Title: Hal Batey
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00024720/00001
 Material Information
Title: Hal Batey
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Batey, Hal ( Interviewee )
Van Camp, Rosemary ( Interviewer )
Publisher: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: August, 1979
Copyright Date: 1979
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00024720
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
Full Text


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be

For all other permissions and requests, contact the
the University of Florida


SUBJECT: Hal Batey

INTERVIEWER: Rosemary Van Camp

DATE: August 1979

H: I weigh 138 to 40, somewhere around there.

R: Do you? Well, you don't weigh much more than I do.

H: No. No.



R: Mr. Batey, when was the very first time you came to the university?

Do you remember?

H: First time I came to the university? Well, it was in 1907, but I
just come out here to see 4p buy then, the

that bought stuff. I didn't live in Gainesville at that time, I

lived in Jacksonville.

R: Uh huh.

H: And I was working for C. W. Bottles Co, a wholesale grocery company.

R: Uh huh.

H: And Sam Graham, bought, he bought from the University of Florida.

R: Uh huh.

H: And I called on him one time. And then the next time I came here was

in 1921, when I moved to Gainesville.

R: Yeah. Well, tell me first when you came here in 1907, what was here?

ALA 69AB Page 2

H: JI)tTIl don't think but two buildings here. then. It don't seem like

to meAbut two, I don't think I went in but one, they called it the

administration building.

R>: Uh huh, and the other one, then, must have been Buckman, where we're

sitting now.

H: And...maybe so, and uh, uh, first Bucholtz's daddy wasAout here, teechng

at that time, think Teach, uh, Fritz's daddy, Ai O /' AJ6

the principal of the high school here in Gainesville for a long time.

R: Yeah.

H: Dr...

R: So, in 1921...
ArJ Alberf- H61(rPfe)
H: e e-t-- h I think 4Ibef )LUth(lfC was here when I come in


R: Yeah.

H: Was president of the University of Florida.

R: Was he a friend of yours?

H: Yeah.

R: Tell me about him.

H: Well, he was, he was a lovely person. He was everybody's friend. He

was a good man. And he had a beautiful house he built, I think, himself,

down there north of the uh, and a littleAeast of the Methodist, the

First Methodist church.

R: Yeah.

H: And uh, had high columns in front of it.

R: Uh huh.

H: And he lived there as long as he--I don'tAwhether he died here in

Gainesville or not, bLt J reck(o he dd do' rei.:'. i hoU

ALA 69AB Page 3

R: Yeah.

H: I don't, I don't remember though.

R: Well, were the streets paved here then?

H: Just a few of them was. ItA was paved from the square out here to

University and from the square down to the Seaboard Railroad on the

east side of town.

R: Yeah.

H: And down to the railroad on the south side of town.

R: Uh huh. What did you sell them?

H: Well I sold them--I sold them regular groceries, grits and rice and

meal and flour and that kind.A Xid lots of baking in the kitchen.

R: Uh $aULA

H: And uh, lard and...

R: Did you sell them meat?

H: And I sold them meat, too. I sold them meat M meat, from Jackson-

ville, then, at that time. But then, later on, I was in the, had a

cold storage plant here and sold them fresh meat, and uh, chickens and

eggs. They were mighty good customers of ours.

R: Did you buy from them too.

H: Well, if they had, if they had anything they wanted to sell, they usually

call me up, and uh, and I could, I could buy, I would buy most anything

at a price. And uh...

R: What did you buy? Hogs and chickens?

H: Well, I bought hogs from them, the best, the best load of hogs I ever

owned in my life, I bought from them I think at two and a half cents

a pound, that was in the bad days. Hogs weighed about 400 pounds, they

was beautiful hogs. Ten of them filled the truck. (chuckle) And I

ALA 69AB Page 4

sent t+ro~ hogs all the way to O__ ___e Georgia, and sold

them for 375, and uh, of course that was a'little profit, a mighty
little profit, but uh, we had to boack hodl -froi), /oming from
ifouue 'e 10 there was old mill there that pressed cotton seed
meal, and uh, we brought back meal and g hulls.

R: Did they have to send their orders to Tallahassee in those ..days?

H: )f}t later on, they did. They have to send all the orders to Tallahassee,
and they order--everything is bought under bids.
R: Yeah.

H: And uh, well, we still got some of that. We, we stayed with it. But,
uh, when...

R: What was the first college here? Was it the agriculture school?
What was it?

H: Thgre was an agricultural college, and uh, t* William Newell, I think,

was the first, uh, head of that agriculture college. %4lJ hci1 Ne* eI(
R: Uh huh.
H: 4,k Tja4iNse4* and uh,4John Scott was the dairy expert and uh, and
Arthur &ed4y was the...he was the, well he was, he was a veterinarian,
and he had charge of the stock. /hey had a good many cattle and hogs
and sheep and things that they experimented with.~p
R: Uh hphubh.
H: And uh, and there were two 5leet[6 here at that time, one of them
named Sax and one of themAnamed Ar hur. Well, Sax was uh, they wasn't
related, butAall come from South Carolina, but they never claimed any
kin together-

R: Was the university your biggest account?
H: What was that?

ALA 69AB Page 5

R: Was the university your biggest account?

H: I think it was, I think it was the biggest account /he university.

R: Now you were mayor of Gainesville1 ,jhen?

H: I was mayor of Gainesville in 1929, '30 and'31. Three successive years,

and uh, a mayor-commissioner. A mayor of Gainesville, at that time,

is uh, elected as a commissioner.

R: Uh huh.

H: And the first, uh, meeting they have after the election, they uh,

elect a chairman and a vice chairman, and that goes as mayor-commissioner,

and vice-mayor-commissioner. And I was the mayor commissioner of

'29, and then the next year...

R: So you got to be the mayor in the, uh, years of the depression?

H: Yeah, and the next year, I got to be mayor again, and the next year

I got to mayor again. Well, I never ran at all. I didn't fun for the

time. My friends elected me, uh, each time.

R: Well, that's pretty good.

H: I didn't uh...I was ready to quit, and uh, had plenty to do in my own

business, but uh, they kept wanting me, and I kept serving. And uh,

I did the best I could.

R: Was it--while you were mayor, was there any problem about the university

in getting free water?

H: Yes, we, we tried our best to find a way to make the university to

pay for that water, but they kept on using more water all the time,

and uh, they was buying the electric power at time from the Fforida

Power Company. And we was, we wasn't getting anything. And uh, but

they had, uh, uh, f engineer out there, Weil, he was head of the, uh,

head of the engineering department, I reckon.

Page 6




Um hum, Weil Hall. iie,
He was smart, he was a smart Jew. And he and Glyd-e- Graham, they were,
Slower r (Ie
I-ta-ed Ut- __ld W_. They got what they wanted was a ke-t U

' s for uh, for the.Av e light'.4/hey wanted, they wanted to get

the, the Florida Power Company down, but they didn't know how to do

it, but they used us to 1y them down. And then, instead of giving us

the business, they give it to the Florida Lights. Oh, they out traded

us, that was right cute. I mean, I enjoyed it. (chuckle)

Do you remember the fuss about bringing the university to Gainesville?

Well, there was a big squall about it. Lake City claimed they ought
to have it, you know, and uh,/did have it over there, part of it was

over there)A loved from there to here. And uh, but Major Thomas, one
of our very excellent businessmen, gave them a piece of land,out there,

I don't know how many acres, and at time, to put the university on,

And I think'he backed It up with cash money too, a-fe so they got

the university moved here, and Lake City never has liked it) /ut they

never have been a4be-to move us back.

How did you feel when they brought women to the university?

How did I feel when?

When they brought women to the university?

Well, I, I was sorry I wasn't a pupil. (chuckle) A student.
You think that's all right then?

Yeah, I thought it was all -*ijb. I thought it was all right. But

I remember when Tallahassee was all female, and this was all staeaY.I-,

Did you go to the football games?
wa\ rea la 2 oleck,4l.
Oh, I cgular'y tndod, My wife liked them too, gand uh, we didn't

go any further than Atlanta and Savannah, and uh, Jacksonville, and

ALA 69AB Page 7

the games here.

R: Were there any special teams you liked?

H: Oh, they had a--I think it was about 1924 or 25, they had a group of

boys they called the wrecking crew. Ahd Clyde Crabtree and Dale

Vansikle and Nil Jones, and uh, Randy Carpet. Four, four


R: Yeah. o

H: And uh, they, they could really get it-f5an That Clyde was a little

bitty boy, weighed about 140 pounds, and but he could dart in and

out, and he could get across that goal line and make a touchdown when

it didn't look like it was possible for him to do it /ut he did.

And they called that the wrecking crew.

R: Do you remember when the law school was built?

H: Yeah, that's way out on University Avenue?

R: Uh huh.

H: Yeah, that was built on Charlie Painston property, and uh, Trudy

Perry had a house right there by it, but they bought, the university

bought his property too. Well he was--Trudy Perry was an all-American

water boy, and he followed that football team religiously. And uh,

I don't know whether you ever heard of Trudy of not, but most every-

body around here knows him, and of course, he's dead and gone now.

But he was very active in the athletics at the University of Florida.

And as~ Mcd this lady that, that got to be,

uh, dietitian. Her son, let's see, how is it now...her daughter married

uh, a boy that was playing on the football team, and they were

Srafc;Hib gIM1A i4 Trudy was pfra cICj ,2 with him.
R: Um hum.


H: And hhej hit him so hard in the head, that it killed him.
R: Oh.

H: It killed him and uh, Ats, M CafAs,, daughter married, married
I th 111-K, v 'i v \
his brother,dand maybe, maybe married him. I don't remember, it's kind

of mixed up family there.

R: Did you have any students from the university working for you?

H: Frequently did have, yes. Because we used extra labor anytime we could

get it during=-particularly during World War II. And uh, it was hard

to get, it was hard to get any help.

R: How much did you pay them?
H: Oh, I don'tF. g Adel, ,^ one of the leading physician

here now in Gainesville, used to work for me a dollar a day, six days

a week, during the summertime, when he was, wasn't going to school.

He told his daddy one day that he was tried of going to school, and

his daddy was a doctor too) Dr. Jim je and he was the

Superintendent of the Sunland Training Center out there on Waldo Road.

And uh, he said, "Well, I'll tell you Max',' he said,"you go on down

there and work for Hal Batey, and drive that truck and deliver them

groceries, and uh, he likesiit, he likes you." And he said, uh, "Well,

I'm going to do that," but when the time come to go to school, he quit

and went to school. And when he bought that uh, uh, that, uh, ex-ray

equipment--he bought a lot of ex-ray equipment, and his daddy thought
he was plumb crazy. He was buying all that, all that equipment without

any money at all, and uh, but he, uh, made a great success out of it,

and uh,...

R: Tell me about the university when the wars came, especially World War


Page 8

ALA 69AB Page 9

H: Well, World WarAwas, is kind of scattered, you know. Baecai- they

had, they had some activity, but not as much as they had... At that

time, World War II, I was not in the grocery business, then, I was

with my boys in thereqthey was in the automobile business, and farm

equipment business, and... But I was still trading, and uh...

R: Did activities slow down here?

H: Yeah.

R: Did a lot ol boys have to go?

H: Yeah, a lot of them had to go, and a lot of them didn't come back.

Quite an qwful thing, an awful thing. Awful thing. One of our boys,

the first one CaSajW- / from Gainesville was Hazely Links. His

daddy was postmaster, Lou/Links?

R: Um hum.

H: And uh, they had dedicated a parkfhere behind the Methodist church,

now...they did call it Hazely Links Park, and it was a ai

/ plaque on an old oak tree there giving Hazely's name and age and

all. But he was the first casualty from Gainesville in World War II.

R: Do you remember when the fraternities, uh, were first built?

H: The what?

R: Fraternities?

H: Well, I believe the first one that I remember about was--George White

built it, over there on the corner of 4th Avenue, and uh, 9th Street,

which is 13th Street now. Two-story white building, they may have

added a lot to it right now, I don't know, but George White was very

active in the, with the youth of the university--working in the YMCA?

R: Um hum.

H: And uh, he was a mighty fine man.


R: Who was he at the university?

H: Well he was, he, he, he was YMCA--he was...I reckon he had something

to do with religion.

R: Hum.

H: And uh, but Dr. Enwall was the head of the religious, religious depart-

ment at that time. A0VO(0 Enwall's daddy?

R: Um hum.

H: He's got a boy here now, I-i o k.iW\\ I think he teaches here

at the university.

R: Yeah?

H: Maybe he's retired now, too. I don't know.

R: Was this an agricultural fraternity?

H: Yeah, that's what this was. What, what George White built, that building.

They called it, uh--I don't what they called it. I couldn't remember

those Greek terms, those letters, but uh, a heap of the boys/taking

agriculture went there.

R: Um hum.

H: To that, got apartments in that place.

R: Okay, I think that's enough, Mr. Batey. I want...


H: ...I didn't know he could even talk!

R: Uh huh.

H: Because I was driving. (chuckle)

R: When did you say you were born? March what?

H: March the 12th, 1883.

R: And you came to Gainesville in what, 1921?

H: I came to Gainesville in 1921.

Page 10


R: And you came from Jacksonville to here?

H: I came from Jacksonville, yeah, I came from Jacksonville in 1905.

R: Um hum. And then what made you move to Gainesville?

H: Well, we went into the wholesale grocery business down in Jacksonville

in 1912, my brothers and daddy and I, and brother-in-law. And uh, we

had a pretty good. At that time, there was lots of independent little

store around.

R: Uh huh.

H: There wasn't any supermarkets. And uh, we, we sold to all the little

stores. We was in the wholesale groceryA and we got to doing pretty

well, so we 4e-t we'd like to have a branch out-of-town somewhere,

s-orwe went to Tallahassee, and tried to buy somebody out, and we couldn't

SJ ent to Gainesville, and tried to buy somebody out and missedt.Me.

But we liked Gainesville so well, we just uh, started a branch here.

And I run the branch here,, jf Batey Fleming Company /1ntil 1932, and

we sold out.

R: Um hum. So you came here in 1921?

H: 92j), yeah.

R: Uh huh. Have you been here ever since?

H: I've been here ever since, yeah.

R: How many, uh, children do you have?

H: We have four. Three boys and a girl-

R: And your wife?

H: And a wife, yeah. But she died about 11 years ago. She died in 1968.

R: She must have been a good old-age, too, didn't she?

H: Well, she saw some of, she saw some of her great-grandchildren.

R: Uh hum. How many grandchildren do you have?

Page 11

ALA 69AB Page 12

H: Seventeen grandchildren and j5 great-grandchildren.

R: Huh.

H: And one great-great. (chuckle)

R: Really? Huh. Any more on the way?

H: Huh?

R: Any more on the way?

H: Well, I wouldn't be surprised. I don't think they're selling the baby


R: Oh.

H: Three of them, three of them is about a year and a half old.

R: When did you retire sir?

H: Huh?

R: When did you retire?

H: Well, I don't know whether I ever retired or not. I'm, I'm not...

R: (chuckle)

H: I sold out to the boys and then to Harold. And the Pontaic business

here, see, one of my boys had the Pontaic b-is-s here for several

years. I stayed around his place. Helped a little bit. Then they

got into the farm equipment business, and uh, I helped them a little

bit. I was, I was really retired then. But I've been declared legally

blind since 1940.

R: Huh. Cataracts?

H: But thank God I've been able to get around.

R: Do you have cataracts?

H: Huh?

R: Do you have cataracts?

H: No, no cataracts,no. Some kind of trouble in the back of my eyes.

ALA 69AB Page 13

. Eyeball the...
R: Retina?

H: The blood vessels would swell up and rupture?

R: Uh ha.

H: And where they ruptured, there would be blind spots.

R: Yeah.

H: But there wasn't any operation that would do any good, any glasses

that would do any good.

R: Doesn't look like it stopped you much.

H: Huh?

R: Doesn't seem to have stopped you from doing what you want to do.

H: No, no, I've been getting along mighty good, thank God.

R: What do you do with your time?

H: What do I do? Well, I told you. I've been over there since Friday

night, and uh,...

R: What about the nursing home? Don't you go sing at the during home?

H: I don't go to the nursing home all the time I used to go all

the time. I did...

R: Have you rteacbred the ree0n#l- 1U ?

H: I did, I visit with all of them.

R: Do you?

H: Yeah.

R: you go with a group that goes and sings?

H: Well, I don't go with the group anymore. We used to. For many years,

we had a devotional exercise at the Robert's Nursing Home.

R: Uh huh.

H: We started way4when it was the Rocking Chair.

ALA 69AB Page 14

R: Uh huh.

H: And 1y[ changed names several times, but now, they call it Roberts$,

R: Uh hum.

H: Nursing... But uh, I got to where I couldn't, I couldn't be much service,

ai0 so I didn't go.
R: Um hum.

H: But the pf) Q oy is still carried on by the First MethodiAt

Church, dovr }fe.

R: Uh ha. Do you still go and visit sometimes?

H: Still what?

R: Do you still go visit nursing homes sometimes now, though?

H: Oh yeah. I go, I go visiting, but everytime I get a chance, I go over

to see them.

R: e1rHe Do yo(A

H: And I know a good many people in all of them /In nursing a~4- -t~in~

R: Uh huh.

($ e:What about the C r(OQ \4 (C adiniing program? Do you go to that?

The Coiq Yeran T, dining program?

H: Yeah, I go to that meal everyday.

R: Do you? Where is that

H: That's over there on 8th Avenue and 14th Street, northeast?

R: In the church,, r in the school?

H: No, it's a, a city building that they built there for them.

R: Uh ha.

H: It's a nice, uh, arrangement. They have about--they usually have about
a-hundred people- there.

ALA 69AB Page 15

R: Um hum.

H: It's very integrated, and uh, I imagine there's about 0per cent of

them are black.

R: Um hum.

H: But, uh, black people are much nicer and cleaner than they used to be,

and uh, most of then got running water now, hot and cold, bathtub, and

the shower- g4M too, in their house,and -it.

R: Yeah.

H: And they all look nice, and...

R: Your daughter...

H: The communication, the communication is what I like most.

R: Um hum.

H: More than I do the meal.

R: Yeah. (chuckle)

H: I, uh, I eat the meal though.

R: Uh huh.

H: But, uh, really the communication is what I like. I like people. I

love people.

R: Um hum. Does your daughter pick you up and take you over there?

H: No, they have a, they have a bus.

R: Oh, do they?

H: They have a bus they send by here to pick me up.

R: Oh, I see, oh.

H: Yeah.

R: And then you eat dinner every night with your daughter?

H: Yeah, I eat dinner with her, yeah. llC-J VWJ) 7C( this morning.

R: Uh ha.

H: Already made my arrangements.

ALA 69AB Page 16

R: Oh, did ya?
1%n 0a'^ di, eriokct+f ^'AliH bert.
H: h

R: Were all of your children born here in Gainesville?

H: No, they was all born in Jacksonville.

R: Oh, I see. They were little when you came over here.

~H: ? /q 3h> /C^ VJe h2Qt CI think Ihaf

was about 10 years old, maybe something like that.

R: HQw-old wasyour oldest child?

H: And uh, _ia__g_ _1&_- and Hal both started school in


R: Um hum.

H: And the only school they had here then was the Kirby Smith School

down there...

R: Right.

H: And it went up to the 8th grade, /nd it stopped.

R: Uh ha.

H: And uh--they all went to school there. But before they got through,

they ,#9 the high school.

R: Uh ha.

H: And then they went to that.

R: Was that Gainesville High?

H: Gainesville High.

R: Was it the old brick building down here on University?

H: On University Avenue. Fritz Buchholz was running it.

R: Uh huh. What about the university?

H: Well, they...

R: Did you...

H: Bob went, Bob went to the University, 6ne of my boys.

ALA 69AB Page 17

R: Uh huh.

H: But he never did, he never did finish, though.

R: Uh huh. Which one is he /he third child?

H: Huh?

R: Was Bob your third child?

H: No, Bob is my own son. My baby boy.

R: Oh, I see.

H: He was years old the other day.

R: Was he really?

H: That's the baby.

R: Uh huh. Bob4 #.4 6ai

H: Uh, Bob yeah.

R: What, what do you remember about the early days at the university?
H: What do I remember?

R: Uh ha.

H: Well, I, I remember very plainly we did, we did some mighty nice business

with them. I was--I told you I was in the wholesale grocery business?
R: Uh ha. Albe

H: And when I came here, A4iVSi 4~lrPP was president of the University of


R: Was he? Yeah, Albert -Mt4p1
H: Albert -py, yeah.

R: What year was that?

H: Well, that was 1921.

R: His son's A judge now, isn't he?

H: Huh? r u( ?

R: Isn't his son Judge MauTetyy John ru ]

H: Yeah. Yeah. That's his, that's f'i son. Yeah, that's Albert's son.


R: Okay, then, then, uh...

H: John Scott was the, was the,uh, dif(/ eIYCe/ out there. And he

lived to be ). And uh, John told me a little while before he died,

he said,"you know Hal," he said, "if I'd known I was going to live so

long, I'd taken better care of myself."


R: When you came here, how many buildings were out there?

H: I don't think there was but four or five buildings out there then.

R: Rdally?

H: I knew every--I could get out there and go around and get through ~qjly

quick. But _S Grahfam was the business mangaer.jt

R: Uh huh. Grahtam, 4s-AO Grahtam Hall ws5 i ened af4-Y him.

H: Grah am, uh, and uh...

R: Who was that?
H: Sra-f Grah am was the business manager.
R: CUlin1, Grahtam. There was a Grahtam dorm named after him.

Did you used to deliver groceries out there?

H: Yeah, we, I told _--they, uh, at that time, they didn't

have to send their order to Tallahassee for they wanted, they bought

it right out there.

R: Um hum.

H: And uh, that's 4sys; we had a nice time selling them different things.

R: I see.

H: And we'd, I'd get them a pair of mules, or a pair of horses, or what

ever they wanted.

R: Um hum. Yeah.

H: From Tenneessee.

R: Yeah.

Page 18


H: I had connections up there, and uh, we sold them, we sold them much


R: Um hum.

H: And we bought from them too. We bought some then, see. They always...

R: You sold them mules and livestock, did you say?

H: I sold them mules and horses too, yes.

R: Was this to work out on the, to work at the university?

H: Yeah, right.

R: Is that what they used them for?

H: That's what they were using at that time, you know? At that time, they

used the hogs...

R: Un huh.

H: Hogs, mules, plows...

R: Um hum.

H: And hand tools.

R: Uf hun.

H: Of course, it's all motorized now.

R: Yeah. You.sold them hand tools too.

H: No, we didn't sell them hand tools. No, we didn't sell them hand tools.

R: Did they grow crops that you bought the crops from?

H: They grew crops, uh, they f\I crops.

R: Uh huh. Right.

H: Trying to do something, and they uh, beenAwonderful help to the farmers

in this section, and everywhere else, as far as that goes.

R: Uh huh.

H: They used to make about ten or tweleve bushels of corn an acre, and

they used plant corn in uh, five foot Wt1.4, and about AfeCOot___

Page 19


in the drill...

R: Um hum.

H: And had to plow it four times, and uh, to make

eight or ten bushels.

R: Um hum.

H: And now, they, uh, don't plow it but once, and sometimes they don't

even get to plow it.

R: Um hum.

H: They do most of the work before it's planted.

R: Oh, I see.

H: And uh, they make ( to more bushels a day out there now.

R: Um hum.

H: So that's how much that experimentation has made in that one DI

R: And how many did they get when they started? How many?
+o 0
H: They started about eight or ten bushels air acre.

R: Eight or ten.

H: Yeah, now it's got to be ( to more.

R: Did, was the University Avenue paved To the university, when you came

T+ WC mo
H: AThre pavedAthe University when I come here in 1921.

R: Uh huh.

H: The first time I come here, in 1907, on a trip down here for another

company I was working for then in Jacksonville, ah, I don't think it

was paved.

R: Uh huh.

H: I don't believe it was.

R: Were there any buildings up in 1907?

Page 20

ALA 69AB Page 21

H:1907, I think there was just one administration building up there.

R: Uh huh. Do you remember the name of it?

H: No, I don't.

R: Was it the one right on University? Anderson Hall?

H: Well, I don't remember.

R: Um hum.

H: I don't remember what it was. The administration building was the

one I had the dealings with, Rlc 5 Wla: CliCGrahram stayed in there.

R: Uh huh.

H: And he was a good friend of mine, and they were mighty good customers

of ours.

R: Uh huh. What other kinds of things did you sell the university?

H: Huh?

R: What other kinds of things did you sell the university. ,Xack then?

H: Well, I sold--they, uh, they ran a dining room, you know, and uh, I

sold them groceries.

R: Oh, did you?

H: Yeah, I sold them groceries. And then, I was in the meat business, too.

I had a cold storage t! I, peW V

R: Uh huh.

H: And we sold them chickens and sold them beef, and pork, and...

R: Uh huh.

H: And we bought stuff from them too. Theyl:finish out a bunch of hogs

on tests, you know.

R: Um hum.

H: And I'd, I'd buy them. There wasn't no auctions out here then, but/

like there is now.


R: Um hum.

H: And the only place to sell hogs was uh, Young' Sallihich Company
in Jacksonville, or Lykes in Tampa.

R: Um hum.

H: Uh, DOaCe iV OO7u rie Gerogia.
R: Um hum.So}Aid you supply the university...

H: If we just had a few hogs, why, why it's hard to get rid of them.

R: Right. How much would you pay in those days? How much would it cost

you9 /o buy a hog, and how much would they pay you for...?
H: Oh, \A)5 f0n y( e ie bcl1h o0 .-a-mctfr hogs SP
I ever bought, I bought from the University of Florida at two cents
a pound.

R: Oh, can you imagine that?

H: No, I believe it was two and a half cents a pound. Two and a half

cents a pound, and I'd send them all the way to Vflotl-rie Georgia
for $3.75.

R: Alf/ what would that be now?

H: They, they was beautiful. Well, bei-e-,,m- I could do -le~s-h ft-
1) "' ',I p]C
Y1,O\-LI YI Georgia,4 /could bring back a load of cotton seed
meal and ulVlj from, from up there where they first got the
cotton seed made, the cotton seed oil?

R: Uh huh.

H: And uh, we had a back u___ And uh, my boys were, they could
do that. My, my, boys could drive that truck and deliver those hogs,

and get these loads back to Gainesville.

R: Uh, uh, how much would they pay youl /or the groceries that you sold
them and the chickens things like that?
them, and the chickensfA thingss like that?

Page 22

ALA 69AB Page 23

H: How much did they pay me?

R: Uh huh.

H: Well, they paid whatever their bill was.

R: Yeah.

H: The paid the...

R: Well, for instance, a bushel of apples. How much would that be in

those days?

H: What was that?

R: How much would a bushel of apples be in those days?

H: Well, Bell's Apples...

R: Bell's?

H: Was about three dollars and a half.

R: Uh huh. Did you supply the university with all the food that they...

H: No, I just supplied all they'd buy, all they'd buy from me. They

bought from some other people too.

R: I see, uh, huh.

H: They bought, I sold them feed,,uh, then I sold them, I bought cows
+0) I n
from them--I sold them cows4-a the dairy barn?

R: Um hum. ./e /.

H: And uh, we had a right goodA EQt, business with them

R: Uh huh. Where was your store? Was it downtown?

H: /1bi'i i vwe built a warehouse i4tg" there on the corner of what is now

Commercial Avenue and Second--Commercial Street and 2nd Avenue, right

at the railroad where the T & J crosses?

R: Uh huh.

H: That property on the South, on the South side?

R: Uh huh.

H: We built all that property there.


R: Uh huh. Would, would you remember approximately how many students

were at the University then.

H: I, I believe it was something like 500 or something like that.

R: ( 00

H: It seemed likeato me. Now, I'd be guessing at that.

R: Yeah. Did very many of the professors also come to your store?

H: Huh?

R: Did many professors, like their families, come to the store and shop?

H; Come to my store?

R: Uh huh.

H: No, I didn't, I didn't have that kind of store. I had a wholesale

place. -

R: Oh, I see, it was more wholesale. You sold in large quantities.

H: I sold to the stores.

R: Uh huh. Were you friends with any of the people at the university?

R: Were you friends with any of the professors or the administrators?

H: Iwas friends with erervyhndy-'they was all my friends I think every-

one of them. I remember...

R: Can you, can you remember their names?

H: I think one I mentioned there was...

R: Yeah.

H: Was John Scott, and -Sat Grah am, and Albert-M"rph4 the president.

R: Was the president's office in that administration building that we

were talking about?

H: And he was a mighty nice man.

R: Uh huh. Did you do things with him? Go hunting -&ai t4vgs. like that?

Page 24

11- 20

Page 25
























Well, he belonged to the Rover's Club, and I belonged to the Rover's

Club, and we had, uh, we had uh, give little parties together.

Uh huh.

He was a wonderful fellow.

Uh huh. What did it look out there compared to now? Did it look

pretty bare?

Well, it, it wasn't nothing like the face it is now, you know.

Uh huh.

It wasn't but, it wasn't but a few acres of land.

Uh huh.

But now, you know, they've got about, uh, I think they've got about 51)
5e t-+i oil n?
-4--a-es of land now.

Uh huh.

I don't know how much, lot of land.

Uh huh.

And they'd got buildings all over it.

Right. Did you ever dream it would get so big as it is?

No, I never thought about it. I never thought about it. I just

enjoyed it like it was.

Did it make you sad to see it get so big?


Did it make you sad to see it get big?

No, no, I didn't mind to see it grow.

You didn't mind that?


You were glad to see the new buildings popping up?

p rflrs.- link voi -oh, o0\e, that wefttr*-be cic +h g-
d--ig ^gad.s

ALA 69AB Page 26

R: Really?

H: It was Ylr.- LMr/ V hC USA' Lb$Cw 4t h the post-

master, Lou Links?

R: Uh huh.

H: And uh, she told, uh, one of my friends one day, she said, "You know,"

she said, "Gainesville's getting to be a reg--a regular, a regular

building place. I 45;ie workers in the morning waking me up in the

morning." She didn't want to -har-aa. jheaC 4iCm vjl'n1I e

R: Yeah.

H: She didn't want no smokestacks in Gainesville.

R: No?

H: She wanted it to stay like it was.

R: What about the football stadium? Was the football stadium there?

H: That football stadium was built a long time after that.

R: I see.

R: Did you like to go to football games?

H: Winston Penny built that.

R: Uh huh.

H: And uh...

R: Did you used to take your boys to the football games?

H: No, I didn't, I don't think I took them. They was big enough to go

by themselves.

R: Oh, I see. y0tA 0O7

H: jte*we did. My wife went too.

R: Uh huh. Really?

H: We followed that football team around. We was, well, we wouldnLt go

any further than Atlanta.


R: Uh huh. That's pretty far.

H: We'd go to Atlanta and Savannah to the football games...


H: No, I don't think I took them. They was big enough to go by themselves.

R: Oh, I see. Did you go?

H: Yes, we did, my wife went too.

R: Uh huh. Really?

H: We used to follow that football team around when we was--well, we

wouldn't go any further than Atlanta.

R: Uh huh. That's pretty far.

H: We'd go to Atlanta and Savannah to the football games, and to Jackson-

ville, but most of them were right here.

R: Was it, uh, what did the stadium look like when they first built it?

H: Well, it looked like about a quarter of the size it is now.

R: Uh huh. Was it like bleachers?

H: Yes, it had bleachers, and uh, they had a little shed over some of it.

They had a little shed. But they added to it, and now it's a nice
e ________ now.

R: Yeah, have you been there recently? Since they...

H: And we had, uh, I think it was about 1924-25, we had a crew out there

we called the wrecking crew on the uh, football team. Clyde Crabtree

from Miami, and uh, Neil Jones from over here in Jacksonville, and uh,

Randy _from over in west Florida. There was four of
te WaG +i7' n f+o0 f k VV
them iji' the other one's name. Clyde, Randy, and Neil

Jones... But they called them the wrecking crew, and it was a 4m1fnVey

fine football team. And Clyde Crabtree was light, he didn't weigh

but about 140 pounds.

R: Uh huh.

Page 27

ALA 69AB Page 28

H: But he dodged--he could dodge in under people, and he couldAtouch-

down quick.

R: Did you ever...
H: __oye_ ___ __r DOS Y LAlas_?__

R: Uh huh. S O7,( ?
H: FOlua V-AJG/ '51 vO5 OVcr.

R: Do you remember when they built the library, /he old library over
there /ind some of the different buildings?
H: Well, I remember when they, when they didn't have a hospital there.
R: Uh huh.

H: And I remember when they built the Alachua General Hospital.
R: Do you?
R: Did you have to go to Jacksonville bij'4 hospital before that?

H: Well, they did that. There was a lady over here named Miss Williams,

that had a place there on--uh, about uh, 4th Avenue and 7th Street.
R: Uh huh.
H: She was a trained nurse, and she uh, she let the doctors bring people 1erc

R: Oh, I see.
lh -^c'>\
H:AMy children had their tonsils removed over there, I' "i-tJ. in -tho (esid et.-

R: Uh huh.

H: But, uh, that was the only kind of hospital. Then they built that first

unit down there,and they paid $25,000 for it, and Lee Rim, president
of the first National Banks said that was a lot of money to pay for


a little hospital.

R: Twenty-five thousands Can you imagine that?

H: But now it's spread all out, spread all out.

R: Yeah. Tell me about when you were mayor of Gainesville.

H: I was mayor in '29, '30, and '31. Mayor-commissioner.

R: Mayor-commissioner, yeah.

H: Mayor-commissioner, yeah. You see, a mayor at that time, was not

elected as a mayor, he was elected as a commissioner.

R: I see.

H: And then when the mJ first meeting of the commission after the

election, well, they had an organization, and the chairman was called

mayor-commissioner. elected the chairman and uh, 6 VIce l aoy.

R: What happened, what happened in the, in Gainesville while you were

mayor? What changes did you make?

H: I don't know, they came 4R so slow, I don't know whether I made any.

I remember one thing, though,Awhen they was trying to--Mr. Roosevelt

was trying to keep us from starving to death during that depression?

R: Uh ha.

H: That, that was some of my years as a mayor-commissioner.

R: Oh, yeah, I'll say.

H: And uh, they was building these airports.

R: Uh ha.

H: And uh, and the government would build the airport if you furnished it,

if the city furnished the land. And uh, we had to buy some land to put

the airport on.

R: Oh, yeah?

H: And Lee Rim, this man I tell you about, the first INational Bank,

Page 29


president? Lee Rim said, "Well, we don't need no airport." He said

"We might need oneJS)years from now."A'Gainesville was just like it

was when I comeA in 1885. And uh, so I said, "I'll tell you Lee, what

we'll do2 We'll buy a piece of land and do he f, farm on it,

after they get through playing with it for an airport.dg"

R: Uh ha.

H: Airplanes was scarce in those days. Wasn't many of them, you know.

R: Uh huh.

H: And uh, so we finally bought this piece. of land out there where the

airport was.

R: Uh huh.

H: But now it's a pdg (OU_ place. Have you been out there to
r ovJ
the airport thNie?

R: Yeah, that brand new one? Isn't it big, yeah.

H: It's a fine place out there.

R: Oh, it's terrific. That was the same piece of land that you bought

then Xack in 1920?

H: No, no, it, it was south of that.

R: Oh, I see.

H: It was the old place, the old place.

R: Uh huh. I see. Did you, um, as mayor, did you do much at the univer-

sity? Did you have, um, much contact?

H: Well, once in a while, they'd have some kind of organization out there,

and they'd ask the mayor to come out and vo )Jk WJIt them, the people.

R: Right. Did you do that sometimes?

H: Yeah, I did that sometimes.

R: Uh huh.

Page 30

ALA 69AB Page 31

H: And uh...

R: Was it, the university small enough so that you knew just about all of

the professors?

H: Oh, I, I knew nearly all of them, I think I did.

R: Uh huh.

H: I think I knew nearly all of them, but, uh, in all the years, I've

forgot them, because I wasn't associated with them so. But most, most

of those old ones are gone.

R: yeah.

H: Most of them.

R: Would you be willing to come out to the university and just sit out-

side with us while we did an interview with you for television?

H: Do what?

R: Come to the university, uh, some morning or afternoon, whichever is

better for you, and just sit out on the campus, and we'll talk just

like this, and do a television story?

H: I'll be glad to, I'll be glad to.

R: Bless your heart. Okay, how about, wbuld you be available tomorrow


H: Well, what, what time do you think?

R: Well, uh, we'll make it at your convenience. We'll come and get you

and take you out.

H: Well, then, can you bring me back at { o'clock over there...

R: You bet your life. You bet your life.

H: All right, then.

R: We could come pick you up, sayAl o'clock tomorrow morning?

H: That would be all right.


R: And bring you back.

H: That would be all right) A) c

R: Okay. All right. You give me your number in case something happens,
\AJCc WoC havil l
SaweTru-a e a little camera trouble. Ah, you give me your telephone


H: 372...

R: Yep.

H: 5444.

R: Four, four, four.

H: Yeah.

R: Okay. And we'll just...

H: And the address is 604 NE 7th Avenue.

R: Northeast 7th Avenue... Okay. Very good. I just think that would

be terrific. We'll do a television story with you, and i.t comc3 ou

all over the state.

H: WAhece VoL cm V rme f r R

R: I came here from Alabama, but I'm not originally from Alabama, I grew

up in Ohio, nd before I went to Alabama, I worked in New York and


H: You're a buckeye!

R: That's right I am, Mr. Batey. I am a buckeye.

H: You, you're a Florida girl, ain't ya?

X: Uh ha, from Ft. Lauderdale. You have a good memory.

R: Incredible.

X: I know.

H: Miss, uh, my daughter just came back, my granddaughter just came back

from a trip up through the Carolinas, uh, and east Tenneesee, and they

Page 32

ALA 69AB Page 33

brought back something, and they say, "Granddaddy, we don't know what

this is." I, they showed it to me, and I said, "Well, I don't know

myself." Wait, let me show it to you.

R: Okay.

H: Because I said, I don't know myself.

R: Bless your heart.

H: I enjoy living.

R: Well maybe...

X: Does your daughter live close?

H: She lives three blocks over there.

R: Uh huh.

H: But she comes and gets meAsuppertime. I can't, I can't walk as much

as I used to. I used to get out and walk up there anytime I wanted

to, but now, I can't walk too good. My legs ain't as strong as they

used to be, but I'm glad I can walk.

R: Sure.

X: That's right. That's right.

R: Do you keep up with what is going on at the university?

H: No, I just get the news j'n the, on the...I can't read the lines, you


R: Uh ha.

H: And I get the news in, the local news on T.V.

R: Uh ha.

H: And I get the Jacksonville news on the T.V.

R: Uh ha.

H: Then, I have a talking book that uh, for the blind?

R: Uh ha.


H: And I get lots of good reading on that.

R: I see.

H: Magazines and books too.

R: Uh huh.

H: Do you know about that?

R: I've heard-of /Tt::/t the library?

X: You mean for the blind?

H: You know about it?
X: I know about it 44 one of the readers. I used to be a reader at New

York City.

R: Oh, really.

X: You may had heard me.

H: You're one of the readers?

X: Yeah. I used to go every Monday afternoon, and I'dlfor uh, two and

a half hours.

H: What, the news, or what?

X: No, usually it was, uh, books, just books. Uh, different kinds of


H: TJu& evi cw\i books?
whCe&+ever 4- waJ^
X: No, I just read4w4t anybody wanted. If anyone would request, they'd

bring the books in, and they'd one reader read fov two and a half hours,

and of course, you can't finish a book in that amount of time, and

then the next reader would come in and read another two and a half hours

until they got it all finished. They also did textbooks for universities

all over, he TlfarCe..

H: What was that pretty Wm4 name again?

R: Ah, Rosemarie Van Camp.

Page 34


H: Van Camp, yeah, Van Camp packing company.

R: Yeah. Rork and Beans. I wish it were, I wouldn't be working.
H-: you emXlcbr Ihei ?A R; I UVCe do.
H: 'Well I told Marquite the other day, I said "Marquite, I want you to

see if you can get me some Stouffer's or Van Campis

You ever see it? in the can?

R: No, I haven't. I haven't.

H: Well, in Tennessee, we used to have it. And i;S A Jhoi grains of

corn and over the u1AI I / of it.

R: Uh ha. C

H: And uh, Mama used to uh, j some bacon or ham or meat of some kind iPn C

gh- sik(lef ~and then take this meat out--and pour, I think she left

all that grease in there, I think, and pour WI, cant full of that

in there.

Rt Ah ha.

H: And uh, heat it up where some of it shorts a little bit?

R: Yeah.

H: That was mighty good.'. Good!H;I don't know whether it would be good

now or not, but it was then.

R: I don't think I've ever seen it. What's your daughter's name and

phone number, Mr. Batey? I ought to let her know that...

H: Miss Jesse Wise.

R: W-I-S-E?

H: Yeah, that's right. Wise Drug Company. And her telephone number is


R: Got it. I'll call her- and tell her I'm going to come and get you in
the morning. So, I don't want her to stop by and worry b~ pqa you're

not here.

Page 35

ALA 69AB Page 36

H: All right. I'll call her.

R: Okay.

H: But uh, I enjoyed talking to ya'll here. I hope I can do something

for you tomorrow.

R: Oh, we're just going to say the same thing over again. We don't have
)ov0 So vwe do0i0'` ha'e ,cf*
a t.v. camera here/tV,'jlxl d tt~ chaie-di I've got a tape recorder.

You've just been o-t Sfer.. 27 7CYC ri' T' .evc"e .


R: ...the university, and about the buildings. Do you remember when the

law school was built? Bryan Hall) /hhe one on the corner there?
H: Oh, I, I rememberAa lot of buildings were built, but I don't remember

names of them all.

R: Uh huh. Uh huh.

H: And uh, but they built, they bought a farm down there, two farmsThe

bought one from Charlie Pink, and then they bought one from a man
a VJoh'et Mvi"ev) 1+ '+Ja sO ,t thdIe 1e t+
named uh, a -T+ra i eniemb.. it waz ; 111mr3rhCiibT R "atJ and

he had a nice farm, oQ farm.

R: What did they build in it's place?

H: It was down there where the law school is now.

R: Uh huh.

H: And when they bought that farm, uh, I bought his hogs, I remember that.

R: Oh, did you?

H: Yeah, and I bought his hogs, and sold them off. And then they went

on down further and bought -s-av more land, there from the Gaineseville

Golf and Country Club now.

R: Right. Do you remember when they bought that?

H: Yeah.

Page 37


R: Was that a farm?

H: No, that was a farm, yeah. And that was part of the same 4CkY Yy

R: Oh, I see.

H: And uh, there was the, there was--they had a golf course out there.
In Faci' >
T-think-thwt belonged to the golf club at one time.

R: Uh huh.

H: And I played a few rounds of golf with my wife. But my wife didn't

like to play, and uh, so we didn't play that mush.

R: What did, do you know where University Avenue is now is?

H: Yeah.

R: Did that used to have real big pretty trees?

H: Say what? d.

R: Did they used,4there used to be big pretty trees there; /n that


H: Oh, yes, yes, beautiful trees. Well, they're still there, aren't


R: Some of them are.

H: Yeah.

R: Not like they used to bef though, I don't think.

H: Run through H"bi- imF m H"4 ibli5CS5 f1ak1<

R: Uh huh.

H: On out to Newberry Road.

R: Uh hum.

H: Well, I think they call it University Avenue now.

R: Right. Uh huh. What did it used to be called?

H: Huh?

R: What was University Avenue used to--what did it used to be called?


H: Well, they, they stopped calling it the Newberry Road when it got

out there...

R: Oh, I see.

H: Now they call it University Avenue way out.

R: Uh huh. I see, yeah.

R: Was the College Inn there? The College Inn restuiant?

H: The College Inn, yeah, it was there. And Sam Sf run that College

Inn at that time.

R: Uh huh. When was this ~) B in 1,921?

H: And he was...

R: Was that when you first came?

H: I don'tAwhether he was there in '21 or not, but he was there,and he

was a very popular boy?

R: What was his name?

H: Sam Harn. H-a-r-n. He ran the College Inn.

R: Uh huh.

H: And uh, he bought four or five acres of land there on the corner of

17th Street and 8th Avenue.

R: Uh huh.

H: His wife still lives there. He lived and died there, and they've got

a big camellia garden there.

R: Uh huh. Huh.

H: And she for many years, has been giving us camellias to take to the

uh, nursing home.

R: Oh, I see.

H: And uh, har naoue i G(didets uhGue

R: Uh huh. What about the president's house /Was it always there?

Page 38

ALA 69AB Page 39

H: What?

R: The president's house?

H: The president's house?

R: Where did 9e live? e

H: No, the president's house, the president's house--well, tha-us
Yow three buli-f hi
Pt Mu-rphy-s house over here, by the Methodist church, that

behind the Methodist church, that big old house with

h/5(^ C0liur/ t S I think Albert built that house.

R: By the First Methodist Church?

H: In back of it, ,gt back of it.

R: Uh ha, uh ha;

H: And it's on, uh, must be 5th Avenue, I reckon.

R: Um hum.

H: And uh, then after that, they bought this place over here on 10th

Avneue, from uh, I think they bought it from Miss Gray. No, Miss

.ray bought it after that, I believe. I don't who they bought it

from but John Tigert lived over there a long time.

R: Uh ha.

H: Before he moved up here on uh, the Boulevard?

R: Uh ha.

H: And uh, and Reitz, that's uh, that's fairly new out there on the

University Avenue, in that enclosed place?

R: Right, uh huh. Reita was the first one who lived there?

H: Yeah, he was the first one who lived there, I think.

R: Uh huh. Was that part of the farm2 )ay back?

H: No, I don't think so. I think, I think that was Charlie Pink's

property, though.

R: Oh, I see.

ALA 69AB Page 40

H: I think it was.

R: Uh huh.

H: But he lives there now, deose t he? His family?

R: The president?

H: Reitz?

R: Uh, the new president lives there now.

H:/ e does? Who i ,

X: Marston. Bob Marston.

H: Marston. I don't know him.

R: Uh huh.

H: But, uh, I know where the place is.

R: Uh huh.

X: Was the university your biggest account?

H: What's that?

X: Was the university your biggest account?

H: Well, I think it was. I, I believe it was.

R: Um hum.

H: I believe it was.

R: Did any students work for you at your store? a

H: Yeah, sometimes. Dr. 40d (C ,, I 4 worked for me, g

Dr. r(/ Ade 4aO'S !- currently AJelA frcI \ by the

R: Uh huh.

H: When school was out, he'd work for me every summer.

R: Huh.

H: Naturally. And his daddy was at that time, a doctor.

R: Uh huh.

Lof 69Be pag- e 4
H: And, but the sU rei fClicti fASunland Training Center, I-
R: Uh huh.

H: And, uh, he told Maxey, Maxey W\aE tired of going to school, and

said, "Well, you just go on down there, and Aolk for o< Br- qaue
Jr imn give you six dollars a week."


R:4 funny. Did you live in Jacksonville, uh, how long did you live
in Jacksonville, abawt?
H: I lived in Jacksonville from 1905 to 1921.

R: Uh huh. Did you remember the controversy over moving the
University from Lake City to Gainesville?

H: That happened just a little bit before I got into it, yeah, I

knew something about it, but the Lake City people still kind of
hate us.

R: Uh huh, Yeah, that's what I heard.


H:- And I don't know why that -rue, IT keeps laughing, butAoes.
Cau C heir
R:A/e took 4~" University away from them. Uh huh.
Vr's 1 l5 f^-And ryc Ow o e
H:4 Major Thomas, you know, he was the man, a% the main man WCo -f-a-
brought that University of Florida to Gainesville.

R: Uh huh.
H: And he give them some land there to start with, I think, O or
3( acres, or maybe more, I don't know.
R: Uh huh. ,
H: Well, _I -n____ ____ and he was one of the best
businessmen Gainesville ever had.

R: Uh huh. t( 1 Fr1' 5(1)
H: He hai buil tShands, f 1eJ ObV. IJO. ijyV 'V0"'

ih? -^7e Cic \(e ,

page 41



R: Uh huh.

H: _- they had dreams, and they put the dreams

into action. And, uh, but Bill's gone now, so is. .

R: Do you remember that, uh, about Gainesville giving the University

free water so they'd come here?

H: I sure do.

R: Did they have, did the county. . .

H: Ha ha ha. We've been trying a long time to get them to pay for
-+ey couldn't
that water, but 4La V get them to pay for it, and then we

JA g > them electricity A / long time, and then they dede-e
t.-b+py the Florida Power -Company.

R: Uh huh.

H:: And f we had a terrible time with them, and, but I don't know

whether, I don't -~gl b jt 13 voc

R: Uh uh, they don't buy their water yet. Ha ha.

H: They don't pay for the water?

R: Uh uh.

H: i/hey don't pay for the water, but they got some VV_\_/ of their


R: When you were mayor, did they, did you have any controversy over

them trying to pay the water? j e i5
Ze I Pfy questioi2 aWot3/ FIi^/ C4 ,r/
H: Yeah./ Trying to get them to pay for it, went on into the court

and tried to get them to pay for it.

R: Uh huh.
We o do
H:A We had agreed to furnish that water, but the court said we had

to furnish it.

R: Right, right. Did you go to the Supreme Court with it?

H: I think, I think p did, I believe Vp went up to the high court,

page 42


I think p did.
R: Uh huh.
H: And when they, uh, when the state road department wanted to pave
14- U I (s3-h
.t e, wanted to pave XFnt? Street, that's thirteenth Street now,
the merchants downtown, the best businessmen in town, fought

that thing clean on up through the 5Le(6e CoLrt-

R: Did they? Why . .
4-he- vy rom all
H: Tried to keepAbuilding that road.. Said it was gonna runAthe
people AM around the town.

R: Oh, I see, uh huh, get them out of downtown, huh.
H: At that time, the main road that come into Gainesville was
Alabama Street. It went to Alachua, &h Street now) \A)J i
Stree+ vlow.
R: Oh, I see, uh huh.
\Ys i* -4 ro, d or'
H: And, i- funne-lle all the business right down on the square.
R: Um hmm. CwP O a n i
H: And then _, and 1homaS V N. -cMa.g ,
and a),6. PDoV e -terc ws5
ardMJ~rv COvr' t'Jwas down there, thfe& b grocery store, andAsome banks
down there, too, First National Bank, was down there, and the

p ief' Bank. And, uh, they was all fighting that thing.
They spent a lot of money, but they finally lost, and they built
the road, and now, its one of the most popular roads weami-a

R: Yeah, it is. -$iy're 0 '

H: And now they're thinking of eight-laning it, I think, 14M' f
a_ Pit bigger.
R: Um hmm.

H: It's f already.
R: Yeah.

H: Yeah, well.

page 43


R: Like, do you remember the fraternity houses on the corner of

Thi-rteeth and University, now?

H: I think, I think Go e,. White built the first one, there, on the


R: That's where the Amoco gas station is now? Is that it?

H: No, it wasn't that corner, it was on the corner of niir-^Ve)

and, uh, I think .ZFou Avye and Thi~rtenth Street.

R: I see.

H: Big, white building.

R: Oh, uh huh.

H: It was kind of an aicul+oO......

R: Uh huh. That's still there, I think.

H: Yeah, its still there. George White, he was, he was connected

with the, uh, YMCA at the University of Florida. And, uh, he was

a mighty nice man, and uh,Ahe was very 4iFr-fIh Pa KSO' too,

he always wanted to make a dollar.

R: Um hmm.
Ic fl')&71Zs'bdt
H: And, uh,Aand dhte ji(manABrown, down there in aEes, used to

have a, used to grow lettuce down there around Clyde. That's

when the old T T- Railroad run on down to Tacoma, and Alachua

produce was grown down there. And then, George went down to,

I think George moved and went down to Fort Meyers or somewhere,cw1

I lost track of him.

R: Um hmm. -ir

H: But he was a good friend of mine. But he built that/place O i"

R: Hum. What schools were there?

H: I think Ft0rYd 4 e A fraternity, or something like that.

page 44


R: Alpha Gamma Rho, isn't it?

H: I think maybe its Alpha Gamma Rho, I don't know.

R: What colleges were there when you first came here? There was

Agriculture School, and what else?

H: Ueri' elevT Station, and the, uh, the University of Florida.
I think that's all I knew of.

R: What was, what other colleges were on the University of Florida?

H: Well, there wasn't any more.

R: Agriculture?

H: I think, there was, the c?-nvivje f Station was Agriculture, and

then that, uh, regular I don't know what you call the other

part of it, the. .

R: Arts and Sciences?

H: Arts and Sciences, it was t-E it was Sbt.

R: Uh huh. It, was the Law School there? Did they have a Law

School then?

H: No, I don't think they had a Law School g I don't think they


R: Uh huh. educationn or physical education, did they have anything

like that?

H: ey had, uh, they had that, ,~ f7,,R No, they didn't have

a Law College, I'm pretty sure.

R: Um hmm.

H: I didn't know too much about it.

R: Uh huh.

H: In fact, I don't know much about school, I never did go to school.

R: How many of your children went to the University?

H: Ma~ie went there a while, and Bob went there while, two of

page 45



X: Two of the four.

H: But none of them finished the University.

R: What about your grandchildren?

H: My grandchildren?

R: Any of them go?

H: They never have finished, gone any further than high school.

R: Uh huh. Really_ huh.
H: daA I don't believe they have, maybe they, maybe they have. Maybe

some of them have gone further than that, I don't know.

R: Uh huh.

H: But, they are all working people.

R: Uh huh.

H: And, uh, Bob worked for the University for a long time himself.

Myj youngest boy.

R: Did he? Uh huh. Where'd he work?

H: He worked at the uh, Brae /ab_ down there, and uh, -4 had to

do with the ocean.

X: In Weil Hall?

H: Weil, Weil was the, Weil was the director at that time.

X: That's where our office is.

R: Uh huh.

H: And, uh, Bob was the, he, he handled that, he knew a lot about

that tank down there, 4iyt t-.vi VJ n' 1Ck ,* *

R: Uh huh.

H: Checking waves, and. . .

R: Uh huh.

X: The Wave Tank.

page 46


H: The Yave/ank, yeah. He worked there a long time.

R: Did you know Weil?

H: I knew him mighty well.

R: Did you?

H: He was a smart Jew.

R: Was he?

X. He was what?

H: He was a smart Jew, I said.


H: He traded all around \N(]4\ 4VI .- --,,

R: He did? What kind of things did he buy from you?

H: He just beat us trading all o ic-C -e

R: What did he buy from you? )

H: He didn't buy nothing from me, he was trying to,Atrying to get a

lower rate on electricity for the University of Florida.

R: Oh, I see, when you were Mayor?

H: He never did quit working for the University of Florida, he js;-

dclho cM-re no--lin about the fity, or anybody else,but the

R: When you were Mayor he was trying to get electricity cheaper?

H: Yeah, he was trying to get it cheaper, and did.

R: Oh, did he? Were you one of the first .e . .

H: He was really, he was really feuding, he was so smart they

R: Really?

H: And I had to laugh a t that, Ctilk O~JO er -Ji -----J

R: That's funny. You were the, one of the first commissioners,

weren't you, on the first board of commissioners?

page 47


H: I was on the first panel, yeah.

R: First one?

H: I was on the panel, and I stayed on there ten years.

R: You say, you were on it ten years, then?

H: I )aj Q oi Aerg, ten years, yP-,

R: What was the first year, 1927?

H: 1927 through '37.

R: Uh huh. And then you were Mayor '28-'29, '30-'31.

H: I was/1ayor '28 and '29, '30 and '31. Iwas, I think I was the

only /ayor-,ommissioner to ever m themselves, they generally

changed every year.

R: Uh huh.

H: But for some reason or another it didn't change when I was on 4~CT

ivj that, *g that tough time}in '29, '30, and '31, with that

Depression coming) /nd hard ways.

R: What was the, university like during the War?

H: Well, it was, it was much curtailed, but it kept operating.

R: It did? Did most of the young men go off to war?

H: Oh, a lot of them went off, a lot of them went to the war. A

lot of them didn't come back.

R: Uh huh.

H: nyerrible war.

R: What happened during the, uh, .

H: They got killed.

R: Yeah. What happened, um, did the University just sort of slow

down a little bit for a while?

H: Well, it had toi'ff nJ -D.

R: Yeah. What about when women came, do you remember that, when

page 48


women students came to the University?

H: That was, uh, I remember that too.

R: When was that about, 1947?
H: Well, I think that must have been about fifteen years ago,Atwenty

years ago,AI don't know how long ago its been.

R: Did that change the city much, do you think?

H: It kind of helped the situation, I think. I think it helped it.

R: Uh hth.

H: I think it helped the situation.

X: Helped the University, or the city, or both?

H: It helped, it helped the general of things,Anormal,

made it more normal, you know.

R: Did most of the men students used to have to drive over to

Tallahassee on weekends for dates?

H: Did what?

R: Do you remember the men students driving to Tallahassee to get

a date?

H: No I don't remember that, but I, I've been over there myself,
`QLjmn u I those girls over there one night.

R: Oh, did you?

H: And I was embarrassed, there were so many women, I never had been

in a room with so many women, I think there was ten acres of

women there in that dining room.

R: You liked the University better when the women students came here


H: OS I liked the University all the time, because, as I said, I

didn't have nothing to do with anything but the heads, the/Heads

of the P'epartments.

page 49

ALA 69AB page 50

R: Right.

H: And, not all of them.

R: Um hmm. What -e kinds of materials did you sell to the


H: What?

R: What other kinds of things did you sell to the University?

H: Oh, I sold them flour, and at that time, they did lots of baking,

you know, and I sold them grits and meal,Acanned goods tomatoess

and peas and corn, and different other kind of canned goods.

R: Um hmm.

H: And just a regular line of groceries. They had to have a whole

lot of different things, you know, all those people out there, O ee.

R: Um hmm. Where did they eat then?

H: Mrs. rt CG-c O-l _- -ey had a dining room.

R: Where was that, do you remember?

H: .No, I don't, but Mrs. Me >d( I think was the dietician there

for a long time, and uh, .. .

R: JUtihZ~ Was that in Buckman Hall? Do you remember Buckman?
H: Maybe it was, maybe it was. I don't know.~.-aPi-e it was. But, uh,

she retired and moved down there on Main Street, and lived and

died down there. But she was really a very active woman, and

she tried to buy all kinds, she always tried to buy as cheap as

she could for the University of Florida. And I appreciated that,

I appreciated being interested in their job, and what they were


R: Did your sons work with you too, in your store?

H: Huh?

R: Did your sons work in your store, too?


H: Yeah, whenever I needed them, they did, they didn't work in the

store, they made trips out in the country, and out into other


R: Um hmm.

H: Like I was telling you, taking, carrying that load of hogs off, b-c
-4,Icr1c -0 LyVcS 'q
|/ carry a load of cows sometime down 4tt __ Tampa.

Sometimes to Jonestown, some to Jacksonville. Well, and we had

a lot of, moved a lot of ort)c.'CI from Jacksonville to my


R: Um hmm.

H: And, uh, we finally bought a, a wholesale groceryAdown there in

Ocala, Ye had three.

R: Um hmm.

H: And, uh, we had a truck making that trip nearly every day. Come

here, or go to Ocala, one. And, uh, did most of our buying in


R: Uh huh.

(Break in tape)

R: Well, if you don't hear from me, I'll come by and pick you up

about . .

f ^ N O O F 11 )Tr ZV (6 _A

page 51

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs