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Tampa Bay history.
n Vol. 13, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 1991).
p (Download Complete Issue Adobe PDF version)
Tampa, Fla. :
b Dept. of History, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of South Florida.
c Spring/Summer 1991
Tampa Bay Region (Fla.)
Tampa Region (Fla.)
University of South Florida.
Dept. of History.
t Tampa Bay History.
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SPRING/SUMMER 1991 VOLUME 13, NUMBER 1 CONTENTS Acknowledgments 3 From the Editors 4 ARTICLES The Tampa Children's Home During the Depression Years ..............................................................................by Janet M. Hall 5 Desegregation of Public Schools in Pinellas County, Florida ....................................................................by James A. Schnur 26 West Tampa and the Cigar Industry: A Photographic Essay .................................................................by Arsenio M. Sanchez 44 ORAL HISTORY Training at Tampa's Drew Field During World War II: An Oral Memoir ...................................................................................by Dana Montero 63 NOTES AND DOCUMENTS A Civil War Incident on Tampa Bay: Two Contemporary Views ...............................................................by Robert A. Taylor 77 BOOK REVIEWS Keuchel, Florida: Enterprise Under the Sun, and Shoffner, Florida Portrait: A Pictorial History of Florida ..........................................by L. Glenn Westfall 80 Fabel, ed., Shipwreck and Adventures of Monsieur Pierre Viaud ..................................................................by Charles W. Arnade 82 Avellaneda, Los Sobreviventes de la Florida: The Survivors of the de Soto Expedition .......................................by Charles W. Arnade 84 Horgan, Pioneer College: The Centennial History of St. Leo College, St. Leo Abbey, and Holy Name Priory ..............................................by William G. Dayton 84 Trotter, Florida Lighthouses ................................................................by John W. Stafford 86 Graham, Charles H. Jones, Journalist and
Politician of the Gilded Age .....................................................................by Randy Bobbitt 87 Evans and Lee, Pearl City, Florida: A Black Community Remembers .......................................................by David A. Bealmear 90 Announcements 92 Notes on Contributors 93 Tampa Bay History Essay Contest 94 Copyright 1991 by the University of South Florida Typography and composition by RAM Printing by RALARD PRINTING, Dade City Florida.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The editors extend their appreciaton to the following people who have made special contributions to TAMPA BAY HISTORY PATRONS SUSTAINERS Mrs. B. W. Council Mary Wyatt Allen Mr. & Mrs. Ira Gouterman James Apthorp Mark T. Orr J. S. Baillie Bill Wagner Joe Byars Russell Hughes Marvin L. Ivey Bruce M. Klay Dr. Joseph H. McNinch R. J. Taylor Thomas Touchton Yarbrough & Tench, CPXs FRIENDS Joseph Aprile Robin Krivanek Norma Lopez Bean Dr. Robert F. Landstra James W. Belcher Robin Lewis Joan Berry Betty Harrison Liles Guy E. Burnette W. S. McKeithen William Casey Dr. Mahon Myers U.S. Cleveland Mrs. Lester Olson Selma Cohen Lois Paradise Dr. Richard Cole Harley E. Riedel, II Lawrence C. Cottrell R. James Robbins H. L. Crowder Fred T. Rodgers Dr. Martin Denker Roland Rodriguez C. Fred Deuel William E. Rumph John C. Egan Jane Ryan Charles W. Emerson Arsenio Sanchez John M. Fitzgibbons Sandra Serrrano Nancy T. Ford Sheldon J. Shalett Howard L. Garrett R. E. Shoemaker Joseph Garrison Arthur W. Singleton Sam Gibbons Hugh Stribling Dr. John M. Hamilton Maynard F. Swanson William N. Hayes Charlton W. Tebeau James V. Hodnett, Jr. Curtis L. Vanlandingham, Jr. George Howell Mary J. Van der Ancher Eric Jarvis Mr. & Mrs. Ted E. Wade George N. Johnson, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. David E. Ward
John Arthur Jones
FROM THE EDITORS War and reform have dominated American life for much of the twentieth century. Although the focus for decision-making about war and reform was increasingly on public officials in Washington, D.C., local communities and private individuals continued to play a role in dramatic national and international events. This issue of Tampa Bay History examines local involvement in Progressive reform, school desegregation, and World War II. "The Tampa Children's Home During the Depression Years" by Janet M. Hall looks at the evolution of an important local institution that provided private assistance to needy youngsters at a time when public welfare was almost unknown. James A. Schnur's article, "Desegregation of Public Schools in Pinellas County, Florida," won the 1990 Tampa Bay History Essay Contest. His study clearly demonstrates the importance of local individuals in the successful fight to implement the federal promise of integrated, equal education. The photographic essay by Arsenio M. Sanchez, entitled "West Tampa and the Cigar Industry," traces the history of the once separate city from its origins in the 1890s to its incorporation into Tampa in 1925. The oral history by Dena Montero recounts the experiences of her grandfather, Bailey Lee, who describes his memories of "Training at Tampa's Drew Field During World War II." Finally, two documents present conflicting views of "A Civil War Incident on Tampa Bay." As historian Robert A. Taylor points out, the two reports by Confederate and Union sources leave one wondering what in fact happened in the deadly encounter between Confederate and Unions forces near Tampa on March 27, 1863. As Tampa Bay History begins its thirteenth year of publication, the editors read with some concern reports about the demise of a number of small magazines due to falling subscriptions. Reflecting this turn of events, one long-time subscriber to Tampa Bay History recently wrote: "Due to financial reasons I can no longer subscribe to your publication. I will however continue to read your excellent Tampa Bay History at the public library." Unfortunately libraries are also faced with reduced funds to purchase books and subscriptions. Publication of Tampa Bay History is financed entirely by revenues from subscribers. The "Acknowledgements" on page 3 of this issue list those subscribers who have generously contributed additional financial support. You can help by promptly renewing your subscription when it comes due and by considering additional support as a patron, sustainer or friend. You can also encourage others to subscribe by clipping or photocopying the subscription form at the back of this issue and giving it to a friend interested in local history. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this issue.
THE TAMPA CHILDRENS HOME DURING THE DEPRESSION YEARS by Janet M. Hall In May 1893 a reporter for the Tampa Morning Tribune appealed for contributions for the ten small children housed in the Conoley cottage on Madison Street. He explained that Miss Carrie Hammerly is, and has been for a year, conducting an orphanage, supported alone by her personal efforts and the charity of a few.1 Miss Hammerly had originally traveled to Tampa from Baltimore at the request of her ailing cousin, Mrs. William Conoley, and had stayed at the urging of the First Methodist Churchs Woman's Missionary Society. These women realized that the growing orphan population needed care, and in 1892 Miss Hammerly became the first matron and president of the Childrens Home.2 Actually, the circumstances surrounding the founding of the orphanage in Tampa reflected the increased interest in child-saving across the country. By the 1890s progressive reformers united behind a wide range of youth-oriented issues, including the reform of the juvenile justice system, the playground and compulsory education movements, and the campaign against child labor. At the beginning of the decade only 698 institutions cared exclusively for dependent and neglected children in the U.S. By 1900, 1,075 establishments for youngsters existed.3 Indeed, according to historian Michael Katz, reformers at the turn of the century would have been more likely to refer to their causes as child-saving instead of Progressivism.4 Several factors influenced this spreading concern for the nations youth. Between 1890 and 1920 the United States experienced a period of rapid industrialization and urbanization. In addition, a massive influx of new immigrants, especially from southern and eastern Europe, transformed many of the countrys burgeoning cities. The birth rate among the more educated, native-born, white population fell while the divorce rate rose. Anxiety about the preservation of the family, and what many considered the American way of life, resulted. In light of these changes, many historians now view Progressivism as a conservative movement where predominately upperand middle-class white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants attempted to maintain the established social order. In other words, rather than altruism and benevolence, the real motivation behind the reform movement became control of the disadvantaged.5 Children were crucial to this objective. Historian Susan Tiffin points out, In the Progressives search for order, much of their hope was rooted in a belief in the malleability of the human character. The years of childhood were considered the most important.6 Therefore, the successful socialization and Americanization of poor and immigrant families depended upon the correct education and environment for their children. In the case of dependent and neglected youth, the selection of the right surroundings became decisive. While some state governments had assumed responsibility for these youngsters, private agencies managed the great majority of institutions.7 Again, the circumstances surrounding the founding of Tampas Childrens Home reflected the events of the time as many of these orphanages evolved out of volunteer womens organizations. During the late nineteenth century the nature of housework changed as upperand middle-class women took advantage of such labor-saving devices as canned goods and washing machines. In addition, smaller families and
compulsory education gave wives more freedom to pursue interests outside of the home. Since mother love and understanding appeared vital to the child-saving movement, this seemed a natural, and safe, outlet for growing leisure time. As a result, women organized and staffed the boards of directors of many childrens institutions.8 Carrie Hammerly, first president of Tampa Childrens Home, pictured on the left (c. 1892). Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Tampas Childrens Home incorporated during a decade of massive upheavals similar to those being felt by other American communities. From a quiet village of 800 in 1885, Tampa exploded into a city of 15,000 by 1900, roughly 30% of whom were foreign-born and another 25% Afro-American, historian Nancy A. Hewitt writes. This population boom coincided with dramatic expansions in industrial activity, city boundaries, and demands for social services.9 State welfare offered little relief. Although Floridas poor law dated back to 1828, subsidies remained virtually nonexistent. Under that adjudges could indenture orphans or any other child whose fathers name appeared on a county pauper list. Although in 1889 the legislature created a State Board of Health which had a separate bureau for maternal and child care, its main purpose consisted of combating the yellow fever epidemic.10 Into this void stepped the white, nativeborn, upper-class women of the city. Prior to 1890 a local branch of the Womens Christian Temperence Union organized. In 1888 the Ladies Improvement Society formed and focused on the beautification of the Court House Square.11 The Childrens Home soon followed. The amount of influence that womens organizations generated often reflected the stature of the husbands and fathers of its associates. In important clubs, historian Nancy Woloch writes, members were the wives and daughters of wealthy men in prominent positions... [I]t was a counterpart of the male power structure.12 Historically, the Childrens Home Board of Directors has illustrated the prestige of this assemblage. From its inception, the Board drew its membership from the upper-class segment of society. In addition, many of these affluent families intermarried creating a network of relatives who held important offices in a variety of Tampas women's organizations. This elite coalition sought to establish some sort of moral and social control over the chaos around them.13 In September 1898 the Charter and By-Laws of the Childrens Home were approved and incorporated in Hillsborough County Circuit Court. Article 1, Section 1 of the By-Laws demonstrated the religious orientation of the group by requiring that all meetings begin with devotional exercises. Yet Section 4 encouraged interdominational participation and empowered the Board to appoint a committee of individuals from each of the various religions found in the county. Furthermore, another article provided that candidates for admission to the Home would be reviewed without regard to the religious beliefs of their parents. However, such tolerance did not extend to different races, and the charter clearly limited membership to any white person and restricted admission to destitute white children.14 During these early years two members of the Board of Directors became prominent. The influence that these two women exerted over the shape and direction of the Childrens Home cannot be overestimated. Their Progressivism fashioned the nature of the institution for much of its first fifty years. Ida F. Macfarlane helped establish the Home. She served on the original committee and acted as secretary at the incorporation in 1898. Her husband, Hugh C. Macfarlane, came to the United States from Scotland in 1865 and to Tampa in 1883. As the founder of West Tampa, he contributed land and buildings to cigar manufacturers as incentives for them to move their factories to the area.15 Mrs. Macfarlane served as president of the Home from 1906 to 1911, but her influence extended far beyond that time. She continued to be a vital member of the organization well into the 1930s.
Bena Maas joined the Board of Directors in 1905. After emigrating from Germany in 1875, her husband, Abe Maas, had moved to Tampa in 1886, when he opened a small dry goods store. Two years later he and his brother Isaac formed Maas Brothers, and by 1929 their business had Ida F. Macfarlane. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
become the largest department store south of Jacksonville.16 Mrs. Maas assumed the presidency of the Childrens Home in 1912 and served in that capacity for twenty-five years. After her retirement as chief executive in 1937, she remained on the Board until her death ten years later. Bena Maas. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
By the eve of the depression of the 1930s these two women had helped the Childrens Home face many national and local emergencies. The First World War created an economic bonanza for Tampas port and shipbuilding industries, but it caused adversity for those who lost husbands and fathers in the fighting. In 1920 the cigar industry experienced a ten-month strike which closed factories and contributed to the hardship of many workers and their families.17 That same year the Childrens Home burned beyond repair. After thirty months in a West Tampa building provided by businessman August Mugge, the youngsters moved into a new home on Florida Avenue constructed on land donated by Hugh Macfarlane and his partner, Dr. E.S. Crill.18 By the end of 1925 the Florida real estate boom collapsed. Coupled with the violent hurricane of 1926 and the infestation of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Floridas economic fortunes sank.19 The women of the Childrens Home felt prepared to face further adversity. In 1922 extensive amendments to the charter and by-laws sought to modernize the organization. The structure of the Board of Directors was altered, and the number of members increased from eleven to twenty-five. Ten males served as trustees and only attended annual meetings and rare emergency call meetings where their presence might be beneficial. Fifteen females comprised the Board of Managers and oversaw all aspects of the Home. These women met every Tuesday and divided their duties into seven different committees: Admission and Release, House, Education, Religious Education, Publicity, Ways and Means, and Auditing. Committees for Investigation, Hospital and Nursery, and Groceries and Food developed as well.20 Yet amendments to update the organization constituted only superficial changes. The Board of Managers in 1926 faced the economic downturn with the same early Progressive philosophy that had dominated since the Homes founding. Over ten years would pass before true modernization began. The leaders of the Childrens Home missed their first opportunity for change in 1920 when they failed to consider the cottage plan for their new home. Almost as soon as they rose, single-building institutions became the least desirable method of care for dependent and neglected youth. In 1909, at the White House Conference on Children, Progressive reformers declared that if youngsters could not remain with their parents or relatives, foster homes surpassed asylums. However, if confinement became necessary, establishments should resemble families. The cottage plan, a system of small houses each containing a limited number of children and surrounding a main administration building, offered the best alternative. Although only fifteen percent of all orphanages in 1909 claimed to be of this design, most had not recently had the opportunity to rebuild.21 Yet, as late as 1922, Tampas Childrens Home constructed an ediface based upon the earliest conception of youth institutions.22 One large structure contained separate boys and girls dormitories as well as a nursery, hospital, kitchen, dining room, offices, school, and laundry. A child could conceivably sleep, eat, work, play, and learn without leaving the building. Of course, this arrangement provided for greater control and easier supervision which remained of the utmost importance within the Boards Progressive philosophy. In 1909 social reformer Amos G. Warner wrote, The object of institution life for children should be precisely the same as that of the home and school to prepare them for citizenship.23 The charter of the Childrens Home affirmed that the purpose of the corporation consisted of training, educating, and providing for destitute orphans and half-orphans.24 Naturally, the moral and behavioral standards of the benefactors constituted the correct path to success. The 1926-
1927 annual report of the superintendent, Mrs. Lyda McLean, illustrated the perceived function of the Home, especially with regard to the boys: 90% of the children we receive are retarded mentally and physically from lack of training and proper food.... Boys ranging in age from a few days to thirteen years are brought to us to make men of. The children are descendants of all classes and nationalities. Nevertheless, each boy is trained in such a manner that he will become the best citizen possible.... The body of the boy is developed by means of supervised play.... The boys mind as well as his body receives training. His religious life receives special attention.... By the time a boy has spent several months under this supervision he has acquired those qualities which build up clean manhood. He is not only obedient, but thoughtful, dependable, studious, considerate and is prepared to play the game of life.25 Therefore, the work of the Home began as soon as the child gained admission. During the Depression years, youngsters came primarily from juvenile court, where judges often heard and The original Childrens Home, shown here in 1914, was located at 3302 Florida Avenue. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.
adjudicated cases concerning dependent and neglected youth. Although poverty alone no longer necessitated the removal of a child from its home, children could be committed if orphaned, or if parents were found immoral, criminal, insane, or mentally deficient.26 Other private and public agencies, including church organizations, Family Service, and the Salvation Army Hospital, also referred youngsters. In addition, destitute parents and relatives surrendered children, either temporarily or permanently, simply because they could not provide for them.27 The Board of Managers of the Childrens Home exerted little control over the entrance of the children committed by the court. However, the candidates referred by other agencies, or by their parents and relatives, received close scrutiny. Occasionally the women required references from school principals, ministers, or neighbors. Sometimes the Investigation Committee visited the residence before a final determination transpired. Most often the decision came during a Board meeting. The minutes of April 5, 1927, provide two typical examples. First, a Plant City woman came before the group requesting admittance of her four children. One son and one daughter had been fathered by her first husband, the others by her second spouse who had disappeared. The minutes reflected that this was not thought a worthy case as Husband living. Next, a man The Childrens Home on Florida Avenue, pictured in 1924, soon after it opened. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Sysytem.
appeared before the ladies wanting to, relinquish his two youngsters. His wife had recently been committed to an asylum. A member of the Board phoned his employer and was told a very worthy man. The women voted to admit the children.28 While the juvenile court provided the Home with its largest number of charges, youths returned from foster homes supplied the second most sizeable group. This reflected a nationwide problem. Although by 1919 reformers advocated child-placement only by professional social workers, agencies such as the Childrens Home continued to investigate inadequately prospective foster and adoptive parents. The ideal system called for a trained agent who examined both the family and the child for their specific needs. However, the actual method generally mirrored the technique used by the Tampa women: As many as three (but usually just one) well-meaning, upper-class ladies visited a home once for a short period of time and made a very unscientific decision concerning the suitability of the applicants. The childs needs were seldom considered at all. As a result, many careless placements occurred and often concluded with the return of the youth to the institution.29 Even by 1930 many public and private agencies lacked the monetary resources necessary to successfully place, and then supervise, the children under their care.30 The Board of Managers minutes describe the recommitment of many youngsters. Occasionally the women realized they had made a mistake and asked for the childs return. In March 1936, for example, they reconsidered the placement of a boy due to [d]rinking and bad language spoken in the presence of the child.31 Sometimes they asked for a youngsters readmission when they found out that the couple could not afford it.32 In addition, foster parents brought children back simply because they had changed their minds. For some, the responsibility became too much. Others decided they did not like the child they had and requested, and received, another. In one case of a set of twin girls, the prospective parents wrote and asked to keep one but return the sister. The Board then insisted that both girls be readmitted.33 Despite the frequency of recommitments, permanent adoptions represented the final goal of the great majority of placements made by the Home during the Depression years. Although the number of these dispositions steadily declined, the Board of Managers reviewed requests at each of their weekly meetings. These letters often specified the age range and sex of the child desired and occasionally even mentioned the name of a certain youngster. The women required that three recommendations accompany the applications. Usually these came from ministers, bank officers, and neighbors.34 After review of the requests and references at a meeting, a member of the Investigation Committee visited the prospective home and reported back to the group. As mentioned earlier, most Progressive reformers believed that their moral and religious philosophies transcended those of other classes and cultures. Therefore, the disposition of benefits often depended upon the recipients adherence to these behavioral standards.35 The commentary recorded in the Board meeting minutes regarding many of the investigation visits clearly reflects this Progressive attitude. In June 1936 one examiner reported that a woman who had requested a girl was kind and very intelligent but the house was unattractive and she was afraid a girl would be unhappy there.36 The Board automatically rejected the applications of couples if the wife worked outside of the home, and one family was refused because the husband had a WPA job. Other
disapprova ls occurred because a prospective mother or father appeared lazy, irresponsible, subnormal, not living the right kind of life, or of a very low type.37 Occasionally families requested children without any intention of adopting. The reasoning behind these proposals varied during the Depression. Before 1933 children often left temporarily to help out on farms or with housework. From 1933 to 1937 these placements ceased. However, by the end of the decade the Board again approved the removal of a child without the thought of a permanent commitment. In these circumstances, the women most often suggested that requesting adults come to the Home and select a suitable child.38 One of the most distressing aspects of the early Progressive philosophy regarding child-placing and adoption concerned the frequency of sibling separations.39 Indeed, in 1919 reformer Hastings H. Hart wrote, There are many agencies, institutions, and individuals who dispose of children body and soul, with little more thought or conscience than they would give to the disposal of surplus kittens or puppies.40 Certainly, the procedures followed by the women of the Childrens Home did not reflect this degree of callousness. By reading the minutes of their meetings, one can determine that they truly believed they acted in the best interests of the youngsters. However, placing siblings in different homes remained a common practice throughout the Depression. The case of the twin girls cited earlier constituted the only recorded time the Board insisted that brothers or sisters stay together. Occasionally one child would be placed with the hope that a sibling might join the family later if the first adoption proved successful. During several meetings letters were read from former inmates searching for brothers and/or sisters. Since children's names (both first and last) often changed after placement, the Home provided the only hope these individuals had of reunification. The women usually cooperated by sending the requested information, although the minutes never reflected the success or failure of the searchers efforts.41 A three-month trial period followed a childs placement in a prospective home. Follow-up investigations occurred, but much less frequently than visits prior to placement. The Board required that at the end of the probation, the adoption procedure commence or the child return to the institution. The number of children readmitted has already been discussed. In addition, the trial period often stretched far beyond the three months stipulated. Record keeping remained a problem. In 1927 Superintendent Mrs. McLean reported that many children had been taken without proper adoption papers and warned the Home would be extremely criticized if [this was] not attended to.42 In 1930, a family moved to Texas with a provisional child and could not be found. Others just delayed the process for reasons not specified by the Board. However, one of the main impediments to permanent adoption became the economic situation. Many people just could not afford the twelve dollar fee charged for filing the proper papers. In 1932 Mrs. William Taliaferro, wife of an attorney and a member of the Board, offered her husbands services free of charge to facilitate some of the delays in final processing.43 In addition, on at least one occasion, the women advanced the couple the necessary amount.44 Although permanent adoption represented the ideal objective for the children who left the Home to live with foster families, the youngsters who remained in the institution needed the training and education necessary to become good citizens and achieve success in the outside world. As reported previously, this represented the original purpose of the corporation in its 1898
charter, and the Board of Managers took these obligations very seriously. Again, early Progressive philosophy dominated, even during the Depression. One scholar writes that an asylum at the turn of the century was seen as shelter, sanctuary, and training school for the child. Moralism dictated the routine and the orientation put a premium on order, obedience, and character development through work.45 Mrs. McLeans description of the conditioning of the boys in her care in 1926-1927 serves as an example of the perceived success of close supervision and instruction. Throughout the 1930s the Home believed that routine and labor built character. Structure ruled each day, and bells dictated when the children should get up, go to school, eat, and study. The girls helped in the kitchen, dining room, laundry, and nursery. In addition, they sewed the great majority of the clothes worn by all of the youngsters. The 1933 annual report related that 780 house linens (including chair upholstery, sheets, spreads, and towels) and 921 articles of clothing had been made or mended by the girls. Boys swept and scrubbed floors, cleaned the halls, carried fuel, and cut the lawn.46 These duties reflected typical chores given to children in other establishments, and Tiffin states, The actual value of this type of training to the children involved is questionable. .More often than not this smattering of domestic skills was of far less use to the child than to the institution that child helped to maintain.47 Indeed, the 1933 annual report listed the efforts of the youngsters as instrumental in keeping down the cost of running the Home.48 Formal education also remained essential to the training of good citizens, and before 1932 the Home provided its own school for the younger children. In 1927 the curriculum included religion, sewing, cooking (Culinary Arts), general housekeeping (Domestic Science), and cleanliness, along with reading and arithmetic.49 Two teachers, who also lived in the Home, oversaw these primary groups. Usually the children separated with one instructor supervising the kindergarten through third grade while the other handled the fourth through sixth level. The older children traveled to Thomas Jefferson Junior High and Hillsborough High School. Occasionally scholarships made it possible for youngsters to attend private academic or vocational schools as well. However, by 1931 the sixth grade students started attending B.C. Graham Elementary School, and in 1932 the treasurer, Mr. Paul Van Pelt, advised closing the Homes educational facilities. Although the minutes of the Board of Managers meeting did not specify a reason for his suggestion, financial considerations may have dominated. The expenditures for school supplies alone were $232.90 in 1930 and only $46.25 in 1935.50
Another high priority of the Board of Managers concerned the health of the children. As early as 1895 the women decided that no child afflicted with incurable disease shall hereafter be received into the home.51 Actually any illness could necessitate the refusal of admission. Doctors, who donated their services, examined the youngsters prior to their entrance. These physicals included vision and hearing exams and laboratory tests for hookworm, tuberculosis, and venereal diseases. The physicians also inoculated each youth against typhoid, diphtheria, small pox, and tetanus. After the examination, children remained in the Homes observation ward for fifteen days before entering the dormitories. Infants and toddlers stayed in the nursery until they reached four years of age.52 The institution's infirmary handled routine sicknesses, but any child who became dangerously ill or required an operation left for care in the citys hospital. Annual reports indicate many cases of tonsillitis, chicken pox, measles, mumps, and flu and the administration of large amounts of cod-liver oil. More than a dozen doctors and over fifteen different dentists attended to the children each year.53 The mental health of the youngsters also received close scrutiny. According to historian Susan Tiffin, childrens agencies had an obsession with mental defect. In the early twentieth century, A 1927 newspaper photo which noted in the caption that these youngsters at the Childrens Home... are ready for adoption. Photograph from The Tampa Morning Tribune November 2, 1927.
she observes, there was a fairly wide-spread fear that the feeble-minded constituted a large proportion of all groups of dependents and delinquents and they would, if unchecked, flood America with their idiotic offspring.54 The Board of Managers continued, well into the 1930s, to have the children examined for any feeble-minded tendencies. Although some charges determined to have low mentality remained in the Home, others were returned to the jurisdiction of the court or removed for testing at the Florida Farm Colony in Gainesville.55 Despite the importance of routine, hard work, education, and physical and mental health within the Progressive institutions program of character building, discipline reigned supreme.56 Normally the youngsters behavior in the Childrens Home came under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent and of the Boys Supervisor. However, throughout the Depression, various degrees of misconduct continually demanded the attention of the Board of Managers. The problem of runaways persisted, and although the women recorded childrens absences and returns, they omitted any reference to the penalty for this particular offense.57 Unruly female inmates usually lost some important privilege, such as going to the movies or to a dancing lesson.58 However, misbehavior by males often resulted in more serious consequences. In 1932 the Board felt that it would not be wise for the Boys Supervisor to whip his charges, but by 1938 Board members had lost their patience and asked the juvenile courts opinion regarding this form of punishment. The judge advised that since the Home served in the capacity of parents, whipping would be allowed if not overly brutal.59 In addition, the women decided on several occasions, usually in response to theft, to have a number of male offenders returned to the court and sent to the juvenile reformatory at Marianna.60 Although this action may have been justified, Tiffin points out that this practice occurred commonly across the nation. As a result, the stigma of delinquency may have been unjustly conferred on any number of children who failed to conform to the institutions' rather rigid regimes.61 Of course, the care, training, and discipline of these dependent and neglected children could not proceed without funding. In January 1924 the Childrens Home joined with four other local agencies to form Tampas Community Chest.62 The idea for a group appeal to raise money originated in Denver in 1888, but the movement really expanded during the First World War. In 1918 Secretary of War Newton D. Baker persuaded seven national organizations to band together in the United War Activities Fund. Following the end of hostilities, these groups dissolved, but local social welfare services continued to develop the concept. Fund-raisers admired the efficiency of having one annual drive instead of smaller, more numerous appeals. However, the participating agencies lost some control over their operations by having to submit budgets to the central organization for its approval.63 Therefore, while the Tampa Community Chest relieved the Children's Home of the burden of financing their corporation, the Board of Managers relied upon the success of the annual campaign. In addition, the fund had to ratify proposed expenditures. Problems developed early for the Tampa fund-raisers. In 1926 the Chest did not meet its goal, and the budgets of the member organizations had to be slashed. In June 1927, the Homes Board held an emergency call meeting to discuss the shortage of funds. The women decided to reduce the salaries of the nurse and the two teachers and to do away with the services of the head of the dining room and one laundress.64 But the 1927 campaign proved even less successful. The Chest at that time had twenty-one participating agencies, and the leaders of the drive assured the
citizens that the economic situation really was not that bad. President J.A. Griffin told a reporter, Tampas financial condition is better than Tampa people realize.65 Chairman Peter O. Knight agreed that we have no unusual conditions in Tampa today.... There is no more poverty in Tampa than there is in New York City, the greatest city in the world. In addition, he warned, We cant allow the news to go out that Tampa cant care for those who are in need.66 Despite the optimistic view of its directors, the Community Chest continued to fall short of its goals. Throughout 1929 the Board of the Childrens Home discussed requests from the central agency to limit expenditures, but Board members finally decided they simply cant do on less.67 In April 1930 the situation reached a climax, and another emergency call meeting brought eighteen of the twenty-five directors together. Treasurer Paul Van Pelt reported that the Home had $1,500 in a savings account but when that ran out, he didnt know what would happen.68 Mayor D.B. McKay, sounding like a true politician, said he was not prepared to say anything at this time but would have something to say later; however, he said [the Childrens Home] will be the last to be abandoned, if he has anything to do with it.69 This assurance proved insufficient. The group decided it could gather more support on its own and voted to withdraw from the Chest at the end of the year.70 However, the controversy continued. While the Childrens Home developed fund-raising plans with the Elks Club, other charity organizations begged the Board to reconsider. Yet the women stood firm. When asked by Community Chest representatives if the Home thought it would get more money if it withdrew, Mrs. Maas answered firmly that she thought we would get what we needed.71 Mrs. Macfarlane expressed the discontent of many participating agencies with the budgeting practices of these groups by stating, we were told long ago that if we did not come into the chest, there would be no chest, then when we did go in, we were given just what the chest decided to give us.72 The fact that other agencies followed the Childrens Home and resigned from the fund illustrates the power and prestige of the individuals who comprised its Board. In the fall of 1930, the directors of the Chest voted to disband. However, efforts to organize a new united appeal quickly materialized, and formational meetings occurred during November and December. The conflict centered around distinguishing between charity organizations, such as the Childrens Home, Old Peoples Home, and Milk Fund, and character-building organizations which included the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and YMCA. Abe Maas led the first group and stated emphatically that the Home would not join the new agency without a guarantee that it would receive its entire budget. The maintenance of charity organizations represented a duty; financing character-building groups constituted a luxury. Obviously, the leaders of the opposition feared their possible loss of funds. On December 19 the adversaries compromised by approving a dual pledge-card system. Contributors could designate which type of organization they wished to support, and any monies not specified would be distributed at the discretion of the Chest.73 However, the resolution of the funding controversy did not mean the end of the financial crisis. At the annual meeting of the Childrens Home in January 1931, Treasurer Van Pelt announced that the Board owed $315.84.74 Normally the city and county gave money to the Home monthly, but during the Depression these contributions became sporadic. Again, the state offered little relief Although Florida had created the State Board of Public Welfare in 1927, its main
responsibilities consisted of protective and supervisory functions.75 Therefore, cutting-costs provided the only alternative for the Home. Throughout the period the regular Board gatherings often ended, After careful looking over all bills, meeting adjourned.76 As the economy worsened, January 1932 brought another reported deficit and the lowering of all employee salaries. A letter from the Community Chest related that $14,345 had been appropriated for the Home for the year. Expenditures in 1930 had been $22,664.75, and the Board could not rely upon city and county help.77 In March, the women slashed wages still further so that some of the staff earned fifty percent or less of what they had received in January. Each meeting brought a thorough review of the weeks grocery list, and the cost of feeding each child decreased from thirty-one to thirteen cents a day.78 Throughout 1933 and 1934 the Board minutes continued to reflect a series of deficits, staff dismissals, and salary reductions, all due to our financial condition.79 Finally, the annual report of January 1936 disclosed a bank balance of $696.58.80 The economic down slide started to reverse. By May the minutes of the regular meeting recorded a gratifying report from Mr. Van Pelt. After paying all bills, he [is] still able to deposit $300 to our credit.81 For the next several years the women continued to carefully scrutinize all expenditures, but the tone of desperation and despair which had characterized the Board meetings prior to 1936, slowly began to disappear. Employee salaries adjusted upward at a conservative but steady pace, and by 1939 the annual report showed a balance of $2,167.22.82 The passing of the sense of crisis that the women of the Childrens Home experienced also reflected a nationwide shift of mood. Historian Susan Ware suggests that by the end of the decade the bold, innovative directions of the New Deal gave the impression that conditions were improving.83 The Social Security Act of 1935 forced many states to professionalize and expand their welfare systems. In 1937 Florida created the Department of Social Welfare and enacted its own social security program. Although the state ranked among the lowest in the nation in expenditures for aid to dependent children, the legislature did pass a law requiring minimum standards for child-caring institutions. A new era of government regulation evolved.84 The year 1937 proved to be pivotal for the Childrens Home in other ways as well. In January Mrs. Maas declined to serve again as president, and Mrs. Edwin D. Lambright, wife of the editor of the Tampa Morning Tribune ascended to that position. In addition, Mrs. Macfarlane no longer served as an official member of the Board, although she remained as an associate on the Hospital Committee. The previous year, Betty Yarborough, the nurse who had resided in the Home for twenty-seven years, had retired. In February 1937 a representative of Floridas Department of Child Welfare visited and reviewed the new state laws. The Board realized that several differ from present practices.85 Early Progressive era techniques no longer sufficed, and the Homes record-keeping, child-placing, and investigative procedures all required revisions. Furthermore, discipline problems continued to plague the institution. Finally, the September 7 minutes recorded, It was unanimously agreed, by the Board, that there must be a change made in the Home.86 At the next weekly meeting Mrs. McLeans resignation received the approval of all present. She had served as superintendent since 1922, and her departure signified the passing of an era.
However, removing a perceived problem proved easier than finding an adequate replacement. The following fifteen months represented a period of transition for the Childrens Home. From October 1 to December 1, Mrs. Juanita Goodall served as superintendent. In December Mr. and Mrs. William C. Brown moved into the institution. A truly turbulent year followed. Much of the trouble centered around Mr. Brown who had to be questioned concerning the unfortunate incident with one of the girls in the dining room, and about the rumored use of a black jack on the boys whose feeling for Mr. Brown. .is rather bad.87 Mrs. Brown and the new nurse also came under fire when they neglected to place a recently admitted child in the observation ward prior to entering the dormitories. The youth developed whooping cough which quickly spread to seven other youngsters. This outbreak resulted in the temporary closing of the nursery, the pediatrician threatening to refuse to serve the Home, and the demotion of the nurse.88 Throughout this transition period, the women searched for a professionally trained manager. They contacted employment agencies in New York and Chicago and enlisted the help of the State Welfare Board. This represented a remarkable change in philosophy. Less than ten years earlier they had offered the job of dietitian to a woman whose only qualification consisted of having three children and eight grandchildren and, therefore, presumably knowing a lot about food.89 By 1938, these standards no longer applied. Finally Irene Zewadski, the Director of the Department of Child Welfare of the State Welfare Board, recommended a thirty-nine-year-old Brooksville woman, Marion McCool. In January 1939 Miss McCool moved into the Home. The situation prior to 1939 can best be detected by reading Miss McCools annual report: At the beginning of the year bodily assaults of one upon the other were everyday occurrences in both the boys and the girls dormitories. Temper outbursts toward one another and toward the staff, accompanied by strong words and epithets were very common. Run-a-ways were fairly prevalent, especially among the boys. The children were destructive. Thieving was common. The problems were many and decidedly alarming.90 These difficulties, although usual in institutions, were far more common here than necessary.91 Yet she did not blame the children. All of these anti-social characteristics are results and not causes, she wrote. It is up to us to learn the causes, change the pressures and then study the results.92 Miss McCool quickly developed programs to rectify the situation. A merit system, where children earned points toward the acquisition of their own money, clothing, and other possessions, helped reduce theft. The new administration encouraged the youngsters schoolmates to visit them in the Home and a more normal association with those of the opposite sex evolved.93 The Home even held an occasional Friday night dance for the older youth and their friends. The superintendent worked to improve the quality and quantity of the childrens clothing, and as a result they had more self-confidence [and] greater pride in their appearance.94 Miss McCool also focused on the staff. She hired another male to better balance the administration since the boys and girls need father substitutes as well as substitute mothers.95 Individual conferences with employees sought to develop a greater understanding of each child and of youngsters as a whole. A psychiatrist joined the medical staff and helped with
some of the problem children. Not even the Board of Managers escaped change, and a Case Committee formed to study the charges who needed special attention or treatment. In the past, the Superintendent attended the weekly meetings only when invited, and then primarily for the resolution of a specific issue. Miss McCool sat in at each gathering and contributed to the overall direction of the corporation.96 With the behavioral crisis in the Home under control, the administration turned its attention in 1940 to the modernization and professionalization of the Homes procedures. A new filing system, instituted in 1939, continued, and the application, recommendation, and reference forms for adoptions were standardized and altered to include more pertinent information. Miss McCool made the visits of investigation and her 1940 Annual Report pointed out: Especially weak is our adoptive work for we have neither the time nor the facilities for making the kind of initial investigations of the children whom we accept nor of the families who apply to us for children, to feel assured that we are doing a good placement job. Then, too, this same lack means that we do not give the proper amount nor the proper type of supervision from the time a child is placed in a foster home until he has been legally adopted by the foster parents.97 She concluded that the staff needed the addition of a full-time social worker to assist her. Furthermore, the Home could not receive the approval of the Child Welfare League of America unless this type of professional joined the administration. In January 1941, the Board of Managers voted to petition the Community Chest to approve the necessary amount.98 Throughout 1940 Miss McCool became an active part of the community. The minutes of Board meetings report her speaking before the Junior League, the Hillsborough Home Economic Program, and a variety of different student groups. In addition, she attended a ten-day seminar course at the New York School of Social Work. This increased professionalism continued to ease difficulties within the Home. Although the discipline problems did not disappear, the 1940 annual report announced that only one child had run away in the last twenty-one months and that little boy left the night before school started and returned the next day.99 Miss McCool seemed to have reestablished control. Historian Hamilton Cravens suggests that the child-saving efforts of Progressive reformers divides into two distinct phases. During the first phase, from 1890 to 1915, the manipulation of the child's life by noble laymen dominated. From 1915 to 1930, the emphasis changed to professionalism and the utilization of the new human sciences and technology.100 Therefore, by the eve of World War II, Tampa's Childrens Home reached a juncture that many institutions had attained ten to twenty years earlier. The domination of the establishment by its early founders and staff partially explain this delay. In addition, Florida lagged far behind many states in its regulation and funding for all social services, including dependent and neglected children. As a result, the women of the Board of Managers continued to function on a day-to-day basis much as they had since the turn of the century. When the government stepped in and informed them of their weaknesses, they acted. Indeed, the minutes of Board meetings in 1939 and 1940 reflect that many of the motions that led to modernization came from Mrs. Maas. Therefore, the New Deal, and the changes it forced upon the state, stimulated many improvements in the Home.
The Childrens Home had entered the Depression with years much the same philosophy that had dominated since the 1900s. Certainly, social control and the maintenance of order motivated these women. But Susan Tiffin points out that many Progressive reformers saw little difference between control and benevolence.101 The ladies of the Board of Managers attempted to train, educate, and provide for these potential citizens without realizing that other successful paths to this goal might exist. They truly believed that they acted in the best interests of each child. While many Americans tired of reform, these women continued to care for, and about, others. Their dedication to their cause deserves much credit. One scholar suggests that Progressive reformers were, significantly, the bridge between the local world of the nineteenth century and the corporate-technological society of the twentieth century.102 Surely, the women of the Children's Home helped that institution, and the city of Tampa, make that transtion. 1 Tampa Morning Tribune May 23, 1893. 2 Letter from M rs. Annie H. Schneder, August 13, 1975, Childrens Home Papers, Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library, Tampa, Florida. 3 Amos G. Warner, American Charities revised by Mary Roberts Coolidge (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Company, 1908), 280. 4 Michael Katz, In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in America (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1986), 113. 5 Ibid., 117; Ronald D. Cohen, Child-Saving and Progressivism, 1885-1915, in American Childhood: A Research Guide and Historical Handbook ed. by Joseph M. Hawes and N. Ray Hiner (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985), 294; and Susan Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? Child Welfare Reform in the Progressive Era (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1982): 8. 6 Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 61. 7 In 1900, 956 out of the 1,075 institutions for children were managed by private agencies. This included 90 percent of the youth under care at the time. Ibid., 190. 8 Ibid., 50-51; Nancy Woloch, Women and the American Experience (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1984), 269-70. 9 Nancy A. Hewitt, Social Housekeeping versus Communal Housekeeping: Domestic Modes and Womens Activism in Anglo, Latin and Black Neighborhoods, 1885-1925 (paper presented at Women in the Progressive Era Conference, March 10-12, 1988), 3. 10 Charlton W. Tebeau, A History of Florida (Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press, 1971) 401; Federal Writers Project, Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State (New York: Oxford University Press, 1939), 105. 11 Nancy A. Hewitt, Varieties of Voluntarism: Class, Ethnicity, and Womens Activism in Tampa (manuscript, University of South Florida, 1987), 9,10. 12 Woloch, Women and the American Experience 290-91. 13 Hewitt, Varieties of Voluntarism, 11,32; and Hewitt, Social Housekeeping, 5. 14 Charter and By-Laws of the Childrens Home, Children's Home Papers. 15 Henry S. Marks, Who Was Who In Florida (Huntsville, Alabama: The Stode Publishers 1973), 168.
16 Ibid. 17 Gary R. Mormino and Anthony P. Pizzo, Tampa, The Treasure City (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Continental Heritage Press, Inc., 1983), 151. 18 The Childrens Home Papers. 19 Mary L. Frech, ed., Chronology and Documentary Handbook of the State of Florida vol. 9 of Chronologies and Documentary Handbook of the States ed. by William F. Swindler (Dobbs Ferry, New York: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1973) 23; and Mormino and Pizzo, Tampa 167. 20 By-Laws of the Children's Home, Children's Home Papers. 21 Dorothy Zietz, Child Welfare: Services and Perspectives Second Edition (New York: JohnWiley & Sons, Inc., 1969), 64; Viviana A. Zelizer, Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children (New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, 1985), 177-78; Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 81. 22 W.H. Slingerland, Child-Placing in Families: A Manual For Students and Social Workers (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1919), 97. 23 Warner, American Charities 283. 24 Charter and By-Laws of the Childrens Home, Childrens Home Papers. 25 Annual Report of the Superintendent, 1926-1927, ibid. 26 Slingerland, Child-Placing in Families 83. 27 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, 1926-1941, Childrens Home Papers. 28 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, April 5, 1927, ibid. 29 Slingerland, Child-Placing in Families 85, 112-13, 119; and Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 101. 30 Katz, In the Shadow of the Poorhouse 144. 31 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, March 31,1936, Childrens Home Papers. 32 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, June 17, 1930 and February 9, 1932, ibid. 33 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, October 23, 1929, January 31, March 3, 1931, and A ugust 30, 1932, ibid. 34 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, 1926-1941, ibid. 35 Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 10, 57. 36 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, June 16, 1936, Childrens Home Papers. 37 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, November 23, 1926, November 1929, June 14, July 7, 1931, June 30, October 6, November 17, 1936, November 8, 1938, ibid. 38 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, 1926-1941, ibid. 39 Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 100.
40 Hastings H. Hart in the Introduction to Slingerland, Child-Placing in Families 21. 41 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, 1926-1941, C hildrens Home Papers. 42 Mrs. McLean as quoted in Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, July 5, 1927, ibid. 43 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, July 1, 1930, March 8, 1932, May 12, 1936, ibid. 44 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, December 2, 1930, ibid. 45 Alfred Kadushin, Child Welfare Services Second Edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc., 1974), 620. 46 Annual Report, 1933 and A nnual Report of the Superintendent, 1926-1927, Childrens Home Papers. 47 Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 71. 48 Annual Report, 1933, Childrens Home Papers. 49 Annual Report of the Superintendent, 1926-1927, ibid. 50 Ibid.; Annual School Report, 1929, Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, April 12, 1932, A nnual School Report, 1930, and 1935, ibid. 51 Tampa Morning Tribune December 18, 1895. 52 Annual Report of the Superintendent, 1926-1927, Childrens Home Papers. 53 Annual Reports of the Hospital Committee, 1931, 1933, and 1935, ibid. 54 Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 269. 55 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, May 24, 1927, May 13, 1930, March 14, 1933, September 28, 1937, Annual Reports, 1929 and 1933, Childrens Home Papers. 56 Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 68. 57 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, 1926-1941, Childrens Home Papers. 58 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, August 13, 1929, A ugust 7, 1934, and January 18, 1937, ibid. 59 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, November 29, 1932 and January 25, 1938, ibid. 60 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, May 30, 1932, A ugust 7, 1934, October 12, 1937, and February 22, 1938, ibid. 61 Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 69. 62 The four other agencies consisted of the Old People's Home, Associated Charities, the Salvation Army, and the Milk Fund. Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, January 8, 1924, Childrens Home Papers. 63 Frank J. Bruno and Louis Towley, Trends in Social Work, 1874-1956: A History Based on the Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work Second Edition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1957), 201-05; William R. Brock, Welfare, Democracy, and the New Deal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 27.
64 Minutes of the Call Meeting, June 25, 1927, Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, June 28, 1927, Childrens Home Papers. 65 Tampa Morning Tribune November 26, 1927. 66 Ibid. 67 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, May 9, 1929, Childrens Home Papers. 68 Minutes of the Call Meeting, April 14, 1930, ibid. 69 Ibid. 70 Ibid. 71 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, October 14, 1930, ibid. 72 Mrs. Macfarlane as quoted in ibid. 73 Tampa Morning Tribune November 29, 1930, December 3, 6, 13, 20, 1930. 74 Minutes of the Annual Meeting, January 29, 1931, Childrens Home Papers. 75 Tebeau, A History of Florida 401. 76 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, February 8, 1927, Childrens Home Papers. 77 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, January 5, 1932, February 2, 1932, Minutes of the A nnual Meeting, January 29, 1931, ibid. 78 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, March 8, 15, 1932 and Minutes of the A nnual Meeting, January 29, 1931, ibid. 79 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, May 2, 1933, February 13, April 4, 1934, ibid. 80 Minutes of the Annual Meeting, January 30, 1936, ibid. 81 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, May 12, 1936, ibid. 82 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, November 24, 1936, January 19, March 30, 1937, and Minutes of the Annual Meeting, January 26, 1939, ibid. 83 Susan Ware, Holding Their Own: American Women in the 1930s (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982), 197. 84 Katz, In the Shadow of the Poorhouse 246; Frech, Chronology and Documentary Handbook of the State of Florida 25; and Lawrence Mahoney, Children and Hope: A History of the Children's Home Society of Florida (Miami: The Pickering Press, 1987), 30. 85 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, February 9, 1937, Children's Home Papers. 86 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, September 7, 1937, ibid. 87 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, June 28, November 8, 1938, ibid. 88 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, September 6, 1938, ibid.
89 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, September 9, 1929, ibid. 90 Annual Report 1939, ibid. 91 Ibid. 92 Ibid. 93 Ibid. 94 Ibid. 95 Ibid. 96 Ibid. 97 Annual Report 1940, ibid. 98 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meeting, January 14, 1941, ibid. 99 Minutes of the Board of Managers Meetings, 1940, A nnual Reports, 1939 and 1940, ibid. 100 Hamilton Cravens, Child-Saving in the Age of Professionalism: 1915-1930, in American Childhood ed. by Hawes and Hiner, 417. 101 Tiffin, In Whose Best Interest? 294. 102 Cohen, Child-Saving and Progressivism, 299.
DESEGREGATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA by James A. Schnur During most of its existence, the Pinellas County School Board operated separate and unequal school systems based upon race. School officials did not act in isolation: executive, legislative, and judicial pronouncements at the federal and state levels, compelled the district to codify Jim Crow practices. Furthermore, the school board maintained segregated facilities until regional and national influences assisted local leaders in their battle to dismantle dual schools. The movement in Pinellas County exemplified a larger struggle between integrationists and segregationists. Both groups knew that education shaped society, but each hoped to create an essentially different community. This study of the battle to formulate a unitary system of public schools in Pinellas County assesses the role of individuals, organizations, and government officials. By the time Pinellas residents seceded from Hillsborough County in 1911, a new constitution and state laws had segregated the peninsulas common schools. The Hillsborough Board of Public Instruction permitted John Donaldson, the earliest black settler on the southern Pinellas peninsula, to enroll his children at Disston School in the 1870s. But after the Compromise of 1877, Democratic politicians abrogated the constitutional rights guaranteed to blacks during Reconstruction. Article XII, Section 12 of the 1885 Florida constitution legitimized school segregation by stating that white and colored children shall not be taught in the same school, but impartial provision shall be made for both. Local school officials followed the state constitution by opening the St. Petersburg Negro School in 1893. Two years later, legislators in Tallahassee enacted a statute prohibiting any school from boarding or teaching whites in the same facility as blacks.1 The state superintendent of public instruction and court decisions further strengthened the policy of racial segregation. In his 1894-1896 biennial report, Superintendent William N. Sheats asserted that the Christian people of this State are conscientious and sincere in their belief that the races ought not to be educated together. Paternalistically, he believed that white taxpayers and philanthropists would continue to offer financial support to black schools only if the races remained in separate classrooms. In the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, the United States Supreme Court adjudged that separate but equal facilities did not infringe upon the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Ten years later Florida Supreme Courts opinion in Patterson v. Taylor reaffirmed state-sanctioned segregation. In 1912 the newly-created Pinellas Bond of Public Instruction operated twenty-two schools, four of which served black children.2 Similar to other districts in Florida, Pinellas County schools failed to offer black students the same opportunities accorded to their white counterparts. Although Dixie M. Hollins, the countys first superintendent of public instruction, hired many talented black teachers from the Tuskegee and Hampton institutes, these teachers faced formidable curricular and financial barriers. While the district funded nine-month terms and offered instruction through the high school level to white pupils, blacks attended school only six months annually and could not progress beyond the eighth grade. Coursework for blacks centered on manual training and domestic science rather
than academic disciplines. School officials expected black education to meet the white community's needs by emphasizing industrial skills such as broom making, sewing, mending, and laundering. Until 1927, black children sang and performed to raise additional dollars to keep schools open for the entire six-month term.3 Segregation laws exacerbated disparities between black and white facilities. State statutes expressly forbade any integration in dual school systems other than the hiring of white supervisors to over see black schools and teachers. After the states economy faltered in 1926 and fewer whites subsequently moved to Pinellas County, the school board converted an unopened white elementary school on a four-acre parcel in central St. Petersburg into Gibbs Junior-Senior High for black students. Gibbs opened without electrical lighting or adequate equipment. By the early 1930s, the district erected Pinellas Junior-Senior High, a concrete shanty for blacks residing in northern Pinellas County. Although enrollment immediately exceeded capacity at both schools, officials refused to expand the campuses or utilize empty facilities in white neighborhoods. Thus, when the school board vacated the newly constructed Rio Vista Elementary in 1935 due to low student enrollment, it illustrated that it would allow a facility to fall into disrepair rather than permit black students to attend school in a white subdivision.4 While the district used buses to transport white children to segregated schools during the 1930s and 1940s, it did not offer transportation for blacks. The school board assigned buses to white children who lived beyond walking distance from their neighborhood schools, but expected African-Americans to provide their own transportation. The fact that buses loaded with white pupils passed nearby Gibbs en route to other schools angered Principal George W. Perkins. When Perkins sought buses for blacks living more than two miles from Gibbs, the school board denied his request. Perkins and the Gibbs faculty then purchased buses without school board funding. Because the district never compensated the Gibbs staff for the buses, drivers had to Pinellas Junior-Senior High (c. 1935) was built in Clearwater for black students in north Pinellas County. Photograph from Tradition of Excellence edited by Patricia Perez Contrini.
collect exorbitant fares from the children.5 Thus in terms of curriculum, funding, facilities, and transportation, the Pinellas Board of Public Instruction maintained two inherently unequal school systems. The Supreme Courts 1954 decision in Brown v. the Board of Education threatened the institutionalized segregation found in Pinellas schools. Asserting that public education had become one of the governments chief responsibilities during the twentieth century, the Court unanimously contended that dual school systems based upon race violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Because this class action decision involved numerous areas with differing local conditions, the Court withheld a final verdict until states could file additional briefs.6 The black community heartily welcomed the first Brown opinion. James A. Bond, Pinellas County's supervisor of Negro education, proclaimed that the decision would dismantle the caste system which had pervaded race relations throughout American history. He did not foresee the riots and calamities predicted by segregationist doomsayers. While many African-Americans adopted a cautious wait-and-see attitude, most believed the Court took an important step by making the government conform to its constitutional principles. The Reverend Enoch Davis concluded that the justices needed to overturn Plessy to restore public faith in the federal system. Although St. Petersburg Junior College a postsecondary institution operated by the school Rio Vista Elementary School on Macoma Drive Northeast in St. Petersburg was abandoned in 1935 due to low enrollment by white students. In 1950 it was remodeled and re-opened. Photograph from Tradition of Excellence edited by Patricia Perez Contrini.
board refused to admit two black co-valedictorians of Gibbs High School for the 1954 fall term, Principal John Rembert commended school officials for taking a sane, unhysterical. Approach to the decree. After the Court reheard arguments, blacks in Pinellas County eagerly anticipated the second Brown decision.7 However, the second Brown decision in 1955 failed to provide timely redress for the inequalities caused by segregation. Instead of establishing a definite schedule for desegregation, the justices mandated prompt and reasonable compliance. .with all deliberate speed, and ordered lower courts to consider local conditions when enforcing the decision. Therefore, the 1955 Brown opinion did not answer three important questions: when desegregation should begin, how school systems should abide by the 1954 verdict, and when complete desegregation would become mandatory.8 Officials at the state level refused to comply with the ambiguous ruling. Governor LeRoy Collins and Attorney General Richard Ervin appointed members to the Fabisinski Committee, a panel of jurists who sought legal means to circumvent Brown In the 1956 School Assignment Law, the committee decided to maintain the states public schools, determine the best educational interests for pupils, and mitigate hostilities between classes or groups of citizens. This law required local school boards to enroll pupils based on orderly and efficient administration, effective teaching, and the consideration of general welfare. The committee permitted local districts to perpetuate segregation by classifying students on criteria other than race, such as aptitude and scholastic proficiency. One member of the committee argued that the Supreme Court construed the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to require equal, not identical, facilities. When the legislature failed to enact a constitutional school-closing measure, Floridas school superintendent placed the responsibility for desegregation on individual county boards of instruction.9 Ingrained patterns of segregation existed at the administrative level as well as in the individual classrooms of Pinellas schools. As late as 1940, the district stored records of currently employed teachers in separate files based upon race. In the 1954-55 directory, white supervisors and school faculty listings preceded those of black supervisors and schools. The only integration accomplished immediately after Brown occurred when the 1955-56 directory arranged supervisor and school faculty listings in alphabetic order. An advisory committee created to study petitions filed by black parents considered alternative zone systems, but Superintendent Floyd T. Christian thought the courts would permit Pinellas schools to remain segregated if the district acted in good faith to upgrade facilities in black neighborhoods. Realizing that organizations such as the National Urban League could offer proof that the school board knowingly operated overcrowded and substandard schools for blacks, district officials decided to respond to Brown by constructing Gibbs Junior College and nine new black schools between 1954 and 1963. By September 1956, Christian boasted that such improvements made schools "separate but really equal."10 When school officials evaluated community attitudes towards desegregation in August 1955, they discovered that many white leaders supported massive resistance. The White Citizens Council of Pinellas presented appeals from white parents who called for continued segregation. A county political leader pledged to establish a private tutoring system for students who did not want to attend integrated schools. The Board of Control, which supervised Floridas state
universities, published an alarming report which included surveys of white and black high school seniors. Nearly twothirds of Pinellas Countys white respondents believed the state should use legal means to deny blacks admission to state universities. By comparison, over ninety percent of the African-Americans replied that the state should integrate these institutions. In line with white resistance, Pinellas County School Board members rejected a plan by a University of Florida political scientist to desegregate the first two grades in September.11 Given the resistance of white officials, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and religious organizations initiated the struggle to abolish dual schools in Pinellas County. Under the leadership of Dr. Ralph Wimbish, the local branch of the NAACP joined with the United Churches of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Ministerial Association to dismantle Jim Crow legislation.12 White supremacists responded by carrying wooden replicas of rifles and threatening integrationists. One minister found a message attached to a rifle which proclaimed: Death to all race mixers! Keep your public schools white by massive armed force Be a Paul Revere! Rally your neighbors to arms. Shoot the race-mixing invaders.13 Such threats strengthened the NAACPs resolve. In the fall of 1959, an NAACP attorney accompanied eleven blacks who sought admission to the first classes offered at Dixie Hollins High School. C. Bette Wimbish, Dr. Ralph Wimbishs wife, also became involved in the movement. She protested against overcrowded black facilities as well as the districts halfhearted solutions to problems facing black students. Although state regulations required forty-acre parcels for senior high school campuses, the school board intended to construct a new black high school on a two-acre site in Campbell Park. In March 1960, Wimbish ran for a seat on the school board. Although she lost the election, she garnered 10,000 votes in an area with only 3,800 black electors.14 Although boycotts and other protests led to the peaceful desegregation of many of St. Petersburg's stores and lunch counters by early 1961, schools remained segregated. Officials hoped to forestall the widespread abandonment of the dual system by sanctioning piecemeal desegregation at a few border schools. Token integration began in the summer of 1961 when two black students enrolled at St. Petersburg Junior College. That fall a black attended Tomlinson Vocational School, and a white matriculated in a vocational course at Gibbs. Although African-American parents filed over nine hundred applications by October, nominal desegregation of children did not begin until September 1962. At that time three blacks entered secondary schools without incident. A year later, Superintendent Christian promised that the district would no longer bus blacks away from the closest school. The school board claimed it permitted 118 blacks living in white attendance zones to enroll in nearby white schools, thereby creating a neighborhood system. While Christian praised this gradualist approach, the state's NAACP leadership hoped to hasten the process by urging blacks to shed their shackles of inequality and demand a plan which required whites to share the burden of integration. According to the Florida Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission, Pinellas school officials assigned a handful of blacks to white schools to feign compliance with Brown and forestall further court action. But as blacks continued to receive little cooperation from the district, they sought additional relief through the courts.15
The legal attack on Pinellas County's dual system began with a class action suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Tampa on May 7, 1964. Leon W. Bradley, Sr., a police officer and vice president of the Clearwater NAACP, met with four other Clearwater residents and an individual from St. Petersburg. This group agreed to challenge the school boards gradualist strategy. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund assigned a young attorney named James Sanderlin to the case. In Bradley v. Board of Public Instruction of Pinellas County Sanderlin argued that nearly a decade after Brown, less than two percent of the countys black pupils attended desegregated schools. He contended that the district permitted whites to transfer to all-white schools, while blacks could enroll in a white school only if it was the nearest facility. Although this policy violated Title IV and Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which forbade discrimination in federally assisted programs, Pinellas County continued to secure federal funds.16 On January 15, 1965, the court ordered the district to present a comprehensive plan that eliminated dual attendance zones and reassigned pupils, faculty, and other personnel on a non-racial basis. On March 15, the school board claimed that all elementary schools and adult programs operated on a unitary basis. It pledged to provide unitary zones for all remaining facilities by the 1968-69 school year. To comply with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and receive federal assistance, board members agreed to submit their plan to Washington. Although the district continued to secure federal funds, only two-thirds of the countys 107 primary and secondary schools experienced desegregation by September 1965.17 While Sanderlin and the NAACP fought for a comprehensive plan, the school board quietly integrated its postsecondary institutions. Trustees at St. Petersburg Junior College assumed control of Gibbs Junior College and renamed it Skyway Campus. After attempts to bring whites to this facility failed, the board decided to close Skyway and enhance academic programs on the newly-opened Clearwater campus. This decision influenced desegregation struggles in other counties as well. More than two-thirds of Gibbs students resided in Hillsborough, Polk, Sarasota, and Manatee counties. When Pinellas officials prohibited school board members in Bradenton from transporting students to Gibbs in August 1966, they assumed that Manatee Junior College would enact an open admissions policy.18 Meanwhile, Sanderlin filed new motions to remedy inequalities at the primary and secondary levels. Specifically, Sanderlin contended that the district refused to recruit teachers from black colleges, maintained segregated athletic programs, and allowed white students residing in black school zones to obtain special attendance permits. However, Federal Judge Joseph Lieb denied these motions in November 1965 and April 1966. Judge Lieb ruled that school board members did not have prior knowledge of the race of applicants granted permits or have any special plan to segregate faculties and administrative personnel. Although 6,700 blacks attended desegregated schools during the 1966-67 term compared to 739 pupils two years earlier, Sanderlin viewed such statistics as misleading since most schools remained predominantly black or white.19 While local NAACP director Roy Holmes met with Superintendent Thomas Southard to discuss the district's gradualist pace, Sanderlin continued to place his faith in the courts. He realized that tokenism simply prolonged both economic and racial discrimination. Although there was no significant difference for funding of black and white schools after 1962, every tradition ally-black elementary school met the disadvantaged criteria of the 1965 Elementary and Second-
ary Education Act (ESEA). Even though Sanderlin argued that the countys schools remained out of compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he did not want the federal government to suspend all funds. Pinellas County used ESEA Title I funds to supplement expenditures in black schools. Additionally, Sanderlin knew that these facilities often lacked essential supplies because the district purchased them with fees collected from students. For example, at one school so few pupils could afford to pay the fee that the district did not provide mimeo paper for one month, writing paper for three months, or soap for nearly a year.20 Disgusted by such conditions, Sanderlin filed for further relief Judge Liebs decision on March 6, 1969, ordered the district to enact a comprehensive desegregation plan that took into account a Supreme Court ruling issued during the previous term. In Green v. New Kent County the justices asserted that freedom of choice plans which brought about little desegregation failed to convert districts into unitary systems. The Court clearly expected school boards to correct past injustices as well as prevent future discrimination, and it required school boards to abandon tokenism and create truly integrated systems.21 Therefore, when Judge Lieb approved a plan that retained all-black schools in August 1969, Sanderlin petitioned the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fifth Circuit modified the Bradley decision on July 29, 1970. The judges determined that Pinellas County retained a dual system in violation of the Supreme Courts decisions. The judges did affirm that the district operated a unitary system with respect to majority-to-minority transfer rights, extracurricular activities, facilities, and the assignment of faculty and staff. But they found that single-school neighborhood zones preserved student segregation. During the 1969-70 term, sixty-six percent of Pinellas Countys African-Americans attended predominantly black schools. The modified plan approved by Judge Lieb would have reduced this figure by only two percent. By clustering and pairing schools through common attendance zones, the Fifth Circuit Court desegregated all but three of the county's schools.22 Although district officials instituted the clustering program during the fall of 1970, litigation resumed in the courts. White residents in the Largo area hoped that Pinellas Circuit Court Judge Charles R. Holley would invalidate the court-ordered clustering of five schools which they viewed as an illegal and void desegregation plan. On September 14, 1970, Holley concurred with the plaintiffs, noting that clustering apportioned different grade levels to each school. Such a plan violated state statutes requiring all elementary schools to include the first six grades. Meanwhile, Judge Lieb assailed the school board for keeping Gibbs High School open with a predominantly black student body. NAACP officials contemplated further legal action as the school board readily approved pupil transfers for whites from heavily-integrated city schools to suburban enclaves. As many whites in southern Pinellas abandoned the public schools, both the school board and black plaintiffs hoped to alter the court order, each for different reasons. While the school board petitioned the United States Supreme Court to rescind the clustering plan, the black plaintiffs wanted whites to share more of the burden. After the Supreme Court denied the petition on May 3, 197 1, Sanderlin filed another motion.23 When the Pinellas County School Board finally adopted an effective countywide desegration program on June 2, 1971, another U.S. Supreme Court decision played a pivotal role. In Swann v. Charlotte -Mecklenburg the Justices granted lower courts broad powers to order cross-district
busing if patterns of school construction, school abandonment, and pupil assignment indicated that dual systems existed. Sanderlin had filed a motion in May 1971 that urged the District Court to desegregate all schools by September. A week later board attorney John Carlson concurred with Sanderlin and acknowledged for the first time that the district did operate a dual system. Carlson realized that if the school board failed to enact an adequate plan, Judge Lieb could impose more drastic measures. Board members also wanted to settle the issue. This means too much to the children, Vice Chairman Calvin Hunsinger proclaimed. Ive come to the conclusion that the parents and the county are waiting for this gutless board to make a decision. To the chagrin of Superintendent Nicholas Mangin and School Board Chairman Ron Fisher, a majority ratified the revised plan and submitted it to Judge Lieb. Thus, Pinellas County became the first system in Florida to approve a voluntary, all-inclusive desegregation plan.24 Judge Lieb, following the lead of higher federal courts, required Pinellas school officials to comply with one of the most comprehensive desegregation plans in the United States. Because school officials had acted in good faith, he did not believe the District Court needed to oversee daily school operations. Instead, he ordered the district to abandon paired and clustered schools, modify existing zone lines, and implement satellite zones for white elementary students. These zones rotated on a biennial basis to avoid white flight. Additionally, no schools black enrollment could surpass the thirty-percent limit established by the court. Furthermore, he designated the local branch of the NAACP as a third party to monitor the district's compliance with the order. On July 23, 1971, Judge Lieb ordered full implementation of the new plan for the 1971-72 school year.25 Immediately, white opposition to busing intensified. The United Residents of Pinellas (URP) and Parents Against Forced Busing (PAFB) never successfully merged, but their members shared a common goal: They hoped to nullify the court decision and restore the concept of neighborhood schools. While the URP usually restricted its activities to court litigation, PAFB advocated outright defiance. PAFB Chairman Sam Buice, and members Gwen McCook and Grace Tilka, dominated the organization. They prepared suits against the funky five board members who had approved the plan, distributed school officials home telephone numbers, and called for parents to seek exemptions to the compulsory attendance law by claiming they could not properly clothe their children. When Superintendent Mangin invalidated most of the petitions, PAFB leaders promised that over 20,000 pupils would boycott the opening day of school.26 The PAFB found allies at the local, state, and national levels. Chairman Fisher wanted Judge Lieb to vacate the order, and he brazenly supported PAFBs attempts to help parents circumvent attendance laws in direct violation of the districts policy requiring individual board members to act impartially on principle, uninfluenced by personal prejudices, political considerations, or mere popularity seeking. At a large rally held at Al Lang field, members of the Pinellas County legislative delegation condemned forced busing and supported a constitutional amendment proposed by Congressman C.W. Bill Young. The amendment sought to prohibit cross-busing to achieve artificial racial balances. The PAFB commended former Governor Claude Kirk for his unyielding stand against busing by naming him honorary national chairman of the organization, even though his attempts to interpose state sovereignty while governor had jeopardized Floridas public schools. Demagoguery flourished at the local level as grassroots leaders emulated
President Richard Nixons condemnation of the Supreme Courts school desegregation opinions.27 Many white Pinellas County residents repudiated PAFB's agenda as a mockery of justice, a way to exacerbate racial tensions, and a threat to the regions economic progress. They argued that antibusing proponents confused the goal with the means. For decades the school board had used buses to segregate pupils by race. The Bradley decision simply compelled the district to redress past disparities by busing students as a means to attain the goal of integration. A grassroots organization known as Citizens for the Preservation of Public Schools abated rumors circulated by foes of integration. In their monthly newsletter, leaders of the biracial Upper Pinellas Council on Human Relations called for a unitary system. Businessmen meeting at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution urging the district to enact a fair countywide desegregation plan. In addition, the St. Petersburg Times consistently supported busing on its editoral page.28 As classes resumed on September 7, 1971, PAFBs threatened boycott never materialized. Although Claude Kirk boasted that nearly 10,000 children stayed home, district records counted only 2,000 no-shows. Indeed, during the first ten days of the term, almost 4,200 new students matriculated in the system. These increased enrollments necessitated an extension of the four-mill levy passed two years earlier, but the PAFB persuaded voters to reject a school referendum for the first time in the countys history. While PAFB supporters cheered as School Board Chairman Ron Fisher defiantly campaigned alongside PAFB leaders, the millages defeat on September 14 made children innocent victims of racial demagoguery. Sam Buices claim that if you vote for even one mill, youre voting for a school bus certainly appealed to many white parents. But Floyd Christian, now serving as the states education commissioner, regretted that parents voted against improvements in their childrens schools by refusing to extend the millage.29 Funding matters notwithstanding, school officials implemented the desegregation plan. Surprisingly, only two campuses Dixie Hollins and Boca Ciega high schools experienced prolonged racial discord. In October 1971, a student biracial committee suggested that Dixie Hollins drop the Confederate flag as its unofficial symbol. With PAFB support, a group known as Parents and Students for Dixie organized motorcades to restore equal rights to whites by brandishing the Rebel flag and harassing black interlopers. Black nationalist Joe Wallers Junta of Militant Organizations (JOMO) responded by organizing a boycott by black students. Segregationists soon revived the Pinellas chapter of the White Citizens Council.30 Chairman Ron Fisher reacted to the violence that seized Boca Ciega a month later by claiming, The whites arent going to take any more of what they've been taking.31 Fortunately, racial tensions at Dixie Hollins and Boca Ciega subsided by the end of the first semester. Despite these problems, the district complied with court-imposed modifications to the plan, and some schools took additional steps. A week after Judge Lieb died in 1971, Judge Ben Krentzman issued the now order of November 9. Judge Krentzman stipulated that no school could exceed the thirty-percent black enrollment limit, and he called for the immediate transfer of students to bring the district into compliance.32 While the school board and the court evaluated desegregation in terms of busing and pupil ratios, some leaders at individual schools fostered an
Floyd T. Christian, a 1933 graduate of St. Petersburg High School, went on to serve as Superintendent of Public Instruction for Pinellas County from 1948 to 1965, when he became State Superintendent of Public Instruction. He then assumed the new post of Commissioner of Education, serving until 1974.
environment where students could move beyond desegregation to achieve integration. Therefore, when school officials originally anticipated difficulties at Northeast and Gibbs High Schools, administrators secured the confidence of the students, the faculty, and the community. Northeast High Schools principal eased the transition for blacks by inviting them to the campus before the fall term began and by establishing and supporting biracial committees. Leadership at Gibbs High School preserved the black communitys historic ties to a school that became ninety-one percent white.33 The districts judicious administration of the court order resulted in both school and housing market stability. Private school enrollments had nearly doubled between 1967 and 1972, before the school board adopted a definitive plan, but fewer parents withdrew their children from public schools after 1972. Residents in Pinellas County, as well as the states other counties, realized that they could not move to a different municipality to avoid interracial schools. Floridas 1968 revised constitution required school districts to coincide with county lines, and by the mid-1970s all sixty-seven counties had desegregated their schools.34 The public reaffirmed its commitment to Pinellas Countys schools under Superintendent Gus Sakkis. Board members promoted Deputy Superintendent Sakkis when Nicholas Mangin, a superintendent who never welcomed desegregation, resigned under fire in June 1972. Sakkis, the sixth superintendent in seven years, provided much-needed stability and integrity by becoming a staunch supporter of desegregation. During his nine years as superintendent, he restored public confidence to a system that had experienced student unrest, two teacher strikes, and declining academic standards, as well as the busing controversy. He regarded busing as the quickest and most efficient means of creating a unitary system. He concluded that most advocates of neighborhood schools did not oppose busing per se, just busing for racial balance.35 Organized and vociferous opposition to the court plan waned after the 1971-72 school year. With the exception of a brief period of rioting at seven junior and senior high schools in February 1973, the racial strife anticipated by anti-busing groups never materialized. PAFB and the White Citizens Council disappeared by late 1973. The National Socialist White Peoples Party, formerly the American Nazi Party, protested at a few school board meetings but never garnered support in the white community. Furthermore, leaders in the black community repudiated JOMOs demands for autonomous black schools. James Sanderlin, who had become a county judge, urged blacks to work within the system because militancy or separatism would subvert past accomplishments.36 Ten years after the plan went into effect, the district commissioned a Pinellas County Task Force on Busing to evaluate the court plan and offer suggestions. Jerry Castellanos, the newest and youngest member on the school board, proposed that his colleagues vote to abolish the plan because it victimized children who had nothing to do with bringing about slavery, segregation, or race problems. Similar to Ron Fisher, Castellanos befriended anti-busing activists. The Resident Organization for Academic Research (ROAR) formed in 1981 to call for an end to all busing and to restore the concept of neighborhood schools. But the Task Forces recommendations prevailed, and the district made few changes in its desegregation plan.37
Black leaders remained steadfast in their commitment to unitary schools. NAACP leaders like Roy Holmes and Morris Milton worked with biracial advisory committees to assure that white parents abided by the order. Holmes once remarked, Let some of those white kids ride buses.... School bus seats arent for blacks only; whites can sit in them, too. The NAACPs vigilance prevented school officials from closing facilities in black neighborhoods, and this required whites to share the burden of busing. Citing the disproportionate number of black suspensions during the late 1970s, the NAACP and the Council on Human Relations filed a suit to halt racially discriminatory discipline policies.38 Although some black leaders instituted a Sack Sakkis campaign during the late 1970s, they could not deny the progress achieved by the school system during his term. Since assuming the superintendency in 1981, Scott Rose has viewed busing as the only feasible means of maintaining a unitary system. He realized that if the court lifted its order, candidates would soon challenge current board members on the single issue of busing and resegregated neighborhood schools would result. During the 1983-84 school year the district initiated two programs at south county schools to attract students from throughout Pinellas. Students from as far north as Tarpon Springs boarded buses to attend classes at the Artistically Talented Program at Gibbs and the Program for the Academically Talented at St. Petersburg High School. Federal Judge William Terrell Hodges approved a joint agreement between the district and the NAACP to supplant the thirty-percent limit with a floating quota. This amendment allowed the school board a grace period to redraw zone lines instead of requiring the immediate transfer of pupils to restore compliance with the order. Criticism of racial desegregation abated throughout the 1980s.39 The busing controversy took on new dimensions as certain communities achieved residential integration. By the mid-1980s Lakewood High School, centered in an integrated neighborhood in Black students were bused to Madeira Beach Middle School in the 1970s as part of t he countys desegregation plan. Photograph from Madiera Beach Middle School Galleon
southern St. Petersburg, fell out of compliance as the number of blacks exceeded the floating limit. This situation posed a dilemma for the NAACP: In order to preserve the court order, it had to compel the board to bus pupils out of an integrated community. When the school board planned to transfer children from their Lakewood neighborhood to the Gandy area in northeastern St. Petersburg, residents proud of their integrated community formed the Southside Neighborhoods Coalition. This grassroots organization sought to become a party to the original lawsuit and release the Lakewood area from the court order. But Perkins Shelton, executive director of the local NAACP, and district officials argued that white flight and resegregation would result if the District Court modified or closed the court order. In July 1990, Judge Hodges concurred when he ruled against the Southside Neighborhoods Coalition. School officials may resolve the imbroglio by placing a magnet school on the Lakewood campus, as they did at Gibbs and St. Petersburg High Schools. Thus, the struggle continues to this day.40 In conclusion, efforts to dismantle Jim Crow education in Pinellas County required leadership at the local level. Leaders in the black community considered equal educational opportunity an important goal in the civil rights struggle. Dr. Ralph Wimbish, C. Bette Wimbish, and the Reverend Enoch Davis demanded an end to the dual system during a period when rabid segregationists threatened to abolish schools rather than desegregate them. The St. Petersburg Times and local business leaders also advocated peaceful desegregation. They realized that a massive resistance movement would jeopardize Pinellas Countys drawing power as a popular destination for tourists and northern transplants. In addition, new grassroots leaders who emerged in Pinellas County generally endorsed the busing plan. Since 1972, superintendents and board members have resolutely asserted that busing helps blacks without hurting whites. To them, its economic costs seem inconsequential when weighed against its benefits to the community.41 State and national leadership also contributed to the desegregation of Pinellas Countys schools. Governor Claude Kirks defeat in 1970 signaled an end to demagoguery by the state executive. After assuming the governorship in 1971, Reubin Askew became busings champion and spokesman. He saw busing as a means to correct inequalities. In an address given at the Florida PTA Congress in November 1971, Askew declared, We must decide whether apartheid is what we really want in this country be it de facto or de jure. State leaders of the Young Democrats, League of Women Voters, NAACP, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference praised his stand. Education Commissioner Floyd Christian, Pinellas Countys superintendent from 1948 to 1965, also welcomed Askews leadership.42 James Sanderlin relied on the national offices of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to support court litigation. The United States District Court, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court each provided a forum for civil rights lawyers to argue their cases. One federal judge that had an important impact on the local movement was Judge Joseph Lieb, whose decisions legitimized school desegregation plans throughout central Florida.43 Today the Pinellas County school system, with an enrollment of nearly 92,000, has the twenty-first largest district in the nation and the fifth largest in Florida. The district provides transportation for approximately 40,000 students each day, yet less than a quarter of those pupils travel by bus to maintain compliance with the court order. Neither the school board nor the NAACP considers busing a panacea, but they vigilantly defend the court order from critics who seek a return to the mythic neighborhood school.44
Leon Bradley and a handful of other black parents forced the Pinellas County School Board to fulfill its constitutional obligations. The elder Bradley had little sympathy for those who complained about busing. He remembered when the district transported blacks from Tarpon Springs to attend classes at the substandard black Pinellas High campus in Clearwater, even though they passed by numerous white schools along the way.45 In retrospect, he revealed why he became a party to the suit: I was looking out for my own behalf Even if the rest of the blacks didnt give a damn I wanted my kid to have a good education.46 Leon Bradley, Jr., never attended an integrated public school in Pinellas County. He neither testified in court nor paid a penny in legal fees. Yet the court case that bears his name remains open today to assure that Pinellas County's schools serve the best interests of all students. 1 Douglas L. Fleming, Toward Integration: The Course of Race Relations in St. Petersburg, 1868 to 1963 (M.A. Thesis, University of South Florida, 1973), 4-5; Constitution of the State of Florida Adopted by the Convention of 1885, as Amended 1958 (Tallahassee: Secretary of State, 1958), 31; Patricia Perez Costrini, ed., A Tradition of Excellence, Pinellas County Schools: 1912-1987 (Clearwater: Pinellas County School Board, 1987), 11-15; Chapter 4335 of 1895 Acts cited in General Statutes of the State of Florida (St. Augustine: Record Company, 1906). 2 Biennial Report (Tallahassee: Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1897), 5152, 188; Fleming, Toward Integration, 8-13. 3 Costrini, Tradition of Excellence 17-20; Report of the Board of Public Instruction of Pinellas County, Florida (n.p., 1920), 70-71. 4 Joseph Tomberlin, The Negro and Florida's System of Education: The Aftermath of the Brown Case(Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida State University, 1967), 15-16; Fleming, Toward Integration, 19-23; Costrini, Tradition of Excellence 21-22, 87, 200-01. 5 St. Petersburg Weekly Challenger September 27, 1975. 6 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 347 U.S. 483 (1954), 492-95; Richard Kluger, Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black Americas Struggle for Equality (New York: Vintage, 1975), 707. 7 St. Petersburg Times May 19, 20, August 20, 1954. For a common white supremacist reaction to Brown see: Joseph P. Kamp, Behind the Plot to Sovietize the South (New York: Headlines, 1956). A copy is stored in box 139 of the LeRoy Collins Papers, University of South Florida Special Collections. 8 Kluger, Simple Justice 724-25, 730-36, 742; Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 349 U.S. 294 (1955), 30001; Tomberlin, Negro and Florida's System, 73. 9 Thomas D. Bailey and Richard Ervin both openly claimed to strongly support segregation. See: Statement on Parent-Option Plan, February 2, 1959, Collins Papers, box 139; Harrell R. Rodgers, Jr., The Supreme Court and School Desegregation: Twenty Years Later, Political Science Quarterly 89 (Winter 1974-75): 755; J. Lewis Hall, Floridas School Assignment Law(Tallahassee: State Department of Education, 1956), 3-4, 6, 910, 14-15; Arthur 0. White, Floridas State School Chief and Desegregation, Integrated Education 12 (July/August 1974): 33-34. 10 Costrini, Tradition of Excellence 30; Works Progress Administration, Inventory of the County Archives of Florida No. 54, Pinellas County (Jacksonville: Florida Historical Records Survey Project, 1940), 283-84. See also: St. Petersburg Times August 30, 1981; Raymond Arsenault, St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream, 1888-1950 (Norfolk: Donning Co., 1988), 306. 11 Southern School News 2 (August 1955): 9 (November 1955): 4 (February 1956): 11; Manning J. Dauer, Report on Florida School System as Affected by the United States Supreme Court Decision, Oliver Brown v. Board of
Education of Topeka etc, unpublished report of July 5,1954 in Collins Papers, box 139; Study on Desegregation, Part II (Tallahassee: Board of Control, 1956), appendix 2: 6-7, 11-12. 12 Fleming, Toward Integration, 54, 61, 81. 13 Southern School News 6 (December 1959): 11. 14 Fleming, Toward Integration, 53, 57-58; Southern School News 6 (October 1959): 5. 15 Fleming, Toward Integration, 56; Southern School News 8, (July 1961): 16, (October 1961): 11; Southern School News 10 (September 1963): 9, (October 1963): 14; St. Petersburg Times November 10, 1963, A ugust 30, 1981; Operation Bootstrap, Speech of October 6, 1966 in Atlanta in Floyd Christian Papers, P.K. Yonge Collection at the University of Florida, box 1; Florida Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Constitutional Principle vs. Community Practice: A Survey of the Gap in Florida (Washington: n.p., 1963), 10-12. 16 Darryl Paulson and Milly St. Julien, Desegregating Public Schools in Manatee and Pinellas Counties, 1954-71, Tampa Bay History 7 (Spring/Summer 1985): 33; St. Petersburg Times June 1, 1964, A ugust 30, 1981; Civil Right Act of 1964 PL 88-352, Titles IV and VI. 17 Bradley v. Board of Public Instruction of Pinellas County, Florida cited as Civ. Action #64-98-T before Circuit Court and 431 F.2d 1377 (1970) thereafter. 15 January 1965 decree; Costrini, Tradition of Excellence 35; St. Petersburg Times January 28, 1965. 18 Walter Lee Smith, A Study of Black Public Junior Colleges in Florida: 1957-1966 (Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida State University, 1974), 79, 85-87, 98-100; Raymond Rapp, The Failure of Massive Resistance: The Law and Social Change in Manatee County, Florida, (M.A. Thesis, University of South Florida, 1972), 87, 100. 19 James Sanderlin, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in Bradley v. Board of Public Instruction April 1966; Bradley v. Board of Public Instruction September 19, 1966 order; St. Petersburg Times September 21, 1966, July 24, 1971. 20 Gus Sakkis, A Financial Analysis of Disadvantaged and Nondisadvantaged Black and White Elementary Schools in Pinellas County for the Years 1962-1972 (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of South Florida, 1975), 34-37, 84-85; St. Petersburg Times September 20, 1968, May 25, 1970; Stephen K. Bailey and Edith K. Mosher, ESEA: The Office of Education Administers a Law (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1968), 144, 149-50; Lawlessness and Disorder: Fourteen Years of Failure in Southern School Desegregation, (n.p.: Southern Regional Council, 1968), 7, in Collins Papers, box 455. 21 Kluger, Simple Justice 766; Green v. County School Board of New Kent County 391 U.S. 430 (1968), 436-38; G. Scott Williams, Unitary School Systems and Underlying Vestiges of State Imposed Segregation, Columbia Law Review 87 (May 1987): 800-04. 22 Carter v. West Feliciana Parish School Board 396 U.S. 290 (1970), 294; Race Relations Law Survey 2 (September 1970): 94-95; Bradley v. Board of Public Instruction 431 F,2d 1377 (1970), 1378-79, 1383. 23 Race Relations Law Survey 3 (July 1971): 51; Stancil Small v. District School Board of Pinellas County, Florida Pinellas Circuit Court Civil # 16,040: 27; St. Petersburg Times August 12, August 14, 1970, March 11, 1971, September 3, 1981. 24 A survey of 40 realtors indicated that buyers with young children sought homes in nonbusing areas. Some realtors said that salesman carried official school zone maps. Instead of advertising homes as being near schools, homes in non-busing areas were marketed by saying children could walk to school. Kluger, Simple Justice 767-68; Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education 402 U.S. 1 (1971), 7, 15-16,21, 28-29; James Sanderlin, Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs Motion for Further Relief in Bradley v. Board of Public
Instruction May 18, 1971; St. Petersburg Times May 19, 29 June 2-4, 1971, July 24, 1971, A ugust 30, 1981; St. Petersburg Evening Independent August 6, 1971, A ugust 25, 1984. 25 St. Petersburg Times July 24, 1971, A ugust 30, September 1, 1981. 26 Robert Hooker, School Crisis in St. Petersburg, New South 27 (Winter 1972): 49; St. Petersburg Times July 24, August 14, 1970, July 13, 24,25, September 1, 7, 1971; St. Petersburg Evening Independent August 4, 1971; Robert Hooker, The Times and Its Times, A History (St. Petersburg: Times Publishing, 1984), 66-67 27 Floyd T. Christian, An Analysis of the Philosophy and Policies of the Pinellas County Board of Public Instruction (M.A.E. Thesis, University of Florida, 1950), 6; Hooker, School Crisis, 49-50; Rapp, Failure of Massive Resistance, 151-53; St. Petersburg Times January 25, August 14, 1970, July 25, A ugust 21, 26, September 11, 197 1; St. Petersburg Evening Independent March 11, 1970. 28 Rapp, Failure of Massive Resistance, 3; St. Petersburg Times March 5, May 29, August 18, 26, 31, 1971, August 23, 1972, March 3, 1974, A ugust 30, 1981; St. Petersburg Evening Independent August 7, 1971; Upper Pinellas Council on Human Relations Newsletter (February 1970); Resolution Regarding Desegregation of All County Public Schools, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, March 12,1971; Meyer Weinberg, Chronicle of Race and Schools, Integrated Education 10 (March/ April 1972): 80. 29 After voters defeated the extension of the four mill levy, Superintendent Mangin convinced the school board to approve funds so the district could purchase additional buses from the state purchasing pool. Pinellas Representative Ed S. Whitson, Jr., responded by prefiling a bill (HB 4452) for the upcoming 1972 legislative session to prohibit the purchase of buses for court-ordered desegregation plans. The measure never passed, but it indicated that many legislators did not respect orders issued by federal courts. Journal of the House of Representatives, 1972 Regular Session (Tallahassee: State of Florida, 1972), 934. See also: St. Petersburg Times June 14, September 8, 12, 16, 1971; Remarks to the Tallahassee Torch Club, Floyd Christian Papers, P.K. Yonge Collection at the University of Florida, box 3. 30 Hooker, "School Crisis," 51-52; St. Petersburg Times October 28, 30, November 7, 17, 19, 1971; St. Petersburg Evening Independent October 16, 18, 1971. 31 Hooker, School Crisis, 49; St. Petersburg Times December 3, 4, 7, 11, 1971. 32 St. Petersburg Times November 11, 25, December 16, 1971, February 3, 1972. 33 Dudley Clendinen, Two Schools Are Making Integration Work, Florida Schools 34 (January/February 1972): 6-10; St. Petersburg Times March 3, 1974; The Scene 12 ( St. Petersburg Evening Independent weekly magazine) October 6, 1979. 34 Everett Cataldo, Michael Giles, Deborah Athos, and Douglas Gatlin, Desegregation and White Flight, Integrated Education 13 (January/February 1975): 4; Meyer Weinberg, Chronicle of Race and Schools, Integrated Education 11 (November/ December 1973): 8; St. Petersburg Times May 19,1978, A ugust 31, September 3, 1981. 35 Costrini, Tradition of Excellence 36; St. Petersburg Times December 10, 1980, April 19, 1981, January 8, 1990; Comments by Gus Sakkis in Minority Rights and Reverse Discrimination: Proceedings of a Symposium Held November 15, 1976 Darryl Paulson and Steven F. Lawson, eds. (St. Petersburg: University of South Florida, 1976), 38-41. 36 St. Petersburg Times February 6, 9, December 9, 1973; St. Petersburg Evening Independent February 22, 1973, March 5, 1973. 37 St. Petersburg Times January 12, March 8, May 2, 14, August 30, 1981.
38 Meyer Weinberg, Chronicle of Race and Schools, Integrated Education 10 (March/ April 1972): 79-80; Roger Clendening, School Suspensions: Race or Class? Black Enterprise 10 (June 1980): 61; St. Petersburg Times November 9, 12, 1971, April 13, 1977, December 10, 1980, A ugust 30, 1981. 39 Bradley v. Board of Public Instruction May 18, 1977, order of amendment, November 19, 1980 stipulation by both parties; Costrini, Tradition of Excellence 42-43; St. Petersburg Times December 10, 12, 1989, February 25, 1990. 40 St. Petersburg Times February 15, June 1, 2, July 19, 1990. 41 Fleming, Toward Integration, 2; Enoch Douglas Davis, On the Bethel Trail (St. Petersburg: Valkyrie Press, 1979), 82-83; Gaillard, Dream Long Deferred xix; St. Petersburg Times December 28, 1980. 42 Reubin Askew, Temporary Hardship or Continuing Injustice, Integrated Education 10 (January/February 1972): 5; White, Floridas State School Chief, 37; Robert Hooker, Busing, Gov. Askew, and the Florida Primary, New South 27 (Spring 1972): 25-28. 43 St. Petersburg Times August 30, 1981. 44 Profile: 1988-89 (Clearwater: Pinellas County School Board, 1990); Charles U. Smith and Charles Grigg, School Desegregation in Florida, in The Civil Rights Movement in Florida and the United States: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives by Charles U. Smith (Tallahassee: Father & Son, 1989), 225; St. Petersburg Times August 24, 1990. 45 St. Petersburg Times October 23, 1972; St. Petersburg Evening Independent January 14, 1981. 46 St. Petersburg Times August 30, 1981.
WEST TAMPA AND THE CIGAR INDUSTRY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY by Arsenio M. Sanchez During the 1880s, Hugh Campbell Macfarlane, a Scottish-born lawyer who had moved to Tampa in 1883, began assembling land west of the Hillsborough River with the idea of developing a new cigar manufacturing center. The industry had already spread to Tampa, located on the east side of the Hillsborough River, with the creation of Ybor City in 1885. The arrival of Spanish entrepreneurs and Cuban and Spanish cigar makers quickly transformed the Tampa subdivision of Ybor City into a thriving community that soon rivaled Floridas Key West as a center for the production of luxury, hand-rolled cigars. Observing the success of Ybor City, Macfarlane decided to build another cigar-making area on undeveloped land across the river from Tampa. A strike by Key West cigar workers in 1889 provided Macfarlane with his opportunity. Due to the strike, which lasted almost a year, the Key West factory of A. del Pino & Company ceased operation temporarily. Capitalizing on this disruption, Macfarlane traveled to Key West with a delegation of several businessmen from Tampa. Led by Macfarlane, who by this time owned a tract of 200 unincorporated acres on the west side of the Hillsborough River, the delegation offered factory owners a new location free from the dissensions of Key West. Soon the del Pino brothers made their way to what was to become West Tampa. By 1892 Hugh Macfarlane was offering to donate land and construct factories for cigar manufacturers who agreed to locate in West Tampa. The first to respond was A. (Antonio) del Pino & Company, an old firm which had established itself in Cuba in 1845 and then in Key West in 1878. Its West Tampa factory, located at Howard Avenue and Union Street, was finished and making cigars, with sixty employees, by June 15, 1892. West Tampas pace picked up in 1893, with establishment of another new factory, Julius Ellinger and Company. Gradually, a stream of important companies took up Macfarlanes offer, including the following: Cuesta-Rey (1896); Berriman, which later became Morgan Cigar Company (1903); A. Santaella (1904); and Pends and Alvarez (1909). The successful development of the area of West Tampa attracted the attention of the city of Tampa, which had incorporated Ybor City in 1887. However, Hugh Macfarlane led opposition to a merger with Tampa. On May 18, 1895, a bill passed the state legislature creating West Tampa as a separate municipality. At that time the city already had a population of 2,815. West Tampa elected Fernando Figueredo as its first mayor. He had arrived in 1894, a hero of the Ten-Years War in Cuba. Men of differing national origins took part in the governing of West Tampa. Cubans, Spaniards, Italians and Anglos were elected to office and had a voice in the citys development, but the community was overwhelmingly a product of immigration. In 1910, it had a population of 8,258, of whom only 626 were native whites with native parents. From 1895 to 1925, West Tampa grew and prospered. Buildings were constructed to house educational, recreational and benevolent organizations. Although people commuted back and
forth to Tampa, and especially Ybor City, West Tampa became economically and socially a selfsufficient community. However, it came to end as a separate legal entity on January 1, 1925, when it was annexed by Tampa. Enrique Henriquez, the last mayor of West Tampa, offically relinquished power at a banquet held at Ybor Citys El Pasaje restaurant. Hugh Macfarlane was present and delivered an address to the assembled guests. We bring you a city in excellent financial condition, he proudly told the audience. We have worked hard to build West Tampa and will work just as hard to build Tampa. Finally, he concluded, We will make Tampa the metropolis of the South, as it was intended to be.1
Hugh C. Macfarlane, the Father of West Tampa, built the first cigar factory on the corner of Howard Avenue and Union Street in 1892. A native of Scotland, Macfarlane immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1865. He studied law and practiced in Boston and New Orleans before he settled in Tampa in 1883. Photgraph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
The cigar factory of Julius Ellinger opened its doors in West Tampa in June 1893. This was the first brick factory in West Tampa. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. Cuesta-Rey & Company, established in 1896 at the corner of Howard Aven ue and Beech Street, operated continually until 1962, when the U.S. placed an embargo on Cuban tobacco. The building was demolished in 1986. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez.
This 1895 photo, taken from the Fleitas cigar factory at Fremont Avenue and Green Street, shows the scaffolding around Cspedes Hall, a Cuban social club, which was under construction. To the left can be seen the first cigar factory in West Tampa, which was built in 1892 for A. Del Pino and Company. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. On January 26,1895, work began on Cspedes Hall, a Cuban opera and clubhouse. It was built on the corner of Main Street and Albany Avenue in West Tampa. The city of West Tampa bought Cspedes Hall in November 1895, when the society was unable to finish it. After completion it was used principally as a public school. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
An 1897 view of Main Street shows the turrets of Cspedes Hall on the left. The streetcar, which ran down unpaved, s andy streets, belonged to Consumers Electric Light and Street Railway Company. It provided service to Tampa and Ybor City. Photograph from Florida Times-Union December 1897. The West Tampa municipal building, built around 1900, took the place of Cspedes Hall which was demolished. Photograph courtesy of Tony Pizzo.
The Academy of the Holy Names, erected on Albany Avenue and Spruce Street, opened September 14,1896. Sisters Emeline and Mary Hubert were the first teachers in the brick school. Photograph from Florida Times-Union December 1897. St. Joseph Catholic Church was built in 1903 on the corner of Albany Avenue and Walnut Street. It was serviced by the Jesuits. In 1964, after constructing a new church at Cherry Street and Gomez Avenue, the old building was demolished. Photograph courtesy of Tony Pizzo.
On January 11, 1913, the Centro Espaol opened at Howard Avenue and Cherry Street. Home of the largest of the men's societies in West Tampa, the clubhouse served many purposes. West Tampas Italian Club (La Societ Sicilia) formed in 1914 and had its first formal center at 712 Main Street. In 1930 the organization moved to a new meeting hall, shown above, on Howard Avenue and Spruce Street. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.
A few of the many cigar factories in 1909 in West Tampa. From top left (clockwise): Bustillo Brothers and Daz Santaella and Company, Cuesta-Rey and Company, Leopold Powell and Company, Lpez Hermanos and Company, Celestino Vega and Company, Grcia & Vega and Company, Andres Daz and Company, and Berrimen Brothers. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. The new Bank of West Tampa opened for business on February 19,1906. This building was erected by architect Fred James on the southeast corner of Main Street and Howard Avenue, where it stands today. Photograph courtesy of Tony Pizzo.
Looking north on Howard Avenue in 1909. On the left is the building that later housed the Alessi Bakery, and next to it stands the Macfarlane Building at the corner of Howard Avenue and Chestnut Street. Photograph courtesy of Tony Pizzo. Looking East on Main Street is the Kunitz Building on the right, and across the street is the West Tampa Bank. Photograph courtesy of Tony Pizzo.
Looking south at the corner of Howard Avenue and Main Street is the Kunitz Building on the right and the West Tampa Bank on the left. Coming down the center of the paved street is a Tampa Electric Company streetcar. Photograph courtesy of Tony Pizzo. Looking west on Main Street, the West Tampa municipal building is on the right. On the lft is the Rey Building. Photograph courtesy of Tony Pizzo.
The public school built in 1910 on Tampania Avenue, between Pine and Cherry Streets, was named in honor of Angel L. Cuesta, cigar manufacturer and co-owner of the Cuesta-Rey Company. The school continued in use until 1979, and it burned down in 1984. Photograph courtesy of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. The Free Public Library on Howard Avenue, donated by Andrew Carnegie, was dedicated on January 1, 1914. American flags were intertwined with the Spanish, Cuban, and Italian colors. Speeches alternated from one language to another in the program formally opening the library.
Angel L. Cuesta(1858-1936), a leading cigar manufacturer. Photograph from Centro Espaol de Tampa, 1891-1941
To keep the peace in West Tampa, a police force was established in 1898. Members of the police department in 1919 were (standing left to right) Frank Fernandez, A. Morjo, Charles Brown and T. Martnez and (seated left to right) Lorenzo Nales, Chief of Police R. A. Acosta, and John Nales. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez. The West Tampa Fire Department, circa 1908. Chief W. M. Logan, wearing a stetson hat, is seated on the front engine. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez.
On April 8, 1918, a fire broke out in an abandoned West Tampa cigar factory. The fire spread along Union, Green, Laurel and LaSalle streets, consuming 102 buildings east of Armenia Avenue. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez. Crowds gathered to watch the devastating fire on April 8, 1918. Photograph courtesy Arsenio M. Sanchez
West Tampa Fire Departments LaFrance pumper in the early 1920s with Ebelio Vila Anal at the wheel and H. Todd beside him. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M Sanchez. The West Tampa Fire Department in 1930 shown in front of the fire station and former City Hall on the corner of Main and Albany streets. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.
Getting ready for a cockfight in West Tampa (circa 1915). Cockfights were popular sporting and gambling events in Ybor City and West Tampa for many years. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez. Band leader Antonio Guggino posed with his band on the steps of the Tampa-Cuba Cigar Factory in 1917. The band, like others, played Saturday evenings on West Tampas Main Street to draw shoppers. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez.
After Hugh Macfarlane donated around 40 acres of swamp land to the city of West Tampa in 1908, the municipality hired men to fill it in and plant trees for a park named after the father of West Tampa. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez. Hundreds of people from all over Hillsborough County gathered to watch baseball games on Sunday afternoon in Macfarlane Park. Here a game is in progress during the spring of 1927. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez.
This 1921 photograph shows the Blue (Azul) Team from West Tampa, part of a leaggue composed of three teams. The others were the red (Rojo) Team and the Brown (Moreno) Team. They played each other weekly at Macfarlane Park in West Tampa for some ten years. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio M. Sanchez. Macfarlane Park was dedicated on December 31, 1924, the day before West tampa was incorporated into the city of Tampa. Gathered for the Occasion were (left to right): Councilman Arturo M. Morales, unidentified man, Councilman George Benjamin, Mayor Enrique Henriquez, Tampa Mayor Perry G. Wall, Attorney Hugh C. Macfarlane (with glasses), City Commissioner S.L. Lowry, Councilman Jos Vasquez, Dr. Adams, and Councilman William Barritt.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Mormino, Gary R., and George E. Pozzetta. The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Neighbors in Tampa, 1885-1985 Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1987. 1 Tampa Morning Tribune January 1, 1925.
TRAINING AT TAMPAS DREW FIELD DURING WORLD WAR II: AN ORAL MEMOIR by Dena Montero* Bailey Lee (my grandfather) was born on August 17, 1921, in Esther, Louisiana. He joined the Army on September 11, 1940, at the age of nineteen. He served in the army for five years and was stationed at Drew Field in Tampa, Florida, for approximately two years. In 1945, his service with the army ended and he settled with his family in Tampa. He worked as a tile setter until he retired a few years ago. He has one daughter (my mother) and three sons. His wife passed away ten years ago, and he still lives in the house where he raised his family. The following interview gives his account of his experiences in World War II and life at Drew Field. The material for this oral history comes from two interviews conducted on June 17 and August 7, 1990. Q: How did you get into the Army? A: It was 1940, and I was listening to the radio over at my neighbors house and reading the magazines. The Germans were moving out. I figured, well, I'll have to go, and if I have to go, Id better go in there now and get some training I was nineteen and living in Louisiana. I enlisted the 12th of September 1940, and signed on for the 309th Signal Company to be stationed at the New Orleans Air Base. We were attached to the 3rd Bomb Wing. (There was no Air Force then; it was the Army Air Corps.) The air base wasnt ready, so they sent us to Barksdale Field in Shreveport, Louisiana. There we took basic training, and boy, they drilled the hell out of us for a week close order drill. If there was something we were supposed to know, theyd give us a few hours instruction in it like the 45 was our principal side arm we had one whole afternoon of that. The corporal, went off and had a few beers or something, so we didnt get much instruction, but most of us were country boys, and we knew weapons. Then the New Orleans Air Base was ready for us. Theyd been working around the clock on it. Construction lights all over the place my outfit got the job of taking down the civilian lights. They had us taking down lights the contractors were supposed to take down. There we got in some pretty good training, and then I got shipped off to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to some cotton-picking school theres so many of them I dont remember how many schools. From there, I came back to New Orleans, and on December 7, the day of infamy, I was in charge of quarters. I was in the orderly room taking phone calls, making sure nobody burned up the barracks, and we got that first announcement that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Q: What was that like? A: Everybody was stunned, and I told them, Look, that means were in a war and any of you want to go to town, youd better get the hell out of here now because I dont know when youre going to get out. Everybody grabbed a pass and went to town except this one guy, and I said, The author wishes to thank Dr. Cecil B. Currey, who encouraged publication of this memoir after it was written for one of his histor y courses at the Universit y of South Florida.
Bailey Lee during World War II. Photograph courtesy of Bailey Lee.
Hey, arent you going to town? and he said, No! I said, O.K., you be in charge of the quarters, Im going to town! By midnight, all hell was breaking loose downtown. All servicemen had to report back to the base we were all in civilian clothes then, but they could tell a dog face a mile off. Finally, about three oclock in the morning after repeated warnings, I decided to go back to the base because they told me, We tell you one more time and youre going to the guard house, and I didnt want any part of that. The day after Christmas in 1941, we convoyed my outfit to Drew Field in Tampa. Q: What was it like there? A: Well, I'll tell you what when we found out we were coming to Drew Field from New Orleans Air Base, we were very much perturbed, because wed seen airmen whod been sergeants and they left as Grade A privates just to get away from MacDill in Tampa. And they told us MacDill was heavenly compared to Drew Field. They were right Drew was pure hell. I was lucky, having been a bull frog and turtle hunter when I was nine and ten years old, and by the time I was eleven, I was an alligator hunter, so I was used to a rough life. Drew Field had a landing strip. Of course the whole thing was being built up: Dale Mabry was being built when we came here. Dale Mabry Highway was built to connect Drew Field and MacDill Field for military purposes. We came into the most disorganized mess I ever saw. They threw us in with some other companies because there wasnt any room for us. We were occupying their tents, and there were about eighteen of us in three tents on one end of the company street. The Charge of Quarters (CQ), whose job it was to get everybody out of bed at reveille, came in the first morning that we were there and told us, Get out! The guys told him what they were going to do to him if he didnt get away from there. He went and told the first sergeant, and one of our men was up there at the orderly tent. First sergeant said, Youd better not mess with those guys, theyre tough. We kind of took advantage of that. We checked out trucks and did stuff like go to the beaches, fight like heck with toll collectors on Gandy. We heard there was a brewery in Ybor City. We'd go there and theyd give us a tour of the brewery, and then wed go to the tap room and theyd keep filling those glasses until we'd turn them upside down! But they split us up a whole bunch of us. Drew Field was a tent city. You could get six people in each tent. Five worked better, but you could get six in them. They had dirt floors. Latrines werent built in a lot of sections. What we used for a latrine would be a straddle trench, which is a trench dug right out there in the open. Youd put one foot on one side of the trench, and the other foot on the other side, and use the toilet. Kind of unappetizing when there were a bunch of guys that had to go at the same time, and that happened a lot! They had wooden mess halls. I dont know if everyone had them, but we were lucky because we had access to a wooden mess hall. We had problems with food. I saw one company that ate in the mess hall next to the one I ate in the whole company came down with food poisoning one night. Anybody that ate in that mess hall that night went to the hospital or they were very sick. Mess halls seemed to take predominance, and then the latrines, and then came the supply rooms where our supplies were kept.
There were orange trees all over the place. Old man Drew had his orange groves out there, and his mansion was out there. It was a beautiful thing. And there were several permanent buildings brick buildings that old man Drew had built, I presume, for members of his family. Of course, they were grabbed off for offices. But company offices were generally in tents. We finally got wooden buildings built for them. We didnt build them though. Electricity was available, but they couldnt or wouldnt get it to us. So I got a couple of the boys and some rolls of telephone wire. Now the telephone wire was a heavy duty field wire two strands and would you believe I wired tents with that stuff? Wed splice into it at the top of the tent, drop the strip of wire down in there, and wed hang or screw in a socket in there. Youd screw the bulb in when you wanted light, and unscrew it when you didnt want light. It was funny, one guy had a radio we wanted to hear the music, but we didnt have a receptacle so we cut the plug off the wire, and spliced it directly into the line. But the radio couldnt be shut off. You could turn it down low to where you couldnt hear it, but then at night when the signal got stronger, itd play all night long! Sanitation was a horror. They had showers, but the water was horrible. I dont know what caused it. That water tasted awful, and it wasnt sulphur. The rumor was that they screwed up and hooked up the water line to the sewer line. I went to a party, and boy, did I hit a raw nerve, because the engineer in charge of the water was at the party, and he got a whole lot upset. He went on to explain how a sewer line wouldnt hold water pressure, and blah, blah, blah. Like I Tents at Drew Field. Photograph courtesy of Bailey Lee.
The location of Drew Field on the nothern shore of Old Tampa Bay in 1945. Map by Miles Pennington.
said, us country boys did well, and a lot of city bo ys did well, but a lot of them couldnt take it and there were suicides. Theyd go out there in the orange groves and hang themselves. Q: Why were they doing that? A: They couldnt take it the living conditions, their girl friends back home. It didnt bother me because I came out of the swamps of Louisiana, and I was used to a rough life. It wasnt half bad to me, but to them it was horrifying. And one morning a cook I knew theyd get up at three in the morning, take a shower, and report to the mess hall. Theyd work till usually about nine or ten at night, but then they had two days and nights off. Anyway, Old Hoover staggered into the latrine three quarters asleep, and something hit him in the face, and he backed off and looked up, and there was a guy that had hung himself up in the rafters. Hed run into the guys feet his shoes. That was about the time a story came out that Walter Winchell had said, If your sons in the Pacific, write to him; if hes at Drew Field, pray for him. And that hit a raw nerve with the C.O. out there, but everybody was having problems. Training for pilots was just one big hurry. Get them airborne, and get them to where they can go out and fight. And we were always losing planes. MacDill had a saying, One a day in Tampa Bay, but we had a lot more than one a day in Tampa Bay. I saw three of them go down one day at Drew Field. They were those P-39s, I think, with the tricycle landing gear. Theyd take off and start climbing, and the motor would cut off. Naturally, youd stop everything you were doing and watch them. A bomber went down on Ivy Street. Those bombers were out on anti-submarine patrol, and thank God that one wasnt armed. The thing caught fire, and they couldnt get the Soldier wiring a tent with electricity. Photograph courtesy of Bailey Lee.
people out of there. There was a guy who I presume was a gunner in the back end. He kept screaming, Get me out, Im burning alive, and they couldnt get him out. Now, I didnt see this, but I was told about it. All this stuff was hush, hush. We didnt want to be of aid and comfort to the enemy. I wound up in an outfit called the 9th Fighter Command Signal Corps. I was always attached to the Army Air Corps there was no Air Force then. And we started getting serious about our training. An officer Id known a couple of years before came by one afternoon. He said, How do you like it here Lee? I said, I dont like it one damn bit, and he said, You want out? I can get you out of here. I said, Ill take it. He said, You wont come back. I said, Ill take it. He said, Ill see you in the morning. That night, they told us to write home and tell everybody to forget about getting in touch with us, and wed get in touch with the family whenever and we had to send all our civilian stuff home. That night, they put us on a train heading west. We got to New Orleans, and they stopped us. As it turned out, I saw this same officer a year later. I said, Hey Captain, what did I volunteer for back then? He said, Well, you volunteered to jump into Bataan. Parachute into Bataan. I thought, Oh hell, death march. Q: Where is Bataan? A: Its out there in the Pacific. Bataan and the Japs were bad, bad, bad. The death march was horrifying. And not many people came back from that part. So, we got to New Orleans, and they told us, You can go to town tonight be back here at daylight. Its your last night in the U.S. We celebrated. The next morning, we waited to see what the word would be. That being our last night in New Orleans, we figured wed be flying somewhere. They came around and told us, Youre not going anywhere. Youre going to stay here and train a new company. By then, everybody was getting a little bit nervous about where we were going. Again, training had gotten real earnest. No more of a weeks close order drill, and then maybe 2-3 hours on the 45, and during that 2-3 hours training, the corporal would go off and drink beer and leave us to ourselves. It got serious. And I had a platoon. I think I had the 3rd platoon, and the first sergeant came by and said, Lee, Im going to give you 27 moonshiners. And I said, Thanks, what in the heck are you talking about? Back then, you could enlist in the Army for a year. If men were caught making moonshine, the judges in the Carolinas asked them, You want a year in the Army, or a year in prison? They took the Army, naturally. Q: So you got these guys? A: I got 27 of them. Q: So you were a drill sergeant?
A: Yes, a drill corporal then. So, half of them couldnt read or write, and I figured, boy youre going to have your hands full. They turned out to be the best men I ever trained. But they shipped us back to Drew Field. We shipped those boys out and the training cadre, the corporal drill sergeants, stayed behind. We started up the 9th Fighter Command. We got that outfit trained, and found out we were shipping overseas. I thought, Oh well, lets go. But my official job with the company was assistant wire chief, in charge of all the telephone lines and all the installations. Anyhow, somebody came by and said, Youre not shipping. And I said, The hell Im not shipping, Im going. I went to the first sergeant and said, What the hell is going on here? How come Im not going? He said, Youre staying behind to form up a new 9th Fighter Command. Were shipping. He said Chief, the other assistant he was a Louisiana Indian was going. I said, I dont like it. I want to go to headquarters and talk to the colonel about it. Q: Why? Because you wanted to go? A: Yes. I wanted to go. Q: But they kept holding you back to train the others? A: Yes. So, I went up to headquarters, and they let me in to see the colonel. By then, I was an old hand I was a sergeant by then. Everybody at Drew Field knew me, and they let me see the colonel, and he said, Look, we can only ship one assistant wire chief. Chief somehow or another found out about it and he came down here and asked to be shipped. I said, No fair. He said, All I can do for you now is, you talk to Chief, and if hell back off and let you go in his place, then you can go. Otherwise, youll stay here and form a new 9th Fighter. I went and found Chief. I tried bribing that Indian, tried getting him drunk. I cussed him out, I begged him, I did everything that normally works for me and that son of a gun said, Hell No! He was going. But in the meantime, wed been teaching weapons and that part I loved, because I love guns. Then they started making progress at Drew. They started putting wooden floors in those tents, building up the sides about three foot out of wood, and man, that was hog heaven! Of course it was the rainy season when I first got in that mess, and we had the alerts theyd blow that siren at night, and everybody was assigned a certain place to go, and my tent had the hangar. There were five of us in that tent. We had coveralls (we called them alert p.j.s) back in those days, and wed go to bed at night, and wed lay out those p.j.s where we could dive into them. And wed Bailey Lee relaxing in a tent equipped with a wooden floor. Photograph courtesy of Bailey Lee.
have our shoes there we wouldnt even wait for socks, wed just slip into the things, run by the supply room and check out our Chicago typewriters, as the gangsters called them the old Thompson sub-machine guns. My job was to post sentry on each comer of that hangar it was the only hangar they had. Anyhow, Id post a man at each corner, and I was to keep working inside, moving all the time and checking on the guys outside. We were forming up. We started doing a lot of hiking and camping, and wed hike out to a lake somewhere or a river. Sometimes wed come back that same day, and other times wed stay out there several days. I was usually the noncommissioned officer in charge of everything outside the office. We had all kinds of training out there and we had to have bayonet practice. Wed put the bayonets in the rifles, put the sheaths on them, make sure they were fastened good, and wed get out there and mix it up. We got our bruises and bumps, but we were training, and a rifle butt up against your head whether you meant it or not, hurt like hell. I remember that, and I see these reenactments of the Civil War with their bayonet drills, and I think, I don't know if they did it that way in battle, but boy, if theyd have come up against the boys I was training, theyd have been slaughtered! We had to swim, and some of the guys near drowned. And there was camouflage stuff in fact, theyd sent me to camouflage school in South Carolina. Id come back from camouflage school, and by then, we was uptown we had a two-story wooden barrack at Drew Field. I got to the company, and there were two men there: one for each barrack to keep the thieves out, and one to keep the fire going. They told me the men were on a field problem near the state park, but the next morning, the mail truck and mess truck would be in to pick up supplies for the kitchen and the mail Id ride out on it. That was a lot of fun out there near the state park but cold in January and February, and the only place to clean up was in the river. Q: Where was this? A: Right next to the state park. In fact, we used to go over to the state park and shoot the bull with the rangers. Q: Hillsborough State Park? A: Yes and we had a bunch of row boats there. I dont know where they came from, but we had them. And we did a lot of swimming in good weather; in bad weather, we swam anyhow to get cleaned up. We had a base camp with six-man tents, but by then, we found out the hard way, that five men worked a lot better in those tents. Of course, wed sleep on the ground roll up in our blankets and sleep on the ground. Q: At Drew Field? A: No, out there in the woods near the state park. We were out there for two months. And we had a bunch of officers whod go to town at night and come back the next day and talk about what a big time theyd had the night before, and we were cussing, You S.O.B.s, you go out and have fun and you wont let us leave camp. So there was a meeting of noncoms and the officers, and the first thing when they asked us for suggestions, I said, Give us passes and let us go to
town. You guys go to town and we dont, and we hear you talking about what a good time you have and were stuck out here in the woods. So they started giving us a pass every ten days overnight passes. Wed come in on the mail truck and go back out the next day. Wed sleep in the barracks at Drew to save money. Every time wed get the sniffles sneezing and coughing, and wed go back out in the woods. Sleeping on dirt in the winter time, morale went to hell out there in the woods. Q: Why were you all taken from Drew Field out to Hillsborough State Park? A: We needed this training, and there was no room for it at Drew Field. So we went up to the river and river crossings but being out in the woods morale went to hell. Things got so bad that one guy went into the C.O.s tent and tried to drag him out and beat him up. Anyhow, they shipped that officer out and brought in another who was good at putting the company together, but it was just too late. They brought that outfit back to Drew Field, and we were split up and shipped all over. Q: But you stayed at Drew Field? A: For a while. Before the company broke up, I was a sergeant. They transferred me to the 737th Signal Air Wing which was a commando company. One of the officers I got along well with was reading orders, and he says, Uh, oh, Sergeant Lees been transferred from Grade A private to the 737th. I looked at him and said, You men couldnt find a way to break me. Because I knew my general orders, I knew just how far I could go. He said, Look, I respected you, and I never gave you any trouble. This is not my doings. So I reported to the new outfit that afternoon, and the first sergeant said, Arent you a sergeant? I said, I was until those damn orders were cut. He said, Dont take your stripes off; Ill be right back. He went to headquarters and got it changed. Q: And where were you transferred from? A: The 9th Fighter Command to the 737th. That was still in Drew Field. And the first sergeant came back and said, You keep your stripes. I want you to be ranking duty sergeant around here. I said, Well, what does that entail? He said, Youre in charge of everything outside of this office. Within a months time, Id been promoted to staff sergeant. I saw those orders, and I Bailey Lee (left) training a soldier at Drew Field. Photograph courtesy of Bailey Lee.
went into him and I said, Sergeant, I want about three hours off this afternoon. He said, Why? I said, Im going down to the P.X. and getting the brightest neon chevrons I can find because Im going to parade them all over that damn 9th Fighter Command! He started laughing and said, I figured thats what you were going to do go ahead! Q: How were things looking at Drew Field about that time? A: Getting much better. The suicides were way down. Just about everybody was in wooden barracks by then. We had a rifle range that I would put somewhere about where Eisenhower Boulevard is now. Q: How big was Drew Field? A: From Columbus Drive north to Hillsborough Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway west to todays Eisenhower Boulevard. Anyhow, there was a rifle range, and everybody practiced out there. We didnt have too much ammo, but we practiced shooting into targets between us and the pine trees. And the bullets would actually cut those pine trees off. Oned knock a chunk out, and later on, another oned knock a chunk out because the tree would be lined up with that bulls eye. I also gave them training on the 30 caliber water cooled machine gun. That one has got a tank around the barrel you had to have water in it or the barrel would burn up. A lot of times in battle, the water would evaporate, and the men would actually urinate in it to keep the barrel cool. Boy, that must have been a good smelling machine gun! Somebody decided that we needed more room for training because Drew was getting crowded. So they shipped a battalion of us down to Bradenton, and we took over that baseball park down there. Tent city again and that training got rough. It was commando tactics. There was marksmanship on every kind of weapon we could get our hands on, and there were precious few. Machine guns, pistols, rifles, grenades, they had to know it all. I was down there about six months. My wife came home to Tampa she was living with me in Bradenton to have a baby, and we got an apartment. I was still stationed in Bradenton, but I had a place to come to every weekend our own apartment! That lasted exactly two weeks. After six months in Bradenton, we were shipped out to New Jersey, and we were moving fast. We went down one night to make out our last wills, and we were going to ship out the next day to Europe. So, I came out of this building, and there was about an eight foot drop with no rails Bailey Lee stringing wire through a pine tree. Photograph courtesy of Bailey Lee.
and no stairway where it was supposed to be, and I hit the ground and tore up my knee. I spent nine weeks in the Army hospital. That night, the old man came by and said, Were shipping tomorrow. I said, Get me a uniform, quick. And he said, I cant do it Lee. I said, Whats the outfit mobilized for? He said, When the allies take Paris, were going to set up telephone central offices. Anyhow, things strung out, and they transferred me to Philadelphia to high-rigging school. I came back from that and was sent to Italy. I left just before, Christmas of 1944. We marched down to the train station. We went on to Italy, and they sent us to a place called Purple Heart Valley, on the Rapido River. I guess Rapido means rapid in Italian. There had been one hellacious bunch of fighting around there. Q: What did you see? A: Everything all torn to hell. We could hear at night cannon fire north of us, and sometimes small arms fire. That was the closest I got to battle. Like I said, I was no warrior...and they were trying to hijack us into the infantry. The lieutenant slipped out and caught a ride to Naples. He found the colonel we reported to, and the colonel said, Hell No! They already got one of my outfits, theyre not getting you guys! He got some trucks and came after us. He said, Turn those rifles back in, pack up your stuff, and were gone. We were highly trained technicians by then. We started out building Rhombic Antennas, diamond shaped, and boy, they had to be right on the money. They sent directional signals, and the idea was the bombers and fighters in Africa would home in on that signal, and theyd know where they were. As the war moved north, they started coming into Capodichino Airport. We built a station at Capodichino. There were twelve men and one officer. From there, we went to Venice put up a station there. That was a good duty, too. Good swimming, no officers or M.P.s to harass us. We had private rooms for eight hours each. The food was fantastic. Q: All of these places you and your men were sent, you didnt see any fighting? A: No. I saw the aftermath. Saw a lot of stuff torn up, disabled guns and tanks. As for the actual fighting, I was not there. Q: What about the people that lived there? A: They were in a hell of a mess. You couldn't help but feel sorry for them. They were in dire straits, but you never saw any paper or garbage anywhere. We had to go back to Milan. There was a problem there, and we did some more work on that station. By that time, the war in Europe was over the war in Japan was fast coming down. In fact, when we were in Milan in 1945, they dropped the first atomic bomb. Q: So you had been in the service for a long time? A: Yes. Five years, two months, fourteen days, two and a half hours and some minutes.
I went to see the sergeant major. He said, Lee, I think youve got enough points to go home. He shuffled through his papers, and said, Youve got more than enough to go home. You take your orders from me from now on. They shipped me home on an old liberty ship. Twenty seven days out there. I was trying to get home for my daughters second birthday party. Got home the day after her party on November 21, 1945. So you see, I was doing vital work, but I didnt do any shooting. There were times I think I would have been better off Q: Why did they put you all at Drew Field when there was MacDill Air Force Base? A: MacDill was already to capacity, and they had to have another training field. And like I said, when we crowded that up (at Drew), one battalion of us went to Bradenton, and we had that ball field over there loaded down with people. Q: When did they finally close Drew Field? A: Sometime after the end of the war. They shut it down after peace was signed and everything. And it wasnt long before they were selling off hunks of it. Q: What was your highest rank? A: Staff sergeant. Q: So, from the beginning when you joined the Army, I guess they saw the potential in you and wanted to keep you here in the states to train men. A: Could have been. I had an I.Q. then of 117-127, and it was more than necessary to go to officers training school, and they tried more than once to get me to go, but I said, Hell No! Q: Why? A: I just didnt want it. Ive always been independent. I like it that way. Q: So you trained men to go and fight? A: I trained them in every thing you can think of, from shooting to survival, to climbing. I was hard as nails, but I was fair. Thank God I got home. Thank God Im still here.
A CIVIL WAR INCIDENT ON TAMPA BAY: TWO CONTEMPORARY VIEWS by Robert A. Taylor INTRODUCTION Historians constantly find themselves facing conflicting recollections of past events. As a result, they must carefully shift and weigh evidence in order to reconstruct the most accurate picture of past occurrences. The Civil War, with its abundance of eyewitness accounts preserved in letters, diaries, and newspapers, provides scholars with numerous examples of contradictory testimony. Even under the clear Florida skies, the socalled fog of war often descended to cloud memories of those Union and Confederate combatants fighting for control of the peninsula. The following are two divergent accounts of one small skirmish fought on the shores of Tampa Bay in March 1863. A landing party from the Union blockader U.S.S. Pursuit was ambushed by a force of Confederate soldiers on Gadsdens Point near where MacDill Air Base is today located. While it is evident that both versions recount the same incident, there are obvious contradictions. For example, the reports vary as to the numbers of men actually engaged and casualties suffered by both sides. The rebel version of what took place eventually appeared in the Mobile Advertiser and Register while the captain of the Pursuit recorded the experience of his men in a statement published in the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion The modern reader is left to divine what really happened on the beach at Gadsden's Point from the following descriptions of the action. From the Mobile Daily Advertiser and Register April 23, 1863: The following, from a letter to the Florida paper (we have mislaid the credit) is an account of an affair already briefly noted: On Wednesday (March 25th) a steamer and bark came in sight and anchored some eight miles below town in the bay. In the evening the steamer weighed anchor and returned down the bay, leaving the bark occupying her bold and defiant position right in our face. So our commander, Capt. J. W. Pearson, concluded to try what virtue there might be in a Yankee trick to entrap a Yankee crew; so consequently, on Thursday (26th), he detailed eighteen of his men and placed them under command of Lieut. Harrison (son of Dr. Harrison, a Methodist minister, formerly of Wankeenah), and directed them to proceed to Gadsdens Point, opposite the bark, on Thursday night, and conceal themselves near the beach, and next morning send some three of their number, blackened and dressed as negroes, to the edge of the water to make signals as fugitive slaves. So, yesterday, we were all on tiptoe here to see the result. By and by, like the deluded trout by the varnegated bob, they struck at the supposed butterfly. A barge with twenty six men, well armed, was sent from the bark, to convey on board Abrahams ship of war with due military honors, these sable sons and daughters of Ham.
When within some forty or fifty yards of the supposed Cuffey and wife Doreas and their sweet little ebony da rter Phillis, just now in her teens, one exclaiming to the other: Now well be free! Only listen, says a fellow in the barge, how these poor devils already rejoice in anticipated liberty. But alas! There is in many a slip between the cup and the lip, and so did these poor deluded creatures of Abe find it; for at this juncture the barge grounded, and our boys emerged from their concealment and formed on the water's edge Lieut. Harrison, at the same time, demanding a surrender of the boats crew. The commander of the barge, said to be a fine looking man, splendidly dressed, pulled out his white pocket handkerchief, began to wave it and demanding respect for it but all the time kept urging his own men to back! back! evidently intending to make use of that as a ruse; to get out of the reach of our boys guns. This parley continued for some five minutes, when the Lieutenant perceiving their design and penetrating their treachery, ordered his men to fire! The commander and several of his men fell at the first fire, and out of the twenty six that left the bark, but two left to work the oars when they had got out of reach. So that twenty four were either killed or disabled. Three fell overboard when shot two were dragged in but the other was left. The commander fell overboard on his face with his hand outside: they saw his handkerchief fall into the water from his hand. Strange to say, although the enemy fired some twelve to fifteen guns at our boys, and the bark commenced shelling them immediately, yet on our side nobody was hurt. From U.S. Department of War, Official Records of the Union and Confederate navies in the War of the Rebellion 26 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901), Series 1, vol. 17, 393-99. U.S. BARK PURSUIT Off Gladsden's Point, Tampa Bay March 27, 1863. Sir: I am obliged to report an act of shameful treachery committed by the rebels under a flag of truce. The circumstances are as follows: Last night, at about 10 P.M., a small fire was discovered on the beach at Gadsdens Point, which bears N. 1/4 W., 2 miles distant. Supposing it to have been made by escaped contrabands who were desirous of coming to the ship, I was about to send a boat; but on further consideration I deemed it more prudent to wait until daylight. In the morning no signs of anyone could be seen on shore. About noon, however, a small smoke was discovered on the beach, and three persons were seen waving a flag of truce. It being evident that they wished to communicate with the ship, I sent the first cutter with an armed crew, under charge of Acting Master Henry K. Lapham, who pulled toward them with a white handkerchief flying as a flag of truce. On nearing the beach two of the persons were found to be clothed in female apparel; their faces were blackened, and one of them appeared to be overcome with joy, wringing her hands and repeatedly exclaiming, Thank God! Thank God! I am free! As soon, however, as the boat touched the beach it became evident that it was a white man in disguise, for he threw off a shawl and picked up a musket. At this signal about 100 men arose from ambush and demanded the surrender of the boat. Mr. Lapham repled, Be honorable. Respect the flag of
truce. They again said, Will you surrender? Mr. Lapham replied, No never. Whereupon they fired a volley of musketry, severely wounding Mr. Lapham and three of the boats crew. The fire was returned and two of the rebels were seen to fall (one in female costume). Mr. Lapham ordered the crew to jump overboard and keep the boat between them and the shore, which they did, some of the wounded assisting in dragging the boat, while the others continued to fire until the ammunition became wet. As soon as the rebels fired on the boat I sprung the ship, fired four shells among them and sent the third cutter with Acting Assistant Surgeon H. K Wheeler to assist the sinking boat. The wounded are all on board receiving the most careful attendance and the surgeon's report of casualties will be forwarded to you by the first opportunity.1 I beg leave to state that I witnessed the whole affair, and deem it most miraculous that any of the boats crew should have escaped, as the rebels were no less than 100 in number, and not over 30 yards distant from the boat. She could easily have been captured were it not for the cool and determined manner in which she was defended. The only comment that I can make on the conduct of Mr. Lapham and the boat's crew is that they have proved themselves to be truly brave men. Regretting my inability to communicate more briefly a faithful detail of the events, I have honor to remain, Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Wm. P. Randall, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding. 1 The surgeon of the Pursuit reported that Acting Master Lapham received a wound in his left arm, while Seaman Edward K. Smith was struck by a ball that impacted on his lower jaw. Two other sailors suffered from wounds to the head and back.
BOOK REVIEWS Florida: Enterprise Under the Sun By Edward F. Keuchel. Pictorial research by Hampton Dunn. Chatsworth, California, 1990. Windsor Publications. Pp. 192. Illustrations. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $32.95. Florida Portrait: A Pictorial History of Florida By Jerrell Shoffner. Photography and captions compiled and edited by Milly St. Julien. Sarasota, Florida, 1990. Pineapple Press. Pp. 225. Illustrations. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $29.95. Aficionados of Florida history interested in previously unpublished photographs will be delighted with two recent books by Edward F. Keuchel and Jerrell Shoffner. Both have written historical narratives with photographic researchers who have collected overlooked pictures and have explained them with captivating bylines. Hampton Dunn includes photographs from his extensive collection while the photos compiled by Milly St. Julien enhance Shoffners Florida Portrait Both St. Julien and Dunn include information from a wide variety of private and institutional collections, which portray ethnic records and the broader matrix of people and events which have become part of Floridas legacy. Historians Shoffner and Keuchel have managed the difficult task of connecting photographs and captions to the content of each chapter. Keuchels only misleading caption is on page 11 which states, Among the earliest inhabitants of Florida were the Seminole Indians. This may be interpreted by the casual reader as evidence that the Seminoles were among the earliest Indians to settle Florida since it does not refer to the native Indians who preceded them. Shoffners text includes many little known facts which sometimes fail to blend into the chapter content. Less focus upon these facts and greater emphasis upon recent research would have given Shoffners history a more updated interpretation. The manner in which each historian views the past is as distinctive as the black binding of Shoffner's book and Keuchels white-bound volume. Shoffners text is decidedly more lengthy and traditionally oriented. Many of his chapters from the pre-1900 period appear to be streamlined versions of Charlton Tebeaus interpretative writings. The first fourteen chapters contain little new content aside from the previously mentioned little known facts. Keuchels text is shorter and has included updated and revised historical interpretation. Keuchel mentions the recently discovered de Soto site in Tallahassee and the San Luis Mission excavations. He also presents a clearer historical background of Floridas Indians. However, he skims over the two Spanish and British periods which Shoffner faithfully explains. From the territorial period to the Civil War, Keuchel introduces the reader to Floridas cotton kingdom and banking empire while Shoffner presents the traditional view of this era. Kudos to Keuchel for his inclusion of the photograph of the 1849 Key West sponging industry and his emphasis on the significant economic role of Floridas nineteenth-century tobacco industry. Shoffner has not only overlooked Key Wests prominent role in the tobacco trade, but he has also used antiquated (and incorrect) sources to explain the emergence of the cigar industry in Tampa. His reliance upon the outdated and inaccurate interpretations of Karl Grismer reflects
The steamboat Okeehumkee ariving at Silver Springs. Photograph from Florida: Enterprise Under the Sun by Edward F. Keuchel.
Shoffners failure to use pertinent revisionist sources. The clearest evidence of historical research comes from the bibliographies. Shoffner has only seven sources after 1979 while Keuchel uses over twenty-two books, articles and other materials printed or published in the past twelve years. Shoffners text is best in his overview of twentieth-century Florida, but again, Keuchel is more innovative in incorporating contemporary historical explanations. Keuchels refreshing interpretative approach is the basis for his text, while Shoffner relies upon little known facts in a less effective attempt to update a traditional view of the past. L. Glenn Westfall Shipwreck and Adventures of Monsieur Pierre Viaud Translated and edited by Robin F. A. Fabel. Pensacola, Florida. 1990. University of West Florida Press. Pp. viii, 137. Notes. Cloth. $16.95. In 1767, when Florida was in English hands, a French merchant ship sank off Floridas panhandle near what is today called Dog Island, about fifty miles west of Tallahassee. After two weeks of death, starvation, treachery, and cannibalism, a few survivors were saved by the English garrison of Fort St. Mark of Apalache. One of them was Pierre Viaud, a Frenchman. On his return to France he published a small book telling of the shipwreck, his survival, and rescue. In 1774 an English translation was published in Philadelphia and again in 1799 in New Hampshire. In France the Viaud account became a bestseller, and by 1800 it was translated into The Alva Consolidated School (c. 1900), located along the Caloosahatchee River. Photograph from Florida Portrait by Jerrell Shoffner.
many other languages. Since the publication of Robinson Crusoe the European and American reading public had been fascinated with shipwrecks and the fate of their survivors. The book soon became controversial. Some thought Viaud was a pathological liar, or certainly had exaggerated or embellished his account. A few said it was truthful. The important author and authority on Florida, Bernard Romans, whose own description of Florida is now a classic, impugned Viauds truthfulness. Editor Robin Fabel writes that Romans criticisms have particular weight in that he knew both the country where Viauds adventures supposedly occurred and one of the men who had rescued the Frenchman. Some internal evidence did show that Viauds account had much truth but might be embellished. Personalities mentioned, including the rescue party, did exist, and they confirmed the existence of the shipwreck and survivors. Viaud apparently was an enterprising but vain and cruel person, who also had considerable charm. The narrative of Viaud is just over one hundred pages. Its reading is not difficult. Viauds style lacks the pomposity of his personality. The story vividly reflects the attitude of the period disdain for natives who are savages, inferior, and heathen. But how savage is the sophisticated European Viaud who, when faced with starvation, kills his faithful black servant, also a survivor of the wreck, in order to eat him? This is cannibalism at its worst. But to the survivors the slave was disposable property and nothing else. The best part of the book is the 32-page introduction by the translator and editor, Professor Fabel of the History Department of Auburn University. It is a model of thorough and painstaking historical research to determine the truth and falsehood in the Viaud account. It is neither superficial nor a product of haste as introductions so often are. To me it is one of the best analyses of a historical diary that I have ever encountered. It is scholarly, with convincing data, but not tedious, repetitive or too minute. However, I would have liked to have been provided with more biographical information about Viaud and some pages explaining Florida in 1765, the year of the shipwreck. It was two years into the English period, as Florida was ceded to the English in 1763, and significant changes were occurring. To be sure, the fifty-eight notes of the introduction are useful, but an index to the whole book would have been welcome. In all, this slender book by the University of West Florida Press has much to recommend it to scholars and the general reader interested in Florida. Charles W. Arnade Los Sobreviventes de la Florida: The Survivors of the de Soto Expedition By Ignacio Avellaneda. Edited by Bruce S. Chappel. Gainesville, Florida. 1990. P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History. Pp. ii, 104. Tables. Notes. Appendices. Index. Paper. $18.50. This publication is a fine contribution to colonial Florida and American history. Rather than a textual monograph, it is a detailed annotated listing with a useful introduction. The de Soto expedition of the early sixteenth century penetrated into the heartland of today's United States from the central Florida West Coast. It was a large expedition, listed variously between 600 to 1,000 individuals. About 40 to 50 percent survived to return to Mexico.
Professor Avellaneda, from Colombia, has done this de Soto research at the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History of the University of Florida, which has the richest deposit of Spanish Florida documentation. The author has studied, compared, and collated various lists of expedition participants and survivors. These are carefully evaluated and analyzed. The heart of the monograph is a directory of survivors with whatever information could be found about them. Avellaneda has done an exacting search, locating 257 survivors. Luis de Moscoso, who after de Sotos death led the expedition to Mexico, stated that 350 survived. In Part Two the survivors are classified by age, literacy and education, occupational and social status, postexpedition residences, and geographical origins. This applaudable study is by a competent researcher and shows the richness of the P.K. Younge Library of Florida History. Charles W. Arnade Pioneer College: The Centenial History of St. Leo College, St. Leo Abbey, and Holy Name Priory By James Horgan. St. Leo, Florida. 1989. St. Leo College Press. Pp. x, 640. Illustrations. Appendices. Notes. Index. Cloth. $24.95. St. Leo College was an outgrowth of the Catholic Colony of San Antonio. The colony was established in 1882 by Judge Edmund F. Dunne, a papal knight who had served as Chief Justice of the Arizona territory until he was removed from office by President Ulysses S. Grant for advocating public support for all schools, religious as well as secular. Dunne subsequently served as Hamilton Disstons attorney and prepared closing documents for the Disston purchase of 1881. As part of his fee, Judge Dunn received 50,000 acres of frontier Florida in old Hernando County to develop as a Catholic colony. A college was part of Dunnes original plan, but it was not until 1889 that a small party of Benedictine monks established themselves in the newly created Pasco County and obtained a charter from the Florida legislature to operate a college and grant academic degrees. The central theme of Pioneer College is the development and evolution of what is now St. Leo College. In its early days, St. Leo, like many other late nineteenth-century colleges, offered what would now be categorized as a combination of high school and college level instruction. For a while it was a military school. In the 1920s, St. Leo evolved into an English-style college preparatory school. In 1959, the preparatory school existed along with St. Leo Junior College. The prep school was phased out by 1964, as St. Leo expanded to become a four-year liberal arts college. During the same period, Holy Name Academy was established by Benedictine Sisters and evolved from a nineteenth-century finishing school into a girls' high school. It ultimately merged with St. Leo College. Pioneer College describes how the monastic communities at St. Leo Abbey and Holy Name Priory grew and expanded their influence. St. Leo monks established and staffed parishes throughout central Florida and as far away as Long Island, Cuba, and Argentina. The Benedictine sisters at Holy Name Priory not only operated Holy Name Academy, but also have staffed St. Anthony's School in San Antonio since 1889. In addition, for many years they
supplied teachers for the tiny, rural, public school at St. Joseph, despite periodic opposition to the idea of employing nuns as teachers in public school. In relating how all this took place, Professor Horgan provides far more than the history of an institution. Pioneer College appeals to much wider interests. It is rich in information regarding the growth of the Roman Catholic Church in Florida during the past century. Among the revealing details: Bishop Moore became infuriated when St. Leo students sang My Country Tis of Thee (an Irishman, he did not want to hear God Save the Queen under any guise); Theodore Roosevelt, when introduced to Abbot Charles Mohr at a meeting of Florida postmasters, was de-lighted to meet a live Abbot and commented that his previous acquaintance with abbots was in the novels of Sir Walter Scott. Roosevelt later called nation-wide attention to a pamphlet by Abbot Charles, written during the anti-Catholic furor drummed up by Florida Governor Sidney J. Catts. Horgan also provides a wealth of information regarding the technology available in Florida in the early twentieth century. Not content just to mention that the old convent building (a three-story frame structure) was moved in 1911, he carefully describes how the move was accomplished: uphill, through the careful use of a winch, rope, pulleys, two oxen, some pine logs, and a crew of workmen. Such topics as well drilling at the turn of the century and the construction of the first poured-concrete-block building in Pasco County are also described in such a way as to provide the reader with a clear picture of how it was done. In writing Pioneer College the author had the advantage of the detailed journals of a pioneer monk, Farther Benedict Roth, OSB (to whom the book is dedicated). This rich source is expanded by extensive interviews and careful research. The many personalities involved in the colleges early years come alive in Dr. Horgan's lucid, readable prose. Pioneer College provides an interesting, instructive, and thoroughly entertaining picture of private school life in Florida over the past hundred years. The appendices and footnotes are extensive and informative, although the index is somewhat scanty. All told, the book stands as a fine example of how histories of institutions should be written. William G. Dayton Florida Lighthouses By Kevin M. McCarthy. Paintings by William L. Trotter. Gainesville, Florida. 1990. University of Florida Press. Pp. vii, 134. Illustrations. Maps. Index. Cloth. $19.95. Paper. $9.95. This book of just 128 pages is chock full of informative facts about the history and development of lighthouses along both coasts of Florida. To avoid needless repetition, the author manages to weave a bit of history and personal insights into his brief treatment of each of Floridas thirty lighthouses. The author visited all of the accessible lighthouses and examined records from national and state archives and old lighthouse logs. The result is an informative and entertaining narration. A painting of each lighthouse is included in the book to illustrate the structure as it might have appeared in its prime condition.
The author is clearly sympathetic to lighthouse keepers. He duly records the daily life of a keeper as lonely, isolated, and poorly paid. Entries in logs provide observations of weather conditions, names and numbers of passing ships, daily routines of lighting the lamp in the evening and turning it off in the morning, trimming the wick, polishing the lens, scraping, and painting. Keepers were called wick trimmers or simply wickers. In addition, keepers were expected to keep a lookout for submarines and saboteurs during wartime and also act as game wardens to ensure that wildlife was adequately protected from would-be poachers. From time to time the keeper and his family were threatened by marauding pirates and Indians, as well as by periodic hurricanes and other storms. Woven throughout the book are observations on the changing technology of lighthouses, including the transition from whale oil to lard, kerosene lamps, electricity, battery power and solar power. Eventually most, if not all, lighthouses were automated, thus reducing the need for a keeper to climb to the top of the lighthouse twice a day. Utlimate ly the keepers job was eliminated entirely. The author makes note of various construction materials and techniques. He relates the periodic need to rebuild a lighthouse that had been destroyed by a hurricane or whose foundation had been eroded away by wave action. Occasionally, these acts of nature necessitated the relocation and rebuilding of a lighthouse some distance inland. The appearance of lighthouses varied considerably. Many were painted white; others were painted black on the upper part to contrast with the sky and white on the bottom. Still others A painting by William L. Trotter of Egmont Key Lighthouse, located at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Photograph from Florida Lighthouses by Kevin M. McCarthy.
were painted with stripes like a barber pole. Most were constructed of brick or cement block, but several were made of metal framework and slender cylindrical tube. The book is informative and enjoyable from cover to cover and provides interesting reading for people of all ages, especially those with an interest in the history and geography of Florida. John W. Stafford Charles H. Jones, Journalist and Politician of the Gilded Age By Thomas Graham. Tallahassee, Florida. 1990. Florida A & M University Press. Pp. x, 207. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $24.95. Charles H. Jones wrote about nineteenth-century American politics, democratic ideals, and injustice in the American South. He overcame a fundamentalist upbringing in a rural Georgia family to become a progressive journalist and politician of national stature. He thrived in both pursuits before it became unfashionable to endeavor in the two fields simultaneously. An example of the personal journalism of the late nineteenth century, Jones used the editorial page of his newspapers to promote his own agendas for the communities where he lived and worked. Biographer Thomas Graham, professor of history at Flagler College, does an excellent job of chronicling Joness complex career. Like most good historians, Graham is as perceptive as an interpreter as he is competent as a story-teller. The author begins by eliciting our empathy for the young Charles Jones by describing his parents: a tightly wound, humorless father and a frail, religious mother. The self-educated Jones left his home in Talbotton, Georgia, to join the Confederate Army shortly before the end of the Civil War. It was not the last time Jones would pick a losing side; he later wrote the platforms for three losing Democratic presidential candidates. Before expanding into politics, Jones excelled in journalism. Working in a New York dry goods store during the day, he wrote at night for local magazines and by the age of twenty-one became an editor. He then moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where he founded the Florida Daily Times which competed with and later merged with the Florida Union to become one of the largest newspapers in the South. In 1893, he was hired by Joseph Pulitzer as editor-in-chief of the New York Herald Later, Pulitzer sent Jones to St. Louis to run the Post-Dispatch While in St. Louis, Jones aligned himself and the newspaper with the 1896 and 1900 presidential campaigns of William Jennings Bryan. This book represents the best of two literary worlds. It includes enough formal documentation to please scholars and historians, but it is written in an informal style to appeal to the lay reader. The latter was probably a difficult task, considering the book was derived from Grahams University of Florida doctoral dissertation. The book is extremely anecdotal, and the author paints a vivid portrait of Jones childhood, including an early account of his witnessing a slave auction. The author implies that it was that incident that planted the seed of liberal thought in Joness mind.
Charles H. Jones as pictured in the St. Louis Mirror March 7, 1895. Photograph from Charles H. Jones by Thomas Graham.
The book also features samples of Joness writing style, including excerpts from his newspaper editorials and personal correspondence. If this work has a shortcoming, it is that most of the journalistic writing samples appear late in the book, in chapters dealing with Joness years in New York and St. Louis. Early chapters include samples from his personal correspondence, but there are few examples of editorials from his Florida newspaper. Like most good biographies, this book is more than just a collection of anecdotes wrapped around a central theme. It is a detailed essay on the interconnections of journalism and politics nearly a century ago, with hints of how that coupling laid the groundwork for the interdependence of the media and politics that exists today. The true strength of the book is its colorful, anecdotal style. Graham does not just tell you; he shows you. Randy Bobbitt Pearl City Florida: A Black Community Remembers By Arthur S. Evans, Jr., and David Lee. Boca Raton. Florida Atlantic University Press. 1990. Pp. xii, 162. Introduction. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Illustrations. Cloth. $19.95. Well conceived as an oral history and social scientific analysis, Pearl City, Florida deserves attention. Covering the period from World War I until the immediate post-World War II years, the book is an autobiography of a small black community, proximate to Boca Raton. The accounts of elderly people provide a useful history of everyday life and small-town black experience in Florida. Also, the book contains two useful maps of the Boca Raton area and some excellent illustrative photographs, including black workers in the fields, Pearl City houses, and a man capturing a sea turtle. However, both the historical context provided and the sociological discussion are sterile and add little to the core of the book. The first person accounts open by relating how many blacks immigrated to Florida and to Boca Raton in the twenties and thirties. In Boca Raton opportunities were in agriculture for squatters, sharecroppers, or as laborers on truck farms. The descriptions of life on the large farms cover shotgun houses, a box cart shower, the organization of work, the effects of weather and the seasons, and the conditions of field work, such as in the following: When those beans are picked and the hampers full, which is a bushel, there are men that come around to check it....Checking the hamper means that they press down on those beans and see if you have a solid hamper.... And when they mash the beans down to the correct amount they make you fill the hamper back up (21-22). This passage reveals both the cleaned-up vernacular and the specifics revealed in the text. Work in the off-season might be obtained at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club where blacks could be dishwashers or busboys, but not waiters or waitresses. New opportunities opened when the Army Air Corps built a base in the area in the early forties. Whatever form it took, whether
farm labor, service work at the hotel or employment at the military base, the toil is described as part of the everyday personal stories of the people themselves. For instance, and here is another sense of the vernacular nature of the accounts, a man who learned carpentry and had built his own house had to give up his work because he had high blood (sic). I had to come down off buildings...and went to doing landscaping (30). Pearl City uncovers everyday and community life, touching on food, recreation, illness (and medicine), death, housing, and black-white relations. Specific topics include the preparation of turtle meat, the use of smokehouses, the effectiveness of iceboxes, and the nature of home remedies. Residents also describe the availability of cheap land in Pearl City but their difficulty buying land elsewhere in the vicinity. The oral history is about Florida at a time when there was little development, but it also shows how development changed the land and the community. The last two chapters offer an analysis. The first provides a history of black Americans after the Civil War, concentrating on black migration and especially the history of blacks in Florida. However, this material is not connected in any direct way to the oral history presented in the book and, worse, provides a conservative gloss on modern black history. The sociological analysis of the last chapter is sound scholarship, but still fails to integrate or connect itself to the oral history of Pearl City. Paradoxically, these last two chapters account for almost forty-five percent of the book which purports to be an oral history, an autobiography of a community. David A. Bealmear Field hands on a farm near Boca Raton. Photograph from Pearl City, Florida by Arthur S. Evans, Jr., and David Lee.
ANNOUNCEMENTS USF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Many of the photographs used in Tampa Bay History carry the attribution "Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections." In addition to thousands of photographs, the Special Collections Department of the University of South Florida Library houses a number of rare book and manuscript collections related to Florida history. Located on the fourth floor of the USF Library in Tampa, Special Collections is open to use by any qualified researcher. None of the materials may be borrowed. However, photocopying and photographic services are available, and items may be reproduced at the discretion of the Special Collections librarian. The department also has recently expanded its hours in order to serve the public better. The department's Regional History Collection is actually a combination of several collections that include books, maps, manuscripts, and images dealing with the Tampa Bay area. Although the primary focus is on the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County, general Florida history is included to a lesser extent. The Tony Pizzo Collection forms the core of the Regional History Collection. Pizzo, a native of Ybor City and a local historian, has acquired thousands of items, including many photographs, depicting the history of Tampa and Ybor City. Related collections include the papers of the Mart-Maceo Club, Centro Asturiano, Centro Espaol, the Italian Club, and the Avellanal family. Special Collections also has accessioned the combined holding of the Kane-Greenberg and Bautz Collections of cigar industry art, including labels and lithographic proof books, numbering in excess of 10,000 items. The single most important addition to the collection was the Hampton Dunn donation, which expanded non-Tampa material. Dunn, author of Yesterday's Tampa and other Florida history books, has collected over 100,000 photographic images ranging from the 1880s to the present. Included are over 25,000 postcard views of Florida scenes. The Regional History Collection also contains the papers of all the major women's organizations belonging to the Hillsborough Federation of Women's Clubs. The papers of a number of important political figures are also on deposit. These include the papers of former Governor LeRoy Collins and former Speakers of the State House of Representatives Lee Moffitt and Terrell Sessums. For more information about the Special Collections Department, call 813-974-2731. Located on the fourth floor of the USF Library, Special Collections is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS CHARLES W. ARNADE, Professor of International Studies at the University of South Florida, has written extensively about early Florida history. DAVID A. BEALMEAR is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Sociology at the University of South Florida. RANDY BOBBITT is an adjunct faculty member in the department of Mass communications at the University of South Florida. WILLIAM G. DAYTON, an attorney in Dade City, has published previously in Tampa Bay History JANET M. HALL holds a B.A. in history from Allegheny College, and she is currently a graduate student in history at the University of South Florida. DENA MONTERO was graduated from the University of South Florida in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in social work. ARSENIO M. SANCHEZ, born and reared in West Tampa, earned a bachelor's degree in bacteriology from the University of Florida. He is retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. JAMES A. SCHNUR holds a B.A. in history from the University of South Florida where he is currently working on a master's degree in history. JOSH W. STAFFORD is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of South Florida. ROBERT A. TAYLOR, an instructor in the Department of History at the University of South Alabama, is completing a Ph. D. at Florida State University. L. GLENN WESTFALL is Professor of Social Sciences at the Brandon Campus of Hillsborough Community College.
TAMPA BAY HISTORY Published Semi-annually by The Department of History College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Managing Editor .........................................................................................ROBERT P. INGALLS Associate Editor .............................................................................................NANCY A. HEWITT Associate Editor ...........................................................................................GARY R. MORMINO Administrative Editor .......................................................................................PEGGY CORNETT Editorial Assistant ...............................................................................................JANET M. HAL L Administrative Assistant .......................................................................................SYLVIA WOOD SPONSOR COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES University of South Florida Correspondence concerning subscriptions, contributions, books for review, and all other editorial matters should be sent to the Managing Editor, Tampa Bay History Department of History, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, Florida 33620. (Telephone: 813-974-2807). ISSN:0272-1406. Manuscripts from potential contributors should be typed and double spaced with footnotes, also double-spaced, placed at the end and prepared in conformity with the style used by the journal. The subscription rate is $15 for one year. Single issues and back files are available. Printed semi-annually, in the spring/summer and fall/winter. Tampa Bay History disclaims responsibility for statements made by contributors. Tampa Bay History is indexed in Historical Abstracts, America:History and Life Programs, activities, and facilities of the University of South Florida are available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, or handicap. The University is an affirmative action Equal Opportunity Employer.
COVER: The Dionisio Vldez Grocery Store (e. 1924), located on the southeast corner of Armenia Avenue and Cordelia Street in West Tampa. See "West Tampa and the Cigar Industry," page 44.
BOARD OF ADVISORS DONALD BALDWIN ..............................................................Poynter Institute for Media Studies PATRICIA BARTLETT .................................................................Fort Myers Historical Museum HAMPTON DUNN ...........................................................................................................Histori an MICHEL EMMANUEL .....................................................................................................Attorney KENDRICK FORD .................................................................Pinellas County Historical Museum LELAND HAWES ...................................................................................................Tampa Tribune STEVEN F. LAWSON ................................................................................Department of History, University of South Florida HARRIS H. MULLEN .........................................................................................Ybor Square Ltd. TRAVIS J. NORTHCUTT, JR..............................................................Department of Social Work University of South Florida ANTHONY PIZZO ............................................................................................................Histo rian SAM RAMPELLO ..................................................................Hillsborough County School Board CARL RIGGS ......................................................................Center for Excellence in Mathematics University of South Florida WALLACE RUSSELL ..........................................................................Department of Psychology University of South Florida ROBERT SAUNDERS ...................................................................Hillsborough County Office of Equal Opportunity Affairs CATHY SLUSSER .......................................................................Manatee Village Historical Park TERRY A. SMILJANICH ..................................................................................................Attorney CHERIE TROPED ............................................................................Troped Communications, Inc. JACKIE WATSON ...................................................................................Pioneer Florida Museum