Title: Interview with Lucille Moore (August 28, 1972)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007500/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Lucille Moore (August 28, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: August 28, 1972
Spatial Coverage: Creek 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: UF00007500
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Creek 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: CRK 25

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Full Text


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behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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Lucille Moore with
A. Parades

This is August 28, 1972.

M: I am Mrs. Lucille Moore. I am 73 years old and I have lived here in

this community since 1920. I taught the Indian school for some 20

years. At first, we had a school had 7 grades in just a little one-

room shack, and then later all of the Indian xK schools were consoli-

dated and we had three teachers and I taught there for a number of


P: What were the names of all four of the Indian schools?
P ct re A
M: Let me see ... Bell Creek, Hog Fork, Porth, and Hucksford.

P: And then the school over here at adapaJi. (? What was it


M: i think it was Porch.

P: That's the one you mean by Porch?

M: The one that's here in this community.

P: Would you tell me how those school were financed and built all four

of them?

M: Well, the county paid the teachers and they were poorly furnished -

We just had a heater and just regular desks and all At that time,

the children bought their boos ... Later, the state furnished the

books. We had to get our own wood and got our water from a spring,

but then I forgot what year it was when they were consolidated.

They we had a nicer building.

P: Was the building that's now the Parish House at the Episcopal Church?

M: That's right, that's it.

P: Can you remember what year it was that the county began providing the

books for the children?

M:: No, I jut don't remember, but it was the same year the state

Page 2, Crk 25A

furnished them. But I've forgotten what year that was.

P: That the state started providing books all over the state?

M: All over the state of Alabama.

P: Do you know anything about a time before you began teaching when

the county did not pay the teachers' salary?

M: No, I don't know anything about that. The ones that were here

before I was, the county paid them. I don't a know if there

was ever a time when they didn't pay them.

P: What year was it that you started teaching school?

M: Let me see, I think about 1922 and I taught for several years and

then my babies were little and all and I didn't teach for a while

and then I taught again Altogether, I think it was about 20 yrs.

In other words, I taught my grandchildren Children of my

children I taught.

P: During those early years of teaching, about how many students did

you have in the school average from year to year?

M: I'd say about 20-25. That was about the average/

P: And that was just from the Headapadeda-Porch area?

M: in that area.

P: Could you just talk a little bit sort of reminesce about your experiences

in teaching Indain children?

M: Well, I don't know I taught white children and I've substituted some

since the blacks have been with them and I didn't see very much

difference in them The discipline was real good, of course, back 30

4o years ago, the discipline of all children was different from what it

is today. But, they were the parents were real cooperative and all

and I really enjoyed it.

P: Do you have any particular memories that stick in your mind that

as examples of feeling real successes as a teacher with an Indian


M: Well, I can look back over them, and I had two students that were

real bright. The Episcopal Church had missionaries here who helped

with them and one of these students was a girl. Now, I've forgotten

what year, but anyway when I first taught them, they were not allowed

to go to the white school, when they finished my little school, they

were through and the Episcopal Church sent those that would go, you

know, off, and sent this girl off, I've forgotten off, and she

stayed a year or two, but she was in love with one of these boys here

and married and came back, and that was the end of her. Then another

little boy, I taught all the grades when we were in and then I

tuaght first gaade, and then I was principal and had that

So some of the children that started in first grade, I had in the

upper grades, and this one boy, Van Martin, the Episcopal Church sent

him off, alright, and in the meantime, they were allowed to go to

Atmore. He came back and graduated from Escambia County high school

and I think went to Auburn and then joined the service and he's

made a career of it. I said of all these 33 years that I taught al-
together, this is the only one that has remembered me from every

Christmas that he's been off. That I look forward to a Christmas card

and a real letter from him every Christmas.

P: Was there anything particular that made him such an outstanding student/

M: I just don't know. I can remember that there was another child that I

don't believe e the Episcopal Church helped her because at the time that

she finished with me, she was allowed to go to Atmore. And she was

Dottie Colbert and went to New Orleans and graduated. She was a graduate

nurse and lives in Atmore and is a nurse now. Those two students,

this little Van Martin and this one, I can remember when they were in the

Page 4

first grade, what he was going to be He wanted to be a preacher, it

seems to me like Speaker of some kind and she wanted to be a nurse,

and whenever they played anything, that's what they played. And so

that's what they done. This boy I think is real religious and tkkes

a big part in the Episcopal ChurOh and all and he married a German

girl and when he comes back home he always comes to see me and

brings his wife and children to see me, so I tell him, of all those

children I ever taught, Van is the only one who remembers me. I

think about it lots of times He must have ben up for some kind of

promotion when he was overseas and I'm gonna see an FBI man, I don't

know, but anyway he was an investigator came to see me, and he was

asking all different questions he could think of abutt Van and when

he left, he just kind of laughed, and said Mrs. Moore, does Van

think as much of you as you do of him?

P: Who was the other one you started talking about The one who went

off and came back?

M: Bonnie Stein. She lives right down here. Daltry's that's right. Now

she was real smart. Now I'de had people to ask me about their intelli-

gence and I tell them I don't see very much difference in them than

in the whites because I taught some white children that were as dumb

as they could be and I taught home of the Indians who couldn't

learn as well as the others, but then those three were outstanding.

P: Do you think there was anything about their parents that made them -

encouraged them more do you think?

M: I don't know I kind of believe that this Episcopal working with them

had more to do with them. Now since I have quit, the Episcopal Church

has sent some others off, but I don't know about them.

P: Could you tell me just a little bit of that time, what was the home life,

the economic conditions and so forth, of the group like when you first

Page 5

teaching here?

M: Well, when I first started teaching here, it's quite different. I think

about it lots of times. They more families live together, you know,

and then they didn't have the conveniences and all that they have now,

and now and then they moved out and built homes and they are just

on equality with the whites.

P: When you say, families live together, you were talking about What

exactly do you mean by that/

M: Well, when the children married, they just still live on in the house

with them and all.

P: Did you ever notice any particular pattern in that whether it was

just living with the young bride or the groom's family?

M: NO, I don't remember I'll tell you, it seemed to me like the

Indians way back yonder had a chief for a leader and at that time

when I first Will McGhee seemed to be kind of the leader and

he kind of looked out for them and I think provided for the most of

them at that time.

P: Did he provide much for the ones over in Hogfork and Bell Creek?

M: I don't think he did. I think they more or less had a leader of

*: their own.

P: Were those other communities pretty much separated from this community?

ML Well, now, this one out here, the one they call Hogfork, and this

one were kind of together, but now Bell Crekk and Hucksford were

off to themselves. I know when Bell Creek, when they were conso-

lidated, there were some at Bell Creek that said before they would

be sent off with the ones from down Jh here, they'd move off and they

did. I forgotten who did ... The Idon't remember if there were


Page 6

P: What about the church sitatuion When you first started before the

Episcopal Church came in?

M: Well, before they had a missionary out here, I think the Episcopal

Church I can remember at Christmastime, the Episocpal ladies coming

out here having Christimas trees and giving them things.

P: Before the Macy's came/

M: Yes, before the Macy's came.

P: Wasn't there a Baptist Church at one time there

M: Yes, now that's something else. There was Methodist school up

here, what they call Vocation, and,,,

P: Is that the name of a town, Vocation?

M: It was the name of a little community and a school a boarding school

for the Methodists, but it's been done away with now. But that was

the name of it Vocation. It's up there between Butler Street and

Goodwin. Monroe County And they would, those boys would come down

here and preach and then Baptist preachers would come in and preach.

I've seen all kinds of dkuns Holiness and all, but it

seemed like the Episocpals You see there's different church around

Atmore, but they would they ahd all worked with them.

P: Did they ever have church services in the schoolhouse there?

M: yes, that's where they had church in the schoolhouse. I know those

Methodist boys that came down I can remember them being in the

schoolhouse. At Holiness, too, because lots of times the desks would

be turned around and they had preaching them.

P: Bo any preacher could preach there?

M: Yes, any preacher could preach there and some of the would join.

Different preacher that came ...

P: Do you remember back in those earlier days, whether there were any

of the older Indians who still spoke the Indian language or spoke the

Page 7

English language with an accent or anything?

M: No, I didn't know when maybe I had heard it, but a true Indian

never had to shave, and there was an old Indian man, Alec Roland,

was the only one down here that was true enough Indian that he

didn't have to .< shave.

P: Was he any kind of a leader or anything?

M: No, I don't think he was, he had Well this Will McGhee's wife was

his daughter and then he had Bryant Roland, and Ringer Roland -

Thie daughter of his Ringer Roland Well, she was my right hand

man. She helped me with my children when they were little and

all and helped me until she died She was real good Then my husband

was sick for about five or six years, and lost his memory and all and

AleK's boy, Bryant, helped me until he died.

P: ;HEre at the house, you mean?

M: Yeah, here at the house.

P: I have heard, talked to some people that there was a time, several

years ago, when some of the Indian parents were dissatisfied with the

school and held their children out of school? Is that ture?

Could you talk about that a little bit?

M: Well, there was one family, aGibson man over here, I think he's one

of the ones sent to Bell Creek, they had one girl, and they wouldn't

never let her come until oh, I guess she must have been about nine

years old and he got the bus and then he let her come to school, but

that's the only one at that time. Now then, the last year that I

taught donw here, they were dissatisfied because they were not allowed

to go to Atmore to school and we were in this Parish House, you know,

and they wouldn't send the children They jsut kind of struck, so you

say and there were just a few of them who sent them on. So we

Page 8

resigned and they got somebody else in the county Then the county

begun to do something for them.

P: Can you be more specific on what they were dissatisfied with?

M: Well, I think one things was that there were not allowed to go

to the white schools when they got through with the 6th or 7th grade,

why that was it. And, as far as I know, that was the main thing

and then another thing, they were in that house, and they wanted

it fixed. We didn't have no lights no electric lights, or any-

thing. In other words, they just felt there wasn't anything being

done for them.

P: I had heard someone say some of the people were, explicitly with the

exception of yourself, were dissatisfied with some of the teachers.

M: That's what they told me. Now I don't know whether they were

dissatisfied with me or not, but anyway, they were not These other

women hadn't taught for a long time, and I don't know I have some

mighty good friends among the Indians, and if I'd met them in New

York, I'd be glad to see them, but you know there are some who knew

you in the community, but don't know you out. So, I felt that was

one reason, because I really did like then They came to my house

and helped me any time I'd want anything And ...

P: Could you remember some of the families that didn't strike and kept

their children in school?

M: I believe this Mrs. Tracy Rowen, a girl down here, was one that didn't

take them out ... And I believe Elsie, Mrs. Martin didn't takehers out.

Those are the only two I can think of right now.

P: But at that time ... Do you remember what year that was incidentally?

M: No, I don't I just can't remember what year that was.

P: Was there a meeting with any school officials?

M: Yes.

Page 9

P: Tell me about that- .

M: Well, they had met with the Board several times and I knew

about that, and they had told me that they were going to meet and

the superintendent told me that they wanted to keep me but they did

want the others to do and so the super told me that they were going

to meet a certain morning at the school and so I didn't say anything

to the others about it, because you know, I just didn't hardly know

what to say to them about it. And, so when all these people wre

gonna come there that morning, they didn't understand what it was,

and I understood what it was, and the super came and I left the

room I don't know what they said at the meeting or anything about

it. But, the super did tell me that he would like for me to stay

on but for the other two to go. I told him I felt like it was best

that we just all quit, and so we did. And that was it.

P: So they hired a complete new faculty, then?

ML: A Complete new faculty.

3: Do you recall who, if any, were there any particular parents

who were leaders of that strike?

M: No, I 'remember who exactly were the leaders. Now I remember

Jack Daltry was one of the ones that was in that, but now just who

the others were, I've forgotten.

P: Was there ver a formalized PTA or anything like that when you were


M: No. Nothing like that.

P: Were there any occasion when you tried to get the parents altogether at

t the schoolhouse?

M: We used to have, you know, things at the schoolhouse, box suppers and

things like that.

P: How, as a teacher of the Indian children, did you have any particular feelings

Page 10

about the fact that they couldn't go on to any other school after they

finished your school?

M: yes, it did, it worried me, because as I said, this Dottie Cobbler,

the last year she went to me, she I just took books that my

daughter had had and helped her bequase we knew the next year we knew

they were going to be allowed to go to Atmore. And I wanted her to -

and I had told her She said she wasn't' able to go off anywhere and

she was no Episcopal I think she .. lived up at Hucksford, and so I

told her if she'd come, I'd help her extra With some of my daughters

books that she had had, and then the next year she went to Atmore.

P: What After they consolidated all the schools, did that have any

particular effect Was it different somehow?

M: Well, yes, it was different, because before that, I had all grades,

and then when they consolidated them, there was three teachers of

us who could do more things than we had been able to do before I

think the children were happier They had more room, you know We

had three different rooms, and I think they were happier at it.

P: How did the children from the several different communities get along?

M: Just fine We never had any trouble.

P: mever any name-calling about you're from Hucksford, or you're from ..

M: No. I don't remember any of that at all.

P: Could you tell me a little bit about whqt a typical day was like back

when you were teaching in the one-room school? Including the kinds

of games the children would play and so forth?

M: Well, I tried to carry on a program and we had a devotion and a lot

of times the mothers would have to work somewhere and they had to bring

the babies They'd bring a quilt along and we'd put them down on the

floor and we'd tend to them, while they were hhere, and then at recess,

I was younger then than I was in the later years, and I played with them,

We'd played ball and things that the others would play.

Page 11

Then we had to get our own wood and water We'd do that. And we'd have...

A lot of the time that I taught there they were gonnsa have lunchrooms

at school and so we had just a stove and I'd bring things and we'd

cook, boil some peas or stuff on the stove and let them pake part in it.

P: They'd cook their own lunch then? Did I understand you correctly to

say that some of the students brought their baby brothers and sisters?

M: That's right.

P: How long was a shcool day?

M: Until three o'clock From 8 till 3.

P: And they took care of those babies all day?

M: They took care of those babies That's right.

P: I guess they had to stop sometimes in their studies ...

M: Well, yes, a lot of times they would and then they'd get them to


P: Changing the subject, I understand that I think it was your father-

in law had come to this area years ago, and had been a doctor in this

area and that he had purchased some land that had originally belonged

to some Indian people, is that correct?

Do you know much about the land history of this area?

M: I don't know much about that.

P: Do you know much about how the cemetery came to be?

M: Yes. Now the cemetery was given to them by some colored people. They

homesteaded and they gave etfirst. And then Mrs.. Moore, my mother-

in-law, gave some more later, but the first starting of it was this c>

A-6M St^tcr.and Joe Coley- two colored poeple gave the first that was

given there.
P: Do you know At they gave it to the Indians?

M: Well, no I don't. I don't know why they gave it to them. They are

Page 12

buried there and I don't really know whether the Indians were the first

ones buried in there or whether -he white people buried. But one's on

one side, and the other on the other side.

P: How did the white cemetery come to be out there Do you know?

M: I think it was altogether.

P: Do you belong to the Judson Baptist Church up there?

M: Yeah.

P: fan you tell me about the history of that church?

M: Well, I don't really know what year it was, but they said they

were organized under an old oak tree down there back of where it

is now, and there was a little cabin kind of over on the hillside

that they worshipped in for a long time and then in 1908, they

built a church and it was there until about five or six years

ago, they tore it down and started building this other one.

P: Had there ver been any Indians who were members of this church?

M: Not that I know of.

P: Do you know why that's so?

M: Well, they had theirs, and the whites had theirs You see, there was

just no mixing between them like it was -. with the b+atcs and the

whites you know They hd theirs.

P: Now you say that you have lived here since 1920, where did you come

from origianlly?

M: Dallas County, Selma Up above Selma.

P: What was your, as a young woman who came to this community, reaction,

to the Indians when you first came.

M: Well, Ithought I was gonna be afraid of them I didn't come down here

to teach them My sister had gotten married and I cam down here visiting

heE and them I taught around here, but I felt like at first that I would

be afraid of them, but I wasn't As I say, this Indian woman, Aunt

S.the children called her, helped me so with my children and all and I

Page 13

remember that my father got real sick and my mother-in-law was away from home

and I had to leave the children and I went and got Aunt Ren to come and she

came and stayed here with them for two or three days while my husband carried

me and then he came back and she still stayed on with them. I remember

someone up there said to me, wasn't you scared to death to leave your little

":children with that Indian woman? And I said no, I'D just as soon

leave her with anybody that I know of. But you know having read stories

about Indians and all, I did have a feeling right at first but it didn't last

very long.

P: Were you frequently invited to eat in the Indians' homes?

M: Yes, and the children used to bring me things you know I know I had

never eaten any pole cat, and I can member one little girl I don't know

how they cook them, but I had heard this white man say something that you

do to them to make them real good meat, but anyway, I had never eaten

any pole cat and she brought me a sandwich one day for me to eat and

I told her I just isn't hungry right then you know, and I'd eat it after

while and I just couldn't hardly wait to throw that thing away.

P: Oh, she told you what was in the sandwich?

M: Yeah, I knew her mother had told me I told her I had never eaten

any and she was gonna send some. There's quite a difference in them now.

P: What do you think are the major differences now than in thetime when

you first came here?

M: Well the homes is one of the things, and they didn't go anywhere much,

and now they go all over the United States and everywhere else and they

P: Were there any paved road when you came here?

M: No, there wasn't No paved roads. A few cars ...

P: Did any of the Indians have cars when you first came?

M:' No answer.

Pagi 14

P: A while ago your daughter was saying that in the past, the Indians didn't

like to be called Indians.

M: That's right This Chief Calvin McGhee I know you've read and all about

him His children, now they were from this Hogsfork Now on the report
PoArtc1 Po trc n
card, was Pih INdian MEXK School On the bus was Peeh Indian Bus.

Well, those report cards would come back and that Indian would be scrapped

out and they'd take a knife and scrape it off with a maxc brush, you know.

They hated to be called Indians., and that's what I couldn't ever understand

why he got to be chief when they were the only ones, ad far as I know,

who resented being called Indian.

P: Do you know why?

M: No, they just didn't want to be called Indian. I don't know why but then

when all this money thing come up, why there's a lot of white people who

had Indian blood in them who didn't want to be called Indian, but when they

begun to sign up for this money, why they was all glad to be Indians.

P: Was your husband on the schoolboard or something like that at one time?

Did he ever have any experiences with the Indians'iin that capacity?

M: No, I don't think so. They just had their regular meetings and all.

Now this is something else that might not be one there...

P: If it's true it's good.

M: We had one- some i .people will tell you that they were mixed-blooded and

negro and Indian, but there was as far as I know, one family out

in this other community who had negro children by a negro man she later

married him, but I felt sorry for hose children the indians a wouldn't

have them and neither would the negro children have them. I can remember

one old colored women saying to me, Miss Lucille, why:don't you all take

them young'uns down there to you all's school You all are x running a

mixed blooded school, we ain't. But as far as I know, those children grew

up, grown, and never went to school.

Page 15

Unless I think when he married him, she went to Texas They might have

gone someplace out there, hut these Indians met the board and everything

else, but they just absolutely would not let those children go to school.

P:' The mixed bloods you talking about?

M: Uh huh the mixed bloods.

P: How 4 did ...
M: That was the Indians that resented it because the|Board would have let

them go on.

P: To this school here?

M: Yeah, to this school here.

P: How did the change come about that they let the Indian children finally go

to school beyond yours?

M: Well, after I resigned and Mrs. Maze took hold and now she just really

went to work for them, and I don't knowYs y hat she did, but it was

through her efforts that they began to let them go, and they were

accepted alright I don't know why, just because they never had be-


P: Now since you've designed, teaching at this school down here, I guess it

was many years before you retired, have you continued to have contacts

with the people living here?

M: Yes ...

P: In what ways?

M: Well, I tell you ...when they marry, I always get an invitation to the wedding.

And I usually go to that, and when I know some of the old ones, Aunt

Alice, you know her now, I went to see her the other morning and I sit

down there and I talked to her. I had some things I wanted to give Elsie

and so I went down there and when they die, I try and carry them some food

and just any way that I can help them I'm glad to help them.

Page 16

P: One other things, that I forgot when we were talking about the old days

do you remember any particular things that the Indians did or made that
you ought atthe time that was indian somehow?

M: I can't think of anything except at the funerals. Now I can remember

that when fey died, it seems to me, I think I'm right in saying the last

thing they used they'd put in the coffin with them like the glass or hs the

spoon, and I know one boy, I've forgotten now whether he was sick or

killed or what, but any way, he wqs going to school not to me but

somewhere else They put his books in there They don't do that anymore

but they did do that when I first came.

P: Do you.. Did you ever go to an indian funeral way back then when you first


M: Yes.

P: Did you recall them touching the body or anything like that?

M: Yes. They always did that. I had some of my colored ix friends tell me

if you did that, they won't ____4 - (1g4
P: I heard about that and I wondered if that ever a custom among white people

do you know of?

M: Not that I know of- but I guess it's anybody that's superstitious.

P: Did you find the indians to be superstitious generally?

M: Not so much I can remember one or two things ... maybe a dog howled

all night or something, they knew somebody was gonna die, some little

things like that but just offhand, I don't remember so many superstitions.

P: One other thing. I just thought of did you ever have to go get children

and bring them to school or really keep after a child or his parents to

keep him in school?

M: po, I never did do that I had one little boy they lived right close by

to the schoolhouse, whenever I started whipping him, he'd run home, but

his momnma would always meet me and bring him back.

P: So you must have had some pretty good experiences.

Page 17

M: Yes I look back over it now and some enjoyment, some I walked through

the woods over there *-

P: Going to a completely different subject you mentioned Calvin McGhee

a moment ago, what could you tell me about him as a person and how he

became the leader that/%became?

M: I just really don't know how he did I have been told that it was

through the lawyers that knew about this money and it was their efforts

and that they pushed him and all Oh, he used to make lots of trips

to Washington and all about it and he was still my friend although I

had seen the big change in him and his boys are good friends of mine

right now.

P: What kind of a man was Calvin McGhee I never got to meet him?

M: Well, he was just a typical man I think'

P: There was nothing special about him?

M: Nothing special about him that I know of only that ... now I kind of

marvelled at how he could px speeches and all like he did, 'cause I

don't think he had much education, he had some, but he could make a

good talk.

P: Kind of a natural orator, think?

M: Yeah. He went on all these trips and all, and never having been anywhere

or anything, I kind of wondered about that at first, but it was just

like he done it all his life.

P: One other thing on the schools that I have done found out some about and

I have heard so many times how Jack Daltry stopped the school bus. Do you

remember that?

M: That's something I didn't know about What was it about? I can't Vh

remember when I first came down here if there was a tombstone but they

had these old stone brickr...

Page 18

P: This is in the indian cemetery?

M: Uh huh. And the name would be punched ond a lard can top and tied around

tht stone with a wire. There's not any of those down there now but that's

how it was when I first came.

P: Speaking of that reminds me, did you notice through the years any change

in infant mortality amongst the indAJs?

M: no,, I don't know that I did. All lived to be a ripe old age most of them.#

P: When a baby died, did they have a regular funeral for it?

M: Yes, just like the others.

P: Did the indians, say back in the 20's and 30's, use a mortuary service

in town ...

M: I don't think we had one here at that time.

P: For anybody?

M: For anybody, because I can remember around the community, no they didn't

have one.

P: But you can remember they used to put something in the coffin I had

never heard about that before.

M: Uh huh. They did d... but they don't do that anymore, but they do at

that time.

P: You know, years ago, before I was even in school, they say teachers

tried and make home visits a lot. Did you ever try to do that when you

were teaching?

M: I.. yes, I did, I used to visit the homes...

P: Do you feel that they were worthwhile?

M: Yes, even when I taught in the white school, I can remember Now this

is not about the indians, just an incident. I had one little boy that

was the other teachers had told me, just wi wait until you get Tony,
you never had a character until you got Tony. Well, superintendent

Page 19

that year had asked that we make contacts with the parents and when I K

went to that home and saw the home that Tony came from, I was sorry for

him and you know he needed love and I just loved him and the other

teachers marvelled about it 1 because they all had so much... and I didn't

have a bit of trouble with him. That came from going to his homes f

I hadn't I would have never i known about it.

P: Was it I take it it was a pretty bad home.

M: Well, yes. His father wasa drunkard, and there was just no love there.

P: Was there a lot amongst the ndians a drunken father and that sort of

thing: ?

M: Well, they loved to drink.

P: Were there any that you would des-cribe as sort of a chronic drunkard?
M: o, I don't think so, I can't think of any of them that were just special

drunkards. As I said, there were some who just loved to drink alright.

P: In general, now that we are talking about that before, through the year.0

on a day-to-day basis, how did the ndians get along with the other two

races, the coloreds and the whites?

M: Well, them and the whites got along alright They'd go to work together

and all that's what I couldn't understand And that's the way it is

with the black situation, too. They work with them but they don't want

to go to school with them. That's the way it was with them. And I can

remember that those little children would call dne another any kind of

name but you call one of them a black nigger and they'd fight like crazy.

P: The Yndian A=

M: The ndians the little indians.

P: Back years ago, you said they worked with the whites, what kind of work

did they do with the whites?

M: Getting crossties, I can remember, paper wooding, farm, and things like,

that. But at that particular time, it seemed like there were so many k

Page 20

crossties being cut right then, you know.

P: Did the jndians ever work with the black people?

M: I don't remember that they did.

P: Were there any ndians back, say in the 20's 30's and into the 40's, wh o

were real x entrepreneurial type, say storekeepers orthat would

take crews of workmen around or anything like that??

M: Not way back then, but in later years they would follow their potato

season, up in the Carolinas and all around, t when I first came they
'0. 1t. 4 4 tl j f'^
didn t. In later years, ae begun to progress 7

P: About when was it they began to do that?

M: Oh, I can't remember, I'll say 1..

P: Was it before or after WWII?

M: About that time, I'd say.

P: Who were some of the indian men who were sort of the leaders in this?

M: I think Jack Daltry and his brother Adam Daltry. Those are the ones

I can think of that would carry these crews Some of these indians

are still in Illinois and all from all of that...

P: From following the potatoesfj4o SCrr.ST 1I

M: Wisconsin, that's right.

P: I wondered how they ever got started and how they knew the route -

Do you know anything about that?

M: No, I don't other than they worked in Baldwin County and they would

learn about where the next was and they'd go.

P: Do you remember anything special about the furnishings of the houses

or the clothing of the people?

M: They were poorly furnished and not too many clothes either, but they
were clothes like anybody else They didn't wear the feathers or oWpi

thing like that until after Calvin become chief, then they begun to

wear the feathers.

Page 21

P: Do you remember whether any of the older women wore long dresses or


M: Well, back in that time, most people wore long dresses you know, but they,.r

the older women wore them pretty long, almost sweeping the ground. .The

first school I taught was at Appa Springs in Monroe County and I had

ndian children mixed with the whites and they would go to the same

church and all.

P: Would they show their indian appearance.

M: Yes.

P: Do you remember some of the family namesof the indians in that area?
M: There was Gewe, McGhees, W 4L' 1i t VP .V

P: Did you ever teach any Reed children?

M: No, but they's Reeds over there that's right. I didn't ever

teach any but there were Reeds.

P: But they let them go to school with them over there/

M: In Monroe County, in fact I think right through here was the only place

they didn't because they had these separate schools I reckon.

P: Now talking with some indian folks really up in the years, I get the

impression that like back in the 1890'sA the ndian children went to

school with the white children together. Did you ever get any

information like that?

M: Yes, I belive they did I'm not right sure, but I believe there's

a schoolhouse right up the road here and I believe I heard that they went

to school together. I don't know when they separated.

P: Do you have any idea why they separated them?

M: I don't have any idea- I just remember hearing them say something about
I/ Serene
that. The old Wgro couple, old Aunt and Uncle Coley

"that gave the cemetery were members of the Judson Baptist Church.

P: Did they sit in the back or something or ...

M: That was before my daya I don't know where they sat, but I know they

Page 22

was there. They was members of the church.

P: What do you think has been the major causes of the progress which the

J-ndians have made?

M: Well, I guess education has been one and as I said the missionaries and

then just getting out int the world more. They have better jobs -
.a4 t -t4. V C -. ,- te j o t- f .
C-^NDD 6 T IE I 3L
They came to Atmore and came to work down there and some of them worked

at the hospitals and .

P; [But when you first came, they wasn't that kind of I just asked you

about serving in World War II and you said you didn't remember much-about

that, but in World War I, who were some of the men who served?

M: Riley McGhee and Noah McGhee and Bryant PL1n, I believe.

P; But you don't remember, say after Pearl Harbor, about a big bunch going

off and joining up?

M: No, I don't remember who that would be.

P; Were the Indians very much aware of what was going on in World War IIk

do you think?

M: Well, I don't know that they were I guess they were, too, I just don't

really know.

P; Did many of them have radios at that time?

M: I think so, some of them had radios.

P; I know what I was gonna ask you,1ust as a point of information When

did electricity come out in this area?

M: I think in the 20's, late 20's or 30s, I wouldn't be for sure,

P; But hhere wasn't electricity when you first came here?

M: No, uh huh. For a long time, we used lamps and then we bought a fdu Le )(

and we had it .several years before we had electricity.

P; Now, when you first came then, the schoolhouse didn't have electricity. WHat

did you use for a light if you wanted to have a program in the evening?

Page 23

M: A lamp and a lantern.

P; Kerosene-type lamp?

M: Yes.

P: Do you remember many of the Indian children or the adtlt talking about herb

medicines when you were here?

M; Yes, this old aunt who worked for me was a great believer in different

kinds of herbs and I know my children would have a sore mouth or something,

I remember she would bring me what we call, yellow root or bitter root and

bring it to me, and I'd use it and it really was good. I know one of my

boys says since he's gotten grown, says, momma, I wish we had some of

Aunt Ine. 's bitter root.

P; But she was really a believe in that?

Was there anything else besides that that she did in raising your children?

M: No, that's about all I can remember in medicine line.

P: Did she ever recommend remedies to keep them from having a hard time


M: Yes, there was different things about that. I can remember one things was

chicken )_L and one of my children had it and was little you know. Aunt

ReW_- told them to make momma go to the : house and get out to the

chicken house, and get a chicken and make it J Vhead and it'd

be alright. He wanted me to do it. Then another thing, my little daughter,

she was talking to you this afternoon. When she was real little, she had a
wart under her eye and Aunt &(C said if you steal your momma's dishrag,

you mustn't let her know that you got it, and take it and put it on the steps

that wart will go away. So she didn't tell me a thing about it, and a good

while after that, the wart disappeared, and then she told me about it and still

to this day, she believes that's what did it.

P: Tell me a little bit about what your husband did,

M: He was a farmer and he was a member of the county lard of gucation for almost

Page 24

three almost four terms and he was instrumental in getting electricity here.

They going around getting people to sign up like they: sign up for

water now, you know, and he had a store here when I first married.

P: On this place or in town?

M: On this place.

P: Did a lot of Indians trade there?

M: Yes, they did. And their credit wasn't very good either.

P; Was he generous in extending credit?

M: Yes he was. Not too long ago, I was looking through the books, and most

of them that were still on there were old, you know, and I don't know they

had a way of Now Will MCGhee, like I said, was kind of a leader and

he was good to pay, but the most of them said they'd pay Saturday, Well,

Saturday never come. They'd pay up and then get in debt and that'd be it.'
P; Did your husband ever reach a point where he said no more credit to certain


M: Well, yes, he had to do that he just had to. He'd hate to, too, but as I

say, they loved that old liquor and the snuff and they'd get that, irregardless

of whether they paid their A s or not. a-v J / ; A,

P; Where did they get their liquor?

M; I don't know, I guess it was plentiful all around. I don't really know where

they got it. I can't remember if we had a liquor store in Atmore. I guess

.-----4----- 1 sr ni X
P; Speaking of stores, when did the predecessor of the store down here, Jackson's

come in? Was that after you came?

M; No, they hadn't been one there until of late years, just real late. This

Jackson's store, her: first husband started e-trhiTg -

P: And you remember < him starting it?

M; Yes, it hasn't been too long ago.

Page 25

P: It wasn't that building, though, was it?

M: Partly, but she added onto it.

P: Was that the first store that you know of that an Indian operated?

M: The first one. Now out at. ereIr, I believe that somebody out there had a

little shed on the house that they sold tobacco and snuff and drinks and

thing before she had this one.

P; Did the Indians do most of their trade with your husband here, then?

M: No, our store had gone out of business.

P; But before it went out of business, did they do most of their trade here?

M: I believe a lot of them did *most of it here.

P; Were there Rolin stores around here at that time?

M: Yes, Rolin stores that's right. I believe that's one reason why we went

out of business. Well, several reasons. I'll tell you, not the Indian

people but we got so many bad checks and things. People'd come and

.fill their car up with gas, you know, and give you a check and you

took a check with the chance that it be alright, and nine times out of

ten, it wouldn't be alright. Then, too, the roads got better and more

access to Atmore and all .j) f'O Q- J"U-7 4i^ fil

P; Well, there's one final question What do you think is gonna, is the future

gonna be like for the Indian folks of this area?

M: Well, I just don't know. If they make as much progress in the next 20 years

as they have in this, well, they'd be up there.

P; And you say they have really made the progress?

M: Yes, they have.

P; Are you glad that you : had the opportunity-to teach with them?

M: Yes, I'm glad that I did. As I said a while ago, I have some good friends

that are Indians and I'm not ashamed that they are. I can remember that

one old lady said to me, And they tell me you're gonna teach that Indian

school. And I said yes. And there's one thing show, no gal of mine will

Page 26

ever teach em. You know, they felt like we kind of feel, kind of felt,

about the negroes. But I didn't never have that kind of feeling about them.

P: Do you think there's some of that attitude still around in the heart of some


M: I just really don't know. I don't believe they have quite that feeling but

there's some that just I don't know lots of times I wonder if they
oir noft
think I ought to go down there agsfat, but I go on.

P; Go down where?

M: To visit them or something like that. I was talking about a wedding that
I went to, you know, and they'd say, well, where did you go to that wedding?

I said, Episcopal Church. And they'd say, did you go down there?

P; Well, I wonder them what some folks think of my living there this summer?

M: Well, now they that would be alright, because they've had missionaries,

and I reckon they think you're a missionary.

P; So missionaries are okay.

4: Yeah, but I don't think they have that much feeling about that anymore.

P: But it was fairly strong in the past?

M; Yes, it was. Ujo -i4 -(- 4 "

P; When did you first start noticing a softening of that attitude?

M: After they begun to go to school and as I say, after they started working at

shipyards and around, you know, they'd ride together.

P: Well, before) really)the whites didn't have that much opportunity to really

get to know the Indians?

M: Right, they hadn t. They were off there by themselves and the whites were

here by themselves.

P: So I guess people in Atmore ith an unpaved road, didn't have much to do.
lWJ i~c r)or
M; That's right and they didn't have cars. d Indian had cars, and they were

just down there.

Page 26

P: I wonder why your father-in-law decided to pick this place to set up his


M: I really don't know. He was from Monroe County. He was born and raised

near here in Monroe County and well now, his wife probably was a from round

here. She was a Bates. And I believe they lived a&nt here what they

call the IA-Farm somewhere. That's probably the reason, but I really

wouldn't know.

P; What was your father-on-law's name by the way?

M: C. L. Moore, Charles Moore.

P; And your husband's name?

M; Bates.

P:YOur father-in-law was the one who founded your place here, though? Well,

thank you very much. Anything I haven't asked you that I should?

M: I don't think so, after you'r',I may think of something I wished I had

told you.

P; Write it down and I'll come back.

M: Okay.

P: Well, I did forget to ask you something and that was the way in which O)A-

your salary) w the school was financed.

M: Well we had a little money that we'd buy chalk and a few things with and

bought some wood, but some things, why their parents bought it ;: or the

children and I would go to woods and get it.

P; Now you mentioned one particular kind of fund that you had.

M; That was the ADA Fund they'd call it Average Daily Attendance You were

allowed u. so much money for that, and that was our little fund that we had.

As I say, we used some of it one year in putting down a pump.

P; You did say that frequently you did ask for money and the -a county would just

say no?

M; That they didn't have it, yeah. [) ;th. '.

Page 27

P; Tell me again about the things that the county did do for you when you were


M: Let me see, what did they do? They helped us put down this pump, I can remember


P: That was before you were in the parish house?

M: Yeah. That was before then and after we consolidated, why, that was when

they begun to furnish some books and they furnished some chalk and few things

like that. And after we had electric lights, they paid the electric bill.

P; You say they put the electricity in the parish house?

M: uh huh$ c F ^^

P; And purchased the desks, too?

M: Yeah.

P; Who actually built the parish house.

M: Charles King owned that piece of land at one time and he sold it I

think to the Episcopal Church and that's when they begun to use : it for

school. We taught in the church at first.

P; In the church itself?

M: In the church itselfA Then after bemissionaries left, the church bought

this house that they used for a parish house and we moved over there then.

P; Just as a point of curiosity, was there any problem of

4 lack of separation of church and state by having school in a church


M: I don't think so.

P; That never came up?

M: Ilnever came up. They had the two sunday school room and the big room

and there were three teachers that we had.

P; You mentioned Fred Walker and I've heard several people speak of him as if

he were a leader of: : some kind. Would you : .

1 Page 28

M; Uh huh. Well, he was kind of a leader of the school when I was over there/

442 you know, and he was one of the older ones, and I think they kind of

looked up at Uncle Fred and Uncle Will.

P; You said that Fred Walker would some times bring you wood?

M: Uh huh. And he'd come by the schoolhouse lots of times. I guess, I -

aan't remember if we had trustees then or not, but I guess he probably was

what we call a trustee.

P; What do you mean. trustee?

M: Of a particular school. They still have them they usually have about three

two or three people in a community that's supposed to kind of look after the


P; For free or for pay?

M: It's for free and at that tine, no, not at that time, but before that time,

those trustees would sign a report that you had been : there.

P: The teachers had been there? During the years that you taught,

were there records of school attendance and so forth, put on file some place,

and where would those be found?

M;< In J.re'on.

P; I'm getting ready to go to Srtarn tomorrow. What would I look under to find

information on the school?

M: I guess Mr. Weaver could tell you, but it would be in the school registerS.

That would be you know the names of the children and so forth the grades

and their names and so forth.

P; Okay, I guess that's it now.

tA k^-t

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