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A History 
of 

Levy County, Florida 


★ ★ ★ 
Chapter Six 
★ ★ ★ 


Published By The 
Levy County Archives Committee 

Sponsored by the Levy County Board of Commissioners 

Bronson, Florida 


A Bicentennial Publication 


Copyright© 1977 
Levy County Archives Committee 


FROM THE OLD DOCUMENTS 


BY S. E. GUNNELL 


Over the years since its beginning in 1845, Levy County has been the scene of shouting matches* 
legal dust storms, shootouts, and various forms of what is known in the common vernacular as 
hanky-panky. This presentation is in no way intended to be a derogatory commentary since old Levy 
County was probably no different in this respect from other frontier counties in this state and other 
states. 

A few of the old court cases will be referred to and the outcome of most of those is not recorded. 
Since our interest is historical rather than puerile, we are not publishing the hanky-panky. Some 
passages are included to show aspects of the dialects spoken at the time. Others may reveal some 
structures of the old social order that seem quaint to us today, but this should be viewed in the 
perspective that our own social order would appear extremely strange to those old timers if they could 
have looked ahead into time at us as we are looking back in time at them. 

Some of the old pioneers left their places of origin at high speed with angry persons chasing 
them. Others were fugitives from justice, some were misfits, adventurers, restless spirits whose 
destiny was to always move on to see where the next trail would go. Some others left north Georgia, 
Virginia and the Carolinas simply because the family homestead had run out of land to support the 
ever growing clan. The younger ones had to move on. Some of them left with their families and never 
saw the older ones again. 

Those early settlers were a curious mixture of the bizarre, the comical, the sad, and the tragic 
elements of life. The one recurring characteristic among them is that they were tough, hard, they 
survived, and only they could have powered their way through that harsh, cruel wilderness life and 
started a civilization. 

Now, no frontiers are left, all the trails have ended, the last campfire is dead and cold and there is 
nowhere left for the restless ones to go. 


1842: 

In Wilkinson County, Mississippi, a judgment 
was issued against Peter A. Prester. Prester had 
migrated to the area which was to become Levy 
County, Florida. 

1848: 

David A. Morgan lived in Levy County at a 
place known as Alligator. 

1852: 

Elijah Hunter was charged with “pummeling 
one William Stephens.” Witnesses were William 
J. Hart, Isaac Highsmith, Sebastian Tomlinson, 
and Enoch Daniels. 

Personal property from the estate of John 
Sonce, Levyville blacksmith, was sold by James E. 
Thompson, administrator. 

1853: 

‘‘One Hastings Johnson, on March 1, 1853, in 
the county aforesaid, one bull calf the property of 
one Gasper Seastrunk feloniously did steal, take, 
and carry away, to the evil example of the good 
people of Florida and against the dignity of the 
same.” 

Isaac Highsmith was indicted for assault and 
battery upon the person of Robert Waterson. 
William J. Hart was charged with assault and 
battery upon the person of one Enoch Daniels. 

Nathaniel and James Turner were indicted for 
‘‘keeping store open on a Sabbath.” Witnesses 
were William J. Hart and Moses Cason. Foreman 
of the grand jury was James B. Thompson. 

1854: 

In the case of State Vs James F. Thompson, 
charged with employing servants on the Sabbath, 
the defense asked that the jury be instructed to 
find the defendant not guilty if the servants did a 
‘‘work of necessity.” The court refused, but gave 
instructions for a not guilty verdict if the work was 
done because of “some extraordinary operation of 
nature such as produced by a storm or fire or an 
inroad of the sea and not from common and usual 
operations such as are produced by heat or cold.” 

Walter C. Tresper was indicted for assault 
upon the person of William L. Moore. Witnesses 
were Dexter Simpson and James M. Janney. 

1855: 

Andrew J. Collins was sued by Thomas C. 
Love. 

1857: 

In spite of the testimony of witnesses, John 


Wester and Edward Hogan, one Alexander Clarke 
was found not guilty of setting an evil example to 
the good people by carrying arms secretly. 

1858: 

Elias Turner was clerk. Horatio Thompson sued 
the Suwannee Lumber Company owned by Robert 
H. McUvaine of Florida, Isaac Brown of Maryland, 
and Zephemiah Britt of North Carolina. The 
lumber company was on lot 4, block 2, Atsena Otie. 
Zep Britt lived in Lincoln County, North Carolina. 
Zep got the mill property in the lawsuit. 

Edmund Kelsey sued the town of Atsena Otie 
which had been incorporated that same year in 
July. The town had a president, Augustus Steele. 
Trustees were Simeon A. Edwards, James S. F. 
Cottrell, Robert H. McUvaine, William G. Figman, 
and James Tucker. Kelsey said some of the 
citizens of the town began a move toward 
incorporation under the pretext of suppressing vice 
and immorality, and of protecting the life and 
property of the citizens which it was pretended 
could be done at modest expense to the citizens. 
He further stated that the procedure used in 
obtaining the charter of incorporation was illegal. 
The town had levied a small municipal tax and 
built two plank sidewalks. One of the sidewalks ran 
“from near the wharf to the church, being the only 
church in town.” Beyond that, the church in 
Atsena Otie in 1858 is not identified. Kelsey 
objected to paying the tax. The judge, Thomas J. 
King, issued an injunction against the town. 
Kelsey was required to post bond in the amount of 
$1,000. He declined to do so and the injunction was 
dissolved. As far as is now known, this was the 
first incorporation of a town at Atsena Otie (Cedar 
Key) and the first in Levy County. The municipal 
government may have ceased to function during 
the confusion of the Civil War. Possibly, the sole 
surviving trace of it anywhere is this old court case 
in the Archives in Bronson. 

James S. Turner was indicted for assault on 
Edmund D. Hogan. In Cedar Key, Samuel W. 
Johnson was indicted for assault on John Marion. 
From the deposition of R. H. Mdlvaine: “... 
diffused peritoneal inflamation and his life is in 
great peril.” From the deposition of J. W. Tooke: 
“Myself and the defendant were in company 
together about 12 o’clock when Mr. Marion came 
along, said, ‘What are you doing here, you ?’ 
I then said ‘Gentlemen, let us not have difficulty,’ 
and I left. Do not know what happened after that.” 
William A. F. Jones was JP (Justice of the Peace). 
Johnson had shot Marion twice. 

1859: 

Edward Remington sued William Yearty, 


2 


default on a note. Suwannee Lumber Company was 
sued by William B. Ross. 

“You are hereby required to summon one 
James Hearn to appear before me at Cedar Key on 
May 11, 1859, to testify and the truth to speak in 
regard to the murder of Simon Douglass and 
George Douglass and herein fail not.” -Franklin 
Jordan, JP and acting Coroner. G. P. Thomas sued 
John Marcum. 

1860: 

John Tyre charged George E. Colson with 
trespass. William Hastie, Philo C. Calhoun, 
Rowland B. Lacey, partners doing business as 
Hastie, Calhoun & Co., sued William C. H. Rainey 
and Tillman Ingram, default on a promissory note. 

Zephaniah Butts and John W. Benton were 
indicted for practicing medicine without a license. 
Witnesses were E. M. Graham and Simeon 
Edwards. W. M. Rodgers was city marshall at 
Atsena Otie. 

In the case of William Majors, alias Jack Scott, 
charged with breaking and entering the house of 
Captain James Tucker, witnesses were E. M. 
Graham, Camilla Tucker, William Roberts, 
Reidester Bryant, Stephen Grant, and Daniel 
Steward. J. F. Cottrell was mayor at Atsena Otie. 

1861: 

Joseph R. Beltow, JP, was indicted for 
malpractice of justice. 

1862: 

The Civil War was going on and nothing was 
recorded that survives. 

1863: 

Solomon Rouse was indicted for the murder of 
James Mangin. Nicholas S. Cobb was charged with 
assault upon one James McGhee. Nicholas Cobb 
was indicted for challenging William R. Coulter to 
fight a duel. James S. Turner was indicted for 
putting his brand on “the said calf of one Julia 
Prevatt.” 

1864: 

Joseph Phelps sued James S. Turner for 
$50,000 as compensation for damages, the plaintiff 
being represented as “a good, true, honest, just, 
and faithful citizen of said county and state” 
(words of his attorney). The defendant was 
charged with “speaking and publishing several 
false, scandalous, malicious, and defamatory 
words, also lying and committing perjury.” It 
seems that a certain hog had been killed on the 
premises of the defendant, which hog was claimed 
by one Stephen Johnson as being the property of 


his minor son. Phelps had already been tried for 
“larceny of said hog” and found not guilty, and 
this suit for damages followed. 

1865: 

The case of Nicholas S. Cobb Vs James S. 
Turner was concerned with the settlement of a 
partnership retail mercantile business at Levyville. 
Cobb had previously organized a company of 
infantry for the Confederates and was addressed 
as “Captain Cobb.” From Thomas Starling’s 
testimony, the firm of Turner & Cobb was in 
business during 1860-1861. Starling had worked 
for the firm for four months as clerk and 
bookkeeper. The merchandise markup was from 
50-100%. 

John F. Jackson testified that he had been a 
merchant for twelve years and was of the opinion 
that the firm of Cobb & Turner had lost money. 
Thomas F. Prevatt, sheriff, acted as 
Master-in-Chancery to examine the firm’s books. 

According to Turner’s testimony, he started in 
business with Cobb on March 12, 1860. He stated 
that Cobb was worth $268 at that time. The first 
purchase for over $4,000. During the two years, 
they sold about $20,000 at retail, one-tenth of this 
as cash sales and the rest on credit. When Cobb 
left the inventory was down to $800 cash, $1755 in 
bank notes and Confederate money, $232 in gold, 
and $100 in railroad money. Asked about the 
partnership contract, Turner said, “I were to 
furnish the means and Captain Cobb were to do the 
service, and 1 were to have 8% on money invested 
and we were to divide the profits.” When asked 
how much was lost by Cobb neglecting to collect 
for goods sold to his infantry company for which he 
was personally responsible, Turner replied, 
“$6,800.” 

In his testimony, Nicholas Cobb stated that the 
average markup was 50% and that he was due 
$15,975 from the firm at the time he left for CSA 
military service. Cobb had a memorandum of his 
claims prepared by Col. W. R. Coulter, said the 
store’s stock was worth $2,000 when he left. When 
asked about the amounts of money he owed Milton 
Smith and James E. Broome at the time he entered 
the partnership, he answered, “The books will 
show as regards to Broome; I don’t recollect as 
regards Smith.” 

From the testimony of Daniel J. Davis: 
Question: “Were you in Captain Cobb’s Com¬ 
pany?” 

Answer: “I were.” 

Question: “Did Captain Cobb sell goods on his 
own responsibility?” 

Answer: “He sold goods to the men, me for one, 
and they was to pay him when they col- 


lected their money. A portion was sold 
that there was no account of, a big fine 
saddle and a overcoat and a great many 
other things. Mr. Turner made a fuss 
and went out to the company and rared. 
How Mr. Turner and Capt. Cobb settled 
it 1 do not know.” 

William Gause testified that he had heard 
Turner say that Cobb was worth about $8,000. The 
outcome of this case is not recorded. 

Also in 1865, James S. Turner was indicted for 
fatally shooting Joseph B. Haskew, “said gun 
being loaded with buckshot.” 

1866: 

A warrant was issued for Moses Hall, 
freedman, for assault on one State Right Dixon. 
Louis Appel, constable, had a warrant to arrest 
Wiley Holensback for the murder of Anderson 
Philpot. Henry Honor was charged with breaking 
and entering the dwelling of John Chesser and 
stealing a dress coat. 

“Whereas Sarah J. Allen has this day made 
affidavit before George S. Leavitt, clerk of Circuit 
Court, that one Joseph W. Allen on the 22nd day of 
September at night A. D. 1866, an assault with 
attempt to kill did make with one pistol and did 
shoot at the said Sarah J. Allen and swore that he 
would kill her and did further with a knife attempt 
to cut the said Sarah J. Allen’s throat ...” 

“We the jury find the prisoner, Joseph W. 
Allen, guilty; fine, one dollar and costs of court, so 
say we all.” Signed, William L. Moore, foreman. 

James S. Turner, Mary A. Tresper, and Sol 
Osteen were witnesses in the case of State Vs E. J. 
Lutterloh. “...one Edward J. Lutterloh, soldier, 
in 1864 with force and arms, one bag of silver coins 
to the value of $115, cotton bagging to the value of 
$10, one safe to the value of $10, of the goods and 
chattels of one John Waterson and Mary A. 
Tresper feloniously did steal.” 

George S. Leavitt sued Jane R. Leavitt for 
divorce. Nathaniel Jameison, physician, was 
charged with “keeping shop open on the Sabbath 
Day.” Florida Town Improvement Company sued 
N. B. Hill and J. F. Mitchell for default on 
promissory notes given to James T. Soutter and 
John McRae as trustees of the Florida Railroad 
Company. Robert Isaac, colored, was indicted for 
“betting at cards, did play and bet at a game of 
cards, to wit, the game of Seven-up, with one 
Lewellyn J. Hogans.” 

Westberry Hodge was charged with beating on 
Andrew J. Clyatt. Clyatt had challenged Hodge 
about telling around town that Clyatt had stolen a 
hog from him. Witnesses were B. F. Heath, Otto 
Yarimbo, Simeon Edwards, Seth Stevens, James 


McQueen, James F. Thompson, Mrs. A. Odum, 
Dr. T. H. Signore. This probably occurred in Cedar 
Key. 

1867: 

Andrew E. Hodges was tried for the murder of 
Benjamin Leak. David Wilkinson charged that 
“one Frank Wilkinson on or about August 1, 1867, 
did feloniously steal, take and carry away one black 
sow with a streak on her face and did alter the 
mark of said sow and put it in a pen.” Green 
Chaires, administrator for the estate of William G. 
Burgess, sued Louis C. Arlidge of Cedar Key. 

From a declaration by David Higginbotham 
who was being sued by Teasdale and Reid: “I have 
paid Teasdale and Reid every dollar I ever owed 
them and more, and I never owed them $700 in my 
life. I never bought any boots, I do not recollect 
buying any rice. I do not keep accounts, being an 
unlettered man. When we came to a settlement 
one time they said I owed $272.1 offered them the 
money but they wanted the cotton instead. I told 
Reid I would deliver the hides at Grey’s Wharf 
according to contract.” 

Question: “Would you believe Teasdale and Reid 
on their oath?” 

Answer: “I would in some cases.” 

Also in 1867, “Whereas Robert Watterson says 

he is lawfully entitled to the possession of a certain 

sugar boiler with a piece broke out of one side, and 

Arthur J. Hodge unlawfully detains said boiler 
* * 

1868: 

The Cedar Key Hotel Company, offices at 
Femandina, was incorporated by David L. Yulee, 
John Hodges, D. E. Maxwell, E. J. Lutterloh, and 
C. Wickliffe. Odell Johnson was summoned as a 
witness in JP Court of Franklin Jordan in Cedar 
Key, the case being State Vs James M. Farmer. 

1869: 

Henry Lewis was indicted for hitting Joseph 
Loggin over the head with a fence rail. If an assault 
victim was knocked unconscious for a specified 
length of time, the legal types said he was “killed” 
for that length of time. 

In Cedar Key, Franklin Jordan, JP, issued a 
witness subpoena for Joseph Yearty in the murder 
of Simon Douglass and George Douglass. 

One William Nelson was shot in the jaw with a 
pistol by E. D. Hogans in James S. Turner’s store 
at Levyviile. Witnesses were David Cannon, J. J. 
Bradford, John F. Fleming, and N. Carter. 

“W. J. Jones, being duly sworn, says that J. J. 
Bradford has in his possession a certain sorrell 
horse about ten years old, blind in both eyes, to 


4 


which the said W. J. Jones is lawfully entitled.” 
Warrants were issued for Caesar Hearn and 
William Rawls, both Negro, charged with inciting 
a riot, “...that one James M. Hudson fired a 
pistol at him three times with the intent to kill him, 
thus said Davy Hall ...” 

1870 : 

James Tucker, as agent for Charles Tift of 
Monroe County, brought suit against the steamer 
Argo of Cedar Key, nonpayment of $269.94 in 
supplies. A. E. Hodge sued J. Rickendorfer of New 
York for a default in payment for cedar timber. 
George Leavitt was still clerk. 

1871 : 

Barnes & Co. of Cedar Key was being sued by a 
wholesale grocery company in New York. 

In a deposition, David L. McGowan and Leroy 
Wood stated that Montgomery S. Clyatt assaulted 
and killed Hagin R. Cason with a “certain ax 
helve.” Helve is from an old Anglo-Saxon word for 
handle. Due to the ambiguous way the word “kill” 
was used in those days, it is not clear whether 
Cason was knocked unconscious or actually killed. 

S. C. Barnes, Jack Condell, Abbie Condell, and 
J. A. Starkweather were all partners in the firm of 


Barnes & Co. They built the steamer J. J. Philbrick 
of Cedar Key. 

1872 : 

“Personally appeared before me, George 
Leavitt, Clerk, Mrs. Maria E. Jackson who being 
duly sworn deposes and says that on the night of 
February 10, 1872, that one Edward Smith did 
open the door of her kitchen and did feloniously 
steal, take and carry away one stone spider carving 
knife, one water bucket, two table dishes, one tin 
pan, one tin bucket, to the value of eight dollars.” 

The Downie Mill in Cedar Key was owned by 
M. W. Downie. Also in Cedar Key, A. E. Willard, 
L. F. Roux, and George A. Hudson were in 
business as Willard Roux and Company. They 
advertised as dealers in fish, oysters, red cedar, 
sponges, pine lumber, white oak, live oak, and 
general merchandise. Also in 1872, M. W. Downie 
was sued by W. H. Hubbard and Co. The signature 
of the clerk of Cedar Key’s police court looks like 
H. V. Truitt. He wrote an account of Robert 
Johnson’s appeal to County Court of Johnson’s 
conviction of “using slanderous and abusive 
language, also for fighting and disturbing the 
peace.” Witnesses were A. E. Willis, Joshua 
White, L. P. Wiseford. The deciphering of these 
names is uncertain. 



During the latter half of the 1800’s the sponge business thrived in the Cedar Key area, where these 
vessels are anchored. The spongers lowered glass-bottomed buckets to locate the sponges which were 
then snared by a hook on the end of a long pole. Naturally the boats were called Hookers. The sponge 
industry at Cedar Key existed before diving apparatus was invented and probably before any such 
activity began at Tarpon Springs. 


5 




tetora ffcrost, (Mat tfifgs. 

DISTRICT OF ST. MARK’S, 

*S>K~ V- ,1W 



% : 


'Agents’ Monthly Balance Sheet, 





Station,. 


187 


'-Sit; -♦ 

: :- ^iiiimiiniiiiiiiiiirannn: 


WHOLESALE &. RETAIL DEALERS IN 

GE^EHAL 3BE1S £ HAXMSE \§>s 


'■ iVv^iift £ to u-'il-'>.~v 






6 







































































Montbrook School, Clifford Wyner and Bertha Wellman, teachers. 


1873 : 

A. E. Willard was Mayor of Cedar Key. Edwin 
F. O’Neil had a general merchandise store there. A 
freight list for the Schooner Lucy M. is recorded. 
The Florida Town Improvement Company’s 
resident manager was D. L. Yulee. Louis F. Roux 
had been station agent for three years at Cedar 
Key for the Gulf Atlantic and the West Indies 
Transit Company. This was the railroad from 
Femandina. He was short in his accounts. 

James A. Mason, Jr., was captain of the 
schooner Lucy M. which had hauled freight such as 
lumber along the Gulf Coast. In Cedar Key, 
Nettleton H. Payne, surviving partner of 
Starkweather and Payne, sued Samuel C. Reddick 
for nonpayment for 152,000 feet of pine lumber 
which had been processed in the Sand Spit Mill. 

Edward J. Lutterloh sued the town of Cedar 
Key. The town had plans to build a public market 
and jail too close to his building. Town councilmen 
of Cedar Key in 1873 were H. P. Lovering, J. G. 
Williams, Arthur Simmons, H. E. Stickney, and 
Max Blumenthal. B. R. Goff & Co. (Cedar Key) 
was sued by William H. Hale for default on a note. 

P. H. Davis brought a replevin suit against H. 
P. Perryman concerning a “certain mule”. Davis 
was acting as agent for J. M. Anmon, the apparent 
owner of the mule. From Perryman’s plea 
statement: “Anmon delivered the mule to me, 
himself, to make and gather a crop; no other 
conditions were mentioned. When Collier come to 
get the mule to hall Davis’ corn, I was hailing corn. 


I said you can not get him. I do not wish to be 
accountable for Davis’ treatment of the horse 
stock. The crop is not gathered. His affidavit for 
replevin is founded in malice. I had promise of the 
mule and cart to go on a visit South when 
ploughing was done provided I taken care of the 
mule and mended him up.” Perryman did not 
write the statement; but he dictated it and signed 
it. The actual writer’s identity is unknown. The 
handwriting is not that of George S. Leavitt, 
County Clerk at the time. 

1874: 

“Whereas Mike Young says that he is lawfully 
entitled to possession of a certain sugar mill and 
boiler now in the possession of one Allen Roberts 
...”. Moses Keen was being sued by G. W. 
Hodge. Hodge was administrator for the estate of 
Daniel A. Morgan. Wesley B. Hodge was a deputy 
sheriff, also constable and town marshall at Cedar 
Key. 

In the case of Leneer (a version of Lanier?) Vs 
William Batty, Hodge deposed that he had 
attached “certain rafts of cedar said to be the 
property of Demry (probably Demory of Demere) 
and Bro.” in connection with unpaid costs of 
cutting the cedar and rafting it to Cedar Key. In 
another entry the names, Barnett Demery and 
Raymond Demery are mentioned. John G. 
Williams was Justice of the Peace in Cedar Key at 
this time. 


7 





Eugene Batty, as agent for William Batty, filed 
an affidavit before J. M. Galphin, another J.P., 
saying that the “180 logs of cedar now on board 
the schooner M. D. Ireland is the property of 
William Batty.” 

Parrish Jackson was indicted for manslaughter 
in the fatal shooting of Marie Glover. Witnesses 
were Jeff McQueen, Bailey Scott, and Dr. G. A. 
Penny. Jackson was found not guilty. Thomas B. 
Faitoute was a J.P. at Cedar Key. 

Samuel Bowers, charged with assault upon D. 
Rams (or Rains) was transferred to the Nassau 
County jail. 

1875 : 

Henry C. Ferris sued Thomas A. Britt and 
George Blum over some furniture. This was 
probably in Cedar Key. Thomas A. Britt was also 
sued for nonpayment of account by Max 
Blumenthal, a Cedar Key merchant. 

Adelaide A. Keen and William W. Keen were 
divorced and her maiden name restored, Maria 
Adelaide Tresper. Sarah J. Keen and Thomas 
Keen were divorced. 

Allen Osteen sued David Altman for “unduly 
detaining from him a said horse.” 

In 1875, Cedar Key’s mayor was Francis E. 
Hale; city aldermen were J. R. Wolf, A. B. Quin, 
Peter Hart, Morris Jordan, and James Karn. 
Charles Webster brought suit against the town at 
this time. 

Wesley H. Hodge, Cedar Key, killed Parrish 
Jackson with two pistol shots. This happened in 
Bettilini’s store. The coroner’s jury was W. H. 
Batty, Frank Lems, H. Winter, G. Williams, J. 
Connier, O. Bettilini, B. Scott, Call Floyd, J. G. W. 
Edwards, Andrew Williams, J. H. Griffin, and 
Henry Hall. Isaac G. Westervelt was coroner. 
Hodge was moved to the Duval County jail for 
safekeeping. 

Solomon B. Folks was J.P. at Black Dirt 
precinct. James W. Brown had been fatally shot 
and found. J. W. Robinson was constable. The 
coroner’s jury was Stephen C. Barco, John C. 
Folks, Benjamin B. Davis, Samuel M. Niblack, 
Jonas T. Driggers, Jesse Smith, J. J. Smith, 
Haiston Johnson, S. C. Barco, and Ezekiel 
Johnson. 

J. R. Wolfe and C. B. Rogers were dealers in 
merchandise at Cedar Key as Wolfe and Rogers. 
W. A. Jones lived at Atsena Otie in block 10, lot 1; 
Miss Ellen Kelsey in block 7, lot 9; Max 
Blumenthal owned lot 10, block 13, and lot 22, 
block 1 on Way Key; Mrs. S. A. Jones owned lot 3, 
block 7 in Cedar Key. D. L. Yulee still owned sec. 
19 in TS 11, R 15. 

1876 : 

“Whereas the said New Orleans, Florida and 
Havanna Steamship Company was indebted to 


George A. Penny, the said plaintiff, in the just and 
true sum of $154 for services in boarding, 
examining and inspecting the steamships 
Margaret and William P. Clyde, the property of 
said company, in or near the port of Cedar Key as 
Port Inspector of said port during the period and 
existence of the quarantine, ordinance and 
regulations established and put into operation by 
the mayor and aldermen of the town of Cedar Key 
acting as a Board of Health ...” Penny has sued 
for his fees. His lawyers were E. W. Perry and E. 
M. Hampton. 

John J. Philbrick brought suit against E. J. and 
W. M. Shemwell, an action to recover possession 
of the Exchange Hotel in Cedar Key for failure to 
pay the rent. Defendants failed to show, so the 
court assessed them for costs and found for the 
plaintiff. 

Abby H. Nutter and husband, George F. 
Nutter, of Cedar Key brought suit against W. G. 
O’Regan, Mattie Finlayson, Elizabeth N. Rogers 
and husband, Henry Rogers, and H. P. Jackson, 
sheriff, for nonpayment of promissory notes. The 
defendants had purchased the steamlaunch Little 
Sallie from Albert E. Willard and John B. Croft. 

1877 : 

J. N. Ford had a store at Rosewood. Goodman 
and Myers of Savannah, Georgia, sued W. H. Hale 
of Cedar Key, delinquent account of wholesale 
purchases. 

George F. Nutter, agent for the steamer D. L. 
Yulee, was being sued by W. B. Mcllvaine for 
$87.00. Verdict was for the plaintiff. This trial was 
in Cedar Key, and H. V. Snell was J.P. Mcllvaine 
had worked on the steamer as Master (Captain). 
The jury awarded $30.75 to the plaintiff. The wreck 
of that old steamer is now lying in shallow water on 
the Levy County side of the Suwannee River at the 
downstream end of the stretch known as Long 
Reach. It was tom loose from its mooring at Salt 
Creek by the hurricane of 1896 and blown aground 
at its present location. 

Edwin Hamlin brought suit against the 
steamboat David L. Yulee for his work aboard as 
engineer. 

1878 : 

E. J. Lutterloh of Cedar Key, in a letter to 
County Judge, Col. W. H. Sebring in Bronson, 
mentions that “Col. Cottrell lives on the other side 
of the river” and requests Sebring to telegraph 
him. 

Also in Cedar Key during 1878, F. E. Hale was 
a Notary Public. Frank R. Moody was selling his 
interest in the steamer Little Sallie for $10.00. 
Montholon Atkinson sued William Rogers. A man 
listed as Albritton Lewis could have been the same 
person as Britt Lewis. James Rawls was hung 
March 1st at 1:00 P.M. after being convicted of 


8 


first degree murder. Porter Jackson was sheriff, 
and George F. Drew was governor. 

1879 : 

In Cedar Key, Parsons and Hale had a contract 
with George W. Moody concerning the steam 
powered sawmill located at the Sand Spit; the land 
was leased from the Florida Town Improvement 
Co. 

Shatford C. Carson recorded a mechanic’s lien 
on the steam powered sawmill at Rosewood owned 
by J. B. Dunn, successor to Dum, Oaks & 
Company. The Rosewood sawmill consisted of one 
single mill, one five-flue steam boiler, the mill 
building, lumber yard, one turning lathe. 

“I, Enoch J. Geiger, of Levy County hereby 
file this notice that I shall claim the following 
personal property as my homestead exemption 
under the laws and constitution of the State of 
Florida: one gray horse, $75; one cart, $20; seven 
head of hogs, $14; household and kitchen 
equipment, $25.” So, Florida did have some kind 
of homestead exemption back in 1879. 

At Bronson, ‘‘Whereas a certain charge of 
malicious slander having been made against Mrs. 
Lizzie Stonemetz in the village of Albion by W. R. 
Hall ... Now, I, W. R. Hall, the accused, retract 
the above charge of slander ... I know of nothing 
whatever that can reflect upon the good name and 
character of Mrs. Lizzie Stonemetz ... that the 


statements said to be made by me by one George 

Williams that Mrs. Lizzie Stonemetz was a__ 

were never uttered or made by me ...” 

In Cedar Key, Isaac Eppinger recorded a lien 
on lots 4 and 5, block 2, in the town of Atsena Otie 
on Depot Key, and on the steam sawmill known as 
Nutter’s Mill situated on said lots. 

Daniel S. Marsh and wife, Adriana, lived on 80 
acres between Bronson and Chunky Pond. They 
had orange groves and vineyards. 

Jonathan B. Thomas was J.P. at Sumner, held 
court in the Sumner school house. In one case tried 
there, Benjamin H. Holland Vs Benjamin H. 
Holland, Sr., witnesses were Mrs. E. P. Holland 
and H. C. Mattier (an altered version of the name, 
Mattair). The jury found for the plaintiff. 

Judge Farley was indicted for ‘‘keeping a 
certain house of ill fame.” Witnesses were John R. 
Mitchell and C. W. Webster. 

1880 : 

Willard Hall was charged with homicide. Peter 
Hansen’s testimony: “I was attending meeting at 
the school house at Albion on Sunday, April 4, 
1880. I heard the ladies scream and upon looking 
toward the door saw a shotgun. I did not see who 
had the gun. Instantly, I heard shooting upon 
looking saw Mr. Kline stagger and fall. I opened 
the door and went out and saw Mr. Kline laying on 
the ground. I took the shotgun and fired it off and 



Mr. Shug Faircloth, service manager for the Ford agency in Bronson about 1918. 


9 






leaned Mr. Kline against the house. I saw the gun, 
heard the report and saw the smoke.” During 
cross-examination by the state: ‘‘I was the first 
man at the door. The gun was laying out on the 
ground. I was the first to take up the gun and fired 
it off, shot off one barrell. The shotgun had a 
copper cap on it. I was the first to go to the man 
after the shooting. He was laying sideways by the 
church. When he was shot he rolled about. I set on 
the same seat in church with the defendant.” 

Testimony of Mrs. Christine Hansen in the 
above case: “I was present at a meeting Sunday 
afternoon. Mr. Kerr was reading his sermon. I 
heard Mrs. Gordon hollering very loud; she said 
‘Mr. Kerr, there is Mr. Klein with a shotgun.’ I 
turned my face toward the door and saw Mr. Klein 
standing aiming the gun right into the middle of 
the house, saw the gun move toward the left. I 
jumped off the bench, heard the report, saw the 
smoke, turned my face toward the wall expecting 
to be shot, heard some shots afterward, looked 
around, saw my husband Mr. Hansen going 
toward the door, spoke to Mr. Kerr, asked him was 
he shot, saw him sitting on the bench. I went and 
opened the door, saw Mr. Frye, Mr. Hansen, and 
Mr. Klein on the steps, heard another gunshot 
before I opened the door.” 

According to Mrs. Julliette Byles: “Mr. Kerr 
was reading his sermon ... saw a man standing on 
the steps pointing a shotgun into the schoolhouse 
... I did not know about the quarrel at the time ... 
just a second before the shotgun went off I was 
looking right down both barrels ... immediately 
afterwards I heard what sounded like two or three 
very fast pistol shots ... I then came out from 
under the bench to see who was killed and saw 
Willie Hall standing by the front seat with a pistol 
in his hand and his arms by his sides ... Willie 
Hall did not move from where he was standing 
until he started to go for the doctor.” 

Dr. J. M. Jackson: ...‘‘deceased died from 
wounds.” 

Alfred J. Townsend: ... ‘‘deceased was shot in 
the right thigh, left side of the stomach, also in the 
right collar bone.” 

Other witnesses were Francis E. Gordon, 
William Gomm, Mrs. Mary Colson, Gilbert 
Lambert, Seigford Frei, Mary Goody, Mrs. Francis 
E. Gordon. 

The victim was Allen Kline (also spelled Klein). 
Apparently, he appeared in the church door and 
fired off one barrel of his shotgun without hitting 
anyone and then was shot down by pistol fire from 
Willard Hall who must have been a very fast 
gunfighter. These people were residents of the 
village of Albion which disappeared many years 
ago. It was located on State Road 24 between 
Bronson and Archer about two miles inside the 
Levy County line. 

In an earlier case that same year, a warrant was 


out for the arrest of Willard R. Hall which may be 
related to the homicide affair. From the warrant: 
... ‘‘did say of this deponent in following malicious 
and untrue words, to wit: ‘She is getting too big 
around her apron string.’” W. D. Finlayson was 
sheriff at this time. 

In Cedar Key, H. W. Lutterloh contracted to 
build a brick house for N. Schlemmer, 35 feet 
deep, 25 feet front, and 25 feet high, two stories. 
F. M. McQueen was a JP at Cedar Key. Thomas E. 
Parsons and William H. Whitehead were in 
business in Bronson as Parsons and Whitehead. 

The Cedar Key Working Man’s Association 
was organized and their contributions recorded. 
Members were: C. Aulston, George H. Baker, 
Daniel Bird, Abraham Brown, Barry Brown, 
Charley Brown, J. Burkhiem, Thomas M. Coburn, 
Peter Dunn, J. G. W. Edwards, W. K. Flynn, 
Douglas Kemp, Louis Kolb, J. R. Mitchell, J. B. 
Moody, David Moore, C. M. Moseley, John F. 
Murrell, A. Odum, W. S. Rogers, Thomas 
Starling, Erving Tillis, Guss Wall, George W. 
Williams, and George M. Young. 

From their constitution: ‘‘Any member 
introducing in any manner the discussion of 
religion or politics shall be forthwith be expelled 
from the hall and his name dropped permanently 
from the roll of members.” 

A warrant was issued from William E. Yearty’s 
JP Court in Cedar Key for R. L. Holzendorf, 
charged with assaulting one Jack Lastinger. 
Witnesses were W. H. Lane, William Atcheson, 
Andrew Williams, Walter Williams, D. J. 
Hollister, James Gordon, James Hall, B. F. 
Bennett, E. J. Bell, and Sip Witaker. The 
Holzendorfs were not recent immigrants as the 
name might seem to indicate. They were living in 
North Georgia in the 1700’s. 

W. Norris sued the American Ice and Cold 
Storage Company (incorporated in Pennsylvania) 
for his pay for services as engineer at their 
manufacturing plant in Cedar Key. The company 
had another name, The American Refrigerating 
and Construction Company. Lutterloh and Davis 
were attorneys for the plaintiff. The suit was 
withdrawn, probably settled out of court. 

W. R. Medlin sued the Atlantic, Gulf and West 
Indies Transit Company. They also sued him. 

In Cedar Key, Charles W. Bradshaw gave a 
mortgage deed to Charles B. Rogers for lot 17, 
block 1, . .‘‘the said lot fronts on Second Street.” 
1881: 

In Cedar Key, E. J. Lutterloh was indicted for 
practicing law without a license. Peter Lancaster, 
William Lancaster, and George Lancaster were 
indicted for the murder of Edward L. Drummond. 
Witnesses were J. A. Thomas, W. H. Thomas, Q. 
M. Bryan, Dr. E. 0. Paschal. During the course of 
a fight, it seems that Drummond tumbled down a 
flight of stairs. 


10 



The old jail and courthouse in Bronson about 1925. 


Frank W. Thomas was charged with the 
murder of Robert Towns “by shooting him in the 
neck with a pistol in front of a barroom kept by 
Jack Lastinger in the Streets of Cedar Key.” 
Witnesses were Lawrence Finnegan, Giles Walls, 
B. A. Anderson, William McDonald, J. G. Ford, 
and J. J. Hall. 

Some of the doctors in Cedar Key at that time 
were A. F. Woodward, J. H. Roberts, and Charles 
E. Owens. They examined the victim and said that 
he would die from the wound. 

Some names listed as being residents of 
Rosewood in 1881 were C. M. Jacobs, S. J. Lane, 
Adam Dees, E. B. Dibble. In Cedar Key, H. W. 
Ludicke built a house on lot 5, block 34. Green 
Stephens and his daughter lived in a house on the 
Goose Cove beach. D. H. Sutton held a lien against 
the steamer Erie. J. H. Gary ran a general 
merchandise store in Bronson. He gave 
power-of-attorney to his lawyer, William J. Jones, 
also of Bronson. 

1882 : 

Sarah M. Colvin lived in Bronson. In Cedar 
Key, W. H. Anderson, JP, issued witness 
summonses for T. P. Tillis and D. K. Kinsey in the 
case of State Vs A. K. Lawrence, aggravated 
assault. Papers were served by Larry Finnegan. 
Lawrence had shot at T. A. Darby with a pistol and 
missed. Thomas J. Yearty sued G. W. King of 
Cedar Key. 

1883 : 

The Albion Phosphate Company was 
incorporated in the state of West Virginia. Benton 
and Upson sued the Karlinah Phosphate Company, 
also incorporated in West Virginia. West Virginia 


must have had unusually lenient laws of 
incorporation. Benton and Upson sold machinery 
and mill supplies and were probably located in 
Jacksonville. 

A man presenting a written declaration would 
refer to himself as “your orator”, a woman as 
“your oratrix.” 

“Your oratrix, Dora Johnson, wife of Adam 
Johnson of said county, humbly complaining unto 
your honor that she is the owner of a certain 
separate estate, and that she is now and has been 
for some time past, conducting and carrying on an 
oyster business in the town of Cedar Key, 
Florida.” She was applying for a court order 
declaring her to be a free agent, apparently a 
necessary prerequisite for a woman to manage 
her own business. 

Robert Jones intended to “shoot one Albert 
Richardson with a double barreled shotgun.” 
Witnesses were Phillip Burns and J. A. Wood. In 
Cedar Key G. A. Fairchild was proprietor of the 
Fenimore Mill. 

R. A. Patterson and Company of Richmond, 
Virginia, sent a tobacco shipment to Chafer and 
Darby at Cedar Key via the Old Dominion 
Steamship Company. The shipment was via New 
York and included an item listed as Sailors Choice. 
Henry and Malinda Touchstone were divorced. 
She was a Meeks. They had been married in 
Lafayette County. 

1884 : 

On March 27, 1884 ... “Mr. John Sache, a 
subject of the Republic of France, an alien, 
personally appeared in open court” ... His 
petition for citizenship was approved. 


11 



Fletcher J. McQueen and C. J. Bradshaw 
dissolved their business partnership of Bradshaw 
and McQueen, October 11,1884, Cedar Key. Some 
of their business accounts were W. D. Finlayson, 
W. H. Zewadski, the Company of Cottrell, 
Finlayson and Scott, David Paul, F. Cottrell, G. S. 
Scott, W. S. Rogers, E. A. Willard, F. A. Wolfe, 
Dennis Winn, James S. Cottrell, J. H. Dees, W. C. 
Benson, and E. L. Cottrell. 

The schooner Black Hawk operated out of 
Cedar Key. The schooner Victor would land at 
Cedar Key. Crewman, Thomas Moss, attempted to 
desert, the JP Court ordered him back. 



Ben Friedman was Levy County Judge longer 
than anyone else has been. This picture is from 
an old tin type. 


1885 : 

Master of the steamer Bertha Lee was B. F. 
Hall, Jr.; one of the owners was E. S. Douglass. 
They were being sued by Greenlief Andrews. 
David Graham, Jr., was charged with intent to kill 
one Michael Hughes with a pistol. John L. 
Coleman, C. B. Hall, and R. E. Edwards lived at 
Rosewood. They were witnesses in an adultry trial. 
J. O. Andrews and Company were in business in 
Cedar Key. 

“Mr. Henry Gamer, a subject of the Kingdom 
of Great Britain, an alien, personally appeared in 
open court’’ ... His petition for citizenship was 
approved. Anton Blitsch sued the owners of the 
sloop Alexander for materials and labor. The 
vessel had been left unattended; owner Alexander 
Morriseau announced he was leaving for New 
York. 

1886 : 

The appeal of H. B. Coulter, appellant, Vs the 
town of Bronson, appellee, was dismissed on 
motion of the appellee. The case of G. Andrews Vs 
Steamer Bertha Lee (attachment) was dismissed 
for want of jurisdiction. In Bronson, Rosa 

-" was found guilty of “keeping a 

house of ill fame.” She got three months in jail. 

H. E. Marshall, being duly sworn “deposeth 
and saith: I do not know Edmund Moore, never 
saw him before tonight, after he was dead. I heard 
a pistol shot and ran toward the shooting. I saw the 
deceased Edmund Moore lying on the wharf in 
front of Fred Emerson’s oyster house, and one 
Mitchell Johnson standing over him. Johnson said 
to someone, ‘This here damned boy has shoj: 
hisself and we had better go for a doctor.’ Then he 
and Adson Hall walked off.” 

Mitchell Johnson: ... “the deceased came to 
his death from a pistol shot fired by the hands of 
Adson Hall. The pistol with which the shooting was 
done belonged to me. The deceased drew an oyster 
knife on Adson Hall and Hall shot the deceased 
with the 38 caliber self-cocker killing him 
instantly.” 

Addison Hall: ... “just as the deceased 
reached the door walking backwards, Mitchell 
Johnson fired the pistol once and the deceased fell. 
Johnson picked the deceased up and carried him 
into the oyster house and says, ‘Let’s throw him 
overboard,’ but I disagreed. In the meantime, 
Mitchell offered me fifteen dollars not to tell that 
he did the killing.” 

Johnson was found guilty of third degree 
murder and sentenced to one year in the 
penitentiary. James Lisen was the JP. Robert 
Kilpatrick was found guilty of hog theft and got the 
same sentence as did Mitchell Johnson, probably 
not in the same court. 

J. M. Jackson was certified to practice 
medicine April 10, 1886, by R. Y. H. Thomas, M. 


12 






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1889: 


D., W. A. Shands, M. D., and James M. Jackson, 
M. D. The Jacksons were father and son and 
practiced in Bronson. After the population 
shrinkage following the 1896 freeze that 
permanently wiped out the citrus industry around 
Bronson, the younger Dr. Jackson moved to the 
village of Miami, Florida, (population less than 
500) and was Miami’s first physician. Today’s 
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami is named 
after him. As an aside, the Shands State Teaching 
Hospital is named after the late Senator Bill 
Shands who grew up in Bronson. His childhood 
home is still standing and is now known as the 
Wellman place. 

Willis R. Medlin married Ellender Nobles, 18 
July 1863, in Levy County. 

John Chapman, age 12, was indentured by his 
mother, Jane James of Gulf Hammock, to work as 
a servant for Emma Wingate, wife of C. B. 
Wingate, until John reached 21. 

1887: 

“John Ricks, being duly sworn, deposeth and 
says: ‘I was home on Wednesday morning and was 
gone from home all day after breakfast. I was at 
the school house. We were building about one mile 
southwest of Sand Pond. The schoolhouse is about 
two miles from where Mr. Medlin was killed. I got 
home a little after dark that day. I found Mr. 
Nobles and Mr. Flemming at my house. They told 
me they had took dinner at Sand Pond and were 
there two or three hours. I do not know what time 
Mr. Nobles and Mr. Flemming got to my house. I 
did not see anyone near the school house that day 
except the men who were at work with me, Mr. 
Wren, Mr. Chester, and Mr. Jenkins. One of 
them, Mr. Jenkins, I think, made some remark 
about hearing a gunshot. I often hear gunfire out in 
the woods.’” 

In Cedar Key, the case of Charles F. Wall and 
James E. Lipscomb as administrators for the estate 
of W. W. Wall Vs the steamship Emily was 
dismissed. Charles A. Hansen, subject of the 
Kingdom of Sweden and Norway was admitted as a 
United States citizen. F. A. Wolfe and Company of 
Cedar Key sued the American Lead Pencil 
Company. 

1888: 

Louise Hill lived at Ellzey. She was 45 that year 
and was a witness in the divorce case of Laura 
Field Vs Ephriam Field. Shelton Phillips became 
Levy County Superintendent of Education and 
served in that capacity until 1908. He had taught 
three years in Levy County. He was state director 
of vocational agriculture 1919-1923 and later 
became a legislator. He married Ida Helvenston, 
daughter of Simeon Helvenston. She died in 1955 
at Gainesville. 


”... came one David Dupree who ... says ... 
that one Charles Rawls did enter the boat of said 
deponent lying at a wharf in Cedar Key and did 
steal ... the sail of said boat, mast, and one pair of 
oil skin pants.” R. Y. H. Thomas was JP. 

One Squire Squire otherwise known as 
Anderson Squire was sentenced to six months in 
the penitentiary for breaking and entering a house 
in the daytime. W. H. Bigham plead guilty to a 
concealed weapon charge filed before he became 
sheriff, was fined $100, later reduced to $25. 
Alexander Hardee got twelve months in jail 
following a conviction of riot. Manuel Hall, Frank 
Bums, William Jackson, and Mack Hogan got six 
months in the same case. 

O. Bettilini of Cedar Key was charged with 
illegal sale of intoxicating liquors, to wit, wHskey. 
The county had voted dry in September, 1899. Dr. 
G. Dottore Pietro Monti signed an affidavit to the 
effect that Bettilini was sick and unable to move. 
E. J. McCall and J. L. Cottrell were witnesses. 
Bettilini’s attorneys, Lutterloh and Davis, 
presented a plea in abatement to the effect that the 
indicting grand jury was unlawfully constituted 
because John B. Epperson was on the jury list and 
as postmaster at Williston was a United States 
Official. Outcome of the case is not known except 
for a notation written by Sheriff W. H. Bigham and 
Deputy H. S. Sutton to the effect that they were 
unable to process the capias on Bettilini, ... “the 
within named is not to be found in Levy County this 
April 20, 1891.” Mr. Bettilini apparently 

improved, became able to move, and took off. 

Charlotte E. and Charles E. Galloway of Shelby 
County, Tennessee, conveyed power of attorney to 
William Gomm to manage their property at 
Bronson and specifically to eject one Benjamin R. 
Scudder. Newton Lummus was charged with 
carrying a concealed weapon. Witnesses were 
Oscar Jackson and John Parker. W. H. Bigham, 
sheriff, deposed that Frank Ferstnow aided and 
abetted the escape of a prisoner, L. C. Duer, while 
in his custody as guard. 

1890: 

Arch Wilson and Perry Luster “interrupted and 
disturbed the worship of God by fighting at the 
church door.” Witnesses were S. D. Houston, Lew 
Demere, Richard Harris, and William Hall. Ellen 
M. Lindsey was postmaster at Bronson. Gustaf 
Hansen, subject of the Kingdom of Sweden and 
Norway was admitted to citizenship. 

J. W. Turner of Winston, N. C., got a hold 
order issued against Thomas J. Yearty on some 
merchandise: 14 barrels of Hobby Flour; one 
barrel of Rogers Best Flour; one barrel of Dictator 
Flour, one barrel of Pearl Grits; one barrel of 
Scotch Snuff. 


14 



Unidentified resident of Cedar Key about 1910. Fence in background was the property of Will DeLaino 
who wrote an eyewitness account of the 1896 hurricane and tidal wave. 


15 




W. J. Epperson sued M. F. Bean, default on 
promissory note, $116.40. 

O. Bettilini and business partner, Thomas W. 
Davis, of Cedar Key brought suit against the Levy 
County Commission regarding denial of their 
request for a permit to sell spiritous liquors. They 
had duly advertised their intent to apply in the 
Cedar Key Commercial. 

Lula C. Yearty applied for license as a free 
dealer. 

1891 j 

Jim Beauchamp was indicted for having a 
weapon concealed on or about his person. Norvelle 
R. Carter was foreman of the grand jury. Tom Beck 
and Hiram Starling were state witnesses. 

Nero Johnson was charged with attempting to 
sell fradulently some cypress cross ties near 
Little’s Mill, Sumner, to one C. M. Jacobs. Jacobs 
built the Cannon house at Rosewood. 

J. F. Meredith was a phosphate miner in the 
county. D. G. Ambler, promoter and general 
business operator during this time, was from 
Jacksonville. 


1892: 

C. B. Rogers and Company got an injunction 
restraining Ivey Brothers and Company from 
selling the Fennimore Mill in Cedar Key, said 
property being bounded on the west by the main 
track of the Florida Central and Peninsular 
Railroad and on all other sides by the Gulf of 
Mexico. Business partner of C. B. Rogers was E. 
A. Champlain. Fennimore’s Mill was owned at that 
time by Charles A. Fairchild. 

William Higginbotham was sentenced to life 
for murder. Taylor’s Spur was near Albion. 

1893: 

George Wrey of England formed a company 
with L. Q. Kermode, J. H. Jakobie, and Charles H. 
Hollingsworth known as the Gulf Hammock 
Tobacco Company. The Tyndall Mine was owned 
by the Phosphate Development and Finance Co., 
LTD of London, England. 

In Bronson, the Levy County High School and 
Improvement Company was organized by W. J. 
Epperson, P. M. Colson, J. M. Jackson, Jr., J. E. 
Lummus, and O. J. Farmer. 



The Eagle Pencil factory in Cedar Key, 1870’s. The design of their little office building was widely 
noted. 


16 



Benjamin Friedman and Mary E. Friedman 
were divorced. This might be the same Ben 
Friedman who was county judge longer than 
anyone else has been and who legend says was a 
bachelor. 

1894: 

James L. Townsend et al sued for injunction to 
prohibit James V. Burke and Mont Brooks from 
digging up the soil for the purpose of mining in a 
parcel of section 10, TS 13, R 18E. That parcel is 
southwest of Orange Hill Cemetery, near 
Williston. 

Polidone Jones was indicted for breaking and 
entering the house of one Polly Allen. Witnesses 
were Lee Allen and Joe Reddish. The Gulf 
Hammock Orange and Vegetable Company was 
organized by L. Q. Kermode, Phillip Bums, C. B. 
Wingate, George Wrey, J. H. Jakobie, and A. S. 
Anderson. J. C. Wright lived in Bronson. In Cedar 
Key, James W. Smith and Eberhard Faber 
defaulted on payment for six carloads of cedar. 

1895: 

The Eagle Pencil Company in Cedar Key was a 
New York Corporation. 

In Bronson, there was an agreement between 
James M. Stewart and Epperson, Lummens, and 
Company that Stewart was to build a grist mill to 
accommodate the local demand for meal and grits 
at said mill. The Merchantile Company agreed not 
to stock foreign meal and grits. 

Mr. William Gomm had a store at Albion; so 
did R. G. Coarsey. Gomm’s store was east of 
Coarsey’s store which faced south. The Albion 
Post Office was in Coarsey’s store. R. G. Coarsey’s 
brother, Wiley Coarsey, also lived at Albion. On 
May 4, 1895, Silas Goldwire was in Mr. Coarsey’s 
store sitting on the counter eating oysters. Allen 
Brown shot Lige Butts. As a witness, Goldwire 
drew a diagram of Coarsey’s store in the sawdust 
on the courtroom floor. Another witness, Alex 
McIntyre, lived at Gulf Hammock. 

A man named Miller also had a store at Albion. 
Wade, Florida, was on the other side of Newberry 
from Albion. A warrant was issued for Frank 
Lathinghouse, ... “perjury during inquest over 
one kid Jack ...” 

1896: 

Isham Stephens resided on a part of the old 
Medlin place in Gulf Hammock near Ellzey. T. W. 
Shands got a ten year license to operate a ferry 
business at Fort Fannin across the Suwannee 
River. Hershel V. Coarsey and wife, Cora E., had a 
store in Bronson. 

1897: 

W. W. Colson bought a merchantile business at 


Judson from G. H. Schofield, witnessed by J. R. 
Beauchamp and W. J. Epperson. 

On June 2, 1897, the town of Williston was 
incorporated. The first election of town officials 
was held July 6, 1897. Those elected were: Mayor 
W. M. Barton; Councilmen J. Harvey, J. P. 
Reddick, D. E. Williams, J. B. Epperson, J. M. 
Willis; Clerk, J. N. Malphurs; Treasurer, F. F. 
Reddick; Tax Assessor and Collector, P. N. King; 
Marshall, no one elected. 

Allen S. Osteen was appointed guardian for 
Precious Adeline Hurst and Ferraby Ann Hurst, 
minors. 

1898: 

Fred Cubberly applied for a license to practice 
law. Lou Becca Pinnell applied for a license to 
practice law. She was the first woman admitted to 
the Florida Bar Association. A native of Bronson, 
she lived past 90 and died in a Jacksonville 
Nursing Home about 1974. 

1899: 

In Morriston, J. W. Walston bought out S. W. 
Petteway’s mercantile business. 

1900: 

The Cedar Key Lumber Company was owned 
by J. C. Kirkpatrick, S. Z. Ruff, and J. A. 
Haltiwanger. 

1903: 

H. Studstill and Lula C. Yearty were in 
business as H. Studstill and Company. They sued 
the Peninsula Phosphate Company. J. A. Philman 
and Leonard Smallwood were charged with armed 
robbery. They held up Jack Robinson, Sam Brown, 
William Thomas, and Lee Curry with shotguns, got 
money and commissary checks. 

1906: 

The Bank of Williston was chartered by J. B. 
Epperson, R. D. Medlin, W. M. Barton, J. N. 
Willis, and H. DeLand, capital of $15,000. There 
was also a Citizens Bank of Williston but no further 
data on it is available at this time. 

1908: 

The town of Bronson was incorporated again. 
Its first incorporation seems to have been around 
1883 but this has not been documented. E. A. 
Pinnell was the first mayor under the new 
incorporation. Aldermen were R. D. Proctor, S. L. 
Bean, G. A. Boyd, C. A. Lindsey, John R. Willis. 
B. L. Jones was elected marshal, and W. P. Pinnell 
was clerk. Some of the electors were: C. D. Colson, 
W. R. Coulter, W. J. Epperson, Bud Faircloth, 
Fletcher Faircloth, J. W. Faircloth, W. B. 
Faircloth, W. B. Fletcher, Ben Friedman, O. J. 


17 


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Farmer, A. P. Hardee, J. F. Jackson, 0. F. Laney, 
E. A. Pinnell, J. M. Overstreet, R. C. Ricks, W. A. 
Smith, Q. D. Thornton, E. Walker, W. H. 
Whitehead, W. B. Whitten, F. W. Wilkerson. 

1912: 

The Cedar Key State Bank was chartered by W. 
R. Hodges, A. P. Schlemmer, D. Y. Read, W. C. 
Bryce, H. E. Charpia, Monroe Venable, W. R. 


Thomas, W. H. Anderson, Jr. 

So many citizens did not know how to read and 
write that the clerks and scribes grew so 
accustomed to signatures being made with an X 
that they even had some of the literate citizens to 
sign with an X. The signature designated with “his 
(X) Mark” does not necessarily mean that the 
deponent could not sign his or her name. 



The old commissary in Otter Creek, John M. Hudson on left, other man unidentified. 


As we stated at this chapter’s beginning, we have omitted the Kanky-panky cases and in a way, that is to be 
regretted. Some of them are excruciatingly funny and others are merely sordid. However, a certain propitious limit 
must be observed in a publication such as this one. 

In the recording of depositions in direct words of the witnesses, the gutter language has changed very little in a 
hundred years. Perhaps that indicates that people who use gutter language are not very imaginative nor innovative, 
or that gutter language persons are ultra-conservatives. 

This chapter alone would present a warped perspective of the people who lived in old Levy County. Most of 
those names listed were not violators of the law and some of those charged were innocent. The overall picture across 
the years is one of loud hostilities and altercations along with some more people who worked for their living rather 
quietly, all of it another manifestation of the inexplicable qualities of human nature. 

S. E. GUNNELL 


19