Documenting the American South Logo
Collections >> Oral Histories of the American South >> Document Menu
Oral History Interview with Martha Cooley, April 25, 1995. Interview Q-0019. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
Audio with Transcript
  • Listen Online with Text Transcript (Requires QuickTime and JavaScript)
  • Transcript Only (29 p.)
  • HTML file
  • XML/TEI source file
  • Download Complete Audio File (MP3 format / ca. 86.6 MB, 00:47:18)
  • MP3
  • Abstract
    Martha Cooley learned how to run a household when she was just a girl; by the age of twelve, she had taken charge of her home, cooking meals and hanging tobacco leaves to help her father's farming venture in Granville County, North Carolina. Eighty-five years old at the time of this 1995 interview, Cooley describes a childhood in the rural South before the advent of the civil rights movement, the intrusion of roads and highways, or interference from industrial growth or urban sprawl. Cooley remembers her history and that of her family, recalling her education in a one-room schoolhouse, Sunday afternoons, quiltings, and cornshuckings. She creates an image of an inward-looking, supportive community.
  • Children years ago had to work more
  • Remembering the privations of a rural school
  • Eating fruit
  • A teacher in a one-room schoolhouse must plan carefully
  • Worship and play on Sundays
  • Men and women gather separately
  • Switchings at a one-room schoolhouse
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.