B D E F K L M N P T W

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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Barclay, Dean (Part 1)
Biographical note: Dean Barclay lived from September 18, 1898 to April 23, 1994 at Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky. Born to Sam and Ida Jackson, she grew up on her family’s farm and became a public teacher in the county. She married Leonard Ray Barclay, a farmer, in 1935. By 1949, they gave up farming and her husband began a career as a barber.
Description: Dean Barclay details genealogical information in reference to her paternal and maternal families and stories from her lengthy teaching career in Clinton, Kentucky. In addition, she describes life on a Western Kentucky farm prior to 1950, with particular emphasis on the roles of girls and young women. She recalled stories from World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Murray, Nicollete
Date of interview: 1980 December 17
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH232
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Barclay, Dean (Part 2)
Biographical note: Dean Barclay lived from September 18, 1898 to April 23, 1994 at Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky. Born to Sam and Ida Jackson, she grew up on her family’s farm and became a public teacher in the county. She married Leonard Ray Barclay, a farmer, in 1935. By 1949, they gave up farming and her husband began a career as a barber.
Description: Dean Barclay details genealogical information in reference to her paternal and maternal families and stories from her lengthy teaching career in Clinton, Kentucky. In addition, she describes life on a Western Kentucky farm prior to 1950, with particular emphasis on the roles of girls and young women. She recalled stories from World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Murray, Nicollete
Date of interview: 1980 December 17
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH232
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Barnes, Stanford
Biographical note: Barnes was born on May 19, 1924 in Virginia. He received his elementary through secondary education in Virginia before moving to Kentucky in 1962. He served in the United States Army during World War II and Korean War. As a high school teacher in Paducah, Kentucky, he was very active in the school’s chapter of the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA). He died on July 18, 1998 and is buried in Paducah.
Description: Barnes discusses the influential high school club, Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA), which he was active in as a teacher in Kentucky. He faced discrimination as an African American advisor for the club that eventually led him to resign from the position. He was concerned that his students would have limited opportunities due to the VICA supervisors’ prejudice against him.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Jordan, Thelma
Date of interview: 1979 November 16
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH233
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Bohannon, Frederick
Biographical note: Frederick Bohannon was born on April 29, 1913 in Paducah, Kentucky to George Bohannon and Marie Lovett. His family moved frequently. His first move was at age five to East St. Louis, Illinois, which led to his family being caught in the vicious race riots of 1917. Before he turned six, his family returned to Paducah where he entered Lincoln Elementary, the only public school which African Americans were allowed to attend. He later relocated to Fort Wayne, Indiana and then Cleveland, Ohio. He attended integrated schools in both cities. His family again returned to Paducah, where Bohannon finished junior high and high school and later attended West Kentucky Industrial College. In 1935, he married and moved to South Bend, Indiana. In 1960, he entered the real estate business in South Bend and in 1979 was the only African American in the city who owned a real estate company. He died in Peoria, Illinois on May 15, 1998 at the age of 85.
Description: Frederick Bohannon describes the conditions of segregated public schools in Paducah in the early half of the 20th century. He compares the Paducah schools to integrated schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. He recalled his family’s experiences during the 1917 race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois and the evacuation of citizens during the Paducah Flood of 1937.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary F.
Date of interview: 1979 August 6
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH234
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Brown, James
Biographical note: James Brown was born on December 30, 1915 in Calloway County, Kentucky to Will Brown and Bertha Webb Brown. He first attended the Waters School in 1926 and continued through the eighth grade. After completing two years at Concord High School, Brown enlisted in the United States Army for four years as a private first class during World War II. He served with the Murray City Police force for twenty-one years and retired as the Police Chief. After his first wife Elaine Ahart Brown died in December 1986, he remarried to Odell Brown. He died on March 16, 2002 at Westview Nursing Home in Murray, Kentucky. Waters Schoolhouse is the only remaining one-room schoolhouse in Calloway County. It was named for the first teacher who taught at the schoolhouse when it opened in the late 1800s, Joseph Spillman Waters. The schoolhouse was donated to and moved to Murray-Calloway County Central Park in the 1970s. Renovations occurred from 1985 to 2002 and the building received an official Kentucky Historical Society marker in 2006.
Description: James Brown describes in detail his education at the one-room Waters School at New Concord, Calloway County, Kentucky in the 1920s and early 1930s. He recalled the school’s facilities, assignments, class plays, spelling bees, punishments received by mischievous students and significant activities and events during the academic year. The school served about twenty-five to forty-five students from the first through eighth grades.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Trawick, Nancy D.
Date of interview: 1995 October 12
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH235
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Caldwell, Vivian (Part 1)
Biographical note: Vivian Caldwell was born in Hickman, Kentucky on November 11, 1898 to James Williams and Isabelle Whitley Caldwell. She attended high school at Hickman College, which was later renamed Hickman High School and consolidated into Fulton County High School. She and her class of thirteen total students graduated in 1917. She taught seven months in a one room school in Mississippi County, Missouri. She attended Western Teachers College in Bowling Green, Kentucky full time from February 1, 1918 to October 31, 1918 before returning to Hickman to teach. She returned to college fulltime from 1921 to 1922 and part time during summer terms until she graduated in June of 1928. Since there were no math openings in Hickman, she taught high school math and English in Campbellsville, Kentucky and later in Franklin, Kentucky. From September 1929 until she retired in May 1969, she taught high school in Hickman. She died at Hickman on June 1, 1984.
Description: Vivian Caldwell discusses the long process to attain her degree in education at Western Kentucky State Normal School (presently Western Kentucky University), stating that she was unable to attend college without periodic breaks to acquire funds for tuition and other expenses. She recalls her salaries as a teacher, what it was like teaching during the Great Depression, her experiences at Hickman High School and the desegregation and consolidation of the schools in Fulton County.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Murray, Nicollete
Date of interview: 1980 November 13
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH237
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Carmon, Evie
Biographical note: Evie Bush Carman was born in 1900 in Panther Creek, Graves County, Kentucky to Richard and Ida Bush. She attended Paducah’s West Kentucky Vocational School, in 1917, but took a break from her education due to the First World War. She taught in Benton, Kentucky for six months before returning to West Kentucky Vocational School. After finishing at West Kentucky, she returned to Graves County to teach. She married Andrew J. Carman on May 2, 1923 and moved to Cleveland, Ohio. They later returned to Kentucky and lived in Louisville, where she received a Bachelor’s degree. After her parents fell ill, she returned to Graves County. At the time of the interview, she worked with the Purchase Area Development District. Her husband, Andrew, passed away in 1983 and Evie died on April 13, 2004.
Description: Evie Bush Carman discusses teaching and living in Benton, Kentucky as an African American in a predominately white community in 1918. She describes her educational background and attending West Kentucky Vocational School in Paducah, Kentucky. She recalls teaching at various segregated schools in Graves County, Kentucky during the early 1920s after graduation. She also briefly mentions significant events in West Kentucky during World War I.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 June 28
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH238
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Chinn, Addie
Biographical note: Addie Mae Chinn was born at Paducah, Kentucky on April 2, 1909. She spent her childhood and early adulthood in Paducah. She attended public segregated schools and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1928. After graduation she attended West Kentucky Industrial College and afterwards relocated to Louisville with her husband, Henry Chinn, where they resided most of their lives. She became a noted African American missionary for the Baptist Church. She died on November 27, 2003.
Description: Addie Mae Chinn discusses segregation and being a student at Lincoln High School in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1920s. She mentions the teachers who most influenced her and her chosen career as a teacher and missionary. She recalls her experiences at West Kentucky Industrial College in the early 1930s. She offers insights on the Civil Rights movement decades after she had completed her education and provides her opinions on the positive impact of desegregation in school systems and the expansion of opportunities for younger generations of African Americans.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 July 29
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH239
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Cole, Christine
Biographical note: Christine Cole was an African American elementary school teacher from Clinton, Kentucky. She graduated from Lincoln High School in Paducah, Kentucky in 1932. After graduation, she taught briefly in a one-room schoolhouse at Spring Hill, Hickman County, Kentucky before she attended West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She taught third, fourth, and fifth grade at Kane Elementary in Clinton until 1966, with intermittent episodes of teaching in Kibble and Oakton, Kentucky prior to her retirement in 1966. In 1954, she graduated from Kentucky State University with a degree in education.
Description: Christine Cole provides insight on how the threat of integration led to improvements in the African American public schools in Hickman County, Kentucky as the school system attempted to prove the equitably treatment of both African American and white students. She describes the daily routine of students and teachers at the Kane Elementary School in Clinton, Kentucky and the physical conditions of the school building. She discloses her various salaries over the course of her career as an elementary school teacher. She also mentions genealogical information.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Ross, Steve
Date of interview: 1995 October 10
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH240
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Cotton, Wilma
Biographical note: Wilma Fletcher Cotton lived from 1915 to 1999 in Paducah, Kentucky. Her parents were Richard Fletcher and Drusilla Clayton Fletcher. She attended two elementary schools in Paducah, the Arcadia Elementary School for six years and Rolling Town Elementary for two years. In 1929, she began high school for training at the all-black West Kentucky Industrial College. After graduating from high school and working for a time, she married Richard M. Cotton. Her husband was employed at the new West Kentucky Vocational Training School and eventually became the school’s Dean.
Description: Wilma Cotton provides an extensive physical description of Arcadia Elementary School and the high school at West Kentucky Industrial College at Paducah, Kentucky. She also recalls teachers from both schools that were influential in shaping her career as an educator. She outlines President D. H. Anderson’s role in the establishment of West Kentucky Industrial College. She divulges the financial situation of the Paducah neighborhood of Arcadia that she grew up in and how she was able to afford her education. She also describes common chores for young girls and modes of employment for female teenagers as house attendants.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, William
Date of interview: 1979 July 2
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH241
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Cox, Bettie Coulter
Biographical note: Bettie Coulter Cox was born in 1908 in Paducah, Kentucky. She attended first through twelfth grade at the Lincoln School in Paducah. After graduation, she attended West Kentucky Industrial College where she obtained her teaching training certificate. She received a Bachelor’s degree at Kentucky State University and a Master’s Degree at University of Michigan. She completed summer school work at Lane Cottage, in Jackson, Tennessee and the University of Cincinnati and later correspondence courses from Kansas State College. She taught for a total of fourteen years, from 1927 to 1941, at the Mayfield Model School, Dunbar City School in Mayfield and Lincoln School. She taught at the Lincoln Junior High School from 1941 to 1964 and at Lincoln Senior High in 1964 and 1965. From 1965 to 1973, she taught English at the desegregated Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, from which she retired. She died at the age of 92 on September 1, 1998 in Paducah.
Description: Bettie Coulter Cox of Paducah, Kentucky offers biographical information on family members, describes the 1913 and 1937 floods and her teaching in segregated schools. Cox recalls her childhood education at the Lincoln School in Paducah, attending West Kentucky Industrial College and many other academic institutions. She recounts her first teaching job at Mayfield Model School in Graves County, Kentucky and sub sequential teaching positions at Dunbar City School of Mayfield, Lincoln Elementary School, Lincoln Junior High School, Lincoln Senior High School and Paducah Tilghman High School. Other topics that she discusses are the establishment of the National Junior Honor Society at Lincoln Junior High School and the first Negro Girl Scout Troop in Paducah.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 September 13
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH242
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Crisp, Bettie Ann
Biographical note: Betty Ann Crisp was born in Clinton, Kentucky in 1933. She attended Kane Elementary School when she was six years old and continued through to the eighth grade. She graduated from the segregated Hickman High School in Kentucky. She married Earl Crisp Junior and had six children. Her husband died on October 15, 2009. As of February 2014, she is a board member of Hickman County Senior Citizens, Inc. and involved with the Hickman County Library.
Description: Betty Ann Crisp describes the physical conditions of the Kane School, an African American elementary school in Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky, in the late 1930s and 1940s. She details both the academic and recreational aspects of her elementary education, including the games that the girls played during recess, her teachers, the annual graduation ceremony and punishments received by mischievous students. She recalls how the town of Clinton did not have a high school for African Americans, so she and others from Clinton had to travel a complicated busing route to attend the segregated high school at Hickman, Kentucky. She mentioned school consolidation in Hickman County as a parent and describes the experiences of her son when he transferred to the desegregated Central School of Hickman County in the sixth grade.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Ross, Steve
Date of interview: 1995 October 16
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH243
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Cruse, James
Biographical note: James Cruse was born on May 30, 1911 in Marion, Kentucky to John and Mary Cruse. He attended elementary school in Marion, Kentucky and worked odd jobs after graduating from eighth grade. Since there was not an African American high school in Marion, he moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky to attend school. He transferred to the West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky during the tenth grade. He later worked in Indianapolis as a machinist and attended a technical school part time to advance his career. He worked at General Motors for seventeen years, starting as a maintenance man and was promoted to machinist during World War II.
Description: James Cruse discusses his early life in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky as an elementary school student. He describes attending high school in Bowling Green, Kentucky and at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky. President D. H. Anderson is mentioned as having a lasting influence on his students, including Mr. Cruse. He speaks of the benefits of attending trade schools. He divulges the employment situation for African Americans in the Jackson Purchase Area and how work opportunities expanded for African Americans during the Second World War. He recalled the return of Klu Klux Klan to the Jackson Purchase in response to the desegregation of public education.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: 1979 June 15
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH244
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Danner, Ceola
Biographical note: Ceola Mae Rogers Danner was born at Paducah, Kentucky in 1916. She attended segregated schools, which included Lincoln Elementary School and Lincoln High School in Paducah, Kentucky. She graduated from high school in 1933 at the age of sixteen. She briefly attended West Kentucky Industrial College but was forced to withdraw due to her father losing his job during the Great Depression. She left West Kentucky Industrial College and worked as a maid and shampoo girl at a beauty shop in Paducah. She married in 1940. When she was 35 years old, she went back to school at West Kentucky Vocational School to take a business course and was hired as a clerk typist at the institution. She died in 1990 at the age of 74 in Paducah.
Description: Ceola Danner discusses her experiences at attending segregated schools, Lincoln Elementary and High School, in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1920s and 1930s. She divulges her family’s financial struggle during the Great Depression and how it prevented her from graduating from West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She also details her family’s stint as refugees during the Flood of 1937. Danner describes race relations between white and African American communities in Paducah during the 1920s and 1930s and how integration improved social conditions for blacks. Lastly, she tells of her father, Ollie Rogers, and his experience in an all-black cavalry regiment in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War and his efforts to organize a drum and bugle corps in Paducah during the Second World War.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 September 8
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH245
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Dean, Elmer Joule
Biographical note: Elmer Joule Dean was born on July 21, 1913 in Du Quoin, Perry County, Illinois. He was the only child of Perry and Lena Dean. He attended the all black Lincoln Elementary School in Du Quoin and graduated from the integrated Township High School. He started at West Kentucky Industrial College in February of 1934 on a basketball scholarship. He received a two year provisional certificate upon graduation and he applied for a job in the school system of his hometown of Du Quoin. When he was refused a job, Dean helped to organize a movement to prevent the reelection of the racist superintendent the next school year and was successful. In 1937, he obtained a job as a fifth grade teacher at the Lincoln School in Du Quoin and later became Principal of the school. He worked at the Lincoln School unitl 1943. He served in the United States Army for three years during World War II but was never deployed overseas. Annoyed with the prejudice towards African Americans in the military, he left the army and established a dry cleaning business in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He attended Columbia University in New York for a Masters and Doctoral degree and taught at Georgia Industrial College in Savannah for thirty years and retiring as the Chairman of the Department of Social Sciences.
Description: Elmer Dean discusses segregation in education in Southern Illinois from the perspective of a student and as a teacher. He also discusses his education at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky during the Great Depression. He further describes President D. H. Anderson’s role in maintaining West Kentucky Industrial College in the face of local opposition. He details experiences with racial discrimination in the work force and discriminatory hiring processes used prior to the 1950s. He mentions instances of discrimination while at a Coca Cola factory, the school system of Du Quoin, Illinois, the United States Army during World War II and when he applied for positions as a university professor. He concludes by offering advice to African Americans on how they can rise above discrimination and prejudice and become successful.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, William
Date of interview: 1979 June 15
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH246
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: England, Artice
Biographical note: Artice England was born in Graves County, Kentucky on October 22, 1904. Her parents James and Anita Mason were farmers. She attended elementary school in a one room schoolhouse in Graves County and entered Lincoln High School in Paducah, Kentucky in 1918. In 1922, she graduated and passed the Kentucky teacher’s examination to receive her teaching certificate. In April 1923, she married George England and moved to Mayfield, Kentucky. She taught at four different one room elementary schools in Graves County. She attended the Normal School of West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah and later Murray State College in Murray, Kentucky. She taught fourth grade at the segregated Dunbar Elementary School in Mayfield, Kentucky for thirty-seven years, with one brief stint as a third grade teacher. She also taught for one year at an integrated school in Mayfield before retiring in 1968. England died in St. Louis, Missouri at the age of 88 on June 4, 1993.
Description: Artice England describes the conditions of a one room schoolhouse in Graves County, Kentucky as an elementary school student. She recalls attending the all-black Lincoln High School in Paducah, Kentucky from 1918 to 1922. She discusses the role faculty members played on shaping the education of female students at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She details her experiences as a teacher in African American schools in Graves County, including four one room schoolhouses and teaching thirty-seven years at Dunbar Elementary School. She expresses the benefits of racial integration in schools as providing higher quality resources and facilities for black students. She mentions Mayfield teachers in assisting refugees from Paducah during the Flood of 1937.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, William
Date of interview: 1979 June 28
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH247
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Frierson, John Richard
Biographical note: John Richard Frierson was born on September 27, 1909 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. His parents were William and Katie Frierson. He attended a segregated elementary and high school in Bowling Green. He attended Tennessee State College in Nashville for three years. Before he graduated from college, he enlisted in the transportation corps of the United States Army during World War II on April 12, 1944 at Ft. Thomas in Newport, Kentucky. After serving for three years in the military, he moved to Louisville where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the Municipal College of the University of Louisville. He began his Master’s coursework at the University of Indiana and transferred to Murray State Teachers College in Murray, Kentucky where he completed his Master degree. He moved to Paducah to teach science at the segregated Lincoln High School in 1948. He was transferred to Garfield Elementary School as a teacher and principal in 1951. He was the first African American to work in the Board of Education Office in Paducah. Mr. Frierson died on February 8, 1994 at the age of 84.
Description: John R. Frierson begins the interview with biographical information on his parents, William and Katie Frierson. He briefly mentions his elementary school, high school and the beginning of college before serving three years in the transportation corps of the United States Army during World War II. He named the teachers at Garfield Elementary School in Paducah, Kentucky, where he served as the principal during the early 1950s. He recalled the racial friction caused by integration of the public elementary schools in Paducah. He also discussed other changes in education that he experienced as a teacher and administrator in Western Kentucky, including low salaries for African American teachers, the adoption of lunch programs and the adding of special education classrooms, art education, music education and physical education. He states that his favorite teaching experiences were in the one-room schoolhouse where he first began his teaching career. He cited the lack of discipline problems and the ability of children to learn from the other grades’ lessons as his reasons for enjoying the school.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 June 27
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH249
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Gaines, Clarence (part 1)
Biographical note: Clarence Edward “Big House” Gaines, Sr. was born on May 21, 1923 in Paducah, Kentucky to Lester and Olivia Gaines. He attended the segregated Lincoln School in Paducah. He was active in high school sports and lettered in football. He graduated high school in 1941 and attended Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland on an athletic scholarship for basketball, football, and track. After graduating from Morgan College in 1945, he obtained a position as a math teacher and assistant coach at Winston-Salem Teachers College in Salem, North Carolina. In 1950, he married Clara Lucille Berry, a high school Latin teacher. He coached and served as the athletic director at the college for 47 years, and during that time was awarded the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) Basketball Tournament Outstanding Coach Award eight times, CIAA Basketball Coach of the Year six times, and NCAA Division II College Coach of the Year in 1967. In that year, he coached the basketball team to a national championship to become the first historically Black college team to won a Division II title. His honors also included being inducted into the NAIA Helms Hall of Fame in 1968, CIAA Hall of Fame in 1975, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. He served as a basketball consultant for the United State Air Force, which led him to travel to Germany, England, and Mexico to teach workshops on coaching basketball. At the time of his retirement in 1993, Mr. Gaines held the record for the second most wins of a NCAA basketball coach, with a record of 828 wins to 446 losses. Gaines died on April 18, 2005 after suffering a stroke.
Description: Clarence Gaines recalled attending Lincoln Elementary School in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1930s. He describes incidents of African American children being assaulted by white children on the way to school. He mentioned his mother’s job at Paducah Cooperage Company where women performed manual labor. He spoke of his parents’ support of his athletic pursuits and the coaches at Lincoln High School that influenced him, including Buddy Ferrell, and Tommy Withrow. He described the small Lincoln High School band led by Director L. G. Milligan. He remembered how he learned of Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland where he received an athletic scholarship. He described how he was recruited to become a coach and math teacher at Winston-Salem Teachers College in Salem, North Carolina. He discussed the athletic program at Winston-Salem, including the men’s basketball team’s accomplishments, his own awards and honors and the professional athletes Cleo Hill and Earl Monroe that came from the college. He mentioned his experiences holding coaching clinics in England, Germany, and Mexico and taking students to tournaments around the world. Gaines believed that Paducah, had not been as fast to change and develop in terms of social conditions for African Americans compared to other places he lived in or visited, including Salem. He cites disciplinary problems in African American youth which were caused by the integration of schools. He acknowledges his wife, parents, family, early coworkers and bosses and other individuals that influenced his life as keys to his success. His suggests the method for improving the standing of African Americans in society by encouraging a rededication and reestablishment of family in the black community.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: 1979 August 6
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH250
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Gaines, Clarence (part 2)
Biographical note: Clarence Edward “Big House” Gaines, Sr. was born on May 21, 1923 in Paducah, Kentucky to Lester and Olivia Gaines. He attended the segregated Lincoln School in Paducah. He was active in high school sports and lettered in football. He graduated high school in 1941 and attended Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland on an athletic scholarship for basketball, football, and track. After graduating from Morgan College in 1945, he obtained a position as a math teacher and assistant coach at Winston-Salem Teachers College in Salem, North Carolina. In 1950, he married Clara Lucille Berry, a high school Latin teacher. He coached and served as the athletic director at the college for 47 years, and during that time was awarded the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) Basketball Tournament Outstanding Coach Award eight times, CIAA Basketball Coach of the Year six times, and NCAA Division II College Coach of the Year in 1967. In that year, he coached the basketball team to a national championship to become the first historically Black college team to won a Division II title. His honors also included being inducted into the NAIA Helms Hall of Fame in 1968, CIAA Hall of Fame in 1975, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. He served as a basketball consultant for the United State Air Force, which led him to travel to Germany, England, and Mexico to teach workshops on coaching basketball. At the time of his retirement in 1993, Mr. Gaines held the record for the second most wins of a NCAA basketball coach, with a record of 828 wins to 446 losses. Gaines died on April 18, 2005 after suffering a stroke.
Description: Clarence Gaines recalled attending Lincoln Elementary School in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1930s. He describes incidents of African American children being assaulted by white children on the way to school. He mentioned his mother’s job at Paducah Cooperage Company where women performed manual labor. He spoke of his parents’ support of his athletic pursuits and the coaches at Lincoln High School that influenced him, including Buddy Ferrell, and Tommy Withrow. He described the small Lincoln High School band led by Director L. G. Milligan. He remembered how he learned of Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland where he received an athletic scholarship. He described how he was recruited to become a coach and math teacher at Winston-Salem Teachers College in Salem, North Carolina. He discussed the athletic program at Winston-Salem, including the men’s basketball team’s accomplishments, his own awards and honors and the professional athletes Cleo Hill and Earl Monroe that came from the college. He mentioned his experiences holding coaching clinics in England, Germany, and Mexico and taking students to tournaments around the world. Gaines believed that Paducah, had not been as fast to change and develop in terms of social conditions for African Americans compared to other places he lived in or visited, including Salem. He cites disciplinary problems in African American youth which were caused by the integration of schools. He acknowledges his wife, parents, family, early coworkers and bosses and other individuals that influenced his life as keys to his success. His suggests the method for improving the standing of African Americans in society by encouraging a rededication and reestablishment of family in the black community.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: 1979 August 6
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH250
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Gray, Lucille
Biographical note: Lucille A. Gray was born in Clinton, Kentucky in 1948. She attended first through eighth grade at Kane School in Clinton, Kentucky until 1964. She attended Riverview High School in Hickman, Kentucky.
Description: Lucille Gray describes Kane School, the African American elementary school in Clinton, Kentucky, during the late 1950s and early 1960s. She names the teachers at the school and which grades they taught. She mentions how the students from her neighborhood rode a bus to school. She describes the physical conditions and setup of the school, such as the building having separate rooms for each grade and stoves in each room for heat. She talks about recess and playing basketball, baseball, tag, and other games. Before there was a cafeteria, the children brought food from home and ate lunch in the classroom. She remembers the addition of the cafeteria and liking the food and lists off some of the food prepared for them in the cafeteria. She mentions Principal Cole serving as the enforcer of discipline and the use of corporal punishment. After attending Kane School, she discusses being bused to Hickman, Kentucky to attend River View High School.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Ross, Steve
Date of interview: 1995 October 17
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH251
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Harriford, Robert
Biographical note: Robert L. Harriford was born in Nobob, Barren County, Kentucky on June 28, 1927. His parents, Willie and Grace Harriford, were tenant farmers in Metcalfe County, Kentucky during his elementary school years. He moved to Paducah and enrolled in West Kentucky Vocational School on April 5, 1949. He was the owner and operator of Harriford Reproductions, a printing business, in Paducah. On November 19, 1969, he was appointed to the Paducah Board of Education, serving as the Board’s first African American. He was appointed to the Kentucky School Board Association Executive Board of Directors after serving on the Paducah Board of Education for two years. He died on July 1, 2009 at the age of 82.
Description: Robert Harriford begins the interview with background information on his parents, siblings and early childhood. He mentioned how his family coped during the Great Depression by surviving off food they grew as farmers. He discussed his time at West Kentucky Vocational School in Paducah, Kentucky during the late 1940s and early 1950s and how the training he received in automobile mechanics was useful in his future printing business. He also spoke about how he worked his way through West Kentucky Vocational School as a farmer for a Paducah couple and how their connections enabled him to get a job at Magnavox. He recounted the process of how he entered into the printing business, first by joining an architectural firm and co-starting a business with a man that he met through the firm and ultimately buying out his co-owner to establish his own business, Harriford Reproductions of Paducah. He discussed the state of African American businesses in Paducah, stating that the number of African American owned businesses were declining. He feels it is important for African Americans to continue to strive to be involved with local Board of Educations to help shape education. He mentions his experiences as an administrator during the state wide teacher strikes in Kentucky. He details his views on a variety of controversial issues and changes in education, including the integration of middle schools in Paducah, quota or percentage systems for hiring teachers of various races, raising the pay scale for African Americans in Paducah, and differential grading and testing for minorities. He finished the interview by acknowledging the people in his life who influenced his success.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 October 26
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH252
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Jackson, Verna Wade
Biographical note: Verna Wade Jackson was born on June 18, 1914 in Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky. She was an only child and her parents died before she was five years old. She and a cousin were raised by her widowed maternal grandmother. She attended the all-African American Dunbar School in Mayfield, which contained grades first through the twelfth. She started taking piano lessons at ten years old, which her grandmother paid for by doing the washing for the piano teacher. After one year of lessons, she played for the morning service of her church, St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Mayfield. She graduated from Dunbar High School in 1933 and attended West Kentucky Industrial College from 1933 to 1935. She obtained a position as pianist for the College for two years to cover her education expenses. After West Kentucky, she taught for thirty-seven years in Milton Elementary School, Fulton County, Kentucky. In 1943, she married Principal Hugh C. Jackson. Jackson passed away on December 9, 2009 at the age of 95.
Description: Verna Wade Jackson began the interview with her parent’s background and how she was raised by her grandmother in Mayfield, Kentucky. She goes on to discuss her memories of Dunbar School in Mayfield, including the physical conditions of the building, some of her favorite teachers and her interest in music at the school. She recounts some of the professors at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky and how she was able to afford the expenses by serving as the college’s pianist. She describes some of the buildings present during the 1930s when she attend West Kentucky Industrial College, including the administration building, auditorium, two dormitories, gymnasium, and a house in which the students practice teaching. She relates her first teaching job out of college at Milton Elementary School in Fulton County, Kentucky, where she stayed for thirty-seven years until she retired. She acknowledges the inequalities in the education of African Americans in Mayfield and Fulton County while she was a teacher, citing the differences in curriculum and books as one example. She recounts how residents of the city of Mayfield and Fulton County offered shelter to refugees from Paducah during the Flood of 1937, both in terms of owners opening their private homes and using schools to house the refugees. Lastly, she discusses her original life aspiration to become a concert pianist and the realization in college that it was not a field that she could enter easily, especially as an African American.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: 1979 June 28
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH253
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Kindrick, Bradie S.
Biographical note: Bradie S. Kindrick was born in Almo, Calloway County, Kentucky about 1906. Her mother died when she was six years old. She attended Pleasant Hill School in Almo, Kentucky, beginning first grade at the age of six. She graduated from eighth grade at Pleasant Hill and attended Douglas High School in Murray, Kentucky for two years. In 1923, she began at West Kentucky Industrial College and graduated from high school in 1925. After obtaining her teachers certificate through a six week summer session at West Kentucky State College, she began teaching in Graves County. She also taught for one year in Ballard County. She graduated from the normal school of West Kentucky Industrial College in 1930. When African Americans were allowed to attend Murray State College, she enrolled. She graduated in 1958, making her the first of two African American women to graduate from Murray State with a Bachelor of Science degree. In all, she taught for thirty-seven years before retiring, with four of those years in an integrated school in Graves County.
Description: Bradie S. Kindrick began the interview by describing Pleasant Hill Elementary School, in Almo, Kentucky. She mentions attending Douglas High School in Murray, Kentucky for two years and West Kentucky Industrial College from 1923 to 1925. She chronicles her thirty-four years of teaching experiences in Graves County and Ballard County. She recounted her further education at West Kentucky State College, and Murray State College and being one of the first African Americans to graduate from Murray State with a Bachelor of Science degree. She discussed the process of school consolidation and integration in Graves County and provided her views on racial integration in schools. She observed that job opportunities for African Americans have expanded in Graves County and that racial relations have improved. She details the education and occupations of her grandchildren and her daughter.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 July 15
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH254
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Larson, Robert
Biographical note: Robert Larson was born to parents Seaman and Mary Larson in 1921 in Paducah, Kentucky. He attended segregated public schools in Paducah, including Garfield School and Lincoln High School. He graduated from high school in 1939 and attended summer sessions of West Kentucky Vocational School. He served in the United States military during World War II. At the time of the interview, he was employed in sales in Indianapolis, Indiana. Larson died in Indianapolis on April 10, 2002.
Description: Robert Larson began the interview by describing his early life in Paducah, Kentucky. He recounts his teachers, coaches, and classmates at the Garfield School and Lincoln High School in Paducah. He explains the changes in Paducah since his childhood in the 1920s and 1930s in terms of education and housing for African Americans. He discusses his reasons for approving affirmative action. He tells of the evacuation and relocation of Paducah residents during the Flood of 1937 and how the experience was an adventure for the youth. He mentions attending West Kentucky Vocational School during summer sessions. He feels that discrimination and prejudice toward African Americans will be improved due to continued racial integration in education. He cites his experience in the United States military during World War II as teaching him how to be flexible and adapt to being in environments with people from different cultures. He ends by describing the value of the education which he received in his youth in Paducah and the teachers who helped to shape him.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 August 14
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH255
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Logan, Flora
Biographical note: Flora Odessa Freeman Logan was born on June 20, 1910 in Paducah, Kentucky to Mumford Thomas and Ruth Ann N. Freeman. In November 1918, Mrs. Logan’s family moved to DeRittier, Louisiana to operate a hotel for the African American men who worked in a lumber business. Her father became ill with malaria, which led the family to move back to Paducah in 1919. Her father died later than same year when Mrs. Logan was nine years old. She and her mother moved to St. Louis in 1924. Mrs. Logan died in St. Louis on December 6, 1998.
Description: Flora Logan details the life of her father, Mumford Thomas Freeman (1853-1919) of Cottage Grove, Tennessee. She describes her father’s parents and the occupations of his siblings. She continued to describe her father’s occupation as a farmer and carpenter in Sharon, Tennessee and his marriage to her mother, Ruth Ann, in 1888. She describes his instrumental role in having established grade school for African American children in the town of Sharon, amidst white opposition. While originally a well-respected man of the community, Mrs. Logan described how a rift between the white population and Mr. Freeman was forged when it was made aware that the teacher of the African American school, Ms. Clark, was teaching Mr. Freeman’s. She recounts how her father was essentially forced to sell his property to a white family and her family’s relocation to Mound City, Illinois. She chronicles the events that led her family to move to Paducah, Kentucky. She discusses the occupations of her older brothers who had moved, including one brother who served overseas with the United States Army in France during World War I. She describes her family’s five-month period in Louisiana, where they faced intense racial prejudice in the Deep South. Her father contracted malaria and the family to move back to Paducah where he died in 1919. She details the financial difficulties her mother had in trying to pay for his funeral and the family’s eventual move to St. Louis, Missouri. She ends the interview by describing her father’s personality as she remembers him and based on stories from others.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Logan, Flora (self interview)
Date of interview: 1979 October 15
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH256
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Majors, Grace Grubbs
Biographical note: Grace Grubbs Majors was born in McCracken County, Kentucky on January 4, 1899. She was one of eight children to Walter and Rachel Grubbs. She attended a segregated elementary school in the White Oak community of McCracken County and high school at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She completed two years of college courses at West Kentucky Industrial College. She began teaching in the fall of 1917 in McCracken County. She received her Associate Bachelor Degree in 1935 from Kentucky State College. Before retiring in 1964, she taught in counties of McCracken, Ballard, Graves and Shelby, Kentucky. At the time of the interview, she resided in Paducah. Majors died in Paducah on August 11, 1996 at the age of 97.
Description: Grace Majors begins the interview by providing her educational experiences in elementary, high school and college. She discusses the negative attitude towards African Americans in McCracken County, Kentucky, how education has played a role in her life and recounts her time at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She recalled the difficulty of attending an elementary school that was two miles away from her home and how the distance resulted in her missing school frequently. She discussed the occupations of her parents and her family’s rocky financial situation when she attended high school during the 1910s. She chronicles her various teaching positions, beginning with her first in 1917 in McCracken County. She discusses the differences in disciplining students in schools from when she began teaching in one room schools to more recent times. She describes the general physical conditions of the schools that she taught at and how the school buildings were maintained. She recounts President D. H. Anderson’s efforts in establishing and obtaining state funding for West Kentucky Industrial College. She concludes the interview with an assessment of social changes for African Americans in the Jackson Purchase, citing that racial integration improved education but that there continues to be a lack of advancement in work opportunities for African Americans.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, William
Date of interview: OH257
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH257
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Marable, Addie
Biographical note: Mrs. Addie Marable was born in McCracken County, Kentucky on February 28, 1904. She began her education at an all-black elementary school at the age of six years old. After graduating from eighth grade, she passed the teacher examination at the McCracken County Courthouse and received a teaching certificate. She attended West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah and graduated in 1928. She taught fifth grade at the all-black Garfield Elementary School in Paducah. When Paducah Schools were consolidated, she taught at the newly built Northside School. She died at the age of 83 on April 1, 1987 in Paducah.
Description: Addie Marable began by describing her elementary school education in the Jackson Purchase of Kentucky. She discussed the racial charged conflicts that occurred between white and black students on the way to school and the school facilities. Due to not having adequate textbooks, she mentioned how the students used catalogs, newspapers, and magazines to practice reading. She discussed the role of parents in education and discipline and recounted the teacher certification examination for McCracken County. She described West Kentucky Industrial College while she was a student there, how she was able to work her way through school. She described her first teaching job, which was at the segregated Garfield School in Paducah. She talks about social functions at the Garfield School, including Thanksgiving dinners, musicals, plays, and Christmas events. She recounted the building of the new school at Northside and the consolidation of some of the all-black elementary schools. She discussed the introduction of city lunch programs at Paducah Schools. She asserted that West Kentucky Industrial College helped to improve the quality of life for many African Americans in Paducah by expanding education. She concluded by telling how consolidation of McCracken County Schools caused some communities to decline in population as families moved closer to the consolidated schools.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 July 11
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH258
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Massie, William H.
Biographical note: William Harweda Massie was born on January 21, 1929 in Paducah, Kentucky. His parents were Robert and Mattie Massie, a taxi operator and school teacher, respectively. He completed elementary, junior high, and high school at the all-black Lincoln School, in Paducah. He graduated from Lincoln School in 1946 and began that fall at Winston-Salem Teachers College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After two years in North Carolina, he transferred to Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky to study sociology and economics. He graduated from Kentucky State College but was not able to find a job in social work in the Jackson Purchase area. He obtained a social studies and band teaching position in 1950 at a segregated high school in Caruthersville, Missouri. In 1951, he was drafted into the United States Army. Massie served in the Army for a total of two years and was stationed in Germany for eighteen months as an administrator and teacher. He returned in 1953 and began graduate work at the University of Illinois at Urbana. After obtaining his Master degree, he taught history for a year at a junior college in Buford, Mississippi. His next spent five years at Rosenwald High School in Fairmont, North Carolina. He left Fairmont to return to his hometown of Paducah in 1960, when the schools in Fairmont were in the process of desegregating. When he wasn’t able to find work in Paducah, he moved to Chicago, Illinois and later Gary, Indiana for employment.
Description: William Massie began the interview with biographical and occupational information related to his parents and siblings. He recounts his teachers and memories at Lincoln School in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1930s and 1940s. He explains his reasons for attending Winston-Salem Teachers College, including his connections to coach Clarence Gains, the lack of other schools to attend and the music scholarship he received during his first year at the school. He recalled why he transferred to Kentucky State College and his decision to pursue social work and teaching. He describes his first teaching experience in Caruthersville, Missouri before being drafted into the United States Army. He was stationed in Germany as a teacher and school administrator. He provides insight into the devastation felt by the German people following World War II. Massie also recounts incidences of racial prejudice against him in Germany. Following his return to the United States, he taught history at the University of Illinois at Urbana. He recalled that his most rewarding years as a teacher were at Rosenwald High School in Fairmont, North Carolina. In terms of economic and social advancement in the Paducah by 1960, Massie believed that the conditions for African Americans were improved but that opportunities in professional fields were severely limited. He recounted his family’s experience as refugees during the Paducah Flood of 1937. He provides further biographical information on his parents, including their birthplaces, education, occupations and church activities. He concluded the interview with background and occupational information on his wife, Linda Jessie Moore Massie.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: 1979 August 14
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH259
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Mathis, Howitt Conway, Sr.
Biographical note: Howitt Conway Mathis, Sr. was born on January 2, 1912 in Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. His parents, John Robert and Maggie Edwards Mathis, raised him in Greenville where he attended the segregated schools. He later attended and graduated from Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial University in Nashville, Tennessee. He subsequently returned to Muhlenberg County, where he taught and served as a principal at the elementary and high school levels. His wife was Eloise Walker Mathis, with who he had at least one son, Howitt C. Mathis, Jr. In 1957, he and his family moved to Paducah where he was appointed as the director of West Kentucky Vocational Technical School. He served as an administrator at West Kentucky for seventeen years. Mathis died on May 12, 1986 in Rochester, Minnesota and was buried in his hometown of Greenville, Kentucky.
Description: H. C. Mathis began the interview by briefly chronicling his early life in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, college education in Tennessee and teaching career in Muhlenberg County. He discussed his experiences as the president, superintendent, and director of West Kentucky Vocational Technical School at Paducah, Kentucky and the expansion of the institution during his seventeen year term. He cited the expansion of job opportunities in the Jackson Purchase for graduates of West Kentucky Vocation Technical School as a major social and economic change during the 1950s and 1960s. He mentioned the significance of United Steelworkers of America v. Weber for the continuance of affirmative action programs and his support for such programs. He recounted local and subsequent federal programs to improve urban neighborhoods in Paducah and the role of West Kentucky students in providing volunteer labor for the projects. On the issue of African Americans maintaining separate churches after desegregation of education and other areas of public life, Mathis remarked that churches are central to the survival of the of black community and that the maintenance of separate churches is not a hindrance to equality. He discussed his pride in how West Kentucky expanded under his administration. He concluded the interview by describing how he learned about West Kentucky Vocational Technical School and was encouraged to apply for what would be his future administrative position at the school.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary J.
Date of interview: No date provided.
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH260
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Miller, Floy
Biographical note: Floy Miller was born on September 17, 1895 in Trigg County, Kentucky. She was the youngest of five children and was raised on her parents’ farm near Golden Pond in Trigg County. She began school before she turned 6 years old and attended at least four different schoolhouses. Since there was not a segregated high school within a reasonable distance of her home, she was not able to attend high school. After the eighth grade, she took the teacher’s examination in Cadiz, Kentucky and taught for one term on the certification she received. Between school terms, she attended a state teachers college in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After teaching, Miller decided to pursue a career in business and returned to Bowling Green to take college secretarial coursework. In December 1921, she was employed by the Swanson Electric Company in Evansville, Indiana. She later moved back to her home state and settled in Paducah, Kentucky. She remained in Paducah at least until the time of this interview in 1976. She never married. She died on August 16, 1986 in Ballard County, Kentucky and is buried at Paducah.
Description: Floy Miller began the interview with biographical information on herself and genealogical information on her parents. She continued to describe the crops and agricultural goods produced on her father’s farm. She described Uncle Jerry and Aunt Sally Sled, an African American couple that lived on the farm and worked for her father. She talked about her father’s brothers who lived in the area and their occupations. She mentioned forms of entertainment for the children, including possum hunting, games and community events. She provided details on the four elementary schoolhouses that she attended, including the school term and physical characteristics of the buildings. She discussed her experiences as a teacher in one-room schoolhouses in Trigg County, including the curriculum, discipline, practice of student recitations and where she boarded. She explained her reasons for ending her teaching career and subsequently taking up secretarial coursework in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In terms of the Land Between the Lakes area, she summarizes the overall demographics of the people while she was teaching, such as parents’ level of education and occupations. She recounted a story of the first wealthy family that bought a car in the area and the expansion of telephones into homes. She chronicled the steps of the long journey from her home in Trigg County to Bowling Green in order to arrive for the school term. She ended the interview with the story of the Night Riders burning a tobacco factory in Trigg County and shooting the African American on night watch.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Sullivan, David
Date of interview: 29 June 1976
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH261
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Moore, Lorenza
Biographical note: Lorenza Moore was born in 1906, the daughter of Aaron and Geneva Johnson Moore. She attended Garfield School in Paducah, Kentucky for her elementary education. For high school and two years of college, she attended West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah and studied primary education. At West Kentucky, she played on the basketball team and was the Valedictorian of her seven-person high school graduating class. Her first teaching position was at the junior high level of the Lincoln School in Paducah and she also supervised the high school senior class study period in the library. The following academic year she taught the fifth grade at the Lincoln School. For her third year at the Lincoln School, she taught the third grade and continued at that level for the remainder of her teaching career. She eventually left Paducah and attended Chicago Teachers College and Englewood Evening College. Her husband, R. D. Moore, also of Paducah, passed away at the age of 42 on June 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. She obtained a position as the supervising claims examiner of the Bureau of Employment Security, although she does not state where. On December 31, 1975 she retired from working. Moore died on April 14, 1988 and is buried in Paducah.
Description: Lorenza Moore began the interview with biographical information on herself, her parents and elementary education at the Garfield School in Paducah, Kentucky. She discussed her time at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, named other graduates, extracurricular activities and the reasons she attended the school. She spoke of President Anderson’s role in establishing the school and his involvement with the students. In particular, she delved into the difficulties he and his wife faced in keeping the institution adequately funded and how simply the couple lived as a result of their sacrifices for the institution. She continued the interview to describe her first teaching positions at Lincoln School in Paducah. She noted that Paducah has changed substantially since she was a youth, both in terms of the geographic expansion of the city and the broadening of the opportunities for African Americans in the city. She discussed the “streetcar days” of Paducah during her youth, when unsegregated streetcars were available as public transportation. She spoke about segregation in the public library that forbade African Americans from lingering inside once they found a book. She concluded the interview by describing her life after moving from Paducah, including her employment, involvement in her church and additional education.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 9 August 1979
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH262
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Patterson, Lula May Bell
Biographical note: Lula May Bell Patterson was born in May 1923 in Paducah, Kentucky. She was the only child of Professor H. Bell and Mattie Burrow. Her father died soon after her birth. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1941 in Paducah and from Kentucky State College in 1948. She began her teaching career in a one-room school that housed the first through eighth grades in Wickliffe, Ballard County, Kentucky. She taught in Kentucky for two years before obtaining a teaching job in Hayti, Missouri. She taught in Hayti for at least twenty-eight years and was the first African American to teach in the integrated school system. She married twice, divorcing her first husband and later marrying her second husband, Robert Patterson, in 1976. She died on November 8, 1982 in Hayti and is buried in Paducah.
Description: Lula Patterson reflects upon her parents, Professor H. Bell and Mattie Burrow, with a focus on her father’s career as an educator. She provided a story of a school bully who made her complete his homework. She discussed discipline practices in schools while she was a youth. She described her chores at home. She recounted an incident at Lincoln High School in Paducah, Kentucky when she attempted to kick her classmate, Clarence Gains. She recalled the physical and financial conditions in her community in Paducah. She mentioned the people who influenced her most in life, including her mother, grandparents and many teachers. She described her years working and attending classes at Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky during the 1940s. She told of her first teaching job in a one-room school in Ballard County, Kentucky. She remembered the difficulties of many of her students had with learning proper English. Patterson described her 28 years of teaching in Missouri, including her difficulties in being respected as an African American teacher in an integrated school system. She joked about how the girls in high school were concerned that the boys were all away during World War II. She revealed a long term health problem in her throat as a result of her experiences durin and the after the Paducah Flood of 1937. She concluded the interview with biographical information on her son and the organizations that she was active in, including the Order of the Eastern Star and Burkes Chapel AME.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Payton, Bill
Date of interview: 1979 July 6
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH263
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Peoples, Elle Matthews
Biographical note: Elle Matthews Peoples was born on August 13, 1924 in Paducah, Kentucky. She is one of eight children of Leslie Matthews, Sr. and Lettie G. Matthews. She completed first through eighth grade at Union Station School in McCracken County, Kentucky and high school at the Lincoln School in Paducah. She attended Oakwood Junior College in Huntsville, Alabama. She obtained a position as a teacher’s aide at the Headstart program in Paducah. She decided to attend Murray State College to become certified as a teacher.
Description: Elle M. Peoples began the interview with the occupations and locations of her seven siblings and her father. She discussed her grandfather, a slave from West Virginia, who was educated by his master’s son. She described the facilities of her elementary school, Union Station School, in McCracken County, Kentucky and the names of her teachers. She named her teachers and classmates at the segregated Lincoln High School in Paducah. She mentioned attending Oakwood Junior College in Huntsville, Alabama and Murray State College in Murray, Kentucky. She described her father’s eighty-nine acre farm in McCracken County and how her family was able to subsist almost exclusively on the food products from the farm. Peoples also talks about how private telephones did not become common until the 1950s. The family home did not have running water but a cistern that collected rainwater. She discussed the integration of the McCracken County schools from the perspective of a parent and perceived integration as a positive change. She also noted the racial integration of communities and neighborhoods and the decline of agriculture in the Jackson Purchase since the 1960s and 1970s. She recalled various home remedies that her mother used for illnesses and injuries. She concluded the interview with the occupations of her five children and the names of the organizations she was involved in.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary Sled
Date of interview: 1979 July 6
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH264
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Perry, Eura Sanford
Biographical note: Eura Sanford Perry was born on May 6, 1900 in Mayfield, Kentucky. She was a daughter of Harvey and Ritterann Beasley Sanford. Her mother died early in her life, leaving her father to raise eight children. She attended Beasley School, whose maternal grandfather had donated the land for the school. She completed one year at Lincoln High School in Paducah, Kentucky and then took the teacher certification exam at West Kentucky Industrial College. Her first teaching position was for one term in Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky. The following term, she taught in Graves County. She paused her teaching career for three years to complete her high school education at West Kentucky Industrial College. She returned to teach for two years in the community of Campbell in Ballard County. She spent three years at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee and one year at Kentucky State College, where she graduated with a Bachelor degree. She taught at Lincoln Junior High School for twelve years and attended summer sessions at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She met her husband, Dewitt Perry, in Bloomington and they married on July 29, 1943 in Ohio. After they married, she taught in Kentucky for one year before moving to Detroit, Michigan. Her last place of residence was in Lexington, Kentucky. She died at the age of 84 on September 18, 1984 and is buried in Paducah.
Description: Eura Perry describes attending the Beasley School in Graves County, Kentucky in the early 1900s. She noted that the schoolhouse was the site of community activities, from social events, meetings and church activities. She described the limited role of the county board of education in providing supplies for the school. She recounted how she was able to obtain a teacher’s certificate after one year of high school. She told of the creation of West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah and the various functions of the first building. She discussed her teaching jobs in one-room schools in Ballard County and Graves County, including who she boarded with, her salaries and the conditions of the buildings. She mentioned her desire to complete her high school education, which led her to enroll in West Kentucky Industrial College. She described her twelve years teaching at Lincoln Junior High School in Paducah and attending summer sessions at Indiana University. She recalled the various crops that her father grew and how his sorghum mill became a makeshift community center when it was planting time for the sorghum. She recounted her childhood home and various social gatherings in the community. She highlighted the destruction of the Paducah Flood of 1937 and the temporary displacement it caused. She ended the interview by explaining what moved her to become a teacher and advised “to thine own self be true,” to African American youth.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: No date listed.
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH265
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Peyton, Lula Pearl
Biographical note: Luna Pearl Peyton was born on December 4, 1884 in Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky. She attended the elementary school on the north side of Murray. After graduating from the eighth grade, she married Luther William Peyton on November 3, 1901, just before the age of seventeen. She received a four year teaching certificate soon after she took the county teacher’s exam at the Calloway County courthouse. Her first teaching position was as a first and second grade teacher in the Murray City school system. After two years, she obtained a job teaching in nearby Hazel, Kentucky, before returning to Murray to teach two more years. Between school terms, she attended high school summer sessions at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She taught in Ballard County for four years before she returned to Paducah in 1920. In the Mechanicsburg community of Paducah, she taught at the Dunbar School before being transferred to Garfield School on the north side of the city. In 1928, she graduated from high school at West Kentucky Industrial College and enrolled in the teacher training program. She received a certificate in basic electrical work in 1944 through the LaSalle Extension of the University of Chicago. Some of her other teaching positions included school near Beaver Dam, Kentucky and the Lincoln School in Charleston, Missouri. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree by attending summer sessions at Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky. After retiring from teaching, she periodically substituted and tutored in Paducah. Peyton temporarily moved to Evanston, Illinois to live with her son until he retired two years later. They both moved backed to Paducah. Mrs. Peyton died on January 9, 1997 in Paducah at the age of 112.
Description: Lula Peyton began the interview with biographical information on herself, her mother, stepfather and siblings. She described attending elementary school in her hometown of Murray, Kentucky up to the eighth grade and the chores she performed before and after the school day. She recounted the common practice of young women taking a teacher certification examination after the eighth grade. She chronicled her various teaching positions in the state of Kentucky, including schools in Murray, Hazel, Ballard County and Paducah. She stated the conditions of the school facilities, her living arrangements and the salaries associated with those positions. She spoke of completing her high school coursework during summer sessions at West Kentucky Industrial College. Her high school experiences, included living in the dormitory, her teachers’ names and how she traveled by bus and a train from Murray to Paducah. She cites the Flood of 1937 as causing decreased attendance in Paducah schools, since many of the families displaced by the flood did not return. She spoke of her involvement in churches in Murray and later Paducah. She mentioned her family’s Christmas traditions growing up. She recounted the additional education she received after high school, including teacher’s training at West Kentucky Industrial College and basic electrical training through the LaSalle Extension of the University of Chicago. She discussed the practice of public schools paying in script during the Great Depression and the financial difficulties it caused teachers. She described serving as a teacher’s substitute and tutor after her retirement. She recalled her involvement in the Eastern Star of Paducah, particularly her efforts to construct a new building for the auxiliary group and activities with Senior Citizens groups in Paducah and Evanston, Illinois. She concluded the interview with recollections of her travels to Frankfort and attending Kentucky State College during summer sessions to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: No date listed.
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH266
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
View the MP3 document
Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Peyton, Lula Pearl
Biographical note: Luna Pearl Peyton was born on December 4, 1884 in Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky. She attended the elementary school on the north side of Murray. After graduating from the eighth grade, she married Luther William Peyton on November 3, 1901, just before the age of seventeen. She received a four year teaching certificate soon after she took the county teacher’s exam at the Calloway County courthouse. Her first teaching position was as a first and second grade teacher in the Murray City school system. After two years, she obtained a job teaching in nearby Hazel, Kentucky, before returning to Murray to teach two more years. Between school terms, she attended high school summer sessions at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She taught in Ballard County for four years before she returned to Paducah in 1920. In the Mechanicsburg community of Paducah, she taught at the Dunbar School before being transferred to Garfield School on the north side of the city. In 1928, she graduated from high school at West Kentucky Industrial College and enrolled in the teacher training program. She received a certificate in basic electrical work in 1944 through the LaSalle Extension of the University of Chicago. Some of her other teaching positions included school near Beaver Dam, Kentucky and the Lincoln School in Charleston, Missouri. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree by attending summer sessions at Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky. After retiring from teaching, she periodically substituted and tutored in Paducah. Peyton temporarily moved to Evanston, Illinois to live with her son until he retired two years later. They both moved backed to Paducah. Mrs. Peyton died on January 9, 1997 in Paducah at the age of 112.
Description: Lula Peyton began the interview with biographical information on herself, her mother, stepfather and siblings. She described attending elementary school in her hometown of Murray, Kentucky up to the eighth grade and the chores she performed before and after the school day. She recounted the common practice of young women taking a teacher certification examination after the eighth grade. She chronicled her various teaching positions in the state of Kentucky, including schools in Murray, Hazel, Ballard County and Paducah. She stated the conditions of the school facilities, her living arrangements and the salaries associated with those positions. She spoke of completing her high school coursework during summer sessions at West Kentucky Industrial College. Her high school experiences, included living in the dormitory, her teachers’ names and how she traveled by bus and a train from Murray to Paducah. She cites the Flood of 1937 as causing decreased attendance in Paducah schools, since many of the families displaced by the flood did not return. She spoke of her involvement in churches in Murray and later Paducah. She mentioned her family’s Christmas traditions growing up. She recounted the additional education she received after high school, including teacher’s training at West Kentucky Industrial College and basic electrical training through the LaSalle Extension of the University of Chicago. She discussed the practice of public schools paying in script during the Great Depression and the financial difficulties it caused teachers. She described serving as a teacher’s substitute and tutor after her retirement. She recalled her involvement in the Eastern Star of Paducah, particularly her efforts to construct a new building for the auxiliary group and activities with Senior Citizens groups in Paducah and Evanston, Illinois. She concluded the interview with recollections of her travels to Frankfort and attending Kentucky State College during summer sessions to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: No date listed.
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH266
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Polk, Charles E.
Biographical note: Charles E. Polk was born in Paducah, Kentucky on May 19, 1927 to Charles and Mable Matchem Polk. He attended elementary school at the Garfield School on the north side of Paducah. From 1941 to 1944 he attended Paducah’s Lincoln High School. By 1949, he had moved to Illinois and took a civil service job. He attended college in Decatur, Illinois and lived there until 1961. During the 1950s, he was appointed to the housing authority of Decatur and later the National Urban Renewal Commission. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge since the 1940s and served as an Illinois State Grand Lodge Officer. After 1961, he worked in the management of various communication agencies. In 1965, he organized a consulting firm and five years later created a construction company that his only son managed at the time of the interview. He also helped to organize a bank, named Jersey Shore Bank, in New Jersey. In 1974, he received the Duke of Paducah Award. At the time of the interview, he operated a real estate management firm in addition to his management position in the United States Army Satellite Communication Agency.
Description: Charles Polk named his elementary teachers at the all-black Garfield School in Paducah, Kentucky. He acknowledged his principal, Mrs. Ross, as instilling a respect for women in the young boys and having a positive impact on his life. He also named his teachers at Lincoln High School in Paducah during the early 1940s and discussed their efforts to help him and others to achieve in all aspects of life. He named the Lincoln graduating class of 1944 and their locations and occupations at the time of the interview. He chronicled his jobs and college education in Decatur, Illinois after he left Paducah in the late 1940s. He described his involvement with the Masonic Lodge in Kentucky and Illinois. He mentioned his role in the creation of numerous businesses. He recounted the honors of receiving the Duke of Paducah Award in 1974. Polk reflected that living conditions in Paducah had improved since his youth. He concluded the interview with biographical information about his wife, only son, sisters, and parents.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary Sled
Date of interview: 1979 August 8
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH267
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Ray, Corine
Biographical note: Corine E. Ray was born on October 5, 1903 in Paducah, Kentucky. She attended first through seventh grade at Garfield School and eighth through twelfth grade at Lincoln School. Both were segregated schools in Paducah. In 1921, she graduated from Lincoln School as the salutatorian and enrolled in Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. After two years of college, she began her teaching career in Paris, Tennessee. She taught one school term in Paris before returning to her hometown of Paducah to teach at the Garfield School for four years. During the 1926 to 1927 school year, she taught in Arcadia, Kentucky at the Sander’s School, a rural one-room school. While she taught elementary school, she attended summer sessions at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky and Chicago Normal School in Chicago, Illinois. In 1927, she married James Ray and ceased to be a teacher. She offered music lessons at her home after she was married, giving up to forty lessons per week. On September 4, 1989 Mrs. Ray died at the age of 85 in Paducah, Kentucky.
Description: Corine Ray began the interview by naming the schools that she attended in her hometown of Paducah, Kentucky in the early 1900s. She chronicled her teaching career in Tennessee and western Kentucky, detailed her experiences at Paducah’s Garfield School and at the one-room Sanders School in Arcadia, Kentucky. She cited the legislation that required women to give up teaching once they married, which was why she stopped teaching in 1927. Ray recounted how she began giving music lessons at her home after she resigned as a public school teacher. She mentioned a lynching of an African American male in Paducah in 1919. She spoke of the band at Lincoln School and her classmates who became professional musicians. She described living, learning, and working at Wilberforce University in Ohio. She recalled the financial hardships in the Jackson Purchase during the Great Depression, particularly the difficulty in finding jobs and making enough money to provide for the family. She described the musicality of her children and her son’s band, Clouds of Joy. She ends the interview with a quote from her high school salutatorian speech.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, W. C.
Date of interview: No date listed.
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH268
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Rutter, Henrietta
Biographical note: Henrietta Rutter an African American educator and school administrator born on January 17, 1907 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended primary school in Pittsburgh. She completed her undergraduate education at Howard University, an all-black institution in Washington, D.C., and the University of Pittsburgh. She taught at a women’s college in Greensboro, North Carolina for three summers. She obtained her Master degree from the University of Pittsburgh. From 1934 to 1938, she served as the head critic teacher at West Kentucky Industrial College, a segregated normal school in Paducah, Kentucky. From 1938 to 1958, she taught in the Rowlandtown School in Paducah. When the school was consolidated with Northside School in 1958, she transferred to Northside and taught there for two years. In 1960, she became principal and sixth grade teacher of the new Southside School in Paducah. After she retired from teaching, she served on the Paducah Board of Education. At the time of the interview, she was involved with the Council of Organizations in Paducah. She died on November 22, 1995 at the age of 85 years old.
Description: Henrietta Rutter began the interview with biographical information on her parents. She explained the racial tensions in the Deep South which led her father to move from Georgia. Moving North afforded her more educational opportunities, including non-restricted access to public libraries and integrated primary, secondary and higher education. She highlighted her shock at the discrepancies between the economic and physical conditions of segregated Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh. She discussed the influence that her professors at the University of Pittsburgh had on her career as an educator. She recounted her experiences teaching in the Deep South for three years and then returning to the University of Pittsburgh for a graduate degree. She discussed a racial charged incident while shopping in Louisville, Kentucky that made her feel uncomfortable to remain in that area. While acknowledging that some African Americans were able to be very financially successful and respected in the South, Rutter noted that the majority of African Americans were not. She continued the interview by chronicling her teaching positions in Paducah, including four years at the segregated normal school of West Kentucky Industrial College, twenty years at the Rowlandtown School, two years at the consolidated Northside School and brief term as the principal and sixth grade teacher of Southside School. She named the teachers that she worked with at these institutions. She also provided her opinion on the importance of having subject specific teachers. She asserted that segregation in Paducah was doomed from the beginning since the division of Paducah’s limited funding between two separate school systems hurt all students. She concluded the interview by telling of her role on the Council of Organizations in Paducah and the council’s efforts to improve employment and protect human rights in the city.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary Sled
Date of interview: 1979 July 1
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH269
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Freeman, Katie W.
Biographical note: Katie W. Freeman was born in Paducah, Kentucky in 1905. She attended segregated schools in Paducah, including Garfield Elementary School, Lincoln School, and the high school at West Kentucky Industrial College. In addition to West Kentucky Industrial College, she attended Fisk University, Provost Teachers College and a summer session at Northwestern University. She established a kindergarten at the Lincoln Court in Paducah and worked at West Kentucky Industrial College for nine years as the Recreational Supervising Counselor. She died on April 4, 1982 in Chicago, Illinois.
Description: Katie Freeman describes aspects of her experiences at the high school of the West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1920s. She recalls residing in the girls’ dormitory, the names of her instructor, the role of the school in her life and the financial difficulties she experienced while attending school. She discusses the changes in the social standing and opportunities for African Americans in Paducah during the 1970s as compared to when she was in high school in the 1920s. She mentions the establishment of a kindergarten in Paducah with the support of Mayor Robert Cherry. Freeman talks about her position at West Kentucky Industrial College as the Recreational Supervising Counselor, including her responsibilities of assisting students who were unaccustomed to hygiene products. She provides biographical information on her children and grandchildren. Lastly, she mentions a lynching incident in Paducah when she was eleven years old.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 August 9
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH248
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Amos, Eloise Broady
Biographical note: Born in 1929 to James and Mary Broady, Eloise Marie Broady Amos grew up in Paducah and attended all black schools. After she graduated from high school in 1946, Amos worked at a Paducah general store and later a hospital. She was the first African American to attend Paducah Junior College, which originally banned the acceptance of African Americans. She obtained employment as a clerk at various institutions in Paducah before moving to Louisville with her new husband. She worked at the University of Louisville and attended night classes in Secretarial Science. From 1968 to 1970, she taught high school business classes before obtaining two sequential positions with the Louisville Board of Education. She returned to teaching high school due to the need for African American teachers as a result of the desegregation of Louisville public schools and required busing in 1975. She obtained two more graduate degrees from Western Kentucky University, a Master of Arts in Secondary Guidance and Counseling in 1976 and another in Administration Supervision in 1979. She continued teaching business at the high school level in Jefferson County until her retirement in 1989.
Description: Eloise B. Amos discusses what education was like for African Americans in the public schools of McCracken County, Kentucky during the 1930s and 1940s and her struggle against the racist status quo to gain admittance to Paducah Junior College (presently West Kentucky Community and Technical College. She described her family’s experiences during the flood of 1937. She also details the chaos and riots against desegregation following the court imposed 1975 Louisville busing program.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Peyton, Bill
Date of interview: 1979 August 3
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH231
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Caldwell, Vivian (Part 2)
Biographical note: Vivian Caldwell was born in Hickman, Kentucky on November 11, 1898 to James Williams and Isabelle Whitley Caldwell. She attended high school at Hickman College, which was later renamed Hickman High School and consolidated into Fulton County High School. She and her class of thirteen total students graduated in 1917. She taught seven months in a one room school in Mississippi County, Missouri. She attended Western Teachers College in Bowling Green, Kentucky full time from February 1, 1918 to October 31, 1918 before returning to Hickman to teach. She returned to college fulltime from 1921 to 1922 and part time during summer terms until she graduated in June of 1928. Since there were no math openings in Hickman, she taught high school math and English in Campbellsville, Kentucky and later in Franklin, Kentucky. From September 1929 until she retired in May 1969, she taught high school in Hickman. She died at Hickman on June 1, 1984.
Description: Vivian Caldwell discusses the long process to attain her degree in education at Western Kentucky State Normal School (presently Western Kentucky University), stating that she was unable to attend college without periodic breaks to acquire funds for tuition and other expenses. She recalls her salaries as a teacher, what it was like teaching during the Great Depression, her experiences at Hickman High School and the desegregation and consolidation of the schools in Fulton County.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Murray, Nicollete
Date of interview: 1980 November 13
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH237
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.
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Title of Collection: Education & Desegregation - Oral History
Name of person interviewed: Browne, B. W. (Birdius William)
Biographical note: Birdius William Brown was born on January 18, 1906 in Warsaw, Kentucky. He attended a one room school in Warsaw during his childhood years. He completed the eighth grade in Decatur, Illinois before returning to Warsaw. He attended high school in Frankfort, Kentucky followed by two years of normal school at Kentucky State College. His first teaching job was at a one-room school in Mt. Auburn, Kentucky. He relocated to Florida where he taught and later became president of the Melbourne High and Vocational School. He moved to Paducah and taught at Lincoln High School. He eventually became principal of the school. After the Lincoln High consolidated with Tilghman High School in 1965, he served as the Assistant Director of Curriculum and Guidance. Browne retired and operated a farm. He died at Paducah on November 1, 1986.
Description: B. W. (Birdius William) Browne highlights the benefits of a one-room school education from the perspective of a student and teacher. He describes his early childhood in Warsaw, Kentucky, teaching in segregated schools and his accomplishments as an educator and school administrator from the 1930s to the 1970s. He delves into the changing attitudes towards education and the contemporary lack of parental support of teachers leading to discipline problems in modern schools. He also discusses the influence and growth of the West Kentucky Vocational School at Paducah.
Descriptors: Education -- Kentucky -- History.
Interviewed by: Bates, Mary
Date of interview: 1979 July 2
Contributed by: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project.
Identification number: OH236
Location: Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.