Title: Interview with Hal C. Batey
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007733/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Hal C. Batey
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Subject: Gainesville High School
Spatial Coverage: 12001
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: UF00007733
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Gainesville High School' 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: GHS 32

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Full Text

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

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

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ELA-PE-. 32A

Hal C. Batey
D. Bartela

--604 N. E. 7th Avenue and we're interviewing Mr. Hal C. Batey.

I: How are you, Mr. Batey?

B: I'm getting along fine,-'k. y-,t,
r< e "If
I: Okay,-let-m a ask you a few questionsI I'll start off with family life and

we're just gonat ask you about your family and everything so like tell

us all that you know and all that. Like how did you .

B: I couldn't tell you all. I'll tell you some .what are youonAa ask me?

I: Okay, how big was your family or the average family?

B: That I was born into?

I: Uh huh.

B: Five girls and three boys.

I: Wow!
B: Of which six is still living.

I: Wow, that's pretty big. Like what kind of relationship did you have between

your brothers and sisters and mother and father?

B: All of us boys had to do whatever the girls said do because they were in

the majority -- you know there's five of them we had to give them

whatever they wanted. If we had two pieces of candy, we had to give it to

them we couldn't eat it. If we had two apples, we had to give it to the

girls. Momma said the girls c.d have anything they wanted we thought

so, too. And we give it to them.

I: Was this in Gainesville?

B: No, this is in Tennessee.

I: When did you come to Gainesville?

B; Came to Gainesville in 1921, but I came to Florida in -s1a=5 to Jacksonville.


I: How old are you?

B: How old am I?

I: Yeah.

B: A4Ja-8. ~cq

I: Wow, that's a pretty long time.

B: Well, I have a sister that's"9. She lives in a rest home up there in .

4qe efacj home in Roanoke, Virginia, and I went up to see her last year

and she was getting around on her own power when everybody else was walking

with sticks and walkers, so when I got home, I sent her a nice walking cane

that she can keep it on hand. he wrote me back and thanked me for it and

said it's a pretty cane. She'd sit it over in a corner and when she got old,

she'. use it. Pretty good sense of humor I thought.

I: Yeah. What kind of house did you have, like the rooms and everything. What

was it like. the houses .?
oes house, rather it was a log house ib &i
B: Well, I was born on a farm in alog house, rather it was a log house 4 "hic

i- was covered with boards, too, and then we come to town in 1883 when I was

a baby. that's when I was born, 1880, and we lived in a log house in

town, but it was weather boarded, but it was made out of cedar logs a two-

story house, out of hewn cedar logs. Middle Tennessee was known for

its red cedar lumber, the biggest red cedar market in the world, I think

was about Middle Tennessee I think that's right. Nashville of course

I lived about 34 diles from Nashville. And we, at that time, my daddy was in

the grocery business, and I was the oldest boy and he thought I was nearly

grown when I was ten years old. Why, I was a pretty good hand. I could deliver

groceries. Everybody at that time had delivery wagons and tLr .s. e

telephones and he'd send it around in the morning to the areas where the

people lived -- wasn't many in thisAtown about 5 o 0- I reckon, maybe

a little more, and take their orders and then we'd come back to the store

and put these orders up and try and get 'em back there in time for dinner.


I could do that, and I wasa pretty smart little boy. Then the meat markets

in those days, we'd call butcher shops. Very few people had Yefrigeration at home

and very few, if any, I don't know if any of them had any, and these butchers
0o clack -P0
shops had to open up about three in the morning and send that meat out so they'd

have it in time for their breakfast. A lot of people ate steak for break-
1, I
fast 'cause steak was cheap -- ten cents a pound and1they didn't have much

hamburger 'cause hamburger wasAmade out of scrapsand the best beef was round

steak we'd call itb it was ten cents a pound and soup bone for a dime was as

big as your head. CLa0wM3sJ

I: What other types of jobs were available back then, like .

B: What type of what?

I;C:Jobs, like if a kid wanted to get a job, what would he normally do?
V~frrc- ^jl-
B: Well, what I did when I was going to school, on Saturday, I'd peddle ,

things out on the square. this little town had a square with a courthouse

in the center of it we get the same thing ee did have and, well,

we got it now and I'd peddle peanuts and I'd peddle .nl and at that

time, there was lots of sewing doneAat home course you don't even have a

pack of needles in your house, I reckon, but everybody had to have them then.

Different size needles darning needles, fine needles to sew by with fine

thread and most of the thread sold was eight and big size, twenty, and you'd
A7.ey h.--"
use it for fishing lines now you wouldn't use it to sew anything. I
think about that sometimes they'd use number thread.

I': C at kind of school did you go to?

B: I went to a free school they didn't call it public school in those days.

They called it free school and right up to the 8th grade. But in our town,

there was a female college, fAwI College, and the girls had to

go to a pay school. They couldn't go to that free school. They looked

like they figured they ought to come on the other side of the railroad tracks

and went to the free school. Of course they didn't. Some of them boys wentvt


VU.t-to the free school living on the right side of the track but the girls couldn't

and in those days if a girl got a job working in a law/office or working .

Uja u kAc( f-they was kind of looked down on. 'You know, it's honorable to work it was
snoo4y. 11o4lIR
honorable then, but we were -senoy. People were very in thistown that

I lived andAthe girls had todressAup nice and had to stay nice all that time and

couldn't work for nobody anyway. The old maids and -he widows and things at the

dry good stores where ladies worked in the ready-wear stuff and that time

there was millinery shops where they nade hats. Of course, you never did see .
s5 p b6,A! a+ 0a A bu614s0s- f.f w 1 s e 5 "inc.
one, I don't reckon a millinery nd they had these frames and there's a
a+ -&$.e~ old Ak '
grocery stores d6wnthere Vi Micanopy now that's got some frames that's 'f years

old, I expect, people used to buy the frameA- like if they wanted to fit

a hat on you,they'd go home and get whatever they had to have and make a

hat. Sometimes even a chicken wing would be on that hat. /LAM AS

I: What was the name of the town you lived in?
mw4rees boYr
B: 4Purphreoebero, Tennessee.

I: How long did you live there?

B: I lived there until I was..2'Ain 1905 and then I come to Jacksonville, Florida,

and I lived there 'til/ 1921 and I came over here and when I camtover here,

why we hadAfour children and we still have the four children, but my wife

has passed away that's her picture up there and these four children have17- 'I
,'\ -l-^(h/-C- 3:;7 aif icj-ri'tly. -: of cowseshe,,8
grandchildren now and r2 great grandchildren.A She didn't get to see but eight

of the great-grandchildren, but she's she enjoyed it and all of them livedhere
Srme oF--
in this county.A ffost of them live here in Gainesville. Some of them live in
wo got
Archer, one boy runs the motel in Cedar Key, a junior Hal Batey, Jr., and

then I got a boy that works at the University of Florida here in theAMarine

Coastal Engineering operation, in the marine lab and a S mvr boy that

lives at Archer.

I: What made you decide to move to Gainesville?

B: Well, we was in the whosale grocery business in Jacksonville, and done pretty

well and at that time there was lots of little stores all over the country.


Wasn't any supermarkets, wasn't any chain stores, andcl come down here and

opened a branch Batey-Fleming Company was the start of the firm -was a brother-

in-law, two brothers, and a daddy and me to start with, but when I moved down

here, there wasn't but three of us, and6three brothers, and I ran the wholesale

grocery business here until 1932. We sold out to the Central Grocery Company.

I: Where was this located?
I\e~t, JU^v wsjJ $2S-
B: this warehouse? Our warehouse was on Masonic Street at that time it's now

-A d Avenue, S. W. right there at the railroad. We built up that whole place

there. We built a creamery building and we built ,where the Ideal Laundry

was before they changed it, not long ago we had a barn there and we

put a front on it and rentbAit for an automobile A he creamery

business didn't dos much good and we finally had to take that building over
adt t'*0 4fo 4 4 +fo
and the creamery company -they had mortgage the bank and we had to
ey rtgage e
pay-it C but we got rid of it. ke buil up all that property there.

We gave two streets from2nd Ame- S. W. to-3ad Avenue, S. W., through that- -^tV

-c4A block. At that time, there wasn't any place to go through after you passed

what is now-e- Street, where the Presbyterian Church is.. You get over to
4t#%" 1L"14o
McCormack Street, then you had to go clean around the railroad to get down wc

around on that side again. There wasn't any through street. Porter Street

stopped at McCormack Street Porter Street which is now must be about

5th Street, I reckon, S. W. Porter Street used to be The one of the

main streets through here colored town. Porter's Quarters a man named

Porter had lots of houses here colored people lived in we called them
we- OL. e na+4oh4o
tc itcl- houses then, butAwe've changed a little bit taybe we ought never

called them r 6 I houses but we did and that was Porter's Quarters and

then there was Hale's Quarters, too right across the T4 T Railroad

which is now the only railroad through town own W1kfe ItP' on 2ad Avenue t4.A w

Hale's subdivision.AI think Bobby Moore owns it now he's part of H ILJ's



I' What were your first impressions of Gainesville when you first moved here?

B: Huh?

I: What was your first impression of Gainesville when you moved here?

B: WellI'd been to Gainesville one time before for somebody else I was working

for before got into business for ourselves. I worked for C. W. 3oy an -

Company in Jacksonville and ftey o e Fne; Co. PWe business jai 1912 and I

went to work for Box? in 1905. Well, a lot of salesman ir tzlhiterritory

got sick and had to come to Jacksonville to the hospital and they got me to

come down here and make one trip for them and,/H. but we took a whole week

to make what a salesman makes now in one day. The way you got around you

rode trains and you rode buggies and you rode any kind of train you could get -

passenger train or freight train, either one they say 4kJavw et and the

railroads tried to get but I worked all that week and when I got

to the end on Saturday night, I was at Otter Creek. F-don't.know whether

you know where that is or not it's down here between here and Cedar Key.

And now, salesmen work that whole thing in one day on Monday with an automobile

because we got roads and we got automobiles and we got telephones and we got
-m'+ Mef4C
so many conveniences, why it madeAa big difference a tremendous difference,

3 44f-a-and that was 1907 and I met many people here then and I didn't forget them and, l,
the A had plenty of kinfolks in Jacksonville that I knew one of them
+.L Thomases -
was, a doctor and was a big-family people here I don't know whether

you remember them or notbut a lot of them are still here, but Major Thomas
+Ut_ Pn^ dert oF oScar
was one of ettr -&vizr,- a& the University of Florida and JQie Thomas'

daddy was his brother and so we knew the Thomaspand we knew the Ganeans

and we didn't have any trouble-and the preacher that was at the First

Methodist Church when we came here had been our preacher at Jacksonville and,, P ac1

performed our wedding ceremony when we got married and so we run right into

home folks.


I: If your house that you lived in when you first came to Gainesville is it

still standing?

B: Is it still standing? Yes, it's still standing. It's 335 S. -?th Street, now,

used to be Roper Avenue., S. E.' -, '

I: What type of a house is that?
B: It's a two-story house, built by T. J. Swearenger .mighty good house.

But after our children all married, we didn't have any use for a. use like

that and moved off and we sold the house. We had a big timefraising them four

children on that 104 There was three streets around it andAit was a big
across 44C- 4-,
lot, you know, then had a lot of A.---4erees one of those streets that had

a barn on it and the children I had three of my children were

boys and one girl, but the girl liked horses, too, so we had horses, goats,

and things over in that lot across the street and they really had a big time.

All of the neighbors' children had a big time, too, playing with goats and
we milked 4 ;Hs +ek"'
horses and cows at that time, people had cows in town/I Thhr e-wa

S---.- nd I had a boy that was big enough to milk cows and peddle milk and

the first money he made, he made a thousand dollars in '' .Aover a period

of several years, peddling milk. Of course he wasn't buying any feed I was
Wt wae s Si A1
buying all the feed, you know, and keL -n e all the milk we wanted and he'd

sell ,i s-parn-& and it was a big change now. It's all different. Got to go

to the store and get your milk. Well, I got one boy /m-Archer still milks a cow

now, on the farm.

I: What kind of speeial activities did both you and your children do?

B: Well, we were I reckon, you'd call us land-lovers We loved to be in the
a) waqS
country we loved to go fishing, we loved to go hunting, and I took the boys

fishing right off and hunting right off, .btt now they take me.AWe enjoyed

it and they had horses to ride as I < but my daughter is Mrs. Joe Wise,
^ , sny a i" nt' ot
Wise's Drug Company, and she got four boys and they're H&4 i she ain't got

no babies anymore. Larry's z9, I think now, and he's the youngest.


krse. other
But she hadAmighty nice saddle/Aone time but thehgirls didn't have one and
all k +_ a? IlV
theyAhad to go to Mr's. [r4.e -no of -th riding schools here then .

y graundby what else do you want to ask me real quick?

I:obI was going to ask you about Af you know if your children dated back then,

did it cost very much for them to go out?
tw. -
B: No, I don't think it did. I don't remember about that. At that time, we had

noAfinancial difficulty at all liv-g pretty good. le Wltd1e rj y pocd.

I: What type of thing did they do on a Saturday night? Like on a date, what type

of dates would they have?

i: I th s boy, junior, he had a barn dance over there in that barn across the

street. It had a floor in it. Of course, it had pidgeons in it, too, but

they'd clean it out -3eo they could and he got him a saxaphone and he learned

how to play two notes on it and 4tar ed T L TL L h.ad t 1... huw bu -l..N his
60 4o L I( sme diy n ,*tA, Corky
^rn nn r nue,- too, and WSeJe ,p'Neal, William O'Neal, the attorney here,
(-+e +'i~Y P41e W-4t oevc
he was about the same age, and they'd put on a barn dance on Saturday night

and they had a lot of fun with it.

I: Did you meet your wife here in Gainesville?

B: No, I met my wife in Jacksonville. She was born in Marietta, Georgia. She

lwav 4 Ftyida; with her family in 1901 in Jacksonville.

I: Now long of a courting time did you go through before you married her?

B: How long did I go see her?

I: Uh huh. CaMv h6e--rr-
A cui-.Ad 1 YAN 4
B: I couldn't get to her much. Her momma was kind of tight with her.

She wouldn't let her go to picture shows, she wouldn't let her go to
Vt/ CAmw-
vaudeville shows. WJeU it was very commonApicture shows and vaudeville shows,
I WfaS Ut .'& "
too back there in 1907,06, 1907-064 I don't think I-,eeti, as you call it

all the cnye t int about 1907 1910 when we married. But, I was held off

all the time. I couldn't go as much as I wanted to and).F,. but I loved

to go and my mother had always told me I could marry any girl that I wanted


4 :T-uf ced-
to if the girl would let me come to see her, but when I re to this girly I

J. w& SrtAr- I couldn't get her, and I wanted her so bad./ And I was-hetd right off until I

got her. We courted, I reckon,about three years, I imagine, about that long.

Sulatyy iO- j. But then we didn't do like you do now. We didn't go steady. I went with lots

of other girls, too. She went with some other boys, too, I'm sure. I don't

remember about what boyA I know I didn't like it though, but I know she did.

Butwe didn't go what you call steady at all. There's one meai girl, she's
D".^ 64e 5-A e me- e*wd^
dead now, So C" 4d k o Sg(he was v- shwS Riga and my brother and I

used to go down there andAeat supper with them often there were two of them -

Mary and wasn't named Mary, though. Anyhow, we'd go to church

with them sometimes and we'd go to picnics with them and in those days, we

had picnics and everybody would go for all day, you know, and enjoy picnics,

Now they go andAthey got some automobiles to ride further in, they're ready

to come back home. But we had old country picnics and jig^iC dinners

and as I said, I went to see many girls and every Sunday night, I'd want a

girl to go to church with. I didn't want to go by myself. Well, that night ITcgde -

Ruby couldn't go, she didn't want to go, didn't want me to come
0(.C "d -4 + -;d (
and I went with another girl, pretty girl, too, that didn't live far from
me. 4,.I4e 4 j L AM

ki CoJWs So they called me up the next morning and said, Hal, why did you take that

girl to church, why did you take her to church for? I said, well, I couldn't
lvi <^!'c4-'- il.
get nobody else to go with me. Well, that was really true, but it wasn't as

bad as it sounded. The girl was just as nice as she could be and pretty -
BSr uh.A scvh-ta c-alefc6
a lot prettier than Sarah. eThad called-'ravh and I was just making conversation

with Sarah r just passing the buttime. Well, I didn't get nowhere with it.

She didn't do nothing but tell that girl what I said. That waamean, wasn't it?
A 1 sr u4 Wc6mScocI- o. 4 sirel t&,- o'14-
That was really mean, wasn't it? -Intad f-- @.. a_dA -
day and that irl pandas I said she was pretty she wareally
day and ftrj.t OJ Sthat girl and, as I said, she was pretty, she was really


pretty and smart, too. She said, Hal, I want to ask you a question and I

want you to tell me the truth. I said, )ell, if I tell you anything, I'll

tell you the truth. Margaret, her name was Margaret. I'll tell you the truth,
Margaret? .you tell Sarah the only reason you carried me to church with

you was because you couldn't get anybody to go with you? Well, she wanted
5 64kd -#"04 to
an honest answer and Isaid, Yeah, that's what I told her. Well, I said, I

was just making conversation. She said, that's all right, I just wanted to
And -I rShidc, "Jt41,."
know if you said that.A Of course, she was through with me. She was through

with me. [iawr( j qo{ odi fa tA&t ate t 440lo be-l IA&(f 1w vtedP-
"K k mj- f skl -IJked -
I: what type of wedding did you have? Bid you have a large wedding?

B: Not, we married at my wife's home. We had some of her relatives were there,

her sister lives in next door. A She was there and her brother, she

had two brothers they were both there and mother and father and Ike Jenkins,

as I said was the pastor, We met when I come over here to Gainesville) We was
hte,,c t -Wi
-"cPr-f our first church, and we had, you all wouldn't know him .

-1 e- ,'+. A 0 Ir a- ccf
Now I'll tell you what we did do that was funny and/y z ira' J z _

We went away to a1 whatot ey call it, a bridal suite in a passenger train, what "d

#c call it, they didn't call it a bridal suite but it had a drawing room and

that's what I got -fa drawing room. You know, one of thesesleepers, 4 _e -_r;i

(-rOWS ad le- f.-+~, so we went off in there they didn't call it a bridal

chamber, but it was one room anyhow. Nobody didn't have any other bedroom .

We come back on the passenger train in the day coach. Welaugh about that
VCJ Ct4lh I"
many a time because we g-et- acksonville 't tih ^ c coming back in a passenger

coach. rauaksJ

I: I guess church was pretty important in youllife.

B: Church? Very important, very important.

I: A lot of time spent there?

B; A lot of time, a lot of time spent there. It used to be the place to go.


Afttf c4
If it wasn't the only place to go, maybe we wouldn't have been soi4e4-to

the church, if there had been somewhere else to go, but there wasn't very many 1A,

shows and what there were was kind of on the cheap side, except for regular

theatres where the ticket would be about $3.50 and that was out of our class -
WC. coxMn'+ ert.^
we couldn't stand that. Wasn't much money. We had a bad ty t- $t r ed- y

brother said .I r i locl, wm hs sister or somethingy-two girls lived over

there in Riverside -hbet's see if we can take them to the show Friday night.

I said, al gX4, so I called up Ellwood I went with Ellwood. She was

kind of chunky girl like you andishe wasn't as pretty as you, though, but she
wa nic 5, WAS ______
was niceJ' I bought her a and, Say, Ellwood, how about you and .

if I don't think of her sister s name now ."4ow about you all going to

the show ith us Friday night. Said"yeah, which show? I said, Gh, just any
0"545 -34jwhf showw9.f I- d 44ht
show.' I didn'tAknow nothing about any shows, I didn't know if it- -rdld bo a

theatre Er &we regular play -or what.A .a regular opera, and
se ,Cerf'n, i,'be. 4-o
she said,that'll be fine, Hal, that'll be fine. We'll ',.a .i dd-

go. That's'-eaa be a niceAshow, too. That's a fine picturer-not a picture

but a ri4. r play. I don't know whether it was Shakespeare or sie I 6itdJ

know what it was, but that .inat- the bad part of it. When they found out how
4 .ch o, ; -t a Is-t, $ 0e- 4+L-I A I (+r'a 'l[ fr -
much the -pietre was 4/g e- cost, $3.50 or $4. a piece and that'll be sixteen

dollars and we was just making fifty dollars a month and paying twenty dollars
AInc, 4A V t
of that for board and room.A Wk didn't have no money like that to spend, but

we could have spent a dollar and a half, two dollars so I said, Marvin?
look what type of trouble you got me into to. He said, well nothing else
3 1ASf h dA/t e- P
to do but -ta call them and tell them that we can't go because we-a-it got that

money, said we can't buy no tickets. I had to call them up and make an excuse for

not going couldn't take them that was bad, wasn't it? They was such nice,

sweet girls.. At that time in Jacksonville, there was lots of river traffic.
01 1
A- tots of excursions on the river at night and on Sundays and many times we'd

go onipicnics and go to Green Cove Springs up the river and go to Mayport down the


river and places in between and sometimes we'd be on a charter boat and sometimes

we'd be on a regular river boat they put the excursion on and I was always

scared of them because all the people run over to one side and that tilts the

boat, you know, and but on that launch, s e could pull them back. There
4t3? VC [- /of of
wouldn't be but about ) or Won the launch. But it was a lot of traffic

on the river that time there wasn't any bridge across the river in Jacksonville.

Went across Jin the ferry boat for a nickel. buggy and a horse, 15 cents. .

and buggy and a horse was what I was using a lot of the time.

I: Did you have a buggy and a horse like your family? Did they have a

buggy and a horse that you would use for transportation?

B: Yes, but this was the company I worked for had this buggy and a horse. Yeah,wechn--

we had horses. We had automobile pretty soon, too. My wife was scared to drive

it for a long time, but she finally learned how to drive it.

I: What kind was your first automobile?
B: It was a R/o, the first one we had.
I: A R/o?

B: R/o -- red, big heavy automobile and we come to Gainesville in 1921, there

wasn't any roads between here and Jacksonville but sand roads, and we just

couldn't hardly make it. It was just so deep the sand was so deep and we used

a little better road by Lake City and there was a little better road by Palatka

and Spua, p/ac-g of course that made it about over a hundred miles to go that

way to Jacksonville, but several times, that's the way we went. But I remember
one time weAwas going to try this road. They had part of it paved between here
-and MaE 1y) ",J e crorr-e(l o a sr--
and Max andMaxwe, that ovef ass wasn't there then we pa&-ed ri- t
owar the railroad tracks and took that shortaCut in there by Middleburg. Oh,

the sandAwe had to stop that a'I "
the sand,we had to stop that o, I mean it was just boiling, boil;^

over, but there was plenty of water along the road and we just had a can ,fill

up the radiator. ..

I: What/buildingsAdo you remember that were here in Gainesville that are still here



That you went to I know Wilson's been here a long time.

F That was there and Bazrd Hardware building was there and the old BrowntHotel

where the First National Bank used to be is still there and that whole block

on this nortyside of the squareiwas there the first time I come in. It's still

there now. Of course, it's been revamped and reworked and all, but the

buildings are still there, but that used to be some of the main office

buildings was upstairs over those stores but now Wilson's use their upstairs

themselves and I guess some others do, I don't know, but there used to be
h4i's+- LAP IIe.t -
doctors offices and dental offices all along/upstairs there. And I think

that Woolworth's corner was there, too. Used to be a bank right next to
con'/ <';le wast e, 1 to'-
it failed Gainesville Bank mdT- Gainesville Finance Gainesville
Bank c
Savings I dontt know what the name of that bank but Morgan Fe-ni(

was the president of the bank and this property that we bought Qve.-by the

warehouse, we bought from the bank. They kind of had a little .se4- experience
Vjet, vA, ?ttllfe Mirs, Lp,'S'
with it. It had a mortgage on it and it belonged to the e ers Delores

Tucker who was the mother of Bev "el/ l-C of Fred Cone's wife's grandmother

andAthey had a blanket mortgage on all their property and they sold it one day

and Bill Pepper, who run the Gainesville Sun at that time, not young Bill, but

old Bill, and Ed Turner was closing out them two, three banks that had failed

here and Bill Pepper said to me one day, said Hal, said we sold youout

yesterday. I said, What you mean sold me out? He said, We sold that property
PD < ( -t~is WA? 501e CF vtlr;. ~-Oi' ?
S there That was one of those blanket mortgages; we foreclosed on Delores

S- Tucker. (Changed sides of tape). I told him the story and he says," Well, Mr.

Bateyi yet's look in my desk. If nobody hadn't bothered it -- he worked in

the bank, see -- and there's a certain pigeon hole in there, you'll find

that satisfaction all drawn up and signed and notarized and I was supposed to

take it over to the courthouse and file it for you and I didn't, so we come

back and found it end we got it all straightened out.

I; Did you say you were in the market business? T$s A -

B; Wholesale grocery business


I: Was there much competition?in Gainesville then?
Nj, VtjlD h4' 2 *Z,- ,
B: Naw, naw, U. S. Chili Company had a place here andACentral Grocery Company

had a place here and Fame? Stringfellow, 41ep-9Stringfellow's daddy, _jv_ ^e s

great-granddaddy, he had J- p what you call sweet water milk. He sold -some

Groceries, too, But at that time, the country was littered with little stores

you know. On every crossroad, there'd be a little storeAinPlittle towns like

Newberry, High Springs, and Alachua, there'd be several, you know. LaCrosse,
hd-# worked -ae,4 ^ re r
Hawthorne, Waldo, and we /I three salesmen and the other ousesworked ever

too. I don't know how many they worked but there was plenty business then, but

the govor=n t squeezed them up and these chain stores commenced coming in

and closing the little stores up on the corner and the chain torest oh they

were buying goods just as cheap as we ig them, an really put us out

of business. But it's better now, the way they're handling it now is much

better than the way they used to handle it. Used to have to wait on you, if

you went into the store and wanted to buy four or five items, if they was

waiting on somebody, you'd have to wait until they get through and then they'd

wait on you. They'd get up each package you wanted separate, you see, had a

clerk for every customer. But now, you know, they use about four or five

clerks for ten thousand people.

I: You get it yourself.

B: Yeah. What did you start to sayhoney?

I: What was the chance of going on to college or, you know, bettering your

education when you were young?

B: Well, my folks thought that a small boy was a boy that would work and I-T

graduated in the fifth grade, but I went right on to work/ But I had a

first cousin that always had his nose in 4e book and always readingpAthey

always tAlked about how lazy he was, but he went way past me. He went to
qpaz- y -h e w n- to A
Yme bt .- W,6/ I, down at ,a/k and then went to Vanderbilt

in Nashville and graduated and then he went somewhere else to get some post-graduat


,t ,, o-
work and then he got into theAbanker's- Southern Bankerj bankers paper in

Atlanta and it turned out to be after while, McFadden Publishing Company and he

and John Tigert that used toAPresident of University of Florida went through

school together and John told me that Hanes Hanes McFadden, that was my first

cousin, his mother and my mother were sisters*"you know Hanes got to be

a millionaire before he died, Hal?* I said, no, I didn't know it. I knew he

was doing alright. He said, "eah, he was/ naturally rich. But John didn't

live long after that, but they were a little older than me. Not older than I

am now, but older than me when we was all living. Did you ever hear of that
TWk rs5c -C4 -jh-e K47y-
school? Suwanee Webb's school at Bell Buckle, Tennessee?/AUsed to be where

they'd send the incorrigible boys. Suwanee Webb uses a switch with two
At-he- wk. peA2 A(ai-
fO\c on it. I mean he whipped them grown men.A I mean he broke them.
red fi
I: Was it.expensive to send .

B: Naw, the school wasn't expensive I don't know how much it cost. I didn't go

I 410J ) o I told you, I quit in the public school. But now my brother went to school

farther than4e-, but I didn't.

I: Where did your children go to school in Gainesville?

B: They went to this schoolAdown here, Kirby-Smith, all of them. Then they went

to the University of Florida, some of them, but they never graduatedfrom

the University of Florida any4ew. Never did graduate in any college at all.
Ih- A-
3rA -r--o to Castle Heights School up there 5n Nashville, Tennessee, Le-A ,eT be leve W4I-rC
ijs and he never had finished high school here, went on up there, but that's kind

of military school oafdu Castle Heightsp-so he went up there, and I hated

for him to leave home. I love my children.and I hated for him Lo leave hLr,

-I lve- my- hildrcn, I love fpr them to be around h4-e, I love to play with

them, -bt I love to try and educate them. But that was wrong. I ought to trye

and educate them first and then .tryad play with them, But anyway, when "'

Christmas come, he wrote me a letter and said hewanted to come home at

Christmas and /send him forty dollars andpheApay up what he owed up there / 1l

and come home. So I sent him the forty dollars and I think that's the money 4 r

GHS 32A Side Two
bd Page 16

but instead of buying the ticket, coming home, he bought

an old T-model. And made a trade with some boys that lived

here in Florida to bring 'em down here for so much a head.

And there was eight of 'em come down here on that T-model

from Nashville, Tennessee. Lebanon, right near Nashville.

And they, uh, things happenedr-c fenced happening to that

old T-model all the way down. First thing the magnet,

I don't know whether you know about a T-model or not, but

the magnet was on the flywheel that run inside the case,

well of them things flew off, and that put it out of

commission. That shorted it out, see. So what he did,

he was about, I guess he was about fourteen years old,

twelve or thirteen, fourteen years old. He went and bought

a battery and put in there. And the man said that Ford,

that old Ford won't run on that battery. He said well I

believe it will. It had some little batteries in it all

the time, but they,-they couldn't work because that magnet

was gone in that wheel. So he got that battery in there,

and they cranked it up and it went off like it ought to.

Yeah, that's all, he paid the man for it, and he was coming

on down through Florida and they got to where they couldn't

keep enough oil in it. It wanted to burn up, burn up oil

so fast. So he stopped down there about Folks4b-, Georgia.

GHS 32A Side Two
bd Page 17

He was nearly home, you know, Folks4-a Georgia right

over the line up there. And they asked the man if he
t0efl &Oo-0cd
had any 600-W,Aheavy transmission grease. It's awful

heavy oil. Said yes. He says'dell put two quarts of

600-W in it. He said 4 oy you can't do that. That won't

run onA600-W. He said I think it will. He said you see

how hot it is. It was red hot there, part of it was. He

put that 600-W in there. They didn't shut the engine down

they let it, just let it heat up before they, started right

on up, paid the man. They come into town, they got, come

on into Gainesville with that, they had stop and get some

more 600-W, but they got in here and he had enough made
enough money from them boys to pay for his Ford, and uh,

his trip home and give the Ford to Bob, is little brother,

and he was proud of that Ford. That was quite a feat, I

thought. But he never did go back to school. He didn't

want to go back, he didn't want to go back. He wanted to

stay home.

I: Mr. Batey can you remember what kinds of things people wore

back in the twenties. You know, what was the general type

of clothing?

B: Well, we wore ,duga hats. That's a stiff hat. A d ,

do you know what a dg is?

GHS 32A Side Two
bd Page 18

I: Um hum.

B: We wore a hats, and uh, very popular hat for girls was

\ciA e floppy f,,on hats in the summertime, I
don't know what they wore in the wintertime. But you know,

uh, I think they called it a Jnqen hat that the girls

wore, lots of them. And uh, we wore hats. And uh,
e4,ar,Al V&d 4-0
we gntlem had to, had to wear a tie and 0- 6 pe4C-OHAlee

i't wasn't hardly known at all. YJur dadedy we+ld button up with

a tie on even in the summertime. And then you hardly ever
0odd, I / "t'll.
wore ___ y coat. But sometimes did, but not

S if-A V Cl'r rt'ches, btr didn't none of 'em run around with
that, you know, like you see sometimes now with their shirt


I: Uh huh.

B:T' Iyours flagging honey?

I: No.

B: (Laughter). I think'it was, uh, we thought it was more

dignified than some of the things we see now. But I'm kind

of used to them because I, I see them all the time. And uh,

it's hard for old people to change. Old people can't change

fast like you do. And uh, we liked the things we, like
we used to have em. I was talking to this
we used to have 'em. I was talking tocKinc-errt this

GHS 32A Side Two
bd Page 19

morning that used to be a business manager for the

University of Florida, you know his name if you don't

know him.

I: Um hum.

B: Well he's been confined at home a long time, about half

sick. And this morning he felt like the was real sick.

He called me up and asked me to come by. He was reminiscing.

Couldn't understand about this rock festival in Gainesville.
S- V)hcAa) ":' h!lI I{^ fC
What the hell theyydo Hal, what they do, what they do?

I said,4I don't know, I haven't been." (Laughter).

I: Where were popular places to buy your clothes?

B: Huh?

I: Where were popular places to buy your clothes?

B: I didn't hear yet.

I: Where did you like to buy your clothes in Gainesville?

B: Where did I?

I: Uh huh, and the ladies too.

B: Where did we buy it?

I: Uh huh.

B: We bought it over Seventh Street now, it used to be Roper

Avenue. The place where we lived?

I: Uh huh, that's really interesting. When were the streets

changed in Gainesville?

GHS 32A Side Two
bd Page 20

B: I, I believe it was changed about twenty years ago, maybe


I: 1950 something...

B: About twenty years ago be '51 wouldn't it?

I: Uh huh.

B: Yeah, I think maybe about that time. It had changed

after I got off the city commission and that was in


I: You were on the Gainesville City Commission?

B: I was on the commission ten years. I was _nc_ f_-

commission three years.

I: Oh, really?

B: went- 4fir, '30, and '31. At that time there wasn't--

it was all free. There wasn't any salary connected with

it, it was an honor job.
11idd YO&1 o d
I: Mr. Batey can you tell us anything about the Odfellows


B: Odfellows home?

I: Uh huh.

B: Well, it was there when I came here, but I think now they,

they, I don't believe they use it.

I: No they're not, we drove by.

B: It functioned, it functioned till about three or four years

GHS 32A Side Two
bd Page 21

ago. And one day, we used to go up out there every

Sunday and pick up one pretty old lady. And she was
e "Axl-f Are
about k'or something like that. But she was really

snappy, cute. And I said You know Mrs. I'd

like to met you when you was about sixteen or seventeen

years old. She said,tHumph, I wasn't bad at forty.

(Laughter). I wasn't bad at forty. Slewo-7h- waSgarV( c,

But IA that's been obsolete, I think they, I think they're

c-Q move it. I believe they're.zg s move, uh, I think

the moved the operation already. I don't what they're

-gna do with the building.

I: Do you know why they moved the operation, or anything like


B: No, I don't, I don't. I don't know why because it looked

like to me it was in a good place. I know my little children
/4 i t ot .
used to as their memma could they go a play with the

Odfellows. Used to be, used to children in that place, long

time ago. But it finally turned out to where they just

took old people. But uh, Bob and Bill, they'd ask their

moH-a- could they go and play with the Odfellows, that's

what they called the children over on that side of the



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