Ruby Morrison



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Charles Knightstep was born in Jackson County, WV, but resided in Mason County WV, for the majority of his life. Mr. Knightstep reminiscences about his life growing up on a farm. He describes the process of drying fruits and vegetables and burying apples and potatoes for use during the winter. He explains how his grandmother and mother made lye soap, cottage cheese, and apple butter. He also describes courting his wife and visiting her by horse and buggy. Mr. Knightstep worked for the Kanawha and Michigan railroad beginning in 1915, when he was 15 years old. He describes the changes in the railroad industry from 1915 – 1965. During his interview, Mr. Knightstep also focuses on entertainment, games, and childhood pranks. In the audio clip provided, he describes toys he made as a child. He explains how he made whistles out of paw-paw tree limbs and how to find water using tree limbs.

Publication Date

Fall 10-27-1973




Food preservation, food preparation, folk medicine, education, childhood pranks, fishing, floods, 1913, food preservation, fishing, frogging, soap making, social life and customs


Agriculture | Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Appalachian Studies | Education | Labor History | Oral History

Library of Congress Subjects

Knightstep, Charles R., 1900- -- Autobiography. Canning and preserving -- West Virginia -- Oral histories. Floods -- West Virginia -- Oral histories. Community life -- West Virginia -- Oral histories. Child rearing -- West Virginia -- Oral histories. Rural schools -- West Virginia -- Oral histories.


Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-67. This interview was conducted by Ruby Morrison. MDS exhibit prepared by Jennifer Gehringer, August, 2014.


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Streaming Media

Oral History Interview: Charles R. Knightstep