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Peter Karr Baillie
Feb 16, '20
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The Baillies in Florida

Peter Karr Baillie was an early settler in Hernando County.

He was born in Scotland in the year 1800. In 1830 he was living in Thomas County, Georgia.


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He also served as a Militia scout during the Seminole War and fought in the Battle at Chickasawhatchee Swamp. The following year he moved to Lowndes Co, GA where he engaged in a real-estate business with Francis Jones. There he married Maria Ann Cope(1820-1899).

A deed dated Dec. 24, 1850, indicates that on March 6, 1843, Baillie was given a permit for 160 acres of land in S7&17 T22 R19, northwest of Brooksville.

However, he left Hernando County by 1850, as the 1850 census shows Baillie, age 49, a merchant, in Jefferson Co., Florida.

On June 16, 1856, he was issued a patent for 160 acres in Jefferson Co. under the Sale of Public Lands Act of 1820. The 1860 census shows Baillie, age 60, a farmer, in Lowndes County, Georgia (Valdosta post office). He sold his land in Valdosta in December 1865 and settled in Hernando County in January 1866.

In 1867 Baillie received title to all of Fractional Section 22 which was known as Baillie's Bluff. It was upon this high point of land that he established a merchandising business, trading with local fisherman and apparently doing some carpentry work.

At about the time of Baillie's death, Baillie's Bluff was sold and the family moved inland to the area which became known as the Baillie settlement in Elfers.


PETER KARR BAILLIE (1800-1877) was an early settler in Hernando County. He was born in Scotland. He married Maria Ann Cope (1820-1899) in Lowndes County Georgia. A deed dated Dec. 24, 1850, indicates that on March 6, 1843, Baillie was given a permit for 160 acres of land in S7&17 T22 R19, northwest of Brooksville. However, he left Hernando County by 1850, as the 1850 census shows Baillie, age 49, a merchant, in Jefferson Co., Florida. On June 16, 1856, he was issued a patent for 160 acres in Jefferson Co. under the Sale of Public Lands Act of 1820. The 1860 census shows Baillie, age 60, a farmer, in Lowndes County, Georgia (Valdosta post office). He sold his land in Valdosta in December 1865 and settled in Hernando County in January 1866. In 1867 Baillie received title to all of Fractional Section 22 which was known as Baillie’s Bluff. It was upon this high point of land that he established a merchandising business, trading with local fishermen and apparently doing some carpentry work. At about the time of Baillie’s death, Baillie’s Bluff was sold and the family moved inland to the area which became known as the Baillie settlement and Elfers. He is buried in West Elfers Cemetery. The inscription on his gravemarker indicates he died in March 1877 at age 77. Children of Peter Karr Baillie are as follows. Information is mostly from Carl Gause.


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Children of Peter Karr Baillie are as follows:

Joseph H. (1843-1861)

William John Sr. (1841-1931)

John Morrison (1859-1947)

Florida Ann (1859-1892)

Susan P. (1856-1948)

Eliza W. (1848-1939)

Burton B. (1845-1899)

Sarah S."Pinkie" (1854-1915)

Rosannah C. (1847-1899)

Minnie (1858- no date of death given)

Virginia Irene (1864-1936)

His Children

Joseph H. Baillie (1843-1861), died in the War Between the States at Camp Barlow, Va., on Nov. 12, 1861.

William John Sr. (1841-1931), twice wounded in the Civil War, married Sarah Ann Stevenson (1851-1940) at what would become Seven Springs on Feb. 1, 1873. An obituary stated, “He had resided in this section for 60 years.” Children: Virginia Isabell (1873-1897), married Iron Pinkney Butler (1871-1942); William John Jr. (1880-1965), married Hattie Estelle McKendree (1890-1980) (see below); Robert Edward (1884-1960), married Emma Annie Trowell (d. 1946) in 1906 and Effie Estella Butler in 1947; Peter Joseph (1889-1973), married Julia Clark (1895-1970); Elizabeth "Teet" (1887- ), married Harold Charlie Butler (1884- ); Florida Anna (1878-1941), married Samuel O. (Nott) Howse (1889-1965); Clara M. (1886-1975), married John Thomas Baker (1880-1957).

John Morrison (1859-1947), married Sarah Elizabeth (1862-1953) on Sept. 13, 1886. Sarah Elizabeth was born in Sumter County, on Dec. 8, 1862, and resided in what would become Elfers since she was 10 years old, according to her obituary. Children: Ruby Abigail (1897-1992), married Charles Gause (1888-1969); Albert David (1893-1974), married Leola Louise Boyett (1895-1982); Wallace Kenneth (1895-1972); married Grace Inez Boyett (1908-1974); John Brown (1900-1972), married Audrey Edie Gibson (1910-1989).

Florida Ann (1859-1892), married Joseph Duval Gause on Nov. 18, 1879. Children: Johnnie Marshall (1880-1946), married Claudia Belle Wilkerson (1886-1966); Joseph O. (Ollie) (1890-1968), married Lula Mae Dowling (1898-1962); Eula Lee (1887-1942), married Hence Edward Fulford (died, 1914, in a work related accident at the Largo railroad station); Edna Ruth (1883-1947), married Emmett R. White in 1907 and Iron Pinkney Butler in 1914. [Information from Charles Gause.]

Susan P. (1856-1948) [Covington says b. 1847]. She died at Anclote and was buried at West Elfers Cemetery. "Aunt Sue," as she was known to most everyone that knew her, lived to be 94 years of age. Susan never married, although she had many proposals. She remained single to care for her parents. She and her mother lived together after her father’s death. Aunt Sue had a home built for herself in Tarpon Springs, where she lived until her eyesight failed and she then moved in with her grand-niece Florida Bell Gause Whitehurst, where she remained for the rest of her life. [Information from Charles Gause.]

Eliza W. (1848-1939), married Moses Anderson on Jan. 30, 1871. Her obituary begins: “Eliza Williams, 92, pioneer resident of Pinellas county, died yesterday evening at 6 o'clock at her home in Odessa. Born in what is now Valdosta, Ga., Mrs. Williams came to the vicinity of Elfers 75 years ago.” Children: Lawrence L. Anderson (1873-1951), married Rosa Stephens in 1899; Markus K. Anderson (1876-1965), married Nettie (Midget) Dearey (1886-1955); Samuel Leslie Anderson (1879-1944), married Mina Renette (1894-1958); Ada S. Anderson (1882-1916), married Richard Clark; Phillip Lorrain Anderson (1888-1965), married Jennie Lee Clark (1897-1921); Maj. Byrd Anderson (1885-1954), married Dilly V. Zigler.

Sarah S. (Pinkie) (1854-1915), married Charlie Brown. Children: Annie Vistie Brown (1879-1906), married John S. McNeil. Lurina (Rena) Brown (1883-1966), married John E. Mobley.

Rosannah C. (1847-1899), married Benjamin H. Gaines (1845-1895) in Anclote in 1870. Children: Lewis Gaines, married Daisy Pearl Stevenson. Bertha Gaines, married Ruben Gause. Rosalee Gaines, married Samuel Benjamin Baker. George B. F. Gaines, married Sarah E. Baker.

Burton B. (1845-1899), served in the Civil War and was wounded in the same battle as brother William J. In Dec. 1871 in Tarpon Springs Burton married Julia Ann Sheffield (1850- ?), daughter of G. G. and Margaret Sheffield. Burton became a minister and had an active part in establishing the first school in the Anclote area of Hernando County. Burton and his sister Rosannah were among the founders of the Baptist Church that was on the site where the West Elfers Cemetery is today. Burton and Julia had one child, Maggie E. Baillie (1875-1972), who married Jacob M. Worley (1868-1942) in Dade City in 1893, the youngest son of Jacob and Mary Alderole Worley. Julia Sheffield Baillie died sometime between Maggie’s birth and the 1880 census, in which Burton is listed as a widower. [Information from Patricia Bronson and Carl Gause.]

Florida Baptist Witness, Oct. 25, 1899, has: “Our Honored Dead — Brother Baillie. Many are the hearts made sad in our community by the death of our beloved brother, Elder B. B. Baillie, an earnest worker and faithful member of the Anclote Baptist church. After an illness of two weeks, he fell asleep in Jesus, having no fears to meet his God, whom he so faithfully served. I have known him personally fourteen years, and for nearly nine years have been his pastor, and feel assured that he has gone to rest. He died Monday, Oct. 9, and was buried Tuesday, the writer preaching the funeral sermon. He leaves an aged mother, four sisters and two brothers, one daughter and a host of relatives and friends. He was about fifty-four years old and was ordained to the full work of the ministry about six years ago. While we realize we have sustained a great loss in our community and church, let us remember our loss is his great gain. We deeply sympathize with the bereaved family, and especially the aged mother and sister that lived with him. May the Lord bless and comfort them is the sincere desire of my heart. J.T. Pittman.”

Minnie (1858- ), married John Stephens. Children: Charlie Stephens (1878- ); Ernest Stephens (1880- ); Effie Stephens (1881- ); Katie Stephens (1882- ), married House H. Frierson.

Virginia Irene (1864-1936), married John J. Stephens (1847-1936) on July 4, 1889.

[However, the 1880 census shows Susan, age 23, John, age 21, and Minnie, age 19, as children of M. A. Bailie, age 58.]

JOHN MORRISON BAILLIE (1859-1947), a son of Peter Karr Baillie, was a pioneer farmer who lived in Elfers. He came here with his parents at age 6, according to his obituary. His wife was Sarah Elizabeth Brown (1862-1953). According to his obituary:

Attaining manhood, Uncle John homesteaded a 160 acre tract and started a large citrus grove, the original of what now comprises some of the O. J. Harvey and Joseph Knight Groves. The '95 freeze killed all his citrus nursery. In 1912 and 1914 he sold his original holdings, and then purchased his present grove, where lived until his death. In his earlier years in addition to his citrus work, he was known for over 35 years as the best "hunting and fishing guide in these parts.” During his later years, he was one of the greatest believers in the future of the citrus industry. Uncle John was also active in community life, and was a charter member of the Anclote Church.

On June 8, 1914, the Tampa Morning Tribune reported that J. M. Baillie had won the Democratic nomination for county commission, District 5.

Children:

Albert David (1893-1974)

Wallace Kenneth (1895-1972)

John Brown (1900-1972)

Ruby Abigail (1897-1992), m. Charles I. Gause

PETER JOSEPH (JOE) BAILLIE (1889-1978), a son of William John Baillie Sr., was a farmer in Elfers known as Uncle Joe Baillie. Interviewed for West Pasco’s Heritage in 1972, he recalled attending a one-room school in a heavily wooded area south of the present State Road 54. He married Julia Clark of Amelia, Florida, and built a home near Elfers on State Road 54. His wife had died shortly before the 1972 interview. He was born in what is now Elfers on Nov. 25, 1889.

JOSEPH WOODROW BAILLIE (1918-1980), or Woodrow Joseph Baillie, was a son of Peter Joseph Baillie. He graduated from Gulf High School in 1936. In 1963 Ralph Bellwood wrote, "Joe is the father of Rev. Woodrow Baillie, known as 'the biggest preacher in the world.' While his avoirdupois is tremendous, Rev. Baillie is quite active, and his pastorate at Live Oak is a flourishing one.” A 1978 newspaper article reported he was an evangelist living in Tampa.

WILLIAM JOHN BAILLIE JR. (1880-1965), a grandson of Peter Karr Baillie, was elected to the Pasco County Commission in 1940 and held the office for twelve years. Born in what is now Elfers, he was a farmer, trapper, and a hunter. According to Ash, he married Hattie Estelle McKendree, age 16, in 1906. She died in 1980 at age 90. According to a granddaughter, Mrs. Baillie was 15 at the time of her marriage and died at age 91, having lived on the same property on East Trouble Creek Road (now Summer Lakes) for 74 years. The couple had 12 children. At the time of his death he was chairman of deacons of the new Westside Baptist Church. According to Julie J. Obenreder in West Pasco’s Heritage:

His salary [as County Commissioner] was $25 per month. The needs of the county were great and there was no money to do anything with. Men were paid $1.50 per day labor and since the County couldn't afford a full time employee, Baillie would hire a man for a day or two whenever some very urgent job came up, such as a washed out bridge to be repaired. There were some children who needed care, today would be called "juvenile delinquents.” Mrs. Baillie states there was no place for these children and Will always brought them home. One boy, fourteen years of age, had been released from a correctional institution and sent to Elfers. He had no place to go. Will brought him home and he lived with the Baillie family until he was 24 years of age. Hattie said there were many children that stayed varying lengths of time, with she and her husband footing the bills out of their own pocket.

Hattie McKendree recalled, "When my husband told his father he was going to get married, his father said Willie, you will have to have a house to live in. What about putting it on this ground? My father-in-law had eighty acres. We cut down enough timber to build a house and floated the logs down the Anclote River from Elfers to Alderman’s Saw Mill at Tarpon Springs just south of the old wooden bridge. After the logs were sawed into lumber, the wood was floated back up the river. The good neighbors pitched in to help build the house, and that was our first home.” [Quotation from Carl Gause.]

(Information is mostly from Carl Gause)

Baillie’s Bluff Tampa Bay


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Feb 16, '20
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