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Interview with John Marvin George, October 3, 1972

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Title:
Interview with John Marvin George, October 3, 1972
Creator:
George, John Marvin ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Catawba Indians -- Florida
Kataba Indians -- Florida
Catawba Oral History Collection ( local )

Notes

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

Record Information

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Catawba' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


In cooperation with the Catawba Nation


INTERVIEWEE: John Marvin George
INTERVIEWER: Emma Echols


DATE: October 3, 1972




















E: This is Emma Echols, Route 6, Box 260, Rock Hill, South Carolina. I'm
working on the oral history of the Catawba Indians. This is October
3, 1972. I'm visiting the home of Mr. George. Mr. George, tell us
your full name.

G: John Marvin George.

E: What's your address?

G: Rock Hill, Route 6, Box 430, zip code is 29730.

E: Who were your father and your mother?

G: J. P. George was my father and Hester Catherine George was my mother.

E: Hester Catherine was your mother. Who was your mother before she married?

G: Who was her mother? Nancy Elizabeth Harris.

E: Nancy Elizabeth Harris?

G: Yeah.

E: And her father?

G: I just can't recall.

E: That's all right. Do you know your grandparents on your father's side?

G: The biggest history of this is recorded over here on this here monument
at Fort Mill. Their names are over there on that monument in Fort Mill.

E: Yes. You've got the chronological history on [a3 sheet you showed me, I
believe, yesterday, haven't you?

G: Yes, ma'am.

E: Do you have it with you?

G: It's a genealogy.

E: Mr. George, you've got your genealogy line. Let's pick up. Your father
and your mother were...?

G: J. P. George and Hester Harris.







2







E: Who were your grandparents on your mother's side?

G: My grandfather from my mother's side was Thomas Harris and Nancy Eliza-
beth Gordon Harris.

E: Your grandparents on your father's side were...?

G: It comes down this. William George was my great-grandfather and handed
down to Nelson George and Sarah Harris.

E: That's right. Well, thank you. That sort of helps straighten us out.
There's so many of the family that it's hard to keep them all straight.
When you were brought up, how many brothers and sisters did you have?

G: I had two brothers, two sisters and one half sister.

E: Are they all living?

G: No, ma'am. All except Dick, one brother living, and one half sister.

E: Where is your brother living?

G: My brother stays in Chicago.

E: What about your half sister?

G: That's a good question and I don't know. She lives in Rock Hill here
somewhere.

E: When you were brought up as a young boy living with your parents, what
was life like living in an Indian home?

G: Life was normal just like anyone else.

E: What did your father do for a living?

G: He worked at the sawmill for Guy Pursley. He worked, I think, for about
twenty-five cents a day. You could really misunderstand what life was
about making twenty-five cents a day, 'cause things were a whole lot
different than they are now. You could take the amount of money that
you worked for twenty-five cents a day and buy what you could with forty
or fifty dollars now.

E: He worked for Guy Pursley as a carpenter?

G: No, he just worked at the sawmill.

E: Worked in the sawmill? I bet he learned a good deal of carpentry work
along with that, did he?







3







G: No, they only done sawmill work, you know, sawin' lumber out and stuff
like that for building' houses and they would make crossties with what-
ever they needed.

E: Where was that sawmill located?

G: It was located over there in Lancaster County for a short period of time,
then moved to Ridgeway and I think down to Camden.

E: Wherever they could find the timber.

G: Wherever they could buy the timber and saw it.

E: How did you learn the carpentry trade? You've been a carpenter....

G: That's after I went to school. I went to school, I think, in the fall
of 1918. I went to Cherokee Indian School, which is the C. I. S. school.
That's the abbreviation of the Cherokee Indian School. They started us
off up there learning my ABC's. That's something they don't do now.
As I progressed in my grades and got a little older, we had to pick a
trade. Carpenter was one trade. I went forty weeks in carpenter work.
It's studying it and actually going to work. Plumbing forty weeks and
actually doing the work out there and electrical work. The same amount
as it was. But in the meantime, you come about an education like that.
You really appreciate it, because a person that has to get out there and
work for an education really can be proud of it.
People nowadays get up in the morning and go to school, ask their
parents for the money--money was scarce then. I worked for fifty cents
a day. Fifteen dollars a month during the summer. That was mine to
run me through nine months of school. Forty-five dollars in the summer
took care of what little of the needs I had to have during the winter
months.

E: That's amazing.

G: Things like that. In the wintertime I worked the dairy. Up at three
o'clock, snow knee deep, and go on to milk cows. I could be at break-
fast by six-thirty. I was ready to go to school, seven-thirty, eight
o'clock. So I think back then school done you more good than they
really do now.

E: You really wanted an education, didn't you?

G: I really did. I got an education, but I got it the hard way.

E: How long were you at Cherokee during this time?

G: I stayed over there from 1918, I guess, up till about 1926.

E: Didn't you marry?















G: I didn't marry right then. Because I left from school, I went to
work. Went to Florida. Went to work, on my island, Mandalay Island
down there. They call it "Isle of a Thousand Palms," for L. B. Skinner.
He owned a couple large orange groves down there. So I come back to
the reservation, back home. I stayed with my grandmother and my uncle
when I came back home.

E: Which grandmother was that?

G: Nancy Harris.

E: Nancy Harris.

G: Uh huh, and Walter Harris.

E: And Walter Harris, yes.

G: They lived up there on Highland Park back in 1926. I came back here.
I left from Florida with just little old thin clothes on. Came back
here, everything was covered with ice. That was the big difference in
the climate. I'm telling you it made a big difference. I like to froze
to death before I got to the house. But I went to work, got me a job
and went to work. I stayed with my grandmother and uncle there for a
long time. I wanted to join the marines. Went up and passed the
physical but I couldn't find my father, where he was located at, to
sign the papers. My brother, Wheeliff, joined the marines. He forged
the old man's name on the papers and he went on. I didn't. I stayed
at my grandmother's and worked in a mill, at the Highland Park Indus-
trial Mill, until she died in 1927, I think it was. I continued to
work, stayed with my aunt Lucy, Latham George's mother. My brother
and I worked and George Evans--he's dead--we worked here in the mill at
the industrial mill mostly until I got married, I think it was in 1930,
which was the biggest mistake of my life, I think.

E: Who did you marry?

G: Evelyn Brown.

E: Evelyn Brown was Edith Brown and Early Brown's daughter.

G: Edith Brown's daughter and Early Brown. She had three brothers: Richard
Brown, Edward Brown, and Pete Brown, William, they call him, and one
sister called
So we raised our children.

E: How many children did you have by this marriage?

G: We had five boys and three girls. There was one boy and one girl that
died. That makes six boys and four girls.







5








E: Are most of those living now?

G: Five boys and three girls are.

E: Would you name the boys and girls off?

G: Well, it's Howard George...

E: He's in Rock Hill.

G: ...in Rock Hill, and Charles is in Norfolk, Virginia, John's in Rock
Hill, Wayne's in Rock Hill, Susan's in Rock Hill, is in Rock
Hill, and JoAnne, she's in Williston, Texas. JoAnne Bowers married
a Bowers, Florence Bowers from Georgetown.

E: So then most of you are still around this area. How many grandchildren
do you have now?

G: Oh, boy.

E: You can't count those.

G: I think it's twenty-five.

E: Twenty-five grandchildren.

G: I'd have to start counting 'em.

E: You've got a big family, I know.

G: Yes. Oh, I have one more son, Philip.

E: Where's Philip.

G: He's in Key West, Florida. He's in the navy.

E: When you were married you were doing this carpentry work, is that right?

G: No, ma'am, I was working in a cotton mill, textile work. I didn't start
carpenter work until about '48, somewhere along in there.

E: Where did you and your wife live and raise that big family?

G: I lived part-time down here on the reservation and biggest portion of
the time in Rock Hill. I couldn't say just how many years down here
or how many years in Rock Hill.







6







E: You were closer to the mill from here to Rock Hill?

G: That's right. But I remember I had lived down here at the reservation.
I could catch a ride to town on a second shift, but I had to walk back
at night. I mean I walked from Rock Hill Highland Industrial Park a
million nights back. After getting off at eleven o'clock, I'd walk
back down here. Then go back to work next day.

E: That was a hard schedule. Your children were educated where?

G: Here in Rock Hill.

E: In Rock Hill?

G: They went to Northside and Richmond Drive; Charlie, JoAnne and
John and Susan went to high school when it was there, and I think Wayne
did too.

E: When the land was divided up, did you get your share of the land or did
you take yours in money?

G: I took mine in the land.

E: Where is your land located?

G: I don't have any now 'cause I sold it 'bout a year ago. I held on to
it as long as I could, then I just sold it.

E: You're renting the house you live in now?

G: Yes, ma'am.

E: You became a carpenter. You still get some part-time jobs doing that,
couldn't you, if you wanted to?

G: Oh, I can get all the part-time work that I want right now if I want it.
But see, being retired, I've made my quota, and I can't go back to work
till after the first of the year. I only have $1680 I can make. I
wish it was where they could make all they wanted to and you could make
a living.

E: Yes. When you retired from the mill, you don't get any retirement pension
or anything from the mill, do you?

G: Oh yeah, you get a retirement pension. I guess you do. They may have a
retirement fund now, I don't know. But I retired from carpenter work
on social security.







7







E: I know that you've got a good garden, that helps out.

G: It takes lots of hard work for that.

E: Yeah, it does. You married a second time. Tell me your second wife's
name.

G: Betty.

E: Betty. And her last name?

G: Betty May Phipps.

E: Betty May Phipps. When did you marry again?

G: July 24.

E: 1970. You do not have any children by this marriage?

G: Too late in life to start that kind of foolishness.

E: Yes, you've already raised a really big family. Do you remember what
the older people used to do down here for a living? I know times were
hard. You said you were earning twenty-five cents a day cutting wood.
Was there any trapping, any fishing or things of that work done by the
older ones? Do you remember that?

G: No, what the older people used to do...I mean there was plenty of wood
around here. There's a bunch of 'em that had a mule and wagon and they
would cut wood, haul it to Rock Hill and sell it.

E: What would a cord of wood sell for?

G: They didn't sell it by the cord. They just sold it by the wagonload,
maybe three or four dollars. I don't know just exactly what it brought
in, but that's been a long time ago. Maybe they'd get a dollar and a
half for it, I don't know.

E: The women would supplement that by making pottery and selling pottery?

G: It was very hard. The pottery industry then wasn't known too well here.
They did make pottery. Maybe they'd take two, three or four dozen pieces
and go out here and travel and walk and go through the country. Swap it
for eggs, chickens, meat and stuff like that. Maybe potatoes and stuff,
mostly commodities, something they could use right then.

E: Your son went with a group that went up to Ohio to demonstrate pottery
and to live up there several summers. I believe Early Brown went and
some of the others. Did you ever go with that group?







8







G: I went up there with 'em. I played ball when I was up there and worked
for the Ohio Archeological Historical Society.

E: What was the nature of your work with them?

G: I had to take care of the parks up there, cutting grass, done repair
work on the fences and stuff like that.

E: They paid you to do that and also provided your housing and your food?

G: No, we had to buy our own food. No one furnished it.

E: Oh, you had to buy your food?

G: Yes, ma'am. Nobody furnished anything for us up there except for a
little place to stay and that was already in the provisions, I mean,
taken care of when we went up there.

E: Mr. George, what are some of the things you did as a young boy here on
the reservation or up on Cherokee, either one?

G: You take a person like myself, been active all my life, up till I got
too old to be an athlete. I used to play a lot of baseball. I never did
play no softball, something like that. It's always been regular baseball.
I used to pitch. You can ask mostly any of these people around here that
knows me, you know, something like Gene Crosby or William Simpson, Jr.,
or any of the people round here. You know them. They go to church over
there at that Presbyterian church. When I was going to school I played
baseball up there and played basketball, played football up there, tennis.
I even played Cherokee stickball.

E: Cherokee stickball. Now what was it like?

G: You really don't know? They have a stick 'bout that long, with little
head on, 'bout that big, and it kind of scooped just like that. Made
to pass over a ball. The ball was about that big. You can't pick it
up with your hands, but you have to scoop it up with that stick. You
had to wear a pair of trunks, just like a pair of swimming trunks.
You get out there and play that. It's man for man. It's no boys for
boys. Just man for man. You had to be a man to play it.

E: Have you ever seen it played anywhere else except up in Cherokee?

G: Never have. I haven't seen it. I'd love to see it. I'd love to see
it started down here.

E: Mr. Ernest Patton started a team of baseball boys. Did you ever play with
that group or was that a little bit later?







9







G: I played baseball with Ernest Patton. Ernest Patton's a fine fella.

E: Yes and he was mail carrier over in your reservation.

G: He carried mail here for many, many years. Ernest Patton carried mail
through the reservation on a horse and buggy. Lots of times he'd
stop at the houses. They would invite him in when he come by. Some-
body's cooking dinner, have dinner on the table, and he happened up
about that time with the mail. They'd pull him in the house and give
him his dinner. He's eat dinner, he'd be on his way.

E: Well, that's interesting.

G: Because I don't think those people over there are like the other people
think they are. They're a bunch of nice people. They'd give the shirt
off their back, I believe, because I know this. Ernest Patton carried
mail through there and they'd feed him. They'd give him something to
eat. Dr. Hill, an old country doctor, lived down here at Catawba
Junction. He spent many a night up here at the reservation in some
of these homes. They'd make him a bed. He'd get in the bed and sleep.
They'd give him his supper and breakfast. He'd be called up there like,
you know, coming out late at night, he'd just spend thenight there.

E: Did he bring any of your children into the world?

G: No, ma'am.

E: Well, he can certainly be proud.

G: He was a doctor up here mostly amongst the Indians up here, right down
around in there, too.

E: When someone becomes ill, how would you send a message to Dr. Hill?

G: Somebody'd just get on a horse and go down there and get him. Or they'd
pass the word down so-and-so was sick up here and tell him who it was.

E: How did he travel, in a horse and buggy?

G: Horse and buggy or just ride horseback.

E: What's Dr. Hill look like?

G: He was kind of an old guy, from the first time I ever met him. He wore
glasses but he was a good doctor to be a country doctor.

E: Now he was paid by the government. You all did not pay him.






10








G: No, he wasn't paid by the government.

E: No, I mean by the state of South Carolina.

G: I don't know whether he was or not, but I think he might have been.
But I couldn't say he was or not. Now some of the rest of [them] might
know.

E: I think there was a certain amount of money set aside and the Indian
agent was in charge of distributing that fund. The Indian agent was
responsible for paying the doctor.

G: I know that they were there. They were still held responsible for all
debts made by a physician then. If you went to a doctor then well,
it's not like that anymore.

E: That's right. You're a member of the Mormon church, are you not?

G: I'm a member of the Mormon church down here.

E: What school teachers do you remember on the reservation? You didn't
go to school here on the reservation, but you sent your children here
on the reservation.

G: The Morman elders were school teachers and missionaries, folks that got
sent here on a mission. Elder Hayes, for one. He was a teacher here
for about three or four years. There was a lady from Columbia. She
was sent here on a mission, taught school a year, but I can't think
of her name right now. Then J. C. Davis and his wife was here teaching
school.

E: Remember the Dunlaps?

G: I don't remember a Dunlap teaching here. Evidently that was done while
I was away at school.

E: What do you remember about the oldest building on the reservation?
Do you remember the old church? It was kind of a combination church
and schoolhouse, with a bell in the steeple.

G: There was one over there. The schoolhouse had a bell in the steeple but
the old church was down at the foot of the hill. As far as I know, I
mean old frame building down there.

E: I believe it was later moved across the road and some of the Blue family
lived in that building. Later, the Mormon church was built.

G: It was moved over there and I think that Viola Blue and them moved
in there, and Landrum and his wife after they built a new chapel up here.







11







Because you Care] speaking of the churches, how well I remember that
old church down there at the reservation when I was a small kid. We
got up on Sunday morning, we started four miles to that church through
woods over here at Catawba Road, wagon roads going back in there to
'em. That was every Sunday morning. We stayed all day over there,
come back at night by lantern light.

E: You'd take something to eat?

G: No, there was people'd invite us to dinner and people were more or
less friendly then. They would just ask you come over to eat dinner
with us or eat supper with us, spend a day with us, or something like
that.

E: Then you'd come home by lantern light at night?

G: Come by lantern light at night. That seemed like the longest four
miles I ever walked in my life.

E: What kind of music did you have? You had an organ in the church?

G: They had an old organ, and they kept that in use for a good many years,
until they got a piano.

E: Did you ever hear your parents or your grandparents tell any of the old
stories about the Indians: where you came from, or the history of the
Indians?

G: As a matter of fact, my grandfather, Wesley Harris, did not talk that
much. I mean they didn't say nothing 'bout it, because we have, I
think, a history of the Indians 'bout as near direct as anybody can
give us. They came from Jerusalem and around in there, they came
across the Pacific Ocean. That's something nobody know. The came over
here before Columbus did. They landed in South America and Central
America and ended up over there. There was at least four parties that
came over here. But yet there was enough of 'em left to survive a
battle that was going on to inhabit the rest of the earth up here in
North America.

E: Didn't your parents talk about any of the fairies or the little men, and
to me they would do that at night, my father would frighten me.

G: They never did. There's very little I can remember of my kinfolks. I
used to stay at my grandfather and grandmother all the time. My father
and mother worked for Edmund Edwards over here. We came across that
old Taylor Bridge up here, what used to be up here. I remember that
very distinctly, come across that bridge before the big flood hit.







12







E: That was 19....

G: 1916 or '17.

E: I think it was 1916.

G: In August.

E: That's right.

G: That's what washed the bridge away up there, that Taylor Bridge. My
grandmother and grandfather lived right there where Roy Brown lives
now, 'cause I know that old house for many, many years.

E: Then what did you Indians do when the bridge was swept away and people
tried to get across from one side to the other?

G: It swept the bridges away. They built boats after the bridges was
swept away. They built boats to carry people back and forth across
the river. Large enough....

E: To take care of their baggage and so forth?

G: They take them across and then take their baggage in a boat separate
'cause they couldn't be responsible for the baggage because of the
high water.

E: That's right. When you transferred them, is that the site of the Catawba
river bed on the Charlotte Highway?

G: No, that was closer, was right up here.

E: Right up here.

G: Down here at the Catawba junction.

E: Then there's two bridges, one that Early Brown operated, that ferry.

G: Yeah, that's the ferry down here where

E: And then the Curreton ferry on down the river?

G: That's the Ashe ferry down there right above the Curreton.

E: Right above.





Full Text

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SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with the Catawba Nation INTERVIEWEE: INTERVIEWER: DATE: John Marvin George Emma Echols October 3, 1972

PAGE 2

E: 'I'his is Emma Echols, Route 6, Box 260, Rock Hill, South Carolina. I'm working on the oral history of the Catawba Indians. This is October 3, 1972. I'm visiting the home of Mr. George. Mr. George, tell us your full name. G: John Marvin George. E: What's your address? G: Rock Hill, Route 6, Box 430, zip code is 29730. E: Who were your father and your mother? G: J.P. George was my father and Hester Catherine George was my mother. E: Hester Catherine was your mother. Who was your mother before she married? G: Who was her mother? Nancy Elizabeth Harris. E: Nancy Elizabeth Harris? G: Yeah. E: And her father? G: I just can't recall. E: That's all right. Do you know your grandparents on your father's side? G: The biggest history of this is recorded over here on this here monument at Fort Mill. Their names are over there on that monument in Fort Mill. E: Yes. You've got the chronological history on [aJ sheet you showed me, I believe, yesterday, haven't you? G: Yes, ma'am. E: , Do you have it with you? G: It's a genealogy. E: Mr. George, you've got your genealogy line. Let's pick up. Your father and your . mother were ? G: J.P. George and Hester Harris.

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2 E: Who were your grandparents on your mother's side? G: My grandfather from my mother's side was Thomas Harris and Nancy Eliza beth Gordon Harris. E: Your grandparents on your father's side were ? G: It comes down this. William George was my great-grandfather and handed down to Nelson George and Sarah Harris. E: That's right. Well, thank you. That sort of helps straighten us out. There's so many of the family that it's hard to keep them all straight. When you were brought up, how many brothers and sisters_did you have? G: I had two brothers, two sisters and one half sister. E: Are they all living? G: No, ma'am. All except Dick, one brother living, and one half sister. E: Where is your brother living? G: My brother stays in Chicago. E: What about your half sister? G: That's a good question and I don't know. She lives in Rock Hill here somewhere. E: When you were brought up as a young boy living with your parents, what was life like living in an Indian home? G: Life was normal just like anyone else. E: What did your . father do for a living? G: He worked at the sawmill for Guy Pursley. He worked, I think, for about twenty-five cents a day. You could really misunderstand what life was about making twenty-five cents a day, 'cause things were a whole lot different than they are now. You could take the amount of money that you worked for twenty-five cents a day and buy what you could with forty or fifty dollars now. E: He worked for Guy Pursley as a carpenter? G: No, he just worked at the sawmill. E: Worked in the sawmill? I bet he learned a good deal of carpentry work along with that, did he?

PAGE 4

3 G: No, they only done sawmill work, you know, sawin' lumber out and stuff like that for buildin' houses and they would make crossties with what ever they needed. E: Where was that sawmill located? G: It was located over there in Lancaster County for a short period of time, then moved to Ridgeway and I think down to Camden. E: Wherever they could find the timber. G: Wherever they could buy the timber and saw it. E: How did you learn.the carpentry trade? You've been a carpenter G: That's after I went to school. I went to school, I think, in the fall of 1918. I went to Cherokee Indian School, which is the C. I. S. school. That's the abbreviation of the Cherokee Indian School. They started us off up there learning my ABC's. That's something they don't do now. As I progressed in my grades and got a little older, we had to pick a trade. Carpenter was one trade. I went forty weeks in carpenter work. It's studying it and actually going to work. Plumbing forty weeks and actually doing the work out there and electrical work. The same amount as it was. But in the meantime, you come about an education like that. You really appreciate it, because a person that has to get out there and work for an education really can be proud of it. People nowadays get up in the morning and go to school, ask their parents for the money--money was scarce then. I worked for fifty cents a day. Fifteen dollars a month during the suIIllller. That was mine to run me through nine months of school. Forty-five dollars in the suIIllller took care of what little of the needs I had to have during the winter months. E: That's amazing. G: Things like that. In the wintertime I worked the dairy. Up at three o'clock, snow knee deep, and go on to milk cows. I could be at break fast by six-thirty. I was ready to go to school, seven-thirty, eight o'clock. So I think back then school done you more good than they really do now. E: You really wanted an education, didn't you? G: I really did. I got an education, but I got it the hard way. E: How long were you at Cherokee during this time? G: I stayed over there from 1918, I guess, up till about 1926. E: Didn't you marry?

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4 G: I didn't marry right then. Because I left from school, I went to E: G: E: G: E: work. Went to Florida. Went to work, on my island, Mandalay Island down there. They call it "Isle of a Thousand Palms," for L.B. Skinner. He owned a couple large orange groves down there. So I come back to the reservation, back home. I stayed with my grandmother , and my uncle when I came back home. Which grandmother was that? Nancy Harris. Nancy Harris. Uh huh, and Walter Harris. And Walter Harris, yes. G: They lived up there on Highland Park back in 1926. I came back here. I left from Florida with just little old thin clothes on. Came back here, everything was covered with ice. That was the big difference in the climate. I'm telling you it made a big difference. I like to froze to death before I got to the house. But I went to work, got me a job and went to work. I stayed with my grandmother and uncle there for a long time. I wanted to join the marines. Went up and passed the physical but I couldn't find my father, where he was located at, to sign the papers. My brother, Wheeliff, joined the marines. He forged the old man's name on the papers and he went on. I didn't. I stayed at my grandmother's and worked in a mill, at the Highland Park Indus trial Mill, until she died in 1927, I think it was. I continued to work, stayed with my aunt Lucy, Latham George's mother. My brother and I worked and George Evans--he's dead--we worked here in the mill at the industrial mill mostly until I got married, I think it was in 1930, which was the biggest mistake of my life, I think. E: Who did you marry? G: Evelyn Brown. E: Evelyn Brown was Edith Brown and Early Brown's daughter. G: Edith Brown's daughter and Early Brown. She had three brothers: Richard Brown, Edward Brown, and Pete Brown, William, they call him, and one sister called ___ _ So we raised our children. E: How many children did you have by this marriage? G: We had five boys and three girls. There was one boy and one girl that died. That makes six boys and four girls.

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5 E: Are most of those living now? G: Five boys and three girls are. E: Would you name the boys and girls off? G: Well, it's Howard George E: He's in Rock Hill. G: in Rock Hill, and Charles is in Norfolk, Virginia, John's in Rock Hill, Wayne's in Rock Hill, Susan's in Rock Hill, _____ is in Rock Hill, and JoAnne, she's in Williston, Texas. JoAnne Bowers married a Bowers, Florence Bowers from Georgetown. E: So then most of you are still around this area. How many grandchildren do you have now? G: Oh, boy. E: You can't count those. G: I think it's twenty-five. E: Twenty-five grandchildren. G: I'd have to start counting 'em. E: You've got a big family, I know. G: Yes. Oh, I have one more son, ----E: Where's Philip. Philip. G: He's in Key West, Florida. He's in the navy. E: When you were married you were doing this carpentry work, is that right? G: No, ma'am, I was working in a cotton mill, textile work. I didn't start carpenter work until about '48, somewhere along in.there. E: Where did you and your wife live and raise that big family? G: I lived part-time down here on the reservation and biggest portion of the time in Rock Hill. I couldn't say just how many years down here or how many years in Rock Hill.

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6 E: You were closer to the mill from here to Rock Hill? G: That's right. But I remember I had lived down here at the reservation. I could catch a ride to town on a second shift, but I had to walk back at night. I mean I walked from Rock Hill Highland Industrial Park a million nights back. After getting off at eleven o'clock, I'd walk back down here. Then go back to work next day. E: That was a hard schedule. Your children were educated where? G: Here in Rock Hill. E: In Rock Hill? G: They went to Northside and Richmond Drive; Charlie, JoAnne and ___ _ John and Susan went to high school when it was there; and I think Wayne did too. E: When the land was divided up, did you get your share of the land or did you take yours in money? G: I took mine in the land. E: Where is your land located? G: I don't have any now 'cause I sold it 'bout a year ago. I held on to it as long as I could, then I just sold it. E: You're renting the house you live in now? G: Yes, ma'am. E: You became a carpenter. You still get some part-time jobs doing that, couldn't you, if you wanted to? G: Oh, I can get all the part-time work that I want right now if I want it. But see, being retired, I've made my quota, and I can't go back to work till after the first of the year. I only have $1680 I can make. I wish it was where they could make all they wanted to and you could make a living. E: Yes. When you retired from the mill, you don't get any retirement pension or anything from the mill, do you? G: Oh yeah, you get a retirement pension. I guess you do. They may have a retirement fund now, I don't know. But I retired from carpenter work on social security.

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E: I know that you've got a good garden, that helps out. G: It takes lots of hard work for that. 7 E: Yeah, it does. You married a second time. Tell me your second wife's name. G: Betty. E: Betty. And her last name? G: Betty May Phipps. E: Betty May Phipps. When did you marry again? G: July 24. E: 1970. You do not have any children by this marriage? G: Too late in life to start that kind of foolishness. E: Yes, you've already raised a really big family. Do you remember what the older people used to do down here for a living? I know times were hard. You said you were earning twenty-five cents a day cutting wood. Was there any trapping, any fishing or things of that work done by the older ones? Do you remember that? G: No, what the older people used to do I mean there was plenty of wood around here. There's a bunch of 'em that had a mule and wagon and they would cut wood, haul it to Rock Hill and sell it. E: What would a cord of wood sell for? G: They didn't sell it by the cord. They just sold it by the wagonload, maybe three or four dollars. I don't know just exactly what it brought in, but that's been a long time ago. Maybe they'd get a dollar and a half for it, I don't know. E: The women would supplement that by making pottery and selling pottery? G: It was very hard. The pottery industry then wasn't known too well here. They did make pottery. Maybe they'd take two, three or four dozen pieces and go out here and travel and walk and go through the country. Swap it for eggs, chickens, meat and stuff like that. Maybe potatoes and stuff, mostly commodities, something they could use right then. E: Your son went with a group that went up to Ohio to demonstrate pottery and to live up there several sunnners. I believe Early Brown went and some of the others. Did you ever go with that group?

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8 G: I went up there with 'em. I played ball when I was up there and worked for the Ohio Archeological Historical Society. E: What was the nature of your work with them? G: I had to take care of the parks up there, cutting grass, done repair work on the fences and stuff like that. E: They paid you to do that and also provided your housing and your food? G: No, we had to buy our own food. No one furnished it. E: Oh, you had to buy your food? G: Yes, ma'am. Nobody furnished anything for us up there except for a little place to stay and that was already in the provisions, I mean, taken care of when we went up there. E: Mr. George, what are some of the things you did as a young boy here on the reservation or up on Cherokee, either one? G: You take a person like myself, been active all my life, up till I got too old to be an athlete. I used to play a lot of baseball. I never did play no softball, something like that. It's always been regular baseball. I used to pitch. You can ask mostly any of these people around here that knows me, you know, something like Gene Crosby or William Simpson, Jr., or any of the people round here. You know them. They go to church over there at that Presbyterian church. When I was going to school I played baseball up there and played basketball, played football up there, tennis. I even played Cherokee stickball. E: Cherokee stickball. Now what was it like? G: You really don't know? They have a stick 'bout that long, with little head on, 'bout that big, and it kind of scooped just like that. Made to pass over a ball. The ball was about that big. You can't pick it up with your hands, but you have to scoop it up with that stick. You had to wear a paili'. of trunks, just like a pair of swimming trunks. You get out there and play that. It's man for man. It's no boys for boys. Just man for man. You had to be a man to play it. E: Have you ever seen it played anywhere else except up in Cherokee? G: Never have. I haven't seen it. I'd love to see it. I'd love to see it started down here. E: Mr. Ernest Patton started a team of baseball boys. Did you ever play with that group or was that a little bit later?

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9 G: I played baseball with Ernest Patton. Ernest Patton's a fine fella. E: Yes and he was mail carrier over in your reservation. G: He carried mail here for many, many years. Ernest Patton carried mail through the reservation on a horse and buggy. Lots of times he'd stop at the houses. They would invite him in when he come by. Some body's cooking dinner, have dinner on the table, and he happened up about that time with the mail. They'd pull him in the house and give him his dinner. He's eat dinner, he'd be on his way. E: Well, that's interesting. G: Because I don't think those people over there are like the other people think they are. They're a bunch of nice people. They'd give the shirt off their back, I believe, because I know this. Ernest Patton carried mail through there and they'd feed him. They'd give ' him something to eat. Dr. Hill, an old country doctor, lived down here at Catawba Junction. He spent many a night up here at the reservation in some of these homes. They'd make him a bed. He'd get in the bed and sleep. They'd give him his supper and breakfast. He'd be called up there like, you know, coming out late at night, he'd just spend the night there. E: Did he bring any of your children into the world? G: No, ma'am. E: Well, he can certainly be proud. G: He was a doctor up here mostly amongst the Indians up here, right down around in there, too. E: When someone becomes ill, how would you send a message to Dr. Hill? G: Somebody'd just get on a horse and go down there and get him. Or they'd pass the word down so-and-so was sick up here and tell him who it was. E: How did he travel, in a horse and buggy? G: Horse and buggy or just ride horseback. E: What's Dr. Hill look like? G: He was kind of an old guy, from the first time I ever met him. He wore glasses but he was a good doctor to be a country doctor. E: Now he was paid by the government. You all did not pay him.

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10 G: No, he wasn't paid by the government. E: No, I mean by the state of South Carolina. G: I don't know whether he was or not, but I think he might have been. But I couldn't say he was or not. Now some of the rest of [them] might know. E: I think there was a certain amount of money set aside and the Indian agent was in charge of distributing that fund. The Indian agent was responsible for paying the doctor. G: I know that they were there. They were still held responsible for all debts made by a physician then. If you went to a doctor then well, it's not like that anymore. E: That's right. You're a member of the Mormon church, are you not? G: I'm a member of the Mormon church down here. E: What school teachers do you remember on the reservation? You didn't go to school here on the reservation, but you sent your children here on the reservation. G: The Morman elders were school teachers and missionaries, folks that got sent here on a mission. Elder Hayes, for one. He was a teacher here for about three or four years. There was a lady from Columbia. She was sent here on a mission, taught school a year, but I can't think of her name right now. Then J. C. Davis and his wife was here teaching school. E: Remember the Dunlaps? G: I don't remember a Dunlap teaching here. Evidently that was done while I was away at school. E: What do you remember about the oldest building on the reservation? Do you remember the old church? It was kind of a combination church and schoolhouse, with a bell in the steeple. G: There was one over there. The schoolhouse had a bell in the steeple but the old church was down at the foot of the hill. As far as I know, I mean old frame building down there. E: I believe it was later moved across the road and some of the Blue family lived in that building. Later, the Mormon church was built. G: It was moved over there and I think that Viola Blue and them moved in there, and Landrum and his wife after they built a new chapel up here.

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11 Because you [are] speaking of the churches, how well I remember that old church down there at the reservation when I was a small kid. We got up on Sunday morning, we started four miles to that church through woods over here at Catawba Road, wagon roads going back in there to 'em. That was every Sunday morning. We stayed all day over there, come back at night by lantern light. E: You'd take something to eat? G: No, there was people'd invite us to dinner and people were more or less friendly then. They would just ask you come over to eat dinner with us or eat supper with us, spend a day with us, or something like that. E: Then you'd come home by lantern light at night? G: Come by lantern light at night. That seemed like the longest four miles I ever walked in my life. E: What kind of music did you have? You had an organ in the church? G: They had an old organ, and they kept that in use for a good many years, until they got a piano. E: Did you ever hear your parents or your grandparents tell any of the old stories about the Indians: where you came from, or the history of the Indians? G: As a matter of fact, my grandfather, Wesley Harris, did not talk that much. I mean they didn't say nothing 'bout it, because we have, I think, a history of the Indians 'bout as near direct as anybody can give us. They came from Jerusalem and around in there, they came across the Pacific Ocean. That's something nobody know. The came over here before Columbus did. They landed in South America and Central America and ended up over there. There was at least four parties that came over here. But yet there was enough of 'em left to survive a battle that was going of to inhabit therest of the earth up here in North America. E: Didn't your parents talk about any of the fairies or the little men, and to me they would do that at night, my father would frighten me. G: They never did. There's very little I can remember of my kinfolks. I used to stay at my grandfather and grandmother all the time. My father and mother worked for Edmund Edwards over here. We came across that old Taylor Bridge up here, what used to be up here. I remember that very distinctly, come across that bridge before the big flood hit.

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12 E: That was 19 G: 1916 or '17. E: I think it was 1916. G: In August. E: That's right. G: That's what washed the bridge away up ther~, that Taylor Bridge. My grandmother and grandfather lived right there where Roy Brown lives now, 'cause I know that old house for many, many years. E: Then what did you Indians do when the bridge was swept away and people tried to get across from one side to the other? G: It swept the bridges away. They built boats after the bridges was swept away. They built boats to carry people back and forth across the river. Large enough E: To take care of their baggage and so forth? G: They take them across and then take their baggage in a boat separate 'cause they couldn't be responsible for the baggage because of the high water. E: That's right. When you transferred them, is that the site of the Catawba river bed on the Charlotte Highway? G: No, that was closer, was right up here. E: Right up here. G: Down here at the Catawba junction. E: Then there's two bridges, one that Early Brown operated, that ferry. G: Yeah, that's the ferry down here where ---E: And then the Curreton ferry on down the river? G: That's the Ashe ferry down there right above the Curreton. E: Right above.