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00:00:00 - Personal background / Arrival in Owensboro, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Aha! I make a lot better tape when I've got electricity.

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes how he arrived in Owensboro. He says that he was a native of Mississippi. After WWII he moved to Memphis, Tennessee to work for an engineering firm. He moved to Owensboro to consult for electrical cooperatives of rural farmers. He recommended that they continue their work because there was great potential in the area. He stayed and met his wife. He says that he continued to work for Green River Electric company for thirty-five years.

Keywords: Electric utility industry; Green River Electric Company

Subjects: Employment--Kentucky; Owensboro (Ky.)

00:03:52 - Improvement of Green River Electric Company

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Partial Transcript: And what, what, what did you do to turn this situation around?

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes how he surveyed the area around Owensboro in order to grow the usage of electricity. He determined that Owensboro had a high potential and proceeded to work toward getting service to rural residents.

Keywords: Electric utility industry; Green River Electric Company

Subjects: Electric utilities--Kentucky.; Owensboro (Ky.); Rural electrification--Kentucky

00:09:57 - First generating facility

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Partial Transcript: What was your, what was your first, uh, generating facility?

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes how the Green River Electric Company built its first generating facility. He states that they had to negotiate with Kentucky Utilities in order to be supplied with electricity. They built the facility on Green River with Harvey Aluminum being their first customer. However, Harvey Aluminum backed out of the deal. Miller says that a paper mill was then built in Hancock County, whom they supplied.

Keywords: Electric utility industry; Green River Electric Company; Harvey Aluminum; Kentucky Utility Company

Subjects: Electric utilities--Kentucky.; Owensboro (Ky.); Rural electrification--Kentucky

00:17:27 - Site acquisition / Owensboro economy

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Partial Transcript: An industry like National Southwire or the, the paper mill or any of these other really large industries...

Segment Synopsis: Miller tells of how he acquired different tracts of land for different projects, such as the paper mill factory in Hancock County. He also discusses how the Owensboro economy was stagnant after the vacuum tube industry left the area. He says that the coming of Texas Gas Company helped "take up a lot of that slack."

Keywords: Economics; Factories; Green River Electric Company; Industrialism; Industry

Subjects: Industries; Kentucky--Economic conditions; Owensboro (Ky.)

00:21:36 - Involvement in industrial development

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Partial Transcript: Well, Green River Electric, uh, was also instrumental in, in working with Owensboro's industrial development activities.

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes how he how he was involved in the industrial development of Owensboro. He worked in the chamber of commerce and was county chairman of Daviess County. He worked to bring industrial and economic development to the area. He also started Owensboro for Progress, Inc. in order to promote development.

Keywords: Economics; Factories; Green River Electric Company; Industrialism; Industry

Subjects: Daviess County (Ky.); Economic development--Kentucky; Industries; Kentucky--Economic conditions; Owensboro (Ky.)

00:26:06 - Opposition in community

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Partial Transcript: Now this, this--all these things you've mentioned, um, did not meet universal agreement within the community.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses how the public in the Owensboro area opposed projects such as the building of the Owensboro airport and the sports center. He states that many people were opposed to many proposed changes and improvements.

Keywords: Industrial development; Industrialization; Politics

Subjects: Community development; Daviess County (Ky.); Economic development--Kentucky; Industries; Kentucky--Politics and government; Owensboro (Ky.)

00:29:06 - The public's disdain for the Messenger-Inquirer / City-county merger controversy

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned the support of, of Lawrence Hager, and, of, of the newspaper...

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes how people in the Owensboro area grew to have a dislike of the local newspaper, the Messenger-Inquirer. He attributes this to the fact that people do not like to read what they disagree with. He says that many people opposed the idea of a county-city merger, even though it would have provided many benefits to both groups.

Keywords: City-county mergers; Media; Messenger-Inquirer

Subjects: Daviess County (Ky.); Newspapers--Kentucky.; Owensboro (Ky.)

00:41:23 - Improvements in Owensboro

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Partial Transcript: Let me, uh, mention a couple of things that are, are innovations which may or may not indicate some little change.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses the Mid-American Airpark and the Water Resource Agency. He describes them as major improvements to the area.

Keywords: Improvements; Industrial development; Industrialism; Mid-America Airpark

Subjects: Community development; Daviess County (Ky.); Economic development--Kentucky; Industries; Owensboro (Ky.)

00:44:31 - City-county relations and consolidation

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Partial Transcript: Well, there's probably a, probably a lot of things that, that we will do because the state or the feds tell us we have to do and we'll do it kicking and screaming but it's stuff that ought to be doing anyway.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses the consolidations that he wishes would take place. He says that he wishes that the city and county would merge the 9-1-1 services, the library, the school system, and the health department. He sees it as a waste to have two separate systems in many areas.

Keywords: City-county mergers; Consolidation; Government

Subjects: Kentucky--Politics and government; Municipal government--Kentucky; Owensboro (Ky.)

00:50:09 - Mid-America Airpark

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk, uh--we, we've gotten onto the subject of, of city-county cooperation.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses the creation of the Mid-America Airpark. He says that the Industrial Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce planned and carried out its creation. He speculates that Mayor David Adkisson had a lot to do with it.

Keywords: Mid-America Airpark

Subjects: Community development; Economic development--Kentucky; Owensboro (Ky.)

00:51:53 - Politics in Owensboro

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Partial Transcript: Let me, uh, let me change the subject here on you a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses how he was introduced to politics. He says that he came in contact with officials in Frankfort while trying to develop the Green River Electric Company. He met with Governor Willis in 1946 to get a permit to borrow money. He later became involved in various political campaigns. He used his political connections to improve the Owensboro area.

Keywords: Politics

Subjects: Kentucky--Politics and government; Owensboro (Ky.); Politicians--Kentucky

00:59:58 - Greatest accomplishments as mayor

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Partial Transcript: What, what, what would you see as your greatest accomplishment as mayor?

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses his greatest achievements as the mayor of Owensboro including: cleaning up the parks, creating a senior citizens center, the improvement of Frederica street, improving the infrastructure of the city, and the institution of pension plan trusts for city employees.

Keywords: Mayor of Owensboro; Mayors; Politics

Subjects: Community development; Economic development--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Owensboro (Ky.); Politicians--Kentucky

01:07:32 - Descriptions from peers

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Partial Transcript: People use phrases like "tough," "hard-nosed," "crotchety," uh, in re, in reference to, to you.

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes his qualities and reputation. He says that he is a quick decision-maker, honest, a problem-solver, and a compromiser.

Keywords: Reputations

Subjects: Politicians--Kentucky

01:11:27 - Thoughts on Don Blandford

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Partial Transcript: You've, you've mentioned a lot of names this morning.

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes Don Blandford. He says that he had a rural background and was a former meat-cutter before getting involved in politics. He says he was energetic and was recruited to run for the Kentucky state legislature. He became the Speaker of the House and Miller says that he was very good at his job. He says that he made some mistakes and if he had been more mature socially he could have avoided some problems. He does not believe that Blandford did anything deliberately wrong. He describes how he had refused monetary offerings before but he fell "victim to social ignorance."

Keywords: Don Blandford

Subjects: Politicians--Kentucky

01:16:15 - Rise of the Republican Party in Owensboro

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Partial Transcript: And speaking of, of, of politics, and you alluded to this earlier on in our conversation, one of the, one of the real transforming elements of politics, uh, in, in Owensboro and Daviess County, in our time frame has been the rise of the Republican Party.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses the rise of the Republican Party in Owensboro. He attributes it to the complacency of Democrats and the active involvement of Republicans in the community. He also says that Democrats have no leadership and Republicans relate more to the average person.

Keywords: Democratic Party; Politics; Republican Party

Subjects: Kentucky--Politics and government; Owensboro (Ky.); Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )

01:28:12 - Thoughts on Morton Holbrook

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Partial Transcript: Let me mention one other name that, uh, you have not mentioned up to this point: Morton Holbrook.

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes Morton Holbrook's impact on the community. He says that he has been a great influence on the community and is highly respected. He talks about a politician who could not always relate to people in the county area, and how Miller helped brought Morton in to replace him.

Keywords: Morton Holbrook

Subjects: Leadership; Owensboro (Ky.); Politicians--Kentucky

01:32:25 - Greatest events of the last half-century

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Partial Transcript: You've, uh, observed this scene now for, for, uh, over fifty years.

Segment Synopsis: Miller describes how the Owensboro community has grown economically, has a greater and more diverse economy, has grown socially, seen improvement in literacy and the growth of health services and education. He says that factionalism has decreased, thus creating a stronger community. He also discusses national politics, including President Bill Clinton and Congress.

Keywords: Improvements

Subjects: Community development; Economic development; Owensboro (Ky.)

01:39:36 - Thoughts on leadership

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Partial Transcript: Speaking as a man who evolved into a, a, a, a leader, uh, how, how, how do we go about getting leadership?

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses how to promote leadership among new generations. He says that you have to demonstrate leadership and be examples to younger people. He says that civic courses should be taught in schools more in order to teach about the government, civic responsibility, the history of our country, and involvement and pride in the community.

Keywords: Community; Education; Politics

Subjects: Education; Kentucky--Politics and government; Leadership; Owensboro (Ky.)

01:42:54 - Ideas for improvement in society

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Partial Transcript: The thing that disturbs me the most, I think, is that people want all the services of government without paying the, the cost.

Segment Synopsis: Miller discusses the idea of governmental services and taxes. He also discusses how society has improved, including race issues. He believes that if we are going to continue to improve then churches need to play a larger role in community responsibility. He also discusses divisions in politics concerning religion, race, and wealth.

Keywords: Government; Politics; Race relations; Society; Taxes

Subjects: Kentucky--Politics and government; Owensboro (Ky.); Taxation--Law and legislation