Interview with Gean Austin, September 2, 2023

Project: Benham (Kentucky) Credit Union Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Austin provides the historical foundation of the 1917 establishment of USSteel Coal Mines, housing and schools in Lynch, KY, where community and friendships evolved based on the “Camp” where you lived (assigned by USSteel) and composed of Blacks, Eastern Europeans and Whites; status impacted by heritage; significance of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA); social life also influenced by neighboring towns of Benham (International Harvester) and Cumberland (trade area); Novo and Coralee theaters; harmony vs racism; fascinating history of coal mining families, their ancestors, family structures, and current life expectations today compared to 1940’s-70’s; After 1961, two different thoughts about work and children being given greater opportunities; significant impact of sports on an athletic Gean Austin, contributing to his career opportunities at Tuskeegee, semi-pro basketball, Marines and career as MP and as a policeman; and astute life decisions impacting investments, buyouts and planning for childrens’ educations, retirement and travel. Importance of the East Kentucky Social Club.

Interview Accession

2023oh0737_bcu0012

Interviewee Name

Gean Austin

Interviewer Name

Jo Hern Curris

Interview Date

2023-09-02

Interview Rights

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Austin, Gean Interview by Jo Hern Curris. 02 Sep. 2023. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Austin, G. (2023, September 02). Interview by J. H. Curris. Benham (Kentucky) Credit Union Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Austin, Gean, interview by Jo Hern Curris. September 02, 2023, Benham (Kentucky) Credit Union Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7whj0pb88jj