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Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: H - M: UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Lacy - Mertons

This guide will help you find primary source oral history interviews pertaining to the history of the University of Kentucky, faculty and alumni.

Annotated Guide to the Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Lacy - Mertons.

If not available online, audio copies and/or transcripts of the interviews in this project are available in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.

 

84OH109 A/F 162

EDITH LACY

Date:  November 11, 1984

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  25 minutes   

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  No 

Restrictions: None

Edith Lacy was a pioneer in 4-H and extension work in Kentucky where she worked from 1924 until 1959.  She was born in 1893 in Madison County, Tennessee near the city of Jackson.  She states that her father moved to Texas so that she and her sisters could attend the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Women’s University).  Lacy later attended graduate school at the Teacher’s College of Columbia University.  In 1924, she began doing junior club work and extension work in Long Island.  She recalls that she worked for one year as the Assistant Agent and one year as the county agent.

It was while working in Long Island that Lacy met Ms. Mertle Weldon, Kentucky State Leader for Home Demonstration Agents.  Ms. Weldon hired Lacy to work with the girls and women in 4-H Clubs.  Lacy states that she wrote bulletins, visited counties and met with home agents, and worked with leaders in the 4-H Clubs.  She recalls the other women in 4-H Club work at the time including Lena Burnham Davis. Lacy talks about her work as State Chairman of the International Farm Youth Exchange Program (IFYE) starting in 1953.  She states that she experienced many challenges, but enjoyed the work very much.  She describes visits former exchange students in Ireland, England, and Scotland, and discusses contacts with other former students. 

Lacy mentions changes in extension during World War II, and recalls that they emphasized canning and freezing along with using methods of preserving food.  She remembers canning demonstrations in court house yards, and that girls made dresses out of flour sacks.  Lack talks about attending 4-H camps and sleeping in the fairground seats.  She describes her trip to Europe in 1959 to attend a meeting of the Associated Country Women of World in Edinburgh, Scotland, and she discusses her involvement in the community after retirement.  Lacy was honored by Progressive Farmer magazine as the woman of the year in January of 1947. 

  

00OH69 A/F 598

JANICE LARUE

Date:  April 28, 1997

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Sharon Childs

Length:   

Audio Conditions:  Poor

Transcript:  Yes 

Restrictions: Permission of Sharon Childs Required

 

85OH21 A/F 186

RICHARD R. LEMASTER

Date:  January 21, 1985

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  1 hour, 5 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Richard R. LeMaster, a University of Kentucky 4-H Extension Agent, was born in Johnson County, Kentucky in 1934.  He graduated from Beaver Township High School in Southeast Ohio, and attended Berea College where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 1957.  He later pursued graduate work at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, and in 1967 earned a graduate degree in Education.  LeMaster describes how he first became involved in extension work while completing his student teaching at the University of Kentucky.  In July of 1957, he went to Madison County where he trained under J. Lester Miller.  Upon completion of his training, he became Assistant County Agricultural Agent in Nicholas County.  After serving in the military, LeMaster worked as Assistant County Agricultural Extension Agent in Scott County and Jefferson County.

LeMaster states that in Jefferson County his primary responsibility was directing the 4-H program in Louisville.  He describes how the 4-H program in Louisville was different from those in the other Kentucky counties where he had worked.  He states that the program in Louisville was an urban program which was making the transition from a school-oriented program to a community-based program.  From 1967 until 1971, LeMaster worked as an Area Extension Specialist in Louisville and he was responsible for a seven county area. 

In 1971, LeMaster came to Fayette County.  He describes the long history of 4-H programs in Fayette County, and states that by 1971 there was a solid foundation for building a program.  He describes his efforts to revamp the program and merge the automotive, horse, and other programs.  LeMaster discusses the Market Lamb Project for suburban young people which provided them the opportunity to raise, care for, and show lambs.  He describes the 4-H camping program which grew from fifteen kids in Fayette County to three hundred and forty between 1971 and 1985. 

LeMaster states that he feels that 4-H clubs should focus on community service, and mentions a 4-H clown club in Fayette County.  He describes professional groups to which he belongs including the Kentucky Association of 4-H Extension Agents, and Epilson Sigma Phi.  He mentions a number of young people who have been involved in the 4-H program, and talks about other extension agents with whom he has worked including Rusty Harris and Bill Johnstone.  He mentions his family and their individual pursuits. 

 

84OH106 A/F 160

GLADYS LICKERT

Date:  November 7, 1984

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  25 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Gladys Maggard Lickert was born in Cindy, Kentucky in Leslie County in 1913.  She earned her B.S. from Eastern State University in 1944.  She later earned a masters degree from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, and completed post-graduate work at Cornell University and the University of Illinois.  Lickert taught at Buckhorn High School for ten years and left to work at Berea College as a critic teacher in the home economics department.  She was in Berea for two years before going to the University of Louisville as the home management and family life teacher.  In 1955, she came to the University of Kentucky where she worked as an extension specialist in home management for fifteen years.  She states that she worked mainly in home management and housing, but also did some teaching and served as the chairperson of one of the departments.

When her husband retired from the UK Extension Service, Lickert and her husband moved to Campbell County.  She found a job in Pendleton County, Kentucky as the Agent for Home Economics.  Later she took the same position in Campbell County and worked there for five years before she retired.  Lickert describes the differences and similarities between extension work and teaching.  She describes some of the programs and projects in which she participated including home planning, sewing programs, and leadership development.  She mentions that during her career she worked with Agricultural Engineers in housing programs and even went to Washington to learn more. 

Lickert states that during her career families became smaller.  She explains that she worked a great deal with family planning.  Lickert describes the difference in rural living today including better educational programs.  She comments on the fact that she and her husband both worked for the extension service and explains that she feels that it was a good thing and that it helped each of them.

 

85OH15 A/F 184

RAYMOND H. LICKERT

Date:  February 18, 1981

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  30 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Raymond H. Lickert is a former District Director for the University of Kentucky Extension Service.  Lickert was born in Alexandria, Kentucky in 1901.  He states that he does not consider himself a pioneer in extension service, and shares his knowledge of the early efforts of the extension service in Kentucky.  He recalls that before there were local extension agents, the local superintendents of school carried out what was called “club work,” and precede the 4-H Clubs.  Lickert states that he was a member of the 4-H Club of Campbell County when the program was directed by the county superintendent of schools. 

Lickert explains that when he finished high school, he did not have the money to attend college, so he began teaching.  When extension agents came by to organize a 4-H club in the Fall of 1920, Lickert organized a group to go to 4-H week.  He eventually was able to go to UK with two other friends from Alexandria.  He started his career with the extension service as an Assistant Agricultural Agent in Carroll County, Kentucky, and then was offered a position in Oldham County, where he worked for three years.  He recalls receiving assistance from the experienced Home Demonstration Agent in Oldham County. In February of 1928, Lickert transferred to Fleming County, a county that had not had an agent for some time.  He talks about the role of the Farm Bureau in the county, and describes working closely with neighboring counties.

After eight years in Fleming County, the UK College of Agriculture offered Lickert a supervisory position, and he moved to Lexington.  He states that he was an area supervisor mainly in the Licking River and Ashland area, but he also worked in Central Kentucky.  Lickert explains that his duties involved helping to advertise the College of Agriculture’s research and the programs to the people of the state.  Lickert spent a total of forty four years working for the University of Kentucky Extension Service, and states that the more he worked, the better he liked it.      

 

90OH96 A/F 400

AUSTIN LILLY

Date:  April 3, 1990

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Terry Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour, 30 minutes      

Audio Conditions:  Good 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

University of Kentucky alumnus, Austin Lilly was born in Richmond, Kentucky in 1896.  She provides some family history recalling that her grandfather, Colonel H.C. Lilly was involved in the Civil War.  Her father, Grant E. Lilly, received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1888.  Shortly after her parents were married, they moved to Richmond where her father began to practice law.  Lilly’s mother was active in the suffrage movement and the League of Women Voters, and she recalls attending a suffrage meeting with her mother in Chicago.

After graduating from the Madison Institute for Young Ladies in Richmon in 1914, a friend named Kathleen Sullivan convinced Lilly to attend UK.  Lily enrolled in the University of Kentucky in 1915 and soon joined a sorority.  She recalls prominent professors at UK including Mary Sweeney, who convinced Lilly to major in Home Economics.  She describes social activities on campus, and mentions Anna Jackson Hamilton, the Dean of Women at the time.  Lilly was involved in many activities while she attended UK.  She was a member of the YWCA and the PanHellenic Council, she was president of the Home Ec Club, and she was editor of the Rural Kentuckian, which was published through the Home Ec School.  In addition, she was on the staff of the Kentucky Kernal, and was named class poet.

Lilly lived in Patterson Hall, the women’s dormitory, during her sophomore year.  She recalls that President Barker and his wife also lived in Patterson Hall.  Lilly talks about the President Frank McVey, Frances Jewell McVey and Maxwell Place.  Lilly remembers taking an education class with Cotton Noe, who would throw chalk at inattentive students, and provides her impressions of Sarah Blanding, who would later become Dean of Women.

Lilly graduated in 1919 and then pursued a Master’s degree in Chemistry, which she received in 1921.  She recalls that Dr. Tuttle was the head of the Chemistry Department.  Lilly became a teacher in Georgetown, Kentucky in 1921.  She later taught at Lexington Junior High School.  She talks about women’s rights, and states that marriage just never seemed to interest her.  Lilly describes representing Kentucky in Cuba before the Communist Revolution.          

 

98OH83 A/F 592 LUCILLE C. LITTLE

Date:  November 17, 1998

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Jeanne Ontko Suchanek

Length: 1 hour

Audio Conditions: 

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

University of Kentucky alumnus, Lucille C. Little was born in Morehead, Kentucky in 1909.  Her parents were leaders in the community.  In fact, she states that he father was the only lawyer in Morehead with a law degree.  Little describes her family members including her two brothers and her two sisters, and talks about her ancestry.  Little states that she was always interested in the arts especially drama.  She recalls church plays and her first teacher, Inez Faith.

Little describes growing up in Morehead.  She talks about swimming in creeks during the summer, and explains that on “court day” when the circuit court was in session she and other children would make and sell baked goods.  Little states that she attended a boarding school away from home where she received the opportunity to be in all the plays.  She describes how she would even take a male part just for the opportunity to be in the play.  Little took piano lessons from a woman named Nell Miller Young.  When Young left to teach at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, she allowed Little to spend the summer with her.  Little describes taking lessons from Dan Beddoe at the age of nine or ten.  Little explains that from an early age she always wanted a career.  She recalls how her father wanted her to be a lawyer.

 

92OH122 A/F 481

ELIZABETH P. LORCH

Date:  April 1, 1992

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Bryan Cassis 

Length:  1 hour, 40 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Poor

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

Elizabeth P. Lorch is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky and serves as the Coordinator of the Cognitive and Developmental Studies graduate program.  She was born in 1952 in Hartford, Connecticut.   She attended Emmanuel College and graduated in 1974 with a B.A. in psychology.  She talks about the importance of education to her family.   She states that her mother also had a Ph.D. in psychology, and taught both at the elementary school and university level.  Her father worked for the state of Connecticut.  She explain her choice of the field of psychology for her career, and the typical career path in her field.  Her husband is also a psychology professor. 

Lorch came to UK in 1980.  She describes her day-to-day responsibilities as a university professor, and explains how her days are divided between teaching, research, and committee and administrative work.  Lorch talks about that skills are important in her job and mentions organization skills, analytical thinking, and communication and writing skills.  Lorch describes her research on children and the influence of television and reading.  Lorch talks about UK in general and states that the greatest achievement of the university is the interaction between research and education.  She sees that the biggest problems on campus are circumstances that impede the mission.  She comments on the influence of gender, race, and nationality on careers at the University of Kentucky.  Lorch also talks about racial tensions on campus and in Lexington in general. 

Lorch discusses the work culture in her department and states that it is largely cooperative.   She recalls taking a one semester sabbatical at the University of Massachusetts.  Lorch describes the affect of her work on her family, and mentions stresses relating to her work.  Lorch also talks the courses that she is currently teaching, and provides her view of student teaching evaluations.  Lorch talks about changes that she would like to see in higher education in Kentucky.  

 

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77OH37 A/F 61

ELEANOR CAMMACK LUMMIS

Date:  June 1, 1977

Location: Richmond, Virginia

Interviewer:  Bill Cooper

Length:  35 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Fair

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Eleanor Cammack Lummis attended the University of Kentucky during the 1920s.  Her grandparents lived near the university and she lived with them and in the dormitory while attending school.  She states that she studied history and political science and minored in law.  She recalls that the students were able to get to know the professors well at that time.  Lummis was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority.  She talks about social life on campus and mentions dances at the armory and cultural activities.  She recalls female professors on campus including Frances Jewell and Sarah Blanding.  She remembers taking an astronomy class and states that she graduated with her brother who played football and knew A.B. “Happy” Chandler.  Lummis talks about coming back to UK for her 50th class reunion.  

 

00OH73 A/F 602

LIMENTA LOCKE LYMON

Date:  May 15, 1997

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Sharon Childs

Length: 50 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Poor 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Limenta Locke Lymon was among the first undergraduate students to attend the University of Kentucky in 1954.  She describes her childhood in Lexington.  Although she remembers her childhood as a struggle, she has very fond memories.  Lymon had six brothers and a sister.  Her father was employed with the racetrack and had to do a lot of traveling.  Lymon attended Dunbar High School, the city’s high school for black students. 

Lymon recalls that her father did not have the funds to send her away to college, and so she attended UK.  She recalls the difficulty that she had in her classes, and states that she was not as prepared for college as some of the white students.  Luckily though, Lymon did not experience any racial discrimination.  In fact, white classmates even tutored her, and refused money to do so.  Lymon worked on the soda fountain in the student center, and recalls that everyone was friendly towards her.  She states that she even served Adolf Rupp and his basketball players, and that they treated her politely.  

Lymon recalls that she was astonished that her professors and classmates treated her with such kindness, because the racial climate in Lexington at that time was not very good.  Lymon majored in music and states that the chorus director treated her just like the other students.  She talks about her friendships with some white sorority members and how this caused her trouble with some of the black students.  Lymon attended UK for two years before getting married.  She states that she would recommend that other black students go to UK.      

 

85OH135 A/F 246

RAY MACKEY

Date:  June 11, 1985

Location: Elizabethtown, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  1 hour, 25 minutes 

Audio Conditions:  Good 

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Ray Mackey is the president of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation.  He was born in Highway, Kentucky in 1927.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Agronomy from the University of Kentucky.  He describes his earliest recollections of the extension service during his boyhood days in Clinton County as a member of Future Farmers of America and 4-H.  He remembers that D.E. Salisbury was the County Agent. 

After college, Mackey went to Hardin County to operate a seed processing plant for the Dixie Stock Farm.  Mackey and his brother eventually bought the entire Dixie Stock Farm, and operated it together for several years.  During the 1970s, Mackey and his brother decided to split the farm in half.   The brothers also purchased the nearby Meadowview Farms.  They grow corn, soybeans, burley tobacco, and alfalfa hay.  They also have beef cattle.  Mackey states that he has worked with county agents to do demonstrations on his farm, and explains that he is always willing to cooperate because it allows him the opportunity to learn.  He mentions the Green Pasture Programs and other extension programs and projects.  Mackey was a 4-H leader and talks about providing farm experience for the young people involved in 4-H.  Mackey was also involved in the local fair and talks about the development of the fair grounds itself.  He was involved in the establishment of the Livestock Improvement Association and participates in beef cattle sales.

Mackey describes a Farm Bureau tour in Washington during which he was able to meet with Secretary Block of the Department of Agriculture about a tobacco program.  Mackey also describes the attempt to boost U.S. farm products sold to other countries.  He explains the limitations in foreign trade including the powerful U.S. maritime unions.  Mackey also mentions competition between U.S. and European agriculture.  Mackey praises the University of Kentucky extension service, and talks about the Kentucky Farm Bureau and their role in defending the tobacco program for Kentucky farmers.  He states that Kentucky is the fifth largest Farm Bureau membership state. 

Mackey and his wife have seven children who range in age from 14 to 32.  Two of his sons help manage the farm.  He talks about his involvement with the Hardin County Farm Bureau, his role as a delegate to the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, and his membership in the Hardin County Extension Council and in the Livestock Improvement Association.  In 1980, he served on a committee for Kentucky Agricultural Research and Extension.  He was elected as a state board member of the Kentucky Farm Bureau in 1956 or 1957, and has served for twenty years on the state farm bureau board of directors.  He mentions his associations with the Burley Farmers Advisory Committee, the Kentucky Cancer Commission, the mid-Kentucky Angus Association, and the Kentucky Livestock Improvement Association.  He recalls recognition from the Hardin county Jaycee, the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, and the Distinguished Service to Farm/City Relations.   

 

79OH124 A/F 102

MARY JO MERTENS

Date:  December 7, 1978

Location: Lexington, Kentucky 

Interviewer:  John Jason Peter

Length: 

Audio Conditions: 

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

Mary Jo Mertens discusses events surrounding protests of the Kent State tragedy and the burning of the ROTC building at the University of Kentucky in the spring of 1970.  At that time, Mertens was a program director at the UK Student Center.  She had started working at UK in August of 1969.  She describes the mood of the students at that time and discusses her working relationship with Jack Hall.  She explains that all activities at the student center had to go through the Dean of Students, which limited what the students could do.  She explains that she never felt that there was any danger that anyone would get hurt at UK by the student protests.

Mertens discusses the rally on the student center patio the day after the Kent State tragedy.  She recalls that Jack Hall and members of the university security felt that things were getting out of hand during this protest.  She describes the march around campus after the students rallied on the student center patio and explains that she urged the student leaders not to leave campus.  She recalls noticing that the ROTC building was on fire and describes the aftermath and the student who was accused of setting the blaze.  She remembers the fear caused by the arrival of the National Guard troops and the dissipation of the disturbance as students left campus for summer break.

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