Ethel Craven Interview


Ethel Craven Interview


Ethel Florence Craven

Document Type



Hamilton, Dorothy


Suncadia (Resort), Suncadia Fund for Community Enhancement


Ethel Florence Craven (1906-1993) was born into one of the African American families who were recruited to break a coal-mining strike in Roslyn, Washington, in 1888. Craven married a coal miner, Samuel Lawrence Craven, in 1924. Over the course of her life, she raised twelve children, worked as a midwife, cleaned a local mortuary, and babysat local children. In 1975, her son William Craven became the first black mayor in Washington state. Another of the children she cared for, Jack Tanner, became the first black federal judge in Washington state.

Craven describes her childhood, life, and marriage in Roslyn and Ellensburg, Washington. She talks about coal mining, strikes, domestic work, African American families, and religion in the area. The cover image shows Ethel Craven in 1983, after she was chosen as Pioneer Queen at the Upper County Day Celebration.

Publication Date



Oral history, Roslyn (Wash.), African Americans--Washington (State)--History.


This interview was conducted as part of the Washington State Archives and Ellensburg Public Library Oral History Project. It is provided here for educational use only; no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner.



Ethel Craven Interview