Interview with Elmer D. Hinckley, July 25, 1972

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Interview with Elmer D. Hinckley, July 25, 1972
Hinckley, Elmer D. ( Interviewee )
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University of Florida Campus (General) 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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DATE: July 25, 1972

P: I am taping an interview this afternoon with Elmer D. Hinckley,
Professor Emeritus of Psychology. We're here in Dr. Hinckley's
office in the new Psychology. We're here in Dr. Hinckley's
office in the new Psychology Building, Room 390. This is
Tuesday afternoon, July 25, 1972. Dr. Hinckley, I just gave
your name, but suppose you give it to me again if you will.

H: Elmer D. Hinckley.

P: And where were you born?

H: In Margaretville, New York, in the Catskill Mountains.
I lived there for one year, according to my parents.

P: You were born when?

H: On...January 11, 1903.

P: Okay, you said you lived in Margaretville, New York, one year?

H: That's right. Uh, my father moved five miles to Fleishmann's,
which is also in the Catskill's...

P: Fleishmann's?

H: Flesihmann's.

P: Like the yeast?

H: Same man. My father was in the bakery business. He ran
a bakery. And he served the summer tourists who came up from
New York City. We lived there seven years before he got the
"Florida Itch". And came to Florida...

P: What do you mean by the "Florida Itch"?

H: He got a...he talked for a year or two about coming to Florida,
and he...when we came down we went to Kissimmee first.

P: Let's see, this would have been about 1910...?

H: Eight years.

P: About 1911?

H: ...1911. That's about when it was.


P: Do you remember coming to Florida as a child?

H: Oh, yeah, I remember it very well.

P: How did you travel?

H: By Clyde line, the boat. I don't know whether it is still

P: It took you where?

H: To Jacksonville.

P: And then you went by train from Jacksonville?

H: Yeah, to Kissimmee. My father had the idea that Kissimmee was
a good investment. He invested a lot of money in real estate
in Kissimmee and a couple of streets he named down there. It
didn't develop as rapidly as he had anticipated, and so he
sold his interests for about what he paid for them, or a little
more. And we moved to Jacksonville.

P: This would have been about when? How old would you have been?
Of course, you would have been in school by then.

H: Oh, yeah, I don't remember when it was--'bout 1916, when we
went to Jacksonville. And...I went to Duval High School, which
isn't in existence now, but it was the only high school there
then. And...I went four years to Duval High School, and I
might mention I made excellent grades.

P: Do you remember where you lived in Jacksonville?

H: first we lived in Riverside, about one block from
Riverside Park. But then we moved out to Springfield. And, father bought a big house near...oh, I don't know what
it was near...It was on Notter Avenue--4206, or something
like that, Notter.

P: How did your father make his living in Jacksonville?

H: He was a businessman. He's always been in business of one
kind or another. In Jacksonville we did a lot of things. At
Camp Johnson he was...he went out to Camp Johnson (it was
during World War I), and, uh, he went out to Camp Johnson


and got a job--he was in charge of the tremendous warehouse
they had out there. He was manager of it. He kept that job
quite a while. Then he went into the paint business and...
in due course of time, after a while, he got to be 'bout
eighty years old, he retired.

P: Were you an only child?

H: No, I have a brother two years older than I am.

P: Do you...and he was a Duval High School graduate.too, then?

H: That's right. He didn't go to college. He's still in Jackson-

P: What about Jacksonville at that time, do you remember much of it?
What kind of a community was it?

H: The reason I know it quite well is because I got a job while I
was going to school delivering Times-Union and it lasted about
two months and I saw that I could make more money...and spend
less time if I collected for want ads. And so I went all over
Jacksonville on a bicycle collecting for want ads...on Saturday
only, and didn't have to deliver any papers. And I made quite
a bit more money...doing that. That was just a side issue in
addition to school.

P: Jacksonville was, of course, a much smaller community then than
it is today. What kind of town was it as you remember it as a
child growing up?

H: Well, I don't know. I thought it was pretty nice, myself. But...
there wasn't as much crime then as there is now. was
safe to walk down the streets at night anywhere, and now I don't
think I'd do it in Gainesville.

P: And you were graduated from Duval High School what year?

H: 1920.

P: 1920?

H: Yeah.

P: And what was your education from that point on?

H: I came to the University of Florida. I applied to Columbia
University and, believe it or not, they turned me down (I had
excellent grades); they turned me down because I had not
studied French. I had four years of Latin, no French. And
because I hadn't had French, they turned me down. I liked
mathematics better than anything and got 99 for the yearly
average in mathematics each of the four years I took math.

P: Was the University of Florida, then, your second choice school?

H: Well, yes, as a matter of fact. Well, I applied at both places.
I took the University of Florida and I was turned down at
Columbia. And I was very happy with it. I didn't care much
about going that far Columbia University. At the time
I was young...

P: You came here, then, in September of 1920?

H: That's right.

P: How did you come from Jacksonville to Gainesville?

H: My father had a car, but I think I came by train.

P: And got off in the middle of the street?

H: Oh, yeah. The train went down the middle of the street.

P: Do you remember Gainesville in September, 1920?

H: I remember it very well. As a matter of fact, I should have
brought some pictures I took in Gainesville my freshman
year. I have 'em at home. I don't think you have any interest
in them, but I have the pictures of the buildings on the
campus as they were then. I think I have pictures of all the
buildings on the campus.

P: Where did you live as a freshman?

H: In 55, "B" section, Thomas Hall.

P: How did you get from town out to the campus the first time? Was
there a streetcar, or...?

H: I walked.

P: Carrying all your luggage...?


H: I had a trunk that was shipped out and I had someone, I had
a man by the name of Cheeves, who ran a transfer company here...
I got in touch with him and he brought my trunk out...and put
it room.

P: As you remember University Avenue in September of 1920, sort of
in your mind's eye, walk from the courthouse on out to the
campus; describe it.

H: Well, it wasn't paved.

P: There were sidewalks?

H: I think so. I'm almost certain there were sidewalks, and...
there was no pavement at all. It was quite a number of years
they...I think they paved out to where the Presbyterian Church
used to be, they paved out to there.

P: Brick pavement?

H: Yeah. And the rest was just a road.

P: Just a wagon trail type of thing?

H: Yeah, right. And of course there were a good many wagons that
used it.

P: Were there houses along the road out to the University?

H: Oh, yes, yes. All around.

P: Residences, not businesses?

H: Yeah, that's right.

P: Do you remember Frank Clark's residence along the way? Where the
Bell Telephone Company has its office now...?

H: I don't remember.

P: Well, you came to the campus. And, tell me about registering
and getting settled in the dormitory as a "green" freshman.


H: Well, I had no trouble. I just followed the instruction book
to Language Hall, where the registrar's office was located,
and I registered. I, uh,...your courses had to be set up by
the dean, Dean Anderson; and I had to go see Dean Anderson,
who also was in what is now Anderson Hall. And...his office
was...the east office on the first floor.

P: Where Dean Simpson later was located? The graduate office?

H: I think so. And...see...everybody had an office and a class-
room right next to them. And...Dean Anderson--I had him for
three years as an instructor--he was an excellent teacher. I
took one year of French under him and two years of Greek. I
chose courses that I wanted, because...and not easy courses
always, but very difficult courses...according to most
standards. He...he was alright; he was a rough man, in that...
In grading he would take...we had a grading system of 100
that...up to 100, (you know, you've got 90 or 80 or 50 or
75 or something like that) and he would take one point off
for every mistake you made when you could have made 500
mistakes or 1,000. And he took one point off of the grade
for every mistake you made on any examination or anything
you handed in, turned in, or anything of that nature. It
was...he was one of the sternest teachers that I've ever
had--I mean strict--as far as grading was concerned and
almost everybody who took courses under him failed. He
almost never passed anybody. You see, it used to be when I
was in school...there wasn't the system that there is now.
At least half of every class I was in failed. At least half.
Now under Dean Anderson, of course, there was a lot more
than half. The first year of Greek I took under him and...
there were three people in the class who passed besides me
...who had taken the first year of Greek the year before
and failed it and they were in there as repeaters. We had
year courses. We didn't have quarter courses or semester
courses or anything like that. They were year courses.

P: What else did you take in your freshman year, other than
languages under Anderson?

H: Well, I took French and mathematics and English and rhetoric.
I don't know whether you took that or not.


P: Who was your mathematics...

H: I took history under Dr. Leake.

P: Who was your math professor?

H: Dr. Simpson taught me all the math that was taught here. I,
uh...we had other instructors, but I always got Dr. Simpson
because he was good. And...I majored in mathematics. You'll
notice here I'm an A.B. I majored in mathematics. And I took
more than enough for a major, but he...I was going to say
about this language course in Greek. These three people and
myself were the only ones who passed. And they got 75, which
is a passing grade; each of them got 75, and I got 97. That
is what I mean by always sounding egotistical. The second
year that I took under him, I was the only one who passed. I
got 96 or something. In mathematics, Dr. Simpson had a
secret number of 98 that he gave to the best...he never gave
100; he gave 98, which was in his judgment pretty good. He
gave me 98 each of the courses that I took under him. And...
the...I named off four...history, rhetoric; history, rhetoric,
mathematics, French...I took French.

P: And James Miller Leake was your history professor?

H: Yes.

P: He was a young fellow in those days, wasn't he?

H: He looked about the same always to me. Even up 'til the time
when he died. He...I guess he was younger, he was a lot
younger in fact. 'Course I remember 1920, but he had just come
to the campus. I think he came in 1919.

P: He did. Bringing his car with him.

H: Yeah, he brought his car with him and he drove it all...all
the time I knew him. As a matter of fact, for years he drove
that car.

P: All the time I knew him he drove that car.


H: I almost competed with him--I had a Packard car one time;
unusually good car. I kept it for sixteen years before I
traded it in...I shouldn't have traded it in, but it looked
like a Packard. And...didn't look like any other car...

P: Tell me what the campus was like in the early 1920's.

H: I wish I had my pictures, I'd show you. We'd go for hikes
around the campus and...there was no pavement on the campus
at all.

P: No sidewalks?

H: No sidewalks. And...but they had roads. Let me get it straight.
You may have passed it...I don't remember whether you did or coming from Peabody Hall...No, I guess you didn't in
coming down here today. Anyway, they...we had sinkholes on
campus. I was thinking of Gator Sink...

P: Well, there's a sinkhole across the street from Little Hall,
near Grove, you know. There's a sinkhole there.

H: Yeah.

P: And then there's one on 13th Street.

H: I think that must be Gator Sink, by Little Hall. Then there
was Green Sink; I don't know where that was, I was...We had
a place called Lover's Lane down here...

P: Where'd the girls come from for Lover's Lane?

H: The girls from town. They were practically ruined by the male
students. Almost every girl who got married and went away
came back to Gainesville because she loved it so much. And
either she came back with her husband, brought her husband
with her, or divorced him and came back.

P: Sand in...Gainesville sand in her shoes?

H: That's right.

P: Now of course it was a small campus, and a relatively small
student body.


H: There were 650 students here when I was a freshman. By the way,
I came here from Duval High School and there were 1,300
students in Duval High School when I graduated my senior year.
And there were 650 students at the University of Florida, so it
was quite a comedown for me. But...

P: You started to talk about some of the recreational activities.

H: What I did?

P: Yes, what you did.

H: Well, I went out for track and basketball--I was a little too
slender to play football.

P: You were on both the track and basketball teams?

H: That's right.

P: Who were the coaches?

H: On track we had a man by the name Arthur Solle. He's in
Jacksonville, an engineer. I don't know if he's dead; I
don't know whether he died or not. I remember, he
was the track coach. And I don't remember the basketball coach.

P: Did you have a gymnasium?

H: Yeah. It's still standing. We call it the old gym, but, uh, it's
a's the only place on the campus where we can hold
anything. I graduated in the old gym.

P: That's the red brick building down near the swimming pool?

H: Yes.

P: That the women use now as a gymnasium?

H: They do, uh huh. I used to enjoy...when I was in high school I
went to the YMCA every afternoon, to the gym. And I was in
excellent condition physically when I came down here. I used to
go in the pool in Jacksonville and the gym. I went with Dr.
Haskell. Took me his gym work...he took me up to the
rings. If you know what that means, but you probably don't. But
anyway, I was in excellent condition...and speaking of walking,
we always walked to town. It was the only way to go.

P: Did you walk...go to town very often?


H: Pretty often.

P: Where did you go swimming on the campus then?

H: We didn't.

P: There was no swimming hole where you could go?

H: Well, there was a place...I didn't...I used to swim a lot
before I came to the University and...By the way, I learned
to swim in Kissimmee--Lake Tohopekaliga--when I was eight
or nine years old...and...

P: There was a swimming team on the campus. I wondered where it

H: It practiced...there was a...

P: Frieze's Pond?

H: I don't remember the name of it. It was...I don't know. I know
approximately where it was but...I can't...I've been there...
as a student I went there quite frequently but...

P: But your main athletic interests were track and basketball?

H: That's right.

P: Who did you play basketball against...those early years? Was
this intercollegiate basketball?

H: Yes. I don't remember.

P: Who furnished your uniforms?

H: We didn't have any.

P: What about shoes?

H: I don't remember that...but we must have done something about

P: Was it a good team?

H: No, not too good.


P: What about fraternity life--were you a fraternity man?

H: Yeah, I joined. When I came here there were seven fraternities
on the campus--national. And all but one of them offered me a
bid...they invited me around and offered me a bid for the fra-
ternity. And I decided I just didn't want to be a fraternity
man so...I was a member of a high school fraternity, and it was
a snooty sort of affair. Only people with a million dollars, or
whose parents have a lot of money belonged--except me--and...I
got the idea that all fraternities were a little that way. But
in my sophomore year, I joined a local outfit called Omicron
Gamma Sigma. And we later petitioned Delta Tau I'm
a Delt right now.

P: Where was your house...if, indeed, you had one?

H: We had one. I think they've torn it down now.

P: Was it a place where you could go sleep and eat?

H: Yes.

P: You lived in...

H: No! We couldn't eat there. We could sleep there, but we couldn't
eat there.

P: Where did you eat?

H: Uh, we ate in the mess hall in the the University
Commons. They used to have a University Commons. I have a picture
of the University Commons also in my album that I have. Wish I'd
brought it with me, I'd like to show you the pictures that I have
there. The Commons, what used to be the Commons, is still up; it
hasn't been torn down yet. Do they call it the cafeteria now? Did
they build an addition?

P: They called it the cafeteria. It's now Johnson Hall. Was there a
College Inn then?

H: Yes. The mail service was all handled through the College Inn.

P: Uh huh.

H: I don't know if you'd call it a branch post office or not, but
they had it. We got our mail there.


P: You said the first year you came as a freshman you lived in
the dormitory. What about the next three years?

H: I had a dormitory room for the next two years, and I didn't
stay at my fraternity house. senior year I had a
room with Carroll Fussel, with the university farmer--what was
what was his name? A.W. Leland. They rented a
know where the...what is there now? The Foreign Student

P: Yes.

H: You know that building?

P: I know where that building is.

H: Well, I had a room senior year. Leland lived there. He
was a university farmer. I don't know what they call them...

P: You always lived, then, on an undergraduate?

H: That's right. In my activities I was interested in a lot of
things. I organized an awful lot of things, and became
president of an awful lot of things. And...I was vice-president
of my fraternity and vice-president of the YMCA and I was
secretary-treasurer of the student senior year. And
I organized Florida Blue Key...and I'll mention again that...
K.K. Hansen and Dave Rambo and I were on the steps of Language
Hall and I suggested to them that we have...that if you were a
good scholar, you'd make Phi Kappa Phi, or something; if you
were a good athlete, you made a letter; if you were a good
debater, you got a debater's key; but if you were just a plain
good leader, you didn't get anything--and what we needed was a
leadership fraternity. They agreed with me, and so we got a list
of everybody who held a position on campus of any kind and
started with that as a nucleus: the editor of the Alligator,
the business manager of the Alligator, the editor of the
Seminole, the business manager of the Seminole, the president of
the student body, the vice-president of the student body, and I
was secretary-treasurer--and the secretary-treasurer of the
student body had an awful lot of work to do. And I didn't get
any money for it. He was a powerful know...for
example, when I bought Lake Wauberg for the University, that
place on Lake Wauberg that we have out there, I made out the
check and that's all it took. I made out the check that bought
the land. The reason we bought it is was a long


way away, but I got rumors that they were going to put a
causeway across Paynes Prairie and it would be about eight
miles, something like that, to the lake. And so I rushed out
to Mr. Chamberlin...oh, Kitty Cox...maiden name...well, anyway,
her father.

P: What is her name?

H: Her maiden name...

P: I say, who is this lady?

H: Kitty Cox, wife of Gus Cox; she runs Cox's furniture store.

P: I know who she is, I was just trying to think maybe I knew her
father's name.

H: Well, I know it very well, and her brother was a radio man,
Chamberlin is his name. I rushed out to see him...he owned
all that place and all the land around it...and I bought
some from him...after a little dickering...The reason why we
had the money to buy it...

P: Now "we" means the Student Government?

H: The Student Government. We put on a campaign for a student
building (which we did not have) and we got William Jennings
Bryan who was in the state in Miami. We called him up and got
him to act as chairman of the drive, and to go around and
speak for it. And I was chairman of the student drive. And know, I was introducing William Jennings Bryan--
everybody knew him and nobody ever heard of me--and I had
to go around with him and introduce him to the audience...

P: Let me go back just a minute and we'll get back up to the fund
raising thing. I want to get a little bit more information
about the formation of Blue Key. You said you sort of birthed
the idea standing on the steps of Language Hall...?

H: We called up...we divided up the names and called 'em up and
got in touch with them, and formed an organizational meeting.
Dean Riley...

P: Burt Riley, who was Dean of the general extension...?


H: Yeah. He was...he heard about it and came to the organizational
meeting and wanted to join. We said he'd be a very good faculty
advisor, and so, we let him join. And I think he's on the list
of those who are charter members.

P: What is the...

H: Yeah, he's on the list.

P: What is the date of the formation?

H: It was in November, 1923.

P: I had always heard that this was a group that had been organized
--student organized--to'help with the Homecoming that year and
that Blue Key grew out of that.

H: No. No. We just wanted a leadership fraternity. Later we took
over Homecoming, I think.

P: Had the...the national organization, of course, came...emerged
out of this chapter on the campus here.

H: Oh, yeah. This was the first chapter and Dean Riley deserves
credit for organizing the national. He later became national

P: Where did the name "Blue Key" come from?

H: I gave it the name "Blue Key". I had to have Orange Key or
Blue Key and I thought of Blue Key. And...

P: Do you remember where the organizational meeting was held?

H: It was in a classroom. Probably in Language Hall somewhere.
It was in Language Hall.

P: Did this organization get started with any specific goals, or
was this merely a recognition of what people had already done?

H: It was more of a recognition than anything else. And, by the
way, one thing we...that they do now that they didn't do then,
we didn't take in any athletes. We thought they had honors
enough, and...but now they do take them in.


P: Who were the charter members? Could you read them off?

H: The president...they offered me the presidency, of course,
since I had organized it; but I turned it down and said I
thought Bob Ernest, who was president of the student body,
would be a much better president. Bob Ernest.

P: He was president of the student body at the time, too?

H: He was president of the student body. I was vice-president
of Blue Key. I accepted the vice-presidency.

P: Of Blue Key?

H: Of Blue Key.

P: You were secretary-treasurer of the student body at the same

H: That's right. Carroll Fussel was secretary of Blue Key.

P: How do you spell Mr. Fussel's name?

H: F-U-S-S-E-L.

P: Where was he from?

H: Webster.

P: Florida?

H: Yeah.

P: What was his position on campus? Did he hold an office in
student government?

H: Yes, he had held an awful lot of offices...He was in the law

P: That's alright.

H: I have forgotten...let me see...

P: Alright.


H: Johnson, H. A. Johnson. Harry Johnson was treasurer of Blue
Key. The members were B.C. Riley, T.S. Ferguson, K.K. Hansen,
Pete Harris...

P: Is that Hansen...H-A-N-S-E-N?

H: That's right. Pete Harris; E.A. Clayton; Gerald Bee (B-E-E),
Kenneth Hait; George Milam; J.H. Markham; Thomas Sale; J.F.
Blatt, Jr.; Murray Overstreet; J.H. Wise; Robert Wray; Fred
Langworthy; Dave Rambo; Hubert Weeks; and W.B. Owens. And
about one-third of those are now not living anymore.

P: Now you met on a regular basis on campus?

H: Yeah.

P: And as you say, to begin with, it's not a service organization?

H: No, we was more to honor ourselves than anything else.
And later we took over Homecoming, of course. This list is a
far cry from the list the Blue Key office has when they write
the Who's Who in Blue Key. And that's why I'd like to get in
touch with somebody and set 'em straight. They had me coming
in in 1926, or something like that, instead of '23, and do
you know what they did?

P: The information in the Blue Key Book then is not correct and this

H: That's right. When they give the list of presidents for each year...
they...For the year that Steve O'Connell was president of Blue
Key, they say party unknown--and he was President of the
University at the time when the thing came out. It was about four
years ago that it came out. And they didn't even know that he
was president at that time. He was.

P: Now tell me about your election as secretary-treasurer. What
were student elections like in those days?

H: Student elections, I think, went on the basis of grades. I
don't know, but if you were an unusually good student, I think
you were recognized. They seemed to recognize scholarship more
than they do now.

P: Was there a two-party system? Did students actually get on the


H: That's a long story. No. When I was elected...I don't remember
but I don't think there was any two-party system. But before
I left, I formed the Beefsteak Club, which was a party; and I
shouldn't make this known...but ATO had just about run the
whole campus politics. ATO--the fraternity ATO (Alpha Tau
Omega)--had had about every position until we came along. And
so in the Beefsteak Club...I organized that as a senior, and
I made out a list of all the offices, candidates for all the
offices, and the only provision I had--he couldn't be in ATO.
And the ATO's ran an equal list, parallel; so we won everything.
The ATO's were wiped out completely.

P: Did you work on campus? Did you have a job?

H: Oh, yeah. I worked in the Commons--I was cashier. There were
two cashiers in the Commons. A cashier (a funny name--they
called me a cashier, but I didn't handle cash), but I had to
check to see that everybody was seated at the right table,
and...we had seats, I think, in those days. In compensation,
I got my meals free, three meals a day. And...I went through
the University with $250 a year from my father.

P: And you earned the rest?

H: I didn't earn anything except for my meals.

P: That's what I mean. You supported yourself as far as food was

H: Yeah. I mentioned $250 because it costs about ten times that
much today.

P: Yes, indeed it does. Now, I want to get on to this Wauberg thing,
because that's interesting. You say that you, as the secretary-
treasurer, negotiated the purchase of that property?

H: That's right. We had the money left over...because we deposited
the money that we...that Willaim Jennings Bryan and his effort
collected for a student union. We deposited it in the Florida
Bank and Trust Company. And it went busted, and we lost all of
it. So I went to Klein Graham and we teamed up and fought the
thing and got part of the money back. And so we had money. And
the question was what to do with it. We bought Wauberg.


P: Were the University officials involved in this at all? Dr.
Murphree, or Klein Graham?

H: Klein Graham was involved in the financing, there's no
question about it. He kept all my money. Klein Graham was
custodian of all the money of the students. And he deposited
it in the Florida Bank and Trust Company. And...the trouble
is in this...I said we got part of the money back--we got all
the money back that we had actually deposited--but we had a
lot of pledges that we never collected...

P: As a result of the bubble bursting?

H: Since we lost some of the money, why, the people who pledged
didn't pay.

P: Where did the "Y" meet before this idea of a union developed?
You were active in the "Y"...

H: Well, there was a YMCA...

P: There was a YMCA then?

H: Right next to the Commons.

P: What was it, a temporary building?

H: Well, I guess so. It's been torn down, I guess, since. It was a
frame structure.

P: Um, huh.

H: And Mr. White was YMCA...secretary, or whatever you call them.
And he had his office in that building and we had our meetings

P: You took military in those days?

H: Oh, we had to. Yeah. The man who was commandant, or whatever
you call him, P.S.M. and T, or whatever he is...the first year
I was here, Bloxum Ward...he was not very well liked. He...
unfortunately, he didn't know how to get along with the kids
and...but Van Fleet came after this fellow left and...Van Fleet,
well, he joined Omicron Gamma Sigma, for example; he was a good
friend of mine and I...

End of Tape 1, Side 1.


H: undergraduate saying I graduated with
the highest average of any student who'd ever been at the
University. My average was 96.2 on a numerical scale, and
I took very difficult courses as most people would say.
For example, I had four years of math, a year of biology,
two years of chemistry, and a year of physics. I took them
under...well, I took my physics under Dean Benton, for ex-
ample. I had unusually good teachers in every course I took.

P: The University was fortunate, wasn't it, in having a very
high calibre faculty?

H: Very fortunate. They had unusual calibre. I...I don't think
if I'd gone to Columbia, I would have had that--I'd probably
have had graduate students teach me. But they were unusually
good. English, I had the equivalent of a major in Eng-
lish, but I didn't have Dr. Farr as a freshman. I had a man
by the name of Beck. As a freshman. He did a good job and I
took a second year under Beck in special feature writing. And
then I got Dr. Farr. Dr. Farr's Shakespeare is one of the most
interesting courses I've ever taken. Did you ever have anything
under Dr. Farr.

P: No, but I knew Dr. Farr.

H: He was an unusual man and...

P: A fine teacher.

H: Very fine. He didn't like to grade papers, and when I...we had
to turn in something, every month I think it was, we had to
turn something in for the year. Every month we turned in a
thesis, an essay, or something; I've forgotten just what. And
we had monthly grades that were recorded outside his door.
I went to see what I got. I got a 75 the first month, and
an 80 the second month, a 77 the third month--75 was the low-
est passing grade. And I was not making the kind of grades
that...I was making unusually good grades in everything
else except under Dr. Farr. And finally...I didn't go in to
see him at all, I just went ahead...Finally, we came to the
end of the year and I took the final examination a
grade of 98 for the year. Well, I could have...they're
supposed to average up your monthly grade in order to get the
98. I didn't see how he could get it out of 75's and 77's and
so on. So then I went in to see him and said: 'I think there's
been a mistake here.' And so he said: 'Well, I'm glad you came
in. I didn't grade any of the papers at all...'til finally I
got snowed under, and I graded all the papers--and yours were


among the most excellent I've ever graded! I've changed all
your monthly grades.' And, he said: 'I've given 98 just once
before in my life...and this is the second time I've given a
student 98.' I graduated with the highest general average of
any student sounds egotistical, but it was true. Dr.
Murphree called me up on the platform and introduced me as
the man who had the highest general average.

P: Now you left the University and went to Chicago?

H: That's right. Dr. Thurston at Chicago was a man whom I happen-
ed to register with at Chicago, and he noticed that I had ma-
jored in mathematics and he happens to be...he was president
of psychometrics society and all that sort of thing. He's in
mathematical psychology. And he took me under his wing immed-
iately, soon as I got there; he grabbed me. I couldn't get out
from under very easily, and I...didn't try very hard. I went
to Chicago to study the way, Dr. Enwall was the head
of the Department of Philosophy here, and he offered me a pro-
position. That if I would go to the University of Chicago,
which was the best Department of Psychology in the country at
that time, that...and stay five quarters (they have the quarter
system too at Chicago), I could come back here in 1925--1 grad-
uated in '24. If I spent five straight quarters, I could come
back on the faculty as an instructor in Psychology. He, of
course, saw the writing on the wall--he knew psychology was more
important than philosophy and would develop much more. So I...he
offered me a proposition that he would see to it that I came
back here on the faculty. I accepted the offer and went
to Chicago.

P: You said you went up there specifically to study under someone?

H: Under Carr, the head of the department. Carr. And I did study un-
der Carr. I liked Carr very much, but Thurston had grabbed me in
the meantime and so...Of course, I took all Thurston's work and I
took quite a number of statistics courses. And I went to the Math
Department and took quite a lot of mathematics which they counted
in the Psychology...

P: What about Dr. Enwall's offer of a job after the five quarters?

H: After...during the summer of 1925, I was offered by Thurston...
they had asked Thurston to get a very good researcher for the
Merrill-Palmer School in Detroit. They offered me a lot more
money, and I came down and saw Dr. Enwall and presented him
with the proposition and he said: 'I think you better take it.'
So I took the job; he released me from my promise to come back.
I went to Detroit and while I was in Detroit as...they started


me out as statistician and then later, Director of Research.
During the year I spent in Detroit, which was a very unusual
year, I centered on psychological testing. I developed and
standardized the Merrill-Palmer Psychological Examination,
an intelligence test for children from eighteen months to
five years of age. But...the...Dr. Murphree came up to see me

P: He came up to Detroit to see you?

H: Well, he...he was up that way anyway, I think he had to go to
Chicago or somewhere. He came by Detroit and came to my
apartment and pled with me to come to the University of
Florida. And I wanted to go back home. I was tempted and
finally gave in and decided I'd come here. He offered me
an assistant professorship at $2400 which was less money
than I was making at Merrill-Palmer. They offered me $5000
a year if I'd stay. Instead, I came down here for $2400. I
was doing no teaching at Merrill-Palmer School, nothing but
research. And I decided I wanted to teach. So I came down
here, foolish as it sounds.

P: Were you already married then?

H: No, I married January 1, 1927. In '26 I came down here...
with this understanding: that I would stay one year in the
Philosophy Department and then they would split the Department
and form the Department of Psychology, which was not in
existence when I came down here. And I'd be head of the
department. And although it didn't happen that way...Dr.
Murphree died. If he had lived, I...he would have kept that
promise. But he died during that first year that I was here.

P: At December--Christmas.

H: And...I got to know Dr. Murphree during that first year quite
well. I had known him before...

P: Tell me about Dr. Murphree, what kind of a person he was and
your relationship with him.

H: He was very friendly, unusually friendly. He was a handsome man;
and you've seen his picture of course, a good many times. He...
Dean Batey invited us out to Wauberg, with Dr. Murphree and
Mrs. Hinckley and myself and Mr. and Mrs. Percy Black and
Elizabeth Skinner. I think it was, yeah, it was during my first


year here. And we had dinner out there and sat around on
the porch and chewed the fat. He was unusually good...I
remember him very well...

P: Unusually good as an administrator?

H: As an administrator, as a person. He was excellent. I went to
him as a freshman (when I was a freshman, if I can go back)
and said: 'I don't want to take Military Science. I came down
here to study and I want to study and I don't want to take
Military Science.' And he was nice. He said: 'Have a seat.'
He talked to me and said: 'We have to, we're required to. We
get $50,000 a year for...this requirement and so on and so
on.' Well, anyway, coming back to Dr. Murphree, he was an un-
usually fine person.

P: Was he respected as an educator by the faculty?

H: He was. He was respected by every member of the faculty. I
haven't said much about the Department of Psychology. They
gave me when I was head of the department...I was the first
head the Department of Psychology had. I organized the dep-
artment. They gave me $250 a year for all expenses--to buy
desks and filing cabinets...

P: When was the department organized? You came down in '26, and
you taught in the Philosophy Department with Enwall?

H: Dr. Enwall decided...after Dr. Murphree's death...he pled with
Dean Anderson. He showed him the correspondence he had with me,
went through all that sort of thing...guaranteed me...It didn't
do any good. Anyway, I became head of the department in 1930.

P: Why was Anderson opposed to this? Was it a financial situation?

H: No. Anderson like me very much. I'd made unusually good grades
under him, probably the best grades he'd ever given. And he
liked me very much. But he said: 'You're too young to be head
of the department.'

P: How old were you then?

H: Twenty-three. In 1926 I was twenty-three years old.


P; You did not yet have your Ph.D?

H: No, I got my Ph.D. in 1929.

P: Now what about Farr's attitude toward a separate Department of
Psychology, since he was the Acting President?

H: He was...he didn't have any opinion.

P: It was Anderson's decision then?

H: The Dean's decision. That's right.

P: And he felt that because of your youth, you would not be able
to handle it?

H: I think that's what he thought.

P: What did you teach in Philosophy?

H: I didn't teach any philosophy, I taught Psychology.

P: In the Philosophy Department?

H: In the Philosophy Department. Taught General Psychology and
Personality Development...I've forgotten what all I taught.

P: Where did you teach on campus?

H: In 114 Peabody.

P: That was always your room, right from the beginning?

H: Yeah.

P: How large a student enrollment did you have in your classes?

H: I don't remember. It was pretty small.

P: And you were being paid $2400 that year?

H: One year, only. It went to $2800 the next year and it went on up
as salaries do. Well, through the years I had in mind I would
develop a Ph.D. program--a graduate training program. I fought
with that in mind, and...I gave my first Master's degree in
1929. By the way, the man who got it was the one who wrote
My Six Convicts. But make a long story short,


I developed the Department through the years 'til we had a
Ph.D. program. I gradually developed a Ph.D. program by
adding to the staff and building up the various parts of
the Department until finally the American Psychological
Association decided to examine and approve some programs
of training in Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology.
I applied for such examination of my training program, and
they sent a committee down. To make a long story short, in
1955 I believe it was, we were approved. At the time we
were approved for our graduate training program to the Ph.D.
in Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology, we...
there were twenty-two universities throughout the country
that had the same approval that we had. So I consider...
there are a few more than that now, than twenty-two, I don't
know how many more, but there were twenty-two for quite a
number of years.

P: I want to go back and get Mrs. Hinckley onto the scene. She's
appearing there now. You said you got married in 1927?

H: Yeah.

P: Where was Mrs. Hinckley from and how did you happen to meet

H: She was from Des Moines, Iowa, and she went to the University
of Chicago to study psychology. She was a psychology student.
I met her there. And liked her and so...we fell in love. She
got a Master's degree from the University of Chicago and wrote
a thesis which they said they would give her a Ph.D. if she
would keep on for two more years of training. But she decided
she...preferred marriage.

P: But she was going to school in Chicago when you two met?

H: That's right.

P: And then you came south and took this position here and she
followed you here? Were you married here?

H: We were married in Des Moines, Iowa. I can't soft-pedal her.
She...I loved her so much. She was an unusually capable woman.
She had a Master's in Psychology. I got her a job when I was


Director of Research, at Merrill-Palmer School, there at
Merrill-Palmer School, as my assistant.

P: She got her M.A. at the University of Florida?

H: No.

P: At Chicago?

H: At Chicago--University of Chicago.

P: I see. So she worked with you in Detroit?

H: Yes. And then she gave up on psychology and decided to be...

P: A housewife?

H: That's right.

P: Do you have any children?

H: No.

P: Where did you live when you first got married here in Gainesville?

H: Well, for the first year, we lived on what used to be Wilson
Street, back of what used to be the Woman's Club. I can't think

P: Where Ancil Payne lives? Is that the street? I know where the
Woman's Club was, across from the High School.

H: Well, I think the east side of the Woman's go down
that street...

P: Um, huh, I know where it is.

H: Anyway there was a building down there...We paid $75 a month
and in those days I thought that was a lot of pay
for a rental. Anyway after that Dr. Enwall completed the
Enwall Apartments that were right next to his home, and he
had four apartments and we moved into one of them. And we
lived there until 1936 when I bought my present home and
moved into it.


P: Did you build the house you're presently living in?

H: No. Frank Allen built it and he did an unusually good job.
It cost him $25,000 and...He was killed in an automobile
accident and his widow sold me the home rather cheaply, but
I had a lot of work done...unusually nice home. And I don't
know whether you know where it is or not...

P: I do.

H:'s just a very fine place. We haven't had any close
neighbors until recently; the Woman's Club, of course, is
next door to us,

P: Tell me about Dr. Enwall; he was one of the characters on

H: He was an unusually good character. He was a fine old man.
I owe Dr. Enwall more than anyone else on the campus, at the
University. I didn't major under him. I didn't even have
quite the equivalent of a major, although I took quite a
number of courses from him. I may have had the equivalent
of a major, I don't know. I took quite a number of courses
in philosophy...and psychology...he taught psychology, what
was offered. Dr. Enwall had a Ph.D. in philosophy and
almost had a Ph.D. in psychology. the University of
Chicago...he went there and finished all the course work,
and was writing his dissertation...but he never finished it.

P: What kind of man was Dr. Enwall?

H: He was born in Sweden and I guess he was typically Swedish. He
lectured very loudly. You could hear him all over Peabody.
Did you ever take a course under him? So you know about Dr.
Enwall. He was a very friendly sort of a guy, and he did a
lot for me in connection with...I told you that I thought I
was going into mathematics and I had intended to study
mathematics and get a Ph.D. in that, but he changed my mind
and I decided I ought to go into psychology.

P: Shortly after you arrived, within two years, Dr. Tigert
appeared on the scene.


H: That's right. Yeah, Dr. Tigert was a capable person and I
gradually got to know the Tigerts quite well. It took a little
time, but...we were close friends of the Powells, and Dr.
Tigert had known Garland Powell in the years gone by...and so
Powell would have the Hinckleys and Tigerts out to dinner and
we got to be rather friendly with them.

P: You started to tell me earlier when you were setting up the
department the first year that you got $250 for...

H: For everything! Do you know the have no idea
...if I showed you around this building and showed you the
laboratory equipment that least half a million
dollars. And I had to buy all the laboratory equipment and
all the filing cabinets and desks and everything and I had...

P: Even at Depression prices that $250 didn't go far, did it?

H: There weren't Depression prices exactly; my desk cost $115,
for example. I don't know how much this one cost, but my desk
then cost $115. And...I've forgotten how much the filing
cabinet was; but do you know, we had a tremendous amount of
financial troubles in those days, I haven't gone into that,
but we had...

P: Where did did you happen to get a department? Was
this Dr. Tigert's doing?

H: No, it was Dr. Enwall's.

P: Enwall finally persuaded the powers that be? Anderson had come

H: That's right.

P: Was Anderson Dean of Arts and Sciences when the Psychology
Department emerged?

H: Wilson was acting Dean of Arts and Sciences. Anderson was
promoted to Graduate Dean.

P: Or perhaps the Graduate School?


H: He was Dean of the Graduate School, that's right. And we had
formed a Graduate School and he was made Dean and...I probably
shouldn't mention it, but Wilson had accepted the position due
to Chandler's influence of assistant to Dean Anderson, but he...
He made an assistant dean instead of assistant to the Dean, and
so when Dean Anderson became Dean of the Graduate School, he
became Acting Dean of Arts and Sciences; I don't think he ever
was Dean. Lee was next...

P: Dean Lee came in. Towifs R. Le'-

H: Yeah.

P: And Mrs. Lean.

H: And Mrs. Le'1!! Oh, boy! And the harvest moon supper.

P: Yes, uh huh. Well, who were members of your faculty in its be-
ginning year?

H: Well, Osbourne Williams, who is no longer living, was on the

P: Did he...did you bring him in?

H: Vernon Wilson, who was one of my former students, had gotten a
Master's degree and I put him on the staff. No, I didn't bring
Williams here, but I knew him.

P: Was Williams already here...teaching?

H: He was at Florida Southern College...

P: That's in Lakeland.

H: And during the year that I could not come (1925-26) here because
of the other job, Williams came in my place.

P: And he taught psychology in the Philosophy Department?


H: That's right. He was brought by Dr. Enwall and not upon my
recommendation. I knew him, but I didn't know much about
him. He was a student at the University of Chicago and I
didn't think he was much of a scholar; he wasn't really.
But...I had trouble getting...assigning him to jobs when I
was Head of the Department of Psychology and he was my ass-
istant professor. I never did get him above the assistant
professor rank. I never promoted him for social pressure or
anything. I...I had trouble finding anything he could do,
but I was stuck with him and I had to keep him.

P: Did he have his Ph.D.?

H: Yes.

P: From Chicago?

H: Yes.

P: But he was lacking in scholarly ability?

H: He surely was.

P: How good a teacher was he?

H: Not good at all.

P: So he came as an assistant professor and he left as an assistant

H: That's right. He died...

P: And Mrs. Williams is still living, isn't she?

H: I think so. I don't know whether she's still here or not. She
may have gone to one of her daughter's in California.

P: Now you said Vernon "who" was the other one?

H: Vernon Wilson.

P: Vernon Wilson?

H: Yes.

P: He was a Florida graduate with an M.A.?


H: That's right.

P: What did he teach in psychology?

H: I have forgotten. I think General Psychology. He was in the
Bureau of Vocational Guidance and Mental Hygiene...the
psychological clinic. He was in the Clinic...counseling
students...I was Director of the Bureau of Vocational
Guidance and Mental Hygiene, as you notice on there. In fact,
I have done an awful lot of things that I haven't even

P: How much were you able to pay your faculty in those years...
the early years?

H: Well, when I brought Charlie Mosier here, I paid him $1850.

P: When did he come?

H: About 1932 as I remember.

P: So your first year it was a three-man department: you, and
Wilson and Williams.

H: It stayed that way for, on...quite some years. A three-man

P: From 1930 to about 1932, or did Mosier come and take Wilson's

H: He took Wilson's place.

P: I see. Mosier came from where?

H: He was one of my students here through the Bachelor's. I sent
him to the University of Chicago and I brought him back here
when...before he received the Ph.D. degree. After he got his
Ph.D. degree, he got more money elsewhere; I couldn't keep
him. He was an unusually able fellow; very excellent.

P: So it was a three-man department all during the 1930's.

H: Yes, I think it was.

P: How did...about your budget, how did it fare during the 1930's?


H: Not...

P: It started out slim...

H: Yeah, it stayed slim! Here are all the faculty we have now...
tremendous faculty. I haven't even counted them--about forty
members of the faculty. We have the largest department of
psychology and the best department of psychology in the South.
We have beat North Carolina which used to be...

P: You say you have now?

H: Yeah, now.

P: How did it rate in the thirties?

H: I don't remember...not very good. We didn't have a Ph.D.
program in the thirties.

P: When did you get the Ph.D. program? Was that a post-World War

H: Yeah. 1948 or 1947...

P: You said you started the M.A. in 1929?

H: That's right.

P: Do you remember your first M.A. student?

H: Yes, I remember him. He was the brother of Vernon Wilson. He
was Donald Powell Wilson. I don't know whether you've ever
heard of My Six Convicts? I got him a job (after he got his
Master's degree under me) at Leavenworth, Kansas, as a
psychologist in charge of all the people; and, as a result of
his experience, he wrote My Six Convicts and made a tremendous
amount of money on it...very popular book. He sold the movie
rights to Hollywood. It's been a play and so on.

P: I want to ask you about the University College now. What role
did you play in organizing the University College?

H: I was on about three committees: the Board of University
Examiners, which was in existence in those days...I don't know
whether we have it now or not, but it was a powerful board. And
I was chairman of the Logic course, C-41 it was called in those
days. I don't know what...


P: You were the first chairman then?

H: Yes. And I organized C-41 and taught it for a good many years.
And...the Board of University Examiners consisted of such men
as Chandler, Little, Tolbert ( I don't know whether any of these
names mean anything to you or not), but...Simpson and myself.
I forget whether :Moquity was on it or not. Seems to me he was.

P: Who was responsible for the idea of the University...General
College as it was then called?

H: Dr. Tigert.

P: What about the beginnings of it, as you remember it--the
consultation and the planning?

H: I probably shouldn't say this, but in the consultation and
planning for the University College, the committee decided
unanimously against it.

P: Why?

H: We thought the College of Arts and Sciences was doing a good
job and...I still think so...

P: Did Tigert carry this through single-handed then?

H: Almost single-handed. He carried it through.

P: He had the Board of Control behind him?

H: The chairman of the organizing committee ( I was on the committee
but I was not chairman ), was Percy Black, he was chairman. And
Rogers from Biology, oh, and a number of people...Simpson.

P: Matherly?

H: Matherly was on it. And Little was on it, of course. We decided
almost unanimously. I'm not sure whether it was unanimous or not,
against the idea; but it didn't hold...

P: What about the argument that this was the kind of a program that
you needed in a poor state during the Depression years? When
people didn't have money enough to continue and get a four year


H: Anyone could get a two-year program here but they wouldn't...
receive a diploma, and it had that advantage. You could get a
diploma if you went two years to the University of Florida.

P: How about, as a psychologist, giving the student the chance
to make a choice? How did you react to that argument?

H: A choice of what?

P: Of what they wanted to get into; the University College would
give them a chance to sample lots of different disciplines.

H: The University College, at first, was pretty much of a hodge-
podge. I tried, and succeeded I think, in making one course
that I had to do with...I was on two committees, two course
committees. The Biological Science course...Each course was...
Well, the Biological Science course C-6 and C-41 of which I
was chairman...I was a member of the other committee. Rogers
was chairman of it. And it was supposed to be one-third bio-
logy, one-third botany, and one-third psychology; and how
you could make any course out of that, I don't know. So psy-
chology was gradually got out of that.

P: How much of the psychology course was logic?

H: It was...according to my organization, of course, it was all
psychology. But my organization didn't go over. Dean Little
put his thumbs down on the thing and he organized the course
himself, even though I was chairman. And presented...I have a
bunch of textbooks up there which we used, but...uh, Thuliss
and Howies and...

P: Where did Knowles--not Knowles--but Ed Moore fit into this?

H: He was not a member of the committee. He came in very late--
about ten years later.

P: Oh, I thought he was in from the beginning, as a faculty

H: Well, not on that course.

P: I meant...logic.

H: There were just three of us in Logic.


P: Who were the other two?

H: Dean Little and Dean Wilson.

P: And you.

H: Two deans and a head of a department.

P:. There are not many courses at the University today that can
say that.

H: And...we divided up the students into two halves. They took
C-41 the first semester or the second semester.

P: And mathematics was the alternate?

H: Yes. Or the other course, C-42.

P: Kokomoor's.

H: That's right. And...they...we divided up...the half into three
groups of 150 students each. We each had 150 students in a

P: Did you have the large lecture sections then too? In addition
to the discussion section with the logic course at all?

H: We didn't have any discussion, we had entirely lecture.

P: Everything was lecture?

H: It was 150 students...

P: In the auditorium?

H: I've forgotten where we were.

P: This gave you a terrible load, didn't it? If you were Chairman
of Psychology and Chairman of Logic and teaching in both areas?

H: And Part-Time Director of the'Merit System for the State of
Florida...I used to work from eight o'clock in the morning until
midnight every night. I enjoyed it very much. Itdidn't hurt me
at all. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it more than I'm enjoying
life now because I'm not working that hard and...I have always
enjoyed work if I liked the work.


P: On this University College, are you saying to begin with that
you were in opposition to the General College?

H: I was.

P: In opposition to it here; or in opposition to the concept,
the philosophy of general education?

H: Well, I was in opposition to the program which they presented

P: Wasn't this a...something that had grown out of the program
at the University of Chicago?

H: I think it was.

P: Were you acquainted with it there?

H: Yes. I didn't like it at all there, except it was different
at the University of Chicago--you could either take it or not...

P: I see.

H: And here we had to take it. Everybody in the first two years
had to be in the University College here.

P: started out in opposition to it, but you became a
part of it, but you remained an opponent of the philosophy?

H: Yes, I don't like the idea at all; if it was optional, I would
like the idea. I think some students can profit by the
University College. But I...don't think it should be forced
down everybody's throat.

P: You felt that Logic was a good course, though?

H: Oh, yes, it was a good course. I mean we made it good. I...
made it a good course.

P: Was this typical of Tigert? This arbitrary decision to develop
a program like this?

H: Oh, pretty much.

P: Was this the way he operated with his faculty?


H: For the most part, I guess, that's right.

P: He was not a flexible person?

H: No, not too much.

P: How did you and Dean Little get along?

H: Okay...

P: Now Matherly was alright, wasn't he, as an administrator?

H: Yes, he was very good.

P: But he didn't stay with the program very long?

H: No, I guess they got rid of him, I don't know why?

P: And Little came in then as Dean.

H: I think Matherly...he didn't want to...Matherly probably did
not want to teach. If he had wanted it, I wish he had gotten

P: Your heart, though, was in Arts and Sciences and in your own
particular department?

H: Very definitely.

P: What happened to the department during World War II? The students

H: Well, the students disappeared, and so a lot of the students came
in--Army students. In the program of training...we contracted
with the Army and we gave them training. I taught mathematics,
incidently, in the Army training program...a couple of courses
of mathematics...under Dean Simpson's
algebra...and spherical trigonometry...They divided the Army
up into groups on the basis of a test, and I was fortunate
in getting the Number One group--the top group--and they were
excellent. They were unusually gifted.

P: Is that what you did during World War II? You stayed on the
campus and you trained these people?


H: Yes. Incidently I taught psychology, about fifteen hours of
psychology, and about fifteen hours of mathematics and about
fifteen hours of something else.

P: So you had a...

H: I had a lot of teaching. They talk about six hours is about a
teaching load. I taught...I have taught as many as forty-five

P: The old days have gone and gone.

Begin Tape 2, Side 1

P: ...Florida Merit System?

H: On the Florida Merit System. As Director of the Florida Merit
System, I was from '40 to '46 in there, 1940 to 1946; but I was
Acting Director from 1936 to 1940.

P: Was that when it was organized--in 1936?

H: That's when it was organized. I was the first Director. We
had to construct an awful lot of tests, for an awful lot of
people throughout the state. And I had to construct the
tests, because I was the only one who knew how to construct

P: Was this for the purpose of hiring and promotion?

H: All positions were done under Civil Service or the Merit

P: So this was the beginnings of the Merit System, and the
legislature set this program up?

H: No, the Social Security Board set it up.

P: I see.

H: In 1940 they made it mandatory that all people had to go under
the Merit System. The state welfare board, and the Florida
Industrial Commission, the health outfit--everybody who got
any money from the Federal Government had to go under a merit
system. I developed the Merit System.


P: It was your responsibility to prepare the tests, to organize
the testing program?

H: About 500 different tests had to be made. Each six months we
gave the tests, and during the weekends I worked on tests and
during summers...

P: You didn't have much leisure time either, then. Not only was
your research hurt, but your leisure time was hurt.

H: Oh, I had no leisure time at all.

P: You were a slave to your occupation, to your vocation.

H: Yes. And now I have plenty of leisure time.

P: Tell me about this...the Parole Commission. You served as
consultant for that.

H: Yes, for about fifteen years I...or twenty years, I was a
consultant. They have...the Florida Parole Commission...
every so often...quite frequently...they would come across
cases that required study. And, by the way, you know when
I came here to the University of Florida, I was about the
only psychologist in the State of Florida. And there were
no psychiatrists in the state--none whatsoever. And so they
chose me, asked if I'd be willing to study cases and make full
written reports on each case. And I decided I would. They
gave me twenty-five dollars for each case--which isn't enough.
It isn't anywhere near enough. But that's all they gave me.
And I accepted it. So...I had, though, some interesting, very
interesting cases. But if I had time I would tell you of some
interesting cases. But I suppose that's beside the point.

P: Was the Florida Parole System a good system?

H: I think it was a very good system. They had three men who
decided on the paroles for everybody, and they alternated
the chairmanship between them. First one and then the other
one...May I tell you one case that I had there? Just one
that comes to mind. "Mister S." He had been sent to prison
for ten years by a man in Jacksonville--a judge--because
he had forged a doctor's name on a prescription, on two
prescriptions. And he gave him five years on each time that


he forged the doctor's name...for Pantapon which is given
for heart conditions. So I went to see this man. He had
an unusually fine manner. He was smooth and well-educated.
And he told me...Incidently, I should mention this. The
reason why they asked me to see him is, he had been sent to
the infirmary there at Raiford, the hospital, to get a rou-
tine physical examination. And...a patient who had died was
brought in and, while he was waiting, he saw this dead pat-
ient. He offered to perform the autopsy. He said: 'Did you
know I do that all the time in Duval County?' And: 'I'll be
glad to perform the autopsy.' They said: 'We never perform
autopsies in Raiford.' And he got mad as hell. And so they
thought he was a mental case and that I had better study him.
He told me that he had developed angina pectoris. I might
explain that when doctor's know what's wrong with your heart,
they say what's wrong with your heart. When they don't know
what's wrong with your heart, and you say; 'My heart hurts,'
they call it angina pectoris. So a lot of times...

P: A catch-all?

H: I'm not saying that all cases called angina pectoris are not
organic. But I'm saying that occasionally a case is...usually
a case is functional, it's not organic at all. This man said
he had angina pectoris, and he took Pantapon for it as given
by a doctor who signed the prescription. But he got the job
as pathologist for Duval County Head Pathologist, Dr. Deren-
forth. And...he...didn't want Dr. Derenforth and the other
doctors he worked with to know he had a heart trouble. And
so he decided to make...he knew all the directions...he
decided to make out a prescription and sign it himself. And
signed Dr. Derenforth's name to the prescription and took it.
And they caught him on it. He was...the judge thought he was
addicted to Pantapon and gave him ten years, because he
thought it took ten years to get over the addiction. But he
was not addicted. He only took it rarely, say every two years
when he had a heart condition. I went in to see to
him...and ask him about his education--what kind of an ed-
ucation did he have. He was apparently a well-educated man.
He said: 'Well, I went to medical school for three years, got
what all they had to offer, and although I rated rather high
there was no use wasting another year just to get an M.D.
degree.' And he said: 'I went to Massachusetts Institute of


Technology for three and a half years and I decided I've
gotten all I can get from this, all they had to offer. I
was Number Two in my class, but there's no use going on
just to get a degree. And so he said, 'I got an appoint-
ment at Annapolis and I went there three years, and I decid-
ed it was no use going on and getting a commission in the
Navy, because I got all they had to offer.' And...well, that
was that; that was the education. I asked him what he'd done
for work. He said, 'Have you ever heard of the Richard Byrd
expedition to the South Pole?' I said: 'Yes,' 'Well,' he
said, 'I was really main man on that expedition. I did all the
research that was done. Richard Byrd was the director. And on
the way back from that I stopped off at the University of
Melbourne and taught for a year. Taught oceanography for a
year. And then I got a job in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, which
is a big research center.' And he said, 'I developed a gadget
called a filometer, which maps the topography of the ocean
bed.' And he said: 'They thought that it was excellent.' I
don't remember all the experiences he'd had. He did a lot. By
the way, he'd run through eight wives. I thought I had a case
of true paranoia. He was tops at everything. And nothing was
his fault. He said: 'I knew about the prescription; I knew I
was in the wrong for what I did. What difference does it make?
I wasn't hurting anybody. I just did it myself and...I wasn't
even hurting myself. It was not a mistake. I took it.' I decided,
before saying anything to anybody about the case, to write each
of the universities that he'd gone to...oh, I left out one im-
portant experience that he'd had. They offered him a job to su-
pervise the first magnetic mine-sweeper U.S.S. Heath, that was
developed. And they offered him a lieutenant commander's com-
mission. And he accepted it...and took the job and showed 'em
how to build the thing. He had training, by the way, in engineer-
ing--he had training in everything that helped.

P: You checked him all out on all this?

H: Yes. Well, anyway, he...I checked him out on all the experiences
and all the education that he had had, and they were all confirm-
ed. The biggest surprise I had was a big manilla envelope, which
I have in my files, from the secretary of the Richard Byrd
expedition to the South Pole, enclosing a copy of the citation
that had been read when he was given the Congessional Medal
of Honor that was for the fine research he did on that expedition.


And it was Richard Byrd who read the citation at the time when
he was given the Congressional Medal of Honor.

P: And here he was in Raiford now.

H: And here he was in Raiford. He had never done anybody any
harm. I recommended he be paroled immediately, which he was.
He was a restless fellow--he was not a case of paranoia at
all--he was a very restless person.

P: Did he turn out alright after that?

H: No. I shouldn't tell the rest of the story because it's bad.
He went to...somewhere in the Catskills in New York. There
was a doctor there with whom he worked. And he developed a
cure for cataracts. And...but he was the kind of a person who
never...You know, in a parole commission you have to report
about every month, or every two months...every month, I guess,
you have to go and report? Well, he failed to report. They
brought him back. That was the biggest mistake I believe they
ever made. He was on the verge of something great, but they
sent him back and incarcerated him.

P: Tell me about your own retirement now. When did you retire
here from the University?

H: 1963.

P: And you taught from the end of World War II at the University,
when the students came back, from '45 on to '63?

H: I taught from '26.

P: Yeah, but I mean, we had gotten up to World War II when the
students had disappeared. Now we want to get them back onto
campus in 1945-1946.

H: Yeah.

P: The veterans returning...There was a big boom then on campus,
wasn't there.

H: That's right, uh huh.

P: And your department was enlarged?


H: Oh yes. I've forgotten how many, but we had about ten members
of the faculty then. And it has gone up. I mentioned that, at
present, we have the best department of psychology in the

P: Well, in many ways, this is really a tribute to you--as sort of
a beginning person.

H: I think it is. As a matter of fact, I have done most of what has
been done. By the way, have we the time for me to show you
around the building?

P: Well, I've already sort of looked around the building. But as
we're walking out of here...

H: Did you go up on the fourth floor?

P: Yes. Before I came in I sort of walked around just to sort of
get my bearings on things.

H: Well, then you've seen everything, I guess. Did you walk on
the first floor?

P: I saw all those handsome classrooms. Everything looks fine,
and that's why I said we've come a long way from Peabody Hall.

H: We certainly have. Of course, this office is the smallest office
I've ever had. In Peabody Hall I had a big office, in...when I
moved to Tigert Hall I had a tremendous office and...

P: This sort of makes me feel at home, because this is about the
size of my office.

H: Well, this is...there are some offices here that are a little
larger, most of them are about this size. If Dick Anderson...

P: I saw I came, he was just walking downstairs. As I was
walking around on the first floor I saw Richard.