Title: Interview with Leacie McGhee Partin (January 1, 1974)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007532/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Leacie McGhee Partin (January 1, 1974)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: January 1, 1974
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: UF00007532
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 58

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Full Text


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and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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Page 1

Today is January 24, 1974. I'm interviewing Leacie McGhee Partin of Jay, Florida.

D: Aunt Leacie, how old are you?

P: Seventy-three. I'll be seventy-four in June. The seventeenth of June

I'll be seventy-four years old.

D: Uh, let's see. That would make you born when?

P: 1900.

D: 1900. Who were your parents?

P: Ida McGhee and Lee McGhee.

D: Uh, how many brothers and sisters do you have--did you have?

P: Well, I LVfrvt there was five of the brothers ni -he- and

five sisters Momma had thirteen children j- lri 0

S4 Lily, and uh, MtA .i' and myself and sister Ana.

D: Wouldn't that be five? I think so.

P: And five brothers AL(' ,VA C ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen. She's

got three dead. That makes thirteen.

D: Now, uh, Uncle Calvin, the chief, that is one of your brothers.

P: Yeah.

D: Who was the brothers?

P: The oldest?

D: No, who--just name your brothers.

P: Uh, Levi MeGhee, Calvin McGhee, and uh, John Lee McGhee, and Mace McGhee,

and Greely McGhee.

D: Okay. And, now who did you marry?

P: Willie Partin.

D; And where's Willie from?

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P: or f cr I reckon t l c w

D: No, this is Santa Rosa County, Florida,

P: Yeah, I know, but--

D: Okay.

P: He was--must be above / .

D: Oh, he was from, uh, oemnued counties, then?

P: Uh huh.

D: Um, was he Indian?

P: No.

D: Uh, did you--where did you live after you got married?

P: Lived over here. Moved on over here. Stayed over here or he'd go back

down there sometimesan drive a taxi -- over at t T-CC v

soe e iA i f sometime ae then come back over here

and farm.

D: And so you lived between Atmore and Jay.

P: Uh huh.

D: Now, uh, how many children did you and Willie have

P: Seven. Seven children. Three boys and four girls. 21 L, James Lee,

and / I-P were my boys. Willie May and uh,(I IleC[, and Corinne,

and Lynn was my girls...I'd love to see them.

D: Uh huh. Let's go back a little bit, uh, in time here. Uh, when you were

a small girl, what was it like growing up as a small girl? And you grow

up in Perrh?

P: Yeah, down near the We lived in

D: Uh huh.

P: Yeah, well I had a good time __ I wasn't scared sop thing was going

to run over us or go 4: or go to Uncle Bill's

and play with his children, and go down back LtO Aid play with

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P: hers. So we just had a good time.

D: What sort of--what sort of games and things did yall play?

P: Oh, we played hide and seek and ninestick,, goosie goosie gander. Just

any kind of little game we could fix up we played.

D: What was this ninestick like?

P: Oh, we put some sticks on one side of a t 4) and draw us a mark between

the middle of it, and about seven or eight of us young-uns get on one side

and about as many on the other. And we'd run around and get them sticks

and we I said we couldn't get kicked you know, if we got caught with the

sticks, why we'd have to go and kill you. But if we made it back across

that line time__ we would be safe.
) /
D: Did yall play any kind of ball games or anything like that?

P: Oh yeah, we did play a little old bail game once in a while. You know

ls (I i.'A I lay.

D: Anything like baseball's played today.

P: No, nothing like that. Just ah o0 bat and ball.

D: JDId yall make your own ball or did yall--

P: Yeah, made them all out of old stockings. (laugh) And we'd wind them

thUgs around te stockings and put us a piece of rock or something d o"

D: Uh huh.

P: So that's the kind of ball we had.

D: Did yall ever go fishing and things like-at-toa .t -. j{ ,tt

P: Yeah, we'd go fishing. eelk ALeland, Levi, We'd

all go fishing.

D: Did yall, uh--did you ever go hunting? I_.

P: Yeah, I'd go hunting with them t .wSo go catch possums and polecats

and all.

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D: Did yall eat these things.

P: (laughing) Yeah, mom and them did. I didn't eat none of them, but they

would. And they'd take that polecat grease and dry it out and that's

what they used, lots of times, for croup on the children.

D: Is there any other kind of, uh, remedies and things like this that y1ll


P: Oh yeah, we'd have all kinds of 7 5 They take the--when they

pealed hogs, they'd put up the and they had that-;L W
,,,r/ aC-fi-rT r f
that grease f.at put on the mumps--when they

hadog jathe-mumps. They'd grease their jaws with that grease out of them

D: Tell me some more of them.

P: Well, I just have to come up with some.

D: Did, uh, did they have any kind of special remedy or any kind-of herb

medicines that they might have mixed up to give, uh, people when they

were in labor or anything like this?

P: Oh yeah, they'd give them camphor. They'd give them camphor when they'd

be in labor before the baby's being born. I(D, '--_

D: Did they buy this medicine or did they make their own?

P: They made what they 2 iC bought it 1-

D: But how did they buy it?

P: They'd buy the camphor--that camphor .SL .

D: Uh huh.

P: That camphor gum. And then they'd get whiskey and poor on it, and that

would make the camphor.

D: Now how did they apply this-did they rub the stomach with it or--

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P: Weaken it down a little bit and give it to them to take.

D: Oh, they drank it.

P: Uh huh. DrikY\ A a

D: I've heard stories about when they had the chicken pox. What did they

do when they had the chicken pox?

P: They had the chickenV shut up, and they'd make you sit down in front of

that door and fly the chickens out over you. Make them come out over you.

D: What was this supposed to do?

P: -a it would cause chicken pox the chickens to kill them.

*Vy what good it done, but now it did do good all

right. It'd dry them up.

D: Now I heard of stories about, uh, when people were snake bit that they

put some kind of a police on this. Did yall ever have any kind of poltices

that you used or anything like that?

P: No, I never did know of none like that.

D: Have you ever heard of gald of the earth? f < i

P: No, I don't tUh l. nobtsnw E t .a A Some of these

things I don't recognize/ te I VI X41 A lto me and allaand lots

of times momma be out working, you know, she wouldn't be talking with us k jiI

lots of times like she should of done, I reckon, ".-.V/ r -<*f i' l AG_ r

t\Ap h-the work.

D: Did she ever pass down any things that you were supposed--any remedies

or anything that you were supposed to do? Did you give any kind of

special 6 when the babies were born or anything like that?

P: Yeah, they had to give that (1Je\Ug4 4 eC Some called it C fr9

and some called it '._ L__t and boil that and strain it and give

it to the baby. And then tie these here little old, uh, moles. They get

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P: little old moles and put them in a little old sack, put them around their

neck for teething that made them cut teeth easier.

D: What kind of moles were they? Where did you get this from?

P: Out of the ground. Dig them out of the ground where there was old rYek-

logs r -f L4 fnC

D: Would you do this for your children?

P: No, I didn't do it--

D: But it was done for you?

P: I put the old sandtrap 4-S _4 AkA e..ft 44e ?

D: And where'd you find these sand traps.

P: They'd growed in the field. Little old sticky weed with a little old yellow

ball come on it. And we'd pull them up and get them, and cut them into

little pieces like beads, and run a string through them, and tie--put

nine pieces around their neck.

D: Now, what kind of tree was this tree that they, uh, they used to get

that red root from? Acifediti?

P: No, it wasA 4 A f A 'f e <

D: Sassafras. What was that used for?

P: They used .i bo)( for tea. They drank it like a t

Sasafras tea. That old, uh, they 0r t4 "-#ij

"antey had that old s T'cl 1i l<-? They get it and boiled

it and drank it and that'd help cure J-'t' .

D: When you were growing up, uh, were the people out there bothered with

any kind of diseases or anything like this?

P: No, not too much that I knowed of T They didn't--they

were pretty healthy--I reckon, they drank this tea and .rc-i -l '-

teaDidn't have too much trouble it seemed like to me and when one of them

Didn't have too much trouble it seemed like to me, and when one of them

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P: they -ef the caskets, A wp_ make the caskets Al_ ______

Margaret, '-t! could sew. She make the clothes to put on and

1 4 A 'J winter clothes.

D: Who was Margaret?

P: Margaret McGhee. She was eai r-tT-r f -4 /t lM ,

D: Did yall make any--any kind of special food that maybe grandma might have

told you that was traditionally Indian? I'm thinking about _. I_-

and things like this ,-

P: Yeah, that's !' They made--they made They had

a big old stump-looking thing with a hole cut in it and they put that

corn in there and--and beat it til they beat it up, you know, real fine

like a par, and then they put it in a pot and boiled it til it got

good and tender. Then they'd SA-' 'it, you know, like theyde beans

and everything, and that's what they called it DC ft. P

D: How did they do the corn, though? Did they-how'd they get the corn out

of the husk or whatever it was?

P: Well, W4c I ^tA )jf .

D: Did they use any special preparations to get this husk off?

P: We'd have to strain it OFthe time ( I'S.e C + Of-

D: I've heard someone say that they used, uh, a little bit of lye to make it--

P: Yeah, lye and uh, ashes.

D: What kind of ashes?

P: Oak ashes. Burn some oak to make the ashes in there to help

get the husk off of it.

D: Was this an all day's job doing that?

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P: More than a job VUt/L all day. It'd take you a long time to fix it

cause the corn is hard, you know--

D: Uh huh. v-7

P: and it'takes a long time to-pt-tenderA I _S_ but

I didn't. (laugh)

D: You were going to make some gDp ki today?

P: Yeah, I was going to make me some today, but I didn't feel like it.

D: What was your, uh--what was the home life like? Did you have a pretty nice


P: No, we didn't have such a good house. Just a big room with ai j b4tIHTr

between it. It had beds on one side and gg$ on the other and a

fireplace to one end and a wood stove in the kitchen part. It had a

wood shutters. We didn't have no glass windows ry- doors or nothing

so you'd have to go and open them IAlT^ r se" outside (laugh).

D: Did they make--did yall make your own furniture or did you buy it?

P: Yeah, they had t A SyAf they made Coit( 05f/ /Lr- L

as far as I can recollect. We had wooden bedsteads, though, they's

mostly wooden bedsteads. They would make tt (4C e6 S and use
under the cotton mattress would have cotton mattress and then we'd make

us some -eelnf beds to put under them.

D: Did yall have sheets and all kinds of things like that?

P: Well yeah they made the sheets too. They made them out of that L__L_ -

homespun they called it; cloth, you know, you get it and sew it up and

make your own sheets. We didn't have none of them that you buy like you

get now. We made them all.

D: How'd yall like the house?

P: I liked it all right cause I was just used to it, I reckon. That's all I

knowed so I loved it.

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D: Uh, uh--how did--at nighttime, what did you use for lighting?

P: Well, we had a little old brass lamp called a little old brass lamp.

D: Uh huh.

P: And uh, Sam would take and uh, put us some af v$ )ir on a

lid, and use them when he'd make a bigger knot to see by. Mostly had a

fire in the fireplace in the wintertime, but in the summer when we didn't

need that fire, we'd put it on an old lid and put it on a bucket or some-

thing and set it on our table where we could by it to eat.

D: Where'd yall go to church?

P: Well, I went down there z( l close to the cemetery to

church. And then I went to Bell Creek sometime to church, and I went to

ec Pr rd o sometime.

D: What kind of churches were these?

P: Uh, most of them was Baptist churches, and uh, Baptist and

the 14 i.

D: Did they have ministers that uh, came through there and uh, established


P: Uh, yeah. Well, )kja Perry, he was first come down to the

_j I know of anything. And then there was an old

fellow they called, uh, .A e was German man. He come over

there and preached to Bell Creek.

D: Did they ever say how they happened to, uh, come out in that part of the


P: Well, if they did, I don't recollect.

D: Uh huh. Now, this preacher Perry, now, uh, what kind of church did he--

was he associated with?

P: He was a missionary Baptist.

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D: Did yall have any other kind of, uh, people that, uh, before then that

came out through there to your knowledge?

P: No'm. Not as I know anything about.

D: How did yall--did--what did yall do for church or anything before they

came along?

P: Didn't have nothing.
D: YallF didn't worship at all?

P: We didn't have no churches.

D: Did you ever hear them talk about God before these people came byor a

superior being?

P: Well, no. They didn't talk too much about churches then. 4 -

have little old dances they'd C I( about and get together and

entertain one another that way. They didn't have no churches _i_/_ .

D: When these--holiness preachers come along, you know, uh, were the people

kind of afraid of them when they first started coming out through there?

P: Well, seems like they were a little distant--no, but they So aer

thrPlay they appreciated them coming looks like. We'd all go out to hear

them and be with them. They enjoyed theirselves it looks like.
D: Was there anybody that they called the chief out there at that time?

P: No, not that I remember. Not that I know of.

D: I've heard some stories that, uh, they referred to Alec Roladd as being

a chief, and he was a real old man at that time.

P: Well, they might have just called him that, but he wasn't really one as

I knowed of, but they called him chief. S tL I knowed he didn't

have no authority or nothing like that KO tt/t I knowed anything


D: Uh, what was these dances that uh, that yall went to ? Who made the music

for them?

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Page 11

P: Fred Roland made the--most of it. He took an old Sr can ____

and play (\ s tc I husband. They make them a banjo out of a square

Jy t can. They used to get -7/ in a square can, and they'd could

take a hole, uh, cut a hole into this can, and make them a stick and put

it in there, and bore some holes in it and get them some keys and fix them

strings on there and that's what they pick 1Os 0 mmtimes. g ECf

can banjo we called it (laugh).

D: Did it make good music?

P: Yeah, it made pretty good music, yeah, it sure did. Sometimes _IA

Su fix one and let the other young-uns see how to do 3 C 1W-"2

D: That'd be a good idea.

P: Yeah, it would.

D: I think, uh, I've heard, uh, Chippy Roladd made one of those things here

not too long ago.

P: Yeah, that's b --ought to be good. They said they could make a fiddle

out of a .bw, but I never did see \OftI made, bnt I hear them saying

they could make a fiddle out of them long gourds And fix it to where

they could fiddle it like a fiddle \1 ( t S- g'a t

D: Did, did--what else did they use gourds for?

P: For water buckets and dippers and milk bowls. Put the milk in them

and they milk the cows and theyf-'r-ar" milk them in gourds.

D: Did yall ever make any kind of, uh, pottery or anything like that?

P: No, we never did make none of that le 16( .

P; You bought all your dishes in town and stuff like that?

P: Yeah, bought all of them.

D: Back when yall were, uh, when you were a teenager girl, dtd yall. wear any

makeup'or; anything like that?

P: -We-"ever used that old, uh, crepe paper. It was red and you could dip

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P: it in a little water and it'd color your skin. (laugh) That's what was

used for makeup. Had a lot of fun doing that, I reckon. And curl our

hai we'd take these curlers from!the, uh, snuff can up and--in little

strips and roll our hair;Ake -them curl.

D: They bought their snuff then, huh?

P: Yeah, they bought their snuff.

D: Did very many of them out there smoke?

P: Well, they smoked pipes. They didn't smoke too much cigarettes or nothing

like that, but they smoked pipes and dipped snuff and chewed tobacco.

D: And they had to buy all this stuff. They didn't--

P: They bought all that .__ __ f 5 _ _

D: Was that more at town at this time or--

P: No, it was too much. They didn't have too many stores, just a few little

old stores Carney's Aill down there and Carney'sttore they called

it. It was abbut the biggest one;

D: When yall :come into town, uh, did people sort of look down on you when

you--when you come into town?

P: Yeah, it seemed like they would look at us like they didn't know who we

was or what we was (laugh). Yeah, but we didn't pay that no attention.

D: Were you dressed that different from the people in town?

P: Yeah, I reckon we would have to be a little bit. We couldn't afford as

much like that they did. Be fixed a little different, I reckon. That's

the reason they looked at us like they did (laugh).

D: That didn't bother you at all?

P: That didn't bother me a bit. No.

D: How'd yall get to town?

P: Mostly walked V *, /Ak )U /A I C rl C A,

Had a yoke oxen, mostly drove them-- MJO C&, 4f //Cet ,

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D: Now when you--when, uh, back on the--at--around the house there, uh,

what ,prt of animals did yall have?

P: /Animals?

D: Uh huh. You had oxens and what else?

P: And horses and mules, chickens, hogs, and things like that; cats and dogs--

D: Did you, uh, did yall, uh, preserve your own meat and fix it up. I don't

know what seasons. What'd you do--kill hogs in the wintertime for the


P: Yeah, killed them in the wintertime--fixed it and dried it and had a

smokehouse, and they'd fix it and hang it up in their and smoke it. Then

they'd take it down and dry it and fix it in a box, and f'd1 C4

I(rl -Ae sausage anytime we wanted it in the wintertime. -awed

.'.- ''f h Ci potatoes and made syrup &/l fi eat what we

raised on the farm most of the time.

D: Um, when you were raising cane, did yall ever make any, uh, liquor out of


P: No, they'd-- J H called it cane Hshes, & they'd drink

it. They made old, uh, what they called a home brew like out of corn

and sweetened it with syrup.

D: 4-e ct- n. oi S A

B .. ..... ".f2-lL -.-i 111 i ....I-- ,

P: No, I reckon did. They called it home brew like is what they called it.

D: Did they ever make any kind of whiskey?

P: Well, not that I know of. Now the old ones might have did, but not that

I know of. TP A

D: Uh, did you ever ba grandma or her mother Did you ever hear

any of them ever speak, uh, any of the Creek language?

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P: Not as I know of. We just had our _Ol_ language like we talk now.

D: Uh huizk,

P: That's all I was ever used to hearing.

D: Did grandma ever pass down any stories that maybe grandma Peg might have

told yall?

P: No, she never did. Only time she killed a wild ______

ey kind of made it sound like A (h Uen she killed him, She

sai. she killed him with a fence rail and'she hit him and he raised

back like he wanted to jump up and get \_ tf" but that she

whipped him with that fence rail (laugh).

D: Was she a big--she must have been a big woman.

P: No, she wasn't very big. She might have weighed 125 pounds, maybe, but
Granda 4.V $ f tA hZe was
Grandma Pysin, "p^p6 mama, she was aWer _he

(I } 6- I reckon, 150 or 160 or more. She was stout.

D: Were they both full-blooded Indian women?

P: Yeah, as far as I know they were.

D: I've seen some pictures, uh, made of, uh, the house where you were born,

and with a tall picket fences. Did--how did they--what was the purpose

of these. It looked like a fort out there.

P: Well, they'd just saw them down a tree, and saw them off some limbs and

dry them pickets out and sort of nail them up on some boards and put

them around that and most everywhere. They had a picket fence, they called

it, around the yard. It wasn't loose like it is now. And they had them

put around there for a yard and had gates to go in and out.

D: Uh huh. And what did they call these fences?

P: They called them--some of them would call them pickets and some of them
would call them, uh, I forget the other namenow II
would call them, uh, I forget the other name now-- Iv
W l l

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D: Did they, um, let's see. What did they build the houses out of--did you

buy, uh, lumber that was already cut or did they make their own house?

P: Well, they built their own houses, but they--they'd get that lumber down

there at that Jefter mill lots of times, you know, kind of old rough lumber.
And then they'd get the bO0 out of them trees like they did these pickets

and put on them. And some of them had log houses they'd cut poles and

build the houses called the log houses. P1/ ( A' L .?

D: How'd they--what did they put in the cracks?

P: Well, they'd take them, uh, of/5 and put in that crack where

that log didn't come domw close together. They'd put a plank overhead.

My brother Lee) J A l Ic^ lived in a log house when they first

marriedover there and it was a pretty little old place. They had it

fixed up. It was a log house.

D: Do you remember how the community--do you remember how those Greek

communities out there came to be?

P: No, I don't reckon I did. Now, when I got old enough and big enough to

know, that's what they called C to me. U /k" i t('j

NJt** r and Bell Creek, and tA OfrPt dand Loc .I

at the time. They changed that name and put it u ,- but it used to

go by the name of L,0 C_-_

D: Where did ifeh--how did come about?

P: Well, that's when, uh, Charlie Hall and them got out there and had that

__ _____ and uh--

D: Charlie Hall and who?

P: Uh, his brother Jim Hall, Hucksford--

D: Who was Hucksford--was his first name Hucksford or his last name Hucksford?

P: Well, I think his last name was Hucksford. Oh, there was a Ja keC Hall,

and Charlie Hall, and Jim Hall. They all worked out there. They hadwa-


Page 16

P: colored folks out there and they iade little old houses for them to

live in, and they'di- d all that woods out there til they got

ready to cut it for logs, and they had a old commissary out there at

that railroad crossing where they'd let them go and get tre groceries.

D: Who owned that little store out there?

P: II) Jake Hall mostly run it. He was the manager. He--

D: I heard stories about somebody owning a store out there by the railroad

tracks or something, too. Who had that store? It was supposed to be

an Indian person who had the store out there.

P: A \ Nolan he was running an old store out there at one time.

D: What all did you buy in there?

P: Well--he didn't keep muchaid crackers or some of

them old, we called them soda water .Stan said he called them, uh,

Coca Colas and Pepsi-Colas now and they used to call them soda water.

And they had crackers and tea ^t'14I g r.t 'O/g things, he

didn't run much of a business.

D: Did any, uh--what'd he do--go into town and buy supplies and come back--

P: Yeah, and come back Lv' i C C He'd get what he wanted and come back.

D: Do you remember when the first automobile come out?

P: Well, I don't recollect the year, but I recollect seeing it and running to

get up on a box to see what it was, me and my brother Calvin. And uh, momma

had an old stove out there in the yard and S taken the old stove down,

and we'd run and get up on it. I cut my leg when I got up there and it made

just a complete "c" on my leg; that gash did, and momma said, "You

got a "c" didn't you." (laugh)

D: What'd you think about that car?

P: Well, I didn't really know what it was. We had to run and tell everyone

that there's something coming out of that hill that's going fast and didn't

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P: even have no horses to it. (laugh)
D: How long then was it before yall bought a car? ,

P: Well, it was a long time. They never did get-zUiuntil a long time.

.4 t-.( TE1f C V had a little old truck, a T-model truck

they called it.

D: Who was the first one out there to have an automobile?

P: Now, I won't hardly recollect ifA .. A f /11AG

D: Who all did have a car out there then?

P: Well, M a had one, and Uncle O Roland had one and thet'several

of them got one after they come out with it and knows what they was and

all, _I_ _.__

D: Did yall travel around much after you got a car?

P: No, not too much they didn't. Go to work, they used it going to town mostly.

End of Side 1, Tape CRK-58A

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Page 18

Side 2

D: Uh, after--after you got the car and you were traveling around, what's the

biggest town that you ever went to?

P: Well, I reckon Pensacola and Mobile. Bsrln, uh, BwrteW was about the

first place I ever went to to know anything about a--kind of a like a

town or city or whatever they wanted to call it. That's about as far as

I'd get.off._ We didn't ever go no place very much. Momma and brother

Calvin used to go to Pensacola once in a while.

D: Uncle Calvin?

P: Uncle John, I meant. Yeah.

D: What'd they go to Pensacola for?

P: Well, uh, some old fellow down there, I think, made some what they called

moonshine, and they'd went off down there to get them some of it (laugh).

D: Did Uncle John drink?

P: Yeah.

D: Did grandma drink?

P: Yeah, she did at them times. Yeah, brother John was real bad to drink.

D: Um, did they, um, did grandpa drink, too?

P: Yeah, papa drank some, too, but I never have seen him drunk, neither one

of them, but they'd drink. Uncle _f_ and Uncle Jim and them, they'd

drink a lot, and they'd fight. Sometimes they'd fight one another.

D: Let's see, um. Let's go back and talk a little bit about the church.

Uh, what kind of church did they have out-in the communities then?

P: Well, they had a Free Baptist and a ree All q)liness and had Methodist,

"a Methodist church. that man was on that ticket, he was

"a Methodist preacher. Old Ian Perry was a Baptist,issionary Baptist.

And old man J VJ was a free loly.

D: Which--did yall go to all of the churches?

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P: Well, sometimes we would. Sometimes we wouldn't.

D: Did you have a church house?

P: Yeah, they had the church houses built, kind of like the houses they

lived in. Was just a common house with some benches in it. We called them

benches then.
K )P
D: Did you, uh, did 7ou ever go to any arbors ? Did they build arbors?

P: Yeah, we went to a bsteets zf4ltm, yeah. A we had pictures

made up in that old e O and 6)aS of them pictures are gone.

D: Uh huh. Do you remember when the--the holiness people came through there?

They called them ly hollers.

P: Yeah, I recollect that I.* 'C II 4CF names to make fun of them. We

thought they was crazy people. C (cts$i)

D: Were the people kind of afraid of them?

P: Well, I believe they was from the way they acted like--like they was afraid.

D: Did they ever go to, church any--before the Illiness people come through

there or these (ssionaries, did they have any kind of way of worship--

any church services before they--

P: No, not as I know of)they didn't. They just go to a dance. They had

dances. They didn't the Lord I don't reckon then. They didn't

never show it. They had them little old dances at one another houses.

Maybe one of them would give a rail splitting, and built fences out of

rails when you'd give a rail splitting and then at night they'd let them
"+K /Ci.t I I Urt-P CAG J
dance t1agh it and they'd __ -e_ m _ put the number on it

and then they'd put something under it and let them guess what it was under

it. And have a lot of fun, you know, TA" '" That's the way

they O IeQI one another they get rail splits to put around their fields.

There wasn't no-4 k f k or nothing then, you know, and they had to

keep the cattle all in pens when they'd drove them up and i. N I why

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Page 20 fr y

P: they had to keep them in a pen. And there were hogs and -

we killed our own meat. I know that, and um potatoes, and peas, and

cook dry peas.

D: Did yall can vegetables, too?

P: No, we didn't then. We just canned fruit most of the morning. We'd can

peaches and berries and they always put up the other stuff dry-- IRC CulA'

D: Like dry peas and your--

P: Yeah, we put them up and cooked them more like these dried beans you get now.

D: How did they preserve these fruits and things?

P: Well, they just put it in a dish pan and bowl-it and put them some sugar

in it and cook it a while and put it in these jars and seal it up.

D: Oh, they had jars and things like that?

P: Jars, yeah, seal it up. Uh huh.

D: How did--how did, uh, did they go by any seasons or--how'd they plant their


P: Yeah, they'd have the signs to go by. They'd have to have it. Sometimes

they'd plant their cotton and corn in the full moon in April, and uh,

S__ February, why they had a certain day to go by that. And

uh, Independence Day they called it and twin days. They had signs to go by ('.it

D: What did these, uh, what was Independent Day?

P: Well, I don't know just recollect just what it was. It was one of them

days on that calendar that they have to go by.

D: What did it mean, uh, I've heard some of them tell stories about not going

to have a tooth pulled or something with the signs? What did all of that


P: Well, it said you'd, uh, get along better and you wouldn't bleed as much

if you had it pulled at a certain time. Pull your tooth in the morning

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Page 21

P: time it.wouldn'ttbother you no way,

D: Now, I've heard some more stories. I want you to tell me about thiq*

about, uh, men coming out into the community and signing people up to

get the Indian money.

P: Yeah, there were several of them coming--about three to my knowing come,

and that old frMC4A by the name of Beck and he was a Baptist preacher.

And he said he could get--or he could enroll them. That's what he called

it--enroll them. And I don't know just what all they done because I was

small at theme, but he didn't get it. And then there's another man by

the name of f. > e signed them up. And another one by the name of

Cooper. So we didn't never get it, and it went for years and years that

we didn't think we'd ever get anything to it til brother Calvin got old

enough and found out about it and went to working with it, and he said

he was going to get it if he had to fall dead in the White House door.

Sometimes it just about ended up that way.

D: It just about ended up that way.

P: Bless his heart he's worked with it.

D: Did he feel like it was worth it.

P: Well, yes. It satisfied the rest. I believe it was.

D: We'll talk about that a little bit later on. But now, going back to these

men, did they bring any kind of papers or--to prove that they were sent

from the government to sign you up?

P: Well, now I don't recollect if they had papers there, and they would charge

five dollars a 1 *. And it was at momma's house at the time, why they

used her sewing machine for a table when they was in there, but momma made

us children stay out. She wouldn't let us be in there making no noise or

nothing around them so I don't understand just what all they--questions

they asked them. I don't know what kind of a papers they had.

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D: But you never saw a thing from it?

P: I didn't ever see nothing no way and never did--did i'ow more of that--

they might have just taken the money themselves. I don't know.

D: Did they ask you if you were Creek Indians?

P: No, they said that they thought we .se Cherokeef. That's whht they first

told us. We was Cherokee Indians.

D: Did grandma and them think they were Cherokees? .

P: Well, that's what the kind of denomination they thought at one time that

would be til they got to going back to the old history of it, and found

out they was Creek Indians.

D: Now if you had gone to school, they might have taught you in school that

you were Creek Indians.

P: Yeah.

D: Where did you go to school?

P: Well, I didn't get to go but about two terms, and went out there to Bell

Creek and they had--_ (tC- out there to use the church house out there,

and I went out there two terms, and I didn't get no higher than the third


D: Who was your teacher?

P: Well, Riley Jernigan and Mabel Walker was my two teachers _____. _''

D: Were they Indian people or hired by the state or something?

P: No, white people.

D: Was there a lot of children that went to school out there?

P: Yeah, there was a lot of them, yeah. All of them had big families.

D: And all of them sent their children to school?

P: To school A j O i itS#' L

D: And you had to walk?

P: And when the school had burnt, why, we never did get no- iffU. f ( re

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P: for us to go to school, and Howard SACL S and C

married one of my cousins. He was a white man. And mama and them paid

him ten cents a piece for us young uns a day to go to school 6i. _*

He taught us what little I know now, most of it.

D: Was he a qualified teacher?

P: No, he wasn't qualified, but he knowed a little more than we did, and 1

paid him to teach us, you know, as far as he knowed how.

D: What did you do for education after--did any of them get higher than the

third grade?

P: Well, some of them did. Me and brother Calvin, and Billy Roland OStliO 4

was in the same grade together. Brother Calvin went a little more than

I did. He got a chance to go more than I did. I had to stay out and help

mama a lots of times with the babies when she'd have to work. So he got

a little ahead of me _/_ rest of them yere on down from me, though.

They didn't get much higher than that. 'a('( and 'n cle -f 2- Cf<

and Gertrude, now they had been to school other places. And they had a

little more. I reckon they got up to about fourth or fifth -

D: $1. C .57a11k u V^ &, 0 1;:

P: My sister Mary, well, she taught me some of what I know. In the nighttime

she'd sit down and read with me and write and put down things for me to

make so I learned a good bit from her.

D: What kind of books did you.read?

P: Just little old story books. Something like a beginning book _1_ Ct_.

D: Did you have to--did the school have these? Or where did yall get these

books from?

P: Yeah, they, uh, give them the books, and they had, uh, like an old chart

put up with different, uh, pictures on it. And the names of them things

was under, and they'd let you read that, you know, and show you what it was.

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Page 24

P: That picture of that bird or chicken or hog or something was up there,
If If It II
why, that name iO that hog was up there or pig or whatever they want

was on there. We'd know then what we was reading about.

D: Let's see. .C let the tape run out.

P: Hm.
D: Thank you. Let's see. How did yall, uh, I might have repeated this

question since Ilet the tape run out, but, uh how did you, what kind
of signs did yall go by to plant your crops or did you just go out

there and just plant them in the spring or what have you?

P: No, they had them signs to go by. Papa always planted his cotton and

corn in the full moon in April, and then they'd planted the other stuff

lots of times. They planted snap beans or *2C li potatoes or something

b. e ar e&s and sweet potatoes and we d AI ltc fix

them, set out the plants, you know, as they come up. And we had the/ A.

fixed on a certain day of the month-some they called twin days and some

they called, uh, Independent Days, well that was on that calendar so they

went by it.

D: Did they have any--is there any, superstitions that they believed in?

P: Yeah, they had kind of funny ways, too. They had to take the ashes out

of the fireplace where we'd burn--had our fire, well, they'd them ashes

out, and carry them out of the same door that you come in with your
6 \ for tW4Ci_ tCJC- -h ^
Sbe-i -you was carrying you had to go

back out that door. _4W (rO -': an put them in the sun,

why, we had to do the same thing.

D: What--did they have any special reason why they did things like that?

P: Said we'd have bad luck if we didn't. Though I don't know what that /

Ihad bad luck. ey

had bad luck.

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D: Did grandma ever give yall any, uh, an allowance for spending money.

P: Why, no, not very much. She'd get our clothes or she'd get for us

whatever we'd tell her to get-- _b_ candies and fruit to eat,

anything f she'd always get clothes like she wanted us

to have them. So I went to town with papa several times, but he didn't

give me nothing unless Ida said give it to me. She said, "You can give

Leacie a nickel today or a dime," why he done it, but if he did why

she didn't get nothing.

D: So she was a--she ruled the family.

P:. She near about ruled the family. Papa done what she said do--

D: Did youlthink this was right?

P: Well, I reckoned that I got along all right, I guess, it worked pretty

well with them. He never would make no kind of trades with nobody

unless he come and talked it over with her and she said it was all right

he done it and if she said no, he didn't do it.

D: Was all the men in that community like that, to your knowledge?

P: Not as I know of.

D: What made--what made this, uh, unique with her? Why was she like that?

P: Well, I reckon she had a little more education. She went to school a

little bit. She could read good, but she never could write too much.

D: Where did granny go to school?

P: I reckon she went up to the Red they called it up at, uh, on the

other side of L cal UAoj s6 ?_ k I reckon. Mama

could read well, but she couldn't write or she didn't try to write too

much. I believe she could have done it if she had tried very hard, but

she wouldn't do it. She could read, but she wouldn't write. So I reckon

papa he didn't know nothing. He could write his name, but I guess..that's

how come 'She was mostly knowed and understood a little more about anything

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Page 26

P: than he did. She always just went ahead with it.

D: Did--did yall go to, uh, did you ever go to the Episcopal church out

there after they, uh, Dr. Macy and Mrs. Macy came out there and


P: No, I never did, but the rest of them did all right. I done married

and U1/C4I ECtft \A.C most of the time.

D: I've seen some pictures of Grandpa Lee when he was, uh, was made Zy

there when he went to church out there at St. John'sin-theAa lderness.

P: Uh huh, yeah. I didn't ever get to go 1i Af ___

D: He joined the Episcopal church at one time.

P: Yeah, I recollect the first time that papa joined the fliness Church.

He got saved in the oliness Church and his snuff box away,

i O' (p.r( vLc y working in the woods and uh, chopping wood for the train,

andie throwed 4 snuff away and Jhi /Lte K v"' th4ifeoa du .
went back and got all of it Cf "5 /) Lc L. and when she'd go to

church she wouldn't put her snuff in her mouth then, but she'd wait til

she started home then she'd dip her a dip of snuff (laugh).

D: Did they believe it was wrong to dip snuff?

P: Yeah, they said it was--that it was wrong to use snuff and tobacco and

anything that (A/ov r,f. f

D: I hope I haven't missed any of the things I was going to ask you about.


P: You got it all?

D: No, not all of it, uh--

P: m. t4>.r got a lot of things?

D: Uh u 'me. Uh, what kind of--how did yall wash your clothes?

P: Well, we lashed them in a tub--old wooden tubs made ot of old barrels,

and we'd boil them in a pot--build a \wr c f pot and boil them,

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Page 27

P: hang them up on them pickets around that yard. We didn't have clotheslines

then like we do now. They'd put them on them pickets. Scrub the floors

out of some old, uh, scrub fi_ then put shucks in it and then we'd

put lye and all on that floor and scrub it and rinse it. We had to lAfAt^k (e{

scrub them floors every week V C ( '0, Cr > iW had nhe to do.

D: Did you have, uh, did yall have rub boards?

P: No, we rubbed them with ot hands. we used _and beat the

clothes on there with that stick.

D: What kind of stick?

P: Um, battling block we called it. Put them.up on a big old round block,

soak them good, and take that stick and whip them.

D: And if they didn't get clean?

P: If they didn't get clean we had to go over them.

D: Mama used to make me do the same thing.

P: Yeah, we had to take them down and __ and that was hard to do, wasn't it.

D: I had--we had a washing machine, but boy if I didn't get them clean mama made

me do it over.

P: Yeah, we didn't. We didn't have anything at the time I was doing it. Then

my sister Ana, of course, she married off. She done the biggest part of

the--the hard part of the washing. I kept the water drawn full. I had to

draw water out of a well. I kept the water drawn mostly and kept the fire

yWupC( up and she done most of the rest of it. I could help

her hang up some of the little pieces, but she done most of the hard work.

D: Do you--do you feel that, uh, there's the same closeness between the families

today that there was back in those days?

P: No, I don' t believe there is. 1 ere's too much, it seems

like for them now, to have to enjoy theirselves more better--

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Page 28

D: You think they got a lot and they don't enjoy what they have, don't they.

P: They don't even enjoy what they have. Yeah, they used to have dinners

at the churches and they'd all get together and have a good time, and

they'd visit one another. Seemed like they had more love towards one
another than they got now. IGo to see them when they's sick and fix some-

thing and carry for them / and help them out in cooking and fix

something for one another, and uh, when one of them died, why they'd

have to make a--their casket. They'd call them caskets, I meant

coffins then--made in the shape of a (Iae__ rlC, and they would get

cotton and put it in that box and pad it with, uh, lining stuff like--

bleaching they called it, and put that in there and tack it down and

uh, Margaret ___ she used to make the dresses to put on them.

When they buried them, they have their box made.

D: Do you think, now, with this energy crisis and all this stuff that we've

got now that, uh, people will have more time to spend with their families,

maybe they'll get back together being close together or close to each other?

P: Well--

D: Won't be able to travel as much.

P: I don't know. They might do it. They may come back closer to one another
as they get older,,f M,,, X1'&4 r
as they get older. Afv I l travel too much, but a lot of them

'. J. o their homes-built .( you know, now, in different

places. I don't know whether they'd ever to come back to their old home

places or not.

D: Do you ever feel like you'd like to go back to your old home place?
P: Yeah, I do. I sureAsometime would like to be back down there. I told

mama that Moft- ade house burnt. I said, "Mama it sure do look

lonesome over yonder." That was m Kra[gg ___T_ _- __

CRK-58A Bridges


P: I s4 living there then, and I was up there in a little old house

where mama was living (A s s *ia down there with her some. And it

looked so lonesome when I looked over that-a-way and we / w- S ig L(

i dinner time and it CO)T R ifl nd uh, Dewey had come over there

and we're sitting there in the house, and your daddy was up there with us.

And we was-all sitting in that house and laughing and going on and didn't

know the house was burning over there until Dewey come over there on his

tractor and told us that did yall know the old house was burning. Said

it's near about ready to fall in.

D: Is that the old house up there where I was born?

P: Yeah, the old house up there (JL/"A you was born in.

D: It just makes you feel good to know that you--you got a place--you can go

back home, though, don't it?

P: Yeah, it does seem likehat's one reason seem like I hate to live out

there (ec'4-C- mine when my young-uns was born there 'cause it's

home to them. Wherever you were born and raised seem like that makes it

home to you, don't it. That's one reasoeem like now me, I would like

to be down there, but my young-uns don't know nothing about that place,

you see. Since they've been over here and all and hA J > home to

them over here.

D: A O-i --Let's--let's go on up a little bit and now talk bout, uh,

.eWtaTr. We know Uncle Calvin's passed on and-and uh, you know, sHutetook

over the chief as our chief in his place. How do you feel like Huston is

going to be as our leader?

P: Well, I believe he might do a pretty good job of it, but seems like he's not

got the __g__ he don't seem to talk up like he should do. It don't

seem like he's a little bit slow about his talking, but I reckon his daddy

had the faith in him, cause he's the one that turned it over to him and

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Page 30

P: wanted him to take it. So I guess he'll make us a good leader.

D: Was--did Uncle Calvints, uh, talk right up when he first started?

P: Yeah, brother Calvin didn't have too much education like him, but there

wasn't much that he didn't know and understand about.

D: Do you feel that though--that, uh, in time, with, uh, experience that

HusteR's going to be just as,.uh, good a leader as Uncle Calvin?

P: Well, now he might be and I hope he does, but seem like he's not got

the quick movements that his daddy had, but I hope he'll build hisself

up to where he will.

D: Have you ever been down there when we've had our powwow?

P: Well-

D: '/

P: I was-yeah-I was down there this Thanksgiving--first time I was down there.

D: What did you think of it?

P: I thought it was mighty good. doing a good part. Brother Calvin

was trying to work for that the time we went to Indiana. They were to get

a place there SC fts 7 44, and then all of the Indian peoples meet

together and be together once they get up there.

D: I Wouldn't it be great if he could see it now?

P: Ooh, it would. Bless his old heart, he'd be proud of it, wouldn't he?

D: Sure would.

P: f6 < r-A l*

D: What do you think about that $112.13 that we got from the government? Did

you think that this was a just payment for that land out there?

P: Well, it didn't seem like it was very much to me, but I reckon time it

went around at all and they only got theymuch, I guess it might have

mounted up to that but I was cooking t get a little more than that I'd

thought. I guess b .. ___ _

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D: Did you--did you--did you come down to, uh, to the schoolhouse when they

had the mass meeting out there this past summer, '73?

P: No, I didn't get out there then. Uh uh.

D: That was concerning that--the next check that we're going to get. It's

called a-they--most people refer to it's a thirty-dollar check.

P: Yeah. No, I wasn't down there then.

D: Uh huh. If they gave you-what if this, uh, payment that they gave you

was $1000 or $5000, what would you have done with it?

P: Well, I reckon I would have went back home--homeplace and built me a

place down there and live down there the rest of my days, I reckon.

D: Is there anything that you can think of that could improve, uh, 4

communications among our people? Do you feel like we let you know

what's going on?

P: Well, yeah I believe you would. And I appreciate what you're been

doing and all 'cause I know.you understand it better than I would in

every way 'cause you went to school /hoF __you can read better and-

and 4/ I ikii- < J etwhat you're doing and Hastn and


D: Oh me, let's see. Is there anything else that you can think of you

want to tell me?

P: Well, T 7 Sister Ana is older than I am.

We'll go by and see her and talk--___ what she's got to say. She

might can tell you some more than what I would.

D: Do you feel like, uh, being Indian and the government has always taken

Indian lands that they have any special obligations to us for the way

that they've treated us in the past, and how they are treating us today?

P: Yeah, I do. I'e felt like if they done us wrong cause they know that

we was there and they tried to run us out from Jacm and take what we 91

CRK-58A Bridges

Rage. 32.

P: and I don't think they done us right by doing it.

D: If--if the government could say that, uh, well, for this mistreatment, uh,

we'll do something for you. What would you like to see them do for you?

P: Well, I just like to see them give us back what was born to us. If they

want to pay us for the land in .es way, they'd give us what they thought

was right. I think they'd be doing a good part by us if they'd just give

us back what we had, wouldn't you?

D: Well, I don't-- e Sd

End of Crk-58A, Tape, Side 2


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