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Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: H - M: UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Jefferson - Kurtz

This guide will help you find primary source oral history interviews pertaining to the history of the University of Kentucky, faculty and alumni.

Annotated Guide to the Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Jefferson - Kidwell.

If not available online, audio copies and/or transcripts of the interviews in this project are available in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.

 

87OH105 A/F 306

ROBERT JEFFERSON

 Date:  June 23, 1987

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Doris Weathers

Length:  50 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Fair 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Robert Jefferson, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, describes his involvement in the establishment of the Office of Minority Affairs (now the Office of Multicultural and Academic Affairs) on the University of Kentucky campus.  He talks about the frustrations students experienced while attempting to get recognition and support within the administration, and discusses his own experience with a “subtle” form of racism while both attending classes and speaking to classes at UK.  He talks about the activities of student leaders like Theodore Berry and Billy Bonds.  Jefferson also recalls Jerry Stevens’ involvement in minority affairs at the university, and concerns throughout the black community about the philosophy and attitude of Adolph Rupp.

Jefferson states that in 1971 or 1972 a group of 12 people from the Lexington community including representatives of organizations and businesses met.  Their goal was to encourage more communication between the community and the university and increase African American enrollment at UK.  The four issues that they became involved with were minority affairs, academics, athletics, and the relationship between the university and the community.  He recalls successes of the group including the appointment of an African American to the athletic board and establishing a $5000 scholarship for a minority student from outside the Lexington area.  Jefferson recalls that UK basketball tickets were set aside for the black community, although members of the black community did not buy the tickets.  He provides his opinions on the administrative of the minority affairs department, and talks about support for minority students at UK.  Jefferson states that although there were efforts to recruit minority students, there were no attempts to retain those students.  He discusses the role of student athletes on campus, and the controversy surrounding Adolph Rupp’s all-white basketball team. 

 

79OH223 A/F 111

ANNE EVANS JEFFRIES

Date:  June 12, 1979

Location: Denver, Colorado

Interviewer:  Bill Cooper

Length:  45 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Anne Evans Jeffries is a 1968 graduate of the University of Kentucky.  A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Jeffries enrolled in UK in September of 1964.  She states that UK’s campus was largely quiet and peaceful while she was there, although the number of students was growing rapidly.  Jeffries does not remember having any trouble getting into classes, but she did have two classes on Saturday as a freshman.  She majored in history and minored in library science.  She recalls history professors, Dr. Clement Eaton and Dr. Thomas D. Clark, but explains that the university was already becoming too large to really get to know your professors. 

Jeffries talks about social activities on campus.  She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, and explains that she believes that involvement in sororities and fraternities is helpful to freshman and sophomore students.  Yet, she recalls that she was bored with sorority life by her junior year.  She explains that the sororities and fraternities were well-organized, but does not remember any block voting during student government elections.  Jeffries states that the biggest social events on campus while she was a student were LKD, Homecoming, and the Centennial Ball in the spring of 1965. 

Jeffries discusses restrictions on women on campus, and recalls that women could not wear slacks on campus.  She also remembers that ninety five percent of the professors on campus were male.  She describes political discussions on campus during the 1964 Presidential campaign and the Nunn’s Gubernatorial campaign in 1967.  Jeffries also recalls protests of all-white athletic teams at UK.  She describes obtaining tickets for athletic events, and discusses the controversy between the support of athletics and support of academics.  She states that the library was adequate at that time, but remembers that there was no library orientation for new students.  She also discusses her involvement in the UK Alumni Association.

 

90OH319 A/F 419

ROBERT JEWELL

Date:  June 28, 1972

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Charles Talbert

Length:  55 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Fair

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Robert Jewell is the brother of Frances Jewell McVey.  Jewell remembers Dr. Frank McVey’s personality, and mentions that McVey took up painting late in his life.  He recalls events at Maxwell Place, and states that his job was minding the eggs during various breakfast events.  Jewell describes Frances Jewell McVey as very meticulous.  He talks about Sarah Blanding, and remembers going to Frankfort on a few occasions with Dr. McVey.  He recalls that the people in Frankfort had the deepest respect for Dr. McVey.

Jewell discusses his family’s participation in the Civil War, and states that his grandfather was a Union soldier.  He remembers homes he lived in as a child, and the home in which Frances Jewell was born.  Jewell talks about Dr. McVey’s classmates at Delaware, and trip that the McVey’s would make.  He recalls Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to campus, and how Mrs. McVey wanted Mrs. Roosevelt to see Man o’ War.  Jewell also recalls that Dr. McVey was a great friend of Dean Cooper, and the Mrs. McVey was always helping someone.    

 

87OH111 A/F 312

LYMAN T. JOHNSON

Date:  July 12, 1987

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Doris Weathers

Length:  50 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Good 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Lyman T. Johnson was born in Columbia, Tennessee in 1906, and was the first African American graduate student to attend the University of Kentucky.  He describes the issues and events surrounding the integration of the UK in 1949.  He states that in the 1940s he and some other young educators who were growing into middle age became involved in civil rights, and they were concerned about integrating the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville.  Johnson explains that they searched for a talented high school student who would be interested, but had difficulty finding someone who was willing to take the risk.  By 1948, some members of the committee began to push Johnson to take on the case himself, and Johnson explains why he reluctantly agreed to apply to the University of Kentucky and then sue the university when he was denied admission. 

Johnson describes the humiliation of segregation, and explains the impossibility of creating a “separate but equal” institution in Kentucky where so little money was allotted for education.  He recalls teaching at Kentucky State University, Kentucky’s only institution of higher learning for African American students, and states that Kentucky State only received the left-over “crumbs” of funding.  Johnson explains that he believes that we need to look for the imperfections in our government and find ways of solving them.  He states that he only wants equality, so that each person obtain all that he or she is able.

Johnson talks about the Day Law which enforced separate schools for the races in Kentucky.  Yet, he explains that the state constitution mandated separate schools for whites and blacks.  He discusses the role Berea College playing in the drafting of the Day Law, since they allowed underprivileged people of all races to attend their school.  Johnson states that the decision in his suit against the University of Kentucky overturned the Day Law, and he recalls that he was treated very nicely while attending classes on UK’s campus during the summer of 1949.

 

84OH06 A/F 146

RALPH E. JOHNSON

Date:  February 6, 1984

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Terry Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour, 20 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good   

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Ralph E. Johnson is originally from Madison, New Jersey.  His father was an MIT graduate and engineer.  He states that he was always at odds with his father, who eventually decided to send Johnson to military school.  When his father let him pick out the school, Johnson decided to attend Kentucky Military Institute (KMI) since it was far from home and the pictures of the men who operated the school looked more kindly. 

After graduating from KMI, Johnson entered the University of Kentucky in the Fall of 1929.  He was unsure about what he wanted to study until he became involved with the student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernal.  He soon focused in on journalism as a possible career.   Johnson talks about his experience as a reporter for the Kentucky Kernal, and explains how he became sports editor.  Johnson describes his impressions of Rupp, and mentions basketball games like the Southern Conference finals during Rupp’s first year as coach, and a game at Madison Square Gardens.

Johnson states that he has fond memories of those early days on UK’s much smaller campus.  He talks about President McVey and Mrs. Frances Jewell McVey.  Johnson describes being praised by President McVey after being assigned a controversial column in the Kentucky Kernal, and remembers regularly scheduled convocations in Memorial Hall led by President McVey and Mrs. McVeys weekly teas.  Johnson talks about racism in Lexington, and UK’s segregated campus, and remembers a Filipino roommate who was unable to play basketball because Adolf Rupp feared what other Southern colleges would do in reaction.  He describes social and political activities on campus and mentions role of fraternities and sororities.  He describes problems he had with certain classes, especially Professor Sutherland’s public speaking course and in some psychology courses.  Johnson explains that he dropped out of school for a while and did not finish his degree until 1937.  

Johnson also discusses his association with the campus radio station.  He remembers Elmer “Bromo” Sulzer who was integral in getting the campus radio station established, and was involved in donating radios to isolated mountain communities.  Johnson talks about his first job at the station which was announcing the College of Agriculture broadcasts.  Johnson mentions station staff and recalls that radio was seen as a great educational tool at the time. 

Johnson remembers that Bud Guthrie of the Lexington Leader helped him to find a job with the Frankfort State Journal as a photographer after graduation.  Johnson later went to work for the Associated Press in New York City where he became a photo editor.  He then transferred to Atlanta, and later to Boston before coming back to UK in 1974 to teach.   Johnson addresses the bad reputation of journalism and his belief that it should rank along with the high professions.  

 

97OH09 A/F 564

RAYMOND DUDLEY JOHNSON

Date:  February 7, 1997

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Terry Birdwhistell and Lauretta Byars

Length:  1 hour

Audio Conditions:  Good   

Transcript:  First Draft

Restrictions: None

Raymond Dudley Johnson was an Assistant Director of University Extension at the University of Kentucky.  He started working for the university in 1952 under Louis Clifton, and states that his first responsibility was setting up classes all over the state.  He recalls going to Barbourville to coordinate some classes and explains that the superintendent had some black students that he wanted to enroll in the course.  Johnson remembers that he was concerned because although the Lyman T. Johnson case in 1949 had allowed black graduate students to attend the university, black undergraduate students had not been admitted.  Yet, Johnson states that President Herman L. Donovan felt that it was the right thing to do.

Johnson talks about teaching classes in Cumberland and remembers that they were integrated.  He describes two of the black students whom he was particularly fond of, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, who were both educators.  Johnson talks about his personal views on race and explains that he grew up in Sparta, Tennessee and had both black and white neighbors.  Johnson also recalls establishing extension classes in Hopkinsville and Cumberland, Kentucky, and states that there were no complaints from professors in extension about having to teach African American students. 

Johnson talks more generally about University Extension, and explains the differences between correspondence and extension courses.  He recalls that University Extension also coordinated the high school speech league and the high school music league.  He remembers that University Extension held some classes at Ft. Knox.  He explains the process of starting a new extension course.  Johnson states that people, most often superintendents of school districts, would contact him and ask for a course in their area.  Yet, Johnson also recalls that Kelly Thompson at Western Kentucky University invited UK Extension to teach classes on their campus.  He discusses the differences between students in different parts of Kentucky.  He remembers the integration of UK.  He also describes the politics behind the placement of the community colleges throughout the state, and recalls an argument between Thomas D. Clark and himself. 

 

94OH23 A/F 527

WILLIAM JOHNSTONE

Date:  August 8, 1972

Location: Unknown 

Interviewer:  J. Allan Smith

Length:  1 hour, 35 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Fair 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

William “Bill” Johnstone spent a large portion of his career working for the University of Kentucky Extension Service.  He graduated from UK in 1916, where he majored in horticulture.  Johnstone remembers that his first job upon graduation was working in Stifton, Kentucky (now Fort Knox) as the manager of an orchard, but within a short time he was offered the opportunity to go to Brazil and perform something similar to extension work.  He left the United States in 1916 and spent about seven years teaching Brazilians how to work with mules, plow, and  plant corn.  Johnstone also married while he was in Brazil.  He came back to the United States in 1923, and Thompson Bryant of UK’s Extension Service offered him a job as a county agent.  He worked for two days as Assistant County Agent in LaRue County before becoming County Agent in Taylor County in February of 1923. 

Within a year, Johnstone was offered a position as a county agent in McCracken County.  He remembers that his experience in fruit production helped him in this position since Paducah was a large fruit production area.  He talks about developments in fruit, dairy, and pure-bred bulls in McCracken County.  Johnstone states that his first associations with soil conservation occurred while he was in this position, and he discusses his involvement in the formation of the George Washington reforestation project.  Through the work of this group, approximately four thousand trees were planted on four acres of land outside of Paducah.   

Johnstone recalls the 1937 flood in Paducah.  Shortly afterward, Johnstone began working in Lexington researching cover crops and their use to stop erosion.  Johnstone talks about his involvement in the introduction of hybrid corn in Kentucky and the discovery and development of Kentucky 31 Fescue.  He states that the farmers of Kentucky must be given the greatest credit for the widespread use of fescue, since they are the ones who tested and recommended this grass seed. 

Johnstone discusses other programs with which he was involved in an attempt to improve agriculture and soil erosion throughout the state of Kentucky.  He describes the formation of the Corn Derby, which was a contest to increase the corn yields.  Johnstone also remembers the Green Pastures program which offered prizes to the best pasture plans.  Johnstone talks about the Federal Reserve Bank’s interest in helping agriculture and Farmer-Banker Field Days.  He discusses his involvement with the 4-H Club, and recalls that in many cases it was a way of reaching out not only to the children, but also to the adults.  Johnstone talks about constructive terracing in McCracken County in the early 1930s and crop rotation.  He also mentions the formation of the Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (RECC), and how it helped the farmers of Kentucky.      

      

77OH96 A/F 78

JOHN PAUL JONES and MARY SHEEHAN JONES

Date:  November 29, 1977

Location: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Interviewer:  Bill Cooper

Length:  40 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Good (tape cuts off before the end of interview) 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

John Paul Jones and Mary Sheehan Jones are both 1941 graduates of the University of Kentucky.  Mary majored in Commerce, while John was an engineering student.  Mary states that she attended UK, because it was close to home, but John decided to go to UK because there were no better options for an engineering degree in the state of Kentucky.  John recalls freshmen hazing during which freshmen men had to wear a hat or have their head shaved.

Both John and Mary remember that approximately seventy-five percent of the students lived in the dorms.  They state that students were very concerned about the growing threat of Hitler and Nazism in Europe.  John discusses ROTC training on campus and recalls that at time all male students had to serve for two years in the ROTC on campus. 

John also describes the department of engineering at UK at that time, and remembers the yearly trip to Boonesboro during which members of the engineering department played baseball.  Mary Jones recalls attending teas at Maxwell Place.  They talk about voting for student government and remember that you did not necessarily need to be a member of a fraternity or sorority to get elected to a student government office.  John and Mary explain that there was no lack of social activities on campus and mention The Paddock, the Rose Street Grill, and Canary Cottage as college hangouts.  They recall cultural activities such as plays and concerts which took place in Lexington.  John remembers that students were concerned with politics at that time, and describes A.B. “Happy” Chandler’s influence on students.  John and Mary discuss several female faculty members including “Honey” Smith in English and Dr. Pence of the Mathematics Department.  They also describe the role of athletics on campus.  John remembers that Adolph Rupp was building the basketball team and the football team was struggling to win.

 

85OH89 A/F 228

ROBERT JONES

Date:  April 23, 1985

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky  

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  50 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Good   

Transcript:  No 

Restrictions: None

Robert Jones, former county agent with University of Kentucky extension service, was born in Harrison County in 1929.    He received his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture in 1951 and his Master’s degree from Michigan State University in 1963.  Jones states that he became interested in agriculture in his work with 4-H as a child, and recalls that his county agent, Bob Wiggington, marveled him.

In September of 1955, Jones became an Assistant County Agent in Floyd County, Kentucky.  He recalls that Floyd County was a coal mining area and many of the farmers were part-time farmers who used their crops to stretch their income.  He describes a sheep program and a strawberry project in Floyd County.  In 1965, Jones transferred to Grant County, which had a large number of full-time farmers.  Jones talks about tobacco, the acreage/poundage program, forage programs, and the loss of alfalfa.  He describes changes in fertility programs and feeder calf production, and mentions his work with the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA). 

Between 1966 and 1970, Jones was an Extension Resource Development Specialist, and he states that he worked with existing organizations to find opportunities for improvement.  He explains that he missed being a part of the community as a county agent, and in 1970 became a county agent in Pendleton County, Kentucky.  Jones describes the standard of living in Pendleton County, and explains that black shank, a destructive tobacco disease, hit Pendleton County hard.  He also mentions the dairy industry, beef cattle and improvements in the fair grounds in Pendleton County.

Jones recalls major accomplishments of UK’s extension service and the contributions of the College of Agriculture.  He mentions specialists with the College of Agriculture who assisted him such as Monty Chappell and Russell Hunt, and talks about a local veterinarian with whom he worked.  He discusses his work with the Kentucky County Agent Association and the National County Agent Association.  Jones describes his participation in 4-H camping programs and the involvement of Dr. Davenport in these camps to help young people learn about forestry.  Along with working as an extension agent, Jones was involved in the Artificial Breeding Association. 

 

79OH125 A/F 103

NATHAN KAPLIN

Date:  March 31, 1979

Location:  Louisville, Kentucky  

Interviewer:  Dwayne Cox

Length:  2 hours

Audio Conditions:  Fair   

Transcript:  No 

Restrictions: None

Nathan Kaplin is a 1923 graduate of the Louisville College of Pharmacy which later became the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.  Kaplin’s parents were from Poland and immigrated to the United States in the 1890s fleeing religious persecution and poverty.  He explains that his parents originally settled in Philadelphia in 1904, and his father opened a shoe shop.  They eventually moved to New Albany, Indiana right across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.  Kaplin’s father continued to sell and repair shoes. 

Kaplin talks about his earliest recollections of New Albany, Indiana.  He states that they were one of only four or five Jewish families in New Albany, and he talks about the Jewish community in Louisville.  Kaplin attended Male High School in Louisville and graduated in 1921.  Kaplin then entered the Louisville College of Pharmacy, and he describes how small the college was at that time.  Kaplin talks about the dean of the college and his wife and other professors.   Kaplin recalls a typical day at the College of Pharmacy, and states that he, like most of the other students, worked while attending school.  In 1922, Kaplin got a job at the old Model Drugstore.  He recalls that his main worry was taking “the boards.”  Although he did pass, he describes the experience which included both oral and written exams. 

Kaplin and a friend opened a drugstore together, but eventually had to split up the business.  He recalls the difficulty he had financially during the Great Depression.  Kaplin also talks about the important part the pharmacist played during prohibition, and explains how pharmacies had whiskey permits to sell whiskey to those who had a prescription from a doctor.  He also describes how pharmacists would make “drugstore gin.”

Kaplin compares the neighborhood pharmacy to large chain pharmacies, and mentions the trust that people held in their local druggist.  He recalls that the pharmacists would have meetings with local doctors and attempt to form a close cohesiveness.  Kaplin talks about the changes in the merchandise sold in the drug stores over his career, and changes in pharmaceuticals and pharmacist training.  Kaplin also mentions the changes in the neighborhood where he had his drugstore at St. Catherine Street and Eighteenth Street.  Kaplin talks about the Flood of 1937 and explains that he was the only pharmacy open between the Ohio River and Eighteenth Street.  Kaplin was a member of the board of directors of the Louisville College of Pharmacy and was involved with the Alpha Zeta Omega pharmaceutical fraternity.    

 

76OH28 A/F 30

PAUL KEEN

Date:  March 30, 1976

Location:  Washington, D. C.

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Paul Keen is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law.  This interview was conducted at the National Lawyer’s Club, where Keen hosts an alumni chapter of Phi Alpha Delta once a month.  Keen worked as a high school principal in Alabama for two years to save money for law school. He states that he considered several other law schools, before decided on the University of Kentucky  He recalls his trip by train to Lexington, Kentucky, and a taxi that took him all over town, and then dropped him off a block from the train station. He remembers Judge Lyman Chalkley and other classroom experiences at UK. He states that UK’s law faculty was very conservative. Keen received his law degree after two years, in December of 1926.

Keen remembers when the Sergeant-at-Arms asked Lieutenant Governor Henry H. Denhardt if “he wanted anyone shot” after several futile attempts by both to call the Kentucky Senate floor to order. He talks about his membership in the Clay chapter of Phi Alpha Delta. Keen was a member of the Patterson Literary Society. He assisted the executor of President James K. Patterson’s estate in carrying out his “very meticulous” will, which established the Patterson School of Diplomacy.

Keen discusses President Frank L. McVey. Keen did not participate in many social activities on campus except football and basketball games, but worked at the bowling alley in the basement of the Phoenix Hotel, which had two lanes. He talks about Kathleen Mulligan, the one woman law student at the time, who was the daughter of Judge James H. Mulligan, author of the famous poem “In Kentucky.” He mentions the rivalry between Transylvania University and UK, and recalls that it was considered dangerous to be on the wrong side of Main Street. Keen describes in detail the public hanging at sunrise of a black man, next to the courthouse, while he was in law school. He was also present at an official electrocution in Washington, D. C. several years later. He recalls seeing vaudeville at the Ben Ali Theater, and discusses how the theater was built and tells several stories about Ben Ali Haggin. He talks about the law library. He also gives his impressions of Presidents Frank L. McVey, Herman L. Donovan, Frank G. Dickey, John W. Oswald, and Otis A. Singletary. Keen discusses the changes in UK and Lexington since he left Kentucky.

 

84OH94 A/F 151

J.W. KIDWELL

Date:  September 11, 1984

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  1 hour

Audio Conditions:  Fair

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

James W. Kidwell was born in 1918 in Irvine, Kentucky.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 1942, and then his Master’s degree in Extension Education in 1949.  Kidwell also has between 20 and 25 hours of post graduate work in agricultural education.  He began working for the UK Extension Service in January of 1946.  His first position was as the Assistant County Agent in Pulaski County, where he worked for a year.  He recalls how the extension service was trying to get back into its normal operational pattern after the war. 

In January of 1947, Kidwell went to Whitley County where he worked as the County Agricultural Agent.  He talks about the expansion of the program in Whitley County, and assisting people in growing cash crops.  In 1961, Kidwell left Whitley County to become a District Leader for the agricultural agents in Southeastern Kentucky.  Kidwell remembers working with Dean Frank Welch, and Dr. Bill Schneider who was the Associate Director for Extension.  

Kidwell talks about the changing image of extension throughout his career.  He recalls the Extension District Law which enabled farmers in counties without an extension agent to require the county fiscal court to establish an extension agent.  From 1965 to 1970, Kidwell served as a Program Specialist and was involved in county business affairs.  He recalls that this was a period during which more changes took place in extension.  In July of 1965, extension switched from district teams to an area director system.  Extension agents were stationed in counties but had area-wide responsibilities.  He recalls that the agents developed specialties, and that although the program was effective in many areas, it did polarize some of the specialists.  In the late 1960s, the extension service began to switch back to the county programs.

Kidwell states that he has always been thankful for the opportunity to work in extension.  He emphasizes the need for the support of the people in extension for the service to work.  Kidwell talks about Tubby McGill who was a Horticulture Specialist with the UK Extension Service, Dr. Bill Schneider, S.C. Bohanan, who was a leader for the agricultural agents, and Ray Randolph, who assisted 4-H agents.  Kidwell also mentions his wife and two children. 

Annotated Guide to the Charles T. Wethington U.K. Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Kesler - Kurtz.

If not available online, audio copies and/or transcripts of the interviews in this project are available in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.

85OH129 A/F 242

E.W. KESLER

Date:  June 10, 1985

Location:  Louisville, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  1 hour

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Elforth Weller Kesler was born in Franklin County, Kentucky on the Shelby County line in 1918.  He attended a small county high school in Franklin County, and then enrolled the University of Kentucky, although he did not graduate.  He reminisces about his early experiences with the cooperative extension service and 4-H during his high school years.  Between 1944 and 1948, Kesler was employed with the Emergency Farm Labor Fund and attempted to place labor in Central Kentucky.  He talks about the German Prisoner of War camps in Kentucky during World War II, his work with these camps, and the help that these POWs provided the farmers.

Kesler mentions the “Farm Bureau Law” which specified that the farmers in any county could demand that the county fiscal court hire a county agent.  He discusses policy development, and states that the Farm Bureau put forth a true effort year each to determine the needs of the farmers in terms of legislative and program policy.  He talks about important legislation that he assisted with including those regarding brucellosis, diagnostic lab service, and the establishment of the seed house on UK’s Cold Stream Farm.  He explains that the rural roads funds, which established a tax to support the rural road system in Kentucky.

In January of 1948, Kesler began working as a Claims Adjustor in the insurance division of the Kentucky Farm Bureau.  In December of 1949, the Farm Bureau decided to offer farmers property insurance, and Kesler moved to Louisville to head the operation.  Kesler talks about experiences with the cooperative extension service and states that seeing their dedication throughout the years has been satisfying.  The UK awarded Kesler the Thomas Poe Cooper Award, and he has also received recognition from the Kentucky Rural Electric Association, and the Agricultural Communicators of Kentucky for his work.  Kesler states that he serves on the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, and the Kentucky Council on Economic Education Board.  He mentions his wife, daughter, and granddaughter.       

 

85OH23 A/F 188

GRANVILLE KING, JR.

Date:  January 24, 1985

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  1 hour

Audio Conditions: Excellent

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Granville King was born on October 4, 1930 in Russellville, Kentucky.  He attended the city high school for blacks in Russellville, and received his diploma in 1948.  King enrolled in Kentucky State College that Fall, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.  In 1952, he began attending the University of Kentucky where he completed a master’s degree in 1957.  King began working in 1956 in both Todd and Christian counties as an Assistant Agricultural Agent in Negro Work.  He recalls the strong black participation in the agricultural program in Christian County, and working with the 4-H Clubs in Christian County.  He states that there was a strong black homemakers program in the county.  King recalls the integration of extension work in 1967.  He describes community meetings and addressing the needs of the people.

King later became an Area Extension Specialist in 4-H in the Louisville area.  He describes the difference between the urban and the rural 4-H program, and states that it is much harder to work in an urban rather than a rural community.  He talks about the funding of 4-H through nutrition programs, and talks about the development of a nutrition project.  He describes the organization of wood working programs, and mentions the Emergency Employment Act (EEA) training program for unemployed, disadvantaged people.  King states that when he arrived in Louisville, the county had a traditional 4-H county program, and he explains that he was not too excited about the expansion of 4-H into the urban community.  King states that he found a tremendous amount of support in the community, and explains that the urban 4-H Council has become equal with the traditional council.

King talks about Kentucky’s system of area councils.  He describes the roles that volunteer leaders can play that paid staff leaders can not.  He talks about the support he has received from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.  He states that the opportunities for in-service training are outstanding and that there is constant improvement in research and new knowledge.  He talks about people at the University of Kentucky who have worked with him.  He mentions satisfying experiences including helping farmers get social security benefits, and helping young people attend 4-H camp and seeing them grow into accomplished professionals.  He mentions a few disappointments throughout his career, and also talks about his family.           

 

77OH46 A/F 66

HELEN G. KING

Date:  June 28, July 11, and October 3, 1977

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours

Audio Conditions: Excellent

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Mrs. Helen G. King attended high school at the Cardome Visitation Academy in Georgetown, Kentucky. She mentions her music teacher, Sister Jane Frances Blakely, who encouraged King to become a writer. King states that she always knew she wanted to be a newspaperwoman. She attended the University of Kentucky, where she received her B. A. degree in Journalism.

King recalls President Frank L. McVey married Frances (Jewell) McVey during her sophomore year at UK, and describes the qualities that made the McVeys so “beloved” among the students and faculty alike. King remembers various activities at Maxwell Place such as the Wednesday afternoon teas, and the Senior Breakfasts held on the lawn. She mentions Sarah Blanding, who became Dean of Women after Frances Jewell McVey. King was President of Kappa Delta Sorority, and Secretary for the Strollers, which later evolved into the Guignol Theatre. She belonged to the Catholic Club, which later became the Newman Center. King recalls social life during the 1920’s and the relationship between UK and the Lexington, Kentucky community. She mentions that Albert D. Kirwan, A. B. “Happy” Chandler, and the daughters of Governors Edwin P. Morrow and Flem D. Simpson attended UK while she was a student.

After graduation, King worked in advertising at Wolf Wile’s, the Lexington Herald, and Shillito’s in Cincinnati, Ohio.  In 1929, she was appointed UK’s Assistant Director of Publicity. She talks about the responsibilities of this position, and discusses the situation at UK during the Depression. She recalls she interviewed Dr. and Mrs. Herman L. Donovan after he was appointed UK’s President in 1941. King compares Donovan’s administrative style to McVey’s. She discusses how World War I and World War II affected both UK and the community. She King describes how she and M. E. Potter, UK’s Head of the Department of Physical Education, organized the present UK Athletics Association, which was later incorporated in 1946.

King talks about her work with the UK Alumni Association and her duties as president. She recalls how the Alumni Association handled the integration issue and the UK presidential appointments from members. She talks about the establishment and growth of the Alumni/Faculty Club, first located at Carnahan House on Coldstream Farm, which was later moved to Spindletop Hall. The Alumni Association eventually obtained a house on campus. King mentions Governor Chandler’s support of UK. She talks about working with Presidents Frank G. Dickey and John T. Oswald. King also discusses the Joint Alumni Council of Kentucky, which began during Dickey’s administration.

 

76OH16 A/F 25

GORDON K. KINNEY

Date:  February 24, 1976

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length: 1 hour

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Dr. Gordon Kinney graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the Eastern School of Music in 1930. He received his Masters of Music in 1941 from the University of South Dakota. He taught Strings and Orchestration at Ohio University from 1941-1945, prior to becoming Assistant Professor and Acting Head of the Department of Theory and Composition at the University of Colorado. Due to faculty changes, Kinney came to the University of Kentucky in 1948. He recalls that he and Edwin Stein, UK’s Music Department Chair, arrived at UK about the same time. The music department was located in a wartime barracks building behind Memorial Hall before the new Fine Arts building was completed in 1950. Kinney recalls that Dr. Howard Hanson, Director of the Eastern School of Music, attended the dedication ceremonies. He talks about earning his Ph.D., discusses the pressure on faculty to publish, and describes the complexity of music publishing.  He describes a music typewriter, used to prepare musical scores for engraving abroad, an expensive process.

Kinney discusses his extensive teaching and performing responsibilities in all areas of music, and the development of Master’s and Doctoral programs in Music at UK. Kinney mentions various instructors, including Frank Prindle, who directed the Kentucky Marching 100, and Mildred “Miss Kentucky” Lewis, who taught music education.  He explains the contention between academic and applied music, i.e. musicology and performance. Kinney notes that UK has one of the finest music libraries in the South, and talks about the proliferation of various musical organizations in the Lexington, Kentucky area. He details the responsibilities of the Department Chair, and mentions the ongoing problems of persuading the local press to publicize musical events held on campus. He also talks about difficulties involved with teaching, and explains the deficiencies in secondary school education in the United States.

Kinney describes the Day Law and talks about the integration of the University of Kentucky. Kinney recalls no resentment towards blacks in marching band or orchestra. He discusses gender issues and notes the hiring of women for music positions at UK depended on availability as well as qualifications at the university. However, he notes that women would later experience more difficulties when applying for jobs.

 

77OH68 A/F 72

BETTY KIRWAN

Date:  September 22, 1977

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length: 1 hour

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Betty Kirwan talks about her life with her husband, Albert D. Kirwan. They were married in Louisville, Kentucky in 1931, where her husband was admitted to the Court of Appeals, and practiced law during the Depression. He also taught English and was Assistant Football Coach at Louisville Male High School, his alma mater. He later became head football coach at (DuPont) Manual High School, which caused a “big furor” due to the schools’ rivalry.

The Kirwans moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 1938, where A.D. interviewed with University of Kentucky President Frank L. McVey and the UK Athletics Board for the position of Head Football Coach and was hired. Mrs. Kirwan recalls that football was suspended at UK during World War II, and after the war, her husband decided to teach History rather than coach due to changes in recruitment practices. Mrs. Kirwan mentions her husband’s relationship with Adolph Rupp, UK’s basketball coach. Her husband was Chairman of UK’s Athletics Board and the National College Athletics Association (NCAA) Infractions Committee. President Herman L. Donovan granted Kirwan a year’s sabbatical to work on his Ph.D. at Duke University, and he received a fellowship for his second year from Duke. Mrs. Kirwan explains they did this despite two children and a meager budget.  In 1947, Dr. Kirwan returned to UK and became Dean of Men.

Mrs. Kirwan discusses the integration process at UK and in the Lexington community in 1949.  She recalls there were issues of academic freedom at this time with the rise of McCarthyism. She discusses the basketball point-shaving scandal of 1951-1952. Mrs. Kirwan remembers Donovan’s support of the decision to place a football player on probation rather than suspension at the insistence of William Townsend and Paul “Bear” Bryant. She recalls the circumstances surrounding Bryant’s decision to later leave UK.  She also talks about the integration of the basketball team.

Mrs. Kirwan talks about Frank G. Dickey’s appointment as UK’s President. Dickey appointed her husband Dean of the Graduate School in 1960. She remembers the situation with Gladys Kammerer, a UK faculty member, who publicly criticized the A. B. “Happy” Chandler administration and was asked to leave. Mrs. Kirwan also talks about President John W. Oswald.

 

 75OH40 A/F 10 JAMES KLOTTER

Date:  November 19, 1975

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Charles Hay

Length: 

Audio Conditions: 

Transcript:  First Draft

Restrictions: None

James Klotter was the editor of The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society at the time of this interview.  He began his freshman year at the University of Kentucky in 1964.  Since he grew up in a small mountain community, he states that he had to adjust to the large campus and classes and the greater opportunities for social activities at UK.  He remembers that he experiences great difficulty in his science classes since he did not have many advanced science classes at his high school.

Klotter states that he came to UK with the intention of getting an education degree, but while at the university he became interest in the field of history.  He received his undergraduate degree in education and then attended graduate school at UK to study history.  He remembers his first year at UK.  He states that the dorms were overcrowded and not did not making studying easy.  By his second year, he decided to live in an off campus apartment.  He recalls the role of fraternities at UK, social events, and dances.  He describes the bureaucratic problems of registration and discusses his feelings about UK President Oswald.

Klotter also remembers the growing tension over Vietnam while he was a student at UK.  The protests hit close to home for him since he was a member of the ROTC.   He recalls that by the time he was in graduate school SDS was growing in its power among the student population.  Klotter also hints that younger professors may have been urging students on in their protests against the war.  Klotter discusses the role of the student newspaper, the Kernel,and changes in the layout of the Kentuckiana yearbook while he was a student.  He also describes the perceived inequities between athletics and academia at UK.

 

85OH131 A/F 243

JOHN W. KOON

Date:  June 10, 1985

Location:  Louisville, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

John William Koon was born in rural Caldwell County, Kentucky.  He recalls attending grade school in a one-room school house, and states that he graduated from Fredonia High School in 1928.  Koon lived in the rural part of Kentucky for nearly all of his life until he moved to Louisville to work with the Kentucky Farm Bureau.  Koon attended Western Kentucky University where he received his B.S. in Agriculture in 1937.  He also received a Master’s degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Kentucky. Koon states that he has always been involved with 4-H and Cooperative Extension to some degree, and remembers that the county agricultural agent in Caldwell County, Johnny Graham, encouraged his father to improve his farming techniques.

Koon worked for the Kentucky Farm Bureau from 1949 until 1979.  He began working for the Farm Bureau as a Commodity Director.  His job consisted of working with the commodity communities in areas like tobacco, dairy, and livestock, and lobbying for programs that the Farm Bureau felt would be good for agriculture.  Koon later served as Executive Secretary of the Farm Bureau for twenty-four years.

Koon provides some historical information on the Farm Bureau and states that the service was established in Kentucky in 1919.  He explains that the Kentucky Farm Bureau was one of the first state farm bureaus affiliated with the American Farm Bureau.  Koon also talks about the “Kentucky Farm Bureau law,” which authorized county Farm Bureaus to compel county fiscal courts to employ a county agricultural extension agent.  Koon describes Kentucky’s association with the Southern States Cooperative began in the early 1940s.  He talks about the establishment of the substation at Princeton.

Koon compares farm life in 1949 when he first started working for the Farm Bureau to farm life in 1985.  He talks about the food surplus in the United States, and the land grant colleges and their research and experimentation for the surplus.  Koon describes cooperative movements which were formed with the help of the extension service.  Koon discusses how the Kentucky Farm Bureau developed programs and services to encourage farm families to join the Farm Bureau including insurance and group purchasing programs. 

Koon talks about his work with UK’s Cooperative Extension Service.  He describes ways that the Farm Bureau and the Cooperative Extension Service have worked together to improve agriculture in Kentucky.  He talks about his disappointment with changes in 4-H Club programs, and states that he feels that the forestry program at the University of Kentucky could be improved.  He describes working closely and socializing with University of Kentucky faculty and the staff of the Cooperative Extension Service, mentioning, Deans Horlacher, Seay, and Welsh in particular.   Koon talks about his activities since his retirement, mentions his family, and discusses recognition he has received from the College of Agriculture for his service. 

 

75OH23 A/F 3

GEORGE KURTZ

Date:  September 18, 1975

Location:  Morganfield, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Charles Atcher

Length: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Audio Conditions:

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

George Kurtz was born and raised in Garrard County, Kentucky, where he still owns a farm. Kurtz entered the University of Kentucky in 1933 to study pre-law, but later transferred to the College of Agriculture. He pledged Alpha Gamma Rho and stayed in the fraternity house. Kurtz graduated from UK in 1937, despite the difficulties of the Depression.  Kurtz describes UK’s campus, and mentions instructors, and the College of Agriculture’s programs. He remembers that students and faculty shared a closer association because of the small class sizes, and he talks about Dean Thomas Poe Cooper and Tommy Bryant.  Kurtz recalls attending the Wednesday afternoon teas at Maxwell Place, where he met President and Mrs. Frank L. McVey. 

Kurtz discusses the social life of the students.  He remembers Hell Week was hard on the freshmen. Kurtz talks about the advent of 3.2 beer, students’ social activities, and local spots where they would gather such as the Huddle, later called the Paddock. He mentions the Canary Cottage and the Big Bands that played at Joyland Casino and Park. Kurtz was a member of Lamp and Cross, the Strollers, President of Block and Bridle, and a member of UK’s livestock judging team. 

After college, Kurtz served as a County Agent in Clark, Casey, Edmonson, Counties, and recalls the farmers were very supportive. He assisted in developing a hemp seed program for the government during World War II.  Kurtz mentions the farming subsidy programs enacted during the Depression by the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. Kurtz was in the auction and real estate business for thirty years.  He recalls that he met “Uncle Adolph” Rupp, the basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, at a cattle sale.

Kurtz mentions various UK Presidents. He comments on the breaking of the color barrier in athletics. Kurtz states that he encouraged UK basketball coach Joe B. Hall to take another look at Larry Johnson, from Union County, who eventually played for the team. He mentions Dwane Casey, from the same county, who also played for UK. He also talks about his family.

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