Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Opal Allen, Eugene Allen, July 19, 1983

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:04 - Teges Creek family histories

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Partial Transcript: William would have been his, um, what? I don't know what grandfather that would have been, but, it would have been three, two or three back. Anyway.

Segment Synopsis: Opal and Eugene Allen talk about how their families arrived. Many arrived from North Carolina and South Carolina, and several of these families still remain in Clay County, or neighboring towns.

Keywords: B. Holmes; Bishop Family; Clay County; Judge JJ Dickie; North Carolina; land ownership

Subjects: Clay County (Ky.); Genealogy--Appalachian Region; Teges Creek (Ky.)

00:04:15 - Land ownership

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Partial Transcript: Um, what do you think happened after he came in, and he had all the land and then, it seems like now it's owned by so many different people, just little plots of it.

Segment Synopsis: Teges Creek has had many generations of the same families. Each family was allowed land, and it has since been broken up into smaller plots.

Keywords: 1815; Great Depression; Job Allen; Patsy Allen; WWII; World War Two; father to son; land ownership; marriage; outsiders

Subjects: Families.; Family--history; Land use, Rural--Kentucky; Teges Creek (Ky.)

00:08:35 - Allen family roots

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Partial Transcript: In the Clay County courts in 1815, I believe it was, that Patsy Allen, um, was claiming, um, right to land for the infant heirs of William Allen.

Segment Synopsis: Opal and Eugene talk about their family history and how the Allen family got to Clay County.

Keywords: Allen Family; Oneida (Ky.); Patty's Rock; War of 1812; William Allen; cattle; corn; farming; gristmill; logging; salt works; simple life

Subjects: Clay County (Ky.); Family--history; Teges Creek (Ky.)

00:13:20 - Teges Creek history

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Partial Transcript: The river at one time was the government, federal government I'm sure, uh, intended to make it a waterway.

Segment Synopsis: The original families of Teges Creek are talked about, and how they survived is explained.

Keywords: 1870's; Hyden Dam; education; employment; farming; logging; milling; pork barrel project; timber; transportation

Subjects: Appalachian Region--History; Clay County (Ky.); Teges Creek (Ky.)

00:17:55 - Extended family

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Partial Transcript: He was a very small man. And he had been shot in the knee when he was a boy with a rifle in a, I think a quarrel, maybe.

Segment Synopsis: Eugene and Opal's grandparents, as well as what their ancestors did for a living and survival is explored in this segment.

Keywords: Baker family; Jackson County (Ky.); Laurel County, (Ky.); ancestry; cripple; dances; farming; fighting; logging; young labor

Subjects: Clay County (Ky.); Family--history; Genealogy

00:22:40 - Farm life

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Partial Transcript: I remember one of the earlier crops that he raised uh, he put it on a, a raft of logs and took it to, uh, well, probably to a railroad station I guess in Beattyville.

Segment Synopsis: Eugene discusses how the farmers lived, and how they supported their families and got the things they needed.

Keywords: Sears; bartering; chickens; church; markets; necessites; tobacco; trading; women

Subjects: Agriculture--Appalachian Region; Country life--Kentucky--Teges Creek; Family farms; Subsistence farming

00:27:06 - Fashion in Teges / finding work

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, they all wore pretty hats with flowers on them, you know. Just looked real nice.

Segment Synopsis: Opal explains how women dressed and where and how the Allen's lived.

Keywords: Great Depression; WWII; World War Two; defense work; dresses; fashion; homesick; jobs; relationships; work

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Clothing and dress.; Teges Creek (Ky.)

00:36:46 - Education / farming

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Partial Transcript: Where did you go to high school?

Segment Synopsis: Eugene talks about school and teaching, and how the farming families lived.

Keywords: 1937; Manchester (Ky.); farming; flood; hemp; paper mill

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:42:17 - Farming for survival

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Partial Transcript: Say if we were talking about the 20's or early 30's, then it would be just for the family?

Segment Synopsis: This segment details how farmers and non-farmers survived the winters and what foods they ate.

Keywords: corn; eggs; farmers; hay; soybeans; sustenance farming

Subjects: Canning and preserving--Kentucky--Teges Creek; Farm life--Appalachian Region; Subsistence farming

00:49:31 - Neighborhood

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Partial Transcript: Well, one of the things in this area was grapes. They had, uh, quite a few people had a lot of grapevines.

Segment Synopsis: They discuss the fun they had with their neighbors and how WWII affected them.

Keywords: 1930s; candy party; clearings; grubbing; log rollings; pig dinner; sprouts; visiting; wages; young labor

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Country life--Kentucky--Teges Creek; Manners and customs--Teges Creek (Ky.); Neighbors

00:54:30 - Leaving to find work

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Partial Transcript: When was the WPA, Eugene?

Segment Synopsis: The lifestyle changes after the Depression and WWII are explored.

Keywords: Rural Electric; WPA; buildings; drifters; electricity; real work; roads; work

Subjects: Roads--Design and construction--Kentucky--Teges Creek; Rural-urban migration--Kentucky--Teges Creek; Teges Creek (Ky.); United States. Works Progress Administration of Kentucky

01:07:11 - Mining

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Partial Transcript: Not many people though. Now of course the mines, mining has, had grown tremendously since WWII here in the county.

Segment Synopsis: This segment details how mining families were different from farming families. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Great Depression; WWII; family; hard pressed; mining; non-farming

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Teges Creek; Family farms; Subsistence farming