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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida.
INTERVIEWEE: M. D. Anderson
INTERVIEWER: Steven Kerber
August 5, 1977 dib
K: Today is Friday, August 5, 1977. My name is Steve Kerber and I'll be
talking with Dr. M. D. Anderson, retired professor from the College of
Business Administration at the University of Florida.
A: Mr. Kerber, I don't have a good speaking voice. Would you rather I
talk in my bad natural voice or try -t Ct or does it make
K: Well, with this equipment under these conditions it should work out fine
either way. So there's no need to really worry about it too much.
A: Well, I didn't know whether you intended much reproduction anyhow. But
I just wanted to tell you that, the point that I don't have a good
K: Fair enough. I think I'll begin by just briefly going over again what
I told you last week about how we process the tapes, the interviews
here, so you have a better idea about it. After the tape is complete,
and we just use these little cartridges, we have people-in the office
who transcribe them, who type them out.
A: I see.
K: And then the next step is to have someone called an audit editor, sit
down with a tape recorder and a pair of head phones and make sure that
the transcriber put everything down that was...
A: I see.
Page 2. dib
K: ...said in the conversation. And then at that point we send it back
to you and perhaps if we have not been able to pick up someone's first
name or if there's a sentence that you'd care to delete or something,
you can take that out, and then you send it back to us and we have it
typed up in a final version, which hopefully will eventually go into
the library, although we haven't put any in yet.
A: I see.
K: And then we'll send it back to you and you'll...
A: Well, is it going in in a eight and a half by eleven regular typing
instead of a microfilm?
K: In a dissertation format, yes sir.
A: I see.
K: And we will send you a legal release whi-chmakes it open to any scholar
or anyone else who cares to use it to investigate the history of the
A: Oh sure. Make any money out of it?
K: No, I don't think so. O.K., well, with that out of the way I'll just begin
with a few questions about your personal background and then work up to
your coming to the university.
K: O.K. Now what is your full name, Dr. Anderson?
A: Well, it's a long name. I've never been able to live up to it. It's
Montgomery Drummond Anderson.
K: Montgomery Drummori uh huh. And where were you born?
A: I was born in Galvastan, Texas.
Page 3. dib
K: You're a Texan. And when was your birth date?
A: September 14, 1900, which was six days after the terrible hurricane...
K: Oh, the great storm that destroyed Galvestan.
A: ...that drove the Gulf completely vf-their island and killed six
thousand people in one night.
K: And you born...
K: ...in the city right after that.
A: Right after that, yes. My grandfather's house was two-story and he
was using his head. He took a hatchet. It was a frame building like
most of the middle class homes in Galvestan of that era. It was framed
and it sitting on a piling. There's still a few homes, I think, in Gaines-
ville, old homes that sit upon pilings. Brick pilings, you know-what I mean.
A: And when he saw the water rising and the Gulf came over the island, he
got his hatchet and he knocked a hole in the living room, parlor, the
hall, in the kitchen, so that the water, the sea water would come in to
the dwelling, and fasten it down instead of pumping it over. Otherwise
I wouldn't have been here.
K: I see, was a quick-thinking man.
A: Yes sir.
K: What was your grandfather's name now?
A: Well, his name was Montgomery. That's where I get my first name.
Page 4. dib
K: His name was Montgomery.
A: Yes sir. tHe emigrated to this country in the late 1900s from Scotland.
K: And what was...
K: ...what was his business in Galveston?
A: Well, he was engaged in real estate up to the time of the storm. He was
rather successful, but of course the storm just ruined the real estate
K: Surely. What was your father's name?
A: My father's name was George Drummond Anderson. That's where I get the
K: Was your father born in Texas, too?
A: Yes, I think so.
K:. In Galveston? Or do you know?
A: No, I think he was born out farther west of Galveston on the mainland.
K: What was your mother's name?
A: My mother's name was Florence.
K: Florence ?
K: Florence Malcolm, O.K. Now what did your dad do for a living? Was he,
did he go into real estate also?
A: No, he was a lawyer.
K: He was an attorney.
Page 5. dib
K: Did he go to law school or did he study under another attorney or judge?
A: Well, he went to the University of Virginia Law School for about a year
and then he studied under another lawyer in Galveston.
K: I see.
A: As was quite frequently done in those days because you didn't have to have
a law degree, simply pass the bar exam.
K: Yes. Are you married, Dr. Anderson?
A: Oh yes, very much so. I've been married to the same woman fifty-five years.
K: What was Mrs. Anderson's maiden name?
A: Her maiden name was Myrtle McLemor,
K: And when were you married?
A: I was married in September, 1922.
K: 1922. Where does your wife come from?
K: Beaumont, Texas.
A: Texas, -tt my father had transferred after the oil
oti I Beaumont was the first discovery of significant quantities
of oil anywhere in the Gulf coastal area.
K: I see.
A: Including the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida
and I think South Carolina. And the first well that came in there was
a gusher of fifty thousand pounds of and the man wanted to
sell stocks, so he just turned it loose and let it spout and it
went up about a hundred feet in the air and he _build a well on
a shoestring. He even sold his furniture to keep that rotory going.
If he didn't keep it going it would, going it would get stuck. And of
course everybody in town said he was an old fool until whoosh!
Till he proved them wrong.
Yes. But he didn't have any more money. You have all that oil...
And no capital.
He had no capital, he had no tank cars, he had no refinery, he had no
pipe lines, he had no like tankers. The best he could do was to throw
up a waiver, throw up a circular dike to keep from ruining the adjoining
farm land, and then he had to go east to look for capital.
Was your wife, the woman who became your wife, working in town? Was she...
No, she, she was a student at the University of Texas...
I see. You know...
'...who was home for the, in Austin...
...who was home for the summer.
I see. Did you have a long courtship?
No, well, it depends on what you mean by long. I met her in the summer of
1921 and I married in September of 1922.
I see. Do you have any children?
Yes, we have two sons.
And did they go to the university here?
They both did?
A: Whole degrees. One's something else, a Juris Doctor, which...in other
words it was transmuted from Bachelor of Laws to Juris Doctor. And
the other son is I think Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. I'm
K: What are their names, Dr. Anderson?
A: The oldest son is named Richard and the youngest son is named David.
K: Is Richard the attorney?
A: No, it's just the other way around.
K: Su&t the other way around.
A: David is the attorney and Richard is a physician.
K: I see. lYou grew up then in Galveston. You went to school there?
A: No, see, you see my father, see, the I was born in 1900
in Galveston and the II think was 1902.
K: So your father moved your family very early.
A: We moved, yes sir, moved the family to Beaumont. That's where I grew
K: From about 1902 on.
A: Yes, that's right. Yes.
K: And you went to grade school there?
K: And high school.
A: I did. I completed all of my primary and secondary education in the public
schools of Beaumont, Texas.
K: And then I understand you went off to St. Louis to go to college?
Page 8. dib
A: I went to Washington University, which everybody thinks is on the Pacific
Coast, but it's in St. Louis and it's called Washington University be-
cause it was then at the foot of Washington Avenue in St. Louis.
K: I see. What was it that attracted you to go to St. Louis?
A: Well, the University of Texas had had a lot of politicing and was, frankly
-tJ^L p e'Cd pIt QtUco
was in a turmoil and the president, I mean, with a-pewerfti-
So it was not a very good situation. I just didn't know what was going
to happen. And so I wanted to go somewheres else, and I went to Washington
University because I had seen it on previous visits.
K: And you liked the look of the campus?
A: It was a very beautiful campus. At that time Washington University was
completely uniform in the style of architecture.
K: I see.
A: That is near-gothic and entire construction of Missouri r-and-and the
C_, ___ x you know, has to be hand-tailored piece by piece, which would
-make expense prohibitive today. But it was. And the administration
building of the university served as the administration building of
the expositions, Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1903.
K: Oh, I see. Was that a religiously affiliated school? Or was it just a
A: Oh, was'a secular private school, yes, at its day.
K: I see. What years were you there? When did you attend?
A: Well, I... when I got out of high school, why I was a, I had always been a
Page 9. dib
bookworm. Had had not sufficient exercise and I was only 5'3" in height
and only a hundred and fifteen pounds in weight. And I realized that
wouldn't do. And here I was of very little height and I told my father
I wasn't going immediately to college, that I wanted to take some kind
of a physical job for a year. My father didn't like that and he made
some such remark that well, I didn't want to go to college and if I didn't
go now I wouldn't ever go. I said, "Oh, I assure you if you send me I'll
go, but I'm not going now." So I got a humble job as I guess would
be classified as a carpenter's helper, and I could carry boards, but
I couldn't nail them. I couldn't saw them. I could tote wheelbarrows
of debris away and so I did, and I got a lot of physical exercise in
the outdoors, and in six months time I grew six inches. I mean in nine
months time I grew six inches in height and up to a hundred and forty-five
K: That's amazing.
A: Isn't it, though. I doubt If I eve would have if I'd gone straight
K: Was this in, back in Texas?
A: Beaumont. Back in Beaumont.
K: It was in Texas.
A: I -trayed at Beaumont.
K: Yes, O.Y.
A: Yes sir.
Page 10. dib
K: And then after that you decided to go off to college.
A: Oh yes.
K: Now did you go into college with the intention of majoring in Economics
or did that come later?
A: No, that came later.
K: Did you, let me put it this way, when did you decide that economics was
your field of interest?
A: Well, I suppose my sophomore year.
K: I see. So you finished your bachelor. Was it a B.A. degree?
A: No, I think...you see, they had a, what we call here a College of Business
Administration. But the equivalent in Washington U in those days was
the School of Commerce and they recognized the, all the art courses
that I had had. But the art school was kind of persnickety and wouldn't
do the other one. So I transfered to the College of Commerce, so my
degree was Bachelor of Science in commerce, as everyone else that majored
in business there.
K: And then you decided to go on to graduate school there?
A: Well, I...yes, sir, I got my masters, decided to get my masters degree
there, which I did.
K: Also in, in what, business administration or economics?
A: Well, again they called it...
K: They called it...
A: It was more economics than anything else, but they called it a
UF 52 13
Page 11. dib
Master of Science in commerce.
K: I see, but your, your interest in the field was in the field of economics.
A: Oh yes, yes.
K: I see. Did you have any minors while you were taking your masters degree?
A: Well, only when I was taking my bachelors degree I had a minor in litera-
K: I see, and then after you got your masters degree I believe you went to
A: Well, well, that's when I, after I got my...while I was engaged getting
my masters degree, why, I applied for and received a Rhodes Scholarship
from Missouri. In those days they gave them from each state. They
were more affluent relatively than they are now. And so that was
my _and I was accepted by Christ Church College where I subsequent-
ly-vjQ_ but not attended. And but there was a catch and I didn't know
that they had a rule that then I don't know, I suppose it's still in
existence that one must not be married.
A: And that was a tremendous, what you might say conflict of interest, the
rule at that point. And so since I had to take one or the other I chose
K: So where, where did you go from__ ?
A: Then I went to HarvardiAfsad o-...
K: You did go to Harvard.
A: ...instead of Oxford.
K: Was it still under the auspices of the Rhodes scholarship?
A: No, no.
K: It wasn't.
A: I had to relinquish that. O L alternate they elected. They had
They elected a person from each state and an alternate just in case some-
thing happened to the selectee.
K: I see. What was it that drew you to Harvard, just the reputation of
the school or any particular individual?
A: That's correct. Oh that's, the reputation of the school.
K: I see, and did you go with the idea of getting your doctorate there?
A: I think I had that idea, but of course then, of course Harvard was
nothing like, as expensive in dollars-then as it is now. But relative
to the' a f-ve dollars, why, it was expensive even in those days.
So that, so financial reasons I was pretty hard-pressed having a wife
to support, too.
K: I'm sure.
A: And I had nothing at Harvard, although at the end of the year I got an
assistantship which a Rhodes Scholarship was free, you understand.
K: Yes sir.
A: But this assistantship would have required me to read papers and didn't
pay very much. So I think I was forced for financial reasons to decline
and had made up my mind to go to work for a while to save us some money
Page 13. dib
to come back-when I had dropped in my lap, literally dropped in my lap -
I hadn't sought it but a friend of mine had recommended me,thad a
Robert Brookings Scholarship of two thousand dollars~ tractically
dropped in my lap, and in those days the Robert Brooking Institution
was not only a research as it is today, but it was also a Ph.D mill.
The same as Harvard or any other place. And so I took that and left
Harvard and went down to Washington.
K: I understand that there was more than one institution that was blended
or, excuse me, merged to create the Modern Brooking Institution. Was
the one you attended called the Robert Brookings Institution?
A: Well, on my diploma it says, Robert Brookings Graduate School of Economics
and Government, I guess. Those two were merged...
K: I see.
A: ...to create the present day institution and the graduate work for a start,
and although, I don't know anything of the politics, I'm one of the worst
politicians in the world, I think that one reason that it was stopped was
that they were drawing off the top from Harvard and Yale and Harvard
funds came from Rockefeller Foundation and I think somebody who liked
the Rockefeller Foundation more than the Brookings torpedoed their better
financial assistants...all the money didn't come from the Rockefeller
Foundation, but some of it did. Sufficiently so that they had, either/quit
giving them the degree or give up the Rockefeller money, and their solu-
tion to that dilemma was to quit giving the degree, but not until of course
I had earned mine, thank God.
Page 14. dib
K: Let me skip back just a second now. What were the courses that you took
at Harvard? Were they all economics courses?
A: Well, that was another thing. They had a very poor counseling system
at Harvard in those days. I guess they thought that if you were smart
enough to go to Harvard you didn't need any counseling or something any-
way. I signed up for all economics courses but one and I was much
interested at that time, I no longer am, in transportation. And the
best man in transportation at that time was in the graduate school of
business. You seed- iJ.). candidates in those days had to all be
enrolled in the graduate school of Arts and Sciences, and the graduate
School of Business gave only the Master of Business.
A: And the counselor told me that I could take that one course over in
the business college and the Arts and Science graduate school would
recognize that, and I could therefore get a masters degree I already
had one I thought it wouldn't do any harm to have another from Harvard.
A: And so I went to work and at the close of the year I had the grades and
sufficient hours, but I repeated the error in the second semester. I
took a second course from this man in the College of Business. And then
I thought, "Well, I'll check up on the situation." I was told, "Too bad
my friend, but we don't recognize the graduate school of the College of
K: I see.
Page 15. dib
A: "So you're out of luck. You've got to come and put in some additional
time just to get even a master's degree."
K: Do you remember that man's name, Dr. Anderson?
A: You mean in the body of that school?
K: Or anything or anyone that you worked under up there.
A: Oh yes. Oh yes. In economics my chief instructor was a man by the name
of Frederick W. Taussig, who was a gentleman of the old school and a scholar
of the old school who believed in the classical system and who was
the author of a two volume work in elementary economics, which also
followed the line of the classical school. And I also think that if
the old gentleman knew what was going on in his course today that he
would turn over in his grave several times because it's such a change. In those
days the Harvard economicsdepartment was very conservative. Even perhaps
someone might say reactionary. Now of course, in my opinion it's gotten
to be too liberal. But I will say this that I'm very thankful that I,
I went totBrookings School instead of continu at Harvard and that is
, because their view was, of course, a liberal one and
being the innocent or rather unsophisticated person that I was at that
time, I came down to Washington thoroughly imbued with the conservative
economics. And I walked in to the classes there at Brookings and I,
what I was taught was just the opposite of...I was-just... also
not very political person. I didn't hesitate to let it be known that I
Page 16. dib
thought they were wrong and so it bpened my eyes. You see, I had the
benefit of two different, radically different points of view.
K: It caused you to examine your basic preconceptions.
A: Yes sir. I didn't go off the deep-end till Brookings, but before I
got through Brookings I saw the failings of Harvard.
K: You had to come up with your own synthesis of...
K: ...both points of view.
A: Yes sir. I had, I did, I think I did. At any rate I disguised them
sufficiently to get my degree. But there was a...
K: In what, in what year, Doctor, would it have been then that you and your
wife got to Washington? 1923?
A: Well, you see, you see there's a story that's unusual if not interesting
to anybody but me, that my wife had. had only this one year in the
University of Texas. But I promised her an education and so'8she would
marry me, and so when we went to Harvard she entered Radcliffe College...
K: Oh I see.
A: ...which is the woman's Harvard and is now only more so. I mean they're
practically...it's hard to tell the difference because the Radcliffe girls
go to Harvard classes and the Harvard men go to the Radcliffe'classes.
A: Even in my wife's day the faculty of Harvard was employed to teach over
K: I see.
Page 17. dib
A: But there was not an intermingling of the sexes among the students. It
was not co-educational.
K: I see.
A: And then when I went down to Washington,she passed the work at Radcliffe
with high grades, and when I went down to Washington she entered George
K: I see.
A: And so that brings you up to date on that. So that when, by the end of
my first year at Brookings, why she had three years of undergraduate
K: So that again would have been about 1923, '22?
A: Let's see, I was at Harvard. i reckon I was in Brooking,and Harvard, '22-
'23, and my first year at Brooking was '23-'24.
K: So you went immediately then into a doctoral program in economics at
A: That's right. That's correct.
K: Was that within a school of business?
K: Did they have a school of business?
K: It was just within the LstLiX4 iAJ $.
A: It was called economics.
Page 18. dib
A: You see, my diploma says, The Robert Brookings Graduate School of
Economics and Government by the authority of the United States of America.
Maybe other people have better Ph.D's than mine, but not many.
K: No more impressive anyway.
A: More impressive as to the authority.
K: Who was your major professor? Did you have one?
A: Yes, I did. He's the one that I tangled with the most. And he was the
-most interesting man, I'll tell you that much. His name was Waldon H.
Hai, I ton LaSrLt-
IHammnd and he hadn-t-done much writing, and I don't suppose he was
very well known, but he was a brilliant man and when the Brookings
Institution stopped the graduate program he went, although his training
was in economics, he went down to be the dean of the Yale College of
Law. Can you imagine that?
K: Without a law degree.
A: Yes sir.
K: That's remarkable.
A: And, yes, he, he was a btilliant man and a liberal and I tangled with
him not only in the classroom but in private. Conversation quite -
CLtAS5 tt cnt you might say acrimonously.
K: Could you talk a little bit about how your own views conflicted with
his theories or teachings at that timed-
A: Well, there was just so much difference I would hardly know where to
begin by _. One of the things that stick out, sticks in
my mind the most was not the economics but sociobiology perhaps, that...
Page 19. dib
he got talking one day about Darwin's evolution on the descent of man
and he said, "Darwin taught the survival of the fittest," and he
said, "Can any of you tell me who the fittest are?" I said, "Did
he establish any..." and he sent us off to read some of Darwin. Come
back, he said, "Tell me the fittest." He said, "Well, I don't think
he did." He said, "I think that if he firetey said that the fittest
are those who survive. So his proposition becomes those who survive,
survive." Now that isn't strictly economics, you see, but it gives
you an idea of the liberalism of the man. And well, the word, the
real word, perhaps, iconclastic. I mean which made him a liberal
compared to most economists. Now there were a great many things, but
I think after all these years, over fifty years, that one of the things
that sticks in my mind was that particular statement. That was one of
the things that opened my mind, was seeing a deqjmciency although;ithat-
was- un -rt'-u attitude that I was given to believe at Harvard. And,
well, of course he had...he even had...one of the deficiencies of
Ham~ondI think was that he could see the weak spots in the classical
theory of supply and demand etc. etc. and the business cycle, but he
really didn't have much to take its place consequently.
K: I see.
A: And for instance he thought, well, he was a great admirer of Devlen and
was h '-
it was through him that I was introduced to Devlen, because I cvu-4l'-t
-Bid anything of Devlen at Harvard. And I had read, of course, what I
Page 20. dib
still consider his best work and te theory of t he i re clags, which
I think in most places is essentially sound, but it still isn't economic
theory. I mean it's more sociology you understand. And when I attacked
Townsend with that, then he said, "All right, I'll assign you boys to
read The Engineers Xj the Price System, which was a kind of a premature,
oh what was that brand of economics that had so much vogue in the great
_rc -CS4VV S> tc rm^C^
depression? Toee4i saph which was a kind of a premature t.att
And I didn't think the man had his theories, I'm talking aboutnDevlen
K: Yesuh huh.
A: and so that was Hamilton's answer
to the construct, or this fellow out at Michigan, that was Devlen, and
this man who had a great book at that time as theoretically CQaL^u u St
at Michigan, who was ignored. And I'm sad to say I can't remember the
man's name that...the reason being that his book didn't make much impres-
K: Let me ask you this, what was the subject of your dissertation?
What did you work on?
A: I worked on the same thing that I, I just...since I retired I've been,
I was working on getting the mathematical bugs out of
it. I worked on this so-called business cycle. I don't believe there
is one, but there certainly is fluctuation, and the title of my most
recent book which was published this year was Fluctuations in General
K: I see.
A: And all along that has been my special field.
Page 21. dib
K: A continuing interest.
K: So you finished up at Brookings...
A: Hamilton wasn't much help on that, but we had a man there who was
help. think of...
K: No sir, I CSt cot6 t* run out of tape.
A: All right. +-
K: We've got plenty of time and d e Iwec eph.
A: Whenever you want to stop I'm ready and I'll go...
K: I'll be happy to go as long as you'd like to.
A: ...until you drop in your chair, but so you stop me when you've had enough.
K: I have plenty more questions for you.
A: There was a man there who was quite helpful who was a man by the name
of Henry Shoots. Henry Shoots opus maximus was written after he left
the Brookings Institute and went to the University of Chicago as a
professor of economics and statistics, and Henry Shoots was very much
interested in the statistical aspects of fluctuations in business.
K: And that's where your interest came in?
K: I see.
A: And he, I was able to get help from him whereas Hamilton was of no use
constructively you understand.
A: And Henry Shoot's opus maximus is called just the same word, Demand, and
it is a very voluminous treatise of the theory of supply and demand, and
price along the mathematical lines of the French economist, mathematical
economist, Walras. I don't think there was any rate, though, in that
book but his theoretical framework for that book was suggested and worked
out in theory, mathematical thoery by I think his first name was Leon,
Leon Walras, a French mathematical economist. And then he took it from
there after rehashing Walras's theoretical structure. He went to work
and did many studies trying to vri the Walrasian t ry data
and did many studies trying to varify the Walrasian th ry -Ar, data
for the United States of America.
K: I see.
A: And then he went, he removed then to the University of California.
A: And he, he had never had an automobile, which was not uncommon in those
days you understand.
A: And when he got to California he bought an automobile and evidently he
didn't have too much instruction, and he put his wife and two children
in an automobile and took them for a ride in, I don't know, the Sierras
or the Cascades and ran off the side of the mountain, and all four were
K: What a shame. What a loss. Dr. Anderson, I take it then that you must
have also taken a good deal of work in mathematics and statistics while
you were in graduate school.
Page 23. dib
A: Well, I took some under Shoots, but not enough, and when I came to the
University of Florida I saw that I needed more and I organized a
graduate seminar here for faculty and students, to be taught by a
mathematics professor, and I proceeded to steer the.outline or their
direction of their seminar in the direction of the techniques which I
knew I needed. I unfortunately, I began to publish and before I had
assimilated what I eventually assimilated in this seminar here. And in
some, but not all of my works, there are serious mathematical errors
where it didn't help me at all. I let them go to6 soon. 'I-think
that in this latest publication, mine which I mentioned, that all of
the mathematical bugs have finally been eliminated. There is one
printed error which I discovered to my dismay after the book was printed.
The-upper limit of an integral is wrong and it involves only the most
elementary kind of calculus, and of course it was just a printer's error.
But how in the world...I had...I insisted on...I was trying to get per-
fection in form as well as in thought, so I had three galley proofs, two
page proofs and plate proofs. That makes five all together. And I used
my wife as copy holder. Now how in the world that element of error
escaped my attention through five proof readings is incomprehensible.
I don't understand. Maybe it's good for me to keep me humble.
K: I know. I know it happens. It seems like there's always one. I work
for Dr. Proctor on the Florida Historical Quarterly, and no matter how
many times you go over the proofs there's always something that sneaks
by and never even see it.
VF 52 AB
Page 24. dib
A: To make you human.
K: That's right.
A: Well, here's why I think the basic reason is that you tend to see there
what ought to be there.
K: What you want to see there...
A: And what you want.
K: ...instead of what's really there.
A: I think that's basically the trouble.
K: Yes, I think that's right. What happened between the time now that you
graduated from Brookings and the time you came here to Gainesville? Did
A: Yes, I got a call from Rice University.
K: Uh huh, in Houston.
A: In Houston. And for the first and only time in my life I was head of,
completely head and tail of an economics department of a university.
A: I was it, and of course my wife still needed another year and so I
put to Rice University as a student for her senior year. And
I remember the president of the university then you know, I'm an old
man and I can go on and on, but I'll try to hold up, down something
that's interesting to other people besides myself the president was
named Edgar O'Dell Leather and he was brought in there from Princeton,
and he had been with the astronomy department. He was an astronomer.
Page 25. dib
And he was also kind of reclusive or exclusive, whatever you want to
say. He had his office in the towers of the adminstration building,
which was four floors up. No elevator and had to walk up four
floors to get to see him. I guess that way he didn't have too much
difficulty keeping his calendar clean. At any rate more than once I,
when(hBea-'eA-ed- __ the lion in his den, I went up there to point
out to him that an institution of that ctma.l. a-j f ~It'6C Sand so forth
wanted to do its, perform its function should have more economics
courses than any one person could give. And oh, he, I didn't have
much to say. I remember, though, here again sticks in my mind I
think it's amusing the last time I went to see him he said to me,
he said, "Come over here." It was late in the afternoon. He said, "Look
out the window." "Yes," I said. He said, "Well, that's Venus over the
heavens there. Now," he said, "I can predict the transit of Venus
to the second." He said, "Now when you can, you fellow in economics
can predict the stock market...
K: And then I'll listen to you.
A: ...I'll listen to you." And I went back again.
K: There's no good answer to that.
A: No good answer.
K: I see. So...oh well, let me flip this over before we go any further.
End Side 1/Tape A
K: So was Rice : the only place you were between the time you graduated
and you came to Florida? Was that the only place that you taught at?
A: No, from Rice I was called without asking, back to my alma mater.
K: Back to Washington?
A: That's right.
K: I see.
A: And after one year at Rice I taught, I went back to Washington University
and taught for two years, and while at Rice I completed my discourse,
which was all I needed at the Brookings Institution was to finish my
discourse, and was granted the Ph.D degree at the same time that I
severed my connection with Rice University.
K: I see.
A: Just before I went to Washington.
K: Then you came to Gainesville in 1927?
A: That's right.
A: Yes sir, and: it was very p.
K: How did you make the connection? Did they...
A: Oh ._
K: ... A-
A: ... -a ka.n- It was simply a case of I guess I had all my luck
when I was young and I haven't had any since then. But I was called.
I didn't even know that the vacancy was here. Then dean...it was called
the School of Business Administration. Some.how or another they got the
Page 27. dib
idea that 'college is more dignified than school: after I came here, and
they changed it. But the dean of the School of Business Administration
was named Walter J. Mathers and he called me here.
K: He contacted you by mail?
A: That's right, by mail.
K: In St. Louis?
A: That's right. That is correct.
K: He had heard of you?
K: Do you know how?
K: He knewDr. Hamilton?
A: I do not know. I haven't the slightest idea.
K: -He-wrcte, he wrote you and specifically offered you the position?
A: That's right. That's right.
K: qWhat, a- instructor in...
A: No, full professor.
K: Full professor.
A: You see I was assistant professor. I was an instructor there at Rice
University, an assistant professor at Washington University. So the
next step was full professor and that's what he offered.
K: I see.
A: And so I accepted.
Page 28. dib
K: So how did you get down to Gainesville? Did you drive? Did you take
A: No, my wife and I drove.I think it was just before I left St. Louis I
bought a spanking new Model T Ford.
A: And we drove down in our Model T Ford.
K: It must have been quite a trip in the twenties.
A: DDQO ;i X that we didn't come directly from St. Louis.
We, we went down to Texas to visit with our parents a little while. So
we came a thousand miles from where they live in Texas to Gainesville
in this Model T Ford. And there were seven ferries, but now none. But
at that time there were seven ferries, and some of them were long ferries.
So that it...and they ran overin other words it took about an hour to
go across and then if you missed it you had to wait for it to come all
the way back. I think that was the bay at St. Louis, one of the longest
K: Did you have your sons at that time?
K: That was before you had them.
A: No children.
K: I see. So do you remember how you came into Gainesville? Would it have
been Newberry Road?
A: No, not Newberry. I came the way in which you have the least gravel I
page 29.. dib
was told anyway. In other words I came up, I entered the state across
the River Styx, which is eighteen miles west of Pensacola, and then
I proceeded to Pensacola and then we went from Pensacola to Tallahassee
and from...and by the way the last part of the road going into Tallahassee
in those days was nothing but gravel. And we came to Tallahassee and
then from Tallahassee we went to Lake City because we got the most
K: I see.
A: ...that way. And then there was hard surface all the way from Lake City
through High Springs or 441 I guess. It wasn't called that then.
K: What is now 441?
A: -t A. ll rom Lake City to High Springs to Alachua to Gainesville.
K: So your first view of the university then was what is now the corner of
13th and University?
A: that's right. And at that time it was only paved from that corner north
two blocks and then there was about a block or two of dirt and after that
it was simply a woods.
K: Well, what did you all do then? Did you come to the campus or did you
try to find some place to stay?
A: Well, we got here about 3:00, 4:00 also in the afternoon and we immediately
thee real estate office to find a place to rent.
K: Do you remember where that was? Would it havebeen down by the square?
A: Oh yes. Oh yes. The real estate office was upstairs right next...it was
upstairs on the west end of the irst block from the square on West Uni-
versity Avenue. There was a real office up there and we located before
dark,we located a bungalow for rent which was then outside the city
limits. And we accepted it and paid our first months rent, and then
we went to the hotel because we didn't want to start the business of
moving in until the morning.
K: Do you-remember which hotel you went to?
A: Yes, I do. It's been torn down. It was then called the White House
K: White House.
A: And it was owned by Major Thomas, who was also I believe the chief owner
of the Thomas Hotel, which is now being renovated. And I can remember
when that was first opened to the public, which was 1928, the tops.
K: So then when, well, would you talk a little bit about how you first came
to school? Did you come the next day or were you busy getting yourself
organized and all?
A: Well, I really am a little hazy about what it was, but I made the contaci
K: With Dean Matherly?
A: With Dean Matherly, was a day or two of my arrival. I remember we had
our first meal in the evening at a restaurant which is still in existence
I believe. The Primrose Grill?
K: Yes, sir. Well, what were your impressions of the town when you saw it?
I guess there wasn't too much to it, was there?
A: No, and of course practically all of my academic experience had been in
large cities. Houston, St. Louis, Washington. So quite frankly I was
a trifle dismayed.
Page 31. dib
K: Did you have a few second thoughts about what you were getting into?
A: Yes, I could think they had a few second thoughts about what they were
getting into, too, because of course, I was quite youthful looking at
that time. There were no grey hairs on my head and but just to give you
an example since you'd evidently like to have some background stuff.
K: Yes & r.
A: That there were three little houses at what's now 23rd Avenue, was called
then Glen Springs Road. And what's now 6th Street was Michigan. And
went between Michigan on Glen Springs Road and the spring. There were
just, there were three houses together, three bungalows together. Ours
was one and then there was dirt road and then there was fourth bungalow
and then there was a tiny wooden church. And that's all there was on
23rd Avenue. And everything else was open field with an occasional pine
tree and it was inhabited, believe it or not, occasionally by wild...what
is this bird you shoot with dogs...
K: Peasant, quail?
A: Wild quail, yes. And my neighbor in the next bungalow was a forestman who
loved to go hunting and I have seen him go out a couple of blocks from
our house and shoot wild...
K: Bring back quail.
A: ...wild quail, yes. And just the other day I happened to go by this place
on 13th street. By the way my house, former house, has been raised and
converted into a petty parking lot because the other house has been con-
Page 32. dib
verted into an office building.
A: Now in my, in...it was...there was a paved road, but it was not a city
paving with curbing. It was a county-paid road with ditch 6o o 5q .
And just.between the paved road and the ditch was a large oak tree
an many a time I parked my car underneath the shadeof the oak tree
on the edge of the road between you see. And I went by there
the other day going somewheres and I saw that it had become a four lane,
first class city boulevard and right opposite where my house used to
be was a sign which read 'No STN parking at any time.r Now I don't
know if that's proof, but it needs to change.
K: That's ironic. O.K., let me get back to Dean Matherly. You said you
were a little bit unclear about the first contact, but...
K: ...would you, do you think that he was the one that you first went
to see and he kind of introduced you around?
A: Quite sure. I remember this, that the entire faculty of the College
of Business Adminis-...School of Business Administration at that time
including the dean there was no head of the department. Matherly was
both the dean and the head of each department.
K: I see.
A: And so the, and the entire faculty, including the dean and three graduate
assistants, was ten.
A: And enrollment of the entire university was eighteen hundred, graduate
Pg. 33. dib
and undergraduate students. And the,.I knew most before the year was out,
I knew nearly everybody on the faculty in the entire university. And
now, of course, when I retired I hardly knew everybody in the School
of Business Administration.
K: It would be almost impossible.
K: You were all located, I assume, in Language Hall when it became Anderson
Hall to start with? Or did they give you an office somewhere else?
A: They gave me an...that's an interesting thing. I'm glad you asked that.
Here's something else that I think would be fun to anybody. They gave
me an office with a partner, another...was a professor of accounting.
K: You sharede;- IQ-
K: You shared.N.c- o'~
A: Shared an office with a professor of accounting who also was oL r0-b5 J ALz,
6n the fourth floor of what was then called Language Hall. And at the
-W& of the stairs, and it had a window on the north side, and I was
, so I looked out the window and I said, "That's pretty
far down there to the ground." I went back outside. I looked the building
over and I saw that the state had violoated its own fire laws, that there
was no fire escape anywheres and that there was only one set of stairs in
the center of the building, and that I determined it was not really a
brick building. It was a brick veneer building in which the support
Page 34. dib
was not brick, but heavy timbers. And I knew that if it caught fire that
it would go burn furiously, and also that that one stairwell would
become a smokestack, and I was there by the smokestack. Sd I decided
that I was not going to die that way. And very soon after my installation
in this office I went to a hardware store on Main Street on the square,
which has now been, well, which was burned down, and bought a rope suf-
ficiently long and strong, sufficiently long to reach the end of the
ground from my office, and sufficently strong to hold 1cody. And I
knotted it every three feet. And I also went to Woolworths, which is
still there, and bought a pair of cotton gloves for ten cents. Now they're
seventy-nine, the same glove. Bought a pair of cotton gloves, and I
coiled the rope and put it in a drawyer of my desk, and the cotton
gloves. And my office mate had a laugh at it, and I said, "Well, you
can laugh if you will, but I'm not going to get caught up here in a
fire." I said, "If you are here and I'm here when the fire happens, you'll
be surprised to see how fast I'll be going out that window." I had it
all figured out. I was going to tie the rope to the radiator, throw it
out the window, and put my cotton gloves on...
(WU ^ jous ALt cP.&^ .-C4dt 0S .., C-. ,oC,
K: Walk dbc w-the.
A: Down I'd go. And wait till I finish...well, sir, after a while they
transferred me to what was then called Peabody. Is that still...
K: Yes sir, Peabody.
A: ...is that still on campus? They transferred me to the basement of
Peabody, where of course I no longer needed a fire escape. And
Page 35. db,
my office when he saw me clearing out my section, he said,
"How much do you want for your rope?"
K: He wasn't about to part with it, was he?
A: Now wait, there's till some more. Later on it was named after old dean
Anderson, Anderson Hall, and sure enough it did catch fire in the
central part of the building, and destroyed a part of the third and
K: Yes, it did. It's still blocked off.
A: It's still blocked off. So you see, I wasn't much fool after all.
K: You had the right idea. Fortunately it didn't happen quite that early.
O.K., so Dean Matherly then was the department chairman as well as
the dean of the college.
A: That's right.
K: And he was the one who assignedou your duties?
A: That's correct.
K: What, what did he give you to do in the beginning? What courses were
you given to teach?
A: Well, let's see now, in those days, believe it or not, the standard
teaching load all throughout the University of Florida maybe not
the Agriculture Experiment Station- and by the way when I said I knew
everybody I excluded the Ag Experiment Station, but not the Ag College
- just the Ag Experiment Station. The standard load was fifteen hours
a week and the deans had to teach three. And so of course, let's see,
that first year, of course, there was statistics and there was, well,
Page 36. dib
there was four more. But...
K: Basic economic courses?
A: I suppose so. That must have been one. And but they would have one, be-
cause I had on my transcript 'Transportation.'
K: Oh, that, that earlinterest you spoke of.
A: At Harvard I was assigned to teach transportation. Well, of course,
various students transportation had evolved so rapidly that it wasn't
long after I was assigned the course that I was hopelessly out of date
without having kept up.
A: I lost interest in it after I found out that...
K: Stopped reading.
A: Stopped reading, yes. But it was quite a smorgasbord of five courses.
K: I take it then you Weren't hired to teach something specific to bring
into the department. You were hired as a bright young man and given
A: Well, I don't know how bright, but I think I was hired primarily for
my interest in statistics and economics.
K: Did they have anyone here who was specially teaching economics, do you
remember at that point?
A: Well, the. only- the. only- one theyr had as Ire.all was a -man who was..,
even Before Matherly and was at that time, economics was taught before
Matherly,- was taught in the Sociology department. And this man was named
John Grady Eldridge.
Page 37. dib
A: Yes. And he had some interest in economics, and he continued to teach
economic courses Ma therly took over along with me.
K: I see.
A: Eldridge is the only other one I can remember. There may have been
another one or two. I think most of the others were interested in
such things as economic geography, accounting or something of that sort
rather than economic theory. You see, after all you take the graduate
students away and we had seven and Matherly only taught one course. That
left six and if you god to spread yourself around thereoouldn't have been
many that were primarily interested in the same thing, you understand.
K: So did you remain throughout most of your teaching career in economic
theory and statistics?
A: Yes, and I did right on up till the day I was asked to get out because
I was seventy years old.
K: We talked about your office in Anderson 1all. Then after that you
said they moved you to Peabody?
K: When roughly would that have.been? Do you remember?
A: I can't. It's hard to spot.
K: Was that, did you remain in that office or.,.?
A: S- 6me years. Not throughout my entire career.
K: You wound up in Matherly?
A: Let's see, from Peabody they brought me back in the new Matherly, but not
Page 38. dib
one of those little cubbyholes. Instead of having a little cubbyhole
on the fourth floor to myself, I was given a half interest in a, what
was then a large office. Oh, they may have cut it up since then. I
believe they have. And then finally the last three years, or the last
year I was moved out of that over into the basement of the law school.
K: Oh, I see. Bryant. Now where did the courses meet that you taught
before Matherly Hall was constructed? Did you teach in Anderson
A: Taught in what was called...
K: Language Hall?
K: Occasionally in other buildings I suppose?
A: Only occasionally. Most of the stuff was in Language, and for some
years to come. Either on, when it started out most of them were on the
second floor, but I remember that most of them later on, before I moved
out of Language Hall they were underneath the Registrars's office. Now
the Registrar's office consisted of a couple of rooms on the first floor
of Language Hall. And when they wanted to expand, why, they put in a spiral
staircase down to the classroom, what had been a classroom. And then they
.moved the classes back lS_-_' of one.
K: Dr. Anderson, roughly how many men would you say-were in an average
size class when you started here? Started teaching?
A: Well, I don't...
K: Fifteen, twenty?
Page 39. dib
A: I suppose so for the first year, but after a few years it became thirty.
K: Quickly increased.
A: To thirty. I remember seventy-six in '46 for the whole university, that
the entire, that the enrollment of the university in 1946 was only
seventy-six hundred, which was several times what it was when I came
here. And that was just before, of course, the women came...
A: ...when it took another big jump the very next year when the women came.
K: Well, let me follow up on that. There were a few women before the World
War. Did any of them...
A: Well, maybe so. I...
K: ...take business courses?
A: Possibly. I think maybe occasionally one of them did. In fact I think
that just not long ago I met one who had been a studentAback in those
days who's married and happened to be back in Gainesville. But they
were, each one you could call a rare back in those days.
K: And then after, after the war was the big influx of women, did they have
any particular kind of impact on the College of Business? Did you find
A: Yes, yes.
K: ...particularly well equipped students?
A: They probably, in the immediate years after the advent on a large scale
of the females, our classes were still predominently male, but they were
no longer could you say that a female was a rare_
Page 40. dib
K: Did, were they able to compete favorably with the other students?
A: Oh yes. And of course, I guess you have heard this from other people,
that there was a distinct improvement in the capacity of the male
students immediately after the war, because there were so many students
on the G.I. Bill 4A \4 who didn't come here to play.
K: Older men who knew what they wanted.
A: Yes, yes.
K: Yes, I have heard that from other people.
What was your salary range when you first came to the university?
A: Well, you must remember that a dollar was worth something in those
days. My Beginning salady, I'll tell you exactly what it was when I
came here. It was only thirty-five hundred dollars for nine months.
But I had a contract, a written contract in which I stipulated, I
found out after several years that it couldn't be enforced to my dis-
may, But I stipulated that I was to be given work in the summer school
for four hundred dollars. So in effect on a twelve months basis I
was making a grand sum of thirty-nine hundred dollars. But before
you conclude from that that I was grossly underpaid you must remember
that at that time practically all the dean's Salary, and they're supposed
the work eleven months out of the year, was five thousand dollars.
K: Now did they cut back on your salaries during the depression cC GAL
A: Yes, they did, everybody. They cut ten the first year. Not the first
year of the depression, but the second year of the depression after every-
Page 41. dib
body realized what was happening to them. And then the following
time-the legislatitn in those days only met every two years- it was a
a bi-annual, they cut us another six. So that by the end of the depres-
sion our merit increases, which I think were few and far between, every-
body had been cut sixteen percent.
K: Then they slowly began to climb up.
A: Very slowly.
K: Were there people in your department or your college who were laid off
during the depression, or did they try to avoid that simply by cutting
back on salaries?
A: I wouldn't sware to it. I mean I wouldn't be a father to some of these
other things I've said. But I think they put a lot of their boys away off.
K: I think you said a moment ago that a teaching load was supposed to be
K: How did that break down into courses? Would that have been four courses
rougly, or three courses?
K: Did you have five hour courses?
A: There were no five hour courses. Five three hour courses.
K: Five three hour courses.
A: Was the standard.
K: I see.
A: The norm you might say,
K: And that's semester hours.
Page 42. dib
A: Yes, semester hours. Five courses of three semester hours. And we
had two, we had the two semesters and we had to start with, one summer
school of eight weeks. Later on the summer school was changed. I'm
kus.i to-ff.A'-^ ObtL;It
not /S the College of Business Administration alone. Some
K: No, the university. No, uh huh.
A: The university, they hit upon the idea of two summer schools of six weeks
K: When, when you came here in the late twenties and in the thirties, was
there a, any kind of faculty hangout, any kind of restaurant or whatnot
where professors went? I know the College Inn was here at that time.
But did they socialize in that fashion?
A: Well, not to my recollection. Now in the College of Business Administration
when Matherly Hall was built they set aside a faculty lounge which was
consi- where there was coffee at all times and which was patronized
pretty well by the faculty. But it was certainly nothing like, I don't
think stwas anything like that anywheres.
K: Who were some of your close friends when you, when you first got appointed
here? Did you, did you and your wife establish contacts within the univer-
sity community or was it more normal that you got to know your neighbors
in those days in Gainesville?
A: Well, I have never been a very sociable person. Now my wife's just the
opposite. Now she, she enjoys social contact much more than I do. She
Page 43. dib
proceeded to actively seek them out rather successfully among the other
faculty wives, you understand.
A: But I've never been a joiner as> most American males, a great many of
them are, and my wife is away now. She is an officer of a fraternity.
Not one, she's...not a social undergraduate fraternity, but a fraternity,
a women's fraternity. And she's gone to a southeastern conference to
represent them in Columbia, South Carolina, and last year she went to
St. Louis to the national convention, and she's crazy about that sort
of thing, and I said, "Do you..." I just, we were traveling along in
the car the other day and I said, "Do you mean to tell me that you're
going to enjoy cackling for two days and two nights? And a bunch of
women you never saw before and little few you'll ever see again?" Beyond
me. I can't comprehend it.
K: Excuse me.
A: I drove her down there to her convention, over
a lodge in Orlando last year. I drove her down. Of course, that's a
little too far for me. I mean there's nothing for me to do when we
get there, so I let her fly. But I hope she gets back safely. But I
drove her down to Orlando and I went walking around the town to discover
the hotel where we stayed on our first tour of the state in the Ford, and
it was still there.
A: Although it was the best hotel in town at that time, now it's distinctly
very grey. And of course, she was stopping at what now I consider a first
Page 44. dib
rate hotel, one of great Pan-Delta Lodge members.
K: Let me refer to a few people and see if you can give me a few comments
about them, what you remember about their, their characters and their
personalities or anything. Did you get a chance to know President
Murphree f ?
A: Oh yes. I admired you understand.
K: This 'i very close to the end of his life.
A: Yes, not intimately, but I got to know him and I liked him. And he was
a very likeable person and he knew how to handle this Florida legislature,
which is I think is probably the sine qua bono, successful president
of the University of Florida.
K: Somewhat of a lost art I think.
K: It's somewhat of a lost art.
A: Yes, well, he, he had it, and the business manager in those days was a
man by the name of Cline Graham, who had his office on the first floor
of Language Hall, and one day I had some business down there in Cline
Graham's office and Dr. Murphree came in and he had a little business, too.
So I deferred to him, let him get his business done, and then he said,
"Well, you know, Cline," he said, "This has been my lucky year$. I've
been granted three of the things I most wanted in my life-all this year
it has fallen." He said, "These..." He said, "I' married off my daughter."
Martha, I think her first name was. By the way I went to her wedding at
the First Episcopal Church downtown. And "Well," he said, one.
I married off my daughter Martha. Two, I've been elected president of
Page 45. dib
the American Association of Universities. Three, the football team
K: That's cute. Did you know Dr. Farr, James F. Farr?
A: Oh yes, James F. Farr. Yes, yes, I did.
K: What kind of a man was he?
A: Well, he was a small physically I guess.
A: Slight, yes. And I didn't know him you understand.
A: But we had, now what we had had in those days, the early days of
having the heads of other departments come in,,we had what they
called a general seminar in economics and business administration.
And we had a habit of inviting the heads of other departments to
come in and talk to us. I don't know just what a professor of
English had to give us I don't know, but we had Dr. Farr at one
of those seminars. And I think that was really just about the extent
of my knowledge of the gentleman, except that I remember that we
were both walking along out here and a shower came we didn't have
our umbrellas I said, "Doggoneit. Dr. Murphree," I said, "Here's
another shower." He said, "Well, man," Said, "We've got to get ourselves,
get these showers every day or we'll burn up." And he was right. Witness
K: This summer, yes.
A: ...with that.
K: Definitely. Did you know Miss Miltimore? Cora Miltimore, the librarian?
Page 46. dib
A: Oh yes, she was the librarian, yes.
K: Kind oflstrict lady I understand.
A: Well, there again I didn't know her intimately, but she's deceased now.
K: I think so, althought I think she lived until very recently in Jacksonville
if I'm not mistaken.
A: No, I prefer not to say anything more. My knowledge is so-low on personalities.
I will say this, though, that library was very restricted to, it was restricted
to one building, which you probably know is this one over here. It
runs north and south.
K: At one-section of Library East.
A: One section, and that was, ;of-course, Library East.
K: Yes sir.
A: And they were reduced to stacking newspaper files right in the open at
the end of the library, in the main reading room. That was terrible, I mean they
were just, even in those days they were simply overwhelmed with the lack
K: Was there a separate business administration library at that time.-
A: No such.
K: There wasn't, and there wasn't much material on subjects related to business
and economics in the library?
A: Well, of course that's a question which is relative and...of the university.
K: Not enough to suit you anyway.
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A: I would say that, my answer to your question was that it was relatively
inadequate, yes. Not through Miss Miltimore's fault. According to...
A: ...appropriations were very, very limited. And there had been nobody
on the campus except Mr. Evers, who taxed Miss Miltimore to get them
a bigger share of the money. As it is now Q0cI- (iUT";t-s got somebody,
a committee appointed whose job is to try to get a bigger piece of the
pie I believe. There wasn't such a committee at that time. I think
now they very soon appointed a committee. I don't think one existed
K: I see. Did you know Dean James Anderson, the man that they named Language
A: Yes, again I guess I have to say not intimately. I guess that's because,
as I said, I'm not a very sociable person, but I used to go down and talk
to him once in a while. He had his office, a big office, too, and his
office was on the first floor of Language Hall on the east at the end of
the hall, and I remember he told me once that it was about the same
time that he was forced by the University of Florida to come here and
be, he was the dean of the graduate school if I'm not mistaken, wasn't he?
K: I think he was dean of Arts and Sciences.
A: Dean of Arts and Sciences. About the time he was approached with that at
the same time he was approached, he was from St. Louis, too, same as I was,
he was approached with the honor of becoming superintendent of the St. Louis
Louis public schools. And he debated the issue and decided in favor of
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coming to the University of Florida.
K: Was-Dean Anderson an approachable administrator as far as you were concerned?
A: Well, Dean Anderson was not a go-getter. He might, I might even say that he was,
well, he was a scholar and a gentleman, but by that very token he was, he
was not aggressive and in my opinion, again that's a relative word,
K: How about Dean Matherly? Could you tell me a little bit about him?
A: Well, Dean Matherly I got to know of the ones that you mentioned, got
to know pretty well, whether I liked it or not. And he was a go-getter.
K: He was, he was an aggressive administrator.
A: Administrator, and...
K: Did he continue to hold those department chairmanships very long? Or do
A: For quite a number of years, but he either decided to or was told to
break it up, which he did. Just exactly what year that was done I don't
remember, but I think the first chairman of the department of economics,
separate from Matherly, was a man who's still living here in Gainesville
by the name of Oscar Hesket.
K: And I assume you were in economics the whole time that...
A: Yes. I know I don't have high administrative ability because I'm just
inclined that way among other things. But in spite of the fac that,
of course, I was the oldest with the exception of EIdridge who did not
have his terminal degree, never did have...well, he died quite recently
in North Carolina.
K: Did Dean Matherly, S5 your way of thinking, have a definite philosophy
Page 49. dib
with regard to the role -the business college should play or was he
more concerned with getting people with expertise in different areas
such as economics and management and approaching it from that point
of view? In other words did he try to dominate the people under him?
A: I would say that when he was the whole show that he did, yes.
K: He did.
A: I may be mistaken by the way.
K: Was he an economist also, do you remember?
A: That was his field, yes. He came from William College in Missouri.
K: Do you think the fact that he was an economist might have pushed the
emphasis on economics within the college over a long period of time?
A: I think so, yes. And he also w..which I
think had something to do with his general performance and attitudes and
scheme of ideas. Don't you think'it would make it,possibly might have?
K: I would imagine.
A: Bossing a gang of people, all them them, most of whom have a terminal
degree and you don't ? After he made considerable success in the College
of Business Administration here, he was called, given an honorary doctorate
of laws I believe, by his alma mater, William College.
K: And that made him feel better.
A: I think so.
K: Do you remember a man named Phillips, M. O. Phillips?
A: I'd say I do.
Page 50. dib
K: ...who taught geography?
A: Yes, I do.
K: Tell me what you know about him?
A: And he, he's edi-, if I'm no mistaken, he was a student, had been, I mean,
and was very much an admirer of a man who is now active at the University
of Florida. Odum, Howard W. Odum, is he a student, a professor here
K: Yes, sir, uh huh.
A: Well, if I'm not mistaken in 1928 before, just before M. O. Phillips
came here, he was a students of Howard W. Odum at North Carolina University.
Now could that be possible? As far as years are concerned...
End Side II/Tape A
K: ...perhaps in your own observations before the second world war, if you
had noted whether there was a predominance of students who came from
cities who went into business administration or whether there were just
as many people from the rural areas of Florida who were coming through
your classes or whether that even ever ?
A: Well, of course, you understand that I got a lot of people from Arts
and Sciences in my economic classes. I taught the undergraduate course
in economics for many years.
K: So you had people who had no intention of pursuing a business...
Ai I'd say withz respect to the whole university I think it was predominently
\ rural. I may be dead wrong, but let me say this, that if I'm not wrong
that the scheme of values of the typical student in America today is almost
Page 51. dib
diametrically different from the scheme of values of the typical student
in my last two or three years. Yes, sir, there's just entirely different
K: Would you follow up on that a little bit?
A: Well, I'll follow it by saying this much of self-criticism, that there
was a considerable shift in the scheme of values after the second world
war. At that time I was in my forties and I was able to adjust to it.
And then in the middle of the late sixties there was an even greater
shift in the scheme of values of the students-and the faculty and partly
because it's harder for a man in his later sixties to make a radical
readjustment in his former values. I couldn't make it this time. And
so I became rather, let us say, unostentatiously hostile to this new
scheme of value. And I admit that part of the trouble was the fact that
I just mentioned of the difficulty of an older person adjusting to a
radical change. But I don't think that was the whole story. If I may
I could give you one simple illustration that it was not just
my own old age. In the late sixties they introduced the idea, I don't
know if it was throughout, I think it was throughout the university,
of having the student grade the professor.
A: Very well, call it that. And I got ahold of one of those evaluation
sheets as that at that time, I don't-know what
tt is now, but then one of the leading questions was, 'Does Professor X
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[whom you are grading, in other words, from the class you've sat] does
he have a profound knowledge of his subject?' And I say if the student
was able to answer that question he was on the wrong side ofthe instructor's
K: That's right. He shouldn't have been there in the first place.
A: Yes sir, and now that's maybe an extreme example, but that's what I mean
by shifting values. That was utterly repugnant to me. And less repugnant
but equally I thought absurd was the fact that under that system of
grading a professor, of course, in a great many cases it-through the
emphasis upon the proficiency of the instructor as an entertainer rather
than an instructor, and also it through the emphasis with respect to
some students if not all in favor of an instructor who was lenient in his
homework. So that, that just...I just never could assimilate that and
I don't today.
K: I see. Were you here on campus during World War II?
A: I was.
K: I understand that there was first an exodus of young men and then you had
a lot of men coming back who were taking service-related training here.
A: That's right.
K: Did you continue to teach basically the same courses...
K: ...or were you required also to teach additional material?
A: -ier As I recall tie, my assignment remained essentially the same before,
during and after. The only difference was that the enrollment declined,
Page 53. dib
of course. \Well, they had this exception that we had one in
those days there was no Air Force. aTht- .w a separate Branch of the
armed forces. And considering that the Air Force was a part of the
Infantry, was the United States Army Air Force. And they had what
they called a free flight school here for a good number of months during
the war and many hundreds of these free flight students were sent here
for the instruction in the things that a university c.ould give that have
no direct bearing on flying an airplane you understand, such as mathematics
and of course, they found that they were, didn't have enough really
qualified men to teach some of the courses because they had to wear a
uniform, you understand, and they were subject to military discipline.
They-had to, they were subject to miliatary discipline march to class
and all that kind of business, under a section leader, stood at attention
when an instructor entered the room, and so since I had taught statistics
and also had organized the seminar in mathematics which I mentioned a short
time ago, I was asked to teach beginning mathematics, which was kinof
a hodgepodge of algebra and I can't.remember. But I taught,
part of my teaching load was diverted. I want to make that correction
from what I said before. That part of my teaching load was diverted to
teaching mathematics to these air cadets, I believe they called them. Now
with the exception-of that rather considerable diversion my teaching instruc-
tion was fathered by the same channels through the war.
A: Se. that was considerable. I'm glad I happened to remember that.
Page 54. dib
K: Has the general quality of the students in business administration changed
over the years? You were just talking about the attitudes, but has
the preparation of the student in high school and their general education-
al background changed?
A: Well, I think possibly there's been more of a change since I left five
years ago than there has in all of the forty-four years that I taught
here judging from the newspapers. I read in the newspapers that I don't
know what percentage of high school graduates, now Florida high school
graduates are not really functionally able --e reading and writing.
That constitutes your raw materials for enrollment in the university.
In the early days, in the very earliest days, of course, the Florida
schools were perhaps not too good, you understand. After all this is
a, things were very primitive here when I came here not only in physical
living but also in respect to the university.
K: Of course...
A: I think there was a definite improvement in the background up to the
war in the training of the average student that came into contact with
you, I mean the training back in the secondary school. Now I have a
feeling that that -ms tapered off, has plateaued and possibly, possibly,
just possibly D.qUfi 4q A CS i & (t... I mean highly V-ktJ, ,
possibly declined in my last years here, and certainly if these newspaper
accounts are true, why, there's been a very significant decline since I
left. I don't remember having any students who couldn't read and write
at any stage, even a single student even.
Page 55. dib
K: At least they were litereate.
A: Yes, at least they were literate, yes.
K: I see. Dr. Anderson, has the economics department, as you remember, ever
offered any courses in Marxist econimics of any sort?
A: Well, of course I have to speak up to the time I left, you understand.
I don't know what's happened since then. But I know think
I can say for...say safely that in my day there was never any formal
course in Marxism or communism. We had a course in my later days, which
I didn't teach' called &ret books and of course in the social sciences.
Students weren't interested in but...and I think that
Das Kapital was included by the instructor of that course in great books.
But you wouldn't call that that was just one of the many books that
he handled. I'm pretty sure there was no whole course devoted to a
Marxist approach to economic theory in general involving surplus value
and so forth and his system of pricing and exploitation
of the masses and so forth, classes.
K: When, when called on to do it, what kind of label do you or did you attach
to yourself as an economist or a teacher of economic theory? What kind
o f school or what tie did you yourself?
A: I don't know if I quite understand your question, sir.
K: I-'m sure I know how to ask this, but if, if I ask someone that question
and they responded, "Oh well, I was a Keynesian economist or something."
A: I never did fall for that fellow. I mean if you want to know what I
Page 56. dib
think of Keynes I can tell you that right quick.
A: Very little.
A: I-don't really think...the chief truth in Keynes is old as the hills.
I don't know if he does come right out and state it that way, but this
is my view, you understand, that for a while at least if you will debase
the currency you can stimulate business. Now that is, we've known
hundreds of years and the medieval kings when there was no paper money
knew That when they wanted to stimulate business they called the coins
in and had to melt it down, metal coins, and put them out again whieh-
each one containing more lead and less...
K: Precious metal.
A: ...precious metal, and then use the metal, precious metal that was left
over to mix with still more lead and put out for coinage and that
stimulated business or if they wanted to go off on a Crusade without
raising taxes. Why that's the way that they financed that of course.
There's nothing new about that./iThat, essentially that's the only
truth there was of Keyne. He happened to say what was wanted at the
time it was wanted. He forgot to say that the thing once started is
very hard to stop and that while it may stimulate business for a time
that each time it's just like Each time you have to have
a little more and more. Of course he said there's now one
time it was good, the governor ought to cut down on the supply Q CuXtQn,/
Page 57. dib
well, I think that was a slip V because he knew, if he had any
realism at all about politics, and I think he did, he might have
known that a democratic governor just ain't going to do it, excuse
my vernacular, and the house. Now he was also, I regard as a turncoat
on himself. In other words two years...of course the book on which
his reputation rests as a general theory of something or other money
credit and business cycle something like that, and just two years
before the publication of that he had put out a treatise on money which
is honest, reasonably accurate and a much better book I think, than
the one which made his reputation. Now a friend of mine who teaches
economics, I mean an acquaintance with whom I've corresponded in some
university, European university, agreed with me on this in print, that
when he wrote the book that made him famous he turned a hundred and A 3-Z
0o_ jtu-^cf oah A 0_ j ^y
eighty degrees on himself. I think to turncoat on yourself _lve-- ade-it
ao=read, is worse than turncoating on somebody else. He's almost as
bad as Winston Churchill, who never could decide whether he was a con-
servative or a liberal, and which ever was more convenient why that
was it. I think he changed about three times in his life. And I
don't know what happened. Of course that isn't the only book. Of course
the book that really drew attention to him to begin with was The Economic
Consequences of the Peace. There again was an honest book and a reason-
ably correct Book. Anybody with any common sense at all should have
been able to see that it was impossible to collect those reparations
on the Treaty of Versailles. By the way I have been in that hall _
Page 58. dib
__ here Versailles...
A: And got quite a kick out of that. But that didn't bring in the attention
that the treatise on the cycle of money or whatever it is I don't
know what happened there or whether he just figured that that was the
opportune thing to do or whether he was pressured into doing it, I
don't know. But it's just inconceivable that a man could honestly
change his mind a hundred and eighty degrees of his maturity. Now
if he was young, say coming along, yes. But a mature man who had al-
ready written two books at least to completely change his mind in
two years, certainly it raises a great many questions in my mind as
to the object.
K: I just have a few questions left that I'd like to ask you. One of
them concerns the College of Business Administration again. There
have really been only two permanent deans since Dean Matherly died.
One of them was Donald Hart and the other, of course, is Robert
Lanzillotti. Would you care to make any comment as to their leadership
of the colleges compared to Dean Matherly's.
A: Well, I believe I'd rather not since they're both still living.
A: I, have. some opinions:: but..,
K: Sure, if you prefer not to.
A: I-ask your indulgence and ask to be excused from that particular one.
K: Let's see, what else do I have? Oh, of course, I wanted to ask you
Page 59. dib
about your nickname.
.K: Well, the one that I've heard about is Moby Dick. There's more than one?
A: Yes, I had different ones at different institutions. That sublique was
conferred upon me, I think...I've never liked it because I considered
it that originall if not now, that it was more than a little
derision. I don't, I don't object to anything. I'm not standing upon
any false dignity you understand. But as you know Moby Dick was a great
whale, which, white whale which he hunted down and finally killed by the
whleri I think that novel was tremendously over-rated because I told
you that my major before I became a junior was literature. At any rate
most people think of a whale as being a fish. Of course it's not a
fish. It's a mammal. It breathes air just like you and I. A lot of
people think of it as a fish, so to call a man Moby Dish, Dick,is in
effect to call him a big fish meaning he was a, not that he really
is but that he thinks he is. And I think I know of the man who conferred
that on me.
K: Who was that?
A: I think it was conferred upon me by a man by the name of Ron W. Atwood.
K: I'm sorry.
A: Ron W. Atwood.
A: Now I can't sware to that, you understand, but I think the excuse for it
was though, I mean well, I had never been called that before I came to
the University of Florida. I never have liked it. At Washington University
Page 6Q. dib
I was called Monty, like General Montgomery [Bernard] who participated
in the first and second world wars, and I preferred that because I
don't feel there's any derision now. Maybe I'm oversensitive and
maybe no derision was intended, but derision or not I never have
liked it, and wish I could live without what apparently I can't.
K: I only asked you about it because it was mentioned in the College of
Business Administration little program they had on their fiftieth
A: Well, I don't, well, I don't say that everyone who used it with the
intention of derision, but I think...but to me it has a conno-, there
is a connotation even when used by people whom I'm reasonably sure are
friendly, you understand.
K: And you'd just rather not...
A: I'd just rather...
K: ...hear it.
A: ...rather not. I'd rather they called me Andy or Monty or S.O.B. or
what have you. I'd rather go by S.O.B. rather than...
K: I see.
A: ...Moby Dick. I don't, just don't like it that's all.
K: Well, is there anything that we haven't covered that you'd like to
A: I don't believe there is. I've probably covered a great many things
that I shouldn't have, but there's just two requests/I'd like to make
K: Yes, sir.
Page 61. dib
A: That if there's any unpleasant personal remark you remember when
I turned you down on one...
K: Yes, sir.
A: ...which was obviously personal, if there's any personal, unpleasant
personal remarks, that you delete that to begin with.
K: Well, as I said you'll have the chance to go over that.
A: I'll have a chance to do that.
K: You'll have it and if you want to...
A: And the other is that you don't use it for publication in the Gainesville
K: No, no, they're not in use for that.
A: In other words I despise, I despise cheap publicity. I've come here
out of a spirit of cooperation, which I think you have a legitimate
K: =We appreciate your cooperation.
A: And if you want to publish a part of it in a book form I don't object
to that, but in a book it would known as part of a book and well, you
know. Material in a book is not the same as in the Gainesville Sun.
K: Yes, I know what you're getting at.
A: And that time she published it...
K: And none of our material hasbeen used in that__
A: John D. Rockefeller, Sr., you know, he paid a man by the name of Ivy
League back when a dollar was worth something, he paid twenty-five thousand
dollars a year to keep his name out of the papers. Well, of course, he had
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more reason I think, to keep his name out of the paper than I do.
But I mean to say that for perhaps different reasons, and that's one
thing I have in common with John D., and that is that I hate cheap
publi-, newspaper publicity, you understand.
K: No sir, I don't think you have to worry about that at all.
A: All right.