Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Schools and Education
Series Number: OH256
Interviewee: Logan, Flora
Interviewer: Logan, Flora (self interview)
Date interviewed: October 15, 1979
Processed by: O'Daniel, Hannah
Date processed: March 6, 2014
Description: 1 sound disc (14 minutes)
Abstract: Flora Logan details the life of her father, Mumford Thomas Freeman (1853-1919) of Cottage Grove, Tennessee. She describes her father's parents and the occupations of his siblings. She continued to describe her father's occupation as a farmer and carpenter in Sharon, Tennessee and his marriage to her mother, Ruth Ann, in 1888. She describes his instrumental role in having established grade school for African American children in the town of Sharon, amidst white opposition. While originally a well-respected man of the community, Mrs. Logan described how a rift between the white population and Mr. Freeman was forged when it was made aware that the teacher of the African American school, Ms. Clark, was teaching Mr. Freeman's. She recounts how her father was essentially forced to sell his property to a white family and her family's relocation to Mound City, Illinois. She chronicles the events that led her family to move to Paducah, Kentucky. She discusses the occupations of her older brothers who had moved, including one brother who served overseas with the United States Army in France during World War I. She describes her family's five-month period in Louisiana, where they faced intense racial prejudice in the Deep South. Her father contracted malaria and the family to move back to Paducah where he died in 1919. She details the financial difficulties her mother had in trying to pay for his funeral and the family's eventual move to St. Louis, Missouri. She ends the interview by describing her father's personality as she remembers him and based on stories from others.
Biographical / Historical note: Flora Odessa Freeman Logan was born on June 20, 1910 in Paducah, Kentucky to Mumford Thomas and Ruth Ann N. Freeman. In November 1918, Mrs. Logan's family moved to DeRittier, Louisiana to operate a hotel for the African American men who worked in a lumber business. Her father became ill with malaria, which led the family to move back to Paducah in 1919. Her father died later than same year when Mrs. Logan was nine years old. She and her mother moved to St. Louis in 1924. Mrs. Logan died in St. Louis on December 6, 1998.
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