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Interview Summary

Gentry planted coffee tree at a park in Florida

Born 9/15/21 in Alabama, graduated from high school and attended business college

Took some correspondence courses in writing and worked in newspaper office as a young woman

Came to Ohio County and wrote for the local newspaper

Both parents were writers, describes an article her father wrote

Got married in 1942, husband worked as a pipe fitter and traveled to different states

Husband went into military in 1942, she helped take care of his parents while he was away

Also got a job at the newspaper to help support the family during WWII

Conducted research on communities, partially for the Ohio County Courthouse and wrote advertisements for extra income

Also wrote many articles for the paper about the criminal justice system

Became involved with historical markers for Ohio County

Describes several small communities in Ohio County, including Jingo, and Hell's Snake

Moved here in 1946 and bought a house

Continued working part-time at the newspaper after her daughter Carolyn was born in 1946, also had her son John in 1957

Member of the Church of Christ

Initially thought Ohio County was a bit dull when she first moved there

The area did not grow until coal mines opened, ushering in an era of prosperity

The area’s population increased and people were happier

Town also began to get more amenities, including a movie theatre, but suffered a decline in the 1960s

Decline was caused by changes to the marketability of coal high in sulfur content

Felt like outsider for a long time, but later began to love the area

Perceived that many people did not try to promote the community

Used her newspaper column to increase promotional efforts for the community

Thinks people seemed to have the pride, but no motivation to promote the community on a wider scale

Discussion of revival of old theatre and attitudes toward historical preservation, on the National Register of Historic Places [possibly taken off list as of 2024]

More people are becoming involved, builde was R.C. McClellan

McClellan also built the jail and the courthouse

Discussion of old buildings being torn down

Rosine had several hotels, some had balconies, people would look at the moon

Rosine also had several stores and was considered a progressive town.

Discusses how the towns of Rosine and McHenry got their names

Says that Ohio County is a unique area for music heritage

Hartford came in with Bill Smothers and some of the early English settlers in 1782

The Schultz family (white land owners) had lots of dances, close to Pigeon Roost

Says the people here are romantic, considers the county to be part of the South

Discusses differences between Ohio County and Owensboro in the past and now

Thinks that small towns are more friendly

Taught at a one room school in Mount Pleasant in the early 1950s

Discusses the challenges of teaching eight grades of students all at once

Lots of poverty amongst the students, some did not have any shoes or socks

Local churches donated clothing to the school

Mount Pleasant School still stands, tobacco is now stored in there, is across the road from the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church

Mount Pleasant Methodist Church has a small, old membership