Title: Thomas J. Price
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behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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the University of Florida

1978. My name is Steve Kerber and

I am going to be conducting an oral history interview with Mr.

Thomas J. Price. Mr. Price was formerly assistant to the

business manager

at the University of Florida.

This interview

for the University of Florida's Oral History Project will take

place at


9:30 a.m. in the Ford Library of the Florida State

K:We have a general kind of a uh,

set of questions that we use on

most people but obviously we vary it depending on what their

particular area was at the university.

But, very briefly,

I'm going to ask you a few questions about your own

background and then get into how you came to the university

and questions about your work in the business office. So,

if there's any....

P:Well, see mine's primarily well altogether in the business end

of it, not in

any teaching or...

K:So if there's anything uh, that you'd like to expand upon that

I don't get to directly enough,

I wish you'd do that so we

get it on the tape.


K:O.K., and I usually start just by asking you to give me your

uh, full name, for the record.

P:My full name's Thomas James Price.

K:And where were you born, Mr. Price?

Today is Monday, November 13,

P:Born on a farm near Melrose.

K:Oh, really?

P:Putnam County.

K:Do you mind telling

me your birth date?

P:July 2, 1906.

K:Now, this was

the family farm,

I take it?


K:Uh-huh. What did your dad


farming, cotton. It was back in the days when cotton

was quite a, uh, farm crop.

He even had uh, gins

nearby run

by water power.

K:Uh-huh. Do you come from a large family?

P:No, just a sister, my parents, other than uh. Now, they had

large families but behind them, but my immediate one was

only my sister and parents.

K:What was your father's


P:James Murchison,

K:Can you spell that middle name

for me?


K:O.k. and what was ....

P:I don't know whether he was relation to the [laugh]


Murchisons or not. Don't think so.

K:What was your mother's name?

P:Uh, Marjanna Spivey.




K:O.k. Now where did you attend grade school?


K:In Melrose? in town?

P:Melrose High School.

K:Uh-huh, and you went to high school there?


K:Did you have the opportunity to go on to college or did you

have to go to work right away?

P:I did some of both. I came to Gainesville and uh, first in



P:Uh, part-time work at the old Phifer State Bank. And, I didn't

go to school that year, but the following year I did come to

the university and uh, work and school at the university.

K:Now, you were first, you first came to Gainesville in 1923.

Did you have opportunity to finish your degree?

P:No, I didn't. I did a lot of self-education, and some

correspondence work through the General Extension Division.

But I never did actually get a degree from the university.

K:Uh-huh. Did you immediately get a job at the University of


P:No, no. In 1926, three years later. I uh, being in the

banking game, I took a job in Palatka, Florida, in a bank,

assistant cashier. In 19....later that summer of 1926,

banks started popping off--Depression, Florida land boom



P:And uh, after being in Palatka for a few months, the first bank

closed, another bank hired me. Called me up to come work

for them, which I did, until my first bank reopened.


P:And I went back with them, but they couldn't make it through

their second summer. And, in 1927, it closed for good, and

then I came back to the, to Gainesville and uh, got the job

in the business office at the university.

K:I see.

P:Stayed there until 1966.

K:Would you tell us a little bit more about how you actually got

that job? In other words, how you heard about it and who

you want to see and...

P:Well, I went back to the vice-president of Phifer bank, and

tried to get back on there but they had no openings. But he

referred me to Mr. Klein Graham who was then the business

manager of the university. And I came out without any call

or anything to see him, and uh, he seemed interested, but he

uh, wouldn't tell me definitely that day. He did some

checking on me.


P:And the next day, he told me to come back and the next day I

did and he told me I'd go to work the following day, which I


K:What time of the year....

P:It was October the 14th, 1927, that I came to work.

K:Had you known Mr. Graham in the time you had been here as a


P:Only knowing him in a business way.


P:Uh, and I uh, well, I first knew him when I was working in the

Phifer Bank. He was a customer there. Knew who he was, I

wasn't really personally acquainted with him, but I knew


K:Let me back up just a little bit now and talk about the time

between 1923 and 1926 when you were going to school and also

working at the bank. Did you live on campus?


K:Did you live in a boarding house?

P:Uh, I had a room out on what is now Third Avenue, uh, it was

called McCormick street then. Uh, rooming with another

employee of the, assistant cashier of the Phifer Bank. And

we were eating our meals wherever we were. Wasn't a regular

boarding house, we haven't...rented rooms in private home,

very nice place.

K:Uh-huh. Were you uh, attending classes on any kind of a

regular basis and then like how many would you have been

attending during a semester and how much time were you

putting in at the bank?

P:I was putting in approximately half-time working, the rest of

it in school.

K:Uh-hm. What sort of a degree were you hoping to work towards?

P:That was at the beginning of the business administration

college. Uh, they didn't even call it business

administration at that time. It was uh, business and social



P:Dr. L. M.[Lucius Moody] Bristol was the head of it at that

time. Before Dean[Walter Jefferies] Mateherly came.

K:Could you tell us a little bit about Dr. Bristol, what sort of

a character he was?

P:Well, as I recall, he, after he uh, Matherly came, Bristol went

back as head of department of sociology I believe it was.

Uh, he was, I thought, a very likable person, very

efficient. I, I after being full-time business office, I

became really better acquainted with him then I did as a



P:I knew him quite well. Admired his ability.

K:Let me ask you what your duties were at the bank. What

position did you hold and what did you do?

P:Well here, I did uh, machine posting, sorting checks, uh,

writing up what they term the uh, the uh, out of town

checks...the latter was a term they used at that time which

uh, they call now, I think bank clearing. That, back in

those days was done manually.

You'd do it by hand. And uh,

that was one job, I did teller's work. That's where I

learned first to handle money.


P:Somebody else's.

K & P:[laugh]

P:Uh, receiving, deposits, paying, receiving and disbursing

teller. The bookkeeping, statements, in fact there were

just a few of us that time in the bank, it had assets then

less than a million dollars.


P:And uh, in experience like that you learn to do everything that

was to be done in a bank.

K:I'm sure.

P:Even making loans.

K:Who were the bank officers? The men that you worked for?

P:Well, at the beginning, Mr. W. B.[William Baxter] Phifer was

the president, Mr. J. A. Phifer was vice-president and Mr.

H. L.[Henry langdon] was vice-president and cashier, was the

Carmichael was at that time was had not

even been named assistant cashier.


P:he later was while I was employed there. Mr. Karl


later became, he was a teller when I came and he later

became assistant cashier. And uh, course, they're all

now, every one of them.

Uh, Mr. Carmichael later well, the

Phifer Bank closed along in the thirties. But he went to,

he was my roommate too, incidently, uh he went with what was

then the Citizens

Bank which is

now the Sun Bank.

K:Yes, sir. Uh-hm.

P:And was vice-president of that.

Phifer Bank

Uh, Karl

after it reopened and then

the Florida National.

K:I see.

P:Present Florida National

here, and he was

Zitrouer stayed with

it was taken over by

a...became vice-

president of that.


P:There another employee, Fred May.


P:Uh, well


Fred May and Byron Mills. They later went with

the First National. Both became, well


May became assistant

retired, later Mills became cashier. And he is now

retired. Bad health.


title... Mr. J. B.

K:I see, I see. When was the first time that you remember

actually coming to the university? Was it before 1923?

mean just visiting the campus, seeing the campus?

P:No, not to be on the campus.


P:Of course, passing and

uh, uh, I knew the university was here

even from a child.


P:But uh, my contacts on the campus were not before 1923.


When you came to Gainesville, then, in 1923,

started school, was University Avenue paved out

campus at that time?

P:Paved only to what is now Thirteenth Street.

K:Uh-hm, and that was the end of it? Was Thirteenth



o the



K:North or South,

either way?

P:Thirteenth was a cow, cow trail.


P:At least north.

K:Where was the main entrance to the


P:It's on the corner of uh, what's now Thirteenth and University

Avenue and not right on the corner it was uh,

there was a

semicircle, entrance there that went around up by the law

college and back around to Language and Science Halls.

K:Uh-huh, then came back out again to University?

P:And back further on down University.

K:Hm, was that a paved road?

P:Yes, it was semi-paved.

K:Uh-huh. Was the campus landscaped at all at that time? Were

there lawns and shrubs and ...

P:Very little.

K:Very little.

P:The ROTC did all of their drills right out on campus even there

by what where the, the uh, present library is.

K:On the Plaza?

P:Yeah, that was parade ground, drill grounds not parade, drill.

K:I see. Uh, were there any businesses or any residences on the

north side of University Avenue north of the campus in 1923?

P:Uh, the Black Cat was on the corner on the opposite corner of

University Avenue, the entrance.


P:That was operated by Bud Mizell who was

uh, he and his brother,

Bud was president of the student body in 1927 when Dr.

Murphree died.



K:Would that have been the corner where the Holiday Inn is now?

P:No, no.

K:That would, o.k. then, then the northwest one?

P:The northwest corner.

K:The northwest corner. Was that a restaurant,

cream parlor or what?

P:A sandwich place.

K:The Black Cat. Sandwiches.

P:Hamburgers, hot dogs.

K:And that was the big hangout for the students at that time?

P:That was quite a popular place, the Black Cat. A,


further up, I think College Inn had opened about that time.

But very little in between except boarding houses.

K:Uh-huh. Did you uh, attend any football games in the period,

1923 to 1926.

P:Oh yea, yes sir, yes sir.

K:Where were they playing at that time, where....

P:Fleming Field.

K:North of the current stadium? Do you remember which

way the

field ran?

P:Ran north and south.

K:North and south, I see. Did...

P:Yea, that was the field uh, uh, I think that early, 1923, I

didn't know too much about it in 23 when I came here, in

25, 26 I think the, uh, J.A. Van Fleet was the coach.

K:Uh-huh. Did you go to any basketball games in that time


P:Uh, some, not too many. It was in um, the Basketball Court


west of uh, dormitories, uh, a good many basketball games

or like an ice

and they always had the high school tournament there. That

was a big occasion, high schools in the spring.

Took in a

good many of those.


P:Even before 1923.

K:Do you remember where the baseball diamond was at that time?

P:I think that was across Fleming Field, as I recall...

K:To the south?


K:Well, let me bring you back up then to starting work at the

university. Did anyone besides Mr. Graham have to interview

you, speak with you?

P:No, they didn't.

K:It was all his decision? What was the official title of the

job that you started out at? Or did it have one?

P:I started, [laugh] first two weeks I had the title of

bookkeeper, and the first of November I had the title of

head bookkeeper.

P & K:[laugh]

K:Were there any other bookkeepers at that time?

P:Uh, there had been a uh, a student working part-time who had

been doing it and he stayed on but, I was the machine

operator; cause I'd had three or four years bank experience

with the same type of machine.

K:Now, what type of machine are you referring to?

P:A Burrough's posting machine.

K:I see.

P:The style of fifty years ago.

K:Hm. Was that about the only business machine they were using

at that time other than say a typewriter or an adding


P:Typewriters and adding machines, this was the only special

posting machine, they called it.

K:Now, how many other people were working in the business office

at that time when you started?

P:Well, let me, let me get the set up on that. Mr. Klein Graham

was termed business manager and, incidentally, he had just

been given that title that year.


P:Uh, the chief, the financial officer up to then was just called



P:Well then in July of 1927, he uh, his title was changed to

business manager, and Huber Hurst [LL.B.] was termed

auditor, and that was just a part-time affair. He, uh, he

was teaching business law in, then in the college of

business administration, one class, four o'clock in the

afternoon. He'd leave the business office to go teach his

class. There were two students in my section. Mr. Graham

had a secretary, there was a cashier Mr. J.[James] B.


Goodson, there was another typist who prepared requisitions

and purchase orders and that [inaudible] down stairs, and of

course under Mr. Graham's supervision, was the bookstore.

It two..well, there were three employees, one part-time, two



P:The two Rathburne sisters and Miss Myra Swearingen.


P:Uh, that was the office force.

K:Uh-huh. Now, which building were you located in at that time?

P:They call it Anderson Hall now, it was Language Hall then,

before it was named Anderson.

K:And the bookstore was in the basement?

P:Basement of that building.

K:And you all were above it?


K:Which part of the building were

you in?

P:The west end.

K:West end?

P:West section on the south side.

K:I see, o.k.

P:Also in that building was the registrar,...


P:General Extension Division, a part of the business end of the

Agricultural Experiment Station, that was also under Mr.

Graham but it was just the record keeping over there.


P:Uh, president's office was across the hall.


P:Military department was downstairs on the northeast corner,

general extension division was in the southeast section.

Graduate school office, I

believe, was right at the end of

the building in the east, extreme east end. General

extension had two floors,

it was on two floors, basement and

the first floor, in that's..it had a circular staircase from

one to the other.

K:I see. Was there anyone above you as supervisor other than Mr.



K:You worked right for him? And then he reported directly to the

president? Is that how it worked? O.k.

P:President and the Board of Control.

K:Uh, now, how long did you stay in that position that they

called head bookkeeper?

P:Till 1937, ten years.

K:And then what job did you fill at that time?

P:I was given the title of auditor of budgetary funds. We had a

little peculiar set up. Between the budget appropriated

funds from Tallahassee and the auxiliary funds which was

the, the operations and activities on the campus:

bookstore, cafeteria. Any self-supporting activities were

called auxiliary funds.


P:And uh, Mr. Homer [H.D.] Wingate was, had the title of auditor

of auxiliary funds.

K:I see.

P:I had the other end, side of it.

K:Were those auxiliary operations ever allowed to operate in the

red? Or did they have to at least break even?

P:They had to break even.

K:They had to.

They would not subsidize them at all? I see,


P:Only later, uh, radio station WRUF started, at first they were

appropriated, had had appropriated funds.


P:Later, they became through some jealousy or something in

amongst some of the legislators, they cut them off from

state funds and forced them to go to auxiliary altogether.

I don't know what it is now.

K:Do your remember roughly when that took place? Was it very

soon after they started in 1928 that they....

P:No, no, it was a good many years later before that. I'd say

probably uh, fifteen years at least. Maybe twenty.

K:I was going to ask you about WRUF. Did the business office

handle all their business operations during the time that

you were here at the university?

P:All of the buying, paying of bills, and everything, yes. We

didn't have a thing to do with the program activities.

K:No, uh-uh.

P:And but on the finances we did. I, I seem to recall that uh,

when this radio station was first talked about or got

started, it even had a different call letter.


P:I, I have in mind, it stuck in my memory that the letters were


K:I think that's correct.

P:UH, a man named Higgens over in the engineering college was the

one that originally was kind of the planner of the



P:Uh, he didn't last too long.


P:He left Gainesville, the university.

K:Is it your impression that he came up with those letters?

P:I don't know whether he did or that was assigned by the

communications commission but that was the impression around

our place. At the beginning of the radio station, those

were the call letters.

K:Did you know Major Powell very well?

P:Yes, sure.

K:What kind of a man was he? What was he like?

P:Uh, I liked Garland very much, we got along together very well.

Uh, he had a hard time when he first came here. Uh, I

don't think he knew too much about radio activities and he

even tried to be an announcer some of the time. Guess he

had to. But uh, first few years, Garland and, and Claude

Murphree were practically the only ones that put on any

programs and then Red Barber got into it, the Orange Grove

String Band. And uh, of course you know where Red went to.

But he had uh, that was quite a popular program back in

those days. Garland uh, he, he tried awful hard and did

work very hard to develop that station.


P:And uh, uh, he, he certainly carried it a long way from what it

was when he came here.

K:Uh-huh. Do you remember hearing any of those organ concerts on

the radio?

P:I've heard many a one.

K:People actually did listen to them then?


K:Yeah. I see.

P:Yea, Claude Murphree played in the auditorium other there.

They had remote uh, broadcast facilities put in there.

That's about all they had other then a few studio programs.

K:Uh-hm. Let me ask you now how your responsibilities as auditor

differed if at all from what you had been doing. In other

words, what were you doing as auditor now?

P:Well, uh, I was responsible and under control, payrolls, paying

of all bills. After 1937, uh, preparation of the, uh, I

mean the actual business preparation of the budget. Uh,

under, of course, under Mr. Graham's control and presence.

But uh, back at that time, the president usually told Mr.

Graham to prepare the budget for submission to the Board of

Control and it was the Board of Control then and not



P:Five members and a secretary. And uh,

there would be

recommendations, now after Dr. Tigert came that, that

developed more and more as recommendations from the deans,

the respective colleges, department heads, and they were,

after those requests came in.


P:Uh, I think it was Dr. Tigert who first appointed what they

termed budget committee to go over those requests, before,

they were actually put into form for submission to the Board

of Control.


P:Requests from the colleges and departments had to come from

business manager and president, they reviewed them. Cut out

a lot of things. Go to the Board of Control and they

frequently cut it.


P:Go to the budget commission of the Cabinet, they cut it. And

finally to the legislature. It was a progressive chain.


P:And it could be mutilated anywhere.

K:[laugh] It's your impression [thank you] it's your impression

though that Dr. Tigert took more seriously perhaps the

requests of the uh, chairmen and the deans than Dr. Murphree

did as far as input into it.

P:I think so. Uh, now I was only

under Murphree for less than

three months.


P:I didn't get into that end of it during his...that...rest of

his administration, cause see I came in October and he died

at Christmas.


P:Uh, so what went ahead of that, I don't have the knowledge.

But I know that Dr. Tigert did begin to more formally

organize the, the budgeting procedures.

K:Did you have the opportunity to meet President Murphree at all

in that period of time?

P:Yes, I met him.

K:What were your impressions of him?

P:I admired him very much. I had, course I'd heard of him many

years and uh, knew who he was although he didn't know me I

guess, but uh, I did meet him uh, while he he was... during

those couple of months. Uh, he was a very personable,

likable gentleman, speaking of southern gentlemen, I would

say he was a southern gentleman.

K:Uh-hm. Was he very friendly?

P:Very much so, very much so.

K:Is it true that he had uh, a very much of an open door policy

that students or whoever could just go and see him?

P:I think, I think so and I'd heard that but...Course back at

that time uh, student body wasn't a tenth of what it is now.

Oh, 1,500 or so at that time, maybe 2,000. And uh, he, he

was out on the campus actually more and, and got to know

personally many, many of the students.


P:Particularly the student leaders, football players, uh, I think

he had uh, he had time really to be more intimate with his

student body.

K:Uh-hm. How would you contrast his personality and approach

compared to Dr. Tigert?

P:Well, Dr. Tigert was more reserved, uh, he uh, he was certainly

friendly after you got to know him, but he was rather

difficult to first get acquainted with.


P:Later in his administration, I had some outside opportunities

to uh, get personally acquainted with Dr. Tigert and he was

most friendly. Uh, very complimentary and uh, things that

were uh, well I, just how to say that, but uh, there were

progressive that were uh, uh, he thought was for the good of

the university.


P:But uh, he had some very high standards and if the faculty or

an individual didn't come up to that, he could uh, he could

go the other way very forcefully.


P:And let it be known what, what he demanded.

K:Uh-huh, in other words he was willing to let people know that

he was in charge?

P:Yes sir.


P:Uh, we all said later that uh, some of these students pranks

and all, that if Dr. Tigert had been in charge at that time

there would have been some different results.

K:Uh-hm. I know he had been an athlete. Was he at all an

outdoorsman while he was president?

P:Not to my knowledge.

K:I understand that you're quite a fisherman. Do you know if he

had any interest in that?

P:I don't think that I ever heard of any oh, he may have gone on

a few occasional trips. Uh, but uh, I don't think he was

known as ah, outdoor sportsman other than of course, he was

interested in football, having been all southern, all

American at Vanderbilt. Uh, but other than that, football,

probably baseball, I, I don't recall of any other


K:Let me ask you about Dr. Farr, the vice-president who served as

acting president in between. Did you know him at all?

P:Jimmy? Well, uh, not personally, I didn't know him. I, I uh,

knew who he was and heard of him even before I came to

Gainesville. Fact, he made a, I believe it was in our high

school graduation, he made the commencement address,

graduation speech uh, I got just to dealing with him in

business way here during time of interim acting president,

between Murphree and Tiger. Ah, he lived downtown,

University Avenue, quite an old colonial home down there,

course, gone now, is just east where the Baptist Church is.

And uh, he and his wife were quite prominent socially. I

had quite some retirement dealings with him, when, when it

was, they thought it necessary he retire. We didn't have

too much of a retirement program at that time and we had

some, had to work out some problems which I think were

solved equitably. And he left here and went to Atlantic

Beach, I believe. And that's where he lived out the rest of

his life.

K:Was he rumored to be very disappointed that he did not, that he

was not chosen by the Board of Control as the president?

P:Well, I think he was certainly disappointed. How much so, I

couldn't say, but uh, I think general idea around, it was a

disappointment to him.

K:O.k., let me ask you how long you stayed in the position of

auditor and when you moved on to your next assignment.

P:Well, I had these things in just about ten year periods.


P:In 47, uh, Mr. Graham named me as title of comptroller actually

there wasn't a great deal of change in duties, but he did

give me that title.

K:Was there any difference in your responsibilities?

P:Uh, well, not that I could pinpoint particularly.

K:Was that a general time of...

P:The, the growth of the university of course, along at that time

had uh, had made a greater volume of responsibility. But as

for any different assignments or duties, uh, I can account

for very little, except growth.

K:How much in terms of numbers did the business office grow in

those first years after the Second World War?


K:Or, or was that the time when the great growth in the

particular office occurred?

P:Well, I saw two periods of growth in my time here and you can

easily see these. I'd say 1936, when what we termed the

World War I babies reached college age.


P:1918, 1936. The second one was in 19..., well, the spring of

1946, immediately after World War II, when the students and

the veterans from the service returned to college. Uh,

well, from 1936 on there was a, in 1936, quite a growth

then, expansion, more students, almost double then what the

previous enrollment had been. And, beginning of World War

II, 1941, 1942, then noticed a downgrade for, until 1946.

Young men right out of high school going into service. Uh,

1944, 1945, first part of 1945, had the uh, officers

training, the army came in with their group. That, that was

a tremendous expansion right, almost over night. Uh, they

were assigned course the dormitories, cafeteria, uh, they

went out course later in 1945 and the 1946, the spring

semester was when the returns started. Those were the great


K:Let me stop, cause I have to.........[tape change]

K:Let me ask you a few questions about what you just have been

speaking about now, about the was era and right after. Was

there anyone in the administration that you know of who had

any real idea of the growth that was going to take place

when uh, the GIs came back after the war as well as the

normal high school graduate population? Did anybody predict


P:I don't think they predicted it to the extent that it reached.


P:Uh, let's see, that's about the time that Dr. Tigert was

retiring and just before Dr. Miller came in, uh, now as to

the expected growth the expansion, I don't know what advance

knowledge they may have had about this. At least it didn't

trickle down to me to that extent.

K:Uh-huh. Do you remember who would have been, if any one or two

people would have been the motivating or the moving powers

behind the acquisition of all, what we call the temporary

buildings some of which are still around today and the pre-

fab buildings that became the Flavet villages?

P:Yes, Uh, I think that uh, one that went after those was George

Baughman. He was just out of the navy and uh, quite a

promoter, and he came immediately after well, I think either

Thanksgiving or Christmas of 1945, right after peace'd been


Fighting stopped. He had been working with Mr.

Graham uh, for some years I think, getting back here. He

graduated from the university, fact he was teaching in

business administration I believe when he was called in the

service. Uh, he went after the and was responsible for

those, temporary, moving those temporary buildings in, most

of some were from Lake City.


P:And, uh, I don't know where else, there were some others

though. We got a lot of em from Lake City. Moved in here.

Blanding, Blanding, think those two places.


P:And uh, he was a promoter of those, Flavets I and II.


There was, I believe, uh, both a dormitory area and

trailer park set up at the, what they call the Alachua

Airbase. Is that where the Gainesville airport is now? Or

is that a different site?

P:Yes, yes, same site.

K:That is the same place?

P:Barracks that were out there...


P:...were used.

K:Uh-hm. Do you remember yourself ever being there while it was

used for that purpose?

P:Only just to go through it. I didn't have any, any business

transactions out there.


P:Except to go through and see the set up and all.

K:Do you know if that was the only off-campus facility of that

type or were there others in the Gainesville area?

P:That's the only one the university was connected with that I


K:Uh-hm. I see.

P:I know...they had to...course they were using the airbase out

there uh, they had the barracks and everything and uh, the,

the set up was the university used that uh, for housing, I

think mostly married housing.

K:Uh-hm.. Do you remember if there was any opposition at all

within the administration, that you ever heard of, to the

idea that the university should get into the married housing

business? Or did they just realize that that was something

they would have to do?

P:As far as I know, there something that, after consideration and

discussion they decided they had to. Ah, as for any

opposition, I, I never heard it.

K:Mm hm. How long did you continue to hold the job title of


P:Another ten years.

K:Mm hm.


K:And then what job did you take over?

P:Ahh assistant to the business manager...

K:Mm hm.

P:That was at that time [William] Ellis

bring the business managers up...

K: mm hm.

P:...uh Mr. Baughman followed Mr. Graham...

K:Mm hm.

P:...and uh he left in 1955, I

business manager.... And

think, 1956, Ellis Jones was

uh 1957 my title was assistant to

the business manager....Another uh man

accounting and uh that end of it.


K:I should ask you when Mr. Graham retired.

P:I believe it was the first of 1948.

K:About the same time that Dr. Tigert did?

P:Shortly after Dr. Miller came.

K:Mm hm.

P:He stayed through that transition and then

took over



but he'd

been here forty one,

forty two


think since 1905,

[inaudible] know, maybe not quite

two--forty three years he

that long....but uh forty

uh was here....

K:Would you tell us something about Mr. Graham,

based on

the many

years that that you worked for him? What kind of a man



P:Mr. Graham was uh treated the university money more carefully

than he treated his own...



We had better

P:...he was more careful with it--more conservative!

K:Mm hm.

P:Ahh, he tried to get a hundred and ten

cents worth out of every


K:Mm hm.

P:...uhh but what he did was solid. And I certainly admired the

man's ability. He had

had a loud voice...

K:Mm hm.

P:And he used it!


a-a loud--he was

a little man--but he

P:[laughter] Uhh but his

heart was

just as big as

all outdoors.

K:Uh huh.

P:But again as--as doctor--as I said about

Dr. Tigert

--uh he was

--had the

state of



interest in

the University of Florida--the

He was a Rotarian and handled the Rotary

Loan fund for students--he was treasurer of that...

K:Mm hm.

P:...and he spent a good deal of time with that. But it was with

the idea of really helping needy students...

K:Mm hm.

P:...with Rotary Loans.

But he wanted that money paid back too!

As he often said, the time to get that repaid uhh was when

you made the loan--he was very careful about--about that....

K:Uh huh.

P:But I-I really grew to love the man. And uh had the utmost

respect for him.

K:Did he retire when he did simply because of uh his age? Or did

he feel that perhaps with a new administration that maybe

someone else should take over, or what?

P:Both, I think. He never was in real good health. He was

crippled and twisted all over with arthritis.


P:He was bent over, he--uh he had been everywhere in the United

States --Hot Springs and White Sulphur Springs trying to get

relief, uhh which of course rheumatoid arthritis, there's no

cure for. But he battled this thing under extreme physical

difficulties. But he never lost his mental ability.

K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh we --we got going to at least once a year--to the business

officers association meetings. Southern Association. Oh,

we went to New Orleans and Atlanta and of course,

Tallahassee and other smaller colleges around the state--

Rollins and Stetson here in Florida, others out of state.

And uh I went with him on many of those trips usually to

drive the car for him.



P:But uh he was highly respected and uh in fact, he was president

one term of that Southern Association of College and

University Business Officers...

K:Mm hm.

P:Very highly in regarded college circles all over the South.

K:Mm hm.

P:But uh in my opinion--there's none better.

K:How did operator as far as the people under him? In other

words, would he give someone a job and just expect that it

would be done and not uh be kind of looking over your

shoulder? Or did he try to keep his hand in everything as

it was going along?

P:I wouldn't say he was looking over your shoulder but uh he

wanted to review your work of

what you thought was right.

K:Mm hm.

course after uh you'd done

P:And he might criticize it, sure, but he wouldn't be telling you

how to do that job until you had made a sincere effort to do


K:I see. Where was the business office located during your

career? In other words, when did it move out of Language


P:In 1950 when the present Tigert Hall was completed. We were

working at uh trying to get

the layout for that a year or

two before then. But when it was completed in 1950--it was

about May or June I think--we moved from Language Hall into

Tigert Hall and my section was the north end in the

basement, ground floor.

K:Mm hm.

P:Cashier and all, at that time I had fifty-sixty people....

K:Were any of the business office functions ever in the temporary

building that was located directly to the east of Language

Hall? After the war--

P:East of language?

K:Mm hm, uh uh it's still there--it's between Matherly and

Language and I think it went up right after the war. And I

think it was used by the registrar. But were any of


functions ever in there?

P:I don't recall the registrar ever being anywhere except in

Language Hall and Tigert!

K:Well, I may be misinformed on that.

P:Uhh, uhh after the--let's see, the General Extension moved out

of Language Hall about 1937 when the Seagle Building was

taken over....

K:Mm hm.

P:The registrar's office occupied that...

K:Mm hm.

P:Ahhh, I can't--remember them being in that uh temporary

building I won't say for certain I-I don't know

K:Well, I could well--

P:--If they were, it was not there long...

K:I could well be wrong-- on that

P:Because uh I know they moved into Tigert the same time we did--


K:I think you mentioned that a moment ago, you and Mr. Graham

were involved in the planning for part of--that part of

Tigert which was going to be used for the business office?

P:No, Mr. Graham uh had retired by that time--this was Baughman

K:But they did have you all talk with the architects--

P:Oh, yes.

K:They did?

P:Sure, very much. They did uh they consulted I think with all

the departments as to how much space they needed,

how much

more area, uhh and what sections of the building were

assigned to each....

K:Mm hm.

P:Mine as

I said, were downstairs in the basement, business

manager, purchasing, personnel, were on the floor right

above it.

K:Mm hm.

P:Registrar was at the other end of the building--I guess still


K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh in between they had the uh IBM set up.

K:When did the uh the formal separation of the functions within

the business office such as personnel, and purchasing and

what-not come about? In other words, did they make those

distinctions at the time you started or did they split those

up as time went along?

P:Ahh, they were split up as time went along. I-I think the

greater part--well, some personnel functions were--were

split off before we left Language Hall.

K:Mm hm.

P:And the purchasing, too. But it--it really uh materialized

after--or on the move to Tigert. When they had the space


K:Mm hm.

P:That--that was I'd say would be the main breaking point.

K:Mm hm.

P:You asked awhile ago about changing duties--there's one thing

that I--I this was just a natural outgrowth--it wasn't

particularly a change in duties --was a retirement system...

K:Mm hm.

P:Now you have to give some history on that--1939, the

legislature passed the teachers retirement system.

That was

only for high school, public school teachers...

K:Mm hm.

P:...and uh certain employees. University faculty were not in it

in 1939. In 1941, the legislature they did open it up to

the university faculty were eligible employees. Optional.

Come in or stay out.

K:Mm hm.

P:That time and for two years later the base--the--the maximum

salary that they could make contributions on was only



P:I think it was 1943 before they raised it to $1,500, even.

Well, in 1941 when it was opened up to the university I -I

got involved in that, finding out I didn't take it myself

but I had the option--I turned it down. $1,200, was all all

they figure your salary on. Wanted to retire that'd make a

difference how much you make, they wouldn't count but

$1,200. Uhh faculty were of course interested in it, a good

many of them and it was--I was assigned the duty and

responsibility of getting the information and being the--the

go-between, you might say, being the one to see, find out

about it, which I did, made a number of trips to

Tallahassee. Kept increasing, every two years they'd raise

it a little bit, 1945 they--they legislature adopted what

they termed the state officers and employees retirement

system, which took in all the hired help....

K:Mm hm.

P:And that was--was no limit on that--it was your salary. Five

per cent. Teachers retirement system had two rates--one for

men, one for women, for each age that they went into it.

This was straight five per cent across the board. They

still had the two systems and, as I say, it was my duty and

my responsibility to keep up with all the changes and give

out information even have faculty meetings to present the

different plans, see it was optional, if they wanted in

they--it was re-opened every time...

K:Mm hm.

P:Ones that had rejected it two years back now could come in if

they would pay their contributions...

K:For that--?

P:For that period.

K:For that period.

P:Teachers system would even allow as much as ten years for out-

of-state service, provided it was with a state-supported

institution. Private institutions were not accepted, had to

be publicly supported. Well, you can imagine the constant

inquiry faculty--how much will it cost me if I do this, if I

don't do it, what will I get? How much will it cost me

under this plan? And practically the last twenty years of

my employment was put as much on retirement questions as on


K:Mm hm. I see.

P:So that--that was I'd say was a big change--


P:--in my duties.

K:And this continued then in the time after you became assistant

business manager, too?

P:Ehh, even more so.

K:Mm hm.

P:They--1957 legislature, I think, uhh accepted social security

for the first time...

K:Mm hm.

P:Up to that time state employees were not on social security.

With uh it being retroactive to the first of July of 1956..

Those who, course had to be paid but, in the state system

they took that contribution out of --contributions which had

already been made to the system--we didn't have to shell out

any more money--it was taken out of what we'd already paid.

By reducing the benefits from 2% to 1 1/2% for that period.

Of course one and a half from then on but picked up social

security. So it--it was really a developing process until,

when I left and it's much better now. Uhh was a

--was a

very good system. Uh when I felt you had to take your

average salary over the last ten years and now it's only

five which my own case would a made it a lot more [chuckle]!

The last five years were higher considerably than the


K:Did many of these advances or improvements in the pension

system--in the existence of a pension system, come about

through uh any lobbying or agitation on the part of the

administration here? Or at FSU? Or was this something that

the legislature just felt compelled to do?

P:In the beginning of it I think it was the public school

teachers in 1939

K:Mm hm.

P:They got theirs in. Ehh and there's information and uh word

got around that they had a retirement system then I think

the agitation from the universities got under way in uhh uh

as to how much the presidents of the institutions took in

it, I couldn't say. But uh there was concern and interest

about the faculty having a retirement system. Well, they

had a pension system and as far as I know, it's still on the

books. Where well, an employee would have could retire on

two conditions--either thirty years continuous service at

any age or yeah thirty at any at any age.

Thirty-five years

aggregate service.

Three conditions.

Or twenty years

continuous service and be seventy years of age.

K:Mm hm.

P:One-half the average salary of the last ten years. Well back

then the ten years average it might be $2-3,000.

K:This was in existence at which point?

P:This was I think started about--this before my time --about

1925 or 1927, one or the other.

K:That was the system in existence when you came to university?


K:Did that apply both to faculty and to staff?

P:Any state employees.


uh huh.

P:That was all they had.

K:So, you really had to be here a long time to get anything under

that system?

P:And you got one-half.

K:Mm hm.

K:Roughly how

many of the people at the university, when

started here, were getting paid on a salary basis? And how

many were getting paid on an hourly basis, would you say?

P:Week, all the faculty and most of the uh regular employees were

on a monthly basis.


P:Yeah. It was only the well, the students--student labor--and

student assistants were on a monthly basis even but student

labor--might be working around like on the grounds or

something like that...

K:Mm hm.

P:...uhh some of the maintenance employees--carpenters,

electricians--were on a hourly basis.

thirty-five cents an hour some of them.

K:Who passed out the paychecks when


you came here? Did you or --

or your immediate office have charge of that?



K:You did yourself?

P:I have done it month after month myself. I knew everybody on

the campus.

K:Which period in your career were you doing that?

P:Oh, from beginning to at least through 1937....

K:Where did people go to get their checks? Did they come to your


P:We had a door fixed up what they call a Dutch door...

K:Mm hm.

P:Ehh the entrance and that was often an interesting affair, too.

When I came checks were never or very seldom here on the

first day of the month or that last day of the month.

Sometimes they'd be as late as the tenth before we'd get

them. And prior to that time--I didn't uh I didn't get in

on this I'm told though that the checks were not made out in

Tallahassee until the Board of Control met. And they had a

standard date of the meeting of the I think the first Monday

after the tenth of the month which could be as late as maybe

the seventeenth before they'd meet.

Or it might be the

tenth or later. Uhh they were supposed when I --when I

started to be here on the first.

Now we had to make up the

payroll here, send it to Tallahassee, and they made up,

typed the checks there, that's before I was--computer...

K:Mm hm.

P:...and returned them. And as I say it could be anywhere from

the first to the tenth, They --they had to change that board

meeting thing in the meantime. But they weren't always

here. So we never knew, you couldn't plan on getting your

check first day of the month by any means. And it was

constant inquiry of course at our place --checks in? When

will they be here?

K:So, whenever the checks arrived then you all had to stop

whatever you were doing and set up shop for passing them


P:Sort the checks out, get them in order--alphabetical order and

people come by, line up and hand out the checks.

K:Did anything have to be done to those checks in the way of a

signature here?


K:At that time?

P:Yes, we had to take a receipt for them...

K:Mm hm.

P:Of course we had those already made out all we do is hand them-

-we clip the receipt to the check.

K:Mm hm.

P:And when they came to get the check, they had to sign the

receipt for it. Another thing we had to do for a long time-

-every employee had to sign a requisition for his, for that

check--next check. And we'd have those made out he'd sign

two things, sign a receipt for this check and sign a

requisition for next month's check!

K:Mm hm. Was that just to certify that he was still on the

payroll? That type of thing? Were they required to produce

any kind of identification or was it sufficient that you

knew people by sight?

P:Yes--that was sufficient, yes.

K:Uh huh. What--

P:We knew everybody.

K:What did people do if the checks did not come in for say, two

and a half or three weeks? Did--did merchants carry

everyone on credit?

P:They would, or if it was uh an emergency they uh the banks

would uh loan them. If they'd earned the money and knew it

was coming they'd loan them the money for a dollar or so.

K:So on a reduced loan basis but still on a regular loan basis--

P:I don't think it was long as --as three weeks but I've known it

to be ten to fifteen days they'd be late.

K:Mm hm. I see. How long did that practice of having everyone

come to one door as you said continue?

P:Well, I don't remember when we--we got out of that but uh I

think well, I know in the forties, at least, I got away from

that having them all come to the place by notifying the

dean's office the checks were there.

That is, a secretary

would come pick up the checks

give them out

At least it spread it out that far

K:Do you remember if that happened before the war or after the


P:I think it did.

K:Before the war?


K:I see. Umm you were here during the--the Depression both the

break in the Florida boom and the national Depression. Did

the salaries at the university uh were they cut back at all

because of the Depression?

P:Yes. They certainly were.

K:How much?

P:In 1931, uhh I don't remember the amount of the state

appropriation, I can't recall that, but the salaries


cut 6% uh everybody receiving $1,800

no cuts below $1,800, in 1931.

and above.

There were

P:In 1933, there was a

further reduction in the appropriation

everything across the board was cut 10%.

K:Mm hm. Were there any more than those two reductions?

P:No, those were the only uh regular salary cuts.

K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh that lasted for most of them

for at least

four years.

10% ....


for his college and let them

K:Mm hm.

P:I think uh I-I recall one figure--I think I'm right in this--

that the state appropriation in 1933 for the educational and

general budget, this didn't include the ag experiment

station or the ag extension, the education and general--


That was the--1933,--33'--1934--1935

budget, two years a two-year appropriation

K:You [inaudible]--

P:When I left the university the budget of the business office

alone was more than that!

K:Was anyone actually fired or laid off because of the Depression

or did the cuts suffice, the reductions in salary?

P:I think the cuts sufficed--I don't know of any being laid off,

there may have been attrition may have take care of a lot of

it but uh not any outright dismissals.

K:Were employees, either faculty or staff,

entitled to

vacation when you started?

P:Yes. They got a vacation.

K:Two weeks or do you remember?

P:Uhh at one time I can't say when this came about--at one time

you were allowed two weeks vacation and two weeks sick

leave--a year. And if you weren't sick, you could take the

vacation, take it as vacation.

K:And that applied to both faculty and staff?

a paid

P:Uhh I don't know. See might be some different provisions for

the faculty.

K:Mm hm.

P:Because most of them were on nine months. Uh how they worked

that out I really don't know. Uh of course many of them

stayed on summer school. If they taught summer school, they

got extra compensation for that.

K:Mm hm.

P:So I-I don't know whether the faculty actually had very much of

a policy on vacation and sick leave. I think the second or

third year that I was here I took a month's vacation

considered uh I say four weeks considered as a two weeks

vacation. I hadn't been sick so I took two weeks and was

out of the office a month. That's the only time it ever

happened. I-I didn't get anymore--couldn't!

K:Were the uh--I take it then that the uh staff members for the

most part were on a regular twelve month basis from the time

that you started here?

P:Yes, secretaries, the administrative uhh the administrative,

professional we call it...maintenance, staff, electricians,

regular electricians- librarians, they were all twelve


K:Were people encouraged, especially say maintenance people and

what-not, to take uh whatever time they had coming during

the summer when the--the enrollment would be way down, when

there would only be the people attending the summer school?

P:Not particularly, during the summer is when they uh when uh

their work or circumstances uh permitted...

K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh I always had to try to arrange mine [chuckle] around when

they the other half wanted to be off...

K:Uh huh.

P:The key people, you know, and they'd be--we try to work that

out but uh I frequently couldn't go at the time I most


K:Mm hm. How about insurance plans? When did the university

first start to offer group plans or group deals to their


P:I think it was probably in the 50s...

K:Mm hm.

P:Umm I was on uh uh faculty committee with Bill Howard, the

present city commissioner here working on uh uh

hospitalization plan...

K:Mm hm.

P:There were some individual plans, of course, uh one man here I

know kind of took it upon himself to form a group and he

went around collected uh but this was not a university plan.

That was probably the beginning of it...

K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh proposals were made by two--two companies. Well, I guess

the head of that though Howard and his--he was chairman...We

asked for quotations from several hospitalization insurance

companies --Gulf Life, Independent, to uhh I don't know if

Prudential got into it or not but uh some of the larger

ones, had them submit bids on what they proposed. And uh

some people were already in professional they didn't want to

change. Gulf uh in the early 60s I know had most of the

coverage--there were still some few. Beginning though the

deductions for hospitalizations for insurance were not made

on the payroll. They had to pay them individually. Uhh

later they got that through, where they could make uh

deductions by payroll and that--that was the way they really

spread. But uh I-I'd say it was the late 1950s before that

really got organized.

K:Mm hm. Did you have much to do in your official capacity with

the beginnings of the campus credit union? Or did the

business office have much to do with the credit union--?

P:This Mr. Wingate that I mention--Homer Wingate--

K:Mm hm.

P:--the auditor of the auxiliary activities handled that. I

think I was a charter member of it, but I didn't personally

have anything to do with the organizing.

K:Mm hm.

P:He handled everything at his desk [chuckle] and up there in the

business office...

K:Mm hm.

P:I was on credit committee two or three years. But that was all

I had granting, passing on loans. But uh organizing I-I

didn't have--that's about the mid-30s I think.

K:But there was no official relationship, it was just that uh he

and whoever else from the business office who--who worked on

that were really doing that on their own time?


K:Did--you mentioned--let me put a fresh tape in--


K:In talking before about the uh move from Language Hall to

Tigert Hall--we talked a little bit about the divisions

within the business office--and I also wanted to ask you if

in going into much larger quarters, you were able to and

decided to, because of that, uh begin new procedures or

acquired new perhaps business machines or anything or that

nature? In other words, did you start doing anything

differently at that time? Were there any big changes in


P:Uhh yes, when we moved into Tigert Hall, the IBM set-up

expanded considerably with uh more and uh more up-to-date


K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh the personnel department did expand considerably--that was

they took over just a little bit of the uh of what--I don't

say took over, but they worked more closely with payroll



P:...as uh more that they had been,

because being adjoining

related the same things appointments, go on

the payroll.

K:Mm hm.

P:They worked a little closer there. Accounting, purchasing uh

became more developed.

K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh Jack Reeves was then the purchasing

several assistants.


And he had

They uh they got that more refined as

to uh receiving bids--fact,

some of it was

even required by

state law uh Board of Control regulations

K:Mm hm.

P:than it had been....uhh there--there was growth and expansion

and development in all of these, the accounting more uh uh

got to be handled more by computer...

K:Mm hm.

P:...than uh manual machine capable of doing.

K:Mm hm.

P:A good deal more; payrolls were used to be typed manually and

put on computer.

K:Mm hm.

P:And to save time and expense further down the line you had of

course back in those days the computer had to have the IBM

cards instead of tape--

K:Mm hm.

P:Well, we made the cards here for preparation and payroll we'd

also send the same card on to Tallahassee and they could use

it up there to prepare the warrant....

K:I see.

P:So it was--it was being developed all the way down the line.

K:When did some of these branches of the business office began to

expand out of Tigert--such as into the Hub or uh purchasing

into Johnson Hall? Can you give me any rough dates on that?

P:All I can tell you it's done after 1966 when I left. It wasn't

--it wasn't before that.

K:Before that all the--the basic functions of the business office

that you had always known were still in Tigert?


K:Uh huh. I see.

P:The only thing over there in Building E was the post office--

had that right on the east end of the building E...

K:Mm hm.

P:But uhh of course now the Hub now these other auxiliary

activities --the uh the uh bookstore and all that was down

there but uh I don't know what they have in there now. But

when I left, 1966, it was still all up there in Tiger Hall

so it's been there since then.

K:When you came here in

1923 and started to go to school where

did a student go to pay his fees--to pay his tuition?

P:Uhhh It was not the music building but was--it was the


K:What they call now the Women's


P:Yeah, I guess so.

K:The brick building?

P:The brick building!

K:Mm hm.

P:Back of uh well it was down there beside the old wooden


But it was a brick building. That was


K:Mm hm.


where we went to pay the

K:I see.

P:Went around that thing....

K:Do you remember how long that they did it there? Or did they

ever move it into Anderson?

P:Oh, we've had it all over the campus.

K:Mm hm.



P:Uhh had it there in--in uh Anderson. Had it in the--the wooden

gym, set up there. Even had it in the--the last few years

that I was handling it was in the new gym--Florida Field--

Florida Field gym.

K:Mm hm.

P:Take the crowd over there and uh well we even put on some extra

help during registration...

K:Mm hm.

P:They had stalls built for the tellers and uh we'd have all the

checkers out in the line to check the students fee cards,

see what they had to pay if they could get the check made

out out there, make out the check then when you got to the

window all they had to do was--was turn it in and uh get

their card validated...

K:Mm hm.

P:Uh we had four or five tellers and four or five checkers out


K:Just to speed things up a little bit?

P:Speed things up!

K:Mm hm.

P:Open there early in the morning till, I try to get around and

help them check out some of the deposits, checks, and cash

and everything and get them out of there. Even opened

sometimes uhh I remember after we went to Tigert Hall one

time well two or three registrations at least open on Sunday


K:Really? Mmm.

P:Well, that was not for registration, but to this cash deposit,

students come up right at the first of the--the term with a

lot of money--checks, cash--uh they could put their money in

the--we called it cash deposit -- they could come there to

draw it, you couldn't write checks on it I guess they still

do. Uhh Sunday afternoon we'd open up for uh Sunday before

uh regist--uh fee paying started Monday. Uhh open on Sunday

afternoon and take those deposits

K:Just so they wouldn't have to have that money on them


P:Right. And the next day they'd take one of those slips, see,

they would accept that to pay the fees.

K:I see. Could you tell us a little bit about any services which

the business office performed for the athletic association

during the years that you were in the business office?

What--what sort of paper work you would've done?

P:Uhh well, it didn't any of that come into my division but uh

Mr. Graham I think some of the other business managers too

were on the athletic committee or board. And uh Mr. Graham

I know had uh well he had to sign, he was treasurer, he had

to sign checks for them. And uh he usually had uh maybe a

part-time employee that the Athletic Association hired--he

was not on our payrolls.

K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh to keep the records for him. But uh that being a separate

corporation that didn't get into my bailiwick so uh but I

know that was a general set-up that he handled and I think

the business manager of the university right on has--has had

more or less to do with it, the same thing either. Uhh

being on the board of the committee, but I think now at

least when I left all of their records were maintained in

the athletic office. But that was the way it was at


K:So there--

P:He-he being treasurer had to keep some records, but one of

their employees handled it

K:So it was really their operation that he was just to check on

it at the top? When you first came here did the university

business office handle the billing for either the library or

for the uh infirmary as--as far as either library fines or--

or uh student uh charges at the infirmary?

P:No, uh seems to me like the library and the infirmary were,

well prepared their own --I know they sent over some--some

bills and I believe those things went through the

registrar's office and were put on the student's record.

K:Mm hm.

P:Uhhh I-I we didn't--I don't think we ever had any set-up in

our--in our office on those...

K:Mm hm.

P:Don't recall that we did- But uhh I do know that I've heard in

a number of instances where a student wanted a transcript of

his record...

K:Mm hm.

P:...from the registrar--and they write him back that he had to

pay so much either library fine or infirmary fine before

they'd give him a transcript.

K:Mm hm.

P:And that course had to be paid at the office. But for setting

up an accounts receivable for that, I don't think we ever


K:Did the business office do the purchasing paperwork for the

dining hall?

P:Uhhh yeah --

K:The cafeteria?

P:-well, the majority of it, yes. Now she might buy some

vegetables off of a huckster come around, but uh main

purchases, receiving bids for quantity grocery purchases,

and issuing a purchase order--all purchase orders had to

come--be issued from the business office.

K:Right from the start?


K:I'd like to...go ahead...

P:And uh--uh business manager used to even sign those things

manually [chuckle] but of course he got away from that but

uh I had a good bit to do with that myself getting uh bids,

quotations, and issuing purchase orders before the

purchasing department really got in operation.

K:I'd like to ask you about the planning for the medical center

and if, in the course of that planning, the people in the

business office were consulted as far as setting up the

business operation down there?

P:That came about after Dr. Miller got here and he obtained a

$5,000,000 dollar grant from the Commonwealth Foundation in

the [inaudible] beginning of planning that money was kept in

the state treasurer's office uhhh He... a man -- a man down

here that uh spent ten years here at the university uhh

working up those plans getting the set-up started. As far

as the business office itself was concerned other that maybe

business manager uh it never got down into our area.

K:So if they did anything of that sort it was with outside


P:Yeah, they had outside architects, uh however it had to clear

through the board architect...

K:Mm hm.

P:Guy Fulton.

K:But I mean--I mean the business operation

know, their own uh--


K:--billing patients and what not.

P:the business manager.

K:They--they did talk with him?

P:Oh, yes.

K:Mr. Baughman, I guess, at that time?

P:Well, he left about that time, Ellis

involved in, you



Yes, he would have been in on it--some of it.

Uhh but Ellis

Jones uh really got it going.

K:From your own observations or from what you heard, which of the

presidents in your time do you think best understood the

business operation of the university?

Or is that an unfair


P:Well, I think I'd have to say Dr.

K:Because of his experience with uh



P:Yes, uh Dr. Tigert was uh more on the educational field...

K:Mm hm.

P:Miller was and promoted that.

K:Mm hm.

P:But I--I think I'd have to say Dr.


Think he


the financial end of it.

K:There's one more thing I wanted to ask you uhh you know there's

a--a short brick wall behind the uh the newer library


building --Library West along University Avenue? I wanted

to ask you if you remembered when that was built and the

circumstances around it? Whose idea it was or when it was

carried out?

P:No, I sure don't.

K:Someone had mentioned to me that they thought that sometime--

one of the few times when there was a little money leftover-

-that that was an idea of Mr. Graham's. I thought maybe you

could check me on that.

P:Is this between Language and Science Hall?

K:Mm hm. In that span there.

P:I really don't know about that wall....

K:Well, that's okay.

P:I remember where they... the old Newberry Road

K:Mm hm.

P:Uhh I remember when the city paved that road--that was I think

the [inaudible] university had to, the state had to pay $25-

30,000 to the city for paving that section.

K:Well, that's about all the prepared questions I had for you.

Is there anything you'd like to add that--that maybe we

haven't covered that you would like to?

P:Well, I can't think right off hand of any...Talking bout

salaries often being late uhh bills, payment of bills,

travel, anything else used to have to be approved by the

board in session.

P:Mm hm.

K:I said they'd meet the first Monday after the tenth. No bills

got paid but once a month other than these auxiliary

activities whose funds were kept here and the business

manager signed checks on that. We had to prepare

[inaudible] voucher.

K:Mm hm.

P:Make up a voucher, four copies. Uhh to the pay, list out the

date of the invoice, the rest of it the--copy the invoice on

to that voucher. Made a tremendous tangle along the invoice

uhh it was approved by the business manager and the

president, sent to the Board of Control and apparently from

the best we could ever figure out they divided those things

up between different board members and they were--what they

were buying...

K:Mm hm.

P:What they were paying for. And then sent on to the controller,

the state controller issued the state check, warrants. But

uh that was the way bills were --were paid then.

K:When did they get away from that?

P:Oooh, I'd--sometime in the late 30s. Uhh in the Depression

days in the real Depression days 1934 or 1936 or 1937

sometimes there was as much as six months delay on a bill

being paid. Uhh they would pay--they paid salaries they

might be a few days or ten days late --they paid salaries.

They paid postage- they paid feed for animals...

K:Mm hm.

P:They paid travel.

K:Mm hm.

P:But if a chair or a desk or lab supplies or anything were

purchased it might be six months before that bill would get

paid. And as I told that girl in that other interview I

don't remember the year but when old Alfred I Dupont died,

some of the state officials went to--the executors I don't

know where it was Ed Ball, I guess it was. But the

executor, and got an advance I think, a couple a million

dollars on the estate tax.

Paid up all the state bills.


P:caught up on. But that was an advance on the whole tax.

K:And after that you didn't get into that situation--

P:They got behind a few more times but uh that was the main

bailing out deal there....

K:Let me explain to you now what we do with this--after we have

it uhh the copy typed up, the transcript, we send it back to

you. So that you can go over it and make sure that what's

down there is what you said and if uh the typist has put

down a wrong first name or something, or perhaps you think

of a first name we couldn't think of, we ask you to make any

correction like that, any error of fact and then after that

we ask you to send it back to us. And we have a final draft

editor go through it and put it in--

P:Correct English [chuckle]

K:--correct form so that [inaudible] run on sentences and we take

out all the uhs and the hands and things like that. So it

looks like a lot better when we get down with it. Then we

send it back to you and we ask you to sign a legal release

so that we can put the final copy of it in the library with

the rest of these, so, it'll probably be coming back to you

in a couple of months.

P:Well, that umm lady I believe her name was Miller?

K:Yes, Joyce Miller.

P:I never did see any copy on that at all.

K:We have--

P:But uh--

K:We have a copy--


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