Title Page

Title: Interview with Elmo Beville
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/MH00002563/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Elmo Beville
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Jones, Ray ( Interviewer )
Marston, Ruth C. ( Transcriber )
Publisher: Matheson Historical Museum
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2000
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: MH00002563
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Alachua County Historic Trust: Matheson Museum, Inc.
Holding Location: Alachua County Historic Trust: Matheson Museum, Inc.
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


This item has the following downloads:

ElmoBevillefinal ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
Full Text






Elmo Beville

Ray Jones

Ruth C. Marston

April 24, 2000

Property of:
Alachua County Historic Trust: Matheson Museum, Inc.

Interview with Elmo Beville 2
April 24, 2000

J: My name is Ray Jones. I am interviewing Elmo Beville for the Oral History Program at the
Matheson Historical Center on April 24, 2000, in Gainesville, Florida. Mr. Beville, for the
record, would you please give us your full name and date of birth.

B: My name is Elmo Earl Beville, and I was born January 11, 1922.

J: Also for the record, would you state that you give the Matheson Historical Center permission
to use the information gathered in this interview.

B: Certainly. I do give my permission.

J: We should begin by telling us about your family origin in general and how the Beville's
came to Gainesville.

B: From what I've seen in some ofthe Beville books about the family, they came down, Ithink,
originally from Virginia into South Carolina and Georgia and then migrated to Gainesville. I
am reasonably they came in here before the Civil War because I've seen in some of the
books in about the 1860's they had a 1000 acre farm out here on the west side of Gainesville
and they had a town house when they wanted to come into town to spend some time.

J: In one of the books which you kindly lent me, they had a statement that Steven Pierce and
Lavina Beville came to Gainesville in 1851 because of an inheritance of 4000 acres from his
grandmother, Mary Mills Pierce. Does that seem fairly reasonable to you?

B: That's pretty close to what I was thinking.

J: I know that there are now three books which cover portions of the Beville family history. Is
there anything that you want to say about this very well documented family that has had
historical background from England and so on? I believe you were also connected with the
Hugenots and, of course, an old family in the United States. Is there anything you'd like to
add to that?

B: I don't much that I can add except that I really don't go back too far in the 1800's. My
father was bor and raised out here on the farm, and he left home and came to Gainesville
when he was 12 years old. We have not been as close to the Beville family as I have my
mother's family, the Deen family. I know that they came down from Georgia. Actually, it's
the only place I know really well outside of Baxley, Georgia.

J: Did they own land as the Beville family did?

B: Not nearly as much. My grandfather on that side was a timber man.

J: Please let me interrupt because I want to ask you this. You were born here in Gainesville?

Interview with Elmo Beville 3
April 24, 2000

B: Yes.

J: Would you tell us something about your grandparents and your parents and how they figured
into all this.

B: I never knew my grandfathers on the Beville side of the family. My father and some of his
brothers and sisters Uncle Art, Uncle John, Aunt Gladys, and Aunt Ruth I did know
them, but I was just a young child when

J: What about your parents? You mentioned that your father was the fire chief. Would you tell
us more about your mother and your father.

B: My father was fire chief here from January 1, 1922, until 1952, at which time he retired. My
mother was Connie Deen (Constance Jeannette Deen) and lived over on the northeast side of
town, at 809 E. Church Street, which was just across the street from Martin Douglas andjust
east of the Hill's family home. They had, I think, 11 children in the family, and my
grandmother took two of her sister's children when the sister died and raised them. They
were Johnson's. We've been a close-knit family on that side of the family, much closer than
on the Beville side.

J: Where did you and your parents first live in Gainesville?

B: Well, I was born in '22, and I don't know where I was born. I think it was in the old family
home at 809 E. Church Street. But I remember in 1925 or 1926 I was just 3 or 4 years old
at the time my dad and mother were building our house on Franklin Street. I don't
remember the number. I remember going over there and playing when they put up the joists
about two and a half feet off the ground, and walking those joists. My grandmother died in
'28 or '29 and I think we moved up to the big family home then, and that was where I was
raised. That's where I remember most of it.

One funny thing to me was one morning when I was about six or seven, I found myself
walking down Franklin Street going to my grandmother's and I woke up. I was walking in
my sleep! I slept on the little screened porch in the summertime. We didn't have air
conditioning in those days and mother would let me sleep out there. I evidently opened
something and got out and it scared the living daylights out of me. I woke up and here I am
walking down the street. After I went back home, Mommajumped up when I started beating
on the door, and she gave me talking to. I said, "Momma, I can't help it. I was walking in
my sleep."

J: What other things do you remember about Gainesville when you were young? How was it
laid out or is there anything particularly important to you?

Interview with Elmo Beville 4
April 24, 2000

B: Well, as far as being laid out, I don't think I would have any recollection of that until I got to
be 10 or 11 years old. I started delivering the Gainesville Sun, and I had a route that was the
southeast quadrant of Gainesville. I started at University Avenue and went south. Main
Street went east and went out all the way to the Jewish cemetery out there above Waldo
Road. I Then when I
got to about the 5th or 6th grade, I started riding my bicycle to school. Professor Buchholz
and Pop Golden were the two big dogs. Professor Buchholz was the principal. I think I
went over there in the 9t grade. I went to Finley and I went to Kirby-Smith for 1st grade to I
think the 6th grade, and I don't know where I jumped from there. There wasn't junior high
school at that time that I remember. I remember riding across town and where the parking
for the 720 Building.

J: What do you remember about the Square?

B: The Square had trees down University Avenue and all around, and it was all shady and had
brick streets. Now we've got only one street that I am aware of, and that's the old Virginia
Avenue down there where Louis' Hamburgers is. That's the only brick street I know of
that's still in use.

Talking about the Square, my grandfather one time went down to get some clothes and I
think he was going to the bank. He stopped at a place on the north side of the Square and got
everything and went to the bank and got his business done and came out to the auto, got his
clothes and put them in the back of the car and went home. He looked around and decided
that this wasn't his Ford. So he got back in the car and went back down there, and the space
was still empty and his car was parked next to it. He just put his stuff in his car and backed
out and drove off and went back home.

J: The Fords looked alike.

B: Yes. You know what old Henry Ford said, "You can have any color you want as long as it's

J: You gave us the schools that you attended. What high school did you go to?

B: Buchholz High School.

J: Who were your friends growing up, especially during that later period in high school?

B: That's funny that you ask that, because my wife told me just before you got here that you all
ought to be talking to Billy Willis, too. Billy and I were childhood friends, and we're still
friends to this day. Billy was raised in a house directly south of the recreational hall over on
The Boulevard, so all he had to do to get to me was come up one block and one block north
on Franklin Street, and I would go vice versa. We traipsed back and forth together. We've

Interview with Elmo Beville 5
April 24, 2000

been close, close friends. We still fish together. We go to our Has Beens together. Are you
familiar with the Has Beens?

J: I've familiar with the Over The Hill group but have never heard of the Has Beens. Tell me
about it.

B: The Has Beens is a male group that meets up at the a place just this side of
Alachua. It's a little eating place on the right just after you cross under the overpass. We
meet once a month on the first Tuesday of every month. We have between 65 and 75 people
at those breakfasts every month. My cousin, Bobby Deen, who was Postmaster here, and is
living in Boca Raton, comes, and I know we have some people who come almost every
month from Orange Park. It's a good group of fellows.

J: Who can belong?

B: Anybody who graduated from Gainesville High School. I think they've let some of the
people in who graduated from P.K. Yonge but it started out as just a G.H.S. group. The
ladies have a group but they don't have near as many people come to theirs, but they have
about three picnics in the back yard of different people every year.

J: What other friends did you have?

B: Well, let me think. Paul Johnson and Richard sman. His daddy was a sign
painter. Lucian Gray, who lived on my paper route down on S.E. 7th Street on 4th Avenue, a
house on the southwest portion of that block.

The funny thing to me when I was growing up was that my brother was six years ahead of
me and he had, I'd bet you, ten fellows in our neighborhood who all played together, and
there wasn't a soul my and Billy's age. There were just the two of us. Later on there was
Earl Taylor, who was several years younger than Billy and I Billy and I are both 78. His
daddy owned the Texaco place down there on So. Main St. at Avenue.
Right next to him was Calvin Goodwin. Calvin's daddy, Ithink, was at the University. He's
somewhere out in Texas now. He came out to one of our reunions, and we're getting ready
to have another one. They started in 1990 with the 50th anniversary, and this is going to be
our 60th
J: Congratulations!

B: We've still got some people who look up to us.

J: Could you tell me about social activities you and your friends engaged in when you were in
high school?

B: The greatest in the world! They had the Women's Club right across the street from the high

Interview with Elmo Beville 6
April 24, 2000

school and Angus Parrot (?) had a sound system. He had big old speakers, and he used to
put on dances in there. The Little Women (the daughters of the ladies in the Women's Club)
put on dances there all the time. At one time there was a place that we thought was closer to
being for 12th graders. Thrasher's Drug Store was right across the street east of our school
and at the end of that block this place burned down about 4 or 5 months ago, down by
where the old bus station was by the railroad tracks well, there used to be some kind of a
little I don't know how to explain it because they served folks we used to go down there
and dance a good bit.

Lucian Gray's daddy had a big old barn for his equipment. This came along later, after I was
out of high school. It was out there just past Earl Power's parcel on Newnan's Lake as you
turn back to the left. It was across the road there. We used to dance out there a lot. That
was one of the places I enjoyed the most. I met my wife there after I got back from service.
I met her down at the dance. Zero Mazo's sister came over to me and said, "Elmo, if you
want a good dancer, you want to dance with that girl." I've danced with her 52 years now!

J: Tell me what you remember about Depression time in Gainesville.

B: The single thing that stuck in my mind is that they used to have high school guys on some
kind of a baseball team down in the parking lot east of Kirby-Smith, back there between
Roper Ave. and the school. I used to go down there. My grandmother in the summertime
when sugar cane came in, would slice me up sugar cane and put up a little bag of it, and I
would go out when I was 10 years old.

One time down there one of the boys came up to me and said, "You want to buy a baseball?"
I looked at it and it looked almost brand new and it was a good baseball, not just a 100 Store
baseball. I asked, "How much do you want for it?" He said, "A nickel." I said, "Hold on.
Let me run to the house." I went home and said, "Ma, can I have a nickel? I got a chance to
buy a baseball." She said, "Son, I don't have a nickel." I've never forgotten that.

J: They were hard times, weren't they?

B: There were some hard times. Yes, sir. I think really we were better off than a lot of people
because there were making maybe $150 or $175 or
$200, but it was a hard time. I guess it has made me watch my pennies. I still don't waste
money if I can help it.

J: Did it have some of the same effect of many of your friends who went through the same

B: Yes. I'll tell you about another experience. Paul was another one of my
friends. Paul's mother ran a boarding house on Washington Street, which is now N.W. 15th
St., a short walk off Back in probably about 1937 or 1938,

Interview with Elmo Beville 7
April 24, 2000

they were having a dance somewhere. It was 500 stag or Paul and I didn't
have but 500 between us. He said, "Well, why don't you dress up as a girl and I'll take you
to the dance for 500," and we went. Of course, everybody recognized us but they did let us
in. We've laughed at that so much. Paul always says, "Yes, that was my date that night."

J: Oh, that was something! Let me ask you when you were married and to whom? Did the
University attract you at all?

B: Yes, I came home from service February 14, 1946, and I hitchhiked home from California
and I beat the bus time, by the way. I got home and by this time my mother had moved over
above the fire station on N.W. 10th Street
and had
a little apartment, and Mother and Dad were in the apartment. I came home and my Aunt
Hazel had married George Deen, my mother's brother, and they were living in the big house
over on Church Street, and they let me come over and live there. I didn't have anywhere to
eat but I had a place to live and they were good to me. I didn't feel like it was up to them to
feed me.

When I got home, I was looking for a job. The first thing I did was to borrow Mother's
lady's bicycle, got me route out west of At
that time there was an afternoon paper so I could do things for about two or three hours in
the afternoon. One day the phone rang and the gentleman (pause) -

I was in Mississippi. They sent for me to report to the mess hall Saturday
morning. I went down there and they had about 400 people there. I said, "What's going
on?" They said, "You're going to take a test." I had only about one semester of high school
hours. I didn't have any and out of that 400 people, they
picked 75 people who passed it and then chose 3 of us to go to Vanderbilt University to be
trained as engineers. I reported to Vanderbilt where I took two
quarters of work and then I told them I had reached my maximum altitude and wanted to go
back to the Air Force. Out of that six months, I transferred 42 hours at the University of

J: I'm a graduate of Vanderbilt..

B: Are you really?

J: Yes.

B: Well, I'll be darned. Hall. When we first saw that, we thought
That was Kiss 'em. I was in Room 157. They had big rooms and then they had little rooms
to sleep in. Anyway, I got 42 hours of work. That's why I got out of college in 2 V2 years.
I started in June of '46 and graduated in June '4

Interview with Elmo Beville 8
April 24, 2000

J: You mentioned after you came back from service, you met your wife. Tell me about your
wife, who she is, and I think you've already said how you met her.

B: She was Evelyn Curry, and she was raised out here south of town in a little place called
Fleming. She lost her daddy when she was a little tiny girl, and she was raised by her
stepfather, William D. Anderson. She hadjust graduated from school and come here to go to
work. She was working at Woolworth's. She started out in the business. She
worked up there a while. We got married in '47 and she worked until she was pregnant with
my oldest daughter, who was born in September, 1950. After that she didn't work any more.
By then I was doing fairly well in the insurance business.

We built a house in 1952. After Mindy was born, we got pregnant again and she was going
to deliver in June of '53, so we started a house in March of '52. I was doing the carpentry
work myself. I had just gotten the frame done and was putting the roof on. I was hauling
shingles up and she was pregnant about four or five months. But she had been working
for several years after for the city of
Gainesville in the Clerk's Office. We were up there on the roof. I didn't want her lifting but
one shingle at a time and up drove her boss. We came down and visited with him, and he
said, "Evelyn, would you come back and work for me until I can find somebody to do your
job? I can't find anybody that can do the job like you can." Evelyn said, "I can't do that.
I'd like to have more clothes than I've got, and that's more than we can afford." He thought
about it for a minute and said, "If I gave you $50 to buy some work clothes with and raised
your salary $5 or $10 a week, would you think about that?" She said, "Yes. I'll call you in a
few days." We talked about it and talked about it. She said, "We've got Mindy." I said,
"Well, I think my mother would keep Mindy for you." He said it might be two weeks or
maybe four weeks. It turned out that she went out and bought her clothes and went to work
for about three weeks and he hired somebody else and she came back home. That was the
last she worked.

J: Can you talk about some of the problems of starting a business in Gainesville right after
World War II? You started your own agency?

B: Sure. I was the only agent. They'd never had an agent in Gainesville. I had a very good
General Agent. A General Agent is like a General Manager of this area. He had all the
towns around, but he was in Jacksonville. He spent a lot of time with me, for which I was
really appreciative. When he'd come down, I might have an appointment and he taught me.
can't think of the guy's name but he was a dear friend of my dad's and was an attorney. I
found the letter in some of my stuff just the other day that he had written to my daddy and it
was the nicest letter I've ever read in my life. Nobody has ever said that much nice about me
before that. It was easy for me. I worked at it, no doubt about that, but the first five or ten
years I probably worked four nights a week until ten or eleven o'clock. There were a lot of

Interview with Elmo Beville 9
April 24, 2000

people I could hit nights that I couldn't see in the daytime. It was a very successful thing. I
think it's like any business. If you open a business at ten o'clock in the morning until noon
and then go play golf, it's not going to be a very easy thing to be successful. But I started
like the old farmer says, I worked from ten to ten. You know what that means!

J: It was sort of a boom time, wasn't it?

B: Yes, there were a lot of people coming back from service, a lot of veterans out at the
University. I sold a good bit of insurance out at the University. At that time there was a
company called They were a company from
up north somewhere, and they strictly sold seniors in college, and they did a good job. The
hardest thing was that they loaned you the money for the first year's premium and then if the
guy didn't get as good as they wanted and they lost the insurance. I am a big believer in
term insurance and I always have been. If you're starting a business, what you need to do is
to put your money into the business. You don't need to put it into a savings account
and I sold a lot of term
insurance and then went back three or four years later when the guy had a successful
business and he had more money and then we would change that term insurance to
something else. I look back on it as a good time. I just had a great time.

J: I know that you were on the board of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Would you give us
an account of some of the things you did. What other organizations did you belong to during
the time of developing your business and as a mature member of the business community?

B: I think right after I got through with the Jaycees. You had to get out of that at 35. That was
in '56 or '57. I was President of the LUFA, Life Underwriters Association. I was President
of the CFU Association and President of the University of Florida Alumni Association.
That's when they had county units rather than just one big one for the whole United States,
as they have now. But I was President of that and enjoyed all of them, the Jaycees
particularly. I think the Jaycees are one of the best organizations that a young man can get
into. They do things. I was in Tampa one time when I was President of Jaycees back in '55
or '56 and we went down there to the parade that they have in February. I noticed all these
chairs lining the curbs so the car couldn't get out in the street, but they were
those chairs. I thought, "Holy mackerel, when the University of Florida
Homecoming comes along, wouldn't that be great if we could put chairs out there." Well, I
came back home and got the club together. We couldn't get the chair thing going, but they
did manage to put up those bleachers that they used to put up there just this side of the
on 13th Street. They put up bleachers there and we would charge
and made some money on that kind of thing.

Then another time I got the wild idea of selling Christmas trees. I had done this about two
years running with a friend of mine, Billy so for two years I sold them
in front of filling station. Then after that there used to be a drug

Interview with Elmo Beville 10
April 24, 2000

store on 13th St. at 5th Avenue. The guy who owned it lived up there on 39th Avenue right
there just as the creek turned. He was on the south side of the street. One day he called me
and asked, "How would you like to sell Christmas trees this year alongside my pharmacy
there on 13th St.?" He said, "If you're interested in a 50-50 deal, I've got the
I said, "It's a deal," so I sold some trees
there for two or three years. Then I got the idea about doing the same thing for the club.
Boy, I'll tell you the Jaycees have made a doggone ton of money out of that project. It was
You used to think you could go buy trees

A funny thing happened when I was selling those trees I got one little bundle of trees, and I
usually put my trees out when I was and I got the bundle of trees out and I
was pricing them. I always just put cross-pieces as stands for them, but there was one little
old tree there that had one piece going that way and one piece going this way and it had a big
hole in one side. Sometimes I had to cut off the bottom limbs to put them on the stands, so I
just took those limbs, got me a drill, and put them in that straggly looking tree, and made a
pretty tree out of it. A lady came in there. She walked in on the lot and she said, "That's the
tree I want." I moved it into her car for her and in about 30 minutes she called the guy in the
store. He called me and I went in and she said, "Mister, I bought a tree from you and the
limbs are falling off of it." I asked if she could bring it back down and she said, "No, I can't
lift it." "Tell me where you live," I said, "I'll come out." I went out there and stuck it back
in the hole I had made. She said, "That's fine." I didn't have any idea the thing would fall

J: You had a satisfied customer?

B: Oh yes, particularly with my going out there. It was somewhere there north of 8th Avenue
and N.W. 13th Street back in there. Anyway, it was a good distance.

J: Mr. Beville, you're a well-known member of the business community. Is there anything that
you would like to say about the development of business in general in Gainesville or about
insurance in particular?

B: As far as the business world goes, when I first started I was working out of my house. I had
a little office put on the end of the house and you didn't have to go through the house to get
to the office, like I have here. I built it that way. I was working so much. I wasn't in the
Chamber of Commerce. I think I joined that thing one year. I was hustling too hard in that
first ten or fifteen years that I didn't have much time for business things. When the life
insurance business got going a little better, I felt like I was with business people in the
Jaycees and the Life Underwriters and we had some good life insurance agents. Chester
Gates was one of the finest men I've known in the business. We had a lot of good people in
the life insurance business and we all worked together. If I needed a New England Life
policy or an Equitable form, Jim gave it to me no problem. If he wanted something, if
somebody moved in here and he got hold of it and needed to change to a Lincoln policy, I

Interview with Elmo Beville 11
April 24, 2000

would give him the forms, and it worked out really well. Chester was the same way. We
had several good life insurance men. I thought if I could do that good, I would be happy. I
was pretty successful. I've never had to put my taxes off or anything like that. I ordinarily
had enough money to pay the taxes. I've always tried to pay as I go. '

J: Would you say it's a much more competitive field now than when you started?

B: Yes, it has gotten really competitive and there are not as many companies as there used to be.
Everybody is buying up companies. My company has bought up about three or four other
companies. We bought Aetna Life Insurance. Of course, that's not the medical, just the life
insurance. We bought Cigna, and two or three or four more. I bet we've bought six or eight
companies in the past ten years. It's not as competitive as it used to be. I mean we have
maybe eight or ten companies and we have one rate. Anyway, it's a good business. I've
enjoyed it.

J: And you see a big future for it, also?

B: Yes, I think that they are doing some good things in the life insurance business. They've got
policies now where you can put your money in it and invest it in stocks. Universal Life's
policy. They've got term insurance that's just getting cheaper. It's never been this cheap
before. It's competitive but in my company's case, we're not near as what I would call.
We've got a hundred billion dollars of assets, and we're a big company, but it just doesn't
seem to me like that we've got the comradeship that we had back in the 50's and 60's and
70's and 80's. It seems like all the companies are looking for just nothing but money and if
you look at companies like Prudential, they went from a mutual company to a stock company
and there are innumerable ones that did it. We did it. We were not a mutual company.
We've never been a mutual company. We've always been a stock company. There's a lot of
companies that were mutual and are now going stock. It's purely the money.

J: What organizations do you currently belong to? Anything in particular?

B: No, not really. About the only thing that I'm doing now is working three or four days a
week on life insurance and I do some volunteer work in the Small Claims Court. I'm a
mediator in Small Claims Court. I've been that since three years ago last January. I believe
that's when I started. Other than that, I don't think I'm in any other organizations. Of
course, I'm 78 years old.

J: Well, you consider yourself semi-retired?

B: Retired.

J: Any particular hobbies you are developing?

Interview with Elmo Beville 12
April 24, 2000

B: Well, I bought an air boat back in 1974 and I air boat fish down at Cedar Key, and I have
enjoyed that. Evelyn and I have been traveling in a travel trailer since 1957, and we're on
our fifth or sixth trailer, I think. We do have a 25 foot travel trailer and my air boat.

J: Whereabouts do you travel normally?

B: Year before last, we took the two children and the two grandchildren and Evelyn and myself,
and we went to the Grand Canyon. The year before that I think that was about '97 I had
told everybody in the family that I was going to Washington, D.C., to see the Smithsonian. If
they wanted to go along, they were welcome to go, but I was going to be the one to say
we're going to pick up and move. I wanted to stay there until I had seen all of the
Smithsonian I could stand. So the six of us went up there. Back in 1990, 1991, and 1993,
1994, or 1995, we made four or five trips up to Nashville, Tennessee, to Opryland. On those
trips we tookthe smallest one. He was about seven or eight or something like that. He's 12
now. He wasn't but three or four, but I know he had to ride the little tiny things that they
have up there. We went up often and he loved that place.

J: Could you tell me some more about your children their names and so on and your

B: I've got two daughters. Mindy Maureen Beville (LeBlanc now) and she was bor in 1950
(September 14th) and Melody Gene Beville Ward. We named her Gene and spelled it that
way for my father who was Eugene Franklin Beville, Sr. My brother was a Junior.
Melody's here in town. She teaches up in Lawtey. Mindy is teaching up in Greenville,
South Carolina. Her husband is with Alltel and they've been moving him around every two
years, and it looks like they're going to continue to do that.

Mindy's got a little 12-year old son and Melody has a 19-year old. I took the two of them in
December of '99, and we went out to Honolulu. We got out there about four days early, and
we piddled around in Honolulu for four days and then we got on the U.S.S. Constellation, the
aircraft carrier, and they brought us back for a 5-day cruise back to San Diego. Then we got
back on the airplane and came home. We had a great time on that trip. It cost us $100
apiece, not counting the round-trip air fare to fly out there. That was almost $2,000. For the
5-day cruise, it cost just $100 apiece.

J: Who sponsored it?

B: You had to have somebody on the ship sponsor you. The one that sponsored us was Billy
Russell. Billy's dad and mother both passed away in the last few years, and we have kept in
touch with Billy. He called us in '97 and asked us if we would like to do that. Evelyn said,
"I'm not going to fly." So I said I would take the boys. She said, "Fine, go." Earl had a
paint store over on N.E. 16th Avenue. There's a pawn shop there just off of Main Street, east
on 16h Avenue and it's the second or third store. There's a furniture store on the corer, a

Interview with Elmo Beville 13
April 24, 2000

hamburger stand, and then that pawn shop. He owned the little paint business in
there. We had a great time. Got to
shoot 50 caliber machine guns.

J: Let me ask one final question a very general one. What changes in Gainesville or in
Alachua County have affected you the most, either business-wise or as a person?

B: Well, I think it helped me business-wise because it was a lot more people moving in. I think
that would be as far as the business goes. But we've formed some great friendships with
people that moved down here. We've got a couple that came down from Pennsylvania.
They moved in next door to us in the old house, and now they've moved out here and they're
over here about eight blocks down. We're still close together, and we've become real good
friends with them. There have been some nice people move into Gainesville.

J: So the development of the population and the many people coming from lots of new places
that have really affected you both business-wise and personally.

B: Yes.

J: Mr. Beville, thank you so much for this interview. Any final word that you want to say?

B: No, I don't think so. I'll answer anything you want to know.

J: I think I've asked all the basic questions. If you think of something else, please let me know.
I can always come back.

B: Thank you.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs