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Panama City pilot. (Panama City, Washington County, Fla.) 1907-19??, January 23, 1908, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88084205/1908-01-23/ed-1/seq-2/

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In this subtropical land Nature swiftly obliterates mans ablest attempts
to check her eternal activity and nowhere is this unequal struggle more
l t y depicted than along the low coastal plain of St Joseph Bay
where once stood one of Floridas historical cities the few scattered relics
of which are now known as Old St Jo
Many foreign seaboard countries have their traditions of cities that long
ago were engulfed by the fury of the sea but in this newer world in our
own United States we know of cut one fair city that has met such a fate
and that was Old St Jo
Nearly four score years ago men with unbounded ambition and lust for
gold the peers of the strenuous business men of today builded as strongly
and solidily as could be done with cement brick and timber a city here
that drew to its portals many a prominent merchant and traveler of the
world of eighty years ago
Even then the transportation question had become the paramount issue
of the day Peter Cooper had built the first locomotive in the United States
transportation by steamship was extending tillage of the soil had reached
the limit of profit because of the cost of haul owing to the increasing dis
tance of plantations from the sea coast and the paucity of even fair wagon
roads while the whole world was waking to the possibilities of steam taking
the place of the horse and the sweeps of the flat boat men as they labored
against the flood up the swollen rivers
Georgias cotton crop was already being largely supplemented by that
from Alabama all of whi h was laboriously moved to tide water where it
was forwarded to New England or English ports It was the demand for
the more economical transportation of this product that caused a few of the
active energetic men of the early 50s to construct from lola on the Apa
lachicola river to St Joseph bay one of the first steam railroads in the
United States
With its completion began the movement to the ships sides at St Jo by
a much more inexpensive method the cotton from the foremost cotton pro
ducing territory in the world This caused the erection here of wharves
warehouses stores and oflices with a commodious ship yard and the young
village soon became quite metropolitan
The growing city then prospered and spread itself like a green bay
tree Vessels brought to its inhabitants the luxuries of the Old World as
they returned from Liverpool for more cotton while those returning from
Nc England ports were laden with the choicer products of the New World
Floridas historian G R Fairbanks states that in December 1838 an im
portant convention was held here to formulate a State constitution He
further says that It was by all odds the ablest body of men ever assem
bled in Florida
Its railway connection with the Apalachicola river brought to its doors
not only the products but the people who used Chattahoochee and Flint
rivers and their tributaries as waterways to reach the coast and St Jo
promised soon to rival Charleston Sa annah or New Orleans both in trade
Jill tutractlyeness i V
Along the shore of the bay near th 3 railway terminus were spacious and
handsome stores with public hostelric 5 billiard halls and other places of
amusement facing the water t farther Hack were stately churches and public
cr
buildings while still farther away from the turmoil of business along
streets shaded by oaks and palms were the elegant homes of the profes
sional and business men of Old St Jo
Life there then was idyllic In the heat of the summer a sail across the
hay to Eagle harbor provided the finest of surf bathing while in the even
ings dancing and neighborly gatherings in the commodious homes aided to
make living more pleasureable There were well trained servants to answer
every call and the languidness of the southern summer was over all
Thus for a decade between 1S35 and 184o St Jo held a place among the
living cities of the lower South The few remaining stones in the old bury
ing ground situated a mile or more back from the shore on a little oak
covered knoll show that the first interment therein was in 1831 the last in
1850 It is said that in its prosperous days there were over five thousand
inhabitants in the little city while the charms t the inlander of the gulf
beach with its cool breezes drew to the favored spot during the long hot
Summer lover Georgia and Alabama
many professional men planters and merchants with their families and
servants
One Summer day in the year 1SJG when the season was at its height
there sailed into the harbor from some tropical port a vessel with an uninvited
guest on board This was no welcome guest hs name the yellow death
Daily showers had filled the noisome marshes surrounding the city with
lukewarm fuming water the moist hot air was sweltering and depressing
swarms of mosquitos rose from their many breeding places in marsh and
swamp as well as from the numerous ditches that interlaced the city so
many messengers of Death The medical science that has since conquered
the awful ravages of yellow fever and robbed it of its terrors had not then
been born To be stricken was to die
Secretly silently this fateful guest stalked through the busy streets
stole into stores and oflices tete a teted with the beauty and chivalry of the
city at charming entertainments touched hands with the many who wined
and dined in the public hostelries and frolicked with old and young in this
memorable year of 1846
One morn the news flew throughout the city that there had been a
death from yellow fever Bankers for a moment ceased counting money and
discounting bill lawyers laid aside their briefs and turned their thoughts
to this unconquered enemy of mankind doctors pored over their books and
papers seeking for the then unobtainable knowledge wherewith to com
bat successfully this mortal disease the newspapers stopped their presses
that they might insert the news merchants quit offering their wares
wondering what the outcome might be while mothers clasped closer their
offspring thinking thereby to shield them from impending danger
Another day passed and more deaths were announced The processions
to the little burying ground beyond the cypress swamp to the rear of the
city became frequent The powers of the negro grave diggers were taxed
to the utmost to open sufficient graves for the oft recurring processions
The limited stock of coffins was exhausted The high carnival of Death
had opened most auspiciously It had already eclipsed and ended all fes
tivities Cheeks that were but the day before flushed with youth and beauty
now blanched with fear
Then uncontrollable fear seized upon all Business ceased Ships
slipped their anchors and stole away in the night The air was stagnant
and filled with pestilential vapors Many sought safety through flight only
to be stricken and die by the way side Soon the horrid pestilence held
undisputed sway throughout the city Deaths were no longer counted All
day long was heard the rumble of the dead wagons upon the streets
Trenches took the places of graves and rude boxes of coffins Half crazed
men would rush to the surrounding woods for safety with heads bursting
with unexpressable pain and eyes forcing themselves from their sockets
Under some lofty pine they would check their mad flight hesitate stagger
hen the dark blood the black vomit of death would come rushing through i
their parched lips they would fall forward into this pool of deadened blood I
and die Great God what a death
I
i h w r
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The heretofore prosperous city was cloomeJ The death angel heh i i
undisputed svry iul as he passed frjm door c j door fie found no blood
stained lintel as in the days of yore done vre spared Families were
11 broken up by flight only to le soon reunited in death How quickly love
4 hatred the passion for wealth for learning were placed in one common
1 receptacle How insignificant was ll1nHis reason humanity charity
I all had fled Like the dumb brute f the woods or Held he lied uncared for
i and alone In a very brief sp < ice of tima the city was depopulated never
again to be the habitation of man The few who escaped and the pure
blood African who is immune remained for awhile to dispose of the
I
i property often left without living beneficiaries The famed city of St Joseph
was dead
I
Two years had passed over the deserted city Rank vegetation had
Y
taken the place of the choice shrubs and flowers of the erstwhile well kept
grounds Storms of wind and rain joined with the heat of summer had
made sad havoc with the unc recl for wharves hostelries stores and homes
Stately herons paraded the water front in place of the city watchman
Ravens croaked and whirled above the vacant buildings The mocking
t bird the Souths favored songster alone remained to chant its melodious
requiem over the field of death
Summer was passing away Already the days were growing short and
the first cool breath from the far away north land heralded the approach
of the impending struggle between the mighty wind forces of North and
South A week of calm had passed when as the sun rose through the pine
forests to the north east there came fitful gusts of wind increasing in
i strength with the growth of the day Nor did the wind go down with the
I dropping of the green sun in to the darkened waters of the gulf All through
i the night it roared and shrieked
through the abandoned city gaining power
i with each succeeding hour
The few venturesome fishermen remaining there who feared neither
j death by pestilence nor storm anchored their boats in the ship yard cove
and watched the see hing waters For two days the north east gale con
tinued steadily increasing in velocity Then lull in the
came a storm The
mountainous clouds which had been driving across the sky with terrific force
seemed to stand still But only for a brief time The wind was shifting Slowly
i it veered from north east to north from north to north west Then to the west
I There it stopped as though preparing for a last gigantic onset upon the
i quivering land Soon it began again now with all the titanic force and
fury of the tropical hurricane It broke the cables of the few boats in the
f cove tossing them ashore like cockle shells Roofs went flying through
the air and brick walls crumbled
at it3 onslaught Chaos reigned supreme
I Then from out the west there came above the crash of falling walls
and flying debris a sound that struck terror even to the hearts of those
I long accustomed to the angry moods of the Gulf From San Bias to St Jo
point there arose such thundering reverbations from the mighty ponderous
r
waves crashing upon the beaches as had never been heal before They
I were the equal of a tidal wave but with a continuing power far more des
I tructive They rushed unobstructed over the narrow barrier opposite the
city that seperated the bay from the gulf and came roaring in at the wide
entrance to the bay
i
I The waters quickly flooded the streets Before one could note their ad
1 vance they were crashing through the doors and windows of thj vacant
I buildings The low plain on which the city was built was now a raging
furious tempestuous sea the few taller buildings seeming but islands in it
I And there w yj cessation of the hurricane Hour after hour it forced the
l waters of thc gulf in gigantic waves over the site of the twice doanyd enty
crumbling t < atoms brick buildings undermining streets and carrying far
inland with the furious sweep of the storm brick and timbers that so short
j a time before formed the most stable structures in the city
I The light of another day had come The desolation and destruction was
1 complete Heaps of sand dug out of the depths of the sea and driven for
ward by the irresistable waves had buried even the foundations of the once
i stately buildings Slowly the sea returned to its depths The sun shone
brightly over the wrecked ambitious works of man Deaths angel the Hur
ricane had completed the work begun by its twin brother Pestilense and
buried beneath the sands of the sea or swept to the four winds of heaven
all that remained of the proud young city of St Joseph
Three score years have passed since the hurricane destroyed 011 St Jo
but even now a visit to the wilderness where atone time stood the city that
came so near being the capital of Florida is not without interest Other
hurricanes have swept over these shores since the one made mem arable by
the destruction of the city but they found no works of man upon which to
wreak their vengeance Here and there great clumps of the rugge1 Spanish
bayonet stand guard over the foundation walls of some massive building
j and beneath the waters alone the beach may still be seen sections of the
brick side walks of the old city while the many brick scattered through the
I young pine forest even a mile back from the shore attest the power of the
i wrathful sea
In the old road bed of the railroad are found a few ties and stringers
so rich in resinous material that for 70 years they have defied the elements
At a near by turpentine still hangs suspended by wires and use J as a bell
i to call together the laborers a steel driving axle from the first locomotive
that saw service upon this historical road These relics with a fov ruined
i tombs is the old burying ground are all that remain of St Joseph The
ambitious strenuous man of that long ago recked not of the power or fre
quency of the tropical hurricanes that come creeping in from off the Gulf
as a lion seeking its prey but like the foolish man of Scripture history
built his house upon the sand and the rain descended and the winds
blew and beat upon that house and it fell and great was the fall of it
itt
Many a golden haired Floridian 1
filled with hope and ambition and a
determination to succeed or die with
I a large store and 8500 invested in
I
I i groceries to sell has been eaten out i
of groceries home and credit by
obliging friends who never said die I
as long as the groceries lasted There I
is nothing like having good groceries
and friends who will stick to you
until the groceries give out Apalach
i icola Times
j I If one were to accept as gospel
some of the speeches recently de
livered in Washington one would be
constrained to believe that it is only
I necessary to place the ear to the
ground anywhere on the Pacific slope
to hear the splashing of vast Asiatic
armies crossing the ocean on thair
way to invade the United States
Boston Transcript
The storm of last week was the
most severe that has swept over the
gulf at this season gf the year for
man years
L L
n
SHERIFFS SALE
STATE OF FLORIDA
WASHINGTON COUNTY
To JH Damn Constable 17th Dis
t ri t
Whereas judgment against Loyd
Ward in the sum of Eight and 30100
dollars and cost was recovered be
fore me Dec 2nd 1907 by Russ Bros
therefore in the name of the State
of Florida you are commanded to
make sale thereof according to law
of the Tool Chest and contents now
i in your possesion as per your re
turn dated Nov 6 1907 to the
i amount of said Judgement and cost
with the costs of this execution and
your fees hereon and make return
hereof when satisfied or when duly
required with your doings hereon
Given under my hand and oflicial
r S3al this the 6th day of January 1908
G lI B HARRIES
Justice of the Peace
l Pursuant to the authority vested iu me bv
the above writ I will self at public sale in
I front of the olMce of Glt H Harries J P
j in Millville Fin on February 10th at 10
i oclock in the forenoon the above described
j property
J II DA FFIN
Deputy Sheriff
SHERIFFS SALE
STATE OF FLORIDA
WASH INCSTOX COUNTY
To J11Daflin Constable of the
17th District
I Whereas Judgement against Loyd
Ward in the sum of Twelve and
I 25100 dollars and cost was recovered
j before me by WL Love on Dec 2nd
1907 therefore in the name of the
1 State of Florida yju are commanded
j to make sale thereof according to
l law of the trunk and contents now
I in your possession as per your re
j turn dated Nov 6th 1907 to the
I amount of said Judgement and cost
I with the cost of this execution and
I your fees hereon and make return
hereof when satisfied or when duly
I required with your doings hereon
I Given under my hand and official
seal this the 6th Day of Jan 1908
I
G M B HARRIES
Justice of the Puce
Pursuant to the authority vested in me by
the above writ I will sell at public sale in
front of the olllee of G M B Harriet P
in iMillville Flu on February 10th at 10
oclock in the f renoon the above described
property
I J If DAFFIN
Deputy Sheriff
Tax Notice
We will he at the following places
on the days and dates mentioned be
I loyv for the purpose of collecting the
Taxes for the year 1907 and assess
ing the taxes for the year 1908
Let everybody take due noticethis
I is the only round we will make be
I governed accordingly
Millers Ferry Friday Jan kl
I Hinsons XRoads Saturday J an1
i Vernon Monday Jan 6th
i Ebro Tuesday Jan 7th
j GravesTatum Tuesday night Jan
7th
7thPoint
I Point Washington Wednesday noon
i to Thursday noon Jan 8th and 9th
i West Bay Friday Jan 10th
i Fountain Monday Jan 13th
I Nixon Tuesday Jan 1Jth
j Bayhead Wednesday Jan 15th
I Anderson Thursday Jan Kith
i St Andrew + Friday and Saturday
Jan 17th and ISth
Millville Monday and Tuesday
Jan 20th and 21st
Allanton Wednesday Jan 22d
i Parker Thursday Jan 23d
i Econfina Friday Jan 24th
Greenhead Saturday Jan 25th
Waiisitu Monday and Tuesday an
27th and 28th
Davis Mill Wednesday and Thurs
day Jan 29th and 30th
Alma Friday Jan 31st
Duncan Saturday Fob 1st
Vernon Monday Feb 3rd
A W Allens store Tuesday morn
ing to 11 oclock Feb4th
South Bonifay Tuesday evening
Feb 4th
Poplarhead Wednesday Feb 5th
Carvville Thursday and Friday
Feb 6th and 7th
Jhiplev Saturday Monday and
Tuesday Feb 8th 10th and 11th
Be sure to meet us
usW
W B GAINER
Tax Collector
11 WILLIAMS
Tax Assessor
BU1 NOW
tr 7 1JP
te2 J Po
Lots in Blocks 1 and 9
G
=
A FEW CHOICE LOTS
18000 to 27000 EACH n
Po
Fine Residence District Where Many Good Houses
Have Already Beoi Built Beautiful Shade Trees
Good Water and Drainage Apply to
GULF COAST DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
Panama Oity 7 Florida
1 r
t h L n

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