More McCaskill
Column for 03 10 06
Margaret Collier

Hey, those white
elephants for sale
on April 8 are
getting more
interesting every
day. We don't want
to bore you with
constant reminders
of that date, but
all aspects are
getting more
interesting as
commitments come
in from entertainers,
more items come in
for the sale, more
ideas for the food,
and more exhibitors
plan to set up in
The James Houston
Jones Park for our
celebration of the
104th anniversary
of the naming
of Century.

The Society's March meeting on the 21st will feature a fine tuning of all of the plans and who will be in charge of each aspect. Now that means that all members will need to be present
since we have more jobs than people. Members should feel free to conscript the aid of their unsuspecting neighbors to come to the aid of the Society. I have shamelessly recruited, nay, insisted that my backyard neighbor join the labor force as well as donate many beautiful items.

If each member will go and do likewise we should have lots of help, a huge sale, and have a great time enjoying the celebration together.
Besides the things in the sale that we have already told you about we have two bicycles that have been repaired, a power painter, a Delta faucet, yarn, some craft supplies and a pot full of bits and pieces of thingies that I have no idea what anybody in his right mind would want, but we hope that at least one crackpot would like to have for who knows what. At any rate, do plan to attend the event for a good time and be prepared to donate generously for the sale items. There will be more information each coming week to give the names of the entertainers, times of events, etc.
Remember, if you wish to set up an exhibit or have items from your business to sell, bring your own table. There will be no charge.
Now we'll get on with the main purpose of this week's column. We have had the privilege of running the account of the McCaskill family that was provided by Mr. Charles Carnley of Jay. James Mack McCaskill, Jr wrote it. This week will bring us to the end of this exciting family history and so we thank the writer and the donor again for sharing this with us.
* * *
Evander Alonzo McCaskill, born in 1853 during the Antebellum Florida, eight years after Florida became a state, married Margaret Mitchell (1862-1930). They had seven children: Ida, Ola, Benjamin Montgomery, Margaret, Mary, Van David "Dade" and Willie. Evander built a large, impressive two-story home, considered quite grand for the rural area, supporting his family and his estate through farming and milling. Evander died in 1927 and is also buried in the Coon Hill Cemetery.

Benjamin Montgomery McCaskill, born in 1886 during the Post-Civil War Florida era, married Mary Ethel "Marie" Auvil (1896-1983), and they had seven children: Benjamin Montgomery, Jr., James Mack and Jack Auvil (identical twins), Harry, Mary Elinor, Margaret Joy, and Van. Also known as "Gum," he raised his family as a farmer on the McCaskill estate and lived in the home that his father built. The home stood until the early 1960's.

Benjamin Montgomery died in 1952 and is buried at Cora Cemetery.
James Mack McCaskill, Sr., born in 1921 during Post-WWI, married Mary Nell Bowman (1923-1981) in 1947. All of Benjamin Montgomery's children left the old home place, except for James Mack, Sr., also known as "Jim." After returning from his duty in World War II, Jim returned to the family estate and farmed its fertile land for thirty years. Jim and Mary Nell had six children: James Mack, Jr., Cynthia Rosemary, Larry and Gary (fraternal twins), and Jeffery.

Four of the six children of James Mack McCaskill, Sr., have homes on or near the original home site. Another child owns and lives on property near McCaskill Mill Creek that was part of the original 720-acre McCaskill Land Grant. Jim died in 1999 and is buried in Cora Cemetery.

Over the years, from the very beginning until now, all of the McCaskill families have shared some of the same joys and hardships. They have sustained their families from the resources of the land and have had a reverence for Florida's natural beauty, loving the land, rivers, woods, and swamps of Santa Rosa County.

All of you Santa Rosa readers will be interested in knowing that our next series will be on "The Historic Winding River Road and its Resources." I must tell you that this is a fascinating history from Indian days through the Spanish occupation and on down to the pioneers. Mr. John T. Diamond was the author. Be sure to keep up with the column every week, whether Jerry's or mine, because we bring to you the history and heritage that you pass along to be shared with all the caring readers.

     Much different than the Baldwin 2-6-2 the ASHS is working to get.  In 1892 Charles L. Heisler received a patent on the locomotive that would also bear his name.
     What set his locomotive apart was that the cylinders were slanted inwards at a 45 degree angle. The center shaft only drove one axle per truck, as the wheels in each truck were connected with a side rod. There were two and three truck models, with sizes up to 90 tons.
     Heislers were made until 1941. There were 850 built and The Alger-Sullivan Lumber Company owned several. Besides "97," shown here, others had numbers like 98 and 99.

This page last modified on Monday, March 06, 2006