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Charles S. Taylor

My name is Charles S. Taylor; I was born in Lakeland, Florida on 5/23/40. When I was fifteen years old I was sent to Florida Industrial School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. I was there from 1955 to 1957, about eighteen 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.

When I first went to FSB it was right before Christmas in 1955, Me Billy Bryant and Franklin Willis; someone told Mr. R.W. Hatton that we were 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 quit 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 the started 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 quite before they whip us again. I and Billy were in no shape to hold him down and besides I wasnít going to, no way and Billy either. That meant we would have gotten some licks for not that. I donít 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 seen all that blood and started crying; he told us he canít take this much longer, he finally quit because he believed in God and he knew this wasnít right. When they were beating me I thought the world was coming to an end. I prayed to God to let me hold that bed. I was in shock, I had never had that much pain put on me in my life, before I went to FSB, and I have never had that much pain put on me since I left FSB in 1957.

I said 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 that go on for over forty years.

I hope Arthur G. Dozierís name comes off the FSB. He doesnít deserve the honor.. The state of Florida needs to rename that place. Arthur G. Dozier approved all the beatings, when he came to The White House; he asked Mr. Hatton "Who do you want first?" When the first boy got on the bed, Mr. Dozierís hand went on the wall and the beating began and it didnít stop until he took his hand off the wall. He and Hatton never showed any mercy for us young boys. I got beat over 12 times when I was in there. No matter how many times I went to The White House, I was always scared and had butterflies in my stomach. My legs felt like lead. I was a scared boy!

Mr. Edenfield was over the kitchen. He liked to put three racks on the drain board that goes into the dishwasher, and make you get on them and run you through the dishwasher. The water was about 160 or 180 degrees, really hot, it would burn you up if you stayed on the rack. I always bent the racks of the dishwasher, but it still burnt you quite a bit. He and the other officer thought that was funny. That happened to me at least two or three times a week. At the cottage where we lived, there were some cottage Fathers. If they got mad at you, they told you to put your head against the wall and lean forward, put your hands against your back and then kick your legs out from under you; so your forehead and nose rubbed against the wall, all the way down. And you would get the hide rubbed off your forehead and nose. It would bleed and was painful until it got well. That happened to me one time and lots of other boys got it also. Itís a wonder we didnít die from blood poison.

Those pillows and mattresses at The White House were never washed. The pillows had blood all over them, and the mattress had body fluids on them. No pillow case or mattress covers on them. The mattress was rolled up so when you got on the bed your butt stuck up so they could get the best lick on you. Mr. Hatton bragged that he could bust you in two licks. He could, I know, and he also could hit the same spot every time.

To me, being in FSB was a nightmare that lasted eighteen months. I lived in terror and fear of what they did to me. When R.W. Hatton said he was going to take you down, you knew 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 didnít know if this was your last day on earth. Because a lots of them didnít make it!

Funny things went on at FSB, boys came up missing, some said they escaped, but they were never caught and sent to ACI. Some say they killed them and done away with the bodies. I donít know, but I do know what they did to me and others. And it really tears me up when authorities acknowledged some abuse occurred. Some abuse is not the word for it! A lot of abuse, more than the public will ever know. Me and the boys of FSB know what happened. The good Lord knows what happened, and justice will be done.

I thank Lord that he let me live to see this. Arthur G. Dozier, R.W. Hatton, Mr. Dickson, The Tidwells, Willie I think, the one that had one arm I think his name is Troy Tidwell. Ask yourself if, ( if you could ask them) "Do you know Charles Taylor? They would say no, but how come I remember them so well? When some one does some thing to you, you never forget, or get over it, you know it has to be bad. It has been 54 years since I first went to FSB, and I have never forgotten nor will I ever forgive them for being that cruel to a young boy or any human being.

When I was there from 1955 to1957, about eighteen months, the average stay inFSB was nine months. I will always believe that Ed Edenfield, over the kitchen, where I worked under him, had some thing to do with me being there that long. Bill Edenfield, his uncle, killed my mothers daddy, Bud Blocker in Grand Ridge around 1924. When my Mother wasnít but two years old. She had me at eighteen, and this all happened 31 years before I was sent to FSB. But I found out after I got in the kitchen, and it was hell for me then. He didnít like me and I didnít 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, eighteen months of living in terror and fear. Child abusein itís worst form, being in FSB was brutal for its beatings in The White House. The White House had a green door, if you ever went between those doors it didnít take long find out about FSB.

Charles S. Taylor
#7 Cottage Tyler
Cottage Father Corky Mathies