HISTORICAL SOCIETY RAMBLE TO LOCKED IN CEMETERIES
June 29, 1989
Taping and transcription by Lois B. Mays
[On Burnt Fort Road going to Mizell Cemetery:]
MRS. HELEN SARBACHER: Did I ever show you the paper of the sale of old Frank the slave? He was born in 1810 and sold to Joshua Everett Mizell, bachelor uncle of my father, for whom he was named. Same name: Joshua Mizell. He bought a slave and Mr. Acosta was the witness and a Mr. Ross signed it. He bought that 15-year-old boy for $250.00. So I have that. He died in 1847 so Billy got the slab made but he didn’t know when he was born, but later it turned out I got the information that he died in 1847 and he was slave of Uncle Joshua Mizell, and they buried him outside the fence.
The Mizells and Mills were very good friends, very close. Mr. Seaborn Mills, who came here to live in Folkston, he and Papa were young men together.
There was one older brother of my father, he died in Virginia in the Army. He was a first lieutenant. He died of Yellow Fever in Richmond so he’s buried in the (not audible) section up there. But the other brother that went with him, Uncle Jack, he’s the one that he and Papa were in business in Kings Ferry.
[Turned to the right off Burnt Fort Road onto dirt road leading to cemetery:]
MISS HELEN: I think this road probably connected with Camp Pinckney at one time in the past. You know where George Rhoan Gowen lives? There’s a road right there that used to lead right to the old place [where we were heading]. [Same road Mrs. Helena Bruschke used to walk to school bus near Ira Rogers farm to Burnt Fort Road.]
FRANCES MILLAR: That is the Old King’s Road ….
MISS HELEN: Down at Camp Pinckney was a Mr. DuPonce and he had a wharf and warehouse at Camp Pinckney. Barges used to come in and unload their freight for Centerville so the people of Centerville would bring their horses and oxen and load up for their store in Centerville. It was run by Mr. Layton and Mr. Acosta and all of them. They also called him Poncey.
Do you have a History of St. Marys written by Mr. DeSilva in 1918? His father came from one of the islands in Florida and settled.
FRANCES: ….You can see the Old King’s Road bed right in the edge of my yard and Mother used to walk that road to Mrs. Ira Rogers’ house.
[At Mizell Cemetery:]
MISS HELEN: Lucius M. Mizell died at Emory with Typhoid Fever.
That is Uncle Joe’s first wife. She was Caroline Lang . Uncle Joe married a woman from Gainesville and she had lost a little girl, Lizzie Mizell, and lived at Kings Ferry.
Lititia Ray Mizell, that’s my father’s mother.
That’s Joshua Mizell, the old bachelor (died 1842) and here’s the slave, Frank the slave, I was telling you about him (outside the fence near Joshua’s grave). He bought him in 1825. They were so close they buried them near each other. Joshua Mizell, Papa’s father, was named for the Joshua who owned the slave.
James lived to be about nine years old and she lost about three more. Letitia Ray Paxton Mizell’s name was really Rhea but they spelled it Ray.
They lost Charlton (1858-1859).
They lost Jessie.
Sarah Mizell was Papa’s maiden aunt. Sarah Blount Mizell. She died in 1884 and she was supposed to be a mean old maid and Papa wouldn’t let her get married.
Caroline Lang Mizell was Uncle Joe’s first wife. He married Miss Mannie Stewart later. It was such an effort to get out here, they came with oxcart you know, so when he died, Papa had just died, so they bought a lot next to us and he was buried in the Folkston cemetery. And Lucius was his son and had just gone to Emory and he died there of Typhoid Fever in 1907. Another child of theirs was Mrs. Myra Williams and Herbert is her brother that lives in [not audible]. Papa and Uncle Jack operated Kings Ferry, Fla. And my mother lost a little girl and when she died, they brought the little five months old baby and buried her here, that was in 1901. [No stone for her but red history book says her name was Exie]. But after we moved to Folkston and Papa died …[She didn’t finish telling us about this but I think she was going to say they removed the baby’s body and put it in the Mizell cemetery lot in Folkston.]
Herbert’s son has a deed to this property.
[The cemetery is on a hill. Miss Helen said the home place was on the other side of the road from the cemetery, sort of down the hill.]
MISS HELEN: There was just a little log house that Joshua Everett Mizell gave to his namesake Joshua Everett Mizell and he moved him there from Camden County with his six or seven children. He was 36 years old and married a Paxton woman who was 18 and they had lots of children and they lived in that house.
They all got married. The oldest one, Martha, married Felton Lang and moved to Miami. Kate went off and one married a Smith in Atlanta and was a Representative and they died of Yellow Fever in 1888.
So all the time the old folks were living there. So Grandpa was getting old, getting up in his 90s and always sitting on the porch. He sat around. Grandmother was getting older, but she was a lot younger. So Papa and Uncle Jack had made money at Kings Ferry. They went in as young men and Uncle Jack was a mental man and Papa worked hard. They could make money in those days and keep it. It was 76 [1876?] and so they wanted to make something for their folks. They wanted to give their mama a nice house.
Uncle Jack said “Billy, we will build them a nice house.”
Grandpa said “Let’s fix over the one we got, the old one.”
Grandmother didn’t want a new house! But Uncle Jack always did things in a big way, you know. They did build a big house. I have an article that tells how the house was built. They built the house in the ‘90s. They were getting old. They built a two-story house. Porch up here, porch down there [pointing], hall down the middle, bedrooms, and Grandma didn’t want it! Too much house. All of her children were gone.
They left the little log house and Grandpa would go over there and sit on the porch. He died sitting on the porch, just fell over dead, in his 90s. So that’s the story of his house.
So Uncle Joe had married at that time and he had children, Laura and all of them, and so he came and was going to farm and live there with his parents in the big house. After a while he wanted to go to May Bluff and farm. So Grandmother went and lived with him. She died at the home of Uncle Joe.
After Uncle Joe moved to May Bluff, the Allens rented it. They kind of looked after the property because Papa was cutting timber. Papa and Uncle Jack had a tram leading from here across the river to Kings Ferry and they hauled lumber off land that had never been cut. They didn’t cut anything but great big trees.
The Allens lived in it. The thing caught fire and burnt up.
When I was a little bit of a girl, my brother was visiting from Jacksonville and we got the horse and buggy and Mama and we came over and I saw the house. It was a big, nice house and out in front was a homemade cradle and I said “Oh, Mama, look at that.” I was a little girl, and boy I wanted that! I said “Mama, put it on the back of the buggy and I’ll take that for my dolls.” She said “Helen, those little Allen children, they don’t have much, they are playing with that. I guess your Papa and Uncle Joe were rocked in that.” I wish now I had gotten that!
Little Joe Mizell built the Marward Bedell house. He lived there and then moved away to Florida. I think he was postmaster for a while and then he sold it to the Bedells.
[Left Mizell cemetery and was on May Bluff road going past Kennison farm towards Mills cemetery.]
The Kennisons lived here. Uncle Jack owned cattle and he [Mr. Kennison] would take care of the cattle for him and every now and then they would have to get some cattle and they would swim the river back to Kings Ferry and they would have the cattle. Clifford and Albert were little boys and Albert was a dainty thing and they would get over there and have dinner at Mrs. Kennison’s. And they would have those big old biscuits and Albert just couldn’t stand them with all the grease, but Clifford would eat anything you put in front of him, but Albert just couldn’t stand so much grease. And they were surveying and driving the cattle and Mama had to fix Albert a lunch. It think that way back, they named a child “Clifford” for him.
[Going past the big two-story Mills house:]
I brought Papa out here years ago but we didn’t get to the cemetery and I saw Mrs. Mills and Mr. Mills. That looks just like the old Seaborn Mills house. There was a big tree in front of it. He came out and talked to us. Papa and Mr. Mills went hunting together.
--End of Tape--
[Found ruins of Mills Chapel and went to Mills cemetery about 300 feet away from chapel.]