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OH264 Elle M. Peoples Oral History

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Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071

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(270) 809-6152
(270) 809-4295
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Elle M. Peoples Oral History

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

Series Number: OH264

Interviewee: Peoples, Elle Matthews

Interviewer: Bates, Mary Sled

Date interviewed: (no year provided) November 23

Processed by: O'Daniel, Hannah

Date processed: April 3, 2014

Description: 1 sound disc (22:20 min.)

Abstract: Elle M. Peoples began the interview with the occupations and locations of her seven siblings and her father. She discussed her grandfather, a slave from West Virginia, who was educated by his master's son. She described the facilities of her elementary school, Union Station School, in McCracken County, Kentucky and the names of her teachers. She named her teachers and classmates at the segregated Lincoln High School in Paducah. She mentioned attending Oakwood Junior College in Huntsville, Alabama and Murray State College in Murray, Kentucky. She described her father's eighty-nine acre farm in McCracken County and how her family was able to subsist almost exclusively on the food products from the farm. Peoples also talks about how private telephones did not become common until the 1950s. The family home did not have running water but a cistern that collected rainwater. She discussed the integration of the McCracken County schools from the perspective of a parent and perceived integration as a positive change. She also noted the racial integration of communities and neighborhoods and the decline of agriculture in the Jackson Purchase since the 1960s and 1970s. She recalled various home remedies that her mother used for illnesses and injuries. She concluded the interview with the occupations of her five children and the names of the organizations she was involved in.

Biographical / Historical note: Elle Matthews Peoples was born on August 13, 1924 in Paducah, Kentucky. She is one of eight children of Leslie Matthews, Sr. and Lettie G. Matthews. She completed first through eighth grade at Union Station School in McCracken County, Kentucky and high school at the Lincoln School in Paducah. She attended Oakwood Junior College in Huntsville, Alabama. She obtained a position as a teacher's aide at the Head Start program in Paducah. She decided to attend Murray State College to become certified as a teacher.

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:

Peoples, Elle Matthews, 1924-

Segregation in education – Kentucky.

Education – Kentucky – McCracken County – History.

African Americans – Kentucky – History.

Kentucky – Race relations.

Union Station School (McCracken County, Ky.)

Lincoln High School (Paducah, Ky.)