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OH176 Harry Lee Waterfield Oral History

Harry Lee Waterfield Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Politics and Government

Series Number: OH176

Interviewee: Waterfield, Harry Lee

Interviewer: James W. Hammack, Jr.

Date interviewed: March 18, 1976

Processed by: Processed by Benjamin J. Drake in August of 2012.

Date processed: August 27, 2012

Description: 4 sound discs (184 minutes)

Abstract: Harry Lee Waterfield discusses his experiences in the Jackson Purchase area of western Kentucky from the 1920s to the 1970s. He describes his family history and residing in Tobacco and Murray, Kentucky. He recalls the political groundwork that led to the Normal School (currently Murray State University) to be established at Murray in 1922. He also reflects upon his early years as a student at Murray State from 1929 to 1932. He recounts entering into the newspaper business following graduation and the close relationship that he held with local politicians. He mentions his entry into politics in 1937 and his tenure in the state legislature from 1938 to 1952.

Biographical / Historical note: Harry Lee Waterfield was Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky from 1955 to 1959 and 1963 to 1967. He was born at Tobacco, Calloway County, Kentucky on January 19, 1911. He attended local public schools and graduated from Murray State Teachers College in 1932. After graduation he entered into the newspaper business at La Center, Kentucky and later purchased the Carlisle County News, the Fulton Daily Ledger and the Hickman County Gazette. He served six terms in the Kentucky State Legislature from 1938 to 1952 and was Speaker of the House from 1944 to 1948. Waterfield campaigned for governor in 1947 but was defeated. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention six times from 1944 to 1968. From 1969 to 1973, he served on the Board of Regents for Murray State University. He later was president of the National Investors Life Insurance Company. He died on August 4, 1988. 

General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Waterfield, Harry Lee, 1911-1988

Calloway County (Ky.) – History.

Tobacco (Ky.) – History.

Murray (Ky.) – History.

Kentucky – Politics and government.

Lieutenant Governors – Kentucky.

Legislators – Kentucky.