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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
INTERVIEWER; JOYCE MILLER
INTERVIEWEE: MANNING DAUER
DATE: NOVEMBER 23, 1976
PLACE OF INTERVIEW: DR. DAUER'S OFFICE, 6 PEABODY HALL, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
TIME OF INTERVIEW: 4:00 p.m.
M: I'm Joyce Miller. I'm introducing, uh, interviewing Dr. Manning Dauer at his
office at 6 Peabody Hall, November 23, 1976, at 4:00 in the afternoon. And,
I'd like to ask you, Dr. Dauer, first, how you came to Gainesville?
D: Um, I came to Gainesville first, as an undergraduate student at the University
of Florida and entered in the freshman class of 1927. At that time there were
approximately 1600 students, all together, in the University of Florida. I was
graduated uh wk with a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in 1930
at the end of the summer session that year, having gone to three summer schools
so I actually was graduated in three years. I then uh did a master's degree at
the University of Florida in 19uh 30 uh 31 uh, received my master's degree at
the end of August '31, entered the University of Illinois, ( oR Illinois,
for graduate work, uh finished my Ph.D. in two more years, and came back to the
University of Florida on the uh faculty as assistant professor of uh political
science in the Department of History and Political Science in um the fall,
September of 1933.
M: Well, then, the period we're talking about, the '30's, you were both a student
and a professor.
D: That is correct.
M: Okay. Um, later we'll be talking about the University but I know that you have
been very active in state politics. I know that in um the '60's* you worked on
apportionment, I know that you're still very active n fact, you gave a
lot of the comment in the recent national election on the local television
station. So, I'd like to deal with that expertise first, and perhaps you'd like
to talk about city government in the '30's.
D: Alright. Um, let me mention that, at that time, uh, the size of Alachua County
was something above 20,000 as I remember it, the size of the city of Gainesville
was something above 10,000. The uh Alachua County uh had a county commission
of five, a school board of five, and uh many elective offices such as the
sheriff, the county tax assessor, the county tax collector, the supervisor of
registration. Uh, then, the city government had transitioned about 1925 from
a uh mayor-type uh, to a uh city-manager type. Uh, there was a mayor, f~iX kM
with a five-person city commission with a city manager type, but uh the mayor
rotated annually and was no longer what had preceeded up to 1925, the strong
mayor type. Uh, the uh, uh the the cir, so that elections in AiahKna Alachua
County centered around the Democratic party. The uh uh the proba, over 90 per
cent of the voters in the county were registered as Democratic. For OhE city
elections were held on days separate from uh those when county, state, and
national figures ran. Looking now at a county election uh the candidates would
speak hna before the Democratic, x first Democratic primary in May, and uh, the
voters from the county, up ...from 3500 to over 5000 would assemble, uh south
on the south lawn a uh, of the county courthouse square. xRX* Uh, the, if the
courthouse is still located today, in the same location, although the older
building has been torn down. Uh, so uh this was uh wakk what is today, Southeast
First Avenue, between Main Street and uh, Southeast First Street. There the
voters would be assembled, we would sit on the lawn, all of the galaxy of county
candidates that I mentioned, the opposition in the Democrats,would speak. Uh,
then, they they, that would be followed by representatives of the candidates for
governorship or uh state, secretary of state, they would have KpakaHs spokesmen
who wha would speak. Such a meeting would start right after supper, before, while
it was still quite light, uh, around 6:30, and would go on until possibly 11:30
at night. Uh, that would be on the Monday night before the first Democratic
primary. The second Democratic primary would then be in June, where upon there
would be a repetition of this. For example, you might have five candidates for
sheriff in the first uh primary...they'd be whittled down to two, whereupon those
two opponents would speak and they, and at the time of the second Ypa primary,
the uh political, the Democratic political rally would not last smi so long.
M: Would it be strictly a political rally or would it, did it become almost a
social event to aixidxA attend?
D: Well, you greeted people and you mingled with the crowd uh, the, you you did
not have refreshments...those were rather held when the statewide candidates
would have a a a fish fry when they came to town and wax would typically be
uh out uh the Fairgrounds which is today on the corner of uh Northeast 8th Avenue
and the Waldo Road.
M: We're talking aat about i the Citizen's Field area there today....
D: The Citizen's f Field uh as it is d today which was then called the Fairgrounds.
Uh they, and you, they would have a fish fry followed by a p9xx miax particular
d candidate. Uh, now the Republicans uh did not poll enough votes in Alachua
County uh so that uh uh they would only, they would only be few of those. They
did not hold a rally. Uh, before the general election in November, you usually
again did not have a rally because you took it for granted that k ik the state
was going Democratic for, for the entire ticket. Now the uh uh a a feature of
this was, that the um uh that in Gainesville and in Alachua County, black votes
were registered to vote in this uh uh in most of north Florida in the counties
across north Florida, mnx uh the black voters had been intimidatedfrrom the
period 1890 to 1900 on. But in Alachua County they continued to register and uh
they the the the there were no black candidates for office, K but uh blacks
would come to uh the Democratic uh political rallies. It was also somewhat
different from the rest in that uh the uh black vote was registered in the uh
Democratic party in the main. And now in in most other areas of the South, the
blacks were registered =t xi at all, they were uh Republican.
M: Now in reference to city politics, uh were there factions in town and perhaps
you can explain what they were?
D: Alright. The factions in Gainesville uh were two. On the one hand there were the
uh lower income white and smaller merchants, which was called the"Wool Hat"Faction.
Uh they sought seats on the city commission and the county commission, so these
were really county-wide factions. Uh, the um, uh the um, uh Wool Hai le, leader
of the faction was Benjamin Montmorency Tench uh who ran a shoe store on the
uh west side of the Square, uh and who also had some property in Gainesville.
Uh, he is uh the father of the present Alachua County Circuit Judge, Ben Mont
Tench, Jr. And now there's a Ben Mont Tench, III who's coming on, but so far he's
not active in Alachua politics. Uh, the opposite faction was the "Silk Hat" factic
which was headed by uh such individuals as Hugh Taylor, the president of the
uh uh First National BAnk, or the the man who succeeded him uh the President
M: Am I correct, that's Leigh Graham?
D: That is Leigh Graham and uh, ail uh also, prominent in that uh was uh uh James
M. Butler who was yet for many terms, mayor of Gainesville, uh and they were in
in the majority. But they, the Silk Hat faction also was in alliance with the
black fac, voters.....uh uh and they had uh uh the leader of the black voters
was uh Charles Chesnut, the proprietor of the Chesnut Funeral Home.
M: Was Rx C. Addison. Twrr~also in thp.t7 f ?
D: Yes. C. Addison Pound of Baird Hardware uh was also in the Silk Hat faction.
M: What did blacks um find that they had in common with the large merchants and
fin, financial interests of the town?
D::' I think probably because they were less competitive w for jobs with the larger
merchants. There were, they were, there was more comfort in such an alliance.
It was also true that as a xea reward, uh they uh the public works were then
shared with the blacks. For example, when University Avenue was paved, all the
way past the University, it was all, it was uh, they the the principle black
merchant street which was Fifth Avenue uh was also paved. Uh, when uh Buchholz
uh, excuse me, when the present Buchholz High School, which then was called
Gainesville High School, was built, uh the blacks uh got Lincoln High School
which is now the A. Quin Jones School building and uh is in the uh area more
inhabited by blacks. Uh, uh when they uh put a fire station on uh uh uh what
is now South Main Street, uh xk they also uh uh put a fire station in the uh uh
in the uh uh black area uh just ab, if I remember correctly, it's uh, the old
fire station #2, which is uh adjacent to uh Fifth Avenue, it's on about 3rd Avenue
and 10th Street uh Northwest. Uh 2 so uh now uh the city ran into financial
problems and didn't get to put an engine in uh t8h fire station #2 'til late
in the uh '30's, but ai at least a station was built and ultimately it did get
M: In reference to services, what kind of services did the government, the local
government, offer the people in the '30's?
D: Uh, the uh why, the county government of course, had the sheriff and the... built
rural roads. Uh, if, the county school board built school buildings such as uh
we have mentioned. Uh the uh uh in in the city government you had police
protection, and again, uh it, h I don't, I I'm not sure it was as early as the
'30's but we were one of the first cities in the Deep South to k get some black
policemen. Uh, prior to that, however, uh the police uh were instructed by the
city council to treat blacks equally and I can remember a case where, uh
Addison Pound himself, intervened, even though he were not on the council, when
a black was mistreated. Uh, so that uh there was a, ix uh, so that the idea was
there was discipline in the sheriff's forces, discipline in the police force
which included training the police uh to treat uh blacks,uh not to use excessive
force, and uh not to try to force t~M confessions and so forth.
M: Was the hospital also built during the '30's?
D: The, the hospital was built in the '30's and uh the uh uh the hospital was a
service facility which was of course, important to the community. There, there
was a prior hospital in a wooden building before the first brick uh what's now
the first wing of the Alachua General Hospital.
M: Was the wooden building on the same uh site?
D: I don't, uh that was prior to my coming in 1930.
M: I see. How were uh the people taxed....
D: I mean 1927. Yeah.
M: How were the people taxed to pay for these services?
D: Uh, the tax structure involved a millege tax on real property, although the city
had uh a peculiar system. Uh the city, uh, levied no personal, excuse me, no
real property tax, but instead transferred revenue from the light and water
plant. So that uh on the one hand, uh, so it, uh there's something of an anomoly
here that your big business individuals did not support the private power company.
They rather supported city-owned utilities. Then, however, that relieved them
of paying personal and real property taxes....uh most important is real property
taxes, because uh the uh uh electric charges and the water charges were kept high
enough so that it was not until after World War II that we uh had any millfge
on uh on real property in the city. Uh, to meet city expenses. Uh, there also
were I3ma certain licensing taxes and merchant taxes,...I mean, taxes to open
a store, but not on the inventory.
M: Do you recall tkaZ the sales tax for the state was at that time? Was it about
D: There was no sales tax. The sales tax in the state of Florida was not adopted
until the 1940's.
M: Until the '40's.
D: Uh the only taxes uh that uh they had in uh Florida Ah uh were uh uh were uh
we're now moving from county and city taxes to uh state taxes and uh the
gasoline tax, uh the uh racing tax, a small severence tax which is the tax on
taking minerals out of the ground, like limestone and phosphate, and uh, the
uh, the fact is, that the state \A had a very low level of pay, and uh uh
and aH and uh the and so your uh gasoline tax uh paid for the roads and uh uh
and that was just about it. But it was not until uh the administration of
Governor Fuller Warren after 1949, that uh a uh uh sales tax was imposed.
M: How did the Depression change city government?
D: Oh, excuse me, there was xi also an inheritance tax a in Florida to meet state
taxes uh because the inheritance tax was levied on uh uh it was an an offset.
for the federal so we had an inheritance tax up to the level of the federal
inheritance tax and then one 4 got to write it off. m&mmem I inadvertently
got vgA created a phrase about the-~g mE Florida tax system. Uh uh I might
add that there was also a tax on liquor and on xigaxdkt cigarettes that I've left
out, and I said that uh, anyway I said that our tax system apparently was designed
that if, if you drove faster, Fzaxa drink, drove further, drank more liquor,
then cracked up on the highway and killed yourself, that mndi would cover all
the state taxes, in Florida.
M: Ha ha. Well, how did the Depression change city government? What kinds of
services were iaat or how um were employees paid er....?
D: Em, employees were paid, but they were paid out of this uh uh out of this uh uh
out of the uh light and um uh receipts. Uh, there was a hidden tax in that you
charged on the light bill and on the water bill more than the cost of the
services, then you transferred that to the general cost of the city government.
M: But were the services cut back because of the Depression?
D: The reason for uh, alright, this is difficult to answer because the De, the
Depression starts in Florida in 1925. Uh, it, the uh, the Florida boom
collapsed in 1925. fE For example, uh Golfview, uh what was an unfinished sub-
division when I came to Gainesville in 1927, you had the gateway up and a few
houses but ndk'many. You also had the skeleton of of what is now, the Seagle
Building and which had been erected as uh the McKee-Kelly Hotel, but it was
simply a uh hollow tile skeleton with no windows and uh, and it remained such
until a WPA project in the 1930's, the uh the uh Mrs. Georgia Seagle um gave um
uh money uh to buy the bricks and then the county put up WPA work uh to finish
it off and give it to the University. And uh, and and uh that was a ten-story
building that remained as an unfinished skeleton on the city skyline from uh
uh approximately 1926 until 1936. Uh these, by the way, were typical. All Floride
was dotted with these unfinished skeletons of high rise hotels where the Florida
Boom that had gone on from 1924, uh one, to 1925, uh had collapsed n and so that
my point is the Depression in Florida preceded the uh uh the uh, I can remember
the uh even in 1927, the Citizen's Bank chain, which was one of the largest in
Florida, finally collapsed i and uh, that was very sey, that happened during my
freshman year, and was very severe. I had five dollars in the Citizen's Bank
uh uh uh which was not here in Gainesville but was in Tampa where I had come
from and uh, when it finally liquidated it paid off 25 on the dollar and uh
they offered me this if I would pay a 50 notary fee. I think it rather takes
genius to be ahK able to lose four hun, k $4.75 of a five dollar deposit.
M: Ha. I know within the, within the city, I understand that all the banks at one
time folded with the exception of First National Bank which remained open at
D: And that, that is correct. The uh other from, during this early period, the
Dutton Bank failed in uh in Gainesville. That was before the s0's.....after
I came here the Phifer Bank, uh which subsequently uh ....the Phifer Bank didanot
fail completely. It, uh it paid out about sixty-five or seventy-five cents on
the dollar, and uh uh simply had to be reorganized. Uh the uh First National
Bank continued, uh and was only closed for possibly a few weeks uh during the
uh national Bank Holiday of 1933. It was already rxna reopened when I came back
M: When you came back from Illinois that was in 1933...
M: What was the feeling of the community in regards to the election of Franklin
Roosevelt and the New Deal?
D: Well, there was quite a bit of optimism because you had had all of these bank:
g failures and yminad you had had the stagnation of the Mx economy uh all through
that period, I can remember that uh, uh seeing uh farmers uh come to town uh
with a horse, a mule hitched in front of a Ford because they could not pay uh
twenty cents uh for a gallon of gasoline, and uh this was uh not an uncommon
sight. The money was so scarce that uh uh there there was quite a bit of
optimism and a great lifting of spirits uh after Roosevelt was elected. I
experienced that really at Illinois and uh was finishing my doctoral dissertation
at the time, so I was rather concentrating on that but uh uh it a was evident
when I returned to Gainesville. W
M: Well, we mentioned the WPA. Were any of the other, did any of the other federal
projects have an effect on the community?
D: Oh yes. The uh, uh the Federal Emergency Relief Administration preceded the
WPA and the uh Federal Emergency Relief Adatini Administration were short-term
projects. Uh it was also true that out at the University uh we had uh an upturn
of uh students. Uh the =a National Youth Administration paid uh students fifteen
cents an hour and that enabled them to earn their way through the University.
Uh the uh, that was a federal program where the money came to the state and there
was a state NYA. Uh, the uh, it was like-wise true that uh on WPA projects after
the the Seagle Building uh the uh uh uh the uh MExKZxy area dormitories were
built on this campus. Uh, that is, the campus of the University of Florida.
Uh the uh uh the um present Arts and Science building which was the first student
union building that was built with uh student fees for student union building
buying the bricks and then uh the uh WPA workers putting it up and uh uh so that
kuh., there was a considerable axamx expansion of uh building activity uh on this
campus......not, I might add, as much as uh uh as other university campuses
because uh the state was so poor that uh it could not uh pay out. Uh, one
incident I remember about uh University salaries for example, we always got them,
but the state, until Alfred I. DuPont died, about 1935, um did not have, the the
state had insufficient funds both to pay for supplies and also to pay salaries.
Uh, we would uh go x through a monthly process of uh, if we were in, as we are
Co f r
now, November, and in the middle of the month, uh the uh state uh c.Q l1r
and secretary of treasurer would say, well, we won't be able to give you your
December 1st salaries until about December the 15th unless somebody dies, that
has at a large estate. Then if or unless we liquidate one that is in process.
If we do that, we'll be able to pay you. Well, uh uh then about November the
2fitn twenty uh eighth they would say, we're coming close, but we can't quite
make it yet, so x don't look for your check on uh December the first. And then,
you would uh finally get to December the first and they would say, uh we think
we're going to make it by the eighth, and so, sure enough, on the eighth, you'd
get your December check. We still haven't got any money to pay you your
January check. Ha ha ha ha ha. And we'd go through that month after month after
month. Finally, when Alfred I. DuPont uh uh who was the uh Florida DuPont,
died, uh, they got us, uh uh they they they liquidated the back and they, and
in the meantime, by the way, they had not been able to pay any supplies and the
uh state treasurer kept all bills on a series of staples and he had them all
lined up in order and uh, he hadn't paid for a couple of years for any state
supplies, but uh, when DuPont died again, they started with the first pile of
staples, pulled off all the bills and went on down until they uh got the state
current. After about 1935, why uh, the state was uh uh sound again. We didn't
get any, ..-..there had been salary cuts before I joined the faculty, and uh the
first o_______ those As salary cuts that I remember uh was as late as
the Holland Administration hi because I can remember uh some of us on the faculty
going up to ih see the Governor, telling him that it was time to ha ha ha ha
to uh to institute, to pay off on uh provisional raises which had been authorized
uh by the 1t 1941 Legislature.
M: The optimism that was locally for Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal that was
proposed, did that carry over to the Dave Sho tz Administration, the state uh
D: Uh, the um, uh, Sholtz uh was uh was taking office, well, excuse me, Sholtz had
taken office in 1933 while I was still in uh in uh uh in Illinois. The uh
uh Sholtz, so Sholtz was governor when I uh returned, in the summer of uh uh
19 uh 33. He was uh the, whatever program he uh had, uh the first priority
was to start paying X off the defaulted Florida county and municipal bonds.
So the state uh uh the state legislation was adopted for the Murphy Act to
permit uh the uh uh people to buy property and then to turn this money over to
the county or the state, uh that is, buy property that uh, andxm had um been
defaulted on by the kxx tax payer. And then, there was set up a state board of
administration and they began to buy up these county and city bonds which had
long been in default. So, the primary emphasis was on, uh so uh this is
reminiscent of the plight interestingly of New York City as of now, but uh,
but what had happened was, that uh, uh they had been local, there were several
hundred cities, local bridge district, and counties in Florida that were in
default, on the bonds which they had floated in the '20's to uh pave and uh
and those were being payld paid off and the Sholtz Administration was preoccupied
with that problem. It did not get to expand uh state services S.lO-.,.. So
there was some optimism probably, if you were a bond holder, but uh the state
services and employees got uh, uh and you didn't increase the state payroll
uh greatly except through these federal funds.
M: Do you remember the controversy during the Sholtz Administration in regards to
D: Yes. Uh, at one session of the Legislature uh shot, uh slot slot machines
were legalized. They were then put in and uh the uh uh there were practically
no restrictions on where they were placed. You had 'um in every grocery store
you had x 'um in uh corner, and at that time there were corner grocery stores
and so on, uh, the uh, uh, the upshot of this was that uh, uh, that there Hxx
were so many of them around and um, and another thing, the uh kidks kids going
to school would have to pass five or six of 'um and they would drop their
money and this was before they we....in 'um, and uh this was when school lunches
uh did not, xkxE where you didn't have school lunches provided pnxhidd by the
school, you have to pay at the cafeteria so you'd have kids fainting in school
because they'd dropped their money in the slot machines, and uh there was such
a revulsion that the whole uh uh that those members of the Legislature X who
uh had voted to legalize slot machines had uh their jobs wiped out.axx In other
words, when they ran for xznKt re-election, they were defeated.
M: Do you recall specifically where they were located in this area? Any specific
machines....perhaps on campus or near the campus?
D: Um, well, I uh uh across the zap campus, uh I can remember it but I nam do not
remember specific locations, no. Uh, let me mention one other thing. When I
1axkid talked about county grocery stores, one of the things that was prominent
in local politics, at the state level and and throughout, was uh the attempt
to nigkk either outlaw chain stores or tax them per unit higher. For instance,
uh, twenty-five dollar to operate one store, second store, two hundred dollars,
third store, five hundred dollars, fourth store, a thousand dollars, to license
it see. This was the proposal that your smaller merchants made to try to save
themselves and this was part, one of the big issues, uh the anti-chain store
issue was prominent in the state and it was one of the issues as between the small
merchants and the Silk Hat faction in local politics. Which I've already referred
M: I'm trying to think asi and I don't recall when was the first chain-store
introduced into Gainesville? Would that have been Sears?
D: Uh, I remember uh a Piggley-Wiggley uh quite early, but I'm sorry you'd have to...
you'd better research the city telephone books because t rather than uh, relying
on my memory, that's a matter of written record and I don't like to uh try to
guess, uh when uh something can be found by uh written record.
M: Uh, let's change the topic a little bit now and talk about the University of
Florida. You came back as a professor in the early '30's, and you said, you were
a member of the uh combined history and political science department which was
combined I guess, until about 1950.......
M: ......and at that time, was separated into two departments. Was Dr. Leek the
head of the department at the time you were here?
D: Yes. Dr. James Miller Leek, uh was the head of the uh his, t combined history
and political science department. As I remember he came in 1919, and remained
here until he retired at age 70 in 1950, as you've suggested. When I joined the
department, it was uh a five-person department. There were three in the ....
historians, and two political scientists. Bi* Uh, Dr. Leek had had a major in
history and a minor in political science and all of us uh taught in the
introductory courses. For example, I taught in the introductory history course
and then offered advance courses in political science. I also a taught in the
uh uh in the introductory political science courses, so we all took the uh the
typical load was five, three-hour uh courses. We were on the semester system
so we had a fifteen hour teaching load. Uh,.....
M: Do you recall which uh the names of the professors' that you worked with at that
D: Uh, yes. The members of the uh his, the combined department of history and
political science, xmHxa were, in American history, Dr, James Miller Leek and
Dr. J. D.Blount. In uh uh the uh and Dr. Leek also taught uh much of the uh
continental history such as a course in uh the French Revolution and Napoleon and
the Renaissance and Reformation and so forth. Uh, Dr. Blount uh taught medieval
history and uh also Latin American history. Uh, he, his specialty, had, he had
written a book on Florida pant, Plantation RKa~ records, but he was not really
teaching in his field. Um, the third member on the history side was uh, uh
Dr. Ancil N. Paine who taught uh and he was, his specialty was English history
which of course he taught, along with the introductory course in medieval history.
On the political science side, uh the the, I came when uh Professor Leslie
Bennett Tribbleay left to take a position in the Roosevelt Administration. Uh,
another member of the department was Arthur Sylvestor Green, uh, but Green then
went on at hKa8~ m absence to do graduate work and was succeeded by Angus
McKenzie Laird. Uh, Laird later left uh to be a uh state administrator of the
first Florida merit system. And uh, uh, he uh, uh he is uh, still living as is
Dr. Paine and myself.
M: And you are the only three/that original group?
D: Of that original group....the rest have uh died.
M: Could you, could i you s describe Dr. Leek?
D: Dr. Leek was a very colorful person and and a very fine uh teacher. He also did
some excellent research. His Uh, his uh work on the Virginia Committee system
and the American Revolution is still a manidx standard we book, and he likewise
had written on Am american constitutional law, which +fktx latter writings were in
the political science field. Uh, He was short and spare, he was a per, he was
outspoken uh, he was a very good uh uh teacher. He had a Virginia accent which
uh uh President Marston uh has the same type...they both came from uh so, uh
upland Virginia or just on the uh valley side of Richmond. And uh, uh Dr. Leek
had taught at uh, had a Ph.D. i from Johns Hopkins, he uh had taught at Bryn Mawr
and uh then had uh trans, then had been asked to uh head the combined history and
political science department at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Uh, he
uh the department chairman at the time uh had a uh private office, there was no
axx secretary, and Dr. Leek never did like the telephone, in fact, he had no
telephone in his office andx when he retired in 1950. Uh uh whenever there was
anything of uh uh the department telephone was on different floor. Uh he let
this be known through out the University that he would have to walk up or down
a flight of stairs to answer the phone and that discouraged people from calling
him except on matters of the greatest importance. The um, uh, he had a uh
Model-T Ford uh which uh did not have a starter. It was, he he continued to
drive that uh uh until he retired in 1950. Uh, Mrs. Leek had a Model-T Ford
sedan and um, as near as I can figure out, uh uh there was no new car bought
from the time he came in 1919 until twenty uh uh uh until the time w of his uh
death which was around 1955. Uh, the Ford touring car had uh no um starter and
uh uh Dr. uh so that it was something of a ritual that when, on a cold day, uh
it would be,, you had to start, 2 you had to keep on cranking it, so that uh the
department would assemble to help t get Dr. Leek's car uh started when he left,
around three thirty in the ev, each afternoon, and uh we would take tAxmxxtEXHKx
turns uh cranking on it until finally it would start off. Um, I understood that
in the mornings, Mrs. Leek would boil um hot water in a kettle, then he would
take it out and gm pour it into the radiator to uh uh well, he'd first had to
open the petcock at the bottom to let part of the water out. Then he'd take
several kettles full of water and uh he would uh heat the uh the uh, the purpose
of that was to heat the the jacket or block around the cylinders, and and then
one person could crank it before you dropped of exhaustion and k get the thing
started. But we had no uh no heating facilities in Peabody Hall to uh heat
water and in the meantime the car would have cooled, uh cooled down. mH didn't
have to do that here, I might add, except on the coldest days. N
M: Now I understand, from one source, that Dr. Leek used to say a maxas master's
degree from him was the same thing as a Ph.D. from anya other university. Do you
recall that kind of um attitude?
D: Uh, he, he maintained high standards, but I think that was not what he would have
said, but what somebody might have said who was trying to finish a thesis under
him. Uh, this would of uh been, uh he he would have regarded that as uh as
certainly a statement that would sound like he was bragging and uh he he would
not have made a a ....but I can readily understand his student who was trying to
finish uh uh uh a uh master's thesis according to his standards and I've seen
them up to five hundred pages.
M: Oh, for a master's thesis?
D: That is for a master's thesis.
M: Now you mentioned that the office or some of the offices were in Peabody. Was
that the basis a for the political science-anxhistory department in the '30's?
D: Uh, actually, all of the Arts and Sciences offices started out in Anderson a Hall.
And uh, Peabody was the George Peabody uh College for the uh uh George Peabody
Hall for the teachers college. That still is the inscription outside.
M: Uh huh.
D: Uh, the teachers, the uh uh the uh teachers college which changes its name to the
College of Education was located in this uh building, as was the general extension
division. Uh, then, uh on the top two floors, you had the College of Architecture
and Fine Arts, and uh the uh, uh, present p Peabody 205 auditorium was a long
drafting room. The attic was uh was open as a drafting room for those who were
being trained in architecture.
M: Well, where would the classrooms be, then, for the political science or history
D: Uh, in uh, uh originally in Anderson Hall uh uh and later uh in Peabody, but uh
even in in those t days, um the uh classroom facilities were pooled ii and uh
one might teach in any one of a m number of buildings as far as holding a class.
M: You mentioned when you came you were teaching some of the introductory courses.
Was this part of the general college that was the predecessor to the University
D: Uh, no. The uh, the first year I was here in '34-'35, the proposal for the
University College was made, but at that time, all courses uh, well, for all
Arts and Sciences students in the History and Political Rixar Science Department
we offered medieval history. All freshmen took the same thing. They took a
course in math, they took a course in freshman English, a course in the general
history of literature, and uh, and so on. Then we offered for the College of
Business students, we offered the uh uh American government mnxxn course, then
our advanced courses were offered for our majors or those in uh other departments.
Now, there was no University College. Uh, you had, the waxy way the University
was organized, there was a four-year college of Arts and Aifn Sciences, a
four-year college of Business Administration, an a four-year college of Agriculture
a four-year college of Architecture and Fine Arts and a four-year teacher's college
and uh then, there was the College of Law which took in students who had
successfully completed the sophomore year. And uh, uh, the uh they did not, the
21 College of Law of that date did not require an A.B. uh uh for admission.
Um, the uh, College of Law was a three-year uh law sch, uh law college.
End of side one.
AL 20A SIDE TWO
M: ................... .34 and '35.
D: Why not. In '30.....uh in uh in '34/35, we divided up into committees to plan
the cu, the uh what was called the University College or or or the general
~aBdiSg college, and uh that uh became, that op operated first in September of
1935. Then, the uh the structure of the University a was changed and instead of
and and all freshmen and sophomores registered in the general college. All uh
then after that, juniors and seniors only were admitted to the College of Arts
and Sciences, Business Adminstration, Engineering, which I had inadvertently
left out before, the College of Engineering or the College of Agriculture or the
College of Architecture. Um,.the, so starting with the fall of ink 1930...uh 5,
all students took a general social sciences course k which combined history,
political science, economics, uh sociology, and uh there was some elements of
anthropology imx and geography in it. Um, that was a year course, and all
freshmen took that. All freshmen took a course in freshmen English. Instead of
the course, general course in history.of.literature, uh the humanities uh course
was added. Uh, then a student uh took uh a semester of math and a second semester
of logic. Uh, the uh, in the uh, there also was offered a course in the physical
sciences which combined history, excuse me, uh physics, uh chemistry, geology,
uh, and physical geography and astronomy,...and geology. Then uh, in the
sophomore year, uh the student took biological sciences which was a year course
and uh if and I miKzsak misspoke when I said the humanities....uh while that
department was organized, the course wasn't given for the student until the
student was a sophomore. Then, the other two courses a student M took a were
elective, and there he'd begin to take preparatory work for engineering or
architecture or or bus ad or whatever his major was going to be in Arts and
M: This was a pretty innovative program na, nation-wide, was it not?
D: Uh, the general college had already existed at the uh at uh the University of
Chicago. Uh, Chauncey Balchor, who had been the first dean there, and who
agxa became of the University of uh Nebraska, was uh one of the persons who
came and uh and helped us organize our version. Uh, he coming, making many
visits, to the campus during '34/'35 which was the year that we formed the
syllabi for all of these courses. And uh, uh, and then uh, Columbia University
had such a program and uh Harvard instituted theirs as I remember, after we did.
Uh, but uh, the uh but there were three programs that we had a number of visiting
professors come in and uh, uh and uh, those were from Minnesota, Chicago, and
Columbia, all of which preceded the University of of Florida. Now, in the
College of Arts and Sciences, we voted that this should not be done, but then
nxik it was,, then uh President, the Board of Regents felt that students were
wasting a good deal of time trying to go through these separate four-year
curricula and that they would do much better to get uh the information from
general education, and also find which direction they wanted to go in. So this
was done, not by vote of the faculty, that isa the fact, in '34/'35, we were;tol...
there was an order from the Board of Control, that hnn being what is now the
Board of Regents, the the, and that Board of laymen, ordered us to Pn plan and
execute it as of September, of a year later. Which, that is, they ordered it
in September of '34.....we did it in September of '35. The committee that headed
it uh was headed by uh Winston W. Little of the College of Education. Walter
J. Matherly, Dean of the College of Business, who became the first dean of the
general college, and uh, A. P. (Percy) Black, which mkwmx uh, who was a professor
of chemistry, and uh is uh still living in Gainesville. Uh, the committee uh
was uh called the Little-Black-Matherly Committee, uh, Matherly was the chairman
of the committee and the first dean and then he was succeeded by Winston W.
M: And that's the same system that we've basically operated on at the University
until, well I guess it still is today, but there's more controversy t__ L
f 6Th away from it.
D: Now, there, now then, well now, instead of a single course in the social sciences,
one can substitute two courses in different uh uh disciplines. Uh, the, but the
principle that all students uh shall uh have a uh a finding period in uh still
maminx remains and the principle that xh student shall take, uh uh work in each
of these general areas of knowledge rather than a single course, uh that is the
way we have changed it.
M; I uh noticed in the Tigert book,,written by George Osborn I believe, a mention
of you being involved, uh, trying to settle an incident involving an a
University professor accused of being a Peeping Tom, and uh, he eventually
found a job, I guess, in New York. Uh, what was that story and incident?
D: Well, uh the;.... what happened was that uh, uh, I uh I was a friend of his, and...
of this professor, uh I got a call one day, and I was in Anderson Hall, and I
got a call from Dr. Tigert and uh, Dr. Tigert asked me to come up to his office.
I then found President Tigert and uh my friend uh there, and uh President Tigert
said uh, uh "Manning, I'm very sorry to say that we have serious k charges from
the sheriff against Professor So and So. Uh, I know you know him well, and uh
uh, he simply has offered to resign. I don't think he ought to make a decision
immediately. I simply want you to go, I've acquainted him with the nature of the
charges. He uh I I I think that he ought to think about it and so as soon as
you can free yourself from your duties, I want I you two to go off and uh you
take him down to talk to a lawyer, and uh then uh, uh uh I just don't want him
uh uh while he uh is, uh I I don't want him to act precipitately." And I said
hI certainly, and uh, I said, "What is this about?" And he said, "He will tell
you. I could but uh I'm sure he will." And uh so we left and uh the uh uh and
my friend simply siidxn said, "Well, uh, uh, there's no point to this uh uh uh
Manning. The best thing I could do is start off somewhere else. Uh I don't
think we need to go down and see a lawyer." a And said the evidence is rather
conclusive because the husband jumped out of the window and landed on top of me
and was still sitting on me uh when uh when the police came, so I don't see that
uh, uh I suggest that I resign, and they redistribute my classes uh, I pack and
leave. And uh, so uh uh uh I said, Okay, if that's the way you feel, but I
mentioned it in the interview with Proctor because I thought it showed a AMWT
*$g'U-- P A sense of uh balance and fairness in President Tigert's addi attitude
toward the whole thing, where uh he was not trying to uh uh have any hurried
solution, he wanted justice to be done. He was certainly not offering to cover
it up, but he did, also did not wish to take advantage of a person when uh uh
the person had just been released uh from custody.
M: Did this take place in '37?
D: I've forgotten. I couldn't tell uh ......
M: Uh huh.
D: ....now, it uh readily could have been because I know, I know that uh for several
years, uh one of our contacts had been that uh we had played in the same bridge
group and I know that went on for several years and and I know it was also uh
sometime ahead of uh I might say, that subsequently the professor married and
very happily, and wa, had a fine career, and uh since that time has retired from
Florida so I do not care to ...........
M: You mentioned Dr. Tigert and hiz the kind of fairness ....
M: ....um, what was it like working under Dr. Tigert, and did you know him very
D: Uh, I, I would say that uh, well I was elected uh in the '30's, within five
years after coming here, as President of the American Association of University
%xfi Professors chapter, so that uh uh I had a good many, ...well, all of h e
us had a good many contacts....there were probably about a hundred and fifty
on the faculty all together and so we were bound to have it, but uh I perchance,
uh had more than someone not mwnK working for him as a dean or anything because
a uh uh on many of the chapter matters uh and and the fact that that was probably
one of the reasons he called me in...he knew that I knew due process procedure
between my training in political science, public law, and having been in about
other matters affecting thE uh faculty, for instance, uh, uh later, they, we had
one, uh after World War uh II was, had broken out...I left for the armed services
but there was one professor we had with a German accent, uh and uh Tigert would
call me up and say uh uh "Manning, you and Professor Af_ Robinson better get
here again. You know our professor with a German accent, and some of the
citizens have reported a man with a German accent to the FBI again. So, uh you'd
better get here and tell them about him because there' use bothering him.
You all just si~x tell 'um, and then that will be enough." And so we would call
and say that uh Professor So and So who had a German accent was not a paid German
sk spy and that uh, the world would stay in place, and they would say "Thank you
very much" and leave. But, on something like that, Tigert uh, didn't wish, he
knew that the person was rather on edge, and uh, and uh he didn't even bother
to say, "You come in and prove you're innocent", He he'd call in some of us
who were fairly well knownin the community to uh speak, uh ak as to what the
reputation of the individual was, and so forth. Uh, so uh, I daK found Tigert
to be uh uh a very faxi fair in his uh dealings and to have a uh a good sense
M: What was your relation to the Phi Beta Kappa chapter on campus?
D: Um, Phi Beta Kappa uh when uh I ca, uh well, I can remember, if I might tell one
story about my uh freshman year....at that i time they had an honor roll and um,
the honor roll was a mid-term honor roll, around the first of November. Three
of us in the freshmen class uh wound up as one, two and three. Number One and
two became Rhodes Scholars, uh Dr. George John Miller who's now on the faculty
at the University of West Florida, and uh the late federal judge, William A.
McCray, Jr., and uh, uh so uh George Miller became a Oxford, Rhodes Scholar,
got his degree from Oxford and a later a fntB doctorate f~n from the University
of Madrid. Uh, McCray later uh finished uh in uh Arts and Sciences and then
in law at Florida and i also had a bachelor of Jurisprudence faxxa from Oxford,
and became a federal district judge. I went on and got my Ph.D., but anyway,
it it in 1927, after we had been here two months, uh and I might add, that during
the first semester it was the custom at that time and on through the World War
II that all freshmen wore rat caps, so we were wearing these orange k rat caps.
Well, we looked at each other and decided that it would be nice if the University
got a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa by the time we were uh uh uh we got our degrees.
And so we constituted ourselves a committee of three and called on the dean of
the college of uh uh Arts and Sciences, uh James N. Anderson, for whom uh, who
was professor of classics and uh dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. We
called on Anderson a in his office which then was at the end of Anderson Hall,
the first floor now. Hifx Uh, and um, it was in uh uh called Language Hall.
Um, we uh, we called on the dean and the dean had a white walrus moustache which
the ends of which turned up, and uh, he uh and a we told, we were somewhat, we
were in his college, we were freshmen, we had been in school two months. We told
him that uh, we would uh that we could we help.lin the faculty getting a petition
together to get a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. At that point Dean Anderson, I can
see the ends of that moustache start to twitch.....and his eyes sparkled. He
said, "Gentlemen, I greatly appreciate your offer of help. Uh, it is uh uh we
already have a chairman of hEx a committee at work. Let me get him in." So
with that, that was when I first met James Miller Leek. I did not happen to
have in in my first.....So he called.....he walked down the hall to Dr. Leek's
office uh, and uh, Dr. Leek came in, and he said uh uh "Dr. Leek, these gentlemen
these young gentlemen have a proposition that I want them to restate to you. I
want you to hear it exactly as they stated it to me." Raxhkx heh he heh heh.
So he had it repeat.it. At this point Dr. Leek Hnrwpxxwd suppressed a smile
and said that they were fully at work, that if we could help 'um in typing or
anything he would call upon us, and h that we waid would do everything possible
that uh, that uh the faculty committee was doing everything possible, he thought.
But he appreciated our interest, and they both bowed very curteously and we we
went out. Well, unfortunately, the R*ixxs~cy University had so little money
for library and laboratory equipment that the ainisimH petition was turned down.
So that was still the situation when uh I came back uh 1933. At that point,
uh they um, the, we we ...meanwhile, I had been elected as a graduate student
at Illinois and so I became the secretary of the petitioning gunan group of
faculty from the University of Florida. Uh, meantime, also, uh Dr. Murphree had
uh been succeeded as president by Dr. John J. Tigert. Dr. Tigert was Phi Beta
Kappa from Vanderbilt and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa senate. Uh, he uh
we petitioned again, in either '35 or '36, had an inspection committee come down,
we still had not repaired the gaps in the library, we were d turned down again,
but uh we finally were uh uh in '37, they granted us uh the charter, and uh we
then had the installation of the chapter in uh I believe, February of 1938,
when we had uh quite a celebration with uh Phi Beta Kappa members from throughout
the South coming down and Frank Pierpont Graves, the president of the united
chapters came down from New York, and uh then Senator Claude Pepper made a speech.
We had a three-day uh ceremonial and did install the chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
M: How many people were initiated at that beginning meeting?
D: Uh, the various local, there is a local publication in the library, the History
of Phi Beta Kappa, I know we4initiated two alumni and I would venture, twelve or
fifteen undergraduates, but again, it's a matter of written record that you can
check....1 I hesitate to try to guess.
M: At what time did you bring Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to campus?
D: Well, Marjorie XEiaxKn Kinnan Rawlings came to speak at that Phi Beta Kappa
installation. She spoke at one of the luncheons uh in one of the three uh days
of ceremonies. Uh, she also, however, uh frequently came to the campus by
invitation of uh student writing groups under the auspices of the Department of
English, and uh uh the, there was an organization called "A Speculative Society",
which uh has, and which would invite her, and she would come in from Cross Creek
and would meet with the students. Uh, she also uh of course, came to the campus
shortly before her death when she presented all her manuscripts and there was a
great ceremony-of uh the uh uh writer's conference, and i that, and I can remember
uh, Mrs. uh Jesse Ball DuPont, the widow of Alfred at I, DuPont, uh who was a
member of the Board of Control, uh uh being present on that occasion along uh with
many people throughout the state and uh the mnaism ceremony,was held in what is now
uh the uh uh Humanities Reading Room of Library East.
M: What was the obligations of professors in the '30's towards research? Was it as
important as teaching?
D: Uh yes. Uh the, as a matter of fact, uh, uh the uh while we did not give uh,...
well, uh, let me back up a minute. About 1928 to 30, the first doctorate was
authorized as and that was to be in chemistry and pharmacy. Until 19 uh 47, we
had no doctorates uh and only awarded the master's in humanities, the social
sciences, and most of the other areas. Uh incidently we uh, biology did come in
in the 19 uh, the late 1920's too, with a Ph.D. However, it was the expectation
of the faculty uh that the faculty should do research and uh, I felt uh when I
went on to Illinois or when I'd been in contact with other uh uh faculty members
uh uh from other universities,that I got as good an undergraduate degree here
I could ask for. For instance, uai, I in'(W German, eS Charles Langley Crowe
was uh had his doctorate from e_ iA__f_ a German university, he had written.
Uh, Anderson, professor of classics, had his doctorate from Hopkins, and he had
written a uh uh number of research papers and uh works. Uh, Dr. James Miller Leek
had published his work on the Virginia committee system in the American Revolutic
and also had published a number of historical and political science articlesOul.
Dr. James Blount had ~) published on Southern history, Florida plantation records.
($$2 Dr. Benton was head of the Department of Physics, qphe had Lft a German
university doctorate and 0 research publications. jaip ei T. M. Simpson
e DI SASD had his doctorate if I wakw remember correctly, from Wisconsin,
and he had research publications. In 40 French literature, E. G. Atkin was a
Ph. D. of Harvard and had, was a Chevelier d'Legion d'el Nur of France and had
studied at the Sorbonne, uh so uh, uh despite rather heavy teaching loads, there
was emphasis and there was emphasis on good teaching, no question of that,!V
there was also, an expectation of research output and uh it was fulfilled.
M: In order to become a full professor at a that time, was there a necessity of
M: Which is still the um criteria today.
M: As a professor, did you sponsor any extracurricular activities?
D: Uh, by the way, before I x answer that question, ....justl, just to....
D: ...go on to ....they they, I have never subscribed to the idea, nor did any of
those that I've mentioned, that there is a, that, but that, se research contributes
to teaching. If one does not h keep abreast of one's field, that was the attitude
here, as it was w I think, in tkx other universities, it maintained uh, or colleges
it maintained good xx standards.. The idea was, there was no uh, conflict, but
rather the research and teaching reinforce one another. Uh, the uh, uh in terms
of extracurricular activities, we had an international relations club, uh and uh,
I was the uh faculty advisor of that uh, rotating it with uh as a atE matter of
fact, with a professor of electrical engineering who's still in Gainesville,
Spxlh Stephan P. Sashoff, Uh, is retired only recently, but kixEx who lives out
on a lake near town, and uh, he he was uh, uh, then um, I also acted uh, as uh a
faculty counselor to the Florida Blue Key fraternity, and I was secretary of
Phi Beta Kappa.
M: Were you actually a member of Florida Blue Key?
D: Yes. I was elected as an undergraduate to Florida Blue Key ,anH uh I've forgotten
whether it was 1928 or '29.
M: Where was the museum located on campus at that Km time?
D: The museum, until the completion of the Seagle Building, was located on the
second floor of Science Hall. And uh, uh, which is today, Flint Hall,
M: And from there it went to the Seagle Building and from there it went to ......
D: And from there it went to the Seagle Building and uh.....
M: ....back on campus.
M: Were there university -committees at tkid time that faculty members had to serve
on and if so, what did you serve on?
D: Uh, I served, I served on the Faculty Constitution Committee, and uh also, on what
was called the Equity Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Equity
Committee advised the dean on how to H BAl MM idivide up salary raise money
for each member of the faculty.
M: And the Constitution Committee? What did r- LC ko-l ?
D: The Constitutinn Committee framed the first university constitution which I didn't,
uh which was about uh well, the first University constitution was framed by a
committee headed by Walter J. Matherly, and that was about 1930, and I was simply
an undergraduate or uh graduate student. I was not on that committee. But after
that, we redrafted the constitution again in uh 19 uh 30 uh uh late in '37, '38
sometime in that period, and uh uh also we had a ~m University Senate x of which
I was a member.
M: And what kind of business would the Senate handle?
D: The Senate would handle uh uh after curriculum mix matters were x voted by the
colleges, uh then it would handle all University questions as to uh curriculum,
or tenure rules for faculty or uh the uh uh manner of um, uh, of a uh relations
with uh the Legislature or the Board of Regents, uh excuse me, it was the Board
of Control still at that date.
M: Where was the library uh originally located? Or when you were here rather.
D: Uh, alright, when I was here, the uh, all of uh, the stacks were in the basement
of what is at present, uh, main wing of library east. And uh, uh, the University
only had sixty-seven thousand volumes. And uh, that was the reason, a uh, one of
the main reasons why we were uh a long time um, in securing the uh uh, entrance
into Phi Beta Kappa. I might add that uh, Professor C. Archibald Robertson and I
as members of the University Library ~mi Committee, and I was a member of
that committee, uh, were, we drew up a proposal uh to the Rockefeller Foundation
for support for the University and got, something like a couple M hundred thousand
dollars, in uh 1939 or '40., to start building the library into a better research
library because it was a very poor, uh uh it it was a it was not a bad uh secondary
library but it was a very poor university library. And during the first period
when I was here, I can remember that we had no appropriation to add books to the
library and as poor as the students and as hard up as they were, I can remember
taking up fifty cents apiece from each student in my class so that we could get
any current books and bring them, and uh put them in the library. That was the
only source. Uh, the rest of the money, uh Dean Anderson, in addition to being
the uh Dean of Arts and Sciences, was also the Dean of the Graduate School, and
he had a few fin hundred dollars uh which he gave out to those people working on
master's theses or doctoral dissertations, uh he didn't give it to them, but I
mean he took their book needs and ordered the books personally uh, from
University funds and uh there was a, there was another fund that wa, that we
were better off in history and political science because there was one endowed
chair and uh, the excess of that money uh brought in around a thousand dollars
a year im and that, and books at the time uh cost on the average of two and a half
or three dollars, so uh this let us buy several hundred books in history and
M: Were there any literary publications on campus in the '30's?
D: Yes uh, the Alligator was a weekly and uh then, there was uh the um Florida Review
which was started uh by uh students in the literary field and um uh that uh
there were a number of students uh who since have been prominent uh for example,
uh William McGuire, M C G U I R E ik hxmk who at present is uh, the editor
of the Bollingen Series which is one of the best known series in the humanities
and English......is the uh head xh of uh, he he now is the general editor of
that series which uh is edited at uh Princeton, New Jersey. Uh, and uh, he was
one of the editors of of it...and uh there were a number of other students who
have uh made good records in uh the field of editing or writing.
M: Would there be a charge for that magazine?
D: Uh, the ....yes. That was uh you got that, at first, they simply sold a the
copies and then it was paid for out of student government uh voted fees.
M: And when they sold them, how much was it?
D: Uh, third time I'm going to say, uh .....
D: ....look at the Florida Reie and see what the price is on it. I don't remember.
I, my guess is that it wa=s was selling for forty or fifty xwan cents a ~p copy, o0
two dollars for four copies or some.....that would have been about right.
M: Where would one buy books?
D: Alright. The books uh were bought uh in the campus bookshop which was in uh the
basement of uh Anderson.Hall, of of then Language Hall, and uh, was located uh
uh under the present B dean's office and was a single class..A.was a converted
classroom. The uh, that that's where the books, uh that was the University's
version of a bookstore. Uh, then, in the late '30's, uh uh the Florida Book Sa8n
Store started uh in a wooden um building uh which is located almost exactly where
the where the present structure and it was located, uh is of the Florida Bookstore,
and it was, and the proprietor, Mr. Irving Coleman, was i then an undergraduate
student, and uh he started this as a means of earning his way through college,
and uh he has kept on and now has a very fine uh uh large uh building and a large
bookstore, but the, ...so the answer is, there was a campus bookshop, a in
Anderson Hall, which uh in the late '30's moved to the basement of the Student
Union Building which is the present Arts and Science Building, and then, in the
'40's moved to the, its: present site in what is known as the Hub.
M: Do you recall the tennis shop that was located near the bookstore also off-campus?
D: Yes, uh that was located by uh Brannon, and uh at one point, uh Bran, Brannon and
Coleman had, uh there was a tennis shop on one side of this wooden building and
bookshop on the other.
M: What was the relationship between professors and students? Was it a casual
relationship or one that had a great deal of distance?
D: Uh uh, certainly ih, all the faculty knew one another, and the faculty uh we
would, I would go to lectures sponsored by the Physics Department uh in uh,
Professor Williamson and Professor Bias of the Physics Department wMndk would
come when we had a political taxnk science lecture and so forth. We all uh went
uh ...these were campus-wide events. Now, the uh the students uh knew the faculty
and certainly the faculty were expected to know all xsxi students in Iai class.
I followed a procedure they, uh I knHx noticed Dr. Leek followed a procedure....
he always made a seating chart, and he would uh typically, as he was teaching
five classes which had a, and he had a heavy enrollment of fifty or xx sixty in
uh most of his classes, so that he might have 250 students in a semester. Uh,
alright, he would make a seating chart and ask them to take the same seats. Then
he would make a conscious effort to learn their names as he called on 'um or as
they asked questions in class. By the end of the uh uh semester, he would know
every student, and he'd remember them for the rest of their lives. And he would
greet them as they came across campus and they would be in his office so uh uh
there was an atmosphere of cordiality and uh then there were these student
literary groups or student societies in the separate disciplines uh so that uh
so there was a great deal of interaction between the faculty and the members
of the student body. Now, one of the important features is of course, that the
University was not mxa coed. Uh, the University was not, did not become coed until
uh 1947, and uh, so a characteristic feature was that, well, also, classes were
held uh six days a week. We did stop classes on Saturday noon. Then, at
Saturday noon, the student body here would line up on, ak uh to catch rides to
Tallahassee. The uh, the the uh corner of uh present day uh 13th xStreet, where
the Ramada Inn bl or Flagler Inn now is located, there the students would line
up, would catch rides which were going north to Lake City and then west to
Tallahassee. Then, we, the students, would be in ?TaithkK Tallahassee over the
weekend, uh because that's xaxh where the girls were, and then we'd come back
on Sunday afternoon and be ready for Monday classes.
M: 'Til what year do you recall k did they have Saturday classes?
D: We still had Saturday classes when I came back frn from World War II but it was
early in the 1940's that uh the state passed.et'es that state employees, so we
had no janitors and no secretaries on Saturday, and ultimately uh it just sort
of eg faded away. But it was sometime in the .~~sa 'a S? between 1946
and 1950, Saturday classes were discontinued.
M: I recall one time as an undergraduate, and it seems to me it was winter quarter,
where there were three Saturdays that we had to a have classes in the late '60's
and I can't even recall the reason for it.
D: That was because we had certain holidays, uh like uh you'd call off m=as classes
for Thanksgiving and then you ~ax had to make them up.
M: Uh huh.
D: And uh each quarter they, uh like Easter in the spring a; and so forth.
M: Well, rather than ask you some more questions because it is getting late, I'd
like to just ask you generally if there's anything that you'd like to tell me
that I failed to ask you about the '30's?
D: The uh, uh I think that uh the....at that time, the University of Florida and
Florida St.....the University of Florida, Florida State University and Florida
A and M, were the three state institutions. Uh, the, at the same time, Florida
was a frontier-type community and it had very poor fiscal resources. Uh the uh
population uh we had uh uh two members of the House of Representatives and then
three, uh and there was much uh, Florida was much more deep South than it is
today although the exception was, as I've said, that uh that uh in Alachua County
uh probably because of the impact of the University, blacks did vote and uh then
uh but uh Gainesville, at that time, the tamx other thing is, that half the
population was rural and was out of town and they would come in shopping on
Saturday, and it was also true that on on Saturday afternoon, most blacks got
off of work and then a uh the main black shopping street was what is now, 2nd Avenue
which then as I remember it, was Masonic Street and uh, Robinson's Market was a
big focal point and still is a place 'cause it will carry accounts for the blacks.
It's now right on the corner of 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue on the uh northeast
corner, uh but the blacks typically would be along that street, and uh, on
Saturday, but on other days, uh, and and one other thing I would mention is,
that the uh you had uh marquees over most of the stores, often held up not by
chains from the top of the building, but by posts so you could walk, so if it
rained, you could walk along the street and shop, or uh that acted as protection
from the sun. Uh, the uh, the the uh, uh Coastline Railroad ran down mainstreet