Topic: Katie Bell Demps
"Oldest woman in Zellwood, Florida."
Mrs. Demps was known as the oldest woman in Zellwod at the time of this recording, a title she questions (in part two.) "Oldest [child care] provider in Zellwood" she readily boasts! This interview was conducted in 1976 for the Friends of the Orlando Public Librarys’s Oral History Committee. We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center’s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.
Part 1: Family background (father worked in the turpentine industry); raised in Bowling Green, (Florida) a memorable funeral; schooled from first to fourth grade; skunk attack; traveling by train to North Carolina; mother earned $4 per month; recallng the freeze of 1894; life in the wokers' community; transportation; medical services; married and traveled between 1933 to 1976, "from the palms to the pines" as a contract migrant worker; living out of chicken coops, barns, boxcars.
Part 2: Traveling by train; segragation; recalls seeing an arrested man shot when attempting to escape and a lynched man); started providing child care in her home in 1954; "quilling" with the boys at box dinners; church.