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0:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: The following...

Segment Synopsis:



0:46 - Personal Information

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Partial Transcript: will you spell your first name for me?

Segment Synopsis: Background info of Mrs. Sweat

Keywords: Clays ferry


1:41 - Family

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Partial Transcript: What did your parents do?

Segment Synopsis: info on her parents and siblings



4:36 - Education

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Partial Transcript: Where did you go to school?

Segment Synopsis: Information regarding schools and education

Keywords: Calloway Creek, Lexington


6:14 - Job History

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Partial Transcript: did you work?

Segment Synopsis: Synopsis of previous work history

Keywords: Madison County, Lexington, Welch Family, Gumbert Family


8:03 - Marriages

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Partial Transcript: Ive been married Twice

Segment Synopsis: Discusses her husbands

Keywords: Jesse Miller, Troy Sweat


11:41 - Church

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Partial Transcript: I belong to St. Paul Church

Segment Synopsis: Church involvement and affiliation



14:15 - Interracial Relations

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever experience any racial conflict?

Segment Synopsis: Little bit of school segregation



14:54 - Millie Baker

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Partial Transcript: You know alot of slave stories.

Segment Synopsis: Discusses her grandmother who knows alot about the slave days



20:23 - Political Participation

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Partial Transcript: Do you vote?

Segment Synopsis: No involvement in political affairs

Keywords: Democrat


24:00 - Reflects on Richmond

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Partial Transcript: Anything you need to talk about...

Segment Synopsis: Sweat believes that Richmond is a quiet place, and goess on to give a possible contact. Then shows interviewer memorabila



37:02 - Frances Sweat's Family History

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Partial Transcript: She prepared this on July 1988

Segment Synopsis: Dunston reads her family history into the tape.
Alot of family background information.



43:50 - Closing

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Partial Transcript: It's been a pleasure talking to you

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer wraps up interview then Sweat goes on to chit chat about father, sister, and childhood




The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with Frances Oneida Harris Miller Sweat at her home on East Irvine Street in Richmond, Kentucky. Mrs. Sweat is a long time resident of Richmond. The interview was conducted by A.G. Dunston of the History Department at Eastern Kentucky University for the Oral History Program or Oral History Center at EKU.

AD: We’re recording now. I’m in the home of Frances Harris Sweat, 1332 East Irvine Street. Alright. Uh, would you spell your . . . your first name, please, for me?

FS: F-R-A-N-C-E-S.

AD: C-E-S?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Harris Sweat?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Is . . . What is your maiden name?

FS: Harris.

AD: Harris. Do you have a middle name?

FS: Oneida.

AD: Spell that.

FS: O-N-E-I-D-A.

AD: Oneida? O-N-E-I-D-A.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Alright. Uh, Mrs. Sweat, you were born in Richmond?

FS: Uh, in Madison County, down in Clay’s Ferry.

AD: Clay’s Ferry?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Uh, what part of Madison County is that?

FS: It’s going out Lexington Road. You know where you cross the bridge down there?

AD: Yeah. I do.

FS: Well, you just follow the signs to the bridge.

AD: Okay. Were you born in . . . in . . . at home or . . . uh . . . ?

FS: At home.

AD: Okay. Um, attended by . . . Was your mom attended by a midwife?

FS: No. Dr. Rutledge.

AD: Rutledge?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: White or black?

FS: White.

AD: Did he . . . he come to the house?

FS: He come to the house. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. What did your parents do? What did your father do?

FS: He farmed.

AD: Okay. Did he own the land?

FS: No. We owned our home where we lived, but we farmed on _______

AD: Like share cropping?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. And your mother?

FS: She didn’t do anything.

AD: Okay. How many children were there?

FS: Well, it was seven. Momma had seven.

AD: Okay.

FS: My daddy had two children when he married my mother.

AD: Okay. Did they come with him?

FS: Uh, yes, uh-huh. She raised them.

AD: Okay. So, she raised all nine.

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Well, she raised, um . . . Two of hers died.

AD: Oh, okay.

FS: And one of his died. He had three children, but one of his died before he married my momma.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then he brought two and she raised those two.

AD: Okay. Okay. Do you remember . . . uh, do you remember the names of . . . of your brothers and sisters and your half-brothers and sisters?

FS: William Munday Harris, well, he’s my brother . . . half brother.

AD: William Munday. M-U-N-D-A-Y.

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. William Munday Harris.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: Mary Betty Harris.

AD: Mary Betty?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Alright. And then, how about your full brothers and sisters?

FS: Thelma Stone Harris.

AD: Thelma Stone.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay.

FS: Emmett Thomas Harris.

AD: I’m not getting it.

FS: Emmett Thomas.

AD: Enny?

FS: Emmett.

AD: Emmett?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Emmett Thomas Harris.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then, James Daniel Harris.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then, myself, Frances Oneida Harris.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then, Heranton Brown Harris.

AD: Heranton?

FS: Heranton. H-E-R-A-N-T-O-N.

AD: Alright. Heranton . . .

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Brown Harris.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: Palmer Oldham Harris.

AD: What’s the first name again?

FS: Palmer.

AD: Oh him. Palmer.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: And the second name?

FS: Oldham. O-L-D-H-A-M.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then, Blanding Campbell Harris.

AD: Blanding?

FS: Blanding. B-L-A-N-D-I-N-G.

AD: Okay. Campbell.

FS: Harris.

AD: Harris. Okay.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Alright.

FS: He was the baby.

AD: He was?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. What was your mother’s maiden name?

FS: Stone.

AD: Stone. Was she . . .

FS: Mariah Stone.

AD: Mariah Stone?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Was she from that part of . . . uh?

FS: No, she’s from ______Olympiad.

AD: Okay.

FS: Off of Bryan Hill Road. She lived on Bryan Hill Road over there.

AD: Okay. Uh . . . Your daddy, was he from that area?

FS: I guess he was still _____ place down from there ___ Calloway Creek.

AD: Okay.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Okay. Alright. Okay.

FS: He was from there. His name was James Van Harris.

AD: Okay. Alright. Can I ask you when you were born?

FS: Nineteen sixteen.

AD: Nineteen sixteen?

FS: February the 29th, 1916.

AD: Okay. Where did you go to school?

FS: I went to school at Calloway Creek.

AD: Calloway Creek?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Uh, what . . .what grades down there?

FS: Well, ___from the 1st to the 8th grade.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then my parents died and I went to Lexington.

AD: Do you remember what year that was?

FS: My mother died in ‘26.

AD: Okay.

FS: And my daddy died in ‘29.

AD: Okay.

FS: And I went to Lexington and I stayed with my daddy’s sister.

AD: Okay.

FS: And . . . At Booker T. Washington School over there.

AD: Was that a high school?

FS: No. No.

AD: Elementary school?

FS: Elementary school. Hmm-Mmm. I didn’t go in until I was in the 8th grade.

AD: Okay. So, you graduated from the 8th grade from Booker T. Washington?

FS: No. I come back home. I stayed over there for about three years and then I come back home.

AD: Oh, okay.

FS: And, then we moved from Calloway Creek.

AD: Okay. Okay. In 8th grade?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: How old then when you graduated from the 8th grade?

FS: Fourteen.

AD: Okay. Then . . . After that, what did you do?

FS: Well, I stayed with my grandmother and then I . . . Come to town and stayed with my grandmother and sister.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then . . .

AD: What was your grandmother’s name that you stayed with?

FS: Rosie Harris.

AD: Okay.

FS: She was my stepgrandmother when _______.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. I understand now.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. And then you stayed with her sister?

FS: No, my grandmother’s sister. My mother’s mother’s sister.

AD: Okay.

FS: Maggie Barnes.

AD: Okay. Alright. Did you work or what did you do?

FS: No, not then. . . I knew I wanted to . . . I think I was about 21 and I went to work.

AD: Okay. What did you do from the time you were 14 to the time you were 21?

FS: Well, I took care of the rest of the children while they worked?

AD: Oh, okay. Okay. You mean your brothers and sisters?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then my aunt ______.

AD: Oh, I see.

FS: And my sister _____.

AD: Okay. Okay. And then you got an outside job when you were 21?

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Stayed in my own place.

AD: On what?

FS: Stayed in my own place for a dollar and a half a week. (Laughter).

AD: What? A dollar and a half week?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: What . . . What . . . What were . . . What were you . . When you . . . When you say that, what are you saying? Staying in own place?

FS: Stayed in own place. I lived there.

AD: Where you worked?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: A dollar and a half a week?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Doing what?

FS: Everything. Washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning up.

AD: For . . . for a family?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: A family in Madison County?

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Off of Boonesborough Road.

AD: Oh, okay. So, you’re 21 . . .

FS: A dollar and a half a week.

AD: Okay. So, you’re 21 . . . Okay. How long did you stay in that job?

FS: Oh, I think about almost two years or so.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then, my stepgrandmother’s sister took sick and in Winchester.

AD: Okay.

FS: And she took me ____ help me care for her.

AD: Okay.

FS: Well, I stayed over there about four months and I come back home, and I got a job down on Lexington Road, staying on my own place, and I made two and half dollars there. (Laughter).

AD: Okay. Doing the same thing, right?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. Okay. How long did you stay when you were making two and a half a week?

FS: I think until I married?

AD: Did you?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: See, I’ve been married twice.

AD: Okay. Well . . . Okay . . . The first time . . .

FS: To Jesse Miller. I married Jesse Miller the first time.

AD: Jesse Miller?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. When did you get married to Jesse Miller?

FS: In October of ‘37.

AD: Okay.

FS: Thirty-nine. October of ‘39.

AD: To Jesse Miller?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. Did you have any children?

FS: No, I don’t have any children.

AD: Okay. And, how long did you stay with Jesse Miller?

FS: We separated in ‘49.

AD: In ‘49?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: And I divorced him in ‘59, and then married the Sweat. Troy Sweat.

AD: What’s his name?

FS: Troy. T-R-O-Y.

AD: Troy Sweat?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: And when did you marry him?

FS: December of ‘59.

AD: Okay. Okay. And, uh, are you still married to him now?

FS: No, he’s dead now.

AD: Oh, okay. When did he pass away?

FS: He’s been dead at least 15 years . . . 15- . . . 17 years next month.

AD: Okay. Alright. During all of this time, were you doing the same kind of work?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Cleaning?

FS: :Cleaning.

AD: But you weren’t living . . . What do you call it? Living on place? You weren’t.

FS: No. No. Nuh-uh.

AD: You had your own home with your husband?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. Alright.

FS: I have always worked.

AD: Okay.

FS: And I’m still working.

AD: Are you?

FS: I’m 77 years old and still working.

AD: What are you doing?

FS: I’m still doing housework. I’m going to work tomorrow for one of the teachers.

AD: Uh, in . . . in Richmond?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay.

FS: A little way out on Lancaster Road. ______

AD: Okay.

FS: He’s . . . He retired last year.

AD: Okay. Do . . . Do they come get you?

FS: Oh, yes. They come get me and then drive me home.

AD: Oh. Okay. Do you remember . . . When you . . . When . . . The first place you worked, the place, and you made a dollar and a half . . .

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: A dollar and a half week, right?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Do you remember the name of that family?

FS: Uh, Welch.

AD: Welch?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. And what’s the name of this? Uh-huh.

FS: Turner Welch.

AD: Okay.

FS: And the other family was . . . Let’s see . . . Gumbert. George Gumbert.

AD: Gumbert?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. And his family now . . .

FS: His son is a doctor in Lexington.

AD: Gumbert?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: So . . . And his son is a doctor in Lexington?

FS: Uh-huh. __________.

AD: Oh, okay. Okay. The family you work for now, uh, how long . . . ?

FS: I work. Oh, I do day work.

AD: Okay.

FS: Now, tomorrow, I go to McChestnut’s..

AD: Okay.

FS: I’ve been there 20 years.

AD: Okay.

FS: And Thursday, I’d run to John Jenkins. He’s a ______.

AD: Okay.

FS: I’ve been there 16 years.

AD: Okay.

FS: On Friday, I go to George Krebs and I’ve been there 23 years.

AD: My, my. (Laughter). Okay. Alright. Well, when . . . When . . . Are you thinking about retiring?

FS: Well, I did retire once and I decided I didn’t want to sit around the house and I went on back to working.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Okay. Okay.

FS: I called him up and told him I didn’t want to sit around the house anymore.

AD: Okay.

FS: But, I’ve worked at nursing homes and restaurants and all in between those.

AD: In between those.

FS: And then my social security.

AD: Okay. Hmm-Mmm. But now, you are getting social security?

FS: Oh, yeah. Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. In addition to the others . . .

FS: And cleaning ______.

AD: Okay. Okay. What, um, . . . Did you ever . . . When you were a young woman, did you ever join, uh, any of the women’s clubs or anything like that?

FS: Well, yeah. I belong to St. Paul AME Church.

AD: Okay.

FS: Well, I belong to ____ Hill Church, Methodist Church.

AD: Where is that?

FS: Clay’s _____ Down Clay’s Ferry _____.

AD: Okay. Okay.

FS: That’s where I joined ______ down there.

AD: Okay. Okay.

FS: And then after I come to town, I joined, uh, St. Paul’s.

AD: When did you . . . Do you remember when you joined St. Paul?

FS: I joined St. Paul in ‘57, I believe.

AD: Fifty or sixty?

FS: I think it was in ‘57.

AD: Fifty-seven?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Who was the pastor, do you remember, when you joined?

FS: Reverend Oriel Parks.

AD: Parks?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. Who is your pastor now?

FS: Reverend Toni _______. We have a woman.

AD: Really?

FS: Uh-huh. (Laughter) The first time, we’ve had a ____.

AD: How long has she been there?

FS: Two years.

AD: Oh . . . Is everything . . . moving on smoothly?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Did you belong to any church clubs? What church organizations do you belong to?

FS: I belonged to missionaries.

AD: Okay.

FS: I used to sing in the choir.

AD: Alright.

FS: I would ______.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then I would supervise over _____.

AD: Okay. Do . . . uh . . . Does this . . . AME, right?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Does that have organizations like budget promise for the young missionaries?

FS: We have _____ VYP we call it.

AD: Okay. Okay. Okay. So, now . . . But you are still a member of the senior missionary organization?

FS: No, I’m not member. I’m just a church member now.

AD: Okay. You just . . . You just stopped . . .

FS: I . . . I hadn’t done too well, so I just quit going to the meetings and all.

AD: Okay.

FS: And you have to go at night.

AD: Okay.

FS: And since I live way out here, I don’t have the transportation, you know.

AD: Have you . . . How long have you lived at, uh, 32 . . . At 1332 East Irvine?

FS: Fifteen years.

AD: Fifteen?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. Where was your home before moving to this site?

FS: On First Street. I lived on First Street.

AD: First Street?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Okay.

FS: And before I moved to First Street, I lived on Collins Street.

AD: Collins?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: He left it for me.

AD: Okay. Is . . . Uh, have you owned any of this property?

FS: No, no.

AD: Do . . . You’re renting now?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Do you find the arrangements . . . Is the arrangement okay?

FS: Oh, yes. I’m doing fine. They’re very nice people.

AD: When you . . . When you were growing up, in Madison County or in Richmond, did you ever, uh, experience any kind of racial conflict or . . . ?

FS: No, really I haven’t because down home, down ______ where it was always . . . We’ve had nothing but white neighbors.

AD: Okay.

FS: And we were just all, you know . . .

AD: Okay.

FS: ______.

AD: Okay. Did you go . . . Did . . . Did they separate you out for school?

FS: Oh, yeah. We had . . .

AD: Separate black and white schools?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Oh, okay. The word I got from Dr. Ellis, you said, comes by your name from another source, is that you know a lot of slave stories. Is that true?

FS: Well, my grandmother was a slave.

AD: Okay. What was her name?

FS: Her name was Millie . . . uh, she was . . . Her name was Millie Baker.

AD: Okay. Millie Baker.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Alright.

FS: And she said that when she was a little girl, they sold her daddy. She had ______.

AD: Okay.

FS: And they sold her daddy, and sold him down south.

AD: Okay.

FS: And this man that bought them, Eli Barnes.

AD: Okay.

FS: And he bought my grandmother and her brother, and _____.

AD: Alright.

FS: But, he didn’t change their names from Baker. He would have to _________Barnes.

AD: They went as Barnes?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: I mean . . . That he . . . His name was Barnes.

AD: Okay.

FS: But he let them go as Baker.

AD: Okay. Okay.

FS: And then, my great-grandmother, she married one of his slaves. ________Pete Barnes.

AD: Okay.

FS: And that’s where Barnes Mill Road got it’s name from this man.

AD: Oh, okay.

FS: He owned a grist mill up there.

AD: Yeah.

FS: And they named it Barnes Mill.

AD: Okay.

FS: Uh-huh. From this man that owned my grandmother.

AD: Okay. Uh-huh.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Alright.

FS: And its just on . . . You know the Conley house is out there?

AD: Nuh-uh, I don’t know where it is.

FS: It’s just on the other side of the Conley house.

AD: Okay.

FS: And there’s an old cabin out there where the black folks stayed. It used to still be out there. I haven’t been out for a long time.

AD: Was . . . Did . . . Was it used as a tourist attraction or was it just there?

FS: No. They . . . Someone bought it and they just, you know, left it out there. But, I heard they had remodeled the house. Now, I don’t know whether they tore it down or not.

AD: Okay. Okay. What did . . . I image she had a lot to tell you. Do you remember talking to her?

FS: Oh, yes. I used to . . . She died in ‘45.

AD: Okay.

FS: She was 97.

AD: Ninety-seven?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. When she died.

AD: Alright. Okay.

FS: And then my . . . Her mother married Mr. Peter Barnes and she had two children: Maggie Barnes and Simon Barnes.

AD: Okay.

FS: Of course, I used to stay with Aunt Maggie all the time.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

FS: And she . . . You know, black people couldn’t go to school back in those days.

AD: Right.

FS: But, Mr. . . Old Man Barnes’ children taught my grandmother how to read and write.

AD: Okay.

FS: And she went to the 4th grade and she was the first black teacher in Madison County.

AD: The first black teacher?

FS: Black teacher.

AD: Say her name again for the record.

FS: Millie Stone.

AD: Millie Stone?

FS: Millie Baker was her name.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then, she married Sylvester Stone.

AD: Okay. Millie Baker Stone.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Was the first black . . .

FS: Black teacher in Madison County.

AD: Where was her first job? Do you know?

FS: Down on Taylor’s Fork. __________ I’ve never been back down in there. It’s back down in the country.

AD: In Madison County, Taylor’s Fork.

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

AD: Did she . . . Uh, did she ever talk about . . . Was she teaching all grades at once?

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

AD: Oh, just . . . all the kids at one time would come to her?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Really?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: When was the last time that you’ve seen the school?

FS: I don’t know. I never been down in there.

AD: Okay.

FS: I never been down in there.

AD: Okay. Oh, that’s interesting. Okay. Do, um . . . Have you ever checked the records to see, you know, do you remember when she retired or when she stopped teaching or anything like that?

FS: Well, when I started knowing that she worked, you know, worked as a teacher . . .

AD: Okay.

FS: _____________.

AD: Okay.

FS: ______________.

AD: Okay.

FS: Of course, I don’t remember her name or anything. She died, and her son, _____ his wife.

AD: Okay.

FS: They moved out and then she come live with us.

AD: Okay.

FS: And after my mother died, well, she stayed in the house and, you know, helped us until my daddy died.

AD: Okay.

FS: She’d come here to town and lived with her daughter.

AD: Okay. Alright.

FS: Her daughter, Maddie Stone . . . Maddie Stone Yates. She went to Berea College.

AD: Okay.

FS: She was a teacher.

AD: Okay. Maddie Stone . . .

FS: Yates.

AD:Yates. Okay.

FS: And Maggie Barnes, my grandmother’s sister, she was a teacher.

AD: Where?

FS: She went . . . She taught down on Taylor’s Fork, too.

AD: Oh, okay.

FS: And she went to Berea College.

AD: Okay. Okay.

FS: _____. She found a whole lot of stuff, a lot of stuff . . . and . . .

AD: About your family?

FS: Uh-huh. ___________.

AD: Oh. Okay.

FS: _______.

AD: Okay. _____. Oh, this is interesting.

FS: Yeah. I was telling _____. I was ___ stuff.

AD: She did what?

FS: I was ___ stuff that she had in her home.

AD: Did she . . .?

FS: _______.

AD: Did she . . . Does she do this for, uh, for people?

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

AD: Look up the background here in Madison County?

FS: Anywhere. She got a letter the other day from Utah. Somebody wanting her to do some research for some of their family here.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Oh, okay. Alright.

FS: She does it all the time.

AD: Do you . . . Do you vote?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Do you remember the first vote you did, you took or you made?

FS: I think I was about 25 when I voted the first time.

AD: Okay. Who’d you vote for? Do you know? In . . . In a presidential?

FS: I really don’t remember. Uh . . . I don’t remember.

AD: Are you . . . uh, democrat or republican?

FS: Democrat.

AD: Democrat. Okay. Are you involved in political things?

FS: No. No. No. No. No.

AD: (Laughter) Why . . . Why you say it like that?

FS: That’s too deep for me.

AD: Okay. Have you worked, um, like . . . you know, with city council or anything like that?

FS: No, I never.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Okay. You know, we started talking about different organizations you belong to in church. Do you now belong to any other organizations out in the community?

FS: No. I don’t.

AD: Okay.

FS: I love children. I love children.

AD: Hmm-Mmm.

FS: And I raised quite a few children.

AD: Okay.

FS: And I just took them in.

AD: Okay. Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

FS: Some of them lived here.

AD: Oh, okay. Okay.

FS: And my brother, I believe, he had six children. ____ I was the babysitter he ever had.

AD: Okay. How . . . uh, you had one brother?

FS: That lives here.

AD: That lives here? Which one is that?

FS: Homer.

AD: Okay.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Alright.

FS: And Heranton, he lives in Dayton, Ohio.

AD: Okay.

FS: And my sister lives in Dayton, Ohio.

AD: Okay.

FS: And I raised my sister’s son.

AD: Okay. Which sister lives in Dayton?

FS: Thelma.

AD: Okay.

FS: Mary . . . ____all lives . . . There’s just the four of us living right now.

AD: Okay. Okay.

FS: Two in Dayton and two here.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm. Do you ever get lonely?

FS: Nuh-uh. No, I really don’t. I’ve been lucky.

AD: Yeah. But by yourself, you know?

FS: Uh-huh. Nuh-uh.

AD: Uh-huh.

FS: Well, I’m talking all the phone all the time and then, uh . . . I work two and three days a week . . .

AD: Okay.

FS: And that keeps me going.

AD: Okay.

FS: And I’ve got a close friend who lives always visits me.

AD: Behind us here?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: And we visit one another and all and all and she lives in the house there.

AD: Okay.

FS: There’s about . . . about ten of us, all widows right here in the circle.

AD: Oh, okay.

FS: So, we all get together and talk.

AD: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Alright.

FS: No, I don’t . . . I really don’t get lonely.

AD: Did you ever learn to drive?

FS: At one time I did when my husband and I went together and we lived out in the country and I learned to drive, and then he went into the service.

AD: Okay.

FS: And I told him to sell the car and I never did try to drive it no more. We moved to town, and I know I’m just crazy. I never did try to drive it anymore.

AD: I wonder why?

FS: I felt like I was in town and I’d get around, you know, waiting for him.

AD: Okay. Hmm-Mmm.

FS: And he did try, but I’m sorry, I didn’t _______. I’d do it, and I’ve got two other women now. (Laughter).

AD: What do . . . What do you think about, uh, have there been anything you want . . . We need to talk about about what’s happening in Richmond now?

FS: Well, so far, you know ______ pointed out ____ and we read so much about getting a plan and having another place, but so far, it seems like Richmond is pretty quiet.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm. Compared to other places?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm. It seems so.

FS: __________ quiet.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Even . . . Even with the college here . . .

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: It seems relatively quiet. You’re right about that. Okay. Do you look at a lot of television?

FS: Well, it’s on most times for noise in the house.

AD: Okay.

FS: I sit and read a lot.

AD: Okay. What kinds of things do you read?

FS: Just anything. I mostly read these _______.

AD: Oh. (Laughter).

FS: I know a lot of its not true, but I love to read it.

AD: I know. Oh, okay. The Weekly World News.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: That’s like my mother gets . . . has to have her . . . What is it? Enquirer and Star.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: When she goes to the grocery store.

FS: Well, I . . . I get the Star too. (Laughter).

AD: Okay.

FS: Then, what I don’t want _______ the garbage man, he uses __. ____ I work for. He did __________.

AD: Oh.

FS: He’s a television technician up there at Eastern.

AD: Oh, okay. Don’t talk, communicate. Bobert . . . Is it . . . you say, Bobert?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: He works at EKU now?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: ____________.

AD: In which field?

FS: Clerking.

AD: Okay. Okay. Oh, okay. It’s a how to.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. To tell you how to talk and when to smile and all that . . . All that.

FS: You go crazy reading that. (Laughter).

AD: Oh, okay. That’s nice.

FS: And I was telling him about you wanting to interview me. He and ____Ms. Crabb wanted to turn my name in.

AD: Okay. Okay. Alright. What I . . . What I would like to do is . . . Do you have another copy of this?

FS: No, I don’t.

AD: Okay. Okay. This is so interesting. It needs to go in your . . . In your . . . Do you have a thing of old pictures and all that kind of stuff?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: From the family?

FS: Yeah. ______ comes in here sometimes and he says . . .

AD: And he can put them all together for you?

FS: No, he said _______ box out like that and he’d get the box out and lay a few of them out.

AD: He’d get the pictures of relatives and old pictures.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Old pictures. What I’d like to do, though, if you’ll allow me is, I’d like to, you know, after we finish talking . . .

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: I’d like to . . . to, uh, if it’s alright with you is record it. Our talking into the mike . . .

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Would that be alright?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Because this is a wonderful piece of research here that she did. How do you spell this lady’s name?

FS: Who, uh . . . ?

AD: The one . . . The one who did . . . ?

FS: Crabb. C-R-A-B-B.

AD: C-R-A-B-B?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay.

FS: Anne Crabb.

AD: Anne Crabb?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. And her husband’s name is George.

AD: Okay. Okay.

FS: You _____.

AD: Do you have any other stories you want to tell me about?

FS: Well, I have a little on my daddy’s . . . These are displayed. If you want to have a look around here. ______ My granddaddy was a Sweat.

AD: Okay.

FS: On my daddy’s side.

AD: Okay. Okay. Okay.

FS: I still have my grandmother’s marriage certificate.

AD: Do you?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: What date is on it? (Laughter).

FS: My sister is seven years older than I am and I don’t why she never would keep up with things.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. So, you have become actually the family historian?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.


FS: ___________ You ever _____?

AD: I haven’t been in a couple of years. I went a couple of summers ago.

FS: That black policeman up there is my nephew.

AD: What’s his name?

FS: James Harris.

AD: Who’s son is he?

FS: Homer’s.

AD: Okay.

FS: _________.

AD: Is he the only black policeman in the ____?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: My. Okay.

FS: And they treat him swell.

AD: Do they?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay.

FS: I’ve had . . . We’ve had a lot of comments. I’ve had white people say, “Do you know that black policeman?” Well, I wait to see what they’re going to say.

AD: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

FS: And then they tell me, and I say, “Oh, yes. That’s my nephew.”

AD: Okay. Uh-huh.

FS: Well, what did . . . I hope that wasn’t in there what my sister has.

AD: What, the birth certificate?

FS: The marriage certificate. She came home _____________ some ages and things.

AD: Hmm-Mmm.

FS: I don’t know why they don’t keep everything. I know they called last night and she was wanting . . . Now, that’s my brother. My oldest brother’s marriage certificate.

AD: You have . . . Wait a minute, you have the marriage certificate . . . (Laughter). Is he still married to this person?

FS: No, he’s dead now.

AD: Oh, is he dead? How’d you get it?

FS: Well, he lived with me after, uh, when he got sick.

AD: Okay.

FS: I took care of him for a year.

AD: For how long?

FS: For a year.

AD: Okay.

FS: And then he died. Here’s _______.(Laughter).

AD: Let me see. This is to certify that on the 22nd day of March, 1871, to who . . . Wait a minute . . . The rites of matrimony were legally solemnized by me between Sylvester Stone and Millie Baker at Peter Barnes in County of Madison in the presence of Stephen Dunn and Henry Duncan. Is that right, Duncan?

FS: Yeah.

AD: Signed by . . . Is that Leroy Eskem?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: It’s 1871.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Oh, my gosh.

FS: When my aunt died, her daughter and I were going through her things and I found these in a drawer.

AD: Okay. This is to certify on the 12th day of August, 1908 . . .

FS: Uh-huh. That’s my mom and . . .

AD: Between Daniel Harris and . . . Say your mother’s name.

FS: Mariah.

AD: Mariah Stone.

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: In Fayette in the presence of . . . and I can’t get these . . . Somebody . . . Is that Jones?

FS: Clint Jones.

AD: Okay. Aucus?

FS: Augustus Harris.

AD: Augustus Harris. Oh, my. Oh, that’s wonderful. And this was your brother’s marriage certificate in 1928.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Between William Harris and Maggie May Davis. Is that right?

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

AD: So you are the . . .

FS: I’m the . . .

AD: You are the collector of the papers and history.

FS: I’ve told the children that when I die you all going to have a field day throwing away papers.

AD: No, those are . . . Nuh-uh. They can’t throw them away. Tell them instead to check through every pocket and every book.

FS: I think they will because they . . . They come here. They love to hear me talk . . .

AD: Okay.

FS: About things.

AD: Okay.

FS: I’ve got an old notebook that I used to write down anything I may leave and everything I spent

AD: Okay.

FS: And all like that, and they get that book and, oh, they laugh.

AD: Okay. You . . . Like a . . . like a household account book?

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

AD: ‘Cause they don’t do that anymore?

FS: Of whatever I bought.

AD: Okay.

FS: If I bought a dress. I have a pair of shoes, whatever, I write it down.

AD: Okay.

FS: I give some children some money, I write that down.

AD: Okay.

FS: And all. And they get that group and, oh, they laugh. (Laughter).

AD: Okay. Okay. Alright. Okay.

FS: Well, I’m _______ do that, but I’m glad I saved it.

AD: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Because . . . Because all of it . . . All of it now is in your hands and if they know when . . . when . . . if something happens to you, they come in. They don’t throw anything away. That’s how you keep, you know, the family papers together.

FS: Now, I don’t think some of them won’t. No.

AD: Okay.

FS: ________ my nephew. Two . . . Three nephews live here.

AD: Okay.

FS: I don’t think ___________ and one of my nieces lives in Dayton.

AD: Okay.

FS: ‘Cause her husband _______ last year come here two days straight and then, we’d talk and he was writing down those things.

AD: Okay. Okay. Talking about the family?

FS: Uh-huh. (Phone rings). He’s just embarrassed to keep this and that on.

AD: Oh, okay. Okay. So, he’s tracing his wife’s history and everything.

FS: Oh, he . . . He writes the way we are for two days. (Laughter).

AD: Okay.

FS: And then I have some relatives here that . . . You know, my grandmother’s brother’s great-grandchildren.

AD: Okay.

FS: And they’re name’s Noran.

AD: Spell their last name.

FS: Noran. N-O-R-A-N.

AD: Noran?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: I was talking to her today. ‘Cause they don’t know anything about it.

AD: Okay.

FS: All they know is what I, you know, told them.

AD: What you’ve told them. Okay. Okay. Any other interesting tidbits about this family?

FS: Well, that’s about all.

AD: Okay.

FS: My uncle, my mother’s brother, Sylvester Stone. He was one of the oldest masons in Dayton, Ohio.

AD: The oldest mason?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay.

FS: He was 19 when he started.

AD: Okay. He comes from a long line . . . A line . . . A long line of _____.

FS: My ____ was telling me last night that he was ____ masons and all.

AD: Okay.

FS: _____.

AD: Okay.

FS: ____.

AD: Alright. If, um, . . . If you don’t have anything right now to say, what I was going to do was I was going to read these.

FS: That’s okay.

AD: Is that alright?

FS: That’s fine.

AD: Okay. Alright.

FS: _______. She’s always typing ____ type it up.

AD: She prepared this on, uh, July 1988.

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Eli Barnes owned the grist mill on Barnes Mill Road. He bought slaves from a Mr. Baker who probably lived in Madison County. One of the slaves was Mariah, who married another slave owned by Mr. Baker. She had two children, Anthony Baker and Millie Baker before her husband was sold down south. And they can’t find the first name of her husband. Right?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. After Mr. Baker sold her first husband, Mariah married a man owned by her new master, Eli Barnes. Her second husband was Peter Barnes, a member minister at Pond Meeting House. Do you know where Pond is?

FS: It’s right down on Barnes Mill Road.

AD: Is it? Pond?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Pond Meeting House?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. A Christian church, you know, it’s out there.

AD: Okay. Alright.

FS: Black and white used to go there all the time.

AD: Together?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Has it always been that way?

FS: Uh, when my grandmother come up, that’s where they went.

AD: And blacks and whites attended the same church at the same time?

FS: Uh-huh. They went upstairs.

AD: Okay. Okay. Okay. They had two children, Simon Barnes, unmarried, and Mary Maggie. The new owner of Mariah and her children allowed them to keep their Baker name. Uh, Mr. Eli Barnes treated them well as it has come down through the family that he did. He let his daughter teach them to read and they were allowed to go to school. Millie Baker, daughter of Mariah by her first husband was born in December of 1848 and died in February of 1945, age 97. My goodness. And you have a copy of her marriage certificate.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Millie Baker married Sylvester Stone and they had seven children, all dead now. Millie had gone to school to the fourth grade, which was higher than the fourth grade now, and she taught school perhaps near Taylor’s Fork. When it says higher than fourth grade now, did she explain what that meant?

FS: Well, you just learned more in school then than you do now.

AD: Okay. So . . . Okay. So, when you actually finished, you were qualified?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm. ‘Cause I remember, um, when you finished high school and you got at least one or two years of college, you could teach school. I remember that. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Okay. Hmm-Mmm. It’s changed.

FS: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

AD: Hmm-Mmm.

FS: Now, I have a schoolmate, Dorothy Miller, she was . . . She’s about two years older than I am and she finished school . . . finished high school here in town.

AD: Okay.

FS: And she went to Frankfort. I . . . I don’t ______, but anyway, she taught school.

AD: Okay.

FS: After _______.

AD: Okay.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: One of Millie Baker Stone’s daughter was Mariah Stone. Mariah married James Daniel Harris, called Dan. Mariah, his second wife, was raised in Fayette County on Grinds Mill Road and attended church in Athens.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Dan Harris, her husband went to Otter Creek Baptist Church. They were parents of several children, among them, Frances Oneida Harris. Both parents died young, Mariah on the 18th of March, 1926 and Dan Harris died April 23, 1929. The four younger children, Frances, Blanding, H.B., and Homer were put with other members of the family to keep them out of . . .To avoid putting them in an orphanage. Dan Harris’ stepmother, Rosie Bush Harris lived with them for a time, eventually taking Blanding, Blandie, to live with her and later, Frances. Frances Oneida Harris lived in Lexington with her aunt Arzella. Okay. And she was 83 in ‘88? In 1988? Eighty-three then?

FS: Yeah, she was. Uh-huh.

AD: Uh-huh. Is she dead now?

FS: No, she lives in Middletown, Ohio.

AD: Does she?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Is she . . . um, does she get around?

FS: Pretty good.

AD: Okay.

FS: I was talking to her the other night.

AD: Okay. Alright. After two years, she lived with her step-grandmother Rosie, Grandma Rosie.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Alright. And this is the second . . . These are the . . .

FS: My aunt, my daddy’s sister, she’s down on Old 25, and she’s 91, _____ the 4th of July.

AD: July 4th?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Smith Harris was owned by Christopher “Kit” Harris during slave times. He was married three times. The first wife was Carolina Oldham, daughter of Dan and Sedonia Oldham. They had four children. James Daniel, Manny, Mary, and Emma. The second wife was Belle Brooks and their children were Elizabeth, Birdie, Smith, Davis, and Jim. The third wife was Rosie Bush and their children were Geneva, Willie, Arzella, and Rutledge. Rutledge Harris was name for Dr. Rutledge who developed three generations of the family.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: That’s the one you were telling me about. Arzella is now is 83 and lives in Middletown, Ohio. Frances Oneida Harris Sweat. What was your first married name?

FS: Miller.

AD: You told me. Okay. Okay. Frances Oneida Harris Sweat lived with her Aunt Arzella in Lexington when she was a young child after her parents died. Do you call her Aunt Zella?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Aunt Zella?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. After this, she lived with her grandfather’s third wife, Rosie. Grandma Rosie kept several of her own grandchildren and step-grandchildren and treated them all alike, so that they didn’t know that they were different kinds of kin.

FS: Yes, she was. She was ______.

AD: Oh, she did?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Kind of like you do? (Laughter). You know you take care of all the babies, right? I mean, you know, at some point.

FS: Even . . . Even, you know, the old ones.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm. Well, you learned it from her, didn’t you?

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: You know, that you don’t make a distinction between the children.

FS: I learned a . . . I learned a lot from her.

AD: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

FS: And my brother that lives here. He _______.

AD: Okay. Okay. I’ll tell you . . . It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Can you think of anything else you might want to share with us?

FS: Well, no. No. That’s all I can think of right now.

AD: Okay. (Laughter). Okay. I’ll make a bargain with you. If you, you know, if you think of something else, I’ll leave you my name and telephone number. You call me. This time, we’ll have to go through, uh, uh, Mrs. Crabb and . . .

FS: And Robert.

AD: Dr. Ellis and all that. Is that alright?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. _______.

AD: Okay.

FS: I’ll tell her that Friday. _____ How come you turned my name in? (Laughter).

AD: Okay. Okay. Let’s see, um . . . What’s the 622? I was trying to figure out what my phone number in the office was. (Laughter) Two-four-two-seven. Okay. And I’m in the history department.

FS: Alright. Maybe I’ll call when it’s late.

AD: Hmm-Mmm.

FS: I remember calling him late at night and I was telling them what I was going to do.

AD: Okay.

FS: Andthe said, Yeah, I want you to get that together and, so I can turn it in to the Masonic Lodge.

AD: What . . . What . . . What exactly does he want to turn into the Masonic Lodge?

FS: All, uh . . . Family history, you know.

AD: Okay. The whole . . . The whole . . . He wants to write out the whole narrative and turn it in?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm. Because Uncle Sylvester was the oldest member of the Masonic Lodge of Dayton.

AD: Right. Right. Okay. So, he wants to turn it into the organization itself and it becomes a part of their archives, so to speak. Okay. Are you going to get it ready for him?

FS: I guess. (Laughter).

AD: Well, you see, you the collector. You shouldn’t have to write it up too.

FS: And my sister. She’s always working to get something together, a family function, and she’ll do it.

AD: Hmm-Mmm.

FS: Well, you can remember things like that. My mom’s brother lives in Lexington, and he was like I was.

AD: Okay.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: He could remember all the kid and, uh . . . Okay.

FS: We’d get together on the ______. We’d get to talking and they’d just look at us.

AD: Okay. Okay. Alright. Well, Mrs. Sweat, I want to thank you very much. Okay?

FS: Well, I ________.

AD: And I have your promise that if you think of anything, you’ll call me at that number at the college. Right there, that’s . . . that’s me. Okay?

FS: I’ll . . . I’ll do that.

AD: Alright. I appreciate that.

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

AD: Down at Clay’s Ferry, you remember when they had a what?

FS: A toll gate.

AD: Okay.

FS: The old . . . Did you ever go across the old bridge?

AD: Nuh-uh. Nuh-uh.

FS: Well, there was an old bridge down there, too.

AD: Okay.

FS: And you went across that bridge and you had to pay toll to get ____.

AD: A toll?

FS: Uh-huh.

AD: Okay. How much was it? Do you remember?

FS: I don’t remember how much it was, but if you walked across it, I think you paid about a dime or something like that.

AD: You had to pay to walk across it, too?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. And I remember most running down the river.

AD: Oh, okay. Okay.

FS: And when they built the highway down there, I remember that, because I was a little girl. They was talking about building a highway and there’s a lane right through the middle of our house.

AD: Okay.

FS: But they did . . . They went around the house.

AD: Okay.

FS: They went as far as leaving my house alone.

AD: Okay. Alright.

FS: And the store down there on the other side of the river was the closest store we had to go to.

AD: What was the name of it?

FS: Kelley’s Grocery. Kelley’s Grocery.

AD: Was it run by a man named Kelley?

FS: Uh-huh. And that’s why we had to walk _____. Now, I wish I had a nickel ____ I’d walk across that old bridge.

AD: Uh-huh.

FS: We’d walk to the store.

AD: To get the . . . get the groceries and stuff?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Was Kelley white or . . . ?

FS: He’s white.

AD: White merchant? Okay.

FS: Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Did you have to pay him or did he allow . . .?

FS: Oh, yeah.

AD: You paid him in cash then, every time you went?

FS: Uh-huh. And my daddy was the mail carrier down . . . It was a Lexington road, _______.

AD: Okay.

FS: And he carried mail.

AD: Okay. He was a mail carrier?

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

AD: Okay.

FS: On horse and buggy. (Laughter)

AD: But I thought you said he was a farmer.

FS: He did farm.

AD: On shares, but then he carried . . . A mail carrier too?

FS: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. ____was mail carrier.

AD: Oh, okay.

FS: There was a man here, uh, I believe, _____ James Voley.

AD: Okay.

FS: And he was an undertaker.

AD: Uh-huh.

FS: And whenever he had a funeral or something, he’d call on my daddy to substitute for him.

AD: So, he’d just actually go get the mail and carry it out in the county?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Was he . . .was he considered . . . uh, uh, state employee or federal government or anything?

FS: Oh, I don’t know.

AD: Or . . . Or he could just pull somebody to do that for him if he wanted to.

FS: I reckon he was ____, I don’t know.

AD: That’s amazing. In horse and buggy?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: In Madison County?

FS: In Madison County.

AD: Did . . . Did he deliver mail to all people whenever called up? He had a route. He followed this man’s route?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Over the _____ Road.

AD: Okay.

FS: And Old Jack, that was the horse’s name. He did it so often that he knew to stop at the mailbox.

AD: Okay. Okay. Okay. Oh. Oh, that’s interesting. Now, if I cut this off are you going to tell me something else? (Laughter) Yeah, I’m scared to cut it off. You’ll think of something else. Okay. I’m going to cut it off now.

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

AD: I thought about this one. When you were growing up, did you make your own clothes or did your mother or . . . ?

FS: My mother, my grandmother, and my aunt made . . .

AD: Made all your clothes?

FS: Made clothes.

AD: How about the boys?

FS: Made their’s too.

AD: Did they? Made the suits? Everything?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Aunt Maggie was a seamstress.

AD: Okay. Okay.

FS: My mother taught me how to sew. I used to make my own clothes all the time when I was younger.

AD: Okay.

FS: When I was 2, Mom used to make clothes ______.

AD: Okay. Okay. Okay. But you used to do the sewing?

FS: Hmm-Mmm. Hmm-Mmm.

AD: Okay. Alright.