The Timeline

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					                        HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY

                                The Timeline
Sources: Bellwood refers to Tales of West Pasco (1962) by Ralph Bellwood. Ash refers
to Florida Cracker Days in West Pasco County 1830-1982 (1984-5) by Pauline
Stevenson Ash. WPH refers to West Pasco's Heritage (1974) by the West Pasco
Historical Society. Historic Places refers to The Historic Places of Pasco County (1992)
by James J. Horgan, Alice F. Hall, and Edward J. Herrmann. Avery refers to The Genesis
of New Port Richey (1924) by Elroy M. Avery. Stanaback refers to A History of
Hernando County 1840-1976 by Richard J. Stanaback. MacManus refers to Citrus,
Sawmills, Critters, & Crackers: Life in Early Lutz and Central Pasco County by
Elizabeth Riegler MacManus and Susan A. MacManus. Hendley refers to History of
Pasco County (1943) by Jefferson Alexis Hendley. Stoughton refers to Tarpon Springs
Florida - The Early Years (1975) by Gertrude K. Stoughton.
This page was last revised on June 3, 2007.

About 900 to 1500. Native Americans known as the Tocobaga Indians live in small
villages at the northern end of Tampa Bay.
1528. Panfilo de Narvaez lands on the shores of Old Tampa Bay and marches northward
through what is now Pasco County. He learned that the local Indians were called the
1825. Fort King Road is cleared. [It was completed in 1826. This military trail connected
Fort Brooke (Tampa) to Fort King (Ocala).]
Dec. 23, 1836. Construction begins on the fort that would become Fort Dade, at the
intersection of Fort King Road and the Withlacoochee River, near present day
Mar. 6, 1837. At Fort Dade General Thomas S. Jesup and five Seminole chiefs and
representatives sign the capitulation in which the Seminoles agreed to emigrate.
Dec. 14, 1837. Lt. Thomas Boylston Adams dies of typhoid fever at Fort Dade, at age 28.
He served in the Seminole War.
1839. Fort Dade is abandoned.
About 1842. Thomas R. Tucker (1798-1865) and Sarah Tucker (1788- 1855) settle in
Pasco County. [He planted the county's first orange grove in 1845. The area was called
Tuckertown, and later Richland. The earliest marker at the Tucker Cemetery in Richland
is that of Sarah Tucker.]
1842. Jacob Wells arrives from Madison County and builds a home near Riggs Hammock
on what originally was Handcart Road, now Prospect Road. A community developed
there called Prospect.
Aug. 4, 1842. The Armed Occupation Act is signed into law.
Dec. 20, 1842. James Gibbons is issued a permit for 160 acres in S 27, T 24, R21, in what
would become Dade City. [Information from a deed dated Dec. 1, 1849, conveying the
property to Gibbons' heirs.]
Jan. 2, 1845. The Fort Dade post office is established. [James Gibbons was the first
postmaster. He kept the post office in his home, on the site of the Dade City Business
Center, formerly Lykes-Pasco Packing Co. Gibbons subsequently died, and William D.
Spencer was appointed on Jan. 31, 1845. He was followed by Clement Tyner in 1848 and
Capt. William Kendrick in 1849. Information from A History of Zephyrhills 1821- 1921.
The Fort Dade post office was abandoned and re-established several times.]
1849. The Army rebuilds Fort Dade west of the current location of Dade City.
About 1850. Capt. John Townsend builds a log cabin about 14 miles northwest of what is
now Dade City. [Townsend donated the home in 1856 for use as a Methodist Church.
1852. A man named Walter Lowe goes in the schooner Chestnut to Anclote Key and in
several days secures a cargo of sponges. They brought such a profit that other men
embarked in the business. This might be considered the birth of the sponge industry of
Florida. [From an 1892 newspaper article.]
Aug. 20, 1853. A post office is established at Cedar Tree. [James Bates is appointed the
first postmaster.]
About 1855. A bridge is constructed across the Withlacoochee River. [According to a
historical marker, it was constructed by the slaves of James Lanier. In 1855 Lanier
patented property at what is now Socrum in Polk County; the bridge may have been built
to facilitate his move to Polk County and for shipment of his produce.]
May 14, 1856. Seminoles besiege the isolated cabin of Capt. Robert Bradley and his
family near Darby. Two of his children were killed.
1859. The Florida map accompanying the 1859 annual report of the Surveyor General
shows Pittitochoscolee, where New Port Richey is now located. [An 1875 U. S.
government publication listing post roads has: “From Monticello, by Beaseley, Fort
Andrew, Fort Hulburt, Fort Frank Brooke, Clay Landing, Wakasassa, Wekevia, Fort
Clinch, Homasassa, Augusta, Spring Hill, Pittitochoscolee, to Fort Harrison.” In 1876,
Florida: Its Scenery, Climate, and History has: “PITTITOCHOSCOLEE—Settlement in
Hernando County, on the Gulf Coast, a short distance above Anclote River.”]
1859. A post office directory shows post offices at Cedar Tree, Fort Dade, and Fort
Dec. 7, 1859. Maj. John Parsons receives a deed for a homestead in S1 T24 R16, in
1860s. During the Civil War, saltworks were in operation at the Salt Springs, just north of
Port Richey. According to Wilfred T. Neill, 200 men were employed in the operation;
this claim is disputed.
Dec. 1863. According to Rev. Capt. Leroy G. Lesley: Tampa’s Fighting Parson, by
Spessard Stone, “In December 1863, [Lesley] and his neighbor David Hope were
engaged in the production of salt, twenty- five miles southwest of Brooksville. 'Hope,
Leslie & Ryals' advertised salt for $10 per bushel and that they'd give $5.00 per bushel
for corn, or give one bushel of salt for two of corn. On January 16, 1864, 'Hope & Leslie'
gave notice that they would sell their stock of 800 head of cattle, more or less, for
$20,000; also for $8,000 their salt works, producing 10 to 15 bushels per day. In 1864 L.
G. Lesley was taxed on 200 acres, valued at $500, with $500 in improvements, 10 slaves
assessed at $10,000, for which he paid $71.84 in county taxes and $35.92 in state taxes.
In 1866 he was taxed on 200 acres.” [At this time, neither Lesley nor Hope lived in what
is now Pasco County.]
About 1866. Peter Karr Baillie and his wife leave Georgia for Florida and build a home
at what is now called Bailey's Bluff. Ash gives the dates 1864 and 1867.
1867. Frederick Meyer and Franklin B. Meyer, brothers, build log cabins about 100 yards
west of the present Anclote Cemetery, thus founding the community of Anclote.
1868. According to Hendley: “Hudson. The first settlers that we have any record of
settled there in 1868, Mr. Worley, Jess Hay, William Hay, and Joseph Hay. Later on W.
D. Frierson, Bill Lang, William Bailey, Bill Tillet and Crocket Whiden, Sam Stevenson,
Bud Stevenson, Allen Hill and Malcolm Hill, Hill House and J. W. Hudson made a
scattering settlement along the coast.” [According to F. C. Mallett, Malcolm Hill settled
on what is now Massachusetts Avenue.]
May 25, 1869. According to a genealogy web site, Nancy Jane Branch is born at Hudson.
[Web sites indicate she was a daughter of John Laurence Branch and Eliza Wilder, and
that she married Reuben Y. Walden. The place name Hudson was not yet in use at this
About 1870. Dr. James G. Wallace (1836-1911), comes to Pasco County, the first
medical doctor in the county, according to William Dayton. [In 1884, John Ward Hill
(died, 1916, in St. Petersburg), a pioneer doctor in Pasco County, began a practice at
Chipco. Hendley wrote, “Dr. G. B. Roberts. Dr. J. G. Wallace, Dr. C. T. Seay, and Dr.
Alexander attended to the health of the country at large.” The Florida State Gazetteer
and Business Directory for 1886-87 lists W. W. Cochran and W. F. Alexander as
physicians in Fort Dade and A. F. Newkirk as a physician in Blanton. The first
established doctors in Dade City are said to be R. D. Sistrunk and John T. Bradshaw.]
Jan. 10, 1870. Benjamin H. Gaines marries Rosannah C. Baillie in Anclote. [Information
from Carl Gause.]
Mar. 9, 1870. The Florida Peninsular reports:
SUPPOSED MURDER.—A dangerous character by the name of James Gibson is supposed
to have been killed near the Ft. Dade settlement on the 19th ult., by Jack Osborn and
Charles Wells, two young men of that vicinity. It appears that Gibson was eloping with a
sister of Mr. Osborn, and he was pursued by Osborn and Wells for the purpose of
rescuing the girl from his hands and carry her to her parents. On overtaking them
resistance was offered by Gibson, whereupon the pursuing party fired upon him and it is
supposed killed him, as nothing has been seen or heard of him since that time. The
authorities are making a vigorous search, and at last accounts were dragging a lake where
the body was supposed to have been thrown. Miss Osborn has returned to her parents, but
no facts can be elicited from her as to the murder. Osborn and Wells have left the
country. When we hear the full particulars of the affair, we will give them to our readers.
May 11, 1870. The Florida Peninsular reports, “Mr. E. Bettman and Capt. F. Worth have
opened a store at Tuckertown, in Hernando County.”
Sept. 28, 1870. The Florida Peninsular reports a political rally at Fort Dade featured
speakers T. S. Coogler, colored, John A. Henderson, Capt. F. Lykes, F. E. Saxon.
1872. James Washington Clark Sr. and some of his friends settle at the mouth of the
Pithlachascotee River, according to Frances Clark Mallett. [According to Avery he settled
there in 1874.]
1872. Newton A. Carter, Wright W. Williamson, a Mr. Strickland, and a Mr. Lyons build
the Mount Zion Methodist Church in Dade City, according to a 1920 article in the Dade
City Banner. [On June 19, 1879, the Sunland Tribune mentions in its Fort Dade news
column Mt. Zion Methodist Church with Rev. Pander, pastor.]
About 1872. According to Hendley:
About the year of 1872 a post office was established at Fort Dade and Henry Ryals, the
father of the late Rev. Henry Ryals, was appointed postmaster. He lived south of Lake
Pasadena and kept the post office at his home. He had a cabinet made of cypress by a
cabinet maker in Tampa, in which he kept the belonging of the post office. Jasper Carter
now has the old cabinet at his home in Dade City. Mr. Ryals gave up the office after a
time and it floated about the country just where anyone would have it, as it did not pay
more than about $10.00 a year commissions. It was at one time kept by a school teacher
at the school house near Indian Lake, and as mail came only on Saturdays from
Brooksville on horse back, the teacher would meet the mail man and those who were
looking for mail, and open the pouch and deliver the mail to them, put the balance in his
pocket and take it home with him. After that R. M. Wilson, who had a store near the
present ice plant, was postmaster for a time, but turned it down because the government
wanted a report each three months and he thought once a year was enough. Then Mr. N.
A. Carter took it and kept it in his home for several years, and then in his store, until he
sold his store to Marshall and Sumner in 1883, Mr. R. J. Marshall becoming postmaster.
In 1885 Mr. Carter was appointed assignee for the firm of Marshall and Sumner, and
Jasper C. Carter was appointed acting postmaster. Dade City was granted a post office
about this time, and as business of the section moved to Dade City after railroads came,
the Fort Dade post office was abandoned about 1889.
1874-75. Two water mills used to grind meal are constructed by Levi Eiland. One was
south of Chipco and the other was near the farm of J. W. Hudson [Stanaback].
1875. A grist mill built by Jack Howell and Levi Eiland goes into operation at Chipco.
Oct. 5, 1876. A post office is established at Tuckertown. [It was renamed Richland on
July 17, 1886.]
Jan. 8, 1876. Rev. John W. Wells begins serving as pastor of the newly organized Union
Church, according to a local church register. This church is believed to be the first Baptist
church in western Pasco county.
Dec. 22, 1877. The Sunland Tribune reports, “Mr. John Geiger, living in the lower part of
Hernando county near the county line between that county and Hillsborough was killed
on the night of the 18th inst.”
Late 1877 or early 1878. The Isaac W. Hudson family moves to what is now the site of
Hudson, building a home near a large spring. He was advised by his doctor to move to
the Gulf coast, hoping that the salt air would help his bronchial ailment. (Isaac W.
Hudson Jr., who was born on Nov. 17, 1870, said he was a little over seven years old
when they arrived. Apparently in 1978, the Florida legislature proclaimed April 28 to be
Hudson Founder's Day, based on the approximate date April 28, 1878, on which Isaac
Hudson settled here. According to Webb's Historical, Industrial and Biographical
Florida (1885), the family settled there on Feb. 5, 1879.)
1878. The Hudson Cemetery is established with the first burial that of Ida Melissa
Hudson, the daughter of Isaac W. and Amanda Hudson, according to Historic Places.
1878. The Enterprise Church is built. [It was moved to the Pioneer Florida Museum in
1977. A sign on the church lists the charter members as: Bishop D. S. Legget, P. E. W.
[illegible] Jordan, Robert Sumner, Jane Sumner, David H. Thrasher, J. Cary Sumner,
Mary [illegible] Sumner, Willie Thrasher, James Shearer, Jane Shearer, F. A. Barnes,
Mary Clement, Elizabeth Tucker, W. H. Parker [illegible].]
June 2, 1878. Double Branch Baptist Church is constituted. [Twenty-four adults became
charter members. The name came from two branches of water converging nearby. The
church met at Magic Lake off Elam Road near Holton Cemetery. On Jan. 27, 1890, Jane
Godwin deeded two acres on State Road 54 to the Church. The Church and Cemetery are
still located at this site. In 1895 a new church was constructed. In 1999 the name was
changed to First Baptist Church of Wesley Chapel. Information from the web site of the
Sept. 10, 1878. The Anclote post office is established, with William A. Cobb as
postmaster. [Later, according to History of Tarpon Springs by Robert Franklin Pent, “Mr.
Morrish, an Englishman, moved in with his family and became the grocer and
postmaster, Mr. Craver having moved out.”]
Dec. 2, 1878. The Hopeville post office is established. [The post office closed on Nov.
22, 1881. According to a postal history book, the only postmaster was James Washington
Clark. However, J. B. or J. W. Hudson, as quoted in Hendley, wrote that the Hopeville
post office was “out east of Port Richey at old man Worley's place.” In a 1952 newspaper
interview, Isaac W. Hudson Jr. recalled that one of his earliest tasks was to ride
horseback after mail every Sunday, inland some seven miles to Worley Prairie, which he
believed was approximately the site of Moon Lake ranch, and where the mail was
brought weekly by horse and buggy from Brooksville to the postmaster, old Mr. Worley,
who lived there alone. These trips ended when the Hudson post office was established.
The application for the Hopeville post office gives the location as NW 1/4 S33 T25 R16,
1/2 mile south of Dead Cypress Creek and 2 miles north of the Pithlachascotee River.
The contractor's name is given as James O. Brown. Frances Clark Mallett writes,
“Although there are almost no written records on the early history of Port Richey and
Hopeville area, oral history passed down through old-time residents and descendants,
indicates that Hopeville was settled in the mid 1800's. It once was the site of a salt works
that supplied local residents and the Confederate Army. ... David and Henry Hope, two
early settlers of the Chicuchatta (Brooksville) settlement, were two of the Hopes who
established the tiny community of Hopeville at the salt springs.]
Jan. 16, 1879. The state House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution
asking for a lighthouse at Anclote Key. The measure was promoted by Samuel Hope.
Feb. 10, 1879. A post office is established at Pleasant Plains. [The postmistress was Anna
Weckter. It closed on Sept. 17 of the same year.]
June 19, 1879. The Sunland Tribune has:
                                    Fort Dade Items.
RELIGIOUS.—Missionary Baptist, Parson Bell, of Brooksville, pastor, Oak Grove church.
Service on Saturday before and first Sunday in every month.
Methodist Parson Parker, Ct. preacher, service at Mt. Zion on Saturday before and 2nd
Sabbath in each month, at Fort Broom in the evening after Mt. Zion. The Ct. preacher
assisted by Parson Barns.
CROPS—Corn is good, although damaged 20 per cent by the dry weather. Oats generally
turned out well. Cotton is very good, in fact the farmers wear cheerful faces.
SCHOOL.—Ft. Broom—John Raymond, teacher, today closed his first session. He will
open for the balance of the year on Monday week. He closed by giving a public
examination, and in order to contribute to the occasion, the patrons and friends furnished
a “fish fry picnic dinner.” I am unable to name it, but will tell you what I saw and heard.
In the first place everybody came and “mammy” (?) with them. Examination opened by
prayer by Parson Barns, followed with the answering of questions by the students, that
gave entire satisfaction to all concerned. ...
[The Dade City Cemetery historic marker reads: “Oak Grove Baptist Church and
Cemetery were established here in the early 1870s by Rev. R. E. Bell. Church minutes of
1877 describe the location as 'Oak Grove, Florida.' By 1886 it was referred to as 'Dade
City Baptist Church.' In the early 1890s, the congregation transferred to other local
churches.” A notice in the Fort Dade Messenger of July 11, 1884, reads: “Bids will be
received for the building of the Oak Grove Baptist church and Fort Dade Masonic Lodge
until 3 p.m. Saturday, July 19, 1884. The committee reserve the right to refuse any or all
bids. Specifications can be seen by calling on R. M. Wilson, secretary of committee.”]
Nov. 1879. William Maxie Hope (1846-1900) marries Anna Olivia Sowers. It is the
earliest known wedding in what is now Port Richey and New Port Richey. [Documents
give several dates in November. Her widow's pension claim filed in 1909 stated that she
had married in Port Richey Hernando County. They may not have been local residents.]
Nov. 27, 1879. The Decatur Daily Review reports, “The sponge schooners have two
places to clean their sponges when coast-sponging. One at Anclote Keys, the other at
Rock Island.”
1880. A post office is established at Pinan. [The post office operated until 1887. It may
have been in what is now Hernando County.]
Aug. 10, 1881. Judge Edmund F. Dunne contracts with Hamilton Disston to handle the
selection of the four million acres of the Disston Purchase from the state of Florida. [As
his attorney fee, Dunne received control of 100,000 acres of land, where he founded the
Catholic Colony of San Antonio.]
Oct. 12, 1881. A deed dated Oct. 12, 1881, conveys a donation of 11 acres in S29 T24
R21 from Newton Carter and wife May A. Carter to the trustees of the Fort Dade Church.
[A deed dated Sept. 26, 1919, conveys 5 acres of the property from A. A. Boone, John
Raymond, J. C. Carter, and W. W. Slone as trustees of Fort Dade Methodist Church to J.
W. Urquhart. Both deeds provided by Jeff Cannon.]
1882. A Baptist church is constructed of pitch pine at the corner of Hudson Ave. and
Main Street in Hudson. [The church was moved in 1888 to the corner of Hudson Ave.
and Guava Street. The structure served as a community church, and later had other uses,
including a 1920s post office, a store, a school, and a 1930s residence. The church was
later rebuilt and now houses Igesia Fuente de Amor Church of God. According to a
Methodist church history, a Methodist church, built just before the turn of the century on
East Hudson Avenue and Guava Street was destroyed by fire on Feb. 18, 1938. The
Baptists offered the Methodist congregation the use of an old church which was later
moved to the lot where their church had burned.]
May 16, 1882. The first post office in Hudson was established. According to Ash, in the
1880s, as Postmaster I. W. Hudson set aside one room in his home for the office.
Oct. 30, 1882. A post office is established at Hatton. [The postmaster was Minor G.
Rowe, and the post office was in his home.]
Nov. 27, 1882. A post office is established at Sumner. [It was renamed San Antonio on
Dec. 19, 1882; it was renamed Lake Jovita on Nov. 1, 1926; it was renamed San Antonio
on Aug. 1, 1931.]
Feb. 1883. The state of Florida sells several hundred thousand acres of land located
mainly in what are now Pinellas and Pasco counties at 25 cents per acre to the Florida
Land Improvement Co. Part of the city of St. Petersburg and almost all of the town of
New Port Richey are on these lands.
Apr. 3, 1883. A post office is established at Lenard. [It was discontinued in 1900 with
service continuing from Blanton.]
May 1883. The Florida Land Improvement Co. sells part of its land, including the site of
Port Richey, to Anson Peacely Killen Safford (1830-1891).
May 28, 1883. A post office is established at Diston, with James J. Head as postmaster.
[It was originally in Hillsborough County. It changed to Pasco County on Jan. 20, 1888.
It was renamed Drexel on Sept. 15, 1888. It was discontinued on Apr. 11, 1890, and re-
established on Jan. 11, 1892. It was discontinued on July 31, 1902.]
June 1883. Andrew Barthle (1802-1891) and Charles Barthle (1852- 1936) build the first
permanent home in what would become St. Joseph.
June 22, 1883. The Fort Dade Messenger, Vol. II, No. 2, consisting of four pages, has
“The amount subscribed for the Baptist church organ is almost made up.” R. M. Wilson
was in charge of checking off donations. Earnest and Thrasher on Lake Buddy has an
advertisement. Land is offered for sale by Judge E. F. Dunne who lived at “Residence E
side of Clear Lake, 3 miles southwest of the Post Office.” Jas. A. Grady was selling the
“largest lot of buggies ever brought to this market.” Orange trees were sold by D. T.
Clements, who could be reached at the International Ocean Telegraphic Office at
July 16, 1883. A post office is established at Chipco.
Oct. 9, 1883. The Gulf Key post office is established. [It was renamed Argo on Nov. 12,
1886, and renamed Gulf Key on Dec. 24, 1892. The post office was closed on Jan. 6,
1896, with service continued from Aripeka.]
Dec. 1883. Aaron McLaughlin Richey and his wife and daughter settle near the mouth of
the Pithlachascotee River.
Jan. 28, 1884. A post office is established at Ellerslie. [Oscar Meacham was the first
Apr. 2, 1884. A post office is established at Keystone Park. [It was discontinued in 1923
with service continuing from Odessa.]
July 9, 1884. The Port Richey post office is established. Aaron Richey established the
post office, giving it the name Port Richey.
July 11, 1884. The Fort Dade Messenger (vol. 3, no. 4) shows John H. Brown is the
publisher. R. J. Marshall is the postmaster. R. M. Wilson is listed as secretary of the
Masonic Lodge. A Baptist church directory shows R. E. Bell as pastor of Oak Grove, L.
Parish as superintendent of the Sabbath School, W. W. Bostick as pastor at Pleasant Hill,
R. T. Caddin as pastor of a church at the county line between Hernando and
Hillsborough, and B. L. Ray as pastor at Double Branch Church. There are
advertisements for:
           •   James G. Wallace, attorney and counselor at law at Fort Dade.
           •   Miss P. R. Weaver, at Ellerslie, dress-making, hats trimmed.
           •   Fort Dade High School, S. L. Hancock, Charles Croft, and Henry Jordan,
           •   A saw mill owned by Emerson & Chappman
           •   A saw mill owned by E. Ravesies.
           •   W. A. Jones of Fort Dade, surveyor and real estate agent.
           •   Ellerslie Academy, J. G. Wallace, President of the Board of Trustees.
           •   C. D. Brockman, contractor and builder, with office at Chipco City.
           •   F. P. McElroy & Co., Maine Street, Fort Dade, dealers in drugs, medicines
               and chemicals.
           •   W. C. Sumner, dealer in general merchandise, Fort Dade. Family
               groceries, canned goods, etc.
           •   Ft. Dade Restaurant, Mr. J. G. Jones. Meals prepared at half hour's notice.
               Sleeping rooms at moderate rates. Soda wter and confectionery kept
               constantly on hand.
           •   Mr. Pixton, photographer, near Hatton P. O.
[According to one source the newspaper was established in 1882. The newspaper was
apparently founded by R. O. Carter and B. L. Blackburn. According to Hendley, the first
newspaper in Pasco county was called the Messenger and was edited by B. L. Blackburn
and the first printer or type setter was Mr. Mahoney. D. H. Moseley, an editor of the
paper, later wrote that it was “a weekly paper that boasted of having the largest
circulation in Hernando county, with a paid-up subscription list of 87.” The June 22,
1883, issue shows W. C. Sumner as publisher and the editor was J. G. Wallace, who had
just assumed that position with that issue. According to Webb's Historical, Industrial and
Biographical Florida (1885), the Fort Dade Messenger was established in 1882 by a
stock company and is now published by W. C. Sumner with J. G. Wallace editor. The
1886 Florida State Gazetteer and Business Directory shows W. F. Alexander, a
physician, as the publisher.]
Aug. 29, 1884. A post office is established at Twin Lakes.
Oct. 13, 1884. A post office is established at Ashley. [The town was located near Lanier
Nov. 12, 1884. The incorporation papers for the Cootie Land & Improvement Co. are
Dec. 1, 1884. Henry W. Coleman and William N. Ferguson open a store, the second
general store in Dade City.
Dec. 17, 1884. The Blanton post office is established. Horace J. Charles was the first
postmaster. [Lora Blocker writes that the first post office “was located near Blanton east
of Blanton Lake. In 1887, when the Orange Belt Railroad was built, the Post Office was
located in the depot. Mary E. Blocker was then post mistress. The post office was later
located in the home of Mary Blocker which is now know as the Tangelo Apartments. The
location of the post office from 1901 to July 1905 is unknown. When E. Sanford Blocker
was postmaster it was located in the back of Wilson’s Garage (directly back of Mrs. Mae
McCoullough’s house today). When Sanford Blocker died in 1934, Robert Compher was
postmaster and had the post office in his general store. Norman Blocker built a room onto
his store for the post office when he became postmaster in 1936. This building still stands
and is the home of Mrs. Mae McCoullough.”]
Dec. 18, 1884. A post office is established at Dade City. [The Fort Dade post office had
been moved out to St. Joe Road.]
1885. A real estate brochure for Annuttaliga Hammock in Hernando county has: “Still
further south are the Pithluchescootie and Anclote, both navigable by vessels of ordinary
tonnage. At the mouth of the latter river is the flourishing settlement of Anclote. Here,
too, are located some of the finest fisheries in the county.”
Jan. 1885. A. P. K. Safford sells his land to the Cooty Land and Improvement Co. [In
May 1897 the Cooty Land and Improvement Co. sold its land to Albert Sessoms and B.
F. Bullard, turpentine and timber operators. In 1905 they sold their land to the Aripeka
Saw Mills, a Georgia corporation.]
Jan. 2, 1885. A post office is established at Saint Thomas.
Jan. 6, 1885. A post office is established at McLeod. [The post office was renamed
Macon three weeks later. The Tampa Tribune of May 2, 1895, reports on Macon, a new
town which has evolved at the junction of the Savannah and St. Petersburg Railroads.
According to Hendley, the A. C. L. R. R. changed the name to Trilby in 1896. A plat map
dated December 1896 has “Trilby Townsite.” A magazine article, using the name Trilby,
is dated Oct. 31, 1896. The town is called Trilby in a Washington Post article of May 22,
1897, and in an 1897 New York Times article. The post office was renamed Trilby in
Jan. 12, 1885. A post office is established at Loyce.
Jan. 29, 1885. The Indiana Weekly Progress reports, “Mrs. Harriet Smith, of
Tuckertown, Fla., has proved that women have a soul above the fashions. She is making
money by running a large sawmill.”
Feb. 17, 1885. A post office is established at Earnestville.
Aug. 18, 1885. A post office is established at Dixie.
Nov. 4, 1885. A post office is established at Carmel. [It was discontinued in 1886 with
service continued from San Antonio.]
1886. An 1886 survey of the Port Richey area has these place names: Cow Creek, Cross
Bayou, Deer Island or Green Key, Oyster Creek, Pith-lo-chas-Cootie River, Port Richie
P. O., and Salt Bayou.
1886. The spongers from Key West build a pavilion at Bailey's Bluff to store the sponges
they had pulled from the Gulf.
1886. The Dade City hotel is built. [It was located on the site of the later Edwinola.]
Feb 17, 1886. The New York Times reports: “PENSACOLA, Fla., Feb. 16.—R. J.
Marshall, alias Morton, Postmaster at Fort Dade, Fla., was arrested here yesterday
charged with embezzling money order funds by Post Office Inspector Baird, who came
here in answer to a telegram from Postmaster Yonge, who had located Marshall the day
before. Marshall absconded last July, leaving a wife and two children at Fort Dade.”
Feb. 19, 1886. William Stanton Quertermous (1829-1887) writes, in a letter mailed from
Hudson: “ ...we have had nice spring weather ever since with the exception of a few
slight frosts to taper off I have watermellons up about four acres planted I have suckseeds
in clearing about three acres more of the stock for potatoes I will bud off the balance and
part it in corn and peas every thing is beginning to assume its natural appearance the
orange trees are not materially injured it is thought the next crop of oranges will be a
larger one the lemons and guavers are beginning to put up they were killed to the ground
... we still hear that our Railroad is to be built specialy the Florida Southern I understand
will build that road from Brooksville to point Penallas this summer it will run about six
miles east of me they have made the survey but I do not think anyboddy Knows what
they will do thats our railroad co that never tells nothing They have got the money to do
as they please...” [More information on Quertermous is at Jeff Cannon's web site here.]
Mar. 15, 1886. A post office is established at Herndon.
Nov. 9, 1886. A post office is established at Bee Tree. [The location was S35, T24, R17,
near the intersection of Hudson Avenue and Hays Road. It was discontinued Nov. 19,
Nov. 11, 1886. Simon J. Temple purchases 280.74 acres of land for $1,026.69 from
Florida Railway and Navigation Corp. [He named the area Abbott; it later became
About 1887. A depot is built at Trilby.
1887. The Plant System Railroad comes to Pasco County. [It was later called the Atlantic
Coast Line Railroad. A second railroad arrived in 1888, which later became part of the
Seaboard Railroad. The center of Dade City was moved to the new depot along Meridian
1887. A second newspaper in Dade City, the Pasco County Democrat is established by
Capt. John B. Johnston. [On Mar. 26, 1920, the Dade City Banner reported: “Jno. B.
Johnston, of Tampa, whose name will appear prominent in the history of Dade City
journalism, if such is ever written, was a caller on the Banner last Saturday. Mr. Johnston
was the pioneer printer in Pasco county we believe; anyhow he established the Democrat
here in 1887 and continued its publication for twenty years. Later he started Progress in
Dade City, but it belied its name and expired in two years.” The Democrat was replaced
by the Dade City Star.]
Mar. 4, 1887. A post office is established at Cedar. [It was discontinued three months
later, with service continued from Lenard.]
June 2, 1887. Florida Governor E. A. Perry signs into law “A Bill to Divide the County
of Hernando and make therefrom the Counties of Citrus and Pasco.” [According to Back
Home: A History of Citrus County, Florida, the bill was entitled “An act to Divide the
County of Hernando, and to Create and Establish the Counties of Pasco and Citrus from
portions of Hernando.” According to this source, the bill was introduced in the House of
Representatives by Rep. James Latham, and the bill sailed through both houses, with only
Rep. McKeen Carleton of Putnam County and Sen. C. W. Stevens of Madison County
voting against the bill.]
July 18, 1887. The Pasco Board of County Commissioners meets for the first time,
electing Col. Ebenezer G. Liles (1825-1927) as chairman. [Liles served as a
commissioner until April 1889 and again from Jan. 1903 to Dec. 1904.] The other
commissioners were W. R. Lilburn, Daniel T. McLeod, Joseph Byrd Hudson (1856-
1950), and Joshua Jackson “Jack” Gillett. Dade City is named the temporary county seat.
The following officers of Pasco County were named: H. H. Henley, Clerk of the Court;
G. M. Roberts, treasurer; Nick P. Bishoff, tax assessor; Robert J. Bradley, tax collector; J.
A. Grady, sheriff; D. O. Thrasher, County Judge; and W. A. Jones, County Surveyor.
[Nick Bishoff served as tax assessor from 1887 to 1890. He was succeeded by J. A.
Cunningham, who served from 1890-1892.]
Sept. 1887. County Commission minutes show the election precincts were established as
follows: Precinct 1, Macon; Precinct 2, Dade City; Precinct 3, Richland; Precinct 4,
Wesley Chapel; Precinct 5, San Antonio; Precinct 6, Chipco; Precinct 7, St. Thomas;
Precinct 8, Loyce; Precinct 9, Hudson; and Precinct 10, Bailey. [Precinct 11 was
established later, in August 1888, at Earnestville.]
Sept. 15, 1887. The Anclote Keys lighthouse is first lit.
Oct. 17, 1887. The Pasco County Commission adopts a strict quarantine policy requiring
persons who entered the county to have yellow-fever immunity cards. The minutes have:
“In view of the fact that yellow fever is raging in Tampa and for our own protection, the
board assembled to take some steps to establish a quarantine against infected sections.”
Telegrams were sent to the mayors of Tampa, Plant City, and Lakeland, stating that
Pasco County was quarantined against Tampa and all points south of here. It was voted to
appoint two quarantine guards for Flat Ford, Cooper's Ford, the F. R. & N. R. R.
crossing, the Hillsborough River, Burnt Bridge, Anclote, and, if necessary, Trout Creek.
Oct. 31, 1887. The New York Times reports, “The official records, of the Marine Hospital
Bureau show the continued existence of yellow fever at Tampa, Fla., but nowhere else in
the state. Reports have been received that cases have appeared at different points in Pasco
Dec. 21, 1887. An Iowa newspaper reports, “A special from Dade City, Florida, says
Dick Hines (?) and Charley Metz (?), colored, were lynched there Tuesday for assaulting
Mrs. Oberry and her daughter, living near Owensboro. When arrested the negroes
confessed their crime and begged for mercy, but were speedily lynched. No particulars
can be learned more than they were tortured before being strung up, and the ropes were
so arranged that they slowly died of strangulation. Their bodies were left hanging and it is
reported they were afterward riddled with shot.”
About 1888. The Lakeview Highlands Hotel, located near Pasadena and Chesterfield
roads, off Clinton Avenue, is built. [It was a luxury hotel where wealthy visitors from the
north vacationed. The freezes of 1894 and 1895 ended the prosperity of the community
and the hotel, which burned in 1899. Information from Historic Places.]
1888. Ruby Eugene Clark is born in Port Richey, according to her obituary. This is
perhaps the first birth in Port Richey. [On Aug. 26, 1889, Victor Malcolm Clark was born
in Port Richey.]
1888. Abbott is surveyed for Simon J. Temple, who owned much of the land.
Feb. 2, 1888. The Abbott post office is established. [The name was changed to Hegman
in 1890 and back to Abbott in 1892. The name was changed to Zephyrhills in 1910.]
Feb. 9, 1888. An article in the Ohio Democrat, referring to what is now called Orange
Lake in New Port Richey, reports:
Another pretty drive is to the famous Blue Sink, one of those marvelous spots where in
some past generation the land and all upon it disappeared. It is very beautiful, circular in
form and filled with water blue as indigo. The banks slope gently down and all around
are giant pines, that stand as grim sentinels and custodians of the secret of the spot. A
short distance to the north are the Salt Springs where during the war the confederates
manufactured their salt. Relics of those olden days may still be seen.
Mar. 15, 1888. A post office is established at Godwin.
Apr. 21, 1888. A post office is established at Jessamine. [The community developed
when Walter N. Pike and William J. Ellsworth came in 1887. They started a seed and
plant business called Jessamine Gardens.]
May 22, 1888. A post office is established at Lacoochee. [William Acosta was
postmaster. On May 29, 1914, a newspaper reported that Charles Jensen was appointed
June 14, 1888. The San Antonio News says that it is published semi-monthly by Jno. J.
O'Neill, editor, and P. E. Lyons, assistant editor. It has:
Well this is the long looked for picnic day. ... This picnic is given by the San Antonio
Literary society, an enterprising body of young men who about a year and a half ago,
formed themselves into a society for their mutual benefit. It was intended to be a literary
and dramatic club. Their first appearance before the public was their picnic on the 16th of
June last year, a grand success which made a name for the society. It brought together the
largest crowd that ever met in Pasco County. Then they started this newspaper which
they still own. ...
It is pretty well settled now that we are to have a foundation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in
San Antonio. They have bought the Sultenfuss Hotel property and the interior of the
building is being remodeled with the expectation of having it ready for school by the first
Monday in September. ...
The well which Mr. Wichers is boring is now about 350 feet deep. ... M. J. Dooner
bought the first load of watermelons raised on the Isham Howell's place. ... P. J. Lyons is
contractor for the building of the seminary formerly intended for the hotel. ... Mr.
William Sultenfuss has moved into his new home on Lake Cecelia. It is the prettiest
dwelling house in San Antonio.
The newspaper also reported that the general business manager of the Benedictine Order
in this country has been examining the San Antonio colony to determine whether to
establish a college here. It reported that the Farmers' Alliance was organized at Clear
Lake school house on the second of May. Advertisements appeared by: Jos. G. Kirchner,
blacksmith; John S. Flanagan, justice of the peace and notary public, with land for sale; J.
W. Fisher, M. D., physician and surgeon, with his office over the Dade City drug store
and his residence at the Dade City hotel; Dr. J. W. Gatton of San Antonio; Dr. J. G.
Wallace of Dade City; M. J. Dooner, merchant in San Antonio; Coleman, Ferguson &
Co. of Dade City; T. Lucas and Co. of St. Thomas, with dry goods, groceries, boots,
shoes, Queensware, harness and saddlery; J. C. Tremmell, engraver and repairer; Charles
M. Gailmard, breeder of land and water fowls; William Sultenfuss, lumber yard
proprietor; Brand and Wichers, date grove and nursery.
July 1888. Because of continuing concerns over yellow fever, the county commission
appoints Dr. G. M. Roberts quarantine physician and orders that outsiders cannot stop in
Dade City without a health certificate from him.
Aug. 21, 1888. The Semiweekly Age of Coshocton reports, “A. J. Gill of Dade City, Fla.,
is the owner of an orange tree fifty-three years old, which is two and a half feet in
diameter and thirty-five feet high. This tree has yielded 10,000 oranges in a single season,
and it is believed, if no mishap intervenes, the product will reach 12,000 the present year.
It is one of a group of eighteen, each but little inferior in size.”
1889. A Frenchman in Florida quotes Judge Edmund F. Dunn (in translation):
We have a judge who fulfills the duties of a notary public. His name is John S. Flanagan.
Mr. Paul Gailmard, your compatriot, is a photographer. You saw his gallery. In the
colony itself, medicine is practiced by Dr. Corrigan; in Ft. Dade, not far from here, there
lives a physician-surgeon who can cut off your leg as easy as an alligator can. If you like,
when passing through Ft. Dade, ask for Dr. A. S. Alexander—35 years in practice. This
year, I have established a here a newspaper, The San Antonio Herald, appearing from
time to time, which doesn't really make it less interesting as you can judge for yourself by
the collection you see here. The subscription is five francs a year. The editor of the
newspaper is G. M. Jordan. He is also the writer. We have two editors and two printers.
Dunne also identified the presence in San Antonio of a civil engineer, a customs
inspector, an architect, a glass worker, a superintendent of streets and roads, a carriage
maker, an organist, countless carpenters, and a professor of Latin and Greek.
[According to another source, the San Antonio Herald was founded in 1884. Several
other newspapers were founded in San Antonio thereafter, including the Florida Staats
Zeitung, which originally was published in German.]
1889. A cemetery is established in what became the town of Vereen, which existed in the
1880s and 1890s. [The cemetery is located on Hudson Avenue, one-half mile east of
Hicks Road. The historical marker reads: “...Stephen P. Douglas who died in 1889 is the
earliest marked burial. In 1890 Abraham and Susanna Bellamy donated land to the
Methodist Episcopal Church, in memory of her parents Joseph and Susanna Vereen. A
building completed in 1891, served as the community's church and for some years, as a
public school, until it was destroyed by a forest fire in 1920.”]
1889. A Methodist church is erected on College Street by James E. Lee.
Jan. 15, 1889. An election is held to select the city officials of the newly-incorporated
Dade City. [According to the Pasco County Democrat, 47 voters, more than two-thirds of
the proposed citizens, cast their ballots. City officers elected were: Mayor, John B.
Johnston; Clerk, J. C. Calhoun; Councilmen, A. A. Boone, D. T. Clement, J. E. Lee, F. P.
McElroy, and J. T. McMichael.]
Apr. 11, 1889. An election to name the county seat is held. According to courthouse
records, 765 voters turned out on election day. Dade City won with 432 votes.
Gladestone, as San Antonio was listed on the ballot, received 205 votes. Pasadena
received 96; Urbana, 20; Fort Dade, 4; Clear Lake, 2; Jefferson, 2; and Owensboro, 1. [A
frame court house was erected after the election.]
May 6, 1889. An entirely new board of county commissioners takes over: H. W.
Coleman, chairman; Allen Hill, J. H. Pedrick, J. A. Smith, J. W. Jackson.
June 4, 1889. Saint Leo College is granted a charter by the state of Florida.
July 15, 1889. A post office is established at Pasadena.
Aug. 2, 1889. A post office is established at Pasco.
Aug. 8, 1889. School board minutes refer to a “graded and high school” in Dade City.
[For information on this school, see the history of education page.]
Sept. 5, 1889. The Bank of Pasco County is granted a charter. [It was the first bank in
Pasco County. The bank opened in a two-story, red-brick building completed in 1891 at
Meridian Avenue and Seventh Street, the first brick building in Dade City.]
Early 1890s. A Presbyterian church is erected on College Street in Dade City. [The First
Presbyterian Church of Dade City was organized on Jan. 13, 1889. The church building
still exists.]
1890. The U. S. census for Pasco County shows 4249 persons (3872 whites, 376 negroes,
and 1 Indian).
1890. Henry Clay Bush is the first surveyor to establish permanent boundaries and to
map the area in western Pasco County, according to Ash.
1891. John King Cheyney (1858-1939) starts a commercial sponge venture called the
Anclote and Rock Island Sponge Company on Bailey's Bluff. [On Mar. 9, 1894, the
Tampa Tribune reported on the Anclote & Rock Island sponge Co., John K. Cheyney,
manager. It reported that J. C. Bowyer has 13 vessels, 120 employees, $400,000 annual
income. More about Bailey's Bluff is here.
Jan. 17, 1890. A post office is established at Ehren.
Oct. 18, 1890. A post office is established at Saint Leo.
Feb. 24, 1891. Local residents vote to incorporate Saint Leo. [Dr. Joseph Felix Corrigan
(1846-1918), the attending physician of Saint Leo College, was elected the first mayor
and his home served as the town hall. Others elected were: city clerk, E. G. Gailmard;
marshal, Michael Forster; councilmen, J. S. Slevin, B. M. Wichers, N. P. Bishoff, Wm.
Grus, and W. L. Mobley. Saint Leo was incorporated by an act of the legislature on June
2, 1891.]
May 6, 1891. A post office is established at Pedrick. [It was renamed Flatford in 1892
and discontinued in 1896 with service continuing from Richland.]
Aug. 7, 1891. Residents of San Antonio vote 28-8 in favor of incorporation, and choose
these officials: Mayor, G. S. Bowen; Aldermen, F. J. Christ, F. J. O'Neill, J. W. Jackson,
Bernard Kissen, Patrick McCabe; Clerk, Paul R. Gailward; Marshal, P. J. Lyons.
[Information from a 1991 address by Dr. James J. Horgan published in the Pasco News
and incorporation papers provided by Jeff Cannon. However, according to a web page
San Antonio was incorporated in 1889. The Florida State Gazetteer and Business
Directory for 1886-87 has in the San Antonio listing: “This is an incorporated village.”]
Oct. 20, 1891. A Texas newspaper reports, “The farmer's alliance meets at Dade City
today. Nearly 3000 delegates will attend to discuss the sub-treasury bill and a resolution
to support only alliance men at the state election, which means a third party in Florida.
The convention will endorse the Ocala platform.”
Oct. 24, 1891. The Bismarck Daily Tribune has: “DADE CITY, Oct. 28.—The State
Farmers' Alliance, after discussion lasting five hours, endorsed the platform adopted at
Ocala last year. Senator Pasco, who was not barred from the meeting because of being a
lawyer, went on record against the sub-treasury plan.”
1892. A Baptist church is erected on College Street in Dade City. [It burned down in
1892. St. Mary's Episcopal Church is built, serving settlers at Lake Pasadena.
1892. A brick jail is constructed at Dade City. [The marker at the Pasco County Jail lists
these county commissioners: B. C. Campbell, T. F. Williams, L. S. Bradham, W. H.
Haager, J. W. Clark.]
July 18, 1892. Benjamin and Virginia Baisden sell an acre of their property near Buddy
Lake to the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for five dollars. [The
trustees were Baisden himself, Henry Whitfield, and Alec Branden. Information from Jeff
Aug. 3, 1892. The Indiana Progress reports, “Pasco county, Florida, boasts of having the
oldest soldier in the United States. His name is Jonathan Pratt, and he is claimed to be
103 years old.”
Sept. 17, 1892. A post office is established at Elba Heights.
Dec. 2, 1892. The Mayflower post office is established. [It was closed on July 21, 1898.]
May 6, 1893. A post office is established at Amelia (an area now known as Darby).
May 8, 1893. A post office is established at St. Joseph.
July 4, 1893. The town marshal of Tarpon Springs, William Erastus Whitehurst (1870-
1893), attempting to arrest a drunken sponge fisherman named Atwell, was shot and
killed by Constantine “Bud” Stevenson and John McNeil. [Both men were convicted on
May 25, 1894. The jury recommended mercy, saving the defendants from being hanged.]
July 20, 1893. The Tampa Weekly Tribune mentions a newspaper, The World, in Dade
City. [On Oct. 20, 1893, the Tribune reports John Post and family, merchants, Dade City
World newspaper, return to Tampa to live.]
July 24, 1893. A post office is established at Myrtle. [It was discontinued in 1914 with
service continuing from Lutz.]
1894. A list of officers of the Twin Lakes Masonic Lodge has: Wm. Dowling, Blanton;
D. M. Oberry, Blanton (Daniel M. Oberry); J. J. Howell, Blanton; W. R. Nicks, Twin
Lakes (William R. Nicks); W. J. Scott, Twin Lakes; S. J. Ansley, Chipco (Samuel J.
Ansley); M. R. Morrison, Blanton; G. J. Hancock, St. Thomas (George J. Hancock); H. J.
Hancock, Twin Lakes (Horace J. Hancock); J. B. Miller, Blanton; B. F. Nicks, Twin
Lakes; J. D. Matthews, Twin Lakes.
1894. The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette has: “A letter received from Dr. George C.
Muirhead (?) at Dade City, Florida, states that he has been offered an office for the
practice of his profession and will remain there. A host of warm friends here are sorry he
does not intend to return, but are rejoiced at the news that he is enjoying excellent
Jan. 5, 1894. The Tampa Weekly Tribune reports on the Commercial Hotel, Lacoochee,
Mrs. W. T. Johns, proprietor.
Aug. 20, 1894. The Trenton Times reports: “Dade City, Fla., Aug. 20—Milton Higgs
came home from Floral City, where he works, to see his wife. As he reached home his
wife drove up in a cart with another man. Higgs led the woman into the house and blew
out her brains. The murderer escaped.”
Sept. 15, 1894. A newspaper reports: “T. W. Miller was assassinated near Lacoochee,
Fla., while cutting timber. His body was riddled with bullets, and was found at noon by
his wife, who had gone to call him to dinner.
Sept. 18, 1894. The Times Union reports that Abe McGirt, a farmer, was found dead near
Lacoochee today. Examination of the corpse showed that McGirt's neck had been broken
and his skull crushed. [On Oct. 12, 1894, the Tampa Tribune reported that Judge Barron
Phillips sentenced Lewis Raymond, Will Mitchell, Henry Morris, and Zelina McGirt, all
colored, to hang, for killing Abe McGirt, husband of Zelina McGirt, on Sept. 15, 1894.
He also sentenced Milton Higgs to hang for killing his wife Susie on Aug. 18, 1894. On
Dec. 14, 1894, the newspaper reported the sentences of Zelene McGirt and her two sons
and Will Raymond were commuted to life imprisonment.]
Dec. 28, 1894. A light snowfall sweeps through Florida.
Dec. 29, 1894. The temperature drops to 18 degrees in Tampa, damaging the citrus
industry. [A second freeze occurred on Feb. 9, 1895. According to the obituary of John
M. Baillie of what would become Elfers, “The '95 freeze killed all his citrus nursery.”]
1895. An 1895 atlas shows these places in Pasco County, with populations: Abbott;
Argo; Big Cypress; Blanton; Chipco 13; Dade City 321; Drexel; Earnestville 72; Ehren;
Ellerslie; Godwin; Hegman; Hudson 16; Jessamine; Keystone Park; Lacoochee; Lenard
101; Macon 133; Milliards; Odessa; Owensboro; Pasadena; Pedrick; Port Richey 27;
Richland; San Antonio 252; St. Leo; St. Thomas 202; Twin Lakes 76. The atlas also
shows Anclote (population 84), although it is in Hillsborough county.
Jan. 24, 1895. A deed conveys property in S22 T23 R21 from Nathan H. Garner and his
wife Maggie W. to the trustees of St. John A. M. Church in Macon (now Trilby). [Info
from Jeff Cannon]
Feb. 7, 1895. A freeze destroys many citrus groves. [A temperature of 16.8 degrees was
recorded at Saint Leo.]
Feb. 11, 1895. The Newark Daily Advocate in an article about the damage to the Florida
orange crop, reports: “Anclote, 28, with snow, which is unprecedented....”
Feb. 11, 1895. The Aripeka post office is established in Hernando county. The first
postmaster was George Pine (born, 1835). The 1900 census indicates Pine was a
photographer born in New Jersey. [The original spelling may have been Aipeka. The
United States Post-Office Guide for 1904, p. 366, spells the name of this town Arbeka.]
June 11, 1896. The Tampa Weekly Tribune reports that Bailey's Point was the scene of a
June 12, 1896. The Tampa Morning Tribune reports that Drayton McKinney and C. J.
Raulerson both were killed in a shootout in the woods between Lacoochee and Trilby.
July 23, 1896. The Tampa Weekly Tribune reports that Thomas Green of Richland was
killed by George Wilder for abusing Wilder's wife. The shooting took place on the Polk-
Pasco line.
Aug. 10, 1896. A fire in Dade City destroys Coleman & Ferguson's general store, T. J.
Howard's drug store, J. J. Wilson's poolroom, Powell's barber shop, and A. A. Boone's
grocery store. The loss was estimated at $27,000.
Sept. 10, 1896. The Tampa Weekly Tribune mentions Rev. D. A. Cole, Methodist
minister in Dade City.
1897. The Trilby Methodist Church is organized, according to a historical marker, which
reads: “Trilby Methodist Church - organized by the Rev. T. H. Sistrunk in 1897 and built
by the 12 charter members a year later, this original frame church and steeple of pioneer
design has long been a center of community activities. Moved from near the railroad
coalchute to the present site about 1920, it was remodeled in 1978. The pulpit, handmade
by John Spinks, is still in use.”
1897. Embry Tobacco Co. is established.
Jan. 5, 1897. The Florida Times-Union reports, “Tarpon Springs, Fla., January 4.—Hon.
John B. Walton was in town a few days during the week. He brought some prospective
land buyers over from Tampa to show them the advantages offered for investment in
lands north of the Pithlachescotee river belonging to the Cootie Land company. The
company owns some of the most desirable land on the Gulf Coast, well adapted to
vegetable and fruit-growing, dairying, and anything requiring fertile lands to produce. No
place offers greater inducements to a colony of thrifty Swedes or Germans, as they are
industrious and economical and on such land would build up a prosperous and self-
sustaining community of intelligent wealth-producers. Every settler, of a good class, adds
permanently to the wealth and development of its varied resources.”
Feb. 5, 1897. The Tampa Morning Tribune reports that Constantine “Bud” Stevenson
was shot and killed. [Tillet W. Whidden of Pasco County and Willard Whitehurst
subsequently surrendered to Sheriff Spencer in Tampa. Both denied involvement in the
murder; Whidden said he preferred the custody of Hillsborough to the jail of Pasco
Sept. 15, 1897. A post office is established at Wesley Chapel. [It was discontinued in
Sept. 28, 1897. An Ohio newspaper, reprinting a New York Tribune article, reports, “For
many years the principal dredging has been in progress at Bailey's point. Now, however,
the crews of the sponging vessels have begun to remove their kraals to Anclote key.
Several reasons are given for the change in place of operations, the most important of
which is the fact that the water around Bailey's point was being used too rapidly on
account of the large number of sponge men there.”
Oct. 16, 1897. The Newport Mercury reports, “The black crews of the sponging vessels
have begun to remove their kraals to Anclote key. Several reasons are given for the
removal, but the most important is that the water at Bailey's Point was being used too
rapidly on account of the large number of men there.”
Jan. 17, 1898. A post office is established at Shingleton. [It was discontinued in 1901
with service continuing from Pasco.]
Mar. 7, 1898. Minutes of the Dade City City Council meeting have: “Mr. T. F. Cheek
and others appeared before the board asking that the Council take some step to rid the
town of the illicit sale of whiskey. After discussion C. W. Furman offered the following
resolution which was adopted: 'The Mayor and Marshal are commanded to abate all
disorder in this city by enforcing the law in its fullest meaning and effect and arrest all
parties who are in any way connected with any house of disorder and arrest the
proprietors for keeping such hours.'”
May 2, 1898. James A. Delcher is elected Chairman of the Dade City City Council,
replacing J. D. Sumner, who resigned.
Dec. 9, 1898. A post office is established at Wheeler. [It was discontinued in 1902, with
service continuing from Enville.]
Dec. 18, 1898. Rev. J. M. Mitchell is appointed pastor of the Hudson Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, according to a church register. [The register shows that
subsequently Rev. M. T. Bell served until Dec. 17, 1900, and Rev. Tom McMullon
served until Dec. 1901. Other pastors were Rev. W. F. Fletcher (1902), Rev. R. H.
Barnett (1903), Rev. W. H. F. Robarts (1904), Rev. K. M. Albright (1905), Rev. K. D.
Jones (1906), Rev. J. M. Dieffenwierth (1907), Revs. Combs, Willis, and Mitchell
(sharing, Dec. 1908 to Dec. 1909), Rev. J. D. Frierson (1909-1911).]
Feb. 13, 1899. The temperature at Inverness drops to 14 degrees, according to readings
made by W. C. Zimmerman.
Nov. 9-10, 1899. The Tampa Morning Tribune reports that Giuseppe Licata, an Italian
immigrant, was accused of killing a rural farmer in a quarrel over a cow. A group of
Pasco County farmers marched on the Tampa jail, demanding that he be released for
justice. Licata was later found innocent of the charges.
1900. The population of Pasco County is 6054.
March 1900. The Pavilion Church and Reading Room for Sponge Fishermen is founded
at Bailey's Bluff by Emma M. Stirling (1838-1907), a Scottish woman who wintered in
May 17, 1900. The Blackshear Times (Georgia) reports, “The shooting and instant killing
of Mr. J. Irwin Cleland last week near Hudson, Fla., was a severe shock to his aged father
(John Cleland) and relatives in this (Pierce) county. He was shot from ambush by
negroes, of whom three has been lynched. Circumstances prevented the body from being
brought home for burial and today it sleeps in Florida soil.”
May 22, 1900. A post office is established at Odessa.
June 22, 1900. A post office is established at Greer.
July 16, 1900. The Security post office is established. The postmaster was Otis Baker,
according to R. F. Pent in The History of Tarpon Springs. [It closed on Dec. 31, 1908.]
Aug. 13, 1900. A post office is established at Bramlett. [It was discontinued in 1902, with
service continued from Abbott.]
1901. Trilby is incorporated, according to Scott Black. [However, see also May 1, 1913.]
Jan. 27, 1901. Early the morning, a riot breaks out at a negro dance at Rice & Phelps'
turpentine camp near Dade City. Dan Childers, a white man, is killed and J. B. McNeill is
fatally wounded. Two black women and one black man were shot and seriously
wounded. [On Feb. 5, 1901, a mob lynched two black men, Will Wright and Sam
Williams, in the county jail at Dade City. They had been implicated in the killing of
Childers and the wounding of McNeill. Sheriff Griffin refused to give up the keys and the
mob, said to be 30 to 50 men, broke down the outer door. Unable to break down the steel
doors of the cells, they opened fire through the steel bars, shooting both prisoners to
death. The Coroner's jury found that they came to their death at the hands of “parties
unknown.” On Feb. 14, 1901, the Tampa Tribune apparently gave the names as Will
Wright and Sam Johnson.]
July 24, 1901. The New York Times has:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 23.—News reaches here from San Antonio, Fla., of a
terrific electric storm at that town. Services were in progress at the time in the Catholic
Church. This church was struck by lightning and partly wrecked. Father Benedict, who
was in the confessional at the time, was knocked unconscious. It was first believed that
he was dead. Miss Gerner, who was kneeling near the entrance, and several others, were
shocked severely. The building was set on fire, and the entire interior seemed to be in
flames at once. There was a panic and a wild rush to get out of the church. Many were
bruised during this scramble for safety. Father Benedict was unconscious for several
minutes. He recovered and is reported to-day to be well almost. The interior of the church
was damaged badly.
1902. Memoirs of Florida (1902) by Francis P. Fleming has:
PASCO COUNTY, organized in 1887, has an area of 800 square miles and contains a
population of 6,054, an increase from 1890 of 1,805. It is situated on the Gulf, between
Hernando and Hillsboro counties, with a water frontage of many miles, but no important
harbors. There is much fertile agricultural land, and large crops of sweet potatoes, rice,
hay, millet and egg plant are produced, as well as other field crops. The yield of
vegetables reaches enormous proportions and can be easily marketed. Oranges are raised
in considerable quantities and the tropical fruits find congenial environment. Phosphate
rock is found abundant and the mining interests are extensive. Dade City is the seat of
county affairs, the chief city and railroad center, is most conveniently located on the lines
of the Seaboard Air Line and Savannah, Florida & Western roads and is a progressive,
pushing town of 500 inhabitants. The tobacco crop of Pasco County is of great
importance and its yield is the second largest in the State, being exceeded only by that of
Gadsden county. Live stock of all kinds do exceedingly well and are raised in great
numbers. Poultry of the various sorts are successfully bred and 438,100 dozen eggs were
gathered in 1900. Off the rocky coast of Pasco county are famous spongefishing grounds
and several hundred boats are busied in this industry.
Jan. 8, 1902. Jno. B. Johnston is selected as Mayor of Dade City.
Mar. 6, 1902. A post office is established at Sagano.
July 31, 1902. A newspaper reports, “Ocala, Fla., July 30—An unknown negro was
lynched at San Antonio, Pasco County, last night, for criminal assault on a white
woman.” [A newspaper story datelined Ocala, Fla., July 31, reported, “An unknown
negro was lynched at San Antonio, Pasco county for criminal assault on a white woman.
After being identified by his victim he was strung up on a tree in sight of the railroad
station and his body riddled with bullets.” [According to a web site, on Aug. 1, 1902,
Alonzo Williams, a black man, was lynched at San Antonio. Pioneer Days spells the
name Alonso Williams, and gives the date 1901. It quotes an unidentified newspaper
article as saying that Williams choked into unconsciousness the niece of prominent
resident Col. K. G. Liles and that “He was led forth to be dealt with summarily, but
justly, and in a few moments the body of the beast was dangling from the Corrigan
building and riddled with bullets, a fitting punishment that will always be dealt to such
fiends so long as there is a spark of the fires of manhood in our breasts.”]
Nov. 24, 1902. A post office is established at Kenney. [It was discontinued in 1912 with
service continuing from Zephyrhills.]
1903. The Mount Zion A. M. E. Church is constructed in Dade City. [The trustees of the
church at the time of the purchase of the property were Rufus Johnson, George Young,
and Butler T. Green. The minister at this time may have been Rev. Amos Thompson.]
April 1903. The Pasco County Telephone Co. is organized in April 1903 by W. J.
Ellsworth of Jessamine.
July 18, 1903. The Tarpon Springs News reports:
HUDSON. The sponge fleet has been kept in by bad weather. H. C. Bush is doing
surveying on the Hudson & Brooksville railway. Rev. M. Smith is visiting in Hudson this
week. Squally weather with brisk rains prevails here. Our picnic, of 25th inst, is the great
topic of conversation hereabouts. A complete programme of amusements is to be in
evidence besides the picnic feature. Our hearts are set on making this a success—which
our good people certainly deserve. May they enjoy good weather, a big crowd and the
time of their lives on that day, of all others!
PORT RICHEY. This week opened with wind and rain. Port Richeyites visiting in
Tarpon Monday were: J. W. Clark, G. B. Harshaw, and Robert. McCreary and son.
Second growth on orange trees seems thrifty. Services at M. E. church Sunday and
meetings during week. A. M. Richey's pear trees were damaged some by wind. The
population of this settlement is 55 all told. D. H. and J. W. Clark caught two fine tarpon
Monday, one a six footer. R. R. Premier is building a small boat. The Clearwater wharf
contractor is here gathering cabbage palmetto logs. Our bathing has been ruined by much
fresh water.
Oct. 15, 1903. The Tampa Tribune reports that convicted cow stealers B. C. Slaughter,
Sam Harris, George West, and Thomas O. Slaughter will each receive two years in
1904. The sawmill operation begins at Fivay. [More on the town of Fivay is here.]
1904. The Dade City Star is established. [According to a 1972 newspaper article, “Basil
Orville (“Villie”) Bowden became owner and editor of the Dade City Star which he
established in 1904....” On Oct. 15, 1909, B. O. Bowden is shown as editor and owner.]
Jan. 4, 1904. J. K. Ward is elected Mayor of Dade City.
Mar. 24, 1904. The Tampa Tribune reports a Pasco County bank safe was dynamited by
May 26, 1904. The Tampa Tribune reports the Brooksville-Hudson railroad has opened.
[According to WPH, in 1905 a railroad spur track was laid from Fivay to Hudson, with a
depot at Hudson for passengers and commodities. This line connected Hudson and the
Fivay Lumber Co. with Tampa.]
Sept. 23, 1904. The Fivay post office is established. [It was closed on June 15, 1912.]
Dec. 8, 1904. The Tampa Morning Tribune reports on murder trials in Pasco County:
Jones murdered Pyatt; James Tompkins, colored for murder; A. F. Sullivan killed Tom
Wilson; George Quinn, colored, killed Will Thompson, acquitted; Henry Packer, colored.
Dec. 18, 1904. The Pasco County Democrat reports that John J. Doyle died on Dec. 7 at
his residence near Dade City. He had moved here from Fitchburg, Mass., in October,
hoping that his health would improve.
Feb. 6, 1905. D. O. Thrasher is selected as Mayor of Dade City.
Feb. 9, 1905. Dade City Council meets to consider granting a franchise for an electric
light and water works plant to Isaac D. Sperry, Drew B. Mills, and Emille Muller for a
period of 25 years.
Apr. 20, 1905. The Tampa Tribune has the Pasco County Criminal Court docket: Henry
Parker convicted of murder, sentenced to life in prison, Frances Bailey, colored,
convicted of murder, life in prison, Robert Coleman, murder, life imprisonment.
June 28, 1905. The Tampa Tribune reports that S. B. Keagin was charged with killing
Mr. Norman.
Aug. 19, 1906. A turpentine man named Burton kills R. E. Wishart of Ocala, who
operated a tie camp at Ehren. The shooting occurred at the office of a dentist named
Nichols, located at San Antonio. Wishart was a patron; Burton intended to shoot the
dentist but killed the wrong man.
Oct. 11, 1906. The Tampa Tribune reports that John D. Sims, former Tax Collector of
Pasco County, was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to two years in prison.
Oct. 18, 1906. The Tampa Tribune reports Clyde Pike was murdered by Lafayette Pike
and Maxey Ryals.
1907. The Dade City Hotel burns down. [Or, 1910.]
1907. Sunnybrook Tobacco Co. buys out the Embry Tobacco Co. [In the early 1920s it
became the largest employer in Pasco County. The plant was heavily damaged by fire in
1924 and closed down.]
Jan. 31, 1907. The Tampa Tribune reports E. Wilson was elected Mayor of Dade City.
June 6, 1907. The Tampa Tribune reports Moses Baisden, colored, shot Bessie Saunders,
colored, and escaped from Hillsborough County.
1908. Electric power is brought to Dade City by Dade City Ice, Light, and Power Co.
1908. The Touchton Building is erected at the corner of Seventh Street and Meridian
Avenue in Dade City.
Feb. 10, 1908. A post office is established at Tucker. [It was renamed Greenfield on July
6, 1923.]
Feb. 13, 1908. The Tampa Weekly Tribune reports colored Masons celebrated at Ehren.
Apr. 23, 1908. The Tampa Tribune reports that Joseph Henry and George Roberts,
soldiers who robbed the Fort Dade post office, were detained by officials on desertion
charges in hopes they receive a more severe punishment.
May 14, 1908. The Tampa Morning Tribune reports that ex-Sen. Kirk and George W.
Dayton addressed an unruly crowd in Dade City.
Sept. 30, 1908. A meeting is held at the office of the Aripeka Saw Mills Co. for the
incorporation of the town of Fivay. More information is here.
Nov. 12, 1908. The Tampa Weekly Tribune mentions Dade City Orange Growers, Dade
City Vegetable Co., Sunny Brook Tobacco Co., Dade City Star, B. O. Bowden, editor,
and the Dade City Drug Co., Boon & Touchton, proprietors.
1909. A newspaper is established in Trilby, the Pasco News. [It ceased publication in
May 8, 1909. Sheldon S. Nicks is shot to death at Fivay by a man that he was apparently
trying to arrest. [Nicks is identified in Tampa Morning Tribune articles as a Hernando
County sheriff's deputy.]
May 11, 1909. The Tampa Morning Tribune reports that the Mutual Construction Co. of
Louisville, Ky., was awarded the contract for erecting Pasco County's new court house at
$34,860. It reported the company was allowed 250 working days to complete the
contract. [According to one source, Circuit Court Clerk Archie J. Burnside accepted the
completed building on July 5, 1909, and made the first payment of $6,360 on that date.
However, the Atlanta Constitution of Sept. 20, 1909, carried a classified ad: “WANTED -
Ten good carpenters to go to Dade City, Fla., work on courthouse, 30c per hour, 10-hour
day. Call upon A H Haggard, 16 W. North avenue Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to
12 m.” According to Eddie Herrmann, County Commission records reflect that
acceptance was refused on Dec. 16, 1909, “on grounds, not fully completed,” and was
subsequently accepted on Jan. 3, 1910.]
May 14, 1909. A post office is established at Needmore.
Oct. 15, 1909. The Dade City Star states that it “has the largest circulation of any paper
ever published in Pasco County.” The newspaper reports on a four-day murder trial that
resulted in a hung jury. State Attorney Herbert Phillips prosecuted the case and defense
counsel included Col. E. F. Green, Capt. John B. Johnson, and Col. Robert W. Davis.
School board minutes show that board members are L. J. Sellers, W. S. Larkin, and D. E.
Wallace, and M. L. Gilbert is superintendent. In an advertisement, J. D. Sumner invites
everybody to make his store headquarters during court or any other time when in town. S.
Daiger advertises groceries, feed, fertilizer, crockery, clothing, oil stoves. O. N. Williams
& Son advertise that they are the original Racket Store and have added a grocery
department and a millinery and dress making department supervised by Mrs. Jennie
Knapp. O. N. Williams is an agent for the Standard Fertilizer Co. Coleman and Ferguson
advertise. W. L. Baker states that he is successor to R. C. Davis and advertises fresh fish
each day, fresh pork, sausage, beef, and mutton. R. T. Thrasher is a dealer in general
merchandise. Brown's Livery has good teams and careful drivers. E. M. Staley is a
contractor and builder.
Dec. 14, 1909. The Elfers post office is established. The first postmaster was Levi D.
Eiland. [Mrs. J. M. Mitchell recalled that the next postmaster was J. M. Mitchell in Oct.
1911, followed by Spivey Woddy.]
About 1910. The first burial takes place at Indian Pond Cemetery in Dade City [Historic
Places of Pasco County].
1910. Capt. Howard B. Jeffries, a Civil War veteran from Pennsylvania, and the
Zephyrhills Colony Co. purchase 35,000 acres at Abbott Station for resale to pensioned
Union veterans of the Civil War.
Feb. 11, 1910. The Atlanta Constitution reports: “Tampa, Fla., February 10—Meager
details were received here tonight of the killing of Joseph and M___ Hale of Abbott, a
small community a short distance from Dade City, by Will Stafford, one of the most
prominent farmers in that county. The two brothers had been charged, it is alleged, with
stealing hogs from Mr. Stafford and a quarrel ensued. Yesterday afternoon the three met
at Abbott. Just how the difficulty which led up to the dual killing started cannot be
learned. Stafford secured a double barreled gun, however, and killed both of the young
men. The bodies were carried to Dade City, where an inquest will be held tomorrow
May 31, 1910. The name of the Abbott post office is changed to Zephyrhills. [Another
source has Mar. 10, 1910.]
1911. The Port Richey Co. purchases part of the land of the Aripeka Saw Mills. [The Port
Richey Co. consisted of P. L. Weeks, a turpentine operator from Brooksville, his brother
J. S. Weeks Jr., and W. E. Guilford, formerly with the Gillette Safety Razor Co.
Apr. 4, 1911. The Atlanta Constitution reports: “Dade City, Fla., April 3.—While
personally directing the completion of a hotel he has built here, S. H. Gerowe fell 30 feet
today and was instantly killed. He was standing on a window ledge on the second story,
pulling a nail. The nail came out suddenly and Mr. Gerowe lost his balance. He was
formerly a traveling salesman for Harry Schlesinger, of Atlanta.”
Aug. 16, 1911. A map labeled “Port Richey Company, Plan for Town of Port Richey” is
recorded in public records. [The plan was drawn up by W. E. Guilford. It apparently had
many of the streets and avenues surveyed, but not named.]
Oct. 1, 1911. A 1911 Port Richey Co. publication has: “The Port Richey Northern
Railway at this writing (October 1, 1911) has been completed to within two miles of Port
Richey. It will require but a short while longer to complete the road to the town of Port
Richey. Work on the railroad bridge is already under way, and will be completed by
December 1st.”
Oct. 4, 1911. A post office is established at Crystal Springs. [A Mar. 27, 1919,
newspaper article mentioned that W. P. Brophy was the postmaster.]
Oct. 5, 1911. A newspaper is founded in Zephyrhills, the Zephyrhills Colonist. [The Oct.
12, 1911, newspaper shows George H. Gibson as editor, publisher, and proprietor, and
Floyd A. Gibson as foreman. Maxie Smith is shown as the publisher in the Apr. 29, 1921,
newspaper. The newspaper became the Zephyrhills News in the 1920s. On Apr. 2, 1926,
S. D. Lovett is shown as editor and publisher.]
Nov. 16, 1911. The Zephyrhills Colonist mentions vol. I, no. 1, of the Dade City Record.
1912. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Station is erected in Dade City.
1912. The Grand Army of the Republic Hall is constructed in Zephyrhills.
1912. A Guide to Florida for Tourists, Sportsmen, and Settlers lists three hotels in Dade
City: Woods' Tavern, I. A. Woods, capacity 25; Embry House, W. E. Embry, capacity,
25; Osceola, Mrs. M. D. Cochran, capacity, 20.
Jan. 20, 1912. The Tampa Daily Times reports, “The new hotel being erected by the Port
Richey company is nearly completed and will be ready for guests about February 1. It is a
well constructed frame building with wide verandas, large office and dining room and ten
or twelve bed rooms.” [The hotel became the Sass Hotel, operated by Fred and Ollie
Sass. In 1920 the Enchantment Inn Co. bought the hotel and renamed it The Inn. The
largest stockholder of the Enchantment Inn Co. was George R. Sims. Other stockholders
were Clyde F. Burns, Elroy M. Avery, H. S. Rothera, George L. Wanner, W. A. Casey,
Mead Wood, C. L. Fox, J. S. Jackson, S. D. Copeland, and D. J. Clark. On June 23, 1921,
an ad appears in the New Port Richey Press for The Inn, H. S. Rothera, manager. On Apr.
13, 1922, the New Port Richey Press reported that the Enchantment Inn Co. sold the hotel
to Miss H. A. Turnbolt of Lincoln, Ill. On Jan. 5, 1923, the New Port Richey Press
reported that Miss Turnbolt had returned to St. Louis because of ill health and that the
hotel was being leased to Mr. and Mrs. Sass. On June 15, 1923, the New Port Richey
Press reported that Fred L. Walsh of Somerville, Mass., had purchased the Inn from the
Enchantment Co. A Jan. 2, 1925, newspaper ad shows the Enchantment Inn, F. L. Walsh,
Jan. 20, 1912. The Tampa Daily Times reports, “Mr. McNatt is erecting a new store
building and will soon have it filled with a good stock of goods. The Port Richey colony
lands have been open to settlement only a short time, yet a number of ten and twenty acre
tracts have been purchased by homeseekers, many of whom have already moved on their
lands and are beginning to make improvements.”
Feb. 3, 1912. The Tampa Daily Times reports, “A force of workmen are engaged in
erecting a well designed hotel. work has also been commenced on a new store which will
be opened and occupied by Mr. W. R. McNatt, and a passenger station and freight
warehouse is to go up at once. Several residences and storehouses are in prospect. To
insure the rapid upbuilding of Port Richey the Port Richey company is giving absolutely
free to each purchaser of a ten-acre farm tract a lot in the town. The majority of
purchasers will build on their free town lots and thus the rapid growth of Port Richey is
Mar. 8, 1912. The Hotel Edwinola in Dade City opens, with Edwin J. Gasque, owner,
and A. J. Stebbins, manager. [It opened on the site of the former Dade City Hotel. In the
1950s the building became Florida East Coast University; the university was closed in the
1970s. The Edwinola reopened in 1974 as a restaurant, and as a retirement home in
Aug. 1, 1912. The First State Bank of Zephyrhills begins operations, having bought out
the McCormick, Stapleton, & Co., bankers, of Zephyrhills. [On July 16, 1915, the Dade
City Banner reported that the banks in Zephyrhills have consolidated, with the American
State Bank of Zephyrhills purchasing the assets of the First State Bank of Zephyrhills.]
Aug. 8, 1912. The Atlanta Constitution has: “Zephyr Hills, Fla. August 7.—Richard A.
Burke, vice president and general manager of the Homestead Land company of Crystal
Springs, near here, jumped in front of a fast moving passenger train today and was
instantly killed. ... Burke came here two years ago from Milwaukee, Wis., and was one of
the foremost citizens in this section. No reason is known for the rash act.”
Aug. 25, 1912. The Atlanta Constitution reports: “Tampa, Fla., August 24—Lonnie
Rewis, a young married man, was shot and killed at Fivay Junction by unknown parties
late last night. It developed at the corner's inquest that Rewis had alleged illicit relations
with a young woman named Pearce. Bad blood has existed between the two families for
some time because of Rewis’ infatuation for the girl.” [According to Jeff Cannon, Rewis
(1884-1912), shot on Aug. 23, was allegedly having a relationship with Grace Pearce, a
girl under age 17; members of her family were immediately suspected in the killing.]
Nov. 1912. The depot at New Port Richey is built, according to an article by J. H. Moran
in Avery. [The building of the bridge across the Cotee River delayed the arrival of trains
until the summer of 1913, when semi-weekly train service was established.]
Dec. 21, 1912. Ehren Pine Co. is incorporated, with officers E. L. Mueller, president;
Louis Mueller, vice president; Curt Holzer, secretary; J. A. Barthle, treasurer.
1913. The first of two legal executions occurs in Pasco County as Tom Bush is hanged by
Sheriff Sturkie for murdering his wife.
1913. Railroad service to Elfers is established by the Tampa and Gulf Coast Railroad to
accommodate shipment of citrus. (The track was extended to New Port Richey during
World War I. According to Ash, operation of the railroad was assumed in 1927 by the
Seaboard Air Line Railroad which closed the New Port Richey depot on April 25, 1943.)
1913. Father Felix Ullrich, Benedictine priest from the St. Leo Abbey, celebrates the first
Mass offered in western Pasco County in the home of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Casey on
Washington St. at Virginia Avenue, according to a Queen of Peace Church history.
[Ullrich founded Queen of Peace Catholic Church in 1919 and became its first resident
priest in 1922.]
1913. The Dade City Banner is established. [In 1914 the Dade City Banner was
published every Friday by editor W. M. Hetherington. This newspaper later became the
Pasco News and the Pasco County News, which ceased publication on Nov. 30, 2006,
although the company continued to publish the Pasco Shopper, a free advertising flyer.
April 30, 1913. Voters approve a $100,000 bond issue to build a hard road from Tarpon
Springs to Port Richey to Aripeka.
May 1, 1913. Trilby is incorporated. [The incorporation papers show that Dr. W. G.
DeVane was selected Mayor.]
May 4, 1913. The new St. Rita Church is blessed by Benedictine Fr. Augustine Feller.
May 9, 1913. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports that R. E. Filcher and George R. Sims
purchased the Port Richey Co. and its lands including the town site of Port Richey on
April 1. [Filcher died July 21, 1929, in Los Angeles.]
May 9, 1913. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports: “A large plot has been donated by the
Company adjacent to the lake in the town of Port Richey for the immediate erection of a
Methodist Church building. ... The church building will be constructed of cement brick.”
[On Aug. 12, 1913, the Port Richey Company deeded lots 29, 30, 31, and 32 in Block 51
to J. A. Kyle, W. E. Frank, and J. H. Moran, as trustees of the Port Richey Methodist
Episcopal Church South. This property was at the northwest corner of Pennsylvania Ave.
and Jefferson Street. According to Hendley, “In 1913 the Methodist church was
organized, the first minister was Rev. H. Logan. J. M. Mitchell was the first
superintendent of the Sunday School; later on the Methodists built a substantial church.”
According to J. H. Moran in Avery, “The first religious service was held in the park in the
summer of 1913, the Reverend Holmes Logan of Tarpon Springs preaching the sermon.
In the fall the service was held in the McNatt building and there continued until the
Methodist church was ready for occupancy. After Mr. Logan came Pastors Tompkins,
Collier, (during whose ministry the church was built) Windham, Stevens, Partridge, and
J. E. Jones.” Construction of the Methodist-Episcopal Church at the northwest corner of
Pennsylvania Ave. and Jefferson St. began on Feb. 1, 1915, and was completed in 1918.]
May 9, 1913. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports: “Poles have been laid along the
Tarpon Springs-Port Richey road, via Elfers, and within the next week or two wires will
be strung and Port Richey will be in telephone communication with the outside world.”
Nov. 1913. On the day after Thanksgiving, Gerben DeVries first visits Port Richey. He
wrote later, “Port Richey then consisted of a store and a postoffice in charge of David
Clark who had always lived here. There was a small school building, a few houses near
the mouth of the river, and that was about all. New Port Richey was not yet on the map.
Where this town now stands, I found a hotel in charge of two very congenial people—
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sass. There was also a 'freight and passenger depot' at the end of two
rusty 30-pound rails, an unoccupied store building which is now the Idlewile apartment
house, Mr. Malmstrom's home on the Circle nearing completion, a beautiful river bank
covered with a grove of the finest palm and oak trees I had ever seen, a lot of pretty white
stakes marking the location of town lots for sale, and a sand trail as crooked as they make
them running from here to Tarpon Springs.”
1914. The Hotel Newport is constructed on North Boulevard in what would become New
Port Richey by A. J. Pauels and Mike Broersma.
1914. Port Richey Hardware and Supply is established. [A 1924 advertisement makes this
claim and says the business is “the oldest established business in town.”]
Feb. 1914. Rollo Draft arrives in what would become New Port Richey, which has a
population of less than 20, according to his recollection in an article in the New Port
Richey Press of Oct. 31, 1957.
June 12, 1914. The Dade City Star reports on the primary election, saying, “The count
shows that something like eight hundred votes were cast, in fact nearly every one
qualified to cast a vote, did so.” O. N. Williams was elected to the legislature. A. A.
Boone was elected tax collector. Wendell Gilbert was elected tax assessor. County
Commissioners elected by district were R. L. Bryant (1), Allen Bird (2), John H. Harper
(3), D. H. McCarthy (4), J. M. Baillie (5). E. M. Craig was elected to the school board
from District One and Z. T. Roberts was elected from District Two. An obituary of Dr. T.
C. Whitman says he died at his home south of Ehren and tells of his experience in the
Civil War. Rev. T. S. Hubert was pastor of the Baptist church.
Sept. 25, 1914. The Dade City Banner reports that J. T. Futch is about to build a packing
house south of the depot, that A. J. Reed has leased the old mill site between Church and
Meridian streets, which he will convert into a wood yard and mill, that concrete
sidewalks are soon to be constructed on College Street, and that J. T. Teston will operate
a laundry.
Nov. 13, 1914. The Dade City Banner reports:
Mrs. Raymond Hitchcock, wife of the noted actor, and her brother arrived in the city
Tuesday, and are making their headquarters at the Edwinola for the present. Mrs.
Hitchcock bought the old Blanton tract, consisting of 300 acres, last year from Mr.
Stewart, manager of the Hippodrome, of New York, who was here last winter, and
expects to spend the winter here in improving her property, setting out a large orange
grove on it in the near future. The Blanton estate is about six miles from town, and Mrs.
Hitchcock and brother, should they decide to stay here, will probably buy property and
build a winter home in the city, managing their grove from this place.
Nov. 17, 1914. The vote to incorporate Zephyrhills is held at the G. A. R. Hall. [It passed
65 to 12. W. C. Boggs was elected Mayor, and the five aldermen elected were N. L.
Wright, S. J. Lyons, A. D. Penry, S. G. Allen, and W. J. McLaughlin. Peter O. Bobb was
chosen marshal and P. T. Williams was chosen city clerk.]
Nov. 20, 1914. The Dade City Banner reports that Mr. C. Beech resigned as city marshal
and that Mayor A. F. Price appointed W. F. “Bill” Flemming to fill the unexpired term.
[Beech had been beaten up in the negro quarters earlier in the month.]
Nov. 27, 1914. An advertisement in the Dade City Banner announces that Dr. F. C. Wirt,
osteopath, will be at Dade City Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at the
Edwinola Hotel, and at San Antonio on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning,
beginning Nov. 16.
Dec. 4, 1914. In an article about Zephyrhills, the Dade City Banner reports:
Zephyrhills is to have a new depot. The Seaboard people are unloading brick and other
material just north of their old depot. We are very glad to see this move taken by the
Seaboard. The present depot has been very inadequate to serve the people of Zephyrhills.
It is one of the best paying depots between Tampa and Jacksonville, and we feel we are
entitled to some consideration from the Seaboard people, as they have treated us pretty
well. The Methodists have commenced on their new $5,000 building, contract for which
has been let to Clark & Fuller. It is located on the corner of Fifth avenue and Tenth street;
it is to be a fine building and the Methodists can justly feel proud of their endeavors.
1915. A new Methodist church is constructed in New Port Richey two blocks east of Rev.
J. M. Mitchell's home. He preached there for many years (Ash).
1915. New Port Richey has 100 residents, according to a local history.
Feb. 12, 1915. The Dade City Banner reports that the Pasco County Medical Society held
its regular monthly meeting and banquet at the Hotel Edwinola. Those present were Drs.
Devane and Byrd of Trilby, Dr. C. H. Scoville of Dixie, Dr. J. T. Bradshaw and Dr. J. W.
Gatton of San Antonio, Dr. J. F. Corrigan of St. Leo, Dr. Wilhoit of Lacoochee, Drs.
Wade and Sistrunk of Dade City, and Dr. J. H. Brownfield, visiting physician.
Feb. 20, 1915. The application for a New Port Richey Post Office is dated Feb. 20, 1915.
[The name New Port Richey appears in the minutes of the Pasco County school board on
May 3-4, 1915. For information on why New Port Richey became a separate place from
Port Richey and how it was named, see the Origins of Place Names page.]
Feb. 27, 1915. The cornerstone of the First Methodist Church in New Port Richey is laid.
May 1915. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Luikart arrive in what would become New Port Richey
from West Virginia. In an interview by Julie Obenreder, Mrs. Luikart recalled that at the
time there were only six houses in the town. There were no roads, only sand trails
running through dense woodlands.
June 18, 1915. An issue of The Pasco County Weekly News of Trilby with this date
indicates it is volume I, No. 11. The masthead includes the slogan “Trilby has railroads
running in every direction, and 14 passenger trains daily” and the slogan “Trilby is
located in the famous Pasco highlands trucking and citrus belt.” John Tippen is shown as
editor and publisher. C. D. Bradshaw is shown as business manager. The newspaper has
“W. E. Wilson has been appointed deputy sheriff for this district” and “It is stated that the
postoffice department has rescinded the appointment of D. G. Allen as postmaster, and E.
W. Gideons is to remain in that position.” In a section of Lacoochee news items, the
newspaper has “J. T. Neal has been appointed deputy sheriff here.” A letter from the
Mayor of Lacoochee expresses support for a proposed merger of Trilby and Lacoochee.
[The Florida Pioneer Museum has page 1 of this newspaper.]
Aug. 6, 1915. Will Leak, a black man, is lynched at Trilby after being accused of
attempted rape. He was taken from the county jail and hanged on an oak tree in front of
Hilliard's barber shop in the center of town. An Associated Press article datelined Trilby,
Fla., Aug. 6, 1915, reported: “A mob attacked the jail at Dade City late last night,
overpowering the jailer, secured Will Leach a negro and brought him here and hanged
him in front of the railway station.”
Aug. 6, 1915. The Dade City Banner reports: “About 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon Tom
Scott and Elmore Tucker, of Richland, were fired on from ambush as they were crossing
the Withlacoochee river at Cow's Ford, about four miles east of Richland. Scott was
killed and Tucker was wounded in the chin and arm. The horse was unhurt.” [On Aug.
15, the Atlanta Constitution reported: “Tampa, Fla., Aug. 14 — Taft, Ivey and Preston
Overstreet, brothers, white men, accused of ambuscading and killing Tom Scott and
Elmore Tucker, near Dade City, early in the week, are in jail here for safekeeping.
Officers at Dade City feared for the safety of the men and rushed them to the local jail.
Scott and Tucker were driving in a wagon when they were fired upon from ambush. Scott
died immediately and Tucker fled through the woods.”]
Aug. 24, 1915. Lewis Charles Draft, age 5, dies. His funeral is the first held in New Port
Aug. 30, 1915. The New Port Richey post office is established.
Oct. 9, 1915. The Dade City Banner and the Dade City Star are consolidated.
Nov. 12, 1915. The Dade City Banner reports that John O'Berry, who lived about a mile
from Trilby, was shot and killed Saturday night at Trilby by an unknown assassin.
Dec. 31, 1915. James E. Grey (GHS '34) is born, the first boy born in New Port Richey.
He was the son of Frank I. Grey and Mary Casey.
1915-1916. A board of trade is established to promote New Port Richey during the winter
of 1915-1916, according to an article by Gerben DeVries.
1915 or 1916. The H. H. Havens Building is constructed on East Main Street. [It later
became the Chasco Inn Building. Information about the building is here.
1916. The Cotee River Community Club is built by George R. Sims. [He deeded it to the
City of New Port Richey in November 1924.]
1916. A brick, two-story city hall is constructed on Meridian Ave. in Dade City.
1916. Pine Hill Cemetery is established by the women of the Civic Club on two acres
donated by George R. Sims, according to information from the Pasco County Historical
Preservation Committee, which dedicated a marker on Nov. 9, 2002. [According to the
marker, the first interment was that of Clifford E. Freels in 1917; another source has C. E.
Freel. The cemetery was deeded to the city in May 1926, or, according to a recent
newspaper article, in 1941.]
Jan. 1916. The first newspaper, the New Port Richey Post, is published. The following is
from an article by Ralph Bellwood in the New Port Richey Press of Jan. 2, 1969:
From the information we have been able to glean from the past, less than two hundred
copies were printed and only four issues came out during the first year. Practically no
advertisement was found in the first two issues; however, the Post of December, 1916,
had nearly a full page of advertisements.
[The New Port Richey Post subsequently ceased publication. Only the Jan. 1916 issue has
been seen; it does not show the name of a publisher. In 1948 the New Port Richey Press
said that the Post was “apparently produced by the Port Richey Company.”]
Jan. 1916. The New Port Richey Post reports, “Dr. J. Martin Posey, of Hudson, has
rented the pretty bungalow owned by W. F. Bragg on Orange Circle and moved his
family here. Dr. Posey is much impressed with the prospects of a fine little city and
enthused over the possibilities of this part of Florida. He has opened an office over the
Port Richey Drug Store and will be one of our substantial citizens hereafter.”
Jan. 1916. The New Port Richey Post reports, “One of the recent business blocks erected
here is that of B. H. Hermanson, who, as proprietor, has opened the New Port Richey
drug store and soda fountain. ... The postoffice is located in the Drug Store quarters, and
in other sections of the building are located the dry goods store of W. H. Valentine, the
meat market of J. W. Clark, and on second floor may be found W. A. Casey's barber
shop, Dr. Posey's office and other items of interest.”
Feb. 1916. An article in the Dade City Banner lists the county commissioners: D. H.
McCarthy (chairman), J. H. Harper, R. L. Bryant, J. M. Baillie, Allen Bird.
Mar. 31, 1916. The Dade City Banner reports that Tom Pearce, a son of Pasco County
Surveyor Allen Pearce, was shot and killed by an unknown assailant as he left his home
two miles west of San Antonio on Saturday night. [Pearce had been suggested as the
person who might have killed Adolphus Lewis at Fivay some time earlier.] The
newspaper also reports that coming attractions at the Motio next week include the five-
reel feature Hazel Kirke, starring Pearl White and Creighton Hale.
June 29, 1916. The Bank of Dade City opens.
Nov. 24, 1916. The Dade City Banner has: “The undersigned agree to close their
respective places of business for Thanksgiving on November 30, 1916. Coleman and
Ferguson, T. L. Shofner, J. A. Peek, Cash Grocery Store, Hubert Jewelry Store, S. F.
Huckabay, H. C. Griffin, O. N. Williams and Son, W. M. Redding.”
1917. The business people of New Port Richey purchase a Model T Ford heavy duty fire
truck which has a water tank but no pumper, according to a history of the NPRVFD. [For
the history of fire departments in western Pasco County, see this page.]
1917. LeRoy and Mary Jane Bailey of Jackson, Michigan, purchase the Clark homestead
from J. Henry Sheldon and rename it the Bay Lea Inn. [Sheldon had purchased the home
after Mrs. Clark died in 1915, according to F. C. Mallett. The Dec. 2, 1920, New Port
Richey Press carries an ad for the Bay Lea Hotel, Mrs. M. A. Bailey, proprietor. A 1947
ad for the Baylea Inn invites people to Thanksgiving dinner.]
1917. At this time the Dowling Lumber Mill in Odessa is producing 100,000 board feet
Jan. 19, 1917. The banner headline in the Dade City Banner reads: “Everything in
Readiness for Pasco County's First Fair, Opening Wednesday, January 24th.” [According
to the web site of the Pasco County Fair, “On April 7, 1947, the Pasco County Fair
Association Inc. was chartered with the purpose of hosting an annual fair to promote
youth and other county resources. The first documented county fair was Jan. 20 through
24, 1948.”]
Mar. 13, 1917. Samuel Pasco dies, in Tampa.
Nov. 2, 1917. A notice in the Dade City Banner indicates that the Pine Hill Community
Cemetery Association had been formed by Nettie F. Sheldon, Lonnie L. Clark, Jennie
Leach, Emma M. Rowan, Minnie Broersma, and Alice C. Davis.
Dec. 17, 1917. The Tarpon Springs Leader laments the fact that in his very popular book
Over the Top, published earlier this year, Arthur Guy Empey has used the word cooties
for body lice; Cootie or Cootee is a popular shortened form for Pithlachascotee.
Dec. 28, 1917. The second and final public hanging takes place at the Dade City jail.
Edgar London, a black man convicted of murdering his wife at Ehren in 1917, is
executed by Sheriff I. W. Hudson.
1918. The Mount Zion AME Church on 7th Street in Dade City is constructed, the first
Protestant church in Pasco County to be built of masonry [Historic Places of Pasco
1918. The State Bank of Trilby is constructed.
Mar. 22, 1918. The Dade City Banner reports: “Zephyrhills was completely terrorized
Tuesday morning shortly after one o'clock when a band of bank robbers blew the safe of
the American State Bank and attempted to rob the bank of about $5,000. In the melee
following the first explosion in the bank, in which twenty or more shots are said to have
been exchanged between the robbers and citizens, Mr. A. B. Storms, a baker and
prominent citizen of Zephyrhills, was killed by one of the bandits. Failing to gain
entrance into the inner door of the safe, the bandits escaped in an automobile, which they
had stationed in the edge of town, after cutting the telegraph and telephone wires, to
prevent the alarm being given.”
May 17, 1918. The bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Isom Stewart are found in their home east of
Dade City in Lake County. They were murdered with an axe. [They are shown as living
in the Pasadena election precinct in the 1910 census. A son and two grandsons were
arrested. The Dade City Banner reported, “It looks particularly bad for Josh [Josh
Browning, grandson] as he bought a Ford car and was spending money freely shortly
after the murder and could not give a satisfactory explanation as to where his sudden
wealth came from.”]
Oct. 11, 1918. The Dade City Banner reports that the county board of education decided
on Tuesday to close all Pasco County schools for five weeks until Nov. 11 because of the
outbreak of influenza.
Oct. 24, 1918. The Zephyrhills Colonist reports in the Ellerslie news column: “Dan
Richardson, colored, who has done a good deal of work for the people in this community,
died at his home near Lumberton of influenza. Dan was the most reliable of his race we
have had to do with.”
Oct. 25, 1918. A headline in the Dade City Banner reads “Joe Parker Victim of Spanish
Influenza” and a subheadline reads “No Other Death Here and the Epidemic Giving
Nov. 21, 1918. The Port Richey Press begins publication. [The publisher was Charles L.
Fox and son. The name was changed to the New Port Richey Press on Nov. 4, 1920.]
Dec. 6, 1918. The Dade City Banner reports that Orville L. Dayton will be the next
Mayor of Dade City.
Dec. 26, 1918. The earliest Port Richey Press which has been seen (vol. 1, no. 6) reports
“Christmas Day in New Port Richey was well and royally spent. Both hotels provided
Christmas dinners with seasonable fare.” It reported, “The entertainment held at New
Port Richey school, last Saturday night may be said to have ushered in the busy festive
season which the Twin Ports have this week witnessed. The occasion was the pupils
Christmas concert, and the schoolhouse was packed with an audience both interested and
appreciative.” It mentioned that Miss Leach was the principal and that Mr. Havens gave a
violin selection. The newspaper reported that pupils of Elfers High School presented a
Christmas program on Monday night. “At the close of the program, Mr. Pinholster, the
principal, was presented by pupils with a handsome military set, and he in turn made
presents to the scholars.” An advertisement for Elfers Junior High School stated that G.
D. Pinholster was Principal. There are advertisements for three hotels, the Sass Hotel, the
Hotel Newport, and the Sheldon House in Old Port Richey. The Port Richey postmaster
is J. H. Sheldon.
Jan. 30, 1919. The Port Richey Press reports: “A meeting was held in the Clubhouse
Thursday night to consider the progress which is being made on State Aid Road No. 5,
which is the official title of the important highway running through Pasco County, and
connecting New Port Richey with Tarpon Springs on the south and Port Richey, Hudson,
Dade City, etc., to the north.”
Spring 1919. According to Avery, “The first brick building in the town [New Port
Richey] was completed by Mr. Sims in the spring of 1919, and has since been used by
him for his central offices. In the fall of 1921, the beautiful and substantial building for
the First State Bank of New Port Richey was completed. A few months later, Ralph
Werner's two-story brick mercantile building on Main street opened its doors, and was
quickly followed by James W. Clark, jr.'s two story brick building extending along the
boulevard from Main street to the railway at Nebraska street.”
Mar. 9, 1919. The Church of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, the first Roman Catholic church
in western Pasco, is dedicated. At the time there were only seven Catholic families in
town. [The church building was moved to Sims Park on June 5, 2001, where it was to be
restored and used as a meeting place.]
June 1919. Dr. Elroy McKendree Avery arrives in New Port Richey.
Aug. 28, 1919. The Port Richey Press reports: “We are more than pleased to be in a
position to announce that arrangements for the immediate installation of an electric light
and ice manufacturing plant in New Port Richey are now compete, and may be expected
to be in practical operation within sixty days; probably light and power earlier than this.
The plant secured is in every way efficient and up-to-date, and will be capable of turning
out ice equal to the best in Florida. Work of erecting buildings for the housing of the
plant will be commenced at once, and it may be surmized that the poles and lines will go
up simultaneously.”
Sept. 4, 1919. The Port Richey Press reports that on last Monday the County
Commission granted Clyde Fenimore Burns the franchise to erect poles and lay lines and
supply electric current to New Port Richey. [On Nov. 23, 1917, the Tarpon Springs
Leader reported that Clyde Burns had arrived in New Port Richey from Chicago “for the
purpose of installing an electric plant for lighting New Port Richey.” According to Ash,
electricity first appeared in western Pasco County around New Port Richey and Elfers in
Dec. 25, 1919. The Port Richey Press has: “The telephone number of the Port Richey
Press is 120-O. One long and two short rings will call us up on the local line.”
Early 1920s. According to Ash, in the early 1920s B. H. Hermanson developed Booker
T. Washington as an exclusive subdivision for blacks. The subdivision was added to Port
Richey on Nov. 19, 1925.
1920. The Pasco County population is 8802.
April 10, 1920. The Avery Library and Historical Society formally opens with dedication
ceremonies (Janet Lewis in WPH). [Dr. Elroy McKendree Avery had donated his
personal book collection as the nucleus of a public library. The library was originally
located in the Snell Building on Main St. between Boulevard and Adams (Ash). The Port
Richey Press of Nov. 20, 1919, carried a notice that an application to form a non-profit
corporation known as the Avery Library and Historical Society would be filed on Dec.
22, 1919.]
Apr. 2, 1920. The Dade City Banner reports: “The plant of the Ehren Pine Company at
Ehren was entirely destroyed by fire last Sunday, entailing a loss estimated at $125,000.
The fire was started by a high wind carrying brands from a burning trash pile to the mill
which was ablaze in several places in a few minutes. A large boarding house and two
residences were burned with the mills. The mill of the Ehren Pine Company has been
destroyed by fire once or twice before. The president of the company and principal
owner, is F. E. Mueller, and the secretary is A. E. Medard (?). With the sawmill gone
there is little left of Ehren, and its future will depend largely upon whether Mr. Muller
and his associates rebuild or not.”
July 22, 1920. The Port Richey Press says “our population is at least 550.” It reports the
population figures for the largest towns in Pasco, presumably from the 1920 census: Dade
City, 1296; Zephyrhills, 577; Odessa 700; San Antonio, just under 700.
Dec. 17, 1920. The Dade City Banner reports that F. D. Cosner was elected Mayor and
that, because of reports of rabies among dogs in town, city council voted to require dogs
to be muzzled year- round or be shot by Marshal Sparkman. [Frederick D. Cosner, b.
1872, served two terms as mayor.]
Jan. 2, 1921. The first Baptist service in New Port Richey is conducted in a rented hall in
the Snell Building. Rev. A. E. Gammage, pastor of Elfers Baptist Church, preached the
sermon (WPH). [According to a 1927 article in the New Port Richey Press, “The First
Baptist church ... was established about ten years ago through the influence of Dr. Joseph
Billhimer and the first meetings were held at his house.” The first service in the new
building on Circle Boulevard was held on July 4, 1926, with the sermon delivered by Dr.
Charles Mercer Brittain, Executive Secretary of the Florida State Board of Missions.]
Jan. 7, 1921. The Dade City Banner reports: “The saw mill of the Greer Lumber Co. at
Greer, five miles south of Dade City, was destroyed by fire last night.”
Jan. 27, 1921. In an article in the New Port Richey Press, postmaster Gerben DeVries
writes, “A reliable authority estimates our present population [New Port Richey] about
1500. I can confirm that figure.”
Mar. 4, 1921. The Dade City Banner reports: “J. M. O'Berry, the pioneer of Blanton, has
deeded to Sanford Blocker and Fred O'Berry as trustees, to hold in perpetuity as a public
park, the triangular piece of land in the village of Blanton between the station, the
postoffice and the street.”
June 8, 1921. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports that a new theater, the Picturedrome, is
under construction in New Port Richey for Pretorius and Jackson.
June 14, 1921. Community Congregational Church holds its first service at Snell Hall at
Adams and Main Street. Rev. Milton H. Babcock was the organizing pastor. [During the
summer, a church building was started on two lots donated by George R. Sims, located
on the north side of Orange Lake. Before the building was finished, it was badly damaged
by the Oct. 1921 hurricane but the fledgling congregation repaired the damage and
completed the building. Rev. Babcock resigned in April 1922 and was succeeded by Rev.
Charles Drake (until Feb. 1923), Rev. Ray Busler (to Oct. 1923), Rev. Oscar Denny (to
Nov. 1929), Rev Ralph Krout (to April 1932), and Rev. Frank J. Brown (to April 1935).
Lay ministers served briefly, followed by Rev. James Parker (from Sept. 1936 to April
1941) and Rev. Floyd H. Andrus (to July 1963). The church was replaced by a new
building at the same site in 1966.]
July 8, 1921. The Dade City Banner reports that W. R. Townsend, a woodsman in the
employ of the Dowling Lumber Co. at Odessa killed Alex Roberts, a black man, in self-
Aug. 12, 1921. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports, “The First State Bank of New Port
Richey has been organized, and this institution is now erecting its fine stone building
right in the heart of the city. Contractor W. C. Newcomb, of Largo, is making headway
on the work and is planning to finish and turn the structure over to the officers by the first
of September. The vault in the bank is being made as near burglar proof as possible and
all necessary precautions are being taken in the structure throughout to make it as safe
and secure as modern engineering can devise. C. Werner is putting up a two-story
business building which will accommodate a number of stores and in addition will house
many people upstairs in well arranged apartments. A drug store will occupy one of the
rooms on the first floor. Meade Wood has the job of erecting a big building for the
Congregational church. The plans call for a main room that will accommodate several
hundred people and will likely be equal to all the needs of the church for many years to
Aug. 26, 1921. The Zephyrhills Colonist reports that William H. Mountain was brutally
murdered, and that Eugene Blakely was arrested but denied involvement.
Aug. 27, 1921. Reuben (Rube) T. Jones (1873-1921) and Herbert E. Scott, residents of
Port Richey, are shot to death near Weeki Wachee Springs. [They had been camping in
the area, with Jones' wife and James W. Clark and his wife. The others in the group
discovered the bodies. The murder was unsolved. Jones was formerly the Marshal of
Tarpon Springs but had recently moved to Port Richey.]
Aug. 27, 1921. The Palms Theater opens. It was built by Rufus and Margaret Jackson.
According to Ash, “Saturday night became a community event in New Port Richey as
parents, accompanying their young ones, and youths converged on the Palm. After
leaving their children, the parents would take the opportunity to visit friends until the
movies ended. ... the votes for the first Chasco queen were counted in the theater in 1922,
and Mrs. George R. Sims won the honor.” [Newspapers in 1922 indicate that an
entertainment feature was shown on Saturday nights and an educational feature was
shown on Wednesday nights. A 1924 advertisement indicated that “moving pictures”
were being shown on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and showed John S. Jackson as
proprietor. After the theater was closed, about 1926, it was used as a feed store and later
as a recreation hall for children. On Apr. 12, 1929, the New Port Richey Press reported
that J. S. Jackson, “until last week manager of the Meighan Theatre here” would be
remodeling the old Palms theater and that he would “show the same high grade pictures
at the Palms as were shown at the Meighan.” The New Port Richey Press reported on
Feb. 28, 1930, would reopen on Saturday night. It burned to the ground on Jan. 30, 1938.]
Sept. 9, 1921. The Zephyrhills Colonist reports that Fritz Boyett of the Wesley Chapel
neighborhood was appointed to the county commission by the Governor, replacing W. H.
Mayo, who resigned to move to Tampa.
Oct. 15, 1921. First State Bank opens for business at Main and Boulevard, the first bank
in New Port Richey.
Oct. 25, 1921. A hurricane, later estimated as category 3, makes landfall around Tarpon
Springs. Maximum winds recorded at Tarpon Springs were 100 miles per hour. [Peter
Joseph (“Joe”) Baillie later recalled that damage in New Port Richey was extensive, boats
that had been moored along the river were floating in the streets and many homes were
without roofs. The New Port Richey Press (unseen) reported, “A heavy storm struck New
Port Richey and vicinity on Nov. 1, causing considerable damage, but no loss of life.”
The Tarpon Springs Leader reported on Oct. 28, 1921, “Elfers and New Port Richey,
where citrus culture is among the principal industries, suffered heavily on account of the
storm.” In a 1972 newspaper interview, Leland Poole recalled, “I remember it like
yesterday. It happened Oct. 27, 1921. Elfers was just about solid citrus then. It stripped
the trees. No oranges or grapefruit that year. It hit New Port Richey too. They were just
building the Community Congregational Church. Blew the whole back out. Knocked
down wires all over.” According to a church history, the hurricane lifted Our Lady Queen
of Peace Church from its foundation, leaving it facing west; it had originally faced south.]
Nov. 18, 1921. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports that the first annual Water Carnival
will be held Thanksgiving afternoon in New Port Richey.
Nov. 21, 1921. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports that construction has begun on the
new Clark Building, a two-story brick building being erected at the corner of Boulevard
and Main.
1922. The Cummer Sons Cypress Company sawmill is constructed at Lacoochee. [The
last timber was milled on June 5, 1959.]
1922. According to WPH, “Fred C. Frierson moved from Brooksville and opened the first
prescription pharmacy in West Pasco in New Port Richey in 1922, but the residents still
had to rely mainly on the doctors from Tarpon Springs, until 1926 when Dr. C. A. Gavin,
M. D., and A. P. English, M. D., both began a practice in New Port Richey.”
Feb. 2, 1922. The Elfers West Pasco Record begins publication.
Feb. 9, 1922. The Elfers West Pasco Record reports that the new Clark building in New
Port Richey is expected to be ready for occupancy in about two weeks. It reports, “E. S.
McDuffy, who has been conducting a barber shop in the rear of the Edenfield & Wiggin
store [in Elfers], is now occupying a building removed from the rear of the old place, and
located at the cross roads.”
Feb. 23, 1922. The New Port Richey Press reports that Nikko Nook, owned by Walter K.
Jahn, was destroyed by fire on Thursday at noon. The fire began when a gas stove
March 3-5, 1922. The first Chasco Fiesta is held in Enchantment Park. Gerben DeVries,
the first postmaster of New Port Richey, had created the legend of the Chasco Fiesta.
Aug. 3, 1922. The New Port Richey Press reports that Dr. L. Martin, a dentist and
ophthalmologist, will be at The Inn every Thursday beginning Aug. 10 for the treatment
of patients.
Sept. 18, 1922. Gulf High School opens, the first high school in western Pasco County.
Oct. 4, 1922. Deputy Arthur Fleece Crenshaw, 31, of Trilby, and federal prohibition
agent John Van Waters, 46, of Dade City are ambushed as they returned from an
investigation northeast of Dade City. [These were the first documented deaths of law
enforcement officers killed on duty since Pasco County was formed.]
Oct. 5, 1922. A newspaper ad appears for the Magnolia Tavern, “a family hotel at Port
Richey within one block of the Cotee River near the Gulf. Fine fishing and hunting.
Boats furnished. All home cooking—everything new and clean. M. Broersma, Prop.” [On
Feb. 29, 1924, the New Port Richey Press reported that the “new Hotel York made its
bow to the public” on Thursday evening. The Tarpon Springs Leader of Nov. 11, 1924,
refers to the Hotel York, which it says was formerly the Magnolia Tavern and which it
says York purchased “last winter.” On Aug. 21, 1925, the New Port Richey Press
reported that York had sold the York Hotel, which he built two years ago, to O. B.
Murphy and associates.]
Oct. 19, 1922. The New Port Richey Press reports that the lumber plant and stored
materials of the Dowling Brothers Lumber Co. at Odessa were destroyed by fire.
Dec. 1, 1922. The New Port Richey Press quotes George R. Sims as saying that the
population of New Port Richey is now nearing 1500 and that New Port Richey is now the
second largest town in the county.
June 18, 1923. The Janesville Daily Gazette reports that three masked bandits in an
automobile held up Elwood Wilson, manager of the Cummer Cypress Copmany at
Lacoochee and escaped with $11,700, the company's payroll.
Oct. 1923. At a meeting of the Hudson-Aripeka Board of Trade, J. C. Mitcham and J. B.
Kolb reported on attempts to have telephone lines extended from Hudson to Aripeka.
Oct. 31, 1923. New Port Richey begins getting its electricity from the Southern Utilities
Co. in Tarpon Springs.
May 1924. William Jennings Bryan visits New Port Richey, campaigning for election as
a delegate-at-large to the Democratic National Convention.
Aug. 1, 1924. The New Port Richey Press reports: “The possession of too large a
proportion of their assets in the form of paper not easily convertible into money,
combined with a heavy demand for cash caused by the presentation of a large number of
Atlantic Coast Line railroad pay checks by employes living in Trilby and others are
understood to have been the cause of the failure of the Trilby State Bank, which closed its
doors shortly after noon last Saturday.” [A later newspaper article reported that the bank
closed on July 19.]
Sept. 1924. The Genesis of New Port Richey lists these churches: Community Church,
Rev. O. H. Denny; Church of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Father Felix, O. S. B.; Baptist
Church, Rev. B. M. Pack, services in Snell Hall; Methodist Episcopal Church, South,
Rev. W. R. Howell.
Oct. 17, 1924. The New Port Richey Press publishes a letter saying that the black
residents of Port Richey wish to thank the white people for their donations towards the
building of the Little Home Baptist Church. It reported, “We are having day school here
now, and again we wish to thank the kind white ladies who have furnished the school
room with books for the education of our children.”
Oct. 27, 1924. Residents vote 201-4 in favor of incorporating New Port Richey and
choose Elroy M. Avery the first mayor. He was sworn in on Oct. 29. Other officials of
the new town were C. W. Barnett, clerk; L. H. Meeth, marshal; and councilmen W. H.
Critchley, Oscar William Herms, J. Henry Sheldon, W. A. Lockard, J. H. Casey, F. A.
Shaw and Rollo Draft.
Nov. 18, 1924. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports, “The home of Dr. and Mrs. I. N.
Vickers on the boulevard, which has been remodelled into a hotel known as the
'Kentucky Inn,' was completed last week, and is now open for business.” [Isaac N.
Vickers and his wife Goldie wee born in Kentucky. The building, at Missouri and
Boulevard, was used as a hotel until 1955, and was torn down in 1962, according to a
contemporary newspaper account.]
Dec. 5, 1924. The New Port Richey Press reports that the New Port Richey Town
Council unanimously adopted Ordinance No. 1, which applied to the acceptance by the
town of certain land and tenements from the Port Richey Company. [The property
included Enchantment Park, which was renamed Sims Park on Dec. 16.]
Dec. 16, 1924. Enchantment Park is renamed Sims Park to honor George R. Sims.
1925. The 1925 census shows these populations: Dade City 1776, New Port Richey 862,
Zephyrhills 861, San Antonio 326, St. Leo 128.
1925. An advertising brochure depicts the York Hotel in Port Richey, named for
Chauncey Freeland York. [It was later called the Manor Inn. A 1928 newspaper article
refers to the Manor Inn. A 1930 newspaper indicates it was renamed the Sass Hotel and
was being operated by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sass. A 1939 newspaper article reported, “The
old Manor Inn property in Port Richey, sold by Harry Sperry two years ago to Mrs.
Yolande Davis, is undergoing repairs.” According to F. C. Mallett, it was later sold to
Bob Stuart and Mr. Ritter and dismantled to build cottages and homes.]
1925. The Morey-Bowman Building is constructed at the corner of Grand Boulevard and
Missouri in New Port Richey.
January 1925. The paving of Main Street in New Port Richey is begun.
Feb. 17, 1925. William G. McAdoo (1863-1941), who served as secretary of the treasury
in President Woodrow Wilson's Cabinet from 1913 to 1918, and John Skelton Williams,
who was Comptroller of the Currency, visit the New Port Richey area, looking at land as
a possible investment.
April 10, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports that population figures made public
on April 6 showed that Pasco County has a population of 11,322.
May 8, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports: “A mass meeting held in Palms
Theatre Monday night for the purpose of considering the incorporation of New Port
Richey and Elfers under one government, resulted in a decisive vote of those present to
reject the consolidation under the proposed plan.”
May 15, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports: “Fire totally destroyed the lumber
mill of the Lyon Pine Company at Odessa last Saturday night.”
May 27, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports that city council let a contract
Tuesday night for the paving of Montana Avenue.
June 5, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports: “Fifteen buildings composing the
entire business district of Trilby, seven miles north of Dade City, were destroyed by fire
last Thursday afternoon with a loss of approximately $50,000 with only about $5,000
covered by insurance. Requests for help were sent out to Dade City, Plant City and
Lakeland. The Dade City fire department responded, but was unable to render any
assistance as Trilby has no water works and the fire engine was not equipped to pump
water from a nearby lake. A locomotive being run alongside the Atlantic Coast Line
station by the direction of Former Chief of the Tampa fire department, W. H. Mathews,
prevented that building from being destroyed. There were no casualties.”
June 9, 1925. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports, “An act incorporating Elfers as city
passed both houses of the legislature last week, and today only awaits the signature of
Governor Martin to become law.”
June 1925. During June and July of 1925, more than 50 parcels of land and houses as
well as other real estate are withdrawn from the market through official notices published
in the New Port Richey Press because of the expectation of an impending boom in real
estate. Some of the properties were later re-listed at several times their previous price.
June 19, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports: “The City of Port Richey which was
incorporated by a special act of the legislature just closed, will soon be organized with a
full set of officials. The new officers, named in the charter, are Charles F. Hoffman,
mayor; Clyde Daso, marshal; J. H. Sheldon, clerk, assessor, and collector; M. L. Bailey,
W. E. Randall, H. C. Remling, Stephen J. Ross, and Victor Malcolm Clark, councilmen.
An informal meeting of these officials was held last Saturday night, at which time it was
agreed to hold an organization meeting on Saturday night, June 27th, when the new
officers will take office and details of the organization will be perfected.”
June 19, 1925. Rep. Edwin S. Dew writes in the New Port Richey Press: “Application
was made for charter for Lacoochee but upon investigation it appeared that there was not
sufficient sentiment in favor of incorporation and consequently the bill was not
July 25, 1925. A new high record is reached when Walter K. Jahn is reported to have
paid $1,250 per front foot for the Hermanson-Draft property at Main Street and
Boulevard. [The property had a frontage of 40 feet on the Boulevard and ran through to
Florida Avenue, thus fronting on three streets. Jahn's plan was to erect a four-story brick
building but the plans were dropped when the crash occurred. This information was taken
from a 1961 column by John W. Parkes.]
Sept. 1925. The Richey Amusement Co. forms a corporation with a capital stock of
$50,000 on hand for the building of what would become the Meighan Theatre at
Nebraska and Boulevard South. [According to a contemporary newspaper account, the
corporation was composed of W. K. Jahn, James W. Clark, Charles W. Barnett, F. I.
Grey, and F. E. Dingus. The building contractor was L. C. Luppens.]
Oct. 23, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports “Work Starts Next Week on New
Theatre,” referring to what would become the Meighan Theatre. [The groundbreaking
took place on Nov. 3.]
Dec. 11, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports that this week Sen. J. M. Mitchell was
elected the first Mayor of Elfers and Victor Malcolm Clark (1889-1951) was elected the
first (elected) Mayor of Port Richey. Both were elected to one-year terms. The article
stated that the city council for Port Richey would consist of Warner H. Randall, H. H.
Stubblefield, Walter Smith, B. W. Davis, and Mrs. Susie Clark.
Jan. 1, 1926. The New Port Richey Press carries the headline “FAMOUS
headline “Thomas Meighan and Paul Whiteman, Irving Berlin, Sam H. Harris among
Celebrities Who Have Purchased Here.” More on the New Port Richey-Hollywood
connection is here.
Jan. 1, 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports that Deputy Sheriff Henry O'Berry,
until recently employed in a store in Elfers, was shot and killed near Dade City by
Charles Davis, whom he was attempting to arrest. [Davis was later seriously wounded
and captured near Ocala. A Dade City Banner article of Apr 30, 1926, reported that Davis
was believed to have been lynched when he was being transferred from the Ocala jail to
Brooksville for trial.]
Jan. 5, 1926. Publisher and real estate developer Edgar A. Wright is elected mayor of
New Port Richey. Wright was editor of Florida Grower and later published Florida Fruit
World, according to a newspaper article by John W. Parkes, publisher of the New Port
Richey Press.
Jan. 22, 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports that the Chasco Fiesta, held four years
ago, will be repeated Feb. 23 and 24, 1926.
Jan. 22, 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports that playwright and screenwriter Edgar
A. Selwyn had purchased a homesite in Bayshore Estates, and that actor Arthur Deagon
intended to erect a home here.
Jan. 29, 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports the city councils of Elfers and New
Port Richey have appointed committees to study a possible merger of the two cities. The
newspaper reported that “some months ago” an earlier plan to unite the two cities was
rejected at a public meeting of New Port Richey residents.
Feb. 19, 1926. The Zephyrhills News reports, “Bandits entered The American State Bank
Wednesday during the lunch hour, when it was closed, choked, bound and drugged the
bookkeeper and escaped with approximately $11,000.00 in cash.”
March 19, 1926. The Western Union Telegraph Co. establishes an office in the area. Mr.
and Mrs. George R. Sims sent the first telegram, an invitation to Gov. and Mrs. John W.
Martin to visit them.
Apr. 16, 1926. The Dade City Banner reports that the Crescent Theatre opened Thursday
night with the presentation of A Japanese Girl by local talent.
Apr. 30, 1926. The Dade City Banner reports that the historic Palmer House, on Eighth
St. and the Seaboard Air Line railway tracks, was badly damaged by fire early on Friday.
The article reported that the building is one of the oldest residences in Dade City and that
it was formerly a well-known hotel opposite the old Seaboard station at Pasadena.
May 1, 1926. The newly-opened Pasco Building holds an “open house” for the public to
tour the facility.
May 25-26, 1926. The Enchantment Inn is destroyed by a fire, at midnight. About 500
residents watched firefighters attempt to put out the flames.
May 28, 1926. The Dade City Banner reports, “Workmen will start early next week
clearing the property at Fourth street and East Meridian avenue, preparatory to the
breaking of ground and the construction of Dade City's new Community Hotel, according
to the announcement of M. Williams, president of the corporation, which has been
formed to carry out this structure.” [The hotel was never completed but the building
became a city hall.]
June 4, 1926. The Dade City Banner reports, “After an existence of many years the town
of San Antonio passed peacefully away on Wednesday, to be succeeded by the
municipality of Lake Jovita, the citizens of the place approving the change in a special
election by a vote of 65 to 26.” [On Oct. 19, 1926, the Dade City Banner reported: “The
last vestige of San Antonio, so far as Florida is concerned at least, will disappear on
November 1, when the name of the postoffice of that thriving little village will be
changed to Lake Jovita, to correspond with the new name authorized by an election held
there last June.”]
July 2, 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports “New Port Richey's splendid new
motion picture theatre opened last night to a capacity audience with Thomas Meighan,
after whom the theatre was named, appearing in the starring role of 'The New Klondike,'
a comedy picture of Florida.” Congratulatory telegrams were read from notables,
including Meighan and Ed Wynn.
July 13, 1926. The Dade City Banner reports: “The Bank of Dade City failed to open its
doors this morning and a notice posted on the door stated that the directors had decided to
close the institution, as the cash reserves were below the legal requirements. The bank
was considered solvent, and it was thought that the depositors would suffer no loss. The
action was taken by the directors at a monthly meeting Monday night following a run
during the day participated in largely by out of town depositors, among whom rumors
that the bank was not sound became circulated over Sunday.” [The bank reopened in
September 1926.]
Oct. 22, 1926. The Dade City Banner reports: “Dade City now has a 12-bed hospital, the
equal in equipment to any to be found in South Florida, with the moving this week of the
little emergency hospital operated for the past few years by Dr. T. F. Jackson on the
second floor of the Touchton building to the former residence of the Rev. H. N. Abraham
on Church street. First class equipment for the care of medical and surgical patients has
been installed, and a corps of trained nurses have been engaged. While the hospital is a
private one, in the sense that it is owned entirely by Dr. Jackson, its facilities will be at
the disposal of all practicing physicians of Pasco county, and it has the moral support of
the Pasco-Hernando Medical Association.”
Oct. 29, 1926. The Dade City Banner reports, “Frank Simpson, colored fireman on the
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, was instantly killed and six other employees of the road
were injured, one of them probably fatally, when extra freight train No. 815 collided with
Work Train No. 273 on a curve one mile north of Blanton, six miles from Dade City,
about 11 o'clock Thursday morning.”
Nov. 12. 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports that J. M. Mitchell, Pasco County's
senator-elect, and Arthur L. Auvil, Pasco County's representative-elect to the state
legislature, have declared their opposition to the movement to create a separate county
out of western Pasco County.
Dec. 17, 1926. The Dade City Banner reports that William Friedman was elected Mayor
of Dade City on Tuesday.
Jan. 7, 1927. The Dade City Banner reports that on Jan. 4 residents of New Port Richey
voted 120-80 to allow Sunday theaters, 81- 80 to allow Sunday baseball, but 35-144
against Sunday dancing. It also reported that Mayor Edgar A. Wright was re-elected
Mayor. The total vote was 219.
Jan 14, 1927. The Dade City Banner reports that work is progressing rapidly on the
remodeling of the Gulf Springs Lodge in Hudson and that Dr. C. J. Edgar, the new
owner, has announced that it will be opened Feb. 1 as a fisherman's and hunters' lodge.
[On April 26, the Banner reported that the lodge had been leased for the summer by Mr.
and Mrs. Frank Keene. On Apr. 26, 1929, the New Port Richey Press reported that
Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long recently stayed at Gulf Springs Lodge. On Jan. 31,
1930, the New Port Richey Press reported that S. A. Glass was manager of the Lodge. On
Apr. 27, 1934, the New Port Richey Press reported that J. M. Glass was manager of the
Lodge. The lodge was destroyed by fire on January 23, 1943.]
Feb. 4, 1927. The New Port Richey Press reports that in an interview with Thomas
Meighan the actor stated that his next picture, We're All Gamblers, would be filmed in
New Port Richey. [The film was released in 1927; however, according to an Internet web
page, Meighan stayed at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles during the filming of the
Feb. 5, 1927. The informal opening of the Hacienda Hotel takes place. [On Feb. 8, the
Dade City Banner reported that the Hacienda Hotel “was informally opened on Saturday,
Feb. 5, when the first guests were welcomed, dinner served, and the hotel thrown open
for inspection.” On Feb. 11, the New Port Richey Press reported that 800 persons
thronged the hotel for the public inspection on Feb. 5, the largest outpouring of citizens
since New Port Richey was founded.]
Feb. 17, 1927. The formal opening of the Hacienda Hotel is held. More than 120 persons
attended the event sponsored by the City Club of New Port Richey. Charles F. Hoffman,
President of the City Club, was the toastmaster, and the speakers were New Port Richey
Mayor Edgar A. Wright, Charles E. DeWoody, Dr. W. W. Hunt (or Hurt?), and C. W.
Lyons of Tampa. [More on the history of the Hacienda Hotel is on another page of this
website here.]
April 1, 1927. Father Felix Ullrich begins a campaign to raise funds for the erection of a
new Catholic church on Washington Street, just north of the original 1919 building.
April 19, 1927. The New Port Richey Press reports: “The actual construction of the
Jasmin Point Golf Club began Monday, when a crew of surveyors, engineers and land-
clearers, under the direction of the Gulf Engineering Company, swung into the task of
readying 180-acres of land for the reception of fairways, the building of bunkers and
hazards, and the completion by next January first of at least nine- holes for play.”
May 6, 1927. The New Port Richey Press reports, “Work on the new arcade post office
building started yesterday.” [On Aug. 5, 1927, the newspaper reported that construction
was completed. On Sept. 9, 1927, the newspaper reported that the New Port Richey Post
Office was moved from the Swafford Building to the Burnette Arcade on Saturday. A
1928 newspaper article calls it the Burnett Arcade Building, and reports the Avery
Library has moved into the building.]
May 17, 1927. The Dade City Banner reports figures from a special census conducted of
Pasco and Pinellas county to determine whether a second judge should be authorized for
the sixth circuit. It reports the four largest towns are Dade City, 2701; Zephyrhills, 1397;
Lacoochee, 1396; and New Port Richey, 1275. It also reported that Elfers had a
population within the corporate limits of 303, “all of whom are white,” and that “the
Elfers voting precinct, which includes outlying territory, shows a population of 554
persons, of whom 21 are colored.”
Aug. 2, 1927. The Dade City Banner reports, “The opening of the Hugh S. Embry
Memorial Free Library Saturday afternoon marks the starting of something long needed
in Dade City ....”
Aug. 15, 1927. Members of the City Club vote at a special meeting to go on record as
favoring the secession of the western side of Pasco County, either making it a separate
county or else joining the “more progressive” Pinellas county.
Aug. 26, 1927. The New Port Richey Press reports that golfer Gene Sarazen has
purchased “a residential plot at Jasmin Point opposite the property recently purchased by
Thomas Meighan.”
Sept. 17, 1927. A concrete bridge crossing the Pithlachascotee River just west of the
Hacienda Hotel (sometimes called the “Humpback Bridge”) is completed at a cost of
$30,000 to the county. Approaches were paid for by the city of New Port Richey. The
dedication took place on Oct. 6 with a bottle of champagne broken by Thomas Meighan.
Oct. 14, 1927. The New Port Richey Press reports, “Ground was broken Monday for the
foundation of Thomas Meighan's beautiful residence to be erected on his waterfront
property at Jasmin Point Estates and material is being shipped in at a rapid rate.”
Jan. 13, 1928. The New Port Richey Press reports that August Hecksher and Irwin
Yarnell plan to drill for oil two miles north of the city on or before March 1, believing the
prospects for finding oil are excellent.
Feb. 3, 1928. The New Port Richey Press reports that users of the telephone are now
required to give the operator the telephone number of the person being called instead of
just giving her the person's name. It reported that, although Mrs. Clyde Lapham had an
excellent memory, she could no longer remember the numbers of everyone and hoped
that callers would keep their telephone catalogs handy.
Feb. 5, 1929. The Jasmin Point Golf Course opens in New Port Richey.
Feb. 21, 1929. The Pasco County News masthead shows that it is published every
Thursday by the Highlands Printing Co., Dade City. Harley S. Bazzell is editor and
general manager.
May 17, 1929. The New Port Richey Press reports: “A syndicate organized by E. A.
Haley, owner of the Fort Harrison hotel ..., has purchased 5,000 acres of land in Pasco
county which will be used to establish one of the largest fish and game preservers in the
county. Associated with Mr. Haley in the project are Fred W. Warner, sr., and Fred W.
Warner, jr., of Dunedin Isles; C. G. Adian, of St. Petersburg, and James Clark of New
Port Richey, and others. A fish and game club is to be organized and a clubhouse modern
in all respects is to be built.”
July 18, 1929. The Washington Post reports that fifteen banks in Florida failed in one
day. One of them was the Bank of Pasco County in Dade City.
Mar 7, 1930. The New Port Richey Press reports that the first sound movie will be
shown at the Meighan Theatre on March 9. [According to a 1963 article by John W.
Parkes, Thomas Meighan was present to push the button. On May 2, 1930, the New Port
Richey Press reported that the theater would temporarily abandon the showing of sound
pictures and return to silent films for the summer because improvements in the sound
needed to be made; prices would be reduced to 10 cents and 20 cents.]
June 27, 1930. The New Port Richey Press reports that U. S. Highway 19, which
currently runs from Erie, Pa., to Tallahassee, is expected to be extended to St. Petersburg
and run through New Port Richey. [The extension occurred in 1932, according to a
history of U. S. highways. A road map dated March 15, 1932, shows U. S. 19 extending
from Erie to St. Petersburg. The route originally multiplexed with U. S. 41 to
Brooksville, then went west on Route 50 to Aripeka, and then south on its current
August 1930. New Port Richey City Council announces that property that had been
foreclosed on because of unpaid assessments will be offered free to anyone who will
immediately erect a residence costing not less than $2500, occupy the residence for at
least three months out of each year for five years, and pay the annual taxes during those
five years.
June 13, 1931. The First State Bank of New Port Richey suspends operations, a victim of
the depression.
Aug. 1931. The Junior Women's Club sponsors a Chasco Carnival at the Bay Lea Inn in
Port Richey.
Sept. 1931. The Avery Public Library closes because of reduced tax collections by the
city and because of the failure of the First State Bank. [The library shortly thereafter
resumed operation two days per week.]
1932 (?). New Port Richey City Hall building and fire station at 109 East Main St. is
constructed with WPA labor and federal aid.
March 23, 1933. Cartoonist Billy DeBeck, creator of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith,
arrives with his wife for a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Meighan. DeBeck played golf
in a foursome with Meighan, Gene Sarazen, and George R. Sims.
Aug. 4, 1933. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports that the Moon Lake lodge was
formally opened last Friday night. D. B. McKay, former mayor of Tampa, acted as
toastmaster. [According to the article, “There is still much work to be done in beautifying
the grounds and completing the remaining cabins. Although there are now about seven
cabins complete and in the course of construction Haley plans to have 50 two- and three-
room cabins in the development.”]
Aug. 3, 1934. The Dade City Banner reports that Pasco County took over management of
Jackson Memorial Hospital on Aug. 1.
Sept. 28, 1934. The New Port Richey Press reports that the city, aided by Federal
Emergency Relief Act labor, will start work of rehabilitating the 18-hole golf course
around Orange Lake on Monday. The newspaper stated that the “famous little golf course
... was very popular in years past and drew crowds from all over.”
Nov. 6, 1934. In an election, Pasco County votes 1130 to 670 in favor of becoming
“wet.” Pasco was the 42nd of 67 counties to resume the selling of alcoholic beverages
stronger than beer.
1935. The incorporation of Trilby is repealed, according to Scott Black.
Sept. 3-4, 1935. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 causes extensive damage from
flooding and high winds in western Pasco County. The roofs of the Elfers Citrus Growers
Exchange and Gulf High School as well as many smaller buildings were heavily
damaged. Winds were estimated at 60 to 70 miles per hour. Electricity was knocked out
and schools throughout the area were closed for several days.
Dec. 1, 1935. Dr. Elroy McKendree Avery dies in New Port Richey, at age 91.
Dec. 3, 1935. By a margin of 131-29, New Port Richey voters decide to obliterate the
municipal golf course that had circled Orange Lake.
1936. Pasco Packing Association (Lykes-Pasco) is organized.
July 6, 1936. Moore's Academy, a black school in Dade City, is destroyed by fire of
undetermined origin.
Dec. 18, 1936. The New Port Richey Press reports that the Hotel Newport, built in 1914,
has been demolished.
1937. The Moon Lake Gardens and Dude Ranch begins operation. [The description of the
facility in the WPA Writer's Project is: “A private game preserve of 7,000 acres enclosed
with a wire fence. The tract has been stocked with wild turkeys, deer, otter, beaver, and
numerous game birds. Trails wind through the woods and along the shores of Moon
Lake; the gardens are planted with azaleas and roses. Various buildings and cottages have
been erected for the accommodation of visitors.”]
1938. Coleman and Ferguson, the oldest mercantile business in Dade City, closes its
hardware, dry goods, and grocery store.
1938. During the 1938 season, Pearl Buck leased the home belonging to Mrs. E. Stephens
on Central Avenue. She remarked that the winding Cotee River only needed monkeys
swinging from their tails to make an authentic African wilderness.
Jan. 1938. The New Port Richey Theatre opens in the former Meighan Theatre building.
[The theater had been closed about four years.]
July 23, 1938. Members of the Florida House of Representatives hold an informal caucus
at the new Moon Lake Gardens for the purpose of choosing a speaker for the 1939
Aug. 19, 1938. The New Port Richey Press reports: “Local sponge boats operating out of
Port Richey are reporting good catches. Last week Captain Kenneth Hope and his crew
came in with 1,100 fine sponge, as also did Capt. Earl Bates with 1,500. The Gay Bros.
of Hudson, now operating out of Tarpon Springs brought to auction $7,500 worth of
sponge in about three trips, it is reported recently. American operated boats are now more
in evidence than has been the case in recent years, the Greek divers from Tarpon Springs
having nearly a monopoly in the trade.”
March 18, 1939. A gasoline tank truck which weighed about 17 tons crushes the
weakened boulevard bridge across the Pithlachascotee River. [The truck was not
extricated for two days and drew a continuous stream of onlookers. On March 25, after
four days of day and night work by the state road department, Mayor Fred Howard and
state road officials broke the ribbon on the repaired bridge.]
June 9, 1939. The New Port Richey Press reports that the two city fire trucks were placed
in the new fire hall last weekend. [The new fire station, city clerk's office, and public
library were located in the same new building on Main Street.]
1940. City Hall is completed in Dade City.
Mar. 15, 1940. The Dade City Banner reports: “A fire of undetermined origin destroyed
the former Hennington building and three adjacent structures, completely wiping out one
of the business blocks of Zephyrhills last Saturday morning about one-thirty o'clock,
during a period of high wind which quickly swept the buildings and caused a complete
loss. The Dade City fire department responded to a call for assistance. However it and the
Zephyrhills fire truck were unable to quench the flames, but by their efforts nearby
buildings were saved.”
Aug. 1, 1941. The New Port Richey Press reports that an estimated 800 or more workers
at the Cummer Sons Cypress Co. plant at Lacoochee were made idle starting yesterday
when the mill closed on account of a strike by the workers.
April 16, 1944. The Florida Times Union reports: “A Unit of 250 German prisoners
arrived on a special train this week from a camp in Augusta, Ga. and have been moved
into the camp on the eastern edge of Dade City. Buildings to house the prisoners and the
force of sixty military police have been built under the direction of Army engineers. The
military personnel of the camp are permitted to live off the reservation when not on duty
and many of them have been joined here by their families and have taken apartments in
Dade City. The prisoners were brought here to work at the plant of the Pasco Packing
association and the mill at Lacoochee, operated by Cummer Sons Cypress Co. Most of
the prisoners are young and groups of them in the camp last evening were singing. An
officer remarked that they would no doubt soon be singing ‘God Bless America,’ as they
seem rather content to be here.”
1945. College Street in Dade City is renamed Church Street, according to Historic Places
of Pasco County. [Another source gives 1944.]
Aug. 14, 1945. New Port Richey residents celebrate the 7 p.m. announcement of the
Japanese surrender, ending World War II. The New Port Richey Press reported on Aug.
17: “The siren blew following the President's pronouncement; folks gathered along the
main streets and with their neighbors; many wended their way to churches to pray and
give thanks to God. About 8:30 an impromptu parade of several score automobiles
preceded by the fire department drove over most of the city and Port Richey, blowing
horns and calling gladly to friends as the car drivers and occupants passed the homes of
this locality from which over 100 fighting men and the women of the armed forces had
left to serve their country and all democracy. There was no attempt at mass exuberance or
wild celebration such as reports attribute to many of the larger centers. There was just a
feeling of—'Thank God, it's over now.' Liquor stores closed here promptly with the
blowing of the siren, and they remained closed for the 24-hour period, including
Wednesday, when almost every type of business activity ceased.”
Aug. 24, 1945. The Dade City Banner reports, “A disastrous fire of undetermined origin
broke out about 10 o'clock Wednesday night in the parts room on the second floor of the
two-story brick garage building of the Pasco Packing Association causing damage which
will run into thousands of dollars.”
Jan. 24, 1947. The Dade City Banner reports: “Following a meeting of New Port Richey
citizens and others of the West Coast area with attorneys and county commissioners of
Pinellas county in New Port Richey Friday night, a meeting was held here Tuesday
afternoon relative to a proposal that Pasco county's coastal sector be annexed to Pinellas
county. George C. Dayton, representative, and Senator J. C. Getzen both expressed
disapproval of the plan in no uncertain terms and said they would fight in the Legislature
any attempt of western Pasco to secede.”
Feb. 14, 1947. The Chasco Fiesta pageant is revived and presented by the Chasco Junior
Women's Club. [Newspaper accounts at the time called it the first Chasco Fiesta since
Oct. 3, 1947. The New Port Richey Press reports that electricity has been brought to
Aripeka as an REA project, but that residents still await telephone service.
Nov. 1947. A chemical plant in Tarpon Springs, constructed by Victor Chemical
Company to process phosphate, begins operation. [The plant, located on the Anclote
River near the Pasco county line, was later owned by the Stauffer Chemical Co.]
Jan. 16, 1948. The New Port Richey Press reports that dial telephone service will begin
in New Port Richey on Jan. 21.
Dec. 21, 1948. The Pasco Theatre opens in Dade City.
June 22, 1949. A dedication ceremony is held for the new bridge across the
Pithlachascotee River on U. S. Highway 19.
Mar. 9, 1950. The Joy-Lan Drive-In Theatre opens in Dade City.
Sept. 1, 1950. The Ehren post office is renamed Land O'Lakes.
July 15, 1952. Gulf State Bank in New Port Richey opens. The New Port Richey Press
reported on July 18, “The convenience of having a bank here is immeasurable.” [The
bank opened in the same building which housed the earlier First State Bank. During
much of the period after First State Bank had failed, Rollo Draft operated a check cashing
service at the site. The bank moved to a new larger building in 1956.]
Dec. 1954. WDCF radio station in Dade City begins broadcasting.
Mar. 2, 1957. The new Boulevard Bridge across the Pithlachascotee River is dedicated in
a ceremony which opened the Chasco Fiesta. Bands from Gulf High School and Crystal
River High School played. The New Port Richey Press reported, “The $200,000 structure
replaces a narrow, obsolete span which bottlenecked traffic for 30 years.” One of the
speakers, Al Rogero of the State Road Department in Clearwater, promised that a four-
lane highway would connect New Port Richey and St. Petersburg within 18 months.
Aug. 8, 1957. The New Port Richey Press reports that Al Roger of the State Road
Department in Clearwater announced that the widening to four lanes of U. S. 19 from
Clearwater to Tarpon Springs would begin within 60 days, and the widening from Tarpon
Springs to the Pithlachascotee River bridge would begin within four months.
Jan. 9, 1958. A measurable snowfall occurs in Pasco County.
Apr. 2, 1959. A tornado causes property damage of one million dollars in Dade City. It
destroyed several structures on Lock Street and damaged Lykes Pasco.
Sept. 12, 1959. The new New Port Richey post office is dedicated.
Jan. 21, 1960. The New Port Richey Press reports that Flor-A-Mar officially opened to
the public on Sunday. [The development dated back to 1958 when Howard A. Burkland
purchased more than 2,000 acres between the Gulf and U. S. 19. The name was changed
to Gulf Harbors. According to Glen Dill, in fiscal year 1964, 7 sales were made; 22 were
made in 1965, and 66 in 1966. In 1964, Empire Properties took over the development.]
Oct. 23, 1960. A public auction is held to sell the furnishings of the estate of Thomas
Meighan by owner V. M. Clark. [Most of the Meighan home was subsequently
June 4, 1961. Seven-digit telephone numbers go into effect in New Port Richey.
Dec. 19, 1961. A new $75,000 county government building on Sunset Road opens.
[Some offices did not open until Jan. 2, 1962.]
Jan. 4, 1962. The New Port Richey Press reports that a seven-acre site at the southeast
corner of U. S. 19 and Main Street has been acquired for the construction of Pasco Plaza,
a new shopping center to include a Food Fair supermarket and Neisner's Junior
Department Store.
Dec. 31, 1962. Gulf State Bank in New Port Richey becomes First National Bank.
Oct. 31, 1963. The first radio station in western Pasco county, WGUL, begins
broadcasting on 1500-AM in New Port Richey.
March 1964. Sky Haven Airport, two miles north of Hudson, opens.
Sept. 1, 1965. West Pasco Hospital opens. [It is apparently the first hospital in western
Pasco County except for a hospital which operated briefly at Fivay.]
Dec. 2, 1965. Southgate Shopping Center opens in New Port Richey.
June 8-9, 1966. Hurricane Alma brushes the Tampa Bay area, causing widespread
damage in some areas.
1967. Richey Manor Nursing Home opens, with 60 beds.
Mid-November 1967. A new Main Street bridge in New Port Richey opens to traffic.
Oct. 18-19, 1968. Hurricane Gladys causes extensive damage in western Pasco County.
Two Hudson men died of heart attacks probably related to the storm. The hurricane
destroyed or damaged the stilt houses in the Gulf near the mouth of the Pithlachascotee
Dec. 17, 1968. The Anclote River bridge collapses around 4:45 p.m., killing one person
and injuring five others. The collapse was believed to have been caused by a large
sinkhole. The person killed was Jane Tompkins Stinson.
June 2, 1969. The New Port Richey Press reports that construction has begun on a
McDonald's Restaurant on U. S. 19 in New Port Richey.
Oct. 1970. Four persons are murdered during a robbery inside Dorn's Hideaway at 8127
Little Road, and a fifth person was murdered by the same killer on the same day at
another location in New Port Richey. [In January 1977, when it was the Shangri-La
lounge, a topless nightclub, three members of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club followed a
man out of the bar and killed him on Moon Lake Road. The bar was later known as
Arches, Model T's, and the Gold N' Spur. In 1989 the Gold N' Spur was damaged by a
fire set by an arsonist.]
Aug. 2, 1971. Community Hospital begins admitting patients (WPH).
Nov. 11. 1971. The New Port Richey Press reports, “New Port Richey mayor William F.
Grey, who has announced he will not run for re-election Dec. 7, is heading an
investigation into the possibility of moving the seat of Pasco County government from
Dade City to New Port Richey.”
August 1975. The West Pasco Chronicle discontinues publication, merging with the
Suncoast Shopper to form the new Suncoast Shopper and News.
1976. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, campaigning for President, appear at Southgate
Shopping Center in New Port Richey.
1977. Pasco County voters approve a proposal to spend $40 million to buy local utility
systems. [In 1979, the county commission decided to purchase the Pasco Water
Jan. 18-21, 1977. A severe cold snap covers all of Florida. [On Jan. 19, western Pasco
County received a rare light accumulation of snow. Dade City had three inches of snow.]
June 15, 1978. The New Port Richey Press reports, “The Port Richey City Council voted
3-2 Tuesday evening to abolish its police department and to request that the Pasco
County Sheriff's Office provide temporary police protection. In one single motion, the
council dissolved the department with Mayor Cox and Councilmen Spissak and Loser
voting for the motion, and Councilmen Kelly and Raimond voting against it.” [A year
later, the city police department was resurrected, according to a 2002 article in the Tampa
1979. The West Pasco Government Center is constructed in New Port Richey and a new
identical building is constructed as a court house in Dade City.
1980. Gulf View Square Mall opens in Port Richey.
Jan. 13, 1981. The temperature in Dade City drops to 16 degrees, with a rural area
nearby reporting 8 degrees.
March 1981. Bayonet Point-Hudson Medical Center opens.
March 22, 1982. John Gallagher becomes County Administrator. [He apparently held the
position longer than any county administrator in Florida history.]
Sept. 1, 1982. A grand jury indicts former County Commission Chairman Barry Doyle
on bribery charges and issues an accompanying report criticizing Pasco County
Aug. 24, 1984. Sheriff John Short is indicted on three corruption charges and is removed
from office by the Governor. [Short, who called the charges political, was acquitted. The
indictment followed a series of articles in the St. Petersburg Times for which two
reporters won a Pulitzer Prize.]
June 14, 1985. The Madison Street bridge in New Port Richey is dedicated.
1986. Voters approve a measure to fund new parks and libraries. [The Hudson Regional
Library opened on April 22, 1990; it was followed by Regency Park on October 26, 1990,
Centennial Park on May 1, 1991, Hugh Embry on September 8, 1991, New River on
November 15, 1991, Land O'Lakes on December 12, 1991 and South Holiday on March
24, 1992.]
1990. The 1990 census shows these population figures: Pasco county, 281,131; New Port
Richey, 14,044; Port Richey, 2523.
1992. Vice President Dan Quayle, seeking re-election, campaigns in New Port Richey,
speaking at Sims Park.
Mar. 13, 1993. A tropical storm causes extensive damage to coastal areas of western
Pasco County. The storm later became known as the “No Name Storm.” Water at least 9
feet deep flooded homes and businesses. In Pasco County, 237 homes were destroyed and
over 5,000 homes were heavily damaged.
1995. All Children's Hospital opens a clinic in the former Gulf State Bank building in
New Port Richey. [Officials planned to move to a larger facility on Little Road in early
Sept. 22, 1996. The lodge at the Moon Lake Gardens and Dude Ranch, which had been
empty in recent years, is destroyed by an early- morning fire set by an arsonist.
Apr. 9, 1997. Port Richey voters reject a proposal to merge the city with New Port
Richey, by 673-216.
May 19, 1998. Florida Highway Patrol Trooper James "Brad" Crooks and Tampa police
detectives Randy Bell and Ricky Childers are murdered by Hank Earl Carr on the State
Road 54 exit ramp off of I-75.
2000. The 2000 population of Pasco County is 344,765, a 23% increase over 1990.
According to Marvin Rose, author of the Rose Residential Reports, the growth in the
1970s was the result of working- class Northerners buying land for retirement homes, but
the growth in the 1990s was largely suburban expansion from the south. The census
shows the population of New Port Richey is 16,117, and the population of Port Richey is
Oct. 7, 2000. Presidential candidate George W. Bush campaigns in Pasco County,
speaking at Pasco-Hernando Community College in New Port Richey.
Nov. 2000. The American Indian Movement of Florida calls for a tourist boycott of Pasco
County and announces it will begin encouraging major sponsors of the Chasco Fiesta to
withdraw their support of the festival, which it calls a “racist, degrading, stereotypical
depiction of Native people.” [In Nov. 2002, Chasco Fiesta officials announced they
would not hold the Children's Pageant in 2003.]
Feb. 4, 2001. The Suncoast Parkway opens from State Road 50 south to the Veterans
Expressway, relieving some traffic congestion on U. S. Highways 19 and 41 in Pasco
Mar. 16, 2001. Salt Spring is dedicated as Florida's newest state park and named Werner-
Boyce Salt Springs State Park.
Mar. 4, 2002. Port Richey city government moves into a new building at 6333 Ridge
Road, at the corner of Formel Avenue. [A dedication ceremony is scheduled for March
26. City headquarters had been located at a temporary headquarters in the Ridge Road
Center since the old city hall at the former Towne Center site was razed about two years
March 2002. The New Port Richey police department moves from its Grand Boulevard
location to a new building at 6739 Adams St.
June 14, 2002. The state approves requests by both hospitals in New Port Richey—
Community and North Bay—to move southeast of the city.
June 1, 2003. Lieutenant Charles “Bo” Harrison is shot and killed while sitting in his
patrol car in Lacoochee. [Harrison was a 31- year veteran of the Pasco County Sheriff's
Office and the highest ranking black deputy in the history of the Pasco County Sheriff's
Office. Alfredie Steele Jr. was convicted of the murder on April 26, 2007.]
July 1, 2003. The Pasco County Commission approves a $2.1 million plan to dredge the
Hudson Channel. [The work was done in 2005.]
Aug. 18, 2003. Governor Jeb Bush attends the dedication of Bishop McLaughlin High
School, the first Catholic high school in Pasco County in modern times. It had opened for
classes on Aug. 11.
March 9, 2004. Pasco County voters narrowly approve a one-cent increase in the sales
tax to begin in January 2005. The proceeds will go to the school district and county and
city governments.
Sept. 5-6, 2004. Hurricane Frances causes flooding, some damage, and massive power
outages in western Pasco County. [Public schools were closed for two days beyond the
planned three-day Labor Day weekend. Residents of the Sea Castle condominiums were
forced to evacuate because of water leakage until repairs could be completed.]
Sept. 26, 2004. Hurricane Jeanne causes more damage in western Pasco County than
Hurricane Frances earlier the same month. [Public schools were closed for two days
following a two-day weekend because about 20 schools had no electric power on Sept.
Oct. 19, 2004. President Bush, campaigning for re-election, speaks in Sims Park in New
Port Richey.
April 8, 2005. Groundbreaking is held for the Main Street Landing project in downtown
New Port Richey.
Sept. 2005. The city of New Port Richey purchases the First Baptist Church property on
Orange Lake for $3.1 million.
Dec. 14, 2006. Gov.-elect Charlie Crist announces the selection of Pasco County
Supervisor of Elections Kurt Browning as the new Florida Secretary of State. [On Jan.
18, 2007, Gov. Crist named Brian Corley to serve as supervisor of elections for the
remaining two years of Browning's term.]
Dec. 25, 2006. A tornado damages nearly 100 homes, mostly in the Tampa Bay Golf and
Country Club at San Antonio.
April 10, 2007. Voters in Port Richey rejected, by 454-375, a proposal to study the
disollution of the city. They also elected as the new mayor Richard J. Rober, who favored
the continuation of the city.