Interviewee: Hayford O. Enwall
Interviewer: Sid Johnston
Date: February 11, 1985
J: Today is February 11, 1985. My name is Sid Johnston, and I am sitting in the
den of Professor Hayford O. Enwall at his home at 1021 NE 5th Terrace. This is
for the College of Law Oral History Project of the University of Florida. Good
E: Good morning.
J: Will you share with me a little bit about your past and where you were born and
E: Well, I would like to take the Fifth Amendment, but I will tell some of it anyway.
J: When were you born?
E: July 26, 1905.
J: Where was that?
E: Plainville, Massachusetts.
J: Who are your parents?
E: Doctor Hasse Enwall was my father, and Rose Enwall was my mother.
J: What is their background?
E: Well, he was born and raised in Sweden. He left there when he was eighteen,
after having completed some studies at the Royal Swedish Navigation School
and Merchant Marine school. He came to the United States on his way around
the world to get some practical experience at seafaring. These were the days of
wooden ships and sails. He did that for several years and ended up on the west
coast, where he joined the Revenue Service, which was an aspect of the Coast
Guard between San Francisco and Alaska. He did that for three years. He
went to the Hawaiian Islands with the first United States commissioner and finally
decided to stay in this country and not go around the world as he had planned.
So he stayed in this country and decided to go into the Methodist ministry.
With that in view, he undertook to finish his basic education of what would
be required in this country in the way of history, literature, and things of that kind,
as distinguished from the quantity of math that he had and all the other allied
subjects. He went to the University of the Pacific when they had a thousand
students. He finished there and then decided to take advantage of an
opportunity that presented itself at Northwestern University, where there was a
life-saving service operated by the government.
Some years before there had been a very serious lake disaster in which a
lot of people were drowned, but many people were saved. The students of
Northwestern University had manned whatever boats they could and had saved
a great many people. In recognition of the danger and also of the heroism of the
students, the government established a permanent, federally operated life-saving
service and provided a station, the equipment--including the boats, which were
manned by oars--and a captain who was in charge. He was a real old-time salt.
The crews were recruited from the students of Northwestern University.
J: Was your father there when the disaster occurred?
E: No, he was not. This was a year or two before. I do not know how long before,
but sometime before. Anyway, he was successful in getting an appointment as
a member of the crew, and he, of course, enrolled at the university at the same
J: Where is the University of the Pacific?
E: In Stockton, California.
J: When did your father become a United States citizen? I am not looking for an
E: After 1900.
J: When did he meet your mother?
E: At Northwestern.
J: When were they married?
E: They were married around 1902.
J: You were born three years later.
J: What did your father do for a living?
E: Well, his purpose in going to Northwestern University was to continue his
education and to obtain a bachelor's of sacred theology degree. He had
decided to join the clergy of the Methodist church. After graduating from
Northwestern, he went to Boston University and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy.
At the same time he was taking various courses at Harvard University. Then he
formally entered the ministry and was ordained, and from then on he had various
churches in different cities.
J: How old were you when he entered the ministry?
E: He had already entered when I was born.
J: This had all been taken care of prior to your birth?
E: Very shortly, about the same time.
J: What did your mother do for a living?
E: She took care of me and my father.
J: Did she have her hands full?
E: Just about.
J: Do you have any brothers and sisters?
J: Where did you go to elementary school, junior high, and high school?
E: I went to a variety of places. Of course, the Methodist ministry is sort of like the
army: they transfer you every three years. So we moved from place to place.
After my father was ordained I think his first real church was a Methodist church
in Cincinnati, Ohio. We left, I guess, when I was about four years old. Then he
was moved to Chicago, Illinois, and had a very large church there. I did not start
going to school there. Then we moved to Aurora, Illinois, where he had a very
large church. He was an excellent minister and a very fine speaker. He worked
at it hard. Wages were very low in those days, as compared to these days. It
was there In Aurora that I started elementary school.
Then he decided that he did not want to remain in the active ministry. He
wanted to teach, so he decided to go to the University of Chicago to get a Ph.D.
in psychology. With that in view, we moved to a couple of different places near
Chicago where he could hold down small churches on Sundays and Saturdays
and things of that kind and commute to the University of Chicago during the
week. There were three of those: two small places in Illinois and one small
place in Indiana.
He had just completed all the required work in psychology, and all he had
to do was write a thesis when an opportunity arose at the University of Florida.
There was a vacancy in what was then known as the Department of Philosophy
and Psychology. He decided to apply for it, and he came down and talked to Dr.
[Albert A.] Murphree [president, University of Florida, 1909-1927] about it. Dr.
Murphree offered him the position, and he accepted it. I guess it was May of
1921 he came down here and became head of the then-combined Department of
Philosophy and Psychology. He held that position in those joint disciplines until
1928, when he divided the department and gave psychology to a man by the
name of [Elmer D.] Hinckley [professor emeritus of psychology, University of
Florida, 1925-1963]. He kept the philosophy.
J: What had compelled him to leave the ministry?
E: I do not know. I think differences with certain beliefs, probably.
J: You were about sixteen years old?
J: What school did you attend?
E: Kirby Smith.
J: What was your first impression of Gainesville after living in Illinois for a good
E: I liked it. It was about the first permanent home I ever had.
J: Did you have a sense that it would be a permanent home?
E: Yes, I did. I liked everything about it and all the people.
J: How was it different in terms of the lifestyle and the education in the schools that
you received here?
E: Oh, I do not remember that there was any significant difference that impressed
me as a youngster.
J: When did you graduate from high school?
E: In 1923. I played basketball on the high school team. I went out for football,
but I weighed only 115 pounds, so I never got in a game. [laughter]
J: What were some of your other hobbies before you graduated from high school?
Any swimming holes or fishing?
E: Oh, yes, a little hunting and swimming holes. We used to go to Glenn Springs.
Do you know where Glenn Springs is?
J: I know where High Springs is.
E: No, Glenn Springs. It is a spring. Do you know where the Elks Club is in
E: That is the Glenn Springs. Of course, it had not been developed at that time. It
was just a beautiful spring. Somebody built a tower and a springboard, and
there was a wooden shanty where you could change your clothes. We used to
go out there to swim. It was a fine place to swim. Right along there was a
stream that meanders through the back, through that depression, part of which
contains the spring, and we used to roam down there and pick up petrified
shark's teeth, petrified wood, and things of that kind.
J: Is that the Hogtown Creek?
E: It may be. I am not sure about that.
J: How did your mother take to the move down here?
E: Oh, she liked it. She did not like all the heat. She suffered some from the
heat, as my father did, in the summertime.
J: Where did you first live?
E: Well, we lived where I just came from, 202 SE 7th Street. The house had been
built by [Florida] Senator [William A.] Shands's father in 1903. It was a
three-story house. Tremendous place! It was made out of solid wood--heart
pine. You could not buy the wood now.
J: How did you all come by that home?
E: My father bought it. Major Thomas was in the real estate business. Have you
ever heard of Major Thomas?
J: No, I do not believe I have.
E: Major Thomas was a very prominent, successful realtor and general man of
business in Gainesville. The Thomas Center, of course, was his home
originally. The Thomas Center used to be a hotel, but before that it was a
house. He owned a great deal of land, which constitutes a great part of the
University of Florida campus now. It has largely been supplemented, but he
owned a great deal of land.
There was a big deal going on about 1905 by the state to consolidate all
the small colleges in Florida and establish two institutions of higher learning: one,
the Florida State College for Women in at Tallahassee, and the other one, the
University of Florida in Gainesville. They decided on Gainesville after a great
deal of controversy between Ocala and Lake City--I think those were the two
competing places. Well, the state established the University, and he gave the
land to the state for the purpose of the University. Then certain buildings were
built, and he was very active in it. Of course, he was very active in real estate
business and banking. I think that he was the owner of the livery stable that is
now the site of that rather expensive and very fine restaurant on SW 2nd
Avenue, right behind Mike's Bookstore.
J: The Sovereign.
E: The Sovereign. I think that was Majors Thomas's livery stable. There were
several livery stables around town. Anyway, being in the real estate business,
he had acquired this house from the Shands family, this property on what is now
SE 7th Street. My father bought it from him.
J: Why did your father decide to split the departments?
E: Because he was more interested in philosophy than he was in psychology.
J: How long was he the chair of the department?
E: Which one?
J: Well, from the time it was philosophy and psychology to the time it was only
E: That would have been about seven years.
J: How long was he with the University in total?
E: Until 1943.
J: When did it first come to your mind that you would go to college?
E: I suppose as a young teenager.
J: That was something you aspired to fairly early on then?
E: I accepted it.
J: Did your father wish for you to go to college?
E: Of course. This was in the family. This was routine.
J: Had there been any background in law in your family?
E: None whatsoever.
J: Did you have a sense of what you wanted to do while you were in college?
E: Well, when I was a senior in high school I aspired to go to the [United States]
Naval Academy, and, as circumstances worked out, I had the opportunity to go.
I was recommended by our senator, but I did not get the information until it was
too late, so my alternate availed himself of the opportunity and went. I was
terribly disappointed as a seventeen year old, and I resolved to try again the
following year. I would have been successful, but by that time I had lost interest.
I had decided that what I wanted to do was go into the foreign service, and I
took the first two years at the University of Florida in general arts courses.
In the third year, under the auspices of the University of Delaware, I joined
a group that emanated from there. They were not all University of Delaware
people, but it was under their sponsorship. I went to France for a year and
studied at the University of Nancy, which is in northeastern France. Then after
what was known as the "course of vacation" [laughter]--summer school,
really--we moved back to Paris, where I enrolled at the French diplomatic school,
which was then known as L'Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, and at the
Sorbonne [the University of Paris]. I remained in attendance at those two
institutions until the end of that school year, which was in June 1926.
In the meantime, I decided I definitely did not want to go in the foreign
service, because the United States was such a good place to live as compared to
the other places I had been in, and I did not want to spend my life outside the
United States. I decided I wanted to take law, so I came back and enrolled in
the law school. This was in 1926. I was fortunate to be able to get a teaching
position in the local high school teaching French, which I did for three years while
I was going to law school.
J: How many days a week did you teach French?
E: Three or four in the afternoons. It was a half-time proposition. It may have
been five days a week.
J: You kept very busy, in any case.
E: Oh, I was as busy as a one-legged man at a kicking contest.
J: Now, tell me how different your experience at [the university known as] the
Sorbonne in France was from your university experience here?
E: Well, kind of different. Whether you went or not was not of any difference to
those people. The whole thing, as far as the courses that I was taking,
depended upon one examination, or, rather, two examinations. One was
verbal--in French, of course--and the other was written. You took those two
exams and received whatever credit you were entitled to as a result of the
J: Was the written examination also in French?
E: Oh, yes. The whole thing was French. I was in a French country.
J: So you were well versed in French before you ever went to the country?
E: No, no. I had two years of poor high school French and two more years of poor
college French--that was the extent of my knowledge. I learned more French in
the first six weeks I was in France than I had learned in previous four years.
J: Was the difficulty of the work in France at those universities enhanced above
what you found at the University of Florida?
E: I had no basis for comparison. See, the whole thing was a matter of lectures
and outside reading. There were not any particular textbooks in the courses, at
least the ones I took. But they recommended that you "read the following
materials," which we did. Also, some enterprising person had put out a sort of
book of all the courses, and we studied those pretty well, too. It was a very
mixed group of people. We were a variety of nationalities.
The verbal examination was quite an ordeal in large classes. They were
divided into sections, and they would send you a postcard to tell you when to
report for the examination. On the appointed day and hour you went to this
particular place and found yourself seated in a very large room with chairs all
around the perimeter and an examiner, who was not the professor. The
examiner was seated at a long, wide, green-covered table with an overhanging
light. As he would call your name, you would step up to the desk, make a little
bow, and he would ask you to sit down. If he was in a good mood, he would ask
you where you came from, what your origin was, what you where doing in
France, and things of that kind as a preliminary. Then he would ask you two or
three questions with reference to the course. I was right after a Japanese
student, and I felt sorry for him. I had managed to squeak through that thing.
But I felt sorry for him because he could not even speak the language very well.
He had a terrible time answering the questions. But there were a lot of others,
many others, and it was quite a nervous ordeal. The whole thing depended on
your answering these questions. And, of course, I was the last one to be called.
I sat there and was able to hear all the questions that were asked of everybody
else, and I knew that I could answer all of them. Then I came back to the United
States. I spent part of the summer in Sweden, which was my father's birth
J: Did you get to meet your relatives?
E: Oh, yes. I came back to this country in the fall.
J: Was there anyone else from the University of Florida there?
E: No. They were from all over. Several were from the University of Delaware
and from other colleges.
J: Was there an application process to enter the University of Florida College of
E: I do not remember. That was a long time ago!
J: So you returned from France and had decided to go into law.
E: That is right.
J: You appeared at the law college and talked to Dean [Harry R.] Trusler [dean,
University of Florida College of Law, 1915-1947].
E: No, I did not appear at the law college. I did not appear to anybody. I just
applied to the law school and was accepted. There seemed to be no problem
about it. What the formalities and mechanics of it were, I just do not remember.
I suppose I had to give a background-type of outline and sign my name to
something and pay them some money, but that was probably it.
J: Now, you talked earlier about the combined course of training by which you could
graduate with two degrees.
E: At that time, there was a program in effect, as far as the law school was
concerned, in which if you completed three years of academic study
satisfactorily, you could enter the law school in what would have been the
equivalent of your fourth year of undergraduate. That way you could receive an
A.B. or other bachelor's degree at the end of your first year in law school, which
would be the end of your fourth year in college. Then, at the end of the next two
years [of law school] you could get an LL.B. Well, I had a problem with that, as I
told you the other day.
J: You were out of the country.
E: I was out of the country for my junior year. The dean said the rule said you had
to be in residence, and I was not in residence. [laughter] He was right,
technically. Of course, I felt that the technicality of it was ridiculous, but that was
his decision. He was sitting in the chair.
J: That is what is important, after all.
E: That is right.
J: Who is the first professor at the law college that comes to your mind?
E: I do not remember any single one. At that time, the dean was a man by the
name of Trusler, and the faculty consisted of Dr. [Clifford W.] Crandall
[1914-1949]; Judge [Robert S.] Cockrell [1919-1941], who was a former [Florida]
Supreme Court justice [1902-1917]; a man by the name of [Dean] Slagle
[1923-1958]; and, later on, a man by the name of [George W.] Thompson
[1928-1932], who was an authority on real property. He was there for a number
of years. Then still later was a man by the name of [Clarence J.] TeSelle
[1928-1930, 1932-1958], who was very crippled with arthritis. He had been a
prosecutor in Wisconsin. Apparently, the doctor told him he had to seek a warm
climate. Not like today, but a warmer climate than Wisconsin. He was on the
faculty for many years.
J: Was he teaching when you were there?
E: Yes, he taught my last year. There was also a man by the name of [William
Armstrong] Hunter on the faculty at that time [1927-1928]. He was an ex-RAF
[Royal Air Force] pilot and lawyer who was practicing in St. Augustine. When
the boom broke, he went broke, and he got a job at the University teaching. He
was here for quite a while.
J: How were you directly affected by the Florida boom and then bust?
E: The law school was, of course, small compared to what it is now. In 1926,
because of the Florida boom, we had a very large enrollment. I do not
remember the numbers, but it was a very large freshman class compared to the
earlier classes. Lawyers were pouring into Florida at that time. It was felt that
anybody that could be admitted could get right into the business of drawing
deeds, mortgages, and contracts. They wanted to make a living doing things
like that, not litigation. So that was the reason for it.
Now, I believe the bust of 1929 affected the state terribly. Banks closed
all over. I think there were eighteen banks in Miami, and there was one that
stayed open. The financial condition was just terrible. Of course, the paper
that had resulted from the speculative real estate market was practically
worthless, and million-dollar mortgages were no good.
J: Did that bust make any direct impact on you and your family?
E: It certainly did.
J: How so?
E: I lost some money in a little bank in Titusville, a relatively insignificant amount,
but that was the first thing. After I had been in Titusville for a year, I decided, at
the suggestion of Major [Garland] Powell, who was at the University at that time
in charge of the radio station [WRUF] and a friend of mine, to go to Washington.
He assured me that there would be no problem in getting a job in some law firm
in the big city, so I went up there.
At that time, the bust had hit the entire country. In 1931 when I went up
there the law firms up there were releasing everybody they could get rid of
except for blood relatives, so I did not get a job. But I took the bar exam and
passed it. I was there approximately a year.
I had an opportunity to go to Miami to practice law, and I took advantage
of it. I went down there and joined another single practitioner and practiced with
him for several years. But the practice was very poor. Lawyers were not
making any money at all. They were just making enough to pay the rent, and
that was about it, except for certain old firms. Things were very, very hard.
Very hard, indeed. I was working for thirty-five dollars a week--when I could get
it. I did not always get it.
J: That was in the early 1930s?
E: Yes, in December 1932.
J: Now, when you began your law school education, how were you planning to pay
for it? How did you pay for it?
E: Well, my father helped me, and I was teaching school.
J: Were you living at home?
E: Yes, I was living at home.
J: That was over on 7th Street?
E: That is right, SE 7th Street. I paid my tuition and my clothes, and I think, if I
remember correctly, I contributed to the groceries and things of that kind. But I
did not have to pay any rent.
J: That made it more bearable.
E: Yes, it did. I had plenty of money. I got seventy-five dollars a month for
J: That is more than you were making when you were a lawyer in Miami.
E: I should say it was. I used to tell my law classes when I was teaching about the
boom, about the hard times, and about the practically nonexistent income that a
lot of lawyers had. They did not believe me. They had never experienced
anything like that, although there were some whose families had been through it.
That would have been their grandfathers, I guess. I do not know how it
affected your family, but, of course, you were too young.
J: Well, my family owned a printing company at the time, and in the midst of the
Depression, in 1931, 1932, and 1933, the family was still making upwards of
$300 a month.
E: You were in a "favored nation" situation, were you not? [laughter]
J: That was in Deland. The Depression was not cruel to my family.
E: Well, you were very fortunate.
J: Very fortunate.
E: Suicides were very frequent. Bank closings were, of course, almost universal.
Hard times hit everybody. The manager of the apartment building in which I
lived in Coral Gables made, I think, fifteen to twenty dollars a month. He had
one white shirt, and his wife washed that every day.
J: How did the boom affect the law school? How did the bust affect the law
E: I do not know. I assume there was a very substantial drop in enrollment.
J: Do you know if any professors were let go?
E: I do not know. I know that Colonel Hunter left the University and went to George
Washington in Washington, DC. When I went there I used to stop in and see
him every once in a while. He was one of my professors.
J: That was during the 1930s?
E: Yes, that was in 1930.
J: Were there assistantships available, such as working in the library or helping
E: I think there was one [laughter]: Lee Bradford class of 1929]. I think he was the
original assistant librarian. As far as I know, that was the only one.
J: Who was the librarian?
E: Ila Pridgen [1930-1954].
J: Tell me a little bit about Ila Pridgen.
E: She was doubling as the dean's secretary and librarian. She was very popular
with the law students and was always very nice to them. She was very helpful.
I never had very much close contact with her.
J: Did you use the library much?
E: Yes, we all did. And that is where we took our examinations, quite often.
J: Is that right?
E: In the library. The library was a very different proposition than it is now, you
J: How so?
E: Oh, I suppose the whole library would have been accommodated easily in the
three rooms of this building.
J: A very small place.
E: Quite small. The shelves were close together, and the tables were crowded.
J: Tell me how the tests were administered. Would you have a proctor in there?
E: No. Well, people from the faculty would come and go, and maybe there were
some students, for the purpose of seeing to it that we did not cheat. It seems to
me that the examination questions were typed out, mimeographed, and handed
to each of us.
J: How many exams would you have in the semester for each class?
E: That I would not know. In my freshman year I took Torts that was one -
Personal Property and Real Property that is two and three Criminal Law and
Criminal Procedure four and five Contracts I and II six and seven. I think
that would be about the extent of it the first year.
J: You had a lot of courses that first year, then.
E: Yes. There was a semester system. You would have Criminal Law in the fall
and Criminal Procedure in the spring, Contracts I in the fall and Contracts II in the
J: How often did you attend summer school?
E: I do not think I ever attended summer school.
J: Was it very popular?
J: Why do you suspect that was the case?
E: Well, the courses were really popular with the University as a whole, particularly
because school teachers would come here to work on degrees, you see. As far
as the law school was concerned, I presume it was popular because people were
taking as much as they could in as short a time as they could with the idea of
getting out. I do not recall much about summer school, as a student.
J: Were most of your classes in the morning or in the afternoon?
J: Then you would teach in the afternoon over at the high school. How many
hours a day would you say you devoted to study of law?
E: Anywhere from two to four.
J: How good a student were you?
E: Average. I passed all the courses except one. Back then we had a system of
re-examination. If you took the examination and failed it but made above 60, as
I remember it, you were entitled to take a re-examination and another
examination in the same course. Whatever you made you could have made a
100 on the re-exam--all you would get was seventy. But that would pass you. I
taught Corporations to a lot of my fraternity brothers who had not cracked a book,
I do not think, during the semester. They passed, and I failed the subject.
J: That is the one that gave you a hard time?
E: That is the one that gave me a hard time.
J: What did your tests consist of? Multiple-choice questions or an essay?
J: You would have a series of, say, five or six essays to answer?
E: Yes, or more.
J: How long would they give you to answer the questions?
E: It seems to me about three hours. I am not sure, but I think it was about that.
J: That sounds like adequate time. Tell me a little bit about Professor Crandall.
E: He was a delightful person. He had practiced law in Michigan at a place called
Port Huron, which is on the southern tip of Lake Huron. He decided to go into
teaching, but under what circumstances I have no idea. He came to the
University, I suppose, during the 1910s and became quite an expert in Procedure
and also in Property. He was highly admired and a very able teacher. There
are many amusing things about him. He had a goatee, and I presume he was
the only person on campus who wore anything the way he did. It was always a
matter of curiosity with us as to why he wore it. It was revealed later on -
somebody found an early photograph of him--that he had a very receding chin.
That was the reason why he wore a goatee--to fill out the vacancy.
His wife was an outgoing sort of person in a critical way. [laughter] She
would amuse us in this way. They would have dinner in the middle of the day,
which is the way most people in Gainesville ate at that time because they had
help or because that was the custom. She would come and get him in the car
and be anxious to get back to her dinner, I suppose. Do you know where the old
law school was? In the old days she would park out on the west side just a few
minutes before 12:00 or at 12:00. That was when he was giving one of his
lectures between 11:00 and 12:00. She would park out there, and if she
thought he ought to stop and come now, she would honk that horn a long time!
He would get a little bit irritated, and I think he would go to the window and wave
at her or something. She would do that time after time.
He was a great bridge player. Whether she played or not, I do not know,
but he used to play a lot of bridge. I never played with him, but that was his
reputation. Crandall published a very fine book on civil procedures, as far as the
practicing attorneys were concerned. Florida Civil Practice was the name of the
book. I still have it.
J: Did you all ever shuffle him?
E: We shuffled everybody.
E: Oh, sure. If we did not like what they said or if it were funny or something like
that, we would laugh and shuffle and carry on and make a lot of racket. But
generally we were well-behaved.
J: Would Professor Crandall invite the class or a number of students over to his
home for a seminar or for a dinner?
E: No, not that I know of. I think there were a couple of bridge players that he
would occasionally invite over.
J: Would that have been the case with any of the instructors, to invite part of the
E: That is not my recollection. I used to do that.
J: You used to do that? When would you do that?
E: Well, we will get to that later.
J: When you were teaching?
J: Tell me a little bit about William Armstrong Hunter.
E: Well, I think he was born in Canada, although his father was an American citizen.
When the First World War came along I do not know what his age was, but he
was probably in his late teens he joined the RAF either in Canada or went to
England and joined the RAF there. After the war, he came back to this country.
Where he took his law I do not recall, but he graduated from law school and
passed the bar. I do not know whether or not he had to pass the bar in Florida
when he came here. Anyway, he ultimately located in St. Augustine and was hit
by the boom. During the Second World War he went back on active duty. He
was given the rank of colonel in the [Army] Air Corps and served, I presume, on
some desk job.
J: What was his approach in the classroom? How was he different from Crandall,
Slagle, and some of these other people?
E: He taught Pleading. I frankly have very little recollection of him.
J: What did he look like?
E: Tall. A very fine-looking man. Well built. Rather something of a hook nose in
J: Was it his technique to call on people in class?
E: That I do not recall. I assume so. That was the general practice.
J: Most of the professors did that?
E: Most of the professors did it.
J: Tell me a little bit about Judge Cockrell.
E: Well, [inaudible]. [laughter] That is the way he talked.
J: That was his voice?
E: That was his voice. He was really a character. He practiced law with his
brother in Jacksonville. When this was I just do not remember; I think it was
sometime in the 1910s. He was appointed by the governor as a justice in the
Florida Supreme Court, and he accepted it. At the end of his term, he did not
run for re-election. Why, I do not know. He was a good justice. I do not think
he was very popular with the bar, but he was a good justice as far as his opinions
Then he was appointed as a professor of law at the University. Just
when he came I do not recall. He lived on University Avenue in a white frame
residence approximately across from what is now the City Bank. He had four
children. Elizabeth was one of them she was the oldest. Will, the second,
was a fraternity brother and annually a general classmate of mine. There was
another brother by the name of Robert who was killed in France in World War II,
and then there was a younger girl. I taught her French when she was in high
school. She was later married to Stanley West, a former librarian at the
Cockrell's philosophy was that if he did not think you would make a good
lawyer, you were not going to pass. His philosophy was also this: if you had
played football, you would pass. [laughter] I think every afternoon he was out
on the field watching the practice. He was very fond of football. I do not know
whether you have every been to the old law school or not, but there was a
platform at the entrance end of the classrooms. On that platform was a desk,
and behind the desk was a swivel chair. At least this was true for two or three of
them. He would occupy a classroom downstairs just outside the dean's office
and his office, and he would mount the platform and sit down. He usually put his
legs up on the table and sat there all during the lecture and questioning. He also
had several collie dogs, and he was always accompanied to class by one of the
collies. If you ever in any way mistreated that collie, you would not pass.
J: Where did you fall within his philosophical bounds?
E: I left him alone and the collie dogs! [laughter] I played basketball at the
J: Did he have a flair for basketball?
E: Not very much, I do not think. I did pretty well. I apparently was in his books
because I dated his oldest daughter from time to time. At that time, dancing was
very popular at the University, and the fraternities and dancing societies would
put on big dances. These dancing weekends would start on Thursday and end
on Saturday or Sunday morning. They were expensive they usually cost five
to ten dollars at the fraternities to take care of refreshments and other expenses.
These weekends would cost a hundred dollars. Anyway, this girl's brother was a
fraternity brother of mine, and on one occasion I asked Elizabeth to go to this
formal dance. Everything was very formal. Everyone wore dinner jackets and
things like that. It was a formal dance, and she accepted. The only problem
was I did not have a dinner jacket. Somehow that information got to the Judge,
so he loaned me his. I wore his dinner jacket and carried his daughter to the
J: How often were these dances?
E: Every weekend, from about October to late April.
J: How were you initiated into your fraternity? And what was your fraternity?
E: My fraternity was Kappa Alpha, and we had that great big white house on
University Avenue that is now occupied by that restaurant. I think it is right
across from the graduate school library. It is a big old southern colonial home, a
very large house. I was initiated, I think, in February of 1924.
Of course, in those days there was a good deal of hazing at the University
and a lot of rules that the freshman, who were known as "rats," had to comply
with. One of the rules was that all during the first semester you had to wear a
rat cap. That was a little orange cap with a blue visor. It was smaller than a
baseball cap, the old kind of baseball cap, and you had to wear that all the time
on the campus. Another rule was that you had to carry matches so that if any
upper classman, whether he was your fraternity brother or anybody else, asked
you for a light, you could produce a light. Every once in a while you would get
your ass beat. They would spell out your initials on your bottom with a belt, a
broom, a paddle, or something. This used to happen always before Christmas
I do not know the practice in other fraternities, but on Saturdays we had to
clean the house, calcimine the walls, paint the woodwork, and do a lot of chores
like that. Now, if you did not show up, of course, that meant on Sunday they had
what was known as "Rat Court." The upper classmen and all the freshmen
would gather in the attic of the KA house, and we would be seated on benches
on the east side of a table behind which the officers of the fraternity sat. This
was followed by a regular meeting of the chapter which, of course, we did not
attend until the second semester, after initiation. But during the first semester, if
you had violated any rules, an upper classman was permitted to prefer one or
more charges against you, depending on the rules that had been violated, such
as failing to wear your rat cap, failing to provide a match, failing to do the work,
refusing to break on him when he was stuck at a dance with some girl, calling
him by his nickname, or failing to do anything that he ordered you to do that was,
for him, reasonable. You could also get a rat court for being cute or something
of that kind, or insolent. So on Sunday at these meetings, anyone who felt that
you had violated any rule of any significance would prefer a charge against you,
and you would be given an opportunity to answer, even though what you
answered did not affect it much. The penalty was it was for all of us when the
meeting was over--all of us against whom charges had been preferred would
have to line up in a line, hold our necks like this, and bend over, and the upper
class men would bring belts, brooms, switches, rawhide, what have you, and
come down the line and hit you on the ass with whatever they had. One lick for
each charge that had been given. It was painful.
J: I bet.
E: In those days, ROTC was compulsory, and we were issued thick, heavy, wool
uniforms with button-up jackets and britches. Well, sometimes on Sunday
before these rat meetings, I would put on one of those heavy pants, and also
sometimes I would put some paper in the seat of them. Anyway, I would come
out of there [relatively unscathed], but many of the rest of them had their butts
just bleeding. It was rough, but it was also good discipline. A lot of these
fraternity initiates were fair-haired boys from the high schools in the state who
had been outstanding in some way, and they thought the world rested on their
shoulders and that they were number one. But this took all of that out of them
J: What happened to you in your initiation into Kappa Alpha?
E: Well, that I will not tell you. That is still top secret, I think. [laughter] It was a
very fine initiation very formal, very dignified, and very idealistic.
J: Were you driven off in the woods and abandoned?
E: Oh, you mean horseplay part of it. No. That came only when they had flag
rush, the annual fight between the freshmen and sophomores across the
campus. That was something else. That was a big deal, too.
J: Tell me a little bit about that.
E: It started with a project whereby a piece of white cloth would be nailed at a height
on one of the pine trees between Murphree and Thomas [halls]. Then the pine
tree would be greased from the flag down. This took place on a Saturday
afternoon. It was an authorized activity.
J: Who authorized it?
E: The university, probably the president. The object of it was for the sophomores
to defend an attack by freshman, who were trying to get the flag down. Well,
before long it degenerated into a lot of personal warfare. Beginning on Friday
afternoon and night, if you were a freshman you were subjected to being
kidnapped, taken out into the country somewhere, and abandoned, and you had
to walk back. Most of your clothes might be taken from you. Or you may be
taken down to the jail. I do not remember whether anybody was actually put in
jail, but you were given telephone numbers to call, one of which would be the
jail's. The people down there, of course, knew nothing about what was going
As far as my personal experience is concerned, when I was a sophomore
on Friday morning I had an English class. I think it was at 8:00 in Anderson Hall
on the second floor. Well, my recollection is that the weather was such that I
wore a suit coat and tie like you are wearing now, and I went to the class. I
went up the stairs. I heard no sounds from the classroom. It was not until I got
to the classroom, which was empty, that I remembered that this was flag rush
weekend. Just as I was about to leave I heard a lot of people coming up the
steps at the far end of the hall, and I suspected that they were freshmen. I have
forgotten whether they were freshmen or sophomores, but I suspected that they
were the enemy. So I climbed out the window, went down the water pipe, and
landed safely with my books, which I had thrown out the window before. I then
ran over to the KA house, which was more or less across the street, and then we
freshmen (or sophomores I have forgotten) gathered to repel attacks.
[laughter] There were several fist fights and people trying to capture us and
what have you, but somehow we worked our way down to a place called Ma
Ramsey's. Ma Ramsey was a woman who operated a combination boarding
house and rooming house for students. Students were the waiters. The food
was cheap but good, and the rooms, I guess, were satisfactory. Well, she had a
front lawn, and we worked our way down there, and there we were, either
attacking or being attacked by a large group. They were trying to tie us up.
And they did!
J: They got you!
E: They got me. We were wrestling and carrying on down there, and I remember I
accidentally knifed one fellow. I had a pocket knife, and he was tied up. I was
trying to cut him loose, and somebody interfered and I cut him on the hand. Not
badly, but it bled and he had to withdraw and go to the infirmary, I think. Finally,
we were overcome. We were taken to a temporary building that was on the
left-side rear of the Kappa Alpha house and put into some room or rooms up
there with guards on the outside. We were imprisoned until about noon! Then
the guard disappeared, and we peeped out the door and found no impediment to
our escape, so we all left. Most of us had nothing on to speak of, except shorts
and maybe a pair of pants.
The flag rush was that afternoon. This would be about 12:00. I decided
that the thing to do was to work our way through Gainesville over to the old
house were I lived and get my mother to make a lot of sandwiches and coffee or
milk or whatever she had, see if we could get some clothes, and go back in time
to be there for the flag rush. And she did. That was about three miles. We
came up to the old house and had something to eat, and then we went back and
participated in the flag rush. I have forgotten whether we were successful or
unsuccessful, but I do not think the flag was taken. Flag rush was succeeded by
sort of a push ball contest. The ball was huge, almost as big as this room. I
was not here then; I had left. I take it [the object was] to push the ball to a
J: Did you have time for these kinds of activities once you were enrolled in law
J: How active were you in your fraternity during your law school years?
E: Reasonably, to the extent of being there a good deal. I played some bridge from
time to time and went to the chapter meetings on Sunday afternoons. That was
about the extent of it.
J: Did you ever live at the Kappa Alpha house?
E: No. I stayed there sometimes during the summertime for a couple of nights,
maybe, but I never actually lived in the house.
J: Generally you stayed over on 7th Avenue.
E: I stayed home. I had a good bedroom.
J: Now, you were also in Phi Delta Phi.
J: That was the legal fraternity.
E: In the meantime, if you are interested, when I was in high school at Gainesville
High School I played on the basketball team, and we won the state
championship. That would have been in 1923. Also, I was very active in a
junior organization called the De Molay. I do not know whether you have ever
heard of that or not.
J: Yes, I have.
E: I was very active in that. I became the number-one man in the local chapter and
became the state president at one time. I think that was at the 1923 convention,
which was held in Leesburg. I was also active in the senior class and took part
in a play.
J: You played basketball in college, also?
E: Yes, I played on the varsity team in the very last of 1924 and in the season of
J: Did you play during law school?
E: No. I taught French.
J: What position did you play?
E: I was a forward.
J: So between teaching French, attending law school, and the little bit of fraternity
activity, could you tell us about the experience?
E: That was the extent of it.
J: Now, you were on the Honor Court. What period of time was that?
E: I was on the Honor Court in 1924 and 1925, I think.
J: Again, before law school. What were your responsibilities on the Honor Court?
E: To try people who were charged with cheating.
J: Was there much cheating?
E: I do not recall that we had very many meetings. If you were found cheating, you
were expelled from the university.
J: You would be called to the Honor Court only when cases came up?
E: When a case came to trial.
J: You did not meet regularly, did you?
E: No. It seems to me I was treasurer of the freshman class when Fuller Warren
[Florida governor, 1949-1953] was president of it.
J: Was the honor code at the law school any different than for the rest of the
E: No, it was the same thing.
J: Did you have an honor statement to sign at the bottom of each test?
E: I do not think so.
J: Let us talk about some of the professors at the law school a little more. Dean
E: He was very quiet, rather reserved, a meek, mild sort of an individual. He was
an ex-G.I. out of the First World War. I think he was from Kentucky originally.
He lived only about two blocks away, in a small house over on 9th Avenue. He
was one that married a law student.
J: Tell me about his being married.
E: I do not recall now what her name was. I suppose she was in her late twenties
or thirties. She was one of the few women students in the law college. I guess
that was while I was a student.
J: Was her name Alma?
J: Spenser, Spenser being her maiden name?
E: I think so. I know it was Alma, but I just do not recall the surname.
J: Well, she was in law school the same period you were, then.
E: Was she? Then she must have been married. He must have married her while
I was in law school.
J: Our records show that she graduated in 1928.
E: She would have been a year ahead of me, then. Anyway, he married her.
They had a daughter. She was a law student type of woman.
J: Expand a little on that bit, please.
E: She was studious, not particularly attractive physically, although not unattractive.
She was in different classes than I was, so I did not know her.
J: You do not remember having her in any of your classes?
J: Do you remember another woman by the name of Stella Fisher in any of your
classes? Do you remember any other women in your classes?
E: I do not remember that there were any women at that point. I do not think there
were any women in any of the classes I went to. We did not think women
J: Do you recall if Ila Pridgen taught any of your classes?
E: No, she did not, not at that time. She may have taught some later on, such as
how to find law references and things like that.
J: I think she began that during World War II.
E: Could be.
J: On an average, how many students in the law college worked as opposed to
those that were subsidized by their families or other income?
E: Well, I would say that 90 percent of all the students at the University of Florida
J: They were a bunch of hard-working people.
E: Oh, yes. I mean, it was not a matter of getting any grants. Nobody gave any
money to you, except for a few scholarships.
J: Could you go down to the bank and get a loan?
E: That I do not know. I did not do it, and I do not know whether I could have or
not. But everybody worked. That is what burns me about today. These
students sit around on their tails expecting somebody to give them something,
and then they do not pay it back when they loan it to them.
J: Now, there were a few grants available at that time. How hard were they to
E: I do not know. I know nothing about that at all. When I say 90 percent, of
course, that is an imaginary figure, but everybody seemed to be working at
J: What were some of the jobs of friends of yours?
E: Oh, waiting on tables, for instance, down at the Primrose Grill, as it used to be
called. The Primrose was across from the Presbyterian church and is now the
Florida National Bank, kitty-corner from the Elks Club, which is probably now a
parking lot. The Primrose was started in the early 1920s, I think, and it became
a very good place to eat. The waiters were all University students male and
they got their meals for free. I do not know how many meals, but they got their
meals for doing it. Some very prominent lawyers in this state and prominent
citizens of this state were waiters in the Primrose Grill.
J: How about that.
E: The same thing was true at Ma Ramsey's, that other place I mentioned a little
while ago, and in the mess hall.
J: Who were some of these people that you remember?
E: I do not recall the identity of them.
J: Do you remember whether anybody worked for local lawyers?
J: What is the term that they call that?
E: Well, they would be law clerks.
J: Yes, clerks.
E: I may be wrong, but I do not think there were many lawyers in Gainesville.
There may have been one or two firms that engaged law students as clerks of
some kind. I do not recall, but I know that after I left, one firm had, I think, two or
three law students as law clerks.
J: Who was that firm? Scruggs?
E: Yes, Scruggs did that. How many he had, I do not know. Leon Robinowitz,
who is now Leon Robbins [laughter] and went to law school [class of 1935],
worked for Scruggs for a while. That was one of the best law firms in
Gainesville. [Erwin Americus] Clayton [class of 1924] was a member of it for a
J: Erwin Clayton of Baxter and Clayton?
E: Yes. They employed John A. Murphree [class of 1928], Billy Watson, and Jim
Parker as law clerks. What they paid them I do not have the slightest idea, but it
probably was not much.
J: No, I would not think so. Who of the law students on campus had automobiles?
E: I do not remember. Very few.
J: When you walked up to the law college, where were the automobiles parked?
E: On the north side, on the grass.
J: How many of them were there?
E: I do not remember.
E: Could be.
J: Were there many bicycles outside the law school?
E: No, nobody rode bicycles. Well, I will not say nobody. Some did, but it was not
J: Were a lot of people walking then?
E: Oh, yes. I think Judge Cockrell walked all the way from his house up to the law
school everyday, and he walked from the law school out to the football field.
J: Now, refresh my memory on where his house was.
E: It used to be the City Bank on University Avenue. It is now, I think, the Barnett
J: On University Avenue?
E: Yes, on the right-hand side as you go west. Directly across the street, before
they built those commercial buildings, was a series of dwellings, and he had one
J: He would walk his collie?
E: He would walk his collie up to the law school, which was right on the corner of
the campus. And the dog would sleep all day long until he left, or until noon.
He probably would not be there in the afternoon at all.
J: Was there much activity at the law school in the afternoon?
E: Only studying. I do not even recall any classes. I think they were all in the
morning. There may have been some, but I did not notice.
J: Why do you think that was the case?
E: I do not know.
E: I do not know, because I was not around. I was teaching French.
J: Tell me about Jimmy Day [James Westbay Day, professor, University of Florida,
College of Law, 1930-1961].
E: He was a real scholar, a quiet, dignified, very approachable, very warm sort of
man. He was very active in legal affairs, committees, and things of that kind,
statewide and otherwise. He was a very fine scholar, probably the best scholar
we had in the law school.
J: Did any of the professors have nicknames?
E: Yes. Slagle was "Sloogie."
J: Where did that come from?
E: I do not know. Some aberration of Slagle, I guess. I do not think the dean had
a nickname. Judge [Robert S. Cockrell] was "the Judge," and [Clifford W.]
Crandall was "Pop" Crandall.
J: Did Jimmy Day have a nickname?
E: Jimmy Day was just Jimmy.
J: Someone later called him "Footnote" Day because he was meticulous about
E: Well, that was not a popular nickname. Somebody may have called him that,
though. He graduated from the law school. I think he was an ex-GI, too, out of
World War I. He accepted a teaching position after he graduated. He
graduated with J.D. A J.D. in those days was the equivalent of a master's
degree. Nowadays, everybody graduates with a J.D.
J: What were the requirements for graduating with a J.D.?
E: I do not know. Scholastic attainment was the principal requirement.
J: Were there any practical jokes that you or members of your class played on
these professors, other than shuffling? You had mentioned previously
something about sneaking out.
E: Oh, yes. We did that all the time.
J: There is nothing outstanding in your mind?
E: I do not recall. You might not be interested in the initiation of the legal
J: I would like to hear about that.
E: You had to be invited to join. It was not a matter of filling out an application.
You were carefully selected. Fraternities were small, and you had to have a
certain grade average in order to be eligible, which was a B for one semester.
As far as Phi Delta Phi was concerned, which was my legal fraternity (the other
one was Phi Alpha Delta), the initiation was formal. It was held up in the attic of
the law school.
The formal initiation was this. Three magisters, as they were called, were
seated at a long table. The room was lighted only by a couple of candles, one at
each end of the table. It was a very gloomy place. I do not remember whether
it was collectively or individually, but we initiates were ushered into the room and
were told to sit. Then they went through the ritual. Leading up to that was the
requirement that on the day of your initiation you had to appear at the law school
either in full evening dress: white tie and tails, or dinner jacket, black tie, and no
tails. Also, you were issued and had to carry a paddle. The paddle was about
that wide. It had a hole in the end of it and a handle. You were required to
obtain the signature, either printed or longhand, on the paddle of every member
of the legal fraternity who was available, in turn for which they would "knight" you
on your bottom with one or more licks of the paddle, preferably at the spot where
the hole on the paddle would cause a welt to come up on your bottom.
[laughter] We went through that all day long.
J: That was almost as bad as the Kappa Alpha rat court.
E: Well, no, not that bad, because there you usually got only one lick. But here you
had to parade around in the evening dress all day long. You would be
conspicuous, of course, and subject to congratulations. It was a very coveted
proposition. Phi Alpha Delta was very hard to get into.
J: When you were initiated, how many other people joined?
E: I do not recall. I remember "Cowboy" Simpson [Bryan Simpson, class of 1926]
was the magister. He is now a retired United States Fifth Circuit Court of
Appeals judge who lives over in Jacksonville. He was a fraternity brother of
J: His nickname was Cowboy?
E: Yes, because he came from Kissimmee and his people were in the cattle
J: Was there anything particularly outstanding about the ritual?
E: Yes. It was very idealistic. Both of those rituals were very fine, actually, in
quality. There was no horseplay about any of those. The horseplay was all at
different times and different places.
J: I would assume that there was not much horseplay with the legal fraternity.
E: Well, the day before the initiation there was a considerable amount of horseplay,
when you got your ass beat, as I just described. But aside from that, as far as I
recall there were no other incidents involved in the initiation. The horseplay
happened at the informal initiation.
J: Were there any favorite things that these professors that lectured had?
E: The dean was quite a jokester. He was the man who was able to carry on an
active conversation with a cigarette in his mouth--the ash would be almost as
long as the cigarette, and he never dropped it. He would put it aside and throw
it away. He was a poet, although I do not think much of his poetry. I do not
even remember reading much of it. He would come out with sayings every now
and then, like "Virtue is but a bubble on the stream of life. One prick and it is
gone." [laughter] He said crazy things like that. It did not make much
difference who heard him. He did not say these things frequently, but
occasionally. I have always remembered that one. I do not recall any
particularly repeated sayings by any of them.
J: Were any of them very idiosyncratic?
E: The Judge was. Trusler lectured with his eyes closed, and quite often with a
cigarette in his mouth.
J: You have described, I believe, Dean Slagle as not the most outstanding.
E: Nothing very outstanding. He would not be on the faculty today, by any means.
Now, [George Washington] Thompson [professor, College of Law, 1928-1932] is
the same situation. I do not know where Thompson came from, but he was a
very preeminent author on real property, and his book [Commentaries on the
Modern Law of Real Property, 1924, 1939] sold all over the country. How they
happened to get him at the University I do not know, but he came down and was
here for some years. I had him in Real Property and in Trusts. He could not
J: Could not?
E: No, he just could not speak. He read his lectures, and they were masterpieces
of excellence. The only thing is he was dull.
J: The lectures were dull?
E: Yes, they were dull. But they were good, if you had sense enough to listen to
J: So his delivery was not good.
E: His delivery was nothing to speak of. He could not maintain discipline; he had a
disciplinary problem. The people would whisper and talk and carry on or read a
newspaper in the back of the room. It was one of these small classrooms again.
I remember Howard Bishop, who was a big football player at the University and a
fraternity brother and friend of mine for many years. He has long since
deceased. Anyway, he was in law school, and he usually took a nap. He just
put two or three of those chairs together and would lie down and go to sleep.
The old boy [Professor Thompson] just could not maintain attention, I will put it
that way. Outbursts really did not bother him. He could not maintain much
attention, except of those who wanted to get what he had to say, which were
many of us.
J: Was there anybody that took notes and then later sold them to other students?
E: Yes. Roberts did, and they were fine.
J: Who is that?
E: A man by the name of [Ernest] Roberts, from Miami. He took them in every
course, edited them, mimeographed them, and sold them for a dollar a copy.
J: Did you buy them?
E: Oh, yes. And he made a lot of money.
J: Did he do this when he was in school?
E: While we were in school. I think he was in the same class as Miss Day. Yes,
they were excellent. He later went to Miami to practice law. I assume is long
since dead. He was a good lawyer, too. He was a little older than most of us.
I suppose he was an ex-G.I., but I do not know. Yes, he was excellent.
J: He may be in this book?
E: He may be, but I doubt it. That is a 1929 book, and I think he had already
finished in 1928. He was married, by the way. We thought that was peculiar.
A fellow by the name of Watson was married, and we thought he was even more
peculiar. He was also older. Both of them, I think, were ex-Gls.
J: Why was that peculiar?
E: Imagine somebody going to law school in a university and being married!
Married people were very few and far between, except for faculty and, of course,
the graduate assistants, employees, and people of that kind, I presume.
Students? No. In the summertime there were a lot of teachers that were
married. We did not have much to do with that.
J: Take me through a tour of the law school, as you come at it from the east
E: Are you talking about the old law school?
E: Well, the west entrance is where you came in. You came into a foyer or lobby.
J: Why not come in from the east side?
E: You could, but I think most people came in from the west side. As you entered
from the east side, there was a staircase on the left that led to the second floor.
When you proceeded beyond the stairway, immediately to the left was the office
of Judge Cockrell. Adjoining his office, even further to the left (which had a
southeast exposure as far as the windows are concerned), was the dean's office.
Next to Judge Cockrell's office was the classroom where he taught. Crandall
taught in the courtroom, and so did the dean. Upstairs there was a landing, and
then two classrooms and one office in the middle, "Pop" Crandall's. Then there
was a large courtroom with fixed seats or with folding seats and a real jury box
on the left-hand side--a real bench. There were tables in front and a lot of chairs
on the right-hand side. It was a better courtroom than they have now, by far.
But it was dingy. I mean, it had been used for a long time. Down below that, to
go back to the first floor as you came in from the east, to the left through some
folding doors was the library. That was the whole building, except for the attic.
J: The courtroom was on the far north side of the old building?
J: Where was the library?
E: Right below.
J: There was only the one central staircase to gain access to the second floor?
E: That is right.
J: What was on the third floor?
E: It seems to me there were a couple more large rooms and possibly another office
room that was not used. Hunter's office may have been up there, or Slager may
have been up there. Then there was an attic on top of that.
J: There were no classrooms, though, up on the third floor?
E: I do not recall that there were any used up there.
J: Was there a particular law course that you enjoyed more than any other?
E: No. There were some I did not enjoy.
J: Well, that is important.
E: Negotiable Instruments was one. I did not know what a promissory note looked
like until I got into that class. And that was late in the course. I was just a C
student. Negotiable Instruments was a very tough course. I did not like
Constitutional Law, either. Slagel taught it, and it was a bore.
J: Let me rephrase my question a little bit. What became of your emerging
interests in law? What kind of practice did you envision?
E: General practice. I just wanted to get in and practice law.
J: Criminal law as opposed to something else?
E: No, I would take anything. Of course, I was as qualified then more qualified, in
my own mind than I am now. I knew more about the United States Supreme
Court decisions, but I did not know a damn thing about how a local J.P. runs his
office. That was true of all of us.
J: They did not teach you much in the way of practical law, then?
E: Practically none. That is one of the great criticisms that I have of the law
schools today. They do not do that. There is going to be a forum this coming
Saturday out at the law school, and the subject is "Changes in the Approach to
J: What time does that take place?
E: I think it is about 1:00 or 1:30.
J: So when you graduated, you were not sure how to file a brief?
E: I did not know a damn thing! We had had one course in what was known as
practice court, which I ultimately took over when I joined the faculty. I spent
twenty years teaching that. Back then it was taught by Judge Cockrell. He
would give us the state of facts and then require one side (there were two on a
side) to draw an indictment or information. Then he gave the other side an
opportunity to attack it. Then we would go through some kind of a trial with a
jury, but the details of it I just do not remember. It was very haphazard, not well
conducted. But it was extremely interesting, of course, for us prospective
practitioners. I was partners with [W.] Logan Hill [class of 1929], and the only
thing we could find wrong with the indictment is we thought that a comma should
have been placed in another place.
J: How much difference was there between Cockrell's moot court and your moot
E: That would take another two hours.
J: Okay. It was that serious, and the changes were considerable?
E: Very. You see, I was prosecuting for the federal government in 1956, operating
between here and Pensacola until 1956. The court was held in Gainesville,
Tallahassee, Pensacola, and Marianna. Anyway, it would be a couple times a
year. We would have grand juries in Tallahassee and Pensacola, and later
usually just in Tallahassee. There was one United States district judge and one
United States attorney, who was elderly, and there were two of us who were the
assistant United States attorneys, one in Pensacola and myself here. The
district went all the way across the state, except that Jacksonville, which was
north of Gainesville, was not in the northern district it was in the southern
district. A lot of gerrymandering had gone on politically many years before. But
generally speaking, with the exception of certain counties to the north of us, I had
everything between here and Pensacola.
I had been an assistant United States attorney in Miami, but because of the
illness of my father and my wife's dislike of Miami, which was intense, I decided
to move back to Gainesville. I never thought I would ever come back, but I did
in the spring of 1947. Until my father died, we occupied an apartment in an
apartment building that my father owned next to the old house. I continued with
the Department of Justice until I resigned in September 1956. Just after I had
completed a grand jury, I said, "Boys, I will be back when you subpoena me." I
have never been subpoened. I have been to Tallahassee a couple of times, just
passing through, but that is the extent of it.
Anyway, I was invited to join and accepted an appointment as a full
professor in the law college. For the first two years I think I taught Torts, Civil
Procdure, and something else. I do not remember what it was. I also
conducted what is known as Practice Court. Now, this business of Practice
Court is something that I developed in this fashion. It was an elective course.
The highest grade that could be received was a B. This course had been
previously taught by Hunter.
J: This is the same Hunter?
E: The same Hunter. He left. He went to the army hospital in Maryland. He went
as a retired full colonel in the air force. He came back from G.W. [George
Washington University] to the University, to the law school, and was teaching.
He suffered from some kind of health problem. He went up to Walter Reed
[Army Medical Center] in Washington [DC]. Whatever his problem was, he
apparently improved, and he was shaving on the morning of his expected
departure when he dropped dead of a heart attack. That is what prompted them
to contact me.
J: He was in Washington, DC, expecting to come back to the University of Florida?
E: To come back to Gainesville. He had already been down, you know.
J: He had already been down here?
E: Yes. He had been teaching, you see. He was teaching a course in practice
court, and I completely reorganized it. He had gone to a fantastic amount of
trouble to dream up a lot of utterly impossible situations. There would be pretty
girls, and a lot of funny things would happen and all of that business. I got rid of
that right off. I decided that what these boys ought to be taught is how try a
case and how to prepare for a trial.
My schedule was this. The class met once a week. On Friday of the
first week, I would lecture for a couple of hours on advocacy. I went into a lot of
legal history, talking about famous lawyers in Florida and the United States. I
also discussed what the course would consist of. They were divided they had
to get their partners arranged into partnerships. Each two-some would be
required either to prosecute or defend one criminal case and one civil jury case.
If they prosecuted the criminal case, they would defend the civil case. They
would have three weeks to interview the witnesses and to go over whatever
evidence there was. (I had a whole playroom full of water pistols, daggers,
broken wrist watches, jewels, and things of that kind to be used as evidence.)
They had three weeks to prepare the case. If it were a criminal case, the
prosecutors would have to draw an indictment or information. The other side
would be given a week to object to whatever was objectionable in the information
or the indictment. In my capacity as "pretend" judge, I held a hearing during the
early part of the third week to rule on whether the objections were well founded
or not. I required them to make amendments, etc.
Then on the Friday of that week, we would go to trial. Our jurors
consisted of the entering law students. I got a class roster and just went down
picking out names. Then I put a notice on the board: "You are summoned for
jury duty on Friday, the fifth of January" (or whatever it was). "Coat and tie
required" because the trials were in Alachua County courthouse, in the
courtrooms, which added tremendous realism to the whole thing.
J: How did you arrange that with the county?
E: Well, the local circuit judge was a fraternity brother of mine, and he arranged it
with the county.
J: Who is that?
E: Judge Murphree. Nobody worked on Friday afternoons, anyway, so it did not
bother anybody. I turned out the lights and locked the door when we left. We
had the whole third floor. There were two courtrooms up there, as well as the
law library and the judge's office.
J: This is the old courthouse you are talking about?
E: This is the present courthouse, not the courthouse where trials are held, but the
old courthouse where the trials used to be held, which is now a portion of the
clerk's office and county commission.
Anyway, entering law students were called as jurors. They were required
to report at 1:30 on Friday. I was teaching a course in civil procedure and
evidence, and I recruited witnesses from those two courses. I would say,
"Johnston, how would you like to be the sheriff, having made an arrest and
conducted the investigation, in the first criminal case for trial, the State of Florida
v. Joe Zilch?" Of course, in my position where I was sitting up above the class
and the students were sitting down there, they would say, "I will do it." I would
say, "All right. I will give you some material." I gave him the written material of
what he was supposed to know. Then I told him, "Now, you will be examined by
a prosecuting counsel and also after that by defense counsel. Answers that do
not appear to be in this script you make up as being reasonable under the
circumstances." I would go through four, five, or six witnesses. "Mary Jones,
you are going to be the wife of the deceased." I picked them out like that and
gave them the same routine. This usually took place on Friday.
The following Monday I supplied the real names of the people who were
going to be witnesses to the respective prosecuting counsel and defense
counsel. It would be their responsibility to contact these people and arrange to
interrogate them, which they did. The prosecution had a week to do this, and
defense had another week afterward.
All right, now back to the group. On the first Friday I gave them this pep
talk on advocacy and explained the course, what have you. On the following
Friday I took them through the county jail and for a while the city jail. This was
by arrangement with the sheriff and was conducted by one of the deputy sheriffs.
We went right through the cell blocks and through the records section.
Questions were invited; answers were given. I announced [to the sheriff] at the
beginning that I had this group of law students, some of whom were very familiar
with jails and others of whom had probably never been in one. That was a joke,
you know. It would take us two to three hours to do that. That was the first
We went to the city jail, also, but I stopped that later. They had a card
index system of everybody who had ever been arrested, and so I would ask the
chap that was taking us through, "See if you can find Hayford Enwall in that card
index there." He would pull it out and find a traffic violation from 1948, or
something like that. Of course, the students were aghast. Anyway, that was
the second Friday.
On the third Friday I took them through the clerk of the circuit court's
office. We went into the records the deed books, mortgage books, contracts -
and looked at them. I traced the mortgage and deed on my house. Then we
went downstairs into the tax records and then upstairs to the then tax assessor's
office, now the property appraiser's office. The property appraiser was kind
enough to take them into his office and give them a complete lecture for an hour.
He talked about how it was done, how evaluations are arrived at, things of this
kind. It was a total departure from practice court, but it was killing time and it
was educational. I did not have anything else to do with them. But that took
the time, which was fine because they were not ready to draw their cases yet.
That was the third Friday.
Then we went down to the tax collector's office, and he took the time to
explain the functions of his office, ranging from license tags to the collection of
the real estate taxes and the other taxes that had to be collected. So that
consumed the first three weeks.
On the fourth week, we started the trial of the first case. I got all the
jurors who had met at the courtroom off to the side I always called more than I
needed and gave each one a slip of paper. I had made up various slips of
papers on which I wrote possible biases that they would meet in real life, why a
juror would not be qualified to sit as a juror. So we went through all that
business. Anyway, I gave them these slips of paper and tell them, "Now, do not
volunteer this information. But if you are asked a question so and so,
whatever it might be that would normally elicit this answer, you give this answer
and then make up whatever seems to be appropriate after that." Then the court
would convene. I had a sheriff or a marshall, a clerk, and a court reporter who
operated the recording machine.
J: None of those people were -
E: They were all members of my class. They were not there during the jury
J: But that did not happen back in 1928-1929.
E: No, none of that happened. This was all new. Then I put on my gown and
entered through a crack in the door, and I told the sheriff or marshall to open
court. They would require everybody to rise. It was just as realistic as I could
make it. He would call out, everybody would rise, and I would stalk in, mount
the bench, and stand up. We went through the "Here ye, here ye, here ye"
business, and then I told everybody to sit down. I asked what the case for trial
was that day. Of course, I knew all about it, but we went through the formality of
it. I asked, "Is the state ready?" "Yes, sir." "Is the defense ready?" "Yes,
Then I said, "All right. Call a jury, Mr. Clerk." The jurors were sitting out
in the back, and he started calling the names of the jurors. They took their seats
in the jury box. The law required six jurors in a non-felony case or in a felony
case in the state court, and twelve jurors in a felony case or in the federal court.
The prosecution had the chance to conduct what was known as the voir dire jury
examination. He started asking questions of the jurors, and if one an answer
that did not conform to his idea of what a good state juror would be, he would
challenge him. If it were for cause, if there were some basic reason why the
juror would not be qualified, he should challenge him for cause. I would glare at
the challenger and tell him to play down. The juror was then excused and
another juror called to take his place. The law allows a statutory number of
pre-emptory challenges, and they could exercise those. That is, they could
challenge up to three, or up to ten in a criminal case with no cause assigned, on
each side. So we went through all that business. That would take an hour to
an hour and a half. But it gave them this experience of interrogating a jury, you
J: Again, you did not have that experience back in law school?
E: No, none whatsoever.
J: No jurors at all?
E: This was all brand new. This was real life copied.
J: What Cockrell had going was just him as the judge, and that was it.
E: Well, I think they had a jury, but I am not sure. Anyway, then we took a little
recess, and I went out and smoked a cigarette or something for ten minutes.
Then we went back in and started the case. I will not go through all the details
of the trial, but we conducted a trial with all the motions that could arise, all the
objections that could arise, and arguments on the objections on the motions, until
the supper recess. We took a supper recess, and I told them to be back in an
hour. They would come back, and we would resume the trial. On two or three
occasions I walked out of the courthouse at 4:30 in the morning.
J: Wow. It was that late.
E: On a few occasions. Usually it was eleven or twelve, maybe one. But it was so
realistic that the jurors became very intensely involved in these cases. They
would get hung. [laughter] They could not agree.
J: Let me ask you a question about this. Were these students graded upon
whether they won or lost the case?
E: No. After the trial was over, I got the clerk, the sheriff, and the lawyers on both
sides into a room, and we sat down and discussed the case. I pointed out what
I thought they did wrong. I would ask the sheriff (I had asked him before), "I
want you to critique the prosecution's performance. Give them your estimate of
their performance, Good, bad, or indifferent." I would say to the clerk, "You do
the same thing for the other side." So we had a discussion that would last
another hour, maybe longer, pointing out the good things and the bad things.
J: The sheriff and the clerk had some added responsibilities.
E: Well, they might be the counsel the next week, you see.
J: That is right. So, you would actually have one court session each week with a
E: Everything was different.
J: How many people enrolled in your practice court?
E: I could handle twelve.
J: Did you ever have any less, like only six people?
E: No. It was a very popular course.
J: Well, why would you never give anybody an A?
E: I did not think they were that good.
J: Nobody was outstanding?
E: As students, they were not that good. They were just in the learning process.
J: And students knew this going in.
E: They knew that. A lot of them did not take it because of that reason.
Frequently the better students, that is, the 4.0 and the 3.0 people, did not take it.
J: Why is that?
E: Well, they did not want to get a B. It would have brought down their average.
But that did not make any difference to me.
J: Did you ever change that philosophy?
J: How long did you teach the practice court?
E: Nineteen years.
J: Right up until the time you retired.
E: That is right. It is being taught out there now. I do not know how well, but it is
J: How did it change in that nineteen-year period?
E: No, it was not changed. For the first two or three years I put on a mock grand
jury. I required all the entering law students and all the practice court people to
be present, and we pretended that we were conducting a federal grand jury,
which is a big secret to everybody, you know. As judge, I went through the
actual motions of convening a grand jury. Then I stepped off the bench and
pretended to be the United States attorney, and I presented a case to twenty
people sitting on the front row, who were presumably the grand jurors. I called a
couple witnesses. Then I went back up on the bench and received the report of
the grand jurors. Then I dismissed the grand jury with many thanks. It was
I also spent some time on qualifying grand jurors. They have to have
certain qualifications, so I spent the first three quarters of an hour to set up. The
pieces of paper had already been distributed among the group as to their
qualifications. As judge, I asked, "Do any of you hold offices in the state of
Florida?" One of them would say, "Yes. I am the governor." I would say,
"Well, you are excused by statute. You may withdraw. Now, do any of you
have any problems that would prevent you from sitting on this grand jury?"
"Yes, Your Honor. I own and run a one-man grocery store, and I have to be
there. I would have to close the store." I would say, "Well, all right. You are
excused." Then I would ask another one, "What is your reason?" He would
say, "Well, Your Honor, one of these defendants in this case is my first cousin."
I would say, "Well, you better not sit. I excuse you." Another one would say,
"Your Honor, my wife is sick. She is about to have baby." I would ask, "Where
is she?" "She is in the hospital." I would say, "Well, now. In my opinion there
are two times when a man ought to be with his wife. When she about to have a
baby is the second time. You are excused." Of course, I would try to make
some of these amusing, you see. They would get a lot of guffaws and things of
that kind, and there were other funny things about that. But it was educational.
They knew what a grand jury was like.
J: Did you use that technique through your nineteen years of sitting on the bench?
E: No, I stopped that after about the third or fourth year.
E: I just did not have time for it.
J: Too time consuming?
J: Let us talk a little bit more about your law school experience.
E: But I got a book on it. It is full of letters from former students. It was given to
me at the time I retired. You might want to run through it some time. There are
250 letters in there.
J: Prior to your graduating in 1929, there was something known as the "Getzen
E: Yes. Judge Cockrell called a student, who was also a member of the legislature,
a son of a bitch. Or did he? That is the question.
E: [Samuel W.] Getzen decided that as a member of the legislature he had been
defamed, that that was not a proper thing for a law professor to do. So he got
the legislature to appoint a committee to investigate Judge Cockrell. They came
down here with all the pomp, ceremony, and dignity that they could muster, and
they sat in the courtroom and took testimony as to whether Judge Cockrell had
called this man Getzen a son of a bitch. [laughter] Apparently he had not, or if
he did it was carefully concealed, because nothing every happened to the Judge.
Getzen was held in contempt by all of us.
J: Did you see any part of the proceedings?
E: Only to the extent of going into the room a few times. It was crowded.
J: Crowded with people from the University and from Gainesville?
E: Some were from town. Sam Getzen ended up as a lawyer in Gainesville.
J: Is he still alive?
E: No, he died a long time ago.
J: Now, you said dances were very popular in town and at the University, as well as
E: Well, at the University they were popular in the fraternity houses, which is the
only place they had for these tea dances. But the [Gainesville] Woman's Club is
the place where most fraternity dances were held. That was across from what
used to be the Gainesville High School. It is now a series of commercial
properties. The woman's club had a big dance floor and a platform. Later on
that system was abolished. It was occupied from Thursday until Sunday
morning, and the faculty or that property considered that to be too long. As a
substitute, the University sponsored two or three dances a year, but I was gone
by then. I do not know about it.
J: What did you do for entertainment? You did not have much time, obviously,
studying so hard and teaching.
E: We played basketball, and I hunted a little bit.
J: While you were in law school?
E: No, I did not do much of anything in law school.
J: You were studying law and teaching. Was there time to go fishing or hunting?
E: Some, on Saturdays. I would shoot pool occasionally. There was a big pool
room in the main part of town, and a lot of us used to go there and shoot pool.
Some of them stayed there all the time; I think they slept there. I did not. I
used to shoot occasionally, but not much.
J: How much did it cost you at that time to shoot pool?
E: Oh, I imagine ten cents.
J: Did you go hunting and fishing with any of the professors?
J: Did you go with any of your fellow law students?
E: I used to go hunting with Howard Bishop occasionally, and also with Cecil
Gracey. Cecil lasted one year in law school.
J: Cecil Gracey and Howard Bishop?
E: Yes. A grammar school was named for Howard. He became superintendent of
schools in Alachua County. He was a very famous football player in his day.
J: We talked earlier about the class notes being available through Edwards, I think
his last name was.
E: [B. K.] Roberts.
J: Roberts. Did you buy used textbooks in addition?
E: Oh, sure. I have some over here.
J: Where did you buy those?
E: From students that had just finished the course.
J: Was there an exchange in town?
E: No. If you found somebody who had an old books, you would buy it from him.
J: You did not buy many new books, then, no more than you could help.
E: No, unless the professor had been so ill he advised us to change the case book,
which was deeply resented. [laughter]
J: Yes, I bet it was, both by the students who had his course last semester and the
ones this semester, too.
E: That is right.
J: On what day did you graduate?
E: What day of week?
E: I do not remember.
J: Where did you graduate?
E: Here, of course.
J: At the football field?
E: Oh, no.
J: At the [University Memorial] Auditorium?
E: I am sure that is where it was, the auditorium, right by the bell tower.
J: Not at the law college, then? Not upstairs in the courtroom?
E: Oh, no. I think the following day, or the day after that, most of us tripped down
to the federal building while federal court was in session and were admitted to
practice in the United States District Court. In those days no bar examination
was required of Stetson [University], the University of Florida, and later the
University of Miami. A good many years ago that was abolished. Those
schools had what was known as the "diploma privilege." There was a
presumption that if you graduated from either Stetson or the University of Florida
you were eminently qualified to be admitted to practice. That presumption
dissipated some years ago.
J: When was the University of Miami law college first given that diploma privilege?
E: I do not know.
J: You graduated in 1929.
E: That is right. May of 1929.
J: And you went to Titusville for about a year.
E: That is right. Then I went to Washington, and then I went to Miami. I stayed in
Miami until I went on active duty in the army in 1941.
J: With whom did you practice in Miami?
E: A man by the name of Pierce.
J: Was he a law school graduate from Florida?
E: No, no. He was an elderly man. He is long since dead.
J: How old was he when you knew him?
E: Oh, he was in his late fifties.
J: Now, in World War II you were a judge advocate. I ran across some information
on the prosecution of an Australian strangler. Tell me a little bit about that.
E: Well, I was always interested in the army. I took ROTC for two years. I could
not take it the following two years because I was teaching and going to law
school. When I graduated, I regretted not being a second lieutenant. Lord
forgive, I did not know what I was thinking.
Anyway, an opportunity arose while I was practicing law in Miami in 1933
and 1934 to earn a commission in the judge advocate general's department, as it
was known then. I have always had a bad left eye, so I could not pass the line
examination. I was very interested in this commission, so I applied. I took a
correspondence course for a year and a half, I guess it was, and passed the
various subjects. I was commissioned as a captain in the judge advocate
general's department. The reason my commission was for captain was because
they accepted applications only from graduates of law schools with five years of
practicing experience, which puts you in the age group of captains.
The following summer I was given the opportunity to go on a fifteen-day
tour of active duty on the fifth floor of the post office in Atlanta, which was the
headquarters of the entire army in the Southeast section. Actually we were on
the fourth floor; the fifth floor was devoted to the commanding general and all of
his people. We were right next to the United State attorney's office. There
were only two officers, and one stenographer, and then a couple of others at a
time that came in for training. I did that for various summers until 1941. I was
prosecuting for the government.
When I went on active duty earlier that fall, the staff judge advocate
wanted me to come on active duty that fall. He told me, "We have an
emergency coming up, and we need people." I said, "Colonel, I have a grand
jury meeting in just a few weeks. I cannot come now. I will not be able to come
until after Christmas." He said that was all right. "How about after Christmas?"
I said I would be free. So I got orders to report for active duty to Shelby,
Mississippi, but that was changed to Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, on the
second of January, 1941. I arrived very late at night in a rainstorm. I was
assigned as camp judge advocate and S-2 intelligence officer for the camp.
Have you been in the service?
E: The camp was accommodating what was known as the Fifth Army Corps, which
later went to Ireland and then to France. I became quite friendly with the staff
judge advocate of it.
In the meantime, the judge advocate general's office is Washington was
recruiting as many qualified young officers as fast as they could. They were
calling them to Washington to serve in the judge advocate general's office and
later to be sent out to the field. You see, the judge advocate general's
department consisted of about one hundred or less officers prior to World War II.
Now there are several thousand. They were very low they needed people,
and they needed them fast. Every division, every corps, every army, every base
had to have a judge advocate. We were building bases and putting the divisions
together all over the country. Anyway, this friend of mine recommended me for
assignment to the judge advocate general department in Washington. I served
up there from May until October of 1941 in the old munitions building. Do you
J: Not at all.
E: Well, during World War I they built a couple of so-called temporary buildings. In
1941, the temporary buildings were still being occupied. There was no air
conditioning, nothing but electric fans, and we were in wool. I mean, it was hell
on two wheels. [laughter] Hot! If you do not know anything about
Washington, well, it gets very hot. Anyway, I was there until October.
In the meantime, they had ordered to active duty various national guard
divisions, including the 44th Infantry Division, which consisted of the New York
and New Jersey National Guards. That had been done as early as September
of 1940, I guess. They were sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey. In October and
November of 1941 the division was down in Carolina on maneuvers.
Well, there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the state officer personnel in
the division, so they were slowly relieving the state national guard officers and
replacing them with other people reserve and regular. But there were not
enough regulars to go around. Well, the army judge advocate general called me
in one day and said, "Enwall, I am going to assign you as staff judge advocate for
the 44th Infantry Division. They are presently on maneuvers down in the
Carolinas." I said what you usually say under those circumstances: "Yes, sir."
J: How did you get from the 44th all the way to Australia?
E: Well, I will tell you that as we go along. But I had to go to Fort Dix first. That
was the home station of the division. I reported in and ultimately got
transportation to Carolina. It was beginning to get cold. I went up to Fort Dix
and stayed up there two or three weeks before I could get down to Carolina.
When I got down there, the division was in the field for intense training. And
cold as a mischief! I had one bath in one month.
J: You were an officer.
E: Yes. By that time I had been promoted to major.
J: Is that right?
E: Well, the department issued orders on me that I was a major.
J: How did that come about?
E: Well, we were all behind as far as promotion was concerned, and they were
catching up. I had been a captain for six years. Some regular army captains
had been so for eighteen years! Anyway, that is how that happened.
We were there on maneuvers, and I was conducting the military justice
aspect and other legal problems from a tent. I had the most desirable group of
enlisted personnel you could possibly imagine for a judge advocate. I had three
young actual practicing lawyers and two real court reporters, of whom I was
stripped of in a matter of weeks. The three young lawyers went to officer's
training OCS and I lost the two court reporters. One went to the general's
office and the other went to the artillery commander's office. But we
accumulated a considerable amount of criminal business minor, most of it.
Then we got orders to move from there back to Fort Dix. On the seventh
of December the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor, and on the eighth of December we
were on these trucks going back to Fort Dix by way of Pennsylvania, through
Virginia. We bivouaced cornfields as we went along at night, sleeping on the
ground. It was very cold. Anyway, we got the word of the bombing of Pearl
Harbor when we drove into a cornfield on the seventh of December to shack
down for the night.
J: Did a farmer come out and tell you all that?
E: No. Somebody had a radio. The attitude of the division just changed overnight.
They had been on active duty for nearly a year, and they had wives and children
who lived a relatively short distance away, in New York and New Jersey. Their
time was limited to go home, and they were going through drills over and over
and over, and they were fed-up! "Pissed-off," as they said. They were writing
letters to Congress, and they were quite hysterical about it. Anyway, that
attitude changed over night! The attitude now was when do we get going? and
where do we go? Let us kill the bloody Japs! [laughter] Of course, Germany
was also in it.
The following day, in a very impressive situation, we were stopped along
the side of the road for mess. The mess truck came along and they fed us out
of the back end of the truck. We were standing around eating it and drinking
coffee when President Roosevelt addressed the joint session of Congress. He
declared that a state of war existed between the United States and the Imperial
Japanese government and also the Germans. Well, it galvanized that division.
We got back on our trucks to go back to Fort Dix, and as we passed through
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, people were in the streets waving flags. Shortly after
that, within a couple of weeks, this division got orders to move to Louisiana by
motor convoy, which meant trucks.
J: You had just done that.
E: We had just done that from Carolina, but we all had automobiles. So what in the
hell were we going to do with the automobiles? Well, what you did was you
gave yours to the chaplain and asked him to sell it for you, so he had hundreds of
automobiles. In some cases, people came from home and got them. Anyway, I
had to get my automobile back to Gainesville.
E: I asked the chief of staff if I could drive, and he said, "Hell, no. But," he said,
"there is one thing I will do. You can drive your car, but you are going to have to
pay your own gasoline." I said, "I will take it." So that is what I did. Later on, I
managed to get leave for three days, and I drove my car to Gainesville and left it
with my father. Then I got on a bus and rode back to Claiborne. That brings
me up to the time when the division moved out to Fort Lewis, Washington, which
is the beginning of the Australian situation.
J: Now, let us gloss over your experiences at prosecuting the Aussie case in
Australia. We have agreed to talk specifically about your tenure at the law
college and your subsequent prosecution of Bill Hendrix, who was the grand
master of the Klu Klux Klan in Florida.
E: Grand kleagle of the Klux Klux Klan in Florida.
J: Which one of those was the more interesting and more rigorous case for you to
have to pursue?
E: Of which?
J: Of the K.K.K. and the Melbourne.
E: Oh, the Melbourne strangler case was the far more involved and interesting.
J: How long were you involved in that case?
E: Five days, as far as the trial was concerned. I was involved many weeks before
that in preparing the case for trial, interviewing all the witnesses.
J: When did you return to Gainesville?
E: I returned in October of 1945, after three and a half years in Australia, New
Guinea, and the Philippines.
J: What were the circumstances of your returning to this city?
E: Just rotation.
J: What was your position when you returned here?
E: Well, I was on leave from the Department of Justice. Under the laws that
existed at that time, service personnel who had left their positions or jobs were
entitled to go back to them if they wanted. I elected to do so, so I returned to
Miami and continued to prosecute.
J: What was your position there?
E: Assistant United States attorney in charge of the Miami, Florida office. My
territory ranged from Key West to Fort Pierce.
J: What brought you to Gainesville?
E: The illness of my father, who had been a professor at the University, He had
become very ill. He had diabetes and later developed cancer of the larynx,
which required the removal of the larynx. He experienced heart failure and died
in December of 1947.
J: When did you marry?
E: I was married in 1944 in Melbourne, Australia.
J: You married an Australian woman?
E: That is right. She was a member of the Australian Army Medical Women's
J: What is her full name?
E: Jean Mavis Kennett.
J: Jean returned with you to the United States?
E: No. I came back with the assurance by the Navy that she would be on the next
ship, and six months later she arrived.
J: Was that the next ship?
J: She joined you in Miami?
J: And then you came to Gainesville?
E: Yes, some time later, because of the illness of my father.
J: You came to Gainesville in 1947?
J: Just prior to his death.
E: Well, I came to Gainesville in March of 1947, and he died the following
J: What transpired next?
E: Well, I continued to represent the government in civil and criminal matters in the
northern districts of Florida, which included the areas I mentioned the other day,
generally from Gainesville to Pensacola, excluding a few northern counties. It
included Tallahassee, Panama City, and Pensacola. I continued that, both civil
and criminal cases, until 1956, when I was invited to join the law faculty.
J: Who invited you?
E: Dean [Henry A.] Fenn.
J: Was there a search committee? Did you go through a series of interviews?
J: How did he contact you?
E: This law professor, [William Armstrong] Hunter, died [July 31, 1956], which
created a vacancy, particularly in the so-called Practice Court area. They
wanted to fill that vacancy as well as have someone who could teach other
subjects. A lawyer here in town by the name of Lazenby who was very close to
the dean recommended me. They told me about it and offered me the position,
and I accepted it.
J: Why did you accept it?
E: Because I wanted to teach.
J: Were you tired of prosecuting people?
E: No. It attracted me, and there were certain political matters that were involved,
too, that assisted in my making that decision.
J: Do you care to share that?
E: No, I do not care to. There was a change of administration and a desire to close
this office and move it to Tallahassee, and I did not want to move. Things of that
J: Now, when you began in 1956, there were several professors that had taught
you back in the late 1920s still there. [Clarence J.] TeSelle, [James W.] "Jimmy"
Day, and Dean Slagle.
E: When I returned to the United States, that was true. TeSelle retired between
1946 or 1947, and when I joined the faculty in 1956 he had retired. Jimmy Day
was about to retire and did retire shortly after I had joined the faculty. They were
the only ones.
J: Dean Slagle was not there?
J: I show them on the roster for 1958. I am wondering if they were teaching
E: No. As far as I know, Dean Slagle had died. [Dean Slagle retired from the
University of Florida College of Law in 1958. Clarence TeSelle retired in 1958,
and James Day retired in 1961. Ed.]
J: What were your first duties?
E: To teach Torts and conduct Practice Court.
J: How different was that from being a state attorney?
E: Well, Torts was very different. Of course, it was a substantive legal subject in
which I lectured. Practice Court was very different in the sense that I was the
judge, not the prosecutor. We tried cases every Friday afternoon.
J: Was it easier or more difficult?
E: To me it was very easy. There is an awful lot of work involved in preparing the
cases: making up the statements of witnesses, arranging for the jurors and the
witnesses, etc. It was very time consuming. The trials themselves were very
long. But there was no difficulty about it.
J: How had the nature of teaching law changed since when you were in school in
the late 1920s?
E: Well, I do not know. I did not sit in on any other professors. Mine was
essentially a lecture course. Of course, Practice Court was a matter of daily
contact with the neophyte lawyers and witnesses and people of that kind, and
then the trail. But I imagine it was generally the same as it had been for a
J: Did you administer the same type of examinations as you had been
E: They were very different, but I cannot tell you exactly now what the differences
consisted of. Mine were much longer and more detailed.
J: Had specialization within the legal profession come of age at the University of
E: It was definitely coming of age. I do not know about the University of
Florida. That was such a specialized subject, of course, as it always had been.
But as far as the practice was concerned, it was very rapidly coming of age in the
sense of specialization.
J: Do you think the law college had kept up with these changes?
E: Generally, yes, I think so.
J: What was the difference about the campus?
E: There were a lot more people. The campus had changed. New buildings had
been built. By the time I joined we had coeducation, which was a radical
difference, although it did not effect the law college that much at that time. I
think now there is something like forty percent women.
J: But when you began in 1956 as an instructor there were very few women.
E: Very few women.
J: Now, the building had been added to, physically.
E: Yes, the law college had that complete wing on the east side added. The library
was quite different.
J: Where was the library?
E: On the second floor of the new wing and very large.
J: Now, Ila Pridgen was still there when you returned. Frank [Francis Tyrone]
McCoy was the librarian. Betty [Grace Elizabeth] Taylor was his assistant.
That continued for some several years after that, until he resigned as librarian
and accepted the position of a professor on the faculty.
J: Where was your office located, initially?
E: As soon as Jimmy Day died, I took his office, which was on the ground floor of
J: How was it different? How was teaching there different than what you had
E: I do not know. I did not sit in on anybody else's courses.
J: Would you say that your expectations and feelings of what you had to do were
just as you had thought them to be?
E: Well, I found it necessary to adopt them to my way of thinking in the presentation
of the courses.
J: Were there any surprises from the administration or from the faculty that
E: Not particularly. There was a great deal of discussion at faculty meetings about
everything that happened. There was not a question of the dean saying, "I want
this done, and I would like you to do it." Everything would be discussed at
J: What was Henry Fenn's approach?
E: I am sure Dean Fenn's approach was quite different than the former, Dean
Trusler. I think he deferred a great deal to the faculty decisions on matters -
instead of directing. Of course, he did a lot of directing, too, in the sense of
improvements and changes in courses and things of that kind, and the general
administration was reasonably efficient. Of course, my memories of Dean
Trusler were from when I was a young student. I had nothing to do with the
faculty, as such, except as professor. When I joined this faculty, I became a part
of it and voted on the things that came up and things of that kind.
J: How had the student attitude about law and about being in school and their attire
E: Well, the student attitude was very different because a large number (I do not
know the percentage) of the students were ex-G.l.s taking advantage of the
government's educational proposition. They were very serious. Many of them
were married, which was quite different than what I had experienced as a
student. They were very serious about it. They wanted to get through. They
were older, most of them, because a rule had been introduced that required them
to have an undergraduate degree before they could get into law school, which
extended the age group one to three years. Then there were some, I will not
call them middle age, but students much older than the average law student.
We had a lot of service personnel, some regulars, some G.l.s -just privates and
sergeants and lieutenants and what have you. We had some full colonels and
other people who wanted to become lawyers. They had retired, of course.
J: How were you called by your students?
E: Well, I came to be called "Judge" because I was running this Practice Court
program, and I was the Judge. Occasionally I was called Professor, and
J: Do you know whether you developed a nickname, other than "Judge"?
E: "Judge" was it. I am still called Judge by a lot of them. Except for my service
as a judge in military tribunals later after I came back, which I did on several
occasions, I have had no judicial experience other than Practice Court, which
was educational business. I did serve as a judge in the army on several cases.
J: Was being a judge in Practice Court any different than being a judge in the
E: Procedurewise, there was not a great deal of difference, as far as criminal cases
are concerned. Of course, there were no civil cases in the army. I tried both
criminal and civil cases. I adapted as cases for the students a simplification of
many cases that I had actually tried myself as a prosecutor. I changed the
names and streamlined them, of course, as far as the witnesses were concerned
and things of that kind. When I was prosecuting, a great bulk of the prosecution
consisted of prosecuting moonshiners, so we had several moonshine cases that I
dreamed up. I adapted from cases that I had tried, and that was a very
important aspect of federal prosecution.
J: That is moonshining in Florida.
E: Oh, yes. Everything had to do with Florida. I had state and federal cases. I
mean, I dreamed up the state and federal cases, which made a lot of difference
in some respects.
J: Over the years, who were some of your better students?
E: Oh, names escape me. [Talbot] "Sandy" D'Alemberte [class of 1962] is now
dean of the law school of Florida State University. [He also served as a member
of the Florida House of Representatives, 1966-1972. Ed.] There are others,
but I just do not remember their names.
J: Were you ever shuffled?
E: Oh, yes. I shuffled back!
J: Why were you shuffled?
E: Oh, yes, when they did not like something I said. I would tell a joke every now
and then, and they did not laugh, so I would tell it over. Then they would shuffle.
I guess I conducted a formal course, but I tried to make it very realistic and
interesting. I told them at the outset, "Now, look. My purpose here is to teach
this course, and I am going to try to make it as instructive and interesting as
possible. If I do not do it, I ought not to be here." I was never very dull about
my presentation. It was usually pretty aggressive and emphatic, almost entirely
lecture. I had no recitations to speak of.
J: How many exams each quarter or semester did you give?
E: Well, there were exams for Evidence and Civil Procedure. There was no exam
in Practice Court. Each case got an exam at the end of the trial. But depending
on how the school year was organized, whether it was quarters or semesters or
trimesters, there were two exams at the conclusion of every separation, such as
the end of every semester, every trimester, every quarter. My exams were very
long. Contrary to popular acceptance by most law faculty members, the first
question consisted of fifty yes or no questions. All they had to do was put either
yes or no. That was followed by probably three factual situations, and an
occasional definition that I had emphasized during the course. My exams were
quite long. It took every bit of the three hours that they had.
J: Why was that not popular with the rest of the faculty?
E: Oh, it was a belief among certain law professors that the purpose of the law
college is to teach thinking, not knowledge, the actual knowledge of certain
things. There were a lot of them that thought that the yes or no type of question
did not lend itself to that. I disagreed violently.
J: Did anyone ever come around to your side?
E: I never discussed it at any great length. I just went ahead with my business, and
that was it.
J: Did you ever change your method of examination?
E: No, never did.
J: Now, you said you had two examinations ...
E: Civil Procedure and Evidence. See, I taught those subjects.
J: I see.
E: I taught them for many years, actually. There was an exam at the end of each
quarter, trimester, what have you, in each of those subjects.
J: How did the nature of those subjects change in your nineteen years of teaching?
E: Well, there were changes in appellate rules; appellate decisions, particularly in
the criminal cases; the passage of statutes and constitutional provisions; and
things of that kind.
J: So you had to keep up with all that legislation.
E: Oh, yes, I certainly did. I spent a lot of time studying.
J: What were some of the practical jokes in the classroom that were played on you?
E: I cannot think of any.
J: Do you think there were any?
E: I do not think so. Nothing of any great significance.
J: Minor incidents.
E: Very minor.
J: How often did you have a class over to your home at the end of the semester?
E: Never in Civil Procedure cases. It was initially my practice in the Practice Court
case to have all the students, and the sheriff or marshall, the clerk, and the court
reporter all over to my home to discuss the case. Later, I abandoned that, as far
as the home was concerned. We did it immediately after the trial in the
courthouse. I would give them coffee and cookies and things of that kind at the
J: How often did you get together with other faculty members?
E: Not frequently. We met at faculty meetings, of course, and at occasional
J: Were there certain people that you would consider more social than others on
the faculty, that would have parties over at their homes?
E: Well, Dean Fenn and Dean Maloney, with the magnificent assistance of their
wives, frequently put on supper parties or cocktail parties, as the case might be,
to which all the faculty and their wives were invited. It involved a tremendous
amount of work for the women. Mrs. Maloney, particularly, did an outstanding
job. She was an excellent cook. I think Dean Fenn had his catered, brought in
from the outside. But I am satisfied it was not enough. They probably spent a
lot of their own money for these things. Now, who was the dean after Maloney?
J: [Joseph R.] Julin [1971-1980].
E: The Julins did a considerable amount of that type of entertaining, although not as
much as the Maloneys did. The Maloneys really went overboard on it. The
present dean [Frank T. Read] I do not know. I do not think he does any. I think
they have faculty get-togethers, and I think the expense is probably borne by the
law school, but I do not think he entertains in his home at all. But I do not know.
J: How often did you get together with students or faculty members, or both? On a
Friday afternoon or a Thursday evening?
E: Well, every Friday afternoon I was in court.
J: That is right. Well, how often did you get together with them down at a local bar
and just swap stories and what have you?
E: Seldom. I did not have much social contact with the students. I had a lot of
contact with them every day. They dropped in the office for questions or things
of that kind. I had a lot of contact with them in that sense, but not in the social
J: Tell me a little bit about the transition of the deanship from Fenn to Maloney.
Were there any practical changes in the way of course schedules, etc.?
E: Of course, that happened about the time that we got into the present building.
Frankly, I do not know just what course changes there were. The faculty was
growing; more people were being added, and courses offerings were expanded.
But what the administrative details were, I just do not know.
J: Was there an impact on the way you taught courses and the number of courses
you taught with the administrative shift?
J: Now, Dean Fenn stepped down from that position, I believe, in 1958, and
Maloney stepped in. You did not move into the new building until 1969. Does
that ring a bell?
E: I just do not recall. But I think Maloney stepped in approximately at the same
time. Well, probably somewhat later, but how much later I do not know. You
have to check that.
J: Again, same question for the shift from Maloney to Julin [from 1970-1971]. Was
there a quickening of the pace of the courses that you taught?
E: Not to my recognition.
J: How about classroom size, the number of students in your class?
E: Well, the classroom sizes, the people or students attending, were large in
number. For instance, I have had up to 150 in a class.
J: Did you feel comfortable teaching that many students?
E: It did not make any difference. I could have said the same thing to one.
J: Did you think they learned as well?
E: Well, you have to ask them.
J: Did your test bear out a significant ratio between class size and performance?
E: No, I do not think so.
J: How did the deans develop a different law school over those twenty years that
you were there?
E: Well, administratively, both Maloney and Julin were very active in contacting the
alumni and in fund raising very active. As far as the administration of the law
college itself was concerned, they were very active in attempting to obtain
increased money from the legislature, in which they were both successful. Each
in turn increased salaries and the library and things of that kind, things that flow
from it. Their efforts and the alumni produced a great many fine results in the
sense of interest, cooperation, and money.
J: What is your sense of Dean Trusler's activities in recruiting money from alumni?
E: I knew nothing about it.
J: Nothing about it?
E: What do you do at twenty-one?
J: Right. Now, Dean Fenn developed taped lectures, legal ethics courses, and
writing courses that were apparently used through the law college, back in the
E: Yes, as you mention it now, I remember that that was a new angle. That was
quite a change. Emphasis was given to legal writing. Emphasis was given to
ethics, which I believe was a requirement of the legislature. I never participated
in it. I did not want to.
J: Can you give me a sense of why you did not care to?
E: Well, I was not philosophically attuned particularly to the esoteric aspects of the
lawyers. Ethics, of course, is an extremely and necessary vital aspect of any
professional man. He largely recruited attorneys from throughout the state who
would come in and present their views on certain limited ethical situations, which
apparently constituted the subject matter for discussion during a particular
evening. How often they met I do not know. It seems to me that it was once a
week, but I may be mistaken. I was not interested in that, particularly. I was
interested in teaching my courses, and that was it.
J: How interested were you in his legal writing courses?
E: I was at a distance, as far as that was concerned, but I felt that that was a very
necessary thing because of the grossly inadequate education in the secondary
schools and even in the academic world.
J: Now, that raises another important question. How much better were you training
law students than you had been trained?
E: Much better.
J: How so?
E: Not with regard to legal writing. See, my courses were very practical courses,
not philosophical. Nor did they approach the question of grammar and
expression and all the rest of it.
J: How were they practical?
E: Well, we were practicing law in Practice Court, and I was teaching them what
was involved in the practice of law in both civil and criminal cases. Criminal
cases were particularly important from an evidenciary standpoint.
J: How about Torts and Evidence? Were those practical?
E: Well, Evidence is the one I just referred to. Torts was substantive. We used a
textbook, and I supplemented it with lectures.
J: So your approach, actually, was not any different than what had been used back
in the late 1920s? The way you presented it you felt made the difference.
E: No, I presented it in a hell of a lot different way. I did not require much, very little
as a matter of fact, in the sense of recitation. That was not the case in the
J: Did you not feel that was important?
E: I did not think recitation was important. I was in a course that required,
generally, some specific knowledge. With one hundred fifty people in the class,
you could not do much from that standpoint, either. It ranged from one hundred
J: Did your classes become smaller once you moved into the new building?
E: No, they became larger because there were more people in the law school.
J: So your classes just grew through your entire experience. Was there much of a
fuss made over the 1962 library fire?
E: Not a fuss, but it required a lot of replacing. There was a considerable book
J: How did it hamper teaching?
E: It did not hamper me a bit.
J: Did you personally lose anything that you had donated to the library?
J: How long did it take to replace?
E: I would say about a year.
J: Now, at that time did you use the library for research, or did you have enough
materials on your own?
E: I used it in connection with running down cases that were relevant to what I was
J: Did you ever consider becoming an administrative figure yourself?
E: Never. I had had enough of that in the army.
J: Would being a dean differ much than what you had experienced in the army?
E: It differed a great deal. In the army you could tell people what to do, and they
would do it. In the academic world you have to argue with them and hope that
they might do it.
J: I take it that you did not feel like arguing with people?
E: I did not feel like arguing.
J: What was the condition of the library, the number of books there?
E: You will have to ask the librarian. I do not know.
J: How do you rank it?
E: I do not rank it.
J: Did you have a sense of how good the library was?
E: I taught at Virginia for a while, and they had a much better library there.
J: When had you taught at Virginia?
E: From January until June 1960.
J: Four or five years after you were hired [here], then?
E: Oh, yes.
J: What was the difference between the students at the University of Florida and
E: Not much. The students at Virginia had to wear overcoats because of the cold.
J: Was the class size any different?
E: About the same, I would say. Maybe a little larger.
J: Did you learn anything at Virginia that you brought back and were able to utilize
in the classrooms here?
J: Different techniques of teaching?
E: Well, the approach was different. Here I was teaching, really, Florida law or
federal law in the appropriate cases. Virginia is a national law school, and you
taught the routine, standard, classical cases that might apply to any place in the
United States. So the approach was quite different. The fundamental rules, as
far as Evidence was considered, were no different. Civil Procedure in Virginia
and in many other states is very different from that in Florida.
J: How much time did you spend learning the differences between Florida and
E: Well, I did not teach Civil Procedure. I taught Evidence and Practice Court.
That was a great novelty to them.
J: What is your assessment of the Law Review, published by the law college?
E: I think it is excellent.
J: Now, you submitted several articles yourself, as I understand.
E: I have submitted one that was published twenty-five years ago, I guess.
J: Was there a sense that when you joined the faculty you would be required to
E: Well, it seemed do be a qualification of every faculty member to write and to get
published. I wrote and got published, but I did not do it on that account. I did it
for the purpose of assisting my students and the bar and bench in Florida,
generally. I wrote a small book, which proved to be very popular throughout the
state, called The Dialogue of Jury Trials. There is a copy over there. It is a
very thin book, but it proports to outline trial procedure in the sense of civil and
criminal cases between lawyers and judges. Who does what when, who says
what when, and that sort of thing. That was well received.
J: When was that published?
E: I think it was 1961.
J: So I take it most of the other professors were publishing more frequently than
J: Why was that the case?
E: Well, I suppose they wanted to be known. They wanted to exhibit their vast
J: Were most professors required, to some degree or another, to publish?
E: They were urged. Not required, but urged.
J: Was that part of the tenure requirements?
E: I do not think it was part of the requirements. I think it may have been part of the
consideration as to whether or not somebody should be granted tenure, but, then
again, I am speculating. I did not have anything to do with administration.
J: You really did not. You were in teaching only.
E: I stayed off by myself. I just taught.
J: Did that develop as you were going through the motions of being a professor?
Initially, did you feel that you just wanted to be removed from the administration?
E: I did not want anything to do with administration.
J: Right from the start.
E: This is a very radical doctrine in present-day thinking, but I think it is up to the
dean to run the law school. I think it is up to the dean of any college to run that
particular college, by and with the assistance of people in whom he has
confidence, not by and with the assistance of all of the faculty in the school,
some of whom consist of recent graduates of other institutions. Now, that is
radical doctrine. Of course, that probably resulted from my own experience.
J: You were in view with that doctrine before you ever began over there at the
E: I did not even think of it before I began. This business of wrangling among the
faculty about what I thought were relatively insignificant matters did not appeal to
me a bit.
J: What position were you hired on as?
E: Full professor.
J: Full professor? Was that part of the agreement before you signed the contract?
E: Well, it was not much of an agreement. They just made an offer to me, and I
accepted it. That was the agreement.
J: So whether you ever published or not was not an issue?
J: Is there one particular class of students that did appreciably better than any
E: Do you mean over twenty years?
E: I do not recall. No, I would not say so.
J: Did you enjoy teaching?
E: Very much, indeed.
J: How did it change your lifestyle?
E: Well, it changed my daily routine, of course, in the sense of the need to be at the
law college, but do not think it changed my lifestyle as such at all.
J: Well, you had been in the service for a considerable number of years and had
been a prosecutor. I think that you had moved into a more liberal or more
relaxed atmosphere. That is my inclination.
E: Yes. But it did not change my lifestyle, as such. When I left whatever I was
doing, I got relaxed.
J: You have mellowed with the years?
E: I am sure we all do.
J: Yes. Did you feel that other faculty were as dedicated as you when you were
E: Some were.
J: Was it much of a different experience, teaching rather than being a student? As
you looked out there amongst all those people, could you see yourself twenty or
thirty years before?
E: I do not think so, in that respect. Of course, I had taught briefly at the University
of Miami law school, as I told you the other day. So it was not a totally new
J: How long and how often did you teach down at the University of Miami?
E: I think it was once or twice a week, if I remember correctly, for a period of three
J: What did you teach down there?
E: International law.
J: How many students did you have in your classes down there? Was it a smaller
E: Very much smaller. I suppose fifteen was the limit.
J: Where were most of the students from?
E: They were from Miami. But that meant they were from all over the country.
J: How did the reputation of the University of Miami differ from the reputation of the
University of Florida law college?
E: It did not have much. This was in the early days. This was 1934, 1935, 1936,
J: Now, we are talking about the law college.
E: It was a young, financially poor law college. The whole university was just a
financially poor situation. They did not have any money. This was during the
Depression. The University of Florida College of Law was mature, well
established, well organized, and reasonably well paid, as distinguished from what
I had experienced at Miami in those early years.
J: How well paid were you here at Florida?
E: Quite well paid. Not as well as they are now, but I was quite well paid.
J: Could you expect a raise once a year?
E: Just about.
J: How did that compare with working with the state?
E: Well, I was paid better teaching than I was prosecuting.
J: So that was one of the considerations for making the change?
E: No, it was not a consideration, but it was a pleasant surprise.
J: There was an east wing addition in 1961 to the old law college. What were the
component parts inside that addition?
E: The library upstairs, and the abolition of the old courtroom upstairs. The
auditorium downstairs, arranged in what was intended to resemble a courtroom
as far as the front was concerned. It had a jury box, it had a bench, it had a
platform on which counsel tables were placed, it had a witness box, and it had a
railing and a bar. It was very cramped and not very efficient, but that was the
way that Fenn had organized the auditorium. The rest of the auditorium
consisted of bank after bank of folding seats that were firmly affixed to the floor.
I do not remember how many people it accommodated.
J: It was purposefully built cramped?
E: No, I guess it was purposely built within the budget. But the design, I think, was
done by Fenn. I think it vaguely resembled a courtroom. The present
courtroom in the new building only vaguely resembles a courtroom. I think it is
J: Now, is the new courtroom in Holland Center or over in Bruton-Geer [Hall]?
E: It is over in the new building, and I think it is very poor.
J: Why do you think that is the case?
E: Whoever was in charge of the plans was not very realistic about what courtrooms
look like, and they tried to add classrooms and a few pieces of furniture as an
appendage to make it available as a courtroom. I told them to tell the architects
to go downtown and look at the courtrooms, to follow that as a model. They did
J: You would have rather used the courtrooms downtown?
E: Oh, by all means. They are realistic. The other place was not.
J: Were they using cameras and videotapes, etc.?
E: We used recording equipment, and on a few occasions I used cameras, but they
were not very successful.
J: What happened?
E: Well, it just did not seem to serve the purpose very well.
J: What had the original purpose been?
E: To take pictures of the lawyers and the jurors and the judge during the trial of the
J: To better give them an indication of -
E: What they were doing, or how they were doing it.
J: To point out any problems.
E: The mistakes they were making and good things they did and so forth. But I did
not continue with that. All the cases the testimony, what the judge said, what
the counsel said, and any questions the jurors might have asked me were
recorded. The entire procedure was completely recorded, just like you are
J: How much had the library grown? Did you remember the library when you
returned in 1956 from the old 1929 library? Was there a sense of deja vu?
E: It seems to me it was about the same at that time. I had nothing to do with the
University for many years after I had returned to Gainesville. I went through the
campus from time to time to take advantage of the discount we got at the
bookstore, which has long since been abolished. But I do not suppose I went
into the law college ten times in ten years.
J: Are you pleased with where the law college is going today, the direction of
training our lawyers?
E: I think it has improved a great deal. I really do not know just in what direction it
is going. I think it is going to become more practical, which I think is a very fine
thing and a very necessary thing as far as the bar is concerned. The function of
the law school is to teach thinking legalistically and to teach law, not philosophy.
They should get that over in arts and sciences. I say that with many
reservations, of course, because there is an awful lot of philosophy behind a
great deal of our constitutional thinking and our legislative thinking. But
radicalism and things of that kind and ultraliberalism, in my opinion, have no
place in the law school. I am quite conservative, as you probably know.
J: What do you think the future holds for the legal profession?
E: Probably a very great diminution of the aspect of the law that has to do with the
trial cases -jury trials. I think that is going to become less and less frequent, as
it has in England.
J: What will take its place, or supplant it?
E: Judges and committees. For instance, this question of sanity is a very great
problem. [There will be] ten experts on one side and ten on the other,
diametrically opposed. How is the jury going to make up its mind? The same
thing applies to personal injuries, with experts on one side and contrary experts
on the other side. That should be done away with.
J: Did you share the ideas you are now expressing with me with students when you
E: To a very limited degree. I was teaching Florida law as it was today and federal
law in the sense of evidence. I was not speculating much on the future. Now,
there are some professors out there who spend most of their time in the future.
J: In 1965 the law school made the LL. B. a retroactive J.D. degree.
E: Well, it converted the LL.B.s for those who wanted it into a J.D. degree, and they
issued new "alleged" parchments.
J: Did you participate in that?
E: I did. I paid them my five dollars and got a new piece of paper.
E: I thought it was a good idea because all the law schools in the country were
abandoning the LL.B. and giving J.D.s. If that were the trend, I thought I would
like to join.
J: What is the purpose behind abandoning the LL.B.?
E: It is another equivalent undergraduate degree. It is a bachelor's degree. Law
school is a graduate school, and it should be recognized, paperwise as well as
otherwise, as a graduate school and not an undergraduate school.
J: There were some people that earned the J.D. back in the time that you were in
E: Yes, and that was strictly an academic achievement recognition.
J: Some of those people were quite offended by making it [the LL.B.] a J.D.
E: I would assume so. I have never talked to any of them, but I would assume that
is the case. Jimmy Day was one of them. He was one of those who had
earned the J.D. degree in the old days.
J: What is your feeling about that? Was that fair?
E: I think a distinction should be made. I think, possibly, some change in the name
of the degree recognizing academic achievement should be introduced in some
fashion so as to avoid this confusion. Now, we are all doctors. I was a doctor
because I paid them five dollars.
J: That is a cheap doctor!
E: That is a cheap doctor. There was a change, but just a change of face. That is
J: When you moved into the new building, where was your office located?
E: I had a very large office directly across from what is presently called the
courtroom. It was a classroom with these appendages in front. That is all they
were. The reason I had a large office was because I had many hearings, which
required a considerable amount of seating inside of the office.
J: These were students coming in for the hearing?
E: Well, these were essentially Practice Court people, which consisted usually
anywhere from four to six or seven people, plus me, every time we had a
hearing. They could not crowd into the very tiny office that they have over there
right now. So I was fortunate to enjoy that privilege.
J: Now, I hesitate to ask this, but I want to raise the question again. Did you have
the opportunity to participate or sit in on committees and organizations?
E: Yes, some.
J: What were some of those committees and organizations that you participated in?
E: To a very limited degree.
J: Phi Delta Phi?
E: Phi Delta Phi. That was the legal fraternity.
J: The Law Review?
E: No, I never did. I did not have time.
J: Search committee?
E: No. There would be a limited number on the committee itself, and then we
would all listen to the pros and cons of the people whose names were brought
up. But I was not on the search committee, as such. I took part in a few policy
changes that involved committee consideration and in various personal situations
that required committee investigation and action (or no action) by the faculty.
That is about the extent of it. I was not on many committees. I avoided them.
J: Like the plague. I am curious if there were any incidents that revolved around
the law school and its circles similar to the Getzen Incident, fifty years prior.
E: No, not that I recall. We had no great problems. We had one problem with a
young member of the faculty who refused to take the anticommunist oath. That
provoked an awful lot of meeting and discussion.
J: What was the outcome of that?
E: He, unfortunately, was paid and released.
J: Where did he go?
E: He went to a law school in Detroit, Michigan.
J: He got a job, and everything was fine?
E: He got a job in a law school up there.
J: Who was that?
E: I cannot remember his name. I would know it if you pronounced it.
J: Do you remember George Allen, one of the first blacks to enroll in the law
J: I am going to interview him next week down in Fort Lauderdale, as a matter of
E: Is that where he is now?
J: He suffered a heart attack recently, but he is recovering pretty well.
E: Is that so? Is he the one who was a company commander in Vietnam?
J: I do not know. I have not done any research on him yet.
E: Well, if you see him and if he is the one, say hello to him for me. I found him to
be a good student.
J: He is full of life and vigor.
E: Now, again, I had nothing to do with who was accepted and who was not,
although I was on that committee for one or two years, I think.
J: Virgil Hawkins was another one of the early ones [blacks].
E: Yes, but that was before my time.
J: Did you have George Allen in any of your classes?
E: If he is the one I am thinking of, I did.
J: He had been in the service. I do know that.
E: Well, I think he is the one, and I think I had him both in Civil Procedure and
J: What happened with the law school during the 1960s, that tumultuous time of
change and hippies and all that business?
E: Well, we had our share of outwardly appearing hippies--long hair, dirty clothes,
unshaven, and all that business. They looked liked Russian peasants of the
J: They would come into class that way?
E: Oh, yes. I had an amusing instance happen. He was not a hippie, but this
particular student he is now practicing law here in Gainesville and is a friendly
acquaintance of mine used to wear his hat all the time. He wore it in the
J: Was it a cap like I wear?
E: No, it was a broad-rimmed hat. I came into a class one morning, an 8:00 class,
as I recall it, and mounted the bench. I always lectured standing, of course. I
looked around and saw this chap sitting over there with a hat on. I went down to
him and I said, "Would you mind taking your hat off?" He said, "No," and took it
off. No sooner had I started my lecture when the door opened and another
professor entered the room. He looked at me, and his jaw dropped. I had
mistaken the time and the class. I was trying to teach my subject to his class! I
got out in a hurry, with many apologies.
J: Now, you said that many of these fellows came dressed as if they were in
fifteenth-century Russia, outwardly. Inwardly, how were they? Were they
E: No, they were radical. Not as radical as the people that would run down and get
into parades and line up in front of the courthouses, but radical in the sense that
they were exponents of the antagonisms and hostilities of the day.
J: Were they practical in the sense that they would organize and disrupt a class?
Did anybody do a sit-out or walk-out?
J: You did not have any of that in any of your classes?
E: Not that I recall. I had none in mine.
J: Did that change by the time you had retired?
E: Oh, yes. Most of the radicalism lost everything except the "ism." In other
words, they had grown up. The things had not worked, anyway, so they gave it
up as a lost cause. They became quite serious minded, actually, later on. Well,
I guess they were then, too. They wanted to get put and practice law, but they
certainly threw away generations of tailoring and tooth brushing and shaving and
all of the rest of the things that we had slowly learned to do as semicivilized
J: In your twenty years of teaching, have you noticed any lines of demarcation that
note the shifts in social attitudes?
E: This shift into the radical years in the 1960s was one, and then the shift out of it
was very perceptible.
J: When would you place those time barriers?
E: I could not place them with any degree of accuracy.
J: Once you moved out of that, were there any other changes?
E: I do not think so. Most of them were very serious-minded people. They spent
their money, and they wanted to get out.
J: Do you think that some of these students were studying law more for the financial
rewards than what you had been looking for when you were studying law?
E: Oh, yes. Well, we all were. That is the way we wanted to make a living.
J: Was law any more lucrative of a profession in 1929 when you graduated than in
1956 when you began teaching?
E: About 1,400 percent.
J: About 1,400 percent?
E: I say that for this reason. I was one of the lucky ones in my class to get a job.
That job paid me $100 a month. Later on, when I went to Miami, I was getting
$35 a week, if I got it. They were getting $1,000, $1,200, and in some instances
J: In 1956?
E: No, not in 1956. Salaries were probably $10,000 a year for the people who met
the requirements of the firms that are recruiting. But now, Lord knows what it is.
I think it is $15,000 or $16,000, just to start! They do not know a damn thing
from a practical standpoint. These novice lawyers are just dead weight, as far
as the office that hires them is concerned, for some considerable time.
J: When did that increase really take hold?
E: I would say in the 1970s.
J: So you did not see any real increases, large sums of money, in what lawyers
were being paid during the 1930s, even in the late 1930s?
E: Well, you see, the 1930s was the period of the Depression.
J: The case between Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Zelma Cason, where Sigsbee
Scruggs argued for the defense, did not pay him the kind of money that it could
pay him today, then, proportionately.
E: Well, he made a statement one time at a bar association meeting that, contrary
to popular belief, the largest fee he ever collected was $1,500. I did not believe
him, but that is what he said. He was not a big fee charger. I know that, but I
do not know whether $1,500 was the limit. He was a very busy lawyer. He
represented a lot of people, many of whom had no money. He was very
effective as a country lawyer before country juries.
J: Today, how would he do?
E: He would do very well with the same kind of people. He was very persuasive,
very explosive, very humorous. He was a very good trial lawyer for that type of
case in this type of atmosphere.
J: Let us talk a little bit more about your teaching. How popular do you feel you
were with the students?
E: Well, I will show you a book that has about two hundred fifty letters that students
submitted when I retired. They were bound, thanks to [Dean Joseph R.] Julin,
and presented to me. I would say I was very popular.
J: Did you enjoy being with the students?
E: Yes, I enjoyed being being with them, particularly in the practice court. That was
my largest contact with them.
J: Did you feel that they liked you as a judge?
E: Oh, yes.
J: You felt like you were a good teacher?
E: I was one of them.
J: You were one of them. How more busy was your law-teaching day than what
TeSelle would have had to do?
E: I do not think TeSelle had to do much; I do not think he did much. He used a
case book and spent a lot of time arguing with students over questions that he
posed. [William C.] Bill O'Neal [class of 1949] here in town said he used to keep
him standing all during the fifty minutes of the class. He made everybody stand
J: TeSelle did?
E: Yes, when they recited or were being questioned by him. He had a good
reputation as a teacher. He was tough, tough as hell, and sarcastic, biting. But
I think that was on the surface. I think he was a very humanistic man, actually.
J: How busy were you?
E: I was as busy as I could be. I spent a lot of time preparing my lectures. I wrote
a book on the subject of civil procedure, which I loaned to a faculty member who
succeeded in losing it. I had no copies. I spent hours and hours and hours
preparing for the respective courses. As we proceeded through the course,
through its various steps, I adopted a procedure of preparing what you might call
lesson plans and various procedural outlines, which I would have mimeographed
and distributed to each student. The lesson plan might consist of fifty questions:
"Can a child testify?" I would not give the answer, but I would cite the [U.S.]
Supreme Court decision that said he either could or could not, under what
circumstances. That is when we would be discussing qualifications of
witnesses. I would tell my students, "Now, the final examination, as far as the
first fifty questions are concerned yes or no questions are going to come out
of these lesson plans that I give you, so it is up to you to look up the cases and
get the answers so you will be in a position to answer the questions properly." I
used the same questions over and over and over again, but I frequently changed
them so the answer would be diametrically opposed to the one that was in the
examination the year before.
J: Why did you retire?
E: It was compulsory. That state required it at that time.
J: Did you want to retire?
E: No. Well, yes and no. I was beginning to feel like I would like to, but I was
prepared to go right ahead. I could have gone on. I could teach right now, I
believe. Anyway, the statute at that time was that all state employees had to
retire at age seventy. I became seventy in 1975, I guess it was, so I was
prepared to retire at that time. But [Robert B.] Bob Mautz [Regent's Professor of
Law and Higher Education, University of Florida College of Law] who was in
Tallahassee, apparently at somebody else's instance, had ruled, which was
acknowledged and honored, that anyone who attained age seventy during a
teaching period could continue until that period had been completed. I was
teaching courses during that time, so I continued over until the following June. I
was seventy-one at that time. But then I had to retire under the existing law as
interpreted by everybody. Shortly thereafter, of course, the legislature abolished
the law, and I could be teaching right now.
J: Do you want to go back to teaching?
J: What happened? You sound like a ball of fire. You have lived a long and
successful life. I am wondering why you do not want to go back to teaching.
E: Well, in the first place, I will be eighty next July, and that is a little too old.
Second, I have lost touch with the law, in the sense of these specific courses.
Third, Practice Court would be too much of a physical and nervous strain. I
spent hundreds of hours on that subject, that course. In addition to the actual
trial itself, the physical and mental wear and tear would probably be too much.
J: Have you considered part-time teaching?
E: No, I have not, really, because I have not been asked. The same thing would
apply to that. If I were asked to teach Evidence part-time, I would have to go
back over the last ten to twelve years and read all the supreme court decisions
and all the rule changes to bring the whole thing up to date. I do not want to do
J: I can imagine.
E: I draw up a few wills now and then and answer a few questions now and then. I
give a few opinions, and that is the extent of my connection with the law. My
son is in a practice here and is very active. I draw a contract now and then, but I
do not have a secretary. I do not have the office equipment and all the things
that you should have. I am still a member of the bar and will always be.
J: That is something I wanted to ask you about. How did you and how did students
you were teaching to be lawyers feel about having to take that bar examination
instead of having the diploma privilege?
E: Well, I do not know because the bar examination situation was introduced long
before I ever joined the law faculty, I believe.
J: I thought it was in the mid 1950s, because I find no evidence of it in the 1940s or
the 1930s. I think it was about 1952 or 1953.
E: Well, you see, I did not join the faculty until 1956, so I do not know what the
reaction was. I assume that they were very disappointed. The bar examination
is pretty tough.
J: I am sure it is.
E: We had a lot of losses. There were a lot of people who did not pass it. I do not
know what the percentage was. I think it has improved a great deal, and I think
the difficulty of the bar exam has been decreased.
J: They made a compromise, then. Did you consider part-time teaching, or could
you have taught part-time?
E: I could have probably in 1947, 1948, and 1949, but I did not.
J: It sounds to me that you would have continued teaching in 1976 if you had been
E: Yes, I would have. My idea of retiring was not rigid at that time, by any means.
I just knew that I had to, so I did.
J: Do you feel remorseful over that? Do you have any reason to be upset or bitter?
E: No, I do not think so.
J: Tell me what do you do today. What is a normal day in your life?
E: I have some property, some apartments, that I manage myself. As I say,
occasionally I will draw a will or something of that sort, but managing this
property is pretty much a full-time operation. It is a little business, is really what
it is. I try to do a good job of it. As with all properties, it involves a large amount
of electrical and plumbing service and all the rest of it to take care of what
happens, and that is very time consuming. I also have a place on a lake in
Putnam County that I rent. Of course, that requires a good deal of attention. I
have to go down there tomorrow and change the chemical in a filter that filters
out the iron from the deep well that I have. It takes three or four hours to do
J: You are very healthy and in excellent shape for your age.
E: Yes, I think so. One morning about two months ago I woke up with a very sharp
pain in the right side, and I thought oh, oh! The appendix has finally gotten me!
I managed to get to the VA [hospital] that day, I think, and they said, "What you
have is a stone in your kidney." I said, "Oh, my Lord." But the pain had
decreased a good deal, and within a matter of days it passed. I kept in touch
with the doctor. He had me take another X-ray, and do you know what? They
had the gall to tell me I had gall stones. I have to go back in March and
probably have an operation to get the gall stones out of there.
Other than that, though, I am in pretty good shape. Except for my eyes.
My eyes are very poor. I am suffering from what is know as disintegration of the
retina, which first started several years ago. I read with a magnifying glass, and
my distance vision is quite good, but close up it is not good. Well, when this
news was communicated to me I was in the eye doctor's office. He told me what
I was suffering from, but I misunderstood him. I thought he said I was suffering
from a disintergration of the rectum! I said, "Doc, how in the hell can you tell me
about my rectum by looking at my eyes?" Well, I did not say that, actually, but it
makes a good story. But I found out that what he was talking about was a
disintegration of the retina! I tell that to some of my friends and get the reaction I
got from you.
J: That is funny. What do you do to keep yourself in such good health?
E: I am physically active. I do not take exercises, I do not run, I do not do things
like that, but I am very active physically.
J: Are you careful about what you eat?
E: No. Just get enough, that is all.
J: Do you take vitamins?
E: No, no. I take aspirin now because I have tendinitis, I think, in my right arm.
J: So you lead a perfectly normal, healthy life without taking any extra precautions.
E: I do not take anything. Normally, I take four aspirin a year, not on schedule.
Now I am taking about three a day because of this pain in my arm.
J: What do you see for yourself in the future?
J: Is it impending?
E: No, no.
J: You have certainly lived a long life.
E: My father died at seventy-four and my mother at eighty. His father, my
grandfather, died at ninety-two. Of course, my father had diabetes and cancer
of the larynx. He was a very powerful man mentally and physically, and
voicewise. He was a tremendous speaker, an orator, really. I have seen him
make people cry and laugh all within one hour. Anyway, unless I contract some
serious illness, why, I will probably just be like General McArthur: I will just fade
J: You have a history of long life in your family.
E: Partly. My other grandfather died when he was sixty-five, and my grandmother
died about the same age. My grandmother on my father's side died in her
sixties, I guess. I do not remember. I did not know her. They were in Sweden.
J: Well, on behalf of the College of Law, I want to thank you for taking your time to
share with me.
E: Well, I hope I have not talked too much for you. I did not know exactly what
you wanted, and I do not know what you are going to do with this. What are you
going to do with it?
J: It is stored away in our files.
E: Where it will remain for the next thirty or forty years. Well, I would like to take
some time and talk about my father. This is probably not within what you are
charged to do, but I would like to do this and have his history preserved
somewhere in the University, which it is not. He was one of the outstanding
members of the faculty in his day. See if you can arrange that.
J: I will talk with Dr. Sam Proctor coordinatoro, Oral History Project, University of
E: He may have known him.
J: We talked a good bit about the basic biography of your father, but in terms of
exactly what he was all about, I think we could touch base more on that subject.
E: Yes. There are still a few people left that remember him who would be very
appreciative of talking about his life and his contributions.
J: Are there people that are familiar with him in town?
J: Who are some of those people?
E: Erwin Clayton [class of 1924] would be one of them. He was his assistant for a
while. A man by the name of [Elmer D.] Hinckley, who is pretty well
incapacitated but whose mind is very clear, was his assistant for a long time. He
was the one who took over psychology when my father split the department. He
would be a very fine source.
J: He is incapacitated physically?
E: Yes. He has a hip condition that almost totally interferes with his walking. He
manages to get around the house, but that is about all. His mind is perfectly
clear. He himself is a very outstanding former member of the faculty. I think he
is listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in
everything. He is very proud of it. He is very egocentric. He is the
number-one man in his life. But he knows a lot about my father from an
J: That is important.
E: This man was an outstanding student at the University, and father had a lot to do
with his going to the University of Chicago to get into psychology. He then came
back as an assistant professor and ultimately took over the psychology
J: Do you think there was any conflict in separating philosophy and psychology?
E: No, my father just wanted to get rid of psychology. He was not very interested in
J: So he was nurturing this relationship.
E: Well, now, whether he had that in mind when he started I do not know. But after
Hinckley came back and proved to be very confident and vitally interested, father
said, "Well, now you take it over." He developed it into a very large department.
J: It has its own building today.
E: Oh, yes. It has grown extensively.
J: Who else in town had a close connection to the time with your father?
E: A few faculty members would still remember him. Every time I go to one of
these alumni things I run into old graduates that studied under him. There is a
man here in town who has become a sort of a honorary assistant curator of the
museum, a former lawyer who has made a lot money.
J: [William M.] Goza [class of 1941].
E: He knew him. Every time I see him, he usually talks about him.
J: Your father was teaching through 1942.
E: 1943, I think. I was overseas for three and a half years, and he retired during
J: There is a good number of people that I have talked with that possibly had him in
E: Very likely.
J: They may not necessarily know much about him administratively, but in terms of
E: Well, I do not think he did much administratively. I mean, he administered his
department, and that is it. He was considered for the presidency [of the
University of Florida] at one time, I think. He wanted no part of it.
J: That must have been during the transition from [Albert A.] Murphree to [John J.]
E: No, that was long before that. That was after Dr. Murphree died, while they
were searching for a president. There was no great movement about it, but
there were many people who thought he would be a good president. He did not
have the slightest ambition. He did not even want to talk about that.
J: How interesting.
E: He was totally disinterested.
J: Where was his office located?
E: In Peabody Hall. As you go up the steps from the outside, his office was
immediately on the right. He had two rooms, I think. His classroom was at the
end of that hall.
J: He was a fine orator, you say?
E: Oh, magnificent.
J: Was he a good teacher?
E: Excellent. John A. Murphree [son of President Albert A. Murphree], who
probably will not even remember him now, he was one of his students.
J: Was your father brought in as the director of the department of philosophy and
E: It was not a directorship. You see, the University had only about 3,000 students
in those days. The school was relatively small. I remember very distinctly the
day when we used to have to go to chapel. It was mandatory for freshman and
sophomores. When the freshman arrived they did not know it was mandatory,
and the sophomores sold them chapel tickets for twenty-five cents or something
like that. There is a new building that was built that is the present women's
gymnasium. Chapel was held in the other floor of the gymnasium. Long
wooden benches were placed across the room that accommodated the whole
freshmen and sophomore classes. I distinctly remember the day, although I do
not remember what year it was. I think it was 1924 or 1925. Dr. Murphree got
up and announced with a great deal of pride that we now have 1,000 students
enrolled at the University of Florida.
J: Mr. Enwall, I have enjoyed talking with you.
E: I have enjoyed it, too.
[End of the interview]