Title: Interview with Levi and Treacy McGhee (August 23, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007518/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Levi and Treacy McGhee (August 23, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: August 23, 1973
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: UF00007518
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 43

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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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DATE: August 22, 1973


INTERVIEWEE: LeviAand Treac yAMcGhee

P: When were you born? How old are you?

M: Seventy-eight yesterday.

P: Seventy-eight yesterday. Happy Birthday.

M: Thtaiik- ou 6 r,

P: Were you born up here in Hog ort? As I understand it, this

place right down here-that used to be--that was old man Joe McGhee--

was that his home?

M: That's right, uh-huh. That was my granddaddy's old place,

L uset-iC just behind that graveyard, he had a house down


P: Was that a homestead up there?

M: -- hum (ffimative). He had a 160 acres there.

P: A hundred and sixty acres. How much of that do you have left now?

M: I don't have none of it. I[ u 0 vDu- s, kt,- C t ct^ .c t

P: What happened to his homestead through the years?

M: He sold it out.
2 -7
P: Did any of his boys get anyw-did your daddy have any of it.

M: Yeah, he had a piece of it. He gave him ten acres out of that

piece over there----- and he gave two or three m-re-another piece

across the creek. He scattered it about, whatever, gave it to 'em

and they sold it out.

P: Did Bill Rollin have a piece over there.

M: Y4&,-he-dd- kovC'O p:CA.

P: Was that his or did it belong to his wife?

1 -

CRK 43 A


INTERVIEWEE: Levi ad Treay McGhee nf

M: Belonged to his wife. She was my auntie. Uncle Charlie, Charlie

McGhee, he had a piece cross over that creeka+4-he and cousin Annie

lived cross over that creek over there and all the rest of them were

back on this side.

P: Charlie McGhee?

M: Uh-hum (affirmative). That's my uncle. He had a piece th4e, too 6V 1

P: That was your daddy's brother?

M: That's right.

P: Wellhow'd you all make your living back in those days?

M: Well we -et ma- farmed and public work.

P: Public work, uh-huh (affirmative). Now was the graveyard ever

on your granddaddy's piece-land?
M: Not the .-he died.

P: Well, who owns the graveyard?

M: They own it.

P: You do or. .

M: No, it belongs to the community.

P: To the whole community.

M: Now, my daddy owned it all at one time--he bought it all at one

time and he give a mortgage on it to a fellow at Atmore and he got

behind with it and all that and then he took it over there and so he

give us 'en-acre back for our graveyard. He just deeded it to the

community for a graveyard.

P: For a graveyard, uh-huh (affirmative). Now when somebody is buried

2 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Leviand Treay McGhee M

in that graveyard, they don't have to buy a plot or anything, they

just bury wherever they want to be buried?

M: That's right.

P: Well, besides your daddy and your Aunt Liza and Uncle Charlie who

else lived right around this area when you were a boy?
'T h ei11 v t,,- ^. -6'-^
M: Well, my Uncle David#. Uncle A. E. McGhee a Uncle A. 64
akof, o~ev
had a place just oa-tp--just beside them oaks pr there. He lived

there. Then Uncle David--he had a place 6oVf 4'A d10A a1de

th bridge ao talking abt. He had a place down there.

P: And all of them were farmers?

M: Yeah, they pretty"-m farme-, but they didn't farm much.

P: Did they do much-was there any logging going on back in those days?

M: Yes. There was a lot of logging going on.

P: What were the main things they raised on their little farms they had?
plant potatoes and
M: There was cotton farms and/rice and things like that.

P: Where would they take their cotton to sell it?

M: They'd take it to Atmore.

P: To Atmore. How big was Atmore when you were just a little boy?

What was it like? t

M: Well, it was nothing, I remember when it wa- just) -vwe just one

store 4-CAZ

P: What store was that?

M: Conner Mar, Mill owWnAM Company. ^57

3 -

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SINTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treaty^M cGhee

P: That was the only one. And they bought cotton down there?

M: Um-hum (affirmative). They bought cotton and had a gin down there

and theyAsold it. There's one or two of the fella's--boys the Indian

knows running' around.

P: And they had a general store, too? Or where did people go to buy

clothes and things like that? ,KAA.k

M: Well, they could pick everything up at Conner Mill Company/ clothes,

groceries, anything, clothes, just anything you'd want to buy yo -

get a whule lot of anything like that.

P: How did you all get to town in those days?

M: We had wagons, mules, aTnd horses, and things like that. Sometimes

webd walk.

P: You'd walk all the way.

M: TaL' .' , r.

P: Did you have to carry a lunch with you?

M: No. It didn't take too long. ,5 PO&

P: When you were a boy growing up here in i-e e--Poe( did you go

to school any place? 9i f

M: We held school at Bell's Creek out there, Bell Creek.
A -'i?
P: You all didn't have a schoolhouse here in ias oLrt(??- S4 'O
tc Z A~,i Aq -e-k^-
M: Not thea,-ne-when I was coming up, growing up.

P: tfou had to go all the way over to..

M: --e441-6 reek? Z- /u" *

P: How many teachers did they have over there?


CRK 43 A


INTERVIEWEE: Levi and TreatyMcGhee e

M: We had one.

P: Do you remember the teacher's name?

M: The first teacher I 4hed was named Tippin.

P: Tippin?

M: Tippin, uh-huh (affirmative).

P: Where did she come from?

M: He was a man.

P: '4-B a man. Did he live in the community around here?

M: He had at TBr ot0- up there.

P: Did he come every day?

M: He stayed down here )boarded down here.

P: Uh-huh (affirmative). Now, I've heard that back quite a few years

ago that the county didn't pay the teachers, that the parents had to

pay the teachers. Is that right? Do you know anything about that?

M: I don't know anything about that. We knoI: we didri'thave to pay

nothing when we went.

P: Your momma and daddy didn't have to pay him anything.

M: No.

P: How far did you get in school?

M:A, Fourth grade.

P: Fourth grade. Did you learn much?
M: Not too much. I learned how ye- figure pretty good and things like
{yuLr \ke, \)orcI
that, -ldidnLt -learn how to write and read very much.


CRK 43 A

M[) (7T)
INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Trea y McGhee

P: Did you all have a lot of school books over there or what did they

teach you out of?

M: didn't have too many.

P: Well where did you all go to church back then?

M: -4 di-the same -g likc =-w- the schoolhouse out there.

P: From H&l Fport you went over to Bell Creek?

M: That's right.

P: What kind of church was that?

M: kBaptist.

P: Baptist. Did it become a holiness church after a while.

M. It didn't.

P: It didn't, uh-huh (affirmative). Did you ever hear any of the old

people when you were a boy did you ever hear any of them talking about

how the Baptist church happened to be there in the first place?

M: No, I never did hear nothing.

P: Did youknow of any other kind of church around here before that?

M: No, that's the only one I've know of. I-aM eani emb.

P: That't the oldest denomination uh huh (aff.iativM). L WLn- yn aIe-
Otctg ;rT <2ALuLc going to school, did you nave to miss many days because of working on

the farm and things or not?

M: No, I didn't, iss days. I went ahead when I wanted to go and

when I didn't want to go,,I didn't go.

P: What did you all do for your _Kc_ va school?

M: <44g- Lt' eC V IA& tL4-- 6 -S.


CRK 43 A

(7M1) c CT)
INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treaty^McGhee F

P: Well, getting back to the land around here, you say your daddy

lost his piece for mortgage. Now, did some of your boys eventually

buy some of it back?

M: No, they sold it to a fellow by the name of Parker. Ike Parker

bought it ) A I.

P: Uh-huh (affirmative Where did he liveT

M: Back, uh back of ______ what aclle ,

and he sold it out. He sold out.

P: Well how did you come to get your piece of it here?

M. I bought it from my cousin.

P: Who was that?

M: A. C. McGhee.

P: A. C. .al-huh (tff i.aLiJV) Did he buy it back from Arthitr?
he- (ou.$/U'^'
M: No, from the Conner Mill Company

P: Well, now the land Calvin hadj-as that part of your daddy's

original place?

M: No, that's the place he bought from the GeConn r e M Company.)-3

P: Well, are there any of your daddy's children that are still living

on--does Greely on part of what was your daddy's?

M: No, he live on the piece I live ontp-e-and-m ome here together.

P: Well what about all those people like Kenzie and all those e;i ers

was that part of your daddy's place.

M: That's right.

P7 That was part of his placeduh-huh. (fff-=etiv-), Well, most of you

7 -

CRK 43 A

C) c CT)
INTERVIEWEE: Levi and TrealyAMcGhee ^

lived, sort of, back in those days, down close to the creek. Is that


M: Yes, several houses built back in there.

P: Well, who lived at that place that I heard them talk about called

McGhee Field between here and Port Switch .

M: Who?

P: There's a place back up in the woods that I've heard 'em call McGhee

Field, I think it was Bill McGhee Field?

M: That's my uncle. lives up there.

P: How long did he live there?

M: He stayed here about four or five years, I think.

P: Do you have any idea how many years ago it was when he moved

out of there?

M: Oh, it's been a long timed I can't remember. It's been over 40

or 50 years I think r-ec4koM

P: I've heard there used to be a lot of cattle out here in the woods

back in those days. Is that right?
M: Oooh, I there did.

P: Who did they belong to.

M: There were several big fellas in Pensacola (?)

P: And they just let them run through the woods here?

M: They let them stay in the woods. e kLoG -goDo tVo o )'C
(z) (.(4, C^ ear aR -t mC <1 a t-4 r- I- -.I Cn0 ', S i"'
L1r- aF-^G r Lrk cl,rU epPI -5 \klb tU vbKLn ^ M yQ a v- VOU-'4
P: Any of the folks out here work for 'em doing that?

8 -

CRK 43 A

(m7) c (r)
INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treaty McGhee (FI

M: Yes, my daddy did and my unclesd445 all of them worked doew ;

P: Well, i-d- they pen them up someplace?

M: Oh yes, they had big pens.we t"4e 4 mark them up and brand them.

P: Then where would they go?

M: They turn them back out in the woods.
P: Well, when the big fellas got ready to sell them vha would they

take them to. Would they take them to a train or something?

M: No, they sold them out after they kept them so long, why they

sold them out. They sold all the ox and steers out at auctions--to

people near logging, you know.

P: Ur-hum (affirmative).

M: They got all them big steers up and sold them for auctions and


P: I see.

M: See they got so tight--dipping--they had to dip them every 14 days)

and 4ee just/sold them 6ut.

P: They didn't sell any of them for meat?
that bought 'em yo. A4to
M: I don't know what they done with them. Fella shipped them off- he

shipped them off somewhere.

P: Did they ever have any trouble with people out here shooting 'em

a cow once in a while to eat?

M: No, there wasn't bad.

9 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Leviand TreaycGhee

P: What about hogs. Did they have hogs running' in the woods

M: Yes!ir.

P: Now who owned the hogs?

M: First one, then another. There was just a big bunch of them

ow ing them.
P: Did they have any goats out in the woods.

M: They had a few. P > koi o\ s.

P: Well back when you were a boy. .

M: The fella who owned the goats lived up there injPadeeda

back up there were most of the goats. The fella had them

back up there, there wasn't very many goats down in here,

down in this part down here.

P: Where would they sell their goats?

M: I don't know if they kill them and eat them or sell them.
P: Well other than the food people raised and things they

bought in the grocery-stores, where people get most of

their meat--the people that lived out here--the Indian

folks--where did they get most of their meat back in those


M: They'd get o-e-ttfart store nm Atmore.

P: Did they do any huntin'?

M: Yeah, they hunt kill deer and

turkey and things like that. They was


10 -


(II) C- (T)
INTERVIEWEE: Levi and TreafyIMcGhee W

P: What about fishing?

M: Well, you know they didn't fish much 4he.lt-e,

P: They didn't. Do you ever remember seeing people back in

those days make any kind of fish traps to put in the streams

to catch the fish?

M: Yeah.

P: Wender what those would look like. How were those made?

M: Well, it was made just like a cage like you know,

'eew-it up and you had a round hole at the end and a long

thing that run up in there like in it and fish would come

around and go up in tat thing, then they couldn't come

back out.

P: Uh-huh (affirmative). And it was made out of wood.

M: It was made out of string-and wire--things like that.
P; Did you ever:-see one made out of sticks or twigs?

M: No, I haven't.

P: They were all made out of string an4 wire.

M: I hadn't seen one made out of that. But they had them traps

made out of that wire and had that thing fixed on there and

had a long tube run up in there like you know the large hole

in there and the fish would come around and go up in there

and he went all through it'till he got in that big part

and he couldn't get out. He was trapped sure enough.

11 -



INTERVIEWEE: Levi ahd Treaychee

P: Now would that trap have to be tied on a rope to a tree.7

M: You always had to tie it with something.

P: -they tie it to the shore or tie it to a stick in the


M: Um-hum, they'd stick down a stick a xtiz somewhere near the

edge of the water and tie it you know.

P: I've heard some people say that years ago that people used to

get fish by putting something in the water to stun them and

make them come up to the top. Is that right?

M: I've heard that too, but I've never seen anyone ever try it,

but I heard it.

P: Have you heard it all your life?

M: Oh yes.

P: Who'd you hear it from?

M: Some of them old people. They tell me you take a green moss

and put it in a sack and beat 'em up and put it in a place

where there's any fish and you'll get all the fish you want.

They'll be coming to the top.

P: Did they ever say you could use hickory nuts?

M: Yeah, anything like that something

that was strong, you know, put it in there, it'll make them

come up.

P: Could you do that in running water or would it have to be

a pool.s I mean could you do it in a stream or would you

have to find you a little pool?

12 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treaty Ghee g

M: I would imagine you would have to find sort of a still place.

P: You never saw that done.

M: No, I never did see it done.

P: But the old ones used to talk about it.

M: The old ones say they used to do it all right.

P: Can you remember the names of any of the old ones that used

to talk about that?

M: Oh, old man Alec (??) McGhee, Dick McGhee, all of them--

they'd talk about it.

P: Who was Alec McGhee. How was he related to you?
M: I don't/know. He was some kin some way, but I can't remember

how. He used to live atLocal back up there, you know,

what they call Local, back up in the AU kj fA town. He

live back up in there.

P: Were there any other ways that those old timers used to

talk about getting fish and hunting and things that you

can remember?

M: No, I can't remember.

P: What about twisting rabbits and things--did they do that?

M: Yeah, they done that all right. I've seen that done.

P: Have you ever done any of that yourself?

M: Oh yeah, I've done that myself.

P: What do you use to twist a rabbit. How do you make your


13 -



INTERVIEWEE: Levia)nd Trea12cGhee -i

M: I get a piece of bamboo like these old bamboo

1i that got those stones on it, I get you one of

them and you can get 'em.

P: Will it work on squirrels, too?
M: Yeah, I/tIe it would. I have never tried it on squirrels.

P: You did it mainly for rabbits.

M: That's right.
P: How about bird traps. Were there any kind of bird traps

those people used to use?

M: I eae make a bird trap out of sticks and catch 'em.

P: Tell me how you made your traps.

M: You just cut--you get your sticks and make them about that

long andAthat wide and it ends up just like a house,

and when you get up to the top you put your

board across the top and then put you another piece across

the top of full of

and put it across there and just cut it, you know.

P: And it holds it all together?

M: Hold it all together.

P: Well how do you set it?

M: Then you make you some trigger.

P: How do you make the trigger?

M: Well, you just--you have one that stands up just like that

and you make a notch that fit over that and you have what

14 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treatly McGhee 4W

call a pedal. You have a notch cut in it eIW -c rCOLtu 4^o J

stand up straight and you stick the other end in a little

notch back there and you hold it up, you know, and the birds

go in there and eat--you put the bait in--and they go in there

and eat and they knock that pedal down, you know, down comes

the trap and you got him.

P: Have you ever heard of a kind of trap where you dig a hole?

M: Yeap.

P: Tell me how that works.

M: Well you make it up, you know, make it up and then they'd

put a plank down in here and it had a hole that sinks dug in a ditch

and when them birds go on that they'd never look

back at that hole to come out and you'd put a top down, down

on that plank. They'd go round and wouldn't look at the top

of that hole to come out.

P: What kind of birds could you catch with one of those?

M: Catch quail, things like that.

P: Now the other kind with the trigger, what kind of birds could

you usually get.

M: Well, quail and that--no other kinds of birds would go in

there much.

P: Was there any kind of trap you could use to catch turkey?

M: I've never seen that, but you could make one to catch 'em.

Get a big pen up, you know, bait it and have your thing cut

15 -



INTERVIEWEE: Leviaand Trea y-McGhee

just like that for them boards, you know, make it big enough
a turkey
for/kuEm to go on it, you know, and he goes in it, but he

ain't goin' to look at the top of that hole to come out--

lookin' up all the time, looking' up.

P: You mean up--he's not going to see that. .

M: At the top of that pen, you know.

P: Uh-huh (affirmative) and he won't see the hole.

M: He never looks down to come out.

P: What did you usually bait your bird traps with?

M: Peas, corn, something like that.

P: Do you ever remember any of the old-timers talking about

hollowing out a cane and making little darts to shoot at

the birds or anything? That you could blow through? Like a pea shooter?

M: No, I don't believe I have.

P: Ever hear of 'em talk about people hunt with bows and arrows?

M: Oh, yeah, I've heard 'em talk about that, but I've never

seen them hunting with them, but I've heard them talk about it.

P: What were some of them that used to talk about that?

M: Oh, all them old ones used to talk about that. All the

McGhee's and Rollins and things--they used to talk about

hunting with the bows and arrows, you know.

P: They did that themselves?

M: Oh, yes. They used to hunt with them, some of them did.

P: Did they say they hunt deer with them or what?

16 -



INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treaty ^Ghee F

M: Well, they'd--I suppose anything--they could--they'd get 'em

with them things.

P: -WeJ;They all used to do a lot of hunting and tracking and

fishing and kind of things.

M: That's right.

P: Anybody ever fish with any nets?

M: Oh yeah, I've seen that done too.

P: How do you do that?

M: Well you got a big net made, you know, with sinkers on it--

a long that's made up--some kind of a net that's made up

in a way that's got a bottom line that's bigger than the

top one is and it's got lead sinkers on it and they pull

that across the stream and sink the down to the

bottom, you know, and you tie the top up to the bushes

on top, and you get--and that's how the fish die, you drive

'em down in to it, you know, as long as they get in there.

P: Do you get in the water and drive them down there?

M: Yeah, you get on the edge of the water--stand on the edge of

the bank with a long stick and you

go on down there and get in that net.

P: Would people make their own nets?

M: Yes, there's people that could make them around here. Some

of them could make them.

P: That live right around here.

17 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and TreatyAMcGhee )

M: Yeah, but they're a lot old. Too old for making a net or

anything like that. I have not seen a young-set-try to make

a net.

P: Did you ever try to make one before?

M: No, I never did.

P: Was there ever any kind of trap people would make to get


M: Yeah, you make a box to catch them.*n

P: Have you ever heard of anyone catching one making a like a

loop of wire or something?

M: No, I don't believe I ever 4i4 Ike-4&A cto&a.

P: How about gophers. How did people used to get gophers?

M: Take a hook--put it on a vine--put your with a long

you know, put your big hook

on there. I've caught a many of them.

P: What would you make the hook out of?

M: A steel rod or something, you know.

P: Ur-hum (affirmative).

M: I've made a many of them--caught them.

P: Did you ever pull up any snakes when you were down there trying

to get a gopher?

M: I have not pulled out them, but I heard them down there and

I leave them alone.

P: Do you remember, speaking about them old ones, a long time ago,

18 -

CRK 43 A

C(0)) C (T)
INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treay McGhee 1

do you ewe- remember any of them talking in the Indian


M: No sir, never did.

P: Never did hear any of the Indians say anything?

M: No, nope, never did.

P: Did you ever ask them if they could?

M: No, I didnu- ask them, but I know they couldn't.

P: You say they could or couldn't.

M: No, they couldn't. They couldn't talk it.

P: iTh huh (af_tR ag Well did any of those old ones ever

talk about the original Len (??) McGhee years ago?

M: Oh yeah,

P: What did they tell you about him?

M: Well, they would say--talk about he was a great hunter and

all those things like that, you know.

P: Did they ever talk about Len McGhee getting land from the


M: Oh yeah.

P: What'd they have to say?

M: Well, they just say he had a big will--the government had

willed him a lot of land--turned it over to him, you know.

P: Did you ever go over to his land, that grant land?

M: Yeah, back up there there's one old piece of grant land up

there de d do..? what's called the McGhee tract of land

that was up in there.

19 -



INTERVIEWEE: Lev and Trea y-cAGhee

P: When you were a boy growing up over here, did you all visit

over there very much?

M: Qfh-yeah, we went over there lots of times. We visited over

there lots of times over there.

P: Did you all ever go to church over there?

M: Yeah, we went to church over there, too.

P: What church was that over there?
M: They call it Free Will/ Baptist.

P: Was that a different kind of church than this one here?

M: Yes, it's different from this.

P: How was it different from this one?
M: I don't know, they just called it Free Will/ Baptist and

that other one was just @BLtiL Baptist out there.

P: Were their services any different over there?

M: the same thing. I couldn't tell the difference

between the preachers.

P: Who were the preachers, then?

M: This fellow Beck preached out there, to that one out there.

P: Bell Creek, do you mean?

M: Yeah, Bell Creek, and I can't seem to remember this other

fella who preached up there so long. I know his name better

than anything, but I can't think of it, but I know of one

that used to preach up there, was a fella by the name of

Slay preached there one while, but the main preacher that

preached there a long time, I can't say what his name was.

20 -


((JY) ^(f)
INTERVIEWEE: Levl and Trea yAMcGhee '

P: Did those preachers live around here?

M: They lived down "m Padeeda(?) y t-fewwhat's called

Padeeda (?) .

P: Not Hedapadeeda(??), but Padeeda (?)

M: 4aedk down in Padeeda station, -they wyd call it.

P: Would they come every Sunday?

M: Every Sunday, -, ^ That fella Beck, he lived
,in Mobile Ct U+V- J tL Q in Mobilel he'd come every month. Preached out

there only once a month.

P: What'd they do for a preacher when he wasn't there?

M: They didn't have no church.

P: They didn't have any church when he wasn't there?

M: Uh-uh (negative) just only once a month they had church there.

P: Well do you remember much about when the holiness preachers first

started coming?

M: Yes, I remember some about it.

P: Tell me what you know about that.

M: Well, when they first come in here to preach--a fella by the

name of Bill Bonadow (??) the first one I heard to come

preach holiness was Bill Bonadode (??). He lived in

Mississippi--he come over here to preach and then after

that there were fellas--just got scattered all about--there

were different ones coming. I couldn't think about all their


21 -



INTERVIEWEE: Levifand TrealyAMcGhee XB

P: Where did Bill Bonadow go to preach first?

M: Right out there at Porch(???).

P: Porch??

M: Yes, he preached out there when he first come on in he

preached out there.

P: Was there a church out there?

M: No, they had what they'd call a brush arbor they preached

tmai 4 j They built a brush arbor you know, and put

brush on top of it and then he preached underhead.

P: And that was at Porch??

M: Um-hum (affirmative).

P: Well, were there people living over there at that time?

M: Yeah, there were plenty of people living over there--they had

a big church out--they had people come to church from miles

out there and around--they had a good church and everything.

P: And that was before the holiness preacher came to Bell Creek?

M: Uh, there was no holiness preacher come to Bell Creek--they

didn't have no holiness preacher come out there for a long

time--'til after all Baptist and everything died out and

left, then there was one that come out and preached on--all

about that--he had a brush arbor a fella by the name of

Coon, Rayburn Coon preached out there--he was a holiness


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INTERVIEWEE: Lev and TreatyAMcGhee

aA L
P: Well, how old were you when that Bonadow came e- preach at

Porch--about how old were you?

M: I was about--I think about 20 22 years old.

P: And he set up a brush arbor out there at Porch? -- Well, was

that when a lot of people were working for Charlie Hall when

he came there?

M: That's right, working for Charlie HallI Co5 Oi '0'i ri^ U0Ot'

P: Were they living in the houses that he had out there?

M: Yes, he had some houses built out there and just scattered all

about out--living in them houses -4 around.

P: About where was that brush arbor that Bonnydote(??) preached


M: Well, do you know where Mace lives out there? Right back there

from Mace's house, back down ross that field and I couldn't

tell you exactly place where its in but I'll show you when

you're about it out there back there from Mace's and then all

on over there was another over the side by the railroad, near

about to the railroadThey had one over there and there was a

fella Asbury preached over there.

P: Where was he from?

M: I don't know where he was from I never did learn, but I think

it seems like some said he was from up from Castlebury, or some-

where's up in there.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and TreayMcGhee 1-

P: Now, Coon, where was he from bef=rhe came to Bell Creek?

M: I imagine about V CJQ .L_____

P: Now, did these preachers, did they stay for quite a while or

did they just come for a revival or what?

M: Oh, they stayed about here a long time, they stayed around here.

Bonnydow lived over there a while, right back over across that

creek over there. He lived over there and preached here for a

long time, then he moved off, went off, then he come back and

got him a church at 'kAU\ hl l along out there before

the old fella died.

P: Were there ever any holiness preachers over at Hedapadeeda(???)
M: Mighty scattered, you know, they/come over there much.

P: Do you happen to know how they first started coming in here,

did somebody invite them in, or did they just come on their

own, or what?
M: They just come on their own, I/ < and started preachin'

and just go on preaching and preaching and people got in with

them, you know, and everything.

P: Were they well liked?

M: Yeah,a wholz leeot. J,- J\

P: Well, then at some point, wasn't there a church built down here

in Hog Fork over there near the graveyard?

M: Right up there by the graveyard there's a holiness church.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi.and TreayAMcGhee W

P: About how long ago was that church there?

M: Um, let's see--I can't think about how long it's been there.

P: Was that after the Bell Creek?

M: Oh, oh, yeah, that was all over with there was no preaching

going on over there up there with anybody.

P: I've heard-- think I heard some people say your daddy used

to lead services sometimes, is that right?

M: Yeah, yea'd have oei t he 1I what they call prime "-

M4 7a fellas up there ie wor in the church there

all the whole time.

P: Did you all have a regular preacher at that one? The church

up here near the graveyard?

M: Um-hum (affirmative)

P: Who was that preacher?

M: Preacher Capers (?????)

P: He's still living, isn't he?

M: Yeap. Still living. Yeap, he preached up there for years, he did

up at that old church up there.

P: Did you ever go to the Episcopal Church?

M: I went a few times.

P: Which one did you go to?
to1l h Qt ^ /t t^ ^^,
M: I did at Porch (???)9 They used to have one out there, you


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INTERVIEWEE: Leviand Treay McGhee ()

P: I understand there used to be a lot of people that went to

that one, is that right?

M; There used to be lots of people go over there. I went just

a few times.

P: Uh-hur (-ff-rmai Te) You didn't like it?

M: Um-mum (Negative).

P: Why not?

M: I just didn't like the doctrine they preached.

P: Why do you think all those people quit going to the Episcopal

Church there quite a few years ago?

M: They just found out it wasn't right or something or another.

P: One thing I wondered about is how easy was it for people to

change from Baptist to te holiness. Did they change pretty

quick to that?

M: Uh-uh (negative). It took 'em a long time.

P: What did people think of the holiness when it first came in


M: Well, they were just scared of it--what it looked like.

P: What were they scared of?

M: I don't know, but they didn't know enough about it. The fella

got to preaching the holiness, then they got to reading the

bibles, then they see that the holiness was right, and then they

just went into it.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi arid TreayC' Ghee S'

P: Did the Baptist believe in shouting?

M: They did in them days, they did.

P: The Baptist church you went to when you were a little boy, did

they believe in shouting?

M: They sure did shout.

P: Did they believe in getting the Holy Ghost?

M: No, they didn't believe in any of that, though.

P: Was that the part the people were scared of when the. "'W-'

M: I think so, I think so.
P: Did the Baptist believe{on laying on hands?

M: No.

P: Did they believe in speaking in tongues?

M: No.

P: They didn't believe in any of that--just the shouting--they

believed in that.

M: Yeah, yeah, they'd shout, but they didn't believe in speaking

in tongues or laying on hands, nothing like that.

P: Where would they do their baptizing?
"TB,_oi- creek
M: Right in those creeks out there, first one/then another.

P: The Baptist's used to do that too, huh?

M: Yeap.

P: Did you ever work out away from here any place yourself?

M: Not very far off from around in here.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Trea4yMcGhee -

P: You never went out of state working or anything?

M: Uh-uh (negative)

P: What kind of work you done most your life?

M: Log, paper wood, such as that.

P: Did you ever work in the fields out in Balwin County or anything?

M: I worked down there one or two times -- went and worked a little

bit down there.

P: Why didn't you go back?

M: Uh, I didn't like it down there. I-woked in Mississippi one

time and sawed a few logs over in Mississippi at one time.

P: About how long ago was that?

M: Oh, that's been 40 or 50 years. That was a long. .

P: Who did you go with to Mississippi?

M: Olda (???) Jackson.

P: Was he a member of this community? Btd he live around here?

M: He was kin to me. A cousin to me.

P: Who were his mother and daddy?

M: Lillia Jackson was his mother's name and General Jackson, they

called him, was his daddy.

P: Well, let me ask you another line of questioning here. You are

Calvin McGhee's older brother.

M: That's right.

P: Tell me what kind of boy he was growing up when he was growing up.

What kind of person was he?

-2 8 --

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treayy McGhee

M: (Laughs) He was pretty rough some times.

P: Was he?

M: That's right. (Laughs). He was pretty rough some times.

P: How was he rough?

M: Get drunk.

P: He did?

M: Yeah, he was pretty rough--rowdy, rowdy, when he was growing up.

P: Did you get after him ever QAcr -t Q

M: I talked to him some--well, I was about as bad as he was when

we'd get all together.

P: Did you all go off together?

M: Yeah, we'd go off together--we'd get drunk many times.

P: What was there to drink back in those days?
in them days
M: We'd make whiskey then,/then, what they called moonshine, you

know. You could go to town and buy it too, and haul it out from

'-ia Pensacola and all that there.

P: Haul it from Pensacola?

M: Uh-hum (affirmative).

P: Where would you have to order it from?

M: You'd just make up an order and send it a p- place6t down there.

They'd send it back to Atmore right here. Go by and pick Az up.

P: Did they ever make any whiskey out of cane juice?

M: I haven't made any-myself, but I've seen it done.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treaty McGhee

P: What's it called?

M: What do they call it--they call it white lightning.

P: Did they ever call it nochim (sp??)

M: Oh yeah, they j'a& nochim ap n

then you'd sta it.

P: Dad you eiO.1 it the same way you do corn mash?

M: Yeah, that's right, right.

P: What about--is there something called raisin jack?

M: Well I did'-t know that, but they put raisins in it, you know,

I don't much worry about what they called it.

P: Well, I heard some talking about something called raisin jack.

You don't remember ever hearing anybody ever talking about that?

M: I've never heard it talked about like that.

P: Well, tell me, how was it that Calvin changed and became the

man that he was. I've heard so many good things about him but

I've never met him. You say that he was rough when he was young,

but what changed him?

M: That holiness church.

P: When did that happen?

M: Oh, that's been years ago now.

P: Was that before he became the chief?

M: Um-hum (affirmative).

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INTERVIEWEE: Lev and TreayMcGhee

P: About how old was he?
M: He was about 40 years old, IA when he got in the holiness


P: Which one of the holiness churches was he in?

M: This oneithe pentecost holiness.

P: Was there just one holiness church at that time?

M: Oh, they were scattered all around here. All about.

P: Do you remember the time he got saved?

M: No, I don't remember.

P: But after that he didn't do any more rough stuff.

M: Um-um (afimatve He settled down then, pretty good.

P: Yeah, I heard a lot of good things about him. Did you ever.

M: He had lots of good friends. ASe was well thought of.

P: How come you think he got so interested in trying to help the

people? What made him be that way, you think?

M: I don't know if he just seen the way they was treated. He-was

Lce you know, and everything. He just got in behind

it and kept a shoving it, shoving it, 'till he got as far as

he did.

P: You say the way they were treated. What exactly do you mean

by that now?

M: Well, you know, there was this' land that was taken

away from them and done everything like that, you know, they

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I an() 0 (Tr
INTERVIEWEE: Leviand TreagyAMchee (9

was treated dirty, you know, and everything. About all this

whole grant land you re talking about, you know, why he Wa--

sawed all that up and everything. They had to pay for it. They

had to pay for the timber to cut off it and one thing and another.

They just kept on working it 'til they got it dewn, you know. .

P: And he got 'em to pay for it.

M: Yeap.

P: What happened to the money?

M: It went -- right on the land, I recon. I don't know about how

much money they got or nothing.

P: How did he get involved in the school doings?
M: I don't know. He just picked it up himself, I/ seeing

how they were treating them about the school, and he's just

taking it over.

P: Did you ever help him in his work?

M: Not too much.

P: Too busy raising a family?

M: (Laughs)

P: Now you said you were 78 years old yesterday?

M: Um-hum (affirmative)

P: Do you still work in the fields?

M: Still work in the fields.

P: Have you been doing that all along?

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INTERVIEWEE: LeviAand TrealyMcGhee B)

M: Oh yes, that's right.

P: Did you ever work off--working on ceirs any place?

M: No sir, never did.

P: How long you been doing this field work here?

M: All my life, kt tb*- .

P: I mean working for somebody else? You been doing that?

M: Oh yes, the biggest part of the time.

P: Who you working for now?

M: i "-Brown.

P: Do you work all year round for him or just in the summer?
^1Ae4v"5 A^t 10 eaV
M: Year round Iwork all year round.

P: What kind of work are you doing right now for him?

M: Pulling weeds.

P: Anybody else work with you?

M: Oh, a big bunch of us works--some girls work for him--a whole

bunch us for him, my boy there.

P: Your whole family, almost, huh?

M: Yeah, a whole bunch of us works out there.

P: How much are they paying these days for field work?

M: We don't get-- we get a dollar and thirty (??) cents an hour

for working out there. Eight hours.

P: How many days do you work?

M: Well, you can work the whole week or you can just work a day or

two and quit if you want.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: How'd you happen to get hooked up with him--to get a job with


M: Just o er i e-for working, I reckon.

P: How many years you been working for Bill Brown?

M: This is six years.

P: This is your sixth year. How'd you get to working for him in

the first place? Did you know him before or what?

M: No, I didn't know him before he come here.

P: Came looking for you?

M: Come ask me s*ZI4d workfor him. Then I started to work for him.

P: Who were you working for at the time?

M: Oh, I couldn't tell you who I was working for then at the time.

T: He was a man by the name of Amos

P: What was his name again?

M: Amos A fella I helped him a long time, too

on the farm.

P: Do you pick any cotton still or is that all done by machines now?

M: It's done by machines, now, most of it. You don't get no

cotton to pick now.

P: How many years ago has it been since people had to pick it by

hand? How many years have those machines been doing it?

M: About eight or ten year, I reckon, something like that.

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INTERVIEWEE:. Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: I guess a lot of people through here picked cotton before

those machines came in.

M: Ye, y They'd pick cotton all the time through here,

until those machines come in here.

P: Well, besides working in the fields, logging, and paper

wooding and farming on your own, through the years what

other kind of work has there been for the people that live

out here in this community.

M: That's about the only work that went on through here.

T: There was tar wood.

P: What's tar wood?

T: call it. It the, you know,

in Pensacola, got a new port place. It stops, you know, you bloe

'em out with dynamite. He worked that a long time.

P: Tell me more about that--how that work goes--what all you did

and who you worked for and all that.

M: I worked for when I was doing that.

I did--they'd push them snubs up with a Caterpillar, you know,

and then they'd drill them and shoot them with dynamite, then

they'd work it with an axe, you know, and then they'd haul

the loads in cars.

P: They'd load it in, uh. .

M: Box cars.

35 -

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(pf) l CT)
INTERVIEWEE: Levand Trea Ghee
A TreaqyAIYMcGhee 3

P: Box cars, well, how would they get it to the box cars?

M: Haul it on trucks.

P: Were they ever doing any of that when they still when they

still had the oxen working in the woods ?

M: Yeah, they done that with oxen, too, a little.

P: We+i they were doing tar wood back in the early days, too.

M: Oh yeah, they hauled with mules and oxen a long time before

they ever got any trucks and things to haul wood.

P: But they were doing tar wood.

M: Tar wood.

P: Um-hum (affirmative)and the logging, too.
M: Yeah and they didn't have no/ to get the stumps up

then you had to drill them and shoot them out of the ground
then. Well now that they have them/ why they can

get them out, why they get that whole stump out, you know,


P: They come out in one piece?

M: That's right, you drill'em up then you shoot 'em up.

P: I've heard there's not as many of those good stumps around

now as there used to be.

M: They'd e all gone. That's right.

P: Were the woods around here when you were a boy, were they like

they are now? Or were the trees bigger or what?

M: Yeah, when I was a small boy coming up, that whole place up there

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and TreatyAMcGhee .

was covered with timber, bigger than that tree over yonder,

even bigger.

P: Pine trees.

M: That's right, Pine trees. Right out through yonder was the

prettiest timber you ever sawed your eyes on, and just as

thick as it could be, just bigger than them trees there.

P: What were the main companies that came in here cutting that


M: Southern State Company they call it. Southern State Company.

P: Southern State?

M: Southern State Company--first come in and build a camp back up

there and logged that whole thing off with mules and oxen and

things, and from thatlthey went all along and got skidders and

things, you know, to pull them in and they cut out all those

oxen and everything--then they got skidders -- what they call

skidders, you know.

P: Now what is a skidder?

M: That's a big machine out there you know, sits on the railroad,
and they use it with line,/long lines on it you know, a fella

sits up on the --up --pulling them drum, ou know, that go to

them lines back through the woods, hook on a log and bring it

in and up.

P: ;44A, they were cutting off to the sides of the railroad,
q,&t IMt-tt t to 0
this skidder would )-se 4arel just pull it right up into the

box car

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and TrealyMcGhee Qp5

M: Pull them back, that's right.

P: Well, did you help build those railroads out in the woods?

M: No I never did build no railroad.

P: Were there people around here that worked on them?

M: Oh yeah,

P: Do you cut the cross-ties?

M: Yeah, I cut a many a cross-tie for 'em.

P: When you cut cross-ties, did you have to haul them yourself

or would you just leave them out in the woods?

M: You had to haul them yourself to the railroad place where

they were building the track, you know.

P: Would you square them or would you just cut them down and they

would square them?

M: We'd have to square them while we was there. Ro a-- you know,

what they called a relex. roa"e -4.

P: How did they pay you--by the tie?

M: Yeah, they'd pay you by the piece.

P: How much they'd pay you a piece?

M: About 30 and 35 cents a piece.

P: For a X /o railroad tie?

M: Um-hum (affirmative)

P: Did you cut the trees down yourself for the ties?

M: Yeah.

P: They didn't have any chain saws back in those days.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levia d Treaty McGhee -

M: Oh, no, I did that with a cross-cut saw then.

P: So there was also that -- cutting railroad ties--was another

kind of work people do. What about dipping turpentine and

work in turpentine?

M: Yeap, I did that too.

P: How many kinds of different jobs were there in working in


M: You mean in turpentine?

P: Yeah, what are the different kinds of jobs connected with

working in turpentine.

M: I've dipped it, I've pulled boxes, what they call pulling

boxes, chipped 'em, I've done everything with turpentine

you could--all except stilling it--I've never did ae stilli-fsg /40"-

of it.

P: 0-kay, now, pulling boxes, uh, what is that?
M: Well you have something like a square/ thing like that, you know,

you put it on a you know, and you had to get it to

pull it, you know, up there what they call a 5#ee-t4

you know, and then turpentine would run out in that y4z1t

you know, and they'd have a thing fixed in a cup where they'd

catch it in.

P: Now that's called pulling boxes?

M: Pulling boxes, that's right.

P: How much would they pay you for that?

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treaty McGhee (

M: They'd give you.a dollar a thousand.

P: A dollar a thousand trees?

c: --(N-f tpI^)Y-

E SNow what's chipping it?

M: Well, that's the same thing only you got to just move

with chipping. And if he was mighty good he could easily--

wouldn't chip many before it would be supper out there.

P: But chipping and pulling boxes is the same thing you say?

M: Yeah, it's the same kind of work about it. Anwd1=krx e

pulling's up high, you know, and the chipping's down low.

P: Pulling is high and chipping is .

M: Down low--you bring them on up from down there, you know, to

they get it to what you call pulling boxes and then you'd have

to pull them, pull them, what's they in.

P: Now what exactly is dipping turpentine? What does that mean?

M: That means dipping out of them cups.

P: The cups stay on the tree and you dip it out?

M: No, you have to take the cup off, -fi'e- nno f tahi pe-ndp hece

P: How much did you say they for dipping it again?

M: They'd give a dollar and a half a day for that kind of work--

for dipping it.

P: And would you--I don't think we got it all--would you say

again what dipping means.

M: It means you take that cup off, you know, and you have what

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INTERVIEWEE: LeviM and TreaTy McGhee

they call a paddle, a little bit of paddle, just take that
hold her up and
cup off,/take that paddle and run in that cup an ring it

out and-put1i4t-n top it on that bucket.

P: O-kay, now, how much did. .

M: Get your bucket full and catch it in a barrel and you pour it

in that big barrel there.

P: J._ee&, would they have the barrels out in the woods?

M: That's right. They have them out in the woods.

P: How about chipping? How much do they pay for chipping?

M: They give a dollar a thousand for chipping.

P: Same as for pulling boxes.

M: Same as for pulling.

P: How long ago has it been since there was a lot of turpentine

work around here?

M: Well, its been 40 years or longer since there's been any

turpentine work through here, I reckon.

P: What were the companies that were doing the turpentine? What

were the names of those companies?

M: A fella Cooper khat I worked for the most.

P: And he had a still in .

M: He had a still in Atmore, he did, h huh (-. ffmi-)--M

P: Well let's see--let's see if we can think of any other kind

of jobs. Was there anything else people do?

M: No, that's about all that I know of.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treacy McGhee (M) (Treacy designated: (T)).

P: I'm going to give you a rest and I'm going to ask your wife,

Mrs. Treacy McGhee if she'd tell me a little bit eied-what

she remembers about what women's life was like back in -- a

few years ago.

T: You askeL x 0 now, I can't remember.

P: How about things like washing clothes and so forth, how'd they

used to do that years ago?

T: You'd have a tub and rugboard--a battling block.

P: A battling block? What's that?

T: A big block and you had a battle aad-stick when i- was real

dirty--you'd put 'em on there and battle them with that stick,

and we had a wash pot--we boillour white clothes-- put them

in there and put some lye and boil them.

P: Do you ever remember any of the older women ever washing their

clothes in the spring?

T: I've washed them in a creek.

P: In a creek?

T: A creek--right up here la Padeedah(???)

P: Why would someone wash it in the creek rather than in the


T: Well, I don't knowpI gather we'd just rather do itwe all

just got together and stretched our quilts--we'd like, you

know, we'd boil them then take them down and rinse them in

the creeka4 I guess we just--well more or less--rinse them

42 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi and Treacy McGhee (Levi McGhee (M)
Treacy McGhee (T))

in the creek, you know, we'd rub them and then put them in

that creek and rinse them.

P: Was washing quilts something that was done not very often or

was that a big occasion?

T: About once a year, anyway, you know.

P: What time of the year would that usually be?

T: Oh, just before winter time. When we had to _e. use them or make

room to put them up.

P: Did most people make their own quilts back in those days?

T: Yes. Sure did.

P: Did they work each person by himself or did they ever get

together in groups and do. .

T: Get together. We'd used to get together and make them and

then some would make 4hea, you know, in4tq m .

P: Did many women, say when you were a real small girl, did many

women out here have sewing machines?

T: My mother did- he'had a sewing machine ever since I could

remember--I've always. .

P: Your mother was who?

T: Lulla Walker. Utl I don't know if you've ever heard anything

about Fred Walker--he used to be a--that was my dad.

P: He used to be a what were you going to say?

T: He used to be a big worker in the Episcopal church. That

was the first church that I belonged to was Episcopal.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: Which one? You were at St. Andrews?

T: Um-hum (affirmative). That's where my daddy--he was a big

church worker there.

P: Tell me a little bit more about him. I understand he used

to be called Chief Walker sometime. How'd he get that title?

T: I don't know--they just called him "Chief"' /I mean he never

did do anything as I know of, you know. He was no chief,

but that was just a name they gave him.

P: Now, did--was that a name that people living in the community

called him?

T: Yes, um-hum (affirmative)

P: And did they give him the name or did the the Episcopal

church give him that name?

T: I really don't know now about that, I just know they used to

call him "Chief WalkerAl

M: That's just a name the people gave him.

P: How'd he get that name do you think?

M: I don't know, 't9hey just thought about it and just started

calling him chief Walker.

P: Was he a leader in the community in any way?

T: Kindda.

M: Yeah, he was a pretty a--man like about things on

what was goin' on and things.

P: What kind of things was he a leader on?

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

)L4'Jsas' k-e
T: Why, mostly, you know, just church--church work o04f-

was a big worker in the church and uh, that's about all as

I know of, I mean. .

P: Was he a --compared to other people-- was he a well-off man?

T: No.

A ei puliL Teacy apa quta as he a well-off man7 to-

- VHe was very poor.

P: He wasn't any better off than anybody else.

T: No, um-um (negative). He was--well as I said, I guess the
ln Petfu CCee
reason-- well he had teee- over people for his church

work and things like that but that's all he made. Bet- ei >

-ny-, y2 / 5 other than farming, now he used to farm,

but everybody did that and he wasn't no higher up than nobody


P: Was he a man that would ever be called on to settle arguments

or anything?

T: No, not that I know of.

P: I had heard somebody, can't remember, say that he was the kind

of man that if a fight started at a dance he would try and

calm things down a little bit. Tell me about that.

T: (To Levi McGhee) Can you tell him about that? (Laughs)

M: Well, if he'd there, he'd fight OU-L,

P: He would?

M: Yeah, there was no joking about that he'd fights t1

45 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: Do you remember some of the fights he was in?

M: I remember one or two.

P: Tell me about 'em.

M: There was a fella they called Slick Seal-They were having
one night up there
at a big dancehup there one night up there about Padeedah, you

know, and they got up a rough house there like and they tied

up him -- that fella Seal did-and he cut that fella Seal

and they had to roll him up in a sheet and carry him home.

P: Fred Walker cut him.

M: That's right.

P: Where was Slick Seal from?

M: Up there--what they call Local back up in there.

P: Was he an Indian fellow?

M: No, he was a white fella.

P: How come he was at the dance?
M: Well, he just wanted to act bull, I/ coming' up down there,

but he sure got his 0 011 stopped, you know.

P: Um-hum (affirmative) And Fred Walker got after him, huh?

M: That's right.

P: Whose house was that at?

M: I can't remember whose house it was at. Whether it was old

man Dick McGhee's or -- it seems like that was the place it

was at--old man Dick McGhee's house, I think.

P: You said you remembered a couple of 'em fhat's one of 'emi

what was the other one you remember?

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

M: I don't have the slightest idea. I can't think about the other

one, now.

P: Was it a dance too?

M: No, it wasn't at no dance. I just can't remember where that

place was -- anyhow he had a rough time that time. He was--

they would have

P: But he used a knife on people, huh?

M: Yes sir, he'd cut 'ya. There-ai no joke about that. He'd

throw thakteel t- 'ya.

P: Would he have to be drunk before he cut somebody?

M: No, he wouldn't have to be drunk.

P: He wasn't a drinker, huh?

M: He never did get drunk very much that I know of. I don't

suspect I ever did see him drunk, I don't believe, never did.

P: He just had a hot temper.

M: That's right.

P: What was it that would really make him mad enough to cut some-

body? What was it that made him so mad that he cut that fellow?

M: I don't know, he just--that fellow just wanted to actbigq74

I reckon e thought he'd come down there and

and just take the place, you know, but he show'd him he couldn't.

P: He was just going to take over the place, huh?

M: He was going to take over the place, but he got asled out of it

pretty quick.

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CRK 43 A

INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy/McGhee

P: Carried out of it.

M: That's right. He was carried home in a sheet, rolled up in a


P: Do you remember whether they had different dances they used to

do at those dances they had. Were they different kinds, or did

they do the same thing all night long?

M: Well, I don't know, just what they call the square danctag, you

know. That's all I ever known they was doing was what's called

the square dance.

P: Did you ever hear of one called the Cotillion? Did they ever

do that?

M: No, I never did.

P: Ever hear of one called a Breakdown?

M: That's a breakdown square dance is what all I ever heard 'em

call it.

P: Could you sort of describe what a breakdown square dance looked


M: No, I can't hardly describe it. It's been so long since I've

been into one.

P: How many couples would be in one of those?

M: Sometimes you'd dance about four couples, six, eight, like that.

P: Would the couples just dance together or would they ever make a

big circle?

M: They'd make a circle and go around like -- and you had one fella

48 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

do the calling--what they call calling the sets, you know, and

he'd call out what-ea. to do, you know, and they'd do it.

P: Who was some of the people that used to call at som- of those

dances? I know Fred Rollin used to do some, did you used to do some?

M: Who me? Yeah, I have called a few in my life time.

P: I know it's been many years, but give us a sample of your calling--

how you used to call.

M: It's been so long I can't say how that c gonow.

P: Give it a try. See if you can remember just-'make up anything.

M: Well, you get all your people out there, you know, you get your

partner and I get mine, 'til we get about eight couples out there

then they'd all hands up, you know, and that fella would holler

out, you know, holler out from the -- all hands up and circle to

the left--right hands across and left back and two hand exchange.

P: One more time.

M: You swing your partner and I'll swing mine.

P: I was interrupting you--now do it all over again.(laughs)

M: And you holle s first couple out and chase the squirrels

ladies round the 4/-065 and gents round the -f. "

"Make your partner swing." That's about all I knows.

P: I'm going to be real quiet and I'm going to ask you if you'd do

it one more time all the way through and I won't say anything.

M: All hands up and circle to the left /L4d. round and back,

two ladies change. Swing your /7a lady over there, boy.

That's about all (laughing).

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: That's good after all those years. Was there anybody in partic-

ular you learned from?

M: uh-uh (negative). I just picked it up myself. I was just

watching other people and listening at them, you know, I just

caught on to it--how to call 'em.
iOoaJLc gov-
P: What kind of music d&+dthey have for that?

M: Some times they'd have a fiddle, guitar, and first one thing and

another like that, you know. The fiddle made the best music -rom

to dance by.

P: Was there any real good fiddle players around here then?

M: Several good ones.

T: Fred Rollin was one.

P: Fred Rollin was one?

M: Um-hum (affirmative).

P: Who was some others?

M: Her daddy could fiddle good, too--he fiddle a lot, too.

P: Do you remember back when they were having those dances, did they

seem to have more of them in any one place, or were they. .

M: They were scattered about--all about.

P: Did they have just as many in Hog Fork as they did in Hedapadeeda?

M: Yeah, just about the same thing.

P: What-about Bell Creek?

M: Yeah, they them out at Bell Creek, too. They'd have one on a

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

Saturday, you know, up--be up at Bell Creek maybe and the next

Saturday night they'd be one down here, next Saturday night

they'd be one up by Hedapadeeda--just scattered about like that

all over.

P: Was it usually the same people that had them at each of these


M: No, t4here=w different people keie-, you know, first one then

another -- they just come to the house, you know, they'd have a

big house you know, they'd give out a big dance, you know.

P: Would they feed everybody that came?

M: No, you had to feed yourself, if you got anything to eat.

P: Did you ever go to dances up at Local?

M: Yeah, I went up there one or two times, you know.

P: But that was a little bit out of your area when you were here?

M: No, it wasn't out of my area, I just went.

P: Did other people from here go up to Local?

M: Not very many would go. The time I went just three or four boys--

just two or three boys would go up there some times, you know.

P: Did the train run up there from here?

M: No, there was no railroad through here the

forks runs up there, you know, yeah, but all the frolicking was

about over with when that railroad went up in there.

P: Pardon.

M: All the frolicking was about done with then.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: When the railroad went up?

M: Yes.

P: Uh-huh (affirmative) Well, was that true down here -- was there

any frolicking after the railroads came in here?

M: No, just scattered down through the ways. It about all quickly

P: Well why was that--how come the railroad did that do you think?

M: I don't know.

T: Railroad came through we just quit frolicking. T'4-tL-

about going to church, they just quit frolicking.

P: Do you think there was some connection between -- did the frolicks

end about the time the holiness church came?

T: Now I don't remember.

P: Well, how long ago was that that the railroad came in?

M: Well its been 50-60 years ago I reckon since that railroad's been.

That's when I was a fellow--a small boy.

P: Before that there weren't any railroads around at all.

M: Uh-uh (negative).

P: Was it the Frisco line that came through here or which railroad
was it.
at first
M: It was the loggers/then the Frisco bought it out after they got

unlogging here, the Frisco bought it out and then they put a

passenger train on it.

P: Was there a passenger train into Atmore back in those days?

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

M: Yeap.

P: Well let me come up to modern times a little bit. I wonder

between the two of you if you could tell me about your church.

Your church is one of the newest church out of the community

here in--some of the history behind your church and how it came

to be.

T: What do you mean how it came to be?

P: Well, first of all the name of your church is Apostle. .

T: Apostolic.

P: Apostolic, uh-huh (affirmative). Was there a particular person

that came and started that church or what?

T: Well, from what we have in Atmore, that's the first one I've known

of and Brother Pollick started that one. I mean, of course, he's

not the one that started the, you know, the whole thing, but he's

the one that started that in Atmore.

P: Is it correct--he was t one timethe pastor up here at New Home?

T: Well, not really, I don't know. They got rid of him over there

as our pastor over there and he didn't feel like the Lord was

through with him here in Atmore so he just started another church.

P: Is the belief of that church any different than the Pentecostal?

T: No, it's all the same, they all he the same.

P: Now what about free holiness--is that belief the same as Pentecostal

like Brother Macey's church?

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

T: No, no, they don't. They don't believe like the Pentecostal.

P: Whats the main differences?

T: Well, they don't baptize a like. Macey's church baptizes in the

name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.ad we baptize in Jesus'

name, Jesus Christ.

P: And that's true of the Apostolic and Pentecostal too?

T: Yes. We baptize alike, we believe alike, we believe 4k -9 ( o

y the Holy Ghost and baptize in Jesus' name, a Macey's church

they teach Holy Ghost, but they don't teach it7-it's really


P: It's necessary for baptism or what?

T: Baptism ofthe Holy Ghost. You know the Bible speaks of that

spirit abo the spirit--without the spirit you've none to .-_ ,

but we teach it is necessary for you to have the Holy Ghost.

P: Before you can be baptized?

T: No, youresupposed to be baptized first over that, you know,

where Peter told him to repent?

P: Right.

T: Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you shall (empahsis)

receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. So really you're not promised

the Holy Ghost until you are baptized.

P: But Brother Macey's church doesn't believe in the Holy Ghost.

T: Yeah, they believe in it--they believe in it but they don't really--

see they teach that y6i're saved, sanctified and then baptized

54 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

with the Holy Ghost and we don't teach that you're even saved

until you receive the Holy Ghost--you repent, but you're not

saved until you get the Holy Ghost. That's the difference, see

they teach saved, sanctified and baptize Holy Ghost.

P: I see. But your church--you don't believe that you're saved

until you have repented and then receive the Holy Ghost.

T: That's right. We teach that you have to receive the Holy Ghost

before you are saved. You repent, but then you have to have the

Holy Ghost.

P: One thing I've wondered about is whether your church has ever

given any thought, since most of the members live out in this

part of the community, of trying to get yourself a church out

here closer, or are you satisfied with going in to Atmore to

the church there?

T: Well, really we planned th a-eal in Atmore because you see, this

church--eee like I say, we all believe the same thing and we
e-et over
wouldn't want to iXX this close to that church amr there and

we planned torjtet-stayt oein Atmore, in town.

P: So all the people that are in that church used to belong to

this church, is that correct?

T: Well, they've been there, but they really didn't belong to church--

there's some that's in the church down there that wasn't in feet -

church over there.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: Let me ask you what--those who were there in that church before

that went with Brother Pallin (???)--why do you think you went

along with him instead of staying at this church?

T: Beeaues I believed in his teachingafld I just liked him as a

pastor so that's why I went.

P: Do you all have any kind of missionary program in your church?

T: No, we don't.

P: I understand at one time, that there was--that the New Home church

and Brother Macey's church--that they were one at one time, is

that correct?

T: Yes, we'd all used to go to church together, until this--come

in baptism in Jesus thing--some believed it, some didn't.

P: When did that come in?

T: Oh, I don't know.

P: About how many years ago was it?

T: Levi could probably tell you more about that than I could.

M: What's that?

T: When they first come in--uh--baptize the Oy ives When did

it first come through here?
M: That's been about 25 or 30 years agoD I know-/Bill Bonnadow first

brought the message in here. Might be even longer than that.

T: I really don't know.

P: So that first holiness preacher was the oneness 4(Z4 type?

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

M: Brother Bill Bonnadow was that fella I told you about that had

that brush arbor out thereV he's the first one that brought the

oneness message in here.

P: And he came before they had the brush arbor in Bell Creek dizd

you say?

M: Yeah. And then a fella by the name of Coon come -- he believes

like Brother Macey believes -- he had a arbor out there --built

out there.
P: Was that arbor built out at Bell Creek -- was the BaptistAbuilding

still there at that time.

M: No, it was-a+eady gone.

P: It was already gone. Were those people without any church for a


M: Yeah, they was out. Two or three got into the holiness business

out there, stayed with it.

P: So, people in this area, then, some of them have been in about

three--through their lifetime--been Episcopalians, and some of

them have been one kind of holiness and sem e-o- them another

kind of holiness.

T: I'm one of them.

P: (Laughs) And you're one of them.

T: Yeah, I started in Episcopal, and then I used to go to Macey's (Ia
/Ho r-
church 'til I saw the light on God's word and then baptized in

Jesus, VL &.X-w

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: Was it hard for you to make those changes?

T: Sure was. It took me a long time, but I finally come to a

decision. I didn't jump into it right off handed.

P: Was it something that troubled your mind a lot while you were

going through the process?

T: Well, not really, but I really pondered over it.

P: Do you think--from talking to other people--do you think other

people have gone through the same kind of experience?

T: Well, I really don't know. I wouldn't say.

P: You've been in--you say you only went to the Episcopal two or

three times, so you've been in holiness, other than the Baptist, W46,

all of your life?
g uo/tok lot
M: Yeah, I went to Baptist church fe-e-wh4le, then I went to the

holiness church a whole lot.

P: How did you feel when you were a young man in the Baptist church

when holiness first came in-ihow'd you feel about holiness your-

self, personally?

M: Well, I just got to u I ir and I see'd the holiness church

would be #4 cJ4 46_52, .- .

P: Were you one of those that was scared of it at first?

M: Uh-uh (negative) I never was scared of it.

P: But some people were, you say.

M: Right.

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: Let me go back to old days again. I know ye both b O -

e help me on this. I've got this question I've asked a lot

of people, but I'm just trying to get all the versions of it.
Do you remember Sofkke.

M: Huh?

P: Do you rember something called Sofk eesom ethi4n that you eat?

M: Yeah, you eat one of them little things like that, yeah, I

remember those.

P: Now, one thing I've been trying to get straightened out is what

time of the year they pick the corn to make the Sofk*e)

M: When they get dry and hard.

P: What would they do to it after they picked it. What would be

the next steP j. ) o3 -?

M: Well, they sule it(?-? and 6Sav'r it and have it ground up

into chalks like, you know, and had it used up for Sofk e.

P: They'd have it ground up someplace?

M: They had to beat it--had to beat it--grind it up with what they

call a pestle. Had to beat it--break it up, you know.

P: And that's different from hominy, right?

M: Oh yes.

P: Now, how do they make hominy?
they got out
M: Well, that's just a new thing/-they grind it up, you know, at the


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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

P: Uh-huh (affirmative) Hom ny grits.

M: Yeah, grits, what they call grits, well they grind it up to the

mill, you know, and make grits out of it.

P: Back in the old days did people ever make white hompny themselves?

M: No, they didn't know what that was, I don't think.

P: They didn't soak it in ashes or lye or anything like that?

M: Oh, they'd make what call big corn, they'd soak it in lye.

P: Um-hum, (Affirmative), big corn--but big corn is not the same thing

as Sofke.

M: Uh-uh (negative) Different.

P: The big corn is just corn that's just shucked?

M: It's shucked whole grains, you know, boil it and soak it in lye

and things--had to get ze SOt I-klart, you know.

P: But Sofk e you don't do that to.

M: Um-um (negative)

P: Now this pestle they beat a with, about how long was that?

M: Something about like that long.

P: About four feet long or so?

M: Yeah, they had what they called a mortar, a big block thing, about

that big around and they'd cut out through there you know, then

you put the corn in and beat it up in there.

P: That block that they had hollowed out--how would they hollow that

out? Would they burn ir cut it or. .

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

M: Yeah, they'd cut and burn like 'til they got it fixed, you know.

P: Well they usually burned it and cut it.

M: Ur-hum (affirmative) f f ", o& d- 1 D ilA A you know.

P: What was the inside shaped ike? How was the inside of that block

shaped after they hollowed it out--was it square or round or how.LLX1' t

M: Round like, just round. It had a round bottom to it like, you know.

You know you couldn't get square like, you know, it'd just be round.

P: Were the sides squared out or. .

M: Yeah, um-hum (affirmative) the sides were pretty squared down, like.

P: Would they keep those in the house?

M: Yeah, they'd keep them in a dry place. They'd put them up--keep them

put up in a dry place.

P: When somebody got ready to beat up the .

P: Was that something that only women did, or would men and women

both pound the Sofk e?

M: They both would do it sometimes, fix it, you know.

P: After you got it pounded up, then how would they cook it?

M: Well they'd wash it, you know, then they'd put it in a pot and boil

it, you know, 'til it got done.

P: Would they put anything else in it?

M: Um-mum (negative)

P: Just water?

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INTERVIEWEE: Levi (M) and Treacy (T) McGhee

M: Just water.

P: No seasoning of any kind?

M: Um-mum (negative)
P: How did it come out'-was it like a--what--how thick was it?

M: Well it wasn't too thick they just made them thick like--it wasn't

very thick.

P: Well did you drink it or eat it with a spoon?

M: Eat it with a spoon.

P: Was that something people ate a lot?

M: I suspect they did in them olden days.

P: Now when you were coming along how often would people make soe1---.

M: I never did eat much of it, 'cause I didn't like it.

P: How'd those old people like it back then?

M: They ate it pretty good, looked like.
Iok e
P: When was the last time you remember anybody ever making Sofk e?

M: Oh, I can't tell you that now, 'cause I don't know.

P: Were you a grown man yet or yi-you still little?

M: I was a pretty small boy, but I remember seeing my grandma beat it all

right and everything.

P: Your grandma was who now?

M: p_____

P: And that was a long time ago.

M: That's right.


62 -

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