Interview with James T. Vocelle, November 24, 1967

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Interview with James T. Vocelle, November 24, 1967
Vocelle, James T. ( Interviewee )
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Florida and Politics Oral History Collection ( local )


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
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This interview is part of the 'Florida Politics' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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FP 16
James T. Vocelle
25 pages Restricted
November 24, 1967

Pp. 1-4: James Vocelle was the Speaker of the House during Governor Martin's administration.
This interview mainly discusses Governor Martin. Mr. Vocelle was born and lived in the
Georgian town of Saint Marys. In the 1920's, Vocelle moved to Florida because of the land boom
propaganda. He never had anything more than a high school education. Yet, Vocelle was
admitted into the Bar and received a job in Jacksonville. It was there that Vocelle established his
ties to Martin. Vocelle remembers Governor John Martin's election to the governorship,
friendship and family.

Pp. 4-7: Governor John Martin's demeanor and friendships are discussed in more detail. Martin
is compared to President L.B. Johnson by Vocelle and is said to have been an excellent politician
and great friend but a nasty person to have as an enemy. Governor Hardee is compared and
contrasted with Governor Martin, as they were leaders of opposite demeanor. The building of the
Tamiami Trail, Conners Highway and condition of US 1 are recalled by Vocelle. He defends
Governor Martin against the accusations of fraud which were circulating during his
administration. Martin's campaign promises are addressed; these included improved highways
and additional funding for public education. Vocelle believes that Martin kept these promises
when he built the Tamiami Trail and passed the constitutional amendment to increase educational

Pp. 7-10: Vocelle expounds upon other accomplishments during Governor Martin's term such as
prison reform and legislature reapportionment. Still, the expansion of state highways is seen as
Martin's greatest accomplishment because it allowed for a greater amount of tourism which, in
turn, brought money into the state government. In the 1928 election, Park Trammel defeated
Governor Martin. Trammel's past accomplishments are reviewed, but Vocelle mostly recollects
his persuasions toward anti-Popery. Governor Ketts had been elected on this same sort of
platform in Florida and Vocelle, a Catholic, remembered it well. Trammel had also been a
member of the Guardians of Liberty, a forerunner of the Ku Klux Klan and was in favor of
Catholic disenfranchisement. Vocelle recalls another instance of Martin's challenging personality
and considers himself lucky to have been the governor's ally.

Pp. 10-13: During the election of 1932, Governor Martin ran for governor again and was
defeated by Schultz. Vocelle attributes Martin's defeat to the crash of the land boom and Schultz
being a fresh face in the campaign. Campaigning methods during the 1932 campaign are
discussed including the technique of renting out a theaters for the political meetings and showing
a movie afterward to attract the public. Vocelle also recalls certain campaigners spreading gossip
about Schultz's wife. Mrs. Martin is remembered as being a "lovely, gracious woman." The
Martin's lost their son Martin Jr. at birth. After that, Mrs. Martin could no longer have children.
Because there were no children, the Martin's entertained frequently while living in the governor's

Pp. 13-19: The primaries during the campaign of 1924 is discussed. In this election, Katz
defeated Jennings in the primary because Katz had a large following of extreme rightists including
the remnants of the KKK and the John Birch Society. Charles B. Parkhill, Supreme Court Justice,
dropped out of this election and his reasons for doing so are discussed. Fred M. Voltz was the
campaign manager for Martin during his campaigns for governor. Voltz had been involved with
Jacksonville government for quite some time before becoming involved in state politics. There
was a gambling some controversy involving Martin and Voltz, but the details are hearsay. The
people who attended the governor's inauguration party at the mansion are discussed as including:
Mr. and Mrs. W.P. Simmons, Judge and Mrs. J.C. Madison, A.O. Cannor, Vance Swearinger,
Alexander and Martin (Jacksonville Attorneys at Law), Louie Strumm, Mr. and Mrs. Frank
Maxwell and Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Hathoway (who was the Superintendent of Duval County
schools, administrative assistant to Governor Martin, Chairman of the Road Department, and
Director of the Employment Service). Since some of these people, and many of Martin's other
various acquaintances, were given civil service jobs during his administration, Martin was accused
of creating a political machine.

Pp. 19-23: Edward Scott and H.B. Phillips are discussed along with other Chairmen of the State
Road Department. Phillips had been Martin's first Chairman of the State Road Department, but
was ousted when Hathoway became favored for the position. Firms who received contracts from
Governor Martin's administration to do road construction are reviewed and included Duval
Engineering and Contracting Company (lead by George Hodges) and W.J. Brison Paving
Company. Hathoway is discussed in more detail, especially in relation to his dealings with the
Road Department. Vocelle's personal (off-the-record) opinions on Voltz are given. Nathan May,
the head of the Department of Agriculture, is remembered to have butted heads with Martin on
many occasions. Mayo and Martin did not get along because Mayo despised any encroachment
on his power.

Pp. 23-25: Martin's relations with the Ku Klux Klan are discussed. In 1926, there was a clash
between Martin and the KKK. Martin had been accused of being a member by the KKK, for their
own political purposes. Martin often sympathized with the group, but did not want to be
politically allied with them. So, when Martin refused to admit to the accusations, the KKK was
insulted. The interview ends abruptly.

J: He had been nominated for governor in the primary that summer. Back in

those days the democratic nomination was equivalent to the election. And

shortly after that I came in very 1tt:e contact with him, and so we built

up a friendship that extended far beyond his term of office of governor. He

ran for governor the second time, ran for United States senator, ran for

governor the second time, and I was champaign manager for him in this area

in both of those races, and so I knew him very intimately. So if you, if there

are any questions you want to ask me, if I can answer them, I'll be glad to.

V: Alright, I have a couple that are just technical things about it. Did
don't have
you know his family? I have his brothersAnd sister's names and I/f#lfi/ i
their full name and I haven't been able to b/li01 find their correct a4dbdesomf

J: He had a brother named Marshall.

V: Do you know what his middle name was?

J: No, I sure don't. He had a brother named Marshall and he had a brother

named If$/ ...

V: Albert?

J: Albert. Marshall lived in Jacksonville and Albert lived in Apopka.

Now let's see. Actually they're the only two that I know of.

V: Well, I have two sisters, too.

J: One of his sisters married Abner Willey.

V: I've got that.

J: And who's the other one?

V: Willie, I don't know what her middle name was.

J: Simmons.

V: Simmons?

J: Isn't that it.

V: She married a Tucker.

J: Tucker? Oh, no it won't have been Simmons.

J: Now I really don't know. I knew Mrs. Wifhey. Now, I didn't know his

other sister. I didn't even know he had another sister.

V: Can I ask you one, kind of a bht., question? Apparently, Mrs. Wi 4he

had a fight with him before he died, or something. I don't know the exact

circumstances, but she wrote me a very curt letter and told me to speak with

somebody else, and I have been trying to get just some of this information
from her, and she hasn't answered my letter, and/ljust wondered if you knew
to respond.
of any way that I could get her rsipone.e

J: No, I have no knowledge of that at all. I knew Mrs. Martin very well,

and I knew Mrs. Wi-fey. She used to be the society editor for the Jacksonville

Journal. Alice Wifhey. But I know nothing about the. .

V: fSSp was she society editor. .

J: Over a period of years.

V: Ten years ago?

J: Uh?

V: Ten years ago? Twenty years ago?

J: Within the last ten years, I would say.

V: Well, I 'm very sorry that there was this t4hg family falling out. Do

you know of any other relatives? Nieces or nephews?

J: Bill Simmons who is president of the Florida Bar Association.
There is a connection there, but I have the feeling that he was Mrs.


V: Well, he still might know some things.

J: Oh yes, he would. He's president of the state Bar Association and a very

good friend of mine, too. William P. Simmons, Jr.

V: Where does he live?

J: Would you like his address?

V: I would appreciate it.


J: Let me see if I can get it for you.

J: Before I moved to Florida because I lived right across the river. I

was born and lived, the house I was born in wasn't a mile from the Florida

line. I was born and lived within 48 miles of Jacksonville. He was the

mayor of Jacksonville. And so I knew of him, but I came down to Florida

in 1924 fti -

V: From where?

J: From Georgia.

V: But what town?

J: Saint La And I served in the joint legislature and I was prac-

ticing law there, and we heard about all the big boom coming to Florida,
cjcw 6 kyre- qv'iiA V ^ Ve(W ae looking olLLoyC
and so I came hosmie -a n '.,.i-.Ji, --send for a location.And there was

a friend of mine in Jacksonville who was in the wholesale fruit business

who said, "The coming town in Florida is Okeechobee." And then he told

me all the reasons why. At that time f a highway calledConners

Highway and he was telling me, "Now here there is going to be a junction

point on two big highways,\two railroads go through there and all this

thing. StreatmhtOs going through there. So, I came down here with the

idea that I was going to settle in Okeechobee and I went over to look at

Okeechobee and I said to myself, "I wouldn't move my family to Okeechobee."

But they had a big celebration there. The opening of Conners Highway.

Carrie Hardy was governor at that time, and he and John Martin were governor

electht4 and they were riding in the parade in Okeechobee on the Fourth

of July in 1924. That was the first time I ever saw Governor Martin.

V: N I've got some questions to ask you a little later about this Conners

Highway. Did you know any thing at all about his situation as mayor of


J: Governor Martin was m"a somewhat of a self-made man. His father was

captain in the Confederate Army and a man of considerable prominence. I


believe his father lived in and I think the Governor was born around Ocala.

V: Marion County&

J: Ys. And like so many southern families, they lost everything and he came

up the hard way. He started out he was a tobacco salesman.

V: Is that what he was? C-oocd

J: Yes. And I don't think the Governor had more than a high school edu-

cation.and high school back in his days wasn't, of course you can say what-

ever you want to/fbecause I'm just giving you .

V: Sure,

J: I would imagine it would probably be the equivalent of a eighth;grade
education. Then he went out and became a tobacco salesman and then he s4arted-

law in the meantime and got himself admitted to the Bar and he went to Jack-


V: Can I ask you a gwp things? His father was in the fruit business,

wasn't he? Am I right? Or do you know?

J: I don't know. I don't know about that.

V: Well, when he went into the tobacco business..

J: Now, this may have been his grandfather that I'm talking about. Captain

in the Confederate Army. I don't know about that. I know very little about

his father.
V: Do you know what company he was associated with OMX//4k1/0$ a tobacco

salesman? he travel around?

J: -1k yes

V: He didAlf travel.

J: Yes, he travelled around.

V: Go ahead. I didn't mean to .

J: So he got himself admitted to the Bar and he got in Jacksonville.

Governor Martin was a commending, he had a commending figure. He had a

i personality. He was one of these kind of men, he'd draw you


to him and he was a leader in every sense of the word and a born politician.

He was a terrific politician in many ways and in others he wasn't. He was

very blunt. He had, he didn't like criticism, much like they say about

President Johnson and I always thought that he had one, that his one weak-

ness was this: to him his friends could do no wrong and his enemies could

do no right. And to my way of thinking that was the Governor's chief

weakness and I think some of his friends on some occasions took advantage

of him, but if you were his friend, why you could do no wrong as far as

he was concerned. And if you were his enemy, why you could do no right.

V: Do you think that his friends took advantage of him in getting political

favors from him, things like this?

J: I think perhaps he made some appointments it friends that were atcbelct
more on friendship than on ability. But I suspect that If/t be said of
y ,, Q.VAVV' Ct re ma[
anybody because heshta obligations to people. Of course, I was vaW admirepe

ahie of Governor Martin because he's the type of man that I always admire.

I look upon on him as what I would call a he-man, a man's man. No beating

around the bush with John Martin.

V: Well, I've gotten to like him more and more as I have been doing research

on him. He seemed to know what he wanted to do and go after it.

J: 00 And he came on the scene in Florida right at the right moment. Governor

ue loy Hardee was ri lovable man, a gentleman of the old school, and a very
"bt 4 dear friend of mine, too. But Governor Hardee was easy-going, prone to'old

school things, and Florida, frankly, had outgrown him. And it was just on

the eve of the great realestate boom of 19. which began right about the

time that Governor Martin was in office. And they needed a strong aggres-

sive leader and he was that. For example, when we first came down here,
of what
there was only one small part iji is now U. S. 1 that was paved between
Jacksonville and here. It was an all-day trip to drive p-4- Jacksonville


to Vero BeachAnd there was no road mas s the state. He built the Tamiami

Trail and then he immediately got heo1 Congress and the state bought the

Conners Highway which produced some criticism of him, of the Martin admin-

istration. There were accusations of scandal connected with it, but nothing

was ever' .

V: Do you know what people said? I have had trouble. Everybody. hoi
J: I think the accusations were that the state paid too much and ti e weA^ e

somebody got a hand-out out of it.

V: I see. I know eventually the Supreme Court declared that it was no

good and the state bought it a couple years later again, but the first time

when he tried to buy it, the Supreme Court declared the purchase invalid.

J: Well, I have forgotten the details about it. I know the state finally

bought it during his administration. He built the Tamiami Trail and then
oYI/ c40 one-P
he promised the people of Florida,tthe planks in his platform, the chief

plank in his platform, was to get Florida out of the mud and start building

highways and he did.

V: That's the title of my third chapter.

J: And then he, another thing was, at that time, believe it or not, there
was a jftl in the Constitution of Florida that prohibited the state from

the state level, from making any appropriations for education, and he

immediately, and that was another thing he immediately addressed himself


V: I talked with J. Turner Butler in Jacksonville. In fact he is the one

who told me to come see you. He said you would probably know more about

Martin, than anybody else, but he was telling me about the education, the

constitutional amendment because I think he introduced this. John Martin

got him to. Wfte, Which do you think he should probably be remembered more

for, his education, his contribution to education or his road building?

OF cotree,
J: Well, I think perhaps bothtLbereo if I had my choice to decide which

to give priority to I would give it *p, personally, I would give it to

education cause I like to, I put priority on the things that deal with human

values rather than material values, but I would suspect that generally

people figure that his road building program was the biggest contribution,

V: It was, I guess, more tangible. There was more of it right there.

J: Well, they were looking at the question of economic development of the

state and the salary of the state and all of this sort of thing and the

thing that meant immediate dollars in their pockets.

V: Would you say that the roads were built primarily to draw tourist and

settlers? I mean this was the way that they were going to get more money

into the legislature. This was the big idea, Trying to prove my point.

That's what I thought. All right. Let me see.
Whe ) in. proVe-eiT c-P
J: Another thing the governor did was to address himself toAthe prison

.system which was a total and complete disgrace at that time and he "inaug-

urated a plan to have some type of work for the prisoners at the state
at Raiford
prison/to do. He put in a shoe factory there and I think it was during his

administration that they started them to making the plates for the

automobiles and up to that time there had been no effort made to have them

do anything other than scratching around a little farm and what not, and he

addressed himself to that. I do't kn-w, when he was running for United

States senator that he had, he came around and he had some shoes that he

was showing the people that were made by the prisoners down at Raiford

and he was demonstrating that as one of the accomplishments of his admin-


V: He also got the legislature reapportioned as I recall. I just wondered

If he had any opposition?

J: Well, let's see now. That phase of it is rather vague in my mind. Of

course the legislature was so badly misapportioned at that time. There was


Nassau County up there at Fernindina with about 6,000 people with one

senator and two representatives and Dade County down here which probably 4wt

had one hundred thousand people in it with one representative and a

senator whose district extended all the way up to Titusville. It was

terrible and it may well be that it was during his administration that

the first reapportionment was made. I'm not.. That's a little vague

in my mind.

V: Why did Park Trammel beat him in 1928?

J: Well, I was right in that campaign and supported 4wt Governor very

strongly. Number one I would say was that John Martin was a type of man

who made strong friends and bitter enemies. Men of his type always do

that and he made alot of people mad. He stepped on alot of toes in doing

the things that he did and in the accomplishments of that administration,

4nd then Senator Trammel who was much, much the inferior of Governor

Martin from the standpoint of ability, aggressiveness and everything else.

He had alot of, he had been governor; he had been attorney general; he had beAe

senator, sifas senator. He had the record of having never been defeated
as MMor U
for public office. He started out tfhw Lakeland and then went to state

senate, then attorney general, then governor, then United States senator.

And you know, believe it or not, back in those days-yas you probably know

I belong to the Catholic Church,.back in those days, I suspect we didn't

V *r have twenty five thousand Catholics in the whole state. They had a tremen-

SCen' dous lot of anti-Catholics. MThere was a man by the name of Ketts who was

elected governor on a platform of keeping the Pope out of Tallahassee. He

ran around the state and told the Pope was going to rule Florida if he didn't

get elected governor and Trammel was elected to the United States Senate

right along on the same deal and he played that quite alot. Now, Governor
Martin was not adverse to playing politics, but no sense of the word would

he engage in that type of activity and Trammel belong he was a big leader,*.


They cAl1 e i t, J 9

r4 o it was the forerunner to the Klu Klux Klanr they called it the Guardians

of Liberty back in those days. Senator Brian, Nathan P. Brian, had ap-
'NtM -r WneW Vet\J WePj ctnc4 40 ccvm, -4ryi
pointed a man named Pete Dickens, m---rh -.... .U I .-f n-*l. re Ohe, p Ae,

old families in Jacksonville, We appointed Pete Dickens as post master

in Jacksonville and Dickens was Catholic and Trammel made that the issue.

against Brian when he was first electedothat Brian had appointed a Catholic

postmaster in Jacksonville,aaS Trammel also made a speech in the United
Sivc h'titk
States Senate/he advocated that all Catholics should be disfranchised,

shouldn't be allowed to vote, And I wouldn't say that was a, of course

Governor Martin was a Baptist, just like Trammel was, but it had some

baring on it, and, but I would say the principle reason for Martin's defeat

was the fact that he had been, his aggressiveness had made him alot of

enemies. Then I think too, that he was a little too confident, over

confident, because when I talked to him, he didn't think he could be

defeated. Then there were people who thought that the Governor had gotten a little
bit of a
big head over his job of being governor. I don't think that was true,
.:011v\v/ IyOU C time
but he was a man who could get pretty cocky, and he, I've known, to show

you how he operatedjone time when I went to Tallahassee and I didn't have

anything jt particular that I wanted, but I just mo liof go by and say

hello to himao I went into the reception room of the Governor's office and

there was a number of people sitting there, who were there before me, and the

first thing you know, he came to the door--it was an old office back in those

days5 The Capitol was rather old and dilapidated before they rebuilt it) (And

they had a sliding doorwhe came, he had somebody in there and he was talking,

he came to the door, he slid the door open and he let this fellow out and he

looked over and it happened that I was sitting right across the room from him.

He looked over at me and he did like this, you know. He said,"Come on in here."

I said, "Governor," I said, "All these people sitting here are ahead of me."

"I don't give a damn." He said, "I want to talk to you. Let them wait:" And


that's the way he was. Now he liked me. I was his friend. I liked him and

he didn't care. He said, "I don't give a damn. Let them wait." And Amei W4 ne

kind of things that made enemies for him. He was a vigorous popiepR vigorous,

aggressive peopler..J make strong friends and they make bitter enemies at

the same time. I thought it was extremely unfortunate that Florida didn't

elect him ##A#Ai(6 senator. That's the way it happensad

V: Do you think when he ran again for governor in '32, do you think that

the collapse of the boom and the depression had anything to do with his

sudden failure?

J: Well, he had a situation in '32. His campaign was very unfortunately

handled. He had a situation in '32 where the boom had collapsed. The state

was in rather bad state financially and a fresh face appeared on the horizon.

named Schultz from Daytona Beach and he had been president of the State Chamber

of Commerce and he sold them on the idea that he was an aggressive leader that
the idea ava', P
could put Florida back on the map, and /I44 \l11, Martin had been governor

once, let's try something new. And again, he still had alot of bitter

enemies. You see, Governor Hardee got into it and everybody thought that

the race was going to be between Hardee and Martin, and Martin, sagBs

whole campaign on running against Hardee in the second primary, and Schultz
ee, wOs
came in. Now, h4 a man who came out of nowhere, and jumped up into

the limelight. He defeats ex-governor and pops up and here's a fresh face
on the horizon and people are in a iff of an ugly mood, like they ma oM Jo ',-.

A ate UWWl imitUIH~ifiHW HKd e4ounk oe runniV'r ScLou Y1 P- M4 Y

I had a young fellow up in Jacksonville that jumped all over me one day. In

fact, he was connected with the State oF @cv .rs jumped all over me

one day. He asked me, he said, "How in the devil can you support John Martin
for governor. WolV/pV a progressive man. We need a man like Dave Schultz."

And I said, "Well, in my judgment, you will regret the day you elect Dave
ISb worst
Schultzgovernor." Of course, I think h was one of the 6it
d#6 # ii administrationgthat this state has ever had. But this ft what
giff-imo happen And then the governor got all worked up. He called me
one night in West Palm Beach. I was trying to get him to come in and make
a talk in the campaign and he called me, he called me on the telephone, and

he said, "HelloJJohn Martin. I'm down here in West Palm Beach and I can
." X F\% 'v o140rn v4ow ^ ' dJay "i' .
come into Vero Beach. I'm spending the weekend down here I can come up
there Monday night." "All right, Governor, I'll get it all fixed up."
So, back in those days what we did, we rented a theatre and we would give
them a free picture show after the political meeting. We rented
picture show for $50. So I rented the picture show and I went out and
got the band out, and we had a theatre full of people when he came int to
speak. Well 44 4/ i \ 44r4'e and he was all excited and
ewh- h6J s v bee-A +m own Sioe
had a little meeting over at the Delmar Hotel)and he was all upset over
the story he had about Mr. Schultz. And he was telling the group there
about the aC in 6cS v or> Mro d S 2V v-V Oa o Bnxkin
3,, Wv voYACyu's 4oiD z4 .i' ivi 'ie ZVferyvS ma v 4i CY1
\ XCCV1 wi e. o i* ., .

And he had a court file there where she had been arrested as a mistress
of a) qss ionYi OV, house in Jacksonville. Oh, there wasn't any question
~i+ was -+(rue-,.
about it*/But, I told him. .So I listened to him and when he got e fIc
tife -nroa^ _N4my I called him aside. I said, "Governor, for God's sake, T Said
,if "o/o 4 d -o A s/ Ano, h- ,said,

Ke, 14-s '' know ;+i 5- r c- o# L CcQ )+
;-( i- I1eh, Pin ^ '^ ho o C/ lbt AS) 0o
7 saI)i A 4fJ /k4/ A(-k U oh yoM
3Cs4 cts sire 5 Vcs ),9e, & A Ae,

J: And I said, Now, listen, you know that I'm your friend. I want to see

you win. That thing's going Tb hPt p uin TP-is-Cry- C-OM la in -

And he says, "Well, I'll talk with Jerry fot He had a great deal

of respect for Jerry's political wisdom, and Jerry had alot of political

wisdom, and Jerry, too, followed the old school.
And evidently Jerry told him V3O#U they started circulating that thing all
4i4 R 0lid i4 Vwoct,
over the state. .lJust exactly what I told himA It just backfired on him
something terrible, and this county, I've been i4ifi leadership in every

governor's campaign in the state since I've been here, and that was the
Lpb'16) Of cu0,rSV h1W
only time tlit h oe 1(CriO1n County has gone Republican. But that

was the only race that I that Indian River County didn't go along with

my views.-

But Dave Schultz was a foreflusher of the worst type.

V: Speaking of Mrs. Martin, what is your impression of her?

J: Oh, a lovely, gratious woman.

V: That is what I had heard.

J: One of the most popular first ladies the state has ever had. Lovely

woman. In every sense of the word. A lady of the first type.

V: Was there a good deal of social activity going on during this adminis-


J: I'm sure there was.

V: She enjoyed being hostess.

J: Mrs. Martin was a Anybody in the world that could
J: lWcs -rs Marhti wa ai "....... .))I
hold him coWnV\, Ne'd get-wed up n

He adored her. See, they had no children. They had one s n who died in


V: I was going to ask you if there was any particular reason they decided

not to have anyhAQy'. N V' 4Am C ,ok hyf yV OyvNo

J: Well, I don't know. I have an idea I -ctf sie pTroA4 lodc1l4 hve. ay npr.B
because I'm quite sure he wanted some. Something must have happened. They
had one son is Awnp Was nWt fli f n who died in infancy and

y wey ft devdead Io, A hed e adored UiPS.
M kn,, .V o ,i n55,W , ,,a )ovikc. -6t rr.-,i V1a
WOlmol Vr___n ______CL
V: This is what I've heard. Let's go backto the '24 campaign. Why do you
think GCas won so many votes. It was suppose to be between Jennings and
Martin and it turned out to be between Qaz. The primary, I mean.
J: Well, you see, 8afs-had been governor sa '16-f20, then he ran for
United States Senator against Fletcher and was defeated. Well, he still
had a big Al OIhV and it was still this group of, well, I would
say today, he would be represented by the remnants of the Klu Klux Klan
and the John Birch Society, people whom I call extreme rightists, CtO+ehS
to prejudice and racial, religious prejudice, all this kind of jmk, and
Cats still had a OWjh And then in those days, they had second
choice voting, and Colonel Jennings, whom I also knew well, a very fine
man, he was Speaker of the House. This was WI in '24, yes, ftfs, Jennings

V: They were the top three. e'rbe. wys
Do you know what he did? He wrote a letter to the people saying I could
not campaign vigorously. I just wondered why he couldn't.

V 'Y Ys& cwd be-- he> cZW cr-. -
I/ He, vvs ]ieve moYIU ^
)ci-T /d "(~- hi 4)'#i 'C- v~ d ... VV

"PN0 In .oUc- }- o' ,s
e<^ts- 36 QroU4 %7ayrl 0 Vvk, Ove )Inow

T~~~ci-f~~~N h^ cosa r oD-J i D posi/oh~s*

I +-

V: There were a copule more people that I just wondered that since you didn't

come in until after the primary was over, you may not know about this, but

there was a man that dropped out of that campaign. From Tampa. What's his

name? He was a judge. Charles B. eOa lmkLJ. Do you happen to to know why

he decided not to run.

J: No0, o 4 eliw nuw 6, rar"

He was on the Supreme Court at one time. oA \i pvyiivw 't'. = Vw^

V: Now, Senator Butler told me that Fred VoUfi ,Fed M. U was Marta''s

campaign manager for the first one, and he said that he was probably. .
JITC- -for
J: The second one.

V: The second one, too? I see. Did they ever have to declare a formal

campaign manager. I haven't found anything in the record. .


J: Martin became governor, the changed the complexion of the city govern-

ment of Jacksonville and nf.P -. was another one of these guys,

I knew him very well too, ran prejudice to get elected to office. kofn C

atmei fought prejudice with people who could be ptc- in, and

CJqncyt gyvernmint
So they vs the city of Jacksonville ctyd 'AAi .&e* UlA q

Well, anyhow, Fred Vf. came into the picture, and became a city commissioner.

and virtually dominated Jacksonville's politics for many years.

V: How did he run into Martin? Were they business associates or did he just


know him. .
J: I really don't know. Of course t4 YWre WEX'- UatV

s lt le- C 00cJ^O P Cht b F The charge$ made that Fred was
"-M. 3owe ys ene&mnics.
the governor's sachel man and td fact there was a big fight on in his
administration to legalize race tracks in the state and he opposed it, and
hVv 'was f-lof\ tFoP ^ e b<^nhp(+ bF
the charge was made that if the Cuban race tracks and that they
were paying off Fred \)t& to go down and C I eG, Of course, now,
I don't know, personally, I knew Fred very well. h2 Washf ih ,, hal 4 4

V: They said also that he was trying to hide behind the FipyY with
Martin and that if anybody wanted a favor, .I- Yu V- A -- + him first.
J: Well, I suspect that there is alot of truth in that. Of course, I
would go direct to the PO( ) ; myself, but I suspect that there is
quite alot of truth in that, and he is one of the men that I think

)4& &d, eI'W a q.ftt gl1. \&ka '1 was alo ulf a
Fredvo_ was a typicalall politician.. Vi V v

"Va hs w-h2 Who dug uLp ^+ diA T oh Mrs- 5c4 Lx-,
V: I've got some people I want to see if you know, these were the people
that were in Governor Martin's party at the- InaugUration. Mr.. Fred \VolT
was there but, Mr and Mrs. W. P. Simmons.
J: Well, I just gave you the name of Bill Simmons.
V: Yes, that's it. -' dicdnY clic-k .
J: It must have been his father and mother.
V: That would have been Mrs. Martin's, that would have been a relative,
kind of.
J: I think Mrs. Simmons was Mrs. Martin's sister.
V: Judge and Mrs. J. C. Madison. Does that ring a bell? Mi
J: Oh yes, he wasa Justice of the Peace in Jacksonville and his son, J, 'a;
he is now City Atto of Jacksonville. He was in the legislature from
he is now City Attoriley of Jacksonville. He was in the legislature from

Duval County and old Judge Madison was quite a political factor in Duval


V: Oh, he was, I see. And so he as WiQL4. avWe-, Vrobly beem q o s.

J: One of the, I would imagine, was one of the Governor's strongest

supporters in the election. He's dead. Judge Madison is dead.

V: A. 0. Cannor.

J: He's dead too. He was the man through whom I had my first connections

with Governor Martin. He was a young man, O n\ iRt S q Y

Govierhop 1tntinGvS office,_

And they created a new judicial circuit hVi& created a number of new

judicial circuits during Governor Martin's Administration. At that time,

wetied in with West Palm Beach. We had to go all the way to Palm Beach

to appear before a judge, and they created a judicial circuit, known as

the 21st judicial circuit, which was comprised the same counties that now

take in the, what is now the 19th judicialcircuit, that is Martin, St.

Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee, and appointed A. 0. Cannor as the State

Attorney, he, dow n 4 s1n S' f AnTh A wao cvk ro -
3paze 0+6 o Ovephor A inv, T ->,
Wcas veJy dCevo*d 4b hiinm

To give you an illustration. fis Cannor was also a very, very close

friend of mine, and he was a Jew, and when Governor Martin started to

campaign in 1932, he ran for governor the second time against Schultz,

Schultz was a Jew, but denied it. So we had a meeting. The governor didn't

called me up, sent me a wire and told me that he was having a meeting

there at the Seminole Motel to start his campaign and asked me to come up

there. And I went up there and Judge Cannort call h 'e was there and


he 5uoc-exl
... dc d \]rC-j Syc as mayor of Jacksonville and was mayor of
Jacksonville for many years.
V: What was he in '24? He wasn't Mayor then, was he?
Oncm advertisement A PvOyoCtiac on tcr .y ocuLV
J: No, as I recall, he hadiagency in Jacksonville. 5g6Mpsomm fr.
p'Om6&eV And a very popular man of Jacksonville and l-: *-fin _i_ n,,1 1 Q 1 y. o

V: Do you know the name of Martin's law firm when he was in Jacksonville?
J: It was Alexander and Martin.
V: Who was the Alexander?
J L y P. YAs Fic' h&Ytwlevn r-A-R-Y, I....
V: Let's see. How about Dr. and Mrs. Lewis W. Strumm.

JT rJ:^ Louie Strumn? used 4i 0 o542l his yawiy -O-v,/
W4 )It He was city attorney of Jacksonville and the Governor created a new judicial
OrOr 6ba circuit of Gainesville, and the Governor appointed him circuit judge of

W:joi W 4p, Gainesville, and then there was a vacancy on the Supreme Court, and he ap-
fn pointed him to the Supreme Court. hd ,n 5Iuastuim m Jn -ul &v eup ly

A- cGY,, ,Aito( q-,

V: How about Mr and Mrs. Frank Maxwell?
J: No. oan4' rMecelf
V: Now, well come back to Forrest Hathaway and his wife. What was the
relationship between Hathaway and Martin.
J: Forrest Hathaway incidently was director of the HfiLfeR service. pO rn be)n,

= fd.&VA W\h\ 9t h.. 4ph I( )ng -cmnw cirtmn .
Forrest Hathaway was superintendent of schools at Duval County and was very
1b4 V^ 40 -APe tc eopo( c,
much the same type as John Martin, tun4wIs point. And he got epp g mad '
at the school system, and so someone ran against him and defeated him.

V: Oh, is that how he lost his job?

J: And, when Martin became governor, he came over to Tallahassee with

him as his administrative assistant, executive secretary.

V: How had they gotten to know, this is the part I don't, I don't see

how. .Martin and Hathaway, were they just friends socially or did Hath-

away support Martin for mayor, or do you know?

J: Oh, I don't know how that thing came about. I would suspect that

Fred\6:jr probably manipulated it somehow. I don't know the details on
it IV ^ 4, lovhcc,
it because o ceov eFa u But, John Martin and

Forrest Hathaway were practically intimate I don't see how in

the world they got along together because they were the same type of

individuals. So then he subsequently appointed Hathaway (Aiah ^eft a d Wlbfi

and Hathaway did the same thing there. Rubbed me the wrong way very much.

I got to know him and I got to like him very much when we associated to-
40e, EMpl6_JMP&nVt
gether as, when he was Director of A Service and I was chairman of the

commission although he was serving under me in a sub-ordinate capacity.

I was very fond of him, but he was. So then he decided to run for

governor. You know, this was another factor. A big factor ltMartin's

defeat for United States senator. In fact, I had forgotten about this.

But this was a tremendous factor. Probably was the factor.


*J: NMW lPesc.Is mlidvi n elki Vlf SJo 1fS smaop andl gagwa

kop cK ^ N ,A 4 course
6\%s e/nviveiea aCkcduhh Vh\r w) t-ryix crwW a Ppol4icoJ vyachinee
And incidentally, I did not support Hat away for governor while I supported

Martin actively for United States senator, and Hathaway got, both of them
there came a great
got beat. And then I understand that fti-/&i'i cool between the two of

them. Martin, each blamed the other for their defeat, and Hathaway really
really needed
got into a, I guesshe got to a point to where he he didn't have the money

or anything, so they worked out, I don't know who worked out a deal but

somebody worked out a deal making him Director of the Employment Service,

That, of course, was under the merit system, and he stayed there. But

he was quite a character. Quite an interesting 4itfijij/ fellow.

V: Jerry Butler had said something. He believed that there was a .mii
between OW/ftN before they got defeated'that when Hathaway decided to


J : I think so. I think the governor was certainly too politically shrewd

to... I don't think he would have had Hathaway running, but Hathaway insisted

upon it. There wasn't much he could do about it.

V: Did you support Carlton?

J: Yes. that's right.

V: I went and talked to him.

J: Governor Martin and Carlton were ## I/ bitter enemies

V: Yes, I found that out.

J: In fact, Governor Martin felt Carlton th ) I Oa in his inaugural address.

It made him quite bitter. As a matter of fact, for a long time he was bitter

against alot of people because he, alot of people that he felt were under

obligations to him showed ingratitude, and he didn't like that. Say, if you

were his friend, you were his friend and so he was quite bitter against

Carlton, and Carlton ran for United States senator and Governor Martin f or cwihr

"I-i"s C L pO although ironically perhaps, I vu fi

C~~,rl^ ,e UV So'-y i i -ho// hhMV

)ay-4n ;)A t -r Voted -FAir I-)h/M

V: I don't know whether you happen to know this, or not, but I thought I would

just ask. The first two men who were chairmen of the State Road Department

were Edward Scott and H. B. Phillips. Do you know anything about either one

of them?

J: I knew H. B. Phillips.

V: What was he and who was he? Just any kind of biographical.

J: H. B. Phillips was Martin's first appointee, as I recall.

V: He was already in there. Martin ousted him when he appointed Hathaway.

J: Well, is that the way it was? Because under Hardee, it was a man from

Live Oak, Hardee's home town, that he appointed chairman of the Road

Department. Can't think of his name right this minute, but the bridge

over the Suwanee River between Live Oak- and Madison is named for him.

Can't think of his name right this minute. H. B. Phillips was county

judge of Duval County, and I had thought that Martin appointed him.

You say he was there.

V: He was already in.

J: Then Martin moved Hathaway from the executive office and put him in .
Yes, that is right. I recall that now. He charged that i/tIffALh

wasn't doing anything.

V: Now, this is one thing that I haven't been able to figure out yet. He

made the change in July, 1925, but he never published the charges against
of f) bt won th's
Phillips until November, and I just wondered why the lapse.\AAny idea?

I'm sure he had a reason.

I'm been checking into some things. Do you know any What I am going

to do is just read off a list of firms. These are firms that got road con-

tracts and just wondered if you know anybody in them or know of anybody A40

M41/ Ahf/ who would have had associations with Martin. Duval Engineering

and Contracting Company.

J: That's Hodges,isn't it ?

V: I don't know. This is what. .
J: Hodges, H-o-d-g-e-s-

V: Was he associated with Martin?

J: I wouldn't know about that, but he had been more or less in the political

eye. He's the type, that's the type of people are always working on band
wagons Wcyj .7 wiw-ne '
V: How about W. J. Prison. 1'y Company?
J: Well, that name. .

V: Who would have probably done it? Martin or Hathaway?
J: Well, this is one of the problems that lanj d 1: this is one of the things
that Hathaway, I told you qawut, r-U'L4 J WV, -a Vvrnl5 WqVly..' 8XCOam
We got State Road 60 that runs across from Tampa, and originally we started
that thing by creating a special V in d ,Di'C _heY' CIt i'S i C I
dbICCrw W0t44 i pL$ to build that road and we got the road grated and
the bridges put in, and then the banks closed up and we were without the
balance of our money. So we tried to get the state to take it over to put
the group from here
the hot surfacing on it, we had everything else put on it. So, f went to
Tallahassee and appeared before the State Road Department and elected me
to be the spokesman and present this to the Road Department to get it in
the budget. And Hathaway, I knew Hathaway a little by reputation. So when
we got through presenting our case, Hathaway motioned for me to come over
that way pranWe, o V e i& n Cd h /? 't Q7on
Aga r)yr.j -b , '{. ei so;c/, ". hio u y /
-6 4a- .. .. .40 ,g re,

S4 dr 6.610d im- daa:4-o &Lor Hlar7r,

V: Hathaway did this more than Martin did.
J: Hathaway was much more undiplomatic than Governor Martin. Governor Martin
could be UndIdiior,- fc. c1I. O-zCs s) Woa ,-2- ae Je ... -.r

"k. / P aw/ o

V: Do you think that Martin had the legislature on his side during most of his


J: Yes.
V: Now, I'm just beginning my research into the problemsTfh%U arose over the

drainage of the Everglades. The bond issue, the twenty million dollar bond
will be brand new to
issue. Since I don't don't that much about it, so anything you know. me,
One thing that I am curious about is that there 04J0 apparently a thirteen

million dollar bond issue that had been issued under Hardee or Trammel or

somebody, and I couldn't understand why Martin just didn't rework this one

instead. tirz'Vi5 C Y)WVV OnBY,

J: Well, I really am sorry. I know very little about that situation because

I didn't come in contact with it. I'll be very frank with you, there were

alot of rumors l ikt 1 C \N'iO+1 nnvi .l +pW TVlCm i

)ar3^ QcJmin;kr-ho' cU'/I $ Ve> Frc A, 1i)Tofes -fyuQZ

As far as anybody proving anything is another
story. However, this here is completely off the tf4t As far as Fred

V) tk is concerned, Fred was one of those kind of guys that you couldn't

help but like. You know what I mean? i. "x "0+ iD-& 4i low.
czcm j r, u -a J, S*

Fred just didn't have any concept between right and wrong. Fred was a typical

Cti4Prv d > g ) politician who believed that it was
legitimate to get yours while you could. 1 i \MaCI5Y CL

jt Ib u 14 9- VY^- Q,-1 ovfeyrnn in m i ) tkTe

V: Do you know anything about the problem between Nathan Mayo and Martin? Was

it a personal kind of thing?

J: I really don't know. I would think that it was but I really don't know. Of

course there was another case of two strong-willed men clashing.

V: What did you think about Mayo--did you know him?

J: Very well indeed. I was very fond of him.

V: I have a friend who is writing on him, who is interested in anything.

Ji' Mayo was in the power. Governor Martin was the type of man well like

somebody said one time about Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt was the type of

man who was persistent. He'd be the bride at the wedding and the corpse at the

funeral. Governor Martin was much this type of man. And he didn't want any smaller

type of kingdom crowding his kingdom and Mayo had a kingdom of his own in the Depart-

ment of Agriculture which he ran with a strong hand. He was one of the most competent

individuals in this state. And while I know nothing--I knew that there was a feud--

I just know nothing. But knowing the two men, why I could understand why they would

clash. In other words Governor Martin didn't like people to interfere with his

domincide. He liked to call orders and have the Indians obey.

(Telephone call interrupts)

V: Now, I just learned something. I don't know much about it, but I just

wondered if you did. Apparently, it was in 1926, there was some big deal

happening with the Klu Klux Klan and Martin was calling them down, and I

just wondered if you knew anything about what was happening. V \ i' e

J: .when he ran for governor, but he was not the type of man that the

Klan would sit well with him, and I don't know, I know that when he ran

for United States senator in '28 that they had a program on the radio in

Miami and I have forgotten who it was now, but someone came on the radio -

of course, there were alot of Jewish people beginning to accumulate in

Miami, some Catholics at that time(v-d Vs woxS CriuCl l '* 7 u T, /

Some fellow got on the radio and charged that Governor Martin was a member

of the Klu Klux Klan. It was very cleverly handled because no sooner had

he gotten through before they announced that it was a paid political rally.

A fellow came over and he says, "The next speaker on the program will be

Honorable David J. Heffman, past Grand Knight of the Miami Council Knights

of Columbus who will speak Oh a 4' 6F VY \V l I tv

So it was very cleverly done. \\ I Pr QrML-h 1 itl

r -- as I recall aWt the first Catholic ever to

be appointed to the Bench in Florida and Governor Martin appointed him

during his administration. I suspect that what happened. There is no

doubt that the Klan was very powerful in Florida, and there is no doubt
Om \Q- ce"Ict
in my mind that the Governor got as much support out of them when he ran

in '24, but knowing him as I do, as I did, I would suspect that some of

them came down there and tried to tell him to do this, that and the other

and he cussed them out. I suspect they got very mad at him perhaps %Y) __T_

e6S P.I down at Miami, but he would do that. L___ t_ CMi_ i_\

But he was a domineerin, he had a domineering personality.

But he was a domineering, he had a domineering personality.

V: Do you know anything about, I think it was called the Unconstabulary Bill that

they tried to pass? Just another thing that has floated in. Someone told me about

it,cmi Lt chJdni- Kho' aky+Aii7^ cL,^L+ +^

J: No.

V: Okay, well, the only other thing I have to ask you is if you happen to know where

any of his papers might be or anything that might relate to it?

J: No one seems to know?

V: No, nobody seems to know. I've written about fifty people.

J: Mrs. Martin. 1Well I guess she died a couple years ago.

V: Yes, and I wrote Mrs. Withey and she didn't know where any papers were.

J: Have you seen the Histovy'of Florida by Pati C"asUw5e\

V: Oh yes.

J: He's got a lot of that.