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OH127 Dow Wilson Oral History

Dow Wilson Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project - Lifestyles

Series Number: OH127

Interviewee: Wilson, Dow

Interviewer: Peyton, Bill

Date interviewed: September 24, 1979

Processed by:Tara Marcum

Date processed: July 26, 2011

Description: 1 sound disc (29 minutes)

Abstract: Dow Wilson describes his experiences as an African American during the first half of the 20th century in rural McCracken County, Kentucky. He mentions attending segregated schools and churches, sharecropping and working for the Illinois Central Railroad Company. He discusses the effects of the Great Depression and Second World War on the black community and the development of the Tennessee Valley Authority in western Kentucky. Wilson also describes the 1942 fire that destroyed the Washington Street Missionary Baptist Church in Paducah and the religious services that were briefly held at Lincoln High School.

Biographical / Historical note: Dow Wilson was born in McCracken County on April 4, 1893. He was the son of H. R. and Lou Wilson. His father was a farmer and sharecropper. As a child he attended Cecil Elementary School near High Point, Kentucky. He farmed and sharecropped until the age of thirty when he was employed by the Illinois Central Railroad Company. He was a member of the Washington Street Missionary Baptist Church of Paducah. Wilson later served as a deacon at the church.

General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Wilson, Dow (1893-

Paducah (Ky.) – History.

High Point (Ky.)

Cecil Elementary School (Paducah, Ky.)

Washington Street Missionary Baptist Church (Paducah, Ky.)

Lincoln High School (Paducah, Ky.)

Illinois Central Railroad Company (Paducah, Ky.)