Saturday, March 8, 2008

Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor's Story:

Note: FISB: he is referring to Florida Industrial School for Boys.
Sent in a letter, transcribed by Robert, as word for word.

Dear Sir:

My name is Charles Taylor, I was born in Lakeland, Florida on 5/23/40. When I was 15 years old I was sent to the Florida Industrial School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. I was in there from 1955-1957 about 18 months. I went home on the must go home list. That means every time I got a low grade, I got beat half to death for that low

When I first went to F.I.S.B. right before Christmas in 1955 me, Billy Bryant and Franklin Willis, somebody told me R.W. Hatton, we was going to run away, we were taken to the "White House", behind the green doors, with the approval of Arthur G. Dozier. Mr. Hatton beat me with a leather strap until blood was running through my clothes, he busted my butt in two places.

I quite counting the licks at 52 and it seems like he beat me another 30 minutes before he quit. I got off the bed and Billy Bryant was next, he got the same thing I got. Franklin Willis was last, when they start to beat him he started crying and hollering, Mr. Hatton told him he better shut up. He had trouble holding the bed, me and Billy told him to be quiet before they whip us again. Me and Billy was in no shape to hold him down and beside wasn't going to no way or Billy either.That means we would have gotten some licks for not doing that. I don't know how many licks he got, but I know he got extra for not holding the bed. All three of us was bleeding when we went back to the cottage, our Cottage father, Mr. James was helping us trying to get our clothes off, he saw all that blood, he started crying, told us he couldn't take this much longer. He finally quit because he believed in God and he
knew that wasn't right. When they were beating I thought the world was coming to an end, I prayed to God to let me hold the bed, I was in shock. I had never had that much pain put since I left FISB in 1957.

I said that nobody will ever do that to me again without somebody getting killed. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I have never forgotten how the state of Florida let things like that go on for over 40 years.

I hope Arthur G. Dozier's name comes off of FISB. He doesn't deserve that. The State of Florida needs to rename Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. Mr. Dozier's approval of all that beating. When he came to the white house he asked Mr. Hatton, who do you want first and when the first boy got onto the bed Mr. Dozier went and put his hand
on the wall and the beating began and it didn't stop until he took his hand off the wall. Him and Mr. Hatton never showed no mercy for us young boys. I got beat over twelve times when I was there. No matter how many times I went to the white house I was always scared and had butterflies in my stomach and my legs felt like lead. I was a scared boy.

Mr. Edenfield over in the kitchen, he liked to put three racks on the drain board that goes inside the dishwater, and make you go through the dishwasher. The water was about 160-180 degrees, real hot, it would burn you up if you stayed on the rack, It burn you up quite a bit, him and the others officers thought that was funny. That
happened to me over four times and he done other boys at least two or three times a week.

At the cottage where we live there were some cottage fathers that if they got mad at you would tell you to put your head against the wall, put your hands against your back and then kick your legs out from under you so your forehead would and nose would rub against the wall, all the way down and you would rub the hide off your face and nose and bleed. That was real pain until it got well. That happened to me one time and lots of other boys got it also. It's a wonder we didn't die from blood poisoning. Those pillows and mattress at the white house was never washed, the pillows had blood all over them and the mattress had body fluids on them, no pillow case and no mattress cover on them, mattress roll up so when you got on the bed your butt stuck up so they could get the best lick on you.

Mr. Hatton brag that he could bust you in two licks. He could, I know, and also he could hit the same spot every time.To me being in FISB was a nightmare that lasted 18months. I lived in terror and fear of what they did to me.

When RW Hatton said he was going to take me down you know what was fixing to happen. The only way you were going to get out of that ass whipping was to die or escape and if you escaped and got caught it was going to be twice as bad for you. It was like walking that last mile, you didn't know if this was your last day on earth because a
lot of them didn't make it. Funny things went on in FISB boys came up missing, some say they escape but they was never caught and sent to ACI. Some say they killed them and done away with the bodies.

I don't know, but I do know what they did to me and others and it really tear me up when authorities acknowledge some abuse occurred. Some of abuse is not the word for it, a lot of abuse, more than the public will ever know. Me and the other boys at FISB knows what happen, the good Lord knows and justice will be done. I thank the
good Lord he let me live to see this.

Arthur G. Dozier, RW Hatton, the Tidwells, Willie, I think the one that had one arm , I think his name was Troy Tidwell. Ask your self, If you could ask them do they know Charles Taylor, they would say no, but how come I remember then so well? When someone does something to you, you never forget or get over, you know it had to
be bad. It has been 54 years since I first went to FIS. I have never forgotten or will never forgive them for being that cruel to a young boy or a human being.

When I was there from 1955-1957 about 18 months The average stay in FIS was 9 months I will always believe that Edenfield over the kitchen where I work under him, had
something to do with me being there that long. Bill Edenfield, his uncle, kill my mother's daddy, Bud Blocker in Grand Rapids around 1924 when my mother wasn't but 24 years old, she had me at eighteen, so 16 years & 15 years which is 31 years. That happen before I went to FISB but I found out after I got in the kitchen and it was hell for me then. He didn't like me and I didn't like him. He took his revenge out on me for the state sending his uncle to prison. So now you know my side of the nightmare is living in terror and fear, child abuse in it's worst form, being in FISB was brutal for its beating in the white house. The white house had a green door on it, everybody said "what's behind the green door" If you ever went behind those doors it didn't take you long to find out.

Charles Taylor 1955-1957 #7 Cottage, Madison, Mr. James Cottage Father, #9 Cottage Tyler Cottage Father
Corky Mathies.....The Truth Shall Set Us Free