Lincoln County Oral History

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This collection began with the Kentucky Oral History Commission’s effort to establish oral history programs in each of the state’s 120 counties. County libraries worked with local volunteers to collect interviews. Since 1987, county oral histories have been generated primarily by recipients of technical assistance grants from the commission that provide training and equipment to volunteer interviewers. Interviews donated by independent researchers are also included. The original collection is held at the Kentucky Oral History Commission/Kentucky Historical Society Access copies are available at Lincoln County Public Library. Authorization must be granted by KHS to use or publish by any means the archival material to which the Society holds the copyright. In 2016, the library was awarded a transcription grant from the Kentucky Oral History Commission to increase access to the collection.

Welby Burgin interviewed by Mrs MH Dunn 1981(Transcription included)  Burgin talks about Crab Orchard Springs Hotel: He mentions its operators, managers, and doctors.  He discusses some conventions held there and the activities the hotel provided its patrons.  He talks about the buildings, the modes of travel used by patrons, the expense of rooms, the waters, and its location.

Welby Burgin 5-5-79 interviewed by Deloris McClure and Virginia Shaw – Retired postmaster from Stanford. Stories of Crab orchard springs including building history, conventions held there, the mineral water.

Ted Gilbert recorded by Jenny Denham 12-17-78 (Transcription included) Gilbert talks about raising and processing sorghum cane crop; preparing ground (soil), planting, making sorghum molasses.

Shirley (Mrs MH) Dunn interviewed by Tammy Elliott 12-16-78(Transcription included) Mrs. Dunn talks about the Lincoln County Historical Museum: the history of the building itself and about some of the exhibits and portraits there.

Shirley (Mrs MH) Dunn interviewed by Libby Fraas 6-27-78 (Transcription included) Mrs. Dunn talks about the Harvey Helm Library: the library’s history, the history of the building, some of the librarians, items that are housed in the building (now a museum) and information about them and an explanation about how Mrs. Dunn (who was originally from Grant County) became so interested in Lincoln County history.

Ruby Elliott interviewed by Tammy Elliott 12-17-78 (Transcription included) Ruby Elliott talks about how schools attended and teaching experience.

Nannie Estridge White interviewed by Libby Fraas 6-29-78(Transcription included) She talks about moving to Lincoln County, going to school at Walnut Flats School, Stanford High School, Berea College, and EKU, teaching at Walnut Flats during the Depression, and her family.  She talks about her memories of the Walnut Flats community and school, families in the community, and her family.  She also talks about teaching in the mining community of Lynch, Kentucky, the different ethnic groups of people working in the mines, attempts to organize the miners in a union, and finally about teaching in Crab Orchard.

Nancy Stewart interviewed by Olivia Coffman 5-3-81(Transcription included) She comments on life, family and lifestyle: mentions use of broom sage tea as a home remedy: describes baptismal service: briefly speaks of working in a tobacco processing plant.

Mrs Victor Gilliland interviewed by Elsie Matheny and Vera Gilliland 7-2-77(Transcription included) King’s Mountain (KY), Schools, businesses, churches

Mary Stull interviewed by Carol Moore 8-6-84(Transcription included) Stull talks about casket making; preparing bodies; funerals.

Mary Lucille Burgin interviewed by Elsie Matheny 12-22-77(Transcription included)  She talks about her family from Crab Orchard. Talks about the history of the Crab Orchard Baptist Church (Cedar Creek Church) organized in 1791 by William Marshall.

Maggie Wilkerson interviewed by Libby Fraas 6-22-78 Transcription included) Interviewee talks about her life history. Topics include her birthplace, Logantown school, her family, church and basket dinners, jobs, marriage, her work for Embrys, Lancaster doctor, living conditions, Dix River floods, and her first trip to Stanford.

Lettie Walker McKinney interviewed by Libby Fraas 6-13-78 – (Transcription included) McKinney provides her life history. Topics include her brother Admiral John Reed McKinney, her time in the Women’s Land Army during World War II when she picked fruit when the Japanese were in camps in California, sickness, old dolls, her grandfather’s service in the Union Army during the Civil War, slavery, present living conditions in Stanford, and her career as a teacher of the deaf including her salary.

Lee Davis Fisher interviewed by Libby Fraas 6-26-78  – (Transcript included) Lee Davis Fisher born 1903. His father lived in the William Whitley house in 1884 when Squire William Pennington owned the property (over 1,000 acres and 40 slaves). Shares the stories his father told him about growing up including slaves, horse races at the William Whitley house, and the Civil War.

Katherine H. May interviewed by Pamela Campbell 4-27-81(Transcript included) May gives history and genealogy of the Hubble family: comments on her life.

John Robert Hasty interviewed by Wendell Hamm 4-10-84(Transcription included) Hasty talks about growing hemp, Kentucky authors, war, and his lifestyle. –

John Coleman White interviewed by Libby Fraas 6-24-78 –  (Transcription included) The first audio file (Side 1)  -Mr. White speaks about Crab Orchard; transportation, first car around 1916; White’s concentrated water (made from Crab Orchard Springs water) which was sold through drug stores (“better than Epsom salts”); Crab Orchard Springs Resort including amenities; National Fox Hunter’s association meeting in 1930.  On the second audio file (Side 2) – Mr. White speaks about his employment with the U.S. Forest Service under the department of agriculture. White moved back to Crab Orchard in 1933 and worked as a cook in at the Crab Orchard Springs resort. Talks about how the meals were prepared. He talks about distilleries making alcohol for the government during World War II, cattle farms, stockyards in the area, horse shows, races, county and state fairs.

Jean Paxton (Mrs Clayton) Morrow interviewed by Libby Fraas 6-19-78(Transcript included) Daughters of the American Revolution, Stanford Female Academy, Old Downtown fire, Opera house, Mrs. Estill Whitley Birch, Colonel T. J. Hill

Jean Paxton (Mrs Clayton) Morrow interviewed by Elsie Matheny 10-7-76  – (Transcript included) Jean Morrow talks about being a descendant of the Logan family and the boarding house.

Jean Paxton (Mrs Clayton) Morrow at BPW Christmas program 12-19-76 other speakers unknown (Transcript included) Jean Morrow tells a Christian story about a star leading the 3 wise man. After the story Morrow continues into comedy regarding Christmas.

Frank Johnson interviewed by Elsie Matheny 3-8-77 –  (Transcription included) Johnson, a retired African-American teacher, talks about the different modes of transporting African-American children to school in the Crab Orchard area from about 1918.

Frank Johnson interviewed by Elsie Matheny 3-22-77(Transcription included) Former school teacher discusses African American children’s transportation to school.

Flora Carson White interviewed by Olivia Coffman 4-26-81 –  (Transcription included) Flora Carson White talks about the way things were in the Boneyville community when she was younger: riding in horse-drawn buggies, preserving food in different ways, keeping ice throughout the seasons, entertaining in the African-American community, living through WWII and the Depression, using home remedies, and preparing and laying out bodies for funerals.

Elsie Ennslin interviewed by Michael Reed 10-6-78(Transcription included) Elsie Ennslin discusses the settling of Ottenheim, KY.

Clara (Mrs Roland) Von Gruenigin interviewed by Elsie Matheny 2-11-77 –  (Transcription included) Stanford Garden Club history, flower shows, community service

Ben Gaines, Sr.(Transcription included) Gaines talks about his lifestyle; anecdotes concerning father.

The following interviews were provided by WPBK-FM.

Alfred Pence – (Transcription included) Interview by Phil Pendleton. Talks about playing football and basketball in 1960-64 for Stanford High School. Tells about other players, coaches, uniforms, how many were on the team, mentions the “little brown barrel” that the team played for against Lancaster.

Calvin Denham – (Transcription included) Interview by Phil Pendleton.  Denham played on the Stanford High School football team in the early 60’s.  He talks about how the football program was almost lost, the rivalries with Lancaster and KSD, and his teammates.

Doug Pendygraft(Transcription included) Interview by Phil Pendleton.  Pendygraft still holds the record for the most individual points scored in a Basketball National Tournament when he played for Lindsay Wilson.  Later he played for Coach Rupp at UK.  He talks about those things and his experiences coaching many Lincoln County teams.  He also discusses Stanford’s rivalries with several area opponents, how sports were affected when the schools were integrated, the difficulties of the 70’s, and some of the other coaches and players.

Jack Denny Johnson – (Transcription included)  Interviewed by Phil Pendleton 07-11-13.  Graduated in 1947 from McKinney High School in Lincoln County. Played basketball. Coached at various schools in the county until 1964. Differences in basketball between then and now. Talks about the integration in relation to sports.

Jim Baird(Transcription included) Interviewed by Phil Pendleton 08-12-13.  Baird played basketball at Hustonville and coached several teams in Lincoln County.  He talks about those experiences, the coaches, players, and teams, and the consolidation of the schools.

Roger Meek (Transcription included) Interview by Phil Pendleton 07-18-13. Meek was head coach at Waynesburg Memorial High School, Lincoln County 1970-74 and then was selected to be head coach when the schools consolidated. Talks about coaching at a small, rural high school.

Bill Ed Leedy(Transcription included) Interview by Phil Pendleton 06-05-13.  Leedy talks about his experiences of playing football at Stanford in the 40’s and coaching  for various teams including Stanford in the 60’s and 70’s and later at Lincoln County High School.  He discusses earlier SHS coaches, how Stanford almost dropped the football program in the 60’s, and mentions a 1910 state championship team.

Rod Waldroup(Transcription included) Interview 08-12-13.  Waldroup coached girls’ basketball and softball at Lincoln County High School for most of the 80’s.  He talks about his memories of other coaches and players during those years.

Scott Smith –  (Transcription included) Interview by Phil Pendleton.  Smith (Born December 26, 1923) discusses his experiences playing high school sports at Stanford starting in 1939 or 1940. Talks about the football coach being the basketball coach as well. Mentions there were no buses and sometimes the team members didn’t have shoes to play. Discusses the differences in football between now and then. High school basketball – played outdoors first. Mentions other schools that had gyms with heaters that players got burnt on. Talks about playing with the black teams from Lincoln High. Smith talks about being the only white kid who boxed with the black kids on Maxwell Street. Describes various gyms at different schools. Talks about the little jug rivalry with Lancaster.

The following interviews were recorded by the Oral History Committee of the Lincoln County Historical Society.

Henry Baughman interviewed by Jann Baughman: Henry Baughman interviewed by Jann Aaron Baughman 4-18-2016.  He talks about his amazing tennis career.

Henry Baughman interviewed by Marion Cooper: Henry Baughman interviewed by Marion Cooper 4-18-2016.  He discusses playing in the National Senior Olympics (later the National Senior Games) and the National Parks Championships.

Henry Baughman interviewed by Marion Cooper 5/23/2018: Henry talks about representing Stanford High School in the Regional Tennis Tournament in 1951.

Jess Clarkson, Jr. interviewed by Marion Cooper: Jess Clarkson, Jr. interviewed by Marion Cooper 12-13-2016.  He discusses his experiences in Europe during World War II, including his arrival in Naples, Italy; guarding Rome; the storming of Anzio Beach; fighting in France, being taken prisoner to Stalag VII A near Moosburg, Bavaria, and being forced to work in Munich, Germany.

Joanne Bright recorded by Marion Cooper 10-20-2022.  Mrs. Bright originally did this presentation for the 10-4-2022 meeting of the Lincoln County Historical Society.  This recording was taped at her home later.  She introduces it with a short background of Captain Henry Bright; then she reads his grandson Uria Bright’s memories of Bright’s Inn and his grandfather and shares pictures that Uria drew of the inn and surrounding outbuildings.  

Esthel “Shorty” Cooper is interviewed by Marion Cooper on 07-28-2019.  He talks about his life in Lincoln County mainly in the early 1900’s. He tells about businesses, farming, the L&N Depot and warehouses in Stanford and the surrounding area.  He explains hemp farming at the time.

Esthel “Shorty” Cooper interviewed by Marion Cooper 9-12-2020.  Mr.Cooper talks about his service in the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska during World War II.

Marion Cooper recorded by Jane Vanhook at the Lincoln County Historical Society meeting 04-04-2023.  Mrs. Cooper reads two letters written to Lyman Draper by Mary Logan Smith, Benjamin Logan’s daughter, December 16, 1844 and April 25, 1845.  She talks about incidents that happened at Logan’s Fort in the 1700s, her father and her family.  Draper Manuscript Collection 12 C 45.

Jean Estridge is interviewed by Marion Cooper and Jimmy Estridge 09-22-2018.  She talks about growing up during the Depression, going to work at thirteen during World War II, getting her beauty license, and opening her first beauty shop before she graduated from high school.

Sheryll Howard Goodwin interviewed by Marion Cooper 5/8/2018.  Sheryll talks about an experience she had as a cheerleader at Crab Orchard High School in 1962-63.

Nancy Miller Hill along with Carol Hill, interviewed by Marion Cooper on 10-5-2017: Mrs. Hill talks about her home, the Alcorn House, at 409 Danville Street.  She also discusses her family, the Alcorn family, and Sophia Alcorn, who developed a method to teach people who were both deaf and blind.  

Kitty Mac Carson Milton: Interviewed by Henry Baughman on 12-04-2015.  She talks about life in Lincoln County and Teddy Roosevelt’s visit with her great-grandfather Baughman.

Lovester Wilkinson: Lovester Wilkinson presents a program, “Quilts-History and Hidden Messages,” for the Lincoln County Public Library’s Count Down to the Seige project 02-24-2018.  Marion Cooper records the program and includes pictures of the quilts.

Ralph Young was interviewed by Marion Cooper WWII Museum Ralph Young speaks about the World War II museum in New Orleans.

Ralph Young interviewed by Marion Cooper: Interviewed by Marion Cooper and Gary Clayton Cooper 05-13-2016.  He talks about his experiences aboard the USS Franklin Bell during the latter part of World War II in the Pacific, including events in the Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian, Okinawa, Leyte, and other places.

Ottis & Sara Lynn Cave by Amanda Gearhart 05-18-22 – Mr. & Mrs. Cave talk about downtown Stanford and the Boone & Cave business.

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