Title Page

Title: Interview with Elizabeth Beaty
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/MH00002571/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Elizabeth Beaty
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Smith, Ann ( Interviewer )
Marston, Ruth C. ( Transcriber )
Publisher: Matheson Historical Museum
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: August 1, 2002
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: MH00002571
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.


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Table of Contents
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Full Text






Elizabeth Beaty

Ann Smith

Ruth C. Marston

August 1, 2002

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 1
August 1, 2002

S: Today is August 1, 2002. My name is Ann Smith, and I am here to interview
Elizabeth Beaty at her home at 4322 N.W. 13th Street in Gainesville, Florida.
Please tell us when you were born.

B: October 15, 1916.

S: Where were you born?

B: In Lincoln County, Georgia.

S: When you say Lincoln County, does that mean you were not born in a city but out
in the country?

B: Yes.

S: And were you born at home?

B: Yes.

S: This was on a farm?

B: Yes, they had a farm.

S: And you were one of how many children?

B: Four. I was next to the oldest.

S: Did you grow up in that house?

B: Yes.

S: Did you go to school nearby?

B: Yes, in Lincoln County.

S: When did you leave Lincoln County?

B: 1938, when I went to nursing school at University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia.

S: What kind of a program was that? Was it a diploma program?

B: Yes, ma'am.

S: Was it a big hospital?

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 2
August 1, 2002

B: Yes, it had both medical students and nurses.

S: What do you remember about your early training? That's one of the interesting
things I have been talking to people about, what that included in 1938.

B: Drugs. We were taught drugs.

S: What drugs were given then? Did you give hypodermics?

B: Yes, ma'am.

S: Did morphine come in a pill form?

B: Yes.

S: So how did you administer it at that time?

B: In a syringe with sterile water, and we shook it. There were 24 in my class.

S: Did they all graduate?

B: Yes in 1938.

S: If you graduated in 1938, you must have left home in what year?

B: 1935.

S: It was a three-year program?

B: Yes, ma'am.

S: What did you do after graduation?

B: I worked there for a few months, and I came down here on January 1, 1939.

S: How did you find Gainesville, Florida, or how did you happen to come here?

B: I had some student nurse friends, who came down here before me. They lived in

S: So these were classmates. They were a year ahead of you, but they were from

B: Yes.

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 3
August 1, 2002

S: They were working at Alachua General Hospital?

B: They called me one day and said, "Elizabeth, we have openings for many
graduate nurses to do floor duty at Alachua General Hospital." I thought,
I don't know if I should go or not." I asked and they said,
"Sure, go ahead."

S: It seems to me that was kind of a brave thing to do for a young woman at that

B: The nurses ahead of me, a year or two ahead of me, came down here.

S: So you felt like you had friends already down here. Did you come down on the

B: On the bus and when we got here, it was so hot. No cabs, no transportation.

S: How did you get over to Alachua General Hospital?

B: The bus driver drove me over to the grounds and let us out.

S: Did you stay in the nurses' quarters?

B: Yes I did.

S: So they needed floor nurses, staff nurses?

B: Yes.

S: What kind of patients did you take care of when you started?

B: We had operative patients, surgery patients.

S: What kind of surgical patients did you have?

B: Dr. Thomas operated. He did anything. He did appendectomies and abdominal

S: Did you have tuberculosis patients?

B: I think I had one patient who had tuberculosis. He was quarantined.

S: Did you learn the procedures for turpentine stupes?

B: No. I don't think we did those.

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 4
August 1, 2002

S: Some other nurses have talked about them, doing the mustard plaster.

B: We did those.

S: What did your father do for a living? Was he a farmer?

B: Yes.

S: And your mother took care of the children and the house?

B: Yes.

S: Did the other children go on to school after they finished high school?

B: Yes, they had. Daddy taught school.

S: And you came to Gainesville and started working at Alachua General Hospital.
You were a staff nurse to begin with and did somebody approach you about doing
private duty?

B: Yes.

S: Was it Dr. Thomas?

B: No.

S: When did you meet your husband?

B: 1941.

S: How did you meet him?

B: That was on New Year's Eve. We were at a dinner and somebody said, "We have
some University students here that would like to meet the student nurses."

S: So University students wanted to meet some student nurses.

B: We didn't have any bus transportation downtown so we were walking. He had a
business down on University Avenue. He saw three or four of us and he came up
one day and said, "I think I'd like to take you. Where are you going?" We said
we were going downtown. He said, "Yes. I'll take you down there." We refused
the ride.

S: Did he have a car?

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 5
August 1, 2002

B: Yes. We went downtown. He said, "I don't want this to happen again. It is too
hot for you girls to be out here walking." We didn't go by there again, so he
couldn't say that. People had businesses along the area where he was.

S: And he was a student?

B: No, he wasn't at that time. He had graduated.

S: So he had a business? What was it?

B: Typewriter repair and office equipment at 807 West University.

S: So he attended the University for a couple years and didn't graduate but he went
into business. I see. So, after he gave you a ride a couple times, when did you
see him next?

B: I never did for about two to three weeks.

S: Did he ask you out?

B: Well, there was a New Year's Eve party at a fraternity house, Phi Gamma Delta.
Some of the other girls went and he carried us back to the hospital and when that
was over with, the boys got together and cooked breakfast for us.

S: Was that on New Year's Day he cooked the breakfast?

B: Yes.

S: What did they cook for breakfast?

B: Scrambled eggs and sausages and pancakes, I believe it was.

S: Boy, the way to a woman's heart is through her stomach.

B: I've heard it the other way around.

S: Yes, I've heard it a different way, too. That's kind of a nice twist. After that, did
you begin seeing him?

B: Yes.

S: Were you still working as a staff nurse then?

B: Yes.

S: When did you start to do private duty?

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 6
August 1, 2002

B: I don't remember.

S: Did you work as a staff nurse until you had Bill?

B: No. He was two. He was born in August 1942.

S: Tell me when you were married.

B: 1941.

S: And it was August? It was a hot day, I imagine.

B: I don't remember.

S: When did you have your first child?

B: 1942.

S: How many children did you have?

B: Two.

S: When you first came to Gainesville, tell me what you remember of downtown.

B: Very few cars down there.

S: What about street lights?


S: Do you remember what streets were paved?

B: University Avenue was, I know.

S: How far down, do you remember?

B: To N.E. 4th Street. used to be.

S: What businesses were downtown? What stores?

B: Canova's store.

S: Were they on University?

B: Yes.

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 7
August 1, 2002

S: And what street? Main Street?

B: University Avenue.

S: Did you go into the drugstore?

B: Yes.

S: Did they have a soda fountain?

B: I don't remember about that. I don't think they did.

S: When you worked as a nurse at Alachua General Hospital, did you have patients
that were black? Did you have Negro patients?

B: Yes, we did. They were in a ward by themselves.

S: Do you remember where?

B: On the second and third floors.

S: Did you take care of them?

B: Yes. I helped take care of them. We had about three or four nurses to a ward.

S: And the doctors' offices did they have a separate entrance? Did the black
patients come in a different door?


S: When your children were little, did you go back to work and did you do private

B: Yes, I did. I started doing private duty in 19

S: When they were little, who took care of them when you went to work?

B: My husband did. He was here with them.

S: What shift did you work private duty?

B: 11-7.

S: So he could be with the children and then you came back home in the morning.
Where did you live? In this house?

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 8
August 1, 2002

B: Yes.

S: What did your husband do? Was he in the typewriter business then?

B: Yes.

S: Did you go to the movies for entertainment?

B: Yes, at a movie house on University Avenue.

S: Where did you get your groceries?

B: Winn Dixie and Publix.

S: Did you have a refrigerator?

B: Yes.

S: Was it an icebox or a refrigerator?

B: Refrigerator?

S: Did you have a car?

B: Yes, a Chevrolet.

S: Was 13th Street paved all the way out here?

B: No, not all the way. It was paved up to 23rd Avenue.

S: Just part way and then it was a dirt road. You must have been out in the country
out here.

B: Yes.

S: Where did your children go to school?

B: Stephen Foster Elementary. Bill went to kindergarten at J.J. Finley.

S: Did they walk?

B: Sometimes they hopped a school bus.

Jo: Tell her about that day that you didn't know where Bill was. I think that was

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 9
August 1, 2002

B: The bus was supposed to bring him home at 2:00 and one afternoon he hadn't
come home by 2:30. I was so worried.
He was supposed to be home at a certain time. He

S: But he was all right.

B: Yes. I went over there and found him, and I said, "Where have you been all this
time?" He said, ""

S: How long did he go to Sidney Lanier?

B: Several years, until they opened Stephen Foster.

S: Did you all take any vacations as a family?

B: We tried to.

S: Do you remember any in particular?

B: We went to Naples, Florida.

S: Did you go by car?

B: Yes. My sister was down there and we visited her.

S: Was that a nice trip?

B: Yes, it was.

S: Did the children like it?

B: They had a good time.

S: What kind of food did they like best? What did you cook?


S: Are you a good cook?

B: They ate the food, anyway.

Jo: You cooked a lot of big meals.

B: chicken. Fried chicken, rice and gravy.

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 10
August 1, 2002

S: Now that sounds like a Southern girl! Do you remember what doctors were in
practice when you were at the hospital?

B: Dr. Thomas and Dr. Dell. He was in X-ray Dr. Dell.

S: Did your children have any serious illnesses or injuries when they were small?
What about your husband?

B: No.

S: Everybody was pretty healthy then. When you had your two children, did you
have them at the hospital?

B: Yes, ma'am.

S: How long did you stay in the hospital when you had a baby?

B: Ten days.

S: That sounds right to me. They kept you in bed so long that you were weak when
you got home.

B: About 14 days. Everybody did that.

S: That's right. That was universal care then. Did you work in the delivery room?

B: Yes.

S: So you knew about birthing babies. How often were you the person who caught
the baby when the doctor didn't make it there on time?

B: Dr. Baines

S: Do you remember if Gainesville had a hotel?

B: Hotel Thomas. Right where it is now.

S: Did you ever stay there or did you have company who stayed there?

B: I may have but I don't remember.

S: Do you remember the Primrose Inn? Did you ever eat there?

B: Yes. They had good food.

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 11
August 1, 2002

S: They surely did. Now, when did your husband go into the business that is next

B: 1967. He built that building.

S: He built the building in 1967. Was that a new line of business for him because
those aren't typewriters over there.

B: It was a new line.

S: Now, it was kitchen supplies for restaurants. Did that start off right away as a
good business?

B: Yes it did.

S: Do you remember some of his good customers?

B: The restaurants.

S: Do you remember their names?

B: Primrose Inn and the Hotel Thomas. Robert Gertner had a place.

S: His son's name was Rudy Gertner, and he was a doctor. Now, this is when your
son had a hernia and was operated on?

B: He was crying day and night. Dr. Thomas operated. He was so hot one night we
had the windows open, and Mrs. Kirkpatrick called her and complained.
She was the only one who complained, and
she said, "Do something about that baby crying." I told her, "If you can do any
better than I can, the door is open. Come on over." She said, "I don't have time."

S: I think that was a wonderful answer. She just had time to complain.

B: She didn't come. In two weeks, we took him to Dr. Thomas and he operated. It
was a big hernia.

S: So he operated.

B: He still cried afterwards. I just couldn't stand the pressure from her any more.
No other neighbors complained.

S: Absolutely.

B: We were good friends, later on, though.

Interview with Elizabeth Beaty 12
August 1, 2002

S: Were you?

B: After he was operated on, he was all right then. I had
to, so I guess that's what happens. He was all right
then. It was at nighttime, not in the daytime, that he cried. She had children and I
know they cried, too. If they didn't, it was a wonder.

S: I bet they did.

B: I'll bet they did, too.

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