Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Roy Sizemore, September 1, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:06 - Childhood and education in Dryhill and Hyden, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Well, why don't you just start off talking about growing up, and where you grew up, and what it was like at that time?

Segment Synopsis: Roy Sizemore talks about growing up in Dryhill, Kentucky before moving to Hyden around age ten. He talks about the post office his mother ran in their home. He describes the schools he attended.

Keywords: Berea Academy; Berea College; Construction; Discipline; Dormitories; Fires; Hotels; Hyden Academy; Local people; Logs; Mail; Mothers; One-room schools; Post offices; Postmasters; Presbyterian Church; Rivers; Schoolhouses; Teachers; U.S. marshals; Works Progress Administration (WPA)

Subjects: Childhood; Dryhill (Ky.); Education--Kentucky; Families.; Hyden (Ky.); Rural children; Rural schools--Kentucky; United States Postal Service; Women--Employment.

GPS: Dryhill (Ky.) (also called Hell for Certain, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.1546, 83.4157
00:09:06 - Neighbors helping one another

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Partial Transcript: And of course when I graduated t--from academy, my father was employed then by the United States government as United States deputy--United States marshal.

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore talks about his family, including his grandfather who served during the Civil War. He talks about how neighbors would help one another with planting or harvesting crops when they were ill. He talks about clearing ground to create farmland.

Keywords: "Frolics"; "Workings"; Assistance; Burning; Clearing ground; Community; Consumption; Crops; Fathers; Fires; Grandfathers; Helping; Local people; Logs; Pensions; Siblings; Square dancing; Transportation; Tuberculosis (TB); U.S. marshals; Wood

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Country life; Families.; Family histories.; Farm life--Appalachian Region; Neighborliness.; Neighbors.; Traditional farming--Kentucky; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

00:15:16 - More on education / World War I

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Partial Transcript: You--when you were in school y--did you study hard?

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore talks about the kinds of things he learned in school. He talks about attending the Berea Academy and joining the Student Army Training Camp during World War One.

Keywords: Berea Academy; Berea College; Grades; Memorization; Military draft; Poems; Student Army Training Camp; Working; World War I

Subjects: Education--Kentucky; Occupations.; Rural children; Rural schools--Kentucky; World War, 1914-1918

GPS: Berea (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.576944, -84.293611
00:18:55 - Government assistance

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Partial Transcript: Now those figures up there is a little, um, secret order I belong to: K of P.

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore talks about his job approving applications for government assistance during the Great Depression. He talks about how eligibility was determined, and the changes that occurred after President Roosevelt began the WPA.

Keywords: Applications; Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.); Commodities; Community; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Government relief programs; Great Depression; Help; Knights of Pythias; Literacy; Masonic Order; Mines; Needs; Red Cross; Works Progress Administration (WPA)

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Economic assistance, Domestic.; Food relief.; Occupations.; Public welfare.; Social service, Rural.

00:24:58 - Mining

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Partial Transcript: Just go back a little bit. When you went to Berea your whole family moved there?

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore talks about his work in the mines of Perry and Letcher Counties. He talks about how the coal was mined, and specifically about his job detonating dynamite in the mines.

Keywords: Berea Academy; Berea College; Coal camps; Dynamite; Family; Fuses; Mining techniques; Unionizing; Wages

Subjects: Coal miners--Kentucky; Coal miners--Labor unions--Kentucky; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Letcher County; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Perry County; Coal mines and mining--Safety measures; Letcher County (Ky.); Mine safety; Perry County (Ky.)

GPS: Perry County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.24, -83.23
00:28:57 - More on government assistance / being elected postmaster

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Partial Transcript: Came back in nineteen, about 1930, I guess, '31, something like that.

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore talks about the low wages and availability of jobs during the Great Depression, and talks more about his work with the government assistance program. He talks about how he was elected postmaster, and talks about some of his other community activities.

Keywords: Community involvement; Droughts; Dryhill (Ky.); Elections; Farming; Government relief programs; Great Depression; Helping; Hyden (Ky.); Jobs; Postmasters; Red Cross; Volunteering; Wages

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Economic assistance, Domestic.; Food relief.; Occupations.; Public welfare.; Social service, Rural.; United States Postal Service

GPS: Dryhill (Ky.) (also called Hell for Certain, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.1546, 83.4157
00:33:39 - Hyden Committee of the Frontier Nursing Service

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Partial Transcript: And then I got, got looking for things like, uh--I, I don't know how I got on the Hyden Committee of the FNS.

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore talks about how he became a member of the Hyden Committee of the FNS. He talks about the various positions he has held, describes the committee's meetings, and lists some of the members of the committee. He talks about some of the doctors in the area who worked with the FNS, as well as some of the local midwives prior to the FNS.

Keywords: Ann MacKinnon ("Mac"); Benefits; Betty Lester; Board of Governors; British nurses; Committee chairman; Committee meetings; Committee members; Decisions; Doctors; Fannie Begley; Fundraising; Hyden (Ky.); Improvements; Jean Tolk; Judge Lou Lewis; Local people; Marvin Breckinridge Patterson; Mary Breckinridge; Medical training; Nora Kelly; Old hospital; Outsiders; Trustees

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Breckinridge, Mary, 1881-1965; Childbirth; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Health facilities.; Maternal health services.; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical centers--Administration; Medical education; Midwifery--Appalachian Region; Midwives--Appalachian Region; Rural health services

GPS: Hyden (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.163333, -83.375
00:46:12 - Politics in Leslie County, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Could you talk maybe a little about politics around here? Were you at all involved in that?

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore says his family are Democrats, mainly due to his grandfather switching parties. He talks about Leslie County as a primarily Republican county, and talks briefly about state politics.

Keywords: "Banner Republican county"; Civil War; Democrats; Elections; Government relief programs; Grandfathers; Jobs; Leslie County politics; Lewis family; Post offices; Republicans; Sizemore family; Union Army

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Democratic Party (Ky.); Hyden (Ky.); Kentucky--Politics and government; Leslie County (Ky.)--Politics and government; Republican Party (Ky.)

GPS: Leslie County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.09, -83.38
00:55:44 - Hyden businesses / race relations in Leslie County

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember which were some of the first businesses in town here, and who owned them, and how they changed, how they got built up?

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore talks about some of the early businesses in Hyden. He talks about the African American community in Leslie County, and the perception that the people who were native to the area were different from Blacks from the South. He talks more about the early businesses in Hyden, and describes the buildings they were located in.

Keywords: African American schools; Bricks; Churches; Detroit (Mich.); Drugstores; Eversole Store; Hyden Citizens Bank; Mercantile stores; Mines; Quality; Restaurants; Shoe stores; Southerners

Subjects: African American business enterprises; African American families; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Southern States.; General stores; Hyden (Ky.); Hyden (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.; Race relations--Kentucky; Small business--Kentucky

GPS: Hyden (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.163333, -83.375
01:02:58 - Transportation of goods

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, then they had a hotel out there.

Segment Synopsis: Sizemore talks about the hotel in Hyden where many traveling salesmen stayed. He talks about how goods were transported through the area, mainly by freight boats and the railroad. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Coal; Court Days; Freight boats; Groceries; Hazard (Ky.); Hotels; Krypton (Ky.); London (Ky.); Railroads; Trains; Traveling salesmen

Subjects: Hyden (Ky.); Hyden (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.; Transportation--Kentucky

GPS: Hazard (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.248611, -83.195