Citation
Interview with Willie Tiger, October 30, 1984

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Willie Tiger, October 30, 1984
Creator:
Tiger, Willie ( 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
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
SEM 188 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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Full Text
"WILLIE TIGER
WILLIE TIGER I
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Date
Interviewer
Informat
Place
Language
Topic
Residence
- October 30, 1984
- Jeanette Cypress
- Mr. Willie Tiger
- His home in Big Cypress
- Miccosukee
- Seminole recollections 1927-1943.
- Where did you live or where were you during 1920's?
- We lived along this way and he pointed towards the west from his
home. He said it was called the Big Cypress Tree area, meaning
like a forest or patch of cypress trees and surrounding area
was clear land.
- How about 1930's?
- I was around in Indian Town.
- Working?
- Yes, spreading fertilizer.
- How about 1940's? What kind of work?
- I was in Ochopee working trimming trees.
- Did you ever live or work in Musa Isle or Silver Springs?
- No, I have never lived in those places.
- Did you ever visit people living there?
- Yes.
Q What kinds of things were those people doing there?


Willie Tiger
2
R They seem to be there
and they got paid for
people use to get mad
like it had flour all
as for show, like for tourist attraction
it. I remember a bear that was there,
at it because it would get in to stuff,
over him and people were laughing at it.
Q How about farm work? Did people travel to where there was work?
R Yes, Indian Town, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, yes we traveled and
lived in these areas when work was available. Picking oranges
and various other farm labor.
Q How about when jobs were scarce, what did you all do then?
R When there was no jobs, we hunted. Set up traps, killed raccoons
and sold their hides.
Q How about Dania. Did you ever work at any of the Government jobs?
R Yes, I did for a short period, around 5 months doing land clearing
work, pulling up Palmetto bush roots. Then taking the roots and
stacking them up in piles to haul away.
Q Did a lot of people from here (meaning Big Cypress) go there
to work?
R Yes there was.
there.
There was a lot of the Gopher family and members
Q Did you see Capt. Spencer around that time? Superintendent?
R Spencer, yes. He was kind of an old looking man.
Q How about Rev. Glenn?
R Yes, I saw him. A big chinned looking man. A kind of young man.
Q How about Scott?
R Yes he was around to.
Q How about Gardin?
R Yes Gardin, when Scott left. Gardin came as a replacement.


Willie Tiger
3
Q In regard to all the names I've just mentioned, were they good
people? Did they help the Indians?
R Yes they were. Yes they felt like they were suppose to help
Indians.
Q So if there was no employment for someone, did they help that
individual to seek one?
R Yes, the agents would tell people where there was employment.
So people would go and work there.
Q How about if someone needed medical attention to see a doctor?
R Yes, they had contracts set up with doctors, you would go up
there (Dania) and get medical attention.
Q How about kids and going to school?
R Yes, school to attend was there in Dania, but there was one on
the reservation so kids attended there. Just Indians attended
that school.
Q Did they try to force Indians off or on reservation?
R It was said Indians were suppose to live on the reservation,
so they did.
Q How about Christianity, did the agents object or didn't care?
R There was some objections from some of the Indian people but
not the agents.
Q How about cattle program, was there such programs?
R No there wasn't, but they brought some old black bulls to Brighton
but they didn't do well, they got so skinny and died. So they
brought some white headed cows and same problem, their eyes got
messed up (diseased) and people just ended up killing and eating
them. If the soil and grass and winds were better it might have
been okay.
Q How about housing? Did they make homes?
R Yes, Government made some houses on Dania reservation. Row of
houses were made, a big house for superintendent. No rent was
charged for housing.


Full Text

PAGE 1

\/ WILLIE TIGER e #1 Date October 30, 1984 #2 Interviewer Jeanette Cypress #3 Informat Mr. Wi 11 i e Tiger #4 Place His home in Big Cypress #5 Language Miccosukee #6 Topic Seminole recollections 1927-1943. #7 Residence Q Where did you live or where were you during 1920 1 s? R We lived along this way and he pointed towards the west from his home. He said it was called the Big Cypress Tree area, meaning like a forest or patch of cypress trees and surrounding area was clear land. Q How about 1930's? R I was around in Indian Town. Q Working? R Yes, spreading fertilizer. Q How about l940's? What kind of work? R I was in Ochopee working trimming trees. Q Did you ever live or work in Musa Isle or Silver Springs? R No, I have never lived in those places. Q Did you ever visit people living there? R Yes. Q What kinds of things were those people doing there?

PAGE 2

Willie Tiger 2 R They seem to be there as for show, like for tourist attraction and they got paid for it. I remember a bear that was there, people use to get mad at it because it would get in to stuff, like it had flour all over him and people were laughing at it. Q How about farm work? Did people travel to where there was work? R Yes, Indian Town, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, yes we traveled and lived in these areas when work was available. Picking oranges and various other farm labor. Q How about when jobs were scarce, what did you all do then? R When there was no jobs, we hunted. Set up traps, killed raccoons and sold their hides. Q How about Dania. Did you ever work at any of the Government jobs? R Yes, I did for a short period, around 5 months doing land clearing work, pulling up Palmetto bush roots. Then taking the roots and stacking them up in piles to haul away. Q Did a lot of people from here (meaning Big Cypress) go there to work? R Yes there was. There was a lot of the Gopher family and members there. Q Did you see Capt. Spencer around that time? Superintendent? R Spencer, yes. He was kind of an old looking man. Q How about Rev. Glenn? R Yes, I saw him. A big chinned looking man. A kind of young man. Q How about Scott? R Yes he was around to. Q How about Gardin? R Yes Gardin, when Scott left. Gardin came as a replacement.

PAGE 3

Willie Tiger 3 Q In regard to all the names I've just mentioned, were they good people? Did they help the Indians? R Yes they were. Yes they felt like they were suppose to help Indians. Q So if there was no employment for someone, did they help that individual to seek one? R Yes, the agents would tell people where there was employment. So people would go and work there. Q How about if someone needed medical attention to see a doctor? R Yes, they had contracts set up with doctors, you would go up there (Dania) and get medical attention. Q How about kids and going to school? R Yes, school to attend was there in Dania, but there was one on the reservation so kids attended there. Just Indians attended that school. Q Did they try to force Indians off or on reservation? R It was said Indians were suppose to live on the reservation, so they did. Q How about Christianity, did the agents object or didn't care? R There was some objections from some of the Indian people but not the agents. Q How about cattle program, was there such programs? R No there wasn't, but they brought some old black bulls to Brighton but they didn't do well, they got so skinny and died. So they brought some white headed cows and same problem, their eyes got messed up (diseased) and people just ended up killing and eating them. If the soil and grass and winds were better it might have been okay. Q How about housing? Did they make homes? R Yes, Government made some houses on Dania reservation. Row of houses were made, a big house for superintendent. No rent was charged for housing.