« ForrigeFortsett »
On both Thursday and Friday, April 29 and 30, my house at Draper had been patroled by three men, two on the side and one on the road in front. They walked up and down from about one to three A. M. These watchmen have not done or said anything but their presence alarmed me and kept me up both nights.
At the Harlan Crown Coal Company the men have a particular grievance of long standing. They are charged $1.50 for every box of dirt which is found in each of their cars and a box constitutes a little over a gallon or large shovel full. This system really amounts to a means of reducing wages, it is frequently noticed that when a man accumulates a fairly sizable wage during the payroll period he would be penalized for several boxes of dirt supposedly found in his car. Scrip is discounted at the rate of .25 on the 1.00. Pay checks in an amount, including odd cents, are paid off in round figures. For example, if a miner has due him $6.39 he receives $6.35.
So far I have not been physically evicted from my house. I have received three notices, the last a ten day order of eviction by a city judge read to me by Deputy Sheriff Anderson McCulley on April 30, 1937.
CONLEY FOUSE. Sworn to and subscribed before me this fifth day of May 1937. [SEAL)
Chas. E. ALDEN,
Notary Public, D. C. My commission expires September 1, 1937.
District of Columbia, ss:
I, Frank Bengy, resident of Harlan County at intervals since 1898, and without interruption since 1924, have been a member of the United Mine Workers of America since January 1937. I was formerly employed by the Harlan Crown Coal Company at Draper, Harlan County.
I have had read the affidavit of Conley Fouse subscribed and sworn to this fifth day of May, 1937 and affirm that it contains a true and correct statement of an interview which Mr. Fouse and I had with Mine Superintendent C. M. Wright on April 5, 1937.
Mr. Wright's statements that I had been engaging in union organizing activities is entirely untrue. He made it clear to me that the only reason for discharging me was my alleged activities in behalf of the United Mine Workers of America.
On April 30, 1937 I was served with a 3-day eviction notice and the trial was · set from May 3, 1937. Whether or not my family has yet been evicted, I don't know.
FRANK (his X mark) BENGY. Witnessed: S. J. RHINESTINE,
Subcommittee of Committee on Labor & Education under S. R. 266. Subscribed and sworn to before me this fifth day of May, 1937. (SEAL]
Chas. E. ALDEN, Notary Public. My commission expires Sept. 1, 1937.
District of Columbia, ss:
"I live at the Sunshine Mining Camp in Harlan County, Kentucky. I am a coal miner by occupation
"In the spring of 1936 I was working at the Ridgeway mine of the Harlan Trion Coal Company which is owned by C. M. Wright. During the spring of 1936 part of the roof of my house, which I leased from the Harlan Trion Coal
Company was blown off by the wind. I asked the man who ran the commissa:y to have it fixed. Instead of the roof being fixed, I was given an eviction notice by Allen Bowlin, the deputy sheriff on duty at the camp. I had to move and so lost my job there.
“On or about March 5, 1937, I went to work for the Green Silver Coal Company in which T. R. Middleton, High Sheriff of Harlan County, owns the cortrolling interest. On April 1, 1937 I attended a meeting at Pineville, Kentucky, which was sponsored by the United Mine Workers of America. During this period I talked with other miners about the union and asked them to join.
“On April 5, 1937 I was discharged by Mr. Goforth, the Green Silver Coal Co. superintendent. I asked Mr. Goforth if my work had been unsatisfactory and he replied that I was one of the best coal miners he had working for him. I then asked Mr. Goforth why I was being fired and he replied:
“'You know we're working for the Sheriff and have to carry out his orders. Some of your best friends have snitched on you and Sheriff Middleton left orders to fire you for being connected with the union. We also have orders to fire twenty-two others.'
“After he said that, I asked Mr. Goforth not to blacklist me throughout the county as I have a wife and family to support. He said he would not black list
However, I have tried to get a job at seven or eight other mines in Harlaa
Chas. E. ALDEN,
Notary Public D. C. My commission expires September 1, 1939.
District of Columbia, så:
"I have lived in Harlan County, Kentucky, since 1914. I have been a coal miner ever since I was twelve years old.
"I am not employed at present. My last employment was with the Green Silver Coal Company where I worked for approximately three and a half years. T. R. Middleton, High Sheriff of Harlan County, is president of, or owns a controlling interest in, the Green Silver Coal Company. I was an assistant mine foreman while I worked for the Green Silver Coal Company. I was discharged by the Green Silver Coal Company on April 2, 1937.
“While I was assistant mine foreman for the Green Silver Coal Company, I had orders from Steve Douglas, the superintendent, to fire all men who were reported to have any connection with the United Mine Workers of America. I was told to make up some other reason than union membership for which to fire them. During the last three years I have fired approximately fifteen or twenty men from the Green Silver Coal Company because they were reported to have connections with the United Mine Workers of America. The reasons which I usually gave them for dismissal were that they had been loading dirt and rock with their coal or that their working place in the mine was improperly timbered. These charges were framed up on them and the real reason for their being fired was that they were supposed to have been connected with the union. In each case of this kind, I was given the name or number of the man to be fired, by one of the company officials, with the information that he was connected with the union and then I fired him allegedly for some other reason.
"The last man I remember firing for union activities was Clarence Sanders, whom I fired approximately two months ago. Steve Douglas and Hobert Belcher, a cut-boss and deputy of the Green Silver Coal Company, gave me Sander's number, 88, and instructed me to fire him. I believe I told him he was being fired for loading dirt. Last year I fired Hiram Williams and Hubert Green. Charlie Emory, general mine foreman for the Green Silver Coal Counpany, gave me the names of Williams and Green and told me to fire them because they were union men. I believe I told Williams and Green that they were also being fired for loading dirt.
"During the month of March 1937, I had been talking some among the men about the union. I remember expressing my opinion on several occasions that a union is a good thing if it is run properly. I was not, however, at that time a member of the United Mine Workers of America. On April 2, 1937, a short time after I had been talking about the union, I was discharged by Mr. Goforth, the superintendent who had recently come to work for the Green Silver Coal Company. I asked Mr. Goforth why I was being fired. He repiled that there was nothing wrong with my work but that they could not use me any more. Since I have twice recently, as assistant mine foreman, brought poor mines up to a paying basis and since Mr. Goforth said when he fired me there was nothing wrong with my work, it is my belief that I was fired for talking favorably about the union.
"Three days after I was fired, I received a notice to vacate my house. On the same day I received my house notice, thirty-three others were issued in Camp 2 of the Green Silver Coal Company.
"Since being discharged by the Green Silver Coal Company, I have tried to get a job at about twenty other coal companies in and around Harlan County but have been turned down in every case.' Further affiant saith not.
WILLIAM M. SILVERS. Sworn to and subscribed before me th s fifth day of May, 1937. (SEAL)
Chas. E. ALDEN,
Notary Public D. C. My commission expires September 1, 1937.
EXHIBIT 3392 STATE OF KENTUCKY,
County of Bell: The affiant, Claybourne Taylor, says that he is a citizen and resident of Harlan County, Kentucky, and that he is a coal loader and works for the Harlan Fuel Company; that he is a brother to deputy sheriff, Hugh Taylor.
Affiant says that on the night before Musick's son was killed on the 9th of February, 1937, that Wash Irving, a deputy sheriff, came to him and asked affiant to go and see his brother, Hugh Taylor, and get Hugh to help them, that there is money in it, and if you can get your brother to help us, you won't have to work any more. Affiant says that the said Irving said to him that they were going to kill Musick or run him out of the State, and that if affiant would get his brother to assist, that affiant could have any job that he wanted.
Affiant says that the said Irving informed him that Frank White, another deputy sheriff, had sent him to see affiant, and that Frank White would stand by them, and that if any suspicion came upon them, that they would all die together before they would tell anything, and said that affiant could go to see his brother and make the arrangement with him and that nobody would suspicion him because of his kinship. He says that the said Irving informed him that they had already shot up a house at Wallins; that he and his gang had blown up two of the organizers' cars, and had put some tear gas bombs in the hotel; and that if affiant could get his brother to assist in this next job, that affiant would not have to work any
Affiant says that he promised the said Irving that he would go and see his brother, and see what he would do, and that he did go and see his brother, and his brother informed him that he should keep out of that, that if he was to do & thing like that, that it would all be laid on him and that he would be electricuted. Affiant says that he had this talk with his brother on the morning before the Musick boy was killed that night, and that the said Irving had talked to him the night before he saw his brother.
Affiant says that Irving had said to him that there was a lot of easy money to be had now and that they ought to get it while the getting was good.
Affiant says that he has known Wash Irving for some eight or ten years. That he only knows Frank White when he sees him and is not personally acquainted.
CLAYBORN TAYLOR. Subscribed and sworn to before me by Claybourne Taylor, this the 25th day of February, 1937. (SEAL)
M. G. SLUSHER, Clerk Bell Circuit Court.
May 3, 1937. The affiants, Lewis Bunch and May Eads, depose and say:
That in the evening of the 24th of April they were in a truck, in company with Jim Napier, Louis Harris and Nancy Harris.
That they were leaving Verda, Harlan County, when they heard and saw gun shots being fired almost directly in front of the truck in which they were riding.
That they saw one man fall to the ground, apparently from the effect of these shots. The affiant Lewis Bunch states that he got down from the truck and examined the fallen man and he appeared to have died instantly.
That upon inquiry they learned that the dead man's name was Lloyd Clouse.
The affiant Lewis Bunch states that he recognized the man who did the shooting as Bill Lewis.
That they did not see any shots being fired except those from the gun of the aforementioned Bill Lewis.
The affiant Lewis Bunch states that he did not see a gun on or near the aforementioned Lloyd Clouse.
X MAY (her X mark) EADS. Subscribed and sworn to before me by Lewis Bunch and May Eads this the 3rd day of May, 1937. (SEAL)
ANNIE M. GREGORY,
Notary Public Bell Co., Ky. My commission expires Jan. 8, 1938.
The following Statement is made by R. J. James and L. L. Ellison.
We have been passing out some circulars for the United Mine Workers in Harlan County, we handed some of the circulars out on the 9th day of March and again early on the morning of March IIth, around the bath house and below the bath house and store near the camp of the Crummies Creek Coal Co., whick we understand is owned and opperated by a Mr. Cunningham and a Mr. L. P. Johnson, in Harlan County Ky., We just threw these circulars out of our automobile, we did not stop our car. We were on our way across the State line into Virginia where we work in the mines at Bonny Blue Va. We both live at Wallens. Geo. Cooper was with us in the car. We understood that a Mr Fitzgerald, the night watchman at the Bath House, and Bush Lumpkins another night watekman, and Hobe Gailey, night wathcman for the Crummies Creek Coal Co., was investigating trying to find out who had thrown the circulars out after the first time we placed them in the camp on March 9. As we were going on to our work after throwing the circulars out ealry the morning of the IIth a car began to follow us from the Crummies Creek Coal Co., and it was still dark, about 3 aclock or fifteen after, and as we crossed the mountain and just as we crossed the state line, the car following us had driven up and almost overtaken us and at a wide place on the top of the mountain, they stopped their car, and at least one man or more got out of this car and began to shoot at us, there were about 15 or 20 shots fired at us and one of the balls struck our car about two inches over the rear glass, Mr. James was in the back seat.
Mr. James has been working for the union for some time and Mr. Ellison says that he is afraid to haul him in his automobile in the direction of Crummies Creek Coal Co., in Harlan County. It was Ellisons Car that was shot into, it has Bell County License on it. We saw a man dressed in a suit of clothing that looked like yellow or brown that morning at the bath house door just before the car began following us. (The car that followed us looked like a Pontiac.) The last statement in parentheses is made only by Mr. James who was riding in the back seat.
Some times Mr. James goes to his work through this neighborhood in the car of Mr. Geo Cooper. Since this shooting Mr. James says that George Cooper said he was afraid to take him to work in his car anymore, and as a result Mr. James says that he is having to leave home and board at the mines in Virginia.
There is attached to this statement a picture of the car of Mr. Ellison showing the bullet hole in it that was made at the time they were shot at. This March 14th, 1937.
R. J. JAMES.
LEE L. ELLIS. (Illustration on file with the committee.)
EXHIBIT 3395 STATE OF KENTUCKY,
County of Harlan: The affiant, Mr. Joe Nantz, says that he is thirty nine years of age and has resided in Harlan County for twenty five years and has been acquainted with one Jack Harris for the past eight years.
Said Jack Harris is a guard employed to guard Sheriff Middleton's home. Affiant says it was told to him that the reason Jack Harris is guarding Sheriff Middleton's home is that two machine guns are stored there along with other ammunition.
The affiant further says that on Sunday, March 7, 1937, Jack Harris met him on the road and asked him if he was summoned to appear before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor in Washington, D. C., on March 22, 1937. Affiant stated that he was not subpoenaed and wanted to know why he (Harris) was interested. Jack Harris stated to him that there was a possibility of them making some money out of this if he (Nantz) would care to go. Affiant asked on whose side he would be, to which Jack Harris answered, “On the big side." Affiant asked him to be more explicit in regard to “the big side." Jack Harris then stated that he could arrange for affiant to appear in Washington, D. C. and appear before this Committee as a witness for the Coal Operators, and for doing this he would be paid anywhere from $300 to $1000, by Sheriff Middleton.
Affiant further states that he refused to do this, and says that the reason that Jack Harris is so close with the sheriff and Coal Operators is that he is a second cousin to Theodore Middleton.
Joe NANTZ. Subscribed and sworn to before me by Joe Nantz, this the day of March, 1937. (SEAL)
Notary Public, Harlan Co., Ky. My commission expires Jan. 31, 1938.
INDICTMENTS OF WALTER B. SMITH
THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, BELL Circuit Court, May Term 1934 The Commonwealth of Kentucky vs: Walter B. Smith. Indictment #263: Malfeas
ance in Office The Grand Jury of Bell County, in the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, accuse Walter B. Smith of the crime of malfeasance in office, by illegally collecting money thru color of his office as County Attorney and converting the same to his own use, committed in the manner and for as follows, to-wit:
The said Walter B. Smith, in the said County of Bell and on the 31st day of May, 1934, and before the finding of this indictment he being the duly elected, qualified and acting County Attorney of Bell County, Kentucky, did, feloniously, maliciously, wilfully and wrongfully and knowingly, by using the color of his office as the said County Attorney of Bell County, Kentucky, collect from Mrs. John R. Sevier, in cash money, the subject of larceny, the sum of $23.22, the amount due as taxes upon her property in said County for County and State taxes for the year 1932; when he the said Walter B. Smith, knew at the time, that he was not authorized to collect said money; and that after wrongfully collecting said money he the said Walter B. Smith did, fraudulently convert the same to his own use, with the intention of frauduently depriving the owner of her said property therein, contrary
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