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Interview with Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulderson, October 10, 1971

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Title:
Interview with Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulderson, October 10, 1971
Creator:
Raulderson, Hiram ( Interviewee )
Mrs. Raulderson, Hiram ( Interviewee )
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Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Seminole Indians
Seminoles -- Florida
Seminole Oral History Collection ( local )

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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.

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Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Seminoles' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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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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SEM 36 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
In cooperation with The Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida
INTERVIEWEE: Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulderson
INTERVIEWER: Don Pullease
DATE: October 10, 1971















SUMMARY
In this interview, Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulerson give
information about the Indian trade in his father's store,
established around Okeechobee in 1905. Specifically they
discuss the goods traded, friendliness of Indians in trade,
their travel to the store and their dress at that time.
Some accounts from the Brighton Reservation are still
current. Also mentioned is the first school at Tantie, the
founding of Okeechobee, the work of the Friends of the
Seminoles and of the Saints of the Seminoles, and the influ-
ence of the Baptist and Episcopal churches upon the Indians.
Finally considered is the Indian cattle program, their
participation in World War II and their use of the vote.















INDEX
Bedell, Deaconess, 16
Bowlegs, Billy, 6, 10
Cattle program, 17-18
Education, 4-5, 9, 15
Godden, Dr. William J., 16
Gray, Bishop, 15
Indian dress, 2-3, 6, 12, 15
Indians in World Wars, 18-19
Indian use of the vote, 19-20
Micco, Charlie, 8-9
Osceola, Joe Dan, 14
Raulerson Store (established c. 1905), 1
Religion (church influence), 15-17
Spencer, Lucian (Indian Agent), 6-7, 9
Sugar (U.S. Sugar Corp. at Clewiston), 10-11
Trade with Indians, 2-4, 7-12
Transcultural Contacts,
Friends of the Seminoles, 13-14
Saints of the Seminoles, 14
Walker, Tilly, 14















I: Today is October the tenth, 1971. Today we're talking to
Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulerson of Okeechobee. Mr. Raulerson,
would you just generally tell us something about your
family, your father, etc.?
R: Yes. My grandfather moved over in this area about 1895--
of course, my father was a young man at that time--and along
about 1905 he started the first store there. I believe you
have a picture of that.
I: We have a picture here of your father's store. What time
during 1905 did he build this? In the early part? Was it
rainy at the time, or dry? Was it on high land?
R: Yes, it was on a high spot. I guess they picked out the
high places to build.
I: Were there any streets at that time built within this area?
Or was it just...?
R: No, it was just roads--mostly trails--no automobiles; it was
all horses and wagons.
I: During this period, was there a lot of white people, trade
within this area? Did your dad ever say, was it a large
settlement, or was this just a beginning?
R: No, this was then just a small settlement. A few years after
[my grandfather] came to the area, Judge Hancock moved in--
I think about 1904. He established a residence on the other
side of Taylor Creek, the east side of Taylor Creek. He was
an engineer...a surveyor.
I: How many brothers and sisters did you have within your family?
MR: You mean his family?
R: In my immediate family there were seven of us.
MR: You mean your family, your daddy's. I just counted 'em,
one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight.






2
R: Eight in my father's family.
I: At this store...did you mainly trade with vegetables, etc.?
Can you tell us about that?
R: Well, my father did quite a little trading of the Indians,
and would bring their alligator hides and their 'coon skins,
otter hides....
I: Did the Indians stay within the store? For example, your
dad paid for the hides, etc., in gold. And did they turn
around and buy vegetables, etc., back from you?
R: Boy, there was quite a little gold back in there. There was
times there was lots of trading done in gold, paid for in
gold.
I: Did your dad extend credit to these Indians? Give then so
much credit...?
R: Some of them were given credit. He's often said how honest
they were at that time; that you could always depend on
their coming back and paying their debts.
I: When you traded with the Indians, what was most of the
things that they bought?
R: Well, mostly they bought food items: sugar and coffee and
rice.
MR: They bought syrup a lot. I know [they] used syrup instead
of sugar....
I: Did the Indians help themselves, or did you have people....
R: We had people who waited on 'em...my father and other clerks
we had.
I: How did they dress?
R: Well, originally they dressed in--the men, their native
costume was a long shirt. Came down below their knees.
About the knees.
I: Did they wear turbans on their heads, or derbies, or...?






3
R: Some of them did. Some of them wore what we call turbans,
they're made out of bandana handkerchiefs.
I: What color were these bandanas?
R: Oh, they were red and blue.
I: Were any of the category of the old engineering--you know,
with the dots in it--or were they solid reds and solid
blues?
R: No, they had the patterns in 'em.
I: After your dad would trade with 'em, did the Indians take
the food directly back to their camps, because of spoilage?
How did they keep from spoiling some of the things that
they bought from your dad?
R: Well, they didn't buy articles that would spoil very easily,
you know--nothing that needed refrigeration.
I: Did they supply their own meat?
R: I guess they killed most of that themselves.
I: Did they ever sell any to your dad for medicine and that?
R: Yes, they'd sell it to us.
I: At that time--your dad traded with them--did he ever see or
ever hear of any Indians wearing white man's clothing during
these periods?
R: In the early days, no. They didn't....
I: What date--could you fix it for us--that they came about to
wear Americanized type clothes?
R: Well, I think probably after the school out at Brighton was
started, they began to become more modern. After that, then,
they adopted the regular dress habits of the people, rather
than their own costumes.
I: Did any of the children accompany the families when they
came in, or what?
R: Yes, they'd all come in together.






4
I: Did the squaws, etc., come along?
R: Yes. The squaws would come along with the husbands.
I: In the later period, did you ever notice a trend that the
man stayed away from the store, more the squaws brought the
kids in directly from the Everglades, or was it the vice-
versa of that situation? Or was it a mixture of coming and
going?
R: Well, usually they all came in more or less together.
MR: I guess they walked. They didn't have any transportation.
R: They didn't have any transportation.
I: They didn't come up the canal, like they...?
R: Well, they used some canoes and sort of thing, like you
know, Mr. showed you the picture of a dugout canoe.
I: During this period, was a lot of this area, now Okeechobee,
under water?
R: Yes, there hadn't been much drainage back in the early days,
you know. And the water came up almost in town, here, in
the wet season.
I: At this period, did the Indians ever say to you how far of
a venture...they were leaving your store, and going out into
the Everglades...they ever give you rough distances, or did
they ever convey that they needed something preserved, such
as your potatoes, for a certain period? Or something perish-
able that you covered it up for 'em because of their long
trips across the Everglades?
R: Well, I think actually the ones that traded here were within
twenty miles or so of Okeechobee. They most of 'em migrated
between those and the store. They didn't go any great dis-
tance. I mean, I don't think that ours were the ones that
went down in the Everglades.
I: At this time, were there any type of educational facilities
in the area?
R: Well, just school that my grandmother started. After she






came into the area...well of course, there were no schools
here. And she was anxious for her children to attend school,
so she herself started the first school--what was later known
as Tantie. And the first teacher was Miss Tantie Huckabee,
of South Carolina. Came down and lived with my grandmother,
grandfather, and taught the first school here.
I: Where was this school located?
R: In my grandfather's home.
I: How far was this from the store or the trading area?
R: Oh, this was just a short distance, about four or five blocks.
I: Did you see any Indians going to the school there, during
that period?
R: No.
I: None whatsoever. Well, did anyone ever approach you about
--or your mother, or your dad, etc.--about teaching the
Indians any...culture?
R: No.
I: Also during this period, from what I can understand, the
Indians did not grow any of their own vegetables, fruits,
etc. They'd buy tomatoes, for example...did they buy corn?
R: I think they grew some of their corn and pumpkins, and a few
vegetables like that. Maybe sweet potatoes, and....
I: They were mostly interested in fruit, then.
R: They liked fruit.
I: What type of fruit did they...?
R: Oh, just any kind of fresh fruit. They liked oranges and
apples....
I: Did the Indians ever stay there overnight, at the trading
post? Or stay over at your dad's home or your home, at that
time?






6
R: Yes, I recall that some of the men would come in and spend
the night occasionally, and my father would invite 'em in.
They'd usually sleep on the porch. We had a big porch
around the house; they'd sleep out on the porch.
I: How many days would they usually stay with you, on an aver-
age?
R: Well, not more than a couple of days.
I: Did you feed the Indians, or did they come in and buy stuff
and cook their food outside?
R: Yes, they usually did their own cooking. I imagine that we
offered them meals, you know, when they were stayin' in the
house.
I: Is it true that you knew Billy Bowlegs?
R: Yes, I knew Billy quite well.
I: Can you tell me anything unusual about Billy, or anything
different about the Cow Creek Indians from that which--I
know you wouldn't know the Miccosukee, but can you tell me
any traditional differences in his costume? Did he also
at this period wear this long shirt, for example?
R: I don't remember his wearing that long shirt. He probably
did in the early days, but I don't recall. When I knew
him, he was wearing more or less the same clothing that the
white people wore.
MR: I thought they all wore those Indian shirts. They'd wear
pants, but....
R: They wore the shirts, yeah.
MR: Yeah, but that picture you have, one had the regular shirt
with buttons on it.
I: Did you know Lucian Spencer, the Indian agent during this
period?
R: Yes, I knew Mr. Spencer.
I: Did you ever talk with him, or did he ever ask you any par-
ticular questions?






7
R: Usually his business was with my father. They discussed In-
dian affairs, different things pertaining to the Indians.
Trade with the Indians, and that sort of thing.
I: What was he mostly interested in? As far as history is con-
cerned, they have no particular interest shown towards what
he was looking for within the Indians. For example, he...
history just shows him as a "Indian agent." Did he take
great interest, or was he....
R: He seemed to be very interested in the Indian; I think he
did a pretty good job as an agent.
I: Did he ever teach--him being an old Episcopal minister--any
of the religion?
R: No, I don't think so. As far as I know, he never brought
that up in this area, anyway.
I: Did he ever come in with the Indians from the Everglades?
Did he ever accompany them in, from the Everglades, to the
store?
R: I don't recall that they ever accompanied him in. It may
have been some of 'em were around when he came, but I don't
think they came with him.
I: When the Indians came in, did they--you saw some of the fire-
arms that they had with 'em--for example, they brought in
different varieties of weapons--did they bring 'em into the
store with 'em, or did they leave 'em outside? Did they
take your father as a friend, or did they still carry their
weapons within the store area?
R: They were quite friendly. My father got along with 'em
quite well; they trusted him, and he trusted them.
I: In your dealings, do you feel that they were still fair with
you as a trader?
R: Yes, I've gotten along with 'em real well; they've been quite
friendly. Of course, in later years, they've gotten to where
they're not as dependable as they were originally, but I
think that's happened also with the white race, too.
I: Well, I kind of agree with that in many aspects. When did






8
your dad move to the new store?
R: Oh, about 1915.
I: What happened at his old store to cause him to move from it?
R: Well, I suppose he'd more or less outgrown it. And they
were laying out a new town. This was about the time the city
of Okeechobee came into being. The city was founded by the
old Okeechobee Company, [which] was instrumental in getting
the first railroad from New Smyrna down into Okeechobee, and
principally for the...to transport the fish, and a lot of
the produce grown around the lake area and the Okeechobee
area was transported then by train.
I: What happened to the old store? Did it burn down later, or...?
R: No, I think later on it was just torn down. I don't think
it ever burned down.
I: Did any of the Indians come over to your dad's new store?
R: Oh, yes. We traded with them all along--still trade with
'em, some.
I: Even today?
R: Yes. I have some of 'em that I still have accounts for.
I: Would you care to give the names of some of these people that
you still have accounts with? Such as any leaders in the
Brighton complex?
R: Yes. The ones that I deal with are mostly from the Brighton
Reservation. And out there we have an account with Frank
Shore, who has quite a cattle herd, and he'd quite dependable.
Let's see, the Miccos--Charlie Micco and little Charlie Micco
...that's spelled M-i-c-c-o...and....
I: Would this be the same Micco that is found within the ledger?
Would that be his family?
R: Yeah.
I: Would that be his grandfather, or father?






9
R: It's probably his grandfather.
I: Good. Very good. The trading with the Indians--during this
time, with the new store, and with the impact of the Brighton
Reservation coming in the '30s--this have any effect
business-wise on the trading area, or was it any...?
R: Oh yes, we used to do quite a business with the Indians
after they started the Brighton Reservation. They were
developing the land, doing quite a lot of work, and these
Indians were paid, I guess, monthly. They used to bring
them in, and they did most of their trading with us there
at the store. We had a grocery store at the time. Bought
their groceries, and they bought their clothing, so down
through the years have done business with the Indians.
I: When the reservation came about, did you notice any differ-
ence within the education or culture with the Indians? I
know it might not have...at first, at all...but later, in
later years, have you noted that distinctive....
R: Yes, I've noticed quite a difference. The education--they
established a day school at Brighton. That would've been
the early 30s, I guess. Mr. Boehmer.
MR: Was he the first teacher?
I: I believe he was the third. I'm not sure.
R: Yeah. Could've been.
I: Did Lucian Spencer ever ask your dad where would be an
ideal place for the Indians to camp, or for a reservation?
Seeing you were one of the first settlers within the area,
did he ever ask you about some land he could get, or any
land that the government wanted to give 'em, or...anything
within this area of your general knowledge dealing with the
Seminole land?
R: Well, he probably discussed those things with my father.
I'm just not aware....
I: You never heard of them trying?
R: No.
MR: Did Lykes own this land?






10
R: This reservation, the Brighton Reservation, I guess might
have been owned by the Brighton brothers.
I: I don't know that from the other. I would have to check it.
I still have a feeling that the Indian in the late '20s
kind of disappeared back into the Everglades, because of
the influx of the white man interfering with the Florida
area. Did you ever notice a downgrading or absence of the
Indian in the white culture here in Okeechobee; or was it
a steady trade in and trade out, throughout the years.
R: It was pretty steady, in and out; I don't think there was
any change in the trading habits. They would come in on
the weekends and do their....
I: When was the last time you saw Billy Bowlegs in town?
R: Oh, I saw him probably a few months before his death; I
think he's been dead two or three years now.
I: Did he continue to come in the store after all these years?
R: Yes, Billy came in quite often.
I: What were some of the things that Billy bought? I mean,
what was his favorites? Can you tell about the personality
of the man?
R: Well, he was quite likeable, and in fact he acted as a guide
for some of the people. He took them out hunting, that sort
of thing.
I: Did he ever like a certain type of fruit or vegetable, for
example, did he...?
R: Most of the things that I remember is I sold him clothing,
shoes--of course the Indians didn't wear a lot of shoes in
those early days; they do now, of course.
I: Was the sugar within this area well developed, the sugar
crop?
R: The sugar company was established over in Clewiston; a lot
of sugar produced in the area. I've forgotten what year that
was established, the United States Sugar Corporation.






11
I: Did the Indians buy refined or raw candy sugar for their
use?
R: Well, as far as I know, they bought refined sugar.
I: Very unusual that the raw sugar.... Did you ever notice,
when you were growing up, the different types of weapons
that they ever had such as rifles, shotguns, pistols? Did
you ever see any of the Indians use a pistol, for example?
R: No, I never have. I think Mr. Meserve mentioned that they
bought shells from him. They were evidently using shotguns.
I: Some of the hides that your dad traded with the Indians--
would you tell us what some of the different hides [were]
that he traded for the food that they purchased?
R: I guess the principal hide was the alligator.
I: How much would that go for?
R: Well, back in those days it was rather cheap, but....
I: Could you give us an estimate on dollars and cents wise?
Would you say ten cents a foot?
MR: Yes, you could say something like that.
I: Did your dad buy any certain size of alligators, did he...?
R: No, I think he didn't buy anything under a certain size.
Like it had to be a certain size.
I: What did he do with the hides?
R: He shipped them away; he had a source that he sold them to.
I: Do you happen to know the name of the company he sold them
to?
R: Seems to me that he sold some to a farmer in Jacksonville,
and in New Orleans, different parts of the country where he
could get the best price for them.
I: Did he ever trade for another type of animal?
L_____________________________________






12
R: Yeah, 'possum and otter, 'coon.
I: And would these bring a lot of money, or was this uh...?
R: No, they didn't bring a lot of money. Of course, back in
those days I guess they brought more than they do now.
I: Did your dad ever sell any technical equipment, such as
machinery or anything, sewing machines or anything to the
Indians?
R: Well, I know my brother sold Singer sewing machines.
I: What was your brother's name?
R: Charles L.
I: What time was this, that...?
R: This was in the '30s, I guess, actually. Brighton Reserva-
tion.
MR: Yes, 'cause he went into the service....
R: Well, I believe they ordered machines for them earlier.
I: Would you give us a price for what he sold the Singer sewing
machine for, in the '30s?
R: Well, it seems to me like it went for fifty dollars.
I: We have other estimates that were twenty-five in the early
'30s and the turn of the century, so you can see inflation-
ary rates here with the sewing machine. Was this the same
sewing machine that you would sit on the lap and treadle
with the little handle?
R: Yes, treadle model, but modernized to some extent.
I: In the '30s they were still wearing traditional girls plaid,
checkered, etc. dresses.
R: Yes, uh....
I: Did the Indians, during the early '30s, still wear turbans
and stuff like that when they came into the store?






13
R: No, they got away from that, the early ones did, and after
that they began to wear traditional hats, the Stetson type,
the....
I: Did the Indians ever care for preserves during that time;
did they ever teach them how to make preserves, canned or
vegetables?
MR: [Unintelligible passage]
I: They cooked everything from fresh to edible?
MR: Uh huh, all in that one pot.
I: During this period of history did you ever know any of the
other Indian friends of the Seminole organization, such as
the Sillsons, or Miss Stranahan, for example? Do you know
Miss Stranahan?
MR: [Unintelligible passage]
R: Yes, we held an account with the Friends of the Seminoles.
They would buy things like clothing for Indian children who
needed school clothing; they'd also buy clothing for those
who were away to college, or as I remember, some of them
were in Oklahoma [and] some of them went up to North Caro-
lina [to] school. They usually sent us a man with a note
to have us outfit him with clothing to go to school with.
We did quite a lot of business with them.
I: This Friends of the Seminoles, who were the leaders of this
time? What date are we talking in, as far as history is
concerned?
R: I'm talking about the '30s. I didn't know them before then.
I: Did you bill them...?
R: Yes, I believe they had an office in Ft. Lauderdale.
I: They would just more or less take one set of clothing, you
would outfit them, or...?
R: No.
I: Was there any other organization besides the Friends of the






14
Seminoles that you can remember offhand right now that were
interested in Seminole Indians?
R: Seems to me there was another organization, I'm not clear
just whether it was called Saints of Seminoles or.... With
this organization was Mr. Tilly Walker, who's a New York
life insurance agent who's quite interested in the Indians.
MR: And he used to bring one of the officials, of the New York
Life Insurance Company, that's the way he got so interested
in it. This man, don't you know, from New York, he used to
come down here with him.
I: Did they insure the Indians during that time?
MR: No, he was just interested. this man was the one
that was the vice president, or the president, or something.
I: So this organization was then an insurance firm?
R: No. This man that I speak of, this Tilly Walker, was very
much interested; I think it was the Osceola boy, Joe Dan
Osceola, who he was particularly interested in, more to
help him get an education. And he used to come up...his
friend would go out to the Brighton Reservation to see Joe
Dan, and actually they were instrumental, I think, in get-
ting him in school. I think he went to a school in Tennessee
or Kentucky. Somehow they were able to get him a scholarship
to go to school.
I: Did he go to college then?
R: Yes, he went for a couple of years; he didn't graduate.
I: The Friends of Seminoles, do you happen to know if Mrs.
Stranahan was involved with that?
R: Yeah, I'm sure that she was at one time.
I: Did you ever do any trading or talking with her of any type?
R: Nothing more than correspondence. I think we talked to her
over the phone occasionally, but--okay on a purchase order,
or something like that.
I: After this period in the '30s, was this continued; did you






15
continue to fit the students for clothes, down through the
'30s or...?
R: Yes, for several years.
I: And it would hold that an average of this period [was] about
fifty students per year...?
R: Well, I'd say from twenty-five to fifty.
I: Were any of these students repeats for clothing...?
R: Yes.
I: Could you define how many students there were that went out,
that you fitted. In other words, not counting the repeats,
roughly just how many of the total number? We're looking
for the students with the education.
MR: Mr. _could tell you all this 'cause he used to fit
them.
R: I'd say there were between fifteen and twenty who were repeat
customers who would come back year to year. Maybe for two
or three years. I don't know, but I think some of them
graduated [from] college. These were students they were
taking out to Oklahoma; I think to trade schools, some of
them were going to.
I: Did you see any church influence during your years with the
Indians, such as, was the Episcopal...?
R: Well, in later years I noticed that they seemed to be more
Baptist than anything else; they seemed to have gotten a
bigger hold of the Indian than anybody else. In the early
days I think the Episcopal church did a lot of work in this
area. I don't think they were able to be very effective.
I: Did you ever know or ever hear the name Bishop Gray?
R: Oh yes.
I: Your dad ever talk with the good Bishop?
R: Well, I understand that he did.






16
I: Did you ever know Dr. Godden?
R: Godden?
I: Yes, he was the last one of the church representatives to
come in.
R: No, I don't believe I knew him. I knew Deaconess Bedell.
I: How well did you know the good Deaconess?
R: Oh, not too well. I just met her.
I: Did you think that [there was] some controversy over her
performance here in the Everglades with the Indians? Do
you think that she helped the Indians in any way?
R: Well, I think that her intentions were good. I don't know
how far she was able to get, though.
I: Did you notice anything unusual in her manner with the In-
dians, different from that of the Baptist church of the same
period or later?
R: Well, I think possibly that the influence the Baptist church
had was through teaching the Indian himself to become a
missionary. Sending them back to preach and to teach their
own people, and I think that's probably the reason they had
more success.
I: Did you ever meet any of the Baptist ministers?
R: Yes, I know some of them. Some of the Osceola boys are
ministers.
I: Did they come back from Oklahoma?
R: Yeah.
I: At this time, did the church set up any of their church
schools for education for the Indians? Such as Baptist
church school in or...?
R: Not that I know of, in our area. For the Brighton area, I
think the Brighton Day School was set up by the government.






17
I don't think the churches had anything to do with setting
up any schools. If they did, I don't know where.
I: In modern day-to-day, do you think the Indian still has any
type of Christian religion?
R: Yes, they have accepted the--some of them, I wouldn't say
all of them by any means, I might say some of them....
MR: They haven't really, the white man's religion, they are all
religious people.
I: They believe in the Big Spirit, which is the same as our
formal....
MR: Yeah, the same thing. Of course they have a con-
nected with this religious ceremony. Now people who have
broken the law actually tried, I guess.
I: During this time of the store, had you noticed anything un-
usual about that set an example, as he became more thrifty
with money, or as he spent it more or...?
R: Well, I think some of them have become more thrifty, and I
think some of them have been I suppose that's
true with any people. I don't think they're much different
from us in that respect.
MR: They borrow an awful lot from
R: They like automobiles....
MR: Automobiles. if you've ever seen them
broken down somewhere
I: Today is there really an open trade--a professional question
--is there an open trade with the Indians as far as vege-
tables, or do you think they're raising most of their own
out at the Brighton Reservation?
R: Well, I really don't think they do much farming.
I: Do you think maybe that they're more interested in cows than
they are in the agricultural...?
R: Yeah, they're quite interested in cows.






18
I: Maybe because of the money end of it, would be....
R: Yes, there's more, there's more....
I: Do they sell here in Okeechobee?
R: Yeah, they sell their--out at the cattle market they buy
their own. Several years ago the government the
drought area in the west, they brought a bunch of those
cattle down to the Brighton Reservation and they more or
less distributed those out to the Indians. I mean, they
owned the cattle themselves, and they'd take care of them,
and this is sort of a cooperative deal, I think. They have
a man who looks after them. They sell them every year, and
then divide the proceeds among the Indians. They get a lot
of their spending money this way.
I: Did any of the Indians within the Okeechobee area fight in
the first war [World War I], that you know of?
R: Not, I don't know.
MR: I know they did in the Second World War, but I don't know....
I: How many would you say fought from this area in the Second
World War?
R: Well, I don't think there were a lot of them; I know there
was some.
I: Did they return back to Okeechobee here, did they become
business men later, did they just follow the old...?
MR: No, they came back home.
I: Just fall back into the tribal reservation situation after
their war experience with the government. Have you seen
an ad for the Korean conflict, many veterans returning home
for example?
MR: No.
I: Back to this area. About the Viet Nam era which we're
presently in today.
MR: I guess we don't keep as close touch with them since they






19
don't go to school here.
I: Well, I was thinking maybe through your store or something
like that. Has the...?
R: Well, I think maybe some of them have gone in the....
MR: Yeah, they say they put them in there like spys, or they go
ahead there real....
I: Which war was this, World War II?
MR: That was World War II. They're good path finders, I guess.
I: They were ...
MR: Yes!
I: ...for example, for history's sake, was a path finder who
had started with Indian speaking the same language with
in it, and they'd converse back and forth across
the phones, and then jam, the Nazi system.
MR: Yes, but you surely couldn't understand.
I: Today, is there many Indians from Brighton interested in
the government of Okeechobee or within the county system or
any...?
R: No. I'm not sure, but I guess they could vote.
MR: Yeah, I'm sure they....
R: I don't know whether many of them are interested.
MR: Of course they aren't residents to....
I: We were talking about the voting. The Indian does vote
today, then, to the best of your knowledge?
R: I believe that they do have their right to vote, but....
I: Do you hold elections here in Okeechobee?
R: Oh yes.






20
I: Do you see many Indians come in to vote?
R: No, I don't see them. In fact I don't remember seeing any
Indians vote. Now whether they emphasize their privilege
of voting or not, I really don't know. There may be some
few of them who do vote, but I'm not sure.
I: They might vote without the reservation...
R: Yeah.
I: ...area of Brighton.
R: Well, they're in another county, they're in Glades County.
They wouldn't vote in our county anyway.
I: Well, Mr. Raulerson, we will probably be back within the
next couple of weeks to get a part two on this tape, the
Raulerson Trading Post. I'd like to note at this time
that I told Mr. Raulerson that this tape would eventually
wind up in the University of Florida. Only from a historian's
point of view will it be saved for future historians
to be used in doing their research.






Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with The Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida INTERVIEWEE: INTERVIEWER: Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulderson Don Pullease DATE: October 10, 1971

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SUMMARY In this interview, Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulerson give information about the Indian trade in his father's store, established around Okeechobee in 1905, Specifically they discuss the goods traded, friendliness of Indians in trade, their travel to the store and their dress at that time. Some accounts from the Brighton Reservation are still current. Also mentioned is the first school at Tantie, the founding of Okeechobee, the work of the Friends of the Seminoles and of the Saints of the Seminoles, and the influ ence of the Baptist and Episcopal churches upon the Indians. finally considered is the Indian cattle program, their participation in World War II and their use of the vote.

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INDEX Bedell, Deaconess, 16 Bowlegs, Billy, 6, 10 Cattle program, 17-18 Education, 4-5, 9, 15 Godden, Dr. William J., 16 Gray, Bishop, 15 Indian dress, 2-3, 6, 12, 15 Indians in World Wars, 18-19 Indian use of the vote, 19-20 Micco, Charlie, 8-9 Osceola, Joe Dan, 14 Raulerson Store (established c. 1905), 1 Religion (church influence), 15-17 Spencer, Lucian (Indian Agent), 6-7, 9 Sugar (U.S. Sugar Corp. at Clewiston), 10-11 Trade with Indians, 2-4, 7-12 Transcultural Contacts, Friends of the Seminoles, 13-14 Saints of the Seminoles, 14 Walker, Tilly, 14

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I: Today is October the tenth, 1971. Today we're talking to Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulerson of Okeechobee. Mr. Raulerson, would you just generally tell us something about your family, your father, etc.? R: Yes. My grandfather moved over in this area about 1895-of course, my father was a young man at that time--and along about 1905 he started the first store there. I believe you have a picture of that. I: We have a picture here of your father's store. What time during 1905 did he build this? In the early part? Was it rainy at the time, or dry? Was it on high land? R: Yes, it was on a high spot. I guess they picked out the high places to build. I: Were there any streets at that time built within this area? Or was it just ? R: No, it was just roads--mostly trails--no automobiles; it was all horses and wagons. I: During this period, was there a lot of white people, trade within this area? Did your dad ever say, was it a large settlement, or was this just a beginning? R: No, this was then just a small settlement. A few years after [my grandfather] came to the area, Judge Hancock moved in-I think about 1904. He established a residence on the other side of Taylor Creek, the east side of Taylor Creek. He was an engineer a surveyor. I: How many brothers and sisters did you have within your family? MR: You mean his family? R: In my immediate family there were seven of us. MR: You mean your family, your daddy's. I just counted 'em, one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight.

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2 R: Eight in my father's family. I: At this store did you mainly trade with vegetables, etc.? Can you tell us about that? R: Well, my father did quite a little trading of the Indians, and would bring their alligator hides and their 'coon skins, otter hides I: Did the Indians stay within the store? For example, your dad paid for the hides, etc., in gold. And did they turn around and buy vegetables, etc. , back from you? R: Boy, there was quite a little gold back in there. There was times there was lots of trading done in gold, paid for in gold. I: Did your dad extend credit to these Indians? Give then so much credit ? R: Some of them were given credit. He's often said how honest they were at that time; that you could always depend on their coming back and paying their debts. I: When you traded with the Indians, what was most of the things that they bought? R: Well, mostly they bought food items: sugar and coffee and rice. MR: They bought syrup a lot. I know [they] used syrup instead of sugar •... I: Did the Indians help themselves, or did you have people R: We had people who waited on 'em my father and other clerks we had. I: How did they dress? R: Well, originally they dressed in--the men, their native costume was a long shirt. Came down below their knees. About the knees. I: Did they wear turbans on their heads, or derbies, or •.. ?

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3 R: Some of them did. Some of them wore what we call turbans, they're made out of bandana handkerchiefs. I: What color were these bandanas? R: Oh, they were red and blue. I: Were any of the category of the old engineering--you know, with the dots in it--or were they solid reds and solid blues? R: No, they had the patterns in 'em. I: After your dad would trade with 'em, did the Indians take the food directly back to their camps, because of spoilage? How did they keep from spoiling some of the things that they bought from your dad? R: Well, they didn't buy articles that would spoil very easily, you know--nothing that needed refrigeration. I: Did they supply their own meat? R: I guess they killed most of that themselves. I: Did they ever sell any to your dad for medicine and that? R: Yes, they'd sell it to us. I: At that time--your dad traded with them--did he ever see or ever hear of any Indians wearing white man's clothing during these periods? R: In the early days, no. They didn't I: What date--could you fix it for us--that they came about to wear Americanized type clothes? R: Well, I think probably after the school out at Brighton was started, they began to become more modern. After that, then, they adopted the regular dress habits of the people, rather than their own costumes. I: Did any of the children accompany the families when they came in, or what? R: Yes, they'd all come in together.

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4 I: Did the squaws, etc., come along? R: Yes. The squaws would come along with the husbands. I: In the later period, did you ever notice a trend that the man stayed away from the store, more the squaws brought the kids in directly from the Everglades, or was it the vice versa of that situation? Or was it a mixture of coming and going? R: Well, usually they all came in more or less together. MR: I guess they walked. They didn't have any transportation. R: They didn't have any transportation. I: They didn't come up the canal, like they ? R: Well, they used some canoes and sort of thing, like you know, Mr. showed you the picture of a dugout canoe. I: During this period, was a lot of this area, now Okeechobee, under water? R: Yes, there hadn't been much drainage back in the early days, you know. And the water came up almost in town, here, in the wet season. I: At this period, did the Indians ever say to you how far of a venture they were leaving your store, and going out into the Everglades they ever give you rough distances, or did they ever convey that they needed something preserved, such as your potatoes, for a certain period? Or something perish able that you covered it up for 'em because of their long trips across the Everglades? R: Well, I think actually the ones that traded here were within twenty miles or so of Okeechobee. They most of 'em migrated between those and the store. They didn't go any great dis tance. I mean, I don't think that ours were the ones that went down in the Everglades. I: At this time, were there any type of educational facilities in the area? R: Well, just school that my grandmother started. After she

PAGE 8

5 came into the area •.. well of course, there were no schools here. And she was anxious for her children to attend school, so she herself started the first school--what was later known as Tantie. And the first teacher was Miss Tantie Huckabee, of South Carolina. Came down and lived with my grandmother, grandfather, and taught the first school here. I: Where was this school located? R: In my grandfather's home. I: How far was this from the store or the trading area? R: Oh, this was just a short distance, about four or five blocks. I: Did you see any Indians going to the school there, during that period? R: No. I: None whatsoever. Well, did anyone ever approach you about --or your mother, or your dad, etc.--about teaching the Indians any culture? R: No. I: Also during this period, from what I can understand, the Indians did not grow any of their own vegetables, fruits, etc. They'd buy tomatoes, for example did they buy corn? R: I think they grew some of their corn and pumpkins, and a few vegetables like that. Maybe sweet potatoes, and I: They were mostly interested in fruit, then. R: They liked fruit. I: What type of fruit did they ..• ? R: Oh, just any kind of fresh fruit. They liked oranges and apples I: Did the Indians ever stay there overnight, at the trading post? Or stay over at your dad's home or your home, at that time?

PAGE 9

6 R: Yes, I recall that some of the men would come in and spend the night occasionally, and my father would invite 'em in. They'd usually sleep on the porch. We had a big porch around the house; they'd sleep out on the porch. I: How many days would they usually stay with you, on an aver age? R: Well, not more than a couple of days. I: Did you feed the Indians, or did they come in and buy stuff and cook their food outside? R: Yes, they usually did their own cooking. I imagine that we offered them meals, you know, when they were stayin' in the house. I: Is it true that you knew Billy Bowlegs? R: Yes, I knew Billy quite well. I: Can you tell me anything unusual about Billy, or anything different about the Cow Creek Indians from that which--I know you wouldn't know the Miccosukee, but can you tell me any traditional differences in his costume? Did he also at this period wear this long shirt, for example? R: I don't remember his wearing that long shirt. He probably did in the early days, but I don't recall. When I knew him, he was wearing more or less the same clothing that the white people wore. MR: I thought they all wore those Indian shirts. They'd wear pants, but R: They wore the shirts, yeah. MR: Yeah, but that picture you have, one had the regular shirt with buttons on it. I: Did you know Lucian Spencer, the Indian agent during this period? R: Yes, I knew Mr. Spencer. I: Did you ever talk with him, or did he ever ask you any par ticular questions?

PAGE 10

7 R: Usually his business was with my father. They discussed In dian affairs, different things pertaining to the Indians. Trade with the Indians, and that sort of thing. I: What was he mostly interested in? As far as history is con cerned, they have no particular interest shown towards what he was looking for within the Indians. For example, he ..• history just shows him as a "Indian agent." Did he take great interest, or was he ...• R: He seemed to be very interested in the Indian; I think he did a pretty good job as an agent. I: Did he ever teach--him being an old Episcopal minister--any of the religion? R: No, I don't think so. As far as I know, he never brought that up in this area, anyway. I: Did he ever come in with the Indians from the Everglades? Did he ever accompany them in, from the Everglades, to the store? R: I don't recall that they ever accompanied him in. It may have been some of 'em were around when he came, but I don't think they came with him. I: When the Indians came in, did they--you saw some of the fire arms that they had with 'em--for example, they brought in different varieties of weapons--did they bring 'em into the store with 'em, or did they leave 'em outside? Did they take your father as a friend, or did they still carry their weapons within the store area? R: They were quite friendly. My father got along with 'em quite well; they trusted him, and he trusted them. I: In your dealings, do you feel that they were still fair with you as a trader? R: Yes, I've gotten along with 'em real well; they've been quite friendly. Of course, in later years, they've gotten to where they're not as dependable as they were originally, but I think that's happened also with the white race, too. I: Well, I kind of agree with that in many aspects. When did

PAGE 11

8 your dad move to the new store? R: Oh, about 1915. I: What happened at his old store to cause him to move from it? R: Well, I suppose he'd more or less outgrown it. And they were laying out a new town. This was about the time the city of Okeechobee came into being. The city was founded by the old Okeechobee Company, [which] was instrumental in getting the first railroad from New Smyrna down into Okeechobee, and principally for the •.. to transport the fish, and a lot of the produce grown around the lake area and the Okeechobee area was transported then by train. I: What happened to the old store? Did it burn down later, or ? R: No, I think later on it was just torn down. I don't think it ever burned down. I: Did any of the Indians come over to your dad's new store? R: Oh, yes. We traded with them all along--still trade with 'em, some. I: Even today? R: Yes. I have some of 'em that I still have accounts for. I: Would you care to give the names of some of these people that you still have accounts with? Such as any leaders in the Brighton complex? R: Yes. The ones that I deal with are mostly from the Brighton Reservation. And out there we have an account with Frank Shore, who has quite a cattle herd, and he'd quite dependable. Let's see, the Miccos--Charlie Micco and little Charlie Micco .•. that's spelled M-i-c-c-o and .... I: Would this be the same Micco that is found within the ledger? Would that be his family? R: Yeah. I: Would that be his grandfather, or father?

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9 R: It's probably his grandfather. I: Good. Very good. The trading with the Indians--during this time, with the new store, and with the impact of the Brighton Reservation coming in the '30s--this have any effect business-wise on the trading area, or was it any ? R: Oh yes, we used to do quite a business with the Indians after they started the Brighton Reservation. They were developing the land, doing quite a lot of work, and these Indians were paid, I guess, monthly. They used to bring them in, and they did most of their trading with us there at the store. We had a grocery store at the time. Bought their groceries, and they bought their clothing, so down through the years have done business with the Indians. I: When the reservation came about, did you notice any differ ence within the education or culture with the Indians? I know it might not have •.. at first, at all ..• but later, in later years, have you noted that distinctive R: Yes, I've noticed quite a difference. established a day school at Brighton. the early 30s, I guess. Mr. Boehmer. MR: Was he the first teacher? The education--they That would've been I: I believe he was the third. I'm not sure. R: Yeah. Could've been. I: Did Lucian Spencer ever ask your dad where would be an ideal place for the Indians to camp, or for a reservation? Seeing you were one of the first settlers within the area, did he ever ask you about some land he could get, or any land that the government wanted to give 'em, or anything within this area of your general knowledge dealing with the Seminole land? R: Well, he probably discussed those things with my father. I'm just not aware I: You never heard of them trying? R: No. MR: Did Lykes own this land?

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10 R: This reservation, the Brighton Reservation, I guess might have been owned by the Brighton brothers. I: I don't know that from the other. I would have to check it. I still have a feeling that the Indian in the late 1 2Os kind of disappeared back into the Everglades, because of the influx of the white man interfering with the Florida area. Did you ever notice a downgrading or absence of the Indian in the white culture here in Okeechobee; or was it a steady trade in and trade out, throughout the years. R: It was pretty steady, in and out; I don't think there was any change in the trading habits. They would come in on the weekends and do their I: When was the last time you saw Billy Bowlegs in town? R: Oh, I saw him probably a few months before his death; I think he's been dead two or three years now. I: Did he continue to come in the store after all these years? R: Yes, Billy came in quite often. I: What were some of the things that Billy bought? I mean, what was his favorites? Can you tell about the personality of the man? R: Well, he was quite likeable, and in fact he acted as a guide for some of the people. He took them out hunting, that sort of thing. I: Did he ever like a certain type of fruit or vegetable, for example, did he ? R: Most of the things that I remember is I sold him clothing, shoes--of course the Indians didn't wear a lot of shoes in those early days; they do now, of course. I: Was the sugar within this area well developed, the sugar crop? R: The sugar company was established over in Clewiston; a lot of sugar produced in the area. I've forgotten what year that was established, the United States Sugar Corporation.

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11 I: Did the Indians buy refined or raw candy sugar for their use? R: Well, as far as I know, they bought refined sugar. I: Very unusual that the raw sugar Did you ever notice, when you were growing up, the different types of weapons that they ever had such as rifles, shotguns, pistols? Did you ever see any of the Indians use a pistol, for example? R: No, I never have. I think Mr. Meserve mentioned that they bought shells from him. They were evidently using shotguns. I: Some of the hides that your dad traded with the Indianswould you tell us what some of the different hides [were] that he traded for the food that they purchased? R: I guess the principal hide was the alligator. I: How much would that go for? R: Well, back in those days it was rather cheap, but I: Could you give us an estimate on dollars and cents wise? Would you say ten cents a foot? MR: Yes, you could say something like that. I: Did your dad buy any certain size of alligators, did he ? R: No, I think he didn't buy anything under a certain size. Like it had to be a certain size. I: What did he do with the hides? R: He shipped them away; he had a source that he sold them to. I: Do you happen to know the name of the company he sold them to? R: Seems to me that he sold some to a farmer in Jacksonville, and in New Orleans, different parts of the country where he could get the best price for them. I: Did he ever trade for another type of animal?

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12 R: Yeah, 'possum and otter, 'coon. I: And would these bring a lot of money, or was this uh .•. ? R: No, they didn't bring a lot of money. Of course, back in those days I guess they brought more than they do now. I: Did your dad ever sell any technical equipment, such as machinery or anything, sewing machines or anything to the Indians? R: Well, I know my brother sold Singer sewing machines. I: What was your brother's name? R: Charles L. I: What time was this, that ... ? R: This was in the '30s, I guess, actually. Brighton Reserva tion. MR: Yes, 'cause he went into the service R: Well, I believe they ordered machines for them earlier. I: Would you give us a price for what he sold the Singer sewing machine for, in the '30s? R: Well, it seems to me like it went for fifty dollars. I: We have other estimates that were twenty-five in the early '30s and the turn of the century, so you can see inflation ary rates here with the sewing machine. Was this the same sewing machine that you would sit on the lap and treadle with the little handle? R: Yes, treadle model, but modernized to some extent. I: In the '30s they were still wearing traditional girls plaid, checkered, etc. dresses. R: Yes, uh I: Did the Indians, during the early '30s, still wear turbans and stuff like that when they came into the store?

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13 R: No, they got away from that, the early ones did, and after that they began to wear traditional hats, the Stetson type, the I: Did the Indians ever care for preserves during that time; did they ever teach them how to make preserves, canned or vegetables? MR: [Unintelligible passage] I: They cooked everything from fresh to edible? MR: Uh huh, all in that one pot. I: During this period of history did you ever know any of the other Indian friends of the Seminole organization, such as the Sillsons, or Miss Stranahan, for example? Do you know Miss Stranahan? MR: [Unintelligible passage] R: Yes, we held an account with the Friends of the Seminoles. They would buy things like clothing for Indian children who needed school clothing; they'd also buy clothing for those who were away to college, or as I remember, some of them were in Oklahoma [and] some of them went up to North Caro lina [to] school. They usually sent us a man with a note to have us outfit him with clothing to go to school with. We did quite a lot of business with them. I: This Friends of the Seminoles, who were the leaders of this time? What date are we talking in, as far as history is concerned? R: I'm talking about the '30s. I didn't know them before then. I: Did you bill them ? R: Yes, I believe they had an office in Ft. Lauderdale. I: They would just more or less take one set of clothing, you would outfit them, or ..• ? R: No. I: Was there any other organization besides the Friends of the

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14 Seminoles that you can remember offhand right now that were interested in Seminole Indians? R: Seems to me there was another organization, I'm not clear just whether it was called Saints of Seminoles or With this organization was Mr. Tilly Walker, who's a New York life insurance agent who's quite interested in the Indians. MR: And he used to bring one of the officials, of the New York Life Insurance Company, that's the way he got so interested in it. This man, don't you know, from New York, he used to come down here with him. I: Did they insure the Indians during that time? MR: No, he was just interested. ____ , this man was the one that was the vice president, or the president, or something. I: So this organization was then an insurance firm? R: No. This man that I speak of, this Tilly Walker, was very much interested; I think it was the Osceola boy, Joe Dan Osceola, who he was particularly interested in, more to help him get an education. And he used to come up his friend would go out to the Brighton Reservation to see Joe Dan, and actually they were instrumental, I think, in get ting him in school. I think he went to a school in Tennessee or Kentucky. Somehow they were able to get him a scholarship to go to school. I: Did he go to college then? R: Yes, he went for a couple of years; he didn't graduate. I: The Friends of Seminoles, do you happen to know if Mrs. Stranahan was involved with that? R: Yeah, I'm sure that she was at one time. I: Did you ever do any trading or talking with her of any type? R: Nothing more than correspondence. I think we talked to her over the phone occasionally, but--okay on a purchase order, or something like that. I: After this period in the '3Os, was this continued; did you

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15 continue to fit the students for clothes, down through the '3Os or ? R: Yes, for several years. I: And it would hold that an average of this period [was] about fifty students per year ? R: Well, I'd say from twenty-five to fifty. I: Were any of these students repeats for clothing ? R: Yes. I: Could you define how many students there were that went out, that you fitted. In other words, not counting the repeats, roughly just how many of the total number? We're looking for the students with the education. MR: Mr. them. ---could tell you all this 'cause he used to fit R: I'd say there were between fifteen and twenty who were repeat customers who would come back year to year. Maybe for two or three years. I don't know, but I think some of them graduated [from] college. These were students they were taking out to Oklahoma; I think to trade schools, some of them were going to. I: Did you see any church influence during your years with the Indians, such as, was the Episcopal •.. ? R: Well, in later years I noticed that they seemed to be more Baptist than anything else; they seemed to have gotten a bigger hold of the Indian than anybody else. In the early days I think the Episcopal church did a lot of work in this area. I don't think they were able to be very effective. I: Did you ever know or ever hear the name Bishop Gray? R: Oh yes. I: Your dad ever talk with the good Bishop? R: Well, I understand that he did.

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16 I: Did you ever know Dr. Godden? R: Godden? I: Yes, he was the last one of the church representatives to come in. R: No, I don't believe I knew him. I knew Deaconess Bedell. I: How well did you know the good Deaconess? R: Oh, not too well. I just met her. I: Did you think that [there was] some controversy over her performance here in the Everglades with the Indians? Do you think that she helped the Indians in any way? R: Well, I think that her intentions were good. I don't know how far she was able to get, though. I: Did you notice anything unusual in her manner with the In dians, different from that of the Baptist church of the same period or later? R: Well, I think possibly that the influence the Baptist church had was through teaching the Indian himself to become a missionary. Sending them back to preach and to teach their own people, and I think that's probably the reason they had more success. I: Did you ever meet any of the Baptist ministers? R: Yes, I know some of them. Some of the Osceola boys are ministers. I: Did they come back from Oklahoma? R: Yeah. I: At this time, did the church set up any of their church schools for education for the Indians? Such as Baptist church school in or ? R: Not that I know of, in our area. For the Brighton area, I think the Brighton Day School was set up by the government.

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17 I don't think the churches had anything to do with setting up any schools. If they did, I don't know where. I: In modern day-to-day, do you think the Indian still has any type of Christian religion? R: Yes, they have accepted the--some of them, I wouldn't say all of them by any means, I might say some of them MR: They haven't really, the white man's religion, they are all religious people. I: They believe in the Big Spirit, which is the same as our formal ...• MR: Yeah, the same thing. Of course they have a ____ con nected with this religious ceremony. Now people who have broken the law actually tried, I guess. I: During this time of the store, had you noticed anything un usual about that set an example, as he became more thrifty with money, or as he spent it more or ? R: Well, I think some of them have become more thrifty, and I think some of them have been____ I suppose that's true with any people. I don't think they're much different from us in that respect. MR: They borrow an awful lot from ---R: They like automobiles MR: Automobiles. ------if you've ever seen them broken down somewhere --------I: Today is there really an open trade--a professional question --is there an open trade with the Indians as far as vege tables, or do you think they're raising most of their own out at the Brighton Reservation? R: Well, I really don't think they do much farming. I: Do you think maybe that they're more interested in cows than they are in the agricultural ... ? R: Yeah, they're quite interested in cows.

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18 I: Maybe because of the money end of it, would be R: Yes, there's more, there's more ...• I: Do they sell here in Okeechobee? R: Yeah, they sell their--out at the cattle market they buy their own. Several years ago the government ____ the drought area in the west, they brought a bunch of those cattle down to the Brighton Reservation and they more or less distributed those out to the Indians. I mean, they owned the cattle themselves, and they'd take care of them, and this is sort of a cooperative deal, I think. They have a man who looks after them. They sell them every year, and then divide the proceeds among the Indians. They get a lot of their spending money this way. I: Did any of the Indians within the Okeechobee area fight in the first war [World War I], that you know of? R: Not, I don't know. MR: I know they did in the Second World War, but I don't know I: How many would you say fought from this area in the Second World War? R: Well, I don't think there were a lot of them; I know there was some. I: Did they return back to Okeechobee here, did they become business men later, did they just follow the old ? MR: No, they came back home. I: Just fall back into the tribal reservation situation after their war experience with the government. Have you seen an ad for the Korean conflict, many veterans returning home for example? MR: No. I: Back to this area. About the Viet Nam era which we're presently in today. MR: I guess we don't keep as close touch with them since they

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19 don't go to school here. I: Well, I was thinking maybe through your store or something like that. Has the ? R: Well, I think maybe some of them have gone in the MR: Yeah, they say they put them in there like spys, or they go ahead there real I: Which war was this, World War II? MR: That was World War II. They're good path finders, I guess. I: They were ---MR: Yes! I: for example, for history's sake, was a path finder who had started with Indian speaking the same language with in it, and they'd converse back and forth across the phones, and then jam, the Nazi system. MR: Yes, but you surely couldn't understand. I: Today, is there many Indians from Brighton interested in the government of Okeechobee or within the county system or any ... ? R: No. I'm not sure, but I guess they could vote. MR: Yeah, I'm sure they R: I don't know whether many of them are interested. MR: Of course they aren't residents to .•.. I: We were talking about the voting. The Indian does vote today, then, to the best of your knowledge? R: I believe that they do have their right to vote, but I: Do you hold elections here in Okeechobee? R: Oh yes.