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

Title

Kentucky County Judges

Collection Items

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 their lives.

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 Executive, and the taxing demands of holding both judicial positions.

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 comments on the resulting job duties he had while serving.

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 economic inflation.

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 reelection.

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. Other topics include the local problems he faces, senior citizenry, and his working relationships with…

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 retirement, however he did comment on the need for improving the extant Columbia Police Department…

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. The interview also contains a comparative discussion over the new Judicial system, which he prefers…

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 industries, and her plans for the future.

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 responsibilities, the Laurel County Democratic Party, local industries, and recreational fishing.

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 demographics, and his run for judge in 1969.

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 Referendum, and the corresponding citizen complaints that resulted from the new system.

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 details the major problems he faced upon taking office, the happenings of the Whitley County…

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 condition, the five heart attacks he has suffered, and his satisfaction with the Judicial…

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 properly equipped to handle the growing problems that the county faces.

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 trends. The interview also captures Hendrickson's unhappiness with the Judicial Referendum, which took…

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", Governor Louie B. Nunn, and the changes he would make to the County Judge's position if given the…

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 collection trends, his campaign for Judge Executive, revenue sharing and a reasoned dissatisfaction…

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 the various problems he faced as judge, which include, but are not limited to, poor roads,…

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 political person, but his good working relationships with officials made his election possible.

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 preference for Judicial Referendum, the pains of excessive paperwork, and local road repair demands.

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 county decision makers, and the various aspects of his judicial duties.

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 for County Judge. He also comments on the Judicial Referendum, gubernatorial races, and the dire…

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 Estill County before entering politics. He concludes that the community he served was not in…

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 comments by Herman Brockman, a former Jackson County Court Coordinator.

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 topics include election campaigns and his extensive political career which spanned from 1942 to 1977.

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 politics, his corresponding election campaign, and former judges. Flanagan also comments on the fire…

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 as its Magistrate. He comments on the need for long and short term road repair, the pains of…

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 County Fiscal Court, the demands of office, taxes, and his desire to maintain his leadership position.

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, President Jimmy Carter, and election campaigns. Roberts viewed garbage collection, housing, and…

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 that the Judicial Referendum is good for the judge position, but he prefers the old structure. Other…

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 running first for Sherriff and, later, as Judge Executive.

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 Referendum. Fugate concludes that the major problems that Perry County faces is a lack of money for…

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 officials and boards, revenue sharing, and election campaigns. Other topics include the Shelby 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 Judicial Referendum. Other topics include his personal accomplishments, revenue sharing, ambulance…

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 Referendum and the various advances the county has experienced since he enter into service, which…

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 that he preferred the pre-Referendum system over the new structure. Additional topics include water,…

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 housing, and hospital services are some of the major problems that Owen County faces; with waste…

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 also discusses the advantages and disadvantages to the Judicial Referendum, and his run for office,…

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 grants for coal removal, using inmates to help clear land, the Judicial Referendum and Fiscal Court.

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 the Judicial Referendum, which he dislikes, Trimble County population decreases, and the rampant…

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 changes that resulted from the Judicial Referendum, however he also concludes additional judges are…

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 of a Henry County planning and zoning commission, and, waste and roads management issues. Elston…

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 Referendum in the interview. Other topics include the perceived need to cut 3/4 of the welfare from the Wolfe…

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 include his and his father's election campaigns and strategies, Brewer's National Guard Service, and…

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, increased recreation demands, public housing projects, and waste disposal services. Discussions over…

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 1977. Ousley discusses, amongst other topics, the difficulties of long hours under the old system,…
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