Title: Interview with Hillery Colbert (September 8, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007520/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Hillery Colbert (September 8, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: September 8, 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: UF00007520
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 45

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Mr. Hillery Colbert (C)

Interviewer: J. Paredes (I)
September 8, 1973

Typed by: P. F. Williams

I: This is September 8, 1973, and I'm talking with

Mr. Hillery Colbert at his home just outside of

Atmore, Alabama. If you could just begin by saying

when and where you were born and how you were brought

up, what yourlife was like growing up as a child.

C: Well, I was born in Huxford, Alabama, and I lived there

all my life except about eight or ten years I been

away from there. So that's about...that's the onliest

place I ever lived in my life, except just going away

a few times and coming back. I went to school in

Huxford, little old school back, I don't know how

many years back. We had to walk for miles. It was

a pretty rough road to go on.

I: Was that an all-Indian school?

C: Yeah, um-hmm.

I: Which...was it J. ,,iLL Cl School? Was that what

CRK 45A 2

it was called?

C: Yeah. Really, it was just...wasn't no schoolhouse at

that time. Just had an old white building off of

the road, you know. I mean, it was probably three

or four miles from where we used to walk. Then later

on, they/built a little old schoolhouse, you know,

just something or other throwed together, you know.

And then after they quit that, then later on then

after they/shut that little old one down and when
[fead oi Pelddo
they went...sent them over here to HedeperdioS--

you know, changed them from all over there and

started to send them all down. But I never did

go no more. I quit when I think I was about in the

fourth grade. I never did go no more.

I: You remember the names of any of the teachers at the

Indian school?

C: Well, Mrs. Moore was the onliest teacher that teached


I: Lucille Moore?

C: Yeah.

I: She taught up at Huxford?

C: Yeah, uh-huh. Sie /< *

CRK 45A 3

I: And she taught at tedeprdrao too.

C: Yeah, uh-huh. AIay back years ago, now, they had a

few teachers that teached there some -tht come in
-T kYo' o "'. J
by. .all I can name are their first names. Wally

was from Montgomery. One time there was a Mrs. Dunne

teached there. She.'s from Montgomery. She reached
71 -
there a while at that little old school. Then later
on there was another teacher that come there and I

can remember her name was Mrs(Dorothy Pauncy, I believe

that was the damn thing. It was a funny name. L."'

I: Did these teachers from Montgomery, did they board

with Indian families there or what?

C: No. They boarded somewhere there. I don't know

exactly where they boarded. Somewhere around Huxford

with somebody, but I really, I just don't know. But

they didn'tAsay there too long before they left.

I: Do you remember ever hearing any of the older people

up there at Huxford talking about having to pay for

teachers themselves out of their own pocket, or was

the county paying for the teachers?

CRK 45A 4

C: No. The county was. I never did hear none of them say

that they had to pay for it. The county was paying

for it.

I: Do you recall from your hearing the older people talk

at all, anything about how the schools got started


C: Well, I believe the reason that they said that that

school got off to itself like thatAthey wanted my

daddy's sister to, teach the school at that time.

fI,U4Uc being that she's a McGhee. Lynn)McGhee's

wife. And so that's how it got off to itself, I think.

That's what they said pushed it off to itself. She

wanted to teach that school herself, see. And that

was my daddy's sister, see. Lynn McGhee's wife was

my daddy's sister.

I: Who built that school when she started?

C: Uh, well, when she started there, there wasn't no


I: Just a dwelling-house?

C; Yeah. No, wait, I take that back, now. I believe...

I don't remember too much about that, but I remember

CRK 45A 5

back then, I/can remember a little bit about it, up

there where Farris McGhee lived.

I: On the old Neal McGhee place?

C: Yeah. They used to, I think, have a schoolhouse way

over on the back side over there next to that swamp

over there somewhere. But I don't remember too much

about that, and I believe that's where it first got

started from. She wanted to take the school and teach

it and I think that's where they got it separated up

there. I think that's the way.

I: Well, why couldn't she teach in the other school?

C: Well, she just never did. I don't know why.

I: Now, when you went to school, did you go to school in

the Colbert Settlement?

C: Yeah, that 's right.

I: Now, why.was that called the Colbert Settlement?

C: Well, that was about all was there. I believe there

was...all that lived there was. .wasn't but two families

lived around Huxford, McGhees. No, I take that back.

Three families.

CRK 45A 6

I: Which families were those?

C: That was ete Neal McGhee family and the Ron McGhee

family and theWillis McGhee family. I believe

about three families of McGhees that all lived there,

and the rest of them was Colberts that lived there.

I: Did the Colbert settlement, was it onlIndian grant

land, or...?

C: No, no, uh-uh.

I: Who owned the land?

C: My daddy owned his place here.

I: Did he own all of the land that the Colberts lived on,

or did each family have...?

C:- tWell, no he didn't. the place we owned, it was his

Then there was another Colbert family

lived next to us. He owned his own land. Of course,

there was a lot of them...more Colberts owned land

there way back years ago in around Blueberry Hill.

They called grant land or something or other in

there, but I never did know too much about that. But
-j t+
there was a lot more land than just right in there, but

most of the Colberts that lived there livedon my daddy's

CRK 45A 7

place, you know, had houses,l you know, back then and
lived on that.

I: Did you ever...now, when you say Blueberry Hill, do

you mean where that juke is now?

C: That's right, yeah.

I: Well, do you ever remember any Colberts living down

there when you were...?

C: Yeah, yeah. Right close, pretty close to that Blueberry

Hill. (Mufford Colbert used to live there long back,

way back years ago, way back. My brother married one

of his daughters. Oh, that's been back years, years.

My oldest brother, the one that lives out here at Poarch.

He married one of...

I: ?

C: Yeah, that's right. He married their oldest daughter. Ahd, -

But way back now, I can't remember enough back now,

way, way back, I can't remember that, but just hearing

my daddy now, they used to live down there theirselves

around close to Blueberry Hill. Way back, I don't even

remember, I just heard them talking about it.

I: Your daddy actually lived down there.

C: Yeah. He used to live down there, used to own that land.

CRK 45A 8

It was called old grant land-or l-\r land or something

or other I heard them talking about all that land

in there was back at that time.

I: Did you ever hear him talk about how he decided to

move to his place up here near Huxford?

C: No, I didn't.

I: Was he a farmer or woodsman or what?

C: Well, he farmed and most all his life he worked for

S:) these logging companies. jj ys Southern Lumber

Company, Log Company. He used to be foreman on their

jobs. He.used to ride for cattle, woods!to look out

for cattle and horses and stuff that's out, you know,

way back years ago.

I: Did y'all have a church at Colbert Settlement?

C: Well, they used that little old schoolhouse for a church.

Same little old school. They used to have school there

in the church.

I: What denomination was it?

C: The Free Holiness Church.

I: You remember anything about who some of the preachers


CRK 45A 9

C: Yeah.

I: Who were they?

C: Wellf Mrs. Bell, she used to run a boarding house in
c r -
Huxford, used to cook for this Frisco train crews, you

know. She used to run boarding house there, cook for

this train crew. She used to preach there. Brother

Will Gold and them over in around Brewton over there,

they used to preach there, and Brother Richard Johnson.

Well, there's, oh, several different ones used to

preach there.

I: Didlyou ever remember any of the older people ever

talking about a Baptist church being there?

C: Well, yeah. This same little old place we're talking
w5ccl 40'"- (,- ,, V)
about/where they went to school and 'church, too, there.
A[ yeA, &
Way back I can remember there used to be-a Baptist, I

believe, or a Methodist...I believe it was the Methodists

used to preach there some. That's way back when I was

real small. I can remember it, but...

I: Back when you were small and when it was Methodist and

later on when it was Holiness....well, you already said

about Holiness, but do you remember whether there was

CRK 45A 10

a regular pastor when it was a Methodist church?

C: Yeah. Used to be....I don't know whether it was a

Baptist or a Methodist, old preacher from down in

Florida used to come there, I believe, about once

a month.

I: What was his name?

C: Perry, I believe it was.

I: Perry.

C: Yeah, Perry, I believe it was. Down firm some part

of Florida, used to come there.

I: Now, at church, was that like school that only Indians

would be at that church or would it...?

C: No, there'd be other people come there. Well, more
,A r'5&Ced \ d,
or less, after they turned it into a Holiness church,

well, there was about as many white people come as

there was Indians. But back, way back when they had

it as a Methodist or a Baptist--I don't remember which

it was at that time--but more or less just Indians went


I: Well, I'll have to ask you specific questions. If you

could just sort of think back and remember and talk

CRK 45A 11

about the way people used to live when you were a boy
and just come on up with your own life and the kind

of thin's that have changed in the way people make

their living,ithe kind of houses they liveain, every-

C: Yeah, that's right. Well I tell you, I have seen

times that's pretty rough. Yeah, I remember way back

years ago. oy +-e1 o_4 some rough times back

long here. My daddy, I used to hear him talk4bout

yXiA-vI. 41,q hoA
I-going to have to walk for miles. You know, people

used to have to go barefooted, you know, way back in

them days, you know, to their work, you know. They

didn't have no shoes or nothing like that, you know.

On ice, mud and water and all crap like that, you know, 0 -

I: Did people rely on hunting quite a bit to get their

food back in those days?

C: Yeah. Back then, as far back as I can remember.A.I

mean, no older than I am, pretty old, too, but back

when I can remember, there was plenty stuff you could

kill, plenty game. My daddy and them used to go off,

used to go out in the woods and kill a deer or a wild

CRK 45A 12

hog or a turkey about anytime you wanted to, you

know, back then. You know, such stuff as that.

And no further back as I can remember, you know,

they used to do that.

I: Did I ask you how old you were at the beginning of

the tape?

C:. No, I don't believe you did.

I: How old are you?

C: p Fifty-six.

I: (jL do you remember up in your area around Huxford were

there any of the old people that used to dress their

own hides, deer hides and things like that?

C: Yeah, I can remember tht a little bit.

I: Who were some people that used to do that?

C: Well, I had a uncle, my daddy's brother, he used to.

Uncle Dave Colbert. He's old. He was older than my
daddy was. And/he used to do that, you know. All

that stuff, you know.

I: Do you remember how he did it?,,\

C: No, I don't.

I: ,,What he used?

C: I don't know. I don't remember that. But I remember

CRK 45A 13

he used to do a lot of that, you know, when they

used to dress them hides and cowhide, deerhide, goat-

hide, and all that stuff. They used to build -1_cN

W o-o s you know, and bottom these old chairs,

you know, with hides, and all that, you know. Stuff

like that.

I: Did the people up your way, the old people up there,

did they make soffkee? Did you ever hearing them talking

about that?

C: Yeah, I believe I do. Yeah, I believe I do. I believe

I remember...

I: Did you ever watch any of them doing it?

C: Yeah. I believe I did. I believe they used to have o- -

seemed like to me big old /bal or something or

other. A block of something or other, had a hole in

it, you know, and put that stuff...and had a thing,

you know, to chop it up and down like that, you know.

I: And then what'd they do, boil it up after they had

it husked?

C: Yeah.. The rice, Tge 4 r&Le r6e- ruthey

used to take rice, you know, and it i cal

CRK 45A 14

a maul and it'd be a block about that high, you know,

and they'd cut in there, and then they had a thing

they'd job it up and down out there and husk that rice

out and then it was ready to cook.

I: Was the rice they grew back in those days, was it like

you see on TV over in Asia? Did they have to flood

the land when they grew rice?

C: No, No. We used to plant it. I remember we used to

plant it, you know, in fields. t 'd get up about like

that, you know, and then when it got ready to cut,

you know, you took one of them ol rice hooks or

something or other, you know, and cut it down like that,

you know, and then bundle it up, you know.

I: But it would just grow on dry land.

C: Yeah, yeah.

I: You wouldn't have -6 (-P66(d f aIna -

C: No, uh-uh. Naw, we used to grow a lot of rice.

I: Well, what were the main...besides rice, what were

some of the other main crops that people grew that...?

CRK 45A 15

C: Well, about the biggest thing was, besides that rice,

was corn and peas and sweet potatoes and, you know,

stuff like that. That was about the biggest thing.

I: Did many of your people up there do any cotton farming?

C: Yeah, way back years ago. My daddy, he used to grow

a good little bit of cotton. Not too much neither,

not too much.

I: Did many of the people around the Huxford area work, /

on halves or work sharecropping?

C: Well, old man Neal McGhee was about the onliest man

that had enough land to sharecrop.

I: But he had other people....?

C: Yeah, he had people living...

I: Did some of your family work for him?

C: No. Well, I used to help him, you know, pick cotton c
he I)a/
and work around like that. But he had right smart of

land up there andAhe had some tenant houses on his

place, you know, and they farmed on halves, you know,

and stuff like that.

I: Were those white people that were tenants for him?

CRK 45A 16

C: Yeah, um-hmm.

I: Now, one thing in the Poerch area I've heard a lot

of people talk about, this would be after you'd probably

gotten up to be quite a...almost grown man or even

later, used to go outAin field crews working different

places. Did many people from Huxford do that?

C: Yeah, yeah. They used to do that. That's right.

I: How far away would they go working in the fields?

C: Wellthey'd go sometimes five, six, seven, ten miles,

you know.

I: Did any of them ever get into hauling hands themselves?

C: No, just worked forhother people.

I: How about going off to...like some of these in PoSrch

has done, like going off to Wisconsin?

C: No, they never did do nothing like that. dh-uh, they

never did do nothing like that.

I: Well, when was the period when...I notice how there's

hardly any Indian folks living up at Huxford anymore

like ...

C: Well, there's two families. Farris McGhee and Noah McGhee.

CRK 45A 17

I: When did most all of those people move out of there?

C: Well, they just got the...as the years come on up,
they just got to drifting out of there and just moving

away from there.

I: About how long ago was that?

C: Well, I don't hardly know.

I: Say, like when all the houses were...I've been by

the Colbert Settlement and no houses left there now.

C: It's been.4.oh, I'd say when they started moving away

from up there, really leaving there, it's probably been,

oh, I'd say around thirty-five years. About thirty-

five years. ke about as old as that oldest boy

of mine is. About thirty-five years.

I: That's when you yourself moved away, or...?

C: Yeah, along in there. When I left here and went to

Louisiana, long about then.

I: Let me ask you one more thing about the old days in

the Colbert Settlement and then move on to other things.

That cemetery up there that's all grown up now, was

that strictly an Indian cemetery at one time?

C: Yeah, I think. But there's a few...I think there's

a few white people buried there. I heard my daddy

CRK 45A 18

talking about some of them Lomax's was buried there.

Of course, now, they was Indian;-they had Indian in

them, too, but they never did go with the Indians.

But I think there's some of them buried there. There's

a few white people buried there.

I: ;s that land still owned by some of the Colbert or

McGhee families?

C: No. I tell you, I really don't know just how it is.

It was land. .they bought there was give for a grave-

yard and the people that used to own that land was
(Nawsers, where that there hard-sell church is there.

I: Right across the street?

C: Yeah, there's a hard-sl1 church there. Well, I think

they- H-H'ea f rreC-4o04 l-' that graveyard and what

there is, but them hard-sell church people, they just

kept backing up out there on the graveyard side, you

know, keeping it clean, youkiow, until jft/just got

way on out there on it. But there's more of that

land goes with the graveyard than what there is.

I: When there were a lot of your people living up there,

did y'all keep the cemetery up?

C: Yeah. They used to keep it up. Way back years ago,

CRK 45A 19

they used to keep it up pretty good. Sure did. I

remember back...well, what happened back years ago,

they used to set these old flowers out on the graves.

Them old ones boy, if you ever get them started, you

can't hardly stop them.

I: What kind of flowers were those?

C: I don't know what you call the thing, but...

I: Were they big?

C: They have a lot of red flowers on them, you know.

They'll grow up there. If you ever get them started

in a place you can't hardly do nothing with them, just

cut them down, well, they come right back out again.

That's what they used to do there. If somebody died,

they'd set some of them old flowers arouAd the grave,

you know, so eventually that graveyard just got solid.

Just solid flowers with them old high bushes, you know,

there. They went in there onetime, they cut all that

stuff out of there. I mean, cut every bit of it out.

And they kept it up there, but after everybody got to

moving away from there till they just never did care

nothing about it a'tall. I got four sisters buried


CRK 45A 20

I: I've walked through there just a little bit one day

with F__r_'s .

C: Yeah.

I: I didn't see many headstones. Were there...?

C: No, there's just a very few in there. There's just

a few. I went up there here...well, my boy was in

here...well, you know, when we come out hre -n that

Saturday, that boy of mine from Mississippi, we went

up there. We went WOte OV (-Hnte( br'crs, you

can't hardly drive over. We went out through there,

and there's a few headstones there. Most of what's

there is McGhees that's got headstones on them. You

know, when they died, you know, way back years. But

there ain't but a very few in there.

I: Whely'all used to bury people there, did they mark

the graves in any way?
-allC Wel a ty-d
C: Well, all they done was put flowers on and then drove
a(stob down to each end of the grave. That was all

they done. That was all they ever done.

I: Did y'all have the custom up there of sitting up with

the dead like...?

C: Yeah. People used to do that, you know.

CRK 45A 21

I: t{, Would they do it in their house or the church?

C: Yeah, in the house.

I: Uh-huh.
yc jiWtf
C: Back then, they neverAdid carry-nobody to the

church. You know, if somebody died, you know, well,

they kept them out there to the house, you know, got

them fixed and everything. And then they got ready

to bury them, then, well, back then they didn't have

no transportation. YL o(rw people had to haul them

to the graveyard on a mule and wagon. I remember used

to haul them...I've seen them haul them from/,ut yonder

below Pdarch...and, well,/there never was none hauled
flma of Pcrd;do
from Huxford down to this Hedeperdido grave because

they had a grave up there. But I've seen them haul

them fromA/out there below Pobrch--Bell Creek, they

call it out there--haul them in on mule wagons _

over yonder to HLdo 4peddo graveX because that was

the onliest grave there was. Then haul them from

there down to that grave at Hog -Fe down there. I've

seen them haul them way back there.

I: Was there any particular person up in the Huxford area

that prepared the dead for burial?

CRK 45A 22

C: Well, there's a...there was a few, you know, of them

old heads, you know, mostly, you know, at ,Ltd

-r' Back then, they had to make their own coffin,

you know. They built them theirselves. If somebody

died, you know, well, somebody don't count on -_i

oid A.CA you know, Wo 61 T They'd probably,

if they didn't have the lumber around the house to

build it out of, well, they'd probably go to Atmore

way back years ago and get lumber there. But a lot

of times back then, they had good lumber, you know,

back in them days and around-them old people had good

lumber, you know, that has around the house, you know,

some stacked up, been there for years. Good hard

lumber. Well, if somebody had some, maybe if I had

some over yonder, they'd go over there and get it,.

you know, and get enough to build that casket out of,

you know. And then they'd line it, you know, with

some kind of cloth or something or other like that,

you know, and they buried them right in the box, you


I: tAido you ever remember--I've heard one or two people

say something, but only a couple-one person actually--

CRK 45A 23

a time when they would bury somebody and then say

the funeral maybe a month or so later. Do you ever

remember that ever happening?

C: 4M No, I don't remember nothing about that, I don't


I: Well, one more thing about the old days. Do you ever

remember any of the old people that even knew a few

words of the Indian language? Any of them ever...?

C: No, I sure don't. I don't know....

I: They always just spoke English?

C: That's right. I never knowed....I ain't never knowed

none, as old as I am and as far back as I can remember,

I ain't never remember nobody odo, Sure ain't.

I: OK. What I'd like for you to do now, if you could,

if you could just start with the first time you...

well, maybe start with when you got married and moved

away from the settlement up there-all the different

places you've lived in and the different kinds of

work that you've done a_1? kce ex '_ .

C: Yeah. Well, I say I moved away from there, it's been
about thirty-five years. And I first went from there

to Louisiana. I lived out there for, I don't know, two

CRK 45A 24

or three years. And when I come back from there, then

I come back to McCullough up here.

I: What kind of work did you do in Louisiana?

C: I had my own trucks in this stumpwood business. And

thenafter I come back from Louisiana then, I moved

from there to Evergreen, Alabama. Up ate-eM (PjtJSSc -

they call it, a little old town up.. rAt+ e-od Ever-

green up there. Stayed up there about a couple of years,

and then I...

I: What kind of work were you doing there?

C: Same thing. Same stumpwood there.

I: Were you still dynamiting the stumps at that time?

C: Yeah, that's right. Sure was. We were dynamiting

them back then. Then I stayed up theita couple o

years and I moved frDomthere then back to Huxford.

Come back to Huxford again. Then the last move I

made, then, from there, well, at that time when I

left Huxford me and my wife separated then. Well,

when I left here then, from Huxford I come to Atmore.

When I left Atmore, well, I went to Georgia.

I: Still inAstumpwood?

C: Yeah, still in stumpwood. Then I left Georgia in

CRK 45A 25

the same stumpwood and then went to Florida. Okeechobee,


I: Sow did you learn the stumpwood business? How did you

get into that?

C: Well, when I was living in Huxford there, there was a

man there....that's way back when they had to-dynamite

it. Wasn't no bulldozers then. They was drilling it

with augers, you know, and shooting it down to the ground.

I first started with a man from ay lre e-. ,_

John Marsh, he used to live up there at Huxford. And

working with him. We started to work for him, well,

we was making a dollar and a quarter a day. A dollar

and a quarter a day, that's from daylight to dark.

Well, we worked there a long time for that and the5 r,

later on then, well, Mr. Alexander--he's up in

Georgia and Florida, he's got two big outfits--he

lived over at McCullough. Well, I was about eighteen

years old, I reckon, when I got married. And I used

to ride a bicycle fim Huxford to McCullough _i iL

morning to work for a dollar and a quarter a day.

I'd have toleave sometimes about three o'clock in

the morning to get down there:early enough to catch

CRK 45A 26

them before they left. See, they used to leave

burning lights going out and burning lights coming

in. And back then didn't have no black-top roads.

Old wet muddy road a lot of times, and boy, I'd have

trouble fighting that bicycle down them muddy roads,

you know, before daylight. Had a little old light

on the tront, you know, it's a little old LCf` t<

light, you know, bobbing down that road. Well, I

worked with him a good while for a dollar and a quarter

an hour...a day. It wasn't too long after I started,

right after I got married, and it wasn't too long,

though, after we was getting a dollar and a quarter

a day, well, the wage and hour law come in force,

you know. Two bits an hour. Well, that jumped us

up two dollars a day. 44ere getting two dollars a

day, see, for eight hours work, then. Well, later

on, then, well, I was more or less then working with

the shooting bunch, you know, shooting h "'-<

and all that. Later on, then I went to driving a

truck, and we'd get ninety cents a load. I went

to driving a truck for ninety cents a load.

I: The driver got ninety cents.

C: Yeah. To haul that wood and stack it in them boxcars.

CRK 45A 27

We used to have to stack it in them old boxcars just

as long as we could get a piece up in there, see.

Fill it up all the way, back, then out in the door,
4 j5+j (-L A4o
stack it up in there. And we had to do it by our-

selves. They furnished us a man and the wood to

help us load the truck, but when we got loaded we

had to go in by ourselves and tote that whole load

of wood oft by ourselves and stack it in that boxcar.

I: Not a flatcar, but a boxcar-with a roof?

C: Boxcar, yeah. One of them big high boxcars. And we

had to stack that thing just as long as we could get

a piece of wood up in it. Just fill the tops and

everything, just flat full. Well, we had to get

thirty-five ton in it. That was our limit on it,

was thirty-five tons. We had to get thirty-five ton

in there, in that car.

I: Weil, were there a lot of places around here where

there were loading stations to put the wood on, or

was there one particular place?

C: Well, well, no. They had several places. You could

load at Huxford, McCullough, Freemanville, or Atmore.

CRK 45A 28

That was the closest places back then that you could wcrk--

load that wood.

I: Did you ever do much stumpwooding right around the

C: Yeah. All that land in there going out to...well, I

done some right in around PoBrch, but going out that

Jack Spring Road....you know, out there where all them

Mennonite people is? All that land in there?

I: Um-hmm.

C: We stumped all that land out there.

I: Were there any ot the folks that were living at Heduperdido

or Hog-obrt who were doing stumpwood business at that


C: There wasn't none of them people in the stumpwood


I: None of them.

C: No.

I: You know, I'd never heard any of them...

C: No, uh-uh.

I: ....except real old ones talking about when they were

clearing the land.

C: Oi4. No, there wasn't none ot them people ever was in the

stumpwood. All the Indians was in any stumpwood was

CRK 45A 29

up around Huxford up there. Them people all down

there was paperwooders.

I: Now, I was just getting ready to ask you, did you

have any paperwooders up there where you were?

C: No, there wasn't no paperwooders up there.

I: What-makes for the difterenceY

C: I don't know.

I: ,)z!i o they cut paperwood in the Huxford area?

C: Well, now they do, but way back years they didn't.

Way back years ago, all them people around Poarch

and Hedoperdido out there, mostly paperwood cutting.

They had to go away from here to do it. Well, they

was putting it on in Bay Minette andrLoxley andc-.

Stapleton, and all Io r/'^-.y 0of "thr .

I remember I worked some down there one time. I ici--

used to go down with some of them boys from around

PoBrch way back years ago, and we'd lodd it over there

on that road going in to Pensacola, you know, on the

river over there on a barge over there.

I: Is that the (Sticks)River?

C: Yeah, Sticks River, that's right. And we were cutting

up paperwood for fifteen cent a pen.

CRK 45A 30

I: A pen.

C: A pen.

I: Now, what's a pen?

C: Well, that took five.racks for a cord. What's called -

they pen it up just like...we had to rack it up just

like you's building a hog pen. Six foot high. Just

made a round pen, you know, stacked it up just like

we was going to build a hog pen to put a hog in. Four

sides to it and built it up six foot high.

I: And that was a pen.

C: That was a pen.

C: That's right. And you had to have five of them to

make you a cord. And we just got fifteen cent a pen.
I: For stacking them or cutting them?

C: For the whole cord. When we cut a cord of wood we

had fifteen cent a pen.

I: I see.

C: That was...each pen got fifteen cent for it.

I: So that would make you(seventy-five cents a cord.

C: Yeah, that's right. That's what we'd get.

CRK 45A 31

I: And you cut it and stacked it?

SC: Stacked..-... .. .. ....................

........................................ ........

I: I was asking you, you said you got fifteen cents a pen,

that makes seventy-five cents a cord.

C: Right.

I: And those-were right out in the...

C: Right out in the...

I: Right out in the woods, then the trucks would come-pick

it up. OK, you were starting to say something about...

you said way back...

C: Uh, way back years ago, I was talking about Huxford,

there used to be a lot of people that lived there. Well,

Huxford, that bunch of people up there was kind of dif-

ferent from these people here at Poarch. At Huxford

they didn't have too much to do with them, we didn't.

I just here for the lae five, six or ten

years since me and my wife \UIl-.. .there's half of them

people out in that country I don't even know.

I: In Poarch, you mean. i

C: That's right. Out in that country. and.some of them

CRK 45A 32

arTrr kin-people that I don't even know, but we just

never did associate with them people down in that


I: Have any idea why that was?

C: 'I don't know, it was just in a...well, in another place,

too. Now, out there the other side of Podrch, there

used to be a thick settle of people lived there. Bell


I: Um-hmm.

C: 4ow, that bunch, they was to theirselves. More or less

there was a bunch in there that 4ci ws -w-

They didn't associate with them people at Podrch or

Hog Fert-or Hedepeeddo over there. They was more or

less -to theirselves just like we was to Huxford up

yonder, see. We was more or less to ourselves and we

didn't know nothing about them people down in-that


I: Were there hard feelings between those groups?

C: No, no. Just...just we never was used to that, never

did 0 tlvroi I or have anything to do with

them. And I had my uncles, they was my uncles down in

CRK 45A: 33

there. Them Walkers, all of them. Fred Walker and

them, all them, he was my mama's brother. All those

Walkers down there was my mama's brothers, them Walkers.

But we just never did go about them down in that


I: Now, I have heard some people say there used to be a

time years ago when they would sort of go from one

church to another. One Sunday they might be at this

church, everybody'd get together and they'd have a

dinner on the ground and maybe a...do you remember

any of that going on?

C: Well, the onliest thing...dinners, well now, they

used to do that, now, at Huxford. I remember.way back

years ago they used to have big dinners, you know, on

certain times of the month, you know. And down there

where I was talking about at Bell Creek, now, there

used to be a lot of people live out there at Bell

Creek.. They used...

I: Would people go from Huxford to Bell Creek for dinner?

C: Yeah, sometimes they would and sometimes they wouldn't.

But there used to be a lot of people there, and they

CRK 45A 34

used to have big dinners at-Poarch. I remember a

few times I had went to Poarch, you know, as I got

older. Reason back then, as we was growing up, why,

we didn't know nothing about them people down there,

see. Knew we had kin-people down there, all down

there. Reckon all of them's kin to us, but we just...

when we was raised up, growing up, we just never did

go visit nobody in that country down there.
I: When you were growing up, did y'all visit with white

people very much?

C: Well, around Huxford, yeah. Around Huxford there.

A lot of people there.

I: Would they ever come to your dinners?

C: Yeah. They'd. a lot of them come. Sure would. A

lot of them come to dinners.

I: Well, in general, how did the white people and the

Indians get along together years ago up there?

C: Well, at Huxford, now, they didn't get along. I

mean, what I mean, they didn't...nobody never had

no trouble, fighting or nothing like that. The people,

there was some good people. The only thing there was,

CRK 45A 35

they didn't want the Indians going to their school.

And no Indians never did go to their school, till

Calvin broke it up. He's the man you have to give

credit for it. It it hadn't been for Calvin they'd

probably have been ota ) everywhere else just

like it's always been.

I: Before he got started, were there any indians who

tried to go toAHuxtord school?

C: b(ifio, there wasn't.

I: They never tried...

C: Never did try. But after Calvin, after Calvin got

into it and got that thing started, then I moved

back trom, from, uh...I was the first one ever sent
-fo "'ltCu-lI Et
one et-my-eeoor That boy of mine, Jerry--you know

him, don't you?

I: Um-hmm [attirmative].

C: j.g. YaL LC[s Fil& '

C: _ik ft c

C: Well, he was about, I don't know, six or seven, eight

years old, I reckon. But I moved back from Louisiana

to McCullough and stayed with my brother, so I sent

him to school in McCullough.

CRK 45A 36

I: And this was after Calvin started?

C: Yeah, after Calvin got started. I sent him, and

Lynn Presswood was the principal out there. On

the boa-d and everything out there. /I was staying

with my brother. And so, I was at my brother's

house one night, so he come to my brother's house.

He wouldn't talk to me, he was scared to talk to

me. And my brother was easy-going. You've probably

heard a lot or people talk. He never harmed nobody,

never talked hard to nobody, but I was always different

from that. I reckon I'm the onliest one in the family

that's like that. But he wouldn't talk to me. He

come out there and wanted to see Claude--that's my

brother--wanted me not to send Jerry back to school

down there because he was Indian. They didn't want

him in their school. But I sent him right on back.

They never did stop it.A then I left there and I

moved back to Huxford. And I started him up there.

And they had sent a tew back from 'Huxford school

up here, wd I-LL-fc{ / _______ ,_

I believe it was a couple 6 -- _--

CRK 4_A 3/

here and they sent them back trom up there one tite.

And so after I moved back up there then I was living

on the man's place, his boy, he was trustee up there.

Ollie Palmer. And they was pretty nice people, and

a fellow, (1LSO/ was principal. So Jerry,

he was getting up pretty good size, so...

I: About what years was this, now?

C: Well, I really don't know. I couldn't say. It was...

Ii In the fifties, or...?

C: No, it was....I imagine, I say it was back in. .well,

I left here going to Louisiana, I believe, in '47. I

stayed over there about a couple of years and come

back here. I'd say around '49, along in there some-

where. But I sent him to Huxford school. Wasn't

no other Indians going up there. I sent him up there.

Well, they didn't say an IAy. word. Ollie
f|;s .-- S 4 ~d
"Palmer knew me. I was living on his daddy's place.

And so, I went up there and told Ollie Palmer, I says,

"I tell you what I'll do. I'll give you twenty-five

dollars if you send him back." He said, "I ain't

gonna send him back." And I was mad, too, you know.

CRK 45A 38

So one day I was in Atmore and I run into the principal

down there, Nelson. He'skpretty nice guy. I told

Nelson, I said, "I'm sending Jerry. Jerry's going to

school up there." And I said, "I offered Ollie

Palmer twenty-five dollars to send him back home."

Nelson said, "Hillery, you know good and well I'm

not gonna send Jerry back home., You know I'm not

gonna send him back home." I said, "Well, I'm just

telling you in time." And they never did say anything

about that. He's the first one that went there and

stayed, too.

I: in other words, you said you were gonna give him twenty-

five dollars...-'

C: Yeah, I uj&-io __ pay. I said, "I'll give you

twenty-five damn dollars if you send him back home.

I know$what he's gonna get it he sent him back home.

I told him. He said, "I'm not gonna send him back

home." And Jerry's the first one that ever went to that

Huxford school that stayed.

I: But you took him out of McCullough school?

C: Yeah, we moved from there back to Huxtord.

CRK 45A 39

I: And they didn't want him in McCullough school.

C: Nope, they didn't want him.4-o o

I: Let me ask you something now. lerry's not a par-

ticularly dark person.

C: No, no. Jerry's not....

I: What would be the reason why they didn't want him 4o s0oo -

to go to school?

C: I don't know, just because he went as Indian, I

reckon. That's what it was, all I know about it.

I: But you were mad enough you would have punched

him out, huh? Cl ^cklU

C: I tell you/ axr that ight i T -mr dumb for them to

have sent him backA I tell you now, I'd done got

mad about the thing. I knowed doggone well that's

the way we had been treated up there all our...I

lived there all my life, and that's the reason I

ain't got no education today. I ain't got very

much. I quit school when I was about fourth grade,

fourth or ifth grade. dcl

I: Let me ask you something. Why did it take. .what

were the reasons that it took men of your generation

CRK 45 40

to do that rather than some of the older ones. Why

didn't some ot the older ones years betore....'

C: c' I can't understand that. Jl really can't understand

it. That's what.

I: Did they ever talK about wanting it to be difterentY

C: Yeah, they talked about it but they never did do
a. a4Ii cr 'j,
nothing about it. And another thing' Archie McGhee,

one ot Neal McGhee's boys, he was educated. Stayed

in the Army tor years and years, and he married a

girl in New York. And he come back from New York

there one time, come back to his daddy's. And he

had a daughter, pretty good size, I don't know how
hr- tIe-
old. But he sent her out there. boy, they knowed

not to send her back. Archie McGhee, they knowed him,"

boy. They knowed what he'd do, 1 And they didn't send

her back.

I: jL nd that was before calvin started.

C: Yeah, that was before Calvin started. But back in

them years, I'll tell you what happened. Now, Neal

McGhee's boys, ail his boys, Neal McGhee was pretty

smart' And he was a man that, back in them hard days,

CRK 45A 41

I reckon was about the onliest old Indian that had

anything, that made anything. Back then he was

a big contractor on these big companies, log jobs,

back y -n4j L.Jtc, & (1 run a grade through

all such as that. But ne was driving a big Buick

automobile, old Buicksback in them days when other

people couldn't afford a mule wagon. And they

knowed him pretty well around Huxtord. They didn't

push him a'talli Now, them boys of his, his daughter...

well, he has, see, there was one, two...there was
tour boys and one girl. And he sent his young'uns

to Uriah. That's where they got their education.

They all got good education. All them boys of Neal

McGhee's got good educations. TheyAused that big

automobile to go to Uriah to school over there. They

didn't fool with Huxford over here. They'd go to

Uriah and that's where they got their education.

Uriah. At Uriah, now, the Indians could go to school

over there. They went over there just like they're

going everywhere else now.

I: Wd Q as Jerry, then, the first Colbert to ever go to school'

CRK 45A 42

C: Jerry's the first one that ever went to that school.

Huxtord school up there. And he's the first one that

ever'went to McCullough school. But they damn sure

didn't send him back.

I: Were your parents and grandparents just scared at

what would happen, or what?

C: Well, I just don't know. Back;..old people, now,

they was mean people. These old people back in

them days was mean, but I don't know how they just....

they just never would do nothing about that school

business. Nobody never would do nothing about it.

They just wouldn't do nothing about it. Of course, t-

not that they was scaredA nothing like that, because

them people back in them days would kill you.

I: Speaking of that, did y'all ever used to....back when

you were a little boy, did the grownups ever have any

or those real rough frolics I've been hearing about?

C: Oh, yeah. Man, that used to be the 4. Lp there,

old man Neal McGhee used to have one about every

Saturday night up there. I was pretty small. I used

to go some, you know. And all down there around rovrch,

CRK 4-A 43

now boy, that* used to be 4c o00-o down there.

I teit you, old -e s e- used to have trolics

over there, boy, all night long. That old /_k---

just below where Houston lived down there, where

his grandmama lived, you know used to lived there.

Old house back there. Old, you know, wood house.

I: Yeah.

U: boy, they used to have them there all night long.

Start *c go till the next morning.

i: And people trom Huxtord would come down tor those.

C: Yeah, yeah. That's right, people back then would

go to them trolics every...they used to have them

all over that whole country back there.
I: Did many white tolks come to thoseY

C: Yeah, there was some come. Sure was.

I: One thing I was going to ask you about before. Aiave

there ever been many colored people living around


C: No. Not...well, yeah,"2ro. From way back years

agoover there the other side ot Huxford used to be

a big turpentine business over there. Now there was

CRK 45A 44

a lot of colored/ithere. They had quarters over there.

but that was the onliest place any lived. Had them

quarters over there, and I don't know of another family

living nowhere else. They had them quarters and I reckon

there was probably a hundred families.

I: Did the Indians have any dealings with them of any kind?

C: Yeah, well, some of the Indians worked there. Used to

work there.

I: How'd they get along?

C: They got along with them good. They sure did. They got

along. There was some good colored people there. _I_

4-laC cf lr / my brother-in-law, he used to work

for that company there and they lived there, too, you know.

They handsome nice houses, you know, for white people

to live in, and my brother-in-law, he's a white man.

I: Um-hmm.

C: And they lived there. Well, there was a lot of families

lived there, you know. They had nice, pretty-nice houses

for them.- Had a big commissary, you know, and all that

stuff. And they used to have mules and wagons, you know,

to go in the woods and haul that turpentine to the still,

CRK 45A 45

you know, where they distilled it and got that tur-

pentine out and rosin and all such as that.
,iVA C l i'.i
I: But the Indians in the Colbert settlement and on the

Neal McGhee place, they worked in turpentine too, like

the people down at Poarch.

C: That's right, that's right. That's what they done.

Neal McGhee, that's practically all he done. Used

to work in them big turpentine camps, all that stuff

like that. That's what he done.

I: But getting back to your moves and your life, when

you came back here just recently you came back from


C: From Okeechobee.

I: Uh-huh. I wonder if you could, like we were talking

the other day, if you could talk a little bit about

the experiences you've had with the Seminole Indians

down there.

: -well, I ain't had too much experience with them. I

mean, I went around a few of them places down there,

you know,'and they...because I couldn't speak their

CRK 45A 46

language they said I wasn't no Indian, you know. I

had several of them tell me down there that...

I: Did you have any of them ask you what you were?

C: Yeah, they asked. I said, "I'm a Creek Indian."

"No, you ain't no Indian"--because they could speak

English, too, see. Some of them, too. T koc(

-Ac [e ----- -- says, "What

kind of Indian are you?" I says, "I'm a Creek."- I4 s-yS

"No, you ain't no Indian. "fou can't even speak

Indian." But I hadn't never talked with too many

of them, you know.

I: You have worked doing some logging and this kind of
7- r
thing on their reservation, or/not?

C: Yeah. Well, this stumpwood business.. now, down there...

them Indians down there on that place down there, they,

them Seminoles, right in there where we were, they own

fifty-five thousand acres. Belongs to them, too. Don't

belong to nobody else. The government bought it for them

and they paid the government back and now it belongs

to them. And boy, they got some of the finest timber

you ever looked at. Like this pure heart timber. Well,

CRK 45A 47

this company, Herculee Powder Company, they wanted

to buy a carload of it from them, from the Indians

on the reservation.

I: Was it Brighton Reservation?

C: Yeah. And they wanted to buy a carload of this heart

pine from them, you know. A carload, they just wanted

one carload. And they wanted to takeqand experiment
on it and grind it up in Brunswick, Georgia, to see

what they could get out of it, to see if it would go

to the same thing as this stumpwood, you know, lighter

wood. And that's what they wanted with it, so they

bought a carload of it from them. We went down and

cut it on their land, old big heart pine like that.

Pure old heart. None of this little old sap an

_here. And we loaded

a carload, the first carload...well, the onliest car-

load we got, we put forty-five ton on it. That's what

went on the car, and we shipped it to Brunswick, Georgia.

And they grind it up just like they did that stumpwood

and they wanted to run it through the mill and cook it

CRK 45A 48

and see what it would turn out. See if it would

reduce to the same thing that stumpwood will. And

that was the oJNA time we ever went on it.

I: But other than just occasionally running into Seminoles

you never had much contact?

C: No. No, uh-uh. Just other than running into a few

of them at some bar or someplace like that. Well,-L -u-

we did. ihey got-.-.we went out there several times.

They had their own rodeos out there, you know. They

got big rodeos out there. We went out there, and boy,

they really have a rodeo! They got a good one. And

Lord, they got some out there that can ride! Them

little old bitty boys eight and nine years old ride

them bulls just like a grown person would.
I: Well, being of Indian descent yourself but not ever

growing up on a reservation or anything like that,

just growing up out like anybody else, how do you

feel about the reservation Indians now that you've

had some opportunity to be close to that scene down

there in Florida?

CRK 45A 49

C: Well, I don't know. The way that I see it, I think
Davq1";2 -- 4r-c
I'd rather be just like I am.' They're/fxed up

pretty nice down there. In one place, though...that

Brighton out there, they got that, and then"over there

around Moore Haven they got another big reservation.

That's where we cut the timber off. But they got

several down there, more than that on down in them

Everglades, you know, places down in there. But,-(

they're particular with that land, now. Boy, we

went out there to cut that land and they got a...well,

there's more or less, they got a man that leads them,

a white man, you know, that sees after them. JHes tfl- 1-C

got an office over there, you see, butnhe's got some-

times two or three of them Indians, you know, that

watches out for that timber and the land things, jeeps

and things, you know. We was out there cutting that,.,
dor' '-
timber. I don't reckon this guy knew we was out there,

you know, one of them big Indians, seen somebody coming

in a jeep, he drove right out in the woods where we

was cutting them big trees,had a big German Shepherd
i Ad i emnSehr

CRK 45A 50

in his car and the old dog jumped out and come

barreling over there toward me, and I'm scared of

that son of a gun. He's liable to bite me. IThat

old boy, he said, "What y'all trying to do? Cut

all my timber?' Se~e, they had got permission through

the leader to cut it, you see...

I: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

C: ...but he didn't know it, I reckon.

I: Was he mad?

C: Well, he acted like it when he first drove up but

he was all right when he found out, you know, that

we'd got permission from the leader, you know, to

cut the.-timber, you know. He was all right.

I: Living down there in South Florida, has anybody ever

from your appearance taken you to be a Cuban or any-


C: No, no. Nobody. N6,1ly.

I: But you say some of the Indians, just by looking at

you, thethought you might be Indian?

C: GU Well, they didn't know. What they said, like I said,

they...all they said, you know, they saidA wanted to

CRK 45A 51

know what kind of Indian I was. And I'd tell them

and they'd say, "Well, you ain't no.Indian. You're

no Indian. You don't even speak Indian."

I: Did you say anything back to them about that?

C: I said, "Well, that's what I'm supposed to be." Jo

I: But do you feel like you'd rather have things the way

they are than to have a big government reservation?
J7 +1,:rll- yjsrflvw 1c* ; 0-'
C: Yeah, I think I rather stay like I am. A fellow

told me, our woodsman down there, our bossman on

that land down there, he lives over there at Moore

Haven, and he said that reservation down there govern-

ment's built on most of them a lot of nice houses, you

know, on plenty of them, and a lot of them won't live

in nothing else but them little old cabbage huts...

I: Um-hmm.

C: ...covered over with them old palmettos and all like

that. And l said when they first moved them in them

fine government houses some of them built fires in

the middle of the floor. LA"h '3

I: They just didn't know any better?

C: They didn't know no better. But see, t, ri'-- i y i( ce

CRK 45A 52

then Indians, them Indians down there, they used to

have their own schools.

I: Um-hmm.

C: On that Brighton out there they used to have their

own schools out there. But they changed that up now

and they won't let them have it no more. They got to

send the Indians to the white schools. They won't

let them have no schools h'r They didn't like

that too much.

I: They didn't like being sent to the white schools.

C: No, they didn't like that.

I: That'sksort of the opposite of the way people around

here were.

C: That's right. And that's the reason most of the young

ones down there, since they been going to these white

schools down there, a lot of them now or most of them, uw

they gant talk English, you see. That's more or less

is what they done for them. But them older heads, most

of them, they can't talk no English a'tall.

I: You can't even do business with them.

C: No, you can't even know what they're talking about.

CRK 45A 53

I: How do you feel about the closing of the Indian school

at Porch a few years ago?

C: Well, I really don't know. I think...I reckon, I reckon,

in a way I reckon it was a pretty good thing of it, I


I: Do you have any feelings about what ought to be done

with that school in the future?

C: No, I don't. I really don't. Had that meeting out

there, you know, used to, you know, was trying to get

everybody to donate what they was going to get back

thirty dollars on the school. Well, I got over on the

side that give it back to them. That was thirty dollars

and all put that together would do more good than just

getting it. Thirty dollars to spend out there wouldn't

be worth nothing.

I: Well,whether that thirty dollars or the schoolhouse

or whatever, do you think there's any reason or is ;'

there a good idea at all for the Indian people to try

and do something together as a group?

C: Yeah, I do. I really do. I think that's a good deal.

I: Well, you know, I know some people seem like they really

CRK 45A 54

don't...I guess a lot of people that have moved away, T -

I hear, at least that they're not too interested in

keeping up anything Indian. iWhat advantages are in

doing that, do you think, to keep some kind of...I

don't know, some kind of community center or whatever?

C: Yeah, that's right. Well, it just makes it...go ahead,

help yourself. And that way, it looks like to me, it

helps out in there where they'll have somewhere for

them to go and everybody to come together and all, you

know, like that, you know, and have what they want

to have in a place like that, you know,6"- think it's

a good thing.

I: Now, you yourself have really been out in the world

a lot T yVt-'A -

C: Yeah, I've been around. Right, a lot.

I: (,C(IJihat brings you back here?

C: Well, really, I reckon really what brought me back, I

reckon I was born and raised here and it's just my

old home. Just wanted to come back here, I reckon.

That's all I know about it.

I: Do you plan on staying here T/// you retire now, or

CRK 45A 55


C: Well, I reckon I'll be here as far as I know right on,

I reckon, unless something happens, you know. Of course,

I didn't come back here for the money because -I can

make more money in other places than I can here.

I: Are you still doing stumpwood?

C: No, I ain't doing nothing now since I had a heart

attack. I had a heart attack about ten months ago, so

I ain't done nothing. heti 1- uo down in Florida

and I ain't done nothing since.

I: Are you getting Social Security?

C: Disability, disability.

I: Disability. ,Were you ever in the Army or anything?
7 v bcS C rk'i /
C: Uh,4no. I never was in the Army. I was back in the...

I used to be in the CC's. Way back years...thirty

dollars a month. About the same thing as the Army, it AS

just a branch off the Army is all it was. It was the

same thing.

I: Y'all lived off in a barracks-like, or...?

C: Yeah, they had barracks out there.

I: Where'd you go to CCC camp?

CRK 45A 56

C: I was in Kingston, Tennessee. That's where I was


I: And that was back in the thirties, or...?

C: Yeah, um-hmm. Back then.

I: How'd you like it?

C: I liked it pretty good after...when I first went,

now, I didn't like it. If I'd had a way to...had

any money to got away from there, I think I would

have left there that next day after I got there,

after I got up in them mountains up in there. Boy,

I'm telling you the truth. Oooh! They/shipped

us from Kingston over here -e Anniston, Alabama.

That's where we shipped out from. Put us on a

train and met us in Kingston, Tennessee-- j4 'v,

Tennesseei where they picked us up at. And hauled

us from there to camps on trucks. Boy, that was some

rugged-looking country! If you happened to look

out of the truck, look straight up, rl Z er //,tf r 'y

them roads around -tem hills and mountains, you

know, going up there.

I: Had you already started your family at this time?

CRK 45A 57

C: No, uh-uh. I was single at that time.

I: How'd you happen to get signed up in the CCC's?

C: Well, back then there just wasn't nothing to do. You

couldn't get a job doing nothing. And they moved

that...started that CC camp,.then, and a lot of times

you were just lucky if you could get in there, you

know. They'd have so many, you know, they'd have

as many as they want, you know. And they used to

have a camp up there at Little River. That was

the first camp that ever come around here was up

there at Little River, other side of Huxford up


I: Is that where you signed up, or...?

C: Ro, I signed up at Brewton. I had to go to Brewton

to sign up. But they shipped us from here over to

Anniston, Alabama. A lot of them that went with me,
j Ex jZ354 4fci -
they shipped them to California, dif-A .we went out

in orders, you know. They'd call...there was thirteen,

no, fourteen hundred of us over there at Anniston.

And maybe they'd call from California, they maybe wanted

forty out in California to a camp out there. Bundle

them up, send forty out there. And maybe they wanted

CRK 45A 58

a hundred up in Tennessee. Different places, you

know. That's the way they sent us out from over

therethey Si\ ,.IN r, i-r, Call" ,\

over there.

I: You were just a young boy at that time?

C: Yeah, I was young.

I: That was before you were married.

C: Yeah. Yeah, I was about seventeen years old.

I: Well, we got just a little tape here. I'd like if

you could, if you could just very briefly talk about

what you think is been some of the biggest changes

for the Indian people in Alabama in your lifetime.

C: Well, I really don't know, to tell you the truth.

'- One thing that's changed them up a lot from what they

used to be when they got all these schoolsyou know,

straightened out and all this thing there. That was

a big change and ever since thenAthere's been a lot

of different change in them, you know, all that

IJ0J More or less back then, people just acted

like they was tied down. You know, they was scared to

get out or something or other like that, you know, just...

CRK 45A 59

I: Well, I'd never thought about that. Since they got

those schools, that's really encouraged them to get

out and get amongst the world.

C: Yeah, that's right. That's what I'm talking about.

Exactly right. The old Indian people was kind of

pushed back, you know, they didn't want to get out,

you know, with the white people and all of that. You

know, they wanted to stay back to themselves.

I: Well, have you ever...I don't know whether you have

or not, but what do you think is gonna be in the

future for the younger Indian people that are coming

up now?

C: Well, I think the way things are going now they're

gonna be something real worthwhile, you know, this
t^- -0
young race coming up now. they'ree getting a better

education now and most of them are finishing high

school and all such as that, and like I said, back

when I coming up you didn't have a chance. If they

don't get what they want now, it's just their fault.

Back years ago we had to walk to school. There wasn't

no such thing as a bus. If we went we had to walk

three or four miles, cold, rain, if we went. But now,

CRK 45A 60

they got such a good advantage now. The bus picks

them up right to their door and brings them right back

to their door, and if they don't get it now, why, it's

just their fault. They got everything they need.


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