HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Early Residents of Pasco County
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EVERETT ERNEST VAHEY (1867-1939) was born in Arkona, Bosanquet Township, Lambton County, Ontario, to William and Catherine (Cutler) Vahey. Everett’s paternal grandparents were Irish Protestant immigrants who left County Armagh to come to Upper Canada (later known as Ontario) in 1836. The Vahey family left the Lambton County to settled in Bridgeburg (now known as Fort Erie) in Bertie Township, Ontario, sometime before the 1881 census of the province. Ernest was the first mayor of Arkona and a pioneer merchant. He received his pharmacy training at the University of Buffalo, where he met Leonora W. Wright (b., New York State, 1870; d., Winter Haven, 1956), whom he married in 1895. The couple did not have any children of their own, but adopted a daughter, Wilma, q.v. After the couple came to the United States, possibly around 1902, he worked as a pharmacist in various drug stores. He went into business in Port Huron, Michigan, and remained there for ten years. According to a biographical sketch in the New Port Richey Press, in 1912 he came to Florida and bought a small property near Ozona, and set out ten acres to grapefruit and orange trees. The 1920 census shows Everett lodging in Tampa City and working as a pharmacist. In 1920 the family moved to Virginia, where Mr. Vahey went into the fruit and poultry business. In 1926 they returned to Florida, moving first to St. Petersburg, and then to New Port Richey in 1927. In New Port Richey he owned and operated Vahey’s Drug Store. Vahey died July 30, 1939, in Dunedin. After his death the business was sold to Roscoe Henderson. Leonora died at her daughter’s home in Winter Haven in 1956. [Contributed by Tim Lowrey]
WILMA JOY CLARK VAHEY (1906-1961), the adopted daughter of Ernest and Leonora Vahey, taught at the Hudson School and at Pierce Grammar School in New Port Richey in the late 1920s and early 1930s. She married Wilson Belanger and was the mother of two children. She and her parents are buried in Pine Hill Cemetery.
JOSEPH DEWITT VEREEN (1819-1886) and his wife Susan Ann Duett (1830-1886) came to Fivay around 1883. They came with their daughter Susan (or Sussanah) Dewitt Vereen (1846-1918) and son-in-law Abraham Melton Bellamy (1841-1891). Joseph Dewitt Vereen was born in Horry County, South Carolina, and fought in the Civil War.
Dr. ISAAC N. VICKERS (1860-1944) was Mayor of New Port Richey in 1938. He came here from Madisonville, Ky., where he had a dental practice. He turned his home on the Boulevard in New Port Richey into the Kentucky Inn. His obituary indicated that he had lived here for 25 years. He was married to Goldie C. Vickers (1879-1936). Their son was James W. Vickers.