Niceville 1916

(A section of the NICEVILLE, FLORIDA - Onlne History Center)

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it." ~H. E. Luccock (1885-1961)

Registered Voters 1916 for Precinct No. 14-Niceville: (Women did not have the right to vote until 1920.)
G. B. Anchors, J. F. Allen, Otto Adkison, B. C. Allen, E. J. Allen, George W. Allen. L. L. Allen, J. B. Allen, Lon Allen, Warren Armstrong, C. B. Allen, Eli Andrews, Arthur W. Brown, S. W. Ballentine, J. T. Bolton, John Brown, A. P. Cutts, W. C. Cutts, William Cox, Perry Carr, Jessie Cannon, Berny Crunedy, John Clemons, Will Coplin, R. Z. Campbell, P. B. Campbell, Martin Davis, Joe Dasinger, Henry Davis, Tom Davison, Vinson Edge, B. P. Edge, J. A. Edge, Evins H. Edge, B. F. Earley, L. B. Earley, J. M. Ervin, F. H. Earley, W. F. Ervin, J. E. Earley, Otis Evans, T. W. Edwards, R. L. Edge, James F. Edge, H. S. Faircloth, John Grantham, Jessie Gray, A. E. Howell, A. A. Howell, D. A. Hicks, T. W. Hudson, W. T. Howell, R. J. Henderson, C. C. Hudson, William Hampton, Sandy Henderson, H. W. Johnson, S. E. Lancaster, C. S. Laird, James Lawson, J. W. Moore, B. H. Munn, John Melvin, S. T. Marler, Joseph Marler, E. Mills, O. T. Melvin, W. T. Marler, Dave McKinney, W. F. McGriff, J. E. McGriff, Fred McGriff, J. S. McKinney, Moses J. McLenny, G. R. Nathey, R. E. Nathey, W. J. Nathey, E. A. Nathey, George W. Parish, H. J. Pope, L. M. Phelps, G. W. Pippins, Charley Phillips, Ike Page, J. J. Rushing, A. J. Richardson, J. H. Rooks, J. V. Reeves, J. M. Richardson, Alex Richardson, Thorney Robinson, J. S. Senterfeet, C. S. Sessions, James M. Smith, William Sanders, L. L. Shaw, B. S. Spence, S. S. Spence, W. B. Spencer, Raymond Swinson, Dude Swain, F. P. Thomas, J. E. Thomas, F. M. Willingham, W. L. Williamson, L. D. Woodward, Richard Williams, Ralph Williams, G. W. Williams, A. B. Weekley and Will Wilson

Federal-Aid road Act of 1916: With rural interests adding to the battle cry of "Get the farmers out of the mud!" Congress passed the Federal-Aid Road Act of 1916. It created the Federal-Aid Highway Program under which funds were made available on a continuous basis to state highway agencies to assist in road improvements. But before the program could get off the ground, the United States entered World War I.

Capt. W. R. Blount, of Pensacola, owner of the large motor boat Swan recently on the run between Pensacola and St. Andrews, but who formerly ran on the line from Pensacola to Boggy via the Bayous, was through here recently in his car, calling on the turpentine operators, and other business people with a view of putting the Swan back on the old run here.  The Swan is a nice boat, large and comfortable, and Capt. Blount a good business man.  In our dealings with him we always found him straight forward and business like in his dealings and we would be glad to see him on the line.  There is ample room for another boat at this line, especially in the bayous. (The Okaloosa Leader, Laurel Hill, Thursday January 13, 1916)

Okaloosa News Jan. 21, 1916:
    "In an endeavor to arouse more interest in diversified farming and to show farmers how to secure great yields per acre and otherwise make farming a more profitable occupation in West Florida, the L&N Railroad Company are sending out members of the agricultural department of the State penetrated by their lines. Their itinerary puts them in Okaloosa County in February, with dates and places as follows: Holt, Feb. 9, 2:30 p.m.; Milligan, Feb. 10, 2:00 p.m.; Crestview, Feb. 14, 2:00 p.m.; Garden City, Feb. 14, 7:00 p.m.; Laurel Hill, Feb. 14, 2 p.m.; Baker, Feb., 7, 2 p.m. It is the earnest desire that every farmer, whether renter or land owner in the county attend as many of these meetings as possible. It is for their especial benefit that these are being held, and at each, addresses will be made by men of long-experience and have made a success along the especial lines they will use for their subject.
    One of the subjects to which especial attention will be paid is “How to Grow More Corn.” Already the effect of greater corn production here is being seen in the amount put on the market as well as in the number of hogs, cattle, etc. sold. For a long time our farmers gave the growing of corn and other grains but slight attention, but that day has passed and now the great corn and hayfields of the West must look to other sections for a market for their product.
    Diversification is another theme upon which especial stress is being laid now, and is profitably applicable to this section. With proper attention it would prove an easy matter for our farmers to have some money crop to sell during each month in the year. In this connection, it is the intention of the speakers to show what crops can be raised here which will give the greatest returns in the shortest time, with the least expenditure of labor, time and fertilizers.
    Another branch they will thoroughly explain will be “How to Improve Live Stock.” In the past few years, greater attention has been paid to hogs, cattle and stock raising, than ever before and by raising better breeds more money being made out of it. As will be noticed in the dates, time and place, the meeting is advertised to hold at Crestview and Laurel Hill at the same time, the only explanation for which we have to offer is, there will probably be two crews of demonstrators at work in this section of the county.” (Okaloosa News 01/21/1916)

Capt. W. R. Blount and Mr. David M. Wittwell, of Pensacola, spent last Thursday night at the Forest Ranger Station “Camp Pinchot,” Garniers. They came through by automobiles from Pensacola.”

“R. J. Henderson and Clyde Webb of Crestview were visitors at Garniers Friday. They also went to Camp Walton to see the country and get used to the roads in this part of the county.”

Proceedings of the County Commissioners: New Road Machine Bought—New Voting Precinct Created—Many Bills Traced Down.
"The County Commissioners met at Milligan, Tuesday, February 8th and transacted the following business.
All members were present save Mr. Edge, who was detained on account of sickness in his family. The reading of the minutes of the previous session and the examining of reports of county officers took up all the forenoon. The afternoon session was largely taken up in examining bills and accounts against the county.
Quiet a number of bills from the County Judge’s and Justice of the Peace courts were laid over without authorizing warrants drawn to settle same.
The following bonds were examined:
    H. G. Baggett to carry firearms with V.C. Lawhorn and R. M. Lawhorn sureties.
    G. R. Anchors as Notary Public with P. J. Johnson and S. S. Spence as sureties.
    J. A. Hodges, Constable for Justice District No. 3, with L. E. Bowers, J. D. Cobb, C. H. Griffith and M. E. Savage as sureties.

Mr. Givens had D. J. Lott appointed as road overseer for the northwestern portion of his district, and Frank Burke for the southwestern portion.
A short public road was granted on the east side of the river in Mr. Givens’s district.
A number of road matters in the southern part of the county were laid over on account of the absence of Mr. Edge.
Mr. Rozier was instructed to purchase a first class road machine for the use of the county.

A new precinct was granted in the northwestern portion county to be known as Red Oak. Its number is 18.
Ordered that all persons operating log teams or lumber wagons over the public roads in the county were notified to keep the roads in as good condition as they were when they began operations.
The Clerk was ordered to purchase all necessary ballot boxes for the holding of elections in the several precincts of the county."

Crestview, logical place for court house: "Tell your friends that Crestview is growing some. Seven new buildings now under way of construction in Crestview, and several more being talked of."

Gulf View Hotel
Camp Walton, Florida
Electric Lights and Steam Heated – Hot and Cold Baths
$2.00 Per Day -- $10.00 Per Week
Theo Staff, Manager

First Florida Packing Plant to be Located at Pensacola Soon: Will Be a Big Boost For All West Florida—Furnishing a Market for Cattle and Hogs: “Northern Capital Behind the Project. According to the following from the Pensacola Journal, West Florida is soon to have a market for all her cattle and hogs which will be one of the biggest boosts for this country that it has ever had.
    The Journal gives the following account of the proposed enterprise. A packing house, ice factory and cold storage plant costing $50,000 is the latest industry to locate in Pensacola. Northern money is invested and yesterday afternoon a block of land in the Maxent tract was brought and within thirty days building operations will be commenced. The plant at the outset will employ between 60 and 75 men regularly and will give impetus to the cattle raising industry of West Florida for it will supply a market for livestock. The location of the plant is convenient to both the GF&A and PM&NO railroads. The former was surveying yesterday afternoon, with the view if immediately building a spur track to the site. This will be used first in getting material and machinery to the grounds and later in hauling the product of the plant, as well as bring meat in from the slaughter pens to be handled at the plant.
    This industry will be one of the biggest to locate in Pensacola in many years. To A. M. Cohn of the Citizens Realty Company, goes the credit for handling the deal, and he was given valuable assistance by George a. Berry of the GF&A railroad. The plant will be the only packing house in Florida and its importance to Escambia County and West Florida cannot be calculated. Cattle will be slaughtered ten or fifteen miles from the city and the carcasses shipped to Pensacola. In addition it will manufacture ice for wholesale and retail trade and supply cold storage facilities in addition to those already existing in the city.
    There is one other branch of business to be conducted in connection with the plant, but this, like the name of the promoters, will not be announced for several days. Within a week, however, those backing the movement will be known. In fact the application for a charter goes forward to Tallahassee today and within a month work of constructing the building and installing machinery will be commenced.
    Those who are here looking after the location of the packing house plant say that Pensacola never would have been selected, but for the fact that the Gulf, Florida and Alabama Railroad has just been completed, affording them a new outlet as well as competitive rates.”

Florida Road Tax Upheld: Washington, Feb. 21, 1916—The supreme court today upheld the constitutionality of the Florida road tax law, making it a criminal offense to refuse to work on the roads. The case decided was brought by Jake Butler, convicted in Columbia County. Butler contended the law imposed involuntary servitude.

Okaloosa News Feb. 27, 1916:
Circuit Court Convenes Monday, February 27th: “The first term of the Circuit Court to be held in the new county of Okaloosa, will convene at Milligan, Monday morning, February 27th. The News will not publish the names of the jurors as the other papers have done for the reason that it is a violation of the law.

If you want peace, plenty and prosperity, come to Okaloosa. We have it all.

The improvements of this section of Okaloosa County are a thousand times better now than they were six months ago, which shows that the new county was the best thing for the people to ever happen. Still some people said that division would ruin us.

To show our appreciation of our friends who have placed their announcements in this issue of The News, of which there are eight, we are mailing out two hundred copies extra of our regular paid subscription list of over six hundred, which makes a total of over eight hundred copies of The News printed and circulated this week.

With the thousands of good and fertile acres of land laying idle in Okaloosa County we can see no mistake in our County Dads appropriating a few cents in getting out a nice booklet telling the outside world of our natural advantages. This kind of scheme has paid in other counties by bringing in thousands of good farmers, and it would do likewise for Okaloosa.

To Work Turkey Creek Hill: A letter from Hon. W. H. Spivey at Camp Walton, informs us that a large number of citizens from Camp Walton, Mary Esther, and Wright will meet at the Post Oak Ford on Turkey Creek next Monday morning with teams, plows and scrapes for the purpose of pulling down and hard-surfacing the bad hill at that place. They have requested all citizens at Crestview, who feel interested to meet with them at the proposed working place for the purpose of helping do the work. They say that if the Board of Commissioners do not feel inclined to help them in securing a decent road from Crestview to Camp Walton, that they will, with the help and co-operation of the citizens at Crestview, manage some way to get the road in a passable condition. The editor stands ready to do his full share in helping this project through. What will the balance of Crestview citizens do? We heard the list by subscribing $2.50, and the money is ready at any minute.The citizens of Crestview can, and ought to raise at least $50.00 to help fix this bill. Will they do it?” (Okaloosa News 02/18/1916)

Good Roads Meet Held At Crestview Enthusiastic Gathering of Citizens Hear Address by W. M. Herrider of Pensacola: “The following is taken from Saturday’s Pensacola Journal and tells of the good roads meeting which was held in The News office at Crestview, Thursday night of last week. Crestview, Feb. 18, 1916—W. M. Herrider, Secretary of the West Florida Highway Association, was here from Pensacola and made a most interesting talk last night to an enthusiastic crowd of Crestview progressive citizens on the importance of good roads.
    Mr. Herrider laid special stress on the importance of completing the “Old Spanish Trail” through Okaloosa County. He said in part that Okaloosa, the baby county of the state, was to be congratulated on the fact that she now has completed and ready for use thirteen miles of as good hard surfaced roads as are to be found anywhere in West Florida, there remaining only eleven miles more of road to be built in this county before the “Old Spanish Trail” highway will be completed through the county, which is far ahead of any other county in West Florida, save it be Walton. When Mr. Herrider was through speaking the editor of the Okaloosa News made a short talk, wherein he stated “he felt sure that the remaining eleven miles of unfinished road would be finished by the latter part of the ensuing summer.” (The Pensacola Journal)

Okaloosa County Commissioners Meeting March 14, 1916:
“Mr. Baggett offered the following resolution: Whereas we realize the need of better roads and highways in Okaloosa County, Fla. and whereas we believe an InterState or Fla. Ala. & Gulf Highway can be built from Troy, Ala. via Andalusia to state line of Fla. 6 miles north of Blackman, Fla. By Ala. Commissioners in Covington County, as it is already completed 11 miles south of Andalusia - Therefore, be it hereby resolved and ordered:
     That we the Board of County Commissioners for Okaloosa County Fla. begin at State line of Ala. and Fla. where the present public road from Blackman to Andalusia crosses said line at center line of Section 26 T6N R24W and lay out a highway to be known as Fla. Ala. and Gulf Highway via Blackman, Baker, Milligan and on to Camp Walton over the most direct and practicable route.
     That a Committee of R. A. Rozier, B. P. Edge and J. H. Givens shall survey and mark out the route at once with as little expense as possible.
     That an Eastern division of same shall be extended north and east from wherever the junction may be established via Crestview, Garden City, Laurel Hill and to county line near Svea. That we ask the County Commissioners of Covington County to make the necessary extensions and connections to us.
     That there shall be a Southeastern Division leaving the main line south of Shoal River leading direct to Niceville, Fla.
     That we designate from Niceville via Camp Walton to Garniers and Deerland via Crestview, Milligan, Galliver to Holt and Milligan via Oak Grove to Newell and Laurel Hill via Blackman to county line near Otahite as important roads together with the above outlined highway roads and its divisions.
     That each Commissioner in his District where these roads and highways are shall instruct his overseers to do as much permanent work on same as possible, claying, grading, hardening, etc. provided no one shall spend more money than there is in the road fund at any one time as a bill against the county but may use private donations for which we ask the cooperation of all persons.
     In the passage of this resolution a roll call was ordered. Those voting yes were Messrs Givens, Rozier and Edge. Those voting no were Mr. Davis - Chairman not voting. Description and Boundaries of voting precincts for Okaloosa County were read, verified and ordered published according to law.”

Niceville Precinct #14: (Note: Destin is included in the Niceville Precinct boundaries.) 
"Commencing at the North East corner Section Twenty-four (24) Township One (1) North Range Twenty-two (22) West running due West on Section line to the North West corner of section Twenty (20) Township One (1) north, Range Twenty-three (23) West; thence South on Section line to the Waters of the Gulf of Mexico; thence Easterly along the Meanderings of the Water line of said Gulf to the County line dividing Okaloosa and Walton Counties; thence North along said County line to the point of beginning. Voting place Niceville." (Source: Okaloosa Board of County Commissioneers minutes to approve Precinct boundaries on March 14, 1916)

The following is a list of the District Registration Officers s who will have the registration books in each precinct of Okaloosa County:
District No. 1, South Baker, H. Allen
District No. 2, North Baker, L. I. Malloy
District No. 3, Beaver Creek, P. D. Franklin
District No. 4, Old Walton, W. O. Richardson
District No. 5, Laurel Hill, H. M. Stokes
District No. 6, Yellow River, J. D. Clary
District No. 7, Blackman, H. G. Baggett
District No. 8, Milligan, J. W. Kierce
District No. 9, Holt, C. R. Cooper
District No. 10, Howell, H. M. Strickland
District No. 11, Deerland, A. J. Bolton
District No. 12, Garden City, N. E. Bridges
District No. 13, Dorcas, J. Matthew Miller
District No. 14, Niceville, C. S. Sessions
District No. 15, Crestview, John R. Smith
District No. 16, Mary Esther, T. C. Brooks
District No. 17, Wright, J. J. Pryor
District No. 18, Red Oak, Wm. J. Franklin
Remember that the books are now open in each precinct, and if you want to vote in the primary you had better register today before you forget it.

Mrs. George Jordan of Crestview is visiting friends and relatives here this week.

Miss Josie Cox accompanied by Miss Ruth Balentine returned to her home in Milton last Friday.

Mrs. George W. Parish, who has been visiting her daughter, Mrs. J. E. Jeralds of Pensacola, returned home Monday on the mail boat.

Mrs. Jeralds and little son, Jim, accompanied her mother home and will spend a few weeks with friends and home folks.

Rev. Arnett filled his regular appointment here last Saturday and Sunday.

Mrs. G. B. Anchors spent Sunday with Mrs. McGriff. Mrs. B. P. Edge and daughter Lula and Lena Armstrong were callers at Mrs. A. A. Howell’s and Spence’s Thursday evening.

Claude Lathinhouse made his usual trip to the Bayou this week after fresh fish and oysters.

Mrs. Herman Pope and Miss Bessie McGriff were down the first of the week.

Dr. McGriff was doing business in Pensacola this week.

A party consisting of B. P. Edge, Mr. Sessions, Messrs. Haskins, Sutton, Kierce and Moore went to the Sardine Lake Wednesday. They report a fine time.” (Okaloosa News 03/24/1916)

Proceedings of County Commissioners, Regular Routine of Business Transacted,  New Roads Granted, Board met with all members present:
    “Quite a number of bills against the county were examined and ordered paid. The bonds of Allen J. King as justice of the peace, J. W. Martin as deputy sheriff and Jas. J. Ellis as notary public were approved.
Public road was ordered opened from Choctawhatchee Bay west to Santa Rosa County line just north and parallel with Santa Rosa sound. Public road was ordered opened from Coxes’ bridge to Camp Walton to be known as the Crestview and Camp Walton Road. A viewing committee was appointed to view and mark out a proposed road from Baker to Galliver. The tax collector was instructed to pay all moneys collected for special road and bridge district No. 1 over to the board of trustees. The sum of $2,000 was appropriated for each county commissioners’ district to be spent on roads and bridges.

Contract with Walton Land and Timber for convicts was approved.
    The bid of W. H. Mapoles for job printing for several county offices were approved.
    Committee was appointed to new proposed road from Holt to the Galliver Howell road near bridge on Yellow River.
    Col. W.W. Flournoy of DeFuniak, appeared before the board and made a very interesting talk on the subject of bonding Okaloosa County for sufficient money to build a court house and jail and a net of good roads throughout the county. However, the Board deferred taking any action on the matter at this time.” (Okaloosa News 04/21/1916)

“I. F. Eldridge, supervisor of the Florida Division National Forest Reserve, and Mr. Potter of Washington D. C. who is the chief inspector of the forest turpentine industry have been at “Camp Pinchot.” Garniers, looking after business through the Choctawhatchee reservation. S. S. Spence of the Boggy Lumber Company of Niceville, carried out a tow of logs from the head of Garniers Bayou last Friday morning.

Mr. and Mrs. B. P. Edge of Niceville, spent Tuesday and Wednesday here visiting friends and relatives. Mr. Edge had come up to attend the regular meeting of the County Commissioners, but on account of the deplorable condition of things at Milligan, the meeting was put off subject to the call of the chairman of the Board. Mr. Edge reports the storm damage at Niceville very small. He says that $10.00 will repair the damage done the road from the John’s Still to Niceville.” (Okaloosa News 04/30/1916)

Auto Line From Crestview to the Bay Country Will Make Round Trip Each Day From Crestview to Camp Walton. Fare $4.00 Round Trip: Jitney
    “It was through a contract with the L&N Railroad Company to route passengers to our Gulf Coast via Crestview that Messrs. John Q. and Obie Adams of DeFuniak Springs, put on three autos Monday morning under a contract with the said L&N Railroad Company to make at least one round trip per day with a good five passenger auto from Crestview to Camp Walton.
    The contract between the two parties specifies that all passengers routed to Camp Walton over the L&N road are to be given immediate passage at a reasonable fare on good cars to be run on a regular schedule time.
    The car or cars, as necessity may make it, will leave Crestview at 9 o’clock a.m. sharp, and will return at 7 p.m. the same day. The fare will be $4.00.
This arrangement will make it possible for everybody wanting to visit any point in the Bay Country—let it be Camp Walton, Mary Esther, Harris or Niceville, to go and come with but very little inconvenience, for after they have once reached Camp Walton, they can take boats and go where they please up and down the Gulf front but with little expense.
    It is estimated by the L & N people that there will be at least two thousand people to pass over this route this summer, and of course this will mean a great deal for Crestview and our Gulf Coast section of Okaloosa County.” (Okaloosa News 05/05/1916)

Letter from C. S. Sessions, Niceville to E. A. Mooney, Garniers, Florida dated May 15, 1916: "Dear Sir: After you were here yesterday morning I found out that the interest of your petition was to do away with our Post Office at this place and I undertood it to be a Daily Star Route from Crestview, Fla., and I find that almost every one who I have spoken too are opposed to the discontinuance of this Office and I want you to Erase the name of L. L. Shaw also myself from that petition and prevent that petition in its present shape as we intend to get up another petition showing that the interest of yours was not fully explained and that the names must not be used to secure the proposed route. Yours Very, C. S. Sessions" (Note: This original letter from C. S. Sessions is written on company letterhead stationary and has their Niceville business heading "Office of Shaw and Sessions, Dealers in General Merchandise", dated May 15, 1916. It is displayed inside the 1918 Garniers Post Office at the Heritage Park and Cultural Center at Fort Walton Beach.)

Inspectors & Clerks for Primary election to be Held June 6, 1916:
Precinct No. 14 Niceville: J. F. Allen, J. S. Senterfitt, B. H. Munn, Inspectors;
Geo. W. Allen, Clerk

Mrs. W. H. Haskins was called to the deathbed of her daughter of Cypress, Thursday.

Rev. Brown filled his regular appointment here Saturday night and Sunday.

Miss Hattie Brown of Freeport, and Miss Katie David of DeFuniak are visiting their aunt, Mrs. Leonora Brown, of this place.

Mr. Hightower of Bolton, attended preaching here Sunday.

Mr. Givens, Dr. Baggett, J. W. Baggett, Mr. Rosier, Mr. Mapoles, Mr. Gakins, P. J. and Oscar Steel spent a while in our city Tuesday.

We are glad to say our Sunday School is progressing nicely. There were one hundred and one present Sunday.

B. P. Edge attended the picnic at Laurel Hill last Thursday, and reports a nice time.

All the fisherman are wearing broad smiles over big catches recently. They caught seven thousand and five hundred pounds last Saturday.

Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company Puts Crestview On Map - Crestview Recognized as Tourist Town is Given Regular Tourist Rates From All Points East of Selma, South of Montgomery, West of River Junction:
    "Half fare - plus 25 cents - to Take Effect May 25th. “News was received here by wire this week from Mr. Pusey of the Passenger Department of the Louisville & Nashville railroad that Crestview has been given a special tourist rate from all points. The special rate is one fare plus .25 cents for the round trip to and from Crestview. This places Crestview in the same class as Pensacola, Panama City and other coast towns as to low rates for summer tourist. From Crestview the passengers can be hurried by fast automobiles to Niceville, Garniers, Camp Walton, Mary Esther and Harris, or any other point along the beautiful Gulf front south of this place. The special low rate will go into effect May the 25th, which will be in time to establish hundreds of more people to attend the big barbecue and auctioneering of lots at this place on May the 27th, and will be a great impetus for travel from all points via of Crestview to the several summer and winter resorts in the southern part of Okaloosa County.
    The granting of this special low rate by the L&N Railroad Company to Crestview was brought about largely through the special interest taken in the matter by Mr. W. J. Rice, manager of the Crestview Land Company. He has been for some time past urging upon the railroad people the necessity of such a rate in order that the southern sections of Okaloosa may be easily visited by tourist from other parts of the country. It is expected that the new rate will be the cause of several thousand people coming here during the summer. Once they are landed here they will be taken to any point desired by fast automobile lines which are being established here by competitive people.
    Already the daily line to and from Crestview from Camp Walton is doing a good business. Other lines and other cars will be put on as fast as the travel will justify. Watch Crestview grow! Watch Okaloosa resorts forge to the front! Then watch fertile lands in the Northern half of the county be converted into good farms. We welcome them all.” (Okaloosa News 05/19/1916)

James E. Plew and Nettie Plew, his wife sold 3,635 areas in Santa Rosa County (now known as Okaloosa County, Florida) June 29, 1916: James E. Plew and Nettie Plew, his wife, granted, bargained and sold, to Webb Jay an undivided half interest, in land located at T1S R24W (Wright, FL) and T2S R24 W (on the West side of Garniers Bayouy across from Shalimar) containing Thirty Six Hundred and Thirty Five ( 3,635) acres more or less. Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Edith Neill and Baeor Townsend State of Illinois, Cook County.(Source: Escambia County Warranty Deed)

World War I: : April 6, 1917 “The United States declared war on Germany and her allies and entered a conflict that had raged since August 1914. 42,000 Floridians served.” (Florida Memory State Library and Archives of Florida)

The death of J. J. McCaskill was reported in a Pensacola newspaper in June 1916.

The Road to Niceville Being Improved: “It was through the kindness of Hon. T. J. Finn, representative of Santa Rosa county, that the editor passed over the road from Crestview to Niceville last Wednesday and found much needed improvements made on that road by Hon. B. P. Edge, Commissioner from that district.
    Besides straightening the road in many places, Mr. Edge has had the bad hill coming out of Niceville clayed part of the way and strawed the balance of the way. Then he has clayed the Juniper Creek hill all the way up it. This was one of the worst sand hills in Okaloosa county. So all in all, this road is now an average good country road, and the automobile can pass over it with but very little trouble and no pushing at all.” (The Okaloosa News 06/23/1916)

Charles E. Cessna ashore at Mobile

A photo of the Steamer Charles E. Cessna ashore at Mobile. (The Floods of July 1916 By Southern Railway)







Auction Sale of Lots At Camp Walton On Tues, July 4, 1916: “A few years ago, the water front lots at Camp Walton was selling at, from one to two dollars per foot, and a few people “most from the North” availed themselves of the opportunity of purchasing at these prices. Today, the same water front property, that can be bought, will cost you anywhere from ten to twenty-five dollars per front foot. You can now, buy a desirable residence lot fronting on the shell road, near the water front, in plain view of the Bay, accessible to the Gulf breeze, and just a little more than a half mile from where the breakers of the Gulf washes up on one of the finest bathing beaches on the whole Gulf coast, for less than one hundred dollars. Avail yourself of the opportunity of getting one of the desirable lots, now, when they are gone, there will be no more exactly like them and when the same ones change hands they will cost you more money. Those who don’t attend the sale will have an opportunity to buy any of the lots, unsold, after the auction, at private sale. For further info apply to W. H. SPIVEY, Camp Walton, FL”

July 27, 1916 Pensacola Journal - Niceville is among Okaloosa County coastal resorts.

Niceville Coastal Resort 1916

Miss Eva Hicks is visiting friends at Howell this week.

Sherman Cox of Bagdad spent Sunday here with friends and relatives.

Supt. W.C. Pryor passed by here Sunday on his way to Camp Walton.

Dan Howell of Howell and Robert. Cain of Galliver, made a flying trip here Saturday.

Rev. Arnett of Crestview filled his regular appointment here Saturday night and Sunday.

D. P. McKenzie of Carrabelle, B. H. Sutton of Milligan were transacting business in our city Monday.

Mrs. Rhodus left for her home at Cypress Thursday after a few days visit with her sister and mother.

Mrs. J. M. Jordan, who has been under the treatment of Dr. McGriff left Wednesday for Crestview where she will go to Pensacola.

The Crestview ball team came and played Niceville Saturday, when the stunt was pulled off, the score stood 8 to 0 in favor of Niceville.

Dr. McGriff returned home Monday from Pensacola where he went to carry Mrs. Jordan to the sanitarium for an operation and states she is doing fine.

Mr. Jacob Benton and family, Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey, Dr. Wahlly and family of Opp, Ala., spent a few days here camping and fox hunting this week.

Miss Lizzie Jordan, who has been visiting Miss Lula Edge here for the past two weeks, returned to her home at Crestview Wednesday. She will be greatly missed here by her many friends.

Leonard Phelps gave a cream supper at the home of Miss Lula Edge Friday night in honor of Misses Jessie, Alma and Emma Benton of Opp, Ala. Those present were Misses Jessie, Alma and Emma Benton, Bessie McGriff, Mattie Howell, Lena Armstrong, Clayton Balentine, James Parish, Leon Phelps, Dave McKinney, Joel Edge, and S. B. Haskins. They report a most enjoyable time.” (Okaloosa News 08/18/1916)

Camp Walton, West Florida’s popular summer resort, offers many advantages that can not be found at any other point on the gulf coast. The first thing that impresses the most casual observer is the popularity of the Gulfview Hotel, which is conducted by Gerlock & Company. Mr. Staff, the clever manager of this hotel, makes every effort to provide for the comfort and pleasure of its guests. The Gulfview is ideally situated and equipped with all modern conveniences.” (Opp Messenger 08/25/1916).

(September 29, 1916 - No. 52 The Okaloosa News (is one year old today))

Destin: “S. E. Lancaster and family have moved to Niceville. We regret very much to loose these good people from our community, but we hope they will do well.”

Niceville: “Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster of Destin moved to our city last Thursday we are glad to have them with us.”

Crestview Road Map
(October 2, 1916 The Okaloosa News W. H. Mapoles, The Editor and Owner)

B.P. Edge, Niceville, County Commissioner Campaign Advertisement.

B.P. Edge County Commissioner

(Okaloosa News Journal 10/27/1916)

Brooks Hotel, Camp Walton Changes Hands:
“R. E. L. McCaskill and J. D. Russ, both of DeFuniak have purchased the Brooks hotel the largest hotel at Camp Walton and have taken charge. The hostelry will be renovated and placed in first class condition and will afford good accommodations for visitors to Camp Walton. That section of Florida is fast becoming the recreation grounds for large numbers of people, including many from Alabama and the purchasers of the hotel believe that this winter will be a prosperous one.” - (Pensacola News)

G. B. Anchors and W. Howell have received a new model Ford this making six cars here. Hurrah for our City and the fast running Fords.” (Okaloosa News 11/03/1916)

Mr. W. N. Hartgrove of Garniers made a speech at the Shaw and Sessions store Saturday night.

Rev. Brown of Freeport, came up from Niceville, on the daily car Monday evening, on his way back to Freeport, where he filled his regular appointment at that place. While here he stated that Niceville was soon to erect a new Methodist Church, hurrah! for the smart and industrious people of that place.

The Election past over here very quiet. Mrs. Nie and children of South Carolina, arrived here Friday and are visiting her brother, Mr. L. L. Shaw.

Rev. Brown filled his regular appointment here Saturday and Sunday which made his two years as our pastor. He has done good work here and will be glad if we have him next year.

Mr. E. V. Terry of Holt, spent Sunday here with friends. Miss Lena White of White Pine, Tenn., is visiting her niece here, Mrs. Geo. Allen. Mr. and Mrs. White motored here Sunday and spent the day with Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Allen. Mr. and Mrs. Fred McGriff made a business trip to Mariana this week.(Okaloosa News 11/10/1916)

“Miss Steele who is teaching school here, spent Saturday and Sunday with home folks at Laurel Hill.

I. A. Helms of Holt, arrived here Wednesday and expects to stay a few weeks.

L. L. Shaw is attending court at Pensacola this week.

Cane grinding will start at the Rocky Plantation this week, all that like juice come down.

J. F. Allen and C. S. Sessions made a flying trip to Milligan Wednesday.

Everybody seems to enjoy the all day sing at the Baptist Church Sunday very much.

Ina Hicks who has been in Pensacola for some time has returned home we are glad to have her back.

Rev. Arnett of Crestview filled his regular appointment here Sunday. Samuel Arnett and Osie Alford of Crestview attended the singing and preaching Sunday morning.

S. S. Spence made a business trip to DeFuniak Saturday.

We learn that a nice Methodist Church is soon to be erected in our little burg, which will add much to the looks of our city.” (Okaloosa News 11/17/1916)

Board met pursuant to adjournments with all members present - Ordered that petition for Public Road from Hard road near Cox Bridge by Niceville, Garniers Bayou to Camp Walton be allowed and the following committee be appointed to map out route - to wit:- W.A. Douglas - William Cox and M.E. Savage. (Board of Commissioners Meeting at Crestview 12/08/1916)

Wild Game In National Forest: Will Soon Be Thing of the Past Without Federal Government Prevents the Wanton Slaughter: “Without some action is taken by the federal government to prohibit the wanton slaughter of game in National Forest, of which much of it is situated in Okaloosa county, in the course of a short period the wild game in the forest will be a thing of the past. The following from the Pensacola Journal explains conditions:
    Forest Rangers in the Florida National Forest, which covers an area of 467,000 acres lying on the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay and Santa Rosa Sound, report that for the year ending December 1, 1916, (2)22 deer have been killed by hunters in the forest, and that during the same period, 162 wild turkeys have been bagged.
    In the last few years the automobile has come into use as a favorite vehicle of the hunter, and in game districts where for years the number of hunters have not exceeded 15 or 20 during any season, now as many as 75 men can be found in the same territory on any day during the early part of the season. By hunting in squads it is almost impossible for any deer to escape the hunters, and every deer that is jumped is killed.
    The National Forest has for many years been the best deer hunting grounds in West Florida. With the exception of the Everglades, it is perhaps, the largest area of land in the state which is likely to be kept in its natural state. If the game were protected the Forest would be the breeding grounds for sufficient game to satisfy the sportsmen of West Florida and Southern Alabama for all time, but with conditions as they are, the Forest will be depleted of deer within the next twelve months.
    Jurisdiction over all game in the state is with the counties and there are no Federal laws to prohibit or regulate hunting in any way in the National Forest. Forest Rangers are not responsible for the enforcement of the game laws and the counties in which the Forest is located have no provisions for their enforcement. Public sentiment apparently is not in favor of game protection, and it will be but a short time before the deer will be scarce in the Forest as the buffalo are in the West.” Pensacola Journal. (Okaloosa News 12/08/1916)

Bridge Over Shoal River - Work Begun and Bridge to be Completed June 30, 1917: J. A. Stewart Has the Contract:
    “Secretary Houston, of the United States Department of Agriculture, has signed an agreement with the board of commissioners of Okaloosa county, to cooperate with them in the construction of a bridge across Shoal river at Cox’s Crossing, four miles south of Crestview in the Florida National Forest. The United States Forest Service has agreed to contribute $2,700 in cash and approximately $960 worth of timber towards the construction of the bridge. M. E. Savage, of Crestview, will contribute about 630 cypress piles and the board of commissioners has appropriated $1,600 as its part of the cost. The contract for the construction of the bridge has been awarded to J. A. Stewart, a bridge contractor of considerable experience. The contractor has already started the work and the construction is progressing rapidly.
    When completed the bridge will be about one-half mile long, built entirely of timber, with a clear width of ten feet. It was designed by the engineering department of the forest service, and was approved by the highway engineers of the United States office of road and rural engineering. In the design are embodied the latest approved ideas of highway bridge construction, and when completed will probably be the best bridge of its kind in the state. The work will be done under the supervision of County Commissioner Davis. The contract provides for frequent inspection by government officers. The work will be completed on or before June 30, 1917. The bridge will connect for year around travel Camp Walton, Garniers, and Niceville with Crestview and other points along the “Spanish Trail” and to the northward.
    The Choctawhatchee Bay and Santa Rosa sound resorts have grown so in popularity during the last few years, particularly among automobile tourists, that the need of good highway communication has become most urgent. Since most of the road is through the Florida National Forest, the government has been able to offer cooperation in its construction, and realizing the importance of it, has concentrated its road operations on the one project. In addition to the construction of the bridge across Shoal river, local forest officers have recommended the expenditure of about $10,500 of government funds for the improvement of the Camp Walton-Crestview highway. The commissioners of Okaloosa county, as well as a number of private individuals, will contribute liberally to the funds, and it is expected that this road will be made one of the most popular of the laterals from the Spanish Trail.”

"Leonard Destin, whom we reported in our last communication as being very low, died on the 27th, of last month. He was 56 years old and had resided here all of his life. He leaves a wife, two children and three brothers besides a host of friends to mourn his demise.

S. T. Marler left Sunday for Panama City, where he goes hunting a new location, and it is reported that several more of our boys may follow him.”

“Mrs. H. T. Shaw, from North Carolina is visiting her son L. L. Shaw.

C. S. Sessions and son, returned home Monday from a week’s visit with friends and relatives in North Carolina. This is the first time Mr. Sessions has been home in several years. He reports a great improvement in his hometown.

Miss Laura White, who has been visiting her niece, Mrs. Geo. Allen, for the last month left Sunday for Crestview, where she will visit her brother, W. R. White. She has many friends here who will be glad for her to come again.

B. P. Edge and George Nathey, motored to Milligan Monday, where Mr. Edge attended the commissioner's court.

Mr. A. A. Howell and Miss Lela Ervin, are spending this week at Opp, Ala.

Mrs. G. W. Payne, of Pensacola, who has been visiting her son, Herman, returned to her home at Pensacola Sunday.

Word was received here yesterday of the marriage of Carl Burleson of this place and Miss Ida Destin. We wish the young couple the best of success in their new life.

Alex Richbourg and John Adams of Crestview, were transacting business here Tuesday.

Sheriff Sutton was shaking hands with friends here Sunday.

W. T. Howell made a flying trip to Milligan and Holt Sunday.”

Canadians Purchase Large Body of Okaloosa County Lands Near Camp Walton--Will Raise Cattle:
“The News has it on good authority that a large number of Canada’s business men have made a deal with “Uncle” Tom Brooks for several thousand acres of good land near Camp Walton, and that they are arranging to enter into the stock raising business on a large scale.
They have already purchased several head of blooded cattle and thorough breed hogs and still buying more. This is the type of citizens which Okaloosa county stands in need of, the kind that know how and will work to improve the county’s natural resources, and we believe that they have entered a business which will make for them much money.

“After selling his beautiful home and fine lands to these people four miles this side of Camp Walton, Mr. Brooks has erected him a new residence and moved back to Camp Walton.” (Okaloosa News 12/22/1916)