Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Johnny Baker, April 29, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Childhood

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Johnny Baker for the Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project by Sadie W. Stidham...

Segment Synopsis: Johnny Baker is introduced. He talks about his childhood in Leslie County, including his chores, recreation, and school experiences.

Keywords: Cliffs; Distance; Fishing; Milking cows; One-room schoolhouses; Parents; Playing; Recreation

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Childhood; Country life; Education--Kentucky; Rural children; Rural schools--Kentucky

GPS: Leslie County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.09, -83.38
00:02:39 - Father's store

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Partial Transcript: My daddy was a postmaster and run a grocery store.

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about his father's store and how supplies were brought in on wagons from a town about sixteen miles away.

Keywords: Bees; Cattle; Distance; Fathers; Goods; Postmasters; Supplies; Viper (Ky.); Wagons

Subjects: Country life; General stores; Rural conditions; Rural roads; Transportation--Kentucky

GPS: Viper (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.182778, -83.148333
00:03:57 - World War I / flu epidemic

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Partial Transcript: Well my brother--(coughs)--World War Two come along and my brother had to leave then to go to the war and I went to stay with his wife.

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about his brother serving during World War I, but says he does not remember much because he was a child at the time. He talks about the flu epidemic, and his own illness at the time which was treated by a local doctor.

Keywords: Brothers; Causey (Ky.); Children; Death; Doctors; Dogs; Dr. Minor; Harlan (Ky.)

Subjects: Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Physicians--Kentucky; Rural health services; World War, 1914-1918

GPS: Harlan (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.841389, -83.32
00:06:29 - Social life

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Partial Transcript: I know that daddy always raised a lot of hogs.

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about the marriages in his family, and some of the families that once lived in the area. He talks about their social activities and forms of entertainment.

Keywords: Entertainment; Fathers; Games; Hogs; Marriages; Neighbors; Schools; Sledding; Softball

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Country life; Families.; Rural children

00:09:27 - School

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Partial Transcript: Can you remember some of the teachers?

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about some of the teachers that taught in his school, and talks about discipline in the classroom.

Keywords: Boarding; Discipline; Punishments; Strict

Subjects: Education--Kentucky; Rural children; Rural schools--Kentucky; Teachers--Kentucky

00:11:08 - Jobs

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Partial Transcript: What did you do after, after you left school? What kind of job did you have?

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about some of the jobs he has held over the years, describing in detail his work hauling staves, coal mining, and logging.

Keywords: Bourbon barrels; C. B. Causey; Chalk eyeing; Farming; Hauling; Horses; Jobs; Loading coal; Logs; Rob Causey; Stave mills; Staves; Timber; Wagons

Subjects: Coal miners; Coal mines and mining--Appalachian Region; Logging; Occupations.

00:18:55 - Church / Great Depression

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Partial Transcript: Uh, what do you remember about Hyden way back, as far back as you can remember?

Segment Synopsis: Baker says there were no churches in the area during his childhood, only traveling preachers. He talks about the roads in the area, lack of work during the Great Depression, and his lack of involvement in politics.

Keywords: Farming; Fathers; Hyden (Ky.); Jobs; Logan Baker; Maggard's Branch (Ky.); Politics; Preachers; Works Progress Administration (WPA)

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Church history; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Occupations.; Rural roads

GPS: Hyden (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.163333, -83.375
00:21:41 - Medical care

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Partial Transcript: Uh, you spoke of Dr. Miner a while ago. What, what other medical care did you have in the community, uh, where you grew up?

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about the medical care that was available during his childhood, including a few local doctors, herb doctors, and "granny women" to deliver babies. He says he and his family did not use the services of the Frontier Nursing Service.

Keywords: "Granny women"; Boils; Burdock roots; Distance; Doctors; Dr. John M. Baker; Dr. Minor; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Herb doctors; Hyden (Ky.); Jen Griffey; Mary Breckinridge

Subjects: Country life; Maternal health services.; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Midwifery--Appalachian Region; Midwives--Appalachian Region; Physicians--Kentucky; Rural conditions; Rural health services; Traditional medicine

GPS: Hyden (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.163333, -83.375
00:25:19 - Ancestors and town history

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Partial Transcript: Uh, why did your, why'd your f--why did you and your family leave Leslie County?

Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about what he knows of his ancestors, and tells a story about a local man sabotaging enemy guns during the Civil War. The interview concludes abruptly.

Keywords: Ancestors; Barn fires; Bears; Hunting; Jeff (Ky.); Jobs; John Whit Shepard; Leaving; Railroads; Rebels; Sabotage

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Families.; Family histories.; Family--history; Leslie County (Ky.); Occupations.; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

GPS: Leslie County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.09, -83.38