HISTORY OF GAINESVILLE FLORIDA
Biographical sketches of families
JESS G. DAVIS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For more than fifty years the author was interested in dates of
occurences, kept pictures, clipped news items and articles relative
to people and places. This data was stored in boxes and an old trunk.
In addition to historical material of Alachua County he accumulated
pictures and scrap books of his activities in the American Legion.
When he decided to write a History of Alachua County (1959) one of the
greatest.tasks was sorting out the material for use in the book.
Necessarily, much was discarded.
The author was a member of the steering committee appointed to chart
the celebration of the Gainesville Centennial in 1954. He assisted in the
assembling of many stories and pictures of old Gainesville. This activity
added to his interests and probably resulted in the county history. The
author's wife, the former Ruth Forney of Peoria, Arizona, gave many
hours of assistance in clipping, pasting and filing of news articles.
The author taught school for four years prior to World War I. Re-
turning from overseas he became interested in veterans affairs. He was
State Commander of the American Legion in 1943-44. He is a past
president of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce and the Gainesville
Kiwanis Club. He was chairman of many city and county drives for
funds for worthy organizations. He is a mason and a member of the First
Baptist Church. He was a postal employee for thirty two years and
Gainesville's postmaster for twenty two years from which position he
retired in 1961.
The author resides with his wife at 1004 N. W. 35th Avenue on what
was once their old farm which was located just south of Hogtown Creek
and between N. W. 6th Street and N. W. 13th Street.
July 1, 1965
A great many people in Gainesville have assisted me in gather-
ing the information contained in this book. Several of them are de-
ceased. To mention a few, as I did in my history of Alachua County
published in 1959, are Dr. J. Maxey Dell, Lee Graham, Benmont
Tench, Charles Scarrett, Charley Smith and Uncle John Robinson.
The author received more recent encouragement from Mr.
Stanley West, Director of Libraries, University of Florida and Miss
Beth Daane, Librarian, City of Gainesville and her assistants. Miss
Mable Voyle and Miss Eleanor Crom made helpful suggestions. Mrs.
Carrie McCollum Palmer, who was a LaFontisee, Mrs. Esther Jor-
don (.J. M. ) Lang, of the old Chesnut family and Mrs. Edna Earle
Miller (nee Chesnut) were of great assistance to me with the biograph-
ical section of this book. The author is grateful to many others for the
time spent in making this publication possible.
The author realizes, as was the case in the history of Alachua
County, that many times persons and families of prominence in former
days are not mentioned in this book. Likewise many interesting
stories are not recounted herein. To my knowledge, some old and
prominent families in the county were not mentioned in the former
history. It is very probable that such will be the case in this book.
I assure all readers interested that any omission is accidental and
solely because of the lack of information gathered by the author.
The author apologizes for any errors and mistakes and trusts
that nothing harmful has been set forth in the following pages.
JESS G. DAVIS.
December 31, 1964
JESS G. DAVIS
The latitude of Alachua County is 29 25' to 29 55' North longitude 82 to 82 55' West.
The territorial of 1824, under Governor William P. Duval, authorized the establishment of
.Alachua and Nassau counties. St. Johns was the original county and there was a West Florida,
presumably Escambia. Duval was formed from the north part of St. Johns. Roughly, Alachua
County lay between the Georgia state line on the north; the St. Mary's river, Black Creek and
southward to the Oklawaha and southward to Charlotte Harbor on the East; the Gulf of Mexico
on the South and West and the Suwannee River on the West, northward to the Georgia state line.
Newnansville, one and a half miles northeast of the town of Alachua was the county seat.
The land area of the present Alachua County (1960) is 892 square miles. The 1960 popu-
lation was 79, 074, an increase of 29. 9 per cent from 1950 to 1960. Fifty-nine per cent of the
population was Florida born. Of the population, 19, 419 were non-white. The school enroll-
ment was 26, 167.
Gainesville, the County seat of Alachua County since 1854, had a population of 3,633 in
1900; 6, 860 in 1920; 13, 757 in 1940 and 29, 701 in 1960. There was a 10. 6 per cent increase in
population from 1950 to 19609 There were 6,052 families within the city limits in 1960. Fifty-
five per cent of the population was born in Florida. There were 12, 782 children in school.
The latitude of Gainesville is 29 31' North; the longitude is 82 21' West. The elevation
is 179,415 feet. The average rainfall is 52. 45 inches. Gainesville is about seventy-five miles
from the Atlantic ocean at Crescent Beach, south of St. Augustine, and fifty miles from the
nearest point on the Gulf of Mexico at Cedar Keys.
Effective January 1, 1962 the city limits of Gainesville were extended to take in additional
suburban residential and business sections. To the northeast, the municipal airport and in-
dustrial Sperry were included. Thirty-ninth Avenue due north and north along Sixth Street to
N. W. 13th (Highway 441); west, south and west to 42nd Street; south towards Payne's Prairie
and east out the Hawthorne and Lake Roads. The estimated population of Gainesville in
1964 is around 50, 000.
Newnansville was the first white settlement in what is now Alachua County; however,
Micanopy, the Indian village, had been the home of the Seminole Indians for many years. Un-
der the Arredonda Grant, made to Don Fernando de la Mazo Arredonda of St. Augustine, by the
King of Spain, Horatio F. Dexter and Edward M. Wanton, as agents for Arredonda, settled
about twenty families one to three miles north of Micanopy, on and near the present Micanopy
to Rochelle road. t Frederick S. Wauberg and Moses Elias Levy actually supervised the re-
cruiting of the settlers.
Bartrum visited Paynes Prairie in 1774. Colonel Buckner Harris came from Georgia, sur-
veyed and planted land in Alachua County for Settlement in 1812. He was killed near Gainesville
in 1814. There was a lot of Indian trouble from the early thirties to 1840. There was a battle
between troops led by Lt. Sherwood at Wacahootie, and one between Indians in San Felaska Ham-
mock and troops stationed at Fort Clark, (Four O'Clock Church) on the Newberry road. Colonel
Warren was in charge of-the troops (Warren's Cave). A map of Florida by Frederick W. Dau
shows no Gainesville in 1840.
The date is not known when Gainesville was first just a cross roads, with later a store or
two, a tavern, a blacksmith shop and grist mill. It is probable that a settler from north of
Micanopy came around the east end of Paynes Prairie through Rochelle'and west to his house
location. Bod Higginbothem is presumed to be the first settler. His cabin was on South Main
Street, on the west side, across from the fire station, on property later owned by the Beville
family and later by Mrs. L. C. Lynch, whose maiden name was Beville. Some of the families
living in the Hogtown Creek settlement in the early days were the Bevilles, the Stringfellows,
Major J. B. Bailey, Judge Dawkins, the Lewises, Turners, Chamberlins, Ingram, Finger,
Hailes and Chesnuts.
After new county lines were established in 1835, it was obvious that Newnansville was far
from the center of the County. Columbia, Bradford, Putnam, Levy and Marion counties having
been organized, Newnansville was within about six miles of the Columbia county line. Gil-
christ was still a part of Alachua County. By 1853 Mr. Yulee's engineers had finally chosen
the railroad route from Fernandina to Cedar Keys through what was called the Hogtown Creek
settlement. No one seems to know how or why Hogtown Creek got the name. The creek rises
east of the Atlantic Coast line tracks just north of Koppers, the creosote plant, flows west,
then southwest, then south where the water disappears into the ground south of the Newberry
road. Pressure was brought to cause the County Commissioners to call a meeting to consider
moving the county seat from Newnansville to the Hogtown Greek settlement.
The Commissioners called a meeting for Boulware Springs, which is south of the cemetery
and towards Camp's Ranch and is probably near the site of old Pilgrimage. At one time the
Springs furnished Gainesville with all of the water required. The meeting was an all day af-
fair in the form of a picnic, and all of the citizens were to be allowed to vote on the location
and name for the County Seat. The first speaker was Dr. William H. Stringfellow, followed by
Judge James B. Dawkins. The meeting was presided over by Major J. B. Bailey and held in
the summer of 1854. Major Bailey owned the site of the Courthouse square, and his plantation
and lands extended north beyond Hogtown Creek toward Paradise. An argument arose over the
name. A large land owner, Mr. William R. Lewis, wanted the town named Lewisville, William
I. Turner, an Indian War Veteran who had also soldiered under Gen. Edmund P. Gaines, who
captured Aaron Burr, wanted the town named Gainesville, for his war hero. After the speak-
ing, the picnic, some near fist fights, some political vote swapping on location and name by
Mr. Lewis and Mr. George Chamberlain, County Commissioner of the Micanopy District, with
Major Bailey as the negotiator, the vote was cast for Gainesville as the site and name. Rough-
ly, the original city was bounded on the north by 5th Avenue, the east by Sweetwater Branch,
the south by Second Place, and the west by Second Street.
East Florida, Newnansville
At a call meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.
Present: John B. Standley, William J. Turner, William H. Brooks, Commissioners, and
A. M. Castron, President of the Board. The Board being sufficient to transact business pro-
Order No. 1
In pursuance of the Act of the General Assembly, entitled An Act to provide for the elec-
tion of the County Site of Alachua County, approved December 28, 1852, we the County
Commissioners of Alachua County, have purchased a suitable County site at the place des-
ignated by vote.
Ordered that the Judge of Probate be, and he is hereby authorized to employ a suitable
person to lay off the land so purchased into lots in conformity with the said act, the survey
to be commenced by the 15th inst., the following to be made the basis of said survey. A
square to be reserved in the center, as near as may be containing four acres; four main
streets entering the square to be 90 ft. wide, the other streets to be 40 feet wide, the place
to be named Gainesville.
It is further ordered that the sale of the lots at said County site take place on the first day
of October next and that the Judge of Probate give notice of said sale in as many newspapers
as he may think necessary, and also by circulation of hand bills; terms of sale to be one-
half cash, the other half on credit of six or twelve months, and interest from date, pur-
chasers to give notes with approved security.
Page 63 and 85 Old Records County
Commissioners, 1846-1871, dated
September 6, 1894.
FROM MINUTES OF COMMISSIONERS COURT IN NEWNANSVILLE, FLORIDA, FEB., 1846
LAST ENTRY IN THE BOOK.
NEWNANSVILLE, ALACHUA CO. FEB. 11, 1846
At a meeting of the county commissioners for the county of Alachua on the llth of Feb.,
1846. Present: Charles L. Dell, Esq. exofficio and President of the board and Samuel
Geiger and J. W. Pearson, commissioners. Thomas C. Ellis, Tax Collector for Alachua Co.
presented his accounts for settlement.
PATROL COMMITTEES APPOINTED FOR THE SEVERAL MAGISTRATE DISTRICTS OF
April 13, 1863
1st. dist. James B. Bailey, John F. Thompson, William S. Campbell
2nd. dist. J. M. Hawthorne, William S. Perry, Daniel Scott
3rd. dist. Silas Weeks, John Sparkman, Elias Earl
4th. dist. Jas. A. Stewart, Jas. M. Hunter, Elias Bauknight
5th. dist. Thomas Chesnut, Thomas E. Haile, John Wittaker
6th. dist. G. W. Sikes, Robert Biven, Elijah Barrow
7th. dist. Stephen Fagan, Geo. W. Boston, F. W. Underwood
An order to each of the above gentlemen and was issued to the sheriff on April 17, 1863.
E. H. Jordan, Judge of Probate
ELECTION OF 1847
Election to representation to General Assembly;
Louis Aldrich 127 votes
William J. Turner 72 votes
William Gibbons 115 votes
Nathaniel Stafford 90 votes
Clerk of Court
Robert Youngblood 108 votes
Isaac N. Rutland 76 votes
Ivel V. Smith 52 votes
Joseph Smith 198 votes
Jackson J. Carter 67 votes
Stephen Fagan 36 votes
Alex J. Hunter 24 votes
Samuel B. Colding 123 votes
Hezekiah Osteen 106 votes
Peter Sparkman 102 votes
Thomas J. Prevatt 8 votes
John C. Richard 68 votes
Asa Clark 88 votes
Samuel R. Piles 79 votes
Janus Tompkins 74 votes
Charles L. Wilson 1 vote
Enoch Geiger 22 votes
Samuel Snydor 3 votes
Janus Petitt 10 votes
Benjamin Moon 17 votes
George M. Galpin 1 vote
Justice of Peace
Richard Ryan 6 votes
John S. Livingston 23 votes
Clofton 24 votes
Charles Fitchett 1 vote
Oct. 14, 1847
H. C. Wilson, Judge of Probate
William Dell -- Recorded Oct. 15, 1847
Nov. 1, 1847
Commissioners met and accepted report of Thomas C. Ellis, Tax Collector, giving the
assets and valuation as $2239.92. Reported $355.96 collected leaving a balance of $1883.96.
H. C. Wilson presented account against county of $150. 00 for repairing court house and
building two jury rooms.
H. C. Wilson presented a bill for desk in Courthouse $15. 00.
Mrs. Zilpha Stanley presented a bill against county for a room furnished the jury at Dec.
term of court 1846 and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court upon the evidence of Thomas
C. Ellis paid $5. 00.
Special term of court at Newnansville, Alachua Co.
Nov. 23, 1847
H. C. Wilson, Pres. of Board
Samuel B. Colding Commissioner
Asa Clark "
Peter Sparkman "
Hezekiah Osteen, Esq. "
On road leading from Natural Bridge to Newnansville
Samuel R. Piles
Thomas J. Prevatt
On road leading from Newnansville to Fort Harlee
B. M. Dell's Hands
On road leading from Fort Harley to County Line
Wyatt C. Allen
On road leading from Fort Harlee to Micanopy
John H. May
MINUTES ON SCHOOLS
The board took into consideration the matter of the common school fund apportioned to this
county for the year beginning 1854. We designate as places: Newnansville, Fort Harley, Mica-
nopy, Orange Creek, and Fort Clark, for a common school to be taught.
That a school of three months be taught at each place. The teacher at Newnansville to be
paid $100. 00. The teacher at Fort Harley to be paid $75. 00. The teacher at Orange Creek to
be paid $75. 00. The teacher at Micanopy to be paid $75. 00. The teacher at Fort Clark to be
paid $75. 00. That the county superintendent proceed to employ teachers as the law directs.
Commissioners Court at Newnansville. 1853
At a called meeting of the board of commissioners, present: John B. Standley, William
F. Turner, William H. Brooks, commissioners and A. M. Caston, President of the board,
being sufficient to transact business, proceeded thereto;
In pursuance of the act of the General Assembly entitled "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE
ELECTION SITE OF ALACHUA COUNTY" approved Dec. 28, 1852. We the commissioners
of Alachua County, have purchased a suitable county site, at the place selected by vote,
ordered that the Judge of Probate be and is hereby authorized to employ a suitable person
to lay off the land so purchased into lots, in conformity with said act, said survey to be
commenced by the 15inst.
The following to be the basis of said survey. A square to be reserved in the center, as
near as may be containing four acres. Four main streets entering the square to be ninety
feet wide; the other streets to be forty feet wide, the entire town to be surrounded with a
street of not less than thirty feet. The place to be named Gainesville.
Was to advertise and sell lots.
Gainesville's oldest house, located at 1121 N. W. 6th Street, and known
for many years as "the old Bailey home." Construction was begun in 1848
and completed in 1854.
Was to advertise and call for bids on a court house.
Was to build a road from Newnansville to Gainesville.
Author's note: The foregoing notes on County Commission meetings were copied from the
records of the Clerk of the Court, Gainesville, by Miss Mary Gresham. JGD.
REMARKS OF JESS G. DAVIS, OCTOBER 12, 1963. On that date a permanent historical
marker was placed on the site of the first Alachua County Courthouse.
There were two counties, or divisions of Florida as a territory in the early 1820's, St.
Johns and West Florida. Duval was the third county created. When the territorial legislature
met in Tallahassee in 1824 it created two additional counties, Alachua and Nassau.
Roughly, Alachua County was bound on the west by the Suwannee River, the Leon Co. line,
on the north by the state of Georgia, south down the St. Mary's River to Big Creek, up said
creek to its southernmost head, thence due south to the main road from Picolata to Tallahassee
and along said road to a point eight miles from the St. Johns River, thence southerly to the
Oklawaha River at the mouth of deep creek and along the bank to the Indian boundary line and
south to Charlotte Harbor; thence north and westerly to the mouth of the Suwannee. Later
there were a couple of changes made to that description. Therefore Alachua County embraced
Columbia, Baker, Suwannee, Union, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, parts of Clay and Putnam and
Marion, all of Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Hillsboro, Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties.
County Commissioners appointed the first Judge and County Officers. The first minutes
we have showed a man by the name of S. S. Walmsley as Tax Assessor. Charles L. Dell was
authorized to provide a place for the Court to sit. The Court sat on the second Mondays of
March and September, at the house of David Braddock. Court later met at the house of Edward
M. Wanton. (incidentally, Wanton was the name of the first Post Office in Alachua County at
Micanopy and Wanton was the Postmaster).
Newnansville was designated as the county seat on Nov. 15, 1828. Columbia County was
created in 1832 and its boundary came down to the Bellamy road in the northern part of the
county, thereby throwing Newnansville into Columbia County. Court was then held for four years
at the home of Edward Dixon and then for a short time at Spring Cove. I do not know where
either was located. The Alachua-Columbia County line was changed in 1835, making Santa Fe
River the line. Newnansville was again established as the county seat. The Commissioners
then were Chas. F. Fitchett, George L. Brown, John B. Standley, Samuel B. Coldin and
David Mizell. Samuel W. Burnett was authorized to build a new courthouse.
This section of the state was and is one of the best farming locations in the state. Ac-
counts of the farming, hunting, fun activities, and protracted meetings, are interesting. A
partial list of the county officials and prominent citizens are as follows:
Chas. L. Dell, Planter, Co. Comm.; Roman B. Sanchez, Clk of Court; George L. Brown,
Merchant; Calvin Bryant, Merchant; Mennett M. Dell, Planter, Miller; Col. Jas. Dell, Plant-
er, Miller; Simon Dell, Planter; Phillip Dell, Planter; William Dell; Dr. J. G. Dell; Thos. O.
Ellis, Tax Ass. & Coll.; Sam W. Burnett, Builder; Andrew Rebb, Blacksmith; Jne. J. Sanchez,
Planter, Cowman; Sam Rupell, Cabinet Maker; Thos. J. Prevatt, Planter, Cowman; Mrs. Zil-
pha Standley; Samuel R. Piles, Planter; Asa Clark, Bridge Builder; Jacob Strubel, Planter;
Samuel B. Coldin, Planter; John K. Fitchett, J. P. and Surveyor; A. M. Caston; W. W. Scott,
Planter; M. Wimberly; C. L. Wilson; Chas. F. Fitchett; Samuel Russell, Clerk of Co. Court.
The following served as judges of the court: C. L.'Dell, 1846; J. W. Pearson, 1847; B. B.
Thompson; H. C. Wilson, 1848; Chas. F. Fitchett, 1852; A. M. Caston, 1855; Henry Bradford,
1855; George Boston to June 5, 1856.
As other counties were organized and created by the legislature by 1854, the old Alachua
County was whittled down to what is now the area of Alachua and Gilchrist Counties. Newnans-
ville was then within about six miles of the Columbia County line, far from the center of the
County. Too, the Fernandina-Cedar Key Railroad was built through the Hogtown Creek com-
munity, later Gainesville. The County Commissioners, William I. Turner, William R. Lewis
and George Chamberlin called a meeting at Boulware Springs, south of Gainesville, lasting all
day, out of which came the decision to move the county seat to Gainesville.
At a later 'date, 1884, the Live Oak, Tampa and Charlotte Harbor RR, a narrow guage road,
was built through Newnansville. It was chartered under the Florida Southern. Around 1885 to
1890 the Williams Brothers settled at the site which is now Alachua, after which time many of
the settlers drifted into Alachua, and, of course, a great many substantial citizens moved to
Gainesville, Hague and other points.
(The author received the following from Leo Charles Brown from New Orleans, La., May
15, 1960. He was the son of J. B. Brown, Gainesville Mayor 1888. Leo Brown died in New
Orleans. His body was returned and buried in Evergreen Cemetery Aug. 28, 1961.)
According to the "Gainesville Daily Sun" of May 2, 1954, Gainesville was plattedd" in 1854.
The article stated that:
In 1854 a hundred years ago a special meeting was called of the Board of County Com-
missioners of Alachua County, and it was announced that the purchase of a suitable county site
had been authorized, and that a suitable person employed to lay off the land so purchased. The
following was made the basis of said survey:
A square to be reserved in the center, as near as may be, containing four acres; four
main streets entering the square to be 90 feet wide, the other streets to be 40 feet wide; the
entire town to be surrounded by a street not less than 30 feet wide, the place to be named
Gainesville. Thus a new city was born in central Florida.
Fifteen years elapsed between the establishment of the Community and the incorporation of
the village. The first step in the incorporation was taken on March 12, 1869 but it was not un-
til the April 15th following that it was approved by the Governor of the State. The first tem-
porary Court House was opened in 1856, however.
On March 12, 1869 the following notice was published: "A meeting of the citizens of Gaines-
ville, Florida, will be held at the Court House in said town on the 12th day of April next for the
The notice went on to state that "The corporate limits of said town or city shall be as fol-
lows: Commencing at a point one mile due North from the center of the Court House; thence
East one mile; thence South two miles; thence West two miles; thence North two miles; thence
East one mile to place of beginning; consisting in all four square miles. This organization to
take place under the statues of 1869. The minutes of the incorporating meeting, attended by
fifty citizens, read as follows:
Pursuant to the above notice, a public meeting of the citizens of Gainesville was held at the
Court House on Monday, the 12th day of April, 1869. Mr. George Savage was called to the
Chair, and Mr. P. H. Young was requested to act as secretary.
The object of the meeting having been explained by the Chair and discussed by the meeting,
Capt. C. P. Crawford moved that a committee of nine be appointed by the Chair to select and
report to the meeting a corporate name and seal; to designate the metes and the bounds of the
proposed corporation, and report as to the number of Aldermen to be elected.
On the Committee the Chair appointed Capt. C. P. Crawford, Messrs. James B. Brown,
William K. Cessna, Thaddeus Foster, P. H. Young, George L. Barnes, James Doig, Theodore
.C. Gass, and John Chestnut. After having retired for a short time, the Committee returned
and submitted the following report:
Your Committee recommends as follows: As a corporate name, Town of Gainesville; as a
corporate seal, a locomotive encircled by the corporate name; as corporate metes and bounds,
the whole Section 5, the west half of Section 4, the north half of the north half of Section 8, and
the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 9 in Township 10 South Range 20 East.
The number of Alderman, eight.
The report of the Committee was received. The Chair, on motion, then appointed William
Strickland, John O'Malley and John Bullard as managers of the election. When being duly sworn
by the Clerk of the Circuit Court, he opened the polls and the citizens proceeded to cast their
vote by ballot, which resulted as follows: Whole votes polled 93, Necessary for Choice 47.
For corporate name, seal, limits and number of Aldermen as proposed: 93. Opposed to cor-
poration 1. For Mayor: S. Y. Finley 91. For clerk and treasurer: S. W. Burnett 50, P. H.
Young 36, W. H. Babcock 3. For Marshall: P. Shemwell 56, J. J. Thompson 34.
For Aldermen: George Savage 90, W. K. Cessna 87, J. B. Brown 86, Johnson Chestnut
84, John R. Bevill 59, W. Porter 59, J. B. Dawkins 57, H. S. Harmon 54, W. A. Colclough
26, J. D. Matheson 35, T. C. Ellis 35, H. Cozier 32, G. Joseph 2, and T. Foster, G. K.
Broome, P. Pinkussohn one each.
We, the undersigned, Judges of an election for the Corporation of the Town of Gainesville
and for the election of a Mayor, Clerk and Treasurer, Marshall and Aldermen, hereby certify
that the foregoing return is correct. (Signed) William Sutherland, J. O'Malley, John (his
mark) Mirry, Witness: George L. Barnes.
At a meeting of the Town Council of Gainesville, Florida, at the Court House on the 15th
day of April A. D. 1869, pursuant to the statute in such cases made and provided, there were
present: S. Y. Finley, Mayor; George Savage, John R. Beville, James B. Brown,' H. S. Har-
mon, W. Porter, W. K. Cessna, Aldermen; S. W. Burnett, Clerk; and F. Shemwell, Marshall,
Officers selected pursuant to a bill to be entitled an Act to Provide for the Incorporation of
Cities and Towns, and to establish a Uniform System of Municipal Government in this State,
approved by the Governor of Florida. The Mayor administered the Oath to the Aldermen and
others. Aldermen J. B. Dawkins' and Johnson Chestnut's names were erroneously omitted.
THUS, at the meeting held April 12, 1869, Col. James B. Brown was one of those named
to select the corporate name and seal and the metes and bounds of the proposed corporation,
and he was elected as one of the eight Aldermen. The first meeting of those Aldermen was
held on April 13, 1869, and Col. Brown was present as one of them.
Colonel Brown, as he was familiarly known in later years, came to Gainesville from
Palatka in 1860 or 1866, the exact date being unknown. His young son, Willie Brown died on
June 8, 1866 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery at Gainesville. He was born April 18,
1863 but may have been born at Palatka. Col. Brown's first real estate purchase in Gainesville
was on October 2, 1866. Col. Brown served as Mayor of Gainesville during three terms: 1885-
1886, 1888-1889 and 1891-1892.
DISTRICT OF EAST FLORIDA
The United States
Application for a Pension
Now on this day came the said Theophilus Weeks on his own proper person and made the
Declaration in order to be placed on the Pension List under the Act of the 18th day of
County of Alachua
District of East Florida
On this 20th day of April, 1830 personally appeared in open court, being a court of record
for District of East Florida, Theophilus Weeks, resident in said county, aged 69 years, who
being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration, in order
to obtain the provisions made by the Acts of Congress of March 18, 1818 and the 1st of May
1820: that he the said Theophilus Weeks enlisted for two and one half years on or about the 20th
day of May, 1776 (as well as this defendant can now recollect, but having lost all his papers
connected with this case, he cannot state with certainty the time of his said enlistment or of his
discharge) in the state of North Carolina in the company commanded by Capt. George Mitchell,
in the regiment commanded by Col. Lyttle or (Col. Taylor, one of whom was the Colonel, the
other the Lieutenant, but this defendant cannot now say with certainty which commanded at the
time of his enlistment as aforesaid) in the line of the state of North Carolina on the continental
establishment, that he continued to serve in said corps about one year when he was transferred
to the company commanded by Col. John Clark and that he continued to serve in the last men-
tioned corps until about Nov. 20, 1778, but of exact time he cannot be certain for reasons afore-
He was honorably discharged from the service in the state of New York (the time of his en-
listment having expired and that he hereby relinquished every claim whatever to a pension ex-
cept the present, that his name is not on the roll of any state, except North Carolina and that
the following are the reasons for not making earlier application for a pension, to wit: that he
had been informed and believed that he could not obtain a pension without making oath that he
could not support himself without a pension and that he was not willing to make such an oath.
And in pursuance of the Act of 1st May, 1820, I do solemnly swear that I was a resident
citizen of the United States on Mar. 18, 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift, sale,
or in any way disposed of my property or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it
as to bring myself within the provisions of the act of Congress, "entitled an Act to provide for
certain persons engaged in the Revolutionary War. passed on March 18, 1818 and that I have
not had any person in trust for me any property or securities, contracts or debts to me: nor
have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and by me sub-
That since March 18, 1818 the following changes in my property have been made, to wit:
I have lost two horses by death and have sold a tract of land which I owned in the state of Geor-
gia for the sum of $100. 00 which sum has been expended in the support of my family, the mem-
bers of which now residing with me are: my wife, aged about 68 years, who is quite feeble, a
granddaughter 11 years old, a son aged 25 years who supports himself by his own labour hav-
ing no property except a horse and 5 cows and calves, besides these I have living with me one
Negro woman, a slave, who however does not belong to me. I am by trade a cooper, but am
unable to do much work.
(signed) Theophilus Weeks
Sworn to and declared April 20, 1830 in Open Court.
Schedule above referred to:
20 head of hogs
4 iron pots
1 tea kettle
1 old chest
1 old cart
1 lot carpenters tools
Sworn to in Open Court April 20, 1830 as a complete and perfect schedule.
Now on this day the said Theophilus Weeks having made the declaration and oath required
by law in his said application for a pension, as a private in the Revolution and the said Weeks
and the other evidence in support thereof to the satisfaction of this court that the said Theo-
philus Weeks served in the Revolution as aforesaid against the common enemy. It is hereby
ordered that the clerk of this court do certify in due form and transmit the testimony of this
case and the proceedings had thereon to the Secretary of War Department.
The court having heard testimony as to the value of the property contained and set forth in
the foregoing schedule is of the opinion that the amount and value thereof is $45. 00 and no more.
Which will also be certified by the clerk of this court to the said territory.
Author's Note: Old records show that Theophilus Weeks served on the first jury where it was
organized at the County Seat, Newnansville, in 1824. James Dell was the foreman. The Weeks
family became a prominent family as did the Dells. Mrs. L. E. Means, Giles' mother, was a
Weeks as was Mrs. Sam Dell, the mother of S. T. Dell, attorney, and the mother of J. Milton
Brownlee, all of the Starke, Bradford County, Weeks.
-. . . .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .- .-
Alachuans Leaders in
"The time has come--Lincoln is elected--the curtain has risen and the first act of the dark
drama of Black Republicanism-has been represented--The issue has been boldly made--Throw
doubt and indecision to the winds--the requisite steps should be taken at once for the arming
and equipping of every able-bodied man--The irrepressible conflict has commenced--We must
meet it manfully and bravely--Florida will secede. "
So said the East Floridian of Fernandina in its issue of Nov. 14, 1860.
Gainesville and Alachua County met it manfully and bravely and played an important part
in the secession movement. In many towns of the state, mass meetings protested the election
of Lincoln. They were Democratic meetings, but as the Southern Democratic Party was in
power and borne up by a rising wave of popularity, their proceedings probably reflect with fair
accuracy the temper of more than the party majority.
Florida became perceptibly more radical after the election. In Gainesville, a meeting cal-
led upon the Legislature by resolution to order a convention of the people. Secession, it thought,
was the proper course for the State. It advised that all citizens arm and that the State be put
immediately in condition for defense.
Madison Starke Perry, a prosperous planter of Rochelle, Alachua County, was governor.
David Yulee, able and eloquent senator at Washington, was a railway magnate and plantation
owner from the area.
Dr. John C. Pelot of Micanopy, later to distinguish himself as a Civil War surgeon, and
Judge J. B. Dawkins of Gainesville were Delegates to the Secession Convention, in which as
temporary chairman Dr. Pelot made the opening address, and Judge Dawkins was a member of
the Committee on Ordinances.
Urged by Senator Yulee, the Florida Legislature had called the Convention by an Act of
November 30, 1860. It met in the Capitol at Tallahassee, and after two days of debate and dis-
cussion, the following ordinance was framed:
"We, the people of the State of Florida in Convention assembled, do solemnly ordain, pub-
lish and declare, that the State of Florida hereby withdraws herself from the Confederation of
States existing under the name of the United States of America, and from the existing govern-
ment of the said states; and that all political ties between her and the government of said states
ought to be and the same are hereby annulled, and the said union of states dissolved; and the
State of Florida is hereby declared a sovereign and independent nation; and that all ordinances
heretofore adopted insofar as they create or recognize said union, are rescinded; and all laws
or parts of laws in force in that State, so far as they recognize or assent to said union, be and
the same are hereby repealed. "
In presenting the committee's report, Judge Dawkins cited the method by which the Union
was formed and the right of withdrawal reserved by the States, and said:
"The inducements which led Florida to become a member of the United States were those
which should actuate every people in the formation of a government, to secure to themselves
and their posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty and property, and the pursuit
of happiness. Your committee fully concurs in the opinion that the consideration for which
Florida gave her assent to become a member of the Federal Union has wholly failed; that she
is not permitted enjoyment of equal rights in the Union. The compact is therefore willfully
and materially broken. "
On January 10, 1861, the ordinance was adopted by a vote of 62 to 7, after which Florida
was declared by John C. McGehee, President of the Convention, to be a "Free and Independ--
ent Nation. "
Governor Perry called for troops. The response in Alachua County was immediate. Capt.
J. Patton Anderson and Captain Smoke raised each a company of Volunteers. They were
ordered to the Chattahoochee Arsenal as part of the First Florida Regiment.
Captain Anderson was made Colonel and Thaddeus McDonnell of Gainesville, Major. On
April 5, 1861, five hundred and eighty men of the First Regiment, recruited east of the Chat-
tahoochee, left by steamer for Columbus.
Meanwhile, Capt. James B. Owens of Ocala, had organized a company of volunteer Caval-
ry known as the Marion Dragoons. Some 20 Alachua County men of the wealthier set joined
them. This troop furnished their own horses and equipment. They had as their drill master,
Sergeant Major Worthington, who reportedly had been a Colonel in the Mexican War. They
were sent to Fernandina as part of the guard to take charge of the stores and military property
there. They were superbly mounted and armed, and exceedingly well drilled.
Lieutenant Dickison of this command was ordered to raise a troop to complete the Second
Florida Cavalry. Many of the Marion Dragoons were transferred to his command and with
them several of the Alachua men. The command was the famous Company H. Dickison raised
this troop from such young men from the northern part of East Florida as could afford to equip
These were mustered in at Flotard Pond on August 10, 1862 by Major R. B. Thomas, ad-
jutant on General Finnegan's staff. They were immediately moved to Gainesville where they
received their arms; their horses being their personal property.
Thence they marched to Jacksonville where they served on picket for several weeks. C
Troop of this Second Cavalry, in which were Gen. Lawrence Jackson and George Chamberlain,
contained several Gainesville men from time to time.
These, with Company H, and Bruten's Artillery, formed Dickison's command in the latter
part of the war.
All through the war, companies newly formed or being re-organized would elect men as
officers who were serving in the famous body commanded by Dickison, and the vacancies were
filled by the best mounted men who offered to enlist.
When the war drums started to roll, Alachua Countians were ready for it materially and
emotionally. The county's part was limited but brilliant, and Gainesville is mentioned fre-
quently through the pages of the history of the Civil War.
Gray Forces Made Two Heroic Stands in City
Tendency of some historians to treat the two battles of Gainesville in the Civil War as
mere skirmishes ignores the strategic importance of at least one of them.
The second battle of Gainesville in August, 1864, is generally credited with having saved
East and South Florida for the Confederacy.
Because of its importance, the second battle will be considered here first.
Col. J. J. Dickison was in command of the Confederate forces that made the fighting stand
here, and some of the material for this article is taken from his diary and official reports.
An excerpt follows:
"The whole command moved from Baldwin at 3 o'clock a. m. on the 26th of July and crossed
Brandy Branch at 6 p. m. Here our pickets reported that the enemy's Calvary were in pursuit.
The command was immediately put in position to receive them, and soon about 100 cavalry
made their appearance but after five or six shots from Captain Villepique's battery a few rounds
from our skirmishers they retired. We.then crossed the St. Mary's at Lang's Ferry and on
Thursday, the 28th, the command arrived and took position at this place.
"I have since learned that on the night of the 25th three regiments of Negroes, one of whites,
one of cavalry and four pieces of artillery reached Darby's, six miles west of Baldwin. "
That was the situation after the Battle of Palatka on which Colonel Dickison made the fol-
"I have to report the following loss in prisoners: Lieut. D. M. Packard, Second Florida
Cavalry, and 3 men on guard at St. Mary's trestle; Assistant Surgeon Wilson and Sergeant
Carroll, Captain Villepique's Company, and Private Pendarvis, Company K. Second Florida
Cavalry; battalion Sergeant Denham, Fifth Cavalry, and 2 men on scout in direction of Trail
Ridge; Private J. D. Purdon, Company B, Second Florida Cavalry, on scout; Private Roches,
Company G. Second Florida Cavalry, wounded and captured in action at Black Creek -- mak-
ing a loss of 2 officers and 10 privates. "
On the 13th of August, 1864, Captain Dickison, was given command of all the state troops
called into service by virtue of the provisions of general orders from the adjutant and inspector's
office, Tallahassee, July 30th. After the fight at Palatka, Company H. Second Florida Caval-
ry, continued to perform heavy picket duty on the St. John's River, frequently engaging in
skirmishes with the enemy. On the morning of August 15, a simultaneous movement was made
by the Federals from Jacksonville and Green Cove Springs with a force of about 5, 000 Negro
infantry, several batteries of artillery, and 460 cavalry.
They advanced on the Confederate forces near Baldwin, driving them across the Little
Suwannee, made a flank movement in the direction of Lake City up to Fort Butler in Bradford
County, thence flanking around to Starke, a small town on the railroad 14 miles north of
Waldo, where they plundered the town and citizens. Captain Dickison had encamped at
Waldo, but since the raiders cut the telegraph wires and tore up the railroad tracks, no
communication could be had with the Confederate forces at or near Lake City.
At sundown, Captain Rou with a detachment of his company, Second Florida Cavalry,
came up to Waldo and reported the enemy at Starke. They remained there but a short time
and moved on, flanking Dickison's command about 10 miles below. Just at dark Mr. Boulware
and Dr. McRea came with haste to headquarters, reporting the enemy in large force at their
plantations, burning Boulware's Mill, gin house and other buildings with about 60 bales of cot-
Captain Dickison immediately prepared to follow them with about 130 cavalry, Company
H, about 25 of Captain Starke's company from the Fifth Battalion of cavalry and one section
of artillery under command of Lieutenant Bruton, about 90 infantry, new recruits who had
reported to Captain Dickison, and Captain Rou's detachment of about 80 men.
In all, Dickison's cavalry force consisted of about 180 men. The infantry moved out onto
the road leading to Gainesville under Colonel Earle, staff officer of Governor Milton, while
Captain Dickison pushed forward with the cavalry and artillery.
The enemy's cavalry with one piece of artillery moved through the country in the direction
of Gainesville, leaving in their camps near the Boulware plantation 5, 000 Negro infantry and
several sections of artillery.
Concluding the latter were there for the night, Dickison followed the raiding party with
great rapidity, the enemy occasionally stopping at the plantations and farmhouses on the line
of march, taking with them all the horses, Negroes and mules. They completely sacked Col.
Edward Lewis' plantation, carrying off all the Negroes, 125 in number.
Mrs. Lewis, who was alone on the plantation--her husband and son were with the Dickison
command--on hearing of the advance of the enemy, had four large plantation wagons loaded
with her most valuable furniture, bedding, clothing, etc. ordering her teamsters to put in
four mules to each wagon and drive them to a place of safety in the woods nearby.
As soon as the Federals came up, by fierce and cruel threats the slaves were intimidated
and gave information where the wagons were concelaed. They were ordered to drive them on
and for all the Negroes to follow.
Just at daylight Captain Dickison rode up with his advance. Mrs. Lewis met him down
the avenue and in heart-thrilling words told of her great loss.
She had been robbed of everything, only one decrepit slave left, who was not able to follow
Captain Dickison sent down his line for Mr. Lewis and requested him to remain with Mrs.
Lewis. With lofty patriotism, she said: "go with the command and do your duty and help
avenge the invasion of our homes. "
"We record with proper pride that by 10 o'clock that night all of her property excepting
one carriage horse killed, was safely returned, Dickison reported.
Learning that the enemy was moving on to Gainesville, 12 miles distant, Captain Dickison
continued his march. At this time Captain W. A. Owens, with a detachment of 15 of the State
Militia joined the force. This gallant soldier was one of the first citizens in Marion County in
the organization of the Marion Light Dragoons.
His health failing, he was forced to resign, but he soon secured a commission as Captain
of Militia and enrolled a small force of such as were not able to be in regular service.
After the war closed, Owens said that as he rode by his side on this occasion, Captain
Dickison with deep feeling, said to him: "We will meet the enemy very soon; we must win this
fight or the country is gone. I can see in my brave men a determination to sacrifice their
lives or win the fight, and I know they will win it. They have seen their homes invaded and
the sore distress of their helpless families and neighbors. Such men may be killed, but never
As Dickison rode on with his advance--his surgeon, Dr. J. A. Williams by his side--he
saw in the distance the enemy's rear guard near Gainesville. When within one mile of Gaines-
ville he formed his line for the fight.
Lieutenant Bruton was directed to throw two shells into the enemy's lines. The enemy
held the railroad at each crossing and were in the depot and Dickison, dismounting most of his
men, ordered a detachment under Captain Rou and Lieutenant McCardell to move up on the left
and take the depot, while Lieutenant McEaddy with a mounted platoon on the right flank and
Lieutenant Dozier in the center advanced and drove the enemy from the road.
Dickison's artillery was in the rear, shelling with good effect and the enemy's artillery
was near Beville's hotel shelling the confederate battery at a furious rate.
Soon the Federals were driven from the depot and with small arms, Dickison got a cross-
fire on the enemy guns, killing every horse but one in the caisson.
The fight grew fiercer, the right and left closing in around the town.
After a stiff resistance of about two hours, the enemy began to give way and with the gal-
lant Confederate forces charging them on all sides, they were soon in full retreat in two col-
At this time Captain Dickison dashed through the streets, calling to his men to mount their
horses and follow, which was quickly done--the enemy scattering along the roads and through
the woods, pursued on every side by the brave southern boys.
The pursuit continued as far as Newnansville, 15 miles distant, many being killed or cap-
tured on the road.
The enemy's main column, with one piece of artillery, led by Colonel Harris, of the
Seventy-Fifth, Ohio, was followed by Dickison and his command, who captured the gun one
mile from town, in front of Dr. McRea's residence.
It was supposed that Colonel Harris' command had been reduced to 40 men during the pur-
They had gone about 4 miles when they were met by a scouting party who had been sent out
the previous day to ascertain the movements of the enemy, and returning to the confederate
camp that morning found the command gone.
Hearing Dickison's artillery in the direction of Gainesville, they pressed on to the scene
of action, and at a most opportune time passed through a long lane that turned abruptly to the
right and there met 30 men with one lieutenant in full retreat, coming upon them before either
saw the other.
These four daring young soldiers demanded a surrender, which was immediately made,
the enemy naturally supposing they were the advance of reinforcements on the way to Captain
The prisoners were ordered to throw down their arms. Just then Colonel Harris was seen
riding up with 10 men. Sergeant Poer, who was in command of this daring little party, dashed
off through the woods, ordering his prisoners to follow, and giving orders to his men to fire
upon the first man who refused to obey.
The Colonel, seeing the capture of his men, made no attempt to rescue them, but turned
in an opposite direction, around a plantation and with a small remnant of his command made
his escape and reached the Negro troops he had left at Boulware plantation the night before,
and a general retreat was ordered to their headquarters at Green Cove Springs on the St. John's
Sergeant Poer, with his invincible command of three heroic boys, brought in their prison-
ers that evening to Captain Dickison's headquarters in Gainesville.
On Dickison's return to Gainesville, he found some 200 prisoners, several of them com-
missioned officers. The only officer who escaped to tell the story of their defeat was Colonel
The major commanding the Fourth Massachusetts Battalion of cavalry, with two of his
men, who were making their escape by foot, their horses having been killed in the fight, were
captured when they had nearly reached the St. John's River, about 50 miles from Gainesville.
They were brought to Captain Dickison, who met the major, whose name was Fox, and
said pleasantly, "Major Fox, how is it that you allow the 'Gray Fox' to outrun and capture
the 'Red Fox' ?"
It was well known that this Federal officer with his fine battalion had been sent on to the
St. John's especially to capture Captain Dickison, but he suffered the fate of similar expedi-
tions. One hundred seventy-five men of the Confederate command were in the fight.
The remainder did not come up until the fight in the town was over, after which they scour-
ed the country, doing the most valuable service in capturing the enemy for more than 40 miles
There were 52 of the Federals killed in town. It was never correctly learned how many
were killed in the retreat to the river. The prisoners captured, including a number of officers,
were about 300, many of them badly wounded.
Several hundred stand of arms, one fine 12-pound howitzer and 260 horses fell into their
hands. The Confederate loss was three men killed and five wounded of whom two died the
Several wagons stolen in the raid had been recovered, loaded with the plunder collected,
some of it valuable silver plates; also 200 slaves that had been carried from the plantations.
This property was carefully guarded and turned over to the property owners.
The plan of the enemy, as shown by the orders captured, was to march the next day with
the 5, 000 Negro troops and several sections of artillery into Gainesville, confident of the suc-
cessful occupation of the town by their large cavalry force.
If such had been their success they would have secured several thousand bales of fine sea
island cotton as a rich prize and untold horrors would have been enacted in desolate homes.
But they failed, because the Confederate heroes were fighting for their homes and all that
was dear to them in life, and their battle-cry, "Victory or Death, sent terror into the hearts
of the invaders.
The victory was generally credited with saving East and South Florida.
The counties of Bradford, Alachua, Marion, Levy, and Hernando, lying between the St.
John's River and the Gulf of Mexico, were known by the enemy to be among the most valuable
portions of the State, owing to the almost inexhaustible supplies of sugar, syrup, cattle, with
oranges, lemons, limes, arrowroot and other semi-tropical products which were of inestima-
ble value to the State and the Confederacy.
The largest and most productive interest--sea island cotton--and the immense supplies of
corn and forage made it of the highest importance that this wide extent of country should be
closely watched and the advances of the enemy checked, preventing widespread destruction
and the carrying off of slaves, who were the only tillers of the soil and better fitted for field
work than the white man.
Says Captain Dickison in his diary:
"Two high an estimate cannot be placed upon the importance of the great responsibility
resting upon the gallant men whose duty it is to be a living bulwark between the enemy and the
helpless families whose homes were imperiled. Only by the most untiring vigilance of our
patriotic soldiery could the inestimable resources of our beautiful peninsula be preserved and
rendered available to their utmost capacity. Truly did they immortalize themselves in the
proud victory won at the battle of Gainesville. "
The general commanding officer at Charleston conveyed to Captain Dickison his congratu-
lations and brought instances of his gallantry to President Davis with a recommendation for
promotion. General J. K. Jackson in a General Order No. 44 hailed the victory and the valor
of Dickison and his men and promised to expedite the promotion to colonel which later was forth-
F. W. Buchholz adds an interesting sidelight to the second battle of Gainesville in his book,
"History of Alachua County Florida. "
Says the well-known retired educator: "A feature of the fight was the fact that many of the
Gainesville ladies during the hottest of the fight passed along the southern lines with buckets of
water, refusing to listen to their men entreating them to get out of danger. As they met the in-
vaders near the residence of Judge Dawkins, the ladies came out to the streets and urged their
brothers and fathers and husbands to 'Charge, repeating the commands of the officers to their
We turn to Mr. Buchholz's history again for the story of the first fight at Gainesville.
About New Year's Day 1864, President Lincoln, misled by reports of widespread disaffec-
tion among the citizens and soldiers of Florida, decided that all that was necessary to bring
the State back into the Union, was to make a show of force with an invading army and to offer
the Floridians a chance to give up.
Acting on this, he wrote General Gilmore, the Federal commander in Florida, to carry
out his idea. Gilmore was to offer to grant amnesty and restoration of all property except
slaves, to all who would take the prescribed oath of allegiance, excepting of course, civil of-
ficials and military above the rank of colonel and those who had left Federal office to accept
service under Confederacy.
Among those detailed for this mission was Colonel Guy V. Henry with a Massachusetts
regiment of infantry, a battalion of cavalry, and a battery of horse artillery; they were to re-
ceive capitulations from the Floridians living west and south of Jacksonville.
Continual resistance along his march soon convinced Henry that the white population of
the countryside were not to act the part assigned them by Lincoln. He proceeded to lay waste
of the country west and south along the line of the Florida Railway, burning stores, sawmills
and granaries, stealing Negroes and running off or killing livestock.
Shortly before this raid began, all the troops regularly sworn in to the Confederate ser-
vice had been urged to the front to join the hard-pressed armies of Lee and Bragg, and Gover-
nor John Milton had commanded every boy and man left in the State, and capable of bearing
arms be organized in the state troops.
Of such troops, General Joseph Finnegan had ordered as many as possible to collect at
Lake City to make a stand against the raiders and had appealed to General Beauregard at
Charleston and General W. M. Gardner of Middle Florida to forward to Lake City every sol-
dier they could spare.
To the Palatka base of Captain J. J. Dickison's command came orders to join Finnegan at
Lake City. This was known at the time as the East Florida Cavalry. It consisted of Dickison's
men and C troop of the 2nd Florida Cavalry under command of Captain W. R. Chambers.
Dickison was away on a foray when Finnegan's order came. Captain Chambers with Troop
C of the 2nd Florida Cavalry immediately took the road for Lake City.
The afternoon of February llth, they reached Sweetwater Branch and rested and ate their
dinners about half after four o'clock.
While there, the ladies of Gainesville sent them an invitation to a dance that night at
Some went to the dance but most of the command got leave to visit their kinfolks and
friends in the village.
Next morning the town-folks urged the company to remain as their guests for luncheon,
and they might have awaited their chief, Captain Dickison at Gainesville. Chambers put it to
a vote, and the company elected to go on to Newnansville that morning.
As the horsemen left town, they filed past the Beville Hotel where the Gainesville ladies
presented each of them with a bouquet of flowers.
Some of the troopers circled around the block and marched by several times until they had
collected quite an armload.
What with this ceremony and leave-taking, they were off to a late start and arrived at
Newnansville shortly before noon. As they prepared to eat, John Massey rode up to report to
Captain Chambers that 42 Federal Cavalrymen had occupied Gainesville.
Not knowing Massey and thinking he was trying to detain them by a ruse, Chambers ordered
him arrested and placed under guard.
In a few minutes a little boy about eight years of age dashed up on a thoroughly jaded horse,
with neither bridle nor saddle. He knew Captain Chambers and made straight for him. The
Captain lifted him down from the horse and the boy unpinned a note from the inside of his cloth-
ing and handed it to the Captain. Presently, calling his men to attention, the Captain ordered
Massey released, and read the note to the company.
Forty-two Federal Cavalrymen had ridden into Gainesville some hours after the Confede-
rate force left and had picketed the roads leading into town. They made a barricade of cotton
bales on University Avenue on the northwest corner of the Square.
Just northwest of the Atlantic Coast Line freight depot (now the First National Bank) was
a great field of beggar weed belonging to Major James B. Bailey. At that corner of the field
was a gate and in the road leading North was a Federal picket with orders to let everyone come
in but to allow no one to leave town.
This field extended to where the road leading to Newnansville crossed the ford at Hogtown
Mrs. Dickison, the devoted wife of Captain Dickison and the idol of his command happened
to be at Gainesville at the time with her small children.
When she found the town occupied with Federal cavalry, she planned to inform Captain
Chambers. After carefully instructing her little eight-year old son, she sent him with her
horse to ask the picket to turn him into the beggar weed field to graze, and to please make
haste as it was getting late and he must not be late for school. Then hastily writing a note to
Captain Chambers she pinned it inside the boy's clothes.
The request seemed reasonable to the picket so the lad was allowed to lead the horse into
the field. As soon as he had passed out of sight in the tall growth, the child mounted and, as
his mother had directed, raced for the west end of the field near the fork of the road to New-
nansville, and pulling some moss from the trees to sit upon as he rode, he let out his horse on
the run to overtake Captain Chambers and his detachment of Dickison's command.
When Chambers had read the note, he called the command together and read it to the men.
He put it to a vote whether they should go on up to Lake City according to orders or go back to
relieve Gainesville. Scouts were sent back to ascertain the situation. A courier came an-
nouncing that more Federals were approaching Waldo down the Florida railway grade. That
night the little messenger was the guest of Captain Chambers.
The command advanced cautiously to Fort Clark (Four O'clock Church on the Newberry
road) and camped. There news came that the Federal column had reached Waldo. On the morn-
ing of the 15th of February, 1864, Captain Chambers formed his men near the northeast corner
of Ninth Street (now 13th St. ) and University Ave. Corporal McClure of Ocala, while on a scout
early that morning had been challenged by a picket on North Main Street.
When told that he could come into town but would not be allowed to leave, he shot the picket
and hastened to report to Chambers. He took the wrong road and circled around by Newnans-
ville, arriving to report just as the company was forming as explained above.
He reported that there were by that time some 800 Federals approaching Gainesville from
Waldo by a forced march; other couriers confirmed his statement.
Corporal Henry Young of Ocala spied a Federal picket opposite Pattersons' Iron Foundry
(1964 location Trailway Bus Station). He asked for a detail to take the picket. Lieutenant
Samuel Reddick called for volunteers to the extent of a platoon to ride and find out how the land
lay. Without hesitation, 16 men immediately joined him.
Henry Young, the corporal who had seen the picket, Sergeant Major Worthington who had
been a colonel in the Mexican War, Tom Carruthers of Ocala, Stephen Beville of Gainesville,
Lawrence Jackson of Gainesville, George Chamberlain of Micanopy, Ben Rouse of Leesburg
and several others charged with drawn sabres down the present University Avenue towards
town. Rouse was shot through the neck and expecting the support to pick him up, the charge
continued up the street to the cotton-bale breastwork on the northwest corner of the square.
Reddick, Beville, and Jackson were the first to reach the breastwork. When within a few
feet of it, a volley was fired from the cotton bales. Reddick and his horse went down. Jack-
son, seeing that the bales were too tall for his horse to jump, dismounted, sabre in hand, to
engage the enemy.
Hearing Reddick groan, he shouted, "Lieutenant, are you hit?" But Reddick was on the
ground and with one leg caught under his dead horse, commanded, "Platoon, right wheel. "
All but Beville and Jackson obeyed and swung south into Garden Street. Jackson hoisted
and Beville pulled Reddick up on Jackson's horse and Jackson cut the saddle while Beville led
the way to Stewart's plantation, where Beville knew there was a Dr. Williams. He treated the
In the meantime, Reddick had detailed George Chamberlain to report their predicament to
Captain Chambers. Riding north to Bailey's fence, he found lawyer Hammond wounded in a jam
of the fence, and taking him across his saddle rode him out towards Stewart's plantation some
seven miles away. As he came up to the plantation, he found Beville on guard at Cunningham's
Lane and recognized his captain's voice shouting in the distance.
Further along Jackson was attending Reddick in one of the quarter's houses. .They found
that Hammond had been with Young chasing his picket when he had been wounded.
It was getting dark, Beville came into report hearing cavalry coming. Ed Haile rode up
and asked Captain Chambers to bring his command over to his plantation. He wanted them to
help hide about 100 bales of cotton from his Negroes as well as from the invaders. They con-
cealed it in a sink before day light.
After sunrise, a reconnoitering party came in to tell Captain Chambers that the enemy had
left Gainesville for Waldo. As they set fire to a storehouse filled with syrup so that they could
keep their bearings by its light on their way to Waldo.
After following the enemy as far as Waldo, and finding them gone from there when they
came into town, Chambers led his command back to Waldo to await Captain Dickison.
The next day they buried Worthington at Bailey's grist mill near Paradise on Hogtown
Creek. The miller there, Grissom by name, told them that when he returned to town the night
before, he had found Ben Rouse wounded at his house. He had Dr. Thomas attend him and had
sent him home to Leesburg.
It later was found that the first Federal detachment had been an advance guard of 42 men
who with Colonel Henry had come to Gainesville with orders to destroy some railway trains.
When McClure had shot the picket, so disturbed were they that Colonel Henry had failed to call
in the picket at the Florida Railway Depot and had marched to Waldo without him. When his
full command reached Waldo, it pushed by forced march to Gainesville in time to receive
"The Yankees had the honors that time, said Mr. Chamberlain, "but they got the worst
of it in the second fight at Gainesville. "
Gainesville's Civil War Veterans
Meet in 1923
Col. James O. Andrews, J. A. Emmerson, N. A. Blitch, T. L. Boulware, J. S. Richard-
son, George E. Evans, who had just succeeded George Mason as secretary for the organization,
Stonewall Camp No. 1438; T. M. Venable, F. F. Pauling, J. M. Shaw, T. B. Ellis, Col. E.
C. F. Sanchez, A. W. Taylor and J. T. Woods.
(The names are taken from a picture appearing in the 1954 centennial edition of the Gaines-
ville Sun, of the veterans taken on the front steps of the courthouse. )
Gov. John Martin spoke at the 35th annual reunion of the United Confederate Veterans of
Florida held in Gainesville November 3-5, 1925. Among those registered from this area and
from Gainesville were: Col. Robert W. Davis, Dr. T. F. McKinstry, L. W. Jackson, T. L.
Boulware, E. F. C. Sanchez and James O. Andrews. Others included D. H. Irvine of Orange
Lake, E. C. Price of Williston, J. M. Shaw of Alachua, and W. A. Hammond of Williston.
Many Gainesville and Alachua County names are among the Company C roster which fol-
OFFICERS: Capt. William E. Chambers; First Lieutenants, H.
C. Reddick; Second Lieutenant Thomas P. Boulware.
Ira D. M. Adams Benjamin F. Cassady
M. Atkinson Adams Wilson W. Cassady
Edward M. Beckett Andrew J. Cauthen
Robert H. Beville Gillis P. Chapman
Stephen C. Beville George S. Chamberlain
David Black James Chestnut
Thomas H. Blake J. W. Chesser
S. H. Blitch Absolom C. Clark
William H. Blitch Anzeo W. Cook
John J. Boatwright Henry M. Collins
Barnard P. Boulware Barnard Colson
Robert F. Boulware James R. Connell
T. J. Bowers William R. Connell
J. B. Bradshaw Alexander Coolter
James J. Bradford William M. Cromer
Thomas Bradford Samuel P. Crews
Edward C. Brevard Raymond Demere
John H. Brook Charles B. Dickison
B. W. Brown Josiah B. Dixon
William Buckman John Dogan
Jesse Carter J. S. Dupries
A. J. Cassady Adeniram J. Edwards
A. McCormick, Samuel
John S. Edwards
Andrew J. Emmerson
John P. Feaster
William W. Gambrell
Henry M. Gansy
Robert T. Girt
Henry C. Harrison
J. K. Harrison
Elijah T. Hawthorn
L. W. Jackson
Robert E. Johnson
Thomas A. Johnson
William E. Johnson
James M. Jones
James F. Kilgore
John W. F. King
George W. Lee
Alexander H. Leonard
Wilber G. Lewis
Thomas B. Lewis
William E. Lewis
A. J. McAteer
Jesse S. McAteer
Robert L. McClure
Daniel C. McLeod
John L. Matthews
John T. Matthews
George C. Mattox
John J. Miller
John B. Mixon
Miles G. Mixon
Daniel B. Moody
Andrew J. Newson
James P. Nix
James P. Parker
M. L. Payne
John S. Perry
John W. Pheiffer
Alex P. Price
H. C. Price
J. H. Purdom
Benjamin P. Rouse
S. F. Row
George C. W. Ruff
Joseph H. Ruff
G. M. Sistrunk
Henry J. Sistrunk
Thomas W. J. Sistrunk
James S. Sistrunk
William T. Shuford
Jacob M. Sligh
William P. Shettleworth
Henry G. Simpson
John B. Speer
Norman S. Sperry
John H. Stokes
S. V. Tanner
J. W. Waldo
James E. Warren
John G. Weeks
Sherrod S. Weeks
William F. Wincoff
John R. Worthington
Milton J. Worthington
Alexander H. Yongue
A. T. Zetrouer
The following is a letter
Esq., Gainesville, Florida.
from John W. Anderson's Sons & Co. to Mr. James T. Thomas,
It is dated January 19, 1868 and is postmarked Savannah, Geor-
Your favor of the 9th received, contents duly noted. We are truly glad that our sales of
your cotton has given you satisfaction. We have spared no energy and zeal in working for the
interest and welfare of our patrons, and our highest reward is to obtain their confidence and
The price of Sea Island cotton has not at all depreciated, though owing to the heavy ship-
ments that have gone forward up to the present time to Liverpool, the inquiry for the finer
grades has for the time being slackened. If the Sea Island crop of the South does not exceed
18, 000 bales (and we do not think it will) we do not anticipate a decline in price. We will keep
you fully posted however.
Our price currents, which we send you every Monday, you can rely upon as correct and
should any important change occur between the days of our sending you our Price Currents we
will always telegraph you.
John Anderson's Sons & Co.
Miss Alice Thomas, long identified with and operator of the Tebeau school was the daugh-
ter of James T. Thomas. Her mother was Sarah Caroline Morrison of Hawthorne. Miss
Morrison (Mrs. Thomas) was the daughter of Daniel Morrison of North Carolina. Her mother's
maiden name was Sarah Ann Carleton. Her grandmother was Anna Carleton.
The Tebeau school operated in the old James T. Thomas residence which was located in
the 200 block, present 1964 City parking lot, of South Main Street.
LETTER FROM MRS. ESTER GEIGER POWELL, MICANOPY, FLORIDA TO HER SISTER,
MRS. ANNE ELIZABETH GEIGER SPEARMAN, SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA.
June 16, 1871
Dear Sister Annie;
Mary and I received your letters several days since and as she answered hers at once, I
guess you have received it by this. I have been waiting for some news, but as the times are
dull, have gathered very little of interest after all.
The baby, mother and I are the only representatives of the family at home today, the rest
have gone to a Sunday School picnic on Orange Lake.
Yesterday has passed away and oh, what a record today.
The morning dawn all lovely and bloom
The evening brought despair and gloom.
The Flying Cloud capsized about 4 o'clock p. m. and seven souls were hurried from time
into eternity. Ours, Praise the Lord were spared, but many others stricken hearts now mourn
the loss of loved ones. Ben would not allow the little children to go, as Mr. Hoosier being sick,
did not sail with the boat, did not know that Lizzie was aboard till she was under way. Mrs.
Montgomery, Maggie Simonton, Ella Winecoff (about Lizzie's age) and Addie Shuford (Billie
Shuford's eldest about Buddy's age) were recovered though dead. Little Johnnie Simonton and
Florence McIlvaine (about Sissie's age) were missing at last account.
Mary and Lizzie have not come yet. Ben left them at Hoosier's trying to recover those
nearly drowned. Ben was afraid I would hear that my children were of the number lost, so he
brought them as far as Means' and sending them on to me, returned to see how it was with
Lizzie and Mary, on his way he met Mary Simonton afoot and running as best she could, through
mud and water, over the worst road in the country, to see if her children and sister were safe.
Frank, her baby about nine months older than our babies, was saved. She did not attend the
picnic, sent her little boys and Florence with her brothers Will and Eddie. Ben says when he
got back to the lake, she and John were sitting by a tree, waiting for tidings of their lost, she
all wet and muddy to her knees and the picture of stony dispair, tearless and silent, waiting
and watching. Ben says it was an awful scene, before they could hear of the certainty, the
boat did not right itself at once and they could see so few on the surface. The very men wept
Jane and Lizzie have come, Mary is at Mrs. Means, little Ida Fleming is scarcely expect-
ed to live, it is feared she has sustained some injury. Mrs. Montgomery was killed by a blow
on the side of the head it is thought. The family were all at Means and they being almost help-
less with grief.
Mary stayed to assist them with Ida. Mrs. Knox was in the hole under the deck, but came
out safe and saved Earnest. Mary assisted Mrs. Knox to dress the dead. It was over two
miles from the shore, where it happened, or more might have been saved. They clung on to
the bottom until help arrived.
Mary swallowed a great deal of water and Lizzie says she was perfectly blue when she
came up. Had to be carried to the boat four times, could scarcely cling on was so exhausted.
Lizzie says she felt her feet touch something and gave a push and came up by the boat and
caught it herself and succeeded in getting on the bottom of the boat. Little Johnnie was found
this morning and his little dead hands were full of sand from the bottom. Florence was found
on shore. Bowen, the Negro that drove our wagon was also drowned.
There were 36 aboard and 30 came out alive. Mary says she swam like a good fellow. Mr.
Adams got Mrs. Montgomery out, and says the boat was on her head and he could hardly get
her out by main strength. Johnnie was tangled in the sail under the boat.
Frank McIlvaine making the sails dip, to scare the girls, caused the accident, all the men
are hostile, say he ought to be delt sith for it, he did it twice and she righted, the third time
went down. Ben says if he had been on board, he would have made him desist or shot him
Mary got back last night, says there is little hope of Ida she has congestion of the lungs.
The boat was grounded on its side and was two feet under water, this was why Mary didn't
cling on she thought she would get tangled in the rigging and broke off as hard as she could
try to swim, the fourth time she sank and like to have been lost, said she saw a large ball of
fire and felt she was sinking down. Frank McIlavaine caught her the last time and held her till
she took hold on the boat and understood the situation. Means says it was a shallow spot, but
right ahead it was very deep and if it had been there, none but the good swimmers could have
been saved, he wasn't aboard, had gone home with Charlie.
Others on board the Flying Cloud when she went down: Mrs. Knox, Mrs. Montgomery
(lost), Miss Alice Winecoff, Miss Kate Winecoff, MissElla Winecoff (lost), Miss Addie Shu-
ford (lost), Miss Bessie McCormick, Miss Alice Hagood, Miss Maggie Simonton (lost), Miss
Susia Kine, Miss Florrie Mcllvaine, Miss Lizzie Powell, Miss Mary Geiger, Mr. Boss, Mr.
D. Corn- Carn- Cann?, Mr. Adams, Mr. Whittington, Mr. Will Smith, Mr. Sam Anderson,
Mr. Fornba, Mr. Frank Mcllvaine, Mr. Frank Hagood, Mr. Jim Hagood, Mr. Johnson Hagood,
Mr. Tommie King, Gussie King, Charlie Riggs, Kinch Moree, Jimmie Knox, Johnnie Wimon-
ton (lost), Earnest Worley, Jeff Griffin, Isaac Bowen (lost), and Florence Mcllvaine (lost).
The Ann Elizabeth Geiger Spearman, to whom the above letter was addressed, is the
mother of Miss Mary Gresham, 116 N. W. 3rd Street. Miss Gresham has been identified with
Alachua County schools for many years, now retired (1964). She is regent (President) of the
Gainesville Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Her family came to Florida in
Mrs. Esther Geiger Powell of Micanopy was the grandmother of Holland Fay, long time
Florida was admitted into the Union as a state in 1845. In 1860 there were two newspapers
in Alachua County, and Governor Marion Starke Perry, whose home was near Rochelle, was in
Tallahassee. Gov. Perry's grave is out in old Oak Ridge Cemetery between Rochelle and Mic-
There are some interesting maps of Florida and Alachua County showing it as it was in
1830, in 1833, and 1855. A. Z. Adkins, Jr. has the maps in his law office.
Dr. J. M. Dell, Sr., had a map of Gainesville, as surveyed by Mr. Jessie B.. Hunter, by
order of the commissioners, September 17, 1853.
The first passenger train pulled into Gainesville over what is now the Seaboard Airline
tracks, April 21, 1859. The railroad was finished from Fernandina to Cedar Keys in 1861.
War clouds were gathering. Judge James B. Dawkins and Dr. John C. Pelot, Micanopy,
were selected as delegates to the Secession Convention in Tallahassee. Judge Dawkins was ap-
pointed as one of a committee of thirteen to draw up the Secession Resolution. And so, we
come to the Civil War period and a great many names of people familiar to many of us in
Gainesville. A Capt. J. J. Dickenson is one of the best known of the local Civil War military
group. Gen. Laurence Jackson, father of the late Arch Jackson and grandfather of Lovett Jack-
son, who operates a cow ranch south of town, and George Chamberlin, grandfather of the City
Commissioner, Adolph, and Post Office employee, George, and Mrs. R. A. Cox, were very
prominent military men and citizens. Thadeus MacDonell was Major of one of the companies
raised in Gainesville. He is the great uncle of Hubert P. MacDonell, employee of the State
Road Department, Gainesville. There were two battles in Gainesville, one on February 4,
1864 and one on August 17, 1864. In the first battle, we find Stephen Beville of the well known
Beville family (There is a book, Tree of the Beville Family, in the Gainesville library. ). Lt.
Samuel Reddick was wounded in the second battle at the old foundry place. (This later became
the T. & J. Railway Depot and now the location of Striton Hardware Company. ) The Haile
family is one of our oldest and best known families; one of them hid a hundred bales of cotton
in a sink on their plantation below Arredonda, near Kanapaha. The Chesnuts are an early
Alachua County family and residents of Gainesville. The old home still stands; Gibbs, de-
ceased, his brother Bill, and his sister, Mrs. Edna E. Miller are descendants. Sgt. Major
Worthington was wounded in Gainesville and was later buried at Bailey's Grist Mill on Hogtown
Creek. The mill was later owned by F. X. Miller, father of Ben Miller. The author bought
the land in the bend of Hogtown Creek in 1925 and later could find signs of the old mill on the
creek. It is near where 13th Street crosses Hogtown Creek. Mr. Ed Means, who lived north
of town and is now deceased, told me that this was the location of the old mill. The Means
family is an old South Carolina family and first settled in Columbia County at Mikesville..
Mr. Ed Means youngest son, Dolph, married a granddaughter of old Major Bailey.
The second battle on August 17, 1864 resulted in the burning of Boulware's mill and cotton
gin. The Federal troops came in through Waldo and Windsor to Fort Nancy near Boulware
Springs. The troops approached Gainesville, and Old Timers used to tell me of a cannon ball
hole in the chimney of either the Peeler home or a residence near it. Some of the Confederates
were along Sweetwater Branch and they had a skirmish near the present library and American
Legion Home. There was a small battle on the northwest corner of Main Street and the square
and a brush around a cotton gin on Pistol Alley (just west of No. Main Street and north of N.
W. 8th Avenue).
Major John W. Tench came to Gainesville in 1867, and his description of the old fields and
sand flats as written in Buchholz's book is very interesting. He came to visit his wife's uncle,
Judge Dawkins, who lived in a double log house just north of the Dr. J. F. McKinstry home
which faced east toward S. W. 1st Avenue (Union Street), 32 S. W. 2nd Street. Walter Robin-
son later occupied the property, and H. F. Dutton built on the corner of University Avenue and
2nd Street. This is the block where Penny's Store was later built. Byron M. Winn, operator
of the Primrose Grill served meals in the old Dutton home in 1925 and later. The Duttons
built a large house which was the Ludwig home in that block. The Ludwig home was moved
and is now occupied by Mrs. Myrtle Chase out near Golf View entrance. Mrs. Chase was a
Major Tench stated that 67 acres of land had been "acquired" from Gen. Bailey but that
the plotted portion of the city, including the Courthouse square, was about as follows: on the
north, 1st Avenue, which was old Mechanic Street; on the east, University Street, later E.
Main Street, now 1st; on the south 3rd Avenue, formerly McCormick Street, and on the west
2nd Street, which was Pleasant Street. Dr. J. M. Dell had a map showing the above and
Catherine Turbeville (daughter of Col. Robert W. Davis) in the office of the former county
clerk, George Evans, deceased, has a sort of an abstract and map showing same.
Some old timers around Gainesville will probably think that I am passing over the Civil
War and Reconstruction Period too hurriedly. It was a time that will live long in the memories
of the descendants of a great many people. They were stressful times because the war was
fought here in the South. Many people were destitute and some rights were, no doubt, trampled
upon. Times were hard for white people during the Reconstruction Period. The City Charter
was cancelled. It was reincorporated May 26, 1866 with E. W. Perry as Mayor. The City,
County and State were in the hands of carpetbaggers and Negroes. Negroes served as Com-
missioners, Mayor, Sheriff, County Commissioner, members of the Legislature and Congress-
The county population in 1860 was 8,232. In the election of 1867 only eight white men voted
in Gainesville and 979 Negroes. Leonard G. Dennis, carpetbagger, was the political boss.
Under the Reconstruction rule and later under citizen rule, there were some unusual punish-
ments meted out for law breakers. Thirty-nine lashes were given a Negro for larceny. A horse
thief was fined $1000 and given thirty-nine lashes. James Monroe, a Negro, was hanged "by
a group of citizens" on the south side of the square "for murder". S. Y. Finley was elected
second Mayor and soon afterwards law and order was restored. Samuel W. Burnett was elect-
ed Clerk-Treasurer and James B. Dawkins, John R. Beville and John Chesnut were elected.
We now begin to find, in connection with the growth of Gainesville, a great many names
familiar to Gainesville people who have lived here since 1900. Credit the Centennial Issue of
the Gainesville Sun for much of the following information. Before the Civil War and by 1860
Gainesville had a few thriving little businesses. There were three small hotels, and Ramsey
ran a General Store. Col. Tillman Ingram and Dr. Babcock also had a Merchandise Store on
the east side of the square where McCrory's is located. Dr. G. F. Thomas had a drug shop
as did Dr. Steven McCall, predecessor of the Vidal Drug Company. Physician Thomas W.
McCall was an early settler. James Doig was one of the first settlers of Gainesville. The
First Courthouse built in Gainesville, when selected as
County Seat in 1854.
residence was the first house east of Kirby Smith School. He ran a foundry. The exact date of
the construction of Oak Hall (on the Post Office site) by Tillman Ingram is unknown, but it was
around the year 1860. The U. S. Land Office was later located in Oak Hill (1883).
H. H. McCreary, born in Southport, North Carolina in 1861, came to Gainesville in 1868.
He was the father of Mrs. Irene Edwards who lived in the old McCreary home on East Univers-
ity Avenue, and grandfather of Mrs. Irene Scott (Mrs. Ned Scott). He was editor and owner of
the Gainesville Sun and a member of the Legislature and State Senator. His son, Elmer, later
ran the Evening News and was Postmaster in 1934.
One of the oldest families of Alachua County and Gainesville is the Ellis family. The
family came from North Carolina to Florida in 1820 and the record shows the Ellises in Alachua
County by 1824.
Savage and Haile had a large mercantile business on the east side of the square by 1870.
They bought and shipped thousands of bales of sea island cotton from this and adjoining coun-
ties. The population of Gainesville by 1870 was 1,444.
William C. Tison was born in Newnansville in 1834. To him and his wife were born six
sons, Willie, Orson, Dell, Mason, Gordon and Bennett. J. Mason Tison, deceased, had a
son, John M. Jr., and three daughters. Dr. Gordon B., dentist, is still living. He was born
December 31, 1875 and is now in his 89th year.
I am indebted to Mr. E. D. Turner, who was one of the best informed men in Gainesville
on early history. He was born in Roseville, Ohio, in 1876 and came to Gainesville in 1889.
Mr. Turner, who was associated with the Dutton Bank for years, was secretary to the County
Road Board at one time and was later deputy clerk of the Federal Court. He also served as
U. S. Land Commissioner. He had several pictures of old Gainesville. One is a picture re-
printed from a tin-type owned by the Rev. Chris Matheson, who served nine terms as Mayor
of Gainesville. The picture, taken in 1872, shows the Matheson Store, shade trees in front,
near the middle of the block north of the courthouse. It also shows a small office of Dr. J. F.
McKinstry, later postmaster, (1915-1921) and the post office next door. A two-story building
on the corner, now Wilson's corner, was the R. C. McCall Drug Store. Later it sold to Dr.
A. J. Vidal and moved east across the street to the present Vidal Drug Store location.
Another of Mr. Turner's pictures shows the Methodist Church on the south corner of the
present location of the church. The East Florida Seminary was located on some of the present
church property. The Methodist Church, the first one built by 1866, is the only church in
Gainesville remaining in the same location since the beginning.
Mr. Turner had a very good picture of the old Bailey home, said to be the oldest house in
Gainesville, built by Major J. B. Bailey, grandfather of Mrs. C. A. Means, whose mother was
Mrs. Margaret (W. S.) Campbell. Mrs. Means sold the house, 1121 N. W. 6th Street, to J.
Pierce Smith; the house is now used (1964) as a rest home. Actually, probably the oldest house
in Gainesville was a log cabin owned by a Mrs. Marshall, the great-great grandmother of Dr.
Charles Pinkoson. The cabin stood at 413 W. University Avenue. There was also an early
house on the T. B. Ellis property where is now located the Firestone Tire and Rubber Station
at 304 W. University Avenue.
One of Mr. Turner's pictures was one of the old East Florida Seminary, about 1890. Mr.
Turner is in the picture as well as several other Gainesville people. Some of the pictures are
of the Seminary before girls were admitted. Later, there is a picture showing the girl students
drilling. That was around 1900 at which time the building, later added to, and later the White
House Hotel, was the Girls' Dormitory. The old Bishop home was a dormitory for boys. The
White House Hotel, between Main and 1st Street at 4th Avenue, was torn down in 1962. The
chimney was still standing January 1, 1963. It was pushed down January 13, 1963.
Mr. Turner has another picture showing the Episcopal Church, at that time located where
the Masonic Temple stands on North Main Street. In front of the building (1893) was a big oak
tree and a picture of a white man on the seat of a two-wheel single ox cart, big horns, and a
Negro in a buggy facing the cart. The white man was the uncle of Mr. Turner, Mr. M. R.
Larzelere. Mr. Larzelere and the Negro had swapped conveyances just for the picture. There
is also a picture of a large wooden two-story building with stairs on the outside, which was a
school for Negro children. The students are lined up all on the ground, up the stairs and on
the second floor balcony. The building was located on N. W. 7th Avenue, between 1st and 2nd
Streets. Mr. Turner had many pictures of the shaded streets of Gainesville, 1890 to 1910.
The last of the pictures loaned to me for this story is one of the Dutton Bank which was on
the north side of W. University Avenue and east of N. W. 1st Street. The picture was taken
about 1905 and shows Mr. Turner as a young man, although he was already cashier. The
picture also shows Mr. H. B. Arnold, assistant cashier; Mr. O. C. Barker, bookkeeper;
Mr. H. P. Robinson, assistant bookkeeper and Mr. R. E. Hill, assistant bookkeeper.
What was known as the "Town House" of the Beville family, grandmother of B. P. Beville
(deceased) and Mrs. L. C. Lynch, was located on the block (occupied more than a city block)
of S. E. 3rd Street (Oak) and S. E. 4th Avenue (Arlington). 307 S. E. 4th Avenue and 403 S.
E. 3rd Street are on the corner, but as stated, the grounds with flowering shrubs and orange
trees in the rear, covered more than the block between 3rd and 4th Streets and 4th and 5th
The old Plaza Hotel was located on S. E. 2nd Street, also between 2nd and 3rd Streets and
3rd and 4th Avenues, along where now is 303, 307, 311, and 317 S. E. 2nd Street, facing west.
This Plaza Hotel is not to be confused with the Plaza Hotel later on North Main Street. The
hotel burned some time after 1900 and many boys of that day, prominent present day business
men, had a holiday watching the fire.
In the late seventies, J. P. Bauknight built a brick building about number 8 So. Main
Street. The Hailes and the Broomes constructed buildings on the west side of the square about
1880. At that time a Col. Scott had a store on the old Phifer Bank corner. Wilkerson and Wind-
er ran a grocery store on the corner where Woolworth's is now located, corner of Main and
University Avenues. A Dr. McMillan had a drug store about where Hoffman's Pharmacy is
located, 6 East University Avenue.
In the early eighties, there was a little school on the Vidal Drug Store site run by Miss
Maggie Tebeau and assisted later by Miss Alice Thomas. Any one having lived in Gainesville
prior to 1940 knows that the parking lot between 2nd Avenue and 2nd Place on S. Main Street,
west side, was the old Tebeau property and school. Some of the buildings were burned on the
west side of the square and on the south side of the square in the middle eighties.
Mr. C. F. Smith was born in Elktown, Kentucky, July 22, 1871, and came to Gainesville
with his brother, L. E. Smith in 1889. Mr. Smith was to manage a shoe store for Mr. H. T.
Vaterlan. He has been in business here since. His brother, L. E. ran a jewelry store until
Mr. Lee Graham was born October 23, 1878 (died January 11, 1955) and came to Gaines-
ville in 1888 where his father J. M. Graham established the First National Bank. There is a
story and a very good picture of the interior of the bank showing Mr. J. M. Graham, president;
H. E. Taylor, cashier; W. R. McKinstry, bookkeeper; Tom Stevens, industrial bookkeeper;
and Mr. Lee Graham, quite a young man, a collecting clerk. Mr. Lee had some interesting
stories relating to the manner in which his father and "Old Man" Frank Hampton transacted
business. They kept no books or records but just remembered things and "kept along about
even." Mr. Graham lived at 636 N. E. 1st Street. He told me that all of that property in
that block at one time belonged to a Negro woman by the name of Charlotte Mayo and that she
lived in a small house facing N. Main Street. Mr. Lee's son is Dr. Henry H. Graham. He
had a brother, also in the bank, who was called Sandy, whose son is Attorney William L.; who
has.the warrant, framed in his office, that his grandfather, J. M. and "Old Frank Hampton"
got for the post office site (constructed 1911). It is Warrant #572, dated August 5, 1903; Pay
to: James M. Graham, Henrietta M. Graham, Benjamin F. Hampton and Hariett W. Hampton,
$1. 00 and signed, "The Assistant Treasurer of U. S. N. Y. will pay. C. H. Kemp, Assistant
Secretary, B. J. Tracewell, Comptroller," Cert. No. 42989.
The Dell family is one of the oldest in Alachua County. Professor F. W. Buchholz's
History of Alachua County mentions eight Dells in old Newnansville, former county seat near
Alachua, during the period 1824 to 1854. There were planters, cattlemen, judges and city
and county office holders. The following is a partial list of citizens of Newnansville in 1845:
Charles L. Dell, Judge of Probate Court in 1845; planter and president of
County Board of Commissioners
Bennett M. Dell, planter, miller and builder of the first jail.
Col. James Dell, planter, owner of mill on Rocky Creek-Bellamy Rd.
Simon Dell, planter north, of Newnansville
Phillip Dell, planter and cattleman
Dr. J. G. Dell
Roman B. Sanchez, clerk of the Circuit Court
George L. Brown, merchant
Calvin Bryant, merchant
Thomas C. Ellis, tax assessor and collector
Samuel W. Burnett, builder of second Newnansville Courthouse
Andrew Robb, blacksmith
John J. Sanchez, planter and cowman of San Felasco Hammock
Sam Rupell, cabinet maker, built furniture for Courthouse
Thomas J. Prevatt, planter and cowman
Mrs. Zilpha Standley, rented the Jury Rooms to Commissioners
Samuel R. Piles, planter north of town
Asa Clark, built county bridge at Fort Harlee
Jacob Strubal, planter
Samuel B. Golden, planter
John K. Pitchett, justice of peace and county surveyor
A. M. Caston
W. J. Scott, planter
C. L. Wilson
Charles L. Fitchett
Samuel Russell, clerk of County Court
County Judges of Probate were:
Charles L. Dell 1846 Charles F. Fitchett 1848-52
J. W. Pearson 1847 A. M. Caston 1852-55
B. W. Thompson Henry Bradford June-Dec., 1855
H. C. Wilson 1848 George Boston 1855-56
First Meeting in Gainesville, September, 1856
My contact in Gainesville while writing the "History of Alachua County" (1955-1956) was
Dr. J. M. (James Maxey) Dell, known as Dr. Jim and not to be confused with other Jims.
There was another Jim who was the brother of Mrs. Allie Lartigue, widow of Dr. E. Lartigue,
the parents of Mrs. Larie Brooks and Dorothy L. Brunet. Mr. Samuel T. Dell (deceased) was
a resident and business man until his death. His son, S. T. Dell, Jr. is an attorney in Gaines-
ville and has two children. George A. Dell operated a grocery store in Gainesville until his
death. Another J. M. Dell was the clerk of the State Land Office (Federal) and has been dead
several years. Charles M. and Lartigue, brothers of George A. Dell, are young business men.
Dr. J. M. Dell was born near Hague on February 2, 1880, and came to Gainesville in 1886.
His father ran a meat market about where Kinney Shoe Store is now located on the east side of
the square, No. 19 S. E. 1st Street. Dr. Dell has a son, J. M. Jr., known as Maxey, who
also has a son, J. Maxey, III, and a daughter.
I am indebted to Dr. Dell for the information in the following paragraph:
1. The Masonic Lodge first met upstairs in a building where the present fire station is
located, corner of 2nd Avenue and S. W. 1st Street; then it met over the Dutton Bank until the
construction of the Temple on North Main Street. The father of Harvey Hutchenson had his
furniture warehouse on Main Street on the first floor of this building. The main store at that
time was on the Woolworth corner. 2. Dr. Dell states that three State Superintendents of
Public Instruction were furnished by Alachua County; consecutively, William N. Sheets, Wil-
liam Holloway and W. S. Cauthen (father of Rainey Cauthen, Tallahassee). 3. That Etienne
Lartigue was the first assistant State Health Officer. 4. A large furniture factory was located
east of Gainesville. 5. The city first attempted to establish water works on the east side of
town and dug two big reservoirs, where, later Gainesville boys went swimming; these were
east of the Oddfellows Home. 6. The Oddfellows Home was originally owned by the National
Organization, but they gave it up to the State Oddfellows Organization. In the interim Mrs.
Mable Quam, cousin of Mrs. Rose C. Enwall, taught a school of music in part of the building;
later Gainesville physicians operated a hospital in the building for a short time. 7. Gainesville
once had a ball park down about the intersection of the John Gardiner Market and Arredonda
Streets. 5th Avenue and S. W. 3rd Street, where Charlie Harris, Dr. Wilburn Lassiter,
Dr. Dell, and Lee Graham formerly were teammates of the great John J. McGraw. 8. Prior
to the time the Atlantic Coast Line Railway moved its headquarters to High Springs, the rail-
road used Oak Hall as a hospital (Oak Hall was on the site of the present post office and later
used as offices of the Federal Land Office). 9. Alex Avery operated a tannery west of Setzer's
store on the same location that the old mill operated during the Civil War. Dr. Dell's father
was County Tax Assessor at the time of death.
Readers will be surprised to know that at one time there was a small stream, in wet wea-
ther, running east between the City Hall and the New Citizens Bank. Lee Graham says they
had to walk on planking after rains.
Also, we wonder when the last signs of the stream south of the former Dr. Dell residence
on S. Main Street disappeared. Charles C. Voyle caught minnows and small fish in the stream.
As previously stated, Major John W. Tench visited Gainesville in 1867, and he gives a
very vivid description of Gainesville at that time. In 1877 he returned to Gainesville with his
wife, Nancy Elizabeth, and sons, Benmont and Harry. I am indebted to Mr. B. M. Tench, who
lived at 226 S. W. 2nd Street for a great deal of early Florida history, some of which follows:
Mr. Tench was born in Union County, South Carolina, August 19, 1873 and came to Gainesville
when he was four years old. He later married Frances Darby. They have one son, Benmont
M. Jr., who also has one child, Benmont, III. Benmont Jr. is an attorney.
Mr. Tench told an interesting story he called "The Battle of the Ice Blocks. In the early
days ice from the lakes and rivers in the north was brought down to Fernandina by schooners
and on to Gainesville on the old Fernandina and Cedar Keys Railroad. Within a few years after
Dr. Gorrie, of Appalachicola, had perfected the manufacture of ice, some of the manufactured
ice was brought in. Discussions and arguments arose over which was the better ice and which
would last longer. The ice house at that time, around 1890 or a little later, was in the rear of
the present Baird Hardware Company.
Ballard and Wallace had a drug store about where Otto Stocks Mens Store is located, 6 S.
Main Street. Heated arguments continued to come up relative to the ice. Finally about a hun-
dred blocks of each kind of ice (river ice and manufacturing ice) was put out on the sidewalk
for the purpose of determining which would last the longest. Even in those days there were
"sports" in Gainesville who would bet on anything. They began betting on the matter of the
length of time it would take the ice to melt and which would melt first. Hundreds of dollars
were bet on the outcome. As time wore on, and the betting became more brisk, feeling ran so
high that each side stayed to watch the ice to see that others did nothing to hasten the process
of melting of either block. Overnight guards were hired. The entire population became in-
terested and began visiting the place, and in visiting, took sides, and many of them placed
additional bets. The ice melted the second day. Which melted first, the river or manufactured
Mr. Tench stated that Florida had a boom about 1880; that a race track was built and that
State Fairs were held here around 1885. He credited a man by the name of Webb, a promoter,
for a great deal of favorable advertising of the state. Mr. Webb chartered two railway cars
and placed an exhibit on them and toured the north; however, he received very little encourage-
ment and his activities were discontinued.
Before the turn of the century, Oliver's Park was operated south of Boulware Springs. It
did a thriving business. Hundreds of people visited the park and zoo, some in buggies and
wagons, and at times on the Coast Line train that stopped nearby, as it did at the Sink. Finally,
one of the bears reached a visiting boy and killed him. The park and zoo then lost patronage
and was discontinued. Pete Oliver (P. W.) lived just south of DeWitt Jones Undertaking Par-
Mr. Tench was 13 years old when the old Arlington Hotel burned in 1886 on the site of the
present Woolworth's store. As stated before, there was a disastrous fire on the west side of
the square in 1884 and on the south side in 1885. A fire once started was difficult to control in
A mAn by the name of Faulkner was putting on a kind of entertainment and demonstration
around 1880. One of the features was sending up a balloon. The balloon went up a ways and
then began to come down. It caught on fire as it slowly descended. It became obvious that the
balloon was going to fall on the old wooden shingled courthouse. Judge J. A. Carlisle jumped
up on a wagon and yelled that he would give a hundred dollars to anyone who would get up on
the courthouse roof and put out the fire caught from the balloon. A young man from Pensacola,
strong and active, managed to get onto the roof and tore the shingles off with his bare hands
and saved the building. Another fire that destroyed a furniture factory occurred while the
Gainesville troops were in Fernandina during the Yellow Fever epidemic in 1888.
Much could be written of the recollections and reminiscences of Mr. Tench. Dr. J. M. Dell
and Lee Graham joined him in many items. There was a foundry and machine works where
the present water and light plant is located. George Doig lived in the first house east of the
Kirby Smith School. They tell of an early lynching of a white man and a Negro, Michael Kelly,
an educated Irishman, and Tony Champion, who were captured by Sheriff Fennell when they,
with Herman Murray came to town. Murray got away, but the other two were hanged to a big
oak tree just south of the Padgett residence, now Padgett Apartments, 424 N. E. 6th Street.
The tree stood about near the property line between 419 N. E. 6th Street, S. Spaulding Smith
(old Doughlas property) and 425 N. E. 5th Avenue. The tree was removed when the street was
paved. It is stated that the white man was hanged first and so much of the rope was used that
when they got ready to hang the Negro they had to hang him to a low limb. A prominent Negro
politician and orator, Gus Waters, upon viewing the bodies said, "Yes, even when they hang a
white man and a Negro the Negro is below the white man. "
An early fire station was about where a shoe store is located in the first block west of
Main Street on University Avenue. Mr. S. O. Weaver had a laundry about where the Lyric
Theatre stands on S. E. 1st Street, later the Jim Hope Electric Company, 212 S. E. 1st
Street. Mr. Tench bought about half of the block just west of the Womens Club, 716 W. Uni-
versity Avenue, from a Negro by the name of Kitty McCray, whose husband, John, many
Gainesville people remember.
Mr. Tench, Graham and Dr. Dell disagreed on some items. Mr. B. P. Beville of the old
Beville family, and Mr. E. D. Turner agree on locations as follows: The Dutton Gin was about
where Baird Hardware Company Warehouses are on So. Main Street until about 1906. Benson
and Roux had a carriage factory and blacksmith shop at 115 S. E. 4th Street. Later Nells Ben-
son ran a blacksmith shop on the location.
C. C. Pedrick had a wagon and buggy shop about No. 20 S. W. 1st Street and facing 106
S. W. 1st Avenue. The horse and mule shoes and imprints now are imbedded in the sidewalk
beginning at 107 W. University Avenue, and heading east to 1st Street, thence south to 20 S.
W. 1st Street to the wagon repair shop, in which Ed Gibson worked, then around the corner
and west on S. W. 1st Avenue to about No. 106 where they appear to leave the sidewalk head-
ing southwest. Mr. Pedrick also operated a blacksmith shop at 103 S. W. 2nd Place and oc-
cupied most of the property on West 2nd Place between S. W. 1st Street and S. W. 2nd Street.
The mule tracks was advertisement for his business.
Mr. J. N. Clinton ran a newspaper upstairs over Wilsons, then Hyde's Store. Col. H. F.
Dutton at one time was City Commissioner, serving with two Negroes, Dan and Ed Martin.
They went out of office about 1887 or 1889.
Dr. J. M. Dell, B. M. Tench and Lee Graham were always active in public affairs; all
serving at various times on the City Commission, and Mr. Tench was County Commissioner.
The story of the Yellow Fever epidemic is tragic. Many died. The quarantine camp was near
the cemetery and just north of the present new road cutoff.
These gentlemen tell about cotton fields south of University Avenue and around the present
location of the Alachua General Hospital, 315 S. W. 10th Street. Mr. B. P. Beville stated
that he had plowed a mule many a day on the grounds between where the Lucas Black residence
stands, 719 E. University Avenue, and the mother of George and Charles Evan's residence (now
torn down), 905 E. University Avenue, and south for several blocks.
These citizens did not agree as to where the streetcar tracks were as some of them said
that the streetcar ran from the ACL Station on So. Main Street, north to the square, east one
block and north one block to the Avenue and east to 3rd Street and retraced. Others think the
car line ran from the SAL Station at the foot of S. E. 2nd Street, east to 3rd Street (Oak) and
north to University Avenue; west to Main Street and retraced. The writer is of the opinion that
the latter description was the correct one. The Main Street tracks were probably the narrow
gauge tracks that ran from Tampa and terminated at the north side of the square.
I am not going to attempt to tell the story of the bad Negro, Herman Murray. There are
many stories of his activities. When he was killed it is agreed that his body was brought to
Gainesville and was on display outside the sheriff's office door on the east side of the court-
house and later in front of the present fire station on S. E. 1st Street at 2nd Avenue, where
Hutchinson's furniture warehouses was located, and that the body was placed in a coffin and
put in the storehouse overnight.
By 1880 the Duttons had a cotton gin about where Baird Hardware Company warehouse now
stands. There was a narrow guage railway running from Tampa by the gin, and Lee Graham
says that it stopped right in front of the First National Bank. The tracks were torn down about
There is one Indian War veteran buried in Evergreen Cemetery, James Thomas. There
are one hundred Confederate Civil War veterans buried in it and the bodies of fifteen GAR vet-
erans lie there also. On the following pages will appear the names of the Spanish War veterans,
but the list is not complete. It remains for a future writer to list the veterans of World War I
and World War II.
Confederate Veterans Buried in Old Cemetery: H. V. Seagle, Joe Shannon, Alex Avera,
Bryant Pierce, L. L. Hill, Perry Coker, R. H. Beville, S. W. Burnett, William Richardson,
J. Maxey Dell, Col. E. P. Cater, J. D. Matheson, Maj. J. W. Tench, Theodore Peeler, Joe
Tinsley, James Pardue, W. H. Robertson, Stephen McCaa, Dr. G. P. Thomas, Dr. William
Thomas, Rev. J. M. Tonkies, Capt. Thad Foster, E. E. Adamson, T. B. Ellis, A. B. Jerni-
gan, J. R. Beville, C. H. Howard, J. B. Mixon, Henry Dozier, W. S. Sadler, Joe Marshall,
Thomas Patterson, Sr., Thomas Patterson, Jr., J. J. Burton, C. J. Mixson, W. P. Colclough,
J. C. Witherspoon, B. M. Thrasher, J. B. Brown, C. L. Willoughby, James Wood, Elmer
Cook, A. I. Taylor, Gen. J. J. Finley, Samuel Finley, James Kincaid, John B. Dell, Rev.
W. J. McCormick, Henry Denton, Dr. R. Y. H. Thomas, Charles Evans, A. H. Leonard,
Mr. Hodgson, and Thomas Ellis.
Confederate Veterans Buried in New Cemetery: Syd L. Carter, Horatio Davis, James E.
Whaley, Robert E. Davis, L. M. Dell, Lawrence Jackson, A. J. Vidal, Casper H. Baker,
Sam Tucker, Mr. Deveneau, Augustus Gunz, James Chesnut, Capt. Elmore, Frank Miller,
M. D. Bowers, J. C. McGraw, W. D. Dickinson, J. W. Riggs, and H. H. Pinkoson.
GAR Veterans Buried in Evergreen Cemetery: James Bell, Mr. Giddings, Judge Cole-
man, Robert Wixson, L. M. Graham, Mr. Lee, Dr. W. Porter, Jerry Runkle, Louis LaFon-
tisee, D. M. Kimble, B. C. Drake, Isaac Shutt, Charles Kline, L. C. Dennis, and Mr. Whit-
Spanish War Veterans: B. J. Hurt, Johnny LaFontisee, Ralph Dennis, J. F. Morgan,
John T. Trim, W. L. Duke, Judge A. V. Long, Col. I. E. Webster, Ralph Dennis, B. D.
Beasley, Walter Riggs, T. J. Price, Judge B. D. Heirs, and Ed Norris Beville.
Many distinguished Civil War veterans are among the mentioned number. A writer should
not attempt to mention one from the other. Naturally, J. J. Dickinson is much beloved by
Gainesville from 1865 to 1900. But read F. W. Buchholz's History of Alachua County, for an
account of the Gainesville battle. There you will read about the Bevilles, Lawrence Jackson,
and George Chamberlin, etc. Gen. J. J. Finley was a distinguished soldier and citizen. He
is the man, who later in 1872, defeated a Negro by the name of Josiah T. Walls for Congress
from this district. Gen. Finley is the great grandfather of E. Finley Cannon, Jr., prominent
(1964) business and insurance man, chosen the outstanding citizen of Gainesville in 1955 and is
the son of a distinguished father, Finley Cannon, deceased. Finley, Jr. has a son Matthew
F. W. Buchholz relates in his book the incidents of the Hayes-Tilden election for President
of the United States. He states that the outcome of the National election hinged on the vote from
Florida and the vote from Florida depended at the very last on the result of the vote of the ballot
box at Archer. The reader can find other stories of the ballot box after the close of the polls.
Mr. S. Y. Finley, first Mayor of Gainesville, was the son of Gen. J. J. Finley, and was
the grandfather of E. Finley Cannon, deceased, and great grandfather of the present E. Finley
Cannon, Jr., and great great grandfather of the present Matthew DePass Cannon. He was the
father of Julia Patton Walker and of Mrs. Lucia Patton Gibbs.
The Cannons came to Florida from Rehobeth and Seaford, Maine. Edmondson Everett
Cannon married a Finley. He is the grandfather of the present E. Finley Cannon. Olin Penn
Cannon, brother of Edmondson Everett Cannon is the father of Mrs. C. A. Pound and grand-
father of C. Addison (Buster) Pound, Jr.
--- -- ---------------------------------------------------- -- ----- ------ -- -- ----
Following is a copy from the Commissioner's Minutes, Alachua County, 1857:
State of Florida
County of Alachua
To H. H. Colson Esq. greetings, Sir, you are hereby appointed a Captain of Patrol. Your
patrol district will take in the plantation of W. C. Cunningham Esq., Dr. D. R. June, C.
Raines, the mill of Col. Ingram, Matthew Chesser, John E. Thompson, J. T. Myers, and
Edmund Rains. You will hold your commission for three months and do patrol duty at least
twice in every month. Given under my hand and seal this 18th day of July A. D. 1857.
Andrew Robb, J. P.
State of Florida
County of Alachua
To William Turner Esq. Greetings, you are hereby appointed a Captain of Patrol, your
patrol district will take in the town of Gainesville and the plantation in the immediate neighbor-
hood and you will do patrol duty at least twice in every month and hold your commission for
three months. Given under my hand and seal this 6th day of July A. D. 1857.
Andrew Robb, J. P.
ALACHUA COUNTY EIGHTY YEARS AGO
Carl Webber wrote the following description of Alachua County and Gainesville in 1883
ALACHUA COUNTY, ITS GENERAL ATTRACTIONS
A bird's-eye view from the top of the Arlington or the Varnum houses in Gainesville, the
county seat of Alachua County, presents a wonderfully rare and beautiful sight. Directly be-
neath the eyes is nestled the courthouse in the center of Courthouse Square, which is surround-
ed by the business houses of the city. Outside of this scene is a grand circle of tree tops stretch-
ing away at every point as far as the horizon. At this elevated position one feels as if standing
upon the inner edge of an immense wreath of evergreen, formed by cutting out the center, into
which had been planted a hive of industry, inside of which busy human bodies are moving from
point to point, hither and thither, across the Courthouse Square and through the streets, ap-
pearing and disappearing, like the changing scenes of a kaleidoscope. Over and above all this
the sky seemingly rests upon its apparent edge at the horizon, like an immense bowl turned up-
side down; the whole forming a charming picture, which, like a scene at sea, is grand in its
absence of variety.
Within this charming circle, of which Gainesville may well be termed the "Hub" as she is
of the State, rests Alachua County, sitting like a queen upon the southern brow of the hill por-
tion of the state, nearly 200 feet above the level of the sea, surrounded by her sister counties,
who bow reverently before her with due homage and respect, because of her richest of all God-
given gifts, healthfulness and productiveness.
Natural beauties, fertility of soil, perfect water sheds, regular underdrains, a light, dry
and invigorating air, the best of water, good society, a liberal, free-minded people, and the
highest educational advantages, all of which are conducive to the health of both mind and body,
are the chief characteristics of Alachua County. Here the Indians in the early days revelled
in his delights, and lived in the greatest health and strength and happiness. Spaniards, English-
men and Americans, for the past three centuries have selected this county as the Eden spot of
the South, and have found it at all times to be a natural sanatorium.
During the past decade the "orange fever" has attracted thousands of visitors to various
parts of Florida, the larger portion of them being distributed by force of transportation facil-
ities up the St. Johns River, and into the southern portion of the State, the great impetus being
occasioned by the seemingly fabulous tales of great wealth and sudden riches secured through
small expenditure by patient waiting for the growth of trees whose fruit look among their fol-
iage like lumps of solid gold which some erroneously imagine they represent the further
south they go.
During this vast influx of wealth, enterprise and new ideas, Alachua County, owing chiefly
to her many advantages not possessed by other counties, together with her capabilities to grow
oranges equally as well and as profitably as any county in the state, has had a steady, persis-
tant, and healthy growth, out-numbering all her sister counties, excepting Duval, of which the
city of Jacksonville is the county seat. This growth, added to Alachua's previous population,
ranks her next to Duval, the largest county in the state. Situated mid-way between the Atlantic
Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the wind currents from these opposite seas temper the heat of
the day in the most refreshing manner, even in mid-summer, while the nights are, without a
doubt, the most delightful in the world.
Many people at the North desire to know if it is safe to visit Florida at any other season
than winter. To the writer, the most enjoyable part of the year in Florida is the summer
months. Many of the northern people who have settled in Alachua County freely declare that
they prefer the summers here to the winters. The frequent cool breezes so temper the atmos-
phere through the day that there is seldom, during the hottest season, more than an hour or
two when the heat is severely felt, and even then it is not so intense or so oppressive as the
writer has experienced it in New York and Boston. The nights are so perfectly delightful, be-
ginning as soon as the sun goes down, that one can willingly submit to an hour or two of heat
in order to enjoy the remaining hours under such delightful atmospheric influences, and when
sleeping is a perfect feast to the soul. There is no particular time of day when the hottest
period may be predicted for a certainty. Sometimes the morning period may be quite warm
and a "scorcher" predicted, and, yet, in less than an hour, a cool, refreshing breeze may
spring up and the remainder of the day be most delightful. It is always cool in the shade, no
matter how insignificant that shade may be.
Many people, too, desire to know about the healthfulness of Florida, in the summer sea-
son. The writer believes the State of Florida, even in the summer, to be as healthy as any
state in the Union, and Alachua County is freely admitted to be the most healthy county in
the State. Portions of it, more especially in and about Gainesville, and the lake region, are
as healthy as any part of the United States. Fatal bilious fever is rare, except under great
exposure to the malaria of low hummock, rains, etc. Chills and fever are more frequent, but
are of the mildest and most easily managed types. Physicians all testify that diseases are less
stubborn and less liable to terminate in death than the kind of diseases in higher latitudes. For
a territory of about 1, 400 square miles, the death rate is exceedingly small. The pine lands of
Alachua County, which are universally healthy, are nearly everywhere studded at intervals of
a mile or two with rich hummock land varying in extent from twenty to forty thousand acres.
Residences only half a mile from cultivated hummocks in any part of Florida are notably free
from malarial diseases, while residences on even the high hummock lands in Alachua County
are generally found to be healthy.
The oldest settlements and the densest population of Alachua are found in the eastern half
of the county. This was a favorite part of the state with the Indians and also with the Spaniards
when they held possession of it. It includes the well known "Arredonda Grant" declared to be
the richest body of land in the entire state. Gainesville, Arredonda, Micanopy, Palmer, Fair-
banks, Yulee, Gruelle, and Tarver are located on the Arredonda Grant, while just outside of
it are Waldo, Newnansville, Archer, Hawthorne, Melrose, Campville, Magnesia Springs,
Saludia and Lockloosa. The lands all about this section, for natural fertility and durability,
are inferior to none in Florida. The railroads connect with all of the above places, and in
and about them large and small bodies of select lands are for sale by various companies and
by the Government at prices ranging from $1 to $100 an acre. Individual property in well-
selected locations and generally improved, is held at the highest value.
The other towns and settlements in the county not mentioned above are LaCrosse, Gordon,
Joella, Suwannee and Fort Harley. Lands about these places are not largely taken up. They
are excellent for both vegetable and orange culture.
The population of Alachua County at the late census (1880) was 18,697. During the past
two years in general with all parts of Florida there had been a healthy and steady increase.
The population at the present time (1883) cannot be far from 20, 000. This increase had been
of white people from the more northern states. The colored people have heretofore held the
majority in Alachua County, which fact is fast becoming a matter of the past, but it is of no par-
ticular advantage to either political party, as the colored people are daily becoming more intel-
ligent, and learning to think for themselves; they are fast assimilating with both parties. The
colored people prevail most largely in the county outside the towns and trading centers. For
the most part they are law-abiding, industrious and prosperous, some of them having acquired
great affluence, and no great social evils have grown out of their proportionate numbers.
The white people of Alachua represent every state in the Union from Maine to California,
and are in their moral intellectual status of the advanced classes from the old states. Intelli-
gence predominates in all the essential avenues of business and in the principal occupations of
life. The colored people have caught the spirit of advanced enlightenment and enterprise which
prevails, and show remarkable traits of character, keep their churches up and are good citi-
zens. There are to a slight degree distinct classes of society, the same as found elsewhere,
there is no ostracism of settlers from other places, as the county is now largely composed of
people who, within the past twenty years, have themselves settled here from other states. The
future growth and prosperity depends upon an increase of such settlers who bring, with new
ideas, a new spirit of improvement and increased wealth. All worthy newcomers are heartily
welcomed and will meet with well wishes on every hand. The only division of the people is
political, the same as elsewhere, but the same candid expression of thought and the same free-
dom of rational speech is allowable here as in New England.
Previous to the introduction of the free school system in 1868, the enjoyment of educational
privileges were vouchsafed only to the rich. There are now in the county nearly 75 public
schools with an average attendance of over 2,250. There are more than this number of white
children of school age in the county, and more than twice that number of colored children. That
there are many who do not accept the privilege is conclusive, but the system is in its infancy,
and there are numerous private schools which draw pupils largely from those who are able to
pay for private teachers. As the advantages secured throughout the public schools are more
generally realized, they will, as elsewhere, absorb the private schools, and will become the
pride of the whole body of the people. Experienced and skillful teachers are all that is wanted
to make them equal to those in any state. Separate schools for the white and colored children
are universally established. In no cases are the children of the white and colored races in at-
tendance at the same schools. The East Florida Seminary, a state institution, is located in
this county, at Gainesville, and is one of the most important factors in the educational interests
of Florida. It is more fully spoken of elsewhere in this work.
There are in Alachua County, like all places of mixed people, representatives of nearly
every sect in the Christian religion, and in the larger places a goodly sprinkling of Jews. The
churches, however, are principally Baptist, Episcopalians, Methodist, and Presbyterians, all
of which are well supported and presided over by able preachers.
The houses and the mode of living in the larger part of Florida appear strange and primi-
tive in nature to the minds of a newcomer whose days have been spent among the tinselled scenes
of metropolitan life in the North, and where the greatest enjoyment of the majority of the people
consists of walking brick pavements and admiring huge buildings which are owned by other people.
Florida life scenes and ways soon become familiar, and their simplicity is charming. Houses
built in the simplest manner are the most comfortable; scant furniture is a luxury and the plain-
est walls and floors are the most agreeable and inspiring. Stylish clothes are burdensome and
are largely ignored, while the mind and body seeks abandonment in ease and natural comforts.
The life of the great body of people in Florida is a sort of pioneer life, spent among Nature's
scenes in the most delightful climate upon the face of the earth.
The further one gets from the transportation connections with the great national marts,
the less likely are the conveniences and the invented comforts of business and social life to be
found. Necessity, however, is the mother of invention and necessity in Florida had caused the
invention of many conveniences and comforts of which the people further north are ignorant.
Her climate and her wonderful resources have rendered her in a measure capable of providing
for herself independent of the rest of the world. In the western part of Alachua County may be
found people as independent of the world, outside of their own neighborhood, as it is possible
for human beings to be. They raise their own food, make their own clothes, from products
raised by their own labor, and think, talk and act as they please in accordance with their own
well regulated social laws. Some of these people look with disfavor upon the building of new
railroads through their localities, because of the occasional killing of a hog that unfortunately
stops upon the track too long.
The principal lakes of Alachua County are all in the eastern and southeastern part. These
lakes form the larger portion of what is known among travelers as the lake region of Florida.
This region averages an altitude of about 150 feet above the level of the sea. So desirable and
attractive is this section of the country that its population has most wonderfully increased with-
in the past ten years. The lakes abound in fine fish and furnish admirable opportunities for
The celebrated Alachua Lake, sometimes termed Payne's Prairie, is the largest. It lies
nearly nine miles long by four miles wide, and lies directly south of Gainesville, about two
miles. Its borders are lined with some of the most extensive and most profitable vegetable
farms and orange groves in the whole state. The celebrated 1,000 acres, owned and cultivated
by the Hon. J. T. Wall, ex-U. S. Congressman and the richest and ablest colored man in the
state, are situated at the extreme eastern end of the lake.
The noted Orange Point grove, owned by H. F. Dutton and Co. and L. A. Barnes of Gaines-
ville, are situated further to the north. In this vicinity, at Rocky Point, Bevin's Arm, and at
the Sink, numerous other Gainesville citizens own extensive and valuable possessions in the
shape of vegetable farms, orange groves or fine virgin hummock lands. Among the owners
might be named L. A. Barnes, L. K. Rawlins, P. F. Wilson, Phillip Miller, H. C. Denton,
J. A. Carlisle, W. C. Mowry, M. Fitch Miller, G. W. Holden, J. H. Roper, Dr. J. D. Crom-
well, Crawford Brothers, J. Simonson, P. H. Young, Edward Howell, W. H. Bracy, Roth
Reynolds, G. D. Younglove and Son, O. D. Morris, J. D. Avera, J. E. Dodd, W. C. Sunder-
land, W. S. Land, W. A. and C. A. Colclough, Mrs. J. C. Veeder, Lawrence Jackson, Dr.
P. G. Snowden, P. M. Oliver, T. O. Shackelford, J. B. Mixson, Geo. H. Rich, T. B. and R.
Stringfellow, and others. Fish are exceedingly plentiful in Alachua Lake. Trout are caught
weighing 25 pounds, black bass weighing 15 pounds, while among the other species are the
silverfish, the brim fish, warmouth, catfish, jack fish, and hickory shad.
Eighty years ago what is now known as Alachua Lake was a large and beautiful prairie
known as Payne's Prairie. It took its name from King Payne, an old Seminole chief of the early
days. This prairie was the great grazing ground for the Indians' cattle, and in later years was
devoted to a like purpose and for tillage by the whites. In those days thousands of cattle and
sheep could be seen at any time enjoying the richness which mother earth here supplies. The
overflow of Newnan's Lake, which lies to the north of it, formed a stream which wended its
way through the prairie and emptied itself into one of the largest of those characteristic cur-
iosities here about, which has been described as a sink. Thence the waters found its way into
some subterraneous passage whose mystery had not as yet been solved.
A few years ago this sink became clogged and the waters were forced to remain upon the
surface. It overflowed the prairie, covering roads, cultivated fields, grazing grounds and home-
steads, creating an additional lake in the county, which is now one of its natural curiosities.
The locality where the waters became clogged is still known as the Sink, and it is one of the
most romantic picnic grounds and pleasure resorts in the state, situated about four miles south
of Gainesville, on the line of the Florida Southern Railroad. About this prairie and among the
lakes in this region was the Indians' favorite hunting and fishing grounds. On either side, about
equi-distance from the prairie, at what are now known as Micanopy and Newnansville, was an
Indian settlement. The site of the home of old King Payne is' situated at the fork of two roads
leading to Micanopy, about a mile and a quarter east from Wauburg Lake. Here, too, old
Micanopy, an old noted Indian chief, and the noble young half-breed chief, Osceola (Powell),
revelled in their palmy days in all their native pride and glory.
The sink at Payne's Prairie was called by the Indians "Alachua" meaning a "big jug" into
which the waters continually flowed without filling it. Hence the name of the county. Alachua,
by the Indians, was pronounced Ala-cue-ah, a much softer pronunciation than the present
Soon after the flooding of Payne's Prairie, an effort was made to drain it by a canal, which
was projected, leading from the prairie creek south of Newnan's Lake into the northern portion
of Orange Lake, six miles further south. The legislature of the state, however, passed an act
making the waters of Alachua Lake navigable and the canal project was abandoned. A line of
steamers, for freight purposes principally, now navigate these waters, owned and operated by
the Alachua Steam Navigation and Canal Company. This company is preparing to build wharves
and warehouses at eligible points around the lake. They connect with the Transit Railroad at
- ; wr~L~r
2 ~%*- -
,y .. .. .
,S: ^ -
Reading Left to Right: Chris Matheson Store, Dr. James F. McKinstry office, Post Office, Vidal Drug Store.
This picture was made prior to 1884 (copy of picture in the office of W. B. Watson, Attorney). Vidal Drug
store was on the corner of the present Wilson Co. (corner University Avenue and N. E. 1st Street). The
Vidal family is one of Gainesville's old, and well established families.
- 'W .
Bevin's Arm and with the Florida Southern Railroad at the Sink. A canal which they have built
connects with Wauberg lake, a small body of water south of the southeastern corner, which is
surrounded by numerous very large ponds. This company have had a small steam yacht, the
"Geo. W. Harris, the steamer "Chacala, and two barges at work during the past vegetable
season, and have just completed a new steamer, sixty-six feet long and supplied with engines,
which will be ready for the coming orange season. The acreages of both vegetables and oranges
about these lakes is fast increasing, by reason of transportation facilities afforded by this
company, the officers of which are, Andrew Howard, Pittsburgh, Pa. President; W. D.
Phillips, M.D., Vice-President; J. T. McMillan, Treasurer; B.F. Jordan, Secretary- the
last three gentlemen of Gainesville. It is designed by this company to clear the passage con-
necting Newnan's and Alachua lakes, which can be done at a small expense, when they will be
able to navigate both lakes, making a complete course of nearly fifteen miles. In the opinion
of the writer the time is not far distant when a four-mile canal will be constructed to Orange
lake, thus furnishing a fine excursion route from Newnan's lake and from the Sink to the St.
John's river. The boats would likewise serve as feeders of vegetables and fruit freight to the
various railroads along the line. Gainesville, thus be growth towards the lake would have a
water front communicating with the St. John's river.
Quite a settlement of northern people is located about the border of the pretty Wauberg
lake, and a number of Gainesville people own good tracts of land there. Among them are W. C.
Miller (the Leitner place), R. M. Witt, and the officers of the Navigation Company.
In 1883 there were more than three thousand listed names as property owners in Alachua
County, however, many names were double listed because the owner had property in different
parcels. Fifteen hundred ninety one (1591) tax receipts were issued. The owners of several
parcels of land were listed as "unknown". There were sixteen hundred-seventy six "males"
listed as living on the taxed properties. Fifty cents was collected from each male for the
County, and fifty cents for the State.
Owners of property in access of ten thousand acres were as follows:
John McRae 10,007 taxes $132.60
Peninsula Railroad 13,924 taxes $260. 38
Fla. Land & Colonization Co. 19, 014 taxes $250.80
G. R. Fairbanks 24,943 taxes $626.04
Sir Edwin James Reed 29,440 taxes $ 88.32
Fla. Land & Immigration Co. 31, 343 taxes $581. 96
The author can determine no reason for the difference in the amounts of taxes paid by
the two land owners, G. R. Fairbanks and Sir Edwin James Reed.
Four tax payers owned from four thousand to ten thousand acres. Thirty six (36) property
owners paid taxes on from one thousand (1000) to three thousand acres.
There were about a dozen substantial farmers owning from 750 to a thousand acres of
Managers or agents were listed for several of the properties and it is noted that many
of the large acreage holdings listed none in cultivation. In fact most of the land listed as
"improved" was in parcels of two hundred to four hundred acres. Many large property owners
listed no 'stock' or improvements.
Sonmei of the names of the larger property owners whose farms were well known and whose
families carry on eighty years later are:
The Dells, the Hagues, the Hailes, P. G. Ramsey, J. M. SDarkman, and the family of
A. T. Zetrouer. J. B. Bailey, S. J. Burnett, J. B. Brown, (Mayor in 1888) J. J. Barr,
Mr. Bauknight, the Bevilles, R. J. Camp, Mr. Colclough, J. S. Dupuis, Wm. Edwards, Eli
Futch and J. E., The Feasters, J. H. Goss, W. L. Jackson, McCollum Phifer, E. M. Powell,
John W. Phifer, A. A. Robertson, J. T. Thomas, J. A. Williams, I. E. Webster, R. M.
Witt, H. E. Whitney, A. W. Wilson, J. Whistler, J. T. Waters. A. Stanford White and G. D.
Younglove were listed as having substantial farms with cultivated acreage. The Chesnuts were
large tax payers. There were six Zetrouer land owners.
There were a great many other substantial farmers. It is noted that many times a person
known to be a prominent citizen of that date did not own so much acreage, grazing land being
unfenced, however, the owner listed hundreds of head of cattle. The author notes, too, and it
is probably carried on to this date, that the tax payer seemed to never know 'just how many
cows' he owned. He "turned in" "about forty" or "about sixty". It is likely that Tax Assessors
As a matter of record there was turned in for 'tax purposes' only 2,006, horses in the
County, 15, 983 cows and 2,058 sheep. Total taxes collected in Alachua County in 1883 -
$37,297. 10. Of that amount $16,002. 05 went to the state, $9, 126. 87 went for schools.
There was a 'Special Tax' of $18, 253. 74 collected.
Payne's Prairie is a Natural Wonder
by Elizabeth Austin
(Associate in Exhibits, Florida State Museum)
Going South from Gainesville on Route 441 the highway follows a height of land as it
leaves the city limits and outlying community. It curves slightly and from a slight rise
gives a motorist a view, from horizon to horizon on either side, of a vast wet savanna.
This is Paynes Prairie.
Unfortunately, most drivers see only a two-mile stretch of arrowstraight double-
barrelled speedway before them and, unaware that they are crossing a natural and historical
landmark, accelerate and flash past. They cross in two minutes a place that enchants many
a naturalist for days, weeks and months. Where the road dips to the prairie at the edge of
the highway is the sign shown above.
"PAYNES PRAIRIE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
ALL WILDLIFE PROTECTED"
If the sign would read: See Wild Animals! Large collection of Birds! Rare Round-tailed
Muskrat! American Lotus and other Water Plants! Out-of season Rates!, cars might be
lined up three deep along the causeway.
These vast pond-dotted wet meadows are as much a natural wonder as Florida's fabulous
springs and the Everglades. Paynes Prairie's history is involved with every phase of the
history of man in Florida. On its fertile bluffs Tinucuan Indians had their villages and their
fields of corn and squash. Here the Seminoles that replaced them settled and grazed their
cattle and the horses thay raised from those the Spanish brought.
Along the border of Paynes Prairie ran the old Spanish highway across the Florida
peninsula, linking St. Augustine on the east coast to Fort San Marcos de Apalache on the Gulf.
On the western rim at Wacohoota was the Mission of Francisco de Potono to the Indians estab-
lished in the first decade of the 17th century by Spanish Jesuit priests. Paynes Prairie was
part of the fabulous 290, 000-acre Arredondo grant and near it to the South was the first white
settlement inthe area, Micanopy, settled in 1817.
Paynes Prairie rests on a limestone substructure and many times during the past three
centuries its underground drainage has become plugged up so that the prairie became a lake.
After some years the plug usually gave way, the water dropped out, and the prairie returned.
In the 1770s it was a prairie, by 1823 it was Alachua Lake which vanished that year. After
a time it again became Alachua Lake and vanished in 1870. It was once more Alachua Lake
in the 1880s and in 1892 the water drained into the underground so suddenly that a small cargo
steamer was marooned as the prairie was revealed again. A picture of Alachua Lake taken in
1886 can be seen in Frank M. Chapman's book "Autobiography of a Bird Lover. Water is now
regulated on the prairie by devices that keep it at a level of a few inches and assures the
pasture for the Camp Ranch cattle.
The first description of Paynes Prairie in English, written by William Bartram in 1773,
is accurate today. He said, "the extensive Alachua savanna is a level green plain, above
fifteen miles over, fifty miles in circumference and scarcely a tree or bush of any kind to be
seen on it. It is encircled with high sloping hills . At the same time are seen innumerable
droves of cattle. "
Newnan's lake, five miles east of Gainesville, and between Santa Fe and Alachua lakes,
is one of the prettiest bodies of water in the state. It is destined in a few years to be a most
popular water resort, to which horse-cars will be run from the Gainesville hotels, and from
the Hygienic hotel and sanatoriums of New Gainesville. Newnan's lake is about six miles
long by two-and-a-half miles wide, has a good, sandy beach, and is surrounded with delight-
ful hummock land and groves. Between and about these lakes, already described, are situ-
ated innumerable small lakes and ponds, among which northern, western and foreign emigrants
Alachua County Courthouse constructed in 1884. (Note fence)
Picture was taken about 1915. Building was demolished in 1960
to make room for present Courthouse.
love to settle.
All of the lakes of Alachua county are of very attractive appearance, and about all of them
are growing large orange groves, while thousands of trees continue to be set out yearly, and
vegetable farms flourish most wonderfully.
The following are among the many fruits and vegetables that are successfully cultivated
and grown in the Eden of the South; oranges, pomegranates, grapefruit, bananas, lemons,
peaches, apples (rare), Le Conte pears, figs, grapes, guava, blueberries, blackberries,
huckleberries, strawberries, rice, arrowroot, cassava, coontie and other starch plants,
Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, tanyas, cucumbers, eggplant, cabbages, onions, pumpkins,
squashes, turnips, okras, tomatoes, cushaws, melons, radishes, parsnips, peppers, cotton,
tobacco, sugar cane, field peas, gubers, chufas, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, grasses of
various kinds for hay, millets, beggar-louse weed (a substitute for clover which will not
grow here), oats, rye and Indian corn. At the Atlanta Exposition in 1881 Florida took the
first premium for upland rice, the greater part of which was raised in Alachua county.
The following is taken from Carl Webber's Eden of the South, written in 1883:
Gainesville is the largest and most important city in the state, excepting Jacksonville,
Pensacola and Key West. Jacksonville is the largest of them all, but situated just over the
Georgia line, is only recognized as a distributing point and a shipping port on the St. John's
river. The many new railroads fast being constructed down the peninsula from more west-
ern points will soon take from her a large amount of the travel heretofore compelled to go
that way. These new railroads will all touch or connect with Gainesville, which must eventu-
ally become the railroad center of the state.
Pensacola, by its extreme western location, is more like a portion of Alabama than of
Florida, while Key West, an island at the extremity of a long reef of keys in the extreme
eastern part of the state, is almost like a foreign port. Gainesville, therefore, by its pecu-
liar central position on the great peninsula, is destined to become, by actual necessity and
convenience, the most important city in the state. By reason of this gradually admitted fact,
and the means of communication, Gainesville must ere long be made the capital of the state.
It can today, be reached quicker and at less expense from all parts of the state, than any
other city in Florida.
It is now the county seat of Alachua, and the trading center of the most populous and
productive scope of county, enclosed within townships six to twelve and ranges sixteen to
twenty-three S. and E. Its population is about 4, 000 which is rapidly increasing, more so
at the present time than ever before in its history. The city covers an area of one mile square,
with a new addition know as East Gainesville, while the new town of New Gainesville, closely
connecting, with its Hygienic Hotel, cottage sanatoriums, and fine business and building lots,
will rapidly increase the power, importance and influence of the place, The U. S. Land Office
and the East Florida Seminary, and the Military Academy, are already located here, and it
is likewise proposed to locate the State Agricultural College in the center of this great agri-
The experience of the early settlers at Gainesville were fraught with great danger from
the Indians, as the whites from Georgia had long been in that habit of entering this section
over the Alachua trail and running off the Indians' cattle which grazed principally on the
great Payne's Prairie. "Bob" Higginbottom was the first settler here. He came when a young
man about the year 1825. His log cabin stood on land now owned by Mrs. Beville, on West
Main Street. Here the Indians frequently attempted to burn his cabin, but "Bob" was ever on
the alert for them, and their efforts were in vain. "Oak Hall" was the first house of importance
built in Gainesville. It still stands facing East Main Street, and is occupied by the U. S. Land
Office. It is a large and imposing structure, surrounded by mammoth water-oaks, and must
have been, when new, very handsome. It was the residence of Tillman Ingram, who carried
on an extensive plantation at Hog Creek, northwest of the town.
Gainesville, is the largest cotton-shipping station in the state; the firm of H. F. Dutton
and Company alone handle one-fourth of all the cotton raised in the state, for which they pay
out to the growers annually over $600, 00. Cotton from this farm has the reputation of the
very best in the market, the Willimantic (Conn.) Thread Co. being supplied exclusively by
them, also other well-known leading establishments. The machinery used in its preparation
for the market comprises inventions used nowhere else. The cotton ginneries of H. F. Dutton
and Co. are the first great attraction which meet the eyes of the traveler as he approaches
the city on the Transit Railroad from Cedar Keys. They consist of a number of large, sub-
stantial-looking buildings situated near the depot. The iron foundry of J. Doig, one of the
institutions of the city, is also situated near the depot. The mercantile business of the city
is centered on four sides of a public square, in the center of which stands the county court
house a gloomy looking building, no great credit to the town, but one in which the records
have been kept and justice meted out for thirty years or more.
Diverging from this square, the town is regularly laid out with broad, well-shaded streets,
running north, south, east and west. The town is built upon a slight elevation, on what is known
as a black-jack (dwarf red-oak) ridge. These ridges are well known to be healthy, and the
water pure. On these accounts they are sought as favorable locations for settlement. Gaines-
ville is sufficiently removed from the surrounding rich hummock lands to assure good drain-
age and water, and it is especially recommended by physicians as the most healthful city in
Florida. Between the two ridges on which are situated Gainesville and East Gainesville, is
an excellent branch of water, known as Sweet-Water branch. This will doubtless be utilized
some day as a natural sewerage or for a water supply.
The buildings in Gainesville are principally wooden structures, as they are all over the
South, except in metropolitan cities. Hon. L. G. Dennis has a very noticeable two-story
brick business block, nicely ornamented, substantial looking, and a credit alike to the enter-
prise of the owner and of the city. The Council Chamber of the City Government is located in
it, where the Mayor's court is also held. It is also occupied by stores and offices, the very
prettily furnished office of Capt. Dennis being situated in the northeast corner.
After the burning of the old East Florida Seminary building early in the year 1883, the
school occupied the upper portion of the Dennis Block, awaiting the building of the new Semin-
ary. The public square served the purpose of parade ground for the military department, at
the four corners of which the bugle calls were sounded each day, giving the city a slight
appearance of being under military discipline and rule. The new Seminary Building, situated
on East Main Street, is a fine building of brick, built at a cost of about $13, 000, a large
portion of the money having been appropriated by the city, which was bonded for $12,000 for
that purpose. Mr. L. A. Barnes has also a fine brick business block in the heart of the city,
occupied by stores and offices.
The County Jail is the only other brick structure in the city, although the front of the
Varnum House above the first story is built of that material. The jail occupies a secluded
spot just east of the center of the town. It is two stories in height, of an imposing appearance,
ornamented with a cupola, and is, interiorly, a well arranged and comfortable affair. This
fact, of course, is an assuring one; for while it is not desired that new-comers to Alachua
shall be of the class that court the hospitalities of such an institution, yet it is well for all to
know that, should they by any unforseen circumstance be unjustly forced to occupy this one
for a brief period, they will be cared for in a comfortable and humane manner. Hill's Block,
with its annex, the post-office building, is the most conspicuous wooden structure for business
purposes. It contains a large hall in the upper story together with business offices, with a
grocery on the ground floor. Roper's Hall is the principal amusement resort in the city. It
has a seating capacity for about 500, has a good stage, a drop-curtain, and a small amount
The most conspicuous building in the city is the County Courthouse, previously spoken
of. In exterior appearance it is not worthy of its prominence; but a new structure, to be of
brick, with fireproof vaults and other conveniences, has been recommended and strongly
urged, and active measures are on foot by the Board of County Commissioners for its erect-
ion at no far distant day. It is already suggested by leading minds that it occupy a new posit-
ion east of the center of the city, thus leaving in the center a handsome public square, which
might be easily beautified and provided with seats and fountains.
The hotels in Gainesville, are the Arlington, Varnum, Gainesville, Beville, Magnolia,
and American. They are mostly small, and in spite of their number are not adequate to the
great demands of the place. The Arlington is the largest, and is a fine and well-kept house,
with pleasant rooms and a table supplied with the best that the Northern and Southern markets
afford. It is one of the best hotels in the state, where polite attention is the rule, not the
exception, and with capacity for about 200 guests. Many of the rooms open directly out on the
broad piazzas overlooking the public square. Here enjoyable hours may be spent; or if too
cool in the winter season, the large well-warmed parlors, billiard-halls, or reading rooms
Arch Jackson and Thomas Edwin McDonald at the completion of a cattle drive from Oldtown to
Gainesville in 1893. The cattle were held in a pen south of Rutherfords (1965) at about No.
10 S. W. 1st Street.
offer attractions among refined and agreeable company. Many visitors to the city seek rooms
at boarding-houses, and take their meals at the restaurant of Roth Reynolds, on the corner of
East Main Street and Alachua Avenue, which, though not aspiring to hotel fame, does a large
and increasing business the year round.
There are many very handsome residences in all parts of the town of various styles of
architecture, the larger portion of them being surrounded by fine orange groves and gardens
in which temperate, tropical, and semi-tropical fruits, plants, and flowers grow side by
side. The handsomest residence is that of Col. H. F. Dutton, of the cotton-buying and banking
firm of H. F. Dutton and Co. It is situated on Liberty Street, and has a most beautiful
garden with lawns and walks about it, and fountains playing from an artesian well, in the
digging of which gold was discovered in goodly quantity at about 190 feet below the surface.
Among the other fine residences in town are those of:
Judge Gillis Mrs. Singer
Judge T. F. King Mrs. R. Scarratt
J. B. Brown L. A. Barnes
Geo. W. Sparkman H. C. Denton
Mrs. B. H. Thrasher J. A. Carlisle
W. K. Cessna Wm. Austin
L. L. Hill W. W. Scott
Mrs. Z. B. Dawkins J. C. Eastman
Hon. J. B. Dell James Doig
C. F. C. Sanchez Andrew Howard
J. H. Goss Keeler Bros.
Mrs. P. Brown R. C. McClellan
M. Endell Mrs. W. J. McCormick
T. Foster J. R. Post
Mrs. Saml. Burnett Dr. Guten
The principal streets of the city are East and West Main Streets, running east and west,
and Union and Liberty Streets, running north and south. These intercept each other in the
center of the city, forming the public square before alluded to. Around this square are
clustered the business places of the merchant kings of Alachua, from the doors of either one
of which may be seen at a glance the proceedings in the entire square, excepting such portion
as may be hidden by the great central object, The court house. This is the great trading mart
of the county, and upon each Saturday this square is filled with the people from the surrounding
country who come here to sell their products and to lay in their supplies for the following week.
To strangers from the North this is a new and curious sight. Homemade vehicles of every
description propelled by mules; lone cows harnessed with ropes into rudely-constructed
shafts of primitive-looking go-carts, and driven, maybe, by a buxom looking country girl in
holiday attire and the ornamental accompaniments, designed, no doubt, to enrapture the heart
of some susceptible one of the opposite sex. Oxen, loaded with heavy yokes, behind which, in a
heavily-wheeled oak cart, among boxes, barrels, bags, and numerous unmentionable articles,
may be seen protruding the head and shoulders of a grim-visaged mammy or grand-mammy
and a half-dozen pickaninnies of every age, size and complexion. Long, vegetable teams,
drawn by four or six mules, upon one of which is seated a native Floridan, flourishing his
long-lashed, short-handled whip in his peculiarly dexterous manner. Long-legged, aged
countrymen in white pants, frock-coat and tall hat, astride of some cadaverous looking donkey,
loaded additionally with baskets and bags well filled with rich products hanging each side of
the saddle, the whole looking, at first sight, as if the man was endeavoring to steady the
donkey and his burden with his feet, which nearly touch the ground. Then women and children
of every age, size and complexion, from the blackest black to the whitest white, from miles
around, enjoying this their weekly gala day, talking politics and religion on the corners or in
groups in the streets, lounging around upon the curb-stones, and dining at the improvised
Saturday eating places, here and there located upon the top of some dry-goods box, and attended
by the proprietors arrayed the snow-white aprons.
These and many other sights greet the eyes upon the streets about the square on Saturday,
and ar-e richly enjoyed by visitors who are unused to them. Such quaint-looking sights, however,
are fast dying away, by the advent of a new class of people with new ideas and higher ambitions.
Engendered by the increased wealth of the natives and their neighbors, and freely scattered
among the above described ancient-looking turnouts may be seen the finest styles of northern
carriages, drawn by dapper looking spans, or buggies with sleet, well-bred horses, accomp-
anied by prosperous orange and vegetable growers, with fashionable-dressed members of
their own family or friends; also gentlemen and ladies in riding habits, seated upon excellent
saddle-horses, radiant with pleasure recently enjoyed in cantering over the hummock roads
from their happy southern homes to the city. Here around the square may be found the post-
office, the bank, the business offices, and the stores of the enterprising dealers in all kinds
of goods; also, as elsewhere where money is freely dispensed,the incommensurable estab-
lishments which exemplify the biblical declaration that "wine is a mocker and strong drink
is raging. To the credit of the propietors they are well kept and orderly, and minors are
not admitted. By the newly-established laws of the state, liquor saloons are placed under
the most rigid surveillance, whilst the excellent local government and the spirit of morality
which pervades the civil and social atmosphere tends to warrant a continuance of peace and
quietness even though they should fall into evil hands.
Gainesville boasts in mechanical operations of the cotton gins of H. F. Dutton and Co.,
the iron and brass foundry of J. Doig and Co. the planing-mills of B. C. Drake, the printing
offices of the Bee and the Advocate, with carpenters, masons, etc., and the house and sign-
painting establishment of the Keeler Brothers. Another planing establishment is to be erected
east of the town, also a fruit-canning establishment and a vegetable-crate manufactory, while
there is room for many more such enterprises, as well as for a paper mill, an ice manufac-
tory, a furniture establishment, machine shops, cotton mills, etc., all of which would find
remunerative business under most favorable circumstances. Among the leading business
people of the city are:
H. F. Dutton, H. F. Dutton and Co.
Walter Robinson, H. F. Dutton and Co.
James Doig, founder
B. C. Drake, mill owner
L. G. Dennis, lumber merchant
Leonard Wallis, lumber merchant
Philip Miller, grocer
Mr. Rawlins, real estate agent
Mr. Wilson, real estate agent
T. Foster, grocer
J. C. Ryder, proprietor, Arlington House
General Varnum, Varnum House
McClellan, furniture and hardware
Ellis, furniture and hardware
P. M. Oliver, proprietor, Oliver House
J. B. Dell, stable-keeper
J. C. Eastman, stationer and periodicals
Siegler, grocer and dry-goods dealer
Phiefer, grocer and dry-goods dealer
C. B. Dodd, tinware and housefurnishings
Dr. A. J. Vidal, druggist
Mr. and Mrs. F. X. Miller, dry and fancy
W. N. Wilson, confectioner
Crawford, meat and provisions
Jackson, meat and provisions
C. A. Sheldon, grocer
Hampton, insurance agent
Jordan, insurance agent
Endel, clothing dealer
Herman, clothing dealer
Roth Reynolds, caterer
Dr. McKinstry, physician
Dr. Phillips, physician
Miss Maggie Teabeau, teacher
B. Klein, grocer and dry goods
Halliday, real estate agent
Rush, real estate agent
Robb, Alachua Florida Improvement Co.
C. L. Fildes, journalist
Henry Varnum, journalist
J. C. McCreary, journalist
J. R. Post, jeweler
Matheson, real estate agent
McMillan, real estate agent
Stephen Ross, shoemaker
Keeler Bros., painters
G. K. Broome, general merchandise
goods Chestnut, grocer
P. Martinez, cigar-maker
T. Droomgool, cigar dealer
Mrs. Roth Reynolds, underware and patterns
M. Endel, dry-goods dealer
R. E. Shivery, tailor
J. O. Cromwell, dentist
E. C. McMahon, brick mason
P. H. Young, architect and conveyancer
Among the most influential of the legal and public men of Gainesville are:
Hon. T. F. King, Judge of the Circuit Court
Hon. J. C. Gardner, Judge of the County Court
Hon. J. B. Dell, of the State Senate
Hon. L. G. Dennis, member of the State Assembly
Hon. B. Rush, member of the State Assembly
Hon. M. M. Lewey, Member of the State Assembly
L. A. Barnes, Register, U. S. Land Office
Hon. Samuel Burnett, Mayor of the city
H. F. Dutton, President of the City Council
Prof. E. P. Cater, President of the East Florida Seminary
Hon. J. H. Roper, President of the Seminary Board of Education
J. A. Carlisle, Clerk of the Circuit Court
Judge W. W. McCall, the leading criminal lawyer in the state
Samuel Winges, Assessor
H. C. Denton, Collector
H. F. Day, Agent of the Florida Transit R. R., and Chairman of the
Board of Health
Reverend F. Pasco
Reverend W. H. Waugh
Reverend E. Ferguson
"These and many others whom the writer would mention with pleasure, did space permit,
are among the leading citizens of Gainesville. They all have the interest of Alachua County
at heart, and letters addressed to any one of them would doubtless receive in response a
hearty endorsement of the many facts mentioned in this book, and would lend valuable addition-
al aid and information to encourage those seeking homes in Florida. The larger portion of the
people mentioned above own orange groves or vegetable farms in various parts of the county.
This city can boast of as skillful physicians, as able lawyers, and as conscientious, God-
serving clergymen as any in the South, while the educational institutions in its midst furnish
a goodly sprinkling of professors in the various branches of learning, and have created a
community well disposed and ambitious for the highest attainments; likewise attracting a
class of new people who delight in ethical advancement.
"In educational facilities no other city in the state stands so high. There is the East
Florida Seminary (elsewhere spoken of), Eastman's Chateau-briant, Miss Tebeau's School,
Miss Johnson's School, the public Schools for white children, andthe Union Academy for
The Chateau-briant is the private enterprise of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Eastman, the latter
having been a prominent teacher in the city for several years. A very handsome building has
been erected on Gordon Street, 42 x 47 feet, with a piazza at the south, west and north sides..
The interior is arranged in every way for convenience as a Ladies' Boarding-school. The
rooms on the first floor are a parlor and a classroom, which can be used as one for enter-
tainment, examinations, etc., with two similar rooms across a wide hallway, the largest for
the study-room of the older scholars, the other for the Kindergarten department. On the
second and third floors each, are eight dormitories for the young lady students, all of which
have means of heating either by fireplace or stove, and a room for the resident lady teachers.
The house is built and furnished in the finest manner, and the institution is a creditable one
to both the city and the state.
Miss Tebeau's school is likewise a private school, where boarding or day pupils are
received in the primary, intermediate and collegiate branches of an English course of edu-
cation, with music included. Miss Tebeau is a successful teacher, enterprising and thorough.
The Union Academy, the leading school for colored children is situated in the northern
part of the city. It was established at the close of the war by the Freedmen's Bureau, the
land upon which the building stands (one acre) having been purchased with money contributed
by the colored people. It will accommodate 300 pupils, and is supplied with five teachers.
Through the efforts of Hon. Matthew M. Lewey, member of the Legislature, for this county,
a normal department was established, and is supported by an annual appropriation of $3, 000
from the state. In the county there are thirty or forty other schools for the colored children
exclusively, supported by the state, and principally taught by colored teachers. These schools
manifest great progress, and are forerunners of great good. The colored population in the
city, are, for the most part, of the advanced intelligent order. They are good citizens, indust-
rious, orderly, and self-supporting. Among their number are able lawyers, teachers, mer-
chants, tailors, boot and shoe-makers, bakers and cigar-makers. All but the first three
have a monopoly of their respective trades.
The interests of public education are in charge of a Superintendent, and a Board of
Public Instruction. The Superintendent, Prof. Sheats, is located at Gainesville.
There are four churches in Gainesville, at whose shrine the whites worship. They are Bap-
tist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal. The present Presbyterian church was erected on
the first of December, 1859, $1,200 having been raised in Florida and South Carolina for the
purpose. It was dedicated the following year, and for a year or two was the only church-build-
ing in town. The civil was paralyzed the mission enterprise, which was not revived until the fall
of 1864. No Presbyterian Church had been organized here until March, 1867, when thirteen
persons were enrolled with two elders, Dr. W. S. Dudley and Mr. Joseph Spencer. Since then,
the ruling elders have been Messrs. J. B. Brown, J. D. Matheson, W. Wilson; the brothers,
Lackey, Wm. Bryant, E. P. Cater, J. C. Eastman, C. A. Sheldon and Dr. J. A. Vidal. Dr.
Vidal, Prof. Cater, Captain Sheldon, and Messrs. Eastman and Matheson now constitute the
Court of Christ. The Rev. W. J. McCormick, who had long been doing missionary work in the
state, was regularly chosen as pastor in the spring of 1869, and filled the office until his death
in July, 1883. Services are held regularly on Sunday morning and evening with Sabbath-school
in the afternoon. At the last meeting of the Presbytery of Florida, this school was called the
banner school. The superintendents are Messrs. Matheson and Cater. The singing at this
church is the finest in the city, the choir consisting of Messrs. Fitch Miller, Orvill Bailey,
Misses Bessie and Sophie McCormick, Miss Tadje Bailey and Mrs. McCormick, led by Mrs.
French, teacher of music at the East Florida Siminary, and accompanied by a fine Estey organ.
Repairs upon the church are contemplated, also the building of a parsonage.
The Methodist Society was organized in 1854. Services were held in the court-house.
The present church building was built in 1875, the previous building, built in 1859, having
been so badly damaged during the war, by the U. S. Government as to render it unfit for
further use. The church lot was donated to the church by the County Commissioners in
1857. The following is the list of pastors: Reverends J. K. Glover, J. J. Seally, J. C. Ley,
J. M. Bridges, Wm. Davis, O. A. Myers, J. G. Worley, J. O. A. Sparks, E. Crum, A. A.
Robinson, S. Gardner, R. H. Burnett, O. Eady, H. F. Phillips, S. B. Smitteel, A. F.
McCook, J. B. Johnston, J. P. DePass, and the present, F. Pasco. At the present time
the membership of the church is 85.
The First Baptist Church was organized in 1874. The present church-building was
erected in 1875, through the efforts of Mrs. T. C. Ellis and Mrs. Judge Dawkins, on a
lot purchased with money obtained by the sale of a lot adjacent to the M. E. church lot,
which had been presented to the society by Dr. R. Y. H. Thomkies and the present pastor,
Rev. C. V. Waugh. The latter was called to take charge of the church in December, 1876,
when the membership is 7!), and has been 96, which number has been reduced by removal
and death. J. H. Avera and Robert McClellan are the deacons, the latter being also Superin-
tendent of the Sabbath-school, T. B. Ellis is secretary of the society. In addition to the
regular Sunday services, prayer-meetings are held every Thursday night. Connected with
this church, are the Ladies' Benevolent Association, the Ladies' Mission Society and the
Children's "Lottie Moon" Mission Society.
There are four churches at which the colored people worship, two Baptist, one Metho-
dist, and one African Methodist Episcopal. The-preachers are in their order of churches,
The Reverends E. Ferguson, S. Gray, Aug. Waters and R. E. Shivery. Churches of the
colored people are scattered all over the county, averaging, at least, three to a precinct.
Among the other societies and organizations in the city, are the Free Masons, the
Knights of Honor, the Cemetery Society, the Gainesville Guards, the Eureka Fire Associ-
ation and the Little Giant Fire Company. The Guards number about 30 members, and are
commanded by E. P. Cater, captain, with J. A. Carlisle as first lieutenant. Their uniform
consists of a red coat, blue pants, and a helmet. The Eureka Fire Association consists at
present of about 50 members, with Matthew M. Lewey, president; N. M. Clinton, vice-
president; J. Z. Feltner, clerk; and Irwin Haynes, treasurer. The Little Giant Fire Company
is made up of the active members of the Fire Association, with J. A. Parker, captain; Walter
Desverney, lieutenant; Jas. Roberts, foreman; Jas. McClellan, assistant-foreman, and
other efficient officers. The Little Giant Fire Engine is a very pretty hand-machine. It was
presented to the above organization by the Hon. L. G. Dennis, of Gainesville.
A horse railroad company has been organized under the title of the Gainesville Street
Railway Company, with J. W. Ashby, president; R. L. Robb, general manager; and L. G.
Dennis as secretary. It will be one of the most valuable acquisitions to the city when in full
operation, and when the line is fully completed will furnish winter visitors with fine trips to
both Alachua and Newnan's lakes.
There are numerous orange groves in the very heart of the city of Gainesville, Mr.
F. X. Miller, one of the most enterprising business men, has the largest. Near his resi-
dence on Union Street, he has a small bearing grove of fine nine-year old trees, and beyond
it a three-acre grove just coming into bearing. Next to this he has another three-acre grove
just beginning to bear. Adjoining that, a six-acre grove with three to eight-year old trees,
and beyond that a six-year old grove, with trees from seven to nine years old, among which
are planted Peento peaches, which yield annually rich crops. These groves are situated
on high land, in dry soil, and are within a minute's walk of the public square; they are so
arranged that public streets may be run through them without disturbing the trees. They are
under the best cultivation, and visitors delight in looking over them. He fertilizes with the
cow-pea turned in with a plow; also with ash element and cotton-seed meal, one-half ton to
the acre put about the trees. Mr. Miller looks upon his groves as a sort of life-insurance
security for his wife and children, to say nothing of the benefits which he himself receives
from it. Mr. J. A. Carlisle, the efficient clerk of the Circuit Court, has a fine four-acre
grove about his residence in the vicinity of Mr. Miller's groves. In addition to the orange,
he has some fine Red Astracan apple and Bartlet pear trees.
Mr. Phillip Miller, a relative of F. X. Miller, in addition to carrying on one of the
largest and most successful grocery stores in Alachua County at Gainesville, cultivates near
Alachua lake, 13 acres of land. Here, in the midst of a young orange grove, he raises straw-
berries, corn, tomatoes, potatoes and other garden vegetables for his own trade, besides
making shipments to the North. While he is thus making money with the present products, a
fine orange grove is growing upon his land, which, in a few years, will give him an indepen-
dent fortune.,He, too, is one of the most enterprising men of Gainesville.
Mr. L. K. Rawlins, another young, rising and progressive man, in addition to his real-
estate business in connection with P. F. Wilson, at Gainesville, is an extensive vegetable
grower. He plants eighty acres near the lake and has started a 10-acre orange grove and a
nursery, and is constantly adding to his possessions. Mr. Rawlins came to Gainesville in
1880 to escape death from rapid consumption. He is now apparently well.
Among the enterprises credited to Gainesville, is Oliver Park, a very popular resort
for the people all along the line of the Florida Southern Railroad. It is situated near Alachua
lake, in the vicinity of the Sink. It is the great picnic resort, and the proprietor, Mr. P. M.
Oliver, leaves nothing undone in catering to the enjoyment of its patrons. Musical, dramatic,
and variety entertainments, dancing, singing, bathing, glassball shooting, and such other
amusements are among the many attractions presented, while Nature has done her full share
in making it a place where tired humanity can seek rest and recreation. Mr. Oliver is the
proprietor of the Oliver House in Gainesville, and a large owner of fine lands and orange
Mr. B. C. Drake may be justly ranked as one of the most successful men in Gainesville.
He came here from Massachusetts in January, 1871, a stranger and almost penniless. He
first engaged in journalism, which business he followed for about six years. In the meantime
he started a planing-mill, and finally gave his time wholly to that. In spite of some losses
sustained by fire and other wise, he is now numbered among the most substantial business
men of the city, and a living illustration of the fact that "industry will thrive. He now
operates a planing-mill, grist-mill, rice-mill, and jobbing shop.
The converting of the Spanish moss, which grows abundantly from Florida trees, into
a substitute for hair to be used in upholstering, is becoming quite an industry. There are
several of these establishments in and about Gainesville.
The local government of the city is in the able hands of:
S. J. Burnett, Mayor J. 0. Cromwell, member of council
L. A. Barnes, member of council T. C. Gall, member of council
R. Shivery, member of council W. G. Robinson, member of council
J. T. McMillan, member of council N. M. Clinton, me-nber of council
W. K. Cessna, member of council H. F. Dutton, President of the city
J. H. Davis, Marshal council
A. J. Arnow, post-master
New Gainesville occupies a most beautiful and healthy site, on high, rolling pine land,
just east of East Gainesville. It is being rapidly built up and improved. The plan of New
Gainesville, with its hotel and surroundings, is most artistic. The hotel in the center,
surrounded by blocks of cottages built in the form of a circle, with openings between the
blocks at the four cardinal points. Outside of this circle of cottage blocks, will be a circular
carriage way 100 feet wide, to be known as the Arena, on the outside of which, on both the
east and west sides, will be two blocks of buildings for business purposes. On both the
north and south sides will be two parks, designated respectively Oak and Pine parks, on the
south; Magnolia, and Orange park on the north; the hotel, cottages and parks forming a bird's-
eye figure like the center and two sides of a Maltese cross. Radiating from the center are
various avenues, eighty feet wide, and extending to the town limits, where they connect with
streets forty feet wide, which bound the town on all sides. Running north from the center is
Denver Avenue; northeast, Savannah Avenue; northwest, Orleans Avenue; southeast, Chicago
Avenue; southwest, Brooklyn Avenue. East and west, extending from the center of the city
of Gainesville, through the Arena, on either side of the circle of cottages, and thence on to
Newnan's lake, in Alachua Avenue, the principal street in the city. It is 100 feet wide, and
will be the shell-road to Newnan's lake. Its entire length is four and one-half miles. The
streets running parallel with Alachua Avenue on the south are numbered South First, South
Second, etc. Those on the north, are North First, North Second, etc. Streets running across
the avenues in the opposite direction, or north and south, are lettered A, B, C, etc., com-
mencing on the west or Gainesville side. These streets, like the avenues, are all eighty
feet wide, and are lined with building lots of 50 x 100 feet. On Alachua Avenue, east of the
Arena. There are, altogether, over 600 of both sizes in the city, which are offeredat from
$25 to $300, according to location. These prices are, of course, only for the present.
The hotel to occupy the center of the circle described, is to be built at a cost of $100, 000,
and will be known as the Hygienic Hotel. It will consist of a central rotunda four stories high,
with a cupola, and four three-story wings, extending north, south, east and west. It is de-
signed for a health resort, and will be fitted throughout with all the modern conveniences for
first-class guests. Outside piazzas and balconies will extend around the whole building for
promenading, and beautiful paths and lawns will take up the intervening space enclosed by the
circle of cottages. These cottages will be sanitorium annexes to the hotel, to be rented by
the month, season, or year to individuals or families who desire retirement from among the
general guests. A regular body of skilled physicians will be in attendance at the cottages and
hotel, if desired. There will be one of each school of medicine, so that guests can have the
best treatment, if necessary, under a physician practicing thaL system in which the patient
has the greatest faith. Patients will be taken to board, and such treatment included for a
specific sum per week, graded according to the selection of apartment. It is an institution
that has long been needed, but has now become an actual necessity, as every year the reputation
of this locality for health and sanitary purposes increases hither the travel of sick and ailing
people. A large proportion of the people who visit here find it so beneficial to health, and the
country so delightful, that they have become actual settlers. The building of the town about
the Hygienic Hotel is a grand idea, which exactly meets the wants of invalids and pleasure
seekers from all parts of the world, as here they can, in a locality selected especially for their
needs, build them a home at a small cost, rent houses and live and engage in active business
pursuits, where, in addition to climatic advantages, they can be under the care of the most
Just outside the town, commencing one-quarter mile from the hotel towards the lake, are
112 five-acre lots, which can be purchased at from $250 to $511 each, for farming and gard-
ening purposes, orange groves or nurseries. Thus persons can live at the hotel or in the
town, regain their health and strength, while, at the same time, they can have fine gardens or
orange groves growing within easy distance, which they can visit each day, building up a
fortune whilst building up their health. Climatic benefits are here secured in accordance with
individual temperaments. All persons are not benefited alike in the same localities. The
climate here is best adapted to persons of a nervous temperament and its combinations. There
are many people who come to Florida who are not benefited as greatly as expected. These
have always been people of lymphatic and bilious temperaments. The climate here is of a
soothing nature. It is quieting to the nerves, subduing them proportionately with the rest of
the system which is allowed to strengthen. Those whose nervous force is already weak, and
the rest of the system strong, lose here even the little nervous force they have, and are thus
likely to realize injurious effects.
The site of this new hotel, with its surrounding town, is on rolling pine land with-in eighteen
inches of being the highest point between Fernandina and Cedar Keys, which line crosses the
very backbone of the peninsula. It is declared by the experience and observation of residents
and physicians to be absolutely healthy and the water pure. It is particularly beneficial to all
pulmonary complaints; and to those of a nervous temperament, if not too far gone when they
make the trial, it is absolutely beneficial.
The plan of the Hygienic Hotel and Sanitary Cottages were conceived and promoted by and
are in charge of, the Alachua Improvement Company, of which R. L. Robb, M.D. is presi-
dent, John E. Lamberth is secretary, and Dr. W. L. Seigler is treasurer. The company have
a capital of $180, 000, with the object of developing Alachua county in general, and Gainesville,
in particular, by encouraging every creditable industry desiring to locate or become estab-
lished here. A large canning establishment, to be located in the new town, together with the
Gainesville Street Railway, were the outgrowths of the efforts of this company. The line of
the Transit Railroad extends along the western border of the new town, between it and East
Gainesville, and the point where it crosses Alachua Avenue is the natural depot-point of all
the railroads running into Gainesville. The wisdom of the railroad officials have long recog-
nized this fact, and the union passenger station will be there built.
Arrendonda and Hummock Ridge
Arredonda is a shipping station on the line of the Transit Railroad, about seven miles
southwest from Gainesville. The locality was formerly known as Kanapaha. It is settled
for some miles around by farmers and vegetable growers, whose products are among the
richest revenues to the county. Large numbers of field hands and other laborers are employed,
whose earnings are quickly distributed among the merchants. Money thus receives rapid and
When the State of Florida was in the possession of the Spanish government, tracks of
land were granted to various parties for some meritorious acts. Among others, Arredonda
and Sons, of Cuba, merchants, in consideration of settling 200 families in Florida, were
granted the tract known as the Arredonda grant. It is the richest body of land in the state
and includes the city of Gainesville, the towns of Micanopy, Palmer, Fairbanks, Yulee, Gruelle,
Tarver, and Arredonda, the latter being situated very nearly in the center, and known as the
richest portion of the grant.
The land at Arredonda is rich and fertile, responding with alacrity to cultivation, yielding
rich returns. The soil is largely mixed with finely comminuted bits of shell, or carbonate of
lime, which furnishes a natural fertilizer almost exhaustless. Nearly all kinds of fruits and
vegetables can be raised here with profit. Mr. W. F. Rice has a piece of land on the border
of Arredonda lake, where, at the side of an Indian spring, is a solid wall of decomposed shell
and lime-rock standing 20 feet high and extending back into the hill and surrounding territory
an unknown distance. There are thousands of tons of it. In some instances well-formed shells
can be taken from it while the surrounding matter will crumble like chalk. It has been analyzed,
and said to be, with mixture with other matters, one of the most valuable of fertilizers.
Mr. Rice is the general merchant of Arredonda. He is also postmaster, railroad agent,
and express agent. His store is near the depot where he does a large business. He is one of
the leading and most enterprising men of the place, and has been here seven years. He has
been in the state 15 years, having done business in Gainesville before coming here. His
residence is about a quarter of a mile from the depot where he has 11 acres of land, two of
which are planted with orange trees, and some with vegetables. He has 20 acres, beneath the
soil of which may be found the phosphate rock or natural fertilizer above spoken of. Of wild
land elsewhere, he has in all about 100 acres. During the season of 1883, Mr. Rice says
there were shipped from Arredonda 50, 100 crates of vegetables by freight and 30, 000 by
express, which, with 17, 000 from Hummock Ridge, a small station two miles away, makes
very nearly 100, 000 crates of vegetables from the Arredonda lands in three months. This
was the largest shipment ever known from here, and while Nature was so bountiful in her
gifts, Mr. Rice is of the opinion that from various causes the shippers did not make more
than an average season's profit, but the country around was greatly benefited by the circula-
tion which was given to money, through the field hands and other employees. Mr. Rice is a
gentleman whose information can be relied upon, and will readily furnish it to any who desire
to learn more about this wonderfully productive region.
Mr. E. Ramsey may well be termed the father of Arredonda. He has been here 30 years.
He came when it was so sparsely settled that deer could be shot within a short distance of the
cabin. The settlers then were largely engaged in stock-raising, an enterprise that is not
wholly suspended at the present day, as large herds of cattle are raised upon the many fine
grazing grounds for miles around. The early immigration to Arredonda was from South
Carolina. They were principally old cotton growers, and a good class of people. Many of
them or their descendants are still here. The railroad brought more settlers from different
parts of the country, the most of whom are earnest and industrious workers of the soil.
Among the other noted shippers at this station are W. L. Barton, J. R. Flewallen, J. T.
Walls, P. F. Wilson, and L. K. Rawlins, of whom mention is elsewhere made.
Mr. Flewallen came here sixty years ago from Alabama with nothing but a spirit of
ambition, energy and pluck. The season of 1883 he purchased the entire crop of J. T. Walls,
and, together with his own crops and some others, shipped 16, 000 crates of tomatoes, and
15, 000 quarts of strawberries. His first shipment of strawberries on the 9th of February,
brought in New York, $3. 00 a quart. His last shipment in May sold for 20 cents a quart.
Average 37 1/2 cents.
Mr. G. H. Sutherland is one of the active, enterprising men of Arredonda. Mr. Suther-
land came here only six years ago, with but $600 borrowed money. He now owns 400 acres of
land, and a home worth at least $10, 000. He has 28 acres near his residence, 15 of them he
plants to vegetables and strawberries, and for the season of 1883, made $1,000. He has 300
large orange trees, 150,000 young trees in nursery, with peach, Pecan, English Walnut, and
other trees. He has 20 hickory trees grafted with Pecan-nut buds, three years old from the
bud, which are doing nicely. He has a fine residence upon the brow of a hill, with cottage-
house and a Stover wind-mill for watering purposes. Mr. Sutherland takes great interest in
locating strangers for the building up of the place, and furnishes any information with pleasure.
Mr. B. P. Richards, of Gainesville, owns 35 acres upon which he has a house, and an
orange grove of 2,200 six-year old trees, of the finest varieties, about 100 of which are bearing.
He has a 12-feet wind-mill for irrigation. This grove was planted under great difficulties and
discouragements. It was the first grove planted here, and was scoffed at. It has more than
paid its expenses, and has proved a perfect success.
Arredonda can boast of the first church edifice built on the Arredonda grant, and known
as the Kanapaha Church (Presbyterian). The first service was held here in April, 1859. It
still stands, and is occupied. A school is held at Arredonda, about four months in the year.
Hummock Ridge, about a mile or two northeast of Arredonda, is the center of a good
farming section, on the Transit Railroad. "
East Florida Seminary
"The East Florida Seminary is a state school, and one of the leading educational institu-
tions in Florida. It is open for both male and female pupils. It is a permanent seat of learn-
ing, designed to give a liberal and thorough normal education and training of students, free of
tuition charges, from each of the twenty-two counties east of the Suwanee river, in proportion
to the representation of each county in the lower branch of The Legislature. These students
are termed beneficiaries, and are selected by the commissioners of each county. Other students
from any part of the country may be admitted by the trustees of the Seminary, on the payment
of a tuition fee of $5. 00 for a quarter, of nineteen weeks. The trustees are appointed by the
governor with the consent of the Senate. A wish to foster and encourage an educational spirit
in its citizens has ever been one of the most praiseworthy features in our national Government.
As an outgrowth of this policy, when Florida was a territory, she received from Congress a
grant of two townships of land for the expressed purpose of establishing two seminaries of
learning, one upon the east, the other upon the west of the Suwanee river; and when Florida
became a state this donation was increased by two additional townships. No earnest efforts
seem to have been made to utilize these munificent grants until sometime after the State
Government was established. Then after a long delay a portion of the land was sold, the
proceeds invested and the seminaries located, one at Gainesville, the other at Tallahassee.
Col. J. H. Roper was the first president of the East Florida Seminary, followed by
Dr. Dudley, Hon. A. A. Robinson, Mr. Sneed, Rev. E. A. Meaney, W. C. Miller, and the
present incumbent, Prof. E. P. Cater. Col. Roper still occupies the presidency of the Board
of Education, and exerts a marked influence on the policy and progress of the institution.
When the present president, E. P. Cater, entered upon his duties in 1877, the policy of the
school had been to invite all who chose to attend without tuition fee. This policy continued for
awhile, until it became clearly evident that the school was not much above the grade of a
common school. The seminary was finally organized upon the plan of a graded school, and the
enrollment and attendance of pupils was largely increased, but very few counties were repre-
sented, and the fact was recognized by it's officers that it was not fulfilling its mission as a
state school. In 1880 changes were made, placing the seminary into a higher and a broader
field of usefulness. A normal and an experimental or model department were organized, and
a small tuition fee was required of all pupils other than state pupils; a standard of literary
attainments as requisite for admission was adopted, and a pamphlet distributed setting forth
the advantages offered by the school. There was an increase of more than one hundred per
cent. In representatives from the other counties and of non-resident pupils; also of increased
educational advantages. Upon application to the Secretary of War, Lieut. A. L. Wagner, 6th
Infantry, U. S. A., was detailed as Commandant of Cadets and Instructor in Military Tactics,
and the seminary was furnished with an equipment of cadet rifles and accoutrements. A
complete military organization was adopted and the students were placed under strict military
discipline. Changes were made in the curriculum, offering increased facilities in the prose-
cution of linguistic and commercial studies; and a musical department was organized for the
benefit of such students as desired instruction in instrumental and vocal music. The East
Florida Seminary now offers to the youth of the state advantages equal, in literary point of
view, to any of our colleges and in healthfulness of location, excellence of scientific and
military equipment, and in the discipline morals and esprit de corps of its students, it is
surpassed by no institution of similar grade in the South. All the departments of the seminary
are in charge of accomplished and efficient teachers, who are, for the session of 1883-84 as
Edwin P. Cater, A. M. (Oglethrope University), President and Instructor in Arithmetic,
Bookkeeping and Penmanship. To his wisdom, energy and perseverance is largely due the
present excellence of the institution.
A. L. Wagner (West Point), 1st Lieutenant, 6th Infantry, U.S.A., Commandant of Cadets
and Instructor in Algebra, Geometry and Surveying. Under Lieutenant Wagner the military
department has become one of the leading features of the institution.
Rev. F. Pasco, A. M. (Harvard College), Chaplain and Instructor in the Ancient Languages.
G. Y. Renfro, A. M. (Lebanon, Ohio, Normal University), Normal Teacher and Instructor
in Geography, History and Science.
C. C. Cochran, (University of Virginia), Instructor in English Language and Literature.
Frazier Thomas, M. D. (College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore), Surgeon.
Mrs. Laura G. French, Matron of Female Department, and Instructor in Vocal and
Miss V. P. Carrington, weekly lessons in Elocution.
The annual Sessions begin the last week in September, and end about the middle of June.
The course of study is thorough, practical and logical, affording ample preparation for the
ordinary avocations, or for the study of any of the learned professions. The training class
prepares students for successful and intelligent teaching in the common schools of the state.
All male students, not physically disqualified, are required to wear the prescribed uniform
and to take part in all military exercises. The Seminary has a full equipment of Cadet rifles
and light artillery. A complete and costly chemical and physical apparatus renders the study
of the natural sciences interesting, as well as instructive.
The fine parade ground at the new, handsome and commodious building, makes the East
Florida Seminary, with its many appointments, as an educational institution, without a peer
in Florida, and on a par with many of the noted institutions of learning in the North. While it
is not a college proper, it is chartered with the power to confer degrees and grant diplomas.
LEGISLATORS, JUDGES AND U. S. OFFICIALS
Alachua County is ably represented in the State Legislature by Senator John Boston Dell,
Representatives Leonard G. Dennis, Benjamin Rush, Matthew M. Lewey and Wm. Trapp.
The latter two are colored, the others white, and all but Mr. Trapp are residents of Gaines-
ville. Mr. Dell completed his education at the Military Institute at Marietta, Georgia, was
elected colonel of the militia in 1859, and served in company F. 2d Florida Cavalry, C. S.A.,
during the war. He is engaged in the livery business at Gainesville; also in farming and stock-
raising. He is a native of Alachua, a democrat in politics, and his five-year term expires in
1885. Mr. Dennis is from Massachusetts, where he received a high-school education. He
served during the was as private in the 8th Massachusetts Regiment, afterwards as first and
second lieutenants and finally captain in the 40th Massachusetts Regiment, U. S. A. He is a
lawyer by profession, but at present is the senior partner of the firm of Dennis and Wallace,
lumber merchants, in Gainesville. Mr. Dennis is a republican in politics; has been colonel
and Chief of Ordinance for the State, brigadier-general of militia, has served in the Senate
six years, and eight years in the lower house. He is familiarly known as the "little giant of
Alachua, a term applied to him by reason of his small stature and his power upon the polit-
ical stump. He came to the State immediately after the war, and passed through years of the
most deadly political warfare. In the present era of good feeling, he has strong friends and
influence among all parties. Mr. Lewey is originally from Baltimore, but more recently
from New York and Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Lincoln University of the latter
place, and completed his education at the Harvard University Law School, Washington city.
He served in one of the first colored organizations raised for the U.S. A., and was wounded.
He came to Florida in 1873; is a lawyer and a teacher by profession; has been postmaster and
Mayor of Newnansville, and is a Justice of the Peace. He is a republican in politics, and his
two-year term will expire in 1885. Mr. Rush is a native of North Carolina; completed his
education at Villa Nova College, Pennsylvania. He was lieutenant of Company F. st North
Carolina Regiment, and later of Starr's Light Battery, in the C.S. A. He is a republican, and
his term expires in 1885. Mr. Trapp was born a slave in South Carolina. He is self-educated.
His business is that of a farmer. He was County Commissioner for two years, and is now
serving his second term in the Assembly. He is a republican and his term expires in 1885.
The court-officers are as follows: Thomas F. King, Judge of County Court; Samuel C.
Tucker, Sheriff; Samuel Winges, Assessor; H. C. Denton, Collector. Residences at Gaines-
The United States Land Office is located at Gainesville, where lands can be entered by any
one in accordance with the Government laws controlling such entries, at $1. 25 per acre. L. A.
Barnes is Register; John F. Rollins, Receiver; J. E. Webster, Daniel W. Martin and Watson
Porter, Clerks; with James E. Bell on special service.
REPRESENTATIVE HORTICULTURISTS AND
Mr. L. A. Barnes, of Gainesville, is the pioneer in the orange nursery business. He
came to Alachua County from Waltham, Mass., in the fall of 1865. He has ever since led a
very busy life as a politician, an officer of the government and as a cultivator of the soil.
He owns 10, 000 acres of the best land in Florida. His first venture was in growing cotton,
in which he was engaged for about seven years, at what he calls his old plantation. It con-
tains about 3, 500 acres, and is situated northwest of Gainesville, in township 10, range 18,
on the Plants road from Rowland's Bluff near what is now known as Jonesville. In 1872 he was
called to the position of sheriff and tax-collector of the county, which position he ably filled
alternately for six years. He was then made register of the U.S. Land Office, in which
position he has since been most active and energetic, and has faithfully performed its duties
to the present time. On the northern border of Alachua Lake, about two or three miles from
Gainesville, he owns 1,600 acres of beautiful hummock land, comprising sections 22 and
14, and township 10, range 20. The great natural wonder, Alachua Sink, of which mention
has been made, is included in this possession. The township site of Tarver, overlooking the
lake was formerly a part of his possessions. It was given by Mr. Barnes to the Florida
Southern Railroad as an encouragement for the company to build its line to Gainesville.
Surrounding Tarver, Mr. Barnes has 1, 000 acres of the finest rolling hummock filled with
natural curiosities, and an abundance of oak, hickory, red bay, magnolia and wild grape,
together with a six year old orange grove, in the most prosperous condition. This grove
contains 1, 000 trees set 30 feet apart in straight rows one-third of a mile long. It occupies
20 acres. Between these rows he raises annually $1, 000 worth of cotton, which, alone,
supports the grove. Two hundred and fifty acres of the balance of his land here is under cul-
tivation. Upon a few acres of land at the rear of his fine residence in Gainesville he started
an orange nursery six years ago. The enterprise was scoffed at by others, and failure pre-
dicted. He has now the oldest and the only nursery from which 1, 000 trees can be obtained.
To this nursery he has constantly added new purchases, until he has five acres in all filled
with orange trees, from six years old down to the merest seedlings. His ground is kept in the
best state of cultivation, worked every few days, while the trees are carefully watched, trimmed
and fertilized. On the east of his nursery, he has,fortunately, one of the finest muck beds in
the county. It is almost equal to northern peat. This is composted with lime or stable manure,
hog manure, cotton-seed or ashes. He claims that cotton-seed is the very best of orange-
tree food, and has never used fancy fertilizers. His six-year trees, of the Homosassa variety,
400 in all, planted from the seed, are now in bearing, with from 25 to 50 oranges to a tree.
Those in the vicinity of his cow-pen are the furthest advanced. Trees in the neighborhood,
planted at the same time, from the same seed, but which have not had the same amount of
care and attention, are not more than half as far advanced.
Orange seeds are usually planted in boxes where they can be better cared for, and where
they will take more strength from the water and the fertilizer. From these boxes the seed-
lings are planted when one year old. Of these seedlings, Mr. Barnes has 200, 000 planted
annually, to be set out in January and February following. The three-year trees are best for
transplanting from the ground. In all, Mr. Barnes has 30, 000 trees in his nursery, all
seedlings. Among his best budded fruit he has seven varieties, as follows: Homosassa, Sat-
suma, Mediterranean-Sweet, Nonpariel, Magnum bonum, Naval and Hartslate. A smart man
can bed about 500 trees a day. In one corner of the nursery are 200 pecan-nut trees, and a
few Japan plum-trees. The pecan grows well here, and are very profitable. At twelve and
fifteen years of age they average a yield of $50 worth to a tree. Mr. Barnes has 2 1/2 acres
in two other nurseries in East Gainesville, containing together 12, 000 young trees.
H. F. Dutton & Co., in company with L. A. Barnes, at Orange Point on Alachua Lake own
beautiful lands planted to orange groves which bid fair to become the finest and the most prof-
itable in the state. The land is high, upon a bluff rising 50 to 60 feet above the level of the
lake, and in the most fertile portion of the Arredonda grant. They have 280 acres in all, on
50 of which a new grove was recently formed, the timber having been just cleared from it. In
the midst of this young grove vegetables are planted, of which yield 2, 000 crates were last
season shipped to the North, while hundreds of bushels were allowed to rot on the ground.
There are 10 acres of bearing trees, nine of which are budded on sour stalks which grew here
spontaneously. The waters of the lake, which flow around this point, are filled with an immense
growth of maiden cane, one acre of which is sufficient to feed eight head of cattle for one whole
year. Among the other products upon this Orange Point property, are bananas and egg-plants,
the latter requiring the richest of soil for profitable growth. Barnes, Dutton & Co., are to
clear 20 more acres of this property, and plant them to Orange groves, which will make the
locality one of the great attraction. It is a most beautiful spot, and the birds flit hither and
thither about it all seasons, making the air melodious with their tuneful notes, and, by their
lingering, prove their appreciation of the natural charms surrounding the place.
Mr. John R. Beville is undoubtedly the model farmer of Alachua County. He has at least
1000 acres under cultivation, at what is known as Fort Clark, seven miles west of Gainesville.
He owns 52 horses, 200 head of cattle and other stock, devotes himself to the staple products,
and conducts his farm in the most profitable manner. During the season of 1882, he planted
300 acres to oats. They were harvested about the first of June, and were fine. The heads were
well and heavily filled, and the straw of excellent length. He employed two reaping machines
and a threshing machine, the latter run by steam, and capable of threshing 400 bushels a day.
450 acres of corn were planted this spring (1883), ploughed by eight men only, with walking
cultivators drawn by two horses. His yield averages 18 to 20 bushels to the acre, making a
crop of between 8, 000 and 9, 000 bushels. The balance of his land is utilized about as follows:
100 acres to peas, 25 acres to potatoes, 2 acres to sugar cane, from which he makes his sugar
and syrup, 60 acres worked by others on a half interest, and some portions rented outright.
Each year, he raises at a mere nominal cost, 150 head of hogs which are fed in the fields from
the oat stubble, and from the peas which grow continuously, and potatoes, both of which are
grown for their especial benefit. On such rich food these hogs fatten quickly, and average
when slaughtered 250 lbs. each. They live, as the term is, "like pigs in clover. He devotes
himself to the Berkshire and Jersey Red breeds. Among the cattle he has 75 Short-horn and
Jersey half-breed, and 10 full-blood. He keeps 100 ewes, from which he sells their yearly
increase of lambs to the butchers, at $2. 50 apiece; also 100 goats, whose yearly increase is
disposed of in like manner. Large quantities of butter are made upon the farm, under the
superintendence of Mrs. Beville, who also takes great pride in a poultry yard, filled with chic-
kens, turkeys, guinea-hens and geese; also in a fine garden from which she realizes a good
revenue. Mr. and Mrs. Beville are energetic people, and are being rewarded with a sufficiency
of this world's means.
As an idea of the cost of labor on such a farm in Florida, it might be stated that Mr. Beville
has in his employ from 15 to 18 hands, who are paid $11 a month and rations, which consist
weekly of 1 peck of meal and 3 pounds of meat. Sometimes he has from 40 to 50 hands at work.
He has also a 30-acre orange grove, about 2 acres of which are in bearing. Mr.Bevillehas
been here about 20 years, during which time he has gradually accumulated his vast possessions.
He attends personally to the superintendence of all his work.
W. K. Cessna, of Gainesville, is the leading strawberry grower in the county. He is
considered authority on Florida agriculture and horticulture and has delivered several lectures
on these subjects. Mr. Cessna and William Porter, together own large tracts of land, and
have 36 acres between Gainesville, and Alachua Lake, planted to orange, pear, and the
native persimmon trees. While these trees are growing, vegetables are grown between them,
the strawberry predominating, and have yielded large returns. Mr. Cessna, at the close of
the war, suffering from bronchitis, came here for his health. He first engaged in cotton
growing, then in general merchandise, then to growing fruits and vegetables, and now devoting
his great attention to fruits and strawberries. In the latter pursuit he was the pioneer. He
grows 40 popular varieties of strawberries, together with numerous unnamed varieties, with
which he is constantly experimenting. One new variety he calls the Florida seedling, but it
would be better named the Lady Cessna, as the first plant was discovered growing from the
top of a berry, by Mrs. Cessna. It was transplanted and proved to be a strong, rampant-
growing vine, excelled only by the Sandhill. For his Sandhill plants he paid 25 cents apiece.
The best berry, as tested by him, is the Mobile, or improved Newnan's. It is the best bearer,
the best for shipment, and requires less care, as it will grow well anywhere among the grass.
The Manchester, Charles Downing, President Wilder, Knox's 700, Wilson's the Albany, Boyden's
No. 30, and some others which he has tried, do not grow satisfactorily. The Crescent seed-
ling will grow among the grass, is very hardy, and is a very prolific bearer. The Federal
Point, the most like the wild berry, is thrifty, but not so good in bearing as others. For the
celebrated Manchester plants he paid 10 cents apiece, but they require a great deal of fertil-
izing, and the leaves rust off. The Shapeless has a large bush and a large berry, but the leaves
rust. 2, 000 quarts can be easily raised from an acre of ground and pay well. Mr. Cessna has
contracted to furnish a party in New York, next season, 100, 000 quarts of strawberries, said
party to furnish plants, baskets, crates, and refrigerators. From these he will realize $15, 000
with which to pay for his labor, and the use of his land. In addition to the fruit, strawberry
plants sell at from $2 to $3 a thousand, which makes the business a profitable one. Of course,
the plants cannot always be sold, but the planter can sell some. Two large refrigerator cars
have recently been built for the strawberry business in Florida, also large refrigerators for
use on the steamers. The berries are picked and put into 32-quart crates, which are placed
inside the refrigerators, and their arrival in good condition at the northern markets fully
assured. Mr. Cessna thinks the time is not far distant when whole trains will leave Alachua
County loaded with strawberries for the North. He says the best soil for strawberry growing
is a reasonable firm soil, with subsoil about 18 inches to two feet down, but the best guide is
its adaptability to corn raising. The best mulching for the strawberry is the cow-pea. It
should be dried and rotted, and then worked around the vines. It will keep the berries clean,
the grass down, and is a good fertilizer.
Mr. Hines, a Massachusetts man, who has a field next to Cessna and Porter, from 1 1/2
acres of land sold $500 worth of strawberries. The Wingate property of 20 acres, for which
the owners paid $7, 000, also adjoins their estate.
Hon. J T. Walls, ex-Congressman, from Florida, an influential and highly intellectual
colored man, is the largest truck-grower in the state. He has doubtless been the most success-
ful and has made the most money from his products. He is himself a most excellent farmer,
and works in the field, taking the lead among his own employees. He has one of the best farms
in the state, 1,800 acres in all, 750 of which is under cultivation. On an acre of land he raises
on an average, 75 crates of tomatoes, sure. The season of 1883 was a very successful one,
and the yield was 200 crates to the acre. He has gathered as many as 1, 100 crates from 2 1/2
acres. Previous to the war, Mr. Walls' farm was owned by J. W. Harris, a wealthy South
Carolinian. It was then considered the best plantation in the state, and upon which was raised
more cotton per acre than upon any other in the county. It was then upon the border of the
great Payne's Prairie, which was one of the richest places for cattle-grazing in Florida. Since
the prairie became flooded, it has occupied a two-mile frontage on the great Alachua Lake,
where it has a high bluff and a good beach. The water-front also gives Mr. Walls excellent
transportation facilities by the steamers of the Alachua Navigation Company. These steamers
come within half a mile of his house. The plantation is very pretty located between the lake
and the Florida Transit Railroad, the nearest railroad shipping station being Arredonda, about
two miles distant. Mr. Walls, for himself, cultivates to vegetables from 250 to 300 acres.
A large portion of the balance he rents to other parties, either on shares, or at a stipulated
price per acre. The season of 1883, Mr. Walls sold his entire tomato crop to Mr. Flewallen,
another large planter, who had Durling & Co., of New York, as a partner, for 85 cents a
crate delivered at the depot, for which he was paid $1,000 cash down, at the beginning of the
season, as security. His crop yielded 6, 000 crates. These, he estimates, cost him 38 cents,
leaving him a net profit of 47 cents per crate, or $2, 820 for his season's work on tomatoes
alone. Mr. Walls makes the following estimate of the cost of a crate of tomatoes; Production,
5 cents; fertilizer, 1 1/4 cents; picking, 5 cents; packing, 5 cents; hauling to station, 5 cents;
making a total of 37 1/4 cents delivered at the station. The freight on a single crate to the
North is 45 cents, with perhaps 5 cents more for cartage. The commission for selling is
10 per cent, so that the cost of a crate in the northern markets to a producer is 87 1/4 cents
and the commission, according to Mr. Walls' estimate. These crates, in the early shipments,
bring $3 and $4 per crate, sometimes more, and then dwindle in price from that down to 50
cents, and sometimes 25 cents in the late shipments, or from rottage or other unforseen causes.
Mr. Walls considers 50 cents net profit on a crate of tomatoes about the average for a season.
The planters differ very much in their statements on these matters; but from the testimony of
Messrs. W. F. Rice, E. Ramsey, D. W. L. Barton, Rawlins & Wilson, and Flewallen, of
Arredonda, whose opinions averaged, would be considered authority on this matter, the writer
thinks Mr. Walls has not under-estimated the cost of production, nor over-estimated the average
net gain per, crate.
Mr. D. W. L. Barton, another large truck farmer, owns 483 acres of land, about half
of which is hummock. 150 acres are cultivable, and 92 acres are under cultivation. 80 acres
(some rented to others) are devoted to vegetables and 12 to an orange grove, in which are 550
thrifty trees from two to five years of age. Mr. Barton has been in the county seventeen years,
during which he has seen many dark days. In 1882 he purchased in Iowa (his wife's native state)
about 100 miles east of Council Bluffs, a tract of 160 acres of land, and now has a good home
both North and South.
Ten years ago he planted an orange grove in the woods at Orange Point, and afterwards
cut out the native growth. He has already taken five good crops from those trees. One tree
measures thirty-eight inches around the trunk. Many of the settlers purchased their land of
Mr. Barton. He recently sold his house at Arredonda, for the purpose of building more exten-
sively near by. The vegetable business commenced here about eight years ago. Mr. Barton
and Mr. Perry, of Hummock Ridge, accompanied the first two carloads of watermelons to
New York. They sold for 75 cents apiece. The sale was so satisfactory, that, on their return,
he purchased 1,600 acres of the Hummock Ridge property, which extends from the Hummock
Ridge station very nearly to Gainesville. The vegetable crop for the season of 1883, Mr.
Barton says, has been a good one for him about the best. Of cucumbers alone he shipped
4, 700 crates, which sold on an average for $2 a crate. His tomato sales averaged $1. 50;
cabbage, $3; beets, $2; and string beans, $1. 75. The sales were very satisfactory. The
cucumber market broke, mostly on account of careless packing; but good cucumbers brought
good prices all the way through. He dealt with good commission merchants and stuck by
them. Some agents, he says, drum up stuff energetically, get over-stocked, and sell at any
price. It breaks the market, and the producer is the loser, and largely owing to his own
carelessness in picking and packing. In working his farm, Mr. Barton has a fine system,
and everything about the place is as quiet as Sunday. On the llth of July, 1882, Mr. Barton
shipped tomatoes which sold for $2 a box. A great many things can be raised here with care
at good profit; egg-plants usually pay well. Mr. Barton is doing quite well with a young orange
nursery. He says Arredonda is a good place for a man with small means, if he is willing to
put his own shoulder to the wheel and work the same as elsewhere.
Mr. E. Ramsey, of Arredonda, is another large planter. He has 300 acres of cultivable
land, 200 of which he cultivates each year, letting 100 of the 300 alternately rest once in three
years. He plants corn, oats, and vegetables of different varieties, his packing house being
close to the depot. He says his corn averages about 10 to 15 bushels per acre, beans from
50 to 80 bushels, tomatoes from 50 to 75 bushels, and cucumbers 200 bushels. He ships
principally to the eastern markets, some to the western; but the latter is not yet fairly opened,
and no fancy prices for early products can be obtained. Sometimes in shipping West good
prices are had, but at other times they are very poor. The average is bad and unsatisfactory.
Mr. Ramsey says labor is plenty at Arredonda and good. They never have trouble with it.
Mr. L. K. Rawlins, of Gainesville, who came here from Delaware three years ago to
escape death by quick consumption, cultivates at Rocky Point, on Alachua Lake, 80 acres of
rich hummock land. His products are cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, Irish and sweet
potatoes. Mr. Rawlins is one of the most enterprising men in Gainesville, and is engaged in
the real estate business with Mr. Wilson, another successful planter at Arredonda. They are
about to engage largely in orange culture.
Mr. H. C. Denton, of Gainesville, has a fine farm near the lake, and is a large shipper of
the earth's products. Hundreds of others might be mentioned.
Mr. W. B. Lipsey, of the Archer nurseries of Lipsey & Christie, of Archer, is among
the leading nursery-men of the state. He has 115,000 seedling orange trees one and two years
old in nursery, and several thousands of other trees for the market. He has several groves,
between the trees of which, while growing to bearable age, he plants nursery trees.for the
market. For his own purpose, and as a speciality, he has fresh-bearing sprouts on old orange-
tree stumps, which were brought from twelve to fifteen miles distance, and transplanted in a
row around one of his groves, looking like old veterans standing guard over the new aspirants
for bearing fame. He has about thirty of these stumps, the most of them being in the vicinity
of thirty years of age. Very few in the North would think of transplanting a tree of such an age,
and Mr. Lipsey's experiment only goes to show the tenacity of the orange trees. Among his
other fruit trees and vines, which do well at Archer, are the Le Conte, Smith's hybrid, Hiefer
and Conkling pears, Chinese and Champion quince, earlyharvest apple, transcendent crabapple,
Japanese persimmon and Japan plum, olive, Peento and other peaches, chestnut, Ives' grape
and grape of Eschal, silk mulberry, which he thinks might be grown by the millions at a good
profit; and, as an experiment, he has tried raising the tree-bean, which he finds does well.
The Navy bunch-bean is hard to grow. He has a Japanese persimmon tree standing not over
four feet high with one and a half inch stock, which recently bore twenty-three specimens. A
Japanese plum tree not six years old had ripened a second crop, and looked fine. Mr. Lipsey
claims to have planted the first Peento peach tree in his neighborhood five years ago. It yields
from four to five bushels annually. His olive trees, four years old, have not yet fruited. They
were imported from France. Mr. Lipsey favors budding oranges. He prefers to bud on sour
stock, but works some on sweet stock to suit patrons. He has good samples of his work in
heavy-bearing two-year-old buds on two-inch stock. He believes in planting an orange grove
with trees 35 feet apart, between each of which in the straight row should be planted a peach
tree, and in the center on the square so formed, a pear tree. The peach trees giving out in
a few years, leave the ground to the pear and the orange. In this way, Mr. Lipsey gets from
an acre of ground, about 38 orange trees, 38 pear trees, and 76 peach trees. For his own use
he has 1,000 Le Conte pear trees, on some of which he has budded the Bartlett pear, and
finds them doing nicely. It is thought by many that apples will not grow in Florida, but
Mr. Lipsey has several trees which have fruited well. The land is quite high and dry about
his premises, yet he has built a three-foot trench about his nursery on the side next to the
woods. This is to keep out the forest roots, and also the salamander, a little animal that
burrows in the ground and eats the roots of the young fruit trees. Altogether Mr. Lipsey has
from 600 to 800 acres of land, with several houses upon them. He is one of the progressive
men of Archer. He came to this place about five years ago with but a few hundred dollars, to
test the climate. He became so delighted with it that he sold his farm in Mairion, Indiana, and
began life in Florida, with thirty-five years' experience in nurseries North. He has been very
successful here. He is called to all parts of the county to graft trees and to plant groves, and
does quite a business in raising groves for other parties.
Dr. Lucius Montgomery, of Micanopy, has at his residence there an orange grove contain-
ing 600 trees, occupying 21 acres of ground. These trees are planted 35 feet apart, and a
number of them, thirteen years from the seed, measure 41 inches in circumference below the
first fork. He has also a number of lemon trees, the Cicily and the ever-bearing varieties,
which, with his house and stable, occupy four acres more. Adjoining his grove he has a
cotton gin and a grist mill, both of which are run by steam power. He keeps cattle of the
improved breed, and 500 head of poultry, for the raising of which he claims this locality to
be fine. Epidemic cholera has attacked his poultry but twice in fifteen years. He feeds his
cows largely on wheat bran. They give excellent milk in generous quantity, from which he
makes the richest butter. At Kirkwood, near Levy's Lake, the doctor has 800 orange trees
planted in verdant hummock land; also at Lakeview, on the Alachua Lake, where he has a hard,
sandy beach, he has forty acres planted to oranges. Two and a half miles northeast of Micanopy
he has 220 trees on forty acres, and 250 trees, forty feet apart, on a portion of the Hickson
Johnson place in the same vicinity. The doctor states that the approximate cost of raising,
shipping and selling a box of oranges is about $1.25. The cost includes tax on land, hire of
labor to cultivate grove, gathering, wrapping, boxing, hauling to depot, freight charges,
commission for selling, and one-half of one per cent, to get check converted into cash in hand.
All that a grower gets per box above $1. 25, is net profit.
Dr. A. H. Mathers, of Micanopy, is a very successful orange grower. He has two groves
surrounding his home, occupying in all but one and one-quarter acres. From these small
groves Dr. Mathers is satisfied, with his careful and personal attention to the trees, that he
gets as good returns as some others with larger groves. In all he has about 108 trees. They
bear him annually, on an average, 500 bushels of oranges. His oldest trees are 15 years and
are set 20 feet apart. His youngest trees are 13 years and set 30 feet apart, in diagonal rows.
The youngest trees are the best bearers. They occupy level land about 2 1/2 feet above the
others. They average 2, 000 and 3, 000 oranges to a tree. The oldest trees are on land slightly
inclining. His trees are the native Tangerine, which are rare in this county, as they are
difficult to grow, by reason of the cold which affects them more severely than other oranges.
They do not suffer, however, so much from insects, and therefore have one great advantage.
Their bearing capacity is from 4, 000 to 5, 000. The doctor claims that orange trees bear
biennially outside and inside. That is, they bear most largely upon the outer branches one
year and upon the inside the next year, and so alternate, but the Tangarine is more annual in
its bearing. Near his house, between it and the gate, he has one tree which bears annually
from 10 to 15 crates. One year he was paid $56 for its fruit laid at the foot of the tree. Another
year it bore 3,000 oranges. From 80 trees the doctor's average receipts are $1,500, in -
addition to which there are losses by rottage and other ways. Medium-size oranges are the
best for the trade. They average about 146 to a bushel. Small crates average from 105 to
110. Two cents apiece is a fair average price for good fruit. A man can personally attend
to about eight acres, or 300 trees, and give them proper care. They require careful trimming
from the inside outwards. Top soil hummock falling mulch picked up with a shovel is
among the best of fertilizers. Home alkalies, stove ashes, etc. may be utilized to good profit.
A small grove well handled can make as much money for its owner as larger groves, as all the
fruit can be readily attended to without waste. Good Tangerine seed, planted on good land, will
on an average produce bearing trees in five years.
Mr. John L. Goodson, of Melrose, has a fine grove. It contains nearly 1, 000 trees. For
the fruit of one of his 11-year-old trees he received $57 in one season, 'without the expense of
removing it. Many of his trees annually yield from 2,000 to 3, 000 oranges each. They bring
$15 a thousand.
Mr. Wm. H. Robertson,Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, has a very
extensive and valuable orange grove near Gainesville. The writer did not get an opportunity
to visit this grove, but has heard it repeatedly spoken of as one of the representative groves
of the county.
FLORIDA LONG COTTON
H. F. Dutton & Co., composed of H. F. Dutton, John Nichols and Walter Robinson,
furnish the Willimantic Company exclusively with Florida cotton. Dutton & Co. buy directly
from the planters and pay cash down. The planters heretofore passed their crops off for dry
goods, groceries, hardware and taxes; now they receive gold for their cotton and pay their
bills in cash. The house of Dutton & Co. has done much good for Florida in buying direct
from the planter and paying the highest market price for his produce, and other firms are
establishing themselves in the same line all over the State. Heretofore the fine and coarse
cotton were lumped and sold together; but by paying higher prices for the finer grades of long
cotton, the planters have been induced to be more careful and to get the quality of their cotton
up to a very high grade. At the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia it took a medal; at the
Paris Exposition in 1878 it took a medal, winning opinions of the very highest worth from the
manufacturers of delicate silk fabric those men whose touch is as discerning and acute as
the softest hand of a lady; and at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition, where it came in competition
with the cotton from the Sea Islands, it took the first premium.
The long cotton of Florida has now come to rank in fineness and quality with the cotton
grown on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia, which states for a hundred years have
grown the finest and best produced in the world. This is attributed altogether to the pains and
extreme care in the selection of the best seed. The growing of long cotton was as much a
business of science with the wealthy planters before the war as any other industry, and is
continued to this time. The planter of Florida, spurred on to emulate the more successful
planters of the Islands, purchased their fine seed, and learned from them their mode and manner
of growing and preparing the article for market, and so successful have the farmers of Florida
become that they are excelling their teachers. The long fibre of the Sea Island cotton is from
two to two and three-quarter inches in length, of a beautiful silk-like texture, as soft and
pleasant to the touch as thistle-down, as strong as hemp and very durable. So fine and so
profitable has it been proved by foreign lace-makers and others to make into spool-cotton,
that the Willimantic Spool Thread Company, of Connecticut, commenced its use on trial and
have increased their demands for it until they now buy over 5, 000 bales of it each year, through
the banking and cotton-buying house of H. F. Dutton & Co., of Gainesville.
There is no country in the world so well adapted to the growth of this particular staple as
Florida, and the numerous growers of cotton all over Alachua county have shown themselves
adept in its culture. It will not grow on the uplands of Georgia and South Carolina without los-
ing its distinctive quality and becoming short and coarse. The peculiar geographical position
of Florida, lying, as it does, between the Atlantic and Gulf, and its shores washed by the Gulf
stream, produces an atmosphere adapted to the improvement of the length, strength and
fineness of the staple nowhere else to be found. Hence Florida, by nature, is favored above
all other countries for producing this beautiful staple, that is spun into hand and sewing-mach-
ine thread, from number eight to five hundred; into most beautiful laces, wherewith ladies add
to the taste and elegance of their dress; and so deftly mixed and woven into the finest silks,
satins and fine velvets that it is impossible to tell, and only the best experts can detect. Lovely
women, with elaborate and costly-made silk dresses, do not know that much of the material
is Florida long cotton, which makes the silk a better article and wear and last longer, and to
all appearance is as pretty, as good and as elegant as the best from the looms of Lyons, France.
Thus, whilst fruit and vegetables receive so much attention, the growing of cotton is not
lost sight of.
THE RAILROAD CENTER
From Fernandina or Jacksonville, there are two ways of reaching Alachua County. One is
by way of the St. John's River to Palatka, and thence via the Florida Southern Railroad, which
runs through the orange Ielt. The other is via the Transit Railroad from Fernandina.
The Florida Southern Railroad, from Palatka, passes through Alachua County from the
eastern boundary line near Waite's Crossing, due west as far as Gruelle. Thence it diverges
in two directions, one due south, to Ocala in Marion County; the other northwest to Gainesville,
and on to Newnansville, where it connects with the Live Oak, Tampa and Charlotte Harbor
Railroad for either the North or the West. The stations on this road in Alachua County are,
.Waite's, Hawthorn, Magnesia Springs, Gruelle, Tarver, Gainesville, and its terminus, New-
nansville, on the main line: On the southern division, are Evanston, Micanopy and Orange
Lake, thence into Marion county. The Florida Southern enterprise was planned and organized
by Mr. N. R. Gruelle, of Gainesville. Work was begun at Palatka, in 1881, and the road
completed to Gainesville, a distance of 50 miles, that same year. Later, the southern division
was built. The line of road, as contemplated in the charter, covers the finest territory in the
state, and lands are for sale all along the line. The road is largely owned by Boston capital-
ists, and under the present efficient management, the company is becoming very active. The
present officers of the company are: John W. Candler, President; John R. Hall, Vice Presi-
dent; W. L. Candler, Treasurer; all of Boston, Mass.; Shuman Conant, Gen Manager; Ja. D.
Hollister;Genl. Superintendent, and C. A. Boardmen, Land Commissioner; all of Palatka, Fla.
The Transit Railroad from Fernandina enters the county just above Waldo, there diverging
in two directions. The main line passes through Waldo, Yulee, Fairbanks, Gainesville,
Hummock Ridge, Arredonda, Palmer, and Archer, and thence on to Cedar Keys. The other
division runs due south from Waldo, through Saludia, Campville, Hawtlorne, Lockloosa, and
on to Silver Springs.
The above makes four different means of entrance into the county-seat of Alachua County:
From the West, via Live Oak and Newnansville; from the North, via Fernandina, Callahan,
Baldwin and Waldo; from New Orleans by boat to Cedar Keys, and thence to Gainesville; from
the St. John's River, via Palatka. From Jacksonville, the course is via the St. John's River,
reaching Palatka by boat, and there connecting with the Florida Southern Railroad, or, reaching
.Baldwin, via the Transit Railroad. In addition to these they are fast being built other lines,
one of which, nearly completed, is from Glen Cove Springs by way of Melrose, and thence
through Gainesville and on to the Suwanee River, tapping the various towns in the southwestern
part of the county, and bringing them into the market. This will make six different railroad
exits from and entrances to Gainesville, thus connecting with every point in the state.
For the best route to the North and the Southwest, see the advertisement of the Savannah,
Florida & Western R. R.
It is thought that the ship canal will penetrate Alachua County, in which event its facilities
will be incomparable.
Alachua County stands pre-eminent in all the advantages that Nature or the mind of man
can bestow upon her, as a place where riches and happiness can together be secured.
(Note: End of description of Alachua County and Gainesville by Carl Webber in his "Eden of the
South" written in 1883. )
ALACHUA COUNTY EIGHTY YEARS AGO
As before mentioned, the author was recently presented a small paper back booklet, edited
by "Carl" Webber and published in New York in 1883. The book is named "Midland Florida-
Eden of the South, Alachua County". It describes Alachua County and Gainesville as the name
indicates and calls it the center of "the Lake Region", "the Orange Belt" and "The Railroad
The little book has several advertisements on its pages and as would be expected the first
full page advertisement is of Real Estate, "Rawlins and Wilson, Gainesville", "City and Country,
25, 000 Acres of Choice Hummock and Pine Lands lying in all parts of Alachua County for sale".
Contractors and Builders of Orange Groves.
See ads as follows:
RAWLINS AND WILSON, Gainesville, Florida
City and Country
REAL ESTATE BOUGHT AND SOLD
25, 000 Acres of Choice Hummock and Pine lands
Lying in all Parts -of Alachua County, for sale.
CONTRACTORS AND BUILDERS OF ORANGE GROVES
Correspondence with parties at a distance Promptly Attended to.
Visitors to Gainesville Invited to make our Office their Head-
quarters during their Stay.
Jacksonville and other Papers Kept on Sale.
Initials not legible RAWLINS P. F. WILSON.
The fly leaf of the book is as follows:
EDEN OF THE SOUTH
ORANGE GROVES, VEGETABLE FARMS, STRAWBERRY FIELDS, PEACH ORCHARDS, SOIL,
CLIMATE, NATURAL PECULIARITIES AND THE PEOPLE OF:
GAINESVILLE, ALACHUA COUNTY, FLORIDA
TOGETHER WITH OTHER VALUABLE INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS, INVALIDS, OR THOSE
SEEKING A HOME IN
THE ORANGE BELT, THE LAKE REGION, THE VEGETABLE SECTION, and
THE RAILROAD CENTER OF FLORIDA.
In the back of the Webber book is an ad by PHILLIP MILLER, STAPLE AND FANCY
GROCERIES, CORN, OATS AND HAY, FINE CANDIES, FRUITS, etc.
PUBLIC SQUARE - GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
J. B. DELL, LIVERY AND FEED STABLES, opposite the Arlington House,
Gainesville, Florida, Horses for Sale and Exchange.
FINE TEAMS FURNISHED TO VISITORS AND OTHERS AT REASONABLE PRICES.
DELL'S STABLE, GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
Also the Newspaper advertisement as Follows:
DAILY AND WEEKLY BEE, GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
Containing all the local news and a full resume of the general news of the day.
Daily $5. 00 a year Weekly $2. 00 a year
Chas. L. Fildes, Editor and Proprietor.
There is an advertisement by B. C. DRAKE, PIONEER, Planing Mill, Grist Mill, Rice
Mill, Established June 1873, JOBBING SHOP, and,
McCLELLAN AND ELLIS, HARDWARE AND FURNITURE, Stoves, Paints, Oils, Sash and
Blinds, Carpenter and Table Cutlery, Dennis brick building. and,
Mrs. F. X. Miller? At the Sign of the Golden Horseshoe, Millinery and Variety Store,
Corner West Main and Unions Streets, The Latest styles--The Greatest Variety... Laces,
Ribbons, Silks, Straw Goods, Gloves, Mitts, Etc. and,
C. A. SHELDON, Dealer in Family Groceries, Hardware and Tinware, Choice Flour.
A. J. VIDAL, Apothecary and Druggest, Select Drugs and Medicines, Chemicals, soaps
.... Trusses and Supporters kept constantly on hand. Garden seed.
JAMES DOIG'S Foundry and Machine Shops
Steam Eneines. Ss',A MA il rotton Gins, Sugar M:.lls, Sugar Kettles, Etc.
C. B. DODD, Prop. Dodd & Cravey Stoves, Tin ware and House Furnishings.
HAMPTON AND JORDON. Fire and Life Insurance Agents.
FINLEY & HAMPTON, Sam'l Y. Finley, Wm. Wade Hampton, Practice in State and
Federal Courts. Corner East Main and Mechanic Streets.
S. KEELER, Artist in Frescoing, General House and Sign Painter.
MISS TEBEAU'S SCHOOL, Boarding and Day Pupils, English, Primary, Intermediate
and Collegiate. West Main Street.
REYNOLDS, Restaurant and Boarding House, Cor. East Main and Liberty Streets.
MATHESON & McMILLAN Real Estate Agents, will pay taxes for non-residents.
P. H. Young, Land Surveyor & Conveyancer, Notary Public.
J. H. POST, Jewelry, Silverware, watches and clocks.
CHESTNUT & CLINTON, General Merchandise, Groceries a Specialty.
OLIVER'S PARK on the line of the Florida Southern Railroad, Fitted for Comfort, Dancing
Hall, Bathing, Swinging, Delightful Strolls.
DENNIS & WALLIS Lumber Merchants. L. G. Dennis......L. Wallis.
THE ALACHUA ADVOCATE, Published weekly at Gainesville, Florida.
J. C. McCreary, Publisher, Subscription $2. 00 a year.
THE FLORIDA ADVERTISER, Weekly, Published in Waldo, J. B. Johston, Editor.
J. H. Love, Drugs and Medicines, Newnansville, Florida.
Dr. J. N. D. CLOUD, Practicing Physician, Newnansville, Florida.
Herman Levy, General Merchandise, Newnansville, Florida.
W. H. GEIGER, Drugs and Medicines, Newnansville, Florida
Dr. WILLIAMS, Practicing Physician, Newnansville, Florida.
E. K. FAGAN, Dealer in General Merchandise, Newnansville, Florida.
A. B. EDGELL, Dry Goods, Notions, Fine Liquors, buy sea island cotton.
F. P. OLMSTEAD, Farming, Town Lots for sale in Newnansville.
DAVID A MILLER, Florida Mutual Fire Association, Micanopy, Florida.
Ads in 1883.
S. D. SMOKE, M. D. Practicing Physician, Micanopy, Florida
J. L. PATTON & CO. General Merchandise, Dry and Fancy Goods, Groceries, Hardware,
Tennessee Wagons, Sewing Machines and Coffins, Micanopy, Florida.
A. H. CENTRE & CO., Dry Goods, Gro. Boots & Shoes, Mrs. Johnson Bldg., Micanopy.
A. D. CANNON, Staple and fancy goods, boots, shoes, hardware, Micanopy.
J. COOPER MATHERS, Drugs. Medicines, Soaps & Sponges, Micanopy, Florida.
WADE & GEIGER, Gen. Merchandise, Hardware, Crockery, Ginner & grist Miller,
C. W. BAUKNIGHT, Gen. Merchandise, Grocery, Live Stock and Orange trees, Archer,
C. M. BLITCH, General Merchandise, Archer, Florida.
J. D. GEORGE Groceries and Dry Goods, Clothing and Hardware, Wines & Liquors, Archer,
F. C. BAUKNIGHT, Butcher & Stock dealer, Ice,Land for Sale, Horses & buggies, Archer.
W. L. JACKSON, Dry Goods, Clothing and Notions, Groceries & Shoes, Archer, Florida.
J. W. WILLIAMS, General Agent, Archer, Florida.
LIPSEY & CHRISTIE, Nursery, Land Bought and Sold, Archer, Florida.
JAMES SKINNER, Carriage Maker and Blacksmith, Archer, Florida.
T. J. McRAE, Gen. Merchandise, Boots & Shoes, Melrose lots for Sale, Hawthorne, Fla.
L. WERTHEIM, Boots, Dry Goods, Groceries & Hardware., Hawthorne, Florida.
R. B. SMITH, Acres of land for sale, Orange culture, Hawthorne, Florida.
ADKINS BROS., J. B. & E. A., Boots, Dry Goods and Groceries, Hawthorne, Florida.
W. F. RICE, General Merchandise, Arredonda, Florida.
C. H. SUTHERLAND, Land for Sale, Arredonda, Florida.
D. L. FERGUSON, Dry Goods & Groceries. Cotton Buyer, Waldo, Florida.
EDWARD RENAULT & BRO, City Market, Meats and Provisions, Waldo, Florida.
RAULERSON AND AMBROSE, Groceries and Dry Goods, Farmers Supplies, Hardware,
Crockery, Highest price paid for Cotton, H. Raulerson & G. H. Ambrose.
D. HICKS, Carriage Manufacturer, Waldo, Florida.
NED E. FARRELL, C. E. Florida Land bought and Sold., Waldo, Florida.
Correspondence with parties at a distance promptly attended to. Visitors to Gainesville
are invited to make our office their headquarters during their stay. Rawlins and Wilson.
The location of the office is unknown.
The second full page ad was by the Savannah, Florida & Western Railroad, the "Waycross
Short Line" the Only Route to an all Winter Resort in America. The narrative part of the
booklet is followed by five additional full page ads; the first by Philip Miller, "Staple & Fancy
Groceries, Corn Oats and Hay, Candies and Fruits. The second ad is by J. B. Dell, Livery
and Feed Stable, opposite the Arlington House,'l "Horses for Sale, & Exchange, Fine Teams'
furnished at Reasonable Prices". The third ad is by Mrs. F. X. Miller, "Sign of the Golden
Horse Shoe, Corner W. Main and Union Street, the latest styles, the greatest variety. Lace,
ribbons, silk, strawgoods, gloves, mitts, etc." The fourth ad is by B. C. Drake, "Pioneer
Planning Mill, Grist Mill, Rice Mill, Jobbing Shop, Seasoned Lumber, Brick and Molding,
Three blocks from the Public square. The fifth full page ad is by McClellan and Ellis, Hardware
& Furniture, Stoves, Paints, Oils, Sashes and Blinds, Table Cutlery, in the Dennis Brick
Block" (the present location of City Drug Store. ) The Phillip Miller business location was at
the 16 E. University site, The J. B. Dell Livery Stable was where the Johnson Feed & Seed
Company is located, 111 S. Main Street; the B. C. Drakes Lumber Mill was between N. W.
2nd & 3rd Streets & 3rd and 4th Avenues. Mrs. F. X. Miller was at West Main and Union,
S. W. 1st Avenue. McClellan & Ellis Hardware Store location was not given.
Other advertisements are C. A. Sheldon, Family Groceries & Tin Ware; A. J. Vidal,
Apothecary & Druggist, Chemical Soaps, Trusses & Garden Seed; James Doig's Foundry;
C. B. Dodd, Alachua Stove, Tin-Ware & Shingles; Hampton & Jordon, Fire and Life Insurance
Agents; Finley & Hampton (Samuel & William Wade) Attorneys; S. Keeler, House and Sign
Painter; Endel & Herman, Clothing, Boots & Shoes, Trunks and Valises (L. A. Barnes Brick
Building); B. Klein, General Merchandise, Cotton Buyer. Stephen Ross, Boot & Shoe Shop;
Seigler & Phifer, Dry Goods. J. F. McKinstrey, M.D.; Crawford & Jackson, Butchers;
The Daily and Weekly Bee, Charles L. Fildes, Editor and Proprietor; J. H. Love, Drugs and
Medicines, Newnansville. Florida Advertiser, Waldo, Published Weekly, J. B. Johnson,
Editor and Proprietor; Dr. J. N.D. Cloud, Newnansville. Herman Levy, General Merchandise,
Newnansville. W. K. Fagan, General Merchandise, Newnansville. A. B. Edgell, Dry Goods,
Notions, Hats, Caps and Clothing, Fine Liquor and Choice Cigars, Newnansville. E. P.
Olmstead, 10,000 acres best farming & fruit lands, Newnansville. Florida Mutual Fire Insur-
ance Association, David A. Miller, Secretary, Micanopy, Florida.
As before stated, Newnans Lake, five miles east of Gainesville, is one of the prettiest
bodies of water in the state. Prior to 1890 public spirited citizens and developers expected
Newnans Lake to become a most popular resort and residential area. Its development called
for horse-drawn cars which would run from the Gainesville Hotels and the proposed Hygienic
Hotel and Sanatorium of "New Gainesville" (out east beyond the forks of the Lake Road and the
Hawthorne Road). In 1885 Newnans Lake had a lot of sandy beaches and was surrounded by
delightful hummocks and groves.
Mr. W. B. Watson loaned to me a lithograph, appears to be from the air, by Beck and
Pauli, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and printed by J. J. Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin, showing:
"Gainesville, County Seat of Alachua County, Florida, 1884" The map shows in numerals
eighteen locations of businesses and schools, seven locations of churches and lists twenty four
of Gainesville's leading business and professional men, with street locations.
The streets named are as follows: Going west from the Court House, Main Street, Garden,
(now West 1st Street), Pleasant, 2nd Street and Arredonda, W.. 3rd. The map shows north to
Boundary, 8th Avenue but the streets are not named except Liberty, University Avenue, Mechanic,
1st Avenue; Orange; 2nd Avenue; and Concert, later Court, now N. 3rd Avenue. The map shows
a bridge across Sweetwater branch, between the Library and the American Legion Home; west
of the bridge it is Liberty Street and east of the bridge (on present University Avenue) it was
known as Alachua Avenue. The first street east of the Court House was designated as E. Main
Street; the next street, Old Virginia, now 2nd Street, was listed as University Street; the third
street, east, was listed as Factory Street. It is now 3rd Street (was Oak). Three other streets
were listed east of the branch, Prairie Street was Roper, now E. 7th Street; Micanopy Street,
formerly Palmetto, now E. 8th Street, and on out further was State Street later Government,
now E. 10th Street.
All of the streets in Gainesville were given numerical names on July 1st, 1950. All
avenues run east and west, and all streets run north and south.
Business place locations as numbered on the 1884 map are as follows: ( I will list present
street names, then old street names last.)
1. Courthouse. Present location, built 1884, Magnolia and Bay.
2. County Jail, built before 1884, corner S. E. 2nd Place and 4th Street, Magnolia and Bay.
3. E. Florida Seminary,now Methodist Church, N.E. 1st Street.
4. U. S. Land Office. S. side of square.
5. Arlington Hotel, Woolworth corner, Main and University.
6. Varnum House, Across from Courthouse, corner of Main and S. W. 1st Avenue.
7. Magnolia House, present Plaza Hotel location, about 216 N. Main Street.
8. Gainesville House, present location, 1964 City Hall.
9. Oliver House, East side of S. Main Street, facing west, present Johnson & Tench.
10. Bank of H. F. Dutton Company, about center of block directly north of Courthouse.
11. Dutton Cotton Gin, on South Main Street, present location of Baird Hardware Company
12. Foundry and Machinery Works, Doig & Harris, neighborhood of Water and Light Plant.
13. Planing Mill, Sash and Blind Manufacturing, Duggar and Doan, faced east on S. E. 3rd
Street (old factory) between S. E. 4th Place and S. E. 5th Avenue.
14. Saw and Planing Mill, Leighton Brothers and Green, West side of Main, north of ACL
15. Planing Mill, Sash, Door and Blind Mfg., B. C. Drake, on N. W. 3rd Street, between
3rd Street and 3rd Avenue (Orange and Court).
16. Sawmill, B. C. Drake, block between N. W. 2nd and 3rd Streets and 3rd and 4th Avenues.
17. Livery, Feed and Sales Stables, Dell, Pound and Company, 111 S. Main Street, Johnson
Seed and Feed Company, and probably took in Bills Pool Room space.
A. Presbyterian Church, on east side of S. E. 1st Street, between S. W. 2nd Avenue
and S. W. 2nd Place.
B. Baptist Church, on east side of S. Main Street, corner of S. E. 2nd Avenue, loca-
tion of former Just Right Service Station, now Texaco, and first filling station in
C. Episcopal Church, on east side of north Main Street, now Masonic Temple.
D. Methodist Church, present location, was University Street, E. Main; now N.E.
E. African Methodist, N. W. 2nd Street, south of intersection N. W. 7th Avenue.
F. African Baptist, face east on N. W. 2nd Street at N. W. 5th Avenue, Pleasant and
G. African School, face East on N. W. 1st Street at N. W. 6th Avenue, across from the
Methodist Church, old Garden and Lassiter.
The map shows the streets (avenues) north of the Courthouse all the way to 8th Avenue, Old
Boundary, but only Liberty, now University Avenue, Mechanic, now 1st Avenue, Orange, now
2nd Avenue, then Concert, later Court, now 3rd Avenue are named.
East from the Courthouse were E. Main, now N. E. 1st Street, University Street, later
Virginia, now 2nd Street; Factory, later Oak, now 3rd Street; Bay, 4th Street was not named.
Out about old Roper Avenue, now 7th Street, there was a street listed as Prairie, now 8th
Street, old Palmetto was Micanopy. East of that was State, Government and Yulee, (State was
later Evans), now 9th, 10th, and llth Streets. The map also shows the Avenue (University)
just north of the Court House to be Liberty, east to Sweetwater Branch, (City Library and Amer-
ican Legion Home). There was a bridge across the branch and east of the branch the avenue was
listed as Alachua Avenue. The Varnum House burned in May, 1884; so did the Arlington House.
The south side of the square burned in 1886.
BUSINESS HOUSES, & LOCATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL MEN 1884 MAP.
J. E. Lambeth, Real Estate & Insurance, Liberty, corner E. Main; University and 1st
F. Bayer, Saloon, Union, corner W. Main Street; W. side of Main Street and south side of
Rawlines and Wilson, Real Estate & Insurance, Liberty and W. Main; University and Main
G. W. Ferrill, Grocer, Liberty Street; now University Avenue.
Keeler & Setzer, Painters and dealers in Paints and Oils, Wall Paper, etc., W. Main Street,
now Main Street.
L. A. Jernigan, Watchmaker and jeweler, Liberty Street, now University Avenue.
A. J. Vidal, M. D., Druggist, Liberty and E. Main, now University and 1st Street.
McClellan and Ellis, Hardware & Furniture, East Main Street, now 1st Street.
Leighton Brothers and Green, Manufacturers and Shippers of Florida Moss, West side of
Main, north of ACL Railway.
Taylor and Sanchez, attorneys, Union Street, later Roper Avenue, now 1st Street
Mrs. F. X. Miller, General Merchandise, W. Main & Liberty, now Main and University
N. R. Gruelle, Civil Engineer, Prairie Street, later Roper Avenue, now 7th St.
M. I. Harrell, grocer, Union Street, S. 1st Avenue.
W. N. Wilson, Stationery and Confectionery, E. Main Street, now E. 1st Street
Holliday and Rush, land agents and attorneys, Union and University; now S. E. 1st Avenue
and 2nd Street.
John C. Eastman, books, stationery, musical instruments, etc. Liberty, now University.
William Wade Hampton, attorney, E. Main and Mechanic, now N. E. 1st Street and N. E.
Charles O. Hampton, attorney, E. Main and Mechanic, now corner N. E. 1st Street and
N. E. 1st Avenue.
Louis Roux, manufacturer of carriages, wagons, etc. Masonic Street, opposite jail, now
S.W. 1st Street.
B. M. Smith, Tinsmith, W. Main Street, now Main Street.
P. Meisner, Harness Maker, W. Main Street, now Main Street.
H. R. White, Contractor and Builder, Gainesville House, present City Hall. (1964)
Charles L. Fields, Editor Daily And Weekly Bee, Union Street, now S. 1st Ave.
McCreary and White, Editors, Alachua Advocate, Union Street, now 1st Avenue, south.
Gainesville boasted, in mechanical operations, of the cotton gins of H. F. Dutton & Company;
James Doig, Foundry; B. C. Drake, sawmill, planing mill, etc.; the printing offices of the
Bee and the Advocate, with carpenters, masons, etc. and the house and sign painting estab-
lishment of Keeler Brothers. Another planing mill was soon established south east of town
and a fruit canning establishment and a vegetable crate mill put in operation. Public spirited
citizens proposed a paper mill, an ice factory, a furniture factory, machine shop and a
Walter Robinson was in the banking business with the Dutton people. L. G. Dennis and
Leonard Wallis were lumber dealers. Other businesses were Philip Miller, Grocer; T. Foster,
grocer; J. C. Ryder of the Arlington House and General Varnum ran the Varnum House; P. M.
Oliver, the Oliver House and Oliver Park. Other businessmen and their businesses were J B.
Dell, livery Stable, location already given; J. C. Eastman, Stationer and Newsdealers; Siegler
and Pheifer, groceries and dry goods; C. B. Todd, tinware; Dr. A. J. Vidal, druggist, present
location, corner University Avenue and 1st Street; W. N. Wilson, confectioner; C. A. Sheldon,
grocer and fruit dealer; Endel and Herman, clothing dealers; Miss Maggie Tebeau, private
teacher, 1st near Vedal Drug Store, then the Tebeau School, the present City Parking Lot on
S. Main Street. There was a Dr. McKinstry, and Dr. Phillips, and Robb, Lambeth and Siegler
of the Florida Improvement Company, office about 9 N. E. 1st Street; J. C. McCreary, Journa-
list and J. R. Post, jeweler; McMillan and Miller, druggist; Crawford and Jackson, meat and
provisions; Stephen Ross, shoemaker; G. K. Broome, general merchandise; Chesnut and
Clinton, grocers; P. Martinez, Cigar maker; R. E. Shivery, tailor, (Negro); J. O. Cromwell,
dentist; E. C. McMahon, brick mason; P. H. Young, architect and T. Droomgool, cigar
ALACHUA COUNTY PRODUCTS
By the early 1880's all along the lines of railroads where they run through "the lake region"
and what was known as "the Orange Belt" of Alachua County, settlers were engaged in
raising all kinds of fruits and vegetables for the northern markets. Thousands of crates of
green peas, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, celery, lettuce, beets, and
carloads of watermelons were gathered and shipped to all points of the north. The production
of strawberries was a growing industry. These vegetables were shipped in January, Febru-
ary, March and April with the melons going in June and July.
Vegetable raising was and industry which was rapidly growing in Alachua County and paid
large profits of, at times, several hundreds of dollars per acre for crops that fortunately
ripened and reached markets at the right season. It was claimed that this portion of the state
would produce the greatest variety of marketable and profitable crops of any region in the
state or in the South.
The leading vegetable products of Alachua County for the year round came in about the
following order: Cabbages, very early in the spring; then beans, cucumbers, then tomatoes,
corn, then long cotton. There were oats and other crops in the late spring and early summer.
In fruits the strawberries came first, early in February and often in January; in the spring
there were plums, blackberries, then peaches, figs, grapes, and summer pears, then cooking
pears in their order. Japanese persimmons came in the fall along with the oranges and
grapefruit. Alachua County was accepted as within the orange belt. The biggest orange tree
in existence was at Fort Harley. Fort Harley was on the headwaters of the Santa Fe River,
three miles north of Waldo. A single tree bearing one thousand (1, 000) oranges was not
Judge W. K. Cesna, of Gainesville, is quoted as estimating the following as a fair
estimate of an average crop per acre of Alachua County vegetables: Tomatoes and cucumbers,
200 bushels; english peas, from 75 to 100 bushels; cabbage, from 50 to 100 barrels; Boston
marrow squash, 50 to 100 barrels; bush squash, 100 barrels; and often 200 barrels; melons
500 to 1000 per acre; strawberries, 2000 quarts, easy, and sometimes 4000. The Judge
stated that he had picked 114 quarts of strawberries from a half acre at one picking and that
he picked every other day. Other farm products found in Alachua County are guavas, blue-
berries, rice, irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, egg plant, okra, cushaws, radishes, pepper,
tobacco, sugar cane, field peas, chufas, peanuts, pecans, grasses of various kinds for hay,
millet and rye. At the Atlanta Exposition in 1881, Florida took the first premium for upland
rice, the greater part of which was grown in Alachua County.
Sugar and Syrup were largely made for home consumption. Very little was exported but
it was planned to construct sugar houses, install improved machinery and use large plantings
of cane. A lot of long staple sea island cotton was ginned in Gainesville and other towns of
the County. Investors were being urged to locate mills in the county.
FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF CITY OFFICIALS 1887 TO 1892, INCLUSIVE.
There were two elections in 1891, one in April, one in September.
Mayor, W. W. Scott Mayor, J. B. Brown
Marshall, F. W. Halin Marshall, C. H. Davies
Collector, T. A. Dromgoole Collector, T. A. Droomgoole
Clerk and Treas., O. D. Morris Clerk-Treas., A. M. Cushman
Assessor, J. R. W. Gresson Assessor, J. F. Feltner
Aldermen, J. R. Williams Aldermen, H. F. Dutton
W. E. Day M. M. Levy
G. K. Broome O. C. Martin
L. J. Burkhim L. A. Barnes
B. C. Drake
1889 1889 (continued)
Mayor, J. B. Brown Aldermen, H. F. Dutton
Marshall, A. J. Collins A. J. Cone
Collector, T. A. Droomgoole S. B. Chapin
Clerk-Treas., O. D. Morris J. T. McMillan
Assessor, J. F. Feltner Ed Martin
Mayor, S. J. Burnett
Marshall, C. H. Davies
Collector, T. A. Droomgoole
Clerk-Treas., 0. D. Morris
Assessor, J. Z. Besselin
Aldermen, H. E. Day
N. E. Benson
J. R. Eddins
H. H. McCreary
W. G. Robinson
Mayor, J. B. Brown
Collector, J. M. Dell
Clerk-Treas., O. D. Morris
Assessor, J. M. Miller, Jr.
Aldermen, H. E. Benson
(2 years) T. F. Thomas
J. A. Carlisle
S. J. Burnett
E. C. Pound
(1 year) W.
Mayor, H. E. Day
Marshall, C. H. Davies
Collector, T. A. Droomgoole
Clerk-Treas., O. D. Morris
Assessor, J. H. Miller, Jr.
Aldermen, A. J. McArthur
W. B. Lynch
H. H. Davis
E. C. Pound
Mayor, W. B. Lynch
Marshall, C. H. Davies
Collector, J. M. Dell
Clerk-Treas., O. D. Morris
Assessor, G. J. Arnow
Aldermen, G. W. Hyde
W. G. Robinson
W. A. Walters
J. R. Eddins
L. T. Roux
A. L. York
A case twenty-three inches wide and thirty-six inches high, made of pine wood and con-
taining twenty lock boxes was made by John Riggs of Micanopy, Florida, for $4. 50 and was
used from 1876 to 1881 in the Gainesville Post Office.
The following names were residents of Gainesville, Florida who were box holders during
Barnes, L. A.
Broome, G. K.
Burnett, S. J.
Carlisle, J. S.
Days, H. E.
Dennis, L. G.
East Florida Seminary
Finley, S. J.
Hampton, W. W.
McKinstry, J. F.
McMillan and Miller
Miller, F. X.
Roper, E. P.
Sanchez, E. D.
U. S. Land Office.
This case was presented to the Florida State Museum, Gainesville, Florida, by J. P. H.
Bell, Assistant Postmaster.
Below is a list of Postmasters who have served the Gainesville office since its establish-
ment in 1864 to date, as follows:
William H. Beekman
W. C. H. Rainey
Archibald A. Maulden
July 5, 1856
January 30, 1857
January 9, 1858
C. A. Ramsey
William C. H. Rainey
Stephen F. Harvard
J. Austin McCreight
John T. Matthews
James M. Richardson
William K. Cessna
George J. Arnow
Charles A. Sheldon
John W. F. King
George J. Arnow
Louis C. Lynch
James F. McKinstry
Louis C. Lynch (Acting P. M. )
Louis C. Lynch
Mrs. Mary Lynch (Acting P. M.)
Allen M. Steen (Acting P. M. )
Elmer W. McCreary (Acting P. M.)
Elmer W. McCreary
Mrs. Elmer W. McCreary (Acting P.M. )
James A. Chadwick
Mrs. Helena Chadwich (Acting P. M.)
Jess G. Davis
May 30, 1859
June 2, 1859
March 24, 1860
September 7, 1860
October 17, 1865
January 8, 1866
January 29, 1867
March 4, 1878
May 22, 1882
May 25, 1886
May 21, 1889
January 3, 1894
March 16, 1898
August 25, 1900
August 27, 1906
January 26, 1915
November 1, 1921
March 11, 1926
November 16, 1931
October 1, 1932
March 18, 1933
February 10, 1934
January 7, 1935
January 30, 1936
August 25, 1938
July 12, 1939
March 10, 1961
The above record furnished by the Post Office Department, Washington, D. C., to Jess
The following is a list of Post OFFICES THAT HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED IN ALACHUA
Fort Clark X
POST OFFICES NOW IN ALACHUA
COUNTY, JULY 1, 1964
The Florida Times Union of 1890 issued what they called a Trade Edition. It was a large
edition and carried news from all over the State. The news columns were two and one fourth
inches compared to the one and three fourth inch column of today Times Union. The front
page had pictures of the Florida Cabinet members all of whom, except the Secretary of State,
Dr. John Lovick Crawford, had long, some drooping, mustaches; three also had beards.
Francis Fleming was the Governer.
The noticeable thing, to this editor, about the paper is that of the forty eight (48) pages,
Monticello, Madison, Fernandina and Cedar Keys had a whole page of the paper while the news
from GAINESVILLE was set out in three columns and nearly half of that space was pictures of
the Courthouse and the East Florida Seminary.
The write up begins by saying that "The Court House is one of the largest and handsomest
in the State" and that the church facilities were "ample". Further that Gainesville was con-
nected with the F. C. & P. Railroad (old F. R. & N. ) with the Atlantic Ocean. By connections
with the Florida Southern and the Savannah, Florida and Western makes Gainesville a railroad
center. The Duttons were in full swing with their cotton, phosphate and banking. Judge John
W. Ashby was President and James M. Graham, Cashier, of the First National Bank. M.
Endel and Brother sold everything from pins up while A. O. Sterbberg sold everything from
"nails to sugar mills". Chapin and Melrath were real estate dealers and E. F. C. Sanchez
had "grown rich in the practice of Law".
Capers and Clark ran the St. Nicholas Hotel and A. S. Hutchinson (father of the late Harvey
Hutchinson) was the undertaker. P. F. Wilson dealt in seed and agricultural implements and
had a branch store in Micanopy and Dr. N. D. Phillips was the President of the Florida
Medical Association. There was also physician R. A. Lancaster and Dental Surgeon R. B.
Smith. Then a short write up of "Doctors Cromwell & Smith, proprietors of a Dental Depot".
Q. A. Barnes and Dr. W. Porter were "Legal Attorneys" and bought and sold land.
A. J. Cone was a lawyer and timber land dealer and there were attorneys "Taylor and
Carter. Hampton and Jordon were Insurance Agents, Thomas V. Porter, a Wholesale grocer.
Ballard & Wallace, druggist and apothecaries "had a nice store on the square west of the
Courthouse and keep a good stock and do a good business".
James Bell was Postmaster. He was the father of J. P. H. (Hevey) Bell, Assistant
Postmaster, Gainesville for forty years, father of Mrs. Natalie Anchors and J. P. H., (Jack)
Bell, present (1964) forman of the carrier division local Post Office.
Alexander Lynch was the Register of the U. S. Land Office. He was the father of L. C.
Lynch, Postmaster from 1906 to 1915 and from 1921 until his death in 1931. Ex-Postmaster
Lynch's widow resides at 414 S. Main Street. She is of the old Beville family and the mother
of Haisley Lynch who was killed in World War I and for whom the American Legion Post is named.
Early amusements in Gainesville, Florida, as told to me by Mr. B. M. Tench in the
spring of 1952. An effort has been made to use the exact words and expressions as much as
possible, used by Mr. Tench.
The Indian War ended in 1842 and peace in Alachua County was never again disturbed by
the red man. Gainesville became a frontier town, rejoicing in the name of Hogtown. A Mrs.
Brown, who died in 1950, at the age of ninty-nine (99) years, has been quoted as saying that
prior to 1850, according to her mother, Hogtown had only one store, which was a sort of
In 1854 Hogtown being selected as the site for the County Seat, the name was changed to
Gainesville, honoring General Edmund Gaines. Prior to 1854, since about 1824, Newnans-
ville, near the present city of Alachua, was the County Seat.
As the human race moves up in the world they become amusement minded. The early
days in Gainesville were simple days and simple fun was all that the people could get or ex-
pect, and it sufficed. Friendly visiting came first, then picnics, fish fries, hunting parties
for the men, church dinners and suppers, and later, occasional square dances.
The first public amusement place was known as Ropers Hall. The seating arrangements
were benches made of solid cedar. The Hall was located where Cox Furniture Company is
now located on the south side of the square, the intersection of First Avenue and First Street.
Some notable shows were given there.
Most of the block south of the Courthouse burned in 1886. A Mr. Simonson bought the
corner lot and built a two story brick structure. The upstairs became known as Simonson's
Opera House (later known as the Baird Theatre). Mr. Simonson later built a very preten-
Federal Building and Post Office. Construction started May, 1909. Occupied
in May, 1911.
tious opera house, with a swimming pool and fish pond, just west of Sweetwater Branch and
north of East University Avenue, where the Avenue crosses Sweetwater Branch and at the
time of the freeze of late December, 1894 early January of 1895, the fish pond froze over
solid. The ice was solid enough for people to walk on it. A Canadian boy visiting Gainesville
for some unforseen reason had brought his ice skates to Florida. He remembered the skates,
dug them out and gave the people an exhibition of ice skating on natural ice, something never
seen in Gainesville before or since.
One of the most popular entertainments of early Gainesville days was the old fashioned
Candy Pulling. In these sophisticated days it would be a dull show. It was made to order
for young people and teen-age love. A soft moonlit summer night, or spring; the pleasant
perfume of garden flowers mingling with that of cooking candy, youth, laughter, love and
mirth held high carnival. The best that Hollywood could give today is but tame stuff, for
the simple reason that the boys and girls at the Candy Pulling were the actors in this great
drama of life and not the tired and sometimes bored participants or audience. Yes! Truly,
something went out of the American Way of Life with the passing of the era of Candy Pulling.
Oh! The night was young
And the moon was full,
As they sped away
To the Candy Pull.
The Cane Grindings we still have with us, but it is a short tame affair compared to
the Candy Pulling.
The last place in Gainesville that sugar was made was at the Captain Tom Ellis home,
where the Seagle Building now stands on West University Avenue. They were grinding cane
and making sugar in full swing in the 80's and 90's. The cane juice required much longer
boiling to make sugar than to make syrup. When sufficiently cooked the product was con-
veyed to the sugar house and stored in hollowed out cypress log troughs where it was left
to dry out.
Mr. Tench stated that the last two above paragraphs were referring to the years 1878
and 1880 and that especially the sugar house was the last in Gainesville to the best of his
THE DUEL OF THE ICE BLOCKS, As told to me by Mr. B. M. Tench, July, 1953.
An effort has been made to use Mr. Tench's words and expressions as much as possible.
In 1885 Mr. A. J. McArthur moved to Gainesville with his family from Wisconsin. Mr.
McArthur made a great contribution to the upbuilding of Gainesville, the state, and as will
be acknowledged later, the nation. He was the intellectual person, was of a friendly nature
and soon took his rightful place in the affairs of the city.
Mr. Mack, as he soon became known, was a great sportsman. He became the Manager
of the Oak Hall Baseball Club. (Old Oak Hall was the two story weatherboard building south
of the Post office, now 1964 parking lot). He came to Gainesville to engage in the business
of manufacturing artificial ice. The plant stood just west of Sweetwater Branch on the SAL.
Railroad crossing in southeast Gainesville. The project proved to be a profitable investment
Gainesville prior to the advent of Mr. McArthur was receiving ice from the North. It
was natural ice, cut from rivers and lakes in the North and transported by schooners to
Fernandina and from that point by rail to Gainesville. This made ice very expensive. The
plant began to manufacture ice.
Then came the great debate in Gainesville. Subject: Was artificial ice as good as lake
ice? The town was about evenly divided on the question. Then the "sports" moved in.
Arrangements were made for a test and most of the male population bet two bits, twenty-five
cents, to ten dollars ($10) on the outcome of the test, which was to determine which ice would
A one hundred pound block of artificial ice and a one hundred pound cake of Lake Ice was
placed on the sidewalk on the west side of the Courthouse about in front of Otto Stock's Mens
Store, 6 So. Main Street. Two guards were placed on duty to prevent any skullduggery. All
night long the watch was kept. Next morning no one could tell any great difference in the size
of the competing blocks of ice. The day dragged on. People milled around. Several ladies
drove by in their carriages drawn by curiosity and the interest of the men-folks. In the
middle of the afternoon the lake ice started melting fast. About four o'clock the lake ice
gave up the ghost and vanished, leaving the artificial ice victorious with only about a pound
of ice left. Soon the lake ice vanished from the Gainesville market.
Mr. A. J. McArthur while living in Gainesville invented the first successful refrigerator
railroad car. The success of the car was founded on his invention of the car door. The same
principle, the expanding door, is now in use in your kitchen on your electrical refrigerator.
Mr. Mack sold his patent on the door for a profit.
"Mr. Mack" then built a plant in Gainesville to treat pine stumps by heat, extracting the
liquid. He was much ahead of his market and sold the plant and moved from Gainesville. A
new plant was built in the northern part of Gainesville and one of the by-products is lamp-
black, a very necessary ingredient in the making of automobile tires. The present plant has
been very successful.
The home refrigerator was a first box with a cover and drain pipe to remove the melted
ice water, usually through a hole on the back porch. The ice was placed in the box and the
food, mostly milk, butter and vegetables placed on the ice. Crude as this equipment was, it
was the first attempt at home refrigeration. When you look with pride at the very useful as
well as beautiful electrical refrigerator in your home, which most of us take as a matter of
course, remember, that it was made possible by the invention of the expanding door, by a
Gainesville man, Mr. A. G. McArthur, who should stand second to Dr. Gorrie, inventor of
artificial ice, in the scientific field of one of the world's greatest blessings to mankind,
The Yellow Fever Epidemic
Following is the story of the Yellow Fever epidemic in Gainesville and other cities of
Florida as related by the Honorable B. M. Tench. In writing the story the author tried to
use as often as possible the words and expressions employed by Mr. Tench. The story was
first written in long hand, and finished from memory, then checked with Mr. Tench.
Like a blow in the face to the people of Florida was the announcement from the office of
the Mayor of Tampa that Yellow Fever was epidemic in his city. It was nearly Spring of the
year 1888, ten years before the great Walter Reed made the statement of discovery that the
only way whereby the yellow fever germ could be spread was by a mosquito, and that the
only way to stop yellow fever was to control the mosquito.
The people of Gainesville and Florida were justified in being almost panic stricken for,
just ten years before, 1878, yellow fever had killed fifteen thousand people in cities and towns
along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and some up the Mississippi
River in Tennessee. One hundred and thirty-two towns and cities had outbreaks of "Yellow
The announcement by the Mayor of Tampa was the courageous and comendable act. It
broke a long established policy. Until that date it was policy of towns and cities to withhold
and even deny the existence of any contageous disease in their borders. The memory of men
for things that bring disaster and death is long indeed.
Alachua County and other Counties quickly placed guards on all road and rail entrances
into the County. Since the guards were armed with shot-guns, they became known as "Shot-
gun Guards" and the action was called the "Shot-gun Quarantine". The Legislature of Florida
had hurridly enacted rather loose authorizations for the County guards. The guards were
located at the County.lines. An officer boarded every passenger train with power to put off,
at the next County line, any person not having a health card or certificate. The law was en-
forced to the hilt. The health certificate had to be signed by a qualified recognized person
stating that the traveler had not been in a quarantined infested area within the past two weeks.
Most towns following the action of the County established guards at or near the city
limits. Yellow Jack, like time, marched on, with some wayside stops on the Atlantic Coast
Line Railway, until it reached Jacksonville about the first of July. The disease came north
along the Seaboard Railway and hit Fernandina about the first of August. Both railroads had
completed their lines to Tampa about the year 1883. Tampa had a population of a little more
than 5000 people (5, 132).
The port at Jacksonville was closed and all rail traffic stopped. Many business houses
locked doors. At first, Fernandina denied that Yellow Fever was there, but the longshore-
men struck, led by a huge Negro on a big white horse; he was a powerful rabble-rouser.
Looting soon followed. The Mayor wired the Governor for assistance as he feared the town
would be burned. He still denied the existence of Yellow Jack. The Governor, Perry, wired
Capt. I. E. Webster, Gainesville, to assemble his Company and proceed to Fernandina. The
railroad agent, Mr. H. E. Day, the Mayor of Gainesville, and most of the citizens believed
that Jack was in Fernandina so the Gainesville Mayor, J. B. Brown, insisted to the Governor
that Yellow Fever did exist in Fernandina. The Governor took him at his word and ordered
Capt. Webster to proceed to Fernandina with the Gainesville Guards. The Commander of
the Ocala Rifles received like orders.
Captain Webster prepared to board the Seaboard for Waldo and Fernandina. The train
was scheduled to leave at 8:00 P. M. It was a soft summer night in late August. A full moon
was shining. Most of the able bodied people in Gainesville were gathered on the streets to
see the boys off on that fatal trip, which, before the consequences were over, was to bring
death and disaster and suffering and heart-ache to a great many Gainesville families and set
the city back, retarded its growth, from ten to twenty years.
News that the guards had been ordered to Fernandina swept over the town in a very short
time. City officials, the ministers, the physicians, and, in fact, nearly everybody in
Gainesville who could get uptown soon gathered, first, at the intersection of Main Street and
University Avenue. The Armory was located over what is now the Woolworth building. With
the exception of the occurance of the Second Battle of Gainesville during the Civil War, this
was the most momentous and dramatic incident ever recorded in the history of Gainesville.
National Guard Units of that day were very much on the social side. Its members were
drawn from the most cultured and intellectual leading homes and families in Florida. The
Gainesville Guards had one of the finest double quartets in all of the National Guard organi-
izations. Further, the entire Company liked to sing. It was well known for its marching
So, the guard started for the Seaboard Air Line Station, with hundreds of people, some
cheering and some grim faced, joining in the march. The marching song "We'll hang Yellow
Jack to a Sour Apple Tree, As We Go Marching On" was begun and joined in by every voice.
Then a more serious vein pervaded the marchers and they were singing "Onward Christian
Soldiers". The crowd was increasing every block. By now, many Negroes living in the
Depot area had joined the crowd and joined the music with the spiritual fervor that only
members of that race can contribute.
The train was thirty minutes late. The Guards and the crowd sang on and on, spiritual
songs at first, and then followed by Stephen Foster songs and others predominating in the
South. The train rounded the curve, stopped, the Guard entrained, and the people melted
into the night, having participated in one of the most heart-moving concerts in the strangest
setting that Gainesville will ever know.
Later, came the Day. Gainesville and Ocala had been spared. But on the 17th day of
September, 1888, the Chairman of the Board of Health, in all honesty, was forced to announce
that Yellow Fever was epidemic in Gainesville. Pandemonium reined. Fear and hurried
exodus was the order of the day, or rather night. Gainesville officials, the newspapers and
the people, having faith with the State and responded to the Fernandina riot case, now must
pay. As indicated above, many people succeeded in getting out of Gainesville before the city
was quarantined and manned with guards at all entrances.
So far as can be determined, there is no record, nor can anyone say with any degree of
accuracy, just how many people in Gainesville died of Yellow Fever. A quarantine camp
was established just on the rise of the hill and north of the Waldo-Williston cut-off road
intersection with S. E. 4th Street, which is Evergreen Cemetary Road. Many who died were
buried hurriedly and without true records made of the name of the deceased, or a marker
provided. When the road was paved a few years ago, bones and other signs of graves were
obvious to the persons doing the grading. Suffice it to say that shortly after the epidemic as
many of the bodies whose graves could be identified were transferred to Evergreen Cemetery.
A monument was erected near the walk from the Courthouse to the northeast corner of
the square to the memory of those who lost their lives in the Yellow Fever Epidemic. On the
north side is this inscription, "Erected in Memory of Their Deceased Comrades by Company
A, 2nd Bn., Florida State Troops, 1890". On the south side of the monument is the in-
scription, "Died of Yellow Fever, 1888, Contracted While on Duty at Fernandina". The
east side bears the one name "Sgt. M. F. Miller", and on the west side is the inscription,
Lieut. E. A. Evans". Lieut. Evans was the uncle of George E. Evans, County Court Clerk,
The fence was torn down from around the Courthouse about 1908. The monument was
removed from the Courthouse grounds about 1922 and placed at the entrance gate of Evergreen
Cemetery, now removed. The step-up in the walk from each corner of the square to the corners
of the Courthouse, was removed and the ground graded about the time that the monument was
Following is a copy of a letter from the Adjutant General's Office, State of Florida,
Tallahassee, dated October 30th, 1888 (pen and ink letter) addressed to Captain I. E. Webster:
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE
STATE OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE, Oct. 30, 1888
Capt. I. E. Webster,
Comdg Co. "A", 2nd Battn.
Enclosed is the Treasurers' check 875 on First National Bank of Palatka for $194. 24,
being amount (less 3 cents enclosed of the pay-roll of your Company for services at
Fernandina, Sept. 6, to 12, 1888. I also enclose our copy of the pay roll in order to enable
you to distribute the amount. Please return same.
Very Respectfully Yours,
The author has in his possession the original pen and ink letter addressed to Capt.
Webster, known in later life as Colonel Webster. The Webster residence, long time
home of his daughter, Mrs. Maud Merritt, is the large (1964) house at 723 N. W. 16th
Avenue. The grounds are beautifully kept and in the Spring are gorgeous with azaleas.
Angus Merritt, 711 N. W. 16th Avenue is a grandson of the Colonel.
THE STORY OF THE RATTLESNAKES IN THE POST OFFICE, as related by Mr. B.
I have tried to use some of the very words and expressions used by Mr. Tench.
James Bell was Postmaster two terms in Gainesville, 1889 to Jan. 3, 1904, and 1898
to 1900. He was the father of J. P. H. (Hovey) Bell who retired from the position of
Assistant Postmaster December 31, 1940, and the grandfather of Jack P. H. Bell, foreman
in the Gainesville office. Mr. Bell was known as Judge Bell. He was sent to Florida by
the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, D. C. He was an able man. Judge Bell was a
herpetologist, a well-known lover of wild life and a well known correspondent of a great
New York newspaper.
The assignment of Judge Bell by the Smithsonian Institute was for the study of snakes
in Florida and other southern states and he was required to send in specimens. He spent
several years of service in the Institute and finally settled in Gainesville. He was appointed
Postmaster May 21, 1889. The office was about where the Citizens Bank is now located at
110 E. University Avenue. It is said that the Judge was one of the most popular men who
ever held the job as Postmaster, although a Republican and from New York State. His wife
and family also were held in high esteen by many of our best citizens. Mrs. Bell was a
highly educated lady and, like the Judge, a writer.
The Judge's son Hovey became interested in snakes naturally, and particularly, rattle-
snakes. At that time he was a minor employee in the small post office. One afternoon
about closing time one of Judge Bell's friends from the country brought in two five and a half
foot diamond-back rattlers, in a wooden box. Since it was about closing time the box was set
down on the floor and the office closed for the night. "Came the morning". Florida at that
time was in the Central time zone. One changed his watch time in Savannah going to Washing-
ton or New York or points north or east. Stores were opened and business began at 7:00 A. M.
The Post office opened at 8:00 A. M. The employee, whose duty it was to open the Post
office came on time, turned the key noisily, shoved the door open, and to his horror, he saw
about six or eight feet in front of him, two very mad rattlers, fully coiled, rattling their tails
off. The employee quickly jumped back, closed the door, and, knowing of nothing in the
"Book of Instructions" that covered the case, tore out for Snake Headquarters, the home of
the Postmaster. The Postmaster lived several blocks away. There were no telephones in
those days in Gainesville.
Hovey Bell, the Judge's son, and the employee, returned to the office on the run, Hovey
having taken time out to get his snake catching equipment, which was a cane pole about eight
feet long with a noose on the end of the pole. Quietly the door was opened and Hovey looked
inside. The snakes had vanished. Hovey knew the snakes could not get out of the room. So
then began the strangest duel ever to be staged in so strange a setting as the U. S. Post
The best way to catch a snake, a rattlesnake, is with a pole and a noose, and when the
snake is coiled with his head up. The noose slipped over his head, the drawstring tightened
quickly, and the snake is helpless. So the contest went on. The first snake coiled in a matter
of seconds, the noose was tightened around his neck and he was placed carefully in the pre-
pared box. It required thirty minutes to capture the second one.
Now there are plenty of places in a small town Post office where a snake can hide.
Hovey Bell knew this and he was aware that his job was a tedious and dangerous one. He
wanted to save both snakes for experimental purposes. He and his father wanted to extract
the poison from the snakes, what is now called "milking a snake". As time marched on no
one dared enter the office to demonstrate with Hovey.
Herodotus wrote "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these
couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds", but two old rusty rattlesnakes
did just that. In the meantime, in the manner that news spread in small towns, a crowd was
gathering outside the Post office. The second snake was hidden. The crowd sensed the danger
Hovey Bell was in trying to find and capture that second snake. At ten o'clock, when the office
windows opened, a cheer went up for Hovey and the drama was ended.
Mr. J. P. H. (Hovey) Bell, as fine a man as ever walked the streets of Gainesville, or
any other town, gaveforty (40) years of service to the Post Office Department. As mentioned
before, Hovey's son Jack is at present a foreman employee in the Gainesville Post Office.
Jack has a son, Jack. Hovey's oldest child, Mrs. Natalie Anchors, was Superintendant of
the University Station Office, which position she held for over twenty-five years.
THE STORY OF HARMON MURRAY, NEGRO, AND DESPERADO
SLAIN BY ONE OF HIS OWN RACE, ELBERT HARDY
Full account of Murray's death
A large crowd meets the body at the Depot Great rejoicing among the people Hardy
receives an ovation Body to be placed on exhibition Now "Let Us Have Peace".
The city was in a white heat of excitement yesterday. At half past 8:00 yesterday, Sheriff
Fennell received a telegram from R. C. Curry, the station agent of the F. C. & P. Railroad
at Archer, saying that Murray had been killed by a Negro named Handy Early at Long Pond,
two miles from there at 3:00 this morning, and that the body would go up by the morning train.
The report spread like lightning, and by 9:00 every man, woman and child in Gainesville knew
that the notorious and deadly outlaw had been killed. Although the information seemed definite
enough, there was general inclination to be skeptical about it. Many scouted the idea alto-
gether. But about an hour before train time, an immense crowd had collected at the F. C. &
P. Railway depot to see the body of the dead Negro. Many of the prominent men of the city
had come down and every moment the crowd became larger. When the train arrived there were
hundreds of people wildly fighting for a place from which they could see. Men of both colors
struggled like mad men to board the incoming train and catch the first glimpse of Murray, the
The reporter, hearing that a Negro minister was present who knew the man reported to
have been the slayer, sought him out and learned that the man's name was Peter Holly.
Simmons, the informant, said Holly was raised up with Murray and knew him well. Judge
Arnow told the reporter that he had a man out hunting Murray, and that yesterday he came
in and reported that the outlaw was somewhere between Wacahoota and Long Pond. The man
stated that he was working through the Negro's sweethearts in different localities. There was
a house in that neighborhood that Murray was in the habit of frequently visiting and they were
watching it. This was all he could learn until the train came in.
When the usual shriek of the whistle was heard, the excitement which had been great,
increased to a fever heat. The car containing the body was boarded by a crowd and a vast
throng of eager people rushed to the box containing the body.
Sheriff Fennell, with the assistance of Undertaker Hutchinson and his men, forced their
way to the door and took the box out of the wagon in waiting.
Then came another fierce struggle. The crowd surged forward to the wagon-with irresis-
table power and it looked for a moment as if the crush would result seriously for many of the
weaker. As soon as the body was deposited safely in the vehicle, Fennell got up and Hutch-
inson drove off at full speed, the people following on foot, on horseback, and in carriages
running with all their might to keep up. As soon as the train rolled in, the young Negro who
did the shooting was seen standing in the door with his Winchester in his hands and a smile
of triumph on his face. When the people saw him, a shout went up for the brave fellow.
All the way from the depot to the square, the shouting continued. It was the wildest
scene that Gainesville has known for many years, perhaps in her history. The body was taken
out and placed in the Courthouse yard, on the south side, and the gate was locked and the
officers tried to establish some kind of order.
The reporter, going around to another gate, got in and sought out the man who did the
killing. He was surrounded by a great jam of men all trying to ask him questions at once.
The sheriff finally was able to place him on the stairway, from which place he made a
speech. He told how the affair happened in a clear and concise way. He was introduced by
a white gentleman from Archer as Elbert H. Hardy, the slayer of Harmon Murray. He was
greeted with tremendous cheers and said: "Murray came to my house at nine o'clock last
night and said he wanted to see me. I walked out to see him. He said he wanted me to go to
Archer with him. (Can't read the next several lines, due to piece of paper being lost) ...
He looked at his watch, the same one he took from E. W. Paxton about six weeks ago. He
said it was just nine o'clock and he wanted to be in Archer by three. We walked out down
the big road until we came to a little side path. He wanted me to go ahead, but I said, "No,
you are the best shot, so you go ahead".
He started off and I slipped behind just beyond the muzzle of my gun. He looked around
about that time, and I let him have both barrels right in the head. He dropped to the ground
without a word. So that ended Mr. Harmon Murray. Three rousing cheers were given with
a might will by the people. The Sheriff now took Hardy upstairs, and kept out the crowd while
the reporter had a private interview with the principle parties concerned in the killing.
It was then learned that immediately after the great mass meeting held here recently,
three colored men named Elbert Hardy, Wesley Thomas and Perry Henderson had formed
a solemn compact among themselves to do their utmost to capture Murray. Each man since
then, had held himself in readiness to risk his life in the attempt. They kept the officers
informed as well as they could.
That Murray came to Hardy's house last night and the other facts above narrated. After
the killing, Hardy returned to his brother-in-law's Tucker Barnes, and told him he had
killed Harmon. With Barnes and another colored man living there, Sam Williams, Hardy
started for Archer.
They came to the house of Mr. Jesse Bogue and awakening him told him they had killed
the outlaw. Mr. Bogue came down and the men showed him Paxton's watch, Murray's gun,
pistol belt and cartridges. The party then went to Archer and got a box and a wagon and went
out to the place of the killing, about two miles and a half from town.
When they reached the spot a good many colored people and several white people were
there. It was thought best that the body should be taken up and brought here. A committee
was appointed, they examined the person of the dead man. Nothing but a scarf pin was found
on him, no money or knife. The cartridges and belt had been taken off before.
The body was brought back and kept until this morning when it was shipped to Gainesville.
One hundred and forty-two cartridges were found in his belt and in his pockets, both pants
pockets, being full of them, some for his Winchester and some for his pistol.
He had threatened to kill a good many people that night, among whom were Hardy, Tucker
Barnes and Statia Annie Barnes, his sister. He also said that he did not trust anybody, he
would not trust his own damned daddy, he had trusted too many of them already.
The three Negroes who had sworn to kill him had no guns, and so applied to Mr. Hester,
of the firm of Hester, Stewart & Company, of Archer, who supplied them with guns and
At eleven o'clock today Hardy made another speech in front of the courthouse on the
square, in which he stated practically what had already been said. Tucker Barnes followed
him, and, in a very well-worded speech, told of the part he took in the killing. He said he
had at first refused to let Hardy have his gun, as he did not want him to do any devilment
with it. But Hardy got a chance to say to him, "Give me the gun and I will steal a march on
him and kill him". I then gave him the gun.
The Sheriff then stated that the body would be embalmed and placed on exhibition for the
next three or four days. A feeling of intense relief is experienced by all, both officers and
people, that the dreaded Harmon is no more. The Negroes appear to rejoice in an equal
The city is quiet again, but it will be several days before it recovers from the excitement
of the last few hours. The box in which the body was conveyed to this city was burned on the
HIS FIRST CRIME
In 1838 Harmon Murray was in the employ of H. Pinkoson of this city, during which
time he stole a horse from his employer. He was arrested and laid in jail during the
prevalence of Yellow Fever, no fall term of court being held in Alachua County during 1888.
At the spring term of court, Murray was tried, convicted and sent to the Penitentiary for
three years. He only served a few months, when he made his escape, since which time he
has committed many murders and robberies. In January of the present year Murray was
the leader of a band of desperadoes composed of himself, Michael Kelly, Tony Champion,
and others. Kelly and Champion were lynched in this city on the night of February 17,
1891, for their many deeds of lawlessness, having been captured and lodged in jail after
a most desperate fight with Sheriff Fennell and his posse. Murray was the only one of the
band who made his escape, since which time he has killed four men, which including the
murder of Mr. McPherson, makes five murders to his credit. Sheriff Fennell has spared
neither labor nor expense to effect the capture of Murray, but up until Thursday night he
had succeeded in evading the officers, having made some very narrow escapes. (Copied
from the Gainesville Sun, Sept. 5, 1891)
THE BLACK OUTLAW'S LIFE
Extracts from the famous Bell interview Murrays parentage and youth his companions,
robberies and murders A full history of the career of the noted criminal.
The notorious outlaw just killed by one of his own race was the son of Gilbert and Emma
Murray, the latter being a daughter of Henry and Rebecca James, who are among the most
respectable colored people of this city. He was born in Marion County, not very far from
the place where he was killed. He attended Union Academy, the large colored school of
Gainesville, and is well remembered by his classmates. At about the age of twelve, he ran
away from the school and went to Georgia. He did not return until he was a man grown, some
time in the year 1888. Murray was always of a headstrong and quarrelsome disposition,
which seemed to increase as he grew older. In 1888, he entered the employ of H. Pinkoson
of Gainesville. Such was his reappearance among his people of Alachua County.
Judge Bell, in his interview with Murray, learned the following facts, which he kindly
gave the Sun reporter. "Murray said he did not intend to steal the horse from Pinkoson.
He took it to go to see his girl at Arredondo, expecting to bring it back that night. While
returning, he learned from another colored man that Pinkoson had organized a posse and
was out hunting him for stealing his horse. Not believing the report, however, he continued
on his way until, looking over the woods, he saw the searching party. He got off his horse,
took him into a clump of bushes and waited until the posse passed. He then went over to a
friend's house, turned the horse over to him, and skipped. His arrest and sentence to the
penitentiary arewell known. While there he made the acquaintance of Michael Kierens and
Tony Champion, who were lynched in Gainesville in Feb. and of Alexander Henderson. The
escape from the penitentiary, as Murray told it to Judge Bell was like this:
Murray was working on the turpentine farm and when he left work that night, he took his
ax helve out and hid the blade in his shirt. It was a well-arranged scheme. The other con-
victs got up a big scuffle after supper to hide what Murray was doing. The latter, taking
advantage of the noise and confusion, pried off a board from the house. When all was still
about midnight, Murray, Kierens, Henderson, and Champion and five others escaped. They
went off in different directions and finally met in Tampa. Harmon was at this time an em-
ployee in a hotel and was doing pretty well. Soon after, rumors began to get about that he
was concerned in the robberies then being committed in that city. He was forced to leave
and come back to his people near Gainesville. Quite a number of bold and daring robberies
were committed here before anybody could locate the perpetrators. Finally on the night of
the 15th of February of this year, the first really definite knowledge of them was gained.
About 12 o'clock that night the policeman on the beat near G. K. Broome's store discovered
parties trying to break into the place. Upon trying to make an investigation, he was fired
upon. Dr. Phillips, also hearing the noise and going out on his piazza to learn the cause,
came near being killed, three shots being fired at him. Murray denied to Judge Bell that
he was with the gang on that occasion. Monday morning the officers began to search for
the robbers. Marshall Davies, Sheriff Fennell, and posse, learned from reliable sources
that they intended to meet at the house of a disreputable Negro woman near the F. C. & P.
Depot. Henderson was one of the informants. The officers-went down and secreted them-
selves below T. V. Porter's warehouse, immediately in front of the place of rendezvous.
In the meantime the gang had fired the barn of Mr. McPherson, of Millard Station, and
left. When the fire had burned down a little, they returned and killed McPherson, after-
wards robbing his house and frightening the women. Champion had sworn vengeance against
McPherson because the latter had him sent to the Penitentiary for robbing him.
Murray stated that he was not with the robbers at the time of the killing, and that Cham-
pion and Henderson did the shooting. He joined them later and came back to the city with
them. When the three reached the house where they had agreed to meet, the officers fired
upon them, wounding and capturing Tony Champion. The other escaped. Henderson had
left the station sometime before, reached the city first and was not at the depot when the
officers fired upon the gang. The subsequent capture and lynching of Champion and Kierens
have already been mentioned.
Murray now went away, and nothing was heard of him for some time. He next turned
up as a murderer in Fernandina, from which place he went to Starke. Here he killed the
Marshall and a Deputy and escaped arrest. His other depredations are of recent date and
About two or three weeks ago Judge James Bell, of this city, after hard work, succeeded
in interviewing Murray, the interview took place at the colored Baptist Church in the north-
western part of the city. Most of the particulars of this interview are already known.
Murray continued his depredations and his outlawry, with very little intermission up
to the time of his death. At one time he worked as a deputy to the Chief of Police of
Jacksonville, at the time they were hunting him most vigilantly. This is what he said, at
any rate. He had followed Alex. Henderson there, as he had sworn to kill the latter. From
here he shadowed Henderson to High Springs, where he says he killed him, for having informed
Murray was five feet, seven inches tall and weighed about 145 pounds. He was very stout
and muscular and a tremendous walker, as his ability to cover ground abundantly testifies.
He told Judge Bell he was 22 years old. He leaves three brothers, living at or about Long
Pond, one sister at Fernandina and two in Georgia. None of the other members of his
family have made any trouble. The body was embalmed yesterday by Undertaker Hutchin-
son, with the assistance of Dr. Hodges. It will be placed on exhibition on the Courthouse
square today for inspection of the people. (Copied from the Sun dated Saturday morning,
September 5, 1891.)
DOIG WRITES OF EXPERIENCES
On my first trip to Florida, I boarded a little steamer that was then plying between
Charleston and Florida, the name of which was "The Florida". I reached Fernandina after
one night's run, the steamer unloaded, but I remained on board and went to Jacksonville.
At that time the population of the town was not over 200, and I could have bought 640 acres,
including the whole of the business part of Jacksonville today, for only $1, 000. I got out
while the steamer was discharging the cargo and took a stroll around with the other passengers.
My next stop was at Palatka, which then had a population of about 30. I decided to remain
all night, as the steamer would go as far as Enterprise above, and return the next day.
However, I decided to remain until the steamer returned from its next trip to South Carolina.
During my stay in Palatka, I saw Billie Bowlegs, Tiger Tail, Wildcat and Blackhawk,
all Indian Chiefs, who were on their way to Washington to make a treaty. Bowlegs was over
50 years old when I saw him. Boylike, I had the curiosity to ask him how he became identi-
fied with the Indians. He told me he was a cabin boy on an English vessel which was wrecked
on the reefs on the East coast of Florida. He was captured by the Indians and later on they
made him a chief. Blackhawk was a Negro.
I remained in Palatka looking around, intending to go into some business. I found a very
desirable acre lot, with some orange trees and a couple of old blacksmith brick stacks on
it which was for sale at $650. I wrote my father telling what I expected to do, and he sent
me the money with which I purchased the lot. I have the original title to it today.
One morning it happened that I was in a store and I heard the proprietor and two crackers
naming people who were old friends of mine from South Carolina who had left the state to
settle in Florida. Getting into conversation with the farmers I found that they lived in the
general neighborhood with my friends. They had come to Palatka to get provisions, and
were preparing to go back home. I decided to go out and visit my friends from South Caro-
lina, and asked the farmers if I might travel with them, but I would have to walk, as their
little wagons would be loaded. Their carts were made of pine poles and split boards. The
owner of the cart had to sit straddle of the horses with his feet on the shafts to hold them
My Rainy Walk to this County
Boylike, I was anxious to see the world, and started out with them, carrying a carpet-
sack, but not as a "carpet-bagger". At that time all people traveling carried carpetbags
in place of the valises and suitcases of the present day. I had to carry my carpetsack with a
stock over my shoulder, and follow the cart on foot.
The names of those two traveling companions are well known through this country today.
Peacock and Roundtree were their names. Although they were black with their long beards,
and looked very fierce, they were perfect gentlemen and treated me to the best they had.
During the day we struck a place at that time called the Lady Slipper which was a low
flat piece of land about five miles long, covered with water to a depth of one to five feet.
This we had to travel through somehow, while the rain kept pouring.
We had left Palatka at 6 a. m. and we traveled all that day, with continuous thunder
and lightning and pouring down rain. At night we came to a little unfinished cabin, about
six or eight feet high, built of round logs, with split logs for the floor. My friends hitched
their horses and got the wet blankets out of the carts. All night long it continued to thunder
and lighten, with heavy rain. I heard the wildcats, the owls, the wolves, and all the animals
of the country. I did not sleep a wink, but my two friends slept as soundly as if they were
in their own beds at home. This shanty was on the road from Palatka to Micanopy.
Next morning we crawled out, and my two friends got out what they had to eat. The
biscuit was all wet and swelled as big as three ought to be. The coffee was black as ink,
and sweetened with Florida syrup, now called "long sweetening". There was also a little
"jerk beef", now called dried beef, prepared by drying on sticks and smoking, with laddernuts.
We continued our journey all that day, and at night reached the home of an old man named
McMeekin, who lived on the road. As my friends were acquainted with him we decided to
stop all night.. When we retired that night they gave me the daughters room, which was a
shed room attached to the main building. For light I had a little piece of candle on a block
of wood. I found everything in the room in a mighty nice and neat condition.
The bed.was made of pine poles, peeled with a drawing knife, and held together with
ropes. There was a feather bed and nice covers. But when I got in I discovered they had
taken the mattress and given it to my friends in the next room. Every time I would make a
move that bed would crawl in on me, as the ropes were far apart. I thought at one time I
would be hung, as one of the rungs was across my legs and the other one was across my neck.
But I kicked along, until I finally got clear through, and rested the balance of the night on the
After breakfast we started on our journey again, which brought us nearly at night to a
crossroads, called Orange Creek at that time. There my companions left me, as they were
going in a different direction, giving me instructions to keep the straight road to Micanopy,
which was the only town in Alachua County at that time.
At dark I. reached a place called Fort Crane, just south of Rochelle. It was owned at
that time by Colonel Stark Perry, afterwards Governor Perry. I made some inquiry from
the Negro whom I found at Perry's house, and he told me that Mr. Perry and family had
moved to Micanopy, and that he could not take anyone in.
I asked him then which would be the next house, and he told me it was about four miles
north; and the man living at that time was Colonel Edward Lewis. He was the man I was
intending to visit.
On the road I got lost and was in the woods until after 12 o'clock before I reached Colonel
Lewis' place. I hollered, and the first Negro who came to meet me was the same one who
had hauled us from Charleston to our original stopping place in South Carolina many years
before Old Uncle Ned, a Negro well known in this whole community.
I remained at Lewis' home for three or four months before I made a break to go any-
where else. I just stayed there, enjoying myself with his son. There were Negroes to wait
on us, and good horses to ride. It was heavenly.
Alachua County was then about the same as it is now. The name means in Indian, "big
jug", referring to a noted sink hole where the water from Newnans Lake and Paynes Prairie
flows in and goes under the ground. It is not known where it goes after that. Micanopy, the
first town in Alachua County, was named for an Indian chief.
It was the latter part of March, 1854, when I arrived at the Lewis home. This was
located seven miles east of Gainesville, just across Newnan's Lake. The Kings and Lewises
were the two prominent families of the neighborhood. I had known the Kings, as well as
the Lewises, in South Carolina. Mr. King was a Methodist preacher, but owned Negroes
and worked on his farm through the week and preached on Sunday.
Newnansville was an old settled town dating back to the first Indian war in 1812. It
was headquarters for.the Government for a long time. The railroad did not go within four
or five miles of Newnansville, so the people left and established a new town and called it
The western part of the county settled up first, principally with people from South
Carolina. The eastern part was settled more slowly on account of the Seminole War. The
last war with the Indians was in 1857. The people settling in here had to build block houses
out of logs to protect themselves. The Government established a station called Fort Crane,
near where Rochelle now stands, while they were fighting the Indians between Micanopy and
Major Bailey had been here ten or fifteen years when I came. He owned all the land
north of Oak Hall building. His old house is still standing in North Gainesville. He had
seven or eight children, and two or three of them still live here. During the war he was
called to Fernandina to superintend the building of some fortifications there, and contracted
some sickness and died at that time.
Dr. Babcock built his log house in 1853, on the present site of Colonel Dutton's home,
and practiced medicine throughout this whole country. He was at least 45 or 50 years old.
Finally he sold his property to Judge Dawkins who was a prominent lawyer, and re-
turned to South Carolina, remaining there until his death. His son is now president of the
South Carolina College in Columbus, S. C. The house remained as he had lived in it until
Judge Dawkins sold it to Colonel Dutton, who put up this big white house.
Colonel Ingram was considered one of the best farmers in the county. He also went
into the mercantile business here while running his farm. He and Beckham went into
partnership and established a general store on the east side of the square where the building
of George K. Broome now stands. This was in 1857.
At the beginning of the war Ingram sold out, but after the war re-entered the mercantile
business in partnership with Haile. About 1883 Ingram's family, three girls and a boy, sold
out their interests here and went to Texas.
By 1856 Ingram and Bailey had their land surveyed and divided into city lots. The
surveyors employed were Hunter and Young.i I bought the second lot that Ingram sold, where;
the electric light plant now stands. The first lot was sold to Davis Black. Two sets of
blocks were sold off at public auction. There was no surveyor here at that time, and Major
Bailey would take a walking cane and with a little compass he always carried in his pocket
he would locate you wherever you wanted to build.
Freezes of 90's Seen as Blessing in Disguise
In the century since its founding, a benign providence has sparked the city of Gainesville
--knock wood -- the terrible disasters that have dealt death and destruction to other com-
munities to become in their history landmarks by which time and other events of lesser
impact are measured.
Fortunately well out of the hurricane perimeter and with no rivers charging by at
close range with seasonal threat of flood damage, Gainesville has not been halted in its
progress by anything as devastating or severe as a Johnstown flood, a Texas City ship
explosion nor a Chicago holocaust.
Three or four Gainesville business section fires took their toll of old buildings and left
void for modernity to creep in, the yellow fever epidemic of 1888 cannot be dismissed
lightly, and there have been other interludes of misfortune, but all were ephemeral against
a backdrop of 100 years of history, just painful pauses after which the people licked their
wounds, then determinedly built bigger and stronger.
Catastrophe as it can be reflected in long casualty lists is yet to come. Castastrophe
as it is measured in mercury and red alcohol has been a rather frequent visitor.
Gainesville has been literally nipped in the bud a couple of times disastrously in a
material way. Nips that altered the complexion and economy of Alachua County.
The buds in this case were on citrus trees, Alachua County having been a pioneer in
orange growing and was well on its way to becoming a leader in the industry until Mother
Nature blew the whistle on it.
To make sure she would be heeded, she blew the whistle long and loud three times,
the tooting coming once each in the winters of 1894 and 1895 and again with a loud blast
By the time the citrus industry of Alachua County was reduced to almost nothingness by
the heavy frost and snow and never again was to emerge as a major county agricultural
In order to cut through the welter of conflicting hearsay on the "Big Freeze" and the
"Big Snow" usually used to identify the three cold spells. We have sought out the official
records as far as they are available for that period.
These are less colorful than the way the oldtimers used to tell it, but we are searching
for truth without highly imaginative adornment, so here set down the hard, cold and un-
1894. This disastrous freeze entered the State on the morning of December 27 and by
the 29th the entire mainland of the Peninsula was experiencing freezing weather, with a
light frost temperature even to Key West. There was general destruction of tender orange
growth throughout the Gainesville and central sections; many young trees were killed to the
ground, and some that had reached maturity were seriously damaged. There was a whole-
sale destruction of vegetables of every description but the damage to the citrus industry
was greatly exaggerated at the time. The low at Gainesville was 14.
1895. The cold wave of Feb. 7-10 destroyed more property than any other freeze in
the history of the State. In point of cold it was almost identical with that of the preceding
December, but it came at a time when defoliated root trees were sending out new shoots, and
when the sap was flowing, a condition most conducive to damage by freezing weather. As a
consequence, many trees that escaped the December freeze were killed to the ground, and the
young growth that had put out, was of course, killed back.
That portion of the State that had suffered least from the December freeze was again favored
by the cold wave of February, and the oranges shipped in the following year came almost en-
tirely from South Florida.
The damage to the orange crop by these freezes is best indicated by the output for the pre-
ceding and following years, a reduction from nearly 6, 000, 000 to less than 75, 000 boxes.
Practically all vegetables were killed. A low of 14 was recorded in Gainesville during the
By that time the Alachua County Citrus industry was severely pinched but not quite ready
to give up. The near-knockout blow was to come, however, before the turn of the century.
Says the official report:
1899: The citrus industry in the northern and north central portions of the Peninsula was
entirely destroyed by the phenomenal freeze of February 13-16. Except in a few favored local-
ities, orange trees north of Parallel 29 were destroyed, those in most of the central section
killed to the ground, while in the lower part of the State the groves suffered to the extent of loss
of foliage only. The pineapple industry was severely injured and all unprotected vegetables were
killed except in the southeast coast region. Over the northern half of the state high winds and
snow accompanied the cold, making protection by means of firing almost impossible. Snow was
heavy, up to six inches in the Gainesville area and the mercury hit a new low of 6. Low for the
state was a 2 below in Tallahassee.
So as the nineteenth century moved into the twentieth, the pioneer citrus growers of Alachua
County "had had it". They had picked up from the spoils of a few years before and tried again.
It hadn't paid off. They had enough, and except in one area, oranges do not play a major part
in Alachua County's agricultural leadership which has now reached $20 million annually.
With the decline of the citrus industry in and around Gainesville, growers turned to other
crops to launch a system of farming that has made the county the most diversified agricul-
turally and one of the richest in its farm products in the state.
Perhaps, the "Big Freeze" and the "Big Snow" were blessings in disguise.
That high annual Alachua County tobacco, peanut, cotton, cattle, truck garden, poultry,
fruit, production would seem to say so.
CITY COVERED BY HEAVY SNOW STORM IN 1899
"To many it was the sight of a lifetime but to all it was a novel sight to witness in Florida. "
That is the way the Gainesville Sun headlined the "Big Snow" of 1899 in its edition of Feb-
ruary 10 of that year.
There was awful havoc wrought in its wake in "The land of flowers and perpetual sunshine"
and old timers still relish the chance to gather the little ones to them and tell of the time "it
was below zero in Gainesville for days and six inches of snow covered the ground, leaning
heavily on a patriarch's prerogative to exaggerate.
It was cold and very cold but not that cold. There was snow and lots of it but not that much.
The facts in cold hard type do not expand with the heat nor the passing of time nor contract
with the cold.
The cold hard type preserves immutable to tell the true story.
The report of the "Heavy Snow Storm" as it appeared in the Sun of February 10, 1899
"Seldom in the lifetime of Floridians are they afforded the sight which greeted their eyes
early yesterday morning. Snow covered the ground and roofs of houses and everything resting
upon the ground.
"Many who had never seen snow would have relished the sight could they have for the moment
forgotten the awful havoc wrought in only one night by the cold.
"Never has such a cold wave visited Florida and never did such a calamity fall at such an
inopportune time. One of the greatest surprises connected with the cold was the suddenness
with which it came.
"Had it not been for the warning received from the Weather Bureau Sunday at noon, no one
would have predicted a severe cold wave even at dark Sunday night, when rain fell for several
"At that hour the wind was from the northeast and as severe cold is seldom brought by
a wind blowing in that direction, and as it was raining at the time there was nothing in the
weather conditions to indicate the approach of an extreme cold wave.
"At about 8:30 the wind changed suddenly to the northwest and from that time the mercury
fell fast and steady. At 8:30 the rain had turned to sleet which fell in torrents and rattled upon
the roofs and porches. This lasted until about 10:30 when it began to snow. At first the flakes
were fine, but in a very few moments the flakes had become large and were falling thick and
"There were a number of people in the Brown House who witnessed the sight as the snow
was falling from under the electric lights. So thick were the large flakes descending that the
large globe of the bright street lamp was completely hidden from view.
"The wind was blowing strong and the snow was sent flying through the air in every direc-
tion. Most people had retired, but not a few arose and witnessed the sight of snow falling so
thick and fast in what was once termed "The Land of Flowers and Perpetual Sunshine".
"The snowstorm ceased about 2:30 and during the short time which it lasted the fall was
about an inch and a half, allowing for that which had fallen and melted after it had struck the
"In the morning everything was white and added to this the icicles hanging from the eaves
of the buildings gave the country the appearance of a landscape, where winter abounds in earnest
for several months of the year. The biting cold which prevailed did not serve to draw from any
of the material features of the wintery picture.
"At daylight the average temperature in Gainesville was 10 degrees above zero, and at 6
o'clock had reached the unprecedented low mark of six above zero, six degrees lower than it
had reached anywhere in the state during the great freeze of February 8, 1895, when it passed
over nearly the entire state.
Covered with Ice
"The ground where sleet had fallen and where the wind had relieved it of the snow, was
covered with ice and it was with difficulty that people walked upon the street.
"Most of them were never accustomed to walking upon ice and where as awkward as the
saying goes, as "a hog on ice". Before they could get the proper step many of them lost their
balance and fell heavily on the ground. Some fell several times. It was amusing to see horses
and mules which were not shod for walking on ice as they slipped and fell.
"In some instances partners, who had attempted to drive, were forced to unhitch their horse
or mule from the wagon and lead their animal home while they left the wagon or buggy in the
middle of the street.
"J. W. Patton had started for Newberry, had his horse fall and break the shelves of the
buggy, compelling him to abondon the trip. It was bitter cold all day, the thermometer ranging
from 22 to 26 degrees. The snow which remained in the shade did not thaw, and much of it
was visible at night.
"Several who were supplied with Kodaks were out early in the day taking views, which in
after days will remind them of the cold. "
Longest Winter ever, Oldtimers here Say
Icicles as big as an arm, hanging from the eaves . buggies stopped along the road to
build fires in bitter cold weather. .
These are recollections of Gainesville residents who remember other winters which may
have been as cold, but not as prolonged as this one.
Adolph L. Vidal, 78-year-old Gainesville druggist, remembers December, 1895, and
horse and buggy trips to Micanopy.
To start out with warm feet, bricks were heated, slipped in sacks and put on the floor
of the horse-drawn buggy. When every bit of warmth oozed out of the bricks, the buggy
stopped and fires were built along the side of the trail. Often there would be more than one
stop as passengers and horses got warm.
When feet and hands were warmed again everybody piled back into the buggy and the trip
Mrs. Mosby Taylor, 113 NE 7th St., says the winter may not be the coldest she's seen in
Gainesville, but it is certainly the longest.
She describes the cicles "Big as ;n arm" ihangiing from the roof of her grandmother's
house on East University Ave. one winter "back when". They formed after a rain and a
"The rain during this winter season is a bit unusual, she mentions.
John A. Robertson, who has seen 90 winters here, says this is the "worst winter he has
ever seen. "It has been cold in spells before, but never so continuously, he said.
There have been harder freezes, but citrus was often in a dormant stage and not so much
damage resulted, he remembers. He had experience with the 1895-96 freeze when acreage
was wiped out near Newnans' Lake. He remembers icicles hanging from orange trees other
winters, but the crop was undamaged because the trees were in a dormant stage.
And that's how this winter has stacked up in the memories of some of those who remember
some corkers in the past.
From the Gainesville Sun, Thursday April 25, 1963: "Uncle John Robertson, born here":
John Alston Robertson, colorful pioneer Gainesville resident and affectionately known to
friends here as "Uncle John", died at his home yesterday. He was 95.
Mr. Robertson was active in Gainesville civic and political affairs all of his life and amazed
friends with his activity in leading an unsuccessful fight against building the new Alachua County
Courthouse at the age of 91.
He maintained a keen interest in building and once said he always wanted to be an architect.
Instead he spent 32 years as a successful vegetable broker after farming several years himself.
For many years Uncle John grew camellias in the backyard of his home at 734 E. Univer-
sity Avenue and sold them to his cousin the late Mrs. Robert McKinstry, a florist.
After her death, he decided to give the flowers to his friends, and he considered everyone
He gave away as many as 100 flowers a day on some days, saying at the time that he did
it "just to help people and as a hobby. He carried boxes of flowers downtown and "gave a
flower to each lady in the bank and every place I went. "
Mr. Robertson gave up his giving of flowers about four years ago after following the practice
for nearly 30 years. He said then that he couldn't keep up the work and rather than sell the
plants he would give them away.
Mr. Robertson's father, the late W. H. Robertson, was chairman of the Board of County
Commissioners when the first wooden courthouse was built here and Uncle John often enter-
tained youngsters with his stories of early Gainesville.
As a boy, he helped his father with the county's first newspaper, the New Era, and recalled
many episodes of the rough and tumble days of the day.
Mr. Robertson spent much of his time in later years, before illness left him bedridden,
talking with acquaintances on a bench on the courthouse square.
He loved to recall the days when just five wooden stores faced the courthouse square and
the subsequent expansion.
Uncle John never married. He lived with a sister, Mrs. F. G. McIntosh, who survives
him. Other survivors include a nephew, C. Sidney Robertson, of Gainesville, and a niece,
Mrs. Margaret Fifield, of Atlanta.
He was a member of the First Methodist Church.
THE SUNNY SOUTH SHIVERED
Ice Extended into Rivers, Creeks when
Temperature Dipped in 1886 by Tom Chapman
Times-Union Staff Writer
Ice on Trout River, and Hogan's Creek and McCoy's Creek. Ice intended more than 20
feet into the St. Johns River from its frozen banks,
The scene might have been last night, with the anticipated 20-degree temperature reading.
But it wasn't.
The year it happened was in 1886, but the date was the same: Jan. 11.
"It is generally conceded this is by far the most severe weather experienced in Florida, "
the newspapers read that morning 76 years ago.
. Droplets of water froze on the hats of firemen working at a fire here.
. Supplies of wood for fuel were exhausted at wood yards by noon of the proceeding
day and many families huddled in the nippy confines of their unheated homes on this day.
. One joker dangled a huge block of ice from the front of a downtown store and in-
scribed upon it: "The Sunny South. "
The scene, indeed, might have recurred early today. The mercury was to inch down
within a degree of that all-time low reading for a Jan. 11 that day in 1886.
But few persons would care to have the remainder of that '86 weather sequence to repeat
itself. On the following day, the temperature skidded to 15 and veterans of the two-day freeze
began venturing from their homes to witness ice-skating demonstrations on the frozen creeks.
Jacksonville's coldest recorded moment came 13 years later, however. On Feb. 13, 1899,
the thermometer reached an all time low of 10 degrees above zero. This was accompanied by
the city's heaviest snowfall, an official 1. 9 inches.
The record storm reached the city about sundown the day before. Sleet blanketed the side-
walk with an ice cover and just before midnight, the snow began.
Feb. 13 turned into a playday. The municipal judge delayed the holding of court in order to
take advantage of sledding down a snow embankment in front of the police station.
One other record was established that day. The temperature never rose above 27 degrees
-- an all-time low maximum daily reading for Jacksonville.
It was many years before the city had the opportunity to get excited over wintry weather
again. On Feb. 8, 1958, snowflakes descended in a rare daytime appearance from 9:55 to
10:40 a. m., but -- alas! -- melted as they contacted the pavement.
That was just a tune-up for the real thing again. Jacksonville's second and last substan-
tial snowfall come on the 13th of the next month -- the same date as the record snowfall of
But no one would believe it 'til they saw it.
On the balmy late afternoon of Feb. 12, 1958, spokesmen for the U. S. Weather Bureau at
Imeson Airport received only guffaws for their trouble when they read off a forecast which
called for snow before daybreak.
Sure enough, the city rested under a blanket 1. 5 inches deep the next morning and the
laughter turned to awe.
Alachua County was never considered to be "below the mythical frost line", therefore
truck farmers and orange growers did have to contend with frost. Proper attention and care
usually averted real danger. Wild sour orange groves were found to be the most profitable
when budded with the "sweet". It was said that the cold experienced was more beneficial than
harmful in that it killed the insects that ravaged the trees. Terribly severe winters like those
of 1835 and 1859 were not expected to reoccur.
Again Carl Webber is quoted relative to the weather of Florida. "People from the north
often ask if a frost may not some time come and destroy the business of orange culture. Cer-
tainly, it may, and so may the waters of the Atlantic Ocean sweep New England from the face
of the earth. Danger to life and property all over the world is possible from scourge, pesti-
lence or the ravages of the elements. There is the remote contingency that a severe frost
might damage the crop once or twice in a century, however, there is no doubt that the orange
culture here in the "orange belt" of Florida is one of the most substantial industries in the
world". Kind readers of eighty years later, Mr. Webber did not foresee the freeze of 1895
which totally killed the orange groves around and in Gainesville (within the city limits and
around the old settlement at Paradise five miles north on Highway 441) to the extent that no
further effort to establish groves was ever considered.
In order to obtain accurate information relative to the Florida citrus industry and to get
frost and freeze dates definitely established, the editor requested some information from Dr.
Rembert W. Patrick, Historian and writer, University of Florida. He then visited P. K. Yonge
Library of Florida History.
T. Frederick Davis in his Narrative History of the Orange, 1941, states that the first
citrus boom in Florida was in 1763. The second boom occurred in 1830. Davis said that the
first week of February 1835 was warm. Then a cold wave hit on Feb. 7th and that Sunday,
the 8th, the freeze was on. They had thirty six hours of steady below freezing temperature.
Sunday, Feb. 8th became known as "Cold Sunday". The high temperature in St. Augustine on
the 10th was 21 degrees. Saint Augustine had a record low of 10 degrees, Pensacola, eight,
Tallahassee, four and Tampa, a low of twenty.
Beginning in the ninties there were several warm winters. In 1893-94 4,250,000 boxes
of oranges were shipped. Then the freeze hit December 28th to 30th of 1894 followed by another
on February 8th and 9th of 1895 and five days later, another on Feb. 13 and 14th.
Quoting Mr. Davis, "The cold wave of 1894 and 1895 were similar in degree and distribu-
tion of cold. Both carried freezing temperatures to the southern tip of the peninsula. That
of 1894 killed mature trees to the ground in north Florida and injured them in many central
Florida locations. However, much of the stock north of the 29th parallel would not have been
killed, as many of the trees were dormant, but that freeze was then followed by a month of
unseasonable warm weather which started the sap flowing and the trees put out new growth.
The February 1895 cold wave caught the trees in this condition and killed them to the ground
in the interior as far south as the 28th parallel. "
There was another cold wave, snow and high winds, in 1899 that "approached the "frost"
of 1835. It killed some stock to the roots south to the 29th parallel.
Freeze Barely Misses Same Dates as
Disaster of 1895
Lakeland, Feb. 11 (AP) -- This weekend's cold wave comes almost on the anniversary
date of one of the most disastrous freezes Florida ever had.
That was on Feb. 9 and 10, 1895, when temperatures dropped to a low of 15 to 19 in North
Florida and 17 21 in Central Florida.
What made that freeze so terrible was that Florida's citrus crop was putting out growth
after a freeze late in December of 1894 when the thermometer got as low as 12 in North Florida.
In the 1895-96 season the citrus industry was so badly hurt from the preceding season's
cold that a 97 per cent reduction in production resulted.
The industry was just recovering from those freezes when the bad one of February 1899
came along. It got so cold then the temperature dropped to 2 below zero at Tallahassee, the
official all-time low for the state.
This freeze was the one that figuratively broke the back of many a citrus man and caused
him to give up citrus growing or to move farther south in the state.
Citrus again was damaged in Feb. 2-6, 1917, when thermoneters dipped to 15-20 degrees
in North Florida. General but not extensive damage to citrus was caused in 16-24 low temp-
erature weather in 1928.
Considerable damage occurred in Dec. 12-13, 1934, when temperatures of 16-24 degrees
were recorded in North and Central Florida.
There were scattered freezing spells until 1940 when temperatures dropped to 8 degrees
in West Florida, 12-18 degrees in North Florida, and 14-20 in Central Florida. Loss of un-
protected trees was heavy. Permanent damage was caused by that freeze.
In more recent times freezes severe enough to hurt citrus have occurred in March, 1941,
February, 1943; February, 1947; January 1948 and November, 1950.
The Editor has on file a letter dated Feb. 28, 1962, from Mr. Rembert W. Patrick,
President Southern Historical Association, University of Florida, Gainesville, relative to the
"Big Freeze" in Gainesville, as follows:
Mr. Jess Davis
1004 NW 35th Avenue
Dear Mr. Davis:
Mr. Cash has in his book on Florida the statement that the freeze of 1894 came on Decem-
ber 27th and the lowest temperature was fourteen degrees. January of 1895 was very warm,
and the sap came up in the orange trees and young leaves began to appear. Then, on February
7, 1895, we had a blizzard that extended as far down as Tampa and a low of eleven degrees above
zero at Tallahassee. This cold spell continued for three days. Then on the 14-17 of February
there was another cold period with snow falling in Tallahassee. I hope this is sufficient infor-
nation for your friend.
It was good to see you on Wednesday, and I do appreciate your writing the review of my
Signed: R. W. Patrick
Mrs. B. P. Beville, 810 S. W. 1st Avenue has loaned to the writer a copy of the City
Directory of Gainesville, dated 1905, price $2. 00. The directory was published by Jesse E.
Burtz, "Never Sleeps", of the Burtz Printing Company. As would be expected in 1905, the
front page ad was of the DUTTONS, Bankers, phosphate mining and cotton dealers and ginners.
The city dividing lines were east and west, West Main Street; north and south, Liberty Street
and Alachua Avenue. There was an East Main Street which is now East 1st street. Liberty
Street was what is presently (1964) University Avenue and Alachua Avenue began at the little
bridge across Sweetwater branch on the present University Avenue and extended East. Univer-
sity Street was the present N. E. Second Street. It ran up to the East Florida Seminary, lo-
cated on what is now the Methodist Church property.
J. T. Wills, Starke, was the Circuit Judge and Benj. P. Calhoun, Palatka, was the Prose-
The County officials were: Board of County Commissioners:
Circuit Court Clerk S. H. Wienges
Deputy Clerk M. S. Cheves
Sheriff L. W. Fennell
Office Deputy J. H. Granger
Judge H. G. Mason
Superintendent of Public Instruction J. H. Kelley
Tax Assessor W. W. Colson
Assistant Tax Assessor G. W. Miller
Tax Collector W. D, Dickinson
Assistant Tax Collector Miss Stennie Dickinson
Treasurer W. H. Robertson
Supervisor of Registration M. S. Cheves
County Surveyer James Croxton, Micanopy
Janitor Moses Sherman
THE CITY OFFICERS:
Mayor, W. R. Thomas
Marshall Chas. Pinkoson
Tax Collector T. B. Ellis
Tax Assessor William Bradford
Clerk and Treasurer J. Maxey Dell
City Attorney W. S. Broome
Supt. of Water Works W. S. Miller
Night Officer Charlie Warren
John G. Dampier, Hague, Chn.
C. C. Pedrick, Gainesville
F. F. Paulling, Hawthorne
J. F. Townsend, Rex
J. G. Osteen, Donnie
The County School Board was:
Weeks, Hawthorne, Chn.
Lelley, Gainesville, Secty.
Doke, Santa Fe.
THE CITY COUNCIL WAS:
The Fire Department in 1905 was E. A. O'Neill, Chief.
First Assistant, A. M. Cushman and Second Assistant, N. E. Benson.
Hose Co. NO. 1, Foremen W. J. Holly and E. S. Kennard, (15 men)
Hose Co. NO. 2, Foremen, C. R. Layton and J. A. Phifer, (15 men)
Hook and Ladder NO. 3, Foreman, J. W. Blanding A. F. O'Neil, Asst., (13 men)
The Board of Trade members were officers W. G. Robinson, W. R. Thomas and W. M.
G. J. Arnow was Postmaster, J. P. H. Bell, Asst. Postmaster and B. T. Arnow and Miss
Rosa Waters were the Clerks. There were four City Delivery carriers:
A. W. Sargent, later Supt. of Mails; B. F. Childs, D. W. Rowe and D. S. Days.
There were two rural route carriers, only one named. S. J. Burnett.
Only one school "for whites" was listed; the present J. J. Finley school. There was a
private school operated by Miss M. Tebeau, present City parking lot on S. Main St. Teachers,
Miss Katherine LaFontisee and Mrs. W. P. Coffee.
There was the Union Academy for colored, NO. Garden St., Cor. Lassiter, (now 1964
N. W. 1st St. and 6th Avenue) T. E. DeBose, Principal and Saint Augustine Mission, negro,
NO. Grove, Cor, W. Church, (now Cor. NW 4th St. and NW 4th Avenue, J. Speight, principal.
Six churches were listed:
Advent Christian, Paster not named; First Baptist, Pastor, Stuart B. Rogers, First Pres-
byterian, pastor, Rev. Thos. P. Hay; Episcopal, Francis H. Craighill, Methodist, Pastor,
Rev. T. J. Nixon; Catholic, Rev. P. J. Lynch., The Superintendents of the Sunday Schools,
Baptists, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Methodist, respectively, were Robert McClellan, Chris-
topher Matheson, F. P. Bullock and H. L. Phifer.
No reason was given but there were fifteen churches for the colored listed. Also the direc-
tory listed the white and Negroes separately.
Some of the prominent citizens of churches, lodges, schools and 'Societies' were:
D. R. Clarence B. Strouse
Dr. W. L. Davidson
A. M. Cushman
Jos. G. Terrey
W. B. Higdon
W. R. Stockert
J. I. Blake
N. R. Carter
E. G. Baxter
Geo. S. Merchant
B. P. Richards
F. Presvett Bullock
C. C. Pedrick, buggies and
J. Manasse, Dry Goods
A. L. Vidal
A. S. Wooley
G. W. Emery
E. E. Cannon
James F. Smith, Photographer
J. H. Malphurs, Grocer
D. G. Edwards, Livery Stable
J. A. Goodwin, Manager, Tel Co.
E. C. McMahan
Chas. H. Benson, Barber
J. W. Patton, Surveyor
J. S. Bodiford, Druggist
J. W. McCollu, Druggist
Nicholas Bures, Pool-Candy
J. B. Padgett
C. C. Powell
W. M. Johnson, Druggist
J. R. Emerson, Grocer
John W. Ettel, The Brown House
R. B. Livingston, Ice
George W. Meyers, Pumps-Engines
W. E. Dow, Insurance
Wm. A. Jones
F. R. Seawall
L. A. Jernigan
Geo. W. Hide
F. T. Baker
John C. McGrew
R. T. Schafer, Baker
G. A. Perett
Walter G. Robinson, U.S. Land Office
Henry S. Chubb, Receiver, Land Office
L. E. Backer, G., & G. Railway
S. J. Thomas, Hardware
W. W. Avera, Stationer-cold drinks
C. V. McKinstry, Wholesale House
W. S. Dorsey
T. F. Thomas, Undertaker
R. McClellan, Undertaker
E. E. Voyle, Insurance
August Wenske, Journeyman Carpenter
J. Dudley Williams Contractor
Geo. M. Coleman, Shoemaker
B. R. Colson
J. J. Williams advertised 4 full qts pure
rye whiskey for $5. 00
Corn whiskey from $1.65 up
R. C. Davis & Sons-Typewriters
No garages were listed but there
were several livery stables, Saloons,
and blacksmith shops.
Gainesville social church, school and organization leading women were in 1905:
Mrs. J. E. Ackley
Mrs. D. Hart
Miss Ada Giddings
Mrs. O. B. Bailey
Miss Pearl Avera Mrs. J. W. Patton
Miss Mary Baird Miss Hattie Dennis
Mrs. Millie McKinstry Miss Sallie Pinkosen
Mrs. W. N. Fielding Miss Mamie Wilcox
Mrs. S. B. Rogers Mrs. H. F. Kate Dutton
Miss Maud Fielding Mrs. Christine Richards
Miss Elizabeth Taylor Miss Grace Balis
Mrs. George I. Doig Miss Nela Strobhar
Mrs. W. B. Higdon Mrs. W. L. Floyd
Mrs. A. W. Taylor Mrs. H. L. Phifer
Mrs. C. C. Pedrick Mrs. W. H. Sibley
Mrs. L. C. Lynch Mrs. T. W. Shands
Mrs. J. A. McKinstry Mrs. J. A. McElroy
Mrs. M. B. Saunders Mrs. J. M. Pound
Mrs. G. K. Broome Mrs. J. M. Dell
Mrs. Chas. Lynn Mrs. J. E. Futch
Mrs. W. S. McDowell Mrs. T. F. McBeath
Mrs. E. P. Cater Mrs. M. B. Powell
Mrs. Christopher Matheson Miss Myrtle Fennell
Miss Jessie Evans Miss Ida Bond
Mrs. S. J. Thomas Miss Lillie Mason
Mrs. C. A. Colclough Miss Mary DaCosta
Mrs. L. R. Woods Miss Maud Neville
Mabel Livingston Miss Mamie Hill
Miss Leonora Robertson Montine Fagan
Gertrude Cushman Katie Boulware
Nettie L. Rebb Mattie Mae Williams
Mrs. L. J. Burkhim Mrs. John Chesnut
Mrs. G. K. Broom Mrs. F. R. Seawell
Mrs, I. E. Webster Mrs. J. E. Wainwright
Mrs. J. T. Percival Mrs. H. H. McCreary
Mrs. George W. Meyers Mrs. T. C. McEachern
Mrs. A. R. Harper Mrs. J. W. Tench
Mrs. Kydia Crane Mrs. J. M. Rivers
Mrs. J. B. Gerald Mrs. W. T. Chesnut
Mrs. J. B. Wilcox Mrs. J. L. Kelley
Mrs. N. D. Phillips Miss Millie Adamson
Mrs. Francis Craighill
Examination of directories of 1905 and 1964, in the sixty year interim, one finds that pro-
minent names of the early date have been reduced, and in some cases, entirely disappeared
from the picture of Gairiesville, for instance, there were seven Averas listed on the early date
as against one in 1964. There is no Balls or Bracey, Burtz, Colclough, Earle, Finnell,
Tomkies, Deveneaus, and Seagles.
W. R. Thomas, the Major, Father of Clarence and Phil, has twenty four ads in the 1905
directory which had only forty four pages of names. He was for many years one of Gaines-
ville's outstanding citizens and business men. He is credited with being the most influential
citizen and office holder in getting the University of Florida located here. His ads were some-
thing like this (one on each page) real estate, livery stable, Carriages, homes, Buggies,
Horses & Mules, Saddle Stock, Wagons, Rent a buggy, Dependable drivers, stylish turn-outs,
There were sixteen attorneys listed in the 1905 Gainesville City Directory as follows:
Evans Haile Syd L. Carter
Ferdinand Bayor C. R. Layton
Horatio Davis J. A. Carlisle
W. S. Broome C. C. Thomas
B. A. Thrasher T. B. Ellis, Jr.
Robert E. Davis W. H. Palmer
J. M. Rivers C. Matheson
W. E. Baker Wm. Wade Hampton
There were two undertakers, T. F. Thomas and R. McClellan. One advertised, robes,
(presumably for mourners) if desired, the other advertised "complete line of pictures and
frames, rubber stamps, ink, upholstry material, kodaks and films".
Eleven doctors (physicians and surgeons) were listed:
Dr. J. Harrison Hodges Dr. J. H. Colson
Drs. McKinstry and McKinstry Dr. James M. Dell
Dr. C. L. Carter Dr. W. H. Sibley
Dr. N. D. Phillips Dr. J. Harvey Smith
Dr. Etienne Lartigue Dr. R. B. Ayer
and four dentist: J. H. Alderman, Devere B. Morris, Gordon B. Tison and Harry Lee
1st Hand-crank Phones Came to City in '90;
Subscribers Paid $1 a Month
It was 1890 when the telephone came to Gainesville. That was the year Southern Bell in-
stalled the first hand-crank phone. At the start you could only talk with about a dozen other
subscribers--and there were no out-of-town calls.
Dr. J. M. Dell Sr., was one of the first subscribers and remembered having a Bell phone
in his office in '91. He paid one dollar a month for phone service.
The early phones here operated on dry cells with a hand-crank to ring the operator. In-
stead of using two wires for each phone, the ground was used for the return wire--with the
disadvantage that all phone calls nearby could also be heard on the phone.
"There were two operators," recalled C. C. Voyle, "and between them they ran the ex-
change 24 hours a day. The night operator went to sleep after 11 at night but there was a big
bong over the cot where she slept which was connected to the switchboard and would ring when
there was a call. "
In 1902 the East Florida Telephone Company, headed by E. E. Voyle and C. C. Voyle was
organized in Gainesville to build long distance lines from here to Rocky Point, Newberry and
Archer. There were a number of phosphate mines in this area which needed phone service to
Later the lines were extended to Bronson, Williston and Cedar Key. Outside of these lines
there was no other long distance service and it was not until many years later that Gainesville
was connected by phone with other parts of the state.
A switchboard was installed at the main office of the East Florida Telephone Company at
107 SE 1st Street in Gainesville near the spot where the Union Bus Station now is located.
"The busy time on the exchange was 7 a. m. recalled Mr. Voyle, "and all the calls were
going to one phone it was the meat market. There was no refrigeration back then and the
housewives would call up the market early in the morning to get their meat sent up for lunch. "
By 1905 there were about 450 phones on the company's line and the competing Bell System
also had several hundred customers. The two companies were not connected and calls could be
made only to other phones on the same exchange.
Most businessmen and doctors had two phones--one from each company. Rates weren't as
high then and service only $1. 00 per month per company.
In 1906 the East Florida and Bell System were connected with five trunk lines and service
between the two competing systems established. Later that year the East Florida Company sold
forty of their Gainesville subscribers to Bell and started to concentrate on their long distance
The lines of the East Florida Company did not connect with other telephone services except
in Gainesville where the link--was made to the Bell exchange--but Bell didn't have any long
distance lines. Actually no long distance calls could be made from Gainesville except to the
area served by the East Florida company which ran as far south as Dunnellon and west to Cedar
Key. There was no service to the north or east.
The first connection to the outside world came in 1912 when a line was run down from Jack-
sonville along the railroad tracks. However this line was really a glorified telegraph circuit
and the rusty connections made it almost impossible to hear anything on it.
It was two years later in 1914 that the first copper wire strung for telephone use reached
here from Jacksonville. The wire was put up by Bell and it connected with their long distance
lines in Jacksonville. When the wire was put in use in June of 1914 the first phone calls could
be made from Gainesville to other states.
During the early part of the century all phone wires were carried on poles with ten wires
on each cross-tie. Around the Square near the Courthouse there were hundreds of wires strung
from a maze of two phone exchanges. The wires were always getting tangled and broken and it
was not until later when cables were used to replace the overhead wires downtown was the prob-
"To run phone wires around Gainesville in those early days was a job, commented in 1954
Mr. C. C. Voyle, who was head of the construction and maintenance department of the old
East Florida Company. "We -had a big problem with trees. There were a lot more of them
around Gainesville then and they were always blowing down on our lines.
"Doctors were about the only people who had private lines in those days. The average was
from eight to ten phones on a line.. But it did have one advantage -- you could ring the other
subscribers on your line without getting the operator.
"Everyone had his own ring which was a combination of longs and shorts. One short ring
on the line was for the operator. The early phones had a hand-crank and you had to do your own
"Of course it was noisy having a phone, for every time anyone on the line placed or re-
ceived a call your phone rang, said Mr. Voyle.
The East Florida Company sold all the local phones to the Bell System in 1914, but con-
tinued to operate their long distance lines to Dunnellon, Brooksville and Newberry until 1929
when they also were sold to Bell.
In November 1949, the operator's "number please" changed to the steady buzz of the dial
tone as Bell made the change to automatic dial telephones.
Back in 1914 when all the local subscribers had been taken over by Bell from the East
Florida Telephone Company there were a total of 637 phones in the city.
By 1926 this number had grown to 1,214. In ten years it had doubled to over 2, 000 tele-
phones in use. By 1946 there were 4,040 within the city limits.
Today Bell has 10, 526 telephones in Gainesville -- about one phone to every three people.
A far cry from 1890 and 12 hand-crank telephones.
Mr. B. P. Beville, who lived at 810 S. W. 1st Avenue, descendant of Stephen Beville, a
well known Gainesville and Florida settler, (cousin, not first, of Mrs. L. Mamie Lynch and Mr.
Edgar Morris Beville, buried March 5, 1956) loaned to me a copy of the first city directory that
is known to be in existence. It was made up by Jesse Burtz, City Editor of the Gainesville Sun
Mr. C. A. Pound previously mentioned, son of the Old Timer, E. C. Pound, who resided
on S. Prairie Street, later Roper, and now S. W. 7th Street and father of C. A. Jr. (Buster)
of Baird Hardware Company, has loaned to me a copy of Burtz City Directory of 1908. From
these two city directories I obtained the following information;
The Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit was J.T. Willis, Starke, J.M. Rivers, Gaines-
Clerk Circuit Court S. H. Wienges
Deputy Clerk M. S. Cheves
Sheriff L.W. Fennell
Office Deputy J. H. Granger
I.C. Walker (1908)
Judge H.G. Mason
Supt. Public Inst. J. H. Kelly
Tax Assessor d. D. Dickinson
Asst. Tax Assessor
Asst. Tax Collector
R. B. Peeler (1908)
J.C. McGrew (1908)
James C. Micanopy
Clerk and Treasurer
Supt. Water Works
Benjamin T. Arnow (1908)
J. Maxey Dell
W. S. Broome
B. F. Miller
C. L. Kite (1908)
City Council (1906)
G. K. Broome, President, H. E. Benson, A. M. Cushman, J. H. Hodges, E. A.
O'Neill, W. B. Taylor, A. E. Wittstock.
In 1908 Mr. Broome was still president with Commissioners A. L. Vidal, I.
E. Webster, E. E. Cannon, S. M. Mixson and A. E. Wittstock. The Council
met monthly at the present Fire Station on S. E. 1st Street.
Board of County Commissioners
John G. Dampier, Hague; (Chairman; C. C. Pedrick, F. F. Paulling, J. F. Town-
send, Rex and 1906 J. J. O'Steen, Donnie, and 1908 W. J. Matthews.
Board of Public Works
H. F. Dutton, Chairman, W. W. Hampton, H. E. Taylor, J. H. Vidal and E. J.
Board of Trade
W.G. Robinson, W.R. Thomas, W. M. Pepper, B.F. Hampton.
ITEMS OF INTEREST IN 1903 COVERED WIDE FIELD
(These items were written in 1903 for the Sun and contain many names associated with
Gainesville and the county at that time.)
Mrs. J. L. Medlin and children and Miss Cecilia Moore of Meredith were among the visi-
tors who favored Gainesville with a visit Wednesday, registering at the Brown House.
The Sun acknowledges an agreeable call from Mr. Medlin, who is an extensive navel stores
manufacturer of Levy County.
Mrs. Stevens and children of Tennessee are visiting the former's mother, Mrs. Foster,
at 408 W. Main Street, N.
Miss Elsie Smith, a charming young lady of Archer, was shopping in the city yesterday.
Friends of John Seagle (the Seagle Building is named for him) who are unaware of his
whereabouts, will be pleased to learn that he is enjoying life among relatives and friends at
Newton in the mountains of North Carolina. Mrs. Seagle writes that his health is greatly
improved and that he expects to return to Gainesville prepared to do a good season's work.
If you want a sewing machine -- now is the time to buy one. The Thomas Hardware
and Seed Company has 100 sewing machines on sale, from $4 to $10. Also there are
Singer, New Home, Standard, Domestic, Wheeler and Wilson Drop Head Machines, good
as new, from $10 to $20 each.
The friends of Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Phifer are glad to welcome them home again, after
an absence of several weeks in New York, where Mr. Phifer has been purchasing fall goods.
They enjoyed the trip and sojourn in the big city and suburbs immensely and it is gratifying
to learn that Mr. Phifer's health is improved.
The many friends of Miss Bessie Haile will be delighted at the information that she has
returned to her home in this city after an absence of several months in the capacity of steno-
grapher of the Fruit Grower's Express, most of the time having been located in Delaware.
Miss Haile has visited in New York, Washington, Boston and other cities and will no doubt
have something of interest to relate to her friends, of whom will be glad to see her.
Henry F. Dutton, Jr. departed yesterday for the West End, where he goes on business
connected with the Dutton Phosphate Company.
The Woman's Guild will meet at the residence of Mrs. B. P. Richards at 3:30 this
afternoon. A full attendance is requested as business of importance is to be transacted.
After a brief but pleasant visit to the Rev. and Mrs. Thomas P. Hay in this city, Mrs.
Cyrus Jones returned to her home in Bowling Green.
Mrs. B. F. Jordan has returned from Alachua, where for the last few days she has
been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Chesnut.
W. A. Strickland, of Paradise, one of the most influential citizens of the county, was a
visitor to the city Tuesday. Mr. Strickland was summoned on a rather sad mission, having
come an honorary pallbearer to attend the funeral of Hon. John A. Ammons, son-in-law to Dr.
and Mrs. N. D. Phillips. in as much as the funeral was not held yesterday, he will no doubt come
again from his home which is only five miles distant, this morning.
Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Stringfellow of Chester S. C. have issued invitations of the marriage
of their neice, Miss Frances Stringfellow, to James Latta Davidson on Wednesday evening, Oct.
12, at 9 o'clock, at Purity Presbyterian Church, Chester. The prospective bride is a young
lady of rare personal attractions, and is a social favorite in Chester, where she has made her
home with her uncle for the past few years. She is the daughter of Judge and Mrs. R. L. String-
fellow of Hawthorne, and has relatives and many friends and admirers in this state. Mr. David-
son is a prominent railroad man of South Carolina and is greatly esteemed by a host of friends.
Now is a good time to buy ladies hose with a sale on at Wilson's. Twenty-five dozen ladies
lace hose, worth 15 cents a pair are on sale at 10 cents and 45 dozen ladies' heavy hose, worth
20 cents, may be bought for 12 cents, Ribbed hose for boys and girls, worth 25 cents, are on
sale at 15 cents a pair.
The buyer for the store spent four weeks in New York City, selecting an immense Fall and
Winter Stock. REMEMBER: We do not sell trash, but honest merchandise at lowest possible
cash prices and every article warranted as represented or your money cheerfully refunded, "
says the full page ad of Wilsons ... Mrs. R. Wilson is signer of the ad.
Major W. R. Thomas returned yesterday from Kentucky, where he has been for the pur-
pose of purchasing a carload of horses and mules, the second carload this season. Major
Thomas states that he made a specialty of mules suitable for saw mill and turpentine purposes
this trip and secured some very fine animals which he proposes to sell at the right price to
those desiring such animals.
The Gleaners Society of Holy Trinity Church will give a sale of fancy work, dolls, candy,
fruits, flowers and refreshments at Mrs. Phillips Friday afternoon and evening. This is a
children's organization and by their zeal and interest, they have earned the hearty support of
their elders, who like themselves, are working for the new church. Their special wish at pres-
ent is to raise funds for the placing of a memorial window in loving memory of little Elizabeth
Leman, daughter of the former rector. A sweet and commendable purpose for which they are
giving genuine service.
Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Taylor are at home again after a delightful visit with relatives at
their old home in New York State. They report an enjoyable time but state that they are glad to
return to Florida.
J. E. Futch, of Alachua, one of the leading businessmen of that progressive town, is spend-
ing a short time with his family in this city. He states that business in Alachua is as good as he
has ever seen it and that on Saturday of last week the streets were literally lined with shoppers
and traders. It was also a banner day for marketing cotton, many bales having been disposed
of at good prices.
Col. Fred Cubberly of Bronson and Cedar Key made Gainesville a professional visit
yesterday. Col. Cubberly is also collector of customs for Cedar Key.
The Earnest Workers Society of the First Presbyterian Church will meet this afternoon
(Oct. 14) at the home of Mrs. George W. Hyde, where a full attendance is desired.
Mrs. J. H. Colson has returned to her home in this city from Charleston, S. C. where
she has been on a visit to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Weeks.
Mrs. W. L. Hill and son, after spending a few weeks at the home of the former's parents,
in Maryland, are now pleasantly located in Winston, N. C. They expect to return to their home
in this city within the next few days.
Dr. J. F. McKinstry went to High Springs on professional business yesterday, returning
T. J. Cone, a successful lumber manufacturer, of Raleigh, who conducts one of the most
up-to-date plants in this section, was a business visitor yesterday.
Rev. J. P. Lynch of St. Patrick's Catholic Church has returned from professional work at
Lake City, Live Oak and other points. Father Lynch is a forcible and popular minister and his
services are largely in demand.
Mrs. J. M. Haile and children departed yesterday for Jacksonville having been summoned
by telegram by the serious illness of Mrs. Haile's mother, Mrs. M. C. Deysdale. It is hoped
that she found the condition of the patient greatly improved.
W. T. Chesnut yesterday received information on the death of Robert Y. Tate, which sad
event occurred at the home of his son in Boston a few days since. The deceased up to about a
year ago resided at Kanapaha, where, up to the time of the freeze, he owned a fine orange
grove. He was a prominent and generous man, a member of the Presbyterian Church, and
his numerous friends will learn of his death with a mingle of surprise and regret.
J. W. Patton returned Friday from West End, where he has been locating a large tract of
Prof. M. C. McIntosh, the efficient principal of the Archer school, was a visitor to Gaines-
ville yesterday. He reports his school in excellent shape and says some effective work is being
Capt. J.W. Carter of Micanopy, who is now engaged on a big rock contract, was in the
city Thursday. Captain Carter is now engaged on a big rock contract, to furnish 4, 000 carloads
of rock at the mouth of the St. Johns River, and has a large force at Kanapaha now mining and
loading the material, notwithstanding the force comprises sixty men, the contractor anticipates
that it will require eighteen months to complete the work.
W. D. Cauthen of Waldo, M. A. Denier of Jonesville, and N. A. Callison of Bennington
formed a trio of visitors in the county capital yesterday.
Aaron DaCosta is happy over the receipt of a fine dog, which recently arrived from New
Orleans. The animal is a Pointer and is a very highly pedigreed canine, being from the cele-
brated Louisiana Kennels in New Orleans, which are among the finest in the United States. The
dog is a Setter and is sired from the celebrated Bango, a dog which was imported from Scot-
land at an original cost of $1200. Mr. DaCosta naturally feels proud of his new possession.
Benj. Rush, United States special cotton agent, has returned from an official visit to
Palatka and other points.
Major S. C. Means of McIntosh, one of the oldest and most influential citizens of that
section, was a business visitor to this city yesterday.
Prof. J.H. Fulks of the Gainesville Graded and High School, stated yesterday that his
school was again in fine condition, the recent diptheria scare having subsided. A great many
of the children stopped school temporarily, but the attendance is now first class, in fact, higher
on an average than at any time during the present term.
Mrs. L.W. Jackson and Mrs. H. H. McCreary returned yesterday from Charleston S. C.,
where they have been attending the National Convention of the United Daughters of the Confeder-
acy as delegates from the Kirby Smith Chapter. Mrs. J.N. Strobhar also attended the conven-
tion as a delegate from Kirby Smith, stopping over in Savannah to visit relatives and will return
E. E. Voyle went to Ocala on legal business yesterday.
Mrs. George K. Broome and Mrs. W. B. Taylor, who have been attending the National
Convention of U. D. C. at Charleston, as delegates from J. J. Finley Chapter, returned home
yesterday. Mrs. C. A. Broome, who also attended the convention, returned with them.
The many friends of Miss Margurite Stringfellow, will be delighted to learn that she has
returned to Gainesville after an extended trip in the East with her aunt, Mrs. G. K. Broome.
Hon. Frank Clark of Lake City, candidate for Congress, who is making a tour of Alachua
County in the Holloway-Sheats campaign, spent a part of yesterday and last night in this city.
He expects to make his departure at 6 o'clock this morning for Newberry, where today he will
figure in a political rally, returning to his home this afternoon.
Division Superintendent H. A. Ford of the Atlantic Coast Line departed yesterday for Lake-
land and other points south on official business.
The friends of Col. E. C. F. Sanchez are glad to see him on the streets again, after con-
finement to his room with nervous prostration for a period of several days. Col. Sanchez feels
confident that he will be entirely recovered in a few days.
Friends of Mrs. I. E. Webster of North Gainesville will be gratified to learn that she is
considerably improved after an illness of several days with rheumatic fever.
Mrs. H. T. Chesnut and daughter, Miss Helen, formerly of this city, but for the past two
years residents of Charleston, S. C., have arrived in Gainesville and will remain here for the
remainder of the winter as the guests of the former's sons, John and W. T. Chesnut. Friends
of the ladies are delighted to welcome them again.
On the occasion of the twenty-first anniversary of their marriage, Col. and Mrs. W. W.
Hampton, together with members of their family and relatives, enjoyed a magnificent dinner
at their cozy home Monday evening. There was an abundance of good things to eat, prepared
and temptingly served, and its needless to add that the occasion was one greatly enjoyed.
The guests were not confined to the immediate family of Col. and Mrs. Hampton, but of
near relatives by marriage, and altogether a great many gathered around the festive board.
After several months spent pleasantly at her old home in Massachusetts, Miss Alice
Nichols has returned to this city. She was accompanied by Miss Elizabeth Nichols who will
remain here during the season as the guest of Col. and Mrs. J.G. Nichols.
W. L. Hill of the New York Life Insurance Co., departed yesterday for Ocala and points
south, where he has been summoned on business connected with his company.
Speakers at the meeting of the Alachua County Teachers' Association included Capt.
George M. Lynch. Miss Clem Hampton, Prof. J. A. Ormond, Prof. J. M. Guiliams of the
East Florida Seminary, Prof. P. Q. Cason, Prof. G. M. Patterson, Prof. J. G. Kellum, Prof.
M. C. McIntosh, Prof. N. B. Mott, and Mrs. Edith Hunter.
J. R. Zetrouer had a fine yield of grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines this year from his
beautiful grove at Rochelle. Mr. Zetrouer is to be highly complimented for this energy.
One of the prettiest windows in the city is that of L. C. Smith, the jeweler, which has re-
cently been dressed up with unbrellas, jewelry, silverware, and other things tempting in his
Among the visitors to this city yesterday from Tacoma was Clyde Gainesville and Gulf
Railway. Mr. Reese says that he left Dolph Chamberlin, the Clever agent, who is particularly
fond of shows, weeping on the platform because he could not attend the circus. Dolph never
misses a show when he can get away without inconvenience to his business.
Dr. J. F. Mixson of Otter Creek was in the city yesterday and while here purchased a
fine buggy horse of Crawford and Davis.
Twenty members were present at the annual meeting of the Ladies' Whist Club which met
at the home of Mrs. J. F. McKinstry Friday morning. Mrs. John Chesnut was elected presi-
dent and Mrs. J. M. Haile, treasurer. The ladies anticipate many pleasant meetings during
the winter months.
Mrs. J. S. Bodiford departed yesterday for McIntosh, where she will spend a few days
pleasantly with friends.
Mrs. Dr. Snowden, of Jacksonville, will return to Gainesville Friday to have charge of
the Remembrance Table at the Colonial Bazaar at Holy Trinity Church. For years Mrs. Snow-
den labored toward the up-building of Holy Trinity Church. Her assistants will be Mrs. John
Chesnut, Mrs. George Coleman, and Miss Tebeau, these ladies having been the longest iden-
tified with the church. Be sure and pay them a visit.
Ticket agent Goodwin of the ACL Railway is happy in the possession of a half dozen pups
presented to him by his fine pedigreed gyp, Kate. The dogs will no doubt make valuable field
The Magnolia Hotel, under the able management of Mrs. J. S. Goode, has been enjoying
a fine season for the past few days. The register shows many names and that popular hostel-
ry has been well filled.
Harry Pearce, a Gainesville boy, who has been residing nearly a year in Philadelphia,
writes that a few days ago he witnessed the first snow storm of his life and described it as
"grand beyond description. Mr. Pearce has developed into a fine violinist and is enjoying a
most lucrative existence in this direction in the Pennsylvania city. His friends will be glad to
know that he is prospering.
The ginnery of Dutton and Co. has been busy the entire week, turning out a large quantity
of cotton. The season at the ginnery has been fair.
Hilton Hampton, formerly of this city, but now of Tampa, is here to spend the holidays
with relatives. If one is to judge from appearances, the south Florida city agrees with Col.
Hampton from every standpoint. He declares that Tampa is the finest town in the south.
Mrs. H.P. Robinson and children and Mill Emily VanDeventer departed yesterday for
Ocala where they will visit relatives, Mr. and Mrs. George K. Robinson.
Miss Eva Truby, a most attractive young lady of Starke, who has been guest of Miss
Louise LaFontisse and Mrs. J. L. McCollum, for the past week will return to her home to-
morrow. On Tuesday evening, an oyster supper was given at the Continental Restaurant in
honor of the young lady by Mr. Lucius McCormick. The event was much enjoyed by a number
of young people.
Mr. and Mrs. Lem Woods and sons of England have arrived in the city and are guests
of Mrs. Woods parents, Dr. and Mrs. N. D. Phillips.
Miss Bessie Porter of Jacksonville, will be the guest of Miss Alice Nichols for the next
few days. Miss Nichols will give a dance complimentary to the young lady on New Year's night
to which a large number of young people of the city are invited. Miss Porter will go to Archer
on January 5th, to be one of the bridesmaids in the Bauknight-Tucker wedding.
After spending several days pleasantly with friends in this city, Dr. Wilbur Lassiter
expects to make his departure this -morning for his home in New Orleans.
Mrs. E. Lartigue and charming little daughter, Marie, have returned from a visit to
Alachua, where they were guests of the former's sister, Mrs. J. J. McLeod.
Miss Alexina Elmore of Jacksonville, who is visiting her sister, Mrs. J. C. Haile at
Alachua, made a brief visit to friends in the city yesterday.
W. N. Wilson departed yesterday for Lake Weir where he has a beautiful and prolific
orange grove. Mr. Wilson has shipped several crates of fruit to this city and those who have
sampled the fruit pronounced it the choicest they have seen this season. He is making a big
thing from his grove this season.
The 1906 city directory shows six churches: Advent Christian, N. J. Lee; Baptist, Rev.
Stewart B. Rogers; Presbyterian, Thomas P. Hay; Episcopal, Frances H. Craighill; Kavanaugh
Methodist, T. J. Nixson; St. Patrick's Catholic, J. P. Lynch. By 1908 a Church of Christ and
a Seventh Day Adventist was added.
The 1905-1906 directory has advertising and pictures of M. Edelstein, Clothing, Dry
Goods, Hats, Shoes and Notions, Jewelry and Musical Instruments; R. T. Schafer says "Bread
baking is hard work". He would sell six metal disks for a quarter, each good for a loaf of
bread. There were good pictures of Mayor W.R. Thomas and Dr. Clarence B. Strouse, also
Walter G. Robinson and Henry S. Chubb. Mr. C. C. Pedrick advertised his Buggy and Wagon
Factory (corner S.W. 1st Street and 1st Avenue) with pictures. Mr. D.G. Edwards had a
nice advertisement, "Livery and Feed Stables". There is a good picture of the Hyde corner,
present Wilson Corner. One of the first newspapers was published upstairs. The Hyde resi-
dence was on the north side of the present Wilson block. There is a very imposing picture of
the Phillip Miller residence, and an interior picture of W. S. Dorsey Company, 120 E. Liber-
ty, now part of Wilsons.
There is a page of about fifteen attorneys; Evans Haile, Ferdinand Bayer, Horatio Davis,
W.S. Broome, B.A. Thrasher, Robert E. Davis. W.H. Palmer, C. Matheson, William W.
Hampton and many others. Ten physicians are listed: J. Harrison Hodges, McKinstry and
McKinstry, C.L. Carter, N.D. Phillips, Etienne Lartigue, J.H. Colson, James M. Dell, W.
H. Sinley, J. Harvey Smith and R. B.-Ayer, the latter were Negroes. There were four
dentists: J.H. Alderman, DeVere B. Morris, Gordon B. Tison and Harvey Lee Jarvis. Two
of these were Negroes.
The Brown House was later the Graham Hotel, then the Gilbert Hotel. It is the building
just north of the old First National Bank location on the east side on Main Street and extending
to the present Ist Avenue. Good whiskey could be bought, four full quarts for $3.20.
Major W. R. Thomas had strip ads across the top of twenty-eight pages of the directory.
Some of them as follows: Rental horses buggies to commercial men; "If you want a team call
me"; "Well dressed, polite drivers, pretty horses, call us"; "Real Estate"; "Carriages, horses,
and drivers for parties"; "Will build you a house"; "Horses, mules, see us for harness, a
saddle or whip"; "Buy your buggy, pay later. A firm in Jacksonville advertised Laurel Valley
Corn Whiskey, $3. 00 per gallon.
The 1908 directory contains somewhat the same advertising as in 1906 but has the pic-
tures of the county officials: S. H. Wienges, M. S. Cheves, L. W. Fennell, H. G. Mason, W.
D. Dickinson, W. W. Colson, Dr. J. L. Kelley and R. B. Peeler. There is a good picture of
the front of Baird Hardware Company showing saddles hanging out front and what appears to
be twenty or thirty tin wash tubs (a woman was worth something in those days). There were
four blacksmith shops: J. M. Barnett, N. E. Benson and Sons Factory, H. W. Denham and C.
C. Pedrick who had a wagon and buggy factory and a blacksmith shop at different locations.
Mrs. C.B. (Eloise) Riddick has given to me a Gainesville telephone directory dated
August 1, 1907. Noah H. Riddick, wife, two sons, C. B. (Ben), and John F. (Jack) and daugh-
ter, Ruth, came to Florida in 1920 and resided in the Arredonda section, where they farmed
for a while. Moving into town, Ben and Jack have for years been automobile salesmen. Jack
has a son, John F. (Jack). Mrs. Ben Riddick was with the State Plant Board from 1926 until
The 1907 directory had the phone numbers and then the names of the 275 subscribers.
There was a green sticker listing seven Rocky Point residences: the Crowns, the Bartons,
G.A. Gleason, T. E. McDonald, G. W. Hyde, the Phifers, Millers, and Gainesville Furniture
Company. George P. Morris was selling insurance. There were four banks: the First Nation-
al Bank, the Gainesville National Bank, the Dutton Bank and the Phifer Bank. Of course the
leading livery stables had telephones: Crawford and Davis and C. M. Dell. No street ad-
dresses or locations are given in the directory but an ad said that the Cresent Barber Shop
was across from the Brown House. Many names familiar to Gainesville appear in the directo-
ry. There were five each of the Dells, Thomases and Bairds; four each of the Hailes, McKins-
trys and Phifers. Then there are names of People who have not been identified very much
with Gainesville business or civic affairs within the last thirty or more years; i. e. Burtz,
Cadwallader, Dennis, Dickenson and Doig, Dutton, Eddins, Manassee, Prindle, Saunders,
and Earle, Whetstone, Whitstock and Witherspoon.
Following is a list of subscribers of the Official Telephone Directory, Southern Bell
Telephone and Telegraph Company, Gainesville, Florida, August 1, 1907. Each personal
name was followed by the word "Residence".
Abrams, J. K.
A. C. L. Gen. Office
A. C. L. Ticket Office
A. C. L. Freight Office
Alachua County Abstract
Alderman & Pierce DDS
Alderman, J. H. Dr.
Alsop, J. W.
Andrews, J. O.
Arnow, H. B.
Ayers, R. B. Dr.
Bailey, O. B.
Baird Hardware Co.
Baird Hardware Co. Ofc.
Baird Hardware Warehouse
Baker, W. E.
Baker, P. H.
Baker, L. E.
Cushman, A. M. Insurance
Suchman, A. M.
Davies Fish Market
Davis, W. H., Mrs.
Daughtrey, A. L.
Dean, D. M.
DeLand, C. M.
Dell, J. B. Jr.
Dell, J.M. Jr., Dr.
Dell, J. M. Dr.
Dell, C.M. Livery
Dennis, Hattis Miss
Diamon Ice Company
Dickinson, W. D.