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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
L: This is Janie Maynor Locklear with the Doris Duke Foundation
American Indian History Program under the auspices of the
University of Florida. I am in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore
Maynor. I am talking with Mrs. Elizabeth Oxendine Maynor. Today
is November 27, 1972. The Maynors live approximately two miles
out of Pembroke, North Carolina on Highway 710. Mrs. Maynor, it
is my understanding that you came--you come from a family that
has a large number of school teachers. How many children were in
L: And how many of those, at one time or another, taught school.
M: I believe they were all teachers except one.
L: All except one. How many of them taught long enough to retire
M: About six.
M: Or seven.
L: Retired teachers?
M: Six retired teachers.
L: Six retired from teaching. In what year did you begin your
M: Well, a long time ago we could teach before we had gone to
college. I was graduated from high school in 1924. I then took
some extension work. Then you could begin teaching with what
they called a grade A certificate--Elementary A certificate. So,
I began teaching in 1924--in the fall of 1924.
L: Let's go back a little bit, about your experiences as a child in
the Indian schools in Robeson County. What are some of the
things that you remember about going to school as a child?
M: Well, I was the youngest one of the family of eight children, and
I--they always would call me the baby--so I began school when I
was about five or six years old. I would walk about a mile to
the first school I went to at New Hopes.
L: Who was your teacher there?
M: Mr. Anderson Locklear. We have a building at Pembroke State
University campus--the administration building is named for him,
L: Okay, you walked to school about a mile to the first school you
L: For how long did you go to school at New Hope?
M: Well, I must have gone there about four or five years, I guess.
L: And then the school was moved to Pembroke?
M: Yes, they consolidated with Pembroke. No, I went to Pembroke the
school before this school was done away with. I guess we could
go to Pembroke, or we could go to this one. All of the older
children were going to Pembroke to school. So, I began going
down there with them. That was about two miles away.
L: Who were some of the teachers that you had down there?
M: Well, we had the principal of the school down there. His name
was T. C. Henderson. He was from the western part of the state.
L: And he was a white man?
M: He was white. We did not have any Indian teachers in the school
then. All of them were white down at this school.
L: How many teachers do you recall being there in the beginning?
More than one?
M: Yes, I think there was about three or four teachers down there.
L: These were people that came into the community to teach?
M: They came from out of the community because the white people at
that time did not teach much in the Indian schools. So, these
teachers--some of them came from Pennsylvania, New York, and the
western part of our state.
L: Did these people then live in the community? Did they board them
up with the Indian people while they were here teaching, or what
did they do?
M: They lived in the little town of Pembroke, and they would do
light housekeeping. They would usually have a building of their
own that they would stay in. I do not really think they boarded
with anybody. They done their own cooking and doing. They lived
in a home of their own that they would rent.
L: Now, as a child growing up, what are some of the things that you
did when you were about to go to school and about your childhood
in Robeson County?
M: Well, I remember very well. We did not have cars to ride in. We
would have much rougher weather then, it seems like, than we do
now and we walked that two miles to school regardless. We never
stayed out a day of school on account due to rough weather. If
it got too rough, my dad would take the wagon and go after us in
the afternoon, or take us in the morning on the wagon.
L: Judging from the fact that so many of you did turn out to be
school teachers, undoubtedly, he put a high value on your
education, is that not correct?
M: He really did. He was not educated himself, but he was a self-
read man. He studied after he knew the necessity of an
education, and he really studied and read a lot. He gained a
good education, just by learning himself. He never wanted his
children to stay out of school. He was a pretty well-to-do
citizen--middle class in our community. Or, in our community we
would say the upper class. When time for harvesting the crops
came, he would hire children that did not have as much farm as we
had to come in and gather the stuff, so that the children, his
children could go to school. [Then they] would not have to stay
out of school to do the work. He believed in us not missing a
day from school regardless of rough weather--rain, or snow, we
went to school.
L: Other than farming what were some of the things that your father
did to add to his income? What was his name?
M: My dad's name was James W. Oxendine.
L: Your mother's name?
M: My mama's name was Eliza Jane Oxendine. He would always tell us
to always learn some trade, or to do something besides just one
thing. If we were going to school to be a teacher, he said, "Do
something else on the side." Now my dad was a farmer. Outside of
farming he could do carpenter work. At that time people covered
their houses with wooden shingles. He had an art of making
shingles. He could go down in the creek swamps and get all the
cyprus timber he needed to make shingles. He would make them by
thousands and thousands of shingles. People from far and near
would come to have him make shingles to cover their houses. He
made money like that.
Other than that, during the winter time he
learned to do hunting. He was a big hunter. He would hunt
animals and save their skins. He learned the skill of drying
these skins out and putting them on boards. He would ship them
to these fur companies in St. Louis, Missouri. He made a
tremendous amount of money with mink and otter and raccoon skins.
Because he loved to hunt, he did that a whole lot, that would
supplement his income. Other than that he would always sell
stuff from the farm to supplement his income. Later on, he was
interested in hunting and the hides and skins. He ordered books
from different companies and he learned how to tan leather. He
made all his harness for his mules he used to plow with. He made
his own leather and would use it. He would not have to buy the
plow lines and things of that sort. He did a real good job of
tanning leather. Lots of people would come from far and near to
see how he learned to tan leather. He got so he was very
efficient and made real good leather. At times he even took some
of the leather to a shoe factory and had some shoes made out of
it, a time or so.
L: Then did any of the boys in your family learn to tan leather?
M: No, none of the boys ever did learn to do anything like that. We
always had a big vineyard; a grape vineyard and apple orchard.
He would always make lots of wine. People would come from far
and near to get that wine because it was the best wine that was
made around from anywhere. All this went in to help supplement
his salary from the farm.
L: Back in those days when you needed supplies and things, before
the town of Pembroke was flourishing, how did you go about getting
staples--foods and so forth?
M: Well, the only way of transportation we had was the wagon and the
mule to haul anything on. So, my dad knew a man in Fayetteville,
North Carolina, which is about thirty-five miles away, that had a
wholesale grocery. He learned from him that he would ship him
any amount of stuff that he would want at wholesale prices. So,
he got so he would order through the mail. He would mail a
letter on Monday. He could get flour by the barrel. He ordered
flour by the barrel, meat, and coffee by the bag. Rice and
everything of staple goods like that, at anytime. People around
that had no way of going to town, anymore than just a wagon, they
would come there to his home and he would order this stuff for
them. He just kept that up for ten or fifteen or twenty years,
ordering this stuff. That was what he could get wholesale.
L: Would it come in on the train?
M: It would come in on the train. He would order it on Monday. It
would come to Pembroke on the Atlantic Coastline Railroad train
on Wednesday. He would take his wagon and go down and get it and
bring it to his home. Then the people that he had ordered it for
would come to his home and pick it up. He would always let them
have it just for what he paid for it. He did not make anything
on it at all. It was just a public service that he did for the
Not too far away from us there was a white man and he
was a real good friend. He was a real good carpenter. He could
do good skill work. So they learned to make coffins.
L: What was his name?
M: His name was Neil Archer Brown. They learned how, and they made
coffins. We had a blacksmith's shop. They would make coffins.
At that time you could buy the black material to cover them with.
People that were not able to buy a coffin--a wood coffin--would,
a lot of times, come and have them to make a coffin for their
My dad always had a blacksmith's shop out by the side
of the road. He worked there continuously. He shoed mules for
people. They would come continually to have him to shoe mules.
The children would come from school in the afternoon, just like
the village blacksmith. They would stop by the side of the road.
Boys and girls would stop by every afternoon if he was at the
shop working. It was right on the side of the road, and they
would ask him if they could turn the bellows or help to do the
things in the shop. He would usually let them because they were
interested in it. It was just so much like the village
blacksmith shop. He learned to do all his repair work for his
harness and the different things that he had on the farm, he
would make so many of them.
L: Tell me a little bit about some of the good things that your
mother cooked and some of the diet that you had as a child when
you were growing up. Some of the things that were good in the
kitchen for mama to cook.
M: Well, my mother was a good cook. She was very careful about us,
trying to have us eat the right food. When school was over, we
were always hungry. She would always have something ready for
us to eat when we come home from school. I do not know if the
boys and girls are like this today, as much as we were then, but
we were continuously eating after we would get home from school.
L: What were some of the things you ate?
M: Well, she would usually have baked potatoes in the winter. She
would have tea cakes. Things of that sort for us to eat when we
came home from school. Just a little something because she felt
like we would be hungry. Of course, we were. She would always
have batches and batches of tea cakes. Something that would save
from day to day. We would eat that until we got ready to eat
L: Well on the special holidays and for Sunday dinner, what would be
some of the typical things that you might have?
M: Well, usually on holidays my mother (every year that I can
remember), when her health was good, would raise turkeys. She
would always raise turkeys to supplement her income and help
around the house. She would sell them and make some money from
it, but we would always have a turkey for Thanksgiving and for
Christmas. During the other times we did not have ways to keep
fresh meat and stuff, like we do now with refrigerators.
So, the biggest thing we would have for Sunday dinner would be
chicken. We would get it ready the day before and on Sunday
morning prepare it for dinner. That is mostly what we would have
for Sunday dinner.
We could buy beef, but keep it just for a while. My dad was a
great hunter. He would go for about fifty miles or more to hunt
deer. He would go on the train down to Columbus County to hunt
deer. When he would bring some deer home he would dry it. He
learned how to dry deer meat and beef. It would keep a long time
after that. That was the only way we could save the beef and
venison, was to dry it. That would help supplement our food some
when we could get the venison in the wintertime. He learned to
do those hides and leave the hair on them. We would make rugs
from them. We still have some of those today.
L: When did your father die?
M: My father died in 1947.
L: And what about your mother?
M: My mother died in 1938.
L: When is your birthday Mrs. Maynor?
M: My birthday is July 15, 1904.
L: That makes you how old?
M: I am now sixty-eight.
L: We talked about some of the things you did as a child, and when
you finished high school, was that in Old Main?
M: Yes. I was going to school in the old two-story building on
Pembroke State University campus. It was in 1923 and we got the
money appropriated to build a new building. Then in 1923 they
began this new building, which is now Old Main. We had our first
commencement exercises in this building in 1923, but we had not
had school there that year. Then the fall of 1923 and the spring
of 1924 I was graduated from high school in the Old Main
L: So that was the first class to be graduated from that particular
M: That was the first high school graduating class in Old Main,
which is on Pembroke State University. It was the first Indian
high school in the United States and the first Indian college in
the United States. I was graduated from high school in 1924 and
in 1928 they had what they call a two year normal school. That
is as high as it went then. I was graduated from that two year
normal school in 1928. Then in 1941 I was graduated from college
there and got my degree.
L: Well, tell me a little bit about what the building itself meant
to the people at that time being brick and all.
M: Well, when Old Main was built we were so proud of it. We were
right there next to it, in the old building going to school.
When they started the new building we were just so proud of it.
We had never had a brick building. The Lumbee Indians of Robeson
County never had a brick building of any description; store, home
or anything. That was the first one. The boys and girls had
never been in a restroom until they went in the restroom at Old
L: You said there were eight in your graduating class from high
school. Could you give me some of the names even if you cannot
remember them all?
M: There was seven that was graduated in 1924.
L: Seven of them. Yes ma'am.
M: There are three from my family. My brother, Clifton Oxendine,
who retired from Pembroke State University three years ago. My
sister, Magaline Maynor, who is also a retired teacher, and Dr.
Earl C. Lowry who was a medical doctor. He retired from the
army as a colonel. He was graduated in 1924. My brother
Clifton, he went away to college at McKinley College at Lebanon,
Illinois. He and Dr. E. C. Lowry both got scholarships and they
went away to Illinois. The other girl, Nettie B. Sampson, she
went away and studied nursing and finally came back and taught
some too. Redmond Commings, he went ahead and taught some, but
he did not get a degree from college. He left and was living
down in Florida. Stanley Sampson was a farmer and that all he
L: Well, tell us did you then go into the teaching profession at
M: I was graduated in 1924 and in the fall of 1924 I started
L: Tell me a little bit about your first year of teaching school.
What was it like?
M: I was teaching out at the Indian school of Pine Grove at
Lumberton, North Carolina. I would ride from here in a car with
the principal on Monday morning. Then I would board in that
community and walk to school which was about a half a mile from
where I stayed.
L: Who was the principal?
M: Mr. James Walter Smith from Pembroke.
L: Was he an Indian?
M: He was an Indian.
L: Where did he get his training?
M: He got his training from Pembroke State University. I do not
know that he was graduated from high school, but he just went
onto school. He was in the high school and later he went on and
took extension work until he got his degree--enough toward
working for his degree. He did have a high school A certificate.
L: Well, we will go back now to your first year of teaching. Tell
us some more about that.
M: Well, my first year of teaching they were beginning a high school
where I was to teach. They wanted me to teach Latin. So, that
year I had to teach the eighth grade which was the first year of
high school at that time. I had gotten this job because they
wanted me to teach Latin. I had had some Latin in high school,
so I taught Latin that year and had some eighth grade subjects
and some seventh grade subjects. I had sixteen boys and girls in
my room; eight boys and eight girls in the seventh and eighth
L: How many teachers were in the school at that time?
M: There were about five teachers. The way we were paid, the
principal would get all the money together (it was in one check
that he would cash a the bank) and give us our money. I believe
it was about sixty-five dollars a month that I was getting at
L: Were the other teachers at that time Indians?
M: All of them were Indian teachers.
L: Most of them had what you called a Class A certificate?
M: No, I was about the only one that had that. They had what they
called a Second Grade certificate. You did not have to finish.
You went down to the county board and took a test, and if you
made up so much on it you got a Second Grade certificate. If you
did not make up above seventy-five, then you got what they called
a Third Grade certificate. But if you finished high school, you
had an Elementary B certificate.
L: At that time you are talking about going down to the county
board. Can you tell me a little bit about what it was like? Did
it control schools for all three races, or just one?
M: Yes, it did. It controlled all of the schools and of course, the
Indian people did not have much showing at all; the blacks did
not either. I never did go down there because I had finished
high school and I did not have to take the test, like some of them
did. I think all of them--the principal and myself were the only
ones in that school that did not have to go to take the test. It
was governed by the County Board of Education. They would have
three committees at these schools. They are the ones that would
hire the teachers. The County Board did not hire the teachers.
These local schools would hire the teachers.
L: This was local people in the community?
M: Yes, it was.
L: Well, for a period of how many years did you teach school?
M: When I retired two years ago, I had been teaching for forty-two
years and two months. Out of that time I guess I had second
grade work for about thirty-five years.
L: Now, Mrs. Maynor, at one time during your life you left Robeson
County and went up to Wilmington, Delaware, is that not true?
M: Yes, my husband went in the service in 1941.
L: When you say the service, what do you mean?
M: He volunteered to go in the Coast Guard.
L: And how long had you been married at that time. When were you
M: We were married in 1929.
L: What was your husband doing at that time?
M: My husband had been teaching.
L: What is his name?
M: His name is Theodore Maynor. He was graduated from Pembroke
State College. He was a teacher and we were married in 1929. He
went into the service, I believe it was in 1942, and he was in
the Coast Guard up in Norfolk, Virginia.
L: Now tell me a little bit about why you left Pembroke.
M: I was here living alone and they were talking about so much good
work you could get up the road, so I just wanted a change from
teaching for awhile. So, I left and went up to Wilmington,
L: Why did you choose Wilmington, Delaware?
M: Because I had some friends there. I went there and it was not
so easy to get work. But I did get a job working with the
Electric Hose and Rubber Company. I went to work there in July.
My husband was in Norfolk, Virginia. It was not too far away, so
he would come up there on weekends some. Then in the fall, it
was so cold up there, much colder than what we were having down
in North Carolina. So, I decided I did not want to work and stay
up there too long. So, in November I quit work up there and came
L: Did you go on a train, or car, how did you get there?
M: I went on a train. I rode on the train up there, and when I
would go to see him, I would go on the train. When I would go
from Wilmington to Norfolk, I would go on the train to a certain
place, then we would have to cross the Chesapeake Bay on a ferry
and go over to Norfolk and spend some weekends there. Then I
came back home in November and I stayed home. That was in 1944.
In the summer I had one daughter and she was born that July the
L: And that was in 1945.
M: 1945 she was born.
L: And did you later then return to teaching?
M: Then I did not teach anymore until I went back to teaching after
Christmas that year. I went back to teaching.
L: When did your husband come back home from the service?
M: My husband had been in service three years and he was discharged
from service in July 1945.
L: Now, you have talked about having such a long career of teaching.
Tell me something about the whole situation of the Indian people
during those years. Tell me something about their culture, their
religion and so forth.
M: Well, I think the Indian people in Robeson County had a struggle
even though a lot of them were teaching. Because in Robeson
County there were three races: the Indian, Negro and the white.
The whites just about monopolized over all the other races. They
wanted to have separate schools. They had a separate places to
eat and all of that in these towns. Even though the Indian
population was more in the county than it was for the whites and
blacks. We have made tremendous strides since those early days
of my teaching. We have made a lot of progress.
L: Would you say that the majority of the Indian people were farmers
at that time?
M: The majority of the Indian people were farmers.
L: How did they go about selling their tobacco?
M: They began to raise tobacco and most of them were tenant farmers.
So many of them were tenant farmers, especially around Pembroke,
Lumberton, and Fairmont. The Indian people lived on the farm and
raised tobacco and all of that. Now around Pembroke a lot more
of the Indian people owned their homes and all, than they did in
some of the other communities. But they began to make good at
farming and accumulated some savings and things. Then they began
to buy homes of their own. Until now it is a prosperous Indian
community all over Robeson County.
L: How did the Indian farmer sell his tobacco when you were a child?
M: Well, they would usually take it on a wagon, just loads of it--
they did not have to do too much grading at that time--and take
it into a warehouse where it was auctioned off.
L: The warehouses, where did you usually..
M: The warehouses were at Lumberton and Fairmont. The dealing ones
L: They have always had warehouses at Lumberton and Fairmont?
M: Yes, at Lumberton and Fairmont.
L: As long as you can remember?
M: I think Fairmont was the oldest one. Where they would have to
carry it they would mostly carry it on wagons and they would not
get back until the next day. Then, later on they began to have
trucks that they could carry it and haul it on.
L: What other crops were raised on the farms around here?
M: Cotton and corn. The biggest thing to gathering cotton was that
the children would have to stay out of school in the fall to pick
cotton. It was picked by hand. Now, they have machines to do
all this and they do not have to have children to pick cotton
anymore. It is all done with machinery.
L: Tell me about pulling fodder.
M: Well, they did have that. It was the most dread work on the
L: What do you mean by fodder?
M: Well fodder is the leaves off of the corn when it dried. They
gather those corn leaves for their stock to eat in the winter.
The pull it off and they tie it in ties. It is long blades from
the corn and they save it for their cows and their horses and
mules to eat in the wintertime. Then it just comes off during
the hottest part of the summer. It is so hard to pull it.
Now my dad used to have big fields of corn. But there was no way
to gather that fodder but to just go out there and pull those
blades off with your hands. So, he would always have maybe
thirty or forty hands come in and he would get all his pulled in
maybe a day; never over two days. Where in most of the farmers
around, it would take two weeks to pull their fodder because they
had to do it themselves, without hiring any help. But, we would
never have but about two days or fodder pulling.
L: When you pulled fodder, did the children in the family help?
M: Yes, we all helped. Everybody helped. If you heard them say
next week people were going to start to pull fodder, everybody
would help. If you were not able to hire help, you had to get
out there and do it your own self. It would take you maybe, two
or three weeks for your family to do it. That is if you could
not hire anybody to come in and help.
L: Working the other crops on the farm, you said your dad hired
other people to help. Did you also go over to your neighbors and
help them to gather?
M: We never did do much hired--we never did get to go help anybody
L: You were always busy doing your own?
M: You see, the other families probably did want to hire people to
help them. But my dad always wanted to. He wanted to go ahead
and get his in due to the possibility of bad weather. He wanted
to go ahead and get his in.
L: Now you said you raise corn and cotton and tobacco. Were there
any other crops?
M: Well, they mostly had potatoes to eat.
L: In the garden.
M: We would have wheat. They would raise their own wheat to make
flour. I remember when my daddy used to plant rice and would
raise rice. We would have to gather that rice. When we wanted
rice during the winter, we would have to get the big mortar and
pestle. We would have to beat the husks off of the rice when we
wanted rice to eat. This rice was growing in a real low place.
That has been years ago.
L: During your forty-two years of teaching, can you tell me about
some of the children you might have had that have gone on to be
successful in life? Some of the children that might stick out in
M: Not really, what would I say? I remember one little girl I
remember very well. She was in the fourth grade at Pembroke
Grade School. She was just as quiet and she would never say a
word in school, never talk to anybody hardly. She is now a
doctor--a medical doctor out in California, Dr. Kathline Rivers.
L: And she is a Lumbee originally from Pembroke?
M: She is a Lumbee Indian from here.
L: I guess she would be one of a few Lumbee Indian doctors, probably
not more than six or seven, would you not say?
M: Of course, Bobby Dean Locklear is the second Lumbee Indian to be
elected on the Board of County Commissioners in Robeson County.
L: Right, and you taught him in school?
L: Mrs. Maynor, of your forty-two years of teaching, can you think
of any situations or incidents that you might remember that
sticks in your mind today? For instance, I heard a story about
two little boys that sent you a letter one time. Could you
relate that story to us?
M: Oh, when I went to teach down at Fairmont, North Carolina,I had
these two little boys, Oxendine--head of the Toyota place.
L: Old Family?
M: Old Family Toyota place at Lumberton. His brother runs that Old
Flounder restaurant. They would come to school every day and
they would hug my neck every morning. So, they had to move away.
We have a tradition here that everyone calls you by your first
name because we have so many with the same last name. I was an
Oxendine at the time so they called me Miss Elizabeth.
L: Does that not hold true today in schools?
M: Yes, it does. So these boys moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and
one day I went to the post office and I got a letter. It said,
Miss Elizabeth, Indian Schoolteacher. Of course, they put it in
my box at the post office. I have always teased them about it
and they say, oh, we did not know your last name. We never did
hear it. We just heard Miss Elizabeth.
L: Since you have retired and you look back on those years, what
would you say is the major difference, or the major progresses
that have been made in the Indian schools? Can you see any
discrimination against the Indian schools in the Indian school
system? Do you see all the Indian schools getting the same
supplies and the same equipment as the other schools in the
county? Can you see any difference?
M: Well, I think it used to be like that, but now I think they
probably get just about the same stuff. I remember very well
when I used to hear--I never did get to go in any white schools
to know what they had--but I heard that theirs was better than
ours years ago. But, now I think it is just about the same.
L: Do you feel like the fact that Pembroke State University was
built here for Indian people and that the local Indian people
have a chance to go there to school has made a major difference
in the economy of the Indian people here in Robeson County?
M: I think it has.
L: Do you feel like this is the reason that there is a large number
of Indian school teachers, or do you feel like these same people
would have had the opportunity to go to school elsewhere had it
M: Oh no! I know if it had not been for Pembroke State University,
we would never have had as many Indian teachers as we have at
this time. I know their parents were not able to send them away
to school at the time. I mean there was no place for the Indian
pupils to go to college outside of Pembroke. So we would not
have had Indian teachers if it had not been for Pembroke State
L: Then what is your feeling about Old Main and its pending
destruction? I have learned that there has been a seven month
community effort to see that Old Main is restored and left on the
campus of Pembroke State University. Do you feel like it is that
important to the Indian community? What are your feelings about
Old Main being left at Pembroke State University?
M: Well, I think it is one of the greatest things for it to stand.
To think that that was the only Indian college, in the world, let
alone the United States and that is something to go on to say
that much. Because if Old Main is torn down, then we would not
have that memory, long cherished memories that we want to stay
there. We want to see it stand.
L: Now, we can talk about Old Main. Other than being just a school
building, can you relate to me some of the other occasions in
which Old Main was used. I hear there used to be box suppers and
activity days and this type of thing staged in Old Main. Is this
M: Oh yes. We had to raise money. I know the first piano that we
ever bought before we got in Old Main. They said the state could
not appropriate one so we brought money to help pay for it. I
know my dad gave me fifty cents and that fifty cents was a lot of
money back then for somebody to give to pay on a piano. But we
raised $500 or something like that for money to buy the first
piano that they ever had. Then we had box suppers to raise money
and all those kind of things.
L: When you talk about a box supper, just what do you mean?
M: The girls would bring boxes and the boys would buy them.
L: What kind--what do you mean bought them?
M: We would have good food in them; chicken and all that kind of
stuff. It was a supper, they called that a box supper. Those
boxes would sell for three and four and five dollars way long
years back. We raised a tremendous amount--that was the usual
thing. Every school had a box supper to raise money to help
supplement the things that the school would need.
Then another thing they had was funerals in Old Main. I know
about the first one we had was for Mr. Oscar Sampson. He was
Chairman of the Board and he died. We had his funeral in Old
Main and since then there have been...
L: The people that have had funerals in Old Main, are they more or
less looked upon as leaders in the community?
L: Tell me about Mr. Oscar Sampson. You said you remembered his
funeral as being one of the first in Old Main. Did he have
anything to do with having Old Main there in the beginning?
M: Oh, yes. He worked hard for us to get that building. His
daughter was the first one that went away from here to school and
got an A. B. degree, and then she came back here and taught.
L: What was her name?
M: Her name was Ruth. She was married to William Locklear.
L: Mr. Sampson, though, is there a building on Pembroke State
University named for Mr. Oscar Sampson?
M: Yes, Sampson Hall is named for him.
L: Can you remember any other people that might have been leaders in
the community that had their funerals in Old Main?
M: Well, Mr. Sampson, he had just about four or five members of his
family who had their funerals there. Did they have Ralph's
there? Ralph Lowry who was Chairman of the Board for a number of
years, then Mr. John R. Lowry, who was president of the Milling
Company at Larenburg. His funeral was there because he was a
leader in the community. Several others that I just do not
recall their names.
L: What about Dr. Oxendine, was he there?
M: Well, there is Dr. Herbert G. Oxendine whose funeral was there.
That has not been but four or five years ago since he died. He
was a member of the faculty of Pembroke State University.
L: Was he one of the first Indians to receive a doctor's degree to
come back home to work?
M: Yes, I guess he was the first one that came back here to work.
L: What about a Mr. James Thomas Sampson. Can you tell me a little
bit about him. Was his funeral not held in Old Main?
M: I think so, yes.
L: What did he teach at the university?
M: He was a coach. He taught there and coached and he left to go
back in the service. When he came out of service, he went up and
was working up in Massachusetts. Then, later he had a heart
attack and he was brought back here. His funeral was there.
L: Well, Can you think of anything else during your childhood, or
your teaching career that you might like to relate to us?
M: I just wanted to say this. I was in school at Old Main, or at
least I was in school at one of the other buildings in 1918 when
World War I closed. We were at home that day picking cotton. We
heard all the mills and all the things go to blowing--the trains
were blowing and we did not know what in the world. My brother,
Clifton, Maggie, and myself were picking cotton, so we left our
sacks in the field and went to the house. Well, my mother
did not know what had happened either. The things were still
blowing, so we had Clifton go to the store in Pages to see if he
could find out. When he got down there they told him the war had
closed. She had two sons in the service: Charles W. and William
Henry. We were so happy when he came back and told us that that
is what had happened. That was the eleventh day in November,
L: Mrs. Maynor, you have a basket here that you said your great-
grandfather made during the Civil War days.
L: Can you relate a little bit of information you know about that
M: I really do not know, but I just often hear my father tell about
some of them were out scouting; to keep from being carried into
the army. While they were out scouting the army in the swamps
his grandfather took and cut the straws from oak limbs and made
this basket. It was so closely woven he said at one time, I have
heard him say that it would hold water. It could almost hold a
bushel and he said it would hold water.
L: Now was that your grandfather or your great-grandfather?
M: My grandfather.
L: Your grandfather, what was his name?
M: John J. Oxendine.
L: He is the one that made the basket?
L: During the days of the Civil War when he was in the swamp hiding
L: To keep from being inducted into the military?
M: And I have that basket now, and it is still beautiful basket. It
will hold almost a bushel.
L: Do you remember hearing him talk about anything else during the
Civil War days about anybody that served in the service, or
reasons why they did not want to serve. Do you remember hearing
your father talk of anything at all about that?
M: Well, I cannot get it together. I did hear him talk about it,
but I just cannot put it together.
L: Okay, thank you a lot Mrs. Maynor for talking with me. It has
really proved interesting. Do you have anything else that you
would like to add for our program?
M: I do not guess so, and thank you--and you are quite welcome.