Interview with Mallie Witt, Bob Witt, April 4, 1979
Project: Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project
Interview SummaryMallie Witt was born in 1911 on Poll's Creek at what is now Smilax. Bob Witt was born in 1915 and moved to Leslie County at the age of fifteen. They talk about hard times during the Great Depression, and Mallie Witt remembers her father working on a WPA project for $2.40 a day. Bob Witt tells of having to hunt cows in his bare feet after a frost. Both of their children were delivered by a local midwife. Bob Witt recalls logging days, when logs were floated down the river. He also remembers when men had to work three days a year, without pay, on the local roads. Witt's first job was making corn whiskey for the largest producer of moonshine in the area; it was mostly sold by the wagonload to out-of-state distributors. Witt later worked in the coal mines. He was drafted in World War II but deferred because of his mining job. Witt recalls some doctors and herb doctors practicing in the area when he was young, but he never had any contact with the FNS.
Mallie Witt was born in 1911 in Polls Creek (Ky.). She talks about the residents of Polls Creek and their jobs. She also notes her own work experience in Hyden (Ky.). She reflects on the struggles of the Great Depression and World War II and what healthcare was like in the area before the FNS.
At 19:28, Bob Witt's interview begins, and he tells of his time working for an illegal moonshine operation and in the dangerous coal mines. He notes the struggles of the Great Depression, and his draft deferment during World War II. He ends with discussing how his family cured pork and made soap from the grease.
Interview Keyword$2.40 a day Bare feet Coal mines Corn whiskey Great Depression Distributors Doctors World War II draft Moonshine Coal mines Ancestry Herb doctors Cows Keavy (Ky.) Leslie County (Ky.) Logging Midwife Mining jobs Moonshine Poll's Creek 1911 Practicing Rivers Roads Wagons Without pay WPA projects
Interview RightsAll rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Witt, Mallie Interview by Sadie W. Stidham. 04 Apr. 1979. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Witt, M. (1979, April 04). Interview by S. W. Stidham. Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Witt, Mallie, interview by Sadie W. Stidham. April 04, 1979, Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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