HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY

Lacoochee


Meet the Staff

This article is taken from the East Pasco Historical Society web site, which is scheduled to close in 2017. Its creators have given me permission to add the content from the EPHS web site to the fivay.org web site.

Some of you who have visited our web site might have asked, “Who are these three people who have the audacity to call themselves East Pasco Historical Society?”

We’re people like many of you who grew up or lived in East Pasco County and are interested in preserving the early history and memories of that time and place.

Nell Moody (Woodcock) was born in Baxley, GA in 1926 and came to Lacoochee as an infant when her father worked at the Cummer Sons Cypress Company’s Crate Mill. She attended schools in Lacoochee and Dade City and graduated from Pasco High School in 1944. Nell worked in the Cummer payroll office until she was assigned to work with Bill McKinstry, superintendent of the company’s survey and logging departments. After Cummer, Nell worked with the Larkin & Larkin law firm in Dade City before becoming a regional staff reporter for the Tampa Tribune.

In 1946 Nell married Roddy Woodcock, a Dade City jeweler and band leader. They lived in Dade City several years then moved to an island on Mud River located near Bay Port in Hernando County. Roddy, an avid fisherman, died in 1990 and Nell still lives at Mud River. She works with an attorney in New Port Richey.

Nell has had a lifelong passion for Lacoochee and its people and has collected facts and fiction relating to the area for many years with the intent of eventually transferring these stories and memories into a book.

Theresa “Terri” Osbron Smith was born in Trilby in 1938. She grew up in Trilacoochee and attended schools in Trilby and Dade City. Terri graduated from Pasco High School in 1955. Terri’s family came to the Trilby area in the late 1800’s. Her great-grandfather was a preacher who served churches in Trilby, Clay Sink, Lacoochee and Wesley Chapel. Her grandfather taught school in Trilby, Clay Sink, Darby and adjacent counties. He also served as principal at the Trilby school. In 1914 he was appointed Postmaster in Trilby.

Terri worked at the Commissary, the company store in Lacoochee, in 1955-56. In 1958 Terri married Frank Smith who grew up in Hernando County where his family settled in the mid 1800’s. Terri and Frank lived in Lacoochee and Dade City and moved to Brooksville in 1965. Terri worked at a Savings & Loan in Brooksville and later with a Data Processing Center in Tampa. She and Frank are both retired now and still live in Brooksville. Terri has family in East Pasco.

J. W. Hunnicutt was born in Lacoochee in 1937. His mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all born in Lacoochee. His great-great-grandparents came to Lacoochee from Thomasville, GA in 1872. J.W.’s father came to Lacoochee from south Georgia in the 1920’s and worked at the Cummer Planing Mill for more than thirty years. J.W. attended schools in Lacoochee and Dade City and graduated from Pasco High School in 1955. In 1957 he married Gloria Baldwin, also a Lacoochee native, and they settled in Tampa after he was discharged from the Navy in 1959. J.W. is retired from First National Bank of Tampa. He and Gloria have family living in East Pasco.

HOW EPHS WAS CONCEIVED

In September 2009 Nell and Terri attended the annual Lacoochee Reunion in Dade City. Nell was impressed by the content and detail of Terri’s family albums covering their lives in East Pasco. Nell asked Terri to join her in her quest to collect stories from current and former East Pasco residents.

In January 2010 J.W.’s sister, Kathryn Hunnicutt Newsome, suggested Nell contact J.W. as a source for some Lacoochee memories. When Nell called J.W. and spoke with him about her project J.W. readily agreed to join her and Terri in collecting information about former East Pasco residents

At the Lacoochee Reunion in 2010 Terri told Nell and J.W. that she was enrolled in a computer class and her instructor had given her an assignment to create a web site. Since so much of Terri’s time and energy was devoted to the East Pasco project, she developed a mock web site based on that. She had printed out copies of what she had done so far and all three agreed to go for it. East Pasco Historical Society was chosen for the name because it is inclusive of all of our initially targeted communities: Lacoochee, Trilby, Trilacoochee and Clay Sink. It also allows flexibility to expand to other communities as appropriate.

The web site was activated in December 2010 and many of you know the rest of the story.

A version of this was presented at the March 18, 2011, meeting of the Pasco Historical Society in Dade City by EPHS member, J. W. Hunnicutt. We, EPHS, were invited to present our members and purpose to that group.

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