Interview with Frank C. Thomas, December 1, 1988

Project: Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Frank C. Thomas, a former coal operator in Stearns, Kentucky, describes his experiences with the Stearns mines. He discusses the opening of the Justus mine and states that it enabled Stearns to go back to the coal that had made the company famous. Yet, he explains that this mine was not safe. Thomas describes the relationship between the Stearns workers and the United Mine Workers of America. The Stearns' workers had their own private union until the early 1970s when the Blue Diamond coal company took over. Thomas recalls how the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) gained control of the mine during this time. Thomas discusses the strike that occurred at Stearns after the workers joined the UWMA, and the strike of 1935 which occurred when he was a child.

Thomas discusses the leadership of the Blue Diamond coal company. He especially mentions the Gordons. He remembers the early leadership in the Stearns mines including Mr. Butler. He talks about company stores and states that things were more expensive in the stores, but only because they only carried the pricier brands. Thomas also talks about safety, mine inspection, and the severance tax.

Interview Accession

1988oh250_app199

Interviewee Name

Frank C. Thomas

Interviewer Name

Henry C. Mayer

Interview Date

1988-12-01

Interview Keyword

Coal Operators

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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Thomas, Frank C. Interview by Henry C. Mayer. 01 Dec. 1988. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Thomas, F.C. (1988, December 01). Interview by H. C. Mayer. Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Thomas, Frank C., interview by Henry C. Mayer. December 01, 1988, 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/xt7gf18sf47d