Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with C.A. and Jackie Mills, July 29, 2015

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Growing up, school times, Lend-A-Hand Center activities and services

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Partial Transcript: I'm telling ya, it was unbelievable.

Segment Synopsis: C.A. and Jackie Mills tell about growing up and going to school up Buckeye Hollow. They recall Peggy Kemner giving shots to the kids and Irma Gall inventing games. They attended Shady School which was a one-room school with 8 grades. They remember being involved in 4-H activities at the Lend-A-Hand Center. They also mention how Peggy would give worm medicine, delivered C.A.'s son, and took care of his mother.

Keywords: 4-H; Irma Gall; Lend-A-Hand Center; Medicine; Midwives; Nurse midwife; Nurse midwifery; One-room schools; Peggy Kemner; Stinking Creek (Ky.)

Subjects: Communities.; Community organization.; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Education--Kentucky; Knox County (Ky.); Medical care--Kentucky

00:16:31 - Farming, country living, feed sack dresses

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Partial Transcript: So, so what was it like growing up on Buckeye?

Segment Synopsis: C.A. and Jackie discuss growing up on the farm and having livestock and gardens. They discuss their parents' occupations: timber, coal mining, working at a furniture store, and selling eggs at the store. They discuss getting water out of the spring. C.A. tells a story of not getting the right pattern of feed sack for his mother to make a feed sack dress.

Keywords: Coal; Coal mining; Electricity; Feed sack dresses; Gardening; Lumber; Stinking Creek (Ky.); Timber

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Country life; Family farms; Rural children; Rural conditions; Subsistence farming; Traditional farming--Kentucky

00:23:04 - Food preservation, eating from the garden, and living without electricity

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Partial Transcript: So then, um, with all the, the stuff you grew growing up...

Segment Synopsis: C.A. and Jackie discuss taking corn to the gristmill. Jackie discusses making kraut and canning jellies. They discuss eating from the garden and providing most everything they consumed and not going hungry. They didn't have electricity up Buckeye until they were older kids. They discuss canning and food preservation, and making butter, and C.A. tells about a woman who they bought tomato plants from. They talk about different crops and storing potatoes in a hole in the ground.

Keywords: Beans; Electricity; Food preservation; Gardening; Potatoes; Stinking Creek (Ky.); Tomatoes

Subjects: Canning and preserving; Country life; Food habits; Food--Preservation; Rural conditions; Rural electrification; Subsistence farming; Traditional farming--Kentucky

00:31:23 - Christmas hams, peddlers, fertilizer, and fodder

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Partial Transcript: We kept the hams when we killed hogs we just salted it down, you know.

Segment Synopsis: C.A. tells of how his family sold hams and ginseng at Christmas to buy gifts. They discuss peddlers selling from house to house. They discuss saving seeds and fertilizing with manure. C.A. guesses that chemical fertilizer began being used when he was in his teens. They discuss using mules for plowing and cutting hay and carrying fodder in pack saddles.

Keywords: Agricultural changes; Chemical fertilizers; Christmas; Christmas hams; Fertilizers; Fodder; Gardening; Hams; Hay; Peddling; Seed saving

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Country life; Rural conditions; Subsistence farming; Traditional farming--Kentucky

00:40:23 - First tractor, family, and childhood games

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Partial Transcript: So when did a, a tractor--when, when did you first see a tractor or when did your family first get a tractor?

Segment Synopsis: C.A. recalls when he first saw a tractor in the area. He recalls taking food to his grandparents, and they discuss family living in the area or migrating to northern cities for work. They recall older traditions and generations living in the same area. They recall games, including playing ball with a stuffed sock, making houses out of clay from the creek, and playing on a wooden plank like a seesaw.

Keywords: Games; One-room schools; Out-migration; Tractors

Subjects: Childhood; Communities.; Country life; Education--Kentucky; Families.; Rural children; Rural conditions

00:51:18 - Finishing school, Neighborhood Youth Corps, and Messer Community Center

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Partial Transcript: And so then you, then you went to Dewitt to finish--you finished school?

Segment Synopsis: C.A. tells of how he finished school at the consolidated Dewitt School then Knox Central High School. They discuss the "Happy Pappy" program. Jackie's dad worked on it. C.A. worked for the Neighborhood Youth Corps (NYC) program when he was a teenager painting schools and helping in the community. The couple recall the Messer Community Center and having activities and meetings there.

Keywords: "Happy Pappy" Program; Community centers; Neighborhood Youth Corps; Stinking Creek (Ky.); War on Poverty

Subjects: Communities.; Community organization.; Country life; Rural children; Rural conditions

00:57:18 - KCEOC Community Center Program, Lend-A-Hand Center health services, and funeral customs

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Partial Transcript: So what did, um, what did you do after high school?

Segment Synopsis: C.A. discusses working for the Knox County Economic Opportunity Council (KCEOC) community center program doing repairs and working with the food program. They discuss the community center program. They discuss how their kids went to the early childhood programs later on. They remember the home health program through the Lend-A-Hand Center and Peggy Kemner visiting patients and delivering babies. Jackie's grandmother delivered her at home and C.A. was also born at home. Jackie also remembers how the family would sit up at home all night after a death in the family.

Keywords: Appalachian funeral practices; Childbirth; Community centers; Funeral practices; Knox County Economic Opportunity Council (KCEOC); Lend-A-Hand Center; Midwife; Midwives; Nurse midwifery; Peggy Kemner; VISTA; War on Poverty

Subjects: Communities.; Community organization.; Country life; Families.; Kentucky--Social life and customs

01:09:22 - Building houses / Working in coal and timber

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Partial Transcript: So after, um--so what jobs did you have after that?

Segment Synopsis: C.A. tells of how he farmed and built himself a house. Jackie was a mother and housewife. They got married in 1981. C.A. worked building houses then worked for Plastics Universal, a coal company from about 1977-1981. He spread grass seed after the strip mining. They discuss a slurry spill that occurred. C.A. then went to work in timber and also farmed. They moved from Buckeye in the mid-1980s and later built their current home.

Keywords: Coal mining; Gardening; Stinking Creek (Ky.); Strip mining

Subjects: Coal miners--Kentucky--Knox County; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Subsistence farming; Traditional farming--Kentucky

01:21:14 - Coal, farming, and community change

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Partial Transcript: So why did you, why did you kind of go back to farming?

Segment Synopsis: C.A. explains how the community changed after the coal company left. He then went to making timber and doing different jobs. He discusses how farming has changed. He discusses how Stinking Creek has changed since he was a kid, especially with fewer people living there and fewer people gardening.

Keywords: Coal mining; Depopulation; Gardening; Rural changes; Rural conditions

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Communities.; Country life; Subsistence farming; Traditional farming--Kentucky

01:26:09 - Agricultural change and the future of farming

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Partial Transcript: What do you think are some of the issues that are in the community?

Segment Synopsis: C.A. discusses issues in the community and how people don't know how to garden like they used to. He says that gardening and farming means a lot to him and that he can't hardly wait to get a meal out of the garden. He comments that the Knox County Farmers' Market is a good thing for the community. He remembers agricultural contests at the fair and thinks there probably won't be many farmers in the future.

Keywords: Agricultural changes; Gardening; Rural changes; Stinking Creek (Ky.)

Subjects: Communities.; Knox County (Ky.); Subsistence farming; Traditional farming--Kentucky

01:34:39 - Impact and future of the Lend-A-Hand Center / More on agricultural changes

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Partial Transcript: I just got a couple more questions about Lend-A-Hand and then I'll let you get on with your evening.

Segment Synopsis: C.A. talks about the impact of the Lend-A-Hand Center on the community. He is unsure about the future of Lend-A-Hand. He talks about the few big farmers in the county and how farming methods have changed over the years.

Keywords: Agricultural changes; Community-based family services; Community-based social services; Farming changes; Lend-A-Hand Center; Rural changes; Stinking Creek (Ky.)

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Communities.; Community organization.; Subsistence farming; Traditional farming