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OH261 Floy Miller Oral History

Floy Miller Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Schools and Education

Series Number: OH261

Interviewee: Miller, Floy

Interviewer: Sullivan, David

Date interviewed: June 29, 1976

Processed by: O'Daniel, Hannah

Date processed: March 27, 2014

Description: 1 sound disc (58 minutes)

Abstract: Floy Miller began the interview with biographical information on herself and genealogical information on her parents. She continued to describe the crops and agricultural goods produced on her father's farm. She described Uncle Jerry and Aunt Sally Sled, an African American couple that lived on the farm and worked for her father. She talked about her father's brothers who lived in the area and their occupations. She mentioned forms of entertainment for the children, including possum hunting, games and community events. She provided details on the four elementary schoolhouses that she attended, including the school term and physical characteristics of the buildings. She discussed her experiences as a teacher in one-room schoolhouses in Trigg County, including the curriculum, discipline, practice of student recitations and where she boarded. She explained her reasons for ending her teaching career and subsequently taking up secretarial coursework in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In terms of the Land Between the Lakes area, she summarizes the overall demographics of the people while she was teaching, such as parents' level of education and occupations. She recounted a story of the first wealthy family that bought a car in the area and the expansion of telephones into homes. She chronicled the steps of the long journey from her home in Trigg County to Bowling Green in order to arrive for the school term. She ended the interview with the story of the Night Riders burning a tobacco factory in Trigg County and shooting the African American on night watch.

Biographical / Historical note: Floy Miller was born on September 17, 1895 in Trigg County, Kentucky. She was the youngest of five children and was raised on her parents' farm near Golden Pond in Trigg County. She began school before she turned 6 years old and attended at least four different schoolhouses. Since there was not a segregated high school within a reasonable distance of her home, she was not able to attend high school. After the eighth grade, she took the teacher's examination in Cadiz, Kentucky and taught for one term on the certification she received. Between school terms, she attended a state teachers college in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After teaching, Miller decided to pursue a career in business and returned to Bowling Green to take college secretarial coursework. In December 1921, she was employed by the Swanson Electric Company in Evansville, Indiana. She later moved back to her home state and settled in Paducah, Kentucky. She remained in Paducah at least until the time of this interview in 1976. She never married. She died on August 16, 1986 in Ballard County, Kentucky and is buried at Paducah.

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:

Miller, Floy, 1895-1986.

Segregation in education – Kentucky.

Education – Kentucky – Trigg County – History.

African Americans – Kentucky – History.

Kentucky – Race relations.

Night Riders.

Trigg County (Ky.) – History.

Land Between the Lakes (Ky. and Tenn.) – History.

Golden Pond (Ky.)