Skip to Main Content

OH187 Linda Earl McDowell Oral History

Linda Earl McDowell Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Duvin Mine Explosion

Series Number: OH187

Interviewee:  McDowell, Linda Earl

Interviewer: Robyn W. Dunn

Date interviewed: October 29, 1995

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

Date processed: October 1, 2012

Description: 1 sound disc (43 minutes)

Abstract: Linda Earl McDowell discusses the Duvin Mine explosion on July 14, 1939 at Providence, Kentucky. Her account of the disaster was told by her mother, family members, newspaper clippings, other miners and F. V. Ruckman, the owner of the mine. She discusses her father, Earl White Woodring, one of the miners killed by the blast. She details the lives of the miners, including safety issues, script (“flickers”) and the unionization of the mines. She discusses Ruckman’s impact on her family and interactions with him following the explosion.

Biographical / Historical note: Linda Earl McDowell was born February 9, 1940, seven months after the Duvin Mine Explosion in Providence, Kentucky on July 14, 1939. Her father, Earl White Woodring, died in the mine. Her mother remarried another miner. The family maintained close ties with F. V. Ruckman, the owner of the Duvin Mine, up until his death in 1951.

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:

McDowell, Linda Earl, 1940-

Ruckman, Francis V., 1886-1951

Ruckman Coal Company.

Duvin Coal Mines (Providence, Ky.)

Coal miners – Kentucky – Webster County.

Coal mines and mining – Kentucky – Webster County.

Mine explosions – Kentucky.