Interview with John and Bessie DuBois, July 18, 1980

Material Information

Interview with John and Bessie DuBois, July 18, 1980
DuBois, John ( Interviewee )
DuBois, Bessie ( Interviewee )
John and Bessie DuBois


Subjects / Keywords:
Palm Beach County Oral History Collection ( local )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:

Full Text

PBC 7abcd

subject: Join and Bssie DuBois d.i;l Agier

interviewer: Dr. H. Kersey

tape a, side one


B: ....and Mrs. Quincey had that historical collection, and what

became of it, I don't know. I tried to get her to let Ellen Morris

have it for the state historical....

(break in tape)

K: Today is July 18, 1980. This is Dr. Harry Kersey, Florida Atlantic

University. Today I'm interviewing Mr. and Mrs. John DuBois of

Jupiter, Florida, and assisting me in this interview is Bill Archer

of Florida Atlantic University. I'd like to start our interview,

if possible, with just some general family background information,

if you would. Either one of you can start. When you came to the

area...was either one of you born here?

B: John was born here, John was born here in 1899, July 23, up the old

house on the hill, which is now a museum after being restored

approximately to it's original condition.

K: Where did your family come from?

J: Well, my father came from New Jersey, on the And

my grandfather was a farmer with an apple orchard, raised potatoes.
I had to pull them up by hand and put them in barrels, put them

on wagons, take them down to Seaport, put them on a boat to go to

New York.

B: John's father had a cousin who maeovt...John, how was he connected

with the government __, was he in charge of it or what?

When your father came down.

J: Oh, he was a friend of the family, I think, I don't think he's

PBC 7abcd pg. 2/tape


J: actually a relation. But when my father was sixteen, he was

already, he came down to, to Florida, and he had an aunt who lived

up on the St. Johns River. I can't think of the name of the place,

but stayed there a little while, and then he went on down to

Titusville, and then across from there to MerrittSIsland where

Mr. Heath, a family friend, had a home, or had an- orange grove

wLhre-v-er, and he worked in the orange grove and made out
?. is, is

Florida in the summer, it was apples or potatoes, icl s4o -r4>^+

Did that for several years and put in a grove, he was our/ A c\" n LL

koA pick oranges and hoedweeds and built rAf<_ Later he
learned how to run

oranges over to Titusville to be shipped to the northern __r__-_

which was, Titusville was the end of the railroad in those days.

A little later when Flagler decided to build his railroad on

the other side from Titusville, he bought a sharpy, which was a

flat bottomed scow with two leg o' mutton sails and some forty
bri C \.e1 brAcfrs 'A IIr
feet long and k le AU he ak me .. bring .ometh

dxwrr to uh, Palm Beach -hereA-!-= i -Ir &sAC C. A and the

pne boom was coming on about that time and he joined the

lifesaving station crew in Jupiter, and about, what was that

) F ?

B: Well, it was in operation from 1886 to 1896.

J: Yeah, well, I don't know whether he was there attthe very start

or not, but anyhow, the lifesaving crew didn't work the year

,round ar7 Surmtr omA-r fL- had a holiday because that was

7 see you so much, so he bought a

11.4IV *



PBC 7abcd 3/a


J: piece of ground across about a half a mile from the lifesaving

station and cleared it and put a, ten acres of pineapples and

worked over there on his days off and i- -/" er wYtnr\

We had a man build a ,e_ -me 4 house there for him, that is a

building which I still have. And the Vineapples gave up and,

and he got married and brought Michelle down here to Jupiter.

tore down the building and brought it, set it up on the edge of

the water and used it as a storehouse for nets and honey barrels/

and what have you, and a little workshop. And he, when they were

married in 1898, he had built a house ontop of the shell mound

to bring his bride up to and we __. There were

four children in a few years. Myself, I was the oldest and my

brother Henry-and my sister Anna, then my brother Neal, and we

were raised there on that shell mound. We went to school in

the school boat ,j and it was a which took uz over

to, to Jupiter. That was a town that started after the railroad

came through, and it was named Neptune. And I went to school the

first year in 1905. Our report card shows that it was Neptune,


A: Was that West Jupiter, or was that...?

J: Well, no, that was what is now the town of Jupiter, you see, in

1892, the town of Juniter was laid out over here on the side of

the railroad in that area, and the post office was there

and a motel....

B: Now, when you say railroad docks, John, you mean i ____t_ _

railroad docks.

J: ....that's a railroad. They were practically opposite the lighthouse,

PBC 7abcd 4/a


J: docks in the lighthouse of Jupiter, and where the town of Jupiter

is now. In 19, 1980, there was a building up of buildings all over

the original layout of the town of Jupiter.

A: The school boat picked you up at your home?

J: Well, at the nearest dock that hre&could get to. Our dock was so

near the inlet that at times when the flCoodwaters were running

out, it was dangerous to try to land, and so we had to walk down

a half a mile to what we call the Sperry docks where the jj l

children and the DuBois kids and Kitchens and so forth got on the

boat, and then they stopped over at the lighthouse dock and picked

up the ones there, and then up at the, at the...the old man that

ran the school boat lived up the Loxahatchee, up near where the

Boy Scout camp is of this state, and in the morning he came down,

picked up the kids on either side of the river and delivered them

to the Jupiter docks and then came on over to the lighthouse dock

and the Sperry dock and picked up the kids over here, and that's

the way it went. I think I caught my first bluefish drawing behind

the school boat. (Laughs)

B: Well, it made the trip interesting to have a line out and do a

little fishing.

K: So Neptune, then, as I recall from the letter that you wrote and

so forth, was actually the original, at the original site there

of Jupiter?

J: Yes.

B: Well, you see Jupiterwas Mrs. Carlin had the post office over

there, and she got her commission in 1887, and the mail was there,

was recieved, and that was called Jupiter, Mrs. Carlin's hotel,


B: and she was Captain Carlin's wife and he ran the life saving station.

Well, that was considered Jupiter, and then when the railroad came

in, why, they called a station at the south end of the railroad

bridge, they called that Neptune. And they had two post offices,

one at Neptune, and one at Jupiter. Mrs. Carlin still had her

post office, and there was a post office over by the railroad

station. And then in 1908, they decided to consolidate them;

they took down the Neptune sign and they, the two, the, and this

continued Mrs. Carlin's post office, and then it was just Jupiter,

and that was over by the railroad station.

CBreak in tape)

K: Okay, I want to back up a little bit and ask you, John, about your

brothers and sisters. Are any of them still living in the area?

J: Well, they're all living, and they're all in Jupiter yet.

K: Uh huh.

B: Not your sister Anna, she's in West Palm Beach.

J: Well, in the area still.

B: And his brother Neal and Henry, Henry just came to the door there

and brought him some (7)

K: So they're all still living in the, in the same area. When, okay,

so you started at school, what was Neptune then...where did you

continue on after that?

J: Well, I think I went there uh, the new schoolhouse was built when,


B: 1911.

J: 1911, so there was quite a few years over at the old schoolhouse

on the, the Manatee there.


PBC 7abcd

PBC 7abcd 6/a


B: Over, over on A1A.

J: A1A, but....

B: The old Ziegler home, with the big....

J: It faced on the river there, and you wouldn't believe it, but

the sanitary conditions didn't seem to work, and pollution

and one thing or another, they, they had the toilets dompel

out over the river, and you walked a little dock out there and didn't

solve it, but that's all there was, plunk init the river.

The school, there were two, two schoolteachers, one for the

primary rooms up to the third or fourth grade, and then the others

grades up to....

B: I think it just went to the tenth, didn't it, John?

J: I guess so. Of course, they weren't accredited schools or anything

in those days. One of our, which turned out to be a prominent

citizen later went to ..

B: Stetson.

J: Stetson, and of course, he had to finish out his high school course

there and, and....

K: That was very common in those days.

J: And, well, it seemed like he was going up there forever.

B: Well, John's sister Anna did the same thing when she reached the

tenth grade, she went up to Tallahassee.

K: Um hmm.

B: To Florida State College for Women.

K: It was not uncommon around the turn of the century for most

universities, particular, even in the midwest, to have what they

call their high school and academy element for people just, for

PBC 7abcd 7/a


K: that which come from communities that didn't have a complete

secondary school. So that's interesting that that same pattern

was followed here. Now, as I recall, there was no Palm Beach

County before 1909....

B: That's right. Dade County.

K: So who, who was.....Dade County was supplying the money for that

school and the teacher's salaries, I guess.

B: John had an aunt, uh, his, his Uncle Will's wife, Aunt Hattie Gail

Sanders, and she was the first teacher in the little school over

in Palm Beach. And they raised the money to build that school, and

I suppose that, that Dade County paid her. But she was quite a

young girl at the time.

K.: Or they might have just left it up to the local district to raise the

money. The county systems weren't quite like they are now where

they pay for everything.

J: I think that it, I think it was, sir. Proper subscription and


B: They built the school.

J: Yeah, uh huh. The building is still in existence.

B: It used to be on the Fipp's estate and they moved it down to, to

Fipp's Park. And it's down there in Fipp's Park. I have a picture

here of Uncle Will presenting a picture of his wife to the, to the

school, which they hung up on the wall.

K: So in addition to your father, other members of the family had

moved into the area?

B: John's grandfather homesteaded down on Lake Worth.

J: Oh, yeah, they came down to Lake Worth before he did almost, about

PBC 7abcd 8/a


J: thecsame time. My grandfather, maternal grandfather, came from

Kansas, he was a farmer up there, and the winters were cold and

everything and so he decided to come to Florida. His son had

already come down following his bride-to-be, Hattie Gail....

B: He made a tape for us,

J: he told grandfather, and how he could take up homesteads

down here, and how there was plenty of work, and so on, and so

he came on down. And later, my mother graduated from something

or other there in Kansas. What, what did they call that school?

B: A A or school, or something like that.

J: Anyhow, she came to Florida and took the teacher's examination

and got to be a schoolteacher. And her first school was out west

of Stuart, there, which is now \ ir that neighborhood.

B: ____.

J: And she wrote a story about this which was published in'newspapers

and things. She, she won a prize the first time she, for the

best Florida tale or whatever they call it. She got transferred on

down to Jupiter and was teaching here in Jupiter when my father

was on the lifesaving crew at that time, met her on what you call

a blind date. In those days, there wasn't anyplace that you could

go to or do. Go down to sit on the beach and watch the waves or

climb X lighthouse. And so they rode over, they were staying there

on the south side of the river and with a lady named Tanker, she

boarded there, and anyhow, they went over to the lighthouse and

climbed up the stairs and got up to the light, why, they got .a

good look, they got a good look at one another for the first time.

CLaughter) So from then on, my father was pursuing her and she

PBC 7abcd 9/a


J: finally agreed to marry him, and so went ahead and bought the

shell mound and built the floor, story part of it. And she,

they started housekeeping there.

K: What was her name?

J: Sue Sanders.

K: So she was really teaching here in the first.

J: Oh, yeah.

B: Oh, yes. One of the first teachers in this area.

K: Is a copy of that story available that she wrote?

B: I think I have it there, I think I have it.

K: That would really be interesting.

B: Uncle Will Sanders went down and worked on the Key West extension,

and he was on the houseboat that washed out to sea, and there were

a number of the men drowned, and he wrote that story, and he, he

had taught at the agricultural college in Manhatta, Kansas, for

about eighteen years. He was well, he could write well, and he

wrote the story of his adventure down there on the Keys in 1907

during the hurricane, and he sent it to the Reader's Digest, but

he had some reference in there to a, what Father Jerome called a

blasphemous blacksmith, and he, and the Reader's Digest turned his

story down. It was a wonderful story. And so then he wrote to

me, and he, he was living over in Inverness, and he said, "Bessie,

is there some way we can get this story published? I'd like to see

it in print." So I wrote Dr. Depot and sent the story to him and
fe -Pc-i bl'zhfk
he accepted it right away, and later, it was rspub44ihed in the

Miami Herald, and it's still, it's _, the story.
K: the story that his mother wrote about her teaching
K:-~ the story that his mother wrote about her teaching

PBC 7abcd 10/a


K: experiences, that's the, in here too.

B: Yes, I, I had it in the historical edition of the Stuart News. I

wrote quite a bit for that historical edition.

K: Yes, those, I'm looking forward to talking to you about those

other sources, the written sources. When did you come into the


B: Well, I....

K: Here in Jupiter, maybe that's....

B: Yeah, well. My family, my father had a, had a, was a wholesale

florist and he had greenhouses in Short Hills, New Jersey. And

in 1911, he had gotten so fed up with trying to raise flowers in

the wintertime and keep his furnaces and boilers and everything

going, and he wanted to grow things where it wouldn't freeze, and

so he sent, he had a friend in Washington, and he talked to him,

and he ran his pencil along the Gulf Stream until he came to

Jupiter, and he said that town is the closest to the Gulf Stream

of any place in Florida, and he said that place would be least

likely\freeze. So papa came to Jupiter in 1911, and he became

so enamored of the place that he took an option on fifty acres

of land out on Limestone Creek. And then, of course, my mother

was a city girl, she was born in Brooklyn, and the idea of moving

to a place as primitive as this didn't appeal to her, but then

we had an ice storm, and it completely destroyed my father's

greenhouses, just wiped him out completely. So he, all he could

think of was coming to Florida on this fifty acres of land, so

we boarded the F(I He came down first and rented a house

and we shipped our furniture down and then we boarded the, my

PBC 7abcd 11/a


B: mother and, I had two brothers and a sister, I was the oldest in

the family, and I was eleven years old at the time, and my mother

and we three boarded the Flagliner Apache, came down to Jacksonville,

and then from Jacksonville, we came down on the FEC railroad.

We visited, we had an aunt in Jacksonville, and she'd come down

here when she was a very young girl, married a lumberman out in

Palatka. She was really more of a pioneer than any of us. And

then, so we came down, and papa had a house rented for us, and
cO r m P5 cC
he was already planting his plumt;sa ferns up on the fifty acres,

and he began Florida. And my brother, of course,

we went everywhere by boat, we had a little rowboat, and my

brother loved it. Got a motor, so my brother Bob ran a motorboat

up and down the river, and we went to school on the school boat,

and really....

K: So you, you went to school together?

B: Well John was, John's three and a half years older than I am.

K: So is that an overlap?

B: He was upstairs, and I was downstairs.

K: You were downstairs, in the same building?

B: Yeah, I was in the sixth grade and Graham King, Dr. Graham King

from Delray, who used to practice in Delray,6back living in Jupiter

now, and he and his cousin land I were the whole sixth grade.

But then I did get upstairs later.

K: Bill had a question about this.

DBC 7abcd 12/a


A: Yes, you didn't mention the year you came.

B: 1914. And we, and then my mother developed typhoid fever and

died in 1917. So at fourteen, I became housekeeper at home,

kept house until I started keeping house for John back in 1924.

K: Then he was, uh, your father, he stayed in this nursery business/

the ferns?

B: He was one of the first landscape men up in, he did a lot of the
H- o~e S i-,A
first landscape work up in Hope Sound. My brother was in business

with him, and they, they landscaped some of the earliest homes

up there. Did a lot of landscape work, and both of the boys,

my brother later would, took over the business. My father, the

home that my father built for us burned down in 1934, and my

father lost his life. So, uh....

K: Did, uh, let me get back to John just a minute on this. I take

it you've been in the area all the time after you finished school,

just stayed here and lived. What sort of business opportunities

were there for a young man, ambitious, soon to have a bride?

J: Well, my father, when he came in to live on the shell mound, he

thought he could plantout an orange grove and start making money

that way. But so close to the ocean, and they didn't have

proper windbreaks and wha not, so the oranges didn't come on,

the family came on faster than that, and so he, he raised bananas,

planted bananas, and before the United Fruit Company ever heard, ~re-

ever heard of. And his, he had a little motor boat, and he delivered

those down to West Palm Beach and up to Fort Pierce and around and

he got a penny a finger for the bananas, which is a pretty good

price in those days, but raising bananas this far up in Florida

PBC 7abcd< 13/a


J: has disadvantages of hurricanes and frost and the varmits, and

so he had a time raising those bananas, and so he, somebody offered

him some bees, and so he bought about a dozen hives and they

thrived and did all right, so every time he could, he bought up

a Acr-e of bees along the river, Loxahatchee and down

there. What was the east coast now in those days, and I was

there helping, and so when I got through with school here in

Jupiter, why, he says to me, he say, "Why don't you try bees up

and down on the road?" We'd just heard about a fellow in Delray

and another one in Boca Raton, another one in Deerfield that had

bees that could be bought, and so I put my bicycle on the train

and went down to Delray, and went to see this man that had bees


B: Was that C_?Jn______

J: No. And so his name was Keenings....uh, we made a bargain with

him and bought his bees, but we had to move them from there and so

went on Boynton and there was an old man there that had a bunch of

bees, and evidently, he'd kind of gotten tired of fooling with

them and was going into some other business, I don't know if it

was a grocery store or what, but he had all these bees around in

his beehives around in his chicken yard and along side of his

house, scattered all around, and he wanted me to move them from

there because when they were, the bees, when they were good and

strong, and there wasn't any honey, and anyhow, they would sting

the chickens, and they'd sting anybody that came around, and so

he wanted me to move them across the highway, he I had to

clear up a bunch of land there and, and I, I built a little building

PBC 7abcd 14/a


J: there, eight by ten, and we set up the bees there. I, I bought

myself a Model T Ford, it's kind of like a pickup truck, but it

had a cab, a top over it, side curtains and what have you. So

that's what I had to go and see my first bees with. Was quite

a trip from Jupiter to Delray in a Model T, and so, and then

when you got off the highway, why, if it was sandy, why, it would

pull and so you'd have to load it up with wheelbarrow, and anyhow,

I bought myself a real truck, real speedwagon they called it.

It was much better, I could them around, and could

go down the road a lot faster, and I could carry more bees. Before,

we had been extracting the honey at each, at each

which was quite an operation because you had to take the extractor

and alum cans and put them on the stove

got down there and let some almost out of luck.

But anyhow, we started with a new speedwagon to have a central

extracting place here at home, and we brought them, brought the

honey all from the river in the boats to the dock there where

the honey extractor was, and that's the way we worked.

had the World War I started about that time, and, and It paid

for those bees the first year and started making money. Things

went along pretty good. used to bring after we

were married, why brought the, when we were extracting

there at home, why, Bessie used to help me and so I'd

every time she got stung, I'd take her to the movies. I think she

put the bee andwiggled it until he stung her, but anyhow, I don't

think we had to, I had to take her more than a couple of times.

Anyhow, we raised the, put the honey in barrels and at first, before

PBC 7abcd 15/a


J: we had a bridge and a road over to the people in Jupiter, they had

to put them on a scow and haul them over and load them on to the

flat cars there, or box cars, and weigh them and all that. And then

they went to Jacksonville and put on the Flagline steamers. Anyhow....

K: You were doing a real volume business then?

J: Yeah, we raised 90,000 pounds of honey one year. But along about,

1920....'25 or '26, the people started coming into our place, we'd

gotten a bridge across and we were the first place you could get

to the ocean and river fishing north of the bridge in Palm Beach

itself. And so the fishing camp practically forced on us and then

ond night hurricanes came in 1926, and it blew a lot of the bees

over and, but I straightened them back up again and first, 1928,

happened the same way. So it looked on it, it got where I had to

make a decision whether I was going to run a fishing camp or stay

in the bee business, I couldn't run them both 'cause it wasn't

easy to get somebody to help you in the bee business, the person

would get stung. And so I turned them over to my brother, and he did

real well on them. Sometimes I wondered if I hadn't made a mistake

in turning the bees over to him. But if I'd have done that, why,

the camp never would have progressed to where I could sell it for

the price and retire on it. (Laughs)

B: And don't forget, we started a restaurant up down in 1928, '29.

J: Oh, yeah, we, we did quite a few different things because we had

four children and it takes, we ran on hand to mouth there for years

to keep things going. But people kept coming, couldn't keep them

away, so....

K: iWw, all of these operations, the home, the honey, the fishing camp,

PBC 7abcd 16/a


K: all were right in this area where we are now?

J: Right, we're on the land that my father....

K: Original ten acres?

J: Original eighteen acres.

K: Eighteen acres, okay.

J: I, I, we, the county didn't buy all of it; that is west of this

DuBois road coming in, they didn't sell that. My father started

my brother in the fern business. That is, he helped him and gave

him land; I guess it's, I guess it's sold

Anyhow, I had the fern ranch across the road here, and when they

first started out, for the first ten years, why, it was a real

profitable thing and they used to put Bessie working her head off

about marrying a guy like me that....they could buy their ready

made clothes from the stores and whalnot....

B: Well, all's well that ends well.

J: ....I didn't have a new car then, I had the best I could buy. They'd

say, "Uncle John, what year is that car rated?" And so, you know,

like that, you know.

(Laughter) But I didn't pay any attention to it, I just kept going.

Struggling away.

K: Well, the land then that's in the park now, how many acres of the


J: Oh, it was, I increased the number of acres by letting the inlet

district put sand on the shallow water, joining the, my property

here. They, when they first started the inlet, they put the sand

over on the north side of the inlet and filled in thousands and

thousands of yard;of sand over there, but then I got a little sand

PBC 7abcd 17/a


J: so it looked like I might get to be the owner

I was a crook in all kind of things. So, but they never could....

B: We bought so much land in the state, so we're....

J: .-..prove anything wrong and so, I had people come and they'd want

to buy a lot and they'd be right in the middle of it, my acreage,

I'd have to give them a right of way road into it and all that.

I wouldn't settle. Some people thought I was crazy for not.

I knew that time would come that, that I could sell it all in

one lot, get through with it, and finally when they had this bunch

of money that they voted on, and it was to buy ocean frontage

with, and lands adjoining are comparable, and so right then I

saw that was my chance. Sell it all in one piece, and so that's

what we did.

B: Well, we'd run the park for forty-five years and people had become

so accustomed to coming here that it was, the park was already

here, I mean, it was used as a park all that time.

J: Yeah, it was a growing, it was a growing business when I sold it,

and they didn't do anything to it for some time. They, they had

to build a larger restroom, I had built larger ones, and they

were adequate for ordinary going. But on a, say like a holiday,

fourth of July or something, they, the septic tanks and things

would run over all the....and it was....and so they, when the

county got there, they tore down my bathrooms and built....

B: And used them for quite a while before they tore them down.

J: Yeah, they did. They used it just like it was.

K: What year did they purchase this?

B: 1972.

PBC 7abcd 18/a


K: And this was the whole acreage, then?

B: No, you see, they bought our property first, and then mother had

sold the house on the hill to a Mr. and Mrs. Neal Vickers, and

they in turn sold their property to the county, and then John's

brother had a piece next to that, and they bought his piece, and

then they bought his brother Henry's piece, so they gradually bought

out the entire family.

K: Right. So all of, they did finally get it then?

B: Yeah, they got...

J: At the time when I was selling, the thing was, I had them to agree

that it would be DuBois Park, in honor of my father. I reserved

a seventy-five foot lot on the water to the west of the section line,

which was DuBois Road, and so I still own that, and then when

they finally made a payment, we sold it in two or three different

patches so that we wouldn't have income tax all in one year, and

anyhow, once I got the first money, why, this house here came

up for sale, and so me and a variety agent, whatnot, we could....

selling home and buying another one and all that rigamarole,

we got a little advantage from that and so it saved a lot of

trouble, because if I'd tried to build that on a seventy-five

foot lot....

end of tape a, side one

_ A

PBC 7abcd 19/tape a, side 2


B: ....and daughter owned a lot next to this, and have their home

there. So we're next to our daughter and son-in-law's home. They're

in Costa Rica now,:and their, their son lives in the house, Jed

lives in the house. So they're close by us and then we own a lot

next to us, so we have a little buffer zone so we're not....

K: Um hmm.

J: The, the old house that my father built on on a pineapple patch

is, finally ended up right along side the road there with some

additions on it. It's still, I think, probably the, one of the

oldest houses still standing in Jupiter.

K: Possible to go down and see that...

B: Oh, yes. We have it rented the neighborhood.

K: This is the original house that he had?

J: That my father built out on a pineapple patch, yeah.

K: Um hmm. How about in the park itself?

J: They tore down all the buildings that I built there, the restaurant

building, which was thirty-five, forty feet square, and my

honeymoon cottage, they called it, where we....

B: John had that house built, what, before we were married, we were

engaged for nine months, and he built that house and it really

was a wonderful nice house.

J: Back when my father left home because, in Jersey~because he'd

always work for his father but he'd never pay him anything. And

so the boys all left home as fast as they got old enough to

and could. And so he decided that he was going to try to keep

his boys together there, and so when I, when I helped him fish,

why, he gave me a ten per cent of the net catch, and....

PBC 7abcd 20/tape a


B: John, you didn't tell them about your father's illness.

J: Well, I'm not that way.

B: Okay.

J: The, so in those days, why, there wasn't any movies or any hot

rod cars or anything you spent your money on, so I put it in the

bank and saved it. And when I got married, I had money to pay

for everything.

B: See, wasn't that smart, I married a man with money.

J: My father worked so hard, worried and one thing or another, that

he developed pernicious anemia, which they can keep you alive

nowadays but anyhow, he, he aged in three or four years from a

fifty year old man to seventy-five or eighty years, and then

caught pneumonia and died.

K: What year was that?

B: March, 1924.

K: I'm always fascinated in hearing how people made money in this

area, you know, to survive.

B: It wasn't easy.

K: No, it wasn't, and this story of; I've talked to people down in

the southwest area, Chepalessee C??) Island and the Naples, Martha,

hunting alligators, trapping, fishing, it was all put together,

it was a package of, and it was seasonal. Well, it was what seemed

to be in season played a large part of it, and what was marketable.

And the shipping through Jacksonville or Tampa, the way you talk

about shipping your honey by railroad up, they would ship very often

out of the Ten Thousand Isands on little launches and boats, and

there, there just weren't that many ways to make money in Florida.

PBC 7abcd 21/a


K: And I've heard this story over and over again.

B: My father raised these asparagus fermosa ferns, and they would be

bunched, and they would ship them in crates. He'd go up to the

East Coast Lumber Company in Fort Pierce and buy his crates and

those would They'd put these bunches of ferns in

the crates with a big lump of ice in the center of them and ship

them north. And there for a while, it was a very profitable business,

but then all of the sudden, the left, and people began using

other ferns in the florist business, and that was the end of it.

So then he went into the landscaping. But that, that fern business,

all over the state, somebody said there should be something written

sometime about that because it was quite a flourishing business here

in Florida for a while.

K: Just in ferns?

B: But then of, John's brother Henry, when he graduated

from high school, he came up and worked for my father and learned

the fern business from him, and then he went into business for

himself. His father furnished him the land, and he, he built the

sheds, and....

K: Uh huh. When the railroad came through; I want to backtrack just

a little bit, when the railroad came through here, would have been

the Flagler Railroad I'm talking about, would have been what, about

'93, wouldn't it?

B: '94.

K: '93-'94, in there. Uh, at that essentially put the old celestial

B: Out of business.

PBC 7abcd 22/a


K: ...out of business totally.

B: And also the steamboat line that came from Titusville into Jupiter.

They took two of those big steamers at St. Augustine and St.

Sebastian, towed them up the Loxahatchee River and left them to

rust away.

K: Just let them rust away there. Did this change, uh, I wonder if

that had a big impact here. Do you remember hearing from your

father the impact of that railroad arriving here?

J: Well, he, he bought this great boat and ran that, you know, for

a number of years. My father wasn't a great one to talk about

his past. I wish I had learned more about what he did and what

he didn't do. I fell heir to a bunch of letters that he had

written home to his mother when he was in, up at Grove,

and they're quite interesting.

B: Jerry Weeks did, did a talk with the Floiida State Historical

Society on the orange industry and so on.

K: Up at Jupiter, or at Fort Pierce, rather?

B: Yes, And, and he had read John's father's

letters and incorporated them in the talk. That was 1887, along

in there somewhere.

K: So, I, what I was trying to draw here, I talked to families, for

example, up in Stuart, like the Kitchens.

B: Oh, yes.

K: And Mrs. Taylor now, and I remember the great change in their

lifestyle in her father, who used to run the boat up and down.,,

B: I have an article in the Gateway Magazine that I wrote about

Captain Kitchen's trade boat, and...

PBC 7abcd 23/a


K: Right. When, then when the railroad came through, what monumental

changes in their life; they had to move from the water to having

the store, and then I talked to her about his trading patterns in

the store, the railroad seemed to have both positive and negative

effects when it came through, that's what I was driving at.

J: Yeah, some people went for broke, and some of them could see

the light and went on and got better. But a lot of them couldn't

it. Now down towards, let's say Pompano, you see, the water

way there was, a lot of people thought that, that that was going

to be the town and so forth over there, but when the railroad

came, it was _miles to the west, why, it died right

there. And we bought some bees at Pompano; they, they

... .___ Company, which was a big honey or bee supply place,

and apparently during the early war years, they bottled.honey, and

they had found, they a bunch of bees there that they were

experimenting with1sort of, and they got through with them, why

they sold them to my father, and so we went down there in the

motorboat, and rowboat, and brought those bees

back and put them out at Deerfield, and boy, that was some trip.

It rained, and sandflies were bad....(laughs)

K: ...much of a pollen source?

A: What nectars were there?

K: Oh, the nectar for the bees, the pollen source?

A: Where'd they get it from?

K: Oh, Bill had a question, he said, where did the, what did the bees

use as a pollen source?

A: The pollen, the nectar, and so on, to make the honey?

PBC 7 a(2)
page 24

J: Well...

B: It was from palmetto.

J: ...different kind of flowers, some of them, had pollen and honey, both/and

others didn't. Now, like goldenrod, they had pollen and They- hd-smell

J~-rd-ed e bought an old fellow's bees one time and Farley tried to buy from him

and no, he wouldn't sell and so about a year later he got a postcard from him and

4lsaid, "One hundred and fifty bees. I'll sell them." And so what had happened, these

bees had gathered a lot of this pollen that had this funny smell and he thought that

there was something wrong with.l.3


J: ...but Farley knew better than that.

B: You didn't mention the scrub palmettos. That was

J: Oh, well, the scrub palmetto was the best source of honey back in those days. I

only have these -- what do you call these red berries that grow along --

they have a honey that looks like but

it doesn't seem to make much difference to the buyers. Now days they harvest

everything on health foods and all, but I suppose that, that there's a place there

good for.

A: What prompted the question, you mentioned that the oranges didn't do well here.

I was wondering what sort of flowering, was it commercially raised or the like, they

would give the bees the necessary nectar to raise, as you said, 90,000 tons a year.

J: Well, out here, the groves out here west of Jupiter, I had bees there for several

years and they didn't do especially well because they, in the flat around, why they

had what they call it comes along in January and February and

the bees can build up on that and be good and strong for the honey flow which

comes later palmetto and often the big groves were the hundreds of it,

believed the higher bee keepers' bee hives bees replaced in their

groves to facilitate things and and others _

PBC 7 a(2)
page 25

K: So everything grows naturally down here or much....

J: Black mangos that grows in the swamps around the rivers. There's a lot of it

down there in the keys and there used to be an old fellow named

at the _who had, I guess he must have lived there on

Creek which goes through all and he had his bees on a boat and

he would take them along and stop off at different places for different crops of


B: There was some peculiar people ....

J: They're doing the same thing now with big vans, trucks on the highway. People from

the north will bring the bees down south here to and to care for

put them to somebody else who's already here, so

This bush that has the red berries on it, what do you call that?

A: Would that be the Brazillian pepper?

B: Brazillian pepper?

K: Brazillian pepper?

Tf: Yeah, Brazillian pepper. That's coming up all out through the glades, all along

the highways and we're going choke up, drink up all the water.


5. But they get a lot of honey from that and its pretty good honey, I guess and I

don't know whether they can do like the dairymen do, take the cream out of the

milk, take the bad tasing pollen out of the honey or not.


K: What did, what did that honey sell for, do you recall, back around World War I?

:: Well, we were getting 2, 21, 3 cents a pound. That would be about 35 cents a

gallon or something like that and we....

K: Then as now, the middle man was making money.

; Well, the middle man gets his share of it. My father, we was way off down

here in the and there weren't many grocery stores where you could bottle it and

sell it and trying to make comb honey to sell. There wasn't any market for that,

PBC 7 a(2)
page 26

J: either and he decided he wouldn't fool with bottling any honey

because if we've honey then it sugared and a little bit would run out

down the lTbel and somebody would think for and go to pick it up and

heat it and rebottle it and all that, so it was a, a lot of trouble and so we

just kept a few more bees and raised more bulk honey.
back 7 )
K: You said something a whileAthat was interesting, when you got the inlet district

to raise the sand, I guess, that the inlet some, some

question about it. Does that imply that there were political problems with


S: Well....

K: Trying to get into your political involvement, here.

'J- No, they just didn't understand how things worked because somebody put an island

in front of your property on the opposite side of a channel and/we couldn't see

over to the other side of the river like we had before, why that wasn't any,

wasn't considered a detriment to their land, it was just progress. People put up

these condominiums and they're getting to be a little more careful now, but some-

times they put them up and the shadow would cover some fellow's ( P {/ard
E7_ yard-
or something or other or cut off his view and big money like building a condjmin-

ium and and, but-what it was, when they, they changed

the channel back in the years when the lake wasn't getting in much money. There

Wvorq&comeftime when we didn't get enough in to pay off the bonds that

came due. We were paying interest on interest, you might say and so whatever they

wanted make any improvements on anyway. They dug near what was the deepest and

best channel down through the mouth of the inlet and I could put

it over nearer the, lOrt_ side and when they did that, why it started filling

in in front of my docks where I used to have ten, twelve feet of water. I had

tw feet. I built a big bar out there all along in front of me that

hung down where it's land now, you see, and so one time when there were about to

dredge the inlet, they didn't have any place to put the sand after the

PBC 7 a(2)
page 27

J: started over there,, you see. They didn't need any more sand. They'd already gotten

it all. The thing about it was the people that owned that land in there also owned

the bonds on the land, so they always got the sand. If even I asked for it they

wouldn't give me any. And so what they, they couldn't put it anywhere else, I

gave them permission to pyt it in front of me. Well, they put in a lot more than

I expected and shut me off. I couldn't get out and so I complained and they had to

dredge a channel in down through the shallow water there where they'd let it fill

in or where it had filled in on account of the dredging they'd done on the other

side of the quarry where

A: Would that be this west section, the western point here of the park?

J: Yeah, right there in front of where I used to live.

A: Right. Okay.

J: That's, I gave permission to put the sand along there and that's where it got to be

on and then you couldn't, I couldn't have asked and had a foot of sand there and

have it, try to do it myself, but getting the inlet district to do it, they could

designate who was to have it somehow or another and they may h~te done the damage

and so they just let me, they gave me some sort of deed to it. I, I, but it,
while really ull-d-up on it, why tb-i- part of the land that I,

the inlet district had put there, and part of it was sand that I had a drag line

come and take there and it was outside the boundaries of the inlet

and so there was some arguing about that. It was, I couldn't anyhow, they, I had

to allow so much for bass.

K: When, when was this, the

J: Oh....

K: Roughly.

J: Somewhere in the

K: Fairly close to the time, though that the land was

Shortly before the....

J: Several years.

PBC 7 (a)2
page fV27

K: Yeah, yeah.

J: I think they put a whole lot of it out in the, on the front side of the land there.

You see what they did, they let a-contractor fellow put the sand along where I asked

for it. Well, and when he 49t through with that and there was still sand, he was

to put it over on south of the inlet. Well, you know good and well, he just piled

the sand up there till It was way out in the right of way of the

inlet. Well, I knew it they wouldn't stay there, so I'm, we met, made an agreement

with them, that all the land east and north of a certain to be the inlets

and what was west of it and south was to be mine and so first thing you know, it

kept coming in and coming into it. It left the inlet lying out in the water and

it was eating what I was supposed to own away.

A: That little creek that you had the foot bridge over, was that the boundary line?

J: No, I claimed the Florida on the other side of that on account of

that's where the water originally went out of. I had pj of it,

one thing or another, sure. But it did. But when they pumped sand in there, why

it changed the looks of it all together and so they finally ended up by making me

agree to go 50/50 with the inlet district,

A: Uh huh.

J: It was, well say, just about ours, and I got twenty-five but

took out this and that Mine was down to $18,000

and theirs was still $25,000.


J: That sounds funny now. Kinda hard to remember all the

But I think you thovght1-4-- 't and fought them.. 4-ln-o.Idong
what I claimed, but I've been lucky in other things, so I,

named down there, I don't know who all, you

know in West Palm Peach and Key West so there was a lot of good folk, that kind of

stuff, and I find that __that I would, theyL4d-be-s-we thought

so I don't press my luck any more.

PBC 7 a(2)
page 28

K: There's an old fisherman here Let me ask you a question, we were talking, writing

up about the oyster bars locking the riverbed. Were oysters ever harvested

commerically here?
T-e j
J: Uh, yes. -We opened oysters and shipped them down to the hotels during the season

in West Palm Beach.

K&A: Uh huh.

J: Looked like a pile of oyster shells that they opened up over there. lAremember-the

oysters were up in Hope's Sound mind you. All of them, that is, from the light

house on up, wherever there was bars,ef natural bars there from when they

K: ?

J: There was good oysters up there. I remember

Yme ___ then when they opened the inlet more, why they

seemed to die out up there because they got too much salt water, I think.

K: Uh huh.

J: And the oysters up by the railroad bridge and on up that way, they were

all the way up to now it's

between the north river and the south river. fe oysters all around

f\ us-and they -wre good ones.

K: Did you ever do any harvesting up?

J: Oh, yes. I've served them here in the restaurant for quite a few years and working

stop but the thing was, you know, that they had some trouble down

in the south end of Lake Worth where people thought they were going to sit there and

eat oysters down there and the people would come to the restaurant and say, "Where

do you get your oysters?" "By the river up here." Then they'd

and say, "Sure." We dock, so next thing we knew, nobody ordered any

oysters, so I couldn't get them and I had to buy the darn oysters from Chesapeake

or someplace shipped in, you know, and they wasn't washed in fresh water and they

didn't taste like natural oysters here and they, the fellows that sell the, sell the

PBC 7 a(2)
page -32 30

J: oysters, it was against the law for them to put salt in them and it was real tricky

to store them and not have __, but I got

clams out of that little creek down there by the bridge for years, and had clam


K: So everything, was normally accepted, the sea ?

K: Were they interested for commercial fishing andwas much a-t t2L1ce in the


J: There was a few sailorSthat and I ain't so sure whether they did harm or not because

pulli-ng those kind of scraped that moss and crap off of the bottom

SThey had a fish that they called a strawberry bass or there's

lots of different names for them, but it was the same fish that are in the rivers

over in China and there's certain times of the year that you could ship those to

New York and get three or four times the price that fishermen would pay you here

at first if you the fish house. I bought

the things to serve in the restaurant, but they wouldn't sell me any if it took

away so many that they couldn't ship a barrel.

K: Well, why don't we take a break? We've been going pretty steady; we'll come back

to it.

B: Fine.


K: We're talking a few minutes ago about the lighthouse, time when they wanted to get

rid of the lighthouse and so forth. What are your earliest recollections? John

had said that you had some courting that took place at the light house.


B: That was, he wasn't, mother and father weren't the only ones,

K: Oh,yeah. That had already been sort of the central feature here, I guess, from

the time that you came.

PBC 7 b(l)
page -3

B: Yeah.

K: Was it still operating, it was operating, of course.

B: Oh, it's been operating.

K: Always.

B: It's only failed to operate, I think, twice. Once when a drunken or man who was

head shell shocked or something failed to wind the weight. No, he wound the weights

up too tight. They came down through the steps. That was what happened,


B: And then I think he, there was one night that it failed because of a drunken keeper.

But it failed during the '28 hurricane because the power went off.

K: Uh huh.

B: And then they had just managed to put electricity instead of the mineral lamps and

the power went off and Captain had a very bad case of blood poisoning

in his arm, but he managed somehow to get those mineral lamps put back in place so

that the light was, there was a light. But unfortunately the mantles had to be

turned by hand and his son,who was sixteen, Franklin, insisted on going up in his

father's place and he turned that mantle by hand during the worst of the hurricane.

And they claim that tower sways went to 17 inches during that storm and stayed up

there and turned the mantle,Ruth Brown Owen was our congresswoman at the time and

invited him up to Washington for a special commendation. Very nice. Treasures

that, he's dead now, but his wife brought that over to the museum,,commendation from

her. But I think it went off for a little while during the '49 storm, didn't it

John? You, it doesn't do to just turn the light by hand. It has to be timed so that

the flash comes at the proper moment. I don't know whether the flash can be seen

at sea, though, during a bad hurricane or not. It seems very probable.

K: The history, I guess, of the community is pretty much based on the lighthouse.
Everything grows up....
B: the lighthouse was the first thing here. We had, it was lighted

first time in 1860 and then, of course, the civil war started and they put the light

out for, till the end of the war. A group of what they called southern sympathizers

PBC 7 b(1)
page 3432

B: armed, came up and turned the keeper away, turned the light off, took enough of the

mechanism to make it unserviceable, buried it down Jupiter Creek and so the light

was out during the war and the blockade runners came in with their contraband up the

Indian river and ____~i____ in n ifn .

K: Uh huh.

B: And Captain Davis from Key West was the first keeper for a couple of years. John

has heard this And then Captain Armor became the head keeper in

'68 and he was keeper there for years.

K: Uh huh. Pierce's family came in there to assist, I guess.

B: Pierce's, Pierce was an assistant keeper to Dr. Armor in 1872. Captain Carlton

was also a keeper there in 1872 and that's when the shipwreck of the Victor

occurred, the Mallory steamer that came ashore

tremendous amount, a hundred thousand dollars of merchandise floating ashore. And

the Seminole Indians arrivedseven canoes, seven canoes up and they participated in

the salvage, camped out on the beach and certain things. And....

K: Sewing machines?

B: Yeah, they had a sewing machine float in. The Pierce's got that. The Pierce's

had lost everything they had. They'd come down here after the Chicago fire and

they had camped, they had some kind of a shack up on the Indian River there and

everything burned down. They lost everything and so they were on their way down

when they met Captain Armor who'd heard about this and was on his way up there.

They, they were, they, different pioneers were very supportive in those days. They

tried to look out for each other and he'd heard of their troubles, so he came up and

offered him a place on that, at the lighthouse as assistant keeper. Of course that

gave them a place to live, too, because they had quarters there,

K: One of their daughters was the,...

B: Lilly Pierce VO55_

K: Yeah.

B: Oh, bless her heart. I knew her well. I've got a lot of her letters from where

PBC 7 b(1)
page -3-

B: she used to write to me quite often.

K: And the Voss's have been around a long time.

B: Gilbert Voss, of course, her son, is a ....

K: What, you know, all of these people that passed through, and historically we know

they were here, who were the first settlers around the that would stay permanently?

B: You mean in this area?

K: Uh huh.

B: Well....

K: Say, to start stores or to start other enterprises for the town to actually build


B: Well, there was Kitching had a store; he was one of the early store keepers.

Thomas Zieger was on of the early store keepers and Mr. Frank Barrows was on of the

early storekeepers. Frank Barrows, of course, was the brother of Joe and Amos. He

came here. You see this 1908 business. He was the postmaster, I think, in 1908 and

changed the postmaster, post office over here. And he's a, when we came to Jupiter

in 1914, there was a Kitching store, Z/egr store.

K: Now this was the brother in the Kitching in Stuart.

B: I think they were all the same family. Back in Huntington Kitching was owned thirty-

seven acres of land, water front up on the Loxahatchee river, way up-river and the

little creek was named Kitching Creek. I was curious if the state map when they put

it in Kitchen Creek instead of Kitching because 1 thought it was a shame that they

didn't use the Kitching name because it wasn't Kitchen Creek; it was Kitching Creek.

At any rate, my father bought the property from Mr. Huntington Kitching and then

when World War II came along, they took that property away from me as part of Camp
Murphey, so I had inherited the property fro 'father when he died and so I lost


K: Had you always been interested in writing the history, of keeping the history of this


PBC 7 b(1)
page 53 3

B: Ever since I was a little girl, I was always going to write, I never got a chance

to really do anything about it until I got started on this. I think the first

thing I ever published in Tequesta was "Centennial of the Lighthouse", And my son

was living up in Arlington, Virginia at the time so I would and I,

to the archives, prowl around. I got quite a bit of information of the lighthouse

on those trips. So I wrote a history of the lighthouse. It was published in

Tequesta. It seems 1960, in September. No, it was 1959. Anyway,

that was the first one I got published. Later, Lilly Pierce Voss helped me to with

this story of the It was another one that got published ir

Tequesta and I did a story about the history of the Jupiter inlet which was also

published in Tequesta. Later I did one on the lighthouse keepers and

published in Tequesta.

K: Right. I'm familiar with those. You know, people, very often, who live in an area

all of their lives or most of their lives have never done anything about it. I've

gone in to, to, this question's always asked of historians, well why you? Why not

somebody who's lived there? Well, most people who live in a place don't think about

it; they just live. They just live their lives and they don't stop to record it.

That's why we are encouraging kids in school now to get into local history. We're

starting some programs with the children in Boca Raton in the Fall in terms of

interviewing their grandparents, interviewing friends and neighbors...

B: Oh, that's a geat idea.

K: ...gathering local history. It's a project that I've been wanting to start a good

long while.

A: It goes back to what John said earlier, that he was sorry that he hadn't quizzed his

father more and learned more about what his father did and why.

K: Sure. And I think the new trend is history is bottom up history. Round up from the

people, not just the great men and women, not just leading figures, but what did the

average people do? How did they carry on life? How did people survive here? That's

why I asked the question I did about the first people who really settled here and how

PBC 7 (b)1
page 443

K: they made a living.

B: Well, he went, went to the store in those days and of course, there was no refrigera-

tion and so you bought things that were dried or canned or there was always a great

big block of cheese on the, on the meat block and there was a, usually a lot of salt

pork. People used a lot of salt pork in those days. And so you learned to do with

what you had and what you could catch, I heard John tell a story one time about this

man that was hoeing in his garden. He looked up and he saw this fish-hawk flying

by with a pompano in his talons when he let out a great shout and the fellow dropped

the, dropped the pompano down right at his feet so he picked that up and had it

for lunch.


K: Live off the land.

B: You know, that's how, that's how you got along. And my father used to up to Tex

Lake and bring back a boatload of oysters and he'd put them in a -- John's father

did the same thing -- they'd put them in a box in the dark, salt, down and if they

was ever needed, open up some oysters. Lots of times if John's father's, if someone

came or they didn't have anything on hand particular for supper, he'd say, "Boy's

go out with the cast net," and they'd go out with the cast net and catch a big

cast net full of mullet. They boys would dress them and bring them up to their

mother and she would have them fried for supper and she was a very good cook. She

fried beautifully.

K; Do you remember the BowerS' store?

B: Oh, very well, yes.

K: Tell us a little more about that.

B: Well, you went in there and you saw the Indians come in once in a while, I can re-

member the first time, though, I ever saw any Indians. It was when they came in a

covered wagon into Kitching's Store.

K: Uh huh.

PBC 7 (b)l
page 3~

B: But Bowers' store was back down by the dock in those days and we used to get off the

boat, the school boat that was close by. And Mr. Bowers had a, had a brother-in-law,

Kelly Ogilsvy, and Kelly was always in the store. He was a character. Wonderful

I, I was very fond of him, but Kelly could tell the tallest stories.

He loved to tell tall stories and if a bunch of Negroes came in the store why, you'ld

hear that accident up the coast where some Negroes were killed. They'd get all

excited over their names and everything, you know. And it, it, white people was al-

ways white people and he told these stories so many times and one time -- I'm getting

off the subject here -- anyway, one time, he was known for these stories and so one

time the train, the draw was open and the train went right down into the draw. That

was back in 1934 and John's sister was postmistress down at Lake Park and it was her

habit to go out and wait at the side of the river, tracks and when the train came

in, they'd throw the mail out to her. And so, she was there waiting and a salesman

came by. He says, "No use for you to wait." He said that, "The train's gone through

the draw." And she said, "Who says so?" Well, he said, "Kelly Ogilsvy." She laugh

and sat there for another hour. So, poor Kelly!


B: But anyway, they used to, oh, Kelly could tell some wonderful stories. Not all of

them were, I know after one of the hurricanes, they were in a new, the new store,

back by the railroad tracks. Kelly knew all of the, he was, he belonged to the

Masonic lodge and most of the railway people belonged to Masonic lodge and they all

knew each other. And Kelly always drifted out to the door to wave to the engineers

who'd come by. But -- I forgot what I was going to tell you, about Kelly and his


K: The Bowers' store, then was right next to the railroad tracks.

B: Always next to the railroad tracks.

K: I remember Ruby tell about floating it down the river, a story where

they moved the store at one time.

PBC 7 b(1)
page 96 -7

B: Now that one I didn't remember. It must have been before my time. John might

remember that.

J: what?

B: Floating a store.

K: That they moved a store, the old Bowers' store. Do you remember that?

J: Yeah, + moved it when they moved the depot.

B: Well, that's when they built the big cement store, John, that Mr. Sims built.

J: Yeah, but they moved the, they moved the part of the building down there. It

burned up after a while.

K: Uh huh. It burned later on. But they'd moved the store from another location,

J: Oh, it was there on, way up on the land they have, although it was the river on

K: Uh huh.

J: There was this little spur railroad that they'd run down there to Mr, Flagler for

Mr. Flagler to unload his locomotive on and to bring more, you see, we couldn't,

I guess Bessie already told you about the two bridges...

B: No, they hadn't....

J: ...the Loxahatchee Bridge and the Stuart Bridge took more time and they had the

railroad built right up to them in Stuart and -nti-at Jupiter. It went on down to

West Palm Beach. It was' 00ox br bbes /, so they -b r). I COlY'O0 jc

in there and then they'd bring stuff down on the water and float it onto the

lOorY)Lk) ,e ,,,,, and on to town,

B: That was to get material down to the Ponciana hotel.

K: Right.

B: It was a tremendous job during the ....

K: So the store is where the store was?

J: Yeah.

B: Yeah.

PBC 7 b(1)
page-37 d

J: Yeah, it was right there along side of it. They had a fellow who had bought it

there lately and had just sold it now. But they were having trouble with who

owned the land there. The state owned it or whether the railroad company owned

it or whether Bowers and there was some trouble there. They finally straightened

it out, I think that they're part of it, but they, the restaurant was, they,

they were paying the railroad company rental because they planned to own it.

B: The story I was trying to remember to tell you was when, after one of the hurricanes.

I think it was '33, we went over to Bowers' store and t+m--end Kelly told us about

when the, when the storm got at its height, the building began to sway a little

bit. Can goods would get....

J: That's the new, that's the new big store.

B: Yeah, the new cement building.and the canned goods began to pop on the shelves

and things began to get kind of sticky and so they all went down and put their

backs up against the building on the lee of the storm.

J: Outside.

B: Outside and he said while they were there, well they saw this freight car just

propelled by the wind moving up the tracks and Kelly told me that story and I

began to laugh at him and he got so hurt. Actually it was a true story and finally

went into the ice house up at Hope Sound, crashed.

K: Oh. Now when she was giving the story about floating the store down from its

original spot, I wasn't sure because I didn't know the geography of the area that

well, when she said they floated the store down to the main part of town that

must have been what she meant and set it up there and then built the new building

as well?

J: Yeah. Uh huh.

K: Did you ever....

J: They ran the store there for a while while the new building was being built, I guess.

You see, that store was built by one of the oldest settlers in Jupiter, Uriah Sims,

and he was down, he had a homestead up on...

PBC 7 b(1)
page -36 3

B: Sims' Creek.

J: Sims' Creek over to Indian f Road and they

built houses along side of it an all. The development is terrible, but 94-lM4 n

Sims, when things got bad, D press in and so forth,

he went to Panama, you see, he was an engineer builder guy, so they went down and

stayed in Panama for years and years and years before he came back to Jupiter and

when he come back to Jupiter he built that store and bridges on the, what is now

A1A down to, into Riviera, all those different bridges along there.

B: Alternate A1A.

J: Some of them, they were made for just two lane traffic. Fact of the matter was,

these cars and trucks are so big now that one would have to wait while the other

one came across the bridge. You couldn't fit them so they tore those bridges out

some of them and some of them they straightened and just left the bridge sitting

out in the bushes there, but those bridges, they're....

K: So he built the new store?

J: Yeah.

B: He was also the first ..... in the city of West Palm Beach and

he's also the father of Ethel Pierce, who's the second wife of Charles Pierce.

K: remember the Bowers' store down there by....

B: Have the both of them. When I came in 1914, it was down by the old railroad tracks.

J: Well Bowers wasn't the one, wasn't the one that started the stores. Some fellow....

B: Was it Widin? Cabot?

J: No, Brookers. I think they bought, Brookers,Brookers had already bought from either

Miller or Glidden or both of them. You get back far enough where just after the
landeopened for homestead, why they were things going on then, but like these

Brookers, they sold out and went to Homestead or someplace and had a lumber business

down there and they were well to do. They, before they bought the store there, why

they alligator hunters, one of them and they'd go out there in the, ,/ '
Shu th
and hunt those alligators.

PBC 7 b(1)
page-4 9


I had a first grade teacher over here, used to board with us years ago, and that

was the, she got the biggest charge. The little kids would come to school. "What

did your father do?" She'd have to make a record, you know, of each one. "He

hunts." That's all they could get out of them.C lau f

Uh huh. Be a hunter.


.... moonshine,

I've done a little bit of everything; that's true. So the, the stores really were

the beginning of the community, then, for people to come in and trade and buy.

B: And the store keepers....

J: Yeah. Al Widin was the first one that had a...

B: Meat farm.

J: ...he butchered. He had a what do you call it when you butcher cattle?

A: ?

J: Amaritheum, or something like that.

B: That's a flower thing, Papa.


J: But they butcher those cows that were raised on wire grass. You had to melt

them with a pair of pinchers.

K: Oh.


J: But he put in his boat or palmetto fronds, new ones, lay them, he'd

and them lay the over them to keep the hot sun off of


B: And the flies.

J: He'd go up and down the river selling his beef and that

I think he .ee4s to build a bigger

B: Well, when we first came to Jupiter, that's the only meat we, fresh meat we had.

PBC 7 b(1)
page -40LI I

B: Somebody would come along in the wagon, you know, and they'd have palmetto leaves

left on the back of the wagon and the meat played out on the palmetto leaves and

you picked out a piece of beef and you didn't have any refrigeration. The only

ice we had was you'd get a little piece of one that came up to the fish house.

Why, you could go down and buy a small piece of ice and use it for ice tea or

something, but you didn't have any refrigeration, so the only thing to do with

that beef was to put it on and start it boiling right away and it was so tough

that it had to boiled for a long time, anyway.

K: There was a commercial fish house here then?

B: Oh, yes. There was a commercial fish house. Shorty Root, he was another

characterand he, he had, very clean, He had his nets all piled up there and

the ice would come up on the train and he would have a big fish box there and he

would keep the ice.

J: They shipped the ice in peat bag with sawdust around it and it would weigh 300 lbs.

when it started out. Time it got to it only weighed 50 Ibs. So the

fellows who were more well to do and came down in the winter months like Sperry

and Hoover, why they had to have a little ice for their, run the household with

and so they had a special boat that came down to buy them up supplies and gather

up the ice and so forth, and they had another boat that was to go fishing in and

Sperry had a speedboat that he could run down to the Ponciana Hotel with his

green stamp and one of them had. We all had big money in those days.

B: Did you ever read a book by Kaufmann on treasure hunting and so on?

K: Uh huh.

B: Did you read that?

K: Yeah.

B: Well, he wrote one story in there about the BayouTresure and we recognized our old

friend Shorty Root who had the fish house down there and the one who really was the

hero of the tale because he -- I don't recall the hero of the tale -- he for years,

he had a big iron pot and he supposed to have it hung over the back end of his

PBC 7 b(1)
page -t C/ 2-

B: houseboat and every time he got a little extra money, he put it down in the iron

pot. Well, during the hurricane, the iron pot broke loose, They couldn't find

it and poor Shorty, he lived kind of slowly after that. But that story is un-

doubtedly the story of, that Bayou Treasure is undoubtedly the story of Shorty



B: Yeah, you've got some name. But I met Mr. Kaufmann down in Halsey's one day and

I said, "Now look here, if that was Shorty Root's treasure you found, I think you

ought to put a little stone on his grave up there." He just grinned and didn't

say a word,

K: ...They had a ferry .... Bring ____-_ across?

J: Yeah.

K: That was till the bridge went in in the twenties? Till the bridge went in in

about '25 or '26?

J: No, the bridge didn't go. They had a one-way bridge, that is a narrow bridge....

B: A bridge built in 1911 was a one-way bridge.

J: A one-way bridge.

B: Yeah.

J: Yeah.

B: But before that they had a ferry and Mr. Sam Nichols told me that,

K: Oh, oh,the one up by the railroad.

B: Yeah.

K: Oh, yeah, ok. That's nice

B: And Sam Nicols told me he came down one time and he honked for the ferry and the

ferry, there was a big hurricane on the way and he wanted to get to his family

in West Palm Beach before the hurricane struck. And so he said he got down there

and he honked but the ferry was all snugged down for the storm and didn't come,

so he finally drove that car across the railroad.

PBC 7 b(l)
page -4ft3

A: Oh boy.

B: Said he just barely got across when the train started coming.

K: Oh.

B: Its a wild tale.
K: Yeah. Well, it sounds like the whole area then/didn't start developing at all

around here until the twenties.

B: Well, it really started developing, the first real development took place in



B: It stayed a small town until that Charles Barton bought that property from the

Bessemers across from us, the north side of the inlet and he started that beach

colony. Then he also developed Tequesta. But then things really boomed when

Pratt Wickham moved in, all about the same time. Until then we were a small town

and stayed that way and like it.

J: We had of the county, they'll deny it now, but they designated Jupiter Beach over

here as colored beach. Put up signs.

A: I remember it.

J: But they didn't stay there overnight hardly. I found them years later out in the

woods west of Jupiter where they dumped them all. And so I think the Bessemers

decided it;iwas going to be colored up here and they sold to Martin.

B: Three hundred thousand dollars for a beach colony.

K: Why, had the Bessemers been around here a good while or were they more than


J: Oh,yeah. They owned it, the land, that is Mrs., that is she was sister to....

B: .She was Phipps, wasn't she?

J: Phipps, yeah.

B: That's over there.

J: Sister to them and she....

PBC 7 b(()
page-" c/(

K: Owned thrs Bessemer trust?

A: Yeah.

K: Owned it, ok..

J: Or, but he tried to scare me away from here. Oh they'd been a Negro settlement

down here and everything.

B: We perservered, we....

J: We till I saw it. So I wouldn't let them scare me, so they finally

got tired of holding the land there and sold it to somebody else and he filled

in a lot of it, planted trees around it, one thing or another and so he made

some money, I think, but not near as much as, I guess he didn't think there

would ever be a golf course there.


K: I guess not. How about the political life of this community?


B: Oh, it's Oh dear me, the county commission race is really

something. Oh, we, old folks come to the fights and all kinds of things in

the county commissioner's race.

K: From the north end of the county, then?

B: Yeah, we have great excitement.

K: How about the...

B: Very bitter.

K: about the town itself? Did you have a town council or a town ?

B: Yeah, they did. They did. But we were on the outskirts of all this, you see.

J: I, uh, we never were in the incorporated town of Jupiter, if you want to call it

that. We were over here and there wasn't any bridge or anything and they came in

a boat over here to just like my father. See, in those days you had to have

twenty-five male signers to get anything like that started in Tallahassee and so

the came over here to my father to get him to sign, to start the

And 'said to them, "Well, whatcha going to do for me way over here?" That kind of

PBC 7 b(l)--

J: stopped them for a while and they said, "Police protection." "Well," he says,

"What do you think I've been doing here for the last twenty years?" So we got

left out again. We'll never get back. They tried to to takeAin several times

but I always voted against it.

K: So your decidedly unincorporated.

B: Area unincorporated.

J: The town of Jupiter, the followers, they had had some choice guys on there.

This life-saving station round here was government property and they, during

the boom they planted it and were going to sell it, but then the boom busted

and so there they were and so they, the town of Jupiter applied for some of

it and they, they got a strip of it and they, they since leased it tothe

county where all the buildings are and all that along there and then they have

other pieces in there, too. But, they leased it or sold it or did something

to that land where the buildings are now and they built the cottages along there

and you could get a lease or a deed or something or other and build yourself

whatever you wanted to along there and so _Cross, she got on to them

about that and they had to give up the idea and go back to the town. They

were just taking it in there. They built that TWA or whatever it was built that

log cabin there and they started a restaurant.there and put on of the council-

men's son-in-law in charge of it and they did a lot of things.

K: Now, oh, here's a map. That's going to help me, now.

B: I don't know whether it will or not.

K: Oh.

B: Half of the first Jupiter reservation, 1865.

K: Oh ho. Then it won't help me,then.

B: Our town council, I mean, I doT'-gkeknow what, administrator, county administrator

I think wanted that map of the Loxahatchee River.

K: Uh huh. So the old fort was right up there at the fork and South Palm andcL /5.L r


PBC 7 b(1)
page-45 b

B: See, there was two locations.

K: Sort of like Fort Lauderdale -- two different forts. Uh huh.

A: It's like where the inlet -- oh, here's the inlet down here,

okay. Coming up.

K: Uh huh.

A: Right.

K: Coming up from down here.

A: Let's not

K: Would you repeat that about getting Jupiter back on the

B: Well this is the first one that had Jupiter back on the depot instead of


K: Uh huh. That was what, 19--,...

B: A young man who had a photograph album, not a young man, and he gave me the

picture to have reproduced.

A: I see the caption is 1914. Is that when the name....

B: That's when I came to Jupiter and that's where the station was, then. It didn't

have anything to do with the Neptune. That is the railroad dock, I guess.

K: Huh. And that's Bowers' store next to it.

A: Yeah.

B: Yeah.

K: Uh huh.

B: Bowers' store, Ziegler's store and the post office were all in that little, it

was our shopping center, what's called.


B: Here's my old friend Kelly Ogilsvy. Honestly, Kelly! That long serious face


K: Now he was the....

B: I can remember when the first telephone was put in Jupiter. He had the first

telephone down in the store there and Mr. Laird is in the picture, I think,

PBC 7 b(1)
page -46 7

B: one of the telephone officials.

K: Hmm.

A: This is Stan Dobbs, isn't it? Yeah, left to right, yeah, Stan Dobbs. I

recognized him.

K: Uh huh.

B: Well, I wouldn't have known him.

A: Yeah, from the telephone company.

K: Kelly Ogilsvy, now you said was the brother-in-law of....

B: Brother-in-law of....

J: Frank Bowers.

B: Yeah.

K: Uh huh.

B: Set our school house there.

A: That's a picture of Wilson.

B: No, no that's my brother Jack.

A: Uh huh.

B: And this is theOregon. It's one picture and this is the Oregon in action.

You see, the Oregon stopped off Jup,iter It caused quite

a furor because they thought we were about to be attacked by the Spaniards, so

when the they got all the life-saving men in the lighthouse, all

armed to repel the invaders and when the boats began to come in through the

inlet, why they discovered, of course, it was the U.S. Navy.

K: How deep is the inlet? What sort of craft would that take? A ?

B: Well, that was the funniest thing. There's this woman who wrote about

McKinley, the book about McKinley and she has the Oregon sailing right in through

the inlet which is, of course/ridiculous.

K: Yeah, I was going to say.

J: Well....

PBC 7 b(1

B: I was telling you about Shorty Root. This is the famous houseboat.

J: The Jupiter inlet is the natural gap in the barrier reef. There's been an inlet for

the surplus war from below Delray up to Stuart to run out in the early days. It was

just one big lake back there in the rainy season or after a big hurricane and you

don't find any other inlets till you get down to Boca Raton, there's a natural

inlet, but Jupiter across the bar rocks, they can find ten or twelve feet of water,

sometimes after a big rain, why it was washed out, so they could bring in quite a

large vessel.


J: There was some old fellow that was reputed to have found a trunk on the beach and

in it was quite a lot of gold and so he went up to Jacksonville and spent most of

his money, but he bought this schooner or some kind of vessel and he came back in

the Jupiter inlet....

J: together palmetto piling to take down to Key West. Piling was scarce down

there and there was lots of them right along the river and they came up and tied

up their vessel there inside of the inlet and went up the Loxahatchee and they had

such a good time hunting and fishing that they forgot all about the inlet

The tides ran shallower.and so it just so happened, there wasn't any rain that year

and the inlet closed up. Left his vessel sitting inside there and coudln't get it

out. There wasn't, the intercoastal waterway wasn't dug out for a sailing boat of

that size and so it just sat there and the sails rotted off of it and one thing or

another and the old fellow had to walk to-4Ke-, back to Jacksonville. All he had

to eat was turtle eggs and found him some bottles of rum along there. Hot rum and

turtle eggs. Finally he got to where he could get something better to eat. He

was pretty sick of eating that. Imagine.


A: I can make you '-this is an invoice from Brothers?

J: Uh huh.

PBC 7 b(1)
page 48 L/

A: Now this was in 1928. Flour 80; cheese 50; ham 30U; bread 60;

onions 20; roast $1.25; beets 50U; pears 40; for $4.35. Another

one I've got here: steak 80t.

J: Well, how much steak was that?

A: The didn't put any rates John, just give them out.

B: Well, they had to sit there and write all that out by hand when you went in and

bought something, which must have been an awful bother when I see how they check

them out today.

A: Sugar 40; macaroni 20; sausage 55.,

J: They give you, they had a little notebook that was carbon paper and they'd write

down there and give you the colored slip. If you would keep that -- there was

quite a few of them -- add it up, see if this they came out with it.

A: Eggs $1.95. Must have been a heck of a lot of eggs.

J: Yeah, well....

B: Eggs and milk were awful high when we were in

J: My father had a cow and he used to take down to the neighbors a quart of milk for

eight cents.

B: I loved uncle Pier, when uncle Pier, John's uncle was an old Klondike prospector

and he'd come to visit once in a while and his stories were always priceless

and he, he told the story about when Grover Cleveland, he came down, of course,

and camped on the rock ledge on his honeymoon and he used to make

a trip to Florida almost every year. He loved to come to Florida. He loved

fishing and so John's father went over to Jupiter and they had this cow and they

called it Mrs. Cow and the cat was Mrs. Cat, but anyway, John's father came run-

ning up the hill for all he was worth and he yelled to Uncle Pier, "Go down and

milk Mrs. Cow! Grover Cleveland is over on the railroad siding and he wants an

oyster stew." So they hurried up and milked the cow, brought the milk over so

Grover Cleveland could have his oyster stew. And that was....

PBC 7 b(1) c(l)
page -4 .5,5





was the tobacco tycoon, I

think he was, his

father or he, was the

millionaire in the United States and he had this huge houseboat and he would anchor

it over here by the inlet and then he had a whole flotilla of boats around it. He

would have a boat for his horses and his, and they would have carriages and they

would have speedboats and fishing boats and all of this going on over there by the

inlet and he described Mr. to me. Anyway they, was quite

interested in this and so I came,when I was over here to Smyrna, I came across a

picture of houseboats, so I did the story for the Gateway and used

the picture. I got it from Uncle Pier. He was a big

K: Well, what I would like to do at this point is stop this tape. Wait a minute --

let me stop it -- and say I'd like to go back and listen, absorb it, take it down,

and then if we could, maybe do one or two more tapes on specific points at a later

time rather than trying to get everything on one tape. We will, of course, have

it recorded and send you copies of it, as usual, and send copies to Dr, Proctor

in Gainesville. So thank you very much for the tape.

(End bl, begin cl side b2 is blank)

That was, I was a baby.

Yeah, that was when John was a baby.

This was a newspaper clipping?

No, this is actually just happened. It was one of Uncle Pier's stories when

he came down. He was there staying his, John's father when this occurred and

then he told me the story, of course, of house

I did that for the Gateway magazine. of course, who
was it


PBC 7 c(l)
page 50 S -

K: Today is August 15, 1980. This is Dr, Harry Kersey at Florida Atlantic University,

I am conducting the second interview with Mr. and Mrs. John Dubois,.Jupiter,

concerning the history of their family in this area. Let me start our interview

today by asking you some specific questions about Jupiter history, the area history

in this area and your family's involvement in it. One question that I've always

had because of my own interest in Indians is the impact of Indian trade in different
communities in South Florida and I just wanted your opinionAyour thoughts of

anything that you recall about the role that Indians might have played in the

growth, the economic enterprises here, the trading of the stores like Bowers' or

others. How do you feel about that, either one of you?

B: Well, we lived right across from -Kitching's store and of course that

was very handy for the Indians to come in and to come right into the store in their

wagons and I can remember them coming in -ir 1914 when we first came in a covered

wagon with oxen and they had live hogs in the wagon. _terrible scream.

These hogs was making, they were being dragged out of the wagon and the corral up

there that they could put livestock in to be shipped by train and they would trade

with Pa Kitching and he would keep, the store keepers in those days would keep things

like calico and staples and things that the Indians needed and they would trade furs

and things of that sort with the storekeepers.

K: The use of wagons seemed to be, from what I understand, unique to the Indians up in

this area. -Why -hey didn't use wagons, obviously, as much down furthe/1where the

water was higher and they had to do a lot of poling and they came in, brought their

hides and their furs into places 4w Scranahan's in Ft. Lauderdale and so forth, but

I've read several accounts and now you're verifying another one about how they used

wagons a great deal. I guess it was the general nature of the terrain up here that

they could get away with that.

B: Well, Joe Bowers used to bring his oranges in in a great big covered wagon with

double teams of oxen and they would bring them into the store to ship from the

PBC 7 c(1)
page -5+t-
mj b

B: railroad here, but they came in on Indian town road.

K: Right. Well they were, from your recollection, were they in frequently or did they

come in, as in other places, maybe once a month or twice a month or was there a

pretty steady traffic?

B: I think there wasn't any real rhyme or reason to when they came in if I remember.

I don't remember that well, but I know when you talk about the Indians, they had

favorite people that they liked to visit and Captain Armour who kept the lighthouse

for forty years/was one of those people and in 197-, in 1872 when the Victor

wrecked, why they happened on the scene with seven canoe-loads of Indians, They

were stopping by to visit Captain Armour and when they found out about this shipwreck,

why they camped on the beach and salvaged a lot of this stuff that came in and I was

writing for Tequesta about that and I wanted to verify what the Indians did and so

I said something to Mr. and he asked Billy Bowlegs and Billy Bowlegs, I

guess, was, he was from Jupiter at that time, but he remembered them coming in with

all the salvage they got from the ship.

K: He would have certainly been around at that time, living as long as he did,

B: Well, now he would have been about twelve years old.

K: About that, about that. The, the Indians who came in here were, of course, were

Indians, the northern branch of the Seminoles. The Creek speakers

lived out toward Taylor Creek and

B: Michigan Creek?

K: What?

B: Michigan Creek?

K: As far around as that and, but again the group up here were always separated from

the s COS" -peakers further south. They had different patterns and joined

different people. In terms of the Bowers' store and the Kitching's store, these

families seemed to have a lot of interaction with the Indians, a great deal. Of course

Bowers through his brother's...

PBC 7 c(1)
page 52-5

K: ...connection down :at Indian town, A lot of them assumed the Bowers name later on.

Did you ever get any feel for how the townspeople felt about Indians? In some

communities, storekeepers liked the Indians, not only for their business but as people,

but I've had an impression, you know, ...

B: Oh, yes.

K: his book and in talking to him, he had the impression that the Indians weren't

always welcome in the community, that the townspeople, if they didn't openly dislike

the Indian, they felt that they were a little dirty or weren't....

B: They never felt that way about them here in Jupiter. Course we lived, now John lived

on the over side of the river and I don't know whether he, how many Indians he saw

there. On our side, you see, we were right there near'Kitching store and you could

see them as they come in, but in Mr. Greed's book that he wrote on the history of

Jupiter Island, he tells about how his mother, when the Indians would come in, they'd

invitedthem to eat, but they'd make them go take a washing for it,

K: Uh huh. Well, this was not uncommon in certain places. John, do you have any memories

at all?

J: I naturally remember the Indians before 1914 and old Pa Kitching had them before 19--.

Pa Pitching and were in trade with them. They traded with Bowers'

store and a trader would come in there and buy one item at a time and pay for it

there. They brought in a lot of clean hides, kind of a store

room attached to the store there where he kept his surplus store, and whatever

great piles of alligator hides, coon hides,and things. Of course part of that was

white people were catching the alligators more than the Indians were in them days,

It was a animal and they really slaughtered the alligators. The Indians,

I can remember a time when this Indian girl or woman came back from, I suppose it was

Oklahoma, and tried to persuade the Indians here to come on over with them, over

where they were, that things were better, I can remember her standing there trying to

talk to this old Indian Chief, a a-headed old fellow with a long shirt tail on.

That is he didn't have any trousers and so, but apparently she didn't make any

PBC 7 c(1)
page 5J67




: progress because of and she was wrong _

: Lot of missionaries, a lot of Indian missionaries from Okalhoma came down.

: Well, I don'tAwhether there was a lot of them, but I remember this one woman

standing there in here high-heel shoes, lots of missionaries in the tribe to, wanted

to save this old man, but he was better for it than she was. And

he was pretty drunk.

K: 'Oh, he was pretty drunk at the time, too.

J: Yeah, that was always trouble with him. The man would get drunk when they let him

there. They weren't supposed to be selling any liquor, but somehow

or another they found it. I remember this one incident in the Bowers'

store there, this Indian brought in his can that is what do you call grease?
B: Lard?

J: Yeah, lard and so he was buying this can of lard and so Mr. Bowers took the ladle,

dipped in his mashed it down on# there and poured till it cleared up

and set it on the scale and set it down on the counter and the old Indian said,

"Uh," and he took his hand and he pressed it down and Mr. Bowers _

then he just calmly filled it all up again and waited again and

(Laughter) Tel' l -;-' .I i-ic Z/Ji/tx 7i^^^-

J: Thought maybe that the but he wanted his can full, damn full. They would

buy bread and

K: Did they move to Kitching's for any particular reason? Did Bowers' close down? Is

that why they went to Kitching's?

J: No. Well, Kitching's was a lot nearer their camp. They had a place out just about

on Center Street, the very opposite -- what is that street,goes down through

B: Mary Avenue.or something?

J: Mary Avenue, yeah. Well, lta-t was real high ground where they could camp, If it

rained, why they water wouldn't settle in the tents and

PBC 7 c(1)
page 5

J: a little competition never did any harm, Indians and I think Bowers

always treated them fair.

K: Uh huh.

J: I don't think they made a lot of difference to the town. They, some of the Indians

in the early days would bring in -rmeat to sell and maybe a nice tan skin or


B: And huckleberries.

J: Yeah, they, I think they even came around over to our house way in the '30's with

huckleberries to sell.

K: Uh huh.

There seemed to be a pattern up here that,wasn't, again, found as much further south

-- the bringing in the berries and this sort of thing. The Indians seemed to come in,

do their trading and leave, and didn't have much interaction around the stores in

Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

J: No, they didn't trust they white man too much, that is, they didn't live like the

white man. They were still living in their chikees, travelling in their covered

wagons, and-thS when they travelled, they took everything with them: their

pigs and the chickens, ducks and picaninnies.


K: That term, that was something I found during my book, the use of the term

"picaninny" as opposed to "1 or whatever else, cause that was

just a very common, Florida use of the term.

B: Mr. Hisbett did some of the, did the pictures for that later book

and evidently he brought his son Ernie out there when he was that small, and Ernie

went out and visited them some years later and Billy Bowlegs said, "Me knew you when

you were just picaninny."

K: Yeah. Mrs. Taylor, up in Stuart, remembers when she was a child, an Indian asked

her father, "Is this your picaninny?" You, know the term was used interchangeably
by both. It wasn't derogation by the whites and the Indians. The Indians used it, toc
by both. It wasn't derogation by the whites and the Indians. The Indians used it, toc

PBC 7 c(l)
page 5...

K: It was just a common use, so I find that very interesting myself.

J: I can remember a time when they were in their dugouts, they came down there in front

of our house in the old shell mound there and they were spearing fish. They'd have

a spear on the end of their long poling pole and they'd pole it out in front of them

and give a stab like that and come up with a fish on the end of it. They would

get, spear fish on it.

K: I don't think I've ever heard of that before -- spearing with a pole.

J: Well, yeah, they'd have a long pole and they would...

K: Yeah, uh huh.

J: ...and they would wade and go like this and Jonathan Dickens would bring

those striking sticks, they call them. I suppose in those days, they didn't have

a spear. They just had a stick with a sharp point on it or something like that.

K: Further south they developed some very special arrows and they gave up shooting

the arrows. They just used them for spearing the fish.

J: Well, these arrows -- what were they made out of reeds or...

K: Yeah, very light...

J: ...they weren't very light wood were they?

K: No.

J: They were kind of a cane.

K: Kind of a cane.

J: They could harden those in the fire to where they'd shoot anything

K: So they used those and then a lot of them, they didn't even use a bow. They would

just use later on by hand in the real shallow water.

J: Yeah.

K: pole. Well, that's interesting. This sort of confirms the way I

thought it was. The Indians were colorful but not crucial.

J: The fish would come in the Jupiter inlet there at certain seasons of the year, great

schools of them and the Indians probably knew what time of the moon and everything

come and be ready. On the west coast of Florida, they have what they call [stomp

PBC 7 c(l)
page4- 5 7

J: fishing there and the old cracker natives used to come down to the coast in the

fall of the year when the mullets were spawning and they put a, what they called

a stomp net. The mullet would .wu in and then they put the net

across it and then when the tide went out, they were left in a lot less water and

they could get in there and drag them out with, _e'_e or cast nets nets.
to Y /
The mullet were put in a smaller areaAwhere they were easier to capture and

they would save the red roe, they called it. That was a great favorite with the

SThey'd salt that down and that kept things


K: This camp that you mentioned out on -- what Center Street or near Kitching's --

was that a temporary camp or...

B: Oh, yes.

J: Yes.

K: Just when they came into the area.

B: Yes.

J: When they left, they didn't leave anything behind.

K: Yes. See, that was much like when they came into Fort Lauderdale, there was

some open ground near Spanahan's store and they would just camp there temporarily,

I think.


K: Okay.

J: I think before, at high, at different high water times, that they could pole their

canoes right all the way from Indian town to Jupiter through the backwaters of the

Loxahatchee because there's a tale that old Billy Bowlegs tells about he had a

brand new canoe when he came to Jupiter to meet some friends, sell a few hides and

he met some old folks from down further south, e+ose-to Miami, and so apparently

he didn't need to take his new canoe with him and so he hid it out in the saw grass

someplace and when he came back, six or eight months later, to pick up his canoe

or dugout, why, the worms had riddled the bottom so...

PBC 7 c(1)
page-5-7 -


J: Yeah, so he was falling right out of his dugout, cypress.

They're very fond of fresh wood and cypress and their just like

to water worms.


J: So I don't know whether he had to walk home or how he got home, but,.,,

K: He was an interesting character, a man who -- I think Mr, and others

catapulted into prominence -- but never became a real leader within the tribal

structure. I think he was more important to people outside of the tribe as a

teller of tales and as a figure that he any gained any recognition,

J: Well, he had an amount of education, that he could order things out of the

catalogues for his, different people and for himself.


J: He was a great one to have fancy clothes.


B: The time that he came over with Mr. Divan, he said, he said something to

Mr. Divan and Mr. Divan said, "Billy Bowlegs wants me to tell you that his

grandmother was here at Jupiter" I guess they had some kind of a.d

or something and while they were, the excitement that everybody was watching, ni

she's slipped away.

K: At the fort.

B: Yes.

K: His grandmother.

B: Yeah, his grandmother.

K: I understand they still have over in Sebring, the shotg




Billy Bowlegs' shotgun, by his house.

Mr. -- Okeechobee -- Maserve, Alex Maserve told me that he used to hunt with him

and did out there and Okeechobee, of course,

were friends of bis.

PBC 7 c(1)
page& -5

B: That was very, there was a young Boy Scout -- well, he was one of the oldest

scouts -- Scott Hight and Scott and some of the other scouts decided that they

wanted to learn some of the Indian dances and songs and so they went out to

Billy Bowlegs' camp and _, wherever it was, and they said they came into

the camp and he wasn't there. So they all kind of sat around and waited for him and

they suddenly he appeared. They heard no sound; he just appeared in the middle of

them and when they told him what they wanted, why he taught them the songs and he

taught them the dances and they got constumes to, Indian costumes, and they used to

give a regular show for the scouts at intervals and they say it was very wonderful.

We were invited to hear it, but I never did get up there.

K: Right. We have, he lived alone out there, He was pretty much of a loner, He was

not -- and that was because, I think of his family background -- he was one of the

few who had a Mikasuki origin living among the Cow Creeks and that was, as I

recall, that was sort of different, too. Okay, well, if you recall other things,

we can always come back to these subjects.

B: I know they had great respect for him, the other Indians, because when they wrote this

ceremony up at Park and the poor old fellow had

difficulty rising, one of the other Indians -- they wanted to help him, you could see

they were just concerned -- but nobody dared to put a hand out to help him and when

someone took a picture of them complete with Billy Bowlegs, they begged to have one

of his pictures very much.

K: Uh huh. His, oh, I think he was venerated as a person. I was thinking more about the

political structure of the tribe, so that kind of leadership that he never got to the

inner circle there. Okay, if the Indians played that role in the development, let me

back up historically a little bit and I guess this would be a good education for all

of us on the real role of the Celestial Railroad in the development of this area that

some people have said, you know, that'swh/y the area developed. How do you feel

about that?

PBC 7 c(1)
page 60

B: Well, of course before that Celestial Railroad came into, in commission, why they,

the Indian River steamers would come down the Indian River and dock across from the

light house and then they had a hack line that took passengers down to the head of

Lake Worth and they say it was a real rocky road because they didn't rub all the

palmettos out and they bumped along, pretty rough going. But when they, when they

laid this, the route for the Celestial Railroad, that made this the transportation

center of southeast Florida when Mr. Flagler's railroad came in and that was really

the reason that the county was changed, the county seat was changed from Miami to

Jupiter. Now that was voted in 1889. The railroad was, the track was laid but

it wasn't quite completed then, but it started running in 1890 and of course, it

was seven and a half miles from Jupiter to Juno. First they had another steamer

to Lake Worth that met them at the end of the Celestial Railroad. Celestial

Railway, by the way, didn't have any turntables so it went straight down to Lake

Worth and back up to Jupiter.

K: Yeah. I guess the people who would talk about this were referring to the fact that

with a hack line you were limited to carrying passengers, light freight, but once

you got a railroad in, that just really opened up the rest of the area which

Jupiter Without a turntable, what about repair shops and

things of that nature?

B: They had repair shops here, I'm pretty sure because they, for instance, when-trrt ,

when they had .to repair the engines.

K: Well, I guess what I'm trying to get around to also here, one time there was a big

plan, I recall, to make Okeechobee the repair center and put all the shops for the

Florida East Cast. I don't know if you ever heard that story.

B: No, I haven't heard it.

K: But one time they were going to make Okeechobee as a planned town and that's why they

have those big, broad avenues over there and it was going to become thecompany town

for the Florida East Coast Railroad and then the man who was going to do that died.

I've forgotten the vice-president. Maybe it was Ingraham, the fellow who _

PBC 7 c(1)
page-64 6

K: land comapny, and so they left all the shops upallh Saint Augustine, but any time you

have railroad shops and company headquarters, obviously there's economic impact. I

guess what I'm getting at here, was there anything like with the Celestial Railroad?

Did they bring in shops and a number of railroad people here or was it so small


B: I don't, I don't believe so.

J: I think they had sidings where they could run, you see, they eventually had more than

just one locomotive. I think they eventually ended up with three locomotives and there

were sidings and places where they could store those or repair them and that was right

near the~,:V docks there were the steamships ran. They were later, they were right

there were McGill had his pineapple patches and things and whenever they

put in the railroad, why they reverted back to the original owners and,

I'd rather sit here, my legs don't get all hyped up so.

B: Okay.


A: Let
I mean
K: So, what are the families tie here? ?

B: Well, there were families that came here to be with the railroad. I know there was

Captain Maddox, He was the, tiSbWS conductor on the Celestial Railroad

and Rice was another. He was the engineer most of the time. I

remember the name of the man who was the fireman and I have it written down but

can't recall it.

J: Long.

B: Long.

K: These were the families that came and stayed and there's still their descendents in

the area?

B: Well, now, I, I, Mrs. Sumner up in Fort Pierce was a granddaughter of Captain Maddox

and when we went up to Saint Augustine, for the State Historical Society Meeting, she

took me out to the cemetery, out in Saint Augustine to his grave and then his, her

PBC 7 c(l)

B: father, who was called Kid Maddox, received some type of reward for saving a fireman

when they had some kind of an accident down here near Urban River bridge, somewhere

down in that neighborhood and he worked She had more clip-

pings and things about her father, really, than she did about her grandfather.
W1 : uh -)
was more interested in her grandfather, of course, and their dealings on the

Celestial Railroad. Now the car that shows in the picture is half baggage and half

passenger car.

K: Uh huh.

B: That's what they had in those days.

K: And then, of course, with the coming of Florida East Coast, they pretty much....

B: They sold all of the rolling stock in 1898 of the Celestial Railroad. Now people

prize a spike or a tie. I have a lock, some one gave me, piece of the

railroad iron. spike. spike, you may have one.

K: Super. It would be worth having, wouldn't it?

A: Uh huh.

K: Take you up on that. That's interesting. Just trying to plug in. Now, of course,

John, did your family have anything to do with the railroad per se?

J: No. My father didn't work for government or the, well, he did work, I supposed''

the government with the life saving station. He was a member of the crew for the

duration of the thing, I guess. During the summers-months when the ocean was,

the hurricane season was over, why they shut the station up for a couple or three

months and he bought some twenty acres of land about a half a mile away over on the

intercoastal waterway and he cleared it up and planted pineapples there and he would

work there on his days off and so forth and he'd build, had a packing house built

there and it was building 14 x 28 and when the pineapple business went out of style

i', he tore that down and brought it back up here to Jupiter where the ld shell

mound is and he tore it down piece by piece and it had a little scow and he bring it

back up to the He built the old house of them. I don't think he

hardly lost a piece of wood.

PBC 7 c(1)
page-62 9


J: And that building is still here. I imagine its the oldest building still standing

that was built here in Jupiter. It was built in, well, I don't know just when,

the 1890's, somewhere back there and tore it down and 1905 or '06 or somewhere along

in there, brought it home. It sat out there vacant for a number of years. As a

small boy, why, sometimes I went with my father out there and the pineapples, even

after he'd quit taking care of them really good, why they still had pineapples on

them and so he would pack what he could, put them on the express

train and ship them away and I can remember he had a cider press

and he would take these pineapples and ring the crown out of them and put them in

this little box and it had a kind of like a spade and he'd chop them up and put

them in the press and then he had a, a plank that he stuck under the window sill or

something, anyhow, he'd press down on there and the pineapple juice would come out

into a pitcher. We had fresh pineapple juice to drink. No sugar and no ice, but

still it was pineapple juice, pure and simple.

K: He was shipping away, though, on the FEC at that time?

J: Yeah, uh huh.

K: Yeah, cause they'd sold out by that time,

J: He'd go out there. The pineapples patch there, apparently the frost would settle

somehow or other in this land, and so first he covered them with straw to keep the

frost out. You see, the frost would generally come just when the pineapple was

starting to bloom and it would kill the crown or the blossom end of it and then

the pineapple would come up and be bald headed, not so good for fruit, but good

enough for pineapple juice and so then helglass and put a shed over them and

The price of pineapples went down so bad that he just, he

couldn't afford to fertilize them. He had to stay home. He'd.already bought the

shell mound place here and he had to stay around and work. He, during the winter

season when the Ponciana was open, why he could catch pompano and the price was

pretty good. They'd give you 25 pound which was quite a price for pompano in

PBC 7 c(1).--
page 3 4 5

J: those days, but as soon as the hotel shut, well the price went down by eight or

ten cents, _, so it wasn't worth hauling all the way to

West Palm Beach for __ into the railroad downithere. The express

train didn't always run the right time of day to put them on and we didn't have any

ice, so we had to hurry with them down to Atlantic Fish Company in West Palm Beach.

We fished for other kind of fish, but pompano was our main thing we fished at night

with gill nets. At first we had( O row boat, row skim. It had two

sets of oars in it and it had a, we put a net out from shore to the southeast and

then the GulfS+farM tide would float it along. These nets aO'cA have very heavy

leads on them and they'd drift north and the outer end would drift faster than the

shore end, so the next thing you know, the net was running parallel with the beach

and so then they'd take it up and pick up the fish and crabs and the sea weed and

row on farther south, maybe, a quarter of mile and set it out again and I know the

old man, if we were catching four or five fish in a set, he figured that was making

wages and so we stayed Sometimes, though, we'd catch, in one

set, we'd catchy fifty or sixty pompano and we'd end up with fifty or sixty dollars

worth of pompano to take to West Palm Beach. It was hard work. Later on, why, my

father bought a little gasoline motor and put it in the skiff and we could go and

come like that. It wasn't so much hard work rowing and then if a norther' was

coming up, why sometimes it'd come up so quick that you could only row back a mile

from the south to get the inlet to come home and in the dark, black

night, you couldn't always tell where the damn inlet was anyway!


A time or two, I didn't know whether I was going to get home or not.

K: This was, how old would have been when you were doing this, mostly?

J: Oh, anywhere from fourteen on up to eighteen or nineteen.

K: Before we take a break, let me last, ask one last question. Maybe this, this one

about the activity around here doing the twenties and maybe I'll have to lead
into it?

PBC 7 c(1/
page -&4T

B: You're talking about the bootlegging area?

K: The bootlegging was, rum running I know was pretty rampant along the coast here.

B: Oh, it was, it was. Our inlet was, you'd hear them roaring in in the night.


J: For some reason or other, they, in those early there, the inlet was good enough so that

the government patrol boats would come right on/ft and they'd come in and anchor back

up in the channel there and, of course, there were always scouts and one thing or

another to keep the boats from coming in. They'd go somewhere's else or land on the

beach and on those, especially on moon light nights, why the dogs would all, barking

all the time. Somebody snooping around and all, give them the blink, blink, blink so

they'd know whether to come in or not. I know there was a government agent that was

trying to find out what was going on down here about Rob Baker, the sheriff, and so

on and so on. He wanted me to, if a rum boat ever came in, why, he wanted you to

call him and we'd go and see what happened, if we could catch him. So this night,

why, a boat, I can hear it coming in -- bump, bump, bump, bump,bump -- you know how

exhaust way down near the water floated good and so I ran up to the house where he

was supposed to be. I didn't know whether he would come, whether he was there or not

and sure enough he was there and so I got him in the car and it was kind of moonlight

and I didn't turn the headlights on and we ran over to this bridge and I parked my

car back aways from the bridge and we snuck down there and sure enough, I could hear

the boat coming and so Mr. Fatmer, he was, that was the name of the government agent,

so the moon was shining so bright that I thought the guy could see me there on the

bridge, but evidently the tide was just low enough, he barely could get under it, so

I was afraid to jump on the thing coming under it. We might get squashed under there

or something, so I waited till the bow came out of the other side of the bridge and

I jumped down on it, with my gun in my hand and announced who I was and what they were

to do and they just sat there petrified and then the motor was still running and it

was in gear and it kept right on a going and Mr. Palmer, he was there on the shore,

and the boat, I had to climb over the sacks and one thing or another and get right

PBC 7 1)-C2)
page '6-
mjb /

J: back in there with the guys and turn the damn boat around myself and bring it back

and Palmer thought didn't hear anything, and so he didn't know what the hell had

become of me. He couldn't see nothing. He got down there in the shade of the

trees are in the dark and he come tearing down through the palmettos, &ay4- "

John, ." And so I got the boat back there and so then I didn't

know what to do with it. I wanted to call and the....

B: .--- _-

J: Yeah, they, the was over at the radio station, the only one that wM,

would be open that time of dayand so I said, "Well, you stay here and watch the

boat and I'll go over there and 1 eLl e l-" He goes, "Oh, we'll take these

prisoners with us." And he says, "You got handcuffs, ain't ya?" I said, "Yeah."

I had to put the, handcuff them together in the back seat. We drove over to the

radio station and called customs and they came on out and took charge of it and

so that was the end of that. I don't know.

B: Tell them about the handcuffs, John. Those are the ones you got off the

Not the but the They were intrigued with those hand-

cuffs, they were such ancient ones.
J: Well, they were hand-made and they went on with a speel. If it's on a

you'd have to cut them off.


Spool wound down and so, well, anyhow....

(End side cl, begin c2)

K: Did, well, am I to assume from this that you had been a deputy? Did you have some

sort of official power?

J: Oh, yes. I was the, I was constable for District I. I had as much power in my

district, and I had a -- what you call it from the governor -- as the sheriff

did. I could arrest if the sheriff, if he'd a done something up there in my


PBC 7 cC2)

K: How long were you constable?

J: Well, I got elected way back when nobody ever questioned it. I was constable for

twenty years.

A: Oh, my lord.

B: Yes.

J: And then finally, they, the mayor voiced a petition up and got enough signers so that

the governor appointed me.

K: What, what years are these? ?

J: Well, I got the, thing right here. I got my paper from the governor out there with

his name on it.

K: So, you were a law enforcement man?

J: Oh, yes. I used to go with the what they would call

officers. Somebody would call into theprohibitionoffice down in West Palm Beach.

He might been another that was mad at somebody because it was on

his territory or something or other or sell whiskey to the wrong person, anyhow,

they would come up to me and, "John, do you know where such and such a place is out

along Limestone Creek?" or something like that. Want me to take them to it, so quite

a few times I found some stills for them. They never found any, caught anybody,

actually and one time up here, Martin County, why, there was an old
$- I v hq had a filling station and it was right on the new Dixie highway had just

been built through there and it was clean and he had a eating place and sold his stuff


B: John, tell them about the time you broke up the Ashley still.


B: That's a good story.

J: The what?

K: The Ashley, Ashley still.

J: Oh. Well, the answer through with Florida, that was

I guess part of the whole time. And they were kind of like on a high, sand place and

PBC 7 c(2)1

J: from their, from their home you could look out off over the prairie most anywhere and

see who was coming and who was going and all that. So it was kind of hard

to ever slip up on anybody there and find them and so this time, why, I went up there

with them. They were going to show me this still that they'd found and so I was curious

to see. I'd seen some of the other stills that had been abandoned, maybe there was a

half-a-dozen, but they'd dug it down a open-surface well and had a pump out on it, a

force pump and then they had these big cypress boxes that were water tight and they put

the masher in that. They didn't use barrels. These were scattered around there. There

wasn't any still there. I think the got in there before the mash was ripe

and made, didn't run it, so it was starting to sour there in the boxes, so these guys

decided, well, we aren't going to catch them here no how, but we'd better destroy what

we got here and so they got, took off their coats and got out their axes and start

chopping things up and there's old slop going out all over the ground there. They piled

it up, made a fire, just kind of in a hollow like between trees on this side and on that

side and palmettos and what you call sand pond. It was a lake. If it rained real hard

it would be a water lake, but dry weather, why it was ideal because what's the

use of cleaning up land when you can find some that's already clean? You tf,4&e, us

Florida crackers ain't going to work to hard.


So it, fire was a turning there, you know, and going on and I could hear voices off in

the distance and so the head of the outfit had had everything going and the fire

was about under control, why, said, "Let's go over to old Bill's house and get a drink

of water." Alright. So I piled in with the rest of them, going to Bill's. I drove up

in the yard...

B: That was Bill Ashley.

K: Uh huh.

J: ...old says, tells he wants a drink -- "Oh, sure, sure" -- and so he's got

the pump handle and he work it up and down real hard, you know, and get the water good

and fresh and cool and trying the dipper and one thing another and so old

PBC 7 c(2
page / L

J: says, "Oh, who's masher is that over there we just burned up?" And

said, "What mash? I didn't know there was any masher over there." Well, alright.

So, we drank it up and then old Bill talked this way and that and how you feeling

and so on and when he's leaving, why, Bill say, "Well, boys, you up this way again,

stop in and see me." So....

B: I think one story about Peters is very good. He went out to some place out, I guess,

in West Jupiter there where somebody was selling moonshine and they went into this

house and they found a gallon of moonshine there,alright and nobody, the man of the

house wasn't there. The woman was there and so she begged so hard not to be taken off,

to wait till he got home. So he sat there with that gallon of moonshine on his knee

waiting for this man to come home and she was busy cooking around there and all of the

sudden she turned quick and hit that jug a smart lick and smashed it and he was just

drenched in moonshine, but the evidence was gone.

K: Now was a local.or was he a ?

B: He was one of the prohibition agents.

K: He was the one that was up this way most of the time.

B: He was one who was with them the night that George Morris shot Monteur and Patterson

in West Palm Beach and he was with them, but somehow he escaped. He didn't get shot.

The other two men were killed.

K: There was never between the Ashley's and ke Sheriff Baker.

B: Oh, no, no, no, no, no.


K: I recall that was a pretty, pretty serious sort of....

B: Well, he killed the sheriff. They was brothers. That made blood feuds right there.

K: When you went up to the house, was this before the shoot-out up at Sebastian? Was

that before the gang got ?


K: Now this would have been before what, '24?

PBC 7 c(2)
page V-7 [

J: Yeah. My uncle was in the fire department down in West Palm Beach e4fmed- that those

fellows, he saw them and then brought them in very shortly after. Anyhow, they, they

looked like that they'd been shot with handcuffs on.

B: Their wrists were all....

K: Uh huh.

B: Well, Mr. Fee made a talk to the Pioneer's Association there one time and his father

was the undertaker up there in, up here somewhere, I guess, and they slept on a

sleeping porch right over the undertaker's establishment and said,the sherrif came

up and he sas, "Fee, get up and come down here. We got the Ashley boys down here."

Old man Fee was taking a chance and he says, "Are they dead?" And he says, "Deader

than mackeral."

K: I didn't know you were going to get that sort of law enforcement story.

A: Yeah.

K: I certainly want to see that. Well, why don't we take a little break and

and we'll come back after lunch. /BREAK/ John, you were saying that

after that case where you jumped on the boat and it was drifting down the river, you

had to go to court in Miami and appear. Is that what you were saying?

J: Well, this bonds that these fellows gave, why, I don't know, but this colored boy that

was one of the men, he was there with a real dressed up Jenny on each arm and a panama

hat and they never finally got around to judge said he was just.l"hey kept putting it

off till they got the judge they wanted to be sitting on the case and they, they

i'11 fined him maybe $50 and gave him a suspended sentence of thirty days or something,

but the funny part of the thing was that this court down there, in those days the

buses hadn't established themselves enough so that to get down there,.if you had to

leave before 12:00 on a Monday or on a, why, you got down there and then if he

excused you, why, then that was another. You got paid for about three days and

mileage and that was in those depression days was pretty good money, sitting around

doing nothing. But after a year or two they got over that and they got back to the

bus, bus thing so there wasn't any money in it anymore.

PBC 7 c(2)
page 7 7
mj b


K: No money any more in the court?

J: No. Well, I didn't go except I had said so. I had to go to Jacksonville a time or

two and it was, it was time this man Palmer I was telling you about, he was trying to

get conspiracy charges against different ones and that isn't easy to do.

B: That was David Palmer.

K: David Palmer?

B: He was with the FBI and worked out of New Orleans.

K: Oh, he was with the FBI instead of the prohibition. Yeah, yeah, that's good.

Every time I get last names, I sort of inwardly shudder -- oops! I've got to go find

the first name now. We backtrack in a way, but that's.... Okay, well here again,

if you think of anything else, having to do with that prohibition period

in the twenties. You started mentioning there my next question about the impact

of the depression here in the town.

B: About all we did, we had the depression here but the inlet closed. We were in the

boat trade, so....

K: The inlet closed weatherly from the storm?

B: No, it just filled up. It did that every now and then. It's done that periodically

for four centuries.

K: Silting over or?

B: Just drift in, the sand, and bar forms and it just gradually filled up.

K: And so how long was it that way?

B: Well, I can't remember when they dredged it out, John, it was....

J: Oh, it was anywhere from a year to two years and during the war years there, after

the p was -as off/there and so forth in that and it was

five years and they had the patrol up and down the beach and all that

kind of stuff and all this, something in the paper here not long ago about these

German submarines landing saboteurs on the beaches here near Jacksonville and....

PBC 7 c(2)

K: That was four miles below my house.

B: Oh,my.

K: Yeah. We, I remember that very vividly because I was a child growing up on those


J: Well, we didn't see anything of it except we heard about it.

B: Well, one day they, they found a place where there was a place where there was a

scuffle on the beach and one of the patrolmen disappeared. We used to hear all kinds

of rumors, of course, because if we had a lot of the men be around here various

times. We had three daughters and the men all, in fact, Suzie's husband is one of

the young marines that was over with the, guarding Navy station up there. They

had radar installation It was very secret at that time.and they

had marine guards at the gate and marine installation.

K: This was all World War II.

B: Right. Our son-in-law was stationed over there. He celebrated his eighteenth birthday

over there, I think. Anyway, he and Suzy acquainted over that way.

K: Did, well ,you know, this is such an obvious question -- the big changes in life as a

result of the depression. Now, in a community like you've been describing where peo-

ple really, there is no industry here per se, people would be making their living

pretty much the best way they could, anyway, did life change that radically?

B: Well, it got pretty, we sure had to scratch around. I know our youngest child, a son,

was born in 1929 and by that time we had, we were just really scratching. I mean, we

didn't know until shortly before that daughter was born whether I was going to be able

to go to the hospital or not and John, providentially, received a check from the

customs for a boat that he had discovered or something and turned in and that just

paid for the hospital bills, like it came from heaven.

K: I don't think that most people, even those in Florida, realize that Florida had been

in a depression two to three years ahead of the nation.

B: Well, the depression and the '28 hurricane came bang together.

K: Right. Right.

PBC 7 c(2)
mjb b

B: That the whole thing.

K: I'm doing a book review now for the University of Florida press to see if it should

be published on the depression and they were asking me if I thought this was realistic

to talk about the depression from the late twenties and I think in Florida, anything

else would be a lie. Florida was depressed two to three years ahead of the national

depression and people don't realize that.

A: Where did that '28 hurricane come in? Right here in Jupiter?

J: Well....

B: The center came into West, West Palm Beach.

K: '26 was Miami and two years the West Palm. The two back-to-back like that just

collapsed the land boom...

A: Yeah, so everything devastated. Yeah.

K: ...collapsed the land boom and everything started going down the tubes.

A: Uh huh.

K: So by '29, Florida was in pretty desperate shape.

B: Banks were closing outside, __, everything else.

K: Everybody else thinks of the Depression, you know, after the '29 collapse, but

Florida had a two year jump on everybody else.

B: Well, whbn that, when that inlet closed and things got really bad, why John had

been constable and so, he, Mr. Vanderbilt, Harold Vanderbilt and the mailman

wanted a guard and all those very wealthy people were hiring people to guard them

and John, my brother, happened that he was working with gardeners over in PAlm

Beach. He was in the( garden supply business and spraying the

estates over there. In fact with all the caretakers, so he heard that they wanted a

guard so he passed the word to John, so John went down and applied as a guard, so

he guarded Mr. Harold Vanderbilt during the worst of the Depression

and that kind of pulled us through.

K: Uh uh.

PBC 7 c(2)
page 57)

J: Yeah, but that wasn't, I wasn't making any money then.

B: Not very much, but it would be helpful what little you did make,

J: I think about $60 a month out of it.

B: Well, I ....
------------- -- >
J: I had to- ri e run for my Ford just to get there and back rmst =of=-te.. e.

B: Yeah. The value of what $60 would do in those days compared to today.

J: Yeah, that, well, they fed' me, well, from the boss's table there, after they had

settled themselves _and then they'd bring out a plate for me. Boy, it was

the biggest plate I ever saw.



J: I started gaining and I never did get over it.


K: Did the, say did you work, how long were you down there? During the thirties, mostly?

J: Well, I was there just one t~me or two?

B: I think you were there just one winter, John.

J: Yeah.

B: It was when we had the restaurant.

J: I went to see the boss and told him how everything was and he said, "Well, sorry to hear

that, but if _c ll, S-`he1 all the the rest of/would want too."
He says, -ley/Ithat you can recommend," so I recommend my brother-in-law

and he so he stayed there two or three years.

K: Uh huh. You say you already had the restaurant. When did you open the restaurant.

B: The restaurant was opened late in '28, nearly '29. No, it was late, it was '29 because:

HarryAfour-and-a-half months old when we opened the restaurant. He was born in August of

'29, so it was the winter of '29. We closed it in '42 when the rationing became severe

and we were blacked out and everything else and....

K: That's a vivid memory of mine as a child -- the black outs. We would have

PBC 7 c(2).
page -ITr/

K: night living on the beaches here in Florida, but did people move away from the area,

do you recall? Was there a loss of population?

B: ./__- People who lived there back in those days had been living here for genera-

tions and they weren't about to leave. They would move

J: Yankee investors had, the carpetbaggers and

B: damn yankees most of the time.

A: Is that one word or two?


K: Did -- oh yeah -- did the war then, World War II/start to bring things up? Was there

any, other than the build-up of the naval facility?

B: It added to the population because they had 10,000 men stationed at Camp Murphy and

of course, you've got the Navy stationed here at Jupiter. Down at West Palm Beach

they had Camp Higgins, which is where the patrolmen patrolled the beach and there was

a considerable addition to the population, I would say, about then and then a number

of those men from Camp Murphy came back down here and settled afterwards. They liked


K: Built up the Coast Guard station.

Since then, I guess everything's been at a constant growth,

B: Oh, yes, from then.

K: Now, you mentioned the sinking off the coast here, running around of, I haven't read

that book of yours yet, the book, that particular one, where they're what, one or

two that, ?

B: Well, the first ship that was torpedoed was the Republic. It was an empty tanker and

it was traveling in ballast and they torpedoed it and it was also sound and first, when

the first picture we have of it, why the bow is out of the water and it's kind of at a

slant, but then it, when I later, when I finally had a chance to go up and see it, it

had slipped down into deeper water and just the masts were visiblea.- he next day,
Fa qe bra>Il lq/'2.
after the Republic was torpedoed, on February ? -24-, 1.942, the people coming along the

highway could see this great blare of light on the horizon and that was a full tanker,

PBC 7 c(2)
page 7-5 -7

B: the W.D, Anderson, one of the largest tankers that was from this area at that time,

and it went down in very deep water. I don't think they've even found that tanker

yetand they, the men on board were at their evening meal when the torpedo struck.

It went, really went up fast and there was one young man on, two young men on the fan

tail of the vessel and they both dove overboard, but one hesitated too long. The other
Jr-it-rua er
one dove overboard and he swam A he was a very good swimmer, came up and he

was still in-bu-i4wagoil, so he went down again and swam under water until he was

SFinally he got up, came up and he was clear and he was in the water

for two hours before the coast guard guard made one last sweep and picked him up

and he was brought to a hospital in Fort Pierce. I have a picture of him. He was,

and then, of course, there was a freighter, the Delial, which was torpedoed. But of

course, the first, the worst thing that happened during this period, was the two

tankers who collided when traveling on the black out. One was a

One was full and and one was empty. Both belonged to the same company, the most ex-

pensive shipwreck that company ever had the insurance man told me. Eighty-eight men
&cd- L/\AL
died in that collision and the -ul-f iand drifted right off the

and it burned 52)days, but they were finally able to sink it and later on,

when the Gulf Bell, they put the fire out in the Gulf Bell and it was towed into

Port Everglades, but the, the Gulf Land, after it sank, a young man, a young navy

captain by the name of Brown, volunteered to come down and help salvage it and he

was able to raise it up. When they got it up, the bow broke off and the bow's still

down around Hobe Sound, They towed her up the rest of the way

so they found the bones of fifteen men in;:the showers and they

brought them down to a Christian burial in West Palm Beach.

K: All this in '42?

B: Everything happened about '42, yes.

K: That was about the real end of U-boat, end of '42, '43.

B: Well, then they got the thing organized a bit. At first the U-boats would come right

up and surface right off here and they'd telegraph,

PBC 7 c(2)
page "7d
mj b

B: Morrison Field, or somebody'd report it and telegraph Morrison Field and by the time

they'd telegraph Washington and got orders, why, the submarine's gone. Then they got

the blimps. 4Bi44s p.

K: Yes, about '43 was about the end of the U-boat men.

B: And then they organized the convoys and I stood up on the house on the hill one day and

watched one of the convoys go by. _____a long line of ships as far as you

could see in each direction there and just, very ghostly. They were all painted gray

and they would just move along with, you'd see the destroyers moving around them but,

but, 0 _______/_

K: That was really -44Hbe through the streets of Florida by

themselves make up time for us. It was pretty dead.

A: Something Bessie mentioned earlier about the inlet here, how for centuries it had been

closing on a regular basis with the influx of sand. Now before they started dredging,

since the inlet with the fishing industry and the had so much to do

with the economy, how did the thing get opened again?

B: Well, when they have a real high lot of water, hurricane or a real lot great deal of

water fall in the, with the what -- you know, the season -- why, the water would build

up and they'd get such, bunch of, power of water behind that sand...

K: Flushing out.

B: ...yeah. Sometimes it'd burst itself open, but most often people would dig a little

trench and then it would just sweep out.

A: Uh huh.

B: Ives' report tells about the mail carrier coming down here,-Camp Davis, and he made a

little trench through there and camped out nearby and during the night it opened up so

wide that it washed his camping equipment out and they almost went out with it. That

was 1844-and they armed occupations that were, of course, that were all up and down the

coast then/ and the fact that the wawf office agreed that year that they'- open all th

inlets up and down the coast and since they had to be supplied byAl there was a great

boom of settlers.

PBC 7 c(2)
page -77 7

K: They'd have similar thing down at the Blue River inlet.

B: Yes, I wouldn't wonder.

K: Mott, Mott's journal speaks of this, They were coming along one day and this enormous

hunk ofJSke a bomb, exploded in the inlet flow of water out of the glades and out

of the Blue River settlement, That's what they would do. They would literally flush


A: John mentioned while we were at lunch, you were talking to Bessie, that the city of

Jupiter handles the dredging because they've never been able to get federal funds,

J: No, not the city of Jupiter.

A: Oh.

J: It's a special...

K: Inlet district.

B: Yeah, uh huh.

J: district.

A: Yeah. A special tax district because the federal government has never become involved.

B: See that was formed in 1921. I did a history of Jupiter inlet for Tequesta back in

1968, I think. Somewhere along in there, I just, what I did was that I mentioned

every incident in my books that I had found mention of the inlet and so down to the

present and then, of course, I had John's experiences in the commissioning. He was

a commissioner for twenty years and so I had all put down just what I could find out.

K: The inlet commission was founded when now?

B: 1921.

K: Uh huh. And you were one of the first commissioners there?

J: No, I wasn't my first. I didn't, well, it was, it was ten years or more before I ever

worked on it and more. Then I was odd man for another ten years.

K: But you were on there twenty years.

--, --

B: They used to

bring the rock down from-Pe-1 Maine on sailing vessels at first to drege

the inlet and we went out a couple of times to the sailing vessel,

PBC 7 c(2)
page -80

B: visited the wife of the captain used to be....

K: Be on the coast that ran it, that is up around Jacksonville and the

inlets there, mouth of the river. I remember last time we were here, you told me you

had no involvement with government around here and now I'm hearing about an inlet

commission, constable.

A: He wasn't involved. He was.

K: I'm sure we're going to keep unearthing these things as we go along. Was that a pay

job, an elected job,but not a pay job?

J: Yeah, yeah. You got so much a meeting, $2 a meeting and you could make as much as

$100 in a year's time. Of course the secretary and treasurer, the two fellows that

were, you know, there was three of us, why, they didn't give me anything. I just

got my $2, but some of them got $200 and if they had a special meeting, why, they could

get a little bit more and this and that.
K: Now was this an elected, an elected job?

J: Oh, yeah.

K: _
31- w'as
J:A- E-Qf/four years or something,

K: Uh huh.

J: So, I went through all kinds of elections.

K: I was about to say all these commissions and special districts were to my knowledge

elected. I didn't know it was different.

J: No. When we first started out, why, Martin county and Palm Beach county weren't

divided yet, so whenever they got divided, why, then trouble began because the Martin

county people floated a big bond issue and did some work on the inlet and it was a

failure but they still were paying for it like a dead horse and they was down into

Hope Sound, too, and so when the Jupiter inlet people wanted their tax money, why,

they didn't like it very much and so we had the option of setting the amount of money

that was to be raised, you know, how many bills and so on and so they disregarded what

we suggested in order to use half of it and so we didn't realize it the first year,

PBC 7 c(2)
page 7~' I

J: maybe, but anyhow, when we found out about it, we had a lawyer naturally, and so we

told them that they had to pay that up and so we'd paid up ours and refinanced bonds,

finally. The times were so hard that we barely could pay interest on the bonds and

couldn't take up the bond when it come due, you know, but that was and so here it was,

Martin county had only paid half enough and we got on them and they had to pay, much

against. They had a, a young!man up there name ______

A : ...

J: What was the name of that lawyer .........___. .. He

and gotten himself removed from the district, mind you, but they still had to pay
even 4t hetCi
himnafter that -t-i-- it was all wIriten up,

K: Now does the county line run on the middle of the Inlet, north side?

J: No. Up at the Martin county line now,.,.

A: Few miles north.

J: What?

A: Just a few north of the inlet,

J: And so...

K: They're changing now....
1 //
J: ...they had themselves removed but the salt water from the inlet now goes/up in Hobe

Sound there and the nice clear water and everything and they're getting the benefit

of it more than we are here in Jupiter, almost and theyl/4 a damn e for it.

We've tried to get them back Into the district, but people with money don't like to

pay taxes. Hard to get anything out of them,

A: So the line is about four or five miles north at the end of this, John? Rough.

J: No.

A: On the other side of the shopping center.

J: Uh huh. Just barely where you turn there to go down.

A: Yeah.

K: But.doesn't it meander south more out west of here around the Girl Scout camp, Boy

PBC 7 c(2)
page 8S

K: Scouts, __?

J: Well, it's got some little ____in today's newspaper there,


K: County line road or something.

A: Uh huh.

K: I was just trying to picture the inlet on that line that goes north
C 7 COY-("O p 1) I 2. ; r, )
in here. Yeah, well, if they organized the eeontd+-fn in '21, Martin county wasn't

formed till '25, as I remember.

B: Right.

K: So they had four years of having to put up with that. Right?

A: You were talking government with John before and I heard him mention election as

constable and I heard him mention somebody else was appointed.

J: Well, that was after...

B: I don't think there was any....

J: ...there wasn't anything, there wasn't anything to do. There wasn't any court, the

judge -- what do you call it -- the constable court?

K: JP.

J: JP.

B: Everyone was justice of the peace.

J: There wasn't any anymore and so he died and they never appointed one.

A: You mentioned somebody that wanted the job got appointed.

J: Well.

B: He was elected, John. I'm pretty sure.

J: No, he wasn't.


B: He wasn't?

J: I wonder about that.

K:/FFlorida got rid of the JP'sJ The JP courts would have been in the sixties, wouldn't


PBC 7 c(2)
page 0-~

J: Well, they tried to get/lof all of them. There was an old fellow down here at West

Palm Beach that hung on there for years and they couldn't get rid of him.

K: But as I recall, in the '68 constitution, they dropped it as a constitutional law

and that's.... I could be wrong on that.

J: This fellow I was telling bro, it was his father that was a JP down there.

B: Rickers.

J: Rickers, Tom Rickers.

B: He, he gave a talk at the historical society in Palm Beach on night. He was really,

really very entertaining in a_

J: He didn't look anymore like old Tom Rickers, a fat and round-faced fellow.

He'd tell about what the old man did and everything. It was

amusing, a lot of it. It, I'd like to hear, he'd, was as powerful as a sheriff, JP

courts they coudln't get around them. That's the reason. I don't know why they wanted

to get rid of them because....

K: You didn't have to be a lawyer to be a JP.

J: No, you didn't.

K: You asked why, that's why the legislature, dominated by lawyers, wanted to be rid of


J: Plus the constables didn't have to be trained police officers.

K: I had a grand father who was a JP, He ran a court a few years. I heard about that.


J: Well, you see, there's so many different things that happened and went on during our

lifetime. It would just make an awful big book if you put it all down. Nobody'd be

interested in it much. Some of it would. Some of it you don't want to tell too much

about lying around here, and you don't want to embarrass.

K: Well, you always get to write a first refusal on a manuscript like this. Well, they're

no, I threw away an exquisite chapter in one of my books for just that reason.

B: Oh, dear.

PBC 7 c(2)
page S P/

K: You know, because all of it was..,

J: Too personal?

K: ...well, it was truth, but you would have had a hard time verifying it...

A: Yeah.

J: Yeah.

K: ...or, well it's public record or if somebody got embarrassed over it,

but there are a lot of things that people will tell you that put things into context,

but you don't want it in the final written record.

B: It's like Uncle Will when he wrote the story of the 1907 hurricane and he told in it

about this blacksmiths and the blacksmiths, when they looked as if they were going to

be out to sea on this houseboat, and they approach n island, an island/and

apparently they might have gone aground on the island and then they would have been

saved. But, and so he began praying to the Virgin Mary to save them. When he wasn't

saved and when the boat was swept out to sea, why, he cursed her. And so Uncle Will

had put that episode in his story and he sent it to the Reader's Digest and they

refused the story and he sent it over to Father Jerome at St, Lucy and he said, "If

you take out that part about the blasphemous blacksmith, you might sell it." And so

then he took it out and then he sent it down and asked me if I could get it published

for him and so I said, "Well, you want to get paid for it?" and he said, "Oh, no,"

he wouldn't care if he was paid for it if he could just get it in print and I said,
T- C C-- titdnto
"Well, that's fine. I'll send it down to Dr. e So I sent it down to

Dr. -C and he put it in the Tequesta and then Lamb Harold later picked it up and

did pay Uncle Will, sent him a check for a small amount for a story. But it

was a very graphic story and it was very well written, but....

K: Yeah, I think if the question is valid.

B: Turned down the Key West extension, you see, in it.

K: Yeah, yeah.

J: Well, he taught school up in ...

B: Manhattan, Kansas.

PBC 7 c(2)--
page 63-

J: Manhattan, Kansas. He was a,...

B: Eighteen years.

J: What was it he taught about farm machinery and all that?

B: I don't know. He was an engineer. He had an engineering license.

J: He wasn't one of these unschooled boys, anyhow,

K: Well, no. I've heard a lot of stories that I'm sure that the people tell me were

absolutely true, but there's the question of does this really add to the historical

significance or is this just another spice it up with....

B: Are you going to offend some particular group or something like that?

K: Does it really make any difference that the man who was hired as an Ottoman warden

had been one of the biggest/_, hunters...

A: Yeah.

B: *ea-&. f Ah

K: night and taking money from Ottoman society by day.

A: Did it change history or did it make history or was it just one of the side events?

K: Yeah, the, you know, the old time set a thief to catch a thief sort of idea.

B: Well, I wouldn't welcome that. Are you taping that now?

A: Oh, yes.


A: That's alright. This taping is...;
rh ,T-
K: We could get an eighteen minute gap/las easy as the president.

A: Oh, oh yeah.


A: And that's on tape.

K: No, I think that....

B: Well, I've often wished that I could get that book,privately published book.about

Joe Ermin, that has been published by his family, I believe, and they live up in

Vero and so, Joe Ermin used to come up to our restaurant back in those days and he,

PBC 7 c(2..) d(1)
page 8

B: he always, he loved to help old ladies and he would help them with their finances and

they would come to them and they would come to him and he would help them with their

financial affairs and finally one old lady came to him and she said that a friend of

hers, a Mrs. Henry, she was afraid that she didn't have enough money to live on4'and

Riw~aw^, she wanted to know if he wouldn't look into her affairs for her and so he

agreed to do that and %B, after he began checking into Mrs. Henry's affairs, he found

out that she really didn't have enough to live on and besides that, she was an aunt to

the presidents wife. So g9Sr he wrote to the White House. President and Mrs. Hoover

were then in office and immediately he was invited to escort Mrs. Henry up to the

White House. He did and she was very lovingly received and carefully taken care of by

the president's family, but he got Joe Ermin off and that was just about the/lthat these

two men had been killed in West Palm Beach, Patterson and Monteur and so he was

quite concerned about the whole buisness and he got Joe Ermin in there and they talked

about it to some extent and he really put the heat on Sheriff Baker after that and the,
L na f"" -/ 46,
the president especially offered Mrs. Monteur a position in the Bureau of tWe___

provided she'd come to Washington. What they did for Mrs, Patterson, I'm sure they
4oo A care he ht ,, 4c>),
SShe had a family of children. One child was born after he was killed,

so (End c2; begin dl)

K: Today is September 12, 1980, This is Dr. Harry Kersey, Florida Atlantic University.

Today, I am having my third interview with Mr. and Mrs. John Dubois of Jupiter. The

question I would like to throw out to start this third tape is just to have your

general comments concerning growth in this area, say since World War II. In our last

session we talked pretty much through the thirties and the war years. General commen-

tary, the people who moved in here since World War II, What is the nature of the

change here.

B: It certainly has changed, dear me. Well, we lived along very quietly until Mr. Charles

Martin bought the property on the north side of the inlet _' and he

bought it for $300,000 as I remember and from then on then he started Tequesta and

then Pratt Wickman moved in and that really,,.wef-on~ 4r- just built up and just

PBC 7 d(l)
page JB0. 7

B: recently it's building up so fast that

K: -a. ~2 the people who come in here now, do you feel that they really have an appre-

ciation for the history of the area?

B: Yes. Quite a few of them do. They get this, like ...___ Historical Society

here now and most of the people over in the inlet, Tri-inlet Apartments over here

belong to it, take a very active interest in it. I think people are interested, like

to find some roots where they can plant themselves.

K: Uh huh. After they've been here a while they really take an interest?

B: Oh, yes, yes,

K: What kinds of projects are they undertaking? I know the site of the old fort seems

to be of interest to the people here now, locating it,

B: Well, they haven't really located it and if they do locate it, it's going to be right

in the middle of somebody's front yard or development, I'm afraid. I don't think

there's much point,,much chance or really marking the spot anymore because the, the

first site of the fort was on Point and they moved it across the river

to what was later the Plantation on the old homestead and then,

of course, the Plantation has been sold and the buildings completely

all up and down and I think the young man, Kenneth Hughes, is doing quite a bit of
-Forl ,t4'4-h 1)' f c'- he
research on the old pert. tss/ found dragoons, belt buckles and, oh,

it's all kinds of things and :but they're right on somebody's property up there on the

front lawn, I believe, some man told me. So, I don't know whether they can find a

site that they can mark at all. Now Professor Peck, back in.-- I think it was 1844,

along in there -- he spoke of looking up the river. Of course there was no bridges

in the way then and he could look up the river and see the burned logs of the

stockades. Evidently, the first pert was built when Point was burned. Now

whether it was burned by General Jessup to keep the Indians from using it or whether

the Indians burned it to keep General Jessup from using it, I couldn't tell you, but

apparently the it was burned. Then it was moved over to the other side of the

river and there's never been a real fort built there. I think it was

PBC 7 d(.1
page "

B: kind of tent place, you see.

K: Like a camp.

B: Like a camp and they moved it over there, they said, because the water was deeper there

and they had to be supplied by schooner and our schooners could get in and dock there

easier from the site.

K: Uh huh. I think it's interesting, they're just now getting down to the serious re-

search on the site. In other words, just trying to pin it down,

B: Well, you see, every other site in Jupiter has been marked, We have the lighthouse

marker, thanks to the early keepers, We had the Celestial Railroad marker and we

had the life-saving station marker. That's the site of Carlin Park, where Carlin Park

is now and the marker over by the.... Fanny Lou Fischer, bless her dear heart, was

a lady who was quite prominent in the DAR and EAC and she was the one who was instru-

mental in having most of these markers placed here in Jupiter and there is one over

near what is now the chamber of commerce and the park there and there's a marker there

for Fort Jupiter and the lighthouse. So we have, had markers for everything except

Fort Jupiter.

K: What about the one over here on the mound?

B: Yes, there's been a marker placed there, but that was placed by the county and the

historical society to mark the mound and of course the mound is now on the national

register, as is the lighthouse.

K: So I guess everything has been pretty well staked out and marked and surveyed and the

history done of it because to get on the national register you have to really document

that well.

B: Yes. Of course, we had to go in, when they put the lighthouse on, we had to document

the fact that General Lee designed it and when they put the marker up, I thought it

was interesting, we had Mrs. Salvatore Wood down here, who is General Lee's granddaught-


K: Oh really?

PBC 7 d(1)
pageeJ d

B: Yes. We got Hobe Sound.

K: John, when you were growing up in this area, did the kids around here have a sense that

these were historical places and sights?

J: I think so. I knew that I was living on the top of all those ancient Indian mounds.

We used to pick up artifacts and things along the water's edge, where the tide washed

them out.

K: How about in the school? Did the people around here make much of that? The teachers,

or were they just too busy with the three R's?

J: Well, now, the Loxahatchee Historical Society has a project that, to build a, a real

museum on Dubois Park. They have the old house on the hill, which they have restored

and we'd like to have a larger museum than would really be something for the young

school children to come and look at and for the older folks, too, and the historical

society has a small museum over at the foot of the lighthouse now, but it is very

small and it's so crowded with things, artifacts and papers and all kind of things

now that you can hardly get in and out of it and on top of that, you have to climb

up all those stairs to get up to it and it's a little hard for elderly people to get
+here +Iiher.
up there and see what the-evee-he which Is where it's in and the lighthouse, you

can't go up into the very top of it anymore. You can go into the base of it and look

at the pictures and things that they have on the walls in there, but if we could get

a museum that was a museum started here in Dubois Park, I think a lot of historical

things would be brought in by the the old timers that live around because they know

that if they give them to the society now, there wouldn't be any place to put them.

They'd just put them in storage and they might be lost or ruined some how and we're

trying to, the county's trying to find a way to get money from, help from the govern-

ment or from some large organization that wants to put in a something that would be

good for Jupiter. It would be a good place on account of this is the junction of the

roads coming in here -- the Indian Town road and the US 1 and A1A all together right

here-and if people travelling know about a museum, why they would stop and look at it.

PBC 7 d(

B: I think you asked about the school children and if I should mention that John and I

have had a slide show of the history from the shell mound right through to the

cracker and we have given that show -- well I know I counted one time 125 times --

for various, for various groups, but we've been over to the school quite a few times

and I know one time they brought In four fourth grades and I know I gave that talk

four times in a row. But anyway, the children show a great deal of interest and

seem to like it so....

K: We are getting ready to put together a six-week unit on how to do state and local

history for our school children down in the Boca area, particularly those who go

to the university lab school. We're trying to get the cooperation of.... We

do have the cooperation of several local historical societies including

so something of those type, I think, is very meaningful to kids if you bring it in

and get them interested with a slide show like yours but then follow it up with

letting actually get out and do. It really generates a lot of interest. I was

interested in what John said, that there were a lot of old timers around here. I

know nothing is probably as extensive as the collection like you have here, but

a lot of the families in the area still have old artifacts and collections they

That's excellent.

B: Well, I know Carlton White, who's Captain Carlin's grandson, his mother died and he got

up in her attic and he just found a treasure trove up there, but he is very reluctant

to part with any of that unless we have a museum to put it in. You see, his grand-

father was the one thatwas in charge of life-saving station the entire time it was in

operation down there. He, hehas things, I know.

K: Well, it takes special training to preserve these things and display them and of course,

all this needs a full-time curator to make it worthwhile.

B: Oh, well, the county has agreed to provide the curator if we have the museum, but it

would mean raising about $500,000 to get the museum and they haven't gotten anywhere

close to that yet. If they could get into one of these foundations, it might help.

PBC 7 d(1)
page ''-'/

K: Who is spearheading this through the county? Is it one of the state historical

preservation districts or just....

B: No, I don't think so. I don't think we've gotten any of that.
K: Because we have, well, I guess at least two in this county that I know of 7one in

the Boca Raton area that the state legislature set up a historical preservation

district and one in the Palm Beach area.

B: Well, I, would that be the Palm Beach County Historical Commission? No.

K: No. This goes even beyond -- that is one of the problems that we have in the state

of Florida, as you probably well know, we have local historical societies, then

we have county historical commissions and then the state legislature set up a number

of districts -- I think there are thirteen of them now -- that are state entities,

like in Boca Raton, we have the Historic Boca Raton preservation board of commissioners

which are appointed by the governor at the behest of the legislature and they get

monies in another way, so we have, in some cases, three and four layers of historical

bureaucracy to deal with and down in Broward county, I know that I spend half of my

time trying to separate who's in the Broward County Historical Commission from who's

on the Historic Broward County Preservation Board. We get so much overlapping-.'<'

3: Yeah.

K: ...that sometimes it makes it difficult. That's why I was wondering which group might

be spearheading the drive.

B: Well, so far, I think it's just the Loxahatchee Historical Society and their own group

that's working on it and Adam is president of the Palm Beach County,

Jupiter's Loxahatchee Historical Society. And I think that if they ask the Palm Beach

County Historical Society to cooperate, I'm sure they would.

K: Right. Raising money is a problem for all small local groups trying to get their

musuems started and I know around the state, there are many, many places where the

same thing. They would like to get a museum going or they have houses to preserve.

B: They don't realize, though, that Palm Beach county history begins right here, It


PBC 7 d(1)
page- f2

K: Sure.

B: What was here in 1853 and 1860? in 18--, late 1870's there were two

settlers down on Lake Worth.

K: This is because, it's at the northern end of the county.

B: Well, it's, it was really because of the junction of the Indian River coming down

and the inlet and the Loxahatchee, of course. They all kind of came together right

there by the lighthouse. Across from the lighthouse. And then they had that

Indian River steamboat line and the first people who came down here, travellers, came

down by steamboat and, of course, were transferred first by hack and later by the

Celestial Railroad to Lake Worth. But even a lot of the older families in this county

like, you take the Spencers, Pierces and a number of those people, began as assistant

keepers over at that lighthouse, I got a few chances to look around over at the top

of the lighthouse and they eventually took up homesteads and became::the pioneer resi-

dents in the county.

J: We, I can't remember names and all that, but we had the head man down from Tallahassee

and asked him for money and he went into it pretty thoroughly and he turned it down

because he said there were too many little old museums around now ead- that the state

had to support and they were all more or less alike and all that, but I think we still

have a chance to talk to him once more and try to show him that we got something other

than just grandma's feather bed and all that kind of stuff, We want to go into

something more like the Loxahatchee River and all the history that goes along with


B: The stinking bureaucracy, we ran right into it because the state owns the state park,

Park, and I think it was their idea that we should have the museum up

there. We have a museum. Well, that would not be a Palm Beach county museum; it

would be a Martin county museum and I think we all want one here in Palm Beach county.

K: Well, I think you've probably run into the bureaucratic mind-set out of Tallahassee.

They'd like to have everything centered up there and the Florida, and the Florida

State Museum in Gainesville.

PBC 7 dC1)
page 7

J: There's wheels within wheels within wheels with this,- musuem.


B: And they've actually said that they wanted, they were all set to have the musuem

right up there in Park, you know. We kind of backed of from that because

we felt it was....

K: Yeah, well, yeah. This is a big question. Where was the original Dade county line,

the north end. Is it right where the Palm Beach county line is now or did they go

up into Martin?

B: It went up to St. Lucie.

K: Yeah. Martin county was originally part of Dade county,

B: Oh, yes. Martin county wasn't formed until 1925; Palm Beach county, 1901 and no,


K: So it did go all the way up to the St. Lucie county line.

A: Uh huh.

B: Uh huh.

K: There are, yeah, all sorts of jurisdictional problems involved then, mostly.

A: Bessie, you've not mentioned that this was the birthplace of Palm Beach county

right here. Was this the original county seat?
K: No.
B: No. Miami was the county seat.

A: No, I mean for Palm Beach county.

B: No, Jupiter was never county seat. West Palm, Palm Beach was the county seat.

K: Yeah.

A: From the beginning.

K: From 1909.

B: Yeah, yeah.

K: Juno had been, at one time, Dade county.

B: From 1899 or 1889 -- no, 1899, Juno was county seat. For ten years.

K: And that, that was the only time even in this area that I know there could be people

in Tallahassee who know all about local historical groups and they're wanting to do

PBC 7 d(1)
page 2 qC

K: things together, but I think they're missing the point -- that everyone can't trip

to Tallahassee to see their mammath collection and everyone can't get to Gainesville

to see the Florida State Museum and their are regional areas that have specific things

that they can show and develop very well. Thereweretwo questions I wanted to ask'

and last time we talked I forgot about them. You just triggered it again. What is the

origin of the Loxahathee, the name?

B: That's very easy. It's ocha, the Seminole name for turtle and Jatchee for -rver.

It was iochahatchee and on the General Jessup's letters to Washington while he was

stationed here at Fort Jupiter, he always had on the tocha-hatchee and the story was

that there was a man painting the name on a, on a boat and he couldn't spell Locha,

so he just made it Loxa.

K: Uh hyh, Yeah, that's the one in the Seminole or the Mikasuki language. The turtle's

_och_, which I am sure is not moved to Lcha.

B: Locha.

K: It's actually yocht. But this, movement is always interesting from what a non-native

speaker of any language hears and then turns it in and I'm sure that's exactly where

Jessup came. But I just wondered if y~at t ever heard it any different from Loxa-

hatchee since the two of you have been around.

B: Oh, no.

K: It's always been pronounced Loxahatchee, nothing close to Locha or Vocha?

B: But there's, I have copies General Jessup's letter. Fanny Lou Fischer gave me quite

a few copies of his letters that he wrote while he was here in Jupiter and they're

are ca.

K: And that's about one step removed from the Indian och., And they really pronounce it

in and that's a very difficult sound to make because of the way they make their "1"

sounds in the

A: Did that maybe spring from the fact that this was a heavy turtle country at one time?

PBC 7 d(1)
page 943-

B: Well, you go up that Loxahatchee when we were younger -- why, I don't know how it

is right now; I haven't been up in a while -- but, you'd see the turtles sunning

themselves along the river there on the banks on the bogs.

A: L; t+I- s.
K: They had an interesting special on Channel 5 oe' recently on the river. Did you

see that?

A: Yeah.

K: Did you see that?

B: Dick Roberts sent me a copy of the notes on the thing. I've been working on the

story, a history of the Loxahatchee. I hope to publish it in a little booklet like

I did with the other ones. But unfortunately, now that I can't see I'm having

difficulty. I have a friend who types some of it up, but I still have some information

I want to get on to her on that I haven't been able to get down

yet. But some of it's written -- the story of the traveller and the story

K: were you referring? John, you were the one that found his body,

weren't you?

B: Trapper? Yeah.

K: What is your interpretation of what happened or have you formed one?

B: Well, Trapper could be darned unpleasant to people if they bothered him and he was

undoubtably sedated and he'd been to the doctor and he was lying there in his new

hammock in his (hikee there and someone very easily could have come up and picked up

his shotgun and shot him, but I've heard quite a bit of discussion and lot's/lpeople,

knowing Trapper and how well he was acquainted with guns and so on said/he would have

never shot himself in the chest if he had taken his own life and the deputy at the

inquest tried to illustrate to us how it was done and it was so awkward that I can't

imagine Trapper doing such a thing, I think if he really wanted to commit suicide, he

would have shot himself in the head.

PBC 7 d(1)
page i -94

J: If he was that sick and everything a lying there in his hammock, he would hardly
ha 'be able to get up there and stand on one foot and shoot himself and it looked to

me like he just fell outIthe hammock onto the ground underneath it and there was

some cable close by where he had his shotgun so it could be that somebody came up

there and he was asleep or so they could have picked up the gun and poked it in his

ribs and pulled the trigger and he would have just rolled over and fell because he

was, you know how a hammock is tricky, he was lying on his stomach with his face in

the dirt....

A: Uh huh.

B: And of course he had all these chickens and they'd scratched all around the place,

so there was no way you could see any tracks or anything like that.

J: Yeah, they were eating at the maggots.

B: Oh! John!

A: Where did they find the gun? The shotgun?

B: By his side.

J: It was there in the sand.

A: Right along side of him?

J: Well, not far from him.

A: I was wondering if there would be any possibility that he might have fallen from the

hammock and on the gun and fired in the process, accidentally.

J: Well, to get the muzzle in the gun up against his rib cage and all that, if he was

laying there in his hammock and the cable over here, he'd have to come so that when

he picked it up the barrel was pointing the other way towards his feet. It wouldn't

have been pointing towards his head.

K: As far as who might have done this, that's still just a....

B: Well, I'll tell you, it wasn't long before there was a whole bunch of young fellows

up there vandalizing his place and the story was that he had $3,000 worth of furs

there and they got stolen and they just went through that place like a hurricane.

PBC 7 d1)
page 6 /

J: He had quite a few guns that were valuable, too.

B: One of the young fellows came up one day and he was about, he was willing to give

the things he'd taken. He said he was just reserving them and he was willing to

give the things he'd taken to park with their, to use them in their

display and the thing that I thought that he that I really thought would be wonder-

ful to have for them was that MP band that he used to wear when he there.

Well, you see he was a military policeman in emergencies during, WWII, he was sent

over there and that.... Then he had quite a few things there and I understood

he was going to give them to them, but he never did. They agreed that they would

accept them and not ask any questions if he would give it to them, but I don't

think he ever gave it to him. Maybe he thoughtsomebody would pay him for them;

I don't know what his idea was. He brought them up and showed them to us and

I didn't know whether he hoped we would buy them from him or what

K: The other thing I wanted to ask you was about the authors when they came down to

work on Jonathan Dickinson's journal.

B: Oh, Dr. and Mrs. Andrews came down here in 1934 and he was a Professor Emeritus of

Yale University and she and her sister had the Walker School for Girls. She took

years ago. But they were friends of Dr. St. John who was headmaster

at the Choate school in Wallington, Connecticut and Dr. St. John and Mrs. St. John

had come down here and we had a restaurant at the time. They lived in the little

house on the hill and they went up there and had rooms because there was nothing

open in Hope Sound but people doing some building up there and they came to stay,

so we became acquainted with the St. Johns and they were very lovely people and

they in turn, sent Dr. Andrews to us. Well, Dr. and Mrs. Andrews, after they

arrived, why, Mr. and Mrs. Habern came up to see them and Ray Habern had

been one of Dr. Andrews' students at Yale and so they brought up this little old

copy of the Dickinson journal and showed it to Dr. Andrews and he became immensely

interested right away, especially when he realized that he was living right on the

spot where Dickinson fell captive. So, he decided that he would edit the book and

PBC 7 d(1)
page jf C a

B: so he spent the next seven years and he worked at that and his notes, I think,

were in the original copies every copy, every edition of

the Dickinson journal and he professed to read it every person in thepartyand

he said the one that ended up that he found the most of, was able to find out

the most about was this one crewman of the named Solomon

Crescent. Solomon Crescent was outstanding, because of all the group, he was the

only one that spoke Spanish and by speaking Spanish the Indians recognized the

Spanish words and they were able to maintain the pretense of being Spanish and

I gather that he was able to find some of the descendents of Solomon Crescent

in his search. At any rate, he investigated and he has, these are

all in his notes, first copy and he stayed here for seven years and they were

just wonderful people and they had such wonderful people come to see them,

Zacherelli and Morrison.

K: Did they stay here the year round or did they....

B: No, no, they just stayed. They'd bring a maid and chauffeur and we really had a


K: For seven years?

B: They were very kind to our children .Every year his

birthday was the same. It was on Washington's birthday and we'd have a party and

nobody was invited but the children and

K: So the first edition of that probably was what '41, 1941?

B: '45.

K: Did it come out that late?

B: Yes. Dr. Andrews died before the book was published and Mrs. Andrews went ahead and

published it. Mrs. Andrews was very ill at one time when they were here and

_____ said at that time Of I'm going to have to go. You

better begin those plans if you can manage without me, because he couldn't manage

without here and that's when he turned around and he died first. Their son was,

their son-in-law, their daughter, married John Harlack,-ct-aw-Supreme, wes_

PBC 7 d(1)
page 79
o +he
B: /\Supreme Court. When he was here he listed. ..
3 one /^ S- kor, -I a
K: Remember you told me yu-wateA edto-havpJ pr-obab4-y have it on the tapethat

Samuel Morrison_ W4 FF you rS,

B: I have some of his books out there.

K: Does he come here often or does he....

B: Oh, no. I think he just come visits and then George Dade, the

also came down. Now he came several times, He we-s

and Mrs. Andre s told me that he was the only member of the Dade family that
he 0 y 1"VeIt IJ-)'" i-.
sort of p4ey -t* like hbes-__


K: Where did the Andrews live?

B: They, they leased the house on the hill from John's mother and they did that place

over completely. John went out and found some nice smooth rock for their fire

places and they built fire places upstairs and downstairs and they refurnished the

house. They did it over completely and they stayed there for seven years. I

guess they would have stayed there longer, but you see, World War II came on and

we were blacked out. Gasoline was so scarce. Food was scarce. Everything. So

we closed the restaurant in '42 and they never came again, though we kept in touch

with them for years and years and Dr. Andrews son still came by to see us this

last winter. Well, he's come several times. But one time, I asked him how his

;mother was doing. I asked him. He says, "Well, she got a little repetetive,

but otherwise she was doing...."

K:/\Repetetive. What a pleasant way to put it.

B: Well, I catch myself just a little repetetive.

K: Was that the first time that the house had been leased out, John, to the Andrews

or had it been a family home up until that time?

J: No. We had, after mother, father died, why, mother moved down to West Palm Beach

to take care of her father and left the old house up here and Bessie and I tried

to keep it rented to different people and sometimes we had people upstairs and

PBC 7 d(l)
pages / C

J: another party downstairs like that and there was quite a list of people that stayed there.

I can't remember them all.

B: Sims had an apartment there for quite a while, _Sims.

lived up there for a little while and we had quite a, quite a few

different people.

J: The people that owned it there at last sold it to the county. They were renters up there.


K: When did they buy the house? When did the Vickers....

B: I can't remember what year that was, John, I can't for of me. It was shortly

after Suzy was married and that was about 1946, '47

K: I was just trying to get an idea on how long the house was in the family, you know,

owned by the family.

J: Well, after I got married and went away from there, why, mother didn't stay very much


B: April of '25 and mother had, the last time she had us all together up

there was at Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving dinner. Shortly after that she left. So it

was 1925 she left the house and it was 1946 or '07 that the Vickers must have bought it.

K: And they kept it until they sold it to the county. Well, that's interesting.

Now the house in its restored state -- is it just empty now or does it have a caretaker?

B: Well, the caretaker for the park -- Vernon Hunt -- lives in part of the house and it was

very viciously vandalized just before they restored it.

and then the historical society restored the place

and they have the downstairs bedroom, the living room and the dining room and the Hunts

still have the kitchen. That was the rooms that are available for the

public to see.

K: Uh huh. That's open right now.

B: Well, it's open on Sunday afternoon.

K: But open to the public all the time. B: Yes, uh huh.

K: When you say you got married and left home, you mean when you built your cottage down

PBC 7 d(l)
page /? /

K: literally moved far away.

B: No just down fte here.

K: Yeah, good. Yeah, I've been interested in where the Andrews had stayed and the different

people who have visited and used the house. You never thought about living in the house

yourselves, though?

B: No. At one time John and I hoped to buy it but and so the Vickers

K: Uh huh. That is interesting. Well, I guess the last thing I would ask you -- this is

sort of an open-ended question. You mentioned you .are working on your history of the

Loxahatchee and all the families of -- what are you looking forward to doing here in the

immediate future in terms of your own interesting history. John's sort of indicated he's

interested in pursuing the idea of the museum

B: We'd both like to see the museum while we're still around to see it. We don't know how

that's going to work out.

J: Well, we have a lot of stuff that should go in the museum if they had one there that was

safe to leave it there, and all that.

B: Well, there is -- there are so many eras of history that could be beautifully portrayed in

a museum. You have your Indian mounds. You have your Dickinson story. You have your

Battle of the Loxahatchee, _of _Creek. You have the

building of the lighthouse and you have your life-saving station crew and the things they

did and we have, we have so much4of different eras that could be separately portrayed in

a beautiful manner, I would think, but it would take space to do it


A: Seem to be a lot of history of a short period of time, relatively speaking.

J: Well, it started out....

B: We've saved all we could, but now we've run out of space. We crammed everything into

one of the cottages and then Zeke wanted to have a place to live, so he took everything

out of the cottage and crammed it into a couple of more places and things are gradually

just getting lost. I don't/whether we'll have.... If we have a hurricane, we won't have

anything left!