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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
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SUBJECT: MRS. LOUISE KINCAID (K)
INTERVIEWER: KATHI FREEMAN (F)
F: Mrs. Louise Kincaid, S.W. 26th St., Gainesville, Florida. She
is 62 years old, and she's lived in Alachua County all of her life.
Ah, how big was Gainesville, when you...y'know, how have you
noticed it to grow, since you're in real estate?
K: Oh well; do you mean when I first knew Gainesville?
F: Uh huh. You know, your first memories of it.
K: Oh, when I first knew Gainesville, oh, was a
beautiful home was the richest land they had out here
for all that. And my aunt had one on the next corner, which is uh...
First Federal is opposite that. That was all residential. And there
were great big oak trees, trees along University Avenue; it was just
a little ; it was just a sweet little college town. Lots
of oak trees around, and progress has taken them all away.
K: But it was, it was uh, I don't know what the population was, but
it couldn't have been too much. The University I guess had only about
oh, before the Second World TWar, I suppose the uh, student enrollment was about
2,000. We used to know all, all the people and all the professors, and
F: Was it a co-ed school then?
F: No girls?
K: No. The girls went to Tallahassee, to FSU, and the boys came
here, just two universities. And uh, it was...I guess Tallahassee was
even smaller. I went there, but uh, I don't know what their student
was. GAinesville was little, little, sweet little town. In fact,
I, I...my aunt who lived there on the corner, I can't remember when,
she would uh, she had...they kept this horse in the back there and they
would have ahorse and buggy come round in the morning and drive down to the
grocery store. That was only about a couple of blocks. That was
better than a taxi. You wouldn't know it.
F: Um, she was a Catholic, wasn't she? You always say...
K: No, this was my father's side; that's my mothers side were
Catholic. They came down from New York City; they weren't
see, but my Father's side; his father had come before the Civil War,
and you know Kincaid Road out here wasnamed for...he had a...father
used to call it the plantation out there on the, on the uh, prairie.
So he was here before the Civil War. A long time. So the family's
been here a long time.
F: Well, I knew that um, when we came here you know she said
y'all were Catholic, so we all/are...
K: Yea, because my mother was a Catholic.
K: They came from, really, I guess, Canada, or New York.
I got the most interesting letter from my grandmother who said that
he came down from New York State; she said that he had been, came
down by ship, and thenhe, they landed at Berndino.
F: Uh huh.
K: Then there's just I guess one railroad that went from
Berndino to Cedar Key and he took this trip that he said he'd seen
all of Florida. I guess that was as far as the railroad went.
F: Yea. It was just small.
K: Mmhmm. Interesting, uh mother decided that he thought the most
attractive place that he'd seen was Rutledge, which is a, just a little
settlement out of Ganesville then, which it's about 43rd St. now.
And he thought that was the most attractive spots
F: down here. Well, did y'all with, even, when you were growing
up, did you feel funny being Catholic, you know how I mean?
K: Well, we lived in a little town Newberry, and we were the only
Catholics except there was a family of uh an old couple and
their dog We were the only ones, and the priest used to come
and say mass in our homes one time, and then we would come into Gainesville to
mass, not every Sunday, but um, when we came it would take us about 2-1/2
hours to come, because, it, it wasn't a paved road, you know, and
Creek out here had a little bridge and, uh, it took
quite a while to drive in. So that um, and then there was just a
half _. So it was different. Although uh, I'd say that
it wasn't much of a problem to us, because people accepted us, you know, as
individuals, we'd been there, we didn't have any problems with it.
A few things that stand out that's all. Really, not, I never felt too
different for being Catholic. I guess it's just because I was born here
and just accepted for...the family. But there weren't many; very, very few.
F: I know...I know there's still, there are a pretty good number, now,
K: Yes, uh huh, it's changed considerably.
F: Did they have a movie house in Gainesville?
K: Uh huh. They had one. I guess the first
was the and I remember one time it was down near where the
old post office was, and they was filing and someof the
girls I knew played the piano during the uh, the picture you know. They would
go, they'd be paid to go, they'd go and they'd play the piano during
the um picture, and of course it was old/all style of movies, and black
and white, and oh we used to um but that was the only movie in town,
that was the only thing in town. Then the um, they used to have uh, a lot
of home talent plays and people come, you know because/of course
there was nothing like theatre except just the home talent business
and that was lots of fun, and, but the uh, and then they'd have serials
you see; we'd go one Saturday, and then we'd go the next Saturday and
see the next serial; seems so far away.
F: We have
K: Really, where?
F: In the
K: Oh did ya, oh yea; oh were they serials that you saw?
I didn't know they did that anymore.
F: Oh, _pictures...
K: No, I guess not.
F: Uh, is that pretty much what people did for entertainment
you know, went to the movies and stuff?
K: Yea, well I think, I suppose that there wasn't the same kind
of social activity down there/back then; it was more of a...for families
activities, and there were teas and uh, they had big yard/garden parties
and things like that, but uh, I know when I was in high school, we had uh
boat clubs, like was the organization that we
organized that was uh, sort of uh, high school sorority and it caused so
much trouble they, that they had it uh outlawed for highschools
because, it was unfortunate, 'cause some girls didn't get in; really
it was a hardship, and then we had a card club and things like that.
Of course in the at the university dances; we had uh, they don't
happen anymore, but they, their would have a dance, and
there was a lot going on in college town, but then
So that there were lots of dances and ; we
parties and things like that.
F: Yea. So...
K: That was when the university was small and you knew pretty much
the student body and, pretty much the faculty. The faculty was really
upt part of the town And the um, so many of them lived here so long,
that they were just part of the town. And I miss that: I don't know that
there's today, but there's, there's only more of it today, but
then the 'cause they didn't have anything
like the college fewer...
F: Well, one of the isn't that right, was the
first subdivision. How were the houses, you know, were they in...
K: Well, Gainesville was centered around, um, the square...
K: And um, the uh residential area of Gainesville, was uh, in the
uh, immediate north, northwest section; that was the elite residential
section, and it wasn't far, it wasn't, maybe _...do you know where
the is over there?
K: Well, it was around that area, and uh...
F: It's still...
K: ...I guess that one of the first subdivisions, maybe
was Mr. Parrish, was...I think he
was the developer for both, and uh
that way, and, but it didn't come out here for a long
while. It was, it near university was a little way out.
For quite a while there weren't so many um houses, or residences,
and there were a lot of vacant lots and things like that, but eventually
it grew up/ built up, but the city was just around the square there.
K: No, it was, it was bigger than that, when I first knew it.
Um, I suppose there must have been uh, 5-8,000 people when I first
moved to Gainesville from Indiana I was
and uh, but it was more compact, you know,
people didn't have automobiles and they they didn't(live way out in the hills?)
right in neighborhoods near the square there.
F: The University, was it pretty much rural, or was it
trade or what?
K: Oh, I think it was probably agricultural. And uh, there were a lot
of farms around, and, and there was a couple of industries, the turpentine
industry at that time. Um, I was raised in a little Newberry nearby and
that wasphosphate, we had lots of phosphate around there, and it was, oh,
it was really a frontier town. Very um, I suppose something like a
little western town. Saturday nights there would be great activity, and
they used to come in town, and you know, I remember one time this
at my mother's, my little brother, she'd just taken him
out of his high chair when somebody shot through the window and shot
the spoke of the chair out. It was really...frontier. We didn't know...
I didn't know anything else so it didn't seem any different to me, but
it was a little phosphate mining town, and we had that, and I guess
all these, all the little towns in the county...Alachua County...
Gilchrist County too...it was a big town/county
But uh, we had a(bigger family)
K: And then you see, you didn't have as much uh, the
transportation was limited so you didn't get...you had to
F: Were there any cars?
K: Well, I remember the first one that I ever saw was a...
when...I can remember when there weren't any and then I guess the first
one I ever saw was a, a Brush was the name of it, there was this
man in Newberry had this Brush, well you could almost run and keep up
with it, it was so slow, y'know. And then my aunt had um a
Cadillac and it had old brass lights outside that she would get out
and light and then it had the top that came over it, and it was nothing
like a glassed-in car, y'know, it was open, and then they'd have um
the curtains you'd put if it rained, and then you'd get drowned before
you got them up, but you'd have to get out and get them under the seats
and put the curtains up and protect you from the rain.
And then when we got a car you know, we had a Ford, we were in Newberry
and so a man out of the service went/wanted to
teach my mother and father how to drive the Ford; so he stayed with us
about three days to teach them to drive the car, and we'd uh, we used
to love to go to springs, you know, Dad would
take us and always we'd have blow outs, you know, the roads were
so bad. Then you had to take the tire off, and you'd take the inner
tube and vulcanize that and then blow it up again, put the tire back
on; we rarely reached our destination. Most of the time it was
repairing the car.
F: Did you all go swimming then, or...?
K: Oh yes.
F: ...was it...ladies swam in public?
K: Oh yes, we went swimming all the time. And that's what we loved
to do. Uh, go to the different springs; there's so many springs around,
and springs, and uh, (out near there, there's some others
over the moun-, Gilchrist Mountain, and we used to love to go to
) and there's that/little spring, spring
that we'd go to.
F: Well, I've always wondered, y'know, when...girls, like I know,
you wouldn't have at that time...would you have gone and played softball
with a bunch of boys like we do today?
K: Oh yes. Well we didn't have softball.They played just regular
ball, and if they'd let you, you could, but they didn't
F: Well, there's still a little bit of that, they say, who's
going to get the girls?
K: Well we used to go to Daytona Beach for our summer vacation.
And my mother used to make us all bathing suits and they were made usually
ofeither taffeta or and they were dresses and bloomers, y'know,
and we'd go over there and Daytona was a little town then, and wd'd
go and stand/stay...it was a delightful little place, not
And then we'd, as long as we didn't go there, we go up to the mountains
we'd always call it, it was up there in North Georgia,just south of
F: That's the mountains.
K: And we'd go up there and usually we'd go on the train, we'd
go to Atlanta, then we'd change cars, as they say, then we'd go
then we'd change to a little
that was just the railroad, and I guess
I must have been about 11 when we dr6ve home it was ,
and I think it took us three weeks out to come home,
because the roads were so bad, just little roads, there weren't any
F: Today we got much better.
K: No, it was not. Go through all the little towns and you
didn't have any motels, you had to look up hotels from...to...spend
the night. It was very, uh...
F: How many gas stations were there in Gainesville?
K: I don't believe that we had gas stations per se, I think
maybe ; I think when the gas stations
first came along must have been a little later; I think we...I don't
really remember but I think but I think we went to the
garage for the gasoline then.
K: And later on, they...there was a gas station/there were the
gas stations. I really think we did. We went...I don't remember gas
stations when we first had automobiles.
K: Maybe there were.
F: Probably not.
K: And see we had only one school in Gainesville, and that's
over where Kirby-Smith School is. And of course there was the
red When I went there other school, but when
I graduated from high school, we had just moved into uh, where Santa
Fe was...that was Gainesville High, we just moved that year.
F: Yea, bit modern building.
K: Sure, that was great.
K: That was very fine. But uh, the other three years in high
school we went over to uh, we called it the Gainesville High School
and then the elementary school was there.
F: Well, were all of them parts of Kirby-Smith School.
K: Yea, everything...yea, that was the only school there was,
just those two buildings, that was the elementary and the high school,
and then they began to move...build other schools, but for, oh, I guess
many years that was the only school.
F: Did uh...were the boys and girls in classes together?
K: Oh yes. Yes. And Mr. Buchholtz was our principal,
K: Oh, we had um, a high school football team, we were state champions
and we had a great ., girls' basketball team.
F: We don't have that anymore.
K: They don't?
F: Un uh.
K: Girls don't play basketball anymore.
F: There's very few athletics for girls at all anymore.
K: Isn't that a shame?
F: Yea. Did they have everything for girls then, or...?
K: Well, no, basketball, I think was the only thing. They
had football and basketball and for boys, and baseball, too,
I suppose, but I guess basketball was the only thing that girls...
and swimming, they used to have swimming matches, and girls could
participate in that.
F: Mm. Hmph. Tbat's strange...
K: And you don't have any girl athletics? Athletics ?
F: I don't think there are
K: Isn't that too bad.
F: What about magazines. I was just looking at that...did
magazines get down to Gainesville?
K: Yes, the Saturday Evening Post, the Ladies Home Journal
and I can remember there was a little magazine for children,
Youth Companion, and what was the others that we used to take,
and then we had uh, books that, that everybody had, like the
Bobbsie Twins and the Rover Boys, and all that business. So we had
very...not as many magazines, but, there were some.
F: What...what about um, was the Gainesville Sun in existence
F: Was it?
K: At one time we had two papers, a morning paper and an afternoon
paper, and the Gainesville Sun was the morning paper, and the uh,
what was the name of that? It was the afternoon paper I remember
Sun bought the other one and then they gave an afternoon paper.
K: But, uh, for quite awhile we had two papers, and Mr. Pepper
was the owner and publisher of the Sun, and Mr. Ferry of the
morning paper. And Mr. Pepper bought the other one out, and
then there was just the one.
F: That's where it got all of its name.
K: Mr. Pepper's father, that you to the house one day.
F: Yea. So his family had owned that paper for a good while, huh?
K: Oh yea, uh, I think uh, he was born in Philadelphia, but I
believe the rest of them were born here, so they'd owned it for quite
a while. They had that and the Pepper bringing company
It was uh, it's been here quite awhile.
K: There are many things that Gainesville, you know, that
had been here quite awhile, and we used to...we had something that you
don't have...it was _; there was a, a place right down
on the square...it was Miller's, and it was really an icecream parlor.
And everybody would gather around there, and when automobiles came
you could park there and they had little uh, boys that would come out
and take your order and then they'd serve you in the car, anduh,
then that was really old; Miller's was there a long while. And then,
uh, it was glasses and then they had valentines shop, which is an
ice cream After you went to the picture show at the
you usually stopped by to get some ice cream
on your way home, but we used to gather there after school you know
to ___, and it was lots of fun. They don't have
a place that...anything like that now. The town is a little bigger,
but then it was small and everybody went to the same places.
F: Yea. What about ? Did the Negroes live in a
special part of town?
F: They lived some place else, huh?
F: Did they go to the same school, or...?
F: They had their own school?
K: Mmhmm. Yes they had their own school. Uh, I don't know
when they had their first school. Whether they had...I'm sure there
was a school, and I suppose it was the one that uh was um
K: I guess was the Negro school. And that's...in that area was
where so many of the Negroes lived. And that is in south Gainesville.
And they went to school, but not...you know...they would work, and they...
I guess they didn't go too regularly...and uh, I don't think the
faculty was too good. I think it's much now that everybody goes to
the same school, it's uh
F: Yea. Um, so they didn't usually...there weren't any like
educated Blacks like there, y'know, they were all...
K: Charlie Chesnut, who was the undertaker
(pause)...most educated, but uh...
K: Mmhmm. But uh, um, most of them see were domestics, or uh,
K: or, although we did have a doctor, Dr. Harris, was the
K: Dr. Harris, and and
but there was a Negro
doctor here in town (for) a long, long time. So I suppose that
there is...were the uh, some of the most educated of the
Negro race. We had some very fine
F: Uh, somebody I was talking to was telling us about an old
man that for the longest timedrove his um wagon in Gainesville; did
you know anything about him if um...I know that there was an old
man who had...
K: Was he a, a ?
F: Yea. This lady said that she didn't remember him, but
she just remembered that he did
K: What did he do with it?
F: Drive (laugh); he drove around.
K: I don't remember him. Uh, there were the ,
but they had a taxi that so many of the, of the uh older ladies
always like to follow square, that was where
the taxi was...
K: and the and you always...they had to get um
...then there was another group that uh had a shoe shop here for a long
You know, just a small little town, and the Negroes, there were certain
ones that they had pretty goodbusiness, but
as far as opportunities, certainly they didn't have anything like ours
K: But I think many of them were respected, but
not in the way they should have been, you know, in their
K: But then you used to...I know um, usually uh, see my family
didn't live here, but but my aunts/had the same
maid year after year after year, but then she...they were just part
of the family, and loved them verymuch, but they were uh, they were
the serving class you know.
K: So it was different; it was great for the white people,
but it wasn't very good for the Blacks. 'Cause they'd come every day, and
even on Sunday, the maid would come and, and she only had Sunday afternoon
off. That was the only time she had off.
K: Tbree meals usually. All those did. Come in for breakfast
and then we used to always have dinner in the middle of the day, and then
supper; she'd come back for supper, which would be great for the family,
but hard for them.
F: Um, I know you have your.. don't know...I can't remember
...do you have your Master's or your Doctor's in nursing?
K: I have a Master's in Public Health.
F: Oh, I just recently went down to/Public Health thing, and
got a shot; how was it then, did they have the office like they do now,
or did they go around, or what?
K: Well, do you mean when I first came to public health?
K: Oh, when I first began, I began in a little county out in
West Palm, Coun ty that was, was just a hall.
county. And, uh, Gainesville really didn't have a public
health department; they had a city health department...
K: ...then they uh organized a county health department,
and I came back and worked here, and I think our first office
was The building's tore down...torn down
now, it's where Shaw and Keeter just tore down some buildings; it
was upstairs there.
K: And, oh, we didn't have very good facilities until they
built this new building, but I, I worked there a long time.
We, Public health
you see in my childhood there wasn't any such thing as public health.
We didn't have anything...
F: There were just a couple doctors.
K: Well, they...there wasn't anything like...you didn't give
shots or things like that then, you just diptheria and all
K: And um, we didn't have the have today to
help eradicate disease, so public health I guess, in, in the uh...
oh they had a health department, a State health department, but
it wasn't like the local health department.
F: What about like if somebody needed an operation...I
figure people probably had babies at home, but what about things
K: Oh they, uh, you mean...oh yes hospitals.
F: Like your tonsils bad or...you're or something.
K: Well, when I had my tonsils out, I had 'em on my thirteenth
birthday, and there was a little house that uh, this nurse came...
END OF INTERVIEW.