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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
INTERVIEWEE: Sue James
INTERVIEWER: Emily Ring
February 23, 1988
R: My name is Emily Ring. Today is February 23, 1988. I am sitting in my living room
on NW7th [Avenue] and Main [Street], and next to me is Sue James. Sue lives at 104
SW 26th Street. Sue, tell us where that is. Is it near the law school?
J: Yes, right around the corner.
R: Sue grew up in east Gainesville and went to school in east Gainesville, so she is a
real old-timer, although she is not really old. Sue, tell us the year that you were born
and where you were born.
J: I was born in 1912 right around the corner from the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. It
was in a little house that my parents were living in as a young married couple in
Gainesville. Later they moved into a farmhouse on the east outskirts of Gainesville that
my father had renovated.
R: What street was it on?
J: It was on East Court Street, about a block and a half from what is now Kirby Smith
R: You said the house you were born in was near Holy Trinity. What street would that
have been on?
J: I think it was Church Street, but I have forgotten the names of those streets.
R: East of Main Street?
J: East of Main Street. As you know, at that time there was East Main and West Main;
there were two Main Streets. I think that they were the only paved roads in Gainesville.
University Avenue was paved to about where the Primrose Inn is. After that, as I
recall, it was a dirt, hardback road.
R: All the way to the campus.
J: Yes. The campus was out in the country. There was no building in between.
R: It was bordered by big oak trees.
J: It had oak trees in the middle and on the sides, too, all the way to town. They were
big, beautiful oak trees that formed a canopy. On one side you went one way and on
the other side you went the other way. It was like little courtyards in the middle of the
street. They were usually curbed in granite, I think. And the library was just beyond
Sweetwater Branch, right below Kirby Smith School.
R: What were the names of you parents?
J: My mother's name was Susie Lambert. Her given name was Susanna, which is
also my name; it is a family name. She was Susanna Lambert, and she married my
father, Harry Towson. I automatically used to spell my name when I told people what it
was because no one down here knew how to spell Towson. They always wanted to
say Townsend or almost anything except Towson.
R: So your father's full name was?
J: Harry Towson.
R: And your mother's full name was?
J: Susanna Price Lambert.
R: So your full name is?
J: Susanna Price Lambert Towson James. Someone told me one time they wished I
had married someone with a double name so that I could really have a full name. My
mother was from Baltimore. Her father was Louis Albert Lambert, and he was the
auditor of coal and coke for the B & O Railroad. He had a brilliant computer mind, a
brilliant mathematical mind. My mother was one often children, and each one of them
played a musical instrument. Their mother played the violin.
R: So they had an orchestra.
J: Yes. Daddy was from the Towson family, which had come down to Lynchburg,
Virginia. He said that when he was a child, they still had refugees--what they called
refugees--from the Civil War living with them. They were aunts and people who had
been disfranchised by the Civil War. His father was the youngest one of the Towson
family. His father was Matthew Norman Towson, who was a teenager during the Civil
War. He tried to run away to meet his older brothers, who were all killed in the Civil
War. It is funny that my mother's family was on the Union side. My great-grandfather
was a sea captain, and he was in the Union navy.
R: What was his name?
J: His name was Henry Vaughan; he was my mother's grandfather. He established
the Pilots Association of Chesapeake Bay. I think there is a museum up there with his
picture in it. My mother's father was from Philadelphia, and his family were builders.
R: You said he, your mother's father, lived in Philadelphia, and that she was born in
J: Yes, he moved to Baltimore, I think, primarily because of grandmother. He and
grandmother lived in Baltimore, and I would visit them up there. My father's ancestors
also came from that area. Towson is the county seat of Baltimore County. It is the
town where Goucher College is. It was such a novelty, such a wonderful thing to me to
go up there and visit where people knew how to spell my name. [laughter] It was even
on the street cars! That was really fun.
R: Why did your father come to Gainesville?
J: He was a traveling salesman, and he traveled in Virginia. He was really the main
support of his family, I think. His father and his family were ruined by the Civil War.
They lost their land and everything else. My father came to Florida and thought it was
like paradise. He said that after living in Virginia with the snow and the change of
seasons that they have, Florida was great. He was almost thirty years old when he
came to Florida, and he loved it so.
Then he fell in love with my mother when they were on vacation in Virginia at Virginia
Beach; that is where they met. Anyway, he came to Florida and lived in Jacksonville at
a boarding house, and he traveled out from there. He told me that at that time there
were not many roads in Florida, and that he would travel in a buggy. He would set up a
sample room in a hotel, and people would come from all around to see what he was
R: What was it that he was selling?
J: Men's work clothes. He was really an independent person, and he had to live an
independent life. But he was a lot of fun.
R: Did he come from a large family of brothers and sisters like your mother did?
J: No. Actually, his mother died when he was four years old, and he slept with his
father until he was twelve, when his father remarried. He said he really resented it
because he lost his place in bed to Miss Patty--he always called her Miss Patty.
[laughter] Then the babies started coming. Mary Mixon was the first baby. Daddy
would go for the doctor. Daddy's family lived on a farm outside of Lynchburg, and he
said that he would go on horseback. He remembered being like Ichabod Crane, riding
through on horseback to get the doctor for Miss Patty when she had a baby. Mary was
his half-sister, and he had two half-brothers.
R: And she came to Gainesville?
J: She came to visit Daddy and Mother, and met Sam.
R: She met Sam Mixon here?
J: That is right. Mother, of course, had a lot of sisters, and her sisters came to visit
her. She said she had a regular matrimonial bureau because that is when Florence
met Uncle Pat Graham, and Ethel, another sister, met Alan Graham. Did you know
they are sisters?
R: I did not know you were kin to the Grahams and the Mixons.
J: I used to always stay with Sam and Mary when Mother and Daddy went on a trip.
R: So your mother and father almost populated that part of Gainesville.
J: That is right. [laughter] Mary was my aunt, my father's sister, and Aunt Florence,
who lived right across the street from us in east Gainesville, was Mother's sister. They
were very close.
R: You had a large family group to go to school with, right? Did many of you go to
Kirby Smith School?
J: Yes. Bill Graham was the first baby that Aunt Florence had. He was the age of my
brother, five years younger than I am. It was a family group. I had a brother who was
Bill's age, and they were like twins. They were really so close. He lives in Jacksonville
R: How many children did your mother and father have?
J: They had four; they had two boys and two girls. I have on older sister.
R: The oldest is a sister. What is her name?
J: Virginia Towson. She married Tom Owens and lives in Port St. Joe. My brother
Harry is five years younger, and he married Julia Winn. The Winns that own the
Primrose Inn. Then I had a brother, Louis, who was killed in World War II. He was in
the air force and was shot down in the Mediterranean.
R: Was he married?
R: You are the eldest?
J: No, I am the second child.
R: Oh, your sister is the eldest.
J: Yes, she is three years older than I am.
R: At what age did you go to Kirby Smith School?
J: I can really remember. We were living in a house--we had moved after Harry was
born, and the little house was too small--very close to Kirby Smith. In fact, it was
almost across the street. Kirby Smith, incidentally, was the only school in town at that
time for whites. I did not even know where the colored school was. But Kirby Smith
was right across the street. I was not school age; I must have been four or five years
old, because it was probably before Harry was born, and Daddy was having this house
done over two blocks from there. In the meantime, we were living at this house across
the street from Kirby Smith. I would go to Kirby Smith and sit in the basement
window--you know how basement windows open up on the ground--and throw things at
the students in the basement.
R: You naughty girl!
J: Yes. I can remember Talmadge Van Sickle, Dale's older brother. Mr. Van Sickle
had a photography studio in Gainesville then. In fact, we have some photographsthat
were taken by him of when we were babies and things like that.
R: Why were you throwing at this little boy? Were you trying to get his attention?
J: He was in high school; these were big high school people. The high school was
meeting in the basement of Kirby Smith School because they were so crowded. I
thought Talmadge was a great, big, grown-up person, and I just wanted attention, I am
sure. The teacher would ask Talmadge to take me home, and he would. I do not know
how many times he did it, but I do know that I liked him. I would be on his shoulders,
and he would take me home. The teacher (whoever she was) would ask, "Would you
please keep Sue at home?" [laughter] I am sure Mother must have been pregnant at
R: So she let you run around?
J: Yes. In Gainesville you could do that.
R: It was perfectly safe then. You said you had black servants in your home who lived
in the area that is now being proposed as a historic area.
J: Yes. I remember one name, Dolly; she was the one who played the piano. We had
quite a few different ones. In fact, we had a washwoman come and do the wash and
things like that.
R: Yes, that was the custom. She would take the clothes to her home and do them?
J: Sometimes. But I can remember on occasion that we did have someone who came
and did the wash, and she brought her little girl with her. I had a wonderful time on
those days because she was my age, and she could play with me. She was a good
R: Do you remember going to school with classmates? Was Rodney Bishop in your
J: No, Rodney was older; she was my sister's age. I remember Rodney and Shirley
Bishop and all of those girls. I always looked up to them because they were a little bit
older. I thought that anything they did was just wonderful.
R: Do you remember very much about Holy Trinity way back then, when you were
J: Yes, I do.
R: It was the same building, of course.
J: Yes. I cannot remember much about the ministers. I have been told that before the
parish house was built--this must have been when I was very small--I got my head
caught in one of the kneelers, and I just screamed bloody murder and embarrassed
Virginia, my sister. I was always embarrassing her anyway. I was making such a
commotion. Sunday school met in the church, and I always went to Sunday school.
R: Were the Tebeau students still coming?
J: Yes, they would come in a line and sit in the marked pews that were reserved for
the Tebeau School.
R: Your whole family was devoted to the church. Did they all go as a body to the
church, or just the ones who felt like it?
J: Mother sang in the choir, and she was always active in altar duties. They were all
active in the church.
R: Who was the rector when you were growing up?
J: I do not remember.
R: Was that before Mr. Wakefield?
J: Yes. I remember him well. Bill Stoney was the first one I remember with any clarity.
Before that, the person I remember at Holy Trinity was Mr. [William Wade] Hampton.
They could not open the church without Mr. Hampton.
R: He has one of the stained glass windows, does he?
J: I am sure. I remember him so well because he was always there. It was if he were
part of the church.
R: He was the father of the present Mr. Hampton.
J: Are you talking about Wade Hampton?
J: No, that would be his grandfather. I remember the Voyles. Miss Voyle was my
Sunday school teacher--one of them. She would take us to her house on Shrove
Tuesday, and we would have pancakes.
R: Did Miss Tebeau come with her students to church?
J: Oh, yes. She and her sister were always so proper.
R: Did those girls wear uniforms?
J: I think so, yes. They were those kind of dark uniforms with the sailor collars. That is
what I recall.
R: All girls and ladies had something on their heads, didn't they?
J: Yes. You did not go to church without a covering.
R: If you did not have a hat, you wore a cap.
J: You wore a covering. You never went in the church without something on your
R: Going back to the school, in those days, of course, you had to carry your lunch to
school, right? There was no cafeteria.
J: I did not; I would go home, because I lived right around the block. As a matter of
fact, there was a warning bell five minutes before school started, and I could be in
bed--this was later on--hearthat warning bell, and be up and dressed and to school on
time. Probably without much to eat. [laughter]
R: That must have been a wonderful life. Did you go all the way through school?
J: I went through the eighth grade there. They did not have any twelfth grade then.
They built Gainesville High School. You see, the time I was talking about when they
would take me home was shortly after GHS was built. All the grades were there then.
That must have been in 1917 or 1918, along in there.
R: On West University Avenue?
J: On West University Avenue, yes, where the medical building is now.
R: Was Mr. [Fritz] Buchholz the principal from the very start?
J: He was the principal when I was there. I did not pay much attention to who was
R: After you got through with Kirby Smith, that must have seemed a long way to go
from your house. It was on the other side of town.
J: Yes, but I walked it a lot. We walked to places then. I can remember Miss Ruth
White would take me home sometimes. She was wonderful. She and Miss Marjorie
White both taught English, and they were wonderful teachers. They lived just around
the corner from us, and they would pick me up and take me home sometimes.
R: Did Miss White give you your interest in reading and in books?
J: Maybe. Mrs. White, their mother, was the librarian. Did you know that?
R: Yes, it was the Carnegie Library.
J: Just a little building right where the parking lot in front of the post office is; that was
where it was. I can remember, it seems even before I went to school, going to the
library. I would cut through Kirby Smith, diagonally through the campus. There is an
arcade there. On Saturday I would always go to the library, because they had a story
lady in the basement of it.
R: And Mrs. White was the librarian?
J: Mrs. White was the librarian, yes.
R: This was a frame building before the Carnegie brick building?
J: No. The Carnegie brick building was the first one that I remember. The basement
was where they read the stories and things like that. But there was just one big room.
R: It had tile steps going up to the second story, as I remember.
J: No, there was no second story.
R: But there were some tile steps in front of it.
J: Yes, there were steps. It was on an incline, anyway, and the basement was
underneath. I suppose it really might not have been a basement. It may have been a
R: There were two floors, and the story hour was on the ground floor.
J: Yes, down below, and you would go up the steps to the library.
R: Did that creek sometimes overflow?
J: Yes, but it did not hurt the library. Maybe that was the reason they built it that way.
There were these great big conduit pipes going from the Sweetwater Branch to under
University Avenue, and when I was little, we crawled through there.
R: Crawled through?
J: Sure. You know, it was dry most of the time.
R: But when it was very rainy, there was quite a rush of water through there?
R: The post office was on the other side of the creek?
J: You mean the post office when I grew up? No, it was where the Hippodrome [State
Theater] is now.
R: So it was quite a distance away?
J: Yes. I used to go twice a day with my father. His box number was 333. That was
his business mail box. He was home a lot.
R: He was in the business of men's wholesale clothing?
J: Yes, and he had different lines of clothing.
R: Tell me, in those days, did the men in the South wear these beautiful white and
J: Oh, yes.
R: They were just wonderful. But they had to be laundered.
J: I never knew how they did that.
R: It was terribly hard to iron one of those linen suits.
J: It must have been, but they were very beautiful--like Mark Twain wore.
R: Right. But when these gentlemen got to the office--and it was hot weather, and
there was no air conditioning--they had to take these coats off and hang them up very
carefully so that the laundering of the coat might last a while. But the trousers, I
suppose, had to be laundered more often; at least, that is my theory. It was a big to-do
J: That is right.
R: Everything had to be ironed.
J: And with a flat iron. I can remember the irons that they heated on stones. I have
seen them, but I never used one.
R: Your mother probably had a gas stove or a kerosene stove in her kitchen. She was
not still cooking with wood?
J: No. In our kitchen we had a wood stove that Daddy had converted to a water
heater. He was very interested in all kinds of gadgets, and he had one of the first
electric stoves. He bought it for Mother. But we had an oil stove, with kerosene.
R: That would have been the time of the First World War?
J: Yes. Before that we had an oil stove.
R: And the house was heated with oil?
J: The house was heated with fireplaces.
R: Did you also have a wood stove in the front hall?
J: No. We had the wood stove in the kitchen, but it had been converted to oil. It was a
wood stove, and it was wonderful.
R: Did you have your main meal in the middle of the day? Dinner came about one
J: Yes, I think so, although I do not remember very much about that. I remember we
had a dining room table. It was one of those round oak tables. That was our social
hour; it must have been at noon.
R: I am sure it must have been. Everybody ate at noon until about one o'clock.
J: Yes, that is when we all got together, the whole family, and we would have regular
R: Where was your father's office?
J: He actually had an office at home. He had a rolltop desk.
R: Did he travel around to other towns selling his wares?
J: Yes, and it was funny. During World War I he traveled, and he always had special
places he stayed where they expected him. But during the war, the accommodations
were very uncertain, so he bought a tent. He ordered a tent from Sears and Roebuck
or Montgomery Ward--one of those catalog places--and kept it in the back of his car.
R: Did he travel by train or by car?
J: Later by car, but he said that before then he traveled either by train or by buggy.
When he traveled, he said that he carried this tent with him in the back in case he could
not get a place to stay. At the end of the war, it was still in the package that he had
gotten it in. It was a brand new tent--he had never used it--so he took it back to Sears.
He said he found out later that he had bought it from Montgomery Ward. That is the
story he used to tell.
R: He took it back to Sears, and they accepted it?
R: That is a wonderful story. That speaks well for Sears.
R: We have gotten you up to high school. Did you become interested in any particular
subject at Buchholz High School?
J: English was always my subject, and I loved French. I loved my French teacher; I
thought that she was very glamorous.
R: Do you remember her name?
J: Phyllis Grimm was her name. But my very favorite teacher was Mignon Engle. She
was the wife of a professor at the University, and she taught public speaking.
R: I bet you were good at that.
J: She was just a marvelous teacher. At that time, Cousin Thelma [Bolton] was just
out of school, so she was not teaching public speaking yet. Mignon Engle taught it.
She was a very talented person herself. She put on a production of As You Like It my
senior year in high school. Thelma did the costumes for that; the home economics
department made the costumes. It was really a wonderful production, a beautiful
production. I was Rosalyn, and I had a beautiful gown as a princess--pink satin with
pearls embroidered on it. I asked permission to wear it to a costume dance that they
were having at the Thomas Hotel, in that patio area.
R: The solarium.
J: There were dances there, and there would be an orchestra up on the balcony.
Anyway, I wore this costume. The Pirates was the organization that the boys belonged
to. There were a number of organizations like that, like the Pirate Club and Le Pache.
R: These were University clubs, right?
R: And this was how you got to know Wilbur, your husband?
J: I met him at an LSS Club dance. It was an invitation sorority in high
school--Lambda Sigma Sigma. You were just not quite with it if you did not belong to
the LSS Club. So when I was about a sophomore or junior in high school, Mother let
me go to the LSS house party in Daytona Beach. We were well chaperoned. I never
dated any of the high school boys; I always dated University boys. I thought that high
school boys were too young.
R: Did some of your friends also date University boys?
J: Oh, yes. There was a scarcity of girls in Gainesville, since there was nothing but
boys at the University. The only time there were any girls here was when they were
visiting from FSU--FSCW [Florida State College for Women] it was then. So a girl in
Gainesville was really in great demand, no matter what. She did not have to be the
greatest dancer or beauty or anything like that.
R: So you went to dances at the Thomas Hotel?
J: That is right. But I met Wilbur when I was dating his roommate. He was dating
someone else, and they were at the LSS party in Daytona Beach.
R: You had boys and girls at this house party?
J: No, the boys came down to visit. They would never have had boys and girls at the
same house party.
R: Where did the girls stay at the beach?
J: We rented a house. I think we raised money by having bake sales or things like that
to rent a house.
R: You were dating Wilbur's roommate?
J: That is right. He said that they--he and his roommate--drove up to the house and
saw me sitting on the steps. And Wilbur thought to himself, "That is the girl I am going
to marry." He said he just knew it.
R: Did this happen in Gainesville or at the beach?
J: At the beach. It was next to the Breakers Hotel in Daytona Beach, right next to the
pier. We spent all of our vacations in Daytona Beach from the time I was little, because
my father was able to do that. He could make his headquarters in Daytona Beach, so
in the summertime, the minute school was out, we moved to Daytona Beach and spent
the whole summer there. We went there because of my mother's hay fever, what we
called allergies. She was allergic to probably all of the pollen in Gainesville, but at
Daytona she did not have any problem because the ocean breeze would blow all of
that pollen away.
R: Where was your cottage or your house at Daytona Beach?
J: We stayed at different apartments. We would rent the whole upper floor--two
R: Would you take your cook with you?
J: No, we would just go on vacation, like camping.
R: You got through high school before you married Wilbur, right?
R: How long did you date him when you were in high school?
J: Two years. I dated him my junior year, and other people as well. Then my senior
year I was wearing his fraternity pin and did not date anyone else.
R: What fraternity was that?
R: So you were actually engaged, then, by the fraternity ring?
J: That is right. As a matter of fact, he gave me his pin over in Golfview. We went out
and parked. Did you ever do that?
R: I did not go out and park.
J: But did you have a car?
R: Yes, I did.
J: We went out there, and it was just woods then. They had built those brick gates
that go into Golfview, but only one or two houses. The Arnold house was there.
R: At the entrance?
J: No, at the very foot of it, overlooking Lake Alice. It was the very last one. We drove
over almost to the Arnold house and parked there, and Wilbur gave me his pin. It was
a funny thing. Our son John bought the Boozer house, and it was right around the
R: So he lives close to the place where his parents courted?
J: That is right.
R: That is romantic.
J: I think so.
R: We will get to John later. John is your only son and a wonderful guy.
J: High school was really a fun experience. I think I missed a lot that other people
have in high school because of the fact that I dated college boys. My mother was the
one who insisted that I not date high school boys because she said they did not have
the respect for girls that an older boy had. She did not want me to date high school
R: That is interesting. So you feel that you might have
J: Yes, I do. I missed the high school groups and things
good times that he had in Orlando.
missed something with the
that Wilbur talks about, the
R: Let us get back to Wilbur. Where did he grow up?
J: In Orlando.
R: And his parents were?
J: They were both English; they were from London.
R: What were their names?
J: His father was Henry Nesbitt James, and his mother was Maude Hammond. They
came first to Canada because Mr. James's brother, Will, had gone to Canada. There
were very depressed conditions in England then. Wilbur's father bought fabrics for a
big, well-known company in Canada. He could feel a fabric and tell where it was
manufactured and what the content was. He traveled all over the world--to Italy,
France, and everywhere--buying for the company. He was a corporate buyer. When
he went to Canada, he got a wonderful job with this company. It is still in existence in
Canada and is one of the big companies.
R: Was this in Montreal?
J: Yes. Wilbur was born in Montreal. He was next to the last of eight children, so he
must have been the seventh child that they had. Not all of them lived; one died of
scarlet fever, and one was a blue baby. He has two sisters still living in Orlando.
Anyway, Mrs. James suffered so with the cold in Canada that they had to move to
Florida. Mr. James came down to Miami. He wanted to have an orange grove, so he
tested the soil. It was not any good, so he came up further and settled near Orlando,
and they had an orange grove there. Wilbur was such a little thing--he was about four
years old--when they came from Canada. He tells the story about this black man who
was working for them. His (Wilbur's) older brother had been in a minstrel show and
had blackened his face. He had watched them make-up and everything. This black
man was working out in the field, and Wilbur said to him, "I know how you can get that
stuff off." [laughter] He had never seen a black person before. Anyway, he grew up in
R: And he went to school there.
J: Yes. He also knew many people in Gainesville. He knew Howard Bishop and John
A. Murphree, who later become a judge. He knew a lot of people from Gainesville
because he went to camp in North Carolina every summer from the time he was about
thirteen years old, I think. He met boys there from all over the state. So he knew a lot
of the boys that he later went to school with.
R: Howard Bishop grew up to become the county superintendent of education.
J: That is right. Of course, I knew Howard all of my life.
R: And you knew Rodney, too. She was not a Bishop first.
J: She was Rodney Layton, and her father was a lawyer. There is a story told about
this Dr. Lartigue, a French doctor who had a very fiery temper, I understand. He even
had a French accent. He was the only doctor in town, I think, at the time, until Dr.
Bishop moved here. But Dr. Lartigue was the doctor who delivered me and everyone.
R: And then Howard Bishop's father, Dr. Bishop, came here?
J: Yes, Dr. Bishop moved here from Madison or somewhere like that. I do not
remember when they moved here, but they lived not far from the Laytons. Well, Dr.
Lartigue had a fiery temper, and one day he got so angry with someone on Main Street
that he pulled a gun. This French doctor was going to shoot someone, the loving
French doctor that I had heard about all of my life. Everyone scattered like they do in
westerns, and Rod Layton, Rodney's father, walked out and said, "You know you do
not want to do that."
R: Was this a white man that he threatened or a black man?
J: A white man. He was just going to shoot someone. And Rod Layton stopped him. I
have always thought that that showed his courage. He was a Sunday school teacher.
Martha Murphree, Dr. Murphree's daughter, taught me in Sunday school, also.
R: Dr. Murphree was the president of the University [of Florida, 1909-1927]. His
daughter taught you in Sunday school?
J: Yes. Did you know her? She was Jenny Stringfellow's [Mrs. Jim Stringfellow's]
R: No, I did not know her.
J: She was just the prettiest thing; I always thought that she was so lovely. We used
to have meetings over at the Murphree house. They lived over near the old Bishop
house. Houses in Gainesville were built so close together. They were great big
houses that were jammed up against each other with just a few feet between them.
R: That made it easy to walk all over to visit.
J: Yes. But there were these great big houses downtown. You remember when the
Dell house was jammed up to Holy Trinity. It was so close that there was only a
driveway between them.
R: That house was later moved.
J: Well, it was torn down.
R: I thought it was moved. The electric lines had to be taken down. The house was
moved over to southeast Gainesville, I think to 3rd Avenue, and was restored.
J: I would like to see it, because I remember that house well. Eva Dell lived there.
She was a friend of my mother's, and they had one child, Jimmy Dell, who was my age.
R: What was the beautiful big mansion that was unfortunately torn down just north of
the Holy Trinity parking lot?
J: That was the Baker house. Edith Ellet's aunt, Fanida Baker, lived there and took
care of her. She was related to the Bairds in some way.
R: It was called the Baird house, was it?
J: Yes, it was the Baird house, and the Stringfellow house was further on. It is a little
difficult for me to reconstruct in my mind the houses that were along there even though
I was so familiar with them.
R: And the Graham house was further along.
J: Yes. Are you talking about Lee Graham?
R: Yes. Was it torn down too?
J: No. It has been made into offices.
R: About half of them have been torn down, and then the rest of them ...
J: Began to be restored.
R: Yes, and now they are legal offices.
J: Yes, and I think that Lee Graham's house is now a state office.
R: I think it is the prettiest street in Gainesville. It is the street where we have the
spring festival art show.
J: Yes. Whoever planned Gainesville (if anyone did) that way did a good job.
R: University Avenue was originally a double street all the way west and all the way
J: Yes, and it had trees in the middle, like we mentioned before. Those streets were
all paved with brick. I think all the others were just packed roads; I am not sure, but
they were not paved.
R: The paved streets had sidewalks, but the other streets did not have sidewalks, did
J: There were sidewalks up on the square where Dr. Tillman and the Hampton Law
Offices were, catty-corner from Holy Trinity. It is just a parking area now, in front of
where the library is. That is right across from what was Wilson's Department Store.
That group of buildings were Hampton's law offices, Dr. Tillman's office, Vidal's
drugstore on the corner, and then George Dell's grocery store was around the corner
on University Avenue. Nora Norton had a store there that was later bought by Bessie
R: Was it a ladies store?
J: No, it was not clothing. It was a gift shop and pictures.
R: There was a ladies dress shop in there, too, later on, is that right? Mrs.
J: No, Mrs. McCormick's shop was over where Rice Hardware is now, in that group of
buildings. Mary bought all of her clothes at McCormick's, and I would go with her. I
spent a lot of time with Mary Mixon.
R: You finished high school before you married Wilbur. Wilbur was on the football
J: That is right. He was on the famous '28 team. He was a sophomore that year.
R: Why was the '28 team famous?
J: Because they almost went to the Rose Bowl. That was before the Rose Bowl was
sewed up for the Big Ten northern schools or whatever they do now. At that time, the
Gators had won every game. The last game was with Tennessee. They were the
highest-scoring team in the nation, and they had achieved national renown. They were
a famous team, and one of the first southern teams, I imagine, that was famous.
They went to Tennessee to play, and I will never forget it. We listened to it on the
radio. My future brother-in-law was on the team, too, and they lost by one point. They
did not kick any of their field goals because they did not have a field goal kicker. Frank
Clark was on the team, also. He was visiting us about two or three weeks ago, and he
said that he never even thought of trying to kick field goals or telling anyone that he
could. He was a field goal kicker, and they could have won it. But they did not have a
field goal kicker.
R: Who was the coach?
J: Charlie Bachman.
R: They did not use this device of kicking field goals then?
J: They did, but they did not make any of them. They did not have a good field goal
R: That is too bad. I know that Wilbur has been interested in football all of his life.
Maybe that is why your son John became a professional goal kicker.
J: He did not kick goals, but he punted. Wilbur wanted him to play football, but he
never played in high school.
R: We are getting a little ahead of the story, because John is the youngest of your
children, and there are three older sisters that you have got to tell us about first. To
begin with, where were you and Wilbur married?
J: We were married at Holy Trinity fifty-seven years ago, last week.
R: Fifty-seven years! How old were you when you married?
J: I was eighteen.
R: So you never got a chance to go to college until much later. We will come to that.
You have been a wonderful classroom auditor these last few years. After you married
Wilbur, did you leave Gainesville and go somewhere else?
J: He worked for Cox Furniture Company, and that was in the depths of the
R: You were married in what year?
J: We were married in 1931 at Holy Trinity. We did not have a car, so we borrowed
mother's car, which was a Chevrolet touring car with an open top, for our honeymoon.
R: With the snap-on windows.
J: Yes. We drove down to Tampa for our honeymoon. On the way back we stopped
and spent the night with my sister, Virginia, whose husband was coaching football in
Clearwater. You were talking about my being attracted to Wilbur. Daddy was so
interested in football, and I really believe that that was one reason why Virginia and I
both married football players. [laugh]
R: It sort of ran in the family.
J: Yes. We had Susanna when we had been married a little over a year. Dr. Thomas
delivered her at Alachua General. It was a new hospital then. About three years later
we had another baby, Barbara. She came at Alachua General. Then Wilbur was
asked to manage a new store that Cox had opened in Lake City, which is fifty miles
away, so we moved to Lake City. Then when I was pregnant with Virginia, I came to
Gainesville. Wilbur did not think that anybody knew how to deliver babies except Dr.
Thomas, so I came to Gainesville. I would commute to see him, and we drove over to
Gainesville to have her.
R: So all three girls were born in Alachua General.
J: Yes. The funny thing about it is, Daddy was visiting me when the Virginia was due.
R: Were they that close together in age?
J: They are a few years apart. Virginia is almost four years younger than Barbara. But
Daddy was visiting, and he and I went to the movies in the afternoon: it was Bob Hope
in Thanks for the Memories. There was a clock on the wall, and while we were in there
I started having labor pains. I knew I had to go fifty miles to go to the hospital, and I
wanted to see the rest of the movie. I knew it always took me nine hours in labor to
have a baby; I had never had one in any shorter time than that. Dr. Thomas said it was
just because of the way I am built; it just took me a long time to have a baby. I just
could not tell Daddy.
R: You wanted to see the end of the movie.
J: I sat there and timed the pains, and they were fifteen minutes apart. I sat there and
watched that movie. We went home and started packing my bag, and Daddy asked,
"Why are you packing that suitcase?" I said, "Well, I am having labor pains, and I have
to go to the hospital." He just exploded! [laughter]
R: You made it to the hospital in time?
J: Yes. Wilbur drove me to the hospital.
R: Was the road between Lake City and Gainesville paved then?
J: It was paved, but it was bumpy. We came by way of Lake Butler--it was kind of a
shortcut. There was no 1-75 then. You had to go by way of High Springs and Alachua,
but there was a shortcut through Lake Butler.
R: The train went that way.
J: We drove that way, and the road was bumpy. Wilbur said every time we went over
a bump, he was afraid I was going to have the baby.
R: There was nobody in the car but you and Wilbur?
J: Just the two of us.
R: He thought he might have to bring that baby into this world. Oh, my goodness!
That was quite an adventure.
J: That is right. It was quite exciting. Anyway, I was right about the nine hours.
R: Was John also born in Gainesville?
J: No, he was born in Panama City. That was ten years later.
R: You had the three girls about three years apart, and then you waited ten years for
J: We thought we had our family.
R: How did you happen to go to Panama City?
J: We went with Wilbur's furniture company; he managed a store there. As a matter of
fact, we had gone to Pensacola where he had managed these stores for Rhodes
R: You moved to Pensacola before you moved to Panama City?
J: That is right. We lived in Pensacola for awhile while he was an assistant manager.
R: So your three little girls went to school in Pensacola?
J: Yes, they went to school in Pensacola. In fact, Barbara started in the first grade
there. That was when war broke out, when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941.
R: Where in Pensacola did you live?
J: We lived out on Country Club Road, near the naval air station. One of Wilbur's
nephews was in training at the naval air station while we were there. He brought a lot
of his friends there. He was killed in the war. We lost a lot of men--it was a sad time.
After the war, we moved to Panama City because they had lost the manager there.
It was supposed to be a temporary thing, but we stayed. We liked it that much. Then
he left Rhodes and established his own store in Panama City.
R: John was born what year?
J: The year John was born was 1949.
R: And he had three older sisters to take care of him.
J: That is right. I was really embarrassed about it, because I thought I was too old to
have a baby.
R: How old were you?
J: I was thirty-six.
R: That is not considered too old now, but in those days ..
J: Then it was. I had had all of the girls in my twenties, you see. I put off telling the
girls as long as I could. They had all gone to Camp Weed, the Episcopal camp at
R: Yes, near Tallahassee.
J: Near Tallahassee. They had all gone to camp that summer, and Wilbur and I went
to pick them up and bring them home. We decided that we would get them all
gathered in the car and tell them that we were going to have a baby. I asked them
what they would like to have, because we had a surprise planned. And Susanna, who
was seventeen and a senior in high school, said, "A new car?" [laughter] She thought
we were going to get a new car. I forget what Barbara guessed. Virginia was ten, and
she had never wanted to give up dolls. She was fascinated by babies and everything.
I asked her, "Virginia, you tell me what you would want to have more than anything
else," and she said, "A baby." I thought, "Oh, boy!" and I told her that that was what we
were going to have. I thought that Susanna would be embarrassed, but she said, "Oh,
Mother, can I tell everybody?" I was so happy and so relieved about the way they felt
R: So John was really welcomed then?
J: He was welcomed into this world. I had a friend, Ruth, who came by to see me, and
Virginia and Barbara were having a fight--not a real knock-down drag-out, but they
were fussing at each other. Ruth asked what they were fussing about, and I said, "Oh,
they are arguing about whose turn it is to take care of John."
R: So you had built in babysitters?
J: Oh, yes. See, they were seventeen, fourteen, and eleven, and they have always felt
that way about him. Barbara right now looks on his children as her grandchildren. She
is just having her first grandchild pretty soon. And [John's daughter] Helen [James] is
R: We might as well stop here and brag about your grandchildren. How many
grandchildren do you have?
J: We have fifteen, but we are going to have sixteen. I told you that John and Bunny
are expecting. John is so intrigued because it is so much like our family was. Bunny is
the age I was when I had John, and the boys are the age that Virginia was.
R: Maybe we better tell at this point who it was that your children married. Let us start
with Susanna. She married an Episcopal minister?
J: That is her second husband. She was married for twenty-four years to someone
else and had five children.
R: What was her first husband's name?
J: He was Don Bennett, and they built a motel on the beach property that his
grandfather had given them.
R: On the east coast?
J: In Panama City Beach. When we moved there it was almost deserted. There were
one or two buildings out there. If you could see it now, it is just wall-to-wall motels,
condominiums, and all kinds of things.
R: She was married twenty-four years to him?
J: She was married for twenty-four years, and they were divorced. She later married
an Episcopal minister.
R: She had how many children by the first husband?
R: And then she married an Episcopal minister named ...
J: Bob Stuart. He has a church at Palm Coast.
R: Was he a widower?
J: He was divorced, also.
R: Did he have children?
J: Yes, he had three boys who were grown. Well, two of them are in college now. He
came to Panama City when Wilbur was on the call committee [to select a new
R: Wilbur had to pick him out?
J: That is right.
R: Was he divorced for a long time, or just for a short time?
J: Just a short time.
R: Where do they live now?
J: They live in Palm Coast. They are in an ITT development, a planned community
that was developed by ITT, the International Telephone Company.
R: Where is it, Sue?
J: It is over below St. Augustine, in Flagler County between St. Augustine and Daytona
Beach or Ormond Beach. It is near the coast.
R: Near Flagler Beach. And it is a planned community that this corporation built?
J: They built it from scratch. They drained all of these marsh lands. [Claire] Stryker
told me that she went over there with a group to protest their drainage of the wetlands.
R: Did they build a church for your son-in-law?
J: No. This is an old church, one of the oldest Episcopal churches in the state. They
are planning to build a bigger one now.
R: At what age did she marry for the second time?
J: She was in her forties.
R: So she did not have any more children?
J: No, they do not have any more children.
R: But she is going to have grandchildren?
J: Yes, she has a number of grandchildren, which are my great-grandchildren.
R: Let us go next to Barbara. Whom did she marry?
J: She married--this is one reason that John never played football--a boy whom she
had dated off-and-on from the time they were in grade school together. In fact,
Scotty--his name is Scotty Fraser--came by to see John when I was in the hospital with
him. They would take John everywhere. When Scotty was courting Barbara, he would
go off on a golf trip or something, and he would bring John a present. He did not bring
Barbara a present, but he brought John one.
R: John was a very lucky little boy.
J: He really was. Scotty was a golf champion in high school and in college. They
came to the University of Florida at the same time. Barbara was in architecture, and
Scotty was in the business school.
R: Was this when you were living in Panama City?
J: Yes, we were living in Panama City. And they came to school, and Scotty had been
courting Barbara all of these years.
R: Did they go to this University campus, or the one in Tallahassee?
J: This one. They would break up and get together again, and then they would break
up again. It was really funny because I had a cousin who worked in the registrar's
office at the University named Cathy Graham. She worked with Ann Jones.
R: Was their father the registrar?
J: No. You are thinking about the business manager, Klein Graham. He was a
relative. Now, Cathy Graham was in the registrar's office, and Scotty had a golf
scholarship at the University.
You see, John wanted to be like Scotty. He admired Scotty so, and he played golf;
he was a champion high school golfer. But it took all of his time, so he did not play
football. He had to practice golfing too much, so he played golf and basketball.
Anyway, when Barbara and Scotty were courting off-and-on, they were both
freshmen at the University, and Scotty had a golf scholarship. Well, he and Barbara
broke up, but before they broke up, I came up here one time to see Barbara. That was
when the girls lived in the girls dorms and the boys in the boys dorms. Barbara lived in
those two dorms near where Norman Hall is now.
R: You are not thinking of a sorority house, are you?
J: No, across from the music building now. Barbara was living in one of those dorms,
and I came by to see her. I walked in, and she and Scotty were studying in the lobby. I
had gotten a ride at the last minute with a friend. Scotty looked up and said, "When are
you going home?" [laughter] Scotty always said whatever came into his head.
R: Did he major in golf? He must have majored in something else.
J: He majored in business.
R: How did he become an Episcopal minister?
J: Wait a minute. You are getting ahead of me. I was going to tell you something
funny about this. When they broke up, Barbara said that she had gotten so tired of
Scotty's jumping out at her from every doorway--he knew where her classes met and
everything. She wanted to date other boys.
R: To play the field.
J: Yes, so she broke up with him. Well, Scotty said that he went to the registrar and
said that he was going to transfer to LSU [Louisiana State University]. They always
ask why, and he told them, "Well, I am in love with a girl that I am going to marry, and I
decided that our relationship would be better if I went to another school and she goes
to this school. Then we will get married after school. Her name is Barbara James."
Now, Cathy Graham was listening to all of this--she was Barbara's cousin--and she
said he just poured out his heart. He told exactly everything, just like Scotty; he just
says whatever comes into his head. So he transferred to LSU, and they got married
R: So absence made the heart grow fonder?
J: Well, he was a determined young man. They were married and had three children,
and they lived in Tallahassee. He was the lobbyist for the Florida Medical Association.
Barbara took some psychology courses at FSU there; she went to school while they
were married and had children. Then he started having an affair with his secretary, so
they divorced. Lee Graham was the minister at St. Johns in Tallahassee. He is our
cousin, and he was going to call an assistant priest. Barbara told him, "When you call
one, call one who is in his forties--and single." [laughter] She was just joking. But he
called Paul Ritch, and later she and Paul got married.
R: These all sound to me like young people who kind of planned their lives.
J: In a way, but a lot of these things just kind of happened like everything else.
R: So Barbara married Paul Ritch.
J: Do you know Paul?
R: Yes. He came to Earl Page's funeral and preached the sermon. He is very
charming. Where is he located now?
J: He is the associate priest at St. Marks in Jacksonville. Barnum McCarty is the priest
there. Do you know Barnum? We have always had such close friends who are priests.
Barnum is like one of my children; I really feel that close to him. And Betty Ann lived
with Ducky Gibbs when she was going to school here, I think.
R: Lucia Gibbs, Ducky's daughter, started the first nursery school in Gainesville.
J: That is right. Then she went to New York and lived with the Engels. You remember
the one I told you about, the speech teacher, Mignon Engel? When she lived with
Mignon, she was like an adopted child of theirs. They never had any.
R: Is she still living?
J: No, she died last year.
R: But she was not living here when she died?
J: No, she was living in Virginia. She bought a farm in Virginia.
R: Her mother died.
J: She was living with Helen Gibbs over in Jacksonville.
R: The Gibbs family was an old family, too.
J: That is right. They lived right across the street from us. I grew up with Jesse and
R: I want to get you coming to Gainesville before this tape is over. How did you
happen to come from Panama City to Gainesville, back to your home?
J: That was like a miracle. I just really feel that the Lord has been so active in my life
that I cannot help but see His hand in a lot of things that have happened. We had sold
the business and retired, and we had taken a trip over to England, which we had
always wanted to do because Wilbur had never met any of his relatives. When they
visited their family in Orlando, which was very seldom, Wilbur had never been there.
He had never met any of his relatives; the only ones were his immediate family. So we
went over to England and spent the summer. We had a wonderful trip. When we
came back, Wilbur was so active and was really not ready to quit work, just ready to
quit the responsibility of running a big store like that.
R: We were talking about how you happened to come to Gainesville, Sue.
J: Yes, as I said, it was a miracle. We were really kind of at loose ends, and I think
Wilbur had gotten to the point where he had used up all of his time. He did not know
what he was going to do with himself.
Doug Dickey was the football coach at the University. We had known him because
John had played football for two years and was graduating that year. Doug called and
said that he had something he wanted to talk to us about, and he asked if we could
come and talk to him. So we went. He said that they had talked about it and decided
that they needed house parents in the dorm. They wanted to try it and see how it
would work, and he wanted us to do it. He knew we were free, so he asked us if we
would like to try it for maybe a year or two.
R: John was a sophomore?
J: No, he was graduating from the University that year. It was the summer after he
R: Now, John had played football for the University of Florida?
J: Yes, and that was the way that we got to know Doug, by coming up to John's
games. We always went to the Gator games.
R: Was John a specialist in punting?
J: Yes, that is what he did. Anyway, he asked us if we would like to do it. Wilbur just
jumped at it, so we decided. We told the children that we were going to keep only
enough furniture to furnish that little apartment that we had in Yon Hall. We marked the
things that we were going to keep and told them that they could have everything else.
We were just going to get rid of all of our furniture and give it to the children. If there
was anything left, we would have a garage sale. So all four of the children came and
picked out what they wanted. It was really a wonderful thing, because I got rid of all of
the silver that you have to polish; the only thing I kept was the flatware that you eat
with. There were not any arguments or anything. It was amazing!
R: Where is Yon Hall located?
J: Yon Hall is right on the campus, on the bottom part of the [east side of the football]
R: You were living on the ground floor of the stadium?
J: Right on the ground floor of the stadium.
R: How big was the apartment?
J: It had one room that was the living room, a little kitchenette off of it, a bedroom, and
bath. That was it. So we just moved our necessities like television and things like that.
R: And you became free as a bird?
J: That is right.
R: And you did not do any cooking?
J: We did have a kitchenette and did cook occasionally, but nothing glamorous.
R: You ate with the team at the training table?
J: That is right, I ate at the training table. I was the only woman who lived in Yon Hall.
This was before the time when there were women eating at the training table. There
R: Was the training table in Johnson Hall in the cafeteria?
J: No, it was part of Yon Hall itself. Yon Hall was the dormitory for the athletes. They
had mostly football players on the first and second floor, above that, on the the third
and fourth, they had tennis, track, swimming, and all the other athletic teams.
R: But no girls?
J: Not any girls at all. Our duties were to put up the boys' mail and just to be there.
R: You were kind of like built-in grandparents.
J: That is right.
R: But not just for the football team, for all of the teams?
J: Yes, for all of the athletic teams.
R: Is that when you started going to a lot of cultural events?
J: That is one of the reasons that I just loved it so, because I was right there on
campus. I would go to poetry readings over it the Reitz Union. I could just ride my
bicycle all around the campus, and anything that was going on, I would go to. I just
went to everything--all the things that Wilbur has never been interested in. He just
does not like music as much as I do. But he was in his glory because he could go to all
of the athletic events. And, of course, we had football tickets, and we went to all of the
baseball games, track meets, and things like that.
R: Was it at this time that your son John became a professional football player?
J: That is right. The summer we moved down to Yon Hall, he got a tryout with the
Atlanta Falcons as a punter, and they signed him a contract. And it was the lowest
contract that was available. He was so delighted to be able to go to that football camp.
He really did not think that he would make the team because there were four or five
punters, I think, and one had been a real good punter in his time. He had led the
league and everything. So when he went to camp, which they had at Furman
University in Greenville, South Carolina. It is a private college, and that is where they
held the football camp.
R: Was he married by then to Bunny?
J: No, he was not married, but I think he was dating her then. We would drive up to
this camp to watch these football practices. He said that even if he did not make the
team, he had the experience of meeting all of the football players.
R: But he did make the team.
J: He made the team. As a matter of fact, he stayed with the Atlanta Falcons for ten
years. We lived in Yon Hall for most of that ten years. The one or two years we were
supposed to live there wound up to be eight--as long as Doug Dickey was there.
R: He was the football coach, and he had grown up here in Gainesville. His father had
been a coach.
J: No, his father had been a teacher in the speech department of the University. We
stayed as long as Doug did. When Doug left, we did, too. Several years before that,
we had bought this little house not far from the campus. We got that particularly
because we wanted to be within walking distance of the University.
R: That is near the law school.
R: Did someone take your place living in Yon Hall after you left?
J: No, a coach lives in that apartment now.
R: Was it while you were in Yon Hall that you started sitting in on classes?
J: Oh, yes, I did that a lot. I think I took every one of Corbin Carnell's [English]
R: In other words, you were making up for the college education that you had to skip
because you married Wilbur.
J: No, not consciously. I did not care whether I got any credit for them.
R: You were not working for a degree?
J: No, I just was interested in a lot of things. I was interested in everything.
R: And you still are. You have been taking French classes, and you are a watercolor
J: That is right. It is just like a wonderful world, like a smorgasbord. You can just pick
out anything you want and not have to be concerned about taking exams or anything
R: So here you are at the age of seventy-five, a great-grandmother, and still taking
classes. How many great-grandchildren do you have?
J: I have eleven.
R: And you look like a young girl.
J: We are going to have the twelfth one in March; that is Barbara's first grandchild.
R: How do you and Wilbur ever keep track of all of these birthdays? Do you try to give
a gift to everybody?
J: No, we gave that up a long time ago. We just could not do it. As far as money is
concerned, you could give very inexpensive gifts, so that did not have anything to do
with it. But when we got so many grandchildren, it really drove me crazy to try to get
something that was appropriate. I just have never believed in giving gifts that did not
suit people, that cost a lot of money, or whatever. Anyway, we decided early on that
we were going to let our children take care of their children as far a Christmas is
concerned because we just could not individualize. We give our four children and their
spouses gifts at Christmastime, but that is as far as we go. We give the grandchildren
a subscription to National Geographic; we have done that for years.
R: Each family.
J: Each family, and that is a family gift for the children.
R: That solves the whole problem.
J: When they graduate from high school, they graduate from National Geographic as
far as we are concerned. [laughter]
R: How many of the grandchildren are now married?
J: Richard, who was here just the other day with his three children, is Susanna's
oldest; he is just four years younger than John. They were like brothers. They lived in
Panama City near each other, and they were really close. They went on a European
trip together that summer when he had graduated from college. There is Sanna,
Susanna's second. She had a Susanna, so there are four generations of Susannas
now, alive. Eric, Susanna's third child, and his wife just had a baby. He lives in
Atlanta. He is a very creative artist and does all of the advertising designing for an
insurance company in Atlanta--commercial art work. He is not really a commercial
artist. He has a master's degree in stained glass art and things like that, and he is a
creative, talented person.
R: Let us get away from the children now. I want you to tell me how it felt for you to
come back to live in the town that you had grown up in. There had been so many
changes, I guess you were kind of shocked.
J: It was traumatic.
R: Because they had cut down so many of the trees.
J: It was hard sometimesto orient myself. Of course, over in east Gainesville it is very
much like it was. They have ruined our old house. It was just an eyesore; I hated to go
back because it was just awful.
R: Has it been restored by now?
J: No, it was ruined beyond hope. It was a nice, comfortable, brown-shingled house.
R: What street was it on?
J: It was on East Court Street. And now it just a sprawling dump.
R: What would be the address now?
J: I guess 8th Street, maybe, what used to be Palmetto Avenue. We lived on corner of
Palmetto and East Court Street.
R: The old Layton house was restored. Is it near the Layton house?
J: No, not that near. The Layton house was over by the Thomas Hotel.
R: What has happened to it? Is it a rooming house now?
J: My old home has about five apartments in it. They covered it with siding, and it just
looks sick. Aunt Florence's house has been restored. I think the Barrows [Mark
Barrow, M.D., Ph.D.] live there.
R: Florence's house?
J: Graham. She lived right across the street.
R: I thought the Barrows lived in the old Tigert house.
J: Maybe they did.
R: They restored it, and then somebody else bought it, I believe. Mark Barrow and his
wife have restored a good many of them.
J: Several, and I think this is one of them. Anyway, there has been a number that
have been just desecrated. One of them is the one that was turned into a nursery
school. That used to be the Patton house. They were Lucia Gibbs's parents.
R: That is a beautiful house.
J: It was a beautiful house. It was made into that old nursery school, and they covered
it up with some awful stuff. It was near Kirby School.
R: It has been made into rather nice apartments, has it?
J: Not the one I am talking about. You know the nursery school that they had all the
R: Not Lucia Gibbs's school?
J: No, but it was where Lucia's was. Do you remember where Lucia Gibbs lived?
R: Yes, just off of Roper Avenue.
J: We lived right across the street.
R: I lived up on Roper Avenue when we first came here. We lived there two years in a
little stone house next door to Bernice Hat.
J: I know where that is.
R: Lucia Gibbs lived right down the street, and Bruce, my little brother, went to their
J: Yes. Do you know where the McClamrocks lived, on the dead end? I have always
known Jim. That was where we lived; it was that neighborhood. And the McCormicks
lived right near the corner.
R: The Andrews house--Dr. Andrews--was there somewhere on 6th. I want to go by
and look at your old house sometime.
J: Please do not. It is just awful.
R: What changes did you see in Holy Trinity when you came back?
J: I think they had gotten rid of the Dell house by then, and they had offices in the
house next to it. I forget the name of the people.
R: So the the parish house had been built by the time you came back.
J: Oh, the parish house was built when I was a child. In fact, the first date I had was at
a party in the parish house.
R: They had taken away the Dell house and made the garden and parking lot.
R: And Earl Page was our rector at the time.
J: They had not made the parking lot. You know where the parking lot is now? They
were in the offices there, in an old house. That was not the Dell house. That is how
close together they were.
R: And sometimes there were Sunday school classes in that old house.
J: Yes. I forget the name of the people who lived there.
R: Anyway, you were glad to get back to your original church where you had been
baptized and married.
J: That is right. It was just like coming home. I was confirmed and everything there. I
had grown up in that church, and I just loved it. I was so glad to come back. But there
were so many new things that I had to incorporate into my psyche.
R: Were you pleased about what had happened to the old Thomas Hotel?
J: Yes, I was glad of that.
R: There were many improvements. Had the old post office been made into the
Hippodrome Theater when you came back?
J: No, it was in disrepair. When I came back, the Hippodrome was giving plays out in
that old Sears building.
R: Unless there is something else that you would like to tell us about, I think we will
close this interview.
J: You have brought us up to date.
R: And I also brought us up to your lunchtime. Wilbur is going to be wanting you back.
J: When you get started talking about yourself, it is really a lot of fun.
R: We just appreciate it so much, and I have enjoyed it as much as you have. I hope
you did enjoy it. Thank you so much.