HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Early Residents of Pasco County
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This page was last revised on Oct. 12, 2021.
FRED K. MARCHMAN (1912-2005) was a long-time educator in Pasco County. He was born Jan. 28, 1912, in Daleville, Alabama. His father was the School Superintendent in Dale County, Alabama. His mother taught in a two-room, two-teacher school in Shiloh, Alabama. Because Fred had sat in on his mother’s classes starting at age four, he was enrolled in school at age six in the third grade. In 1927, at age 15, he graduated from Citrus High School in Inverness as valedictorian. He required special permission to enroll at the University of Florida because he was under 16. He first taught at Brandon in 1932 while his parents lived in Plant City. He received a degree from the University of Florida after he had begun teaching, as college degrees were not then required. He moved to New Port Richey when he joined the faculty of Gulf High School as a math teacher at the start of the 1934-35 school year. He recalled that his starting salary at Gulf was $105 per month for a seven-month term, but his pay was lowered to about $96 the following year because of a lack of funds. In December 1940 he married Marguerite Cassels (born, 1916, in Ocala). Marguerite was a daughter of Alma Cassels (d. Mar. 30, 1988, age 96). She had joined the Gulf faculty in January 1940 after teaching previously in Webster, Florida. Fred Marchman entered military service after the 1941-42 school year. He somewhat reluctantly returned to teaching at the start of the 1946- 47 school year at the request of Gulf High School Principal Red Stevens, who told him he was desperate for a math teacher. In 1953 Marchman became Principal at Pierce Elementary School (later Richey Elementary School); he held that position for 17 years. He recalls using his own pickup truck to move much of the furniture from Pierce Elementary to the new Richey Elementary School over a four-day Thanksgiving holiday. Marguerite Marchman had joined the faculty of Pierce Elementary before her husband, first teaching a fifth- and sixth- grade class and later becoming librarian. Fred Marchman was a member of the New Port Richey City Council for three terms. In September 1971 he became the full-time assistant Superintendent of Pasco County schools and in September 1972 he was appointed Superintendent by Governor Askew to fill the unexpired term of Chester W. Taylor, who had resigned. In 1995, at a New Port Richey Rotary Club luncheon announcing the Fred K. Marchman Endowed Scholarship at PHCC, Walt Casson said he still felt strange calling his former teacher “Fred” instead of the more formal “Mr. Marchman.” “That gives you some idea of the respect I have for him. Fred is the best math teacher I have ever known. Beyond math, though, you taught us other things: honesty, integrity, dependability.” Fred Marchman was born Frederick Marchman, with no middle name. His mother submitted his name as Fred’k Marchman on a form; that was misinterpreted as Fred K. Marchman, a name he liked and later adopted. The Fred K. Marchman Vocational Center (later the F. K. Marchman Technical Education Center), which opened in the fall of 1984, was named for him. Marchman died on Feb. 19, 2005. One of two sons, Frederick K. (1944- ), taught science at Tarpon Springs Middle School. Their younger son, Richard Lee (1947-2014) was the valedictorian of the Gulf High School Class of 1965. A grandson, Brian, taught at Gulf High School in the 1990s and later in Gainesville.
CLARENCE HARRISON MARTIN (1862-1921) and his wife, the former Sarah Antoinette Stanton, came to Zephyrhills in 1912 because of health reasons. They were both school teachers. Clarence was born Sept. 19, 1862, in Rolling Prairie, Laporte County, Indiana. He moved to Kansas with his parents at an early age, where he engaged in farming and real estate. On May 10, 1885, he married Sarah Antoinette Stanton (b., Aug. 3, 1866, in Elk, Kanawha County, W. Va) in Centropolis, Kansas. In 1912 he came to Dade City, and worked as a farmer and school teacher. School board minutes of November 1912 show C. M. Martin and C. H. Martin as teacher at school no. 14. In June 1913 Mrs. C. H. Martin was appointed teacher at Fort Dade. In 1914 Clarence Harrison Martin was principal of the Zephyrhills school. School board minutes of Feb. 1-2, 1915, show that C. H. Martin was assigned to finish the term at Greer for $75 per month. School board minutes of May 3, 1915, show that the board approved a list of teachers submitted by the Dade City school trustees for the 1915-16 term which included Mrs. Antoinette Martin, seventh grade. According to her granddaughter, Sarah Antoinette Martin taught school all of the years she was in Pasco and Polk counties. School board minutes of Aug. 2, 1915, show that Vera Martin and C. H. Martin were assigned to Greer.
The following is excerpted from It Took A Lot of Living to Fill Those 90 Years, ©1996 by David I. Cripe:
(C. H. Martin had lost an eye in a mining accident.)
Minutes from Feb. 1915 show C. H. Martin was teaching at Wesley Chapel.
A photo dated 1916 shows Clarence Harrison Martin as a teacher at the Brandon school. Clarence died at his farm home near Dade City on June 22, 1921. He was buried in the Dade City cemetery. His obituary stated that he and his family had been living in Bartow since last September, so that he and his wife could teach school there. In March 1926, Sarah Antoinette Martin was fatally struck by a car as she was crossing a street in Bartow. At the time of Antoinette Martin’s death she was teaching seventh grade at the Summerlin Institute in Bartow. Two of their children, Vera Secilia Oriola Martin and Clarence Walter Martin Sr., qq.v., also taught school in Pasco County. [Information provided by Laveda Martin Rogers]
VERA SECILIA ORIOLA MARTIN (1900- ), a daughter of Clarence Harrison Martin, was born on Nov. 19, 1900, in Bellview, Topeka, Kansas. Minutes from Feb. 1-2, 1915, show her teaching with her father at Wesley Chapel. In 1915 she taught school at Greer with her father. School board minutes from April 1920 show that Vera Martin was paid for teaching at Zephyrhills. Around 1921 she married Ralph Ormsby. [Information provided by Laveda Martin Rogers]
CLARENCE WALTER MARTIN, SR. (1886-1964), a son of Clarence Harrison Martin, q.v., was born Oct. 30, 1886, at Appanoose, Douglas County, Kansas. Afer farming in Kansas, he moved to Florida in 1912. On Dec. 22, 1912, he married Mary Evella Tanner. He decided to try teaching and taught at Emmaus. School board minutes of November 1912 show C. W. Martin teaching at Emmaus. School board minutes of June 1913 show Walter Martin appointed as a teacher at Prospect. Mr. Martin tells an interesting story here about being hired to teach at the Prospect school in 1913. He calls it Prospect Point, although school board records call it Prospect. At the end of the document, he tells of being offered the principalship at what is presumably the Zephyrhills school. He did not serve in that capacity (although his father did). School board minutes of May 11, 1915, show C. W. Martin hired as a teacher at Elfers and a 1915-16 school directory shows him teaching at Elfers. Clarence Walter Martin Sr. fought in World War I and was wounded in France. After the war he and Evella Tanner Martin lived in Wamego, Kansas, from approximately 1919-1927. The family moved back to Florida, where he taught school again from 1926-1931, first in Lake Garfield, Alturas, Haines City, and then to Lake Wales, where Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Walter Martin lived until their death.
There were nine children:
[Information provided by Laveda Martin Rogers]
PAUL G. MAYER (1894-1966) served as the postmaster of New Port Richey from 1939 to 1964. During his tenure, a new post office at 204 North Boulevard was dedicated, on Sept. 19, 1959, after the post office had been located in the Arcade Building for many years. Mayer was born in Lake Crystal, Minn., but spent his early years in Virginia. He was employed by the Geological Survey in Tacoma, Washington, and served with the 12th U. S. Infantry in World War I. He lived in Atlanta, before moving to Sarasota in 1925, and to New Port Richey in 1933. Mayer was born on Jan. 22, 1894, and died on Feb. 20, 1966. His wife, Allene J. Mayer, was born on Nov. 6, 1892, and died on Nov. 20, 1963. They are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Calhoun County, Ga.
PATRICK McCABE (1849-1940) with his sons developed the Lake Kersey Nurseries of choice citrus stock. According to his obituary, he lived near San Antonio for 57 years, coming here from Woonsocket, R. I. He was a native of Millville, N. Y. His children included Mrs. C. A. Barthle of St. Joseph, Mrs. Ford J. DeHaven of Winter Haven, Mrs. S. W. Tomlinson of Jacksonville, John J. McCabe of Lakeland, and C. P. McCabe and J. R. McCabe of San Antonio.
D. H. McCARTHY (1855-1943) was one of the developers of the citrus industry in Pasco County and served as a member of the Board of County Commissioners. He was born in Dedham, Mass., on Oct. 15, 1855, and died at his home at Lake Iola. A son was J. Ed McCarthy of Lake Iola.
WILSON W. McINTYRE (1850-1942) came to what is now New Port Richey in 1912. According to his obituary, “He was a cabinet maker by trade and was a master craftsman. He operated a shop here for many years and had a wide circle of acquaintances.” He was born in Canada but grew up in Maine.
JAMES W. McKAY (1869-1952) operated McKay Shoe Repair on Main
Street in New Port Richey for many years, beginning in 1926, according
to the recollection of one of his sons. He came to New Port Richey in
1924 according to his obituary. He was born in Boston on May 27, 1869.
McKay served in Florida during the Spanish-American War, and moved to
Florida from Massachusetts after the war, first settling in Dunedin,
and then New Port Richey. He married Elizabeth R. (1878-1961). Their
children were Reine McKay, a daughter who died shortly after birth in
1907; Helen Ross McKay (1908-1964); Allen William McKay (1909- 1983);
Chester Rufus McKay (1910-1942), who was killed in World War II and for
whom VFW Post 7987 is named; George Logan McKay (1911-1984); and James
Gordon McKay (1913-1985; GHS ’34).
The McKinneys in the Clay Sink Cemetery
This article was contributed by Frank McKinney.
John McKinney, my great-great grandfather, was born somewhere in Georgia about 1811. He married Serena Crane in Bibb County, Georgia in 1834. Serena apparently was born to Mary Sutton Crane in 1816, probably in Wilkes County, GA. According to family stories, Serena was a Cherokee or Creek. Her mother later married Leroy Watson and moved to Alachua County, Florida.
After Serena married John, they moved over to the area of Macon County, Alabama where they were farmers in the 1840-50’s. Their children born there were Martha Ann, Eliza, Henry Clay (my great-grandfather), Josiah, Benjamin Franklin and Tabitha. Most of this family is now buried in the Clay Sink Cemetery.
Sometime after 1855 John & Serena moved to Archer, Florida in Alachua County. They were farmers. Various related McKinney families were in the area. Other family names in the Archer vicinity were Sapp, Curry, Watson, Gay & Boyett. Later Russell Sapp of this family would marry Caroline McKinney and Sidna Sapp would marry Charles J. McKinney. Some members of these families would eventually settle in Sumter County and Hernando County – neighbors once again.
Henry Clay McKinney joined the First Florida Reserves of the Confederacy, under the command of Captain Isaac B. Nichols. He was most likely present at the Battle of Natural Bridge south of Tallahassee. At war’s end his company was under the command of Captain Blackwilder and the Reserves were under Major John Jacquelyn Daniels. His division surrendered at Madison, Florida, on May 5, 1865. Other McKinneys in the his outfit were Alfred Jefferson, C.B., and Madison. The Seventh Florida Infantry McKinneys included George W, James, Matthew L & Charles J McKinney. Some members of the Sapp family were also in this outfit. More McKinneys were in the Ninth. A few were in the Cow Cavalry, which maintained a loosely held stand of Florida cattle to supply beef for the CSA. The Cow Cavalry concluded its service at the close of the war near Brooksville, and so some of these McKinneys may have stayed in the area in the following years.
Martha Ann McKinney had married William Gay around 1859 and had three children. They lived in Newnansville (Alachua Co.), near John & Serena’s family in Archer. After William died during the Civil War she married met Harrison Slaughter at Fort Dade. They married and were early settlers of Clay Sink, with at least ten children.
Eliza had married Robert Kilpatrick in 1868 on the same day and place in Marion County that her brother Henry married Robert’s brother Martha. They had a son, Jeremiah. In 1880 her brother Josiah (Joe) was a farm laborer in Webster living near his sister Eliza. Later Joe would marry Becky Griffin in 1884. Eliza’s husband Robert had died, so her mother Serena lived with her. Apparently Serena’s husband John also had died. Tabitha married Benjamin Wilson in 1876 in Sumter County. She died before 1880 leaving her husband and a son, Charles, living in Webster.
At Marion County in 1868 Henry Clay McKinney married Martha Kilpatrick of South Carolina and they settled into the woods of Hernando County near the town of Terrell, close to what is now called Croom-A-Coochee. There they began farming sugar cane and raising cattle. Their children were Drayton, J.R, George W., Mary Jane, Annie, Josiah and Benjamin Franklin (Frank-my grandfather). Henry also bought property near the spa in Safety Harbor so that Martha could go there occasionally to rest.
Life was very hard. Violence was widespread in the area. The Tampa Morning Tribune reported this story:
Drayton’s brothers J.R. and G.W are also said to have been involved in killing a man and are said to have fled to Texas. Even Henry Clay was jailed for murder in 1898, but was cleared and then released. Joseph married Charity Green, who had children from a previous marriage. Joe was then killed in an ambush in 1920, supposedly over a dispute with someone who had stolen a hog. My grandfather, Benjamin Franklin McKinney, was the only brother to escape all of this violence alive.
His sister Annie McKinney married Arnold Jenkins in 1897. In 1898 his other sister Mary Jane married John Jerkins, who was then killed in a lumber train accident. She later married Sid Lewis. Henry Clay died in 1910, just a few months after the death of his mother, Serena. My mother remembers a story about Surena McKinney. “Mammy” was traveling to Clay Sink with a 2 ox cart. Along the way one of the oxen became ill. Mammy stopped the cart, unhooked the oxen and camped for the night, doctoring the sick animal. The next day the ox was much better. When she went to hook him up he kicked her, so she picked up a big stick and killed him. She finished the trip with the other ox. My Grandfather (Benjamin) Frank McKinney was the son of Henry & Martha McKinney. He married Minnie Viola Mock, of Blackshear, Georgia. The Mock Family of Georgia originated in Screven County in the early 1700’s. Minnie’s parents were Wilson Connor Mock and Laura Waters. Wilson’s father was Joseph, Joseph’s father was George and George’s father was Andrew, born about 1750.
Frank and Minnie lived for a time out at the McKinney homestead near Clay Sink, often referred to as Po ‘Hick, because of all the poor hicks who lived out there in the woods during the Great Depression. Alice, Wilson, Henry and Claude were all born and raised out there. Archie Wilson, Annie Jerkins grandson, remembers the old McKinney farm: ‘ It was a big place, with the house and a breezeway to the kitchen, and this big old barn, and a shed. They would work the cane (sugarcane) in the barn and run the cows through the vats.’ The story goes that Frank developed a mix for the cows to go through. to get rid of the screw worms which were a serious pest.
My mother, Lucy Beeson, is from the Abels of Tennessee. After her mother died, her family moved to Safety Harbor, Florida during the Great Depression. There she met Henry Connor McKinney, the son of Frank & Minnie. They married in 1937 at the Clay Sink Baptist Church.. Frank & Minnie moved the family into Brooksville for a few years when he was elected Constable. He later became Reverend Frank and preached the circuit during the 1930’s. The government during the 30’s took the land to establish a game preserve. With the $13,500 they made from the sale of their land they bought property off Tate Street in Dade City. They lived in and rented houses on this property, which also included many acres from Lock Street past LeMack Road. This property went all the way up to the Pasco Packing Company gate. Grandfather & Granny McKinney, and Wilson, later bought more property and built the familiar old house just north of Dade City off Highway 301. My house in Dade City was moved from this property about 1954. They later sold the property off Tate Street. Grandfather McKinney died in 1949 before I was born and Granny died in 1964. They are buried in the Lacoochee Cemetery.
McKinneys buried in the Clay Sink Cemetery
Surena A. McKinney is buried to the right of Harrison Slaughter and his wife Martha Jane McKinney, daughter of Surena and her husband, John McKinney. To her right is her son, Henry Clay McKinney and his wife, Martha. Martha’s old stone simply says MAT. To their right is Sid Lewis and his wife, Mary Jane McKinney Lewis, daughter of Henry & Martha. To Surena’s left is Tabitha McKinney Wilson, daughter of Surena & John. Her old stone was marked TAB. The Hassie McKinney beside her is unknown to me.
In front of them are some baby McKinneys and Slaughters. In front of these are Arnold & Annie McKinney Jerkins, daughter of Henry & Martha. To their left is Annie’s first husband John Jerkins. Near the back of the cemetery is Liza McKinney Kilpatrick & Joe McKinney, children of Surena & John. In front of them is Drayton McKinney, son of Henry & Martha. The Frank McKinney next to Drayton likely is Benjamin F. McKinney, son of Surena & John. In the back also is Joseph McKinney, son of Henry & Martha. I do not know the parents of Martha J & Charles McKinney buried nearby. Perhaps they were children of my grandparents, Frank & Minnie, who were married in 1904
I cannot promise that every bit of information is correct. In fact, I am sure that there are errors. For those who may wish to share genealogies, I have compiled an extensive collection of family records. The importance is in the knowledge that we are all a part of families with histories. Our ancestors were survivors of rough times in a hard land. We should not forget those who came before. Let us also leave a worthy legacy for our children.
ASHLEY McMILLAN (1853-1892) was born on May 17, 1853, in Irwin Co., Ga. He was one of seventeen children born to Malcolm McMillan and Rachel Sumner. His grandfather, Daniel McMillan b. 1778 and his wife Margaret Smith b. 1785 had moved from Cumberland Co., N. C., about 1806 to Camden Co., Ga. Along with his family, he brought his five slaves. Ashley’s great-grandfather had come to America from Scotland in 1774. His name was also Malcolm McMillan b. 1746 and his wife was Mary McIntyre also of Kintyre, Scotland.
When the civil war began in 1861, Ashley’s father and the four oldest brothers went to fight. All returned except Daniel, the oldest, who had died from wounds received.
About 1875 Ashley decided to leave his 93 cousins in Georgia to come to Dade City. He worked in the new citrus industry. Here he married Elizabeth (Betty) Sumner b. Dec. 28, 1857. She was the daughter of Jesse Carey Sumner and Caroline Sumner. They had three children:
In 1885 Ashley filed notice to homestead 120 acres in township 24 east of Dade City. This was signed by President Grover Cleveland on Nov. 14, 1888.
On May 22, 1892 at the age of 39 Ashley McMillan died. He was buried at what is now the Dade City Cemetery.
Elizabeth later married M. G. Drew. They had 3 girls, Mattie, Bessie, Sudie.
Ashley’s daughter Caroline (Carrie) married John Croft. They had eight children: George, Nathan, Aline, Ashley, Ruby, Horace, Emma, Aice. Carrie and John moved to Tampa in 1900 and in 1924 moved to Lake Worth. They are buried in Greenacres City.
James Bethel, Ashley’s oldest son, on Apr. 28, 1913, married Alice Lanier b. Feb 15, 1893 in Osceola County. She was the daughter of Clem. H. Lanier and Margaret Thigpen. Her grandfather, John G. Lanier, was also a pioneer of Pasco County. They had seven children: James Leon, Carrie Mae, Elba Aldena, Lucille Marie, Alice Lois, Rosa Lee, James Bethel Jr.
James Bethel (J. B.) followed in the footsteps of Ashley in that he had a love of the land out east of Dade City on the River Road. Here he and Alice raised their family. He spent his entire life here. For over 40 years he farmed and raised cattle. He was successful at it. From Oct. 18, 1908, when he and Alice Lanier had the “experience” at the Withlacoochee Baptist Church and was baptized in the river, he remained a Baptist. The way he took care of his family was evidence of the man he was. After Mr. Drew died he helped his mother and helped to finish raising his three half-sisters. He also raised the younger brother of Alice’s, Jerry Lanier. Uncle Jerry stayed there until he died in his 80’s.
J. B. had the first phone on River Road. As everyone else was doing in the 1920’s, he also had an interest in the moonshine stills that abounded. Because his house was half way to the river, often he would see the federal and local revenuers going out to look for the stills. He devised a way of climbing the telephone pole and sending an SOS warning on down the road to others that they were coming.
J. B. took an old farm truck and turned it into River Road’s first school bus. He built benches on the back bed of the truck for the children to sit on. He would pick them up and take them into town to the Dade City Grammar School, and bring them in the afternoon. Later the county gave him a “regular bus” to drive. Later his niece, Eleanor Bryant, Harris took over the bus and picked up the kids on River Road for over 50 years.
On Dec. 30, 1938, James Bethel McMillan died at the age of 58. He had been in poor health for about a year. There was an exceedingly large attendance at his funeral that showed the high esteem in which he was held by his family, friends, and Dade City. He was buried at the Dade City Cemetery.
Jesse Sumner McMillan married Ellen Florence Hendry on Mar. 1, 1903, in Tampa. Ellen was born on Aug. 30, 1881, in Hillsborough County. She was the daughter of George Hendry and Sarah Ann Hague. They had two sons, James Grantham and Oland Hendry. They lived in Tampa for 25 years. Family stories say that Ellen was a lovely city girl and Jesse Sumner could not live the city life. They divorced and he came back to Dade City. He later married Ole Mae Knight. He served Pasco County as a deputy sheriff and was widely known as an excellent painter.
On March 21, 1944 Jesse Sumner McMillan died at the age of 61. He died because of heart problems. He was buried at the Dade City Cemetery.
[This entry was contributed by Susan McMillan Shelton.]
JOHN BROWN McNATT was the first of the McNatt family to settle in Pasco County. He came from North Carolina and settled in Florida where he married Sara McGeachy. On July 16, 1851, John McNatt received the deed to his first 40 acres, of 160, from the state of Florida. This property was located in S11, T24, R19, less than two miles from old Fort Dade on the Withlacoochee River. Children:
1. WILLIAM JAMES McNATT (1846-1924) was a Confederate soldier. He married Elizabeth Hancock, according to Walter I. McNatt. In the 1910 census, they are shown as living at Sagano. In the 1920 census, they are shown as living at Loyce; he is 73, born in N. C., and she is 75, born in Florida. According to an obituary in Southern Argus, William James McNatt was born on Feb. 28, 1846, married Elizabeth McKinney on Apr. 4, 1872, in Hernando County, and died at Loyce on Dec. 10, 1924. He is shown as James V. McNatt in the 1920 census. Mrs. Elizabeth McNatt was born on Oct. 16, 1842, and died on May 17, 1926.
A newspaper article of April 14, 1922, has:
2. HUGH McNATT (1850-1912) was born on October 2, 1850. On Nov. 20, 1879, he married Mary E. Ryals (1848-1918). The marriage was conducted by minister of the gospel R. J. Bradley (Pasco County marriage records). Mary was born on Dec. 17, 1848. Hugh died on September 9, 1912. Mary died on February 1, 1918. Both are buried in the Loyce Cemetery. Children:
3. JOHN PATRICK McNATT (1858-1916) married Alice Pearce (b. Sept. 28, 1874; d., Sept. 10, 1916). She was the Aripeka postmistress from 1908 until she died. Children:
4. MARGARET McNATT (d. 1917) married Osias Mizzell. Child:
5. CATHERINE McNATT married Richard Johnson. Children:
6. ROSIE McNATT married David Gillett. Children:
[Much of this information is taken from a document prepared by Walter I. McNatt in 1976.]
JAMES McNEILL (1843-1922) was born in Marion County on June 21, 1843, according to his confederate pension application. He was a veteran of the Civil War, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Florida Infantry. The 1870 census for Anclote shows James McNeil, age 25, a farmer, with Martha, 21, John, 3, and Donald J. 3/12, and John Southern, Amelia and Amelia Ann residing in the same household. They are listed immediately after Samuel H. Stevenson. The 1880 Hernando County census shows McNeil was a widowed school teacher. It shows a son J. S. McNeil, age 12, and a daughter M. J. McNeil, age 8, both attending school. In November 1882 McNeil purchased property in S 6, T 26S, R 17E, east of what is now New Port Richey. His property is located in Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park. According to a sign posted there, he and his wife Martha and three children lived in a small log cabin and farmed the land. The remains of a well, animal pens, a cabin, and a family grave can be seen today. Minutes of the Pasco County school board from Aug. 8, 1889, show James McNeil as the teacher at the Baillie School. School board minutes of Aug. 21, 1890, indicate McNeill resigned as Supervisor of School No. 25 and was replaced by W. J. Baillie. His confederate pension application in 1905 shows that he had one son and two daughters at that time. He died on Oct. 4, 1922, and according to his obituary he was 83 years old. He is buried at East Elfers Cemetery. He was survived by a sister, a son, J. S. McNeil of Jasper and a daughter, Mrs. Harvey Osborne, of Dade City. (His name is spelled McNeil in some records, but his signatures on his Florida Confederate Pension Application have the spelling McNeill.)
THOMAS MEIGHAN (1879-1936), a noted star of silent films, had a winter home in New
Port Richey during the boom years. He intended to make movies here. A
theater which opened in New Port Richey in 1926 was named for him.
He was among the dignitaries present for the dedication of the
new Main Street bridge in 1927 (picture).
A brochure prepared for the later sale of his home indicated it had 13
rooms (4 master bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, 3 servants’ bedrooms, 3 baths).
The swimming pool was 60 by 33 feet with a bath house with covered
patio and two dressing rooms, each containing a toilet and shower. The
property was 4.15 acres, with 683 feet of frontage on the river and 641
feet of road frontage. The New Port Richey Press reported on
Jan. 20, 1928, that Meighan was in town inspecting the construction of
his 16-room home at Jasmin Point, which was scheduled for completion by
Feb. 15. Meighan was born in Pittsburgh and died in Great Neck, N. Y.
His brother was architect James Meighan, who donated the land on which
the Hacienda Hotel was built.
FREDERICK MEYER (1819-1869) and his brother Franklin B. founded the community of Anclote in 1867, building log cabins about 100 yards west of the present Anclote Cemetery on property they purchased from Captain Hope.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN MEYER (1825-1871) and his brother Frederick founded the community of Anclote in 1867, building log cabins about 100 yards west of the present Anclote Cemetery on property they purchased from Captain Hope. His name is also written as Franklin Benjamin Meyer. A 2007 St. Petersburg Times article says, “It was 1869 when [Wyatt] Meyer’s parents traveled the five days by oxcart from Ocala to the north bank of the Anclote River to settle in the wilderness area that would become Anclote. They erected the first log cabin along the north bank, planted citrus trees and began sowing the seeds of a family, and a community, that would help shape the history of the Tarpon Springs area.” Children included:
ODELL KINSTON “O. K.” MICKENS (1904-1980) was for 41 years the Principal of Moore Academy and was the first black elected to public office in Pasco County.
He was born in Flemington in Marion County.
Mickens came to Dade City in 1933 with an associate’s degree from Bethune-Cookman Junior College in Daytona Beach and was
hired as principal at Moore Academy for $60 per month, although the school board could not afford to pay him for the first four months.
Over several years, Mickens added grades 9 through 12 to the school, which became a high school and graduated its first class in 1940.
Mickens later earned a bachelor’s degree from Tuskeegee Institute and a master’s degree from New York University.
Mickens’ wife, the former Christine Ford of Tallahassee, was also a school teacher. She taught at Moore Academy and later at Pasco High School.
They had no children of their own, but reared four
of his brother’s children.
In 1970 Moore Academy became Moore-Mickens School.
In 1974 and 1978 Mickens was elected to the City Commission of Dade City.
In 1980 he was named Man of the Year by the Dade City Chamber of Commerce.
Mickens died on Dec. 7, 1980. The flag at Dade City Hall flew at half-staff on Dec. 8 and city hall was closed on the day of his funeral.
PHILIP CABEL MICKLER (1868-1942) represented Pasco County in the state legislature and was identified with the development of the cattle industry in Pasco County. He was born in Lake City on Feb. 17, 1868, and came to Pasco County “fifty-five years ago,” according to his obituary. He was married to Mrs. Lizzie A. Mickler. Their children included two sons, J. E. of Lacoochee and C. P. of Trilby, and two daughters, Mrs. Lester Crum of Miami and Mrs. Arthur Dees of Trilby.
MICHAEL LAWRENCE MILBAUER (1894-1964) was a real estate agent, insurance agent, and philanthropist in New Port Richey. He was a native of Marion, Wis. He moved to Montana in 1917 and following an army enlistment worked for the Montana Elevator Co. from 1920 until 1936. He came to Florida in 1936 and purchased land in Elfers where he started a chicken business in connection with farming operations. In 1939 he acquired a real estate license and bought and sold land from his home from 1939 to 1945, when he opened an office at 101 Main Street. He was one of the founders of First Federal Savings and Loan of Pasco County. A son, Richard J., was an attorney who practiced in Clearwater.
STEPHEN EDWIN MILLEN (1860-1940) was one of the early school teachers of Pasco County, teaching for ten years at Blanton and at other county schools. Later he devoted his time to farming and poultry. He was born in Elkton, Ky. In 1881 he moved to what is now Pasco County with his parents, Taswell and Sarah Gardward Millen, who bought property a few miles north of Dade City. He was survived by a sister and a brother.
JAMES BERRY MILLER (1830-1915) was listed among the farmers and grain planters in Blanton in the 1886-67 Florida State Gazetteer and Business Directory. His obituary, which appeared in the Pasco County Weekly News of Trilby on June 18, 1915, follows:
[Transcription provided by Jeff Cannon.]
SAMUEL EDWARD MILLER (1847-1917) and his wife Amelia Ann settled in Pasadena in Pasco county. The citrus grove they planted there froze in the 1890s, and the family moved to the coast, thinking it would be warmer. He owned the land in Port Richey later known as Martha’s Vineyard. In 1913, the St. Petersburg Daily Times reported in its Port Richey news column, “Mr. S. E. Miller, of the P. O. district, left Friday on a two months’s trip to the north after an absence of nearly 25 years. He intends to spend a month at his former home, Worcester, Mass., and the rest of the time with friends in Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Dase will occupy his house during his absence.” In January 1916 the New Port Richey Post reported, “A large variety of fruit is grown by Mr. Miller, including several kinds of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, manderines, kumquots, guavas, etc. Mr. Miller finds excellent markets for his fruits; packing and shipping direct from the grove.” Miller’s Bayou is named for him. His daughter Bessie Ellen Miller (1876-1960) married Charles Voorhees (d. 1925); among their children was Walter M. Voorhees.
REV. JESSE M. MITCHELL (1869-1935) was the first state senator from Elfers, elected to serve in Tallahassee from the 9th district in 1923 to 1927. He also served from 1927 to 1931 (Ash). Before then, he had been a member of the Pasco County Commission. He was born in Alabama on May 23, 1869, the son of Levi Eiland Mitchell. He was brought to Florida in 1871, and grew up on a farm four miles west of Dade City, working on the farm in the summer and attending school for a few months in the winter. He attended the Florida Seminary of the Methodist Church at Leesburg, where he acquired sufficient knowledge to enter the Methodist Conference on trial as a preacher. After serving successfully for two years, he suffered a failure of voice which obliged him to retire from active service. However, he continued to preach occasionally to fill in vacancies, and in some instances hold special services. According to Bellwood, “He became a minister in the Methodist Conference, but as best remembered, never held a pastorate, rather devoting his time to organizing and building churches and doing evangelistic work.” In 1895 he married Nola Irene Cox (b. Dec 11, 1873, in Kentucky; d., Aug. 11, 1898). They had one daughter, Jessie Gertrude (born, Nov. 6, 1896, in Dade City; d., Dec. 26, 1972, Hardee County), who became the wife of Kenneth E. Hope. According to an old register of the Hudson Methodist Episcopal Church, Mitchell was appointed by the Methodist Conference as pastor in December 1898 [West Pasco’s Heritage]. His first wife having died, Mitchell married a second time in Dade City on Feb. 23, 1901, to Ida Mioma Hay (1876-1980), daughter of Jesse Taylor Hay. They had one son, Wilford Berry Mitchell, who married Margaret Nyman. An adopted son, George Bruce Mitchell, married Mildred Chairs of Tarpon Springs. In 1904 he moved to western Pasco County, settling at what would become Elfers. According to a biography, “He contributed all the lumber used in the building of the Methodist Church at Elfers (now the First Baptist Church) and also for the church at New Port Richey, and gave material assistance in the building of many other churches. Recognized as a leader, he served twelve years as County Commissioner and was chairman of the board during that time; was State Senator for six years; Mayor of Elfers; a bank director, and organizer and operator of the first citrus packing company.” In 1915, Mitchell preached the funeral of Lewis Draft, age 5. It was the first funeral in New Port Richey. On Jan. 7, 1921, the Tarpon Springs Leader reported that Mitchell had “again” been elected chairman of the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners. In 1923 Frank Zane Rankin purchased Mitchell’s home and resided there until 1926 (Julie Obenreder in West Pasco’s Heritage). The Elfers West Pasco Record of April 27, 1922, reported that “Mr. Mitchell has been a resident of Pasco County for fifty years, seventeen years of which has been spent in the section now known as Elfers and New Port Richey.” The New Port Richey Press reported on Dec. 11, 1925, that Mitchell was elected the first Mayor of Elfers “this week.” According to Bellwood, a committee of leading Democrats in the state visited his office in the Elfers Bank building to ask him to run for Governor, but he declined. According to an old time resident, the first telephone in western Pasco county was installed in the early 1900s in the store of J. M. Mitchell in Elfers. Mitchell died in Tampa on Jan. 12, 1935, and was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery, three miles west of Dade City.
IDA MIOMA HAY MITCHELL (1876-1980) was the second wife of Rev. Jesse M. Mitchell. She was born on Oct. 20,
1876, and died on Aug. 18, 1980. According to West Pasco’s
Heritage she was born at Seven Springs. She was a daughter of Jesse
Taylor Hay and the granddaughter of Capt. Samuel Stevenson.
WILLIAM HARRY “JACK” MITCHELL (1884-1968), a rancher, operated a steam shovel in Smithfield, Ohio, before moving to St. Petersburg in 1925. He owned 13,000 acres of land which encompassed what is now Countryside Mall, St. Pete Beach, and some of the Trinity area, according to the obituary of his younger son. The Mitchell ranch, which covered thousands of acres, was started in 1942. He was married to Lillian B. Mitchell. Children included William Harry Mitchell Jr. and James W. Mitchell, qqv.
JAMES W. MITCHELL (1921-2010) along with his wife Dorothy, q. v., operated a ranch in southwestern Pasco County. A high school in New Port Richey is named for him. He was born on July 24, 1921, in Smithfield, Ohio. As a youth, Mr. Mitchell attended Florida Military Academy in Gulfport, now the site of Stetson Law School. He spent three years at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C., and entered the Army at the end of World War II. After his discharge, he returned to the ranch and never left for long. [Information from a St. Petersburg Times article at the time of his death.] In a 2005 interview with the Tampa Tribune, he recalled the time he and his brother drove 49 head of cattle from Hudson to New Port Richey down a limestone and unpaved U. S. 19. Children: James Jr. (d. 2006), Mary Avery, Dewey.
WILLIAM HARRY “JACK” MITCHELL JR. (1925-2013) was a rancher. He was born on Aug. 23, 1925, in St. Petersburg and played football at St. Petersburg High School. In 1986 he moved to Ocala, where he started another cattle ranch. According to his obituary, he and his brother pursued a passion for showing quarter horses, once claiming the four top spots in a statewide event. Mitchell sold much of his property to Dr. James Gills, an eye surgeon. W. H. Jack Mitchell Jr. Park, a 52-acre park on Cypress Lakes Boulevard in New Port Richey, is named after him. He died on Sept. 23, 2013. Survivors: daughter Linda Chapman, son William Harry Mitchell III, and three grandchildren.
DOROTHY MITCHELL (1928-2010) was elected to the Pasco County School Board in 1978 and served for 20 years. Dorothy Schluter was born in St. Petersburg on Sept. 27, 1928. She graduated from St. Petersburg High School in 1946. She died on Oct. 31, 2010. Her husband was James W. Mitchell, q.v.
JOHN JOSHUA MIZELL (1875-1943) was a farmer. For many years he served on the arrangements committee for the reunion services held each year at the historic Townsend House Church which his family helped establish. He was buried in the Townsend House Cemetery. He was married to Mrs. Caroline Mizell. Children included Woodrow Mizell and Mrs. Hazel Blackwell.
WILLIAM LEE MOBLEY (1835-1915) was a Confederate veteran and an early tax collector of Pasco County. He was born on April 23, 1835, in Georgia, and died in Dade City on Feb. 15, 1915. He married Nancy Roberts (1838-1923). The following is excerpted from his obituary:
William’s father was James H. Mobley, who came to Florida in the early 1850s.
HEZEKIAH JAMES MOBLEY (1859-1944) was a long time resident. The following is excerpted from his obituary:
Mobley married Cynthia Alice Hayman, known as Aunt Alice. Alice was born in Brooksville on Oct. 20, 1859, the daughter of James H. Hayman and Sarah Ann Jackson. Her father was one of the best known of the pioneer Baptist ministers and organized many churches in central and southern Florida, and was a brother of Jerry M. Hayman, another Baptist minister. On Oct. 10, 1954, the Tampa Sunday Tribune reported that Alice Mobley would celebrate her 95th birthday next Sunday. [The Florida Genealogist]
JEFFERSON DAVIS MOBLEY (1862-1932) was a pioneer settler, having lived in the Slaughter community for about 40 years. He was born in Georgia on July 8, 1862, and died at his home in Slaughter on Aug. 12, 1932. According to his obituary, he was survived by his widow Mrs. Rhoda Mobley, three daughters, Mrs. Louis Ward, Mrs. A. L. Peacock, and Miss Bertie Mobley, and four brothers, Led. G. B., H. M., and J. A. Mobley.
JOHN A. MOBLEY (1872-1940), known as “Captain Jack Mobley,” spent his entire life in the Slaughter community, according to his obituary. He was born Mar. 13, 1872, and died on Aug. 7, 1940. He was survived by his widow, three daughters, Mrs. Charles Johnson and Mrs. Henry Weeks of Slaughter, and Mrs. Charles Outlaw of Kissimmee, one son, James Mobley of Tampa, and a brother Henry Mobley of Plant City.
HUGH KELSEA MOORE II (1872-1939), a noted chemical engineer, inventor, and author, wintered
in New Port Richey in the 1930s. He owned the large residence at Jasmin Point on the
Pithlachascotee River formerly owned by James H. Becker.
JAMES HENRY MORAN (1852-1922) was one of the original settlers in Port Richey. He was born in Barre, Mass. He married Alma Hartwell Fosdick on July 2, 1888. He left Boston for New Port Richey on April 27, 1912, arriving when it was “nothing but a jungle and wild lands,” according to his obituary. In the early days he was president of the Settlers’ club and was active in civic affairs. He was the proprietor of a feed store and he served as the second station agent in New Port Richey until 1920 when he retired from the business. He was President of the Board of Trade in early 1922. A 1920 newspaper shows an advertisement for Mrs. J. H. Moran, teacher of piano. His obituary stated, “He had a great love for children and was ever a champion of their rights for better educational facilities. His funeral was attended in a body by the students of the high school as a mark of the esteem in which he was held by them.” On Dec. 7, 1923, his widow Alma married John Warren Kilborn in Tampa. She resided in New Port Richey until the early 1940s when she moved to Plant City with Letha Goheen, who had run the New Port Richey depot until it closed.
GEORGE MANDY MORRISH (1849-1929), born in England, was described as a fruit-grower living at Anclote in an 1886 genealogy book. On April 8, 1885, he married Adeline Child Hubbard (b. Mary 24, 1857). The Florida State Gazetteer (1886-87) has “G. M. Morrish, prop. Palmetto House, gen. mdse. and agt. Fla. Land & Col. Co.” According to History of Tarpon Springs by Robert Franklin Pent, “Mr. Morrish, an Englishman, moved in with his family and became the grocer and postmaster [of Anclote], Mr. Craver having moved out.” More information is at http://www.floridaroots.net/morrish_line/morrish.html, which includes a link to a photo.
FREDERICK M. MOUNTS (1892-1955) was a teacher at the Zephyrhills School before being appointed Principal of Pierce Grammar School in New Port Richey in 1939. He held that position until 1948. He was born on Sept. 1, 1892, in Moravia, Iowa, and died on June 28, 1955, at River Junction, Fla. He is buried in Oakside Cemetery in Zephyrhills.