John Small


Linda McGinnis



Download Full Text (4.3 MB)


This interview is one of series conducted concerning Kentucky newspapers. John Small was the General Mine foreman at Pontiki Coal Corporation's #1 mine in Martin County, Kentucky. He discusses Homer Marcum, who he personal knew and who edited the Martin Countian. Mr. Small starts with a very brief section about his background and job, and then the interview moves onto its detailed subject of the Martin Countian and Homer Marcum himself. This includes Marcum's personality and opinions, his tactics in running the newspaper, the impact of the Martin Countian on the community (Mr. Small argued it helped keep local businesses and authority figures accountable), how Mr. Small and the Pontiki Corporation dealt with Marcum and his newspaper, and the community's reactions to Homer Marcum (Mr. Marcum has faced lawsuits, threats, and physical attacks). There are numerous other topics as well, including: information about the un-mined minerals tax, problems Mr. Small sees in the news media in their portrayal of mining companies, education in the community of Martin County, and Mr. Small's opinions about the future of Martin County. The interview ends with more information about Homer Marcum.

Publication Date






Library of Congress Subjects

Small, John -- Autobiography.
Pontiki Coal Corporation -- Oral histories.
Coal mines and mining -- Kentucky -- Oral histories.
Newspaper publishing -- Kentucky -- Oral histories.
Coal mines and mining -- Kentucky.


Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-251.


Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner.

Oral History Interview: John Small