Journey Stories

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WedNesday, JuLy 18, 2012

Vol. 32, No. 29

Calhoun and Liberty County’s elementary and middle schools had a drop in scores following last week’s release of their school grades by the Florida Department of Education. Educators are not happy with the tougher grading requirements recently implemented and this year, districts throughout the state earned fewer A’s and B’s. Last year, both Calhoun and Liberty County were A School Districts. This year, two Calhoun Schools dropped a letter grade. Blountstown Elementary and Blountstown Middle School each went from an A to a B. Carr School held on to its A. In Liberty County, Hosford kept a tight grip on its A status while W.R. Tolar School dropped to a B from last year’s A. The High School grades will be released later this year. Flint Walker shows his fellow 4-Hers how to shoot during last week’s Archery Day Camp in Bristol. Page 21

Heated argument results in battery charge against woman...........2 Calhoun mother and son arrested after dispute over his children.......2 Liberty County families featured in Smithsonian display...........5

LCHS Class of ‘52 gathers to celebrate 60th reunion........5 Woman ejected when ATV runs into mailbox on post...8 Karen sanders, seated, from Hosford, and Perry Wells, from chipley, read about liberty county History at the smithsonian's Journey stories event at the Panhandle Pioneer settlement saturday afternoon. see more about this event on page 17. PHIL COALE PHOTO


Youngstown’s origins date back to the 1880s....28 LCSB minutes...31

Tire problem on towed vehicle causes car, suV to overturn by Teresa Eubanks, Journal Editor

Two vehicles were left overturned along the side of the road following an equipment problem on a 1979 Oldsmobile that was being towed by an SUV along State Road 65, a mile and a half north of the Lowery Chip Mill Road in Liberty County Friday afternoon, according to a report by FHP Trooper Jason King. Robert Wilford, 39, of Quincy, was behind the wheel of a car that was being pulled by a chain attached to a 1996 Ford Explorer, driven by Dexter Bernard Williford, 47, also of Quincy around 3:10 p.m. The vehicles were southbound when the car experienced a problem with its left front tire, which then may have caused the brakes to lock, according to the accident report. The chain between the two vehicles tightened, causing the SUV’s rear tires to loose traction and rotate toward the west

shoulder of the road. As they began going off the road, both drivers attempted to steer left but overcorrected, causing both vehicles to overturn. The SUV came to rest on the driver’s

sheriff's Log...2 school News...18


side, facing southeast against the left front of the car, which also landed on its roof. Both drivers escaped injury and were up walking at the scene when emergency vehicles arrived. Damages to the SUV were set at

Commentary...6, 7

Job Market...19



$12,000, with the car’s damages set at $5,000. Both vehicles were towed from the scene by Kyle’s Recycling. Each driver was cited for operating a motor vehicle in a careless or negligent manner.

speak up!...11

Classifieds...26, 27

News from the Pews...10


service directory...31


Journey Stories

LEFT: R. L. Alford reads a bit of Calhoun County history as he points to a picture he found in one of the historical records at Saturday’s reception to celebrate the opening of the Smithsonian’s Journey Stories display at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown. BELOW LEFT: The hand of Sharon Crews rests on a historical record of Liberty County that included a picture of her grandfather. BELOW: Susan Mills examines a table filled with information on Wakulla County.

LEFT: Students visiting the exhibit pour over books looking for the names of their grandparents and hoping to find a photo or two. BELOW FAR LEFT: The image of the old Blountstown High School building is featured on a blanket. BELOW: A “Moonshiner” doll sits next to a framed slogan discouraging the use of alcohol.

The Journey Stories display will remain set up in the Clubhouse at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement through August 25. It features photos, stories and personal mementos from families who traveled to the Florida Panhandle to make their home.



Journey StorieS The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown is featuring a special exhibit in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities Council Museum

on Main Street. The exhibit, known as “Journey Stories,” is on view in the settlement clubhouse and will run from July 14 - August 25, 2012. This is the only facility located

in North Florida that has been selected for the exhibit. All other locations are in South Central and South Florida. The story shown here is one of many included in the exhibit.

Polly Parrot’s legacy inspires her descendants Submitted by Dr. Andrew Boggs Ramsey

The origin of the forefathers of Chief Tuskie Hajo/ Cochrane, like that of all Creek people, was in a land of the west whence our earliest forefathers crossed a great river in their passage to the southeastern area of the North American continent. In the early 19th century, there occurred disruptions which rapidly increased the unsettling of the Creek people and the incidence of their emigration southward into their Florida lands. Polly Parrot’s father, Tuskie Hajo/ Cochrane was in the emigration southward from Alabama to the Apalachicola River in Florida. The first permanent Creek towns in Calhoun County were formed in 1815, John J. Boggs (Tauchulunah), son of Polly Parrot, was born in Florida in 1810, five years before the permanent towns were settled. His mother was Polly Parrot, the daughter of Tuskie Hajo/ Cochrane and his bought wife, Polly. Tuskie Hajo is listed on the Creek Census taken between November 1831 and December 1833, but he died in 1833 before the removal of most of Creek people to Texas under Tuskie Hajo/ Davey and John Blount. The Apalachicola Band in Florida was formally created as a political unit by the treaty of Camp Moultrie, which was signed in 1823. One of the signers was Tuskie Hajo/ Cochrane. At the signing of the Treaty of Camp Moultrie, Tuske Hajo was already living at Cochranetown; this treaty established the reservation in Blountstown where Cochranetown and Blountstown were located. Polly Parrot decided that she would not go to Texas under the new Tuskie Hajo Davey and she remained in Florida. She sent runners out to find a suitable isolated spot in which the clan would stay, Polly Parrot being a determined woman. The runners returned, reported and Polly decided on a place now located on the Jackson County and Calhoun County line as a place to settle. It has high hills and it came to be known as Boggs Bond or the Boggs Indian Refuge lands. You can go in any direction from Boggs Pond and be closer to civilization than you are at Boggs Pond. It was desolate and beautiful. Cattle ran loose in the woods and in those days the Creeks began to run cattle. All working together, they took the black fertile soil from Boggs Pond

and spread it on top of the sandy land. John Boggs and his wife, Mary Musgrove lived with the other members of the community by small scale farming and the running of cattle. John and Mary had two sons and several daughters. They lived the Indian way, without being troubled with the white people. The Creek community at Boggs Pond had approximately 19 family units at its height. The great-grandfather of Dr. Andrew Boggs Ramsey was John James William Joseph Boggs, Tuskie Hajo/ Boggs (full blooded). He married Sarah E. Smith, an Indian woman living in Ocheese and they continued to live in a completely Indian way until their later years when the white population in the area began to increase. Sarah, having a half breed as her father, but a full flooded mother, told her son, James Daniel Boggs, that the days of their way of life was numbered. She told him he must go away and learn the ways of the white man. She said, “Get out, get a job and learn, so that we may live as the whites.” She realized that the non Indian population was increasing in number and the isolation for the Indian People could not last much longer. To survive, James Daniel Boggs, listened to his mother and grandmother, Mary Musgrove and took a job as a logger, floating logs down the Chipola River. He saved all of his money as his mother and grandmother advised and opened a trading post in Blountstown. It became the largest general store in the area. James D. Boggs was lighter in color than his sisters and easily passed for white. Therefore, he was able to sell not only to Indian People, but to the non Indian population. James met a Creek Indian girl, a descendent of Nancy Knight. At 15, Alice McClellan married James Daniel Boggs. Alice McClellan was a Creek Indian who lived in Florida before it became a state and was British West Florida. Elijah Ward was the son of Nancy Knight (Nahakv) and Elijah’s wife, Sarah Cochrane, was reported to have been kin to Tuskie Hajo/ Cochrane. Their daugher, Gabriella Ward married John B. Meigs, he was the youngest son of Josiah Meigs, the first acting president of the University of Georgia. Josiah Meigs was also a commissioner in the General Land Office of the United States Government in 1819 acting on claims west of the

Pearl River. Alice McClellan’s father’s mother was Samatha Mixon, whose mother, Hodchee, was from Georgia. Tuskie Hajo/ James Daniel Boggs, followed the Creek custom of living with his wife’s people who were residing in Blountstown. This was the first of the Boggs people to come to the Blountstown area and away from Boggs Pond. The Piggly Wiggly Supermarket established by James A. Ramsey (Harjo) and his wife, Kathleen Boggs, daughter of James D. and Alice Boggs, was in the same building as her father’s General Store. The Creeks have survived in the homeland, kept some of the Creek traditions and many speak some of the Creek language. We still associate with other Creek Indian families in the area who are descendents of the Pippens, Lintons, Sheltons, Montfords, Hill, Neals, McGhees and Andersons. The Apalachicolas are members of a state recognized Indian Tribe, The Florida Tribe of Eastern Creek Indians, along with our cousins, the Wards centered in Bruce. Though the Creeks lost much of their culture, they have endured and did not lose sight of their heritage. The descendants of Tuskie Hajo/ Cochrane living in Calhoun County have been joined during the last few years by descendants of Chief John Blount. The most notable is Mary Blount. The traditional Square Grounds for the North Florida (The Pine Arbor Trial Town) are located in the Blountstown area where Berry, Green Corn, Little Green Corn and the Harvest Busks are still observed by our people. One of the better Creek Indian Museums is located at the Calhoun County Courthouse in the Florida Tribe Office; across from the Northwest Florida Creek Indian Council Office staffed by Mary Nell Bailey and Connie Palmer. These two Creek ladies are recognized world wide along with their mother, Estelle O’Bryan, for their fine Creek Indian baskets with authentic Creek designs made from pine straw. Creek schools are operated in Blountstown, Panama City, Bruce and Pensacola to keep the Creek language, heritage and history alive and used. The people are still here thanks to Polly Parrot’s determination. Her bravery is still the guiding light and inspiration to all Creek people living in the area.

Samuel Henry Grantham’s hard working family Submitted by Mae Belle Miles Grantham

Samuel Henry Grantham was born December 25, 1875. He came to Calhoun County as a young man and settled in the Chipola area. He was a hardworking man, doing work in the woods dipping turpentine. He married Annie Belle Godwin Syfrett in 1929. Annie already had one son, Ed Hardy Syfrett, and they had five more children, Mattie, Charles, Curtis, Harvey and Pauline. Samuel cut the logs and built a home near Victory Hill

Church. They used an ox, Tobe, to help grow a garden while Samuel worked other jobs. He worked with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) helping to dig Lake Hilda in Blountstown. He would sometimes walk to work and them back home which was a distance of five or six miles one way. They used shovels and wheel barrows along with a machine called a pan pulled by mules or horses. Their salary was on 8 cents per hour. In 1939, Samuel got pneumonia and died leaving Annie to carry on with the raising of the family. Samuel is

buried in the Mt. Olive Cemetery, north of Altha in Calhoun County, Florida. Annie went to work at the Shipyard in Panama City. She rode the bus called “Maritime” to get to work, where she was a task welder. Later on, she picked cotton. There were hard times for the family in the early 1940s. Annie died after a long bout with cancer when the youngest child was only five years old. This left the children as orphans since both parents had died. To keep the children together, Lee and Queenie Godwin, their

mother’s brother and his wife, took them into their home. During these growing up years, the children learned to do with very little. They have many memories of doing things just to get by. They talk of memories of their mom praying for them. Annie is buried in the Victory Hill Cemetery in the Chipola Community near where they lived. This is a good family which grew up under extreme hardships, but has contributed to their respective communities in a positive way.


Journey StorieS The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement Presents the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities Council Museum on Main Street --Journey Stories. The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement has been awarded the privilege of exhibiting the MOMS -- Journey Stories, July 14 - August 25, 2012. This is the only facility located in North Florida that has been se-

lected for the exhibit. All other locations are in South Central and South Florida. In preparation for the exhibit, we are in need of volunteers to serve on various committees. Committees needed are for: Planning, Local exhibit planning, Exhibit installation, Program Development, School/teacher, Volunteer and docent training, and Publicity. Individuals

are needed to present north Florida family journey stories, industry stories for the region, demonstrators, docents, assistance in creating an exhibit of local journey stories that support the MOMS Journey Stories. For additional information, call (850) 447-0298 or (850) 447-0964 or send email to: [email protected].

The Journey from Czechoslovakia to the United States in 1900 when Grandpa came home one day and a 180. I was now in a small town again, where people said he wanted to go back to see the were friendly and full of community spirit and just family in the Old World. knew I was back to my roots. In the late While visiting there, he was killed by a Grandma would have been proud! Hopsatutely!! 1800s my train. When Grandma G r a n d f a t h e r, got photos of him in John Kashay, his casket (very comborn in Austria, mon in Europe those left for America. days), she was down He arrived in and out for a couple New York before of weeks, but pulled Ellis Island exup her boot straps, isted. He headed because she had more John Kashay Veronica Kashay to West Virginia children to raise. with a friend that Life continued on came with him. and she got all of the girls graduated My Grandmother, Veronica Kashay, born in Czecho- from school and learned to speak, slavakia, (that had its borders shifted and was Hungary write and count in English. The when she arrived at Ellis Island), left for America in only word that she never could get 1900 with a daughter. Mary and 16 American dollars was “absolutely” which she always ABOVE: ‘Konigin Luise’ built in Germany in 1897, accommodating 2,400 in her pocket. pronounced “Hopsatutely,” Never passengers. This was Veronica’s transportation to the states in 1900. she was a third class passenger with $16 in her pocket. BELOW: The She came by a vessel called the “Konigin Luise,” did get that word down. whole family after settling in Pennsylvania. that was built in Germany in 1897. It held 2400 pasHer family grew as the daughters sengers: 225 first class, 235 second class, and 1940 married and had children. They all third class. I’m thinking Grandma traveled third class, went every Sunday to her house and since she only had $16 in her pocket when she arrived that was when I noticed what a big at Ellis Island. family I came from. Grandma proceeded to West Virginia to find my After Grandma died she had Grandfather out of work and not doing too well. She found work for them in a coal mine in West Virginia, grandchildren that graduated from camouflaged herself as a man and worked beside him college and I am sure that would for the next three years to save money for land. Her have made her proud. Her daughter, my Mom, married a farmer and dream was to own land in America. They moved to Pennsylvania, bought farm land and, when Dad died we moved to South Florida. since she was a farmer’s daughter, she dug right in. Grandpa began to work in a nearby galvanized pipe I was a nurse for a good many factory and together their life began and began well. years and soon my family (GrandThey had ten children. Since Grandma did not believe ma’s great-grandchildren) were in banks she added to her lands by buying more land doing their own thing. I followed during the Depression. She opened her large home to my son to Blountstown and when I room-and-boarders and was doing just wonderfully got here I realized my life had done by Beverly Veress, Blountstown

From Cracker Cowboy in 1886 to Country Gentleman BY FRANCIs PRICE

The year was 1886 when 20-year-old Ben Pitts shivered in the early morning chill of late Autumn. Gently nudging his horse into a slow canter and cracking his long whip over his head, he circled behind a young steer who had found a few bites of grass that was still green. The older cows stepped smartly along, seeming to have a vague recollection of where they were headed. Open range in the Chipola River Basin in Calhoun County was a land of plenty. They would grow fat as they wintered there, eating acorns from the myriads of oak trees and the belly deep wiregrass. They would be joined with other cattle as well, identified by certain patterns cut into their ears called markings. It was Ben’s job to lodge nearby and keep watch on the cattle, should a cow have trouble birthing a calf, as well as marking them for identification and altering young bulls into steers. Afterwords, he would return the cattle to Washington County in the spring. He had arranged to lodge with his Uncle John Pitts, who was an old Civil War Veteran and had proved

up a homestead in the area after the war. Another thing of interest to young Ben was the fact that in the area was a family of Lintons, from the infamous Richards Clan, who had some beautiful daughters of an age to marry. Within two years, Ben, who was a gentle giant of a man, had staked out a homestead on the southwest edge of the Chipola River Basin where any livestock Ben had or would acquire could enjoy the abundance of the basin year round. He dug a well on his property, built a cabin, privey and smokehouse and took a wife, Frances, from the Linton clan. He cleared the required land for farming and hand split the rails with which to fence it from livestock which roamed on open range. Barns, cribs and other related farm buildings would come as time and energy allowed. The cabin was eventually replaced by a large, better than average house with wide, welcoming porches. Ben and Frances would raise nine of the 13 children they birthed and one grandchild. Ben could read as well as write with a good hand, so he served as community

letter reader/writer until his daughters took over the job. He was interested in world events and subscribed to several news papers on a weekly basis: The New York Times, The Miami News Herald and the Jacksonville Tribune. Also the National Geographic. Though they came through the mail and the news was about a week old when it got to him, it was news all the same. Ben served as school trustee for his district, which was the first district to provide free text books for their students. He was gifted in healing so he served his community, both white and colored, as doctor, dentist and veterinarian. He was especially good at setting broken bones and kept a supply of splints on hand. He was a skilled carpenter and one of his specialities was coffins. Frances carded the cotton with which to pad them and lined them with unbleached muslin which she bought by the bolt. There was no charge for this service. Their home burned to the ground in 1925 but Ben rebuilt it in the same spot. With some upgrades, it is still being used today. His barn and several

farm related farm buildings were relocated to the Tallahassee Junior Museum around 1949 and are part of their Pioneer Farmstead Exhibit to this day. About three fourth of a mile from the Pitts homestead was a large turpentine distillery with living quarters filled with workers. Over several years, Frances sold enough farm produce to those workers to purchase their first automobile around 1915. While they were not ones to travel (there was always too much to be done on the farm) they did drive to Miami to visit their daughter Gertie, who had married and moved there. Her children were privileged to spend every summer on the farm playing with all the cousins who lived nearby, eating watermelon and swimming in Juniper Creek. Six generations of Pitts descendents have lived in this area and for the most part, have continued the traditions and values established by Ben and Frances. Side by side, they rest in the Clarksville Cemetery, about half a mile from where Ben first found Frances. Most of the home place is still in the family.


Journey StorieS The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement presents the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities Council Museum on Main Street --Journey Stories. The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement has been awarded the privilege of exhibiting the MOMS -- Journey Stories, July 14 - August 25, 2012. This is the only facility located in North Florida that has been se-

lected for the exhibit. All other locations are in South Central and South Florida. In preparation for the exhibit, we are in need of volunteers to serve on various committees. Committees needed are for: Planning, Local exhibit planning, Exhibit installation, Program Development, School/teacher, Volunteer and docent training, and Publicity. Individuals

are needed to present north Florida family journey stories, industry stories for the region, demonstrators, docents, assistance in creating an exhibit of local journey stories that support the MOMS Journey Stories. For additional information, call (850) 447-0298 or (850) 447-0964 or send email to: [email protected].

McDougalds in America: From Scotland to Blountstown

McDougald is a well estabElnita lished name that goes back many Herring generations. Its origins dates back to medieval Scotland. McDouMcDougald gald, meaning “son of a black stranger,” “was a byname used to distinguish darker-haired Danes from the fair-haired Norwegians,” says the Dictionary of American Family Names. The name has been Anglicized from the Gaelic language and although there are many variant spellings, the name McDougald has been associated with the modern day Clan MacDougall, which traces its roots back to the MacDougalls of Lorn in Scotland. The MacDougalls of Lorn were the senior branch of the royal house of Somerled, King of the Hebrides and Regulus of Argyll. They are a Highland clan and one of the three oldest in existence, dating from 1164. Mac means “son of” while Dougall is derived from the Gaelic word Dubh meaning Black or Dark. The Gaelic word Gall means Stranger. The coat of arms, registered in Burkes General Armory, records the family motto “To Conquer or Die.” Our ancestors in Scotland were a prominent family of the Christian faith during the 13th and 14th centuries, but we don’t know much about our direct ancestors between that time and the 18th century. What we do know from stories handed down by generations is that two McDougald brothers left Scotland in the mid 1700s and landed in North Carolina. Alexander McDougald was born to one of those brothers May 10, 1794. Alexander moved to Washington County, GA where it is believed that he married a young woman who died giving birth to his first born, Mary Ann, in 1822. Alexander married again to Elizabeth Holloman and moved to Gadsden County in 1824, just two years after the U.S. purchased Florida from Spain and one year after the state government was established. Alexander purchased about 80 acres of land along Telogia Creek just south of Greensboro. Alexander had nine children with Elizabeth in Gadsden County. He became a charter member of Providence Baptist Church in 1843, which presently remains active. Alexander’s daughter, Mary Ann later married John Gadsden Smith, who was the first person of European descent born in Gadsden County. The July 23, 1922 issue of The Gadsden County Times says that Alexander moved into “new country inhabited by Indians” along with 55 families who were the first to settle on the Forbes Purchase. When Florida was under Spanish rule in 1804, 1,200,000 acres between the Apalachicola and St. Marks rivers were given in payment to John Forbes by indebted Indians. Alexander built a home three miles from the site of an important skirmish of the Second Seminole War. April 23, 1840, the McLains were attacked by a raiding party of Indians led by the son of a chief. John McLain’s mother, 20, his sister and two small siblings were brutally murdered while trying to escape to their nearest neighbor, Alexander McDougald. John barricaded himself in the house and shot the chief’s son as he attempted to burn the house. After wailing and chanting for their fallen leader, the raiding party disappeared and was never found. The old chief later said “If the white boy on Telogia Creek had not killed my son, the war would still be going on.” October 8, 1844, Daniel Fountain McDougald became the ninth child born to Alexander and Elizabeth. Daniel grew up at the family home and served faithfully as a deacon in Providence Baptist Church. Daniel left in January 1863 to fight for the Confederacy and returned home a citizen of the United States in May 1865 after the war. He married Jane A. Strickland February 12, 1870 in Greensboro and had five children over the next 11 years. Jane passed away November 12, 1882, less than two years after giving birth to their fifth child, James Bertelle McDougald. Daniel moved to Colombia, AL January 17, 1883 where his wife’s sister, Mary Ann Stringer, helped him raise his

children. Upon his departure, The birthday. Maggie never remarried. After the death of her son Quincy Herald reported, “Columbia and her husband, Maggie and son, James, came back to the will gain a first-class man... and our homestead in Blountstown, where she continued her teaching county will lose a good citizen.” career for a number of years. Meanwhile, William Walter James Bertelle McDougald, Jr. lived out his teen years Morehead married Mary Ann Yon with his mother, Maggie, on his grandfather’s homestead on December 19, 1867 and was living Chipola River. James attended school in Blountstown before with his mother in-law on a farm in taking a job guarding patients at the Florida State Hospital the flood plain of the Apalachicola in Chattahoochee. River in Bristol. At the same time, a young girl named Myra Elnita Herring The year 1873 found William completed high school in Brinson, GA. with toddler Thomas Francis and Elnita wanted to pursue a career in nursing. Since Georgia infant Florah Elizabeth. That year schools had only 11 grades, she needed more course work proved difficult as the river flooded before entering nursing school. again destroying his crops. A very In 1923, Elnita moved to Blountstown to live with her discouraged William wrote, “I want aunt, Rena Fields and complete the 12th grade at Calcohi. to get away from here so bad that She was among the second graduating class from the newly I don’t know what to do.... I am perfectly disgusted with the whole completed school. From there, Elnita entered RN training at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. country.” It wasn’t long before James and Elnita met at the hospital William didn’t have to travel and fell in love. On October 8, 1928, just three months before far to begin enjoying God’s blessgraduating, Elnita married James. ings. By 1876, William was living Realizing that there is no place like home, James moved in Blountstown and saw the birth of his third child, George Walter. By 1885, William had Elnita to the homestead in Blountstown. James farmed the two more children, Margaret and Mary. William became a land and was a carpenter by trade. He worked on several jobs prominent citizen. over his lifetime. The most notable was building forms for the The August 8, 1996 issue of The County Record reports construction of the Apalachicola River bridge. Elnita worked that in 1886, William was instrumental in establishing the as a private nurse for a few years with Dr. M.W. Eldridge first school in Blountstown. He served on the Calhoun County in Blountstown. She worked with Dr. Eldridge for 18 years, School Board for many years. In 1897, William fulfilled the becoming a well known and respected figure. In 1954, Elnita requirements of the Homestead Act of 1862 and was awarded was named Calhoun County’s Citizen of the Year. a deed to 160 acres of land located at the current address, Elnita and James had four children, Sarah Margaret, James 16152 SW Chipola Road. Bertelle, III, Billy Bascom and Myra Grace, who was stillMargaret Morehead was born January 12, 1879 in Blount- born. A few years after the death of James, December 28, 1956, stown, where she lived until she attended college. Sometime Elnita retired and married Wesley E. Langford and moved before she married at the age of 24, Margaret returned home to Brinson, GA. Elnita returned to Blountstown following to teach school in a two story building that was erected in the death of Mr. Langford and lived on the homestead until 1888 before the Calcohi School. The August 8, 1996 issue her death May 31, 1997. of The County Record lists her among a group of “conseToday, James Bertelle, III and his wife, Dollene, along crated and capable teachers under which, the Blountstown with Gary Bertelle and his wife, Delores, make up two genSchool grew.” James Bertelle McDouglad, Sr. lived in Columbia, AL erations of McDougalds living on 80 acres that remain of becoming an upstanding member of the community. By his the homestead on Chipola Road. There are approximately early 20’s, Bert was already well established. He owned a 31 living descendents of James Bertelle, Jr., 16 of which still live in Blountstown. hotel and traveled a great deal conducting business. Young Bert married Martha Strickland, who is assumed to have died with her infant during childbirth. After mourning his devastating loss, Bert later learned from his sisters, who were attending college, was supposed to be a William Walter about an attractive young classmate brief time to take care of Morehead moved to named Margaret Morehead. Blountstown with his her ailing parents. When Bert contacted the local banker her stay was prolonged, wife, Mary Ann Yon and other business owners in she again took a job and children Thomas Columbia to obtain character Francis, Flora Elizabeth teaching in Blountstown references. He sent these along before retuning to Coand George Walter bewith a personal letter to William lumbia. After Bert died tween 1873 and 1879. Morehead asking permission to His fourth child, Marin 1916, Margaret, with court his daughter. After a sufficient her son James, moved garet Morehead, was courtship, the couple agreed to back to the homestead born in Blountstown in marry. Bert came to Blountstown in Blountstown and 1879. She grew up on with his two sisters and a preacher she would never leave the homestead located to marry Maggie May 10, 1903. on Chipola Road just again. Afterwards, Bert took Maggie to Margaret returned southwest of BlountColumbia where the new bride Margaret Moorehead to her teaching career stown. managed their hotel while Bert McDougald William valued a once again teaching in traveled. Maggie had a son, James Blountstown schools. quality education and Bertelle McDougald, Jr. August 26, sent his daughter, Margaret, to college Pictures are available of her seen with 1904. Shortly after, Maggie had her to be an educator. Before she married her son James among the students at second son, George Alma. into the McDougald family at the age the “T” shaped school building that It is estimated that about five of 24 in 1903, Margaret returned to was built in 1904. Margaret lived on the years after George Alma was Blountstown where she would teach homestead in Blountstown until she died born, tragedy struck. George Alma school for a number of years. She left September 29, 1960 at the age of 81. She passed away unexpectedly due Blountstown for about 13 years with her is buried in the McDougald family plot to an unknown illness. Tragedy husband, James Bertelle McDougald, at the Nettle Ridge Cemetery located struck again when Bert contracted Sr. She returned to Blountstown for what on Hwy 69 North. hepatitis and lost his life January 30, 1916, one day after his 37th

History of education in Blountstown and Margaret Morehead McDougald


Journey StorieS The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown is featuring a special exhibit in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities Council Mu-

seum on Main Street. The exhibit, known as “Journey Stories,” is on view in the settlement clubhouse and will run from July 14 - August 25, 2012. This is the only

facility located in North Florida that has been selected for the exhibit. All other locations are in South Central and South Florida. The story shown here is one of

LEFT: Ross General Store located in Youngstown on Highway 231 in the early 1940s. ABOVE: Mary Frances (Boyer) and Lee Monroe Ross in Youngstown, FL sometime in the 1950s.

Youngstown’s origins date to the 1880s

by Sarah (Ross) Sapp Peace, then F. C. Davis. The Justice Youngstown’s beginning date back to of the Peace and Constable offices the 1880s. The Nixon family homesteaded were located in the Woodham Genland two miles south of the town and eral Store on Highway 231. During established the first community in the the 1940-50s, there were two service area. That area was known as the Nixon stations, Cecil Gainer and Rains; two Community. cafes, the Youngstown Cafe (across When the lumbering and turpenting the road from our home) owned and industries moved into the Youngstown operated by Lou and Eddie Graham area in about 1900, the Nixon Community and Johnson Cafe, located on the died. Newcomers settled in Youngstown, north end of town; Hellers Motel, where the lumbering and turpenting opWaller School, Youngstown Baptist erations were. Church, the First Methodist Church, Youngstown was named after a Mr. the Black Baptist Church and two Young, first name lost in time, that opercemeteries. Many names of early ated the first turpentine still on Little Bear residents can be found on headstones Creek in early 1900. The settlement was in the Youngstown Cemetery and the known by two names, Youngs and LawBlack Cemetery. rence, another early settler. Elder Daniel J. Parker, a Primitive Along with the lumbering and turpentine Baptist minister and his wife, Mary industries, Youngstown was also a farming Van (Luke) (great-grandparents) community. More farms existed there than moved to the Youngstown area from in any other section of Bay County. Major Sycamore, GA between 1897 to crops grown were cotton, corn, peanuts, 1998. Their first home was located oats, sweet potatoes and castor beans. The FRONT ROW, from left: Retha Vann (Parker) and David Monroe Ross. on Scotts Ferry Road. Elder Parker turpentine still was located just south of BACK ROW: Herbert, David Martin, Louise, Lee Monroe and Ira. preferred the land he found there to the Commissary and across Highway 231 the property offered for sale in St. from the Bay Line Depot. Andrews. Elder Parker operated a The first post office was located in the Nixon community in a resident’s home railroad cross tie business during the week and was a circuit preacher on the whose name has been lost over time. There were no mail carriers. Residents weekends. He traveled to Bonifay by horseback for his church meetings. Parker’s picked up their mail at the post office. In 1908, the mail started coming by train daughter, Retha Van and her husband, David Monroe Ross came to Youngstown and Bay Line established a stop in Youngstown. In 1910 the post office was in 1905 by covered wagon with two mules. David Monroe and Retha Van (my relocated to the D. M. Ross Company store. Some of the early postmasters were grandparents) settled on property next to the Parkers. Dave and Retha Ross later Alma Steele, 1908; Myrtle Nixon, 1910; Alfred Sinclair, 1911; David Monroe moved to the center of Youngstown, where he built the D. M. Ross Company Ross, 1914 to 1948; Lee Monroe Ross, 1948 to 1978. During the 1950s, mail that also housed a post office. began being delivered to residents’ homes by carrier. Herbert Hill Ross was the D. M. Ross, better known as Dave Ross, opened the D. M. Ross company, first mail carrier for the Youngstown Post Office. a mercantile business, in 1910. The business became one of the largest stores When Bay Line established a train depot, a telegraph office was added. The in northwest Florida. The store building was located just north of the present Train Depot was located in Youngstown at the corner of Highway 231 and Waller Youngstown Baptist Church. Mr. Ross sold everything from grinding rocks to Road, now Jadewood Road. Gladys Middleton was the telegraph operator from locomotive engines. In 1929, to supply the needs of the workers in the heavily the early 1940s until it closed. Ms. Middleton also lived in Youngstown. populated town, Mr. Ross bought 1,500 pairs of Kaiser-King shoes and sold them The business area of Youngstown was not very large but it was a nice quite for $5, other shoes sold for $1.40. community with a lot of friendly people. During the 40s, the town had two ConThis is such a small part of the history of Youngstown. In the early 1900s, stables, Ted Crooms and Dick Boswell. D. F. Parker was the first Justice of the Youngstown was a great working community.


Journey StorieS The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown is featuring a special exhibit in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities Council Museum on

Main Street. The exhibit, known as “Journey Stories,” is on view in the settlement clubhouse and will run from July 14 - August 25, 2012. This is the only facility located in

North Florida that has been selected for the exhibit. All other locations are in South Central and South Florida. The story shown here is one of many included in the exhibit.

Tuskegee Airman Cornelius Davis’ journey through WW II

The Tuskegee Airman Commemorative Medal was awarded to Cornelius Davis in 2006 by President George Bush in recognition of his outstanding service as one of the Tuskegee Airman in World War II. Mr. Davis has made a permanent gift of the medal to the Calhoun County Public Library so that young people from the county may have a better understanding of the part black aviators playing in defense of this country. It is on display in the cabinet in the hall. It is his wish that generations to come will understand the sacrifice WW II soldiers and their families made to the preservation of freedoms in the United States of America. Cornelius Davis’ mother, Elizabeth, drowned when he was three years old. His father, James Stephen Davis, married Idela Davis, his second wife. Cornelius was taught to love the Lord, have a strong work ethic, love his country and follow the high standards of his parents. He remembers Idela as a brave and good woman. Cornelius credits his desire for education and love of books to Mr. Robert Allen, Principal of Mayhaw School. School only ran for six months out of the year because children were needed to help make a living. He graduated from Mayhaw in 1938 after completing the eighth grade. That was the highest grade offered at Mayhaw School. As a student he worked for the Bush Drug Store which was owned by two brothers, one of which was a licensed druggist. The pharmacist offered to teach him to mix drugs and eventually gave him a career. Cornelius chose to live with his Aunt Mary and his cousin, Jessie in Pensacola so that he could finish high school. He said that it was this decision to finish his education that gave him opportunities in life. He particularly wants any young person reading this to remember that it was education that gave him his wings. Cornelius Davis said he has a lot of good memories of Calhoun County. Among them was a part the W.T. Neal Lumber Company played by providing jobs during the Depression. He said Neal had a family insurance policy for all of their workers. Twenty-five cents a month was held out of their pay and they could go to Dr. Finlay. He was a highly respected physician in the county. Cornelius said this meant a great deal to families during such hard times. Workers were paid in Jug-A-Loo and U.S. currency. Some of the stores gave a full value for the Jug-A-Loo and some gave discounted values. Every Sunday, the minister would announce the amounts in each currency. Cornelius Davis stated that Horace Mallory was a great inspiration and friend to him. Mr. Mallory was a man of principal that Cornelius honored, respected and trusted. During World War II he thought often of his friend and the advice Mr. Mallory gave him over the years. Cornelius Davis credits Horace Mallory for being an inspiration to him.

Movie Red Tails portrays the life of the Tuskegee Airmen

Hollywood is using the silver screen to re-tell the stories of the courageous men who helped break the color barriers during World War II. The new movie Red Tails tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen experiment. The brave actions of these first African-American aviators led to winds of change in this country. A North Florida man — 90-year-old Cornelius Davis, of Blountstown — was part of that

sity students also became part of the famed Tuskegee movement. Davis volunteered to go overseas with the 99th Fighter Group for Japan’s invasion, but he never quite made it. Japan surrendered before he could be a part of the famous group.

Davis’ life after the Air Force

Cornelius Davis truly lives a blessed life. Those in Blountstown who know Mr. Davis recognize him as one of the original Tuskegee Airman. He is proud that he went to school with David (Chappy) James, Jr. who became the first black Four Star General. Mr. Davis was given a camera by his sister when he graduated from high school. He probably never realized at the time how a camera would fit into his career choice. After leaving the Air Force he traveled to Detroit, MI where he had relatives living. where he got a job at Ford Motor Company in the Rouge Complex. To understand the scope and size of Ford Rouge you must know that it covered over 2,000 acres, contained 92 buildings totaling 15,767,708 square feet and employed 100,000 people. Mr. Davis became the staff photographer for Local 600 at Ford Rouge. He photographed President Lyndon B. Johnson, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, G. Mennen Williams, Coleman Young (another Tuskegee Airman and Mayor of Detroit) as well as many others. He became very active as a union representative and also has pictures he took at their convention in Atlanta. He is proud to relate that he marched with Martin Luther King. He retired from Ford Motor Company after 32 years, while still at a young enough age to seek other employment. He spoke fondly of the time he spent delivering automobiles from Detroit to everywhere in the United States. The only place he hasn’t driven a car for delivery is Hawaii. Mr. Davis and his wife retired and moved to Henry Ford Village – Dearborn, MI which is number five of 300 retirement communities in the United States. His wife died seven years ago. He came full circle in his life, returning in 2009 to Blountstown. He lives independently in a lovely white house back in his old home town. At 91 years young, Mr. Davis still gets around well despite his blindness.

movement. Davis was a part of the 301st fighter squadron and 332 fighter group. Davis was an armorer, making sure the pilots had the weapons and training to hit their target. “We had to keep the pilots sharp, and give them a decent training ... When a pilot was finished training with us, he was ready for combat,” Davis said. Davis was a volunteer United States Army Air Corps in 1941. He first wanted to be a tanker; but, after watching pilots in action during a movie, he changed his mind. “At that time they showed a news reel and a lot of action before the main feature ... This tank was rolling along and this airplane dropped the bomb on it. I said I’m going to drop the bomb,” Davis said. It was in a time when African-Americans were not believed to be capable for this type of combat. During World War II, The U.S. Army embarked on an experiment that allowed blacks to be trained as pilots. The new movie is based on the 99th Fighter Squadron, the most famous unit of the Tuskegee Airmen. Dr. A.J. Brinkler, a local expert on Tuskegee Airmen history, says that the movie’s flying scenes are, for the most part, accurate. “All of the flying scenes are based on legitimate tasks that the Tuskegee Airmen accomplished,” Brinkler said, “They did sink a destroyer; they did shoot down M-62s. All those things really happened.” Dr. Brinkler is not only an aviation enthusiast–he’s a pilot himself. He gives credit to the Tuskegee airmen for breaking the color-barrier. Brinkler also paid for a group to go see the Calhoun County Clerk provide access and proGo to the movie Red Tails. Davis of Court Ruth Attaway tection to these important was among the group of Calhoun has taken another step in records.” those attending. Brinkler having original records Clerk of Court With the help of Florisays that the movie will Website for dated all the way back to da Association of Clerks, drive people to research the pioneer pilots. the early 1800s available records dating she was able to get the Brinkler is also familon the Clerk’s website. back to the technology in place and to iar with Tallahassee’s “When I took office in begin to place online the early 1800s part in World War II and current original records. January 2001, there was Tuskegee Airmen history. almost no technology in The original records back He says airmen made a the Clerk’s office” said Attaway. to 1985 were made available during stop at what was then the “There was no internet, no email, her first term. Dale Mabry field. During not even a website on which the reMost of the old records have been that stop, Brinker says imaged and are now going on the cords could be viewed,” she said. they were forced to sleep “None of the County’s documents website at in quarters where they were online, none! My first order The first of those books went kept black prisoners. In addition, two former of business was to move forward to online last week. Florida A&M Univer-

Calhoun County historical books now online dating back to 1800s


Journey StorieS The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown is featuring a special exhibit in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities Council Museum

on Main Street. The exhibit, known as “Journey Stories,” is on view in the settlement clubhouse and will run from July 14 - August 25, 2012. This is the only facility located

in North Florida that has been selected for the exhibit. All other locations are in South Central and South Florida. The story shown here is one of many included in the exhibit.

A look back at the life and legacy of ‘Bug’ Cayson Submitted by Dianne Cayson Lainhart

Charles Edward Cayson was the first member of the Cayson family to be born in Calhoun County in 1868. Charles married Laura Griffin Cayson and in this union a son was born by the name of Albert Edward Cayson, December 11, 1889, which starts our family lineage. The family moved to the banks of the Apalachicola River in 1900 and later purchased the land in 1916. This is where the Cayson estate is presently located. Albert Edward Cayson (1889 1953) served as Mayor of Blountstown and City Councilman. In 13 political campaigns, he was never defeated for any office he sought. He served as Deputy Sheriff, distributor for the Standard Oil Company and owned the ferry between Blountstown and Bristol until the middle 1930s. He formed A.E. Cayson and Sons in 1929, which became the largest Polled Hereford Ranch in Florida. He is known throughout the state as one of Florida’s pioneer Hereford breeders. This ranch was located in both Liberty County and Calhoun County sides of the Apalachicola River. Cayson’s Ranch was considered one of the showplaces of Calhoun County and many of the county’s citizens shared his pride and enthusiasm in the operation. Albert Gerald “Bug” Cayson (1925 - 2008) was the third born to Albert E. and Linnie Franklin Cayson. He was born August 23, 1925 in Blountstown. He grew up in Blountstown and graduated from Calcohi in 1943. He worked with his father in the cattle business and later served as President of A.E. Cayson & Sons until his death. As a young man he was a star athlete who showed great promise in baseball and was even invited to play for the New York Yankees farm team. His family priorities took precedence and he stayed in Blountstown to pursue the cattle business. He was married to the love of his life, Betty Ann Eubanks in 1946. He became an active civic leader in Blountstown by serving as Charter Member and past President of Blountstown Rotary Club, Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and Calhoun County Cattlemen’s Association. His state duties included director of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and State Animal Livestock Board with the Florida Department of Agriculture. He had a career in the United States Post Office serving as Postmaster of the Blountstown office. He was a founder and Director of the C&L Bank and Director of First National Bank of Alachua, now Capital City Bank. He was a longtime member of the Blountstown United Methodist Church. The following excerpts from “I Remember....” were written by Linnie Franklin Cayson, our grandmother, born and raised in Calhoun County (December 26, 1895 - June 4, 1990). I remember the first snow.... They say we had a really big snow in 1899. I was four years old and I remember the back porch was covered with snow and we could not get to the kitchen, so Papa went to the kitchen and brought bacon and eggs. Mamma cooked on the fireplace for days. I am not sure how long it lasted, but it is among my very earliest memories. I can remember looking out the window and thinking how beautiful it was. I remember Christmas... Some of the earliest Christmas times were spent with my Grandpa Stone. He lived above Stafford Creek and I can remember a kitchen cabinet that had a drawer in which they kept syrup tea cakes flavored with ginger. I can remember what I got in my stocking.... A china doll, an apple and orange, nuts and candy. The doll was adorned in a beautiful dress that I suppose Mamma made. I remember weddings.... As a child of about six years, I remember going with my family in a wagon drawn by oxen to the Atkins’ home for a double wedding. The wedding was for Emily Atkins and Silas Stone, a first cousin of Mamma’s. The other wedding was for Ike Atkins and Ida Lewis. We got there before dark and I remember playing in the yard with Willie Pickens, a granddaughter that the Atkins family raised. They had tables loaded with food, and after the wedding, they danced all night, which was not unusual at the Atkins’ home. It was eat, drink and be merry! Another wedding I remember was Aunt Mag (Maggie Stone) and Uncle Math Davis. I was probably around six years old and a candle-bearer in

the wedding. They worked for days on my dress, white lawn (sort of like organdy). It had yards and yards of lace and lace insertion. There were tables of food, but I don’t think they danced all night. This wedding and the Atkins’ double wedding are the ones that I remember best.

I remember before we moved to town.... Sometime around 1905, I can remember us going down to meet the steamboat. We had a horse and buggy. The horse was named “Georgia,” and Papa would be coming home on the boat from Apalach (sic). He had gone down on a log raft and he would bring home a barrel of oysters in the shell. We would build a bonfire in the yard and in the coals we would roast the oysters. The shell would “pop” open. Another time I can remember all of us, Grandma Franklin and Uncle Si, made a trip by ox wagon down to East Bay. We spent the night in Wewa with our cousin, Silas Stone and Miss Em, and then visited relatives in East Bay, where we had oysters and fish. We camped out along the way and I remember setting a trap (Papa helped me). We caught a gopher and Mamma would not cook it. I carried it over to Grandma’s and she cooked it for me, in a pot in the fireplace, and put dumplings in it. She had cooked them before when times were hard. “Cayson Estate” as told by Gerald Cayson to his daughter Dianne.... The homestead was built by Albert Edward Cayson and Linnie Middleton Franklin Cayston in 1941. As he walked the area, Albert personally selected the highest spot of land during the 1929 flood. Records indicate that the old Blount Indian Reservation line runs north and south through the area that is now the formal dining room in the home. Highway 20 was also built about that same time. The Caysons moved in on December 6, 1941 and slept in the house the night of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Honolulu (December 7, 1941). Their children Gerald and Marica were attending Calcohi (later named Blountstown Middle School) during this time. Their oldest child, Audrey, a teacher, was already married to lawyer William M. Berson. Wayman, their older son, was attending the University of Florida. He later became a navigator in the United States Air Force. The brick home has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a formal living room and formal dining room, as well as a modernized kitchen and porch. The screened porch was later enclosed to make a family room off the kitchen. An office, double carport, storage area and entertainment area (covered patio) were later added using the original bricks. The flooring in the home is solid oak. It was shipped from southern Alabama by truck. The Cayson ferry that served as a means of transportation across the Apalachicola River hauled the sand from the sandbar to be used in the mortar. The walls are solid brick. The inside bricks were made at the brickyard by the Apalachicola River on the site of the former Rysco Shipyard. Gerald’s job was to select the dark header bricks for the fifth line. There are two chimneys with 27,000 bricks. Seven fireplaces are in the home with a separate flue running to the top of the roof. Albert E. Cayson died in 1953, but did live long enough to enjoy his home on his spacious Polled Hereford Cattle Ranch. This later became known throughout the Southeast as A.E. Cayson and Sons. Gerald and his wife, Betty Ann Eubanks Cayson bought the home from “Miss Linnie”, but she continued to live with the family until her death. They raised their four children, Dianne, Gerry, Vicki and Deborah here and continued to reside on the estate. The home is a gathering place for family members on holidays and special occasions. Wedding receptions and movies have taken place on this gorgeous homestead situated on Highway 20 within a short drive from both Tallahassee and Panama City as well as other points of interest. The descendants of Albert Gerald Cayson and Betty Ann Eubanks and their four children all continue to reside within a fifty-mile radius of their homestead. They include Dianne Cayson Lainhart, Gerry Cayson, Vicki Cayson Bennett and Deborah Cayson Hassig. They have nine grandchildren which include Chris Lainhart, Ashley Lainhart, Misty Sizemore, Lauren Sizemore Hollis, Adam Edwards, Andrew Bennett, Trey Cayson, Anna Hassig and Ayers Hassig. They have two great-grandchildren, Ella Suber and Hudson Hollis. The legacy therefore continues.