Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Winnifred C. Wright, July 18, 1984

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Family background

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Partial Transcript: Mrs. Wright, tell me when you were born, where you were born.

Segment Synopsis: Winnifred Wright talks about her family history, where her parents and other relatives were from originally, and her siblings' lives and careers. She talks about growing up in Trenton, Ontario, Canada and tells a story about a local minister that began sports programs for the children. She talks briefly about the men in town leaving for World War I.

Keywords: Alfred Henry Young; Aunts; Brothers; England; Fathers; Ice hockey teams; Ice rinks; Lawyers; Mary Jane Gill; Ministers; Mothers; Parents; Sarah Hawley; Siblings; Sisters; Stephen J. Young; Tennis courts; WWI; World War I

Subjects: Canada; Childhood; Families.; Family histories.; Family--history; Genealogy; Trenton (Ont.); World War, 1914-1918

GPS: Trenton (Ont.)
Map Coordinates: 44.1, -77.580556
00:07:56 - Early education

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Partial Transcript: What were the schools like?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about her education in Trenton, Ontario, Canada, which she says was unusual because people in her town were wealthier than other towns. She talks about attending a finishing school and talks about what it was like living at the all-girls school.

Keywords: Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR); Chaperones; Confirmation; Dances; Farmers; Finishing schools; Girls basketball teams; Girls schools; High school; Manners; Rochester (N.Y.); Schools; Sports; Teachers; Wealthy

Subjects: Education--Canada.; Girls' schools; Single-sex schools

GPS: Trenton (Ont.)
Map Coordinates: 44.1, -77.580556
00:18:48 - World War I

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Partial Transcript: When did you finish the finishing school?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks more about World War I. She says she and her husband were married shortly before he was sent overseas. She talks about his experiences in the war and about trying to become a nurse so she could also go overseas. She talks about working in a TNT factory, as well as living with her husband's family during the war.

Keywords: Belgium; Commissions; Finishing schools; Home of the Innocent; Houses; Husbands; Louisville (Ky.); Married; Military officers; Nurses training; Prince Edward; TNT factory; Trenches; WWI; Women working; World War I

Subjects: World War, 1914-1918; World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns--Belgium; World War, 1914-1918--War work

GPS: Louisville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.25, -85.766667
00:27:20 - Moving to Louisville, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Then we came back to, uh, Louisville, Onta--tara--uh, Louisville, Kentucky and stayed--(coughs)--there.

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about why she and her husband moved to Louisville, Kentucky and talks about his job with the Carnation Milk Company. She talks about the birth of her son and discusses who he was named after.

Keywords: Carnation Milk Company; Carnation Milk Products Company; Children; Ernest Robson Wright; Hirsch Pickle Company; Husbands; Robson Horace Wright; Sons; Uncles

Subjects: Carnation Company; Families.; Family histories.; Family--history; Genealogy; Louisville (Ky.)

GPS: Louisville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.25, -85.766667
00:33:31 - Becoming an American citizen

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Partial Transcript: And it was, uh, it was later that you became an American citizen, wasn't it?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about becoming an American citizen in 1944. She discusses her husband's death.

Keywords: American citizenship; College Park (Ga.); Death; WWI; World War I

Subjects: Citizenship.; Health issues; Naturalization.; War wounds.; World War, 1914-1918--Veterans; Wounds and injuries.

GPS: College Park (Ga.)
Map Coordinates: 33.648333, -84.456111
00:40:05 - Living in Orlando, Florida

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Partial Transcript: Well what did you do, um, um, when you were--well let me back up and say: uh, when you were in Louisville and then you moved from Louisville to Atlanta, is that right?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about moving to Orlando, Florida with her husband and son, and talks about their life there and how they handled the hot weather.
[An interruption in taping occurs during this segment.]

Keywords: Carnation Milk Company; Carnation Milk Products Company; Church; Disney World; Family members; Heat; Housewives; Husbands; Louisville (Ky.); Relatives; Salesmen; Weather; Working

Subjects: Carnation Company; Orlando (Fla.)

GPS: Orlando (Fla.)
Map Coordinates: 28.415833, -81.298889
00:45:58 - Living in Atlanta, Georgia

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Partial Transcript: So you went back to, uh, Atlanta.

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about moving to Atlanta, Georgia around 1927. She talks about her son's education and recreational activities. She talks about her family's experiences during the Great Depression.

Keywords: Boy Scouts; Carnation Milk Company; Carnation Milk Products Company; Cars; Great Depression; Herbert Hoover; Hudson; Jobs; Overcrowding; Public schools; Salary cuts; Sons; Swimming

Subjects: Atlanta (Ga.); Carnation Company; Depressions--1929; Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.

GPS: Atlanta (Ga.)
Map Coordinates: 33.755, -84.39
00:53:19 - Bombing of Pearl Harbor and her son's military career

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Partial Transcript: Shortly--well, not shortly actually, but, uh, nineteen, uh, forty-one Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Segment Synopsis: Wright says that her son was at Pearl Harbor with the Merchant Marines when it was bombed on December 7, 1941. She talks about his career with the Merchant Marines which continued long after the war was over, including his work on the SS Florida.

Keywords: American Legion commander; Bank holiday; Bombings; College Park (Ga.); Commissions; Cuba; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; Husbands; Kings Point Academy; Merchant Marines; Military officers; Montreal Expo; SS Florida; Sons; TNT; US Steel

Subjects: Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941; Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.; World War, 1939-1945

GPS: Pearl Harbor (Hawaii)
Map Coordinates: 21.3679, -157.977
01:03:25 - Becoming a housemother at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: What did you do, uh, after your husband died, then?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about how she became a housemother at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Kentucky in 1948 after her husband's death. She talks about her duties as housemother, and the attitudes and activities of the students, including parties, dances, and meetings with the university president.
[An interruption in taping occurs during this segment.]

Keywords: A. D. Albright; Alpha Delta Pi sorority; Alpha Tau Omega fraternity; Behavior; Busy; Church; Cooks; Dances; Dean Doris Seward; Dean Sarah Holmes; Death; Dr. Albert Kirwan; Entertainment; First year; Formal wear; Fraternities; Fraternity houses; Fraternity presidents; G.I. Bill; Governor Earle C. Clements; Governor Happy Chandler; Governor's mansion; Housemothers; Husbands; Limestone Street; Meetings; Parties; Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity; Tenants; Walter Dee Huddleston

Subjects: College administrators; College discipline; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Greek letter societies.; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Employees; University of Kentucky

01:17:18 - Working as a housemother for the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in Miami, Florida

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Partial Transcript: Now how long did you stay with the Pikes?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about why she began working for the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house in Miami, Florida. She talks about the students' attitudes and why she decided to return to the University of Kentucky.
[An interruption in taping occurs during this segment.]

Keywords: Advisors; Behavior; Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity; Pools

Subjects: College administrators; College discipline; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Greek letter societies.; Miami (Fla.); Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Employees; University of Miami

01:22:06 - Becoming a housemother at Hamilton House at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Ms. Wright, after you were in, uh, Miami and, uh, decided that you wouldn't stay at the University of Miami, what did you do?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about being offered a job as housemother at Hamilton House, a home economics co-op house for female students. She talks about her duties as housemother, students' attitudes and activities, and what she did for recreation while living in Lexington.

Keywords: Boyd Hall; Church; Dances; Dean Sarah Holmes; Dining halls; Diversion; Entertainment; Fraternity presidents; Friends; Hamilton House; Housemothers; Jewell Hall; Keeneland Hall; Meal planning; Mrs. Boggs; Offices; Patterson Hall; Salaries; Zeta Beta Tau

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Greek letter societies.; Universities and colleges--Employees; University of Kentucky

01:34:03 - Funding for Hamilton House

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Partial Transcript: Where did the money come from for Hamilton House?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about the fees paid by students to live in Hamilton House, how the university came to own the house, and scholarships that were created for students who could not otherwise afford to attend the university.

Keywords: Dr. Albert Kirwan; Dr. Statie Erikson; Fees; Funding; Hamilton House; Judge Bart Peak; Scholarships; Tuition; Women students; YMCA

Subjects: College administrators; College environment; College students--Social conditions; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Employees; Universities and colleges--Finance; University of Kentucky

01:39:07 - Students at Hamilton House

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Partial Transcript: How long did you stay at Hamilton House?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about how students changed during their time at Hamilton House, and talks about some memorable students she met during her time there.

Keywords: Ann Craig; Changes; Elizabeth Newell; Former students; Frank Grochel; Friends; Growing up; Hamilton House; Jean Newell; Married

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Universities and colleges--Employees; University of Kentucky

01:45:19 - Retirement and health

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Partial Transcript: Have you missed it since you retired?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about how she spends her time since her retirement, and discusses some of her health issues.

Keywords: Canada; Deaf; Dentists; Diet; Energy; Gold; Health; Mumps; St. Petersburg (Fla.); Teeth

Subjects: Retirement.; Saint Petersburg (Fla.)

GPS: Saint Petersburg (Fla.)
Map Coordinates: 27.773056, -82.64
01:53:19 - Relationships with students at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: What's your fondest memory of the University of Kentucky when you worked here?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks about some of the pranks pulled by Pi Kappa Alpha students at UK during her time as their housemother. She talks about attending athletic events and concerts with the students. She tells a story about an initiation ceremony at Hamilton House that was protested by a fraternity. She tells a story of a student who was killed in a car accident.

Keywords: Basketball games; Behavior; Car accidents; Concerts; Cultural activities; Dean Doris Seward; Death; Drinking; Enjoyment; Football games; Fraternities; Hamilton House; Hazing; Housemothers; Initiations; Mary Lou Hicks; Memories; Memory; Names; Opossums; Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity; Pranks; Protests; Remembering; Stoll Field; Tragedies

Subjects: College administrators; College discipline; College environment; College sports.; College students--Alcohol use; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Greek letter societies.; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Employees; University of Kentucky

02:06:02 - More on retirement

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Partial Transcript: What do you do now for fun?

Segment Synopsis: Wright talks more about how she spends her time now that she is retired. She talks about her plans to move into a community for the elderly run by the Episcopal Church. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Assisted living; Family; Florida; Friends; Fun; Retirement homes; Swimming; Traveling; Visiting

Subjects: Episcopal Church; Life care communities.; Retirement communities.; Retirement.