Interview with Bige Hensley, June 26, 1987

Project: Appalachia: Roving Pickets Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Bige Hensley was not a coal miner, but he did take part in the roving pickets' movement. He became involved through the influence of his father-in-law, Bill Bailey, who was an ardent supporter of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Although Hensley was not privy to the internal workings of the leadership of the movement, he did witness police brutality. He describes being arrested by two railroad detectives after hauling several cases of dynamite and nitroglycerine to a railroad bridge in the trunk of his car. Mr. Hensley states that he was forced to sit in a police car all night and most of the following day before being lodged in the Perry County jail. Hensley and three accomplices were sentenced to prison. He served about a year before being paroled. Hensley maintains that Berman Gibson, the leader of the Roving Pickets in the Hazard/Perry County area, betrayed the pickets and informed the police of the plan to destroy the railroad bridge. Hensley also talks about Charlie Combs, the Sheriff of Perry County during the roving pickets' movement and a coal operator. Hensley states that Combs gave the pickets a hard time. He harassed them on the picket lines and brought trumped up charges against them.

Interview Accession

1987oh179_app102

Interviewee Name

Bige Hensley

Interviewer Name

Doug Cantrell

Interview Date

1987-06-26

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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Hensley, Bige Interview by Doug Cantrell. 26 Jun. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Hensley, B. (1987, June 26). Interview by D. Cantrell. Appalachia: Roving Pickets Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Hensley, Bige, interview by Doug Cantrell. June 26, 1987, Appalachia: Roving Pickets Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt78gt5ff37h