Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Lon B. Rogers, April 13, 1990

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

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Partial Transcript: Today is Friday, April the thirteenth 1990. I am Jean Becker from Second Presbyterian Church and this is an unrehearsed interview with Lon B. Rogers at his home.

Segment Synopsis: Rogers discusses his family, in detail, from his grandparents to his own grandchildren. He shares stories of visiting his grandparents in Beaver Dam, Kentucky and his first move to Lexington as a student at the University of Kentucky. He highlights his marriage and the marriages of his children.

Keywords: Children; Family history; Grandchildren; Pikeville, Kentucky; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Families.; Family--history; Pikeville (Ky.)

GPS: Pikeville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.477222, -82.53
00:06:27 - Father's early career

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Partial Transcript: Your father was in the coal mining business with some of his brothers--

Segment Synopsis: Rogers remembers his father's jobs before getting involved in the coal mining business. He was a teacher, a superintendent, and a banker. He explains how his father's early work as a banker leads to the family's move to Pikeville. He also highlights the career of his uncle who worked alongside his father for many years.

Keywords: Employment; First National Bank of Pikeville; Greensburg (Ky.); Pikeville National Bank; School teachers; Teaching; Twin brothers

Subjects: Banks and banking--Kentucky; Education--Kentucky; Pikeville (Ky.)

GPS: Pikeville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.477222, -82.53
00:11:13 - History of family coal mines / finances during the Great Depression

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Partial Transcript: And uh, he made a, a loan to a, uh, small coal company that was just getting in business.

Segment Synopsis: Rogers' father becomes a manager for a coal mine in Pikeville after providing them with a loan. His brothers join him after he develops a serious illness. After describing these events, Rogers highlights the history of the coal mines his family managed. He then recalls his memories of World War I and life during the Great Depression.

Keywords: Family coal business; Family mines; Mine management; Pike County (Ky.); Pike County Kentucky; Pikeville mines

Subjects: Coal miners--Kentucky--Pikeville; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Pikeville--Management; Coal mines and mining.; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Great Depression; Pikeville (Ky.); World War, 1914-1918

00:19:44 - Move to Pike County / involvement in Presbyterian Church

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Partial Transcript: Uh, tell me, after you and Mary Evelyn were married you moved to Pike County.

Segment Synopsis: Rogers talks about his and his wife's move to Pikeville from Lexington. He discusses his denomination change from Baptist to Presbyterian and the reasons behind it. He highlights the work his has done in the church since he joined the Presbyterian Church.

Keywords: Baptists; Church involvement; Church leadership; Churches; First Baptist Church; First Presbyterian Church of Pikeville; Lexington (Ky.)

Subjects: Church work; Pike County (Ky.); Pikeville (Ky.); Presbyterian Church--Kentucky

GPS: Pikeville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.477222, -82.53
00:29:51 - Crisis of United Mine Workers Hospital

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Partial Transcript: And during that time I know something, uh, that was very important to that part of our state: the folding of the, uh, United Mine Workers Hospitals--

Segment Synopsis: The closing of the United Mine Workers Hospitals during the 1960s is discussed. Rogers describes the impact the closing of the hospital would have on the communities that they serviced. He explains the conflict between the hospitals and local doctors. He describes how the Board of National Missions began to become involved in saving the hospitals.

Keywords: Board of National Missions; Doctors; Eastern Kentucky; General Assembly; Hospital crisis; Hospitals; Virginia; West Virginia

Subjects: Hospital and community.; Presbyterian Church; United Mine Workers of America

00:37:18 - Board of National Missions involvement with hospital crisis

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Partial Transcript: The result of that meeting here in Lexington, that consultation, was that it was believed that, uh, the Board of National Missions could adopt a plan--a modified plan presented by E. D. Roosevelt(??), the hospital consultants.

Segment Synopsis: The full extent of the Board of National Missions' involvement in resolving the crisis is explained. Rogers highlights the key people who worked on the project of saving the hospitals. He describes the resistance and obstacles that were faced when acquiring the votes needed to move the project forward. Rogers describes the factors that persuaded the board to support the project, including speeches made by Governor Combs and himself.

Keywords: Appalachian Regional Healthcare; Board of National Missions; Governor Bert T. Combs; Healthcare; Hospitals; National Presbyterian Church

Subjects: Hospital and community.; Presbyterian Church

00:45:48 - Buying of the first hospitals

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Partial Transcript: Governor Combs made a, uh, an impassioned speech to a special session of the General Assembly of Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Rogers shares how the first five of the United Mine Workers were purchased by the Presbyterian Church, and the founding of Appalachian Regional Healthcare. He explains how the General Assembly of Kentucky provided money for running the hospitals and how the kindness of one man helped save the hospitals.

Keywords: Appalachian Regional Healthcare; Board of National Missions; Finance; Funding; Governor Bert T. Combs; Hospitals; Kentucky General Assembly

Subjects: Hospital and community.; Presbyterian Church

00:51:34 - Buying of the second hospitals / running the hospitals

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Partial Transcript: The, the next year it was, it was realized early on in the first year of operation that the, the government had spent all their money allotted to the area of development administration.

Segment Synopsis: The purchase of the last five hospitals is described. Rogers recalls the history of the hospitals from the time of the purchase to the time of the interview in 1990. This includes the selling of the hospital in Pikeville to the Methodist Church, fears of bankruptcy, and the many individuals who ran the hospitals. The eventual success of the hospitals is discussed as well as the construction of a new hospital building in Hazard, Kentucky.

Keywords: Appalachian Region; Appalachian Regional Healthcare; Board of National Missions; Borrowing money; Construction; Hospitals; Loans; Money

Subjects: Hospital and community.; Presbyterian Church

GPS: Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center (Hazard, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.277818, -83.228248
01:01:58 - Presbyterian history of Pikeville College / involvement with Pikeville College

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Partial Transcript: Now I'd like for you to tell us something about Pikeville College and, um, its involvement in the...

Segment Synopsis: The founding of Pikeville College is described. Rogers discusses the Presbyterian Church's continued support of the college. He explains his own involvement with the college and its boards.

Keywords: Board of trustees; Founding; Higher Education in Kentucky; Higher education; Pikeville College; Presbyterian Church; University of Pikeville

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Presbyterian Church--Kentucky

01:10:14 - Development of Breaks Interstate Park / Highway 80

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about anything else in the community that you were involved in.

Segment Synopsis: Rogers shares about other projects he was a part of, such as the development of Breaks Interstate Park and Highway 80. He describes the Governor Tours given at the park. He tells about the speeches he gave in favor of Highway 80.

Keywords: Breaks Interstate Parks; Cumberland Gap; Governor Tours; Highways; Interstate compact; Kentucky; Parks; Roads; Tolls; Travel; Virginia

Subjects: Parks.; Roads; Roads--Kentucky

GPS: Breaks Interstate Park
Map Coordinates: 37.296389, -82.296944
01:22:19 - Move to Lexington / joining Second Presbyterian Church

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Partial Transcript: You asked me when we came back to Lexington.

Segment Synopsis: Rogers explains his and his wife's final move to Lexington. He recalls why they returned. He talks about his membership at Second Presbyterian Church.

Keywords: Church community; Church life; Church membership; Lexington, Kentucky

Subjects: Church; Churches--Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.).; Second Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.)

GPS: Second Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039722, -84.490556