Greetings from Titusville, Florida

Greetings from Titusville, Florida

Saturday, March 25, 2017

David Nathaniel Carlile (1804-1876)

 David Nathaniel Carlile (1804-1876) was one of the earliest settlers in LaGrange  having come from Jones County, MS with his wife Eliza,  at least by 1860.    The Federal Censuses list him as a planter on his land grant and a farmer.  He planted orange trees and his descendants were mostly either orange growers or cattleman.   One of their children was  Lawrence John Carlile (wife Louisa) Their second son, James Wesley Carlile married Mary Vermell Osban. (M. Vermell was the daughter of Joseph Wheeler Osban & Margaret Susannah Nettles Osban who were living in Titusville in 1896 when their daughter, Gedidis "Jeddie" died and was buried at LaGrange Cemetery) whose 4th son was David Nathaniel Carlile (1905-1962)  Nat Carlile married Mattie Lou Carter. ( Mattie was the daughter of Orrin Oscar Carter and Annie Eliza Herring, who were living in the N Merritt Island area in 1885)  Their oldest child was Betty Geraldine Carlile, who married Thomas Harold Pulliam, Sr.   Beth  their oldest child, lives in Georgia and shared this story.

There are many descendants of David Nathaniel and Eliza Carlile still living in and around Titusville and we want to hear from you.   Please click comment and share your family stories

Stained glass window at LaGrange Church, dedicated to Louisa Carlile, wife of  Lawrence John Carlile 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

African-American Pioneers of Titusville

Beginning around the 1880's  African-American settlers made their way to Titusville, Florida.  They made significant strides in establishing their homes, local community, churches, and businesses.  Andrew J. Gibson is noted as the first African-American resident of Titusville, FL.  Many others would soon follow to raise families, provide services to the community, and to seek a better life for their children through education.  Please take this opportunity to visit the memorials of some of the first African-American pioneers of the Greater Titusville Community

Andrew J. Gibson
William Henry Maxwell
Victoria Gibson Rodgers                                             
Sayde Lee Smith Gibson                                                 
Harry T. Moore
Harriett V. Moore
Joseph Warren
Bernice McDowell Warren
Butler Campbell
Andrew Jackson
Edward Daniel "E.D." Davis, Sr.
Benjamin F. Taylor
Mary C. Rogers
Bertha James Murray
John Leslie Joe
Milton Fayson
Mary Fayson
Collins Williams
Amos Bell
Arthur West

Andrew J Gibson
William Henry Maxwell

Thank you to Kirk A. Davis for this post and the links to the memorials.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Guy Boyd was born the year before the Titanic sunk

Many of you may remember Guy Boyd, long time resident of Titusville who was with us until 2012 when he passed away at the age of 101.   He and my mom, Mary Pritchard Schuster,  were long time friends, she being born in 1914 and living to the age of 100 1/2.  She told me once that when they were in high school, the tradition was for the Juniors to escort the Seniors during graduation.  When Guy graduated in 1930 there were 19 in his class,  he asked her to escort him.  She was only a sophomore, was thrilled, and something she never forgot.  His graduation was also the day she got to wear her first pair of pumps.   

Guy's son Ron, was kind enough to share his father's biography with me and today's blog features excerpts from the biography 

Guy came Boyd to Titusville from Illinois in 1911 when he was six weeks old.  ( His birth date is 9-6-11)  William Howard Taft was president and life expectancy was 47.   An article in the NY Times reported food prices had increased 25% between 1911and 1912:   A dozen eggs: .30 to .40, 2 lbs of sugar: .12 to .14 bread stayed the same at .08 per loaf.  

He broke his arm badly when he was 13 and there was no hospital in Titusville.  The only Dr. had no x-ray, they took him to the local dentist, stuck his elbow up under the x-ray and started taking many, many 1 inch images.  Then these were put together to see how bad the break was.  If his arm needed an operation, he would have to take the train to a hospital in Jacksonville. 

Guy played football on the first team ever to play at Titusville High.  He said he had never seen a football game.  When a substitute came in, they had to exchange pads. They played Daytona Beach in that first game and lost 50 to 0.

In 1941 he leased and then purchased a Gulf Service Station that was then located just north of where City Hall now stands. He worked at this station for 35 years and retired in 1976. 

In 1947, Guy  was approached by some City leaders, to run for city council. The population at this time was about 1100 as he recalled. Guy said he wasn’t interested but when the leaders said Guy wouldn’t have to do any campaigning or spend any money, he agreed.  He was elected to a two year term and then re-elected to another term. He was elected Mayor during his second term.
He said the only memorable action he can remember during the council years was they changed the type of city government from Mayor to City Council.  There were five council members and he said he cannot recall anyone attended the meetings except the council members.  The salary for being a councilman was $5.00 per month.   At the time, the Mayor was also the City Judge.   During his tenure as City Judge, he can’t remember anyone coming before him except an occasional drunk. Some of the fines for law-breakers back then were:
1.    $5.00 for spitting on the sidewalk
2.    $5.00 for cursing in public
3.    $15.00 for lighting a gas lantern in the city limits.  Downtown Titusville burned to the ground in the late 1800’s because of this.

He started teaching Sunday School in 1942 at the original First Baptist Church in Titusville which was located on Palm Street behind the present First Baptist Church in downtown Titusville.  The property is now a parking lot.  And in 2012 was in his  69th year of teaching Sunday School! 

Guy died Oct. 12, 2012 at the age of 101. and was buried at La Grange Cemetery where his wife is buried.   

In 1932, Guy Boyd married Lois Taylor, granddaugher of James A Taylor who settled in Shiloh in 1893.
Pictured L-R Ron Boyd, David Taylor(Lois' father) Lois Taylor Boyd.

Thank you Ron for sharing your dad's story & these photos.  Polly Schuster

Monday, March 20, 2017

House for rent $6 a month. Unbelievable?

House for rent $6 a month.  Yacht for sale $300.  Newspaper $1.50 a year,   
Unbelievable you say? 
Take a look at some 1880s advertisements from The Florida Star and compare goods and prices to today.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Our Past through Glass

Historic St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church has been serving this community since it's first service in May 1888.   At that time, it was bare bones.  There were no windows and no pews.   Tarpaulins covered the windows and at that first services when the "building was filled to overflowing" (Florida Star, June 7, 1888) and orange crates served as seats.   Over the next decade stained glass windows were installed and the church now has what is considered to be one of the finest collections of stained glass on the East Coast.   The windows tell not only the history of St. Gabriel's but also Titusville.   Names such as Titus, Hopkins, Parkinson, Pritchard and Burnham can be found in the memorials on them.   
 St Gabriel in memory of John Pritchard Capt James Pritchard's father
        On either side are in memory of Capt Pritchard's brother and son
In Memoriam
Henry T Titus
Founder of Titusville
Born Trenton NJ  Feb 13 1822
Died Aug 7 1881
Mary Hopkins Titus' father

In Memory of
Mary Burnham
Born August 1st 1821
Died June 25th 1888
For 51 Year the wife of
Mills O Burnham
Lighthouse window is in Memory of Mills

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Titusville's Secret Societies

Meeting times and locations of

Secret Societies published

in 1920 Star Advocate.

Does anyone else find humor in that?

My great-grandmother, Mrs. James Pritchard was a charter member of the Pythian Sisters.  My grandmother, Mrs D.B. Pritchard(Miss Lovie) held every office possible up to the national level, and was playing piano and practicing drills with them up until about 2 weeks before her death at age 94

 Groups were always doing plays and productions.  This one by the Pythian Sisters was themed around different countries.   The Statue of Liberty at the top is none other then my grandmother. Love the costumes.
Both my great-grandfather and grandfather were in the Knights of Pythias

         Granddad's pin from Supreme Lodge Knights of Pythias

                                                             Capt. Pritchard's Fez
                                                  Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan
                                                                       Pre 1926                                                                            

Friday, March 3, 2017

Budge & Bicycles

Frank T Budge married Frances Amelia Pritchard "Lee", daughter of Capt & Mrs James Pritchard on Feb 14, 1889 at St. Gabriel's here in Titusville.   In 1896, opened a new store in Miami, which was the first hardware store in Miami  after that Capt Pritchard bought the Titusville store  and it became James Pritchard & Son.


My grandfather, Boud Pritchard & Frank's brother , Harry Budge in front of the hardware store 
Looks like they had their own bike path right on Washington Ave.  
 Thinking of how long it took for a picture back then, guessing it was a slow traffic day.  
 Can you imagine standing in the middle of US1 today to snap a photo of you and your friend with your bicycles?  

Prior to settling in Titusville, Frank T Budge lived in Orlando for a time.  This photo of Frank and friend was taken in Orlando.   I've always wondered- why the roller skates and the costume.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Florida Star reported some interesting local news on March 15, 1883


The dentist came to town and it's syrup boiling time

Mr Reed had a close encounter

You could anything you wanted at Norwoods

Everything from Hay, Meal & corn to Notions and fancy dry goods

Do you wonder what the mechanical means of hatching chickens might have been in 1883?  

 Pen thief in 1883?  In Titusville!

And an Anniversary  Pic Nic

Don't forget our 150th Anniversary Picnic
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Sand Point Park

Church service at 11- Historic churches are coming together for this service by the river
Picnic starts at noon - Fishing contest - Beard contest-  costume contest - make your own cane pole- cast net demo- and more

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Titusville Train Depot

Helen Boye' with friends on the platform of the old train station, 

Our train station through the years

Brevard Sentinal Article - Courtesy Phyllis Massey

March 26, 1936.

FDR boarding the train in Titusville
New station in the background.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Valentine Fair

February 9, 1888, the Florida Star reported a Valentines Fair put on by the ladies of Titusville for the benefit of St John's Episcopal Church.   St John's became St Gabriel's.  Upon learning they were about to receive a window of St. Gabriel as a from Mrs John Pritchard, Capt Pritchard's mother, the congregation voted to change the name to St Gabriel's
There are some great pioneer names in the article.  People coming in by steamer!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I have Pioneer Ancestors on both sides of my Mother’s (Maggie Kittles Miller) family.  The below information applies to my brother and to all my cousins that are still here in Brevard County, Fla.  We all share ancestors that helped make what Titusville is today.   They were farmers, fishermen, Draymen, orange grove owners, railroad engineers and politicians.  I will start with the earliest:

KITTLES - Mom Father’s side of family……….

1.  Stephen Ambrose Kittles (1847 – 1907) – My Mothers Grandfather, my Great Grandfather. He was a Veterinary Surgeon in Titusville for many years.  He came to Titusville in the late 1800’s and shows up on the 1900 Census living in Titusville.  He lived in a big 2 story cracker house on Orange Street where all the Kittles children were born (even my Mother).  This house is where the old Rinker Concrete Plant was off Garden Street.
2.  Stephen Ambrose Kittles II (1897 – 1977) –  He was my Mothers father, my Grandfather.   He was born in Titusville in 1897 in the ole home on Orange Street.  The 1920 census show he worked at the old Ice Plant on Tropic when he was 22.  He served in the Army during WWI .  He was a laborer, a guard at the old prison and a Florida East Coast RR engineer.  

Picture below L to R:  Gifford Kittles driving car on Orange St, Unknown baby,  baby Stephen Kittles III and Stephen Kittles II (Grandpa).                                             

HOLTON – Mom’s Mother side of family.

Edward Henry Holton (1874 – 1951) – Mable Holton Kittles Father, my Mothers Grandfather and my Great Grandfather.  He came to Titusville in 1892 after marrying Alice Griffis.  The story is he bought the ole Holton homestead at the corner of Main Street and Canaveral Ave for $89.00.  The Merckson cousins grew up in this house. The house still stands today.
Edward Henry Holton was a fisherman and a Drayman where he would take his horse and buggy down to the train station and transport passengers to wherever they wanted to go…usually a local hotel such as the Titus House or the Dixie Hotel.  

Picture below:  Edward Henry Holton (Great Grandfather)

Mabel Holton Kittles (1898 – 1994) – She is my Maternal Grandmother and was born in the Holton Homestead house on Main Street in 1898.  After her marriage to Grandpa Kittles, she became a housewife.  She was the sweetest lady and took in boarders or hobo’s off the train.  Of course she would make them work around the house for their room and board.  

Picture below L to R:  Mable Holton Kittles and her sisters, Lizzie and Agnes circa early 1900's


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Frances Delespine Boye' connection to Brevard goes back to 1817

L-R Frances Delespine Boye', Stella Budge, Frances Amelia Pritchard Budge, Mary Haley Boye' Pritchard-  late 1891

France Boye' approx 1896 in the dining room of Pritchard House

Frances Delespine Boye'  estimated 1850s

My great- great grandmother, Frances Delespine Boye',  was the daughter of Joseph Delespine and one of the heirs to the Delespine Grant.   It was her portion on which the Capt James Pritchard family settled and built their first home in the area in 1876, James Pritchard being her son-in-law.  Her son, Frank Boye' also settled on the Grant.

After the big freeze in 1886, Capt Pritchard's family moved from the grant into Titusville, and in 1891 Capt built our family home that is now the Pritchard House Museum.   Frank Boye' & family stayed on the Grant.  Franks'  home was built of the same material used to in the Castillo de San Marco in St Augustine, and my grandfather talked about helping him build it.   The house was located where La Marimba now stands.  It was torn down when US1 was widened to 4 lanes.

When you consider the Delespine Grant was awarded to Joseph Delespine in 1817, his descendants may have the earliest connection to Brevard County.
Polly Schuster

Descendants report

So far we have received information  from folks descended from
Capt JF & Emma Reed
Mose Metzger
Colonel Henry Titus
Neils Peter Neilsen
Herbert Tillman Metzger
The Griffis from Shiloh
Allen Alexander &  Tamar Sapp
Elbert "Uncle EB" Brook Carter
Andrew Jackson Carter

Check out the  first comment below to read about
Stephen Ambrose Kittles
Stephen Ambrose Kittles II
Edward Henry Holton
Mabel Holton Kittles

We also had these on our list already
E. L Brady
L. A. Brady
George W. Scobie
AA Stewart
M. E. Gruber
A Norwood
Miles O Burnam
Capt James Pritchard
Frances Delespine Boye' - Frank Boye & Mary Pritchard (Mrs James)
Frank Boye
Frank T Budge

I know there are more of us out there

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Florida Star/Vol III, Titusville, March 1, 1883 #44 What was lately know as the Carter settlement in the north of LaGrange, will have an addition to the name. Mr. William Carter and family of Lowdnes County, Georgia, brother of E.B. and A.J. Carter has recently moved in and will settle near his brothers. By attaching ville to Carter they will have Carterville, a name comprehensive and appropriate.

Published on Friday, August 27, 1915 in the East Coast Advocate and Indian River Chronicle

August 1931

Funeral services for E.B. Carter, 81, who died suddenly near Plant City last Sunday, were held at the Baptist Church in Osteen Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. Mr. Carter was one of the early residents of the Mims section, having come to Turnbull north of Mims in 1876 as the age of 21. His continued residence in Florida was 60 years having come earlier than 1870 to Tampa but returned to Georgia to come here later. He was born in Echols county, Ga., August 25, 1850, and is the last of a family of 13 children. His wife preceeded him in death. He was at the home of Henry Tyler, a nephew, when he died. He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Rose McCullough, Mims; a son, Elbert Carter, Osteen, and a daughter, Mrs. B.H. Farr, New Smyrna. Relatives who attended the funeral are: Mrs. B.H. Farr and three children, Mr. and Mrs. Willie McCullough, Mr. and Mrs. Elbert B. Carter and children, Mrs. P.A. Boyd, Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Boyd, Mr. and Mrs. P.J. Myer, Sydney Wright, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Woods, Mr. and Mrs. A.P. Ganova, O.O. Carter and daughters, Fred Carter, Mrs. K.B. Osteen, Oscar Tyler, Henry Tyler, Lee Tyler, Mrs. Julia Whidden, Mrs. Mary Anne Rhoden, Mrs. Pearl Manley, Mr. and Mrs. N.R. Williams, Mrs. Pearl Collier, Mrs. E.M. Mikesell, Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Brooke, Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Brooke, Harry A. Osteen, and N. C. Watson, all of whom are either in Florida or Georgia. Pall bearers were great nephews and were as follows: Oscar Tyler, Tampa, Fla., Henry Tyler, Plant City, Fla., Lee Tyler, Ocala, Fla., Oscar Boyd, New Smyrna, Fla., (?Fred) Carter; Shiloh, Fla., P.J. Myer, New Smyrna.

Looking for a direct descendant of Elbert B Carter.  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Welcome Titusville Pioneer Descendants

Welcome Titusville Pioneer Descendants.
Please share your stories here.  Just add as a comment to this blog

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Niels Peter Neilsen "Captain Peter Nelson"

Posting information that was shared with me on Facebook   I found it very interesting because the common story is that there was either a domino or checker game between Colonel Titus and Mr Rice.  Anyone have any thoughts?

My great grandfather Niels Peter Neilsen was in the poker games to name the town that was lost to Titus. Neil's wanted it named sandy cove and. Sand. Point. My grand mother was Elizabeth Louise Neilsen. She married Herbert Tillman Metzger who was born in Lagrange fl. After his death she remarried to Charles E. Raulerson who passed away in 1941 and she in 1974. She lived on garden street

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What's in the news?

Old newspapers can be fascinating and reveal much about the life and times of our ancestors.
August 22, 1890,  East Coast Advocate - excerpts from  "Local News"

  • Saturday last registered the lowest temperature, for that date and month since the Signal Service office has been established on the Indian River, which is July 1887
    • I suppose everyone already knew what that temperature was since the paper didn't report it.
  • Mr & Mrs H,B. Hersey are back in their old quarters again at the Indian River Hotel; and their bear now has a residence on the grounds east of the hotel, causing a good deal of amusement for the guests
    • A bear in residence on the grounds of the Indian River Hotel?.   That was downtown, right on the river.  That was two blocks from our house!
  • One of the popular young ladies belonging to the Bathing Club had a narrow escape from serious mishap last week, having ventured into water the depth of which she knew not.  As we should grieve to lose this young lady from our midst, we must ask her to be less venturesome in the future, or we shall  have to publish her name.  She is too good to succumb to an early and premeditated fate.
    • The Bathing Club was at the Indian River Hotel.  Maybe she was trying to escape the bear!