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7 Prominent Men

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A visitor to Florida in 1882 made this declaration: "There is more intellect and intelligence to be found among the settlers of Florida than in the same population in any other new state." That these qualities were manifested in the settlers of Jefferson County later events proved; for many of their descendants have attained distinction in the professions, won laurels in music and the arts and left their footprints indelibly impressed upon the sands of time.


Some have become eminent in law or as members of religious orders and medical professions; while others have won their way to state or national capitols and performed their duties with conscientious zeal.


A few of those sons of Jefferson, who, by their marked abilities have attained to prominence, and who by their qualities of mind and heart have been especially honored in their lives and gratefully remembered after they ceased from participation in life's activities who, whether they devoted themselves exclusively to public endeavor or happily combined individual manner the ability to lead their fellows in efforts of greater welfare and at the same time remained interested participators in civic matters and sympathetic directors of homely affairs, it is the purpose of this chapter to briefly enumerate.


Leaders in opening events of the county were, for a good part, plantation owners, and their histories have been woven into the earliest pioneer happenings connected with the struggles of settlement in the new country. They who engineered the initial happenings of the county seat were no less faithful and forceful than their brothers of the farther ranges, and all stood together, shoulder to shoulder to care a new state from the wilderness and make it abundant in peace and plenty. It is of the men who followed in the footsteps of those others, who "caught the torch from falling hands" and set it high on the altar of new accomplishments that these sketches are written.


William Archer Cocke


William Archer Cocke was born in Powhatan county, Virginia, in 1822, and was, in every sense of the word, a gentleman of the "Old Dominion". His mother was an Archer, one of a family whom it is written, "they were always of the highest and most influential bearing, distinguished not only for daring chivalry, but stainless character, with a foremost standing among the elevated class, which, in times gone by, formed the old Virginia gentleman." No less could be said of his father's ancestry.


The men of the Archer and Cocke families were all students and graduates of the famous William and Mary College, and William Archer Cocke was no exception. Completing his general education and finishing in law, he graduated from the institution at the age of twenty- one, and in 1843 established himself in the city of Richmond, after having been admitted to the bar. He was married to Catharine Parkhill of Leon County in 1852.


Up to the opening of the Civil War he extended his practice over several counties and also engaged in literary labor, publishing his very learned work, History of the Constitution of the United States, which not only became a standard book of reference in this country, but was used in the law courts of Europe.


During the war lawyer Cocke held an official position in the treasury department of the Confederate States Government, and remained stationed in Richmond until 1865, when failing health forced him to seek a warmer climate, and he journeyed to Florida, settling in Monticello, which was near the former home of his wife, Catharine Parkhill, the daughter of Colonel Samuel Parkhill, and the sister of Captain R. C. Parkhill. Here he resumed his law practice and also edited the first newspaper published in the town, which he named The Family Friend. In 1868 he was appointed Judge of the 1st Judicial Circuit, which position he filled for four years.


In 1872 he was appointed Attorney General of the State by Governor Hart, an office which he retained under two Republican Governors, though frequently clashing in opinion with each of them and often opposing their politics. Upon Governor Hart's demand that he present his resignation of office he replied, "the law and my solemn convictions of right actuate my motives, and I must pursue the course thus indicated," and adding, "the reasons assigned by you not being sufficient, I respectfully refuse to resign the office of Attorney General." In 1876 occurred Judge Cocke's celebrated minority report for Tilden, Democratic nominee for President, which, it was proved he had honorably and independently returned, instead of coalescing with the infamous Returning Board in their stolen count for Hayes. This he did at the risk of his life, and firmly maintained his position until the end of Republican government in Florida. With the installation of Governor Drew in 1876, Judge Cocke was appointed judge of the 7th Judicial District, and held that office for eight years.


William Archer Cocke was a writer of deep and analytical thought, and his articles on the law will bear the keenest criticism, and may be cited as authority. He was also the author of clever sketches and charming verse, the latter frequently being of a fervid and religious nature. Indifferent to the accumulation of riches, he lived for the good, the beautiful and the true, and used his salaried means for the alleviation of human want and suffering, whenever and wherever they were presented to him. Of noble character and lofty aspirations, he endeared himself to all associates, and most of all to his devoted wife who was his faithful companion for thirty-five years, and who spent the lonely days of widowhood in recording on the pages of a journal the cherished incidents of the life of her deeply deplored husband.


This journal is in the keeping of her niece, Emmala Parkhill Simpson, together with a volume of sketches and compositions compiled by Judge Cocke and both remain treasured mementoes of their lives. Judge Cocke spent his last days in Sanford, Florida. There in a cottage home among the orange trees, singing birds and lovely flowers, and attended to the last by his wife, he expired October 17, 1887.



Thomas Miles Palmer


Thomas Miles Palmer though mentioned to some extent, in the chapter on old families, deserves more than passing notice in regard to his activities as a citizen and physician of Monticello, and a soldier and surgeon of the Confederacy. Of forceful, yet kind personality, the years of his manhood were spent in ministering to the needs of men and country, and those needs were ever met with the readiness, firmness, ability and precision of a competent and well trained man. Whether the occasion was the ushering in of a new life, the lingering departure of a weary soul or the complicated and endless requirements of a field hospital, Dr. Tom was the efficient administrator of affairs.


Dr. Palmer's name was a synonym for service, and to the inhabitants of town and county, white or black, he was a tower of strength and a symbol of hope in times of sickness or disaster. In his earlier years, it was his habit to assume command in situations which required sound judgment, advice or correct guidance, and so he gained the nickname, "family regulator." In vital matters his word was not lightly disregarded, nor did his counsel pass for naught.


In the turbulent times preceding the war of the states, Dr. Palmer's home and children were deprived of the presence of the wife and mother, and perhaps when the great struggle was launched and he went out to perform work of relief on the bloody aftermath of battle, he sought forgetfulness in strenuous and never ceasing rounds of duty. He served bravely and laboriously through the entire period of the war. He was chief surgeon at Howard's Grove Hospital, near Richmond, Virginia.


Whenever a battle was imminent, it was his habit to be prepared for emergency service by selecting some suitable place a short distance out of range of cannon balls, where he could minister to the needs of the wounded. He usually selected a sheltering grove of trees, under which he had a table built for operating purposes and to hold his surgical instruments. To this location the wounded were brought. His faithful bodyguard, "Uncle Charles Parish," went to the seat of war with Dr. Palmer and waited upon him as he ministered to the wounded. Uncle Charles was always there at the beginning of a battle, but frequently was out of sight at the close, as it was too much for him when the balls and bullets were flying near. He always appeared, however, when hostilities ceased, and talked of how many battles he helped to fight.


Dr. Palmer's first acquaintance with the beloved chieftain, Robert E. Lee, was somewhat unique. On one occasion when a battle was expected, he and his assistants were selecting a place for his work on the field. He noticed a group of shade trees in the distance, which he considered the very spot for the temporary hospital and to this he proceeded. When he was at a short distance from the place, he observed a group of horsemen ride up, halt under the trees and use field glasses in taking note of the surrounding area. The Doctor, not daunted in the least by fine looking horsemen in grey uniforms and brass buttons, rode up to the leader and asked him if he would make use of some other locatoin, as he had selected that for serving the wounded to be brought from the battlefield. The leader quickly touched his cap, put spurs to his horse, and led his group to another spot at some distance. Dr. Palmer afterwards met this leader and served later on his staff, both becoming bosom friends. The leader was none other than General Robert E. Lee. When the close of the war returned the worn and weary veterans to their homes, there was another conflict-the war of reconstruction, which lasted, as time is reckoned, longer than the civil war itself.


Again when the need presented itself, Dr. Tom Palmer rose to the occasion and it was greatly due to his unceasing oversight and powerful personality that, in Jefferson's boundaries, no murders were committed, while in neighboring counties, there were many instances of bloodshed.


Forced to live under the rule of a Republican Governor, Jefferson found her five commissioners appointed from the Republican ranks. Democratic appeals were in vain, for the Lieutenant Governor, although a Democrat, had no voice in the matter. At last Dr. Palmer was chosen a delegate to meet the governor at a time when he was to visit Monticello, and try his powers of persuasion in the endeavor to get Democratic representation for the county. Dr. Palmer made his plea, but all to no purpose, the Governor peremptorily refusing to appoint any Democrats as commissioners.


At this Dr. Tom stepped forward, bent slightly from the height of six-feet-four, and shaking a long forefinger in the Governor's face said to him, "Sir, are you aware that but one life stands between a Democrat and the Governorship of the State of Florida"?


This veiled threat, with the reflection that, should he lose his office by any means whatsoever, a Democrat stood ready to take his place, caused the Governor a moment of sharp reflection, and at the end of it said "Well, I'll concede the matter. Recommend your Democrats and I'll appoint them.'


Is it any wonder that, when in after years, a broken, bereaved and weary man, ill in mind and body, laid down the burden of his life, the people of Monticello mourned together, knowing that they had lost an honorable, brave, efficient and conscientious citizen?


Samuel Pasco


Samuel Pasco was born in London, England, June 28, 1834, being one of a family of seven children. His father was a publisher, and during Samuel's infancy removed to Prince Edward's Island, where he remained for several years. Arriving at the conclusion that the new world held more promise for his business and the development of his family than did England or her possessions, he sailed for America, and located in Charleston, Massachusetts, where his children might have all the advantages offered by nearby schools and colleges, and where his publishing business might expand in the cultural atmosphere adjacent to the city of Boston.


Samuel Pasco entered Harvard College, and graduated in 1858, having achieved a record for thoroughness and brilliance of scholarship. Soon after his graduation, a letter came to the heads of the colleges from the trustees of an Academy in Waukeenah, Florida, asking them to recommend one of their young men graduates to fill the position of principal at the far away institution of learning. Samuel Pasco was unhesitatingly chosen for the place, and in 1859, he began the long journey by train and stage coach, eventually arriving at his destination and taking up the duties of his new position, which he continued to hold until July, 1861. Taken from a country of abolition and transplanted to land of secession, when war broke out his sympathies were all with the south; and when Florida seceded and the call to arms came, the young Waukeenah professor with fifteen of his pupils joined the Jefferson Rifles, 3rd Florida Infantry, and marched forth to help uphold the decisions of his adopted state. Though chosen for clerical duties at headquarters, he fought in every battle in which his regiment engaged, and once, when one of his boys was wounded and left lying upon the battlefield, he went out alone under fire, and brought him back to safety.


In the battle of Missionary Ridge he was wounded and captured,and· remained a prisoner at Camp Morton for fourteen months. His relatives at the north endeavored to persuade him to take the oath of allegiance and thus regain his freedom; but this he firmly refused to do, choosing to remain a prisoner until he was exchanged. The end of the war found him on furlough in the south, and walking about on crutches. As soon as his wounds permitted, he resumed his vocation of teaching and continued in it until he was elected to fill the office of clerk of the circuit court of Jefferson county. Under carpet bag rule he was called upon to surrender his position, and did so, but with a scathing protest to the heads of government.


Entering into the practice of law, Samuel Pasco formed a partnership with Colonel William S. Dilworth, his old regimental commander which endured until the latter's death in 1869. In 1876 he was appointed chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee and during the following ten years he rendered a service to the state whose value can scarcely be estimated. Chosen a presidential elector in 1880 and selected chairman of the Constitutional Convention of 1885, it is authentically stated that he framed the present constitution of Florida, and withal, managed the state's business so discreetly and effectively that he was nominated for governor in 1886. He conducted one of the most remarkable campaigns on record, which eliminated all opponents, with the exception of General Perry, and ended in his (Pasco's) general withdrawal from the race and the election of Perry by acclamation. In 1887, Samuel Pasco became speaker of the House, and almost at the same time was elected to the United States Senate. During his twelve years of service in Washington he accomplished marked results for his state, among them being the improvement of waterways and harbors, the erection of public buildings, the reversal of the adverse judgment in Congress against the Indian War Claim, with the recognition of its justice and the consequent granting of pensions to remaining veterans.


In 1899, he was appointed by President McKinley to serve on the Isthmian Canal Commission, and remained with it until the Canal's completion in 1903. The month of June, 1904, found him on the ocean; en route to attend the Baptist World's Congress which met in London, England; and thus, at the age of seventy years, he was permitted to return to the land of his birth and view the scenes of his babyhood.


Ever recognized from youth as a born leader, Samuel Pasco was chosen head of many organizations, being elected commander of Confederate Veterans, Worshipful Master of Hiram Lodge of Free and Accepted Mason, Grand Master of the M. W. Grand Lodge F. A. M. of Florida, and High Priest of Jefferson Chapter R . A. M., and Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Florida, together with other honorable positions. Gifted both as speaker and writer, he was called upon to preside at public gatherings, address public meetings of varied kinds, and was the author of many articles, sketches and small histories. One of his brothers, Dr. Frederick Pasco, was also a gifted and energetic man, being chosen head physician of a medical institution in the city of St. Augustine.


Frederick Pasco was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, holding high positions in the Florida conference, having served as pastor four years in Monticello. He was honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity.


Samuel Pasco was married to Jessie Denham, daughter of William Denham, the elder, in 1870 and they became the parents of six children: Elizabeth, Emmeline, William, who died in the Spanish War, Samuel, John and James.


Samuel Pasco was called to rest March 13, 1917, and his funeral was held from the Baptist Church in Monticello, of which he had been a life long member. A fitting close to this sketch is the tribute paid to him by his comrade-in-arms and friend of fifty years, Benjamin W. Partridge: "He was a potent thinker, a deep student, a loyal devotee to those things that men love and respect, an ardent tutor, a courageous soldier, a patriotic, zealous citizen, clean in his public and private conduct, a model of loyalty in his home life, a devoted husband, an idolized father, inflexible in his private friendships, a safe unselfish, political captain, a statesman and a philosopher, and above all, an exemplary Christian."


Thomas Lee Clarke


Thomas Lee Clarke, son of William L. and Elizabeth Clarke, was born in Stewart County, Georgia, on December 13, 1846. He was one of a family of eleven children, and his early years were spent upon the broad acres of the plantation of his father, who was a successful farmer up to the time of his death in 1888.


Thomas Lee was too young to enlist for service at the beginning of the war between the states, but in the last year of the conflict he enlisted for service and fought under Generals Johnston and Hood until the day of surrender.


After the war he began reading law, first with George A. Lofton, for a period of two years, then with Allen D. Candler, who afterward became Governor of Georgia, and concluded his studies under Willis A. Hawkins in 1870, when he was admitted to the bar, took up residence in Monticello and embarked in general law practice which embraced every variety of causes in every class of courts, and extended from justice of the peace to the supreme court of the United States.


In conjunction with Samuel Pasco he was elected to the Constitutional Convention of 1885, and assisted in the great work of restoring legitimate government to the state of Florida. Three times he was sent to the state legislature, serving in 1893, 1895 and 1901; and was also acting attorney for the Seaboard Air Lines, and other large corporations.


In 1875, Margaret Louise, (Daisy) Bird became the wife of Thomas L. Clarke and bore him four children: William, who moved to Tallahassee and married Emile Perkins; Kate, who wedded B. J. Smith; Scott Dilworth, present state senator whose wife, Caroline, is a daughter of Mrs. E. B. Bailey, and John W. a resident of Atlanta, Ga. The mother of these children passed away in 1899, and in later years, Mr. Clarke married Annie Miller of Lloyd, who became the mother of Thomas L. Jr., and who survives his father.


During his life time, Thomas L. Clarke became one of the foremost attorneys of his state, valued as a practitioner of remarkable knowledge and convincing argument in all that pertained to law. Of retiring manner and marked dignity of deportment, a stranger, during early acquaintance, might mistake his reserve for coldness, and doubt his ability to warm to fervor in cases requiring more than formal exposition of the law. That this was a fallacious idea, the following incident will prove: In his younger years, lawyer Clarke was called upon to take charge of a timber case which demanded great ability and extreme diplomacy in the handling of it. In fact, so anxious was the defendant to win the suit, that he sent for a distinguished Atlanta lawyer to collaborate with lawyer Clarke, instructing him privately to let the local man enter the opening plea, and reserve the final summing up of the case and petition to the jury for his own final undertaking.


Upon the day of trial the case was called and lawyer Clarke conducted the opening according to pre-arrangement. Masterly in address, conclusive in argument and fervent in plea, he finished his presentment and retired from the floor. The Atlanta lawyer arose and in a few words explained to the jury that it would be unnecessary for him to add a single word to the complete presentation of the case by Lawyer Clarke, whose thorough knowledge of the circumstances and every point of law connected with it could not be improved upon, to bring forth a just and honest verdict for the defendant. Needless to say, the case was won.


On December 8th, 1916, Thomas Lee Clarke departed this life, leaving to Monticello the memory of an able, upright and just man; to his church, the sorrow of losing one of her ever faithful members, and to his family the lasting grief attendant upon the passing of an adored husband and father.


Edward Bradford Bailey


Edward Bradford Bailey was a son of General William Bailey and Eliza Branch Reade, widow of General Leigh Reade. He was born December 20th, 1854 on Pine Hill plantation, near Bradfordville, Leon County. This plantation was the home of his mother's sister, Martha Branch, the wife of Dr. Edward Bradford, for whom he was named. General Bailey's home was "The Cedars" and here Edward resided and spent the first years of his life. He was three and one-half years old when his mother died. She was buried at the Pine Hill cemetery, Leon County. Another sister of Eliza Branch was the wife of Arvah Hopkins, whose home was the beautiful estate, Goodwood, near Tallahassee, now owned by Senator Hodges. When Edward was of school age he was tutored in a class with his aunt's boys at Goodwood, in this way, spending much of his boyhood there, and at Tallahassee where his father removed, after establishing the State Bank of Florida, now the Lewis State Bank. When Edward was thirteen years of age his father died and his next years were spent partly at the home of his half sister, Sarah Bailey Lamar, in Monticello. She also owned a home in Athens, Georgia, which she and her children occupied in the summer. At fourteen, Edward was placed in the Virginia Military Institute, where he was the youngest cadet on record. He was among the cadets who escorted General Lee to his last resting place. His motto was the same as Lee's, "Duty is the sublimest word in the English language."


Edward graduated from the V. M. I. when he was eighteen and then became a student at the University of Suwannee, Tennessee, where he remained until he completed the courses of that institution. In the division of his father's estate, he fell heir to considerable property and money and in 1876 he located in Monticello, entering into business with James S. Denham. He built the brick two story business house and warehouse, lately razed to make way for a filling station, at the corner of the courthouse square and Washington Street, West, and for many years carried on an extensive mercantile trade at this corner. He was, besides being a merchant, a large cotton buyer. . He also bought a fine plantation, Walaunee, from Robert H. Gamble and engaged in farming.


In 1878 he married Caroline Ellen, the daughter of Caroline Marvin and John Denham, Sr. He purchased the home of Dr. Lawrence Simkins, after two or three years had passed, during which time they made their home with her parents, where Dr. J. F. Williams now resides. Their first home burned, and a new house was soon erected, large and attractive in a setting of spacious lawns and decorative shrubbery.


Though a mere boy during the civil war period, Edward Bailey took part in the troublesome era at its close and with others of that time helped in the efforts to redeem the state from misrule and establish once more the rights of the people under the laws of a safe and sane government. When this was accomplished, Edward Bailey was elected the first Democratic senator from Jefferson county. Honorable, efficient and discreet, he was re-elected senator in the years 1889, 1895, 1897, 1903, and 1905. In 1921 he was a member of the House of Representatives which concluded his services at the capitol. In 1910, while acting as mayor of Monticello, he was elected to the board of county commissioners and in the following year he began his work for the county, which lasted till 1913.


He was the first man to recognize the value of convict labor. When he entered the business of mining phosphate, he contracted with the State to hire the convicts to perform the work, not only relieving the state of their support, but putting money into her treasury. This venture has resulted in the utilizing of convict labor throughout Florida.


Edward Bailey, it has been said, was one of the most generous, most benevolent and kindest hearted men that ever lived in the state. He was ever ready to render personal or financial aid to his fellow man in distress. The children of his household numbered nine. John Denham and Eliza Branch, the two eldest have passed on, Caroline is the wife of State Senator S. D. Clarke, Edward Bradford, Jr. married Henrietta Simmons, Martha Hawkins is the wife of Dr. J. B. Brinson, Sarah Lamar is married to T. Chisolm of Thomasville, Ga., Theresa Reade is the wife of George Palmer of South Carolina, George married Margaret Cannon of Gainesville and their home is in New York, and William, the youngest, married May Hughes, who lived near Monticello. Edward Bailey was loved and adored by these children, and admired and respected by a host of relatives and friends who followed him to his last resting place in 1923. His widow makes her home with her daughter, Martha, who, with her husband is the present owner of the old home.


William Bailey Lamar


William Bailey Lamar was a son of Thompson P. and Sarah Bailey Lamar, and a grandson of General William Bailey, the early pioneer. He was born in 1852 at the plantation home of his grandfather, "The Cedars." The life of the father, Thompson B. Lamar, is written into the Chapter on the Civil War; and the latter life of his mother is recapitulated in the story of the old Budd residence where she lived after she left The Cedars and brought her family to the town of Monticello.


William B. Lamar, after finishing the public school courses, entered the college at Athens, Georgia, and began the study of law. Graduating with high honors he became a practicing attorney in Monticello, and inaugurated a political career when he was appointed circuit judge of Jefferson County. In 1888 he was elected attorney general, and was retained in that office for sixteen years, serving with Governors Perry, Mitchell, Bloxham and Jennings. Following his retirement as attorney general, Judge Lamar was elected to Congress, and for two terms he ably represented his constituents at the United States Capitol. One service to his country was the procuring of soil experts to make thorough soil tests with a view of introducing the culture of tobacco in Jefferson as a new and possibly successful industry.


Entering the senatorial race he made a brilliant campaign but was defeated by a small majority.


Judge Lamar had always retained residence in Monticello, near which he owned large acreages and pecan orchards, and after his senatorial defeat, he returned to his home town and revived associations with friends and relatives. During his stay in Washington, Judge Lamar had met and married a beautiful and wealthy woman, Ethel Toy Healey, who returned with him to the scenes of his boyhood, and entered into the social life' of the town.


Relieved from the cares of political life , Judge Lamar was called upon, nevertheless, to execute important commissions and was sent to California as delegate to the Pan-American Congress.


After living in Monticello for two years, the Lamars purchased a handsome home in Thomasville, Georgia, where they continued to reside until the death of William B. Lamar in 1927. Besides his wife, he is survived-by one brother, Jefferson M. Lamar, who for many years resided with his family in the town of Monticello, and served the town and county in several official capacities. He married Alethea Hawkins of Raleigh, North Carolina and both, at present, are residents of Athens, Georgia. Their children are Louise, William B., and Sarah. The Lamar brothers were nephews of L. Q. C. Lamar, the celebrated jurist.


Richard Call Parkhill 


Richard Call Parkhill was born in Leon County October 1, 1837, son of Samuel and Martha Ann (Bott) Parkhill. His father was born in Londonderry, Ireland, but can'1e to America at the age of twelve years, and located at Richmond, Virginia, lived with a brother, John Parkhill, who had preceded him to this country, received a common school education and was sent to college but left to join the army of the war of 1812. When he returned he entered the mercantile business with his brother, with whom he remained until 1828, when he joined a colony of Virginians, who were removing to Florida. In 1835 he was elected as an officer on the staff of General Clinch with the rank of ,Colonel to serve in the Seminole War, and subsequently he was elected to the first constitutional convention of Florida. He became a planter on a large scale and accumulated a fortune. He died in 1841, leaving a family of eight children. The youngest of these was Richard Call Parkhill who spent his boyhood in Tallahassee, and was educated at the West Florida Seminarv. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was junior partner in the firm of Arvah Hopkins & Co. To those who knew "Capt. Dick" and his ardent temperament, it was not surprising to hear of his early enlistment into the Confederate service. In 1861 he and his cousin, George Washington Parkhill, raised a company, of which the latter became Captain and Richard, third Lieutenant. This company was mustered into the 2nd Florida Regiment. They were stationed in Virginia where the first battles were fought. When the first lieutenant, then second, sent in resignations, Richard Parkhill was promoted to first lieutenant. His service and conduct in this capacity won him distinction and when Capt. G. W. Parkhill was killed at the battle of Gaines Mill, he received the Captaincy. At the battle of Frazier's Farm, June 30, 1862 he was badly wounded in the shoulder and was carried from the field by Patrick Conniff, one of his company's soldiers from Jefferson County. He was sent home on furlough, unfitted for further fighting service. In September 1862, he was married to Emmala, the third daughter of William Bellamy. She was a graduate of Wesleyan Female College at Macon, Georgia, in the class of '61. The early years of their married life were spent at Tuscawilla plantation in Leon County, after which they removed to the plantation inherited from her father. A large two story house was built and for years Captain Parkhill followed agricultural pursuits. This house was burned some years -after it was occupied, and the family then removed to N acoosa, but farming operations continued. When Captain Dick was no longer able to serve in the army, he and his neighbor, Burton Bellamy, heard that the citizens of Taylor County were starving, consequently they gathered together 500 bushels of corn and transported them in their teams to the hungry people in Taylor. For many years the citizens showed their gratitude for this deed of kindness by inviting their benefactors to every political meeting held in the county. No master ever had -49- more devoted slaves, yet Captain Parkhill was known to chastise them severely for misdemeanors. A remarkable feature connected with his farming was that nearly all of them remained on his plantation the rest of their days, and their children and grandchildren did not move off until the place passed into other hands.


In 1885 Richard Parkhill was elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, which accomplished so much toward ridding the State of misrule. He was elected to the position of County Clerk in the 80's, which position he ably filled for twenty-eight years. His deputy clerk for most of these years was Daniel L. Oakley, whose personal relationships with Captain Parkhill resembled that of ties of blood rather than of business.

Captain Parkhill continued his farming operations, until his increasing age compelled him to give them up. He built a comfortable home in East End when he became a county official and resided there many years, until it was purchased by Benjamin Horne, whose family still occupy it.


One son, George Washington Parkhill, of Jacksonville, Florida, and four daughters contributed to his hospitable, congenial family circle, the finest qualities of life for which man is striving. His wife, a true helpmate, left him for a higher life on May 25, 1915. When the children departed for homes of their own, he sold his plantation, living his last years at the home of his daughter, Emmala, the wife of Ray C. Simpson, whom he loved as a son.


Captain Parkhill possessed a remarkable personality, embodying Irish humor, English stability, and American benevolence. He passed away May 6, 1926, at the age of eighty-eight years. His descendants are Parkhills, Simpsons, Schenck, Woodwards and others.


Richard Turnbull 


Richard Turnbull, one of Monticello's prominent men of the past, once wrote a history of the Turnbull family which was published in a local news sheet, and told in an interesting way the origin of the Turnbull name. He related that, in the romantic days of merrie England, the King, with the ladies and gentlemen of his court was enjoying an out-of-doors fete held in a nearby forest, when suddenly a large and ferocious bull which had escaped from confinement and became enraged at the efforts of his pursuers to capture him appeared upon the scene and directed an onslaught upon the King, who was powerless to defend himself. Frozen with terror his majesty's retainers seemed incapable of action, until suddenly a stout yeoman, who, though not of the King's party, had been an interested observer of the royal doings, darted in front of the charging animal and with great courage grabbed the bull by the horns and began a terrific contest for supremacy. · At the end of a tremendous struggle the yeoman succeeded in subduing the animal, turning him away from the King's person, and delivering him to his keepers. The doughty yeoman was straightway knighted by his grateful King, who bestowed upon him the name of Turnbull, in acknowledgement of his service, granted him a coat of arms and settled upon him a considerable estate.


Thus the Turnbulls became established in old England, and remained in their native country until some of them, more venturesome than the others, became imbued with the spirit of adventure, crossed the wide waters, settled in South Carolina and became good American citizens. The 1790 census of Heads of Families lists three Turnbulls: - .50- ! I I William, Andrew and one other, given name unknown. It also lists John Stedman and Jane, his wife, the latter being a granddaughter of James Calhoun, the emigrant. Their daughter Jane married John Turnbull of Abbeville District, who had chosen farming as his vocation, and during all of his life continued in soil cultivation and the production of crops. The Turnbulls became the parents of eight children who were named John Sheridan, Elijah E., Nancy, Jane, James, Theodore, Martha, Sarah and Mary K.


The last mentioned son, born in 1811, eschewed his father's chosen occupation, and elected to become a physician, a choice which eventually led to his entrance into the Charleston Medical College, where he prosecuted his studies with earnestness and success. After attaining his majority and receiving his medical degree, Dr. Turnbull removed to Florida in 1835 and began the practice of his profession, distributing his services over several counties, though he established his residence in Jefferson. He chose Caroline Parrish as a life partner, bought a large plantation and built a home, giving to his place the lovely name of "Sunrise," emblamatical of brightness, happiness and new life.


To the master and mistress of Sunrise plantation eleven children were born. One of this family, Richard, by name, and born January 7, 1839, pursued the peaceful and prosperous life of an agriculturist up to the time of the Civil War, with the exception of several years spent at Emory College, from which he graduated in 1859. This year marked not only his college commencement, but the beginning of his life as the head of a family; for on October 11, he was united in marriage to Margaret Bellamy, daughter of William and Emmala Bellamy (deceased), who was not only an heiress of considerable wealth, but a woman of forceful and energetic character, who directed her business affairs with success, and raised her family of nine children in strict accordance with the best traditions of the old South.


When the war opened, Richard Turnbull volunteered his service to the state and was commissioned second lieutenant in Captain Patton Anderson's command, which was assigned to the First Florida Regiment. He continued in active service until 1864, when failing health compelled him to retire on furlough and seek recuperation at his plantation home. Soon after this he was elected to the state legislature, and served with ability until the end of the war and the beginning of the arduous days of reconstruction. During this period he was markedly active in helping to rid the country of misrule and aiding in the restoration of stable government.


Under President Cleveland he was appointed post office inspector for a term of four years, and so ably did he discharge his duties that he was commended by the government. In 1890, he was made supervisor of the twelfth census for the First Florida District, and afterward was appointed national commissioner to the World's Fair in Chicago.


Although never robust, Richard Turnbull maintained a constant activity in matters connected with the furthering of projects of importance. He continued the work of his plantation with most successful results and after he removed from his beautiful country home to last built house of William Budd on East Washington Street in Monticello, he not only retained the oversight of farming operations but anticipated in affairs of town and country, and was a valued adviser in matters of import. A staunch member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he did an especially noble work as teacher in the Sabbath School.


On May 9, 1900 death entered the Turnbull home and removed the wife and mother at the age of fifty-nine years. She was laid to rest in the Bellamy cemetery on the land of her forbears, and on July 15, 1906, Richard Turnbull departed, to rest beside her. The children of this couple were Waller T., former judge of the superior court in Floyd County, Georgia, Ida, mother of Mrs. W. L. Maige, now residing in the old home; William, Jefferson M., and Margaret B., all deceased. Living members of the family are Emmala, wife of W. W. Carroll, Richard J., Elizabeth and Tiffany T., ex-senator from Jefferson County, and present attorney of the Railroad Commission.


Danitte Hill Mays


Dannitte Hill Mays was born on the Mays plantation in Madison County, Florida, April 29, 1852. His father, Richard J. Mays, was a native of Edgefield district, South Carolina, and followed the busines of farming. In 1829, the elder Mays married Eliza Ann Williams, and they continued to make Carolina their home until 1831, when, in common with others of their district, they became infected with Florida fever, and joined in the exodus to the new territory.


Just prior to his removal, Richard Mays realized the fulfillment of a long cherished desire, and became a licensed Missionary Baptist preacher. Settling in Madison County, Florida, Rev. Mays continued to combine his farming efforts with those of preaching the gospel, being highly successful in both. He became the owner of several plantations, with hundreds of slaves, wisely and conservatively conducting business to the end that each plantation should be self-supporting, and promptly disposing of any that failed to meet the requirements. Unhampered by lack of means he was enable to carry out his plan to establish a religious center near his home, and so, upon the residential plantation he built a church, and then filled with the desire to serve his Master in the new country to which he had emigrated, he preached the word of God to all who would come to hear him. In obedience to calls from other communities he went out to establish churches, and conduct services until permanent pastors could be secured. The earliest Baptist churches of Jefferson County were among the first fruits of his labors.


When war came, Rev. Mays was one of the wealthiest planters in his section of the state, and furnished the Confederacy with many thousand dollars worth of supplies and equipment, thus, in all ways proving himself a worthy son of the South, and an upholder of her principles. He did not live to see the conclusion of the war, but died in 1864, leaving wife and children to survive him. Dannitte Hill Mays was one of the younger children of the Mays family and divided the earlier years of his life between agricultural pursuits and trying to I obtain an education. At fourteen years of age he entered Washington and Lee University, remaining a student until 1869, when lack of means and home requirements recalled him to Florida and the continuance of farming. Beginning with the meagre means afforded him he became the "plowboy of Jefferson," and, after a time, a plantation manager with a college education which seemed to promote rather than retard his efforts at tillage and husbandry. By industry and economy he was able to purchase the plantation of his employers, and later, became owner of "Tuscawilla," which is now the industrial center of the farming enterprise of his younger son. -52- In the early 80' s, Dannitte H. Mays established a home in Monticello, and began to enter into politics, becoming one of the best known public men of the state. In 1891, the Democrats of Jefferson County chose him to represent them in the state legislature, and during his term of service, he received the nomination for United States Senator but was not elected. In 1895 he was again sent to the legislature, and in 1897 was made Speaker of the House. In 1909, he was once more selected by his Democratic constituents for signal honor; was nominated, elected and sent to Washington, where he served two terms. In the race for Governor of Florida, D. H. Mays lost that honor by a few votes.


In 1880, Dannitte Mays was married to Emmala, daughter of Captain George W. and Elizabeth Bellamy Parkhill, a union which was, to a remarkable degree, a happy one, and which was blest with six children; Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, Emmala, Dannitte H. Jr., and Parkhill C.


After the close of his public career, Dannitte Mays' latter years were spent with his family in the happy seclusion of home life, with only occasional reversions to the performance of public duties of minor importance. Long a familiar figure on the streets of Monticello, where he was wont to join in friendly discussions of passing events, his bodily infirmities eventually confined him to the precincts of home, where he was devotedly attended by his family. On May 9, 1930, his long and successful life came to a peaceful end, breaking the first link in the chain of his immediate family relations. His wife and children survive him.


Thomas Melvin Puelston


The Puleston family of whom only two are now residents of Jefferson County, but whose name figured largely in the development and upbuilding of a high-minded community, were descendants of English people and traced their ancestry back to the 11th Century. The first member of the family to become a citizen of Jefferson County was Samuel Puleston, who was born in London, England in 1816. He was in the mercantile business in Monticello for many years, and was held in honor and esteem by his fellow citizens. He married Mary Marvin, the daughter of Aaron Marvin and sister to Caroline Marvin Denham, but no children blessed their union. She died in 1852 and he remained a widower until his death in 1876. In 1861 his brother John, with his family and sister, Mary, came over from England and settled in Illinois. The children of John's family number three boys ; John, Richard Samuel and Thomas Marvin and one daughter, Frances. Richard Samuel was born in Wales in 1845 and when he finished his education he joined his uncle Samuel Sr., in Monticello, where he married Lula Dilworth, reared a family of three boys and two girls and passed away in 1904. John made his home in Louisiana. His sister, Frances, made her home there also with his family, never having married.


Thomas Marvin Puleston was born in London, England, in 1859 and his parents moved to America when he was two years old, making their home in Illinois. He studied law at the University of Illinois and was admitted to the bar in 1879. In the same year he was married to Mary Arnold of Chicago. The lure of the Southern climate and the opportunities offered to young men of his profession attracted hi:n and he first moved to Texas, then in 1882 joined his brother, Samuel and his Aunt Mary Puleston, in Monticello. Here he became an influential citizens, practicing law, gaining the esteem of his fellow man -53- by the uprightness of his character and leaving an enviable record in his pathway through life. He was county judge for twenty-six years, and prominent in affairs connected with the secret orders of the town, and when he passed away in 1910 he was Past Grand Master of the IVIasonic Lodge of the State of Florida. He is survived by his widow, who lives in Sanford with her two remaining daughters, Stella Arrington and Elizabeth Turnbull. Her eldest son, Samuel Puleston, is a prominent and well loved physician of Sanford. Three other children, now dwelling in that "Isle of Somewhere," completed the family.


Charles Thomas Carroll


The earliest citizens of Jefferson County to bear this name was Samuel Carroll, who came to Monticello settling sometime in the early 40's. His former home was in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, and he owned slaves, but, in theory, he was opposed to slavery. Samuel Carroll was a contractor and trained his slaves to be ready for the day of freedom, for he believed that day would come. His negroes were skilled joiners, masons and carpenters and were good citizens. He contracted to build the first brick academy ' and other substantial buildings were the results of his labor and that of his slaves. He was a bachelor, and had no one to be a companion to him in his aging years or to whom he could leave his fortune, so he sent to Virginia for his nephew, Charles Thomas Carroll, who had been left an orphan in his early boyhood, having been born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in 1839. Charles Thomas Carroll was proceeding with his education when the civil war broke out. Interrupted in his studies, he went into that conflict with the fine body of men furnished by Jefferson County. He saw hard service, fighting in the battles and Perryville and Chickamauga and was captured in the battle of Missionary Ridge. He was a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware for the remainder of the conflict. Samuel Carroll died during the war.


Returning to Monticello, Chas. T. Carroll was employed in the mercantile establishment of J. T. Budd, going thence into partnership with J. B. Christie. Later he entered business for himself and built up an extensive patronage, as merchant and cotton buyer. After the war he was married to Frances Weston Partridge, daughter of Rev. John W. and Eliza Partridge. Eight children were born in the course of this happy union, two of whom died in infancy. The home of Joseph Marvin on Bloomer Street was purchased and there the children were reared and Frances Carroll, through her love for flowers and her delight in their culture, surrounded her home with a garden of unusual beauty and taste.


Chas. T. Carroll was very active in the affairs of town, county and church, serving as concilman, county commissioner, a member of the school boad and as treasurer of the Board of Finance of the Florida Methodist Conference. He retired from business and became the owner and editor of the Monticello News. He passed away in August 1903.


Frances Carroll was a woman of power and influence in the Christian world and her life was guided by noble principles and tenets. No one ever applied to her for help, in vain, and very sorely was she missed among the sick and sorrowing ones, for her kindly attentions and comforting words, when ill health robbed her of her power to administer to them. She lived to see her eighty-seventh birthday. Their children, several of whom were prominent citizens of Jefferson, are William W., Mary Frances, deceased, Charles T., Frank W., Edward W., and Roberta G., the latter having married E. E. Atkinson. The second daughter, Mary Frances, married Columbus Smith of Madison and a family of seven children brightened their home before the mother was taken from them.


Benjamin Johnson


Benjamin Johnson, who was a practicing physician as well as planter, engaged in the business of agriculture with great vigor, cultivating the fertile acres of his plantation with the labor of his numerous slaves, and successfully raising large crops of cotton, corn, hay, cane and other , products. He enlarged the Cabell house, building two rooms, and a wide veranda at the front of it, ceiling the walls of the interior, and otherwise changing it into a more comfortable dwelling.


Dr. Johnson's wife was Sarah Johnson, a descendant of Colonel James Johnson of Revolutionary fame, and entered into the task of making a home in Florida with much interest and thoroughness. A woman of intense religious nature, who taught her children the beauty of prayer and the need of right living, she was also a great lover of flowers, and soon had her house set in the midst of a lovely flower garden, which she enriched with rare blossoms of plants procurred from afar. At the front of the house a great heart was outlined with a wonderful variety of flowers. In the lobes of the heart were set choice cedars which reared their feathery tops long after their caretaker had left the earth. Colossal liveoaks and magnolias stood at the sides and rear of the house, and orchards of orange trees stretched away in all directions. The greater part of these orchards was destroyed in the freezes of 1894-5, but a few trees survived the ordeals and lasted into a new century to delight later owners with their rich sweetness.


The personal maid of Sarah Johnson was a negro albino, brought from Virginia when a young girl, and named Jinnie, later known by all as "Muh Jinnie." Her skin was as white as any Caucasian's; her eyes were bright blue, and, like a feline's, especially keen at night; her hair was most abundant and of a snowy whiteness, and she worshiped Sarah Johnson. She possessed a singing voice of rare power and beauty, which, if it had been given to one born to more propitious conditions, might have made her famous. This old albino lived long after her emancipation from slavery, and never left the plantation of Jumpierun, but there, in 1898, surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she died in her cabin home, saying to the last, "lse gwine home to see my ole mistis."


Benjamin Johnson was a staunch member of the Presbyterian Church, holding the position of trustee, and helping to promote the growth of the organization. He remained on the plantation with his family until the educational needs of his children forced him to purchase the home of A. B. Grunwell, editor of the Monticello Advertiser, and move into town.


The older boys continued to help in the work of the plantation until they had finished in the schools of Monticello, when they were sent to a college in North Carolina. Dr. Benjamin Johnson died in 1856, and thereafter the whole care of the plantation delved upon the two older sons, William and George, Benjamin Jr. was attending Davidson College in North Carolina, and but one son, Robert, remained at home. The latter had a congenital weakness of foot and limb, and was unable to attend school regularly or perform much labor, his education being a matter of home study. The daughter, Julia, had married and gone to live elsewhere, thus depriving the mother of the comfort and support of her presence, during the time of sorrow.


When Civil War came, Sarah Johnson gave three of her sons to fight for the South. One of them returned alive, but George was buried upon a distant battlefield, and William, killed in action near Dallas, Georgia in 1864, was brought home and laid beside his father in that sacred place which is called "God's Acre."


Benjamin Jr. alone, remained to be the solace and support of his mother, and the help and friend of his crippled brother. He took up the study of pharmacy, and after graduation, opened a drug store in partnership with "Tinny" Tucker, which stood on the opposite side of the street and across from the location where he later constructed a brick building of his own.


Sarah Johnson entered into rest in the year 1879, and in 1880, Benjamin Jr. brought Emma Mills, as a bride, to his mother's home. Two children blessed this marriage, J. Robert and Mary Oakley, the first named growing in time, to be his father's partner, and continuing the business after the death of the elder Johnson in 1906.


Jumper Run plantation was sold to John Sheratt, then to R. J. Wemyss of New York City, who changed its name to Jumpierun. In 1898, Jumpierun plantation was put under a system of intensive cultivation, with experimental efforts made in other than the usual agricultural lines, which brought it to the apex of its existence as one of Jefferson county's large farms. New ground was cleared and placed under cultivation, old land was terraced where necessary, old fields, were rehabilitated, fertilized and planted to corn, cotton, cane, oats, wheat, alfalfa, or varieties of grass for hay, and the first experiments in tobacco raising in Jefferson county began.

This latter industry was carried on extensively, many acres of shade and sun tobacco continuing to be grown for several years. Large drying barns were built, a commodious packing plant established in Monticello, and a Sumatra expert placed in charge of all.


The largest syrup making plant in Florida was installed, and an especially fine product placed upon the market. Large pecan nurseries were brought into existence with side lines of roses, flowering shrubs and fruit trees.


A choice dairy of pure bred Jersey and Guernsey cattle furnished the finest milk and highest grade butter ever produced in the county. Large barns were built as needed, and an experimental dam and lake constructed, which had a water supply from the Cool Springs and was pumped by a large iron ram to cedarwood reservoirs. This latter project proving a failure, owing to water contamination', a deep driven well was put down at headquarters, and, from elevated tanks, water was carried to the farm residence, tenant houses, barns and barn yard~, chicken and hog enclosures, flower gardens, and all of the to- ' bacco acreages and seed beds. A system of overhead irrigation was also installed in the vegetable gardens, insuring a supply of fresh vegetables during the entire year.


An acetylene gas plant furnished light to buildings and yards, with electric attachments for lighting, thus obviating fire risks.


Latest improved machinery was introduced in the varied industries of the plantation, and steam or electric power used for the pumping of water, sawing of wood, grinding of cane and other tasks. The methods used and results obtained in the various farm departments were always unhesitatingly explained to visitors seeking knowledge and Jumpierun gradually came to be regarded as a bureau of information and source of help to other plantation owners who were desirous of engaging in unfamiliar undertakings or introducing innovations into projects in which they were already engaged.


The owner of the plantation at this period was Herbert A. Barrows, who was born and raised near Chicago, Illinois, and who, until he purchased his southern plantation had always been engaged in mercantile business. His wife and one son accompanied him to Florida~ another son being born at Jumpierun.


The place is now a part of the Albert Foster estate.



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