Bluffs and Piasa Bird, 2016

Madison County Oral Histories

These oral history interviews were conducted by interviewers associated with Madison Historical and touch on various topics in Madison County history. These topics vary by interviewee.

Items in the Madison County Oral Histories Collection

Thumbnail Title Description Date Date Added
Swain_Thom_Transcript_Access.pdf Oral history interview with Thom Swain. Swain discusses his ownership of the Fat Cats nightclub and music venue in Edwardsville during the 1980s. He also describes Madison County's music and entertainment scene since the 1980s. Finally, he describes his management of several bands in the area. October 14, 2016 Dec 1, 2016
Mathis-Bryan-O-001_Transcript.pdf In this oral history interview, Bryan Mathis describes his childhood in Venice, Illinois, and his experiences as an African-American man growing up in the city during the era of desegregation. October 18, 2016 Dec 1, 2016
Harris-Roland-O-001_Transcript.pdf In this oral history interview, Roland Harris describes growing up in Alhambra and Highland in the 1930s. He then discusses his service during World War II. Next, Harris describes his funeral home business in Highland. The interview ends with a description of his work with the Highland Historical Society and the Highland News Leader newspaper. October 15, 2016 Dec 7, 2016
Bonds_Rita_Transcript_Audited.pdf Rita Bonds describes her experiences living in different states with her husband, who was in the Air Force. She also describes working for Owens-Illinois Glass Company in Alton, Illinois. She briefly discusses her work as secretary for the NAACP in Alton. October 16, 2016 Jan 27, 2017
Knoche_Dave_Transcript.pdf In this oral history interview, Dave Knoche describes growing up in the Alton and Godfrey area in the 1980s and 90s as well as some of his education and experience in Montana and California. He also describes working for ADT Security, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Dow Screw Products in the Metro East. He then discusses joining his father's business, HGH Products, which manufactures steel and graphite parts for the glass bottle industry. October 17, 2016 Jan 30, 2017
Smith_Phil_Transcript_Audited.pdf Phil Smith describes growing up in Venice, Illinois, in the 1950s-1970s. He discusses organized crime and gambling in the city, the Democratic Party, and the police. He also describes his career as an educator and changes in the schools over time, including changes that accompanied racial integration in Venice and Madison. Finally, Smith describes his work with the Venice Historical Society and efforts to preserve the city's history and traditions. October 18, 2016 Feb 3, 2017
Childers-Pat-O-001_Transcript.pdf In this oral history interview, Pat Childers describes her experiences during the Great Flood of 1993 while living in West Alton, Missouri. Following the flood, she and her family moved to Collinsville, Illinois, which she describes. She also discusses growing up on a farm in Southern Missouri. December 11, 2016 Feb 7, 2017
Burgess_Sally_Transcript_Audited.pdf Sally Burgess discusses her work as director and executive director of the Hope Clinic in Granite City, Illinois, which provides abortion care and counseling to women. She describes the various challenges of her work - both in providing abortion care to patients of the clinic and dealing with anti-abortion activists. October 13, 2016 Feb 9, 2017
Gray_Dan_Transcript_Audited.pdf Danny Gray describes his experiences working for Granite City Steel from 1978 to the time of the interview. He describes how steel production has changed in his 38 years working for the company, including the rise of automation and, in his view, the weakening of unions. He also discusses growing up in the St. Louis region and living in Madison County. October 19, 2016 Feb 9, 2017
Childers-Valorie-O-001_Transcript.pdf Valorie Childers describes her experiences of living in West Alton during the Flood of 1993. She also describes the circumstances surrounding the leveeā€™s break, as well as the hardships faced for those flood survivors and their attempts to rebuild. She briefly discusses the involvement of the Red Cross and the Army Corp of Engineers during the flood. December 11, 2016 Feb 14, 2017

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