THE JOURNAL OF THE HISTORICAL
S1 %4 5S "^ ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Arva Moore Parks Dr. Thelma P Peters
NUMBER XXXVI 1976
Indian Key 3
By Michael G. Schene
The Evolution of Miami and Dade County's
Judiciary, 1896-1930 28
By Paul George
The Florida East Coast Steamship Company 43
By Edward A. Mueller
Brighton Indian Reservation, Florida, 1935-1938 54
By James W. Covington
Yamato Colony: A Japanese Presence in South Florida 66
By George E. Pozzetta and Harry A. Kersey, Jr.
I Remember the Everglades Mail Boat 78
By Gordon L. Williams
List of Members 89
COPYRIGHT 1976 BY THE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
(J~ is published annually by the Historical Association of Southern
LVe Sft',A Florida. Communications should be addressed to the Corresponding
I Secretary of the Society, 3290 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida
33129. The Association does not assume responsibility for statements of fact or opinions
made by contributors.
Historical Association of Southern Florida, Inc.
FOUNDED 1940-INCORPORATED 1941
Jack G. Admire
Mrs. ThomasT. Shiverick
First Vice President
Boyce E Ezell, 11
Second Vice President
Mrs. James S. Wooten
Mrs. Gordon Bowker
Lewis M. Kanner
Charlton W. Tebeau
Ms. Arva Moore Parks
Associate Editor Tequesta
Dr. Thelma P. Peters
Associate Editor Tequesta
Leonard G. Pardue
Randy E Nimnicht
Mr. Magnus S. Altmayer
Ms. Marie Anderson
Mr. Samuel J. Boldrick
Mr William E Brown, Jr.
Mrs. T.J. Cogswell
Mr. Donald E Gaby
Mrs. Sue S. Goldman
Mr. John C. Harrison
Mr. Walter C. Hill
Mr. Lewis M. Kanner
Mr. Donald E. Lebrun
Mr. Layton Mank
Mr. David Mesnekoff
Ms. Arva Moore Parks
Mr. Larry Peacock
Mr. Richard A. Pettigrew
Mr. James O. Plinton, Jr.
Mr. Woodrow E. Wilkins
Mr. Wayne E. Withers
Dr. lone S. Wright
By Michael G. Schene*
Sometime in the early 1820's a young captain from Staten Island arrived
off the Florida keys in a small schooner recently purloined from his
father.' As the story goes," the young Captain... was too much of a sailor
to keep to fresh water, and one day took it into his head to make a 'West
Indie' trip without asking his father's permission...." The inexperienced
captain struck the Florida reef, damaging "... his little craft so much that
he was obliged to put into Key West for repairs, during which time he got
such an insight into the 'wrecking' business that he concluded to become
a wrecker himself."
The new salvor readily grasped that the curious web of relation-
ships among the Key West merchants permitted them to reap most of the
profits derived from the salvage business. A former Key Wester charged
that the same merchant often functioned in a "quadruple capacity"
supposedly representing all interests. This conflict of interests was, of
course, impossible to reconcile, and the writer concluded that most
merchants pursued their own interests "with most assiduity."3 Addi-
tional income was derived from the drayage, wharfage, and storage fees
levied on the cargo once it was landed. The sale of the cargo again
presented this small clique with an opportunity to realize a profit. The
Key West correspondent for a popular journal (mentioned above)
*Mr. Schene is employed by the Florida Division of Archives, History and Records
Management as a research historian. He is indebted to the Division of Archives, History
and Records Management; the Division of Recreation and Parks; and the Florida
Bicentennial Commission, for the support which he received in compiling the research
material for this article.
claimed that he had often witnessed valuable cargoes being auctioned
off for a fraction of their actual value. This situation resulted, he con-
cluded, from an absence of competition as well as collusive agreements
among the merchants.4
Although Captain Housman may have tried to invade this domain,
and had been repulsed, it is more likely that he shrewdly grasped the
significance of an uncontested monopoly. By eliminating any competi-
tion, and as his critics charged, any legal restraints, he could maximize
the profits derived from wrecking. An isolated island, strategically
located in the keys- it was almost midway between Key Biscayne and
Key West, would satisfy his needs. The island had certain other advan-
tages. Situated opposite Alligator Reef, it was also only about thirty-five
miles from Carysfort Reef, considered by most mariners to be the most
dangerous portion of the reef" The harbor was said to be the equal of any
to be found in the keys6 Sparsely settled and still public land with
fresh water available at Upper Matecumbe Key the venturesome
captain must have considered the minuscule key an ideal place for his
When Housman first visited the key, he must have met the island's
few inhabitants, which included Joseph Prince and Silas Fletcher-the
first white settlers that we can identify. The latter settled on Indian Key in
April, 1824, selling goods for the merchant firm of Snyder and Ap-
peleby.8 Prince was then hired and assisted in the construction of a store
and a dwelling. Avis, Fletcher's wife, and their two children (William H.
and Abigail) were soon settled in this second structure.
A partnership was formed and their employer's stock was bought in
January, 1825. The venture succeeded, although in May, Prince decided
to leave and sold his half of the enterprise to Fletcher.10 The latter then
purchased the store from Snyder and Appeleby. In November; 1828, he
sold all of his property on the island to Thomas Gibson for $2,500, and
departed the following spring.11 His former partner returned in January,
1826, opening a competing store.12 Joining these pioneers were a number
of wreckers and turtlers, who had pushed the population over fifty by
Housman probably settled on Indian Key around 1830, and the
following year began a concerted effort to acquire title to the island as
well as most of the property on it.14 Thomas Gibson's real estate was
purchased in 1831 for $5,000. This property included a store and a
two-story building, equipped with a billiard table and nine pin alley.'5
The latter was well furnished and used as the island hotel.16
Indian Key 5
The young capitalist prospered as a merchant. His store rapidly
acquired a monopoly on the sale of dry goods and other merchandise
both on the island and in the immediate vicinity. It was claimed that
yearly sales had reached thirty thousand dollars before the end of the
thirties., Dr. Benjamin Stobel, a Key West physician, maintained that
Housman used the store to gain an "ascendency" over his customers "..
which he turned) to some account." He also charged that these people
acted as Housman's "... agents, or spies, who give him the earliest
intelligence of wrecks..." In addition to having their outstanding bal-
ance at the store reduced, these spies were to receive a share of the
salvage award. Strobel implied that it was through inflated prices,
advantageous mistakes in bookkeeping, and usurious interest rates that
Housman's store acquired a lien on the property of these people.1
The store also assisted Jacob in acquiring the outstanding property
on the island. James Egan, for instance, first appears on the key in the fall
of 1830, as the owner of a house situated on Front Street. The following
year Egan had to sell the building in order to satisfy a $324.20 debt that
he had incurred at the store." Using lumber and shingles which he
obtained from Thomas Gibson and perhaps from Housman, Egan
erected another structure which he opened in 1832 as a boardinghouse?0
His advertisement, which regularly appeared in the Key West news-
paper, promised to "... render satisfaction to those who may favor him
with their company." To reassure those traveling on a limited budget and
concerned with costs, he added that his terms were moderatel The
venture was seemingly not profitable, possibly because of some type of
pressure exerted by Housman. Egan finally sold the property to Hous-
man for $350 in 1835.22
Samuel Spencer then opened the Tropical Hotel, which was billed
as a resort for invalids. Tourists apparently disagreed and stopped at
other spots along the coast. Spencer was finally forced to sell his interest
in the hotel to Pardon C. Greene and Fielding A. Browne in 1838 -
although he apparently continued to manage the hotel until its destruc-
tion in 1840.3
With his spiraling profits, Housman continued to acquire property
as it became available. In February, 1835, Reason Dukes, a Key West
merchant, mortgaged an indefinite piece of property that the indenture
described as "... one half of the house, kitchen, and advantages..." If
Dukes repaid the mortgage, $625, plus interest within five years his title
to the property would be restored. Dukes may have decided to default on
the mortgage and allow Housman to retain these premises, for in May,
1835, he sold to Jacob for $600 "... one half of the house, kitchen, and
advantages ... belonging ... to one half of the Lot #30 ... formerly
occupied by Dr. H.L. Waterhouse.. "" Late in 1835, Jacob moved to
extinguish Joseph Prince's preemption claim by purchasing his "... right,
title, and interest to... Indian Key, including all... his buildings" at the
inflated figure of $5,000.5 Other sales were consummated, and within a
few years he owned nearly all the property on the island.6
Along with his property transactions, Housman began the construc-
tion of those facilities that would ensure that wreckers would rendezvous
at Indian Key. In 1832, the island had one wharf and probably some
building that was used for the storage of wrecked property.27 He ex-
panded these facilities, financing the construction of two warehouses
and two wharves.28
To provide the fresh water for everyone connected with the key,
Housman had several cisterns fashioned out of the island coral,9 When
area craftsmen proved unequal to the task, a New York marble cutter,
James Dutcher, was imported. The latter built one cistern, charging his
employer $4,000.30 Skilled craftsmen were hired and kept busy repairing
disabled vessels and attending to the routine work of the village.31
During this time, Housman began the construction of what one
visitor called a "large and elegant mansion." The mansion was soon
graced by the feminine charms of a "beautiful bride" whom Housman
returned with from one of his frequent trips to Charleston.2 Whether it
was his wife's (Elizabeth) interest or part of his master plan to create an
island paradise, he imported a "quantity of earth" which he used in
fashioning a "fine garden."33 Streets were laid off and the small key was
divided into lots of varying size. The island was a "miniature Eden,"
Judson said, and Housman, "monarch of all he surveyed."34 His invest-
ment had been sizable and may have been, as alleged, $144,630.5
It is virtually impossible to determine the number of people who
lived on the island during the thirties. A census of Indian Key conducted
in 1838 showed that there were ninety-eight whites, twenty-nine slaves,
and fourteen free blacks.3? William A. Whitehead, a Key West merchant,
claimed that a later census taken by Charles Howe, and excluding
transient seamen as well as naval personnel showed only forty-seven
inhabitants on the island in December, 1838."7 Whitehead also claimed
that he had received a statement from an unknown individual stating that
the population of Indian Key included only four families, twenty-one
whites and twenty-six blacks?8
Indian Key 7
According to the records of Charles Howe, Indian Key must have
been a busy port during the thirties?9 In 1834, while acting as the deputy
collector of customs, he noted that there were 637 arrivals and 623
departures.40 Whitehead of Key West claimed that this figure was highly
inflated and included "... every wrecking vessel or fishing boat, no
matter whence coming or whither going, that may chance to make use of
the anchorage of Indian Key for a night."41
Howe also maintained that during the last nine months of 1834 and
the first three months of 1835, seventeen vessels had been wrecked
within forty miles of Indian Key. Ten of the vessels had been disabled
within fifteen miles of the island.2 Four wrecking vessels sailed from
Indian Key and tried to control all salvage operations in this area of the
reef43 Housman probably owned them, which further increased his
Housman was, of course, a wrecker himself, as well as employing
seamen to man his wrecking vessels, and the continuation of his "em-
pire" probably depended heavily on the profits derived from this pursuit.
He had begun patrolling the reef sometime in the early 1820's; his
presence, as well as his notoriety, was established in the fall of 1825,
through his handling of the French brig Revenge. The vessel, bound from
Campeche to France with a load of cochineal and logwood, went on the
reef about three miles from Caesar's Creek, early in September. After the
Revenge had bilged and been abandoned by her crew, Housman boarded
her and on September 7, transferred to his schooner, William Henry, "..
eight Ceroons of Cochineal, two boxes of Sugar, and a quantity of
Logwood unknown, but supposed to be twelve tons, and a parcel of sails
It is not clear whether Housman intended to dispense with legal
procedures or clashed with the authorities in Key West over the adjudica-
tion of the salvage. Fielding A. Browne, of Key West, however, charged
that the former was Housman's aim. Browne, specifically, accused
Housman of robbing the Revenge, adding that he had ".. defied both the
civil and military authorities of this place:' Browne therefore asked that
Captain Brown of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Florida pursue Housman to
Charleston, where it was said that Housman intended to dispose of his
cargo, and recover the French property.46
Whatever Housman's intentions might have been, he brought the
wrecked property into St. Augustine on September 27. Apparently acting
without the authorization of the master or the owner, he declined to use
the admiralty court, and instead, settled his claim through arbitration.
The jury awarded him ninety-five percent, which satisfied no one but
Housman, and the French consul took the case into the Superior Court,
where Judge Joseph L. Smith reduced the award about thirty percent.4
The matter was far from settled, however, and Housman responded
to Browne's allegations with his own charge that it was the dishonesty of
the Key West merchants that had resulted in his "... giving preference to
a decision at St. Augustine over one at.Key West."48 It is more than likely
that Housman abandoned at this time any plans that he may have had to
settle in Key West. After this altercation, his relations with the Key
Westers continued to deteriorate, and were certainly partially responsi-
ble for his subsequent attempts to free Indian Key from any dependence
on Key West.
In 1828, Housman was again the focus of attention as the result of a
collusive agreement with the master of the French brig Vigilant. Carry-
ing $32,000 in specie in addition to her regular cargo, the Vigilant
grounded on the shoals near Key Vacas. With the next high tide the
vessel was able to partially free herself, but it was only after the master
had accepted the services of two wreckers that she was able to reach deep
water and a safe anchorage at Key Vacas. While the Vigilant was in the
harbor at Key Vacas, Housman arrived in the wrecking sloop Sarah
Isabella and agreed to pilot her to Key West for seventy-five percent of
the vessel, cargo, and specie, "... with an understanding that Housman
would return part of the money to the Captain, for himself." Housman
subsequently received his exorbitant commission and sailed with the
Vigilant's captain to Charleston.4
In November, 1831, Housman was involved in an imbroglio con-
cerning the arbitration of the brig Halcyon. Housman and John R.
Western, the other salvor, alleged that the Halcyon struck a dangerous
part of the reef, and would have bilged had it not been for the exertions of
the two crews. Through their efforts they were able to transfer enough
cargo to enable the vessel to float off the reef, and somewhat disabled,
she was brought into Key West. The two salvors, claiming that they had
the master's consent, submitted their claim to two disinterested persons,
who awarded them fifty-six and one-fourth of the net value of the brig.
Oliver O'Hara representing the Halcyon's owners, charged that the
vessel's distress had been misrepresented, and while he admitted that she
had struck a reef, he asserted that the brig's crew could have freed her
without any assistance. He also claimed that the captain of the Halcyon
Indian Key 9
had never agreed to submit the matter to arbitration. To recover his
client's property, O'Hara sued the salvors in the Superior Court at Key
West; the suit was finally heard by Judge Webb in May, 1832. Webb felt
that both sides had misrepresented the facts, although he allowed
Housman and Western twenty-five percent on the cargo and vessel."5
Partisan feeling exacerbated by Housman's manifest dislike and
even disdain for those Key Westers who monopolized the wrecking
business on that island diminished his chances of quickly, and without
controversy, adjudicating any salvage that he brought into that port. Key
Westers were vocal in their opposition and denunciation of Housman.
And for the most part, they were responsible for forming contemporary
opinion about Housman; an image, however distorted, that has filtered
down to us. There is one case, however, for which ample documentation
exists, in which Housman was guilty of improper as well as illegal
On the night of March 14, 1833, the schooner North Carolina,
bound from Apalachicola to Charleston, and laden with 366 bales of
cotton, went ashore at low tide on Pickles Reef, about ninety-five miles
from Key West. The following day, the Hyder Alley, Joshua B. Smith,
master, arrived on the scene and offered assistance which was promptly
accepted by Captain George McIntyre, the master of theNorth Carolina.
Smith set .up a consortship involving Housman and Austin Packer,
master of the wrecking sloop Brillant, although neither of these indi-
viduals participated in the salvage operation. The Hyder Alley then
transferred 115 bales of cotton from the North Carolina, which lightened
the schooner sufficiently, so that she was able to float off the reef and
accompany the Hyder Alley into Indian Key.
Housman, without informing Captain McIntyre of his own interest
in the cargo, persuaded McIntyre to appoint him as his business agent
and to submit the salvage award to arbitration at Indian Key, instead of
going to Key West. Lemuel Otis and Charles M. Johnson, both residents
of Indian Key, were chosen as arbitrators. They appraised the schooner
and the cargo at $8,940 and awarded thirty-five percent of this figure to
the salvors. Intriguingly, the cotton had origianlly sold in Apalachicola at
$36 a bale, although, apparently without damage, it had, according to the
arbitrators, a value of only $20 a bale.
On May 18, Oliver O'Hara, representing the owners, filed suit in the
Superior Court at Key West alleging fraud and other misconduct on the
part of the salvors. Judge Webb agreed and decreed restitution of the
seventy-two bales still in Housman's possession. In 1838 the Territorial
Court of Appeals upheld Judge Webb's decision, whereupon Housman
took his case to the United States Supreme Court. The Court, which
rendered its decision in 1841, stated that the transactions at Indian Key
had been negotiated in bad faith, and the justices unanimously decreed
"...that the salvors, by their conduct, have forfeited all claim to compen-
sation, even for the service actually rendered.""5
Housman's fortunes continued to tumble, and in May, 1836, he was
found guilty of embezzling goods taken from the Ajax, a large mer-
chantman that had struck on Carysfort Reef, on November 14, 1836.
When it became apparent that the vessel could not be floated off the reef,
several wreckers, including Housman in the Sarah Isabella, began
removing the Ajax's cargo, an operation that took several days during
which the weather was extremely inclement. Captain Heim, master of
theAjax, subsequently charged that Housman had stolen the goods taken
off his vessel by the Sarah Isabella. Judge Webb concurred with Heim
and Housman forfeited his share of the salvage.? Further illegal conduct
resulted in his license being revoked by Webb in 183853
Housman struggled throughout the thirties to make Indian Key
independent of any control from Key West. The creation of Dade County
in 1836 was an important step toward eventual total autonomy. His
victory was enhanced when Indian Key was designated as the temporary
The principal settlements in the new county were at Indian Key,
Cape Florida, and Key Vacas. To alleviate the discontent of the latter two
the location for a permanent county seat was left undecided. Until that
decision had been reached, the judge of the Superior Court was to hold
one term each at Cape Florida and Indian Key."
To enhance Indian Key's claim to the county seat, Housman con-
structed a courthouse using his own money.5 It was, however, the
outbreak of the Second Seminole War in 1836, that effectively elimi-
nated any threat to Indian Key's position in the county. Intimidated by the
presence of the hostile Indians and frightened by their frequent forays,
like the attack on the Cape Florida lighthouse, most residents either
moved away or settled temporarily on Indian Key, which was armed and
Captain Housman's control over affairs in the county was
strengthened by the fact that most of the important county officers were
also his employees. Thomas Jefferson Smith, his friend and attorney, was
Indian Key 11
the first county judge.7 George W. Somarindyck, Housman's chief clerk
for several years, was the first clerk of the county court.8 In 1840, Walter
C. Maloney, also a clerk to Housman, succeeded Somarindyck in this
position as well as serving as a justice of the peace, and an auctioneer.59
Lemuel Otis, who was occasionally employed by Housman as an arbit-
rator, was a justice of the peace from 1836 to 1842 and was elected sheriff
in 1840.60 And even James Dutcher, the New York marble cutter, was a
justice of the peace while he was on the island.6" Other offices were held
by residents of the island. William H. Fletcher (the son of Silas Fletcher)
and William Whitehead, for instance, were appointed auctioneers in
1836, while Charles Howe served as a notary public.2 In 1840, William
Whitehead, while continuing in his office as an auctioneer, was ap-
pointed a justice of the peace, and at the same time, Temple Pent, who
intermittently resided on the island, was a justice of the peace.63
In 1838 and 1839, through his friend Thomas Jefferson Smith,
Housman urged Congress to make Indian Key a port of entry.64 His
petitions stressed the difficulty as well as the danger of transporting
wrecked property to Key West; while it alleged that a lack of proper
facilities and an absence of competition at Key West resulted in further
loss to the owners of wrecked property; and since Indian Key possessed
the necessary facilities, all concerned with the wrecking business on the
Florida reef would benefit by making it a port of entry.5 The Key West
spokesman, William A. Whitehead, claimed that the Smith petition
contained incorrect figures, distorted facts, and slanderous statements,
all of which had been motivated by factious considerations.66 In view of
the conflicting statements, Congress decided to drop the matter.
In 1840, Housman again addressed himself to the United States
Congress, asking that they
authorize him to form a settlement on the south coast of Florida, and
granting a portion of land to said settlers with the rights to the people of
said settlement of self-government within the circle of three miles radius
from the center thereof, with an exemption from all control of all officers
and all laws of the revenue, naval, and military departments of the
Government of the United States.
Congress, much to Housman's chagrin, routinely dismissed his grand-
Housman's empire had been tottering for several years. His political
gambits, with one exception, had all been unsuccessful, while his finan-
Map of Indian Key, 1840.
Indian Key 13
cial affairs were becoming increasingly desperate. The Indian War,
beginning in 1836, deprived him of his trade with the Indians and many
of the reef settlers. He must have keenly missed, too, the revenue from
wrecking cut off when his license was revoked in 1838. His claim against
the government for $14,418 for the maintenance of a militia company
remained unpaid, although he had pressed it since 1836.8 To ward off
total disaster he mortgaged his interest in Indian Key to Smith Mowry, Jr.
and Joseph Lawton, both of Charleston, for $14,283, in March, 1840. The
mortgage was to be repaid with ten percent interest and this may have
resulted in the $16,000 that was later claimed to have been the correct
figure. In 1843, Lawton and Mowry obtained the property at a sheriffs
sale for $350. They subsequently sold it to Stephen R. Mallory for the
On Christmas day, 1838, Henry Perrine, the noted horticulturist and his
family arrived at Indian Key. Dr. Perrine, contrary to the wishes of his
friends in the north, who feared for his safety among the hostile Indians,
was not to be detained and was irresistibly eager to continue an avoca-
tion that had superseded his professional work as a medical doctor. The
island, he hoped, would be but a temporary headquarters, and as soon as
the Indian War was terminated he expected to transfer his nursery to the
mainland where he could continue the cultivation of tropical agricultural
plants in earnest. Had he been prescient, he would have remained on the
brig Lucina and returned with it to his friends and medical practice in the
north, thus escaping the cruel death that awaited him two years later.
A descendant of Daniel Perrin, a prominent Huguenot refugee, who
arrived in New Jersey in 1665,70 Henry was born at Cranbury, New
Jersey, in 1797. He taught school while still in his teens in Rockhill, New
York, and sometime during this period completed his medical education.
In September, 1819, he set out his shingle in Ripley, Illinois, where he
practiced until his health forced him to move further south. In 1827 his
deteriorating health again compelled him to seek a balmier climate, and
in 1827, he accepted an appointment as United States Consul at Cam-
Coincident with Perrine's appointment in Mexico, the Federal Gov-
ernment promulgated its second circular urging government officials,
especially port collectors, officers of naval and merchant vessels, and
consuls, to lend their assistance in securing foreign plants of known or
probably commercial value. Perrine was enthusiastically receptive to the
idea, and spent the next nine years bombarding the government with
detailed reports on official and other economic plants, especially the
fiber-producing agaves. His efforts included his repeated and often futile
exertions to ship live plants or seeds out of Mexico.72
Among those who received his seeds and cuttings were Charles
Howe of Indian Key and John Dubose at Key West, and Perrine's interest
in the peninsula may have stemmed from his association with these
individuals.7 His interest in Florida became manifest in 1832, when he
petitioned the Legislative Council for a charter "incorporating himself
and his associates into a company for the cultivation of tropical exotics
...on the southern part of the Peninsula."74 A bill to achieve this purpose
was introduced into the legislature in 1832, but it languished until 1838,
when the Territory incorporated the Tropical Plant Company with Henry
Perrine, Charles Howe, and James Webb as the chief stockholders.5 At
the same time, the national Congress moved to enact legislation which
would provide Perrine with the necessary land to implement his project.
On July 7, 1838, after several years of debate, Congress granted 23,040
acres-a township-to Perrine and his associates "to be located in one
body six miles square below twenty-six degrees north latitude." The
grant was conditional in that the land had to occupied within two years,
and each section had to be occupied by a settler cultivating useful
It was the agaves, especially the Agave sisalana, that Perrine
wanted to cultivate on his township. This was a fibrous plant that had
many uses in Latin America, and Perrine hoped that the agave could be
readily substituted for hemp, and he had even developed a process to
achieve this transformation, "which he expected to revolutionize the
agriculture of the United States and of the world."77 Hemp, of course,
could be readily converted into rope, bagging, yam, and cordage, all of
which were essential to the cotton economy It was also a potential cash
crop, if the Navy could be induced to accept it in lieu of Russian hemp.
The agaves, though, were not the only tropical plants that were of interest
to Perrine. The demand for vegetable dyes caused him to study certain
dye producing plants, such as the logwood, the cochineal cactus, the
common indigo of Tabasco, and several others. The inventory of the
plants that he intended to cultivate in Florida included tea, coffee, cacao,
cassava, bananas, mangoes, and the mamey apple. Spices, medicinal,
and other plants were also to be grown on his land.8
Indian Key 15
Perrine had originally intended to immediately begin his work, but
the Indian depredations on the mainland forced him to alter his plans,
and he settled, for what he hoped would be a brief period, on Indian Key.
He had previously sent some plants to Charles Howe, and when he
arrived in December, he found they were flourishing. Perrine did not
intend to allow the "savages" to completely stifle his plans, and after
inspecting the neighboring islands, he decided to locate the preparatory
nursery on the adjacent island of Lower Matecumbe Key.79 His son,
Henry E., a young boy at this time, stated that the nursery was located
near the sinkhole on this island. It was enervating work, according to the
young Perrine, and he was most happy when illness forced him to
abandon his share of the labor.8 After the nursery had been completed,
the young Perrine, accompanied by his two sisters, would join Dr. Perrine
on his daily inspection of the plants.81 Outside of occasional interrup-
tions to render necessary medical care, Dr. Perrine continued to care for
his plants until his untimely death in August, 1840.
Henry E., although a young boy while he lived on the island, later
recounted in vivid detail his first impression.
We saw on the distant horizon the top of palm which appeared at first as
though floating in the airl there seeming to be a space between the sea and
the feathery fronds of the palms.... Soon the tops of houses could be seen,
and then the whole island of Indian Key in all its beauty greeted our eager
q ta P 3
Dr Perrine's house and the wharf.
eyes. ... A large warehouse three stories in height, and crowned with a
lofty cupola, was the most prominent object. A short distance beyond,
stood the two-story mansion of Captain Houseman, the proprietor of
nearly all the island and of the various cottages, about forty buildings in
all, none of them of pretentious architecture, but nearly all having either
the graceful palm trees, or others of a tropical or semi-tropical nature near
their doors. Three large wharves stretched out from the north-eastern side
of the island; beyond these was a small neck of land, upon which stood a
carpenter's shop and a blacksmith shop. About a hundred feet beyond,
stood a two-and-a-half story house with a cupola upon it. ... Right
opposite this house, which was to be our home, stood the low one-story
house and negro dwellings.... On the southwestern side of the island,
another wharf stretched out of deep water. The side of the island towards
the gulf consisted of jagged coral rock, while on the opposite side was a
MASSACRE AT INDIAN KEY
The outbreak of the Second Seminole War late in December, 1835, was
an unwelcome development for all the residents of the keys, and forced
most of them to move away or, for those who lived in what would soon be
Dade County, temporarily settle on Indian Key.83 While the mass exodus
from the islands and the inflation of Indian Key's population magnified
Housman's political power it did not resurrect his faltering financial
affairs. Rather, whatever additional business Housman was able to
transact with the new immigrants was more than offset by the elimina-
tion of his trade with the Indians as well as the disappearance of his
extensive transactions with the residents of the northern keys. He was
also burdened with the responsibility, which included an economic
liability, of providing for the defense of the island, as he suspected that
the Indians would consider his well-stocked store a prime target.
The island was rapidly transformed into an armed camp. Dirt
embankments were hastily constructed at selected points around the
island, and a half dozen six- and twelve-pound cannons were mounted at
strategic locations."4 Housman also required that all able-bodied men,
both white and slave, pledge their willingness to defend the island.
Acting on his own, he organized about forty of them into Company
B, 10th Florida Militia. He provided them with arms and ammunition
and advanced them pay and subsistence at the regular army rate. As
expected, he was elected the commanding captain and served in
Indian Key 17
this capacity until the company was disbanded some eighteen months
Housman and the inhabitants also sought to attract a contingent of
United States military forces to the island. Captain Rudolph of the
revenue cutter Dexter intermittently used Indian Key as his home base
during 1836 and 1837.86 While the inhabitants were grateful for this
protection their real interest was in seeing that a substantial force was
permanently attached to the island. In June, 1837, they petitioned the
Secretary of the Treasury to provide the necessary forces, stating that
the peculiar Situation of Indian Key renders it liable to incursions from
these hostile savages more than any other location on the coast; the
temptation too is considerable inasmuch as a large store is kept on the key
which is at all times filled with provisions and munitions of war for the
use of the inhabitants and wreckers engaged on the coast, and these facts
are well known to the Indians, they having previous to the breaking out of
hostilities been in the habit of trading at this store.
Military forces would also relieve them of the economic burden of
defending themselves which they claimed had already cost them up-
wards of $9000.87
In March of the following year the government responded to the
petition by permanently stationing the Dexter at Indian Key. After the
withdrawal of the Dexter a few months later, Lieutenant John T.
McLaughlin of the U.S. Schooner Wave was attached to the island.
Additionally, elements of the Florida Squadron first under the command
of Commander Isaac Mayo and then Lt. McLaughlin, rendezvoused at
Indian Key, and served as an added deterrent to an Indian attack. In the
spring of 1840, however, Lt. McLaughlin transferred his command to the
nearby island of Tea Table Key." This information was quickly relayed
to the Indians who obviously began to make plans for a concerted attack
on the island.
Sometime in the early morning of August 7, 1840, James Glass, a
carpenter in Housman's employ, was apparently unable to sleep and was
meandering around the island in search of some ducks, when he sud-
denly discovered a band of Indians. He immediately awakened his
neighbor George F Beiglet, and together they started for Captain Hous-
man's dwelling to alert him and the rest of the inhabitants. While they
were on their way, the Indians discovered them and immediately com-
menced firing. In the confusion Glass and Beiglet escaped.
The firing, of course, aroused the entire island, and they all scat-
tered pell-mell across the key. Some scurried out of their dwellings and
made a desperate charge for the nearest water, others hid themselves in
cisterns, under wharves, and in warehouses. Lemuel Otis, who was
sleeping in the upstairs of Housman's store, was wounded but managed
to reach the south beach and float off in one of the canoes. James Glass
secreted himself under the 2nd Street wharf while his companion,
George Beiglet, hid in the cistern under the large warehouse. Charles
Howe and his family were able to safely reach the water and sail away in
one of his boats.
Others were not as fortunate. Captain John Mott, his wife and their
two children, and his mother-in-law were all brutally slain by the
Indians. James Sturdy, a young black boy, was scalded to death when the
building over the cistern in which he was hiding burned. The most
famous victim of the massacre, however, was Dr. Henry Perrine. When
he had safely hidden his family in the turtle crawl under their house, he
tried to reason with the Indians, but when this failed he sought to
barricade himself in one of the rooms. "One wild shriek, a rifle shot,"
apprised his saddened family of his death.
Housman's mansion was one of the first points stormed by the
Indians, and he and his wife barely had enough time to jump out of their
bedroom window before the Indians burst into the dwelling. The two
stealthily made their way to the south end of the island where Housman
secured a boat from the "Boat Pond," and without detection, they made
their way to Tea Table Key.89
On arriving, Housman discovered to his chagrin that the effective
garrison had been reduced to five men, the rest were either aboard the
Wave which had departed several days earlier or in the hospital located
on Tea Table Key. The commanding officer Midshipman Francis K.
Murray, finally succeeded in organizing a small force to repel the
Indians. And around seven o'clock that morning this contingent departed
for the island in two barges, each of which was armed with a four-pound
swivel gun. As they approached the island they fell under a heavy fire
from the shore, the Indians using effectively one of the six-pounders that
had originally been mounted for the defense of the island. The barges
returned the fire and in the process the four-pounders recoiled over-
board. Lacking adequate fire power Murray was forced to abandon the
attack and return to Tea Table Key." The Indians gleefully returned to
their pillaging and looting, and before they left the island that afternoon,
Indian Key 19
they set fire to the buildings and wharves. They departed in thirty-four
boats, "heavily loaded with plunder," and Lt. McLaughlin estimated,
from the number of departing craft, that they could not have been less
than one hundred and thirty-four persons?1 The island, in less than one
day, had been reduced to rubble.
THE DECLINE OF INDIAN KEY
Housman had been trying for some time to persuade Lt. McLaughlin to
use Indian Key as the headquarters for the Florida Squadron. Four days
after the destruction of the island, McLaughlin finally agreed to Hous-
man's proposition, and the young lieutenant contracted for an un-
specified sum of money-with Housman "for the cession of the whole
key to the United States, except a small portion of it, for his store and
dwelling." McLaughlin stated that he was induced to transfer his base
from Tea Table Key to Indian Key because of the fresh water and
facilities to be found at the latter location. A station on Indian Key would
also relieve him of the necessity of dividing his small force, as after the
attack he had apparently found it expedient to station some elements of
his command on the island?2
Housman, meanwhile, remained in the area until October (1840). At
that time, according to Charles Howe, he "cleared out for good-took
everything he had left, to Key West... to sell at Auction-his Negros
(sic) Boats vessels ... he is a good deal in debt. ..""3 After
liquidating his few possessions, he apparently secured a position on a
wrecking vessel, and was killed shortly thereafter "while attempting to
go on board a wrecked vessel in a heavy seaway; being crushed between
his boat and the side of the vessel."94 It was an ironic, and perhaps
appropriate, demise for this legendary character. According to E.Z.C.
Judson, the law repudiated Housman's wife after his death. The careful
research of a later historian has confirmed Judson's story.95
Charles Howe and his family, along with Henry Goodyear, who
operated "a small store, or Grog Shop, on the wharf," were apparently
the only residents who returned to the key after the August massacre?6
They were soon joined, however, by the Florida Squadron, or as it was
more commonly known, the "Mosquito Fleet," in all about six hundred
McLaughlin rapidly set about providing quarters for his command,
which included two companies of marines under the command of Lt.
Col. T.T. Sloan, as well as building an adequate hospital, and completing
the necessary repair work on the cisterns. In all he constructed twelve
buildings which included a private residence for himself and his family, a
hospital, which John Hastings, an assistant surgeon at Indian Key,
disparagingly referred to as "literally nothing of a hospital," several
frame dwellings which were used as barracks, a workshop, several
boat-sheds, and an unknown number of storehouses?8 His total expendi-
tures amounted to $343,937."
George Center became the island's principal merchant and did a
brisk and profitable business importing the lumber hardware items, and
medicine needed by the Mosquito Fleet. In the two years that the
command occupied the island, Center transacted over $50,000 in busi-
ness. Oliver O'Hara, the Key West merchant, Wall and Pinkney, also
from Key West, and the ubiquitous Henry Goodyear, as well as others, all
traded with the Navy.10 At the end of the war in 1842 McLaughlin and
his command were transferred to other stations, leaving Indian Key to
the few turtlers and wreckers who were still in the area.
The end of the Second Seminole War did not eliminate the possibil-
ity of future Indian depredations in the keys, many prospective settlers
concluded, and few of them were willing to gamble on their chances of
survival anywhere in the new county. In 1843, Walter C. Maloney, the
only official still conducting county business, reported that Indian Key
was totally deserted. And until recently, he added, the county had been
completely abandoned. As a result of Maloney's report the territory
decided to relocate the county seat, and the small settlement at Miami
was selected as the new capital.0"
Six years after this incident there were still not over one hundred
settlers within all of Dade County, and perhaps as few as four or five
people living on Indian Key.102 As the Indian threat receded additional
settlers were attracted to the island and by 1860 there were probably
several families and at least ten or fifteen settlers on Indian Key.103
These individuals included William H. Bethel, inspector of customs, and
his family, John Curry and his family, Errand Bell and his wife, and
William Mott. Undoubtedly they were involved in wrecking and in-
terspersed this occupation with fishing and turtling.'04
Perhaps as a deterrent to smugglers or to maintain order in the upper
keys, the government sent troops to Indian Key in 1869. Two companies
of the 3rd Artillery, commanded by Captain E.R. Warner were stationed
on the island during August and September If their arrival had been due
Indian Key 21
to a crisis, it must have subsided, for they abandoned the post at the end
of their second month.105
Probably due to economic conditions in the Bahamas, a number of
Bahamians were attracted to the Florida Keys, and by 1870 they had
swelled Indian Key's population to forty-seven, which even included a
Methodist preacher.106 Unlike their acestors these Bah;amians derived
their livelihood from the soil, and out of the island's entire population,
only one individual indicated that he made his living from the sea.1'0 The
Pinder family, which included about half of the island's population,
assiduously cultivated every inch of available soil within the immediate
vicinity of Indian Key, and by 1885, the four branches of the family were
cultivating hundreds of banana trees and harvesting a crop that sold for
$8,500.10s They may have also been the family that regularly sold water
to passing vessels.'09 The island probably continued to be inhabited after
this time by a small number of people, although we know nothing about
them or the island. In the present century the island has been an
occasional refuge for mariners, fishermen, and hermits. It has, however,
been largely uninhabited.
I. In 1822, a Charleston newspaper listed the port departure of a sloop, the William
Henry, under the command of Captain Housman. This is the first reference we have to
Housman in southern waters and it is not known whether his visit to Charleston was part
of his first trip to the keys. Charleston Courier, July 27, 1822.
2. E.Z.C. Judson, "Sketches of the Florida War-Number IV-Indian Key- its
Rise, Progress, and Destruction," Western Literary Journal and Monthly Review in
Pensacola Gazette, March 29, 1845; Fred E. Pond, Life and Adventures of "Ned
Buntline" (New York: n.p., 1919), p. 24. Housman was a descendant of a Dutch family
that had settled on Staten Island (N.Y.) in the early 1700's. Elmer G. VanName, The
Housman (Huysman)-Simonson Family of Staten Island, N.Y. (Haddonfield, N.J.: pub-
lished privately, 1955),passim.
3. "Wrecks, Wrecking, Wreckers, and Wreckees on the Florida Reef," Hunt's
Merchants Magazine 6 (April 1842): 349.
4. Ibid., pp. 351-352.
5. U.S., Congress, House Committee on Commerce, Building Light-Houses,
Light-Boats, Beacons, &c., 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, H. Doc. 158, I.W.P Lewis to
S. Pleasonton, March 5, 1838, p. 15.
6. U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, Memorial of William A.
Whitehead in answer to the petition of Thomas J. Smith, in favor of making Indian Key a
port of entry, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc. 140, N.L. Coste to William A.
Whitehead, January 2, 1839, p. 8. Coste was commander of the U.S. Revenue Cutter
7. Bernard Romans, A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida (1795;
reprint ed., New Orleans, La.: Pelican Publishing Co., 1961), p. 252.
8. Statement of Silas Fletcher in support of his preemption claim to Indian Key,
Monroe County Deed Book B, p. 168, Monroe County Courthouse, Key West, Florida.
All Monroe County Deed Books are located at the Monroe County Courthouse, Key
9. Ibid. Statement of Avis Fletcher in support of her husband's preemption claim to
Indian Key, Monroe County Deed Book B, p. 170. Statement of Abigail Talbert...,
Monroe County Deed Book B, p. 167, and statement of William H. Fletcher..., Monroe
County Deed Book B, p. 171.
10. Statement of Silas Fletcher..., Monroe County Deed Book B, pp. 168-169.
12. Statement of Pardon C. Greene in support of Joseph Prince's preemption claim
to Indian Key, Monroe County Deed Book A, p. 488.
13. Indian Key Poll Book, May 4, 1829, Records of the Secretary of State, on file at
the Division of Archives, History, and Records Management, Tallahassee, Florida. In this
period wrecking was not the only enterprise in which the key inhabitants were involved.
Fishing and turtling were important sources of revenue. Many wrecking trips involved
fishing with a constant search for a disabled vessel.
14. E.Z.C. Judson in Pensacola Gazette, March 29, 1845.
15. Monroe County Deed Book A, p. 352. The purchase also represented his initial
thrust to obtain Fletcher's preemption right. Indian Key, unlike many of the other keys,
was not part of the Spanish land grant properties, and as such, immediately became part
of the public domain belonging to the Federal Government. Congress, in 1818, began
debating legislation that was subsequently (1830) enacted into law establishing the
preemption right on all public lands. Benjamin H. Hibbard, A History of the Public Land
Policies (New York: Peter Smith, 1939), pp. 151-153. It was this right that Fletcher and his
family tried to establish by their sworn statements found in the Monroe County Deed
Books. As the land was not surveyed until the 1870's, it was never put up for sale while
Housman remained on the island. The government later denied his claim to the island,
arguing that he was "a mere tenant at sufferance of the United States." U.S., Congress,
House, Committee on Claims, Representatives of Jacob Housman, 30th Cong., 1st sess.,
1847-48, H. Rept. 798, Summary statement of the Committee on Claims, July 25, 1848,
16. Dr. Benjamin Strobel in the Charleston Mercury, July 4, 1833. Strobel left his
native Charleston, where he was a physician, in 1829. While on his way to Key West, he
stopped at Indian Key (1829). He resided at Key West from this time until 1832, when he
returned to Charleston. His impressions of the keys were serialed in the Charleston
Mercury and later in the Charleston Courier. E.A. Hammond, ed., "Sketches of the
Florida Keys, 1829-1833:' Tequesta, 29 (1969): 73, 74, 77.
17. U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, Petition of Thomas J. Smith
in reply to the remonstrances of William A. Whitehead against the establishment of a
port of entry at Indian Key, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc. 71, Petition of the
Citizens of Indian Key, August 31, 1836, p. 9.
18. Dr. Benjamin Strobel in Charleston Mercury, July 4, 1833.
19. Monroe County Deed Book A, pp. 266, 352.
20. Ibid., 266-267.
21. Key West Gazette, April 25, 1832.
22. Monroe County Deed Book B, p. 174.
23. Key West Enquirer. October 10, 1835; Monroe County Deed Book B, pp.
Indian Key 23
24. Monroe County Deed Book B, pp. 175-176, 221. Dr. Henry W. Waterhouse
served as the island's physician and postmaster. He died in a boating accident in January,
1835. Key West Enquirer, January 24, 1835.
25. Monroe County Deed Book B, p. 248.
26. U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee of Claims, Report of the Committee on the
Memorial of Jacob Housman, August 8, 1846, 29th Cong., Ist sess., 1845-46, Record
Group 46, Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives Building.
27. Petition of Thomas J. Smith, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc. 71, Petition
of the citizens of Indian Key, August 31, 1836, p. 8.
28. Ibid., p. 9.
29. Representatives of Jacob Housman, 30th Cong., 1st sess., 1847-48, H. Rept.
798, Summary Statement of the Committee on Claims, July 25, 1848, p. 1.
30. U.S., Congress, Senate, Military Affairs Committee, Petition of Abraham P.
Housman, Administrator of Jacob Housman, deceased, Praying the reimbursement of
advances made for the Public Service during the Florida War, presented April 20, 1846,
29th Cong., Ist sess., 1845-46, Record Group 46, Records of the U.S. Senate, National
Archives Building (hereafter cited as U.S. Senate Files, 29th Cong., 1st sess).
31. Henry E. Perrine, A True Story of Some Eventful Years in Grandpa's Life
(Buffalo, N.Y.: E.H. Hutchinson Press, 1885), hand drawn map of Indian Key ca. 1840.
32. E.Z.C. Judson in the Pensacola Gazette, March 29, 1845.
33. Dr. Benjamin Strobel in Charleston Mercury, July 4, 1833.
34. "Map of Indian Key, South Florida, 1840," Florida Historical Society Map and
Photograph Collection, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida; E.Z.C. Judson in
the Pensacola Gazette, March 29, 1845.
35. Report of Committee on Memorial of Jacob Housman, 29th Cong., Ist sess.,
1845-46, Record Group 46.
36. Petition of Thomas J. Smith, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc. 71, Census
of Indian Key, March, 1838, p. 12.
37. Memorial of William A. Whitehead, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1839-39, S. Doc.
140, Statement of William A. Whitehead, January 19, 1839, p. 2.
38. U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, Document in relation to the
establishment of a port of entry at Indian Key, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc. 26,
William A. Whitehead to the Committee on Commerce, December, 1838, p. 1.
39. A New Englander from Massachusetts, Howe apparently settled on the island
in 1832 when he was appointed inspector of customs, a post he held until 1842. In April,
1835, he purchased several structures from Housman for $580. In May of the following
year he bought from Housman for an additional $580, the land on which this property
was built. He also owned several of the neighboring keys, including Key Vacas, Long
Point Key, Grassy Key, Duck Key, and Knight Key. Following Dr. Waterhouse's death in
1835, Howe became the postmaster for the island, a position he held until March. Earl
Johnson, "Earl Johnson's Notes on Howe's family history." Typescript undated, Monroe
County Public Library, Key West, Florida; Department of State, Register of All Officers
and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval in the Service of the United States (Washington,
1833), p. 59; idem, Register, 1843, p. 111; Monroe County Deed Book B, pp. 278,
279-280; Monroe County Deed Book A, p. 100.
40. Petition of Thomas J. Smith, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc. 71,
Statement of Charles Howe, June 8, 1835, p. 8.
41. Memorial of William A. Whitehead, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc.
140, Statement of William A. Whitehead, January 19, 1839, p. 6.
42. Petition of Thomas J. Smith, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc. 71,
Statement of Charles Howe, June 8, 1835, p. 8.
43. These vessels were the schooner John Denison, D. Cold, master; the sloop
Sarah Isabella, T. Eldridge, master; the sloop, Thistle, S. Sanderson, master; the schooner
Fair American, J. Staurtiell, master. Key West Enquirer, December 26, 1835.
44. Charles Nordhoff, "Wrecking on the Florida Keys:' Harper's New Monthly
Magazine, 18(April 1859); 585.
45. St. Augustine East Florida Herald, October 4, 1825.
46. Ibid., November 8, 1825.
49. Pensacola Gazette, August 12, 1828.
50. Key West Gazette, November 30, 1831, May 23, 1832.
51. Housman v. The Cargo of the Schooner North Carolina, 15 Peters 40; Dorothy
Dodd, "Jacob Housman of Indian Key," Tequesta, 8(1948): 17, quoting O'Hara v.
Schooner North Carolina, and Housman, Florida Supreme Court File no. 0793, and File
no. 0793, and Housman v. Cargo of Schooner North Carolina 0794. The Supreme Court
no longer has the records of these cases.
52. Dorothy Dodd, "The Wrecking Business on the Florida Reef, 1822-1860',
Florida Historical Quarterly, 22(April 1944): 191, quoting from Housman v. Ship Ajax,
Florida Supreme Court File no. 0865. The Supreme Court no longer has the records of
53. Nordhoff, "Wrecking on the Florida Keys;' pp. 583, 585. Such revocation
barred him from any further salvage operations. U.S., Statutes at Large, vol. 4, p. 132.
54. Florida (Territory), Acts and Resolutions of the Legislative Council of the
Territory of Florida, 1836, p. 19.
56. U.S. Senate Files, 29th Cong., Ist sess.
57. Petition of Thomas J. Smith, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838;39, S. Doc. 71, Thomas
Jefferson Smith to the U.S. Congress, January 10, 1839, p. 1.
58. Florida (Territory),Acts, 1837, p. 6.
59. Governor Robert Reid to the Senate of the Legislative Council, Executive
Nominations for Territorial Appointments, February 17, 1840, Territorial Papers of the
United States, Florida, Vols. 22-26, ed. Clarence Carter (Washington, D.C.: Govern-
ment Printing Office, 1956-1962), 26: 63-64 (hereafter cited as TP).
61. U.S. Senate Files, 29th Cong., Ist sess.
62. Tallahassee Floridian, March 5, 1836.
63. Reid to Legislative Council, TP, 26: 63-64.
64. The federal wrecking act of 1825 required that wrecked property be entered at a
port of entry. U.S., Statutes at Large, Vol. 4, pp. 132-133.
65. Petition of Thomas J. Smith, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1839-39, S. Doc. 71, Smith
to the U.S. Congress, January 10, 1839, pp. 1-4.
66. Memorial of William A. Whitehead, 25th Cong., 3rd sess., 1838-39, S. Doc.
140, Statement of William A. Whitehead, January 19, 1839, p. 6.
67. U.S., Congress, House, Committee on the Public Lands, Reefers of Florida,
Housman and Bethel -Montgomery Railroad Co.-David R. Mitchell -Legislature of
Florida, Land for Seat of Justice, 26th Cong., 1st sess., 1839-40, H. Rept. 593, Report of
the Committee on the Public Lands, June 19, 1840, p. 1.
68. U.S. Senate Files, 29th Cong., 1st sess.
69. Ibid.; Monroe County Deed Book C, p. 370.
70. Howland Delano Perrine, Daniel Perrin "The Huguenot" and His Descen-
dants in America of the Surnames Perrine, Perine, Prine (n.p., 1910), p. 23.
Indian Key 25
71. Dumas Malone, ed., Dictionary of American Biography, 22 vols. (New York:
Charles Scriber's Sons, 1934), 14: 480.
72. U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Agriculture, Report on the memorial of
Dr. Henry Perrine, praying for a grant of land to encourage the introduction and
promote the cultivation of tropical plants in the United States, 25th Cong., 2nd sess.,
1837-38, S. Doc. 300, Summary Report of Committee on Agriculture, March 12, 1838,
pp. 1-3; idem, Report on the memorial of Dr. Henry Perrine, 25th Cong., 2nd sess.,
1837-38, S. Doc. 300, Henry Perrine to Committee on Agriculture, January 4, 1838, pp.
3-5; idem, House, Committee on Agriculture, Memorial of Dr. Henry Perrine, late
consul at Campeche, asking for a grant of land in the southern extremity of East Florida,
for the encouragement of the growth of new and important agricultural products, exotic
vegetables, 25th Cong., 2nd sess., 1837-38, H. Rept. 564, Summary Report of the
Committee on Agriculture, February 17, 1838, pp. 1-99.
73. Memorial of Dr. Henry Perrine, 25th Cong., 2nd sess., 1837-38, H. Rept. 564,
Extracts from Letters of Charles Howe and John Dubose, pp. 59-60.
74. James D. Westcott to the Legislative Council, January 3, 1832, Journal of the
Florida Legislative Council, 1832, p. 6.
76. U.S.,Statutes at Large, vol. 5, p. 302. This was a singular honor granted to few
individuals, and was reserved for meritorious service. Among others who received
grants of land were General Lafayette and Baron Steuben, both heroes of the Revolutio-
77. Nelson Klose, "Dr. Henry Perrine, Tropical Plant Enthusiast," Florida Histori-
cal Quarterly, 27 (October 1948): 195. Kose's article is based on extensive research done
on Perrine in conjunction with his doctoral dissertation: "Foreign Plant Introduction by
the Federal Government: A Study in American Agriculture History" (The University of
Texas, 1947). Also, see his monograph: America's Crop Heritage: The History ofForeign
Plant Introduction by the Federal Government (Ames: Iowa State College Press, 1950).
78. Klose, "Dr. Perrine," p. 196.
79. "Progress of Dr. Perrine's Scheme of Introducing Tropical Plants," Farmers'
Register, 7 (1839): 40,41. This periodical received several notices from Perrine before his
death in the fall of 1840 requesting that "seeds, cuttings, bulbs, &c. of useful plants" be
sent to the "tropical nursery."
80. Perrine, Some Eventful Years, p. 46.
81. Hester Perrine Walker, "Incidents in the Life of Hester Perrine Walker," typed
manuscript prepared 1885 (?), on file at The Florida Historical Society Library, Univer-
sity of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, p. 20.
82. Perrine, Some Eventful Years, pp. 31-32.
83. Petition to Congress by Inhabitants of Monroe County, March 1, 1836, TP,
84. Niles' Weekly Register, 49 (January 30, 1836): 370, quoting from Key West
Enquirer, January 2 & 14, 1836.
85. U.S. Senate Files, 29th Cong., 1st sess. His claim of $14,418 was never paid on
the grounds that the company had never been legally mustered into the service of the
86. Key West Enquirer, June 18, 1836; Army and Navy Chronicle, 3: 255, quoting
from Key West Enquirer, September 17, 1836;Army and Navy Chronicle, 3: 27 (quoting
from Pensacola Gazette, June 25, 1836), 202, 203.
87. Petition to the Secretary of the Treasury by Inhabitants of Indian Key and
Vicinity, June, 1837, TP, 25: 406.
88. Representatives of Jacob Housman, 30th Cong., 1st sess., 1847-48, H. Rept.
798, Statement of Certain Residents of South Florida, undated, pp. 3-4.
89. Walker, "Incidents," pp. 27-51; Charleston Courier, August 29, 1840.
90. John T. McLaughlin to the Secretary of the Navy, August 11, 1840, TP, 26:194.
92. John T. McLaughlin to the Secretary of the Navy, August 11, 1840, TP, 26:193.
U.S., Department of the Navy, "Proceedings of General Courts-Martial and Courts of
Inquiry," Court Martial No. 982 of 1841, Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate
General (Navy), M-273, Record Group 125, National Archives Building. This is an
exhaustive record of the affairs of the Florida Squadron, focusing on the expenditures of
93. Charles Howe, "A Letter from Indian Key," Florida Historical Quarterly, 20
94. Pensacola Gazette, March 29, 1848. Housman was buried on the island,
supposedly on the east side. His gravestone, which has since been broken up and
removed from the island, has the following inscription:
"Here Lieth the body of Capt. Jacob Housman,
formerly of Staten Island, State of New York,
Proprietor of the island, who died by accident
May 1st, 1841, aged 41 years 11 months.
To his friends he was sincere, to his
enemies he was kind, to all men faithful.
This monument is erected by his disconsolate
though affectionate wife, Elizabeth Ann
Sic Transit Gloria Mundi."
R.C. Holder, "Along the Florida Reef," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 42 (February
95. Pensacola Gazette, March 29, 1845; Dodd, "Jacob Housman of Indian Key,"
96. Howe, "A Letter from Indian Key," p. 198.
97. U.S., Congress, House, Committee on Public Expenditures,Lieutenant John T.
McLaughlin, 28th Cong., 2nd sess., 1844-45, H. Rept. 163, Summary Statement of the
Committee on Public Expenditures, February 25, 1845, p. 2.
98. U.S., Congress, House, Committee on Public Expenditures, The Late Florida
Squadron -Expenditures, &c., 28th Cong., Ist sess., 1843-44, H. Rept. 582, Summary
Statement of the Committee on Public Expenditures, June 14, 1844, p. 6, Answers to
Interrogatories posed by Committee on Public Expenditures to Dr. John Hastings, June
10, 1844, p. 89, Miscellaneous Vouchers, 13-86, passim.
99. Ibid., p. 76.
100. Ibid., pp. 9, 16-46, 83-86.
101. EM. Hudson, "Beginnings in Dade County," Tequesta 1 (1943):12-13, quoting
from a report from W.C. Maloney to the governor of the territory, document in the Florida
State Library; Florida (Territory),Acts, 1844, p. 17.
102. U.S. Census, 1850, Population Schedules, Florida, Dade County, Roll 58,
Sheet 84, p. 168.
103. U.S. Census, 1860, Population Schedules, Florida, Dade County, Roll 106, Sheet
238, p. 476.
105. Post Returns for the months of August and September; 1869, submitted by
Captain E.R. Warner, U.S. Army Command returns from United States Military Posts,
1800-1916, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Arc-
hives Microfilm M617, Roll 1516.
Indian Key 27
106. U.S. Census, 1870, Population Schedules, Florida, Monroe County, Roll 132,
Sheet 376, p. 753. In 1866 the state had changed the boundary lines and Indian Key was
included in the land within Monroe County.
108. Ibid.; Florida, Department of State, Schedule of the Florida State Census of
1885, Monroe County, Agriculture, Roll 9, pp. 1-3.
109. John E Reiger, ed., "Sailing in South Florida Waters in the Early 1880's',
STequesta, 31 (1971):61. James A. Henshall, the author of the article, visited Indian Key in
the 1880's and apparently found little to comment upon.
The Evolution of Miami and Dade County's
By Paul George*
City and county courts reflected in various ways the meteoric growth of
Miami and Dade County between the former's incorporation as a city in
1896 and 1930. Swelling court dockets, numerous special sessions, a
growing number of judges, and additional tribunals were the norm. The
area's courts handled civil and criminal cases, ruled on the constitutional-
ity of municipal and state ordinances, and issued opinions and pro-
nouncements on the structure and operation of numerous institutions of
criminal justice in Miami and Dade County. Furthermore, the county
Grand Jury, an adjunct of the Circuit Court, served a vital community
role through investigation of crimes, presentation of indictments, and
proposals for the improvement of city and county institutions. This study
will examine the operation and growth of the area's court system during
Miami's first generation of corporate existence, the Grand Jury and its
impact upon criminal justice, and, finally, other functions of the courts in
addition to the adjudication of civil and criminal cases.
The original city charter gave Miami's lone court, the Municipal
Court, jurisdiction over all offenses against the city code and any and all
misdemeanors under state law committed within the city of Miami.2 The
county has separate and distinct courts which were created by Florida
statute during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
A Circuit Court consisting of three sections- criminal, chancery,
and common law-is the highest level county court. Initially, all crimes
in the county came under the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court, which
until 1917 was a peripatetic tribunal holding two sessions annually in
*Instructor, History Department, Florida State University
Evolution of Miami and Dade County's Judiciary 29
Dade County. A twelve person jury decided each criminal case. The
Circuit Court also directed the deliberations of a county Grand Jury.
Finally, this tribunal heard appeals from the lower courts of Dade
The other branches of the Circuit Court dealt with civil suits. The
chancery tried litigation cases, such as divorce suits and foreclosures on
mortgages or liens, where jury trials were unnecessary. The common law
division of the Circuit Court was concerned with monetary suits involv-
ing $5,000 or more, which could be referred to a six person jury for
In addition to a judge elected to a term of four years by the voters of
Dade County, the chief officers of the Circuit Court included a state's
attorney who served as a prosecutor in criminal cases and a county
sheriff who served as bailiff.
The second level county court was the Criminal Court of Record
which, after its creation in 1907, relieved the heavily congested Circuit
Court of all criminal cases except those involving capital crimes.4 The
Criminal Court of Record held six regular sessions annually. A six
person jury decided cases in this court. In addition to a judge who also
served a four-year term, the court's chief officers included a county
solicitor, who acted as a public prosecutor, and a county sheriff.
Minor suits involving sums of money less than $500.00 were tried
in the County Court under the direction of a county judge and in the
presence of six jurors. The county judge was also the presiding officer in
the County Judge's Court, which tried both criminal and civil suits. In
criminal cases, this judge sat as a committing magistrate with his
authority limited to one of two areas. He could either discharge a
defendant from arrest, or bind the defendant over to the Criminal Court
of Record, or, in capital cases, to the Circuit Court. The County Judge's
Court had jurisdiction in civil suits involving less than $100.00. This
court was also the probate court with jurisdiction over wills and estates.
The judge of the County Judge's Court also held lunacy hearings, issued
marriage and hunting licenses, and signed occupational and other
licenses. Officers of the County Court and County Judge's Court in-
cluded the sheriff and several county constables.6
The county judge also served as ex-officio coroner. In addition,
from 1911 until 1921, he was judge of a Juvenile Court, an appendage of
the County Court. The jurisdiction of this court extended to delinquent
persons seventeen years of age and younger7
A Court of Crimes, created by the state legislature in 1927 to relieve
the congested Criminal Court of Record of all misdemeanor cases,
became another important county tribunal.8 Additional courts in Dade
County included a Civil Court of Record which heard all common law
suits involving $5,000 or less, the United States District Court for the
southern district of Florida, a peripatetic federal court which heard
hundreds of cases during the 1920's involving violators of federal prohi-
bition statutes, and a Justice of the Peace Court? In a Justice of the Peace
Court, justices acted as committing magistrates with authority to dis-
charge or bind defendants over to the Criminal Court of Record or the
Circuit Court. In civil actions, the justice of the peace for Miami had
jurisdiction in suits involving not more than $50.0010
In the years immediately after Miami's incorporation, the few
courts in the area met only briefly and sporadically. Miami's Mayor or
Police Court was the lone court in the immediate area since the county
tribunals met in Juno in northern Dade County until the county seat
returned to Miami in 1899. The Mayor's Court held several sessions
monthly in the new city hall building on Twelfth Street (later Flagler
Street). The city's mayor served without compensation as its judge,
sentencing offenders in accordance with a schedule of penalties outlined
in the municipal code. Despite light court dockets and modest fines, the
Mayor's Court was the primary source of municipal revenue during this
period." As the city entered its second decade crime had increased
sharply. To meet heavier court loads more effectively, the city council
replaced the Mayor's Court with a Municipal Court in 1905. The Munici-
pal Court had a full-time elected judge who served a two year term at an
annual salary of $600.00 A prosecuting city attorney assisted the Munic-
ipal Court judge.12
The rise in criminal activity also contributed to heavier dockets in
the county courts, which heard cases in the new county courthouse on
Twelfth Street after 1903. Meeting in spring and fall sessions, the Circuit
Court disposed of hundreds of cases annually by 1907. Despite this
record, the Circuit Court faced a backlog of six months to one year in
criminal cases and indefinite delays in the disposition of civil cases.
Consequently, support grew for the establishment of a Criminal Court of
Record to relieve the Circuit Court of a portion of its work.3
Therefore, the Florida Legislature created a Criminal Court of
Record for Dade County in 1907. In its inaugural session in December
1907, the new court heard 120 cases.14 Within one year of its inception,
Evolution of Miami and Dade County's Judiciary 31
the Criminal Court of Record had disposed of nearly 700 cases, from
misdemeanors to homicides.'5 In the ensuing decade its case load con-
tinued to spiral.
The dockets of other county courts were considerably lighter, but
the fine and forfeiture money collected in the County Court enabled the
county to finance its penal institutions, pay the costs of criminal prosecu-
tions, and underwrite the operations of the sheriffs department. As
mentioned earlier, additional responsibility for the judge of the County
Court came with the creation of a Juvenile Court in 1911.'"
In the Juvenile Court's first decade, the County Court judge dis-
posed of hundreds of cases that came before it. Since the county lacked a
juvenile detention home, the Juvenile Court sent serious offenders to the
Florida Industrial School for Boys, a reform school at Marianna; the
Court placed minor offenders in the custody of parents or with a court
appointed guardian. The Court's probation officer maintained frequent
consultation with the latter.17
Due to the heavier work load and responsibilities of the county
judge and a rise in juvenile delinquency, the state legislature, in 1921,
created a separate Juvenile Court for Dade County. The judge of the new
Juvenile Court served for two years at an annual salary of $2,400. The
Court's jurisdiction remained as before. Within two years of its creation,
the Juvenile Court had heard over 400 cases. By 1926, it had adjudicated
The Municipal Court was the area's busiest tribunal. By 1915, it was
deciding 3,000 cases annually and its fine and forfeiture total had
reached $12,000.19 Daily sessions, which initially lasted for several
minutes, stretched to one hour or longer. The Court's docket included
infractions against nearly every municipal ordinance. Violations of
traffic, liquor, and gambling laws brought the largest numbers of offen-
ders before the Court. The Municipal Court also issued rulings on the
constitutionality of municipal ordinances. On a lighter note, the judge of
the Municipal Court married numerous persons brought before the Court
for fornication in order to prevent their incarceration.20
Most of the defendants appearing in Municipal Court posted bonds.
Increasing numbers found that although they might forfeit their bonds,
they would suffer no ill consequences. Persons arrested and unable to
post bond usually remained in the city jail overnight and appeared in
court the following morning. Punishment of persons found guilty of a
municipal offense was relatively light, rarely exceeding thirty days in
jail or a fine of several hundred dollars. Those persons found guilty and
unable to pay a fine were usually put to work on municipal building and
cleaning projects for the length of their term.
By the early part of the 1920's, the Municipal Court was hearing
upwards of 5,000 cases and contributing $60,000 annually to the munic-
ipal coffers. With the great South Florida land and construction boom
bringing thousands of fortune seekers to Miami monthly in 1925, the
Court now tried as many as 250 cases daily and collected as much as
$25,000 monthly from fines and forfeitures.2
With the Municipal Court unable to hear cases quickly enough to
relieve the overcrowded city jail, the city commission, in 1925, au-
thorized an assistant Municipal Court judge to assist the Court in
processing its cases.22 But congestion in the court and jail continued.
Consequently, the city commission established, in October, 1925, an
evening session of the Municipal Court which met six times each
week.2 At one session in November, 1925, it heard 113 cases.24 During
the spring of 1926, Coconut Grove, which had recently been annexed to
Miami, received its own Municipal Court; this tribunal subsequently
heard cases involving infractions against the municipal code in Miami's
The boom had ended by 1926, but the Municipal Courts' dockets
remained heavy. During one night session in April, Judge John Heffer-
nan sentenced more than one hundred traffic offenders to jail for one
day.26 On November 8, Judge Frank Stoneman tried 254 cases.2 By
1927, however, the city's population had declined sharply; a commensu-
rate decrease in crime led to a sizable reduction of the Municipal Courts'
dockets. Soon the city eliminated the night session of the Municipal
Court. Later, the Municipal Court in Coconut Grove closed.2
The astounding growth of the Municipal Court during this period
was matched in the county courts. The Criminal Court of Record, with a
broad spectrum of cases before it, heard, by the beginning of the 1920's,
upwards of 200 cases during each of its six annual terms.29 By this time
the Court had received another officer a county detective whose
investigatory work provided the county solicitor with vital assistance in
preparing the state's case against a defendant.30 By 1925, the court was
hearing thousands of cases annually and conducting numerous special
Like the Municipal Court, the Criminal Court of Record's backlog
of cases remained heavy after the boom was over. This backlog reached
Evolution of Miami and Dade County's Judiciary 33
800 in the fall of 1926, prompting a Grand Jury to recommend creation of
a second Criminal Court of Record.2
The Florida Legislature, instead, created, in 1927, a Court of Crimes
which assumed jurisdiction over all misdemeanors previously tried in
the Criminal Court of Record. The judge of this new tribunal served a
four year elective term and received an annual salary of $6,800. During
its inaugural session in September 1927, the Court of Crimes heard over
200 cases. It remained busy for the duration of the 1920's, hearing, in
particular, numerous cases involving persons arrested for driving while
Despite its limited jurisdiction, the Criminal Court of Record re-
mained busy. Heavy court dockets prompted the state legislature to
provide the county solicitor with an assistant, and led to special sessions
of the Court in 1928 and 1929.34
The Circuit Court underwent even more dramatic changes during
Miami's boom years. Prior to the boom, the state legislature, in 1917,
provided a permanent Circuit Court for the area. The Circuit Court now
met in several annual sessions in the Dade County courthouse.5
Litigation before this tribunal increased sharply, prompting Florida
Governor Cary Hardee to assign another judge to the bench in 1923.3
Two years later, the Circuit Court received a third jurist. By this time the
Court's clerk had 156 assistants to help him prepare its business."
As the Circuit Court's civil sector became increasingly congested,
the legislature, in 1926, provided the county with a Civil Court of Record
with jurisdiction over all common law suits involving $5,000 or less.38 In
the following year, the Circuit Court received a fourth judge to assist it in
adjudicating nearly 7,000 cases. These included more than 5,600 chan-
cery suits, 1,250 common law suits, and a small number of criminal
While other county courts also disposed of increasing numbers of
cases, their dockets never reached the levels of the aforementioned
tribunals. Some of these courts, however, played increasingly important
roles during the 1920's. The United States District Court for the southern
district of Florida held several sessions annually in Dade County by the
middle of the 1920's, disposing of hundreds of cases of prohibition
The Justice of Peace Court was another tribunal which assumed
increasing importance in the 1920's, primarily because city and county
lawmen, in an effort to halt a steep rise in reckless driving and au-
tomobile accidents, turned over many persons convicted of these of-
fenses in Municipal Court to the Justice of Peace Court (as well as the
Court of Crimes) for a second trial under state statute.41
The operation of the courts, as well as other institutions of the city
and county, was influenced directly by the Dade County Grand Jury. This
body was composed of eighteen men selected from various parts of Dade
County by the judge of the Circuit Court. The County Grand Jury met
several times annually at the behest of this jurist who charged it with
investigating major crimes and conducting inquiries into local affairs
and institutions supported by taxation, including city and county gov-
ernment, public schools, hospitals, and jails. At the outset of its delibera-
tions (which could last from a few weeks to several months), each Grand
Jury selected a foreman from among its peers to provide it with leader-
ship and a clerk to prepare its final report to the judge of the Circuit
In conducting criminal investigations, the Grand Jury worked
closely with the state's attorney, who presented the state's cases to the
Grand Jury, seeking indictments. This process included interrogation of
witnesses by the Grand Jury. In the event a Grand Jury returned an
indictment, the case, depending on whether it came under the category of
a capital offense or a lesser crime, went to either the judge of the Circuit
Court, the Criminal Court of Record, or the Court of Crimes. The judge
of the court receiving indictments then ordered its chief officer to issue
capiases (judicial writs) to the sheriff to make arrests. In special cir-
cumstances, such as the murder of Sergeant Laurie Wever of the Miami
Police Department in 1925, the judge of the Department in 1925, the
judge of the Circuit Court could call a Grand Jury into session im-
mediately. A civil emergency, such as the labor unrest in Miami during
1919, could also lead to the immediate convocation of a Grand Jury.42
Conducting trial investigations was an important Grand Jury func-
tion. Proceeding according to specific instructions from the judge of the
Circuit Court, the Grand Jury also undertook investigations into a wide
variety of municipal practices and institutions. At the end of its labors, it
issued a written report containing, in addition to indictments in criminal
cases, its findings on the conditions of the institutions examined with
recommendations for their improvement.43
City and county authorities, however, rejected most Grand Jury
recommendations. Notable exceptions occurred in the realm of prisons,
traffic and liquor enforcement, and court personnel.
Evolution of Miami and Dade County's Judiciary 35
The Grand Jury's recommendations were generally balanced. A
notable exception occurred in 1918, when the Grand Jury recommended
the establishment of a"restricted district" where prostitution would be
allowed. The Grand Jury argued that such a district would prevent the
spread of prostitution into residential areas of Miami which had
occurred since the demise of Hardieville, Miami's redlight district, in
1917. But a loud outcry from the press and many prominent Miamians
quickly killed this recommendation.44
Ten years later a Grand Jury undertook a laborious investigation of
the Miami Police Department highlighted by the interrogation of hun-
dreds of witnesses. It subsequently recommended a total reorganization
of the force under new leadership. This recommendation was, for the
most part, adopted.5
The number of categories of criminal cases before the courts at a
particular time reflected the type of crimes predominant in the area
during that era. For example, many persons appeared before the Munici-
pal Court and some county courts during the early years of the twentieth
century for alleged offenses against the sanitary code." By the second
decade of the twentieth century, liquor and gambling cases far exceeded
sanitary violations. In the latter part of this decade, cases involving
traffic violations began to clog the dockets of several courts. Throughout
the 1920's, liquor, gambling, and traffic violations continued to dominate
But the function of the courts and theirjustices transcended adjudi-
cation of civil and criminal cases. The courts also judged the constitu-
tionality of laws brought before them in test cases, particularly legisla-
tion regulating liquor and traffic. For example, Judge W. Frank Blanton
of the Municipal Court struck down, in 1915, a law providing that all near
beer saloons pay $1,500 for a merchant's license because it imposed a
"prohibitive" cost on a product not proven to be intoxicating.4 In the
following year, the city council passed a new ordinance setting the price
of a merchant's license for near beer operators at $500.00.9 The Munici-
pal Court and, later, the Circuit Court upheld this law.50 At other times,
however, a higher court reversed a decision of a lower court. This
occurred in 1922 when the Circuit Court reversed an earlier decision of
the Municipal Court upholding an ordinance which banned jitneys from
thoroughfares where street cars operated."'
Judges also addressed themselves to numerous social issues. They
advocated procedural and institutional reforms, and, in the process of
sentencing offenders, took direct aim at repeated violations of certain
laws. Thus Judge James T. Saunders of the Municipal Court complained,
as early-as 1906, of the large number of vagrants in the city, and promised
that "if the police will arrest them, I will do the rest.""2 Soon after, Judge
William 1. Metcalf of the Criminal Court of Record, angered at the
number of persons before his Court for offenses committed while
inebriated, declared that the police must exercise more vigilance in
pursuing drunks.53 One decade later, Judge Stoneman of the Municipal
Court declared a war on vice and promised to impose maximum fines on
prostitutes who came before his court.54
Judges sometimes expressed opinions on race. Judge John Gram-
bling of the Municipal Court spoke disparagingly of Nassau blacks who
"upon their arrival here consider themselves the social equal of white
people."" Judge Blanton asked the city council in 1917 to establish a
"Color Line" separating the races in Miami.5 Three years later, Judge H.
Pierre Branning of the Circuit Court led a delegation of municipal
leaders who met with black leaders in the aftermath of a white bombing
in Colored Town and proposed solutions to the problems which pro-
voked the crisis.7
Justices of the Circuit Court were ideally suited to combat social
problems because of their power to impanel an investigating Grand Jury.
Justice Branning charged a Grand Jury in 1919 with investigating the
possibility that a labor-race conspiracy was behind the unrest that rocked
Miami during this period."5
In the realm of institutional reform, the most frequent judicial
demand concerned the area's crowded jails. Judge Saunders in 1906
requested that the city council act to relieve the city jail of severe
overcrowding, while his counterpart on the bench of the Criminal Court
of Record, Judge Metcalf, requested similar action of the county com-
mission for the county jail in 1908.59 This refrain continued, becoming
more frequent in the 1920's when jurists like Judge Stoneman repeatedly
asked the city commission to provide the city with a new jail.60
The Circuit and County Courts directed their pleas for institutional
reform to demands for additional tribunals to assist with increasingly
heavier court dockets. As mentioned earlier, Judge Minor Jones of the
Circuit Court asked for a Criminal Court of Record in 1906.81 Twenty
years later, two of his successors, H.E Atkinson and Andrew J. Rose,
pressed state authorities and the Florida Legislature for additional judges
and courts.62 In the meantime, justices of the County Court made
frequent entreaties for an independent Juvenile Court.
Evolution of Miami and Dade County's Judiciary 37
The recent origins of the city and its institutions provided the courts
with an excellent opportunity to introduce new procedural and legal
practices and improve upon old ones. Consequently, demands for reform
in these areas focused on a wide variety of issues. This activity was
especially evident in the Municipal Court. The first period of change
occurred with the accession of Paul G. Phillips to the bench in 1911.
Judge Phillips instituted daily sessions of the Court which began
promptly at 9:00 A.M."3 Phillips also eliminated the practice of many
persons who, after their arrest, signed "John Doe" on the police blotter in
place of their legal name, posted bond, and subsequently forfeited it in
lieu of a court appearance. This procedure permitted them to avoid any
connection with their arrest. Phillips ruled that the legal name of all
persons arrested would have to appear on police and court records;
furthermore, the name and offense of each person would be read on the
day their trial was scheduled whether or not they appeared in court.
Judge Stoneman, in 1919, took Phillips' ruling one step further by
prohibiting any person from avoiding a court appearance after an ar-
By 1920, the Municipal Court had compiled an index file of all
cases before it." In subsequent years, persons appearing in court were
checked against this file, and, if found to be repeaters, were usually fined
more heavily than a first offender. By the middle of the 1920's, the
Municipal Court and the Miami Police Department were cooperating
closely in issuing"Courtesy Cards" to Miamians and visitors. A person
holding a"Courtesy Card" could avoid a trip to police headquarters, a
booking and bond after an arrest on a minor charge. Instead, he received
a date to appear in court.67 By the end of the decade, the Municipal Court
and the police were permitting petty traffic violators to avoid a court
appearance altogether by paying a fine at police headquarters.6
The Criminal Court of Record was also innovative. Judge H.E
Atkinson, in 1910, installed a blackboard in his courtroom. At the outset
of each daily session of the Court, the clerk listed cases scheduled for
that day and the following day on this board. Atkinson adopted this
measure to ensure the appearance of attorneys with cases before the
court at the correct time, since, according to Atkinson, "the court has
been bothered a great deal in the past by attorneys not being ready for
since, according to Atkinson, "the court has been bothered a great deal in
the past by attorneys not being ready for trial, either because they
misunderstood the date set for the trial of certain cases, or because they
had forgotten the date.""
The Criminal Court of Record's prosecuting attorney, the county
solicitor, sometimes contributed to court innovations. For example, Fred
Pine, county solicitor from 1918 to 1926, was the primary force behind
the passage of a law providing the Criminal Court of Record with a
detective in 1919.70 Pine's successor Robert Taylor also left his mark on
court reform. In order to reduce congestion in the county jail and courts,
Taylor in 1926 instructed Dade County Sheriff Henry Chase to release
any prisoner whose conviction was doubtful because of insufficient
evidence. For the same reason, Taylor also supported speedy trials for all
The Circuit Court's primary contribution to procedural reform
occurred in 1926 when it sponsored a countywide law enforcement
conference which, in part, dealt with schemes for a more expeditious
dispatch of court cases.7
Many judges believed that stern sentencing was an effective ap-
proach to reducing repeated violations of certain ordinances. John L.
Billingsly, who was Judge of the Criminal Court from 1914 to 1917, was
especially severe on prohibition offenders. Frequently Billingsly fined
an offender $500.00 or imposed a sentence of six months in jail.73
Billingsly's successor, Thomas Norfleet, imposed lengthy sentences on
confidence men and thieves who preyed on wealthy tourists. Norfleet
sentenced a man convicted of robbing a tourist of $9.50 to ten years in
prison.4 Judge J. Emmett Wolfe of the Criminal Court of Record dealt
severely with traffic violators. Throughout 1920, Wolfe sentenced reck-
less drivers to three months in the county jail.75
Judges of the Municipal Court were severe with gamblers, prosti-
tutes, and liquor violators; but speeders, and reckless and drunken
drivers were special targets. Judge Phillips in 1913 declared a "war on
automobile speeders" and promised to punish persons convicted of this
violation to the full limit of the law,"7 As the automobile accident rate
increased sharply in the 1920's, the Municipal Court began sentencing
many traffic offenders to twenty-four days in jail and $50.00 fines before
turning them over to the Court of Crimes for a second trial for this
violation under state statute.77
Contrasting sharply with the punitive approach was the modus
operandi of the Juvenile Court. H.W. Penny, the Court's first judge after
its establishment as an independent entity in 1921, exercised paternal
care over each offender during his four years on the bench. The
background of each youth was investigated to determine the underlying
causes of his trouble. Penny was reluctant to send offenders to the state
Evolution of Miami and Dade County's Judiciary 39
reform school at Marianna, preferring instead to place them under the
guidance of the county probation officer.78
Penny's successor, Edith Atkinson, the first female jurist in Dade
County, also believed that errant youths should be sent to reform school
only as a last resort. Instead, Judge Atkinson campaigned tirelessly for a
county farm for delinquent youths, which she believed would be more
effective than reform school in their rehabilitation.79
Judge Atkinson was also an indefatigable campaigner for an assis-
tant probation officer to process the court's increasingly heavy case load,
the passage of child welfare measures, and secondary school courses in
the care and training of children. In pursuit of these objectives, Judge
Atkinson addressed numerous civic groups and even lobbied before the
state legislature. Most of these objectives were realized during her term
on the bench.80
Thus, by 1930, the Juvenile Court had compiled an enviable record.
Representatives of the area's other courts could also take pride in the
performances of their tribunals for each had handled with reasonable
dispatch and efficiency extremely heavy dockets resulting from Miami's
meteoric growth. The area's judiciary was firmly implanted by 1930 and
could look forward to the future with optimism.
1. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census,Fifteenth Census of the United
States, Volume III, Part I, Population. Reports By States (Washington, 1932), p. 451.
Miami's population at the time of its incorporation was approximately 3,000. Transient
laborers, employed by Henry Flagler on myriad construction projects, comprised a large
percentage of the early population. Within a few years of incorporation, most of these
projects had been completed. Accordingly, many laborers left Miami, causing a sharp dip
in the population. By 1930, however, Miami's population stood at 110,637 after exceeding
200,000 at the peak of the boom in 1925.
2. Paul Wilcox (ed.), City Manager's Report to the City Commission ofFive Years of
Commission-Manager Government for the City of Miami (Miami, 1926), p. 105.
3. Revised General Statutes of Florida, 1920, Volume Two, Chapter IV, Section
3052; Chapter II, Articles 1-7; Chapter X, Title I, Chapter I, Section 3104-3233; Part II,
Title I, Chapter 1, Section 5937; Chapter II, Article I, Section 5941-5942.
4. Capital crimes include murder and rape.
5. Revised General Statutes of Florida, 1920, Volume Two, Chapter III, Article I,
6. Revised General Statutes of Florida, 1920, Volume Two, Title VI, Section 3327;
Title VII, Section 3326; Title VII, Article I, Section 3337; Title VII, Article II, Section
7. Revised General Laws of Florida, 1920, Volume One, Chapter XXX, Article
Two, Section 2308-2309; Chapter XXXII, Section 2322-2327.
8. Compiled General Laws of Florida, 1927, Annotated, Volume Four, Crimes and
Criminal Procedure, Sections 8266-8277.
9. Compiled General Laws of Florida, 1927, Annotated, Volume Two, Civil Courts,
Their Organization and Proceedings Therein, Title VIII, Chapter One, Sections 3363
10. Revised General Statutes of Florida, 1920, Volume Two, Title VIII, Chapter
One, Sections 3363-3365.
11. John K. Dorn," Recollections of Early Miami," Tequesta, 9 (1949): p. 52; Miami
Herald, July 23, 1916, pp. 8-9, 23; Miami Metropolis, January 8, 1897, p. 8; October 1,
1897, p. 2; October 15, 1897, p. 4; Miami Daily News, July 28, 1921, p. 9; John Sewell,
Memoirs and History of Miami, Florida (Miami, 1933), p. 137.
12. Ordinances of the City of Miami, Book I, p. xix; Miami Daily News, July 26,
1925, Utilities Section, p. 22;Miami Metropolis, November 24, 1905, p. 7; Minutes of the
City Council, Volume Two, October 19, 1905, p. 158; Volume Two, December 7, 1905,
13. Miami Metropolis, April 20, 1900, p. 8; May 4, 1900, p. 4; December 13, 1901,
p. 1; April 11, 1902, p. 1; October 23, 1903, p. 9; October 21, 1904, p. 1; October 6, 1905, p.
8; October 5, 1906, p. 6; March 22, 1907, p. 4. Judge Minor Jones of the Circuit Court and
members of the Dade County Bar Association were leading supporters of a Criminal
Court of Record.
14. Miami Herald, May-0, 1913, p. 2; Miami Metropolis, December4, 1907, p. 1;
December 5, 1907, p. I; December 12, 1908, p. 1.
15. Miami Metropolis, September 22, 1908, p. 1; December 12, 1908, p. 1.
16. Miami Metropolis, September 27, 1911, p. 1; Revised General Statutes of
Florida, 1920, Volume One, Chapter XXXII, Sections 2322-2327.
17. Miami Herald, January 13, 1912, p. 1; May 6, 1915, pp. 4-5; Miami Metropolis,
April 2, 1911, p. 6; December 19, 1911, p. 2.
18. Miami Herald, July 10, 1921, Part II, p. 3; October 16, 1921, Part II, p. 8; October
18, 1921, p. 12; December 25, 1921, p. IIA; May 2, 1923, p. 1; June 3, 1926, p. 36;
Illustrated Daily Tab, August 5, 1925, p. 2.
19. Miami Herald, April 21, 1915, p. 6.
20. Miami Herald, February 12, 1914, p. 3; April 23, 1914, p. 5; December7, 1915, p.
8; Miami Metropolis, December 29, 1911, p. 3; December 30, 1911, p. 3; July 9, 1912, p. 4;
September 4, 1912, p. 8; October 17, 1914, p. 8.
21. Miami Herald, March 23, 1924, p. 4; April 2, 1925, p. 2A; August 11, 1925, p. 2.
22. Minutes of the City Commission, Volume Fourteen, September 14, 1925, pp.
23. Ibid., Volume Fifteen, October 28, 1925, p. 65.
24. Miami Herald, November 6, 1925, p. 2.
25. Minutes of the City Commission, Volume Fifteen, May 24, 1926, p. 416.
26. Miami Herald, April 14, 1926, p. 17.
27. Ibid., November 9, 1926, p. 8.
28. Miami Herald, July 1, 1927, p. 2; Minutes of the City Commission, Volume
Seventeen, June 30, 1927, p. 132.
29. Miami Herald, August 2, 1920, p. 1; July 31,, 1921, p. 2; June 25, 1922, p. I1;
October 24, 1922, p. 3.
30. Miami Metropolis, December 4, 1919, p. 9.
31. Miami Herald, August 2, 1924, p. 1; June 10, 1925, p. 10B; December 27, 1925,
p. IF; May 9, 1929, p. 2.
Evolution of Miami and Dade County's Judiciary 41
32. Ibid., December 18, 1926, p. I; February 24, 1927, p. 3; August 4, 1927, p. 3.
33. Ibid., June 14, 1927, p. 4; July 14, 1927, p. I; September 12, 1928, p. 6.
34. Ibid., June 14, 1927, p. 2; October 3, 1929, p. 2.
35. Ibid., May 30, 1917, p. 4. The neWv Circuit Court was part of the Eleventh
Judicial District encompassing Dade and Monroe (the Keys) counties.
36. Ibid., December 8, 1925, p. 1; December 27, 1925, p. 1E
37. Ibid., November 22, 1925, p. 3A; December 30, 1927, p. 15.
38. Compiled General Laws of Florida, 1927, Annotated, Volume Two, Civil
Courts, Their Organizaton and proceedings Therein, Title V, Sections 5156-5168.
39. Miami Herald, May 5, 1927, p. 3.
40. Ibid., November 1, 1924, p. 2B; May 5, 1927, p. 3; August 31, 1928, p. 2; April
30, 1929, p. 24; May 14, 1929, p. 20.
41. Ibid., November 21, 1924, p. I1A; March 20, 1925, p. 2; March 19, 1928, p. 2;
Miami Metropolis, December 12, 1919, p. 6.
42. Miami Herald, March 19, 1928, p. 2.
44. Miami Herald, November 30, 1918, p. 2; December 5, 1918, p. 4; Miami
Metropolis, November 30, 1918, p. 1.
45. Miami Herald, March 8, 1928, p. 2; March 9, 1928, pp. 1 & 10; March 19, 1928,
p. 2; March 21, 1928, pp. I & 6; May 8, 1928, pp. 2 & 13. The indictment of Police Chief H.
Leslie Quigg and three policemen in the death of a prisoner prompted this Grand Jury
investigation of the police.
46. Miami Metropolis, July 12, 1901, p. 4; November 13, 1903, p. 9; December 4,
1907, p. 1; December 12, 1908, p. 1.
47. Miami Herald, September 4, 1912, p. 8; February 25, 1914, p. 7; December 7,
1915, p. 8; August 8, 1916, p. 2; September 19, 1918, p. I; April 21, 1920, p. 6; March 20,
1923, p. 6; June 22, 1924, p. 2; September 4, 1928, p. 2.
48. Ibid., January 28, 1916, p. 8. Since the fall of 1913, Dade County had been"dry"
in regard to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
49. Ibid., October 14, 1916, p. 8.
50. Miami Herald, June 30, 1917, p. 3; Miami Metropolis, June 29, 1917, p. 1.
51. Miami Herald, February 15, 1922, p. 13; September 3, 1922, p. 14.
52. Miami Metropolis, November 23, 1906, p. 2.
53. Ibid., May 7, 1908, p. 1.
54. Miami Herald, June 10, 1919, p. 2.
55. Minutes of the City Council, VolumeThree, December 17, 1908, p. 313.
56. Minutes of the City Council, Volume Eight, March 15, 1917, p. 588.
57. Miami Metropolis, May 21, 1920, p. 12; May 26, 1920, p. 1.
58. Miami Herald, August 23, 1919, p. 8. Miami experienced a protracted labor
strike in 1919, as well as several incidents of violence between whites and blacks.
59. Minutes of the City Council, Volume Two, January 4, 1906, p. 230; Miami
Metropolis, July 2, 1924, p. I.
60. Minutes of the City Commission, Volume Fourteen, June 1, 1924, p. 136; Miami
Herald, July 2, 1924, p. 1. With the adoption of a commission-manager government in
1921, a city commission replaced the city council as the municipal legislature.
61. Miami Metropolis, March 22, 1907, p. 1; May 1, 1909, p. 1.
62. Miami Herald, May 12, 1926, p. 4.
63. Miami Metropolis, December 14, 1911, p. 1.
64. Miami Herald, November 2, 1911, p. 2.
65. Ibid., February 1, 1919, p. 1.
66. Miami Metropolis, November 27, 1919, p. 7.
67. Miami Herald, October 20, 1923, p. 2; November 5, 1923, p. 2.
68. Department of Public Safety, First Annual Report (Fiscal Year July 1, 1928-
June 30. 1929) (Miami, 1929), pp. 4 & 6; Miami Herald, May 31, 1929, p. 1.
69. Miami Metropolis, January 21, 1910, p. i.
70. Miami Herald, April 27, 1917, p. 6; May 27, 1917, p. 4; Minutes of the County
Commission, Volume One, December 2, 1919, p. 125.
71. Miami Herald, July 17, 1926, p. 2.
72. Ibid., June 20, 1926, p. 5; July 16, 1926, p. 2; July 17, 1926, p. 2.
73. Ibid., April 30, 1914, p. 2.
74. Ibid., December 9, 1926, p. 2.
75. Miami Metropolis, June 13, 1920, p. 8, from the manuscript collection of Judge
J. Emmett Wolfe (Silver Spring, Maryland).
76. Miami Herald, April 8, 1913, p. 8.
77. Ibid., September 12, 1928, p. 6.
78. Ibid., July 10, 1921, II, p. 1; November 19, 1922, p. 5A. The state reform school
at Marianna, known officially as the Florida Industrial School for Boys, acquired much
notoriety during this period owing to inadequate facilities and harsh treatment of its
79. H.F Atkinson, husband of Edith Atkinson, had been judge of Dade County's
Criminal Court of Record and the Circuit Court.
80. Ibid., January 23, 1925, p. 2; July 24, 1927, p. ; September 8, 1928, p. 2;
September 27, 1929, p. 2.
The Florida East Coast Steamship Company
By Edward A. Mueller*
Henry Morrison Flagler's relentless drive south on the East Coast of
Florida in more than a decade had reached the southerly portions of what
is now Brevard County. His luxurious hotels were the envy of all and
during the winter resort season apparently did a capacity business.
Not content with just his Florida mainland railroad and hotel
empire, Flagler embarked on a three-pronged effort to extend his hold-
ings seaward. The three prongs were to Nassau, Havana and Key West.
The sea-borne prong to Key West, however was to be ultimately re-
placed by a most unique construction project, the Overseas Railroad
extension to Key West. Getting to Nassau was the first objective,
however in point of time.
In the early 1890's, Flagler was thrusting his railroad ever further
south. The immediate stopping place was Palm Beach and Flagler was
extremely busy with both railroad and hotel projects there.
The spring of 1893 saw the Flagler purchase of a large tract of land
on the body of water known as Lake Worth in what is now Palm Beach
County but which was Dade County at the time. The tract of land was for
a large hotel and the news of Flagler's interest in the area immediately
stimulated property values and prices rose dramatically. Meanwhile
railroad construction was proceeding southward to terminate for the
moment at West Palm Beach.
After Flagler had given the go-ahead to build his hotel, an astonish-
ing amount of construction activity commenced. The groundbreaking
for the new hotel took place on May 1, 1893. Workmen and materials
arrived overnight. Temporary tents and shacks to house the myriads
sprang up and a thousand men were at work on what was to become the
South's largest hotel, known as the Royal Poinciana. Before it was
*Executive Director, Jacksonville Transportation Authority
completed and opened on February 15, 1894, it had consumed five
million feet of timber, 360 thousand shingles, half a million bricks, four
thousand barrels of lime and 2,400 gallons of paint. Also 1,200 windows
and 1,800 doors were installed in the Poinciana. Some 20 acres of walls
were plastered. These figures would be formidable for almost any area
today, one can imagine what the impact was on a sleepy pioneer settle-
ment that was to be known as"The Queen of Winter Resorts."
A year later in the summer of 1895, construction was commenced
on another large hotel in the area, this time one that faced the ocean. It
was the Palm Beach Inn, later to be world renowned as "The Breakers."
The key to Flagler's plans was the linking of transportation and
accommodations. He believed in close proximity and a relationship
between them in terms of convenience to guests. Because his railroad
was on the mainland at West Palm Beach, several miles away from the
Royal Poinciana and Palm Beach Inn, a spur had to be built over to the
ocean front from the mainland, across Lake Worth. This spur, built before
the Inn opened, helped in the transfer of building supplies for the
construction of the Inn. The spur was extended for over 1,000 feet into
the ocean adjacent to the Inn, by construction of a pier capable of
carrying trains. This would enable passengers to step from their train
directly to the boat. Hotel guests needed only a short walk from their
room to reach their vessel. Of course the pier had to be placed out a
considerable distance to enable even the shallow draft vessels used at
that time enough depth of water so as not to run aground.
The "immense pier" as it was described in promotional travel
literature was built under contract by Captain J.D. Ross, a prominent
marine contractor from Jacksonville. Captain Ross had constructed
some of the St. John's River jetty work which was placed to make that
river capable of carrying deeper draft vessels. Plans called for a timber
trestle type pier, probably supported by piling (wooden) and a heavy
bulkhead filled with rock at the far end of the pier, undoubtedly to hold
against the expected hurricane-sized weather that occasionally de-
veloped. The pier had to be heavy enough also to carry the locomotives
of the day and lighter coaches. Cost was put at $100,000 in 1897. Then the
pier was used for fishing and boating activities.
Flagler's dreams (dreams at the time, realities as events were to
prove) included participation in the winter tourist trade with the
Bahamas and to that purpose he acquired a brace of hotels in Nassau, the
Royal Victoria and Colonial. And, of course, the next step would be to
The Florida East Coast Steamship Company 45
provide the connecting link between Palm Beach and Nassau, an ocean-
So, in mid-October 1895, announcement was made of a steamship
service to Nassau, such service to start in mid-January, 1896. The
Northumberland was the initial vessel chosen for this purpose. This
vessel was chartered and was about three years old at the time. She was a
steel vessel, had twin screws, was of 1,300 tons and was 220 feet long
and 33 feet wide. She had a single stack and two masts.
Flagler's steamship operations were organized under a general
corporate entry known as the Florida East Coast Steamship Company.
Two services were operated after the first year the Florida-Bahamas
Steamship Line and the Key West and Miami Steamship Line. Thus
Northumberland was operated by the Florida-Bahamas Steamship Line.
The President of the Florida East Coast Steamship Company was
Mr. Flagler and Vice-President was Joseph R. Parrott. These two princi-
pals were also the top officers in the parent Florida East Coast Railroad.
The Northumberland inaugurated service either on January 15
(Wednesday) or on the next day, January 16. One published schedule
says the 16th and a later one indicates the 15th. It was just an overnight
jaunt to Nassau on New Providence Island, the city of Nassau being
reached just in time for breakfast. On Monday, January 20, Northumber-
land left Nassau for the first time and by February 11 had settled down to
a tri-weekly Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday departure from Palm Beach and
a Monday, Wednesday, Friday departure from Nassau. Service was
discontinued by the first of April as the winter visitor season was over by
The Palm Beach Inn was open from December to April and the
Royal Poinciana from January to April. The Royal Poinciana was six
stories high, had 575 sleeping rooms, a ballroom, dining room, and
sitting and parlor rooms. Two swimming pools were provided, one with
sulphur water and one with salt water from the ocean. During the
1894-95 season, visitors were turned away for lack of space. The Palm
Beach Inn By The Sea as it was termed, was of about five stories and had
some 400 guest rooms. Later on it would gain fame when it became
known as "The Breakers"
As Nassau was only 150 miles from the United States, the journey
was a convenient half day trip from the mainland. Its climate was more
tropical than any found in the U.S. at that time and winter sunshine
seemed its chief selling point. Cycling was avidly resorted to, and the
beautifully-colored shallow coral-strewn waters around the area were
also an attraction. The Royal Victoria Hotel had been built by the British
Colonial government at a cost of $125,000 and was four stories high, 200
feet long with wide verandahs around its lower three floors. The Florida
East Coast publicity noted that the hotel manager was an American, no
The Key West operations also commenced in 1896. The Shelter
Island, a sidewheeler was to start this service in mid-February from
Miami. The schedule called for tri-weekly trips on Tuesday, Thursday,
and Saturday, leaving Miami at 8 A.M., Coral Gables at 9 A.M. with
arrival at Key West at 6 P.M. The return trips were scheduled to have
Shelter Island leave Key West on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8
A.M., arriving at Coral Gables at 5 P.M. and Miami at 6 PM. The total trip
distance was about 165 miles.
Shelter Island was an iron paddlewheeled vessel built in 1886 at
Harlan and Hollingsworth's Delaware River shipyard. She was 176 feet
long, 31 feet wide and of 10 foot draft. She had a vertical beam engine, 38
inches in diameter with an 108 inch stroke. She was of 648 gross tons,
Shelter Island had the briefest career imaginable with the FEC. On
February 20, 1896 she left Miami for Key West on her very first trip.
Over 200 citizens of Key West came aboard her to have the honor of the
first passage and many from Jacksonville were also among her passen-
gers. Only two hours out of Miami she struck a rocky shoal or perhaps a
coral-like protrusion between Grecian and Mosquito Shoals in six feet of
water. She got free of the obstruction, turned on her pumps and started
for Key West. Initially the pumping kept the water down but the leak
became greater, the pumps became clogged and were thus unable to keep
the water level from rising. Finally, the furnace fires went out due to the
advancing water, steam pressure and motive power ceased, and Shelter
Island settled to the bottom some 19 miles out of Key West. She had lost
the 90 mile run to the supposed help at Key West in the form of a marine
railway on which she had hoped to have her repairs effected.
No casualties resulted but Shelter Island, valued at $80,000, was a
total loss. She was insured for some $60,000, however. Two Key West
tugs, the Clyde and Childs came out to help and took off some of the
passengers and cargo. Two wrecking schooners also arrived on the scene
and "helped" with the cargo. Surprisingly enough the Shelter Island was
in charge of a veteran pilot, Captain Cannte and the holing of the hull was
a surprise to all.
The Florida East Coast Steamship Company 47
Shelter Island had been chartered from the Montauk Steamboat
Company for the winter run to Key West. In the summer she was on a run
from New York city to the outer extremities of Long Island and had at
least 50 staterooms as she was a night boat. She had cleared from New
York only a week before on the 13th and had stopped off at Jacksonville
on the 16th. The Miami-Key West Line immediately set out to find a
suitable replacement (of which more later).
An intermediate service was also run at this time from Fort Lauder-
dale to Miami using Biscayne, a western-riters type sternwheeler previ-
ously used by the Indian River Steamboat Line. Flagler's railroad had
caused steamboat operations on the Indian River to dwindle away and
surplus boats were accordingly available. Biscayne had previously been
named (a) J.W. Sweeney. Biscayne scheduled a tri-weekly service leav-
ing Fort Lauderdale at 9 A.M., arriving at Miami at 3 PM., and went on to
Coconut Grove, getting there at 4 PM. The return trip left Coconut Grove
at 9 A.M., Miami .at 10 A.M. and reached Fort Lauderdale at 4 P.M. The
southbound trip was made on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the
northbound one on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Della alternated with Biscayne going southward on Tuesday,
Thursday and Saturday and returned on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Della, #157384, was a small steel propeller vessel of 38 gross tons, 22
net. She was only 67.5 feet long and 18.1 feet wide but was a good
shallow water vessel as her depth of hold was three feet. Her engine was
of 30 indicated horsepower and she was built in Jacksonville in 1893.
Biscayne, #76769, was a wooden sternwheel vessel having been
'ourresy of ne mariners museum
The ill-fated Shelter Island
built at Abbeville, Georgia in 1888. She was a comfortable 414 gross
tons, 229 net, had an 80 (nominal) horsepower engine (120 indicated)
and was 118.9 feet long, 34.4 feet wide and of 4.4 feet in depth.
Of course, Flagler was busily engaged in extending his railroad line
to Miami but it was not until mid-April, 1896 that the railroad was
completed, the first train bearing passengers arriving around April 22.
Flagler had had severe doubts about going further south than the
Palm Beaches at this time but a severe freeze over the winter of 1894-95
in the Palm Beach area and the absence of such a condition in the Miami
area convinced him to look southward, somewhat before he ordinarily
would have done so. The Tuttles and Brickells, pioneer land holders in
the Miami area, offered alternate lots from their holdings and Mrs. Julia
Tuttle also gave 100 acres of land along Biscayne Bay and the Miami
River for a hotel site. Flagler on his part was to extend his railroad,
construct a large hotel and clear streets, finance waterworks and an
electric light plant.
Surveys for the railroad started in June, 1895 track laying began by
September. The usual bands of newcomers, settlers and workers made
their way to Miami. In March, 1896, within two days, two steamboats
(one of them the St. Lucie) arrived with building materials and some of
Flagler's underlings. They started work on the hotel and announced that
the railroad would be in Miami in about 30 days.
The Flagler hotel completed in time for the 1897 tourist season was
the Royal Palm. This large hotel could accommodate 600 guests and
stayed open from January to April. A smaller hotel, the Biscayne with
quarters for 150 guests was also available.
Now that Miami was the obvious terminal, Palm Beach was aban-
doned as the departure point for Nassau and Miami took over. The
Northumberland was not chartered for the 1897 season, the Monticello
being instead obtained. This vessel was the old City of Monticello,
#5339, a durable iron sidewheeler which had formerly plied from
Charleston to Jacksonville in the mid-1880's after a respectable career
with the Morgan Line.
Monticello or City of Monticello (her full name) was over 30 years
old at the time of her service with Flagler. An iron hulled vessel she was a
Harlan and Hollingsworth product (their hull #101) being built in 1866.
She was a beam-engined craft with a 32 inch cylinder and a nine foot
stroke for her piston. She was 892 tons, gross and 478, net. Her length
was 224 feet and she was 32 feet wide with a nine foot hold depth. The
The Florida East Coast Steamship Company 49
Florida East Coast Steamship Line chartered her from the Bay of Fundy
Monticello was originally named (a) City of Norfolk and she had
been sold to British interests in 1889 after her St. Johns service in the
mid-1880's. Before that she had a long stint with the Morgan Steamship
Miami was somewhat closer to Nassau than Key West and Mon-
ticello was placed on a Wednesday and Saturday departure schedule,
leaving Miami from mid-January to mid-February and a Tuesday and
Friday return schedule from the Bahamas. From February 15 to March
27 she sailed tri-weekly from Miami on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
and returned from Nassau on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All
sailings were at 2 PM. with early morning arrivals at their destinations.
Sailings went back to a twice-a-week basis in late March until the end of
the season in mid-April. Nassau was some 155 miles from Miami.
For the Key West route, to replace the short-lived Shelter Island, the
venerable City of Richmond was purchased and renamed (b) City of Key
West in honor of her new home. This ancient wooden sidewheeler would
give good service during the next several years as she threaded the
"Inside" and "Outside" passages among the Florida Keys to and from
Key West. She ran on a tri-weekly basis the entire season, leaving Miami
on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and Key West on Sunday, Wednesday
and Friday. Departures from both ends were at 7 A.M. so the maximum
amount of daylight could be employed in the navigational hazards of the
City of Key West, #5020, first saw the light of day in 1865 at her
building in Athens, New York, Nathan and Edmonds being the construc-
tor. Her durability was attested to by the fact that she was to have over
forty years of active life and perhaps several less active years afterwards.
She was distinguished by a sort of sway-backed appearance, tending to
indicate that her powerful vertical beam engine located amidships was
just too heavy for her. After an initial few months on the James River
between Richmond and Norfolk just after the Civil War she went north to
Maine waters. From 1866 to 1893 she was a "down-easter" being
operated by the Portland, Bangor, Mt. Desert and Machias Steamboat
Company (or one of its earlier predecessors under a similar nomencla-
In 1893, still going by her original name of City of Richmond, she
was sold to New London, Connecticut interests who had her for three
years until her purchase by a St. Augustine, Florida resident. She spent a
few months in Florida as City of Richmond and was in some way
involved in helping to land munitions and men in Cuba during the
filibustering days that preceded the Spanish American War. She rendez-
voused with many filibustering vessels such as the famed Three
Friends. However, in 1896 the Florida East Coast purchased her as a
replacement for the ill-fated Shelter Island.
City of Richmond's chief Maine route was from Portland to Bangor
using the so-called inside sheltered passage. She was of 939 gross tons,
600 net and her dimensions were 227.5 x 30.6 x 10 feet. A beam-engined
vessel, her cylinder was 36 inches in diameter and her stroke was 12 feet.
Her paddle wheels were 36 feet in diameter.
City of Richmond while in Maine service had one very serious
accident. She was a very fast boat, the fastest on her route in fact and on a
foggy morning in August, 1881 she ran aground on a ledge off Mark
Island on the Maine coast. No lives were lost and the passengers were all
safely landed. Her hull was severely damaged and in the repair her
walking beam engine, stack and boilers were removed. Some ten years
later when laid up for the winter at Pier 24, East River, New York City, she
burned early in 1891. When raised in mid-March, 1891 two bodies
(probably hoboes caught in the fire) were found in the wreckage.
After two seasons of running chartered vessels to Nassau, the
ordering of a specialized new vessel for that service took place. William
Cramp and Sons of Philadelphia were commissioned to build the suita-
ble vessel and the result was Miami, #92830, a steel twin screw vessel.
She bore Cramp's hull number 292 and was launched on October 23,
Miami was 239.2 feet by 40.1 feet and was 21.8 feet in depth. She
was of 1,741 gross and 1,311 net tons. She was powered by two engines,
triple expansion ones with cylinders of 18," 27" and 42" diameter with 25
inch stroke. She had a usual speed of 131/ knots and had a reputed top
speed of 16 knots. Features were electric lights and fans in every room.
She could accommodate 125 passengers and was rated at 2,000 horse-
The FEC had signed the contract with Cramps on June 28, 1897, the
keel was laid on July 3, the first frames were erected on July 31 and she
was ready for sailing in December. At her October launching she was
christened with a bottle of wine by Miss Julie Russell Parsons, daughter
of R.M. Parsons, a Flagler vice-president. The guest list of those attend-
The Florida East Coast Steamship Company 51
ing read like a who's who of Flagler's friends. Richard Harding Davis, the
soon-to-be-famous Spanish American war correspondent was also
among the gathering.
Construction of Miami took place between a new steamer yacht,
Dorothea, and a Japanese cruiser, Kasagi. Also underway in the same
yard was the new U.S. battleship Alabama. Three Japanese naval com-
manders, Narita, Aoki and Takakura, were on hand to supervise the
building of their Kasagi and also as guests partook in the launching
The Miami started her Nassau run in early 1898, the first run being
on the 17th of January. As was the prior pattern she ran semi-weekly from
March 29 to April 12. She departed Miami at 4 PM. and arrived at Nassau
early the next morning. Undoubtedly the approximate time schedule was
followed in reverse on the return from Nassau.
The interior decorations and furnishings of the three-decked, two-
tiered stateroom vessel were most elaborate. Cabins and staterooms
were to be finished in white mahogany and gold. The midships dining
room was tiled with rubber interlocking tiling in three colors to go along
with the white and gold trim. A vaulted dome over the center"diffuses
the room with truly artistic effect."
The 1898 season for the Florida East Coast in addition to the new
Miami going to Nassau from Miami saw the City of Key West still on her
routing to Key West. The Flagler interests had seen to it that a suitable
hotel for visitors was available there, the Hotel Key West being first
opened on February 15, 1897. However it remained open all year round
contrasted to the winter operations of the other Flagler hotels. Most
conveniently, the Hotel Key West was about three minutes walk from the
steamship piers. Key West in those days was a port of some consequence
as steamers from the Plant Line, Morgan Steamship Company and
Mallory Line touched there.
For the 1898 season City of Key West was apparently captained by
Stephen Bravo, one of the famous captains of Florida's steamboat days.
He had served on the DeBary Line on the St. Johns, as well as the Indian
River Steamboat Company's craft and was to work further with Flagler
on the Overseas Railroad extension to Key West after the turn of the
century. He is usually associated with the St. Lucie being her captain
most of the time. Bravo was well-regarded by Flagler, such as the
available records indicate.
City of Key West usually operated year round except for overhauls
in the city she was named for. On one such occasion in November, 1898,
Miami replaced City of Key West briefly on the Miami-Key West route
when the latter had to be overhauled at Wilmington, Delaware.
The destruction of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana harbor in mid-
February, 1898 and the resulting Spanish American War focused in-
creased interest on Cuba. The tourist business could only increase after
the short war was over and the Flagler interest resulted in the establish-
ment of the third of the three prongs, the Miami to Havana route.
To establish this service another vessel, of course, was needed. So
the third vessel in the Florida East Coast system became (c) Cocoa,
#127271, an 1879 Neafie and Levy of Philadelphia product. She had
been built originally for Spain as (a) Cuba and during the war she was
captured as a prize of war by the USS Nashville off Cienfuegos, Cuba on
April 29, 1898. She was named (b) Argonauta at the time and by fall had
accrued to the Florida East Coast. Renamed by the FEC as Cocoa, she
was of 1,214 gross tons, 941, net. She was 205.4 feet long, 36 feet wide
and was an iron propeller vessel of 700 horsepower.
Cocoa was not enough for the demands of the three individual
routes so another vessel was acquired for the 1899 season, this time by
charter. She was the Lincoln and the Kennebec Steamboat Company was
her owner. Her charter was from October 27, 1898 to May, 1899.
Evidently she suited the FEC for they acquired her by purchase in
The Kennebec Steamboat Company had her built in 1897 as Lin-
coln, #141499, by the New England Shipbuilding Company of Bath,
Maine. Kennebec offered Lincoln on their Boston to Maine route appa-
rently not too successfully, however. She was 203.4 feet long, 37.9 feet
wide and 12.6 feet in depth. Her tonnage was 996 gross and 532 net and
she had 1,600 indicated horsepower. She was a wooden twin-screw
vessel, her two engines were of the triple expansion type, 15" 26" and
39" diameter cylinders with 28 inch stroke.
Accordingly for 1899 the three runs were in effect. City ofKey West
still was on the route from Miami to Key West. Since trains now came to
Miami the vessel left on a schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday
departures at 11 PM. after arrival of the trains from the north. Key West
was reached at noon the following day. After a three hour layover; the
City left at 3 P.M. for the return trip to Miami.
On the Miami-Havana routing, Lincoln originally ran a Sunday and
Wednesday departure schedule, leaving at 11 PM. from Miami after trains
The Florida East Coast Steamship Company 53
arrived and got to Havana at 3 P.M. the next day. Lincoln left Havana at
noon on Tuesday and Friday and arrived in Miami the next day at 5 A.M.
(Wednesday and Saturday).
The Miami-Nassau Line still ran semi-weekly the first part of the
season, tri-weekly February 6 to April 4 and back to semi-weekly from
April 4 to closing on the 20th. In 1899 the"season" actually started on
December 1, 1898 and the Lincoln took the run until Miami came on on
January 10. Cocoa also ran between Miami and Nassau according to the
The FEC bought Lincoln in 1899 and renamed her (b) Martinque
after doing so.
The 1900 season saw the three separate lines being run much as in
the preceding year. However, the Florida East Coast Steamship Com-
pany had run its last winter season after the April visitors had ceased. In
July, 1900 the Flagler interests and the Plant Steamship service consoli-
dated their positions by merging their Miami and Tampa-based services.
On July 24, 1900 the FEC vessels were officially transferred to the new
line, the Peninsular and Occidental Steamship Company, a service that
was to last for six and a half decades.
(Note: Basic sources for this article consist of U.S. vessel records, information from
informal records of the Mariners Museum, newspaper sources and schedules and
timetables of the period. The Flagler Museum was especially helpful.)
Brighton Reservation, Florida
By James W. Covington*
If one travels along Florida State Highway 70 in a general eastwardly
direction from Bradenton or in the opposite route from Fort Pierce, he
will come to the hamlet of Brighton in Highlands County and then, if he
turns southward for about ten miles, will move into one of the three
Seminole Indian reservations in the state. The reservation is located in
what might be called cattle range country interspaced with cabbage tree
hammocks containing relatively good agricultural soil. With all of its
problems stemming from remoteness, flooding, and poor pasture land,
the reservation has developed into one of the best administered reserva-
tions in the United States and the cattle program has been a model. The
following account relates how the Brighton Reservation was established
and how a few problems were solved during the first several years of its
The Seminole Indians of Florida, as known to the whites, were
actually divided into two groups "speaking the related but not mutually
intelligible, Muskogee (Creek) and Mikasuki (Hitchiti) languages."'
During the post-Third Seminole War years, the Muskogee speaking
Seminoles have tended to live north of Lake Okeechobee but the
Mikasuki speakers have settled in the southeastern and southwestern
areas below the lake. As a result of contacts made on visits from one
camp to another and social interaction which occurred at the several
Green Corn dances, some marriages took place between members of the
two groups- thus neither could be called pure Muskogee or Mikasuki
and the term Seminole fitted better.
The first two attempts to establish agencies for the Seminoles by the
United States Government came on behalf of the Mikasukis. In 1891, the
United States Government established an agency at present day Im-
*Dr. Covington is DANA Professor of History at the University of Tampa.
Brighton Reservation, Florida, 1935-1938 55
mokalee under the supervision of Industrial Teacher Dr. Jacob Brecht.
Although Brecht had a store, school and sawmill erected for the Indians,
few used the available services and when 23,040 acres were acquired to
provide a reservation, none of the Indians would live on it and the agency
was abandoned in 1900.2 Almost at the same time the Missionary
Jurisdiction of Southern Florida, Protestant Episcopal Church opened a
mission which was sited in several different places during its duration
from 1896 to 1914 but the mission proved to be almost as great a failure as
the agency and eased operations by 1914?
In the above two efforts the Muskogees had been neglected but the
Baptists paid attention to this group in their initial missionary efforts. In
1907, 1909, and 1912 A.J. Brown and W.L. Joseph, Seminole Baptist
missionaries, and others travelled from Wewoka, Oklahoma to Jupiter,
Florida on an enquiry trip to ascertain if missionary efforts would be
productive. Although the Florida Seminoles regarded the visitors as
outsiders with Indian features, the Creek, Seminole and Wichita Baptist
Association decided to sponsor a mission and during the next thirty years
some thirty missionaries visited the Muskogees. Willie King, the best
known and most vigorous of the missionaries who was a Creek from
Oklahoma, became the first full time resident missionary and travelled
about the various Muskogee camps and the Dania Reservation helping
the Indians with their livestock, sickness, financial and legal problems.
Nevertheless, little missionary progress was reported until 1935.4
During the 1885-1930 period the Muskogee speaking Seminoles
had been forced from the Catfish Lake settlement (Lake Pierce) in Polk
County and across the Kissimmee prairie to the area south of the
headwaters of the St. John's River. Some camps were situated in St. Lucie
County and others near Indian Town but none could be found in the
region between Indian Town and the Atlantic Ocean. Although the
Muskogee maintained permanent camps, they came and went about the
countryside herding their hogs, gathering huckleberries to be sold in the
towns, working in the vegetable fields owned by the whites during the
spring and seeking medical aid from the medicine man or white doctor.
Consequently, prior to the introduction of the automobile, their horse or
oxen drawn wagons were commonplace along the sandy trails and the
nearby towns. When they needed necessary products of civilization the
Indians sold alligator skins and huckleberries at Joe Bowers Trading Post
at Indian Town and the Bowers Trading Post at Indian Town and the
Bowers Trading Post at Jupiter. They were not under white pressure to
move for they were living on land undesired by the whites at this time.
In 1930, Roy Nash found three or four camps in the cabbage woods
south of Brighton, some camps eight or ten miles northeast of
Okeechobee City, several camps at Ten Mile Creek and the Blue Cyp-
ress; the camp of Billy Smith, the medicine man at a place six miles
northeast of Fort Drum, several camps in western St. Lucie County and
one family living between IndianTown and Lake Okeechobee in Martin
The Seminole camps were usually erected on a high place within a
grove of pine trees or a cluster of palm trees in a hammock. The camps,
based on a general pattern, consisted of "a number of palm-thatched
open-sided houses built around the outer zone of a clearing, with a cook
house in the center."6 Each family in the camp had its own dwelling
which served as sleeping quarters, a storage place for clothes, food,
bedding and other items and as a site where the women could work on
household tasks. Some of the equipment in the house included a Singer
sewing machine, mosquito nets, lard cans and a portable phonograph and
records. Other features found within the camp included pigs, chickens,
mortar and pestle, various platforms and a pig pen.7 Since residence was
based on matrilineal lineage, the camp included the woman, her
daughters and their children and husbands and unmarried brothers.
Should a divorce take place, the male would move back to his mother's or
Virtually all of the Seminoles lived on land which was owned by
private parties, the State of Florida or the United States Government but
only a handful on reservation land. Both the Federal and State govern-
ments had assigned a total of 125,000 acres to the Indians but the acreage
was divided into many widely scattered tracts most of which was poor in
nature and only suitable for limited cattle grazing. Of the tracts, the
2,000 acres lying in Martin County should have been of use to the
Muskogees for it was the best of all land reserved for the Indians. Still,
the bulk of the Indians would not move to Martin Reserve for they
claimed that the land was not suitable for their hogs. However, Jim
Gopher and Ada Tiger and her family had lived on the land near Indian
Town and the children attended Indian Town school, but were forced to
go to Dania Reservation when the agent refused to supply them with
At this time the only services provided by the Federal Government
to the Muskogees were infrequent visits by the agent from Dania and a
Health Program with the services of a contract physician at Okeechobee.
In 1932-1933 Dr. C.L. Davis made 163 contacts with the Muskogees in
Brighton Reservation, Florida, 1935-1938 57
treating a variety of ailments which ranged from headaches to venereal
By 1935, the Seminoles seemed pressed against a hard economic
wall. Cash income was derived from the sale of hides and furs, dolls and
baskets, employment in the several exhibition Indian villages and sea-
sonal work as field hands or guides. With the extention of roads into
Southern Florida, white hunters were able to penetrate almost all of the
area and their inroads, plus the canal development and drainage opera-
tions, greatly reduced the supply of wild life. Almost half of the
Seminoles' food supply was purchased from white stores. The Seminoles
needed land reserved for their own use which would provide hunting
grounds, grazing area for stock and one which contained sufficient
fertile soil capable of producing good crops.
In 1933, a fresh new interpretation of Federal-Indian relations took
place when John Collier was appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
Under Collier's prodding, Congress passed the Indian Reorganization
Act of 1934 which provided for the expansion of Indian reservations,
development aid for Indian business ventures and encouragement of the
Indian old way of life including religion and arts and crafts.
Accordingly in line with the new philosophy in January, 1934
Assistant to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, A.C. Monahan, visited
South Florida and made a detailed examination of the Indian land
requirements. A program was agreed upon to consolidate the land
holdings and to acquire new tracts. Plans were set in motion to secure a
re-settlement area near Miles City in Collier County by obtaining op-
tions on four sections of land and, in addition, options were taken on four
sections near Brighton.
In 1935, on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the
beginning of the Second Seminole War (1835-1842) Superintendent
James L. Glenn received a letter from Washington containing the news
of a pending visit from Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes and
Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier. In response, Glenn in-
formed Ickes and Collier of several tracts of land desired by the Indians
and their need for an additional benefit of an annuity of ten or fifteen
dollars a month per family. When the two visitors from Washington and
their staff came to West Palm Beach after visiting Johnny Buster's camp
in Collier County, they were able to meet with some of the tribal leaders
as part of the annual "Sun Dance"-a tourist attracting event sponsored
by the West Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce. In a ceremony held at
Bethesada Park on March 20, 1935, SamTommie and other Indians, after
removing their shoes, approached the officials in a respectful manner
and presented the following petition:
"We a group of the Seminole Indians of Florida, assembled in conference
on the one hundredth anniversary of the Seminole War beg you to hear us:
The Seminole Indians have not been at war with the United States for
one hundred years. The Seminole Indians live in peace and happiness in
the Everglades and have pleasant relations with the United States gov-
ernment. The Seminole Indians want a better understanding with the
United States government and want to hear no more about war
We have learned from our forefathers of the losses of our people in
the Seminole Wa; and during recent years have witnessed the coming of
the white man into the last remnant of our homeland.
We have seen them drain our lakes and waterways, cultivate our
fields, harvest our forests, kill our game, and take possession of our
hunting grounds and homes. We have found that it now grows more and
more difficult to provide food and clothing for our wives and children.
We request and petition you to use your influence with the Congress
and the President of the United States to obtain for us the following lands
I. All of the lands in the state of Florida as marked on the map
attached hereto, including:
(a) Lands in Collier, Hendry, Broward, and Dade counties
known as the Big Cypress.
(b Lands in Glades County known as Indian Prairie.
(c) Lands in Martin and St. Lucie counties known as the Cow
Creek country and the Blue Field section.
(d) Lands in Indian River and Okeechobee counties known as
the Ft. Drum swamp.
II. For the loss of our other lands and our property an annuity of $15
per capital per month.
III. The full time nursing services of Indian nurses."
After presenting the petition, the Seminoles including Sam Tom-
mie, Willie Jumper, Billie Stuart, Josie Billie, Jimmie Gopher, Charley
Billie and Amos Marks and Willie King missionary-interpreters from
Oklahoma were able to express some views to Ickes and Collier Jimmie
Gopher said "I want land. My cattle have vanished."12 Charley Cypress,
the last of the canoe makers, expressed the same views stating that he
was happy but, since he had no hunting grounds, he wanted some land.
After these conversations took place, a ceremony was held by the Florida
National Guard unit in which the"end" of the Second Seminole War was
proclaimed. Despite the tourist atmosphere and "grand standing" the
Brighton Reservation, Florida, 1935-1938 59
message came through loud and clear that the Muskogee speaking
Seminoles needed a reservation.
Orders came from Washington to Superintendent Glenn on May 10,
1935 to commence negotiations for the purchase of the tracts of land
requested by the Indians. Since the Regional Director of the Resettle-
ment Administration Dr. W.A. Hartman had control of the necessary
funds to make the purchase, all recommended tracts had to be approved
by the Resettlement Administration. After Glenn conferred with
Hartman ten days later, he found that, of the several tracts proposed by
his office and the Indians, only four sections of land in Indian Prairie was
acceptable to Hartman. Such reasoning was not pleasant to Glenn for he
believed the Fort Drum Swamp was "potentially fitted for handling all
phases of the social and economic life of these Indians."3 Nevertheless
he had to go along with Hartman's ideas for the Resettlement Adminis-
trator controlled the funds and believed other tracts were not suited for
the Indians or"real estate promoter's schemes to make more money."'4
Next, Glenn tried to persuade the Federal administrators to purchase land
along the northwest shore of Lake Okeechobee for service as a game
preserve or cattle range for the Indians and received some support from
State of Florida officials but the Commissioner of Indian Affairs would
not sanction the plan.'5
The 2,500 acre tract of land known as Indian Prairie lying north-
west of Lake Okeechobee, acquired for the Indians for a reservation
became known as Brighton Reservation. Under the terms of the Appro-
priation Act of 1935, the sum of $25,000 was set aside for the purchase of
additional land and a comprehensive study of Seminole land needs was
planned.? With additional land purchases and exchanges by 1938 the
Brighton Reservation included 27,081 acres purchased by Resettlement
Administration funds, 6,278 acres acquired with Indian Reorganizaton
Agency funds, and 1,920 acres obtained by exchange with the State of
Florida.17 It would take many years for the land acquired by the Reset-
tlement Administration to be transferred to the Office of Indian Af-
The newly acquired reservation for the Muskogees seemed ideal
for it contained a considerable number of palm hammocks ranging in
size from one to twenty acres in area.19 Those Seminoles living in St.
Lucie and Martin counties had used these fertile hammocks for agricul-
tural sites during the Spring of each year to plant corn, pumpkins and
potatoes. In addition, the heavy jungle-like undergrowth found in the
uncleared hammocks served as a protective haven for wild hogs, rac-
coons, quail, turkeys and deer which could be hunted by the Indians.
Since there was an abundance of high ground in the hammocks, family
groups would be able to establish camp sites in separated areas as had
been their custom. At the time of acquisition, there were ten Seminole
families living on the tract and plans were made to invite thirty more
families to settle there?0
Within a short time several negative features became known con-
cerning the newly acquired reservation. When development of lands
about the reservation took place, the white owners resorted to the
construction of dikes, flood water ditches and canals causing an exces-
sive amount of water to flow into the Indian reserve. Consequently since
most of the land was covered with water during the rainy season much
water-control work was needed. The reservation land was not an intact
area for the Lykes Brothers owned 480 acres and, during the Boom of the
1920's some forty or more persons acquired title to 11,640 acres all lying
within the reservation.21
Brighton Reservation made remarkable progress during the next
several years due to the combined efforts of six or more persons: Richard
Osceola, James Glenn, Fred Montesdeoca, Mr. and Mrs. William
Boehmer and Alice Marriott. Richard Osceola had paved the way for all
when he appealed again and again for a reservation to be provided for the
use of the Muskogees and finally gained his objective. James Glenn,
Superintendent of Seminole Indian agency, had as a master plan the
establishment of a permanent reservation, a cattle industry and a com-
munity center for the Indians. It was Glenn who handled the negotiations
with the Resettlement Administration, and had he been a little more
successful in achieving his goals, the Seminoles would have obtained a
much better reservation. The role of the others in making the reservation
will be mentioned later in this narrative.
A livestock program was instituted among the Seminoles in a
somewhat unusual manner During the pre-Seminole War days the
Seminoles possessed large herds of cattle and, as recently as 1925, Ada
Tiger owned as many as forty head but the end of the open range forced
her out of business. Dr. Philip Weltner, Regional Director of the Reset-
tlement Administration, decided to save the lives of some cattle and help
the Seminoles by transferring five hundred and forty-seven head of beef
from the Southwestern "dust bowl" to the Brighton Reservation and
planned to ship fifteen hundred more. On arrival, most of the initial
shipment died because of a half-starved condition and lack of proper
grazing lands but the survivors provided a nucleus for a growing herd.22
Brighton Reservation, Florida, 1935-1938 61
It was Fred Montesdeoca, Agricultural Agent, Okeechobee County
appointed January 1, 1937 to his position who did most to put the
Muskogees on the road to self-sufficiency.23 He encouraged the Indians
to take an interest in the proper care management and treatment of cattle
and hogs and to assist them in proper range control and improvement.
According to Fred, he found a few people who were trained to work as
range hands and he was forced to teach the rest what was needed. Next,
he had to get fertilizer, improve the grass and place the cattle in suitable
ranges. Cattle raising techniques such as weaning yearlings, rotating
pastures and use of good bulls had to be taught. Besides teaching almost
all of the facts concerning modern ranching to those who knew very
little, he had to overcome poor native grass, no drainage, high water and
the winter drought.24
From the beginning of the cattle program the Federal Government
had assumed all of the expenses but on August 10, 1939 three trustees
were elected by the Brighton Indians to supervise the program. Under
the terms of this new procedure, the project was made self-sufficient and
a promise was given to repay the Government in eighteen years for the
past expenditures. In 1940, receipts from the sale of bull calves and steers
amounted to nearly five thousand dollars: a sum sufficient to cover
operating expenses and to provide for the purchase of forty-six head of
yearling Hereford heifers from the Apaches at San Carlos, Arizona.25 By
1953, the United States Government was paid back by the Seminoles
$95,900 for cattle appraised in 1936 at $79,550 and the Indians realized
an average net profit of $19,000 a year; a sum from which the loan was
repaid.2" Still, the average income per Indian had climbed to only seven
There were other interests at Brighton besides the ranch business.
Each family was allowed a five acre fenced field where sugar cane,
pumpkins, potatoes could be grown and, in addition, orange and grape-
fruit trees and banana plants were planted in the eighty acres of cleared
rich soil in the hammocks scattered about the reservation. Some wild
hogs were owned by almost every family-forage was based upon wild
nuts and cabbage palm berries. When requested, the Glades County
Agricultural Agent came to the reservation and for a small fee vacci-
nated the hogs against cholera. This sideline of hog raising became so
profitable that in a two month time period, $1,000 worth of hogs were
sold to a packer from Tampa?' Close cooperation was maintained with
the Everglades Experiment Station, Belle Glade, Florida and the Florida
State Extention Service.
For the women the field of handicrafts provided a profitable ven-
ture. At first the handicraft done by the women was inferior and few
attempts were made to sell any products at all. Finally the Indian Arts
and Crafts Board at Washington, D.C. was contacted by Mrs. William
Boehmer and in response Alice Marriott was assigned to the project
rendering assistance in the form of advice and writing a constitution and
by-laws for a proposed Muskogee Seminole group?8 Within a short
time, dolls, costumes, beadwork, small canoes, and basketry were made
by the women and young girls according to standards established by the
Seminole Arts Guild composed of thirty members and five elected
trustees. Each article was inspected and, if passed, was given a tag issued
by the Seminole Indian Agency and sold to tourists who visited Brighton
School.29 Those articles not meeting standards were exchanged for gas
and groceries with neighboring stores or service stations. Arising from
the high standards established by the Guild, high quality Seminole
products were able to be sold to tourists at Indian villages, commercial
camps and gift shops throughout Florida. After the guild had accumu-
lated a revolving fund it was able to pay cash to the women when they
had finished their products. As a result of this income, some single
women became financially independent.
The Civilian Conservation Corps, Indian Division provided some
needed income and employment during the early years of the reserva-
tion. Seminoles from all over southern Florida erected and repaired
fences, improved the range grass, trees and scrubs, dug wells and
installed windmills, laid out trails, erected a telephone line and built a
garage and bridge.30 Money for this work was not accepted by the
Indians until they fully understood that it was not a dole but payment for
work performed. Some, remembering frauds perpetrated one hundred
years before, refused to make their mark on receipts?.
In 1938, the Muskogees requested that a day school be opened at the
reservation. On May 25, 1938 a conference was held between the leaders
of the Muskogee Seminoles and H.A. Zimmerman, Assistant Commis-
sioner of Indian Affairs. At this meeting, Richard Osceola stressed the
Seminole need for a school, hospital, community building and better
cattle and horses. Accordingly, a husband and wife team, Mr. and Mrs.
William D. Boehmer, responsible for educational work and community
development, was hired. When Mr. and Mrs. Boehmer arrived, they
found the school being constructed by Indian labor, Civilian Conserva-
tion Corps. Indian Division, and of necessity lived in a small trailer until
Brighton Reservation, Florida, 1935-1938 63
construction of school and home was finished. During opening day on
January 9, 1939, it was necessary for Boehmer to travel over sandy trails
leading from one chickee to another picking up the children in a
makeshift bus and taking them to school.32 Besides schooling in English
and the usual studies, activities at the school included poultry husbandry,
garden making and homemaking. Mrs. Boehmer, whose official title was
school housekeeper, assisted the Seminole women and advised the crafts
organization.33 Although some progress had been made in the field of
education, the overall picture was not favorable. Of the 165 young
Seminoles eligible to attend school in 1942 only thirty percent were
actually enrolled with an average daily attendance figure of seventy-five
percent. Of the number enrolled in school, 46 students were at Brighton
and Big Cypress, 3 at Cherokee and one at Haskell Institute in Kansas.
By 1940 the Muskogees consisted of 175 persons living in twenty
camps in the Brighton reservation and at scattered sites situated west of
Fort Pierce or Vero Beach. The two times all of the various bands
assembled were the Green Corn Dance in the Summer and the Hunting
Dance in the Fall. Leadership especially in matters concerned with the
Green Corn Dance rested in the hands of a small council of elderly
medicine men with the chief medicine man being the acknowledged
leader.34 As the men became more and more active in ranch activities,
the women worked as vegetable pickers in rancher owned fields or
picked huckleberries to be sold in the nearby towns. Food included
sofkee, fry bread, boiled meat, boiled vegetables, coffee, boiled turtle,
arid fresh citrus fruit?5
The clan played an important role in the lives of the Muskogees
during this period. There were five matrilineal exogamous clans -
Panther, Bird, Tallahassee, Deer and Snake. When the women worked
picking vegetables in the fields near Fort Pierce, Vero Beach and Lake
Istokpoga, they stayed in separate camps according to their clan and
worked in clan groups. When a man and his wife visited for an overnight
stay they stayed at one where women belonged to the wife's clan.
Likewise, the clan played an important political and ceremonial role
during the annual Green Corn Dance.36
Through white contacts, the Seminoles developed wants for certain
material products of civilization. Virtually all of the men wished to own
an automobile and the young people listened to records and owned
portable phonographs. Shopping trips were made to Okeechobee and
Fort Pierce to buy dress goods for the women and Stetson hats and riding
boots for the young men. Every camp possessed a sewing machine, iron
pots, pans and tools. The desire to possess these material things would
bring about considerable change in Muskogee life. Perhaps these gains
were made as one anthropologist put it because "they do not reject the
outsider. Some of the women have children by white or Negro fathers.
(Still), the Big Cypress (Indians) consider the Cow Creeks (Muskogees)
to be lazy appeasers."37 Yet, the cattle raising and handicraft guild
projects spread from Brighton to Big Cypress and became successful
there. Much more progress remained to be made for even with several
years of the range cattle and handicraft industries, the one hundred and
seventy-two Seminole families had attained by 1943 an income of less
than five hundred dollars apiece.,8
1. John M. Goggin "Source Materials for the Study of the Florida Indians"
Laboratory Notes 3 Anthropology Laboratory, University of Florida (August, 1959), 1.
2. James W. Covington "Federal and State Relations with the Florida Seminoles,
1875-1901," Tequesta (1972) 17-27.
3. For details of the mission see James W. Covington "Florida Seminoles: 1900-
1920," Florida Historical Society LIII (October, 1974) 181-197 and Harry A. Kersey and
Donald E. Pullease "Bishop William Crane Gray's Mission to the Seminole Indians in
Florida: 1893-1914," The Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church XLII
(September, 1973), 257-273.
4. James O. Buswell III "Florida Seminole Religious Ritual: Resistence and
Change," unpublished doctoral dissertation, 1972, St. Louis University, 259-263.
5. Roy Nash "Survey of the Seminole Indians of Florida" 71st Congress, 3rd
Session, Senate Document 314 (Washington, 1931), 21.
6. Alexander Spoehr "Camp Clan and Kin Among the Cow Creek Seminole of
Florida," Anthropological Series XXXIII, no. 1, Field Museum of Natural History
(August, 1941), 12.
8. Nash "Survey:' 71.
9. Annual Narrative Report, 1933 Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letter Group 75,
National Archives. Hereinafter referred to as BIA.
10. Ibid., Dr. Anna Darrow of Okeechobee who treated the Seminoles on a private
basis found their troubles to be hookworm, malaria, tonsilities, neuralgia and bad teeth.
Lawrence Will, Cracker History of Okeechobee (St. Petersburg, 1964), 145.
11. Annual Narrative Report, 1935 BIA.
12. The Palm Beach Post March 21, 1935.
13. Annual Narrative Report, 1935 BIA.
14. J.W. Stewart, Director of Lands to Lawrence E. Lindley, Washington Represen-
tative, Indian Rights Assocation May 7, 1936 Central Files 1907-1937 17027-34-310
Seminole Part 1, BIA.
15. Annual Narrative Report, 1935.
16. Stewart to Lindley.
Brighton Reservation, Florida, 1935-1938 65
17. J.E. Scott, Superintendent Seminole Indian Agency to Commissioner of Indian
Affairs February 19, 1938 10581-1938 BIA.
18. Although some reports indicate that Brighton was acquired in 1936, it was
purchased in 1935. See John Collier to Ruth Bryan Owen November 16, 1935 (no file
number) BIA. As late as 1955 title to the land rested within the Department of Agricul-
ture; not the Interior Department.
19. Preliminary Report, "Federal Indian Reorganizational Land Program,
Seminole Indians in South Florida," Central Files 1907-1937, 17027-34-310 Seminole
Part 2, B1A.
20. A description of Billie Stewart's and Billie Buster's camps in the cabbage palm
region near Brighton in 1932 can be found in "Seminole Music" by Frances Densmore,
Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin No. 161, Smithsonian Institution (Washington,
21. George H. Dacy, Assistant Economist, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Report on the
Seminole Indians of Florida for the National Resources Planning Board, Dania, Florida,
BIA, hereafter cited as Dacy Report.
23. Fred Montesdeoca, a native of Keenansville, Fla., had a degree in animal
husbandry from the University of Florida; owned a ranch at Lorida and had developed an
interest in the Indians during his days as an University student. In 1955 he was given the
unofficial title of "assistant county agent for Indian affairs." He stayed on his job until
1969 when he retired to work on his ranch. Montesdeoca died on December 11, 1974.
TampaTribune December 15, 1974.
24. Merwyn S. Garbarino Big Cypress: A Changing Seminole Community, Case
Studies in Cultural Anthropology (New York, 1972), 106.
25. Dacy Report.
26. Termination of Federal Supervision over Certain Tribes of Indians, Joint
Hearing before the Sub-Comminee of the Committees on Interior and Insular Affairs,
83rd Congress, 1st session, on S 2747 and HR 7321, Part 8, Seminole Indian, Florida
(Washington, 1954), 1105.
27. Dacy Report.
28. At this time Alice Marriott worked for the Indian Arts and Crafts Section,
Department of the Interior.
29. Ibid., Deaconess Bedell was doing the same type of work at this time among
31. Ethel C. Freeman"Our Unique Indians, the Seminoles of Florida," the Ameri-
can Indian II (Winter, 1944), 12.
32. Telephone conversation with William Boehmer February 22, 1976.
33. Dacy Report; Mr. and Mrs. Boehmer had come from educational work with the
Sioux of South Dakota.
34. Spoehr"Camp, Clan and Kin," 10.
35. Ibid., 15-16.
37. Ethel C. Freeman "Cultural Stability and Change Among the Seminoles of
Florida," in Men and Cultures ed. by A.EC. Wallace, Selected Papers of the 5th
International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Philadelphia,
September 1-9, 1956 (Philadelphia, 1960) 250.
38. Freeman, "Our Unique Indians," 12.
A Japanese Presence in South Florida
By George E. Pozzetta* and Harry A. Kersey, Jr.*
Florida has been most often identified in the popular mind with oranges,
sunshine, and tourism. What is perhaps less well known is the fact that
land development and settlement have also been prominent characteris-
tics of the state's colorful history. Land promoters and colonizers of
every stripe competed with each other throughout Florida's past in their
efforts to dispose of millions of acres of land. Particularly at the turn of
the present century was the peninsula state the scene of incredible
diverse and widespread settlement activities. No colonizing venture
during this period, however, was more ambitiously conceived or vigor-
ously carried out than a 1904 effort to establish a Japanese colony in
The impetus to bring Japanese settlers to Florida was supplied by
Joseph Sakai, an American educated expatriate who dreamed of estab-
lishing agricultural colonies composed of his countrymen throughout
the state. These centers were to serve not only as outlets for ambitious
Japanese who were increasingly feeling the pressures of Japan's growing
population and limited resources, but also were to provide, if successful,
profit and investment opportunities for Sakai himself. To bring about
these objectives the energetic developer arrived in Jacksonville in late
November 1903, bearing letters of introduction from the dean of the
New York School of Finance and other prominent persons. He presented
the Jacksonville Board of Trade with a scheme to import forty or fifty
Japanese families and establish them in small colonies -of ten or so
apiece. These groups were to engage in agricultural experiments, em-
phasizing the growth of silk, tea, tobacco, pineapples and rice. Sakai
*Dr. Pozzetta is an Associate Professor of Social Sciences and History at the
University of Florida.
**Dr. Kersey is Professor of Education at Florida Atlantic University.
Yamato Colony 67
further announced that he intended to purchase a total of 67,000 acres of
land for these projects.1
Floridians gave an enthusiastic welcome to Mr Sakai and pledged
substantial help for those to follow. Sakai received an official endorse-
ment from Governor William Jennings, and, in a subsequent trip to
Washington, he obtained similar encouragement from the U.S. Commis-
sioner of Immigration and the Secretary of Agriculture. More substan-
tially, the Florida East Coast Railway, along with several private inves-
tors, donated one thousand acres of land in Lee, Leon, and Manatee
counties, with promises of more to come. One such speculator, retired
Professor E. Warren Clark of Tallahassee, predicted that the Japanese
would "revolutionize farming in this state."2
Sakai returned to Japan in January of 1904 to recruit the necessary
agriculturists and make arrangements for passage. In this task he was
aided by Count Okadaira, a member of the royal household. Like Sakai,
the Count was a graduate of an American college and had a deep interest
in efforts to colonize Japanese farmers? The Russo-Japanese War caused
some unavoidable delays, but on November 14, 1904, an advance guard
of five hardy souls landed in San Francisco from the decks of the steamer
Manchuria and announced their intentions of proceeding to Florida.
After reviewing several possible sites for his first settlement, Sakai
chose a section of land just north of present day Boca Raton, near the
Joseph Sakai, founder of Yamato
Colony. Original picture in possession of
tracks of the Florida East Coast Railway.5 The inhabitants christened
their new home "Yamato," the ancient name for Japan itself. Sakai
continued to talk of locating additional colonies elsewhere in the state,
mentioning frequently a site near Delray to the north, but no other
settlement was made. The settlers planted heavily in pineapples for the
first season and devoted lesser acreages to experiments with other crops
such as silk and tea.
Initial farming work was slow and exceedingly difficult. Virgin
land had to be cleared laboriously by hand with grubbing hoe, rake and
shovel an acre or so per season was all that even the most working
settler could reasonably expect to finish. The tropical climate added to
the hardships that the Japanese endured, and many immigrants found
their first experience with Florida to be a severe disappointment. Sev-
enty years later one of the original residents still spoke of the rain that
each season flooded fields and ruined precious crops, of the mosquitoes
and flies that forced everyone to wear head-nets before going out during
the summer months, and, above all, of the heat that bore down upon
everyone as they worked with heavy grub hoes to clear small plots.6
So disgruntled became one of the settlers, a man named G. In-
chinose, that he wrote to the Georgia State Department of Agriculture for
information regarding the silk industry in that state. Inchinose indicated
that he would leave Florida and bring several expert silk culturists with
him if proper arrangements could be made. In response Georgia's Com-
missioner of Agriculture referred the matter to Mr. Louis B. Majid, the
state's largest silk processor. Majid replied to the unhappy Florida
Japanese with an offer to supply them with homes, land, and "all the
mulberry leaves they need" in return for one third the eventual crop.
Presumably the details of the proposal failed to please the petitioners as
there exists no record of their leaving.
In all probability Inchinose and his group remained in Yamato and
gave over their lands to the production of pineapples. By 1906 "pines"
were bringing upwards to $5.50 a crate at produce markets and the
colony's future prosperity seemed assured.8 News of this prosperity
flashed back across the Pacific and sparked a small but steady flow of
Japanese adventurers who were willing to make the long trip to America.
One of these travellers was a penniless, but ambitious twenty year-old
man named George Morikami.
As with thousands of other young Japanese in 1906, Morikami was
caught in the economic dislocation brought about by the war with
Russia. Although Japan won the conflict, the nation was financially
Yamato Colony 69
prostrated by the war and economic growth virtually ceased. A friend
told Morikami of the pineapple fields in America and asked if he would
be interested in going there to make a fresh start. He quickly accepted the
offer Since he lacked the money to finance such a venture, Morikami
accepted an indenture contract from his employer, a Mr. Oki. In return
for transportation and living expenses (300 yen or approximately
$150.00) Morikami bound himself to work for three years. At the end of
this term, he was to receive $500.00 as a bonus and a small grant of land.
His secret desire was work three years, obtain the cash bonus, and return
to his homeland where he could buy land and raise fruit trees?
Morikami arrived at a settlement that showed every sign of becom-
ing a prosperous, permanent community. By 1907 the Florida East Coast
Railway had established a rail station at Yamato where all but express
trains stopped. The importance of this development would be hard to
overestimate as it provided the Japanese with an easy access to outside
markets for their products. In this same year Sakai commissioned
regular agents in Japan to direct fresh immigrants to Yamato. Obviously
with an eye to native American sensibilities, Sakai took special pains to
point out that these agents selected "only the pick of the Japanese
agriculturists." As a further indication of economic and social stability,
Sakai received permission to open a branch of the United States Post
Office at Yamato.10
Apparently all was not work at Yamato during these early years, for
the residents were reported to have visited Miami and other communities
to give exhibitions of judo and other Japanese arts. One such event was
Miami's tenth anniversary celebration, held in 1906. By invitation of the
managers of the anniversary celebration, Mr. Sakai brought a group of
his countrymen to entertain the crowd. In return, the host committee paid
all their expenses incurred in the trip from Yamato.1
In a move to enhance his own personal power and to make the
colony's operations more efficient, Sakai petitioned the state govern-
ment in 1907 for permission to incorporate the settlement under the name
of the Yamato Colony Association. The corporation charter stressed the
mutual benefits that increased settlement could bring to Florida and the
Japanese. In the words of the document, the Association would "im-
prove local farm work, and... introduce Japanese industries which we
can adapt to the place and which may tend to advance the industries of
Florida"' All members of the group had to be of Japanese ancestry and
agree to be governed by the constitution and rules of the Association.
Elected officials, who were chosen each year during an October ballot-
ing, ran Association affairs. Proceeds from a plot of land cleared by the
membership and planted in pineapples provided an operating fund. Any
violation of the constitution or"any act or acts contrary to the spirit of a
true Japanese" were punished by expulsion from the Association and
payment of damages "to be estimated at a meeting of the members."12
Whether incorporation would have served to provide a firm and
enduring organizational base for the Japanese settlement was never to be
known. TheYamato pineapple fields were struck by a blight in 1908 and
that year's production was severely reduced. Before the colony's fragile
economic equilibrium could be reestablished, competition from Cuban
pineapple plantations dealt a fatal blow to this cash crop.13 Many settlers
grew disillusioned with farming in Florida and booked passage for a
return to the homeland. Others found themselves financially prostrate
and were forced to remain and seek whatever employ was available.14
Although Yamato survived for a number of years afterward, and many
settlers stayed in the area, the dream of a flourishing agricultural com-
munity of Japanese did not survive the events of 1908.
Circumscribed economic opportunities alone cannot explain the
diminished flow of Japanese immigration to Florida. Though Floridians
accepted the first Japanese colonists with seemingly little overt dis-
crimination, by 1912 an ugly strain of anti-Japanese sentiment became
noticeable. The issue that engendered native misgivings centered on
alien ownership of land. California had earlier passed a statute forbid-
ding the purchase of land by non-citizens-a measure directed primarily
against resident Japanese. The example of California, plus the highly
publicized fact that the California law was allegedly causing numerous
Japanese to leave that state for Florida, underwrote the outcry.1
The business dealings of former governor William Sherman Jen-
nings gave concrete form to many latent fears. As head of a large land
corporation, Jennings issued a public invitation to all Japanese in
California to come and "till the Florida soil."16 When a wealthy
Japanese farmer from Los Angeles actually began recruiting his coun-
trymen for the trip to Florida, the possibility of substantial Japanese
settlement seemed imminent.17 At this juncture, deeper and potentially
more disturbing concerns surfaced. Natives worried about the fact that
Japanese were unable to become United States citizens, and hence would
forever be an unassimilated group within the state. It was also an object
of note that the newcomers manifested a deep reverence to their Emperor
and many residents believed that they could never give loyalty to their
new homeland. Miscegenation law prevented Japanese from intermarry-
Yamato Colony 71
ing with whites and excited further fears as to the ability of these people
to ever move into the mainstream of American society.18
In a paraphrase of the immortal "Mr. Dooley," one Florida news-
paper gave clear evidence of the weight of public opinion. Dooley's
faithful friend, Mr. Hennessey, addressed him as follows:
"What do ye think ef th' Japs settlin in Floriday?" "Well, said Mr. Dooley,
"I've nothing' again th' Japs in particular, and I'd like to see Togo find th'
place he wants, but I don't want to see any great hordes efJaps coming' into
Floriday, an' I thinks there is the greatest danger from et. Let me tell ye,
Hennessey, th' Japs ez a smart people; they's good farmers, live on next to
nuthin' and saves their money fer to buy lan'. Ef'course thet's not
again'em, except that they never makes good neighbors fer white payple,
an' just as soon as afew ef them get settled in wan community, property in
that section ez not worth as much as it was befoor they came, because no
wan but a Jap will buy et." Tis just th'same as ef th'niggers wuz thrifty,
saved their money an'bought property. Ef ye had a farm an' twas sur-
rounded by farms of niggers, how much could ye get fer et an'wouldn't
you be trying' to sell et? In Califomay whole towns ez near spoilt be th'
Japs; th'white farmers all wantin to get out, but no wan to buy their farms
fer what they is worth. Bineby they'll be selling'to Japs but at th' Japs own
price." "Ye've heard th'story ef the lad thet picked up a frozen snake
an'warmed it, an'when et got thawed out et bit him. Ef we welcome
th'Togos now they'll bring other Togos over here an'soon conditions will
be like they ez in Californay, an' 1 thinks the time fer to stop et ez right
now... fet I belaves they ez coming:' "
For a time in 1913 Governor Park Trammell considered calling a
special session of the Legislature to make laws that would prevent aliens
from owning land. Throughout the discussion, anti-Japanese sentiment
surfaced repeatedly and clearly underlay the move to pass such legisla-
tion. As one writer viewed the matter, "As workers they are valuable to
the white growers who would employ them, but as property owners they
are not desirablee.") Many residents felt that the answer to the problem
rested in an agreement only to lease land to the Japanese. In this manner,
land would bring in revenue and become developed, but the Japanese
would still be subject to removal at the will of the native population.
Once the land had been cleared and made productive, an uncommonly
honest citizen explained, "and the industrious Japanese had de-
monstrated what can be done, then land can be sold to white coloniz-
These developments had an immediate impact upon the Japanese
movement. Though no discriminatory laws were actually passed by the
Florida government and Japanese continued to purchase land throughout
the decade, new arrivals virtually stopped.22 Indicative of the declining
fortunes of the colonization venture was the decision of the United States
Post Office Department to close the Yamato post office on June 4, 1919,
and reroute all mail through Bocaratone (not spelled "Boca Raton" until
later).23 Thereafter, families gradually drifted away from the area or died
off and the group dwindled in numbers. By the 1930s there were about
thirty remaining Japanese tilling their fields and living quiet lives.
Perhaps archetypical of those hardy Japanese farmers who re-
mained was George Morikami, the last survivor of the Yamato experi-
ment.24 At age 90 he still operated a farm west of Delray Beach, not far
from the site of the original Japanese colony where he came in 1906.
Unfortunately, shortly after he arrived in Florida a typhoid epidemic
swept Yamato, and the silk merchant Mr. Oki who was his sponsor died.
Young Morikami never did receive the $500.00 bonus that he had
counted on for his return to Japan. At the end of three years he had no
money, spoke no English, and there was little choice but to remain at
Yamato and work as best he could.
It soon became apparent to Morikami that he would have to learn
English to survive and prosper in this country, and he believed the best
way to acquire the language was to hire out to an American family. He
placed an advertisement in local newspapers offering his services, and
was hired by an Eau Gallie family for room and board plus $10.00 per
month. After moving to Brevard County he worked for the family just
one month, finding that they wanted long hours, hard work, and offered
little opportunity to learn English. Thus at age 24, George decided to
seek a formal education.2" To support himself during this time Morikami
rented a small piece of land and began growing vegetables. He vividly
recalls carrying 200 lb. sacks of fertilizer on his back and walking the
miles of sandy road out to his garden plot. On Saturdays he would fill the
sacks with produce which he sold door to door around town. Throughout
1910 he attended the local elementary school in order to learn to read and
write English. The year of classes which he attended with children of the
community was the extent of his formal education, but it was enough to
give him the rudiments of the language.
Following the disastrous 1908 season the remaining farmers at
Yamato turned to a trade in tomatoes and other vegetable crops for
northern markets. Morikami returned to the settlement in 1911 and lived
Yamato Colony 73
with the Sakai family in their big two story house. A friend let him clear a
half-acre of land and keep the proceeds from that year's harvest. The
local storekeeper loaned Morikami tools, seed, fertilizer, as well as
groceries on credit until he could bring in a tomato crop. As it turned out,
there was a bumper yield that year and he sold his tomatoes for $4.00 a
bushel-and-a-half at the Yamato packing house. At the end of the season
he had erased his debts and made a $1,000.00 clear profit for his labors.
With this capital the young Japanese began to buy land in the south end
of Palm Beach County, primarily in the area between Boca Raton and
Delray Beach.26 With his own land, Morikami began to plant larger
crops and took on five or six Negro sharecroppers. He also continued to
acquire parcels of land, and at one point held title to about a thousand
acres, though non-contiguous, in the area. Some of it he bought for as
little as $15 to $17 per acre from the Lake Worth Drainage District,
although he paid an"exhorbitant" $31 per acre for his last farm in 1941.
Much of his land was lost for taxes during the depression years of the
1930s, but the resilient farmer's spirit never broke.
George Morikami, last $'
survivor of Yamato Colony,
taken one year after arrival in
Florida (1907). Picture given to
authors by Mr. Morikami.
One of the most interesting aspects of Morikami's ventures was his
foray into the mail order produce business. In the 1920s he noticed that
many farmers were selling their crops to "commission men" who han-
dled the shipping and marketing for a percentage. Some farmers had
shipped their crops north on consignment, but they were never sure what
they would make. However, the "commission men" began to send out
weekly quotations to their northern customers; they would then buy
produce from local farmers to fill orders at the quoted prices, often
reaping handsome profits in the process. Morikami, always an astute
businessman, saw no reason why he could not enter this business also-
especially after he figured out that the "commission men" were making
approximately $1.00 on each basket of produce! He went to a local bank
and borrowed their Blue Book of individuals and firms who were
preferred credit risks, and made a list of 300 names throughout the
southeastern states. He then had a double perforated card printed, one
side quoting produce prices and the other serving as an order form, and
mailed them each week for lc each. His first order was for five crates of
tomatoes, part of which he bought from a neighbor and shipped out by
railroad. As his mail order business grew he was shipping to such distant
points as Washington, California, and once even to Alaska. Within three
or four years he had become a wealthy man and by his own admission"l
stayed in a hotel, best hotel in town. And live there and eat there." Yet the
tensions of success also took their toll: "... trouble was can't sleep when
you want to, see? And I got so much responsibility." His health broke
and Morikami was hospitalized for ulcers. Nevertheless, during the
"Boom Years" of the 1920s he amassed a fortune of close to $250,000,
but this was lost when the banks failed during the depression. Morikami
philosophically recalled, "I lost everything. Every cent I had in the bank.
So had to start all over again."27
When war broke out with Japan in 1941 those few residents still left
at Yamato came under suspicion. Rumors of alleged espionage activities
circulated about the community, but, unlike their brothers on the West
Coast, the Japanese at Yamato were not removed to relocation camps in
the country's interior. They were, nevertheless, subject to restrictions on
their movement. During the war years, for example, the Japanese were
not allowed to leave the borders of their home county. Their success as
farmers evidently served to reduce excessive discrimination as the
United States needed all its agricultural production to support the war
effort. Indeed, the state agricultural extension bureau regularly assigned
migrant Bahamian workers to the Japanese to aid them in their farm
Yamato Colony 75
work?8 Yamato aided in the fight against Japan in other ways. In the
early years of the struggle, the War Department purchased the remaining
Japanese holdings in the area and used part of the land to complete a
United States Army Air Force complex. The old homes and barns that
still stood were razed and the wreckage was used as a training site for
soldiers?9 When the war ended, all physical evidence of the Yamato
colony vanished. The name, however, survives in Yamato Road which
runs through the original settlement area.
During World War II the government had placed Morikami "on
parole" and he remained on his farm throughout the hostilities. After the
war he acquired additional parcels of land until his farm reached 150
acres. As Florida began to grow and develop in the post war years the
value of his holdings soared, although the old Japanese continued to live
a frugal existence. His financial future was secure and Morikami, after
61 years of residency in this country, turned his thoughts to becoming a
United States citizen. The McCarren-Walter Act of 1952 made it possible
for orientals to become naturalized citizens. With the assistance of Ms.
Virginia Snyder, a local newspaper reporter who became his close
friend, he learned that he was automatically eligible for citizenship under
provisions of the Act. On December 15, 1967, George Morikami at 82
years of age, took the oath which made him a citizen of the United States.
This event did not go unnoticed by the citizens of Delray Beach. At a
City Council Meeting on January 2,1968, Mr. Morikami was presented a
plaque designating him Honorary Mayor of Delray Beach?.
Several years earlier Morikami had determined to try to repay this
country for the opportunity that it afforded a penniless immigrant. He
donated 40 acres of land to the State of Florida for use as an Agricultural
Experiment Station, and when authorities were slow in taking action he
offered $30,000.00 to get the enterprise going. He made a similar offer
of acreage for a city park in Delray Beach, but the city failed to accept
due to lack of funds for development. After three years of delay,
Morikami withdrew his offer to the city. However, in 1974 the commis-
sioners of Palm Beach County accepted a 35 acre tract for a south county
park. On March 15, 1974, official dedication ceremonies were held for
Morikami Park, with numerous city and county dignitaries in atten-
dance.31 George Morikami was so pleased that he went down after the
festivities and deeded an additional five acres. The beneficence of the
last survivor of Yamato had insured a lasting memorial to the Japanese
role in the settlement of the southeast coast of Florida.
1. Jacksonville Florida Times Union, December 31, 1903. Also see, Walter L.
Fleming, "Immigration to the Southern States," Political Science Quarterly, XX (June,
2. Jacksonville Florida Times Union, December 31, 1903, January 9, 1904; West
Palm Beach Tropical Sun, June 10, 1905.
3. "Yamato A Japanese Colony," Florida East Coast Homeseeker, X
(November, 1908), 363; Jacksonville Florida Times Union, March 9, 1906.
4. New York Herald Tribune, November 14, 1904, clipping found in Florida East
Coast Railway Records, St. Augustine Historical Society, St. Augustine, Florida.
5. The colony was located on the extreme northern edge of present day Boca
Raton, near NorthWest 51st Street. As with earlier grants of land, this section was
provided by the Florida East Coast Railway See Henry M. Flagler to Parrott, August 15,
1905, Florida East Coast Railway Records, St. Augustine Historical Society, for evidence
of Flagler's interest in the venture.
6. Interview with Mr. George Morikami, the sole Japanese survivor of Yamato,
June 11, 1974. Transcript in University of Florida Oral History Archives, Florida State
7. West Palm Beach Tropical Sun, September 20, 1905.
8. West Palm Beach Tropical Sun, October 17, 1906, November 28, 1906.
9. Morikami Interview.
10. Jacksonville Florida Times Union, November 2, 1906; "Yamato," Florida East
Coast Homeseeker, X (July, 1908), 225; A.G. Bradbury, A Chronology of Florida Post
Offices (Florida Federation of Stamp Clubs, 1962), 91.
11. Hawkins Diary, 1905-1906, July 10, 1906, Henry M. Flagler Museum, Palm
Beach, Florida. In 1911 the Miami Board of Trade and the Merchant's Association united
for a program celebrating the 15th anniversary of the city. Again, the Japanese were
invited and part of the proceedings included "Jiu-Jitsu exhibitions (the Japanese perfor-
mers came from Yamato, an agricultural settlement between Miami and West Palm
Beach)." See, Isidor Cohen,Historical Sketches and Sidelights of Miami (Miami, 1925),
.12. West Palm Beach Tropical Sun, November 3, 1906.
13. Morikami Interview.
14. Ibid. Morikami himself was forced to accept a variety of job situations. At first
he went to Eau Gallie and worked for a shipbuilder. After one year Morikami returned to
the Boca Raton area where he took up fanning. Another Japanese, E.M. Ohi, moved his
family to Eau Gallie and bought land-eventually he called over his family and several
cousins to work with him. He even imported a Japanese carpenter to build his home. See,
Facts About Florida That You Should Know (Land Department of the Florida East Coast
Railway, ca. 1911),15.
15. The Miami Metropolis. October 17, 1912; Jacksonville Florida Grower, Oc-
tober 11, 1913; March 21, 1914.
16. Jacksonville Florida Grower, October 11, 1913; Fort Myers Daily Press, July
31, 1913. A small group of California Japanese did respond to Jennings' promotions. They
purchased land in Clay County and made plans to move families and belongings to
Florida. When they demanded to make on-site inspections of the property before making
final payments, the real estate agents resisted their appeals. Most of the prospective
settlers then withdrew their offers and remained in California. Those few that came were
not successful in their agricultural pursuits and within three years, all had left Florida.
For more information see, Arch Fred Blakey, Parade of Memories: A History of Clay
County, Florida (Jacksonville: Drummond Press, forthcoming).
Yamato Colony 77
17. Numerous reports also surfaced indicating that a Seattle lawyer had purchased
80,000 acres of land in Florida and was planning to sell this land to Japanese. Editorials
theorized that this amount of land would provide sufficient space for 100,000 Japanese
settlers. See, Kissimmie Valley Gazette, July II, October 13, 1913; Fort Myers Daily
Press, July 21, 30, November 6, 1913.
18. Jacksonville Florida Grower, October II, 1913. During these years it was
widely assumed that Japanese could not become naturalized citizens. Several test cases
worked their way to the Supreme Court until the Ozawa Decision in 1922 confirmed that
Japanese were not eligible for citizenship.
19. Jacksonville Florida Grower, September 27, 1913.
20. Jacksonville Florida Grower, October 18, 1913, November 15, 1913.
21. Jacksonville Florida Grower, November 22, 1913.
22. The Plat Book records of the Model Land Company, the principal land sales
agency of the Florida East Coast Railway, clearly show that Japanese continued to buy
considerable acreages of land throughout the second and third decades of the present
century. These records are located at the Henry M. Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida.
See in particular Plat Book 6, Sec. 33/Tp 46s/R 43E and Sec. 5/Tp 47s/R 43E.
23. Bradbury, 91.
24. In December, 1974, Shiboh Kamikami died at his home in Boca Raton. He was
the last survivor of the Yamato colony who actually remained within the boundaries of
the original settlement. Kamikami was a brother of Joseph Sakai, but had been adopted
by another family during his youth. The two were reunited briefly at Yamato. Following
Sakai's death his wife and family returned to Japan, and one of his daughters still lives in
Kyoto. Morikami, Sakai, and Kamikami all came from the town of Miyazu, a seaport on
the northern coast of the island of Honshu, Japan.
25. There were apparently few educational opportunities available to the Japanese
settlers of Yamato during the early years. A public school was not established at Boca
Raton until 1915. However, a Professor Rehbinder is reported to have "inaugurated a
private evening English language school for the Japanese colonists at Yamato" in 1908.
See "Boca Raton," Florida East Coast Homeseeker, X (November, 1908), 360. One of
the families at Yamato was the Kamiya's who owned a grocery and gas station. In 1936 a
Frank T. Kamiya was in the first graduating class at Palm Beach Junior College but
records do not reveal if he was related to the Yamato family. Palm Beach Post, December
26. Morikami Interview.
27. Morikami Interview.
28. Interview with Mr. Norman Rose, retired agricultural extension officer, January
16, 1975. Notes in the possession of the authors.
29. Miami Herald, February 6, 1964; Palm Beach Post Times, December 30, 1973.
Army officials gave the training site the colorful name of "Blitz Village."
30. Fort Lauderdale News, December 17, 1967. De/ray Beach News Journal,
January 4, 1968.
31. Delray Beach News Journal, March 21, 1974. Palm Beach Post, March 16,
I Remember the Everglades Mail Boat
By Gordon L. Williams*
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 7:00 o'clock the Mail
Boat tooted two blasts and chugged across the West Palm Beach Basin,
its exhaust fumes and cooling water sputtering from its stem. Its dock
was on the south side of Okeechobee Road, about where the Seaboard
tracks now cross it. The boat would be back about 5 p.m. the following
day (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) with passengers, farm produce
and news of happenings along the southeast shores of Lake Okeechobee.
For many living along that route it was the only communication with
their county seat at West Palm Beach or the outside world.
One morsel of such news that impressed me was the story of a
Pahokee youth who had been murdered by a gun shot one moonlight
night near a settler's chicken coop.
The year was 1920; I was nine years of age. We lived in the big
white house on top of the hill at 623 Jessamine Street, West Palm Beach,
only a couple of blocks from the Basin. I walked by the Mail Boat dock
twice a day, leading our family cow to and from bits of pasture in the
vicinity of the Basin, where I habitually tethered her to graze. Our house
(named "The Washington") still stands.at what was then the edge of
I also used to fish from the docks at the City Warehouse on the south
side of the Basin. The Basin itself is now almost completely filled in, the
exception being a small, deep duck pond at the comer of Okeechobee
Road and Lake Avenue. The water table in that pond is now much lower
than it was then. That open air warehouse sheltered some farm produce,
but mostly farm supplies, plows, and several kinds of tractors, including
Cletrac, Happy Farmers (a 3-wheel tractor) and Fordsons, made by
*A retired civil engineer now living in Miami.
I Remember the Everglades Mail Boat 79
Henry Ford and Son, and sold by G.C. Barco: Ford, Lincoln, and Fordson
We had moved to West Palm Beach in September 1918, near the
close of World War I. We were the first of about a dozen disillusioned
American families who had had enough of Cuba. A Mr. and Mrs. Hose of
La Gloria, Cuba, had recommended West Palm Beach to us. They had
once lived there and returned soon after we did. La Gloria (meaning
heaven) and Omaja were the largest of several colonies of Americans
established in eastern Cuba shortly after the Spanish American War.
They had come from many parts of the United States in expectation that
Cuba would be a part of the United States. A few hundred people had
gone to Cuba with their living and farming equipment and some live-
stock to settle in a fertile land with a mild climate. After the United States
backed away from the acquisition of the territory, if, indeed, there ever
was any real purpose to do so, and after several revolutions between
competing Cuban factions, plus the isolation suffered during the First
World War, they were ready to give up and return to the States. During
their twenty-year venture these settlers had become very closely as-
sociated. Many of them had intermarried and brought up their children in
a distinctly American community. Most of the children learned to speak
Spanish, but many of the older generation resisted anything that
threatened their United States culture.
They had sailed to Cuba from ports as far apart as New York and
New Orleans. When the time came to return to the States, they sold out
their Cuban properties, and with only personal belongings, rode to
Havana on the American-built Cuba Central Railway. From there, they
rode the Florida East Coast Railway Company's car ferries to Key West,
then over the FEC railroad to West Palm Beach or points north. Many of
them knocked at our door for a visit, some advice, and lodging.
The Mail Boat first came to my attention early in 1920, when the
Palm Beach Canal was new, and two of my uncles, retired Indiana
farmers, rode the boat to Canal Point and back stopping over at the
Custard Apple Inn. Yes, Virginia, northern farmers could save their
money, retire and winter in Florida long before Santa Claus moved to
Washington. Anyway, they got a picture of some of Florida farming at its
best while blizzards were howling in Indiana.
In the fall of that same year, my parents and the three younger
children rode the Mail Boat to visit our good friends, the Bartlett family,
at Bacoms Point, three miles south of Pahokee. My oldest sister,
Elizabeth, and I stayed with the Newsomes on Evemia Street just west of
Rosemary Street (now Florida Avenue). The Newsomes, their daughter
Lena, and Lena's in-laws, the Griffiths, had all been friends of ours in
Cuba before coming to Florida. One of the Griffiths, John, shortly after
1920, became a co-founder of the now famous Halsey and Griffith
Stationery Store in West Palm Beach.
Having many American friends coming from Cuba some of
whom moved to the Everglades and living in a large house near the
Basin, we saw lots of people who travelled on that Mail Boat. I also, with
a little red wagon, peddled a fair amount of farm produce vegetables,
honey, eggs, etc. The largest watermelons brought 60c to 75c, and eggs
once got as high as $1.20 per dozen. Tourists, who could afford it, paid
dearly for fresh Florida produce.
My first ride on the Mail Boat was in May of 1921. My father had
promised me that if I passed the 6th grade-by no means a sure thing-
he would buy me a .22 caliber rifle and let me spend the summer with
Amza H. Price, a friend from Cuba who was farming at South Bay. Many
boys had .22s in those days. In fact, mine, a Stevens Little Scout, was
bought from another boy who wanted to"trade-up" to a new Winchester.
By so doing, he received free instructions and practice permission at a
rifle range on the Okeechobee Road near the Military Trail. My rifle cost
$3.00. New ones of that model were $5.00. The Boy Scout magazines
carried advertisements of several makes. So, at the age of ten, travelling
alone, with my rifle strapped to my suitcase and 100 cartridges to last all
summer, I boarded the Mail Boat, and we shoved off toward the
Everglades. There were other guns aboard, most unattended.
The boat had a capacity of about thirty passengers, but carried about
half that many in the off season. It carried many kinds of cargo, including
bottled pop and ice, both for sale on the boat and for delivery at different
stops en route. It was driven by a six-cylinder gasoline engine, a bit
larger than those of the Hudson Super Six or the Stutz Bearcat. This was
after the heyday of small steamboats, but before the development of
Diesel engines of this size and weight. As the weather was hot, the
passengers sat in folding chairs on the top deck, shaded by a canvas
We chugged out the West Palm Beach Stub Canal, then up the Palm
Beach Canal toward Canal Point, some 40 miles away. The scenery was
completely desolate not a house, bridge, car, road, or any signs of
civilization other than the canal, our Mail Boat and docks at Loxahatchee
I Remember the Everglades Mail Boat 81
and Conners Farm. For wildlife, we saw a turkey and two alligators a bit
above the water level, sunning themselves, their mouths wide open.
At the lock at Canal Point, I was surprised to see little shops
belonging to the Palm Beach Mercantile Co. and Hector Supply, both
being prominent merchandisers in West Palm Beach. Back some dis-
tance to the right of the canal, as it entered the Lake, was the Custard
Apple Inn, amongst big trees that were covered with Spanish moss. It
was unique in the Everglades as it had both electric lights and running
water from its own little utility plants. There was no bridge at Canal
Point, except a foot route over the closed lock gates.
We entered the lake and turned left, stopping momentarily at the
docks of Connersville, Pahokee and Bacoms Point-some two or three
miles apart. At Bacoms Point I saw the Bartlett children, whom I knew
well, there to see the boat dock but surprised to see me on it.
We then stopped at Kreamer Island and perhaps another island or
two before I was told to transfer to a small motor boat that would take me
to South Bay. I was its only passenger. That boat also served Okeelanta
on the New River Canal, a couple of miles beyond the South Bay locks.
Another boat went down the Hillsborough Canal to Chosen and Belle
Glade. The Mail Boat continued on to Clewiston and Moore Haven.
Shortly after embarking, the operator of the little boat asked me to
take the wheel for a short spell while he tinkered with the motor. My
landmark was a flat-topped tree on the horizon. If the boat had a
compass, I didn't see it.
We reached South Bay at dusk. I had traveled from West Palm
Beach to South Bay during the daylight hours of one summer day. The
2-element Coleman gasoline lantern was burning brightly in the little
general store and post office, throwing out lots of light and heat and
attracting bugs. The boat operator unloaded me and some cargo as fast as
he could as he had yet to pass the locks and continue on to Okeelanta
Amza was at the general store to meet me. It stood on the west canal
bank, about where the present post office stands. Amza had his little
cut-down Ford. There were probably a half-dozen such vehicles around
South Bay then. It was a pre-self-starter Model T Ford with the touring
body removed and replaced by a seat over the gas tank and a small flat
bed behind. I once weighed one at 1000 pounds. They were the forerun-
ner of pickups and jeeps and about the only car that could successfully
travel those muck roads. From South Bay these Fords could travel along
the New River Canal bank to Okeelanta, and in very dry weather could
reach the Miami Canal some seven miles west of South Bay. That was the
limit of land travel at that time.
The automobile service station consisted of a few drums of
gasoline, kerosene and oil at the general store, from which the contents
were dispensed by measuring cans-20c per quart for oil and the same
per gallon for kerosene and gasoline. This was non-leaded white gas but
probably of a very low octane, if anybody had ever heard that word.
People were complaining of the high prices and commenting about a
recent forecast that in twenty years the world would be out of petroleum!
Amza's place was about one-fourth mile from the lake and two
miles west of South Bay. The area close to the lake was too muddy for
any purpose other than a pasture for a few hogs and two milch cows
(Amza was a Pennsylvania Dutchman). He had a house and a blacksmith
shop all under one corrugated iron roof, from which he caught rainwater
for domestic purposes as he had previously done in Cuba. He had a
one-ton Commerce truck that was almost useless in that area, a Cletrac
tractor with widened tracks (to help stay above ground), two mules, a
wagon, a wooden sled, and blacksmith forge and anvil. The sled, or
"stoneboat," was his principal conveyor, going where even the wagon
would bog down.
It was my main job while there to chum, cut wood for the stove, and
help his wife mind their one child, a crawling baby. It wasn't the life that I
had expected to enjoy that summer.
Community life at South Bay consisted of a Sunday school at the
school house, perhaps 100 yards back of the store, preaching on some
Sunday, and an occasional gathering, such as the Fourth of July fish fry.
For that, the men and boys fished all day, then brought their catches to a
big iron kettle, filled with lard, located at the school house yard. The
entire fish catch consisted of one or two small fish. Fortunately, some-
body suspected as much so had plenty of chicken on hand. It was a
About my second week there I accepted an invitation to go swim-
ming in the canal just above the lock with some boys I had met in Sunday
school. 1 assured them I could swim. I had learned the previous summer
in a course given at Gus's Bath in Palm Beach by the American Red
Cross and the Palm Beach Post, Joe Earman, Editor. However, this was
my first plunge into fresh water. The lack of buoyancy frightened me and
there was no way to get out, the canal bank at the lock being very steep.
I Remember the Everglades Mail Boat 83
There was nothing to do but swim across the canal and the length of the
needle dam. When I recently looked at that spot, I still wonder how I
A week or two later, playing where water was being released
through the needle dam, I got caught in the current and.was thankful for
the help of a young man who pulled me to safety.
Early one morning, there at the lock, I had the good fortune to see
three or four canoe loads of Seminole Indians going fishing. The lead
canoe was powered by a one-cylinder Evinrude outboard motor, about
the only type built at that time. It traveled forward but pulled the others in
reverse. Apparently, the flat stems of those hollowed-out canoes pulled
better over the water than did the sharpened bows.
That summer the villagers including Amza built a muck road the
four miles from South Bay to Belle Glade. They used several tractors, all
with widened wheels or tracks, scrapers, teams, etc. When it was finished
we celebrated by having a Sunday school picnic at Belle Glade. The
women rode in wagons, but the men and we children walked that
eight-mile round trip. That was a big occasion. It included ferrying the
New River Canal at South Bay, using a barge that had recently been
furnished by Palm Beach County. The users of the ferry had to operate it
A couple of weeks later Amza drove his cutdown Ford clear to West
Palm Beach. He went by way of Belle Glade, then along canal banks
where U.S. Highway 441 now runs. He had to cross the New River,
Hillsborough and Palm Beach Canals by ferries that he had to operate. It
was quite a trip, but several hours faster than the Mail Boat.
Shortly thereafter, I received a letter from my mother saying I could
spend the rest of the summer with the Bartletts at Bacoms Point if I
wished. Well, I did so wish and, with my suitcase, rifle and still most of
my 100 bullets, I proceeded to Bacoms Point via the Mail Boat. That was
before there was a road from Belle Glade to Pahokee. Incidentally, as a
young man several years later, I worked on the survey of the Belle
On that summer day of 1920, upon boarding the Mail Boat at the
island rendezvous I learned that it had not reached Clewiston and Moore
Haven on its previous day's run. It had passengers for there also. Where
they spent the night I don't know, but if it was beyond Canal Point I'm
sure it was in quite primitive accommodations. A half-century later, Mrs.
Williams and I had the pleasure of a week's cruise on the Amazon River.
The scenery on the Amazon and the great expanse of fresh water
reminded me very much of my boyhood rides on the Mail Boat across
The sand ridge that runs along the east shore of Lake Okeechobee
ran out into the water and ended right in front of Bartletts' house. That
gave them a good sandy beach and lake bottom. Besides adding to the
swimming pleasure this made it possible to drive the mules and wagon
out into the water for the house's water supply. We'd put two or three
barrels on the wagon and fill them with a bucket on a short rope. If the
mules felt a call of nature, we'd have to quit bailing and drive ahead
several yards before resuming it. Most people drank water from shallow
wells, but that had a sulphur taste and the Bartletts preferred lake water
In swimming we frequently saw alligators also swimming in the
lake. If we thought they were a bit close, we'd go toward them and they'd
swim on away-no problem.
The Bartletts were in the cane syrup business. One brother made the
syrup at Bacoms Point and the other sold it in and around West Palm
Beach, staying at our house quite a bit. The syrup mill was a bit of Yankee
ingenuity. The cane mill was on piles some ten or fifteen feet above
ground, so the juice flowed by gravity from there to successive evaporat-
ing pans and on to the barrel that held the finished product. The mill was
turned by a Fairbanks-Morse gasoline engine and long belt. The two
evaporating pans each had a labyrinth of partitions about four inches
high, so the juice would gradually thicken as it ran the course of those
labyrinths. They were placed over a furnace some twenty-five feet long
and four feet wide that was fired with sizable logs-preferably custard
apple wood. The furnace had a big iron door of about four feet by four
feet at one end and a steel-pipe smokestack, some 30 feet high, at the
other. It was a hot place to work on a hot summer day in the Everglades.
On the days we made syrup everybody worked at feeding the mill,
keeping the engine running, firing the furnace and skimming the im-
purities off of the liquid as we worked it toward the syrup barrel.
Between syrup-making days there was about a week of gathering cane,
gathering fire wood, and a general cleanup for the next run.
In the evenings we would frequently sit around the dining table and
play some card game. Rook was a favorite, but some of our elders
frowned on that because it involved bidding and that smacked of gam-
bling. Sometimes, especially on Saturday nights, we would play until we
heard an occasional rooster crow.
I Remember the Everglades Mail Boat 85
Mrs. Bartlett had what may have been the only privately owned
piano in the Everglades, and she was very adept at playing it. Some
evenings she would place a kerosene lamp on the flat spot at the end of
the keyboard and we would gather around for a songfest. My favorite
was Let the Rest of the World Go By.
On Sunday everything was quiet. We were not supposed to play-
not even checkers or chess-and our only reading should be our Sunday
school papers or the Bible. The owner of the general store at Pahokee was
kind enough to send his worm-drive Ford light truck to take us to Sunday
school at Pahokee. We awaited this vehicle at Todds' front porch, a few
hundred yards from the Bartletts. The car was due about the time the
house's shadow reached the base of a tree in their yard. No clock or watch
was necessary. One of the Todd teenage girls thought she was supposed
to sit in the middle of the front seat and steer the car. The young man
driver didn't seem to mind, so he held on to her-perhaps to keep from
falling out -while we all held on in the back. Dear girl, if she is still
living, doubtless is sitting in a rocking chair, drawing Social Security, and
criticizing the younger generation.
Bacoms Point (located at what is now Pahokee State Park) got its
name from old Dad Bacom, a man apparently in his sixties when 1 knew
him. He had lived there for many years and had children and grandchil-
dren in that area. His abandoned vegetable packing plant located on the
end of the point was tumbling down, and a newer one being operated by
others. He was retired except for possible cane juice moonshining that
was prevalent around there during those prohibition years. He was a
frequent passenger to West Palm Beach on the Mail Boat. On one trip
when my father happened to be on board, the boat left West Palm Beach
on schedule but had progressed only a couple of hours when Dad Bacom
suddenly died on the boat. There was nothing to do but turn the boat
around and take his body back to West Palm Beach-without consulting
his family or anybody else. The mail was a bit late that day.
The settlers along the shore of the lake, between Canal Point and
Bacoms Point, lived in small unpainted frame houses on the sand ridge
but farmed claims that they had staked out in the muck lands behind the
ridge. During the summer of 1922, I helped my father locate and plat
those claims for homesteading purposes. I, standing on a Coca Cola
case, learned to run a surveyor's transit that summer, starting me off on an
engineering career that took me to all parts of the world. To do his survey
work that summer, my father bought a cut-down Ford from a settler
there. A few weeks later when he was having trouble navigating some
deep sand ruts along that ridge, he discovered that he had bought a
wide-gauge Ford. In those days, Ford made cars of two different gauges
to fit the wagon roads of different areas narrow gauge for the South
and.wide gauge for the mid-West. Let the buyer beware!
Farming, even on that rich soil, was a heart-breaking gamble. With
the lake level uncontrolled, in some years the crops would be flooded
and in others it would be scorched. Then, after a crop was harvested, it
was generally shipped to the rail-head at Okeechobee, thence on to some
northern city that was selected at random with no knowledge of the
prevailing prices in that city at that time. It was not uncommon, after all
the work of growing and shipping a crop, to get a bill for part of the
freight, the selling price being less than the freight charges.
Much of the farm land was too soft for the employment of horses or
mules. I once saw a set of four steel mud-shoes to buckle onto a mule's
hoofs. They were about eight inches square and one-fourth inch thick but
were too clumsy for the mules to learn to walk with.
One day in late 1921 my mother suddenly decided that she must
drive from West Palm Beach to Bacoms Point. It was too urgent a matter
to wait for the next Mail Boat. That's where she was wrong! She had a
1920 Ford touring car, the first model with a self-starter. She loaded the
five of us children, plus two extra teenagers, into that car and we took off.
She was the only driver, and it was her first venture off of the pavements
in the proximity of West Palm Beach. Unlike the developing road to
Belle Glade and South Bay, the route to Canal Point, Pahokee and
Bacoms Point was via Jupiter and Indiantown, following the sand
country that skirted the deep muck land. This was some years before the
Seaboard Railroad was built through Indiantown.
The Dixie Highway provided us with a paved route as far as Jupiter.
It had been paved from Miami to Jacksonville for a few years, but there
were no paved roads inland. The sand road west from Jupiter was quite
passable until we reached the deep sand workings of the newly dug St.
Lucie Canal. There we got stuck, managed to get across the canal on a
county-operated ferry, and got stuck again. That time we burned out a
clutch band. We got towed the short distance to Indiantown, but its only
auto repair shop was a shade-tree operation of a couple of young men
named Gillespie. Their mother was kind enough to put us up for the night
while her sons undertook to remove the radiator and pull the motor to get
to the three planetary-transmission bands. (In later models, Old Henry
provided a simpler method of band replacements.) Even then, the whole
I Remember the Everglades Mail Boat 87
of Indiantown had only enough band lining to replace two of the three
bands needed for one Ford car-by far the most popular car in the world.
So the car had to be reassembled with only two new bands.
About mid-morning we were on our way again. However, in the
above reassembly, a timer wire was left against the fan belt so that by
noon it was cut in two, reducing our already under-powered, over-loaded
vehicle to three cylinders, way out in the middle of the flat pine woods.
Fortunately, the driver of the only car we'd seen in several hours observed
our trouble, spliced the wire for us and sent us on our way. We reached
Bacoms Point late in the afternoon some thirty hours after leaving
West Palm Beach- a tired, dirty, hungry, disheveled car load, but ready
for a swim. My mother didn't drive the car back!
In the late summer of 1922 my father took my younger brother and
me over that same road in his cut-down Ford without mishap-except
the loss of my highly-prized rifle. Traffic was so scarce and the water in
the road ruts was so clear that it was drinkable. We proved that point by
doing just that!
In 1922 water hyacinths became so thick in the West Palm Beach
Stub Canal that boats could no longer reach the Basin. By frequent
flushing of the main canal, it was still navigable. In addition, the
Okeechobee Road had been pushed westward as far as Loxahatchee by
then, so that the operators of the Mail Boat could dock it there and use a
bus to transport passengers between that dock and West Palm Beach.
With the completion of the Conners Toll Road across the deep sawgrass
glades, along the canal bank between Twenty-Mile-Bend and Canal
Point, about 1923, the Mail Boat's saga came to an end.
Upon graduation from high school in 1927, I started work with a
survey party under Jake M. Boyd, County Engineer, locating roads
throughout Palm Beach County. That included the survey of a proposed
road from Belle Glade to Ritta Island and some improvements on the
Belle Glade-Pahokee road. For that work we stayed at the Belle Glade
Hotel, run by a Mrs. Lang. By that time there were roads to all of the
towns from South Bay to Okeechobee City and a railroad to Pahokee. In
the Mail Boat days, I knew many children at Pahokee that had never seen
a train! Now it had come to see them-that's progress.
There was just one radio in Belle Glade at the time of the second
Dempsey-Tunney fight. Its owner set it up in the hotel lobby so we could
all listen to that broadcast. It was not clear, but we got the gist of the fight.
So did Jack Dempsey!
In recent years, I have encountered considerable confusion between
the hurricanes of 1926 and 1928. Those of us who lived through them
remember them very well. Actually, there were two each year, smaller
ones preceding the devastating ones by a few weeks. The first one of
1926 was bad enough weather to shut down construction work for a day
on a bridge where I was working near old Juno. The big one of that year
leveled much of Miami. It floated a ship into Biscayne Park that stayed
there for many years. In 1928, the first one blew the roof off the porch at
my father's dairy, where the present FloridaTurpike crosses the Jupiter-
Indiantown Road. The second one did much damage in West Palm Beach
and flattened all the buildings at our dairy. I had been to college at
Gainesville just one week.
This second hurricane of 1928 continued west across the
Everglades, blowing the water of Lake Okeechobee out across the glades
to the south, where the lake had essentially no rim. It swept everything
before it. One friend of ours, John McAllister, of Okeelanta, drove his
Oakland sedan to the highest point he could find the canal bank at
South Bay-where he and his wife planned to ride out the storm. (I don't
know where their three sons were.) The water, waves and driftwood
pounded against the car so hard that John was afraid it would roll off the
canal bank, so he got out to push the driftwood aside. One timber must
have hit him. He was never seen again. Mrs. McAllister didn't know how
she survived. When she was picked up the next day by a rescue boat, she
was far out in the glades clinging to some driftwood.
The tragedy of that 1928 hurricane brought about the construction
of the Hoover Dike to contain Lake Okeechobee in case of another such
hurricane. There have so far been no more like it. In bringing about this
protection, this dike sort of cut off the settlers from the lake like
cutting a vine loose from its roots. Those inhabitants now think in terms
of roads and cars instead of boats and docks. In a way it's sad.
Sometimes I now drive through the Everglades on paved roads, in
cars with glass windows and self-starters, and reminisce about the places
I used to know so well. It's been a very long time since the Mail Boat
docked at Pahokee!
LIST OF MEMBERS
Explanatory Note: The Association provides several classes of membership.
"Sustaining" members who pay ten dollars a year make up the basic member-
ship. For those who wish to contribute more for the promotion of the work of the
Association other classes of membership provide the opportunity, and the
publication of their names in the appropriate category of membership is a means
of recognition. "Patrons" pay fifteen dollars a year, "Donors" twenty-five,
"Contributors" fifty, "Sponsors" one hundred, and "Benefactors" two hundred
and fifty or more. Honorary Life Memberships are voted by the Board of
Directors to recognize special services to the Association.
This printed roster is made up of the names of those persons and institutions
that have paid dues since September 30, 1975.Those joining after September 30,
1976 will have their names in the 1977 roster The symbol ** indicates founding
member and the symbol indicates charter member
Abbe, Laurel L., Miami
Adams, Eugene C., Miami
Adams, Mrs. Richard B.,
Adderly, A. Leo, Esq., Miami
Adderly, Mrs. Elaine J., Miami
Allen, Mrs. Leffler, Coral
Center, Santa Barbara, CA
Aschman, David C., Coral
Ashe, Miss Barbara Rose,
Atherton, Laurine E., Coral
Atkinson, Judge Edith M.,
Aurell, Mrs. John K., Coral
Averbrook, Daniel Z., Miami
Baden, Mrs. Thomas, Miami
Bagley, Mrs. G.W., Miami
Baldwin, Jackson C., Miami
Baldyga, Theodore G., Miami
Balfe, Mrs. E. Hutchins,
Banks, Charlotte, Miami
Barkdull, Thomas H., Jr.,
Barnes, Col. Francis H.,
Barrett, Sue, Miami
Bartow, Nevett S., Miami
Bates, FranklinW., Miami
Baucom, Ruth Kaune, Fort
Baxter, John M., Miami*
Baya, George J., Esq., Miami
Beckstrom, Ms. JeanT., South
Beddall, Mrs. James J., Miami
Beeman, Mrs. Charles, Coral
Beriault, John G., Naples
Berndt, Mrs. Charles E, Miami
Bloomberg, Robert L., Miami
Blue Lakes Elementary
School PTA, Miami
Boldrick, Samuel J., Miami
Botta, Vincent J., South Miami
Bower, Robert S., North
Braddock, Mrs. G. Holmes,
Brannen, H.S., Miami Springs
Breeze, Mrs. K.W., Miami
Brickman, Richard, Miami
Brookfield, Charles M.,
Broward County Historical
Brown, Mrs. Andrew G.,
Brown, Mrs. Sylvia G., Miami
Brown University Library,
Bruce, Betty M., Key West
Brunstetter, Mrs. Roscoe,
Budenz, Mrs. Margaret R.,
Buhler, Miss Jean E., Vero
Burghard, August, Fort
Burghardt, Sue Pope, West
Burr, Mrs. Raymond O.,
Burt, Al, Hawthorne
Cadwallader, Florence H.,
Callahan, Mrs. K.W., Coral
Carden, Marguerite, Miami
Carlton, Mrs. Patricia P, Fort
Carman, Carol L., Miami
Castillo, Robert, Miami
Chaille, Mrs. Josiah, Miami
Chandler, Mrs. Winifred,
Chapman, Arthur A., Miami
Chapman, Stella Tutle,
Chase, C.W., Jr, Miami Beach
Chastain, Dixie, Miami
Chastain, R.B., Miami
Cheatham, Mrs. John H., Jr.,
Christensen, Mrs. Charlotte
Clarendon, David P, Miami
Clark, Bernal E., Miami
Clark, Betty Carman, Goulds
Clark, Mrs. Marie, Coral
Clearwater Public Library,
Coates, Miss Beatrice, Coral
Cobb, Lillian S., Miami
Coconut Grove Library,
Coleman, Mrs. Annie M.,
Coleman, Mrs. Florence B.,
Coleman, Hannah E, Miami
Collier County Historical
Conduitte, Catherine J., Miami
Conlon, Frank, Miami
Cook, Miss Mary C.,
Cool, Stephen E., Cooper City
Cooney, Mrs. Robert E.,
Cooper, Thomas T, Miami
Coplan, Dr. Milton M., Coral
Coral Gables Public Library,
Cormack, Elroy Calvin, El
Coslow, George R., Miami
Costello, James, Miami
Covington, Dr. JamesW.,
Cox, Dr. William E., Jr.,
Chagrin Falls, OH
Crane, Francis V., Lovell
Creel, Earl M., Melbourne
Creel, Joe, Coral Gables
Criswell, Col. Grover, Citra
Cromer, Peggo, Coral Gables
Cross, J. Alan, Miami
Crowder, Mrs. James F, Coral
Crum, Mary Cooney, Fort
Cuevas, Elba J., Key Biscayne
Culpepper, Mrs. Kay M., Coral
Cunningham, Maybelle, Coral
Curry, Miss Lamar Louise,
Cushman, Dr. Laura, Miami*
Daly, Mrs. John P., South
Daryman, June N., Miami
Dasher, Mrs. A.C., Miami
Davis, Mrs. Carl H., Miami
Davis, Mrs. George E., Sr.,
Davis, Helen G., Miami
DeBoe, Mrs. M.E, Coral
Detroit Public Library,
Dexter John E, Key Biscayne
Dor, Mrs. Robert, Miami
Douglas, Marjory Stoneman,
Duncan, Marvin L., Miami
Dunn, Hampton, Tampa
Dusman, Florence R., Coral
Duvall, Mrs. John E., Miami
Duvall, Miss Maileen, Miami
Edelen, Ellen, Miami
Edelson, Michelle, Miami
Eggert, Jim C., Miami
Ellis, Mrs. Howard N., Miami
Ellis, Nathan, Hialeah
El Portal Women's Club,
Eulo, Mrs. Dorothy, Cliffwood
Everglades Natural History
Ewell, Mrs. A. Travers, South
Farrell, John R., Miami
Feinberg, Larry, Miami
Ferguson, Mrs. Milton,
Fields, Captain Benjamin,
Fields, Mrs. Eddie L., Miami
Fitzgerald-Bush, Frank S.,
Fleeger, Don R., North Miami
Fleming, Joseph Z., Miami
Florence, Robert S., Miami
Florida Atlantic University
Library, Boca Raton
University Library, Miami
Florida Southern College,
Floyd, Shirley E, Jupiter
Forde, Nicholas Clive deB.,
Fort Lauderdale High School,
Fort Lauderdale Historical
Society, Ft. Lauderdale
Fortner, Ed, Ocala
Franklin, Mitchell, St. Johns,
Frederick, John M.,
Friend, Rev. William B.,
Frisbie, Mrs. Loyal, Bartow
Fullerton, R.C., Coral Gables
Furman, Rosemary, Miami
Gainesville Public Library,
Gallogly, Ms. Vera, Miami
Gannaway, Mrs. K.C., Key
Garrison, Martha Gatti, Miami
Gates, Freda, Columbia, MD
Gauld, Dr Charles A., Miami
Gentle, Edgar, Coral Gables
Gerace, Mrs. Terence, Coral
Gibson, John N., Pearsall, TX
Glass, Dr. Stanley, Miami
Godown, Marian B., Ft. Myers
Goldman, Sue S., Miami
Goldstein, Harvey L., Miami
Gooding, Naomi Cornell,
Goodlove, Mrs. William,
Goza, William M., Clearwater
Grant, Mrs. Hazel Reeves,
Green, Mrs. Lonsdale B.,
Griffin, Florence Steams,
Griley, Victor P, Miami
Griley, Victor P, Jr., Miami
Gross, Dr. Zade Bernard,
Gulla, Mrs. Vincent, Coral
Guthrie, J. Michael, Miami
Haggard, W.A., Coral Gables
Hamlin, Miss Betsy Belle,
Hampton, Mrs. John,
Hance, Nancy V., Miami
Hancock, Eugene A., Jr.,
Hancock, Mrs. JamesT.,
Harding, Mrs. Henry K.,
Harper Florence E, Miami
Harrington, Frederick H.,
Harris, Emrys C., Miami
Harriss, Robert, Miami
Harrison, Mrs. Crutcher Field,
Harwood, Mrs. Manton E.,
Hatfield, Bruce, Miami
Hattenbrun, Christian, Miami
Hauser Leo A., Carrollton,
Hayes, Emmie S., Miami
Hayes, Rutherford B., Library,
Hector, Mrs. Robert C., Jr,
Hencinski, Marcia H., Coral
Hendry, Judge Norman,
Henry, James E., Coral Gables
Herin, JudgeWilliam A.,
Herreshoff, Mrs. Rebecca,
Hialeah Library Divison,
Hibbard, R.W., Miami
Hiers, J.B., Jr, Miami
High, Mrs. James, Coral
Hill, Herbert, Miami
Hillbauer, Mrs. William C., Sr.,
Hills, Lee, Miami
Hinckley, Mrs. Edward,
Historical Society of Palm
Beach County, Palm Beach
Hobbs, J.C., Coral Gables
Hodsden, Mrs. Harry E.,
Hoeffel, Mrs. Kenneth, Chevy
Hogen, Mrs. Thomas, III,
Holcomb, Lyle D., Jr., Coral
Holsenbeck, Mrs. J.M:, Miami
Howard, Emily P, Miami
Hoyt, Robert L., Coral Gables
Hughes, Kenneth, Miami
Hughes, Natalie, Miami
Hunter, Duncan, Tavernier
Huntington, Henry, Library,
San Marino, CA
Histchinson, Mrs. Robert,
Indian River Community
College, Fort Pierce
Jacobstein, Dr. Helen L., Coral
James, Mary Crofts, Miami
Johnson, Charlie E, Miami
Johnson, Frederick L., Miami
Johnson, Mrs. Jane M., Miami
Johnson, Mrs. Westerdahl,
Jones, Mrs. Edgar, Coral
Jones, Thompson V., Miami
Jordan, Mrs. B.B., Miami
Joyce, Hortense H., Coral
Kammer Barbara, Miami
Karrow, Mrs. Margie,
Kattel, G. Edward, Key
Kaufman; Mrs. James M.,
Keck, J.W, Dunwoody, GA
Keep, Oscar J., Coral Gables
Kelly, Minnie Pierce, Miami
Kemper, Marlyn, Fort
Kent, Olga, Coral Gables
Kinsman, George, Miami
Knight, Mrs. Annie, Miami
Knott, Judge James R., West
Knotts, Tom, Yankeetown
Kobelin, Joel, Miami
Koger, Grace D., Miami
Korray, Mary E., North Miami
LaCroix, Mrs. Aerial C.,
La Godna, Martin M., Tampa
Lake Worth Public Library,
Langley, Wright, Key West
Larkey, Robert K., Fort
Laroue, Samuel D., Jr., Miami
Lassman, Valerie, Miami
Laxson, Dan D., Hialeah
Leary, Lewis, Chapel Hill,
Lebrun, Donald, Coral Gables
Leenhouts, Laura, Miami
Leffler, Miss Cornelia,
Lehman, June, Dania
Lehman, Richard L., Dania
Leonardy, Dr. Herberta,
Ligerot, Mrs. Denzil, Miami
Lindsey, James B., Miami
Lindsley, Mrs. A.R., Miami
Locke, R.R., Miami
Longshore, Frank, Miami
Lopez, Conchita, Coral Gables
Love, Dorothy Sanford,
Lyon, Eugene, Vero Beach
Machado, Mary, Miami
Malone, Randolph A., Coral
Manley, Miss Marion I.,
Manley, Grace, Miami
Manning, Mrs. J., Roseville,
Marathon Public Library,
Marks, Henry S., Huntsville,
Martin County Public Library,
Martin, Mrs. Sylva, Miami
Martinez Ramos, Alberto,
Mason, Dix, Miami
Mason, John M., Jr, Woods
Matheny, John, Miami
Matheson, Bruce, Goulds
Matheson, R. Hardy, Coral
Mattingly, Kim Bernard,
Matuci, Donald, Hialeah
Matusek, Mrs. Virginia G.,
Maxwell, Mrs. Aline, Miami
Maxwell, Evia Lyne, Miami
May. Susan P, Miami
Mayfield, Britt Max, Miami
McArthur, Mrs. J.N., Miami
McCall, Mrs. Howard E.,
McCorquodale, Mrs. Donald,
McDonough, John C., Miami
McIver, Stuart B., Lighthouse
McKay, John G., Jr, Key
McKeller, Mrs. James D.,
McLean, Lenore, Miami
McNaughton, M.D., Miami
Megee, Mrs. B.L., Miami
Merritt, Mrs. Leslie R.,
Merritt, Mrs. Ward, Miami
Miami Central High School,
College, South Campus,
Miami Public Library, Miami
Miami Times, Miami
Mickler, Mrs. Thomas,
Miller, Miss Bessie, South
Miller, Irving E., Miami Beach
Miller, William Jay, Key
Minear, Mrs. L.V., Jupiter
Monk, J. Floyd, Miami
Monroe County Public
Library, Key West
Moore, Mrs. Jack, North
Morris, Oscar, Phoenix, AZ
Moseley, Mrs. Dale U., Coral
Moseley, William H., Delray
More, Mrs. Edwin P
Moylan, E.R., Jr., Miami
Mudd, Dr. Richard D.,
Muller, David E, Miami
Mustard, Alice Isabel, Coral
Mustard, Margaret Jean, Coral
Myers, Ida P, North Miami
Myers, Mrs. WilliamW.,
Nance, Judge Clayton, Fort
Newberry Library, Chicago,
Newland, Captain Burtain P,
Nicolet, Mrs. Robert, Key
O'Brien, Roma, Coral Gables
O'Neal, Maston G., Coral
Orlando Public Library,
Orseck, Robert, North Miami
O'Steen, Mrs. Edna, Miami
Outlaw, Mrs. Grace, Miami
Owens, Mrs. Bradley, Miami
Pancoast, Alice A., Miami
Pancoast, John Arthur,
Pancoast, Lester, Miami
Pancoast, Mrs. Lester, Miami
Pancoast, Peter Russell, Miami
Parker, Robin E., Miami
Parks, Jeffrey R., Miami
Parks, Merle, Miami
Patton, Mrs. Dan O., Miami
Peacock, Mrs. Albert, Jr.,
Peacock, Arthur, Miami
Peacock, R.A., Miami
Peacock, R.C., Miami
Pearce, Dr. Frank H., Coral
Pederson, Philip, Miami
Peeler, Miss Elizabeth, Coral
Peeples, Vernon, Punta Gorda
Perner, Mrs. Henry, Hialeah
Perry, Roy A., Miami
Peters, John S., Orlando
Peters, Mrs. Wirt, Coral
Peterson, Stuart J., Miami
Pfaff, Robert M., Miami
Pierce, Harvey E, Miami
Pierce, Mrs. J.B., Jr., Miami
Pinellas County Historical
Pirie, Mrs. L.M., Miami
Pizzo, Tony, Tampa
Plimpton, Col. J.A., Juno
Polk County Historical
Post, Howard M., Miami
Potter, Robert E., Hialeah
Powelson, Mrs. R.V.N., Coral
Proenza, Katherine, Miami
Quarles, Julian, South Miami
Quillian, Dr. Warren, II, Coral
Quinan, Edward B., Coral
Rappaport, Edward, Miami
Rash, Mrs. Harold H., Coral
Ratner, Nat, Miami Beach
Reed, Miss Elizabeth Ann,
Reed, Richard, Miami
Reese, .T., Palm Beach
Reiger Dr. John E, Coral
Renick, Ralph, Miami
Reno, Mrs. Jane, Miami
Resnick, Larry, Miami
Rice, R.H., Jr., South Miami
Richardson, Mark, Miami
Richmond Heights Jr. High
Riviera Beach Public Library,
Robbin, Charlene, Coral
Robertson, Mrs. L.B., Miami
Rollins College Library,
Rosborough, Dr. Melanie R.,
Ross, Helen, Benton Harbor,
Ross, Mrs. Richard E, Delray
Ross, Rosita, Miami
Rothra, Mrs. Elizabeth, Miami
Rummel, Virginia C., Goulds
Ryan, Mrs. J.H., Miami Beach
St. Lucie County Museum,
Samet, Alvin M., Miami
Sands, Harry B., Nassau,
Satin, David, Bay Harbor
Scarborough, Mrs. Chaffee,
Schelberg, Mrs. Richard,
Schwartz, Elsa, Miami
Seemann, Ernest A., Miami
Segal, Natalie, Miami
Selby Public Library, Sarasota
Seley, Ray B., Jr, Miami
Serkin, Manuel, Coral Gables
Shenandoah Jr. High School,
Sherman, Mrs. Ethel
Shipley, Zannie May, Coral
Shiver, Otis W., Miami
Shiverick, Mrs. Thomas T,
Sibert, J.D., Miami
Simms, John G., Jr., Miami
Siviter, John E., Coral Gables
Skelly, Charles W., Cocoa
Smathers, Frank, Jr., Miami
Smiley, Nixon, Miami
Smith, Mary Ellen, Miami
Smith, Nell B., Miami
Smith, Mrs. Sheldon, Miami
Smith, Walter P, Miami
Smith, Mrs. William Buford,
Snodgrass, Miss Dena,
Southern Illinois University
Library, Carbondale, IL
Stafford, Robert C., Miami
Stanford University Library,
Stark, Mrs. Betty A., Miami
State Historical Society of
Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Steams, Frank A., Miami
Stears, Mrs. R.M., Miami
Stetson University, DeLand
Stevens, Mrs. Elizabeth,
Stillam CharitableTrust, New
Stimson, Mrs. Miriam M.,
Stone, Mrs. A.J., Miami
Straight, Dr William M.,
Stripling Insurance Agency,
Sullivan, Catherine B., Bal
Sutcliffe, William H., Coral
Sutton, Mrs. Norman E.,
Swilley, Mrs. Thomas, Miami
Tampa Public Library, Tampa
Taylor Mrs. Nina, Coral
Teasley, TH., Coral Gables
Tebbetts, Mrs. Betty, Miami
Ten Eick, Mrs. M. Nuiez,
Tennessee State Library and
Archives, Nashville, TN
Tennis, Ann, Miami
Thomas Jefferson Jr. High
Thomas, Wayne, Tampa
Thomas, W. Donald, Coral
Thompson, Roberta C., Miami
Thomson, Guilda, Gainesville
Thomson, Parker D., Miami
Thorpe, Fran Hutchings,
Thrift, Dr. Charles D.,
Tillotson, Mrs. John, Coral
Tomlinson, Dixie, Coral
Tinsley, Mrs. W.C., Miami
Tongay, Mrs. Betty, Miami
Tottenhoff, Mrs. J.R., Coral
Town, Miss Eleanor, Coral
Trachida, Michael, Miami
Tradiff, Robert G., Miami
University of Florida,
University of Miami, Coral
University of South Florida,
University of West Florida,
Upshaw, Florence Akin,
Utset, Bernardo B., Miami
Van Beuren, Michael,
Vanneman, Mrs. Theo, Miami
Wakeman, Mrs. Charles, Jr.,
Walker, Evan B., Miami
Walsh, Mrs. James R., Coral
Ware, Mrs. John D., Tampa
Ware, Mrs. Willard M., Miami
Warner, Susan, Miami
Warren, C. Rhea, Miami
Watson, Amber, Fort Myers
Watson, Hattie, Miami
Wegerdt, Mrs. Theodore,
Weinei Mrs. Donald, Coral
West Palm Beich Public
Library, West Palm Beach
Wheeler; Mrs. S. O'Donnell,
Whigham, Florence R., Miami
Whitner, Dr. Kenneth S.,
Whittelsey, Katherine, Miami
Williams, Gordon L., Miami
Williams, John B., Miami
Wililams, L.T, Fort Myers
Williams, Mrs. L.T., Fort
Willis, Mrs. John B., St.
Windhorn, Stan, Key West
Winkelman, Nikola J., Miami
Winkelman, Mrs. Nikola J.,
Woodmansee, Mrs. R.B., Miami
Wright, Mrs. Edward H.,
Wright, Dr. lone S., Miami
Wrigley, Mrs. Fran, Miami
Young, Mary E., Jupiter
Zeller, Mrs. Leila, Miami
Zwemer, Mrs. Carl, Miami
Adams, Adam G., Coral
Adams, Mr. & Mrs. Alto, Jr.,
Adams, Wilton L., Miami
Albury, Mrs. Calvin, Key
Aldrich, Mr. & Mrs. Roy L.,
Allen, Mrs. Eugenia, Miami
Allen, Raymond E, Miami
Allston, Mrs. William, Miami
Altmayer, M.S., Miami
Ames, Mrs. Theron, Coral
Anderson, Philip, Miami
Andrews, Mrs. Carmele L.,
Angus, Mrs. Evalene K.,
Ansbaugh, Mrs. Fay X., Fort
Archer, Ben, Homestead
Arel, Mr & Mrs. Armand G.,
Atwood, Mrs. Charles E,
Aufort, Mrs. Nina P, Coral
Avery, Beatric P, Islamorada.
Ayers, Earling E., Coral
Bachmann, Dr. & Mrs. Albert
E.J., Coral Gables
Bacon, Mrs. Jones, Miami
Badgett, H. Sue, North Miami
Baggs, Mr. & Mrs. L., Jr., Coral
Baker; Charles H., Jr., Naples
Ball, Mr & Mrs. Ivan E.,
Battles, Mr. & Mrs. Nicholas,
Beal, K. Malcolm, Miami*
Beare, Mrs. Richard, Miami
Beaudry, Ralph, Miami
Beckham, W.H., J., Coral
Beem, Mr & Mrs. William,
Berkowitz, Dr & Mrs.
Samuel, Coral Gables
Bielawa, R.A., Miami
Biggane, Dr. & Mrs. C.E, Jr.,
Bills, Mrs. JohnT., Miami
Bodley, Lena, Coral Gables
Bohan, Alan Brent, Boynton
Bonavia, Mr. & Mrs. Paul,
Bonawit, O.J., Miami
Brimson, Mr. & Mrs. W.G., Sr,
Broadaway, Dr. & Mrs. Rufus,
Brody, Dr. & Mrs. Simon,
Brogan, Mr. & Mrs. Frank D.,
Brown, Miss Betty A.,
Brown, Mr. & Mrs. Bowman,
Brown, Maida, Miami
Brunelle, Mrs. Gaylord, Coral
Burkhart, David P, Coral
Bums, Edward B., Las Cruces,
Burrus, E. Carter, Jr., Miami
Burton, Mrs. Robert A., Jr.,
Cameron, D. Pierre G., Miami
Carr; Robert, Tallahassee
Carn Mrs. Marvin A., Miami
Carroll, Mrs. J. Lawrence,
Cartee, Mrs. Horace L., Coral
Casey, Mrs. Margarette,
Cassano, Mrs. Patricia, Miami
Cayton, Leona Peacock,
Chaplin, Mrs. Katherine D.,
Cheatham, Mr. & Mrs. Ralph,
Childress, L.C., Coral Gables
Cole, R.B., Miami
Colsky, Dr. Jacob & Family,
Combs, Walter H., Miami*
Conlon, Lyndon C.,
Cooper, Mr. & Mrs. W. Worth,
Corliss, Carlton J.,Tallahassee
Corwin, Dr. William, Coral
Costello, Mrs. Gertrude,
Cothron, Pat, Goulds
Crowell, Baron H., Miami
Culbertson, Mr & Mrs. W.W,
Cullen, Mr. & Mrs. William,
Curwood, Mr & Mrs. W.J.,
Dabney, Mrs. Joan C., Miami
Davidson, Mr. & Mrs. Robert,
Davis, Reverend & Mrs.
David J., Coral Gables
Deen, James, South Miami
DeGroff, Robert F, Key
Dismukes, William Paul,
Dorothy, Mrs. Caroline,
Dorsey, Mrs. Mary C., Coral
Dunan, Mrs. G.V.R., Miami
Dunan, Mrs. Otis E., Coral
Dusman, Gilbert, Coral
Elliot, Donald L., Miami
Engel, Mrs. Anne P., Miami
Erickson, Douglas, Miami
Erickson, Mrs. Melville A.,
Errera, Mrs. Dorothy, Miami
Ezell, Boyce E, III, Miami
Fascell, Dante B., Washington,
Ferendino, Andrew J., Coral
Finlay, James N., Miami
Florida Southern College,
Fogarty, Mr. & Mrs. Richard,
Fowler, Mrs. Walter H., North
Fox, Chief & Mrs. Kenneth,
Fricke, Mr. & Mrs. W.E,
Frohock, Mrs. Jack, North
Fuchs, Richard W., Naranja
Fussell, Mr. & Mrs. J.E.,
Gardner, Mrs. Dick B., Miami
Gifford, Mrs. John C., Miami
Gladstone, Mr. & Mrs.
Glaser, Mrs. G., Pres.
Goldstein, Charles, Miami
Goldweber, S., Perrine
Gordon, Mr. & Mrs. Howard,
Gray, Mr. & Mrs. William L.,
III, Coral Gables
Greenan, Mr. & Mrs. Gary,
Griffin, L.J., Coral Gables
Gubbins, John M., North
Hancock, Mrs. Eleanore
Harrison, Mr. & Mrs. M.R., Jr.,
Harrison, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph
R., Jr, Miami
Harvard College, Cambridge,
Head Beckham Insurance,
Heatley, Mrs. Timothy K.,
Hector, Mr. & Mrs. Robert,
Highleyman, Mrs. Katherine,
House Roosevelt C., Coral
Howell, Mrs. Roland M.,
Hubbell, Willard, Miami
Hudson, Mr & Mrs. James A.,
Hume, David, Miami
Johnston, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas
McE., Coral Gables
Jones, Mrs. Edgar, Jr., Coral
Jude, Dr. & Mrs. James, Coral
Junkin, Mr. & Mrs. John E., Ill,
Jureil, Mrs. L.E., Coral Gables
Karcher, Mr & Mrs. David P,
Kellum, Mrs. Laura Joiner,
Kendrick, Mr. & Mrs. J.P,
Kent, Mrs. Frederick A., Coral
Key West Art & Historical
Society, Key West
Kimmen, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas,
Jr., Key Biscayne
Kolish, Mrs. Joseph, Miami
Kunde, Mr. & Mrs. George,
Larkin, Mrs. Daniel E, Coral
Larabee, Charles, Jr., Miami
Leslie, Mr. & Mrs. Richard,
Licht, Dr. & Mrs. Sidney, Coral
Liebman, Mr. & Mrs.
Linehan, Mrs. John, Lantana
Lipp, Morris N., Miami Beach
Lippert, W.K., Miami
Livingston, Mr. & Mrs.
Lloyd, J. Harlan, Miami
Ludington, Dr. & Mrs. EW.,
Lunsford, Dr. & Mrs. E.C.,
Mahoney, L.T., Miami
Malcomb, Mr. & Mrs. John,
Mangels, Dr. Celia, Miami
Mank, Mr. & Mrs. Layton,
Matheson, Mr. & Mrs.
Mathews, Janet, Sarasota
Mathews, Lucinda Nowlan,
McAliley, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas
McCravey, Mr & Mrs. Wesley,
McCreary, Ms. Jane, Coral
McKee, Mr. & Mrs. William,
McKey, Mrs. R.M., Coral
McNaughton, Dr. Robert,
McNeill, Robert E.,
Mercer, Mattie J., Miami
Merrick, Mrs. Eunice
Peacock, Coral Gables*
Miami Beach Public Library,
Mordaunt, Hal, Coral Gables
Morris, Mr & Mrs. C.C.,
Mueller, Edward A.,
Muir, Mr & Mrs. William
Munroe, Mary J., Coral Gables
Myers, Mr. & Mrs. Phillip D.,
Nabutovsky, Barbara, Miami
Napier, Mr & Mrs. Harvey,
Nelson, Theodore R., Miami
Nettleton, Danforth H., Miami
Nims, Mr & Mrs. Rufus,
Nolan, Mr. & Mrs. Vincent,
Norman, Dr. & Mrs. Harold
G., Jr., Coral Gables
O'Kell, Mr & Mrs. George S.,
Sr, Coral Gables
Old Island Restoration
Foundation, Key West
Oliver Dr. & Mrs. Robert, Key
Oran, Mr & Mrs. Benjamin
Oswald, Mrs. J.J., Miami
Overstreet, Estelle C., Miami
Padgett, Inman, Coral Gables
Pardue, Leonard G., Miami
Park, Dabney, Jr., Miami
Parks, Mr. & Mrs. Tom,
Pearce, Mrs. A. Dixon, Miami
Pearson, Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur,
Pepper Hon. Claude, Miami
Peterson, Mr. & Mrs. Albert,
Peterson, Lee & James W.,
Philbrick, W.L., Coral Gables
Pimm, Mr. & Mrs. Gordon,
Potter, Dr. Edwin, Jr., Miami
Preston, J.E., Coral Gables
Proby, Mrs. Lucien, Jr, Miami
Purvis, Mrs. Hugh E, Coral
Quesenberry,William E, Coral
Rasmussen, Geraldine D., Fort
Reider, W. Thomas, Miami
Rennell, Dr. & Mrs. Phillip,
Rice, Sister Eileen, OP, Miami
Rich, Louise, Miami
Rider, Mr. & Mrs. Eugene,
Riley, Paul, Miami
Robbins, Mr & Mrs. W.R., Jr.,
Rogers, Mrs. Walter S.C.,
Roller, Mrs. G. Phillip, Miami
Rosendorf, Mr. & Mrs.
Howard, Coral Gables
Russell, Sabrina, Miami
Russell, T Trip, Miami
Sacher Mr. & Mrs. Charles P.,
Sadowski, Mr & Mrs.
St. Augustine Historical
Society, St. Augustine
Schobe; Warren, Miami
Schreffler, Mrs. Forrest R.,
Shank, H. W, Coral Gables
Shapiro, Mr. & Mrs. Robert,
Shaw, Henry Overstreet,
Shaw, Mrs. W.E, South Miami
Shearston, Evelyn, Miami
Sherman, Mrs. John Scott,
Simmonite, Col. Henry G.,
Simmons, Mr & Mrs. Glen,
Sisselman, Mr. & Mrs. Murray,
North Miami Beach
Smiley, Dr. & Mrs. Karl,
Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Luton,
Smith, Mr & Mrs. Robert L.,
Smyser, Michael L., Miami
Snyder, Mrs. Frederick R.,
South Florida Fruit Growers
Spector, Mr. & Mrs. J. Bernard,
Spinks, Mrs. Elizabeth J.,
Stanford, Dr. Henry King,
Statewide Appraisal Services,
Stearns, Mr. & Mrs. Stanley,
Stewart, Dr. Harris B., Jr.,
Stiles, Wade, Palm City**
Stokes, Thomas J., Miami
Sweet, George N., Miami
Swensen, Edward E, Jr.,
Swords, J. Kenneth & Family,
Syskind, Mr. & Mrs. Eric,
Taylor Mrs. EA.S., Miami
Tebeau, Mrs. C.W.,
Telleria, John Michael, III,
Tharp, Dr. Charles Doren,
Thatcher, John, Miami
Thomas, Mr & Mrs. Lowell,
Thompson, Mr. & Mrs. Jon,
Thorn, Dale A., Miami
Traeger Mr. & Mrs. Joe,
Tribble, Byrd B., Miami
Trybus, Mr. & Mrs. John B.,
Turner, Judge & Mrs. Jack,
Turner, Mrs. Lawrence O.,
Twing, G.S., Coral Gables
University of Pennsylvania,
Vegara, Dr. & Mrs. George L.,
Walker, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas
B., Coral Gables
Washburn, Mrs. James V.,
Weintraub, Mrs. Sidney,
Weller, Mr. & Mrs. Arthur,
Wenck, James H., Miami
West, Mr. & Mrs. Richard,
White, Major Louise V., Key
White, Richard M., Miami
Whitten, George E., Miami
Willey, Reverend & Mrs.
Wilson, Peyton L., Miami*
Wimbush, Paul, Miami Beach
Winebrenner, L.M., Opa
Wolfe, Miss Rosalie L., Miami
Woods, Dr. & Mrs. Frank M.,
Woore, Mrs. Meredith,
Wooten, Eudora Lyell, Miami
Wooten, James S., Miami
Young, Montgomery L.,
Zimmerman, Mr. & Mrs.
Louis, Miami Shores
Aberman, Mr. & Mrs. James,
Adams, Betty R., Homestead
Admire, Jack G., Coral Gables
Admire, Mrs. Jack G., Coral
Albury, Dr. Paul, Nassau,
Alexander, David T., Sidney,
Alexander, Dr. & Mrs. Julius,
Ansin, Mr. & Mrs. Edmund,
Battle, Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin,
Bell, Mrs. Jack W., Miami
Biedron, Mrs. Stanley, Coral
Biglin, Mrs. W.A., Fort
Black, George Robinson,
Black, Mr. & Mrs. Leon, Jr.,
Black, Mrs. Martha, Miami
Blackburn, Elmer E., Miami
Blanc, Lodvico, Miami
Bloom, Mr. & Mrs. Phillip,
Blue, Mrs. R.L., Miami Shores
Blumberg, Mr. & Mrs. David,
Bowen, Forrest H., Miami
Brandt, Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth
Brinker, Richard, Miami
Buker, Charles E., Sr., Miami
Burkett, Mrs. Charles W., Jr.,
Cameron, Joanna, Miami
Cassidy, Owen, J., Miami
Caster, Mrs. George B., Coral
Catlow, Mr. & Mrs. William
Chaille, Joseph H., North
Chardon, Roland, Baton
Chowning, John S., Coral
Clay, Dana, Coral Gables
Cogswell, Mr. & Mrs. T.J.,
Colson, Bill, Miami
Crow, Lon Worth, Coral
Crow, Mrs. Mary Graham,
Palos Verde Estates, CA
Crudup, Georgann, Coral
Cullom, Mrs. Caryl J., Miami
D'Alemberte, Mrs. Sandy,
Danielson, Mrs. R.E., Boston,
Davis, Mr. & Mrs. Frank C.,
Davis, Hal D., Coral Gables
DeNies, Charles E, Hudson,
Dickey, Dr. Robert, Miami
Dohrman, Howard L., Miami
Dougherty, Mr. & Mrs. J.C.,
DuBois, Mrs. BessieWilson,
Duffy, Mr. & Mrs. E. Hugh,
Dunlop, Mrs. Donald D.,
Dunty, R.P, Jr., Lake Placid
Dunwody, Atwood, Miami
DuPuch, Sir Etienne, O.B.E.,
Dupuis, John G., Jr., Miami
Duran, Alfredo, Miami
Edward, Jim, Boynton Beach
Edwards, Robert V., M.D.,
Ellenburg, Mr. & Mrs. James,
Essner, Mr. & Mrs. Gene,
Firestone, Senator George,
Flinn, Mrs. Gene, Miami
Foss, George B., Jr., Esq.,
Franklin, Mrs. Sandra, Miami
Frates. Mr. & Mrs. William,
Frazer, Col. Fred J., Miami
Frazier, James, Miami
Freed, Mr & Mrs. Owen,
Freiden, Ellen, Miami
Gabler, Mrs. George E., Miami
Gautier, Redmond Bunn,
German, Mr. & Mrs. Trent,
Goerke, Mrs. Joyce, Miami
Gorman, Ms. Sharon,
Greer, Mr. & Mrs. Alan, Coral
Haas, Mr. & Mrs. Ronald,
Hannau, Dr. Hans & Ilse,
Hardie, George B., Jr., South
Hardin, Henry C., Jr., Coral
Harrison, Mrs. A.D., Miami
Hatfield, Mr. & Mrs. M.H.,
Hector, Louis J., Miami
Helmke, Wilma, Miami
Hicks,William M., Miami
Highleyman, Daly, Miami
Hildreth, Robert R., Coral
Hilbauer, Dr. & Mrs. William,
Hoskins, Mrs. Eddie, Miami
Howe, Mr. & Mrs. Elden L.,
Johnson, S.H., M.D., Miami
Jones, Mrs. Beverley, Coral
Kanner, Mr. & Mrs. Lewis M.,
Kelner, Mr. & Mrs. Stuart,
Kelley, Mr. & Mrs. J. Terrance,
Kincaid, Gretchen Hand,
Kislak, Jay I., Miami
Kistler, Robert S., Miami
Knight, John S., Miami
Kniskern, Kenneth E, Miami
Krome, William J., Homestead
Leigh, Mrs. Charles, Coral
Levin, Mr & Mrs. Robert B.,
Lewin, Robert, Miami
Lindgren, Mrs. M.E., Miami
Lummus, J.N., Miami
Lynch, Mr. & Mrs. Stephen A.,
III, Coral Gables
Manley, Mr. & Mrs. Robert,
Marks, Mr. & Mrs. Paul,
Martin, Mrs. Kirby A., New
Matheson, Mr. & Mrs. Finlay
Maxted, EJ., Jr., Coral Gables
McAdam, Joanne E, Bal
McCabe, Dr. Robert H., Coral
McCabe, Mrs. Robert H.,
McCrimmon, C.T., South
McKenna, Mrs. R.A., Coral
Mead, D. Richard, Miami
Mesnekoff, Mr. & Mrs. David,
Metz, Martha J., North Miami
Milledge, Sarah E, Miami
Miller, Mr. & Mrs. Dean R.,
Miller, Mrs. Gavin S.. Key
Mitman, Earl, Miami
Mizrach, Mr. & Mrs. Larry,
Montague, Mrs. Charles H.,
Munroe, Mrs. Wirth M.,
Muraro, Mr & Mrs. Robert,
Murray, Miss Mary Ruth,
National Railway Historical
Nordt, Mrs. John C., Miami.
Otto, Mrs. Thomas Osgood.
Pagano, Mr. & Mrs. Jules,
Pancoast, Katherine French,
Parker, Alfred B., Miami
Pawley, Miss Anita, Coral
Payne, Mrs. R.W., Jr., Coral
Peacock, Mr. & Mrs. Larry,
Perry, Dr. Charles E., New
Peters, Gordon H., Miami
Peters, Dr. Thelma, Miami
Pettigrew, Richard A., Miami
Pfleger Mr. & Mrs. H.S., Jr.,
Pierce, J E.. Miami
Plumer, Richard B., Miami
Pruitt, PeterT., Miami
Prunty, Mr. & Mrs. John W.,
Quinton, Mr. & Mrs. A.E., Jr.,
Rast, J. Lawton, Miami
Redlein, Mrs. William H.,
Rice, Mr. & Mrs. Ralph E.,
Robbins, Mrs. Lawrence J.,
Robinson, Mrs. Bruce, Miami
Rollins, Mrs. Wilbur C.,
Rowell, Donald, Miami
Sadler, Margaret A., Miami
Schaltenbrand, Mrs. R.J.,
Scher, Mr. & Mrs. Frederick
R., Coral Gables
Schwartz, Judge & Mrs. Alan,
Sheldon, Mr. & Mrs. John O.,
Highleyman, Princeton, NJ
Simon, Edwin O., Miami
Smith, Fred Shannon, Miami
Smith, Mr. & Mrs. John E.,
Anderson, Marie, Miami
Chambers, Patricia, Miami
Clark, Mrs. H.L., Jr., Miami
Clark, Mrs. Mae Knight, Coral
Dade Heritage Trust, Miami
Danielson, J. Deering, Coral
Dotson, Martha Jo, Miami
Farrey, Mr. & Mrs. Francis X.,
Ferre, Mayor & Mrs. Maurice,
Fitzgerald, Dr. Joseph, Miami
Gaby, Mr. & Mrs. Donald,
Gardner, Mr. & Mrs. Robert J.,
Goodlett, Mr. & Mrs. R.O.,
Smith, McGregor, Miami
Souviron, Dr. R.R., Coral
Samey, Ernest M., Hialeah
Stearn, Eugene, Key
Steel, William G., Miami
Stevens, Mr. & Mrs. Jack,
Stewart, Mr. & Mrs. Chester
Straight, Dr & Mrs. Jacob
Sweeny, Mrs. Edward C.,
Swenson, Dr. & Mrs. EC.,
Taffer, Mr. & Mrs. Jack, Miami
Thomson, Mrs. Parker, Coral
VanOrsdel, C.D., Coral
Vollreide, Robert E., Miami
Vollreide, Robert L., Miami
Graham, D. Robert, Miami
Johnson, Mrs. Myron A.C.,
Keyes Foundation, Inc.,
Link, E.A., Fort Pierce
Macintyre, Mr. & Mrs. A.C.,
Matheson, Mr. & Mrs. Finlay,
McCormick, Mr. & Mrs. C.
Mercer, Mr. & Mrs. John H.,
Miller, Mr. & Mrs. Dale,
Pearson, Mr. & Mrs. David H.,
Read, Mrs. Albert Cushing,
Wallace, George R., Miami
Weinkle, JulianT., Coral
Weinreb, Ann Henry, Miami
Weisenfeld, Joseph J., Key
Werblow, Dr. & Mrs. S.C.,
West, Mr. & Mrs. Everett G.,
Whitlock, Mary, Coral Gables
Wilkins, Woodrow W., Miami
Wilkinson, Lawrence S.,
Wipprecht, Mrs. Marion H.,
Wirkus, Mr & Mrs. Leonard
Wolfson, Richard E, Coral
Wright, Mr. & Mrs. Don,
Wyrick, Robert, Miami
Zinkham, Mrs. Shirley,
Ross, Mrs. Stanley E., Coral
Sharp, Harry Carter, Miami
Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co.,
Strouder, David C., Miami
Taylor, Henry H., Jr., Miami
TheTribune, Nassau, Bahamas
Urban, Gart, Associates, Inc.,
Waldron, Mr. & Mrs. Edward,
Washington Savings and Loan
Association, Miami Beach
Wilson, Nell G., Black
Withers Van Line, Miami
Wolfe, Thomas L., Coral
Wolfson, Col. Mitchell, Miami
Arvida Corporation, Miami
Baker, George, Foundation,
Irma Baker Lyons, Blowing
Campbell, Jack, Miami
Dean, Kate Stirrup, Miami
DeCarion, George H., Miami
Decker, Elroy L., Miami
Fitzgerald, Dr. Joseph, Miami
Frohring, Mr. & Mrs. Paul, Key
Burger King, Miami
Calder Race Track, Miami
First Federal Savings and
Florida Power and Light,
Foundation of Jewish
Graham Foundation, Miami
Carson, Mrs. Ruby Leach,
Pardo, Mrs. Ramiro, Miami
Rast, Mrs. J. Lawton, Miami*
Gowin, Dr. & Mrs. Thomas
Grafton, Mr. & Mrs. Edward
R., Coral Gables
Hall, Frank B., Coral Gables
Harrison, Mr. & Mrs. John C.,
Kelly, Mr. & Mrs. Loyd G.,
Myers, Senator Kenneth,
Pappas, Ted & Cal, Miami
Harris, Julia, Stuart
Hill, Walter & Family, Miami
McArthur Foundation, Jean
McArthur Davis, Miami
Morley, Nicholas H., Coral
Peoples Downtown Bank,
Podhurst, Orseck & Parks,
Conklin, Miss Dallas M.,
Long Beach, CA
Tebeau, Dr. Charlton W.,
Waters, Fred M., Jr., Coral
Wilson, Gaines R., Miami.
Parks, Mr & Mrs. Robert L.,
Peacock Foundation, Miami
Reed, Mrs. Armand E., Miami
Reno, Ms. Janet, Miami
Stephens, Mr. & Mrs. William,
Vance, Mrs. Herbert O., Coral
The Villagers, Coral Gables
Wometco Enterprises, Miami
Rosenberg Foundation, Miami
Ryder Systems, Miami
Southeast Bank of Dadeland,
Southeast First National Bank
Stephens, Admiral (Ret.) I.J.,
Tropical Park, Miami
Woods, Hugh, Miami
Withers, James G., Coral
Withers, Wayne E., Coral