Jackson County Times

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Antebellum Greenwood

We begin the series with pictures of four of our buildings.
In the Beginning…..,

Jackson County was the third county formed in Florida. It was established in 1822 by territorial Governor Andrew Jackson. It extended from the gulf in the south, to the state line in the north, and from the Choctawhatchee River to the west, to the Suwannee River on the eastern boundary, and in his great humility, he named it for himself.

Although we do not have a record of this event, it is generally accepted that Greenwood began in 1824. Deed Book #1 records show Elijah Bryan acquired his first land in 1826. The north boundary of his plantation was Fort Road (the traffic light) in Greenwood. Marianna dates from 1828. Florida became a state in 1840, so Greenwood preceded both.

In the pre-war period, the area from about Graceville to Monticello and I-10 to the state line was mostly plantations. It was very typical of the southern states. During the war most of Florida’s soldiers came from this area and they were mostly assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. This explains why Dr. West was with General Lee at the surrender at Appomattox in 1865. Like all the other planters, Mr. Bryan had slaves. The slaves had no last names, so, when they were freed, many of them took the name of their former master. Many of those names are well known today. Some that I know are Long, Hayes, Hearn, Bryan and Hartsfield.

Although, the plantation era began to fade, many of the customs, habits and manners continued until the grandchildren of the planters passed. Use of family china and silver at dinners, having cooks, maids and house keepers were typical of those who could afford them. When addressing anyone, the name was usually preceded by Sir, Ma’am, Miss, Mister, Uncle, Aunt or Cousin. Here, today, a great many people still do this.

Here are some terms I may use that are not familiar to everyone:

Antebellum – before the war – not a house style.

Circa – About, when a date is shown with a C, it means the date is not known, but it was about this time.

The War – The Civil War - the War Between the States, or, as they say in Mississippi, The War of Northern Aggression.

The National Register – The Register – The National Register of Historic Places – A registry of places of architectural significance or of historical importance. We will discuss this more later.

We will close by showing the historic markers for three of the buildings which will give you a brief summary of their histories.

Since Pender’s Store does not have a marker, a brief history of it is provided.

Pender’s Store was built in 1869 by Napoleon B. Riley, and Cicero Long. It was named N.B. Long and Bros.

Laurence S. Pender purchased the store in 1896 and changed the name to L.S. Pender’s. The Pender family has operated it ever since.

In 1940, the sons of L.S. Pender, James Bowles and Nicholas Anderson, purchased and renamed the store, L.S. Pender’s Sons. They operated it for many years. It is currently operated by Lawrence Pender II.

The original shelves and heart pine floors are still in place, the wooden blinds over the windows are still closed every night.

The store is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

This will be an extended series, so if you want to stay with it, I suggest you set up a file, as it will be a continuing story.

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