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Gatewood: This is a tape of a series sponsored by the Kentucky Folklore Foundation. We’re in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Miss Emma and Jesse Jones. Miss Emma is the granddaughter of Dr. John Clark. Mr. Jones knows, also, some information about Dr. Clark, and also knew Dr. Clark. And he [Jesse Jones] was also a coal miner. And we’re going to talk to him a bit about his experiences in the mines and in the camp towns, although he didn’t live in the camps. He lived out in this area, but worked in the camps many years. We’re going to talk about that, and also talk to Miss Emma about her grandfather. Miss Emma, you were, did you grow up in here, this area, all your life?

Emma Jones: Ever since I was nine years old.

Gatewood: And do you remember your granddaddy?

Jones: Yes, I do.

Gatewood: What years when you began to remember him?

Jones: Well, from the time I was about five year old on, I could remember. Back in them days, I did. Either he had a medicine (?), and he had his office in his own house. And he was taking this medicine, and he had all kept (up?) and our kids was not one of them in his office. So we didn’t know that, we would watch him go in and he was fixing his medicine and working in there. But we wasn’t allowed in. But we could see him fixing his medicine. Dosing his medicine. Fixing that. And he had all kinds of herbs. And he had a garden. And the garden below his house were nothing but herbs that he planted. So it smelled so good, the flowers and blooms, the fall of the year, we’d get there and he’d tell us to not go over in the garden. And then we never did get in that garden. He had garlic, and he had horseradish, and he had another kind of a weed that we thought was a real pretty flower. We didn’t bother his flowers anyway, because it was his medicine. And I don’t know. Just all kinds of names he give that, but we were, he’d get this and dose it out. And through the winter season, he gathered it in and dried it, and had it hanging up upstairs. So on the stem, and he knowed every chemical, he had it wrote down what it was. that stick, that he had it drying on.

Gatewood: Mr. Jesse, could you describe the place where he lived? You took me up there. Kind of describe it for us?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. You mean how it might look at that time being?

Gatewood: Yes, sir. Right.

Jesse Jones: Well, at that time being, there was big fine fruit orchard there, I recollect, you know, he had in there. Very nice looking place. I just trying to remember about how old I’d have been when he, when I was passing through there and I seen him. But anyway, I must have been about eight or ten years old, something that a way. And I’d see the old (path there?) and see the old man sitting on the porch. And that’s about as much as I can recollect. (As life goes around?)

Gatewood: Now you purchased some of this property, didn’t you? This property.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Gatewood: And you were, you cleaned up the place around there. Some things you found that were interesting.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: Tell me about that. You were telling me−

Jesse Jones: Well I found an old loom where the old lady made her cloth on, you know? And those old ox shoes, I found them all over the place around there. And they had a big chimney built in there out of sandstone, to the house. And I talked a lot with (Mitchell?), her uncle there, you know. And he couldn’t tell me, no way he could tell me when anything like that had ever been built in there, you see? And when I was talking with him, he was around seventy-five, eighty. And his younger days, I don’t recollect how old he’d have been when his dad come in there and located on that property. But anyway, had this old time house and big chimney and old fireplace and everything built in there. And he couldn’t tell me. I tried to get information of him, if he could get me any ideas how far back that had been, you know. Since they’d located in there. He couldn’t tell me. They just found it there like that, you know, and there’d been about, I know two old settlers lived there years and years before that.

Gatewood: So there wasn’t a nail in the house, hardly.

Jesse Jones: (?) a nail, and I (?) find more in old timey, they made them, you know, in old, big, four square piece of metal of a nail in the thing. I believe I have (reflect ?) seen something like that, some (hole?) in it. But outside of that, there wasn’t any of these here newer make of nails in it that I know of.

Gatewood: And the boards were cut the old way?

Jesse Jones: Yes. It had been the Mitchells. I’d talked to him, you know, and he’d tell me about how that had been manufactured out. He said they stood logs on their ends some way, call it a whip saw, you know. And they’d get up on some kind of a scaffold and start to chop that log saw down. And the joists and everything, and all the framing that was in that house had been sawed like that. And you could tell it had been cut different from any piece of wood, you know, you’d ever recollect seeing. And the finest timber that could have been grown.

Gatewood: I bet.

Jesse Jones: (?) for the house.

Gatewood: It’s a sad thing it burned. I wondered, you know, as much time as he spent, apparently, especially in his younger days, doctoring around, helping people around the community, how he was able to operate a big farm. Did your father and mother, they must have had to work mighty hard around the house.

Jesse Jones: I’d say her mother really did. And the kids, you know.

Emma Jones: (?)

Jesse Jones: I’d say they really did. Because he spent most of his time out, you see. Yeah.

Gatewood: So they kept the home place going, did all the work.

Emma Jones: They growed the rice, the wheat. And had good cattle, sheep, (?), kind of stock like that. I’ve heard my mama (?) many times to feed the sheep and take care of the sheep, and they run around the cliffs. You’ve got to take care of them. And it would be snow and ice. They had to bring them in and take them, wrap them up, take care of them until they could pull them through. Until the bad spell was over.

Gatewood: And she made her own clothes, linsey woolsey, out of the flax?

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Emma Jones: Yeah. They were wool. Blankets, stuff like that. And our coats. I heard Mama say she’d wore a coat that was made of (?)

Jesse Jones: Yeah, they even made their shoes. Her old man told me about he’d (?) off the farm up here and going down this little river here, down to what they call Ritner. And he’d start out with a pair of them shoes on, you know, had been made, home made out of hides they tanned. And he’d get down here and get in the river, maybe get them wet. And he’d have to pull them off and pack them back home. They’d just stretch out all over the place when they’d get wet. Yeah, I heard him tell about that. Oh, he (?), lord, that old man could sit and tell you something. Old man (?) could. Yeah.

Gatewood: Well Miss Emma’s told us about her grandfather’s garden, where he raised herbs. Could you tell us about how you figured, I know you talked with his brother, I mean, her brother. How they went out, how they went out in the woods, and what they got out there. Could you tell us a bit about what he probably got for medicine?

Jesse Jones: Yeah, I forgot a lot of the different names even already. But he did what they call button snake roots, you know. Lady slipper. (?) sarsaparilla. We’d make around, go (prawn?) down over on the big river, you know. And we’d get out on them high cliffs. He’d dig what you’d call button snake root. And maybe get on down a little further, you know, dig lady slipper. And wind up on down the river and get that little sarsaparilla. And on the way back, you know, coming back through them big (Norse?) mountain, dig (bone satin?), can get that (bone satin?), goldenrod. And goldenseal, he called it. You know. All different stuff we’d get. Make a habit like that, you know, getting out, me and him, making round (?), fall down a little later, you know, getting this (?) and a big bunch of that stuff.

Gatewood: Slippery elm? Would he get slippery elm?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Emma Jones: Well, you get (?) the slippery elm trees.

Gatewood: You just get the bark off, the stuff inside.

Emma Jones: Yeah. Inside. It’s real good medicine. It’s a healing medicine. I’ve used it right on. I (yet?) use it.

Jesse Jones: You know, there was some of his herbs, let’s see, there was a lot of his herbs still growing around there, you know, when we moved in there.

Emma Jones: Yeah. The horseradish. (?)

Jesse Jones: Horseradish−

Emma Jones: Old people had that back then. And the horseradish.

Jesse Jones: A lot of different stuff, but he’d left that still growing there.

Emma Jones: Garlic.

Jesse Jones: Garlic, you know. And all that kind of stuff. It was there. A lot of that’s still growing.

Gatewood: How long did you all live there in the old home place?

Jesse Jones: I’ll tell you. We must have lived there about−

Emma Jones: Fourteen years or longer. (?) around here, this other place, sixteen years. Fourteen years around there.

Jesse Jones: I guess we lived in that old home house about fourteen years, didn’t we? And then moved out of there and got it destroyed, you know.

Gatewood: Yeah. That’s bad.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, I wouldn’t (take?) nothing for it.

Gatewood: I wonder how, you know between you, how he used to, how he would go from place to place, and how long he’d stay, and that type of thing? Have you ever heard anybody talk about−

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, I’ve heard him talk. He’d go stay two or three weeks, you know. Maybe two. Till they got well.

Emma Jones: He’d stay till they got well.

Jesse Jones: If he’d come up against a case−

Emma Jones: He got all hopes up that he knew they were going to make it before he’d leave.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, if they struck with something like a fever or something there, you know, he’d just go and stay until they come out of it.

Gatewood: What did he do, take his herbs and roots in the−

Emma Jones: And make more. While he was there, he would steep them and fix them. And take doses along with him. If he had to come back home, he’d come back home and get more medicine.

Jesse Jones: And in that day and time, I’d say if the people, whoever they was, a doctor, and if they was able to pay him in a few chickens or what not, you know, or a piece of bacon they had it hung up or something, that, there wasn’t any money much (them days?). And I’d say that was about the way he collected big a lot of his (gold?), you know. People that could help him.

Emma Jones: He rode horseback all the time. Yeah. Always get some horse to ride all the way, you know, across the rivers. When it was up, he’d go on a boat, maybe, get across the river. And some of the boys would go and take his horse back. And then they’d meet him back there at a certain date, they’d pick him back up and they’d bring him back. And they’d walk miles, then. Didn’t pay attention to walking four or five miles.

Gatewood: Suppose he got way out in the country somewhere and couldn’t get back home. What would he do? Would people put him up sometime?

Jesse Jones: Yeah, of course. Yeah.

Emma Jones: He’d always manage to get back. You know, they’d always help him back. See that he’d made it back to the, back home, made it home. They was, and a lady, well, she ain’t been dead very long, but you know, she was a (Worley?). They lived in another holler, way over across, called connecting to Jones Holler. And this is called Park Holler. And she were going into this, over to this place, and she got to (?). And they thought they had her plum out. And she was just passed out and go behind a log, and was laying, and they found her, and brought her to him. And he sat by her and doctored her, and doctored the baby till they got over it. And pulled out of it. Every bit of their sickness.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, that old lady that started over there, they said it must have been in, you know, down in the later, in the fall of the year.

Emma Jones: This was in the fall.

Jesse Jones: She was supposed to have been a going over there to cut and dry fruit that day, apples.

Emma Jones: Dry fruit.

Jesse Jones: And come up missing. Some way or another, she never did get there. And she didn’t return back home. And when they got a little, a while, a little uneasy about it, you know, and started looking for her. She must have had a dog with her.

Emma Jones: A dog. Yeah.

Jesse Jones: The dog come back to the house. Well, they took the dog back and the dog pointed to where this old man had her hid, behind the big log. And they (?) leaves, you know, and covered her up. Her and her little daughter. He’d knocked it in the head, too, and had it hid there.

Emma Jones: But they both alive.

Jesse Jones: Had the, you know, the flies, had them covered up and everything by that time, you know, later in the day.

Emma Jones: Found them that night, real late. It was done early in the morning. Late at night, they found them. And he doctored, (wasn’t much?) hope, (perchance?) didn’t think they’d come out of it. But he could tell she was, yet her pulse beating. And he just kept on with hopes that she would get over it. (?)

Jesse Jones: And we was, while we was talking about doctors, that old man, John Hill, what little bit I knowed about him. I had an uncle that got out in the woods and shot himself. Shot himself in the arm, you know, down just above his wrist for the−

Emma Jones: That was after my grandpa was dead.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. After that, her grandpa got disabled during that time. And that there load of shot had (?) him in the arm there, you know, and maybe just about near shot his arm off, you know, so (?) they went and got the old man John Hill. And he took his arm off. Up, well, just below his elbow, really. He was trying to save his elbow, you know. And that didn’t work. And they had to go back and get him. And he come back and took it off up above his elbow. And I recollect all of that. Now that happened right here at home, you see. (It wasn’t about no horse pill?). And my mother, I recollect, my mother, it was my mother’s sister’s husband, you know.

Emma Jones: Her brother-in-law.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, it got chopped that way. And I recollect the place today as plain as daylight back over here on the hill, you know. We (?) that day they was going to be there to take that old man’s arm off. They made us kids get off out in a little open place in the yard, you know, and play out there all day while this old man John Hill was taking his arm off. Now, he’d go places and do stuff like that, so it wasn’t about no, there wasn’t no such thing as horse pills, anyways, now, you know. And my dad, he was working, digging a basement up there. Somehow or another, down in, under a log floor, you know. And he got a big chunk of dirt under (mining?). It broke loose on him unexpected. Caught his shovel, some way or another as he was making a lick, and throwed him in a twist. And jerked his kidneys loose. Well, that was just shortly after me and her there was married. Been close fifty. And this little, close fifty years ago. And some of the kids come around and them told me where I lived over there, you know, “Daddy’s just about gone.” Well, it worried me to death. I struck out and run over as quick as I could. And I went in. And he was just through cooking, you know, and just roasting out. I commenced wanting to know what doctor he’d rather change. I don’t want to (get?) his feelings or not on what doctor he’d rather change. He said, “Don’t go getting on (?) .” He said, “I’m going to have to pass on.” I said, “Don’t feel that way, Dad.” I said, “As long as there’s life, there’s a chance.” I said, “You tell me who you’d have confidence in, and I’ll try to get him here.” Well, he said, if he was going to get anybody at all, he said, he’d rather chance old man John Hill as anybody, you know. Well, I struck out, and I got down and crossed that river. Jumped in the river and went across. Waded the river, and went on over there. And I got over there, (?) old man, I had to hire a vehicle to haul him back as far as I could get him, you know. And then walk him on in. And he got (?) and gave him a good treatment of some sort, you know. And he told me, he said, “You watch him now.” He said, “His kidneys, one of them, is just plumb loose. Just floating around. And the other one’s partly loose.” He said, “You watch him now, and see if he don’t pass a lot of blood from him.” Everything happened that old man told me, and you know, my dad come right out of it. Got (?) and done lots of work after that. He had no way of X-raying that man that I know of, but just sitting (?)

Gatewood: That’s amazing.

Jesse Jones: He knows more. That man, actually, you couldn’t have want a (?) X-ray. Because he told me, see signs to watch, everything proved.

Gatewood: That’s amazing to me, these men. They didn’t have much formal education.

Jesse Jones: No. Uh uh.

Gatewood: But they watched, and they observed.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Emma Jones: Well, my grandpa, he−

Jesse Jones: Well now you’re saying about that man. Of course, that man−

Emma Jones: In the moonlight schools. You heard of that?

Gatewood: Yes.

Emma Jones: And that’s where he got his schooling.

Gatewood: Is that right?

Emma Jones: In the moonlight school. In the (?) they were held at light, moonlight, teaching. I wonder about that a lot. How (?) poorer way of school but what we live and do today. He sure did. He got his, he could tell, you know, on medicine, and how to, he got to he could write pretty could. And he could tell, you know, well, a lot of things that way, he got pretty good on writing. He had books, and he read them. He got old time books. Song books. Doctor books. And he knowed them. He’d take that, and go out, and he’d get something he could compare with it. And he studied them by the firelight, every night. These old doctor books. Studied.

Gatewood: He sure took that moonlight education a long way, didn’t he?

Jesse Jones: Yeah, boy. Yeah. You just think about a man, and go on to a place, and kind of operate, like. Take a man’s arm off twice. Of course, he know he had medicine probably powerful enough to numb him. He would have had to have that. And it’s not (?), but he done the job, you see. That man never was to know (a finer doc?)

Gatewood: And as far as I’ve been able to determine, Dr. John Hill didn’t have much education, either.

Jesse Jones: No.

Gatewood: I think he, as well as I can determine, I believe he had a college degree.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: But he never had had any medical training. But everybody said he was a good doctor.

Jesse Jones: Oh, he was. Yeah, he was, he was, he was real good.

Gatewood: And he must have had a lot of confidence, and people had confidence in him.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Emma Jones: That was (?)

Jesse Jones: He could just start, he could just stand by and (?) anyone and tell them right off what was the matter, you know.

Gatewood: Somebody was telling me they came, one man was really sick, and he came in and he just sat there for hours, just looking at him. Just sizing, before he made his decision.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. I recollect them getting him for me back then, you know, you had to be in awful bad shape, somebody did, before they’d even budge far enough to get a doctor like that. But I do recollect them getting him for me one time when I had what they call malaria fever. And of course they thought they was just going to about lose me. I was this small (body?) can recollect it. But he pulled me right out of that. Yeah.

Gatewood: You mentioned that people didn’t go for the doctor unless it was really bad. Did the people in the homes, they knew a little bit about herbs and roots?

Jesse Jones: Yeah, they sure did. And there was always someone tells you enough, you know. If one didn’t know what he really ought to, well then maybe another one knows a lot smarter than you.

Emma Jones: And this, to give the (?) when I grow up and come over in here, we’d go (about all of them, visit with ?) every one (a night?) Went up from just a little (?) They’d sit and talk about what was helpful to another. And what kind of herbs they drunk. And even having tea. And now we never see it on tables, but back then, my uncles and all of her people (?) and then we did that. My mom did that a lot. We had one night, we’d have the sassafras tea. The next night, we’d have spicewood tea. And then they’d have dried mountain tea. The mountain tea. I know Mama, getting it out of the bags, it was dry. Getting it, (?) And we’d have that with cane syrup. And we’d drink that that way. Our teas. And we’d drink that for table juice, a lot of times we had that drink.

Jesse Jones: What little experience I never had on old, that old man Dr. Powell was talking about, back at (Pine Knot?). I recollect very well and good. I must have been ten, eight or ten years old, you know. And my mother took what they call a nervous breakdown. She was in the bed, bed (fast?) for about twelve months. And my dad, he just worked and spent, and spent. And I mean, just about had him broke up, you know, trying to bring her out of that. And he wants that old man Doc Powell, and he told him what to get. Some kind of herbs. He went to the woods and went to digging them herbs and boiling that for her. And she come out of it. Got right out of the bed and come out of that.

Gatewood: Did people, did families go out and get those herbs and roots and put them in the house and keep them in the−

Emma Jones: Dry.

Gatewood: How did they do that?

Emma Jones: Well, they’d get so much of it. And if it was moist, they’d take it and hang it up and dry it out. Powder it, and have it, and that would dry it in the (?) heat at night. On papers and things, so they knew it wouldn’t mildew or something. Then they’d bag it up to the way that they would fix it to work in the medicine. Cause all the seasons, why, at certain times was when they could gather this stuff. They had to get enough in to do them through to the next season. They knew they had to get ginseng, I remember my grandpa having ginseng in his office at all times. And he had a little mill, and he’d grind it on. He’d grind it. Grind it (?) little, it was fine. He used that with yellow root. He had a yellow root. And he’d grind that, he’d grind it up. And he’d put that, just so much ounces on (?). And an ounce today, we called it, he did, at that time, on a knife blade. And used quinine. That was something I ain’t seen for years. it was in little bottles, small bottle. And he’d buy that. Somewhere he would find that and get that (?) to go with (this mess?) And use that in these herbs. And they used, well, the good, the way they would make up medicine, and they kept that medicine that way, because they knew it would keep. He had to put enough of the moonshine.

Jesse Jones: Alcohol.

Emma Jones: Alcohol. In it.

Jesse Jones: To get it to keep, you know. Yeah.

Emma Jones: To keep.

Jesse Jones: They kept that.

Gatewood: They’d store it in the alcohol, and mix it with it, so it would stay−

Emma Jones: Yeah. Stored it. And they used to put that in big jugs.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, you’d take an old man like that, you could wander about his home, you’d find a big jug sitting somewhere, you know. That’s the stuff, you know, that fixed his medicine.

Emma Jones: Well, he always gave it to you (?) (He never tasted?)

Gatewood: Good, good, good alcohol.

Emma Jones: Yeah, it was real good.

Gatewood: Good corn whiskey.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Emma Jones: Made out of corn.

Gatewood: Didn’t make it cheap. Made it good.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. They made it, boy, they made good. I recollect my daddy cooking it. And he took a spill one time, got a hard look, you know. He got in with some of his brothers. And he get back and have (?) cook it. I’d hide back in the woods and watch for− [laughter]

Emma Jones: I never did (?)

Jesse Jones: They cooked what they called straight corn (?) I mean−

Emma Jones: It was good stuff. They made their medicine with (?)

Gatewood: It was a good thing that somebody made it, because they wouldn’t have had it for the medicine, would they?

Jesse Jones: No.

Gatewood: The good stuff. And who could afford to buy that (?) stuff?

Jesse Jones: No, you see, they about had to have a little bit of that to keep for medicine through the warm weather, you see. In that day and time, you see, there wasn’t no electric, there wasn’t no juice for, there wasn’t none of that any junk.

Emma Jones: They couldn’t freeze it. They didn’t have a (?)

Jesse Jones: Of course they only way they’d have keeping their milk and butter would be a good cold spring, you see. And you can get back in, like we was talking, back in these jungles, you know, in these old (settled ?) places. And if you get lucky, you’ll find you a good cold spring. Cause they tried to get near that, you see, to keep for milk and butter.

Gatewood: Settlers. This is very interesting. I’m going to turn the tape over. It’s coming to the end.

[End Side A. Begin Side B.]

Gatewood: Mr. Jesse, we well know that there was this unfortunate incident in Dr. Clark’s life. How old was he when he killed that man? You know how old he was?

Emma Jones: He would be up around his forties.

Gatewood: Around his forties.

Jesse Jones: He would have been older than that, wasn’t he?

Emma Jones: No. It was just around his forties when that happened. Cause my mother was just twelve years old.

Jesse Jones: Is that right?

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: What have you heard, the way things happened? What happened (about the thing?)

Jesse Jones: Well, they’d always just been playing with him, you know. Just using him for a play fellow. People lived further away back in than John, had to maybe come across these (?) to get through pathways going over to the Stearns Railroad Works, back in there, you know. And they, I don’t know, just learned to whoop and holler, and maybe crawl in close around and climb trees, you know, and holler and prank with him. And they just kind of used him for a play fellow, you know. And I heard the fellows, the fellows told me that he come by with a big load of hay on his wagon. He’d been all the way over on the and got a big load of hay on his wagon. When they got in, kind of in here, and on that mountain up there, some of them come this far and taken off. When they got about even with that old man’s house, they was lucky to get on out of the way. At that time. Because he fired on them a few times with that big gun. And that fellow told me, if it hadn’t been for that load of hay is all that saved them. But they kept playing with him like that, you know, and thinking there wasn’t no harm in him. He wound up killing one of them.

Gatewood: They were there on his property, or in his barn?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Gatewood: Then did he, he was tried, and he went to the penitentiary. How many years did he have?

Emma Jones: Oh, he just had to stay (?) it was nine months. He put nine months (there?) But he went on his (term with the boy??? ) He stood in the boy’s (shoes?)

Jesse Jones: The boy being in on it, too, you know. The boy might have helped do the shooting.

Emma Jones: He didn’t want (?) [both talking at once]

Jesse Jones: I guess the boy was in on it.

Emma Jones: He didn’t want no one picking on him.

Jesse Jones: I always heard he shot, he killed that fellow, and then when this other one started running off, why, the boy shot him. In the back. But they said the old man wanted to (?) his land, you know, and asked him if his mother knows where he’s at. And he said, “Yeah, Mama knows I’m over here.” And he said, “Well, all good, good, then.” But some of them said he told him, he said, “Well, if I knowed your mother didn’t know where you was at, I’d (?) you up and take you out there and put you in that big cage.”

Gatewood: Those were rough days, I’ll tell you. [laughter]

Emma Jones: People (?) people just take so much. Now if people was (?) today, people would know to leave them alone. There wouldn’t be so much going on.

Jesse Jones: Now I was just sitting here on the porch talking to that boy of mine today. I can recollect a time when something like that (?) happened in the country. You know, people didn’t go hollering for the law. They just went looking for them their selves. My dad got one of his close friends killed back over there in . And why he took his gun and hunted, I don’t know the days and days he hunted that fellow.

Gatewood: Yeah, you have to put things in perspective. It’s a different day we live in now than then. Very different.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Gatewood: Now you, most of your recollections of your grandaddy was after this unfortunate thing had happened, wasn’t it?

Emma Jones: Oh, yes.

Gatewood: Now did he continue to work with his herbs and roots, and even at times doctor?

Emma Jones: Absolutely. He worked in herbs, roots. And he’d send for us kids and talk to us and tell us what we should do, and how we should obey and mind. And grow (?) and take schooling and be careful. He was so proud of them days of being good schooling. You know, he thought it was real good to have a teacher. And to have them books, and spelling books and things to go on through school. And he would tell us study and put our heads to have some purpose to make something (for it can be?) taken away from us. He was an awful good fellow about sitting around, he was always feeding something he wanted us to eat. He had always had melons, and mush melons, and fruits and (stuff?). And there was plenty that growed in them days back then. You know, all the rest of the children around grow a lot of stuff and bring back in to him. And he’d always have (plenty?) when we always come (?) back then after we moved over here. Well he’d always sit around on his big bench on the porch and peel apples for us. And I remember peeling good (meller?) apples for me to eat lots of times. And you know, he would talk about things. And he wanted us to be careful about how we ate. He didn’t want us to eat too much sweet and too much sugar, stuff like that.

Gatewood: Way ahead of his (?) for that time, wasn’t it. They’re just finding that out now.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Emma Jones: That’s right. He said it would ruin our teeth. And lots of things of sweetening, now he believed in (this old time?), making our sorghum, eating that. He didn’t think that we ought to eat sugar. You know, a lot of kids are going to sugar on their tomatoes. Sugar on something. He believed you had to eat salt. And he was awfully good when we was around. Always talking. Well at times, he was talking, he was talking all the time around (?). He was the talkingest old man that ever (was lived?), (that’s why I ?) remember so much. Because he talked to us so much about everything. And he was a happy person. After, just before he, about three or four years before he died, they were a school building around there. And he got there around the church, they had a school and church, and he went to church. He went around that church a lot, and he joined that church. And was baptized.

Gatewood: He was.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: I was wondering if he was a member of the church.

Emma Jones: He belonged to a Baptist church.

Gatewood: That was later on. He baptized late in life. Rather late in life.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: About 45 or so. That’s interesting. I was wondering about that. That’s interesting. Now did he, after this, he was legally, probably his license was taken away and everything, he wasn’t supposed to practice medicine. But did he, at times, with people that he knew and trusted? Did he go ahead and practice?

Emma Jones: Yeah, (?) anytime they called or something, (?) But always someone came and asked for something. He always treated them out, give them their medicine. Or he’d go see them, just (?) he’d go check. And he was with the family, his family, some of the family, you know. They always went back on him to treat them and doctor them in their sickness.

Gatewood: He lived quite a while, didn’t he, after that?

Emma Jones: Yeah. He lived quite a while after that.

Gatewood: When did he die?

Emma Jones: (?)

Jesse Jones: I believe it was 1927. 1927, I believe.

Gatewood: Yeah. That’s right.

Emma Jones: Yeah. 1926.

Gatewood: That’s right.

Jesse Jones: Well see if you can figure out, I was only, I was born in 1914. You can tell by how old I was, see. I didn’t live, you see, down in around in here no place. The only time I recollect seeing him just pass through, you see. I’d pass through, I reflect different times I see the old man sitting on the porch. I recollect very well how he looked, you know. I can recollect that much about him, is about all, you know, that I can recollect.

Emma Jones: I had some half brothers, they were grown. They were grown up, you know. And they would just enjoy coming and staying all night with him. To get to hear him tell. And they enjoyed him so much. And he was just as, (?) close to him as he was to me. Because he didn’t make any difference in his kids. Not to my half brothers and sisters.

Gatewood: Now let’s go to you all’s experience of the mines. I don’t, I know that Mr. Jones was a miner for a number of years. I saw you, that’s a good picture of him back then. Good of your granddaddy, too. I’d like to get that some day if I ever get my video fixed. When did you go into the mines?

Jesse Jones: I believe about ’37.

Gatewood: You all were married then, were−

Emma Jones: Yes.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: And why did you all not choose to live in the mine camp? What mine did you work in?

Jesse Jones: I started in what they call Mine Seventeen.

Emma Jones: Seventeen. Mine Seventeen.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, Mine Seventeen. But they weren’t but numbers, a lot of them then, you know.

Gatewood: The Stearns (?)

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Stearns had mine all up and down them big hollers. And they weren’t but numbers, you know. I started in what they called Mine Seventeen at the old (Sankma?) Hill, they called it. That’s up above Pine Cliff. Up Rock Creek. Well, the reason I choose not being in the camp, I was raised, you see, back in the (jungle?) on a little old farm of a place. And I couldn’t get over, I’d been teached hard on trying to, done had more experience on trying to grow gardens and stuff than most of our young people does these days, you know. And I couldn’t get that out of me. I wanted to be out where I could grow me a little garden and stuff, you know. So I bought me a little place about six, about seven acres of ground. I stayed there six years then, and they worked that mine out. Now when it worked out, I had to move, of course, to another mine for work. But by that time I’d got ahead a little, you know, enough to, I come over in here and bought all this tract of land this old man doctor used to own. It had changed hands. Actually, he buyed that whole country up. They’d about, there must have been a couple thousand acres of it all together to start, you know. Just that whole country up through there. Plumb across that main ridge. But he buyed that up with his kids, you know. Supposed to give each kid 25 acres or something. And divided the whole country up with them. But they come out of, his (maybe one?), the family he’d married into, why, he traded his place off. And by that time, they’d added maybe another share or two in with it, you see. When I come in, I bought all that they had.

Gatewood: You were doing pretty well in the mines, were you? Making pretty good money?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Gatewood: Working hard, I imagine.

Jesse Jones: And during that war, World War II there, I doubled back and worked two shifts (?) I’d go down, come out the mine, you know, go down and get me a bite to eat at the store. Fool around, catch a (?) and go back in. Put up two shifts before I’d come back to the house. And I worked down there−

Emma Jones: It was ten hours then, where it’s just eight hours now.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Ten-hour shifts.

Gatewood: Twenty hours.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. I’d put up twenty hours before I’d ever return to sleep a little. And I’d lay down and sleep two or three hours, and maybe go right back. And I’d put in six, seven shifts that away during the, through the week, you see. And I recollect coming up a time they run on Sunday. They run the mines on Sunday for about three different Sundays, straight through. Said, you know, that they’re trying to help gain the war. See, there was a lot of, they was getting a lot of help from that. We was passing every, I mean, signing every Red Cross paper that come through, and you name it, you know. Just everything.

Emma Jones: War bonds.

Jesse Jones: They signed them. I mean, they scheduled the mines to run there three straight Sundays. And you can imagine what I went through with. And me and her got, see, we done already see go on there and getting married a while. We had a young one or two, you see.

Emma Jones: We had three kids.

Jesse Jones: And I got by not having to go to the army. I got deferred because, by staying right on that job, you see. And I recollect certain times he’d come around, maybe he’d get a hold of a draggy fellow once in a while, maybe try to lay off a day or something. He’d get out and threaten him, you know, “I’ll have you reported in, if you don’t get out here.”

Gatewood: You were really in the war, but you were in the mine.

Jesse Jones: We were, yeah. We were. We were actually in the war, and here you’re putting up with, it was pitiful, with the money I get. And this extra shift, you see, on Sunday, was every bit donated to Red Cross. And this and that.

Gatewood: Is that right? I didn’t know that.

Jesse Jones: Yes. Yeah.

Gatewood: I guess you all did buy some bonds, too, though, didn’t you? And then later you cashed them in?

Jesse Jones: Yeah, we bought some bonds along during that time. And then later, cashed them in.

Gatewood: But that’s something new to me. I didn’t know that you actually worked for the Red Cross at times.

Jesse Jones: Oh, lord, mercy. That−

Emma Jones: Well that was (?)

Jesse Jones: It was pitiful at the money we give them. We wouldn’t turn them down.

Gatewood: That’s new to me. Another thing−

Jesse Jones: Yeah. When I started there in that mine, this is an experience on how it was operated a little, you know. See, we went in there and drilled and (charted on the solid?). There wasn’t even no machine. Nothing but just an old, well, we had just an old crank drill we drilled with, you see.

Gatewood: (?)

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Gatewood: And then by World War II, what did you, did you, you didn’t have much machinery then, did you?

Jesse Jones: No. Uh uh. No. I didn’t have scarcely much. I think they might have had one, might have got a hold of one or two oh, what they call drag (type?) bottom machines. Just pull along with a chain, you know. But when we’d get into pillar work or anything, we’d never see one of them. They would never bring it around.

Gatewood: Just had your pick.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: And shovel it in the−

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: What did you have, mules pull the cars out? Or did you have a truck?

Jesse Jones: No, by the time I started there, they’d just pulled the mules out. There was old big mule entrance and everything, you know. They just pulled them out and pulled them back down, traded them off. They had big barnfuls of them mules.

Gatewood: When, I’m interested in this thing where when somebody would get hurt or somebody would get sick, how the miners would kind of get the money together. What did you all call it? How did you do that? To help somebody if they got in trouble, health wise.

Jesse Jones: You mean about financing for the doctor visits?

Gatewood: Yes. Right.

Jesse Jones: Well they had a, we kept a (?) there. The company at that day and time packed a good insurance.

Emma Jones: Blue Cross.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. They sure did.

Gatewood: Blue Cross. Is that right?

Jesse Jones: Yes. See, they packed the Blue Cross and Blue Shield. And we had pretty good insurance. If you ever go (?), just lay down. Stay ever how long. And I recollect getting mashed up once. Got a big rock on me. You can see a little sign of it. [laughter]

Gatewood: It’s still left there. Yeah.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, I got mashed up once. And see, the day that I went in there, at that time being, the only way you can get in the mines at all was to go in with someone that’s already in there, see, and had the experience. They wouldn’t hire a man if he didn’t, if there wasn’t someone to take him in with. See, that was the law. The kind of law they had then. So I slipped down that old Mine Seventeen, and my wife there, she had about three brothers already working there. I slipped down there and (?) he said, “I’d hire you, I need to hire someone.” He said, “I’d hire you, but you ain’t got no one, there’s no one here that you can go in with.” I said, “Yeah.” I said, “My wife’s got three brothers working here.” “Oh, well,” he said. So he gave me okay to go to the doctor and be examined. And before I got away from there, though, to go to the doctor to even be examined, here they come out with a man on a car, you know, and oh, he broke all to pieces. The superintendent looked right over at me. He said, “Do you reckon you can stand this and able to work here?” I said, “I’m needing to work. I believe I can.” And went on to it, you know. And his idea was that that was the law on getting in. But once you got in, why, the problem was done. I recollect the first day I went in, I went in with her brother. Worked with him that one day, and the place tried to fall in all day where we was at, you know. Superintendents sat around and watched it for us, all day for us to try to work a little. I went back the next day and he pulled us out of that place, and sent me over with one of my cousins and another old man. I worked right there, too, with them. And from that day, he sent me back down by myself. Way, mile back on a big (empty?) by myself. You see (?)

Gatewood: Well now they had, in addition to the insurance, they had company doctors, did they?

Jesse Jones: Oh, yeah. They had a company doctor, at every, every camp. But they had, they sure did. They had, lord, I can say, I can recollect the day and time there when they had about three, four, they had five or six company doctors. Yeah.

Gatewood: Now the company doctor, he’d be responsible for all the men working, even those that weren’t in the camp, you could get medical care from−

Jesse Jones: Yeah. If you wasn’t even in the camp, yeah, same thing, you know. As long as you was working you had the same benefits, see. Yeah. Same protection. I recollect one time getting my toe mashed, you know. I got it mashed pretty bad, and I never did even report it in to the superintendent in the mine. I was just a nervous type fellow. I suffered to the last before I’d give up a day of work, you’d see. And I didn’t figure it would amount to that much. And I went on back to the house with my toe mashed all to pieces. I believe I went back, maybe, and worked one day on it. I wouldn’t tell the superintendent what was wrong. But lord, they got that old mine (?) and they (set up the awfullest thing?) you ever seen. I struck out and went on up to the doctor. Got treated for it.

Gatewood: Do you remember which doctor that was?

Jesse Jones: Sampson. Old man Doc Sampson, ( at ???) Yeah, he was our doctor there. And he was the midwife doctor, you know.

Gatewood: He was.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Poor fellow. I recollect going there to try to get him, you know. Let’s see, the first kid we had is born, born before I went in the mines, wasn’t it?

Emma Jones: Yeah. He came to our house. Three times.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, and I went in there, trying to get that old man to go to my house when my first kid was born. I don’t know, he’s kind of a peculiar type fellow. He didn’t know me from nobody. He kind of turned me down. He wouldn’t go. He wouldn’t go to the house. So I walked back down and I took up the railroad, and went on up to what they call old (Philadelphti?), you know. And there was an old man Dr. Floyd there, at that little mining town. Asked him would he go. “Yeah. Oh, yeah.” And I got him to my house then.

Gatewood: And that was with your first baby?

Jesse Jones: That was the first baby.

Gatewood: And you weren’t working in the mines then.

Jesse Jones: No, not when the first baby was born.

Emma Jones: (?)

Jesse Jones: I got him right off of . Which may not even have been (poured down?) But Simpson, he was getting old, already kind of achy by that time a little bit. And he was kind of callous and funny, if he didn’t know you. If he ever learned to know you, he’d do anything. And after I see then, shortly I move in on this little place out there, and along come another kid, you know. I (won’t bring?) Doc Simpson, (?) When he got inside of my little place that I owned, I had it covered up with garden and all kinds of vegetables, you know, had a patch of pumpkins planted in there. Lord, they were just a laying, you could have walked all over that patch on them big pumpkins. And he was a pumpkin lover! [laughs] He got his eyes on them. And when he got ready to leave, I went out and pulled a big old pumpkin to give him. And you know, as long as that old man lived, I hauled him back pumpkins. He had, the mine’s all shut down there and everything disappeared. The old man lived on there a pretty good while, and he got located out there next to Whitley. Little place called Dixie, I believe, right in that (?), at that time being, it went by the name of or something.

Emma Jones: (?) he lived till he died (?)

Jesse Jones: But he still doctored. Even on out there, you see. And I could go out there to him, go in there and get medicine any time I wanted to. I recollect on after I moved over here, you see, a long time I go back there and get medicine off of him. I recollect getting something (?) big old hog I had around there once. Looked like it was going to die. I walked in out there at old man Simpson, I told him, I said, “Mr. Simpson, I’d like just a little bunch of strongest penicillin pills you got.” “Why,” he said, “what do you want with them?” I said, “I hate to tell you.” I said, “I hate to tell you, but I got a big old hog that’s going to die if I don’t find something.” And I said, “I’ll have to tell you, I reckon.” So he sat down there and told me three or four different things. If something be wrong with that hog, I asked if penicillin would work on it. And he gave me a bunch of them and I come on back, and I’m pouring them down that hog, and he come right out of it. [laughter]

Gatewood: Do you remember a Dr. Meese?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: He worked in one of the mines, didn’t he?

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: Then later on, I think he had a private practice over there at .

Emma Jones: I’ve been over to his office, Dr. Meese.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah. Lord, yeah. We had (?), you know. And something got wrong with one of her babies. Got the diarrhea and the fluid all left it, you know, in bad shape. I recollect having it in ’s hospital and run it up there and kept it about six, seven days. And of course they maybe helped it, but they liked a long way seemed like curing it, you know. And I come back, and went out there to old Dr. Meese. I drove him to go all the way back to and get the medicine that I was supposed to have, you know. I took my bottles and went back in out there to old Dr. Meese. He told me, he said, “Now, I can’t tell you that I’m a giving you the same medicine.” Because he wasn’t allowed to, I guess. But he said, “I think I know what I’m a doing.” And he went in and got two or three different kinds of medicine. I know he got as much as two different kinds. And mixed it up in a bottle and shook it up, and it was directly same looking stuff that I got at the clinic. It worked just perfect. That old man, he knows what he’s doing, but he couldn’t tell me, you know, if he was a giving her medicine.

Gatewood: Going back to the mines there, did they take a certain amount out of your paycheck for the medical care?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Gatewood: Do you remember about what they started, and about how much they took?

Jesse Jones: Well, I don’t, that day and time wasn’t much, maybe a dollar or two or three. Two or three dollars.

Emma Jones: It was in black every time on the statements. You looked at the statement and (?) on the statement. Some months a little higher, some months a little lower. So (?)

Gatewood: And that gave you, that gave you the insurance and the doctor?

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: And did they have any hospital or anything?

Jesse Jones: No. No, they didn’t have no hospital. You had to get out on to another one, to or . But they did have some good doctors that day and time.

Gatewood: Seems like they did.

Jesse Jones: Oh, they did. They had some good ones.

Gatewood: And you know something that I really wonder about, how did they, and I don’t know whether you can all even tell me, it’s a pity they’re dead, and we don’t know. But how did they relate to all these folk type doctors and midwives? And, you know, did they ever cross paths? Like all the midwives. Certainly some of the people must have preferred to go ahead and have some of the children with midwives. Did they say that was fine? Or how did they work with those? Do you know−

Jesse Jones: Do you mean as far as the company and the doctors (source?) I mean, their line-up of business?

Gatewood: Yeah, well, I guess what I’m trying to say is did they accept the old ways?

Jesse Jones: Yes. Yeah.

Emma Jones: The old ways. When they’d hear about miners having a kid, yeah, they just said that’s okay if they got (?)

Jesse Jones: It didn’t cost you anything extra for a labor (case?). It didn’t cost you anything extra.

Emma Jones: One kid’s all I ever had in the hospital. All the rest of them was born at home. Out of fourteen, sixteen kids. I have fourteen living.

Gatewood: That’s wonderful.

Emma Jones: They was all born in the home.

Gatewood: Let me turn this.

[End 17 E 22a, Side B. Begin 17 E 22b, Side A.]

Jesse Jones: −you know, about who they got. There’s a chance, you know.

Gatewood: So you don’t think that the company doctors would have stood in the way of somebody using a−

Jesse Jones: No, they did not in that day and time.

Gatewood: I mean, the company doctors wouldn’t have stood in the way if they wanted to use a country doctor or if they wanted to use a midwife.

Jesse Jones: No. You never heard of nothing like that in them days.

Emma Jones: No. (?)

Jesse Jones: No. We got stuff going on these days beyond, you know, I mean, (?)

Gatewood: It just, it’s just amazing to me whatever happened to all the midwives.

Emma Jones: Well, one that I know, she (?) in the day that she did do all the work, she did it with the Dr. Simpson.

Jesse Jones: She stayed with Doc Simpson all the time. (Donna Mae?) would still be on after old man Doc Simpson wasn’t able to get out and even go. Stephens of Whitley.

Gatewood: I know them. I’ve interviewed them.

Emma Jones: (I could get?) the record, you may have a record on her.

Gatewood: I know, she’s a great person.

Emma Jones: She is great.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Well, now− [all talking] She doctored under him all time.

Emma Jones: She were his nurse for years. Dr. Simpson’s nurse for years. was.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, she sure was.

Gatewood: That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Because she was a traditional midwife. She’s had no training. It was just her experience.

Emma Jones: She was experienced, and she was his nurse for years. And she first, when she first commenced doctoring in the midwife line, she was, got some training, she got her schooling and training, and she came over this part. And she married, she had five kids. So she got to talking to this doctor, and went in with him, and he just took her in. And she had some books, and some schooling, she took some schooling. Like they get now, up here at , vocational school. She took a, we call vocational school. In them days, and she went into that school in , and got her diploma to be a doctor, a midwife. And then she went in under him, and she’s been a midwife for many years now. I just don’t know how many years.

Gatewood: She said she’s been practicing over forty years.

Jesse Jones: I guess she has.

Emma Jones: Yes. Yes, I guess so. I know I’ve been with her a lot. Been in her home a lot. And she’s having, you know, the more cases coming in than I think that the woman could handle.

Jesse Jones: You’re always talking about them country doctors. It doesn’t make no difference if you never worked over at that company. You’d go in there and they’d treat you just fine. Yeah. They sure would. They would treat you just the same as if you was a working man. I know people, even I know one person even got snake bit, run in over to old man Simpson in that (co-op?), you know. He’d do anything in the world he could, you know.

Gatewood: Especially if (?) there was no other place to be.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: How did they get around? Those company doctors? Did they ride their horse? Walk?

Jesse Jones: Well, they rid a horse. They’d even ride a horse. When I went and got the first baby we had born, old man Floyd, he rid a horse, a mule, all the way from up there at (?) to back down here at Junction. I called him. See, I called him when I got there at Junction, you see. And they had phones, you know, all up and down the road. I got there. After Simpson kind of turned me down, he claimed he couldn’t, wasn’t able to make it to my house, you see. I went down there and called Floyd. Floyd said, “I got any way of getting there, I’d be right there.” I said, “What about me bringing a good mule up there? Would you ride that?” “Yes, sir. You bring me a mule and I’ll get right there.” Now that was the way of that one.

Gatewood: Now how is it that you had all these midwives, and I might be wrong, but it seemed like in the twenties, even as late as the twenties, and maybe in the thirties, you had a lot of midwives roundabout here and there. What I wonder is why did they all disappear, except little old down there.

Jesse Jones: I’ll tell you, they died out, a lot of them.

Gatewood: But why didn’t they train others?

Jesse Jones: Well after that (kid?), I’ll tell you, I don’t know. The laws and everything maybe gets funny. And maybe something come along that they can’t bear, bear with, some way, you know. Now there was an old man right over here in this next holler over there. Old man by the name of Joe Roberts was a midwife. Why, he’d get out and go at all times in the night. Well, my dad was.

Gatewood: He was?

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: Is that right?

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: You know, that’s something that’s new to me. I didn’t know that men were ever midwives.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Well, my dad went and born babies all over this entire country.

Emma Jones: Oh, lord, I’ve been all around here (?), many and many cases come up, just me by myself, work it out, and I did. I’ve worked out many cases.

Gatewood: You have.

Emma Jones: I seen what it was to do, I’ve known it was to do, and all (keep having faith, getting along?) [phone interruption]

Gatewood: Emma, you said you’ve had times that you’ve delivered babies. As a nurse.

Emma Jones: Yes. I always had the enjoyment of (?) it was with, I’d give them all (?) [laughs]

Gatewood: You’ve helped sometimes?

Emma Jones: Yes. I’ve been with her at her home. (?) She showed me a lot of things that, you know, I’ve kept in my head.

Gatewood: Now , when she was younger, I guess she went around to the homes, too, didn’t she?

Emma Jones: Yes, she did.

Gatewood: She just got where she couldn’t−

Emma Jones: I mean, she had her whole−

Jesse Jones: She did, if a kid had, if it come up a case like that and the woman had to be taken care of−

Emma Jones: (?)

Jesse Jones: Lived a long ways away, you know, you’d just take the woman down and set her down and go on and off do your work, about your business. I took her there and you must have stayed there a month.

Emma Jones: I stayed with (?)

Gatewood: Is that right?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. See, I’d be down there in the mines, working, you know, and I’d be uneasy leave her way back over her. I’d pick her up and take her out there.

Emma Jones: I would (?) this community right here, this holler. But to one of my sisters (?) I’d go there, the baby was (born?) . I’d (?) because it’s too many miles (?) that I could get any (mid doctor?) there. I had to go into, well she’d always show me how she did a lot. And I took care of her. And there was another lady that lived around (Stilldale?), it was a ( cast iron?) she wanted (?), said, “There’s nobody here in this country around here that can help us.” I said, no. We just can’t find, the mid-doctor (Dopers?) and he’s not in this part now. And I said, “Well, let’s go before church.” I said, “We could get (father?).” I said, “Can your mother-in-law help you?” She said, “She’s too nervous.” I said, “There ain’t no time to be nervous.” So she got along just fine. Had a big girl. I named that girl. She was Joanne Coffey. I’ve always known her name, Joanne.

Gatewood: You got to name them.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: That’s beautiful. And you say your father, your father was mid, practiced, too?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. He−

Gatewood: When was that? How far was that back?

Jesse Jones: That was back in the thirties, and on up there. Plumb on up into the forties, I guess.

Gatewood: What was his name?

Jesse Jones: Rick Jones. Yeah.

Gatewood: Do you remember any other, the old midwives, and some men, that were−

Jesse Jones: Old man Joe Roberts. Yeah. Lived back over here−

Emma Jones: Joe, I’d go with him a lot. I’ve been with Joe many, many cases. Always got (?) “Come on, Em, let’s go.” He called me Em. [laughs] So I’d always go with him. A lot of time. A lot of times.

Gatewood: Well, you’ve had a lot of good experience.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Emma Jones: (Be with them?)

Gatewood: You know, a real interesting thing I’ve observed, you know, doctors talk about delivering babies. talks about waiting on them.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: That’s something, something about those words. Like “delivering,” could you comment on that? I’m kind of a word person. But there is something when you say, there’s a difference there.

Emma Jones: Well, you’ve got to have patience. They have to have patience. They’ve got to put trust in that. And they can’t just depend on the doctor. They’ve got to look at their self, to help their self. You know, in that case. Because if they give up and just think it’s all left in the hands of the doctor, I think they’re getting an awful bad shake. They’ve got to look after them self for the expected, and know when they were going to make it through. And help do what they are told to do. Mind and take the (?) what they’re supposed to do when they’re in labor. Watch the time, the pains. When you get, time them down to every minute, every five minutes, on down to two minutes, then every, when it gets that way, you’ve got to get on (?), they’ve got to watch you. It won’t last long. The baby won’t last long.

Jesse Jones: But he’s talking about the words, though. It does sound funny, the meanings of the words. “Deliver” and “waiting on them.”

Gatewood: And I guess it does take, and I guess that’s one of the reasons, doctors, they’ve gotten so busy that they don’t have time to come out to the house and wait around.

Emma Jones: Nowadays, the doctors hardly ever come to no one’s house anymore.

Gatewood: They all have to go to the hospital.

Jesse Jones: You couldn’t get one hardly at all. I’m telling you right, you couldn’t get one.

Emma Jones: No, not nowadays. And they have to start now from the time they get, well, six weeks, they have to start going to the doctor.

Jesse Jones: See, in this day and time, a doctor won’t, these real doctors won’t wait on a woman at all (?) they start right at the beginning, you see, and check them all the way through.

Gatewood: Well now, that’s kind of good, in a way. They do need prenatal care, don’t they?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: And that’s something that is an improvement. They do need to look and to see if there’s going to be complications.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, there ain’t nothing wrong about that.

Gatewood: But I know what you mean, though. That can be very expensive.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: And some people can’t afford that. It’s what’s needed. Everybody ought to have that.

Jesse Jones: Oh, yeah.

Gatewood: But some people can’t afford it.

Emma Jones: Can’t afford it.

Gatewood: And some people probably don’t, unaware that it’s necessary, either.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. But it had been back in that day and time, they may, probably plenty of them (wouldn’t do it?)

Gatewood: Yeah. Probably now there’s more.

Jesse Jones: Oh, yeah.

Gatewood: That’s a very interesting thing, it seems to me. What do you think about, what was the value of the doctors actually coming to the home as opposed to going to, you having to take them many miles up to the hospital.

Emma Jones: You mean the price?

Gatewood: Well, I know the price was a lot different. But the quality of care.

Jesse Jones: Oh. I’d say you’re plumb off when you have to take them plumb away, and they used to be you could get them to your home. yeah. You’re plumb, plumb away from it. Back there when that old man take all his herbs and go and sit down right there and stay, you see. There was something about that, you know. That done them people about as much good, and maybe more, as the herbs did.

Emma Jones: The care part.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. The care, you see. And the love and care that they had for one another.

Emma Jones: If people today showed you they loved you and loved to take care of you, you’d put more confidence in them. And if you ain’t got no confidence in a doctor, you’d better not go to him. You’ve got to have your confidence. If I didn’t have confidence in the doctor I was going to, I wouldn’t go to him. I would quit seeing him.

Gatewood: How do you think people, most people, feel when they have to, when they go to a doctor, one of these big, big old hospitals? I mean, are they afraid?

Jesse Jones: Yeah, they probably would be. But most of the times, when they (?) half the people through these (jungles?) that they have to go there in pretty bad shape, I mean, it’s just something where they wouldn’t, I mean, you wouldn’t be, wouldn’t be all that bad afraid, I’d say. Because you’d be in bad enough shape, you’d be needing help so bad, you see.

Gatewood: Well I just know when I see people having come to the hospitals, it look like to me they just, they don’t know where they are. They don’t, they’re afraid, because it’s so big. They don’t know where to go. I can’t believe that’s good for anybody’s health.

Jesse Jones: No. No.

Gatewood: But I see what you mean, they don’t go until they’re in such bad shape that−

Jesse Jones: Yeah. A lot of them, a lot of them, the fear is gone. Wore out. With a lot of them. Of course, like you say, a lot of them go in just for, you know, just for check ups or this and that and the other. I’d say the (fear of them?) might be about as much damage as the good they’re going to get. You know, (?) if there ain’t all that much wrong with anybody, see. If you’re broke up or crippled up or something serious, why−

Emma Jones: It’s more your ailment or what’s bothering you than anything else. If you tell the doctor what they’re doctoring for. If they know what they’re doctoring for, it’s okay. If they have to experiment on me, why, that makes a bad thing. You know. It makes it bad for you. It makes it bad for the doctor. If he can’t understand what he’s doctoring for.

Jesse Jones: We’re actually living in a day and time now, you go out here to these doctors just offhanded, if you ain’t been there very much, first thing they want to know, what’s the matter with you. If you can’t tell them something’s the matter with you, they don’t know where to start. [laughs] A lot of people get confused in that, you know. They think well, if they’re going to have to know as much as the doctor− [laughs] But now, they ain’t got time to check you out, trying to hunt for what’s wrong anymore, you know. You’re going to have to tell them something when you go in there. You’re going to have−

Emma Jones: (?) used to be. People are (?) [both talking]

Jesse Jones: They ain’t got that time (?)

Emma Jones: They’re not strong. Bodies of younger people is not as strong as they used to be.

Gatewood: Can they endure the pain like people used to?

Emma Jones: They can’t endure the pain like people used to.

Jesse Jones: No, I’d say they’re not comparing strong like a lot of them old people.

Emma Jones: (I know?) mothers are today. So many of them say, “How could you do this?” Or, “How did you do that?” “I can’t,” they’ll say, “I can’t.” You know, they build it up to say they can do that thing, because they think they’re too weak. They’re really not, the hopes of being, that material in their body to do like we grow up in years back. I don’t think (?) Well it would be like (?) as I have. I hope they don’t.

Gatewood: I just, I just wonder, the little thing that shocked me the other day in the paper, I don’t know whether you all saw that. It was in the paper. This child that died cause the man couldn’t get− did you all see that? The baby.

Emma Jones: (?) No, we didn’t see it.

Gatewood: Well this guy was out at work. He didn’t have any, he didn’t have any−

Jesse Jones: Seemed to me like I heard someone talk about that, seeing that in a paper, a little bit.

Gatewood: It was just a couple, three or four days ago. I was in at the time. A guy lost a job and didn’t have, his wife got pregnant. And they were pretty old, she was pretty old. But she got pregnant, unfortunately, as it turned out. He didn’t have any money much, except for his unemployment. And it wasn’t too much. He had, they didn’t blame anybody, but they went to the hospital there in . And they got afraid because they didn’t think they was going to be able to pay for it. He was trying to work out something. And they didn’t seem cooperative. They said, “That’s just bad luck. You either get some money or you get a Medicare card or something.” So they decided well, they’d go over to this home nursing thing. And maybe that would be the best place. And then he got an ear infection or something, spent what little bit they did have. They didn’t have much money. About the time the baby started to come, it was overdue to start with, they took way sixty miles over to this hospital in . And they didn’t have but ten dollars to their name at that point. Got over there and they found out the baby wasn’t going to be able to be born naturally, and had to send them all the way to Lexington. By the time they got there, the baby was dead.

Emma Jones: (?)

Gatewood: And you know, that worried me. How many people are we going to have like that?

Emma Jones: We’ll have (?) lots

Jesse Jones: It’s looking bad.

Gatewood: And there’s not many people like you around to help them.

Jesse Jones: No. It’s looking−

Emma Jones: It is. I studied about that a lot myself.

Jesse Jones: They just getting plumb away from what they are there, looks like it needs to be kind of practice more, these herb business and so on.

Gatewood: Well, we just, we live in−

Jesse Jones: People used to live, and live to be pretty old. A lot of them lived, you know, a good, long life. Someone say they’re trying to get to (?) or (?) back on people, but I don’t know. I’m afraid they ain’t going to do nothing much of that. But now back there, you know, people live to be old back in them (jungles?). They watched after one another, and doctored with herbs.

Emma Jones: They purely watched after one another was a lot.

Gatewood: That was more, even, than the herbs and roots?

Emma Jones: Yes.

Jesse Jones: Well that stuff was all put here for the benefit of people, you know. In this day and time, they (?) gather it up and sold and took in and compound in the stuff like that. Matter of fact, they’ve been sent right back to these drugstores and dished out around.

Emma Jones: We’re losing a lot of our herbs. They’re a dying in the woods and not coming back out. We’re losing a lot of our (tea stuff?). What’s killed it out or what’s happened to it, but it’s not growing. I can go now and (gaze?) around and look around for the old time (tea?) stuff like my grandfather had, and I can’t find it.

Jesse Jones: It’s hard to find some of it. It sure is.

Gatewood: That’s what’s a mystery to me.

Jesse Jones: You take what they call dog fennel, pennyroyal.

Emma Jones: The dog fennel, that we used to call dog fennel, was short−

Jesse Jones: It’s hard to find.

Emma Jones: And you can’t find that anymore.

Jesse Jones: I don’t know but one farm in this entire country that’s got a little dog fennel on it right now.

Emma Jones: Back (?) roadside [both talking]

Jesse Jones: Way back up on this little river, I found a farm up there last summer that actually had some still sticking on it.

Emma Jones: Yeah.

Jesse Jones: And pennyroyal, it’s about gone. Cause you don’t−

Gatewood: And it used to be everywhere.

Emma Jones: The catnip, you know, the catnip, it used to grow around these little farms back in here. And nowadays, it ain’t around any of them places. I can’t find any. And (?) go to the woods and find the (wally, the crawly?), another little vine that I could get and make teas for baby teas, and it’s good. And they call it (hive?) tea. When the kid lays and just won’t sleep when they’re real little, you know, and they just (?) . You can give that to a tea, and fix it for them. And he’ll stop all that. It will cause him to sleep sound. it’s a help to the system. Rests them. Now they don’t doctor little kids (?). They’re too ambitious. They’re all of them wanting to move and go, but they don’t rest like they used to. They don’t sleep like they used to sleep.

Jesse Jones: It’s scary, not to change the subject, but it would actually scare anyone to death seeing one of them nursing its mother anymore.

Emma Jones: Well, that’s healthy.

Jesse Jones: Now a lot of that (sight?), I tell you, would be something to (scare folks?)

Emma Jones: If you’re in good health.

Gatewood: [laughter] That’s right. And you know, another thing that I, when I was talking with, interviewing , that came up. And that was something I figured was true. Cause I talked to my wife, talked to my wife about it. But never thought of it. When the woman nurses the child, too, that way, she’s not as apt to be pregnant as soon, either. It’s a sort of birth control, a natural birth control. As long as she’s nursing that child.

Jesse Jones: And that’s natural.

Gatewood: That’s a natural−

Jesse Jones: That’s nature. That’s nature, natural, you see.

Gatewood: And see, when we got away from it, though, then they started having children so often that it’s bad on the mother.

Emma Jones: Yeah. I always nursed until it was about a year old, see. close to a year old before started weaning.

Gatewood: And even, I think, in the olden days, they even went longer than that.

Jesse Jones: Well, they get around, them old people.

Emma Jones: They’ll nurse long (enough?)

Jesse Jones: Hie them around and let them nurse until they be up running around, you know.

Emma Jones: They were all raised on breast. I raised all, about all my kids was raised on breast. Until (?) (shrivel?) I had my four last ones on bottles. Now that girl (?) them two up here, the boy, he was raised on breast. That other girl was raised on breast. But this baby one wasn’t. She was always (?) on bottle. And I got a baby boy, the baby boy was on bottle. The oldest weren’t that way. I took the measles. And they were growing, and I thought I’d had them, that was the mumps. That’s what it was.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, the mumps. [laughs]

Emma Jones: I got them when one of my kids was nine months old. And they were so bad, I couldn’t, and he take them because they said he won’t take them, and him nursing, and he got to where he wouldn’t nurse, I couldn’t make him nurse. And he did take them. He had them. He had to have mumps. And with that, of course, we didn’t do it then, but there were herbs that you got for them. And poultices and stuff around your neck for that. It was a lot of that. Well, they have to have all their shots before you start them in Head Start. Before you start them in school, they have to have− they’ve got to get all them shots, and get prepared for these little things at school you see coming. Like they have the new typhoid, the (?), they have to take the shots, (?) whooping cough, stuff like that. Measles shots. They say that keeps them down, now that they can, under a bit of control.

Gatewood: And that’s one good thing that’s come out of, out of this. Cause that was something that the old (doctors?) couldn’t deal with.

Emma Jones: No, those measles were a bad thing.

Gatewood: And that typhoid was so bad.

Emma Jones: It was.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: Until they could improve sanitation. That’s a great thing that modern medicine does. And sanitation.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: But all that has to keep going. If they start spending less on that, that could get, it could get (?)

Jesse Jones: Oh, yeah. Water get (bad?)

Emma Jones: Yeah, it could be (like that?) nowadays, were it (right thing?). Because it’s much more−

Jesse Jones: Yeah, I’d say if it wasn’t watched at, it would get, you know, come right back. By keeping treated for it, and watch, you don’t hear so much of that.

Gatewood: There were some real bad areas, I understand, in this area, for typhoid fever.

Emma Jones: Typhoid fever. (?) it used to (rate high?) Bad.

Gatewood: There was a community up there in , Pulaski-Antioch community. They said it used to rage through there. Because the water, the land never did, the water didn’t run off, it just got stagnant.

Jesse Jones: Yeah.

Gatewood: They got that fixed now (?)

Emma Jones: They did have the people cover their spring, so. (?)

Jesse Jones: I have to say, though, water getting low and bad, and this, and that, and the other.

Emma Jones: Water got low, and we had droughts and things because−

Jesse Jones: It gets germs like that in it.

Gatewood: That’s good.

[End Side A. Begin Side B.]

Gatewood: −has to go a little while before it gets to the tape. When you all recollect as far back as you can in the birthing of the baby, would the neighbors come in and help, in addition to the midwife? Would other women come? And maybe, sometimes, the husbands would talk on the porch or something?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah, I’d say that.

Emma Jones: They would bring food. Cook them something good. They thought would (be helpful?), like a (?) chicken dumpling, (bacon?? ?), things like that. (?) come and stay with them. Maybe spend the day. See the baby. And do a washing. Scrub the floors. Help clean up. Change beds. That was a lot of help. I thought, I can remember that. I can remember my mom going and leaving, and she’d be gone all day, maybe, over to see the neighbors and help them with a newborn baby. Come back, tell us, “Well, I was over there helping them today.” So we got a lot of good in those, we got a lot of (?) and enjoyed the day. They was all together and having a good time, and enjoy (?) and go and help one another. In sickness.

Jesse Jones: I recollect there’s a midwife back in my young day, you know. When the family being born that I come out of. And there’s an old lady by the name of Aunt Ann Burkes, and she had a daughter still at home growing woman, you know. She’d bring her along with her. And they’d stay two or three days in a week.

Gatewood: I think she later became a midwife, too, didn’t she? Burkes?

Jesse Jones: Yes. Yes. Probably did. Yes, sir.

Gatewood: I wish some of those women were living so I could talk with them. But at least we got .

Emma Jones: Yeah, we got .

Gatewood: And we got you, too.

Emma Jones: I’ve always thought a whole lot about her. That being, you know, so good. was a wonderful person. Well she did help the poor, you know. She didn’t choose. Like people would choose and say, “That’s a rich guy coming in, so let’s help them.”

Jesse Jones: (?)

Emma Jones: And they’d say, “Well, that’s a poor person coming in, we won’t help them. We’ll just kind of talk in a way to get shed of them.” But she did not choose like that. She just took them all in. She just wanted a baby (?) .

Jesse Jones: Yeah, I recollect when one of my brothers was born, old lady Ann Burkes come, you know, and brought her daughter. And they must have stayed a week.

Gatewood: They said she had an old mule she rode or something, way back (?) [laughter]

Jesse Jones: Yes. Yeah, they’d go. An old man by the name of Louis Vaughn lived way across over here in , down over on (Kirk?) Creek, Big (Sankin?) or something over back in there. He’d ride horseback plumb back out here in where is now, you know. I recollect him a being to my house or to our place when one of my brothers is born. About the third one down, I guess. I just couldn’t recollect it good. But he’d get on an old mule or a horse or something, and ride plumb from out there across there.

Gatewood: People seemed to have so much time.

Emma Jones: To do (for people?)

Jesse Jones: You know, if my (daddy?) was a living, he could tell you something (about time back there?)

Emma Jones: (?) I’d do my washing, I was strong enough to do my washing, housecleaning, patching work, mending clothes and things. Then I’d have time through the week to go maybe visiting. And I’d (?), if they had a neighbor around somewhere I could go see about, I’d go see about. I’d do that. I liked to do that. It was my pleasure. To see them. And I had a neighbor around that lived over from us here. And that boy never was, never walked a step, and he couldn’t talk. But he could use himself, use his arms a little bit, (?) and he had some kind of fever. He’d (?) years back, and he was about forty years old. And he laid on a (pad?) every day. They put him out on the floor. And his mother was old. And I’d go over there and see him every day. Every day, I’d go, had a habit, I’d go. And Rease was working coal mines. But it didn’t make any difference. I’d do my things that morning, I’d run over there and see about him. And if there was anything I could feed him, or get him, I’d help do that. I always enjoyed feeding him. And she said, “You’re the only one that don’t strangle him.” I’d fix a straw and I’d, I’d (?) The night she struck so bad, she said, “I won’t leave him, not unless you’ll stay here with him.” I said, “To satisfy you, I will lay right here by the bed (by?), and I’ll see him down in (?).” I stayed with him that night. I stayed with him. He was just, you know kids that, he expected Mom every time he wanted anything, it was Mom. And he got to where he was a real good (?) He’s still living. But they both dead and gone. But I don’t know how in the world he’s lived this long. It’s just been a mystery to me because the shape he was in.

Jesse Jones: They got him in an old home somewhere, (?)

Emma Jones: Yeah. But it was (my idea?) Every day when I had some spare time, that I should run and go see about that kid. Sit up and (?) help her. That would give her a break. At least she could take a time to rest. And I know she was wore out all the time, you know. She was too old to wait (?) like that. And they just don’t have their grandson, maybe, with them. He had to go to school every day. Just at night, every evening he’d be there. Every morning, he’d be home with the grandson. And I’d always go in and ask her, did she have water (?). They had to pack the water to the spring. And then I’d take him some milk, or I’d take him something. And he did let me fix it. And I fixed him some oats, just make them real thin. And he’d like them that way. I’d have soup, he (did love?). I never did get him strangled. He took the hiccups, he was real bad. She told me, said, “He’s been hiccupping all night, today,” and it’s when I went. She said, “What am I going to do?” Well, I said to her, “Have you tried the water?” She said “Well yes,” she said, “I’ve done that.” “Well,” I said, “let’s get a strong pepper pod. Get the nine seed out. And take the nine seeds and boil them and get him nine drops of that in a spoon.” And I said, “That will stop.” We tried it, and he quit. [laughter] I don’t know. That strong pepper.

Gatewood: Changing the subject a little bit, but just go back, the (independent?) mining camps. I‘ve heard tell that they were pretty vile places. Is that right?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah. In a way, they were pretty rough.

Gatewood: They say one of the company doctors got killed. Walked into something. You remember any of the stories of the people−

Jesse Jones: No. About all I recollect with one of the company doctors getting killed was the train. He was riding motorcar, a motorcar, you know, down the line to get to a place to doctor. I guess he’d been called. I don’t know. There must have been bad on schedule somewhere or another with the time of the train or something. But he run into the train.

Emma Jones: He was in motorcar.

Jesse Jones: Motorcar.

Gatewood: They use those motorcars and move around on them?

Jones: Yeah, they rode up and down the line, you know.

Gatewood: I wondered how. Goodness. I don’t know how they could do, get off there if a train was coming. They have to know the schedule?

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Yeah. They must have missed schedule bad somewhere or another, and he’s coming over the mountains. He had a great mountain to come over from Stearns down into (Worley?) there. That railroad, it’s pretty bad over the mountain, all the way down there. And he was coming over that. Of course, someone caught him down in there, I guess, and run into the train. Must have been bad on schedule, some way, somehow, you know. I heard there are (?) people that day and time, they were so spiritual that they tried, you know, to help somebody, he might have just been bad on (?) someone. And they run them trains pretty regular up and down that mountain. Of course, see, when they got down right at the foot of the mountain with a load, they’d switch off (there?), and they had big engines. They couldn’t pull only so much up the mountain, you see. And I guess they kept them going pretty regular up and down that mountain.

Gatewood: Coal industry really sort of came and went fast here, didn’t it?

Jesse Jones: Oh, yes. I can recollect, lord, when they had a doctor like we was talking. See, a doctor in every camp. Had good, good union, good benefits. And good safety. They’d keep a safety man on at every mine. All he had to do, see, was just go to every empty. During the day, he’d check in, check them from empty to empty, to see if it was being, everything being kept safe. I recollect working under all them kind of times. And coming down out of (?) they ain’t got time to look back. They’ll come in and strip and tear your country up, get the coal and run off with it. Ain’t got time to benefit nobody.

Emma Jones: Just make our country ugly. Ugly.

Jesse Jones: Tear your country up. All the beauty and scenery of it and everything are gone with it. And supposed to be money collected out of there to fix the roads back. And they’ll leave the roads (?) Someone will have that money and gone, you see.

Gatewood: And they say they’re trying to get in the parks, do all that stripping and stuff in those parks that we’ve already paid for. And they want to turn them−

Emma Jones: And they’re telling that’s what they did with it. It’s not that.

Gatewood: That reminds me of one thing I wanted to talk about, and the one thing that’s kind of ironic here. You worked in the coal mines. Of course, you didn’t work that long, but you would expect that you would have what’s the problem you got. [laughs] It’s not funny, but you’ve got a respiratory disease. But you never did have any troubles, black lung, did you?

Jesse Jones: No, I mean, I never did. well, I had a lot of trouble once, but I got a doctor. They say, (men away?). I coughed so bad till I couldn’t stay in the bed overnight. Smoke. Yeah. Sure did. I got so bad at that dust, and had so much dirt in me, I couldn’t stay in the bed overnight. And the health department come down through the mines with some big X-raying outfits, you know. And sat in there, X-rayed all the miners. Well they got about half of us X-rayed, and I happened to be in the bunch. And they backed the machine up, and left, and never did come back. But I happened to be one already got X-rayed, you know. Well, I got a big letter back from the health department, you know, and it read bad. It read like they might be having to come down there to the mines and get me, you know. And take me out, if I didn’t get out of there and do something better. It read bad. I took my letter and I struck out and I went to old Doc Winchester. Showed him my letter I got, you know. “Well,” he said, “well, it don’t read right.” He said, “Now I’m going to have you X-rayed.” He sent me back in there, you know, and had the nurse X-ray. Come up with a verdict. “Yeah,” he said, “you’re (a mess?).” He said, “You’re (plumb in the back?).” He said, “Now I’m going to send you to or send you to , either one you want to go.” Well I took my choice toward . I went down there, went in there on a Sunday, and got a room, you know. Of course, the old doctor, he’d rescued me four ways around there, that day on Sunday when I got there. He X-rayed me all four ways around, you know. Hung it up on the wall. He hung them all of them right up on the wall, just free anybody to look. And he told me, he said, “If you ain’t done eat up with a cancer, I’m a bad fool.” He said, “I don’t know if it ain’t already a bad cancer.” Well I went up in there back in the hospital, you know. And the next morning they come in there and give me, they wouldn’t give me nothing to eat, of course. They give me something there that knocked me out. And the last I know, there’s two old big colored men and a woman are going down the aisle with me, hauling my legs. And I never knowed any more till late that evening, late that evening. Old nurse got back in the room. Boy that, you know, (devil joking?) Letting on like she fed me chicken all day. And me knowing I hadn’t eat nothing that day. But you know what, then? I don’t know what they went down in there and put in my lung. But evidently, that first day, they say my lungs full of something. And then they put a machine on me the next day. And I can tell anyone the honest truth, but there ain’t no one that could believe you could have been a living with that in you. But that first day, the second day I was there, I got a half a gallon jar full. Spit out a pure coal dust and rock dust. Come out my lungs. I stayed there about seven days. And he give up, the old doctor told my wife looks like, he said, “I’m going to have to get him out of them mines.” And when she slipped around and told me that, I said, “He ain’t getting me out, nothing.” I said, “I’ve got to try to make a living.” I still had some kids to work for, you know. And I just come on back, and went back down there and I went to work. And I worked down there until I retired.

Emma Jones: But he never smoked a cigarette.

Jesse Jones: I never smoked a cigarette in my life. No, I never.

Emma Jones: And I used to smoke.

Jesse Jones: She smoked, she’d smoke a pack or two a day. Yeah, you know, she was a pretty heavy smoker in our younger days.

Emma Jones: I worked with coal. We burnt coal.

Jesse Jones: I’d say we burnt coal, and she’s in that there−

Emma Jones: I was in the (?), and he didn’t do anything (?) So I’d build my fires, I’d kill my fires, I’d take out my ashes and pack it out. I worked with that dust lots of times. And I always want to take (?) Later, I’ve had about nineteen years now that I’ve been (?) It’s bothered me a lot. (?) and things, it’s different. It’s a lot different. Everybody don’t work alike with that (?) disease.

Jesse Jones: But there ain’t no way, not changing no subject, there ain’t no way I could have ever have made it this long, see, if I hadn’t have gotten that treatment. I had enough to finish me up.

Gatewood: That would have been critical.

Jesse Jones: That would eat my lungs up in a little while. (?), cause I’ve got a son now that’s in worse shape than I am. Has been in that mine, you know, full of that dirt.

Gatewood: They certainly, people, they need to be caring. They need to see if they got it and do something for it. As much as I know there’s been some work, a lot has been done about it. There may well have been some abuses on it. But I think they ought to keep that going.

Jesse Jones: You don’t never doubt they ain’t got a way of getting a lot of that out. They can try to get it out.

Emma Jones: They get a lot (?), but if it’s your (bronchial tubes?), it’s different. If it’s your lungs, they can do a lot. And if it’s your bronchial− [both talking]

Jesse Jones: Well, it’s, you know, a lot different, but if you just breathe full, if you breathe full of that stuff, they can, they can (soak?) it out of your lungs, a lot of it. Save lives, you know.

Gatewood: I’ve met some people that have really got bad, bad, that worked in mines for long periods of time. But you didn’t work in the mines as long as most of the people would have. How long did you work in them?

Jesse Jones: Twenty-nine years.

Gatewood: That’s a pretty good bit. [laughs] Pretty long time.

Jesse Jones: Yeah, I put in twenty-nine years.

Gatewood: Well, I sure have enjoyed talking with you all. It’s been a good tape.

Emma Jones: Well, I hope so. I’ve enjoyed it.

Jesse Jones: Yeah. Glad we got to talk to you.

Emma Jones: I’ve enjoyed it. Where are you from?

Gatewood: I’m from .

Emma Jones: .

Gatewood: Yeah. And I’ve got a grant from the oral history, Kentucky Oral History from . That’s where I used to work.

[End Interview.]