HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Early Residents of Pasco County
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Dr. THOMAS FRED JACKSON (1888-1934), a physician and surgeon, came to Dade City in 1919 and established a medical practice. To take care of patients who needed hospital treatment, he first fitted rooms adjoining his office in the Touchton Building. When added space and equipment were needed, he obtained a building on Church St. When that facility became inadequate, he established an emergency hospital building on Howard St. in 1926. His wife was Loral McHan Jackson (1889-1974). Their children were Virginia Jane, Thomas Fred Jr., Martha Anne, and McHan Fischer.
WALTER K. JAHN (1882-1957) wintered in New Port Richey, where he built a Japanese-styled home called Nikko Nook. Jahn owned the W. K. Jahn Co., leading chemists and importers of Chicago and New York. A 1917 newspaper article, reporting on his plans to build the home, reported, “He will dredge a small canal through a portion of his land, making a small island which will be used for a tea house and recreation grounds, connected with mainland by quaint Japanese bridges. An open-air pavilion and observatory is being built on top of his home from which a magnificent view will be obtained of land and sea in all directions. It will be the most attractive place in South Florida when completed, and being on the Dixie highway will be one of the show places of this section. No expense will be spared to carry out the idea of transporting Japan to New Port Richey, including the building, the grounds, the trees and vines, tapestries and bric-a-brac—even some of the woods used in the interior decorations will be imported from Japan, while Japanese servants in native dress will serve both in the house and on the grounds.” The home was destroyed by fire in 1922, when a gas stove exploded. Jahn was born on Feb. 20, 1882, and died in Los Angeles on July 21, 1957. Some pictures of his home are here.
Capt. HOWARD B. JEFFRIES (1843-1936) founded Zephyrhills as a retirement area for old union soldiers. He was born in Lafayette, Indiana, on April 17, 1843. During the Civil War he enlisted and served as a private for four years and six months. For two years he was a captain, in command of his regiment when the war ended. In December 1863, Lt. Jeffries, then in Company E. Pennsylvania Cavalry, married Helen Mar (b. Dec. 6, 1847, Carbondale, Pa.; d. Feb. 23, 1931, at Zephyrhills). After the war he devoted himself to newspaper and other literary work. In 1908 he saw an advertisement in the National Tribune by James L. Greer offering land for sale in Florida. He came here in December 28, 1909, accompanied by his wife and their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Moore, and purchased 35,000 acres at Abbott Station. Mrs. Moore was business manager of the Zephyrhills Colony Co., which was formed by January 1910. In 1910 the name of the Abbott Station post office was changed to Zephyrhills. In 1920 H. B. Jeffries was commander of the Florida Department of the G. A. R. A son, Dr. (illegible) M. Jeffries, was living in New York City in 1931.
DR. JACKSON C. JOHNSON (died, Nov. 14, 2010, age 88) was born in High Springs, Florida. He attended the University of Florida. During World War II, he served as a navigator on a B24 in the European Theater. He was shot down over Germany and spent 11 months as a POW in Germany. He was the only crew member to bail out, as after he jumped, the pilot reassessed the situation and decided to continue on, and the rest of the crew returned safely. In 1950 he came to Dade City, having just graduated from dental school at Emory University. He was a dentist in Dade City for 40 years. He was married for 63 years to his wife Mary Ingram Johnson, who survives him. A son, Jackson (Buff) Johnson, Jr., was Principal of Pasco High School from 1995 to 1999. [Information from his obituary and from Norman Carey.]
Capt. JOHN B. JOHNSTON (1841-1922) was born in Fort Gaines, Ga. He was a confederate officer the Civil War and was wounded twice. He came to Florida in 1883, settling in Alachua County, where he started a newspaper. He later moved to Dade City, where he established the Pasco County Democrat in 1887. He represented Pasco County in the state legislature for three terms. In 1895 he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. He served two terms as Mayor of Dade City and was later editor of the Courier-Informant of Bartow. [A 2007 newspaper article reported that he became speaker in 1893.]
MATTHEW JONES (1819-1879) fought in the Seminole War and fought for the Union in the Civil War. For a number of years he lived in Pasco County, where he carried on extensive operations as an agriculturist. He died in Dade City. He was a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Jones married Emily Jackson (d. 1880, near Dade City). Children:
THOMAS J. JONES (b. 1871), a son of Matthew Jones, grew up on a farm near Dade City. Because his parents died when he was young, his education was cut short and at age 14 he went to Tampa and learned the cigar-making business, working there for three years. His next location was San Antonio, where he entered the railway station and learned the art of telegraphy. He followed this line of work with the Orange Belt Railway until 1890, when he joined the Florida East Coast Railway; he remained with that system for six years. He was then with the Plant system, working as a telegrapher and a rate. On Dec. 7, 1898, Jones married Electa Carlin in Tampa. He then moved to Pittsburgh and Huntington, W. Va. [Information from The History of West Virginia, Old and New (1923).]