Title: Interview with Ruby Walker Jackson and Alfred Jackson (September 7, 1972)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007509/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Ruby Walker Jackson and Alfred Jackson (September 7, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: September 7, 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: UF00007509
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 34

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Full Text


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

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

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
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Fair use limts the amount of material that may be

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CRK -3- 3C Z4
K Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Jackson
A. Parades

Pf Interviewing Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Jackson in their homehere in Pensacola and

Mrs. Jackson's name is Ruby Walker Jaesn. orxv l\ ,l V-j 1 -Ji

S' CWhat I would like both of you to do to start out with is just say your

name, identify yourself and tell when you were born, who your parents

were, where you were born and what you can remember about your early life.

You want to start Mr. Jackson#?

A: My name is Alfred Jackson Walter Jackson was my parents Walter was my

daddy Mrs. Belle McGhee that was my mother and Frankie McGhee was my

grandfather. I was born in September 15, 1912, 11l.
j-% Ff, tHc-cl o- Pe-rd;c/o
P: Were you born at Hogfnt, rHoap6444de or where?

A: I was born in Hogfe-k. WAit now, let me see here. I surely was. I was

born right down this side of, you know where, well, it's somewhere close

to it. Arthur was born down here.

P: I'll ask Mrs. Jackson to do the same thing now.

R: My name is Ruby Walker Jackson. My father's name was Fred Walker and my

mother's name was Lulu Radcliff she wasn't an Indian and I was born in

Gatesford, Alabama, December 19, 1914.

P: How did it come that you were born in Gatesford, Alabama?

R: Well, my grandmother lived out there and my mother lived also and father

close by and she was the midwife that brought me into the world?

P: Your grandmother?

R: My grandmother, yeah.

P: That was your white grandmother?

R: Yeah, my Irish grandmother. My mother's mother she had Indian in her-,

She came from the Hadley side she had -she was Indian-Irish and so was my


A: I think my grandmother was the one who brought me into the world? too.

Page 2

P: Really?

A ,y' grandmother w a jwi4e..

P: I've heard several people N talk about Aunt Lizzie as being a midwife. She
must have delivered a lot of children out there.

A: She delivered a lot of Indian ones out there.

P: Was she still doing it after you old enough to remember?
M ov1es4'
A: She delivered my first nephew my oldest brother's boy she delivered himr

and there wer living with me and my wife at the time then. at Heda-ed4aha.

P: Let me ask you both of you either one a fwer when women .used to have

their children at homewith the midwife,what did the menfolk do when the baby

was being born?

A: The menfolk would just walk around outside, that's all.

P: Theywouldn't even let them in the house?

A: No sir.

P; Was there ever an occasion when a man might have to help a woman?

A: Well, I had to go get Dr. Sellers to help my grandma bring this child in

the world my nephew and I raised him.

P; Why did you have to go for the doctor?

A: Well, they had to take him and see that was in the case my grandmother had

to have some help. Our second child was born well he his granny brought

him into the world, see.

P: Where was Dr. Sellers when you had to go get him?

A: McCullough.

P; From where?

A: From Hedepe44gd. I took a mule and wagon and went and got him.

P: And they just had to wait all that time? Back in those days that was a trip
of about how longupoand back?

A: It was about three hours.

R: Only was we used to go was in the mule and wagon To Atmore, McCullough.

You know, we used to go get our groceries by-the mule and wagon.

Page 3

P: Would you go to Atmore usually or McCullough to get groceries?

R: We usually went to Atmore.

A: When me and her married, you know how much I made a month?

P; Tell me.

A: I was plowing a mule for $15 a month.

P: You were working for somebody else?

A: CklesKing up there at Atmore.

P: Were you just working on ages or were you just working on shares?

A: No, s4aee.

P: $15 a month?

A: $15 a month that's what I was getting. Besides I never seen no money.

We'd buy groceries with it that's all I ever got.

P: What year was that?

A: My oldest son was born in '39, must have been 1935, something like that, ol Yo0

It was in 1938.

P: How was it that you never sew any money. Would he just .

R: There wasn't any money Hoover was president.

P; Of your $15 a month, you said you didn't see much of that,

A: I didn't see none of it. We always just traded up in groceries.

P: Did he have a store too?

A: lYah -No, he didn't have no store he'd just go to Atmore along in them

days, a farmer went to Atmore and made arrangements for them to furnish him

so much a year until he l-aid-- crop at the farmer supply store in Atmore.

That's the way all them farmers la4d their crops = up there.

P; You said you were working on wages, how did he keep you from getting your money/

A: Well, he just didn't keep me from getting it, you see he would have paid it
to :. him, but I had to have groceries all the time and I just di4dnpt have

the groceries and money.

P; So you were in a fence. It was just like you were farming on your own.

rage 4

You would go to the store and get the groceries and .

A: I'd plow on a Saturday I'd just tell him what I wanted and he'd go to

Atmore and bring it back and I'd plow until he got back with my groceries.

P: Besides, let me go back to another subject we were talking about midwives.

What was it like inside the house when the baby was being born if the men

were walking around outside?

R: Well, I don't really know, but they just be them and maybe one more lady you


P: There was somebody usually to help?

R: Always.

P: Did like Lizzie, did she have one that regularly helped her?
R: No, &he'd just get a neighbor. You know the neighbors would always come in and

help out.

P: Were midwives paid for their services?

R: If she ever got paid, I never did know it. Well my second son was born

with a midwife, Miss Mandy Goodson was her name, she lives right up in that

settlement in Atmore she was there when I was born I guess she was born

and raised up there. She was t1e midwife for my second son. She didn't

get no pay.

P: Did people ever give midwives a little gift or something/

R: Yeah, if they had money, they'd paid them they always gave them something.

P; tThey might give them something from their garden or something?

R: Yeah, some canned stuff or something.

P; Now besides farming when you were growing up, what other kinds of work

was there, if any?

A: Nothing but paper wood, sawing logs and such as that. And that's what I did.

P: Was there still any turpentine work going on?

A: Yes sir. I've dipped a many barrel of turpentine.

Page 5

R: And I've picked up many a turpentine cp

P: So women worked in turpentine too?

R: Yes sir. My aunt worked in a turpentine still where they make the turpentine.

P: Is that where they boil it or what?

R: Yeah, she worked there.

P; What was the pay for turpentine work, say picking up cups?

R: We'd pick them up for was it one cent a cup or two cent a cup?

I think it was two cent a cup.

P; For cutting the trees, I don't know what you call that, for hacking the

trees, what was the pay on that?

A: That was chipping trees. _ec'd chip them down low, then when they got

up real high, they had a long pull them you see, and I went around the

woods with my uncle.

P; Whatias the pay for that?

R: A cent a cup.

P: Besides chipping the trees and, 3os were saying you remembered old Dick

McGhee, tell me about him.

A: Well, he was just an old man I wasn't nothing but a little old small boy.

Used to wear dresses- never seen a pair of overalls just like a girl. I wore

them dresses I was about 8 9 years old. Never knew what a pair of shoes

was. I used to get up every morning and go out to the woods. I stayed with

my uncle that during World War I my daddy was in the army.

P: \ho was her uncle?

A: Richard Walker that was her uncle. I stayed with them and every morning

at 4:00 he'd get my brother up out of the bed, frost and everything was

on the ground. Me and my brother went out into the woods hunting them

calves with this little old dress on and no shoes. I'd run away from him

though. I wouldn't stay with him. But also you see, my daddy was sending

his 1 allotment back to take care of me there was four of us,

Page 6

The baby boy he died. I can remember they used to have -

I'd have him up in my arms just4oting him around all the time. My mother

after him and her separated, he was offAaround< she couldn't take care of

us and so we just stayed with anybody we could. When I got to be ten years

old, I was saw-ing logs when I was 9 years old.

P: Did you have pants by them?

A: Yeah, I finally got a hold of a pair of old overalls and a pair of old shoes.
I never knew what a pair of breeches was until I was about 17 years old. I'm

telling you the truth. Before me and her married .
dcid C\eC
P: Back in those days, de you remember seeing any of the young boys wearing

y1.enjer wcr-e-
E NO I didn't. They d4dTr-twee any of them things.

R: What are knickers?

P: Those are knee pants that you wear with high socks.

R: No, none of my people never did wear those.
No ke -q ke(v eU v'Jy -e- e(--I er SeQ-,\
A: NONE OF-THEM-EZEPY wore any of themt-hings. If a boy got him a pair of

overalls up in that country long in them days and a white shirt, he was

dressed up. That's what we wore all the time.

P: Dresses and a-+ like that were they homemade most of the time?

A: Every one of themA .a nobody bbought-homemade shirt$. Only pair of

breeches I can remember and the only pair of shoes I had was when my daddy

come out of the army, he went and tookmy brother both to Atmore and bought u,

some shoes and overalls and stuff like that.

P: Were the shoes for everyday .wear?

A: Yeah, just old brogamw. They weren't no dress shoes. I can remember

the time she didn't have no shoes. We'd pick cotton all dwfoig the week -
c- pcir s(
she did got enough money. She sent me to Atmore to buy her some shoes

and I bought her some Kinney shoes.

P: I understand I think Mrs. Bradshaw told me you were the first two married

Page 7

in the Episcopal Church Issthat right? Tell me about your wedding since
onre- P
it was the first in the church.

R" It wasn't in the church. It was in the house where we lived, you know.

Right by old Ewing's Farm up in Atmore we was married in the home.

the Episcopal preacher lived over there and we were married in the house.

A: That preacher took me and her both to Bruton and got thelicense. He took

us to the doctor and we was examined. Then he come back and married us

in his house over by the Ewing Farm over there.

P: How did it come to be that you all were the first ones to be married by

that preacher do you think? He had been there for several years, hadn't


R: Yeah, but they just wasn't nobody up there to get married andafter

that, he performed our wedding Was Edmond and Myrtle Walker wasn't it2
up Ter-c-
that got marriedC the church-

P: Before the Episcopal Church came, can you remember anybody halving weddings

in the Baptist Church?

R: No. There was a church, but I don't remember anybody getting marriedy-3

A: There wasn't any church up there was there?

R: The only church we had was an old schoolhouse where we had church in it.

A: Mostly I .

R: We mostly ha church in--he made out of oak and make a frame made

out of oak bushes. -hk'P L.-I- 1 k J rCL. .

P: Where did your preachers come from?

R: Well, everywhere.

P: Do you remember the names of some of them?

R: We had one ,. named Mosco Williams, wasn't it? We thought he was

a preacher. He preached but we caught up with him drinking too, so he wasn't

such a good preacher.

P: Where did he come from.

Page 8

ac--'cl t^o cIO i ~o +'ke W oo ds a G- i
R: Ae thought he'd gone to the woods to pray and he had his handbag w4ith-hm

and had a bottle in it.

P: Where did he come from?

R: ei Monroe County.

P: Did he stay in the community out there?

R: He stayed at our house when he was up preaching there. He used to stay at

our house and he'd go off down the woods said he was going to pray and
-Itl 5 o d o Lu->>~ -H\e.
had his bottle in his sachel and drink.

P; Did somebody follow, : him and find?

R: I don't remember who it was that caught himu- bo'f- '

I think it was my father.

P; What did he do to him?

R: He didn't do nothing to him, he just talked to him and he left and he

didn't come back to preach anymore. We used to have a preacher up there,

Preacher Slade he married Miss Sus Lister and used to preach over

there for us all the time and he was a very good fellow.

P: Did these preachers ever go over to Bell Creek and Hogfort and preach?

R: Yeah. Under the bush---,Used to preach all over the place.

P: Bef6Ee you all were married in the Episcopal Church, where did people get

married if they didn't get married in the church?
Sre.-oLA guo
R: I don't know. Up in Beteon, I guess. Yeah, they'd go to Braton and get

married in the courthouse.

A: I'll tell you momma and daddy never did tell me where they was married.
R: I'm sure they went to Broton at the courthouse, because everybody that got

married went to Breaton for the license Couldn't buy them in Atmore Wad

to go to Brtton to get them.

P; Was it were there many, cases years ago of people never really got married

but lived together as man and wife for years and years?

R; You mean up around there. Not that I know of. Not that I know of.

Page 9

A: I ain't never known a .nobody up there that's ever been what wasn't marriedoo
Vko LJ.
P: So there's no such things as a common law husband and wife?

R: I've never known them and I don't think he did either.

P; Did you all have a lot of people come to your wedding?

A: Yeah.

R: We had about a dozen or more.

P: Did you have a party afterwards?

A: Yes.Sf +4 V c 5 .. .J

R: We just we didn't have no way to ride we had to walk home,

P: Was this considered something unusual by people in the community your


R: NO, I guess not.,

P; Changing the subject, IAinterviewed your sister about this at one time,

maybe you can give me some more information that your father, Fred Walker,

was sort of a leader in his time in the community .

R: Yeah, he was the chief.

P: How did he become the chief?

R: They appointed him the chief, I guess.

P: Who appointed him?

R: All the Indians.

P; Was he chief as long as you can remember?

R: As long as he lived.

P; The Indians called him chief?

R: 11 the Indians called him Chief Walker.

P; What were his responsibilities as clief?

R: Well, I don't guess not anything when we'd have church, he was the

leader in the church and all of that, you know, but other than that, they


Page 10

never had no meetings or get together or nothing like that only at churches

"_ we'd have dinners on the ground like people do and he'd alwaysA- We'd

have prayer meeting and he was the leader in the church and the leader in

the prayer meeting and all of that, you know.

P: Did people over in Hogfort and Bell Creek call him chief?

R: Oh yes. Everybody called him chief.

P: Did he ever go over to the other Episcopal Church St. Johns in the

Wilderness and lead things?

R: No.

P; Was there another local man who was the leader over there?

R: Let me see, who was that.
k- T7 Jce^t^uL., tje.^r tv (fY\(,khee_
'. Seemed to me somebody else .did that before Dan. Now you know I'm getting

old when I can't remember. That's Mel Mel used to be the leader and

deacon I guess is what you'd call it.

P; Over in St. Johns?

R: There used to be two Episcopal Churches there One was out at Porch Switch
ccd oc PScwido
and one was up at Hdpedidia. and when we were all teenagers, we had us a

group of singers and we'd go over to Pqrch and sing one week and then they'd
4e-d o4 Pc-rd'dAo
come up to Hadapddi4da-and sing at our church one week and J. D. Presley was

the organ player for Porch and Gurley was the organ player for us at the

Episcopal Church.
e &.-
P: And Mal was the leader of the Porch Episcopal Church?
4kwd of Pard4do, -a
R: NO, Hadaped-tda. .ow we'd go to Porch to church and we'd go out there and
si but I can't remember who the leader was out there you'll have to ask

somebody that remembers. The church was right there where this Holiness

Church is now. -

P; How was your singing group organized? Was there some adults that did that

or did the teenagers do it themselves or what?

R; krp, I guess the adults did it, but you know, I really don't know.

Page 11

RY But I imagine the adults did it. Well we were all grown, we were young,

but we were all grown. I guess Mal was our leader and I guess ever whom,

Dave was their leader at Porch.

P: MAl was the leader of your singing group and your father was the leader

of your prayer meeting group?

R: Yeah, in our church but not/n the Episcopal Church. In the Baptist, I guessAc4e-<(

P: So your father, Chief Walker,was a leader even before the Episocpal Church

came there?

R: Oh yeah, oh yeah.

P: Did they call him chief before the Episcopal Church came?

R: Well, best I can remember they did.

P; Back to Dick McGhee, did he have any children ?

A: Not that I know of.

P; Was he ver married?

A: Yeah, he married what was supposed to be her grandmother, Tracey.

Wasn't that Fred's momma?

R: My father's father name was Richard McGhee.

But he didn't marry my grandmother not Dick McGhee. My grandmother's

name was Tracey McGhee and my grandfather's name was Richard. That's

where uncle Richard got his name, from Richard Walker.

P: Dick McGhee was your mother's brother then?

R: Maybe he was my grandfather's brother, I don't remember that far back, but

as far as I know, I don't know he may have been a cousin to him. I know

my grandfather's name was Richard McGhee.

A: Dick McGhee, I can remember seeing him. He was a tall man and he lived over
&.,dc o# Per.Udo
there across, you've been around He4depedda you know where Sam ? iv a4 '

Live- kight across the creek from Sam there. That's the old Dick McGhee place.
Thaay's rMw
R: O'addy's old house was down there where old man Dick McGhee's place is. That'

Page 12

where my daddy died right there on that hill in that old house.

P: Your sister was telling me somethingl,. some details about what happened

to the old Fred Walker place. How it was sold or something,

R: Yeah. Up there those some of those people said it couldn't be sold and my

brother,'bull-headed I guess you'd call it, o e was gonna show them it

could, so he went and put it up for sale. We all went and signed it and they

sold it -,auctioned it off. For a thousand dollars.

P: Who got it?

R: We all got it.

P: You all go it.

R: We got the money.

P: Who got the piece of property?

Who bought it?

R: Some judge up there. AHe bought it.

P: You don't remember his name?

R: No I don't. Now my brother can tell you exactly, Lawrence.

P: Where does he live?
R Brat, Flori c da
R: Brat, Florida.

P; Brat Florida?

He's the one that organized the sale of the land? And people told you it

couldn't be sold.

R: Yes they did, and that's why we sold it.

A: There's another section of land up there that belongs to the same thing.

When that thing become taxable, that piece of land, it didn't make no

difference. I could go there and build me a house anywhere I wanted.

That old McGhee granted land there. Old man Richard Walker and old man

4c)L- er' kept messing with that piece of land, kept messing with

that piece of land, and it come to be taxable and it was sold three or

four times for taxes. Her daddy, old man Will McGhee always would go and ranew it bac

Page 13

hbek. And so after a while, he kept on messing with it, and each one of

them had split the thing in half.

R: 80 acres each.

A: And Uncle Will had an 80 and her daddy had an 4 80 and they paid taxes on

it long enough, it become theirs. That's when the rest of them said it

couldn't be sold and after he died, her daddy offered to sell me that Jhole

entire thing, I believe, for $200 at one time.

P; Now I've seen some records that indicate that the original tract of land

was 240 acres. What happened to the other 80?

R: Well you see, the McCawleys just lacked long time ago that they took the

land away from the Indians? Well, they were cheated out of that. The

land really went on and on up more. But all they had was 80 acres apiece,

the McCawleys, the Moores, and all them had the rest of it.

P: How did they manage to cheat theme out of it?

R: I don't know how they did it, but they had it surveyed one time and it took

in all where the McCawleys lived and all back in there, but they never did

get it back. It really belonged to them.

P; So there was more than just twe two 80's?

R: Oh yeah.

P; Speaking of the land, I heard another story that maybe you can give me some

more information on that at one time the railroad went through and cut a

bunch of trees down and they weren't supposed to cut them down, or some-

thing through that land?

A: No, that was before our time.

P; You heard of that, though?

A: Well, see the Mill Company used to run through there. And after that

mill down there run out of business, Swift had it then. Swofi's Mill had

the railroad that they took it up.

Page 14

R: I can remember when we were building a house up there and my father split

rails, and we had to carry them on our shoulders to build a fence for the

farm, I remember that.

P; You had a rail fence?

R: We had a rail fence.

P; Did you have cattle and things?

R: Whenever woods ever caught a fire, we'd have to sit up all night and watch

the fence to keep from burning up. One time this widow lady lived over
'there close to the Ewing farm and the woods caught a fire and burned her

fence up and we all had to sit up all night and mind the cattle out of her

crop to keep from eating it up.

P: How does the bld man Lewis Lister who is still living in Porch Switch

related to the Listers you've been talking about?

R: That old lady, the lady I'm talking about was his mother.

P; Is he part Indian Lewis Lister?

R: No, I don't think so.

A: I don't think they got no Indian t'all.

R: Yeah, they got some.

A: Well, they got some way off. You see her mother was a Taylor before she married.

P: This was the one you said through the Hadley side?

E: They came through the Hadley's too, a little bit., But see my mother's

came through the Hadleys and the Hadleys had a little Uik of Indian in them.

They named it on their records up there, 'cause I saw it.

P; Now the reason I aked that is that I couldn't figure out if Lewis Lister is

related to the people he's living with now. I can't for a moment think of

what family he's living with.

A: I think he's living at Aunt Cora's. See that was my uncle and Cora married

my uncle.

Page 15

-3-s Ae- Uv ir5"^H+er-e or+
R: Y .i...n h.r rimcE--wene-Buford by the church at Porch?

P: Across the highway in kind of an orange-colored house, I think. Next door

to Winston Thedes, I think.

A: Nothing but that old store Cora used to have. Used to live .

P: He's not living at Cora's now, I know thatykh o-4 / ;fn l _V-e.

The reason I was asking that, I've been hearing that through the years, someone bodc

would just come wandering thr the community and somebody would take him in.
w( t sM /jere na-,-L
R: That's true.- You see those tw9 that Willie Ross and John Ross, they've been

in that community up there for I don't know how many years. I think old

John eame there first, didn't he?

A: Both of them came at the same time.

R: See, they just stayed around here and there.

P: When they come, what did they say their business was?

R: Well I don't reallyjnow see they've been wandering up in there ever since

I've lived there. See I've lived there in 1941. I hadn't lived up there since.

P: So you all left in '41, then. What made you decide to leave up there and conr.e<

where did you go?

A: There wasn't nothing to do.

R: He just got tired of working for thing so he went to New Orleans and got a

job and then we went to New Orleans. Then we moved from New Orleans to Mobile.

We lived in Mobile for nine years. Then my mother was living her and so we

moved here and ::-. have been here ever since about 28 years.

P; Why was it that your mother wae- lving here?

R: Well my mother moved here from Alabama, too, see, she and my father separated

and she moved down here and went to work in a bakery shop and so she just

got her a job and worked and had her living and so she just stayed here.

P: What kind of jobs have you had since you left up there?

A: I had all kinds paper wooding, tugboating, carpenter work, I've done a

Page 16

little bit of everything, any kind of work man could do.

I was a painter one time and when I quit painting, I went to carpenting and
here- af
I tugboated, I was on a tugboatnten years one time before I quit and year

before last, I decided I'd go back to tugboating again. Fourteen years I
LJ,-nt+ bocdt c'l
stayed off of them boats and I stayed six months and I quit again.
&y L e{- year-, you- qC,, S e- -s f Pfr-\L.
P: What kind of work did you do on the tugboat?

A: I was a mate over here. I was a mate when I was here but when I went back

to tugboating, te-syeer, they wanted me to take a mate's job again and I told
.roke r deck,
them I didn't want itA I don't want no more responsibility.

P; You'd rather what?

A: I was a deck hand. When I was here, I was a mate, that was just like a

captain on a boat.

P: Do you think that you've ever run into any discrimination looking for jobs

because you're Indian?

A: Nql

P; Have either one of you ever encountered any kind of discrimination at all

on the basis of Indian.

R: No sir.

P; What about going to school sending your children to school or anything.

R: No sir. My children went to school and they were thought of just as well

as anybody and they still are. They went through school right here in

Pensacola every one of them.

P; What about yourselves. How much education did you all get?

R: I went to the third grade and I think he went to tae-second grade.

A: I ain't got no education whatsoever.
via-((l 3r cC,. rr^d O-n-d
R: He-en write some but -... e coa -.

P: Did you go to schooqa while up there at Hedapeida?

R: That's where we went and that's where we stopped. You know where Eugene

Page 17

Sells lives? Well, the schoolhouse was sitting right where his house is

and that's where we went to school.

A: Down in the hill it wasn't there. The schoolhouse was _3

down under the hill You know where you go to the top of that hill.

Well, that's where the schoolhouse was.

R: Tfat's right, that's right.

P: How come you didn't go to school anymore than you did?

A: I didn't have a chance. They always made me work. Sc+-tketS. Lcdtk 4 sA-cNoLo

P; Who made your work?

A: Richtard Walker. Hesent -. his two boys to school me and my brother

neither one of us could read or write no education that's why we

aino' got none. We had to work all our life. We d be up on the hill
dou^o +here,
chopping cotton or something and they'd be going to school. We'd

get to go to school maybe a day out of the week or something,.at.e-a Q4ivg

like that.

P; Did you ever work in the fields out away from the community any place?

A: Worked all over the country up there in them fields.

P: Did you ever go out of the state working in the fields?

A: No yeah I went to Bridgetown, N. J. well that's since I've been here.

I went to Bridgetwon, N. J. for harvest work and I went to

Ba-etTgCrr, N. Y. I was took by took people up there to de work.

P: How did you did you get a contract to do that? How did you get your

contract to a.and. do that.

A: The employment office. For re-employment and the man, the farmer, would

send you the money to come up there on. When you got your load, they give

you your money, but they don't do it anymore. Since then, they's been

so money that once they got money, they never take them hands or nothing to

that farmer. So they just got when you got with your farm with your people,

Page 18

they paid you.

P: Let me change the subject, I've noticed that your sister, Gertrude, seems to

be the one who always starts the songs off in the Holiness Church. How
did she I didn't know this when I interviewed her. How did she get to

be in that position?

R: Well, she's just a good singer and she's a good leader. She just knows

how to start them. That's why.

P; Was she in that group you were telling me about before that went .

R: Oh yes.

P; How did you all learn your songs?

R: Well we had song books and we'd learn them out of the song books.

P: Would you have practice sessions?

R: Yeah, we had practice at night 0.a' kad C prr--Ce.

P; Would you go to the church?

R: Yeah, we'd go to the church.

P; Would Mrs. Rolin come and play the organ for you while you practice?

R: Yeah, she always played the organ.
r'tL be-
A: I'll be 61 years old this coming 15th of September 61-years old.

P: Besides singing in your time, what did the young people do for fun
4o0 t-l-c-TV L-4tte-
whever they got a chance for fun.

R: 6od sawing.

P; What's a wood sawing?

R: Cutting wood, stove wood. Go out in the woods with a cross cut saw

and we'd make syrup candy and put peanuts in it and have syrup candy

making,,pulling, and wood sawing. Splitting it and racking inm it up ^d o w
c) IOU cc<-L< -* q ~ -e-C vo you" Lc". -a to % Id V^c, yo 0 o rtL, 4 U-p '-0
ma-r 'I and pua C Cin ,rg, d.
f C ctord? u ,r c orbefL. .
P; And you all would cut wood for fun?

R: IYes sir. That's true, we sure did.

Page 19

A: In my young days, when my mother was living, I was about 12-14 years old.

On a Sunday, you couldn't catch a boy around nowhere and they'd all be

together. And one Sunday, we had us a pair of old wagon wheels out from

under the back of the wagon and we'd go out in the woods and hit those

things up on high logs up under those wagons and we'd get together maybe

15-20 boys out ahead of that thing pulling it just like mules and pull is-aool

tP up in-fe"-of your house one Sunday and next Sunday to another boy's

house. Pull up wood. We'd go off in the woods and stay all day long.

We never stayed around the house on Sunday.

P; When you said these wood sawings. Would a whole bunch of young people get


R: Yeah.

P; Would you take a lunch out there or anything?

R: No, whoever we'd be sawing the wood for, eay like one neighbor one time
o r, c- ( 0 ^ c VW- so '2^f-k1 rM
and another anoer time, they'd bake us cakes and we'd have cake.

P; Would they ask you to come saw wood for them?

R: Yes, oh yes. T at was fun we thoughtit was.

P; Where did you have your candy makings?

R: We'd make the candy whoever we was sawing the wood for, they'd make the

candy and then we'd do the pulling of it and that was fun, too.

A: They'd make the candy and then the young ones would pull it.
R: The more you pull it, the wider it gets and the A it gets, and really
i/k iJ ~ it's likltaffy.
"Y 4ec-d a4 Prdi.4'
P; Did you all ever go outside of 4eadpedida for those wood savings?

R: Oh no, right around in the neighborhood. ro
g: ..oer>- 04-o To tl -r 4o4 -r+ ., I:r+ no aJ o d A-1,
P: Any of the young peopleeover there come to your place?

R: No.

1: I want to tell you something about them two neighborhoods up there.

Page 20

When I was a boy, I stayed to Hogfort where that church is. My uncle lived ro
there and that's when I run away from old man Richard, well he come got me

and my brother both. And kept us and raised us and you take them boys from
P Cod Cs4F- F'dr^ ej
Hogfort whoever had a frolic up at Hedapediidia? Those

boys up there they didn't get along.

P; They didn't? Even though they were related?

A: No sir. It's just been the last 15 years since they all just got to

going around with one another.

R? Another thing I can't understand is ).this yours? I still don't under-

stand it and they're my people, and I love them but why they got all them
(At n c. ei-tekcr- '
churches up there I'll never understand it.A There's only enough people up

there to fill up one church. They got churches on every corner and I'll

never understand that. They just gcnAthat way. We used to not have but one

church. Everybody went to one church and worshipped in the same church.

AndA they had that bush iA down there in Hogfort and everybody would go

down there. My uncleL Will McGhee, he used to take his wagon and hook his

mules up and all of us would get on that wagon, just as many as could get

on there and go down on that Bushj c and stay all day long on Sunday

and go to church.

P; khare were:the brush harborA?

R: Down there at Hog rt. You know where my sister Gertrude lies?

Well it was down that road about a mile, half a mile from where she lives.

Straight down that road.
rcc,-fJ 4 PCrdido
P; You all would go from Hadaped4de over there?

R: Yeah.
4-le^D D Fh red Io
P; Was there ever a brush harbor in Hedapedada?

R: No I don't believe so Thed always have a church.

It was a school and a church combined. We'd have school in it during the

Page 21

week and church on Sunday.

P: Did you ever go to church over at Bell Creek?

R: Oh yeah.

P; Would that be an every Sunday thing or once a month or what?

A: Fred used to go down there. He got him and Jack Daltry you know Jack e(onLyoao

fhey got him and Jack to go down there and make music for him. I believe

it was Lee Wise, Jethro, Calvin bunch of them boys they got to scrapping

and run old Fred and Jack in that big swamp. Yeah they used to go up there

all the time. You take me they ain't none of them that's fooled with me

up there. I used to be a bad fight .ith them boys.

P: Was there ever fighting with the boys from Bell Creek?

R: 7 used to fight with Bell Creek.

P; They did?

R: Oh yeah.

P: Which was the fightinest community HEDAPEDIDA, Hog rt, or Bell Creek?

R: Well, I'll tell you they used to have them Saturday night dances they

: called them, square dancing, and before it was all over, they was LCL


P: I've heard that a lot of times and I can't understand. What were they

fighting about?

R: Well, they'd drink you know, and then they didn't care.
A: They'd get to drinking and they' get to fighting and just fight one another.

That used to be a mean country up there.

P; I-Z&SE so peaceful now.

A: It is, now. It is so peaceful now. Everybody got to going together and all
-ornir^ t^-HAe-rc-
the white boys^and all the girls up there. It just got to be settlement

together now that's what it is. They're all good to each other.

Page 22

/lc.^ o PC rirddef,
A: My uncle, he never did live up at Hedapedida 4 until he got to be an old man.

P: Which one is that?


P: Ed what?

A: Ed McGhee. He always live out at Porch and drive to Ho rt. After he got
ol Prf PerdI Ca,
to be an old man, he lived up at Hedapedida. A lot of them people come from
>v l-4 vf Pe odidO f. 4ct- et o (d07 A' q k i-c- /
Ho4Aort and live up at Hedaped4ia.

P: You said who never lived around?

A: Dan McGhee. He alwaysplived up there towards Huag ford or back up in that

away all the time until he got to be old and he got to be an old man and

settled down, too. When I was a little boy, I'd stand out on the porch at

Porch Switch with my uncle old man Will McGhee, bunch of them come from
do,,.,,- or<- a
S-g4eas somewhere or another they got off that train there at Porch and
tote a gun
Uncle Will used to be mean oh, man, he used to be man, he used to A

all the time.I believe Jess Garland lives out at Porch, too and they'd come

out there drunk just five of them and they got to hollering and fighting

out there and Will pulled out his pistol and shot down two of them and killed

a chicken.

P; Did a lot of men carry guns back when you were a boy?
r- ,e"r- C t d ) u $,
A: Not most of tkemoseod-to carry no gun, b't-in the later years. Uncle

Will used to carry on, by God.

P: What about knives?

A: Shoot, her daddy he cut a fellow one time a colored falJBw cut him a

hundred and twenty-seven places on his arms and hands andAbody. Her daddy

right there. -1 -yi

PG Was that at one of these dances?
4c&4G C oV (rcdo 0A 1rol4
A: Right at Ue4peedide right there. He showed me t-he place where there used to

be an old house in there. They just locked hands and cut one another and he

Page. 23-

said the last time he cut at a man, he cut to cut his throat and hit him

back of the neck there and just like unjoined his neck.

P: Was Slick Seals from the community there?
A: Yeah, he was from down in there to right around Old place down there.

P: Are they Indians?

A: I don't know whether they got any Indian in them or not, but it was just a

mean bunch of people up there. Hadleys you take them Hadleys -

that's a mean settlement in there now.

P: When you all were young, were there, besides Indians, aay youngsters living

around that you used to play with and associate with?

E: I used to fight them,

P: Used to fight them?

R: Yeah the people that lived around up there before they got this thing up

about Indians where they were going to get some money, they used to -

they always thought they was better than the Indians. They would never

have anything to do with them. They used to go down there to swim in the
I-'ai-LA tcrei
creek and these boys, wg-aee4--t call them white boys, would come down

there and they would all end up in a fight before they all got away.

See, they'd all come down swimming and wind up in a fight.

They used to have nothing to do with the Indians and the people up around

there, the Greens, not all of the a s, but I remember one time my sister

and I were going to Bell Creek to church, and we were out there waiting

for somebody to pick us up, I forget who, and we asked this guy for a drink

of water and you know he told us to get out of his house. He wouldn't even

give us a drink of water because we were Indiansf

P: And he lived up there near you ?

R: He lived right up there, you know where Gurley lives, Buford's mother, he

lived right down the road there from her, close to where that church is.

page 24

P: Close to Judson Baptist Church?"

R: 4es. He lived right along there used to be an old store.

P: What was his name?

R: Green. Ernest Green.

P: What were some other what were those other family names you said?

R Carraways and Malones, well Malones were good to the Indians and the

Moores. But it was the Carraways and the Shanks, oh there wasxqquite

a few of them.

P: What was the storekeepers name?

R: Bates Moore.

P: Was he good to the Indians,.

R: He was good to the Indians.

A: I used to work for him all the time farm work.

R: He was a good guy.

P: What about, I heard .

R: Lucille Moore used to be our schoolteacher.

P: What about somebody named Charlie Hall?

A: He was a good man,

R: Oh yes. He was good to him. That used to be his whole entire farm out there

in Porch, I think. That used to be his.

P: Is that why Indian folks started moving in out there?

A: That's where they bought all their land from him.

P; I've heard some say that they felt he did them wrong in selling them some

land to some colored people.

R; IYeah, he did.

P: I was going to ask, did any of the Indian people ever go to Judson Baptist


R: No.

P; Did any ever try to go there?

Page 25

R: No.

P: It was always strictly .

R: They always knew they would be turned away, they never tried to go there.

P: That was strictly a white church? Even though it was just a hundred

yards from some Indians?

R: Yeah. We used to go there and get shots on the outside of that school that

used to be right beyond the church. They used to come out and give typhoid

fever shots and that's where we'd go to get our shots.

P: The county came out and gave shots?

R: Yes, that's right.

P: What school was there?

R: I don't remember the name of that school but it was rJght beyond the church

there and that's where all them children, we called them white children, went

to school.

P; So there was a white school just a little ways up the road

R: No, it was behind it, just beyond it back of the church.

P: Very close to the Indian school?

R: Oh yeah. Right behind where that church is now.
A: On up there where that church is now, that was the distance betwixt two


P: I had never found that in all this time that there was a white school up


R: There used to be a school over there and we'd all have to walk over there and

get our shots.

P: Did you all have recess and things at the same time at the two schools?

A: Lucille McCullough, you know she lived right behind that white church. She

used to teach us. That used to be the meanest woman.

P: Well did the children from the two schools ever get in any rucuses?

Page 26

R: They never did when we'd go over there to get our shots, it wasn't their

time to get theirs.

P: You all ever plan to go back to Alabama?

A: Nope, just as long as it's me and her.

R: My son told me, when we passed away, they wasn't even gonna to take our

body back there.

P: Why?

R: They want us to be buried here. That's what they tell us.

P: Are you glad to be away from there?
R: Oh no, we're not glad to be away from there. We plan to go -N there

this weekend and spend the night. I love to go up there just to visit but

I wouldn't like to live up there.

A: I wouldn't live up there not me no more.

R: Not that we dislike the people, we love them, but I just dislike .

But I love everybody that lives there I love them dearly.

P: Why don't you want to live there?

R: I just don't want to live there because, I don't know, I guess it's be-

cause I was raised there and I was raised so hard, you know. Didn't have

anything had to get out and work for what I had and I worked from seven

o'clock in the morning 'till five thirty in the afternoon for fifty cent

a day, and I can think about how hard I was raised up there and I don't

want to go back up there to live.

P: How about you Mr. Jackson, why don't you?

A: Same way. I used to haul paper wood all day long. Leave the paper camps

up there for fifty cents a day all day long.

R: When Hoover was president, we really had a hard time.

A: Now, I'll tell you, only way we used to make a living them 4s, Uncle Will

McGhee, he used to keep work like that. Everybody in the country same

Page 27

way but Mal, you see, everybody in that country just looked to him and

all them boys and everybody in that country would work for him.

They just like a leader, by gracious, wanting somebody to keep him in

work and Uncle Will would keep something for them to do.

P: Now, I got the impression that in the years before Hoover was president,

things were pretty hard for people .

R: They were hard, but they wasn't as hard as they was when he got to be


P: Because you all felt the Depression, too?

R: I guess we did. He'd go to Atmore and get that old government flour they'd

give away plain flour and we didn't even have no money to buy some baking

powder to put in it to make bread out of it.

P: So before Hoover was president, people had gotten used to selling crops and

things and making money?

R: Oh yes. I used to even plow, I've done everything around a farm that could

be done I've even picked velvet beans and old Lord, I hope I never

have to and I said if I ever got married I'd never work in the field

again and I ain't. I got married when I was between 15 and 16 years old

to keep from working in the field because I've picked so much cotton in my

life that oh for fifty cent a hundred. And you know how much cotton

it takes to weigh a hundred, don't you?

P; You work now at a restaurant here in town?

R: Yeah.

P: What's your job now?

R: I'm cooking.

P; Is that just from learning how to cook from a family or do you have other

experience to teach you how to be a cook in a restaurant?

R: I just learnt myself how to cook. I learnt it all myself.

Page 28

A: She ain't never had to work.

R: I never worked in my life since I've been married.

A: Isd as long, as she stays home here and keeps this house, she done a

day's work.

R: Only reason I was over there to see if my son's little restaurant and he

just wanted me to come over there and .

P: Is this Field's?

R: No Eddie my Eddie. Fields is my nephew.

P; That's right he-s Gertrude's son. Well, thank you very much folks.

Anything you'd like to add?

A: No.

R: No, not that I know of, only thing, the reason I don't want to live back at

Atmore is I don't want you to think it's my people. The people .; up there

it's not, because I love all the people, but.1j'is- ",

P: The people that come from there, do you all get together here in Pensacola?

The ones that are living here?

R: Oh yes.

A: Most of the time when everybody gets together, some of them dies. When some

of them dies, they all, you can go and catch them everyone.

P; I just thought of something I wanted to ask you about. How did your base-

ball team here in Pensacola that went up there and play against the Porch

Braves get organized?

A: Me and my son.

R: My sons is coaches all three of them. Little League.coaches.

1: My oldest boy we just happened to be sitting around there one day and he

said, why don't we get up a baseball team, and play ball j old people,

and I was just sitting and he said you i can be the manager. And I said

okay. We play a lot of ball here this year.

Page 29

P: Which son was that by the way?

R: Junior, the oldest boy.

A: I finally, he said why don't we get a game up with them Indian boys,up

at Atmore. I said okay, I'll get you a game with them. I finally got a game

and they come down here first and they beat us. We went up there and

they beat you and the last game they come down here and, about a month ago,

and we beat them.

P: Where do you all play the games down here?

A: At Leager Field.

P: Are all the members of your team here the sons and grandsons of people from

the Atmore area?

A: No.

R: They coaches from the little league. See my three sons coach little league

baseball and every year after the ballgames are over, they get together and

have a father and son game, or either the Civitan Club sponsors them, well

they play them. Last year, the Atmore team came down here and played them

once and they never did make it up there to play them so they just made

them up a tune so they could play them.

P: Besides your three sons, are there other Indian men on that team?

A: Yes, Fields, was the only one, and my brother, W. D. Walker.

P; Bo it's not a Pensacola Indian .

R: My nephew, he played with them too, but he's gone to the army now.
A: By the Indian they ain't got no Indian ball team up there.

R: That's true.

A: He ain't got but three Indians that I know of.- and that's _4_{ds two boys,

three boys, and .

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