Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Edward C. McCoy, May 20, 1992

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Family

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Partial Transcript: This is David Rotenizer with the University of Kentucky Family Farm Oral History Project, Cane Creek Study Area.

Segment Synopsis: McCoy gives a brief overview of the various siblings and relatives that he has. A genealogical overview of his family is also provided. Lastly, McCoy lists his children, and the name of his wife.

Keywords: Cane Creek (Ky.); Furnace (Ky.); Rogers Chapel (Ky.)

Subjects: Genealogy; Kentucky; Life

00:05:28 - Life overview

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Partial Transcript: Starting with, uh, what you've been told also and what your, your experiences...

Segment Synopsis: McCoy summarizes his life, beginning with anecdotes about his childhood. The interviewee's job history is provided, including his military service and involvement in the Vietnam War. Then, McCoy's life following the war is covered, including his marriage and jobs held during that time. Lastly, McCoy's education is discussed, as well as the impact of the Vietnam War upon Cane Creek.

Keywords: Auto shop; Bluegrass Army Depot; Bowen (Ky.); Cane Creek (Ky.); Future Farmers of America; Germany; Grandfathers; Military draft; Renovations; Saw mills; U.S. Army

Subjects: Agriculture; Children; Data processing; Insects; Life; Marriage; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:30:05 - Farming

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Partial Transcript: Uh, I want to know more about your involvement with farming.

Segment Synopsis: McCoy describes his farming endeavors following living in Germany while serving in the Army. The types of farming that McCoy has attempted are highlighted. Dynamics of the pork market, including its price and federal regulations are discussed as well. Inequality between small farmers and cooperative (large, commercial farms) is emphasized.

Keywords: Bluegrass Stockyards; Cooperative farming; Dairy; Germany; Markets; Rabies tests; Sellers

Subjects: Cattle; Economics; Farmers; Pigs; Tobacco; United States. Department of Agriculture

00:42:52 - Cattle farming

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Partial Transcript: Well, you mentioned your brother and you, uh, went into hog business together.

Segment Synopsis: McCoy relays his experience of raising cattle with his brother. The land they raised the cows on is described, as well as where they took them to market. Additionally, the types of farming equipment the brothers used is discussed. The most common type of cow they had is also revealed.

Keywords: Brothers; Business; Butchers; Farming; Grandfathers; Hay; Hereford cows; Land; Mountains; Pastures; Salt; Tractors; Winchester (Ky.)

Subjects: Agriculture; Cattle; Farm equipment; Farmers

01:00:35 - Flood

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Partial Transcript: It's like the flood we had two, two year ago.

Segment Synopsis: McCoy recalls a flood the community experienced two years ago. Specifically, how McCoy's property was damaged is articulated. The interviewee then gives his opinions on federal aid. Additionally McCoy's experiences with such programs are considered, especially in regards to a tobacco crop initiative.

Keywords: Natural disasters; Programs; Soil

Subjects: Corn; Federal aid; Flood damage; Floods--Kentucky; Insurance; Pigs; Tobacco; Weather

01:07:49 - Farm and the marketplace

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Partial Transcript: How many acres do you own on this farm right now--the one we're on now?

Segment Synopsis: McCoy states the acreage of his farm. How he bought the property is also mentioned. The interviewee's history with cattle and renting land are recalled. Additionally, regulations placed upon the marketplace are documented. The corn market is detailed, as well as the overall volatility of farming.

Keywords: Farming; Land; Markets; Owners; Pay; Regulations; Renting

Subjects: Cattle; Corn; Finance; Pigs; Stability

01:20:51 - Extension service / farm and improvements / leasing

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Partial Transcript: Do you deal with the, um, extension service any?

Segment Synopsis: McCoy recounts his experiences with the county extension agent. The resources that he has used from that program are listed. McCoy then considers his farm in general, and how he acquired his current knowledge of the profession. Future plans for the interviewee's farm are noted as well. The commonality of leasing land on Cane Creek is briefly mentioned.

Keywords: Barns; Experience; Fences; Fertilizers; Fields; Leasing; Pesticides; Powell County (Ky.); Soil; Tractors

Subjects: Agricultural extension work; Agricultural extension workers; Agriculture; Architecture; Chemicals; Grain; Hay

01:34:22 - Saw mill--Use of timber

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Partial Transcript: Uh, this is interview number two with Eddie McCoy.

Segment Synopsis: McCoy begins by discussing the various projects he uses the saw mill for. Then, the saw milling process is described in detail, as well as the types of wood that McCoy frequently uses. The potential hazards of operating saw mills are also explained. Next, the prices, and uses of the saw mill are articulated. Lastly, the methods for hauling the finished product (lumber) are revealed.

Keywords: Accidents; Barns; Cane Creek; Injuries; Neighbors; Owners; Projects; Saw mills; Sycamore; Trucks; Uses

Subjects: History; Lumber; Poplar; Prices; Railroad ties; Steam

01:37:40 - Saw mill--Milling process and history

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Partial Transcript: Well I see you have the logs here.

Segment Synopsis: McCoy describes the saw milling process in detail, as well as the types of wood that he frequently uses. He talks about the history of the saw mill and how he acquired it.

Keywords: Saw mills

Subjects: Farm equipment

01:44:33 - Old saw mills

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Partial Transcript: Any idea what, uh--how old this stuff is? What, what it dates to?

Segment Synopsis: McCoy describes different kinds of saw mills. He discusses old saw mills from the early 20th century, used by his grandfather. He describes some of the differences between the old and new saw mills.

Keywords: Saw mills; Steam engines

Subjects: Farm equipment

01:47:16 - Saw mill--More on the milling process

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Partial Transcript: Through this hand control I can twist this handle one way...

Segment Synopsis: McCoy describes the parts of his saw mill and shows how the mill cuts lumber.

Keywords: Saw mills

Subjects: Farm equipment

01:52:02 - Saw mill--Injuries

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Partial Transcript: It's hard work. It's dangerous work.

Segment Synopsis: McCoy talks about the dangerous nature of cutting timber and using saw mills. Cutting a tree is a risky work because one cannot predict how the trees would fall. He describes stories of people getting hurt at the saw mill, but he himself has not been injured using the equipment. He also talks about his son and how even as a child he was able to work the saw mill.

Keywords: Farm injuries; Logging; Lumber; Saw mills; Tree cutting

Subjects: Farm equipment

01:55:45 - Saw mill--Precautions

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Partial Transcript: What size blade is this?

Segment Synopsis: McCoy describes the size of the saw mill blade. He describes how the saw works. He describes an incident when things went wrong because a worker did not know how to work the saw. He talks about the various precautions he takes.

Keywords: Blades; Saw mills

Subjects: Farm equipment

01:59:24 - Saw mill--Earnings and byproducts

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Partial Transcript: How much do you, uh, like charge by foot or anything like that?

Segment Synopsis: McCoy talks about how much he charges for sawing timber. He also talks about the use of different byproducts of the process, such as saw dust.

Keywords: Farm earnings; Firewood; Saw dust; Saw mills

Subjects: Farm equipment

02:03:01 - Saw mill--Previous location

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Partial Transcript: And before I think--well, a couple of months ago this entire s--operation was up closer to the road?

Segment Synopsis: McCoy discusses the reasons why he had to move the saw mill to its current location a few months ago.

Keywords: Efficiency; Moving; Saw mills

Subjects: Farm equipment

02:05:37 - Truck and other machines

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Partial Transcript: Is this--the truck up on the hill there, is that the truck you've had for the sawmill operation?

Segment Synopsis: McCoy describes his truck and the ways he uses it, such as hauling farming equipment and logs. He talks about the high expenses to pay for the machinery.

Keywords: Ford trucks; Gas wells; Trucks

Subjects: Farm equipment

02:07:35 - Future plans / tobacco

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Partial Transcript: My wife and I were talking about building us a, a log house when, uh, when our kids were out on their own...

Segment Synopsis: McCoy briefly talks of his future plans, which involve building a log cabin on their current land once their children have left the house. The dynamics of tobacco farming are discussed, including the labor costs and the crop's profitability. A comparison of the soil on Cane Creek to the surrounding areas is also given.

Keywords: "Bents"; Gas wells; Hired labor; Homes; Saw mills; Soil; Tobacco sticks

Subjects: Children; Crops; Gravel; Life; Natural gas; Tobacco; Work