Interview with Gussie F. Johnston, October 23, 1988

Project: Appalachia: Family and Gender in the Coal Community Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Gussie Johnston was born in Soddy, Tennessee in 1911. She had nine sisters and two brothers. She was twelve years old when her family moved to McRoberts in Fletcher County, Kentucky in 1923, and she recalls all of them squeezing into a five-room house. Her father started working in the mines as a coal loader and became a fire boss. He had certificates to be a mine foreman in both Kentucky and Tennessee, but Johnston states that her father did not like that the mine foreman was expected to treat the miners badly. She recalls immigrant groups including the Italians and Hungarians and remembers that people called the immigrants "Hunkies." She describes recreational activities and states that the boys could get away with anything, but that her parents were stricter with her and her sisters. She recalls that the town was segregated. African Americans had their own section of town and their own company store. She describes the Great Depression, and states that she was able to attend the Fugazzi School of Business only because her brothers helped to pay the tuition. Johnston also recalls her parents' disagreements on politics. Her mother was a Republican and her father was a Democrat.

Interview Accession

1988oh176_app173

Interviewee Name

Gussie F. Johnston

Interviewer Name

Glenna Graves

Interview Date

1988-10-23

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.

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.

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Johnston, Gussie F. Interview by Glenna Graves. 23 Oct. 1988. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Johnston, G.F. (1988, October 23). Interview by G. Graves. Appalachia: Family and Gender in the Coal Community Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Johnston, Gussie F., interview by Glenna Graves. October 23, 1988, Appalachia: Family and Gender in the Coal Community Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7hqb9v3z8k