Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Kentucky Dam Project
Series Number: OH204
Interviewee: Hortin, Loren Joseph “L.J.” (1904 – 1992)
Interviewer: Herndon, Dr. Jerry A.
Date interviewed: February 20, 1976
Processed by: Benjamin J. Drake
Date processed: February 4, 2013
Description: 2 sound disc (1 hour 34 minutes)
Abstract: Loren Joseph “L.J.” Hortin discusses the political aspects of the decision to build the Kentucky Dam. He explains how prior to the creation of the Lower Tennessee Valley Association (LTVA), which sought to build a dam in Aurora, Kentucky, and how that evolved into the region’s Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The describes the leadership of the LTVA and the actions of significant individuals, particularly Luther Draffen, who encouraged the construction of a dam on the Tennessee River. He also mentioned the opposition to the dam and the debate between a purely navigational dam verses a hydroelectric dam.
Biographical / Historical note: Loren Joseph “L.J.” Hortin was born at Albion, Illinois in 1904. He graduated from McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois in 1927. After graduation, he taught at various high schools in Illinois and worked as a reporter for the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch. In 1928, he was hired as a faculty member at Murray State Normal School as an instructor of journalism. From 1930 to 1947, he was a staff writer for the Associated Press, Louisville Courier-Journal and Paducah Sun-Democrat. He acquired a Master of Arts degree from Murray State College in 1943. In 1947, he became director of the School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Hortin returned to Murray State in 1967 and acted as head of the journalism program until his retirement in 1974. Between 1928 and 1938, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Lower Tennessee Valley Association, which sought to construct a dam on the lower Tennessee River. He also served as the manager of the City Chamber of Commerce at Murray from 1934 to 1938. He was elected into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1981 and received honorary doctorates from McKendree College and Murray State University. He died on November 27, 1992.
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 MurrayStateUniversity.