Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Alfred West, Omar Buck Bradley, February 20, 1992

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:09 - Scrip in Barthell

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Partial Transcript: And we're sitting here, um, looking at some scrip that Mr. West brought in. And you say the paper scrip was about 1932 to '39?

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer asks about the scrip that Mr. West brought with him. She asks about size, shape and color. Mr. West talks about how miners made purchases.

Keywords: 1932; 1939; Alfred West; Barthell (Ky.); Barthell Store; Buck Bradley; Cash; Metal; Scrip

Subjects: Coal miners; Coal money; Money.; Tokens

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:02:50 - The men's wages and early jobs

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Partial Transcript: 'Course, now, how much were your wages when you were working?

Segment Synopsis: The men talk about their wages and some of the first jobs they had. They talk about safety and unions.

Keywords: Coal mines; Fifty cents; Fort Mountain; Night jobs; Safety; Tennesse; Timber; Wages

Subjects: Appalachians (People); Coal miners; Hazardous occupations.; Seasonal labor

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:06:05 - When and where the men were born

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Partial Transcript: Can I get you all to tell me when each of you were born and when you came to Barthell or if you were born there?

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer asks when and where the men were born. She asks about their family and their childhood.

Keywords: 1922; 1924; 1937; 1979; Bradley; Children; Crippled; Farms; Fathers; Hospital; Mothers; Schools; Tennessee; Wilson

Subjects: Birthdays; Childhood; Families; Relocation (Housing)

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:10:06 - Injuries of workers / mine mules / photographs of Barthell

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Partial Transcript: One thing about the company back then was the companies didn't even recognize men after they got hurt. When you got hurt you was on your own.

Segment Synopsis: The men talk about how the companies dealt with employee injuries. They talk about mules going blind in the mines. They talk about some pictures of Barthell. They tell stories about people in Barthell and describe places there.

Keywords: Barbers; Barn; Blinders; Fathers; Hurt; Injuries; Miners; Mines; Mules; Safety

Subjects: Coal mines and mining

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:19:29 - Specific tasks in the mines

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Partial Transcript: Did, did you ever work up Mine 18?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. West talks about prospecting in the mines. Mr. Bradley talks about what he did in the mines. He also talks about some people he worked with. Talks about beginning to use machines in the mines.

Keywords: Coal; Coal machines; Families; Jobs; Labor; Motorman; Prospecting; Prospectors; Tasks; Unloading

Subjects: Coal miners; Coal mines and mining

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:23:42 - Explosion

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Partial Transcript: I've heard some story that at one bad explosion there some people were shot out, actually over the creek. Had y'all ever heard that?

Segment Synopsis: Both men talk about a bad mine explosion and some of the men they knew in the explosion. They talk about the different lamps they used in the mines.

Keywords: Carbide lamps; Explosions; Fuses; Grease; Lights; Oil; Whale oil lamps

Subjects: Coal mines and mining; Mine explosions.

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:36:37 - Keeping law and order / living family members

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Partial Transcript: Was, uh, there anybody in the camp that was responsible for keeping law and order?

Segment Synopsis: The constable of the coal camp is discussed. Both men talk about their surviving family.

Keywords: Barthell (Ky.); Coal camps; Constables; Death; Deputy sheriffs; Duties; Families; George Williamson; Kinfolks; Relatives

Subjects: Appalachians (People); Constables; Police, Rural

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:39:58 - Boarding house

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Partial Transcript: Or was this--your grandmother--was, was she the one that ran a boarding house for a while? Where was it located?

Segment Synopsis: The men describe a boarding house owned by one of their grandmothers. They talk about who else ran the boardinghouse and others in the town. [Tape is turned over during segment.]

Keywords: Barthell (Ky.); Boarders; Families; Grandmothers; Railroads; Rent

Subjects: Boardinghouses

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:44:59 - Hogs

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Partial Transcript: One time they was setting, they come outside to eat their dinner there. And remember when, Mack McGuffey, you remember him?

Segment Synopsis: A story is told about electrocuting a hog. Talks about other animals owned by members of the community. Talks about laws and regulations concerning wild hogs.

Keywords: Animals; Electrocution; Hogs; Hunting; Laws; License; Records; Wild hogs

Subjects: Fish and game licenses; Livestock; Swine.

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:47:42 - Fishing and camping

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Partial Transcript: Well how about fishing? Did you all fish as boys? In the summer?

Segment Synopsis: The men talk about a creek and some camping trips they would take. Describe the equipment they took and catching their food.

Keywords: Buckets; Camping; Coffee; Crawfish; Creeks; Fathers; Food; Mine water; Rivers; Tents; Water

Subjects: Camping.; Fishing.; Hunting.

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:59:04 - The bath house / homes in Barthell

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Partial Transcript: And when was the bath house built, the new bath house?

Segment Synopsis: The men discuss when the town bath house was built and describe its location. Describe various other locations and homes in Barthell, including their own homes.

Keywords: 1901; 1902; 1930s; 1940s; Bath houses; Bedrooms; Homes; Houses; Oil houses; Stores

Subjects: Communities.; Dwellings.

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
01:04:06 - Mr. Bradley's grandparents / Mr. West's family

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Partial Transcript: I had heard a lot of the old people talk when they were building that railroad down through there that they would build the--use the Chinese, to build these railroads.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Bradley talks about Chinese immigrants building the railroad and being killed after the railroad was complete. Describes his grandmother. Talks about where his grandparents met. Describes his paternal grandfather and extended family. Mr. West talks about his extended family.

Keywords: Ancestry; Cherokee; Chinese immigrants; Farmers; Grandfathers; Grandmothers; Knives; Lights; Masonry; Pulaski County (Ky.); Railroads

Subjects: Familes; Grandmothers.; Grandparents

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
01:09:09 - School Teacher Granny Milson / looking at more Barthell photographs

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Partial Transcript: There's something I was confused about. I've heard two names for the teacher at Barthell. One, Flora Wilson, but then people tell me, "No that's wrong. Her name was Flora Milson."

Segment Synopsis: Both men talk about the school teacher, describing her appearance and sharing stories about her. Mr. Bradley talks about getting a letter from her in WWII. Talks about substitute teachers they had and how many students were in the school. The interviewer and interviewees look at old photographs of Barthell.

Keywords: 8th grade; Discipline; Dunce caps; Flora Milson; Flora Wilson; Granny; Granny Milson; Lessons; Students; Teachers; Trains; WWII; World War II

Subjects: Education, Rural; Rural schools; Teachers.; Women teachers

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
01:20:58 - Childhood mischief

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Partial Transcript: Had you ever heard a story about that house being haunted?

Segment Synopsis: Each interviewee talks about what they did for fun growing up in Barthell. The group continues looking at old photographs of Barthell. Interview is concluded.

Keywords: Barthell (Ky.); Bullets; Children; Dances; Haunted houses; Hornets; Pranks; Shootings; Tic-tacking; Tricks; Trouble

Subjects: Childhood; Practical jokes.

GPS: Barthell, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278