Goforth, Flora 1999-11-30

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In the first interview, Flora Goforth talks about her childhood, getting an education at Texas Tech, her teaching career, the beginning of the Archeology Department at Texas Tech, her degree in Archeology, and her involvement in procuring the Spur Ranch letter books for the Texas Tech library. She also talks about her work with the U.S. Indian Service from 1938 – 1951, her weaving, teaching weaving, and her book, Weave It Yourself. In the second interview, Flora Goforth talks about her education at Texas Tech University, her teaching in Texas public schools, and her teaching through the U.S. Indian Service. She also talks about her book, Weave It Yourself, and talks about the background and descriptions of the items she is donating to the Southwest Collection.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Flora Goforth

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: November 30, 1999; January 11, 2000

Location: Almogordo, New Mexico

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 2 hours, 30 minutes (first interview); 2 hours, 30 minutes (second interview)


Interview 1:

Tape 1, Side 1: Goforth Flora, Born in Ranger, Texas on May 8 1907, Parents, Move to New Mexico because of father’s health – June, 1907, Father Went to college in Granbury, Texas in the early 1900’s, The college was moved to Forth Worth, Texas and became Texas Christian University (TCU), Parents (again), They traveled from Texas to New Mexico by wagon instead of by train due to her father’s health, Father, His health continuing to deteriorate, Mother, Was the first school teacher in LaMessa New Mexico, Taking Flora with her to work, Goforth Flora, Learning by growing up in her mother’s school room, Lessons her mother taught her early in her life, Parents (again), Description of their early social life in Texas, Mother (again), Organizing the community holiday celebrations, Community dances in LaMessa New Mexico, Holding the dances in people’s homes, 4th of July celebrations, Fireworks, Mother (again), Her biggest influence on Flora’s life, Her philosophy regarding taking school work home, Teaching career, First school in Spade Texas, Listing of Texas schools where she taught, Texas school classification system, Experimental schools, Teaching career (again), Teaching in the experimental school program, Taught from 1931 – 1937, Interviewing with the school board in Spade Texas, Teacher’s salaries in Spade Texas, Being paid in script.

Tape 1, Side 2: Teacher’s salaries (again), Rule against women teachers being married, Women teacher’s salaries compared to men teacher’s salaries, Influence of mother’s teaching style on Flora Goforth’s teaching, Goforth Flora (again), Ethnic mix of students when Flora was in grade school, Mother (again), Ola Langford, Father (again), Ambrose Goforth, Both parents grew up in the Ranger Texas area, Father (again), He was a farmer, The cash crop was cotton, He also had subsistence crops and livestock, Move to Abilene Texas in 1918, Father (again), His two great wishes for Flora, Died when Flora was 4 years old – 1911, Memories of her father and her early life, Running away from school and walking home along, Her father rescuing her from a run away horse, The day her father died, Building his casket, Mother’s youngest brother moved in with them after her father died, Move to Abilene Texas (again), Maternal grandmother had a small cattle herd, Moving cattle because of draught, Living in a tent for four months, Driving cattle to water every day, Whirl winds knocking their tent down, Riding a horse as a young child, Children’s size spurs, Goforth Flora (again), Her sheep, Move to Alamogordo New Mexico.

Tape 2, Side 1: Move to Alamogordo New Mexico (again), Helping the girl next door to start talking again, Maternal grandmother crying to go back to Texas, Move to Abilene, Texas (again), Attended school from the 5th grade through high school in Abilene, Taking extra work to finish high school in three years, High school graduation, Attending college at Texas Tech, Why Flora Goforth chose Texas Tech, Family move to Lubbock Texas to be near Flora, Attending college at Texas Tech (again), Received an archeology degree, All archeology work was completed through the University of New Mexico, Studying primitive art as a basis for fabric design, Beginning of the Archeology Department at Texas Tech, Flora Goforth’s involvement, First experience of discrimination against her as a woman, Dr. Holden’s involvement, Spur Ranch records, Letter books, Assignment that took Flora Goforth to the Spur Ranch.

Tape 2, Side 2: Goforth Flora (again), Involvement in getting the Spur Ranch letter books donated to Texas Tech, The problem of horses and cattle stepping into prairie dog holes, Spur Ranch Letter books donation (again), Texas Tech’s Library’s use of the letter books, Relaying a story told by an old cowboy from the Spur Ranch, Studying weaving at Texas Tech, Description of the operation of a loom, Process of producing thread, Learning how to dye thread, Spinning and weaving the fabric for all her clothes, Building a hand loom, Making baby blankets for sale, Learning the business side of selling her weaving, Interviewing for a teaching job in El Paso Texas, Teaching hand weaving to Native Americans in Rose Bud South Dakota.

Tape 3, Side 1: Teaching hand weaving (again), Building a loom, Story about her trip to Pine Ridge, Weave It Yourself - a book by Flora Goforth, Written while working with the U.S. Indian Service, Weave It Yourself (again), Making the drawings for the book, Reason for writing the book, Describing the contents of the book, Detailed step-by-step instructions, Using the book to describe weaving on a hand loom, The book as a teaching guide, Using the book to describe weaving (again), Published in the 1940’s, Rushing (?) Doug, Going into business together, Weaving material for an office building.

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1907-1951

Bulk Dates: 1931-1951

Interview 2:

Tape 1, Side 1: Reasons for choosing Texas Tech University for getting an education, Interest in design and weaving, Converting a large loom to a hand loom, Description of the first blanket made on the hand loom, Designing and building a hand loom at Texas Tech, Selling baby blankets made on the hand loom, Help received in learning how to sell, Being a woman student and not fitting the female student mold, Advantages of attending Texas Tech when it was new, Starting new courses, Difficulties with the Dean of Home Economics, Being the first freshman elected to a committee, Applying for a teaching position in El Paso Texas, Recruiting for Texas Tech’s Textile Department, Teaching high school arts & crafts in El Paso Texas, First day teaching, Campus life at Texas Tech, Common for deans and faculty to have students in their homes, President of Texas Tech Knew every student on campus, He was friendly and had an open door policy, Hightower Jack, Night watchman, Influence he had on the students.

Tape 1, Side 2: Hightower Jack (again), Description of the Texas Tech campus, Story about when and where sidewalks were built on campus, Student parades down Broadway, Hightower Jack (again), Interaction with students, Killing a rattlesnake on campus, Advantages of Texas Tech (again), Delaney Marie, Design teacher, Encouragement toward Native American art studies, Studying Native American art and its influence on studying archeology, Teaching high school arts & crafts (again), Texas school system’s plan for improving education, Experimental schools, Being a teacher in the experimental schools, Impact of experimental methods on the students, Influence of her mother’s teaching methods on her teaching, Teaching in Spade Texas, Rural experimental school, Never sending books home with students, Story about one student’s mother becoming a friend, List of schools where Flora Goforth taught, Teaching in El Paso Texas (again), Mixing grade levels within one class, Story about a student whose parents wanted him to become a minister, Over 50 percent of her students were from broken homes – 1930’s.

Tape 2, Side 1: Easter Sunrise Services at Texas Tech, Held in the East Tower on campus, No sermons just music, Playing in the band at Texas Tech, Instruments played, All girls orchestra, Practices at First Methodist church, Story about the boy’s motorcycle club, Boys killed in motorcycle accidents, Story about one accident in particular, Flower girls at his funeral, Trips made by the motorcycle club, Easter Sunrise Service (again), Knapp, Bradford – Texas Tech University’s president, Comparison to Dr. Horn (former TTU president), Texas Tech University Band, Co-ed band, Girls only group, John Philip Sousa came to Texas Tech, Offering one of the students a job, Texas Tech University Band (again), Train trip to Austin Texas, Picture of the band – 1929, Events for which the band played, Band practice, Playing at football games, Some students had never played an instrument before, Description of a piece of weaving done on the reservation, Decorating the Indian Service office building, Having the drapes made, Difficulties with Indian Service employees, Teaching for the Indian Service, Purpose for teaching Native Americans to weave, Weaving projects, Market increase for Native American crafts.

Tape 2, Side 2: Teaching for the Indian Service (again), Description of woven scarves made on the Indian reservation, Cross-stitch work, Information ready to be published, Students developed their own designs, Items made by students, Indian name given to Flora Goforth by her students, Items made by students (again), [Approximately 20 minutes of blank tape].

Tape 3, Side 1: Descriptions of items donated to the Southwest Collection, Description of how to make a straight edge, Descriptions of items donated (again), Weave It Yourself by Flora Goforth, Naming the book, Background of photographs in the book, Description of processes shown in various photographs, Background of photographs (again), Drafting school pictures.

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1925-1951

Bulk Dates: 1931-1951

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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