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Daniel Holloway

I'm writing you about my experience at the Arthur Dozier School for Boys in Marianna Florida. It was sometime in the early seventies when I got into trouble and was sent to the state school in Marianna. I believe I was in that school for over a year. I was in Friendship Cottage over in front of the slaughter house across the road, the main road from the chow hall where the white house is. I got into a lot of fights, and was always getting into a lot of trouble while I was in state school. I have seen some bad things while I was in state school. I saw a staff member having sex with another boy, and have seen physical abuse on some of the kids there.

The staff used to take a group of boys to work on the farms as slave labor, picking water melons and loading trucks. The white house was in back of the chow hall but was not in use when I was there because some of the boys got beaten to death in there. The beatings were still going on but in a new location on the hill. The white house was too close to the chow hall and that's why they closed it down, too many witnesses. The staff had a new white house built up on "The Hill". When you got into trouble or escaped, "The Hill" was where you went for punishment.

Another boy and I escaped one time, we escaped behind the slaughter house and ran through the woods and cow pastures toward the rail road tracks that took us into town. We were then chased by blood hounds, dog boys and farmers. the dog boys would beat you with an ax handle when you got caught. if a farmer caught you it was dead or alive and a reward of one hundred dollars and a hog from the slaughter house. My escape partner was Tony Weaver who played the guitar good. We made it to town, but got caught by a staff member who saw us on the railroad tracks. We surrendered because we ran over fifteen miles through swamp, cow pastures and the dog boys were pissed off from chasing us and we didn't want them to catch us.

Tony and I were taken to "The Hill" We received 30 lashes from a barber strap on a stick and had to stay in solitary confinement for sixty days with just bread and water twice a day for our meals. Tony and I were lucky that we made it out of the state school alive. We heard rumors that some of the boy's that escaped didn't make it out alive, they either fell victim to the farmers or the Dog Boys or the White House.

An escape was a big event at Marianna. Tony and I wanted to be like Cool Hand Luke, some movie where Paul Newman played the character about a chain gang movie from the day.

Another escaped because a staff member was having sex with him and we never seen him again after his escape. We heard he was beaten to death by the Dog Boys, his name was Danny Myers. He was in our cottage at the time.

The Lord is my Sheppard, thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, Yea though I walk through the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Sincerely, Daniel Holloway