THE AH-TAH-THI-KI MUSEUM NEEDS YOUR ASSISTANCE: Snapshots Recall Key Players of 1940s Cattle Program

One of the great pleasures of working at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is rediscovering small treasures held in the permanent collections.  Recently, while processing a portion of the Archival Collection photographs, I rediscovered a small group of photographs.  These twenty-one small sized snapshots show general scenes of daily life of the Seminoles, which include cattle operations and key figures related to the Tribe’s cattle program.  Key figures shown include James Benjamin “J. B.” Thomas, Fred Montsdeoca, Josie Billie, and Kenneth A. Marmon.  James Benjamin “J. B.” Thomas’ son Bobby Ray Thomas generously donated these photographs to the Museum in 1999.

Of special interest is this photograph of an unidentified signing event.  Museum staff believe this photograph is related to the Tribe’s cattle program and was taken on Big Cypress in the mid to late 1940s.  Big Cypress Agricultural and Livestock Enterprise trustees Morgan Smith and Jimmy Cypress are shown seated at a table.  Joe Bowers, Fred Montsdeoca, and others stand encircling table.

Photograph (1999.40.15) of unidentified signing event. Can you help us identify what is happening this photograph?

Further information about this group of Seminole cattle program photographs can be found in the next issue of the Seminole Tribune ( and the Fall 2011 Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Quarterly, our membership magazine.  A subscription to the AQ is one of many benefits of joining our membership program.  To find out more about our membership levels please contact, Mary Birch-Hanson, Membership Coordinator,

If you would like to view this group of photographs, additional items related to the Tribe’s cattle program, or other Museum materials, please contact the Museum at 877.902.1113 to arrange an appointment.

-James Powell, Associate Registrar


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