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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Barton interviewing typist: Wells
Mrs. Tom R. Goins
Jan. 2. '74
B: This is January 2, 1974. I'm Lew Barton recording for the
University of Florida's History Department's American Indian
Oral History Program. Today I'm in the Prospect area of
Robeson County North Carolina and we're here in the home
of Mr. and Mrs. Tom R. Goins. Mrs. Goins has kindly con-
sented to give us an interview, and I believe we're located
right here on Route 1, is that right? Is that right, Mrs.
Goins? This is very close to Maxton, Route 3, isn't it?
G: Yes, it is.
B: The routes run very closely together. Part of the mail comes
on Maxton, Route 3, and part of the mail comes on Pembroke,
Route 1. This is my little stamping ground, by the way. I
was born and brought up here. Would you come over here just
a little bit nearer and let me talk to you. We always had
alot to talk about when we got together. What is your name?
G: Mary Goins.
B: Now "Goins" is spelled G-o-i-n-s?
B: Mrs. Goins, I believe you're a retired school teacher, is that
G: Yes, I am.
B: How many years did you teach?
G: Thirty-seven years.
G: Whew! You don't mind telling your age, do you?
LUM 157 A Mrs. T. Goins
G: No, I don't. Sixty-four.
B: Sixty-four. I know who your father and mother were, but our
readers and listeners don't know, so would you tell us about
your father and your mother?
G: My father was Mr. Don E. Dial and my mother was Mary
B: And you were born and brought up in Prospect area?
B: What do you think about Prospect?
G: I think Prospect's a wonderful place to live! It's the garden
G: ... of North Carolina.
B: How long, how long have you been retired?
G: Two years
B: Who was it you married, Mary? May I call you "Mary"?
G: Yes, you may. I married Tom Russell Goins, the son of Willie
B: Do you have any children?
G: Yes, I have one. Gregory Goins.
B: Uh, huh. How old is he?
G: He's thirty-two.
B: Uh, huh. And that's G-r-e-g, is it two "g"'s or one?
G: G-r-e-g-o-r-y, Gregory.
B: Uh, huh. How do you enjoy teaching?
LUM 157 A 3
G: I enjoy teaching, fine.
B: What do you do with yourself now?
G: I operate a station now.
B: Is this a service station?
G: Yes, it is.
B: Tosp[c1 is a pretty closely knit community, isn't it?
G: Yes, it is .
B: What do, you plan to do from now on?
G: Well, ...
B: With yourself.
G: Take it easy and visit sick people and do things for people
that's not able to do for theirselves.
B: You're not a grandmother by any means are you?
G: Oh, yes, I'm a grandmother. Glad to be a grandmother.
B: You are? How many grandchildren ...?
G: I have three grandchildren.
B: Um, huh. What ae their 6' names and ages?
G: Glen Goins, nine; I Goins, eight; and Goins, six.
B: What does your son do?
G: He works in the postmast--, post office at Laurinburg
B: Is he a postal clerk?
G: Yes, he is.
B: Where did you get your education, Mary?
G: Well, I went to Prospect for a year, and left there and went
to Pembroke High School the rest of my time. Finished high
school there, and then I finished Normal, two year Normal,
LUM 157A 4
then I finished college at the university.
B: Do you have any idea what those dates were when you were go-
ing to school?
G: I finished high school at Pembroke, 1928. When I finished
two year Normal./1931. And I finished college in 1950.
B: When you were going to the Normal, of course, this was during
the days when, when they had only two years...
G: That's right.
B: ... Normal work, and it qualified you as a teacher.
B: Later you went back and finished ...
G: ... college.
B: Uh, huh.
B: You went to Pembroke STate ... it became Pembroke State College
for Indians, didn't it?
G: Yes, it did.
B: Well, things have changed quite a bit around PSU now, haven't
G: Yes, it has.
B: Do you have any, do you have any feelings about Old Main?
G: Yes, I hated to see Old Main burn down because that ...
you know, that was the garden spot of Pembroke.
B: Do you think alot of people had sentimental attachments to
G: Yes, so many.
LUM 157A 5
G: We hated to see it, it leave because that's the only thing we
could recall back in our school days is Old Main. And how we
really enjoyed Old Main so much.
B: Humm. It just strikes me that when you were going to school
and getting your education you probably went during some of the
days of the great Depression. And were things tough on you,
G: Oh, yes. Most of the time we had to walk and then so many
times we'd, we'd have an old car and it'd stop on us, and
we'd borrow kerosene from people to get there. And we had
a hard time of goin' to school.
B: You put kerosene in the car?
G: You put kerosene in the car for gas; we didn't, couldn't get
any gas. And we put, used kerosene. And we'd mostly run
out every day, mostly.
B: I can just imagine /g you going down the road with that car
spittin' and backfirin' on ...
G: Yes, it was an old A Model ...
B: ... kerosene.
G: Old A Model Ford. And every time we turned the curb, that'd take,
takes the t& the doors would, both doors would fly open.
We only had two doors on the car, and they'd both, they'd both
fly open. My job every morning, my job every morning was
holding the door;
B: um, hum. Who were you ridin' with, Mary?
G: Mr. C. H. Moore, one of the former teachers.
B: That's Charlie Luther, Charles Luther Moore.
G: Yes, that's right.
B: And he was the son of the late ...
G: Earl Dudley Moore.
B: Uh, huh. Who was the first teacher among the Indians.
G: Among the Indians.
B: Um, huh. Well, his son I remember, Charlie Moore was very edu-
cational-minded, as were all the Moores. And he was de-
termined to get an education and to educate all his children.
G: That's right.
B: How many children were in your family, Mary?
G: Thei!s eleven of us.
G: Eleven children.
B: Um, huh. Are you the oldest?
G: No, I have two older than I am.
B: Um, huh.
G: My sister Elly Mae Oxendine and Corly Chavis which is my
two oldest sisters.
B: Uh, huh.
G: And my, and Corly, she's dead now.
B: What happened to her, Mary?
G: She got hit with a car.
B: Hmm. Was that last year?
G: This is last year in October.
B: I'm sorry to hear that. Uh, things have changed around the
schools, though, so considerably that you wouldn't think it
was the same place, would you?
G: No, it doesn't look like the same place.
B: How 'bout PrCdect during the days when you were going to
Prospect? What did it look like then?
G: Well, I enjoyed going to school in Prospect. And the ... when
I went back they only had one building, when I first went there
and upstairs in the building, too. And we only had two teachers.
- My first teacher was Miss Mary Ellen Moore, but we called her
Aunt Sugar, for a short name. She was my first grade teacher
and the only teacher that ever did whip me.
B: Did you go to her?
G: Yes, I went to Aunt Sugar. We'd call her Aunt Sugar.
B: Was that, that Professor Adolph Dial's ...mother.
G: Mother, that's right.
Umm. She married my uncle, Mr. Dial.
B: Um, huh. And so, I was wondering what years it was that she
G: Well, her and Uncle 146 taught school tog--, before they
married, probably, I, I can't remember what year, but he was,
it's been a long time.
B: Um, huh. Mary, did you, did you remember hearing people
talk about Mr. Hamilton McMillan, who was the one who founded
schools for the Lumbees?
G: Yes, I've heard old people talk about him.
LUM 157 A 8 Mrs. T. Goins
B: Do you remember anything they would say about him?
G: No, I ... not right now, I can't remember.
B: Was he considered to be a great friend of the Indians?
G: Oh yes.
B: We are trying, we're trying to agitate just a little bit, enough
to get some kind of memorial for him on the campus of Pem-
broke State University. What do you think about that?
G: I think that would be nice. I think he deserves it.
B: ; Right. ... Tell us something about the school in Hoke
County. And Mary, I, I seem to recall that you taught over
there. Now, you know, here in Robeson County, our Lumbee
Indian people are not only located in, In Robeson County, but
in the counties adjoining. And Hoke County does adjoin
Robeson. And so for a long time they were without schools,
too, weren't they,Mary?
G: Yes, they were. When I went to Hoke County to teach in a
small school, only one room in it, and I taught there twenty-
seven years, the first grade. I worked along with Mr. ke6 AW
B: Umm, huh. Just, how many rooms?
G: Only one room, when I went there the first year.
B: Um, huh. That school later became Hawkeye, didn't it?
B: And right now I L:believe it's called South Hoke.
G: South Hoke is right.
B: Who, wonder who established schools for the Indians in Hoke
LUM 157 A Mrs. T. Gpins
G: Well, the one who established/was Mr. Elisha Dial, was the ...
B: Elisha Dial?
G: Elisha Dial, was the backbone of the schools and the church.
B: Is he still living?
G: Yes, he is. He's eighty-four years old now.
B: What's the name of that church over there, Mary? Is that An-
tioch, is that the Antioch church?
G: No, the church is where Antioch school was, but now it's not,
it's named Mount Elam.
B: Mount Elam.
G: Yeah, Mount Elam.
B: Umm, huh. Is that a Baptist church or a Methodist?
G: That's a Baptist church.
B: What are you, Mary? Are you a Methodist or a Baptist?
G: I'm a Methodist.
B: Um, huh.
G: I believe in being sprinkled and bein',being baptized, both
B: Do you think that's the great difference between the ...
B: ... the only difference between the Baptists and the Methodists?
One likes to be sprinkled and one ...
G: Bap-- uh, huh, so I got both of them.
B: Uh, huh. So you wouldn't have any argument then at all with ...?
LUM 157 A Mrs. T. Goins
B: You're a pretty regular church member, aren't you, Mary?
G: Yes, I, I have eighteen pins that I've not missed any Sun-
days in eighteen years, only one Sunday when my father was,
B: You've missed one Sunday in church in eighteen years?
G: Uh, huh. That was when I ...
B: Hey, congratulations, that's great.
G: Yes, it's wonderful.
B: And you go to the Prospect Methodist ...
G: Prospect Methodist Church. And our pastor's Mr. Harvey J ry .
B: I thought Mr. Simeons Cummings was the pastor over there, but
come to hFink about it he got a post somewhere else recently,
G: Yes, he's got a better job, and he stayed at Prospect Metho-
dist church twenty years, ano very fond of him.
B: I'm sure you were. You don't know where he is now, do you?
G: Yes, he's in Raleigh, working now at different churches.
B: And, of course, this particular group of Methodists--this is:
the United Methodists?
G: United Methodist Church.
B: Is this, could you tell us some of the other people who are
members of this church, Mary, that we might know?
G: Yes, Mr. Johnny ____ he's a, he's a minister, also.
B: Uh, huh.
G: And Mr. and Mrs. [_ p./a-r is member of our church.
And our superintendent is Mr. James A. Jones, is our
LUM 157 A Mrs. T. Goins
B: He's principal out at Prospect School?
G: Yes, he's also principal of Prospect schools. He's a fine
fellow. And Miss Leola Locklear is our secretary.
B: uh, huh. Well, I'm sure : you have many outstanding people
now at this church. This is one of the finest churches among
the Indians, isn't it? ,
G: Yes, it is. We have the finest amongst the Indians.
B: That's great. I inember when the building was going up; that,
that there was alot of discussion of it. And people were
very glad. Of course communities are always very cooperative
when they want to do som thing and they set their mind to
it, they usually do it, don't they?
G: Yes, we certainly do what we want to do. And we must give
B. F. Lowery credit for ':: building of our church. He
was he was the, our pastor then and,, he started our church
and he worked a many a night until twelve o'clock.
SB: That was the Reverend B. F. Lowery?
G: Reverend B. F. Lowery. 6 ?
B: Uh, huh. Is he still living now?
G: Yes, he's still living and he says he's gonna make a hundred;
he's ninety--, I think it's ninety-six now, and he says he's
gonna make a hundred.
G: I hope he will.
B: Knowing him, I believe he'll make it, Mary.
LUM 157 A Mrs. T. Goins
B: Don't you?
G: Yes, I think he will, 'cause he can preach now as good as
B: He's a very determined man. He's a very energetic man, a very
intelligent man. He's been a leader in many ways among our
G: Oh, yes, he's been one of our greatest leaders amongst the
B: Mary, is it Reverend B. F. Lowery who is credited with spon-
soring the Lumbee ll1, you know ...?
B: Lumbee Dill of April 20, 1953 in the General Assembly of North
Carolina and June 6, June 7, 1956--it was passed by the Con-
gress of the United States.
B: And you, most people will give him credit for passing that
G: Yes. r, They must give him credit.
B: Have we- had any recognitionaas American Indians before that
bill was passed, Mary?
G: I don't think so.
B: Uh, huh. So he did a great thing, then, didn't he?
G: Yes, he did.
B: Mary, when :we started this interview you told me you didn't
have but a few minutes, what is it you have to go do now?
LUM 157 A
13 Mrs. T. Goins
G: I have to go back to the station, and take my sister home, and
I have to look after the station then until eleven o'clock
B: Oh, I see.
G: But I'll close up and go to prayer meeting' at seven.
B: Is that right? Well, we appreciate you giving us this time
so much dear, and wish you Godspped in whatever you attempt
to do. I know you'll do well at it, Mary.
G: Yes, I'll do my best. I want tot better in 1974 than I did
in 1973. You know, I want to do more for the good Lord this
year than ever.
B: Well, remember us in your prayers, / will you do that, Mary?
G: Yes, I certainly will.
B: And thank you so much now.
B: And bye, bye.
G: Bye, bye.
END OF TAPE.