Interview with Virginia Waters



  • Identifier1986 OH 155
  • Date7/25/1986
  • InterviewerEllis, William E.
  • IntervieweeWaters, Virginia
  • DescriptionThis is an unrehearsed taped interview with Virginia H. Waters, graduate of Eastern Kentucky State Normal School (1916) and long-time teacher at Isaac Shelby Elementary School (Jefferson Co.). Ms. Waters discusses her education at Eastern and changes in the Jefferson County school system. There is als a brief discussion of the Great Depression.
  • LocationLouisville, KY
  • Duration:35:57
  • Time Summary00:00 - 02:00 Introduction.
    02:00 - 04:40 Virginia H. Waters was born at Goshen (Oldham County) on January 20, 1897. Elementary education at Goshen, passing eight grade examination after six years. Started at Eastern Kentucky State Normal School in 1914, graduating in 1916.
    04:40 - 08:30 Early impressions of Eastern. Remembering the buildings on campus. Discussion on former Dean's of Women, Roark and Roberts. Describes Roberts as "stern" and Roark as "more social".
    08:30 - 11:00 Instructors and courses taken: Ms. Dean, English and Geography; Mr. Caldwell, Math; and Mr. Bernard, Woodworking and Athletics.
    11:00 - 14:00 Discussion on the growth of Richmond. Working at Eastern to pay for room and board (she estimates two years at Eastern cost her $350.00).
    14:00 - 16:30 Recreational activities at Eastern, such as shopping and clubs. Graduation in 1916. Beginning teaching career in Hodgensville (1916-1918) and her further education at Peabody (B.A. in 1925).
    16:30 - 18:40 Forty-five year career at Isaac Shelby Elementary School (formerly Germantown) in Jefferson County. Teaching the first grade. Changes in the school/neighborhood from German to Black families.
    18:40 - 21:40 Recollections of the Flood of 1937 (Ohio River). Effect of the Depression on Louisville, lower prices and wages. Little effect on Germantown community.
    21:40 - 25:30 Fellow alumni and roommates. The regional influence of the Eastern and Western Normal Schools.
    25:30 - 29:40 Change in teaching and education through Phonics and Kindergarten programs. The influence of television on children.
    29:40 - 31:00 Relationships between students and instructors in the early 1900s. Daily chapel at Eastern and the advice of Dr. Crabbe (former Eastern president).
    31:00 - 34:20 Remembering the University building and discussion on the variety of curriculum: music, home economics, and physical education.
    34:20 - 36:30 Students lack of experience when entering Eastern and their "blossoming" during their stay. Discussion on the food stamp program and work in the cafeteria.
  • Restrictionsnone
  • RightsContact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.


“Interview with Virginia Waters,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed May 25, 2024,