Interview with Florence Burke, April 4, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History
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00:00:00 - Parents / Going to school at Upper and Lower Jacks Creek

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Partial Transcript: This is an oral, this is an interview with Flora Burke for the Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project by Sadie W. Stidham at 4:30 on the 4th four '79.

Segment Synopsis: Burke names her parents and talks about the schools that she attended.

Keywords: Appalachia; Family histories.; Lower Jacks Creek School; Missions; Ms. Roark; Nancy Collett; Reverend William Collett; Roark (Ky.); Schools; Teachers; Textbooks; Upper Jacks Creek School; Chores

00:02:48 - Average day on the farm

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Partial Transcript: Uh, could you tell me what a day's work on the farm was like starting early in the morning?

Segment Synopsis: Burke describes a normal day working at the family farm.

Keywords: Appalachia; Chores; Cooking; Corn fields; Cows; Daily chores; Farmers; Farms; Hogs; Housework; Leslie County (Ky.); Mules; Subsistence farming; Chickens

00:03:31 - Community activities

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Partial Transcript: Uh, tell me about the community you lived in. What was it like?

Segment Synopsis: Burke talks about what the community would do for leisure activities.

Keywords: Appalachia; Churches; Community; Fishing; Leisure; Picnics; Recreation; Social activities; Square dances; Cake walks

00:04:17 - Elections

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Partial Transcript: Uh, can you remember anything about the elections that took place in your community?

Segment Synopsis: Burke remembers some candidates and the jobs she did for some elections.

Keywords: Elections; J. M. Robinson; John Asher; Judge Billy Dickson; Judge Cornett; Leslie County politics; Local politics; Posters; Speakings; State representatives; The Mayflower; Voting; Women in politics; Congressmen

00:06:23 - Infrastructure changes in Appalachia

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Partial Transcript: What about the roads in the community where you lived?

Segment Synopsis: Burke notes when new technologies came to Appalachia like paved roads, telephones, airplanes, etc.

Keywords: Appalachia; Cars; Chester Sizemore; Effie Sizemore; Electricity; Fields; Ford; Grand Ole Opry; Horses; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; Radios; Rural roads; Telephones; Trails; Wagon roads; Airplanes

00:09:18 - Churches in the area the services they provided

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Partial Transcript: What about the churches in that section? How many churches were there?

Segment Synopsis: Burke notes some of the area churches and one of the services they provided to the people.

Keywords: Charity; Christianity; Church buildings; Church of Christ; Churches; Lower Jacks Creek Mission Church; Ministers; Mr. Porterfield; Red Bird Mission; Religion; Schools; Baptist Church

00:11:14 - Losing the family car to a flash flood

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Partial Transcript: What do you remember about the floods and tides, did they effect y'all in any way?

Segment Synopsis: Burke tells the story of a flash flood ruining her family's new car.

Keywords: Appalachia; Cars; Chevrolet; Chevy; Flash floods; Floods; Kentucky; Natural disasters; Post offices; Water; Bridges

00:12:11 - Brother's work at the lumber company and lack of assistance

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Partial Transcript: Uh, what do you remember about the, uh, logging and people working in the woods and racking logs and things?

Segment Synopsis: Burke talks about her brother working for the lumber company and the general lack of assistance for those in poverty.

Keywords: Economic insecurity; Federal assistance; Financial insecurity; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Government relief programs; Groceries; Logging; Logging camps; Logging industry; Lumber company; Lumber trade.; Pay rates; Poverty; Public welfare; Timber.; United States. Forest Service.; United States. Works Progress Administration.; WPA; FDR

00:13:41 - The World Wars / Military service during World War II

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Partial Transcript: Uh, what about the wars? What wars affected your community?

Segment Synopsis: Burke talks about the family she lost during the World Wars and her own involvement in World War II.

Keywords: Des Moines (Iowa); Education; Hospitals; Killed in action (KIA); Patients; Ports; Secret Service; Ships; Troops; WW2; WWII; Women and the military--United States; World War 2; World War I; World War II; World War Two; Alaska

00:15:02 - The Great Depression and helping out neighbors

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Partial Transcript: What about the Depr--Depression years? What do you remember about those hard times?

Segment Synopsis: Burke notes how her family was okay during the Great Depression and how her father would give meat and milk to their neighbors in need.

Keywords: Appalachia; Cows; Great Depression; Hogs; Meat; Milk; Neighbors; Sharing; Shoes; The Depression; Butchering

00:15:58 - Appalachian healthcare before the FNS

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Partial Transcript: What about, uh, the medical care? What was the healthcare before the Frontier Nursing Service came in?

Segment Synopsis: Burke remembers some of the healthcare options before the FNS; particularly, that the medical help was so far away that a pregnant woman froze to death as she was traveling to get help to deliver her baby.

Keywords: Doctors; FNS; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Horseback riding; Horses; Hypothermia; Illnesses; Medical care; Midwifery; Midwives; Nurse midwives; Nurses; Red Bird Center; Red Bird Hospital; Rural Medicine; Rural health services; Childbirth

00:17:06 - Herb doctors

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Partial Transcript: Uh, what about the, uh, herb doctors? Th--that was before your day was it?

Segment Synopsis: Burke talks about the herb doctor who would come around carrying jugs on her back.

Keywords: Appalachia; Folk medicine; Herbs; Jugs; Traditional medicine; Herb doctors

00:18:01 - Granny women

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Partial Transcript: Alright, what about the granny women? Do you know--

Segment Synopsis: Burke describes the granny women who helped to deliver babies.

Keywords: Childbirth; Doctors; Granny women; Midwifery; Midwives; Nurse midwives; Pregnancy; Rural Medicine; Rural health services; Rural healthcare; Traditional medicine; Deliveries

00:19:40 - Mary Breckinridge and the Frontier Nursing Service

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Partial Transcript: What do you remember about Ms. Breckinridge and her service?

Segment Synopsis: Burke talks about the Frontier Nursing Service.

Keywords: Breckinridge, Mary, 1881-1965; Doctors; Flat Creek (Ky.); Frontier Nursing Service (FNS); Hospitals; Hyden (Ky.); Mary Breckinridge; Mary Breckinridge Hospital; Middle Fork Clinic; Midwifery; Midwives; Nurse midwives; Nurses; Rural health services; Rural medicine; Shots; Vaccines; Deliveries

00:21:16 - The relationship between the local community and the FNS

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Partial Transcript: What did people, uh, think about Ms. Breckinridge and her service?

Segment Synopsis: Burke describes the relationship and understanding between the service and the surrounding communities.

Keywords: Appalachia; Board of directors; Charities; Committees; Deliveries; FNS; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Mary Breckinridge; Midwifery; Midwives; Philanthropists; Public opinion; Rural health services; Trust; Benefactors

00:23:25 - Falling dedication of the nurses

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Partial Transcript: Um, through the years, has there been any changes, in your opinion, of the nurses?

Segment Synopsis: Burke talks about how she feels that the dedication and commitment of the FNS nurses is not as strong as it used to be.

Keywords: Breckinridge, Mary, 1881-1965; Commitment; FNS; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Midwives; Nurse midwives; Nurses; Red Bird Center; Red Bird Mission Hospital; Retirement; Rural health services; Bookkeepers

00:25:01 - Family stories

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Partial Transcript: What about stories, do you know any stories that, uh, of any type that has been handed down, uh, through all of the generations about any of your ancestors, where your ancestors came from, what happened when they first came?

Segment Synopsis: Burke tells some of her family stories.

Keywords: Ancestry; Appalachia; Boone, Daniel, 1734-1820.; Daniel Boone Trail; Family histories.; Folklore; France; French Revolution; Genealogy; Hangings; Hostages; Immigrants; Immigration; Ransom; Toll gates; Treason; Ancestors

00:26:43 - Going to school

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Partial Transcript: What about your schools?

Segment Synopsis: Burke remembers going to school in a one room schoolhouse, recess, and packed lunches.

Keywords: Appalachia; Education; Lard buckets; One room schoolhouses; Packed lunches; Recess; Schoolhouses; Schools; Teachers; Games

00:28:37 - Father's death and moving to Hyden

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Partial Transcript: Uh, wh--why did you ah, you and your family leave Leslie County?

Segment Synopsis: Burke talks about how, after her father's death, the family moved to Hyden and her mother ran a restaurant there.

Keywords: Appalachia; Leslie County (Ky.); Meg Sizemore; Restaurants; Hyden (Ky.)

00:29:23 - Living in Hyden and racism

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Partial Transcript: Uh, what year was that y'all had the restaurant?

Segment Synopsis: Burke remembers what it was like living in Hyden; particularly, how the only person of color that she remembers had to use the backdoor and could not use the front door.

Keywords: African Americans.; Black people; Courthouses; Dress shops; Drugstores; Hotels; Hyden (Ky.); Lawyers; One horse towns; People of color; Plate lunches; Racial slurs; Racism; Racist language; Segregation; Small towns; Supermarkets; Trials; Banks