Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Kentucky Dam Project
Series Number: OH215
Interviewee: O'Dell, Edward
Interviewer: Meyer, Jeff
Date interviewed: November 1, 1995
Processed by: Jessica Davis in October 2013
Date processed: June 12, 2013
Description: 2 sound discs (67 minutes)
Abstract: Edward O'Dell describes working for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He discussed his early years of living in Calvert City and Marshall County, Kentucky during the 1920s and 1930s. He recollected working as a laborer in the strawberry fields, the mill in Calvert City, aboard a steamboat and for the county highway department. He detailed his daily duties as a laborer and warehouse supervisor. He mentions alcohol being consumed on the job, the theft of government property by employees, problems between laborers and iron workers, interactions between labor and management, race relations, industrial accidents and social events at Kentucky Dam Village. He concluded by highlighting the many positive changes that occurred in the region following the completion of the dam.
Biographical / Historical note: Edward O'Dell was born at Calvert City on September 11, 1918. He attended local public schools and graduated from Calvert City High School. He briefly attended Murray State Teachers College for a few years before he was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the summer of 1938 during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He worked at the mill in Calvert City and as a laborer with the county highway department before working on the dam. He worked as a laborer and warehouse supervisor for the TVA until he left for military service in late 1943.
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.