Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project - Lifestyles
Series Number: OH123
Interviewee: Stevens, Effie
Interviewer: Bates, Mary
Date interviewed: October 19, 1979
Processed by: Tara Marcum
Date processed: July 19, 2011
Description: 1 sound disc (29 minutes)
Abstract: Effie Stevens discusses her life in Paducah, Kentucky during the first half of the 20th century. Stevens describes her childhood, attending school and popular social activities and events in the Jackson Purchase. She recalls walking to school on dirt roads that were created from wagons and buggies drawn by horses. She describes natural remedies used by her family to cure certain illnesses, details household chores done as a child and the importance of religion in the community. She mentioned that there were no hospitals or nursing homes in Paducah when she was young. Stevens remembers the 8th of August celebrations, square dancing and local artists playing guitar and banjo. She recalled that her parents' home had no indoor plumbing, no electricity and no furnaces for cooking and heating. They had a wooden outhouse and used soaked corn husks as toilet paper to save on money. Her family also hung gypsum weed up to get rid of mosquitoes, due to a lack of window screens
Biographical / Historical note: Effie Stevens was born at Paducah, Kentucky in 1904. Stevens' father, Frank Brundy, was a pool cleaner and her mother a housekeeper. Her mother died when she was three years old. After her mother's death, she resided with her aunt and uncle. After high school, she attended West Kentucky Industrial College. She joined the Harrison Street Church and was baptized in 1914. In 1937, she joined her husband's church at Ebenezer Baptist Church where they later became missionary workers for the church. Her husband was the church's deacon.
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