Title: Jim Owens
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SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida


INTERVIEWEE: Jim Owens
INTERVIEWER: Dr. Harry Kersey


DATE: November 11, 1972


















SUMMARY



This transcript mainly deals with Jim Owens' memories
of Joe and Frank Bowers as persons. Few details about trade
are given although they had early trading-posts at Indiantown
and Jupiter, respectively. Some early history of Indiantown
is discussed and Dr. Kersey is given names of some people who
may have more information about early trade and settlement of
the area.












INDEX



Baptist Indian missionaries, 4

Bowers, Dessie, 4

Bowers, Frank, 1, 2, 4, 5

Bowers, Joe, 9, 11, 26
trading post, 3, 5, 6, 12, 18, 22

Cabeny, Mrs., 4, 15, 16, 26

Capron, Mrs. Louis, 7, 10, 13

Dade County (land records office), 19

Democ, Capt., 8

Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, 16, 17

McGehee, Ruby (Bowers), 24




















I: November 11, 1972. This is Dr. Harry Kersey, Florida
Atlantic University. Today we are interviewing Mr. Jim
Owens of Indiantown. I'll just put this over here, and
we can talk.

W: That's the kind of thing you hide when you try to catch up
to somebody, isn't it? Who do you all work for?

I: Florida Atlantic University.

S: Oh, yes.

I: I'm on the faculty.

S: Oh, you're down there.

I: Right, at Boca Raton.

S: Oh, yes.

I: Don is one of my graduate assistants, and we're just doing
this work for the federal government.

S: Oh, yes.

I: In the process, all of the tapes that we get, and we
have talked to most of the pioneer families all over Florida
as well. Then we will ultimately put them at the University
of Florida, the tapes, so that people can use them.

S: Well, Joe Bowers...there was Joe and Frank and Dessie...men.
Then they had several sisters, one or two...

I: Um huh.

S: Good people...southern people. They moved here, I think,
because of a orange...what we call a big freeze in 1895
and '96.

I: Yes.

S: It was a...killed every bloomin' orange tree nearly in the















country. So my father came off down here and went to work
for Mr. Flagler. He...then later on, he...the county was
divided. In '95 I believe it was.

I: Um huh.

S: Right after that freeze.

I: Right.

S: They and Joe and his family...that's when they came down,
and they left out up there in Alabama on account of that...
that cold. I guess it was the...

I: Did they come right here to Indiantown?

S: Yes sir, right in this area.

I: Um huh.

S: It's especially...I don't mean to brag on the land, but
really, this area right in here is excellent, 'specially
fertile, rich land. I don't know how it come to do that
but you can, you can look at anything growing, and you'll
find...now up there on that ridge why, it's not so hot,
that is for agriculture. It's good land, and all like that,
but really, the best land is down in there on that St. Lucie
canal.

I: Right. Now is that where Bowers was...back in there?

S: Bowers was right there. I could throw a ball right over
there from here.

I: How much land did he have? Do you have any idea?

S: Well, the land was so cheap until...nobody would buy it.
They'd use it, but they wouldn't buy. They didn't...fifty
cents an acre, or something like that.

I: Um huh.

S: And they just didn't see the need of it. They thought a
fellow was a fool to buy land when he can get it for nothing.

I: Um huh.















S: Use it. And he was a...he...'course was...had a pretty
tough go when that freeze you know...to recover from it.

I: Right.

S: Joe liked cattle.

I: Hmm.

S: Now Dessie was the orange man. He was more interested in
...bringing the orange...what...they didn't have a big grove
then. They saw that they couldn't do anything with the...
trying to bring back what...I don't remember now whether
they had much grove or not.

I: Um huh. Did he have a store there?

S: Yes sir.

I: He did have a store?

S: Yeah, he had a store, a little trading post.

I: Um huh.

S: That's what it was really.

I: Uh huh.

S: And they traded with the Indians.

I: Right.

S: The reason the Indians came in here was on account of the
water was always, in Florida,...you had to always pay atten-
tion to drainage and that sort of thing. And so these In-
dians came in here on account of this...now you...when you
drove in here, you drove in on pretty high land...so the
Indians would come here and they'd camp.

I: Um huh.

S: Then in certain times of the year when they was...trapping
was good, and all like that, why, they would move out and
go down maybe in the Everglades, down, way down.

I: Right. But they had most of their year-round camps here?















S: That's right, that's right.

I: Um huh.

S: So Joe, he fooled with the cattle, and Dessie, why, he liked
oranges, they were country store people.

I: Um huh.

S: Frank Bowers went into Jupiter.

I: Right.

S: He...and had a store in there.

I: Right. Well, let me ask you about one story I have heard.
Back about 1909 the first Baptist missionaries came to this
region. These were Indian missionaries from Oklahoma. They
were Christian Indians. And they came in, and the first
account by Reverend Brown, who was an Indian, said, "I preached
my first sermon at a store seventeen miles south of Jupiter,
southwest of Jupiter." Could that have been Bowers' store?
Is this within 17 or 18 miles...?

W: Um huh...I would think so...wouldn't you Daddy? South of
Jupiter.

S: Um huh.

W: Seventeen.

I: Could this have been Bowers' store...because I had also heard
from later missionaries that Bowers had written out to
Oklahoma and asked them to send these missionaries. Now
does this story make any sense at all?

S: Yes it does.

W: Daddy...

S: Yes?

W: There's a Cabeney...Mrs. Cabeney knows a lot about this
stuff. However she lives right here in Indiantown, she's a
school teacher.

S: Yeah but....this store business is beyond, ahead of us.















W: Yes, that may be, but I was thinking about some things that
she probably could tell you about...the date and so forth.
They're from North Carolina, but they've been...they've
lived here a long time.

I: Right. Well, maybe we could check with her before we leave
today too.

S: She teaches school.

W: Well, I don't know whether she's teaching now or not, but
I could find out. I could call, the phone is right out here.

I: But I was just wondering if this would have been Bowers'
store...seventeen miles south of Jupiter...?

S: Well...that's right. If when he preached and it was...you
say so many miles from...

I: Um huh.

S: ...south from Jupiter and all. Why, that could very possibly
be this same store.

I: Um huh, and particularly since.

S: Because they didn't necessarily stay in one place all the
time.

I: I was trying to put it together because if Bowers had sent
for them, and had asked them to send...it would only be
logical that he would have provided some place for them.

S: That's right...that's right.

I: But if there was a store here...that's what people weren't
really sure of that I talked to before.

W: That's exactly right.

I: And you confirmed that for me.

S: Well, I think he did.

I: Was it a very big store?

S: No, no, not big. After awhile you've seen these little In-
dian uh...what do you call them...?















I: The chickee?

S: Chickee?

I: Yeah, the chickee.

S: Yeah, made out of palmetto fans you know, and they're air
tight, I mean water tight. They're...let the leaves hang
over you know.

I: Right.

S: So they stayed pretty dry.

I: Did you ever go over to the store, Mr. Owens?

S: Sir?

I: Did you ever go over to the store?

S: Oh, yeah.

I: What kind of things did he have in the store...just regular
country store type items?

S: That's right...and trading more...more than anything. The
Indians would come in there, and they wasn't any white people
much. They...Joe...and the family were not dumb...they were
good hard-working nice people.

I: Right.

S: And...familiar with the Indians, and that's the way Joe...
he sort of began to pay a little attention to this Indian
girl, and her daddy died....Then the other Indians sort of
took it up. As a matter of fact I...he might have done all
right if he'd of married the girl.

I: Was his store in his home or near his home over there, or...?

S: No...he didn't have any...that store and everything was his
own. Home and everything.

I: He lived there?


S: He lived there, yeah, that's right.















W: Excuse me for interrupting right here...Mrs. Cabeney inci-
dentally is teaching school today, so I couldn't get in
touch with her, but do you know, a man in West Palm Beach,
that would know a lot about this, is Louis Capron. A Mr.
Louis...

I: Well, he's passed away.

W: Did Louis Capron die?

I: Yes, last year.

W: I didn't know that. Last year! You knew him then?

I: Yes.

W: I see. Did you live in this part?

I: No...I just...

W: You just knew him?

I: I just corresponded with him, and unfortunately he passed
away before I could get up and talk to him, and he would
have been...

W: Well, I wonder if he...if his wife might have some of the
...you see, our children went to school...we lived in West
Palm Beach...we grew up there. Our children went through
school there, and Mrs. Capron was principal of our little
school over in Palm Beach. Now she might have some very
helpful material. I'll...Mr. Capron...

I: Well, I'll check with her too.

W: It's L-O-U-I-S...

I: Um huh...right.

W: We called him Louis.

I: Right.

W: Capron.


S: Now some of the old-time people....















W: I'll check and see if she has a phone.

S: Some of the old-time people, well, they might not of had
any real close contact with him, but now you take the man
that owned this house, owned this property right here, be-
fore I bought it. I used to come out here, and shoot birds,
and hunt, and all...camp anywhere you wanted to and all...
Captain Democ, I don't know whether you've ever heard of
him or not.

I: No.

S: Well, over in Palm Beach, there's a statue, going right
into the town of Palm Beach. It's on the Flagler Bridge.

I: Oh.

S: You know where that is.

I: Right.

S: Well, now Captain Democ was the first. He helped organize
Palm Beach County, and created an act in the legislature.
Well, they created the county in 1909.

I: Um huh.

S: He had a lot to do with the early days. And of course he
knew Joe Bowers, the Bowers family.

I: Is any of the family alive today? Any of the brothers still
alive today? Are any of the Bowers around, or do they have
any children that would...?

S: There's one girl, who is the daughter of...let me see now
she's...her father...well, her father was Frank Bowers.
And he ran this store in Jupiter for a long long while, and
it just, civilization sort of dribbled it out...until it
just sort of passed away. But for a long time it was Bowers'
Store...Bowers' Store. This girl is...she lives in Jupiter
now. She could give you a lot of information, direct infor-
mation.

I: Is she married? Is she married or would her name still be
Bowers?

S: She was married. She was married and she lived there in















Juno, still does. She married a fellow. I forget his name.

I: We could go looking.

S: Oh yeah, you'll find her right there in Jupiter.

I: How late was the store still operating over at Bowers'? Do
you remember how long ago that was shut down? When did
Mr. Bowers die? Do you recall when Joe Bowers died?

S: Well, Frank...this boy's mother...I mean this boy's...Frank
...died right in front of the Gulf station down here in
Indiantown...her father. He fell right there, just had a
heart attack, and just...just zap.

I: Hmmm.

S: And that was about ten or twelve years ago.

I: Now how about Joe Bowers? Was he still living then?

S: No, there's none of them living. They're all dead.

I: Joe had died before Frank then?

S: Who?

I: Joe Bowers had died before his brother.

S: Oh yes. That's right.

I: How many times was Joe Bowers married?

S: Well, once is all I know.

I: Was this the time when he got married on horseback?

S: Yeah, I was at the wedding.

I: You were at the wedding...ha...ha...ha.

S: Sure. Uh huh.

I: That sounds interesting.

D: Tell us about it.

S: Yeah...on horseback...up here about three or four miles.















I: Why did he get married on horseback?

S: He did.

I: Why though?

S: Why?

I: Yes.

S: Well, I don't know.

I: Ha...ha...ha.

S: They just decided they wanted to get married, and...

I: Was this a local woman that he married?

S: No sir, she was from Okeechobee.

I: Uh huh, that's so.

S: She was...two...had two...two sisters I believe. And they
were all nice, plenty of good looks.

I: Well, that's interesting. I've never heard of anyone get-
ting married on horseback before...right.

S: Yes, sir.

W: I'd be scared that horse would run away, wouldn't you?

S: Well, that was Stuart. I don't know who in Stuart would
know something about it?

W: Well, I don't know...but I have been giving you here, Mrs.
Capton's address and her phone number. Now she lives in
West Palm Beach. Now I assume Mrs. Capron is still living.
She taught school in Palm Beach. We lived in Palm Beach.
In the little school there for years. But I haven't heard
recently whether she's still there, but if she is, I expect
she has a lot of material that Louis had written.

I: Okay, thank you.

W: Just in case you want to find out through...she's a school
teacher. Yes, she was a school teacher in the little Palm















Beach Public School. 'That was years ago. How long ago was
that?

I: How about the other woman doctor, the one that's down here
teaching?

W: Cabeny?

I: Yes, Cabeny.

W: C-a-b-e-n-y...Cabeny.

I: C-a-b-e-n-y. Do you remember when the wedding was...on horse-
back...what year roughly?

S: Great goodness...ha...ha...ha.

W: No.

S: Oh...it was about...

W: We had a little paperback book....What happened to that book?

S: Judge Tanner...Judge Tanner...died...well that was about
eight years ago...six or eight.

I: Um huh.

S: It's hard to tell, you know, the time goes so darn fast, it
sure does, you never know, but he married her, a lot of gossip
started. See, they got married on horseback, and that night
she slept in the jail down at Pahokee, I believe it was.

I: Why did she do that?

S: I don't know, I never did know exactly all the circumstances,
but she, what is this, TV Guide? What do you call 'em? What
is that program there?

I: Which one is that?

S: Well that's it, I can't think of the darn thing.

I: Was Bowers well along in years when he married her? Was he
an older man?

S: Yes sir he was. He was what I'd call, he was older than I am.
And I'm 80 years old.















I: That was his first marriage?

S: Huh?

I: And that was his first....

S: That was his first marriage, yes.

I: And he was over eighty at that time?

S: Yeah.

I: In his store did he trade...was there any trading of skins
or hides or various things like that?

S: That's right, he lived...that's right...well, I'd call trad-
ing, you know.

I: Yeah. Alligator hides, plumes?

S: Yeah, deer hides, cows...for awhile there he used to be known
to a lot of people. Not a lot, but a good many in the village
of Okeechobee. Why, they'd skin these hides...

I: Um huh.

S: ...cows'...and dry them and all that sort of stuff.

I: What did he do with them then, Mr. Owens?

S: Sir?

I: What did he do with them then? What did he do with the hides?

S: Well, he'd take them and sell them to the leather people.

I: Might have sent them out through his brother's store over in
Jupiter even.

S: Well, he could...

I: Yeah.

S: But there's a market for them.

I: Right. We've talked to a lot of people who made their living
doing this.















S: That's right.

I: McBride and Biers and so forth.

S: That's right.

W: I was trying...I just tried to find Mrs. Capron...I did find
her...her telephone number, but nobody answers.

I: Um huh.

W: I don't know whether she's there now or not. But I do know
that...I thought maybe she might know where some of Louis'
books were or somebody might know...that was there.

I: Right.

W: If you could find somebody that, you know, would have gotten
their books maybe. She was principal of our little school
over in Palm Beach. Charming woman, lovely person. And
Louis...it was at that time...that Louis was very interested
in the Indians out here, because she used to tell the children
stories about, you know, that sort of thing.

I: Right.

W: But apparently she must not be there living where she was
because her phone, nobody answers the phone.

I: Um huh. Well, we'll keep looking.

W: That might be a little...I guess...I don't know how you'd
find out if she is there...Daddy...we...she may have moved
away.

S: Who?

I: Well, we'll check on it.

W: You see, she had no family. They had no children, and they
owned their home.

S: Who are you talking about?

W: Mrs. Capron, because Louis Capron, you see, he wrote a book...


S: She was a school teacher.















W: Yes. There was another book though that somebody wrote about
early Palm Beach.

S: Yeah.

W: Do you remember that...that...and I thought we had it up there.

I: Because this was part of Palm Beach until the '20s.

W: Right...right...right.

I: This country was.

W: I'm always letting people take my books, and then I forget
who's got them. And if they don't bring them back...why,
I...I just don't get them.

I: Right.

W: But I...that...I remember very definitely that Louis did some
writing about the Indians.

I: Yes, he did it about the Indians.

W: And there's a little book out on Palm Beach too. Now I don't
know whether that would have anything to do with the nearby
Everglades...but...and the Indians. I don't know whether
that would be helpful or not.

I: Well, let me ask you a question, Mr. Owens.

S: Um huh?

I: Was there any pictures, any old pioneer pictures of this area?
Do you know of anybody that has some old pictures of this
area or say a picture of Mr. Bowers' area out there, a picture
of this area, a picture of Indian Town near early turn of
the century. In other words we're looking for pictures. If
there was a picture of Bowers' home and store anywhere, that's
what I would like to see.

S: No, not that I know of.

W: Well now Daddy...I bet....

S: They might...but...you might possibly...I was thinking about
Claude Reis. I was just telling him about Captain Democ. He















was one of the pioneers of this area.

I: Right.

S: And he owned this property here and all. But whether he
ever took any pictures of it or not I don't know.

I: Well, we've found some old things from over in Okeechobee,
back before the turn of the century, which you would have
never thought...

W: Wonderful.

S: That's right.

I: Like the Raulerson's first store.

S: That's right.

I: And things of this nature that you would never guess were
still in existence so...might be somewhere. We'll just have
to keep looking.

S: That's right. Well, this is a good place to look, you know,
to talk with people.

I: Right. The school teacher I guess we want to try and reach
while we are here today, if at all.

W: Which one is that?

I: The one here locally...Cabeneys?

W: Cabeney...yes, Mrs. Cabeney. That is the one I just mentioned
I guess.

I: Which school does she teach?

W: Well, she teaches right up here in the...

I: At the middle school.

W: At the middle school. They're old old residents here. Mat-
ter of fact way way back they were here...they came...she's
originally are North Carolinans.

S: Well, they came here along when Warfield...if you want to















get it right down...Cabeneys come here when the Warfields
came here, and Warfield was president of the Seaboard....
When it come in through Indiantown. What started Indian-
town was that Mr. Warfield wanted to change the, see, the
Seaboard used to come down, and come into...well, it
come into...

W: Where, Indiantown?

S: Ummmh.

W: Indiantown?

S: It came into Indiantown, but...it used to branch ... One of
them would go to Tampa, and the other one would go to Miami
...uh...the trains. It come over here to a little town where
it divided. What's the name of the bloomin' place?

W: I don't....

S: Where the turnpike starts.

W: Over in Stuart?

S: No!

W: Jensen?

S: Up here on the north side.

W: Oh...oh.

I: Briarwood?

W: Briarwood.

S: Briarwood, that's right.

W: Yes...yes...yes...yes. Excuse me.

S: That's right exactly. Warfield decided that was the thing
to do. And so they did build that hotel up here...this...
you know, and tried to stimulate the growth of Indiantown.
Did a pretty good job. That's when a lot of people came
here. We even had a beauty culture here....You know...beauty...?


W: Beauty salon.















S: Yeah, a beauty salon. And all like that...they...but...all
of a sudden Warfield died. Well, when he died the whole
thing died with him. And it didn't amount to anything. All
of the activities that were underway...his plans...and all
that sort of thing. His people that...on his board I guess
...the Seaboard...they just, they cut it off. They didn't
approve of it, didn't want to spend that much money, and so
it all played down. Different people have tried to do some-
thing with Indiantown, but they couldn't hardly make it
get going. Nobody had any money...until a fellow came
along...bought it from the Seaboard people...I forget his
name.

W: Who is that now?

S: The fellow that came here before Post.

W: Came what?

S: Before Post...P-o-s-t.

W: Oh.

S: She...Miss Famer.

W: Yes.

S: You boys have heard of her. Well, she's the one now with
the big stake, and the money.

I: Right.

S: Very fine...lovely woman.

W: Are you...excuse me, daddy...are you familiar with this little
book, They Lived in the Park? It's a little paperback book
about...it's about the Everglades National Park.

I: Yes...yes.

W: You have that?

I: Have that, right.

W: And I was just:-thinking that some...that...I don't know for
sure whether there's much about Indians in here, but I have
something somewhere about Indians.















I: Right.

W: It's just a case of looking through a lot of things.

I: Back to Mr. Bowers. Did Mr. Bowers' store reach a peak?
You know what I mean, an economic peak...at...at any time?
Did he start...as the older...did he stay away from the
store and just recline from it or did he work it until the
day he died? The store itself, the trading post?

S: I don't think the store was in operation.

I: Um huh. When he died?

S: Sir?

I: When he died...the store was not...?

S: When he died, I don't believe it was.

I: How long did he keep the store opened? I mean, you know,
roughly give or take years...in other words...in the '50s
did he stop his store?

U: I don't think he lived that long.

I: ...or the '40s...How long did the store really thrive...then
all of a sudden it dropped off, or business dropped off?

S: Well...it...it...it...my life time...I'm eighty years old...

W: I was think...just trying to think that...of course that was
...happened before we moved out here.

S: Oh...we moved out here...early. You wouldn't call us pioneers.
Why...we lived in Palm Beach all our life....I was a water
boy on Whitehall...in Mr. Flagler's business.

W: I was looking for a book that...They Lived in the Park was
the name of it. Are you familiar with that?

I: Um huh...yes.

W: Did you say you have that book?

I: Yes, I have that.


W: You have that book, haven't you?















I: Right...um huh.

W: Um huh...well, I guess that doesn't have anything about...

I: Not this far north.

W: Um huh.

I: No that...that....

W: I was just wondering...but I also have one about Palm Beach.

I: That's the thing I would be interested in.

W: Yes, that's true...I know something about Mongolia and
Matsucall and everything else.

I: That's right. Let me ask you this. Where would the land
records for this area be now? Would they be in Martin County
or in Palm Beach County?

S: Palm Beach.

I: They're still in Palm Beach County?

S: It would be there, in so far as...if they did...I started
to say, if they had any at all. If they did...it would be
in Palm...in Miami...Dade...

I: Yeah.

S: See that was all Dade County then.

I: Right.

S: I don't know whether they even had any records much of the
store, you know.

I: Yeah. Well, I was thinking about if Bowers bought any land,
where those land records would be.

S: Not much. They didn't...too much. But if they did, it would
be in Miami. And that was Dade County.

I: Because Palm Beach wasn't formed until 1909, and they would
be before that.

S: 1909...that's right.















I: O.K....well, we have a place to look.

W: Where is Chokoloskee...Dade County...where is that?

I: That's way down on the southern tip.

W: On the southern tip?

I: Of the Everglades.

W: Um huh.

I: Right.

W: I was just thinking that there's a lot of material in here
about that area, and then there's a lot about Palm Beach.

I: Is there anything still over on the Bowers' land that was
there when Joe Bowers lived there? Are any of the houses
still there?

S: Yes sir. Now I'll tell you about that in a little bit. That's
easy to find out about. Right next door...here about a year
or two years ago...Miss Vanell...sold some land, and...got a
wire fence around it. It's right...right...adjoining right
on mine...they sold it...she did. I don't think she got too
much money. But they built this fence and they sold it to
some people that make these, well, I always called them pre-
fab houses.

I: Right.

S: They're nothing but...

I: Modular homes? Modular Industries? I saw that on the way in.

S: Yes sir! That's it, that's right. Well, that fronts on this
road out here.

I: Right down the road here.

S: Go down that road.

I: Yes.

S: And they...that...let's see...I don't know...doggone, some-
times I...


W: What is it you're trying to find out?






21








I: About Bowers' home.

S: That development over there...who was telling us just the
other day about that?

W: You mean about it being developed or what?

S: Yeah. Do you remember across from the railroad...?

I: Um huh.

S: Coming down this way?

I: Yeah.


S: Well, instead of
from there....


turning to your right, when you come down


I: Before you cross the railroad tracks?

W: No.

S: No...

I: After you cross?

S: After you cross...

I: O.K.

S: Well, then you go down to the marina...

I: Yes.

S: Go down...

I: To your left, all right.

S: Well now, at that marina...these modular homes...whatever
they were...why, they, let's see, they were going...well,
they did...they developed...you'll see it....It's a great
big concrete building right off from that and a little bit
farther into town.

I: Where would be the, his original trading post then?
Roughly area...was there...is there something still out there?















S: That's where I'm directing you, to the house.

I: Oh, O.K., go out to the marina.

S: You go...you go...right back out to the hard road...go down
the hard road going east...I call it east.

I: Um huh, right.

S: Then when you cross the railroad...on...get on the other
side of the railroad...you go down there, and the first road
you come to that runs off to your right.

I: Right.

S: You'll be going down this way, off to your right...and if
you take that road, and go down it...

I: Um huh.

S: You'll come to a sign, and it says, Bowers' Groves.

I: Um huh.

S: He's got a washing machine in there that he used to use.
Of course, he didn't use it because he was dead. It was a
washing machine that washes fruit, and you know...

I: Right. And is that where the house was originally?

S: Right. Right there you'll see a small shed-like...

I: Um huh.

S: That's where the...and the store...and his house...you've
got to call it a house...it was an Indian camp, is what it
really was...

I: Um huh.

S: Now all of that is more or less destroyed. It says so, Bowers'
Grove, but they...it don't front out on this road.

I: But his land ran all the way back up into here?

S: Yes sir. Oh yes. He...his land...and...he...he bought some
land too, not too long before he died.















I: Um huh.

S: We used to laugh about it.

I: Did he die in the '30s? Was it that long ago...in the 1930s,
when he passed away?

S: Would he what?

I: Was it in the 1930s when he died, do you recall?

S: Yes sir, we'd moved out here, Mrs. Owens and I. That was
about...Nat Collins was one of the old-timers...Nat...

W: Well, I don't think Daddy, I don't think...

S: It was just...the idea there.

W: I think we owned the place, but I don't believe we'd moved.
I don't think it was that recent. But we had...we owned the
place then. I was trying to find some things that I thought
you might be interested in.

S: This boy Nat Collins...I was...he...I would think of little
things that...

W: There's a book out on...about this end, this part of Florida.
Have you been in Halsey and Griffith's store, did you tell me?

I: No, I have not been.

W: Well, if you go in there...you know where it is...up there
on Datura Street in West Palm.

I: Right.

W: Go back in the book department, and there is a little man in
there, forgotten his name now, but he's very helpful. He
knows a lot about his books.

I: Okay.

W: And he can tell you of books about Florida that might help,
you know. I'm talking...he...it may...be a wild goose chase,
but never the less it's worth a try.

S: They're trying right now to get as much information...














W: About this area right here, but anything that would be about
the lower part of Florida...

S: About these Bowers.

I: Right. This has been very helpful because it...just finding
people around here that knew him would be difficult.

W: I was trying to find a book here that we have about....

S: Ruby...Ruby is her name. Write that down...Ruby Bowers.

I: Ruby Bowers.

S: Now she's a woman that is as old as I am, but she still
teaches school.

W: Are you talking about Carrie Cabeney?

S: No, no, I'm talking about Ruby Bowers.

I: Over here in Jupiter?

S: Yes sir, that's right.

I: She still teaches school?

S: She lives there...alone there, and her daughter is there
with her I think. Now I haven't seen her in...oh....

I: Now was she a sister of one of the brothers?

S: She was a daughter...

I: A daughter of Frank?

S: ...of Frank Bowers.

I: O.K....O.K.

S: Now as long as she teaches school yet you can jump in there.

I: O.K., we'll try that one too.

S: Now she had a store. You ask her when she closed it up.

I: O.K.














S: I'm not sure whether it would be justified in saying too much
at...in this time.

I: Right.

S: About Bowers.

I: Well, this has given us some good leads. See, we knew nothing
about him really.

S: No.

I: The people over at Okeechobee felt we better come down into
this area and talk.

S: Oh yes!

I: They knew him.

S: Well, sure, and this girl...this woman...what was his name
Willa?

W: What are you talking about now? I lost tra...I'm not follow-
ing you.

S: Mel...Ruby...Ruby's husband?

W: Oh, I don't know, I don't know...I didn't know Ruby Bowers
very well. She was...I didn't...we didn't move out here...
but I didn't...but George was coming out here shooting quail
a long time ago, before we ever moved out here, so he knew
all these people. But since we moved out here I haven't
talked to her, I don't know her.

I: Whe...when did you buy this place?

W: Beg your pardon?

I: When did you buy this land?

W: What year was that do you remember?

S: Twenty years ago...may...maybe not quite that bad.

W: We owned the property a long time before we actually came
out here.















I: I was just trying to figure if Joe Bowers was still alive
after you'd bought it.

W: No...no, he was not...was he, Daddy...he wasn't...Joe Bowers
wasn't living out here when we...he was already dead...about
...before we moved out here.

I: How about...

W: Joe had died before we moved out here. Hadn't he? I think so.

S: Yes.

W: I'm sure he had.

S: Yes, just a little bit before.

W: Yes, I think that's right...because I remember I didn't see
too much of him...

S: You remember Nat Collins?

W: Yeah, I knew him some.

I: Well, we'll check all these....

W: Now Mrs. Cabeney's up here...now they are real old timers...
They have lived here a long time. She's a school teacher.
And has taught, oh, a lot of these people that have grown
up around here...she has taught.

I: Right.

W: If you could get to chat with her a minute, she might be very
helpful.

I: Yes, well....

W: But at the same time if you might ask her certain things,
you see, that you want to know. I don't know what she
knows...knew the Bowers and all of that crowd. Of course
she's a North Carolinian by origin.

I: Well, I think we ought to stop by. Well, I thank you for
all the information. It has been a help.


S: Well, you're welcome. I'm sorry I couldn't...















W: You have to kind of pick it up in bits, don't you?

I: You sure do.

W: Yes.

I: We've been working on it for four years now.

W: Oh! Have you really?!!!

I: So this....

W: I bet you could tell us a lot of things that we'd like to
know.

I: We've been spending a lot of time talking to people out...

W: Did you go out in the Glades yet?

S: 1908...how long ago is that?

I: Well, that's a good long time ago. That's sixty-four years
ago.

S: How many?

I: Sixty-four years.

S: Sixty-four years...well, now some time when you're over in
Palm Beach, and you think of it you'll find, you'll see a
picture of a baseball team...baseball...

I: Um huh.

W: Where is that picture.

S: Little....

W: Is it in Whitehall?

S: Yes, it's in Whitehall.

W: Have you...you've been in Whitehall, haven't you? Have you
gone into the...the oh...where they keep the old things we
all had.

I: Yes, right.

S: Go into a historical room or something. Judge Knott, I don't














know whether you know him or not.

I: No.

S: Well, he...he will....

W: Well, he's a fanatic about old stuff too...he's always dig-
ging up things, but he has things, some very passable pictures.

S: But anyway this picture is in there, and I'm in the picture.
I was fifteen years old.

W: That's what I was looking for. I've got a picture selling
coconuts. We'd sell coconuts on the lake trail.

S: No. All jokingly Knott stole my picture. He stole it and
put it in there...




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