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Search for yesterday

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Title:
Search for yesterday a history of Levy County, Florida
Creator:
Levy County Archives Committee (Fla.)
Place of Publication:
Bronson, Fla
Publisher:
Levy County Archives Committee
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Edition:
Chapter 15, April, 1986
Physical Description:
28 volumes : ; 28 cm +

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Subjects / Keywords:
History -- Levy County (Fla.) ( lcsh )
Biography -- Levy County (Fla.) ( lcsh )
Genealogy -- Levy County (Fla.) ( lcsh )
Florida -- Levy County ( fast )
Genre:
Biography. ( fast )
Genealogy. ( fast )
History. ( fast )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Biography ( fast )
Genealogy ( fast )
History ( fast )

Notes

General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
Includes index as v.29.
General Note:
"A Bicentennial publication."
General Note:
Chapter three has title: Slowpoke. Chapter nine has title: The High Sheriff.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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Copyright Levy County Archives Committee. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
024053741 ( ALEPH )
06316718 ( OCLC )
00711645 ( LCCN )
Classification:
F317.L6 S44 1977 ( lcc )
975.9/77 ( ddc )

UFDC Membership

Aggregations:
Florida Family and Community History

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Full Text
SearchJor ederday
A History
of
Levy County, Florida
Chapter Fifteen
April 1986
Published By The
Levy County Archives Committee
Sponsored by the Levy County Board of Commissioners
Bronson, Florida
A Bicentennial Publication




Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2018 with funding from
University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries
https ://archive.org/detaiIs/searchforyesterd 1519levy




SPANIARDS AND PIRATES IN THE CEDAR KEYS?
By
Charles C. Flshburne, Jr. and
Boaz C. Wadley, Jr.
Yes--there were Spaniards and pirates in the Cedar warehouses and a watchtower on the summit of the Keys in 1802, and perhaps in other years also. We are island.10 certain about 1802, based upon copies of documents Rousseau's expedition stayed a week. They searched
held in the Spanish Archives in Seville. 1 the oher islands and found nothing. They appropriated
The Spaniards came in ships of war, commanded by the sails and rigging. They loaded all the salt aboard Pedro Rousseau, 2 an experienced lieutenant colonel in the sloop. They tried unsuccessfully to raise the the Spanish Army who had commanded the Mississippi schooner then beached and heeled her to inspect the
Squadron of Galleys. The pirates were serving William bottom. Finding a rotted bottom, they burned the Augustus Bowles, 3 self-styled "Director General of schooner at low tide. They burned the three the State of Muskogee," vaguely located between the warehouses, then chopped down the watchtower, cut it Apalachicola River and the Spanish outpost of San up, and burned it also. After replenishing their water
Marcos de Apalache, known to the British as St. Marks. supplies, they sailed for San Marcos de Apalache, With the support of certain persons in the British taking with them the two captives and the salt-laden Bahamas and in London, Bowles had made a career of sloop. 11
threatening and harassing Spanish interests on land Those who like to think that Jean Laffite used the
and sea under the colorful banner of his State of Cedar Keys may wish to ponder this: An associate of
Muskogee. 4 The convenience of the Cedar Keys as a theirs in later years, Renato Beluche, probably was in support base for Bowles' operations is apparent from a this expedition. He had been assigned to duty as a pilot glance at the map. 5 on Rousseau's flagship Catalina in February. 12 He was
For Bowles, his suppliers in the Bahamas, and his twenty-one years old. 13 Just a few years later he would aggressive "privateers", the Spanish Yslas Sabinas be cruising the high seas as master of the schooner Two proved useful as a way station with water, warehouses, Sisters. 14 For a time he was engaged in the Laffite a relatively secure harbor, and an extraordinarily brothers' operations out of Barataria near New Orleans.
far-seeing watchtower. 6 What is today called Seahorse 15 Some branded him a pirate. 16 His principal Key apparently served as the site of what Bowles' biographer, Jane Lucas De Grummond, more
people called "Port Power," 7 not surprisingly as charitably styles Renato Beluche a "smuggler,
Bowles' chief sea captain was Richard Power. The privateer, and patriot." In 1815, he commanded a gun
privateers, or pirates as the Spanish regarded them, battery for Gen. Andrew Jackson against the British in sailed vessels of unusual names such as Muskogee the Battle of New Orleans. 17 In the 1820's, Beluche
Micco and Tostonol. 8 commanded naval units for Gen. Simon Bolivar in
Commander Pedro Rousseau came on the schooner Venezuela's war for independence from Spain. 18
Catalina as flagship. The accompanying galley Lulsiana Thus, through Beluche, the folklore that links Jean was commanded by Lieutenant Bernardo Molina. The Laffite with the Cedar Keys excites the imagination and
schooner Favorita and its English Captain Daniel Jones invites additional research. also participated. The vessel had recently been seized In this report, we have described one week in June, by Rousseau before he learned of peace between 1802, about midway in the last period of Spanish rule
Britain and Spain. The English captain wanted to over the Cedar Keys of some 38 years. Before that
collaborate against Bowles, now in disfavor with British period the British rules for 21 years (1763-1784), and authorities. Another volunteer was Don Josef Vidal, prior to that, the Spanish for 199 years. 19 Just as Las who sought vengeance against Bowles' pirates for Yslas Sablnas 20 has been a clue to happenings in the
having recently seized and plundered his commercial Cedar Keys during the second Spanish period. so may schooner Betsy. 9 Los Cayos de San Martin prove to be a clue to their
What did the Spanish naval expedition find at Port history during the first, much longer, Spanish era. 21 Power in Las Yslas Sabinas? Antonio Garcia, Some maps show Los Cayos de San Martin at or near
Commander Rousseau's boatswain, led an armed the mouth of the Rio de San Martin (Suwannee-Santa
search party of nineteen men in two boats launched Fe system). 22 In some historical references to the from the schooners some distance out. They found a Cedar Keys, it has not been unusual to describe their sloop and a schooner at anchor, the latter in danger of location as "at or near" the mouth of the Suwannee sinking. They encountered four men and captured two River. 23 Amy Bushnell, in The King's Coffer, has of them, the other two having escaped through the documented traffic on that river in the 1600's,
woods. One captive was an American. The other, a connecting with Havana. 24 It appears likely that the
Portuguese, was said by the English captain to be "the Cedar Keys were used in those days, too, by Spaniards second of the famous pirate of Bowles, Captain Richard and pirates. Power." Garcia's men found a cabana filled with salt, Cedar Key
another sheltering ship rigging and sails, and three March 18, 1985




Notes 14. Ibid., 41-42.
1. Copies examined and those cited herein are
available on microfilm in the P.K. Young Library of 15. Ibid., 38.
Florida History, University of Florida, Gainesville. 16. Ibid., 1714.
They are contained in the collection drawn from 17. Ibid., 1025, ,
Archivo General de Indias, Papeles de Cuba, hereafter 18. Herd, 185-252l
cite asAGI PCfolowe bya leajonumer.19. Here, Spanish "rule" in Florida is calculated 2.tedas A autoophical skeho Rousseu, from the establishment of the first enduring settlement 2. A auobiorapicalskech o Rossea, dtedand center of political authority in San Augustine in November 15, 1803, appears in Louis Houck (ed.), The aolne Spanish Regime in Missouri, 2 vols. (Chicago; 1908), II 16.T 324-26; biographical notes appear in Abraham P. 20. The authors are indebted to Librarian Elizabeth
Nasatir, Spanish War Vessels on the Mississippi Alexander and to Bruce Chappell of the P.K. Yonge
1792-1796 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), Library of Florida History, University of Florida, 32-34. Gainesville, for assistance in this research; and to Jack
3. For a comprehensive treatment of Bowles, see J. D. L. Holmes, Director, Louisiana Collection, Leitch Wright, Jr., William Augustus Bowles: Director Birmingham, Alabama for supplying a chart of "Las General of the Creek Nation (Athens: University of Yslas Savinas", 1802, from Museo Naval-Madrid, and Georgia Press, 1976). identifying it with the Cedar Keys.
4. Lawrence and Lucia Kinnaird, "War Comes to San 21. Admittedly a speculation, the hypothesis
Marcos," Florida Historical Quarterly, LXII (July deserves the attention of persons researching the first
1983), 25-43; Lyle N. McAlister, "William Augustus Spanish era in Florida. Bowles and the State of Muskogee," Ibid., XL (April 22. The Suwannee-Santa Fe system is identified as
1962), 317-28; Lyle A. McAlister (ed.), "The Marine the Rio San Martin by Amy Bushnell in The King's Forces of William Agustus Bowles and His 'State of Coffer (Gainesville; University Presses of Florida, Muskogee,' Ibid., XXXII (July 1953), 3-27. 1981), frontispiece, "Map of Spanish Florida...Place
5. A convenient map for this is Bernard Romans' Names before 1702." A. R. San Martin is depicted on
1774 Map of the Province of East Florida, which the Iberville Map of Mexico and Florida, Paris, 1703,
includes the Gulf coast west to New Orleans and the reprinted in Bert Bierer, Indians and Artifacts in the Bahama Islands off the east coast. Southeast (Columbia, S. C., 1978), 363. The Jefferys
6. Kinnaird, op. cit., 36-37, refers to these facilities Map of Florida in William Roberts, An account of the and their destruction; for more detail, one may consult First Discovery and Natural History of Florida (London, the legajos cited in note 9 below. 1763), frontispiece, depicts the Cayos de St. Martin at
7. "Journal" of the Muskogee corsair Tostonold, the mouth of a Rio S. Martin, but the map and text
Captian Richard Power, November 22, 1801--January 8, exhibit confusion as to this river, the Rio San Pedro, 1802, AGI, PC, legajo 218; also fragment of journal of and an admittedly vague "Carolinian river." either Tostonoki or Muskogee Micco, October 27-30, 23. How one locates the Cedar Keys in relation to the
1801, which states: "28th...we made the great Cedar mouth of the river now called Suwannee may be a Key about 8 o ck night 29 went into Port Power and to matter of perspective and purpose. On an illustrative get water and sailed out about 12 o ck ....." map of the western hemisphere, or just the Gulf of
8. McAlister (ed.), "The Marine Forces of William Mexico, two hundred years igo, it might suffice to Augustus Bowles ..... op. cit. depict them close by the mouth of the nearest large
9. Pedro Rousseau to J. V. Morales, from aboard La navigable river. Such description appears in even more Catalina near San Marcos de Apalache, July 5, 1802, in recent examples: The Tallahassee Floridian on March AGI, PC, legajo 612 B; also Pedro Rousseau to Marques 2, 1839 reported a resolution calling for a lighthouse de Someruelos, from the same place, July 7, 1802, in "at Cedar Key, near the mouth of the Suwannee AGI, PC, legajo 1554 B. River." And on March 4, 1840, James Whitcomb,
10. Ibid. Commissioner of Public Lands in Washington, D.C.,
11. Ibid. informed his field offices in Tallahassee and St.
12. Manuel Juan de Salcedo to Marques de Augustine that "the Cedar Key islands lying off the
Someruelos, February 12, 1802, in AGI, PC, legajo mouth of the Suwannee River" were to be reserved for
2355. military use.
13. Jane Lucas De Grummond, Renato Beluche: 24. Op. cit., 37, 91, 128. See also Bushnell, "The
Smuggler, Privateer, and Patriot, 1780 1860 (Baton Menendex Marquez Cattle Barony at La Chua..." Rouge; Louisiana University Press, 1983), 32. Florida Historical Quarterly, LVI (April 1978), 407-31.
2




A
In 1910, Joseph J. Wilson was a boat builder in Cedar Key. To his left is his mother-in-law, Grandma Henley; center, Mary Henley Wilson; front, Laverne (M. Phillips), Maggie Josephine (M. Oder), Emily Ola (M. Oder).




This was an oyster processing plant in Cedar Key, 1905.
This school at Cedar Key was built in 1912 and burned Dec. 21, 1943.
4




THE FAMILY OF JOSEPH FLEMING PREVATT
By Elaine Presneli
Thomas Prevatt was born circa 1772 in South girl by the name of Fanny Smith. Her father, James
Carolina, probably the son of James Prevatt who served Hampton Smith, didn't like Joe at all. He said that Joe in the South Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary was like a gopher--carrying everything that he owned War. on his back. This was because Joe liked nice clothes and
The first time that we find Thomas mentioned by always rode a fine horse with a beautiful saddle and
name is in the 1805 land lottery of Georgia. Being a trappings. James Hampton's opinion did not deter married man, he was allowed two draws--both Fanny and Joe. They slipped away and were married on
"blanks". He had married Mary Studstill in 1801 at the eight of March, 1851. As so many parents have "the home of her father in Camden County, Georgia". done, James H. had to eat his words. Joseph Fleming They evidently lived in the Folkston area because both turned out to be a good husband, father and son-in-law. he and Mary were members of Sardis Baptist Church. Joe received some land from the government for his
His brother, Joseph R. and his wife were also service in the Indian War. This was probably in the
members. Ebenezer area since this is where he and Fanny lived.
In 1810, both Joseph R. and Thomas were granted He was primarily a cattleman but always had a huge
land by Spain in what is now Nassau Co., Florida. vegetable garden for his family and, of course, chickens
Again, both of them affiliated with a church--Pigeon and pigs. Creek Baptist Church. This was located near the St. They were members of Ebeneezer Baptist Church.
Mary's River on the Florida side. Joe was secretary for a good many years. In those days
It appears that Joseph R. remained there, but about the Church not only fulfilled their spiritual needs but 1824 Thomas and a few others received permission was their primary source of social activities.
from the Church to begin a new congregation near In 1857 Joe became sheriff of Levy County. He
present-day Brooker, Alachua County, Florida, because served in this capacity until 1863. Then in 1864 he Pigeon Creek was "too far to travel". This enlisted in Captain E. J. Lutterlohs Co., Munnerlin's
congregation was called New River Church. Batallion, for the duration of the Civil War. He
We can only imagine what life in early Florida must participated in a skirmish at "#4, Levy County," and have been like for the settlers. They lived close to forts, one at Clay Landing on the Suwannee River. This must because at times they had to seek protection from the have been a Home Guard unit. Indians. There were very few roads--very few people Joe died in 1880. Fanny lived on until 1918 and was
for neighbors. There were only 34,730 people in the buried beside him at Ebeneezer Cemetery. All of their entire territory in 1830--18,185 white. (Mrs. Aurora children, and their mates, with the exception of three Shaw from her 1830 census). They planted small are also buried there.
patches of corn and probably a garden. More than apt These are their Children: they plowed with their guns slung over their shoulders. 1. Thomas James born 1852 married Candacia And then the Indians really began to act up. Thomas Studstill. fought in the Seminole War and died in 1837 at Gary's 2. John Marion born 1855 married Irene Studstill. Ferry near Middleburg. His wife died two months later. 3. Mary America born 1857 married Thomas B. Ordinarily, their deaths would have been noted in the Folks. minutes of New River Church, but there were no 4. Eliza born 1860 married Seth Faircloth.
minutes for four or five years during this war period. 5. Ann Fanny born 1861 married George Weimer. The congregation couldn't meet because of the Indians. 6. Joseph Morgan born 1864 married Virginia Smith.
Thomas and Mary had nine children but I will name 7. Charles Curling born 1868 married Hilda
only two. The remainder of them, or their children, Wilkinson (?). were never in Levy County, so far as I can determine. 8. Della born 1870 married William Porter McLeod. Thomas James was their oldest child, born in 1802 in 9. Hampton born 1874 married to 1. Willie Harris; 2. Camden County, Georgia. He also fought in the Indian Freeda Stalvey. Wars. He married two, or three, times and his two
children, John Thomas and Mary Ann, lived in Levy
County. John Thomas married Sarah Julia Clyatt, and
Mary Ann married Thomas C. Love. All of them are
buried in Levyville Cemetery. Thomas James died in
1857 and is buried at Newmansville.
Joseph Fleming Prevatt was born in 1822 in the
vicinity of Newnansville. In the 1850 Alachua County
Census, he is living in the house-hold of Thomas
James. Shortly after this he met a beautiful red-haired




Ai
V.V
4X
qN
A bear hunt near Cedar Key, about 1906. Foreground, left to right, George Rex Andrews, M.D., the black bear, and Forrest Andrews. The two men were brothers. Dr. Andrews came
from Muncie, Indiana and was the father of the late Edwin H. Andrews, M.D.
6




MEEKS
Eugenla Smith Rowe
Thomas Lawson Meeks, born October 1846, and his 2. Joyce Etta, 1 August 1910, W. Frank Bullock, died
wife, Amanda, born October 1851, along with his 15 January 1976.
younger brother, David C. Meeks, born March 1851, 3. Robert, 1912, died age 2.
and his wife, Eliza Hilliard Meeks, born January 1850, 4. George Oran "Buck", 6 January 1914, Evelyn came to Florida from the Troy, Alabama area after the Smith. Civil War (or war between the states, depending on 5. Jeannette Avarilla, 11 January 1916, Edward Lee
where you were born. I shall use Civil War as it is Barton. shorter and more commonly used these days.) These 6. David Wofford, 11 October 1917, Margie
two brothers and their wives have founded a vast Beauchamp.
family, with its roots here in Levy County. Its branches 7. Clara, Harold McDonnell. are like one of our giant oak trees, large and growing 8. Mary "Jackie", 13 August 1921, John Dishong. larger all the time, spreading out in many directions. Thomas Lawson Meeks lost his first wife, Amanda,
Thomas Lawson Meeks served his native state of whom we presume is buried in the ElIzey Church
Alabama and his fledgling Southern Nation as a soldier Cemetery. He married second, Mrs. Dora Tindall, in the Confederate forces, Co. H., 12th Alabama Pinner, Berryhill, born 1869, died 1955. Both Thomas
Infantry. He applied for a pension in March 1911. Lawson and Dora are buried in the Ellzey Church
Thomas Lawson Meeks, a merchant, and Amanda Cemetery, Levy County, Florida.
were married in 1874 and reared two sons. The first, Not much is known of Thomas Lawson and David C. David Newton Meeks, born 21 February 1875 in Florida Meeks' parents. What we do know is that their father (possibly at Madison), married on the 22 May 1898, was born in Georgia and their mother in Alabama. Miss Fannie Clifford Oglesby, born 11 October 1883 in Therefore, we presume that the father imigrated to Florida. They reared a family of eleven in the Ellzey Alabama, met their mother, married her and settled area as he worked in the sawmills. They are buried in down to raise their family. After the Civil War, these the Ellzey Cemetery. David Newton Meeks died 12 two brothers set out to make their own way in the
September 1953 and his wife, Fannie, died 12 world, much as their father must have done, although
November 1964. Their eleven children: probably for very different reason%.
1. David Alonzo "Dock", 27 January 1900, David C. Meeks, born March 1851 in the Troy, Pike
Margurite Pugh. County, Alabama area, married about 1874, Miss Eliza
2. Nora Mable, 23 October 1901, John Williams. Hilliard, born January 1850, also of Alabama. David
3. Susie, 26 September 1903, T. Parker Frier. was the younger brother of Thomas Lawson Meeks
4. Thomas Lawson, 23 September 1905, Bessie reported on here in a previous paragraph. David and
Smallwood. Eliza married in Alabama and removed to Florida
5. Lee Roy, 8 December 1907, Gertrude Drummond. between 1876 and 1878. David was a farmer in the
6. Eunice, 1910, J. D. Williams. Ellzey area of Levy County, Florida. Eliza gave birth to
7. Lewis, 20 June 1912, Bertha Crews. six children, five of whom grew to adulthood.
8. George Washington, 4 July 1915, Oretha Earles. The first child of David and Eliza Meeks was Sarah
9. Walter Horace, 21 October 1917, Beatrice Tindall. Bamma, born 10 March 1876, (while the family was still 10. Don Newton "Donnie", 15 November 1920, living in Alabama) married 27 November 1892, John
Virginia Elizabeth Sharp. Wesley Ishie, born 4 March 1865. They were married at
11. Duncan, 1921, died as a child. Ellzey, Levy County, Florida by the Reverend Robert
Thomas Lawson and Amanda's second son, George M. Ellzey. John Wesley Ishie on the 1910 Census, is
Lawson Meeks, born 4 June 1881, in Florida, married 7 listed as a Railroad Section Foreman living at Ellzey February 1908 at Ellzey, Miss Avarilla Ellzey, a school and it was here that his wife, Bamma, gave birth to teacher, born 16 January 1887. She was the daughter of their ten children. John Wesley Ishie died on the 22 the Reverend Robert M. Ellzey and his wife, Mary June 1951, followed by Bamma on 3 February 1953.
Avarilla White Williams Ellzey. George Lawson and his They are both buried at the Ellzey Church Cemetery. wife, Avarilla produced eight children and in 1910 he is Their ten children: listed in the Federal Census as a Tie Manufacturer, 1. Eliza Ellen, 19 November 1893, James Edward
presumedly for the railroad, at Ellzey. George Lawson Williams. Meeks died 3 January 1938 following his wife, Avarilla, 2. Susie Caroline, 12 February 1896, Died 24 who died 28 February 1937. They both are buried at December 1898. Orange Hill Cemetery, Williston, Levy County, Florida. 3. John Wesley, Jr. 2 April 1898, 1st Dorothy Gilbert, Their eight children: 2nd Rozella "Susie" Wingate.
1. Cherry Amanda, 18 November 1908, Lawrence 4. Grace Bamma, 18 May 1900, James Garmon
Turner. Wright.
7




5. Lottie Mae, 10 April 1903, 1st T. J. Wright, 2nd 8. David Mudrick "Cub", 30 November 1971, 17 Grady Washington Phelps. August 1976, Mrs. Ottie I. Killcrease Whittington.
7. David Samuel, 25 March 1910, Elsie Fort. 9. Edwin "Eddie", twin, 6 July 1919, Katherine.
8.Nancy Jerusha, 15 October 1912, died 5 June 1917. 10. Evelyn "Alice", twin, 6 July 1919, Henry
9. William Madison, 21 November 1914, married Gordon.
Lillie Duncan. The third child of David and Eliza Meeks was a
10. Minnie Lue, 12 February 1917, Julius Radacky. daughter Mary Ella, born 13 October 1880. Mary Ella James Newton Meeks, born 28 August 1878, the married Yank Fralix, date unknown, and after his
second child of David and Eliza, was the first of their death, she married Joe Hogan. I have no further children born in Florida. He was a farmer in the Elizey information except for Mary Ella's death on 11 May area of Levy County, Florida. James Newton Meeks 1948 and her burial at ElIzey Church Cemetery, Levy
met and married Miss Fannie McMellon, born 25 County, Florida.
December 1881 at Ellzey. They were married by the The fourth of David and Eliza Meeks children was
Reverend Robert M. Ellzey on 5 February 1901. Fannie Amanda, born 22 February 1881. Amanda married was the daughter of J. L. and Martha Jefferson William D. Perryman, born 23 November 1879, a
Carolina Carter McMellon. James Newton and Fannie carpenter of houses. Known affectionally as "Uncle had ten children, all born in Ellzey. James Newton Bill" and "Aunt Mandy" to many, many people in and died on 26 August 1946, age 68, but Fannie lived to the about Levy County, they never had any chldren of their vunerable age of 97, died on 8 April 1978. Both are own. "Uncle Bill" died 28 January 1962, followed by buried in the Ellzey Church Cemetery, Levy County, "Aunt Mandy" 18 March 1970. They are both buried in Florida. Their ten children: Galillee Cemetery, between Rocky Hammock and
1. Richard Harvie, 16 January 1902, 15 December Chiefland, Levy County, Florida.
1912, died age 10. The fifth and last of David and Eliza Meeks children
2. John Newton, 30 March 1904, 1 October 1972, to reach adulthood was Lottie, born in 1887. Other than
Bessie Lee Geiger. she married Tom Oglesby, I know nothing more of her.
3. Bennie, 6 May 1906, 25 June 1906, died age I David C. Meeks died 23 March 1921, following Eliza
month. Hilliard by ten years. Eliza died 22 February 1911. They
4. James Rufus, 28 April 1907, Ethel Marie Gilley. both are buried at the Ellzey Church Cemetery, Levy 5. Lawrence Jackson, 12 December 1909, 26 County, Florida. As mentioned before David C. and
February 1981, Nora May Geiger. Thomas Lawson Meeks' parents were from Georgia and
6. Fannie Eliza, 9 March 1912, Buford Henry Alabama. Eliza Hilliard's parents were both from
Holmes. Alabama. Nothing more is known on this couple who
7. Bertie Martha, 24 November 1914, 12 June 1971, left so many descendants in this area. J. Mitchell Curry.




THE BRONSON METHODIST CHRUCH
By Elizabeth Griffin, Harriet Shewey, Faith Weeks
The Bronson Methodist Church was organized in J. C. Ley
1867 with five members--Dr. James M. Jackson, W. S. Richardson
Col. W. R. Coulter, W. A. Shands, Moses Dean J. A. Howland
and John Penny. The first pastor was Elias J. Knight, J. P. DePass who also preached at Levyville, Rocky Hammock, Otter Samuel Scott Creek and Fort Fannin. John Beers
Near the end of 1867, John Ira Epperson moved from W. F. Norton North Georgia with his large family of devout C. N. Duncan
Methodists and, with other members gained, the H. B. Frazee
membership of the Church had grown to 20. The newly B. T. Rape organized Church was encouraged, and the following W. H. Steinmyer
year a small Church was built at the cost of $400.00. R. M. Williams Services the first year had been held in an unfinished W. R. Crandell warehouse. J. C. Collier
The first Board of Trustees was chosen in 1871 for the W. C. Norton new Bronson Circuit, as follows: J. H. Hawkins, J. I. G. L. Ingram Epperson of Stafford Pond, James K. Jackson, W. R. Edward K. Denton
Coulter, W. A. Shands of Bronson, S. P. Hardee, S. H. R. L. Yeats Worthington of Rocky Hammock and Antioch, James W. H. Newkirk
Overstreet of Oak Grove, S. W. B. Stephens of Charity. Jessie J. Jones Some Churches had been taken from the Circuit and P. A. Fletcher
others added. P. K. Rowell
The Church we-workship in today was built in 1886 L. E. Wright East of the Bronson High School on a lot given by Col. L. B. Simpson W. R. Coulter. In 1920, this Church was moved to its W. C. Norton present location and in 1926 an Education Annex was C. H. Voss added. The Recreation Center was built in 1947 on the J. A. Bridges lot in back of the Church. There we have games for Jesse E. Jones
young folks, a barbeque pit and tables for family S. E. Hendrix
suppers. Our first Homecoming was held that year and W. H. Herndon now is observed every two years on the second Sunday A. A. Godfrey in October. Clare S. Hall
The Church was remodeled in 1950 and a piano given R. H. Carr at Homecoming. Bronson had been on a charge with Lorne Sparks
Archer and Cedar Key until 1953 when the Church was W. G. Strickland made a station. New furniture replace the old, and the Oliver Hatfield brass cross and candleholders were added in 1956 in Walter Jessup memory of loved ones in the Church. E. D. Conway
The two-storied parsonage which stood on the lot by William McMullen the Church was built in 1901. In 1961, a lot was John N. Bennion
purchased and funds for a more modern parsonage was John Wright started. The building was finished, furnished and a Theodore Springer dedication service held in 1964. The old parsonage was Fletcher Peeler used for Sunday School until the completion of the Robert Lenz
Education Building, after which it was torn down. The Ernest Edmund year was 1969. Charles Hutchins
Pastors who have served at Bronson United David Underwood
Methodist Church Wesley Price
Elias J. Knight Guy Athearn
J. W. Thompkins W. Timothy Baughn
T. J. Nixon Robert Sterner
J. B. Johnson Herman Boyette
J. P. DePass Frank L. Daniel
J. R. Crowder
S. E. Phillips
9




ELMIRA PRISON CAMP
By Cindy Goss
American History, Eleventh Grade
Chlefland High School, 1984
Whie going over some subjects for this year's term unaware of one last deadly factor. A Virginian said, paper, I had previously decided on the Civil War in "Elmira was in those regions of New York, where for at general. While frantically searching, I found an least 4 months of every year, anything short of a polar
interesting battle, The Battle of the Crater in bear would find locomotion impracticable. Another
Petersburg, Virginia. I began reading about this certain native said, "The compound was a pleasant summer battle. I asked my grandfather, Lindon Lindsey, if he prison for southern soldiers, but an excellent place for would have any information on this battle, since he is a them to find their graves in the winter." In early July, collector of Civil War history. He gave me several Colonel A. G. Draper, commanding the Point Lookout
folders of facts about the Civil War and this battle. He Pen, received orders to start 2,000 of his prisoners for told me that I had a great-great-great-grandfather, Elmira. They were to be divided into groups of 400, Samuel Curry, who fought in the Battle of the Crater. I with 100 guards. All received two days' rations. The was so fascinated by this fact that I continued to look for Confederates stood in lines for small pox vaccinations, more information. I then found out he was captured in then marched aboard what a member of Stuart's Horse Virginia and taken to Elmira Prison Camp in Elmira, Artillery termed "a miserable old government New York. This was a camp for captured Confederate transport only fitted to carry cattle." The shiphold
prisoners of war. "was sickening in the extreme... .A large number of
At the Battle of the Crater, Samuel Curry was men being already sick when placed aboard, their
captured along with 200 other men. wretched condition upon the voyage can be better
Samuel Curry was enlisted in Bronson, Florida, imagined than described.
August 1, 1863, by Lt. Barco. Curry was a private in The first group reached Elmira at 6 a.m. on July 6
Company G, 9th Regiment, Florida Infantry, and numbered 399 men--one soldier having escaped
The Company Muster Roll said Curry was absent on enroute. The second group of 249 prisoners arrived
July 27, 1864, and was said to have deserted to the early on the morning of July 11, then followed by 502 enemy. When the roll was called again, the roll said he Confederates on the following day. One observer said, was absent and was a prisoner of war. "They were made up of two classes; the old and the
On August 8, 1864, Curry was listed as a prisoner of young, and the middle aged having a very small war at Point Lookout, Maryland. Sam Curry was representation. They wore all sorts of non descript
captured July 29, 1864, in Petersburg, Virginia and was uniforms beside the dark, dirty gray. A prison guard transfered to Elmira Prison Camp, New York. described the Confederates as "pale and emaciated,
Samuel Curry died on November 14, 1864, of chronic hollow-eyed and dispirited in every act and diarrhea. movement."~ To make matters worse, the vaccine
To show just what kind of nightmare Elmira was to meted out to the prisoners was not of superior quality. Confederate soldiers, I have described it in the On many arms "were great sores, big enough, it
following paragraphs. seemed, to put your fist in."
ELMIRA On July 15, an Erie Railroad train jammed with
Elmira, New York, lies in fertile farm country some prisoners collided with a freight train near the hamlet of 5 miles away from the Pennsylvania line. The 30-acre Shahola. Casualties included 48 prisoners and 17 site was along and below the banks of the Chemung guards killed, 100 prisoners and 18 guards injured. A
River. A one-acre lagoon of stagnant water, a backwash local newspaper proclaimed, "The injured were from the river, stood within the stockade and would carefully helped by their comrades and others onto soon give rise to several epidemics. It was called wagons for their short ride to Elmira." What the
Foster's Pond. newspaper neglected to state was that the Confederates
Prison buildings were located on the high northern still lay in make-shift hospitals at Elmira, their wounds bank of the pond's lower level, known to flood easily unattended and clothing stuck to the dried blood of cuts and later became a hospital area for hundreds of small and fractures. pox and diarrhea victims. Inside the prison pen stood Albert G. Smith wrote a letter to his wife, "I got thirty-five two-story barracks each measuring 100 by 20 heart in comeing hear by the cars running together, but feet. Ceilings were barely high enough to accommodate I am not confined. .wee are fareing very well and are two rows of crude banks along the walls. The flooring, treated very cind, more so that I thought wee would assembled of green lumber and lacking foundations, bee. "
afforded little resistance to either wind or water. The Conditions at Elmira, anything but satisfactory, first groups to arrive at Elmira quickly crowded the worsened rapidly in the ensuing weeks. By the end of barracks. Prisoners that came after lived in "A" tents July, 4, 424 prisoners were packed in the compound, scattered around the prison area. with another 3,000 then enroute from Point Lookout.
At the time of their arrival, most prisoners were The total number leaped to 9,600 by mid-August.
10




(Keep in mind Elmira was only to accommodate 5,000 One of the most pressing needs among prisoners was
comfortably.) for clothing, since more than one arrived in "nothing
Colonel Eastman reported to Washington that mess but my underwear". The cry for clothing brought facilities could not cope with so many prisoners; it instant response from Southern families and friends; required 3 hours to feed 10,000 men in shifts of 1,800 at yet, Colonel Eastman withheld the issuing of the a time. Colonel Hoffman replied brusquely 2 weeks clothes until he could get the permission from Colonel
later that if the prisoners "can get through their Hoffman. The permission finally came in mid-August breakfast by 11 a.m. and their dinner by 6 p.m. nothing and with a restriction: "only gray, or some shade of more is necessary." gray mixed, can be allowed." This quickly eliminated
The continual dumping of garbage and sewage into all but a few coats, shirts, and pairs of trousers, sent the slimy pool in the last hot days of summer produced north by wives and mothers; what was not distributed "a condition offensive to the nostrils and dangerous to was burned. the health," A surgeon at the prison stated more Winter struck early in Elmira. Prisoners lacking
clearly. An average of 7,000 prisoners released daily blankets and clad in rags collapsed in droves from over 2,600 gallons of urine--"highly loaded with exposure. Late in September a camp inspector reported
nitrogenous material" into Foster's Pond. "The Pond some gray clothing trickling into the compound, yet received the contents of the sinks and garbage of the "great destitution" prevailed. By early December, camp until it became so offensive that vaults.were dug 1,666 half-naked men "only in blankets" stood on the banks of the pond for sinks and the hole left a ankle-deep in snow to answer morning roll call. festering mass of corruption and the entire atmosphere In the second week of December, the Federal of the camp with its pestilential orders, night and day. Government issued clothing for 2,000 men to the more
Colonel Eastman called Washington's attention to than 8,400 confederates living at Elmira.
this offensive condition as early as August 17; not until One fortunate prisoner who received an "out-of-date late October did he receive permission to use prisoner goverment coat" described the coat by saying, "For labor for making drainage ditches to remove the some unknown reason, the tails has been cut 'evenly'
stagnant water. By December the odor was gone, yet one side being a foot long and others extending only a
scores of prisoners were down with disease. few inches from the waist line. They helped to keep us
Despite the outcry that showed "the grossest warm, but should we have been out in the world in such
indifference on the part of the government" and was costumes, one might have mistaken us for scarecrows carried out in an "inhuman and cruel manner" the eloping from the neighborhood cornfield."
officers responsible for the prisoner transfer remained If hunger existed among the Confederates, these at their duties. The episode became one of the major sources insisted it was due to: 1. lack of appetite due to marks against the prison its occupants had dubbed homesickness, 2. slightly inferior quality of food owing
"Helmira." to the severe drought of that year, 3. the inactivity and
At night forty-one "locomotive lights" bathed the boredom of prison life, 4. the outcries of prisoners prison area while sentries at half-hour intervals broke whose rations were stolen, sold, or gambled away, and the darkness and stillness by announcing all is well. 5. the stomachs in an abnormal condition as a result of
Late in July, the prisoners underwent a unique long incarceration.
indignity. A group of towns people erected two Personal records and some reports by prison officials
observation platforms immediately outside the prison came close to substantiating the assertion of a Northern walls. For 15 cents spectators could observe the soldier that "a cat notwithstanding its proverbial nine
prisoners as they endured life within the compound. A lives, wouldn't last five months" inside Elmira. sergeant in the 3rd Alabama Regiment added that some By late August, an epidemic of survey was in fall
prisoners frequently assembled near an observatory to force; on September 11, no less than 1,870 cases had "indulge in numerous ridiculous feats of ground been reported.
tumbling for amusing the spectators, but really in A Maryland soldier wrote his wife from Elmira in
derision of being regarded as curiosities. December, "I am almost starved to death. I only get 2
The odds dropped as each passing month brought meals a day, breakfast and supper. For breakfast, I get
new oppressions and hardships and with them a one third of a pound of bread and a small piece Of meat;
commensurate increase in sickness and death. William for supper, I get the same quantity of bread and no Garner, a private in the Stonewall Brigade, was the first meat, but a small plate of warm water called soup." to die at Elmira. He died on July 27, 1864, to Men were dying of starvation at the rate of 25 a day.
66 questionable fever." Twice each day prisoners went to mess call in groups
Three months later, during one four-day period, 44 or wards of 200-400 men. Private John King men died, 588 were admitted to the hospital, and 1,021 recollected: "We went in a trot, canteens, buckets, tin received "treatment" for various and serious ailments. cans, coffee pots rattling, old rags and strings and long By the end of 1864, 1,015 prisoners were prostrate, unkept hair, dirty and gray backs, cheekbones while 1,264 others lay buried in a nearby cemetery. projecting for there was little of us except skin and Samuel Curry is one of the 1,264 who died. The worst bones. Our legs were spindling and weak. Here we was yet to come. went over the frozen ground and in crossing ditches
To fully understand this universal suffering and some frequently fell. We were obliged to leave them
sickness, a high death rate at Elmira, 24 percent, struggling to regain their feet as our time at the mess
required a detailed examination of all facts of prisoner hall was limited." life. Hunger caused grown men to do desperate things.




Mr. King said, "I have seen a mob of hungry rebs dog".
beseige the bone-cart and beg from the drivers Bucking and gagging or hanging by the thumbs,
fragments on which the sun had been burning for were additional penalties at Elmira. One Alabama
several days. He also said, "I got up many times in my soldier refused to reveal his source of whiskey, so a bunk with a bone and after knawing the soft end, guard gagged him with a wooden block so wide that it
sucked at the end of the bone for hours at a time. I split his mouth in both corners. wasn't the only one." Prisoners would pick up apple Official statistics for the worst 6-month period at
peelings that had been trampled in the mud around the Elmira tell a grim story. barracks, wiped them off on grimy shirt sleeves, and month Prisoners Sick Dead
devour them eagerly. September 9,480 563 385
When rations became insufficient to even ward off October 9,441 640 276
starvation, the prisoners turned to a large rat November 8,258 666 207
population that inhabited the banks of Foster's Pond. December 8,401 758 269
Scores of men lined the banks, waiting for any January 8,602 1,015 285
unsuspecting rodent to venture forth from his hole. A February 8,996 1,398 426
North Carolina soldier stated: "If one was sighted such On the night of March 16, 1865, Mother Nature a hurrah and such a chase and such a volley of stones!I seemingly tried to rid the earth of Elmira. Hard rains You would have thought it was our battalion of caused the Cheming River to suddenly overrun its
sharpshooters in a charge. At the time a broiled rat wasbak.Ifloethfislvl.Ahugtefod
supeb ad a ealy paatale ood.Onc a salldogcarried away some 2,700 feet of stockade fence, followed a wood-hauler into the stockade. Half-starved prisoners had no time to think of escape. Colonel Tracy prisoners caught and slaughtered the animal, then hid reported the transfer of prisoners to higher ground the carcass in the rafters of their barracks until after resulted "in slightly increased loss of life." dark. They were in the process of devouring their meals One near fatality in the flood was a North Carolina when guards (alerted by an oath-taker) arrested the prisoner, who while scampering from one barrack roof whole group. to another slipped and plunged into the icy water. "I
By November, 1864 (the time of Samuel Curry's was baptized all by myself" he said later "and that is
death) a large outbreak of diarrhea and pneumonia had the reason why I'm a Baptist still." reached plague proportions. A month later came small Today, all that remains of Elmira is a well-kept
pox. In the first week it struck 140 men, killing 10. A cemetery. The grave yard seems a fitting memorial. soldier reported "There was not a day that at least 20 Samuel Curry is buried in grave No 808. men were taken out dead." Conclusion
A physician most singled out for commendation was I have told of Elmira Prison Camp and how it was a
Surgeon-in-Chief E. L. Sanger. This "Club-footed little nightmare to captured Confederate soldiers. To me this gentleman, with an abnormal head and a snakey look inwamoetnjutasbctfraemppr.Iwsa his eyes' itetdadngete l ofdrtsa chance to learn about my ancestor .who fought in the
retaliation for the sufferings of Federal soldiers in Civil War, his capture, and the horrible life he endured southern prisons. James Huffman of the 10th Virginia in Elmira. So I must totally agree with a Texas soldier Regiment insisted to his death that he heard Sanger who firmly stated: boast, "I have killed more Rebs than any soldier at the "If there was ever hell on earth, Elmira was that front. Other prisoners seconded the accusation of sick hell. prisoners "being deliberately murdered by the The footnotes and biblography of this essay are on
surgeon." Sanger abruptly left Elmira in December of file in the Archives Collection at the Bronson Town 1864. Lbay
The most ingenuous single escape from Elmira, was Lbay that of a Georgian sergeant known to history as "Buttons". He induced prisoners working in the "dead house" to put him in a coffin and to tack the top lightly in place. A few hours later, the prison surgeon turned over the days accumulation of bodies to Sexton Jones for interment in the cemetery. Soon the wagon bumped slowly along the road. His face powdered with flour to give the white appearance of death, "Buttons" quietly raised the lid of his coffin. Then to the driver seated in front of him, "Buttons" moaned, "Come to the judgement". The driver warily turned his head. One look at the figure rising from the coffin was enough for Jones, who ran pell-mell through the woods shouting, Ghosties!I Ghosties!I" The Confederate made good his escape. From then on a federal officer supervised all ''preparing of the dead"s.
At Elmira, discipline was strick and punishments
were discriminate. Some had to wear barrel shirts that said things like "I am a liar", "I'm a thief" or "I ate a
12




SHELL POND
and
Judge John Francis McDonell
By Kathryn Harris
A bill introduced in the Florida legislature (1877) Judge William H. Sebring (born ca 1840, Tennessee; extended the boundaries of Levy County to include the a merchant from Bronson). beautiful hammock and caverns area of Shell Pond. S. S. Moore (School Supt., Levy County).
This land had previoulsy been within the Marion Sam Tucker (Sheriff, Alachua County).
County lines. More important than the land acquired J. Porter Smith (born 1 January 1824, S. C.), son of
was the group of settlers who lived there. Thomas Smith (born 16 March 1788; died 30 January
A gala picnic was held to celebrate the occasion on 1853; buried Wacahoota Methodist Cemetery). Porter May 17. In addition to the Levy County residents, there was the grandson of Thomas Smith (born 28 January were visitors from Alachua and Marion Counties. 1768; died 12 October 1815, Newberry District, S. C.)
Among those in attendance: and Anna Katherine Leapheart (born 4 May 1768; died
William H. Bigham (born ca 1839, Georgia; Sheriff of 17 November 1829, Newberry District, S. C.) He was Levy County in 1885 census). also nephew of Jacob Smith (1809-1874) who has many
Edmund H. Brewer (b. 6 May 1832; d. 18 Sep 1912; descendants in Levy County, one of whom is Joseph E.
buried Wacahoota Baptist Cemetery; gf of Emma Smith, Prosecuting Attorney for the county.
Peacock Rutland et al.) Captain John Francis McDonell of Shell Pond and his
Dr. R. H. Mellvaine (b. 23 April 1820, Lewes, relatives helped to round out the 200 300 people at the
Deleware; d. 14 March 1889; buried Cedar Key). picnic which was held on his land. From that very day,
Dr. James Maxwell Jackson, Sr., of Bronson (born 7 he played a vital role in the history of our country, as a Jan 1831, Chester Dist., S.C.; died 10 May 1911; buried citizen and as a County Judge. The following family Bronson; son of Turner and Elizabeth Jackson; married history was obtained from Wilson Sistrunk by Rev. Mary Glenn Shands, of the family for whom Shands Durwood McDonell and Mrs. Eddie (Vernon McDonell)
Medical Center is named). Griffin.
John Francis McDonell and family of Shell
Pond, Florida, about 1877.
13




In 1918, Vernon McDonell (Griffin), Earl Willis (son of Dr. Jesse Mercer Willis), Montine Gornto (King), Harrison Barnard. The automobile is not identified, it might have been a Packard. These people lived in and around Williston




A HISTORY OF THE McDONELL FAMILY
By
Wilson Sistrunk
John Francis McDonell was born on Amelia Island, By 1788, Governor Quesada of Spanish Florida was
Florida, 21 March 1820, and died at Shell Pond, Levy offering headrights as an inducement to persuade County, Florida, 25 January 1895. He was the eighth wealthy planters to move to Florida to grow Sea Island child of Ferdinand Donald McDonell and Sarah Bulia cotton. James Pelot was awarded sufficient land, on the Pelot, who were married on Amelia Island in 1805. basis of the number of his family members and slaves, They had fourteen children, most of whom reached to be traded later for 620 acres of Amelia Island. Its
adulthood. location is well known, being southeast of the airport.
Ferdinand Donald McDonell was born in Glengarry, He and the other planters of long staple cotton enjoyed Scotland, in 1770, and was brought to Newberry, South a large income from the profitable sale abroad. Carolina, by his parents, William and Margery, in Fernandina was a thriving port with as many as 100
1778. His mother, Margery O'Neil MacDonald, was the ships in the harbor at one time. daughter of Alexander MacDonald of Glengarry, James Pelot had moved to Amelia Island by 1793,
Scotland. Ferdinand Donald McDonell had moved to and lived there until his death, probably in the
Spanish Florida and settled near St. Augustine with his hurricane in 1734. In his old age, he deeded most of his first wife, Ann, before 1789. Ann died on Amelia Island property to his daughter, Sarah Bulia Pelot McDonell, in 1802. There is no record of any children born to this in trust, to manage for his benefit for the rest of his life. marriage. We should not leave James Pelot without relating
Ferdinand Donald McDonell was a planter and that he was captured by the British (probably at
merchant on Amelia Island for many years. He was Purysburg, South Carolina) late in the American
awarded almost $15,000 in damages suffered at the Revolution. Family tradition has it that he spent the
hands of the American Expedition from St. Mary's, rest of the war as a prisoner on a British prison ship in
Georgia in 1813. This award was made in 1825, but it the Charleston, South Carolina, harbor. His black body was not paid until 1837. servant was allowed to come and go freely, providing
Late in life, Ferdinand Donald moved to Savannah, him with food and clean clothes.
Georgia, and lived on Bryan Street until his death in John Francis McDonell was raised in an affluent 1849. He was buried in the Pelot lot in Colonial society on Amelia Island. While the non-importation act
Cemetery. Apparently, his grave was covered by the had been passed prohibiting the shipment to American construction of a new jail on that site many years ago. ports of Negroes from Africa or any West Indies
Sarah Bulia Pelot McDonell was the daughter of ports of g ro africaporny e Indies
James Pelot and his wife, Elizabeth Chisholm, of Islands, the growing and exporting of Sea Island cotton
Beaufort District, South Carolina. She was born there in kept Fernandina a thriving port for a few years thereafter. Travel from one off-shore island to the other
1788. James Pelot was the son of John Francis Pelot, a along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts was easy, native of De Neuville Bern Canon.- Educated in most of the coastal planters were interrelated by blood
Switzerland, James Francis was fourteen years old
when his father, Jonas Pelot, master shoemaker, or marriage. There was much travel in the six-oared
emigrated from Switzerland to Puryburg, South plantation boats, rowed by black servants in livery, to
Carolina, in 1734. Their new home was located about parties and other social events. Some of the family
miles up the Savannah River from the little names on Amelia Island during that era were Roux, twenty of Savannah ria. T he ltte Helvinston, Harrison, and Sealy as well as Pelot and
colony of Savannah, Georgia. The letter of McDonell.
recommendation given to Jonas Pelot by the De As a young man, we find John Francis McDonell as a
Neuville Village Council upon his departure has been slave overseer for Mary Helvinston Stanley, at preserved by the Pelot family descendants. saeoese o ayHliso tnea
preserdnbyith Pelot famrildary eats. SWacahoota, Florida. The railroad had been built from John Francis Pelot married Mary Martha Sealy, and Amelia Island to Cedar Key. It came through Archer shortly thereafter joined the Baptist Church under the Ameliaosland Ceray hae thr move r
influence of the Sealy family, who were devout and Bronson and certainly hastened the movement of
Baptists. John Francis became a very effective Baptist people into what is now Levy County. minister and served as pastor of the Euhaw Baptist There is no positive record available to this writer,
Church continuously from 1752 until his death in 1774. but apparently, John Francis McDonell had settled at The Euhaw Baptist Church is the second oldest Baptist Shell Pond in Levy County by about 1850 or 1855. Church in South Carolina. His will is probably the During that period, it is evident that attack by the longest in colonial America. At the time of his death, he Indians was still a very real danger. John Francis, owned "3785 acres on the mainland, 5 offshore islands, himself, and three traveling companions were victims with cattle and slaves to match." He was awarded an of such an attack. The Reverend John C. Ley, author of honorary degree from the forerunner of Brown Fifty-two Years in Florida, the first published history of
University because of his strong support of that Methodism in Florida, records the following incident;
institution.
15




The war continued until 1842, when a treaty was chest which, no doubt, shortened his life several years.
made and hostilites ceased; there was still danger, and That bullet was fired from an Indian gun on the old an occasional massacre. The last one was that of Mrs. public road from Brooksville to Dade City. The spot was Crum. She, her daughter, Mrs. Harn, her marked by a huge oak, and the story of the old lady
granddaughter, Miss Mary Ham, and Mr. J. F. being killed by his side in the buggy is a tradition
MacDonell were riding, the latter driving the carriage, among the people of that section. and Mrs. Ham riding on horseback. A number of Regardless of the sight of the ambush, John Francis
Indians fired upon them. Mr. MacDonell was shot McDonell's widow, Margaret Roux Helvinston
through the chest, but sprang into the bushes and McDonell, drew an Indian War pension until her death
escaped. Mrs. Crum was killed. Mrs. Ham caught her in 1932 as a result. daughter by the arm, assisted her upon the horse, and John Francis McDonell, together with his relatives they escaped. I have heard this related by each of the and later his descendants, populated the area from survivors. Mr. MacDonell lived to an old age, raised a Shell Pond almost to Raleigh, several miles wide. He large family, was honored and loved in his county, and owned and operated the sawmill for many years, and passed to his reward in January 1894. provided the lumber for building the Methodist Church
There is some difference of opinion as to where the of Archer. He was Judge McDonell during the latter aforementioned ambush occurred. Some family part of his life.
descendants believe that it took place in 1842 John Francis McDonell died 15 January 1895, age 74
somewhere in the vicinity of Payne's Prairie, six miles years and 10 months. his obituary in the Ocala Star west of Micanopy. This tradition contents that the place Banner described him as "one of nature's noblemen... a later became Fort Crum, named after one of the slain first class citizen in every sense of the word.. .Among women. It is possible however, that the Indians attack the worthy and noted men of our state..everybody's occurred about three and one-half miles from friend." It is a widely held opinion that no other person
Brooksville, on the Dade City road. had a greater influence on the early development of
In a letter from "Janie," a granddaughter of John Levy County than John Francis McDonell, my Francis, written to "Anna," from Perry, Florida, dated great-grandfather. 12 September 1936, the following account is given:
"We all know that he [i.e., John Francis McDonell] Wilson Sistrunk
carried a bullet, received during those times, in his 8 July 1981
A girls' basketball team in Williston, about 1918. Left to right, Ruth Phillips (M. Evan Peacock, Marie Mixson, Vernon McDonell) (M. Eddie Griffin), Emma Peacock ( M. L.W.
Rutland, Sr.), Elizabeth Mixson, Mae Willis (M. Edwin Collins).
16




HOLCOMBE GRIFFIN
By Eugenia Smith Rowe
The amount of information available on this family is over 45 years old, of having 2 males over the age of 16 infinite but I shall try to do justice with a thumbnail and 1 under, and 5 free white females. That presumes a sketch. wife, 3 sons and 4 daughters. They moved to Warren
A tradition preserved among the descendants of County, Kentucky after 1800 and he is shown in land
William Holcombe is that he came from Wales to transactions there up till 1812. His brothers, Joel,
Virginia ca 1660-1680. William was an Episcopalian Harman, Jonathan and Jeremiah had migrated to that who lived in St. Stephens Parish, County of New Kent, area preceeding him. The tradition is that they were Virginia. He was a gentleman and landholder, paying followers of Daniel Boone. Zachariah moved to St. Clair quit rents on thousands of acres. His wife's name is not County, Illinois about 1807. He died there after 1820. recorded but he probably married her in Devonshire, His wife's name is not found but some of their children England or Pembrokeshire, Wales before emigrating to are: Virginia. He died ca 1710. 1. John, born in Grandville Co., North Carolina.
The children of William and his wife included four 2. Benjamin, born in Grandville Co., North Carolina. sons. The third son, Richard 11, born in Virginia ca 3. Hosea, born in Pendleton Dist., South Carolina. 1681-1685, wife unknown, received his father's land by 4-6. Unknown. entail as his eldest living son, under the English system 7. Polly, of primogeniture. 8. Susan, born 16 October 1789.
Richard 11 and his wife's fourth son, John Holcombe, Benjamin Holcombe, second son of Zachariah was born in Virginia in 1720, probably in Prince Edward Holcombe and his wife, did not follow his father, uncles County. John married Eleanor ? prior to 1740. He is and cousins to Kentucky but stopped off in Monroe recorded on the muster rolls of the first militia County, Tennessee and here he reared his family.
organized, October 8, 1754 for Granville County, North Benjamin was settled in Tennessee before the birth of Carolina. He was enrolled as a militiaman in the his youngest child in 1819. His wife's name is not
Command of Captain Sugan Jones and Col. William recorded. He worked among the Indians and served in
Eaton. He took deeds for Granville County, North the militia in their removal west of the Mississippi
Carolina lands on December 21, 1755, stating himself River. Benjamin died soon after 1860. Benjamin as a planter and as where he "now lives". John Holcombe's children were:
Holcombe removed from that area of North Carolina 1. Unknown, born in Pendleton Dist., South Carolina.
between 1763 and 1765 to what is now known as Union 2. Benjamin, born in Pendleton Dist., South
County, South Carolina, where he made entry of land Carolina. on which he died. Land passed to Eleanor Holcombe, 3-S. Unknown, born in Pendleton Dist., South
his wife, in the amount of 200 acres on January 17, Carolina. 1775. John and Eleanor had at least eight children, 6. Joshua L., born 1802-02, born in Pendleton Dist.,
seven sons and one daughter. South Carolina.
1. Zachariah, born 1740-42 died after 1820, Place of 7. Sarah, born in Monroe County, Tennessee.
birth, Prince Edward Co., Virginia. 8. Sampson, born in Monroe County, Tennessee.
2. Joel, Born 1743-44, Place of Birth, Prince Edward 9. James, born in Monroe County, Tennessee.
Co., Virginia. 10. William Jackson, born November or December,
3. Isaac, born 1745, Place of Birth, Prince Edward 1819, born in Monroe County, Tennessee.
Co., Virginia. Joshua L. (sometimes reported as Joshua T.)
4. Elizabeth, born 11 March 1748, Place of Birth, Holcombe, sixth child of Benjamin Holcombe and his Prince Edward Co., Virginia. wife, was born in South Carolina, reared in Tennessee
5. Harman, born 1749-50, Place of Birth, Prince and by 1823 had removed to the 587th District G.M.,
Edward Co., Virginia. Rabun County, Georgia as a farmer. He served as a
6. Jeremiah, 1752-53, Place of Birth, Grandville Co., Constable in 1846. He married in Rabun County the 9th North Carolina. of July 1823, Miss Nancy Tilly. Their children were:
7. Hosea, born 20 July 1755, Place of Birth, 1. Thomas Jefferson, born 1824-25, in Rabun County,
Grandville Co., North Carolina. Georgia.
8. John, Born, ?, Place of Birth, Grandville Co., 2. John T., born 1827-28, in Rabun County, Georgia.
North Carolina. Nancy died about the time John T. was born and
Zachariah Holcombe made entry of 301 acres in Joshua remarried to Melinda Gooch, born South
South Carolina before the American Revolution but Carolina, ca 1810-11. Their children:
never improved the land and therefore it is marked in 3. Edward McD., 1828-29, in Rabun County, the books as "elapsed". Zachariah is listed in the 1790 Georgia. Census for Pendleton District, South Carolina as being 4. Reuben P.' 1830-31, in Rabun County, Georgia.
17




5. Infant, died unnamed, in Rabun County, Georgia.
6. William Walker, 1833-34, born in Rabun County, ..
Georgia.
7. Tillman Dixon, 8 April 1836, in Rabun County,
-Georgia.
8. Isabella, 1837-38, born in Rabun County, Georgia.
9. Henry Snow, 26 February 1840, in Rabun County, Georgia.
10. Bennett G, 1841-42, in Rabun County, Georgia.
11. Ronda, in Rabun County, Georgia.
12. Malinda, 1845-46, born in Rabun County, Georgia.
13. Vienna Minerva, 1847-48, born in Rabun County, Georgia.
14. Amanda, 1849-50, born in Rabun County, Georgia.
15. Sylvester A., 1852-53, born in Rabun County, Georgia.
Joshua and Melinda were Methodist until after their son, Tillman Dixon Holcombe, M.D., became an active Baptist Minister, at which time he baptized both his Mary Matthews and Vernon Griffin
parents as Baptist Church members.
All sons of Melinda served as Confederate soldiers in the Civil War and all returned alive from the service.
Henry Snow Holcombe, ninth child of Joshua L. Holcombe was born in Rabun County, Georgia. On May 15, 1862 he enlisted at Ranger, Murray County, Georgia as a private in Co. B, 38th Georgia Confederate Infantry, Wright's Legion and went to Savannah for training. He served in the division commanded by Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. He married, while on 12. Mary Ann, 30 September 1886, Carter's Quarter,
furlough from the army, in Cherokee County, Georgia Murray County, Georgia. 27th of October, 1863, Miss Rhonda Ann Bates. She Sarah Jane Holcombe, seventh child of Henry Snow
was the daughter of Dr. F. M. Bates. She was born in and Rhoda Bates Holcombe, married at Carter's Georgia, 26th of July, 1844. Henry and Rhoda lived Quarter, Murray County, Georgia on October 15, 1902, with Dr. Bates for four years in Cherokee County, Mr. Leonard Park Griffin, born 18th of October, 1860.
Georgia and then moved to Kansas for two years, Leonard Park Griffin formerly lived in .Birmingham,
returning to Murray County, Georgia in 1870. Rhoda Alabama and operated saw mills in Milton County, died 25th of April, 1916 and Henry died at Ranger, Georgia until December, 1909 when they moved to Murray County, Georgia on 16th of February, 1935. Florida, where he operated lumber mills. Leonard Park
Henry, Rhoda and family were Baptist. He was a Griffin had married and been widowed twice before
Deacon, as were four of his sons. The children of Henry marrying Miss Sarah Jane Holcombe. He and his first and Rhoda were: wife, name unknown, had one daughter and he and the
1. Francis Marion, 20 May 1865, Cherokee County, second wife, name unknown, had four children:
Georgia. 1. Eula Beatrice, 19 August 1878--23 June 1969,
2. Marlin Andrew Jackson, 6 September 1866, Gordon Nix.
Cherokee County, Georgia. 2. Leonard Cliff, 21 October 1889--28 December
3. William H., 29 October 1868, Cherokee County, 1964, Ophelia Mattox.
Georgia. 3. Bertie Theron, 28 May 1892--19 March 1946,
4. Joseph Newton J., 22 September 1870, Carter's Carrie.
Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. 4. Curtis Forest, 13 August 1895, Early Markham.
5. Rhoda Viana Merinda, 7 January 1872, Carter's 5. Dewey Marie, 12 September 1898--5 October 1975,
Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. Church Henderson, Homer Slaughter, and Cecil
6. James M. Polk, 15 December 1873, Carter's Pardee.
Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. The childen of Leonard Park and Sarah Jane were:
7. Sarah Jane, 22 November 1875, Carter's Quarter, 6. John Henry, 17 August 1903, Eula Hasen. Murray County, Georgia. 7. Clare Lee, 7 August 1907, Byrel Santerfeit.
8. Lilly Lee Ann, 8 March 1878, Carter's Quarter, 8. Vollie Tea, 14 February 1909, Thelma Hogan.
Murray County, Georgia. 9. Grady Willie, 19 July 1912--10 February 1968,
9. John Hartwell, 16 March 1880, Carter's Quarter, Alvera Dees.
Murray County, Georgia. 10. Mary Eatrice, 31 October 1914, Cleon Orville
10. Julius Tillman, 9 June 1882, Carter's Quarter, "Dutch" Blitch.
Murray County, Georgia. 11. Leonard Park II, 18 July 1917, Marie Mims.
11. Lula Evelina, 29 June 1884, Carter's Quarter, Murray County, Georgia.
18




i7 r- p. . -----
Medlin Company's sawmill near Williston, 1902.




SAWMILL AT WILLISTON, 1902
By Don McCormick
Much has been written about Florida sawmills which undergoing repairs, mainly being 'delimed' as the were a major industry in Florida a half century ago; few water used contained a heavy percentage of lime in have come up with any photographs of these mills, solution, which when boiled deposited a thick scale on
consequently, many of your younger readers have not the boiler interior surface very quickly. In those days the faintest idea what a sawmill of the old days looked they knew nothing about water treatment and the only like. treatment used for knocking lime deposit off the tubes
These two photographs which were taken about 1902 and interior surface of the boiler was with a cold chisel at Williston, Levy County, and I believe them to be and hammer. Quite often this meant retubing the typical of the type of sawmill in use during the period. boiler. The tubes were hand rolled.
Some sawmills were considerably larger than the mill On the right is a peculiar looking building, which is of the Medlin Co. at Williston, which was what was the dry-kiln of two compartments. The boards were
called a 40,000 mill. In other words, they cut 40,000 rolled into this kiln on special trucks and steam heated board feet of lumber per 11-1/2 hour day six days a to evaporate the moisture content quickly so the boards week, 50 weeks per year. The mills were rated on cut of could be shipped to planing mills to be made into dimension stock alone in those days; the boards were flooring, ceiling, etc. Air drying of boards is too long a not counted. process if done properly. They did not have a planing
The photograph showing the mill is sufficiently mill at the Williston plant, planing mills being
illustrative for even the uninitiated. The mill is a considered by many operators a separate type of two-deck affair with about all of the operating part on business. the upper deck, such as the main saw, carriage, roller The other picture shows something of the logging bed, cut-off saw, 'butting' saw, edger, gang saw, and operation. Please note the high-wheeled log carts. The barrel stave mill located upstairs. picture shows where the logs were brought in on the log
At the left is shown the log bed, where the logs from carts to be loaded onto the trucks of the train to be the woods were unloaded or inclined timbers so they carried to the mill. The same old cabbagestack could be easily rolled on the truck which hoisted them locomotive is illustrated in this picture. up into the mill. The truck and track are also shown. I wish to draw particular attention to the size of the Also at the left is the blacksmith shop where repairs long leaf yellow pine trees shown in this picture. They were made to everything by benefit of a forge, anvil, could and did cut much 14 x 14 inch 16 x 16 inch and hammers and hand wrenches. They had no machine even some 18 x 18 inch stock up to 40 feet long out of
tools. Everything was done by main strength and these trees.
awkwardness. The Medlin mill at Williston operated from 1896 to
The old Civil War type cabbage-stack locomotive, 1906. By this time the timber was gone and the mill was
was used for the log train is shown. Just beyond is the worn out, so the operation was stopped and the owners slab pit where refuse was burned. Incidentally, it is said retired. A Mr. Carter was general superintendent of that they burned up better lumber in those days than this operation until it stopped. He was later associated can be bought now as B and better grade. with other sawmills in Florida until his health failed in
The three stacks indicate that the mill had three 1920. He died at Inverness in 1922. He also had a son boilers. However, one boiler was always out of service living in Tampa by the name of Henry Grady Carter.
20




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THE McCALLS OF FLORIDA
By Sybil Browne Bray
The Levy County, Florida, McCalls, as do other on the 12th day of January, 1860 in Hamilton County,
Florida McCalls, date from 1730 when Francis McCall Florida. They moved to Levy County, Florida, around immigrated to America. He was of Scottish ancestry but 1876 with her parents as mentioned above. They had 13 was born in Ireland in 1710. children as follows:
Francis McCall lived in three states in America, 1. Luvenia born 1860
Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas. 2. C. Lumus born 1861
One of his sons, Charles McCall, was a Revolutionary 3. Gipson Lanier born 16 December 1866 (married War soldier who served from South Carolina. Charles Sarah Eleanor Hare) in Levy County, 7 January 1891. was born 1732 in Pennsylvania and later lived in Waycross, Georgia.
Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. He was granted 4. Sarah Angeline born 1868 (married Joseph C. 200 acres in Bulloch County, Georgia (earlier Stringfellow of Levy County.)
Effingham County) as bounty for his service in the 5. Mary A. born 1861
Revolutionary War. He moved to Bulloch County, in 6. Margaret Adaline born 1871 (married Brantley
1785, died there in 1814 and is buried in the Everett Hughy Dupree) Family Cemetery. He was one of the wealthiest and 7. Lewis Jefferson born 9 February 1873 (married
most influential citizens of that section of Georgia. Annie Eliza Beauchamp, daughter of A. C.
Charles McCall was twice married; first in South Beauchamp)
Carolina in 1755 to Celetie Ann Williams, daughter of 8. James Harvey born 1877 (married Valeria Dasher, the Reverend Robert Williams (first pastor of the Welsh Levy County, Florida.) Neck Baptist Church of Society Hill, South Carolina) 9. and 10. Albert and Alice, twins born 1881 (Albert Charles and Celestie McCall had 12 children, one of married Rosa Mae Chambers and Alice married 1. whom was Robert McCall, born in 1773, their ninth Ralph Black and 2. Roy Leonard, all of Levy County.
child. His second wife was Hannah Everett, and they 11. Lloyd Lanier born 1879
had one daughter, Sarah. 12. Horace Eden born 1883 (married Remer Ivey
Robert McCall married Mary Lanier, daughter of Sewell)
Lewis Lanier, around 1800 and they had 11 children. 13. Florence (died young)
Their 7th child, Lewis Lanier McCall, became very well Georgiann and Thomas Blalock were still living in known in Levy County, Florida. Levy County, Florida in 1900 along' with their son,
Lewis Lanier McCall was born in 1816 in Bulloch Lewis J., his wife Annie and their daughter Mollie, age
County, Georgia. He married Sarah M. C. Knight in 1. Between 1900 and 1904 they moved to Alachua
1842 in Lowndes County, Georgia. Their children were: County, Florida. Georgiann died in 1904 and is buried
1. Thomas G. (born 1843) in the Antioch Cemetery at LaCross. Thomas died in
2. Georgiann Celetie (married Thos. F. Blalock) 1905 and is buried at same.
3. Julia M. Lewis Lannier McCall, Jr., the 6th child of Lewis
4. Robert McCall and Sarah M. C. Knight McCall married Sarah
5. Sarah R. Smith of Levy County, and they had 7 children as
6. Lewis Lanier, Jr. married Sara R. Smith. follows:
7. Eliza L. 1. Maggie, born 1883, (married an Anderson of Levy
8. Fernando M. married Mrs. M. J. Gay. County.)
9. Ralph 2. Annie, Born June 1885, (married Jesse Durrance)
10. Cerulean married Charlie Williams. 3. John Lanier, born June 1887 (married Edna Wynn
11. Rena and became the parents of Winifred, Jack Pamela and
12. E. J. others.)
13. Rener L. married Annette Ferris Lee. 4. Ila, born October 1889, (married Earl Glass).
In 1859 I find Lewis Lanier McCall in Hamilton 5. Rubie, born November 1891 (married Augustus 0.
County, Florida where his daughter Georgiann married Browning) Thomas F. Blalock. He lived in Hamilton County, 6. Lewis L., Jr., born March 1894, died 1959.
Florida in the town of White Springs until sometime 7. Frank, born August 1896, (married Lillian Ellzey,
after 1870. He then moved, along with Georgiann and parents of Doyle McCall) her family to Levy County, Florida to a little town called Lewis Jefferson Blalock, son of Georgiann McCall Red Hollow. This was very near the town of Trenton in and Thomas Blalock and his wife Annie Beauchamp Gilchrist County. They were members of the Shady Blalock had four children:
Grove Primitive Baptist Church and are buried in the 1. Mollie Celetie, married G. H. Wenzel. church yard there. 2. Mertie Carlie, married M. R. Bray of Marion
Georgiann McCall married Thomas Florence Blalock County, Florida and became the parents of J. W. Bray
22




by whom this history is composed. He married Sybil U. S. Census records 1840 thru 1910, Georgia and
Browne and had three children, Steven, M. Robert, and Florida. Nancy, all residing in Marion County, Florida. Bulloch County, Georgia, Tax and Probate Records.
3. Katie Maude married Sam Jones. Hamilton County, Georgia Marriage Records and
4. Lewis Florence Blalock married Essie Nelle Cemetery Records.
Knight. Interview with Annie Beauchamp Blalock early
Most of the Blalocks have moved out of Levy County 1950's.
by now, although there are still descendants by other Interview with L. J. Blalock early 1950's.
names, including the Studstills family. A reunion of Blalock family Bible records.
Blalock and Duprees is held on the 2nd Sunday in Civil War Records.
August at Hart Springs, Gilchrist County, Florida. Revolutionary War records.
Although the Blalocks moved on, the McCalls stayed. Marion County, Florida Cemetery Records.
There are still so many there. It has been so much fun Alachua County, Florida Cemetery Records.
for us, discovering all of these lost cousins. (Well, they Shady Grove P. B. Church and Cemetery Records. weren't lost; we were.) Interview with Edna Wynn McCall and Lillian Ellzey
McCall, 1983.
Georgia Geneological Magazine-Bullock, Effingham, Bibliography and Screven Counties, in Georgia.
Pioneers of Wiregrass, Georgia, by Huxford. Vols. McCall Family History by Rachel McCall Carter.
1-5. Bullock County, Georgia, Militia records, Robert
Early Georgia Marriages, by Maddox. McCall, Ensign 1802.
Thomas F. and Georgiann McCall Blalock. He enlisted at Fernandina in the CSA Army, 1861, was taken prisoner and held in a Philadelphia prison. His two brothers, James and Jefferson, were both killed in combat. Thomas F. was the only surviving son of Gibson Blalock and Sewell Blalock. Georgiann was the daughter of Lewis L. McCall, Sr. and Sarah McNight
McCall.
23




Standing, Richard Simeon Beauchamp (Sim) and his sister Laura Beauchamp who later married Emmit Hardee, seated. A brother to Sim was Riley Beauchamp, father of Orlando, Otis, and Willie Beauchamp.
24




EDDIE BUIE
By Jacob Wynn
He attended a rural school in Petergrove Community. was a need for a larger place of worship, so he, along He left Falmouth May 20, 1907. At age eleven he with the Deacon Board and members, purchased the
moved from Suwannee County to Red Level, Florida, site and began construction on the present church site
with his family. A year later his family moved to Mr. of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Claude Rodgers' Turpentine Camp, Tiger Town, in He worked as a share' cropper for several land
Levy County where they lived and worked for four owners, Mr. Mose Woods, Rollin Hudson, and Ruie
years. Later in 1914, they purchased land in Chiefland, Sheppard. He also worked at Mr. Earl Hudson's Food Florida, and remained here since that time. He served Store and Mr. L. W. Drummond's Sawmill until he in World War I from 1918-1919. He opened the first retired in the late sixties.
barber shop in Chiefland. He, also worked as a barrel For recreation, he and other men of the community maker for Mr. Claude Rodgers. would play baseball on any empty lots that were
Later, he married the late Albither Newkirk on donated.
December 26, 1920. They became the proud parents of Eddie Buie was a leader in the black community from
ten children, John, Ethorn, Frank, Caretha, Ellic, Earl, his early days and was always active in trying to Eddie Jean, James, Willie, and Leon. improve it. No one need doubt the dedication of Eddie
There was a need for a church in the community; so Buie because he has shown that with the many years of he hauled the first load of lumber to start construction. services to his church and community. In May, 1985, a He was also instrumental in helping to secure land for recreational center in Chiefland was named after him the old cemetery. He was involved in purchasing land because of his loyal and dedicated services. There is no to build a school because there was not a permanent one more deserving of this honor than Mr. Eddie Buie. site for the children in the community. The parents Place of Birth: Falmouth, Florida, Suwannee County
worked and raised funds to pay for the land where the near Live Oak, Florida. first school was constructed. After the parents showed Parents: The late John and Mamie Thornhill Buie. interest in the need for a school, the school board built Date of Birth: September 12, 1896. the first school for the community children. Later, there
25




Eddie Buie, old timer in the Chiefland area.
26




BRONSON IN 1889
By S. E. Gunneli
This is a condsensation of the Levy County Times, Some of the owners were local, other locals made a
Volume 7, No. 17, published at Bronson on a Thursday, full time occupation of grove maintenance by contract September 5, 1889. It was a special edition, the for absentee owners. The harvest was shipped by rail to
occasion being the 50th anniversary of the town dating the ports of Cedar Key, Fernandina Beach, and from its beginning as a settlement in 1839. The town Jacksonville and thence by steamboat to northern was named after S. P. Bronson's father, whose first markets. At the same time, in Gulf Hammock, another name I have not located. The son later served in N. A. grove operation was going, along with pineapple Hull's Company, 1st Florida Regiment. C.S.A. This farming and pear production. Most of the Bronson
edition was preserved by Conrad Wellman, father of groves were around Lake Chuckahaha (Chunky Pond). Carl Wellman. I made the notes from it in 1970. The advertisements are gold mines of insight into the
There is a civic directory: Rev. L. J. Phillips, pastor, culture existing in 1889. We present a few of them, Methodist Church; Rev. Howard Dutill, Evangelical condensed.
Church; Rev. B. H. Damon, Baptist Church; Bronson Building lots in Bronson, $25 upward, according to
Lodge No. 7. J. M. Barco, W. M., J. M. Jackson, location and size.
secretary. Desirable building lots in Otter Creek, $10 to $20.
A business directory follows: general merchandise, 50 acres at Rosewood, dwelling, $5 per acre.
W. J. Epperson, J. B. Coarsey, Taylor and Shands, 2683 acres heavily timbered yellow pine land in
Farmers Alliance Exchange; Attorneys, A. B. Coulter, Alachua County at $2 per acre. H. B. Coulter; Drugstores, J. M. Jackson and Son, Lot 7, Block 17 in business center of Archer, dirt
Conrad Wellman; physicians, J. M. Jackson, J. M. cheap at $100.
Jackson, Jr., F. D. Chapman; Millinery, Mrs. S. J. T. J. Yearty, agent, Otter Creek, Florida, dealer in
Shands; hotels, Epperson House, Oak Grove Hotel; staple and fancy groceries. Everything sold at rock
Dyer and Cleaner, Owen Lloyd; Newspapers, Levy bottom prices for the cash.
County Times, Monthly Monitor; soda fount, J. S. The Epperson House conveniently located to railroad
Parker; real estate, J. M. Gornto and Company, J. V. depot and business portion of town. Burke; blacksmith and wheelwright, H. W. Denham; W. H. Anderson, Cedar Keys, Grocery.
meatmarket, W. R. Perryman; jeweler, D. Graham; Oak Grove Hotel, Mrs. M. M. Terrill, prop.
builder, J. M. Steward; cotton gins, W. J. Epperson, P.P.P. (Prickly ash, Poke Root, Potassium) Cures W. H. Bingham; photography studio, L. A. Biggs. syphilis, scrofula, blood poison and rheumatism.
There is an article describing Cedar Key. We present J. F. Meredith, Ellzey, Florida hardwood mill, the annotated version; largest town in county, on Way shingles, crates. Key population almost 2000 cedar pencil plant The Levy County Drug Store, Bronson, Florida Dr.
furnishes 90 percent of world's supply of pencils F. U. Chapman, attending physician; C. Wellman, biggest seafood business on the Gulf should become a prop. great commercial port No. 4 boat channel has been Livery Stable W. J. Epperson, prop.
selected by the Ship Canal Company as Gulf entrance to Brown's Iron Bitters rebuilds the system, aids their proposed canal across Florida great forests of digestion, removes excess bile, and cures malaria. Get yellow pine timber inland great sponge reef ten miles the genuine. out 100 vessels working $650,000 in sponges annually Notice: Suwannee Sulphur Springs, Suwannee, from this reef. Florida. On the Savannah, Florida, and Western
A lengthy article entitled the "Citrus Groves of Railway Florida's Famous Summer Resort and Bronson and Vicinity" states that more than 75 groves Sanitarium the water will positively cure rheumatism, could be found within a three mile radius of the dypepsia, liver, kidney and blood disease write for
courthouse. The editor goes on to name the grove circular containing rates and testimonials L. W.
owners, the managers for absentee owners, and the Scoville, mgr.
places of residence for absentee owners. The citrus W. A. Fort, physician and surgeon, Judson, Florida.
business had started in the early 1870's and had been Will attend all cases promptly, night or day. Liberal replanted after a disasterous freeze a few years later. discounts for long visits. These groves of 1889 were destined to be wiped out Root's Infallible Remedy cures fits.
again in the late 1890's. After that, the people gave up Here are excerpts from the local news column, and the grove industry moved further south. The citrus interspersed with small commercials; groves flourished around here, the people had no way Wiley Coarsey left for White Springs Normal School of knowing about the cycle freeze phenomena of our last Monday. Go to J. B. Coarsey's for your salt- a car weather pattern. load just arrived (he's got to pay for Wiley's education).
27




Granulated sugar at T. J. Yearty's for 11-1/2 cents Mills last Monday.
lb. A leading man of Bronson asks God each night to
Miss Joyce Claywell left Tuesday morning for Fort forgive him for voting a "dry" ticket 2 years ago.
White. You could read all kinds of inferences into that last
Spool cotton at 4 cents from T. J. Yearty, Otter item. The old newspaper has just about disintegrated.
Creek, Florida. Newsprint oxidizes readily unless chemically treated
Mrs. Hampton Smith died yesterday. and sealed. That was 97 years ago (about 1986).
Messrs. Epperson and Colson purchased the ElIzey
At one time during the early 1900's, Williston was said to be the foremost cucumber producing area in the world. As many as seventy-five carloads would be shipped out in one
day.
28




A FEW PIONEER FAMILIES
By Kathryn Harris
John Ira Epperson William Jordan Epperson
1823-1906 1855-1939
John Ira Epperson, progenitor of the Levy County "Willie" was born 30 May 1855, Cherokee County,
Epperson, was born 8 November 1823, DeKaib County, Georgia, and died 12 November 1939, Bronson,
Georgia. He was the son of John and Emnelia Bell Florida. He and all three wives are buried in the old
Epperson. His father was born 24 December 1783, Bronson Cemetery. He married Jennie S. Mooney on 17
Virginia, and died 24 November 1862, Cherokee May 1878, Levy County, Florida. Jennie, daughter of
County, Georgia. Emelia Bell Epperson was born 17 Alfred Mooney on 17 May 1878, Levy County, Florida.
November 1791, South Carolina. John and Emnelia Jennie, daughter of Alfred Mooney, was born 10
married 11 June 1812. The 1860 Census, Cherokee October 1849, Boston; and she died 8 December 1880,
County. Georgia, lists John Ira and his father as heads Bronson, Florida, Corrine Carter Epperson was born 25 of households along with other Epperson family October 1861, Enterprise, Mississippi; and she died 16
members. They were in the Freemansville Precinct. September 1886, Levy County. Anzonefta Boling
Prior to the 1870 census, John Ira and Jane A. Coulter Epperson was born 9 November 1868, Georgia; and she Epperson (married 9 November 1845, Georgia) and died 6 April 1960, Bronson, Florida. William J. was a
moved their family to the part of Levy County which merchant and the 1910 census shows him as a
was in Marion County at that time. They had followed "turpentine works owner." Jane's brothers, William R. and Alfred B. Coulter, who The first child listed below was by wife #2; children 2 had moved to this area at an earlier date. and 3 were by wife #3:
Jane A. Coulter was born 27 November 1826, North 1. Estelle Corrine, married Franklin Harris, born ca
Carolina (probably Rutherford County). She died 4 1886.
February 1867, only a short time after moving to 2. Margaret V., married Frank B. Marshburn, born
Florida, and is buried in the old Bronson Cemetery. ca 1895. After her death, John Ira married a second time, 16 3. William Boling, born 1910.
October 1870, Levy County, a Mrs. Mary J. Neal. Mary
was born 9 December 1826 and died 24 March 1897. John Burke Epperson
John Ira died 21 June 1906. John and Mary are buried 1857 -1915
in the Orange Hill Cemetery, Williston, Florida. John was born 3 February 1857, Cherokee County,
The First Methodist Church of Williston was started Georgia, and died 17 May 1915, Williston, Florida. He in 1868 by the John Ira Epperson family near the married Pencie A. Willis, daughter of Jesse Mercer
Stafford Pond Community, together with their Willis (founder of Williston) and Dorothy Craig Crozier
neighbors. The property for this early beginning was Willis, 26 June 1877. Pencie was born 18 May 1856, donated by John Ira. He and his descendants have Florida, and died 1938, Williston, Florida. John and
played a vital role in the growth of this organization Pencie are buried in the Jesse Mercer Willis Cemetery, from that time to the present. Williston.
All nine of the following children were by wife #1: John was a director of the Williston Mfg. Co. of 1. Martha E. born 16 November 1846; died 20 Williston. His beautiful old home was located on Nobel
October 1863, unmarried. Avenue, Williston, until recently when it was relocated
2. Mary Elizabeth "Mollie", married, Talman H. several blocks from its former location. The Perkins
Westbrook, born 4 May 1848; died 23 January 1916. State Bank is now located where the old homestead
3. Frances Jane "Fannie" married Ezekiel Limmus, stood. Clara Epperson Upchurch lived there until it was
born 8 April 1850; died 26 March 1874. sold. She died in 1981, shortly after she moved from the
4. Sarah Elizabeth "Sallie" married Rev. Robert house.
Howren Barnett, born 5 May 1851; died 4 August 1944. 1. Allie, married Odis Francis Hester, born 25 May
5. Nancy Emily "Nannie" married Peter Otto 1880; died 26 January 1908.
Sneiler, born 1 July 1953; died 29 November 1928. 2. Ralph Cameron, married Nannie Smith, born 22
6. William Jordan "Willie", married 1, Jennie S. March 1881.
Mooney; married 2, Corrine Carter; married 3, 3. John Burke, Jr., married Lucy C. Harris, born 20
Anzonetta Boling, born 30 May 1855; died 12 November 1882; died 2 July 1949.
November 1939. 4. William J., married Annie Hemming, born 24 May
7. John Burke "Johnny", married Pencie A. Willis, 1884.
born 5 February 1857; died 17 May 1915. 5. Clarence Craig, born 11 November 1885; died 19
8. Georgia Caledonia "Callie", married John Arthur July 1954.
Hawkins, born 25 August 1859; died 25 March 1940. 6. Lois E., unmarried, born 11 December 1887; died 7
9. Lydia Ella, married John Mills Gornto, Sr., born 25 March 1966.
December 1861; died 30, 1894. 7. Clara Pency, married John Jones Upchurch, jr.
born 23 October 1889; died 25 March 1981.
29




8. Alfred Coulter, born 31 March 1892; died 5 March Rev. Robert Howren Barnett
1942. 18499. Gordon Maxwell, married 1 ....., married 2 Robert Howren Barnett was born 25 December 1849.
Virginia ....., born 6 June 1894; died 7 December 1951. He met Sarah Elizabeth "Sallie" Epperson at the home of her Uncle William Coulter in Bronson. Sallie, daughter of John Ira and Jane Coulter Epperson, was Talman H. Westbrook born 5 May 1851, Cherokee County, Georgia, and died
1843-1920 4 August 1944, Florida. They moved to Seminole
Talman H. Westbrook brought his wife and oldest County prior to the birth of their third child. They also
child to Marion County, Florida ca 1869. The 1870 lived in Orange and Polk Counties. census shows these three along with the second child, William Ira (born Florida), in that part of Marion 1. Robert Vivan Barnett, unmarried, born 13
County which later was added to Levy County. In the December 1874, Levy County; died age 14. same household were: Theresa Westbrook, born ca 2. Robinson Ira Barnett, married Beulah Agnes
1850, Georgia; and Nancy Westbrook, born ca 1870, Wilson, born 21 November 1876, Levy County. Florida. 3. Frederick Townsend Barnett, unmarried, born 25
Talman was born 30 March 1843, Georgia, and died November 1878, Seminole County, Florida.
24 January 1920, Levy County, Florida. He married 4. Doak Ginn Barnett, married Statia ---, born 30
Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Epperson ca 1866 in Georgia. March 1881, Orange County, Florida. Mollie, daughter of John Ira and Jane A. Coulter 5. Loulie Barnett, unmarried, born 19 September
Epperson, was born 4 May 1848, Georgia and died 23 1883. January 1916, Williston, Florida. They are both buried 6. Willie Roy Barnett, ?, born 11 January 1885, Polk in the Orange Hill Cemetery, Williston. County, Georgia.
1. Jane Elizabeth Westbrook, married David Ellott 7. Eugene Epperson Barnett, married Bertha Smith, Williams, born 1867; died 1949. born --February 1888, Leesburg, Florida.
2. William Ira Westbrook, married Patty Emma 8. Henry Barnett, married Bess ....., born 13
Newsom, born 25 April 1870; died 11 July 1950. December 1890.
3. Mary Elizabeth Westbrook, unmarried, born 23 June 1872; died 5 February 1876.
4. James T. Westbrook, married Effie Robinson, born 30 October 1874; dsp 19 August 1901.
5. Thomas M. Westbrook, unmarried, Born 23 Peter Otto Sneller
August 1878; died 4 November 1878. Peter Otto Snelier, son of Charles and Sarah Brown
6. Jessie V. Westbrook, married Adolphus Lewis, Sneller, was born 22 October 1842, Moravia, Lehigh born 8 February 1880; died 10 September 1931. S n t, wa s ylan 22 O t e 1 M r ch 1925,
7. Ransom Dewitt Westbrook, married Alice P. County, Pennsylvania, and died 31 March 1925,
Sheffield, born 4 February 1883; died. Montbrook, Florida. Mr. Sneller, a Union Veteran of
8. Ellarie Westbrook, unmarried, born 22 January the Civil War, served as postmaster at Montbrook 1887; died 29 April 1887. where he and his wife reared their family. His wife,
Nancy Emily "Nannie" Epperson, daughter of John Ira
and Jane Coulter Epperson, was born 1 July 1853, Ezekiel S. Lummus Cherokee County, Georgia, and died 29 November
1845-1881 1928, Montbrook, Florida. They are buried in the
"Zeke" Lummus was born 16 November 1845, Montbrook Cemetery.
England; died 24 July 1881. His first wife, Frances Jane 1. Otto Epperson Snelier, unmarried, born 24 July "Fannie" Epperson, daughter of John Ira and Jane 1882; died 24 January 1973.
2. Mary Jane Sneiler, married Raymond Smith, born
Coulter Epperson, was born 8 April 1850, Cherokee 19 J ary 1884 ded m er 1966. County, Georgia, and died 26 March 1874, Levy 3. Emelia Rebecca Sneler, unmarried, born 29
County. They are both buried in the old Bronson Cemetery. The 1885 census shows children 1 and 3-4 November 1885; died 25 September 1973.
Cemeery Th 185 cesusshos cildrn 1and3-44. Sarah Elizabeth Snelier, unmarried, born 16 living with the John Ira Epperson family. His second Novmbr 1887; died 1 J y wife was T. J. Banks. The descendants moved to the 5.vSider neier mar A9rt n
Miamiarea.5. Sidney Ira Sneller, married Anna Hurlbert, born 8 Miami area.
1. J. Ed Lummus, ?, born ca 1868. May 1889-.
6. Agnes Catherine Sneller, married Thomas Evan
2. Sallie Aurelia Lummus, unmarried, born 10Shfilbr20epmer19Octoer 869 did 6May1878(Brnso Ceetey).Sheffield, born 20 September 1891-.
October 1869; died 6 May 1878 (Bronson Cemetery). "Miss Agnes," as she is fondly called in Levy County
L moved to Jacksonville several years ago to live with her 4. Annie Lummus, married Tom James, born 6 July brother, Sidney. She provided much of the information 1873 (Annie and Tom had a daughter, Mary, who on the old families of the area. There will be more about
married a Herin. Rev. Tom James Herin was son of this lovely lad in the Sheffield section.
Mary.)
30




John Arthur Hawkins John Mills Gornto, Sr.
1855 1943 1858 1930
John Arthur Hawkins, son of Joshua Philemon and John Mills Gornto, Sr. was born 1858 and died 1930,
Mary Croxton Hawkins, was born 29 September 1855, Williston. He married first Lydia Ella Epperson, Micanopy, Florida, and died 7 May 1943, Williston, daughter of John Ira and Jane Coulter Epperson. Ella Florida. He married Georgia Caledonia "Caffie" was born 25 December 1861, Cherokee County,
Epperson on 20 October 1878, Levy County, Florida. Georgia, and died 1894, Williston. Following Ella's "Callie," daughter of John Ira and Jane Coulter death, John M. married Mrs. Mittie George. The last
Epperson, was born 25 August 1859, Cherokee County, two children were by Mittie. Georgia, and died 25 March 1940, Williston, Florida. 1. Pearl Gornto, married Harvey Capps, born 18 They are buried in the Orange Hill Cemetery, January 1883.
Williston. The Hawkins family played a vital part in the 2. Ruby Gornto, married Robert Hodges, born 28 establishment of the First Methodist Church of April 1884.
Williston. 3. Lydia Gornto, married Guy Pasley Tyner, born 12
1. Mary Eugenia "Mamie" Hawkins, married 1 September 1885; died 22 September 1959.
James Albert Randall, married 2, ----Kellum, born 27 4. Ira Gornto, unmarried, born 5 September 1887; September 1879, died 4 January 1965. died 4 October 1916 at sea.
2. James Burke Hawkins, married Cora Johnson, 5. John Mills Gornto, Jr., married Gertrude George,
born 4 October 1881; died 4 December 1929. born ca 1888.
3. Joshua Herbert Hawkins, married Carol 6. Frank Gornto, married Eva Sullivan, born 9 June
Weatherford, born 11 January 1884; died 18 May 1967. 1890.
4. Dr. John Roy Hawkins, married Frieda ...., born 7. Julia Gornto, married Jamie Forbes, born 13 28 July 1886; died 13 March 1930. November 1892.
5. Tompkies Clarence Hawkins, married Ullannee 8. Montine Gornto
---', born, 4 December 1889; died 5 January 1938. 9. Leon Gornto.
6. Jesse Albert Hawkins, unmarried, born 29 September 1891; died 10 February 1909.
7. Lula Allyne Hawkins, married Robert Graham Rich, Sr., born 26 August 1895.
8. Edith Madge Hawkins, unmarried, born 28 April 1899; died 30 November 1901.
31




The Hyde Family, in the suburbs of Sumner, about 1914. Sumner, now extinct, was a town located a few miles inland from Cedar Key.







UNIVERSE TY ( F FL,3RIDA 3 1262 09770 9785




Full Text

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A History of Levy County, Florida & & & Chapter Fifteen & & & April 1986 Published By The Levy County Archives Committee Sponsored by the Levy County Board of Commissioners Bronson, Florida A Bicentennial Publication

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Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2018 with funding from University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries https://archive.org/details/searchforyesterd1519levy

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SPANIARDS AND PIRATES IN THE CEDAR KEYS? By Charles C. Fishburne, Jr. and Boaz C. Wadley, Jr. Yes-there were Spaniards and pirates in the Cedar Keys in 1802, and perhaps in other years also. We are certain about 1802, based upon copies of documents held in the Spanish Archives in Seville. 1 The Spaniards came in ships of war, commanded by Pedro Rousseau, 2 an experienced lieutenant colonel in the Spanish Army who had commanded the Mississippi Squadron of Galleys. The pirates were serving William Augustus Bowles, 3 self-styled “Director General of the State of Muskogee,” vaguely located between the Apalachicola River and the Spanish outpost of San Marcos de Apalache, known to the British as St. Marks. With the support of certain persons in the British Bahamas and in London, Bowles had made a career of threatening and harassing Spanish interests on land and sea under the colorful banner of his State of Muskogee. 4 The convenience of the Cedar Keys as a support base for Bowles’ operations is apparent from a glance at the map. 5 For Bowles, his suppliers in the Bahamas, and his aggressive “privateers”, the Spanish Yslas Sabinas proved useful as a way station with water, warehouses, a relatively secure harbor, and an extraordinarily far-seeing watchtower. 6 What is today called Seahorse Key apparently served as the site of what Bowles’ people called “Port Power,” 7 not surprisingly as Bowles’ chief sea captain was Richard Power. The privateers, or pirates as the Spanish regarded them, sailed vessels of unusual names such as Muskogee Micco and Tostonoki. 8 Commander Pedro Rousseau came on the schooner Catalina as flagship. The accompanying galley Lnisiana was commanded by Lieutenant Bernardo Molina. The schooner Favorita and its English Captain Daniel Jones also participated. The vessel had recently been seized by Rousseau before he learned of peace between Britain and Spain. The English captain wanted to collaborate against Bowles, now in disfavor with British authorities. Another volunteer was Don Josef Vidal, who sought vengeance against Bowles’ pirates for having recently seized and plundered his commercial schooner Betsy. 9 What did the Spanish naval expedition find at Port Power in Las Yslas Sabinas? Antonio Garcia, Commander Rousseau’s boatswain, led an armed search party of nineteen men in two boats launched from the schooners some distance out. They found a sloop and a schooner at anchor, the latter in danger of sinking. They encountered four men and captured two of them, the other two having escaped through the woods. One captive was an American. The other, a Portuguese, was said by the English captain to be “the second of the famous pirate of Bowles, Captain Richard Power.” Garcia’s men found a cabana filled with salt, another sheltering ship rigging and sails, and three warehouses and a watchtower on the summit of the island. 10 Rousseau’s expedition stayed a week. They searched the oher islands and found nothing. They appropriated the sails and rigging. They loaded all the salt aboard the sloop. They tried unsuccessfully to raise the schooner then beached and heeled her to inspect the bottom. Finding a rotted bottom, they burned the schooner at low tide. They burned the three warehouses, then chopped down the watchtower, cut it up, and burned it also. After replenishing their water supplies, they sailed for San Marcos de Apalache, taking with them the two captives and the salt-laden sloop. 11 Those who like to think that Jean Laffite used the Cedar Keys may wish to ponder this: An associate of theirs in later years, Renato Beluche, probably was in this expedition. He had been assigned to duty as a pilot on Rousseau’s flagship Catalina in February. 12 He was twenty-one years old. 13 Just a few years later he would be cruising the high seas as master of the schooner Two Sisters. 14 For a time he was engaged in the Laffite brothers’ operations out of Barataria near New Orleans. 15 Some branded him a pirate. 16 His principal biographer, Jane Lucas De Grummond, more charitably styles Renato Beluche a “smuggler, privateer, and patriot.” In 1815, he commanded a gun battery for Gen. Andrew Jackson against the British in the Battle of New Orleans. 17 In the 1820’s, Beluche commanded naval units for Gen. Simon Bolivar in Venezuela’s war for independence from Spain. 18 Thus, through Beluche, the folklore that links Jean Laffite with the Cedar Keys excites the imagination and invites additional research. In this report, we have described one week in June, 1802, about midway in the last period of Spanish rule over the Cedar Keys of some 38 years. Before that period the British rules for 21 years (1763-1784), and prior to that, the Spanish for 199 years. 19 Just as Las Yslas Sabinas 20 has been a clue to happenings in the Cedar Keys during the second Spanish period, so may Los Cayos de San Martin prove to be a clue to their history during the first, much longer, Spanish era. 21 Some maps show Los Cayos de San Martin at or near the mouth of the Rio de San Martin (Suwannee-Santa Fe system). 22 In some historical references to the Cedar Keys, it has not been unusual to describe their location as “at or near” the mouth of the Suwannee River. 23 Amy Bushnell, in The King’s Coffer, has documented traffic on that river in the 1600’s, connecting with Havana. 24 It appears likely that the Cedar Keys were used in those days, too, by Spaniards and pirates. Cedar Key March 18,1985 1

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Notes 1. Copies examined and those cited herein are available on microfilm in the P.K. Young Library of Florida History, University of Florida, Gainesville. They are contained in the collection drawn from Archivo General de Indias, Papeles de Cuba, hereafter cited as AGI, PC, followed by a legajo number. 2. An autobiographical sketch of Rousseau, dated November 15, 1803, appears in Louis Houck (ed.), The Spanish Regime in Missouri, 2 vols. (Chicago; 1908), II, 324-26; biographical notes appear in Abraham P. Nasatir, Spanish War Vessels on the Mississippi 1792-1796 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), 32-34. 3. For a comprehensive treatment of Bowles, see J. Leitch Wright, Jr., William Augustas Bowles: Director General of the Creek Nation (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1976). 4. Lawrence and Lucia Kinnaird, “War Comes to San Marcos,” Florida Historical Quarterly, LXII (July 1983), 25-43; Lyle N. McAlister, “William Augustus Bowles and the State of Muskogee,” Ibid., XL (April 1962), 317-28; Lyle A. McAlister (ed.), “The Marine Forces of William Agustus Bowles and His ‘State of Muskogee,’ “ Ibid., XXXII (July 1953), 3-27. 5. A convenient map for this is Bernard Romans’ 1774 Map of the Province of East Florida, which includes the Gulf coast west to New Orleans and the Bahama Islands off the east coast. 6. Kinnaird, op. cit., 36-37, refers to these facilities and their destruction; for more detail, one may consult the legajos cited in note 9 below. 7. “Journal” of the Muskogee corsair Tostonoki, Captian Richard Power, November 22, 1801-January 8, 1802, AGI, PC, legajo 218; also fragment of journal of either Tostonoki or Muskogee Micco, October 27-30, 1801, which states: ”28th...we made the great Cedar Key about 8 o ck night 29 went into Port Power and to get water and sailed out about 12 o ck....” 8. McAlister (ed.), “The Marine Forces of William Augustus Bowles.” op. cit. 9. Pedro Rousseau to J. V. Morales, from aboard La Catalina near San Marcos de Apalache, July 5, 1802, in AGI, PC, legajo 612 B; also Pedro Rousseau to Marques de Someruelos, from the same place, July 7, 1802, in AGI, PC, legajo 1554 B. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid. 12. Manuel Juan de Salcedo to Marques de Someruelos, February 12, 1802, in AGI, PC, legajo 2355. 13. Jane Lucas De Grummond, Renato Beluche: Smuggler, Privateer, and Patriot, 1780 1860 (Baton Rouge; Louisiana University Press, 1983), 32. 14. Ibid., 41-42. 15. Ibid., 38-52. 16. Ibid., 171-84. 17. Ibid., 102, 105, 113, 117. 18. Ibid., 185-252. 19. Here, Spanish “rule” in Florida is calculated from the establishment of the first enduring settlement and center of political authority in San Augustine in 1565. 20. The authors are indebted to Librarian Elizabeth Alexander and to Bruce Chappell of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida, Gainesville, for assistance in this research; and to Jack D. L. Holmes, Director, Louisiana Collection, Birmingham, Alabama for supplying a chart of “Las Yslas Savinas”, 1802, from Museo Naval-Madrid, and identifying it with the Cedar Keys. 21. Admittedly a speculation, the hypothesis deserves the attention of persons researching the first Spanish era in Florida. 22. The Suwannee-Santa Fe system is identified as the Rio San Martin by Amy Bushnell in The King’s Coffer (Gainesville; University Presses of Florida, 1981), frontispiece, “Map of Spanish Florida...Place Names before 1702.” A. R. San Martin is depicted on the Iberville Map of Mexico and Florida, Paris, 1703, reprinted in Bert Bierer, Indians and Artifacts in the Southeast (Columbia, S. C., 1978), 363. The Jefferys Map of Florida in William Roberts, An account of the First Discovery and Natural History of Florida (London, 1763), frontispiece, depicts the Cayos de St. Martin at the mouth of a Rio S. Martin, but the map and text exhibit confusion as to this river, the Rio San Pedro, and an admittedly vague “Carolinian river.” 23. How one locates the Cedar Keys in relation to the mouth of the river now called Suwannee may be a matter of perspective and purpose. On an illustrative map of the western hemisphere, or just the Gulf of Mexico, two hundred years ago, it might suffice to depict them close by the mouth of the nearest large navigable river. Such description appears in even more recent examples: The Tallahassee Floridian on March 2, 1839 reported a resolution calling for a lighthouse “at Cedar Key, near the mouth of the Suwannee River.” And on March 4, 1840, James Whitcomb, Commissioner of Public Lands in Washington, D.C., informed his field offices in Tallahassee and St. Augustine that “the Cedar Key islands lying off the mouth of the Suwannee River” were to be reserved for military use. 24. Op. cit., 37, 91, 128. See also Bushnell, “The Menendex Marquez Cattle Barony at La Chua...” Florida Historical Quarterly, LVI (April 1978), 407-31. 2

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3 In 1910, Joseph J. Wilson was a boat builder in Cedar Key. To his left is his mother-in-law, Grandma Henley; center, Mary Henley Wilson; front, Laverne (M. Phillips), Maggie Josephine (M. Oder), Emily Ola (M. Oder).

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This was an oyster processing plant in Cedar Key, 1905. This school at Cedar Key was built in 1912 and burned Dec. 21, 1943. 4

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THE FAMILY OF JOSEPH FLEMING PREY ATT By Elaine Presnell Thomas Prevatt was born circa 1772 in South Carolina, probably the son of James Prevatt who served in the South Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War. The first time that we find Thomas mentioned by name is in the 1805 land lottery of Georgia. Being a married man, he was allowed two draws-both “blanks”. He had married Mary Studstill in 1801 at “the home of her father in Camden County, Georgia”. They evidently lived in the Folkston area because both he and Mary were members of Sardis Baptist Church. His brother, Joseph R. and his wife were also members. In 1810, both Joseph R. and Thomas were granted land by Spain in what is now Nassau Co., Florida. Again, both of them affiliated with a church--Pigeon Creek Baptist Church. This was located near the St. Mary’s River on the Florida side. It appears that Joseph R. remained there, but about 1824 Thomas and a few others received permission from the Church to begin a new congregation near present-day Brooker, Alachua County, Florida, because Pigeon Creek was “too far to travel”. This congregation was called New River Church. We can only imagine what life in early Florida must have been like for the settlers. They lived close to forts, because at times they had to seek protection from the Indians. There were very few roads-very few people for neighbors. There were only 34,730 people in the entire territory in 1830-18,185 white. (Mrs. Aurora Shaw from her 1830 census). They planted small patches of corn and probably a garden. More than apt they plowed with their guns slung over their shoulders. And then the Indians really began to act up. Thomas fought in the Seminole War and died in 1837 at Gary’s Ferry near Middleburg. His wife died two months later. Ordinarily, their deaths would have been noted in the minutes of New River Church, but there were no minutes for four or five years during this war period. The congregation couldn’t meet because of the Indians. Thomas and Mary had nine children but I will name only two. The remainder of them, or their children, were never in Levy County, so far as I can determine. Thomas James was their oldest child, born in 1802 in Camden County, Georgia. He also fought in the Indian Wars. He married two, or three, times and his two children, John Thomas and Mary Ann, lived in Levy County. John Thomas married Sarah Julia Clyatt, and Mary Ann married Thomas C. Love. All of them are buried in Levyville Cemetery. Thomas James died in 1857 and is buried at Newmansville. Joseph Fleming Prevatt was born in 1822 in the vicinity of Newnansville. In the 1850 Alachua County Census, he is living in the house-hold of Thomas James. Shortly after this he met a beautiful red-haired girl by the name of Fanny Smith. Her father, James Hampton Smith, didn’t like Joe at all. He said that Joe was like a gopher-carrying everything that he owned on his back. This was because Joe liked nice clothes and always rode a fine horse with a beautiful saddle and trappings. James Hampton’s opinion did not deter Fanny and Joe. They slipped away and were married on the eight of March, 1851. As so many parents have done, James H. had to eat his words. Joseph Fleming turned out to be a good husband, father and son-in-law. Joe received some land from the government for his service in the Indian War. This was probably in the Ebenezer area since this is where he and Fanny lived. He was primarily a cattleman but always had a huge vegetable garden for his family and, of course, chickens and pigs. They were members of Ebeneezer Baptist Church. Joe was secretary for a good many years. In those days the Church not only fulfilled their spiritual needs but was their primary source of social activities. In 1857 Joe became sheriff of Levy County. He served in this capacity until 1863. Then in 1864 he enlisted in Captain E. J. Lutterlohs Co., Munnerlin’s Batallion, for the duration of the Civil War. He participated in a skirmish at “#4, Levy County,” and one at Clay Landing on the Suwannee River. This must have been a Home Guard unit. Joe died in 1880. Fanny lived on until 1918 and was buried beside him at Ebeneezer Cemetery. All of their children, and their mates, with the exception of three are also buried there. These are their Children: 1. Thomas James born 1852 married Candacia Studstill. 2. John Marion born 1855 married Irene Studstill. 3. Mary America born 1857 married Thomas B. Folks. 4. Eliza born 1860 married Seth Faircloth. 5. Ann Fanny born 1861 married George Weimer. 6. Joseph Morgan born 1864 married Virginia Smith. 7. Charles Curling born 1868 married Hilda Wilkinson (?). 8. Della born 1870 married William Porter McLeod. 9. Hampton born 1874 married to 1. Willie Harris; 2. Freeda Stalvey. 5

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£ > wmm bear hunt near Cedar Key, about 1906. Foreground, left to right, George Rex Andrews, .D., the black bear, and Forrest Andrews. The two men were brothers. Dr. Andrews came from Muncie, Indiana and was the father of the late Edwin H. Andrews, M.D.

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MEEKS Eugenia Smith Rowe Thomas Lawson Meeks, born October 1846, and his wife, Amanda, born October 1851, along with his younger brother, David C. Meeks, born March 1851, and his wife, Eliza Hilliard Meeks, bom January 1850, came to Florida from the Troy, Alabama area after the Civil War (or war between the states, depending on where you were bom. I shall use Civil War as it is shorter and more commonly used these days.) These two brothers and their wives have founded a vast family, with its roots here in Levy County. Its branches are like one of our giant oak trees, large and growing larger all the time, spreading out in many directions. Thomas Lawson Meeks served his native state of Alabama and his fledgling Southern Nation as a soldier in the Confederate forces, Co. H., 12th Alabama Infantry. He applied for a pension in March 1911. Thomas Lawson Meeks, a merchant, and Amanda were married in 1874 and reared two sons. The first, David Newton Meeks, born 21 February 1875 in Florida (possibly at Madison), married on the 22 May 1898, Miss Fannie Clifford Oglesby, born 11 October 1883 in Florida. They reared a family of eleven in the Ellzey area as he worked in the sawmills. They are buried in the Ellzey Cemetery. David Newton Meeks died 12 September 1953 and his wife, Fannie, died 12 November 1964. Their eleven children: 1. David Alonzo “Dock”, 27 January 1900, Margurite Pugh. 2. Nora Mable, 23 October 1901, John Williams. 3. Susie, 26 September 1903, T. Parker Frier. 4. Thomas Lawson, 23 September 1905, Bessie Smallwood. 5. Lee Roy, 8 December 1907, Gertrude Drummond. 6. Eunice, 1910, J. D. Williams. 7. Lewis, 20 June 1912, Bertha Crews. 8. George Washington, 4 July 1915, Oretha Earles. 9. Walter Horace, 21 October 1917, Beatrice Tindall. 10. Don Newton “Donnie”, 15 November 1920, Virginia Elizabeth Sharp. 11. Duncan, 1921, died as a child. Thomas Lawson and Amanda’s second son, George Lawson Meeks, born 4 June 1881, in Florida, married 7 February 1908 at Ellzey, Miss Avarilla Ellzey, a school teacher, born 16 January 1887. She was the daughter of the Reverend Robert M. Ellzey and his wife, Mary Avarilla White Williams Ellzey. George Lawson and his wife, Avarilla produced eight children and in 1910 he is listed in the Federal Census as a Tie Manufacturer, presumedly for the railroad, at Ellzey. George Lawson Meeks died 3 January 1938 following his wife, Avarilla, who died 28 February 1937. They both are buried at Orange Hill Cemetery, Williston, Levy County, Florida. Their eight children: 1. C herry Amanda, 18 November 1908, Lawrence Turner. 2. Joyce Etta, 1 August 1910, W. Frank Bullock, died 15 January 1976. 3. Robert, 1912, died age 2. 4. George Oran “Buck”, 6 January 1914, Evelyn Smith. 5. Jeannette Avarilla, 11 January 1916, Edward Lee Barton. 6. David Wofford, 11 October 1917, Margie Beauchamp. 7. Clara, Harold McDonnell. 8. Mary “Jackie”, 13 August 1921, John Dishong. Thomas Lawson Meeks lost his first wife, Amanda, whom we presume is buried in the Ellzey Church Cemetery. He married second, Mrs. Dora Tindall, Pinner, Berryhill, bom 1869, died 1955. Both Thomas Lawson and Dora are buried in the Ellzey Church Cemetery, Levy County, Florida. Not much is known of Thomas Lawson and David C. Meeks’ parents. What we do know is that their father was born in Georgia and their mother in Alabama. Therefore, we presume that the father imigrated to Alabama, met their mother, married her and settled down to raise their family. After the Civil War, these two brothers set out to make their own way in the world, much as their father must have done, although probably for very different reasons. David C. Meeks, bom March 1851 in the Troy, Pike County, Alabama area, married about 1874, Miss Eliza Hilliard, born January 1850, also of Alabama. David was the younger brother of Thomas Lawson Meeks reported on here in a previous paragraph. David and Eliza married in Alabama and removed to Florida between 1876 and 1878. David was a farmer in the Ellzey area of Levy County, Florida. Eliza gave birth to six children, five of whom grew to adulthood. The first child of David and Eliza Meeks was Sarah Bamma, born 10 March 1876, (while the family was still living in Alabama) married 27 November 1892, John Wesley Ishie, born 4 March 1865. They were married at Ellzey, Levy County, Florida by the Reverend Robert M. Ellzey. John Wesley Ishie on the 1910 Census, is listed as a Railroad Section Foreman living at Ellzey and it was here that his wife, Bamma, gave birth to their ten children. John Wesley Ishie died on the 22 June 1951, followed by Bamma on 3 February 1953. They are both buried at the Ellzey Church Cemetery. Their ten children: 1. Eliza Ellen, 19 November 1893, James Edward Williams. 2. Susie Caroline, 12 February 1896, Died 24 December 1898. 3. John Wesley, Jr. 2 April 1898, 1st Dorothy Gilbert, 2nd Rozella “Susie” Wingate. 4. Grace Bamma, 18 May 1900, James Garmon Wright. 7

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5. L ottie Mae, 10 April 1903, 1st T. J. Wright, 2nd Grady Washington Phelps. 7. David Samuel, 25 March 1910, Elsie Fort. 8. N ancy Jerusha, 15 October 1912, died 5 June 1917. 9. William Madison, 21 November 1914, married Lillie Duncan. 10. Minnie Lue, 12 February 1917, Julius Radacky. James Newton Meeks, born 28 August 1878, the second child of David and Eliza, was the first of their children born in Florida. He was a farmer in the Ellzey area of Levy County, Florida. James Newton Meeks met and married Miss Fannie McMellon, born 25 December 1881 at Ellzey. They were married by the Reverend Robert M. Ellzey on 5 February 1901. Fannie was the daughter of J. L. and Martha Jefferson Carolina Carter McMellon. James Newton and Fannie had ten children, all born in Ellzey. James Newton died on 26 August 1946, age 68, but Fannie lived to the vunerable age of 97, died on 8 April 1978. Both are buried in the Ellzey Church Cemetery, Levy County, Florida. Their ten children: 1. Richard Harvie, 16 January 1902, 15 December 1912, died age 10. 2. John Newton, 30 March 1904, 1 October 1972, Bessie Lee Geiger. 3. Bennie, 6 May 1906, 25 June 1906, died age 1 month. 4. James Rufus, 28 April 1907, Ethel Marie Gilley. 5. Lawrence Jackson, 12 December 1909, 26 February 1981, Nora May Geiger. 6. Fannie Eliza, 9 March 1912, Buford Henry Holmes. 7. Bertie Martha, 24 November 1914, 12 June 1971, J. Mitchell Curry. 8. David Mudrick “Cub”, 30 November 1971, 17 August 1976, Mrs. Ottie I. Killcrease Whittington. 9. Edwin “Eddie”, twin, 6 July 1919, Katherine. 10. Evelyn “Alice”, twin, 6 July 1919, Henry Gordon. The third child of David and Eliza Meeks was a daughter Mary Ella, born 13 October 1880. Mary Ella married Yank Fralix, date unknown, and after his death, she married Joe Hogan. I have no further information except for Mary Ella’s death on 11 May 1948 and her burial at Ellzey Church Cemetery, Levy County, Florida. The fourth of David and Eliza Meeks children was Amanda, born 22 February 1881. Amanda married William D. Perryman, born 23 November 1879, a carpenter of houses. Known affectionally as “Uncle Bill” and “Aunt Mandy” to many, many people in and about Levy County, they never had any chldren of their own. “Uncle Bill” died 28 January 1962, followed by “Aunt Mandy” 18 March 1970. They are both buried in Galillee Cemetery, between Rocky Hammock and Chiefland, Levy County, Florida. The fifth and last of David and Eliza Meeks children to reach adulthood was Lottie, born in 1887. Other than she married Tom Oglesby, I know nothing more of her. David C. Meeks died 23 March 1921, following Eliza Hilliard by ten years. Eliza died 22 February 1911. They both are buried at the Ellzey Church Cemetery, Levy County, Florida. As mentioned before David C. and Thomas Lawson Meeks’ parents were from Georgia and Alabama. Eliza Hilliard’s parents were both from Alabama. Nothing more is known on this couple who left so many descendants in this area.

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THE BRONSON METHODIST CHRUCH By Elizabeth Griffin, Harriet Shewey, Faith Weeks The Bronson Methodist Church was organized in 1867 with five members-Dr. James M. Jackson, Col. W. R. Coulter, W. A. Shands, Moses Dean and John Penny. The first pastor was Elias J. Knight, who also preached at Levyville, Rocky Hammock, Otter Creek and Fort Fannin. Near the end of 1867, John Ira Epperson moved from North Georgia with his large family of devout Methodists and, with other members gained, the membership of the Church had grown to 20. The newly organized Church was encouraged, and the following year a small Church was built at the cost of $400.00. Services the first year had been held in an unfinished warehouse. The first Board of Trustees was chosen in 1871 for the new Bronson Circuit, as follows: J. H. Hawkins, J. I. Epperson of Stafford Pond, James K. Jackson, W. R. Coulter, W. A. Shands of Bronson, S. P. Hardee, S. H. Worthington of Rocky Hammock and Antioch, James Overstreet of Oak Grove, S. W. B. Stephens of Charity. Some Churches had been taken from the Circuit and others added. The Church we workship in today was built in 1886 East of the Bronson High School on a lot given by Col. W. R. Coulter. In 1920, this Church was moved to its present location and in 1926 an Education Annex was added. The Recreation Center was built in 1947 on the lot in back of the Church. There we have games for young folks, a barbeque pit and tables for family suppers. Our first Homecoming was held that year and now is observed every two years on the second Sunday in October. The Church was remodeled in 1950 and a piano given at Homecoming. Bronson had been on a charge with Archer and Cedar Key until 1953 when the Church was made a station. New furniture replace the old, and the brass cross and candleholders were added in 1956 in memory of loved ones in the Church. The two-storied parsonage which stood on the lot by the Church was built in 1901. In 1961, a lot was purchased and funds for a more modern parsonage was started. The building was finished, furnished and a dedication service held in 1964. The old parsonage was used for Sunday School until the completion of the Education Building, after which it was torn down. The year was 1969. Pastors who have served at Bronson United Methodist Church Elias J. Knight J. W. Thompkins T. J. Nixon J. B. Johnson J. P. DePass J. R. Crowder S. E. Phillips J. C. Ley W. S. Richardson J. A. Howland J. P. DePass Samuel Scott John Beers W. F. Norton C. N. Duncan H. B. Frazee B. T. Rape W. H. Steinmyer R. M. Williams W. R. Crandell J. C. Collier W. C. Norton G. L. Ingram Edward K. Denton R. L. Yeats W. H. Newkirk Jessie J. Jones P. A. Fletcher P. K. Rowell L. E. Wright L. B. Simpson W. C. Norton C. H. Voss J. A. Bridges Jesse E. Jones S. E. Hendrix W. H. Herndon A. A. Godfrey Clare S. Hall R. H. Carr Lome Sparks W. G. Strickland Oliver Hatfield Walter Jessup E. D. Conway William McMullen John N. Bennion John Wright Theodore Springer Fletcher Peeler Robert Lenz Ernest Edmund Charles Hutchins David Underwood Wesley Price Guy Athearn W. Timothy Baughn Robert Sterner Herman Boyette Frank L. Daniel 9

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ELMIRA PRISON CAMP By Cindy Goss American History, Eleventh Grade Chiefland High School, 1984 Whle going over some subjects for this year’s term paper, I had previously decided on the Civil War in general. While frantically searching, I found an interesting battle, The Battle of the Crater in Petersburg, Virginia. I began reading about this certain battle. I asked my grandfather, Lindon Lindsey, if he would have any information on this battle, since he is a collector of Civil War history. He gave me several folders of facts about the Civil War and this battle. He told me that I had a great-great-great-grandfather, Samuel Curry, who fought in the Battle of the Crater. I was so fascinated by this fact that I continued to look for more information. I then found out he was captured in Virginia and taken to Elmira Prison Camp in Elmira, New York. This was a camp for captured Confederate prisoners of war. At the Battle of the Crater, Samuel Curry was captured along with 200 other men. Samuel Curry was enlisted in Bronson, Florida, August 1, 1863, by Lt. Barco. Curry was a private in Company G, 9th Regiment, Florida Infantry. The Company Muster Roll said Curry was absent on July 27, 1864, and was said to have deserted to the enemy. When the roll was called again, the roll said he was absent and was a prisoner of war. On August 8, 1864, Curry was listed as a prisoner of war at Point Lookout, Maryland. Sam Curry was captured July 29,1864, in Petersburg, Virginia and was transfered to Elmira Prison Camp, New York. Samuel Curry died on November 14, 1864, of chronic diarrhea. To show just what kind of nightmare Elmira was to Confederate soldiers, I have described it in the following paragraphs. ELMIRA Elmira, New York, lies in fertile farm country some 5 miles away from the Pennsylvania line. The 30-acre site was along and below the banks of the Chemung Piver. A one-acre lagoon of stagnant water, a backwash from the river, stood within the stockade and would soon give rise to several epidemics. It was called Foster’s Pond. Prison buildings were located on the high northern bank of the pond’s lower level, known to flood easily and later became a hospital area for hundreds of small pox and diarrhea victims. Inside the prison pen stood thirty-five two-story barracks each measuring 100 by 20 feet. Ceilings were barely high enough to accommodate two rows of crude banks along the walls. The flooring, assembled of green lumber and lacking foundations, afforded little resistance to either wind or water. The first groups to arrive at Elmira quickly crowded the barracks. Prisoners that came after lived in “A” tents scattered around the prison area. At the time of their arrival, most prisoners were unaware of one last deadly factor. A Virginian said, “Elmira was in those regions of New York, where for at least 4 months of every year, anything short of a polar bear would find locomotion impracticable.” Another native said, “The compound was a pleasant summer prison for southern soldiers, but an excellent place for them to find their graves in the winter.” In early July, Colonel A. G. Draper, commanding the Point Lookout Pen, received orders to start 2,000 of his prisoners for Elmira. They were to be divided into groups of 400, with 100 guards. All received two days’ rations. The Confederates stood in lines for small pox vaccinations, then marched aboard what a member of Stuart’s Horse Artillery termed “a miserable old government transport only fitted to carry cattle.” The shiphold “was sickening in the extreme...A large number of men being already sick when placed aboard, their wretched condition upon the voyage can be better imagined than described. The first group reached Elmira at 6 a.m. on July 6 and numbered 399 men-one soldier having escaped enroute. The second group of 249 prisoners arrived early on the morning of July 11, then followed by 502 Confederates on the following day. One observer said, “They were made up of two classes; the old and the young, and the middle aged having a very small representation.” They wore all sorts of non descript uniforms beside the dark, dirty gray. A prison guard described the Confederates as “pale and emaciated, hollow-eyed and dispirited in every act and movement.” To make matters worse, the vaccine meted out to the prisoners was not of superior quality. On many arms “were great sores, big enough, it seemed, to put your fist in.” On July 15, an Erie Railroad train jammed with prisoners collided with a freight train near the hamlet of Shahola. Casualties included 48 prisoners and 17 guards killed, 100 prisoners and 18 guards injured. A local newspaper proclaimed, “The injured were carefully helped by their comrades and others onto wagons for their short ride to Elmira.” What the newspaper neglected to state was that the Confederates still lay in make-shift hospitals at Elmira, their wounds unattended and clothing stuck to the dried blood of cuts and fractures. Albert G. Smith wrote a letter to his wife, “I got heart in comeing hear by the cars running together, but I am not confined..wee are fareing very well and are treated very cind, more so that I thought wee would bee.” Conditions at Elmira, anything but satisfactory, worsened rapidly in the ensuing weeks. By the end of July, 4, 424 prisoners were packed in the compound, with another 3,000 then enroute from Point Lookout. The total number leaped to 9,600 by mid-August. 10

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(Keep in mind Elmira was only to accomodate 5,000 comfortably.) Colonel Eastman reported to Washington that mess facilities could not cope with so many prisoners; it required 3 hours to feed 10,000 men in shifts of 1,800 at a time. Colonel Hoffman replied brusquely 2 weeks later that if the prisoners “can get through their breakfast by 11 a.m. and their dinner by 6 p.m. nothing more is necessary.” The continual dumping of garbage and sewage into the slimy pool in the last hot days of summer produced “a conditon offensive to the nostrils and dangerous to the health,” A surgeon at the prison stated more clearly. An average of 7,000 prisoners released daily over 2,600 gallons of urine--“highly loaded with nitrogenous material” into Foster’s Pond. “The Pond received the contents of the sinks and garbage of the camp until it became so offensive that vaults were dug on the banks of the pond for sinks and the hole left a festering mass of corruption and the entire atmosphere of the camp with its pestilential orders, night and day.” Colonel Eastman called Washington’s attention to this offensive condition as early as August 17; not until late October did he receive permission to use prisoner labor for making drainage ditches to remove the stagnant water. By December the odor was gone, yet scores of prisoners were down with disease. Despite the outcry that showed “the grossest indifference on the part of the government” and was carried out in an “inhuman and cruel manner” the officers responsible for the prisoner transfer remained at their duties. The episode became one of the major marks against the prison its occupants had dubbed “Helmira.” At night forty-one “locomotive lights” bathed the prison area while sentries at half-hour intervals broke the darkness and stillness by announcing all is well. Late in July, the prisoners underwent a unique indignity. A group of towns people erected two observation platforms immediately outside the prison walls. For 15 cents spectators could observe the prisoners as they endured life within the compound. A sergeant in the 3rd Alabama Regiment added that some prisoners frequently assembled near an observatory to “indulge in numerous ridiculous feats of ground tumbling for amusing the spectators, but really in derision of being regarded as curiosities. The odds dropped as each passing month brought new oppressions and hardships and with them a commensurate increase in sickness and death. William Garner, a private in the Stonewall Brigade, was the first to die at Elmira. He died on July 27, 1864, to “questionable fever.” Three months later, during one four-day period, 44 men died, 588 were admitted to the hospital, and 1,021 received “treatment” for various and serious ailments. By the end of 1864, 1,015 prisoners were prostrate, while 1,264 others lay buried in a nearby cemetery. Samuel Curry is one of the 1,264 who died. The worst was yet to come. To fully understand this universal suffering and sickness, a high death rate at Elmira, 24 percent, required a detailed examination of all facts of prisoner life. One of the most pressing needs among prisoners was for clothing, since more than one arrived in “nothing but my underware”. The cry for clothing brought instant response from Southern families and friends; yet, Colonel Eastman withheld the issuing of the clothes until he could get the permission from Colonel Hoffman. The permission finally came in mid-August and with a restriction: “only gray, or some shade of gray mixed, can be allowed.” This quickly eliminated all but a few coats, shirts, and pairs of trousers, sent north by wives and mothers; what was not distributed was burned. Winter struck early in Elmira. Prisoners lacking blankets and clad in rags collapsed in droves from exposure. Late in September a camp inspector reported some gray clothing trickling into the compound, yet “great destitution” prevailed. By early December, 1,666 half-naked men “only in blankets” stood ankle-deep in snow to answer morning roll call. In the second week of December, the Federal Government issued clothing for 2,000 men to the more than 8,400 confederates living at Elmira. One fortunate prisoner who received an “out-of-date goverment coat” described the coat by saying, “For some unknown reason, the tails has been cut ‘evenly’ one side being a foot long and others extending only a few inches from the waist line. They helped to keep us warm, but should we have been out in the world in such costumes, one might have mistaken us for scarecrows eloping from the neighborhood cornfield.” If hunger existed among the Confederates, these sources insisted it was due to: 1. lack of appetite due to homesickness, 2. slightly inferior quality of food owing to the severe drought of that year, 3. the inactivity and boredom of prison life, 4. the outcries of prisoners whose rations were stolen, sold, or gambled away, and 5. the stomachs in an abnormal condition as a result of long incarceration. Personal records and some reports by prison officials came close to substantiating the assertion of a Northern soldier that “a cat notwithstanding its proverbial nine lives, wouldn’t last five months” inside Elmira. By late August, an epidemic of scurvey was in full force; on September 11, no less than 1,870 cases had been reported. A Maryland soldier wrote his wife from Elmira in December, “I am almost starved to death. I only get 2 meals a day, breakfast and supper. For breakfast, I get one third of a pound of bread and a small piece of meat; for supper, I get the same quantity of bread and no meat, but a small plate of warm water called soup.” Men were dying of starvation at the rate of 25 a day. Twice each day prisoners went to mess call in groups or wards of 200-400 men. Private John King recollected: “We went in a trot, canteens, buckets, tin cans, coffee pots rattling, old rags and strings and long unkept hair, dirty and gray backs, cheekbones projecting for there was little of us except skin and bones. Our legs were spindling and weak. Here we went over the frozen ground and in crossing ditches some frequently fell. We were obliged to leave them struggling to regain their feet as our time at the mess hall was limited.” Hunger caused grown men to do desperate things.

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Mr. King said, “I have seen a mob of hungry rebs beseige the bone-cart and beg from the drivers fragments on which the sun had been burning for several days. He also said, “I got up many times in my bunk with a bone and after knawing the soft end, sucked at the end of the bone for hours at a time. I wasn’t the only one.” Prisoners would pick up apple peelings that had been trampled in the mud around the barracks, wiped them off on grimy shirt sleeves, and devour them eagerly. When rations became insufficient to even ward off starvation, the prisoners turned to a large rat population that inhabited the banks of Foster’s Pond. Scores of men lined the banks, waiting for any unsuspecting rodent to venture forth from his hole. A North Carolina soldier stated: ‘‘If one was sighted such a hurrah and such a chase and such a volley of stones! You would have thought it was our battalion of sharpshooters in a charge. At the time a broiled rat was superb and a really palatable food. Once a small dog followed a wood-hauler into the stockade. Half-starved prisoners caught and slaughtered the animal, then hid the carcass in the rafters of their barracks until after dark. They were in the process of devouring their meals when guards (alerted by an oath-taker) arrested the whole group. By November, 1864 (the time of Samuel Curry’s death) a large outbreak of diarrhea and pneumonia had reached plague proportions. A month later came small pox. In the first week it struck 140 men, killing 10. A soldier reported ‘‘There was not a day that at least 20 men were taken out dead.” A physician most singled out for commendation was Surgeon-in-Chief E. L. Sanger. This “Club-footed little gentleman, with an abnormal head and a snakey look in his eyes” mistreated and neglected ill confederates as retaliation for the sufferings of Federal soldiers in southern prisons. James Huffman of the 10th Virginia Regiment insisted to his death that he heard Sanger boast, “I have killed more Rebs than any soldier at the front.” Other prisoners seconded the accusation of sick prisoners “being deliberately murdered by the surgeon.” Sanger abruptly left Elmira in December of 1864. The most ingenuous single escape from Elmira, was that of a Georgian sergeant known to history as “Buttons”. He induced prisoners working in the “dead house” to put him in a coffin and to tack the top lightly in place. A few hours later, the prison surgeon turned over the days accumulation of bodies to Sexton Jones for interment in the cemetery. Soon the wagon bumped slowly along the road. His face powdered with flour to give the white appearance of death, “Buttons” quietly raised the lid of his coffin. Then to the driver seated in front of him, “Buttons” moaned, “Come to the judgement”. The driver warily turned his head. One look at the figure rising from the coffin was enough for Jones, who ran pell-mell through the woods shouting, “Ghosties! Ghosties!” The Confederate made good his escape. From then on a federal officer supervised all “preparing of the dead”. At Elmira, discipline was strick and punishments were discriminate. Some had to wear barrel shirts that said things like “I am a liar”, “I’m a thief” or “I ate a dog”. Bucking and gagging or hanging by the thumbs, were additional penalties at Elmira. One Alabama soldier refused to reveal his source of whiskey, so a guard gagged him with a wooden block so wide that it split his mouth in both corners. Official statistics for the worst 6-month period at Elmira tell a grim story. Month Prisoners Sick Dead September 9,480 563 385 October 9,441 640 276 November 8,258 666 207 December 8,401 758 269 January 8,602 1,015 285 February 8,996 1,398 426 On the night of March 16, 1865, Mother Nature seemingly tried to rid the earth of Elmira. Hard rains caused the Cheming River to suddenly overrun its banks. It flooded the first level. Although the flood carried away some 2,700 feet of stockade fence, prisoners had no time to think of escape. Colonel Tracy reported the transfer of prisoners to higher ground resulted “in slightly increased loss of life.” One near fatality in the flood was a North Carolina prisoner, who while scampering from one barrack roof to another slipped and plunged into the icy water. “I was baptized all by myself” he said later “and that is the reason why I’m a Baptist still.” Today, all that remains of Elmira is a well-kept cemetery. The grave yard seems a fitting memorial. Samuel Curry is buried in grave No 808. Conclusion I have told of Elmira Prison Camp and how it was a nightmare to captured Confederate soldiers. To me this was more than just a subject for a term paper. It was a chance to learn about my ancestor .who fought in the Civil War, his capture, and the horrible life he endured in Elmira. So I must totally agree with a Texas soldier who firmly stated: “If there was ever hell on earth, Elmira was that hell.” The footnotes and biblography of this essay are on file in the Archives Collection at the Bronson Town Library. 12

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SHELL POND and Judge John Francis McDonell By Kathryn Harris A bill introduced in the Florida legislature (1877) extended the boundaries of Levy County to include the beautiful hammock and caverns area of Shell Pond. This land had previoulsy been within the Marion County lines. More important than the land acquired was the group of settlers who lived there. A gala picnic was held to celebrate the occasion on May 17. In addition to the Levy County residents, there were visitors from Alachua and Marion Counties. Among those in attendance: William H. Bigham (born ca 1839, Georgia; Sheriff of Levy County in 1885 census). Edmund H. Brewer (b. 6 May 1832; d. 18 Sep 1912; buried Wacahoota Baptist Cemetery; gf of Emma Peacock Rutland et al.) Dr. R. H. Mcllvaine (b. 23 April 1820, Lewes, Deleware; d. 14 March 1889; buried Cedar Key). Dr. James Maxwell Jackson, Sr., of Bronson (born 7 Jan 1831, Chester Dist., S.C.; died 10 May 1911; buried Bronson; son of Turner and Elizabeth Jackson; married Mary Glenn Shands, of the family for whom Shands Medical Center is named). Judge William H. Sebring (born ca 1840, Tennessee; a merchant from Bronson). S. S. Moore (School Supt., Levy County). Sam Tucker (Sheriff, Alachua County). J. Porter Smith (born 1 January 1824, S. C.), son of Thomas Smith (born 16 March 1788; died 30 January 1853; buried Wacahoota Methodist Cemetery). Porter was the grandson of Thomas Smith (born 28 January 1768; died 12 October 1815, Newberry District, S. C.) and Anna Katherine Leapheart (born 4 May 1768; died 17 November 1829, Newberry District, S. C.) He was also nephew of Jacob Smith (1809-1874) who has many descendants in Levy County, one of whom is Joseph E. Smith, Prosecuting Attorney for the county. Captain John Francis McDonell of Shell Pond and his relatives helped to round out the 200 300 people at the picnic which was held on his land. From that very day, he played a vital role in the history of our country, as a citizen and as a County Judge. The following family history was obtained from Wilson Sistrunk by Rev. Durwood McDonell and Mrs. Eddie (Vernon McDonell) Griffin. John Francis McDonell and family of Shell Pond, Florida, about 1877. 13

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In 1918, Vernon McDonell (Griffin), Earl Willis (son of Dr. Jesse Mercer Willis), Montine Gornto (King), Harrison Barnard. The automobile is not identified, it might have been a Packard. These people lived in and around Williston 14

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A HISTORY OF THE McDONELL FAMILY By Wilson Sistrunk John Francis McDonell was born on Amelia Island, Florida, 21 March 1820, and died at Shell Pond, Levy County, Florida, 25 January 1895. He was the eighth child of Ferdinand Donald McDonell and Sarah Bulia Pelot, who were married on Amelia Island in 1805. They had fourteen children, most of whom reached adulthood. Ferdinand Donald McDonell was born in Glengarry, Scotland, in 1770, and was brought to Newberry, South Carolina, by his parents, William and Margery, in 1778. His mother, Margery O’Neil MacDonald, was the daughter of Alexander MacDonald of Glengarry, Scotland. Ferdinand Donald McDonell had moved to Spanish Florida and settled near St. Augustine with his first wife, Ann, before 1789. Ann died on Amelia Island in 1802. There is no record of any children born to this marriage. Ferdinand Donald McDonell was a planter and merchant on Amelia Island for many years. He was awarded almost $15,000 in damages suffered at the hands of the American Expedition from St. Mary’s, Georgia in 1813. This award was made in 1825, but it was not paid until 1837. Late in life, Ferdinand Donald moved to Savannah, Georgia, and lived on Bryan Street until his death in 1849. He was buried in the Pelot lot in Colonial Cemetery. Apparently, his grave was covered by the construction of a new jail on that site many years ago. Sarah Bulia Pelot McDonell was the daughter of James Pelot and his wife, Elizabeth Chisholm, of Beaufort District, South Carolina. She was born there in 1788. James Pelot was the son of John Francis Pelot, a native of De Neuville Bern Canon. Educated in Switzerland, James Francis was fourteen years old when his father, Jonas Pelot, master shoemaker, emigrated from Switzerland to Puryburg, South Carolina, in 1734. Their new home was located about twenty miles up the Savannah River from the little colony of Savannah, Georgia. The letter of recommendation given to Jonas Pelot by the De Neuville Village Council upon his departure has been preserved by the Pelot family descendants. John Francis Pelot married Mary Martha Sealy, and shortly thereafter joined the Baptist Church under the influence of the Sealy family, who were devout Baptists. John Francis became a very effective Baptist minister and served as pastor of the Euhaw Baptist Church continuously from 1752 until his death in 1774. The Euhaw Baptist Church is the second oldest Baptist Church in South Carolina. His will is probably the longest in colonial America. At the time of his death, he owned “3785 acres on the mainland, 5 offshore islands, with cattle and slaves to match.’’ He was awarded an honorary degree from the forerunner of Brown University because of his strong support of that institution. By 1788, Governor Quesada of Spanish Florida was offering headrights as an inducement to persuade wealthy planters to move to Florida to grow Sea Island cotton. James Pelot was awarded sufficient land, on the basis of the number of his family members and slaves, to be traded later for 620 acres of Amelia Island. Its location is well known, being southeast of the airport. He and the other planters of long staple cotton enjoyed a large income from the profitable sale abroad. Fernandina was a thriving port with as many as 100 ships in the harbor at one time. James Pelot had moved to Amelia Island by 1793, and lived there until his death, probably in the hurricane in 1734. In his old age, he deeded most of his property to his daughter, Sarah Bulia Pelot McDonell, in trust, to manage for his benefit for the rest of his life. We should not leave James Pelot without relating that he was captured by the British (probably at Purysburg, South Carolina) late in the American Revolution. Family tradition has it that he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner on a British prison ship in the Charleston, South Carolina, harbor. His black body servant was allowed to come and go freely, providing him with food and clean clothes. John Francis McDonell was raised in an affluent society on Amelia Island. While the non-importation act had been passed prohibiting the shipment to American ports of Negroes from Africa or any West Indies Islands, the growing and exporting of Sea Island cotton kept Fernandina a thriving port for a few years thereafter. Travel from one off-shore island to the other along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts was easy, most of the coastal planters were interrelated by blood or marriage. There was much travel in the six-oared plantation boats, rowed by black servants in livery, to parties and other social events. Some of the family names on Amelia Island during that era were Roux, Helvinston, Harrison, and Sealy as well as Pelot and McDonell. As a young man, we find John Francis McDonell as a slave overseer for Mary Helvinston Stanley, at Wacahoota, Florida. The railroad had been built from Amelia Island to Cedar Key. It came through Archer and Bronson and certainly hastened the movement of people into what is now Levy County. There is no positive record available to this writer, but apparently, John Francis McDonell had settled at Shell Pond in Levy County by about 1850 or 1855. During that period, it is evident that attack by the Indians was still a very real danger. John Francis, himself, and three traveling companions were victims of such an attack. The Reverend John C. Ley, author of Fifty-two Years in Florida, the first published history of Methodism in Florida, records the following incident; 15

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The war continued until 1842, when a treaty was made and hostilites ceased; there was still danger, and an occasional massacre. The last one was that of Mrs. Crum. She, her daughter, Mrs. Harn, her granddaughter, Miss Mary Ham, and Mr. J. F. MacDonell were riding, the latter driving the carriage, and Mrs. Ham riding on horseback. A number of Indians fired upon them. Mr. MacDonell was shot through the chest, but sprang into the bushes and escaped. Mrs. Cram was killed. Mrs. Ham caught her daughter by the arm, assisted her upon the horse, and they escaped. I have heard this related by each of the survivors. Mr. MacDonell lived to an old age, raised a large family, was honored and loved in his county, and passed to his reward in January 1894. There is some difference of opinion as to where the aforementioned ambush occurred. Some family descendants believe that it took place in 1842 somewhere in the vicinity of Payne’s Prairie, six miles west of Micanopy. This tradition contents that the place later became Fort Crum, named after one of the slain women. It is possible however, that the Indians attack occurred about three and one-half miles from Brooksville, on the Dade City road. In a letter from “Janie,” a granddaughter of John Francis, written to “Anna,” from Perry, Florida, dated 12 September 1936, the following account is given: “We all know that he [i.e., John Francis McDonell] carried a bullet, received during those times, in his chest which, no doubt, shortened his life several years. That bullet was fired from an Indian gun on the old public road from Brooksville to Dade City. The spot was marked by a huge oak, and the story of the old lady being killed by his side in the buggy is a tradition among the people of that section. Regardless of the sight of the ambush, John Francis McDonell’s widow, Margaret Roux Helvinston McDonell, drew an Indian War pension until her death in 1932 as a result. John Francis McDonell, together with his relatives and later his descendants, populated the area from Shell Pond almost to Raleigh, several miles wide. He owned and operated the sawmill for many years, and provided the lumber for building the Methodist Church of Archer. He was Judge McDonell during the latter part of his life. John Francis McDonell died 15 January 1895, age 74 years and 10 months, his obituary in the Ocala Star Banner described him as “one of nature’s noblemen...a first class citizen in every sense of the word...Among the worthy and noted men of our state..everybody’s friend.” It is a widely held opinion that no other person had a greater influence on the early development of Levy County than John Francis McDonell, my great-grandfather. Wilson Sistrunk 8 July 1981 A girls’ basketball team in Williston, about 1918. Left to right, Ruth Phillips (M. Evan Peacock, Marie Mixson, Vernon McDonell) (M. Eddie Griffin), Emma Peacock ( M. L.W. Rutland, Sr.), Elizabeth Mixson, Mae Willis (M. Edwin Collins). 16

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HOLCOMBE GRIFFIN By Eugenia Smith Rowe The amount of information available on this family is infinite but I shall try to do justice with a thumbnail sketch. A tradition preserved among the descendants of William Holcombe is that he came from Wales to Virginia ca 1660-1680. William was an Episcopalian who lived in St. Stephens Parish, County of New Kent, Virginia. He was a gentleman and landholder, paying quit rents on thousands of acres. His wife’s name is not recorded but he probably married her in Devonshire, England or Pembrokeshire, Wales before emigrating to Virginia. He died ca 1710. The children of William and his wife included four sons. The third son, Richard 11, born in Virginia ca 1681-1685, wife unknown, received his father’s land by entail as his eldest living son, under the English system of primogeniture. Richard II and his wife’s fourth son, John Holcombe, was born in Virginia in 1720, probably in Prince Edward County. John married Eleanor ? prior to 1740. He is recorded on the muster rolls of the first militia organized, October 8, 1754 for Granville County, North Carolina. He was enrolled as a militiaman in the Command of Captain Sugan Jones and Col. William Eaton. He took deeds for Granville County, North Carolina lands on December 21, 1755, stating himself as a planter and as where he “now lives”. John Holcombe removed from that area of North Carolina between 1763 and 1765 to what is now known as Union County, South Carolina, where he made entry of land on which he died. Land passed to Eleanor Holcombe, his wife, in the amount of 200 acres on January 17, 1775. John and Eleanor had at least eight children, seven sons and one daughter: 1. Zachariah, born 1740-42 died after 1820, Place of birth, Prince Edward Co., Virginia. 2. Joel, Born 1743-44, Place of Birth, Prince Edward Co., Virginia. 3. Isaac, born 1745, Place of Birth, Prince Edward Co., Virginia. 4. Elizabeth, born 11 March 1748, Place of Birth, Prince Edward Co., Virginia. 5. Harman, born 1749-50, Place of Birth, Prince Edward Co., Virginia. 6. Jeremiah, 1752-53, Place of Birth, Grandville Co., North Carolina. 7. Hosea, born 20 July 1755, Place of Birth, Grandville Co., North Carolina. 8. John, Born, ?, Place of Birth, Grandville Co., North Carolina. Zachariah Holcombe made entry of 301 acres in South Carolina before the American Revolution but never improved the land and therefore it is marked in the books as “elapsed”. Zachariah is listed in the 1790 Census for Pendleton District, South Carolina as being over 45 years old, of having 2 males over the age of 16 and 1 under, and 5 free white females. That presumes a wife, 3 sons and 4 daughters. They moved to Warren County, Kentucky after 1800 and he is shown in land transactions there up till 1812. His brothers, Joel, Harman, Jonathan and Jeremiah had migrated to that area preceeding him. The tradition is that they were followers of Daniel Boone. Zachariah moved to St. Clair County, Illinois about 1807. He died there after 1820. His wife’s name is not found but some of their children are: 1. John, born in Grandville Co., North Carolina. 2. Benjamin, born in Grandville Co., North Carolina. 3. Hosea, born in Pendleton Dist., South Carolina. 4-6. Unknown. 7. Polly, 8. Susan, born 16 October 1789. Benjamin Holcombe, second son of Zachariah Holcombe and his wife, did not follow his father, uncles and cousins to Kentucky but stopped off in Monroe County, Tennessee and here he reared his family. Benjamin was settled in Tennessee before the birth of his youngest child in 1819. His wife’s name is not recorded. He worked among the Indians and served in the militia in their removal west of the Mississippi River. Benjamin died soon after 1860. Benjamin Holcombe’s children were: 1. Unknown, born in Pendleton Dist., South Carolina. 2. Benjamin, born in Pendleton Dist., South Carolina. 3-5. Unknown, born in Pendleton Dist., South Carolina. 6. Joshua L., born 1802-02, born in Pendleton Dist., South Carolina. 7. Sarah, born in Monroe County, Tennessee. 8. Sampson, born in Monroe County, Tennessee. 9. James, born in Monroe County, Tennessee. 10. William Jackson, born November or December, 1819, born in Monroe County, Tennessee. Joshua L. (sometimes reported as Joshua T.) Holcombe, sixth child of Benjamin Holcombe and his wife, was born in South Carolina, reared in Tennessee and by 1823 had removed to the 587th District G.M., Rabun County, Georgia as a farmer. He served as a Constable in 1846. He married in Rabun County the 9th of July 1823, Miss Nancy Tilly. Their children were: 1. Thomas Jefferson, born 1824-25, in Rabun County, Georgia. 2. John T., born 1827-28, in Rabun County, Georgia. Nancy died about the time John T. was born and Joshua remarried to Melinda Gooch, born South Carolina, ca 1810-11. Their children: 3. Edward McD., 1828-29, in Rabun County, Georgia. 4. Reuben P., 1830-31, in Rabun County, Georgia. 17

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5. Infant, died unnamed, in Rabun County, Georgia. 6. William Walker, 1833-34, born in Rabun County, Georgia. 7. Tillman Dixon, 8 April 1836, in Rabun County, 'Georgia. 8. Isabella, 1837-38, born in Rabun County, Georgia. 9. Henry Snow, 26 February 1840, in Rabun County, Georgia. 10. Bennett G, 1841-42, in Rabun County, Georgia. 11. Ronda, in Rabun County, Georgia. 12. Malinda, 1845-46, born in Rabun County, Georgia. 13. Vienna Minerva, 1847-48, born in Rabun County, Georgia. 14. Amanda, 1849-50, born in Rabun County, Georgia. 15. Sylvester A., 1852-53, born in Rabun County, Georgia. Joshua and Melinda were Methodist until after their son, Tillman Dixon Holcombe, M.D., became an active Baptist Minister, at which time he baptized both his parents as Baptist Church members. All sons of Melinda served as Confederate soldiers in the Civil War and all returned alive from the service. Henry Snow Holcombe, ninth child of Joshua L. Holcombe was born in Rabun County, Georgia. On May 15, 1862 he enlisted at Ranger, Murray County, Georgia as a private in Co. B, 38th Georgia Confederate Infantry, Wright’s Legion and went to Savannah for training. He served in the division commanded by Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. He married, while on furlough from the army, in Cherokee County, Georgia 27th of October, 1863, Miss Rhonda Ann Bates. She was the daughter of Dr. F. M. Bates. She was bom in Georgia, 26th of July, 1844. Henry and Rhoda lived with Dr. Bates for four years in Cherokee County, Georgia and then moved to Kansas for two years, returning to Murray County, Georgia in 1870. Rhoda died 25th of April, 1916 and Henry died at Ranger, Murray County, Georgia on 16th of February, 1935. Henry, Rhoda and family were Baptist. He was a Deacon, as were four of his sons. The children of Henry and Rhoda were: 1. Francis Marion, 20 May 1865, Cherokee County, Georgia. 2. Marlin Andrew Jackson, 6 September 1866, Cherokee County, Georgia. 3. William H., 29 October 1868, Cherokee County, Georgia. 4. Joseph Newton J., 22 September 1870, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. 5. Rhoda Viana Merinda, 7 January 1872, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. 6. James M. Polk, 15 December 1873, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. 7. Sarah Jane, 22 November 1875, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. 8. Lilly Lee Ann, 8 March 1878, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. 9. John Hartwell, 16 March 1880, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. 10. Julius Tillman, 9 June 1882, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. 11. Lula Evelina, 29 June 1884, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. Mary Matthews and Vernon Griffin 12. M ary Ann, 30 September 1886, Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia. Sarah Jane Holcombe, seventh child of Henry Snow and Rhoda Bates Holcombe, married at Carter’s Quarter, Murray County, Georgia on October 15, 1902, Mr. Leonard Park Griffin, born 18th of October, 1860. Leonard Park Griffin formerly lived in • Birmingham, Alabama and operated saw mills in Milton County, Georgia until December, 1909 when they moved to Florida, where he operated lumber mills. Leonard Park Griffin had married and been widowed twice before marrying Miss Sarah Jane Holcombe. He and his first wife, name unknown, had one daughter and he and the second wife, name unknown, had four children: 1. Eula Beatrice, 19 August 1878-23 June 1969, Gordon Nix. 2. Leonard Cliff, 21 October 1889-28 December 1964, Ophelia Mattox. 3. Bertie Theron, 28 May 1892-19 March 1946, Carrie. 4. Curtis Forest, 13 August 1895, Early Markham. 5. Dewey Marie, 12 September 1898-5 October 1975, Church Henderson, Homer Slaughter, and Cecil Pardee. The childen of Leonard Park and Sarah Jane were: 6. John Henry, 17 August 1903, Eula Hasen. 7. Clare Lee, 7 August 1907, Byrel Santerfeit. 8. Vollie Tea, 14 February 1909, Thelma Hogan. 9. Grady Willie, 19 July 1912-10 February 1968, Alvera Dees. 10. Mary Eatrice, 31 October 1914, Cleon Orville “Dutch” Blitch. 11. Leonard Park II, 18 July 1917, Marie Mims. 18

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19 Medlin CompanyÂ’s sawmill near Williston, 1902.

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SAWMILL AT WILLISTON, 1902 By Don McCormick Much has been written about Florida sawmills which were a major industry in Florida a half century ago; few have come up with any photographs of these mills, consequently, many of your younger readers have not the faintest idea what a sawmill of the old days looked like. These two photographs which were taken about 1902 at Williston, Levy County, and I believe them to be typical of the type of sawmill in use during the period. Some sawmills were considerably larger than the mill of the Medlin Co. at Williston, which was what was called a 40,000 mill. In other words, they cut 40,000 board feet of lumber per 11-1/2 hour day six days a week, 50 weeks per year. The mills were rated on cut of dimension stock alone in those days; the boards were not counted. The photograph showing the mill is sufficiently illustrative for even the uninitiated. The mill is a two-deck affair with about all of the operating part on the upper deck, such as the main saw, carriage, roller bed, cut-off saw, ‘butting’ saw, edger, gang saw, and barrel stave mill located upstairs. At the left is shown the log bed, where the logs from the woods were unloaded or inclined timbers so they could be easily rolled on the truck which hoisted them up into the mill. The truck and track are also shown. Also at the left is the blacksmith shop where repairs were made to everything by benefit of a forge, anvil, hammers and hand wrenches. They had no machine tools. Everything was done by main strength and awkwardness. The old Civil War type cabbage-stack locomotive, was used for the log train is shown. Just beyond is the slab pit where refuse was burned. Incidentally, it is said that they burned up better lumber in those days than can be bought now as B and better grade. The three stacks indicate that the mill had three boilers. However, one boiler was always out of service undergoing repairs, mainly being ‘delimed’ as the water used contained a heavy percentage of lime in solution, which when boiled deposited a thick scale on the boiler interior surface very quickly. In those days they knew nothing about water treatment and the only treatment used for knocking lime deposit off the tubes and interior surface of the boiler was with a cold chisel and hammer. Quite often this meant retubing the boiler. The tubes were hand rolled. On the right is a peculiar looking building, which is the dry-kiln of two compartments. The boards were rolled into this kiln on special trucks and steam heated to evaporate the moisture content quickly so the boards could be shipped to planing mills to be made into flooring, ceiling, etc. Air drying of boards is too long a process if done properly. They did not have a planing mill at the Williston plant, planing mills being considered by many operators a separate type of business. The other picture shows something of the logging operation. Please note the high-wheeled log carts. The picture shows where the logs were brought in on the log carts to be loaded onto the trucks of the train to be carried to the mill. The same old cabbagestack locomotive is illustrated in this picture. I wish to draw particular attention to the size of the long leaf yellow pine trees shown in this picture. They could and did cut much 14 x 14 inch 16 x 16 inch and even some 18 x 18 inch stock up to 40 feet long out of these trees. The Medlin mill at Williston operated from 1896 to 1906. By this time the timber was gone and the mill was worn out, so the operation was stopped and the owners retired. A Mr. Carter was general superintendent of this operation until it stopped. He was later associated with other sawmills in Florida until his health failed in 1920. He died at Inverness in 1922. He also had a son living in Tampa by the name of Henry Grady Carter. 20

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•r, r r 21

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THE McCALLS OF FLORIDA By Sybil Browne Bray The Levy County, Florida, McCalls, as do other Florida McCalls, date from 1730 when Francis McCall immigrated to America. He was of Scottish ancestry but was born in Ireland in 1710. Francis McCall lived in three states in America, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas. One of his sons, Charles McCall, was a Revolutionary War soldier who served from South Carolina. Charles was born 1732 in Pennsylvania and later lived in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. He was granted 200 acres in Bulloch County, Georgia (earlier Effingham County) as bounty for his service in the Revolutionary War. He moved to Bulloch County, in 1785, died there in 1814 and is buried in the Everett Family Cemetery. He was one of the wealthiest and most influential citizens of that section of Georgia. Charles McCall was twice married; first in South Carolina in 1755 to Celetie Ann Williams, daughter of the Reverend Robert Williams (first pastor of the Welsh Neck Baptist Church of Society Hill, South Carolina) Charles and Celestie McCall had 12 children, one of whom was Robert McCall, bom in 1773, their ninth child. His second wife was Hannah Everett, and they had one daughter, Sarah. Robert McCall married Mary Lanier, daughter of Lewis Lanier, around 1800 and they had 11 children. Their 7th child, Lewis Lanier McCall, became very well known in Levy County, Florida. Lewis Lanier McCall was born in 1816 in Bulloch County, Georgia. He married Sarah M. C. Knight in 1842 in Lowndes County, Georgia. Their children were: 1. Thomas G. (born 1843) 2. Georgiann Celetie (married Thos. F. Blalock) 3. Julia M. 4. Robert 5. Sarah 6. Lewis Lanier, Jr. married Sara R. Smith. 7. Eliza L. 8. Fernando M. married Mrs. M. J. Gay. 9. Ralph 10. Cerulean married Charlie Williams. 11. Rena 12. E. J. 13. Rener L. married Annette Ferris Lee. In 1859 I find Lewis Lanier McCall in Hamilton County, Florida where his daughter Georgiann married Thomas F. Blalock. He lived in Hamilton County, Florida in the town of White Springs until sometime after 1870. He then moved, along with Georgiann and her family to Levy County, Florida to a little town called Red Hollow. This was very near the town of Trenton in Gilchrist County. They were members of the Shady Grove Primitive Baptist Church and are buried in the church yard there. Georgiann McCall married Thomas Florence Blalock on the 12th day of January, 1860 in Hamilton County, Florida. They moved to Levy County, Florida, around 1876 with her parents as mentioned above. They had 13 children as follows: 1. Luvenia born 1860 2. C. Lumus born 1861 3. Gipson Lanier born 16 December 1866 (married Sarah Eleanor Hare) in Levy County, 7 January 1891. Waycross, Georgia. 4. Sarah Angeline born 1868 (married Joseph C. Stringfellow of Levy County.) 5. Mary A. born 1861 6. Margaret Adaline born 1871 (married Brantley Hughy Dupree) 7. Lewis Jefferson born 9 February 1873 (married Annie Eliza Beauchamp, daughter of A. C. Beauchamp) 8. James Harvey born 1877 (married Valeria Dasher, Levy County, Florida.) 9. and 10. Albert and Alice, twins born 1881 (Albert married Rosa Mae Chambers and Alice married 1. Ralph Black and 2. Roy Leonard, all of Levy County. 11. Lloyd Lanier born 1879 12. Horace Eden born 1883 (married Remer Ivey Sewell) 13. Florence (died young) Georgiann and Thomas Blalock were still living in Levy County, Florida in 1900 along with their son, Lewis J., his wife Annie and their daughter Mollie, age 1. B etween 1900 and 1904 they moved to Alachua County, Florida. Georgiann died in 1904 and is buried in the Antioch Cemetery at LaCross. Thomas died in 1905 and is buried at same. Lewis Lannier McCall, Jr., the 6th child of Lewis McCall and Sarah M. C. Knight McCall married Sarah R. Smith of Levy County, and they had 7 children as follows: 1. Maggie, born 1883, (married an Anderson of Levy County.) 2. Annie, Born June 1885, (married Jesse Durrance) 3. John Lanier, born June 1887 (married Edna Wynn and became the parents of Winifred, Jack Pamela and others.) 4. Ila, born October 1889, (married Earl Glass). 5. Rubie, born November 1891 (married Augustus O. Browning) 6. Lewis L., Jr., born March 1894, died 1959. 7. Frank, born August 1896, (married Lillian Ellzey, parents of Doyle McCall) Lewis Jefferson Blalock, son of Georgiann McCall and Thomas Blalock and his wife Annie Beauchamp Blalock had four children: 1. Mollie Celetie, married G. H. Wenzel. 2. Mertie Carlie, married M. R. Bray of Marion County, Florida and became the parents of J. W. Bray 22

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by whom this history is composed. He married Sybil Browne and had three children, Steven, M. Robert, and Nancy, all residing in Marion County, Florida. 3. Katie Maude married Sam Jones. 4. Lewis Florence Blalock married Essie Nelle Knight. Most of the Blalocks have moved out of Levy County by now, although there are still descendants by other names, including the Studstills family. A reunion of Blalock and Duprees is held on the 2nd Sunday in August at Hart Springs, Gilchrist County, Florida. Although the Blalocks moved on, the McCalls stayed. There are still so many there. It has been so much fun for us, discovering all of these lost cousins. (Well, they werenÂ’t lost; we were.) Bibliography Pioneers of Wiregrass, Georgia, by Huxford. Vols. 1-5. Early Georgia Marriages, by Maddox. U. S. Census records 1840 thru 1910, Georgia and Florida. Bulloch County, Georgia, Tax and Probate Records. Hamilton County, Georgia Marriage Records and Cemetery Records. Interview with Annie Beauchamp Blalock early 1950Â’s. Interview with L. J. Blalock early 1950Â’s. Blalock family Bible records. Civil War Records. Revolutionary War records. Marion County, Florida Cemetery Records. Alachua County, Florida Cemetery Records. Shady Grove P. B. Church and Cemetery Records. Interview with Edna Wynn McCall and Lillian Ellzey McCall, 1983. Georgia Geneological Magazine-Bullock, Effingham, and Screven Counties, in Georgia. McCall Family History by Rachel McCall Carter. Bullock County, Georgia, Militia records, Robert McCall, Ensign 1802. Thomas F. and Georgiann McCall Blalock. He enlisted at Fernandina in the CSA Army, 1861, was taken prisoner and held in a Philadelphia prison. His two brothers, James and Jefferson, were both killed in combat. Thomas F. was the only surviving son of Gibson Blalock and Sewell Blalock. Georgiann was the daughter of Lewis L. McCall, Sr. and Sarah McNight McCall. 23

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Standing, Richard Simeon Beauchamp (Sim) and his sister Laura Beauchamp who later married Emmit Hardee, seated. A brother to Sim was Riley Beauchamp, father of Orlando, Otis, and Willie Beauchamp. 24

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EDDIE BUIE By Jacob Wynn He attended a rural school in Petergrove Community. He left Falmouth May 20, 1907. At age eleven he moved from Suwannee County to Red Level, Florida, with his family. A year later his family moved to Mr. Claude RodgersÂ’ Turpentine Camp, Tiger Town, in Levy County where they lived and worked for four years. Later in 1914, they purchased land in Chiefland, Florida, and remained here since that time. He served in World War I from 1918-1919. He opened the first barber shop in Chiefland. He, also worked as a barrel maker for Mr. Claude Rodgers. Later, he married the late Albither Newkirk on December 26, 1920. They became the proud parents of ten children, John, Ethorn, Frank, Caretha, Elbe, Earl, Eddie Jean, James, Willie, and Leon. There was a need for a church in the community; so he hauled the first load of lumber to start construction. He was also instrumental in helping to secure land for the old cemetery. He was involved in purchasing land to build a school because there was not a permanent site for the children in the community. The parents worked and raised funds to pay for the land where the first school was constructed. After the parents showed interest in the need for a school, the school board built the first school for the community children. Later, there was a need for a larger place of worship, so he, along with the Deacon Board and members, purchased the site and began construction on the present church site of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. He worked as a share cropper for several land owners, Mr. Mose Woods, Rollin Hudson, and Ruie Sheppard. He also worked at Mr. Earl HudsonÂ’s Food Store and Mr. L. W. DrummondÂ’s Sawmill until he retired in the late sixties. For recreation, he and other men of the community would play baseball on any empty lots that were donated. Eddie Buie was a leader in the black community from his early days and was always active in trying to improve it. No one need doubt the dedication of Eddie Buie because he has shown that with the many years of services to his church and community. In May, 1985, a recreational center in Chiefland was named after him because of his loyal and dedicated services. There is no one more deserving of this honor than Mr. Eddie Buie. Place of Birth: Falmouth, Florida, Suwannee County near Live Oak, Florida. Parents: The late John and Mamie Thornhill Buie. Date of Birth: September 12, 1896. 25

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Eddie Buie, old timer in the Chiefland area. 26

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BRONSON IN 1889 By S. E. Gunnell This is a condsensation of the Levy County Times, Volume 7, No. 17, published at Bronson on a Thursday, September 5, 1889. It was a special edition, the occasion being the 50th anniversary of the town dating from its beginning as a settlement in 1839. The town was named after S. P. Bronson's father, whose first name I have not located. The son later served in N. A. Hull's Company, 1st Florida Regiment. C.S.A. This edition was preserved by Conrad Wellman, father of Carl Wellman. I made the notes from it in 1970. There is a civic directory: Rev. L. J. Phillips, pastor, Methodist Church; Rev. Howard Dutill, Evangelical Church; Rev. B. H. Damon, Baptist Church; Bronson Lodge No. 7. J. M. Barco, W. M., J. M. Jackson, secretary. A business directory follows: general merchandise, W. J. Epperson, J. B. Coarsey, Taylor and Shands, Farmers Alliance Exchange; Attorneys, A. B. Coulter, H. B. Coulter; Drugstores, J. M. Jackson and Son, Conrad Wellman; physicians, J. M. Jackson, J. M. Jackson, Jr., F. D. Chapman; Millinery, Mrs. S. J. Shands; hotels, Epperson House, Oak Grove Hotel; Dyer and Cleaner, Owen Lloyd; Newspapers, Levy County Times, Monthly Monitor; soda fount, J. S. Parker; real estate, J. M. Gornto and Company, J. V. Burke; blacksmith and wheelwright, H. W. Denham; meatmarket, W. R. Perryman; jeweler, D. Graham; builder, J. M. Steward; cotton gins, W. J. Epperson, W. H. Bingham; photography studio, L. A. Biggs. There is an article describing Cedar Key. We present the annotated version; largest town in county, on Way Key population almost 2000 cedar pencil plant furnishes 90 percent of world’s supply of pencils biggest seafood business on the Gulf should become a great commercial port No. 4 boat channel has been selected by the Ship Canal Company as Gulf entrance to their proposed canal across Florida great forests of yellow pine timber inland great sponge reef ten miles out 100 vessels working $650,000 in sponges annually from this reef. A lengthy article entitled the “Citrus Groves of Bronson and Vicinity” states that more than 75 groves could be found within a three mile radius of the courthouse. The editor goes on to name the grove owners, the managers for absentee owners, and the places of residence for absentee owners. The citrus business had started in the early 1870’s and had been replanted after a disasterous freeze a few years later. These groves of 1889 were destined to be wiped out again in the late 1890’s. After that, the people gave up and the grove industry moved further south. The citrus groves flourished around here, the people had no way of knowing about the cycle freeze phenomena of our weather pattern. Some of the owners were local, other locals made a full time occupation of grove maintenance by contract for absentee owners. The harvest was shipped by rail to the ports of Cedar Key, Fernandina Beach, and Jacksonville and thence by steamboat to northern markets. At the same time, in Gulf Hammock, another grove operation was going, along with pineapple farming and pear production. Most of the Bronson groves were around Lake Chuckahaha (Chunky Pond). The advertisements are gold mines of insight into the culture existing in 1889. We present a few of them, condensed. Building lots in Bronson, $25 upward, according to location and size. Desirable building lots in Otter Creek, $10 to $20. 50 acres at Rosewood, dwelling, $5 per acre. 2683 acres heavily timbered yellow pine land in Alachua County at $2 per acre. Lot 7, Block 17 in business center of Archer, dirt cheap at $100. T. J. Yearty, agent, Otter Creek, Florida, dealer in staple and fancy groceries. Everything sold at rock bottom prices for the cash. The Epperson House conveniently located to railroad depot and business portion of town. W. H. Anderson, Cedar Keys, Grocery. Oak Grove Hotel, Mrs. M. M. Terrill, prop. P.P.P. (Prickly ash, Poke Root, Potassium) Cures syphilis, scrofula, blood poison and rheumatism. J. F. Meredith, Ellzey, Florida hardwood mill, shingles, crates. The Levy County Drug Store, Bronson, Florida Dr. F. U. Chapman, attending physician; C. Wellman, prop. Livery Stable W. J. Epperson, prop. Brown’s Iron Bitters rebuilds the system, aids digestion, removes excess bile, and cures malaria. Get the genuine. Notice: Suwannee Sulphur Springs, Suwannee, Florida. On the Savannah, Florida, and Western Railway Florida’s Famous Summer Resort and Sanitarium the water will positively cure rheumatism, dypepsia, liver, kidney and blood disease write for circular containing rates and testimonials L. W. Scoville, mgr. W. A. Fort, physician and surgeon, Judson, Florida. Will attend all cases promptly, night or day. Liberal discounts for long visits. Root’s Infallible Remedy cures fits. Here are excerpts from the local news column, interspersed with small commercials; Wiley Coarsey left for White Springs Normal School last Monday. Go to J. B. Coarsey’s for your salta car load just arrived (he’s got to pay for Wiley’s education). 27

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Granulated sugar at T. J. Yearty’s for 11-1/2 cents lb. Miss Joyce Claywell left Tuesday morning for Fort White. Spool cotton at 4 cents from T. J. Yearty, Otter Creek, Florida. Mrs. Hampton Smith died yesterday. Messrs. Epperson and Colson purchased the Ellzey Mills last Monday. A leading man of Bronson asks God each night to forgive him for voting a “dry” ticket 2 years ago. You could read all kinds of inferences into that last item. The old newspaper has just about disintegrated. Newsprint oxidizes readily unless chemically treated and sealed. That was 97 years ago (about 1986). At one time during the early 1900’s, Williston was said to be the foremost cucumber producing area in the world. As many as seventy-five carloads would be shipped out in one day. 28

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A FEW PIONEER FAMILIES By Kathryn Harris John Ira Epperson 1823-1906 John Ira Epperson, progenitor of the Levy County Epperson, was born 8 November 1823, DeKalb County, Georgia. He was the son of John and Emelia Bell Epperson. His father was born 24 December 1783, Virginia, and died 24 November 1862, Cherokee County, Georgia. Emelia Bell Epperson was born 17 November 1791, South Carolina. John and Emelia married 11 June 1812. The 1860 Census, Cherokee County, Georgia, lists John Ira and his father as heads of households along with other Epperson family members. They were in the Freemansville Precinct. Prior to the 1870 census, John Ira and Jane A. Coulter Epperson (married 9 November 1845, Georgia) and moved their family to the part of Levy County which was in Marion County at that time. They had followed Jane’s brothers, William R. and Alfred B. Coulter, who had moved to this area at an earlier date. Jane A. Coulter was born 27 November 1826, North Carolina (probably Rutherford County). She died 4 February 1867, only a short time after moving to Florida, and is buried in the old Bronson Cemetery. After her death, John Ira married a second time, 16 October 1870, Levy County, a Mrs. Mary J. Neal. Mary was born 9 December 1826 and died 24 March 1897. John Ira died 21 June 1906. John and Mary are buried in the Orange Hill Cemetery, Williston, Florida. The First Methodist Church of Williston was started in 1868 by the John Ira Epperson family near the Stafford Pond Community, together with their neighbors. The property for this early beginning was donated by John Ira. He and his descendants have played a vital role in the growth of this organization from that time to the present. All nine of the following children were by wife #1: 1. Martha E. born 16 November 1846; died 20 October 1863, unmarried. 2. Mary Elizabeth “Mollie”, married, Talman H. Westbrook, born 4 May 1848; died 23 January 1916. 3. Frances Jane “Fannie” married Ezekiel Limmus, born 8 April 1850; died 26 March 1874. 4. Sarah Elizabeth “Sallie” married Rev. Robert Howren Barnett, born 5 May 1851; died 4 August 1944. 5. Nancy Emily “Nannie” married Peter Otto Sneller, born 1 July 1953; died 29 November 1928. 6. William Jordan “Willie”, married 1, Jennie S. Mooney; married 2, Corrine Carter; married 3, Anzonetta Boling, born 30 May 1855; died 12 November 1939. 7. John Burke “Johnny”, married Pencie A. Willis, born 5 February 1857; died 17 May 1915. 8. Georgia Caledonia “Callie”, married John Arthur Hawkins, born 25 August 1859; died 25 March 1940. 9. Lydia Ella, married John Mills Gomto, Sr., born 25 December 1861; died 30, 1894. William Jordan Epperson 1855-1939 “Willie” was born 30 May 1855, Cherokee County, Georgia, and died 12 November 1939, Bronson, Florida. He and all three wives are buried in the old Bronson Cemetery. He married Jennie S. Mooney on 17 May 1878, Levy County, Florida. Jennie, daughter of Alfred Mooney on 17 May 1878, Levy County, Florida. Jennie, daughter of Alfred Mooney, was born 10 October 1849, Boston; and she died 8 December 1880, Bronson, Florida, Corrine Carter Epperson was born 25 October 1861, Enterprise, Mississippi; and she died 16 September 1886, Levy County. Anzonetta Boling Epperson was born 9 November 1868, Georgia; and she died 6 April 1960, Bronson, Florida. William J. was a merchant and the 1910 census shows him as a “turpentine works owner.” The first child listed below was by wife #2; children 2 and 3 were by wife #3: 1. Estelle Corrine, married Franklin Harris, born ca 1886. 2. Margaret V., married Frank B. Marshbum, born ca 1895. 3. William Boling, born 1910. John Burke Epperson 1857 -1915 John was born 3 February 1857, Cherokee County, Georgia, and died 17 May 1915, Williston, Florida. He married Pencie A. Willis, daughter of Jesse Mercer Willis (founder of Williston) and Dorothy Craig Crozier Willis, 26 June 1877. Pencie was born 18 May 1856, Florida, and died 1938, Williston, Florida. John and Pencie are buried in the Jesse Mercer Willis Cemetery, Williston. John was a director of the Williston Mfg. Co. of Williston. His beautiful old home was located on Nobel Avenue, Williston, until recently when it was relocated several blocks from its former location. The Perkins State Bank is now located where the old homestead stood. Clara Epperson Upchurch lived there until it was sold. She died in 1981, shortly after she moved from the house. 1. Allie, married Odis Francis Hester, born 25 May 1880; died 26 January 1908. 2. Ralph Cameron, married Nannie Smith, born 22 March 1881. 3. John Burke, Jr., married Lucy C. Harris, born 20 November 1882; died 2 July 1949. 4. William J., married Annie Hemming, born 24 May 1884. 5. Clarence Craig, born 11 November 1885; died 19 July 1954. 6. Lois E., unmarried, born 11 December 1887; died 7 March 1966. 7. Clara Pency, married John Jones Upchurch, jr. born 23 October 1889; died 25 March 1981. 29

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8. Alfred Coulter, born 31 March 1892; died 5 March 1942. 9. Gordon Maxwell, married 1 ., married 2 Virginia., born 6 June 1894; died 7 December 1951. Talman H. Westbrook 1843-1920 Talman H. Westbrook brought his wife and oldest child to Marion County, Florida ca 1869. The 1870 census shows these three along with the second child, William Ira (born Florida), in that part of Marion County which later was added to Levy County. In the same household were: Theresa Westbrook, born ca 1850, Georgia; and Nancy Westbrook, born ca 1870, Florida. Talman was born 30 March 1843, Georgia, and died 24 January 1920, Levy County, Florida. He married Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” Epperson ca 1866 in Georgia. Mollie, daughter of John Ira and Jane A. Coulter Epperson, was born 4 May 1848, Georgia and died 23 January 1916, Williston, Florida. They are both buried in the Orange Hill Cemetery, Williston. 1. Jane Elizabeth Westbrook, married David Elliott Williams, born 1867; died 1949. 2. William Ira Westbrook, married Patty Emma Newsom, born 25 April 1870; died 11 July 1950. 3. Mary Elizabeth Westbrook, unmarried, born 23 June 1872; died 5 February 1876. 4. James T. Westbrook, married Effie Robinson, born 30 October 1874; dsp 19 August 1901. 5. Thomas M. Westbrook, unmarried, Born 23 August 1878; died 4 November 1878. 6. Jessie V. Westbrook, married Adolphus Lewis, born 8 February 1880; died 10 September 1931. 7. Ransom Dewitt Westbrook, married Alice P. Sheffield, born 4 February 1883; died. 8. Ellarie Westbrook, unmarried, born 22 January 1887; died 29 April 1887. Ezekiel S. Lummus 1845 -1881 “Zeke” Lummus was born 16 November 1845, England; died 24 July 1881. His first wife, Frances Jane “Fannie” Epperson, daughter of John Ira and Jane Coulter Epperson, was born 8 April 1850, Cherokee County, Georgia, and died 26 March 1874, Levy County. They are both buried in the old Bronson Cemetery. The 1885 census shows children 1 and 3-4 living with the John Ira Epperson family. His second wife was T. J. Banks. The descendants moved to the Miami area. 1. J. Ed Lummus, ?, born ca 1868. 2. Sallie Aurelia Lummus, unmarried, born 10 October 1869; died 6 May 1878 (Bronson Cemetery). 3. J. Newton Lummus, ?, born ca 1872. 4. Annie Lummus, married Tom James, born 6 July 1873 (Annie and Tom had a daughter, Mary, who married a Herin. Rev. Tom James Herin was son of Mary.) Rev. Robert Ho wren Barnett 1849Robert Howren Barnett was born 25 December 1849. He met Sarah Elizabeth “Sallie” Epperson at the home of her Uncle William Coulter in Bronson. Sallie, daughter of John Ira and Jane Coulter Epperson, was born 5 May 1851, Cherokee County, Georgia, and died 4 August 1944, Florida. They moved to Seminole County prior to the birth of their third child. They also lived in Orange and Polk Counties. 1. Robert Vivan Barnett, unmarried, born 13 December 1874, Levy County; died age 14. 2. Robinson Ira Barnett, married Beulah Agnes Wilson, born 21 November 1876, Levy County. 3. Frederick Townsend Barnett, unmarried, born 25 November 1878, Seminole County, Florida. 4. Doak Ginn Barnett, married Statia —, born 30 March 1881, Orange County, Florida. 5. Loulie Barnett, unmarried, born 19 September 1883. 6. Willie Roy Barnett, ?, born 11 January 1885, Polk County, Georgia. 7. Eugene Epperson Barnett, married Bertha Smith, born -February 1888, Leesburg, Florida. 8. Henry Barnett, married Bess ., born 13 December 1890. Peter Otto Sneller 1842 -1925 Peter Otto Sneller, son of Charles and Sarah Brown Sneller, was born 22 October 1842, Moravia, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and djed 31 March 1925, Montbrook, Florida. Mr. Sneller, a Union Veteran of the Civil War, served as postmaster at Montbrook where he and his wife reared their family. His wife, Nancy Emily “Nannie” Epperson, daughter of John Ira and Jane Coulter Epperson, was born 1 July 1853, Cherokee County, Georgia, and died 29 November 1928, Montbrook, Florida. They are buried in the Montbrook Cemetery. 1. Otto Epperson Sneller, unmarried, born 24 July 1882; died 24 January 1973. 2. Mary Jane Sneller, married Raymond Smith, born 19 January 1884; died 9 November 1966. 3. Emelia Rebecca Sneller, unmarried, born 29 November 1885; died 25 September 1973. 4. Sarah Elizabeth Sneller, unmarried, born 16 November 1887; died 1 January 1974. 5. Sidney Ira Sneller, married Anna Hurlbert, born 8 May 1889-. 6. Agnes Catherine Sneller, married Thomas Evan Sheffield, born 20 September 1891-. ‘‘Miss Agnes,” as she is fondly called in Levy County moved to Jacksonville several years ago to live with her brother, Sidney. She provided much of the information on the old families of the area. There will be more about this lovely lad in the Sheffield section. 30

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John Arthur Hawkins 1855 -1943 John Arthur Hawkins, son of Joshua Philemon and Mary Croxton Hawkins, was born 29 September 1855, Micanopy, Florida, and died 7 May 1943, Williston, Florida. He married Georgia Caledonia “Callie” Epperson on 20 October 1878, Levy County, Florida. “Callie,” daughter of John Ira and Jane Coulter Epperson, was born 25 August 1859, Cherokee County, Georgia, and died 25 March 1940, Williston, Florida. They are buried in the Orange Hill Cemetery, Williston. The Hawkins family played a vital part in the establishment of the First Methodist Church of Williston. 1. Mary Eugenia “Mamie” Hawkins, married 1 James Albert Randall, married 2, — -Kellum, born 27 September 1879, died 4 January 1965. 2. James Burke Hawkins, married Cora Johnson, born 4 October 1881; died 4 December 1929. 3. Joshua Herbert Hawkins, married Carol Weatherford, born 11 January 1884; died 18 May 1967. 4. Dr. John Roy Hawkins, married Frieda —, born 28 July 1886; died 13 March 1930. 5. Tompkies Clarence Hawkins, married UUannee —born, 4 December 1889; died 5 January 1938. 6. Jesse Albert Hawkins, unmarried, born 29 September 1891; died 10 February 1909. 7. Lula Allyne Hawkins, married Robert Graham Rich, Sr., born 26 August 1895. 8. Edith Madge Hawkins, unmarried, born 28 April 1899; died 30 November 1901. John Mills Gornto, Sr. 1858 1930 John Mills Gornto, Sr. was born 1858 and died 1930, Williston. He married first Lydia Ella Epperson, daughter of John Ira and Jane Coulter Epperson. Ella was born 25 December 1861, Cherokee County, Georgia, and died 1894, Williston. Following Ella’s death, John M. married Mrs. Mittie George. The last two children were by Mittie. 1. Pearl Gornto, married Harvey Capps, born 18 January 1883. 2. Ruby Gornto, married Robert Hodges, born 28 April 1884. 3. Lydia Gornto, married Guy Pasley Tyner, born 12 September 1885; died 22 September 1959. 4. Ira Gornto, unmarried, born 5 September 1887; died 4 October 1916 at sea. 5. John Mills Gornto, Jr., married Gertrude George, born ca 1888. 6. Frank Gornto, married Eva Sullivan, born 9 June 1890. 7. Julia Gornto, married Jamie Forbes, born 13 November 1892. 8 Mon tine Gornto 9. Leon Gornto. 31

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The Hyde Family, in the suburbs of Sumner, about 1914. Sumner, now extinct, was a town located a few miles inland from Cedar Key. 32

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 3 1262 09770 9785