Interview with Willis Haws, June 23, 1986

Project: Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Willis Haws is a resident of Beauty (formerly known as Himlerville), Kentucky. He discusses the history of Martin County, the importance of coal to the local economy, and the history of Himlerville. He contradicts several previously accepted conclusions about America's only cooperative coal mining town. It was thought that only Hungarian immigrants worked in the Himlerville mines, and that Himlerville was a "dry" town. He also disputes a previously accepted fact that Martin Himler, the founder of the town, was revered by all the immigrants. According to Haws, American workers were employed by the Himler Coal Company, and that the town supported several taverns and distilleries were alcoholic beverages were made and sold. He also makes the accusation that Martin Himler may have left with a portion of the cooperative coal company's funds. These assertions raise suspicions over what is otherwise considered a utopian coal mining community. Haws also provides information on the town of Himlerville, and states that there was a theater, a Catholic church, and some of the best and most modern houses available to coal miners at that time.

Interview Accession

1986oh196_app063

Interviewee Name

Willis Haws

Interviewer Name

Doug Cantrell

Interview Date

1986-06-23

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Haws, Willis Interview by Doug Cantrell. 23 Jun. 1986. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Haws, W. (1986, June 23). Interview by D. Cantrell. Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Haws, Willis, interview by Doug Cantrell. June 23, 1986, Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt76t14tkf0f