Genealogical Tidbits:  Send queries, photos, anecdotes or other items to post on our "bulletin   board." Perhaps you will help someone or get some help, yourself.

Tips for researchers: 

Have a pencil and paper handy. Some libraries do not allow bags or pens. You may be asked to check those items, but a pencil and a few pieces of paper will always be allowed.

When reading old film or printed items, transparent colored film, such as that used for slide shows, brings out printing. Simply hold over the paper, the front of the reader, or between the lens and film.

Always carry a magnifying glass or, one of the large sheet magnifiers.

When copying anything that may "bleed through," place face down on copier and put a sheet of red or black paper over it.

Copy title page of  book and attach to pages copied - you will not forget where your source came from. You may wish to note date and library as well.

When viewing census records, read at least one page ahead of and one page behind the one where your folks are. Same goes for cemetery surveys - note who is in nearby plots. Copy the pages and take them home so you can see if any of the names match known relatives or friends.

Old newspapers have great tidbits about people who lived in the area. They give you time lines, as well as pointing to possible relatives.

What follows is a sampling of the types of information to be gleaned form the genealogy archives at the Baker Block Museum. These tidbits will be gleaned from printed materials the museum owns or has put into its newsletter and they will focus on people rather than objects. From time to time more will be added or perhaps we will rotate materials. Much depends on time and help in typing the material. If you should wish to volunteer to type material, please call the museum to let them know - (850) 537-5714.

The McCart family donations:   Wanda Rummels and Diane Bayard, sister of Sam McCart donated the contents of Sam and Gwen's house to the museum in 2000. The family had moved from Covington County, AL in 1903 and helped to develop the Baker area. They were involved in banking, cotton and blueberry industries.

Gus Blue family:  Gus came from Pike County, AL. He married Seanie Hollingshead and later Virginia Wilkinson and produced 12 children. Charlie, the last surviving son, and his wife Hilda, live in Crestview.

Baker Bank Sept. 8, 1916:  The building and Equipment committee: JD Stokes, JA Hart, JD Cobb. Officials: President - JW Baggett, Jr, Vice President - WE Moore, Cashier - B. Robinson, Directors _ ZW Moore, HG Baggett, JA Hart, JL Crawford, WA Richards, LW Nelson, JA Richbourg.

Formation of Okaloosa County:  WH Mapoles, member of Walton County House of Representatives first introduced bill to create "Yellow River" county. Amended to "Wilson" passed House, but died in Senate. When the new county was finally formed and named as Okaloosa in 1915 governor Park Trammell appointed officials. Mapoles, Haywood Sutton, Alex Richbourg, William Davidson and Sen. Ben H. Lindsey were committee members proposing them. James L. Clark, clerk of Circuit Court; JT Mapoles, County Judge; BH Sutton, Sheriff; JA Richbourg, tax collector; George H Webb, taxassessor; Peter J. Steele, County treasures; WC Pryor, school superintendent; Joe E. Kierce, supervisor of Registration. County Commissioners: JH Givens, dist. 1; JW Baggett, dist. 2; WJ Davis, dist 3; RA Rozier, dist. 4; BP Edge dist. 5. School board: WH Jones dist. 1' WF Wilkinson dist. 2, WH Spivey dist. 3.

People with businesses in "Camp Walton" and vicinity.about 1925:  GS Marler - deep sea fishing service; Joseph Gerlach - The Jos. Gerlach & Co. general merchandise store; JW Brooks & Son - real estate; JJ Cayson - Valparaiso-Crestview Bus & Transfer Co.; Adolph Finch - Valparaiso Dairy; Frywald - Frywald's Pavilion (Movie) Theater, Niceville; Edward J. Freiwald - auto electrician & motor mechanic; CF Lear real estate, ValP.; Boyd - Auto and boat works.

Howell P.O. - 1897 - 1918:  named for the Howell family of which Aaron A. Howell started the first fishing industry on Choctawhatchee Bay. His descendant Lance Howell was still working in the fishing business at Spence Bros. Fish Co., Niceville in 1971 when EW Carswell did a series of articles on the area.

In 1919, CG Reaves, Jr. was VP of the Interstate Trust Banking Co. of New Orleans, Pres. of the Bank of Crestview and Pres. of the "dye works" at Shalimar. Joe Edge, Niceville; Mogul McKnight, draglin operator; Aulton Spenser and about 250 men worked there mining the dark silica soil at Black Point east of the hospital on Eglin AFB.

Nicholson family of Niceville:  "Uncle Tom" TJ Nicholson and his son Raymond were commercial fisherman working mostly from Pensacola, about 1930. Raymond recalled great shoals of roe mullet coming into the area after hurricanes further south.

Indians:  Carswell's story of Camp Timpoochee sheds light on the Chief by the same name, who has been referred to as "Sam Story." The next article in "The Changing Face of Okaloosa" deals with Nancy Ward and the next, with Bolton village. James T. Bolton joining the Union Army in 1864 notes his home as "Boggy" indicating that the community had been around before the Civil War. The following folks are mentioned in the Bolton piece: Curtis Bolton, grandson of James T. Bolton and his wife Rebecca, grandaughter of Nancy Ward; Mary Catherine, Andrew J., Amanda, John William, Nancy Rebecca children of James and Rebecca; Isaac Bolton, thought to be James' brother; WH Graham, BH Moon, Tilden & Lee Brown owners of Turpentine stills; John Sanders, Dr. JE White, Dr. Hancock, S. Lee Lancaster, John Thomas and the Anchors, Nathey, Burleson families. Mrs Lena Armstrong Potter as postmistress in Niceville.

Some of the folks in the above, moved to other areas. Samuel Lee Lancaster may not have moved as his land was on and across the road from Gannon State Park, which is just southwest of Bolton. He has also been tied to the Wards as in 1880 he was listed as "stepson" of WW Ward. Lee also used the gardening methods of the Native American peoples. Curtis Bolton says his grandparents moved to Dorcas to live with them in about 1916. The Nathey's had a mill on Trout Pond and the Anchors and Burlesons were prominent around Boggy (Niceville).

1904 a Post Office was established at the home of AB Morris just south of Baker on Highway 4 and it was named Cob Town.

1908 JD Newton starts construction and names area Baker in honor of Rev. Baker, his father-in-law. Some stores in the area were Malloy's Patent Medicine Drug Store and Miss Rosa Kierce's Dry Goods and Millinery. The Mercantile store was first called ZW Moore General Merchandise, run next by his son Belah, then by a cousin, Jack King and finally by Jack's daughter Joyce.

1908 Dr. Olin Oliver Enzor sets up Doctor's office. Born 2 March 1884 in LaPine, AL and fifth child of Oliver and Eugenia Caroline (Merritt) Enzor. Graduated in 1918 from the Chicago Eye, Ear, Nose, & Throat College after having completed most of his training by 1908. Married Lelia Lois Weatherby of Laurel Hill 28 September 1908. They had a daughter Connie who married a Hilton. Justus Orlando and Rhett Ewing, two of Olin's brothers and a nephew Allen Austin Enzor, worked at the Enzor Hospital after 1912. Dr. Jut had a daughter Sara in 1923 who married Buck Lee and they had a daughter Sara Ann who married a Rushing. She bacame a doctor as well. Allen had a daughter Mary Chipley Enzor-Fosque who practiced in Pensacola. Rhett died while seeing patients in 1986 leaving a widow, Opal and son Rhett, Jr. Wayne and David Campbell, sons of June Enzore Campbell who is cousin to the Oliver Enzor family, also practiced medicine. (Excerpts & Photos - Citizen Review January 9, 1997)

Other businessmen of the area:

1919 at Blackman, AC Darling and Associates of Analusia, ALa. & three miles north of Dorcas HH and AF Bullard and WB Sellars - erecting distilleries. 1939 Sam McCart gins cotton. 1929 DJ Sullivan buys and ships pecans. 1937 sand pears established at Sapp Bluberry farm. 1931 DB Ellis ships honey. 1930 Fink has commercial dairy. Bunte brothers & Marholers speculating on 40 acre tracts - houses, satumas, bluberries and grapes. 1930s James E. Plew established winery and employed master vintner HE Engelke to make wine of satsumas and local grapes.

Ann Spann has unearthed many stories of families in the area. Mentioned in an article she wrote on Laurel Hill, are the following:

1891 - first school Henry Steele supervisor, Dora White first teacher. Steeles were the first settlers recorded in the area, 1818.

1820s the Barrow family operating the Barrow Ferry across the Yellow River.

1905 JF Merrill and SG French, Sr. owned land in the area.

1907 The Peoples Bank of Laurel Hill opened with WE Mathis, Pres.; AE Campbell, VP; John T. Mathis, cashier. Allen Campbell, Enoch Henderson, WP Clary, William E. Mathis & AE Campbell were directors.

Laurel Hill Gazette first paper by Eric von Axelson was joined in 1908 by Laurel Hill News - William H. Mapoles.

By 1912 700 folks churches, a telephone system, Vaughn Drug Store, JC Steele Sawmill, JJ Summerlin Turpentine Still.

Blackman community 1890 named for Taylor Blackman, one of first homesteaders.

1889 a petition was sent to the governor of the state to allow JE Bush to practice medicine and signed by the following 70 people on 20 November 1889. Names were written by the person who wrote the petition and spelled as he saw fit & interpreted to the best of my abilities. Clark Stephens, RA Campbell, JR Clary, JF Richburg, DA Stewart, RC Moore,

Michael King, John Sumberlin, WC King, James L. Richburg, James L. Davidson, James M. Barrow, Isac C. Steel, JD Kilpatrick, JA Kilpatrick, CA Bush, RA Meaddows, Daniel Busbie, JC Busbie, NR Stewart, JJ Laseter, James Busbe, MO Harison, Mack H Busbie, E Laseter, JJ Hurst, JW Gashing, Jason Steel, Ruben Kelley, P. Saunders, John Fowler, Ravin Moor, BM Copage, Jonathan Nichols, JP Nichols, WH Segler, WR Henderson, BW Bartlett, RW Moore, John Gavins, Wm. Jones, FT Cook, JA Cutts, JH Givens, Darle Weeks, David Lott, SJ Clark, John Carter, RB Gavins, JW Gavins, Wm. Gavins, PJ Centerfeet, Zeck Cutts, WH Tyner, L. Carver, TH Berry, JA Cutts, B. Steele, Davis Clary, GT Holley, James Taylor, JC Steel, Marion Edenfield, E. Hutcheson

Lost -- somewhere on the road between Crestview and C.B. Ferdon's turpentine still a walking stick belonging to G.W. Edge. Finder please return same to him or leave it at The News-Journal office and receive a reasonable reward. OKaloosa, 6-14-1918.

Cain Family of Crestview:  The first building in present day Crestview was the homestead of John Nathaniel Cain's family. Wife Mariantha (Powell) and children lived from 1881 til 1919. Jos. A. Cain told his family history to Mallie Martin for a newspaper article in 1938. His siblings were: Sam, Jim, Joel, John, George, Hillard, Alex, Martha, Nathaniel, Annie and Ellen. Their neighbors were the Henry Harris family and the Savage Plum Orchard.  Later families were: Noys, Clark, Fountain and Richbourg.  The first church: Congregational Church, also first courthouse. First depot: L&N box car; agent Percy King. HF Powell built the first house, used as hotel. 

Joseph was born July 27, 1871, wed Mary Wilkinson, dau. of Fletcher Wilkinson. His brother John W. died in August 20, 1940 at age 68. A cotton farmer in Northwest Okaloosa county; raised a large family. His obit lists children, friends, pallbearers.  D.R.  Moore Funeral Home made arrangements and burial was at Old Bethel Cemetery.  Rev. Ellisor of  Methodist church officiated. Children from New York, Ohio and Florida attended.
Last Two Hangings
From Playground Daily News, June 19, 1970.  Article tells of the  hanging of Putnam Ponsell and Jacob Benjamin Martin  murders of John F. Tuggle of Deerland July 4, 1921. A letter from Ponsell to his mother is quoted heavily. Sheriff was FJ Steel.
     It also tells of the Bob Blackwell hanging in July of 1920. Blackwell killed Bud and Nancy Davis March 21, 1917. All three men confessed their crimes and were hanged in public on the Okaloosa court house grounds with huge crowds attending.

DR Moore made funeral arrangements in the 1930s and there are some of his records at the museum.