HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Early Residents of Pasco County
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This page was last revised on April 2, 2019.
DR. JOHN BURKE EARMAN (b. Aug. 11, 1887) is mentioned as “a prominent dentist of Dade City” in
a 1912 newspaper. He later practiced in West Palm Beach.
LOUIS MICHAEL ECK (1872-1934) was a building contractor in Dade City.
He was born in Seneca Falls, N. Y. In 1893 he married Alma Scotney of Waterloo, N. Y.
As a young man, Mr. Eck was a brass moulder for the Rumsey Manufacturing Co. of Seneca Falls.
In 1910 he and his wife came to Dade City with Mr. Eck’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Eck.
They moved south because of the elder Mr. Eck’s health. They soon purchased a home
here and Mr. Eck became engaged in the contracting and cement business.
The Dade City high school building completed in 1913 was constructed by the L. M. Eck Co.
LAMARCUS EDWARDS (1870-1948). His obituary follows:
LaMarcus Colquit Edwards, 78, president of Pasco Packing Company
until his retirement three years ago, and whose ability, endeavor and extensive
knowledge of the citrus industry did much toward making it the largest
processing plant in the world, died in his sleep Tuesday night, July 6, in Canton, N. C.,
where he had gone to spend the summer, accompanied by his friend, George
Moorehead. Connected with the citrus business in Florida for more than 40 years,
he was widely known throughout the state. He served as president of the Florida Citrus Exchange
during 1924 and 1925 and was a founder of the Tampa Union Terminal, now Gulf Florida Terminal.
His citrus interests in Pasco county began about 1915 with the purchase of grove
property, and in 1919, he became associated with his nephew, L. C. Hawes, in the operation
of a citrus packing house in Dade City. With the organization of Pasco Packing Co. in 1937,
he became its president and continued in this office until retiring in 1945.
Born March 6, 1870, in Warrenton, Ga., he was educated at Oxford, Ga., in Emory
College which later became Emory University in Atlanta. He was a member of Chi Phi
fraternity, a Mason, and a member of the Woodmen of the World. He taught
school for a few years after his graduation. In early manhood he came south to Florida and
located at Bartow, where he married Miss Bertha Ferguson in 1893. Returning to Georgia
in 1900, he was in the banking business at Cordele for two years, then went to Dothan, Ala.,
where from 1902 until 1912 he was associated with the late D. C. Lee, his brother-in-law,
in the lumber business, operating large sawmills and planing mills. While yet
in the lumber business, the two partners began to buy grove property
in Florida in the Thonotosassa section, and later established the Lee and Edwards
Packing Company in Thonotosassa.
Mr. Edwards became a resident of Tampa in 1921 and has since maintained his residence
at 713 South Delaware Ave., but also spent much time in Dade City because of his
large citrus interest here and extensive groves in Pasco County.
The deceased is survived by his wife, Mrs. Bertha F. Edwards of Tampa, two sons,
L. C. Edwards Jr. and W. F. Edwards, both of Dade City, and three daughters, Mrs.
Charles M. Price, Mrs. Lucille E. Clark, and Mrs. Josephine E. Blacock, all of Tampa;
two sisters, Mrs. D. C. Lee of Thonotosassa and Mrs. A. F. Ware of McRae, Ga.; eight
grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held in Dade City at ten-thirty o’clock Saturday morning at the Dade City
Methodist Church with the Rev. O. Sewell Palmer, pastor of the Dade City Methodist
Church officiating. Interment was in the Dade City Cemetery. Pallbearers were L. W. Lee,
L. M. Hawes, Webb Clarke, C. M. Price, Jr., C. N. Leach, and George Moorehead. Coleman &
Ferguson Co. will be in charge of funeral arrangements.
LEVI DANIEL EILAND JR. (1822-1912) was born on Mar. 22, 1822. In about 1825 married Polly Pippet (d. 1852 in Alabama).
In 1853 he married Lydie Ann Whatley (1825-1903).
In 1868 he married in Crenshaw County, Alabama.
Hendley writes, “We had two water mills that ground our meal and grits. One of these mills was
located a little south of Chipco—now called Blanton. The other was farther south near the J. W. Hudson farm.
Levi Eiland built these two mills in 1874 and 1875.”
Levi Eiland is shown as a blacksmith in Fort Dade in the Florida Gazetteer and Business Directory (1886-87).
He died on May 12, 1912,
and is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery. Children:
- James, b. Dec. 3, 1843, at Crenshaw, Ala.; m. Susan Rebecca Taylor; d. May 3, 1920.
J. A. Eiland is shown as an orange grower at Fort Dade in the Florida Gazetteer and Business Directory (1886-87).
- Emily, b. 1846, listed with Josephus Eiland in the 1850 census
- Neri Daniel, b. Aug. 1847; m. Emily Ellen Jones. He is shown as a farmer in Chipco and Twin Lakes in the Florida
Gazetteer and Business Directory (1886-87). He is shown as a trustee of the Oak-Dale School at Chipco in 1887
and a trustee of the Chipco School in 1893.
A 1910 Tarpon Springs newspaper item reported, “N. D. Eiland of Fivay was seen on our streets this week.”
A deed dated Aug. 16, 1918, transferred property in S6 T25 R17 from N. D. Eiland and his wife to the school board. This
was probably for the Fivay school.
He died Jan. 27, 1929, and is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery.
Children included Levi Daniel (1877-1967; see below) and Albena Ella, who married Archie James Burnside.
- Mary Elizabeth, b. about 1849, m. unknown Brown
- Joseph, b. 1853; d. 1875. Struck and killed by lightning while living in near Brooksville.
- Stephan, b. 1856
- Cullen E., b. 1857, d. 1876
- Sarah, b. 1859
- Mary, b. 1864
- W. L., b. 1864
- Jessie Mitchell, b. 1869, d. 1930
[Some of this information was taken from the page
LEVI DANIEL EILAND (1877-1967) was the first postmaster of the
Elfers post office when it was established on Dec. 14, 1909. He was
born in Dade City on July 7, 1877. In the 1900 census he is shown as
a boarder living in Jasper, Florida, although he is said to have
founded the Jasper Normal School. He was the principal of the Tampa
Grammar School in 1903 when he married his wife, who chose the name
Elfers for the post office (see the entry below). He is shown as
living in Suwannee county in the 1917 military registration index.
A 1922 newspaper article (unseen) reported that Dan Eiland
was planting a five acre tract at Seven Springs, in early
vegetables, and that his friends in Elfers have missed him since
he moved to Seven Springs and they wish him success with his venture.
In the 1930 census he is shown as a farmer and his wife is shown as a teacher,
both living in Odessa.
He died Jan. 4, 1967, in Gainesville, where he and his wife are buried.
FRIEDA MARIE (BOLLING) EILAND (1884-1981) chose the name
“Elfers” for the post office which was established on Dec. 14, 1909,
apparently naming it for an uncle whose last name was Elfers.
A postal history source lists her husband Levi Daniel Eiland as the
first postmaster of Elfers, but in a 2001 letter, Elizabeth “Beth”
Eiland Bedenbaugh, a daughter, wrote: “My mom was the post mistress
(my dad was occupied with a job with J. M. Mitchell there in
Elfers). The post office was new and mom was asked to give the town
and post office a name. She chose Elfers because that was her
mother’s maiden name.”
In a 1961 article about Rev. Marvin J. Eiland, a son of Frieda,
John Parkes wrote, “The town of Elfers was named for Rev. Eiland’s great-grandfather.”
This seems unlikely.
In an April 1978 interview, Mrs. J. M. Mitchell recalled that
Mrs. Frieda Eiland named the post office for “a dear uncle of hers
whose last name was Elfers.” This seems to be the likely
explanation, as Frieda’s mother’s maiden name was Elfers.
The uncles Frieda might have known were apparently
Hinrich Elfers (b. Sept. 21, 1843), Herman Elfers (b. June 12, 1856), and Johann Elfers (b. 1832; d. Dec. 1, 1908).
Mrs. Mitchell recalled, for West Pasco’s Heritage, that a post office was set up in one corner of Mitchell’s grocery
store and that Rev. Mitchell’s
niece, Frieda Eiland, was engaged to run the postal department.
Frieda Marie Bolling was born July 24, 1884,
in Louisville, Ky. After the death of her father in 1889, she moved
with her mother and a brother to Apopka, Florida. On July 29, 1903,
she married Levi Daniel Eiland at the home of her mother in Apopka.
She died on Sept. 19, 1981, in Deland. The father
of Frieda Marie Bolling was Gottlieb Frederick Bolling, who died in
1889. The maiden name of the mother of Frieda Marie Bolling was Maria
Elfers; she died in Tampa in 1917. [Jon James and Terri Allen
provided information for this and the preceding entry.]
- Ruby Marie (1904-1991), who was in the first graduating class of Gulf High School in 1924 and
subsequently taught at the Seven Springs school. She married
Rev. Delbert Vincent Underwood (1910-1999). Children included Frieda Marie, Marlene (Pope), Mary (Kreft), Martha (Stephens).
- Gracie Mac (1906-1984), a 1926 graduate of GHS
- Frederick Daniel (1908-1990), a member of the GHS Class of 1928, m. Metta Hamilton (GHS ’29). They later lived in Jacksonville.
- Dorothy Emily (1910-1921)
- Archie Gilford (1922-2006)., living in Inglis in 2006
- Marvin Jones, b. June 17, 1924, at their Seven Springs home.
Rev. Marvin Jones Eiland became pastor of Curlew Baptist Church. In 2006 he and his wife
were living at Inglis.
WILLIAM JOHN ELLSWORTH (1865-1942) was a prominent citrus grower
and President of the Dade City Citrus Growers’ Association. He also
represented Pasco County in the state legislature in 1921.
He moved with his parents to Dutchess County, New York, at an early
age and was reared on a farm. At age 16 he became interested
in working for a railroad. A station in Floral Park, N. Y.,
brought him in contact with W. N. Pike. Their mutual
interest in flowers resulted in a partnership. They came to Florida
in 1887 and settled two miles west of Blanton, establishing
the floral firm of Pike and Ellsworth, and named their place
Jessamine Gardens. He was born in Kent, Conn.
He died at his home near Blanton. [Information from his obituary.]
HUGH COOPER EMBRY (1879-1907). The web site of the Friends of the Hugh Embry Library has:
Hugh Embry was born in 1879 in Kentucky, the child of tobacco farmers. He was nineteen when his family moved from Kentucky to Dade City in 1897. Tobacco could be grown in central Florida then. He and his six brothers and one sister made themselves at home in Pasco County.
In 1904, when 25-year old Hugh was recuperating from an illness, there was no public library in Dade City. Restless and eager to read, he began a drive to secure for his fellow citizens the means to broaden their minds through books.
He began soliciting subscriptions of one dollar from each household, and his zeal inspired enthusiasm for a library. A few dozen books were purchased and were lent to subscribers from a library operated out of the Embry home, located on the site of the present US Post Office on Church Avenue. In December of 1905 the Pasco County Library Association was chartered and incorporated. It operated out of the back room of the Bank of Pasco County on the northeast corner of 7th Street and Meridian. That library flourished for several years.
Tuberculosis was a ruthless disease in those early years, and it claimed the life of Hugh Embry at the age of 28.
On Apr. 13, 1907, the Hopkinsville Kentuckian reported:
Information was received here Thursday of the death of Mr. Hugh Embry at Dade City, Fla., which occurred
about ten days since. The deceased was a native of this county, being a son of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Embry. His death
was due to consumption. He was only 27 years of age and was a most excellent Christian character, and during his long illness
never complained, and just before breathing his last he called his mother to his side and said: “Mother the time has
come for me to leave you and I have no fear of death.” The burial took place at Dade City.