Interview with B. W. Whitfield, Jr., February 9, 1989

Project: Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project

Interview Summary

B.W. Whitfield's family was from Alabama where his father had been in the coal business. Whitfield recalls working in his father's coal mines during the first years of commercial mining in Harlan County, and he describes the conditions. He discusses the formation and activities of the Harlan County Coal Operators Association and its leaders, George Ward and Cloyd McDowell. Whitfield remembers the role of the mine guards along with his personal response to the United Mine Workers (UMWA). He describes his contacts with and opinion of John L. Lewis, the leader of the UMWA. Whitfield contrasts the "native" miners with the "outsiders" from the labor organizations. Whitfield also discusses local leaders including Sheriff Blair, Sheriff Middleton, and coal operators. He recalls the living conditions throughout the county prior to World War Two.

Interview Accession

1989oh198_app239

Interviewee Name

B. W. Whitfield, Jr.

Interviewer Name

Henry C. Mayer

Interview Date

1989-02-09

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.

Restriction

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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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Whitfield, B. W., Jr. Interview by Henry C. Mayer. 09 Feb. 1989. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Whitfield, B.W., Jr. (1989, February 09). Interview by H. C. Mayer. Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Whitfield, B. W., Jr., interview by Henry C. Mayer. February 09, 1989, Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt78sf2m8r8x