Wilson, Cecil Harvey Cassette Tape Content Outline
Cassette Tape # 90/2
Knox Historical Museum Oral History Project KHM Historical Lecture # 1
CECIL HARVEY WILSON (Born September 26, 1917)
February 12, 1990 Content Outline
Cassette tape on file at the Knox Historical Museum
Notes by Charles Reed Mitchell
Highlights of a speech by Cecil Harvey Wilson, publisher of the BARBOURVILLE MOUNTAIN ADVOCATE, at a meeting of the Knox Historical Museum, February 12, 1990, at 7:00 p.m. before an audience of fifteen.
Mr. Wilson is the first speaker in the museum's new series of lectures by prominent community leaders. Mr. Wilson received the first Honorary Trusteeship Certificate issued by the KHM.
Mr. Wilson is introduced by David Cole and later answers questions and comments by Sherman Oxendine, K.S. Sol Warren, Bob Wilson, Phillip Fox, Sr., Susan Arthur, and Carlos Morris.
The lecture was taped by Charles Reed Mitchell on one 60 minute tape, two sides. Total playing time: approx. 50 min. Open.
Time of side 1: 30 minutes.
2:00 minutes in. David Cole introduces Cecil Wilson, noting dates of Wilson's acquisition of the Advocate.
4:00. Speech begins. Sixteen hours a day of work for some forty years.
6:00. The idea of the Knox Historical Museum was begun by Dr. Karl Bleyl in 1948 during the organization of the first Daniel Boone Festival. ADVOCATE promoted the festival, the original of which Cecil Wilson featured only frontier days elements.
10:00. ADVOCATE began in 1904 and ranks among the five best independent papers in the state of Kentucky.
CHW came to Union College in 1935 and started work at the ADVOCATE with the recommendation of UC President John Gross. Ben Gregory taught CHW how to set type. The owner, H. R. Chandler, is characterized as "the kindest, most patient, worst businessman, worst printer—gave away everything he had." Chandler came to Barbourville from western Kentucky in 1929 because a T.B. condition and worked as editor from 1929 until 1942. He died in Barbourville at age 93.
16:00. Earl Disney and CHW purchased the business from Chandler but CHW later bought Disney's interests. Flem D. Sampson owned the building housing the Advocate after the Mitchell Building fire of 1937 (error: Jan. 1938) and owned the remaining shares of the Advocate's stock.
20:00. The ADVOCATE has proudly promoted many civic improvements, the most important being 1) flood control and the floodwall, 2) the hospital, and 3) new water line project.
22:00 Three political figures have contributed more to local .improvements than any other: Paul Buchanan, Charles Buchanan, and Ed MacDonald (along with Jesse D. Lay's outstanding work in education). The ADVOCATE has helped these men do what was best for the town.
24:00. Early bartering for subscriptions. For the $1.50 CHW has accepted eggs, chickens, meat, vegetables, etc.
26:00. CHW on his current editor, Richard Trimble: Fair and honest, the best editor the paper has ever had.
28:00 Beginning of question and answer period. S. Oxendine asks for comments on past editors. CHW speaks on Dick Wilson, Dobber, John Harris (later of the National Enquirer), Glennis Burton, and Kenneth McDonald. S. Warren asks about the present state of the microfilming of ADVOCATE'S back issues.
30:00 End of Side One.
2:00 minutes in. Discussion of the back issues missing: 1907, 1909, and 1918. Loan to Kenneth H. Tuggle of one volume was never returned.
5:00. The local newspaper is a community's only premanent record of day to day events. Oxendine discusses a description of Caleb Powers' return to Barbourville after the trials re the Gobbel affair. He managed to quote part of the Advocate's report but the original is now lost.
7:00. Governor Flem D. Sampson sold his stock to CHW with the understanding that no Democrat would ever own the paper. Sampson hated the Democrats partly because of the Caleb Powers incident.
On Republican papers in the area,
9:00. Discussion of locations of the ADVOCATE. The Mitchell Building fire did not cause the missing of a single issue of the paper. Description of the building of the present brick structure.
12:00. Printing machines and the old days of single sheets and hot type.
14:00. CHV says that he would not change a thing in his 72 years of life, although he was tempted to work on a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin.
16:00. CHW on handling public complaints, an amusing incident with C. Hobart Mills.
19:00. CHW on the decision about what letters to the editor may not be published, principally those involving libel.
22:00. CHW states that he would not knowingly print anything that would do more harm than good for the community. Yet he rarely censors his staff.
Praise for the controversial sports writer, Dennis Chestnut. 26:00. End of Questions and Answers period. David Cole presents CHW the first Honorary Trustee Certificate issued by the museum. A few more words on the missing issues.
29:00. End of the tape.
INDEX CARDS Interview index card
Wilson, Cecil Harvey. (Born: September 26, 1917)
Publisher of The Barbourville Mountain Advocate
KHM Oral History Cassette Tape # 90/2
Speech No. 1 in the KHM Prominent Community Leaders Series February 12, 1990. City Counsil Chambers.
1 Cassette, app. 46 minutes. Open. Content Outline on file. Open. Release signed.
Contents: History of the ADVOCATE and its editors and printers.
Karl Bleyl created the idea for KHM as well as the Boone Festival. Flem D. Sampson as businessman and stock owner of Advocate. Civic improvements and major public leaders. Local papers and local history. Missing issues of the Advocate files. Caleb Powers. Editorial decision making.
Daniel Boone Festival
Republican Party Politics
Sampson, Gov.Flem D.