Citation
Interview with Harry E. Neely, September 4, 1992

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Harry E. Neely, September 4, 1992
Creator:
Neely, Harry E. ( 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







Interviewee: Harry E. Neely

Interviewer: Emma Echols

September 4, 1992









E: This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. Today I am
visiting down among the Catawba Indians. I am sitting with Mr. Harry E. Neely at
the intersection of Reservation Road and Neely's Store Road.

Mr. Neely, will you tell us your full name?

N: Harry Neely.

E: How old are you?

N: Seventy-four.

E: Now, you have always lived right here. This store has been here [for] how long?
Your father had the store and then you had it.

N: Yes, ma'am. My father had it, and it has been different ones down through the
years, but we have been running it about twelve years.

E: When the Indians came up this reservation road to trade with you, one of them was
Idle Sanders. Tell me what you remember about Idle Sanders.

N: Well, I do not know too much about Idle. As I remember that name fit him, though.
He would walk up this muddy road and he would never get any mud on his shoes.
His shoes just stayed shined and good and free of mud.

E: Did the Indians always pay you cash, or did they sometimes charge things?

N: Most of them wanted things charged.

E: They did?

N: Yes ma'am.

E: Were they honest in paying for it?

N: No ma'am.

E: Not all of them.

N: Not all of them.

E: [Laughter] Well, that is true of life, is it not? Now, you remember Chief Sam Blue.
What do you remember about the chief?


-1-










N: Well, I still remember that he dressed up in an Indian costume pretty often and
looked like a real Indian.

E: Did he speak the Indian language? Did you ever hear him say any of the Indian
words?

N: Yes ma'am. He spoke, but I did not understand what he was saying.

E: Who would he talk to [in that language]? Someone in his family?

N: I do not remember who he talked to.

E: Did you ever hear him do his famous dance and song? Sometimes he would go to
the schools and do that.

N: Yes.

E: Now, besides Chief Blue and Idle Sanders, what other Indians do you remember?
There are the Becks and the Blues and the Cantors; so many down here.

N: Fletcher Beck.

E: Now Fletcher Beck was a famous one, too. What do you remember about Fletcher?

N: Fletcher Beck and Major Beck.

E: Major Beck died a few years ago, I believe.

N: Yes. Major Beck was not an Indian.

E: He married an Indian. He married Lula, and she was the chieftain's daughter. She
is the oldest one that is living now, I believe.

N: Yes.

E: The Indians never did do much farming down on the reservation, but they liked to
fish and hunt, did they not? Do you remember what animals would be down here
on the reservation when they would go hunting?

N: Rabbits and squirrels.

E: They tell me there are still deer down on the reservation.

N: Well, there are deer all around this area now.

-2-










E: They bother your crops, do they not?

N: They eat up a lot of the gardens and all.

E: Did you ever go to the Catawba Indian churches? Did you go when they had any
funeral services or anything of that kind down there?

N: I have attended funeral services down there at the Mormon church.

E: Were you there when they had the service for Chief Blue?

N: I do not recall; I do not think so.

E: Now that the Indians are getting their settlement, what do you think is going to
happen? How are they going to use it? Do you have any idea?

N: Well, a good many of them would spend it as soon as the get it. They will not save
any of it, and be broke again.

E: They have done a lot to improve their homes, especially those who have bought
[homes] off the reservation, have they not?

N: Yes.

E: Did you ever attend any of the schools down at the reservation?

N: No ma'am.

E: They had their own little private school, and [they] were not allowed to go to the
public schools for a long, long, time.

N: I think so.

E: Do you have any Indian pottery that you bought from their women?

N: No, ma'am.

E: They are still making it, I believe, on the reservation?

N: Some of them are.

E: Who comes to trade with you now from the Indian nation? What Indians?

N: Very few. In fact, I do not know of any.

-3-










E: Well, they have cars now and they go into the city, do they not?

N: Yes.

E: And most of them have good jobs. Do you know a Fred Sanders?

N: Yes.

E: I believe he has a job in Charlotte.

N: That is right. He lives in Charlotte.

E: He is assistant to the chief, I think. They have moved the old school house down on
the reservation.

N: Yes.

E: And then there is a big government building down there now, so it seems to me they
are on their way up in many ways, if you can properly use that.

N: That is right.

E: If you had any word to say about the Indians, what would you say? They are, clean,
most of the time they are honest, and they are hard-working. Do they get along with
the white people most of the time?

N: Yes ma'am, they do.

E: So you have friends down on the reservation, have you not?

N: A few.

E: A few. Well, some of them have gone on. A lot of them have gone on.

N: Yes.

E: Well, I hope we are going to see some improvements and changes and progress down
among them and that they will be a happy, progressive group of people. They need
to pull together, do they not?

N: Yes ma'am.

E: But with different tribes, and different families, it is hard to pull them all together,
I am sure.

-4-










N: Yes.

E: But there are some brilliant, smart people among them. Ed [Canty] lives over near
the fire tower road. Do you know Ed Canty?

N: I do not know him.

E: He is one that has made good, and there are a number of them that have really
made good. There is quite a change here; I am sitting here with you and that road
down to the reservation is paved, and that road on down on the reservation itself,
that circle, is in pretty good shape. All around that circle are the ones that live in
the trailers. The ones who live in the homes, they are in better shape, are they not?

N: I would think so.


































-5-





Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Interviewee: Harry E. Neely Interviewer: Emma Echols September 4, 1992

PAGE 2

E: This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. Today I am visiting down among the Catawba Indians. I am sitting with Mr. Harry E. Neely at the intersection of Reservation Road and Neely's Store Road. ,Mr. Neely, will you tell us your full name? N: Harry Neely. E: How old are you? N: Seventy-four. E: Now, you have always lived right here. This store has been here [for] how long?. Your father had the store and then you had it. N: Yes, ma'am. My father had it, and it has been different ones down through the years, but we have been running it about twelve years. E: When the Indians came up this reservation road to trade with you, one of them was Idle Sanders. Tell me what you remember about Idle Sanders. N: Well, I do not know too much about Idle. As I remember that name fit him, though. He would walk up this muddy road and he would never get any mud on his shoes. His shoes just stayed shined and good and free of mud. E: Did the Indians always pay you cash, or did they sometimes charge things? N: Most of them wanted things charged. E: They did? N: Yes ma'am. E: Were they honest in paying for it? N: No ma'am. E: Not all of them. N: Not all of them. E: [Laughter] Well, that is true of life, is it not? Now, you remember Chief Sam Blue. What do you remember about the chief? 1

PAGE 3

N: Well, I still remember that he dressed up in an Indian costume pretty often and looked like a real Indian. E: Did he speak the Indian language? Did you ever hear him say any of the Indian words? N: Yes ma'am. He spoke, but I did not understand what he was saying. E: Who would he talk to [in that language]? Someone in his family? N: I do not remember who he talked to. E: Did you ever hear him do his famous dance and song? Sometimes he would go to the schools and do that. N: Yes. E: Now, besides Chief Blue and Idle Sanders, what other Indians do you remember? There are the Becks and the Blues and the Cantors; so many down here. N: Fletcher Beck. E: Now Fletcher Beck was a famous one, too. What do you remember about Fletcher? N: Fletcher Beck and Major Beck. E: Major Beck died a few years ago, I believe. N: Yes. Major Beck was not an Indian. E: He married an Indian. He married Lula, and she was the chieftain's daughter. She is the oldest one that is living now, I believe. N: Yes. E: The Indians never did do much farming down on the reservation, but they liked to fish and hunt, did they not? Do you remember what animals would be down here on the reservation when they would go hunting? N: Rabbits and squirrels. E: They tell me there are still deer down on the reservation. N: Well, there are deer all around this area now. 2

PAGE 4

E: They bother your crops, do they not? N: They eat up a lot of the gardens and all. E: Did you ever go to the Catawba Indian churches? Did you go when they had any funeral services or anything of that kind down there? N: I have attended funeral services down there at the Mormon church. E: Were you there when they had the service for Chief Blue? N: I do not recall; I do not think so. E: Now that the Indians are getting their settlement, what do you think is going to happen? How are they going to use it? Do you have any idea? N: Well, a good many of them would spend it as soon as the get it. They will not save any of it, and be broke again. E: They have done a lot to improve their homes, especially those who have bought [homes] off the reservation, have they not? N: Yes. E: Did you ever attend any of the schools down at the reservation? N: No ma'am. E: They had their own little private school, and [they] were not allowed to go to the public schools for a long, long, time. N: I think so. E: Do you have any Indian pottery that you bought from their women? N: No, ma'am. E: They are still making it, I believe, on the reservation? N: Some of them are. E: Who comes to trade with you now from the Indian nation? What Indians? N: Very few. In fact, I do not know of any. 3

PAGE 5

E: Well, they have cars now and they go into the city, do they not? N: Yes. E: And most of them have good jobs. Do you know a Fred Sanders? N: Yes. E: I believe he has a job in Charlotte. N: That is right. He lives in Charlotte. E: He is assistant to the chief, I think. They have moved the old school house down on the reservation. N: Yes. E: And then there is a big government building down there now, so it seems to me they are on their way up in many ways, if you can properly use that. N: That is right. E: If you had any word to say about the Indians, what would you say? They are, clean, most of the time they are honest, and they are hard-working. Do they get along with the white people most of the time? N: Yes ma'am, they do. E: So you have friends down on the reservation, have you not? N: A few. E: A few. Well, some of them have gone on. A lot of them have gone on. N: Yes. E: Well, I hope we are going to see some improvements and changes and progress down among them and that they will be a happy, progressive group of people. They need to pull together, do they not? N: Yes ma'am. E: But with different tribes, and different families, it is hard to pull them all together, I am sure. 4

PAGE 6

N: Yes. E: But there are some brilliant, smart people among them. Ed [Canty] lives over near the fire tower road. Do you know Ed Canty? N: I do not know him. E: He is one that has made good, and there are a number of them that have really made good. There is quite a change here; I am sitting here with you and that road down to the reservation is paved, and that road on down on the reservation itself, that circle, is in pretty good shape. All around that circle are the ones that live in the trailers. The ones who live in the homes, they are in better shape, are they not? N: I would think so. 5