explosives; Gravel roads; WPA; Working

Subjects: Clay County (Ky.); Harlan (Ky.); Hazard (Ky.); Hyden (Ky.); Roads--Design and construction--Kentucky.; United States. Works Progress Administration.

01:18:46 - More on stonemasonry

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Partial Transcript: You built, you built Betty Begley's house. She works at the bank.

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks more about stone masonry, including other stonemasons in the area and buildings he has built.

Keywords: Brickwork; Building; Contractors; Houses; Jess Stidham; Social security; Stonemasons

Subjects: Building, Stone; Italian Americans; Stonemasonry

01:21:39 - Stonemasonry tools, cost, and methods

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Partial Transcript: What, what types of stone do you look for? To cut?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the tools used in stone masonry and the type of stone most commonly used. He talks about how much it would cost to lay a cubic yard of stone. He describes methods for building walls of stone, and talks about the importance of a building's foundation.

Keywords: Bricks; Costs; Cranes; Double walls; Labor; Quarry; Sandstone; Sledge hammers; Stones; Tools; Veneer; Wages

Subjects: Building, Stone; Foundations.; Stone-cutting; Stonemasonry

01:32:39 - Buildings in Hyden

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Partial Transcript: When the movie theater was in Hyden, was it in one of those buildings?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the drugstore, movie theater, and other buildings located in the town of Hyden, Kentucky.

Keywords: Drugstores; Movie theaters

Subjects: Building, Stone; Hyden (Ky.); Stonemasonry

01:35:08 - Leveling a foundation

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Partial Transcript: Well, to, to go back to the stone work for a minute, what's, what's the best mortar mix to use with, with stone?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks more about the importance of a level foundation, and describes the methods and tools used in the process.

Keywords: Cement; Compass; Leveling; Measuring transit; Mortar

Subjects: Building, Stone; Foundations.; Stonemasonry

01:39:07 - Logging industry and floods

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Partial Transcript: What--w--were you ever involved any with the timber business here, the--

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the local logging industry, and how the Ritter Lumber Company camp was affected by floods in the area.

Keywords: Alvie Stacy; Bridges; Droughts; Houses; Overpasses; Ritter Camp; Ritter Lumber Company; Roads

Subjects: Flood damage; Floods--Kentucky; Logging; Stonemasonry; Timber--Rafting

01:45:11 - State militia in Hyden / more on technology

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Partial Transcript: Why, I was told that, I can't remember when it was, may ha--maybe, it may have been in the `20s before you came here, that the, uh, the state militia was brought in to Hyden one time. Was that before you came?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about a time the state militia was called into Hyden, and also talks about a local feud. He talks more about technology in Kentucky, as well as Italy, including generators, telephones, and radios.

Keywords: Battery-operated telephones; Eversole family; Gasoline generators; Joe Morgan; Military; Morgan-Caldwell feud; Sheriffs; State militia; Woodrow Morgan

Subjects: Hyden (Ky.); Italy; Law enforcement; Radio; Technological innovations; Telephone

01:51:48 - Personal protection / school

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Partial Transcript: W--when you first got to Leslie County, was there--the, uh, what, the police or, or the sheriff--

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the effectiveness of the local law enforcement, and how most people in the area carried guns for personal protection. He talks about where his children went to school, how they walked five or six miles to get there, and the route they would take to reach school.

Keywords: Crime; Guns; Killing; Owl's Nest (Ky.); Protection; Sheriffs; Stealing; Swinging bridges; Walking; Weapons; Wife

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Families.; Hyden (Ky.); Leslie County (Ky.); Rural children; Rural schools--Kentucky

01:58:04 - Frontier Nursing Service and "country doctors"

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Partial Transcript: The FNS nurses, did they come up through here and treat your children?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the services offered by the FNS. He talks about a local doctor, who had not been formally trained, that treated his children when they contracted pneumonia.

Keywords: "Country doctors"; Cutshin (Ky.); Double pneumonia; Dr. John M. Baker; FNS; Nurses

Subjects: Childbirth; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Hyden (Ky.); Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medicine, Rural; Traditional medicine

02:03:24 - Roads and traveling to work

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Partial Transcript: Well, is there anything else about what you've done or things happened around here locally that you can think of?

Segment Synopsis: Janutolo talks about the local roads, which were often difficult to travel. He talks about his need to travel outside of the area to find work. [The interview ends abruptly.]

Keywords: Building; Cadillacs; Traveling; Working

Subjects: Coal miners--Labor unions--Kentucky; Harlan County (Ky.); Hazard (Ky.); Roads--Design and construction; Rural roads