Title: Interview with Sheriff L. O. Davis (February 6, 1976)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006707/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Sheriff L. O. Davis (February 6, 1976)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: February 6, 1976
Spatial Coverage: 12109
St. Johns County (Fla.) -- History.
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00006707
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'St. Johns County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: SJ 1

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Full Text

This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limits the amount of materials that may be

For all other permissions and requests, contacat the
the University of Florida.

Saint John 1AB Bridges

Page 1

This is an interview between Sheriff L. O. Davis and Edward Kallal, Jr., the

interviewer. There was no introduction.

...W ^J mc L J j^\^ L-r jc.^ J^CQ dL
K: f'Ltrum 'hawujild ________d-
D: I think this is the governor ACr- 0.-,t

K: Governor V U.r__ ?

D: Yeah. Uh huh. There's some things here you can take with you if you'd

send them back to me.

K: All right. Yeah, I think that we'll get to all this in due time.

D: Yeah.

K: But I just want to make sure we cover most of the things we should.

And I want to--you know I want to emphasize before we begin that this--

I'm very new at this and I have to keep most of my questions on what

I have read so far. And so I--in order to ascertain whether what I've

read in the newspapers and stuff are true, I going to have to, you know,

ask a somewhat pointed question every now and then. And so, you know,

if I offend you in any way, uh, you know, please just let me know.

D: Yeah.

K: I'll back off and uh, but you know, this is the only way I know how to

try to get down to the bottom line of this thing. That's all right

with you. You say your parents are from St. Augustine.

D: Yeah.

K: Is that correct?

D: Yeah, both my parents, my grandfather and grandmother settled here way

back in the 1800's.

K: Uh huh.

D: The grandfather on my side of the family--my father's side, uh, in our

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 2

D: family history homestead is the present site of Titusville.

K: Oh yeah.

D: And he traded the homestead with Mr. Titus for a yoke of oxen.

K: A yoke of oxen.

D: Yeah, and he came to St. Augustine and settled out at Ft. Peyton.

K: Uh huh.

D: And Ft. Peyton is the site where the Indian, Osceola, was captured

under a flag of truce.

K: Oh.

D: And my grandfather was present when they captured him.

K: Really.

D: And he used to gripe and raise the devil all the time because they

took Osceola under a flag of truce. Of course, he was the kind of

historian in the rest of the family.

K: Yeah. That's interesting. He didn't like that when they, uh-

D: No, he--

K: That's a little bit cheating there.

D: Well, that was true in history.

K: Uh huh.

D: You know, they did capture Osceola under a flag of truce.

K: Uh, so you grew up in the St. Augustine area?

D: Oh yeah.

K: What's it--what was it like growing up there?

D: Well, uh, of course, uh, I came along at a kind of a bad age, you see.

I was in the class of '31 at the University of Florida.

K: Oh yeah.

D: It was during the depression days, and uh, I left there with and

worked for the Coaches people out at--in lola Junior College in lola,

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 3

D: Kansas, and I stayed there two years and went to junior college.

K: Uh huh.

D: Then I managed some coaching stuff in Oklahoma and every place ZIP /

going down to the University of New Mexico. So I went down to

Albuqueque, New Mexico.

K: Huh.

D: I went to the university for two years down there.

K: It's hotter down there than it is here, isn't it?

D: Yeah. It's--well, it's right there at the foot of the mountains,

you know.

K: Yeah.

D: And real nice, but--

K: Well, then out of coaching, how did you get started in law enforcement?

D: Well, when I came home from New Mexico, I uh, coached a little team

here free of charge--St. Joseph's Academy.

K: Yeah.

D: Along with just that was--but uh, and we ba'S a priest down there that

uh, wanted me to get a job so bad he could taste it. And finally he

just kept dthe same senator, uh, Frazier, that I was talking

about was mayor of the city at the time.

K: Yeah.

D: And they gave me a job on the--got me a job on the city police department

working nights so that I could coach during the day. And then I stayed

down there a couple of years and I got $105.00 a month which was top

pay for a full patrolman then. And uh, but before that, you know \I'd

been to three state universities and I was working in a clothing store

one day a week for $2.00.

K: Mmmm.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 4

D: I mean times were tough. When I came home, I rode the freight from

Albuqueque. When I came home, I stopped at, uh, San Antonio, Texas.

K: Uh huh.

D: Where the original march on Washington started.

K: Yeah.

D: And there were at least, they said, 1200 people there. And they'd

built shacks out of tin cans and stuff and lived out in the--well

the jungle they called it. But they had a regular little city

outside the town. All the merchants, every day, when they threw

out their beets and, you know, the inedibles. Well, when they bring

it out, they bring it out in garbage trucks. You'd see at least

half of those 1,200 people in there picking up old beets and lettuce

heads, anything that they could. I mean, uh, things were really

tough. Then uh, I caught a freight out of there and came on into

New Orleans, and then caught a ferry across New Orleans. And then

caught a freight on into Tallahassee and Quincy. And then when I

got there, I hitchhiked on into St. Augustine.

K: Hmmm. Was it very tough hitchhiking?

D: No, people were-- //4LA//A, but the only bad part was, of course,

I had--I was dirty--I'd been on the road about nine or ten days and I

needed a shave and a bath real bad.from riding that darn freight for

so long. And a lot of times these big trucks or something would pick

me up and my last pick up in Jacksonville. I got across the old bridge

there, and uh, l- 9 was a guy from St. Augustine recognized

me. Picked me up and brought me right to the house.

K: That must have felt good.

D: Oooh man, I was really ___ .

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 5

K: Uh, when you got on the force, uh, during the night shift, what would

you do?

D: I worked from 7:00 at night 'til 5:30 in the morning.

K: Mmmm.

D: Six days a week.

K: Uh huh.

D: And then, of course, I had plenty of time to sleep before coaching that

afternoon at 3:00. Then uh, I got a job with the Florida East Coast


K: Yeah.

D: As a special agent--kind of detective work, you know. The uh--that job

paid $200.00. It started off at $250.00 a month which was $30.00 a

month more than the mayor of--the city manager of our city was making.

K: Well, that wasn't too bad.

D: You don't know--I mean things were picking up for me then.

K: Yeah. It sounds like it.

D: I stayed down there--let's see--about five years and then I went in

the Army. I was in the European theatre. I was wounded and then I

got commissioned.

K: When did you go into the army?

D: Uh, a year--two months after Pearl Harbor--"42.

K: '42? -...

D: Yeah. 'Cause he sent me in '41,

K: Yeah, during '41. That's right. So when you came back from the amry,

is that when you got into the sheriff's department?

D: Yeah. I worked for the recreation council before I was sent overseas,

and then, uh, when election time came around,-'I ran for sheriff and

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 6

D: was elected.

K: That was in '46--'47?

D: Let's see, uh, forty--I was sheriff for twenty-one years-'48 I guess.

K: '48?

D: And then I took office in '49 and served from--twenty would be '69,


K: How many men did you have under you then?

D: I had one fellow. I had one outside deputy and myself.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, one jailer who worked--lived at the jail and worked there.

K: Oh.

D: And then uh, I had five deputies that worked the outskirts of the county,

) 0 pay. You know we were on the fee system then.

K: Uh huh.

D: And the sheriff got $7.00 half on the rest.

K: Oh really?

D: Yeah. So uh, we uh--the outlying, when the outside deputies--outlying

districts made a chase, they got, uh, I think $4.00 and a half on a

case. And, of course, the fee system was a horrible thing because

here's a guy that says well, I'll work this week and pick me up five

or six you know.

K: Kind of like a quarter system. ft4

D: Yeah,'I pick up five or six and I'd make myself $25.00-

$30.00 each weekend which is bad, you know.

K: Yeah. When did they switch over to, uh--

D: Well, uh--

K: Salary?

D: About two years later, and uh--well, no it was f aee==a term--about five

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 7

D: years later, 'cause, uh, we got on the salary.

K: Uh huh.

D: And the salary was $7,500.00 a year. The--and when I was uh, the first

year I was elected, my total income for the year was $3,680.00.

K: Yeah rf *.

D: Yeah, because it was from the sheriff's office. That was my income.

"-K: Hnm.

D: But uh, my total income was--out-of that I had to pay my--a office

helper and a jailer.

K: Those-they didn't get paid except when you had to pay those out of

your own pocket?

D: Yeah.

K: Hmmm. That's something.

D: That's with one--we got on that budget--$7,500.00 a year.

K: That was a bad city.

D: And then I hired all five of my outside deputies. I think I gave

them $225.00 a month--something like that. Which wasn't bad, you know

compared to what they were getting before, especially.

K: Sure.

D: Well, most of them actually were--were uh, I guess--I had one up there,

Roy Landry and uh, he would actually, uh, hire people to help catch

thieves. He had a mania-he hated a car thief worse than anything in

the world.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, he would actually hire people in their automobiles and put

out-of-state stickers, uh, things on them--tags on them.

K: Yeah.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 8

D: And order them to catch them. I was often wondering how in the devil

he have a--he spent $200.00 a month to catch one thief. He just, you

know, he just hated them.

K: Yeah.

D: He had another job--he has a4 /ol4 V44 thing up there. He's

a head custodian and all that.

K: Uh huh.

D: But uh, and I had another deputy. He's still with.the sheriff's

department. His name is Moody. He lives out on the St. John's River.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, he uh, liftedithb whites on the river every day. You know,

the buoys used to have be lifted by hand.

K: Oh yeah. What were they gas or--

D: No, I think they were kerosene.

K: Kerosene?'

D: Uh huh.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, he would, uh, fill the things and light these, uh, lights.

K: Yeah.

D: So uh, he's an old timer around here.

K: Right. Well, what kind of--what kind of crimes did, generally speaking,

did you have to deal with when, uh--

D: Well, uh, of course, we had our ring of thieves then, but I think we

had a lot better sources of information than we have today.

K: More people were more open about talking to you about what they'd seen

and things.

D: Yeah. Well, for one thing, they knew I wasn't going to ever mention

their names.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 9

K: Uh huh.

D: Then uh, they'd uh, LAt 1 especially we had

a lot of bootlegging the first two years I was here--making whiskey.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, of course, uh, a hunter would never turn in a bootlegger

'cause they're hunting in the woods. And uh, if they accidentally

ran upon one or stumbled over one, you'd never hear about it.

But uh, they would go to the man that owned the property and tell him

that there was still V and then this guy would go tell the boot-

legger he'd better get it out of there by Thursday 'cause I'm going to

call the sheriff.

K: Uh huh.
D: And it might be Monday. And then Thursday he'd call/and say--tell you

right where that still was. Sometimes we'd /tA r--one day we tore

up five stills in one day.

K: That right?

D: You know, just a-on--just on an ole flimsy piece of information and

another thing they weren't, uh, so uh, they didn't try to hide their

stills so well. They, you know, now it's pretty terrific, but then

son-of-a-guns, they didn't think a thing of setting up a great big

still out in the woods and having a nice big road running right

through it and everything.

K: Sounds like they were trying to do it big time, huh?

D: Oh yeah, they had, uh, had a ball with it. And we had several murderers

but we were lucky in' solving every one of them.

K: Solved them.

D: We did real well with them.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 10

K: Did the railroad have much of a problem with, uh, people stealing from


D: The railroad had quite a problem of stealing out of the--

K: Depot?

D:. The cars where they have the meats and stuff like that in particular.

At that time the railroad put in at Tupelo. They had a train ferry

running from Port Everglade.

K: Yeah.

D: You remember?

K: Way in-.the south.

D: And they'd run all those cars loaded out there and then they'd--when

they'd come back they'd bring them sugar--sugar and bananas and stuff

like that--right back to the same landing. And uh, that was a big

focal point for thieves 'cause if they get in that car and uh, that

train is running--well, they would throw that--they'd throw it off

the side--throw it off the side until they'd throw a half a carload

of stuff off. And then they'd have these trucks and other guy and

that was our biggest steal.

K: Uh huh.

D: We never, uh, we had one train that went that we figured was our biggest

SC -- -- and that was a freight train that had stole, a-delivery
tSole and uh, 7:30,
in Miami at 7:00 in the morning and uh, 7:30,

and uh, that train--we didn't let the poor boys ride 'cause that was

our train, but uh, I'd. go out in the jungle fAat Ft. Pierce.

There'd be two or three hundred of them out there and I'd tell them,

I'd say, now look, this train here goes straight through Miami and

stops at Palm Beach and Port Everglade. But uh, I don't want you

on this train. If you catch this train, you're going to jail.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 11

: Uh huh. That kept them off.

D: Then uh, they'd say, okay boss, okay captain. And the train'd go on.

Now I'm going to catch it. They'd catch the next one.

K: Yeah.

D: That stopped there, you know. 'Cause you know, a real good hobo, uh,

like uh, we had--several times we had a train with maybe forty or fifty

hobos going down to work in the muck over around the lake, you know.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, they would, uh, want to get off. They didn't think a thing of

throwing the brakes, you know, on that freight. Well, you know, and

they'd get 104 or 105 cars on there. It held a lot of weight. They'd

bust our train in half just to stop it. And of course, they'd all take

/A 7A tf't you know. Imagine in 150 or 160 miles trying to figure

out where they're going to decide to get off that damn train.

'c~ak 6? ------- c ^

D: We didn't mind. We'd stop it any place they wanted us--you know, just

slow down enough to let them unload. Of course, you always got a bunch
^j kA C
of l__________ cause you a lot of troubles.

K: Well, uh, say prior to 1960, what would you say the race relations were

like here in St. John's?

D: Well, uh, I guess I was the--one of the first sheriff's in the state had

a black deputy.

K: Yeah?

D: And uh, he uh, was very efficient, and at his request, he never arrested

a white man.

K: Uh huh.

D: In other words, he didn't want a white warrant, but he would hold them

until you got there, you know, r Ce he'd hold them and--

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 12

K: Then you would make the actual arrest.

D: Yeah.

K: Was he afraid of stirring up the ire of uh--

D: No, he just uh, he said he knew the black people and they were checking

him, but um, but uh, of course I had the best source-- a lot better

sources of information than he had.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, among the blacks, because, the uh, every one of these little ole

jook joints and stuff, you know. And they played cards and they gambled.

And uh, we never clamped down on them. They had--they'd sneak their

1_fL. just like they always have. But they would, uh, I would get

information of a hot man was in town through Slim or somebody.

They call me and tell me say he's red hot, and we know he's wanted

some where.

K: Yeah.

D: I'd get that information a lot quicker than a lot of my black deputies.

He used to get mad, he say, I don't know where L % **____

that man didn't tell me. But I said who told me. Well, the words around.

Yeah, he didn't tell me. I got the word from down in Daytona Beach area.

__C__ In other words, they wasn't going to let anybody move

in, you know, on them.

K: Yeah, that's good.

D: They'd get that gravy train.-

K: Well, on the other hand, you had this deputy--but were there any people

that you knew over on your--as your deputies that were, say, members

of the Ku Klux Klan?

D: Well, I don't think that the possibility that one of them might have

been, but uh, he was from Hastings, and they were very--

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 13

K: Hastings? Where is Hastings?

D: Eighteen miles out of here.

K: South?

D: West--when it come through on 207.

K: ?___

D: Yeah.

K: Oh, it's near there.

D: Yeah.

K: Yeah, I know.

D: Uh, he could have been because uh, they were--they worked blacks, you

know vaM- L .labor, potato camps and everything.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, of course, at that time they were very opposed to them

although they started a black high school out there--ta two high

schools out there Y 7

K: Yeah.

D: And very --just about all--in other words, we had-when we had

trouble with our local blacks, there wasn't any committee. They didn't--
whoever felt that he was damaged, mentally /physically or anything else,

he came and talked to us.

K: Yeah.
D: You know /one of the ministers. There was no--until this thing C

uh, 4,&iJoe Graham. Okay. Turn this thing off. 4
K: All right.

D: He was the mayor.

K: Well then, uh, generally speaking, about '63 or '64, as a sort of a

general overview, do you have any special impressions or comments that

you'd like to make?

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 14

D: We had, uh, actually, we--I guess we had the best order of any place

that they ever demonstrated. We actually had no one killed except one

white person.

K: That was in the, uh, fall of '63, wasn't it?

D: Yeah, yeah. And uh, ..or '64-yeah '63 or '64, anyway that was the only

death that we had.

K: Yeah, yeah.

D: And uh, the uh, when this thing started, there was. no one objected to

the demonstrated or marching or anything, but all of a sudden there was

a big influx of white people. There was one from up in New Haven, Connecticut.

He was the chaplain at Harvard. He came down. And then a bunch of white

boys-young men and young women came down, and uh, then what would

happen when they would--they lived down in the colored town--black town.

When they would come to town with their little demonstration, they uh,

would uh, have this, uh, idea of a colored girl would march with a

white boy and vice versa.

K: Yeah.

D: And then when they would get up in the business section, they loved to

stop and kiss and each other, you know. ..

K:. Uh huh.

D: ,,.For the sole purposes of gettingthese old redneck crackers--

K: Boys.

D: *-.Riled up. Oh, and gee they'd--some of them get so mad. I see them just

sit down on the sidewalk and start crying.

K: Uh huh.

D: And I don't think they never--all this time--they never looked around

if they saw over two white people together. Even if they were all the

way across that part, they'd make a beeline for those three or more

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 15

D: white people.

K: Uh huh.

D: To force us to move those white people so they could march there.

Well, you know the damn thing kept getting hotter and hotter and

people kept getting, uh, sorer and sorer until it really got bad.

Then when I--they slapped an injunction on-me. The uh, governor

called me. And when I got over there, he said, "What do you think?"
sIt I
I said the only suggestion I have is to remove me from authority.

You're going to have to put somebody else over there--the highway

patrol. Well, we had twenty-six highway patrol here.

K: Yeah.

D: All of them in that town. They acted as--they knew everybody here.

They knew the people in the area. They were from Palaka and Gainesville--

around, but they knew who to talk with and who to, and the guys had a

lot of respect for them, you know. But they sent all these total

strangers in here, which uh--they moved out,our twenty-six highway


K: ?Y5Y i i twenty-six--some of them that were here already out?

D: Yeah, which was a horrible thing to do because not only do you got all

these new ones in and these guys start using profanity at them and called

them nigger-lovers and stuff and they hadn't been trained in riot control

at that time.

K: Uh huh.

D: So, of course, uh, they despised the name calling and a lot of time they

took it out on the person that was doing it.which was, in my opinion,

was wrong because you have to put up with that stuff if you're going

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 16

D: to expect to handle the explosive situation. Well, you're going to

be called names.

K: Yeah.

D: I was called thousands of them and so was everybody else. We had a

terrific influx, a terrific group here that marched, and uh, marched

with the blacks.

K: Yeah.

D: And they were eighty-five percent were businessmen.

K: Uh huh.

D: Here in St. Augustine.

K: And would they--they would just march along "( 4 'kr ..?

D: March along on the side of the blacks and try to keep the--try to

protect them.

K: Well, why do you think the, uh, the blacks started marching in the

first place? Why did things break down?

D: Because of Martin Luther King and his crew oved in here.

K: w7r A 7 4 e'k1 ( .7 5
Dy-. ./ .A King. .t1 -l
D: Well they were the-Dr. as-was the original founder of this group

and he started the movement, I guirss, but at that time, I think the

movement consisted of Dr. Haling, barber, and uh--

K: Who is barber, I don't--

D: That's not his name.

K: Oh, he was a barhret?

D: Yeah.

K: Oh.

D: Down on Central Avenue, and uh Barber up on Washington Street.

K: Uh huh.

D: They were the, uh, the only three people that I could find that was,

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 17

D: you know, was doing any / -- and fussing around.

K: You don't think, originally, they had very much widespread support in

the black community?

D: No, because the black community didn't especially like any one of the


K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, they didn't build up much of a following.

K: I know Haling was a newcomer in the area.

D: Yeah.

K: But I don't know about the barber. Were they--

D: Well, they were known as kind of rabbits and the locals paid no attention

to them.

K: Uh huh.

D: And it actually didn't gain any momentum until King and them came in.

But uh, the uh, they had one guy. HIs name was, uh, I can't thing of

his name right know. He's from out of Savannah, Georgia. Hle's still

with the NAACP. He ran for office up in Atlanta recently, and I would

attend their meetings in the churches.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, I'd always go look. And he would always start out his, you know,

they had little pep songs and sang and danced and everything and he
would always start out by singling me out. And he said, when we bury

this man six feet deep in the streets of St. Augustine, we'll get what

we want. But we're going to have to bury him before we can get what.

K: Mmmm.

D: You know, and which is actually threatening my life.

K: t h thn the nt mn w sa a

D: And uh, but uh, then the next man would speak and he'd get them a little

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 18

D: more upset and then Martin Luther--

K: Well, in '63 then, when uh, it was mostly just Haley and the two barbers.

D: Yeah. And uh, they had no actual demonstration.

K: They had a few sit-ins and stuff.

D: Yeah.

K: What kind of measures did you take to deal with those S ?

D: Well, it was a--it's a state law, in the first place, especially in

restaurants or you know, where they serve food.

K: Yeah.
D: /that time it was a direct violation of the law.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, we'd ask them to move on. Sometimes they'd move and sometimes

they wouldn't.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, so we'd throw them in jail.

K: Uh huh.

D: The ones that uh, were in violation of the law. The owners would sign

affidavits. The owners would make the complaint.
K: Yeah. They would call you up and get you to come dowm, huh?

D: Yeah.

K: I see. Well, in concerning this stuff from '63, you know, I've read)

/l t q a few newspapers and you don't know--you don't ever know

what you read in the newspaper or not so if you don't mind, you know,

I'll ask you a few more little specific questions about this stuff in
y I'll just
'63 and then t you know, see if you care to answer-Itry to find

out if what I read is true.

D: Yeah. Uh huh. Sure.

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K: All right. ____ in one paper I forget-

which paper it was--let's see, uh, July 1, 1963, uh, several white

youths followed a car of blacks back to Haling's house, and uh,

apparently they threw some bricks at them. The whites threw a brick

or something at the blacks and then somebody fired at the whites. The

whites went away and they came back with their shotguns, and four

blacks who were guarding Haling's house were wounded. I believe that's

is that the way that happened?

D: No.

K: Do you recall that incident?

D: No, that's uh, that wasn't true. Haling's house was right down the

street here,-two blocks from me.

K: Oh he lived on the C_-)?
D: He lived on the corner of Whitney and uh,/Second Street over.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, he called me and I went down there, and uh, they had a

regular barricadein there.

K: Haling did?

D: Yeah, he had, oh, eight or ten blacks in there, and they had all kinds

of weapons.

K: Yeah, were they young blacks or?

D: Mostly. And uh, so I asked Haling if he'd gotten his wife out of there.

I think he had one kid, I'm not sure. He said no so I said I'll get--

take her and get one of the deputies to come pick her up and get her

away from here in case there is some shooting.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, I said would you mind telling me what happened? So he told me

that uh, these boys had come by and they'd shot the house up--and I

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 20

D: said well, if they shot the house up, there must be some marks--some

kind of bullet marks.

K: Uh huh.

D: He was talking ahout they went through the windows and everything and

actually, there was a window pane broken out, but it--a rock fell inside

so that killed that little story, but I stayed there until 3:00 in the

morning and there was no one came by there. No one shot at the house

or anything.

K: I thought that four black--four blacks, uh, the people who were guarding

this house--were wounded.

D: No, no one was wounded.

K: No one was wounded?

D: Dr. Haling and the two barbers one time were having a Ku Klux Klan rally

out here where the bowling alley is.

K: Oh yeah. That's September 18th, I believe.

D: Yeah, and uh--

K: That's the time when they got caught out there.

D: Yeah, they drove uh, a mile and five eights or something around the

edge of the marsh to get to the back end over a real bad road. It

was real hard to get in there j 4j,4 //k ia ro and everything

b that they could sneak up to the Ku Klux Klan rally--of all. the damn

places anybody'd want to go.

K: Especially if you're black.

D: And uh, of course, they saw them and they started hollering nigger and

they grabbed the three of them and uh, they beat the tar out of them.

K: Yeah.

D: Hell, they got them up on top of this hill--about uh, I'd say a good

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 21

D: quarter of a mile from the highway. Well, I can't get an ambulance to

come up there to pick them up.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, I arrested two people. One man that said he had a mask on, and

the other one, I thought was a&.an that had a mask on. And uh, but I

had no way to get them to the jail.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, so I sent word down by one clansman who was-he had on a white

outfit, but he didn't have on a mask. So I wasn't--I was just arresting

the ones that, you know, that had their masks on.

K: Because of the anti-mask 01 L

D: Yeah, and uh, well, they uh, anyway, the two I arrested--I sent word

down for the deputy to come up and pick Dr. Haling up.

K: Pick him up. Oh yeah.

D: And these two. So--because we couldn't get an ambulance to come up

there--black or white.

K: Yeah.

D: So I asked him if he could, uh, how far they could make it t9 -
tt It
said sure. All three of them got up but they were beaten. I'm telling you.

K: Very badly, huh?

D: You could lay two fingers in the--where they were beaten in the head

and stuff, but mostly it was, uh, I think they said they hit them with

chains--bicycle chains or motorcycle chains because they were real bad

cuts, and uh, the de uty that came up to pick them up --he put them in

the car and drove nd now I don't have any way to get to the hospital.
K: Uh huh.

D: So I got a guy in a pickup truck to give me a ride down to the hospital.
In the meantime, I said damn I lost my two prisoners.

K: Yeah.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 22

D: When I got to the hospital, I asked them about--said both;:the man and

this other one was a woman.

K: Uh huh.

D: They both turned themselves in here.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, posted $25.00 bonds.

K: Well, was uh, Haling and the other two gentlemen arrested during that

same incident?

D: No. No.

K: I read that, you know, after--

D: When we got them to the hospital--our hospital--

K: Yeah.

D: Well, the doctors refused to let the press in, and uh, so the uh, they

said well, they weren't doing any good laying in the hospital if they

couldn't give, uh, public statements out. So, during the night, and

the second night they were there, well, we sneaked them out, and uh,

got them to Jacksonville at another hospital.

K: Yeah. Yeah.

D: And uh, so they were actually going into the hospital here one or two

nights at the most.

K: Uh huh.

D: But uh, they were all back in town in eight or ten days--

K: But they weren't arrested inthat incident? I read where, uh, they'd

uh, you know, after arriving on the scene, they--a gun had been found

in their glove compartment box, I believe it was. And so they were

subsequently arrested for uh--

D: No, they--none of the three were ever arrested that I know of.

K: Hmmm. All right, uh, another incident happened in July, uh when Haling

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Page 23

K: was organizing these sit-ins, which you say didn't have too much support

but uh, anyway. Uh, let's see. Oh yes, it was reported and again, I

don't know if it's true or not, but they reported that uh, the police

and the sheriff's deputies were forced to use cattle prods.

D: Yes.

K: And dogs to--on the resisters--was this true?

D: Yes, we used them on the whites especially.

K: Uh huh.

D: To keep them from crashing the lines in the marches.

K: Uh huh. Well, this is in '63. This is in sit-ins.

D: Yeah. But we--we had--we did use the cattle prods on several sit-ins.

K: Uh huh.

D: Because they refused to walk and, you know, go to the car, and we also

had the standing order that uh, you don't pick up the prisoners.

K: Well, why is that? Is there a security reason-they might try to grab

the gun?

D: Yeah, not only that but they can kick you.

K: Uh huh.

D: And they can actually hurt you if you try to drag them or pick them up.

K: Yeah.

D: So uh, the federal court judge--every time this cattle prod came up--

at no time did the federal judge ever rule against their use.

K: He didn't?

D: He said that they were a measure of protection for the officer and he

saw no reason to reprimand this form--

K: Hmmm. Well, that's interesting. I didn't know that.

D: But we used the dogs on the people that were molesting the marchers.

K: Oh yeah. Well, what--I--I--well, would you keep them on leashes--long

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 24

K: leashes or--how did that work?

D: Well, they--the dogs were trained.

K: Uh huh.

D: I mean excellent trained dogs. We had, uh, I think I had nine in my

sheriff's office.

K: Were they big dobermans or--

D: No they were german shepherds.

K: German shepherds, uh huh.

D: And the police department had seven or eight.

K: Uh huh.

D: 'Cause the ones you can't control, you can't use. But I've seen one-

we asked them not to take, uh, you know, flashlight pictures in the

dog's face, you know.

K: Uh huh.

D: And I had, uh, this one deputy walking along with his dog. And, of

course, they always walk on the lefthanded side to the owner or the


K: Yeah.

D: And the dog is here at your left leg, and the blacks were on the inside

of him.

K: Well it--were on their right?

D: Was on--on his left.

K: On the left also--on the same side of the dogs.

D: Yeah. Uh huh.

K: Oh.

D: And this man came up with a flashlight camera, and flashed it right in

the dog's face.

K: Dog's face.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 25

D: It's a wonder he hadn't bitten some of the people, you know. Because

he was blinded for a second, but when he jumped this man, the dog--well

he knocked him down.

K: Yeah.

D: And he was standing right over him. Now if--when the--of course it--

it knocked--it jerked the trainer down, too.

K: Yeah.
lr II
D: And uh, he said hold it, hold it, hold it, and that dog stood right there

over that man with his mouth wide open--

K: Hmmm.

D: L- on his face right there.

K: r_>/V4Q right side, huh?
D: And uh, he says, uh, give him a kiss. And the old dog reached out and

licked that guy across the face.

K: Really?

Sth u did' each up towipe it off either. A

e stayed right there. And then when they--I got him up and I said I

don't want to see you around here anymore.

K: Uh huh.

D: I said, you know you could have caused yourself a lot of damage and you

could have got some people excited out there, too. Because these guys

were actually harassing them--were mostly young people. I'd say from

fifteen to twenty-two or three years old--twenty-four.

K: Teenagers? Mmmm.

D: And uh, they would be in gangs of twenty-five or thirty walking along

cussing you and cussing the blacks--cussing youfor protecting them and

just a continuous stream of harassment. And one night when we had a

real big showdown, t itt1 -devils got hold of some firecrackers.

SJ IAB Bridges

Page 26

K: Yeah.

D: And they threw those firecrackers in there, and those dogs--

K: went wild--

D: In themeantime, they sent us some dogs that weren't well trained over

here from Raiford that--

K: Prison?

D: Yeah. They weren't trained as well as our dogs. They hadn't had enough


K: Yeah.

D: But uh, it was just a continuous, uh, talking 'cause our dogs--you'd

go by--you could, uh, do anything you wanted to them, and he'd just

be watching his master. You could kick him out of the way or anything

else. But when you started by one of these guys with their dogs, he'd

tell you, "Don't come too close to my dog--don't come too" And it was,

you know, it was uh, because they didn't have that good of control over

their dogs.

K: They were worried about it. kA *

D: And uh, they were worried about--and I don't know whether--if anybody was

bitten by any of the dogs, it was by one of theirs because they didn't

have the control over it. When our dogs went down that street, it was a--

it was a terrific thing to watch.

K: Mmmm. They had complete control over themselves.

D: Oh yeah. It was--it was--of course, there was a horrible training period.

It was the worst mistreatment of animals I'd ever seen in my life, but

boy when they got--

K: They had to beat them pretty hard to get them to do that.

D: Oh, I've seen them down a trainer and break his arm, bite his hand,.crush

his fingers and everything else, but, you know, while they're training them.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 27

D: 'Cause if, you know, the animals will just take so much.

K: Uh huh.

D: But they'd get them so well trained that, uh, you could uh, he'd be

standing by that trainer and you could take a long bamboo pole, and

you could hit that dog. You could hit the master. You could hit all

around him. And that dog just sit right there watching, and of course-

K: As long as the master didn't tell him to do anything.

D: You'd have all this stuff wrapped on you, you know, and finally he'd say

get-- and man, that son-of-a-gun was down on you before you could say

K: Hmmmm.

D: But it was a horrible treatment they give them.

K: I imagine.

D: It was beautiful to watch them in action, though.

K: I'm not in your way? rl CAkt ae Ct"CC IiQ

D: No, uh huh. He was just playing with me.

K: Well, I think I have one last--oh yeah, we were discussing earlier that

one fellow did get killed. Uh, he was riding through the black section

of town with a shotgun on his lap or something like that.

D: Yeah, he had--they'd uh, come back from hunting and he had the shotgun

between his feet, muzzle down.

K: They had been hunting?

D: Yeah.

K: They had game in the car?

D: No, they had no game. There was four of them in the car.

K: Uh huh.

D: And they went by Eubanks, who was a--

K: Goldie Eubanks?

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 28

D: Goldie, yeah.

K: Oh.

D: They went by his house to, uh, cuss him.

K: Uh huh.

D: And they went by the house and this guy was on guard and he shot him

across the--when he made the turn going back up--

K: Was he--a guy at Goldbanks house?

D: No, this was a full block away, but he--the black.was just shooting

anyway. One of Goldie's nephews.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, he'd uh, he shot and killed the boy on the outside of the car.

It went right by the driver, and went by this guy, and hit this guy, and

it killed him. Well he tightened up on the gun when he shot him, and the

got went off in the--

K: Went through the floor.
D: It went through the floor, and these guys just drove/right straight to the--

right to the hospital. But then we had a--we worked and worked on the

case and had guys coming from everywhere, and finally we found a black that

lived next door to Goldie Eubanks who had given Richard Eubanks his--

K: That's his nephew.

D: This gun.

K: Uh huh. What was it--it was a rifle?

D: No, a pistol.

K: A pistol, and he hit him from a block away?

D: Just shot--he was just shooting at him.

K: Uh huh.

D: Because they'd come by there and cussed him out, and uh, but he--it--

actually it was a --

End of Side 1-Tape A

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 29

Beginning of Side 2-Tape A

K: Well, anyway, what were we--

D: Actually it was a physical impossibity for him to shoot, uh, to kill

somebody that far. It's purely accidental.
it tI
K: Trying to--yeah. I was going to say and that was a pistol.

D: Especially with a handgun.

K: Yeah--that's a--I couldn't hit that wall with a pistol, you know.

D: Anyway, we got the--well, they gave me the weapon.

K: Uh huh.

D: And we got his girlfriend.

K: Yeah.

D: And the--she disappeared the day after she gave us the information. And

uh, she gave it to us in the presence of her boss, and uh--

K: The lady that lived at the beach?

D: Yeah, Miss Calhoun.

K: Miss Calhoun, yeah, that's right.

D: And uh, she was very, uh, proud--the girl was a very proud person.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, young lady, and she was also a good worker.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, in fact, she was keeping a couple dollars a week or so out of her

salary because she asked him to, and she had saved quite a bit of money

out of there--about $35.00 or $40.00 or something. But uh, the next

afternoon after I heard e that he had the weapon--after Eubanks

had the weapon, and uh, that he had it that night. And the other man

said that he looked out the window and saw Eubanks running after the


K: Immediately after the shooting, huh?

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 30

D: Who is--which is right--he lives about three blocks from there on

Central--the uh girl disappeared. And uh, the--our witness didn't

come to court the first day when he was supposed to testify and we

sent out and got him. And he worked at one of the local banks parking

cars and stuff like that. And uh, so the judge put him in jail over

night. And the next day, the NAACP. had an attorney here from Tallahassee

who, uh, refused to let him testify when--what's his name--the colored

boy was Chester, and uh--

K: Is that his last name?

D: No, it's his first name. I can't think of this last name, but he uh, when

this attorney came in, said he was--wanting to see his client--Chester.
\1 II
I said, well he doesn't have an attorney. He doesn't need an attorney.

K: He wasn't accused of anything.
ii tt
D: He was testifying for the State. He said well I was hired to represent him.
i I II
So I went and I said, I asked Chester, I said, do you have an attorney? He
.I If i i
said no. So I went back and told that attorney, I said, you're not repre-
I' fI tl
senting him. I said, he's a grown man, he's married. And I told him that
he doesn't want you to represent him. I just got through telling you. So

with that, he goes upstairs and talks to the judge. And the judge 4!esTrL

n a nytng-sa said his mother and father hired him.

K: Was this judge 4C ?

D: No, this judge is, uh, uh, let's see tdt/L ** 1tcircuit court judge 2

1\. IL~a-M ui-t i Pei. Ifr *

K: _ULgh nau 2

D: And uh, said you have to let him talk to him. So I let him talk'to him,

and he got up whdn he came up to the trial the attorney says he can't

testify because it will incriminate him.

K: Hmmm.

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 31
g4^ V. "' I
D: Fy, you know, e figured li5 having the gun, testify

as it jwaj incriminate him.

K: Yeah.

D: Well, the judge ruled for him so we lost our case. But the Eubanks boy--

about three or four months later--

K: He was fishing on the bridge?

D: No, he was shooting--he was out here at Florida--at Normal College.

K: Yeah.

D: He had it out here. And uh, he had a gun, and he walked up to a car

where there were five students.

K: From the Normal College?

D: Yeah. And he told the one in the middle in the back seat--he said you've

been going around with my girl and uh, he said I'm sick and tired of it.

And the other said I don't know who your girl is. You must me talking

out of your hat. And with that, Eubanks shot him and shot him in the
jaw, and uh,/left the man paralyzed. He's from down in the state someplace--

Ft. Lauderdale k4t .

K: Yeah.

D: So we got finally got rid of Eubanks for--

K: For that.

D: For five or ten years.

K: Uh huh.

D: We got for that shooting.

K: Well after this uh, theAman was killed, Glen Kenard, I believe, was his


D: Canard.

K: Canard. Canard. I--apparently about four nights later or so the whites

retaliated and blew a few windows out of, uh, dancing places or something.

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Page 32

D: Yeah, that's--uh huh. Yeah, they shot the jook joints up.

K: Yeah.

D: They'd just ride by and shoot the windows out.

K: Now when you were investigating this--did you have to arrest Haling?

Did Haling get in your way in that investigation?

D: No, I--uh, the only time I ever--the only time I arrested Haling was

when he was sitting in the bar out at the motel, the Cofe EfLounge.

K: Yeah.

D: With Mrs. Peabody and uh, the bishops--colored bishop's wife.

K: Uh huh.

D: From Massachusetts. And Haling, and a white girl that was with Mrs.

Peabody down here, and uh, she insisted that I get the Florida Statutes...

K: Uh huh.

D: ...And read the full thing 2 10 .

K: A K, sr19 sw..

D: Because I talked to her a couple of times, and I begged her not to go

out to that jail. It wasn't a fit place for a woman her age.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, well, this day she--I said why, why do you want to do this? And

she said, well I have to because they told me they wanted me to go to

jail so I'm going to the jail if it'll help. Then when I got Mrs. Peabody

out at jail, the--all of the white cells are filled so she and this girl--

she wanted a bunk to sleep on, and I said well you'll have to kick one of

the old bats off of it--*X old prostitutes and stuff we'd had in the jail

CC et&C, and uh, so she was--and then she said she wanted her friend,

the bishop's wife in there with her.

K: Yeah.

D: And, of course, I told them, I said do y'all mind if we bring the bishop's

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Page 33
II !' II
D: wife in here, and they said yeah, bring her in here. We'll kill her.

K: Hmmm.
D: And not only that, we'll kill this old battleaxe here, too. They said

*we don't want no niggers in here with us which was a common thing for

them to say. They were rough people.

K: Yeah.

D: Anyway, the uh, the--we had Martin Luther King out there in jail, and uh,

he got a--it got kind of sticky while he was out in jail. The blacks and

whites all came out there. And they were all raising hell. So I called

the governor and asked him to send me an order transferring King to--

K: To Jacksonville, wasn't it?

D: To Jacksonville, and uh, 'cause that--all of them said they weren't going

to, uh, post bond. They were going to stick it out. So I knew, uh, when

King got up there. He couldn't stand it 'cause he can't, uh, he's out--

he's up there bonded to my jail and they won't let him talk to anyone.

K: Yeah.

D: 'Cause he's my prisoner.

K: Yeah.

D: So he stayed up there overnight, and then he bonded himself out the

next day, and leaves all of his buddies here, see. CS

K: Wasn't that when he went up to Yale and got an honorary degree?

D: Yeah, uh huh.

K: I believe that was the time when he went up to get his honorary degree.

Well, uh, let me see. Uh, I believe during '63 again, uh, Judge Mathis,

am I pronouncing it?

D: Mathis.

K: Mathis.

D: Yeah.

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Page 34

K: He uh, ruled that the juveniles couldn't picket. He said that, you

know, they couldn't participate in the sit-in.

D: No, there were--I think there was two girls that participated in a


K: Yeah.

D: And uh, he brought them in there--we did. And they were--he was just

as nice to them. He was also the juvenile judge and the county judge, too.

K: Yeah.
D: And he talked to them and said, now I'm going to turn you over to your

parents provided that.you don't do this again.

K: Yeah.

D: And they said they were going to do it anytime they wanted _0__

says okay. So he sent them over to the girl's school--correction

school, and--which caused a lot of stink 'cause the blacks would go

and waylay the deputy and, you know, that was the workings.

K: Yes.

D: But I tell you the funny incident happened while Mrs. Peabody was out

there in jail. Her son, who is an ordained Episcopalian minister--

K: Who was also the governor.

D: And, well this is another son.

K: Oh a different one.

D: And he's a boozer. And he's got his collar on and he's going from bar
to bar. Every time he hits a bar, they tell him, Mrs. Peabody's son is

on the way out to the county jail to see his mother. So he gets out there

about 11:30 or 12:00 at night. So I'm out there and I'm waiting and he
ft I/ it
comes in and he says, I want to talk to my mother. And I said I'm not

going to wake your mother up at 11:30--12:00 at night. You better go out

and get in that cab and get yourself away from here. He says, I'll stay

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 35

D: right here 'til I see my mother. I said, "Listen, drunks are not allowed
in this jail unless they're behind the bars.

K: He was dag55g Aj& ar /h '(' (CIA k )

D: .I said I can throw you in that cell in there and you'll sober up by

morning and you can see your mother. I said you're going to leave or

you're going to jail. He says I-- When he said that, I said put him

in it. Boy, when I said that he was out the door.

K: He was out the door.

D: He told his mother the next morning that her drunk son come staggering

around. She didn't like it much, but he didn't come back out there

either. But you know, you'd be surprised what a--how much trouble a

bunch of teenage kids--young kids can give you.

K: Yeah.

D: I mean they can think up the darnedest things. They got some--some uh,

Highlight to spray on--you know, it's a--real hot. I've forgot what the

heck you call it. Anyway, they put it in these spayguns and come by and

sprayed it. And if it got on your legs or something, it'd blister you

in just a few minutes. It was the darnedest--

K: Was it an acid type of thing?

D: Yeah. And uh, of course, in the march, all the old black women all had

baskets, and we'd stop them uptown. They'd have these baskets full of

half bricks and acid to throw on you.

K: You mean the blacks were carrying 7_f"__ ?

D: Yeah, not acid, the uh, potash.

K: Oh, potash.

D: Yeah. And uh, they'd uh, have these darn, uh, bricks and we'd dump them

out on the sidewalks in little piles--make little piles of them. And then

some chief S a men ome along and pick them up and take them up there.
Ao ,,m

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D: They had a big--he had about two or three bushels of rocks and stuff

they taken over--ice picks. And always--it was always the old old

women that had them.

K: That right?

D: But, you know, they--to show you how bad that things got--the city or

the--I gave orders to my deputies that they weren't to go over there

and jump in that ocean.

K: Uh huh.

D: Unless somebody was being drowned or severely beaten. Well, when they

came over to go swimming, naturally, all these young men are over there

in shorts, bathing trunks.

K: The young whites?

D: Yeah.

K: Uh huh.

D: Here are the blacks in pants and shirts and dresses and everything so

these guys are throwing sand at them, which is not a horrible thing.

I mean a handful of sand is not going to kill anybody.

K: It ain't going to hurt you, no.

D: But there's always a lot of, uh, and then when they'd get out in the

water, well the state highway patrolman, instead of stopping at the

water, and saying look we're not--don't have, uh, bathing suits. We

can't go out there now to help them. They'd --you'd go out there.

Well, here's this poor devil in full uniform, sidearm, billy, all that

darn heavy uniform on.

K: Uh huh.

D: Out there trying to compete with;a bunch of kids that's been swimming

all their lives--a bunch of Minorcans and they're dunking the devil out

of this highway patrol, and the black ones.

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K: Oh yeah, the highway patrol were getting

D: Oh sure, man --overseas and all, heck they can't--what they going to do--

standing out there in the water about seven or eight feet deep and these

guys swimming around, and go underneath them and jerk them under and -- (

K: They were that--they were out that far? I thought they'd only get knee


D: No, they'd go out, and then when they'd come in they'd go to, and they'd

all jump in the fresh water pool, and they'd have to clean their weapons--.

and their uniforms and everything.

K: Yeah.

D: But uh, actually it was-things like that, you know, you think back on

them--were really funny because no one was trying to drown anyone.

K: No?

D: They'd--no one got even close to being drowned over there. Of course,

they tore some automobiles up over there.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, when they'd get, uh, one of the two blacks, uh, boys separated--

K: Yeah.

D: They'd bop the tar out of them.

K: Yeah.

D: You know.

K: Beat on them pretty good,

D: Beat on them, and a lot of times the blacks'd come out on top, too.

There's some pretty tough kids. They beat the tar out of some of the

white boys.

K: Uh huh.

D: We had one girl we called, uh, Smokey the Bear. She must have weighed

240 or 50 pounds.

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K: Black girl?

D: Yeah. She was enormous, and I think she was about seventeen or eighteen

years old. And one day I was standing and all these were--white boys

were running around, you know, CTd l on one every time they got a

chance, and throwing sand on them. And she was standing up there.

And some of them had got them some surveyor stakes.

K: Yeah.

D: Actually they're not heavy enough to hurt, but they're heavy enough

to bruise and uh, blister you if they hit you across the rear end with

one. And she was standing up there and every time one of those white

boys came within reach of her, that big fat hand came out and she

would slap them on that hard beach and they'd roll just like--just like

tin things, and boy, it was the darnedest thing you've ever seen.Well,

naturally, it was funny. And I was up there laughing and this old guy
was standing and watching them and he said, boy I'd give $50.00 if
f\ \I II
I could get her in the Klan. And I said why? And he said, "She could

whip every one of these niggers out here in no time." He said, "Look

what she's doing to my boys." C/'fl'

K: Who is that that is talking?

D: An old Klansman standing up there.

K: Yeah.
(f It
D: He says, uh, says boy, I'd give $50.00 to get her in that Ku Klux Klan.

K: Were the boys on the beach harassing the blacks--were they mostly

organized by the Klan or were they just out by themselves?

D: No, no, \ -t

K: kf4-S c o .- of-r.te

D: ...Two thirds of the time, they, uh, wouldn't--anybody wouldn't even know

that they went to the beach, except the fact that they would ride around


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Page 39

D: the park three or four times to get a bunch of people interested in

them. So that--and then, by the time they got around the park a

couple of times--well, by that time, the white boys would start

organizing to follow them over there.

K: Yeah.

D: So there'd be a motorcade of maybe seven or eight loads of blacks and

maybe two or three loads of whites. It didn't have to be too many

whites to create a disturbance, you know.

K: Uh huh.

D: Well, they'd--boy they'd sand ball them and--

K: Would you--as a kind of a whole--what--do you think the Klan

much influence in the white reaction or, uh--

D: No, none. They, uh, they were ninety-eight percent out-of-town.

K: Mostly from Jacksonville, weren't they?

D: Jacksonville and Starke and Palatka and Bunnell. Anyway, they'd come
it It
over for a night of fun, you know, uS.i' have fun. But they--

D: But like this stuff on the beach and stuff like that--what--you don't

think that was organized by them.

D: No, tCr V ti ) it was too spontaneous.

K: Spontaneous. That's kind of what I think. You read some--you read some

people, and they get the idea that, you know, the Klan had this whole

think marshalled and organized.

D: No.

K: Well, I only have one more question to ask--I wanted to ask you about '63,

and then we can move on to '64. Because I read at one place where, uh,

Haling made a comment that he had, you know, he complained-- _7T_0 T4-hLcwj

complained about police protection or something that he had formed himself

his own little army.

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D: Yeah, he had about eight or ten. I was down at his house the other

morning when he come--

K: Yeah, you were telling me about that one time.

D: But uh, there were no--he had him about eight or ten more.., There was

about three of them--three or four of them--young men--that were on

his little M rC ...

K: Were they mostly under twenty-one or somewhere around there?

D: I'd say they were between eighteen and twenty-four.

K: Uh huh.

D: Good husky boys. They knew what they were doing.

K: Yeah.

D: They took care of the--of these--cause the average white kids was

a lot smaller.

K: Yeah.

D: But these--these eight or ten he had, they took care of their end of

it. They were pretty tough boys.

K: Yeah. That's interesting. Well, just from the, you know, activities

that Haling could stir up and the two barbers, did you think that, uh,

you know, all the marches and the wait-ins and what not were going to

come out of what you saw that happened in '63 or--?

D: No, I didn't. I thought that they were losing ground, actually.

K: Uh huh.

D: Because uh, their spokesman wasn't, uh, he wasn't a person that they

had a lot of faith in, and uh, he wasn't a man that could, uh, he was
If A
the kind that just says, well, you're going to do what we tell you....

K: Yeah.

D: Or else we going to make you crawl and stuff like that, you know, which

didn't sit good with the city commission at all.

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K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, 'cause everybody's doing all they can to help them.

K: Oh, from what I read that, uh, sometimes Haling or Haling did have a

pretty hard time meeting with the commission to discuss the black


D: Yeah, well, if he did, it was his own fault 'cause Joe Shelly was the

mayor that year, and he was a--he always leaned over backwards trying

to find out what they--what their aims were and all the other city

commissionA were the same way, but uh, if uh, if I come before the

city commission for a request, I have to state what my request is.

K: Uh huh.

D: I don't go up there and say, you white mothers going to do this or we

going to tear this town down. We going to make you crawl on your hands
and knees and stuff. It was a direct threat all the time.

K: Yeah. And Haling would, you know, L? tQ-t cNC-?rY t I:/c ft T ?

D: Yeah, he--and uh, the uh, naturally, the city commission being human

resented it. You don't like to be told in your own city commission room

that you're going to either do this or you're going to destroy your town.

K: I've never read anything about this so Haling would actually go to the

city commission meetings and say--

D: Yeah.

K: I--you know--if you don't meet this demand, you're all going to crawl

or something to that effect?
II /
D: Yeah, he said we'll make you crawl on your hands and knees and beg us.

K: Yeah.

D: They put on a--I'm going to show you how tough this town got. The

biggest motel that we have in St. Augustine at that time was across the

bridge on the left-hand side and belonged to a man named Earl Michaels.

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Page 42

K: Yeah.

D: Earl Michael went thirty-three days without one customer. The biggest

motel we had in St. Augustine.

K: This was during, uh, was '64?

D: '63 or '64.

K: Was it due to the black pickets or the white counter-pickets?

D: It wasn't due to any pickets. The --

K: Just a loss of business.

D: The--they picketed up in Jacksonville at the airport and at the Mary---

St. Mary's River they said don't go near St. Augustine. Actually, the

uh--a lot of this was the state employees telling them what a tough

time we's having down here.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, in St. Augustine. So they--

K: They just avoided--

D: They bypassed us.

K: Yeah.

D: But you know, that's a horrible thing when a man's got $150--$200,000

invested in a motel and he goes thirty-three days without one customer.

K: That's tough i '' to go that way. It is. All right, well--

well, since we're talking about Haling, now we can get back to what we

were discussing about earlier before we had the tape on. What do you

think were the, uh, affiliations between Haling and the NAACP and the

NCLC and communist organizations?

D: Well uh, I don't know whether--don't know where Haling came from, actually.

K: Uh huh.

D: We never investigated him because we didn't feel like he was too important,

but he was a headline seeker, you know.

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K: Well--well l -Aj I ;. ,om what I recall I, you know, specifically

____ that he was a veteran of the Korean War and he went

to, uh, Florida State or--no, it must have been F. A & M U., uh, on a

grant to, you know, to get his vet or--no--to get his dentist--dentist

license. And then, you know, some sort of contract-the-sent him over

to St. Augustine. But anyway, now you can tgq1n t.AA_.

D: I just think he was a ---1 --- Of course, he had the--had some good

points. If he have--I believe he would have done a lot better if he

would have had enough sense to realize that you can't, uh, do this

thing by force.

K: Uh huh.

D: You know. But uh, he felt that what he would do would antagonize the

white people so much that they would actually try to kill somebody,

which they didn't do. All they wanted to do was have a good time, and

beat the tar out of people, that's all. But uh, he uh, the night I

tried to talk to him down at the Flagler Hospital when he got beat so

bad, I asked him what the heck he was doing down there, and uh, he said

"just riding around. Well, you don't take no Palmetto Route road and

drive a mile and five-eights just to ride around.

K: Yeah.

D: 'Cause that's the only way they could have got;:there except right up

through that main alley. And uh, when I got out there, I left my car

down at the highway, and uh, I left my gun in the car and took my--left

my badge on.

K: Yeah.

D: And when I walked up that roadway--that uh--that was the longest half

mile I ever walked in my life.

K: Oc t_______

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Page 44

D: Because uh, all those, uh, Klansmen were there, and I was afraid some

of them wouldn't recognize me. And uh, would they pass the word all
the way up--the sheriff's coming up--the sheriff's coming up. And a

lot of them walked right by me--never spoke or anything. Of course,

they didn't have a mask on.

K: _re__ e_

D: And when I got--when I got up there, I didn't expect to see anyone


K: Were most of the Klansmen--uh--were they from the local area or were--

did they come down from Jacksonville or--

D: They--they came from--well, far away as Lake City, I ) ,Vt fi .

Now I don't now how many would come from Jacksonville. Now I knew

some came from Lake City and I knew some came from Ocala.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, because their, you know, because of their car tags.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, a lot of times they would have weapons in the trunks of their


K: Yeah.

D: But by the same token you can't--you couldn't arrest a man for having

a weapon in his car.

K: Would--did the man that you saw from the St. Aug area?

D: Well, I guess there was maybe forty or fifty out of the, uh, the big--

the thing--the reason they came--the Klan came here, I think, was because

they figured it was a good place to get a lot of members. They--'

K: 4/S X-A -- with the, uh, altercations and stuff, uh huh.

D: Yeah, they uh, were charged $10.00 to join the Klan.

K: Yeah.

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D: And the first night was the night that the trouble started, and then--

then the judge ordered me to, uh, go up there the next night and

have some deputies present. And uh, actually it was a--it got, uh--

it wasn't sticky at all. Everybody just gets up and cusses the niggers.

I mean for hours at a time. They just durn damn niggers--damn niggers.

It was just the same thing being repeated all the time.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh it was just a form of arousement. They didn't bother me at all.

Re second night ,.s

K: Uh huh.

D: When the judge over--that Simpson insisted that I belong to the Klan, I

finally told him, I said judge, I went out to a Klan rally at your order.

I said they wanted $10.00 to join. I said but I saw Dr. Haling and his

two men and the initiation is so horrible that I don't believe I could

stand it.

K: Well--well what do they do for the initiation?

D: Nothing. I was just talking about the three blacks that got beat.

K: Oh--oh, I see. I see.

D: So I saw the results of it.

K: That was too much, huh.

D: I said that's too tough for me. I couldn't stand it.

K: I see.

D: And he didn't like it much, but I never saw people change so fast. The

day we had, uh, Mrs. what you call it up here.

K: Peabody?

D: Peabody. The judge--she told the judge why she came down here, and she

said the sheriff told me two or three times that he was going to put me
in jail...

K: Yeah.

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Page 46

D: ,..And begged me not to do it--not to do what I was doing. And the judge
said to her--and says--well, when you keep putting a rope around your
neck you're bound to get rope burns. In other words, everything was

fine the first day. The next day we go up there, we're all a bunch

of no good so and suches. .t- i..

K: Hmmm. ,/.

D: And we had a--we have a guy that writes for the TimexUnion right now.

His name is Hank DrafW

K: Yeah.

D: Hank Drain was here the whole time. He walked with me, a deputy, or

somebody. And he often said, "The best thing in the world we could

do is to put that guy underneath the jail--that Martin Luther King-

forever. He hated him. He was the worst buzzard he'd ever seen--

a rattlesnake in disguise and everything.

K: Everything he could think, yeah.

D: He despised him. The night that Martin Luther King got killed, he

called Chief Stkart Saf talked to StUart. He called me and I said,
ii II
well I just heard about it. I said but Hank, by the same token, I

said you know what a buzzard he is and what we've put up with here.
11 01 It /1
And uh, he said yeah, I'm going to burn him up. He said you watch.

He said I'm sick and tired of making a hero out of him. The next day

I don't see anything of Hank DraWn The following day here's this

beautiful article how Hank--uh--written by Hank Drain--just the opposite

of what he told us for months and months and months here in St. Augustine.

K: Uh huh.

D: And what he told me the night before.

K: Hmmm.

D: In, uh, on the phone.

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K: Well, maybe he figured because he was dead he, you know,

he wasn't going to hurt the g ____ on;:the way out.

D: No, what he figured when he--I think what happened--when he took his
c -
beautiful article in there and threw it on that editor's paper on the

top of the desk--when that-- He said this is--

K: A ..ele ii. A p c. t e C(I-^f0 D

D: This is the opposite. He said you--Martin Luther King's a hero. Do you

understand that? And changed his whole line of thinking.

K: But do you think--a you think that King was affiliated with communist


D: Yes, I told you. I believe in my own mind that, uh, when King attended

that Communist school in, uh, Tennessee, I had pictures of it and I

was present on three different occasions when newsmen asked him if he

attended the communist school.

K: Uh huh.

D: And if that was his picture in there. And on every occasion, he said

it was none of their business. He evaded the question. He never denied

attending the communist school.

K: Uh huh.

D: Another thing that upsets me about it. He violated a federal injunction

by going to Memphis. The federal court had an injunction against him,

clit i'lI him to stay out of Memphis because of the death tqx

K: Yeah.

D: He violated the federal laws and went right on into Memphis and got

killed. If you remember correctly, he had just come back from a

beautiful trip to Russia. And he was in Russia for several weeks.

And he came back from Russia and then I think he got the, uh, beautiful

award for--a Nobel Peace Prize that year, which he was entitled to about

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D: as much as any, uh, lawbreaker. The--uh, you know, I hear people say

why did you do this? Why did you put him in jail? Well, because you

got a state law. A man calls you and says I want this man in jail.

What are you going to do, say no, I ain't going to put him in jail.

I'm going to let him stay here. You can't do it. Not and keep your

job. But uh, we had real good luck with him. And uh, we--those are

the only three blacks that I've heard of that were during that whole

time that were really injured. And they got injured because they went

to a place they shouldn't have gone.

K: %M== Why do you think King chose St. Augustine to focus on during the

summer of '64?

D: Because of, uh, Dr. Haling's actions. I think Haling was brought down

here specific purpose of, uh, creating as much trouble as he could in

order to get this ball rolling. They had to start somewhere, and this

was a real good place to start.

K: Yeah.

D: But uh--

K: Do you think it had something to do with the quadricentennial celebration

and uh, possible uh, well, publicity therein or--

D: Let's see, our--our uh, well, let's see--it was in uh '65.

K: It was '65, yeah, when they had all the preparations for it and stuff.

D: Uh huh. But they did one thing they said they was going to do. They

made us crawl. They darn near broke St. Augustine.

K: Uh huh.

D: Which is sixty percent tourist town, and uh--

K: They dried it up.

D: Boy, it was terrible. And you--you see, uh, big motels and not one car

parked anywhere.

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Page 49

K: Hmmm.

D: Out of thirty-five or forty big motels who'vey got a lot of money

involved. You know things are bad.

K: People are hurting, yeah. Well, how would you--how would you assesSthe

way the news media covered the--the uh, entire affair.

D: Well, actually the uh, the news media didn't do a bad job except that,

uh, they wanted to take pictures of these, uh, white rabble rousers

which were strickly against it.

K: ________

D: They would take their cameras away from them and bust their cameras.

And uh, they uh, it was just a--in other words, they were acting against


K: Uh huh.

D: Because the more they've, uh, the more grounds they gave the, uh, the

media for writing against them. Well, the media wes.l--iL naturally

*guing- L--

K: Write more about them.

D: Sure.

K: Sure. Uh, well these--do you think these rabble rousers that you call

them--they were--they were pretty effective in stirring things up or--

D: Oh yeah, but you know the uh, you would have been surprised at the

people down in the park. In other words, the--we'd say we have, uh,

thirty-five or forty people marching with the blacks around the park.

Well, there might be, uh, seventy-five or eighty people, blacks and

whites, in that march--in that area.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, there wouldn't be one--wouldn't be over two out of every ten

that would be from St. Augustine.

K: Really?

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Page 50

D: Because they wouldn't have enough to participate.

K: Yeah.

D: It ended up with old old people and kids under--around twelve or

thirteen years old.

K: Why? The other ones were in jail by then?

D: No, they--they, uh, just uh, didn't participate in it.

K: Hmmm.

D: They--what they would do is uh, would just create trouble. Like one

day they decided to march on the--out here at the black school.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, we had a heck of a time because they were walking. And they

were going to walk up to the park, walk around the park, and walk back.

Well, the farther they walked they came to colored town over ::here.

The farther they walked up King Street, the bigger the group got.

K: Was it marchers or the white group?

D: The marchers.

K: Oh, yeah.

D: And uh, by the same token, the uh, the Florida Normal, they called and

said they were going to march, but they didn't want these outsiders in

their group.

K: Uh huh.

D: You understand what I mean? So it was a lot of harassment between the

Florida Normal students and the blacks that wanted to get in the march,

too, so they can create a distubance.

K: Hmmm.

D: And they call here and say get him out of here. We don't want him in here.

K: They would?

D: Yeah.

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Page 51

K: How many students were out there?

D: Oh, I don't know. I guess, uh, 300 or 400.

K: Uh huh. And they didn't--they--when they--when they would--well, they

were marching concurrently with, uh, King--King's men?

D: No, they weren't. They uh, they uh--the president out there, Perfet)

K: Yeah.

D: Uh, was strickly for the NAACP, of course.

K: Yeah.

D: But, by the same token, when he got ready to march, his girls and girl

students and male students--they would tell him, and he would take--

it was all of the class. All of the teachers would march with them.

You understand what I mean?

K: It was the whole place.

D: Oh yeah. They'd all come stand. And uh, they molested nobody.

K: Uh huh.

D: They didn't have any arguments or any trouble. They would just go

up to the, uh, the foot of the bridge, and uh, all of them would

sing a few songs, you know, school songs and sometimes religious songs

'cause it was a--I think it was a baptist-oriented school in the first place.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, then they'd go on back. A lot of times they would have a bus

come pick them up. But they were the best behaved people you ever saw.

K: And did the white hecklers ever give them any trouble?

D: Never never bothered them in any way.

K: Really? That's interesting.

D: Never--

K: So the--so the white--the white counter-demonstrators would just key

on the uh, SCLC 5r,i or b- ithe groups.

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D: Yeah, local and--uh, key on the locals and the out of owners.

K: Uh huh, but they'd leave the college students alone?

D: Yeah. Never--never--I don't think we ever had one incident out there.

K: Mmmm. So in terms of, uh, in terms of, you know, what kind of measures

you'd take, you've al-eady said several times that you had--or you

stated at least once that, you know, when --when King was in jail you

had to, you know, take him up to Jacksonville because all the riots

and what not, but when he came into town, was it a different situation?

Or did you have to take extra precautions or did you have to, uh, how

did his presence change things?

D: Uh, well they--they uh became more vocal, and of course, when he travelled

he--I guess he had at least, uh, thirty people with him.

K: Uh huh.

D: Which is a big amount for a little ole town like this, you know. And uh,

we uh, we didn't have to--he--he uh, was fairly abusive in his own way

over the TV, you know, but he always struck me as being, uh, on some

kind of, uh, dope when he would speak on TV. I don't know whether you

ever saw him or not.

K: No, I'm too young

D: His--his eyes would just--boy, they would just glisten. Just like he--

but he knew what he was saying. And uh, the--and he had--he had some

bully boys with him, uh, the, uh, like I was telling you, this uh thing

after 11:00 at night, when Virgil and I were enjoined to--to leave him

alone, but we had to protect him. They--one night they almost got the

whole bunch wiped out. The blacks did.

K: Oh yeah.

D: The--all of the merchants in town were good friends of Jimmy Brock who

ran a motel--the Mesden.

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Page 53

K: The Ma-defr?

D: Right on Bay Street.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, they marched up there about 12:30 that night and uh, decided to

go in. Well, these people are all business people that I'm talking about--

school teachers and business people.

K: More respectable.

D: Yes. They're in there and they have baseball bats.

K: The businessmen and stuff?

D: Yes.

K: These weren't the young white toughs or the KKK or anything?

D: No, that's where I got ninety percent of my marchers were from the

business people that protected the blacks.

K: Uh huh.

D: When they were marching--were businessmen from St. Augustine that owned

businesses all the way around that park--all the way up St. George Street--

San Marco. They come every night just as regular as a clock.

K: To protect the marchers?

D: To protect the marchers.

K: But when--but when King and his group went into the MaAen then they were

holding the baseball bats?

D: Yes sir. They said that if they--they weren't going to let them in there.

And I tried and I told them. I said you guys are not going. I says you're

going to get, the whole bunch killed.

K: Why did they make a sudden reversal when one night protecting the'blacks,

then the next night ready to beat on them?

D: Well, in the first place, they--we arrested Martin Luther King at the

-Madeen place.

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K: Yeah.

D: The next night there was a fire bomb thrown in the Mad&on.

K: Uh huh.

D: From--it did quite extensive damage.

K: Yeah.

D: Of course, we felt the blacks threw it in there because they arrested

King there.

K: I thought--I though that fire bomb hit a little later after the Civil

Rights Act had passed.

D: No, this was before. I'm sure it was. Anyway, these guys were all

upset when they heard that they were going, uh, the--the--what, uh,

what happened was a black came--a white man came in and rented a room

in the Munson.

K: Yeah.

D: Then he gets on the phone and calls the guys up and they come down, go

in his room, put on their bathing suits, and go swimming in the pool.

Well, no--you can't do that at any motel anywhere, whether you're white

or black. You can't, uh, have visitors unless they tell you you can.

This raised a big stink that afternoon. In fact, they said they were

going to put an alligator in the pool.

K: Is that when Brock actually poured that ureatic acid in there. C

D: Yeah, yeah. And.-uh, to keep them out.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, now.Martin Luther King was staying right across the bay on the

sea wall.

K: Uh huh.

D: Now if anybody wanted to, uh, beat Martin Luther King up, he had four or

five men with him there. If anybody had wanted to beat Martin Luther King

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Page 55

D: up, or throw him in that place, all they had to do is just walk across

Bay Street and push him overboard off the sea wall.

K: Uh huh.

D: No one molested him.

K: Hmmm.

D: No one bothered him at all. He left and then they--the white man that

rented the room said that they'd be back that night to see him. So

by that time people had--all the business people are getting pretty

riled, and uh, they didn't march 'til late. And when they came up,

well these people were all standing there.

K: __^ _k?

D: Yeah, good business people and--

K: That's interesting.

D: IC ) and they were waiting and I begged these people. I said you--

I said the bad part of it is none of you guys that are leaders are going

to go get hurt. You're not going up there. You're going to push these
little kids and these old men and women up there.

K: Uh huh.

D: That's what you're going to do. You're going to force them up there and

these guys are going to knock the tar out of them. And you ought to be
ashamed of yourselves--taking advantage of these poor old people. So I

finally got them moving and uh, they went on down to uh--

K: That was the blacks that you were telling that to?

D: Yeah. And so we moved them on down to the slave market.

K: Yeah, moved them on down the road.

D: Which is where they wanted to go anyway, but they just decided to walk

on this man's private property, and I tried to explain to them that this

is not a street. This is this man's private property here. And you've

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Page 56

D: got to honor it. You've got to have a little respect for it.

K: Uh huh.

D: No, we're going to march on there. I said, well it's up to you. I
don't have anything else to say--just go right ahead. You ain't going
to protect us? I said protect you against what. What am I going to
protect you from--your own stupidity?

K: Uh huh.

D: I know if somebody comes to my house just like you, and you tell him

to get out. If he don't get out, you're going to get something to put

him out. And that's exactly what they were going to do. They were

going to make them walk--walk out of there.

K: Yeah.

D: Lh a lot of, uh, funny things happened, but uh, I

still say that uh, I know that uh, King went to that school. I know

that Dr. Young went to that school. And uh, uh, what is that guy's

name from Savannah? There was trouble every time I saw him.

K: Abernathy?

D: No, Abernathy went-to--_

K: Oh, uh, Hogstead. Uh, no, no, uh--

U: No.

K: No. No, uh--

U: It was R Williams.

K: It was Lar.-r Williams.

D: It was aLewy Williams. And I'm going to tell you something else. When

those people left here and they went to Alabama, ___4__ Williams was

arrested in a stolen car and he had car's keys to eight other stolen

cars in his pocket.

K: Mmmm.

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D: And he was arrested between Savannah and uh, Atlanta. And he told

them that Martin Luther King had the other eight sets of keys.

K: Hmmm.

End of Side 2-Tape A

On page 56 two comments were made by an unknown speaker. The "U" indicates this.

SJ 1AB Bridges

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Side 1-Tape B

K: Where what we missed on that tape was I believe you were telling me that

Hoss--you didn't think Hoss was a Klansman.

D: No, I don't think he was a Klansman because it cost $10.00. And he--uh,

another reason I don't, uh, think he was, but I do believe this. I

believe that the, uh, groups of Klansmen or whether they were Klansmen

or not, came to St. Augustine they looked to Menusie for leadership and

for location.

K: So when they came in they would kind of turn themselves over to Hoss and

Hoss would then direct them.

D: Yeah.

K: They would--

D: But by the same token, I never--all the time, uh, that Hoss was in this

thing, did I ever hear him say anything that, uh, would mean the death

of somebody.

K: Uh huh.

D: Because he--himself is not a violent person, you know. And uh, so he'd

tell anybody I don't believe in killing anybody I think we ought to

keep them here. We ought to beat them up here- nd he had everything

lined up on the march and--

K: Uh huh.

D: Of course, uh, anytime the blacks would see a group, that was where they

would go. They wouldn't, uh, they.wouldn't bypass the group. They

wouldn't walk around them on the street or anything. They'd walk over


K: Right through them,- huh?

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K: Well, again I, you know, I have to try to verify what I read in the


D: Yeah.

K: I was reading--yeah, in fact that's the article I was just going toa

ask about. The Alligator--is that from the Alligator? Is this the

one from the Alligator?

D: Yeah.

K: And in here I believe they said, uh. Yeah, in this article I believe

they said that, uh, you know, that you were--that you had--you had to,

uh, keep people in what were called sweat boxes--

D: Yeah!

K: And in the outside pens. Can you tell me about that?

D: Yeah, we had the, uh, the--there were nine flights came over with a

professor from Gainesville.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, they were, naturally they didn't belong to the colored, uh, the

NCAA--they were something else, they said. But they came over for

sympathy. And uh, so uh, the professor had eight--seven--there were

eight of them. Yeah.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, they turned themselves in. They insisted on going to jail. And

wtrU sympathy ____ Well, we got them out there, and we put them up

in the white cell upstairs.

K: Yeah.

D: .Where we had three or four other white prisoners and the colored were

next door. And uh, so--gee, about 3:00 in the morning they all started

beating on the walls at one time and cursing and raising devil. And so I

went up and there were two local boys that was in jail up there. And

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D: they were the ones creating the--

K: The altercation?

D: The disturbance.

K: Uh huh.

D: They couldn't get to the blacks and the blacks couldn't get to them,

but they'd beat on the walls and cuss them for this and that. And then

the blacks would beat on the walls--just keeping people awake, you know.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, so I ordered them out. I said let's go. I got a place for you

two boys. I'll put y'all in the sweat box. And at that time it was a

legal deal. It was a small box that I think they were made for four or

five people at the most.

K: Yeah.

D: No beds in there--just bare floor. And uh, so they came out and when they
did, well the professor gets up and puts his shirt on. And he said okay

boys let's go. I said where y'all going. He said we're gonna--if they're

gonna be locked up, we're gonna be locked up.

K: And the professor and his boys weren't the ones that were raising the stink?

D: No.

K: It was just the two locals.

D: No. Huh uh. I said why do you want to go over there to the sweat box?
If II but
Have you ever been in one? He said no,/we're going. If they go, we'll
It I! It
go. I said all right. Be my guest. So I took them over there and put

them in the sweat box and left them there 'til the next morning. They

left town the next day.

K: Yeah. Did you--did you have to--did you use that sweat box much during

these, uh--

D: No. I'd say that was the only time we used it.

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K: Yeah. What about--what about the, uh, pen outside the uh--I read a

report where, uh, you know, you were--you had to, you know, put people

out there during the for I don't know what reason.

D: Well, the--the--you take, uh, twenty-five or thirty people in one cell


K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, that uh--you have to clean that place out every day. Another

thing, they were complaining about not getting any exercise. Well, the

fence is still out there. They still use it for exercise, and uh, so

we, uh, put them out there. And, of course, I was sorry as the devil.

We'd leave them out there for, say, two or three hours, and then take

another group out and leave them in it. But uh, the uh, black women

and uh, black men was uh, kind of disgusting because I had white people

working at the jail--white jailer woman. And uh, they put on little

sex shows out there. So we finally had to quit. We couldn't put the

men out there at the same time with the women.

K: Hmmm.

D: Because it was, you know, it was filthy so we stopped it. The uh, and

then, uh, they really raised a ruckus. They were--because they wasn't

getting enough exercise, you know. So we'd send them out in groups of

fifteen or twenty and let them trot around the thing for fifteen or

twenty minutes and then come back in.

K:. How many cell blocks were in the jail?

D: Oh.

K: Are in the jail?

D: Well, let's see. We had, uh, room for eighty.

K: Eighty prisoners altogether?

D: Yeah.

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K: And was that the maximum amount you kept in you jail during these

times or would you just overflow?

D: No, uh, some nights we'd, uh, before we could process them, we had one

wing that we used for juveniles--white girls and white boys. There

weren't, uh, I think there's about six or eight bunks in the big cell


K: Uh huh.

D: And then on the other side, where we kept the juveniles separated--

the girls from the boys--were two big cells with four bunks in each


K: Yeah.

D: So when we'd have an overflow, we'd, uh, take the juveniles and take

them to their parents and tell them to bring them back. And then we'd

move them up in the big area place, but they had no place to sleep

except on the floor so--

K: Uh huh.

D: We didn't have bed facilities for them.

K: Did you have a padded cell out there?

D: Yeah, I had two of them.

K: Yeah.

D: Creach padded cells. They were for the, uh, insane--

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh--

K: Did--would you use those for when there was--when it overflowed?

D: Uh, used them the night we had the sweat box incident.

K: Yeah.

D: Cause the women all started raising hell--they--

K: Put the women in the padded cells?

D: Yeah. Yeah. Let those--

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K: And that's the only time you had to use those sweat boxes?

D: Yeah. We left them, uh, we left them in there I'd say a full hour.

K: Uh huh.

D: Because there's no place to stand--I mean nothing you can do in a

padded cell except walk around and around the loop, you know.

K: Mmmm.

D: Well, if, you take, uh, ten or fifteen people jammed in one of those

places and uh, it takes just about an hour for everything to quiet

right down.

K: So you left them in about an hour and--

D: And brought them out.

D: And brought them back out. Sounds like they-did all right. Uh, oh

yeah, another newspaper, uh, they were talking about how several

times, uh, the state police would arrest somebody and turn them over

to you on--whereupon you would, you know, release them for, uh, you

know, as little--with, uh, you know, no bail or just, you know, let

them go or something and, uh, it would--did this happen much? I don't

know if this--

D: Yes, it happened often.

K: Uh huh.

D: The uh, sometimes they would, uh, bring, uh, five or six blacks in.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, the uh, bondsman would come, you know, write the bonds. If

you couldn't get in touch with them, I'd always call up, uh, an

influential black and tell him I had five down there and I want him

to come to the court house the next morning and post bond. And

finally they got a black bondsman here.

K: Uh huh.

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D: And I'd call him or the state would either call him and he'd say,

well, if I can't make it tonight, you turn them loose and tell them
to meet me at the courthouse tomorrow and I'll post their bonds. And--

which he would.

K: Yeah.

D: So we've worked the same process--

K: With the whites?

D: With the whites.

K: Uh, is uh--

D: We never lost any of them.

K: Uh huh.

D: And just like I was telling you, the two Ku Klux Klanners that I

arrested out at the rally, they both went to the county jail and turned

themselves in and posted bond.

K: Uh huh. Yeah.

D: Both of them. I mean--without a deputy or anything.
K: What about, uh, I read about one fellow that--who/burned a state

officer with aid? Uh, do you recall that incident? And apparently

found out somebody got mad at you for apparently using this procedure.

D: Uh uh.

K: Do you recall that or is it true?

D: I remember a state officer getting his finger broken.

K: Yeah.

D: Up in the park, but uh--

K: That's not the answer.

D: No, uh, they never had acid. They called it Highlife. It's a--stuff

you scooch on when a dog or something when he's molesting you.

K: Highlife? Oh, kind of like mace?

D: Yeah. Similar. Only thing it was--it would burn--oil of mustard, that's

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Page 65

D: what it was.

K: Oil of mustard?

D: Oil of mustard, yeah.

K: Oh, I see. What about one time that they said that a--some white was

driving in and they had a--and the state police stopped him and they

had a loaded shotgun, five loaded pistols, and I think they said they

had five bushels of ammunition or something like that. And they turned

them all over to you and they said--the paper said that you released

them and, you know, gave him his gun and stuff back--

D: No, I--when this--I came out there and they didn't have any charges

against the people.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, none of the weapons were loaded and uh, they took them at the

jail--the county jail--they took the five guns, I think it was. And

they were all in the trunk.

K: Yeah.

D: They took the weapons from them.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, told them that when they got ready to leave St. Augustine to

come by and pick their weapons up.

K: Uh huh.

D: And not to come back to St. Augustine again with weapons in the car

or on their person.

K: Yeah. And the ammunition, y'all kept that, too?

D: We didn't have any ammunition.

K: Oh, they didn't have any ammunition?

D: Not when they got to us.

K: Oh.

D: I don't know whether the state took it away from them or what.

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K: I see.

D: There wasn't--

K: So you just got the guns.

D: Just got the weapons. No ammunition. There wasn't any in the car.

y K: On May 29th then Mayor Shows--Dr. Shows.

D: Yeah.

K: Did they--did like he--he put you in charge of all the police in the

area? The state, local, and the, uh, and the county? And then, I

don't know, this is getting close to the heigth of the marches and

so you called upon, uh, let's see, very specific groups and local

citizens and businesses for the special deputy, uh, forces?

D: Yeah, we had Rotarians, Kiwanians, Jaycees, we had--we were desperate.

K: Everybody. Did--would--

D: And you know, uh, the guys that were strictlyagainst the march that

didn't want to take part in it, they, you know, they were disgusting
you up
I S --they--every one of them would call / and say look,

don't count on me, I'm not going to protect those people.

K: Uh huh.

D: I'm not going to protect them, and I don't intend to. I said okay,

that's all right, but I've got to have some help somewhere.

K: Yeah.

D: And sometimes they'd say all right Elwood, just for you I'll--we'll

come back and help you.

K: What about, uh, what about in reports like, uh, what Simpson brought

out that they'd--some of the boys from the ancient City hunting Club

turned up on those lists--was, uh--did you know that, uh, that they

were members of that club or--

D: Well, uh, I was over there that day. They had, uh, Menusie give a list.

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K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, he didn't have list of those hunting club members so

the judge gave him a day to get it so or an hour to get so he got a

St Augustine directory.

K: Yeah.

D: Telephone directory and he went down and wrote about 100 names. Well,

the funny part of it was, two of the U.S. Marshalls--two of the men

working in the U.S Marshall's office had been down to his place--his

hunting campihe called it.

K: Yeah.

D: Out west and northwest of town and uh, had hunted deer there. So uh,

I mean--and, and uh, of course, I didn't uh--he asked me if I belonged

to it, and I told him no that I--that was a deer hunting camp.

K: Yeah.

D: And I hunt birds. I'm strictly a quail hunter.

K: Yeah.

D: Then uh, I said I know where the camp was. I could find it. I could

go to it, but as far as ever belonging--

K: Belonging.

D: I didn't belong.

K: Well, was--I was talking in terms of your, uh, your special deputies.

Uh, did--

D: Well, a lot of them belong to that hunting camp.

K: Yeah?

D: Yeah, they, uh, see they get--

K: And they were willing to protect the blacks?

D: Oh yeah. See, uh, the way these--this hunting camp thing--like they

get one man who'll go--We've got several organizations here in St.

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D: Augustine and I guess you have them in Gainesville, too, but this one

man will go like to, uh, Cumber Lumber Company and say he had a

tract of land out there so many miles long and so many miles wide.

K: Uh huh.

D: He'll go to him and say I got forty members that, uh, want to hunt

this tract of land. And in return we will patrol it and keep people

from burning your timber.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh--

K: So that's what Hoss and the boys did?

D: Yeah. They--I think there was about thirty-five or forty of them

belong to it out there.

K: Uh huh. And, well, I noticed that Simpson, uh, like, you know, literally

accused, uh, the Ancient City hunting Club of being, uh, you know, part

of the Klan.

D: Yeah.

K: Do you think that was true?

D: No.

K: No?

D: No. They was just a bunch of old crackers who lived out here in the

woods. They banned themselves and why they called it that--now that

was another little five or ten dollar or maybe two dollar project of

Hosses to get a few bucks in his pocket. You know--you know what I mean?

K: Yeah.

D: He'd just put out a little card and it was really easy to do. But we

must have at least fifteen of those clubs right here in St. John's

County right today.

K: Yeah. But old--but Hoss was a--was a--was one of your special deputies

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K: at one time, wasn't he? Even though he was pretty much against the march?

D: I, uh, I never did, uh, deputize him.

K: Uh huh.

D: But I-I made a special deputy of him one night-one time when--and I gave

him a badge and told him to bring it back in. And we was having a little --

too much trouble with some whites.

K: Was it some--some of the wild young white counterdemonstrators?

D: Yeah, and uh, I told him that, uh, if he couldn't stop them as the

deputy sheriff, I was going to hold him responsible for their actions.

K: Oh yeah?

D: And uh, he stopped them in about ten minutes.

K: How much influence did, uh, he exert over the young whites that were

causing trouble? Was he pretty influential with them?

D: Well, his, uh, kids were the ones that he worked through, see?

K: Yeah.

D: Then he had a lot of relatives-their kids. And uh, of course they

looked to Hoss for--whatever he said was gospel to them.

K: So he was their divine light so to speak.

D: Yeah, he did real well. He kept the-the uh, thing down to a minumum.

K: Uh huh. And it's his boys that were involved in those counter-demonstra-


D: Oh yeah. Sure. Every one of them.

K: Hmmm.

D: And they went--they went out and they got these kids around fifteen, sixteen,

seventeen, eighteen years old who'd go right along with them.

K: Yeah. Uh, when government-what was it-about, uh, fifteen or twenty days

after Mayor Shelly made you, uh, put you in charge of all of them-didn't-

did, uh, that was when you asked Governor Bryant to relieve you of uh-

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Page 70.

D: I, uh, I asked Governor Bryant to relieve me and I knew what he was

going to do before I got there because and he told me to send the

plane' out here and he was going to take me over. The highway

patrol plane-because, uh, there wasn't any way I could, uh, do any

good for it, you know?

K: Yeah.

D: The way things were set up and with an injunction against me. And when

I walked in, he uh, says uh, do you know any other solution besides
I) H
putting someone in charge over there? I said I don't know any other

solution. I said I'm Stewart--uh, Chief Stewar's hands are tied and

i mine are- tied. We can't do a thing, governor. He said well I just

wanted to tell you that I'm sending, uh, Major somebody and-

K: Jordan, I believe it is.

D: Yeah, and the highway patrol over.

K: Yeah.

D: But the uh, the thing acted, uh, kind of bad because if you'd-I believe

we'd had had a lot better luck if he'd left the twenty-six-

K: Uh, those twenty-six troopers that he pulled down?

D: That had been here, see. They were here for four-at least four months-

maybe more. Consequently, they knew exactly what was going to happen

because we'd have our little briefing and uh, half the time the uh-

those guys--I mean they were businesslike but they were also firm and

they weren't, uh, overbearing and they--to my knowledge I never say one

of those twenty-six men ever get in an argument with a white or a black.

K: Uh huh. Hmmm.

D: But uh, because if, for instance, they'd see an argument over here, and

they'd say okay Harry, straighten this guy out right away. You know,

-a&I on the civilians.

K: Yeah.

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Page. 71

D: They'd been here long enough to know that who was down there every night

and who's going to do this every'night.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh.

K: So after they, uh, pulled those, uh, those twenty-six out, were relations

sort of tense between the local policemen and the state policemen?

D: No, huh uh. I think .he sent-

K: They got along pretty good?

K: I think he sent sixty in here the first batch.

K: Yeah.

D: At-when he got the twenty-six out. And uh, there were sixty in here,

and uh, the major and I and Virgil didn't have, uh, too many meetings,

but uh, I had a captain-he was a captain and his name was Reddick. He

came over and he had a-he came over because we had a bombing of the

Far East Coast Railroad that same year, you know.

K: Yeah.

D: Had a strike and stuff. And uh, there was another officer, Lieutenant

something--he was from Palatka. And he knew us. And we were all sitting

up in a meeting up at Virgil's. And uh, so the uh, the major hadn't been

here very long. And uh, he was out at the armory where all the prisoners

were going through the armory.

K: Yeah.

D: Being processed through the armory then.

K: Yeah.

D And uh, so that was his headquarters so someone calls the office and uh,

said well, the marches are on the way. And, of course, I had been down

there that would tell me something 'cause the newspapermen were invaluable.

They would be right down there in the meetings and they'd tell us when

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D: they were going to march and what time and so forth. And uh, so anyway,

the call came into the police station-said that uh, they were going to

march--were marching. So we stayed there and talked for a few minutes

and I said maybe we better go downtown, it's about time they were there.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, the highway patrol had come down, and rejected my, uh, special

deputies--all my businessmen, my rotarians, Kiwanians, all those had

just rejected them because they ddn't need them. So they're all standing

on the corner of Treasury--

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, Charlotte, down in that area. And we came down to the park.

There was fighting all over the park.

K: Yeah.

D: White,. blacks, highway patrol--

K: Was this the day when they had the--when that white boy was-had his

head cracked at the beach by the, uh, state trooper?

D: No, that was a different time.

K: Uh huh.

D: But they were fighting all over that park.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, when I got there, well, I'm trying to break up the fights, and. uh,

because blacks and -everybody else is just raising some heck. So I ran

around to--and sent word around to bring my special group and uh, they

came around and said no, the highway patrolmen don't need us.

K: Yeah.

D: About that time a big old tall boy mouths off and one of the highway

patrolmen was with him-didn't care for him. And we threw him into

the patrol car and sent him on to the hospital. And uh, by that time

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D: I had a guy, Ray Rollings, who is a businessman and-from St. Augustine--

and he's over arguing and--with these white group" over in the other

part of the park, and one of the highway patrolmen comes up and throws

a tear gas bomb and hit Rollings in the leg with it.

K: Hmmm.

D: So he grabs it and throws it back at the highway patrol. Here they come

marching down-there are four or five abreast, you know, and just like

it was a-

K: A parade.

D: An army deal, you know. He threw that thing back at them and he got mad.

He got on the other side. Here I am losing my best man because he got

hit with the teargas.

K: Yeah.

D: I thought holy mackerel, we'll never get of this one. So uh, the lieutenant

and the captain and the highway patrol, they said, uh, we'll wait for you

guys up at the office. And they turned around and went up back up to the

police station. They wasn't about to get involved in that.

K: This was-this incident occurred after the-that they-that Bryant: put

that major in charge?

D: Yeah, it smoothed down after two or three weeks.

K: Yeah.

D: And see they-and the night they had the bad trouble there, there were

four of five highway patrolmen got into a bad spot. And it was right on
CorA(o V
the corner of Gadova and King. And uh, so they yelled for me and I

rushed down there and I went in and these guys were all standing back to

back. And uh, so-

K: Were they surrounded by wild whites?

D: yeah, all whites.

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K: Uh huh.

D: Must have been twenty-five or thirty of them.

K: Were they young toughs?

D: Yeah, tough as hell. And uh, one of the highway patrolmen had come back

with his stick to hit this guy and the guy being him, a white boy,

grabbed and jerked him flat on his back. Then he turned him around and
tl II
he says here mister, you dropped your stick. Well, that give them

something to, you know, a little relief--somebody-so they all started
It I "
laughing. Hey, you dropped your stick. Hey copper, and stuff like that.

And uh, so I got there and I said, uh, listen you guys. I said I'm going

to get you out of there. He said no, we're going to get out of there.
ft )'
We're going to shoot our way out. I said it's no use shooting these -

LWds. I: said forget it. Come on, letts go. I'll get you out of here.

So I turned around and I said all right, I'm coming right through there

and these guys are coming through there. The first one raises a hand

to any of them or throws a rock. If I know who you are you're going to

go out there and make some little ones out of big ones. And when I got

them out, this old big tall guy he looked at me and said hot damn I'm
I1 It II
one of the five and he said I sure appreciate it. I thank you. He said
If 11 ti 1t
how in the world did we get in that spot? I said I don't know. They

had just got separated from-in other words, one of them had run at one

of these white kids, and--which got him in the crowd. And then his

buddies wanted to help him and the first thing they know-

K: They got surrounded.

D: Yeah, they--there are a whole bunch of them, you know, just set a trap

for them and they fell in.

K: These are mostly local white youths?

D: Yeah, uh huh. It was a--

K: Maybe Hosses sons and that kind of boys?

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D: Yeah. Now, Hoss, uh, most of these kids, of course, are just kids

growing up around town.

K: Yeah, right.

D: You know. It wasn't a-

K: Not a Klan conspiracy or-

D: No, they weren't bad kids. It was just the idea that, uh, they'd found

something they could have a lot of fun in.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, not get hurt themselves. But uh, the uh, highway patrol and I

didn't-we didn't-that night, though, after that, the uh-we got on

pretty good terms 'cause that--it, the whole thing was that, uh, that

they, I don't know why, but they thought they could come here and uh,

just, uh, beat these kids down. Well, we got--they-we didn't take our

dogs out anymore.

K: When did you stop doing that?

D: Well, they took charge.

K: Oh, when the major took charge they quit using dogs?

D: Yeah. We didn't send any dogs down. He didn't accept any of our deputies

or--for about three or four-five nights. Then all of a sudden, he knows

he needs us, you know.

K: Yeah.

D: He can't--he can't--you can't do anything with a bunch of kids. You can't

shoot them. You can't hurt them. And those darn little devils are just

like rubber balls. They'd--they'd bounce them around. They'd--

K: All'of sudden then your relations with:.he state were fairly amiable-

D: Oh ylm, gt(. .

K: But did this 7-r f-t51 with ae federal government, and uh, Judge

Simpson, uh, how would you assess his role inthe whole matter?

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D: I think that Judge Simpson was promised a real nice promotion which he

got just a few months after that. He went to the fifth court of appeals

in New Orleans.

K: Who do you think promised him?

D: The federal government. Because he couldn't possibly have changed that

much in his attitude in two days.

K: Uh huh.

D: He knew people in St. Augustine. He knew a lot of them that were sitting

in the courtroom. And he allowed the blacks to do anything they wanted

in that courtroom including put their feet on the desk and go sound

asleep in that courtroom-the blacks could. And :the whites couldn't

breathe. They couldn't do a thing. And if one of them stood up or

went to the restroom, there was always two or three blacks to run there

and get in their seats. And he upheld them each and every time.

K: Uh huh.

D: He send the bailiff down, and he'd go down and he'd ball the white

people out for-

K: Trying to--

D: And Judge Simpson knew all of those people. I mean, you know, he comes-

he used to come to St. Augustine a lot.

K: Well, talking about, you know, his showing this favoritism, I read that,

you know, in several newspaper articles where youj BS I c

a favorite quote, and almost anybody writing about it is where, uh, those

two Klan rabblerousers, J. B. Stoner and Conrad Lynch.

D: Yeah.

K: And when, uh, when Hoss-they'd--would always be seen hanging around your

office. They, uh, you know, they'd--is this true? Uh, you know, I read

it in several places.

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D: Well, I think, uh, Lynch and uh, both-I think both of them were in the

office, uh, two mornings in a row.

K: Uh huh.

D: 1 Uh, and it was about the Klan rally. They wanted to know if they could,

uh, put out circulars around the park. And uh-

K: They advertised, iih, around that night.

D: Advertise the rally. And uh, I called the uh, the city for them, and

uh, the-they came back the next morning and, and uh, the office was

full of people. And they must have stayed ten or fifteen minutes

because they wanted to see, uh, Judge Mathis and his office was packed,

too, of course. And uh, they uh, but uh, Hoss, that son, he-it didn't

make any difference where you were.

K: He was around-

D: Old Hoss'd show up all day--time of the day or night. And the night that,

uh, Martin Luther King was out there in jail, there must have been fifty

whites and fifty blacks circulating around that jail.

K: Uh huh.

D: All night long.

K: Hmmn.

D: Up and down the streets and--

K: Those-I believe two nights, the uh, the Klan staged their counter-marches

and they--they marched inthe black section. Was it--was--?

D: One time. I, uh--

K: One time?

D: Yeah. They, uh, came and asked me to march with them, and I told them I

would. I'd been--they put it to me real strong. They said you've been

marching with the blacks now you can march with the whites.

K: Uh huh.

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D: That's perfectly okay. So I called down and I got five blacks that had

been marching continuously-all young blacks. They'd been marching

continuously every night, and uh, I told them I wanted five of them to

march with us.

K: Yeah.

D: And I took those five blacks and put them right at the head of the list

with me and we marched all the way through black town--all through the

bar sections and down in Liberia, and we came back up to the park.

K: So you were--you were pretty much along that-those marches just for

the security aspect or the whole thing?

D: Well, uh, they uh, see, you know, the blacks had a lot of confidence in

me--the local blacks.

K: Uh huh.

D: They. had as much confidence in me as they did in anyone.

K: Uh huh.

D: 'Cause they knew that I wasn't going to let them be injured if I could

possibly help it.

K: Yeah.

D: But uh, they, uh, gee I-it was touch and go sometimes 'cause, you know,

some--one night there a taxi driver of all people-he almost turned a

war in up there. He bails out and bails on-jumps on a little fellow.

and a black fellow that was walking right alongside of me. And uh, he

was a little old skinny dried-up taxi driver. And uh, why he bailed on

this black, I don't know. I've forgotten his name. Anyway, he uh,

when he jumped on him, well I tried to push him away. I said, Willy

get away from here now. When I did, the black grabbed him, picked him

up, and instead of staying in that line where we could protect him, he

gets him on the sidewalk where there's about fifteen or twenty whites.

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D: He started beating the tar out of this little old white fellow.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, of course, they kicked him around pretty bad.

K: They all jumped him. Uh huh.

B: 'I got him out of the thing-jam, and got him back in line, got him down

to the LIncolnville area. But uh, actually, the uh, the thing was so

out of balance that, uh, it was, uh, wasn't even-I mean the way the

thing was written up, you would think that, uh, the white people were

just beating these people to death.

K: That's the way it comes through-reading the newspapers.

D: And yeah. And uh, there wasn't anybody--I guess as many as the newspaper

photographers. One time-one thing that made them sore, they got two or

three local guys and they go on the beach. They go over there with

sheets and-

K: I saw that picture.

D: And pose as the Ku Klux Klan. Well, boy the Klan, they hunting the guys

that took the pictures.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, they also hunting the guys that posed for the pictures.

K: Those weren't really Klansmen?

D: No. So, you know, I mean anything to create a -

K: And so you would say, generally, the whites were not as violent as they-

it appears to be or that-

D: No, they wasn't. It;;wasn't that type of violence. It was a-

K: More of a push--

D: Push and pull stuff, yeah.

K: Uh, so you would say, in terms of your security measures between,-.uh, the

black marches and the white marches you would take pretty much the same

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Page 80

K: sort of security precautions over anything "fI you had to do for

say the blacks and the white 'cause apparently when the whites marched

the blacks would sing to them or something.

D: Oh yeah. They did them the same way that the whites did them.

K: How do you mean?

D: They sang to them, and cursed them you white so and such, and curse the

whites just like the whites cursed them-all the way down.

K: Really.

D: And then the blacks that I had marching at the head of the line, they'd

call them white mother /AAjLALAAA lovers and everything. They

cussed them for everything they could think of because they were marching

with the whites. So actually, it-whbn--we didn't have one bit of

trouble with that white march until we got way back down on Central

AVenue, and uh, a bunch of the blacks had gotten behind this old house

over there and they had a bunch of rocks. And they bricked us pretty


K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, the--one thing--the reason I think that it was kind of set up

that way is because the, uh, five guys I had marching with us, the five

blacks, when those rocks started coming, they took off.

K: Yeah.

D: I don't know whether they thought that the whites were throwing rocks at

them or not, you know.

K: Yeah.

D: But uh, they took off, and the next time I talked to a couple of them they

said that the reason they ran, they thought it was white boys rocking-

throwing rocks at them. They said but they found out it was the blacks

rocking the white line.

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K: Oh yeah. Was-I-you know, what I read of those, uh, those white

marches was that the blacks were real peaceful and stuff when the

whites marched through and they, you know, sang songs. I, you know,

we. love everybody, and did--

D: Well, we only ran into. Yeah, they loved to sing that to the white

marches. We love you and everything. Oh they'd give them a fit. But

one place is in the old bar down there, The Blue Goose Bar. And uh,

there must have been thirty-five big old bucks down there. And they

resented the fact of those guys marching down there.

K: Yeah.'

D: And of course, they knew a lot of the white men.

K: That were actually marching?

D: Yeah.

K: Was this-were there a lot of Klansmen in this march per se or mostly


D: These-well these, uh, if I remember correctly, I think they were all

locals except maybe ten or fifteen or twenty.

K: Yeah.

D: They had a good peaceful group. They cd real well-just a-

K: So anyway these black boys at the Blue Goose Bar-

i. Yeah they--they were kind of-

K: What? They'd razz them or--
D: No, they came out and said why don't you come on in and have a drink,

brother? And you won't drink with us now will you brother. I've had

many, drink with you old boy. And they'd rag the heck out of them, you

know, all the way around. There was three or four drunks that got kind

of abusive and I told them--a couple of blacks, I said take those guys

in there before we have some trouble. I said I got-I said there's too

SJT 1A Bridges

Page 8Z

D: many of them out here for you. I said go and get them back in there.

But they--they give them a bad time in that one little spot. But the

rest of the time they sang we love everybody and all kind of cute little
songs to. which burn them up worse than anything else.

K: And so did they just got the--they just got the rocks thrown on them at

the very end of the march?

D: Yeah. The darkest place they could find. Dog gone it. )

K: Oh yeah. I read another-I read in another article and again I don't know

whether it's true that, uh, you would actually let--allow Klansmen to use

your--use Sheriff's Department cars. I.believe I read that in the, uh,

House Qn-American's Activities Committee.

D: No, there's no--

K: No substance to that?

D: I never read that or heard it 'cause the, uh, Klansmen stayed strictly

away from me. But I had to have a laison officer.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, I used Belluci and uh, I guess, uh, I did the poor devil an

injustice because he lost a lot of'friends, too, you know.

K: Uh huh.

D: ANd uh, but he--he was pretty outspoken. He'd straighten those things up

in a hurry for you.

K: Yeah. Well, like what kind of problems would he straighten up?

D: Well, when they got too rowdy or something like that he'd--

K: The whites?

D: Yeah. Another thing, they was mostly a hit and run thing, you know.

K: Uh huh.

D: You'd say, uh, there'd be ten or twelve of these guys together standing

up in the park in the dark, and they'd say when the middle of the line

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D: hits St. George Street, we'll go. Uh, before you know it, you know,

there'd probably be one man there.

K: One policeman?

D: And the whole ten or twelve.

K: They rush a little spot, huh?

D: They'd rush in there and force-say five or six blacks out through the

other side of the line--

K: And then they'd beat on them?

D: And bop them two or three times.

K: And then keep on running?

D: And then keep on going. This, uh, had a-had one group there was funny

as the devil. This, uh, kid about sixteen or seventeen years old, and

uh, this black-they'd singled each other out. And man they were battling.

They, were having a real fight. Only trouble was-is-they were about six

feet apart, both of them got their eyes closed, but they were fighting

real good for-I'm standing there and uh, laughing at them and uh, but

that--the white boy must have thought he hit the black, but he hit me in

the chest and about the same time, the black boy hit me across the 'back--

Wham. And boy when they did, they opened their mouth--eyes- and saw

me standing there. One of them went one way and one the otherA Everybody

in the whole gang was just hooting and hollering. I said those are- the

two toughest fighters I ever saw. The only two people I ever saw that

could stand six feet apart and fight five minutes and they were- CO6 0 i-

K: Whamming away at each other.

D: Oh, they just had a ball.

K: That's interesting.

D: But there were some pretty tough boys on both sides. You know, uh, I, like

we had the Ford man here and he had a little short black who worked for

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D: him out there, and uh, he never had any trouble with the man. He said

the first thing he noticed one Sunday afternoon, uh, he said, uh, he'd

go up to get some knock at the door and here comes-he goes to the front

door--he(.and his wife, and he's from Georgia. He opens the door and
here's this darky with his wife all dressed up. He say hello, how much
you need, figuring he wanted to get an advance on his salary or something,
you know. He said nothing. He said we just came over to visit. He said
"( 4 1 t'I It
who do you want to visit He said you man. He said me. You mean you

want to come in my house.as a guest? He said you better hit the road
9' Ii
boy. I'll kill you. He said man this is my home. I invite people to

my house.

K: Uh huh.

D: People don't come to my house without an invitation. He said don't you

come back to work tomorrow. He said I don't plan on it. He said I'm

working for the NAACP. I don't need you no more.

K: Yeah.

D: And he has never worked a day since. He's been back in St. Augustine.

I've seen him ten or fifteen times. He has a nice car and-Thunderbird--

birk--Thunderbirk, yeah.

K: Mmmm.

D: What's his name. He never hit another lick.

K: Never worked again, huh?

D: No, he didn't have to work.

K: What, uh, what effect do you think, uh, the Civil Rights Act had on cooling

things down?

D: Wonderful.

K: Yeah.

D: We got that Civil Right I told Mrs. Peabody and Martin Luther King. We

SJ 1AB Bridges

Page 85

D: was going to Jacksonville in the car with me. I told them--I said if you

people will wait until-it was July the-

K: The second.

D: July the second. I said if yiall will wait 'til the first day of July,

you won't have all this to contend with. 'Cause you know the act's

going to be passed. I said all you got to do is just wait a few months

ttil July the fourth. Then it was the second or fourth, and uh, this

thing will all be finished. And she said do you think so? And I said

yes. But they couldn't wait. They had to force it. But I-a lot of

people have, uh, written me letters asking me to get in touch with Mrs.

Peabody and tell her they'll settle that thing up in Boston right away.

All she's got to do-she going to get herself put in jail. A lot of

them write-I, you know--

K: I imagine a little--

End of Side 1-Tape B

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Page 86

D: When they got out there, he 2 I want all of you to

realize one thing -A .A A A-. AAAJ) ,.. o n't make any quick

'>,-moves because-I haven't had this dog long enough to know all of his

little tricks and he hasn't--

K: Quirks, huh?

D: And uh, he said if you move too quickly, he's liable to grab you. And

uh, she said why he's been letting me pet him all the way in-out here.

He said well, I let you pet him. He didn't let you pet him. He don't

likh it. He don't like for anybody to, uh, touch him but, uh, his

trainer. And uh, she said well I didn't know that and he said that's

right. And when he got out he says watch him. And man-I mean they-

you don't have any trouble with prisoners when you have-when you got


K: I'd imagine not. And so you think the, uh, Civil Rights, uh, Act had a

big effect on how the-on the ending of the violence? Or do you think

Simpson had a lot to do with it?

D: No, I don't think Simpson had anything to do with it. Everybody over here

hated him.

K: Yeah?

D: Especially white people. And uh, but uh, that Civil Rights thing-in

about the middle of July you would never have known that there was one

bit of ugliness in this town.

K: Yeah.

D: All of the out-of-towners left, Haling left. )Rpbanks left. They all

went down in the state somewhere down around CocoRC The whole--all of

the ring leaders left town. And when they--on both sides--and when they

left town, everything went right back to normal.

K: When--didn't they have a little problem integrating the motels there for

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K: while after the, uh, after the act passed, uh, there was a little

problem with intimidation.

D: Well, there were, uh, I don't think anyone was ever actually refused,
but I did hear that there were quite a few prices raised to $50.00 a

day and stuff like that.when the blacks came in.

K: Uh huh.

D: But uh, the-I think the biggest thing in that whole thing was the, uh,

the blacks and whites--white girls--marching with the black boys and

the black boys marching with the white girls and that's cJ J *"*'

K: That's what really riled thing's up, huh.

D: And that kept this town so upset and oh, it was, uh, they just couldn't

believe it. They couldn't believe any white person would be that

crummy, you know.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, of course, they would do anything to make them notice it. They'd

hold hands and they'd kiss and it was just--it was just pick pick pick.

They--and the--then when the highway patrol got-they would, uh, search

all the cars for weapons--

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, one night this guy--he must have weighed every bit of 115 or 120

pounds--came to me and he said, uh, he had some-I had $1.00 and .sixty

cents-worth of pennies in a roll. And he said that highway patrolman

took it away from him.

K: Yeah.

D: And uh, I said well did he--you give him your name and address? And he

said yeah. I said well they-they'll get it-you can get it back. And

uh, farther down there was three little kids in the back of a station

wagon and they were all crying and I ask- mother what's happened to

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D: them? And she said they had some marbles back there. They were playing

chinese checkers, and uh, they uh, had some marbles playing a marble

game and the highway patrolman came along and took their marbles away

from them. You know, I--gosh, who's side are you on. You're going to

make the white people mad with us, tool I said,gee, give the kids a

break. You know, we got all this to take everything out so go ahead

and take it then.

K: And he took the marbles away, huh? So you, would say, on a whole, how

would you say the effect of the demonstrating had on the integration of

the town? Do you think it was necessary or do you think it would have

been accomplished without it or--

D: I, uh

K: Or it drained the economy or you know--

D: It ruined the economy for several months, it was in bad shape, but uh,

see, they picketed the airports and they picketed all of the weigh

stations, and everyplace to keep the people from coming here which is

the best way in.the world to, uh, to, you know, ruin the economy and also

to bring you to your knees.

K: Uh huh.

D: And uh, they just, uh, they gave us a good force job.

K: Well, what about--do you think that, uh, do you- think that St. Augustine

would have integrated without all the, uh, all the problems or do you

think the demonstrating was causal in that or--

D: I, uh, I believe the thing--of course after the Civil Rights and the

school issue and everything was settled, see, we never had any of that


K: Uh huh.

D: Uh, we didn't have any after the Civil Rights was ag6b-- -S J --

SJ 1AB Bridges

Rage 89

K: Yeah.

D: Nothing at all.

K: Yeah.

D: The, uh, same people went back to work for the people they worked with

before and uh, there was no argument at all about the-of course, they

just like any other place in any other town that I can understand and

I should see they got Detroit, Chicago, New York, Boston, every place

is-that had the same trouble. And uh, I believe that if they ever

get that busing issue straightened out, well, you know, so that the

people are not forced to ride twenty-five or thirty miles so they can

go to an integrated school from their own locale, and for a long time,

the school boards in the state of Florida all said well, we'll give

them freedom of choice. Let them choose the school they want to go.

If they want to go to the white school, let them go.

K: Yeah. Yeah.

D: But that was immediately squashed.

K: Yeah. Well, that's about all the, uh, questions I had prepared. I-we

I think I've, you know, kept you for a little while. Is there any last

thing you'd like to say?

Dt No, I just, uh, I'll never forget the--King as long as I live.

I'll never-I'll never believe that he was anything except what he said

he was. He didn't ever refuse to say-he never rejected the idea that

he didn't go to that school. He never answered it.

K: He never said that, huh? Well, I, Sheriff Davis--I don't know how I can-

This is the end of Tape SJ 1AB

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