Tag Archives: Florida


Digital scrapbooking is really the way of the future. No more cutting, pasting, sticking slicing and choosing the right paper. This is all digital, and you can MAKE IT YOUR OWN. I have been working on a scrapbook for my dad the last couple of months. He is having memory issues, and I wanted to make something he could look at and maybe recount some good times throughout his life. I did a chronological story and added photos to go along with them. Different phases from childhood to marriage, military and good friends.

I have begun working as an Independent Publishing Consultant with Heritage Makers. You can make so many wonderful projects. Here are two pics of his album and a link to look a the rest of it. I hope he likes it.

If you are interested in making a similar project, or a story book such as I made my mom, please contact me. I can show you how with Heritage Makers. It is an easy system, no software to download. You simply go to their website, upload photos, store them in albums and ” Drag and Drop” them into a project. Add some embellishments and your own words, and that is it!!


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July 27, 1813:

Courtesy of Rootsweb, image of Battle of Burnt Corn Creek

Burnt Corn, a town in Monroe county Alabama. Close by was the old Federal road, an old Indian horse path, which crossed the territory into Georgia. For nearly a century, whites, black and Indians all got along in this area. This was soon to change. Encroaching on land of the Creek indians, the whites caused the indians to be discontented. In the fall of 1811, the great Shawnee Tecumseh came into the area to incite the Creeks against the whites. He gave a speech at Tuckabatchee, challenging the Creeks to regain their former glory. In Florida, the Spanish were also encouraging discord among the Creeks; it was to their advantage, both politically and monetarily. This encouraged  the first engagement of the Creek Indian War of 1813-1814 , it takes place at Burnt Corn Creek in present-day Escambia County, Alabama. Creek leaders Peter McQueen and High Head Jim were returning from Pensacola, where they had secured supplies and arms from the Spanish and British, when they were attacked by American forces.






I had found Georgia Newspapers online not too long ago. I talked about how I found Mamie McCall’s obit June 12, 1915. In the same year I found an advertisement . It was for Doan’s Pills. My gg grandmother Mamie had been in ill-health for a while. I found a few articles in the newspaper that were of interest….the advertisement for Doan’s, the note of Mamie’s illness and an advertisement by her son, for his blacksmith shop, C R McCall, Blacksmith. Mamie died on June 11th or 12th, 1915.

Times-Enterprise April 7,1915

The advertisement is at the top labeled, ” positive proof ” and  CR McCall blacksmith on the right. C R McCall ran ads from 1912 -1913 in the Times-Enterprise in Thomasville Georgia.

C R must have moved somewhere between 1910 and 1912 to be closer to family. He had two small children to raise. My grandmother, Mamie C McCall was born in 1910, in Ocilla Georgia,and we know that Maude Jeffers left the family sometime after that. C R McCall and children left Thomas county , probably to go with father and sisters to Florida, to start a new life. He later started a blacksmith shop in Plant City Florida.

I also found records of brothers to C R  visiting, back and forth. From Thomasville, to Albany and then to Americus. They were Yvonne, Carl H and Joseph E McCall.




I was online the other day, and discovered, that there are some newspapers in Georgia that are available and searchable. Yes, archived newspapers of where my family lived, during their last years in Georgia. I had always thought I could find something on Mamie, wife of John R. McCall, if only I kept searching. She is one of the reasons I do search.

In another post I had talked about finding the other Mamie,  I knew that was her first name. Although, many records in census, show Mannie and also Mollie. My grandmother is named Mamie, so, I knew it had to be! Family names carry on and on, etc….

I knew from census records in Georgia, that John R and family were in Georgia in 1910, in Albany area, Dougherty county. In 1915 or so, I saw that John had moved to Florida somewhere between 1910 and 1920. At the time of the 1920 census, he was living with daughter Lena Gunn and her spouse, Charles Addison Gunn. They lived in Tampa. It listed John R as a widow. I guessed his wife died in 1915, as only to have a point of reference on Ancestry. In hopes there would be a hint….you know, the little leaf that appears.

Now, the obituary I came across today, was a needle in a haystack. When I searched McCall, this is the first article that appeared, 100% match, on only the last name. I think I may have said ” I found her!!  ” No one was here to hear me! It validated her name as Mamie and the last name of Thomas. I had seen the name Thomas before on a death record of one of their children, but, was not convinced. I am now convinced. This is from the Thomaston paper , Times-Enterprise, June15, 1915.

Obit on Mamie Thomas McCall, Thomaston Georgia

I know it is illegble, but, in the regular viewer on the website, I can view it. In order to view them, you must have DjVu a really difficult to navigate system. I am now in the process to see if there is a death certificate. Although, Georgia did not require them until 1919, four years after her death.





Unless you visited Florida during the 60’s and 70’s, some of the names of these places have no meaning whatsoever. However, if you were there, well, there were some pretty cool attractions. After Disney World came along in the early 70’s, many of these attractions could not sustain. If you visit the site I have linked here, www.lostparks.com, many of them are listed. In fact, the front page of that website, I have that very postcard. That is what I was doing part of the day today. I have a large box filled with old postcards. I was amazed how many were from my childhood.

I know , everyone who lived in Florida had a beach in their back yard….or at least that is the general feel when I used to tell friends, ” I grew up in Florida “. They would exclaim, ” Really ” ? This is a myth! We had to drive to the beach, even though it was a few short miles.I was actually six miles from the beach, Coquina beach ( Bradenton Beach ) , Anna Maria Island. Coquinas are those little creatures that swirl around in the sand when you dig a hole. They will bury themselves after you disrupted their, sleep, or whatever coquinas do down there. I guess it was pretty cool to be able to go to the beach whenever you wanted. We had miles of beautiful beaches, all built up now with condos. I remember when there were none.

Below are some postcards from my collection.

Silver Springs had the famous glass bottom boats. I remember going there when I was about 8 years old. Busch Gardens, Anheuser-Busch Pavillion and Sand Dollar card

Here are some of Bathing Beauties, Weeki Wachee mermaids, Cypress Garden Aquamaids and Silver Springs model. The booklets I have are still intact. Some from the 60’s.

The Skyway bridge is what connected you across the bay from Bradenton to St. Petersburg. I was in tenth grade when it was hit by a barge in a storm.

Skyway Bridge, Aquatarium and vintage card from 50’s.

The Skyway bridge once they built the second span, it has always been scary for me to drive across this bridge. Miami Beach before it was covered in buildings and the fabulous Don Cesar hotel on St Petersburg beach.

Don Cesar, Miami Beach and the Skyway




We never went far when I was a child. My father worked a lot. But, what he did with us as a family was priceless. I grew up in Florida, In the time of the boom of Florida Attractions. Weeki Wachee Springs, Sunken Gardens, Jungle Gardens, Aquatarium, Six Gun Territory and numerous others. Many of those Florida attractions are no more. We visited many of them when I was a child. But, one place we went every summer, was a motel in Ocala. The Southern Host Motor Lodge.

Southern Host Motor Lodge

It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t big, but, it was fun! We would normally stay a few days. They had a great pool, or great as I saw it, and two kids that were the owner’s children. We were all about the same age. We would spend countless hours in the pool, we would play shuffleboard,and at night, my father and I would sit on the patio and count semi trucks that would go down the interstate. Sometimes, we would go horseback riding or to Silver SPrings, home of the glass bottom boats. We ate those little boxes of cereal that you poured milk in, and ate sandwicheS for lunch. But, we always went out for dinner. My favorite place, was Sonny’s barbecue or Morrison’s cafeteria. We continued to go there until I was about 13 years old.I know, It doesn’t sound like much, but, these are some of the best memories I have with my family.



My great-uncle Theodore Jeffers McCall, was an accomplished man. He did have a daring side though..

Barnstormer turned manager

Plant City fondly recalls adventurer Theo McCall

This is a story taken from the local paper in Plant City Florida.

PLANT CITY – The thrill of barnstorming was just a wing tip away for the late Theo McCall.

The young man, who later would manage Plant CIty for nearly 27 years, was looking for adventure.He had attended local schools, worked as a plumber with an uncle in Miami and in the Plant City Fire Department. But, hey, when you’re 24, that’s just a little too tame.So in 1929, McCall sold his roadster and decided to gn barnstorming with his pilot friend, Clarence McArthur.The two bought a World War I “Jenny” and instantly attracted a paying crowd at the Coronet runway. Located in a bumpy cow pasture off Coronet Road southeast of the city, the little airstrip preceded the present airport west of town.Like other barnstormer who traveled rural areas to give dramatic presentations, McCall and his friend sought to bring some excitement to their patrons.McCall would don helmet and goggles and, with the eyes of hundreds of men, women and children upon him, would Inch his way along the wings to a parachute packed on the underbelly of the plane.Slipping his arms into the parachute’s slings, he would pull a slip knot and, amid gasps and screams from those below, drift earthward.His descent was marked, not by smoke, but by a trail of plain cooking flour flowing steadily from a paper hag. Once, when McCall jumped at a Moultrie, Ga., airstrip, the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. He was covered with flour when his feet touched the ground.A woman rushed up to him and exclaimed, “My God, son, are you hurt?” He wasn’t. And he figured each jump was well worth the $25 he received. McCall later would say that collecting that amount. even during hard times, was like gathering golden eggs in a basket.Pilot MacArthur didn’t do too badly, either. He got about $2.50 a person for those brave enough to take a joy ride in the plane.



PLANT CITY’S T.]. MCCALL WAS A MAN OF MANY TALENTS By Plant City Photo Archives & History Center FOCUS Magazine June 2010

Previously we wrote about Mike E. Sansone, after whom one of the City’s recreational parks is named, who was a WWI and WWIl veteran, and who dedicated himself to programs for the community through his work with the American Legion, and to the community’s youth through service with the Boy Scouts of America.

This story is about another impressive man, Theodore Jeffers McCall, who served as Plant City’s City Manager for nearly 27 years, from January 1941 to December 1967.

Born in Ocilla, Georgia, (in Irwin County, about 20 miles northeast of Tifton), October 20, 1905, Theodore Jeffers McCall is the son of Clifford Riley McCall and Maud Jeffers McCall. Clifford was a blacksmith, and in 1913 moved his family to Plant City and established what was to be the last blacksmith shop in Plant City; it was located on Pennsylvania Avenue between Baker and Reynolds Streets.

According to the Bruton and Bailey book on the history of Plant City, Clifford Riley McCall would ride his bicycle to the Methodist Church on Reynolds Street with daughter Mamie on the crossbar and his small son seated behind. They rode from the Sanders farm on Alexander Street, where they lived, east on Haines Street to the church.

Theodore McCall attended local schools, graduating from Plant City High School about 1923. Some of his friends knew him as “Theo”, some called him “Mac”, while others simply knew him as “TJ.” After high school, young Theo left Plant City to work in Texas and also worked as a plumber with his uncle in Miami. Returning to Plant City in 1926 he signed on with the Fire Department as a “fire laddie”, a colloquial reference to the brave young volunteer firemen from the early years.

With the economic collapse of late 1929, McCall and MacArthur decided to end their barnstorming, and Theo McCall returned to Plant City. He joined the Police Department as a motorcycle policeman. He reconnected to many old friends, including school mate Odessa Geer, older sister to Quintilla Geer. Quintilla Geer married classmate James Bruton in 1932, and Odessa Geer and Theo McCall were married in 1933.

McCall’s professional career with the city continued to consume him. He was appointed superintendent of the streets department and later superintendent of the combined sanitation department and jail. In 1939 he was appointed Chief of Police. During this time he was also an active member of the Olin Wright Masonic Lodge, then located on Evers Street at Mahoney,just behind the City Hall, and he was also a member of the Egypt Temple (Shriners). He and Odessa had two sons – James Clifford McCall born in late 1934, and Charles Raymond McCall born in 1937.

The City of Plant City at that time did not have City Manager-Commission form of government, and a city commissioner functioned as city manager with no additional compensation. In 1939 Alvin Hinson held this position and McCall was appointed to serve as Hinson’s assistant. By January 1941 this changed and the city commission appointed Theodore Jeffers McCall to the full-time post of City Manager. The city budget was approximately $150,000, and the population was just under 5,000.

At that time the City Hall was at the corner of Collins and Mahoney and housed almost all of the municipal services – including police and fire departments, and housed a court room on the second floor. There was a separate “lockup” and a small water department. Theo McCall was dedicated to his work for the city and its people; he knew the workings of every department and thought nothing of working side-by-side with other city employees – whether in a ditch or at a desk. He was a hands-on guy. You would see him everywhere, with his signature straw hat, and usually a coat and tie. His schedule was full and city staff and city residents knew they could call him at any time – and they did.

McCall worked for nearly 27 years as City Manager, retiring in December 1967. During that time the city grew from a population of about 5,090 to 17,000, it doubled in square miles, constructed more than 60 miles of paved streets and miles of sidewalks. The city saw growth with numerous buildings and businesses, with the formation of the Industrial Expansion Committee of 100, organized to bring in light industry; they also solicited the Hillsborough Aviation Authority for land for an industrial park, and they began construction of the .$1.6 million industrial waste-treatment plant. McCall also drew the floor plans for the new City Hall at Wheeler and Mahoney, and the floor plans for the two new recreation centers, which are now the Planteen and the MLK Rec Center.

In 1954 the Jaycees presented McCall with their Good Government Award, only the second they had presented. He has received recognition for his years of service from the International City Managers Association and the Florida City Managers Association. The Suncoast Girl Scout Council honored McCall for his assistance in securing their permanent location at Mike Sansone Park.

In November 1967, at the announcement of his retirement plans, the Plant City Courier editorial said this of Mac McCall:

“McCall stood by ready to help. He is that kind of man – kind, considerate, helpful, fair, and just. Above all he toiled, worked, and planned for the good of Plant City. “

On June 2, 1971, the city commission dedicated a park in the middle of the downtown business district to “Mr. Plant City”. McCall Park was expanded, made over and rededicated in 1998. It is the center of much of the downtown activities in Plant City. Theodore Jeffers McCall left this life on June 20, 1980, and is buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in his beloved Plant City. Odessa Geer McCall, June 8, 1906 – April 15, 1990, rests adjacent to Theodore.

Sources: Quintilla Geer Bruton and David E. Bailey, Jr., Plant City; Its Origin and History, Hunter Publishing Company, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 1984. The Tampa Tribune, Panky Glamsch, 1961, Panky Snow,

12/26/1994, The Tampa Times, 10/2511966, The Courier, 10/27/1966, Plant City Photo Archives “Oral History Project” 2009, Edith McCall Fountain, and Plant City Photo Archives & History Center photographic collections.




This is my grandmother Mamie Pickens and sister Edith Fountain, taken about February 1990. There was a family gathering that day. This is in Nana’s back yard in Bradenton Florida.


We are now without some of the family, cousin MIke , Aunt Ann and Nana. The small children all all grown.




This was taken about 5 years ago, while my parents went to visit David on Roan Mountain, Tennessee. We have known David Morgan since I was five years old. That would be 43 years based on my age. You don’t often keep friends that long, especially if you became friends when you were an adult. Daddy met David while he was a night attendant at the local tennis courts. He would lock up there, make sure they were taken care of in general. David had a brother who lived next to the courts. They all just became friends. We lived in the neighborhood, just a few blocks from the courts. I learned to play there, unfortunately, I never got very good at tennis. When David was a bachelor, I cleaned house for him. Not an easy task, but, it was good work for a thirteen year old!


David is one of those guys who would do anything for you. He has been there many times for us, and us for him. He was there when my father had his heart surgery in 1998. And , my father was there for him, when David had kidney transplant surgery . David, unfortunately, just lost his brother Wayne, who so unselfishly, gave his kidney to David.

David has always been like a second father to me. I know my dad would like to see him again soon, and I would like to take him back to Roan Mountain to see him soon. He is married to a wonderful woman , and they split their time between the mountain and Bradenton, Florida.





Here is my list of people I will search in the 1940 census. Below are actual images that would have been around 1940 of the people for whom I will be searching.

Albert Ross Ewing and Ethel Letisia Ewing, my grandmother and mom may be living with them in Pennsylvania,  Venango county.


Great grandmother Alice Pickens, curious to see if Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jimmy are living with her in Tampa, Florida

My dad and his parents and sister Ann in Tampa Florida.


My Aunt Edith would be about 15 then, with her mom Edith Duskin McCall and father Clifford R McCall in Plant City, Florida.

Finally, any remaining relatives in Irwin and Dougherty counties Georgia or maybe some in North Texas and south Oklahoma.

Good luck in your searches!!! Let me know who you find.

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