Book Review


A Kentucky Sharecropper’s Struggles

By Curtis Dewees



This book by Norbert Clark offers a vivid and detailed account of daily life on various Grayson County farms in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, thanks to the author’s excellent memory. It centers around Mount Hebron, Tar Hill, and St. Paul, in the northeast part of the county, and near Meeting and Clifty Creeks. It paints a picture of a closely-knit community, with extended family and neighbors who helped one another.

The couple in question, Paul and Rosa Clark, were sharecroppers, and tenant farmers for many years. Although the couple married in 1932, only in 1945 were they able to buy their own farm. In fact, they had moved 10 times in 14 years. They had 10 children and were Catholics, attending St. Paul Church and school, as did many others in the community. The family was poor, but cultured. Norbert was their oldest child.

In the 1930s, almost no one owned a car in the area. Everyone still owned horses for farm work, pulling a wagon, or riding. This remained true even into the early 1940s. There was no electricity, nor indoor plumbing, and the family obtained water from nearby springs. The family bought its first car only in the mid-1940s. They received electricity only in 1958.

For those who still remember those years, this book will bring back many memories, or introduce younger people to a time when life was very hard. The book is available from Amazon for a low price of $12, and will soon be available in the Grayson County Historical Society Library.

A Kentucky Sharecropper’s Struggles

By Curtis Dewees

comments powered by Disqus