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Interview Summary

Maxie Ramey Stiltner was born on May 2, 1912 on John Moore's Branch near Elkhorn City, Kentucky. Her parents were Virgie Elkins and Ephram Ramey. Ephram was a boss at the Dunleary, Federal, and other mines in eastern Kentucky and neighboring states. She remembers as a child seeing her father only on Sundays because of the long hours he worked. Her father also worked in the logging business, running rafts of logs to earn extra money. Stiltner remembers the "workings" that families held on John Moore's Branch. All the neighbors would gather to help a family hoe out its corn, for example, and the women would cook chicken, corn, potatoes, beans etc. for everyone. She recalls fondly that the dessert was usually a cold biscuit filled with applesauce. She also talks about the scarcity of cash and the trading that went on between families. Stiltner began teaching school at the age of seventeen on John Moore's Branch and earned $68 a month. She spent over ten years as a rural schoolteacher at Draffin, Lookout on Marrowbone Creek, Potter Flats (near Breaks Park in Virginia), in addition to John Moore's Branch. She recalls that the school systems provided her with only a broom, coal bucket, shovel, water bucket and dipper, and two boxes of chalk. She has pleasant memories of teaching in Potter Flats, an area known for frequent violence, because the parents were supportive, the children diligent and interested. Her childhood memories of growing up on Moore's Branch include a frightening story of being caught on the railroad bridge when a train came across. To avoid being hit, she stepped onto water barrels along the side that were used in case of a fire. She talks about her efforts to continue her education even after her marriage to Autie Stiltner and having a child. She describes hiring a live-in "hired girl" to help her take care of her child. She also describes her experience as a teacher in Lookout, Kentucky during the late 1930s when the large mines had shut down and some of her students were impoverished.

Interview Accession

1987oh187_app110

Interviewee Name

Maxie Ramey Stiltner

Interviewer Name

Nyoka Hawkins

Interview Date

1987-06-09

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Stiltner, Maxie Ramey Interview by Nyoka Hawkins. 09 Jun. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Stiltner, M.R. (1987, June 09). Interview by N. Hawkins. Appalachia: Social History and Cultural Change in the Elkhorn Coal Fields Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Stiltner, Maxie Ramey, interview by Nyoka Hawkins. June 09, 1987, Appalachia: Social History and Cultural Change in the Elkhorn Coal Fields Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt77h41jkx8t