HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY

Early Residents of Pasco County

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This page was last revised on May 14, 2014.

ALICE FRYER HALL (1904-1996), a teacher and journalist, moved to Zephyrhills in 1941. She was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Garden Club, veteran’s associations and the Democratic Party. She devoted herself to bringing a hospital to the community, which she did in the 1980s. She then raised $750,000 for state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment. In the early 1970s she helped open the community’s first nursing home. Hall supported the establishment of parks, museums and a rescue squad in Zephyrhills. She was born in Mississippi.

BENJAMIN H. HAMPTON (1841-1939) came to Florida in 1890 "in search of relief from a severe attack of rheumatism," settling in Avon Park. Upon recovering, he traveled to Colorado and Colorado in search for gold. He subsequently returned to Florida, coming to New Port Richey in 1918, when he planted a ten-acre orange grove, even though he was approaching 80. He was known locally as "the rancher of Rancho Glen Haven." He planted a new grove on his 91st birthday and lived to pick much citrus from his new grove before he died at age 98. He was born in West Philadelphia (later Fairmont Park), Pennsylvania, and he fought for the Union in the Civil War. In 1929 he said that one of his most treasured memories was seeing and hearing Abraham Lincoln.

HENRY WILLIAM HANCOCK (1822-1895) was born in Georgia on Sept. 19, 1822. In 1846 he married Sarah Caroline Townsend (1829-1910), a daughter of Capt. Jack Townsend, in Alachua County. He received his deed for his homestead on Hancock Lake on April 1, 1854, as a compensation for service with the Florida Volunteers. Mr. Hancock served in the Confederate Army as a private in Capt. John Parson’s Florida Guards. A notice in the Sunland Tribune in 1881 reads: "Mr. Henry Hancock resident of Hernando County for 30 years has eleven children and eighteen grandchildren. He possesses one of the finest places in the county bordering on Lake Otter, which has a fall of some 20 feet, 400 orange trees and 20 acres of corn." He died at his home on Hancock Lake on Jan. 18, 1895. Their children were:

  • Eliza, born 1847, married Durham H. Hancock
  • Emeline, born 1848, married Malcolm Hill
  • Thomas R. or H. (1850-1919), married Mary Margaret Allen
  • Isadora M. (1852-1919), married Eli Johnson
  • Ida, married Wesley Gant
  • George J. (1857-1929), married Mary Frances Jackson (see below)
  • Margaret "Maggie" (1859-1937), married Joshua Mizell
  • Nancy (1860-1942), married Green Absalom Abdaba Hope (1861-1894), son of Henry and Alatha Frances Garrison Hope
  • Horace Jackson (1862-1914), married Alatha Frances Nicks (1876-1949) (see below)
  • John Breckenridge (died 1943, age 83), married Elizabeth Alexander
  • Monteray "Montie," married Richard Hancock

GEORGE J. HANCOCK (1857-1929) was born near Hancock Lake. He married Mary Frances Jackson of San Antonio. His black-bordered obituary in the Pasco County News said, "In all Pasco County there was not a man more widely known nor better loved than George Hancock. He is a living personification of the old time Southern hospitality." He died on May 3, 1929, at his home in the Darby neighborhood and was buried at Townsend House Cemetery. His children were Henry, J. Ward, and Mrs. Ida Campbell.

HORACE JACKSON HANCOCK (1862-1914) married Alatha Frances Nicks (1876-1949) in 1895 in Brooksville. Alatha Frances Nicks, who went by Frances, was born April 29, 1876, in Brooksville, and died March 25, 1949, Tarpon Springs. They are both buried at Townsend House Cemetery. Frances never remarried. This information comes from their grandson Steven Hancock, who writes, "Alatha and Horace Hancock lived on a farm on the south shore of Hancock Lake down the lane from Townsend House Cemetery, so technically they lived in Pasco County, but just barely. Their sons George (b. 1898) and Robert (b. 1902, my father) were born out there." A picture showing Horace and Alatha on the farm is here and a picture of Horace Hancock with H. R. Nicks is here.

GEORGE B. HARSHAW (died, 1914) is described as a Port Richeyite in a 1903 newspaper article, although an article about his widow in 1932 said that she had lived in Tarpon Springs for 40 years. He was buried in Cycadia Cemetery on Nov. 22, 1914. Jim Lang writes:

George Harshaw owned most of the property north of the Anclote River (Alt. 19) between the river and Dixie Hwy (Alt. 19 today). There is now a Tarpon Springs wildlife park where the homestead used to be. As a kid, I used to play in that old house. One of his daughters, Laura, married Peter Kapsalis and they had a dairy on the northwest side of the river and Alt. 19. One of the old dipping vats is next to my property. My father used to help round up the cows for them. My father also used to herd cattle for Sam Mickler along with his son Bart. Daddy said that sometimes they worked as far north as Main St. in New Port Richey (on the east side). When they were up that far, they would tie their horses up at the Hacienda Hotel and eat lunch there for a quarter.

JOHN GORDON HATCHER (1885-1945) was born in Levy County. He married Lizzie Tillis (1892-1950) in 1909. He lived in Cedar Key, Webster, Groveland, and Tarry Town before moving to Hudson in 1920. He worked in the fishing industry. According to his obituary he was prominent in the affairs of the Hudson community. Lizzie was murdered by her second husband, who subsequently committed suicide.

SALEM B. HATCHER (1900-1989) arrived in Hudson from Levy County in 1922, according to one source, although in a 1978 newspaper interview he said that he had been living in Hudson since 1923. He was a commercial fisherman and owned a fish business. He married Eda Collum (1911-1990) on May 15, 1929, in Bushnell. The two stayed at the Kentucky Inn of Hudson for at time after their marriage, and in 1943 or 1944 they purchased the building. Eda was born in Boston, Ga., on April 18, 1911, and died on May 26, 1990. They had nine children, one of whom, Florence Nan LeFils Balogh (died, 1978, at age 46), was a member of the New Port Richey city council in the early 1970s. His obituary:

HATCHER, SALEM B., 89, of Hudson, died Wednesday (Dec. 20, 1989) at HCA Bayonet Point/Hudson Medical Center. Born in Bronson, he came here 67 years ago from Miami. He was a retired commercial fisherman and a Presbyterian. He was a World War I Navy veteran and a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6180, Port Richey. Survivors include his wife, Eda; four sons, Paul and Andy, both of New Port Richey, Austin and Calvin, both of Hudson; two daughters, Vada Keller, Wilmington, N.C., and Eleanor Pratt, Crystal River; 19 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. Wellwood Funeral Home, Hudson.

The following is from West Pasco’s Heritage, by Julie Obenreder.

Salem Hatcher arrived in Hudson from Levy County in 1922. The first job obtained was working for the county building roads, filling swamp areas along Route 52, later worked on the construction of the road from Aripeka to Hudson. In 1925 when the boom sent wages sky-rocketing in New Port Richey he took advantage of it and went to work for Bragge Contractor in the city. He married Eda Collum, formerly of Georgia, in 1929.

Eda recalls her first impressions of Hudson. There were thirty two homes in the town in 1929. The old Kentucky Inn, built in 1910, located on old Highway 19 which wound along the Gulf, had a heavy black iron fence surrounding the two story frame building and a large square cupola was a landmark on the top of the Inn. The room rate was three dollars per month. She and Salem stayed there for a time after their marriage and in the year 1943 they purchased this building and reside there today. The fence and cupola are gone but otherwise the house remains virtually unchanged. Highway 19, of course, has been relocated and the house address is now Main Street, Hudson.

Salem can tell many stories of the Hudson area. He related the tale of the discovery of a treasure buried by Captain Kidd at Gold Island, north of Hudson. When asked how the treasure was discovered he said, “a woman came to Hudson in 1922 with some equipment. She had a ‘money needle’ which acted as a magnet and when it came to this certain spot she had her crew dig, and deep in the rocks found a wooden keg which was reported to contain over sixty-five thousand dollars in gold pieces.”

Salem also remembers the prohibition days when boats brought illegal whiskey from Cuba and Bimini. The men would bring the boats in to the bayous around Hudson, tie six quarts of whiskey in each bag, put it overboard, it would sink and remain concealed from the Coast Guard Revenue Representatives. They finally did catch one boat, “The Roving Gambler,” in the bayou and this led to the slowing of the whiskey traffic for a time.

An amusing incident of the way justice was meted out for misdemeanors was also proffered by Salem. In the early days when the courthouse in Dade City was too far to travel. There was a Judge Carraway who lived at Bear Creek and presided over the court. It is told that when he pronounced sentence he would hand the culprit a Sears-Roebuck catalogue and tell him to open it and put his finger on the first item on the page. Whatever the cost of the article would be the amount of the fine imposed whether it be a ten cent tea strainer or a eight ninety-five suit. One man who ended up in the Judge’s court remarked, “I’m sure glad they don’t sell big boats or cars in that catalogue.”

Horse Island, about two and one-half miles north Of Hudson, was a large fish camp where eight fishermen made their home. A turtle weighing five hundred pounds was brought in with one catch. Eda says it is delicious when sliced and cooked as you would a steak.

Salem had a boat and did some sponging in the 1940’s. He used a hook to pull the sponge from the waters which were plentiful at a depth of eighteen feet. But in 1946 the sponge beds were depleted and the sponge industry ceased in the Hudson area. Salem and Eda had nine children. Three reside in New Port Richey, two in Hudson. Nan Lefils (daughter) is a New Port Richey Councilwoman - 1973-74.

Interview with M/M Hatcher April 1974

ABRAHAM HAY (age 49 in the 1850 census) and his wife Sarah were among the earliest settlers in the Hudson area. They arrived from Alabama, according to Ash, although census records show that their children were born in Georgia. According to Ash, Abraham Hay died at age 77 and was buried in the field in Hudson. The children of Abraham and Sarah Hay were:

  • Isaac (age 19 in the 1850 census)
  • Julia Ann (age 15 in the 1850 census), who apparently married Daniel Joseph Strange (1844-1923), who enlisted on July 19, 1861, at Brooksville
  • John Thomas (age 13 in the 1850 census)
  • William Byrd (1839-1895), q.v.
  • James Alford or Alfred (1841-1916), who enlisted in the Confederate army in Brooksville on July 19, 1861, and married Elizabeth Fennel in 1877
  • Joseph M. (born 1842), who married Rebecca Fennel, known as Aunt Becky
  • Sarah J. (age 5 in the 1850 census)
  • George W. C. (age 3 in the 1850 census)
  • Jefferson (Jesse) Taylor (1850-1928), q.v.

WILLIAM BYRD HAY (1839-1893), a son of Abraham Hay, enlisted in the Confederate army in Brooksville on July 19, 1861. In her widow’s pension application, Mary Jane Baker stated that on or about Aug. 28, 1864, he was seriously wounded by a minié ball which entered the right cheek and went out through the neck on the opposite side and which disabled his right arm to a considerable extent. William married Mary Jane Baker on July 12, 1886. Their children were:

  • John Olan, b. Oct. 6, 1889, d. July 11, 1918, died of pneumonia in military service, never married. On July 21, 1921, the Tampa Morning Tribune reported, “Several cars full of friends and relatives passed through [New Port Richey] Sunday, on route to Hudson, to attend the funeral of Owen Hay.”
  • Sadie, never married
  • Mattie, m. Louis Smitzes; no children
  • Ella Mae, b. Mar. 1891; d. Mar. 1, 1994; m. Henry Patterson (d. 1971) in 1970; no children. A Henry Patterson, presumably this one, was born Jan. 30, 1906, and died in Tarpon Springs in July 1971.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ELLA MAE HAY PATTERSON
This document was provided by Laurie Baker. Another recollection of Ella Mae Hay Patterson is on the Sapling Woods page.

I was born three or four miles east of Port Richey. I was descended from Abraham and Sarah Hay, who lived north of Hudson and are buried there. My father, William Byrd Hay, was a Civil War Veteran. When I was about five years old, my father died. My brother, Olan, was about seven years old then. My sister, Sadie (Sallie) was about six years old and my youngest sister, Mattie Parker, was about six weeks old.

When my mother’s mother died, Uncle Sam and Aunt Lizzie Baker took my mother to raise, as they had no daughters living. Several times when I was young, we visited Uncle Sam and Aunt Lizzie at Bailey’s Bluff and Elfers (known as Sapling Woods then). My mother, Mary (or Mayme as she was called) took us by horse and wagon and we especially liked to go to Bailey’s Bluff because then we could go swimming. At Bailey’s Bluff they called the place the sponge crawls, where the sponge fishermen cured the sponges to sell. When we visited them there, Uncle Sam had a store and lived either in or near there.

When we visited our aunt and uncle at Sapling Woods, (Elfers) I always went right to the bookcase to look at the books. While others play, I loved the books. My mother predicted then that I would be a teacher; but I loudly denied that. I especially liked the pictures in the Bible, even the gruesome ones like Absolom hung in the tree.

In the kitchen at the Baker House which was separate and on the east side of the house, was a big dining room table in the middle of the room. In the corner was a "pie-safe", screened in front. Aunt Lizzie made light bread. When her grandchildren came, they asked for this, but my mother said this was not nice and we must never ask for things. I was glad when we came at the same time as the grandchildren, because we received some also. I especially remember Mayme and Badge Baker.

Once when we were traveling to visit the Bakers at Sapling Woods, the horse stopped and lay down and would not get up, or balked. Someone living nearby came over and invited us to spend the rest of the day and the night at his home, and probably the horse would get up in the morning—which he did.

This Baker House faced west and there was a porch across the front. We slept upstairs when we visited there. The children usually slept on pallets on the floor.

Again, regarding my relationship to Samuel Baker, he was my mother’s father’s brother. They had all lived in Key West, where my mother was born.

When it was time for us to go to school, we moved to Sapling Woods. The building was called something like Gulliford.

When I was very sick, I remember Miss Sue Baillie helping care for me. I remember Mrs. Pinkie Brown, who had two daughters, Vassie and Rene. We liked to visit at their house.

We moved to Hudson soon after and I finished the eighth grade in school there. A Hudson teacher, Miss Fannie Mobley, invited me to go to Dade City to live with her and her family, which I did for seven years. I taught school six months in the winter and worked in the tax collector’s office in the summer. Both Fannie’s father and sister Mattie were tax collectors for Pasco County at one time. I attended Professor Kar’s [Corr’s] Normal School and obtained a teaching certificate before I had even graduated from high school. About 1912 or 1913, I went to Tallahassee to college for one year. Cedora Futch and I lived together in the dormitory there.

I taught in various schools, Ormond Beach, Arcadia, Plant City and Tampa. I was teaching when I remember Hillsborough and Pinellas County being divided.

Meantime, my brother Olan died while in the service (of flu) and my mother moved to Tarpon Springs. I worked in the citrus packing house at Ozona, and then started teaching in Tarpon Springs (about 1924). I retired from teaching in June, 1962, after teaching 47 years. Most of the time, I taught second grade.

My mother died in 1949. My sister Mattie married Louis Smitzes and died of heart trouble in 1971. Sister Sadie was in a nursing home from about 1964 to 1971, when she died.

In 1970, I married Henry Patterson and continued to live on in the home place. My husband, Henry, only lived a year and a half after we were married, and passed away from a heart attack in 1971.

Now I enjoy the companionship of my cat, Baby, who can be quite bossy at times!

JEFFERSON (JESSE) TAYLOR HAY (1850-1928) was a son of Abraham and Sarah Hay. In 1872 he married Jane T. Stevenson (1854-1934), the fifth child of Samuel Stevenson and Elizabeth Osteen Stevenson, in Seven Springs. According to Jane’s obituary, she was born in Clearwater on Oct. 10, 1854, and died in Elfers on Sept. 24, 1934. Among their children were:

  • Ida Mioma Hay Mitchell, q.v.
  • William, died in March 1885 at age 5
  • Mrs. Nettie Hudson of Dade City
  • Nellie, m. George Baker
  • Mrs. Mae Jackson of New York
  • Susan Mae, m. Claude Mitchum. They had two daughters

According to Ash, they had five children. Thus some of the above names could represent the same person.

JOHN (JACK) JOSHUA HELVENSTON (1854-1930) was an early resident of Port Richey. He was the son of George N. Helvenston and Charlotte Louise Pyles (sister of Frances Sophia Pyles Hope). On Jan. 1, 1880, he married Susan (Sudie) Mary Hope of Anclote (1861-1881), the daughter of Samuel Hope. She died with an infant child. He married Leola Whidden (1872-1955) in Pasco County on June 6, 1894. [This surname is spelled Helveston in Levy County and Helvenston in Alachua County.]

J. HARVEY HENDERSON (died 1959, age 78) was born in Goodman, Miss. He was a state plant board inspector. His brother was Homer C. Henderson, q.v.

HOMER COLEMAN HENDERSON (1876-1929) came to Hudson from Goodman, Miss., early in 1900, working as a grocer. He married Eva Bush, a native of Hudson and daughter of Henry C. Bush. He moved to Zephyrhills in 1915, then to Tarpon Springs, and then to Elfers in 1916. Children:

  • Roscoe, q.v.
  • John Marvin, b. Sept. 11, 1908, Hudson, Fla.; graduated from Gulf High School in 1928; m1. Kathryn Craig (b. Marion, Ala.) on June 23, 1935, at Dade City. She graduated from GHS in 1926. m2. Margaret Flowers Weitzel; d. Sept. 16, 2008, Albemarle, N. C.
  • Cecil

Roscoe Henderson ROSCOE BUSH HENDERSON (1906-1998) owned and operated Roscoe’s Rexall Drug Store in New Port Richey for twenty years until he retired in 1960. He was born in Hudson. His family moved to Zephyrhills in 1915, then to Tarpon Springs, and then to Elfers in 1916. Roscoe Henderson was the valedictorian of the first graduating class of Gulf High School in 1924. School board records show him as a 21-year-old teacher at Gulf High School in the 1928-29 school year. In 1946 he moved to New Port Richey.

JEFFERSON ALEXIS HENDLEY (1854-1947) was a member of the Florida Constitutional Convention of 1885. He was born in Farmington, Kentucky, and graduated from Neophogen College and Washington and Lee University. He wrote that he began practicing law at age 14 and that in 1879 he moved to Texas, where he organized Mitchell county and was elected its first prosecuting attorney. He later moved to Florida, settling north of Blanton. In 1883 he was elected county surveyor of Hernando County. In 1886 he married Dolly Maynard of Perryville, Indiana. He was one of the organizers of the Bank of Pasco County. He was elected to the state senate in 1896. In the 1930s he wrote a series of newspaper articles on the history of Pasco County which were published in book form about 1943, when he was living in Dade City. A newspaper article about Hendley is here.

Benjamin Hermanson BENJAMIN HELMAR HERMANSON (1868-1944), according to a 1929 newspaper article, started the first store in New Port Richey, a hardware store, on the Boulevard, in 1914, and started a drug store next door to the hardware store in 1915. In a letter to the Port Richey Company dated Aug. 20, 1912, Hermanson wrote, "I have been in Cuba for five years raising fruit and vegetables, but found that Cuba was too far south to raise good grapefruit so decided to move to Florida. Last Fall I traveled South Florida, first along the East Coast, then inland and the West Coast from Ft Meyers to Port Richey. I was looking for an ideal location for fruit and truck gardening and found it at Port Richey, where I bought fifty acres on the Gulf Coast." He worked in real estate, helped organize the local Masonic lodge, and organized the first band in the community. He served on the New Port Richey city council for 12 years. A 1923 newspaper article reported that Hermanson was traveling to Cuba to inspect a tobacco plantation he owned there. According to a newspaper article at the time of his death, he was born in Minnesota and came to the area in 1912. According to a 1930 obituary of his wife, he came to what is now New Port Richey in 1911. A 1929 newspaper article about him stated he was born in Calumet, Michigan, and was taken to Finland when he was a few days old. In 1900 he married Louisa Putkomen (1863-1930), who was born in Viborg, Finland, according to her obituary.

Oscar Herms OSCAR WILLIAM HERMS (1872-1947) operated a horticulture business, shipping his product to Northern markets. An article in the New Port Richey Post in Jan. 1916 reported that he came here from Portsmouth, Ohio, about three years earlier, having operated a similar business there. He was a member of the first New Port Richey City Council. According to his obituary, he married Ruby Eugene Clark (1887-1950) at the Clark home, which later became the Bay-Lea Inn, on June 30, 1912. He taught the Methodist Sunday school in Port Richey in 1915 and 1916. He was vice president of the First State Bank in New Port Richey and was on its board of directors. He was and a deacon of the Community church. The 1920 census shows they had two children, Louise and Clara. The 1930 census shows Oscar Herms' brother, Charles F. Herms (d. 1932), and his wife, Minnie M., were living nearby on Dixie Blvd. In 1936 Herms moved his business to Tarpon Springs.

CLEMENT HICKS (1863-1939), originally from Lee in Madison County, moved to Hudson around 1900. He and his family went into the wholesale fish business, shipping fish to northern and other southern states (Ash). According to his obituary, he died on Sept. 10, 1939, at age 77. He married Julia Wheeler (died, 1897). Their children included:

  • Sarah Early, b. 1892, m. married Richard D. Stevenson (q.v.) in 1905,d. 1969
  • Latona (Tony), m. Wiley Hudson
  • Elvina (Vinie), m. Mickael Knowles Jr. about 1913.
  • Ellie m. last name Webb
  • Marshall
  • Shellie

CHESLEY D. HILL (1807-1882) married Elizabeth Munden (died, 1879). They are both buried in the Dade City Cemetery. A photo which may show Chesley and his wife is here. [Information from Linda D. Hill] Children:

  • Robert Madison (1831-1886), q.v.
  • Elisha Allen (1833-1907), born in Leon County. He married Mary Ann; they divorced about 1869. He subsequently married Eunicy Ann Carroll. After Eunicy died, he married Emma Olivia Roberts. Mary Ann Jane Cooper Hill married Daniel Orr and moved to Hillsborough Co. She died 1897 and was the first grave in the County Line Cemetery (aka the Willie Grantham Cemetery) on the south side of County Line Rd. between Cypress Creek Rd. and Livingston Ave.
  • Thomas J. (1838-1864), m. Sarah Ann Elizabeth Cooper (b. 1844, in Georgia) on Jan. 8, 1858, in Hernando County. Thomas died on Feb. 20, 1864, at the Battle of Olustee. After he died, she married Joseph Miller.
  • Amanda (1843- ?), m. Columbus Alexander. They had a daughter Elizabeth and a son Thomas Rutherford Alexander, q.v.
  • Malcom Nicholson (1844-1936), q.v.

[Some information from Jim Dennison]

ROBERT MADISON HILL (1831-1886) was born in Georgia, the oldest son of Chesley D. Hill (1807-1880) and Elizabeth Munden. He and his brothers and father served in the Civil War. He was an inspector for the election of Nov. 4, 1856, in Hernando County. His name appears on the voter registration lists for Hernando County in 1867-68 and in the census records of 1870 and 1880 in Hernando County. He was a farmer. He was buried on land he homesteaded in Hudson, but his remains were moved to the Geiger Cemetery in Zephyrhills because of a lawsuit. A daughter was Nan Hill Cooper (b. 1875). [Information from Linda D. Hill.]

Malcolm Hill MALCOLM NICHOLSON HILL (1844-1936) and his wife Emma E. Hancock (1848-1916) were among the earliest settlers in the Port Richey area. Malcolm Hill was born on Nov. 3, 1844, in Marion County. Aaron McLaughlin Richey’s daughter recalled that “Mrs. Malcolm Hill was the other woman in that section, and she lived some distance away.” In 1881 Hill moved from Brooksville to what would become New Port Richey. According to a 1935 newspaper article, he moved to Tarpon Springs in 1903, but according to a 1932 Tarpon Springs Leader article, he moved to Tarpon Springs in February 1908. According to F. C. Mallett, Hill was discharged at Appomattox along with James Washington Clark; they remained friends for the remainder of their lives. History of Tarpon Springs (1964) has: “Malcolm Hill, at the risk of his life, went to the rescue of Capt. Sam Hope on the battlefield in 1863 and brought him to safety.” Some researchers are skeptical of this claim. The Tarpon Springs Leader spelled his middle name Nickelson.

According to Avery:

Malcolm M. Hill, a native of Florida, came hither at about the time that James W. Clark, Sr., came. With his came his wife, whose maiden name was Emma E. Hancock. They made their home on what is now the Casson property on Massachusetts avenue. They had six children, one of whom, George, is dead. The others, Thomas J., John T., Clarence M., Carrie E., and Alice (now Mrs. Henry Nicks) are living. Mr. Malcolm Hill now lives in Tarpon Springs.

Children:

  • Alice (b. 1879), m. Henry J. Nicks Sr., a son of H. R. Nicks
  • Thomas J. (1872-1947), a prominent resident of Elfers (see below).
  • John T. (1874-1943)
  • Clarence M. (1875-1949), who was a marshal of Tarpon Springs.
  • George
  • Carrie E. (d. 1949), known as Aunt Cap'n. She was a practical nurse.

THOMAS J. HILL (1872-1947) was a long-time resident of Elfers who engaged in farming and citrus growing. He was a deacon of the Anclote Baptist Church and was a member of the original city council of Elfers when it was incorporated in 1925. He was a school trustee and served a term as a member of Pasco County school board. He was born in what is now Pasco County. He married Martha (Mattie) Brown. Children:

  • Forrest Dell (1906-1983), m. Lillie Mae Burney. A son, Forrest Dell Jr., graduated from Gulf High in 1965.
  • Clarice (sp?)
  • Ione or Iona, who played on the Gulf High girls basketball team in 1926-27
  • Sylvester or Lester
  • Graydon

CHARLES HOWORTH HIMMELWRIGHT (1871-1942) was a citrus grower for 22 years. He came to the Dade City area from Doylestown, Pa., in 1919, and purchased grove property which he and his son Fred L. developed into one of the finest groves in the county. He was born in Chester, Pa. He was married to Mrs. Ida Evelyn Himmelwright. Their children included Mrs. Harry T. Lucas of Ashland, Va., and Fred L. Himmelwright of Dade City.

Joseph Hodges JOSEPH STANTON HODGES (1880-1950) came to New Port Richey from Quitman, Ga., in 1929, according to his obituary, and managed the C. S. Register Grocery in the Arcade Building for 18 years. His wife was Clemmie Leithan Hodges (1886-1981). His obituary listed his surviving children as Mrs. Howard Hodson of St. Petersburg, Mrs. Henry Williams of New Port Richey, and Mrs. John Zoffay of Frostproof. A son Lamar (1909-1946) was killed in an automobile accident.

GEORGE HOLLAND (died in 1929, age 74) was a regular winter resident of New Port Richey beginning in 1915. The New Port Richey Press reported on May 1, 1925, that he was sworn in as city tax assessor. According to a 1929 newspaper article, he was born in Alden, N. Y., and had been the assessor in Sidney Township, Michigan, for 34 years.

MILLS HOLLOMAN (1795?-1882) was a free black man apparently living in what is now eastern Pasco County in the 1840s and 1850s. On Dec. 14, 1842, Mills Holliman (sic) applied for a homestead permit. A permit was issued on January 23, 1843, for property located in the Chicuchatta Hammock, specific location unknown at this time. This permit and final deed were eventually denied and he did not receive title to the property. The reason stated was “Refused on account of his color, (not white).” The Armed Occupation Act of 1842 did not allow non-whites to apply for land. He is shown as paying taxes as a free man of color in Benton (Hernando) County from 1845-1856. The 1850 census shows him a 50-year-old farmer born in North Carolina and living in the Buddy Lake Settlement census district. In 1857-58 Holloman’s tax was paid by his guardian Nathaniel Moody. The 1860 census shows him age 64, born Virginia. In 1860 Tampa attorney James Gettis was listed as his agent. In 1863 Gettis was listed as his guardian. The 1870 census shows Holloman as 60 years old, white, born in Florida, using the Cedar Tree post office. Florida’s Black Public Officials 1867-1924 has: “Born 1795, Virginia. Mulatto. Farmer. Died January 6, 1882, Hillsborough County, Florida. Hillsborough County Commissioner 1868-70, 1870-71.” A son, Adam Holloman (1830-1905), also served on the Hillsborough County Commission. Adam’s daughter Margaret married Levin Armwood in 1878. Information provided by Jeff Cannon and Dan Perez. More information is here.

JOHN G. HOLZSCHEITER (died, 1939, age 77) was a large property holder in the area and an early justice of the peace. He was a president of the city council and acting mayor of Port Richey and the first president of the Board of Trade which was organized during the winter of 1915-1916. He was from Kansas City, but was born in Germany.

KENNETH EDWARD HOPE (1891-1971) was a son of Samuel E. Hope Jr. He was born in Dunedin on Sept. 19, 1891. He moved to Pasco County in 1922, where he operated the Seven Springs Poultry Farm. After World War II he returned to Port Richey, where he built cottages and apartments for tourists on his property and later became a licensed real estate agent. A 1968 newspaper article said that Hope was a septuagenarian living in New Port Richey. In 1915 he married Gertrude Mitchell, daughter of Jesse Mitchell. They had 4 children:

  • Nola Hope Griffin (1916-1998, GHS ’33)
  • Mitchell Edward Hope (GHS ’36)
  • Kenneth Trask “Buzzie” Hope (GHS ’40)
  • Duane Fowler “Bucky” Hope (GHS ’42, died July 21, 2008)

Some information provided by Hope (Griffin) Adkins. For information on earlier Hopes, see the Hernando page.

JOHN JOSEPH HOWELL (1848-1915) settled near Fort Dade in 1865. In 1869 he married Sarah Elizabeth Smith. A daughter Rachel (1891-1938) married Francis Behring Kirman (1879-1955). Rachel Kirkman taught school at Trilby, the New Port Richey elementary school, and Gulf High School. More information on this family is on the Blanton Town web site.

HILL WILLIAMS HOWSE (1828-1899) was born in North Carolina. He enlisted on Sept. 28, 1862 (or according to another source at Bayport on Oct. 10, 1862), and was a member of C Co., 9th Florida Infantry Regiment under Capt. S. E. Hope, the same Company as Malcolm N. Hill. They saw action at the Battle of Olustee (Ocean Pond) near Sanderson and Lake City. On Oct. 5, 1854, he married Sarah E. Dickson (b. about 1839, South Carolina) in Marion County. On Oct. 24, 1865, he was second married to Rebecca Jane Hope (b., Dec. 10, 1844, Brooksville; d. Feb. 22, 1910, Hernando County) in Brooksville. According to a newspaper article:

The late Hill Williams Howse ... moved from North Carolina to Ocala immediately after the Civil War, purchasing from the government a large tract which included Silver Springs. He was active in the early beginnings of the Ocala area, building and operating a sawmill, a cotton gin, the Palatka-to-Brooksville stage line and, in later years, represented his district in the Florida State Senate. He also constructed Ocala’s first hotel.

The newspaper article indicates he came to the Port Richey area when his son Samuel was four years old. The 1870 Hernando County census shows him as 40 years old. The 1880 Hernando County census shows him to be a 58-year-old farmer. In 1885, Webb’s Historical, Industrial and Biographical Florida lists him among the residents of Hudson. He died on Feb. 19, 1899, in Pasco County, and is buried at East Elfers Cemetery, according to a biography. Children included:

  • Sallie (b. 1875) is shown as age 11 in the 1885 census.
  • Samuel Oliver "Knott" Howse (1877-1965) is shown as 10 years old in the 1885 census. He was living at Anclote in 1900, married to Florida Anna Baillie (b. Feb. 10, 1878; d. Feb. 5, 1941). They married by 1899. In the 1910 census of Hillsboro County he is shown as a ship’s carpenter, 33 years old with wife Annie, 32, and Ellen May, 8, Kora J., 6, Irene, 4, and James, 2. His second marriage was to Freda Margaret (b. Sept. 27, 1881; d. Jan. 31, 1954). He was living in Port Richey when he died. He is buried at East Elfers Cemetery.

James B. Howse (age 4 in the 1860 census) is shown in the same household as Hill Howse in the 1860 and 1870 censuses. He was a postmaster at Silver Springs.

[Some information provided by Charles Blankenship and Jenny Olin.]

SIMEON F. HUCKABAY (died, 1929, age 70) came to Dade City from Dawson, Ga., in 1884, according to his obituary, and was engaged in the mercantile business there from that time. He was survived by his wife, three daughters, Mrs. Catherine McIntosh and Mrs. W. M. Gast, both of Dade City, Mrs. W. M. Hetherington of Plant City, and two sons, W. W. Huckabay and S. F. Huckabay Jr.

Isaac Hudson Sr. and Amanda Luverna Cobb ISAAC WASHINGTON HUDSON SR. (1825-1892) married Amanda Luverna Cobb (1831-1922) on Nov. 9, 1848, in Marion Co. Georgia. They were parents of 11 children, 9 of whom reached adulthood and married. They left Alabama in 1868, locating first in Madison County, Florida. In 1870 they moved further south to the Chipco settlement, near what is now Blanton. Chills and fever from the undrained swamps and bayheads around Chipco and Hudson’s bronchial trouble caused the family to seek the salt air of the Gulf. They arrived at what would become Hudson in late 1877 or early 1878. (Isaac W. Hudson Jr., who was born on Nov. 17, 1870, said that he was a little over seven years old when they arrived at Hudson. Hendley gives February 1878.) Hudson provided quarters in his home for the post office, with John William Hudson (1859-1927) named the first postmaster and Joseph Byrd Hudson (1856-1950) named his assistant. I. W. Hudson Sr. prospered through a shipping trade to Cedar Keys and was able to buy 200 acres of land from the state at $1.25 per acre. He employed Henry Clay Bush to survey and plot the town site. Many of the present day streets in Hudson bear the name of Hudson’s wife and children. According to Ash, about 1890, Joseph Byrd Hudson (1856-1950) and William Hudson established the first mercantile business in Hudson. Isaac Washington Hudson Sr. was born in Laurens or Monroe County, Georgia, on May 15, 1825, and died in Hudson on Aug. 3, 1892. Amanda L. Hudson died at the home of her daughter in Dade City and was buried there. According to Stanaback, "Some of his neighbors were Mr. Worley, Jess, William, and Joseph Hay, W. D. Frierson, Bill Land, William Bailey, Bill Tillett, Crockett Whidden, Sam Stevenson, Bug Stevenson, Allen Hill, Malcolm Hill, and Hill House."

An advertismement for Parker’s Tonic in the Olean Democrat of Jan. 20, 1887, has:

“For 20 years my father was an invalid, with Cough and Bronchitis, and tried everything he could hear of without obtaining more than temporary relief. Being advised of Parker’s Tonic, he began to use it, and before he had taken five dollars worth was cured. He is 57 years old, and has been well now over a year.”—Jos. B. HUDSON, Hudson, Fla.

Their children were

  • Mary Ann (1849-1945), m. William L. Osburn (1842-1922) on Dec. 1, 1868
  • James Thomas (1852-1852)
  • Thomas Byrd (b. 1852), m. Emma Burnside
  • George Washington (1855-1855)
  • Joseph Byrd (1856-1950), m. Sally Gillett
  • John William (1859-1927), m. Sarah Jane Fortner (1874-1944)
  • Ida Melissa (1862-1878)
  • Franklin (1864-1919), m. Rivers
  • Wiley Simon (1867-1940), m. Latoma Hicks (1892-1928)
  • Isaac Washington Jr. (1870-1972), m. Nettie Elizabeth Hay
  • Alfred Leander (1872-1968), m. Annie Caroline (or Mamie) Leopold (see below)
  • Doxie (1875-1973), m. Judge A. Mobley

Isaac Hudson Jr. ISAAC WASHINGTON HUDSON JR. (1870-1972) was the seventh of eight sons of I. W. Hudson Sr. He was born at Chipco. He attended school at Clear Lake, now Lake Jovita, living with the J. L. Portner family. He recalled in a 1952 interview the log house where school was held three months of the year. His teacher was a Mr. Benson. His father and brothers planted corn, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, peas and peanuts, not only to feed the family but to produce good hog meat, which was their main crop. According to a 1972 newspaper article, “At 20, he returned to East Pasco to attend Ft. Dade Academy near Lake Jovita, but he walked all the way back to West Pasco to court Miss Nettie Elizabeth Hay, carrying his shoes in hand to save wearing them out. At 25 he married her at Vereen in the Hudson area.” Nettie was a daughter of J. T. Hay; Isaac had known her since he was 3 years old. They first lived at Hudson but later moved to Elfers. At age 35 he was elected a Pasco County commissioner. He was defeated in a race for Sheriff by Bart D. Sturkie in 1908 and 1912, the second time by 48 votes. In 1916 he was elected Sheriff. He lost again to Sturkie in 1920, but was re-elected sheriff in 1924. In 1928 he lost a bid for re-election to C. E. Dowling. This information is from Ash. On Dec. 28, 1917, Sheriff Hudson sprung the trap door as Edgar London was executed by hanging at the old Dade City jail. It was the second and of two legal hangings in Pasco County history. In his first six months in office, Sheriff Hudson raided 164 moonshine stills and put them out of business, according to the recollection of a son, Leon. Hudson died on Oct. 16, 1972, one month prior to his 102nd birthday. Hudson had three sons, one of whom, Leon (b., Aug. 6, 1900), became the Police Chief in Dade City in 1951. Another son was Elzie (1899-1981), who was a sheriff's deputy in 1925.

Joseph Byrd Hudson JOSEPH BYRD HUDSON (1856-1950), a son of I. W. Hudson Sr., was one of the original members of the Pasco County Commission in 1887. An excerpt from his obituary follows: "Mr. Hudson, a native of Alabama, moved to this section of Florida before Pasco county was formed. He resided for at time near Dade City, and was a member of the first board of county commissioners when Pasco county came into being. Later he moved to the west coast of Pasco, an original settler in what is now the community of Hudson. He was ever alert to the needs of his district and promoted the first hard surface roads in the western part of the county and was chairman of the bond trustees when these roads commenced building. He was also greatly interested in agriculture and his wise knowledge aided the development of this area." On March 31, 1892, Mr. Hudson married Sallie Gillett (1868-1946). She was born in Alachua County on Feb. 11, 1868, and died in Hudson on Nov. 4, 1946. Children:

  • Claude W., q.v.
  • Bernice (Mrs. E. A. Thornton)
  • Vida (Mrs. W. A. Smith)
  • Alice (Mrs. Walter Bliss).

CLAUDE WILLIS HUDSON (1893-1976) married Lucy Daniels of Stonewall, N. C., in North Carolina in 1921. They had met when Lucy lived in the Port Richey area. They lived at 126 W. Montana Ave. Claude was a lifelong resident of Pasco County. He was born on Jan. 10, 1893, and died on Oct. 3, 1976. Children: Claude Jr., q.v.; Norma Mae (b. 1922, m. Melvin Draft, d. 1983); Joseph Earl (m. Shirley Casper); Sylvia (m. Holmes).

CLAUDE HUDSON JR. (1924- ) was born May 10, 1924, in North Carolina but his parents moved back to Pasco County when he was two years old. He graduated from Gulf High School in 1941. He married first Eva Lee Dudgeon (GHS '47), and in 2010 he married Shirley (Casper) Hudson (GHS '53). He was one of the youngest pilots in World War II. (picture, picture)

JOHN WILLIAM HUDSON (1859-1927) was a son of I. W. Hudson Sr. He was born in Andalusia, Ala., on May 29, 1859. He served as postmaster of Hudson for ten years. On July 3, 1890, he married Sarah Jane Fortner (1874-1944) of Fort Dade. He moved to Fort Dade in 1892 and developed a farm there. His obituary from the Dade City Banner, June 21, 1927:

An audience estimated at over 500 persons gathered from all sections of Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus and Hernando counties, at historic Mount Zion cemetery in the Fort Dade Section Sunday afternoon to pay last honors to the memory of John William Hudson, well known pioneer resident and farmer, whose death in a Tampa hospital Saturday from blood poisoning shocked this entire section. Services were conducted by the Rev. J. M. Mitchell of Elfers, a life long friend, and interment was in charge of Mortician Edgar Rawls of the Coleman and Ferguson Company of this city.

Probably none of the few remaining pioneer residents of Pasco county was better known than Mr. Hudson. He was one of the leading farmers of this section, active in all lines tending to develop the agricultural development of the county. Quiet and unassuming, he was a man of sterling character, who gained and held the respect of all with whom he came in contact.

John William Hudson was born in Andalusia, Ala., May 29, 1859, and had just passed his 68th birthday when death called him. As a boy he came to Florida with his parents in 1868, the family locating at Madison where they remained for one year, then moving to what was known as the Chipco section of w hat is now Pasco county, near the present town of Blanton. Here they lived, suffering the hardships of pioneer days for ten years, when they moved to the west coast and founded the present community of Hudson.

Mr. Hudson grew up on the farm, gaining such education as was possible from the schools of that day. For ten years he served as postmaster of the community, the only political office he ever held, or sought. On July 3, 1890, he was married to Miss Sarah Jane Fortner of Fort Dade, who survives him. In 1892 Mr. Hudson moved to the Fort Dade section, where he developed the leading farm in that section, and one of the best in the county, and on which home until his death.

Mr. Hudson’s death was caused by an infection in his foot, caused by the warm weather, which developed into blood poisoning. Up until Thursday of last week his condition was not considered serious, and his removal at that time to Cook’s sanitarium, Tampa, was more in order that he might receive better treatment, than because it was thought his life was in danger. Up to Saturday morning, reports received from him were that he was improving, and his death about noon was a sudden and unexpected shock.

Besides his widow Mr. Hudson is survived by two daughters, Misses Mildred and Mabel Hudson, one son Dewey Hudson all of Fort Dade, two sisters, Mrs. Mary Osborne of Kissimmee and Mrs. J. A. Mobley of Dade City, and five brothers, T. Byrd and Alfred L. Hudson of Hudson, James Thomas Hudson of Inglis, Wyley A. Hudson of Clearwater and Isaac W. Hudson of Dade City.

His remains were carried to their last resting place by the following old friends and neighbors, who acted as pall bearers: Judge O. L. Dayton, Judge J. W. Sanders, Jasper C. Carter, W. S. Larkin Sr., F. N. Ruger, and Harry Haywood.

ALFRED LEANDER HUDSON (1872-1968) married Annie Caroline Leopold in December 1909. They had six children:

  • Talmage Leander, b. Sept. 3, 1910, m. Juanita Rosser Sherill; m. Ella Caruthers; d. Aug. 4, 2005. He was an automobile mechanic and a master carpenter. In the late 1920s he moved to North Fort Myers. He returned to Hudson in the 1960s and moved to Tennessee in 1972. Children: Charles, Harold, Karl
  • Thelma Alberta, m. Wilber Moore. Children: Ronald, Norma; m. Doc Savage. Children: Susan
  • Deluxie ("Luxie"), b. Aug. 20, 1913, deceased, m. Margaret. Children: Wyvon; m. Friedelle. Children: Barbara, Edward, Bonnie
  • Hazel Blanche, b. June 28, 1915. She graduated from Gulf High School in 1934. m. Dillon Carter Sigmon (1916-1988). She died on July 20, 2011. Children: Roger, Francis Carolyn (called Carolyn), Donald Wayne (called Wayne), Glenn
  • Hershel, b. March 7, 1917, deceased. Children: Paul, Elaine.
  • Robert Vernon (called "Vernon"), b. Oct. 28, 1924, deceased. Children: Donna, Linda, Kathy

[Information from Michelle McLaughlin]

JAMES W. HUFF (1840-1927) was a Medal of Honor winner who lived the last eight years of his life in New Port Richey. He is buried in Pine Hill Cemetery. Huff was awarded the medal on April 12, 1875, for "valiant conduct against the Apaches during the winter of 1872-1873." He was a sergeant in Company L of the 1st U. S. Cavalry. He was born Feb. 2, 1840, in Washington, Pa., and died Nov. 30, 1927, in Port Richey. His wife was Taliea; they had two sons, Edgar and James, and three daughters, Lucy, Josephine, and Taliea.

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