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Interview with Hiram Raulerson, September 28, 1972

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Title:
Interview with Hiram Raulerson, September 28, 1972
Creator:
Raulerson, Hiram ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Seminole Indians
Seminoles -- Florida
Seminole 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 '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/.
Resource Identifier:
SEM 55 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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Full Text
SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida
INTERVIEWEE: Hiram Raulerson
INTERVIEWER: Dr. Harry Kersey
DATE: September 28, 1972


SUMMARY
This interview primarily deals with the early history of
the Okeechobee area. Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulerson, descendents
of the first white traders there give information about the
early trading families, their relationships with the Indians,
products which were bought and sold and transportation of
goods. Trade with the Indians, trading customs, and credit
buying is discussed.


INDEX
Basinger, 3, 26, 27
Bowers, Joe, 14-16, 28-29
Bowlegs, Billy, 11, 12
Chandler (family), 7, 26
Luther, 30
Shadrack, 22, 26
Coker, Dave, 30
Education (in area), 9, 13
Heatherington, Alma (early historian), 21, 23, 31
Hendry (early trader family), 24
Hide brokers, 4
Huckleby, Miss Tantie, 9
Meserve (family), 6, 8
Faith, 33
Micco, Charlie, 11, 13
Okeechobee (early history of), 1, 5-9, 18-20, 22-27, 30
Raulerson, L. M. 25, Connie, 32
St. Cloud, 19-20
St. Lucie County, 9
Trade with Indians, 2-5, 11-14, 16-18
Transcultural Contacts (Indians with traders), 10-11, 17


K: This is Dr. Harry Kersey, Florida Atlantic University. Today we are
making the second tape with Mr. Hiram Raulerson of Okeechobee, Florida
to get some information on the role his family played in the commerce
of this area around the turn of the century.
Mr. Raulerson, what I would like from you today, sir...if you would
just go back and as far as you remember pick up when your family came
into this area and where they came from.
R: My grandfather moved here in 1895, over in the Bassinger area, which
is about twenty miles from here. They settled down in an area that
they at that time was called "The Bend", which is on Highway 441,
south of Okeechobee, about a mile...the city of Okeechobee.
K: What was your grandfather's name?
R: Peter Raulerson.
K: Peter Raulerson.
R: His wife was Louisiana Raulerson.
K: Now I have read some pieces about her. She was well known in this area.
R: Yes. Yes, she was. Well, she established the first school or had the
first school in her home.
K: Now originally Okeechobee was named Tantee, wasn't it?
R: That's right. It was named for the first school teacher that they em-
ployed here. Her name was Miss Tantee Huckleby.
K: Huckleby?
R: She came from South Carolina I believe.
K: Um huh.
R: She had the first school in my grandmother's home.
K: Well, at that time the town wasn't in the location where it is now.
R: No, it wasn't.
K: Where was it exactly in relation to the present location?


2
R: Well, my father started a small store in 1905 and that's down in the
area. Well, it's about three-quarters of a mile from here, and it's
on Highway...Parrot Avenue, or Highway 441 south. It's just across
the highway from the Standard Oil Station on Parrot Avenue.
K: Um huh. And then when was this store built?
R: Well, it was built in 19--about 1914.
K: The one we're in today? Did he move directly from the other store...
the one built in 1905 to this one?
R: Yes...yes.
K: What happened to the other one...was it ever destroyed?
R: Well,...
K: Is it still standing?
R: It was torn down. It's not standing.
K: Um huh. Now I have pictures of it.
R: You have a picture of it.
K: Right...that picture we've already added to our collection. So then
you literally grew up in the business?
R: That's right.
K: There was a store in the family as long as you can remember?
R: Right.
K: Do you recall...I'm going back for a few moments now on the earlier
tape...we have some good information on the Indians coming in, and
the kind of trading they did. Do you remember the kinds of items that
the store stocked that were big sellers? For example, we're talking
about matches and white bacon and things like this. Were these the
same items that the general population bought?
R: No.


3
K: Did the Indians have anything, for example, that they traded for that
the rest of the population was not buying, or did they get the same
sorts of items?
R: Well, generally the same type of merchandise they bought. They liked
gay colors...I mean particularly in dress goods, that sort of thing...
probably carried a little of everything.
K: Um huh.
R: And they liked these bright colors and these are the kind of....
K: Those are the gingham and calico type...bolt goods...yard goods?
R: That's right. They bought a good deal of that.
K: Um huh. Who supplied your father's store mostly? Who were his
wholesalers that he bought from?
R: Well, at first there was, he had to go all the way to Kissimmee. We
had a steamboat line that came from Kissimmee down the Kissimmee River
to Bassinger and there they picked it up with wagons, and....
K: Oh, at Bassinger?
R: At Bassinger...and brought it on in here. That was one of them.
K: Who did you trade with in Kissimmee? Do you recall?
R: I don't recall the name of any...I....
K: There are some stores up there.
R: There are some stores up there, but I don't remember who they were.
K: Well, there was a couple that are still doing business in the Kissimmee
area that have been there since the 1880s.
R: Yes.
K: I know that.
R: Well, they're probably the same ones they did business with...I don't
know.


4
K: Um huh. So they acted more or less as his middleman on this.
R: That's right.
K: As his wholesalers out of there. What about shipping goods out of
here? Did your father ship anything like produce or...?
R: Well, he shipped hides...you know; he bought hides, and alligator
hides and coon skins.
K: Do you remember any of the people he shipped those to?
R: Well, he shipped to some people in the Jacksonville area and also, I
think, as far as the New Orleans area.
K: As far as New Orleans? Some of the other trading families we talked
to, for example, shipped to Southern Hide & Tanneries in Jacksonville.
R: Yes...that's the one.
K: Mr. Mann's outfit there...there was an outfit in Jacksonville called
Oskee's that bought a lot of baby gators...but he didn't trade in
that I know.
R: No, he didn't.
K: Bayer Brothers in New York was a big hide buyer around the turn of the
century.
R: It seems to me there was a firm called...Funston.
K: Funston?
R: Have you heard of that.
K: Yes...I have, but I can't remember where.
R: Well...it seems to me that they were around the New Orleans area.
K: Now that's interesting...we're trading...we're checking back to those
houses also to see the volumes of hides that were traded. What about
furs, for example...the pelts, the coonskins, and otter hides...was
there much of a volume in that...through the store?


5
R: Well, not tremendous, I don't think, but we always handled quite a
few. What they'd do, they'd bring those in and trade it in for sup-
plies.
K: Yes. Now at the other stores, the nature of the trade was not so
much a direct barter, in other words, hides for goods, but money
would always change hands. Was that true in this store as well--
that the trader would give the Indian money, and the Indian would
pay it right back?
R: Yes...yes. That's probably the way it was handled. I mean he'd just
pay them in money, and then they'd buy the supplies they needed.
K: Yes. As I recall from an earlier tape, they liked to have things all
wrapped up...
R: Yes.
K: I think you mentioned that.
R: They'd wrap each item separately...I mean they'd buy each item, and
then finish that, and they'd buy something else.
K: You think that's because they needed the string and the paper?
R: I suppose.
K: They had a use for it somewhere. The town of course, of Okeechobee,
on the present site, when was it established here do you recall?
R: Oh...about 1913.
K: Um huh.
R: The Florida East Coast built a branch rail line out of New Symrna
Beach that came into Okeechobee. One of the big reasons, I guess,
they built it was because of the fishing industry on Lake Okeechobee.
K: And the vegetables to ship out?
R: And the vegetables, but later--the vegetables business came along
later, you know. To begin with it was mostly fish. They caught a
tremendous amount of fish out of the lake, catfish mostly.
K: This down at Lake Port, the fishing village there?


6
R: Well, all around the lake...all around the lake area.
K: Um huh. In the town here was the Meserve family here about the same
time as yours?
R: Well, Mr. Meserve came down the first train that came into Okeechobee.
1913.
K: Uh huh.
R: He's been here ever since then.
K: Oh...I see. So his story was much later.
R: He married my father's sister, Mr. Meserve did.
K: Oh...so you're...
R: He married after he came down, so he's in the family.
K: Uh huh. Then he opened his store then, right after...?
R: 1913. Yes, he built the hardware store, the first hardware store.
K: Uh huh, but your family had been here from well before Mr. Meserve?
R: Since 1905, yes. Now when my father had been in business...now my
grandfather had been here since 1895.
K: So your family well preceded Meserve into the valley.
R: Yes.
K: That's one thing I wanted to get straight. Somehow I had the im-
pression the families arrived about the same time, but that...
R: Oh, no. The Raulerson family were here.
K: Uh huh. Then you were born here.
R: I was born here. That's right.
K: Now Meserve's store was basically a hardware store. Was your father's
a hardware or a general store type?


7
R: Well, my father's was just a general store. He had a little of every-
thing. There was no other stores, you know. So he had to carry some
hardware, and some piece goods, and groceries, and he had a little
post office. He was the postmaster.
K: He was the postmaster also?
R: Well, my grandmother was actually the first postmaster, and she had
it in her home for awhile, and after my father started the store then
she turned the post office over to him.
K: Uh huh.
R: He continued on. He was postmaster until the 1920s, I guess.
K: Uh huh. Your grandmother sounds like a most interesting person from
what little bit I read. Could you tell me some things about her that
you remember most vividly?
R: Yes, she was. Well, she was quite interested in schools, and the
first...of course established the first school in the area. And she
always attended the opening of the school. As the town grew and the
schools grew, she continued her interest. She was quite a humanitar-
ian. She helped people any way possible...and sick people and people
in trouble.
K: I remember reading somewhere that her family from up around the
Bassinger area...there had been a number of plume hunters in the...
family.
R: Yes, the Chandlers, yes.
K: The Chandlers, right.
R: She was a Chandler.
K: How about your father's family...were they...or your grandfather's
family...?
R: Well, my father's family was mostly, my grandfather's family...they
were mostly in the cattle business. That's why he came down here,
with his cattle, you know, in this area.
K: Um huh. So that's why he moved to there, because...?


R: That's why he moved in here, yes.
K: How far back to your knowledge was your grandfather born in Florida,
or did he come in later?
R: Yes, he was born over in the Polk County area.
K: Uh huh.
R: His family came from Georgia, south Georgia.
K: They were cattle people and your grandmother's people were plumers.
R: Yes, mostly, uh huh.
K: That's an interesting origin. It seems like a lot of the trading
families had similar starts. Particularly way down in the south end,
around Everglades or down in the Keys. A lot of the families came
there originally following the plume birds, and stayed on to establish
stores and what have you. Now Mr. Meserve, who I assume is a friend
of yours, he came in here to strictly to start a business, is that
right?
R: That's right, yes.
K: Um huh.
R: He came down here to open the first hardware.
K: I see. Well, that's most interesting. Now this store he is in, do
you have any idea when it was built? I'm going to talk to him later.
R: The store he is presently in was not so old. The first store he built
I think was destroyed, partially destroyed by fire. Then the 1928
hurricane blew it down.
K: Um huh, that's the old white one?
R: Yes, it weakened the structure and I think the storm, you know, fin-
ished tearing it down. And after that he built this present building.
Which would have been in the...around...in the early maybe thirties
or '29.
K: You mentioned that your grandmother started a school in her home.


9
R: Yes.
K: Now was she instrumental in getting the teacher, this Miss Huckleby
to come in here?
R: Yes...yes. I guess the family, I don't know where they heard of Miss
Huckleby, but she became a quite prominent part of the community.
K: Uh huh, because at that time...
R: They named the town for her. I mean Tantee, you know, was named for
her.
K: Did she stay here all her life or did she leave?
R: Oh no, I guess she must have been here for several years, but she didn't
...she left and went back home.
K: Um huh. This would have been part of Indian River County at that time.
R: Well, at that time it might have been.
K: Right...because...
R: We were in St. Lucie County. My grandfather was a...
K: St. Lucie, right. Not Indian River...St. Lucie County.
R: Yes. My grandfather was a county commissioner from this area and went
to Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County.
K: Um huh.
R: To represent this area on the board of the county.
K: Uh huh, right. Because this was an enormous county.
R: Oh yes.
K: It was the '20s when they started breaking it up into Okeechobee and
what have you. The population of course must have been relatively small.
R: Yes, it was.
K: And not many people around to...so there wouldn't be more than one or
two stores.


10
R: Yes that's right. It was a sparsely settled area until, you know,
later years.
K: Did your family engage in any other business? Did they have farms or
cattle in addition to the store...or did they, you know...?
R: Well, my father had cattle.
K: Uh huh.
R: That was during the days that it was open range, you know. You'd just
run your cattle anywhere.
K: Um huh...no fence laws.
R: No fence laws.
K: Um huh.
R: As the area grew he decided to devote his time to the merchandise busi-
ness, and he got out of the cattle business. He sold out in 1917.
K: It's a tough business, unless you have a large volume, and a lot of
land.
R: That's right.
K: To stay in till this day. Let me move back just for a moment to the
Indians. I'll ask you a rather subjective question here since you've
been around all your life. How would you evaluate the general accep-
tance of the Indian in this community?
R: Oh, they were well accepted.
K: Even in the old days?
R: In the old days...I mean we...I remember my father saying they were
very honest. He would trust them with merchandise, and they'd always
pay.
K: Um huh.
R: Of course there's...later...they've taken up our ways, I guess...they
don't, they're not as...
K: Sort of a reverse acculturation we've given them the worst of our habits.


11
R: That's right.
K: The Indians that now live out on the Brighton Reservation, of course,
earlier in the century were scattered out all the way from Brighton
up to...
R: That's right. Well, we had settlements all...
K: Fort Pierce and Ocala.
R: That's right. There were settlements of Indians all over the area
here.
K: Um huh. Now as I recall when they came in sometimes they would spend
the night on the porch?
R: Oh yes, they would...they'd come in, and my father would always pro-
vide them a place to sleep, you know.
K: Um huh. Now...
R: Usually they'd sleep out on the porch, they didn't like to sleep inside.
K: Right.
R: They'd have their own blankets, and...
K: I recall from looking at your ledger that Billy Bowlegs and Charlie
Micco and some of the more prominent Indians traded at the store and
had accounts evidently.
R: Yes, that's right. We still have some Indians that have accounts with
us.
K: Um huh. Mr. Storter, whose father opened the store down at Everglades,
back in the 1890s and really opened that area up, he said they used to
occasionally extend credit to the Indians. Do you recall your father
ever doing this, carrying a credit account for Indians?
R: Oh, yes.
K: Um huh.
R: Yes, we carried credit accounts. In fact I have...I still have a few
who I carry.


12
K: Still carry them?
R: Um huh...thirty-day accounts.
K: Um huh. Well, that's interesting, because of course one of the major
interests, with your family and these others, and we can find so very
few families who're still in the business.
R: That's right.
K: ...who date from the turn of the century and we're trying to compare
their ways of doing business.
R: Yes.
K: To see if there's a similarity and it seems that where the Indians
were well established...that yes, they did carry trade...credit accounts
for them in most places.
R: Yes, that's right.
K: Do you remember, for example, Billy Bowlegs, who's probably the best
known of the ones from out at the Brighton Reservation.
R: Yes, I remember Billy quite well. He just died a few years ago you
know.
K: Right, about '64 I think.
R: About four years...
K: Time passes by.
R: He was, you know, quite a character, Billy was. He was, I guess he
was known by everybody around the area.
K: Right.
R: He was quite a hunter.
K: Uh huh.
R: And some of the white people would hire him as a guide...
K: Yes.
R: ...to take them hunting.


13
K: Well-known hunting guide.
R: Yes.
K: Now the Miccos got into cattle and heavy machinery operation...
R: Yes.
K: ...and a lot of other things after the government started really develop-
ing the project.
R: Yes, the Micco family is still around the Brighton area, several of
them are.
K: Right. Uh huh. And very much in leadership roles.
R: Yes.
K: I'm out there a good bit. Howard and the others, are of course, still
there.
R: Uh huh. Yes.
K: The town today of course doesn't have many Indian children going to
school here any more. They're mostly going down to Glades.
R: No, we had them here until, oh, a few years ago, when they decided
...they were in actually in Glades County, but it was quite a dis-
tance. It was easier for them to bring them here than it was to take
them to Moorehaven.
K: Right.
R: They attended school here for several years.
K: Uh huh.
R: And they were...we had developed some good athletes...
K: Right.
R: ...out of the Indians.
K: Joe Dan is an old friend of mine. When the Indians came in to trade,
I'm sure they traded more than just hides and pelts and plumes and so
forth. Did they ever bring in any produce...meat, venison, anything
like this...buckskin?


14
R: Well, they would bring buckskin, and my father would handle that for
them. I mean he'd buy it, and...
K: Um huh.
R: And people would...the cattlemen would buy it to make the whips, you
know.
K: Right... rawhide.
R: Rawhide.
K: Um huh. How about fruit, or anything of this nature...some of the
other traders...?
R: Well, the only thing I remember the fruit stand bought was the huckle-
berry...
K: Uh huh.
R: It used to grow wild around the area. Then the Indian squaws would
pick that and bring it in.
K: Uh huh.
R: We'd buy that...buy the huckleberries from them.
K: That's interesting...so they brought in a variety of things...that's
what I'm getting at again here.
R: Yes.
K: Not just the plumes and the hides and so forth. Do you recall at any
time a trader in this area by the name of Bowers?
R: Yes. There was some Bowers in the area. In fact there was one down
at around the Indiantown area.
K: Around Indiantown?
R: Yes. Originally I think he came from around Jupiter.
K: Uh huh. Did you know him?
R: And there was...I knew a Joe Bowers.


15
K: Do you recall how long he was in business or what kind of business
he ran?
R: Well, I think he had a store.
K: Uh huh.
R: And he must have had it for a kind of general store. I guess some-
thing similar to what my father had.
K: Yes, he must have been...
R: It was around the Jupiter/Indiantown area.
K: I keep running across the name...
R: Yes.
K: Of course, there are a lot of Bowers among the Indians. I'm trying
to get some connection here, but I can't find any records or any evi-
dence of his store having existed, except from time to time an Indian
will tell me Joe Bowers did this or Joe Bowers did that.
R: Yes. Well, I'm sure that he did have a...now whether or not he had
one in Indiantown, but I feel sure he had one around the Jupiter area.
K: Now, I get the feeling that it was in that area...
R: Yes.
K: His name first came to me through...he would seem to be the man who
wrote to Oklahoma, oh, early in this century to get them to send
Baptist missionaries.
R: Oh.
K: Indian Baptist missionaries...that was he...most of the Indians were
Baptists.
R: That's right.
K: And that's how it started, that they sent Baptist Indians from Okla-
homa in here as missionaries. And one of the first ones told me...in
fact he put it on a tape for us, out in Oklahoma last year, that he
received a letter from Joe Bowers to send missionaries.


16
R: Well, there was a Joe Bowers. As far as I know, mostly he was in the
cattle business and they had a grove, a Bowers' Grove, down at Indian-
town, which is still in existence.
K: It's still in existence there?
R: Yes.
K: Well, we may stop by there.
R: It's quite a large orange grove, and they have....
K: But you don't know if the family per se is still there?
R: No, I don't believe there's a...I don't know of any of the Bowers that
are down there.
K: Uh huh.
R: I think they've all died.
K: Well, I'll stop by and check. I just wondered if....
R: You might check.
K: I wanted to verify with you that there had been a real trader in your
area.
R: Oh yes...yes, there's a Joe Bowers.
K: Um huh. Well, I'll go look into that, too. Here again, there were so
many people who traded with the Indians that didn't leave permanent
stores or permanent records.
R: Yes, that's right.
K: Hundreds of people went through the Big Cypress, for example, in an
ox cart, and just traded out of the back of their cart.
R: Yes, that's right.
K: You know, a little article that I wrote recently, and I'll send you a
copy of it, where I talked about the main traders, I mentioned your
store, and Meserve out here, and the Storters at Everglades, the
Stranahans, and then Bill Brown out in the middle of the Big Cypress.
Those are the only ones I can find permanent records of...or talk to
anyone who actually remembers the Indian trade.


17
R: Right.
K: Until we can dig up any of these others, like maybe Bowers, your re-
cords and the others are the ones we will have to depend on. Here
again, this would be subjective judgement on your part...what percent-
age of your overall volume of business, or your father's overall vol-
ume of business, would you say the Indians constituted? Very small...
or weak?
R: No, I think it would be...I'd say twenty-five percent.
K: Over a period of say, when?
R: Oh...from say, 1905 to 1913, that period in there.
K: Um huh.
R: Because the town began to grow after that.
K: But before that now...?
R: Before that I imagine the Indian was a pretty good part of the overall
business.
K: Um huh. That's interesting, that too, because certainly this is again
consistent with every other place. As towns began to grow, obviously
the Indian business would become less and less significant in it.
R: That's right.
K: Did your father, to your memory, consider himself a quote..."Indian
trader"...unquote, or was he just a store keeper?
R: Well, he was quite fond of several of the Indians. I mean they were
good friends.
K: Um huh. Did he hunt with them, fish with them?
R: Well, he never did much hunting and fishing and that sort of thing, but
he was quite friendly with them, and they would come around and visit.
K: To your home as well as to your store?
R: Yes.


18
K: Um huh. That's most interesting. Are there any other than the ledger,
are there any old documents or letters, or anything that might be of
interest to us in perusing this research? We definitely want to look
at the ledger again.
R: Yes.
K: Get the pricing off of that. But can you think of any other documents
around the area, or letters, or other people that we should talk to
other than Mr. Meserve, who we're going to see later on?
R: Well, I, you know, actually Mrs. Meserve has been interested in the
history of the area, and there are so many people that they don't
keep records...
K: Um huh.
R: I can't remember, offhand, anybody who'd have, you know anybody else
who's been in the business here that long who could give you any.
K: How about your family home? Is this, are you in the general vicinity
or area, where your...say, your grandfather and grandmother came in
here and built?
R: Uh, no. My home...I'm over...well, I'm not too far away. I mean I
guess I'm not over a mile from where my grandfather settled and my
father settled in the general area.
K: Um huh. Well, I was looking in terms of when they came in here...and
again looking basically for cattle grazing and things of this nature.
R: Yes. Well, my father...grandfather's old home is still standing down
in this part of town that I mentioned.
K: Um huh. On the other side of the...?
R: In fact, the Brocks family, the C.L. Brocks family, are living in the...
K: This is the home he built when he came here?
R: In the old original home that my grandfather first built.
K: In 1905?
R: I mean, it's been remodeled, yes.


19
K: This was in 1905? Oh, your grandfather's home.
R: Yes.
K: When did he build that?
R: Well, I'm not sure just when he built this, but it would have been in
the early 1900s.
K: Um huh. And your father's home was nearby?
R: Yes, my father's home was not too far from that area.
K: Is it still standing?
R: Yes.
K: Huh? I'd like to see both of those before I leave. Another thing
that we're trying to do within the last three years is the state of
Florida is finally getting together in terms of identifying historical
sites, identifying the old homes, getting a lot of this history put
together. It's something we should have been doing twenty years ago,
but I guess now we're just getting the funds and the organization
among the universities to do this.
R: Yes, I think that's a fine idea because I've often thought that some-
thing like this should be done.
K: I know I've been doing a good deal of it, and so before I leave here
today...
R: We're going to lose it if we don't...a lot of people get aware of it.
K: Right. This is it. For example, up in the town of St. Cloud we just
put on the state registry an old G.A.R. Hall, a Grand Army of the
Republic Hall which existed ever since about 1909, and those people
didn't know there were that many Union veterans in Florida, that they
would have one.
R: Well, they established the St. Cloud area by veterans I believe.
K: Right in 1909. See, my grandad was mayor there for many years.
R: Oh, is that right?


20
K: So...
R: So you're interested in it.
K: Right. Most people don't know there was a Shaker Colony in St. Cloud
from about 18--, in the St. Cloud area from 1890 to 1912. See, there's
a lot of Florida history that we really have overlooked.
R: That's right.
K: And so before I leave here today I want you to give me a little map,
and I want to see these homes.
R: Yes.
K: And maybe they can get on the state registry...because any home in
Florida that goes back that close to the turn of the century I think
the state archives should know about it, and at least have them listed
as potential restorers.
R: So many of them have been torn down and you know lost.
K: Um huh.
R: That we wouldn't have any record of.
K: Now the town here you say was plotted about 1913 when the railroad
came in?
R: Yes, yes.
K: And the other part of the town--is this across the river now or across
the creek down there? You refer to the other part of town, you know
that...?
R: Well, yes, the creek more or less divided what we used to call the
area east of it, East Okeechobee.
K: Uh huh, now that's where this camp is?
R: Now that was settled originally by the Hancock family. They were the
second family that moved into the area.
K: And yours was the first then?
R: The first.


21
K: And that was the Tantee area originally?
R: Well, all of the...that, you know, it was all in the Tantee area.
K: Um huh. If you want to take a break for awhile I'll cut this off a
minute.
R: O.K.
About her now, she was up in the Kissimmee area to run the newspaper
up there.
K: Tom Heatherington, is that right?
R: Yes.
K: She has written of your family?
R: She's written some articles about our family and also about the steam-
boat race on the Kissimmee.
K: Um huh, when were these done, do you recall?
R: Well, they appeared in the Tampa Tribune, some of these several years
ago, when Mr. Mattair was writing.
K: Yes, when he had his Florida Pioneers column?
R: Yes.
K: Oh...O.K. I had looked at a lot of those. I'll just have to go back
to the Historical Society and check it out.
R: She has gotten together quite a little history of the area.
K: Um huh.
R: And her grandfather and her grandmother...
K: Yes.
R: She lived with my grandmother for, I guess several years. She came
after her mother died...see, it was rather a small town.
K: Um huh, the name Alma Heatherington of course I know from writing a
different part of the thesis. I'll have to go back. They have a fine
collection at the Hillsborough County Historical Society...all the
McKay articles. I'll have to look there. I think the only piece in
the books though was the one concerning your grandmother.


22
R: Yes.
K: Now they did run a store up at Bassinger before they came here?
R: She is more familiar with that. I mean...
K: Um huh, your wife is...O.K. I'll get her to...
R: Could you give us some information about this first store?
K: Yes, sure.
R: Shadrack Chandler operated my grandfather's...
K: We'll let Mrs. Raulerson tell us this part of it, if you will.
W: You want to know something about...?
K: They had a store before they came here that you mentioned.
W: Well, that was Grandma's father had the store.
K: Um huh.
W: Shadrack Chandler was Louisiana Raulerson's father.
K: Right.
W: And he had a store up there, and the produce or the supplies were
brought down the Kissimmee River. In fact, at that time Bassinger was
quite a little city. They say that it was all lighted up when you
were coming down the river.
K: Um huh...yes, I read something about that, and Mr. Raulerson was
quoting her there.
W: Did you?
K: In Bassinger. Yes, this was a piece that I read not too long ago.
W: Well, this was her father.
K: Her family had the store then.
W: Yes. Her father had the store.
K: They just moved over here looking for more pasture for the cattle in '95?


23
W: Well, she was...yes. She was already married to Grandpa then.
K: Right. When were they married, do you recall?
W: Let me look through some of this stuff for you, here?
K: O.K. That's fine. We want to get this, you know, family relationship
somewhere.
W: All right, and we ought to do it while there's still some information
available.
K: Yes, I think now's the time. Mr. Raulerson just mentioned this Alma
Heatherington had written some things.
W: Yes, I'd love for you to talk to her.
K: Well, I would like to talk to her. Is she living in Kissimmee now?
W: No she did for years, but she lives in Daytona Beach now.
K: In Daytona Beach?
W: Um huh.
K: Well, I'm going back over to Tampa to look up some of her articles that
she did for Mr. McKay in the Tampa Tribune, and that's where I got some
of this other information, going through the old Tribune files.
W: Yes.
K: So I can look those up, then go talk to her as well.
W: Well, she'd be real interested. She has a lot of information.
K: Um huh.
W: She lived with Grandma, you know.
K: Yes. These trading families were generally all interrelated. This is
what is so interesting.
W: The early ones.
K: Right.
W: Yes.


24
K: The Chandlers and Raulersons and so forth.
W: And you know, when Grandpa was in the cattle business, the way they
sold the cattle at Punta Rassa.
K: Um huh.
W: And they were shipped to Cuba.
K: Right.
W: And I've heard Grandma talk about how he would come back with the gold
in saddle bags.
K: Wow, they paid in Spanish gold?
W: Yes.
K: Same way with the Hendrys.
W: Yes, yes.
K: We were out with Lloyd Hendry a couple of weeks ago.
W: Well, his son, one of the Hendry boys is a lawyer here.
K: Um huh.
W: Bill Hendry, his father's name was Bill Hendry.
K: There are so many Hendrys out here.
W: Yes, they're all related.
K: I wouldn't begin to try and keep up with all the Hendrys.
W: There's a lot of them in Fort Myers I think.
K: Well, this is where Lloyd lives. Lloyd is a lawyer there. They're
spread out all over south Florida, so we just run into Hendrys every-
where. Now the homes that are standing, that's what I really wanted
to ask you.
W: O.K.
K: The original...


25
W: The first house that was built is still there.
K: The grandpa's home is still. Now that's one he built in '96 when
he came here?
W: When he came here, that's right.
K: Now how about Mr. Raulerson's father's home?
W: It's still standing, looks terrible.
K: When was it built, any idea?
W: It was built in 1915, the same time the store was, I think.
K: This store?
W: This store, yes, the original store was in 1905.
K: Right. Now what was his name? What was Mr. Raulerson's father's name?
W: Lou...L.M.
K: L.M. Yes, but what did that stand for?
W: Louis Marion.
K: Louis Marion. Yes, I'd heard the L.M. O.K., fine. So those two homes
are still here, and those are the ones we're interested in getting on
the Historical Register here in Florida.
W: Well good. Then Grandpa's house...and I'm not sure I can't find...
K: There was a log cabin you say?
W: Yes, um huh. Yes, and it's been covered with a, you know, those
asbestos shingles, which seems kind of a shame. And his grandmother
lives in it now.
K: Oh, still all in the family.
W: Alma has a picture of the old log cabin with...
K: Um huh.
W: Oh, you know, when it was first built I suppose.


26
K: That's most interesting.
W: Well, I'll look up some of those dates, you know, when Grandpa was
born, because I'm not positive of that. I don't know whether Faith
knows, but it should be on a tombstone, shouldn't it?
K: Right, it should be.
W: Yes. He was born in what's now Plant City. I know that.
K: Up in Polk County. Oh, that's Hillsborough County.
W: Yes, it was Hillsborough. His family came down from Georgia.
K: Um huh.
W: And he was born there.
K: It's in Hillsborough County now.
W: I'll tell you, my son has a copy of the...it's called the Families of
the Wild Grass Country of Georgia.
K: Um huh.
W: And it's about before they came to Florida.
K: Um huh. This is the Chandler family?
W: Yes, and then they moved to Bassinger.
K: Bassinger must have been a thriving town. This is after the Disston
dredges, I guess, carried the river down that far.
W: Yes, there's a lot of the families from here, the Walkers, the
Underhills--all originally lived in Bassinger.
K: Um huh. How far is Bassinger from here?
W: It's about eighteen miles.
K: Overland that is?
W: Uh huh.


27
K: Yes. Then I guess they brought the early supplies in by wagon from
Bassinger.
W: Yes, they did.
K: That's most interesting. Well, I think before we leave, we would like
to again try and outline this family tree with as many dates...?
W: I'll have to get some of those dates. Maybe you better give me a
little time to do that...about when Grandma and Grandpa were married
and when they were born.
K: Right.
W: 'Cause that would take...
K: Mail them to us.
D: We'll be up here in another three weeks.
K: We can do that or you can mail them.
W: Well, it would take a little time to get all the dates together, I'm
sure. And the names of the children...Grandma and Grandpa's children.
K: Is there a historical society here in town?
W: Well, I'll tell you there's a four-county one...
K: Oh.
W: That's where I met Mr. Lawns. I'm on the...from this county, the
representative from this...and there's Fort Pierce, Martin, St. Lucie,
and Okeechobee counties in it.
K: Oh, I see.
W: But we don't have one in this county.
K: Well, that's a shame, because there's a lot of history here.
W: Yes, there is.
K: And a lot to be written about the area as well, so I would definitely...
if you could get those things together, it would be most interesting.


28
W: Well, I will, and I'll go back and see what's...there's a Raulerson
who's moved in, Holly Raulerson. He tans hides now, supposed to have
done it all his life.
K: Um huh.
W: In fact some folks from Jacksonville came down not long ago. Called
and asked about...he doesn't have a telephone...if we'd see him and
ask him if he would do this. If he'd do some for them.
K: Um huh.
W: And he has had some old, old papers...because the welfare worker told
me he did. I asked him about them, and he said his son had them, who
lived at Indiantown, and I kept thinking I'd try to...old newspapers
and old family records I guess.
K: Right, right. I had asked Mr. Raulerson earlier on this tape about
the Bowers family that lived out at Indiantown.
W: Yes.
K: Now that's another group that I'm interested in, but I don't know if
there're any of them still living out there. Do you know? Do you
have any idea?
W: I'm not sure, but let me...I'm going down there and see that boy, and
I'll find out. You mean this old Mr. Bowers?
K: Right.
W: Bowers, Groves, Joe Bowers.
K: Right.
W: Yes, yes.
K: From around the turn of the century, you know, they were there.
W: Oh, he was a character.
K: Oh, did you know him?
W: Yes. He was once...he...I don't know how many times he was married...
but once he...they were married on horseback. Did you?
K: No. Now that I haven't heard. Married on horseback!


29
W: Well, they certainly were.
K: But you don't now which wife?
W: Well, I'm not positive, but I'll try to find out.
K: Because Bowers was evidently quite instrumental in getting Indian
missionaries to come in here. One of the Indians told me that.
W: Oh, sure enough.
K: That he received a letter in Oklahoma from Joe Bowers.
W: He did?
K: Asking him to come in here. This was one of the early missionaries.
K: I know that the first, the first Indian missionary who came in here
about 1907, preached his first sermon at Bowers' store.
W: Was that in Indiantown?
K: In Indiantown.
W: Well, I'll be!
K: So Bowers was the first one that really started this Baptist missionary.
W: Well, let me see what we can...what...because I want to contact that
boy in Indiantown...because Melba had told me that there's just a lot
of he had...they had this big old box of old, old papers and documents.
K: That's what we really need to see. Obviously we're picking up as many
documents as possible.
W: But he told me his son was there, so I'll find out where he is and he
should know about whether they're...
K: Bowers still...
W: Any of the Bowers left.
K: Yes. Right. I will. O.K.....well, fine. I think this is what we need,
and if you...


30
W: I'd love for you to talk to Mr. Lyons sometime.
K: O.K. I'll...
W: Because he has really dug into the early history of that East Coast
area.
K: I'm interested in, again as I say, initially in the trade....
W: Yes.
K: In that period.
W: Yes.
K: And what happened in these reciprocal arrangements here.
W: Well, they were talking one day about early orange groves over there.
K: Um huh.
W: And, you know, how they developed and...
K: Did the Indians work in those groves?
W: I don't think so.
K: I don't either.
W: No, I don't believe they did. They loved fruit, but I don't think they
ever worked in...beg your pardon?
K: I'm going to ask Mrs. Raulerson to go back through these names system-
atically that you think we ought to talk to. Who were the people here
in town? I mean who owned the meat market and so forth?
W: Yes, Dave Coker.
K: Dave Coker in Okeechobee.
D: How do you spell that name?
W: C-o-k-e-r.
K: C-o-k-e-r.
W: And he's married to Zola.


31
K: He was married...then he was in business with the Raulerson family, you
say?
W: But later...after this, these figures are some of the early figures.
He was in this Okeechobbee Supply, which was a big grocery store down
on the creek. And then he was in business with Hiram Starbaugh, in the
meat business here.
K: O.K.
W: And he's married to Zola Raulerson.
K: And the Chandler in Miami is Luther Chandler?
W: Is Luther Chandler...was Grandma's brother.
K: How many brothers did she have, do you remember?
W: Well, I'm not sure, and we just don't know all...and they might know
more, really, Aunt Moll might.
K: Right, that would be his wife?
W: Yes.
K: O.K.
W: And I'm sure she's still living. There was something in the paper about
a great grandma of his who was a lawyer...the other day down there. So
a lot of them still live in Miami.
K: O.K. So that would be on the Chandler store at Bassinger?
W: I'll tell you who would know a lot about them is Alma Heatherington.
She lived with them one time.
K: O.K.
W: She lived with...
K: All right, now Alma Heatherington is living in Daytona?
W: In Daytona, but at...when her mother died and her father was a seaman.
So she stayed with Grandma some, and then she lived with these Chandlers.
In fact they sent her to school. I'd love for you all to talk to Alma
Heatherington.


32
K: Yes.
W: She just knows so much.
K: Then you will check on the Bowers for us?
W: Yes I will, in Indiantown.
K: O.K.
W: I certainly will.
K: Fine thank you very much. You've been most informative, and usually
we get a lot of information...
W: And I'll really get some of these figures, because we'd like to have
them ourselves.
K: Right.
W: See, there are only two members of Hiram's father's family living now.
His sister, Mrs. Meserve.... And then Connie Raulerson lives in Miami,
and he's only two years older than Hiram. He was the youngest child.
D: Connie Meserve?
W: Connie Raulerson.
K: Connie Raulerson.
W: Lives in Miami.
D: Right.
W: He was with the state at one time.
K: And he's how old now?
W: He's two years older than Hiram. He was born in 1901. How old would
he be? He's seventy-one, yes.
K: He's two years older, you say?
W: Older than Hiram.
K: O.K. Your husband was the youngest then?


33
W: No, my husband...you see, he's my husband's uncle. See Connie Raulerson
and Faith Meserve are the only two children of Peter Raulerson who are
living. And Connie Raulerson...see, would be my husband's uncle and
he's only two years older than my husband.
K: I got you, O.K., fine. I'm with you now.
W: Well, you know, Mrs. Faith Meserve really doesn't...she hadn't until
just recently wanted to talk about...she didn't want to admit how
old she was for one thing. She and Ellis are the same age, and she
hadn't really wanted to talk much about, you know, her family long
ago, and how.... I don't know who would know any more about them
than she does.
K: Well, hopefully today we can get over there and chat with her.
D: We're going down to see Ellis today.
W: Are you going to see...?
D: He was out, you know, when we came in.
K: And hopefully we can get over there and...
W: Maybe she certainly should have some old records.
K: Right.
W: You know what they...they sold Grandma's old house, the one she lived
in all ever since I can remember.
D: The one you said was in the area?
W: And you know those people just cleaned out the attic. Faith wasn't
interested really in preserving any and no telling what all was thrown
away.
K: No. Well, we're going to end up this tape, because we're coming to the
end. Thank you very much, appreciate it.


Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida INTERVIEWEE: INTERVIEWER: Hiram Raulerson Dr. Harry Kersey DATE: September 28, 197.2

PAGE 2

SUMMARY This interview primarily deals with the early history of the Okeechobee area. Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Raulerson, descendents of the first white traders there give information about the early trading families, their relationships with the Indians, products which were bought and sold and transportation of goods. Trade with the Indians, trading customs, and credit buying is discussed.

PAGE 3

Basinger, 3, 26, 27 Bowers, Joe, 14-16, 28-29 Bowlegs, Billy, 11, 12 Chandler (family), 7, 26 Luther, 30 Shadrack, 22, 26 Coker, Dave, 30 INDEX Education (in area), 9, 13 Heatherington, Alma (early historian), 21, 23, 31 Hendry (early trader family), 24 Hide brokers, 4 Huckleby, Miss Tantie, 9 Meserve (family), 6, 8 Faith, 33 Micco, Charlie, 11, 13 Okeechobee (early history of), 1, 5-9, 18-20, 22-27, 30 Raulerson, L. M. 25, Connie, 32 St. Cloud, 19-20 St. Lucie County, 9 Trade with Indians, 2-5, 11-14, 16-18 Transcultural Contacts (Indians with traders), 10-11, 17

PAGE 4

K: This is Dr. Harry Kersey, Florida Atlantic University. Today we are making the second tape with Mr. Hiram Raulerson of Okeechobee, Florida to get some information on the role his family played in the commerce of this area around the turn of the century. Mr. Raulerson, what I would like from you today, sir if you would just go back and as far as you remember pick up when your family came into this area and where they came from. R: My grandfather moved here in 1895, over in the Bassinger area, which is about twenty miles from here. They settled down in an area that they at that time was called "The Bend", which is on Highway 441, south of Okeechobee, about a mile the city of Okeechobee. K: What was your grandfather's name? R: Peter Raulerson. K: Peter Raulerson. R: His wife was Louisiana Raulerson. K: Now I have read some pieces about her. She was well known in this area. R: Yes. Yes, she was. Well, she established the first school or had the first school in her home. K: Now originally Okeechobee was named Tantee, wasn't it? R: That's right. ployed here. K: Huckleby? It was named for the first school teacher that they em Her name was Miss Tantee Huckleby. R: She came from South Carolina I believe. K: Um huh. R: She had the first school in my grandmother's home. K: Well, at that time the town wasn't in the location where it is now. R: No, it wasn't. K: Where was it exactly in relation to the present location?

PAGE 5

2 R: Well, my father started a small store in 1905 and that's down in the area. Well, it's about three-quarters of a mile from here, and it's on Highway Parrot Avenue, or Highway 441 south. It's just across the highway from the Standard Oil Station on Parrot Avenue. K: Um huh .And then when was this store built? R: Well, it was built in 19--about 1914. K: The one we're in today? Did he move directly from the other store the one built in 1905 to this one? R: Yes yes. K: What happened to the other one was it ever destroyed? R: Well, K: Is it still standing? R: It was torn down. It's not standing. K: Um huh. Now I have pictures of it. R: You have a picture of it. K: Right that picture we've already added to our collection. So then you literally grew up in the business? R: That's right. K: There was a store in the family as long as you can remember? R: Right. K: Do you recall I'm going back for a few moments now on the earlier tape we have some good information on the Indians coming in, and the kind of trading they did. Do you remember the kinds of items that the store stocked that were big sellers? For example, we're talking about matches and white bacon and things like this. Were these the same items that the general population bought? R: No.

PAGE 6

3 K: Did the Indians have anything, for example, that they traded for that the rest of the population was not buying, or did they get the same sorts of items? R: Well, generally the same type of merchandise they bought. They liked gay colors ! mean particularly in dress goods, that sort of thing probably carried a little of everything. K: Um huh. R: And they liked these bright colors and these are the kind of K: Those are the gingham and calico type bolt goods yard goods? R: That's right. They bought a good deal of that. K: Um huh. Who supplied your father's store mostly? Who were his wholesalers that he bought from? R: Well, at first there was, he had to go all the way to Kissimmee. We had a steamboat line that came from Kissimmee down the Kissimmee River to Bassinger and there they picked it up with wagons, and .•.. K: Oh, at Bassinger? R: At Bassinger and brought it on in here. That was one of them. K: Who did you trade with in Kissimmee? Do you recall? R: I don't recall the name of any .•. I .... K: There are some stores up there. R: There are some stores up there, but I don't remember who they were. K: Well, there was a couple that are still doing business in the Kissimmee area that have been there since the 1880s. R: Yes. K: I know that. R: Well, they're probably the same ones they did business with ! don't know.

PAGE 7

K: Um huh. So they acted more or less as his middleman on this. R: That's right. K: As his wholesalers out of there. What about shipping goods out of here? Did your father ship anything like produce or ? R: Well, he shipped hides you know; he bought hides, and alligator hides and coon skins. K: Do you remember any of the people he shipped those to? 4 R: Well, he shipped to some people in the Jacksonville area and also, I think, as far as the New Orleans area. K: As far as New Orleans? Some of the other trading families we talked to, for example, shipped to Southern Hide & Tanneries in Jacksonville. R: Yes that's the one. K: Mr. Mann's outfit there there was an outfit in Jacksonville called Oskee's that bought a lot of baby gators but he didn't trade in that I know. R: No, he didn't. K: Bayer Brothers in New Yo.rk was a big hide buyer around the turn of the century. R: It seems to me there was a firm called Funston. K: Funston? R: Have you heard of that. K: Yes I have, but I can't remember where. R: Well it seems to me that they were around the New Orleans area. K: Now that's interesting we're trading we're checking back to those houses also to see the volumes of hides that were traded. What about furs, for example the pelts, the coonskins, and otter hides was there much of a volume in that through the store?

PAGE 8

5 R: Well, not tremendous, I don't think, but we always handled quite a few. What they'd do, they'd bring those in and trade it in for sup plies. K: Yes. Now at the other stores, the nature of the trade was not so much a direct barter, in other words, hides for goods, but money would always change hands. Was that true in this store as wellthat the trader would give the Indian money, and the Indian would pay it right back? R: Yes yes. That's probably the way it was handled. I mean he'd just pay them in money, and then they'd buy the supplies they needed. K: Yes. As I recall from an earlier tape, they liked to have things all wrapped up R: Yes. K: I think you mentioned that. R: They'd wrap each item separately ! mean they'd buy each item, and then finish that, and they'd buy something else. K: You think that's because they needed the string and the paper? R: I suppose. K: They had a use for it somewhere. The town of course, of Okeechobee, on the present site, when was it established here do you recall? R: Oh about 1913. K: Um huh. R: The Florida East Coast built a branch rail line out of New Symrna Beach that came into Okeechobee. One of the big reasons, I guess, they built it was because of the fishing industry on Lake Okeechobee. K: And the vegetables to ship out? R: And the vegetables, but later--the vegetables business came along later, you know. To begin with it was mostly fish. They caught a tremendous amotm.t of fish out of the lake, catfish mostly. K: This down at Lake Port, the fishing village there?

PAGE 9

6 R: Well, all around the lake all around the lake area. K: Um huh. In the town here was the Meserve family here about the same time as yours? R: Well, Mr. Meserve came down the first train that came into Okeechobee. 1913. K: Uh huh. R: He's been here ever since then. K: Oh I see. So his story was much later. R: He married my father's sister, Mr. Meserve did. K: Oh so you're R: He married after he came down, so he's in the family. K: Uh huh. Then he opened his store then, right after ? R: 1913. Yes, he built the hardware store, the first hardware store. K: Uh huh, but your family had been here from well before Mr. Meserve? R: Since 1905, yes. Now when my father had been in business now my grandfather had been here since 1895. K: So your family well preceded Meserve into the valley. R: Yes. K: That's one thing I wanted to get straight. Somehow I had the impression the families arrived about the same time, but that R: Oh, no. The Raulerson family were here. K: Uh huh. Then you were born here. R: I was born here. That's right. K: Now Meserve's store was basically a hardware store. Was your father's a hardware or a general store type?

PAGE 10

7 R: Well, my father's was just a general store. He had a little of every thing. There was no other stores, you know. So he had to carry some hardware, and some piece goods, and groceries, and he had a little post office. He was the postmaster. K: He was the postmaster also? R: Well, my grandmother was actually the first postmaster, and she had it in her home for awhile, and after my father started the store then she turned the post office over to him. K: Uh huh. R: He continued on. He was postmaster until the 1920s, I guess. K: Uh huh. Your grandmother sounds like a most interesting person from what little bit I read. Could you tell me some things about her that you remember most vividly? R: Yes, she was. Well, she was quite interested in schools., and the first of course established the first school in the area. And she always attended the opening of the school. As the town grew and the schools grew, she continued her interest. She was quite a humanitar ian. She helped people any way possible and sick people and people in trouble. K: I remember reading somewhere that her family from up around the Bassinger area there had been a number of plume hunters in the family. R: Yes, the Chandlers, yes. K: The Chandlers, right. R: She was a Chandler. K: How about your father's family were they or your grandfather's family ? R: Well, my father's family was mostly, my grandfather's family they were mostly in the cattle business. That's why he came down here, with his cattle, you know, in this area. K: Um huh. So that's why he moved to there, because ?

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R: That's why he moved in here, yes. K: How far back to your knowledge was your grandfather born in Florida, or did he come in later? R: Yes, he was born over in the Polk County area. K: Uh huh. R: His family caine from Georgia, south Georgia. K: They were cattle people and your grandmother's people were plumers. R: Yes, mostly, uh huh. K: That's an interesting origin. It seems like a lot of the trading families had similar starts. Particularly way down in the south end, around Everglades or down in the Keys. A lot of the families came there originally following the plume birds, and stayed on to establish stores and what have you. Now Mr. Meserve, who I assume is a friend of yours, he caine in here to strictly to start a business, is that right? R: That's right, yes. K: Um huh. R: He came down here to open the first hardware. K: I see. Well, that's most interesting. Now this store he is in, do you have any idea when it was built? I'm going to talk to him later. R: The store he is presently in was not so old. The first store he built I think was destroyed, partially destroyed by fire. Then the 1928 hurricane blew it down. K: Um huh, that's the old white one? R: Yes, it weakened the structure and I think the storm, you know, fin ished tearing it down. And after that he built this present building. Which would have been in the around ... in the early maybe thirties or '29. K: You mentioned that your grandmother started a school in her home.

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R: Yes. K: Now was she instrumental in getting the teacher, this Miss Huckleby to come in here? 9 R: Yes yes. I guess the family, I don't know where they heard of Miss Huckleby, but she became a quite prominent part of the connnunity. K: Uh huh, because at that time R: They named the town for her. I mean Tantee, you know, was named for her. K: Did she stay here all her life or did she leave? R: Oh no, I guess she must have been here for several years, but she didn't she left and went back home. K: Um huh. This would have been part of Indian River County at that time. R: Well, at that time it might have been. K: Right because R: We were in St. Lucie County. My grandfather was a K: St. Lucie, right. Not Indian River St. Lucie County. R: Yes. My grandfather was a county commissioner from this area and went to Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County. K: Um huh. R: To represent this area on the board of the county. K: Uh huh, right. Because this was an enormous county. R: Oh yes. K: It was the '2Os when they started breaking it up into Okeechobee and what have you. The population of course must have been relatively small. R: Yes, it was. K: And not many people around to so there wouldn't be more than one or two stores.

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R: Yes that's right. It was a sparsely settled area until, you know, later years. 10 K: Did your family engage in any other business? Did they have farms or cattle in addition to the store or did they, you know ? R: Well, my father had cattle. K: Uh huh. R: That was during the days that it was open range, you know. You'd just run your cattle anywhere. K: Um huh no fence laws. R: No fence laws. K: Um huh. R: As the area grew he decided to devote his time to the merchandise busi ness, and he got out of the cattle business. He sold out in 1917. K: It's a tough business, unless you have a large volume, and a lot of land. R: That's right. K: To stay in till this day. Let me move back just for a moment to the Indians. I'll ask you a rather subjective question here since you've been around all your life. How would you evaluate the general accep tance of the Indian in this community? R: Oh, they were well accepted. K: Even in the old days? R: In the old days I mean we I remember my father saying they were very honest. He would trust them with merchandise, and they'd always pay. K: Um huh. R: Of course there's later they've taken up our ways, I guess they don't, they're not as K: Sort of a reverse acculturation we've given them the worst of our habits.

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11 R: That's right. K: The Indians that now live out on the Brighton Reservation, of course, earlier in the century were scattered out all the way from Brighton up to R: That's right. Well, we had settlements all K: Fort Pierce and Ocala. R: That's right. There were settlements of Indians all over the area here. K: Um huh. Now as I recall when they came in sometimes they would spend the night on the porch? R: Oh yes, they would they'd come in, and my father would always provide them a place to sleep, you know. K: Um huh. Now R: Usually they'd sleep out on the porch, they didn't like to sleep inside. K: Right. R: They'd have their own blankets, and K: I recall from looking at your ledger that Billy Bowlegs and Charlie Micco and some of the more prominent Indians traded at the store and had accounts evidently. R: Yes, that's right. We still have some Indians that have accounts with us. K: Um huh. Mr. Storter, whose father opened the store down at Everglades, back in the 189Os and really opened that area up, he said they used to occasionally extend credit to the Indians. Do you recall your father ever doing this, carrying a credit account for Indians? R: Oh, yes. K: Um huh. R: Yes, we carried credit accounts. In fact I have I still have a few who I carry.

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12 K: Still carry them? R: Um huh thirty-day accotmts. K: Um huh. Well, that's interesting, because of course one of the major interests, with your family and these others, and we can find so very few families who're still in the business. R: That's right. K: who date from the turn of the century and we're trying to compare their ways of doing business. R: Yes. K: To see if there's a similarity and it seems that where the Indians were well established that yes, they did carry trade~ credit accounts for them in most places. R: Yes, that's right. K: Do you remember, for example, Billy Bowlegs, who's probably the best known of the ones from out at the Brighton Reservation. R: Yes, I remember Billy quite well. He just died a few years ago you know. K: Right, about '64 I think. R: About four years K: Time passes by. R: He was, you know, quite a character, Billy was. He was, I guess he was known by everybody around the area. K: Right. R: He was quite a hunter. K: Uh huh. R: And some of the white people would hire him as a guide K: Yes. R: to take them hunting.

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K: Well-known hunting guide. R: Yes. K: Now the Miccos got into cattle and heavy machinery operation R: Yes. 13 K: and a lot of other things after the government started really develop ing the project. R: Yes, the Micco family is still around the Brighton area, several of them are. K: Right. Uh huh. And very much in leadership roles. R: Yes. K: I'm out there a good bit. Howard and the others, are of course, still there. R: Uh huh. Yes. K: The town today of course doesn't have many Indian children going to school here any more. They're mostly going down to Glades. R: No, we had them here until, oh, a few years ago, when they decided they were in actually in Glades County, but it was quite a dis tance. It was easier for them to bring them here than it was to take them to Moorehaven. K: Right. R: They attended school here for several years. K: Uh huh. R: And they were we had developed some good athletes K: Right. R: out of the Indians. K: Joe Dan is an old friend of mine. When the Indians came in to trade, I'm sure they traded more than just hides and pelts and plumes and so forth. Did they ever bring in any produce meat, venison, anything like this buckskin?

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14 R: Well, they would bring buckskin, and my father would handle that for them. I mean he'd buy it, and K: Um huh. R: And people would the cattlemen would buy it to make the whips, you know. K: Right rawhide. R: Rawhide. K: Um huh. How about fruit, or anything of this nature some of the other traders ? R: Well, the only thing I remember the fruit stand bought was the huckle berry K: Uh huh. R: It used to grow wild around the area. Then the Indian squaws would pick that and bring it in. K: Uh huh. R: We'd buy that buy the huckleberries from them. K: That's interesting so they brought in a variety of things that's what I'm getting at again here. R: Yes. K: Not just the plumes and the hides and so forth. Do you recall at any time a trader in this area by the name of Bowers? R: Yes. There was some Bowers in the area. In fact there was one down at around the Indiantown area. K: Around Indiantown? R: Yes. Originally I think he came from around Jupiter. K: Uh huh. Did you know him? R: And there was I knew a Joe Bowers.

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K: Do you recall how long he was in business or what kind of business he ran? R: Well, I think he had a store. K: Uh huh. R: And he must have had it for a kind of general store. I guess something similar to what my father had. K: Yes, he must have been R: It was around the Jupiter/Indiantown area. K: I keep running across the name R: Yes. 15 K: Of course, there are a lot of Bowers among the Indians. I'm trying to get some connection here, but I can't find any records or any evi dence of his store having existed, except from time to time an Indian will tell me Joe Bowers did this or Joe Bowers did that. R: Yes. Well, I'm sure that he did have a now whether or not he had one in Indiantown, but I feel sure he had one around the Jupiter area. K: Now, I get the feeling that it was in that area R: Yes. K: His name first came to me through he would seem to be the man who wrote to Oklahoma, oh, early in this century to get them to send Baptist missionaries. R: Oh. K: Indian Baptist missionaries that was he most of the Indians were Baptists. R: That's right. K: And that's how it started, that they sent Baptist Indians from Okla homa in here as missionaries. And one of the first ones told me in fact he put it on a tape for us, out in Oklahoma last year, that he received a letter from Joe Bowers to send missionaries.

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16 R: Well, there was a Joe Bowers. As far as I know, mostly he was in the cattle business and they had a grove, a Bowers' Grove, down at Indian town, which is still in existence. K: It's still in existence there? R: Yes. K: Well, we may stop by there. R: It's quite a large orange grove, and they have ...• K: But you don't know if the family per se is still there? R: No, I don't believe there's a •.. I don't know of any of the Bowers that are down there. K: Uh huh. R: I think they've all died. K: Well, I'll stop by and check. I just wondered if R: You might check. K: I wanted to verify with you that there had been a real trader in your area. R: Oh yes yes, there's a Joe Bowers. K: Um huh. Well, I'll go look into that, too. Here again, there were so many people who traded with the Indians that didn't leave permanent stores or permanent records. R: Yes, that's right. K: Hundreds of people went through the Big Cypress, for example, in an ox cart, and just traded out of the back of their cart. R: Yes, that's right. K: You know, a little article that I wrote recently, and I'll send you a copy of it, where I talked about the main traders, I mentioned your store, and Meserve out here, and the Storters at Everglades, the Stranahans, and then Bill Brown out in the middle of the Big Cypress. Those are the only ones I can find permanent records of or talk to anyone who actually remembers the Indian trade.

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17 R: Right. K: Until we can dig up any of these others, like maybe Bowers, your re cords and the others are the ones we will have to depend on. Here again, this would be subjective judgement on your part what percent age of your overall volume of business, or your father's overall vol ume of business, would you say the Indians constituted? Very small or weak? R: No, I think it would be I'd say twenty-five percent. K: Over a period of say, when? R: Oh from say, 1905 to 1913, that period in there. K: Um huh. R: Because the town began to grow after that. K: But before that now ? R: Before that I imagine the Indian was a pretty good part of the overall business. K: Um huh. That's interesting, that too, because certainly this is again consistent with every other place. As towns began to grow, obviously the Indian business would become less and less significant in it. R: That's right. K: Did your father, to your memory, consider himself a quote "Indian trader" unquote, or was he just a store keeper? R: Well, he was quite fond of several of the Indians. I mean they were good friends. K: Um huh. Did he hunt with them, fish with them? R: Well, he never did much hunting and fishing and that sort of thing, but he was quite friendly with them, and they would come around and visit. K: To your home as well as to your store? R: Yes.

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18 K: Um huh. That's most interesting. Are there any other than the ledger, are there any old documents or letters, or anything that might be of interest tous in perusing this research? We definitely want to look at the ledger again. R: Yes. K: Get the pricing off of that. But can you think of any other documents around the area, or letters, or other people that we should talk to other than Mr. Meserve, who we're going to see later on? R: Well, I, you know, actually Mrs. Meserve has been interested in the history of the area, and there are so many people that they don't keep records K: Um huh. R: I can't remember, offhand, anybody who'd have, you know anybody else who's been in the business here that long who could give you any. K: How about your family home? Is this, are you in the general vicinity or area, where your say, your grandfather and grandmother came in here and built? R: Uh, no. My home I'm over well, I'm not too far away. I mean I guess I'm not over a mile from where my grandfather settled and my father settled in the general area. K: Um huh. Well, I was looking in terms of when they came in here and again looking basically for cattle grazing and things of this nature. R: Yes. Well, my father grandfather's old home is still standing down in this part of town that I mentioned. K: Um huh. On the other side of the ? R: In fact, the Brocks family, the C.L. Brocks family, are living in the K: This is the home he built when he came here? R: In the old original home that my grandfather first built. K: In 1905? R: I mean, it's been remodeled, yes.

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19 K: This was in 1905? Oh, your grandfather's home. K: When did he build that? R: Well, I'm not sure just when he built this, but it would have been in the early 1900s. K: Um huh. And your father's home was nearby? R: Yes, my father's home was not too far from that area. K: Is it still standing? R: Yes. K: Huh? I'd like to see both of those before I leave. Another thing that we're trying to do within the last three years is the state of Florida is finally getting together in terms of identifying historical sites, identifying the old homes, getting a lot of this history put together. It's something we should have been doing twenty years ago, but I guess now we're just getting the funds and the organization among the universities to do this. R: Yes, I think that's a fine idea because I've often thought that some thing like this should be done. K: I know I've been doing a good deal of it, and so before I leave here today R: We're going to lose it if we don't a lot of people get aware of it. K: Right. This is it. For exalllPle, up in the town of St. Cloud we just put on the state registry an old G.A.R. Hall, a Grand Army of the Republic Hall which existed ever since about 1909, and those people didn't know there were that many Union veterans in Florida, that they would have one. R: Well, they established the St. Cloud area by veterans I believe. K: Right in 1909. See, my grandad was mayor there for many years. R: Oh, is that right?

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20 K: So R: So you're interested in it. K: Right. Most people don't know there was a Shaker Colony in St. Cloud from about 18--, in the St. Cloud area from 1890 to 1912. See, there's a lot of Florida history that we really have overlooked. R: That's right. K: And so before I leave here today I want you to give me a little map, and I want to see these homes. R: Yes. K: And maybe they can get on the state registry because any home in Florida that goes back that close to the turn of the century I think the state archives should know about it, and at least have them listed as potential restorers. R: So many of them have been tom down and you know lost. K: Um huh. R: That we wouldn't have any record of. K: Now the town here you say was plotted about 1913 when the railroad came in? R: Yes, yes. K: And the other part of the town--is this across the river now or across the creek down there? You refer to the other part of town, you know that ? R: Well, yes, the creek more or less divided what we used to call the area east of it, East Okeechobee. K: Uh huh, now that's where this camp is? R: Now that was settled originally by the Hancock family. They were the second family that moved into the area. K: And yours was the first then? R: The first.

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K: And that was the Tantee area originally? R: Well, all of the that, you know, it was all in the Tantee area. K: Um huh. If you want to take a break for awhile I'll cut this off a minute. R: O.K. 21 About her now, she was up in the Kissimmee area to run the newspaper up there. K: Tom Heatherington, is that right? R: Yes. K: She has written of your family? R: She's written some articles about our family and also about the steam boat race on the Kissimmee. K: Um huh, when were these done, do you recall? R: Well, they appeared in the Tampa Tribune, some of these several years ago, when Mr. Mattair was writing. K: Yes, when he had his Florida Pioneers column? t R: Yes. K: Oh O.K. I had looked at a lot of those. I'll just have to go back to the Historical Society and check it out. R: She has gotten together quite a little history of the area. K: Um huh. R: And her grandfather and her grandmother K: Yes. R: She lived with my grandmother for, I guess several years. She came after her mother died see, it was rather a small town. K: Um huh, the name Alma Heatherington of course I know from writing a different part of the thesis. I'll have to go back. They have a fine collection at the Hillsborough County Historical Society all the McKay articles. I'll have to look there. I think the only piece in the books though was the one concerning your grandmother.

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R: Yes. K: Now they did run a store up at Bassinger before they came here? R: She is more familiar with that. I mean K: Um huh, your wife is O.K. I'll get her to R: Could you give us some information about this first store? K: Yes, sure. R: Shadrack Chandler operated my grandfather's K: We'll let Mrs. Raulerson tell us this part of it, if you will. W: You want to know something about ? K: They had a store before they came here that you mentioned. W: Well, that was Grandma's father had the store. K: Um huh. W: Shadrack Chandler was Louisiana Raulerson's father. K: Right. 22 W: And he had a store up there, and the produce or the supplies were brought down the Kissinnnee River. In fact, at that time Bassinger was quite a little city. They say that it was all lighted up when you were coming down the river. K: Um huh yes, I read something about that, and Mr. Raulerson was quoting her there. W: Did you? K: In Bassinger. Yes, this was a piece that I read not too long ago. W: Well, this was her father. K: Her family had the store then. W: Yes. Her father had the store. K: They just moved over here looking for more pasture for the cattle in '95?

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W: Well, she was yes. She was already married to Grandpa then. K: Right. When were they married, do you recall? W: Let me look through some of this stuff for you, here? 23 K: O.K. That's fine. We want to get this, you know, family relationship somewhere. W: All right, and we ought to do it while there's still some information available. K: Yes, I think now's the time. Mr. Raulerson just mentioned this Alma Heatherington had written some things. W: Yes, I'd love for you to talk to her. K: Well, I would like to talk to her. Is she living in Kissimmee now? W: No she did for years, but she lives in Daytona Beach now. K: In Daytona Beach? W: Um huh. K: Well, I'm going back over to Tampa to look up some of her articles that she did for Mr. McKay in the Tampa Tribune, and that's where I got some of this other information, going through the old Tribune files. W: Yes. K: So I can look those up, then go talk to her as well. W: Well, she'd be real interested. She has a lot of information. K: Um huh. W: She lived with Grandma, you know. K: Yes. These trading families were generally all interrelated. This is what is so interesting. W: The early ones. K: Right. W: Yes.

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K: The Chandlers and Raulersons and so forth. W: And you know, when Grandpa was in the cattle business, the way they sold the cattle at Punta Rassa. K: Um huh. W: And they were shipped to Cuba. K: Right. 24 W: And I've heard Grandma talk about how he would come back with the gold in saddle bags. K: Wow, they paid in Spanish gold? W: Yes. K: Same way with the Hendrys. W: Yes, yes. K: We were out with Lloyd Hendry a couple of weeks ago. W: Well, his son, one of the Hendry boys is a lawyer here. K: Um huh. W: Bill Hendry, his father's name was Bill Hendry. K: There are so many Hendrys out here. W: Yes, they're all related. K: I wouldn't begin to try and Reep up with all the Hendrys. W: There's a lot of them in Fort Myers I think. K: Well, this is where Lloyd lives. Lloyd is a lawyer there. They're spread out all over south Florida, so we just run into Hendrys every where. Now the homes that are standing, that's what I really wanted to ask you. W: O.K. K: The original

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I __ _ W: The first house that was built is still there. K: The grandpa's home is still. Now that's one he built in '96 when he came here? W: When he came here, that's right. K: Now how about Mr. Raulerson's father's home? W: It's still standing, looks terrible. K: When was it built, any idea? W: It was built in 1915, the same time the store was, I think. K: This store? W: This store, yes, the original store was in 1905. 25 K: Right. Now what was his name? What was Mr. Raulerson's father's name? W: Lou L.M. K: L.M. Yes, but what did that stand for? W: Louis Marion. K: Louis Marion. Yes, l'd heard the L.M. O.K., fine. So those two homes are still here, and those are the ones we're interested in getting on the Historical Register here in Florida. W: Well good. Then Grandpa's house and I'm not sure I can't find K: There was a log cabin you say? W: Yes, um huh. Yes, and it's been covered with a, you know, those asbestos shingles, which seems kind of a shame. And his grandmother lives in it now. K: Oh, still all in the family. W: Alma has a picture of the old log cabin with K: Um huh. W: Oh, you know, when it was first built I suppose.

PAGE 29

K: That's most interesting. W: Well, I'll look up some of those dates, you know, when Grandpa was born, because I'm not positive of that. I don't know whether Faith knows, but it should be on a tombstone, shouldn't it? K: Right, it should be. W: Yes. He was born in what's now Plant City. I know that. K: Up in Polk County. Oh, that's Hillsborough Cotmty. W: Yes, it was Hillsborough. His family came down from Georgia. K: Um huh. W: And he was born there. K: It's in Hillsborough. Connty now. 26 W: I'll tell you, my son has a copy of the it's called the Families of the Wild Grass Country of Georgia. K: Um huh. W: And it's about before they came to Florida. K: Um huh. This is the Chandler family? W: Yes, and then they moved to Bassinger. K: Bassinger must have been a thriving town. This is after the Disston dredges, I guess, carried the river down that far. W: Yes, there's a lot of the families from here, the Walkers, the Underhills--all originally lived in Bassinger. K: Um huh. How far is Bassinger from here? W: It's about eighteen miles. K: Overland that is? W: Uh huh.

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K: Yes. Then I guess they brought the early supplies in by wagon from Bassinger. W: Yes, they did. 27 K: That's most interesting. Well, I think before we leave, we would like to again try and outline this family tree with as many dates ? W: I'll have to get some of those dates. Maybe you better give me a little time to do that about when Grandma and Grandpa were married and when they were born. K: Right. W: 'Cause that would take K: Mail them to us. D: We'll be up here in another three weeks. K: We can do that or you can mail them. W: Well, it would take a little time to get all the dates together, I'm sure. And the names of the children ..• Grandma and Grandpa's children. K: Is there a historical society here in town? W: Well, I'll tell you there's a four-county one K: Oh. W: That's where I met Mr. Lawns. I'm on the from this county, the representative from this and there's Fort Pierce, Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties in ;i.t. K: Oh, I see. W: But we don't have one in this county. K: Well, that's a shame,,because there's a lot of history here. W: Yes, there is. K: And a lot to be written about the area as well, so I would definitely if you could get those things together, it would be most interesting.

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28 W: Well, I will, and I'll go back and see what's •.. there's a Raulerson who's moved in, Holly Raulerson. He tans hides now, supposed to have done it all his life. K: Um huh. W: In fact some folks from Jacksonville came down not long ago. Called and asked about he doesn't have a telephone if we'd see him and ask him if he would do this. If he'd do some for them. K: Um huh. W: And he has had some old, old papers because the welfare worker told me he did. I asked him about them, and he said his son had them, who lived at Indiantown, and I kept thinking I'd try to old newspapers and old family records I guess. K: Right, right. I had asked Mr. Raulerson earlier on this tape about the Bowers family that lived out at Indiantown. W: Yes. K: Now that's another group that I'm interested in, but I don't know if there're any of them still living out there. Do you know? Do you have any idea? W: I'm not sure, but let me I'm going down there and see that boy, and I'll find out. You mean this old Mr. Bowers? K: Right. W: Bowers, Groves, Joe Bowers. K: Right. W: Yes, yes. K: From around the turn of the century, you know, they were there. W: Oh, he was a character. K: Oh, did you know him? W: Yes. He was once he I don't know how many times he was married but once he they were married on horseback. Did you? K: No. Now that I haven't heard. Married on horseback!

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W: Well, they certainly were. K: But you don't now which wife? W: Well, I'm not positive, but I'll try to find out. K: Because Bowers was evidently quite instrumental in getting Indian missionaries to come in here. One of the Indians told me that. W: Oh, sure enough. K: That he received a letter in Oklahoma from Joe Bowers. W: He did? 29 K: Asking him to come in here. This was one of the early missionaries. K: I know that the first, the first Indian missionary who came in here about 1907, preached his first sermon at Bowers' store. W: Was that in Indiantown? K: In Indiantown. W: Well, I'll be! K: So Bowers was the first one that really started this Baptist missionary. W: Well, let me see what we can what because I want to contact that boy in Indiantown because Melba had told me that there's just a lot of he had they had this big old box of old, old papers and documents. K: That's what we really need to see. Obviously we're picking up as many documents as possible. W: But he told me his son was there, so I'll find out where he is and he should know about whether they're K: Bowers still W: Any of the Bowers left. K: Yes. Right. I will. O.K well, fine, I think this is what we need, and if you

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W: I'd love for you to talk to Mr. Lyons sometime. K: O.K. I'll W: Because he has really dug into the early history of that East Coast area. K: I'm interested in, again as I say, initially in the trade W: Yes. K: In that period. W: Yes. K: And what happened in these reciprocal arrangements here. 30 W: Well, they were talking one day about early orange groves over there. K: Um huh. W: And, you know, how they developed and K: Did the Indians work in those groves? W: I don't think so. K: I don't either. W: No, I don't believe they did. They loved fruit, but I don't think they ever worked ;in beg your pardon? K: I'm going to ask Mrs. Raulerson to go back through these names system atically that you think we ought to talk to. Who were the people here in town? I mean who owned the meat market and so forth? W: Yes, Dave Coker. K: Dave Coker in Okeechobee. D: How do you spell that name? W: C-o-k-e-r. K: C-o-k-e-r. W: And he's married to Zola.

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31 K: He was married then he was in business with the Raulerson family, you say? W: But later after this, these figures are some of the early figures. He was in this Okeechobbee Supply, which was a big grocery store down on the creek. And then he was in business with Hiram Starbaugh, in the meat business here. K: O.K. W: And he's married to Zola Raulerson. K: And the Chandler in Miami is Luther Chandler? W: Is Luther Chandler was Grandma's brother. K: How many brothers did she have, do you remember? W: Well, I'm not sure, and we just don't know all and th~y might know more, really, Aunt Moll might. K: Right, that would be his wife? W: Yes. K: O.K. W: And I'm sure she's still living. There was something in the paper about a great grandma of his who was a lawyer the other day down there. So a lot of them still live in Miami. K: O.K. So that would be on the Chandler store at Bassinger? W: I'll tell you who would know a lot about them is Alma Heatherington. She lived with them one time. K: O.K. W: She 1:i,ved with K: All right, now Alma Heatherington is living in Daytona? W: In Daytona, but at when her mother died and her father was a seaman. So she stayed with Grandma some, and then she lived with these Chandlers. In fact they sent her to school. I'd love for you all to talk to Alma Heatherington.

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K: Yes. W: She just knows so much. K: Then you will check on the Bowers for us? W: Yes I will, in Indiantown. K: O.K. W: I certainly will. 32 K: Fine thank you very much. You've been most informative, and usually we get a lot of information W: And I'll really get some of these figures, because we'd like to have them ourselves. K: Right. W: See, there are only two members of Hiram's father's family living now. His sister, Mrs. Meserve And then Connie Raulerson lives in Miami, and he's only two years older than Hiram. He was the youngest child. D: Connie Meserve? W: Connie Raulerson. K: Connie Raulerson. W: Lives in Miami. D: Right. W: He was with the state at one time. K: And he's how old now? W: He's two years older than Hiram. He was born in 1901. How old would he be? He's seventy-one, yes. K: He's two years older, you say? W: Older than Hiram. K: O.K. Your husband was the youngest then?

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33 W: No, my husband you see, he's my husband's uncle. See Connie Raulerson and Faith Meserve are the only two children of Peter Raulerson who are living. And Connie Raulerson see, would be my husband's \lllcle and he's only two years older than my husband. K: I got you, O.K., fine. I'm with you now. W: Well, you know, Mrs. Faith Meserve really doesn't she hadn't until just recently wanted to talk about she didn't want to admit how old she was for one thing. She and Ellis are the same age, and she hadn't really wanted to talk much about, you know, her family long ago, and how I don't know who would know any more about them than she does. K: Well, hopefully today we can get over there and chat with her. D: We're going down to see Ellis today. W: Are you going to see ? D: He was out, you know, when we came in. K: And hopefully we can get over there and W: Maybe she certainly should have some old records. K: Right. W: You know what they they sold Grandma's old house, the one she lived in all ever since I can remember. D: The one you said was in the area? W: And you know those people just cleaned out the attic. Faith wasn't interested really in preserving any and no telling what all was thrown away. K: No. Well, we're going to end up this tape, because we're coming to the end. Thank you very much, appreciate it.