Carolyn Davidson Hicks

"My Family, A Journey Through Time"

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Interview with Jailey Sizemore, July 26th, 1978

Sizemore, Jailey; Interviewee — Dale Deaton; Interviewer — Anne Campbell; Interviewee — Carol Crowe-Carraco; Interviewer
Jailey Sizemore describes Hyden before World War I and talks about Court Day. Other activities she recalls include corn hoeings and dances, and she answers queries about quilting and making moonshine. Sizemore gives details of plowing and planting with a mule team, describes various processes of canning and preserving, and talks about travel in the mountains before modern roads. She also evaluates FNS services.

DEATON: About what’s your approximate age now, Jailey?


DEATON: Umhmm.

SIZEMORE: I was seventy-eight yesterday.

DEATON: Is that right?


DEATON: Well, I didn’t realize you were that old.

SIZEMORE: Yeah. I was seventy-eight yesterday.

DEATON: Well, you’ve lived in Bull Creek-Thousandsticks area most of your life, haven’t you?

SIZEMORE: Yeah, all my life.

DEATON: Did you go to school . . . was there a school in this area when you were a young girl?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah, I went to school right down here at Thousandsticks. That’s where the church is setting.

DEATON: Where the church is now.


DEATON: Do you remember who the school teacher was?

SIZEMORE: Oh, yes. I went to school to [Hy Cornett?], Charlie Woods, Will Hoskins, Grover Sizemore.

DEATON: About what year did you start school, do you remember?

SIZEMORE: I can’t tell you that, now.

DEATON: Can you tell me roughly?

SIZEMORE: Well, I imagine I was around six or . . .

DEATON: Umhmm. Do you remember how long that school had been there before you started?

SIZEMORE: No. Um-um. Far back as I can remember there was one little small building. Well, there was just a one room building that we went in, and I went in it. And then after I got out of school they built a new one, a new . . . new building, and I guess it stayed there until it got burned down not too awful long ago.

DEATON: About what year did you get out of school, do you recall that?

SIZEMORE: No, I can’t. Anyway, I graduated from the eighth grade. Can’t tell you what year.

DEATON: Was there a road?

SIZEMORE: Oh, yeah, right. It was around . . . it was around nineteen and . . . and seventeen, or 1916, one, that I graduated.

DEATON: Well, do you remember the beginning of World War I?

SIZEMORE: Oh, yes. Umhmm.

DEATON: Was there many people from this area that went to the Army or the Air Force, whatever, in that?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. Umhmm.

DEATON: What . . . what do you remember hearing about World War I when it first began?

SIZEMORE: Well, now, Sam, he went.

DEATON: That’s your husband. Uh-huh.

SIZEMORE: And I can’t remember, but just about everybody around here. Anyway, Henry Woods’ boy, he went that I remember of. And the old 3:00man Joe Woods’ . . . Felix Woods, a brother to Jim Woods, he went. Jasper Roberts, he’s passed away and gone, he was in it. But I remember of them.

DEATON: Do you recall . . . were there any real changes to the people’s lives that lived here that happened during the period of the war?

SIZEMORE: Well, you couldn’t tell much difference in it.

DEATON: So, it didn’t really have an effect here, just . . . just that the people left . . . the men left, and some of ’em . . .


DEATON: . . . came back when . . .

SIZEMORE: Well, they all hated to see ’em go but it seemed like it didn’t take no effect on ’em much.

DEATON: Was there a road into here at that time?

SIZEMORE: Uh-uh. No. Just a horseback road and a wagon road.

DEATON: Okay. The wagon roads went through the creeks, is that right?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Went through the creek.

DEATON: What about the horseback roads, say, to Hyden? How did you go to get to Hyden?

SIZEMORE: Well, we rode horseback.

DEATON: Over Thousandsticks . . .

SIZEMORE: Over . . .

DEATON: . . . Mountain?

SIZEMORE: . . . the Thousandstick Mountain.

DEATON: Umhmm. Now, we’re about a five minute drive from Hyden right now. How long did that trip take in 1920?

SIZEMORE: Oh, it’d take at least two hours, if not longer, to ride it. And I’ve walked it. Took me half a day.

DEATON: To walk from here to Hyden?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Me and sister Becky, we took off once and walked it and went.

DEATON: Well, do you remember what Hyden was like in 1920, what businesses were there, what the town looked like?

SIZEMORE: Well, the . . . the old courthouse, there’s been a new 5:00built since then. There was an old courthouse set right where this one did. Well, Mr. Elam’s store, it was still there.

DEATON: Was it in about the same location that it’s in now?

SIZEMORE: Yes, it’s about the same location only a different building. And then the bank, it was up . . . it was the next building to Elam’s on the corner there then, and they’ve moved it down since then to where the bank was. And the post office, it was on down to the corner of the bridge where you cross Rockhouse on the right. It was down there. And [Fronie?] Eversole, she run a store.

DEATON: What was her first name?

SIZEMORE: [Fronie?].

DEATON: [Fronie?]?

SIZEMORE: [Fronie?] Eversole.


SIZEMORE: She run a store right next to the post office. Roy Sizemore 6:00was postmaster.

DEATON: Umhmm. Now, is that the same Roy Sizemore that had a store at Confluence later on?

SIZEMORE: Well, I don’t know. I believe he retired from Hyden.

DEATON: Oh, okay.

SIZEMORE: And then there was stores along there, but I can’t remember who was running ’em then.

DEATON: Well, were there many houses in Hyden then?

SIZEMORE: Not too many. No, there wasn’t too many houses.

DEATON: Would you say, what, ten or fifteen, or more or less than that?

SIZEMORE: Yes. Something . . . ten or fifteen more or less.

DEATON: Did most of the . . . did they have livestock running loose in the streets or was it penned up and it was . . .

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Mr. Elam had two cows. He would turn ’em out and drive ’em into his barn right there in town. He had his barn right there next to the house.

DEATON: Oh. Now that was before the stock law. Most people let . . .


DEATON: . . . animals run loose . . .


DEATON: . . . then.

SIZEMORE: They just turned ’em loose. They went where they wanted to.

DEATON: How did they identify ’em?

SIZEMORE: Well, everyone knowed what belonged to him.

DEATON: As you remember, did people have very much trouble with someone else stealing their livestock at the . . .

SIZEMORE: Uh-uh. You never heard of nothin’ like that then.

DEATON: No problem at all?

SIZEMORE: Uh-uh. You never heard of nothing like that then.

DEATON: Well, to go back to the school for a minute, did most of the people in this area attend school?

SIZEMORE: Yes, most of ’em did.

DEATON: What types of . . . then how did most people make their living, so to speak?

SIZEMORE: Farming.

DEATON: Could you describe a . . . a typical farm day in the 8:00summertime for me?

SIZEMORE: Oh, . . .

DEATON: When you got up. From what . . . what you did from the time you got up until you went to bed.

SIZEMORE: Well, from the time you got up till you went to bed you worked. [Chuckle]

DEATON: What at?

SIZEMORE: At this time of year we’d be hoeing corn or . . . and then later on when the fodder got ripe, we’d be pulling fodder, picking beans, or doing something.

DEATON: Umhmm. And what about in the wintertime? What was a wintertime day like?

SIZEMORE: Well, sometime people would find little jobs that would . . . they would do . . . work at. Now, my grandpa and . . . and my dad, they always worked but I can’t remember what they worked at. I remember when they would ride up through this field here. The house sat right where Mack’s is. And I’ve seen Ma take the hammer and go out 9:00and knock their feet loose in the stirrups in the wintertime.

DEATON: They would freeze?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. They would freeze in the stirrups.

DEATON: Do you remember . . . or did any of your family ever tell you where they moved to bef-. . . moved from before they came into this area?

SIZEMORE: Well, my grandpa . . . now, when Pa . . . I don’t know whether Pa was . . . he wasn’t grown, I don’t think. They went to Arkansas and stayed a year or two year, one, I don’t remember which he said. And they came back here and that’s the only place they ever told of leaving . . . moving to.

DEATON: Umhmm. Well, do you remember if your grandfather said anything about where his . . . his ancestors came from? Did they move here from, say, North Carolina, or did they ever say?

SIZEMORE: He never did say.

DEATON: Umhmm. As far as you know, were any of your relatives . . . that went to Arkansas with them, did any of them stay there?

SIZEMORE: No, uh-uh. They all came back, the ones went with ’em.

DEATON: Hmm. Well, what about the churches that were . . . oh, go ahead.

SIZEMORE: The churches? Now, far back as I can remember, Sam Bowling, he belonged to the Presbyterian church. He was a preacher down here. He would preach in that old schoolhouse. And then my grandpa had a brother that would sing a lot, and he’d come in here and have church sometimes. He would just come in maybe once a year, or maybe every two year.

DEATON: Where did he live?

SIZEMORE: He would come . . . most of the time he’d come from Oklahoma.

DEATON: Umhmm. Was that the only church in this area?

SIZEMORE: It . . . that was the only one I knew of. Well, now there 11:00was a Holiness church. Some people come from . . . they came from Hazard that belonged to the Holiness church and had church around at neighbors houses for a while. But it didn’t . . . it didn’t last very long.

DEATON: Umhmm. Did people have any books or magazines to read besides the ones that you used in school?

SIZEMORE: Uh-uh. No.

DEATON: Do you remember which books you used in school? Were they McGuffey Readers or . . .

SIZEMORE: Oh, we had . . . well, I had a reader book, a history and grammar, geography, language, and a speller, arithmetic. I had all of those.

DEATON: Umhmm. With medical practices, do you remember when the F.N.S. 12:00clinic was built here, the one at Bull Creek?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. Umhmm.

DEATON: Before that were there any doctors or nurses in the area?

SIZEMORE: Well, there was a few doctors but very few. You . . . if you got sick you went to the doctor and he come to your home.

DEATON: Umhmm. Did most people doctor themselves for ailments?

SIZEMORE: Well, they did a lot of it.

DEATON: Umhmm. Are you familiar with any of the . . . the remedies that they had for different ailments?

SIZEMORE: No, I’m not.

DEATON: Well, the F.N.S. clinic that came down here, do you remember Miss [Betty] Lester that came in here?


DEATON: How did they go about getting that clinic set up? Do you remember any of that?

SIZEMORE: No, I don’t. I don’t remember how they went about getting it set up.

DEATON: Well, as far as you know, did any of the people in this area provide any of the lumber for the building or do any of the work down there?

SIZEMORE: Well, they probably helped build it and done a lot of the 13:00work. I know Sam, my husband, . . . well, they had had the clinic up for quite a while then. They got him to make a lot of chairs for the clinic.

DEATON: Well, was there a sawmill over here? Was there an Osborne . . . did an Osborne . . .


DEATON: . . . man own a sawmill down there?

SIZEMORE: [Motorcycles in background] [Inaudible].

DEATON: It’s worse than a chain saw. You say Pearl’s father owned . . .


DEATON: . . . a sawmill? Now, where was that located at?

SIZEMORE: Sat . . . sat right in the lower end of this field down here.

DEATON: About where the store does now, the building?

SIZEMORE: It . . . it was below the store.


SIZEMORE: In the main lower end down there it sat. And he had a . . 14:00. he ground corn, cornmeal. Every Saturday he’d run the mill and people would go to the mill and take their corn and have their cornmeal ground.

DEATON: Umhmm. What . . . if you took, say, a bushel of corn down there and have it ground, what would it . . . how much would you have to pay to have that done?

SIZEMORE: Seem to me like it was a gallon of corn that they took out to a bushel. I’m not for sure on that. Well, I know they would take gallon, but whether it was to a bushel or I imagine it was.

DEATON: Umhmm. Well, going to the mill on Saturdays, was that sort of a social activity?

SIZEMORE: Oh, yes.

DEATON: What did they do at the mill when they . . . after they got there?

SIZEMORE: Gather up and talk and sometimes have horse pullings at logs to see whose horse would out-pull.

DEATON: Umhmm. What else did the people do for social activities here? 15:00Did they have dances or anything like that?

SIZEMORE: Sometimes they would.

DEATON: Could you describe one of them for me?

SIZEMORE: Oh, they would . . . we’ve had ’em at our place when we were first married.

DEATON: Umhmm. What was it . . . what went on at a dance? Who . . . who all came and . . . and what type . . .

SIZEMORE: Well, . . .

DEATON: . . . of music was played, . . .

SIZEMORE: . . . we’d probably . . .

DEATON: . . . and so forth?

SIZEMORE: . . . have corn hoeings, and the ones that came to the corn hoeing would be there.

DEATON: Did the people that had the corn hoeing or owned the corn, were they the ones that provided the food and everything . . .


DEATON: . . . for the dance?


DEATON: What type of instruments did they play?

SIZEMORE: They had to use a . . . a mule to . . . and plow and plow it by hand. And then the [inaudible] ones, there’d be two and three horses a plowing the corn, and then maybe twenty-five or thirty hands hoeing.

DEATON: Umhmm. What . . .

SIZEMORE: They’d hoe out a whole field in a day.

DEATON: Well, at the party afterwards, who played? Did they have music?

SIZEMORE: Yeah, they’d have a banjo.

DEATON: And that was it?


DEATON: Who was the best banjo player around?

SIZEMORE: Oh Lord, I don’t remember now. [Chuckle]

DEATON: But it was just a local person that did it?

SIZEMORE: Sam’s brother, [Bide?], was pretty good at it.

DEATON: Umhmm. With the F.N.S. people that came in here, do you remember the types of treatment that they gave when they first came into the area?


DEATON: Did they treat people for hookworm, or give ’em dipt-. . . diphtheria shots or . . .

SIZEMORE: They . . . they would give . . . I remember they would give worm treatments, but I don’t remember about the hookworm.

DEATON: Umhmm. Did any of your family get shots from the F.N.S. people?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. Uh-huh.

DEATON: Were there any other health care services that you could have gone to then besides F.N.S.?

SIZEMORE: Um-um. No. No, that’s the only one there was.

DEATON: How do you think most people viewed the F.N.S., and what was their opinion of it?

SIZEMORE: Well, they thought it was a great thing, . . .

DEATON: With that . . .

SIZEMORE: . . . a great help to the people.

DEATON: Do you think most people still feel the same way?

SIZEMORE: Well, probably some does and some don’t.

DEATON: Yes. Do you see a difference in F.N.S. now as compared to what it was, say, twenty years ago or thirty years ago?

SIZEMORE: Yeah, it’s improved a lot.

DEATON: You think it’s better now than then?

SIZEMORE: Yeah, I think so.

DEATON: Uh-huh. Is there anything about the F.N.S. that you would 18:00disagree with?

SIZEMORE: Well, I don’t re-. . . remember if they do if there are.

DEATON: Well, could you describe for me some of the quilting patterns that you quilt? You’re a good . . . well, you make a lot of quilts, don’t you?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah.

DEATON: Could you tell me the different names of the patterns of . . . of quilts that you make?

SIZEMORE: Well, I’m piecing one right now that you . . . I call it “Rob Peter to Pay Paul”.

DEATON: Okay. Tell me a little bit about it. What [chuckle– Sizemore] does it look like when you look at it?

SIZEMORE: It’s pieced out of two colors, red . . . blue and white.

DEATON: Umhmm. Name some other patterns.

SIZEMORE: And then I . . . I pieced one, sold it to Miss [Molly] Lee along here a while back, and they called it “The Field of Flowers.” 19:00It’s pieced out of little bitty small pieces about that big.

DEATON: Umhmm. What about some others?

SIZEMORE: And then I’ve . . . I . . . I pieced one and embro-. . . well, I never pieced it, I embroidered it. It was already stamped. And they called it . . . it was a bicentennial one.

DEATON: Umhmm. For the . . . for the government bicentennial or for the county?

SIZEMORE: No, my great-grandson bought it.

DEATON: Oh! Uh-huh. Well, what . . . what are the names of some of the other patterns then?

SIZEMORE: And then I’ve got a “Lone Star.” And then I’ve pieced a little Dutch girl, and I can’t remember the others.

DEATON: Do you remember the Depression?

SIZEMORE: And then I pieced one they called “A Friendship Quilt” and then a “Log Cabin.”

DEATON: Well, where did . . . how did the names come about, do you know?

SIZEMORE: Well, you us-. . . you usually get a book that has ’em in it, the way I get ’em.

DEATON: Well, do you remember anything about the Depression in the 1930s here?

SIZEMORE: Not too much.

DEATON: Do you remember when your family got their first radio?


DEATON: A-. . . about what year was that, roughly?

SIZEMORE: Oh, that was about . . . somewhere around nineteen and forty-four or forty-five we got the first radio.

DEATON: Was your family . . . did m-. . . most other families, did they have radios by then or did everyone . . .


DEATON: . . . begin to get ’em . . .


DEATON: . . . about the same time?

SIZEMORE: Most of ’em didn’t.

DEATON: Do you remember which station that you could pick up on it?

SIZEMORE: No, I don’t.

DEATON: Was there . . . was there usually only one station that . . . that you could receive?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. Umhmm. And I don’t remember which one that was. I remember the first radio that . . . that came around. We was over at Sam’s brother’s and Walter Begley’s daddy got one. He lived just across the river from his brother. And it had earphones. You had to put them over your ears to hear it.

DEATON: Hmm. So only one person could listen to . . .


DEATON: . . . it?

SIZEMORE: Only one person could listen to it at a time.

DEATON: Huh. Well, what about . . . what were the programs that you 22:00listened to mostly?

SIZEMORE: I don’t remember, Dale.

DEATON: Did they have the Grand Ole Opry on then?

SIZEMORE: I don’t remember whether they did or not.

DEATON: Well, what about television? When did most people in here begin to get television?

SIZEMORE: Oh, I can’t remember. I don’t remember how long, but they’ve been having them for a right smart while. I don’t remember who was the first one who got a television in here.

DEATON: Well, do you remember when these roads were built? When was the road built from Maggard’s Branch across into Thousandsticks that you could drive a car over?

SIZEMORE: When they built the Mountain Parkway.

DEATON: Hmm. Now when . . . the road before that, do you remember . 23:00. .


DEATON: . . . when that was built?

SIZEMORE: The road before that? Well, you couldn’t . . . you could drive a wagon over, but you couldn’t a vehicle.

DEATON: Okay. The . . . well, the one from Hyden–maybe I’m talking about the wrong Maggard Branch, I don’t know–but the road that came from Hyden into Bull Creek and Thousandsticks.

SIZEMORE: Now, wait. There was a road that people could drive . . . yeah, they had a road that you could drive a vehicle over before the Mountain Parkway was built, for I know Pearl had a Jeep and we’d go in in that and pickup.

DEATON: Do you remember the first time you saw a car or a jeep?


DEATON: The first one you . . .

SIZEMORE: There wasn’t . . .

DEATON: . . . saw?

SIZEMORE: . . . very many in town then.

DEATON: You saw it in town?


DEATON: About when was that?


DEATON: Do you have a rough idea?

SIZEMORE: No, I don’t.

DEATON: What did you think about it when you saw it?

SIZEMORE: I didn’t know what to think. [Chuckle] No, there wasn’t more 24:00than one . . . well, that was the first one I’d seen in town. And then there was two or three more people that had ’em.

DEATON: Umhmm. Well, what about your first airplane that you ever saw, do you remember that?

SIZEMORE: No, I sure can’t. [Interruption in taping]

DEATON: Let the motorcycles get back to this. When people worked the fields here, did most of ’em use mules?

SIZEMORE: Yeah, that’s all they had.

DEATON: Did they use oxen in the woods or anything?

SIZEMORE: No, not back as I remember. Well, now, way back when I was just a little child and Pa had some that he’d use. And n-. . . he 25:00never did use ’em in the field, though, like plowing ’em or nothing.


SIZEMORE: I don’t know what he used ’em for. But I know he work in the mountain through the winter and just cut down a . . . a big beech tree and hook them . . . that . . . yoke cattle to it and pull the whole . . . bring the whole thing out into the level for wood.

DEATON: Hmm. Did you ever help make any home-made soap, Jailey?


DEATON: Tell me exactly how you . . . the best th-. . . the best way to go about making home-made soap.

SIZEMORE: Now, Dale, I about forgot how, I ain’t made none in so long.

DEATON: Well, think about it for a minute. Tell me the best way to make it.

SIZEMORE: We used lye. We got cans of lye and then we’d take grease. I don’t remember how many gallons of water we’d put to a can of lye. And we’d put so much grease in that and boil it till it would become soap. 26:00And then we’d let it sit and get cold, and cut it out in big cakes and lay it out and let it dry.

DEATON: Well, the lye, did . . . how . . . when you mixed it up, did you mix it up . . . mix it until it got thick or . . .

SIZEMORE: No, you’d have to let it boil till it got thick.

DEATON: Umhmm. The cans of lye, you remember what size they were? Were they five pound or . . .

SIZEMORE: I don’t remember how much . . . how . . . whether there was a pound to a can. I imagine there was, though. It was something the size of a cream can, the cans of lye was.

DEATON: And you mixed that with . . .

SIZEMORE: You mix that with water and grease and make soap.

DEATON: Was the grease lard that had been rendered from hogs?

SIZEMORE: Well, you could use that, or you could use some old meat and put it in there and that lye would eat it all up. And you could use it.

DEATON: You mean something like pork rinds?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah.

DEATON: Was that good for washing clothes or just about . . .


DEATON: . . . anything?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah, it was good for washing clothes. It’d sure bring ’em clean.

DEATON: How did you wash the clothes?

SIZEMORE: On a rub board.

DEATON: No washing machine or anything?

SIZEMORE: Um-um. No.

DEATON: Well, in the wintertime when the weather was really bad and cold, tell me about something that happened when the weather was cold or . . . or whatever, that the people had to travel through or live through? What was it like to travel up and down this creek, say, in the middle of February?

SIZEMORE: Oh, you’d travel on top of ice. The creeks would be froze from bank to bank.

DEATON: Now what type of heat did they have in the homes?

SIZEMORE: Coal and wood.

DEATON: Umhmm. Mostly fireplaces?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah. Weren’t very many heating stoves.

DEATON: Umhmm. Well, do you remember about what year that most people began to buy coal stoves that they could put in and quit using fireplaces?

SIZEMORE: Well, I can’t remember what year it was but it wasn’t too very long after we got electricity in here that people went to getting coal heaters.

DEATON: Umhmm. Electricity must have been, what, sometime in the ’30s?

SIZEMORE: Probably was. No, it was sometime in the ’40s. No, we didn’t get electricity till after Sam died. It was in the ’40s . . . sometime in the ’40s that we got electricity.

DEATON: Umhmm. Did the people that lived . . . lived here, 29:00say, before World War II, did they travel very much?

SIZEMORE: Well, nothing like they do now, but they traveled quite a bit.

DEATON: Was it mostly from neighbor to neighbor or did they go out of the . . .

SIZEMORE: Well, people would go to town and then they’d go on and visit each other.

DEATON: And that was about it?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. They visited each other more than they do now.

DEATON: Umhmm. Do you see . . . what do you think is the . . . are some of the things that brought about the biggest changes to people’s lives in this area?

SIZEMORE: Well, I believe electricity put a big change on people.

DEATON: Umhmm. For the better or for the worst?

SIZEMORE: It’s hard to say. [Chuckle]

DEATON: Well, you must think there’s a little bit of it for the worst. What [chuckle–Sizemore] do you think?

SIZEMORE: Well, some people enjoys it and . . . well, I guess everybody enjoyed having it just for that, but what they all use it for is a mixed thing. [Interruption in taping]

DEATON: Okay, well, give me a comment on television.

SIZEMORE: They’ll sit and watch television all night and then won’t get up of a morning till way up about ten or eleven o’clock.

DEATON: Umhmm. Well, for most people . . . do you think that most 31:00people had, sayd better intentions and worked harder and so forth years ago and tried to do more than they do now?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Well, back then people knowed if they didn’t work and make it and put it away, they wouldn’t have it. And now people on welfare think, “Well, I don’t have to work. I can get what I want anyway.”

DEATON: Well, tell me the things that . . . say, by the end of the summer years ago, the types of things that would be canned, and how much would be canned or dried, and the meat and so forth. How many people were . . . were at home in your family then?

SIZEMORE: How many were home?

DEATON: Umhmm.

SIZEMORE: Oh, . . .

DEATON: Go back . . . let’s start off with before you were married. 32:00How many people were in the household?

SIZEMORE: Let’s see. Well, now, I lived with my grandpa and grandmother. There were three of us. But Pa’s family, there was him and Ma, Lawrence, sister [Ory?], Becky, Fred, and Quinton and Mack. And then after brother Lawrence got killed they had . . . they raised two or three of Lawrence’s children. They raised [Acie?] and Frank and Jesse of his.

DEATON: Well, . . .

SIZEMORE: So . . .

DEATON: . . . yeah. What . . . describe for me the . . . like, say, the amount of beans or . . . and so forth that they would have 33:00put away by the end of the summer to f-. . . to eat on during the winter.

SIZEMORE: Oh, they’d have enough beans to do ’em.

DEATON: Do you have any idea of, say, how many quarts or whatever?

SIZEMORE: No, I wouldn’t.

DEATON: Umhmm. How much st-. . . what did people have to buy from the store then? What did most people buy from the store?

SIZEMORE: Well, the most . . . biggest thing they bought was coffee, sugar, flour, maybe lard. But they raised just about everything else.

DEATON: So they didn’t really have a need for . . . to go to town that often?


DEATON: So going to t-. . .

SIZEMORE: We had our . . . had our own cows and our own chickens.

DEATON: Umhmm. So going to town was more for pleasure than anything else?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah.

DEATON: Do you remember going to Court Day in . . .

SIZEMORE: Oh, . . .

DEATON: . . . town?

SIZEMORE: . . . the first day of court everybody went. They went 34:00horse [jockeying?]. The town would be lined with horses. People trading horses.

DEATON: What else did they trade?

SIZEMORE: They’d trade knives, anything they had.

DEATON: Do you remember much about the trials that went on?

SIZEMORE: No. Uh-uh.

DEATON: So that too was mostly . . .

SIZEMORE: No, that . . .

DEATON: . . . for pleasure?

SIZEMORE: . . . I never was in . . . that’s one thing I never was in. [Chuckle]

DEATON: Hmm. Do you remember the county judges of Leslie County, Jailey? How far . . . how many of ’em do you remember?

SIZEMORE: I can remember some, if I can think of their name. There was Rufus Roberts. He was the judge for I don’t know how many years. And there . . . another fellow, I was on the jury under him. I can’t think of his name. Shucks.

DEATON: What about the others?

SIZEMORE: And then . . . Dale, I just don’t remember the others.

DEATON: Umhmm. Do you remember who was judge before George Wooten?

SIZEMORE: George Wooten was county judge.

DEATON: Umhmm. Who was county judge before him, do you remember?

SIZEMORE: No, I don’t remember.

DEATON: Well, let’s go back to the time that [Franklin D.] Roosevelt was president. Do you remember people that lived around here, do you remember if they got seeds to plant or if they got government food to . . . to help them? Was there a dry spell for three or four years during that period?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. People got food and they got seeds to plant.

DEATON: Did they . . . did they . . .

SIZEMORE: [Inaudible] . . .

DEATON: . . . really need the food or . . .

SIZEMORE: Yeah, they did. And they got a voucher of so much to buy food with.

DEATON: Uh-huh. And where did they have to go to get that?

SIZEMORE: They’d have to go to town. Now, I don’t remember whether they’d mail their voucher to ’em or whether they’d have to go over there and pick it up. Now, Sam worked in a commodity house. That was when they give all that food away. He helped hand it out.

DEATON: Umhmm. Well, the dry spell, how long did that last, Jailey?

SIZEMORE: It lasted for a year or two. But, now, we never did have no . 37:00. . it wasn’t so dry. It . . . well, I don’t know what happened to people, whether they just didn’t work or didn’t try or what. But there was just almost a famine.

DEATON: Was that . . . was that right here in this area or is that s-. . .

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah.

DEATON: Hmm. What . . . were there . . .

SIZEMORE: There was people that I knowed of, if they’d hadn’t got food like that and got help, I don’t know how they’d have got by.

DEATON: Hmm. Well, did the crops just not grow, is that what it was?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah. They just didn’t yield like they should. People didn’t have money to buy feed for their cattle, milk cows, nor nothing else.

DEATON: Well, what about law enforcement in Leslie County? Do you 38:00remember the sheriff or the deputies coming into this area? Was there very much trouble in this area when you were growing up?

SIZEMORE: Yeah, there was . . . people drank, making whiskey all the time.

DEATON: Do you know how to make moonshine, Jailey? Have you ever heard any . . . who . . . let’s put it this way. Has anybody ever told you how to make moonshine?

SIZEMORE: I’ve seen it made.

DEATON: You have?


DEATON: How do make . . .

SIZEMORE: Sam used to make it.

DEATON: How do you make moonshine?

SIZEMORE: Now, Dale.

DEATON: Have you got any idea?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. You take your meal and you s-. . . you take hot water, boiling water, and you scald that in a big barrel. And then you let it sit there, and it seem to me like and sour. Or, anyway, you let it sit so long, and you sprout corn and grind it up in something like 39:00a sausage mill. And then you go back and fill that barrel on up with water, and I don’t remember how much “malt corn” they called it, that they put in it.

DEATON: Now, the . . .

SIZEMORE: But . . .

DEATON: . . . the . . . the malt corn is the corn that you let sprout . . .


DEATON: . . . and then grind up.



SIZEMORE: And they let that sprout and they take that and grind it up and go back and fill that barrel full of water, and then put that malt corn in it. And then they let it sit till it goes to working. It’ll just go to working and bubbling up to the top of the barrel. [Chuckle] People . . . SIZEMORE: And I don’t remember how much malt corn they called it, that they put in it.

DEATON: Now, the . . .

SIZEMORE: But . . .

DEATON: . . . the . . . the malt corn is the corn that you let sprout . . .


DEATON: . . . and then grind up.



SIZEMORE: And they let that sprout, and they take that and grind it up, and go back and fill that barrel full of water, and then put that malt corn in it. And then they let it sit till it goes to working. It’ll just go to working and bubbling up to the top of the barrel. [Chuckle] People used to go to town and Pa would drink enough to kill him if he could get to drink the beer.

DEATON: Oh, the malt beer off . . .


DEATON: . . . of the barrel?



SIZEMORE: Yeah. And then they’d let that work so long and then they’d 40:00go back and put it in a still and run it off.

DEATON: Now, . . .

SIZEMORE: And they’d have to have a copper wire to run it through.

DEATON: Why is that?

SIZEMORE: I don’t know.

DEATON: Hmm. Now to run it off . . . they’d put that in a still and then put a f-. . . and then heated it?

SIZEMORE: They put . . . they put . . . buil-. . . make ’em a furnace and make ’em a still, something. Seem to me like . . . anyway, they’d take a big barrel or a tank or a washtub, one, and put ’em together down on the top of each other, and put that beer in that and boil it. And then when that steam would run through that copper, it’d come out whiskey.

DEATON: Hmm. How much did they sell it for?

SIZEMORE: Well, I don’t remember what they sold it for, but Sam sold a many of a pint of it. He would take it to Hazard. He sold it high as 41:00a hundred dollars a gallon.

DEATON: A hundred dollars a gallon?

SIZEMORE: Yeah, and take it to Hazard.

DEATON: Okay. Now, how much . . . during . . . during that same time, say about the time that he could sell the moonshine for that, how much could a person make a day working in the coal mines, do you have any idea?

SIZEMORE: Well, I don’t know whether there was any such thing as a coal mines going then or not. If there was I don’t remember.

DEATON: Did they mostly work in the log woods?

SIZEMORE: They worked some . . . some of ’em every now and then worked in the log woods, but mighty few of ’em.

DEATON: Well, what was a . . . what was the going wage for a day’s work then, if you hired someone to help you hoe corn or whatever?

SIZEMORE: If you got a dollar a day you was flying.

DEATON: Oh. So, you could make more . . . you could make a lot more money selling moonshine than you could hoeing corn.

SIZEMORE: Oh, yeah. Umhmm.

DEATON: Uh-huh. Did you know of anybody making any type of alcoholic 42:00beverage out of anything else but corn?

SIZEMORE: Um-um. No.

DEATON: Okay. For the food that you put up for the winter, did you ever . . . did you ever sulfur apples, Jailey?


DEATON: Tell me how you sulfur apples.

SIZEMORE: Sulfur a barrel full every year.

DEATON: How do you . . . how did you do that?

SIZEMORE: With . . . I take and peel and I’d quarter ’em and take the core out, and peel ’em. And I’d peel a half a bushel basket full. And I’d have me a barrel. I’d put . . . run a . . . the stick through the handle of that basket and hang it down in there, in that barrel. And then I forget how much sulfur, whether it was two tablespoons or what, of sulfur that you’d put on a plate or a board or something down on the ground under there and put coals of fire on it 43:00to make it burn. And you take you a big quilt, double by . . . four or six double, and put it over the top of that barrel and tie it–you string that to hold all that smoke in there–and let it hang in there for a half a day at a time. Take it out then, take it and pour it in your barrel and keep it covered tight till no gnats couldn’t get in it. And you could do that till you get you a barrel full of sulfured. We had ’em the whole winter.

DEATON: Did they have any . . . did they taste like they had sulfur in them or did they have . . .

SIZEMORE: Sometimes you could taste it and again you couldn’t. They’d have a little bit different taste from the regular apple.

DEATON: Umhmm. Not really enough to bother.

SIZEMORE: Uh-uh. Not enough to bother you. Everybody liked ’em. There’s people that sulfurs ’em today and puts ’em in glass jars. 44:00But, now, I ain’t sulfured none in a long . . . been many of a day. And people would have big barrels of pickled beans, sauerkraut, pickled corn.

DEATON: Umhmm. How’d they make it, just pour vinegar in it?

SIZEMORE: With their corn?

DEATON: Umhmm. How do you make it?

SIZEMORE: Take you a big sixty gallon barrel, put it about half full or more of . . . of water, and put you enough salt in it to make it brine. Just shuck your corn and throw it over in there. And put you a cloth over it and tighten it till nothing . . . the gnats or nothing can’t get in it.

DEATON: Would the corn keep all winter like that?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. Umhmm. It’d keep all winter.

DEATON: And then to eat it, you boiled it?

SIZEMORE: No, you’d cut it off and fry it. Put you a little sugar on it. And kraut, you’d do it the same way. People’d take . . . they’d 45:00raise late cabbage then, and make their kraut just before a frost. They’d take something like what we call a maul and take and chop up a big pile of cabbage and put that in a barrel, and then take that maul and beat it down. And put ’em a layer of salt on it and beat that down till the brine would raise over the top of the cabbage, till they would get what made that they wanted. And then they’d get ’em a . . . a big, flat rock and clean it right real good, and put it on top of that, that kraut, to hold it down it under the brine. And that’d stay perfectly white all winter. Stay just as white as it could be.

DEATON: And they did the beans the same way?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Do beans the same way, or only you’d just have to cook 46:00your beans till they would get done, and take and pour them in and salt ’em. You wouldn’t have to beat them down. And then when you got what you wanted, get you a . . . a big rock and lay on top of ’em, and that weight would weight ’em down and the brine would raise over top of ’em.

DEATON: Well, say, if you had a sixty gallon barrel and you filled it half full of water, how many pounds of salt would you have to put in that water to get it into brine?

SIZEMORE: Now, Dale, I wouldn’t hardly know how to . . . what to say.

DEATON: Is there any . . .

SIZEMORE: But . . . but it’d take at least a quart.

DEATON: A qu-. . . about a quart, . . .

SIZEMORE: Yeah, I would say . . .

DEATON: . . . or maybe a little more?

SIZEMORE: . . . I would say a quart of salt to make it right.

DEATON: Hmm. What else did you fix for food during the winter?

SIZEMORE: Well, we’d fix all that besides our canned food, and then we’d 47:00have our chickens . . . our own chickens and would have our h-. . . own hogs and cow.


DEATON: Umhmm. Did you help smoke any meat, Jailey?

SIZEMORE: No, I never did smoke none.

DEATON: Did they mainly salt it down?

SIZEMORE: Uh-huh. We’d just salt it down. And sometimes we’d can some of it.

DEATON: Hmm? Can meat?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah.

DEATON: Hmm. Well, tell me how you can, say, sausage. How do you make canned . . .

SIZEMORE: Sausage?

DEATON: . . . sausage?

SIZEMORE: Well, the way you do it, you just put it on and . . . and fry it till it gets done, and put it in your jar, and pour that grease in on it till . . . and it’ll . . . the grease will stand over the top of your sausage and seal it.

DEATON: And that’s it.

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. And it’ll keep.

DEATON: What . . . is that the same way you canned all meat?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. You’ve got to have it real . . . you’ve got to have it real dry, no water in it, your meat, to can. If it gets water in it, it won’t keep.

DEATON: Hmm. What, you just fry it or . . . or cook it in a pot or how?

SIZEMORE: I’d put it in a . . . cook in a can. Put it in a jar and cook it in it, but I don’t remember how many hours we’d cook it.

DEATON: You mean the canning jar?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah. Put ’em in the jars and seal it, and cook it in that.

DEATON: You mean, you . . . now, you seal the jars before you cooked it?

SIZEMORE: Umhmm. Yeah.

DEATON: And you didn’t put any grease on top of it or anything?

SIZEMORE: Uh-uh. I’d usually cap ’em bottoms upwards and the grease then would stand on top when it’d get cold.


SIZEMORE: And then I’d turn ’em back up.

DEATON: So as long as the top’s sealed, you . . .


DEATON: . . . don’t really have to have the whole jar filled with grease.

SIZEMORE: No. Uh-uh.

DEATON: Oh, I see. Okay. Hmm. Well, did ju-. . . did just about 49:00everyone keep food that way? I mean, . . .

SIZEMORE: Yeah. Well, . . .

DEATON: . . . was it . . . was it . . .

SIZEMORE: . . . some people wouldn’t can nothing, Dale, wouldn’t put up nothing, hardly. And they . . . I . . . I don’t know how they got by, but . . . but they survived. [Chuckle]

DEATON: Umhmm. Well, do you remember the first . . . well, say, the first grocery store in Leslie County that would be a grocery store in the way we think of ’em now, that sold stuff, you know, besides the general type . . .

SIZEMORE: Oh, well, . . .

DEATON: . . . merchandise?

SIZEMORE: . . . well, I can remember, but they had a store far back as I can remember.

DEATON: Yeah, but that . . .

SIZEMORE: That was Pearl’s dad.

DEATON: Uh-huh.

SIZEMORE: They had a grocery store. They had it far back as I can remember, and always . . . always had it.

DEATON: Was that located here at the mouth of Osborne Fork?

SIZEMORE: Right up by where Ed Begley lives.


SIZEMORE: And then later on, after I got grown and was married, they 50:00moved it down here. And then they moved and built down here, and up there. But their main grocery store was right up there.

DEATON: Well, did . . .

SIZEMORE: And no . . .

DEATON: . . . they have . . . did they have canned goods there?

SIZEMORE: Yeah. Umhmm. Dry goods, shoes, about anything you wanted.

DEATON: Hmm! I didn’t realize they had that in here that early.

SIZEMORE: Yeah. Back then you could buy corn ten cents a can.

DEATON: Hmm. Well, do you think it was during the Depression and . . . and the period of time that people started to get government commodities that they quit raising a lot of food?

SIZEMORE: I think so. Umhmm.

DEATON: What about the countryside? When you were a real young girl, were there as many weeds and all that in here as there are now?

SIZEMORE: Now, what?

DEATON: Weeds?

SIZEMORE: Oh, yes.

DEATON: Do you remember the virgin timber growth on this land, Jailey?

SIZEMORE: No, I don’t.

DEATON: Had all . . . had about all of that been cut out by the time you got old enough to remember?

SIZEMORE: Oh, back when I was growing up all of this in here clean around to Fred’s was all cleared out. We tended in corn.

DEATON: All the way to the top of the hill?

SIZEMORE: All the way. Almost to the top of the hill behind . . . I’ve hoed corn from Fred’s clean all back around, and every stitch of the head of that branch up yonder. We would tend that whole branch. We’d take it year about. We’d tend the branch one year, but the next year we’d tend from straight up from William’s on back around to 52:00Fred’s, and we’d pasture the other side for the cattle. Take it a year about with it. Well, the year we’d tend that branch we’d have every hill of it in and it was cleaned out almost to the top of the hill. We’d have it in on each side of that hollow and clean up.

DEATON: And that was all plowed with a mule?

SIZEMORE: It was all plowed with a mule.

DEATON: Hmm. Have you got any idea how much corn you raised to the acre?

SIZEMORE: No, I don’t. But I can tell you how much corn I dropped one day with a corn dropper.

DEATON: How much?

SIZEMORE: A bushel and a peck.

DEATON: In one day.

SIZEMORE: In one day. My dad laid it off, and I planted it. They tried . . . my grandpa, that was in his lifetime, he was sick and wasn’t able to work. But they tried to . . . there’s an old fellow lived around up here where Fred lives, Archie Gibsons they called him, he was good with a corn dropper. They tried to hire him to come and plant 53:00corn one day, Pa did. Dollar a day was all he got. No, he . . . he couldn’t come. Well, Pa says, “I don’t know how we’re gonna manage.” He says, “I can’t get Archie.” He said, “I don’t know who else to get.” I says, “We don’t need nobody.” I says, “If you lay it off, I’ll plant it.” He says, “You know you can’t hold out to do that.” I says, “You lay the ground off.” Brother, we went in there early that morning and we always called it “the peach tree piece”. They might have told you where it is. It’s way back up in there. He had all that plowed up ready to plant. He laid that all off. Just as he’d lay a row off, I’d plant it. And it was almost dark when we come out, but we planted us a bushel and a peck and got it all planted.

DEATON: Hmm! Well, what did you do? Did you eat most of the corn or did most of it go to feed livestock?

SIZEMORE: What we eat of the corn was what we made our bread out of, and the rest of it went to the cattle and the mules. They always kept two mules. And my grandpa did.

DEATON: Was that . . . what . . . do you remember how many people lived, say, from the mouth of Osborne Fork up to the head of the creek, when . . .


DEATON: . . . you were a little kid?

SIZEMORE: There was about half . . . I don’t know what . . . and there ain’t a half . . . there wasn’t a half as many as there are up in there now.


SIZEMORE: Mighty few.

DEATON: Umhmm. Did most people get along pretty good?

SIZEMORE: Yeah, they seemed to.

DEATON: Umhmm. Is there anything, Jailey, that I haven’t asked you 55:00about that you’d like to tell me about?

SIZEMORE: Not that I remember of.

DEATON: All right. If you think of anything else I’ll come back later [chuckle–Sizemore], okay?

SIZEMORE: That’s all I can think of.

DEATON: Okay. Thank you.

SIZEMORE: You welcome. [End of Interview]


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