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Tampa Bay history.
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FALL/WINTER 1982 VOLUME 4, NUMBER 2 CONTENTS From the Editors 3 Communications 4 ARTICLES Stay Out, The Water's Fine: Desegregating Municipal Swimming Facilities In St. Petersburg, Florida By Darryl Paulson 6 The Joseph Atzeroth Family: Manatee County Pioneers By Cathy Bayless Slusser 20 Tampa's Splendid Little War: A Photo Essay By Gary R. Mormino 45 MEMOIR Pioneers In Palmdale, Glades County By Ralph Wadlow 61 As told to Carroll Wadlow Introduction by Beryl Bowden NOTES AND DOCUMENTS A Note On Boca Grande By Charles Dana Gibson 77 Alex Browning and the Building of the Tampa Bay Hotel: Reminiscences Edited by James W. Covington 79 GENEALOGY The 1910 Census As A Genealogical Resource 92 BOOK REVIEWS Dunn, "Wish You Were Here!" A Grand Tour of Early Florida Via Old Post Cards By John Friend . . . . . . . 94 Colburn and Scher, Florida's Gubernatorial Politics in the Twentieth Century By Darryl Paulson . . . . . . . .95
Watters, Fifty Years of Pleasure By William D. Courser . . . . . . .96 Hurley, The Don Ce-Sar Story By L. Glenn Westfall . . . . . . . 97 Parks, The Magic City Miami By John F. Reiger . . . . . . . .99 White, Vicente Folch, Governor in Spanish Florida, 1787-1811 By Jerrell Shofner . . . . . . . .100 McWilliams, Iberville's Gulf Journals By Paul Eugen Camp . . . . . . 101 Announcements . . . . . . . .102 Notes on Contributors . . . . . . . .104 Copyright 1982 by the University of South Florida Typography and printing by Joe B. Klay and Sons, Tampa, Florida
FROM THE EDITORS Not too long ago much of central and southwest Florida was a frontier. Pioneers came into the region and braved heat, hurricanes, mosquitoes, and disease to forge a new life in the land of sunshine. Some sought to improve their health, nourished by the balmy climate; others hoped to find relief from the economic ills that plagued them elsewhere. They farmed, hunted, fished, and managed to eke out a living and a better life for themselves and their children. This issue contains accounts of frontier life in Manatee and Glades Counties. They describe the adventures of two different families who came to the area nearly a century apart but who experienced similar triumphs and travails. The Fogartys in Terra Ceia and the Wadlows in Palmdale turned their wildernesses into heavenly lands. A third article describes the conquering of a different kind of frontier. Not until the late 1950s did blacks obtain an equal opportunity to enjoy public, recreational facilities in St. Petersburg and throughout Florida. Like the other trailblazers along the Suncoast, they broke new ground for their descendants to follow. Finally, this edition looks at two landmarks of Tampa's early history that have made the Cigar City well-known nationally and internationally. A photo essay portrays Tampa during the Spanish-Cuban-American War of 1898 when Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders flocked into town. One of the places housing the soldiers was the Tampa Bay Hotel, and its distinctive Moorish style and construction is described by one of the architects who worked on the building. Today this edifice serves as the home of the University of Tampa. Besides marking the end of our fourth year of publication, this issue closes another era. Travis Northcutt is retiring as Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. His encouragement and generosity helped make Tampa Bay History possible. It is comforting to know that Travis will still be close by as Dean Emeritus, Director of USF's Human Resources Institute, and a member of our advisory board. We extend a welcome to his successor, Dean Wallace Russell, and wish him all the best. We also welcome Gloria Simmons as our new editorial assistant. A native of Tampa and a graduate of USF, she is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in History. We wish to announce that the essay contest will be held again next year. The deadline for entering is September 1, 1983. This year's winners will be announced shortly, and their names will appear in the next issue. We thank all those who took the opportunity to participate.
COMMUNICATIONS Editors: Your recent article on the development of Fort Myers mentions a Jim Newton. If that is the same Jim Newton mentioned so frequently in the diaries of Charles A. Lindbergh in WARTIME JOURNAL you have quite a story available to you. The one mentioned took charge of arrangements for Lindbergh's privacy on visits to Florida, and also seemed to be a confidante or advisor regarding Lindbergh's political stand just before World War II, or at least before our entry into it. Mrs. John H. MacNeill Editor's Note: Yes, this is the same Newton. Editors: After graduating from USF in 1969 I took some graduate work in geography at University of Wisconsin, then in 1970 landed a job in the Cartographic Branch of the National Archives here in Washington, where I remain today. There are tons of Federal records relating to Florida events stored away in this institution, as you might be aware of. Your colleagues or students would find much original source material on such topics as the Army at Fort Brooke, the Seminole Wars, surveys of the coast by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, soldiers stationed in Tampa on their way to fight the Spanish American War, etc. I am sure much of this is already familiar to you. In my particular branch of the Archives we specialize in old government maps and in aerial photography flown during the 1930's and 1940's. If you have any particular research questions, I will be happy to forward a letter to the appropriate branch or archivist here, if that would be of use to you. Looking forward to future issues of Tampa Bay History. Sincerely, William J. Heynen Editors: I have thoroughly enjoyed the articles in the Tampa Bay History these past two years. Our family, and, in a special way, my father, has always had a passionate interest in history. My father, having been born and raised in West Tampa, would describe the various events and landmarks of the area with a great sense of familiarity and affection.
Since I have been behind in my reading of journals, I have just recently begun on the 1981 Fall/Winter issue. There are a couple of items that I would like to call your attention to, even though so much time has passed. It might still be helpful. First of all, in your list of Florida funeral homes, you left out probably the most important ones in Tampa, at least, as far as the Latin communities of West Tampa and Ybor City are concerned. Lord and Fernandez, although now defunct, and A.P. Boza have played a most important role in the history of Tampa's Latin community. A.P. Boza Senior, the founder, Jerry Boza, both now deceased, were active members of their communities, and highly loved and respected by all. A.P. Boza Junior now carries on the company. I really believe this funeral home could be of tremendous help in your future work. This was certainly a grave oversight. Secondly, if you will check further, you will find that the location of the Passover banquet, shown on the cover of this same issue, is the top floor ballroom of the former Hillsborough Hotel in downtown Tampa. Thanks for your great work, and keep the issues coming. Yours truly, James D. Leone
STAY OUT, THE WATERS FINE: DESEGREGATING MUNICIPAL SWIMMING FACILITIES IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA by Darryl Paulson In his classic 1944 study of American race relations, Gunnar Myrdal dis cussed the etiquette of race relations in the South. According to Myrdal, Southern whites tried to keep contacts between adult members of the two races as impersonal as possible.1 Southerners feared that contact between the races would lead to interracial sex and marriages. The more intimate the contact, according to Southerners, the more likely that interracial sex would occur. The more intimate the contact, the more emotional would be the response forthcoming from the white community. The two social contacts most feared by white Southerners were racially-mixed dancing and integrated swimming. The taboo against interracial swimming in the South was apparently for the reason that it involves the exposure of large parts of the body and creates erotic associations.2 Attempts to desegregate swimming pools and beaches, either under legal compulsion or by voluntary action, resulted in disturbances more frequently than in any other instances of desegregation.3 In most communities of the South, segregation in recreation facilities was maintained by local ordinance or by prevailing custom. St. Petersburg, Florida, had no law requiring the separation of the races at the municipal pools and beaches. By tradition, Negroes used the bathing beach located at the South Mole, on the east end of First Avenue South, an area now known as Demens Landing. The city made little effort to entice Negroes to the South Mole. The spot was blighted with freight and passenger cars parked by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and, according to Councilman Ray Chase, the South Mole looked like a dump.4 Although this was the only access that St. Petersburg Negroes had to Tampa Bay and although they had no access to the Gulf of Mexico, many white residents were upset that blacks had any access to beaches. In 1935, members of the City Council expressed concern about the matter of Negro bathing at the waterfront a practice that, if allowed to continue, would cause trouble. To remedy the situation, the council appointed a committee to investigate building a pool at Campbell Park, or providing some sort of cheap transportation to take Negroes to a remote beach. Nothing happened.5 Some local residents were concerned about the inequality in swimming facilities for Negroes. In 1934, the Boy Scouts undertook an investigation to see if beaches could be obtained for Negroes of Scout age. Nothing was done. In 1936, Councilman M. L. Weaver pressed for a Negro beach at either Papys Bayou, the east end of the Corey Causeway or on Madeira Beach. Nothing was done. In 1937, the Realty Board planned to build a Negro park with a pool near Booker Creek. Both whites and blacks objected. Whites opposed a Negro pool in the Booker Creek area, and blacks demanded a beach facility. In 1940, the St. Petersburg Ministerial Association added its support to the idea of a Negro beach, and in 1943, Mayor George Patterson named a commission to explore the need for a Negro bathing beach. Nothing was done. The inaction of city officials led J. Wallace Hamilton, the nationally recognized white minister of
Pasadena Community Church, to call for simple justice in giving the Negro a bathing beach. With 45 miles of beach, surely we can find some place.6 Besides the South Mole, the only other swimming site for Negroes in St. Petersburg was the Jennie Hall pool located at Wildwood Park. Built in the early 1950s, the construction costs were paid for by an anonymous contribution of $25,000 from a local white resident and $55,000 in city funds. However, within a few years of its opening, the city closed the pool, arguing that a lack of patronage made it financially unprofitable for the city to operate.7 Until 1954, St. Petersburg, like other Southern communities, justified segregation of recreational facilities by citing the hoary Plessy v. Ferguson decision. This 1896 ruling by the United States Supreme Court upheld a Louisiana law requiring separate but equal accommodations on railroads.8 The separate but equal doctrine was applied to all phases of life in the South. Unfortunately, the separate part of the doctrine was enforced but not the requirement of equal facilities. In most areas of the South, including St. Petersburg, recreational facilities for blacks were obviously not equal to those provided for the white community. Providing two equal sets of recreational facilities, one for whites and one for blacks, was too costly for most cities. The easiest course of action, and the one chosen by St. Petersburg, was to maintain minimal recreational facilities for Negroes. In 1954, the United States Supreme Court knocked out the supports holding up the Plessy doctrine in the Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka case. A unanimous Supreme Court concluded that in the field of public education the doctrine of separate but equal has no place.9 States could no longer maintain segregated schools. But what about other areas? Southern states argued that the opinion of the Court declared that only segregation in public education was unconstitutional. Segregation in other areas, including recreation, was still deemed by the South to be acceptable. This view prevailed, even though one week after the Brown decision, the Supreme Court decided two cases involving the issue of separate but equal in recreation. In the first case, blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, were excluded from an amphitheatre located in a white only city park. The Court vacated the judgment of the lower court and remanded the case for further consideration in light of Brown and conditions that now prevail. In the second case, the issue involved the segregated municipal golf courses in Houston, Texas. The Supreme Court denied the city's request for a hearing, thereby upholding the order of the Court of Appeals to admit Negro patrons.10 In spite of these two cases, Southern communities continued to maintain their policies of segregated beaches and pools. A direct challenge to the legality of segregated municipal beaches came in 1955, and involved the city of Baltimore, Maryland. District Judge Roszel C. Thomsen concluded that the segregation of Baltimores beaches was justified to avoid any conflict which might arise from racial antipathies. In other words, the fears of racial violence resulting from integrated swimming facilities constituted a proper governmental objective to sustain segregation. Judge Thomsen also argued that colored people are more relaxed and feel more at home in their own group, and because of this, most colored people will get more recreation from bathing and swimming with other colored people than in mixed groups.11
However, Judges John J. Parker, Armstead Dobie and Morris Soper of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Judge Thomsens decision. The three judge panel concluded that segregation cannot be justified as a means to preserve the public peace or as a proper exercise of the police power of the state. On November 7, 1955, the Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals.12 The Southern reaction to this decision was immediate and hostile. Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin announced that comingling of the races in Georgia state parks and recreation areas will not be permitted or tolerated. The state will go out of the park business before allowing a breakdown in segregation.13 The Attorney General of Georgia, Eugene Cook, raged that the NAACP is able to get most anything it wants from the Supreme Court that is designed to further its program to force intermarriage of the races.14 United States Senator Herman Talmadge (D, Ga.) simply indicated that the court of last resort is the people, and if the people dont comply, there is little people can do about it.15 In Florida, the reaction was similar. Governor LeRoy Collins indicated that, as in the school desegregation cases, implementation would depend on local conditions. Attorney General Richard W. Ervin declared that Florida was not ready to integrate parks and beaches. There may be some facilities where it would work, announced Ervin, but the idea of children of mixed races in swimming pools is against the public attitude. The Pinellas County Commission announced that plans to provide separate but equal beaches on Mullet Key were being scrapped, while Sarasota County Commissioner Glen R. Leach indicated that his county would sell or lease its beaches to private developers.16 Less than three months before the Supreme Courts decision, Elwood Chisholm, a New York attorney for the NAACP, urged blacks in Florida to use the beaches. Why have beaches of your own, asked Chisholm, when you have a beach that your taxes are paying for? Go use it!17 Seven blacks in St. Petersburg heeded such advice on August 21, 1955, when they attempted to purchase tickets at Spa Pool in downtown St. Petersburg. The ticket seller immediately summoned the police, who told the blacks to use their own bathing beach at the South Mole. J. P. Moses, head of the Cooperative Citizens Committee, a local black political organization, announced that the purpose of the trip to Spa Pool was to be denied entrance, thus laying the foundation for legal action against the city.18 On November 30, 1955, six Negroes filed suit contending that their constitutional rights were violated when St. Petersburg denied them access to Spa Pool and Beach. Heading the list of plaintiffs was Dr. Fred Alsup, a black physician who established his practice in St. Petersburg in 1950.19 The community reaction to the attempted desegregation of Spa Pool and Beach took several forms. The St. Petersburg Times urged restraint, while local politicians and political organizations urged defiance. The Times editorialized that, It is only right that every citizen of this community would have a place to swim Our failure in the past to provide a modern, adequate facility has reaped the Spa suit among other things.20 The St. Petersburg City Council refused to act on a petition submitted by blacks which urged the city to open Spa Pool and Beach to all residents. Councilman Ray Chase asked the legal department, How long can we stall this off in court? Meanwhile, City Manager Ross E. Windom chastised blacks for not using the facilities already open to them.21
The attempted desegregation of the pools and beaches provided the impetus for the formation of the St. Petersburg Citizens Council. Citizens Councils had sprung to life rapidly in the South after the Brown decision, and they led the effort against integration of any aspect of Southern life. Mainly composed of respectable, middle-class whites who rejected the violent tactics of the Ku Klux Klan, nevertheless, the Councils often applied economic coercion to maintain segregation. The day after the attempted integration of Spa Pool, ninety people gathered in a room at City Hall to launch a local chapter of the lilywhite group. A petition was passed around the room opposing desegregation of the pools and beaches, and several speakers harangued against any integration in St. Petersburg. The Reverend C. Lewis Fowler, head of Kingdom Bible Seminary, warned the audience that integration would destroy the Anglo-Saxon race. Rev. Fowler promised his audience that he would soon have official documentation that Chief Justice Earl Warren was chosen by agitation of an international cabal.22 While the city of St. Petersburg was becoming embroiled in a political controversy, the case of Alsup v. St. Petersburg began to work its way through the judicial maze. One might ask why the case would even be heard by the federal courts considering the recent decision rendered in the Baltimore case. Nevertheless, St. Petersburg contended that its circumstances differed from the other city. Whereas Baltimore operated its pools and beaches in its governmental capacity, St. Petersburg said it operated its swimming facilities in its proprietary capacity. All cities engage in proprietary or business-like activities which are expected to be financially self-supporting. While Baltimores effort to justify segregation in swimming as a proper exercise of police powers was found to violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, St. Petersburg claimed that its segregated pools were effectuated simply by administrative regulation adopted for the purpose of efficiently carrying on a business that the appellant city happens to be engaged in, and not as part of the citys police powers.23 This argument was rejected by Federal District Judge George W. Whitehurst, who contended that the capacity in which the municipality operates its swimming pool and beach is immaterial.24 All operations of the city, both governmental and proprietary, are subject to the Fourteenth Amendment. Judge Whitehurst ordered the city not to deny Negroes use of Spa Pool or Beach, but he suspended his decree pending appeal. St. Petersburg appealed the decision of the District Court to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The city continued to stress its belief that the Fourteenth Amendment was not City Manager Ross E. Windom. Photograph courtesy of News and Information Bureau, City of St. Petersburg.
applicable to the proprietary operations of a city. In its brief to the Circuit Court, St. Petersburg maintained that it not onl y had the right but the duty to operate this pool and beach as a business enterprise and for the best interest of the inhabitants who are stockholders, so to speak, in this enterprise. If Negroes were admitted, white patronage would cease or practically cease, and the city would be forced to close the pool.25 A three judge panel on the Circuit Court was not any more convinced by this argument than was the District Court. On December 19, 1956, the Court of Appeals denied the request by St. Petersburg to continue its policy of segregation. The Justices noted: It is no answer that the beach and pool cannot be operated at a profit on a nonsegregated basis, and that the City will be forced to close the pool [U]nfortunate as closing the pool may be, that furnishes no ground for abridging the rights of the appellees to its use without discrimination on the grounds of race so long as it is operated.26 With two strikes against it, St. Petersburg made its final and futile appeal to the United States Supreme Court. On April Fools Day in 1957, the highest tribunal refused to hear the citys plea and, thereby, affirmed the lower courts decision. Although St. Petersburgs black community won the legal battle, city officials refused to concede defeat. On June 5, 1958, over a year after the Supreme Court decision, eight blacks sought admission to Spa Pool. On the directions of pool manager John Gough, they were allowed to purchase tickets. Even though they swam for an hour with no disorder, City Manager Ross Windom had the pool closed for repairs and ordered uniform police to patrol the area. The eight blacks who sought admission were between eighteen and twenty-four years old, and six were college students.27 In an unusual statement, Windom called those seeking admission ill-advised, and said that the majority of Negro citizens dont wish to exercise any right the Supreme Court may have given them. Mayor John D. Burroughs proclaimed that the visits of blacks to Spa Pool were instigated by some colored people who are not representative of our true Negro citizens. Burroughs did urge the development of a Negro beach to prevent a recurrence of the recent incident.28 The two St. Petersburg newspapers could not have been further apart in their analysis of the situation. The Independent vigorously supported the citys action in closing the pool and beach, while the Times was just as vigorous in its denunciation of the city administration. According to the Independent the city followed a wise course this week when it closed Spa Beach after eight young Negroes bent on an obvious show of strength gained entrance. The editor warned the black community that invading white beach facilities will result in recriminations and frictions which doubtless will undo progress in race relations.29 The Independent hinted that the black beach might be closed if blacks continued their protest. In contrast to this position, the Times chided local officials for a lack of leadership. In a resort town like St. Petersburg, wrote the Times it is indefensible to deprive 85% of the population of a beach to block a 15% minority. The view of the Times was more moderate than that coming from the Independent and the city administration, but the Times was certainly not pushing for massive integration of swimming facilities. In at least three different editorials
during the summer of 1958, the Times supported more Negro beaches rather than the integration of existing beaches. According to the Times Northern cities which have recognized that segregation is both immoral and illegal have found that when there are abundant beaches and facilities a natural segregation or fraternization evolves. In a similar view in another editorial, the Times indicated that personal preference and neighborhood considerations will lead Negro citizens to use certain of the beaches and whites others. Both races will feel more at home among their own people and will have more fun together.30 St. Petersburgs black community was united in its quest to integrate the citys beaches and pools. The local NAACP chapter indicated that the pool closing was a denial of constitutional rights to all citizens, and warned that the attempt of city officials to defy previous court decrees might produce the rumblings of another Little Rock. F. A. Dunn, chairman of the local NAACP, issued the following statement on behalf of his organization: We consider the act of city officials to close the beach as being arbitrary and unwarranted since there was no indication of violence or misconduct on the part of those who sought to use the facilities. Numerous other black residents commented that since they were taxpayers they were entitled to use any and all city facilities.31 Meanwhile, the two police officers patrolling the beach turned away over 150 white residents seeking to use it. One resident, a forty-four year old white man, was arrested for swimming at Spa Beach. The pool and beach were temporarily reopened on June 8th until Davis Isom, Jr., a black graduate of Gibbs High School, bought a ticket and swam in the pool, Although some forty white swimmers exhibited no concern over his presence, City Manager Windom ordered the pool and beach closed again. The next day, June 9th, the city council voted unanimously to close the pool to prevent integration. After the council's action, Dr. Fred Alsup, one of the six petitioners who originally filed the court suit against the city, threatened new litigation unless the city reopened the pool and beach to all residents.32 During the summer of 1958, Spa Pool and Beach remained closed despite substantial pressure on the city administration to open the pool. The pressure was not just from black residents who wanted to use the facility. Local white residents complained about the closing and the cancellation of swimming classes for youngsters. A biracial organization, the St. Petersburg Council on Human Relations, accused the city of making a crisis out of a peaceful incident.33 The Council unsuccessfully urged that the pool and beach be reopened. Perhaps the greatest pressure to reopen the facilities came from the business community. Businessmen were concerned about the adverse effect that the closing of the beach and pool would have on the Mayor John D. Burroughs. Photograph courtesy of News and Information Bureau, City of St. Petersburg.
tourist industry in St. Petersburg. Consequently, the operators of downtown hotels and businesses, led by the Chamber of Commerce, asked the city to develop a Negro beach at the west end of the Gandy Bridge.34 Various suggestions were offered as to how the swimming issue might be resolved. The St. Petersburg Times editorialized that more, better beaches is the only solution. The Times preferred developing the beaches along the Sunshine Skyway and suggested that the $1.75 toll be reduced to twenty-five cents for blacks desiring to use the beach. The Times opposed the Gandy site arguing that it was more accessible to the Negroes of Clearwater and Tampa who have no salt water swimming at all.35 The City Council, however, decided to develop the St. Petersburg side of the Gandy causeway as a Negro beach. There were three major problems with this choice. First, as the Times had suggested, the Gandy site might prove more beneficial to Clearwater and Tampa Negroes than those in St. Petersburg. Hence, Councilman Ray Chase suggested that the city of Tampa ought to pay part of the approximately $15,000 needed to develop the beach. Second, many St. Petersburg blacks indicated that they would be unsatisfied with anything other than integrated beaches and pools. The Rev. Enoch Davis, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church and a long time black activist, told the Times that Gandy beach would not solve the segregation problem. I dont think it would be accepted if it is a device to prevent integration. Similar views were expressed by Dr. Fred Alsup, J. P. Moses and numerous other black community activists.36 Finally, the Gandy site was outside the St. Petersburg city limits, making it unacceptable to local blacks. On September 3, 1958, Spa Pool and Beach were suddenly reopened. It was more than coincidental that the reopening of the pool and beach coincided with the resumption of school. Because the reopening was unannounced, attendance was very low at both the pool and the beach. The next day a lone Negro girl swam for an hour at the beach, and City Manager Windom closed the pool for the third time. Windom acknowleged that the courts had given blacks the legal right to use the pool, but he said that we cannot escape from the reality that a long established custom provides for separation of the races in recreational facilities. The City of St. Petersburg does not want to take the responsibility of trying to establish an integrated pool with the rise of possible derisive friction between the races which we have heretofore avoided.37 The city made one more attempt to open the pool and beach, but closed the swimming area for a fourth and final time in 1958, when four black males swam at Spa Beach on September 9th. In a bitter statement, Windom accused the Negroes of trying to force an integrated beach. While Dr. Fred Alsup. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Fred Alsup.
the federal courts have ordered that if the city operates the beach and pool they cannot be segregated, said Windom, there is nothing in the court order stating the city must operate them.38 Windom was right. In fact, the opinion of the Court of Appeals made exactly the same point. Thirteen years later the United States Supreme Court would accept this logic when they permitted Jackson, Mississippi, to close all of its pools rather than operate them on an integrated basis.39 Although Windoms perception of the problem was probably accurate, the city managers solution was simply not feasible in a tourist community like St. Petersburg. The Times immediately criticized Windom and the city administration for showing an appalling lack of leadership. The newspaper contended that the citys policy of closing the pools and beaches every time a Negro used them was both foolish and futile. It was foolish in that it gave a handful of Negro youngsters the sense of power to know that all they have to do is walk into a place and it will be shut down. It was futile because soon the city would be confronted with the same situation at area parks, Al Lang field, the municipal pier, and other recreational areas. Would the city also close down all of these facilities?40 Exercising their Rights. Photograph courtesy of St. Petersburg Times and Evening Independent
Nevertheless, on September 15, the city council decided to keep Spa Pool and Beach closed. To punish blacks, the city voted to take the $15,000 that had been appropriated to develop the Negro beach at the Gandy site and use it to develop the North Shore Beach as a segregated beach for whites. City Manager Windom told the council that the Alsup decision applied only to Spa Pool and Beach, and not to be new North Shore Beach. Windom justified this approach by saying that the administration was preserving order in St. Petersburg, a community where white and black alike depend on tourism for their livelihood. A successful tourist season is important to us all. The Independent concurred, arguing that it was obvious that Northerners will not come to St. Petersburg to use biracial beaches and pools.41 Most of the letters to the editor expressed support for the citys action. One writer supported segregated beaches and accused those blacks trying to integrate of being agitators who were put up to the task by the Communists. Another reader wrote that Negroes dont want to swim, they just want to push integration. One individual suggested using litigation to keep the pools Closed for Business. Photograph courtesy of St. Petersburg Times and Evening Independent
segregated since the Negroes could not afford the constant lawsuits. In contrast, others favored the reopening of the beaches on an integrated basis. One observer asked, How long can the white man expect the Negro to pay taxes on public recreation places and not be allowed to use them? Finally, a Captain at MacDill Air Force Base suggested that segregationists use private beaches if they objected to swimming with Negroes. He expressed the frustrations of many when he stated that if given the choice, he would rather have some Negroes on the beach than no public beaches.42 Community and business pressure continued to mount against the policies of the city administration. Downtown hotel, motel and apartment owners met on September 18, and sent a resolution to City Manager Windom and Mayor Burroughs expressing alarm over the permanent closing of Spa Beach. This has caused us great financial loss in the tourist trade It has given us a bad civic reputation. The hotel, motel and apartment owners, along with the United Churches of Greater St. Petersburg, called on Windom and Burroughs to reopen Spa Beach. The city officials again turned down the request. Windom responded: I do not want to be the person that integrated St. Petersburg. Burroughs simply stated: I like the Negro. I like him in his place. I do not believe in integration.43 On September 27,1958, the Mayor proposed razing Spa Pool and replacing it with a 3,500 seat municipal auditorium. On October 7, the council voted 4-3 to accept Burroughs proposal. The auditorium project was supported by downtown hotels and businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, J. E. Doc Webb of Webbs City, and Ed C. Wright, a major Pinellas County land holder. Opposition to the auditorium came from the Council of Neighborhood Organizations (CONA), the Times the St. Petersburg Planning Board and the black community. Some 9,500 residents signed a petition to oppose the auditorium and to put the issue before the electorate. The political pressure forced the city to abandon its plan for a municipal auditorium.44 As month after month dragged by, St. Petersburg residents found themselves in the unenviable position of having some of the most attractive beaches in the nation that no one, white or black, could use. A caption on a photograph from the St. Petersburg Times showing the deserted beaches captured the frustrations of many. It read: Stay out, the waters fine. One of the many victims of the beach controversy was City Manager Ross Windom, who announced his resignation on November 11, 1958, ending his ten-year reign as manager. Windom attacked Mayor Burroughs for repeatedly and flagrantly violating the city charter, and expressed his desire to take a position in the private sector. Verlyn Fletcher was selected as Acting City Manager by the Council.45 Suddenly, on January 6, 1959, the council voted 4-3 to reopen Spa Pool and Beach. Acting City Manager Fletcher announced that the pool and beach would stay open unless there was trouble. Over 400 people used the beach that day, and the swimming facilities remained open from that day on. Apparently not having learned its lesson, the council also let Pasadena Golf Course revert to private ownership in order to try to prevent the desegregation of that facility.46 Why did the city suddenly decide to reverse past actions by reopening the pool and beach? It was not due to a change in the racial attitude on the part of the council members. Although the council voted to reopen the pool, at the same time it tried to avoid desegregation of the Pasadena
Golf Course. A combination of factors forced the city to alter its position. The most important factor was the realization by the city administration that it had no legal grounds to continue to deny blacks use of the pool and beach. If the municipally owned facilities were open, they had to be open to everyone. Second, the city hoped that few Negroes would avail themselves of the opportunity to use the pool and beach once the novelty had worn off. This assumption was apparently correct because newspaper accounts indicate very minimal black use of these facilities after their reopening. Third, political pressures forced the administration to re-think its position. White residents were troubled that a major recreational complex was no longer open to them. Businesses were upset about the loss of downtown tourist traffic and the possible long-term harm that might result from an inflamed racial climate. Political pressure also came from the St. Petersburg Times which was a constant thorn in the side of the city administration. The Times repeatedly called for equal treatment of St. Petersburgs black population and constantly criticized the city administration's policy of defiance. Finally, the black community played an important role in pressuring the city for change. From August 21, 1955, when blacks first attempted to use Spa Pool and Beach until January 6, 1959, when the pool was opened on an integrated basis, numerous blacks applied constant pressure on city officials. It is noteworthy that Stay Out, the Waters Fine. Photograph courtesy of St. Petersburg Times and Evening Independent
the black effort concentrated on the legal ways of opening recreational facilities. Thus, Negroes pursued conservative goals insofar as they sought to obtain opportunities available to other citizens. It took three and a half years of protest before the city relented, but Negroes in St. Petersburg won the right to use public recreational facilities that they always had supported with their tax dollars. It was the end of a difficult struggle for simple justice. 1 Gunnar Myrdal. An American Dilemma (New York: Pantheon, 1972), p. 607. 2 Ibid ., pp. 608, 610. See also Robert McKays, Segregation and Public Recreation, Virginia Law Review 40 (1954), pp. 697-731 and Pat Watters The South and the Nation (New York: Vintage, 1969), p. 292. 3 University of Chicago Law Review (1951), p. 769. 4 St. Petersburg Times September 9, 1955. 5 Quoted in St. Petersburg Times March 19, 1979. 6 The historical background and the Hamilton quotation were from the St. Petersburg Times December 22, 1955. 7 St. Petersburg Times September 24, 1955 and June 6, 1958. 8 163 U.S. 537 (1896). 9 347 U.S. 483 (1954). 10 See Muir v. Louisville Theatrical Park Association 347 U.S. 971 (1954) and Holcombe v. Beal 347 U.S. 974 (1954). 11 Dawson v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City 123 F. Supp. 193 (D, Md. 1954). 12 220 F2d 386 (4th Cir. 1955) and 350 U.S. 877 (1955). 13 St. Petersburg Times November 9, 1955. 14 Ibid ., November 8, 1955. 15 New York Times November 17,1955. 16 St. Petersburg Times November 8 and 10, 1955. 17 Miami Herald October 29, 1955. 18 St. Petersburg Times August 23, 1955. 19 Alsup would be party to another suit challenging the policy of Pinellas County government in excluding blacks from a public golf course. See Enoch Davis, The Bethel Trail (St. Petersburg: Valkyrie Press, 1979), pp. 82-83. The other blacks who filed suit against St. Petersburgs segregated beaches and pools were Willet Williams, Naomi Williams, Ralph Wimbish, Chester James, Jr., and Harold Davis. 20 St. Petersburg Times December 22, 1955. 21 Minutes, St. Petersburg City Council, September 24, 1955.
22 St. Petersburg Times September 22, 1955. The most thoro ugh account of this organization is Neil R. McMillans The Citizens Council (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971). According to McMillan, the St. Petersburg Citizens Council had 1500 members by November, 1955. 23 Legal brief submitted by the City of St. Petersburg in the case of Alsup v. St. Petersburg Brief supplied to author courtesy of the Legal Department, City of St. Petersburg. 24 Alsup v. St. Petersburg 238 F2d 820 (1956). 25 Legal brief filed by the City of St. Petersburg in the case of St. Petersburg v. Alsup 26 St. Petersburg v. Alsup 238 F2d 820 (5th Cir. 1956). 27 St. Petersburg Independent June 5, 1958 and the St. Petersburg Times and New York Times of June 6, 1958. The eight blacks seeking admission were Morgan Richards, 23; Natan Holmes, 19; Otto Woodbury, 24, FAMU; Allen Williams, Jr., 23, Morehouse graduate; Betty Harden, 18, student at Talladega (Ala.) College; Bettye Fluker, 22, FAMU; Victoria Monroe, 22, former FAMU student; and Bertha Dancil, 18, Gibbs Jr. College. 28 St. Petersburg Times June 6, 1958, and June 7, 1958. 29 St. Petersburg Independent June 7, 1958. 30 See the St. Petersburg Times June 11, June 7, and September 14, 1958. The position of the Times was not unlike that of Judge Thomsen in the Dawson case already cited. 31 St. Petersburg Times June 7, 1958. 32 Ibid ., June 8, 9 and 10, 1958, and interview with Dr. Fred Alsup on January 20,1982. 33 St. Petersburg Times July 1, 1958. 34 Ibid ., June 27, 1958. Walter Ramseur, President of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, expressed concerns about tense race relations which could be tremendously injurious to a tourist community like St. Petersburg. 35 Ibid ., June 11, 1958. 36 Ibid ., June 11, 12 and 13, 1958. On June 6, Clearwater opened a one mile beach area on the Courtney Campbell Causeway for Negroes. About six weeks later, James West, a 33-year-old black Tampan, drowned at the new recreation area. This would convince many Tampa Bay blacks that their beaches were unsafe when compared to the white beaches. 37 Ibid ., September 9, 1958. 38 Ibid ., September 12, 1958. 39 Palmer v. Thompson 403 U.S. 217 (1971). 40 St. Petersburg Times September 14, 1950. 41 Minutes, St. Petersburg City Council, September 15, 1958, and St. Petersburg Independent September 12, 1958. 42 St. Petersburg Times August 23 and September 17, 1958. 43 Ibid ., September 20 and 23, 1958. 44 Ibid ., September 27, October 2 and 8, and December 23 and 25, 1958.
45 St. Petersburg Times November 11, 1958. 46 Minutes, St. Petersburg City Council, January 6, 1959, and St. Petersburg Times February 13, 1962. On June 1, 1963, the wooden hotel complex surrounding Spa Pool burned to the ground, never to be rebuilt.
THE JOSEPH ATZEROTH FAMILY: MANATEE COUNTY PIONEERS by Cathy Bayless Slusser A rectangular, unimposing sign, topped by the seal of the state of Florida, stands on Terra Ceia Island in Manatee County. The Florida Board of Parks and Historical Memorials and the Terra Ceia Village Improvement Association donated this marker. Unveiled on April 12, 1969, it honors Joseph and Julia Atzeroth, Manatee County pioneers, who settled on this Terra Ceia site in 1842. Erected on the banks of Terra Ceia Bay amid the lush Florida landscape of palm trees, orange groves, and other tropical fruit trees and flowers, the marker often goes unnoticed. Yet, it is historically significant to this island community and is an important part of Manatee Countys past. The Atzeroths were not only the first permanent white settlers of Terra Ceia Island, but The dedication of the historical marker at the Atzeroth homesite on April 12, 1969. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.
were also vital in the early development of the northwestern section of the county between 1843 and 1902. The island of Terra Ceia probably took its name from the Spanish words for heavenly land.1 It is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida between Bradenton and St. Petersburg at the foot of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. To the north of the island is Tampa Bay, to its east is Bishop Harbor and Terra Ceia Creek, to its south is Terra Ceia Bay, and to its west, Miguel Bay and Tampa Bay. Because it is surrounded by water on all four sides, Terra Ceias weather is virtually frost-free. This climate and the islands rich soil make Terra Ceia a farmers delight, truly a bountiful land. Its early history can be traced back to the Timucuan Indians who settled between the years 1000 and 1100, and located one of their main villages, Ucita, on the western shore of the island. The remains of this village can be seen today at the Madeira-Bickel Shell Mounds. The Indian village consisted of a high temple mound about forty feet high and 100 yards long. This mound had a long ramp on its west side and temple on top. On the other side of the town was another mound which the Timucuans used for ceremonies and the residence of their chief, Hirrihigua.2 In May 1539, Hernando De Soto arrived on Terra Ceia. Whether De Soto landed on Terra Ceia at the site of Ucita or on the southern bank of the Manatee River beyond Terra Ceia Bay at Shaws Point is still hotly debated; but De Sotos records reveal a visit to Ucita. The explorer and a group of his close advisors occupied the chiefs house on the high mound and turned the other buildings into storehouses. The temple was torn down to provide material to build huts for De Sotos men. This act of desecration so angered the Timucuans that De Soto felt it necessary to clear the dense jungle growth from the low ground on the edge of the shell embankments to prevent an Indian surprise attack. After six weeks, the expedition started on a march northward and left Terra Ceia behind. Three hundred years later, Florida was still witnessing attempts by white men to displace Indians from their land. During the Seminole Wars, the United States Army began building a series of fortifications throughout the state to halt Indian uprisings. In February 1823, thirty miles north of Terra Ceia, Fort Brooke was established on the site of present-day Tampa. Four companies of federal troops under the command of Colonel George Mercer Brooke sailed from Pensacola to Tampa Bay and founded a military reservation at the head of Hillsborough Bay. A farm and fishing village, also called Fort Brooke, grew up outside the military reservation. Throughout the Indian Wars, the Tampa Bay area was one of Floridas chief depots for supplies.3 The Armed Occupation Act was another effort of the United States government to control Indian uprisings. Signed into law on August 4, 1842, this act was based on the assumption that the only way to subdue the Seminoles was to establish colonies of settlers to work the land and hold it. As a result, any head of a family could receive title to a quarter section of land (160 acres) in south Florida. The settlers had to reside on the land for five years, build a house on it, and clear five acres. The selected land could not be within two miles of a military post. Homesteaders were also allowed to buy additional land for $1.25 an acre. This act expired at the end of one year, but in that time 210,720 acres were patented. Approximately 6,500 people were added to Floridas population through these land grants.4
Joseph Atzeroth was among these 6,500 homesteaders. Joe, his wife Julia, and their nearly three-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Margaret, arrived in Fort Brooke in the spring of 1843 eager to claim their homestead. Their journey to Florida had been a long one, taking over two years and bringing them thousands of miles from their native home in Bavaria, Germany. Julia was born on December 25,1807, in Bradford, Bavaria. The only survivor of a family of four, she was adopted by a maternal uncle at the age of eleven and lived with him until marrying Joseph in 1831. Joseph was also a native of Bavaria; he was born in Besingen on August 20, 1804. The Atzeroths were married for nine years before their only daughter, Elizabeth Margaret, known as Eliza, was born in Alsace-Lorraine on April 13, 1840.5 Eliza was only a year old when the Atzeroths decided to emigrate to America. They arrived in New York in August of 1841, but after a few months, moved to Philadelphia. Julias health was failing, so they again moved soon thereafter to Eaton, Pennsylvania. On the advice of a German physician, the Atzeroths relocated to New Orleans. Julias ailment was diagnosed as a liver condition, and it was hoped that the southern climate would improve her health. After a year, however, she was no better, and like thousands since, came to Florida for health reasons.6 Accompanied by a German physician, the Atzeroths left New Orleans in the spring of 1843 on the schooner Essex which was employed to deliver provisions to the United States troops stationed at Fort Brooke. Immediately upon arriving in Tampa, Joe began to look for a homestead. It took him two or three weeks and several trips into the surrounding area, but he finally found a suitable place. While on a scouting trip with a group of men in the area south of Fort Brooke, Joe came upon Terra Ceia Island. He selected 160 acres on the southeast side of the island on Terra Ceia Bay. On April 12, 1843, Joe moved his family and the doctor from Fort Brooke to this site.7 The Atzeroths were among the first to settle in this northern section of what is now Manatee County, and they were the first white settlers on Terra Ceia. In 1842, the Josiah Gates family had already settled south of Terra Ceia on the Manatee River. The Gates family, the first pioneers in the Manatee area, were followed later that year by the Henry Clark family, who also settled on the Manatee River. Several other settlers arrived the same year as the Atzeroths, including Ezekiel Glazier, Colonel William Wyatt, Edward Snead, and Elbridge Ware. Though some of these settlers, such as Major Robert Gamble and Dr. Joseph Braden, came from Leon County, Florida seeking new homes and land after the Panic of 1837, many were simply seeking free land under the Armed Occupation Act.8 At this time, Terra Ceia was completely unsettled and remote from civilization. Thick hammock growth such as live oak, myrtle, red cedar, sumac, hickory, sabel palmetto, grapevines, five-leafed ivy, morning glory, and smilax covered the island. Joe planned to live on the boat which had brought the family to the island until a place could be cleared and a tent set up, but Julia was not a seafaring woman and refused to spend another night on a vessel. The men began to set up the tent, but the thick underbrush and vines demanded that they use axes to clear a space for it. Julia, impatient to get settled, wielded an axe herself. Though this was her first attempt at grubbing and chopping, the work must have agreed with her, since from that moment, Julias health improved. Her torpid liver began to perform normal functions, and she discharged the
physician and destroyed his medicine s. Julias universal panacea the grubbing hoe and elbow grease came in handy for the rest of her life.9 Julia had many attributes which served her well throughout her life as a pioneer. The fact that she had never chopped wood, loaded a gun or thatched a roof did not bother this capable and clever woman. What mattered was that it needed to be done, so Julia did it and learned from her mistakes. Julia performed tasks equally as trying as her husband. She hoed and tended a garden, raised chickens, and ran a store and a home. Bold and courageous, she often remained alone to guard her home during periods of war or emergency. It was said that she feared [neither] man nor beast.10 Julia was an impressive, forceful character and the more aggressive member of her family.11 One visitor to the Atzeroth home noted that Joe was quiet and unassuming and that his wife was the lively member of the couple. When business transactions took place, Julia was usually listed as the buyer or seller. Those who knew her said that she was the boss of the place.12 For these reasons as well as the difficulty involved in pronouncing the Atzeroth last name and Julias habit of calling her husband Mr. Joe, Julias friends and neighbors called her Madam Joe. Madam Joe soon grew as tired of the tent as she had been of the boat and suggested that they build a palmetto hut. Joe agreed and chose a site near a spring on the bank of the bay. Stakes were driven for the frame, palmetto branches were gathered, and Madam Joe mounted the roof to thatch it. Having neither experience nor skill in this activity, she did a poor job. When the first rain shower came, the roof leaked so badly that the family had to take refuge under a table. The roof had to be rethatched, and Joe lashed three corners of the hut to trees to withstand the wind.13 About this time, provisions ran short, so Joe went by canoe to Fort Brooke, leaving Madam Joe and Eliza alone on the island with only their dog, Bonaparte, for protection. On his return, Joe was blown off course to Shaws Point and into Palma Sola Bay. He continued south and not until he landed at Sarasota did he realize his error. As a result, he was gone for a week before he reached home. During his absence, Madam Joe had her first opportunity to defend their new home. An owl tried to raid the chickens which roosted in the tree overhanging the hut. Joes old musket was unloaded, but that did not stop Julia from using it. However, having never loaded a gun, she put in too much powder before the shot. The musket discharged in the trees, and the kickback was so great that it knocked her to the ground. On his return, Joe killed the owl. Later, Madam Joe became an expert with both the shotgun and the rifle.14 Once again, the family felt the need for more adequate accommodations, and work was begun on a log cabin. They cut down trees, and since there was not a saw mill close by, they did not have any boards. Julia, by this time an expert with the business of chopping and grubbing, helped to build the house.15 It was a dog-trot construction, two rooms with a wide passageway between them. The spaces between the oak and cedar logs were filled with moss and clay, and the roof was covered with split, cedar shingles. The chimney was improvised of sticks plastered with mud. Later, doors and flooring, as well as glazed sash for windows, were imported from New Orleans. When the house was finished, the live oaks and cabbage palms around the cabin were cut down, the roots and stumps were dug up, and a large vegetable garden was planted. In the rich soil and mild climate of Terra Ceia, anything Joe planted thrived. Fort Brooke provided a
market, though it was thirty miles away. When demand increased, the Atzeroths hired a man to transport the vegetables by boat and sell them in Fort Brooke. With the cabin completed and the acreage around it cleared, Madam Joe had more time to think of herself. She did not have any close female neighbors and needed some companionship. Her thoughts turned to her only sister who had also emigrated from Bavaria but had remained in New York with her husband and child. Madam Joe wanted them to join her family in Florida. Colonel W. W. Belknap, the commander of Fort Brooke, was willing to loan Madam Joe the money for their transportation. Joe was then charged with the responsibility of escorting the family to the island, and he left for New York on a schooner by way of Key West. Once more, Julia and Eliza were left at home alone with the panther, wild hogs, alligators, bears, wild turkeys, deer, and owls. She was used to the wilderness, however, and was unafraid. When Joe returned with Julia's sister and her family, things were just as he had left them.16 Two months after he had first settled on his claim and a short while before his trip, Joe had sent an application for homestead rights to the Land Office in Newnansville, Florida. Dated June 18, 1843, this application attested that he had become a resident of Florida in February of 1842. In it, Joe described his intended homesite: Said piece of land is situated on the West Shore of Teo Racia Bay [sic] about five miles from its mouth or where it joins Tampa or Espiritu Santu Bay commencing at a stake of Blazed tree bearing N.W. of said Point for the East Shore of Teo Racia Bay, running West from thence 160 Rods from this point North 160 rods from thence East 160 Rods and from thence South 160 Rods to the place of beginning embracing on gr. Section of Land.17 This area that Joe described included United States Lot 1, Section 34, Township 33 South, Range 17 East. Joe received Permit No. 949 dated October 29, 1844. Soon after this permit was issued, however, it was necessary for Joe to make a trip to Newnansville, which was 160 miles away from Terra Ceia. The Armed Occupation Act expired before Joe finished the homestead proceedings so he had to file additional papers with the Land Office there. Joe and his brother-in-law, Mr. Nicholas (first name unknown) set out on foot to Newnansville following the old Fort King road from Tampa.18 The trip was long, the country they traveled through uninhabited, and they carried their provisions on their backs. On the fourth night most of their provisions were stolen, and the theft was not discovered until they stopped for lunch the following day. They continued on hungrily until late in the evening when they came upon a cabin of hospitable people who kindly pulled together a meager supper for the arrivals and offered them a place to sleep. The next morning, their hosts spread a typical Florid a Cracker breakfast consisting of a large supply of hog, hominy and corn dodgers, small, fried cakes of cornmeal. Joe filled his plate and quickly began to eat. His brother-in-law, on the other hand, had never seen a corn dodger. He took a large mouthful and spat it out. Speaking in German, a chagrined Mr. Nicholas instructed Joe not to eat the sawdust oil cakes. Nevertheless, Joe continued. Two weeks later after finishing their business, the pair returned home.19
Right after the trip to Newnansville, tragedy hit the Atzeroth home. Julias sister gave birth to a baby who lived for only two hours. A week later, Mrs. Nicholas also died. Her two-year-old daughter, Mary, was left to be raised by Madam Joe. Madam Joe needed something to relieve her grief, and at the same time, she wished to repay the money she had borrowed from Colonel Belknap. When the Colonel decided he needed a housekeeper, Madam Joe accepted the job.20 In early 1845, Madam Joe, Joe, Eliza, and Mary moved to Fort Brooke leaving Mr. Nicholas and a hired man behind at Terra Ceia to take care of the property. The Atzeroths lived in the Belknap home at Fort Brooke. There Madam Joe cared for the Colonels wife and three children who had just recently arrived from the North. The days were interesting ones for Julia who often cooked for the chief of the Seminole Indians, Holatter-Micco or Billy Bowlegs, and his braves, but the indoor life of housekeeper brought back her liver ailment. Upon repayment of the debt after eight months in Fort Brooke, the family returned to Terra Ceia.21 Once again the island life helped Madam Joe regain her health. After a few months of health and happiness, misfortune again struck the Atzeroth family. Mr. Nicholas went to New Orleans to find a job in 1846, the year that yellow fever was rampant in that city. He probably died there. The Atzeroths never heard from him again, and they adopted Mary. On October 14, 1846, a hurricane hit Terra Ceia. It destroyed the Atzeroths home and furniture and forced the family to move into the chicken house, the only structure left standing. The chickens returned to their roosts in the trees, and the family made the best of the situation until a new house could be built. In 1847, in order to earn money for a new house, Joe worked for a Tampa surveyor as a chainman for $1.00 a day.22 In 1848, another problem occurred with the claim to the Terra Ceia homestead. The government sent an official to the Hillsborough County area to examine the papers of homesteaders who claimed lands under the Armed Occupation Act. When he examined the Atzeroths papers, the official discovered that two permits had been issued for their section. The error had to be corrected at the General Land Office in Washington, a process that took a good deal of time. Thus, he advised Joe to move from the Terra Ceia property until the mistake could be corrected. Because Eliza and Mary needed to go to school, Joe agreed.23 Joe returned to Fort Brooke and the city that had grown up around the fort, Tampa. He bought some property on the Hillsborough River opposite the city so that he could continue to live the Julia (Madam Joe) Atzeroth c. 1900. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.
quiet life of Terra Ceia. He hired a man to help construct a house on the property, and the two of them went up the Hillsborough River for supplies. After sawing logs and making shingles, they built a raft of the cut logs and loaded the shingles on it.24 Misfortune struck again in the form of a hurricane on September 23, 1848, and Joe saw his work scattered all along the river. Once more he gathered the logs and shingles together and floated them down the river to the new homesite. After building the frame for the new home, Joe traveled to Terra Ceia to check on the damage there. Madam Joe and the children were unharmed, since they had taken shelter with a neighbor. Joe returned to Tampa, and his family soon followed. Madam Joe did not like the location of the new house, however, because the girls would have to cross the river to go to school. She bought a lot on the town side of the river. The frame was moved to the new site, and the house completed there. On December 18, 1848, the family moved into their new home.25 A little more than a month later, the mix-up of the permit numbers was resolved. On January 24-25, 1849, Probate Judge Simon Turman of Hillsborough County and Samuel Bishop testified that Joe had settled on the Terra Ceia property. Hugh Archer, a Treasury Department agent, ruled in Joes favor. However, the Atzeroths were unable to return to Terra Ceia immediately because Joe had seriously injured his foot. Chills and fever plagued him for nine months. The need for money led Madam Joe to open a homemade beer and cake shop. The store was a great success, because the soldiers of the fort patronized the business in large numbers. After Joe recovered, he also found a job and kept a store at nearby Fort Chiconicla. Other income was provided by keeping paying guests in the Atzeroth home. Samuel Bishop who had testified in Joes behalf in the homestead proceedings frequently stayed with the Atzeroths. Bishop was a seaman from New York, and in 1848, he was one of four men to receive the first pilot's license in the Tampa Bay area.26 The Atzeroths left Tampa in 1851 and returned to the Manatee area, but not to Terra Ceia. They acquired their new property through an act of kindness on the part of Madam Joe. A friend of the Atzeroths, a Mr. Reese, could not pay his debts, and the Manatee County sheriff, Benjamin J. Hagler, sold Reeses unfinished log cabin and 46 acres on the north bank of the Manatee River. On August 7, 1850, Madam Joe had bought the property for $230 with the hope that Reese would buy it back from her. He did not, and the Atzeroths decided to leave Tampa and move to their new property.27 In 1851, they arrived at what is now the site of the city of Palmetto. The family finished the partially-completed log cabin located under six oak trees near the bank of the Manatee River and began preparations for a new, larger home a log house covered with clapboards. A small house which contained a kitchen and a dining room stood forty feet from the main house. This construction served to protect the main house from fire.28 After completing the new house, the family moved into it and converted the original cabin into a store. Madam Joe became the first merchant in Palmetto, and though the store was in an isolated area, she was successful in her endeavor, as she was in all her enterprises.29 She enlarged the farm at Terra Ceia and raised cattle, horses, and hogs. The farm grew so large that
the Atzeroths found it necessary to buy a Negro slave to work it. Samuel Upham reported that this slave was a great service to his owners.30 Workers were still needed to help run the store and farm even after the purchase of this slave, so Madam Joe turned to her relatives once again. She sent for the two sons and daughter of her brother in Bavaria. Though the boys did not like Florida life and soon after their arrival left for more settled areas of the country, Fredrica Kramer, Madam Joes niece who was in her early twenties, stayed to help in the house and store. She had much to keep her busy, for the Atzeroth home was a popular place. Guests often stopped to visit, and when he was not piloting his sloop between Manatee and Tampa, Captain Bishop continued to spend much of his time with the family.31 A few years after her arrival in America, Fredrica found other interests than keeping the Atzeroth home and store. She met and fell in love with Miguel Guerro, a Spanish fisherman of the area. Madam Joe was not happy with this match, because Miguel could not offer Fredrica a promising future and neither Miguel nor Fredrica could speak the others language. Nevertheless, on March 15, 1856, the Reverend Edmund Lee, the Presbyterian minister of Manatee, married Fredrica and Miguel. The couple set up housekeeping in Miguels hut on the western shore of Terra Ceia.32 The Atzeroth family led a peaceful life during the early 1850s. Madam Joe continued to expand her land holdings. On August 23, 1854, she purchased thirty-eight acres adjacent to her land on the Manatee River from Judge Simon Turman at $3.00 an acre for a total of $114.00.33 In their early teens, Eliza and Mary helped perform the household chores. The farm on Terra Ceia continued to grow under Joe's care, and the store prospered. Then in December, 1855, their quiet life was interrupted. A party of army engineers under the command of Lieutenant George L. Hartsuff destroyed the garden and banana patch of Billy Bowlegs. The chief had accepted a settlement from the United States government so that he could remain in his Florida homeland, and he did live up to his part of the bargain by residing peacefully in the Everglades. His tranquility abruptly ended. Making a general survey of Florida, army engineers came upon Billy Bowlegs garden. Only wanting to see old Billy cut up, the soldiers marched through his garden and chopped down the chief's prize banana trees.34 This outraged the Indian, and his braves retaliated by attacking the camp of Lieutenant Hartsuff and his men; thus, the Third Seminole Indian War began. The government reacted by promising $100 to $500 rewards for any Indians delivered to Fort Brooke alive, but the war did not end until 1858, when Billy Bowlegs and 150 other Indians were captured and sent west. During the war, the Indians penetrated into Manatee County and invaded farms and settlements along the Manatee River. As early as 1856, they had burned and destroyed property and stolen slaves of the residents of the area. Most of the settlers at one time or another took refuge in the well-protected and solidly-built Braden Castle across the Manatee River from Madam Joe or in Gamble Mansion on the north side of the river east of the Atzeroths.35 On February 5, 1856, Joe enlisted in Captain Leroy Lesleys boat company for a three month period. The purpose of this group was to track the Indians through the Everglades by boat.
Miguel Guerro also joined this company. Both men were suited for this work because their daily life had prepared them for survival in the Florida wilderness. The boat parties patrolled the areas of south Florida for weeks at a time. One of the trips in which Joe participated took twenty days instead of the ten originally planned. Many residents presumed the men had been killed, but they returned safely. They had visited an Indian camp of Billy Bowlegs, and while there, Joe found a silver cup and spoon that had belonged to the chief.36 During this period Madam Joe showed a great deal of courage. Sometimes, she joined the other residents in the Braden Castle, but most of the time she remained at home. She now was an expert with a gun, stood guard whenever needed, and otherwise kept herself busy providing for her family and taking care of Eliza and Mary.37 By June of 1857, the Seminole War no longer affected the Manatee area directly. On June 23, Madam Joe bought Samuel Bishops sloop, the Mary Nevis for $250.00, and Joe began to operate a mail, freight and passenger service between Manatee and Tampa. While Joe operated the sloop, Madam Joe purchased a slave, named Henry, for $900.00 to work the Terra Ceia farm.38 Two years after the war ended, the 1860 census revealed that the Atzeroths were one of 124 families living in Manatee County. House number 88, the Atzeroths home, is listed twice. The first entry lists the Atzeroth family, Joseph, Julia and Eliza, their place of origin, Bavaria, and their ages, sixty-five, fifty-nine, and nineteen.39 Josephs occupation was described as farmer, and there was a separate entry for Mary Nicholas. This entry indicated that she was born in New York, listed her age as seventeen and her occupation as domestic. A year later Eliza and her cousin Mary were both married. Eliza wed Michael H. Dickens, a first cousin of the English novelist, Charles Dickens. Mary married William ONeill, a sailor from New York and a crew member on a schooner that served the Manatee River area. Both girls were wed on July 4, 1861, at the Atzeroth home in Palmetto.40 Less than a year after the wedding, the men of Manatee County went off to war. Michael Dickens traveled to Ikefeneksassa where he enlisted for twelve months in the First Florida Cavalry on January 1, 1862. On March 5, in Tampa, Miguel Guerro and William ONeill enlisted in the Army of the Confederate States and promised to serve for three years or the duration of the war. On April 24, Joe followed these two. All of the men enlisted as privates and were to receive $50 bounty and clothing money every other month. Miguel, William, and Joe served in Company K, Seventh Florida Regiment, Confederate States Army. In June this regiment received orders to join the Army of the Tennessee at Grahams Ferry on the Tennessee River. They fought at Knoxville and then marched to Kentucky under the command of General Edmund Kirby Smith. While in Kentucky, they saw action at Cumberland Gap. Later they took part in battles at Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Franklin, Murfreesboro and Nashville.41 Army life was hard for the Terra Ceia soldiers who were not used to the cold winters of the North. While in Knoxville, Joe, Miguel, and William became ill. Joe entered the hospital in early September, 1862, and was discharged on November 7. His certificate of disability attested that he had not been able to report for roll call with his company for two months. Miguel was already
suffering from chronic rheumatism before he enlisted, and the cold, rain, fatigue, and thin clothing of army life aggravated his condition. He was hospitalized in Knoxville in November, 1862, received his disability papers in March, 1863, and returned to Terra Ceia. ONeill also became ill in Knoxville in November, but soon recovered and returned to active duty. William was promoted to the rank of fourth Sergeant on August 8, 1862, and third Sergeant in February, 1863. Unfortunately, Michael Dickens never returned home. After enlisting in the First Florida Cavalry, Dickens was stationed at Camp Davis six miles south of Tallahassee. There he received pay and clothing money, as well as an allowance of $23.50 for his horse. However, there is no record of Dickens after this period. The First Cavalry fought at Missionary Ridge in November, 1863, and perhaps Dickens was at this battle.42 His wife and baby daughter, Josephine Louise, never heard from him again. Life at home was hard, even though Madam Joe was prepared for war. She had buried much of the stock from her store to keep it safe from raids by federal soldiers. They never found the Atzeroths hidden supplies. A barrel of flour was buried, and though much of it hardened to the sides of the barrel almost every bit was used. Madam Joe shared it with her neighbors, saving the rest for her own family. In addition, she buried bolts of cloth. Though much of it did not survive, every bit of material that could be used was salvaged.43 Shortages resulted not only from raids by federal troops but also from the naval blockade maintained by the gunboats, Ethan Allen and Kingfisher Any Confederate vessel spotted by federal lookouts on these boats or on Egmont Key was given chase. One of the ships seized by the federal forces was Madam Joes sloop, the Mary Nevis On January 25, 1862, federal forces organized an expedition to send three cutters and thirty-five men to the village of Manatee, where part of the Confederate Coast Guard was rumored to be hiding. That day Captain Samuel Bishop was sailing the Mary Nevis between Tampa and Manatee and was carrying the mail and two passengers, Mrs. Amelia Sawyer and her son, Theodore. Chased by the Union ships, he ran the boat aground, took the mail and escaped, leaving Mrs. Sawyer and her child aboard. After questioning, Mrs. Sawyer and Theodore returned to Manatee. The Mary Nevis was seized and taken to the Ethan Allen .44 The federals intended to use their prize as a dispatch boat. On February 17, Acting Master George W. Frost of the Ethan Allen deployed the Mary Nevis and another cutter in the capture of three Confederate vessels in Clearwater Bay. The next day a storm broke, and the Mary Nevis was grounded and began to leak badly. That evening the ships headed out of the bay, but once again, the Mary Nevis was grounded. This time she filled with water; subsequently, she was stripped and set afire.45 Not all of the Atzeroths memories of Union soldiers during the Civil War were harsh. A detachment of soldiers in search of sugar mills stayed as guests at Madam Joes one night during the war. The next morning she refused the money they offered to pay for their lodging. After the men left, Madam Joe found a five-dollar bill around the neck of her granddaughter who lay asleep in her trundle bed. On another occasion the officers of the federal blockade vessel assigned to the Manatee area gave Eliza some printed china silk; she used this for curtains in her room. One day the captain of a gunboat arrived at Madam Joes with a box of luxuries such as bacon, cheese, sugar and flour. He explained to Madam Joe that it was his wife's birthday, and
because he was far from home and unable to be with his wife on this special occasion, he wanted to celebrate instead by giving a present to the women of another home. Madam Joe accepted the gift and repaid the captain with chickens and potatoes.46 As the Civil War came to a close in April, 1865, excitement surrounded the Atzeroth household. The United States government offered a large reward for the arrest and capture of Jefferson Davis or any member of his cabinet. In an effort to escape, Confederate Secretary of State Judah Philip Benjamin had traveled through Florida on his way to Nassau in the Bahamas. Eventually, he made his way to the Manatee area and Gamble Mansion. Captain Archibald McNeill, the owner of Gamble Mansion and a Confederate blockade runner, welcomed Benjamin and installed him in the mansions best bedroom. Benjamin spent his time in hiding watching the river for federal soldiers. One day, soldiers arrived at the home, and while family members diverted the soldiers, Benjamin and McNeill escaped into the woods behind the house. This near capture caused Benjamin to hasten his plans for escape to Nassau. With the help of McNeill, a boat was secured and Captain Frederick Tresca was hired to steer it to the Bahamas. The party left from Sarasota Bay with Benjamin disguised as a black cook. He arrived in Nassau safely despite several storms and a close call with a federal gunboat. From there, Benjamin sailed to England where his wife and invalid daughter had lived during the war.47 Though Benjamin had escaped from the Manatee area, the federal troops still suspected he was hiding there. They guessed that he must be in disguise. Some troops suspected that Madam Joe was Benjamin; her huge skirt, baggy shirt, and high button shoes could have masked the Confederates true identity. Madam Joe was also above average height, and sun, wind, weather, and the hardships of pioneer life had bronzed and toughened her skin. She was arrested by the troops, and Joe was charged as being her accomplice. They were hurriedly released when Madam Joe proved who she was.48 After the war, the Atzeroth family continued to live in Palmetto on the Manatee River. Eliza and her two daughters remained with her parents, because her husband had not returned from the war. In the fall of 1865, the Atzeroths once again received guests. Dr. Charles Arnold Hentz, a physician from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, paid a visit to their home. Dr. Hentz traveled from Quincy, Florida, to Tampa in a buckboard in October of that year. From Tampa, he traveled to the Manatee River area by sailboat and arrived at the Atzeroth home on October 28. Madam Joe's home had been recommended to Hentz for its good accommodations and famous food. Dr. Hentzs diary reveals his impressions of the Atzeroth household.49 He described Joe as a quiet old German a genuine specimen of a typical Dutchman with a huge pipe and blue blouse. Hentz commented that the reason the Atzeroth home was called Madam Joes was because Joes wife is so much brisker and more full of vim than he. Madam Joe was a large woman with a good-natured, fine, honest face. Hentz called Eliza a fat, dumpy, black-eyed, pleasant little frau. The visitor was very impressed with the Manatee area and the Atzeroth homesite. A beautiful yard and a shell beach lay in front of the Atzeroths house. Vegetables grew all year long and reached huge sizes. Hentz related that the Atzeroths butterbean vines grew so large that they had
to be chopped down. The moon brightly lit the evening sky, and Dr. Hentz and his party bor rowed Joes yawl and went fishing. They caught twenty-five fish in less than two hours. The next morning Hentz paid Madam Joe five dollars for his nights lodging, and soon departed for Tampa.50 On November 27, 1866, Madam Joe sold the Palmetto property that Hentz had so admired. Sarah Campbell of Clarke County, Mississippi, bought the Atzeroth home and thirty-eight acres of land for $1000 in gold.51 The Atzeroths continued to own 46 acres in Palmetto adjacent to the land sold to Sarah Campbell. Now fifty-nine years old, Madam Joe had not seen her homeland in twenty-five years. She longed for Germany and wanted to return there to live. She and Joe travelled as far as New York before her old liver ailment flared up. The doctors in New York said she could not stand a change of climate and that she must return to Florida. A trip to Germany would be too risky. Hence, Madam Joe and Joe returned to their Terra Ceia farm.52 Fredrica was very glad to have the Atzeroths back on the island. She would have someone to talk to, since she and Miguel still did not understand each other's language. The couple now had four sons: Michael born in 1857, Frederick born in 1859, Christopher born in 1864, and Robert born in 1865. The family had moved from Miguels fishing hut to a nearby cabin in 1859.53 Just prior to the Atzeroths departure for New York, a French-born Catholic priest stationed in Savannah had made a missionary trip to the Tampa Bay region. The Reverend Henry Peter Calvreul recorded in his diary on May 20, 1866, that he stopped at an island over 12 miles from Tampa by boat. There he met Miguel and the Guerro family. Calvreul reported that the children could not speak intelligibly because Miguel and Fredrica did not speak each others language and never spoke. The priest baptized the children, and he also visited the Atzeroths. Though Madam Joe was a Lutheran, she brought Joe to the priest so he could hear Joes confession. The priest reported that Mrs. Atzeroth was more interested in the spiritual welfare of [her] husband than he was himself.54 Before leaving the area, he said mass at the Atzeroth home. In 1868, both birth and death came to the Guerro household. The Guerros only daughter, Mary, was born that year, and during this same period, a fever struck the household. Michael and Frederick, the oldest boys died first, and their father buried them near the creek adjacent to the home. Weakened by the birth of her daughter and the death of her sons, Fredrica became Eliza Dickens Fogarty. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.
susceptible to the disease. Miguel went away on a fishing trip, and the family needed water. Fredrica forced herself to make a trip to a spring a mile and a half away. The next day, Fredrica too had the fever. Before Miguel returned, she died. Miguel arrived to find his baby daughter lying beside her dead mother on the bed. The two younger boys wandered in the woods near their home. All three children needed food and medical attention. By the time he buried his wifes body, Miguel also had the fever. He was very weak and found that after he had wrapped her body in an old sail of heavy canvas, he was unable to lift it. He placed her remains on some boards and rolled them on small logs to the place where the two older boys had been buried. After all his effort, Miguel was too weak to dig the grave. But help arrived in the person of Asa Bishop, who helped to dig Fredricas grave. Then, he loaded the remaining family members in his boat and took them to his home on Shaws Point. There Miguel died on July 4, 1868. His three children were adopted by families in the area, and his homestead was saved for his children.55 The following year, Eliza applied for a homestead. On July 8, 1869, using the name E. M. Dickens, she filed her application papers for a 14/100 acre tract, which adjoined the Atzeroths Terra Ceia property on the west. Her final proof of ownership on January 14, 1875, confirmed that she was the head of a family, had cleared five acres, built a usable building, and planted oranges and other fruit.56 On July 1, 1875, she received her patent. Meanwhile, Eliza had married William Henry Fogarty. The fourth of five children of Patrick and Elizabeth Fogarty, Bill was born in St. Augustine, Florida, on January 8, 1842. Bills parents were Irish immigrants from County Tipperary, Ireland. His father was always looking for a way to improve his life, and the family moved often. Bill spent his early years in Key West, Florida. When he was nine, his father died in a mining accident in California. Elizabeth moved the family of four boys and one daughter to New York City where she managed a boarding house.57 The first Fogarty in the Manatee area appeared in 1865 when Bills older brothers, Bartholomew, nicknamed Tole, and John, claimed homesteads. The brothers had journeyed to Key West in the early 1860s. John discovered Manatee while on a voyage from Key West, and he and Tole settled there. In 1868, Bill joined them, and they opened the Fogarty Brothers Shipyard. Their first vessel was the Relief, launched in November, 1868.58 Bill and Eliza were married on March 26, 1870 at Madam Joes home on Terra Ceia, and they lived with the Atzeroths. That same year Elizas two daughters died. Four days after the marriage, Julia Ellen, Elizas younger daughter, died suddenly of croup. On October 19, Elizas older daughter, Josephine Louise, died also. The Florida Peninsular listed the cause of Josephine Louise's death as rain fever. They were buried near the Atzeroth home on Terra Ceia.59 About this time, the Atzeroths began a project that continues to affect the agriculture and economy of Terra Ceia today: the planting of citrus trees. With the Frank Armstrong family, the Atzeroths visited Dr. Odette Phillipe who lived at the head of Old Tampa Bay. He had experimented with different types of citrus fruit, and he gave the families a variety of seeds and
directions for their cultivation. Returning home, they began producing citrus fruit on the island.60 Today, a large section of Terra Ceia is devoted to growing the fruit. On April 14, 1870, Joe finally received a patent for his land. Though he had first filed a claim for the land in 1842, the mix-up over the claim number and the war years had delayed the process of certifying his claim. A few months earlier on January 21, 1870, Charles Mundee, Registrar, and O. Morgan, Receiver of the Land Office in Tallahassee, had confirmed the authenticity of his claim. The next year, on October 29, Joe died at the age of sixty-seven in his home on Terra Ceia Island. He was buried on the homesite that he had claimed thirty years before.61 After Joes death, Madam Joe continued to keep guests in her home. On a tour of Florida, Abbie M. Brooks spent one night with Madam Joe and described her visit in a book she wrote under the pseudonym, Silvia Sunshine. Brooks portrayed Madam Joe as a German lady, celebrated for her hospitality whose rough hands, stalwart frame, and nut brown face indicate a life to which ease and idleness are unknown.62 The Atzeroth home reminded Brooks of a fairy-land where orange trees, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, eggplant, forget-me-nots, roses, geraniums, salvias, and periwinkles grew in abundance. In the evening, Brooks enjoyed hearing Madam Joe sing patriotic German songs while she strolled with the bright moonbeams shining on her pathway.63 William Fogarty, the youngest of the Fogarty brothers and husband of Eliza Atzeroth Dickens Fogarty. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society. Captain John J. Fogarty on the steamer Manatee. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.
In 1872, Bill and Eliza moved to their own home in the same area as Bills brothers and left Madam Joe alone on Terra Ceia. The couple located their home in a newly developed section on the south side of the Manatee River east of Shaws Point called Fogartyville after its first settlers. Bill and Elizas tract was on Fogarty Point, and their home had a view of the river. On June 27,1872, Bill and Elizas son, William Joseph, was born there.64 In 1873, Madam Joe also moved to Fogartyville. She had been living on Terra Ceia with only an elderly Irish woman to keep her company. Madam Joe bought three and a half acres from John Fogarty just south of Bill and Eliza. She had a house built there and turned her yard into a large garden in which she grew flowers, herbs, vegetables, and shrubs. She was especially noted for her ability to grow roses, and it was said of her that she could grow anything. Samuel Upham confirmed this view when he visited Madam Joe in 1881. In Notes from Sunland on the Manatee River, Gulf Coast of South Florida he descibed her home: In this cozy little settlement, close down by the waters of the bay, lives Madam Julia Atzeroth Nowhere else in Florida can be found so many different varieties of trees, plants, vegetables, vines, shrubs and flowers.65 Bill was also interested in farming, and in 1875, he built a house on Elizas property on Terra Ceia and became a truck farmer. The house was built of hard pine and put together with pegs. He Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Armstrong and daughters Mabel (Kissick) and Frankie (Fleming) in their grove. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.
placed clapboards vertically across the front. The main section of the house had one upstairs room. The high pitched roof extended over an open porch in the front and sloped low over the kitchen in the back.66 While Bill constructed this house and cleared Elizas property for cultivation, he still retained his responsibilities at the shipyard and sailed between Tampa Bay and Key West. The same conditions that helped Joe's farm prosper warm climate and rich soil also aided Bills. A large market in Manatee and Fogartyville awaited the harvested crops. Always willing to experiment in his farming, Bill was the first farmer in the county to install an overhead irrigation system.67 In the past, Bill had ferried his produce into Terra Ceia Bay and loaded it on the steamer bound for market. When he began to grow larger quantities of produce, it became increasingly difficult to ferry it to the steamer. Bill decided to build a dock deep into Terra Ceia Bay so that it would reach the steamer. However, he could not secure workers for this project, because it required heavy labor and carried the danger of drowning. Consequently, he proceeded to build it single-handedly. A Complete General Directory of Manatee County, Florida compiled by Andrew Meserve included William H. Fogarty as one of the homeowners in Terra Ceia in 1897. William H. Fogarty home in Fogartyville. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.
The guide mentioned Bill as a grower of vegetables and citrus fruits. It described his dock as one of seven on the Terra Ceia Bay side of the island and noted that it was used fo r the handling of produce and receiving of freight.68 In 1873 and 1874, Bill and Madam Joe both bought additional property through the Florida Internal Improvement Fund (I.I.F.) which had been established by the state legislature in 1855. A Board of Trustees used public lands to develop internal improvements in two ways. Land was sold, and the revenue was used either for improvements or to develop transportation routes. On May 10, 1873, Bill received a deed from the I.I.F. for forty acres west of the bayou that bordered Toles homestead. He paid 75 cents per acre, a total of $30 for this property. The I.I.F. also granted Madam Joe forty acres, and she filed a deed for the property on November 5, 1874. This land was near the property she bought in Palmetto in 1850.69 In 1876, Madam Joe started an experiment which made her garden famous. She planted a few seeds of Mexican coffee that eventually produced the first pound of coffee grown in the United States. Captain John Fogarty brought Madam Joe a packet of seeds from Mrs. Eleanor Warner who had received them from Dr. A. Russell. Dr. Russell had a coffee plantation near Cordoba, Mexico. By 1879, Madam Joe had eight coffee trees. In a letter dated September 22, 1879, she described them: One of the trees is 6 feet high, has 80 branches and measures 16 feet around the tips of the lower branches, the berries hanging on clusters of 5 and 6 from 1 to 2 inches, the leaves being of a beautiful glossy green.70 On February 20, 1880, she sent the first pound of coffee from her trees to the Commissioner of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. In return, she received a $10 gold piece as a prize. Later that spring she sent four more pounds and noted that she hoped to have all eight trees in fruit by 1881. Madam Joe received a letter from President Rutherford B. Hayes, who indicated that he was surprised to know coffee could be grown in the United States. Nevertheless, he had tried the coffee and pronounced it delicious. Madam Joe experimented with other varieties of coffee sent her by the United States Commissioner of Agriculture, and some of these plants also grew as well. The freeze of 1886 killed Madam Joe's coffee plants, but they sprouted anew the next year.71 On June 1, 1883, Madam Joe sold her twenty-four acres on Terra Ceia to William R. Hallock for two thousand dollars. In 1891, when Hallock completed payment for the land, he expressed his intention to continue using the land for vegetables and citrus. He included in the letter a map of the island which showed the location of Bill and Elizas property, known as the Dickens property, as well as his own.72 About the same time William, Bill and Elizas son, finished his schooling and started looking for employment. He had attended the Wilhelmsen Academy in Fogartyville and the Military Academy in Gainesville, Florida, and returned home at the urging of his family. Will found a job with Philip Bungenheimer, a local baker, but he was not happy there. Finally, he convinced his parents that he was not meant to be a baker, and instead, he joined his father at sea and in the shipyard.73
In 1892, at a dance in Braidentown, a new settlement between Manatee and Fogartyville on the site of what is now Bradenton, Will met Caroline Lindemeyer, who had just moved with her family to Erie, north of the Manatee River. Four years later, on January 30, 1896, Will and Caroline were married. Caroline came to live in the Fogarty home on Fogarty Point. By this time, Madam Joe was living with Bill and Eliza also. Caroline suffered no lack of advice and correction in midst of those very capable and very strong minded women.74 She shared the housework with Eliza and Madam Joe. All in all, Will and Caroline were happy. Their son, Louis William, was born the same year of their marriage on November 11. The next year on December 11, a daughter, Margaret Julia, was born. In 1897, Will began work on his lifelong dream, building a schooner of his own. He gathered the materials and supervised its construction in the Fogarty shipyard. The ship was christened Vandalia by Eliza, and on March 1, 1898 was registered in Tampa. Will hired a crew of three Madam Joe Atzeroth and her daughter, Eliza Dicken Fogarty, in front of the coffee trees grown by Madam Joe in Fogartyville. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.
men and used the ship as a coasting vessel, hauling lumber between Apalachicola and Key West.75 The years 1901 and 1902 brought profound changes to the family. On April 20,1901, Will and Caroline had another son, George Clarence. A few months later on September 18, the baby's grandfather, Bill, died of injuries sustained a few months earlier. He had been kicked by a mule while working on the Terra Ceia farm. Reverend Edward Franklin Gates presided over his funeral at the Fogartyville home after which he was buried in the Fogartyville Cemetery. The four-acre cemetery had been donated to the community by Bill and Eliza on April 20, 1896, from the land granted them by the I.I.F. A memorial to Bill was written by a friend and published in a Braidentown paper: He was a model husband and father; a good Christian, a thoughtful and considerate friend. He was ever ready to help in case of need, and to see a friend in distress was to immediately remedy the situation. He kept up attendance at the Catholic Church because of his mother's dying wish, William Joseph Fogarty, grandson of William and Caroline Fogarty. Photograph Madam Joe Atzeroth, in the uniform of the courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Military Academy of Gainesville. c. 1890. Society. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society. William and Caroline Fogarty Photograph courtesy of Manatee County Historical Society.
but he also attended other church services. The precepts of the Bible were his daily guide. Once convinced of right, he never swerved from his purpose. Throughout 1901, Madam Joe suffered from attacks of illness. On January 24, 1902, she died at the age of ninety-four. She was buried in Fogartyville Cemetery near Bill. The local newspaper carried her obituary: Our community in general was pained on last Friday to hear of the death of our Madam Joe, Mrs. Julia Atzerath [sic] which occurred last Friday morning at 8:30 A.M. She had been ailing for some two months and at her advanced age of 94 years, the end was not a surprise. She was one of the pioneers here, having helped, physically, to repel the war-like Seminoles, shouldering her musket as a man would. The end came peacefully and painlessly, surrounded by her daughter and grand-children and great-grand-children. Besides her daughter, Mrs. W. H. Fogarty and family, she leaves friends innumerable to mourn her loss. Children even say, Madam Joe is no more. May she be at rest with her Maker is the most sincere wish of A Friend.77 Madam Joes death signaled the end of an era. Only Eliza was left from the original white settlers on Terra Ceia Island. Both her parents were dead, and she had witnessed the death of two children and her husband. However, life went on for Eliza and her remaining family. Another son, Arthur Bebee, was born to Will and Caroline on July 10, 1902. In 1903, Eliza sold Madam Joes house to John Franklin Reeder for $400. In November, 1905, Will and Caroline took an extended trip to Oregon. They returned in December full of tales about the sights they had seen. It was a happy time for the family, and it would be one of Carolines last memories of her husband. Four months after their return, Will died at sea. In April, 1906, on a routine trip to Apalachicola and the Keys, the Vandalia ran into a sudden storm. Twenty-three days after sailing from Key West, the Vandalia had not returned. The yacht, Tarpon was hired to search for it and found the Vandalia five miles off Cape Romano, capsized in three fathoms of water.79 Caroline and Eliza erected a monument in Fogartyville Cemetery to Will's memory. On the west face is engraved the verse: The sea the dark blue sea hath one He lies where pearls lie deep. He was the loved of all, yet none O'er his lone grave may weep. The Fogartyville Cemetery built on land donated by William and Eliza Fogarty on April 20, 1896. Photograph courtesy of Cathy Bayless Slusser.
Eliza, Caroline and her four children remained in Fogartyville for four years after Will's death. In 1910, they moved to the growing town of St. Petersburg, where Eliza bought the house of Colonel Perry Snell. She rented her home in Fogartyville and would occasionally return by steamer to collect the rent and check on other property. On Monday, September 11, 1922, Eliza became ill and died at her home in St. Petersburg. A funeral service was conducted the following day.80 Eliza was buried in the mausoleum in the Fogartyville Cemetery she had built in 1911. Also buried there were the bodies of her father and mother, Joseph and Julia Atzeroth, her two daughters, Josephine and Julia Dickens, her three infant children and her husband, William Henry Fogarty. Eliza was the last surviving member of the family that had settled Terra Ceia Island eighty years before. The Atzeroths contributions to the northwestern section of Manatee County had been many. With their farm on Terra Ceia and their store in Palmetto, they County helped establish two communities in Manatee County. Not only were they the first whites to settle on Terra Ceia but also the first to recognize its potential as an agricultural and citrus area. Madam Joe especially was instrumental in this field; her experiments with coffee focused the attention of the United States government on the county and influenced many visitors and settlers to come to the area. The familys history is also representative of the struggles and hardships of Florida pioneer life in the nineteenth century. Disease, death, war, economic privation, and loneliness were common to the Atzeroths and others around them. The historical marker on Terra Ceia Island is a silent reminder of one familys struggle for survival and success. 1 Andrew I. Meserve, A Complete General Directory of Manatee County, Florida (Braidentown, Florida; 1897), p. 88. 2 Camille Parker, The Story of Terra Ceia Island The Heavenly Land (Speech delivered to the Village Improvement Association, Terra Ceia, Florida), p. 2. Karl A. Bickel, The Mangrove Coast: The Story of the West Coast of Florida (New York: Coword-McCann, Inc., 1942), p. 19. Eliza Dickens Fogerty. Photograph courtesy of Manatee County Historical Society. The author wishes to acknowledge the financial assistance from a National Endowment for the Humanities Youth Grant. She also wishes to express appreciation to Mrs. Ollie Z. Fogarty for her assistance.
3 Hampton Dunn, Yesterdays Tampa (Miami, Florida: E.A. Seeman Publishing, Inc., 1972), p. 15; Lillie B. McDuffee, The Lures of the Manatee (Bradenton, Florida: Arcade Lithographing and Guide Trade Bindery, 1933, Third Edition, 1967), p. 18; Kathryn Trimmer Abbey, Florida-Land of Change (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1941), p. 217. 4 John K. Mahon, History of the Second Seminole War, 1835-1842 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1967), p. 313. 5 Samuel C. Upham, Notes from Sunland on the Manatee River, Gulf Coast of South Florida (Philadelphia: E. Claxton and Company, 1881), p. 18. Samu el Uphams book is one of the best sources on the Atzeroth family. Upham visited the Manatee area in 1881 and interviewed Julia Atzeroth. He not only relates facts about the familys history but gives his personal comments about Julias character and life. His reason for giving this information is that Julia was a character, and deserves extended notice. 6 Arthur C. Schofield, Yesterdays Bradenton (Miami, Florida: E. A. Seeman Publishing, Inc., 1975), p. 14. 7 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 19; Ollie Zipperer Fogarty, They Called it Fogartyville: A Story of the Fogartys and Fogartyville (Brooklyn, New York: Theo Gaus Sons, Inc., 1972), p. 82. 8 McDuffee, Lures of the Manatee pp. 25, 27, 34, 38, 40, 42. 9 Ruth E. Abel, One Hundred Years in Palmetto (Palmetto, Florida: Palmetto Centennial Association, 1967), p. 7; Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 39; Upham, Notes from Sunland pp. 20-25. The doctor went to Key West where he died. 10 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 41; McDuffee, Lures of the Manatee p. 49. 11 Abel, One Hundred Years in Palmetto p. 13. 12 Buckboard Takes Doc to Tampa, Bradenton Herald 11 August 1966, sec. B, p. 12. 13 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 20. 14 Joseph Herman Simpson, The History of Manatee County, Florida (Bradenton, Florida: The Bradenton Herald, 1915), p. 86. This work includes the history of the Atzeroth familys life in Manatee County written by Eliza Atzeroth Dickens Fogarty. 15 Upham, Notes from Sunland pp. 20-22; Simpson, History of Manatee County p. 86. 16 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 22; Simpson, History of Manatee County pp. 86-87. 17 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 41. 18 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 23; McDuffee, Lures of the Manatee p. 48; Simpson, History of Manatee County p. 87. 19 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 24; Simpson, History of Manatee County pp. 87-88. 20 Ibid 21 Ibid 22 Upham, Notes from Sunland pp. 26; Simpson, History of Manatee County p. 87-88; Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 42. 23 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 26; Simpson, History of Manatee County p. 88.
24 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 43; Simpson, History of Manatee County p. 88. 25 Upham, Notes from Sunland pp. 26-28; Simpson, History of Manatee County p. 88. 26 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 27; Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 43. 27 Abel, One Hundred Years p. 9; Manatee County Deed Book Z, p. 235. 28 Abel, One Hundred Years pp. 9, 37. 29 Ibid 30 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 28. 31 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 44. 32 Marriage License File, 1856-1881, Located in the Manatee County Historical Records Library. 33 Manatee County Deed Book R, p. 408. 34 Abbey, Florida pp. 216-217. 35 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 52. 36 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 28; Fogarty, They Called it Fogartyville p. 52. 37 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 29. 38 Manatee County Deed Book A, pp. 4, 68. There is no record of what happened to the Atzeroths first slave. 39 United States Census Office, Eighth Census, 1860, Population Schedules, Manatee County, Florida. The census data is at variance from other sources on the ages of the Atzeroths. Madam Joes tombstone lists her birth in 1807, which would have made her fifty-three years old in 1860. 40 McDuffee, Lures of the Manatee p. 123; Marriage License File, 1856-1881, Manatee County Historical Records Library. 41 McDuffee, Lures of the Manatee p. 127; Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 55. 42 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville pp. 55-57. 43 Ibid p. 57. 44 John Edwin Johns, Florida During the Civil War (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1963), p. 73; Fogarty, They Called it Fogartyville pp. 59-60. 45 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 58. 46 Ibid ., pp. 58, 62; Abel, One Hundred Years p. 13. 47 McDuffee, Lures of the Manatee pp. 157-171. 48 Abel, One Hundred Years p. 13. 49 Buckboard Takes Doc to Tampa.
50 Ibid 51 Manatee County Deed Book A, p. 163. Later Sarah Campbell sold the property to S.S. Lamb, the founding father of Palmetto. 52 Upham, Notes from Sunland p. 29. 53 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville pp. 53, 63. 54 Ibid ., pp. 53, 63-64. 55 Ibid ., pp. 64-65. 56 Ibid ., pp. 65-66, 81; Manatee County Record Book 19, p. 192. 57 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 19. 58 Ibid ., pp. 24, 35. 59 The Florida Peninsular 13 April, 8 June, 2 November 1870. Marriage License File, 1856-1881, Manatee County Historical Library. 60 Parker, The Story of Terra Ceia Island, p. 3. 61 The Florida Peninsular 8 June, 18 November 1870; Manatee County Deed Books B, p. 397; M, p. 448. 62 Silvia Sunshine (Abbie M. Brooks), Petals Plucked From Sunny Climes (Nashville, Tenn.: Southern Methodist Publishing House, 1886), p. 298. 63 Ibid ., p. 299. 64 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 74. 65 Upham, Notes from Sunland pp. 17, 29; Manatee County Deed Books A, p. 530; J, p. 298. 66 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 81. 67 Ibid ., p. 82. 68 Meserve, General Directory of Manatee County p. 88. 69 Rembert W. Patrick and Allen Morris, Florida Under Five Flags (Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press, 1967), p. 44; Abbey, Florida p. 250; Johns, Florida During the Civil War p. 4; Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 82; Manatee County Deed Book A, p. 529. 70 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 86. 71 Ibid ., pp. 86-87. 72 Manatee County Deed Book E, p. 61; William R. Hallock, letter written from Braidentown, Florida 1891. Partial copy in possession of the author. 73 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 145. 74 Ibid ., p. 150; Marriage License Book 1, 1885-1898, Manatee County Historical Records Library.
75 Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 150. 76 Ibid ., p. 161. 77 Ibid ., p. 163. 78 Ibid ., pp. 163, 172, 182. 79 Ibid ., p. 183. 80 Mrs. Fogarty Dies at Her Home Here St. Petersburg Times 12 September 1922, p. 11; Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville p. 226.
TAMPAS SPLENDID LITTLE WAR: A Photo Essay by Gary R. Mormino Secretary of State John Hay described the Gilbert and Sullivan drama as a splendid little war; Teddy Roosevelt exclaimed that it wasnt much of a war, but it was the only war we had. It was the Spanish-Cuban-American War. The conflict with Spain may only have lasted a few months, but the episode in general catapulted America into a position of major world power and, in particular, put Tampa on the map. Tampa and Cuba interlaced fortunes and destinies in the nineteenth century. The first recorded settlement in Tampa at Spanishtown Creek was inhabited by Cuban fishermen; entrepreneurs such as Howard T. Lykes and James McKay engaged in a profitable cattle trade with the island after the civil war; Cuban and Spanish patrones Vicente Martinez Ybor and Ignacio Haya brought cash and immigrants to the floundering port town of Tampa in 1886; and Cuban exiles filibustered arms and fomented revolution from Tampas Little Havana in the 1890s. Appropriately, Tampa would play a major role in the war for Cuban independence between 1895 and 1898. During the 1890s, Tampas Ybor City pulsated with revolutionary fever, from the fiery speeches of Jos Marti, to cigarmakers pledges of a days work for Cuba Libre When war commenced in 1895, most Tampans rejoiced. However, the city's influential Spanish population viewed the insurrection with increasing anxiety. Such anxiety was ominously expressed by the Tampa Morning Tribune on February 9, 1898. The battleship Maine will be relieved from her station in Havana in the course of a few days, the paper reported, adding, the ships crew must feel uncomfortable lying close aboard in the harbours of Havana.1 One week later an explosion blew the U.S. Maine from the waters, killing 260 American sailors, and arousing an American public to jingoistic fury. Survivors were shipped to Tampa. In Washington, an embattled President William McKinley asked for war. Congress declared war on April 19, 1898. Americans would soon avenge the Maine but practical considerations demanded immediate attention. Where would American forces embark for Cuba? Recent upstart Miami lobbied for the mobilization plum as did Pensacola and Key West, but Tampa was selected. In spring 1898, Tampa boasted a population of about 14,000 inhabitants, an underdeveloped one-track railroad, and a promising port.2 The frenzied demands by the War Department gave city fathers little time to comprehend the magnitude of the operation. To protect citizens from an invasion by Spanish pirates, fortifications at Mullet Key and Egmont were strengthened. By late April 1898, a vanguard of journalists and soldiers had landed in Tampa. Literally hundreds of newspapers and magazines even the Daily Iowa Capitol sent correspondents to Florida, dateline Tampa.3 To the lament of city boosters, most of the fourth estate searched for
adjectives to lampoon Tampa as an illfated choice for embarkation. Tampa, complained Outlooks George Kennan is a huddled collection of generally insignificant buildings standing in an arid desert of sand, and to me it suggests the city of Semipalatinsk a wretched, verdureless town in southern Siberia.4 Another reporter described Tampa as a city chiefly composed of derelict wooden houses drifting on an ocean of sand.5 Added Baltimore mayor Joseph Pangborn: The streets are jammed with army teams Tampa has been completely transformed since my first arrival here, in the middle of March Now everything is booming.6 Journalists and army brass stayed in the palatial Tampa Bay Hotel. The celebrated Richard Harding Davis described the ambience. In the midst of this desolation is the hotel. It is larger than the palace where Ismail Pasha built overnight at Cairo and so enormous that the walk from the rotunda to the dining room helps one to an appetite. Someone said it was like a Turkish harem with the occupants left out One of the cavalry generals said, Only God knows why Plant built an hotel there, but thank God he did!7 For the 64,000 soldiers bearing down on Tampa, there would be no beds built for royalty, or press conferences or chilling spring breezes to invigorate the spirits. Regiments such as the Heavy Artillery, Second Georgia, First Florida, Thirty-second Michigan, and Fifty-seventh Indiana began arriving in May. By June, 25,000 troopers were here. Altogether, four regiments were posted at Port Tampa, seventeen in Tampa, and four in Lakeland. Troopers were garrisoned at various sites from Port Tampa to Ybor City to Tampa Heights. Most could relate to Poultney Bigelows complaint: With the thermometer 980 in the shade the U.S. troops sweat night and day in their cowboy boots, thick flannel shirts and winter trousers.8 At least Tampa businessmen were happy. Business here is on the rush, an ecstatic businessman told the Morning Tribune Every man and boy that can muster sufficient capital to purchase a dozen lemons and a pound of sugar, establishes a refreshment stand.9 Not lemonade, not even the local Tropicana Beer could improve morale as the temperature rose. A litany of discipline problems were reported: soldiers looted a British vessel of coconuts and bananas while troops laughed at police; members of New Yorks Sixty-ninth Regiment left their insignia behind after robbing the Florida Brewery in Ybor City. Feisty soldiers occasionally brought the battle to Ybor City. Some of the regular soldiers are giving the people of Ybor City considerable trouble, complained the normally pollyannish Tribune They demolish saloons, theatres, and restaurants and other places of amusement with avidity and as regular as the click of a Waterbury watch. They shoot out the electric lights, climb on top of street cars, and are in all kinds of diabolical mischief that hoodlums can possibly conceive.10 The presence of young soldiers a volatile brew in normal times confronting the nineteenth century racial code, spelled trouble. Black soldiers of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Infantry were stationed in Tampa Heights, but black cavalrymen had been diverted to Lakeland for fear of provocation. Racial tension resulted when black soldiers tested the tolerance of Tampa, which was very much a southern town in 1898.11 A number of disturbances resulted, the
most serious when black troopers objected to white soldiers from Ohio target shooting at a black youngster. A riot ensued, injuring twenty-seven persons. The Tribune snarled: It is indeed very humiliating to the American citizens and especially to the people of Tampa to be compelled to submit to the insults and mendacity perpetrated by the colored troops .12 Tampas Spanish population fared little better than Afro-Americans. Many Americans already felt endangered by a Spanish fifth column, a mood reinforced when an alleged spy was arrested in St. Petersburg attempting to poison the water supply. General William Shafter ordered agents to open mail of suspected Spanish sympathizers and American soldiers searched and closed the mutual aid society, Centro Espanol .13 If blacks were perceived as unsettling and Spaniards as seditious, at least one group pleased nearly everyone. The Rough Riders captured the public imagination in 1898, becoming the darling of the press and the envy of every young Tampan. Commanded by Colonel Leonard Wood and assisted by the adventuresome Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders arrived in Tampa on June 3 after training in San Antonio, Texas and Chickamauga, Georgia. Called successively the Rocky Mountain Rustlers, Teddys Terrors, and finally The Rough Riders, the company consisted of Ivy League football captains, Indians, cowboys, and it was rumored, a few Democrats. Their brief stay in Tampa, celebrated in the apocryphal Charge of the Yellow Rice Brigade at Columbia Restaurant, was legendary.14 One such incident was recorded by the Tribune : Alice May, keeper of a whorehouse, was shot in the leg and had several bones broken as Rough Riders rioted.15 Despite the many legends, the Rough Riders stay in Tampa lasted less than a week because of rumors that a Spanish flotilla had sailed for Tampa. On June 7, the operation which was totally bungled began. Tampas inadequate port and rail facilities, combined with bureaucratic incompetence, created a tragicomic scenario. Some Rough Riders, frustrated by the lack of transportation to Port Tampa, simply seized some coal cars and commandeered them to the port. Other soldiers had good reason not to hurry. After the boring ride through the desolate Interbay peninsula, soldiers were greeted by The Last Chance Village, a sinful arcade of bordellos and shops erected by enterprising merchants.16 By June 8, the operation was ready for sail. Much to the fury of Roosevelts troops, the Rough Riders horses were left behind, another victim of the bureaucracy. To add insult to boredom, once the ships were loaded, the fleet bobbed aimlessly in Tampa Bay for a week, fearful of the phantom Spanish armada. Roosevelt penned his frustrations to his friend Congressman Henry Cabot Lodge of Boston: No words could describe to you the confusion and lack of system and the general management of affairs here. When we unloaded our regiment at Tampa we had to go twenty-four hours without food and not a human being to show us to camp When we were ordered to embark here it took us twelve hours to make the nine miles of railroad and on the wharf not one shadow of preparation has been made to receive any regiment.17
Finally the fleet left Tampa Bay, and to the tunes of The Girl I Left Behind, and Itll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonite, the war began. The Rough Riders charged up San Juan Hill sans horses Roosevelt won his reputation, America became an imperial power by holding Cuba and Puerto Rico as protectorates, Spain was ousted from the New World, and Tampa was placed on the map.
The Spanish-American War was dramatized by artists whose works appeared in the leading and most powerful magazines of the day. Weighing well over two hundred pounds, Major General William R. Shafter led the American forces in the Cuban campaign. While in Tampa, Shafter slept on the floor of the Tampa Bay Hotel to instill a moral vigor said his spokesman but others insist no bed at the hotel could contain his massive torso.
Frederick Remington captured this glimpse of mules and cavalry moving across Tampa. Remington had orginally been sent to Cuba by his rapacious boss, William Randolph Hearst, to dramatize the civil war. Remington, bored in Havana, wired Hearst, All is quiet. There is no war. I wish to return. The enraged owner of the Journal fired back his message: You furnish the p ictures. Ill furnish the war. Hearst. Soldiers of the Ninth Cavalry (colored) ride across the sands of Tampa Bay. Cubans called them Smoked Yankees. Photograph from Leslies Weekly June 30, 1898.
The Girl I Left Behind An Evening At The Tampa Bay Hotel Photograph from Col liers Weekly June 18, 1898. Scene in camp on the eve of departure, June 1898. Photograph from Leslies Weekly July 7, 1898.
Charles Sheldon drew this portrait of orderly precision as troops embarked for Cuba. Others recall pandemonium. Photograph from Leslies Weekly June 30, 1898. Off to Santiago on the docks of Port Tampa. Photograph from Harpers Weekly June 25, 1898.
Two soldiers enjoy a meal under Tampa palms. Photograph courtesy of Florida Historical Society. Tortured by Florida heat, eaten by disease-carrying mosquitoes, and poisoned by embalmed beef, these American soldiers somehow managed to survive Tampa and defeat the Spanish. Photograph courtesy of Florida Historical Society.
Campsite at Port Tampa. Photograph courtesy of Jack Restall. They gathered by the River Hillsborough to join in prayer. Photograph from Truth June 1, 1898.
The Last Letter. Photograph from Leslies Weekly June 30, 1898. Theodore Roosevelt, poised at a historical watershed, and astride his favorite horse Texas The Rough Rider resigned his post at the War Department to pursue the strenuous life. Photograph courtesy of Hampton Dunn.
Rough Riders pose with the Tampa Bay Hotel gracing the background. Photograph courtesy of Hampton Dunn. Outsiders might guess this photo depicts American soldiers defending the Summer Palace of the Dowager in Boxer-held China. In reality, the horsemen are protecting the Tampa Bay Hotel from Spanish saboteurs. Photograph courtesy of Hampton Dunn.
Officers Staff Meeting (perhaps a prayer meeting or group discussion). Photograph courtesy of Jack Restall. Nurse Clara Barton, an active participant in the war effort in Tampa, inspired other women to serve in an auxiliary role. These women appear to be hosting a picnic for offduty soldiers. Photograph courtesy of Jack Restall.
Embarkation for Cuba from Port Tampa. Photograph courtesy of the Florida Historical Society. Troops crowd Port Tampa docks before embarkation. Note the observation deck of the rail car. Such decks were used during political rallies of the day. Photograph courtesy of the Florida Historical Society.
In an age before guided missiles, this American frigate rode the waves. Photograph courtesy of the Florida Historical Society. Between the heat and the patriotic fever, soldiers were glad to leave Tampa. One New Yorker exclaimed, Were gonna whip them Spaniards, and make them take Florida back! Photograph courtesy of the Florida Historical Society.
The tools of war, products of an earlier arms race, stacked at Port Tampa. Photograph courtesy of the Florida Historical Society. Squad of pack mules to be used in the interior of Cuba. Photograph courtesy of the Florida Historical Society.
1 Tampa Morning Tribune February 9, 1898, p. 3. 2 For a description of Tampa in the 1890s see Gary R. Mormino, Tampa and the New Urban South, Florida Historical Quarterly LX (Jan. 1982): 337-56; Durward Long, Making of Modern Tampa, Florida Historical Quarterly XLIX (April 1971): 333-45. 3 Charles H. Brown, The Correspondents War: Journalists in the Spanish-American War (New York: Scribners, 1967), pp. 202-34. 4 George Kennan, Campaigning in Cuba (New York: Kennekat, 1899), pp. 2-3. 5 Richard Harding Davis, The Rocking-Chair Period of the War, Scribners Magazine XXIV (August, 1898):132. 6 Tampa Morning Tribune May 24, 1898. 7 Davis, The Rocking-Chair Period of the War, p. 146. 8 Harpers Weekly May 28,1898. 9 Tampa Morning Tribune May 29, 1898, p. 1. 10 Ibid ., June 8, 1898, p. 3. 11 Willard Gatewood, Negro Troops in Florida, 1898, Florida Historical Quarterly XLIX (July, 1970):1-16. 12 Tampa Morning Tribune May 12, 1898; see also June 8, 1898; May 18, 1898. 13 Ybor City, Historical Data, Federal Writers Projects, Works Progress Administration for the State of Florida, Florida Historical Society, University of South Florida Library, p. 401; The Tampa Morning Tribune April 18, 1898 reported 150 Spaniards leaving Tampa. See also Tribune May 3, 1898. 14 James W. Covington, The Rough Riders in Tampa, Sunland Tribune 111 (1977): 2-8; Theodore Roosevelt, The Rough Riders (New York: Scribner's, 1899). 15 Tampa Morning Tribune June 23, 1898. 16 Charles J. Post, The Little War of Private Post (New York: Little, Brown, 1961), p. 65; Roosevelt, The Rough Riders p. 60. 17 The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt ed., Elting Morison, 8 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951), Vol. II, p. 837 (June 10, 1898).
PIONEERS IN PALMDALE, GLADES COUNTY by Ralph Wadlow as told to Carroll Wadlow Introduction by Beryl Bowden Depression years meant hardship everywhere, but perhaps nowhere were the problems of survival greater than in Glades County, Florida. Created in 1921, the county came into being as Florida was riding the crest of the land boom with great enthusiasm. Its leaders envisioned a half-dozen prosperous towns growing rapidly in the area with Moore Haven, the county seat, as the hub of extensive farming activities. Many saw dreams turning into realities and truly nothing seemed impossible. However, that was in 1921. In 1922, rains flooded out farming for the entire year, and this disaster was only the first of major setbacks which struck repeatedly at the new developing area on the southwest shore of Lake Okeechobee. Fire swept through an entire block of frame business buildings in the heart of Moore Haven. The land boom burst, replaced by depression, and banks closed. Then in a final burst of fury, the September 1926 hurricane destroyed much of what was left in the county seat town. About 200 residents were drowned when a wall of lake water crashed over the weak levees. Many families moved from the area. Those who remained set about the task of survival with determination, albeit with heavy hearts. Glades County had indeed reached rock bottom, and the move upward was slow and painful. It was a forlorn place when the Wadlow family arrived in 1932. Most people who had bought Palmdale (and other Florida) lots and small farms during the boom never occupied them, or they remained only for one crop year or so. Even in Moore Haven there were no paved highways or streets, no bank, no new buildings. Although the debris had been cleared away after the storm, no replacements had been erected. The primitive roads tended to isolate the area. There was a train which came through southward in the morning and returned, northbound, in the afternoon. It traveled to Clewiston, just south of the county line where a sugarmill, opened early that year, was having severe financial problems. The handful of businessmen and farmers were struggling on a week-to-week basis. Few taxes were being paid, and teacher salaries were doled out piecemeal from borrowed funds. Although the depression was nationwide, Glades County bore an almost insurmountable burden. When the Wadlow family made the trek from the Indiana-Missouri area, they were desperate for anything to improve the health of the mother, whose doctor had told her to move to a warmer climate. The depression had closed down businesses where both the father and son worked, and neither had a job. They decided Florida could be no worse, so they loaded their Essex four with all the necessities it could accommodate and headed to Palmdale, where a relative had purchased, but never seen, a tract of land. They settled on an uncleared, but incredibly beautiful spot on Fisheating Creek and eked out a living from the impoverished economy. They were pioneers dwelling among some nat ive Florida crackers and some Seminoles. They lived off the land and the waters of the creek until conditions improved. They had only
their own muscles and a few hand tools to grub tree roots. Their ingenuity in providing the necessities of life and in adapting to the new environment is detailed by Carroll Wadlow, Ralph's wife, who was intrigued by the bits and pieces of this early life and persuaded Ralph to recount some of his experiences for others to read and enjoy. Ralph recalls the hardships with candor and humor, savoring each incident as a cherished memory. Mother, Dad, and I crossed the Edison Bridge at about two p.m. on December 16, 1932. From Tampa to Fort Myers we had travelled the Tamiami Trail in the pouring rain. Look! Mother pointed. It says Thomas Edison Bridge, but hasnt a single light. Not even the rain could dim the beauty of the street into which we turned. Stately royal palms lined both sides in either direction. White picket fences enclosed well kept lawns. Here was a red brick mansion trimmed in marble, there a quaint white church, even a large white hotel weatherboarded and generously trimmed with gingerbread all over its broad verandas. A little farther on we saw a sign, M. Flossie Hill Co., the Ladies Trading Place. Stop here, my mother called from the back seat, and she climbed out of the car. We need an umbrella. But she was back almost instantly. They have no umbrellas: they say it never rains in the winter! The Boston Store was almost across the street, and they provided us with an umbrella. We had parked in front of businesses the likes of which we had never seen. The entire fronts were open to the sidewalk, with folding doors pushed all the way back on each side. There was a fruit stand, Schlossbergs ten-cent store, Pixton Schultz Drugstore, and apparently a land office. Their proprietors had become interested in us by now. Our Essex four sported an Indiana license plate. Our folding cots, quilts, and tent were stored in the back behind the spare tire. A wooden box on the running board held our cooking utensils and food supplies, opening out into a sort of table or work counter. James H. Ragsdale came toward us with hands extended, presenting himself as a real estate broker and promising to show us excellent land to buy. We told him we already had twenty acres on Fisheating Creek in Glades County, east of Palmdale, and hoped he could direct us toward it. Ralph Wadlow c 1934. All photographs herein courtesy of Ralph and Carroll Wadlow.
My grandfather, William Ferdinand Weiss, of Springfield, Missouri, had offered us the use of his land near Palmdale when my mothers arthritis had flared, and her doctor advised that she come to a warm climate. Both my father, Clyde V. Wadlow, and I had been laid off in the depression crunch, so we all three decided to come down and starve together in the sun. Thankfully, this turned out to be an overstatement, just barely. I was twenty-three years old. Mr. Ragsdale started us east. We turned around and went out over Billy's Creek, leaving the paving behind, and proceeded to LaBelle on a shell road, then by sand Road 27, until we finally saw a few structures in the distance. Palmdale at last! Old man Wagonner stood on his store porch. No, he said, this is Citrus Center. It is too late to make Palmdale tonight. He opened the gate alongside his store and waved us into the Citrus Center Camp Ground Trailer Park, which was just an open field. As we rolled through the gate I heard a terrible noise and felt an awful jolt. I did not call attention to it then, and we went on in, bedded down for the night as usual in our tent and on our cots. As soon as Mother and Dad were asleep I took the flashlight and crawled under the car to find that five of the six universal bolts had dropped off. Next morning, as soon as I could see, I got out to look around for some replacements. There was Henry Randall's honey house just across the road, and he sold me five bolts for twenty-five cents. As soon as they were in place, we were ready to roll and headed for Palmdale Post Office where we picked up our mail forwarded from our residence, Evansville, Indiana. One of the letters was from the Evansville bank where our last $200 was on deposit; sadly, we found out it had closed. Dad had a five dollar bill and I had a half dollar, which I got changed into two quarters so I could give each of my parents a Christmas present. The postmasters son-in-law offered to help us find Grandpas land so we could set up camp. He led us to a spot so ethereally beautiful that we were speechless. Great live oaks and towering palmettos were interspersed with many exotic trees, shrubs, and plants entirely new to us. Spanish moss festooned the limbs and swung rhythmically in the breeze. The tree trunks were dotted with small, tender, green plants and blossoms. The shoreline of the gleaming ebony-black water was strewn with exquisite pale blossoms. Fish plopped on the surface of the creek and turtles scuttled off of logs at our approach. Rabbits and cat squirrels darted here and there. A great rookery surrounded us with egrets, herons, and curlews circling and chattering in every direction. Birds echoed through the trees. Christmas day, 1932, we walked in the woods. I shot a big turtle with my .22 and cut a cabbage tree. It was not very good, as I did not know how to butcher it so it did not taste bitter. Bill Laighton came along and gave us a head of fresh lettuce for our Christmas dinner, which pleased my mother very much. I shot an old blue heron and parboiled it, but it was so tough and smelly we could not eat it. Later that night I heard a possum rattling the frying pan where the fish had been cooked. I shot him, giving the frying pan an extra pouring lip for all time. We ate the possum. I built a stove. I got an oblong gas tank from an old junk car at the Palmdale dump, rolled a Coca-Cola sign into a stove pipe, tied it with wire, and then cut a hole in the top of the tank for
the pipe to stand in. I cut out the end of the tank and wired it back on for a door. Two Model T running boards on stakes made a bench to stand it on. One Sunday we had visitors. Joe Hogan and his woman came by and passed the time of day. They mentioned that we were camping on the favorite fishing ground of the whole community, and did we mind if the neighbors still came to the creek on picnics? We assured them it would be fine with us. The following Sunday about eight or ten adults and the same number of kids came in two Model Ts. Although they fished, they had also brought some food: sweet potatoes, cold biscuits, grits, black-eyed peas, and some pork the woods were full of hogs. They had pans and grease, and Mother invited them to use our stove, which pleased the ladies. They liked that stove pipe which they used to fry perch, black bass, catfish and bream. Mother had brought from Indiana twelve quarts of blackberries she had canned. She dug out a jar of them and made dumplings, dropping them into the brier berries. Everybody praised them. One lady offered to trade a half gallon of cane syrup for a quart of them. We accepted the offer gladly, though we were disappointed that it was not thicker molasses. Another lady paid us a quarter for a jar. The postmaster traded sugar for some. I built a 12 x 16 chickee. It had no floor or windows, but it was better than a 9 tent. The men at the road inspection block had made a chickee, and they showed us how. It took lots of fans, poles, and feed-sack dishtowels to cover the windows. To keep out the hogs and possums, I wove a door of cabbage stalks and wire. I bought scrap lumber at Hicora to make a table and shelves. I got fifty-three board feet of lumber for 53 However, we did not yet qualify as crackers. I did not know that the crackers just pried boards off of any empty house. The game warden was almost a daily visitor and finally brought his family to visit. The crackers constantly coming to fish found us quite a curiosity, just plopped down there and with such queer sounding talk too. Their accents were no less peculiar to our ears. J. W. Snell, who was married and had ten kids, owned a nice big home out on the edge of town, among other property. After they moved into their former store near the Post Office, their home fell into disrepair. He asked us if we would go live in it, and we accepted. We cleaned, painted, and repaired the property, hoed out the little grove, and trimmed up the abandoned grass and shrubbery. Everything responded to our care and the fertilizer we got from a neighboring chicken farm. There was a small garage open on one side with a blacksmith post drill and emery wheel. The neighbors began to bring Model Ts, Model As, and trucks to be repaired. Tom Green had an old broken blacksmith forge which he let us use if we could fix it. Frank Brady said he had no need for his anvil. (I gave it to Lawrence Cutts in 1980.) We picked up coal spilled off the tender along the railroad track. Brake rods often broke from vibration, and people had to go twenty miles to get them repaired. Consequently, Dad went to smithing. We mended these ground valves and tightened connecting rods. Our biggest job was a Fordson tractor that we worked on for two days and earned $2.50. All the other jobs brought sweet potatoes, collard greens, syrup, pork, cabbage, turnips, and occasionally a can of Prince Albert.
The dipping vat for the eradication of cattle ticks was close by our house. Every other week all the cattle and horses in the area had to be dipped. All the cowboys and neighbors came into our yard for shade and water for man and beast. They soon began to bring their chisels, axes, grubbing hoes, and plow points to be drawn, tempered, and sharpened. The railroad section foreman brought a spike keg full of chisels to be worked over, giving us half of them for our labor. They have lasted me, and some friends as well, until this day. At the end of nine months, Pappy Snell said he wanted his place back. He was afraid we would claim squatters rights, a thing we had not yet heard of. In 1933, I began working for the Emergency Relief Program, cleaning out drainage ditches. I worked three days per month for $5, and I had to furnish my own tools and transportation. I worked three months, and in October, the Moore Haven officials asked me if I would run the local office of the Florida Emergency Relief Association. They had heard that I had done relief investigation in Indiana and social service work in Tulsa. The pay was $12 per week, quite a promotion for me! All the Glades County people were receiving $5 per month aid. President Roosevelt, through the P.W.A., C.W.A., and N.R.A. raised the relief to $6 per month per family. About twenty percent of the funds actually got to the people; the other eighty percent went for administration. I worked four months. During that time we paved six miles west of Moore Haven (now Road 27) with local labor. This original C.W.A. project cost the life of one man, Oliver Howell, who was run over by a truck. Avenue J in Moore Haven had only one block then. The 1926 hurricane had destroyed the sidewalks along the shelled street there. With the relief labor, we dragged paving blocks behind the fire truck from other parts of town to make a sidewalk in front of the stores. Many years later the state road department paved the street and put in sidewalks. This pleased the people so much that a street dance was organized on the new pavement. This was the beginning of the annual Chalo-nitka festival. The exotic trees which had lined the streets of the town were also destroyed in the 1926 hurricane. I asked the county for the use of a truck and gas to send men into Fisheating Creek swamp to dig up young water oaks to replace the shade trees so sorely missed. The younger men dug them, and the older men watered and cared for them with hoses hooked up to the yard faucets along the route. This was the idea of Mrs. W. F. Simpson of the garden club. They are beautiful spreading shade trees now, though those on one side were later sacrificed for sidewalks. I also had a little private tree business. When I spotted nice little trees out in the woods while I was working my bees, I would prune them and clean the brush away so that when I got an order for one, I could deliver a pretty, well-shaped one for $1. Many of them still beautify the town. Dad got a job as machinist for the U.S. Sugar Co. for $100 per month. We moved to a 160-acre farm on the Glades-Highland County line and were to pay $100 per year if and when we made that much on it. With two frosts and a freeze that winter we did not make it, but we managed to stay on for another eighteen months.
Raymond Wagner, a friend of mine from Indiana, wrote to ask if he could come down and work with us. The place had a mule and some plows, and we wrote Raymond to come on. Mother asked him to bring us some decent flour, because she could get only the self-rising kind, which she did not know anything about. It did not make good gravy; after all we were Missourians. Raymond brought two fifty-pound sacks packed behind the driver's seat of his Model T. It did not make good gravy either because gas slopped out of the tank all over it. We spread it out on a sheet of roofing tin to aerate it, so that when the neighbors began to smell mother's bread baking, she was in business at 10 per loaf (Store bread was 11 ). We heard about a beautiful tract of hammock land that was tax delinquent and could be bought for taxes. In fact, we had admired it since we first came to Palmdale. I had even said to my mother jokingly, Ill buy you that some day. This we did, sixteen acres of it anyway. We paid $53.25 for it over a period of nine months, making payments of 25 50 sometimes a dollar at a time. We built a house there at Redbug Ridge, named by the railroad section workers and highway laborers who rested in the shade and got covered with redbugs (chiggers). The first thing we did was to clear a spot to plant a pineapple patch. John Dazey on the next place to ours was too old to farm much, and he told us we could have all the slips we wanted if we would clean out his patch. We worked three days, got a thousand slips, and put in a quarter acre. We were ready to harvest our first crop when somebody came while we were away and did it for us, not leaving us one. But they continued to bear fruit as long as we lived there, and I could always sell them for 25 apiece. We borrowed $25 from Raymond Wagner when he got back to Indiana and found a job. We went to Hicora and bought two loads of scrap lumber for $10 per load from an old Negro who had worked there all his life. Some of it was dressed and was less than six feet long; the rest was rough and longer. This gave us enough to frame up one room and a lean-to, except for the roof. We used cypress poles for rafters. Raymond Wagner and Ralph c. 1933. Ralphs parents in their yard c. 1934.
The mill was shipping heart pine to Spain at that time. Its workers sawed off thin boards until they came to the heart. We ripped down this rough stuff with a hand saw to about three inches wide, to be used to sheathe the roof. We cut all the cabbage fans, about a thousand, for a mile around. We tied them into bundles of about twenty-five, as they were too slick to handle loose. We placed them in a big circle on the ground, folding the edges under and pressing them out flat by holding them down with logs for five to seven days. We put a shingle nail in the end of each stem, and nailed them in rows onto the sheathing, beginning at the bottom. We covered the sides with the smaller, overlapping fans. The floor was one-by-six tongue and groove, from twenty-four inches to thirty-six inches long, with a joist wherever the ends came. We got six windows by hoeing sweet potatoes for the Greens two days a week. We obtained two doors from an abandoned house. We lined the inside with ripped-up cardboard boxes from the store. We tacked up a ceiling of cheesecloth from Sears Roebuck to keep the bugs and snakes from falling down out of the fans. We made a table and three chairs out of cypress poles and scrap boards. Somebody lost a chair in the road near us, which gave us one for company. We had our folding cots from our trip down. Pineapples that eventually were dug and cleared with a grubbing hoe. Clearing away the tangle of a palmetto brier and bay from the land Ralph bought.
Grandma got us a cast-iron cook stove from a foundry in Missouri and had it shipped. Mother lost no time in catching onto the tricks of cracker cooking. She had to bake her biscuits with rank, sow belly grease, but she would put green pepper slices between them to cover the flavor. She tenderized tough beef and venison by wrapping it in papaya leaves. She canned guava shells and juice in her emptied jars until we could get sugar to make jelly. When we found turtle eggs she always made a cake. The fish house would give us black bass because it was illegal to sell them at the time. She would roll the fillets in a clean sugar sack and drop them into boiling water to cook, dropping some potatoes in the water at the same time. She made cakes, rolling them in meal and frying them. They would keep in my pocket for my dinner for two days if I was not too hungry. The house and gardens were enlarged a little at a time. Frank Brady had an extra well on his place, and he let us pull up the pipe and put it down at our place. Other neighbors brought us banana plants, flowers, and shrubs. I transplanted orange and grapefruit trees from the woods. Every morning I would get up and build the fire, put on the coffee, and go out and grub ten palmetto roots before breakfast. I planted a garden with the avocado, mango, and papaya seeds from the over-ripes at the store. Gradually, I framed up a gable roof of cypress poles to make the kitchen cooler. We weathered several hurricanes in this little house. It would creak, groan, and weave around, but never leaked. Eventually, I got a cypress pole chicken house built. With a borrowed setting hen we raised eleven hens and a rooster. Then we saved up eighteen eggs to set again which gave us eggs and the roosters to eat. Tom Green had ordered 100 sexed, speckled, Sussex baby chicks at 17 each. They were delayed in transit, and he refused them. The station master offered to sell the lot for $6. Mother and I scratched up this amount, and we managed to raise fifty of them. Seven were roosters, which we sold at $2 each. They were a heavy English meaty breed, the hens weighing Little thatch cabin off to one side of the pineapple patch. Clyde Wadlow, Frank Brady, and Ralph Wadlow on a tractor borrowed from Tom and Reason Green to break the land c. 1934.
eight pounds apiece. The biddies looked like quail and grew up brown with gray spots, very unusual for our parts, and we had an easy market. Some Pahokee people came every Sunday and bought four dozen big brown eggs at 60 a dozen, when we could get only 25 or 30 at Palmdale. I planted Egyptian wheat and rice for chicken feed. In three years I had 300 hens, and there was always a good market for hens, fryers, and eggs. I drove to Moore Haven twice a week with my chickens, eggs, honey, and vegetables from my garden. I made the trip in my $10 Model T, with no tag and no license. Mr. Gilbert came to my rescue and gave me the title to an old, junked Model T. I cleared about $2 per day. Each Sunday everybody got together in a couple of skeeter trucks and went to some pretty place on Fisheating Creek to fish. We took such food as cabbages, potatoes, biscuits and syrup. The fellows would kill rabbits, turkeys, ducks, squirrels, quail, and fish until we had enough for the crowd. One man who worked at the coaling station on the railroad always brought the coffee and hauled some of the people in his little truck. After we finished eating, we always divided up everything that was left. That was the only good meal for some of the folks until the next Sunday. In May, before the summer rains set in, several families would get together to gather stove wood before the woods got too wet. The men would cut standing light wood trees, each one measuring with his own stick just the length his stove would take. Then we sawed and split it. I would take a load back to a couple of houses and pick up the women and children with the food: fish, chicken, eggs, biscuits, syrup, grits, potatoes, and any other vegetables in season. All were deposited at a good picnic place near the water, and we enjoyed ourselves. Clyde Wadlow starts to tend the garden. Homemade tractor, built in 1934 from a ModelT.
This went on for several days at a time. Everybody chipped in a couple of gallons of gas and got enough wood to last through the rainy season. There was also a lot of socializing at the places where they raised cane and made syrup. These farmers usually furnished most of the food for the workers. Everybody chewed cane, told lies, and boiled down the last batch for candy. The processing of a crop of cane always required a little moonshine. The skimmer always put every drop of the skimmings into a crock. After it was fermented, it was distilled. Everybody would come by for a sample. I went by Henry Byrd Smiths when he was catching it warm out of the worm. I took one sip and had to reach up and hold the top of my head in place. And the entertainment! At Bert Haddens house we would put the furniture out in the yard, get fiddlers and guitar plunkers, and dance up a storm. Grandma Gilbert beat the fiddle strings with straws of palmetto stems narrowed down. Viola Whidden blew the (French) harp. Joe Hogan usually did the calling, and he knew many more than the three or four tunes the Palmdale people could dance to. There was a wash pot full of coffee in the yard, and the ladies would bring cakes. Of course there was a jug or two out in the bushes. Our old swimming hole had filled up with sand after the WPA dug a drainage ditch out from Palmdale. We chopped the cypress knees out of the bank and put in a little pump to wash out the mud. A white sandy beach was left. We built a little dock and springboard made from an abandoned bridge. Up in the oaks that spread out over the creek we attached long cables with rings in the ends. You climbed the live oak, climbed out on the limb, and swung down over the water. We tore down an abandoned house and barn and a couple of old county bridges to build a pavilion with a picnic table and benches. We bought new flooring for a dance floor. When it was finished we got two or three hogs out of the woods and barbecued them. The girls brought baked beans, cakes and pies, and we had a dance to finance a roof for the pavilion. We passed the hat and got enough to buy a bunch of second hand roofing and put it on. The park was used daily through the summer. In my Chevy, I rounded up all the kids who could not make it on their own, and Ginny Gaskins and I taught them all to swim. We convinced them that only those who could swim would be allowed to ride the school bus to school in Moore Haven in the fall. The only kid in the community who did not learn was Gary Haskew, who was just too shy; he made up for it later, however. Everybody took soap and a wash rag to the creek. The only bath tubs were those of the postmaster and the hotel. However, my family did have a rainwater cistern, and even a hand wringer, but most of the families would get together, several at a time, and go to the wash place on the creek in somebodys skeeter, with all the dirty clothes. Their washpot, clothes lines, scrub board, tubs, and fish poles stayed there between times. The women would scrub while the men would fish, go for wood, and tend the wash fire. Then the men would carry the washed clothes out into the creek, scrub them up and down, and wring them for hanging on the lines. While they dried, the kids were bathed, they went swimming and rested in the shade. Soon it was time to go home and fry more fish. If you did not like fish, you soon acquired a taste for it. Earl Summerall, Frank Jones, and I hunted frogs for market. Whole frogs brought 15 per pound. Dressed, they sold for thirty-five cents; however, they had to be iced, and ice was 25 a hundred pounds and was twenty miles away. So, we sold them whole. We would go out to the
ponds and wade all night with sacks on our backs and a headlight each. Mother made me a vest with a pocket on the back of it to hold my battery for my headlight attached to a rubber band around my head. Sometimes we got thirty pounds in a night, sometimes forty. We sold them in Lakeport. Some of the boys hunted on horseback over a larger territory and got a hundred pounds a night. Earl and I hunted frogs out of season when there were very few available. We built a cage and put it half in the ditch where there was a little water. As we got frogs we also picked up craw-dads to feed them on. We might get ten or fifteen pounds a night that time of year, and we kept them penned up until we would get a hundred pounds or so. When we took them to Lakeport to sell, all eyes bugged out at our catch. While we were frogging we also hunted turtles, which were very easy to find in dry season. We got about five cents a pound dressed meat, about two pounds to the turtle, and it helped buy gas, or we ate them ourselves. In the fall, the woods were full of raccoons feeding on acorns, persimmons, and craw-dads along the edges of the ponds. We hunted them with the headlights too. Buyers would come to the house and paid three dollars or so for the skins which I had stretched, dried, and tacked to the woodshed all ready for them. There was also a market for live raccoons. Hunting clubs in Georgia were paying three dollars each for any number to stock their preserves. I made a tool with which I could reach for a raccoon and grab it by the neck without getting bitten. On January 5, 1934, I was riding a bicycle up the road to get a setting of eggs. I met two trucks loaded with bees. One of the drivers asked me if I could direct them from Palmdale to Lakeport by back trails so they could put their bees out along the way. I told them they could not get those big trucks through that way. They offered me a half dollar if I would go along and show them a way. I led them around the hammocks right out through the woods. They thought they were lost all the way. I learned bee keeping from them W. S. Haynes and his son, Ross, from Dunedin. Along the way a limb brushed the screens off the top hives and knocked two hives to the ground. That is when I got initiated. I got home about 9 oclock that night, unable to close my hands from the stings. We put out 500 hives on a fifty-five mile circuit in the woods. I would run the circuit about twice a week for one dollar. The Haynes came about once a month, and I would help them. We extracted the honey in a trailer right in the bee yards. We stayed in the woods a week at a time, sleeping in a second trailer which they left down here. The first season we had camped in the open in a hammock with a smudge fire of oak and cow chips for the mosquitoes. By the next year, they had built the first house trailer I had ever seen. I pulled it with my Model A pick-up, and they pulled the extracting trailer with their ton-and-a-half on which they had put high wheels to get them through the water. The Haynes were excellent cabinet makers. In their house trailer they had screened windows, a kerosene stove, a water storage tank, and two double built-in bunks. Drawers with partitions held the crockery, groceries, and any other necessities. We took chickens and eggs and killed ducks,
quail, and turkeys. They had seven bee yards. We went from one to the other until we had a full load, which we took to Dunedin. Then we came back for more where we left off. We were the first to use open-head steel drums for marketing honey. We first saw them used at a bakery in Tampa. They held the shortening used for baking. On inquiry they told us they had them by the hundred to sell at one dollar a piece. They are now used worldwide for shipping honey wholesale. We worked 300 hives that first year. We finished extracting on Thanksgiving day, producing twenty tons of honey. I was still on one dollar per day. Honey sold for five cents per pound. They bought some bees in Moore Haven for one dollar per box-hive. We transferred them to standard equipment, building up to about 500 hives that year. About 1937, Henry Randall offered me $1.50 per day to help him with his bees. So I worked part time for him and part time with my own bees. The Haynes' had given me four or five pieces of old eight-frame equipment to catch my swarms in, so now I had about twenty-five or thirty hives of my own. I was expanding everytime I could get a little lumber and/or another swarm. During that period, Clarence Gorman took us to Lakeport to visit the Cow Creek Indians. They lived in the wild woods near the Brighton reservation. They were very shy, only a few men spoke any English. The women were not allowed to speak to white people at all. The older men still wore their mid-calf shirts, and the younger men wore pants. Their life was very simple. They had a few cattle and hogs in the woods, and they all had planted gardens of beans, peas, tomatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, bananas and some citrus. They gathered huckleberries to sell in Moore Haven. They harvested wild guavas and placed cratefuls of them by the roadside to be picked up and hauled to the jelly factory at Palmetto. They cut cabbage palms at 3 per tree for a factory in Jacksonville, which made the fiber into brooms and brushes. In the spring they gathered the cabbage buds into bunches which they sold to a church supply house for 3 a bunch to use in worship on Palm Sunday. This they still do, but not at that price. The Cow Creek Indians had lived for many years in very low land near Brighton called the Cabbage Strands. Once in a while the United States Indian Agency would transport them to the Big Cypress Reservation. The Agency did not know that although their dress, homes, and habits were similar, the Cow Creeks were completely distinct from the Miccosuki. They would very gradually and quietly walk back to the Cabbage Strands where they were born. Finally, about 1935, the Agency offered them a reservation of their own in the Cabbage Strands, and they accepted it provided they could continue to live in their own kind of chickees and could have a school for their children. The government furnished equipment for them to build roads to replace the old sand trails. Shortly after, a severe drought in the southwestern part of the United States was causing the Navajo and Apache Indians to lose their cattle. The federal government bought up the remaining cattle and shipped them by rail to the Brighton and Big Cypress reservations. They were sold to the Indians individually on a lend-lease proposition. They were to pay back to the tribal herd the
same number they got to begin with, plus a given number of head as interest. Under this program the government established permanent pastures. My job was to show them how to clear the land of the palmetto and myrtle and to plant seed or sod of nutritious grasses. There was a government subsidy to finance the project. I employed many Indians who became good friends and who would come to visit me at home. I learned a bit of their language and they gave me an Indian name: Little Man-Who-Laughs. At their first field day in 1936, they had a tug-of-war and other games taught to them by Indian missionaries from Oklahoma, descendants of the Seminoles who walked the Trail of Tears from Florida. I was a judge at many of the subsequent pow-wows, which I considered an honor. There were foot races for the squaws with pots and pans as prizes. The mens prizes were cigarettes and baskets of groceries. There would be a baby show, stick ball games, a barbecue, horse racing, and a huckleberry pie eating contest. Mother and I drove fifteen miles through water knee-deep in the Model A to get to the first pow-wow. Back at Palmdale there was a hotel facing the park. It was an oblong, two-story, white-board building with vine-covered porches on two sides. Occasionally a few railroad men stayed there and once in a while a teacher. It was run by the Ahlers. One day Mr. Ahler hankered for his favorite dish, fried cabbage. Coming in from work on his chicken house at noon, he ate some of it and died. We heard the news as we came through town, and stayed to help Mrs. Ahler. Ralph in 1937 with Seminole woman at Brighton Indian Reservation.
The neighbors prepared the body. They weighted the eyelids shut, and wrung cloths out in vinegar to cover the skin to keep it from darkening. They sent to Cecil Parkinsons in Moore Haven for a coffin and the first whole suit of clothes we had ever seen on Mr. Ahler. While there they registered the death. Burials were held at a big Indian mound at Ortona, which was to become the county cemetery. The sand was very loose. The hole could not be dug until the body was ready to be lowered; even then it often caved in and had to be dug all over again. At any rate, the lightest men, no more than two, of whom I was invariably one, would carry the body from each end. They approached from one end of the ditch, walking through just far enough to lay down the burden and quickly bury it to a depth of not more than four feet. The grave had to be dug shallow so that the water would not rise in it immediately and quickly because of the sounds and smells of decaying flesh. I. E. Scott always attended the funerals. In addition to his regular duties as tax assessor, he kept the records of the location and identification of the graves. He was the only one who would wade through the sandspurs and brush in the woods to tell you where to locate a certain grave. The clerk of the circuit court and the county judge usually attended, as well as the superintendent of schools and county commissioner of the district where the deceased lived. Funerals were valuable political occasions, and the clerk usually brought a floral arrangement from Masons Rose Garden in Moore Haven. The great hurricane of 1926 had destroyed all the records and most of the landmarks, so the county clerk had started all over again. Sometime later, they marked off streets in the cemetery and shelled them well so they would show up clearly. Bert Hadden worked on this project, and he told me they often would run into some grave sign right in their path. He said one old rotten board coffin had long hair growing right out of the cracks. The 1940s brought the Second World War. I was drafted six times, but never could make the minimum weight, although I had a commission waiting for me. I was hired by the Agricultural Sam Huff, 1936. One of the older Indian men who continued to wear the traditional long shirt. At Brighton, he is chopping a pumpkin to feed his pig.
Adjustment Administration, one of the first federal farm programs. It subsidized the improvement of pastures, clearing and planting of pasture grasses, and digging water control ditches. The supervisor out of Gainesville taught me mapping and survey work. I worked the fall and winter months as a troubleshooter in the field of eight or ten counties, at one dollar per hour. I continued this on a part-time basis for nearly ten years. During this time, I also worked on the federal farm census. William Lamar Rose, of Punta Gorda, came home wounded from the war in the South Pacific and got the job of supervising the farm census of southwest Florida. He obtained space in the Hendry County Court House where I was working, and talked me into covering Hendry County. There were very few people living in those rural areas, but I took it because it gave me the sugar mill personnel at 25 per farm and 5 per person on the farm. There were some three hundred questions to be asked and recorded on each form. There was a prisoner-of-war camp at Liberty Point, one of the sugar mill plantations, populated by 200 of Field Marshal Rommels Afrika Corps. They worked for the sugar company, so I got permission from the commanding officer to get from the companys roster their detailed records. The prisoners were all male, white, and between the ages of twenty-three and twenty-seven. There were bee keepers among them who built fancy, typically German hives in imaginative shapes. They caught swarms and made honey. Passersby could see the hives near the entrance gate. They were not placed there to deter visitors, as was rumored, but because camp space was extremely limited. When the prisoners left, local bee keepers bought their colonies and converted them to standard-type hives. There were some good artists among the POWs. They would display their drawings for sale by the road near where they worked in the fields. This gave them money for cigarettes, gum, candy, razor blades, and soda pop at the canteen. They were paid very little by the sugar company. You could tell the Germans were very lonely by the sad and eager way they waved from their work in the fields. Local people contributed musical instruments with which they formed a very good band and played concerts in Clewiston. Their baseball teams played local teams. I still drove my Chevy. I had gas rationing stickers. I had to keep track of every trip I took with my truck for wood, produce, honey, and bees. I heard a lot of complaining about my privilege to buy so much gas. People ran out of gas at our place very often. After the war, the 1950s rolled around; another kind of pioneering came along. The farmers began to find out they had to have bees in their fields to get the quality of produce they needed for a good profit. More and more I was hauling my bees farther and farther for pollination. I got eight or ten dollars per hive which I rented per crop. Finally, encouraged by the Immokalee farmers, I began looking for a better home and a more convenient location. All my life my ambition had been to give my parents a good home of their own. When I bought the old Yeomans homestead just adjacent to the town of Immokalee, this was to be realized. We moved December 16, 1957, the day before the twenty-fifth anniversary of our arrival in Glades County. My folks were getting along in years, and my mother, Carolyn A. Wadlow, at age eighty-two died on May 11, 1964. My father continued to work at the sugar mill
until he was seventy-eight years of age. He died August 16, 1967 at the age of eighty-eight. They both lie near our many friends in the Ortona cemetery, where I expect to be reunited with them. With the death of my parents, the home that had once seemed so ideal to me no longer attracted my interest. I soon took up another form of pioneering. In 1969, I got married and moved to Fort Myers.
A NOTE ON BOCA GRANDE by Charles Dana Gibson After reading, "Boca Grande, Its Railroad Heritage," by Jeanne P. Reidy, ( TBH 4, Spring/Summer 1982, pp. 21-32.) I feel the following comments are warranted. Boca Grande is not a natural deep water port; rather, the "natural" depth on the entrance bar prior to the first dredging in 1912 was nineteen feet. Prior to 1912, deep draft ships had their cargoes topped off seaward of the bar. See records of the Army Corps of Engineers preceded by at least half a dozen surveys dating from the 1771-74 mapping of Bernard Romans. Captains I. W. and William Johnson were not the first pilots for the area, much less acting as such in 1888. They were preceded by a few years by Captain Peter Nelson, an ex-Danish seaman who operated from Cayo Costa (the island which forms the southern boundary of the entrance into Charlotte Harbor). In 1904, Nelson and the Johnsons were jointly and officially appointed as pilots by the Commissioners of Lee County although all parties had acted as pilots prior to that time. See Eldridge's Coast Pilot No. 2, Southern Section, 1883, updated to 1890, states that in 1890 in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, "There are no pilots here." An additional source is Florida's Vanishing Era by E. H. D. Pearse which has, on page 44, her diary excerpts for 1900-01. Also Minute Records of Lee County Commissioners, February 3,1904, Minute Book 2, Page 316. The author's claim of who were island residents in 1888 is totally misleading. In 1888 there was no "lighthouse keeper and his family," for the simple reason that in 1888, there was no lighthouse. Moneys for the construction of the lighthouse were not allocated by Congress until 1888. The lighthouse first operated on December 31, 1890. See U.S. Lighthouse Service Records, National Archives. There were however a number of fishing people living on the island's northern end. They lived at or near the site of the Peacon Fish Ranch which itself had been in operation at least since 1877 and which is known to have still been operating under Peacon's management as late as 1896. This was a permanent type installation. See George B. Goode, The Fisheries and Fishing Industries of The U.S. Sect. II, Government Printing Office, 1887. Interview with: Raymond Lowe, island resident, whose brother was born at Peacon's Ranch in 1912 and whose father worked for Peacons, circa 1895-97. The island received its name probably from a Spanish missionary priest (circa 1500s) namely one "Friar Gaspar." See early maps and charts as well as Blunt's American Coast Pilot 15th Edition, 1847, New York. The author states that when L. M. Fouts and party stepped ashore on Gasparilla Island in 1905, they were joining "the lighthouse keeper and his family and the assistant keeper and his family" (and obviously the port personnel and pilots at South Boca, Grande). She does not mention the rest of the residents on the island, namely those who importantly had homesteaded there and who had been issued patents on their lands: William Smith, patent issued 1891 John R. Peacon, patent issued 1901 J. Wynn, patent issued 1892
R. Wotizki, patent issued 1892 James Newsome, patent issued 1892 These patents were issued for homesteads which were on lands on the central section of the island from present-day First Street to the Lee/Charlotte county line. See abstracts of subject real estate parcels; also Lee County land records. The author's dependence on Karl P. Abbott as a source is disappointing. Abbott's account was written many years after the fact and apparently from memory. Had Ms. Reidy thoroughly reviewed more authoritative sources such as the American Agricultural Chemical Company (now Connoco) files, she would have found many materials to separate fact from fiction. Also, she did not avail herself of the voluminous War Department Records which discuss in detail the railroad's right of way, phosphate terminal leaseholds, etc. These files are imperative reference and the best background source for anyone wishing to piece together and understand the island's early development. The author completely ignored the activities of the Boca Grande Land Company, an AAC Co. subsidiary. The "Land Company," through its sales offices, was the entity responsible for land sales following AAC Co.'s takeover of Gasparilla Island ownership, at least that part not remaining under War Department control. She failed to explore, through scholarly research, how Boca Grande was "packaged" by AAC Co.; thus she has overlooked the planning of the island for its dual purpose, ie., a resort and a phosphate port. She also seems to be unaware of the intrigue which went into that "packaging" and thus leaves the reader with an erroneous understanding of those early days. For example, at one point, and as part of the intrigue, the northern one third of the island was held under a patent grant given by the government to the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad.
ALEX BROWNING AND THE BUILDING OF THE TAMPA BAY HOTEL: REMINISCENCES Edited by James W. Covington In 1889 Alex Browning came to work as assistant architect to J. A. Wood who was designing the Tampa Bay Hotel for Henry B. Plant. Forty years after he had worked on the project, Browning decided to write an account of what he had done and some of the details concerning the construction of the hotel. Of course, an account written forty years after the event is not as valid as one written just after the incident has taken place, but it is the best available record of the construction of the hotel. So far, letters and plans left by Plant or Wood have not been found. Alex Browning born in 1866 at Paisley, Scotland had come to Sarasota with his family in 1885. The Brownings had been engaged in lumber mill and wood work operations in Scotland, but John Browning decided to take a chance with the newly organized Florida Mortgage and Investment Company which had purchased 50,000 acres at Sarasota, Florida from Hamilton Disston and needed settlers. In 1885, sixty settlers from Scotland and England came to Sarasota but soon left, finding the place not as it was described to them in Great Britain. Only John Hamilton Gillespie, the John Browning family and several others of the group remained to seek a livelihood in Florida. Henry B. Plant. All photographs herein courtesy of Hampton Dunn.
The details of Alex Brownings life between 1885 and 1889 are not clear. At first he worked with his father erecting buildings for the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company. How he and Wood became acquainted is not known. Brownings account of the work on the Tampa Bay Hotel is good, and his memory for details is much better than the average person. Differences between Browning's account and facts known to other persons are noted in the footnotes. When the people of Tampa first realized that Mr. H. B. Plant was going to build a hotel in their city, it came with the knowledge of the fact, that, most of the Hayden homestead had been bought by Mr. J. A. Wood, an architect, whose office was at 152 Broadway, New York City. The Hayden orange grove was situated on the west side of the Hillsboro River, where the family lived in a large rambling one-story frame house, with wide verandas all around located amongst the orange trees, about a hundred yards from the river. They had reserved their home and a few acres of land in the deal, but sold all from there to the old ferry road that led down to the river, opposite Lafayette Street in the city.1 I don't know how many there was [sic] of the Hayden family, but Doc was one of them, a dentist, travelling around the country, pulling teeth, a good mixer with the boys in town. Hayden, south of Sarasota was named after him. Tampa Bay Hotel under construction in 1890. The home in the foreground most likely belonged to Jesse Hayden.
The rest of the Hayden property extended along the river front, to the track of the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway where the [Railroad] draw bridge was swung in the center. They crossed the river in their own skiff to get to town. There was no bridge across the river for passengers at this time. At the foot of Lafayette St. there was a ferry, just a decked over barge, large enough to carry a double team, the motive power being long poles on the river bottom.2 There was also a flat bottom boat rowed by the ferryman, for passengers, for which a small payment was made. Soon after the land transaction was recorded, a gang of blacks started to grade for a spur line from the main [railroad] line to the newly acquired Tampa Bay Hotel property, as it was now called.3 Before this was completed, Mr. Wood and a few mechanics commenced to step off the location of the buildings to be erected, eventually settling in his mind where to place the workshop and store houses.4 Jerry Anderson, the proprietor of the H. B. Plant Hotel and a large two-story frame building, with two-story frame verandas, situated on the corner of Tampa and Zack Streets where Maas Brothers Department Store now stands, was put in charge of the black laborers, clearing the land where the temporary buildings were to go.5 In the meantime an order had been put in to Dorseys mill, up the river a short ways, to cut dimension lumber for the erection of office and building, and an open barge was being built at Swifts boat yard, for the transportation of this material from the mill to the hotel grounds by water.6 One of the conditions, made with the City, was that [it] should build a bridge across the river at the foot of Lafayette Street; a promise they fulfilled to the letter, and Jim MacKay was soon busy driving the piling. How this permit was obtained so hastily from the U.S. War Department, and a wooden draw bridge sanctioned, is one of the secrets of S. M. Sparkman, the shrewd lawyer who negotiated for it.7 The fat pine blocks were brought by ox teams, and Fred Cooper [was] made foreman of the carpenters. He soon had a gang of men on the job, the lumber being carried up from the temporary wharf, where it was unloaded from the newly built barge [and] rowed from the mill with a black on the end of long sweeps, three on each side, and one to steer by. The first building to be built was about seventy-five feet square with a hip roof of shingles, the floor [was] about six feet off the ground, and [the] basement excavated underneath. At the south end the office was located, and opposite this the store room; the rest of the floor was the carpenter shop where Fred Coyne, a Canadian, was made foreman of the shop, and benches built in place, and a band saw installed.
The south half of the main building, as far as the rotunda, was then laid out in the old fashioned way with a carpenter's level and [a] straight edge with lines drawn from a given center. George Cusack was now foreman brickmason, and E. B. Holt, from New York, Superintendent, while Mr. Wood was in the office, figuring on his plans and ordering materials. Most of local materials were strange to him; [there was] no gravel or broken stone or coarse sand to make concrete with, and Greencove brick [was] too soft to use in the foundations. The idea that oyster shells would make good concrete had him send a barge down to the Alafia River and get a load from a mound there. I was sent to walk along the [railroad] track, taking a black along to carry empty cigar boxes and bring back samples of likely building sand where a switch could be built to go in and get it. This was a long hot walk, but I did get what was wanted. [T]his sand was used to build the entire building of concrete, brick mortar, and plastering, and does not show a crack or blemish to this day, over forty years old. The cement used was the Brooklyn brand, a natural cement, made at Kingston on the Hudson River, N.Y. and brought to Tampa by the Benner Line of sail boats. [T]he first lime used was also brought on the schooners. The brick, then being supplied from Green Cove Springs, [was] a soft sand burned brick. When samples were brought from Campville, Mr. Wood soon made arrangements and started a The Rotunda Room used as the main lobby. The Elevator.
brickfield there, making sand and lime brick, and kept this place making them for the next four years. As one looks at these built in the wall, they are as good today as when they were first laid.8 The kilns are still burning them, the same texture and color as when they first started making them. Ocala lime was then made and brought in barrels, the black mortar mixers were kept busy slacking this rock lime ahead of time as it had to stand a few days before using. At this time there [were] not many mechanics in Tampa to draw from. Although Mr. Wood was a driver of men working under him, he was always fair in his dealings with them. [A]ll he wanted was a fair days work done, something the natives were not accustomed to yet Being of an inventive mind, he soon had some of the town boys as apprentices, learning the brick mason trade. Among them were Fred J. James, A.I.A., now President of the State Board of Architecture, the two Webb boys, Ernie and his brother, George Bean, now a Washington politician, and [James] Lenfestey, now in the broom manufacturing business. All of them served their apprenticeship on this job and were full fledged mechanics when it finished three years later. The plans were followed only as the architect directed. He was on the job from early morning to late at night. Ten hours was a days work then, but this did not seem to satisfy him, and it often was my luck for him to get me about the time the gong rang, and talk things over, and plan tomorrows work. John Mahony was accountant and time keeper, and he was well liked by everybody. Dapper and neatly dressed, with a close trimmed beard, he knew all the men by their first names and did much to keep the job running smoothly. One of the first difficulties on the job was taking care of the water of a small creek that drained the back woods, near the ferry road. A culvert was built, and the foundations built over it. This led to a circular pond down by the river to grow aquatic plants later.9 About this time the Yellow Fever broke out in Tampa, and all who could, got away from it as far as they could, but this did not stop the hotel work although the forces were greatly diminished.10 Mr. Wood kept a supply of medicine for workers who were complaining, both white and black, and bought oat meal for the water boys to put a dipper full in each bucketful of water. This kept the men strong and healthy, and I believe, this was the reason there was so little sickness on the job. The blacks got fat and slick on this oat meal and would dig down to the bottom of the bucket to get the settlings. Mr. Wood would point at them with pride, as if exhibiting a slick looking mule, commenting on their brawny appearance. Although he was a hard task master, he had many good qualities. Old Frank Hardaway, an old slave, was given the house boys job. He would go over to town and bring a hot lunch from the hotel, to Mr. Wood, but all the rest of us would carry our dinner pails, half an hour being allowed for lunch. After the Yellow Fever epidemic, there were only a few missing from the hotel job. Their places were filled by mechanics from the north, and the building activities started again in earnest. Another section was laid out, making the main building 1200 feet long.
Mr. Van Bibber, a carpenter and boat builder, made all the molds for casting the stone lintel courses, sills and skewbacks, and a crew kept busy making artificial stones, laid out in the shade to cure. At this time all the Portland cement was brought from Germany or Belgium, distinguished from the Natural cement by the iron hoop on the barrels. I believe it cost delivered in Tampa, $3.00 a barrel for Portland, and $1.75 a barrel for the Rosendale, Brooklyn Brand, [named] after the Brooklyn Bridge, where it was used extensively. The only reason why Portland was used in making the stones was that it was lighter in color. As the building progressed, large rain water tanks were incorporated as part of the foundation walls. Other walls were spaced off, which later on became the Bar Room, and Billiard Rooms, with toilets and elevator pits. These were covered over with steel beams and joists to support the first floor.11 The window openings were horseshoe arches, the light and dark colored brick used to radiate the colors, and stone skewbacks and key centers were used, the whole design of the hotel being Moorish.12 As the brick work was going on at one end of the building, the footings were being put in at the other end. All the concrete was mixed by hand, on the sweat board. There [were] no concrete mixers then, [and] only the stoutest men could do this heavy work. Extra pay was allowed them, The veranda of the hotel.
the same pay as the mortar mixers, $1.75 a day, while common labor was paid $1.25 for ten hours. There was a large circular saw, hung up on a wire, outside the time keepers office. This was used for starting the men to work, and at quitting time, by continuous banging with an iron rod; premature [primitive] but effective. Mr. Holt and myself had a certain number of strikes on this so called gong to call us to the office, when wanted there; it saved a lot of time on a building 1200 feet long and was more certain to find us than sending a boy as messenger. When not at the [drafting] board working on the plans or more often filling in alterations that had been made on the construction as improvements when they came to the notice of Mr. Wood, my work was principally keeping track of materials, brick, lime, cement, steel and etc. and bringing lumber in the barge from the mill, with a gang of blacks, and stacking it carefully in the shed by the river. Mr. Wood took a great interest in this material, cypress mostly, to see that it was straight and true, anticipating all his requirements when it came to finishing the job. Some of this cypress seasoned here for over two years before being cut up and made into inside finish, and to this day, forty-three years later, does not show decay or shrinkage. All the scroll work on the front veranda was made on the job from this cypress, sawn at Dorseys mill from logs floated down to Hillsboro River.13 When being sawed, it was necessary for the sawyer to wear a south wester and fishermans oil skins to keep from getting soaked with the spray from the wet logs, some of them four feet in diameter. [They were] heavy to handle at this time, but light when seasoned. At the mill, one day, getting the barge loaded, I took a violent vomiting spell and became quite sick. My old black, noticing me, said Boss you going to be mighty sick soon, better start back with what load is on now. I managed to steer back to the hotel dock and went in the shed and lay down. Old Frank went and got John Mahony, who got a buggy and sent me home. This developed to a bad attack of malaria fever and bloody flux, and I nearly died. Dr. Weedon attended me, along with Peter Bruce Stewart, an old friend, who came with us on the S.S. Furnessia from the old country. Between them they cured me, and I was back on the job in about three weeks time, although very weak. Mr. Wood kept me at the drawing board, making details, and checking up materials, mostly in the shade, till I got stronger. One day Jerry Anderson let a car get away from him. It was loaded with bricks on a down grade, and went through the back wall of the hotel, at this time, two stories high. For a punishment, his job was given to me. I seemed to be the only intelligent goat, and Jerry was made a straw boss, cleaning up the mess he was blamed for. Nobody was hurt, and the change of occupation only made the job more interesting. This didn't last long, and Jerry soon had his old job back again, bossing the blacks, unloading materials. The carpenter shop foreman, Fred Coyne, was kept busy making window and door circle head frames. All the machinery he had was a band saw, driven by black power: two men on the handles, fastened on each side of the fly wheel. Later on there was a small engine and upright boiler installed and a whistle for the time keeper. It was my job to see that [it] was kept with steam pressure, and a black [was] given me to fire [it]
up. The engine was placed in the basement, with a line of shafting and bolts running to the machines above. Then a circular saw and planer was installed, making a real handy place to work in. The circular saw was no respecter of persons, [and] Haskins lost a finger or two. The tin shop was also in this basement, in the charge of Pete, an octoroon tinsmith. All this hotel was covered with Taylors Old Style Pontiminster and is still on the roof and towers. [It was] a good example of American made tin, newly on the market at that time. Pete is now janitor in charge of the library in Tampa Heights. As the building advanced, the south end was roofed in first. The carpenters placed the out riggers for the galvanized cornice, keeping me busy making drawings for the brackets going in the angles and circles. Dan Shea came from New York to take charge of the plumbing and steam fitting; he was recommended for the job by the Durham Plumbing Supply Co. Consequently, all pipes and fittings were got from them. The whole system of plumbing was screw fittings and soil pipe as well. There were no State Sanitary Laws in those days, and many present day ordinances [were] violated. Still this was considered a first class, up-to-date job of plumbing. When the steamer H.B. Plant, running between Jacksonville and Sanford, burned to the water line, it naturally put John Shea out of a job. He was purser on the boat. So he came with the hotel company as John Mahony's assistant time keeper and was given charge of the store room, while I was advanced to assistant superintendent, with increase of pay. As time advanced, what was done as [routine] ways of working, now seem strange. For instance, we had no level instrument, only hand levels. Yet when a survey was made in later years, it was found that in 1200 feet, the length of the building, there was less than a course of brick out of level, a remarkable showing on any building. The method of fireproofing the floors of the halls [was] distinctly unique and original as designed by Mr. Wood.14 In the halls, steel beams were spaced at regular centers, the the form was supported on the lower flanges, and the spaces against the beams filled in with concrete. One inch tee irons were placed across from beam to beam, and galvanized iron wire cable, with the twist still in it, laid across the tees. This was then filled over with concrete and the beams covered in. The aggregate of concrete was broken bricks, oyster shell and white sand, mixed eight to one, with Rosendale Cement. This steel cable was got from Punta Rassa, Florida, an old submarine telegraph cable, that formerly carried messages to Key West and then to the West Indies. It was brought up from Punta Rassa by schooner as deck load, and unloaded on the hotel embankment.15 Whenever wanted, a piece the length required was sawn off and unwound. The copper cable in the center was saved, and almost paid for the freight of bringing it on the job. When this cable was all used up, the Benner Line of schooners would bring as deck load all the old cable they could carry from the N.Y. terminal of the Brooklyn Bridge. At that time the cars were all cable cars, and this old cable was bought for a mere trifle, all good for reinforcing concrete. The rope center was later cut up and used as hair in the inside plastering. This concrete was finished underneath with white coat, and is easily seen without a crack to this day. I was told by Mr. Gus
Kahn, of the Truscon Steel Company, that as far as he knew this was the first reinforced concrete work in the United States. Underneath the hotel, there [were] large rain water cisterns built of concrete reinforced with cable wire. Although filled with water for years, I never knew them to leak. The structural steel came on the job, in lengths as ordered, but not fabricated. Somehow, it fell to my lot to have the holes punched in their proper places, to fit to the angles or stays. There was a hydraulic punch for this purpose worked with a short handle, as a pump. It's a fact, a lady could punch a hole in a twenty inch iron beam, seven eighths of an inch in diameter with ease. This pump was filled with alcohol and a few drops of sperm oil. There was a small air hole on top to relieve the suction on the plunger. There was an artesian well driven, but it was not a success as a flowing well. The water came to within three feet of the surface. Tom Smith and I were given the job to cut a hole in the six inch casing below this level and attach a two inch pipe to carry the water to the basement, where the water boys came to fill their buckets. This was used until such time as the city water was brought across the river. The Solarium.
When the main building was finished on the outside and the roof was on, the dining room and solarium [were] laid out on the north end.16 Connected to this [were] the kitchen and pantry and cold storage plant refrigeration rooms.17 The annex joined the dining room. The second story was on the same level as the gallery of the dining room around the dome, which formed a hemispherical roof, ninety feet high, from floor to apex. As I said before, the style of architecture was Moorish, and the gallery above the dining tables, while used by the orchestra later on, was following out the idea that the women of the harem should look down on their lords while eating without being seen themselves. [This was] a little far-fetched for Tampa, but quite effective architecturally. The gorgeous Grand Salon as it looked in 1902. The Main Staircase in the hotel. A luxurious room for guests at the hotel.
* Editors Note: The next portion of the narrative, which is omitted here, related to building of the dome, the sickness of Wood and W. T. Cotter serving in his stead, the drafting office, Eureka Electric Company with the electric contract and Otis Elevator Company with the elevator contract and construc tion of the servants quarters and power house. Most of this time Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Plant were travelling in Japan buying all sorts of bric-a-brac and sending it to the hotel. Some of it was most appropriate and some of it altogether out of place. This resulted in the trimmings of the bar room, the billiard room, and writing room finish being changed to Teak wood and mother of pearl. The furniture and rugs were in accordance with the spirit, and altogether the effect was wonderful.18 The Ladies Parlor mantle piece came from the Vanderbilt Mansion, being wrecked at this time. This necessitated a lot of extra work in the [drafting] room, making other parts to correspond and harmonize. With five hundred workmen on the job, each day saw a lot of work done. Everybody was busy. Overtime was being paid time and a half. A good plumber [was] paid as much as two hundred The hotel and grounds as they looked in 1922.
dollars for one weeks work. Some of the mahogany finish such as the stair case, and rotunda railings, were made outside by contract and erected by our carpenters. The grounds were laid out and put in charge of Anton Feigh, a German gardner, and palms and palmettos were transplanted, some of them over fifty feet high.19 The gate entrance and walks around the rose gardens were planned in the office, and afterwards staked out by me. Curbs and walks were paved, all on the front of the hotel. Then a conservatory [was] contracted for and built by northern people. Wharfs and boat houses [were] installed on the lawn. Soon the place was a perfect paradise of roses and tropical plants.20 As the hotel construction got finished, the carpets were laid. It had been my job to measure the rooms, make drawings and number them to correspond, then send them to New York and have the carpets made to fit.21 Mr. Cotter congratulated me later [and said] that all the carpets fitted exactly [with] no mistakes in the sizes. When the furniture was all in place, Mr. Hayes came as hotel manager, bringing with him a staff of cooks, and Mrs. Trowbridge as housekeeper. [She] had her assistants and chamber maids who soon had the place all nice and clean, giving the whole place a homelike atmosphere. 1 So far as can be ascertained, Plant purchased tracts of land which totaled sixty acres in 1886 and 1890 from Jesse Hayden and Mrs. Nattie S. McKay. The Hayden house was standing on the site where the lobby of the hotel building The Dining Room
was to be erected. See Karl Grismer Tampa (St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Publishing Co. 1950), pp. 186-189 and James W. Covington The Tampa Bay Hotel, Tequesta XXVI (1966): pp. 3-20. 2 A marker commemorating the ferry and erected by the Hillsborough County Historical Commission stands at the foot of the east side of the bridge. 3 The word black had been substituted for other terms throughout this narrative. 4 In addition, James A. Wood of Philadelphia designed the DeSoto Hotel and Hillsboro ugh County Court House. 5 The forty room H. B. Plant, located on the east side of Ashley between Lafayette (Kennedy) and Madison, was opened on December 14, 1884, Grismer Tampa p. 179. 6 The earliest available City of Tampa Directory is for the year 1900 and it does not list either Swifts boat yard or Dorseys mill. 7 John A. McKay had built the railroad bridge across the Hillsborough River. Grismer, Tampa p. 186. Simeon Sparkman served as attorney for the Plant System. His office was at 511 1/2 Franklin Street. 8 Some bricks were brought from Ohio and others were supplied by barge from the Hillsborough Brick Company, Tampa Tribune August 30, 1889. 9 This small creek, now known as Biology Creek, empties into the Hillsborough on the campus of the University of Tampa. The circular pond is still in existence. 10 Seventy-nine persons died in the yellow fever epidemic which lasted from September 22, 1887 to January 11, 1888. Grismer, Tampa pp. 185-186. 11 These rooms have been converted into a rathskeller, kitchen, and mens room. 12 Actually the two large domes reflect a Byzantine influence in combination with the Moorish theme. 13 Between 1930 and 1935 Madison Barber salvaged nearly 3000 pine and cypress logs that had s unk in the Hillsborough River during the logging days. Tampa Tribune December 12, 1954. 14 The change from narrow to standard gauge on the South Florida Railroad provided rails which were used to reinforce the walls and ceilings. Some rails can be seen at present in the ceiling of one classroom. 15 The International Ocean Telegraph Company line from the North entered the Gulf at Punta Rassa or Fort Dulaney and extended to Key West then to Cuba. 16 At present the dining room is known as the Fletcher Lounge. 17 This section has been converted to the Science area. 18 A trip to Europe for the purchase of items there took place in 1889, but the Japanese trip occurred in 1897. Some of these items purchased were overpriced and were of doubtful origin. 19 Anton Fiche, a Frenchman, was in charge of the gardening activities, Tampa Tribune June 21, 1959. 20 A catalogue of fruit and flowers lists twenty-two kinds of palm trees, thirteen kinds of ferns, nine kinds of cacti, eleven kinds of orchids and numerous citrus trees. One mango still bears fruit. The original catalogue is at the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
21 Red carpeting with woven emblematic dragon and lion figures are still on the floor of the Plant Museum lodged in the former hotel building.
THE 1910 CENSUS AS A GENEALOGICAL RESOURCE One of the most useful genealogical tools is the Federal Census of the United States. Originally, as stated in the U.S. Constitution, its purpose was to determine the number of inhabitants of the several states to apportion representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Every ten years since 1790, the census has been taken and more and more data has been gathered to assist the United States Government. It is valuable not only to count the number of people within the states but also to assemble a host of demographic data to assist in the apportionment of Federal programs such as Revenue Sharing. By order of the Federal Privacy Act these records are kept from the public for a period of seventy-two years. The 1910 Census was taken in April 1910 which made it available for public review in the spring 1982. Initially, the 1,784 microfilm rolls were only available for inspection in the National Archives, Washington, D.C. Presently, copies of the film may be purchased through the Archives' Publication Sales Branch. It is expected that the eleven regional archives branches will have films for use by the public this fall. (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle.) The 1910 Census schedules are organized by state and thereunder by county; heavily populated counties are further divided by cities and sometimes by wards. Unfortunately only twenty-one states have been indexed by either the Soundex or Miracode System. The twenty-one states including Florida whose census schedules are indexed on 4,642 rolls are listed below: Alabama S Kentucky M Okalahoma M Arkansas M Louisiana M Pennsylvania M California M Michigan M South Carolina S Florida M Mississippi S Tennessee S Georgia S Missouri M Texas S Illinois M North Carolina M Virginia M Kansas M Ohio M West Virginia -M What type of genealogical information can be extracted from the 1910 census? All sorts of pertinent, personal data are detailed on this enumeration which marks the first census for ancestors who immigrated, to the U.S. between 1900 and 1909. Additionally, 1910 census takers were the first to pass a written exam and in most cases were not appointed by congressmen. They gathered the data of April 15, 1910 on the names of persons, relationships, exact address, languages spoken, race, color, facts about the parents, the years of naturalization and immigration, and occupation. The 1910 census will prove to be a valuable tool for genealogists who speculate about their ancestors at the beginning of the 20th century. Doubts will be cleared up and yet other speculation will begin. Information contained in the census may also lead to other genealogical directions such as immigration passenger lists and naturalization records which prolong the never ending search.
The editor traveled to the National Archives in July 1982 to view personally the 1910 census data. The NARS clerks were extremely helpful. If your state is not indexed it is possible to find your ancestors systematically if you know their street address. The editor knew the addresses of all his ancestors in an unindexed state and was able to locate 67% of them in a reasonable period of time, but he never located the other 33%. Also do not be discouraged by the indexing systems. If you know the county and city of your ancestor do not be totally discouraged if their names are not on the index. Search anyway. It certainly was possible for a government indexer to miss a name. SOURCES Regestein, Janice M. "The Opening of the 1910 Federal Census" in The Genealogical Helper March-April 1982, pp. 5-10. "Census for 1910 now available" in Genealogy a Publication of the Family History Section Indian Historical Society May 1982, p. 5. Interview with Barbara Dalby, Genealogist and Past President State Genealogical Society, August 24, 1982. Interview with Mary Mobley Kitchen, Instructor of Genealogy, St. Petersburg Jr. College, July 2, 1982, in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.
BOOK REVIEWS Wish You Were Here! A Grand Tour of Early Florida Via Old Post Cards By Hampton Dunn. St. Petersburg, 1981. Byron Kennedy & Company, pp. 283, Cloth. Wish You Were Here by Hampton Dunn is a Florida historical work done county by county. It covers approximately the first half of this century using hundreds of postcards to present this historical era. Creating this book must have been a labor of love. The research and selection of the hundreds of postcards portraying Florida from the turn of this century through the s is a task those interested in the cultural, economic, social and political history of our sixty-seven counties would find a joy. The authors knowledge of Florida and its history shows in the comments accompanying each postcard. He has kept the information factual, light and stimulating, and leaves the reader with a desire to explore further. Some might complain about the scarcity of postcards displayed for some counties. However, it is this scarcity in some areas, that enhances your curiosity. Maybe there are other postcards for these locations lying undiscovered in someones attic. Here is a history book you will enjoy reading, re-reading and sharing with others. It is a fine professional piece of work using an interesting historical primary source of information, the postcard, dated and time stamped by the U.S. Government Post Office. The book adds to our knowledge of our state, its counties and communities. It surely will spark some to look at their old postcards, to see how they, their relatives and friends made history. This book is certainly pleasant reading, and at the rate buildings are being torn down and scenic views are being black topped over here in Florida it will become more valuable each day. John Friend Floridas Gubernatorial Politics in the Twentieth Century By David R. Colburn and Richard K. Scher. Gainesville, 1981. University Presses of Florida. Photographs. Tables. Pp. viii, 342. Cloth. Hampton Dunn
Floridas Gubernatorial Politics in the Twentieth Century by David Colburn and Richard Scher is a welcome addition to the literature on Florida history and politics. Colburn, a historian at the University of Florida, and Scher, a political scientist at Florida State University, have written a well-documented account of the leadership styles and political positions of Floridas twentieth century governors. The authors make extensive use of manuscript collections, interviews, government publications, and Florida newspapers in addition to the existing scholarly publications. A weakness in the book is the three introductory chapters that are used to provide a demographic setting for Florida gubernatorial politics. Unfortunately these introductory chapters too often read like The Book of Lists The reader learns everything from changes in the number of agricultural workers in Florida to changes in per capita income. We discover those governors who were rich and who were poor; who were Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc., and who were businessmen, lawyers or Farmers. Some categorization of this information would have been more useful and certainly more interesting. Parts II and III of the book are its real strengths. Part II describes the structure and processes of the governors office, including chapters on the constitutional setting, the executive office and the relationship between the governor and the legislature. Colburn and Scher describe the powers and limitations on the chief executive in trying to shape public policies. The three chapters on structure and processes provide an excellent introduction for Part III which deals with gubernatorial initiatives in the areas of race relations, education, economic development, and criminal justice. Each of these chapters provides a thorough examination of how Floridas twentieth century governors have dealt with the states most pressing problems. Tampa Bay readers will be especially interested in their account of the Charley Johns legislative committee that investigated communists, homosexuals, and subversive activities throughout the state. The University of South Florida was more thoroughly investigated than any other state educational institution. Colburn and Scher also offer an interesting narrative of Governor Claude Kirks 1970 attempt to prevent court-ordered busing in Manatee County. A contempt citation and a $10,000 a day fine caused Kirk to quickly rethink his position. The books final chapter is a weak attempt to rate the performance of Floridas governors in the area of race relations, economic development and ethics. We find that only one governor was an economic liberal (Fuller Warren), two were racial liberals (LeRoy Collins, Reuben Askew) and five were low in ethics (Sidney Catts, David Sholtz, Charley Johns, Hayden Burns, and Governor LeRoy Collins. Photograph courtesy of University of South Florida Library, Special Collections.
Kirk). One is not sure how various governors were assigned to their respective categories other than on the basis of the authors' impressionistic criteria. If the reader can struggle through the rather tedious introductory chapters to this book he will find seven chapters of Florida history and politics that are a significant contribution to the literature. One only hopes that Florida's Gubernatorial Politics in the Twentieth Century attracts the attention that it deserves. Darryl Paulson Fifty Years of Pleasure (The Illustrated History of Publix Super Markets, Inc.). By Pat Watters. Lakeland, 1980. Publix Super Markets, Inc. Photographs. Pp. ix, 263. Most people, maybe even historians, probably take stores, especially food markets, for granted. In Florida and in the rapidly expanding Tampa Bay area, many people usually purchase their life-sustaining needs in a supermarket, probably of fairly new construction or recently renovated, located in a shopping plaza. The last thing that would normally enter your mind in such a setting would be questions as to the history of the store or the chain with which it is affiliated. Fifty Years of Pleasure is a book about just that: the history of the Publix chain of supermarkets. Although not an academic study of Publix's history, the author has prepared a readable and interesting look at the life of the chains founder, George W. Jenkins, and how, from the companys view, the Publix chain developed from one store to the large and successful operation it is today. A most interesting aspect of the book is that Publixs growth is backgrounded against the development of the food industry in general and supermarkets in particular that occurred during the same period of time (1930-1980). Indeed, as the dust jacket notes, the history buff will gain an insight into how supermarkets first developed, and learn of four significant advances in food retailing; the most recent considered to be computerization, perhaps epitomized to us by the check-out scanner and uniform product code lines. The book follows the development of the chain by following the life of Mr. Jenkins. From this standpoint, the reader can gain a view of the motives and philosophies of the man with regard to the events that took place in the chains history. The author also employs reminiscences from other people, many still with Publix, to further his story. Disappointingly, aside from Mr. Jenkin's early life, and of course his public life, only a few pages of the book are devoted to his family life. One other interesting point is that the architectural style of the 1950s Publix buildings is noted. Many of these buildings can readily be seen in many area cities even though Publix stores no longer occupy them. Finally, one aspect that could have given the reader a better understanding of the companys expansion history would have been a map, or series of maps, depicting the pattern of growth and number of stores added over the years. In summary, the book provides an interesting but not rigorous look into the history of a successful Florida business, well known to the Bay area, and the life and philosophy of its founder backgrounded by the history of the food industry.
William D. Courser The Don Ce-Sar Story By June Hurley. St. Petersburg Beach. 1975. Second Edition. Partnership Press. Photographs. P. 69. Paper. June Hurleys book is one of the first historical and architectural records of a St. Petersburg structure, although it lacks footnoting and sources of information. The author records local history from the perspective of a preservationist. In the mid-twenties, hotel construction in Pinellas County was rampant. The Soreno, Pheil, Suwanee, Dennis and Jungle Country Club were only a few of the tourist-oriented buildings. Caught in the building fever was a transplanted Bostonian, Thomas J. Rowe. Unlike his competitors, he decided to construct directly on the Gulf of Mexico, a fabulous beach resort, the Don Ce-Sar. An aficionado of the opera, Rowe named his hotel after Don CeSar De Balzan, legendary hero of Vincent Wallaces opera Maritana. Rowe, a visionary dreamer, overlooked staggering obstacles to construct on the isolated beach. Building materials were floated on barges since there was only one small bridge connected to the downtown area. The hazard of constructing a large edifice on shifting sand was resolved by laying a base of three-stepped slabs of cement two feet thick. On this firm foundation, construction began on a build-as-you-plan basis. Craftsmen often worked from on-the-spot instructions, making blueprints afterwards. This haphazard construction increased the original building costs of a 110-room, $450,000-hotel to a $1,350,000, 220-room resort. Undaunted by costs, Rowe successfully financed construction through wealthy entrepreneurs, and opened the 1928 tourist season in with a party for 1,500 selected guests. It became an immediate landmark, both because of its grandeur and the pink (Rowe called it rouge) stucco exterior, reminiscent of similar exteriors on homes in Ireland where he spent some time in his youth. In spite of the stock market crash and the Depression, Rowes shrewd business mind wisely managed the hotel by offering reduced rates, and won national recognition when F. Scott Fitzgerald vacationed there. Thomas Rowe died in 1940, but his hotel survived in spite of seemingly hopeless odds. In the opera Maritana, the hero Don CeSar was sentenced to death by a firing squad. The guns miraculously misfired, and when the smoke cleared, the Don stood unharmed, was pardoned and lived a long and fruitful life. The hotel suffered a similar fate. In 1942, the United States Army condemned the building, converting it into a hospital. After World War II, it was transformed into a regional office for the Veterans Administration. Remodeling destroyed the hotel and the interior was transformed into a sea of offices. Visible exterior deterioration was evident by 1960, and a leaky roof all but placed the hotel on the community firing squad. City fathers determined the structure was a hazard and condemned the Don to a formidable death by demolition and replacement with either a public park or several single family residences. It was then that June Hurley added preservationist-historian to her curricula vitae. She formed the Save the Don Committee, making the public aware of the threat to a major beach landmark. Her
concerted effort won the attention of William Bowman, owner of the St. Petersburg Holiday Inn. Demolit ion plans, like the bullets threatening the Dons life, were successfully averted. The Don underwent renovation, including replacement of all plumbing, the removal of room partitions constructed by the government, and an exterior facelift. Bowman also removed the hyphen from the hotels name, calling it the Don CeSar, and saved a significant St. Petersburg landmark from an untimely destruction for future generations to appreciate. L. Glenn Westfall The Magic City Miami By Arva Moore Parks. Tulsa, Oklahoma. 1981. Continental Heritage Press, Inc. Photographs. Pp. 224. Cloth. The Magic City Miami with text by Arva Moore Parks and photography by Steven Brooke, represents a contribution to the literature on the history of southeast Florida. Those who want a scholarly history of the city will have to go elsewhere, for the book has neither footnotes nor Don CeSar, St. Petersburg Beach from The Don CeSar Story
objectivity the author is a native Miamian who bubbles over like a chamber of commerce president about the glories of life in "her" metropolis. If there is little real analysis in the text, it is the almost inevitable result of the books being an example of the coffee-table picture-book genre. And it is rare for an individual to write a history of a city and concentrate on its bad points. Still, there will be readers like me who remember the old Miami that had abundant, clean freshwater, no air pollution, little traffic congestion, a low crime rate, and good fishing, and wonder if Ms. Parks has really made an effort to give the reader an objective history of Miamis recent past. While some may find problems in her treatment of Miami from 1945 to the present, I doubt if anyone will find much fault with the rest of the book. As a popular history of the site of Miami, from prehistoric times through World War II, it is hard to beat. Indeed, the author has performed an invaluable service to the community by providing a vehicle whereby Miami's newcomers can acquaint themselves with the history of their adopted city. And they can do so relatively inexpensively. Considering the high level of bookmaking involved, The Magic City is a real bargain at $24.95. The author is to be commended for gathering together an amazing array of previously unpublished maps and photographs, and Steven Brooke has done an outstanding job of reproducing them on film. The book is beautifully designed, the paper is of fine quality, and the photographs prove once again that one picture is worth a thousand words. John F. Reiger Vicente Folch, Governor in Spanish Florida, 1787-1811 By David Hart White. Washington, D.C. 1981. University Press of America. Notes. Pp. vi, 111. Paper. Juan Vicente Folch is best known in American history as the beleaguered governor of West Florida who, in 1811, offered to cede Mobile to the United States and then reneged. David Whites little book places the episode in the context of a career which spanned 26 years in the colony at a time when Spanish colonial policy was in great confusion. Exhaustive examination of Folchs correspondence has enabled White to follow Folchs daily activities with great clarity. The difficulty of dealing with Indians who kept demanding gifts which cost money, the near impossibility of obtaining funds for this and other purposes, the lack of adequate military personnel to garrison an extensive and volatile frontier, the increasing pressure of American settlers and the international wars and rivalries of the period were daily matters of concern for the intrepid Folch. Hampered by the rigid Spanish bureaucracy, his nations declining power in the world and, especially, in relation to the burgeoning United States, and the inability to deal effectively with the Indians, Folch managed to tread a narrow path between the various pitfalls which awaited him. He patiently attemped to keep relative peace between the Indian tribes and the settlers in West Florida, while trying to avoid direct confrontation with the Americans along borders which were not clearly defined. From the book emerges the portrait of an able, although sometimes stubborn, administrator whose patience was considerably greater than one might think of the man who offered in a moment of frustration to cede his nations colony to an aggressive neighbor. Folch explained that he had never intended to follow through on the offer, but was
only playing for time. He had precious little to work with. Without supplies, pay, or reinforcements from his superiors, Folch was faced with threats from filibusters in Mobile Bay on the one side and the United States on the other. Spanish authorities were unimpressed by his explanations and, for a time, it appeared that he would be tried for treason. Charges were dropped, he was reassigned to Cuba, and was even promoted again before he retired in 1822, but his career was largely ended by his ambiguous negotiations with the Americans in 1811. Written in a matter-of-fact, unadorned style, Americans in the book is a lean account of Folch's public career in Florida. Although it reads as if the author were allowing the surviving correspondence to guide the story, it is a useful book because as White said, the story of Spanish Florida is not complete without the name of Vicente Folch. Jerrell H. Shofner Ibervilles Gulf Journals By Pierre LeMoyne DIberville. Translated and edited by Richebourg G. Gaillard McWilliams. Tuscaloosa, 1981. University of Alabama Press. Maps. Bibliography. Index. Pp. 195. Cloth. Between 1698 and 1702 French explorer and soldier Pierre LeMoyne DIberville (cl661-1706) made three voyages to the Gulf coast in behalf of the French Crown. During these voyages he explored the lower Mississippi River valley and planted the first permanent posts to assert French control of this strategically important area. The three journals of his voyages, dictated by him in France during the years 1699-1702, provide a day-to-day account of his travels and accomplishments on the Gulf coast and along the lower reaches of the Mississippi. Along with documenting the spadework of exploration on fort building, the journals give valuable glimpses of the tribes of native Americans, some soon to vanish, that Iberville encountered. They also illuminate the interplay of colonial rivalry between France, Spain and Britain for control of the Mississippi and influence with the native peoples inhabiting its valley. Incorporated with the journal of Iberville's second voyage is a subsidiary account by his brother, Jean-Baptiste LeMoyne dBienville, of an expedition through the waterlogged wilderness around the great river. Masterfully translated by Richebourg McWilliams, the Iberville journals are a useful tool for students of Louisiana and northern Gulf coast history. Although his name is strongly associated with Louisiana, Iberville has been called the first Canadian hero. Born in New France around 1661, he played a prominent role in Frances conflict against England in Canada. Having distinguished himself in King Williams War (1689-1697), Iberville was selected by Louis XIV to reassert the French interests in the Mississippi established by LaSalle in 1684. The journals of Ibervilles three expeditions in pursuit of this goal portray graphically the difficulties of venturing into virtually uncharted lands. Much effort was spent during the first voyage (December, 1698 to May, 1699) in simply finding the Mississippi and trying to reconcile the terrain and peoples encountered with those mentioned in LaSalles accounts. The second (October, 1699 to May, 1700) and third (December, 1701 to April, 1702) voyages contain descriptions of the foundations of French posts like Biloxi and La Mobile from which La Louisianne was to develop as a French colony, of further travels among the tribes along the Mississippi, and of hardships encountered and surmounted.
Richebourg M cWilliams translation of Ibervilles journals is meticulous. Obviously great pains to ensure accuracy both in literal meaning and sense have been taken. The text is heavily annotated, with many valuable informational notes that add greatly to the readers comprehension of the narrative. In cases of interpretation of doubtful words or passages in the original manuscript, Professor McWilliams notes explain precisely his reasons for choosing the interpretation he did. The well-written introduction by Tennant S. McWilliams that precedes the translation adds greatly to the readers appreciation of the journals, placing Iberville and his accounts in their proper historical context. The Iberville journals touch on Florida only in passing. There are some interesting glimpses of the wretchedly poor and isolated Spanish fort at Pensacola, and the interplay of France and Spain on the Gulf coast is interestingly illuminated. The reader whose primary interest is Florida history, however, will not find the journals particularly relevant. Those interested in the early history of Louisiana and northern Gulf coast history, on the other hand, should find Iberville's Gulf Journals a valuable door to the past. Paul Eugen Camp
ANNOUNCEMENTS EDITOR'S NOTE: The editors will gladly publish announcements of upcoming events related to local history, but these items must reach the editors at least two months before the publication dates of June 1st and December 1st. This newly organized Gulfport Historical Society is researching the history of Gulfport and its predecessor settlements, Disston City and Veteran City, with the objective of publishing a history of Gulfport. Hopefully, this can coincide with the 75th anniversary celebration of that City's charter in 1985. All possible help will be appreciated and the Society would like to obtain any documents, maps, photos, and other material concerning Gulfport's past, on either a loan basis or as donations. Anyone who can help please contact the Society's President, Catherine Hickman at 321-7095, or its Historical Coordinator, Willard B. Simonds at 345-7938. The Florida Folklore Society is now an incorporated society fully recognized by the State of Florida as a nonprofit, educational organization. As such, the Society will be able to serve the scholars, folklorists, and interested citizens of the state by providing a vehicle for the exchange of ideas and information as well as formal study of folk cultures and history, particularly our own. Persons involved in the study and appreciation of Florida's folk heritage, and general folklore in all its aspects, both throughout the state and the nation at large are invited to become Charter Members of the Society. To become a Charter Member, you must send in your membership application and dues prior to the Annual Meeting in February, 1983. For further information write: Florida Folklore Society, Pat Waterman, Treasurer, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620. Please make the check payable to the Florida Folklore Society, Inc. (Dues to professional societies are tax deductible.) An exhibit detailing the changes in health care opened October 1 at the Fort Myers Historical Museum, and photos are being sought for the display. Information on early optometrists and dentists is still being sought. Individuals with information are requested to call the museum at 332-5955. The Historical Museum is located at 2300 Peck Street. Hours are 9-4:30 Tuesday-Friday, and 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $1.00 for adults and 50~, for children under 12.
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS BERYL BOWDEN moved to Moore Haven in 1929 and worked in the newspaper business until her retirement in 1973. She is active in promoting interest in Glades and Hendry county area history. WILLIAM COURSER is the Chief of the Environmental Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management District in Brooksville. JAMES W. COVINGTON is Professor of History at the University of Tampa. He has written extensively on Nineteenth Century Florida. JOHN FRIEND recently retired as supervisor for Exceptional Student Programs in the Hillsborough County Public School System. He is also a member of the Friends of the Hillsborough County-Tampa Public Library. CHARLES D. GIBSON has just completed a series of essays which will soon be published as a single volume dealing with the history of Gasparilla Island and western Charlotte Harbor to 1945. He is the author of The Ordeal Of Convoy NY 119 and has, over the years, written a number of articles dealing with naval and maritime history and the history of the American fisheries. GARY MORMINO is Assistant Professor of American History at the University of South Florida. He is currently working on a history of Tampa. DARRYL PAULSON is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Bayboro campus of the University of South Florida. He is currently writing a history of Clarence Mitchell, the NAACP's noted Washington lobbyist. JOHN F. REIGER is on the faculty of the History Department at the University of Miami. JERRELL SHOFNER is Professor of History at the University of Central Florida and author of Nor Is It Over Yet: Florida and the Era of Reconstruction 1863-1877 CATHERINE BAYLESS SLUSSER is a graduate of Furman University and is completing her Masters Degree in History at the University of South Florida. RALPH WADLOW helped bring commercial bee keeping to southwest Florida over forty years ago. Since 1969, he and his wife Carroll have been living in Ft. Myers. GLENN WESTFALL is a Professor of History at Hillsborough Community College and currently is Executive Director of the Tampa Historical Society.
TAMPA BAY HISTORY Published Semi-annually by The Department of History College of Social and Behavioral Sciences University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Managing Editor STEVEN F. LAWSON Associate Editor JOHN J. BERTALAN Associate Editor ROBERT P. INGALLS Associate Editor LOUIS A. PREZ Administrative Editor PEGGYCORNETT Editorial Assistant GLORIA SIMMONS Administrative Assistant SYLVIA WOOD Production Coordinator TERRY J. CONE SPONSOR COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES University of South Florida Correspondence concerning subscriptions, contributions, books for review, and all other editorial matters should be sent to the Managing Editor, Tampa Bay History Department of History, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620. (Telephone: 813-974-2807). ISSN: 0272-1406. Manuscripts from potential contributors should be typed and double-spaced with footnotes, also double-spaced, placed at the end and prepared in conformity with the style used by the journal. Manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope with enough postage. The subscription rate is $10 for one year and $18 for two years. Single issues and back files are available. Printed semi-annually, in the spring/summer and fall/winter. Tampa Bay History disclaims responsibility for statements made by contributors.
Tampa Bay History is indexed in Historical Abstracts, America: History and ife. Programs, activities, and facilities of the University of South Florida are available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, or handicap. The University is an affirmative action Equal Opportunity Employer. COVER: "It's a long way to Santiago American recruits pose for the hundreds of journalists in Tampa to record the struggle. See photo essay page 45.
BOARD OF ADVISORS FURMAN C. ARTHUR . . University of South Florida, Sarasota Campus DAVID CARR . . . Department of History, St. Petersburg Campus, University of South Florida HELEN GORDON DAVIS . . . State Representative, 70th District HAMPTON DUNN . . . . . . Historian KEN FORD . . . . Pinellas County Historical Museum PAM GIBSON . . . . . Manatee County Public Library MARIAN B. GODOWN . . . . . . Historian ILDA HALL . . . . . St. Petersburg Junior College DONALD R. HARKNESS . . . . . American Studies, University of South Florida LELAND HAWES . . . . . . TampaTribune JOSEPH HIPP . . . Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System GLENN E. HOOKER . . . . Polk County Historical Society MORRIS W. MILTON . . . . . . Attorney HARRIS H. MULLEN . . . . . Trend Publications TRAVIS J. NORTHCUTT, JR . . . Human Resources Institute, University of South Florida ANTHONY PIZZO . . . . . . Historian SAM RAMPELLO . . . . Hillsborough County School Board TERRY A. SMILJANICH . . . . . . Attorney JACKIE WATSON . . . . . Pioneer Florida Museum
SOUTHERN STYLE CORN PONE Two and a half cupsful of meal, one cupful of flour, one heaping tablespoon of lard, a heaping teaspoonful each of salt and sugar, one level teaspoon of soda, two cupsful of buttermilk. Sift meal, flour, soda, salt and sugar, rub lard in well, add buttermilk, stir quickly, mould into pones, put in well greased pan and bake in hot oven. Serve hot, with butter. MRS. K. A. LEITNER, Bonita Springs, Fla. MUSH BISCUITS 1 qt. warm mush 1 cup lard 1 cup sugar 1/2 cake yeast Dissolve in a little warm water a tablespoon of salt. Sift in flour and knead as light bread. Keep in cool place and make out in rolls as needed. Make up one day, use next day. Good for two or three days. MRS. JOE D. STALEY, Alva. From the Lee County Economy Cook Book compiled by the 1921 Home Demonstration Council of Lee County. Reprinted by the Southwest Florida Historical Society. Used by permission.
ORANGE DESSERT. Pare 5 or 6 oranges, cut in thin slices, and pour over them a coffee cup of sugar. Boil one pint of milk, add while boiling beaten yolks of three eggs, one tablespoon of corn starch (made smooth with a little cold milk). Stir all the time and as soon as thickened pour over fruit. Beat the whites of eggs to a froth, add 2 tablespoons of sugar, pour over the custard and brown in oven. Serve cold. Can use pineapple or bananas instead of orange. MRS. J. C. ENGLISH, Alva, Fla. From the Lee County Economy Cook Book compiled by the 1921 Home Demonstration Council of Lee County. Reprinted by the Southwest Florida Historical Society. Used by permission.
LEMON SAUCE Mix one rounding teaspoon of cornstarch with one cup of granulated sugar, add one cup of boiling water and boil 15 minutes, then add the juice and grated rind of half a lemon. MRS. J. J. WHITTAKER, Iona, Florida ORANGE FRITTERS. Soak one half pint of stale bread crumbs, either graham or white bread, in one pint of milk for ten minutes; add two beaten eggs, one fourth teaspoon of salt and enough flour (in which sift a teaspoonful of baking powder) to bind the mixture. Stir into this oranges cut into small pieces, then drop by small tablespoonsful into smoking hot fat and cook until a delicate brown. Serve with lemon sauce or sift pulverized sugar over them just before serving. MRS. J. J. FLEMING, Bonita Springs, Fla. From the Lee County Economy Cook Book compiled by the 1921 Home Demonstration Council of Lee County. Reprinted by the Southwest Florida Historical Society. Used by permission.
MANGO BUTTER. Peel one dozen mangoes and boil whole until soft. Remove from water and mash pulp through colander. This leaves all fiber on the seeds. Cook pulp with equal amount of sugar and one lemon sliced very thin. Add enough water to keep from burning and cook down until thick, stirring constantly. MRS. A. B. PIXTON. From the Lee County Economy Cook Book compiled by the 1921 Home Demonstration Council of Lee County. Reprinted by the Southwest Florida Historical Society. Used by permission.