Research

An online collection of our growing oral history interviews.

Oral History

Our online oral history collection consists of more than 350 interviews. They are featured below with photographs of most interviewees, an interview description, downloadable interview transcripts, and audio that can be streamed or downloaded.

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Faircloth, Rayford

July 19, 2011

Interview 226a : In this interview with Jonathan Gerland, Lufkin native Rayford Faircloth reminisces about growing up in Lufkin and working for the Temple Companies throughout his career. He started as the first Temple building material salesman in Arkansas and then went to work for Horace Stubblefield at Sabine Investment Company in the late 1960's. As part of Sabine, Mr. Faircloth helped develop the company's properties in Diboll and Pineland (including the golf course), the area surrounding lakes Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, and most notably, Crown Colony in Lufkin. He was involved in developing all parts of those areas, including business, residential, golf course, and country club. He talks about working for Arthur Temple, Jr., dealing with the Corps of Engineers at the lakes, and developing a master planned golf course community and all that entailed. He also mentions Ben Anthony, Clyde Thompson, and golf course design firm Von Hagge Devlin.

Farley, Eddie

Farley, Eddie

December 01, 1954

Interview 104a : In a 1954 interview with Clyde Thompson, longtime Temple employee Eddie Farley reminisces about working for Southern Pine Lumber Company and the Temple family in Diboll, Pineland, and Hemphill. Mr. Farley was a shipping clerk and later a shipping superintendent in each of the Temple operations. He speaks about T.L.L. Temple, Arthur Temple, Sr., Henry Temple and Katherine Sage Temple.

Farrington, Fannie

Farrington, Fannie

December 01, 1954

Interview 11a : In this 1954 interview with John Larson of the Forest History Foundation, Fannie Farrington (1876-1967) tells of her experiences in Diboll beginning in 1903, when she and her husband moved there from St. Louis to work in the Southern Pine Lumber company commissary. Mrs. Farrington was extremely active in developing the community's early educational, social, and spiritual life and discusses the Temple family's philanthropy, the schools, churches, and town leaders. She also comments on early recreation and amusements, politics, and World Wars I and II.

Foster, Charles

Foster, Charles

August 16, 2000

Interview 222a: In this informal interview with Jonathan Gerland, longtime Texas Southeastern Railroad employees and retirees Charles Foster, Gary Mike Smith, Don Harrison, George Honea, and Carroll Dover share memories of working for the shortline railroad in Diboll on the occasion of the railroad turning one hundred years old. Fond memories of working experiences and various personalities are recalled. Some of the people remembered are C.A. Jordan, R.A. “Boots” Jackson, W.J. “Professor” Jackson, Odair Womack, Willard Conner, and Jimmie Beth Durham.

Franks, Opal

Franks, Opal

July 09, 1985

Interview 64a : In an interview with her niece, Deanna Crump, longtime Diboll teacher Diboll teacher Opal Franks reminisces about her life as an educator. Mrs. Franks and her husband moved to Diboll in the late 1940's, and since she had not finished her degree at SFA, she stayed home to raise her children. The school needed a teacher, however, and she came in as a substitute and stayed on until her retirement. She discusses life in a small sawmill town school, her students, their struggles to get supplies, and the changes in discipline and academics from when she started teaching.

Frederick, Josephine Rutland

Frederick, Josephine Rutland

October 13, 1984

Interview 45a : In an interview with Becky Bailey, Josephine Rutland Frederick, Marion Fuller, and Jim Fuller reminisce about life in Diboll. All three grew up in Diboll and recall school, games, the Depression, going to Lufkin and Houston, the mill whistles, and the visits from the Klu Klux Klan. Mr. Fuller remembers the beginnings of the fire department and working in the commissary and Mrs. Fuller and Mrs. Frederick recall growing up as neighbors supporting World War I efforts as children and going on picnics to Emporia and Ryan's Lake. They also recall Chester Willis, Mr. Rutland, and T.L.L. Temple.

Fred, Paul

August 01, 1984

Interview 46a : Longtime Diboll resident Paul Fred talks about growing up and working as an African American in Diboll during the Great Depression. He mentions salaries, school, recreations, law enforcement, and going to Lufkin to watch football and see movies.

Fuller, Jim

October 13, 1984

Interview 45a : In an interview with Becky Bailey, Josephine Rutland Frederick, Marion Fuller, and Jim Fuller reminisce about life in Diboll. All three grew up in Diboll and recall school, games, the Depression, going to Lufkin and Houston, the mill whistles, and the visits from the Klu Klux Klan. Mr. Fuller remembers the beginnings of the fire department and working in the commissary and Mrs. Fuller and Mrs. Frederick recall growing up as neighbors supporting World War I efforts as children and going on picnics to Emporia and Ryan's Lake. They also recall Chester Willis, Mr. Rutland, and T.L.L. Temple.

Fuller, Marion

October 13, 1984

Interview 45a : In an interview with Becky Bailey, Josephine Rutland Frederick, Marion Fuller, and Jim Fuller reminisce about life in Diboll. All three grew up in Diboll and recall school, games, the Depression, going to Lufkin and Houston, the mill whistles, and the visits from the Klu Klux Klan. Mr. Fuller remembers the beginnings of the fire department and working in the commissary and Mrs. Fuller and Mrs. Frederick recall growing up as neighbors supporting World War I efforts as children and going on picnics to Emporia and Ryan's Lake. They also recall Chester Willis, Mr. Rutland, and T.L.L. Temple.

Furgurson, Bessie

October 28, 2010

Interview 213a : In this interview with Patsy Colbert, Bessie Fergurson reminisces about her school days in Diboll. A junior in high school during the first year of racial integration, Mrs. Fergurson does not remember any serious problems between the races or at school during this time. Although she didn't have many black friends, she doesn't recall feeling anything negative toward the process or any of the black students. Mrs. Russo lived for a time with her grandmother, Mrs. Bea Burkhalter, the principal of Diboll Elementary School during integration. She mentions Mr. Willy Massey, Mr. Pate, and Mr. Robert Ramsey. She also recalls a memorial service for a former student (Preston Russaw) who died in Vietnam.