Monday, January 27, 2014

Dozier graves press conference set for tomorrow at USF in Tampa

The University of South Florida is hosting a press conference tomorrow on its exhumation of the graves of former students and employees from the known cemetery on the campus of the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

The following list is the one I assembled about known and potential burials in the cemetery. USF refused my offer to share with them the information I assembled on these individuals, a curious decision for scientists and researchers.

I will comment further after tomorrow's press conference, but if you are the next of kin of someone on this list and you have not heard from the university, you should make contact with them as they likely have dug up the remains of your relative.

Even though the graves were located in Marianna, USF is holding its press conference in Tampa.

Unless the university can locate the family members of the bodies it has exhumed - something I feel they should have done before digging them up - then they will have no way of identifying the remains and they will just be put back in the ground. That would be a shame after all the statements that this project was being done to "bring closure to families" (80% of which did not give their permission for the project).

Note:  Names with an * may or may not be buried at Dozier.  Names without one are known to be buried there. My list, which has been available online since last year, includes 64 names. I believe that 55 are buried in the cemetery, the others elsewhere.  USF expected to find 50 graves, based on use of ground-penetrating radar.

  1. Unknown, Student (died prior to 1906 of heart condition)*
  2. Unknown, Student (died prior to 1906 of exposure following escape)*
  3. Unknown, Student (died in 1911 of unknown causes).*
  4. Bennett Evans, Employee (died in 1914 dormitory fire).
  5. Charles Evans, Employee (died in 1914 dormitory fire).
  6. Joe Wethersbee, Student (died in 1914 dormitory fire).
  7. Walter Fisher, Student (died in 1914 dormitory fire).
  8. Clarence Parrott, Student (died in 1914 dormitory fire).
  9. Louis Fernandez, Student (died in 1914 dormitory fire).
  10. Harry Wells, Student (died in 1914 dormitory fire).
  11. Clifford Jefford, Student (died in 1914 dormitory fire).
  12. Scott Martin, Student (died of unknown causes in 1915).
  13. Granville Rogers, Student (died of unknown causes in 1915).
  14. Willie Fisher, Student (died of unknown causes in 1915).
  15. Sim Williams, Student (died of unknown causes in 1916).
  16. Tillman Mohind, Student (died of unknown causes in 1916).
  17. James Joshua, Student (died of unknown causes in 1916).
  18. Thomas Aikins, Student (died of unknown causes in 1918).
  19. Unknown, Female Employee (died of influenza in 1918).
  20. Lee Gaalsby, Student (died of unknown causes in 1918).
  21. George Grissam, Student (died of unknown causes in 1918).
  22. Wilbur Smith, Student (died of influenza in 1918).
  23. Willie Adkins, Student (died during influenza outbreak, 1918).
  24. Lloyd Dutton, Student (died during influenza outbreak, 1918).
  25. Ralph Whiddon, Student (died during influenza outbreak, 1918).
  26. Hilton Finley, Student (died during influenza outbreak, 1918).
  27. Puner Warner, Student (died during influenza outbreak, 1918).
  28. Joe Anderson, Student (died of unknown causes in 1919).
  29. Leonard Simmons, Student (died May 9, 1919 of unknown causes).
  30. Nathaniel Sawyer, Student (died December 12, 1919 of unknown causes).
  31. Sam Morgan, Student (died in 1921 of unknown causes).
  32. John H. Williams, Student (died in 1911, accidental death).
  33. Arthur Williams, Student (died February 26, 1921 of unknown causes).
  34. Schley Hunter, Student (died April 15, 1922 of pneumonia).
  35. Calvin Williams, Student (died December 31, 1922, of unknown causes).
  36. George Chancey, Student (died in 1923 of malaria).
  37. Clifford Miller, Student (died in 1924 of unknown causes).
  38. Charlie Overstreet, Student (died August 19, 1924, during a tonsillectomy).
  39. Edward Fonders, Student (died May 18, 1925, of an accidental drowning).
  40. Walter Askew, Student (died December 18, 1925, of unknown causes).
  41. Nollie Davis, Student (died February 8, 1926, of pneumonia).
  42. Robert Rhoden, Student (died May 8, 1929, of pneumonia).
  43. Samuel Bethel, Student (died October 15, 1929), of tuberculosis.
  44. James Brinson, Student (died in 1932 of pneumonia/influenza).*
  45. Willie Heading, Student (died in 1932 of pnuemonia/influenza).*
  46. Sam Nipper, Student (died in 1932 of pneumonia/influenza).*
  47. Jesse Denson, Student (died in 1932 of pneumonia/influenza).*
  48. Lee Underwood, Student (died in 1932 of Influenza).*
  49. Fred Sams, Student (died in 1932 of influenza).*
  50. Dary Pender, Student (died in 1932 of influenza)*
  51. Archie Shaw, Student (died in 1932 of influenza).*
  52. Lee Smith, Student (died January 5, 1932 in accident with mule).
  53. Joe Stephens, Student (died May 9, 1932 of influenza).
  54. Thomas Varnadoe, Student (died October 26, 1934 of pneumonia).
  55. Joshua Backey, Student (died 1935 of blood poisoning).*
  56. Richard Nelson, Student (died February 23, 1935, of pneumonia).
  57. Robert Cato, Student (died February 25, 1935, of pneumonia).
  58. Grady Huff, Student (died March 4, 1935, of acute nephritis).
  59. James (Joseph) Hammond, Student (died May 2, 1936 of tuberculosis).*
  60. Robert Seinous (Stephens), Student (died in 1937 after being stabbed by another student).*
  61. George Owen Smith, Student (Escapee, body found decomposed under house in Marianna on January 24, 1941).
  62. Earl Wilson, Student (Murdered on August 31, 1944, in severe beating given by 4 students.*
  63. Billey Jackson, Student (Died October 7, 1952 of pyelonphritis)
  64. Alphonse Glover, Student (died August 13, 1966, drowned in swimming pool).*
The following individuals are known to have been buried elsewhere or did not exist:
  1. S. Barnett  (allegedly died in 1914 dormitory fire, name was a media mistake that later was corrected).
  2. Louis Haffin (allegedly died in 1914 dormitory fire, name was a media mistake that later was corrected).
  3. Waldo Drew (initially thought to have died in 1914 dormitory fire, but later was found to have escaped.
  4. Earl E. Morris, Student (initially thought to have died in 1914 dormitory fire, but later was found to have escaped)
  5. Raymond Phillips, Student (escaped, actually shot and killed by deputy sheriff in Alachua County).
  6. Guy Hudson, Student, drowned while swimming with other boys in 1921, body returned home to Milton, Fla., for burial
  7. Oscar Elvis Murphy, killed in 1932 after being run over by a car in Hardee County, Florida.
  8. Lonnie Frank Harrell, died of tuberculosis in 1932, buried in Tampa.
  9. Eddie Albert Black, murdered by another student in 1949, buried in Escambia County, Florida.
  10. Clarence Cunningham, died in Tallahassee in 1954 due to "Mestastasis to Spinal Cord."
  11. George Fordom, Jr., died in Tallahassee in 1957 due to "sarcoma of lung."
  12. Edgar Thomas Elton, died in 1961 due to "acute dilation of the heart." Buried in Lake County, Florida.
  13. James Lee Fredere, died 1965 in an automobile accident in Volusia County. Buried in North Carolina.
  14. Martin E. Williams, drowned in the Chipola River in 1973 after falling from a canoe during a field trip, buried in Hillsborough County, Florida.

3 comments:

RICESKI said...

Dear Mr. Cox - I find you know a lot. Did you know had they kept good and legal records there would be no problem here? ALSO - - on a 'side' note - are you aware the records from the sister torture chamber of Marianna - a place I am sure you know about OKEECHOBEE - - according to the host in the State house records department as well as the archives have told me all records from Okeechobee are gone. 'Maybe didn't survive' they say -- however I ask you - didn't survive what? I know they can legally destroy them but they don't claim that - they claim they are all lost. Funny how that happened on the way to the Florida State Senate and a thing called the claims bill came into view. What do you think about that? And a whole `nother graveyard with dead juveniles in it?
You should be ashamed and grateful there isn't a video recording of the beatings and deaths of the White House Boys. You are exactly the type of man who beat the White House Boys and we all know that now. - Anyway - what do you think about the records that DJJ and the State of Florida lost? BTW The White House Boys are going to try to find them.

Dale Cox said...

First, I have never commented much one way or the other on the White House allegations and have no plans to wade into that. I don't really understand why so many people heap criticism on me about them when I really have never said much about them.

My area of research was the cemetery, which is only known publicly because of a story I published about it back in the 80s. I don't believe there are students murdered by staff members in the cemetery. To date, no one has presented any evidence to the contrary. If they do, I will gladly review it.

As for your claims about me being violent, I am not the one sending death threats and making false accusations. I don't make personal attacks on others, but if it makes you feel better to attack me, then so be it.

With regard to the facility in Okeechobee and the School for Girls in Ocala, I admit that I am curious. I have not looked into the records of either, but have no objection to doing so. The records probably still exist somewhere, but have not been turned over to the state archives. This was the case at Dozier until FDLE conducted their investigation, rounded up all the records they could find and turned them over to the archives.

I agree with you, if the records from Okeechobee and Ocala have not been collected and preserved, that should be done.

Dale

Dale Cox said...

P.S. - I am not saying you personally have sent death threats, but I most definitely receive them and on a pretty regular basis. I'm very approachable and if people would actually just talk to me instead of attacking me, I would gladly listen.