Mrs. Victor Gilliland

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. Original collection held at Kentucky Oral History Commission/Kentucky Historical Society.  Access copies available at Lincoln County Public Library. Authorization must by granted by KHS to use or publish by any means the archival material to which the Society holds copyright.



July 2, 1977 


Mrs. Matheny: This is an interview with Mrs. Victor Gilliland at Stanford, Kentucky with Mrs. Elsie C. Matheny, interviewer, for the Kentucky Bi-Centennial Oral Project, on July the 2nd, 1977 at three o’clock. 

(tape goes off and then back on) 

Mrs. Matheny: Ms. Vera Gilliland is also going to interview her mother.  Mrs. Gilliland, can you tell us some things that happened in the early history of Kings Mountain? 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Mom, when did we go down there to live; Kings Mountain? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: I got married in 1910. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Where did we live the first time? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Across from the old school house. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: What kind of school house did they have then? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Just one single room, which now is a Methodist Church. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Do you mean up there in the curve where you go over the hill? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Huh? 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Up there in the curve, where you go over the hill, on the left hand…. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: That was…they called it Hall’s (sic) Methodist (sic) church. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Well, is that where they…. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: And, they moved it down and made a school house out of it. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Who taught there then? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: I can’t remember that time. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Well, when did they build the next school? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: They built that when you was about five years old. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Well, how old would that make it then? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Around sixty whatever. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Momma, I’m 66, so that would be about what, 19 and…11 and take and add five to it, would be 1916.  How many rooms did they build?  Did they build the yellow brick then? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: No, they built the brick when you was a little girl…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Do you mean when I was…. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: They had a two room school house…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: There that…. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: They had a one room school house, and they moved that Hall’s Methodist Church out and joined them and made a two room schoolhouse.  Then when they built the present building, they moved one of the buildings and made a Methodist Church, which they are using now, but it became Kings’ Mountain Methodist Church. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: When did Poppa start teaching there, in the brick? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: About sixty, I guess. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Do you mean when the…no, not sixty.  Do you mean when I was about six? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: All you children was born in that little house right across from the school house, if that’s interesting. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: All right, what room did Poppa teach? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: He taught the upper grades.  At this time, they had no high school. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Okay, did Aunt Maude (sic) teach there too? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yeah, she taught the…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Lower grades? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Little grades. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Well, let’s see, then, who lived over the hill then on the left hand side, going down?  

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Dr. Actin (sic) 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Dr. Actin. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Dr. J.W. Actin. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: All right, and when did Dr. Laswell go in there? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: When Dr. Actin moved away. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Dr. Actin moved away and Dr. Laswell came in.   

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Sure. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Okay, when did Dr. Thompson go in there? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: I can’t remember when he came.  He came from Lincoln County…. 

(tape goes off and then back on) 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: ….on the corner. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Well, they bought it from them, because Thompson still…Thompson’s is on the right, and then the Penningtons bought from them. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: And, then, Mr. Will went over and built on the other side? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yes, a combination of a drug store and…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Everything. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Drug Store and groceries…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Well, Dr. Thompson had an office back in there, didn’t he? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yes, he had an office back in there. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: And you could go in and get your teeth pulled and he didn’t give you anything, and he had a great big long silver thing and he’d just rear you back and pull your tooth and that was it.  And, then, on down toward the depot, what was next?  Who lived just beyond the store there? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Gabe Walters. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Gabe Walters; and just beyond that? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Went on down to Hester’s Hotel. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Okay, where did Gabe Walters have his store? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: He lived on…in a single story, and his store was underneath, and it has since went out all over the street. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: They had streets in Kings’ Mountain? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Had sidewalks made of boards. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: And, had how many hotels? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: One, O L (sic). 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: They had that great big hotel down there that burned. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: That was Estridge’s Hotel, and then the next place was the depot. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: The depot was over in front of it.  And, then, up at the end of the big long hill going down, that was where the tower was, right?  Don’t you remember the railroad tower that used to be down there at the end of that big tall hill over in there, and Asa Morgan used to come from Waynesburg…. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: No. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: When did they build that tower? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Willie Leach worked in that tower.  He was always there. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Now, Willie Leach, who was he? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Huh? 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Who was Willie Leach? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Lived next door to us. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Lived next door neighbor to us. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yes. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Okay, and he’s the daddy of Randall Leach…. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Randall Leach. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: That runs the Firestone here in town now, and he was up here from Florida the other day and walking up the street, he was 87 years old, he had on shorts and a…he did for a fact…and he lives in Florida now.  Now, when did they build the tunnel? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Oh, {   }…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: They built that tunnel down there, don’t you remember when Mr. Williams and all that gang came in there? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yeah, but they wasn’t building no tunnel.  They was building Fishing Creek Dam. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Where is Fishing Creek Dam? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: You go on South. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: They brought a crew in there, and where did they live? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: {    }. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: And, Poppa was a bookkeeper, wasn’t he? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: He was a bookkeeper. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Who was in charge of it; a Mr. Williams? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: W.W. Williams. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: And, he drove a what, a Cadillac? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: I don’t know. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: It seemed to me like he did.   And, when did they build the overhead bridge that goes over toward Duncan? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Well that’s new. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Well, they had to build that after they built the tunnel.  Well, anyway, going down the hill, and you would come to a T.  You could turn right and there was what…the last thing was, Noble Padgett’s store. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yes, but that’s new compared to…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: I know it, but it burned and beyond that store, there was Mr. Howard, remember? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yeah, {    } 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Mr. Howard was beyond that store when Mr. Willie and them lived down there, and Mrs. Howard sold hats, didn’t she; huh? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Morris Hall had a drug store in the corner…I don’t know {   }…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: On the left or right? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yeah. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Left or right? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: On the right hand side. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: On the right hand side; well, the Howards, then they lived in there someplace. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: A basement {   }…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Was that Mr. Frank Howard?  Was that his name? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yes. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: And, Ethel was his daughter…. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: I don’t know. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Or daughter-in-law?  Who was her husband?  And, they had…Ethel…who did Lyman belong to? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Lyman belonged to his daddy. 


Ms. Vera Gilliland: Frank (laughs); okay, who did Market (sic) Howard belong to? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: She had a sister {   }.  

Ms. Vera Gilliland: All right, did she belong to Ethel? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Ethel and I’m trying to think…. 

Mrs. Matheny: They were real fine people, though, weren’t they? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Uh huh (yes). 

Mrs. Matheny: And, going straight on down that road before you turn like you’re going to Duncan, why they had what was Waters Graveyard. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: If you’re going to keep going on, I’ll tell you; there was an older group of people there. 

Mrs. Matheny: Major Smith lived over in there, didn’t he? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yes, but I didn’t know him.  When you turn right at the store, which later became Noble Padgett’s store, you follow that road and you cut back to the right, you come to Bud Gooch’s  house, you came to Meredith Frances’ house, we came to Colonel Ellis’ house and Ed Workman’s house.  I know a lot of people’s faces in town {   }. 

Mrs. Matheny: Let’s see, what else do we need to talk about.  There’s two churches down there, the Christian Church and the Methodist Church. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Christian Church and Methodist. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: And, when I was a little girl, I always thought that all Methodist were Republicans and all Baptists were Democrats, because we went out to Placid Pond to the Baptist Church, which was about two miles from there, wasn’t it? 


Mrs. Victor Gilliland: The Methodist didn’t have a church until they had the one upon the hill. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Where the school…. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: There was no Methodist Church at Kings’ Mountain, and there was a man by the name of Mitchell came through and he was a Methodist minister, or some sort of a minister, and he wanted to hold a church…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Revival. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Revival in the church yard of the Baptist Church, which a good many {   }.  But, he…people were really at this revival meeting that was organized at this church.  It almost reminded you of a Baptist Church. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Where was the Baptist Church then? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Their church was there.  They didn’t really have the revival…their church was out on the…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland :In Kings’ Mountain? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: No, at Placid Pond. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: At Placid Pond. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: And, when they left Placid Pond, there was a couple of the Methodists that followed to Hall’s Methodist Church, and it went by that name for a good many years.  And, then there’s that building…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Over there on the school yard? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: They added it to the school yard. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: When Pop started teaching there, let’s see, Oliver Smith had the first grade, didn’t he?  No, Oliver Smith went to school with Pop, didn’t he? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Oliver Smith, he was teaching younger grades and into that class…I can’t remember all of them right now, but there was Harrelson (sic), Harold Murphy, Oliver Smith, Richard Trimble, Burris McCleave (sic)…very hard to control boys.  I’ll just put it that way. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: They turned out to be pretty good fellows, though, didn’t they?  By the time I got ready to go to school, Oliver Smith had been my…was my first grade teacher.  We lived across from the school, and I would always run off.  I was the one that ran off, always.  And, I’d go over there at school, and I had a little speech, and they would put me up on their hand like this for me to say my little speech, and then I’d get a whipping when I got home.  Mom would come and get me. 

Mrs. Matheny: Any of the history of the Methodist Church is real interesting, Ms. Gilliland. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yes, I know it is. 

Mrs. Matheny: I think that’s real interesting, and I suspect there’s a lot of people who don’t know about that.  Could you tell us about any of the other history of the other churches in Kings’ Mountain? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Well, they had a good strong Baptist Church at Pleasant Point.  And…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: When did the Christian Church start? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland :Now, I don’t know that.  We didn’t…the Methodist Church up there, they didn’t have…they didn’t have a lot of revivals after that date.  And…we drove sometimes…it was more interesting to us to go to a Methodist Church than our church…than it was the Christian Church.  We never did go down that far. 

Mrs. Matheny: How long had the Baptist Church been in Kings’ Mountain? 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: It’s in Pleasant Pond. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: It’s in Pleasant Pond. 

Mrs. Matheny: How long has it been there? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Well, I can’t remember.  It’s older than I am. 

Mrs. Matheny: Who were some of the ministers that…. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: Preacher Noel (sic). 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Preacher Noel from King…from Stanford. 

Mrs. Matheny: He was the one whose daughter had a millinery shop in Danville, wasn’t he? 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Yes. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: He married mom and poppa and he named me.  My middle name is Noel. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: He married Herbert and Nancy Reynolds.  He couldn’t hear, and he’d try to sing and had no tune.   

Mrs. Matheny: I knew him very well. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: You did…I knew him well. {      } 

Mrs. Matheny: In that day and time, the preachers stayed around at the homes. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: Everybody, and I was usually the one, and that’s a fact.  {    } attends the church and opened the doors for service, and if there’s someone that’s locked the doors and no one has offered the preacher a place {   }. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: And, if there wasn’t a preacher there, why, my father preached. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: No, he didn’t preach, he conducted the service. 

Ms. Vera Gilliland: He conducted the services. 

Mrs. Victor Gilliland: He conducted a regular service. 

(ends abruptly) 


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