Citation
Interview with Jimmy O'Toole Osceola, December 7, 1992

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Jimmy O'Toole Osceola, December 7, 1992
Creator:
Osceola, Jimmy O'Toole ( 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 203 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Interviewee: Jimmy O'Toole Osceola
Interviewer: Billy Cypress
December 7, 1992


C: This is Billy Cypress. I am now interviewing Jimmy O'Toole Osceola. I asked him
where he lived in 1957, and this part of his answer was erased. He answered,
"Hollywood." Now we should be back on track and Jimmy O'Toole will be
answering. Why did you favor or oppose tribal organization?
O: I am very much in favor of betterment of the Seminoles.
C: Why did you favor the tribal organization?
O: Still question two?
C: Yes. Why? You have to explain why you favor.
O: [In Miccosukee]
C: [In Miccosukee]
O: I thought this would take care of that list for the government.
C: Oh, for the betterment of the tribe. Why were you chosen for the constitutional
committee?
O: I was chosen for the constitutional committee because I was able to write and speak
some English.
C: How did Mr. Quinn help with organization?
O: Mr. Quinn helped committees by providing information to go by.
C: Why did the people on the Tamiami Trail refuse to join?
O: I think it was the reason of the old religions.
C: They did not want the church?
O: No.
C: Were you elected to an office in the new tribal government?
O: I have not been elected for the tribal government.
C: How did the BI [Bureau of Indian Affairs] agent influence the tribal government?
I think they are talking about Mr. Rex Quinn.
-1-


0: I have no answer for that.
C: Also, the BI agent could also be Mr. Mormon. I think that is what it is.
0: Yes.
C: You were talking about Rex Quinn and Mr. Mormon a while ago. [The] BI agent
actually was Mr. Mormon.
0: Yes.
C: How did he help?
0: I think they helped gather.
C: Where did tribal government get its money in early years?
0: By fund-raising and business.
C: How did they fund-raise?
0: Rodeo.
C: Rodeo. And what kind of business?
0: The sandwich selling in rodeo.
C: Were council members more concerned with their own reservation or the total tribe?
0: They were concerned with [the] total tribe.
C: How has the tribal government been most or least successful?
0: Most successful by business.
C: And what about least successful? You do not have that?
0: No.
C: Thank you Jimmy and let's look at the second page. Do you want to answer those?
It is an environmental survey? The second page is the environmental adaptation.
These questions relate to how the Indian people of Florida have adapted to
environmental changes on the reservations over time. Jimmy, how long have you
lived on this reservation?
-2-


O: Twenty-five years.
C: And before that you were on the Big Cypress Reservation?
O: Yes.
C: How long did you live there?
O: Since 1937.
C: So, do you think it would be better if you talk about Hollywood and how it has
changed?
O: Yes.
C: How has the reservation environment changed over the years--first talk about water
levels and quality.
O: My answer is A and C and D on that.
C: Okay. It is talking about all of them. You need to say a little bit about all of them.
What about water levels? Has it gone up or down?
O: Down.
C: And the water, is it cleaner or dirtier?
O: I cannot say because it has been reported some dirty.
C: Okay, the canals might be dirty but the City of Hollywood cleans the water.
O: Yes.
C: City water, yes. Are there more trees or are there less trees today? Forest covering.
O: Seems less trees.
C: What about all the animal life? When you came here, were there a lot more
animals?
O: Yes.
C: Like raccoons and opossum?
-3-


O: Yes, there were more animal lives here.
C: Did you ever see a panther around this area?
O: No, not in Hollywood.
C: Were there any fish around here or any turtles near here?
O: Less.
C: Not too much anymore, right?
O: No.
C: What about some plants? You look around here, you have been here twenty-five
years, were there any plants you could eat?
O: A lot less.
C: Yes. I do not know if you know any medicine, but were there any medicine plants
still left here?
O: Yes, some still left.
C: Just a few, right?
O: Yes.
C: How did you make a living over the years? I will just go through and you can say
"yes" or "no."
O: Okay.
C: Did you hunt or trap?
O: Yes.
C: Did you hunt and trap before?
O: Yes.
C: Did you have any cattle?
O: No.
-4-


C: Cut timber?
O: No.
C: Did you ever work on a farm?
O: Yes.
C: Did you work for the government or a Seminole tribe?
O: Yes.
C: Any other work you did?
O: In factories.
C: Factories?
O: Yes, city factories.
C: Did you ever live in a chikee?
O: Yes.
C: Did you learn how to build one?
O: Yes.
C: When and how did you quit living in one? If you remember, what year did you quit
living in one, and moved to a house.
O: Early part of 1970.
C: Why did you quit? Better housing?
O: Yes, better housing.
C: Did you family ever provide part of their food needs by hunting, trapping, or fishing
when you were growing up?
O: Hunting and trapping.
C: Did they raise hogs or cattle?
-5-


O: No.
C: Did they gather [inaudible] or berries?
O: Yes.
C: Did your family have crops like beans, corn, or pumpkin in a garden?
O: Yes.
C: Was that at Big Cypress?
O: Yes.
C: What about Hollywood?
O: No.
C: Any other way you provide part of your food?
O: Buying. Purchasing.
C: Oh, okay. How did you family travel about the reservation or the town? Did you
go by foot or horseback in the old days?
O: By foot.
C: No horseback?
O: No.
C: Did you ever go to town by canoe or go around?
O: Yes, by canoe.
C: What about by automobile or truck?
O: Yes, by automobile.
C: Is the family unit important today for teaching youngsters how to live off the land?
O: Yes.
C: What about passing on cultural traditions and values?
-6-


0: Yes, it is important.
C: And also, maintaining discipline among the young?
0: Yes, very important.
C: It is the family unit, right?
0: Yes.
C: What is the biggest environmental problem on your reservation: solid waste disposal,
drainage, or sanitation?. What do you think is the biggest problem? Sanitation?
Environmental?
0: Solid waste is more so, and in Big Cypress, drainage.
C: Who do you think should take care of these problems?
0: I think probably by tribe.
C: You mean the tribal government?
0: Yes, tribal government should take care of it.
C: Is the reservation a better or worse place to live today than in your youth? Why?
0: A lot better to live today than when I was young.
C: In what ways, like better housing?
0: Yes, better housing and other conditions improved.
C: I think this is it with you, Jimmy. Thank you. You can rest now.
-7-


Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Interviewee: Jimmy O'Toole Osceola Interviewer: Billy Cypress December 7, 1992

PAGE 2

C: This is Billy Cypress. I am now interviewing Jimmy O'Toole Osceola. I asked him where he lived in 1957, and this part of his answer was erased. He answered, "Hollywood." Now we should be back on track and Jimmy O'Toole will be answering. Why did you favor or oppose tribal organization? 0: I am very much in favor of betterment of the Seminoles. C: Why did you favor the tribal organization? 0: Still question two? C: Yes. Why? You have to explain why you favor. 0: [In Miccosukee] C: [In Miccosukee] 0: I thought this would take care of that list for the government. C: Oh, for the betterment of the tribe. Why were you chosen for the constitutional committee? 0: I was chosen for the constitutional committee because I was able to write and speak some English. C: How did Mr. Quinn help with organization? 0: Mr. Quinn helped committees by providing information to go by. C: Why did the people on the Tamiami Trail refuse to join? 0: I think it was the reason of the old religions. C: They did not want the church? 0: No. C: Were you elected to an office in the new tribal government? 0: I have not been elected for the tribal government. C: How did the BI [Bureau of Indian Affairs] agent influence the tribal government? I think they are talking about Mr. Rex Quinn. 1

PAGE 3

0: I have no answer for that. C: Also, the BI agent could also be Mr. Mormon. I think that is what it is. 0: Yes. C: You were talking about Rex Quinn and Mr. Mormon a while ago. [The] BI agent actually was Mr. Mormon. 0: Yes. C: How did he help? 0: I think they helped gather. C: Where did tribal government get its money in early years? 0: By fund-raising and business. C: How did they fund-raise? 0: Rodeo. C: Rodeo. And what kind of business? 0: The sandwich selling in rodeo. C: Were council members more concerned with their own reservation or the total tribe? 0: They were concerned with [the] total tribe. C: How has the tribal government been most or least successful? 0: Most successful by business. C: And what about least successful? You do not have that? 0: No. C: Thank you Jimmy and let's look at the second page. Do you want to answer those? It is an environmental survey? The second page is the environmental adaptation. These questions relate to how the Indian people of Florida have adapted to environmental changes on the reservations over time. Jimmy, how long have you lived on this reservation? 2

PAGE 4

0: Twenty-five years. C: And before that you were on the Big Cypress Reservation? 0: Yes. C: How long did you live there? 0: Since 1937. C: So, do you think it would be better if you talk about Hollywood and how it has changed? 0: Yes. C: How has the reservation environment changed over the years--first talk about water levels and quality. 0: My answer is A and C and D on that. C: Okay. It is talking about all of them. You need to say a little bit about all of them. What about water levels? Has it gone up or down? 0: Down. C: And the water, is it cleaner or dirtier? 0: I cannot say because it has been reported some dirty. C: Okay, the canals might be dirty but the City of Hollywood cleans the water. 0: Yes. C: City water, yes. Are there more trees or are there less trees today? Forest covering. 0: Seems less trees. C: What about all the animal life? When you came here, were there a lot more animals? 0: Yes. C: Like raccoons and opossum? 3

PAGE 5

0: Yes, there were more animal lives here. C: Did you ever see a panther around this area? 0: No, not in Hollywood. C: Were there any fish around here or any turtles near here? 0: Less. C: Not too much anymore, right? 0: No. C: What about some plants? You look around here, you have been here twenty-five years, were there any plants you could eat? 0: A lot less. C: Yes. I do not know if you know any medicine, but were there any medicine plants still left here? 0: Yes, some still left. C: Just a few, right? 0: Yes. C: How did you make a living over the years? I will just go through and you can say "yes" or "no." 0: Okay. C: Did you hunt or trap? 0: Yes. C: Did you hunt and trap before? 0: Yes. C: Did you have any cattle? 0: No. 4

PAGE 6

C: Cut timber? 0: No. C: Did you ever work on a farm? 0: Yes. C: Did you work for the government or a Seminole tribe? 0: Yes. C: Any other work you did? 0: In factories. C: Factories? 0: Yes, city factories. C: Did you ever live in a chikee? 0: Yes. C: Did you learn how to build one? 0: Yes. C: When and how did you quit living in one? If you remember, what year did you quit living in one, and moved to a house. 0: Early part of 1970. C: Why did you quit? Better housing? 0: Yes, better housing. C: Did you family ever provide part of their food needs by hunting, trapping, or fishing when you were growing up? 0: Hunting and trapping. C: Did they raise hogs or cattle? 5

PAGE 7

0: No. C: Did they gather [inaudible] or berries? 0: Yes. C: Did your family have crops like beans, corn, or pumpkin in a garden? 0: Yes. C: Was that at Big Cypress? 0: Yes. C: What about Hollywood? 0: No. C: Any other way you provide part of your food? 0: Buying. Purchasing. C: Oh, okay. How did you family travel about the reservation or the town? Did you go by foot or horseback in the old days? 0: By foot. C: No horseback? 0: No. C: Did you ever go to town by canoe or go around? 0: Yes, by canoe. C: What about by automobile or truck? 0: Yes, by automobile. C: Is the family unit important today for teaching youngsters how to live off the land? 0: Yes. C: What about passing on cultural traditions and values? 6

PAGE 8

0: Yes, it is important. C: And also, maintaining discipline among the young? 0: Yes, very important. C: It is the family unit, right? 0: Yes. C: What is the biggest environmental problem on your reservation: solid waste disposal, drainage, or sanitation?. What do you think is the biggest problem? Sanitation? Environmental? 0: Solid waste is more so, and in Big Cypress, drainage. C: Who do you think should take care of these problems? 0: I think probably by tribe. C: You mean the tribal government? 0: Yes, tribal government should take care of it. C: Is the reservation a better or worse place to live today than in your youth? Why? 0: A lot better to live today than when I was young. C: In what ways, like better housing? 0: Yes, better housing and other conditions improved. C: I think this is it with you, Jimmy. Thank you. You can rest now. 7