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Interview Summary

Kermit Ratliff worked as a coal miner for thirty years. He was born in 1912 on Little Big Branch on Marrowbone Creek. His father, J.H. Ratliff, Jr., was the postmaster at Lookout, Kentucky for several years. His mother was Lizzie Maynard Ratliff. The family moved from Little Big Branch in the early 1930s when Semet-Solvay Corporation bought up the land to begin mining. Ratliff worked off and on at the Henry Clay mine from 1936 until it shut down in the early 1950s. He describes in detail an accident at Henry Clay where a miner was killed in a motor accident. He also describes his own injury when his arm got caught in machinery and was severely broken. He worked in a coal seam no higher than thirty inches high and had to crawl around on his knees to work. Ratliff's own family had a small coal bank that provided them with house coal. He estimates that they typically used one hundred bushels of coal during the winter. Ratliff went to grade school in Lookout, Kentucky, but quit Hellier High School because it was six miles away and he had to walk to get there.

Interview Accession

1987oh192_app115

Interviewee Name

Kermit Ratliff

Interviewer Name

Nyoka Hawkins

Interview Date

1987-07-23

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.

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Ratliff, Kermit Interview by Nyoka Hawkins. 23 Jul. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Ratliff, K. (1987, July 23). Interview by N. Hawkins. Appalachia: Social History and Cultural Change in the Elkhorn Coal Fields Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Ratliff, Kermit, interview by Nyoka Hawkins. July 23, 1987, Appalachia: Social History and Cultural Change in the Elkhorn 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/xt7kpr7ms968