Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Kentucky Dam Project
Series Number: OH229
Interviewee: Williams, Howard
Interviewer: Rousey, Eric
Date interviewed: November 17, 1995
Processed by: Jessica Davis in November 2013.
Date processed: November 26, 2013
Description: 2 sound disc (1 hour 12 minutes)
Abstract: Howard Williams recalls his experiences working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the construction of the Kentucky Dam. The interview contains many detailed stories related to the dam from the late 1930s through the mid 1940s. He describes how the TVA deceived some landowners into purchasing their land, the TVA's hiring process, dangerous working conditions, accidental deaths, salaries, labor unions, working the graveyard shift and various other projects he worked on. He retells a story of a black laborer who found a vein of gold while working on the dam and sealed it in concrete so as to prevent others from discovering the vein.
Biographical / Historical note: Howard Williams was born in Marshall County, Kentucky on October 9, 1909. He was hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a laborer during the construction of the Kentucky Dam in 1938. He was eventually promoted to a carpenter's apprentice and later as a carpenter. Prior to working for the TVA, he worked several months in Detroit at the Dodge motor plant and briefly on the Paducah flood wall. After the dam was completed he became a building contractor. He served as the Building Trades representative in Paducah for five years. He died on March 12, 2000.
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.