Narratives are personal stories that help enrich the reader’s understanding of a time period, person, place, or event. These are first-person views of history taken from personal recollections, memoirs, diaries, and oral histories.

Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Narrative is entirely responsible for its content.

My mother, Aleene Lawler Coker, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, was a registered nurse with a new baby at home when she was wrongly incarcerated at the sanatorium. My mother knew that she did not have tuberculosis and told the authorities that she had tested negative and to please let her stay home and take care of her new baby (me) and my daddy who was dying at the time.
I am now 53 years old. At the time my mother was finally released, my daddy’s health had declined and I became a 4-year-old caregiver of two critically ill parents! My father died shortly thereafter; he was the ONLY parent I had ever known. Now I was left to care for my ill mother, who lost her mind at Booneville. There was no care or concern for those of us who were left behind.

Ruth Coker Burks
Rogers, AR