Material Information

Pinellas a brief history of the Lower Point
Bethell, John A
Place of Publication:
St. Petersburg Fla
Press of the Independent job department
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
79 p. : illus. ; 23 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
History -- Pinellas County (Fla.) ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover-title: History of Pinellas Peninsula, Pinellas County, Florida.
Statement of Responsibility:
by the oldest living settler, John A. Bethell.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
024324365 ( ALEPH )
01634912 ( OCLC )
AAP5298 ( NOTIS )
17018482 ( LCCN )

Full Text





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From th(

break of t


, Attack o0


Settlement of Antonio Maximb totthe

he Civil War.

SBig Bayou and Exodus of Settlers.


III. .

Ftom the Close of the Civil War to the Founding of

Petersburg. Pioneers. Notes and Reminiscences.

IV. t Big Bayou.

Old Fort t Big Bayou. .




Arrival (


Business Centers---Pinellas Village and Disston


f Orange Belt Railroad and Birth of St.

. Conclusion.

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Copyight 1911

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In beginning this n
t lion to, confine mysel
nd of th Pinellas Penij
Sthe frs authentic settle
telast r was laid and
t lt R. R in St. Petersb
And I will just m,
nanish people living ir
tee coast, for many yea
l united States, who ga
i lands, as also to some
sance: joint Pinellas
point of Pines.
SSd far as I have bee
s tle on. he Point was
1843, un~er a land gra
rent for' services rend
1636-7 and 8.
SAt tie extreme I
i"uio,"' he proceed
f tie Cu!an market.
Also about 1845,
Mullet K~s, known as
Spoe. This is yet family
and the neighboring pa
of 11848 totally destroyed
Send tolthe fishing.bu
i action tl~il 1859, when

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narrative I will say that it is my in-
to a historical sketch of the lower
sula, from the year 1843, the date
ement, until in the year 1888, when
he final spike driven for the Orange
nationn in passing, that there were
Tampa and here and there along
rs before Florida was ceded to the
ve spanish names to some dofthe
points on the mainland. For in-
was called Punta Pinal, meaning

!n able to ascertain, the first man to
Antonio Maximo, who did so in
at from the United States govern-
-red during the Seminole War of

point which now bears his name,
to establish a fishery for the supply
ere he remained until about 1848.
Villiam Bunce located on one of the
hospital Key, and for the same pur-
arly known as "Bunch's Ranche,"
s as Bunch's Pass. The hurricane
d both these ranches, thus putting
siness for the Cubh market in this
Abel Miranda, William t. and John

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A,. Bethell put up a ranche at Maximo, and carried on the ,
i-.ihing business, until the beginning of the Civil War, w ~ich
put an end also to all traffic with Cuban markets.'
The next settler after Bunce was John Lavach, who
locatedd on what is known as the "Adams Place," on Boca
SCeiga Bay, near John's Pass. Then Antonio Papy at Papy's
-. you, William Paul at "Paul's Landing," now included in
: :, Petersburg as Bayshore Addition; Billie Booker at Book-
ef Creek,' and not "Brooker" Creek, as it is now called;
,',' Jasi.s R. Hay, at the present Farrand Grove; Henry Mum-
S;' o phy on, Boca Ceiga Bay, John's Pass; the dates of whose
Settlement ar 'not definitely known..
'Abel Miranda settled at Big Bayou in 1857 and John A.
Betheli atiLittle Bayou n 1859. In 1860 William T. Coons
SJocatrd ~t what is now known as 'New Cadiz, having pur-
chased, certain, improve enets made by James R. Hay, to I
whichlie added very little during his stay. In 1861 there
were bitt five families living on the Point, and at the oit-
break of th4 Civil War-all left with the exception of William
T. Coons Of these, only three returned: Abel Mirand,
William C. and John Bethell.


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federal tt&ck on B4

In Fe uary, '62, th
k on th home of Abel
th ats contents, ii

Tl# ommandait o
Sm d a captured
iE f+iet and smacd
1e ge loads, an
itre Miranda ai
fur with a can
ding 36 and shell.
1h8 o tfit anchored
se.ra A out 7 a. m.
i nde, three good 1
Sabbut ;00 feet too I
d o it fn the gr Abel
4t ax L*k View Ai
r ndc tok it out to his
i ess t is about th
r n sh4tl it away at
rhed cannon shot w
rd w nf danger so lo
hy ,thn quit till
wit sheand
t in all, chore

over our I
sfe. About 7 a. m.

t ab o .00 It too

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.Bayou and Exodus of Settetis

e Federal and Tories made an at-
Miranda at Big Bayou, and burned
cluding furniture and wearing ap-

f the blockading fleef at Egmont
Key West fishing smack with usen
z's crew, with enough refugee to
I sent her to Pinellas, Big Bayou, to
Id destroy his home. The suack
nowi and plenty of ammunition- in -

I off the Bayou some time before
they opened fire with round shot.
ne shots for the house, but they
Ligh and landed in the scrub. One
rund about the crossing of Fourth
enue. Miranda found it after the
new home and hung it to his gte,
!re yet, if some of the pot-humer
juaill That was the first time we
istle over our heads, but we knew
ig as they were up in the air.
about 8 a. m., when they aWi
ne. I do not remember just how
ut the first burst, as we thousfrt.
eads, as we were standing out in
emed like the heavens had fallme









through, and scared us so that we did not know whether
we were killed or just paralyzed. I picked up several pieces
of the shell after the war and buried them by an orange tre*.
They are there yet. While we were still standing therl,
and before we got over our scare, they fired another, bt
that ranged higher and exploded several hundred yard
away, as also did several more before we left for a Ipore con-
genial clime. There were two hirelings on the place, but at
the crack of the first gun they "took leg bail" for parts un,
known, and we never saw them again till long after the war.
After we saw the two barges leave the smack, which
they did under cover of their gun, we then decided to leave
the home place. Miranda took his wife and son to William
Coon's, on Boca Ceiga Bay, for a place of safety, and then
4 returned to a bayhead about-three-quarters ofj a mile from his
.home, and remained there until about 3 p. m., when he ven-
tured out in the opening, and as he saw nothing and heard
-no noise in the direction of his home, he concluded that the
sandals had left, and that he would go a little 'nearer to
make sure.
There were three large shell mounds several hundred
yards west from his home, and if he could reach the larger
one undiscovered, in the event they had not left, and get
to the top of it, he could soon take in the situation, as the
Sound overlooked his homestead, as also the Big Bayou.
He decided to advance cautiously, which he did under
cover of the pine trees. After-he had reached a pine about
seventy-five yards from the c9yeted spot, he took A long
breath and waited a few seconds to peer around before mak-
ing a dash for the mound. As the way seemed clear, he
slipped from behind the pine to go ahead, when he saw a
man rise and stand up at the mound and look almost in the
direction of where he was standing. Quick as a flash he

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dodged behind the pine z gain, and was about to crawl back
to his hiding place, thinking possibly the fellow had peen
him. But to be sure be ore doing so he thought he would
take another peep and see if he was still there. When he had
cleared the tree so that he could see, there were two instead
of one, facing and appar ntly talking to one another.
S Although seventy-five yards away, Miranda distinctly
recognized bne of his o d and most intimate friends, the
captain if the smack, a Key Wester, who frequently visited
Shis honm, to regale in m lk and honey, for Miranda always
had a p| nty for himself ind friends anid to spare. Miranda
told me that if the captain had been by himself; after he.had
recognized him, he would have hailed him, but seeing no
chance to dd so, he decided to go back to his hiding place.
Afer the close of he war Miranda received a letter J
from the captain of the si ack, enclosing a watch charm and
some jewelry that his wife left on the sideboard in the excite-
ment and hirry to get away. He said that he regretted very
much and would always egret the part he played in the de-
struction of his home, and distressing of his family, and
hoped they would forgive him for his very unkind act.
One of the most re narkable events of that day hap-
,pened about a.half hour ifter Miranda left his family at the
Coons' home, on his way back to the Bayou, when his wife
walked out on the rear perch and confronted a man in Fed-
eral uniform. As she w s about to step back, he saluted
her and asked if she wa, Mrs. Miranda. "Yes," she an-
swered. "Where is Mr. Iiranda? I want to see him." If
you had come by the cart road and not through the woods,
you would have seen him. Take the cart road back and pos-
sibly you might see him yet."
Miranda said that he went by the cart road to Coons',
and tetuyned by it; that he saw no one and that he believed


the fellow was one of the refugees in disguise from the
that had it been one of the ship's or smack's crews| he wou
have taken the road, as they were not familiar with t
woods, and there were no through trails.
After we left the Bayou that morning we thought
to separate-Miranda would go to Coons' with his fami
and I would cross Booker's Creek and mount the tp of the
largest mound that overlooked the surroundings; so that
I would not be surprised by the Tories, in case they should be
looking for us. But before we separated we agreed to met
in the evening at "Beggs' hill," a mound in what is now Mr .
Taylor's grove, and wait there until the crew should leave t
Not finding Miranda when I arrived at the hill, I con
cluded not to wait for him, as the sun was only about a half
hour high; but to take a cow trail along-the Bayou front that
led to the hcme landing, through the palmettoes and myrtle
bushes, that were high enough to keep me from being seen. i
When I got within about three hundred yards of the'
landing I rose up and looked out on the Bayou and "aw one
of the boats about a quarter mile away, and not seeing the
other one, thought it might have gone also, and started under
cover of the bushes again to get a little nearer. When with-
in fifty yards or so I came to a halt to wait until 1ark.
However, I had not long to wait; for in a few minutes
I heard some one say: "Is everything in the bo*t?"! Then i
I heard the answer, "Yes, sir;" then, "All aboard Man I
your oars and pull away!"
I waited until they were some distance away, when I
made my way to the place where the home had bee"; for
there was nothing left of it but charcoal and ashed. All the
fences and out-houses and everything that had wood
enough on or about it to take fire, was-burned. The was
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light eo ugh when I rea
ta had een done. Al
toe enlo ure had shares
SAid these were nol
Soine eigsit or ten head
with broken wings and 1
f wls in the place, but
tdere was no chance to I
e'a of theshoats were cr
s4ot through the body.
neck and ~as living; but
been marked had a bullet
4Ie been posing for a t
Theys carried off a I
and small; -also, about f
bpcon; two barrels and s
dre d pumpkins, several 1
ti bu hels of sweet pot
I had two sloop boa
tps; the latter was hau
it by cutting up the deck,
Oft tlhe war I turned it
fitt d. They used it to a
madpe two trips with it,
top of the mound I had s4
then return to the Bayr
second tine loaded. A
home II could see the sm
sallest piece of petty
tie slashing the the skirt
S;Miraida, not finding
either killed or captured,
Sth day before, stood hit


:hed the spot to see the destruction
oout forty large fine orange trees in
I the fate of the home.
:all of the pitiful sights to be seen.
of chickens were hopping around
egs. There had been a great many
the fellows had to shoot them, as
et them any other way. Also sev-
ippled; some with legs broken, some
One had a bullet hole through its
one long-eared shoat that had never
t hole through both ears. He must
yeat many chickens ard hogs, large
ive hundred pounds of .home-made
several jugs of syrup; over one hun-
barrels of corn in the ear, and some
atoes that were housed.
ts; one of four tons and one of five
led, out for repairs, and they ruined
and sides. As it was past repairing
. The four-ton boat was newly re-
rry the plunder to the smack. They
well loaded each time. From the
sen my boat go to the smack loaded;
)u and back again to the smack a
,bout 11 a. m. they had'fired the
oke and flames very distinctly. The
neanness perpetrated by them was
B of an old worn-out saddleI
g me at Beggs' hill, supposed I was
so made his way to the place where,
happy home. Night had now shut

in, but there was light enough from the burning embers to
see any nearby moving object. Whilst I was moving a;out'
and wondering what had become of Miranda, I hear him'
say: "Who's there?" I answered, 'it's me, John.' It
was quite a relief to us both when we met.
By this time it was too dark to do anything, to we cOn-
cluded that we had better go to where his family was, "as
they would be uneasy about him; and come back rnxt nmoon-
ing and try to get to Tampa. Before we left I thou ht it b"st
to take along a slab of bacon that I had recapture t from the i
invaders. As we had been without food all day, real!z
that it would come in good season when we should come !o
where his family was'quartered. i
It was this way: On my arrival at the ruins, that even-
ing, I heard a great buzzing of bees, so walked over to whee
they were, and found that one. of the hives had beei turned
upside down. As I turned to leave I espied a side of baco
hanging to a spruce sapling by the hive. I took in te situal
tion at once. The fellow passing with the bacon had though
he would take some honey along also; but all he took wa
"leg bail," for the honey and bacon were left behind, whert I
found it. And that is how I "recaptured" it.
We returned to the Bayou next morning and, after ptt-
ting everything out of misery that was too badly crippled 0o\
live, we made preparations for a trip to Tampa.
After walking around we found a small, leakj wafl-
sided, sadiron-shaped skiff twelve feet long and as; many'
inches deep, and four feet wide, that we had built fbr alli-
gator hunting in Salt Lake. As it leaked badly, it had beei
tied to the landing to swell up, and had been tuged& adrift
by some of the boat's crew that morning, as it was full of
water. It happened to come ashore,.in the marsh ne r th4
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SThis was the situation: There were only two chances
foi us to get to Tampa-foot it, or take that skiff. Our four
boats, with oars, sails, p les and paddles, were all carried off
to he blockade. We decided to take the skiff.
It did not take us long to get ready. We had no bed-
di g or extra clothing, as everything in that line had been
taken away also, or buried with the home. We dug a few
potatoes and took a slice of the bacon the bees had taken in
charge, and set out for 'Paul's Landing" to get a supply of
water, for the well at t e home was full -of charcoal from-
tho burning of the curb.
All we had to prop el the skiff with was two split pick-
etsi so we were slow in getting to Paul's Landing, where we
could get a drink of weter. There we filled a jug that we
found'at the Bayou; also picked up an old paddle, with
which, and the two pick ts, we struck out for Papy's Bayou,
nrl from there to Brus y Poitt, as-it was the nearest land
SWe met with no m shap from the Bayou to Papy's, but
leiore we got to Brushy Point the wind rose up from the
north and -made such a choppy sea.that it was with difficulty
tot we could keep the water out. One of us would have
tbo uit paddling every n w and then to keep it free, it leaked
o4 badly. i
We finally got acro ss without any further mishap, and
thn wen on to Gadsden's Point, where(we camped for the
ii ht. I-e We proceed ed to roast some potatoes and broil
qoae bacphi to regale or as we were by this time very hun-
gry and titled. We had no bedding, so we lay down on the
sand by le fire. The next morning we set out again for
Tampa, here we arrived at noon. Next day Miranda hired
a team and went back to the Point and brought back his
family to' tampa. An so we bade good-bye to Point Pi-
4ellas. .

From the lose of the Civil War to the Fouding of
St. Petersburg.

The end of the Civil War found William T. Con ill
remaining on the Point, at what is now known as New cz,
on Boca Ceiga Bay, as narrated above. As stated, h, d
bought of James R. Hay at the outset of the war., Hal
settled on the land that is now the Farrand place, on e
View Avenue, in 1856, for the purpose of looking after t
cattle and hogs of the old Tampa stockmen. In he
time he cleared and fenced several acres of pine, land
truck farming for the Tampa markets. In addition to thi e
had also made the first improvements on the west side,, o
the land later known as the "Hart place." Here he built
the first frame house on the Point. The main part of 'the
frame was of hewn timber; the weather-boarding was in
strips four feet long, six inches wide and three-quarters of
an inch thick; riven from pine timber. At the outbreak of
the war Hay sold these improvements to Coons for $25 and
an old silver watch; then abandoned his first named im
provements and skipped to the blockaders at Egmont. After
the war I bought the improvements from Coons aid sold
them to Charley Reed, known during the Civil War as
"Charley the Dare-Devil," for his daring exploit He wasi
the "Hobson No. 1." Reed sold later to Abel Mitanda, whd
sold in 1891 to Hart, whose name it has retainedi Hay
never returned to this section.
Abel Miranda returned to the Point after ihe ivar in
1866. As we have seen his fine start in stock raising" truck


.f ming nd fruit culturee, as also in the fish business for
ti Cuba market, wKich was proving very lucrative, had
been wiped out in a sigle day. As there was nothing left
Sthe old homestead $ut a few orange trees, he decided to
Icate on the land abandoned by James R. Hay, now the
F rrand property A er he got comfortably settled he re-
S4ved al the orange tees not injured from the Bayou and
replanted them in the 4ow Farrand grove.
i Before the war Miranda had bought William Paul's
iprovenents at.what is known as Paul's Landing, and had
inoved th buildings to the Bayou; also about twenty young
sweet oraige trees, mostly blooming, and had planted them
iaiout the place at the Bayou. All but three of these were
burnedd a4d these were removed to the new grove. Of the
balance I saved two by a little doctoring and careful nursing.
I ')ave one of them now living in my grove. It is still in
good condition and never fails to have a good crop if the
8son is fair. ,
SSevera years after Abel Miranda had located pn the
Hay plac he met. a tourist who asked him why it was 4haf
he didn't rebuild on his old place at the' Bayou irinsad of-
going two miles back in the woods. "Well," says Aranda,)-
I*t is just this vay: If I had built there again and it came
Saiother war, the d-d Yank uld have come in there
,with their gunhoats and shelled an burned me' out as they
done before. Now; I am where they can't get their gunboats
through the woods to do itl" .
When, m 1867,. I returned to. Big Bayou, I bought the
Remnant of 4bel Miranda's improvements with forty-four
acres of land. I alsq.bought sixty-eight acres adjoining and .
fronting on thq Bayou from William Wall. The latter tract
Ias bought frq o the State during "carpet-bag rule by Cap- :
tain John P. Andreu. for fifty cents an acre. Cheap island

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was, few people in those days invested in ii. If they wanted'
a home they would just select a good location, squat down
and go to work; clear and fence as much land as they need-
ed for their purposes. They raised all kinds of produce,
some for the northern markets, but mostly for local dnd&
home consumption; also stock, and set out a few sweet
orange trees. The people could have the free use of tie
land for farms and pay no taxes on it, and when tired lof
one place sell their improvements and squat elsewhere.
I proceeded to occupy and improve my purchase aic
here I have dwelt happily for more than a hale centUor.
(From close of Civil War).
Alex.' Leonardy, son of Vincent, came here 'with the
writer in 1867 and remained with him un il his father's
arrival, when he went to assist the latter ih his farming
operations. After his father's death he managed the busi-
ness until his mother passed away. When the estate was
sold, he located near Disston and engaged in farnling, fruit
culture and stock raising. He has also worked at house'
building and painting, .at which he is a skilled and honest
workman. Next to the writer, Aleck is the oldest living ..
-lanfdmark on the Point.
During' 1868 a number of new settlers ca e in, Vii-
cent Leonardy located on what is now Lake V ew Avenu,
where he built the home now owned by Mr. Curtiy, and
settled down to farm life. He bought a small st ck of cattl-
and hogs; also entered and cleared land for far ing, set out
an orange grove and various kinds of tropical fruits, H1
raised the largest guava trees in the county; t q of them
were large enough to make very good- shade tr ei, and hia
children had swings rigged in them. Later on he opened a
dry goods and grocery store in connection with is farming'
and stock-raising. He closed this business out soon as ,

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t. Petertburg was able
a killed architect and
uses in Tampa befoi
was honst, truthful, s,
kriewhi in. He unforti
internal injuries, leaving
Si te same year(
ouis B 1 bought Abe
View .Avenue, together
i th homestead and
which w uld have pro
dro tl~e freeze of Dece:
the ciop, before it cou
rqd sg4. However,
pted. i Nxt year from
sh ipped yrup to Savan
experiment on pine
mockl land, thinkir

Syoa, cleared and fei
ot td the hammock
kttle, put up a mill
ar unI.' It finally can
was utterly worthless;
large n4 full of sap.
was jest time, money
SHe then planted
paine result. He finally
where he made a very I
remarked that the Map
te ordt for producing m,
And right here I
ldsoj, a worthy negro

I i

to control the trade. Leonardy was
master mechanic. He built the finest
e and just after the Civil War. He
>ber and highly respected by all who
nately fell off a ladder and died from
g a host of friends, but no enemies.
Captain John T. Leslie of Tampa and
1 Miranda's improvements out Lake
with cattle and hogs. Bell located
planted three acres in sugar cane,
red a very profitable investment but
nber 25, 1868, which nearly ruined
Id be gathered and made into syrup
ie realized $550 from what he mark-
three and one-half acres of cane he
nah which sold for $740. After this
larid, he decided to try ham-
g it would be better adapted
bought the maple hammock at Little
ided five acres, cut a ditch from the
to drain it, built a furnace for the
ind waited for grinding time to roll
Le, and failure with it; for the cane
vould not make syrup, though it was
t had no sugar or sweetness in it. It
Lnd labor wasted.
orn, melons and pumkins, with the
moved back to the first home place,
ne profit in trucking. I should have
Le Hammock could break the world's
>ccasin snakes, if nothing else I
will say something about John Don-
settler and for years the only negro

settler on the Point-a man universally tsced and one
who really kept pace with his white neghors.
John came in with Louis Bell in 68 a reli
remained in that capacity for several year, untl Be ld
out. Then John went in to make a livin on his ovin re-
sponsibility. He entered forty acres, now the trolley, and
at present owned by Mr. Sibley. He clre and fenced
about five acres, planted it in cane, sweet otatos and ar-
den truck for the Tampa market. 4so bought some catle
and hogs and set out a small orange grove Built a v ry
comfortable home and married Mrs. Bl's houseke per,
Anna Germain, a mulatto woman. John wa a hard wrl er
and made a good living. His larder was a ways well u-
plied with meat,. syrup, sugar, milk and butt r He and s
wife were highly respected by all in this sectin, for hones
and thrift, and he was faithful to his trust; sa muh so th t
while in Bell's employ John was always left n change whei
business called Bell from home, although th re were white
hireling on the farm. Once while I was post aster here the
mail carrier had resigned.and Olr. Sevier, iont altori for thirf
ty-seven Star routes, asked John if he would li e to carry the
mail. "If the pay is enough," says John. "ow m uch dq
you want," says the doctor. "So much a uarte," says
John. "Why, that is just what the contract paysime. year."
"Ican't help it, Doctor; I can't carry it for any le." "Why,
you seem to be sort of independent; you must e pretty well
off." "Yes, sir, I'm the best man off on this nt. I own
forty acres of land, ti4o horses, two yoke of o ae, ald wag-
ons, a bunch of cattle, a good potato and cane patch, and fohr
-head of niggers"-meaning his children. John got the catr-
rier's billet, all the same, for only a trifle less than tie dod-
tor's contract called for..
In 1868 James Barnett located at what w later Dis-
ton City-the first settler there. He built a h me, dearel

d fnced several acre of land and set out a small orange
gve also raised a g stock of cattle and hogs. Mrs.
Prnett was the mother of several children by a former mar-
rage, amurng them Heny Slauter, Mrs. Aleck Leonardy and
Mrs. Vrabk Futch. Sie was an energetic woman, a hard
worker and a good mot er. Barnett was in the Confederate
service and was severely wounded at the capture of the
tJiaiorl ginboat, "Water Witch," and finally died as a result
jfhis volunds, in 1887.
Si the year 1869 John L. Branch located on the land
which. is now the Foste grove, and planted out about all the
trees in the old grove. Later on he sold to Mrs. Schofield, a
lady from Indianapolis.
i iL Another settler w George Hammock, who was a very
successft farmer and tock raiser.
SiNorth of the Coffe Pot Bayou in the same year Hop
Wilder and Emmet ry located on land later owned by
tus I nard, clear and fenced several acres for raising
ieet potatoes, tomatoes, cukes and various other kinds of
truck for the northern i arket. ,
Siln 18 a former we known landmark-or watermark-
ia 1 olI english sailor, Ambrose George Tompkins, drifted
into the point, where he lived till his death some twenty
yiars later. He was a frm friend of Capt. Jas. Barnett, with
whos people he remain ed until his death. At the outbreak
of tl4 Civil War the vessel he was on, to evade the block-
ders, put into where N iami now stands. From there Tomp-
ciis proeeded to navig ate the Everglades afoot and alone,
4nd 4ul arrived at F. Myers. Stranded thus within the
F dera lines with north ng to do, he entered the Union serv-
ice, a id as put in charge of a supply boat running on the
C1oc aatchee. Afte the war he found his way to the


Jos. J. Bethell, one of the old pioneer se tlers f Pirells,
died at the home of his cousin, Mrs. John ogalty, at io-
gartyville, May 6, 1912. His remains wer bro ght tp $t.
Petersburg and buried in Greenwood cemet ry.
Joe Bethell was born in Key West April 1st, t837. He
early developed a great love for the water, ad from a mete
boy could handle and sail a boat as well as older heac s.
When he was 17 he bound himself to two En lish s ilmake' s
for three years to learn the trade. When his time expired
he decided to work at the trade until he mas eed it, w ic
he did, and had the reputation of being a fine orkn aii. e
served through the Civil War and came to Pi ellas in 1 7
and engaged in boating, fishing and oysteri g, H1e never
married, but "boiled his own pot" and med lied with no'
body's business. He was a faithful friend and good neigh-
bor; was well versed in the Bible, believed i a hereaftrir
.and crossed the river without an enemy.,
In 1872 Oliver Johnson located on wh "is row the
Sawrie property. He made quite an improve ment in toe,
way of clearing and fencing land. Finally sold out td James
A. Cox and moved to Middle Florida.
In that year also Dr. Hackney located north of Booker
Creek, where the Manhattan Hotel now standS. He built
a home and made quite extensive improvenentt in the way
of reclaiming sawgrass ponds and clearing land for, farming
and fruit culture. Dr. Hackney was the first acttal settler oi i
this tract, though John Taylor had previously made a sma
clearing, but never settled.
During the year 1872 James A. Cox also came ip and
bought the improvements of Oliver Johnson, no the ipropt
erty of Sawrie Brothers. Mr. Cox added a great man~ im
provements, built a comfortable dwelling, cleared aid fenced
more land and set out a variety of fruit trees, including many

? :\


oranges. The present Ingleside Grove was his home up to
the tin e "f. his death.
A 1 Another settler in that year was Judge William H. Ben-
ton, who located on the west side of Big Bayou. He built a
very comfortable home cleared land for truck farming and
set out a small orange grove, engaging in the meantime in
hog raisin which was at that time a very profitable busi-
nes. After the starting of St. Petersburg he moved to that
town, where he had ch rge of General Williams' land busi-
i 0egs till hi death.
SThe hammock with orange grove north of Papy's
Bayou, now owned by Dr. Weedon, was first settled by a
man named Pillings, in 872. I don't remember whether he
bought the land or just squatted on it, but he made quite a
leering, fenced and rai ed very fine garden truck. He also
set out the original ora ge grove of sweet seedlings, still in
1it 18 82 William I-all came into the Point and located
on the nprth side of Eooker Creek, on the old ford, and
just south of the Ninth Street bridge. It was his intention
to put upla sawmlil to be run by water power. After doing
q aite a large amount of work in the way of getting out the
frame and grading, he abandoned the project and left for
other #arts, probably because of lack of means to carry out
1isi undertaking.
'Ir 1873 came Jucge William Perry and his brother
Liver. They located o0 the future town site of St. Peters-
Buig, and made their ho me on the block south of the A. C. L.
It. R., between Second and Third Streets; entered forty
acis, cleared and fenced five acres, planted three acres in
sugar cane, two acres n sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkins,
meon, etc., and set out some sweet orange seedlings. They
camoe 4illy equipped with every manner of implements for
farmini and syrup and sugar making.


In the same year a Mr. Whitford squatted >n th; l
where the Sibley mansion now stands. He bqiltv a sr all
palmetto shack and cleared a small patch for Vegebes
Unsuccessful in his undertaking, he soon left for oer
climes. ,
In the year 1873 the improvements made by Ey et
Berry and Hop Wilder, north of the Cofee Pot Bayou, pire
taken over by a Mr. Capell.
W. F. Sperling was another new comer inr the qyar
1873. He bought out all of Dr. Hackniy's interest in thi
section, cattle, hogs and about five hundred acres of raid.
He also bought the Perry improvements, alsd eighty |ci*e
where the school buildings stand, including in '
about six hundred and forty acres-one mile Iron age te.
site of St. Petersburg. He added seventy-five tribes to"tlhe
grove started by Hackney, also reclaimed the sawgass pa
just north of the Hackney house, by putting in a large dri
When Mr. Sperling located with his family n his hew home
was surely "monarch of all he surveyed;" for thert was not
another family within a radius of one and a half mile of his
home. .
Here is a curious incident of his settlement Aftekt
Mr. Sperling bought the Perry place he took his wife one
morning for a drive to look over the improved portion of
his new purchase. While there he found a piec4 of lrailrd
iron brought there by the Perrys. He picked it iUp ahd!
planted it on the ground near where the A, C. L. tracks ae.
now laid, remarking to his wife: "I have laid th fir pie&
of iron for the railroad!"-not realizing at th time how
nearly prophetic his words were to prove i
In 1874 also came in several families from N w 0|r-
Sleans, who settled around Boca Ceiga Ba.y.
Joseph and Beneventura Puig, brothers, located n tie:

i qi

! t'i it r


east sie of the bay on and adjoining that of Abel Miranda
on the north. They put in substantial improvements, includ-
ikg several acres of oranges and other fruits, and did some-
thing at truck farmnig, In 1886 they platted the site of
New Cadiz and started in the grocery business on a small
icale. i The town nevei materialized and the grocery busi-
nles .,a4 a failure, but the postoffice of New Cadiz was
inaintainn for several years.
With the family ca ne also Timothy Kimball, brother of
Mrs. Puig, who also made improvements on land near by,
and who remains at the old home of his widowed sister. A
memorandum from Mr.l Kimball reads:
"Ben Puig came fist to the Point in the month of May,
1874. In July of same year, Emanuel and I came out here
from New Orleans, and in September came Joseph Puig,
m~ mpth r and my three sisters. At the same time Richard
Stiada aid his, famliy arrived."
; Raf no Manuel, o4 Emanuel, put out a grove north of
Clam Ba on, between Lake View and Tangerine Avenues
naid 4 est of the creek skill known as Manuel's Branch. He
was a yiung man much liked, but died not long after set-
tlihg her.
Ric ard Strada, oa this New Orleans colony, located a
considerr ble tract of go land on the east side of Boca Ceiga
By, n4 southeast of Abel Miranda's homestead, with a
iJog iro tage on what is now Maximo Road. He was by
trade a sCulptor and a s killed workman, who could command
the highest pay anywh re, but came here for the purpose of
nkirig home. Strada was a nian of great energy, indus-
trious a' in every way competent; and in farming, fruit
fcultume ard stock raisi g was very successful. In addition
to hi fming interest he has embarked in various other
enterprise, both in tow and in the country, i which ie has

met with like good results. The old homestead is now hel
by his stepson, John Young, who came with hin to the couri
try and is a very successful farmer. ,
D. W. Meeker was also a settler.iA 1874. ~e put 4ut
grove near St. Petersburg, of which place he lair became
resident, and finally postmaster. He moved rnrth several
years ago.
The year 1875 was destined to be a most iynortant 'on
for Point Pinellas. In this year the city of St. Petersl4rg t
may be said to have had its beginning, in the fortunate 'ad-
vent of the late General John Constantine Willi4ms; whose.
foresight, good judgment and broad and liberal ideas de
the present beautiful city with its elegant locations and broad
thoroughfares a possibility.
The story of his coming savors strongly of romance nd
might almost have stepped bodily out of the Arabian Niglts.
General Williams had come from Detroit, Michigan, for te
purpose of selecting a suitable site for a small coloxiy. In iis
search he had gone as far south as Punta Rass4 with t.
results. He had traversed the east side of Hillsbor County
'with no better success, and after looking ovei the Ol
Tampa section, and Tarpon and Clearwater, he r4luetantl
decided to abandon the project and return to Detroit. Thoe-
oughly disappointed and disgusted, he chartered a boat foc
Cedar Keys, the nearest place to a railroad station.i On hi
arrival at Cedar Keys he chanced to meet Mr. George WI
Pratt, of Comargo, Illinois, who seems to have made it hii
business to find out every other body's business, which he
proceeded to do in the Geheral's case.
"Did you go to Point Pinellas?" said the genial eorge.J
"Damn Point Pinellas I was told by a gentlenan in!
Tampa, also by one in Clearwater, that it is only-fifur ft;
above tide-`we4 I 1"

Is it :

No a word of trth in it I" said Pratt. "It is forty or
fty feet 4bove sea level, and I will say more than that; it is
the healthiest and best section in-the State of Florida. It is a
perfect Paadise, sir. I lived there several months with John
Bethell, aha if you go there you will find it as I say."
i "ell, Mr. Pratt, am glad I've met you. I will go
back and see this Gar en of Eden you speak so favor-
ably q ."
C neral Williams thereupon returned to Clearwater,
hired a tenh and set out for the Promised Land of Pinellas.
His first stop was at the home of Mr. James A. Cox, on the
height# south of the higl bridge. The noble view of the bay
fr, i here must have been very satisfactory to the General.
Aid when, after a few hours' rest, Mr. Cox piloted him over
thl seatioh, he was very much pleased to find the elevation
grdateir thin Mr. Pratt fi gured it, also to see such fine timber
ano farming land, besides such healthy, robust, enterprising
people, and such a prosy erous little settlement.
SA ter carefully sizing up the situation, he decided that
pinella was the place he was searching for, and made some
investor ents. He then returned to Detroit to settle up aome
bu ines and get his family. On his return he invested
larelyin land, including the site of St. Petersburg. From
this tin*e dn he labored fcr the advancement of the Point, and
in his vipribus schemes ar d enterprises gave employment to a
gre t many people, both before and after St. Petersburg was
Vei start as a business place and tourist resort. And
whn the situation was lipe for the founding of a town and
the advn cf a railroad be bent his energies toward the ac-
co pli hnient of this, hiW original purpose. His liberal deal-
inga wih the railroad company brought in the Orange Belt,
anh it as none of his fault that the S. S. O. & G. road did
not make its terminus here at the time.

lived to enjoy the later prosperity of his pet 1own. An the
citizens of that rapidly growing metropolis might well eon-
sider the propriety of some action looking toa suitable testi-
monial to the man who was in truth the Founder and Father
cf St. Petersburg.
Soon after their father, the Gen ral, came three stal-
wart sons, B. C., John R. and J.C. Williams, Jr. ~arn y and
John came first, and were for a time identified with the? in
terests of their father. "Tine," as the other was fani4lirly
known, became a common carrier, plying between P&ielas
and Tampa with passengers, freight and the U. S. maih 9ld
settlers will remember with what regularity he slhaipie
"Nettie" used to make the trip to and fro! regardless of
weather. While St. Petersburg was in its infancy, he gave
up boating and bought a-lot on Centtral avenue, corner' of
Second Street, on which he erected a fine large building, still
known as the "Williams Block," for residence and business
purposes. He was the first to embark in mercantie business
in St. Petersburg proper, and for a-time had & monopoly f
trade. Later on others joined in the onward march fof te
"almighty dollar," but "Tine" had the largest and best eluip-
ped store and, consequently, kept in tho lead. Fr quite a
long time he controlled probably three-fifths df all the trade
of the West Coast, but close attention to business (nd indoor
confinement, and the years of toil and struggle so uaider-
mined .his health that he thought it advisable to embark in
less strenuous enterprises and exacting le s person conie-
ment, and finally closed out.
B. C. Williams, also ar enterprising business man of
St. Petersburg, after a year or more with 'his father went to
work on his own account. His first move was in t e fishing
business, but there being so little money in it in th se years,

i* .i I i I .


he vgav it up to engage in boating, which he has been follow-
in off and on to the resent time in. connection
wi h other interests. He first plied between Pinel-
ls and Tampa, carrying freight and passengers. Then
from Pinellas he went ,to Gulf City, from which place he
arried freight and. passengers and U. S. mail for several
years. Then he engaged in coasting and steamboating. In
these years he also became a skillful boat builder, doing hon-
st wok,t for honesty was his motto. As mechanic or boat-
Xnan h l as but few equals. During his sea service he has
Sever met with any serious mishaps, though he has had sev-
r l hairbreadth escapes.
J| Mott Williams is too well known to need attention
Se. iH did not come till much later, but he inherited his
ull share of the family energy and enterprise, and never
uild keep still. In addition to his many material interests
inand around St. Petersburg, he has that strong affection for
the se# that makes him never so happy as when afloat on the
briny deep.
H. A. Wier came from Youngstown, Ohio, in 1876,
a d located forty acres west and north of Wier Lake, known
later as Reservoir Lake, from which the water supply of St.
Petersbuig came for several years. He cleared and fenced
seVeral a res, on which' he built a comfortable home, plant-
ed out about two acres in seedling oranges and many kinds
of tr pi-al plants, besides raising very fine garden truck.
He also erected a tower with windmill and tank on the edge
of the ake for irrigation purposes. After the grove was
well n hearing he decided to sell and go West, being told.
that the West offered superior inducements in the way of
farming.lands and products. He finally traded his home-
stead for a farm in the West and moved out there, only to
find that the farm was mortgaged. I was told that it was

later sold to satisfy the mortgage. So after yeais of toilj
and hardship, he traded off his birthright for a mes ot pot-
tage. The land at Wier Lake has long been city property.
In this same year came also William P. Neeld, mo4. fa-
miliarly known through this part of Florida a "Bill Nee d.l
He bought forty acres, cleared, fence and planted out the i
grove on Tangerine Avenue now owned by Mr. Blackst ne,
with sweet seedling oranges, grapefruit, mangos, avo4do
pears and various other kinds of tropical fruits. i thiik I
.heard him say that after he had paid for his land he had! just
twenty-five cents left to commence life witl, whch :was
surely a very small capital for the gigantic task ?he was
about to tackle. But Bill was a hustler from jwaybhck and
when out on the warpath small obstacles did not stand in
his way. At night he taught school for Vinceat LeOnardy's
children, getting his board and lodging thereby. Dyti~es
he would clear land, split rails and such. Would take a day
or two off now and then to fish and hunt for profit; also to
compost fish and seaweed for fertilizer for his young grdve.
He also composted leaves, muck and cattle droppings; for
in those days commercial fertilizers were unknown,I co4se-
quently those not fortunate enough to own cattle 'had -to
resort to other methods to procure it. And Bill soon
learned the art and became quite an expert in the b sins,
and when the supply happened to be riot equal to he ie-
mand, he would off shoes, for shoes were an item i th se
times though not as high priced as now, but there were no
cobblers to mend the holes. With pants rolled up ie
would take a sack and strike out for a palmetto natch, whyre
he would be seen bobbing around gathering leaves and cow-
chips. The sack full, he would back it to the gove, 'for e
had no horse-and t t he made the prize grove of
the peninsula.


Atter some years of toil and hardship, Bill began to
rap th rewrdls for his Lard labor. For his trees flourished
and bore fruit abundant and proved very remunerative.
I must tell an incid nt which gives a sample of Bill's
grit-some call it'game for he had enough of it to tackle
a hyhirg that moved on our legs, from a gopher down to a
'gtor, and do it without a gun, as you will see.
j Oe morning my w fe set out to visit her mother, some
two, m esaway, with two small children, one a babe in
arms aindi leading the Other, of two years, by the hand.
ABut a quarter mile from home was the old ford across
S1 Creel] outlet of Salt Lake, which had to be crossed on a
foo loo. iAt the crossing she gathered up the two-year-old
ani landed on the farther side without any mishap, but just
aS e as about to set the child down something blew a
hard, g ttitral breath behind her. She quickly turned to see
what it ws, when lo a1 d behold! there lay a 'gator in the
edge of the marsh near the log, and on the side she had/
crossed fr'Om. With the two children in her arms, she
tireed ,nd ran about one hundred yards, when she-saw Bill
Need iI a palmetto patch, gathering fertilizer as usual. She
called t6 him to bring his gun; that there was a 'gator in the
clek. ,When he came near he said: "I've got no gun, but
I gess thii will do," whi ping out his pocketknife and mak-
irig-a bie ine for his 'gatorship. At that moment the 'gator
was le-vi. d for Salt La~e, but Bill wanted that 'gator, and
was boan'dto get him it there was any virtue ifi good grit
aid coId ael. After a little maneuvering, he made a leap
aifd larded astride the 'Sator's back, caught the left foreleg
with hi" left hnd and w th the knife in his right began tick-
ling th; animal's most s nsitive spots, till he finally put him
t4 sleep fdr all time.


Then the neighbors soon flocked to the battleground
and pulled his 'gatorship to dry land. I don't remember
just the length of the 'gator much he weighed, but I
do remember that he was no baby 'gator, but wa, quite a bit
larger than Bill Neeld. Possibly some not gifted with as
much grit as Bill, if perchance they should read this, might
say that I've been reading too many of the b g fish and
'gator stories in the town papers, but these are facts, nevdr-
theless, and Bill is a living witness, and there are a few oth-
ers who will vouch for the truthfulness of the story. ,
But the "Pinellas Philosopher," as he was liter called,
eventually got wheels in his head and wanted ito seethe
world go 'round, sold out his holding on the Point for nfich
wealth and moved over, to the mainland, where he tijl
abides, as he says, at "No. I Easy Street, Paradisel"
In 1876 R. E. Neeld moved in from Tampa ind settled
at Big Bayou. Later on he opened up a small grocery st re,
the first on the Point. This was a very great convenience to
the few settlers in the section, as it supplied their needs for
the time being..
In the same year Jacob Baum located on the south iide
of Reservoir Lake. He built a home on the lake and set put
the orange grove later known as the Jackson grove. Wen
the railroad came in Mr. Baum, in connection with E.i R.
Ward, opened up the Ward and Baum addition to St. Peters-
burg. His whole original entry is now platted, aid much of
it built up in substantial structures.
A. B. Chandler located and improved land between
Baum and Wier, but later removed to Tampa.
Miller Neeld settled here in 1876 and put ott a grov
just east of his brother William's. Sold in 1885 to Roibe
Stanton and bought and built at Big Bayou. Sold out his

i 1 j


ho ne the` later on, and. uilt in St. Petersburg. Is now a
iresioel t 4f Washington St te.
i eoge; R. Johnson ame from Detroit with General
SWiliams .in 1876 to look he country over and decided to
Settle, I tU following year he returned to the Point ac-
coanlnield by Barney Williams. He shipped part of his
- goo~by way of Gainesvile and part by Cedar Keys. He
hauled th carload landed at Gainesville overland by teams.
A yr la er he bought and improved the land now owned by
Profesori rtlett northwest of St. Petersburg, and lived
theie ma y ears. He also bought four hundred and forty
acres at Cofee Pot Bayod, which he later sold to Erastus
Ba rd. i
S rori New Orleans also came, in 1876, Joseph R.
Fro 4, whh bought Captain Barnett's improvements at
what iwaB later known* as Disston City; Barnett locating
aga (on land about a half mile north. Torres was a Span-
iar4, ad been with Maximilian in Mexico, was an ardent re-
pu1li an in the carpetbag regime in New Orleans, and was
some hing f a politician in his new home but a good
demc ratl !'He made some very good improvements, and
later platite some of his land into town lots, which became
the' site of the village of Disston City. When the postoflice
of BNnifacio was established he became its postmaster and
retailed the office till his removal to Seminole, in 1888. He
also dealt in general merchandise for several years.
William B. Miranda came to the Point in 1876, and
madea a iice home out Lake View Avenue. He was a busy
worker in real estate matters for some years, removing to
SSt. Petersburg in the early nineties, where he died.
SIn 1877 C. McCoy bought lands at Little Bayou, but
nefei became a settler.
; ir i I

-* II ; 1


In 1878 George W. Meares came in and settled on the
land which is now his home. He began with a small st4ck
of hogs and cattle, as was the general custom in the earl
days. He next cleared about ten acres, split rails and fenced
it, planted four acres in seedling oranges and various other
fruits; also three acres in cane and about the same in sweet
potatoes and garden truck for the local market. As he was
.a man of very limited means, and without rich kin to help
him, he could not afford to hire help in his work. Cois
quently it was a hard struggle from the start. But George'i
hands were never afraid; in fact, he rather enjoy! work,i s
by dint of many hard licks and strict attention tc business
he has been paid a mighty good interest on the investment
With a faithfurwife and large family of well reared and edu-
cated children, he has much to be proud of and thankful for
Meet George where or when you will, you wil meet .an
honest, straightforward, law-abiding citizen, and alwa y
ready to extend the hand of good fellowship. |
In 1878, als0, Thomas Miranda came to the Point and
located on what is now Tangerine Avenue. Built a cop-
fortable little home for his family of four, cleared, fencecl
and planted some fruit trees and made a garden. He was a
Confederate soldier and as brave as they made them. I 1ill
relate an incident that happened during and after te war
He was an artilleryman and attached to Marin's Bit-
tery, Florida Brigade, stationed at the foot of Looko t Motnh-
tain. When .the Federals drove the Johnnies from their,
guns, himself and another gunner, Dow TownseAd, never"
heard the order to retreat, and stood to their guns in te,
'face of a cavalry charge. It happened to be Colonel' Living-'
ston, late of St. Petersburg, who commanded thd cavaly.j'
He rode up to Miranda and ordered him to surrender. With
that .Miranda struck at him with the swabstick, land the


Colonel strucf at Tom with his sabre, but neither hit the
other. Whei, Tom saw the predicament he was in he and
townsend tui ed to run, when some of the command raised
their' guns to fire, but before they could do so the Colonel
allea oput to hold their fire and let them go; for, said he,
irThdy aretoo brave to be shot!"
S< Aftei they got in the woods, which was only a few
steps front the gun, Tom said to Dow: "If I live to see that
hnan a hu ddl years from now I'll remember him," not
thinking at tb time that they would ever face each other
again; but they did, on more friendly terms than at Lookout
After thel war Tom came to Pinellas and Colonel Liv-
ingston to S Petersburg, prospecting, and while looking
through thle rInellas section he chanced to stop at Vincent
LeonAdly's store. As he stepped in he came face to face
with lirand&. After gazing at each other for a few-mo-
menis,':Too said: "I think I have seen you before, sir."
"Yes said te Colonel, "I think I've seen you, too. I'm
the iman you struck at with the swabstick when I charged
your, gn tlt tle fbot of Lookout Mountain." "Yes, and I'm
the rian you ut at with your sabre." They then advanced
iaughinrgly sh ok hands and became intimate friends from
that Biie mn. When Thomas Miranda died, years after, I
tentt se hi and while standing beside the coffin, Colonel
Living ton cae in and stood on the opposite side. After
gazirngn iin for a few moments, he said to me: "This is
the 1st of hy;poor friend, Toml A brave man!"
i alttWr I-Alden came to Big Bayou in 1879. The fami-
ly aetwaid loved away and later the home was destroyed
fi ,ut th land is still retained in the family's possession.
Sth eajly eighties there was an advent of settlers dee-
ined!t| be factors in the upbuilding and development of the
coun4 about Big Bayou.

I !


In 1882 Erastus Barnard became interested in the PbiMt
and bought a tract of four hundred and forty acres atI tlle
Coffee Pot. He and his family have been regular 1int r
residents of St. Petersburg since the town started, and je h's
made many substantial improvements on his big farm 1e
is a firm believer in the Point.
Another arrival in this year was C. B. Ware, who settled
near the Coffee Pot, where he still continues to reside one
of the successful farmers and fruit raisers of the section He
was County Commissioner from this district for several
David Moffett arrived in 1882, bought land back o Sk.
Petersburg and made improvements. Later he bought the
Wier place on Reservoir Lake and built a fine home thee7 o6n
Ninth Street, North. He has been closely identified with the
interests of St. Petersburg, has been first mayor,.and houn-
cilman and is recognized as being one of the solid men 6f the
Thomas Sterling came here from Connecticut in 8I 83.
He had been a traveler in many lands and was a good judge
of situation as bearing upon health conditions, and aftel care-
ful investigation, concluded that the Sub-Peninsula hdld all
that man could desire. He bought about sixty acres it Big
Bayou and made very substantial improvements ori tie
water front. He had about ten acres cleared, fenced and set
out in various kinds of friut trees, besides making a fine
garden. He built seven fine cottages, one of five room, for
his residence, as also a hotel 30x50 with twelve rooms. i
In May he married a lady from Mississippi at Tamipa
and came at once to their home at the Bayou. They escaped
the customary charivari by throwing open their doors to thle
whole population and entertaining everybody-in all about
sixty guests. Their home soon became the center of muc

i l i ; i
1i 1

of so:ia life of the section. Mrs. Sterling's pen was al-
ways bu y ind contributed many articles descriptive of the
coin tiry t he press, in and out of the State. Owing to in-
firn itles pf age he, in 1891, sold his holdings to the Catholic
I Fath rs, bne of whom came as an embassy of church and
; state froin $pain to select a suitable location on which to
` build a heological, scientific and philosophical school for
Sthei euc tiotc of priests.
S About this time William Thorntn settled and improved
a tact on Lake View. Avenue, now owned by Cashier
Thgmasson just west of the Leicht place. In 1885 he
bought wa4t is'now Thornton's addition to St. Petersburg,"
wh~re hi died soon after roving to his new home.
oe St cause came in 1883, married a daughter of Vin-
cert Lecnardy, and settled back of the Leonardy home, on
Tangerie Avenue. Built a cottage and put out a small
grve:, w iei he lived for some years. Sold to Abel Miranda
in 1892 nd bought a grove farther up the peninsula.
SDr. John Abercrombie and family came to this section
in 1" 83 land located on land that is now the "Moss Ridge
Grpe" o f bseph Sibley. He built a very large and com-
Sfort le residence amid beautiful surroundings, cleared and
fe.c.. sd vdral acres and set out fruit trees of various kinds.
n In the meantime he practiced medicine, going wherever sick-
ness called him-though the Point was then as now emi-
Snently Itealtay, and very few except children could really
sppre timie t9 get sick. He was known throughout the sec-
tion as thie fmily doctor, which term was very appropriately
applied, as it the time he was the only physician in the pe-
ninstila. EI. John is one of the kindest, most free-hearted
men who ever settled here. He has been a friend to the
Sneey, always sympathizing with the afflicted. He had
prescribed for and furnished medicines often where patients


were not able to pay for them. No one ever asked a favor of
him that was not granted if in his power to do so. The
grand old man has a host of friends and few if any enie ies.
Since this was written he has gone to his reward.
Qeorge L. King was another "live wire" in the 'aily
days of this section. He located land north of Clam Bayodu,
on Mule Branch, in December, 1884. He brought within
a small sawmill outfit from which, on Christmas day Of that
year, he blew the first steam whistle ever heard in this reio.
The mill had been landed on the sand beach a mili (ron
where he located it, and had to be hauled through saw~as,
over palmetto roots and mud flats and across Clam Iayou
to the millsite on the Branch. It was a big undertaking, 'a
task that very few men other than George L. King Wuid
have cared to tackle, but he was a man with an iron will, one
that never let obstacles stand in his way whenever he ne-
took to accomplish any project that he had in view. A t
two years later, to facilitate the supplying of logs, he hAle
the outfit back to the bay at New Cadiz, to which locati oi he
had his logs rafted from Long Bayou, near John's Pass.
mill, though small, cut lumber enough to supply the demand
for the time being, but the influx of homeseekers soo be-
came so great that a larger mill was called for. Conseq int-
ly, King bought a millsite at the head of Booker Creei and
erected a much larger and finer plant, fully equipped with
all the modern improvements of that time. St. Peterbrr*
was just started and, owing to the scarcity of building! iat
trial, its progress was very much retarded, but just as o
as George L. King got down to business it began to grow
leaps and bounds, and it was wonderful to see how rai
the town improved. I think it would be fair to say that King
was instrumental in giving St. Petersburg its first and gret-
est boom, by way of furnishing material for building bir-

poss fo there were hundreds of cottages and many busi-
nes lace built before another mill was opened up.
i o ur ish a supply of logs for the new mill, after
whie 'he constructed a pole road out into.the timber west-
wart, foi several miles, bought flat cars and rigged up .a
"hope-m ldo' locomotive which worked successfully while
he contin ed in business.
Sthe ame year Maltby and sou came to Pinellas and
bougt the improvements of James A. Cox, now owned by
SSaW Btters, and embarked in the manufacture of orange
land E f rareffiit wine. Later on they sold out to Sawrie
Brol rfs han located on Ninth Street, St. Petersburg, and
Speed a nev factory there.
P. A fitted came to the Point in 1884 and built at
Disat'n. Holater married here and after the founding of
St. Peter buig removed to that place, where he has since
Sresi4e. pjwas for many years the assistant of George L.
Kin pn the iill business, as also of A. C. Pheil at the Nov-
elty Wor s.'
S Colc el B. F. Livingston bought land on Lake View
Avene ii 1884, which he later sold to Cyrus Butler, to be-
come a prt of the present fine Heathcote grove. He re-
iturrned to Stj Petersburg when that town began to flourish
andr ade in vestments, and some very substantial improve-
me s. I 901 he sold out and removed to California,
whet he later passed on to a larger life.
|avi1 I. Klingner came hare from Iowa in 1884 and
settle just ,south of the St. Petersburg limits on Fourth
Street, now in Bayboro. Sold later to Mrs. Miner and moved.
to the;Bayou, where he still has his home. He was a painter
by tirade and a good workman. For several years he was a
lighthouse keeper at Rebecca Shoals, and later at Anclote.

j i


During 1885 a number of families arrived from England
and settled in this section. The Harrison family bought aaid
improved land out Maxino Road and live there Some iars.
They all finally moved away, the parents going back tQ o h-
don. The place is now occupied by Mrs. Stephens. Ad oin-
ing tracts were bought by Hugh Richardson and R. L. Locke,
also of the English colonists. Mr. Richardson bec e '4
railroad official later and' went to Jacksonville, where, i e is
now secretary of the Board of Trade. The Lockes put in sub-
stantial improvements in Disston City and carried or inr-
cantile business there for several years. The family fi'aly
moved to a new home near Mobile.
Rev. Watt was another of these colonists. He bought
the west portion of the Leonardy grove, now owned by Stahl
Brothers, built a substantial residence thereon and lived there
for a number of years; finally returning with his wifk to
England. The sons, Joseph, John and David, remained in
America, but left this section.
The Watson family bought and settled at Little Bayou.
The, elder Watson was a professional gentleman in th cold
country and did not take kindly to the new life. The freeze
came and losss of the home by, fire soon after cause the
family to leave the Bayou. The young people are settled in
different parts of the peninsula. Prof. Herbert T. Watson
gives the following memorandum: "We started froni Lon-
don, September 1st, 1885, and arrived at Point Pinella4 the
first week in October of same year."
William A. Wood was another young English colonist.
He had charge of the Disston Hotel for a time, later manag-
ing the Inn at Port Tampa, and a restaurant business at
Zephaniah Phillips came in 1885 and settled tempo-
rarily at Disston. He soon after homesteaded the soul end

1 '
!~~ ',


of Long Key, where he built a home on the Pass, removing
his family thee. He platted and sold the original site of
Pass-i-Grille City, and later built a cottage farther up the
island. Philli s was a firm believer in Pass-a-Grille and
never, lt an o portunity pass to further the interests of his
favorite sc en e. He was something of a dreamer, but the
Pass s suriy making good at last, and undoubtedly has a
fgir fitire.l I his last years he bought a home in St. Pe-
trsb4drg, whe .,he died after a long and tedious illness. Phil-
lis hi seen lrd service as a Union soldier on the Missis-
sjbpi i -4as ] bad health when he came here. He was a
ne all rotndi mechanic and an inventor of no little merit.
SCyus Bter came in 1884, bought and improved laui
b "tweiN Lake iew and Tangerine Avenues, and made the
fiige grove ipow owned by W. E. Heathcote. Although an
ilvalit, lhe wva possessed of great energy and perseverance,
andcame tJ bt perhaps one of the best authorities on horti-
cilturie in the ate. After bringing his fine grove into good
bearir coAdition he sold to Mr. Heathcote and left the
Point i
.i R. ard came to Big Bayou in 1885, built a good
lhmeahd wen |into the mercantile business. Just before the
railro, d wai completed he sold out his interests at the Bayou
and I cted in that part of St. Petersburg known as Ward-
ville, the n4rth side of the railroad. There he opened the
st s oe in tFat section and became the first postmaster in
eisbirg Ward was a very enterprising man and full
sce esi H had the first school house byilt at Pinellas,
Lig Bpou, ino' fronting on what was known)as Ward Ave-
nue. It was 2 40 feet, and many were the enjoyable socia-
bles held therdi by the neighbors as well as outsiders. There
Wpre picnics, plays, dancing, card, checker and chess games,
mbst anything to while away the leisure hours and bring the

h "i '

settlers in close touch with each other and put them oi iore
friendly relations.
Dr. G. W. Kennedy and Robert Thomas settled i 885
in what is now the northern part of St. Petersburg. 13oth
gentlemen did something in fruit growing and trucking, out-
side of their professional work. Judge Thomas died ome
years ago, but Dr. Kennedy is still occupying hi' old me-
Herman Merrell came in the same year and bought a
tract west of Ninth Street, St. Petersburg. Built a cottage
and put out trees, but soon returned North to pract c4 his
profession as a lawyer. He returned in later years and
makes his home here.
I have the following memorandum from Ed. C. Mc-
Pherson: "About August 12th, 1885, my father, E. BJ Mc-
Pherson, and three sons, W. J., Charles and myself, left De-
land, Fla., in a one-horse wagon and camp outfit fot Point
Pinelllas. We spent nearly a month on the way, visiting the
towns and looking at the country. We arrived at Big Bayou
September I Oth and camped in an old stockade house o the
west side of the Bayou. Mr. Miller Neeld was smoking some
mullet and we got some nice fat ones out of the srpoke
house when they were warm. They were the finest sji+ we
ever tasted. We looked around a few days, then weit over
to Disston City. We met Mr. Z. Phillips, who showed us
around and introduced us to J. R. Torres, the city me rhant
, and owner of most of the town-site. We were so faoiably
impressed with the location that father bought two kits and
some lumber from King's mill and put us up a house. Moth-
er, Sister Ella and Babb came in November. G. W. ennett
came over from Tampa and we spent our first Thankgiiving
on Long Key near where we afterward built a home
"Father chartered the schooner Delia, Captain John
Lowe, master, and he and Mr. Bennett went to Pensac 1 and
x' ,, i l!

Ir :i i!

brou4t two sdhooner loads of lumber, and we started a lui-
ber yard. Thisewas not a financial success, as there was not
ienoM4 dased lumber use4 at that time to pay to keep it
up. 4 g the Winter father bought a printing outfit, and
he l ill tarted a little paper called the Sea Breeze,'
,whi theh published about a year. This was the first news-
rpaper tn e Poit.
Duing 1hesummer of 1887 the yellow fever broke out
in T ipa and q1ite a number of refugees came to Disston.
IThey ~ere not allowed to land, so father allowed them to
foccup, oir hcomr on Long Key.
i n May p8I8, we built a small house in Ward and
Baus edition to St. Petersburg, where we lived until
1 891, wh n fatlhr bought five acres on west side of Rese-
!voir.Le,j living there till his death, July 17th, 1895.
S j WelIbuik the Episcopal Church on Lake View Avenue,
also| te first Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg."
i (. Durant was another settler of that year. After St.
Petqroburg was started he followed his trade as a baker, and
built ap a big business there. He had quite recently retired
to a less arduou office business.
ieoge W. Anderson'arrived in Disaton City during
sun r 'f 18861 to locate on laid that he had bought from
the mp hile ir Texas. Not suited with this tract, he had
his dd transfered to'another more desirable piece at Bear
Cree k He next proceeded to rebuild the steam launch
"T'aryon forPW B. Miranda. His wife and daughter joined
I him i Jue, h r a very stormy voyage from Tampa in the
school ier "Chermb." Her trunk failed to arrive with her,
aand n g the eight a pup got into her room .in the hotel
an c rrid of~i hr baby Jessie's clothes, so she had to borrow
a ui of bab~ iarold Bennett's to dress Jessie in till her
clothes could be found, which was not till late in the day. Ms.

Anderson was an invalid and suffered considerably froi i os
of sleep caused by the noise of fish on the flats, they ben'g so
plentiful and only a stone's throw from the hbtel where
they were living. His next move was to fall in line wit his
neighbors and get a cast-net, but as he could not throv' it,
himself and wife would get on an old log pen so a
stretch the net open, and at night time drop it over the fish.
They used to catch as high as twenty mullet at One cast f
the'net. One night George turned out about one o'clock,
started a fire and cooked and ate fat mullet till daylight F
When the neighbors, thinking some one must be sick, ice
to offer assistance, George said they had quite a laugh o
him. Another night the neighbors heard such a racket it
the hotel that they came over to see what was the matter,
only to find George and his wife, with a pair of gum sh"e,
killing roaches. He finally set out a five-acre glove which
prospered till after he went to St. Petersburg. When ithp
freeze came he sold what was left of it.
Arthur and Ernest Norwood came from England t
Pinellas in summer of '86, and located in the Disston City
settlement. They built a small shack for a temporary homI,
their cleared and fenced their land for gardening and citrus
fruits. Soon after they met with a. streak of bad hlck-theii
little home caught fire in their absence and burned to the
ground with all their belongings, leaving them practically
destitute, with only the clothes they had on and the tools ~
they were working with. This loss was a very serious mat-
ter at that time, for the section was then in its infancy and he
few people in it were not moneyed men, though they ,tere
ever ready to extend a helping hand to aid a fellow sufferer.
But Arthur and Ernest were men of real grit and here to
stay, and a few reverses did not discourage them. So they
quickly decided to begin life anew, and, with what aid they

*i 'I i


coult jet fro their neighbors in the way of work or other-
wise, andi h mall remittance from the old country, they
were sbon ontheir way to prosperity again.
ije rt -hoe was their main dependence in those by-
gone ays aid they could wield it to perfection. Besides
they ere vry handy with other tools and could daub'a
little i;ith th pint brush. I remember the postmaster at
Piie inr t se years wanted a sign painted for his office,
and 4sthe e apono sign painter to be had, Arthur Norwood
Sundertook job, claiming at the time that it was out of his
line ltbusinsss, but he would do the best he could. When
Sthe sin aTasf finished it would bear inspection and would
,dompae favorably with the sign painting of today. It is over
twerit eats since then, and time has not entirely obliterated
"t y~t i t :U
Earth r caught several terms of school successfully at
Pisso a4d 'vhen Mr. Baumeister left that place in 1889, he
purci ed thlatter's stock of goods and went into the mer-
tantole bu iness. Later on he removed to the Wardville \
Iecti 4 of St. IPetersburg, where he gradually built up a very
i prost&ou; business in groceries and general merchandise.
Pisp ng of4 his grocery business at Ninth Street, he re-
-iiovec to Fourth Street and Central Avenue, where for
several years past he has enjoyed a fine trade in the line of
4ry pds and clothing. A self-made man, he began at the
bott ,a, ad by being strictly honest, free-hearted, energetic
and rseYerilig, he had about reached the top. He is one
Orand ucess as a merchant and a man.
N nath n jdom came in 1886 and bought land on Tan-
gerinei v nnue, built a home and made an orange grove. He
lived t ere several years, when he sold and went to town.
G. W. Iennett brought his family to the Point in May,
1886. i He made his first visit at Thanksgiving time, 1885,

- i r .!

and spent several.days prospecting. Business matters kept
him in Tampa during the following months, much to his re-"
gret. He made his home at Disston till 1891, when he
bought and settled at Maximo, where he has since lived ip
comparative health and comfort. He credits the climate of
the Pinellas Peninsula with the last twenty-five years of his
Another English settler was Robert Stanton, who
bought the Miller Neeld place at the corner of Tangerine
Avenue and Ninth Street, in 1886, and built a good home, to
which he moved his family, and where they resided for:
many years. He sold finally and moved to St. Petersburg,
There were a number of new settlers around Disston
during 1885 and 1886, the exact year of whose coming it is
difficult to determine.
There was Herman Beaumreister, who built a residence
and store and handled general merchandise till I P89, when
he sold his stock to Arthur Norwood and went into business
in New York.
There was Sergeant James McMahon, eduyeted for a
priest in Ireland, and graduated a thoroughbred soldieS in
America. Slipped away to this country and enlisted ii [h
regular army at 17 years. Had served in the s emiieol
wars; under Anderson at Fort Sumter at the siege; through
the Civil War as a Union soldier; had garrisoned, single
handed several of our national fortresses since the war, an'
was now on the retired list after having been in' the thlic
and thin of army life for nearly forty years. He Ipught ie
acres at Disston, built a home, put out a grove and spent a
go9d deal of his time there for some years.
There was Parmenas Early, John Mills, Johnhie Tripp,
Frank Futch, H. T. Sawyer, S. F. Brengle, John S. Calknsa~
1L M. Longstreth, Boyd Thompson, J. W. McCardell, Jim



Hamilton and maybe others. Then there was. Weihman aid
Irwin, Badgat and Smeltz out on the avenue. Thi Point w%
settling up.
In 1887 the prevalence of yellow fever in Tampa tenmpi.
rarily put a stop to the influx of settlers.
SCharles A. Rouff came here in November of this yep
ana lught five acres of land from ThoIas Sterling on Big
Bayou cleared a portion for truck raising and fruit cultun~
Sand built for himself and family a comfortable residence. He
was a machinist and engineer by trade and could do good
house .and boat work. He built the residence of General
John C. Williams, now a part of the Manhattan Hotel.
In same year came D. F. S. Brantley. He was the coaa
tractor who furnished the cross ties for the Orange Belt R. I.
Two of the self-made men ofSt'. Petersburg are Ed.,T.
Lewis and-Ed. Durant, who came to this section when quite
young with their parents--Durant in 1 885 and Lewis two
years later. -
Ih 1890 the "Two Eds"' formed a copartnership and.e-
gaged in merantile business. At that time St. Petersburg
was its infancy and so sparsely settled that it offered'slim
fpros ts for the building up of a trade that should possibly
Sa4heridependent of the charities or a-cold world for

Seir st k-like their capital-was very limited, and
conssued f groceries candies, cigars and tobacco. The ve.-
turews rthr. a.haphazard undertaking and it was predicted
that sn al l business would be an entire failure, But not
so; tYfhey.,ere young men of undaunted courage, ener-
getic and ]er'vering, who always looked on the bright side
of things, em"mbering the old adage, "Where there's a wil,
there'a a .

i i It i-

ii h


The business from the outset was prosperous, bui Mr.
Durant did not fancy the grocery business, so decided to sell
out to Mr. Lewis and return to his calling, cigar making,
which promised in the near future to become a paying absi-
ness. He now controls the largest cigar industry in this ec-
tion and possibly on the West Coast, and by being the right
man in the right place, he has built up a substantial trad iand
made many friends and, doubtless, many dollars.
Mr. Lewis kept on climbing the "ladder of fame," and
being of a business turn, combined with economy, and strict
honesty in his dealings, he has mounted the top round cf the
ladder and is now pretty much "monarch of all he surveys.
Mention has already been made in the early part of
this narrative of the settlement of Henry Murphy at the
mouth of Long Bayou, John's Pass. To his name might be
added those of several other early settlers along the northern
limits of the territory of which I have written. There were
the Archer, Nash, Griner, Lealman, Sheffield, Ellis, Hajris
and Arnould families, who settled at various dates, some 6T
them having settled previously farther up the peninsula,
From Addison Arnold I have this- memorandum: "Heiman
G. Arnold moved from Coffee County, Georgia, to Floda
in 1852, and married near Appalachicola, and mov to
Point Pinellas in the spring of 1856, and settled about
miles east of the present site of Largo. He later mov t
and settled what is known as the old Hammock place, n
Lealman, where he lived until the war came on, during
which he died." .
The first steamboat built on the West Coast was built
at Big Bayou by Thomas Sterling and Charles Rouflf, I '
was built for the trade between Big Bayou, St. Petersburr
and Tampa. The dimensions of the lola were: Keel, 54

: i I 3
feet a, I feet; depth of hold, 7 feet; length over all, 59
feet. phe waW launched in 1885.
Jhn. Parsons designed and built this boat. Charles
Rou f,oonI o the owners, installed the engine and was her
ingi ieer. HJ also aided materially in her construction, as he
was familiar ith carpenter's tools and could do some boat
work. As a house builder he was also skilled, and later ori
designed an built the fine residence of General Williams,
ow a part of the Manhattan Hotel. He was a machinist
y trade aid master mechanic.
The first sailing craft built on the West Coast after the
war, was a stoop of nine tons, built also at Big Bayou, by
John A etbell, for Isadore Blumenthal & Co., to carry ce-
dar fomn CryOtal River to Cedar Keys for their pencil factory.
i The 4et largest was the sloop Flirt, five tons, built at
te aaipe lae and by same builder, for freighting. She also
carried th a Iail from Tampa to Cedar Keys for several
months a er the steamer Cool'was wrecked off Gadsden's
Point n 187.
i, T1jhe lmillest boat was also built by Mr. Bethell. It
as eight feet six inches long, and Captain B. C. Williams,
the a youngi man, rowed it from the Bayou to Tampa on a
dire4 Jine toi' Gadsden's Point, and from there to the ship-
pin)gf E ig Island, where he stopped to take a short rest.
It was one ol the boldest, most daring and dangerous feats
ever performed by any boatman that ever crossed the bay.
Dangerous sirnply because the least commotion of the waters
would have Ben certain to swamp the little shell of a boat
and left him at the mercy of a treacherous bay. The chances
for 4 drowning man were quite different from what they are
now; If a boat turns turtle on the bay now there is either a
sailboat, launch or steamer within a few hundred yards, so
a man has ar air chance in the daytime. Not so in those

;: n i


days; for sometimes it would ba b a eek before there
be a vessel seen on the bay, other than the mail boat mk
the Tampa and Pinellas trip.

Old Fort at Big Bayou.

On the north side of Big Bayou, near the entrarce
stand several massive live oaks that mark the spot of a
heavily timbered hammock of oaks, pines, cabbage plI
sweet bay and various other kinds of trees, that were r
ing on it until the year 1859, when Abel Miranda bought an
cleared it for cultivation. Whilst clearing the land he made
very unlooked-for discovery in finding the ruins of an bid
fortification made entirely of oyster and conch shells, :v
dently built by the discoverers of Tampa Bay, as a protettion
against the hordes of aborigines that were usually on the
This fort covered about an acre of ground and had bte
three walled sides. One side faced northeast, one ioorthwet
and one southwest. The southeast side was not walle U,
simply because the northeast and southwest wings extend
to the waters of the bayou. And again it may have
left open for retreat by boats in the event of an attack a
enemy, and the garrison not able to hold their own. ;l
walls on the northeast and northwest corners were at least
three feet high and gradually sloped to about two
the waterfront.
This enclosure had two openings, at the northeast and
northwest corners, about fourteen feet wide, possibim in-
tended for sally ports. A remarkable circumstance t
the enclosure was that the ground inside was about tw eet
lower than the land around the fort on the outside. ee
were cabbage palms, oaks and pines growing in the embk-

Iji h |Ii

ment g any in the hammock. How high this shell
had ile up originally, how long and by whom, is a
ystr ill never be revealed.
Sgret 4"al of shell remains there yet to mark the spot
hers foit once stood, though in clearing the land the
Sell e rleled and the timber piled on them and burned
io ge* o f the way. Besides, much was hauled off and
rmurn ivn for fertilizer.
Its vry evident that there has been some fighting done
ta pt, m the fact that in clearing we found inside
ie n los uite a number of arrow heads, some with
shafts ine a one-half inches long, in a finely polished
state,' hil e were very crude.

i M d t oi nts Pinellas and Maximo and Elsewhere.

fo ar after the Civil War there was a cluster of
Cabbg p )igrowing on the sand beach at Point Pinellas,
ronti go E9iritu Santo Bay, as it used to be called, which
*as krow a i|the "Three Cabbages." In 18.84 the govern-
ment' rv4yo cut down two of the palms, leaving only one,
since kon the "Lone Palm," as being a better mark for
true beris in running lines.
: t alsc ered as a bearing to a very large mound in a
nortlwesterly direction and about three-quarters of a mile
dista t. n found differs in shape and construction from
any Other ond in this section, or possibly in the State. In
1i872, wv Van Bibber was exploring the West Coast
pr lcaion for a sanitarium, and Professor Agassiz was
looking u cx4osities for the Smithsonian Institute, Captain
Eugen1 Co met and brought them to my place at Big
gaydu, I their piloted them through the Point and to thi4
! i s -i


After inspecting it, they concluded that it wa builI i
layers of earth and shell to the depth of about three; fjet
to each layer. Though they could hardly tell for aicertainty,
from the fact that the mound was so thickly covered o*ree
with saw palmetto that it was a very difficult mater to tell
precisely how thick the layers were or whether thelearth and
shell were mixed as they went on. An excavation iA th
north side, since made by employes of the PhiladeIphia
Acadamey of Natural Sciences, would seem to disprove 'he
separate layer theory. Other mounds constructed of earth
and shell seem to show that the shells were mixed in With
the earthy material to better keep it in position., i
There are three or more circular excavations like sik-
holes or pond bottoms, from which the earth was taken. 'the
present county road along the section line skirts the largest
of the holes, beyond which to the south and but a stOtte's
throw from the road stands the mound.
As the mound stands on the high timbered land about a
quarter of a mile from the present beach line, thq transpor-
tation of the shell thither is a problem. The remains a
causeway reaching the top of the mound and gently sl png
toward the south may have assisted in making the dep sit
of shell. The mound is elongated in an almost east and ,ieat
line. The slope of the sides is abrupt, except on the spath,
as mentioned. The top at the south end had once been
leveled off for fifteen or twenty feet and terraced over.
It must have been in existence many years, perhaps
ages, from the fact that when I first saw it, in I 49, it had
pine trees growing on it equally large as any in the neighor-
hood. I did not see the mound again until 1859, and ii was
then in a good state of preservation. But since the q(ivil
War vandal hands have preyed upon it so often that ioW
there is scarcely a vestige of the terrace to be seen.


SAlut the-quarters of a mile west and fronting on.the,
hay, .. W. 'Beett's cottage site is the eastern extremity of
an int estiog ldge or mound, which curves northward and
Westvar t fra rising about a quarter of a mile, and comes
back kg Ma imo Road to the bay, then recurves eastward
twenty ;rod do more along the water's edge, with the ex-
tremi~f again t rown back toward the west like the end of a
monsiets tail. It encloses ten or more acres, and is generally
called'a serpent mound.
This moied is constructed of earth and shell mixed,
and the t lope of the landward side is quite steep, so much so
that i riay hav been used as a fortification. From Maximo
SRoad t an4 along the bay is a regular tumble of mounds
of all shaped and sizes. Covered with a hammock growth of
palm Aak', cdars and shrubbery, this extends another
quart r' nile t~ near Point Maximo. These are also of earth
and she, t ith large percentage of shell.
.jufting oui from this mound-base run two long straight
ridges 4 spqr4, in a northerly direction to a length of several
hundred feet, aid still six to eight feet high. They resemble
railroad embankment or old earthworks. Perhaps it was
inten ed to complete the quadrangle for a defensive purpose.
A shdrt distane north, at the edge of a bayhead, is still to be
*en a *at rh9oe where the earth excavated was thrown up
in the piddle Of the two basins, making a solid passageway
betw eA~. Th be relics are of genuine interest and should
i prserved, a far as possible. West of Point Maximo is a
I s striking continuation of the shell works for a goad nany
iards aJ ,
S re are many isolated mounds in the lower Point.
There' ras a handsome group on the Kempe property at
ig jou, and the big oyster shell mounds at St. Petersburg

K! I


were many. It is a pity that they were not. preserved intact,
in a public park.
It is very evident that many years ago there we sn
Booker Creek, but all solid land where it now runs, froi thlh
fact that on each side of the creek, several hundred ardj
northwest from high bridge, and opposite each other, are I^wv
embankments of oyster shell that at one time must h ve
been one very large mound spanning the present creek. Pos-
sibly some heavy cloudburst flooded the flatwoods tOb the
northwestward, coursed its way through the land as it sloped
downwards and undermined the mound or forced a pasg
through it and washed the land away, which was the ma ing
of the creek. There is a descent of about fifteen or tw Pty
feet from the bayhead above Ninth Street bridge, and when
the flatwoods is flooded the fall of the water is: so great that
it gradually washes out the creek and keeps it open. i

Gruesome Find at John's Pass.

While hunting on one of the keys at John's Pass before
the war with Anderson Wood, we came across what had
once been a burial mound, but time, or possibly the gjle Qf
1848, that made John's Pass, had worn it down whens it
swept over all the islands.
We would have passed it by unnoticed, as it onlyhad
the appearance of a ridge of shell and sand. had we nOt
espied two human skulls and some bones. We con ldd
there were Indians buried there and that there mig
trinkets buried with them. So we returned to our boatand
got a spade and hoe and went back and dug, but all we! un-
earthed was bones. There appeared to be no trinkets ith
them. As far as we could tell, the bodies had been 4rid
three tiers deep, heads north and feet south. We tired Go
get a whole frame together to see the size of it, but the be.s

l i- 1! { r


were so mntted together and so badly decayed that we could
pot do;so.
SFrom the size of the bones, I do not think they were a
larger people than ordinary. The two largest bones and the
6nly two perfect ones we found were a thigh bone and a jaw
bone. Myself and partner each stood six feet, and if we
measued the thigh bone correctly it was about two inches
longer than ours. My friend, with a face full of whiskers,
could slip the jaw bone off and on quite easily.
i We wou10l have dug deeper into the mound, but on sec-
nd thought decided to quit simply because if those people
ad not been killed in battle and buried there, it was probable
that tey hadided of some infectious disease, and possibly
ome of the germs might still be lurking around those old
,on4 and how did we know but that we had already become
infe cted I We covered the mound up again and left, taking
the skill, 'jaw and thigh bones to Tampa and gave them to
:Dr. Creighton, as he wanted to send them to the Smith-
sonian Institute at Washington. We also gave him two pet-
rified teeth and several rib bones that we found on the out-
side beact at Pass-a-Grille.
,The teeth must have belonged to some very large ani-
imal 4nd they did not look like they had lain in the water
iery l6ng, the, were so bright and clear, and looked as if they
had been po@lhed. The roots of the teeth were plainly visi-
ble and the dtps in them were very distinct and looked like
they had deve been used to masticate food. One of the teeth
weighed two pounds, and the other one and three-quarters.
The, pieces f ribs were large and flat and not over fif-
teen inches I pg, and those who saw them claimed that they
were frori sne family of the sea cow.

M S1'.4

Game On the Point.

In-writing up this little narrative I must not omit telling
about the game that abounded in this section before and f1r
some time after the Civil War. There were deer, bear,
'coons, 'possums, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, geese, duks,
whooping cranes, blue and white cranes, curlew, qadl,
plover, snipe, etc. Besides these there were panthers prd
wildcats by the hundreds, and 'gators just as plentiful. All
one had to' do was to load his gun and go-off from his 'en-
closure, so as not to shoot any of his family, and l1ill a tF-
key or some, other kind of game for dinner.
Quail was game that we never wasted ammunition on.
We would sometimes catch them in rabbit traps and tuin
them loose. And snipe was too small game to tinker with.
I have stood on my porch and shot turkeys while eating ,ny
tomatoes. In duck season I would often kill at my watr-
front landing enough to keep my family a day or two. Deer
frequently swam across the bayou. I overtook onec crossing
one day and knocked it in the head with my oar,;.and my
brother killed one with his hatchet.
The goose pond, about four miles northwest of ite
Bayou, was a noted place for geese in their season, as was
also a sand flat northeast of Boca Ceiga Pass, that isidiy
nearly all winter. I have seen these flats literally covered
with geese, possibly a thousand or more. Geese were not
as easily killed as other game. They were always on the
lookout for danger, so it was a very difficult thing to get
near enough to kill more than a couple at a shot, though
my partner, Anderson Woods, opce killed five.
We never in those days killed game for profit qr for the
fun of it, as has been done in later years, but just What was
absolutely necessary for home consumption. When I fist
settled here the bears, panthers, wildcats and 'gators prdyed

upon the hogs to such an extent that we had to wage a war
of extern nation on them. They not only cleaned up the
pigs, but h killed the stock hogs; so in the fall of 1860
inyself, Abe Miranda, Jas. R. Hay and Andy Woods decid-
ed we woild'turn out and clean up some of them. Miranda,
Woods and I killed in November and December ten bear and
captured hre out of the fourteen we sighted. The other
outgenera e, us and made his escape. In that hunt we also
killed ele er cats, three panthers. Hay killed thirty-seven
cats'alone, a he had good cat dogs, and he just hunted for
jcat4 though he would kill any other kind of animal that
preyed on sta ck if it crossed his path.
I do no remember just how many 'gators we killed in
'the two mo lhs' hunt, but I 'do know that we killed every
one directly n our section that had a den in the creeks or
marshes tt t hog crossings, and a good many that we came
aross in ith woods while hunting game. We also killed
beat, ca a d panthers before and after the Civil War, but
we' er tu ned out before this for a general massacre. Af-
;tert C vil War bear and panthers were very scarce, but te
cats nd ga ors had multiplied very fast during the years of
S ui' section was full of game for a long time after the
war, an would be plenty of game now if it had not
beatnfo th murderous guns in the hands of brainless pot-
Shutirs ta slaughtered everythingthat had hair and feathers
on t e were plume and song birds of every description
t thete etor had placed here to beautify and adorn Man's
SPa ise, bt the lawless marauders just about destroyed
ever thing that came in, reach of their powder and lead.
i 'Th w rat scourge that ever came to Point Pinellas was
one Chevalier, a Frenchman, from Montreal, Canada, who
Slocated just west of Point Maximo for the purpose of killing
bird for! the plumes, feathers and skins.


I don't know how many birds Chevalier and his rutti
less gang slaughtered during the three years he remained o.
the Point; for he brought a gang with him with a complete
outfit for the murderous business. I know it was well i to
the thousands. Even the harmless pelicans came "in for 4
share of powder and lead. Their wallets were made into
bacco pouches.
Two of Chevalier's agents, Pocket and Tetu, told 1
that one season they got 11,000 skins and plumes and 30,-
000 birds' eggs, and with a force of eleven men with blo
pipes it was impossible to blow the contents out of more
than one-half of these eggs before they were spoiled. The9
they had to peck holes in the ends of the balance and spread
them out over the face of creation for the ants to do the resi.
That was the greatest destruction of the feathered tribe i a
any time during the three years.
Chevalier would not have remained here in the Poin
had not some of our settlers aided him in his nefarious wofk
from the fact that the hirelings he brouiight with him iere !
norant of the bird rookeries on the land, and as they knv
nothing about boats; could not hunt on the islands. But a
some of the settlers enlisted in his hellish 'cause, then the war
of extermination was waged on everything that had hide or
I was told by one of Chevalier's pilots, or bird butchers P
that he piloted some of the gang to a rookery at the head
of Long Bayou in nesting time and killed over 1,000 plumi
birds, and he said that about ten days after, while passih
by the rookery, the sight and stench of the dead birds wa"
sickening. The heads and necks of the young birds wdro
-hanging out of the nests by the hundreds. They had killed
the mother birds and their young had died of sheer starya
tio. "I air done bird hunting forever," said he. Did

i i

stick ti hia r solve? Not much! In less than one year he
was br6 the w path again.
I havy heard it said that alligators would fill up in the
summer time iith pine knots and keep fat all fall and winter
on thekm. "I not know if it is so or not. I know that I've
disemboweled good many of them, and I never found any
?inej not in them. I've found leather-back turtles, and
ucls alsq. Ind I never found any hogs or pigs in any I
6ave 4penjd, but I knew they caught them, all the same, for
've s4en them do it twice in my life, and happened to be
near' otgh to checkmate them and get 'gator and pork-
ir, to .

Pleasures of the Pioneers.

I: m st not omit letting my readers know about the
good, enjoyable times that myself, Miranda, Leonardy and
Bell'i vit l ou families, used to have on the islands; just
after pe rar, we being the only settlers at or near the Bayou
at th time.f
S' urte-eging, bird-egging, 'coon and deer hunting was
the sport. In May, when the turtles and birds began to lay
we W Iuld! fit out for a week's cruise and go on the south side
pf ,ars island-Pine Key--and pitch camp on the ex-
firerf po nt 'f sand beach under some pine and oak trees
that ffor led a very nice shade. We would take one day to
i hunt l'co n apd deer, one day to egg hunt and get stone
Scraps ont dJ for shelling on the sandbank off Pass-a-Grille,
just to wlile away the time, as we did not wish to deer and
eg hunt ievry day.
We n4rer killed more deer on a hunt than our four
i families ,oid use. The most we ever killed on any one
Cruise was eight in five days-five bucks and three does. The


,HI i


deer on the islands were a great deal larger than thoseon
the mainland, besides they were fatter and the meat better
In getting birds' eggs we would rob only the nests co'-
taining a single egg, as they were fresh and plentiful; andh
would always leave from fifteen to twenty turtles' eggs in je
nest to hatch.
We killed most of the deer on Hammett's Keyi though
there was better hunting on Pass-a-Grille and on& of the be t
camp grounds on the West Coast. It seemed as if Nature de-
signed it for just such a purpose. But the harbor and anchor-
age in front of it were bad for small boats. The tide rurs'
very strong and when the wind is blowing from the north-
east small boats have to go up the bayou.
The first dock was built by George Faulkner, and in thp
rear of it was the camp ground, which was first used fdr
this purpose by the Spanish smack fishermen in the forte.
It was about sixty feet square, in a cluster of cabbage palms,
three or four tiers deep. Whether the smack men thinned
out the palms or whether it was a natural openingI I"
never heard say. All I knew about it was that it was a lovely
spot for camping.
The smack men used to take their smacks thereto cloan
them while waiting for a load of fish from the ranches.
There is some of their old pebble ballast lying on tle water
there yet. They had a well dug in the rear of the cam, i
walled up with horse-conch shells, but the gale of '48, wle en
it overflowed the key, filled the well up with sand, and it re-
mained so until 1857, when one John Gomez, a Spaniar,
who knew where it was, cleaned it out. Gomez carried
lumber there from Tampa and built tables and benches anit
.put everything in good shape. He had a fine boat and took
'parties there on excursions.


Before thi war we did most of our camping and hunt-
ing a 'ass-a-rille on account of that good well of water
and I camp aground. Besides there were more deer on
L'ong l ey tha4 on the others, it being so much larger than
he oh r key|. Yes, and there were more rattlers on it than
on a he iotlr keys put together. There were so many
rattle-r and roccasins in that mangrove swamp near the
camp that we would never hunt in it; in fact, I don't think
the deer ever went in it because of the snakes, as we never
saw any signs of their having been in it, though we always
Ssaw plenty of tracks passing and repassing on either side
of the swamp. I have hunted that key the odd time and if 1
Sever failed to kill a rattler on each and every hunt I don't
Sremehnber ,it. 'And I have killed as high as three in a single
; day's hunt. I have hunted on every island from Cape Sable
to Anclote, and Pass-a-Grille, or Long Key, beats them all
Sfor rattlers. And it is very remarkable that in the twenty-
i ve years of hunting, off and on, I never lost a dog from a
xattler's bite and I have had sometimes as many as seven
dogs. on a carp hunt.
During tiie Seminole War of '56-7 Capt. Duke, of the
steamer Gray Cloud, took on board at Tampa about forty
hogs fr troo+ at Fort Myers. When he got off Mullet Key
it was so storiny that he anchored there for four days. In
the meantime the hogs became so unruly and troublesome
that he dumped them all overboard. The most of them
made a landing, but some did not fare so well.
jiWhi the Gray Cloud lay stormbound at Mullet Key
Capialn Duke gave permission to one Sampson, a negro,
!emp)o~edby' the Government as interpreter for the Indians
j!at F t Myes, to go on shore for a hunt, and here is what
Ihe killed in te one day's hunt: Eight large rattlers, which
he siretchd put on the beach. I did not see the snakes, but

'' ? i


I heard Captain Duke tell it for a fact. Now, I have huntl
Mullet Key the odd time, night and day, through thick ,aid
thin, driving, sneak and fire hunting, and never killed or s4w
a rattler on it, though I knew they were there, as I wpidd:
often see their trails; but I have had pretty good luck n?
Egmont killing rattlers, as it was a noted hole for them.
Sampson, the negro interpreter, was captured by ithe
Indians when quite a boy and lived with them until the WarI
of '37-8, when he quit the tribe, came to Tampa, and cf-
fered his services to General Brooke, commandant of the
post, as guide, spy and interpreter for the command. He was
allowed to squat on the Government reservation, whilst theke
was war with the Indians, and after its close General Broike
secured a grant from the Government for five acres of tlie
reservation for services rendered. After the close of the
Civil War Louis Bell, a Confederate veteran, bought Samp-
son's claim for $25 and a yoke of oxen and wagon. The
Bells own some of the property yet.
I must now tell you what became of the hogs that were
thrown overboard from the Gray Cloud. Some of themn
drowned, but the most of them made a safe landing and mul-
tiplied rapidly. Before the outbreak of the Civil War I often
went to Mullet Key to hunt deer,, and in the meantime would
kill a couple of good fat shoats whilst I was idle. There would
sometimes be as many as twenty hogs in a drove feeding on
the sand flats, same as the 'coons. The 'gators must havre
fared pretty well on them, for there were lots of bones aroud
their dens. But 'they had worse enemies than the 'gators
during the Civil War, for the refugees exterminated then fr
the blockading fleet at Egmont. After the close of the war
I hunted on Mullet Key again, but never saw a signlof a og.
In '49 Captain Joe Lowe, while on his way from ey
West to the sponge banks, landed several head of stock hogs

I I 1

on Soribel Isl#nd, knowing that they would soon accumulate,
pnd hi nsef well as the other spongers on their outward-
bounditrips cu ld stop there and lay in a supply of fresh pork
|or tl cruise. In '56 and '57, whilst I was with Captain John
Alderade Ica'ying beef cattle from Tampa and Manatee to
Iew aesi fcf the market, he would often stop there to get
4 porker r tio, and at the same time have a deer hunt, as
they were Vee plentiful, as were the hogs also. On the south-
east 'ed of the island there were several acres of coco-plum
*ushei that grew from two to four feet high, which in the
summer months would be loaded with fruit. There were
two kinds, the white and the blue, but they were one and
the same frtul. They were about the size of the ordinary
peach, with bdt one seed, and would last about as long as pal-
'met to mast. They were a very fine fruit and the hogs were
very fond of them; as were also the 'coons; possibly the deer
liked them, too, as there would be plenty of tracks through
the grove.

The Gale of '48 and Changes Along the Coast.

the gale that destroyed everything in its track along the
West Coast in 1848, among other things, washed down the
.lhghtNlouse on Egmont Key. When the lightkeeper, Marvel
Edwards, saw that the tide was going to overflow the island
z-nd that it was already two feet deep around the dwelling, he
placed his faMily in his boat and waded with it to the middle
of the isle arid secured it to the palmettos until the gale was
over.' .
The tidi'rose so high that it went over the window sills
of the old brick dwelling that was built at the same time that
the liihthouse was, and has been the home for every light-
keeper from that ito the present time. The dwelling when

4 IA


first built was of one story with a cellar and cistern under";
neath. When the new lighthouse was built another store
was added to the dwelling.
Every island from Sanibel to Bayport was overflowed i
the '48 gale, and many new passes were made by it through
the islands. For instance, Longboat inlet and several small
passes between there and Big Sarasota; also John's Paiss
Before the gale Passage Key had a heavy growth of timber
on it, but the gale swept it all off and cut a channel into the
swamp that was on it, so that in 1849 my father, while oiling
and turtling in the bay, used to anchor his schooner Of eight
tons in there, as it made a very snug harbor for small shij
ping drawing up to three feet of water. The islands havy
washed away a great deal in places since 1848.
The northwest side of Mullet Key before the gale, frdr
the north point to within a half mile of the south point, wal
solid cabbage hammock with three large buttonwood swampo
on the north point, but that gale broke away the foundatio6i
and the land has gradually washed away, including the cab
bage trees and swamps.
S The gale was also the cause of the washing away; of sev,
eral sand keys between Mullet Key and Pass-a-Grille. Oni
of these was of about one and a half acres in extent in 1849
and was well nigh covered with buttonwood, mangrove ah
bay cedars. The laughing gulls and shearwaters used it
lay their eggs there, and it was known as Panama Key. Af
ter the war, some northern smack fishermen established
a ranch there to catch mullet and bottom fish for the Cubl*
market. They never made a success of it from the fact tlha
the sharks cut their nets so badly that they had Jo quitl
There is nothing now remaining of the key but a sand flat i
The sand key on the northwest side of Pass-a-Grille
channel, before and for a long time after the war, was on

i ir "

'he so a ide of it.' There were several acres in this
k ky, with b ck and white buttonwood and mangrove grow-
in onr the isi e of the southeast point; the rest of the key
wls w8 l -co ered with a very thick growth of bay cedar. At
tl east end of the key was a bend, or horseshoe, with five
fet of water, raking a fine harbor for small craft. It was a
gr at place for bird and turtle eggs.
On, the southeast point, of Pass-a-Grille in those years
also was a pond with buttonwood and mangrove growing on
its borders th4 was seventy-five or one hundred feet from
tide water. There was a very large 'gator that had his den
in this ,pond and myself and partner decided to kill him,
which was notl so easily done, for the reason that he would
go in and out of the pond only at night. We tried to fire
hunt him, but never could find him. So one bright, still,
:moonlight night we took our stand near his trail. We dia
npt have long to wait-possibly half an hour-before he
made his appearance, crossing the beach from the water to
the pond. iJ en he came near to our hiding place we
stepped ou from ambush and filled his 'gatorship full of
"blue' whistles."
I did ot expect to ever tell any 'gator yarns, conse-
cIenIly di4 nbt weigh or measure him, but he was a very
lrge' oie all _he same. The next largest 'gator that I ever
siw .ha his den on the bird rookery at the Boca Ceiga, or
rirt est end of Long Key. Myself and comrade could
eve eget near enough to kill him with buckshot. We shot
*at hi4 head a eat many times while swimming in the chan-
el, J n ve could kill him. From his size he must have
eenn an old ,esidenter, or else he must have taken advan-
t`ge f: th fltod to get there from the River Ganges.
S(Well, I ill now go back and take up the thread of my
iscouise. 1 Te next part of Long Key to wash away was

!j 11 *

the west end. It was a very high ridge of sand beach 6f aboit
twenty acres, covered with a heavy growth of bay cpdar.. It
was a noted place for turtle and gull eggs. There Were dqlo
three large duck and goose ponds a little southeast of tIe
ridge, where I often killed ducks, but I have been; told fr -
cently that two of the ponds are entirely washed away aikd
that the gulf waters ebb and flow in the remaining e, ard
that the high ridge of beach will soon be a thing of he past.
The next key between Long Key and John's Pass vas also
high and dry, but it has washed away so much tlat tieve
were several small, shallow channels cut through it when Ij
last visited the place.
Stump Pass, south of Big Sarasota, was made by the
'48 gale, as was also the pass below Little Sarasotai know n
as Sarah's, or Casey's Pass.

Early Highways.

The first road to this section was made by 'the O0
Tampa stockmen from the John Taylor place to the Jamrisl
R. Hay place, now known as the Farrand Grove, in 1856.
In 1857 Hay continued it on just east of Salt Lake to Big
,Bayou. In 1868 John L. Branch cut a road from what fl
now the Foster Grove to intersect the "Old Tampa Roald!"
as it was afterward called, about eight miles north of the
Farrand Grove. The people of Pinellas traveled this roli
very often from the fact that Old Tampa was heacquarters j
for schools; churches, voting, entertainments, spedch-mn -1
ing and such like, just after the war.

Seminole War Experiences.

During the Seminole War of 1856-7, while mate on one
of the Government steamers, the "Texas Ranger." te



Spying etw ~q'Tampa and Fort Myers for the purpose of
;' trnspo in t -ps and munitions of war, I had a very good
Solpor unty or seeing quite a number of the braves, their
squaws and little pappooses, captured or surrendered, tha
were ng sh on our boat as prisoners of war from
Fort Myers to gmont Key, which was their prison until
sent Wst t te reservation. All the prisoners were well
Sg~ard wle n the boat, and on arrival at Egmont they
were turned o+r to the commandant of the post for safe-
keepi axd ey were safe when once on the island, for
nob4 were; allowed to be kept there and none to land,
day of 6ight, ider any conditions whatever.
S Ind s were very quiet and orderly while priso4-
e o toe boatg, ut just as soon as they landed and met their
r all order and quiet was turned into war whoops,
Sweeping, dancing and yelling like wild beasts.
I $on aftir the war began the Government saw there
i was no possible chance of compelling the Indians to surren-
Sder and leave the State, by use of the regular troops alone,.
so it ibsued a call for volunteers, some for infantry, some for
cavaly and s6me for boat service. The latter were to go
through the Everglades, find the homes, capture the women
ad children, .destroy their gardens and keep the men on
the niove so they could not do any farming.
These boatmei had very large metallic boats, that
would carry sixteen to twenty men with all their outfit.
They, were built fdr going through the sawgrass, so as to
penetrate to the iWlands and swamps in the Everglades.
These boat companies did the hardest and most efficient
service. Without them the Indians would never have sur-
rendread; and they received the least pay and no pension for
their services.
9 | :

S',' *


During the early part of the war the Government sent
out West to the reservation and had Jim Jumper, head chief
of the Seminoles, and some others of the tribe brought to
Tampa for the purpose of meeting Billy Bowlegs, the second
chief, and trying to induce him to give up and go back with
them to the reservation. But Billy refused to leave his home,
so Jumper accomplished nothing.
I saw the delegation when it arrived in Tampa. They
were fine looking men, but their style of dress was mbst
amusing. Chief Jumper wore a high crown black beaver
hat, a pair of brogan shoes, striped ticking pants, red top i
shirt and a blue blouse, and the rest were dressed about as s
comically. Some would have on soldier shoes, pants 4nd
blouse and red shirt and turban; others brogan shoes, sol ier
pants,' white flannel army shirts, striped coat and straw hat; ;
others would have on shoes, buckskin pants, red or white
shirt and a "Joseph's coat" of many colors, topped out with
a turban or striped cloth. It appeared as if each one dressed
according to his own particular fancy.
They were first sent to Fort Myers on our boat, aUrd
from there to Marco. From there we went with steamer
several miles inland until we came to shallow water.
then took the boats and went several miles farther before
we could land them dry-footed. We then returned to tle
steamer in double-quick time; for it was no place for sailors
among those mangrove islands. As soon as we got oP f
board we steamed for Fort Myers, glad to get to sea again,
out of reach of the scalping knife.
Our steamer was often ordered into critical positions.
Sometimes we were sent up the Caloosahatchee River fro ,
Fort Myers to Fort Deno. The Caloosahatchee was a very
unsafe river to navigate, on account of its narrowness; as
also its crookedness. We were ordered to Fort Deno ope


af er a freshet, with supplies forithe fort. When we got to
were the r ver was very crooked we had to go under slow
speed, and though the boat had a double engine and was a
si4e-wheeler, and could back on one wheel and go ahead on
the other, it did not save her from being swept broadside by
thi current in o a large oak tree that smashed two state
ro6ms and a pait of the dining room on the upper deck; and
it took quit .a long time to cut away the oak and get the
boat clear o it.
I hhhve ofen thought of the risk taken in running up
that ri er w thout any protection whatever, with no guard on
the boat, and no guns of any kind for the crew, in case they
were attacked I~y the redskins. If they had attacked us there
Wpuld rot have been a man left to tell the tale.

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Early Business Centers. Pinellas Village. i

In concluding this historical sketch of the lower Poiit
it will not be amiss to say something about the little town If
Pinellas Big Bayou of bygone days, as it was instr;-
mental in building up the Point from Maximo to Lealrma,
simply because it did a very large business and was head- i
quarters for all this section, including Lealman, Largo and
the John's Pass 'coimtry.
And, first, a word about the location of the village. Big
Bayou-Pinellas-has one of the best natural harbors for
small shipping from twenty-five tons down to skiff boais,1
anywhere on the West Coast, from Tampa to Clearwater;;,
there is ample room with a depth of from four to eight feetl
of water for five hundred of the above class to ride at anchor'
in stormy weather in perfect safety. It is so land-and-banki
locked as not to be exposed to the heavy seas and full force
of wind encountered in the open. I
From the channel entrance,, to the head of tde
Bayou is about one and a half miles and its greatest widtl
about a half mile. In spring there is four and a ha f feet on'
the bar at mean high water, but in summer tides, when the
wind is south, there is six feet. Some of the lumber choonir
have come in drawing five feet eight inches and sharg
their cargoes at my dbck. The Cecilia, the Peerles and
Simpson were schooners of twenty-five tons tha used td
rendezvous in the Bayou, and the schooner Venic of thirt
tons, partly owned by Judge Benton, used to run ie block
ade from Tampa to the Bayou during the yellow fever tie
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gbods or the merchants here; and these same vessels
om four to five feet of water..
After ir. SterliIig built the Hotel San Jose and got it
Inning ordr, we had excursions 'from Tampa just 'a
now have to Pass-a-Grille. Every Sunday the steamer
Sor th seamer Alafia came in with a crowd. The
u in th4se &ys was not only a fire-class business place,
Space orsport, fun and frolic, and every one, citizen
rnient, enjoyed it. The day will come when Pinellas
lurish amin, but those good days of yore will never

Thoma# Sterling and General Williams arranged to ap-r.
rit$ $1,50O to jetty the channel so asto turn all the
r irOm the Bayou into the main channel, which would
len all that was necessary to clean it out and keep it,
Ch rle Rbuff and Judge Benton were to superintend
o structio and the scheme would have been carried
b t somnei one of the parties most interested was in .
That iu4h an undertaking would be detrimental to this
es;intdrsa of St. Petersburg, and the matter was drop-
Voden methods as used in Bayboro will yet make
you tee favorite harbor of the Point.
u to 'etrn to my story. It was some time after I came
i nlas before home-seekers began to put in an ap-
c ad then they were few and far between, like
Siit. I had here, on the north side of the Bayou,
k#lred and twelve acres of land in a body, lying beau-
d wit a fine waterfront. I wanted neighbors more
Iia nted acres, and so I decided to sell or barter some
la Ids tat 0 small price so as to induce people to settle at
4y'u. Ad this is the way I sold it:
First, I rade~ two acres on the Bayou to William P.
I for five ares on the rock road near Tangerine Avenue';
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then sold this five acres to Miller Neeld for $10 cash and eti
bushels of sweet potatoes, then worth 40 cents .a busl.
Next I sold four acres to John P. Andreu for $20. I te
sold sixty acres for $250 to one Lyons in Tampa, w o af ei-
wards sold it to Thomas Sterrling for $1,000. Sterl ng the
sold ten or fifteen acres to parties for homes, some f whd
located and made good improvements. Later on he sold
his remaining lands, with all improvements, to a s ndicale
of Jesuits for $10,000, including $1,000 paid John -al
ton for making the deal, and the purchase of the smaller
claims made the sixty acres cost them something oi er $1 5-
000. I then traded fifteen acres, now the Kempe pro ertyo i
Captain Adolphus Russell for an old sloop that w s wor
about $75. I bought my land from private parties, so ithe
one hundred and twelve acres cost me $590, but got the
most desirable location, with the best water fron on the e
When the town first started the growth was s ow, ow-
ing to the fact that it was just after the war, and no buil4ig
material to be had nearer than Pensacola, conseque tly w4s
very difficult to obtain, until a line of schooners f om tha t
place opened up a trade with the town. Also th settles'
were dependent upon Tampa for their other suppi es, until
R. E. Neeld opened a store for the people's needs the fist
store in the section. The next to open a business lace as
Vincent Leonardy. It was then that Pinellas began to flour-
ish; and it is surprising what a largebusiness was ied on
in so small a town a little later on.

The first shipment of farm products was ma e before
there was any established place of business in th village.
This consisted of two hundred crates of vegetable, mostly
tomatoes, and six hundred crates of oranges. I


S first tre, R. E. Neeld's, sold groceries only; Vin-
cent L[e naily, groceries and dry, goods. A little later on
J+n T.Slo n opened up groceries, shoes, dry goods, hard-
ware, pis, s oc feed, wholesale and retail; Simon Bell, gro-
ceies a'd fe wholesale and retail; E. R. Ward, a general
aortmwnt, w sale and retail; James W. Harris, the
se~ae; .~ P I ubb, the same'; John A. Bethell, groceries,
fcd ad hadwre, wholesale and retail.
1 ward, ell and Grubb supplied the contractors who
built te Or n Belt R. R. with about all the provisions and
oher pyods the needed.
SIcon luon, I will say something about the Pinellas
pSt cffl~e, vhih was established in 1876. It was the oldest
oice on th West toast. William H. Benton was the first
pstrxaater,i bit` at the expiration of six months, resigned in
favor of John A. Bethell, who then held the office fourteen
y arsl aid four months, when R. E. Neeld was appointed
p stfalter unir President Harrison's administration. At
tie e dcof near he resigned ini favor of Mary E. Bethell,
Avho lso rqsigmed ak the expiration of two years in favor of
Mrs. C. 3e(ell,,he last to hold the office. She served a
term o-thi tej ye4rs, then tendered her resignation to the
Post Op ce apartment, and as no one would take the office
it wa nal y dsco 'tinued.
Before St Petersburg opened up the office did quite a
business. Th;i cancellations amounted to about $74 a quar-
ter ahd sales t over $100. The oldest settler in Point Pi-
nellas is Jqhn A. lethell, and he holds a draft on the Post
Office pepartpent for four cents, due him in settlement for
services as p6otmaster during the fourteen years and four
months as above stated-next to the smallest draft on record,
which was for one cent to Grover Cleveland. The largest


ever issued, as I have been told, was for $17,000, tb the
In 1885 J. R. Torres platted a townsite on the g
bluff facing south on Boca Ceiga Bay, in Sectio 33, i
included in Gulfport. Interested with him in furti ing hi
enterprise were William B. Miranda, Joseph P. G. att and
John R. Jones.
By the close of 1885 a lively boom had start a -
ber of houses had been built on the townsite, a 1 ge hot
on the waterfront, two or three stores, a substantial dock an
warehouse, and an air of prosperity pervaded th comt -
nity. i
The hotel was fairly patronized from the st ; r
young Englishmen tourists were in evidence, with pret
of more. Captain John T. Lesley, of Tampa, platt
acres adjoining the Torrest tract on the west, ad b t
spring of 1886 real estate in and around the new ow
it brisk demand andat pretty stiff prices. During the;wi-
ter a transportation company had been organ an h
steamer Mistletoe put on the run between the port and
The town had been named "Disston City," i honr of
Henry Disston, whose big purchase of Florida St a ds
included many acres in the vicinity. Unfortunate the ex-
istence of a little country postoffice in the neighbrho of
Tampa by of "Diston" made "Disston City'
jectionable to the Post Office Department, as a nam f
the post office, and it was known as "Bonifacio" in mailnt-
ters until 1890, when the Diston post office having bee~ rdi-
continued, town and post office alike became Dist n
The real estate officeof W. B. Miranda, one d
Watt was a lively place in those days. Miranda a man
of great energy and was possessed of a lively gintn,



as all pushing tnen of affairs are wont to be. And if his
schemes could have been materialized the lower end of this
peninsula might have had a far different history as a result.
In his !fertile brain the little village plat on Boca Ceiga
Bay -oorn became simply the nucleus of a Greater Disston,
which sh6u1d cover all the available advantages of the Point.
ft was, n aybe, a dream, but a dream that is likely to become,
under another name, a grand reality in the years that are be-
fore us. ,
f In so.jur tib with several large outside landholders,
he pann th plttmg of practically all the south end of
the nenisla o Paul's Landing to John's Pass into five
nd #en-ace Icts with wide streets and avenues and a grand
Loulfvar along the erjtire waterfront. The greater part of
|hes ladl was actually surveyed and platted, where the
wners ose4ted and put up the funds, and many of the
squared 4 ees ai still to be found that marked the platted
ein anad avenue. General Williams and several other
[an w"ers d'd not go into the scheme.
1Asllog s Miranda could control the funds "Greater
)is on' ec~1.oo Big lithograph maps of the greater city
ver issieL, which, together with a variety of lesser litera-
tura wr' scattered liberally abroad. An English settler
wa y th ity for the statement that "next to New York
an dNew Orlans, Disston City was the best known place
in mlleici as fai as London was concerned!"
S In hse yo ig days of the town of Disston mass meet-
'ingt of tie tbp 'ace were extremely prevalent, in which,
ev he ter in hand, Citizen Torres inevitably bob-
bedup fvihao strongly worded "resolutions." And he
caed well. Railroads were planned-on paper.
i W er taspodrttion lines were organized-without capital.
Fyg hies were not in the air at that time, but if they


had been whole fleets of them in imagination would
have swarmed around the young town. Unfortunate y, e
erything else was mostly "in the air," and stayed there
But so carried away with their visions of their future great.
ness were these promoters and the people generally, that
even sleepy old Tampa, which was just beginning t< wake
from a Rip Van Winkle state of repose, began to sit ip an,
take notice, and exhibited unmistakable signs of jeal usy of
her enterprising neighbor.
In the spring of 1886 there were three mercan ile es-
tablishments in Disston. J. R. Torres carried a stock f gen-
eral merchandise, mostly groceries. He also ran tle post
office in connection, being its first postmaster. H. E,. Bau-
meister carried dry goods and hardware, principally, nd R.
L. Locke, an English resident, trafficed in groceries.
In the same spring Will McPherson brought in a small
job press and type outfit and began the publication of th
first newspaper ever issued on the-Point. At first it was
simple kind of hand-bill affair, it being Will's first ttempf
at the "delineation of the art preservative." Later, i Junei
by the assistance of G. W. Bennnett, an old newspap r manor
it was thrown into regular newspaper form and press nted
very neat appearance, and was indeed no slouch of a count
try journal. Will named it the "Sea Breeze," and s thero
happened to be no type in the office suitable for a hea Beni
nett selected a chunk of black mangrove from the w odpile|
worked it down type -high, and cut a head specially for th
paper. This "head" and a file of the "Sea Breeze" re yei
in the possession of Mr. McPherson.
After a year or more the concern was transferred to th
hands of Messrs. L. M. Longstreth and R. E. Neeld, wh
changed the name to the "Express." It died I think of yellow
fever soon after.


SFor; iri 187 and -1888, yellow fever prevailed in
Tampa, duringg which time the Point was closely quaran-
tined. This in self would make a full and interesting chap-
te* in ,tis narrative., The fever never existed on the Point-
the micrpbep couldn't catch on here-but business was para-
Slyzed: the Iboomn languished, and the coming of the railroad
and birth of St' Petersburg were the death knell of Disston.

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Arrival of the Railroad andBirthof St. Petersburg.
In the early part of 1887 it began to look as if the o g
expected railroad was about to materialize. There were -
mors to the effect that a certain Silver Springs, Ocala & Gi if
Coast line was heading in our direction and would stri e
tidewater somewhere on the lower Point. By and by c e
parties connected with the enterprise to look over the sit a-
tion and decide on a terminus.
The site of St. Petersburg, with General Williamse
hind it, was a very potent argument. Surveyors follow .
Lines were run here and there and various routes were po
Eventually the S., S., O. & G. got a franchise for a li e
down the coast by way of Clearwater and Seminole to M -
let Key, with a side line to St. Petersburg. A tract of la d
on the Williams waterfront was cleared and made ready or
the road. The road got tired before it reached the coast, t
Mr. Plant kept the franchise alive for years after he absor
the uncompleted line.
About the same time came the redoubtable Russi n
hustler, "Uncle Pete," and General Williams made room or
his proposition. And St. Petersburg took name and share
and the little narrow gauge Orange Belt R. R., now t i
Sanford. and St. Petersburg branch of the Atlantic Coast
Line, was the result. This line was built and the dock co n-
pleted in December, 1888. With this achievement ends t e
scope of this little history.
I have aimed to lay a foundation for future historians
to build upon. The fast thinning ranks of the earliestt-



veqi to make it advisable that the attempt should be
lpu into shape for preservation some reliable ac-
f th events of which there had hitherto been no
dr hinted record made. But at the urgent request
5of my friends I have done my best to preserve
ich{ happenings as have come under my personal
tin, as well as such other incidents as have been
Ifrm reliable sources during the more than half
my home has been in this section. In doing so
to make it a truthful record without any clor-
ese!ood whatever.