Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Kentucky Dam Project
Series Number: OH222
Interviewee: Thurmond, James
Interviewer: Rousey, Eric
Date interviewed: October 3, 1995
Processed by: Dieter C. Ullrich on November 21, 2013.
Date processed: November 21, 2013
Description: 1 sound disc (76 minutes)
Abstract: James Wilber Thurmond discusses his experiences while working as a typist for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. He described the Great Depression, living conditions and employment opportunities in the region prior to the construction of the dam. He recalled his daily activities as the typist for the project historian. He mentioned his family history, childhood and early adulthood experiences, the Great Depression, industries in Murray before the construction of the dam, departure of area men to seek work in Detroit and Akron, colleagues and supervisors he worked with, six day work weeks, labor shortages, women replacing men leaving for the war, service in the United States Navy during the Second World War and the positive effects of the dam on the region.
Biographical / Historical note: James Wilber Thurmond was born on September 5, 1918 in Calloway County, Kentucky. At age fourteen his family relocated to Murray where his father established a feed mill and coal distribution business. He was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority in November of 1941 as the senior typist for the project historian. He was drafted into the United States Navy in April of 1944 and served the final year of the Second World War as a typist at battalion headquarters. After the war, he was employed by the Bank of Murray as a bookkeeper and later as a branch manager. He worked for the bank for thirty seven years before retiring in 1983. He died at Murray on June 6, 2007.
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.