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Ancestors of Robert Mason Blake

Generation No. 4

      8. John Fremont Blake, born 1857 in Bangor, Penobscot County, Maine31,32,33; died 1915 in St. George, Charlton County, Georgia34,35. He was the son of 16. John M. Blake, Jr. and 17. Mary C. Bates. He married 9. Montene McMillan Abt. 188036.

      9. Montene McMillan, born Abt. 1857 in Chippewa Falls, Chippewa County, Wisconsin37; died Bef. 191038.

Notes for John Fremont Blake:
      The book "Descendents of Jasper Blake" does not list John Fremont Blake as the son of John M. Blake, Jr. We know that to be the case, however, from three different sources. First, we have a letter from Ralph C. Blake, who was then living at 4 Oak Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, dated May 17, 1950 to Mrs. Sehl (Emma Louise Blake). He had corresponded with her on at least several occasions about family history. Ralph C. Blake was the grandson of Asbury Caldwell Blake (who is listed in the foregoing book as one of the sons of John M. Blake, Jr.). In the May 17th letter, Ralph C. Blake states "I am especially interested to know whatever became of one John Freemont [sic] Blake a brother of my granddad and a cousin of your dad. I know he went west from Gloucester and settled there - believe he was a banker - He is the only one I haven't been able to trace." Of course, we know our John Fremont Blake did go west and become a banker. And "Fremont" is certainly an unusual middle name. He most probably was named after John C. Fremont, the famous explorer who had been the first Republican candidate for President of the United States in 1856, the year before John Fremont Blake was born (he lost to the Democratic candidate, James Buchanan).
      The second source we have is the U. S. Census for 1870. On page No. 202 of the Census records for Gloucester, John F. Blake (aged 13, a white male attending school) is listed as the son of John M. Blake (age 52, a white male carpenter). The age of John F. Blake in the Census records corresponds exactly with the year of birth on his tombstone.
      All the children then in his household, as well as he and his wife, are listed as being born in Maine. His wife Mary C. Blake (age 50 a white female "keeping house") is also listed in the household as well as the following additional people: Asbury C. (age 26, a white male laborer); Anna (age 22, a white female with no occupation); and Carlisle (age two, a white male at home). Undoubtedly, Anna and Carlisle were the wife and child of Asbury C. Blake. The foregoing information makes it absolutely certain that the John M. Blake listed in this Census record is the same John Blake, Jr. listed in "Descendents of Jasper Blake."
      Also in the household were: Mary A. Williams, a domestic servant, and her one-year-old daughter; a 50-year-old fisherman named Marion Babre, who was born in France, and his 28 year old wife Sarah; and a 24-year-old fisherman named Marlin Bakeman. We know from earlier Census records that John M. Blake, Jr.'s carpentry skills were utilized in the shipbuilding industry (the 1850 Census records of Brewer, Maine listed his occupation as a "Joiner"). It is probable he had built some boats for his own account, and the two fishermen living with him were his employees. He is listed as owning real estate with the value of $4,500 and personal estate with a value of $1,000 (which would account for the boats) and, with live in domestic servant, was obviously a prosperous man, at least for the neighborhood (on the Census page in which his name appears, no other head of household was listed as owning real estate with a value in excess of $1,000 or having personal estate of any value).
      A third, and indirect, source of proof is the book "Descendents of Jasper Blake." We know from the Delayed Birth Certificate of Leo Alexander Blake that John Fremont Blake was born in Bangor, Maine. The book lists John M. Blake as living in Brewer, Maine, a suburb of Bangor, in 1855 (when the last child listed in the book was born). This is only two years prior to 1857, the year John Fremont Blake was born.     
      In summary, the evidence is conclusive that John Fremont Blake was the son of John M. Blake, Jr. listed in "Descendants of Jasper Blake." And we can also safely conclude that John M. Blake, Jr. was a Republican.

      William Eugene "Gene" Barber, Artist, Instructor, Historian & Genealogist, authored a series of articles for the "Baker County Press" entitled "The Way It Was." The following is an article written in 1976 entitled "St. George and Other Communities" which mentions John F. Blake:

      "To speak of downtown St. George became a sad local joke within the past several years, but, at one time, that little community's downtown was a serious reality. The crossroads between Jacksonville and south central Georgia and the old north-south Yelvington Trail attracted several settlers who milled, farmed, and operated mercantile outlets for the surrounding pioneers. Among these were the Gaineys, an old Nassau and Camden Counties family with Spanish background, and the area was early known as 'Gaineyville'. The first recorded name of the settlement was 'BattenviIle', in honor of Isam Batten.
      "The tramroad came through in 1898, and the station's postoffice, Battenville, was established. The following year, post master John R. McNeil renamed the station for himself. When the Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad bought the Dyal-Upchurch tramroad in 1900, the stop was named Cutler for their general traffic agent John W. Cutler. For many years, the two voting districts of the area were Cutler (later St. George) and Gaineyville, the railroad being the dividing line.
      "In 1904, P.H. Fitzgerald, publisher of the American Tribune at Indianapolis, Indiana, formed the '1902 Colony Company'. As in earlier pioneering projects, each stockholder was to receive a certain amount of land and would be required to make certain improvements. In December of 1904, Mr. Fitzgerald purchased 9,000 acres from the Georgia, Southern and Florida RR. By 1906, Mr. Fitzgerald had purchased much of present St. George, and Cutler was no more. He named the little community in 1905 in honor of his deceased son George.
      "With its transplanted population, St. George grew into a little city of more than a thousand residents. Its downtown maintained 54 businesses and several masonry buildings (Macclenny, at the time, could only boast of one such structure). The Bank of St. George, owned by John F. Blake, operated from 1910 to 1916. The Gazette began publication in 1905, and was replaced by the Outlook in 1911. The Outlook folded in 1913. John Harris; the Gazette's publisher is still active at 100 years plus in Folkston.
      "Mr. Fitzgerald, the founder, became involved in a federal lawsuit regarding irregular business practices and his colonization company went under. The court ordered the sale of remaining colony land, and the funds received built a brick school building. Unlike some of her neighbors, Charlton County has maintained the handsome structure and used it for seventy years, proving it unnecessary to erect a new school house every Generation.
      "As the Bend's timber and valuable farmland played out and the local citizens began to feel crowded by the newcomers, a great population shift took place. Several families of long standing sold out to the Fitzgerald company for 5 and 10 cents an acre and moved to Nassau, Duval, Baker and Columbia Counties, Florida. The new bustling nurseries industry attracted many to the Macclenny-Glen Saint Mary area.
      "One example of those migrants was Mrs. Sarah Thompson Hodges, widow of John Hodges. She sold hundreds of acres and transferred her large family to south of Macclenny. Mrs. Hodges was later immortalized as the midwife in Harwick's 'Possom Trot.' Following suit were the families Crews, Lauramore, Harris, Johns, Johnson, Burnsed and others.
      "Farming alone could not sustain St. George and when many attempts to bolster the economy failed, most of the colonists returned north. A few hardy souls remained, including a group of Union veterans. The old gentlemen from the Grand Army of the Republic finished their lives peacefully among their former enemy and now rest in a special plot within the St. George Cemetery.
      "Further north on the Yelvington Trail lies the now defunct mill camp of Toledo. It was the namesake of Toledo, Ohio, home of the brothers J W. and R.B. Brooks who set up their mill in Charlton County in 1887. Two doctors served the sprawling encampment of several hundred souls. A money order post office was established in 1895, and tram road was laid to Traders Hill.
      "Financial trouble killed Toledo in 1898. However, the post office was revived in 1899. In 1905, it died again, but was re-established in 1909 and survived until 1930. In an earlier article (the Canaday Fort), it was erroneously stated that Toledo was once called Moonshine'. That community was not within the limits of the Bend, however.
      "To the northwest of St. George, near the Okefenokee, is the Boones Creek Cemetery, and Church. Once the nucleus of an extensive community of Crews, Stokes, and Roberts families, there remains no more than a beautifully kept burial grounds and a little meeting house of the old Cracker Primitive Baptist architecture.
      "In 1881, an infant, and first child, of Mr. and Mrs. Enoch Jeff Roberts died and Mrs. Roberts traded a cow and calf for three acres of land on which to bury his baby. This plot, called the 'Roberts Cemetery' for years, gradually assumed the name of nearby Boones Creek."

      The 1910 census records show the family living on Lee St. in St. George.

More About John Fremont Blake:
Burial: Oakview Cemetery, St. George, Charlton County, Georgia
Occupation: Banker

Notes for Montene McMillan:
      As she was not buried in St. George with her husband, I presume she passed away in another location. It could be her death triggered her husband's decision to come from South Dakota to Georgia. More research needs to be undertaken on her and her family.
Children of John Blake and Montene McMillan are:
  i.   Beatrice Gertrude Blake, born June 13, 1883 in Webster, Day County, South Dakota39; died February 07, 1923 in St. George, Charlton County, Georgia40; married Noah Bartow King 1906 in St. George, Charlton County, Georgia41; born 1861 in Richmond, Georgia42; died February 02, 1925 in St. George, Charlton County, Georgia42.
  More About Beatrice Gertrude Blake:
Burial: February 08, 1933, Oakview Cemetery, St. George, Charlton County, Georgia43

  More About Noah Bartow King:
Burial: Oakview Cemetery, St. George, Charlton County, Georgia

  ii.   Louis Millan Blake, born 188444; died 194745; married Unknown Wife.
  More About Louis Millan Blake:
Observation: He was the only child to move west.46

  iii.   John Fremont Blake, Jr., born May 19, 188547; married Clementine Unknown.
  iv.   Alice Blake, born 188748,49; died 1906 in St. George, Charlton County, Georgia50
  Notes for Alice Blake:
      She is buried near her father in Oakview Cemetery, St. George, Georgia.

  More About Alice Blake:
Burial: Oakview Cemetery, St. George, Charlton County, Georgia

  4 v.   Leo Alexander Blake, born October 01, 1894 in Webster, Day County, South Dakota; died April 12, 1958 in Orlando, Orange County, Florida; married Kathleen Elizabeth Richardson November 11, 1918 in Trenton, Gilcrest County, Florida.

      10. Wakeman Getchel Richardson, born June 20, 1869 in Maryland51; died November 20, 1953 in Chattahoochie, Jackson County, Florida52,53. He was the son of 20. H. Richardson and 21. Rebecca Campbell. He married 11. Frances Everline Mason March 26, 1891 in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida54,55.

      11. Frances Everline Mason, born July 17, 1868 in Canton, Lewis County, Missouri55,56; died December 09, 1949 in Orlando, Orange County, Florida57. She was the daughter of 22. Harvey George Mason and 23. Mary Emaline Fuqua.

Notes for Wakeman Getchel Richardson:
      In the Mason Family Bible he is referred to as "W.G.". The reference to his birth in Maryland comes from his death certificate. An affidavit of Aunt Lutie (Lutie M. Mason] given in connection with Kathleen Elizabeth Richardson's delayed birth certificate states that he was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. W.G. killed his brother-in-law in a fight and was ultimately committed to the state mental institution, where he died. W.G. was one of our few black sheep of the family.
      According to his grandson, James R. Blake, in his later years he would often come to Orlando to visit his daughter Kathleen and her family. A large man, he would dress very much like a prototypical "Kentucky Colonel", with a white coat and slacks, bow tie and large, broad brimmed white hat. During the day he would stroll from the Blake home on Brown Street down to Lake Eola, where he would chat with acquaintances. He also visited his other daughters around the state.
      He was, according to his grandson, a charming and entertaining man when his temper was under control. But because of an accident or some other cause, in some circumstances (such as a door unexpectedly slamming very loudly) he would completely lose control and become extremely anxious and agitated. Ultimately, this condition worsened and, out of concern for the safety of others, the family decided he needed to be committed to the state insane asylum in Chattahoochee, Florida. The family attempted to visit him there, but perhaps out of resentment for being committed he refused to see them.

More About Wakeman Getchel Richardson:
Occupation: Sherriff of Alachua County, Florida and later a security officer

  Notes for Frances Everline Mason:
She was nicknamed Fannie.
Children of Wakeman Richardson and Frances Mason are:
  i.   Adelaide Richardson, born February 25, 189358; married William Morrow.
  More About Adelaide Richardson:
Observation: A very proper lady59

  ii.   Mason Richardson, born August 25, 1896; married Jessie Plunkett.
  More About Mason Richardson:
Observation: Robert Mason Blake was named after Mason Richardson.60

  More About Jessie Plunkett:
Fact 2: Died very soon after her son was born60
Fact 3: Known to James Robert Blake as Aunt Jessie60
Observation: Kathleen Elizabeth Blake was especially fond of her sister-in-law.60

  5 iii.   Kathleen Elizabeth Richardson, born July 14, 1898 in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida; died March 20, 1980 in Orlando, Orange County, Florida; married (1) Leo Alexander Blake November 11, 1918 in Trenton, Gilcrest County, Florida; married (2) Lacy Johnson Abt. 1963 in Orlando, Orange County, Florida.
  iv.   Antoinette Richardson, born February 18, 1901; married Fred Lex.

      12. John Witherspoon McDowall, born September 09, 1871 in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina61,62; died December 25, 1946 in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida63,64,65. He was the son of 24. Charles James McDowall and 25. Frances Cornelia Patterson. He married 13. Maude O. Younglove November 20, 1895 in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida66.

      13. Maude O. Younglove, born May 11, 1876 in Illinois67,68,69; died April 04, 1911 in Marion County, Florida70,71,72. She was the daughter of 26. Gilbert D. Younglove and 27. Mary Ann Sabin.

Notes for John Witherspoon McDowall:
      From the December 26, 1946 issue of the "Gainesville Daily Sun" (page 1, column 2):

      "John Witherspoon McDowall, 75, died at his home here yesterday morning following a lingering illness.
      "Funeral services, in charge of the Thomas Funeral Home, will be held in the Thomas Chapel tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock. Dr. J. (?) S. Gordon will officiate, with interment following in Evergreen Cemetery.
      "Mr. McDowall was born in South Carolina but came to Gainesville early in life (?). He had lived in this and the Newberry community since.
      "Surviving are his widow; five children, Mrs. Dorothy Herlin, Freeport, Ill.; John W. McDowall, Jr., Winter Park; Luther G. McDowall, St. Petersburg; Mrs. J. R. Hunter, Jr., Tallahassee, and William H. McDowall, Gainesville; a sister, Mrs. C. H. Girardeau, Columbia, S. C., and ten grandchildren.
      "Pallbearers at the funeral service will be the three sons, and J. R. Hunter, Jr., Douglas McDowall and Patrick McCormick. Honorary pallbearers are to be George Evans, N. Tison, Harvey Hutchinson, Boliver Kincaid, Alec Howe, Beaumont Tench, Dr. J. W. McDell, W. C. (?) Baker, Franz Weston, W. R. Stevens, C. J. Harris and Dr. Gordon Tison."

More About John Witherspoon McDowall:
Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida
Occupation: Businessman, involved in phosphate mining, road building and other ventures

  Notes for Maude O. Younglove:
      From the April 5, 1911 issue of the "Gainesville Daily Sun" (page 1, column 1):

      "Mrs. J. W. McDowall Met Untimely Death - An Unusual Accident To Automobile - Death Suddenly Visits Party of Gainesville - While En Route to Ocala Tuesday
      "Mrs. John W. McDowall of 301 East Main street N. was instantly killed by an unusual or extraordinary accident which befell a party of Gainesville automobilists while they were en route to Ocala on a pleasure trip Tuesday. There were eight in the party and two cars were used to accommodate them. In the ill-fated machine the Cadillac '30' belonging to Mrs. McDowall were Mrs. J. W. McDowall, Mrs. Louis C. Lynch, Miss Anna Scarratt and J. H. Whitney, the man having been engaged by Mrs. McDowall to drive the machine to the City. The driver and owner of the machine occupied the front seat, and Mrs. Lynch and Miss Scarratt were seated in the rear.
      "The first information received here was to the effect that several members of the party were killed and all manner of rumors as to the sad occurrence, but later details conveyed the information that Mrs. McDowall had been killed instantly when a small tree or sapling had fallen across the car while they were speeding towards their destination, the accident taking place about six miles north of Ocala. Mrs. Lynch was injured about the face and neck, but it is not thought that these injuries are of a serious nature. In the car following the ill-fated machine were Mrs. A. V. Younglove and Mr. Gilbert, Miss Bettie Miller and Miss Lou Miller, this car being driven by Mr. Younglove.
      "The party left Gainesville at 9 o'clock Tuesday morning, it being their intention to reach Ocala in time for dinner, the return trip to be made . . . in the afternoon. All went well until the seventh mile post north of Ocala was reached, when without a second's warning a tree fell diagonally across the McDowall auto, crushing in the top and breaking the upper half of the windshield. Upon striking the auto the sapling, which was in a decomposed condition, broke into three sections, the middle part being carried being carried several wards from the point where it fell across the machine. It is thought that a portion of the sapling struck the left shoulder, just over the heart of Mrs. McDowall, but the occupants were so startled that it is impossible for them to tell exactly in what manner the crash came. The driver was stunned for the time being, but he regained his senses and assisted in removing the body of Mrs. McDowall from the car. Miss Scarratt, while greatly frightened, escaped with a few minor scratches, and as soon as the car driven by Mr. Younglove reached the scene all made haste to render what aid they could to Mrs. McDowall and Mrs. Lynch.
      "Leaving the ladies and Mr. Whitney at the scene of the accident, Mr. Younglove hastened to Ocala, where he summoned a physician and ambulance, but all efforts to restore consciousness to Mrs. McDowall were fruitless, death having resulted almost instantly. The body was carried to the undertaking porlors [sic] of McIver and McKay, where it was prepared for shipment to Gainesville, and will reach this city on the A. C. L. train due to arrive at 4 o'clock this morning. Mrs. Lynch was given medical attention and the parties returned from Ocala last night stated that postmaster Lynch expected to return with her on the early train this morning.
      "As soon as the news was received in Gainesville friends notified Mr. John McDowall, who was at Newberry, of the sad occurrence, and he reached the city in the early afternoon, going to the home of his brother, W. S. McDowall, the latter having already departed for Ocala to look after the details connected with the shipment of the remains of his sister-in-law.
      "Mrs. McDowall was very popular with a large circle of friends here and the news of her untimely death was received with profound regret by everyone. She is survived by the grief-stricken husband, one daughter, Miss Dorothy, and two young sons, John and Luther, to whom The Sun with thousands of friends, extends sincere condolence in their great loss. No arrangements as to the funeral were announced last night.
                                    "Mr. Whitney Returns
      "J. H. Whitney, who was driving the McDowall car, returned to the city at 9:10 o'clock last night, and when asked for a statement, said: 'I can't tell exactly how it happened, but when we reached a point six miles north of Ocala a sapling suddenly crashed through the top of our car, striking Mrs. McDowall, who was seated on my left. We were running between 20 and 25 miles an hour. For a few seconds I knew nothing, but as soon as I regained my senses I realized that a terrible calamity had befallen us. Mr. Younglove had run along side the car I was driving by this time and as soon as I could extricate myself from the mangled cover of the machine we removed Mrs. McDowall to the roadside and did all possible to restore her to life, but it was too late -- she was dead.' The young man clearly shows the ordeal through which he passed, and considers it a miracle that all occupants of the car were not seriously injured."

      From the April 6, 1911 issue of the "Gainesville Daily Sun" (page 1, column 2):

      "Funeral of Mrs. McDowall Will Be Held at Residence This Afternoon at 3:30 O'Clock
      "The remains of Mrs. John W. McDowall, the sad and tragic death of whom was caused through an accident near Ocala Tuesday morning, were brought to Gainesville on the early Atlantic Coast Line train Wednesday, and the funeral will be conducted at her late residence, 301 East Main street N., at 3:30 o'clock this (Thursday) afternoon.
      "The following pall-bearers have been named [and] are requested to be at the home at 3:15; W. N. Wilson, W. L. Hill, T. B. Stringfellow, H. L. Hutchinson, Chas. A. Faircloth.
      "Interment will be made at Evergreen Cemetery."

      From the April 7, 1911 issue of the "Gainesville Daily Sun" (page 1, column 4):

                        "Funeral of the Late Mrs. John W. McDowall
      "One of the saddest funerals ever held in Gainesville was that of Mrs. John W. McDowall, which occurred at her home, 301 East Main street N., Thursday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock, and the hundreds who attended the obsequies attested the popularity of the lady who lost her life in the deplorable automobile accident near Ocala Tuesday. The services were conducted by Rev. T. A. Houghton-Burke, rector of the Holy Trinity Episcopal church, of which deceased was a member, and the interment was made at Evergreen Cemetery.
      "The deceased is survived by a husband, one daughter, two sons, step-mother, one sister and three brothers. One of the brothers, Mr. Luther Younglove of Freeport, Ill., arrived here shortly after the funeral, having missed railway connections in Jacksonville, coming here by auto.
      "Among the relatives who came from a distance were Mr. and Mrs. Cassingham, of Coshocton, Ohio, Mrs. Cassingham being the only sister of deceased, and Mr. and Mrs. C. J. McDowall of Astor, Fla., also Mrs. C. H. Girardeau, a sister of Mr. McDowall. The brother residing in Colorado was unable to reach Gainesville for the funeral.
      "The floral offerings were many and beautiful, showing the love and esteem in which Mrs. McDowall was held, and whose untimely death cast a gloom over the entire city."

More About Maude O. Younglove:
Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida73
Occupation: Housewife
Religion: Episcopalian73
Children of John McDowall and Maude Younglove are:
  i.   Dorothy Delaine McDowall, born January 1897 in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida74; died June 197575; married Paul Wagner Abt. 191875.
  6 ii.   John Witherspoon McDowall II, born June 26, 1905 in Archer, Alachua County, Florida; died May 25, 1969 in Winter Park, Orange County, Florida; married Sallie Flournoy Gruver May 01, 1927 in Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina.
  iii.   Luther Gilbert McDowall, born December 27, 1907 in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida76,77; died April 15, 1993 in Clermont, Lake County, Florida78,79; married Ethel Pope Abt. 193679.

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