Interview with Douglas Lee Blair, February 11, 1989

Project: Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Douglas Lee Blair is the son of John Henry Blair who served as sheriff of Harlan, Kentucky from 1929-1933. He describes growing up in Harlan as a pleasant experience and discusses the quality of the schools. Blair talks about the reputations of several coal operators who have been publicized in earlier accounts of Harlan coal history, and other local leaders including George War, Merle Middleton, and the Methodist pastor, Carl Vogel. Blair remembers instances of violence in Harlan especially while his father was sheriff. Blair's father hired a bodyguard to protect his family after threats against his life. He also recalls a car explosion in which Harlan County Attorney Edmond Middleton was killed.

Blair also remembers good things about the people of eastern Kentucky. He recalls how company stores gave people credit during the Great Depression. Blair describes the trip he took to Europe upon graduation from high school, and attending the University of Kentucky where he met his future wife. Blair secured a job with the Kentucky Utilities Company and describes the primitive means of providing electricity in eastern Kentucky at that time.

Interview Accession

1989oh113_app229

Interviewee Name

Douglas Lee Blair

Interviewer Name

Henry C. Mayer

Interview Date

1989-02-11

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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Blair, Douglas Lee Interview by Henry C. Mayer. 11 Feb. 1989. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Blair, D.L. (1989, February 11). Interview by H. C. Mayer. Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Blair, Douglas Lee, interview by Henry C. Mayer. February 11, 1989, Appalachia: Coal Operators 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/xt7rbn9x3h8b