• Description
  • Play Interview
  • Rights & Request
  • Citation

Interview Summary

Teamus Bartley was born at Ashcamp, Kentucky in 1891. In 1905 at age fourteen, he went with his father to Wise County, Virginia to work for the Virginia Iron Coal and Coke Company. He believes that the company operated one thousand coke ovens on Tom's Creek and that the town was two and a half miles in area. He and his father worked on the coke ovens at night because of the intense heat. Bartley states that Kentucky had a bad reputation outside of the state and that people were "afraid of anybody from Kentucky." After returning to Kentucky, Bartley went to work for the Edgewater Coal Company on Marrowbone Creek building coke ovens for $1.50 a day. He worked for Edgewater until it shut down in 1930, and then went to work at the Henry Clay mine from 1935 to 1937. He describes the company's attempt to discover if he supported the union and states, "They fired every man they thought was union." He talks about his first experience with a miner being killed in the mine. He discusses working at the Greenaugh mine on Marrowbone, "the sorriest company I ever worked for." After working a month, he asked how much money he had made, that he estimated to be between $75-$100. When he was told $12, he immediately quit. Bartley also discusses the splash dam and logging industry on Elkhorn Creek. His father worked for the Yellow Poplar Lumber Company. The logs were tied into rafts and floated to Catlettsburg. He describes in detail "working up" logs with his father and vividly remembers cutting down a magnificent white oak tree on Cumberland Mountain. Bartley also had his own coal bank and tipple and sold house coal for $1.50 a ton for seventeen years. He estimates that he was able to make $15-$20 a week in addition to his company pay by doing this. Bartley also provides a detailed description of early Ashcamp schools. He recalls that the boys all wore gowns and homemade shoes. The schoolhouse had a dirt floor and chestnut benches hewed from logs. He estimates that the teacher was paid $25 a month. He describes riding into Pond Creek on horseback to buy apples from Uncle Grant Hawkins. A bushel cost ten to fifteen cents. He mentions the 1918 flu epidemic that killed hundreds of people in the area, and that medical care was limited to a doctor who rode through on horseback every month or two. He describes going into Elkhorn City with his father on Election Day in 1901 where everybody carried pistols and knives and several people were killed in drunken brawls.

Interview Accession

1987oh191_app114

Interviewee Name

Teamus Bartley

Interviewer Name

Nyoka Hawkins

Interview Date

1987-06-14

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

No Restrictions


access interview in full screen  

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.

Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s). 


Bartley, Teamus Interview by Nyoka Hawkins. 14 Jun. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Bartley, T. (1987, June 14). 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.

Bartley, Teamus, interview by Nyoka Hawkins. June 14, 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/xt7qft8djj9c