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0:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: This is an unrehearsed...

Segment Synopsis: Intro to the interview

Keywords: Richmond, EKU


0:40 - Personal Information

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Partial Transcript: Would you give me your name please?

Segment Synopsis: Personal information and family background

Keywords: Richmond


6:41 - Education

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Partial Transcript: Did you go to school?

Segment Synopsis: Synopsis of education including teacher names

Keywords: Richmond High


9:31 - Job History

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Partial Transcript: What did you do...

Segment Synopsis: Job history and people she worked with

Keywords: Mr. Hamilton, Higgins furniture store


14:07 - Marriage

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Partial Transcript: When did you get married?

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Hugh Singleton, Elmer Harris


17:54 - Family Background

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember your grandparents?

Segment Synopsis: Background of family. Grand parents, parents, and family tree.




The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with Mrs. Elsie D. Noland Singleton Harris, long time resident of Richmond, Kentucky. The interview was conducted at 118 Chris Drive in Richmond. The interview was conducted by A.G. Dunston of the History Department for the Oral History Center at Eastern Kentucky University.

AD: Would you give me your name, please?

EH: Elsie Harris.

AD: Elsie.

EH: Elsie D. Harris.


EH: No.

AD: Harris? Elsie D. Harris.

EH: Letter D.

AD: Letter D. Elsie D. Harris.

EH: Yeah.

AD: The D stands for . . . ?

EH: It’s just a D.


AD: It’s just a D?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Alright. Is Harris your married name?

EH: Yeah. I was a Noland.

AD: You were Noland?

EH: Uh-huh.

AD By birth?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Alright.What is your birth date?

EH: October 17th.

AD: October 17th. What year?

EH: Nineteen oh-nine.

AD: Nineteen oh-nine. Were you born in Richmond, Kentucky?

EH: Yeah.

AD: At home?

EH: Yeah.

AD: In your parents’ house?

EH: Yeah.

AD: How many brothers and sisters do you have?

EH: I had three brothers . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: And I didn’t have no sisters.

AD: You didn’t have any sisters. What was the name of your brothers? Where were their names?

EH: George Noland. He’s the oldest.

AD: Okay.

EH: He was born in 1911.

AD: Alright.

EH: Walker Noland. He was born in 1912.

AD: Okay.

EH: And Archie Noland was born in 1913.


AD: Nineteen thirteen. Okay. So you were the baby?

EH: I’m the oldest.

AD: You were the oldest. Did you have to take care of your brothers when you were growing up?

EH: Yeah.

AD: I bet you like that?

EH: No, I didn’t. (Laughter) Because I failed. Everytime I get up to put the youngest brother to bed, he had a spasm and died.

AD: What did your father do for a living?

EH: When we were . . . Him and Momma separated . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: Well, when he was with my momma, he worked on a railroad.

AD: Okay.

EH: They made 90 cents a day.

AD: Ninety cents a day on the railroad? Did he travel a lot? Is that . . . ?

EH: No.


AD: Okay.

EH: He laid track.

AD: He laid track?

EH: Okay.

AD: And did he hold any other kind of jobs?

EH: Well, he worked at . . .

AD: Go ahead.

EH: A&P grocery store, loading and unloading groceries.

AD: Loading and unloading groceries?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then he worked as an undertaker.

AD: Okay.

EH: _______

AD: Okay.

EH: And he’d go with them and back up in the mountains with the people . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: With the hearse and horses.

AD: The hearse . . . The horses . . . The hearse was a horse drawn wagon. Okay? And he would go up into the mountains and help them . . . They would bury the people up in the mountains?

EH: If they died in the mountains, that’s where they’d go bury them.

AD: Did your mother work outside the home?


EH: She finally went to work after they separated.

AD: Okay.

EH: She cooked in a boarding house.

AD: Where?

EH: In Ms. . . .

AD: Take your time.

AD: So, she . . . After they separated, she started working, and she worked at . . . you said, a boarding house.

EH: Yeah.

AD: And she cooked?

EH: Yeah.

AD: And who owned it?

EH: Ms. Cosby.

AD: Cosby?

EH: _______.

EH: On Third Street.

AD: On Third Street? Was Third Street a white neighborhood? Was the boarding house for white people?

EH: ______. Yeah, the white people here down that way.

AD: On Third Street where the boarding house was?

EH: Second Street.

AD: Oh, okay.

EH: It was on Second Street. _____ lived up there. They 5:00didn’t have _____the door, the front door.

AD: Okay.

EH: You had to go in and out the back door.

AD: She did? Okay. And so . . .

EH: And then Momma washed for Dr. Dosier of the school. Dr. Dosier of the school.

AD: Up to . . . which school?

EH: Eastern.

AD: Oh! Okay.

EH: And washed for his wife.

AD: Okay.

EH: And I got a nephew named after him.

AD: Are you saying the last name is Dosier? D-O-S-I-E-R? Dosier.

EH: I reckon.

AD: Does it start with a D?

EH: Yeah.

AD: And, so, that’s what she did after they separated, and she did these various jobs?


EH: Yeah.

AD: Did she remarry?

EH: No.

AD: Did your father remarry?

EH: No.

AD: Okay. Do you remember when they died?

EH: Momma died in ‘65.

AD: Okay.

EH: And Papa died in ‘66.

AD: Okay. They were still friends?

EH: Oh, yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: They would go together for a while and then separate.

AD: As you were growing up, other than taking care of your brothers, did you have any other family or household responsibilities?

EH: No.

AD: Just that? Did you go to school?

EH: When I wanted to.


AD:When you wanted to, where did you go?

EH: I went to Richmond High School.

AD: Okay.

EH: And Mr. Russell was the professor.


AD: Okay.

EH: And my teacher in the primary grade was Ms. Anna Dunson.

AD: Dunson? In the primary grade?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Ms. Anna Dunson. Do you remember any other teachers?

EH: Yeah. I know them all.

AD: Okay.

EH: And Ms. Benny Gwen. She taught one primary grade.

AD: Okay.

EH: And Mr. Campbell taught the 3rd grade when Ms. Millie Embry taught the 2nd grade.

AD: Okay.

EH: And, Ms. Hurley taught the 5th grade.

AD: Okay.

EH: Ms. Maggie Broaddus taught the 6th grade.

AD: Okay.

EH: And Mr. Georgie Walker taught the 7th grade.


AD: Okay.

EH: And _____ I don’t know if Ms. Kurt taught one grade up there.

AD:. How far did you go, when you wanted to? Did you finish 8th grade?

EH: No, I quit in 6th grade.

AD: You quit in the 6th grade.? Okay, how old were you? Do you remember?

EH: Let me see. . . I went to a Lexington school for a while.

AD: After you . . . stopped going up here?

EH: Then, I came back and went back to Richmond School.

AD: Okay, wait a minute. You went to Richmond until the 6th grade?

EH: Yeah. And, they put me back.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then. I come back in and they put forward to 9:00the 6th grade.

AD: Here?

EH: Yeah.

AD: How long did you . . . The Lexington school, what was the name of it?

EH: Constitution.

AD: Constitution? And, when you went over there to school, they put you back. But when you came back here . . . ?

EH: They put me forward . . .

AD: Forward to the 6th grade.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Did you finish the 6th grade?

EH: I quit in the 6th grade.

AD: What did you do . . . after you quit?

EH: I went to work.

AD: Where did you go work?

EH: I went to work with Mr. Allen to run the wholesale ____ on Sundays.

AD: Okay.

EH: I ________ with his wife.

AD: You helped his wife doing . . . in the house?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then, I got a job where the . . . Mr. Murphy run the furniture store.


AD: Okay.

EH: Higgins Furniture Store.

AD: You worked for Mr. Murphy who ran Higgins Furniture Store. What’d you do after that? What were you doing for him? The same thing for his wife?

EH: Cooking and keeping the children.

AD: What other jobs did you have after that?

EH: Oh. (Coughs).

AD: If you can’t remember each one? Was it a safe kind of work?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Most of the jobs that you had in your work and life were the household jobs like cooking and cleaning and watching the children.

EH: No. I worked at the Ordinance.

AD: The what?

EH: The Ordinance.

AD: Uh.

EH: At the Ordinance.

AD: What did you do out there?

EH: I worked on ammunition.

AD: What . . .did you do with the ammunition at the 11:00Ordinance? What did you have to do?

EH: Well, the first time, I was spot painting, and then I went in there and then . . . cleaning ___.

AD: Okay.

EH: And, then, the _____.

AD: Okay.

EH: And I unloaded mines.

AD: You did?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: They had fired most of them. And, then, _________ was took out, and I unloaded them, and they would put them in _____, and they’d carry them down to the ground and destroyed them.

AD: Okay. Wasn’t that dangerous?

EH: Well, sure, you know it.

AD: Do you remember how much you got paid for that?

EH: Fifty-two cent an hour.

AD: Fifty-two cents an hour? People who did that, were all 12:00. . . the people who work with you doing those kinds of things, were they black?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then, I screw screws on mustard gas.

AD: On mustard gas? (Whistles).

EH: One of the reasons why, why its ______.

AD: Yeah, but you didn’t have to have no gas mask, did you?

EH: You could smell it.

AD: I know you could. How long did you work for the Ordinance?

EH: I worked from ‘46 and got laid off, and they called me back, and I worked in, I think, it was ‘52.

AD: In ‘52? Okay.

EH: I was working all day in a different place.

AD: When they called you back, you were working at a 13:00different place.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Any more interesting jobs that you’ve had?

EH: Huh?

AD: Have you had any other interesting jobs?

EH: No. They finally got paid 72 cents.

AD: Seventy-two cents an hour.

EH: Yeah.

AD: When did you stop working?

EH: When I was 62.

AD: Sixty-two? And you retired? What were you doing that you retired from? What was the last thing you did?

EH: I retired . . . when I was doing housework.

AD: Okay.

EH: Cleaning.

AD: Who was your last employer? Who was the last person you worked for before you stopped working?

EH: Let’s see. . . I was cleaning after Katie Blaze.


AD: Blaze?

EH: A white woman.

AD: Okay. And so you retired when you turned 62?

EH: Yeah.

AD: When did you get married? Do you remember the year you got married?

EH: I first married in ‘24.

AD: Nineteen twenty-four.

EH: And my second husband, I married in ‘72.

AD: In ‘72. . Let’s back up. First husband in 1924. What was his name?

EH: He was Singleton.

AD: Hugh?

EH: Hugh Singleton.

AD: Spell it.

EH: H-U-G-H.

AD: Okay. And . . .

EH: S-I-N-G-L-E-T-O-N.

AD: Okay. S-I . . ..

EH: N.

AD: N.

EH: G.

AD: G.

EH: L-E-T.

AD: L-E-T?

EH: O-N.

AD: You married him from 1924 until when?

EH: And him and I separated when my boy, my next to 15:00youngest boy, was 4 years old.

AD: When you separated? Okay. How many children of that union?

EH: Four boys.

AD: Four boys? What were their names?

EH: Wallace Singleton.

AD: Okay.

EH: David Singleton.

AD: Okay.

EH: Hugh Singleton.

AD: Okay.

EH: And I wasn’t married . . . I was married, but it was not Hugh’s child.

AD: Okay.

EH: It was Gary Noland.

AD: So, you had those four boys, and then you separated from him when the youngest was about 4 years old.

EH: No. The oldest one is my own.

AD: The which?


EH: Gary.

AD: Gary.

(Another person enters the conversation - AP)

AP: She separated from him when his youngest was 4 years old, which was Hugh.

AD: When Hugh was 4 years old.

AP: Yeah.

EH: His name was Hugh Alan.

AD: So, you separated from Singleton when Hugh was 4 years old. And then, what did you do? Did you raise them yourself?

EH: Yeah. I’m working and raising them myself.

AD: Are those the only children you had, the four boys?

EH: Yeah.

AD: And when did you marry the second time?

EH: In ‘72.

AD: In 1972.

EH: In ‘72. Yeah, because ______ in ‘73.

AD: Who’d you marry in ‘72?

EH: Elmer Harris.

AD: Elmer Harris? Is he from here?

EH: Yeah. But he lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania then.


AD: Okay.

EH: And I went up there and stayed two years.

AD: Two years, and then what?

EH: We moved back here, and he died in ‘90.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then I come back here.

AD: Okay.

EH: But, I still kept my houses.

AD: You did keep your own home.

EH: Yeah.

AD:. . . .Even while you were away?

AP: Mmm-Hmm.

EH: Huh?

AD: Even while you were in Pittsburgh?

AP: Right.

EH: Why, yeah.

AD: You . . . kept your homes here.. . . even while you were in Pittsburgh.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: I still own them.

AD: Do you? Okay. So, he died in 1990.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Let’s see . . . Do you . . .

EH: He’s nine months older than I am?

AD: He was. Okay. Do you remember your grandparents?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Your grandparents?


EH: I know my grandma. Her name was Phoebe Fish. She was born after slavery.

AD: Okay.

EH: But, she had a sister born in slavery.

AD: Okay.

EH: They . . . Folks, her daddy was Marvin, and was born in slavery.

AD: Okay.

EH: My mamaw was not born in slavery.

AD: She was not? Her name was Phoebe.

EH: Fish.

AD: Fish.

EH: Yeah.

AD: F-I-S-H.

EH: She married a Fish.

AD: Okay.

EH: She was a Collins, her maiden name.

AD: Collins? But she was born after slavery. Of course, her older sister was born in slavery. Was that . . .

EH: Older than her.

AD: And how about your grandpa? Your grandpa? Do you remember either one of your grandfathers?

EH: Step-grandpa.

AD: Who was your step-grandpa?


EH: Gerald Fish.

AD: And do you remember any grandparents on the other side? These were your mother’s mother and father.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Do you know anything about your father’s mother and father?

EH: Yeah. I know my grandmother, when ______ died . . . Well, how long do you know her to be dead?

AP: Five years.

EH: Five years.

AD: What was the name?

EH: Georgia Stone.

AD: Georgia Stone?

EH: Yeah. My mother died before she did.

AD: Okay.

EH: And, she was Stone, but different Stones.

AP: _____ Stone.

AD: Okay.

EH: It was year different in their deaths.

AD: A year different between their deaths?

EH: Yeah. Between Georgia and ______.

AP: Do you remember grandmother?


EH: Huh?

AP: Do you remember Mr. Dennis’ grandmother?

EH: Yeah.

AP: His mother?

EH: Yeah. I remember my daddy’s mother. Her name was Cilia Ann.

AD: Cilia Ann

EH: And, she was born . . . She was in slavery.

AD: Okay.

EH: Her sister, she said, was so . . . They were both in slavery, and she never did hear no more.

AD: Okay. So, you are linked to the Collins?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: Now, my great-grandmother was Francie Collins, and my great-grandfather, he was a Collins.

AD:You said C-O-L-L-I-N-S?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Madison County?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Were they all in Madison County?


EH: Yeah.

AD: So, your great-grand . . . They were Madison County? Your grandparents, both sides, from Madison County?

EH: Yeah.

AD: And your parents from . . . Madison?

EH: One of my grandparents was a slave here.

AD: Okay.

EH: Down to Cassius Clay’s place.

AD: Which one was that?

EH: My daddy’s mother.

AD: She was a slave at the Cassius Clay farm. What was her name?

EH: Cilia Ann.

AD: You said she was a slave. I didn’t realize she was a slave at . . . She was owned by the Cassius Clay family.

EH: Yeah.

AD:So, your family, all your family has deep roots here in Madison County?

EH: Yeah.

AD: What was your life like growing up? Were you poor?

EH: I’ve always been poor.

AD: Did you know you were poor?

EH: Yeah. I was in and out of everything, like we 22:00all do. We _____ on the road before they had the street with no cars.

AD: Okay.

EH: Then . . . It was a rock street.

AD: Okay.

EH: But, ________.

AD: Okay.

EH: We’d ______.

AD:You had to do your washing outside or in a tub?

EH: That’s my washboard hanging.

AD: Your . . .

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: My washboard.

AD: How about the plumbing? Was that outside . . . The toilet and everything? Was that outside?

EH: Yeah.

AD: (Laughter) What?

AP: _____I don’t think it was relevant to what you were talking about.

AD: The family . . . What, George Washington Noland and his wife, Cilia A. Clay.


AP: Mmm-Hmm.

EH: And the grandfather, they died.

AD: This . . . this . . .

AP: This is her daddy.

AD: Your daddy was Dennis Noland.

EH: Okay.

AD: He was the 6th child of George Washington Noland and Cilia A. Clay.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Oh, this is wonderful. The family tree.

AP: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: Does everybody have it? Are you going to publish it?

AP: Yeah. My husband’s doing it. _____ when they have a family reunion.

AD: Okay.

AP: ____

AD: Okay. So, you . . . Simpson-Noland-Collins-Singleton.

AP: We are under the Simpson, Broaddus, Noland and Ballew family reunion, on their side.

AD: Oh, are you?

AP: Mmm-Hmm.

EH: We had it every year.

AD: But I missed the connection here. The Ballew-Broaddus connection.

EH: Yeah.


AD: I’m missing that. What is that?

AP: _________.

(Shuffling papers).

AP: Granny, tell me . . . How did we get into the family reunion?

EH: Ballew, Broaddus and Simpson.

AD: But, how . . . The Simpson connection, the Ballew connection, and the Broaddus connection, right? Okay.

EH: And the Noland.

AD: And the what?

EH: Noland’s.

AD: And the Noland’s, okay. How do you get into the Ballew-Broaddus connection? How do you get that connection.

EH: On Daddy’s side.

AD: Your father.

EH: Yeah. Cilia’s mother was a Ballew and she is . . . on daddy’s side.

AD: Sarah.

EH: A cousin . . .

AD: Was a Ballew?

EH: Her mother was a Ballew when she married a Reed.


AP: A Reed.

EH: Yeah.

AD: A Reed down from Spring . . . Silver Springs. Those Reeds on the river.

EH: _______.

AP: ____ his daddy, but I do ______.

EH: _____ Reed.

AD: Okay.

AP: Gran, what is it - the Ballew, Broaddus, Noland . . . Is it Ballew?

EH: Ballew, Broaddus, Noland, and Simpson.

AD: Ballew, Broaddus, Noland, Simpson is the connection.

EH: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: For Madison County?

EH: Yeah.

AP: Randolph James Simpson Noland.

AD: Noland.

AP: And his wife Nancy.

AD: Okay.

AP: And they have George, I think. Telford, Mary Ellen, and . . .

AD: This is George.

AP: And this is how . . .

AD: George Washington Noland and Cilia A. Clay, who was a slave.


AP: ______.

AD: Her grandfather and mother. . .

AP: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

AP: So, he came out of the Simpson side. He was George Simpson.

AD:And then, we have . . . Her father was Dennis Noland.

AP: Mmm-Hmm.

AD:Dennis Noland and his wife, Mary A. Boggs Noland.

EH: My mother was a Boggs.

AP: And had her.

AD: Elsie D. Noland Singleton Harris. That’s you. And Elsie D. Harris and husband Hugh Singleton had, uh . . .

AP: She had a son when she was _______.

AD: Gary G. Noland.

AP: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: Father was William G. Francis.

AP: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: Okay.

AP: But, he wasn’t . . . He was gone.

AD: Oh. That’s . . . Okay. So, we have to go back to the . . . okay.

AP: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: To the normal name.

AP: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: Okay.

AP: And she married Elmer. She didn’t have no children by him.

AD: Married Elmer Harris . . .

EH: Guess not.

AD: And had no children by him. Hmm?

EH: I said, guess not.

AD: I guess . . . (laughter).

EH: I married him when I was 62 years old.

AD: You were 62. Wait a minute . . . 27:00Wait . . . . . . I’m losing stuff. . . Okay.

AP: Okay?

AD: Okay. You retired at 62. Right? Took up with a man, married him, and moved to Pittsburgh.

EH: Yeah.


AD: Stayed there until two . . . You stayed there . . .

EH: We come back in ‘6-, in ‘75.

AD: You came back here in ‘75?

EH: And we’ve been here since.

AD: Okay.

EH: And he go back. ________. He was a preacher.

AD: Baptist? A Baptist preacher?

EH: Yeah.

AP: Let me see if I can find that on the tree.

EH: Elmer was.

AD: He was a Baptist preacher. Let me ask you another question. What is your church here?

EH: Down in the Bottom. Predestinerian Baptist Church.

AD: Why do you call it down in the bottom? That’s a new phrase too for me. “Down in the bottom” what’s that mean?

EH: We also called it down in the bottom because the church 28:00is down there.

AD: Where . . . is it located?

EH: Down there . . . back a road . . . two ways.

AD: On what street?

EH: On Irvine Street.

AD: On East Irvine Street?

EH: _____ Baptist church. It’s down here . . . A Baptist church.

AD: And that’s the Baptist . . . It’s the Predestinery Church.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Who is your pastor?

EH: Leland Turpin.

AD: Turpin?

EH: Oh, yeah.

AD: Turpin. How long have you been a member of that church?

EH: I joined that church in ‘24.

AD: My, my.

EH: I think I was 16.

AD: Has the church always been located, as you say, in the bottom?

EH: Yeah.

AD: What is it?

EH: It’s old. You know, it was 18 something when that 29:00church was built.

AD: Is that the oldest black church in town?

EH: Yeah. I imagine it is.

AD: So, it was built in 18 something. Do you remember who was pastor when you joined?

EH: Oh. His name was . . .


AD: Charles Price.

EH: He was in Cincinnati and on the ______.

AD: And this is the church, you’ve been going to all of these years. This has been your home church, since ‘24?

EH: Yeah. I go over to _____ church down in the Bottoms.

AD:Your second husband, was he a Predestinerian Baptist minister?

EH: No.

AD: Oh, what kind of minister was he?

EH: He was a Baptist minister. He is Baptist.

AD: Did he have a church in Pittsburgh?

EH: No. He pastored a church for a while.


AD: Okay.

EH: And then, Elmer passed.

AD: Okay.

EH: He pastored for four years.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then, he come here and pastored . . . I have to get it right . . .

AD: Take your time.

EH: He was the pastor at that church for 11 years and _______. It was . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: Peyton Town.

AD: Peyton Town! Oh, okay. Where did the name Peyton come from? Was it a family named Peyton that established the town?

EH: Yeah. There was people that lived there named Peyton.

AD: Were Peytons?


EH: Yeah. ___________ was a Peyton. She was _______ . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: That’s it.

AD: So, Peyton Town, did they have their own school? We know they had their own church because that’s where he went out to pastor, right?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Did they have a Peyton Town School?

EH: I don’t know.

AD: Okay.

EH: I didn’t see _____.

AD: Okay. When you went out . . .

EH: They went somewhere there ___take them to school ________.

AD: Okay. ______

AP: ___ on the Simpson side ____.

AD: Okay.

AP: ______.

AD: James Simpson Noland and Nancy.

AP:And, then had Telford, and Telford had George Washington . . .

AD: No. George Washington had Dennis and . . .

AP: Dennis had . . .

AD: Had Elsie. And Elsie had Gary, and Gary has Gary, Jr.

AP: Gary Jr.

AD: Oh, that’s nice. That’s a good thing to have.


AP: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: That really is. Listen, before we get too far . . . Let me introduce you, (laughter) because there’s going to be this strange name . . . there’s going to be a strange voice. Alright. Who are you?

CN: My name is Carrie Noland.

AD: Carrie Noland. You are from Richmond?

CN: Right.

AD: And. . .

CN: I am Elsie D.’s daughter-in-law. I am married to her son, Gary Noland.

AD: Okay. Gary Noland, Senior.

CN: Senior.

AD: Thank you. (laughter) You just had a birthday not too long ago, didn’t you? You did?

EH: October.

AD: October 17th, 1992.

EH: Yeah.

AD: You were 83 on that day. Right?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Alright.

EH: I’ll be 84 this year.

AD: What’d you do to celebrate your birthday? So, you looked at the soap operas. Did you look at . . . Okay.

EH: And eat.

AD: And eat? What can you tell me about . . . 33:00anything interesting that you remember about just living in Richmond, Kentucky.

EH: The fire truck was horse rode.

AD: They had . . . Okay.

EH: Rode.

AD: Mmm-Hmm

EH: They didn’t have no cars then.

AD: Right.

EH: Nobody would ________.

AD: Okay.

EH: ________ she had an electric car.

AD:Electric car. So, the fire equipment was drawn by horse. When did you become a landowner? When did you buy your first piece of property?

EH: I didn’t buy no property until ______ met Elmer, about the 34:00year before I married him.

AD: And you had been a property owner in this county since that time?

EH: Yeah. The other times, I paid rent.

AD: Okay.

EH: A dollar and a quarter a week.

AD: A dollar and a quarter a week?


AD: Where was this and does this place still exist?

EH: I told them the other day, I said it don’t seem fair what you have to pay for rent now.

AD: It really isn’t. It’s a lot more than that. A lot more than that.

EH: And some of them paid 75 cents.

AD: Yeah. For rent. When you were . . . a young woman, did you join any clubs, any social clubs?

EH: Well, I belong to the Elks.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then the church club.

AD: A church club, like what? What’s the name of the 35:00church club?

EH: I don’t remember that.

AD: When did you join the Elks? Do you remember how old you were at that time?

EH: I was young . . . little then.

AD: Did you maintain your membership all of the years?

EH: No.

AD: Okay. You let it go?

EH: That was _______ Elk . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: And then they stopped running it . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: And then, I quit going.

AD: Any other social clubs you belong to.

EH: No.

AD: Why not? You just haven’t wanted to join any group?

EH: No.

AD:This tape . . . let me . . .

(Tape recorder turned off.) (Tape recorder turned on.)

CN: Take it and wash it. Raising four sons, because I didn’t have time.

AD: No, not really. Raising four sons?


EH: Yeah.

AD: And you took care of your parents?

EH: Huh?

AD: You took good care of your own parents?

EH: They took ill . . . I took them in when they got sick.

AD: Yeah.

CN: Both of them until they died.

EH: Yeah. I took them until they died.

CN: And she worked out . . . Did cleaning, and then took in ironing.

EH: Yeah.

AD: You took in ironing too.

CN: After she came home.

AD: Did you?

EH: Yeah.

CN: Plus you worked for Mrs. Pete Marino and cleaned house, and cleaned house for that woman that run the flower shop and cleaned house for Hamp Cole, that run the grocery store.

AD: Okay.

CN: She did all of that.

EH: I’d come home from after Mr. Kasserine and cook and feed them, and go out _____ and I would get supper.

AD: Okay.

CN: And then took in washing on the weekend.

AD: Did washing on the weekends? No, you didn’t have time for the . . . ___ club.


EH: And then, I cleaned Momma’s house on Sunday.

AD: Anything else you’d like to share with anybody who might want to use and listen to these tapes . . . Share about your life. What do you think you are most proud of in your whole life?

EH: That I was able to take care of them and that I lived and my son is able to take care of me.

AD: Alright.

EH: I got a blessing.

AD: It is a blessing.

CN: Cilia had a hard life. She really did. Her mother and her father neither one appreciated what she did for them. I know them. They lived right across from us. They _____

EH: ___they still need, they ______ but I ____.

CN: They were both real mean and abusive to her and she 38:00still took it.

AD: Okay.

CN: She took care of them . . . And it was really hard because they were real abusive toward her. AD: Okay.

CN: And all through her life they were real abuse toward her.

AD: Were they?

EH: I had to make a fire in the winter. The boys didn’t have to.

AD: You had to do it?

CN: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: It would seem like the boys would have to do something like that.

CN: Nuh-uh.

EH: They laid into me.

CN: If you didn’t know it, she’s the only girl, but she had it hard. I mean, I don’t understand it, but that’s the way it was.

AD: Yeah.

CN: And,so . . . They got sick, she still took care of them. And they were real mean to take care of, you know.

AD: But, are you alright now?

EH: Huh?

AD: You’re alright now.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

CN: She met her childhood sweetheart. She said his family kept them apart, because his family was a little bit up in the social ladder than she was and they didn’t think that she was 39:00good enough for him.

AD: Good enough for him.

CN: So, they separated them, and then after 50 years, they got back together.

AD: Okay.

CN: He gave her a real life before he died. He really did. He gave her everything. A bed of roses for her.

AD: Okay.

CN: He took good care of her.

AD: That’s important. Anything else you want to share with us right now? I can always come back if you want me to.

CN: Did you tell her you read your bible every day.

EH: Huh?

CN: You read . . . you look at Young and Restless every morning and read your bible everyday. (Laughter)

AD: But she got to look at the Young and Restless.

CN: But she got to look at the Young and Restless. That’s how she starts off her day. She gets up . . . She’s got to get up by 8 o’clock. Put her medicine in and have her room straightened up before the Young and Restless come on.

AD: Before the Young and Restless.

CN: And reads her bible every day.

EH: _____________________ you should be . . . the church up in 40:00Berea and _______.

AD: Okay.

EH: Uh. . . ______________. It was a . . . like a mill. It was a preacher.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then . . . and my cousin lived in the back, and the kitchen was off from the house.

AD: The kitchen was off?

EH: The kitchen was old from the house.

AD: So, you had to go out there to cook and then bring it back to the . . .?

EH: They’d eat outside.

AD: They’d eat out where the kitchen was?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: Now,. . . my cousin, ______ had a kitchen and the 41:00old family home was an old log house.

AD: Okay.

EH: And she’d cook and we’d eat it.

AD: In the log house?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Alright. Okay.

CN: Granny, what . . . you all used to live in . . . Didn’t you say you all used to live up in Irvine? EH: Huh?

CN: Didn’t you all used to live up by Irvine?

EH: Oh, yeah. Mom lived up there. She lived in one of them boarding houses.

CN: Yeah. See . . .

EH: She cooked.

CN: Don’t know . . . there’s only one black family that lives up in Irvine now, but it used to be all black that lived up there.

AD: When you say in Irvine?

CN: Irvine, Kentucky. On out . . . the . . .

EH: Not in Irvine. We lived in Ravena.

CN: Well, Ravena . . . she don’t know blacks that are living in Ravena.

AD:. . . Ravena?

CN: Kentucky.

EH: That _______.


CN: Right _______ Irvine, Kentucky.

AD: Okay, but it was like a black community or what . . . It was a . . . ?

EH: He lived in the cars on the track.

AD: In the railroad cars?

EH: Across Ravena . . . Since we were on the track, the cars _____.

AD: Would you have like the beds and stuff in there?

EH: Yeah. Cooking and cleaning.

AD: Well, how did you . . . ?

EH: Papa’s sister.

AD: But okay . . . .

EH: In a boxcar.

AD: Yeah, but . . . who . . . did you have to pay rent on it? You just moved in?

EH: Railroad cars because Uncle Monroe worked for the railroad and they’d switch cars.

AD: So, you moved your family into one of the boxcars.

EH: Yeah. We did.

AD: Okay.


EH: And that’s _____ I sometimes stay with.

AD: Okay. (Laughter) This is amazing. So, she had a boxcar, alright?

EH: She had two. They stayed in one and the kitchen was in one. And her . . . and the children would stay in the other car.

AD: Oh, yes.

EH: In a boxcar.

AD: What happened in the winter time . . . in the boxcar where the kitchen was not?

EH: We had a stove in there.

AD: Okay.

EH: It was warm.

AD: Was it? And you actually lived in the boxcars on the tracks?

EH: On the tracks . . . put them on the side.

AD: Yeah. On the side of the tracks. Behind them. . .

CN: See, you didn’t know black people lived up there. I mean, didn’t know black people lived up there then, but now it’s all white.

AD: Where you talking about is all white now?

CN: Ravena and Irvine, Kentucky.


AD: Yeah.

CN: That’s about 18 to 20 some miles from here. Is it that far? It’s far down from Berea. It’s about a half an hour drive from here.

AD: Was that area what they used to call a railroad turnaround? They come in and go back the other way. Was that a railroad turnaround?

EH: Yeah. They ______ light the fire.

AD: Light the fire?

EH: ________ because they cleaned the Indians out.

AD: Okay.

EH: And there’s a yard, a railroad yard . . . That’s where I talking.

AD: So, they come in and get cleaned, and all that kind of stuff.

EH: Yeah.

AD: And then turn around. Did you ever see the tracks that went into circles?

EH: Many of tracks. They didn’t have circles.

AD: They didn’t go in circles.

EH: No. They had . . .


CN: How’d they switch them all? How you switched them?

EH: They had switches. You’ve seen the switch.

CN: I know, and they jump from one track to the other.

EH: Down there . . . they’re on tracks to the . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: I used to . . . play in the yard _______.

CN: Out there on the railroad tracks out there on Irvine Street. They had to turn around some of them, didn’t it go in opposite direction.

EH: Pulled a switch . . . Pull the switch and come down another track.

AD: Okay.

EH: And go on down and go up ________.

AD: So if, . . .

CN: But some of the tracks actually did turn though, didn’t they?

EH: I didn’t see no ______.

CN: How did the trains get in the opposite direction?

EH: We had railroads with all the switches. The trains come 46:00down on the other tracks.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then, when they got ready to turn on the other track, they’d come on down by . . . You know where the . . . driveway your mother lived?: Come up there where the _______ track used to be there. They’d go there and switch with the other track.

AD: Some of the track had curves, like . . . it was not straight. Some of the track was not straight. It did have a curve or bend in it.

CN: Right.

EH: They ________.

CN: My grandfather worked on tracks. He did that.

AD: Okay.

CN: That’s what he did. And, that’s how my father lost his leg, hop a freight.


AD: Trying to hop one?

CN: When he was thirteen, still going to school.

EH: That’s the track you come in on. Its coming on that track. You come down this track, pull the switch, and then, its on that track. See, after the _______ on their railroad track, they pull the switch, come down the track by your mother’s house, and you know where the one light . . . It was _________.

CN: So, you have . . . when you come in . 48:00. . you had to . . . they’d throw you off on another side, and you have to go on to so far before it . . . and then, this other train, the one going in the opposite direction would already be going. So, they all went in one direction during that time?

EH: It come down on the track and it come back up the railroad.

AD: To the depot? Mmm-Hmm.

CN: Okay, they’d go down and he’d switch them around and then, they’d hop onto another one and come back up . . .

AD: Come back up to . . .

CN: On the opposite side into the depot.

AD: And, I’m still on the boxcars. . .

CN: That’s a time . . .

AD: How many could you have? How many boxcars could a family have? As many as necessary?

EH: They had two.

AD: Each family had two boxcars.

EH: Uh-huh. Because _____ had one and ____ I think maybe 49:00______ whole lots of people lived there.

AD: Were they all black people that lived in it?

EH: Yeah.

AD: So, only people living in the boxcars were black, and they worked for the railroad.

EH: Yeah.

AD: Where did the whites live who worked for the railroad? They lived in town or something?

EH: Over in town, I reckon.

CN: They had huts. They had houses.

EH: They had houses, all of them.

AD: Okay.

EH: And you __________ crossed at the bridge and they could go home ______.

AD: Okay.

EH: __________ the track ______ . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: down on the other side.

AD: And that’s where the white people were living? I see . . . I’m with you . . . I’m following along . . .

EH: Papa’s sister lived . . . Katie . . . She 50:00lived in it.

AD: She lived in a boxcar.

EH: Yeah. I wonder if any of those are still there.

CN: I don’t know. ___________ Ravena, they might be.

EH: I don’t know.

AD: Are you saying Ravena no longer has black people?

CN: There’s only one family that I know. The Strickland’s that lived in Irvine. I don’t know if any other black families live up there or not.

AD: And Ravena was like . . . sort like a black subdivision or whatever . . . a subcommunity.

CN: Mmm-Hmm.

EH: Ravena was, they said, about a mile.

CN: Before you get into Irvine.

EH: Yeah.

AD: And most of the black people lived in Ravena. In that area.

EH: On the track, in the boxcars.

AD: In the boxcars.

EH: And the whites lived in houses . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: On the side.

AD: Something else you said too . . . About Peyton Town. . . Did you ever see any . . . Did you 51:00only see black people in Peyton Town, when you would go down there sometimes to services and stuff?

EH: No. White people lived down there.

AD: Did white people live there?

CN: It was kind like the country. It was out in the country. What we . . .

AD: Just like a little community out . . . out there in . . . in Madison.

EH: Yes.

AD: I can’think of anything else I need to ask you about.

CN: Why don’t you tell her about Water Street and how it was and about, you saying, when they poured the whiskey and stuff out.

AD: What? Okay.

EH: They didn’t have black top on the street, and the police would pour whiskey out when they __________ people.

AD: Yes.

EH: They’d take it, destroy it, and pour it ______.

AD: Okay.

EH: And more bellies laid down on their stomach and drank the 52:00whiskey. (Laughter). If you were drunk . . .

AD: Okay.

EH: And they could ____ you, because you were drinking their whiskey. (Laughter).

AD: They would raid the places. Right?

CN: Right.

AD: I mean, they’d raid and go in because they weren’t supposed to have it, and they’d call themselves getting rid of it.

EH: Yeah.

CN: _________ because Water Street was nothing but a . . . a stream every _____ Water Street.

AD: Water Street. Was this on Water Street? They would do this?

EH: They pulled out on Main Street.

CN: On . . . on Main Street.

EH: Oh, they’d . . . No, ______ a dirt and rocks.

CN: Uh-huh.

EH: Oh, no, they just put the _______.

CN: ____ still got that picture in here . . . I think it’s gone.

EH: __________________.

AD: Okay. . . . Were there black places that they were raiding?

EH: Either way.


CN: On Main Street uptown.

AD: Oh, yeah.

CN: That’s how far . . . They’re standing on Main Street.

AD: On Main Street?

CN: Let me see . . . Your daddy . . . They’re standing on Main Street.

EH: I thought you had the one with the _________.

CN: No.

EH: Yeah. As we ______.

CN: That’s the way Main Street used to look.

AD: Okay.

CN: Dirt and rock and _______.

AD: _______ that’s around the corner.

EH: That’s before we had your cars here. I think Dr. Golston . . . He was colored. He had the 54:00first . . . colored person who had a car.

AD: Had a car?

EH: He called it “Made to Boogy”.

AD: Because he’d go . . . Was he . . . Did he deliver babies . . .?

CN: Right, from house to house. He delivered me . . .

AD: Did he?

CN: Come to the house and delivered me.

AD: Goldstein?

CN: Golston.

EH: Yeah. See, we would never go to a hospital. No coloreds were allowed in the hospital.

AD: Okay. When you had your children, did you have them at home?

EH: Yeah.

AD: All four of them?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Did he attend . . . attend all you . . .? Was it Dr. Golston then or was it somebody else?

EH: My last child and my second child (phone rings) ______.

AD: Okay.

EH: And a midwife delivered my first child.

AD: Okay.

EH: And Dr. ________ .

AD: Who was it . . . who waited on your third child?

EH: Oh, she might be dead now. What was her name, 55:00Carrie?

CN: Hmm?

EH: At the hospital, down on Second Street?

CN: Who, Dr. Paul?

EH: Paul Wilson.

AD: Was he black or white?

EH: He was white.

AD: Was he white?

EH: Yeah.

AD: And the midwife waited on you when your first child was born.

EH: Uh-huh.

AD: Was she black or white?

EH: Colored.

AD: Oh, do you remember her name?

EH: Aunt Ann Shepherd.

AD: Aunt Ann Shepherd?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: She just ______.

AD: Did she? Okay.

EH: And, Russell Powell, is a white doc.

AD: Okay.

EH: He’s just 50 _____.

AD: Okay.

EH: And Dr. Losher is 25.


AD: (Whistles).

EH: He’s colored.

AD: Yeah. Who charges the most?

CN: Well, he ought to make the house calls.

EH: Huh?

CN: He ought to make the house calls.

AD: Yeah. But she did too.

CN: But she was a midwife and he was a doctor.

AD: So, she can 7 and he gets to charge 25. Is that it?

EH: Well, she’s... 63 years ago, she was getting old then. She died.

AD: Okay.

EH: She brought my first child and then she stopped.

AD: Where did . . . Before you moved out here . . . where did you live?

EH: I lived on Elm Street.

AD: Elm? Okay.

EH: I was Four Mile and Elm ___.

CN: You lived on Irvine Street before that.

AD: Elm and Four Mile?

EH: Yeah.

AD:. . . And then, before that, you lived on Irvine?

EH: Uh-huh.

AD: On East Irvine?

EH: Yeah.

AD: And . . . before that . . . ?


EH: Well, I moved down . . . (Laughter) We were living on Four Mile, but I was born on Orange Street.

AD: Orange?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Where is that?

EH: Up on Orange Street which is on _____ as you come up.

AD: Oh.

CN: There is a street from Jackson to East Irvine Street. The East Irvine Street right here, Orange Street runs up there.

AD: Oh, okay.

EH: That’s where I was born.

AD: Where you were born?

EH: Yeah.

AD: Okay.

EH: And, my brother . . . the oldest was born was on Four Mile.

AD: Okay.

EH: And the second was born on Broaddus Avenue.


AD: Rose Avenue?

EH: Broaddus.

AD: Broaddus Avenue.

EH: Yeah.. And, Archie was on Irvine Street.

AD: I can’t think of any more questions. Do you have any more things that she . . . that I have neglected to ask about?

CN: No. I guess she can tell you about the horses and buggies, and how the orange juice used to be delivered and milk used to be delivered by a man that drove a horse and buggy.

AD: A horse and buggy, yeah we talked about that. The horse and buggy and the fires that used to be fought by horse and buggy.

EH: Yeah.

CN: You know, because they didn’t have the fire trucks and stuff.

EH: They had fire horses.

AD: Fire horses.

EH: They had trucks, which the horse pulled a truck.

AD: With the . . . the things with the water on them.

CN: Mmm-Hmm.

AD: And the horses pulled that? And the men used to have to get out and pump. They used to have to get out and pump the water?

EH: No. They . . .

AD: They hook it up?

EH: They hook it up. They had a ____ and use 59:00our wells and the houses had a well.

AD: Okay.

EH: And they’d take it ______

AD: Okay.

EH: You’d pay a water bill every three months, 60 cents.

AD: Okay.

EH: And then you have to pay (Laughter).

AD: Well, if I think of something else I want to ask you, I’ll go ahead and call you . . .

CN: Okay.

AD: If that’s okay.

EH: Yeah.

AD: If you think of something else you want to share with us, then you call me. I’ll leave my name and phone numbers and everything and that all . . .

EH: Alright.

AD: Okay. It’s been a pleasure talking with you. Thank you very much.

EH: I enjoyed it.

CN: Did you tell her that, let’s see. . . You all’s family was down here on White Hall, right? The slaves and whatever?

EH: I did.


CN: You told her about that.

AD: The Clay family. Yeah, she told me.

CN: That’s what my husband always kids me. He said he was one from the better bunch of slaves. . .