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BETSY BRINSON: This is an interview with Lloyd B. Arnold. The interview takes place at his residence in Murray, Kentucky and the interviewer is Betsy Brinson.

BRINSON: Mr. Arnold if you would give me your full name, please so that I can get a voice level.

LLOYD ARNOLD: Lloyd Byron Arnold.

BRINSON: Byron?

ARNOLD: B Y R O N.

BRINSON: Okay, thank you. Well thank you very much Mr. Arnold, for agreeing to talk with me today.

ARNOLD: Yes ma'am.

BRINSON: What I want to do is, I'll ask you some questions about you and your background a little bit, and then uh, we'll move on into Murray and we'll just see how the afternoon goes if that's okay?

ARNOLD: Do what now?

BRINSON: And see how the afternoon goes.

ARNOLD: Oh yeah, okay.

BRINSON: You have a little hearing problem that I need to speak up?

ARNOLD: Yeah, yeah, cause see, talk a little loud to where I can hear.

1:00

BRINSON: Okay.

ARNOLD: I can hear, but it's not, you know, too good.

BRINSON: Okay. Would you tell me where and when you were born, please.

ARNOLD: Yes ma'am. I was born in Paducah, Kentucky.

BRINSON: And what year were you born?

ARNOLD: Nineteen fifteen.

BRINSON: And that makes you how old today?

ARNOLD: Eighty-five plus two or three months, it's in September.

BRINSON: Well thank you. Um, tell me a little bit, if you know, about your ancestors.

ARNOLD: Well, my father and my mother were born in Tennessee, I don't know what part of Tennessee, but I was born in Kentucky, you know after they moved from Tennessee. My mother was a Harold, and my father was an Arnold.

2:00

BRINSON: Okay, and do you know anything about your grandparents or your great-grandparents?

ARNOLD: I know my grandparents on my mother's side. Charlie Harold was her daddy, my mother's daddy, and uh I can't recall who his wife was named. I don't know her name.

BRINSON: And where did they live?

ARNOLD: The lived in uh, one part of Tennessee, uh they are from Lexington, Tennessee.

BRINSON: Lexington, Tennessee?

ARNOLD: Yeah.

BRINSON: Okay. Uh, do you know if your family went as far back as slavery?

ARNOLD: Well yes, my, my daddy's father's people who in slavery in Tennessee.

3:00

BRINSON: Um-hmm, okay.

ARNOLD: And they had, of course they sold some of the Arnolds back in the days, and some of them were sold to a Jennings.

BRINSON: Jennings

ARNOLD: Jennings.

BRINSON: Um-hmm.

ARNOLD: And then, then of course some of them still stayed Arnold, you know; but I knew some of them were sold on my granddaddy's side, were sold to a Jennings.

BRINSON: Jennings?

ARNOLD: That was further back.

BRINSON: Jennings, that's J E N N I N G S?

ARNOLD: Yeah, yes.

BRINSON: Okay. Tell me when you were born uh Mr. Arnold, tell me did you--did you, were there any other children in your family?

ARNOLD: There were eleven of us. Eight boys and three girls.

BRINSON: Okay, and where did you come into all of that?

ARNOLD: Well see uh, I was born out in the country, I'm from Paducah, I grew up on a farm is what I mean; and uh--we had, my father had eleven children, eight 4:00boys and three girls. And I was uh, let me see now, I got to figure up how it was, my oldest brother--see I had an older sister, and uh, oldest brother, oldest brother, and.

BRINSON: That's okay. Were you born at home, or were you born in a hospital?

ARNOLD: At home. That's were back in those days, you were born out in the home--the doctor, and I remember the doctor's name, his name was Dr. George.

BRINSON: Dr. George?

ARNOLD: George, that was all I knew about him.

BRINSON: So he was a doctor and not a mid-wife?

ARNOLD: No, no he was a doctor.

BRINSON: He was a doctor, okay. Watch this because that is the microphone there.

ARNOLD: Oh yeah.

BRINSON: How did your family make their living, were they farmers?

ARNOLD: We were farmers, raised on a farm, raised tomatoes, corn, such as that 5:00all on the farm.

BRINSON: And did you sell the?

ARNOLD: Sold all the tomatoes to a canning factory, when I was big enough to, you know, realize it. And my daddy worked on a railroad, I C Railroad.

BRINSON: I C?

ARNOLD: I C Railroad of Paducah. And uh .

BRINSON: And what did he, what was his?

ARNOLD: He was an oiler.

BRINSON: An oiler?

ARNOLD: Oiler, you know, the box cars and coal cars, you know, put waste in the boxes where the wheels runs over.

BRINSON: Was that a good job for then?

ARNOLD: It was at that time, yeah. And see, my daddy got the pneumonia, and died when I was ten years old.

BRINSON: Oh, um. And then how did your?

ARNOLD: Then the rest of the family--I had older brothers--some of them got 6:00jobs on the railroad, and they would kind of take care of things, while the rest of us raised the crop, hogs, cattle, you know, stuff like that, and made a living.

BRINSON: Um-hmm. Did you ever grow any tobacco?

ARNOLD: Never did grow any tobacco.

BRINSON: Okay.

ARNOLD: We, we didn't, it wasn't a tobacco country for where we were living, it was mostly corn and tomatoes and things like that. And we had a, we raised sorghum, made sorghum molasses, raised our own hogs.

BRINSON: Um-hmm, okay.

ARNOLD: And chickens and things like that.

BRINSON: Did your mother ever work outside the home?

ARNOLD: Never did, uh-uh.

BRINSON: Okay, okay. Tell me Mr. Arnold, about your education.

ARNOLD: Now I went to Union Station, a little old country school out there. And uh, I finished the eighth grade, then I started to high school, but I had to 7:00walk five miles to go to Lincoln High School, that's the school in the city.

BRINSON: In Paducah?

ARNOLD: In Paducah. And so I had to pass through a little old town called Littleville.

BRINSON: Littleville?

ARNOLD: Littleville, as often--used to have a Union Station there--that's what they named the school after, Union Station. A little old one-room schoolhouse. And so, I started there; but I had so much trouble with coming by through the white community, you know; and they would throw rocks at me and things like that, pick at me, so I just quit school.

BRINSON: Hmm.

ARNOLD: After then. And after I quit school after then--then I seen my, my--I had my cousin as my daddy, you know cousin. He was supposed to be an Arnold, but he was a Jennings; they lived in Clinton, Kentucky. So they asked me to come there to help him raise on the farm. Help him on the farm 'cause his boys 8:00had done got grown and left. So now I stayed till I married. I married a girl in Clinton.

BRINSON: And how old were you when you married?

ARNOLD: I was nineteen years old when I married.

BRINSON: How did you meet your wife?

ARNOLD: Well, she worked on the farm; my cousins farm. My daddy's cousin's farm. And I go to church--we went to the little old church there, that's where I got acquainted with my wife, she was a Ellison. And they--he had a bunch of children, and she was the youngest girl. And I got acquainted with her and I married her in 1936.

BRINSON: Um, could you go back to where the white children would say things to you. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

ARNOLD: Well, when I was going--trying to go to Lincoln High, well I had 9:00trouble going through that community. You know, it was a little white community before you get in the city. A little old community there, and I had to walk to school, it was about five miles.

BRINSON: That's a long way.

ARNOLD: Yeah, and they just bothered me so, so they would pick at me, and I'd pick at--you know throw back at them; and sometimes they'd run me, you know.

BRINSON: They'd chase you, you mean? Is that what you mean by they'd run you?

ARNOLD: Yeah. And I just got tired of it and I said I just quit school.

BRINSON: Um-hmm. Do you ever have any regrets about that?

ARNOLD: No, in one sense I did, but I had in my mind the determine to do things. I wanted to do things for my own, you know. And I said to myself, "If I ever get grown"--my daddy always says that education was more important than anything else--and so I say, "Well," I left and when I left and went to Clinton 10:00that's where I learned a lot working around there. And after I married I was working on a farm for four dollars and a half a week to feed me and my wife and one kid, I had one girl. Four dollars and a half a week.

BRINSON: This would have been in the thirties?

ARNOLD: In 1936 was when I married, and it was about thirty-seven, and they had a flood in Paducah during that time.

BRINSON: What can you tell me about that. What do you remember about the flood?

ARNOLD: Well my mother--they all had--where we lived it flooded out there. See they brought her to Mayfield from the flood and all, the other children just scattered from one place to another, you know. And so they stayed after the flood, then she went back to the home place.

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BRINSON: With the flood, did you lose everything on the farm, the crops and what not?

ARNOLD: Yeah. Yeah we lost practically everything.

BRINSON: Any animals?

ARNOLD: Yeah we had hogs, and lost them I think, and different things like that, but . .

BRINSON: What about your house?

ARNOLD: The house it still stood there. But it was, you know, we had to do a lot of repair. They did--I didn't, 'cause I didn't go back, 'cause I was already in Clinton. But they went back and fixed things up, and the house caught a fire and burned down. Then they built--my mother married again--and she built, they built back; but it wasn't as good a house as it was before the flood.

BRINSON: Okay, did it, when you were growing up did you have electricity?

ARNOLD: They didn't know what electricity was back then.

12:00

BRINSON: And how did you, how did you--what did you do for light when you needed it?

ARNOLD: Coal oil lamps. We had coal oil lamps.

BRINSON: And did you have, did you have any in-door plumbing, or was it an out house or?

ARNOLD: No they wasn't no such thing as that.

BRINSON: How did you take a bath?

ARNOLD: Well, we would always get out and get water and put it on a pot and heat the water and take a bath from the water we used.

BRINSON: So um, so you were married and you had a child, a little girl?

ARNOLD: Yeah, the oldest girl.

BRINSON: What was her name?

ARNOLD: Geneva.

BRINSON: Geneva, Okay.

ARNOLD: She's the one that first went to Murray State out here.

BRINSON: Okay, so she was born in?

ARNOLD: Nineteen thirty-six, the fifth day of December.

13:00

BRINSON: Okay, so um, go ahead. How long did you stay in Clinton?

ARNOLD: I stayed in Clinton until 1942.

BRINSON: Okay.

ARNOLD: And uh, you see I used to work, after I got off the farm I went to WPA.

BRINSON: WPA?

ARNOLD: Yeah, I worked on it and that .

BRINSON: What kind of work did you do?

ARNOLD: That was construction work, building roads and things like that, and schools-- .

BRINSON: And how about your wife?

ARNOLD: My wife, she didn't work any, she took care of the children; and so we made it the best way we could. When I got on at WPA I thought I was flying then. I was making a little bit of money, you know about eight dollars a week, or ten. And so uh, I stayed on there until the, until my term was out. You had to stay a certain length of time your term was out, then you had to re-apply; and I happened to get a job building highways, Cox and Frazer Contractors hired 14:00me to help build bridges.

BRINSON: Cox and Frazer?

ARNOLD: Cox and Frazer, that was the name of the contractor; and I started working for him and they paid me forty-five cents an hour.

BRINSON: Um-hmm. How long was the term?

ARNOLD: What was that?

BRINSON: How long was a term for under the WPA?

ARNOLD: I don't know exactly right now, but it was just a certain length of time you could work on there and then you had to re-apply.

BRINSON: And so did you re-apply?

ARNOLD: Yes I did, but after I got the job, uh contractor -- I didn't go back to WPA.

BRINSON: I see, I see, okay. Um so what happened in 1942?

ARNOLD: I moved to Murray in 1942. The contractor had some bridges to build 15:00out here at Hardin, Kentucky, between here and Paducah, a place called Hardin. That's where Kentucky Lake and Gilbertville Dam was all in the building and they had--they called it C&M, TVA. C&M, that was building the roads and they had a group--a clearing group that cleared all this bottom wood and stuff up. I didn't work on that, I was on the roads building roads and bridges.

BRINSON: I came over two of those bridges today, did you work on those?

ARNOLD: What did you say?

BRINSON: I came over two bridges today did you?

ARNOLD: Yeah the bridges between Hardin and.

BRINSON: Yeah

ARNOLD: Between Hardin and the, the river.

BRINSON: Right.

ARNOLD: Yeah, I built that bridge.

BRINSON: You built that bridge?

ARNOLD: Yeah.

BRINSON: Well that's a spectacular bridge.

ARNOLD: Yeah, and then there's another over going to Benton on 68.

BRINSON: Right, right.

ARNOLD: And I built, we built both of those bridges. That's the first jobs I had when I came to Murray.

BRINSON: How do you build a bridge like that when you've got water all 16:00underneath you?

ARNOLD: Well see, they had things, they pulled pallets--what they called concrete pallets--and they drove those pallets in the ground with steel in them; they was already steel in them. And they drive them down so deep then the bridges was put on them pallets. Legs I call them.

BRINSON: I see, right, that makes sense. So you came to Murray to work.

ARNOLD: Yeah.

BRINSON: And what was Murray like in 1942?

ARNOLD: Girl, you don't, you'd be surprise, you'd be surprised.

BRINSON: Well.

ARNOLD: When I came to Murray, all these little huts, wasn't nothing but huts here. Little old shacks, and people would come in here and wanted them jobs; they was staying in these different shacks. And I found a little old place down here across the railroad, and got two rooms; and it cost me six dollars a month. 17:00You know to stay in when I moved from Clinton to here.

BRINSON: So, Murray was a booming place at that point?

ARNOLD: Was a what?

BRINSON: Murray was a growing place?

ARNOLD: It was in the population wise. Workers came in here, but otherwise it wasn't no--gravel streets out here, wasn't no sewage over here, and wasn't no electric lights over here. Only thing they did, they run hydrant water over here, is the only thing they had when I came to Murray.

BRINSON: And how big was the black population then?

ARNOLD: Well the black population was bigger than it is now. There was a lot of blacks live here then, but they was always working in the tobacco field. Most of the people here was tobacco, barns--working in tobacco barns and tobacco fields.

18:00

BRINSON: Was Murray a big tobacco place at that point?

ARNOLD: Yeah, they had tobacco barns all around here.

BRINSON: Okay, so they would go in and strip the leaves and all.

ARNOLD: Yeah, and all that, but I never did work in that.

BRINSON: Okay. Well the war came along, what?

ARNOLD: Yeah the war came along and that's when all of my brothers went to the Army except myself. I had three brothers in the Army.

BRINSON: And was Murray at that point, I would guess, very segregated community?

ARNOLD: Yeah, girl it was segregated rough. It was rough. As long as you stayed in your community, and everything like that, everything was--well you know what I mean, pretty well. In other words, you just had to almost--some almost just 19:00demand what you have to have. And I just seen to myself, and I said, "I just can't live like this and raise my children here." 'Cause after I came to Murray--I had three children when I came to Murray--two girls and a boy. Then I raised the rest of them, see I had nine children in all, four boys and five girls.

BRINSON: Okay, and did they attend the black school here in Murray?

ARNOLD: Yes, uh, that's what I was fixing to say, they went to the little old Douglas School here.

BRINSON: Douglas?

ARNOLD: Douglas, that's the name of the school. They had a black professor. Uh the first professor when I first came here was Tinsley. He was a preacher.

BRINSON: Reverend Tinsley?

ARNOLD: Reverend Tinsley. He was a preacher. And so after he left well Reverend 20:00Miller, no not Reverend Miller, Professor Miller, he, he got to be principal of Douglas School. And when he got to be principal I found out that everything that they got from the school was second-handed stuff. You know you didn't get nothing new, everything you got was second-handed from the Murray School.

BRINSON: From the white school?

ARNOLD: White school, yeah. And uh, so I went to the Grand Lodge at Ashland, Kentucky, and that was back in 1952 or fifty-three, and stayed with a, I believe his name was Butler, you can look that up and find out what year that was. And they invited him up to speak at this convention, black convention, which is a Masonic organization; and he told them that the schools was going to be merged, 21:00all high school didn't have a hundred students would have to be merged.

BRINSON: So this would have been about the time that the Supreme Court came down with the Brown Decision?

ARNOLD: Yeah, yeah. That was during that time. That's when they had high schools, wasn't no black now, it was just white high schools. You had a white high school at Almo, had one in Linn Grove, had one at Kirksey, and one out here at in Easterton. They all merged and made Calloway County high school. But they wouldn't let the black go to Almo, they had black people living in Almo--that was a little old town just five miles from here--and they wouldn't let black kids go there and they had to come to Douglas.

22:00

BRINSON: And did they have a bus to bring them to Douglas?

ARNOLD: No.

BRINSON: No?

ARNOLD: No, parents had to bring them, it's the only way you got here.

BRINSON: How far is that?

ARNOLD: Five miles. And so uh, all that was going on back in the days, it was pitiful.

BRINSON: At what point did they actually integrate the schools?

ARNOLD: Well see, I integrated Murray State and Murray High.

BRINSON: Okay, tell me about Murray High first.

ARNOLD: Well Murray High when I took my daughter, my second daughter, out of Douglas--she was in the tenth grade--and I took her out the same year I took my other daughter and sent her to Murray State. And uh she went to Murray High and I got criticized for that. I'm telling you I got criticized pretty rough, even my own, some of my own black community was against it, but I stood my ground.

23:00

BRINSON: And that would have been about?

ARNOLD: Nineteen fifty-six and fifty-seven.

BRINSON: Okay, okay. How was that experience for your daughter?

ARNOLD: Well, she, she didn't mind going. She didn't mind going, but the thing about it was the way they wanted to treat you. So she had to go two years to get credit for one when she went to Murray High. And after she went to Murray High they, she was taking up short-hand, typing, and Douglas didn't have nothing like that; and some of the students from Douglas come--see I bought a typewriter for my kid, for her to have it in order for her to learn with. And they'd come over here and find out about the classes and they'd go back and raise a cane to 24:00Professor Miller about it. So Murray High sent us some old typewriters over for them to use--some that they had.

BRINSON: Tell me the name of your daughter who integrated the high school?

ARNOLD: Kattie Marie Arnold.

BRINSON: Kay Marie?

ARNOLD: Kattie Marie.

BRINSON: Spell Katie.

ARNOLD: K-A-T-T-I-E.

BRINSON: K-A-T-T-I-E, and then M-A-R-I-E?

ARNOLD: Yeah, she's a Wilson now, but she was a Arnold back then.

BRINSON: Um, she, she wanted to do this?

ARNOLD: Yeah she wanted to do it.

BRINSON: And you wanted her to?

ARNOLD: And I wanted her to because I wanted her to get a better education than I had. That was my biggest, you know, ambition about life. I said, "If you don't get an education"-- my daddy taught me that--"If I don't learn how to get an education, I ain't going to get no where."

25:00

BRINSON: Okay.

ARNOLD: And so, that's one reason, I said, "Well I want them to have a better education than I had." And when I came back from Frankfort, uh not from Frankfort, from Ashland, Kentucky, and listened to the Board of Instruction, Butler, I made myself determined to do these things.

BRINSON: Tell me about that meeting. About how many people were there?

ARNOLD: Well see uh, see the Masonic Lodge have a meeting convention every year. It meets in different towns. Back in that time you had to meet in different towns, like Ashland, Lexington, Covington, Georgetown, Kentucky, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Louisville. See they met in different places, and we had to stay in peoples homes, we didn't stay in no hotel like we do now, we had to stay in peoples homes.

BRINSON: Well the hotels probably wouldn't have let you stay there.

ARNOLD: Wouldn't allow us, that's right.

BRINSON: Okay. And um, at the meeting were there others like yourself who felt 26:00like they were going to go back and.

ARNOLD: Yeah, especially the leaders of the organization. They was the ones that had him come to speak on this.

BRINSON: And tell me his name again?

ARNOLD: Butler.

BRINSON: And he was with?

ARNOLD: With the State Board of Instruction, that's what he was.

BRINSON: Okay. And you said, now let me go back to Kattie Marie here, so she graduated from Murray High School?

ARNOLD: Um-hmm.

BRINSON: And then what happened for her?

ARNOLD: After she graduated she left and went to, went to Milwaukee where my oldest daughter lived. See my oldest daughter went to Murray State for three years, but she didn't finish.

BRINSON: Um-hmm, I'm going to ask you about her first, but I want to ask a few 27:00more questions about Kattie Marie.

ARNOLD: Yeah, so see she left and went to New York, then she moved.

BRINSON: Kattie Marie?

ARNOLD: No, no Geneva.

BRINSON: Geneva?

ARNOLD: Geneva, yeah that's the oldest one. She went to New York and stayed up there with her cousin a while and then she married. She married a fellow from Mayfield and uh they moved, and he was a school teacher, and he moved to Milwaukee and he taught school there. And then he changed jobs and he got into the post office business, and that's where my other daughter went, Kattie Marie.

BRINSON: Okay, let me turn the tape over here.

BRINSON: I wonder, for Kattie Marie now, when she was at the all white high school, was she the only black student there?

ARNOLD: Only black.

BRINSON: And how big was the school, how many in her graduating class?

ARNOLD: Well it was a good many, it was around--and they had the graduation at 28:00the First Baptist Church here--an all white church. And she was the only one black in the group, and we went to the, what you call it Baccalaureate Service. Is that what that is? Where they preach a Baccalaureate Sermon?

BRINSON: Um-hmm.

ARNOLD: And uh, she graduated, and I think it was around thirty or forty students graduated that year.

BRINSON: And were there any black teachers?

ARNOLD: She was the onliest black in the group.

BRINSON: And were there any black teachers?

ARNOLD: No. Wasn't a such thing as black teachers then.

BRINSON: How did, how did she get along with the other students?

ARNOLD: Well she must have, some of them got along good with, and some she didn't. Now I can name some of them that went to school with her, that's grown 29:00now, and they always asking about her. One of them made a lawyer, Don, Don, uh, can't even call his name, Don uh .

BRINSON: That's okay. How about the teachers there, how did they react to her being a student there?

ARNOLD: Well they did fairly well, but I had to go out there two or three times.

BRINSON: Can you tell me about that?

ARNOLD: See sometimes they'd say she wasn't finished, she was behind and everything. And I went out there and I got to where I would go to the parent/teachers meeting, and I kept up with it. And they seen that I meant business and they got kind of, you know kind of--leeway to letting me--trying to treat me more respectable. And uh, course the superintendent, Carter, he's the 30:00one that raised so much cane, he didn't want her to go.

BRINSON: He didn't want her to go?

ARNOLD: No. He wanted her to stay at Douglas, and so it was a long time before Douglas ever integrated. Douglas was the last school to ever integrated. All the other schools done integrated except Douglas.

BRINSON: Did your daughter join any clubs or try out for cheerleaders or run for office?

ARNOLD: No she didn't do nothing like that.

BRINSON: She had all she could do just to .

ARNOLD: Get her education.

BRINSON: Okay, Okay. Tell me about Geneva now.

ARNOLD: Now Geneva, that's my oldest daughter, she went to Murray State. See now when I filled out the application for her to go to Murray State uh, President Wood's wouldn't accept it. He's the President.

BRINSON: He's the President of the College?

ARNOLD: Yeah, he was the President, they wasn't no college, it was a college it 31:00wasn't no university, in 1955. See it was a college.

BRINSON: And he, what happened?

ARNOLD: He wasn't paying no attention when I first sent in about her going, you know. I had put in the application to register for her to go, and so it got around to some attorney; his name was James Obey.

BRINSON: Can you spell his last name for me?

ARNOLD: Obey, O-B-E, I can't spell it right. There's a bunch of Oboe's here now. His name is James Obey. And I got a call one afternoon, and he asked me to come up there, he wanted to talk to me. I didn't know why, and he told me to bring my daughter with me.

BRINSON: And he was a white attorney?

ARNOLD: Yeah. And so that Saturday morning me and her went up there. And he 32:00says, "I see here you filed for Murray State, going to Murray College". And uh, he said, "Do you really want to go?" And she said "Yes, I want to go because I want to get an education." "Well," he said, "Well, I'm going to put the application in for you." You see they wouldn't accept the one that I had sent, but when he sent one in, they accepted it. So when they accepted it Dr. Ralph Woods called me, and wanted me to come out there to take an interview.

BRINSON: Wanted you to come?

ARNOLD: So I go out there and take an interview, and he asked me the reason why. I said, "The law says she can go to college. That's what it says." But he advised me for her not to take up no swimming.

33:00

BRINSON: Swimming, why was that?

ARNOLD: I don't know, I didn't ask it. I said, "Well she's not interested in swimming, she's interested in an education." And I said, "If it's left up to her, whether she wants to take up swimming or not." That's what I told him. So Professor Nash, that's the man that comes and picks her up and carries her to the school to register.

BRINSON: Now was he a black professor?

ARNOLD: He was white, no they wasn't no blacks out there at all.

BRINSON: So he was a professor at Murray State?

ARNOLD: Murray State, Reverend Nash. So he comes and picks her and carries her to have her registered. Maybe to have her registered before the other kids were, I guess. But anyway, so after that happened, well she was going to school so I bought her a brand new Plymouth car; and my youngest daughter Marie, she could drive it, my oldest daughter hadn't learned to drive, but my youngest 34:00daughter could drive. So I would let her drive up to the college and then she'd come back to the high school and park her car there till she'd pick her up every evening. So that happened during a good while and then one evening she come in "Daddy somebody hit my car. Somebody hit my car where it was parked on the high school lot." And find out they lived across the street and backed into it, but she wasn't fixing to tell nothing about it, but it happened to be somebody that paid attention to it, and called attention. Now I had insurance on it, but it was the type of insurance that I had to pay twice as much, maybe, you know as an ordinary person would pay. And so uh, I said, "Well the insurance will come to 35:00take care of it. And someone said, "No you supposed to turn it in." So I went and talked to the police about it. So it got around, and this lady sent me seven hundred dollars; didn't identify herself or nothing, but paid for the damage to the door where she hit. So after that happened, well she went on and finished school.

BRINSON: What did Geneva study in school?

ARNOLD: She took up education.

BRINSON: Did she want to be a teacher?

ARNOLD: Yeah, that's what she was intending to be, but she didn't go but three years and of course they got the whole records out there at Murray State now. They got the records where she started, who the first black person was that graduated out there, and got the first black professors that came out there, and 36:00got the first black ball players. The lady's name--I can't recall her name-- is on that thing up there.

BRINSON: Do you happen to know when they hired the first black faculty at Murray?

ARNOLD: Yes, I remember that well. I was involved in that.

BRINSON: Okay, what can you tell me.

ARNOLD: Me and James Pete Rutledge.

BRINSON: Rutledge?

ARNOLD: Rutledge, he lived.

BRINSON: R-U-T-L-E-D-G-E?

ARNOLD: Yeah, me and him and Professor Brown out of Paducah and another fella, I can't call his name, and two people out of Mayfield. One preacher, and another deacon out of Mayfield, then the Piersons out of Fulton. There was eight of us, we went and met with Dr. Kerr. That was the professor the year 37:00that they hired the first black professors.

BRINSON: Now how did you and the men know each other, that went to see him?

ARNOLD: Well I've been knowing them all along, see Rutledge was born and raised here.

BRINSON: Okay, did you know them through the Masons?

ARNOLD: He's dead now.

BRINSON: Did you know them through the Masons?

ARNOLD: What you say?

BRINSON: Were you all Masons together?

ARNOLD: Yeah.

BRINSON: Okay.

ARNOLD: And uh, Professor Brown was not, Paducah, but he was a school teacher out of Paducah.

BRINSON: What year was this that you went to see about getting this?

ARNOLD: Now I can't give the exactly date now?

BRINSON: Well just, was it the fifties, sixties?

ARNOLD: No, it was in the.

BRINSON: Seventies.

ARNOLD: No, it was in the, in the, close up in the seventies.

BRINSON: Okay, okay. And what did they say when you met with them?

ARNOLD: He said he was going to look into it. That it was time for something 38:00like that to happen. And he, that same year he hired two that I know of, Professor Mills and Professor Black, they were black and they were the first ones that I know that come to Murray State.

BRINSON: Now I understand that there was a Professor Steven Jones who teaches anthropology, who came to Murray in 1977, but the men that you just told me about would have come before that?

ARNOLD: Before then.

BRINSON: Okay.

ARNOLD: Professor Mills and Professor Black.

BRINSON: Do you remember what they taught?

ARNOLD: No I don't.

BRINSON: Okay.

ARNOLD: But they got records out there.

BRINSON: Um, tell me how the experience was for Geneva being there as a black student.

39:00

ARNOLD: Well, her experience was better than it was in high school, I'll have to say that.

BRINSON: In what way?

ARNOLD: What I mean is that they didn't treat her as cool--I call it cool--as they did Marie. Kattie Marie. 'Cause it was really pressure in the high school department as it was in the college department.

BRINSON: And, in the fifties here, um how big was the black population?

ARNOLD: Well, I can't say how big it was, but it was a pretty large crowd of blacks that lived here then.

BRINSON: And you said earlier that there was some people in the black community who disagreed with what you were doing.

ARNOLD: Yeah, yeah, they was a few in the community that objected to me sending my daughter, 'cause they was scared to send her. I tried to get some of them to 40:00go with her, they graduated from Douglas, see my oldest daughter graduated from Douglas.

BRINSON: And what were they scared of?

ARNOLD: Well they didn't want to break the ice I guess. I don't know.

BRINSON: Now at some point, I believe that you were on the City Council here weren't you?

ARNOLD: Yeah, I served six terms on the City Council.

BRINSON: Six terms. Wow!

ARNOLD: I was the first ever black to ever ran for the City Council.

BRINSON: And when was that?

ARNOLD: That was in nineteen--I would have to look it up to tell you. Uh, but the first time I ran I didn't get elected. I didn't get but twenty-six votes. But the second time I was elected, I ran, well uh a white lady ran too, first time a white lady ever ran for City Council. Me and her tied, Ms. Hale, her 41:00name was Hale, we tied with the same amount of votes. And so Sid Easy was a County Attorney at that time--and he--we went up there and had to draw numbers to see who was elected; and fortunately I was elected. I drawed the smallest number.

BRINSON: And how long is a term?

ARNOLD: Two years and I served six years.

BRINSON: Two years--you served twelve years.

ARNOLD: Six years.

BRINSON: Six years.

ARNOLD: Two year terms.

BRINSON: Okay. For a total of six years. Would this have been in the sixties, the seventies?

ARNOLD: I would have to go look at that plaque up there.

BRINSON: So, Mr. Arnold, I looked at all of your certificates on the wall there and you were elected to the City Council in 1982.

ARNOLD: In 1982.

BRINSON: Okay, tell me what was employment like for blacks who worked for the 42:00City in that point in time?

ARNOLD: Well, those that worked for the City, they was mighty few for the City at that time.

BRINSON: And what kinds of jobs did they hold, if they had any?

ARNOLD: Only ones that hold jobs for the City was on the fire department.

BRINSON: The fire department?

ARNOLD: Yeah, we had some blacks on the fire department.

BRINSON: Any body in the police department?

ARNOLD: No.

BRINSON: Any clerical workers?

ARNOLD: No.

BRINSON: How about garbage collection?

ARNOLD: Well they had a few on garbage collection.

BRINSON: Um, is it any better today?

ARNOLD: Well, it's a little better.

BRINSON: Tell me how.

ARNOLD: Well we have blacks on the police force now.

BRINSON: Um, I saw a police car parked up around the corner over there.

43:00

ARNOLD: They got a Police Station up there. There is a little sub-station they call it, on account of dope rings.

BRINSON: So have people left Murray from the black community?

ARNOLD: They had to leave to get jobs. See all my kids left Murray.

BRINSON: And where all did people tend to go?

ARNOLD: Why they go to different places, like Milwaukee, Toledo, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana. See I have a boy in Indianapolis, I have a daughter in Ohio, and my other children's in Milwaukee. All my kids had to leave here to get jobs, I'm being totally frank. I mean decent jobs.

BRINSON: Right, okay. Mr. Arnold when you were on the City Council here, what were the issues that you were most interested in?

44:00

ARNOLD: I was interested in getting some streets over here, see I was living right over there, and I wanted sewage over here, they wasn't no sewage. They was so many different things.

BRINSON: And were you able to accomplish that?

ARNOLD: Yeah we accomplished every bit of it. We got streets, got curbs and gutters in part of it, something they hadn't had over here; asphalt streets, they wasn't nothing but gravel. They was just so many things that I seen that needed to be done, but I couldn't get done everything.

BRINSON: Well those sound like important issues.

ARNOLD: It was some important issues.

BRINSON: How are race relations in Murray today?

ARNOLD: Race relations are better than they used to be. A whole lot better.

45:00

BRINSON: In what ways do you see a difference?

ARNOLD: Well, what I mean you can go and get things done.

BRINSON: You mean like the stores and restaurants and?

ARNOLD: Yeah.

BRINSON: And the schools? How are they?

ARNOLD: Yeah. Yeah. And the first , first police woman I want to tell you about that. A lady--a white lady from Murray State filed for police in the City of Murray and I was on the Board. And so I was the only one that voted for her, the rest of them vote against her. Well she in turn got the Human Rights Commission, Gayle--Gayle.

BRINSON: Gayle Martin?

ARNOLD: Hum-hum. Martin. And he come down and brought a charge against the City of Murray and they held a trial up there at the City Hall. Well I attended 46:00that city trial and they won. During that time the girl had already gone to Madisonville and got a job as a police. And so I think she got eight thousand dollars out of that, but she wouldn't come back to be no police here, cause she stayed over there at Madisonville. And that was the first female policeman.

BRINSON: And have they--are there women who work on the police force today?

ARNOLD: Not no blacks.

BRINSON: Well, are there women of any color who work in the police department?

ARNOLD: Yeah.

BRINSON: But no black women. Are there black men?

ARNOLD: They got black men.

BRINSON: Okay. Okay. So tell me again--you told me how many children you have, how many grandchildren do you have?

ARNOLD: Well, I have seven or eight.

BRINSON: Seven or eight.

ARNOLD: Somewhere along in there.

47:00

BRINSON: Well do you have any great-grandchildren? Not old enough?

ARNOLD: I don't think so.

BRINSON: Okay. Well thank you very much for talking to me today.

ARNOLD: Yeah.