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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Interviewer: M. Hansinger
Interviewee: Mrs. Minnie L. Lindsey
Date: March 13, 1975
Location: Lake City, FL
H: five.... March 13, 1975 in the Tanglewood Nursing Home in Lake City and Mrs.
Lindsey is here with us and her daughter and son-in-law, Mr..and Mrs. Duncan
and Mrs. Lindsey, we have, we've just started now. Let me ask you when you were
L: April 25, -t2 \o88O
H: Yes, ma'ln, and at what place?
L: I was born near Branford.
H: And who was your daddy?
H: Uh huh. And where was your daddy from?
L: He was from Albany, Georgia. He was borned in Albany, Georgia.
H: Alright, ma'am, and when did he come to Branford, Florida?
L: I don't....
H: And you reckon when -- I don't mean the date exactly, but just some general idea
about the time.
L: I don't know. That was before my time and I don't know.
H: And where was your mama from?
L: She was from Lake City, near Lake City, very near. She was born near there.
H: And what was her full name?
L: Louisa Irene Stocks was her maiden name.
H: Was that....
L: Louisa Irene.
H: Louisa Irene. Uh uh. And would have any idea of when it was your mama and daddy
L: No, I don't know. I didn't have t4e4-r days. I don't know.
H: Uh huh. Yeah, well it's a natural thing. A person don't, might or might not know
when they both were bocr- were married. How many brothers and sisters
did you have?
L: There was eleven of us children.
H: And where were you in that series?
L: Well, I was the fourth one.
H: Fourth one born. 2
L: Two brothers and one sister, both of them -
H: Well, then he had a time looking after those youngsters, too, as ya'll came along,
H: And what did your daddy do during those years?
L: He was a farmer. He was a cotton grower.
L: It was right after the war, you know.
L: And he grew cotton and corn and peanuts and just a regular farmer.
H: Yes. Now, was there something special about this cotton? Was it long staple?
H: Uhlhuh. And did it do pretty well?
L: Yes, it done pretty well.
H: Uh huh. And when did you lose your daddy?
L: In '43.
H: And now tell us about your husband. When did you meet him?
L: Well, I don't know. I don't remember when I met him.
L: Well, my first husband, I went to school with him. He was right close by. But
my second husband was an old man when I married him.
H: How old were you when you married? it',rr\i"C,,. e- firl -nc P
H: And how old was he?
L: He was about sixty.
H: I see. Well, tell us about....
L: That's the oldest child that one there.
H: From your second marriage?
L: Yeah, from the second marriage.
H: Did you have any children with the first marriage?
L: I had one daughter and she died. She was living inAin Gilchrist county)at Bell.
H: I see, at Bell. Now, well, what was your first husband's name?
L: J&e6e-G4eotm efeSS e C sk-E-,
H: And where was he from?
L: He was from right there close to where we lived. That's from, I don't know....
D: It was right near Alachua.
H: Near Alachua?
H: You mean Alachua county, then? Near what town was that?
D: Branford. Just across the Santa Fe River.
H: Just across the Santa Fe River. Uh/huh. Well, now, this cotton that your daddy
raised, where would he have it ginned?
L: He'd have it ginned at High Springs.
H: Uhjhuh. And where did they, how did he get it to the gin? How did he haul it?
L: Oh, in wagons.
H: Did ya'll use horses or mules or what?
L: Yeah. Horses, mules, yeah.
H: How about oxen in those days? Did anybody in this part of the country use oxen for
cM^\- 7p tM 0 F
L: No. No. My grandfather, I just thn remembered when he had his -few-oxen.
don't know what years kXJ
H: Well, now about your husband, this is Mr. Lindsey. What was his full name?
L: William Crawford Lindsey.
H: Uh huh. And where was he born?
L: I don't know.
D: Montgomery, Alabama.
H: Mrs. Duncan says he was born in Montgomery and do you know what year, Mrs. Duncan?
-D: Uh uh. 1849.
H: In eighteen....
-D: August 19, 1849.
H: And where did he go into service, Mrs. Lindsey in the Confederate service?
L: I don't know. He didn't go in the service. He-t .redmutL -nd gathered beef
cattle. Then he looked after widows and children. He was a boy and he wasn't
old enough to fight so he gathered beef cattle and gathered food for the widows
H: Uh huh. And where was this during the war, when he was doing this? He was just
a boy during the war years, like fifteen or sixteen years old.
L: Out here, out here close to Lulu, close to Lake Butler.
H: Close to Lake Butler.
H: So he helped drive cows...
H: ...and where would they drive them to?
L: I don't know. I just heard them say they drove cattle for TZ-7 LEFS 7 )
H: In those days, Mrs. Lindsey, where would, when they'd go south to sell and all,
where would they drive them to? Did they drive them to Jacksonville or Palatka or
H:. Let's see, would they have a steam, was it a, would the mill run it or did they
have a steam plant?
D: At first they ran it with a big engine, gasoline engine later.
H: They ran it by water and had a gas engine later. When did the cotton farming play
out around Bell?
L: When the boll weevil got so bad.
H: When the boll weevil got so bad. That'd be about in the 1920s I expect.
L: Yeah, I expect so.
H: A few years after the first war was over.
H: Uh huh, the....
L: The boll weevils....
L: ...got so bad till the farmers quit doing it.
D: Then they grew watermelons, mama.
H: And then switched to watermelons. Well, would the men folks kind of help out with
fishing and deer once in a while, maybe, or rabbits or such as that?
L: Yes, they helped out a whole lot with it.
H: Man would rather hunt than farm anyway, wouldn't he?
L: Yeah, I think so.
H: Uh huh. Well, what, let's think back about your husband, Mr. Lindsey. Where was his
mama and daddy from?
L: I don't know.
H: Uh huh. And you don't know, do you know why they came to Florida?
L: No, I don't. It was fresh territory, you know, after the war and a lot of people'd
come down here to, to be moving.
-Ol VT I-\ '.'^\
H: Well, that's mighty interesting. Let's talk some more about that.
L: Well, I don't know if I can give you any light on it. CPG(- __ e_]
H: Well, Mrs. Lindsey, what would they do when they first came, let's say?
L: They'd go to work and build them a field...
H: Uh huh.
L: ...and plow it.
Di First they had to...
D: ...laindas t their property, mama, the land.
H: First had to homestead it.
H: And how were they travelling mostly when they came in? ?
L: Wagon andAhorse, horse and wagon.
H: Usually horse and wagon. Not much by railroad.
H: And in this part of the -country they wouldn't travel by boat because there wasn't
much steamR SE )U \C- Where would it be, on the Suwannee?
D: Q i- P_- after they went down there. He moved down there in 18--, 1890,
wasn't it, 1888 or '90?
H: is this Mrs. Lindsey's daddy or her husband?
D: Her husband.
H: Moved to Bell in about 1890.
H: Oh, 1880,.uh huh. Well, when he came down into Bell, then where was he from? Wher
did he move from?
D: From between Lake Butler and Maclenny, out in that area.
H: From between Lake Butler and Maclenny, so he came to take up newer land further
south that was more open.
D: He was interested in cows and he wanted a big pasture. She said a hundred acres;
it was a thousand acres in that pasture and it cornered in Jack Springs, that's
H: Had a thousand-acre pasture, not a hundred-acre and it cornered in Jack Springs
which is just fine nowadays, uh huh.
D: And they built rails, split rails and built a fence. You can tell him about that,
mama, how we used to clean that rail fence.
L: Yeah, we used to clean that rail fence.
H: That's when you were a girl.
H: You mean go am the fence and hoe it and then weed it out.
L: Yeah. All the weeds and bushes on the fence to keep it from burning up.
H: Uh huh, uh huh. Well, that's mighty hard work and you've got to watch out for
H: Well, tell me, think back now when you were a girl, back Mrs. Lindsey, even before you
married the first time. I think what young people nowadays would like to know about
is what were the, what were the biggest problems that folks had.
L: Well, I don't know.
H: Let's say you're a young woman, about time you're going to get married. What is the
L: Well, we had pebbewA and I don't know.
H: Where did ya'll go to school?
L: Out in the country, little country school, one-teacher school.
H: Uh huh. And,, ,
L: That's the only school I ever went to was a one-teacher school.
H: And how many grades would they have?
L: They'd have t+wwoghAthe eighth.
H: Through the eighth. Then if you wanted to go on to high school, where would you go?
L: You'd go to Bran...., to Gainesville or Newberry or somewhere to some town.
H: Have to go board there, wouldn't you?
D: Fort White had one of them.
H: Fort White had one, you say?
D: I think so.
H: A highschool boarding school? Because there wouldn't be enough....
D: Well, they all had people live around whe.e they'd go stay with them at school.
H: They boarded with the local folks when they went to the school. How about doctors?
L: Oh, they was doctors in the towns. They'd come, come over here; they were good
doctors from Ellisville.
H: Ellisville, uh huh.
L: Uhhuh. Good doctors. There wasn't many people lived over there then.
H: Well, let's think back now, going back to this Battle of Olustee and your husband
broke his leg when that, when those mules bumped him off against the tree there
on the wagon and what happened to him next.
D: He went to the hospital, the V.A. hospital.
H: Say that again, now. He was laid up, go ahead, tell me.
L: He was laid up a long time with his broken leg.
H: Yes, ma'am and then what, what happened after his leg got better?
L: He stayed at home there with his mother and....
H: Where did they live then? Where were they living?
L: They were living there close to Lake Butler.
H: Uhlhuh. Close to Lake Butler in Bradford, what Bradford county?
H: Now, Mrs. Duncan, you were telling us a few minutes ago, what is your full name,
D: Elly Louise Duncan.
H: Elly Louise....
D: Annie.... A-N-N-I-E.
H: Louise Annie Duncan.
D: No, Annie Louise.
H: Sorry. Now we have it: Annie Louise Duncan. Tell us what you know about what
happened picking up Mrs. Lindsey's story, what happened to your father after the....
D: Well, he had an uncle, Joh Proctor,ho lived over there by them and he was a
doctor and he came and talked to them and told them not to take his leg off and so
he took daddy to his mother's.
H: Whwle mother r ?
D: Daddy's mother.
H: I see, uh huh.
D: And she took his, her brother, Uncle John's books that he had studied for studying for
the doctor degree or whatever and he and she kept his leg and he was eighty-three
when he died and he took it to his grave with him.
H: So they had wanted to cut off his leg but everybody resisted and they patched him up
at the hospital some and then cared for him at home and studied out of tam medical
book and did he have the full use of his leg for this rest of his life?
L: Yeah. He plowed and made a crop till he was seventy-five years old.
H: Mrs. Lindsey says that he plowed and made a crop till he was seventy-five. That would
be back there around Bell.
L: Yeah, and with the children's help.
H: And with the children's help, uh huh. Well, now, let's go back to this Battle of
Olustee, Mrs. Duncan, and let's see if you can recall any of the talk about just what
these people did around Alligator. Now here we have this place at Olustee and we
have these soldiers that have gotten together and we have this terrible fight and
H: all of the sudden in one day here are these men who are dead and wounded and all over
the place. Can you recall what these people did? How they handled it?
D: Well, they brought them to Lake City to this V.A. hospital -- that was Alligator
which it was then -- because....
H: To the Confederate military hospital.
D: It was....
H: Well, was it a regular hospital?
D: It was a V.A. hospital, the way he described it.
H: Uh huh. Well, what he meant was a military hospital. Well, okay.
H: So then?
D: Now, of course this was Alligator, which is Lake City, where we are now...
D: ...and it was down on Lake Desotj( where they, where it happened, where the horses
ran away with him.
H: On Lake Desotr. Where is Lake Desoti.
D: It's uptown in Lake City, now, next to the post office.
H: Uptown next to the post office. So he wasn't all that far from the hospital, then,
when it happened.
D: No. That's the reason they took him right on.
H: But they had the battle, you tell me, the same day, and of course they must have been
carrying the victims of the battle back into town the next....
D: That's right. They would haul sugar cane or beef or whatever they out there and then
bring the hurt soldiers back to the hospital.
H: Bring the hurt soldiers back. Well, what I'm trying to get at is conditions were
normal until they had the battle, but then when they had the battle, directly you have
all of these hundreds of people who were dead and you had these hundreds of people who
were wounded and who took care of them?
D: The boys who were home guards which is the forerunner of the national guard and that's
what daddy was, -He was a member of the home guardcgjd he was sixteen, fifteen, six-
teen years old. I don't remember just what calender year he was....
H: Well, when was his birthday?
H: August 19 and born in '49, so in the Battle of Olustee was in 1864, as I recall, so
he was fifteen.
D: But he was a big, strong fellow.
H: Uh huh.
D: Most of all,~he had a brother, Jim Lindsey, and that's what I thought she was going to
bring out while ago, but Uncle Jim wasn't as big as daddy and course he was a year
younger. He was born in May, May 19. I think it was '40, '51 maybe.
H: '58, '48.
D: Well, Daddy was born in '49 and he was a year, year and a half older than Uncle Jim
so that would make him....
H: Born in 1850 or '51. You're right, yes, uh huh.
D: And then the, his daddy, daddy's daddy, James/he died in Montgomery on the way down.
All this group of people got together up near, in South Carolina and were coming down
H: How were they, how were they moving?
D: By horse, horse and wagon.
H: Uh)huh. Carried their stock with them, extra cows and so on and had all of their
household goods and beds and all such as that all packed in the wagons.
D: It was just like when they went west, you know, how there's different people made
special wagons and covers and so forth.
H: And where would they stay at nights on they way?
D: Sleep around the wagons...
H: Just camp out, uhihuh.
D: .!..just camp out, uhlhuh. Then in Montgomery, Alabama his daddy died and this....
H: Who? Mr., your daddy?
D: My daddy's daddy, my grandaddy...
H: Died in Montgomery on the way down.
D: ...died in Montgomery on the way down.
H: How old a man would he have been then?
D: I'm really not sure, but I'd say around fifty, fifty-five.
H: Still a young man.
D: Still a young man.
H: And what did he die of?
D: I don't really know.
H: So how did they, how did they do? How did the families do then?
D: Well, the only thing it, that daddy and daddy's mother could do was wait, you know,
because naturally he was sick for a little while and then died and they buried him
and then she and her part of the train came on down and she married, I believe, it
was over here close to Lake Butler and she married a Jeamsn and they were....
H: And what year was, what year was it when Uncle Jim died?
D: It was my grandaddy.
H: Your grandaddy, yes. Excuse me.
D: I don't really know. They were on their way down and tday was up, there was just the
two children, so it must have been in '52 or '-3.
H: 1852 or 1853, uh huh.
D: And they came on down and she remarried and/pne boy and two girls, John Jameson and
--we always called her Awy -- her name was Mariah, I believe, and then Aunt Molly.
H: This is your grandma.
D: No these were ,,\ftY T S half-sister and brother, half-sisters and brother.
H: I see. Uh huh.
D: And then what I think would be an interesting thing would be when Any got up big
enough to get married she was possibly sixteen or eighteen years old and she
married aMnsel 2
H: Now this one you're calling "auntie" is the half-sister.
D: It was daddy's half-sister.
H; ^oo Vrp- b/' k-^U-S ier -
H: Well, let's guess when she was sixteen then, what year that might have been.
L: Well, it must have been when my....
D: Fifty-three or four, 1853 or 1854 because she married, grandma married right after
they got over here.
H: So they were born in '53 or '54 and this is, she's sixteen years old so it's just
about 1870, maybe.
L: Somewhere along there, uh huh.
V'; P lOEf^e(rLS P-$rLT7Ce ty\(?.
D: And this man was a very mean man.
H: Mr. Sapp.
D: Mr. Sapp.
H: Uh huh.
D: He had peach trees. Now they had been around long enough to grow peach trees big
enough to eat peaches off of it, but that was something kindly interesting. That
was in the neighborhood.
D: And of course daddy and his mother had some trees.
D: And when Mr. Sapp would get mad with her, why he'd go out and get a peach tree limb
and beat her.
D: And when he'd take her back and she'd stay till she got to feeling better and then
he'd come and get her, so that went on two or three times and then they wouldn't let
her go home to him anymore, daddy and Uncle Jim, cause they were big boys then and he
came back and killed grandmother. Shot her with a .94 buckshot. Set the kitchen on
fire. You remember hbw they used to have a house and then the kitchen was off to
H: Where it wouldn't burn the whole place down if the stove got fire, huh?
D: And she ran out see what was going on out there and he set the kitchen afire.
H: And then he shot her?
D: And then he shot her, because she saw him, you know. So they put out word in the
community. They didn't, I mean daddy and his mother and them didn't ever see him
anymore, see Sapp anymore. But they put out word in the community. Now, if you
ever come back, we'll do something to do you. If you just stay out of they way,
then you're alright, so, they never did see him anymore.
H: So he never got tried and they never did see him,
D: I don't know if they had any way of trying other than....
L: They said that...
H: They had to catch him first, huh?
L: They said that....
H: Yes, ma'am.
L: They said that his mother, she didn't die instantly. She lingered on.
L: And said that she told them not to do anything to him that he'd get his reward and
so they let him go.
H: I see. Where, when you married Mr. Lindsey, where did ya'll go to church.
L: Midway, out there close to where we lived.
H: Out there close to Lake Butler?
D: No. They, daddy moved in 1870 from over around Lake Butler hunting pasture land
H: Oh, yeah.
D: And he moved on down close to Hart Springs and he always wanted all the men that
joined him and everybody's land around. Of course)at that time there wasn't anyboc
paying it. They all homesteaded it and then added to it, so he had twelve or fiftE
hundred acres there and he put/all of it in a pasture and he had cows and back dowr
there close to Jack Springs I'm sure that it's there now, but there are rows like
they used to plant on. Well, when they left Lake Butler where it was so damp and
D: why then, when they went down there they didn't know that the land wasn't going to
be dry unless they could plow it.
H: I see.
D: So they plantedfto begin with on these beds and these old beds are still down there.
H: Down there near Jack Springs?
D: Near Jack Springs.
H: And who's living on the place now?
D: Bob Lindsey.
H: Bob Lindsey and is he your....
D: He's, his name's Robert, Robert L. Lindsey. He's a nephew.
H: Of yours.
D: And then another nephew, Edwin, owns the place where we used to live.
H: I see.
D: So Bob has 1250 acres down there and cows and Brahmas and what was the other kind?
D's husband: Angus.
D: Angus, Angus cows. He followed along in daddy's footsteps, so cows and pasture.
H: N(that's his nephew.
D: No. That's daddy's grandson; my nephew.
H: Oh, I see. Your daddy's grandson. Well, and who did he inherit the place from?
D: Well, he bought it.
D: Well, there was most of it was N ______and then, of course, there was
some of it that other people had bought. Nannie Bryant had a land down there. The
Bryants had, the RuLt&rs really was the ones that owned that and Nannie was a-Rttjgers,
H: Yes. Now in those old days of growing cotton in this part of Florida where there
weren't very many people on a place the size of your daddy's, how many acres would
he have planted up in cotton?
D: Well, possibly....
L: He had sixty acres, fifty and sixty acres.
D: Now, you'retalking about your daddy and not my daddy.
D: But my daddy didn't have that much.
L: No, he didn't. Grandpa....
D: Fifteen to twenty acres would be his. But her daddy, now, would have fifty and sixty
at a time.
H: .P\ (c7- This is Lake Butler.
D: No, this is Branford. See, Lake Butler is my daddy's.
H: Well, before he went to Jack Springs.
D: Uh huh.
H: But did he raise cotton over at, over in Gilchrist county there at Jack Springs?
D: Yes. Uh huh.
H: And he would have like fifteen to twenty acres in a patch. Uh huh.
D: Fifteen or twenty acres. And he always had a sharecropper or a hired hand to help
us with it.
H: Uhhuh. \ V3- A I
H: Uh huh. \ v3______ ^ Cause it takes so much hand work to plant and to weed it
and to pick it.
D: Pick it, yeah.
STCplG COVtO3 * "
D's h: That long SA-ee ut,/] 44
H: S__ __i__ __
D's h: -A-\ rO GfC V3 \ .V)'C-\r)
H: Well, and then ya'll had this help, this sharecropping help to pick it and weed it
and all like that during the summer.
D: My daddy spent his time, all that he could, gathering cows. He used to raise his
cows in the swamp and get them and put them in the pasture and they'd get out and go
on further down the river and especially when the river'd come up, he had to go out
D: and see about them because they'd get in bogs.
H: Plus, there was no fencing in those days.
D: No. Bob Lindsey has his all fenced so he's doing alright with his. But daddy had a
cow whip and he could sit up on top of, him seventy-five and eighty years old, sit
on a horse and crack that cow whip, you know, and he never though-anything about it.
He'd just always done it.
H: He was riding stock when he was seventy-five and eighty years old and....
D: He made a crop when he was eighty years old.
H: A crop of what?
D: Well, he had some corn and beans and peanuts and watermelons.
H: Made it himself.
D: Well, with us helping him.
H: That's wonderful. Well, how about marketing back in the old days?
D: Well, we didn't have much to market, because if you had enough corn and hay, fodder
to take care of your stock, you was doing mighty well.
H: Uh huh.
D: Of course, we always had so much pasture land, too. That helped with the stock.
H: Of course, that was rough pasture, too.
D: Oh, yeah.
H: Ya'll were just running a few head on wire grass and piney woods.
D: We had wire grass and uh huh, pretty naturally, uh huh.
H: Uh huh.
D: And I thought of something else about the &torm,
H: Go ahead.
D: You know, when daddy moved down to Gilchrist county, of course that's where he and
mama married, that was him and his first family and there was a lots of pine trees,
big pine trees. He said you could lay down in the wagon and ride along and you wouldn't
see the sun, the tops of them were so thick up there.
D: And in 1896 they had a storm.
H: Oh, yes.
D: And that storm just came and knocked, laid the trees in every way and, of course,
everybody was interested in their neighbor and how they were and so frth and some of
them came through that storm to daddy's house. One of his daughters just married and
she came home through that storm and other people went to see about the different
ones, but the treeswere, they were just piled on top of teach other and in our house,
they had a big hallway through it and the oldest half-brother, Larkin Lindsey, was
coming out of the kitchen and the wind just picked him up and took him through that
hall and he thought, "Well, I'll stop myself here." His heels would hit the side of
the walls on either side and it twisted him around there and there was a big orange
tree out the front gate and he landed in that orange tree. Otherwise you don't know
where he might have gone.
H: I declare. Well, that must have been a hurricane.
D: It was a hurricane.
H: Uh huh.
D: t-T~ y CRAY~ -- R S -
H: Well, I think there was a Mr. Roberts out there near Bell, somewhere near Bell who was
telling us about a storm like that and all of the big timber down and the way he said
it, he said you could've walked to Cedar Key on these pines that were down. I just
don't know that that's exactly literally so, but you get the idea the countryside was
D: It was laid flat and they were piled oeaeach other.
H: Uh huh.
D: And they wondered how in the world these people got through there with vehicles, wagons
or buggies to come to daddy's cause they couldn't get out. They got there and they
couldn't go back. And, do you remember how they found the tracks. How they got there?
L: No, I don't.
D: Well, me and you, Bill and the Michaels, some of the Michaels come out there.
-VHoT0 G -
L: I don't know. I don't know how we got back. I hadn't tolIdabout that storm in so
long till I don't know.
D: They went to see about one old lady over there, Michaels, and they asked us, said,
"Well, where's your old cow?" She had a black cow and she thought so much of this
old cow and she says, "Why, she's out in the barn. I went out to see about her this
morning, first thing." Said, "Well, what did you see?" Said,The old cow was lying
there looking just as dark and commodious as you've ever seen." And some of them
couldn't understand what she meant by commodious and they went and looked it up in
the dictionary and of course the joke was on them, you know. So the cow was looking
comfortable out there in the barn in the hay.
H: And did the barn last, last through the storm?
D: Well, theirs did. And daddy's house stood the storm. There were a lot of houses that
didn't, but his did.
H: How was daddy's house built?
D: He built it out of the best heart lumber you could find out of these trees even, he
had it on his place where he cleared the land while he built his house and they had
.jabd shingles on the house.
H: And the sides of the house, was it squared off logs to begin with?
L: No, it was lumber.
D: No, it was regular lumber.
D: To clear the land, why he cut this lumber and....
H: And then had it, had it sawed up to where, to where he could use it. Well, tell us
about the house. How many rooms in it and how were they laid out. Is the house
D: No they just torn it down not too long ago. Well it feged the, let me see, it
feed t-he south, wasn't it?
L: Uh huh.
D: And they was big halls and then there were two bedrooms on either side and at the
time when daddy built it, why, he built the kitchen off to itself. I can barely
remember that. Later on he built us a kitchen and joined it up to the house. And
in that kitchen we had a kitchen and dining room and a little pantry-like room on the
side and then between the kitchen and the house he fixed a shed, what was at one time
a shed, into a little room for storage.
H: And how did ya'll keep things cool in the summer.
L: Open the...
D: We'd then open the windows. Then we had at the time that I remember we had about
fifty or sixty bearing pecan trees around the house and there were and chinaberry
H: Had shade.
D: We had plenty of shade and we had a orange tree, sweet orange and bitterswee and pea
trees and daddy had bees, had six or eight, ten maybe, hives of bees. Would it be
L: No, about five, I think. Four or five.
H: Mrs. Lindsey was saying that they had plenty of honey from those five hives. Well, o
course that honey would go a long way towards sweetening things, too.
D: Oh, yes.
H: Sweeten the coffeeand all.
D: But we didn't use it for that. We used it to eat. We took bread and eat it.
D: Biscuits and corn bread and most of the time we had biscuits, a lot of times we
didn't have and we ordered our flour by the barrels, get a barrel or half a barrel
of flour and you had plenty then to cook with like that and had p~4tIggy
D: Gook--wisth1'TT fr'TF and had plenty of cows. Daddy always kept a Jersey cow to milk
and then he had these cows on the fawvw-for, to sell, to fatten and sell. Usually
when he'd go down there in the swamp at the end of the season when he'd finish up his
crops, he'd go get the cows and put them on the beans or on the H I-LOF beans.
H: Uh huh.
D: Course at that time we didn't have any of the later pasture mixes and all like they
H: Uh huh.
D: But he'd fatten those cows up and kill some of them and sell some of them.
H: Well, now, let's go back to this Lake City and this Battle of Olustee time, too,
because, you see, let's think back because you all were raised all around Lake City
and you grew up with people who had -- like your daddy -- who had either been to the
battle or they were even older than him and had something to do with the army hospital,
the Florida Confederate 4-hs*pti-and with taking care of the wounded folks afterward.
Let's stop back and think of any stories you heard about the battle and the people
who were in it.
D: Well, soldiers went through the field, I mean through the woods and they
would either take what was growing and the northern soldiers or anyone who wanted to
steal and they'd take the chickens and take tbe crops, whatever crop might be growing
and go to the barns and take different things, corn and whatever they had stored in
the barns and, of course, this was for the younger boys to look after and help take
care of. While the men were out fighting, why, the young boys were looking after all
these people who already had some, something to eat and see that they had something
to eat. And this is part of daddy's and the home guard at that timejob.
H: It isn't clear to me whether you are talking about soldiers going through and just
taking whatever they wanted or....
D: That's what they did.
H: And we're talking about the home guard, too or the home guard is to protect the farm...
D: The home guard was to prote-t the widow-women, widows....
H: Against these loose soldiers who were taking everything.
D: Yes. That's right.
H: Uh huh. Well, did they get...
D: You say runaways, some of them were.,,
H: Sure. Absolutely. Deserters and runaways and....
L: They'd run away and hide in the base, Get in the hay and wrap up in the hay and in
D's h: Wasn't there a bunch of Union soldiers theretoo?
D: Uh huh.
D's h: Thinking about that bunch of rifle they threw in Lake Desot*-
D: Yes. They, that was all at the same time.
H: They did what in Lake Desoto?
D: Threw a lot of rifles, the Union.
H: The Union did? Why was that?
D: Well, they confiscated them and they were about to be caught with them and so
they threw them in the....
H: This was during the battle or after the battle, uh huh?
D: It must have been during or before the battle, because when they left hereA/I'm
not sure. They moved on south, I believe. I thought of something else you might
be interested in...
H: Go ahead.
D: ...with, now mama told you about where she went to school, but I didn't tell you
H: Go ahead.
D: When they were in school,/l mean de4y^and Uncle Jim, his brother, why his mother would
to pay for them to go to school all the time. One of them would go one time and one
the other to school when they had a teacher, course they had to hire a teacher, and
daddy would go his time and then when Uncle Jim's time came wouldn't go and daddy
daddy would go his time and then when Uncle Jim's time came he wouldn't go and daddy
D: would go for Uncle Jim too and so he got, he studied algebra and he studied geometry,
trigonometry. He said he must have finished about what was a high school education.
Math,as far in math as he could go.
H: Well that would be kind of unusual for what with what basically a farm boy.
H: A farm boy living in the country, way, way in the country in those days, to get geometry
and algebra. I don't imagine any country have that.
D: Well they didn't offer many courses then.
H: They didn't offer it. But look what he did afterwards, you see. He got all those
twelve hundred, fifteen hundred acres together.
D: Uh huh. And he was always interested in math. And another thing, when we were children,
course, when I was born, he was sixty-one, the/year I was born.
H: I see. Uh huh.: How old was he when he married, the year he married the second time?
H: He was sixty. Alright.
D: And he would, when we came home from school, he would ask us, "well, what'd you learn
today?" and you say so and so. Well, you'd get up a real conversation with him. And he...
(end.of first side of tape.)
... three. Sit down on the plow, you know the plows or the start, beam of the
plow, I think it was. And he'd sit there and read a while and when we saw him out there
sitting, we'd go take him a glass of buttermilk, a glass of milk or something. And he'd
have his rest. Then he'd get up and go on-and work a while longer. And at night, why, he
used to sit around and tell us different things, you know, about what he did when he was
a boy and one of the things was that, they used to have slaves.. They must have been
a little better off, I mean, financially must have been a little better off than some.
H: Uh huh. Because slaves were so valuable.
D: That's right.
H: Cost so much money.
D: And they had several slaves.
H: Uh huh. And where was this? When they had the slaves?
D: When he was a .boy.
H: Uh huh. And where, where did he live then?
D: Oh, between Lake Butler and Ma And they had this slave, one of them called Bear and
they had their horses in different fields and they'd send them through a row of thickets
or swamp-like place to get the horses and bring them in and so Daddy and this nigger, Bear,
would be the ones that would.have to go get them most of the time and so they go over there
one day to get the horses and said this old Bear, Mr. Bear said, "Look, what a bear over
there'" -And Daddy thought he was kidding and he looked around and there was this big old
H: Uh huh.
D: ... and so he said he dropped his bridle right down inside the field, but the Negra held on
to his and then running down the path, why the Negra was ahead of him because he was older
and could run faster. And he said when he got up even with him, why, said, he went just as
far up because he knew that the Negra was going to take him by the foot and he tried to but
he said, he didn't get him and he was tied, the reins, you know, he didn't hold to them and
the reins had gotten around his legs, the Negra's legs and he was wanting daddy to come
back there and untie him and said they were hollering and carrying on.
H: Trying to get away from this bear.
D: Yea, and Bear said he looked, Daddy looked around and there was this bear just standing
there, said he wasn't hungry for no boys. (laughter) But he met his step-daddy out there
at the end of the, at the clearing and he went back in there and said that Negra had them
reins around his legs just as tight as he could get them.
H: Well, now, tell us some more of your daddy's stories about when he was a boy, cause that
goes way back, you see.
D: Yeah. Well, he used to ride the horses on the weekends and go places and he weou-
tell us about going and he'd think, "Well, now, you know at home I've got so and
so to do," and he'd begin lagging along with his horses cause he would, no point
in him going over to this party when he could be home doing something.
D: He'd go back and fix whatever needed to be done and so forth.A1le and his mother
worked real close on different things like that.
H: Well, let's stop and think about what the big problems were and the troubles were
now. We've talked about the storm. We've talked about it was kind of hard to get
hold of a doctor and not all that much school.
D: Well, see with mama's people that was problem, but with daddy's people it wasn't
cause they had a doctor.
H: Close at hand.
D: An uncle.
H: Oh, one in the family, uh huh.
H: Yeah, well, but the folks that didn't have one in the family, what would they do?
D: Well, they came to daddy's mother. She helped a lot of people like that and of
H: Home remedies.
D: Home remedies. She would take these books, you know, and see what was good for
different things and of course at that time, it must have been more herbs and things
that they could find rather than go to a drug store.
H: Oh, yeah.
D: I don't suppose they'd go to a drug store. But she would find out what roots were
good for different things and she kept all of them on hand as much as she could.
H: Okay, well, let's think now, Mrs. Duncan and Mrs. Lindsey, let's think back about
your daddy and let's think about his roots, his origins and his family's origins
as far back as you can recall and maybe we can think about tracing thesg early
H: movements, you see, not just his folks, but these are the ones that lost out at
Montgomery, lost his daddy at Montgomery. But lets go back before then. What
can you recall from before then?
D: About all I know is that they started there in the Carolinas. There was a group
H: And how did they get to Montgomery?
D: Well, they had started in South Carolina, I believe it was, coming on down in a
group of wagons...
H: Uh huh.
D: ...pulled by horsesAanyway that they could come along. Each family had his own
provisions, you know, for things.
H: But did you say Montgomery, Alabama.
D: Uh huh.
D's h: That's three hundred miles out of the way.
D: I don't know how, I don't know what brought them. It could have been South Carolina,
southern Tennessee and all up there at that time. You know, you just, I don't know
if the states were divided like they are now or not.
H: Well, those were. I think think you're right Mr. Duncan. You'd have to be three
hundred miles west and it's kind of rough going with wagons.
L: We moved from Carolina. We moved from Carolina. -
D'~ L - cj < -OC/VrP AS IrCOp IT 1 -
D's h: SeeC tAvoVrTeoAyQ'S /' two hundred miles north.
H: And rough country in between. Particularly with a wagon. It would be hard to
move a wagon across the road without having
D's h: T. -ose Cv\Je Y0 Co\B cOsave your life.
H: Save your life. Any little river.
H: Flat float them where.
D's h: Across the river.
D: Across the river.
H: Across the river. Did they carry it with them or?
D: Uh huh.
H: I see, they carried their own. Must have been hard work.
D's h: Le_-rs s-r-P e/ e f 0 AG (:. Q-1.3
H: No that must have been hard work, carrying a flat big enough to move a wagon.
D's h: Yeah.
D: They say some of those wagons had four horses to them to.
H: Well, no....
D: They didn't try to go so fast.
H: No doubt you'd unhitch the horses when you had to, when you had to cross the stream,
but still a flat big enough to carry that wagon is going to have to be a big flat
and it's going to be a lot of work handling it.
D's h: QA 1\wag Qfln
H: Wagons would float. Yes, the flat.
D: The ones that carried the furn, the wagons that carried the furniture were wider than
the other wagons because they had covers on them and so forth and those flats would
be on those wagons and then they'd put them together when they'd start....
H: Oh, they took them apart. I see. And then put them together when they came to the
river and needed it. That makes sense. That makes good sense. And so they built
this stuff up before their trip and had it with them on this long haul. Well, this
is the first I've heard about those flats, you know. This is, makes good sense, but
it's news. 'TO "E ()
D: Well, you'll find my daddy, whatever he's going to do, he had everything that he
needed to do it with. If was going to build a fence, he had if it was AN
a high fence, wire fence, he had something to put, wire stretchers for that. If
he was going to put up barb wire fence, he had barbed wire stretchers and then he
had a building that he had everything lined up)vwi_* nails of different sizes He
had wooden boxes that he built for those nails and if you wanted a number-ten nail
all you had to do was go pick it up. You didn't have to go scramble through them.
H: Uh huh. Well, we, your daddy, quite remarkable man.
D: He was.
H: Very, very evidently and I want to come back to you, Mrs. Duncan, when you've thought
of some more stories of him and now I want to come back to Mrs. Lindsey and Mrs. Lindsey
let's think about what this country was like there when you, where was it you married?
What settlment were ya'll living in when you married?
L: We was living in just this side of the bridge, just on Santa Fe River.
H: Uh huh. Just this side of the bridge, the, the....
D: The other side of the bridge, mama. You were in Gilchrist county.
H: On the Gilchrist county side of the bridge,
H: Well, now, tell us, if you'll stop and shut your eyes and think back and here you are
a young woman in her twenties and let's not think about what it's like nowadays with the
automobiles and the telephone poles and all like that, but let's think what it was like
then. Would you do that and kind of talk about it?
L: Well, I don't know.
D: Tell.... Ask her about boat rides she used to take, you know, when she was courting she
went down the river and the boats....
H: How about the boat riding when you were courting?
L: Oh, yeah. We went boat riding.
H: On the Santa Fe?
H: And the Suwannee?
L: We never did go on the Suwannee much; it's dangerous. The Suwannee is dangerous, but
the.... Ae the 54a r4 e...
H: Well, the Santa Fe has rocks in it, lots of rocks....
That Bell Suwannee you used to go on -- tell us about it.
The Bell Suwannee steamer?
Where did it run from and to?
It run from up in Georgia down to Cedar Key.
Sure enough. On the Suwanee? I'll declare.
And you rode on it?
Yeah. We went only on it, that boat.
Let's try to figure out between us what years those might
I don't know what year.
When did you and Ruth's daddy marry? 004 Y- CS S
That would be the first marriage, you see.
SG\ V~~3P w& born in 1903, so you were....
Well, then we are talking about riding on the Bell of the Suwannee about the year
1900, see which is...
Yeah, but see, that was a big event to them.
Of course! I think it'd be a great event now. I 4.ke to ride, cruise the Suwannee
on the Bell of the Suwannee today. I think it would make a great thing to do on a
Have along the basket.
With a paddle-wheel.
D: Yeah, uh huh.
H: With a paddle-wheel? Think it would be all kinds of fun. If one or two of those
old things still going on the.,...
L: There was, there was motor boats. There was three states, was three decks and there
was the and I can't think of the name of the other one. There was three
boats on the river then.
H: Where did those, where was their home port, their home place for those boats?
L: Well, Cedar Key...
H: Uh huh, and how....
L: ...and Branford.
H: And Branford. '
L: They would send out goods and-"stif-f on th boats,.on the train to Branford and they
would go down the river fo C \ ) 1 and places like that.
D: This is one of the things tha te daddy want to go too on the raeirad. He said that
they didn't have any way in the land to carry their produce or whatever they needed
and they all thought that the Suwannee River was going to be the coming thing.and
he always said it would be..,
H: Uh huh.
D: ...but that was one way they could float logs and they said that whatever you needed to
carry from one place to the other, well, they could carry it and Branford was pretty
convenient and, of course, then they could get on the Santa Fe and take it, so it made
it, they thought, an ideal place.
H: Well, under the circumstances and in those times, considering what was available, yes,
it made real good sense, because those Suwannp bottoms flood a whole lot...
H: ...and those Suwannee banks flood, so you have a lot of difference in the water and
where would you, but the Santa Fe stays ,pretty, pretty level. You've got good, high
ground along the Santa Fe.
D: If it backs up in there, the Suwannee will back up in there.
H: And the Suwanne backs up.
L: There's a natural bridge on the Santa Fe.
H: Yes ma'am, uh huh.
L: And above the bridge it's called Santaffee and below the bridge, it's called Santa Fe.
H: And in those old days, too, would ya'll get around on the Itchfcucknee in a boat, on
0 ( o ?I
the Itchetucknee or swim in it or how about in the springs at 94-enr
D: No, we were too far from that.
H: Too far.
D: No, mama's stomping grounds was down around where the Santa Fe runs into the Suwannee...
H: Uh huh.
D: ...and they used to, on Sunday afternoons get out and tell it mama!
D's h: We won't tell on you!
L: We'd go down there and walk around. That's all we could do.
H: On a Sunday. Walk around down there at the picnic grounds in the springs.
L: Yeah, yeah, uh huh.
D: I want to go back to the Battle of the Olustee.
D: Daddy had one of those muzzle-moving guns...
H: Uh huh.
D: ...that they had in the war and he kept it out under the sugar furnace, I mean sugar
building, sugar cane building where they made syrup and killed hogs and all of that
and he se44-anybody could touch, you know, because he was scared of it and everybody
else was afraid of it, too. But talking about him killing rabbits and fishing...
H: Uh huh.
D: ...he kept plenty of fish and he had traps, fish traps down there in Jack Springs and
when the river would overflow and the water would got back, he find these flues in
the swamp where the fish were so we had a lot of fish out there and he'd kill rabbits
D: and squirrels and he was pretty good with a gunushooting.
H: Well, those fish, thinking back on those old days, with all that salt meat....
L: Well, it's been so long since I thought of them days.
H: Well, let's talk about them now that you're thinking about them, both of you, we
want to hear you thinking about it.
L: Well, I don't know if I can think about it.
H: Well, you just said about getting all of this fish here, when they'd, back up in the
D: And he'd get them and cook us a bagful of them and bring them home to us.
H: And if you've gone a few days with just the salt meat, you see, and the dry stuff....
Thinking about that fresh fish when you've had that salt meat and dry food for a few
days, come in handy.
D: Uh huh.
H: Course, you take those fall months and winter months when you don't have much in the
way of greens, fresh fruit, fresh fish come in handy.
D: We could always find a shady spot and we had greens most all the year around. Let me-
tell you what she did with catfish.
H: Let's hear about it.
L: We would clean the catfish, head and all, and make stew. We called it catfish stew out
of the heads and fry the rest of it, cut up the rest of it and fry it and we had some-
thing good to eat.
H: Mrs. Lindsey, what would go in the catfish stew beside the catfish head S .
L: We would put pepper and salt and...
L: ...onions and water.
H: But, any other meat?
H: Well you skinned those catfish heads didn't you?
L: Yeah, we skinned them, skinned the head and all.
H: I've never heard of it, but you make a lot of fish chowder and fish soup out of fish
heads and of course....
L: That's what it was, but we called it catfish stew.
H: Catfish stew. Well, of course, this would be fresh-water catfish -- mighty good eating.
L: Yes, it's mighty good eating.
H: Well, tell us about some of the good times and the parties and s4t#F.
L: Well, we'd have parties and plays.
H: Alright. What would you use for music?
L: Mouth harp.
H: Uh huh. Mouth harp.
L: Lot of the boys would play with the mouth harp.
D: Ya'll had an organ, too.
L: An organ.
H: Had an organ in the house?
H: So, you'd have friends in and play and sing? How about, how about church and such as
that, church parties?
L: We didn't have no church parties.
H: Uh huh. Well, how about community parties?
D: They had peanut shelling oS
H: Peanut shelling. What would happen then?
D: Well, they'd all gather up and everybody'd shell a pan of peanuts and the person that
had the peanut shelling would have cookies and coffee and cake, maybe a candy pulling,
you know how they pull candy, I mean candy throw. Then they ground cane and everybody'd
go see each other, see their....
H: Well, how about dancing and singing and playing along with it?
D: We didn't have much, but they did have, they would gather up and sing a whole i0O,
D: I'll tell you a funny joke about the cane grinding. One of our oldest brother(, Frank
Lindsey, would come and make our sA-wff for us and Crawford lived close to where Frank
lived, and Frank made thin syrup and Crawford made thick syrup. Well, they always get-
ting jokes on each other so Frank decided he send Crawford a sample of his syrup and so
he sent me over there with it and when I got over there, why, Crawford took the syrup
and he kept looking at the syrup TrooG Te o and seeing how thin it was and
criticizing it here and there so he went off to pour a little of it out and filled it
up, then, with his syrup and sent it back to Crawford, I mean to Frank. So when I got
home, why Crawford was right behind me and he, Frank was standing up there looking, you
know, and saying what was wrong with Crawford's syrup and he was really criticizing his
own. [LPOG S-Ej
D: And another joke on Frank and Crawford were when they put cows in the pens at night.
Down on the property there's a dog and Frank was a man, so Frank walked along the path
and he'd send Crawford out to gather out the cows and put them in that pen.
H: I didn't follow you about.... This is the name of the dog, too, Frank?
D: Frank and Crawford are two half-brothers.
H: Yes, but where's this dog?
D: Well, Crawford was the dog.
D: Frank would walk along like a man, you know, and send the dog out there in the woods
to pick up the cows.
H: Uh huh.
D: And when he got them in the pen, why, he'd holler, "Crawford, shut the gate!" and
Crawford said, "Dogs don't shut that gate." Frank would have to get them all back in.
About half of them would be out of the pen. Of course that's before our time, but we
used to hear them talking about it.
H: Uh huh. Well....
D: I think we've about -te+4t all of it.
H: This recording and interview, through the courtesy of Mrs. Lindsey and Mr. and Mrs.
Duncan, has been for the Oral History Project of the University of Florida and this
tape, with your permission, will go to the archives to be kept by the University and
in future times, when students want to study or research this a~sa we'll have these
reminiscences of the pioneers and of the oldest memories that we have for to store
this information for whatever research value it will have in future times and I want
to thank you for your cooperation and help and you've been mighty helpful, besides,
it's been real fine knowing ya'll.
D: I thank you.
H: And we do-y have your permission, Mrs. Lindsey, to store this material and use it
for study in future times. Do we have your permission?
H: Alright. Thank you both.
L: Yes. You use it as you see fitcause I give you the best information that I remember.
H: That's mighty fine and you've given us information that no pne else can and it's been
marvelous hearing about your daddy and how well he did, how he started with school.
L: I'm ninety years old. I was ninety last April.
H: That's marvelous and you're looking so well and so interested in all of this and I'm
going to stop this now because I think you've given us a lot of your time and you've
got to get on with your food and all and God bless, Mrs. Lindsey.
H: This is your interviewer, Michael Hanzinger, again and Mrs. Duncan has just recalled son
details about her daddy's pension. Go ahead, Mrs. Duncan.
D: Okay, well he did not ask for anything until 1929, I believe it was, or '30 and then
most all of the old Confederates were gone, but we did find enough to get the pension
and at first, I believe it was forty-five, fifty dollars a month we got.
It was forty. And he got forty for a while and they raised it forty-five and then to
H: Well, forty dollars a month in 1929, whenever that Depression happened, that wasn't
D: Well, we had enough to help,pay for things and daddy died December 27, 1932, so we
hadn't been getting it possibly a couple of years.
H: Which is too bad because they started paying those about 1910 or so.
D: Everybody kept telling him he could getjAut he said, well, as long as he could make a
living that he didn't want to ask the government for it. He felt like, you know, he'd
0 .o V-e^> o.
be dependent -&A in other words, shirking his duty.
H: Mighty fine. I wish I had known your daddy.
D: I wish you had, too. Everybody ought to have known him.
H: Certainly glad to hear that.
D: But now, mama gets $198 from the state and she gets $125 from the federal government
and that helps a whole lots on our expense, now.
H: $198 from the state, that would be the Confederate widow's pension. Well, what has
happened is that as we've lost our fine folks and been fewer of them, there's been
a little more money for each, but I don't think it has ever been enough, particularly
when most people needed, needed it the most.
D: That's right. Well, the lastAt~le-last fall I believe it was, forty-eight dollar
H: Oh, that's fine.
D: And that was a big help.
H: Well,.when did you first start drawing a widow's pension, Mrs....
D: When daddy died.
L: Right after he died.
H: In 1932.
H: And how much was the pension, then?
L: Forty dollars.
H: Uh huh.
L: And it went up to fifty and then to sixty and then....
L: Kept a going up. Now, its $198.
H: Well, I think that's just fine. I'm certainly glad you thought of that. Can you think
of anything else that you want to tell us about?
D: Let's see, I thought of something maybe.... Back to the schooling, daddy's schooling,
when we were coming along and in school, why he could work our arithmetic and our
algebra and our geometry and explain it to where you knew what he was talking about.
H: I want to make the comment that we are talking about a native, rather a very early
pioneer Floridian and one who had the incentive to become educated and overcame this
handicap, this war-time injury, and went on to found these two families and become a
major landowner and bequeath this fine property on Jack Springs to the ongoing cattle
people and he's left his legacy of a smiling, happy family with these fine, warm
recollections of their dad and this is a very fine note on which to close this particu-
lar interview and thank you all again, Mr. Duncan and you ladies.