MATHESON HISTORICAL CENTER
ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
INTERVIEWEE: Cicero Addison Pound, Jr.
INTERVIEWER: Mary Ann Cofrin
TRANSCRIBER: Ruth C. Marston
March 20, 1995
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 1
March 20, 1995
C: My name is Mary Ann Cofrin, and I am interviewing Cicero
Pound, Jr., for the Oral History Program at the Matheson
Historical Center, at 1647 N.W. 19th Circle,
Gainesville,Florida, on March 20, 1995. Please state your
full name and birth date for the tape.
P: Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. I was born on January 28, 1915.
C: I want to ask you more about your Dad. I know he was active
in many local activities in Gainesville, the Chamber of
Commerce, City Commission. Tell me about some of that.
P: He certainly was active in the Chamber of Commerce, but was
never on the City Commission. He served with many other
committees and active groups, which were involved in, among
other things, the original Kelly Hotel (later converted into
the Seagle Building). He was also involved after the war in
obtaining the Veterans' Hospital designation for property and
facilities out on the Newnans Lake Road. As we know, later
on, that project was changed to cooperate with the new Medical
Center at the University of Florida. The property out on the
lake road is now Morningside Park, still public property. Dad
was a dedicated worker. He was not a particularly social
person, except through Mother's activities. He did not
particularly like to travel, which she did. His main hobby
was in connection with salt-water fishing. Back in the
1920's, he acquired some property at Cedar Key and kept his
boats there. Somewhere around 1935, he obtained a long-term
lease from the Hydrographic Office for Sea Horse Key, about
four miles off Cedar Key. He maintained that facility as a
wildlife preserve, as well as his own fishing activities,
until 1951 (after the hurricane of 1950) when the lease was
transferred to the University of Florida for a marine biology
C: What else was on Sea Horse Key? Were there buildings?
P: There was an old Civil War lighthouse that the Union Navy
maintained. The lighthouse is still there, and there are
several graves of Union officers. He rehabilitated the old
lighthouse and stayed there most of his spare time. Those
facilities were badly damaged in the hurricane of 1950, which
also destroyed his boat dock and facilities over at Cedar Key.
Following that, he bought a place down on Crystal River,
called The Rocks, and used that the rest of his life.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 2
March 20, 1995
C: There was something in one of the newspaper articles that I
read about your Dad's office on the balcony of Baird Hardware.
It said a lot of young men would come up there. Did that have
something to do with the city government, and did he and a
group of his contemporaries help lead the city in government?
P: I think that is right. You have to remember that in those
days, and going on up until the 1950's, serving in city
government was mostly a volunteer kind of thing and the city
commissioners were elected from professional and business
people. There was a group of men in Gainesville who would get
together and decide whom they wanted on the commission; that's
sort of the way things were done. Although Dad did not serve
himself, he supported lots of people who did, like Fred Cone,
Roy Purvis, and many others. The office that you refer to I
don't remember any specific thing about any groups but it
was almost the throne room for Baird Hardware and its
employees. He used that a long time, until we closed that
facility in 1967.
C: He was active in getting the Gainesville Golf and Country Club
P: Yes. The old Country Club in Gainesville was out at Palm
Point on Newnans Lake, and right after the Florida boom
collapsed in about 1926, the decision was made to move in
nearer town and start a golf course, which is now the site of
the University of Florida Golf Course. The principal person
who pushed that project through and saw that the first nine
holes were built was my great uncle, my grandmother's brother,
Dr. Gordon Tison, a very prominent dentist in Gainesville.
Curiously enough, that old ramshackle building out at Palm
Point was disassembled and moved in to this golfing facility
as the first clubhouse. I forget exactly when it was torn
down, but I think it was somewhere around the late 1940's,
after World War II, before that old building was demolished
and a new clubhouse built.
C: The club out at Newnans Lake was just a place for social
P: Yes, and swimming, believe it or not. When I was four or
five, I had done some swimming out there and remember
specifically there was a fence of chicken wire on posts around
the swimming area to keep the hyacinths and alligators out.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 3
March 20, 1995
C: That would be an exciting swim. I need to hear about Glen
Springs starting in 1924.
P: Dad had become interested in properties of various kinds in
addition to his business. Actually, I guess, acquisition of
property and holding onto it was one of his big things. He
was interested in all sorts of strange projects and one was
the beautiful little clear fresh water spring, out in the
northwest section, which he felt was going to waste. He
bought the spring and some property around it; the spring ran
into Hogtown Creek, with which everybody is familiar. Somebody
must have given him an idea of making a swimming pool out of
it, because he built a wooden dam across the creek, called
Glen Springs Run, and cleared the trees off each of the side
slopes. Behind the dam, water was maybe ten feet deep, and
then going just naturally back up to the spring. It was the
only place to swim near Gainesville unless you went out to
Pinkoson Springs and, of course, nearby lakes. Later it
became so popular that he made it a first-class facility. The
whole pool was built with poured concrete, with a nice bath
house and even a dance hall. That facility is still in
existence as the home of the Elks Lodge (although they don't
use the swimming pool).
C: They don't use the pool at all. Was this built before
Magnesia Springs or about the same time?
P: About the same time.
C: The other thing your father had done in 1920. He took a very
exciting airplane ride at the old airfield in East
P: That's right. I don't remember it myself, although I am sure
at the age of five or so, I was out there. Curiously enough,
although he had that early experience, he was upset when I
graduated from the University and went into the Navy. I am
sure that the basis of his displeasure was that he wanted me
to come to work for him immediately. After all, it was in the
middle of the Depression, he had no other close young people,
and I was an only son. I could see his point, but having been
the only son of a very strong, very determined, very
disciplinary type father, I was just as determined to do
something on my own. So that's why John Tigert and I joined
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 4
March 20, 1995
C: He didn't have really an influence over your love of airplanes
P: No, not at all. I was always interested in machinery, in
mechanical things, scientific things, astronomy; one of the
big things I did was to make model airplanes from the time I
was seven or eight years old, and I continued building model
airplanes up until just a few years ago.
C: He was quite a boater, wasn't he? He did a lot of fishing.
P: He became very interested in boating in about 1925 or 1926,
when he was solicited as a dealer, and later the state
distributor for Johnson Outboard Motors. In that respect,
boating became a business as well as a pleasure. He actually
did some boat racing himself. I have a number of photographs
of some of his boats. He used the name "Gator"; one of his
boats was "Baby Gator", one was "Fighting Gator", another
"Blue Gator". Cecil Gracy's brother-in-law, George Moore,
became his top driver.
C: He did a lot of boating. He was also active in the Rotary
P: Yes. He was a long-time Rotarian and was President at one
C: Tell me about the land that he donated to Gainesville High
P: We talked about Glen Springs. He began buying up property,
particularly after the Florida boom collapsed, out in the area
of what is now N.W. 23rd Avenue and the corner of 23rd Avenue
and 13th Street. He bought property where the Gainesville
Mall is located, all four corners and property where Phil
Emmer developed Hermitage (west of Glen Springs). He bought
the property which became Forest Ridge, across Hog Town Creek,
and the property where I live. He had property up on 13th
Street, part of which he gave for the Gainesville High School
Auditorium, which they named for him.
C: He had a very interesting and active life. Your mother, also,
was a very interesting and active woman. She was a native of
Gainesville and she was particularly active in libraries. Tell
me about the Carnegie Library and early libraries.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 5
March 20, 1995
P: Mother, all her life, was a reader, a prolific reader. She
was a very articulate person, and was part of the successful
effort to get the Carnegie Library established here. I don't
remember just when, but later it was demolished and a new
library was built there. All her life she supported library
C: She was honored with a plaque in 1970 for forty-one years of
service, and then she was chosen in 1950 as one of the four
citizens honored by the Rotary Club in their mid-century
celebration. She was, also, very active in the Gainesville
P: Well, I guess, more than any other interest, her Garden Club
activities were the premiers. Mother used her experience and
love of gardening in her own garden, a beautiful one out on
12th Terrace. She was active in the State Garden Society, was
a judge, and participated in other garden activities
elsewhere, including trips to England and Holland. She
influenced my wife particularly, and Anne has always been
active herself in gardening and Garden Club activities as a
result of her experience with Mother.
C: She was very active in getting the Garden Club organized in
P: Yes, I think she was.
C: We will go on with your early memories of Gainesville, and
your experiences. You lived over on Roper Ave. and Union
Street, which is south of University Avenue, and you went to
Kirby Smith School?
P: Yes. Roper Avenue I think is now East 7th Street, Union is
probably 1st Street. Roper Avenue was a very prominent
residential location, with families such as the Enwalls, the
Dells, the Bateys, the Rivers, the Meadlins. On the other
side of East University, the Gibbs and Longs, and in that
area, the Towsons. My schooling was rather back-and-forth; it
started at the now Kirby Smith, then several grades at the
brand-new school out on West University. I came back to Kirby
Smith for the 8th grade and finished high school, all four
years, at the new school. I made a lot of friends there, some
of whom are still here in Gainesville: Wade Hampton and M.
Parrish among others. The girls were people like Elizabeth
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 6
March 20, 1995
Shands Dell, Elizabeth Haigler Purvis, Virginia Bailey
Whiddon, and Anne Long Conant; they are all still here. I
was not an athlete in that I did not play basketball or
football, but I was on the swimming team, particularly spring-
board diving. I was involved in several school plays and
believe it or not, wrote poetry.
C: Professor Buchholz was principal of both schools at that time?
P: Yes, he was. He was a very dedicated educator. He made a lot
of people angry sometimes with his disciplinary notions, but I
think they were worthwhile. I look back and feel that it was
a wonderful time of growing up.
C: You had some great times at your lake place. Tell me about
P: Yes, Kingsley was very early in my life. I learned to swim
out there when I was about five years old. My parents built a
house there in 1926. We had rented, from the Darby family
mostly, before that, but since 1926 it has been used
continuously in our small family. It was Mother's great hobby
and she loved the place just as Father did his places at
Crystal River and Cedar Key and Sea Horse Key. Mother had her
friends there and, of course, I too. My daughter had her
friends, and her two sons had theirs. So it's still going
C: Your daughter owns the property?
C: You did a lot of water sports there before they were popular
P: That's right. We always had boats, fast boats, because that
was the thing my father was into. We learned to do a lot of
things: aquaplaning, and later water skiing. Also I remember
the wonderful house parties that some of the girls' sororities
in high school had out there. The boys would come out and
stay with me and other friends, like the Parrish's and the
Dell's. That was always a lot of fun.
C: There were dances in those days, too?
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March 20, 1995
P: We had dances, many of them, at the Women's Club, across the
street from the high school. We also had them at the old
Country Club, at Glen Springs, and I am sure other places.
C: Gainesville was a sleepy little town in some ways, but an
active town. It was small. Can you walk around the square
and tell me what Gainesville was like downtown?
P: It was centered around the Courthouse, businesses and
professions typical of southern small towns with the County
Courthouse in the middle. Very typical of places today, you
find like Monticello and Madison, Georgia. But I remember in
the block where Baird Hardware was, Phifer had the north
corner of the eastern block and went all the way through to
Second Street. The Phifer Bank was in that block. Gus Phifer
(we called him Uncle Gus) was a good friend of my father's. My
father's brother married a Phifer girl, Mary, and lived on
East University Avenue. The house is still there, now known
as the McKenzie House, because my uncle died in 1917, and Mary
later married Reid McKenzie. Then you go around on the north
side: there was Wilson's Dry Good Store on the corner, and a
fine drug store in the middle of the block. There was another
drug store, Vidal's, on the corner opposite Baird's. Then you
go on around to the west side of the square, where Sears had
their first store, and Otto Stock's clothing store. Going
further around to the south side, the corner was owned by the
Chitty family. There were law offices upstairs, and the
Chitty's had a clothing store. Down on the other end of that
block was the Cox Furniture Company. Historically, Mr. Eberly
Baird had bought that corner after he had started Baird
Hardware, and later turned it into the Baird Theatre, which
operated in the period of 1908 to 1920 (somewhere in there).
So that is sort of a recollection of the square.
C: Gainesville was a small town. Everyone felt very safe, and
nobody felt like they had to lock their doors?
P: Very, it was just exactly that. We had policemen on
C: You graduated from High School in 1931 and enrolled in the
University of Florida the following fall. Tell me about your
University experience. What was your major?
P: I was in the Phi Delta Fraternity. Of course, intramural
sports was a big thing. I was on the swimming team for the
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fraternity and also wrestled, but I was not involved in any
sports at the college level. I was too busy with my studies.
I did try one thing which was interesting: fencing, under
Lance Lazonby, who became the law partner of Mr. Hampton and
was later the senior partner of Lazonby-Dell. I also took
riding lessons from him.
C: What was your major at the University?
P: My major was Mechanical Engineering, and I specialized in
aeronautics. At that time, we only had two or three courses
directly related to aeronautics; one was aircraft engines,
another was aerodynamics. But my degree was in Mechanical
Engineering. The ROTC program was of major interest to me and
I was involved in that for four years. Being an engineer, it
happened to place me in the Field Artillery Regiment, and I
thoroughly enjoyed it. Something I wish there were more of. I
think the discipline is something that all young men need and
I wish we had more of it.
C: You graduated, and belonged to some honorary fraternities.
Tell me about those.
P: I made the Freshman honorary fraternity, Phi Eta Sigma, and
the engineering honorary fraternity, Sigma Tau. The one I was
most proud of, upon graduation, was election to Phi Kappa Phi,
the top honorary society for scholastic at the University.
C: You had a couple wonderful trips during the summer to the
P: Yes, in 1933, the Chicago "Century of Progress" was a
wonderful experience, in retrospect, a truly scientific
background for so many things that we have. The first
television was shown there, for example. I went up in
Mother's Cadillac with her and two of my cousins, Hazel Lee,
and Mary Baird, and a friend, James Shackleford, who was in
electrical engineering at the University. The second year, a
group of us went up in a school bus owned by Aunt Etta Cannon,
driven by her son Calvert, my contemporary. I think about ten
of us went in the school bus, including Calvert, Bill Buck
(Mary Parrish's brother), Wade Hampton, J.M. Tison, his
brother Charlie, and several others I can't remember. But it
was quite a trip. We drove all the way and stopped only for
gas. We would switch off drivers and keep going through the
night. We had a couple of hammocks hung in the back of the
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bus, so we could cat-nap. Once we got to Chicago, we had a
great time. We had a good cheap place to stay and good
transportation to the Fair. Among other things, we had a
special time at those two marvelous ballrooms, the Aragon and
the Trianon. Those were the days when the girls would sit
around the perimeter of the ballroom, and you would simply go
up and ask them to dance -- nice girls, not dime-a-dance
C: Your friendship with John J. Tigert, Jr., continued from when
you met him in high school?
P: Yes. We met while we were juniors in high school. John had
come down from Washington. Before his father became President
in 1928, he was the Commissioner of Education for the U.S.
John I, my contemporary, had gone to school in Kentucky and in
Washington, and I think he had planned to go to Vanderbilt
University. The Tigerts were prominent for generations at
Vanderbilt. When his father came here, John came down. He
had to finish up some credits in our high school before he
could enter the University, so we graduated together in the
Class of 1931 and entered engineering at the University. As I
said earlier, we both joined Naval Aviation together, although
he had to drop out. I have been close to John ever since.
C: Why did he drop out?
P: Because he just couldn't wait to get married. He absolutely
was so in love that he got married before he should have. We
had a contract with the Navy that we wouldn't get married for
four years, but he couldn't wait, so they forced him out.
C: You trained at Opa-locka, and wasn't there a big hurricane
when you were there?
P: Yes, it was the big hurricane of August, 1935, that killed so
many workmen on Matecumbe Key. They were working on the
railroad. It came on up through the Everglades and just
missed us to the west, went over Lake Okeechobee, blew most of
the water out of the lake. After the storm passed by, our
instructors took us up and flew around to look at things. I
remember seeing just mud where Lake Okeechobee was. When we
went down to Matecumbe Key, there wasn't anything left; in
fact, there were still bodies hanging in some of the
mangroves. That's my principal hurricane experience.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 10
March 20, 1995
C: Why did you go into the Navy after you graduated?
P: There were several reasons. One is that we were in the depth
of The Depression, and a job in engineering would have been
very difficult to get. To go on into aeronautics, I would
have had to go to a major engineering school. As a matter of
fact, I had applied and had been accepted at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology to go into Aeronautical Engineering,
but in April, 1935, Navy pilots came here for recruiting in
the Engineering College, and the Law College, for participants
in the new Naval Aviation program at Pensacola. John Tigert
and I decided this was for us, so we took the exams and were
accepted for elimination training at Opa-locka; we passed our
training there and went on to Pensacola for regular training
as Naval Aviators.
C: How did your Dad feel about this?
P: He was disappointed, to say the least, in that he had planned
for me to come to work for him at Baird Hardware Company. He
did not have any other family prospects. It was now a family
business, and he was upset about my decision. Later he became
not only reconciled but I think quite pleased with my Navy
C: Probably very proud of his son.
P: The one thing that got me "over the hump", since he was so
angry about it, was my mother's complete support for me.
C: You were very close to your mother?
P: Yes, very close to her. We were very close friends. She was
a remarkable influence on me, and I think everybody around
her. She was that kind of person.
C: You and she had a wonderful trip to California?
P: Yes, a great trip to California. We stopped at a few places
to visit some friends and, of course, many great "sights".
C: Why were you going to California?
P: I got my wings in the early part of October, 1936, and Dad
gave me a Plymouth car. San Diego was my first place of
active duty in the Navy.
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March 20, 1995
C: Was this your first car?
P: No, my first car was a little old Austin, which he had given
me when I was at Opa-locka. But he wasn't going to let Mother
and me drive an Austin to California, so he took the Austin
and gave me a Plymouth. It was a great trip. We did all the
things we were supposed to do, saw some friends in Texas, and
went to the Grand Canyon and Boulder Dam. I visited briefly
with John Alison, who was still in flight training in the Army
Air Corps at Randolph Field, Texas. After I had checked into
my duty station in San Diego, Mother visited with the Van
Fleets. James Van Fleet had been here at the University of
Florida in the 1920's as a coach, and as head of the ROTC
program; he later became a very prominent General in the U.S.
Army. He was a Colonel on the West Coast near Los Angeles and
Mother visited them there. Later on, he was very kind to me;
took me hunting down in Baja, California, for quail -- a very
nice experience -- on several occasions.
C: Tell me about the different types of airplanes that you flew.
P: In early flight training, they were very primitive planes
which were similar to what we ended up with from World War I.
They were Curtis biplanes, low-powered, but served the purpose
for early training. At Pensacola, we had several different
types of planes to become qualified in. They were mostly
obsolete as far as the Fleet was concerned but we had to
become proficient in all types: scout planes, single-float,
sea planes (which were catapulted from cruisers), flying
boats, twin-float torpedo planes, and fighters. We had to fly
them all. Later on, it became necessary for pilots to
specialize, but in those days you had to fly them all. When
we went to the Fleet, there still wasn't a great deal of
difference; we still didn't have anything but biplanes until
just about the time that I was leaving the Fleet two years
later. In the fall of 1938, we began getting the first
monoplanes, but for my first twenty-one months of carrier
duty, all were biplanes.
C: You had a lot of leave time and you had some wonderful
activities out in California. You went skiing?
P: Yes, the nice thing about that duty was that it was peace
time, and the Navy was severely limited as to money. We
couldn't fly as much as we wanted and needed to. We flew a
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certain number of hours per month, but could not go over that.
So we invariably had two full days every weekend (except once
a month, when we had a formal parade for the Commandant of the
Air Station). Other than that, we had plenty of time on our
hands. We would go bicycling, also snow-skiing up in the
mountains (rather primitively). We went down to Mexico, to
Tijuana, to the gambling establishments down there. We had
dances at the Cadet Club. Lots of local girls were available.
It was a great period. Southern California was a wonderful
place to be in those days.
C: Tell me about the Old Gold contest.
P: It was one of the interesting things in industry: the first
major contest of any kind nationwide in this country. The P.
Lorillard Company, manufacturers of Old Gold cigarettes,
started this in June, 1937, and involved major newspapers of
the United States: New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago
Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and others. All major papers on a
given day would print a two-page spread; on one page were
ninety "puzzles" or cartoons, about 4" square, and below the
cartoons each had ten proper names of historical or living
persons. The puzzle part was to pick the name that was
identified by the particular cartoon. The cartoons involved
people, pets, and things that they were doing and saying, the
idea being that you had to figure out from all of the clues
what the matching proper name was. As I remember, there were
something like two million people who started the first series
of puzzles, which were published on the same day throughout
the U.S. It didn't cost anything to join; you just had to
work the puzzles out and send them in. Something like 140,000
people got all of them right. We learned later that it
surprised the P. Lorillard Company, so they put out a tie-
breaking series of ninety more puzzles. This time they were
more difficult, and they allowed less time to do them. I
think they allowed us four or five weeks for the first group;
on the second group, two weeks. Some 8,000 got all of those
right, which really was a surprise. This time they announced
the second and final tie-breaking series. You had only one
week. At the end, you had to send in an essay, 300 words or
less, subject being, "How has this contest affected sales of
cigarettes in my community?" I had been working with my
roommate, Bill Staggs, while we were on the Earhart search.
When we came back from the search, we realized that we still
couldn't be sure of some puzzles. It happened that in our air
group, there were three officer pilots and their wives who had
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also been working on the contest and had all run into doubts
about some puzzles. They were close friends so we got
together and decided to cooperate fully as far as we could go,
then make our four separate final entries with the
understanding that anything which might be won by any of us
would be divided into five parts, 2/5ths going to the winning
essay and 1/5th each to the other three. As it turned out, we
were shocked to learn right after returning from Peru that our
entry (in Bill Stagg's name) had won top prize of $100,000! I
had written our essay! I mentioned before that Colonel Van
Fleet had been very helpful. We had a problem. We had one
check made out to "William R. Staggs" but if he were taxed for
the whole amount, it would be terrible. Colonel Van Fleet
sent us to his attorney, who turned out to be very
knowledgeable. He took the matter up with the Internal
Revenue Service and told us exactly how to proceed. We never
cashed the $100,000 check but took it to a bank and turned the
check over to them. The bank then gave us each cashier's
checks for our winnings. The I.R.S. accepted it that way and
saved us a lot of money!
C: That was a very exciting thing to win. Tell us about the
Amelia Earhart search.
P: All these things happened at about the same time. The
contest, as I mentioned before, happened to be going on during
that time. On July 3, 1937, we got word that Earhart had gone
down the day before. She had been a good friend of Mrs.
Roosevelt, and the President wanted to do something fast. The
Navy thought this would be a great opportunity to show how
fast they could get military capable forces, aircraft
carriers, out near the Japanese mandated bases in the Gilbert
Islands, fairly near where Earhart went down. The Navy itself
was divided in those days. The people who were prominent in
aviation thought that carriers ought to have a bigger part in
the set-up of the Battle Fleet, and the battleship admirals
insisted that the carriers were just a scouting force. An
emergency order was issued to the Lexington, which was up at
Long Beach, north of San Diego, to come down the next day,
July 4th, and pick up as many aircraft as they could assemble.
This was on a holiday weekend and we had an awful time getting
together enough airplanes and pilots to fill the complement
needed. We managed to do it. The Lexington was short of fuel
and food. She stopped briefly at Maui to replenish. It took
us eleven days at high speed, using a great deal of fuel, to
get to the vicinity of Howland Island, which was Earhart's
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destination. We searched for seven full days on a basis that
I feel was scientific and proper, in view of the weather, in
view of the currents, in view of the very limited radio
communications that Earhart had with the Coast Guard cutters
anchored at Howland. The search was made in the most probable
direction. I had an unusual opportunity as an engineer and
draftsman. The navigator of the Lexington needed somebody who
could prepare the charts of the search to send in with the
official report to the Navy Department. I am convinced (I
don't care what has been speculated in recent years) that
Earhart landed within fifty miles of Howland Island and the
plane sank. Now, maybe they got out into their small rubber
raft and floated away. We searched in the proper direction
for seven days trying to locate the raft. There was no debris
of any kind. All this business about her being on a secret
mission is just nonsense.
C: You were also stationed in Hawaii, weren't you?
P: No. I had two Fleet Problems there in 1937 and 1938. These
were very important exercises that enabled the Navy to work
out fighting tactics and strategy. They were, of course,
concerned with Japan, no question about it, and the Japanese
were having surveillance from fishing boats every time they
had an opportunity to follow or be in the vicinity of an
aircraft carrier. They took photographs and listened to our
radio transmissions. We knew who the enemy was going to be,
so this was the basis of those two Fleet Problems: the
defense of the Hawaiian Islands. Apparently we didn't make
enough of an impression, considering what happened on December
C: You went to Lima, Peru, in 1937?
P: Yes, that was a busy year. In September of that year, after
the Earhart search, my squadron was transferred to the U.S.S.
Ranger, which was a new carrier, smaller than the Saratoga and
Lexington. There was an international conference in Peru, of
Latin American nations and some of their friends. The
Italians (under Mussolini) had sent an elite squadron of
military planes to make a tour of friendly South American
countries prior to the Peru conference. President Roosevelt
ordered the Ranger down to "show the flag". We made a pass of
the whole air group over Lima. If you haven't been there,
it's a strange place, very shallow, climbing up from the ocean
to the foothills of the Andes. Because of the cold current
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 15
March 20, 1995
off of the coast, you are flying under solid low clouds. By
the time we got over the airport (a grass field), where the
President of Peru and his horse guards were standing, the air
group was flying under a thousand foot ceiling which meant
that the lowest squadron was almost dragging on top of the
hangars. We all managed to go around, break up, and land
without damage. The President had a big all-night ball for
the crew of the Ranger. It was a most interesting trip.
C: I have down that you went to Lahaina.
P: It was where we refueled the Lexington on the way out to look
for Amelia Earhart.
C: Did you have some leave time in Florida during that period?
P: Yes, I came back here several times and was lucky enough to
meet Anne. I came over as often as I could get away from the
air station to court her. But before that, when I had my
first tour of duty at Pensacola, I came over a number of times
to just see family and friends.
C: You knew Carl Stengal?
P: Yes, when I came back to work for Dad in July, 1940, and I
also knew him before that. When I was in high school, he was
a motorcycle policeman. He started his operation sometime in
the 1930's. When I was stationed at Pensacola in 1939, I flew
over in a Navy airplane several times to his small
establishment where the present airport is. His one small
hangar was near where the fairgrounds now are. There was only
some paving just in front of his hangar. When I came back in
1940 for a short time, working with Dad, I bought an airplane,
a Stinson "105", and went up to St. Louis to fly it back. Carl
kept it for me in his hangar. Anne and I had lots of nice
trips in the Stinson, and Mother and Dad also. We went to
Miami to the Orange Bowl game New Years, 1941, up to Lexington
to visit Anne's parents, to New Orleans, and other places. We
had a good time with it! I had been ordered back to duty in
Pensacola in July, 1941. On December 7th, Anne and I were
flying back to Pensacola from Gainesville in the Stinson. We
got back to the civil airfield in Pensacola about 4:30 in the
afternoon, where I hangared the plane. The first thing they
told us when I pulled up to the ramp was, "Have you heard
about Pearl Harbor?" I said, "No." "Well, we're at war! The
radio says all military personnel must immediately go back to
their posts." So we went out and checked into the Air
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 16
March 20, 1995
Station, and that was the end of my personal flying. The
Stinson, however, I later sold to a Civil Air Patrol unit and
it flew out of Daytona Beach. In 1942, they were sending
these little airplanes out to look for German submarines! The
Stinson became part of that, I later learned.
C: We have to skip back to meeting Anne. What was Anne doing in
P: Anne had come down here from Columbia University on a
temporary job to work in the library at the University of
Florida. She had been there for only a few months when I met
her in August, 1938. My mother introduced me to her. Anne
was living with a close friend of Mother's, a lady by the name
of Ruth Becker, who is remembered by a lot of people here.
Mother and Ruth played a lot of bridge and Mother met Anne
then. When I came home the first time after my fleet duty,
Mother said, "I know you want to go out to Kingsley Lake." I
said, "Sure, let's go out there." She said, "Would you be
interested in a date?" And that is where I met Anne!
C: She had picked her out?
P: Yes, I guess so.
C: Now when you were married, you were still in the Navy. When
did you get out?
P: Actually, we were married in September, 1939. We had planned
to go to Bermuda on our honeymoon, but the war started in
Europe in September and with Bermuda being British, we had to
change plans. We ended up going to New York to the World's
Fair and back down to the Grove Park Inn at Asheville, North
Carolina, then back to Pensacola. I described in the early
biography, I was involved in various areas of instrument
flight training until early 1944. Then I went to the South
C: But you didn't get out of the service?
P: Only that period when I worked for Dad for a short time after
my first five year tour. Before Pearl Harbor, I had received
orders back to active duty.
C: Tell me about your war-time experiences.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 17
March 20, 1995
P: I had no actual combat in the Pacific. My specialty was in
instrument flight training. It was imperative to greatly
improve pilot capability, which was demonstrated to be so
inadequate after Pearl Harbor. We simply couldn't provide
proper defense of the carriers or land bases. When the
Japanese attacked at night, we lost many pilots and planes due
to this deficiency. So, an emergency program of retraining
was started. Once we got the new program underway in the
training command we had to go out to the South Pacific and
upgrade pilots in the carrier replacement "pools". We had to
be sure that those "pools" were up to standard on instrument
flight. That is what I was doing out there.
C: You were training?
P: Yes, from March, 1944, until July, 1945, in the New Hebrides,
the Solomon Islands, and the Admiralty Islands.
C: You were in the service from 1941 to 1944, but not stationed
in the South Pacific all that time?
P: No, I was traveling around in the United States on the
instrument training program, going to various training bases
and operating bases and supervising the retraining of pilots
who were going to the Fleet.
C: This was all in instrument training?
C: Your daughter, Betty, was born in October, 1942. Where were
you and Anne living?
P: We were living in Pensacola, and Anne went to Lexington to
have Betty. We were working almost around the clock, but my
squadron commander told me, "When your in-laws call that you
have a child, we'll have an airplane ready that you can take."
And they did. I flew to Lexington, Kentucky, with our cocker
spaniel in the baggage compartment, immediately after Mr.
Richardson called. I spent only a day or two there with Anne,
then returned to Pensacola. Later she came down on the train
with Betty. She must have been six or seven months old when I
had to leave Pensacola to go to Atlanta in connection with the
Instrument Flight Instructor School. So we went to Atlanta
and bought a home. From there, I went to the South Pacific,
and Anne stayed in Atlanta while I was gone. In July, 1945, I
was ordered to the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 18
March 20, 1995
C: Then you got out?
P: I got out in the latter part of September, 1945, came back to
Gainesville, and went to work for my father.
C: Then you got involved in Baird Hardware, and you were
President of the company after 1962?
P: I had a lot of other activities. I was particularly involved
in the marine department, which involved traveling all over
the State of Florida, from Pensacola to Key West, setting up
dealers for Mercury Outboard Motors. Part of my duties
(because it was good promotional activity) was hydroplane
racing; I actively raced boats until 1951 or 1952.
C: Where were these races held?
P: All over the state Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, in many lakes
and even in Biscayne Bay. Out west, we raced in
Choctawhatchee Bay, Pensacola Bay, and some rivers. We'd
organize cruises on the Apalachicola River, the Oklawaha, the
St. Johns, and such.
C: You also owned other kinds of boats, I believe, besides racing
boats fishing boats?
P: Yes, and outboard cruisers.
C: You were President of something called Action?
P: That was the Alachua County Taxpayers Association. I remember
that Jack McGriff and I were very active together in that.
What we were trying to do at that time was get a better basis
for the tax assessments of business properties. Things were
changing so much that the central part of the city was going
down. They hadn't changed the assessments properly. Property
out in west Gainesville, near the University, was going up;
and our Association was trying to make some sense out of it
and give the county and the city some help in working out a
better tax program for the community.
C: I am sure there was a big change in Gainesville after you came
back after the war, and it continued to change.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 19
March 20, 1995
P: Of course, and the University was the big thing with all the
GI's coming back. It's amazing how many young men who went to
college here and then went into military service, came back to
Gainesville. So we had a lot of old friends to work with in
the professions, as well as businesses here.
C: So, some of the same friends from high school and college are
P: That's right.
C: The store closed in 1967?
P: In 1967, we closed the retail business in the downtown store
and moved our operation to the warehouse area on South Main
St. -- strictly wholesale. As you know, the city condemned
the downtown block a couple of years after we closed up, for
the new county administration building and the judicial
C: It was after that that you closed the whole thing down?
P: Yes, at the end of 1980. My father had passed away in 1972,
and by that time we had noticed the beginning of the first
shopping center, the Gainesville Shopping Center out on North
Main. Although we had completed architectural plans to
drastically remodel our downtown store buildings, we decided
in 1967 to abandon the plans and concentrate on wholesale. The
central city area was deteriorating. It turned out to be the
right decision, because as a relatively small family business
without any responsibilities except to our small family, to go
into competition with the bigger stores that were beginning to
come into Gainesville and chain stores like Ace Hardware and
Tru-Value, it just wasn't worth risking the assets of the
corporation and the family. So, after Dad died, I just made
my own plans to phase out certain departments. We had a
separate automotive department in a separate building. We had
a plumbing, heating and electrical department down in old
Depot. I gradually closed them out. Then in 1980, I closed
out the rest of it and was very satisfied with the way it
went. As I said earlier, the properties were donated to the
University of Florida Foundation with certain gift
stipulations as to what would be done with the eventual
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 20
March 20, 1995
C: The fountain and the downtown Plaza, that was something you
gave the city?
P: We gave the money for the central plaza, which was the key
gift. I think it was $30,000, for the central section. A lot
of people gave for the various other parts of the plaza. We
also gave a piece of property that we owned on Newnans Lake,
Palm Point. We gave that to the University for the Human
Identification Laboratory at the Museum.
C: The fountain was located right about where Baird Hardware
Store once was?
P: Yes, it was right where the back section of the store was,
where our receiving department was.
C: You gave that in memory of your Dad?
C: You and Anne started flying again around 1980?
P: I did. I started flying but Anne wouldn't and my daughter
wouldn't. She wouldn't let her sons fly with me either, which
was a disappointment. But I enjoyed the trips with some
friends, Burton Woodward, Jack Spruill, and some others. We
made short trips around here and there and I was glad to get
back in the air. But I realized that to do it safely you had
to stay with it, and you had to really concentrate on
retraining. All the communications facilities had changed so
much, airway procedures, airport procedures, so I did simple
things. But it was something satisfying to me.
C: The earlier plane that you owned, that one Anne flew in?
P: Yes, lots of wonderful trips.
C: You and Anne bought a place in North Carolina?
P: Yes, in 1972, right after Dad died. We used it as a sort of
back-and-forth vacation thing. When I closed the business, we
decided that it was so good for us there that we would spend
as much time as possible between May and October, and that is
what we have done.
C: You probably have as many friends up there as you do down
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 21
March 20, 1995
P: Well, that's true. I have very few old friends here. In
fact, I stopped playing golf here in Gainesville several years
ago. All of my great friends were gone: Greer Kirkpatrick,
Watt Kirkpatrick, H.K. Wallace, Jimmie Anderson, Roy Purvis,
Leo Thomas, S.A. Hussey. All those fellows that I played with
for years and years. I just wasn't ready to go out and just
look for odd games.
C: But you play in the summer?
P: Yes, play in the summer; play regularly two or three times a
week -- twice anyway.
C: And your wife is the great bridge player?
P: Yes, she plays bridge two or three times a week.
C: Do you play bridge together?
P: No, I don't play -- never played bridge.
C: Have you and Anne done much traveling in your retirement?
P: We have done a lot of traveling. We've been to wonderful
places: Australia, New Zealand, Norway, the Canal, Cape Horn,
Alaska, Hawaii, England, Rome, etc.
C: You have two grandsons. What are their names?
P: The older is John Addison Alsobrook, presently employed in
Washington; the younger, Cannon Coleman Alsobrook, in law
school at UGA.
C: Well, it has been very interesting to talk with you, and we
thank you very much. You will be given a copy of this for
your records, and, of course, the original will be kept at the
Matheson Historical Center. Thank you again.
P: It has been a pleasure.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 22
March 20, 1995
ATTACHMENT: Biography written by Mr. Cicero Addison Pound, Jr.:
I was born here in Gainesville, the only child of Cicero Addison
Pound and Annie Cannon Pound. I was known for all too long as
"Buster". My grandparents on my father's side were Eugene Cicero
Pound and Sarah Lee Tison Pound, on my mother's side, Olin P.
Cannon and Alice Brown Cannon. I never knew my Grandfather Pound,
who died in 1895 at age 38, or my Grandmother Cannon, who died in
1916. Grandfather Pound came to Gainesville from Georgia after the
Civil War, started a livery stable business and married Lola Tison
in 1878. The Tisons had property near Earlton on Lake Santa Fe.
Lola died in 1880, and her sister Sarah Lee became his wife in
1881. They had four children: Turner, Hodges, Clara, and Addison.
Neither Turner nor Hodges had any children. Clara, as wife of Ira
Baird, had three daughters, Clara Nell (who died as a girl), Hazel
Lee, and Mary. So I became the tail-end of this line of the Pound
Grandfather Cannon came here in 1880 and settled on a farm near
Rocky Point on Paynes Prairie, just east of the present 1-75. He
married Alice Brown in 1882, but I am not sure where they came from
- Delaware sticks to mind. They had three sons and two daughters:
Harry, Linden, Annie, Mary, and Olin. Mary was the only one who
never had children. I had lots of cousins on the Cannon side, ten
to be exact. As grandmother Pound had nine or ten Tison siblings,
I also had lots of Tison cousins once-removed.
My father attended East Florida Seminary, and was a freshman at the
University of Florida, but he dropped out and went to Bowling
Green, Kentucky, Business School, following which he went to work
in 1908 for Mr. Eberly Baird, at the Baird Hardware Company. His
brother, Turner, also worked for Mr. Baird, but died in 1917. Dad
acquired control of the company after Mr. Baird's death in 1930.
Mother attended Miss Maggie TeBeau's School for Young Ladies, in
Gainesville, and Wesleyn College for Women in Macon, Georgia. It
is interesting to note that one of her friends there was Mayling
Soong, who became the famous Madame Chiang, wife of China's
My parents were married in 1911, lived with Grandmother Pound in
her house, which is still here on the corner of old Roper Avenue
and Union Street. In 1922, we moved into a new home on University
Terrace, just a block from the University campus. I lived there
until graduation from the University in 1935. Dad died there in
1972. Then Mother moved out to the Gaineswood Condominiums in
1974. She gave her home to the University of Florida for what was
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 23
March 20, 1995
planned to be a special temporary residence for distinguished
I attended grade school at the forerunner of the Kirby Smith
Facility on East University Avenue and at the new school just west
of the railroad tracks on West University Avenue. I graduated with
honors in the class of 1931, after ten years in grade school, and
entered the University of Florida that fall. At the University, I
became a member of the Phi Delta Theta social fraternity and
participated in four years of ROTC, becoming a Battalion Commander
in the Field Artillery Regiment. Academically speaking, I
specialized in science and engineering, graduating with high honors
in 1935 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical
John J. Tigert V, son of the University of Florida President, was
also one of the Mechanical Engineering graduates and my close
friend. John and I had already applied and had been accepted for
flight training as Naval Aviation Cadets in a new and urgent
government program. We attended elimination training at Opa-locka
near Miami, and were sent to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, in
September, for the complete treatment. John did not complete his
flight training, as he married Iris Machen in violation of our
contract not to marry for the full four years of our Navy contract.
In September, 1936, I completed training and was designated Naval
Aviator, with orders to report to Scouting Squadron VS4B based at
North Island, in San Diego, California, assigned to the aircraft
carrier USS Saratoga.
Mother and I had a great trip by auto across the southern United
States. I reported for duty, which became the most intense,
challenging, and exciting twenty-one months of my life.
During my tour with the Battle Forces Pacific Fleet, I flew
actively from all three of the carriers the Navy had at the time:
Saratoga, Lexington, and Ranger. I participated in two major Fleet
Problems, 18 and 19, involving the defense of and attacks on the
Navy's base at Pearl Harbor; flew in the dedication shows for the
two great new San Francisco Bridges (Oakland-Bay, and Golden Gate);
helped search for Amelia Earhart on the Lexington; went to Peru on
the Ranger, representing the United States at a major international
conference; and incidentally, won the Old Gold cigarette national
contest, in partnership with my squadron mate, Bill Staggs. The
Navy had several new aircraft carriers on the way and accelerated
pilot training at Pensacola. A number of us cadets were ordered
back from the Fleet in July, 1938, for duty as instructors.
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 24
March 20, 1995
I met the girl who was to become my wife, Anne Richardson, in
August, 1938, when on a visit to Gainesville. Anne was from
Lexington, Kentucky, where she had graduated from the University of
Kentucky, taking a graduate course at Columbia University in New
York, and had a job at the library of the University of Florida.
She accepted my suit in April, 1939, and I managed to get to
Lexington to meet her parents. On July 1, all of us Aviation
Cadets were commissioned as Ensigns in the Naval Reserve, with date
of rank back to the beginning of our flight training.
Anne and I were married in Lexington on September 19, 1939, and
rented a house near the Pensacola Air Station for $55.00 per month.
The Navy had offered to extend our original four-year contract
another year, which I accepted. Then I took my exams for promotion
and was commissioned Lieutenant Junior Grade late in 1939. Although
the war had started in Europe and began to look serious even for
the United States, I had promised my father to return to
Gainesville after completing the extra year of active duty, to
begin assuming responsibilities with Baird Hardware. As it
developed, I received urgent orders in June, 1941, to report back
to duty at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola. Things were really
humming, and priority efforts were started to drastically improve
the instrument flight capability of Naval aviators. After Pearl
Harbor, a great deficiency in night and bad weather flying
capability had become tragically apparent. I was fortunate to
become involved immediately with the program, including helping to
set up a new Instrument Flight Instructors School at Naval Air
Station, Atlanta, supervising rewriting of the instrument flight
training manuals, and becoming one of the first members of the
Instrument Flight Standardization Board.
The most important personal event of this period was the birth of
our daughter, Elizabeth Anne, in October, 1942. In 1943, we moved
to Atlanta and bought a home. In March, 1944, I was ordered to the
South Pacific area to help in the upgrading of pilots in the
replacement "pools" for our carrier forces. In July, 1945, I
returned to the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, for duty in the
Operational Training Unit. We sold our house in Atlanta and bought
one in Gainesville. In October, with the war over, I did not
accept the offer of a Regular Navy commission,returning to
Gainesville and Baird Hardware. I had transferred to the Inactive
Reserve, with the rank of Commander.
My principal early responsibility in business was setting up and
supervising a service-dealer network throughout the State of
Interview with Cicero Addison Pound, Jr. 25
March 20, 1995
Florida for Mercury Outboard Motors. As part of this, I was
personally involved in outboard racing as a promotional activity.
Locally, I served as President of the Chamber of Commerce in 1957-
58, was a member of the new Alachua County Water Control Authority
with Wade Hampton. I was on the committees which successfully
promoted the establishment of the new Federal Building and planned
the downtown Community Plaza. I became President of Baird Hardware
Company in 1962, following which, with major changing conditions in
Gainesville, we decided to close out the retailing part of our
general hardware business. The downtown store was closed in 1967,
and all activity concentrated in our warehousing area on South Main
and Depot Avenue.
Following the death of my father in 1972, I began downsizing the
business and eventually closed it completely at the end of 1980.
The business properties were given to the University of Florida to
provide certain family scholarship programs in the Engineering
College after my mother's death, and later in the Business
Administration College, when I am gone. The gift of another
property endowed the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory at
the Florida Museum of Natural History.
As an aside, at age 65, in January, 1980, I reactivated my civilian
pilot's license (not having touched the controls of an airplane
since September, 1945) and did some personal flying until May,
1985, when I gave it up for good. Anne and I had purchased a
condominium in the mountains of Western North Carolina in 1972 and
used it for vacation visits. In 1981, we began staying there for
about half of each year, May October.
Our daughter and only child was educated in Gainesville schools,
Stewart Hall in Virginia, Hollins College in Virginia, and her
final two years, for her degree, at the University of Florida. She
was married in 1964 to Alvin Alsobrook. They live in Gainesville
and have two sons, John Addison, born 1969, and Cannon Coleman,
born 1972. Thank you very much.