Interview with Johnny Bear Childers, May 15, 1988

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Childhood

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Partial Transcript: So you say you moved, you moved here when you were seven?

Segment Synopsis: Childers discusses his early life, including his childhood spent in Ashcamp, Kentucky and Hellier, Kentucky.

Keywords: Ashcamp (Ky.); Birth certificates; Brothers; Construction; Edgewater Coal Company; Farms; Hellier (Ky.); Homes; Rented; Salary; Schools; Sheriffs; Sisters; Traders

Subjects: Building; Death; Early life; Farmers; Farms; Fathers; Grandfathers; Life; Mothers; Parents; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Siblings

00:06:53 - Hellier, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: So, when you moved over here, where did you live?

Segment Synopsis: Childers describes what Hellier, Kentucky was like during his childhood and early adulthood. Childers also discusses the Edgewater Coal Camp.

Keywords: Ashcamp (Ky.); Coal camps; Coke ovens; Construction; Edgewater Coal Company; Farms; Hellier (Ky.); Hills; Homes; Houses; Injury; Loading coal; Policeman; Pushing coal; School houses

Subjects: African Americans; Burns; Childhood; Coal; Fathers; Life; Pike County (Ky.); United Mine Workers of America; Whites

00:12:03 - African American miners

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about the black miners at Edgewater. Did they all live together in one part of the camp?

Segment Synopsis: Childers talks of the African American miners that worked at the Edgewater Mining Company and lived at the coal camp.

Keywords: Coal camps; Depots; Drunk; Edgewater Mining Company; Guns; Hills; Jails; Louisville-Courier-Journal; Photographs; Shutdown; Trouble

Subjects: African American coal miners; African Americans; Alabama; Coal; Coal miners; Fathers; Knives; Pike County (Ky.); Railroad; Schools; Segregation; Whites

00:16:05 - Changes to Hellier

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Partial Transcript: Where was the jail?

Segment Synopsis: Childers reflects upon the changes that have occurred to Hellier, Kentucky throughout the twentieth century.

Keywords: 4th of July; Barber shops; Coke ovens; Hellier (Ky.); Jails; Stores

Subjects: Coal; Pike County (Ky.); Restaurants; Smoke

00:20:25 - Conditions of the Edgewater Coal Camp

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Partial Transcript: Was there really, is--uh, a lot of violence?

Segment Synopsis: Childers describes the conditions of the Edgewater Coal Camp.

Keywords: Appearance; Coal camps; Coal dust; Creeks; Dirty; Dress; Edgewater Coal Mining Company; Garbage; Hellier (Ky.); Houses; Public; Trouble

Subjects: African Americans; Coal; Death; People; Whites; Women

00:24:26 - Father / Unions

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Partial Transcript: A bunch of them tried to kill my dad one time though.

Segment Synopsis: Childers details the job of his father, and recalls an incident in which his father's life was threatened. Additionally, Childers discusses incidents with unions at the Edgewater mine.

Keywords: Allegheny Coal Yards; Guns; Incidents; Jails; Policeman; Pumps; Sheriffs; Unions; Well houses

Subjects: Fathers; Lynching; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Retirement; Threats; Virginia