Skip to Main Content

OH213 Robert Morrow Oral History

Robert Morrow Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Kentucky Dam Project

Series Number: OH213

Interviewee: Morrow, Robert

Interviewer: Meyer, Jeff

Date interviewed: May 12, 1995 and November 27, 1995

Processed by: Jessica Davis in October of 2013

Date processed: April 19, 2013

Description: 1 sound disc (51 minutes)

Abstract: Robert Morrow describes working as an office secretary, plumbers apprentice and pipe fitter during the construction of the Kentucky Dam from 1938 to 1941. He recalled being part of the plumbers union and being paid one dollar an hour. He mentioned union activities, race relations during construction of the dam, segregated villages, safety procedures, accidents, deaths and fights among employees. Just prior to the Second World War he worked at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, where the Black Horse Squadron had been stationed, as a plumber in preparation for the war. He was drafted into the United States Army in July of 1941 but remained stateside during the entire war. He also reflects upon living in Lone Oak during the 1920s, working for the Federal Housing Project at Paducah, painting the Illinois Central Railroad Bridge across the Ohio River and the impact of the dam on the surrounding communities Alben Barkley had worked for his grandfather as a farm laborer.

Biographical / Historical note: Robert Morrow was born at McCracken County, Kentucky in 1916 and resided at his grandparents' dairy farm in Lone Oak. He attended local public schools, graduated from Paducah Tilghman High School in 1933. He began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority on the Kentucky Dam in the latter part of 1939 for several months and again in the early 1940s. He was drafted into the United States Army on July 8, 1941. After the war he worked as a plumber in Paducah until his retirement.

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:

Morrow, Robert, 1916-2002.

Kentucky Dam (Ky.)

Tennessee Valley Authority.

Dams – Kentucky.

Land Between the Lakes (Ky. And Tenn.) – History.

Camp Livingston (La.)

Lone Oak (Ky.) – History.

McCracken County (Ky).