Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Schools and Education
Series Number: OH266
Interviewee: Peyton, Lula Pearl
Interviewer: Peyton, Bill
Date interviewed: (year not provided) September 13
Processed by: O'Daniel, Hannah
Date processed: April 7, 2014
Description: 2 sound discs (74 minutes)
Abstract: Lula Peyton began the interview with biographical information on herself, her mother, stepfather and siblings. She described attending elementary school in her hometown of Murray, Kentucky up to the eighth grade and the chores she performed before and after the school day. She recounted the common practice of young women taking a teacher certification examination after the eighth grade. She chronicled her various teaching positions in the state of Kentucky, including schools in Murray, Hazel, Ballard County and Paducah. She stated the conditions of the school facilities, her living arrangements and the salaries associated with those positions. She spoke of completing her high school coursework during summer sessions at West Kentucky Industrial College. Her high school experiences, included living in the dormitory, her teachers' names and how she traveled by bus and a train from Murray to Paducah. She cites the Flood of 1937 as causing decreased attendance in Paducah schools, since many of the families displaced by the flood did not return. She spoke of her involvement in churches in Murray and later Paducah. She mentioned her family's Christmas traditions growing up. She recounted the additional education she received after high school, including teacher's training at West Kentucky Industrial College and basic electrical training through the LaSalle Extension of the University of Chicago. She discussed the practice of public schools paying in script during the Great Depression and the financial difficulties it caused teachers. She described serving as a teacher's substitute and tutor after her retirement. She recalled her involvement in the Eastern Star of Paducah, particularly her efforts to construct a new building for the auxiliary group and activities with Senior Citizens groups in Paducah and Evanston, Illinois. She concluded the interview with recollections of her travels to Frankfort and attending Kentucky State College during summer sessions to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Biographical / Historical note: Luna Pearl Peyton was born on December 4, 1884 in Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky. She attended the elementary school on the north side of Murray. After graduating from the eighth grade, she married Luther William Peyton on November 3, 1901, just before the age of seventeen. She received a four year teaching certificate soon after she took the county teachers exam at the Calloway County courthouse. Her first teaching position was as a first and second grade teacher in the Murray City school system. After two years, she obtained a job teaching in nearby Hazel, Kentucky, before returning to Murray to teach two more years. Between school terms, she attended high school summer sessions at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah. She taught in Ballard County for four years before she returned to Paducah in 1920. In the Mechanicsburg community of Paducah, she taught at the Dunbar School before being transferred to Garfield School on the north side of the city. In 1928, she graduated from high school at West Kentucky Industrial College and enrolled in the teacher training program. She received a certificate in basic electrical work in 1944 through the LaSalle Extension of the University of Chicago. Some of her other teaching positions included school near Beaver Dam, Kentucky and the Lincoln School in Charleston, Missouri. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree by attending summer sessions at Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky. After retiring from teaching, she periodically substituted and tutored in Paducah. Peyton temporarily moved to Evanston, Illinois to live with her son until he retired two years later. They both moved backed to Paducah. Mrs. Peyton died on January 9, 1997 in Paducah at the age of 112. The interviewer, Mr. Bill Peyton, is the son of Mrs. Luna Pearl Peyton.
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:
Peyton, Lula Pearl, 1884-1997.
Kentucky – Race relations.
Education – Kentucky – Paducah – History.
Education – Kentucky – Murray – History.
Education – Kentucky – Hazel – History
Education – Kentucky – Ballard County – History
African Americans – Education – Kentucky.
Segregation in education – Kentucky.
West Kentucky Industrial College (Paducah, Ky.)
Garfield School (Paducah, Ky.)
Dunbar School (Paducah, Ky.)
Lincoln School (Charleston, Mo.)
Paducah (Ky.) – Flood, 1937.