HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Early Residents of Pasco County
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DR. JOHN BURKE EARMAN (b. Aug. 11, 1887) is mentioned as “a prominent dentist of Dade City” in a 1912 newspaper. He later practiced in West Palm Beach.
LOUIS MICHAEL ECK (1872-1934) was a building contractor in Dade City. He was born in Seneca Falls, N. Y. In 1893 he married Alma Scotney of Waterloo, N. Y. As a young man, Mr. Eck was a brass moulder for the Rumsey Manufacturing Co. of Seneca Falls. In 1910 he and his wife came to Dade City with Mr. Eck’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Eck. They moved south because of the elder Mr. Eck’s health. They soon purchased a home here and Mr. Eck became engaged in the contracting and cement business. The Dade City high school building completed in 1913 was constructed by the L. M. Eck Co.
LAMARCUS EDWARDS (1870-1948). His obituary follows:
LaMarcus Colquit Edwards, 78, president of Pasco Packing Company until his retirement three years ago, and whose ability, endeavor and extensive knowledge of the citrus industry did much toward making it the largest processing plant in the world, died in his sleep Tuesday night, July 6, in Canton, N. C., where he had gone to spend the summer, accompanied by his friend, George Moorehead. Connected with the citrus business in Florida for more than 40 years, he was widely known throughout the state. He served as president of the Florida Citrus Exchange during 1924 and 1925 and was a founder of the Tampa Union Terminal, now Gulf Florida Terminal.
LEVI DANIEL EILAND JR. (1822-1912) was born on Mar. 22, 1822. In about 1825 married Polly Pippet (d. 1852 in Alabama). According to Hendley, “We had two water mills that ground our meal and grits. One of these mills was located a little south of Chipco—now called Blanton. The other was farther south near the J. W. Hudson farm. Levi Eiland built these two mills in 1874 and 1875.” Levi Eiland is shown as a blacksmith in Fort Dade in the Florida Gazetteer and Business Directory (1886-87). He died on May 12, 1912, and is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery. Children:
LEVI DANIEL EILAND (1877-1967) was the first postmaster of the Elfers post office when it was established on Dec. 14, 1909. He was born in Dade City on July 7, 1877. In the 1900 census he is shown as a boarder living in Jasper, Florida, although he is said to have founded the Jasper Normal School. He was the principal of the Tampa Grammar School in 1903 when he married his wife, who chose the name Elfers for the post office (see the entry below). He is shown as living in Suwannee county in the 1917 military registration index. A 1922 newspaper article (unseen) reported that Dan Eiland was planting a five acre tract at Seven Springs, in early vegetables, and that his friends in Elfers have missed him since he moved to Seven Springs and they wish him success with his venture. In the 1930 census he is shown as a farmer and his wife is shown as a teacher, both living in Odessa. He died Jan. 4, 1967, in Gainesville, where he and his wife are buried.
FRIEDA MARIE (BOLLING) EILAND (1884-1981) chose the name "Elfers" for the post office which was established on Dec. 14, 1909, apparently naming it for her grandfather, whose last name was Elfers. A postal history source lists her husband Levi Daniel Eiland as the first postmaster of Elfers, but in a 2001 letter, Elizabeth "Beth" Eiland Bedenbaugh, a daughter, wrote: "My mom was the post mistress (my dad was occupied with a job with J. M. Mitchell there in Elfers). The post office was new and mom was asked to give the town and post office a name. She chose Elfers because that was her mother’s maiden name." In a 1961 article about Rev. Marvin J. Eiland, a son of Frieda, John Parkes wrote, "The town of Elfers was named for Rev. Eiland’s great-grandfather." In an April 1978 interview, Mrs. J. M. Mitchell recalled that Mrs. Frieda Eiland named the post office for "a dear uncle of hers whose last name was Elfers." (This is probably not correct.) Mrs. Mitchell recalled, for West Pasco’s Heritage, that a post office was set up in one corner of Mitchell’s grocery store and that Rev. Mitchell’s niece, Frieda Eiland, was engaged to run the postal department. Frieda Marie Bolling was born July 24, 1884, in Louisville, Ky. After the death of her father in 1889, she moved with her mother and a brother to Apopka, Florida. On July 29, 1903, she married Levi Daniel Eiland at the home of her mother in Apopka. She died on Sept. 19, 1981, in Deland. The father of Frieda Marie Bolling was Gottlieb Frederick Bolling, who died in 1889. The maiden name of the mother of Frieda Marie Bolling was Maria Elfers; she died in Tampa in 1915. [Jon James and Terri Allen provided information for this and the preceding entry.]
WILLIAM JOHN ELLSWORTH (1865-1942) was a prominent citrus grower and President of the Dade City Citrus Growers' Association. He also represented Pasco County in the state legislature in 1921. He moved with his parents to Dutchess County, New York, at an early age and was reared on a farm. At age 16 he became interested in working for a railroad. A station in Floral Park, N. Y., brought him in contact with W. N. Pike. Their mutual interest in flowers resulted in a partnership. They came to Florida in 1887 and settled two miles west of Blanton, establishing the floral firm of Pike and Ellsworth, and named their place Jessamine Gardens. He was born in Kent, Conn. He died at his home near Blanton. [Information from his obituary.]
HUGH COOPER EMBRY (1879-1907). The web site of the Friends of the Hugh Embry Library has:
Hugh Embry was born in 1879 in Kentucky, the child of tobacco farmers. He was nineteen when his family moved from Kentucky to Dade City in 1897. Tobacco could be grown in central Florida then. He and his six brothers and one sister made themselves at home in Pasco County. In 1904, when 25-year old Hugh was recuperating from an illness, there was no public library in Dade City. Restless and eager to read, he began a drive to secure for his fellow citizens the means to broaden their minds through books. He began soliciting subscriptions of one dollar from each household, and his zeal inspired enthusiasm for a library. A few dozen books were purchased and were lent to subscribers from a library operated out of the Embry home, located on the site of the present US Post Office on Church Avenue. In December of 1905 the Pasco County Library Association was chartered and incorporated. It operated out of the back room of the Bank of Pasco County on the northeast corner of 7th Street and Meridian. That library flourished for several years. Tuberculosis was a ruthless disease in those early years, and it claimed the life of Hugh Embry at the age of 28.On Apr. 13, 1907, the Hopkinsville Kentuckian reported:
Information was received here Thursday of the death of Mr. Hugh Embry at Dade City, Fla., which occurred about ten days since. The deceased was a native of this county, being a son of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Embry. His death was due to consumption. He was only 27 years of age and was a most excellent Christian character, and during his long illness never complained, and just before breathing his last he called his mother to his side and said: “Mother the time has come for me to leave you and I have no fear of death.” The burial took place at Dade City.