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Kentucky County Judges

Description:

This project was done in conjunction with two others: Kentucky School Superintendents and Kentucky Newspaper Editors. The purpose of the three projects was to document Kentucky politics by interviewing politically astute members of the local power structure (judges and school superintendents) and observers of local politics (newspaper editors and owners).

Kentucky county judges discuss the changes resulting from the new judicial system that came about during the 1970s, their personal histories, their careers and judicial activities, their influence in Kentucky county government, and the political and economic history of Kentucky counties

Items in the Kentucky County Judges Project

In this interview, Hiram Parrish explains the duties of a County Judge and County Judge Executive, and he expresses his preference for the Judicial Referendum. He also details his father's career as a trader, and the role horses and mules played in…

In this interview, Harold Barnes details how he became County Judge Executive after Judge Lyle Webb died, as well as his experiences as the Cumberland Democratic County Chair. He also comments on the difference between a County Judge and County Judge…

This interview with Claude Willen, a Methodist Minister, explains why and how he became involved in politics. He discusses his decision to run for County Judge in a special election that was held after the sitting Judge died in office. He also…

Edward Taylor was elected County Judge in 1965, and served from 1966-1970. This interview contains a discussion over the Judicial Referendum, and other prevalent Clinton County problems, such as crime patterns that, in his opinion, resulted from…

In this interview, Donnie McWhorter discusses his decision to enter into politics, and the County problems he attempted to resolve while in office. He also details the benefits of federal grant money, his duties as Judge Executive and his plans for…

In this interview, James Brock explains the pros and cons to the newly adopted Judicial System, and his preference for the Judicial Referendum. He also comments on his accomplishments after one year in office and the recently held 1977 election.…

In this interview, Finis Pyles, a former 1950s County Judge, details his political background, judicial duties, and problems during his time as Judge, such as local alcohol abuse and juvenile crime trends. He had no future plans to come out of…

This interview details Jimmie Greene's 24 year military career and the different jobs he held before entering into politics. He also explains his reasons for becoming politically active, and comments on how he wanted to contribute to McCreary County.…

In this interview, Harold Kirby discusses his first political race for sheriff, how he dealt with troubling juvenile problems, and the general job duties of the County Judge Executive.

In this interview, Mary Pendygraft comments on her family background, her first job, the courts system, and the sources of her interests in becoming a County Judge. She also details her judicial goals, particular Boyle County decision makers, local…

In this interview, John and Ann Gross, discuss their personal backgrounds, John's eight years as a Laurel County Judge, and his two terms on the city council. The Grosses also discuss the Judicial Referendum, the resulting changes in John's job…

Hubert Thacker explains his unhappiness with the Judicial Referendum in this interview. He also comments on problems with roads, grants for public housing, election equity, and federal funding for county employees.

In this interivew, Ira Bell, a 1928 EKU alumni, comments on his 38 year tenure as superintendent in Wayne County and the consolidation of Wayne county high schools. He also discusses his time at EKU, school board elections, changes in the student…

In this interview, Hallice Upchurch discusses his family history, and his decision to run for office. He considers poor roads, inadequate money and quality water access to be the major problems that Wayne County faces. He also discusses the Judicial…

In this interview, Jerry Taylor discusses his family history and education, and his reasons for running for a Judicial position. He comments on the campaign he ran, existing county organizational structures, and numerous local magistrates. He also…

Don Bingham commments on his political background and public service career in this interview. He comments on his good working relationship with the Knox County Fiscal Court and other professional working relationships. He also talks about his heart…

In this interview, Troy Hampton discusses his experiences as a County Coroner and Judge, and his preference for the Judicial Referendum. He also details his judicial accomplishments, local juvenile trends, and his thoughts on how the courts are not…

This interivew details Willie Hendrickson's experiences as a basketball coach, teacher, and politician in Bell County. He also comments on his time at EKU, and, relevant Bell County politics, fiscal shortfalls, road conditions, and federal funding…

In this interview, Hershel Brown details his upbringing in a political family, and his reasons for running for County Judge in 1949, which he, in fact, did not enjoy. Brown also discusses his election campaign, his calls for "clean elections",…

In this interview, Carl Meece comments on his family background, his decision to enter politics, and the tragic killing of his mother by a drunk driver. Meece also comments extensively on his election to sheriff, his corresponding job duties, tax…

In this interview, L. G. Hammons discusses his reasons for getting involved in politics, his first term as Sheriff, and the corresponding election campaigns he ran. Other topics include his opposition to the Judicial Referendum, and a discussion over…

In this interview, Tipton Baker discusses his education and career as an eighth grade educator, and the path he took to becoming a judge. He was not happy with the Judicial Referendum nor his years as a judge. Baker concludes that he was not a…

In this interview, W. Butcher, a Western Kentucky University grad, discusses the major problems he faced as Judge, which include, but are not limited to, poor roads and bridges, and ambulance service development issues. Butcher also comments on his…

In this interview, Ledford Jackson details his reasons for being a judge, the resulting election campaign, and the overall pros and cons of the position. He also comments on his community's dissatisfaction with the Judicial Referendum, important…

In this interview, Ralph McClanahan discusses various topics from his military service to owning a movie theater. He comments extensively on how he got interested in politics, his two terms in the Kentucky State Legislature, and his election campaign…

In this interview, Bobby Rose discusses his family history, military service and his leadership roles in both education and politics. Rose was a teacher at Scott County, a principal in Lee county, and he later became the Director of Pupil Personnell…

In this interview, Hershel Lynch discusses his employment history and public service career. Lynch concludes that poor infrastructure and high unemployment were the primary shortfalls in Jackson County. This interview also contains additional…

In this interview, Homer Powell recollects his life experiences as a Jackson County native, farmer, magistrate, and county judge. Powell concludes that the newly adopted Judicial System is destructive to his predominatly Republican community. Other…

This interview details Terrill Flanagan's education, military service, and role in the Russell County Democratic Party. He was the first Democrat to be elected as Judge Executive since the Judicial Referendum. Topics include his reasons for entering…

In this interview, William Sternberg discusses his employment before becoming judge, the Judicial Referendum, and the benefits of the Blue Grass Area Development Association.

In this interview, Ledford Karr details his family background, Wyoming CCC service in 1930s, his United States Army service, and his political career in Laurel County. Karr was elected Laurel County Judge Executive in 1974 after two terms of service…

In this interview, Douglas Brandenburg comments on his experiences as the Lee County Judge Executive and Judicial Referendum that restructured the Kentucky Judicial System. Other topics include his professional relationships with lawyers, the Lee…

This interview details Dale Roberts' personal background, education, Baptist ministry service and his opinions on the Judge Executive position in Owsley County. Other topics include the newly constructed court house, the county jail, elderly housing,…

In this interview, Sherman Dean discusses his family background, his school board service from 1962-69, farming, the insurance industry, and the election campaign that won him the Judge Executive position in Jessamine County in 1977. Dean concludes…

In this interview, Billy Martin discusses his reasons for running for Judge Executive, the Judicial Referendum, and his personal relationship with Governors Carroll and Ford. Martin concludes that he faced community and news media slander while…

C. Carroll Fugate served as the Perry County Magistrate before he won the Judge Executive election. In this interview Fugate discusses his family background, his United States Marines military service, previous employment endeavours, and the Judicial…

In this interview, "Sammy" Woods, a Shelby County native, discusses his extensive career in public office; first as Sheriff and later as Judge Executive. He also shares his opinions on the Judicial Referendum, which he prefers, various county…

Fred Bond details his personal background and education, and provides an excellent comparison of the duties of a County Judge and Judge Executive in this interview. He concludes that he, and, for the most part, Shelby County residents support the…

In this interview, C. L. Glasscock Jr. details his family background, education, and employment history before moving on to discuss his reasons for entering into public service in Spencer County. He then comments on his preference for the Judicial…

In this interview, Robert Westrick, the Carroll County Judge Executive, discusses his personal background, and his education and employment history prior to becoming Judge Executive. During a discussion over the judicial system changes he reveals…

In this interview, Howard Ellis, an Owen County Judge Executive, discusses his employment history, extensive political background and his views of the Judicial Referendum. He concludes that funding shortfalls and inadequate roads, senior citizen…

In this interview, Ervin S. Pruitt, a Pike County native and EKU graduate, discusses his personal background, employment history, and education prior to becoming a Pike County Judge, an appointment that he received after his father retired. Pruitt…

In this interview, George Hall, an Estep KY native, details his personal background, education, employment history, and reasons for entering into public service in Boyd County. He also discusses his election campaigns, juvenile problems, federal…

In this interview, Clyde Greenwood discusses his duties as both a Judge Executive and editor of a local Trimble County newspaper. He details how he plans to do both jobs and underscores future plans for the newspaper. Judge Greenwood also comments on…

In this interview, Charlie Sutton discusses the various public offices and service positions he has held, which include Georgetown City Council service, Scott County Sheriff and both the County Judge and Judge Executive offices. Sutton prefers the…

In this interview, Ben Elston, a Henry County native, discusses his personal background and employment history, as well as his experiences in various public offices. Other interview topics include discussions over the Judicial Referendum, the absence…

In this interview, C. W. Murphy, a Morgan County native and former Wolfe County Judge, discusses his family history, farming and his land holdings, election campaigns, and local politics. Murphy has few good things to say about the Judicial…

In this interview, Danny Brewer, a Wolfe County native, discusses his education and family history, and his family's political involvement, which began with his father's County Judge seat, and continued once Brewer replaced his father. Other topics…

In this interview, Roy Baber details his family history and education, and his positive attitude the changes that resulted from the Judicial Referendum. Baber comments extensively on his job duties, Bourbon County's under employment problem,…

Richard Ousley, a Greenup County native, details his family history and his political career in this interview. He was the last county judge under the old system and the first elected Judge Executive since the Judicial Referendum, which took effect…

In this interview, James Caudill, a Knott County native, discusses his family history and education, and his Letcher County achievements as County Judge, which included a new health department, courthouse, library, and other important county…

In this interview, Russell Stephens, a Harrison County native, discusses his career as the County Judge and County Judge Executive, a position he was appointed to after the suicide of his predecessor, Judge Carl Nyan. Additional topics include his…

In this interview, Robert Collins, a Letcher County native, discusses his family history, education, and decisions to become a County Judge and County Judge Executive. He also comments on his working relationships with former Governors Earl Clements…

In this interview, Gene Allen, a Morgan County native, discusses his family, education, military service, and public service career, which consisted of terms as both a County Judge and County Judge Executive. Other interview topics cover the Judicial…

In this interview, Sam Swartz, a Bath County native, discusses his family history, the reasons he got involved in politics, the Judicial Referendum, and his career as both a County Judge and County Judge Executive for Menifee County. Swartz also…

In this interview, Gardner Wagers, a Fayette County native who spent most of his life in Clark County, discusses his family history, education, his interests in politics, his election campaign, and the Judicial Referendum, which he considers a…

In this interview, Roy Bailey, a Bath County native, details his family history, World War II military service record, and his experiences as both a County Judge and Judge Executive. He comments on his support for former Governor Julian Carroll, his…

Matt Blackard discusses his family history, education, and his 40 years in politics in this interview. He comments extensively on the state and local judicial systems, the Judicial Referendum, former Governor "Happy Chandler", and revenue sharing,…

Reece Smoot, a Bourbon County native and longtime Nicholas county resident, discusses his family history, military service record, education, and the public offices he has held in Nicholas County, which include Deputy Sheriff, Sheriff, and County…

William Owens, a Fleming County native, discusses his family history, education, military service record, and reasons for entering politics in this interview. He comments extensively on the public offices he has held, which include Deputy Sheriff,…

In this interview, Austin Wenz, a Mason County native, details his family history, education, the reasons he entered into politics and the offices he has held. Interview topics include conversations over the predominantly farming population of Mason…

Calloway Montgomery, a Magoffin County native discusses his family history, education, military service record, and his county political career in this interview. Interview topics include the Judicial Referendum, Fiscal Court, Big Sandy AD District…

Byron Martin, a Grant County native, discusses his family history, education, and political career, which included a terms as Deputy Sheriff, Sheriff, County Judge and County Judge Executive. Interview topics also detail the Judicial Referendum, his…

Sid Williams, a Knott County native, details his family history, military service record, work history and political career in this interview. Interview topics include the Judicial Referendum, his experiences as a natural gas drilling contractor, and…

In this interview, Bruce Ferguson, a Union County resident who was born in Covington KY, discusses his family history, education, and public service, which began in 1963 when he was appointed County Judge and continued after he was elected County…

David Pribble, a Butler County native, discusses his family history, military service record, and public service career in this interview. As the sitting County Judge Executive for Pendleton County, Pribble considered poors road, water, and sewer…

Allen C. Muncy, a Leslie County native, discusses his family history , education, his political interests and career, which began when he set out to stop the rampant violence he saw in his home county. He also discusses the differences in atmosphere…

Foster Calhoun, a Knott County native and Morehead State University alum, discusses his family history, education, and political interests and career in this interview. Calhoun concludes that the roads, sewage, water sanitation and garbage collection…

In this interview, Wayne Blevins, a Johnson County native, details his family history, their public service careers, and the problems he has faced as County Judge Executive. Discussion topics include conversations over his term as judge, Johnson…

In this interview, John Corlis, a Bracken County native, U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War and lumber businessman, discusses his life experiences and political career. Corlis comments extensively on the poor road conditions in Bracken county,…

In this interview Porter Henson, a Robertson County native and WW II veteran, discusses his family history, military service, farming background, and public service career in Robertson County, which began with a county school board position and…

David Blair, a Johnson County native, details his family and employment history, education, and Elliott County political career in this interview. Interview topics include a discussion on his County Judge Executive election campaign and a lawsuit he…

Bill Wells, a Floyd County native, discusses his family history, education, and Floyd County public service career, which began with the school board, was extended with 12 years as magistrate and continued once he was elected to County Judge…

In this interview, Nim Henson, a Breathitt County native, details his family, employment history and public service career. He discusses judicial job duties, the Judicial Referendum, Fiscal Court, the advantages and disadvantages of the coal…

In this interview, James Dressman Jr. details his family history, education, and his public service career, which began with a General Assembly position and continued once he was elected County Judge Executive of Kenton County. He discusses his…

In this interview, Jake Jordan, a Lawrence County native, discusses his work history and political experiences as a County Sheriff, County Judge, and County Judge Executive. Interview topics include discussions over county and state elections and…

In this interview, Harry Hoffman, a Mt. Sterling native, comments on his family history and education, and his employment and political experiences in Montgomery County. Hoffman comments extensively on the Judical Referendum, his first City Judge…

Robert Harrod, a Franklin County native, relates his experiences as a lawyer, County Judge and County Judge Executive in this interview. Interview topics include his family, education, his predecessor and the embezzlement case he faced, the Fiscal…

Lowell Cline, a WV native and long time Carter County resident, discusses his family, education, mortician training, and experiences in Carter County politics and public service in this interview. He comments on his election campaigns, the Judicial…

In this interview, A. G. Pritchett, a Henderson County native, comments on his family, education, and a Henderson County political career that began with 12 years as Magistrate, and continued with 7 years of judicial service. He discusses the changes…

Evelyn Young, a Hickman County native and assistant to Hickman County Judge Executive Stanley Hopkins, discusses her education, political interests and experiences in this interview. She comments extensively on the Judicial Referendum, Judge Hopkins,…

In this interview, Woodrow Wilson, a Metcalfe County native, discusses his public service experiences, which began with a school board appointment and continued once he was elected to County Judge in 1965. Interview topics include the Judicial…

R. C. Hamilton discusses his life experiences and first term in office as the Crittenden County Judge Executive in this interview. Interview topics include his Crittenden County education, his decision to enter public service, the importance of…

In this interview, Bob Hite, a Henderson County native, discusses his family history and public service career in Union County, which includes 4 years as Mayor of Morganfield, 4 years on the City Council and his election to County Judge Executive.…

William Williams, a Lyon County native, discusses his Lyon County public service career in this interview. Interview topics include the Judicial Referendum and Willams' job duties as Judge Executive, revenue sharing, major county problems, such as,…

Jack Sims, a Louisville native, discusses his personal background, education, and public service career in this interview. Interview topics include the Judicial Referendum and Sims' duties as Hart County Judge Executive, county government functions…

Cecil Mallory, a Todd County native, discusses his education public service career in this interview. He comments county politics, the pros and cons to his job, the Judicial Referendum, a controversial library issue, county redistricting, and the…

Zellner Cossey, a Trigg County native, discusses his family history and 18 years in public service in this interview. He comments extensively on his experiences as a Trigg County Judge, then Sheriff and County Judge Executive. Special attention is…

In this interview, Bill Fraser discusses his personal background and experiences as both the Carlisle County Sheriff and Judge Executive. He comments on county politics, the farming and school systems in the county, and revenue sharing.

Raymond Schutlz, a Green County native, explains his reason for getting into politics, and his job duties as County Judge Executive in this interview. Other interview topics include the Judicial Referendum, local industry, major county concerns, such…

In this interview, Martin County native Victoria Kirk comments on her husband Willie's 30 years in the coal industry, his experiences as both a Martin County Judge and Judge Executive, and her role as County Treasurer. Interview topics include the…

Wayne T. Rutherford discusses his family background, previous work in the State Department of Corrections and his tenure as the Pike County Judge Executive in this interview. Interview topics cover a wide range of relevant county services, such as…

Jesse Link, a Mississippi born and Kentucky raised retired veteran details his education and the Simpson County offices held in this interview. Judge Link comments on the Judicial Referendum, a "library issue", a successful tax vote, and changes in…

Robert Brown, a Logan County native, details his personal background, education, and Logan County public service career in this interview. He comments extensively on his interest in politics, offices he held, which include magistrate and County Judge…

Basil Griffith, a Henderson County native, details his education, military service and Warren County public service experiences in this interview. He comments extensively on the Judicial Referendum changes, various county services and functions,…

William Edmunds discusses his interests in politics, and his Christian County public service career in this interview. Interview topics include the Judicial Referendum, revenue sharing and CETA, and relevant county industry and services, including a…

Wilbur Lee, a McClean County native, describes his early life, previous farming experieneces, and public service career inthis interview. Interview topics include discussions over his election campaigns and corresponding accomplishments, the…

Kenneth Hager, a Meade County native, details his reasons for entering into public service and his corresponding experiences in this interview. Interview topics include conversations over his job duties as Judge Executive, important county employers,…

In this interview, C. B. Clark Jr., a Webster County native, discusses his public service career, which included terms as a County Magistrate, Deputy Sheriff and County Judge Executive. Interview topics cover a wide range of subjects, including the…

In this interview, Mitchell McConnell, an Alabama native and future Senate Majority Leader, details his education, a Department of Justice appointment under President Gerald Ford, and his interests in politics. He comments extensively on the Judicial…

R. R. Thomas, a Hardin County native, discusses his military service record, education, and public service career, which began with a 8 year stint as County Clerk and culminated in a successful County Judge election in 1970. He comments on his…

In this interview, James Guffey, a Ballard County native, discusses his education, reasons for "getting into" politics, and his corresponding public service experiences as Deputy Sheriff, County Judge and County Judge Executive. Interview topics…

In this interview, James Menees, a Fulton County native, shares his public service experiences, as a Fulton County Sheriff, County Judge, and Judge Executive. He comments extensively on his election campaigns in 1966 and 1970, other county and school…

Billy Shuffet, a Green County native, comments on his life experiences and short political career in this interview. Interview topics include the Judicial Referendum, county budgeting, the pros and cons of the County Judge Executive job duties,…

In this interview, Joseph Pearman, a Larue County native, discusses his family history, education, and employment prior to becoming County Judge Executive. He also comments on the Judicial Referendum, the county's current and future needs, local…

In this interview, James Fallin, a Louisville native, discusses his decision to enter into politics and his corresponding Hancock County public service career, which included a Democratic Chairman nomination, and terms as both a County Judge and…

Theron Kessinger, a Ohio County native, details his personal background and the four terms he served in the KY House of Representatives in this interview. He also comments on the Jucicial Referndum, and, Ohio County's roads problem, recent population…

Charles Roberts, a Nelson County native, discusses his public service career and family history in this interview. Interview topics include his decision to enter into politics, the positions he has held, the county's problematic roads and bridges,…

In this interview, Bob Minix, an Allen County native, comments on his experiences in public service, which includes terms as the County Sheriff and Judge Executive. Interview topics include his election campaigns, the Judicial Referendum, the boards…

In this interview, Nancy Botts discusses Barren County and the life and public service career of her boss, County Judge Executive Dale Burchett. She comments on Burchett's background and the issues the county faces, such as problems with the…

In this interview, Carlos Embry, a Louisville native, discusses his personal background, his former duties as the Ohio County Judge, and the three newspapers in the county.

In this interview, Earl Glenn, a Grayson County native, discusses his 24 year banking career and his time as the County Judge Executive. He comments extensively on the Fiscal Court, the Judicial Referendum, Grayson County's social and political…

Paul Madden, the Hancock County Attorney, discusses the Judicial Referendum, former County Judge Charles Miller, and Hancock County tax rates, problems, and geography in this interview.

In this interview, Chalres Miller, a retired Breckenridge County Judge, discusses the Judicial Referendum and his public service career, which included terms as the County Sheriff and County Court Clerk.

Hollie Warford Sr., an Anderson County native, discusses his personal background and 16 year tenure as the County Judge and Judge Executive in this interview. Interview topics include discussions over the Judicial Referendum, local distilleries and…

In this interview, Donald Doyel discusses his interests in politics and his experiences as a Democrat in a predominantly Republican county. There is no retirement system for County Judge Executive position so he was unsure of his plans to run again.…

In this interview, J. D. Jones, a Caldwell County native, discusses his single term as County Judge and his three nonconsecutive terms as County Sheriff. He also comments on his grandfather and father's service as sheriff, the Judcicial Referndum,…

J. Bourbon Elliott, a Washington County native, shares his experiences as a County Judge Executive in this interview. Interview topics include discussions over his education and family, his election campaigns, the Judicial Referendum, Fiscal Court,…

Floyd Hooks, a Lyon County native, discusses his terms as County Judge and Judge Executive in this interview. Interview topics include discussions over his former teachers, how he dealt with juveniles, the powers of the Fiscal Court, and his typical…

In this interview, William Froehlich discusses his family and employment history prior to becoming Judge Executive of Daviess County. He comments on his initial public service position as County Commissioner, his professional relationships with state…

Arson Moore, a Bullitt County native, details his experiences as County Judge Executive in this interview. He was initially appointed to a position on the Fiscal Court after his father passed away while in office. Interview topics include discussions…

Hanson Slaton, a Hopkins County native, discusses his public service career as a Deputy Sheriff, Sheriff and County Judge in this interview. He comments extensively on the Judge Executive and County Judge duties, unemployment rates and local…

Dick Castleman, a Graves County native, comments on his life experiences as the Graves County Sheriff, Judge, and Judge Executive in this interview. He comments on the various job duties of the positions, the Judicial Referendum, low income housing,…

Samuel Phillips, a Taylor County native, details his life experiences and Taylor County public service career in this interview. He comments extensively on the Judicial Referendum, his election campaigns, the Fiscal Court, and the major problems that…

Randall Donahue, a Nelson County native, comments on his political career in both state and local politics in this interview. Donahue served as a city councilman, Mayor, and state senator prior to becoming the Marion County Judge Executive. In the…

In this interview, Wendell Moore, an Oldham County native, discusses his education and Oldham County public service career as both a county magistrate and Judge Executive. Interview topics include discussions over the Judicial Referendum, Oldham…

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