Title: Thomas E. Simmons ( AL 92 )
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093291/00001
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Title: Thomas E. Simmons ( AL 92 )
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Interviewer: Jeff Charbonnet
Publication Date: July 21, 1987
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Bibliographic ID: UF00093291
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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AL 92
Interviewee: Thomas E. Simmons
Interviewer: Jeff Charbonnet
Date: July 21, 1987

[C: This is Jeff Charbonnet. Today is July 21, 1987, and I am interviewing Thomas
E. "Ed" Simmons at his home in Archer. Where were you born, Mr. Simmons?]

S: I was born about three miles from Albertville, Alabama on a farm. I lived on a
farm all my life. We moved here when I was nine years old.

C: When was that?

S: I was ten years old when we moved here in 1918.

C: You moved here to Archer?

S: Yes, and I have been living here ever since. [I] married an Archer girl, and we
been married fifty-seven years, fifty-eight coming December 24. We both went
to school in Archer.

C: What was the occasion for your family to move here from Alabama?

S: Well, my dad was a cotton farmer in Alabama. That was during the first part of
World War I, and the cotton prices were high. There was a doctor that lived
there that my dad knew, and he had moved from Albertville, Alabama to Archer.
He came back up to visit and told my dad about cotton farming here. They grew
long staple cotton [in Archer], and they grew the short staple cotton up there.
Long staple was higher priced cotton, so my dad decided he would come down
and take a look. Well, he liked what he saw. My mother was in bad health, and
the doctor thought that it would help her to move down here, which it did.

C: Where is Albertville?

S: It is up on Sand Mountain, on top of Sand Mountain, near Guntersville, Alabama.
We were seven miles from Guntersville. We lived just a quarter of a mile off
the road that went from Albertville to Guntersville. They were eleven miles
apart. Guntersville is on the Tennessee River. In fact, that is right where they
built that big dam, close to Guntersville, Alabama.

C: So you came here because the cotton farming looked better.

S: Yes. But Dad farmed cotton for only two or three years after we moved down.
He moved down here for the cotton farming, and then he quit raising cotton.

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C: What did he switch to?

S: Cattle, hogs, and watermelons, mainly. He grew some cucumbers and various
crops, but he was mainly into cattle and hogs and watermelons. He was a
watermelon farmer.

C: Did he do pretty well in the business?

S: Yes, he did pretty good. All three of his sons farmed. My older brothers are
dead. One of my brothers kept his farm and still continued to farm even after be
became a game warden. He was a game warden for twenty-some years, until
he retired. In the beginning, he was just game warden in this county, and then
he became the northeastern district manager.

C: So he gave up his farming?

S: He more or less gave it up. He did have some sharecroppers after that. He
kept his farm until he passed away, and then his daughter got it.

C: Did you have any sisters?

S: Yes, one sister. She is still living; she is ninety-three years old. She was the
oldest in the family. She still lives there on the original farm. Both of my
brother's children live on that farm now. This farm is about a mile and a half
from my father's old farm. I bought this farm in 1935. I kept adding more
property up until the 1950s, I believe it was, when I bought the last. Anyhow, at
one time I owned 1,525 acres. I think I sold ten acres of it, but I gave all my
children 160 acres.

C: That is a pretty big piece of land you had there. Were you one of the biggest
farmers around?

S: Well, I owned as much land as anybody in this area. I did not farm as much as
some of the rest of them did. Quite a bit of mine was in timber. I was involved
in cattle and hogs, watermelon farming, and peanuts. My wife Mary and I
started with one mule and an old Georgia ratchet plow, a turn plow, and $112 in
the bank.

C: And that was it?

S: That was in 1929. I inherited twenty-five acres from my dad, and that was all I
got except what we have worked and made for ourselves.

C: In going through the old records, I have found a number of Simmonses in Archer.

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I am not sure who is who, but I bet they are all related to you.

S: No, they are not all related. There were three sets of Simmonses in the
little town of Archer at one time. One was black Simmons. The other Simmons
came here from Georgia. My dad was originally from Georgia, and they tried to
[find a connection], but they never could find any.

C: Can you tell me the names of your parents and your brothers and sisters.

S: Perry Simmons was my father, and he had a brother. His name was William
Hardeman, but everybody called him Hard. He has a son, William Henry
Simmons, that lives on his farm, right next to mine. Hard had a daughter that
lives at Orange Lake and another son that is living in New Orleans, I believe. He
moves around quite a bit.

C: So your Uncle Hard moved to Archer, also.

S: He moved to Archer a year or two after my dad did, and they have been here
ever since. I was in the second grade when I come here; I was nine years old.
I had had bad health in Alabama. I started school in a two-room school in
Albertsville and went there for two years. I graduated from Archer High School.
Archer did not have a high school when we came down here; Archer School went
through only the eighth grade. It was expanded through the tenth grade in 1922
or 1923. Then in 1925 it was expanded to all twelve grades. There were four
students in the twelfth grade. [The principal] tried to get the school accredited
so the students could go to a university without having to take a test. The
school board told her it could not furnish the books for the library--accreditation
required a certain amount of books in the library--and they could not furnish any
equipment for the chemistry department.

C: Books and equipment that they had to have in order to get accredited.

S: Right. She told them, "Tell us how much [money we need to purchase these
items, and we will raise it. We need them so] we can get accredited." I was in
the ninth grade then, and we put on plays from the ground up. We put on plays
about every other week. There was a little picture show there in Archer [where
we did the plays]. Everybody that had a kid in that play and all their friends
would go to that play. There were no cars to travel in then.

C: So the whole community came out for the play.

S: We charged fifteen cents or a quarter. [We raised enough money that the
principal was able to buy] all the equipment we needed. She wanted a coach for
the high school students, but the school board said we could not have a coach;

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there was no way they could furnish a basketball coach. The only sport we
really had enough boys to play [was] basketball, and maybe baseball in the fall,
but we did not need a coach for that.

Anyway, a lot of people did not know this, but we got the University of Florida
basketball coach. The second year we played basketball, he had seen our team
play in the University of Florida gym against some of the fraternities. We played
a lot of the fraternities just for practice. Well, this coach had seen one of the
players on our team, and he wanted him; he wanted to help train him. So he
told the principal that he would come down to Archer twice a week and give an
hour to work with us, and that he would try to come to some of the games. But
he could not be seen coaching. We would have to go to his car and talk to him.
Well, we gave him twenty-five dollars a week to come down here. No one had
twenty-five dollars, so we worked as janitors [to earn the money]. The
basketball team were janitors! We did that for two years.

C: And you used the money that you were going to use to pay for the janitor to pay
for the coach.

S: That is right. I think that was good for us. You may not think so because you
are young, but I think the lack of a work ethic is one of the things that is wrong
with society now. Too many people think that they should get paid for not
working, for not doing anything.

C: So you learned young that it was important to work and earn your way. Did you
have a gym here in Archer?

S: No, all the teams played on clay courts.

C: Did people turn out to watch the team?

S: Oh, yes, they would turn out. The year I graduated, we had the district
tournament here, and there were no classes. We played Palatka, Ocala,
Gainesville, Bronson, Williston, and some little school out there. Leesburg used
to be in our district, but Palatka moved in in their place. One of the little towns
out in the country this side of Ocala had a team. I believe there were two of
those teams in there. Reddick had one, I know, and there was another one that
was out in the scrub. Anyway, I believe there were thirty teams in this

C: How did you do?

S: The top-seeded teams were Gainesville and Ocala, so they did not have to play
the first game. Well, we played Ocala in the semi-finals, and we beat them.

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Bronson played Gainesville in the semi-finals and beat them. We beat Bronson
in the final match, so we won the [district] tournament.

[Then we went to the state tournament]. At that time, the two top teams from
each of the twenty district were invited. Two of our best players had had the flu
and had just gotten over it two or three days before the tournament, so we were
weak. We really had only eight players. I think at that time you could take
eleven. We played our first game against Monticello, and we won. Then we
had to play Andrew Jackson [High School]. Andrew Jackson was a whole lot
bigger than we were.

C: Where were they from?

S: Jacksonville. We played them the closest game that they had the whole
season, and they beat us by just five points. They beat everybody else by a
whole lot more than that. Leesburg was runner-up that year.

I was on the team. I was a 5'4". I never will forget the Ocala game as long as I
live. I never tipped but one basketball in the goal in my life. They were
shooting a free throw, and Ed Dozier was 6'4"--that was a tall man then. We
were all lined up, but he stood in the background. When the ball rolled off of the
rim off my side, he just reached up to get it.

C: He did not even jump.

S: He did not jump or anything. I jumped just as high as I could and tipped that
thing, and I tipped it in! That is the only goal I tipped in my life.

C: That is great. I bet you surprised him with that.

S: There were only nine that graduated in the class with me. I think the class
ahead of us had about thirteen or fourteen, something like that.

C: Now, when did you graduate?

S: 1929. There was three boys and six girls in the class.

C: Now, I would like to get the names of your brothers, for the record.

S: Joe Simmons and Truman Simmons.

C: And what was your sister's name?

S: My sister's name was Verna, she married a Goode.

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C: Okay. Now, I also came across a lady named Martha Simmons who was a
principal out here.

S: She was the principal here, and her husband, William Henry Simmons, was
principal here.

C: Is that your cousin?

S: That is my cousin. Their place [farm] joins mine.

C: And they were both principals?

S: Yes, they were both principals in Archer at different times.

C: How big was the high school? Could you describe it for me? What did it look
like? What was it made of?

S: Well, it was a three-story building. The high school was in the top two floors,
and I think grammar school had one or two rooms. The auditorium was on the
second floor. We had classes in the auditorium. Sometimes we even had
classes in the auditorium and in the balcony at the same time.

C: You did not have much space for all this.

S: A few times we had classes on the stage. It had a curtain, so we could have
classes on the stage. I think I told you that the town paid for the equipment that
first year. We did have a chemistry lab. It was not as elaborate as some of the
others, but it met the requirements. The accreditation team came to inspect it,
and we got by. The first class to graduate from Archer High School was in 1925.
The last one was in 1953, I believe, but I am not positive on that date.

C: I think you are right. Did you have the option to go to Gainesville for high school
if you wanted to?

S: At that time, you had the option to go anywhere if you furnished your own
transportation. But when the school closed, the school board furnished
transportation to Gainesville.

C: Some people went to Williston.

S: Some people went to Williston, and I believe Williston furnished transportation.

C: The Levy County bus would come.

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S: Yes, the Levy County bus would come.

C: Back in the early 1920s, though, before Archer had a high school, did people go
to Gainesville from Archer, or did people not go to high school then?

S: Nobody went to high school. Well, there were a few. Some would even board
in another town. Inverness had a school at that time. There were three girls
that I remember went to Inverness schools. One of them later became a
teacher in Archer. That was done then; you could go anywhere to school [if you
could get there].

C: You had to furnish your own transportation.

S: Right, you had to furnish your own way there. Except when they first closed the
school. Then they took us to school in Gainesville, and they let Williston come
and get the ones that did not want to go to Gainesville. My last two children
graduated from Gainesville High. My two oldest daughters graduated from
Archer, and both of them went to the University. My oldest daughter had the
highest grade-point average of any female student in the University. She won
the Panhellenic Award. She went through in three years. She took math and
science as her two majors and physical ed. I do not think they had any
competitive sports. They may have, but, if they did, she did not make the team.
She was in physical education for gymnastics.

C: So you raised some smart children, then.

S: And the other girl finished in the top ten. They both were teachers. The oldest
girl died when she was just twenty-three. She left a son. He has eighty acres
of land on my place and is living on it now. He has a little great-grandson.

C: Did you have children in Archer High School at the time it was closed?

S: Yes, my younger children were, so they went to Gainesville.

C: Now, was Archer High School a brick building?

S: Yes, a brick building.

C: What about the colored school here?

S: It was a wooden building at the same site that the school is now.

C: Now, it burned, right, and then they rebuilt the school, and that is the one they
are using now?

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Page 8

S: Yes.

C: Do you have any recollection about what the colored school system was like
back then? Did it seem like a lot of kids went to school?

S: The high school students went to Lincoln [High School in Gainesville]. Not many
of them went to high school. Everybody has to admit that the black schools
were not as good as [the white schools]. Their teachers were not as well

C: They did not have the textbooks and other things.

S: There is no doubt that they did not have the textbooks and equipment that they
were supposed to have, so many of them simply did not go. It was an exception
for a child to regularly attend.

C: Did they have a shorter school term and things like that?

S: No, they did not have a shorter school term, not that I can remember.

C: It was just that the children did not go.

S: The children did not go. They would work. They just did not care, and their
parents did not care, if they went or not.

C: Now, what about the white children? Did most of them attend regularly?

S: Yes, regularly. Of course, a lot of them dropped out after seventh or eighth
grade back in those days. There were high schools in Archer, Newberry, High
Springs, Alachua, Hawthorne, and at one time in Waldo. Waldo's school closed
before Archer's. At one time, for just a short while, there was a high school in
Micanopy. One of the reasons why I got into politics was because they tried to
close Archer High School in 1947.

C: I have a few questions that I would like to ask you about that. The first time I
came across your name was in 1941 when you ran for school trustee. Do you
remember that?

S: Yes. I was pushed into that. I really did not want to run.

C: Tell me about that.

S: Two or three of the younger fellows got teed off with what some of the trustees
were doing. They had several meetings, and they wanted me to run. I fought it

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for a long time, but they finally talked me into it.
C: They "drafted" you. How old were you then? That was in 1941, so you would
have been in your thirties.

S: I was thirty-one.

C: What kind of things were the trustees doing that were upsetting people?

S: Trustees really had very little power. That was one of the reasons I did not care
about being a trustee.

C: What power did they have?

S: If there was something going on concerning a principal or a teacher, they could
gather evidence against them. Or they could put pressure on the regular board
to do something. Of course, they could help get things for their school if they
were aggressive enough.

C: They would have to go through the county board?

S: They would have to go through the county board. They did not have any actual
power themselves at all. If a kid were expelled from school and went to them
and talked to them, or the student's parent, they could let him back in school until
a board meeting.

C: So they could have an appeal to them.

S: Right. I got expelled once, so that is the reason I know about that. A school
trustee talked to the principal and asked him if I had ever been any trouble, was I
a good student, and all that. What had happened was a kid had thrown a
baseball in the room. It was in the summertime, and there was a building
outside of the school where they held Latin class. Nobody could stand that
teacher, and this boy, who was in the Latin class, purposely threw the ball in
there. There was no question about that. Nobody thought he would do it. He
was the Presbyterian preacher's son. Two or three other boys had been playing
catch outside, and when the ball hit the building, this Latin teacher would go out
there and get after them. Well, this preacher's kid threw the ball in there. He
had a pretty good arm. Well, the principal questioned everyone. He asked me,
"Do you know who threw it in?" I said, "Yes, I know." "Don't you think it is your
duty to tell me?" I said, "No, I am not going to tell you," and I did not tell.

C: So they expelled you.

S: He expelled me, along with several others. I do not remember what it was, but

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he made me write something 500 times.
C: And that was your punishment?

S: That was my punishment. I do not have a suspension on my record. I finished
as valedictorian of the class. Of course, I should have, since I was nineteen
years old.

C: That gave you a little advantage on the others.

S: Anyway, about these small schools, at that time, I would say from 1925 through
1950, the average of the children going from the best schools in the state [on to
the University of Florida] was not more than 17 percent. I am speaking of the
big schools. Gainesville ran anywhere from about 8 to 14 percent during all
those years.

C: You are talking about the percent that graduated from high school and then went
on to the University?

S: Yes. During that whole period of time, fifty-five out of 170 Archer High School
graduates finished college. That percentage was way above the state average,
so much above Gainesville High School's that it was pitiful.

C: Why do you think that was?

S: Motivation. There were so few in the school that you had to participate in
everything. If they put on a play, you had to be in it. You got some experience
in public speaking. To me it was a good thing. And this busing--we are
spending too much money on busing. I always will believe that. I fought it
when I was on the board. Crossbusing to me is the worst thing in the world.

C: You like the neighborhood school idea, the small community schools?

S: Yes. I was defeated one time when I was [running for re-election] on the school
board because of my stand on that. We had a meeting just two weeks before
the election. It came up that we were going to set up a busing plan for the
schools when they opened in September. The proposition was that the children
were going to be bused all different ways. They had claimed that they could
make it [the racial composition of the student body] within 5 percent of the
average all over the county. Well, we did not have enough money, so there was
no way we could afford to transport that many children. Besides, there was no
way the people would have agreed to busing even if we did have the money.

C: What year was that?

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S: 1968. So everyone knew I was going to vote against it. I was the only school
board member not from Gainesville.

C: You represented the county.

S: That is right. But the people in High Springs, the people in Alachua, the people
in Hawthorne, and the people in Archer and Newberry all come to me and told
me, "You go along with them, because this is going to help us." I said it was not
going to happen.

C: The people wanted their kids to be bused?

S: They knew they were going to be integrated anyway. They thought that by
going along with that they would get a higher percentage [of whites]. Well, In
Archer they wound up with 55 percent black. See, it is like I told them, there
was no way.

C: You said that was what was going to happen.

S: Yes, and it happened. Anyhow, I voted like they wanted me to vote. When I
voted, I said, "This is the first time I have ever done this, and I hope to God this is
the last time. I am voting against everything that I ever believed in. But the
people that elected me say this is what they want me to do, so I am going to vote
for this thing." Everybody was terribly surprised that I did it, because they knew I
was hard-headed. And it passed. When I made that statement, I said, "There
is one thing for damn sure this board is going to do, though. If we haul a
busload of black children from the east side of Gainesville to the west side, it is
going to bring a load of whites back across. In other words, you know that
Littlewood [elementary], Westwood [Middle School], and J. J. Finley [elementary]
are all white, practically. You are not going to let the blacks take all the brunt of
this thing."

C: You are going to have to take some whites over to [C. W.] Duval and [Joseph]
Williams [elementary schools].

S: I said, "You are going to have to bus some whites over there. I am not against
being fair. I want to be fair. But," I said, "I will be damned if I will ever agree to
any plan that does not go both ways." I told my wife coming home, "He will beat
me two to one." She asked why, and I said that Littlewood, Westwood, and J. J.
Finley have always voted for me [in previous elections].

C: But not that time.

S: I was 1,200 votes ahead of him, but I began to fear that the blacks were going to

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vote against me. The blacks had always been strong supporters [in previous

C: Who was your opponent that year?

S: Dr. [Eugene Allan] Todd [professor of education].

C: Gene Todd?

S: Gene Todd. When they counted the votes in the school board precinct, which
was 95 percent black at that time, he had 580 and I had 120. That gave him a
big jump. The J. J. Finley precinct was split about 50/50, but as it turned out,
Todd carried Westwood and Littlewood by a wide margin.

When all the votes were counted, I was ahead by a scant thirty-five votes. Cliff
Cromer, the Gainesville Sun reporter for education at that time, called me and
said, "Well, you beat him." I says, "No, I did not beat him. He is the school
board member. I have already called his house and congratulated him." I told
him I would do anything I could to help the schools in the next four years.
Cromer said, "But you are ahead of him." I replied, "What are you talking about?
The University people that are on vacation voted by absentee ballot." I felt
certain they would overwhelmingly support Todd. I was afraid he would beat me
by some 250 or 300 votes, but as it turned out, he beat me by only 70, so it was
not as bad as I thought it would be.

C: Were his feelings really much different from yours, or was it just a reaction
against you?

S: Oh, he had the black people thinking that he would have everything straightened
out, and the whites and teachers, too. Teachers were against me because I just
told the truth when I said that we did not have the money to give them the raises
they wanted. There was no need to beat around the bush about it. You do not
need to look for something that you do not have.

Anyway, I did not even consider running again the next election. Two years
after that, they opened it up where you could run from anywhere. [Ed.:
Residence districts for school board members were abolished in 1970.] Dr.
[Ben] Samuels told me that he was not going to run and asked me to run in his
place, so I announced that I would run.

C: Now, let us talk about that for a second. How did they do that? Was it just by
local ordinance?

S: Yes, and I was against that. The rest of the school board was for it, but I was

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against it because I feel that the school board members should represent a

C: They ought to represent something.

S: That they ought to represent some body.

C: Some group of people that you can say, "They are who I represent."

S: You have to represent everybody. But I do not think the people on the west side
of the county should have to come all the way to the east side to get somebody
to represent them. At one time it almost got to where there could have been
controlling board members in a five-block area.

C: That is just the way the pie was sliced.

S: It got almost that way one time. Anyhow, I still think that they need it like it is,
that they ought to have districts to run out of.

C: So Ben Samuels decided not to run.

S: [He] decided not to run, but they put the pressure on, and he ran after all. The
first rally we had was at one of the big motels outside of Gainesville on 13th
[Street]. Dr. Samuels and I were the last two [candidates to speak]. He gave
his little talk, and I got up and told them, "Well, I am not going to waste a lot of
your time. I served [on the board for] eight years, and you know what I believe
in. This is one time you cannot go wrong. You are going to vote for a good
man for school board this year. I can guarantee that, because there are only
two of us running, and both are good men. So you can take you pick. That is
just exactly the way I feel about it." Then I added, "The only thing is that Mr.
Samuels told me he was not going to run, and that is when I announced that I
was going to run. When I say I am going to do something, I do it. But I am not
going to say a word against Ben Samuels, and I do not believe he is going to say
a word against me. You are going to have a good school board no matter who
you elect."

Well, they elected him; he beat me by thirty-five votes, I think, nearly the same as
[the previous election against Dr. Todd]. I was ahead in the regular election by
about seventy or eighty votes, but I called and talked to his son and told him,
"Tell your daddy I congratulate him." He said, "But you are ahead."

C: He had forgotten about the absentee ballots.

S: That is right. I told him, "No, not when the absentees are counted. He has won

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it. I will just go on farming like I have been doing the last two years."
C: Now, when you ran that time, did you declare which seat you were running for?
There were five seats, right?

S: Yes, there were, and yes, I declared for that seat.

C: But there were not any districts. It was just you picked one of the seats.

S: And the next time it was still open.

C: That would have been in 1972?

S: 1974. It was in 1970 that I ran that time.

C: So in 1968 you went off the board, and in 1970 you ran for Samuel's seat, and
again in 1974.

S: I went off in 1970, and I ran in 1972 and then again in 1974.

C: Okay. So Dr. Todd beat you in 1970, and then you ran against Samuels in 1972
and then again in 1974.

S: Against Todd.

C: Oh, against Todd.

S: I announced early that time; that was the first time I have ever announced early.
I announced early that I was going to run and that I was going to run for my

C: But you could have picked any seat you wanted to, right?

S: I said, "Dr. Todd can pick any district he wants, but I am running for this district."
I was throwing the challenge to him. I really wanted to get him. I knew darn
well I could. If you recall, the teachers and the blacks were the ones that helped
beat me [in the previous election]. Well, this time they both sent representatives
to get me to run, and they said they would really work for me.

C: They supported you now. So they changed their minds.

S: They said, "That man [Dr. Todd] promised us the moon, but he did not give us
daylight, let alone the moon."

C: What kinds of things did he say he was going to give?

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S: Oh, there is no telling what all he did promise.

C: Raises for the teachers, I guess.

S: Oh, yes, raises for the teachers, and cutting down class size.

C: What was he going to give the blacks?

S: Anything they wanted. The first and only time I went around to the black
community was when I went to the little barber shop over on 5th Avenue. If you
could get that old Negro that works there on your side, you could carry that 5th
Avenue crowd.

I went in there and said, "Well, you worked for Dr. Todd the last time. Who are
you going to support this time?" He said, "Oh, my God, Mr. Simmons. You do
not know how happy I was when you announced that you were running." [Ed.:
Simmons was successful in his campaign for the school board in 1974.]

C: Do you think that most of the blacks were in favor of the busing or against it?

S: I believe that most of them were against it.

C: They wanted to stay in their neighborhood schools?

S: You think that is what Todd promised them, that he would be in favor of
doing that?

C: No, I do not think so. He said that he supported the busing.

S: There is no telling what he promised them, because he had a lot of meetings with
them. I did not. I just knew the ones to talk to, and I found out right off that they
were going for him [Dr. Todd]. They knew who I was.

C: You did not support busing at all?

S: When I went on the school board in January of 1963, a beginning teacher's
salary was $3,900. Today it is $16,000. That is an increase of over 400
percent. Of course, that is a big item in the school budget.

I have always been a believer in "a penny saved is a penny made." When I
went on the board, we [board members] were getting $1,200 a year. My check
every month was $92 for the first four years I served. Soon it got to nearly $200,
and then we got another raise to over $200 a month. That is when Dr. [Walter]

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Ebling came. We both told them that we did not want the raise, that we would
just turn the raise back in to the school system. They said we could not do that,
that we were not allowed to do that. It was not long before board member
salaries were around $4,800 or maybe $5,000. Frankly, I thought that $92 was
too small.

C: For the board members?

S: We had more meetings than they do now, and we had committees. Board
members were appointed to committees, and the schools all over the county
would want this committee member or that one to meet with them and talk about
things. They have changed that now. There is a law that school board
members are not supposed to discuss anything.

Let me tell you something else. When I vote for somebody, if I did not trust him,
I would not vote for him. Also, I do not think that the public ought to know every
word that they say. I think you can get more done without the newspaper and
television looking over your shoulder. They are still doing it.

C: Even though it is all supposed to be out in the open, it is not all out.

S: It is just impossible to get things done and get them done right sometimes
without some horse trading. We cannot do that in public. That is how I feel
about it. Incidentally, school board [members] now get $15,776 a year.

C: That is about what the starting teacher makes, is not it? And board members
work part-time.

S: And that is not right. Back in the time when I was running, it took a dedicated
man to run for the school board, because he was going to be cursed. No matter
what you do, you are not going to satisfy everybody.

C: And you are not going to get rewarded for it, either.

S: You are not going to get rewarded for anything really. Of course, I got a lot of
satisfaction. A lot of people thanked me for the things that I did. But I got a lot
of criticism, too.

I feel like we have taken the schools away from the parents too much.
Incidentally, all my grandchildren but one goes to P. K. Yonge, because the
parents are involved in that school more so than they are in the other schools. I
did not have anything to do with that. My children felt like that was what they

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C: You think that is a pretty good idea, though, I bet.

S: Yes.

C: There are a lot of people that feel it is important for professionals run the school,
that the school should be efficient, and so forth. On the other hand, there are
people that say you ought to let the parents and the community be involved in the
school because it is important to them. Which do you think is [more important]?

S: I think that the parents should be involved. I remember the time when a young
couple with children, when thinking of buying a home, would consider where the
closest school was. That was the first thing they wanted to know. Now there is
no telling where a child is going to go from one year to the next.

C: They are totally cut off from any of the ...

S: Cut off from any of the decisions. This year there is a big shake-up in the
schools in Gainesville.

C: About where they are going to draw the school boundaries?

S: Yes. Some of that has to be, but it works a hardship on a lot of people. I
remember the last time I was elected, the first two years of the last time, Dr.
[James] Longstreth [professor of education] was the superintendent. Every
month we would spend I would say at least four-fifths of our time with people
before the board about busing children. Nine times out of ten I was with them,
and if they had a good reason, I voted with them. Most of the time I was by
myself. I voted my conviction. I remember one time a Negro woman came that
lived in Kennedy [Homes].

C: Kennedy Homes.

S: Yes. She worked in the Copeland Meat Plant in Alachua. Her mother lived
within one block of Duval [Elementary School], and her child had been going to
Duval. The Kennedy neighborhood was not bused but was transferred, and they
had to walk over to Rawlings [Elementary School]. This woman had to leave
home about 6:30 to get to work at Copeland at 7:00, or maybe it was 7:00 and
7:30, but, anyhow, it was a long time before school. So she would just drop her
little girl off at her grandmother's. Well, they found out that she was going the
wrong school--they said she had to go to Rawlings. She came before the board,
and I argued for her, but it did not do any good. Even Charles Chestnut voted
against her. She had sent a letter--she did not really know how to get up and
talk before the public. She was there, but she did not really make any
presentation at all. She just told them she had sent us a letter about what was

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happening, but none of them had read her letter. I know Charles had not read it.

C: It might have been different if they had.

S: Tommy Tomlinson was the one that was in charge of it. I told Tommy after the
meeting, "Tommy, my God!" He said, "I had to go along with the policy. I had
to make the recommendation of where she is supposed to go. I believe with you
that she ought to be allowed to go Rawlings, but there is nothing I can do about it
unless the board says so." I said, "Well, you get that women back here next
week, next meeting." Then I told the woman, "Do not move that child; you let
that child go on [to Duval for now]. You come to our meeting next week. I want
to get a hold of Charles and Shelton Boyles, and I will either skin his head or he
is going to see sense on this one."

C: Now, Tommy was Longstreth's assistant then?

S: Yes.

C: What year was that about?

S: 1975 or 1976.

C: So this is the second time you were on the board.

S: Right. Anyhow, I told her, "You come back next week." She came back, and
instead of her making the presentation, I made it for her. I told them, "Rawlings
is a school that does not have enough students. We are talking about
transferring students from somewhere else in order to bring more students to that
school. Yet you are wanting to transfer one out." "That is about the silliest
thing I ever saw people do," I said. "She has the best reason in the world. In
fact, this lady says she will have to quit her job, and she cannot get another job
that pays that much money anywhere. She has a built-in system there to take
care of her child in the morning." Then I said, "Here we sit on a board that says
she cannot do that. To me, I do not see how anybody could be any sillier than
to vote that way." After I finished, I said, "Now, I would like to call for the vote on
this." They voted three to two.

C: Yes, you got their attention on that one.

S: And the poor woman left there crying thinking that we had turned her down
again. Someone said, "Go catch that woman and tell her that she won."

S: I cannot understand how anybody is thinking [when they do silly things like that].

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After Dr. [Walter] Sickles got on that board, I fought for Tommy. I did not fight
against Dr. Sickles at all. Dr. Sickles came out here and met me after he found
out that I voted against him. He came out and talked with me after he had been
appointed. I had met with him before up at the school board and talked with
him. I told him then that I was for Tommy, that I voted for Tommy. When they
finally called him, they tried to get me to make it unanimous, and I said, "I do not
feel that way, and I am not going to vote that way." Doc asked, "What did you
have against me?" I said, "Dr. Sickles, I do not have a thing in the world against
you. If you come here and do what is best for the school, I will be the strongest
backer you have. But if you try to do something I do not think is right, I will fight
the hell out of you."

C: And you would have done the same thing with Tommy, too, I am sure.

S: I told him, "It makes no difference. I am not against you at all. Do not get
wrong about that. I will be working with you any way I can." I worked with him
better than anybody else he had. After a couple of meetings, I saw that he felt a
whole lot like I did about things. I told him, "Dr. Sickles, if you will make the
suggestion to some of the other board members that we quit spending all this
time on this darn transferral, Tommy could do it." And I said, "We have the
guidelines there, and Tommy has enough common sense."

After he got there, he came to support me, too. "What Mr. Simmons says is
common sense. There is no need hurting a child and the parents just for the
one child." Their excuse was that if you are going to do that [for one], then there
would be a whole drove more. It just did not make sense at all.

In fact, there was one man from Alachua that had a cousin or something that was
a teacher in the school out there, and he was not going to let his child go to that
school. He did not give a damn what happened, he was not going there. He
had sent out a letter a long way before. See, if anybody was requesting a
variance, they were to send a letter stating their reasons. He complied with that,
and nobody else had. Well, the board said, "Yes, but if we let you go, . ." But
he cut in, "Mr. Simmons and I talked about that. He pointed out to me that that
was one of the things you were going to say. That is not true." Well, the time
had passed that anybody could object, and he was the only one that had sent in
the letter. He said, "So that is no excuse."

C: There was not much they could do with that. Mr. Simmons, let me ask you
about the trustees here in Archer again. Now, you ran in 1941, and one of the
people elected that year someone named M. Venable. Who was that?

S: Monroe Venable.

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C: Was he an old-time Archer person?

S: Yes, he was from an old Archer family. He was mayor of Archer for years, and
his daughter was mayor there twice. His granddaughter was even mayor there.

C: Really?

S: Yes.

C: How about L. E. Mills?

S: He was the one that I went to that time I was telling you about.

C: Oh, he was your lawyer that helped you out.

S: He helped me get things straightened out so I would not be suspended.

C: Now, what was his background in?

S: He was a farmer. In Georgia, he and my father were neighbors. My dad, of
course, was the reason for his moving down here. After we moved here, we
went to Alabama one summer, and then we came back by his place and stopped
and talked with him. Then he decided to move here.

C: He wanted to come, too. Did he have any children in the school? Were there
any Mills kids?

S: Yes. He had five children in the school. One of them was in the same
classroom [that I was in].

C: So he would have been a good one to be a trustee, since he had [children in the
schools]. What about Venable? Did he have any kids in the school, too?

S: He had one child in the school at that time, and he had two before that. They
were good trustees. Like I said, I was pushed into that by some young "turks,"
as they called them.

C: And then the third trustee that was elected that year was H. G. Simmons.

S: Now, he was a Simmons that was no kin to us.

C: Okay. Now, one of the people that ran the same year [1941] that lost was a
fellow named Robert Hegey.

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S: He was the one that did the most pushing. He married my cousin, the one that
is living over on Orange Lake.

C: So he is around your age.

S: Well, he was about three or four years older than me.

C: H. B. Skinner [also lost].

S: Yes, I remember Hal. He is still living there in Archer. He ran the garage and
hardware store for years. He is retired now.

C: So those three were not elected to the board that year. Then in 1943 you ran
again and did not win that year, either. You were on the ballot.

S: I did not run.

C: No? Somebody just put you on the ballot?

S: Somebody just wrote my name in. I did not even remember that.

C: I remember you got only one vote that year. I do not know who voted for you,
but somebody wrote you in.

S: No, sir, I did not run.

C: Okay. Now, about that time, we had on the board Dr. Hussy, Dr. [Jesse Albert]
Goode, and Leo Johnson from Hawthorne. Do you remember all of them?

S: Yes. Dr. Goode and Dr. Hussy were good, personal friends. In fact, Dr.
Goode's brother married my sister Juliet.

C: Then Leo Johnson went off, and Earl Gay came on the Board. Horace Zetrouer
was the superintendent. Do you remember him? Was he a good man?

S: Howard Bishop was. Was Howard the one that fought Horace?

C: Yes. Howard came in in 1940, I think.

S: In 1947 he tried to close these small schools, and I was very active in a group
that ran a fellow, Hardy, against him.

C: Was that Lynn Hardy?

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S: Yes.

C: That was in 1948?
S: Yes.

C: So you thought it was Howard Bishop that was personally trying to close those

S: Well, he was; he alone was. We had debates on it. There were no secrets
about that.

C: Now, during the campaign, at least his public statements, his official position,
was that he was not going to close any school unless the people voted for it.
But he was going to do it anyway if he could, you think?

S: Let me put it this way: I think he would have if we had not run somebody against

C: Well, the election was pretty close. Actually, Hardy was out of High Springs.

S: Yes, that is right. They did some dirty work against Hardy in that campaign.
They plowed up some allegations that he had molested a girl when he was an
assistant superintendent in Flagler County. They got that message to me first.
I talked to Lynn about it, and he told me who to go see down there in Flagler
county. He said, "I know who started this rumor. I want you go down there and
see him and see the other people that will help get me out of it."

We went down there. I do not know whether this other fellow was a board
member or what he was, but when I met him, I saw that he was a sneaky, weak
character. But the other fellow, the main one, the first one we went to see, was
the head of a big automobile sales place in Holly Hill. He had a big, fine
office--just a real business man. Well, I sat down and told him what we had
come down there for. He said, "Yes, I remember that sneaky son of a bitch. I
am not going to tell you that Lynn Hardy is going to make you a good

C: The voters would have to decide that.

S: He said, "I do not think he has had that much experience. Now, I am just being

C: How did you all happen to settle on him for a candidate?

S: He was the only one we could get to run.

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C: You were trying to get someone with experience, someone who had been a
principal or something?
S: Yes.

C: You went to others before you settled on him?

S: Yes. We went to everybody we could think of that we could get to run.

C: Did the other people support Bishop?

S: Yes, I am sure they did, practically all of them. Anyway, this guy said, "I will tell
you where he is so you can go out there and see him. That way you will not
have to go see any one else. You just go out there and see him."

C: Go right to the main man.

S: We went out there, and there was no doubt that he was just like he said--a
sneaky son of bitch. He called his wife in and told her, "You come in here. I
want you [to hear this]. These folks out here are trying to find out something
about Lynn Hardy." You can tell it was all made up. The other fellow that was
with me, I made him go because he was working with the other fellow. I knew
he was. I told him, I said let us go down there and see.

C: He was working for Bishop?

S: Yes.

C: Do you remember who it was?

S: Yes. He is dead now. Salvie was his name.

C: I do not remember him.

S: He was from Archer. He was the kind of person that tried to work both sides of
the fence. But I knew who he was working for.

C: Now in 1948, when they were trying to close the school, the state came in and
did a survey. [Do you] remember that? They said that Archer High should be
closed. You all had a meeting--I found this in the Gainesville Sun--and W. D.
Beaty was there. Who was W. D. Beaty?

S: He is a farmer, and he worked for Maddox as a pattern maker for a good many
years. He is retired now. He is living out on a farm, and I think he is selling it.

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He was farming at the time he was working as a pattern maker. He had his
sons doing the farming, and he hired other people.

C: Okay. What about David Hagey?

S: He is living down in Lakeland, I believe, somewhere downstate.

C: Was he a brother of Robert?

S: Yes.

C: Okay. And Joe Simmons?

S: He is my brother.

C: Okay. You all went to this meeting and got together this anticonsolidation

S: Yes.

C: Let me think who else was there. C. [Carl] L. Brice spoke.

S: There was Carl Moriason.

C: [Is] he an Archer man, too?

S: Yes, he was at that time. He lives in Gainesville now. He has a trailer park out
between here and Gainesville. I forget what the name of it is. He is a big man
now. There is no telling how many thousands of acres of timber land he has all
over Florida and in South Carolina and Georgia.

C: Was he a farmer back then, too?

S: No, he has always been in the lumber business. Just last year he and another
fellow bought four thousand acres somewhere around here. I believe it was
over in Gilchrist County.

C: Now, what about Ralph Neal? I think he might have been a preacher. Does
that ring any bells?

S: No, that does not ring any bells.

C: Some of these people were from other communities, too, like from Waldo.

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S: I know we had a Beville from over at Waldo.

C: Okay. And Hawthorne maybe was in on it.
S: Yes, we had people from Hawthorne.

C: Were you all pretty much people who were patrons of the schools? You had
children in the schools and things like that?

S: Right.

C: Do you think you represented most of the community? Do you think most
people in Archer were in favor [consolidating the schools]?

S: Oh, yes, we represented most of the people. Of course, as always, there were
some that wanted to close the schools.

C: Some wanted to close the school?

S: I wish I knew where it was, but my oldest girl was in the school when we had a
meeting at the courthouse in Gainesville of the people that were for it and the
people that were against it. The only one that spoke for our side was Joe
Jenkins, a lawyer from Gainesville.

C: He was a state representative, too, wasn't he?

S: Yes. Most of the people that were there were teachers and principals and
people from the University's education department. The University education
department were the ones that were doing most of the talking on the pro side of
the thing. There were two or three times when Joe Jenkins tried to talk, and
they just booed him down. They just acted like hoodlums.

C: Was that a public meeting? It was not a board meeting or anything like that,
was it?

S: It was a public meeting called by the board.

C: To discuss the consolidation.

S: Dr. Hussy would have to calm them down. It got rough. High Springs was
strongly against it, and the editor of the High Springs [Herald] was at the meeting.
My daughter wrote a piece, and he put it in his paper. Then the Gainesville
Sun picked it up. She was an observer. She was planning on being a teacher.
In her article, she wrote about how she felt about the people that were there
acting like they did. It really made them look bad, which they really were.

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C: I would be interested in reading that. Do you think that you still have it around
S: I do not know if I can find it or not. But if I can, if you will give me a number, I
could call you or mail it to you.

C: Yes, I would be interested in reading that.

S: I am not sure that I can find it, but I know I saved it for a long time. She was so

C: These were pretty high-minded people.

S: High-minded people would do things like that.

C: Is that like Roe Johns and [Edgar Lee] Morphet [professors of education]? I do
not know if Morphet would have come or not.

S: Oh, yes, I am sure Morphet was there.

C: Was Joe [McElroy] Leps [professor of education] there?

S: Yes. Dr. Johns was bound to have been there. He and I have locked horns
time and again.

C: He just did not see any point in your argument.

S: With these fellows, no one else had a point. There was no such thing as a
different point of view.

C: What kind of things were you saying? What were your reasons for wanting to
keep the schools?

S: Well, one of the things I brought up a while ago is at home, your parents have an
interest in the school, and you, by force, were going to be in everything that was
in the school. You were actually going to get a liberal education. Our point
was with some of the accomplishments that some of the students had made in
our schools. This would humor my daughter that finished at the University.

Incidentally, let me tell you about something else that she did. As a freshman,
she was in the first-semester biology class with students from different class
levels. As you know, they do not all have to be freshmen to be in the same
class. In fact, there were graduate students in that class because it was
something they needed to finish their degrees. They had to go back and pick

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this up. Well, some of them were failing. My daughter set the curve. So the
head of the department (I cannot remember his name; I cannot even remember
her professor's name) asked her professor, "Would she be interested in tutoring
some of these graduate students, as they are going to fail if they do not get help.
She seems to be the star in your class--there is no doubt about that." He said,
"Well, I know where she comes from. She comes from some school either in
Miami or Pensacola. There are only two schools in the state that have the
teachers and the laboratories that can turn out this kind of student." The other
guy was on my side to start with. He did not tell him. He said, "Well, I will have
to ask her, and I am sure she is going to have to ask her father, because she
commutes to school. He put a burden on her, and I do not know if she would
want to do it or not." He said, "Well, we can pay her." Of course, that was back
in time when money was an important thing.

C: It could make you change your mind a little bit.

S: Well, she wanted to do it. I told her, "Betty, it is up to you." She was just
eighteen years old, and she was going to be in there with graduate students. I
said, "If you think you can handle it and you want to do it, it is up to you." She
said, "Well, I would like to try." So I told her, "You have my okay. I have
enough faith in you that you will take care of yourself." So she took it on.

Of course, after she decided she would do it, the head of the department wanted
to meet her. He told her, "You must have a good background in biology." She
said, "I guess had a pretty good teacher." This other fellow said, "He would not
tell me which one of the schools you were from, but I know you were from one of
the two schools. There are only two schools in the state that put out students
like that." She said, "Well, I do not think that one is going to put out any more."
He asked why, and she said, "Because they are closing." He said, "What?" and
she said, "I graduated from Archer High School." The other guy says, "What
have I been telling you all this times? It does not make any difference where
you went to school. It is whether you learned how to learn, and this young lady
learned how to learn in school. Archer is a small school that does not have lots
of lab equipment, but she learned. How to learn," he said, "is the most important
lesson a student can learn. I have been trying to tell you that for years, but you
will not believe me." Now, there is an example of it.

C: So one of the points that you used to argue against all of those education people
and Howard Bishop was that your school was every bit as good as the other
ones, even though it was smaller. What about the effect of the kids going to
Gainesville? Were you concerned about that at all, of taking them from Archer?

S: Well, I really was not. I was more concerned about other people's children. I
felt like my kids could hold their heads up anywhere. I had that much faith in

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them. But I felt like there were a lot of people in small communities that had
problems. It is nearly impossible for them to participate in sports or
extra-curricular activities unless their parents had plenty of money and could take
care of them. When they are at home, it does not matter what condition they are
in, they can still participate. It just makes all the difference in the world to me
and to my way of thinking.

C: So you all out in Archer were able to have a sports program and extra-curricular
activities. If they had gone to Gainesville, even though those schools had them,
the Archer kids would not have been able to participate because of

S: My boy played on the baseball team at Gainesville High, and he played a little bit
on the basketball team. Old Jim Leilich was the coach there. I had carried
Tommy's birth certificate in there before school opened and had given it to Jim.
When the first basketball game came up, he did not have a birth certificate, so he
could not play. He had not made the first team or the second team, but he was
on the team, and he could have gone to the game. But they were not going to
let him dress out because it was against athletic association rules. I went to see
Jim and asked him about Jim's birth certificate. He said, "Yes, I remember you
brought it in here."

A fellow named Golden was the head [of the athletic association] at that time,
and he was a hard man. He did not make exceptions to the rules. A secretary,
I believe they called him. He was the head man, the one that made the
decisions until they had a meeting or something. I asked the coach, "Well, why
not get a hold of Golden?" He said, "There is no need," and I said, "The hell
there isn't! He is going to listen to you."

I think Fred Sivia was one of the coaches out there at that time. Anyway, I am
sure there were two of them that were in the athletic department of Gainesville
High. They had seen me and knew that I had brought the certificate in and that I
had applied for another one as soon as I found out they did not have it.

So Leilich finally agreed to talk to Golden. He explained the situation to him,
saying that we would have to wait to get a duplicate. I asked if I could talk to
him. I talked to him about two or three minutes, and he said, "Let me talk to
Jim." He talked to Jim and said, "Go ahead and let him play." Well, Jim
nodded and said, "That is the only time I have ever seen that man change his
opinion since I have known him. I have to hand it to you."

C: I want you to comment, also, on another thing about the argument against the...

S: Well, of course, in those days, transportation was a different problem in

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Gainesville. Not everybody owned a car. If they wanted to go a hundred yards,
they did not jump in the car and ride. There were not that many cars, and
people were not that affluent, either, for that matter. I guess they were as
affluent as anybody else, but it was just a matter of having something to do for
entertainment, and the school was the center. Schools and the churches are
the life-blood of a small community, especially when you do not have
transportation to go here, there and everywhere. By closing the schools, they
were taking one of the hearts out of the community.

C: People were afraid the community would just disintegrate without a school?

S: You can see that Waldo and Micanopy have grown, but that has been forced on
them from inside out. Micanopy has no school at all. They had an awful lot of
pride in their little old school down in Micanopy.

C: But those education professors just would not listen to that.

S: No way. They were going to close Cedar Key High School, too. Have they
closed it?

C: I do not know if they have or not.

S: I know they have worked on it again in the last few years. They have had
problems down there. They were going to close it back then and haul the
students to Bronson. Those people down there put the brakes on that.

C: Okay. After you ran Hardy, I guess Bishop backed off and decided not to close
the school right off. Now, in April of 1948, W. H. Simmons resigned from the
high school as principal and was replaced by a fellow named Orme. What was
the story there?

S: He resigned because he got a better job as head of the agricultural stabilization
organization. He was the county supervisor. That was a better paying job with
betters, etc.

C: Ao Orme was principal for a while, and then W. H. Simmons came back. I think
he was the principal when the school closed in 1951 or so.

S: He moved to Inverness. I believe he was the principal down there.

C: Did that have anything to do with the closing of that school? Did he think they
were going to close the school, so he took off?

S: No.

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C: Then they made the school board five members, and Earl Powers and W. N.
Barry came on board.
S: Yes.

C: Okay. Then in 1951 they voted to close the school. You and William Beaty
came and argued against it. Do you remember what happened that night?

S: Yes. It was just an argument against a stone wall.

C: Their minds were made up already?

S: Their minds were made up already.

C: They said there were twelve students in the high school.

S: Oh, there were more than that. They did not have a large class, but there were
more than twelve students. That is definitely wrong.

C: So that was just an argument that they used. They said a lot of the kids were
going to Williston already. Do you think that was true by then?

S: Well, the only reason they would have enrolled in Williston was because they
knew they was going to close Archer. It was just a foregone conclusion. We
just wanted them to know that we still believed. We were telling them what we

C: Now in 1952 there was a big election when Peters ran against Bishop and a guy
named Paren Gallop. I do not know if you remember him or not. He ran, too,
but he lost in the primary, and it ended up just being Peters against Bishop.
Was consolidation an issue then?

S: No, it was not, because all of us realized it could not be reversed. It was not an

C: What about the rest of the county? Did other communities feel like Peters would
be more favorable toward keeping their school than Bishop?

S: There is no doubt that that had an effect on the election in Archer and
everywhere else. I worked with Peters, and I have told Howard since then,
before he died. He and I were still good friends. I was not against him--I was
just against what he believed in.

C: He really did believe that with his heart, too, didn't he.

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S: Yes, sir. Howard was a good man, but I fought him on that issue. There was a
little incident that come about in this election. Apparently, Dr. Hussy said after
the election that he was against Howard for some reason or another. I do not
think Dr. Hussy was still on the board then.

C: He lost that year, too. [Ed.: Hussy, the incumbent, lost to Beth Pearson.]

S: Anyhow, Hussy went for Peters. I was active in Peters's campaign, real active.
My father was almost dead at that time, and I was having to sit up with him. He
was staying with my sister. My brother-in-law would stay up half of the night.
Then I would sit up half of the night, and then my other two brothers would the
next night. We swapped it that way. We had someone stay with him all the
time. Anyway, I had the first part of the night that night. I was listening to the
radio, and there was some sort of meeting that was being broadcasted They
jumped on Joe Jenkins as being the man that was backing Peters. They really
jumped on Joe.

C: Is that the board that did that?

S: Not the board, but Howard Bishop's backers. They jumped on Joe Jenkins.
They knew he was the strong man in Peters's campaign. I knew what they were
after. The strongest union in High Springs was the railroad union, and they
voted a solid block. Joe Jenkins was a strong man against the unions. There
was a pretty good union in Gainesville. Anyway, I knew that they were trying to
get him focused as a key in this thing so the union ...

C: So the union would support Bishop.

S: Right. So the next morning I called Dr. Hussy. I know I called Peters. I went
to see Peters the next morning and told him that we had to stop Joe Jenkins. I
mean, just as soon as that thing came out, he called WRUF and hired half an
hour. He would have killed Peters if he would have gone there. I told Paul, and
he said, "Well, I cannot stop him." I said, "Well, I know who can." He asked
who, and I said, "Dr. Hussy." So he called Dr. Hussy, and I went over and talked
to him. He said, "You are right. You are 100 per cent right. That is exactly
what they have in mind. Just leave it to me. I will get him." So they played
thirty minutes of music courtesy of Joe Jenkins. We went out and had a meeting
that night out there in Joe Jenkins's home, and we listened to part of it. We
knew what they were doing. They were listening for him to come on, but he
never said a word. He had not heard about it; he did not know anything about it.
He said, "Ed, you are 100 percent right."

C: That is what they were up to.

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S: That is what they were up to. Is there anything else you would like to know?

C: Well, that is just about all I had in mind to talk about. Are you getting ready for
lunch or getting tired?

S: A little bit tired. I will lay down in a little while. I am not as young as I used to

C: Okay. Well, let me just wrap it up then. You have given me a lot of good
information. I appreciate your help and your participation.

S: I hope you find something that you can use.

C: I think I will.

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