Interview with Grace Bates Frye, August 13, 1985

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: This interview is with Willie Grace Bates Frye.

Segment Synopsis: Frye introduces herself and provides some basic information about herself. She describes her husband and how he worked for the L&N Railroad Company. She talks about how she was the second woman to ever work for L&N. She describes how and where she and her husband were married. She discusses how she came to Etowah in 1911 and describes her first impression of Etowah and what she remembers from that time. She discusses how she had attended an all-girls school in Nashville but she had to leave when her father died.

Keywords: Cumberland Presbyterian School; Family; L&N Railroad; L&N Railroad Company; Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N); Trains

Subjects: Childhood; Education; Etowah (Tenn.); Families.; Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company.; Railroads

00:10:58 - Working for the L&N Railroad

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Partial Transcript: What, what--when you went to work, um, down at the L&N--

Segment Synopsis: Frye discusses her time working for the L&N Railroad Company as a stenographer. She took dictation for the managers in shorthand. She says that she was only paid $60 a month. She talks about her coworkers and she says that she was always treated with respect. She says that she quit working after she married her husband.

Keywords: Careers; Employment; Family; Jobs; L&N Railroad; L&N Railroad Company; Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N); Stenographers; Work

Subjects: Education; Etowah (Tenn.); Families.; Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company.; Railroads

00:15:18 - Husband's job

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Partial Transcript: What did Mr. Frye do?

Segment Synopsis: Frye discusses how her husband worked for L&N Railroad Company, first as a brakeman then as a conductor. She says that he worked there for over fifty years.

Keywords: Careers; Employment; Family; Jobs; L&N Railroad; L&N Railroad Company; Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N); Work

Subjects: Etowah (Tenn.); Families.; Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company.; Railroads

00:17:35 - Entertainment / Children

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Partial Transcript: When, when you first came to Etowah, in, in the early years, what, what was there for entertainment?

Segment Synopsis: Frye discusses what opportunities for entertainment there were in Etowah. She also discusses her church and her children. She says that she had three daughters and describes how she delivered them all at home. She describes each of her children and grandchildren. She talks about how healthcare worked and how doctors cared for people when she was younger. She also discusses where they would go to shop. She says that they could ride the train to Knoxville or to Atlanta to shop. She talks about the various stores in Etowah and what she bought.

Keywords: Activities; Childbirth; Churches; Entertainment; Family; Health; Physicians; Retail; Stores

Subjects: Birth; Children; Etowah (Tenn.); Families.; Health; Medical care; Recreation; Religion

00:31:42 - Railroad strike of 1922 / Great Depression

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Partial Transcript: Uh, do you remember when the strike happened on the railroad?

Segment Synopsis: Frye discusses her memories from the railroad strike of 1922. She also discusses the Great Depression and how it affected Etowah. She says that few people could make a living. She talks about having a garden for extra food and people asked them for food often. She says that her family had very little money and they lost some when the bank closed.

Keywords: Careers; Employment; Great Depression; Jobs; L&N Railroad; Labor unions; Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N); Railroad strikes; Railroads; Trains; Work

Subjects: Depressions--1929; Etowah (Tenn.); Labor unions; Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company; Railroads; Strikes and lockouts

00:37:01 - World War I and World War II

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Partial Transcript: Can you remember World War One?

Segment Synopsis: Frye discusses her memory of World War I. She says that her husband did not get drafted because he was a railroad worker. She says that the government took over the railroad during the war and sent troops on the trains. She also talks about World War II and how it affected the railroad and Etowah.

Keywords: L&N Railroad; L&N Railroad Company; Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N); Railroads; Trains; World War I; World War II

Subjects: Etowah (Tenn.); Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company; Railroads; World War, 1914-1918; World War, 1939-1945

00:39:42 - Closing remarks

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Partial Transcript: Do you know, uh, in early Etowah, were there any bootleggers?

Segment Synopsis: Frye makes her closing remarks. She discusses various topics regarding Etowah, including the KKK, bootleggers, and charity. She also discusses the various places which she lived in Etowah.

Keywords: Bootleggers; Family; Ku Klux Klan (KKK); Moonshine

Subjects: Distilling, illicit; Etowah (Tenn.); Families.; Ku Klux Klan (1915- )