Clark's Place, Saint Andrew's Bay, Panama City, Florida

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George Mortimer West

G[eorge] M[ortimer] West, St. Andrews, Florida, Historical Notes Upon St. Andrews and St. Andrews Bay, with Maps, and a portrait of Governor Clark St. Andrews Fla., 1922. Page 31:

The house the governor built was one of those destroyed when the town was shelled by a Federal gunboat in December, 1863. Although not a house in the place escaped destruction, and cannon balls cut off many trees, no damage was done to the monument that stood in the midst of the little hamlet.
Although his handiwork has been destroyed and his memory is almost a forgotten page of history, yet about his old home and by his grave the mocking birds continue to usher in the day with their matins and greet the evening with star with their vespers; the whip-poor-will repeats it plaintive notes throughout the night from the magnolias and cedars, the waters ripple upon the sandy beach, and the storm tides send forth their deeper notes from the shores of the Gulf as they did when Governor Clark and his estimable and pious wife were charmed and solaced by these sounds from Nature's choristers.

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Page 52:

The early settlement of St. Andrews, along the bluff by Governor Clark's place, was made by those from the interiour who wished for a home on the bay during the summer months. At other times the houses were deserted, and only a few fishermen resided there. These early settlers included the families of Simmons J. Baker, Capt. Billy Wynne, Felix G. Long, Mr. Godwin, David Blackshear, Jesse Coe, Marmaduke N. Dickson, Messrs. Russ, Robinson, and a few others, nearly all from Jackson county. The tavern, as the Clark house was called, was also occupied, and one of the first to live there was a Major Armstead and family. [Armstead?–dff]
In the reminiscences of Dr. J.W. Keyes, published many years ago in a Wewahitchka paper, he refers to Major Armstead keeping the hotel in 1841-42 and gives us the only particulars we have found of one of the early settlers of St. Andrews, who was a rather remarkable character.

Page 54:

During the Second Seminole War, from 1834 to 1842, this section was subject to more or less trouble from wandering bands of Indians. We have no record of any damage by them right here in St. Andrews, but local history tells of depredations by them on all sides of this locality. In 1840 a Mrs. Jones, living north of the old Gainer home at Econfina, was killed by a band of Indians. William Augustus Gainer, in his reminiscences, tells of this in the following words:
"When my father and family came to the Econfina country they were accompanied by others. Among these were Elijah Robbins, family and slaves, from Virginia; Josiah Jones and son, who was married; and Rev. Soliden. In 1840, Jone's wife who was a Robbins, was killed by the Indians. Squire Robbins lived right to the rear of my house. Mrs. Jones was killed about two miles above there. Beathem, with a couple of friendly Indians and Steve Richards, was sent out to gather in the wandering Indians preparatory to their removal to the Indian Territory. Richards, with some trusty Indians secured a small number of Coacoochee's band and took them to Blountstown. When passing Major Jones' home he gave them dinner. Some eight or ten days afer this some Indians, supposed to have been the party that Richards took to Blountstown, returned and killed Mrs. Jones. She was buried half a mile northwest of where I live."

In the February 2nd, 1839 issue, of the St. Joseph Times, appeared the following item relative to a large number of refugee Indians on East Bay:

Indians.—About two hundred refugee Indians are


In its issue of January 29th, 1840, it stated that an express had just arrived from Iola with a letter from Mr. J.L. Smallwood, merchant of that place, stating that on Monday night the family of Mr. Harlen, about six miles above Iola, were all murdered, and the premises burned, by a party of the Indians supposed to be about twenty in number. The citizens of Iola were without arms or ammunition and they called for assistance. The Indians would either remain in the Apalachicola swamps or or make for the eastern arm of the St. Andrews Bay. A company hence, under command of Col. Fitzpatrick, had gone in pursuit of them. The last Indian killed in the section was old Chief Joe, an account of which is given in Doctor Keyes' reminiscences. He says:
"Not long before my visit to the bay, in 1848, old Chief Joe had been killed, and he (Rev. Mercer) gave me an account of it. Joe was a Seminole chief who lived at the head of the sound on the road leading from St. Joseph Bay and Apalachicola, to St. Andrews.

"There is but one Florida, and St. Andrews Bay is it's brightest jewel"

The St. Andrews Bay Railroad, Land, and Mining Co., locally known as the Cincinnati Company because they were based in the town in Ohio, advertised mail-order real estate with this descriptive:

"The loveliest location in all Florida. In a land where the genial climate of a winterless round of years will reward your every effort with the most bountiful harvests; where the summers are joyous seasons of refreshing breezes and invigorating nights of cool and healthful slumber; and where the winters are but bewitching contrasts to the summers in heightening and intensifying the delicious pleasure of a life in the fairest land the sun ever blessed with it's genial kiss. There is but one Florida, and St. Andrews Bay is it's brightest jewel."