HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Early Residents of Pasco County
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THOMAS FRANKLIN CAMPBELL (1874-1944), a building contractor and farmer, spent his entire life in the Oak Hill community, where he was born on Feb. 2, 1874. He was married to Mrs. Ola Campbell. His sons were Levi, Irwin, Charlie, Robert, and Richard Campbell. His daughters were Mrs. Bessie Woodward, Mrs. Myra Smith, Mrs. Nora Brannon, Mrs. Dorothy Herndon, and Mrs. Dora Williams.
Judge EMORY JACKSON CARRAWAY (1855-1928) died at Fivay at age 73 on Nov. 5, 1928. He was one of the early settlers of the area. He was born in Florida, and is shown as a house builder living in Suwanee, Florida, in the 1880 census. A July 21, 1909, newspaper article refers to him as the Mayor of Fivay. He was elected a trustee of the Fivay School District in 1910 and 1916. The 1911-1912 R. L. Polk & Co.’s Florida Gazetteer and Business Directory shows E. J. Caraway as justice of the peace at Fivay. His widow, Mrs. Ella Caraway, died in 1934 at age 76. According to her obituary, she made her home at Fivay for 40 years. She was buried at the Vereen Cemetery. Survivors are four sons, Brady (d. 1938, age 59) and Michael of Fivay, Gordon of New Orleans, and Webb of Miami.
HENRY CARTER (died, 1919) and his wife Nettie moved from Oxford, Florida, to Hudson around 1903, according to Ash. They farmed and raised cattle on their large tracts of land. A 1903 newspaper article reported that Carter was a stockman and farmer at Sagano, and that he had the distinction of shipping the first solid car of melons ever grown in his section. A 1905 Ocala newspaper article has:
We shook the hands of our former old South Lake Weir friends, Henry Carter, and his son, Charles, who now hail from Hudson, Fla., the new town on the bay, west of Brooksville. Mr. C. is prosperous. He has a fine young orange grove of 400 trees, many of which are bearing and he said they were loaded with fruit. So far he has sold every box at his door, and got the cash.According to his obituary, he had resided in Pasco County for 20 years and was a successful farmer. His funeral took place in Oxford. Brenda Knowles recalled from memory that Nettie’s maiden name was Roach and that she was b. about 1850 and d. about 1927. Their children were Ira (married Bessie McLeod), Arthur C. (married Isabell Frierson), Ira G. or Eugene (never married), Charles (never married), and Ruby (married Robert Henry Knowles).
NEWTON AUGUSTUS CARTER (1845-1920) was a County Commissioner and state legislator from Hernando County before Pasco County was created from the southern part of Hernando County. The following is excerpted from his obituary in the Dade City Banner:
For about thirty-five years beginning with 1869 Mr. Carter was a prominent citizen of Pasco County. He was one of the fathers of the Methodist church in this community; was a county commissioner many years while Pasco county was a part of Hernando county, and represented the county in the state legislature in 1875 and again in 1883. He was never defeated for an office for which he was a candidate. Mr. Carter was born in South Georgia, January 29, 1845. He enlisted in the Confederate army at the outbreak of the Civil war when he was sixteen years of age, and served the Confederacy until the close of the war. In August, 1865, he married Miss Mary A. Howell, in Lowndes county, Georgia, and they came to Florida in December of that year, and settled near the present site of Leesburg, then part of Sumter county, and a wilderness. In December these pioneers came to Hernando county and settled three miles west of the present Dade City, or about where Mr. McClure now lives. Here Mr. Carter cleared and cultivated seventy acres of land, and planted an orange grove. He brought wild sour orange trees from the hammock and grafted them, the art of budding not being practiced in those early days. Some of these old trees or trees that came up from their roots, after the Big Freeze, still stand on this farm. With Wright W. Williamson, a Mr. Strickland and a Mr. Lyons he built the Mt. Zion Methodist church in 1872, all the boards of which were sawed by hand. This old church still stands near the home of A. S. Burkett. Mr. Carter had been converted in 1870 by Rev. [Isaac Munden], a Methodist preacher, and became a charter member of the Mt. Zion church. From this time to his death he has been an official member of the church wherever he resided, a faithful attendant and worker, and an earnest follower of his Saviour. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Carter in their home near Leesburg, and five in their home near Leesburg, and five in their home in the Ft. Dade settlement. These children are Jasper C. Carter of Dade City; Mrs. Bishopp, of Oklahoma City; George A. Carter, who died in Kentucky ten years ago; John M. Carter of Los Angeles, Cal.; Mrs. Della Thompson, who died twenty-five years ago; William S. of Dade City; and Mrs. Mattie Berry, deceased.
A son, Jasper Capers Carter, was born Sept. 1, 1866, in Leesburg. He married Sallie Catherine Sumner on Aug. 1, 1886. Another son, John, grew up here. He died in San Diego, California, in 1924.
JAMES H. CASEY (1855-1935) was one of the earliest residents of what would become New Port Richey. He was from Noblesville, Indiana. He moved into his house on the Circle in 1914. On Jan. 21, 1914, the Tampa Morning Tribune reported, “J. H. Casey, wife and daughter of Nobleville, Ind., arrived Tuesday. They are at Hotel Richey, but will occupy their home at the grove when completed.” According to his obituary, he arrived in what would become New Port Richey in 1912. The obituary of his wife says they arrived in 1913. The first Mass offered in western Pasco county is said to have been celebrated in his home. He served on the first New Port Richey city council beginning in 1924. He was born in Buffalo, New York. He was married to Bridget Daley Casey (1856-1925). A son was William A. Casey (see below).
WILLIAM A. CASEY (1892-1946) was the first barber to set up business in New Port Richey. He came from Detroit and was a resident of New Port Richey for 31 years according to his obituary. After ill health forced him to give up his barber shop, he and his wife Anna operated a restaurant at Bayonet Point. Ralph Bellwood wrote: “One of the most likeable characters that ever lived here was Bill Casey, whose daughter, Mary Jane, was the first child born in New Port Richey. Among Bill’s many interests was his barber shop where practically every male person frequented, and much news of what was happening in the community was dispensed. It was Casey who established the popular restaurant at Casey’s Corner, in what is known as Bayonet Point Community now.” West Pasco’s Heritage gives Mary Jane Casey’s married name as Mrs. G. L. Morrison. The obituary of William Casey identifies her as Mrs. Mary Jane Cleveland of New Port Richey. According to WPH, Mary Jane Casey was delivered by a Dr. Randall, who moved into a home at the site of the M. A. Fullington house on Massachusetts Ave. in 1915. She graduated from Gulf High School in 1934.
ASHER CHAMBERLAIN CASSON (1860-1922) moved to Pasco County from Detroit in 1917 after retiring from the Ford Motor Company. He purchased the home of Malcolm Hill north of Massachusetts Avenue and west of Van Buren Street. He married Anna Schuh. Their four sons:
AMOS ABSALOM CHANCEY (1866-1943) was a resident of Zephyrhills for 50 years, according to his obituary. He held contracts with the Peninsular Telephone Co. and the Tampa Electric Co. for furnishing telephone poles. He was born in Georgia on July 18, 1866. He was married to Mrs. Rebecca Chancey. Two sons were Amos Chancey of Zephyrhills and Morris Chancey of Tampa. Two daughters were Mrs. C. F. Thomas and Mrs. Mattie Geiger, both of Zephyrhills.
JAMES WASHINGTON CLARK (1838-1913) was born in Colleton County, South Carolina, on Sept. 29, 1838, according to his gravestone and according to The Genesis of New Port Richey. The 1900 census has September 1841. In 1872 he married Frances Louise Hope (1850-1915) of Brooksville. He settled at the mouth of the Pithlachascotee River in 1872, according to F. C. Mallett, or in 1874, according to Genesis. [A newspaper article in 1924 says he came here from South Carolina 52 years ago.] Their first home was built at the end of what is now Clark Street in Port Richey (Ash). He was the first postmaster of the Hopeville Post Office, which was established on Dec. 4, 1878. The post office was closed on Nov. 22, 1881. He maintained a meat market and residence in Brooksville and whenever a baby was due to be born, the Clarks returned to Brooksville for the birth. Clark donated land for a school built in the Pine Hill section in the late 1880s, according to Ash but in 1899 according to Obenreder. He was appointed a Pasco County commissioner by Gov. Francis P. Fleming in 1891 and took office in June. In 1889, when Victor Malcolm Clark was born, the parents remained in Port Richey. The children of James Washington Clark and Francis Louise Hope were:
DAVID HOPE CLARK, SR. (1875-1962) was a son of James Washington Clark. He was a county commissioner from 1922 to 1932 and served several terms on the Port Richey city council. He was born in Brooksville. According to his obituary, he came to Port Richey with his parents in 1881 and for many years was prominent in the growth of the area as a cattleman, citrus grower, and later as a builder. Mr. Clark worked on the Sass Hotel and helped with the construction of Gulf High School. At age 30 he married Mary Celia Nicks. They had a daughter, Mary (1907-2004). After his first wife died, he married Susan M. Page (1886-1958), who was born in Poyntelle, Pa., and who served on Port Richey’s first elected city council. The children from this marriage included four sons:
VICTOR MALCOLM CLARK SR. (1889-1951) was elected Mayor of Port Richey in December 1925. He was the first elected Mayor, although an earlier Mayor, named in the original city charter, served briefly. Clark was named to the city council in the original charter. He was also the city surveyor for Port Richey. He was born in Port Richey on Aug. 26, 1889, and died on Jan. 12, 1951. He is believed to be the first child born in Port Richey. He married Lonnie Lee Nicks (1889-1930). Children:
WILLIAM A. COBB was an early settler in the community of Anclote, having moved there by 1870. The 1870 census shows him as a 43-year-old farmer born in South Carolina, living alone. He was the first postmaster when the Anclote post office was established on Sept. 10, 1878.
MALCOLM DOUGLAS COCHRANE (ca. 1857-1921) and his wife operated the Osceola Hotel in Dade City. He married Mary "Minnie" Josephine Ravesies (b. ca. 1861, Mobile, Ala.; d. May 23, 1919), who came with her parents to Pasco County at age 16. She was the last surviving member of the Ravesies family. Malcolm died on Mar. 15, 1921. The children were Inez, Lula, a schoolteacher, Ethel, Will, and Fred, a baseball player.
WALLACE STANLEY COCHRANE (1894-1971) served as a county commissioner from 1931 to 1943 and was chairman of the board for six years. He had extensive real estate interests in eastern Pasco County and was a lifelong Pasco resident. He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church and served in the U. S. Army during World War I. He was married to Martha Shofner Cochrane. Cochrane was born on Aug. 22, 1894, and died on March 17, 1971, at his home at 302 West Church Ave.
HENRY WOOTSON COLEMAN (1856-1919) was an early businessman in Dade City. His obituary follows:
Henry Wootson Coleman, one of the most influential citizens of Dade City, died suddenly Sunday forenoon. There was not the slightest warning of his death and the news came as a sudden blow to everyone.
GEORGE BARRY COLLINS (1869-1943) came to San Antonio in 1921 and served two terms as Mayor. He was born at Roscoe, Pa., and worked in the newspaper industry in Pennsylvania. A sister was Mrs. Rose Collins Jones of San Antonio.
SAMUEL H. CORNELL (1848-1934) was one of the earliest residents of what would become New Port Richey, having arrived in 1911. A building contractor, he erected the Methodist church, the railway depot, and many other early buildings, as well as the Hotel Stafford in Tarpon Springs. A 1923 newspaper article reported that he started the erection of the Sass Hotel on Dec. 6, 1911. On the first night he slept under a bunch of palmetto by the side of Orange Lake and for about a year lived in a tent there while he was at work on several of the buildings in the town, including the train depot. He came to the U. S. in 1882 and lived in Wisconsin and Oklahoma before moving to Florida.
Rev. PTOLEMY WATKINS CORR (1854-1931) was an early principal of the high school in Dade City. He also trained teachers under his South Florida Normal Institute during the summers. Corr was born Mar. 6, 1854 in Gloucester County, Virginia. He graduated from Richmond College in Virginia. He married Elizabeth Clark Morton (1850-1925). At age 24 he was ordained a Baptist minister. From August 1888 until 1891 he was minister at First Baptist Church in Gainesville and he augmented his $700-per-year pastoral income by becoming the principal of Gainesville’s public school. He also preached at many small Baptist churches in northern Florida, including Ft. White, White Springs, Cedar Key, and Hampton. Pasco County school board minutes of Jan. 7, 1908, indicate that P. W. Corr was Principal of the high school. According to his obituary, "He was principal of Dade City high school for nine consecutive years, during which time the school reached a peak of efficiency that had never previously been attained." On July 7, 1916, the Dade City Banner reported: "The county school board, which on Wednesday took up the appointment of teachers for the coming term, refused to re-appoint Prof. P. W. Corr as principal of the high school on the recommendation of the local trustees, basing their reason for refusing on the grounds that a petition signed by a majority of the patrons of the school had been presented to them protesting to them against the reappointment of Prof. Corr." With the aid of his daughter Alys Mae Corr (1882-1948), he published the State Normal Teacher, a state paper for teachers. He died at Marianna, Fla., on Feb. 21, 1931, at which time he was the principal of a junior high school in Calhoun County. His tombstone reads, "Taught & Preached in FLA 44 yrs." [Information from the Alachua County genealogy web site, Corr’s obituary, and school board minutes. Photo from the Pasco School News (1915), courtesy of Jeff Cannon.]
Dr. JOSEPH FELIX CORRIGAN (1846-1918) was elected the first mayor of St. Leo. He was the attending physician of Saint Leo College. According to his obituary, he was born in Newark, N. J., and for a time was the head physician of Bellevue Hospital in New York City. In 1884 he came to Dade City and began the development of his estate which contained one of the best citrus groves in this section and was one of the noted places of the county.
JOHN M. CRAVER (1857-1913) was a merchant and postmaster at Anclote from 1881 to 1889, according to his obituary. He later became a merchant in Tarpon Springs and was elected city clerk and collector for Tarpon Springs shortly before he died. He was born in Jonesboro, Ill., and came to Florida in 1878 and taught school for several years, according to his obituary. He is shown in Hernando County school records as the teacher at the Baillie school and the Anclote school in 1877-78.
DOC CARL CRIPE (1893-1982) is shown in school board records from September 1916 and August 1917 as
the teacher for the Hudson school.
In 1921 he was put in charge of the New Port Richey school, where his wife was a teacher.
He also apparently taught at the Port Richey school.
In July 1915 he was assigned to teach at the Emmaus School, and by the late 1920s he and his wife returned to eastern Pasco County.
The 1920 census shows him living in New Port Richey and shows his occupation as clerk in a lumber yard.
He was born in Indiana. In 1916 Cripe married Lottie Guy (1895-1978). The wedding was performed
in Prospect Methodist Church by L. P. Wilson. They had one child, a daughter Annice.
According to a family member, "His actual given name was, in fact 'Doc.'
That’s not a nickname or short for anything. He was known to
everyone except Aunt Lottie as 'Doc,' although he usually signed as 'D. Carl,' or simply 'D.C. Cripe,'
because as an educator he was constantly being addressed as 'Dr. Carl Cripe.'"
CHARLES WILLIAM CROFT (1836-1919) was a farmer who came here about 1871, according to his obituary. He was born Jan. 27, 1836, in South Carolina. On Jan. 18, 1859, he married Mary Jane McCloud in Moultrie, Ga. He served in the Confederate army and was a sergeant at the close of the Civil War. Among their children were Mrs. J. T. Tait, Mrs. Benjamin Cray, and Henry Bradham Croft (1871-1924), who were living in Dade City at the time of his death.
JAMES A. CUNNINGHAM (1847-1917) was the second Property Appraiser for Pasco County. He was born in Cass County, Ga., and is buried at Enterprise Cemetery in Dade City. He died Nov. 15, 1917. He was married to Helen Daiger (1860-1893). She died during childbirth. He then married Frances Dobbs (1858-1896). He had twin daughters with Helen, Jamie and Helen. Helen married William Wilson and Jamie married Fred Touchton. [Information from the Property Appraiser’s office]