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2006-11-16 Interview with J. Edward Maddox, November 16, 2006 CC001:2007OH033CC08 01:31:41 History of Kentucky's Community Colleges Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Ashland Community and Technical College J. Edward Maddox; interviewee John Klee; interviewer 2007OH033_CC08_Maddox 1:|18(11)|36(7)|53(8)|76(7)|86(2)|106(10)|133(9)|152(7)|164(8)|181(10)|203(1)|213(10)|220(2)|236(5)|250(9)|267(5)|276(3)|303(2)|327(6)|336(9)|360(4)|373(12)|391(3)|410(12)|422(10)|432(8)|438(7)|454(5)|465(2)|478(13)|491(8)|504(3)|515(4)|533(3)|550(1)|557(13)|569(4)|580(8)|588(4)|606(15)|620(12)|635(2)|645(11)|658(6)|669(10)|692(3)|712(10)|736(4)|747(8)|757(10)|778(2)|799(2)|806(1)|819(12)|829(10)|856(12)|878(2)|887(11)|898(12)|908(7)|925(10)|947(5)|972(9)|988(1)|997(10)|1017(6)|1028(8)|1041(8)|1053(4)|1077(4)|1098(5)|1103(1)|1116(12)|1129(3)|1147(13)|1154(3)|1165(10)|1183(12)|1191(6)|1204(9)|1225(8)|1244(12)|1254(12)|1264(4)|1281(13)|1294(10)|1311(9)|1334(3)|1351(4)|1373(2)|1380(4) audiotrans CommuColl interview KLEE: The following is an oral history interview by John Klee with Mr. Ed Maddox. This interview is being conducted for the Community College System program -- project of the University of Kentucky. The -- today is November the 16th, 2006, and I'm in Mr. Maddox's home in Ashland, Kentucky, and I appreciate you talking to me. Mr. Maddox, I want to discuss your personal background. Tell me about your family and your early history. MADDOX: Well, I have -- I was born in Carter County, Kentucky. (Maddox laughing) KLEE: Yes, sir. MADDOX: February the 3rd, 1920. KLEE: And your parents? MADDOX: My parents were born in Carter and Elliott counties. And shortly after I was born, while I was still an infant, we moved to Butler County, Ohio. And we lived over there about four years. Came back to Ashland here in 1925. KLEE: So you were just a young boy? MADDOX: I was just five years old, and I -- my father went to work then at the Armco Steel -- KLEE: Oh, did he? MADDOX: It was known as the -- well, it became known as Armco Steel Corporation. And he had been a farmer all of his life up until that time, and because of some health problems, he sold the farm and materials in Ohio and moved to Kentucky. And I have lived in Ashland ever since. KLEE: I see. So you were educated then here. MADDOX: I started -- KLEE: Tell me about your schooling. MADDOX: I started to school at the old normal -- elementary school on 45th Street, here in Ashland, in 1926. KLEE: Okay. MADDOX: And I moved in 1928 when the new Charles Russell School was built right close to my home here, two blocks from here, in 1928. I went there in my third grade, in the first -- this was the first year that the school was in operation. So I went through grade school there and to Coles Junior High School, then, and to Ashland Senior High School. And I graduated there in 1938. And later went to the University of Kentucky, enrolled in the College of Engineering there in 1938. KLEE: Now, while you were here at Ashland going to school, what was the status of -- was Ashland Junior College in operation when you were getting out of school? MADDOX: All right, if I can tell you my recollection of it. KLEE: Sure. MADDOX: The Ashland Junior College was one of two that was authorized by the Kentucky State Legislature in 1937. And they authorized municipal junior colleges in these two cities, Ashland and Paducah, and that we could raise a tax, which turned out to be seven cents, the seven-cent tax to support the college. KLEE: Now, that seven-cents tax, was that on real estate or what was it on? MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: On real estate. MADDOX: On real estate. And the College was started, then, in 1938, and it came about because of something in my church. (Maddox laughing) KLEE: Oh, really? Tell me about that. MADDOX: The church -- the College was originally -- it originally occupied the ME South Church in Ashland. And that came about because ME South Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church in Ashland both were having financial problems during the '30s there. They had built large buildings, and it was hard to pay the bill, I guess. And so they decided to sell the property of the ME South Church to the city for a college. KLEE: I see. MADDOX: And they then joined with the Methodist Church at 18th Street and Carter Avenue, where we are -- where I was -- I was a member of both of those. Well, I attended ME South Church -- KLEE: Did you? MADDOX: -- and then attended the church at 18th and Carter briefly in 1941. KLEE: Were there any individuals in the community that come to mind, either in the churches or in the town, that were instrumental in making Ashland one of those places that supported a junior college? MADDOX: Well, my memory doesn't serve me very well -- KLEE: Okay. Well if something comes to mind, tell me. MADDOX: -- quite honestly. KLEE: Uh-huh. But I didn't know if there was any, like, politician or a mayor or a pastor or somebody that was in the background of that legislation. You didn't -- don't know anything about that, how it came about? MADDOX: No, I really don't. KLEE: Okay, I'll check that. MADDOX: I'll tell you, there is a history of the College in the library over at the College. I haven't read it for so many years. It was -- it's been 30 or 40 years since I read it, I guess. But it's over there. KLEE: I'll check that. MADDOX: And it'll have names and so forth in it that I can't recall anymore. KLEE: Well, I want to get some of your -- you know, for example, this -- the fact that you were in these churches. And that church became the College's facility for some time? MADDOX: That church became -- it was built as a church school building. And they had plans to build a sanctuary beside it, but they never got around to that. But it was built as a church school building, and so it was a fairly nice building for the College to start with. So the College occupied that building until 1968. KLEE: I see. When they moved up to their present facility. MADDOX: When they moved up to the new building. KLEE: Let's go back to you in the 1940s at the University of Kentucky. You built up an allegiance to the University there as a student? (Klee laughing) MADDOX: Yes. My family is very much involved with the University of Kentucky. (Maddox laughing) KLEE: I see. MADDOX: My daughter graduated there. My son-in-law graduated there. My grandson graduated there and his wife, both graduated there. And my granddaughter -- no, my -- I'm wrong. My grandson graduated from Centre, but his wife graduated from there. And my granddaughter graduated there, and my grandson-in-law graduated there. We just about all went to the University of Kentucky. KLEE: When you were graduating from Ashland High School and thinking about college, how did UK come to be your decision? MADDOX: Well, in 1938, '37 and '38, we were right at the bottom of the Depression. You couldn't sell pencils on the street corner, things were so bad at that time. And so when I got out of high school, my family was really not able to send me to college. KLEE: Yes, sir. MADDOX: But the tuition at that time was only $40 a semester. (Klee and Maddox laughing) So during that summer, my father got $40 ahead, and we just decided to go to Lexington and see if I could get in college. KLEE: Yes, sir. MADDOX: So I went down there and said I wanted to enroll in the College of Engineering. And Dean Anderson was the dean of the college at that time. And I guess, through his efforts, after he interviewed me, I got a job at the college -- KLEE: I see. MADDOX: -- for -- making 30 cents an hour. And I worked 40 hours a week, which gave me a whole $12 a week to live on. (Klee and Maddox laughing) KLEE: Gee. MADDOX: But that paid my college expenses, frankly, in those days. KLEE: Gee. MADDOX: And it was a little tough working 40 hours a week and trying to carry a full load in the college, and I, frankly, didn't do as nearly as well as I would have liked to have done. But I worked in several places around the college there during the ensuing three years I was there, or two and a half years, I guess. In early 1941, because I wasn't doing as well as I would liked to have done in the college, I decided I'd come out and work and get enough money so I wouldn't have to work when I went to school. KLEE: Right. MADDOX: So I came back to Ashland and got a job at Armco Steel Corporation. That was in February of 1941. KLEE: Now, Ashland at that time -- of course, you'd been raised here and seen it -- you know, seen what changes were there. What were the anchor industries and companies for Ashland? MADDOX: All right. At that time -- well, it was known -- Armco was known as the American Rolling Mill Company in those days, and later became Armco, the acronym Armco. And it was a primary -- one of the primary industries. It came here in 1921, and it was probably employing, maybe, 3,000 people at that time. And a second major business here at that time was the Ashland Oil and Refining Company, which had two refineries here. And those two were primary, large employers. But at -- in those days, we had lots of manufacturing going on around here. I mean, we had several brick plants. And so it was an industrial community, and during the '20s and the '30s had -- the town grew very, very fast. There was just about, maybe, 9,000 or 10,000 people here in the 1920s. And when Armco came here and started their plant, they immediately employed this -- about these 3,000 people or so and began building. They built two subdivisions here to house their employees. And then Ashland Oil in 1926 started up in this area, and they employed a lot of people and were very active also in the community. Armco and Ashland Oil were primary employers in the community, and they were very active in the community -- both companies were -- with their employees. KLEE: It was fortunate that they located when they did, before the Depression hit. MADDOX: Right. KLEE: They were already established here. MADDOX: Well, during the Depression, both of them suffered tremendously. Armco did. They got down to -- at one point till they were just employing about 25 percent of the people, and 75 percent of them were laid off. KLEE: Gee. MADDOX: And -- but Armco was a company who -- some of their engineers invented the continuous rolling process. And it was the Ashland plant here that first began continuous rolling of sheets, wide sheets. KLEE: That was quite an advance. MADDOX: It was quite an advance. And among the things that they did, they were able to roll wide sheets. And they -- that became the first hoods on automobiles. When those became available, they could make one-piece hoods for automobiles, if they needed to. And -- though most of the hoods in those days were two-piece, but they began making one-piece hoods and changed the whole design of automobiles. And -- KLEE: It's quite remarkable. Now, you were -- you came back in '41, so you were right -- you saw these things happening and changing. I guess in '41 there was a need for employees, because of the war. MADDOX: Right. Things were picking up, starting about 1940 and -- because of the war on the other side, though. We weren't in it then. And so I came back and got a job in February and worked in the industrial engineering department. KLEE: Now, what did you do there? What kinds of -- MADDOX: I was a time-study man, so-called, or checker. I was in the time-study engineering department. KLEE: Were you trying -- was your job to try to help improve efficiency? MADDOX: Yes, that's what the engineering -- time-study engineering did. And what we did, we checked employees and devised bonus systems where we could measure the work of individual employees. And as -- then we -- then there was a bonus system that went with it, once we measured them, every week. KLEE: Was this work you enjoyed? MADDOX: Yes, I enjoyed it very much. And of course, I was back home and that was good, after I had been in -- I had never been back home for any length of time from the time I went to college, because I worked summer and winter and all the time, and went to school in the summertime also, because I couldn't carry a full load during the regular season. KLEE: Well, it probably wasn't easy to get from Ashland from Lexington in the 1930s, was it? MADDOX: Well, no, it wasn't. It was Route 60, and it would take you -- today you can drive it in two hours. It was, like, three and a half hours to get down there in the 30s, I guess. KLEE: Now, there weren't rail lines that ran between Central Kentucky and here, was there? Railroad? The railroad didn't run between -- MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: It did? MADDOX: Yes, the C & O Railroad ran between Louisville to Lexington to Ashland. KLEE: Okay. Did you ever go by that route? MADDOX: Well, very little. When I traveled back and forth, I rode my thumb. KLEE: (Laughing) Oh, did you? MADDOX: I didn't have the money to ride the bus and this -- other place, and I rarely ever got to come home for more than about two days at a time, maybe. KLEE: Right. Now, you -- when you came back, were you living with your parents at that time? MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: Was your father still employed at Armco, too? MADDOX: Yes. And he remained employed there until he retired at the age of 65 in 1961. So I worked there, and I intended -- my plan was to go back to school in September of '41. KLEE: Yes, sir. MADDOX: And as it turned out, by that time, I hadn't accumulated enough money, I didn't think, to last me through another school year. So the draft was in effect in those days, you know. And so I checked -- while I was in engineering school, I had a deferment. And after I came out and was working, I didn't have a deferment. So I went to the draft board and asked them what my chances were if I laid out another semester, would I still be safe. And they allowed as how I would, after consideration, and said they thought I could stay -- I wouldn't be called before February. And about one month after everything was past and it was too late to enroll in the fall term, they called me from the draft board and said they were sorry to tell me, but they had misled me unknowingly, that the draft had been doubled, starting in November, and that I would likely be called before February. So I decided I didn't want to just be drafted, and I could make a choice if I would enlist, so I chose to enlist in the -- what was then the Army Air Corps in November, on November the 27th, 1941. KLEE: Now, was that when you signed up? MADDOX: Yeah, that's when I went in. KLEE: Were you -- I mean, you were actually in the Service at that point? MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: So -- MADDOX: So they just started the war for my benefit ten days later. (Maddox laughing) KLEE: I see. That's what I was thinking. And where were you at when you heard that news? MADDOX: I was at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, living in a tent. (Maddox laughing) KLEE: What was the reaction of you and your fellow soldiers? MADDOX: Well, I guess we just -- what is to be will be. And I can't recall that anybody had any unusual reactions about it. KLEE: You knew you were there to stay at that point. MADDOX: We knew we were there -- we were told then that we were there to stay. We had all -- when you went in the Service in those days, you went in, and after 30 days, you were eligible to come home for a trip -- for a little leave. Well, I can remember, maybe it was, like, December the 8th, after the 7th had happened there, they brought us all together and the sergeant took all of our leave papers, and he tore them. He said, "Boys, no leaves. You're here to stay now." (Maddox laughing) KLEE: (Laughing) Gosh. MADDOX: And so we didn't get leaves. KLEE: What happened to you, then, during your military service? MADDOX: Well, I had applied -- I had tried -- applied to be an Air -- in the Air Corps as a pilot. KLEE: Yes, sir. MADDOX: And so when I did my pilot's examination, because I had to wear glasses, they kicked me down a step, so to speak, and said I could go through the Air Corps training programs, but I could be an air communications officer instead of a flight -- being part of a flight crew. KLEE: At one time, in some of these communities, people volunteered together, went in the Service together. Was that your case? MADDOX: No, I don't think so. KLEE: You were on your own. MADDOX: As I remember, I was just on my own. KLEE: So you trained to be this air communications officer. MADDOX: Yeah. They sent me from Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, to Scott Field, Illinois, at Belleville, Illinois. And I still -- I guess I got a little bit ahead of myself there. I still -- no, that's all right. KLEE: Let me move that out of the way. There we go. You were talking about going to Belleville, Illinois. MADDOX: Yes. And I had applied to go to school, of course. KLEE: Yes, sir. MADDOX: And I can't recall exactly whether I had been examined for the air cadet program at that point or not. I may have gotten a little ahead of myself. Anyway, I had -- they had sent me to Belleville, and I trained as a radar operator and mechanic, and went through school there. And in the course of that, when I got through that school, they sent me to Boca Raton, Florida, as a radar operator and mechanic. And I was still trying hard to get into the air cadet program as a -- so I could become either a pilot or a navigator or whatever. And so, as I said, when they got ready to treat with me about that, they found out that I had to wear glasses. And so in those days, they wouldn't -- today you could go ahead, but in those days, they wouldn't let you become a flight officer if you wore glasses. So while I was at Boca Raton, Florida, I became eligible to enter the cadet program. And the cadet program was back at Belleville. So they sent me back to Belleville and put me in the air cadet program. And the air cadet program originally was about a two-year program, but since the war had broken out, they had modified it till it was a three-month program. (Klee and Maddox laughing) I mean, you went 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And so I went back to Belleville and -- at Scott Field and went through the air cadet program there. And I was commissioned then in October of '42 and sent to -- my first appointment then, after commissioning, they sent me to Boston, Massachusetts, to enter the Air Corps electronic training program -- I've forgotten just the precise name of it -- that was being operated by Harvard and MIT up there. KLEE: My goodness. MADDOX: So I went up there and went through that for six months, and lo and behold, from there, they sent me back to Boca Raton. (Klee and Maddox laughing) By that time, they had created an air base in Boca Raton. The first time I was down there, we were in the Boca Raton Club. I mean, we were living a life of luxury. KLEE: Gee. MADDOX: But the second time, we were living out in the weeds in an air base they had scooped out of the earth out there about a mile outside Boca Raton. So I went -- I stayed in the radar and electronics program of the Air Force all the time I was in there, then, until I was -- I was one of the fortunate people, I was in the States the whole time I was in World War II. They had me -- I had 21 different stations -- different station appointments during that time until February the 14th, 1946, when I got out. KLEE: That's something. MADDOX: And during that time, I was training -- most of the time I was training radar operators and mechanics and navigators and bombardiers. As we became more proficient in the use of radar during World War II, they began to use it to navigate and to bomb, for blind bombing. And so in the latter part of my career there, I was in a group called the Radar Intelligence Officers Training School. And they would fly 25 or 30 navigators and bombardiers back from -- then they were flying them back from Europe, from England where we were -- had all of our airbases then. And they would fly them back for 30 or 40 days, and we would put them through navigation and bombing school there to use the radar. KLEE: Now, radar was a very secretive kind of thing. MADDOX: It really was. KLEE: When did -- when were you introduced to it? I mean approximately? And what were you told? That this is -- you're not supposed to open your mouth or what? MADDOX: Well, that's right. The first -- in order to get into it, I had to have a security clearance. And so they had a security clearance, and there were some people back here in Ashland inquiring around about -- my neighbors about me and all that sort of thing. And my neighbors were wondering what in the world I was into, that the FBI was checking up on me. (Klee and Maddox laughing) But when I was first put into it, I was sent to -- during my first years, when I was sent down to Boca Raton, we were in a barracks that had barbed wire twelve feet high around it, and you had to be checked in and out every time you went back and forth in there to work or to study or whatever you are doing. And of course, you were sworn to secrecy about it all. And so -- KLEE: At what point did someone decide that you should be teaching people, rather than, you know, being overseas? MADDOX: Well, I don't know, except that there was probably a request for people to do this. And my commanders of my unit apparently just assigned me there. I can't remember that they -- that it was any great process. KLEE: Right. And what was it like for somebody -- I didn't ask you, in your childhood, but I'm assuming you didn't travel a lot, coming from a farm family. What was it like going from -- you know, to Boston to Illinois to Boca Raton and you said 21 stations over time. MADDOX: I was all over the United States while I was in the Air Corps. As I said, I started in Ashland, and then they sent me to St. Louis -- or to Jefferson Barracks, which was near St. Louis, Missouri. From there, to Belleville, Illinois, and from there to Boca Raton, Florida, and from there back to Belleville, Illinois, and from there to Boston, Massachusetts, and from there -- from Boston, Massachusetts, back to Boca Raton. And then eventually, I was sent to Salina, Kansas, to Smoky Hill Army Air Base in Salina, Kansas. Well, no, I was sent to Langley Field, Virginia, first, after Boca Raton. That's over there near Hampton and Norfolk. And from there, I was sent to Salina, Kansas, and from there back to Langley, and back and forth two or three times to the Boca Raton operation down there. KLEE: All the time specializing in the radar. MADDOX: Yes. And then -- KLEE: Doing training at most of these places? Or were you getting training yourself? MADDOX: Well, no. After I was at Boston, my first assignment after I was commissioned -- I went through six months of school there -- and from then on I was working, so to speak. Training others, generally. And from one of my assignments at Langley, I was sent from there to March Field, California. KLEE: Oh, really? MADDOX: I went from Salina back to Langley, and then shortly, they sent me all the way across the country to March Field, California. And we were training intelligence officers as -- and navigators and bombardiers all that time, my organization was. KLEE: You -- all these different places, you didn't fall in love with any particular one and want to have a summer home there or anything, did you? MADDOX: No, I always wanted to come home to Kentucky. KLEE: I see. Well, you did in 1946. MADDOX: In 1946, why, we came back to Kentucky. I was sent from March Field, California, back to Langley Field, Virginia, strangely. Several times I was at Dayton, Ohio, at the air base there. And -- but they finally -- I was at Langley Field, Virginia, I guess, and late in the war, when they started to let people out of the service and -- after -- starting in the summer of '45 when we -- when the war was about over -- in August we -- the Japanese surrendered -- they started letting people out based on points. And the points were determined by how long you had been in and whether you'd been on stateside or overseas. And so I was kind of late on that, because I'd never been overseas, but they finally got to me. (Klee and Maddox laughing) And so when they got to my points, they asked me whether I wanted to go or stay, and I said I was ready to go. So they sent me, of all things, from Langley Field to Salt Lake City, Utah, to -- well, I was in Salt Lake City, Utah, I guess, ready to go overseas, actually. I was with an outfit that was going overseas, and this was after the war was over. But the guys from overseas were coming home, so those of us that were left here had to go replace some of them. So I had been sent to Salt Lake City with an outfit prepared to go overseas, and I didn't even -- we didn't even know where we were going. They didn't tell us. And while I was there, the points dropped to my level, and I was asked if I wanted to go or to stay, to get out. And so I told them I'd just as soon get out. So they sent me back to Langley Field, and from Langley I had an assignment there. I wasn't to get out immediately, but I was eligible to get out when they would let me out. So I was sent back to Langley and given a responsibility there. And I was just there a short time and they said I was eligible to get out. And so they sent me to Camp Atterbury over here in Indiana, and I was dismissed from there. KLEE: I see. So you came back -- I guess you had plenty of time to think about that. What were your plans when you came back? MADDOX: Well, I had hoped to get back in the engineering school and finish as an engineer. And -- but I got back, and I was late. And you wouldn't think about it today, but all the colleges were full by that time because all the boys had free tuition from the government then, you know, after World War II. And the engineering schools and places like that were all filled, and Kentucky couldn't reenter me. So I went back to work at Armco, and things worked out very well for me at Armco. And I had married while I was in the Service, and we had a child born shortly after I was dismissed from the Service in February of '46. My daughter was born in May of '46 then. And I had a job, and during 1946, I got a couple of promotions in the job. And I had a wife and a family, and I had a house, and I thought, "Well, I'm so well off I don't need to go back to college." It was a bad decision. KLEE: Well, I was going to ask you -- well, I don't know. MADDOX: It didn't turn out to be a bad decision, but it -- I would call that a bad decision at the time. KLEE: It worked out for you MADDOX: It worked out for me. KLEE: Times were unique, too. MADDOX: They were. They were. The steel business was just booming all during the '40s and the '50s and the early '60s, you know. And I got two or three promotions. And then in 1961, I was made assistant to the manager of the Armco plant here at Ashland, and -- which -- that job was in charge of all the personnel in the plant. KLEE: Man. MADDOX: And so for the last 25 years of my work, I remained as assistant to the manager. And they eventually changed the job to manager of human resources, like they did in a lot of jobs of late years. And -- KLEE: Let me back up a little bit. You talked about your schooling and so forth. Did you meet your wife here locally? MADDOX: Yes. In fact, we were in school together. And she was a graduate of UK, also. This is my first wife. And my first wife died in 1965 of cancer, but she was a graduate of UK and became a teacher here in the Ashland school system. KLEE: So all that entered into your decision about getting out of the military and where you were going to live. I'm sure she had something to say so about that, too. MADDOX: Yeah. Both of our families were here, and I was just settled. And I'd been bumped around. I'd lived out of a suitcase for four years, and I was willing to settle down. KLEE: You came back and went to work at Armco. And from, I guess, '46, then, up until -- you said '61 is when you made that -- got that big position. What -- did Armco have -- did they ask their people to do community service? Or was it something you just decided to do on your own? I want to get into your -- how you got pulled into community service and what kinds of things you started doing. MADDOX: Well, in my job, of course, I represented the company in whatever community affairs that we were in, along with the manager of the business. But I was generally working on the nuts and bolts of the thing, and the manager may have -- made the big decisions about what to do in the community. But we -- I was -- I became active in the Associated Industries of Kentucky while I was with the company. In 1961, I joined -- the company was a part of that. And that's the largest business organization in Kentucky. It represented about 6,000 businesses. And I was in that all the years until I retired, and I became chairman of that while I was there. KLEE: Now, you were going to tell me when you retired, and I didn't let you finish. MADDOX: In 1985, I retired from Armco. During this time -- and this was the result of my job at Armco, too. I became a director of a local savings and loan. My -- I'm sure it was my boss -- I replaced one of my bosses on that board at the time, and I'm sure that he's the one that got me onto the job. KLEE: Well, savings and loans at that time were seen as -- you explain to me why was a savings and loan important in a community? MADDOX: Well, they were nonprofit organizations, something like a credit union would be, you know. But they were the community credit unions, I guess you could say. And we eventually became a bank, you know. We -- from First Federal Savings and Loan, we became the First Savings Bank of Ashland. And then we went public, and we were then merged into the Camco Financial Corporation over at Cambridge, Ohio. And I became chairman of the -- I was chairman of the board at the savings and loan. I also became a member of the board of trustees of Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1972, and I'm still on that board. I'm an emeritus. KLEE: How did that come about? Was that because of your church work or church membership? MADDOX: Yes, uh-huh. I'm member, of course, of the Methodist Church, and that's a Methodist school. And my pastor at Ashland was elected a bishop in 1972. KLEE: Now, who was that? MADDOX: What? KLEE: What was his name? MADDOX: Ed -- E. L. T-U-L-L-I-S. KLEE: Okay. MADDOX: He was elected a bishop, and he was on the board at the college of the time, and he had to resign from the board then, because he was assigned to South Carolina as a bishop. And -- but I'm sure he's the one that got me onto the board down there. And another thing that I became involved in those years was the Blue Cross Blue Shield organization of Kentucky, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kentucky. KLEE: Right. MADDOX: And I became a -- [End of Side 1, Tape 1] [Begin Side 2, Tape 1] KLEE: This is side two of an interview with Ed Maddox of Ashland on November 16th, 2006. You were talking about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kentucky, which, again, was another nonprofit organization, wasn't it? MADDOX: Yes, it was then. And I became a director in 1972, and I became chairman at one point in the years that I was on it. And I was on it - - on that board or on subsidiary boards of that organization until 1992. KLEE: Gee. Now, Armco was encouraging you in these efforts? MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: If you said, I have to go to -- MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: Where were you going to the meetings? Were you going to Central Kentucky? MADDOX: Louisville and to Owensboro for those -- KLEE: Kentucky Wesleyan. MADDOX: Kentucky Wesleyan. And also during those years, I was the lobbyist for the Ashland works, and so I spent a lot of time in Frankfort. And occasionally in Washington, not as often. But spent time in Frankfort. KLEE: Are there any notable events as far as that lobbying work that come to mind? Were there any -- was there any legislation or anything that stood out in your mind that you had to work hard on or -- MADDOX: Well, on a federal level we worked hard on problems about the sale of steel, foreign sales. KLEE: I see. MADDOX: And I was in charge of labor relations as the manager of human resources, and we had to negotiate the contracts all that time. And then we would -- whatever efforts we could make in the legislature and at the federal level to be sure that we were supporting the kind of legislation that would be helpful to the steel industry and to the labor relations effort. And -- KLEE: What was the relationship between labor and management at Armco during those years that you were involved? MADDOX: Well, pretty good, pretty good. We had -- Armco was organized at Ashland in the 19- -- late 1930s and the early 1940s. And the United Steelworkers won the election there to represent the employees. And Armco, truthfully, had already had an internal organization. The founder of the company believed that the employees ought to be represented. KLEE: Is that right? MADDOX: And we had what was known as the Armco Representative System. And each department could elect representatives who would meet with the management about whatever affairs that they had to discuss. KLEE: Does that founder's name come to mind? (Maddox laughing) That's something I can look up, too. MADDOX: It's terrible that I can't remember. KLEE: Oh, no. That's fine. You've shown a remarkable memory. But like I said, sometimes those names come to mind later. What about some of the people you worked with there with at Armco that stand out in your mind? MADDOX: Well, George Yost was my first boss there. And he was -- KLEE: His name was Yost? MADDOX: Yost. Y-O-S-T. KLEE: Uh-huh. MADDOX: And -- KLEE: Now, did you and people like himself, did -- they became active members of the community? MADDOX: Yes. Several members of the management of the company became -- were always active in community affairs. KLEE: What kind of role was Ashland Oil playing? Not Ashland Oil, but the Ashland Junior College in that time period after the war. How did the community look on them? MADDOX: Well, starting in the 1960s, when I became manager of human resources, we worked actively with the College in our training. One of my first jobs when -- at Armco, when I came back after World War II, I was in the training department. Well, I was in industrial engineering first when I came back, and then I moved to the training department. And I was in charge of an apprentice program for craftsmen. And we had 150 apprentices, and I was in charge of their training, and we had them in school once a week. And so during that time, as I recall, we relied somewhat on the -- well, it was a vocational school in those days, so -- that eventually became part of the -- KLEE: College, right. MADDOX: -- College. And we worked some with the vocational school at that time, but we were training them ourselves, really, most of the time, and nearly all the time at the plant. And during those years, the '40s and the '50s, the vocational school -- we got people from the vocational school. We used people at the vocational school. We would send our people to the vocational school for training occasionally. And -- KLEE: Just curious, being a veteran, did that put you in -- how did that enter into your work? I'm thinking that there were probably a lot of veterans coming back looking for jobs. Did -- I guess you were able to place a lot of veterans and train them? MADDOX: Oh, lots and lots of them. In fact, we grew to -- we had over 5,000 employees there and scads of veterans, of course, that were hired there in the '40s and the early '50s. And people that came back, even, from the Korean War, we had them. And then the Vietnam War, you had people coming back that needed to be placed. And you had the problem of dealing with people who were employees, they either enlisted voluntarily during wartime -- any of those war times, and the company recognized all those people and carried their service. KLEE: Oh, good. MADDOX: Like when I came back from the Service, I had just worked there a few months in 1941, but they carried me -- KLEE: He gave you that time. MADDOX: -- as an active employee from 1941, and you know, for pension purposes, and for the hourly people, for seniority purposes and so forth. KLEE: It was a wonderful benefit. MADDOX: It was a wonderful benefit. And -- KLEE: Tell me about some of your early connection -- how did you -- I know you became a member of the foundation board at Ashland Community College. MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: What was some of your first contact with the Community College? MADDOX: Dr. Robert Goodpaster became the head of the College here in 1961. And then the -- we at that time were -- what did they call us? KLEE: I think you were an extension center, wasn't it? MADDOX: An extension center. KLEE: UK Extension Center. MADDOX: An Extension Center of the UK -- University of Kentucky. About 1955, I think, we became an Extension Center of UK, and Dr. Goodpaster became our chief in 1961. KLEE: I believe that was about the time they were changing it to a community college. MADDOX: Well, in 1964, we became a community college, and I came on the board then, early 1965, as I recall, and became -- we were called advisory boards then. KLEE: And how did you get pulled onto that? MADDOX: Well, I was working always with the College because I was in charge -- had training as my responsibility and -- all those years. And I can't -- I just can't recall any -- specifically why -- they might have asked my boss, for all I know, when they formed the first advisory board for the Community College. And anyway, I was appointed, and I was appointed and reappointed and reappointed, and I served on it until a few years ago. KLEE: Right. Dr. Robert Goodpaster, what kind of individual was he? Was he someone that helped make you stay around or -- MADDOX: He really was. He was a dynamic, hard-working educator. He managed the College very well from my standpoint, anyway. He, of course, had had a good deal of experience in education before he came to us. He was a UK graduate, and his wife was. In fact, I just talked to her today. And his children were graduates of the University. KLEE: What kind of personality did he have? I mean, was he down to earth? Was he -- MADDOX: He was a down-to-earth guy, but he never met a stranger. He was always an optimist about everything. (Maddox and Klee laughing) If there was something suggested that ought to be done, he did it. He made it happen. And so he was at the College for a good many years, as you know. In fact, we named one of the newer buildings for him, and he became my friend. And so -- KLEE: Any incidents stand out in your mind with him? Any stories that you care to share? MADDOX: Well, nothing specific comes to mind. KLEE: Someone told me was a bird hunter. MADDOX: He was a bird hunter and a great outdoorsman. KLEE: Now, when you went on the advisory board, the College was downtown in that old church building. MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: And how was that -- how did that work out for the community? MADDOX: Well, it wasn't all that we wanted -- would have wanted it to be, but it was all that we could afford in those days, because we lived on the seven-cent tax and that was our income. And after we got that paid for, we began to accumulate money in that fund from those taxes. It was more than we needed to run the College, that is, the daily operation of the College. And sometime in the 1960s there, we had accumulated enough to -- we bought 40 acres -- 43 acres out where the College is located now. KLEE: Now, how did that -- how was that land in relation to the town? Was that way out in the country at that time or -- MADDOX: No, it was down -- really, it was in town. KLEE: Well, I was thinking about the land you bought. Was that considered pretty far out? MADDOX: No, it was all in town. This was -- actually, it was a part of town that wasn't very well developed. KLEE: I see, okay. MADDOX: What would you call a -- KLEE: More dilapidated? MADDOX: Yes. The name doesn't come to me. KLEE: A poor section of town? MADDOX: It was a poor section of town, and so we bought that and improved the town tremendously whenever we bought it. And cleaned it up and cleared it off and began to use it for college purposes, began planning to build a college, which they decided to do there in the middle 1960s. KLEE: Okay. And that's where the present college is now? MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: I see. MADDOX: And we built that college, the first buildings, in 19- -- moved into them in 1968. KLEE: Was there any concern because the old building had been right in the -- along the river there. Was there any concern about moving it farther out? MADDOX: No. It's not more than eight or ten city blocks out there between the two places. KLEE: And still it's all grown up around it. MADDOX: Yes, it's right in the middle of town. KLEE: Was there -- can you tell me any thinking -- MADDOX: We call it the "Jewel on the Hill." KLEE: Okay. Was there any reason that spot was chosen? Was that the biggest bunch of land you could find? Did somebody donate some land? MADDOX: Well, I don't think any -- I don't think we had any -- I don't remember having any donation. I think we just bought the place out. In the course of it, of course, there were some residences on it, and we bought them all. Now, this was -- that money was managed by the Ashland School Corporation, which was formed to handle the college seven-cent tax. And so the members of the Ashland Independent School Board are the directors of that corporation, and they control the money. KLEE: Now, is that tax still being collected? MADDOX: That tax was unfortunately changed to five cents from seven a few years ago. But it is still being collected, and the school system and College both get the advantage of it now. They spend about half of it in the school system and about half in the College. But the part in the school system, as I recall, is largely spent to educate students in high school that are ready for college. And they -- we put on college courses at the high school for those students who are eligible. KLEE: So it still kind of has a higher ed- -- MADDOX: It has a higher ed purpose to it. And we have used it in both cases for technology, bought a lot of -- we've bought a lot of computers with it. KLEE: That was -- they've gotten a little cheaper now, but at one time that was an expensive proposition. MADDOX: Right. KLEE: Was there an advantage to the College, I mean, as you could see it in the community, that the College was associated with the University of Kentucky? MADDOX: Yes. I'll have to admit I was a little biased about it, because I thought it was great that we were a part of the University of Kentucky, because students, they would say they were part of the University of Kentucky, you know, and that made them feel better. They were proud of being part of the University of Kentucky, and we were too. And as you may recall, there was a lot of controversy at the time that we were separated from the University of Kentucky, and a lot of the community college people didn't want that to happen. But I'll have to say it looks like it's working very well. KLEE: It's doing okay, yeah. When Ashland became a community college in '64 -- of course, the state in that time, the Breathitt Administration was in there and the Nunn Administration. Did Ashland have some players on the state government level that made sure that Ashland was going to be one of the sites for a community college or get that funding? Or because it was an extension center? I'm kind of curious if there are either any political officials or community leaders that stand out that -- MADDOX: Well, we were already, you see, one of the first municipal colleges in Kentucky, and then we became an extension center in '55 of UK, and so it was just a natural movement as -- when they begin to think about community colleges across the state, that we be a part of it. KLEE: When you were on that advisory board, were there -- can you think of any other community people that really stand out in their support of the College, either financially or any other way? MADDOX: Well, business people downtown that were big supporters of the College was the Putnam family, for instance. KLEE: What did they -- what business did they run? MADDOX: They had a major insurance agency here, and they were longtime residents of Ashland back from the early days, their family. And another family that was very helpful to the college over the years was the Mansbach family. In fact, the college library is named for them out there. And -- KLEE: Anybody associated with any of the industries? MADDOX: The Van Antwerp family were helpful to us. KLEE: Okay. Were these families that you could go to if you needed scholarship money or -- MADDOX: Right. KLEE: Now, you were on that foundation board, is that correct? Were you on the College's foundation board for some time, too or just the advisory board? MADDOX: Well, I was on the foundation board, I guess, from about the start of it, because we formed the foundation just in recent years, you know. KLEE: Oh, okay. MADDOX: In the -- during the '90s. KLEE: Did you have to -- I mean, who was calling on people for funds when it had to happen? Was that Dr. Goodpaster or yourself or everybody? MADDOX: Well, I was one of them, because my company and Ashland Oil and the Mansbachs generally came through with a chunk of money if we had to have some. KLEE: You had the leading donors, and you're saying those were the places you went to. MADDOX: Right. They were the places that the -- Ashland Oil, Armco, the Mansbachs, Puttnams, I guess were the big givers. KLEE: When you went to an industry like Armco -- of course, you'd have some information on this -- how did that decision get made? Did you have, like, a -- did you have to go to the board? MADDOX: Well, I went to my manager. KLEE: I see. MADDOX: And if he approved, he went to the vice president over at the headquarters in Middletown, Ohio. And somebody over there who managed the money that they had to use for community purposes then decided whether we could have that chunk of it or not. And we -- you know, they would give us pretty good chunks at times, like $50,000, $100,000, $150,000. And the -- I guess -- well, the vice president of community affairs at the headquarters level handed out the money, so to speak. He controlled the budget, the giving budget. KLEE: Are there any individuals at the College in the '60s there -- and you mentioned Dr. Goodpaster; I'm thinking of faculty or staff -- that kind of stand out in your mind as particularly being an asset to the community or being a leader out there at the College? MADDOX: Well, people at the College, you mean, who had a part in the community? KLEE: Well, I'm thinking about employees or professors that -- MADDOX: Well, one of the employees, the -- maybe the first secretary and financial officer of the College was Martha Tate, who was there for -- from day one until she retired a few years ago. I've forgotten now when she left here, but she was there for half a lifetime. Opal Conley was a professor there and well known throughout the whole System. KLEE: Right. Yeah. That's the kind of people I'm thinking about, people that when you think of Ashland Community College, particularly in those early years, those are the images and the names that come to mind. MADDOX: Dan Bailey is a professor out there and been very active in the community, and he is especially active in the UK alumni statewide. I mean, he's -- I think he's had, maybe, state offices in that. And he's been active in the local alumni association. And I think you mentioned that you had talked to Ernie Tucker, and he's well known in the community, and he's always out putting on programs and -- KLEE: Speaking. MADDOX: -- speaking and doing things for the community. KLEE: Yeah. I kind of saw a little bit of his road show when I was out there. MADDOX: Is that right? KLEE: Yeah. I don't want to cut you off. I was going to ask you, you saw the economics of the community change. I wondered if you could address what kind of -- what importance Ashland plays in this community and has played over the years, Ashland Community College? MADDOX: Well, they -- the College has, of course, been a good employer in the community for -- that -- on a first basis. The College employees take part regularly in the community affairs here. Just -- I can't talk about specifics about it, but I mean like the Paramount Arts Center, for instance, which is a big thing in the community. And some of the College people have been active in that. And the Chamber of Commerce, they generally -- we have people from the College on their boards and committees. KLEE: Do you run into a lot of -- do you run into graduates of the college? Nurses and -- MADDOX: Everywhere. I serve on the board of incorporators of the King's Daughters Medical Center here. And we have had a nursing program in connection with the College and the hospital all over the years. And between King's Daughters and Bellefonte, they just about hire all the people that we can train as nurses. Our nurses school is full, and we're starting a night school for them now, because there's a big shortage of nurses. And so there's an active connection there. And -- KLEE: Are there any graduates of the College that stand out in your mind? Again, those are kind of tough questions, a lot to think about. MADDOX: Oh, if I talked to somebody that would know, there's several of them that we have recognized over the years. I don't know who you talked to out at the College. KLEE: I've got some of that with Mr. Tucker, and then I talked to Carl Lively. So yeah, I've got some of those names. MADDOX: Okay. KLEE: As you think back on your years on the advisory board and your association with the College, were there any challenges that were particularly troublesome or difficult that come to mind? MADDOX: I wouldn't call it troubles, but you know, it was -- nearly always there's some difficulty in getting money appropriated to build units of the College. And we're in transition at the moment. We have three campuses, really, for the College. There is one up on the hill, and then out on Roberts Drive, the Technology College was out there. And then we -- just in very recent years we have moved all the way out to East Park, which is halfway between here and Grayson, and built a new campus out there for the Technology College. And we just turned ground to build a big $35 million addition to the technology campus out there. KLEE: Out on 60. MADDOX: Well, no. It's out on -- well, yes. It's off of I-64 out there. KLEE: Okay. MADDOX: And that was land that we got from the Addington Company. It was land that had been mined for coal, surface-mined, and so there was a lot of good flat land out there and we got some of it. The Addingtons are very helpful to the college, too. They donated a thousand acres or so out there to the public to use for whatever purposes we wanted, primarily for economic development out there, and we've got some businesses out there. KLEE: And then the college will be [break in tape] -- about the new campus out on the -- out at the industrial -- I guess going to be kind of like an industrial park, I guess. MADDOX: Yes, it's an industrial park. And there's a few businesses that have already located out there. KLEE: And of course, the college tech programs will be right there along with them. MADDOX: The College already had a modest operation there, when we moved out there a few years ago. And now, as I say, we've just turned the ground for a $35 million addition to that technology building. KLEE: So you were saying you had to lobby, I guess. Is -- again, I'll ask you, is there anyone who's been particularly helpful in the legislature that you can think about over the years? MADDOX: Well, Rocky Adkins is a representative here who's been very helpful to us. And well -- KLEE: Did they call upon you ever to go down to Frankfort? You'd know -- you knew your way around Frankfort because of your business. MADDOX: Yes. I -- when I was active with the company, I -- anytime the legislature was in session, I was generally down there at least once a week, and sometimes go down there and stay all week with them, for what a week was for them, which generally started Tuesday morning and ended around Thursday afternoon. (Klee and Maddox laughing) KLEE: Right, right. MADDOX: Well, Friday. KLEE: Yeah. And if you ever have to speak on the College's behalf, too, on those visits? MADDOX: Yes. I lobbied for the College as much as I could. And other people that have been helpful to us here have been Representative John Vincent and Tanya Pullin, a representative, and Robin Webb is a representative, and they all work together. Charlie Borders, who is a state senator, has been very helpful to us. KLEE: Are there any -- and again, I'm particularly interested in the '60s there when the College was just starting. I guess the groundbreaking out there was a big event. MADDOX: Oh, it was. Yes. We could hardly believe our good fortune. KLEE: Are there any other similar type events that come to mind as something that particularly stood out in your mind, maybe something the College was participating in or something that happened at the College? Or, you know, involvement with the College? MADDOX: Well, the College has been -- in general, the people of the College have been very active in the arts in Ashland here. And as a matter of fact, one of the arts entertainment groups that has programs here every year had been at the College for 15 years or longer, and they sponsor a series of classical music programs and so forth. And then people at the College are also big supporters of the Paramount Arts Center, which has major -- KLEE: Yeah, I've seen the -- MADDOX: -- programs down there. KLEE: Right. With the general public, how do you think the College is perceived? MADDOX: Oh, very well. The Ashland people, we have taken their pulse a few times, and the Ashland people in general have been very supportive of the College. And they're proud of it. And as I say, we call it the "Jewel on the Hill." KLEE: I got away a little bit from your personal life. You retired in '85, you said? MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: And maintained a lot of these community service functions? MADDOX: For a few years. As a matter of fact, I -- you know, I'm still on the Kentucky Wesleyan board, though I'm an emeritus so I'm not very active there. I'm still a member of the King's Daughter's Medical Center Board of Incorporators. I stayed a member for several years, after I retired, of a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield, and I finally retired there in 1992. And I retired from the board of the savings -- the Federal Savings Bank when I was 80, which was seven years ago. And -- KLEE: So you stay busy, and you've already mentioned you have grandchildren and children. MADDOX: I have two grandchildren who are married, and I have three great-grandchildren. KLEE: Gee. Well, I appreciate you talking to me. I hope I didn't miss anything that I should have gotten. MADDOX: One thing that I couldn't remember a minute ago, or couldn't come up with it quickly, was the name, despite the fact that I worked for him all my life, the founder of Armco, American Rolling Mill Company, was the Verity family from Middletown, Ohio. George M. Verity. And Calvin -- his son, William Verity, was active in the company and actually worked a while here at Ashland. KLEE: Well, if you don't mind, let me follow up on that just briefly. I didn't -- I know -- I guess Ashland Oil, it's kind of -- it kind of left the area a little bit in the 1990s. MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: And then I don't know when Armco -- MADDOX: They moved to Northern Kentucky. KLEE: Right. MADDOX: And Armco lost out in the 1990s there, early, from -- oh, at one time 5,300 people, and it's down today -- it has about 1,100 or 1,200 people, in the neighborhood. KLEE: I see. A lot of that in the -- I mean, you were seeing that at the end of -- before you retired. Was it foreign competition? MADDOX: Yes. Competition became very tough in the '80s in the steel companies, and company after company got into trouble. And then just in recent years, steel companies -- nearly every major steel company has gone through bankruptcy and had a terrible effect on a lot of their employees when that happened, because they lost their medical benefits, a lot of them. And some of them lost pensions, or they had reduced pensions as a result of it. And so -- KLEE: You were working with the Community College during this time. Did the College play a role in trying to retrain or retool? MADDOX: Very active retraining people, and it's still going on, really. KLEE: Right. As -- things change much more quickly now, I guess. MADDOX: Right. KLEE: I guess you -- MADDOX: We actually had a little separate school down here for retraining employees and trying to fit them back into what jobs we had left. KLEE: Was that after Armco or Ashland or both? MADDOX: Well, it was formed by people from Armco. KLEE: I see. And the Community College was taking care of that? MADDOX: They were working in conjunction with it. KLEE: I see. MADDOX: The Ashland Oil situation, they still -- their major operations are still here. They just moved their headquarters to Northern Kentucky. But of course, when they did that, that was 400 or 500 people in major jobs here at Ashland, you know. KLEE: A lot of big money, too, that left the area. MADDOX: Yes. Though they were -- they were a very community-oriented company, and when they left here, knowing that all of these organizations that they'd been supporting over the years were suddenly going to be out in the cold, so they created a fund to last for five or six years, and they just kind of let them dribble down. They continue to support them in lesser and lesser amounts, maybe. They also gave their properties out on the -- where their headquarters was, to the public, so to speak. They formed a public corporation called The Woodlands. And then -- I've forgotten whether it was Ashland Oil or The Woodlands or the Addingtons who took it over, donated some fairly expensive piece of property out there to the College. I understood it was worth, maybe, $150,000 or more. And -- KLEE: Yeah. That's quite a gift. MADDOX: Yes. KLEE: Well, I appreciate you talking to me, Mr. Maddox. It's been very, very enlightening. Thank you. MADDOX: Well, sorry I couldn't come up with more specifics. KLEE: Oh, you did great. (Klee and Maddox laughing) Oral history with Ed Maddox, board member at Ashland Community and Technical College. Maddox recalls his early life in Ashland, Kentucky; his work at Armco Steel Corporation; his education at the University of Kentucky; and his service in World War II. He then discusses the growth of the Ashland community since the 1930s, describes the transition of Ashland Junior College into Ashland Community College in 1964, and analyzes the impact of the college on the community since the mid-1960s.