Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 578

but that's not true. The houses inside are nice, clean and well-built. The roofs are all right and properly mended. The window panes are in the windows. There's a cellar so that your house isn't damp and of ten there is running water in the house. Mining towns are usually made of frame temporary buildings because of the fact that the workings of the mine may run out. This is true of older countries too. The houses have to be moved sometimes and new houses have to be built in a new area, but for the most part in the big mines where there's a big seam they make fairly permanent houses and they go down deep and tunnel to get the coal.

But these houses in Iowa were terrible. The roofs did leak. The chimneys would not draw. They were full of holes. The windows were not filled with glass. The panes were broken and there were the usual old hats and paper boxes stuffed in to keep the winds out. Everything leaked. The houses were wet. They were the smallest possible kind of houses - two room houses with nothing to them. Them only other places I ever saw that were as bad were some cotton tenant farmer places in Alabama. I was astonished when I saw these in Iowa.

For instance, there were houses on either side of the street and right down the middle of the street ran a battery of toilets - outdoor privies. There was not one for each

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help