The early history of Lynn Haven may not be familiar to some of the readers of the Free Press, hence the following facts may be of interest. Lynn Haven was laid out primarily as an Old Soldier's Colony, town lots - with their accompanying five acre tracts in the country - being sold to hundreds of veterans of the Civil War some of whom perhaps bought as an investment, but the large majority for the purpose of finding for themselves homes in a milder climate, in which their declining years might be spent. Many of these came, and built homes here in which they spent part or all the year, thus laying the foundation of the pretty little city of today. Some are still here, many more have passed to the Great Beyond, after having lived far beyond the length of time allotted to man in this life. Lynn Haven should and does render homage to those who still remain, and those who have departed. Very soon after the laying out of the town, enough old soldiers arrived so that Stanton Post, No. 2, Grand Army of the Republic was organized with 28 charter members, in 1911; of these - so far as it is know here - only three survive, named Embry P. Truesdell; J. M. Hughey, and Oren E. Giles. The Post grew rapidly in numbers and data examined by the writer shows that in 1914 there were 134 members, which at the present time has dwindled to 36 active members, a few from the infirmities of advancing years being unable to longer take an active part. Stanton Post has meant much to Lynn Haven. Among other activities of this organization may be mentioned the erection of a Soldier's monument, commemorating the services of the many thousands of brave men in those dark days of the early 1860's; and the purchase of a nice corner as a park, which was deeded to Stanton Post No. 2, it being specified ... become the property of the city of Lynn Haven, and always bear the name of G.A.R. Park. The Grand Army Hall, where the Post and the Woman's Relief Corps hold their sessions, has also been an asset to the town, furnishing a place for many enjoyable meetings on various occasions. Believing that some information concerning the remaining Old Soldiers in Lynn Haven would be of interest to Free Press readers, representatives of the paper, have inaugurated a series of calls upon groups of these men, to visit various sections of the city week after week, gathering data from which to write short sketches for publication."

Frank McSweeney (Copied exactly as written)

"At the forninst of yer article," said Mr. McSweeney, "be so good as to tell the breathlessly awaitin' worrld that Frank McSweeney didn't win the war all by himself. While the machinery av me recollection is fair choked with the Pavins av the passin' years, I well raymimber me ould frinds Grant, Sherman, Farragut, Dahlgren an' siveral others who rindered me the most valuable assistance in me stoppenjus task. Barrin' their help, 'twould have took me a full week longer to wind the dom' thing up, no doubt. I mintion this,'" he countinued, "for I have no wish to detract from the credit due the vast multitude av me noble compatriots who licked the Rebel Army single-handed, as ye may aisy find out by askin anny av 'em."

Mr. McSweeney was born in the city of London, England, May 24, 1844, of an American mother and an Irish sire. His father was Frank McSweeney, a native of Dublin, while his mother was born Elizabeth Tuddingham, of Lowell Mass. McSweeney, senior, was a skilled textile worker, who had been sent from the United States by his employers to learn the processes involved in the manufacture of bunting, and who died of pneumonia while in London. Of his own birth, Mr. McSweeney says; "Beyond doubt, 'twas a verry important occasion. In evidence ye'll find the date in all the calendars, Mary 24th, printed in typle full as larrge as the day precedin' an' the day afther." When a lad, Frank was taken in charge by an uncle, a sea captain, and spent his youth sailing with his relative in the Atlantic, coastwise and South American trade until 1858 when, at Philadelphia he joined the Lighthouse Service, from which he received his discharge late in 1860. He next shipped in the Western Gunboat Service, under General Halleck, at Cincinnati, in August 1861. This organization soon became an integral part of the U. S. Navy, in which Mr. McSweeney went through the entire Mississippi River campaign. He was first on the U. S. S. Indianola, which on February 24, 1863, was sunk by Confederate rams below Vicksburg, where he was taken prisoner and sent for a four-month sojour at "Hotel de Libby." When exchanged at City Point, he immediately entered the service again and was on U. S. S. Pawpaw when she was blown up by the enemy. Those aboard who survived the explosion took to the boats while the Confedeerate batteries on shore raked the wreck with shell fire. One of the boats was struck by a shell that killed all but five of the men in it. McSweeney rescued the five and some time after was awarded a medal for his conduct under fire, the presentation being made by a naval officer with the accompanying dialogue: Officer: "Mr. McSweeney, it becomes my duty and privilege to present you with this token of gratitude and admiration on the part of our great nation in recognition of your heroic deed under the flaming guns of the enemy," etc.. Business of pinning medal on McSweeney.

McSweeney: "Sir, 'tis a beautiful bauble, an' it's proud I am to receive this momento av me triflin' services, but i'd a dom' sight rather the great an' grateful nation had raised me pension."

Officer: "Go to hell!"

"For," said McSweeney, "he had the bowels av a fightin' man an' well knew how to ixpress his likin' for a bould' answer."

McSweeney took part in the fighting at Belmont, Fort Menry, Fort Donelson, Island No. 10, Fort Pillow, arkansas Post, Vicksburg- where they ran the batteries and a number of other minor engagements on the Mississippi, and was with Farragut, on the U. S. S. Itasca, at the Battle of Mobile Bay. Discharged at New Orleans on Christmas Day 1864, he went North and in January, 1865, enlisted in the Veterans' Reserve Corps at Cleveland, Ohio. Shortly after his outfit was sent to join the 14th Army Corps under General Thomas, with which McSweeney served in the Quartermaster's Department until his final discharge at Chattanooga in September, 1865.

Just before his last enlistment, in January, 1865, Mr. McSweeney married Miss Belinda Grady, of Cleveland, Ohio, who died in 1888. To them were born five children, all of whom are living in the North.

For some years after the war, Mr. McSweeney was a traveling salesman and later was engaged in the show business. He came to Lynn Haven in January, 1911, and lived in Panama City until the survey of the townsite, was completed and sllotments made here, when he settled on his property located near the head of Anderson Bayou. He is a member of Staunton Post No. 2, G. A. R., and despite his 78 years and the three wounds he received while in the service, is as full of "pep" and good humor as many a man twenty years his junior.

"Panama City Pilot", Panama City, Florida
August 24, 1922
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Milton Buckingham Cooley, son of George Washington and Lorena Staley Cooley, was born in the log cabin home of his parents, situated on Hamley Rus, Athens County, Ohio, May 15, 1840. He was named for an uncle, Milton Buckingham, surveyor of the orginal purchase, a noted Methodist divine of that period, and founder of the city that is today known as Zanesville. Both the Buckinghams and Cooley were pioneer settlers in Ohio, of sterling Puritan stock, having emigrated from Connecticut to the wilderness then known as the Northwest Territory, where they kindled anew their hearth-fires in that pleasant region watered by the Hocking River, and it is almost needless to say that the two families are credited with a very considerable part of the early development of Southeastern, Ohio.

After completing his common school education, Mr. Cooley had just matriculated at Ohio University, the first school founded west of the Allegheny Mountains, when he was commissioned a second lieutenant to assist in recruiting the 75th Ohio Infantry, in which he enlisted as a private on October 21, 1861. The new regiment was incorporated in Milroy's Brigade and had its first brush with the Confederates at Monterey Courthouse. After remaining there for some weeks, General Milroy crossed the Shenandoah Mountains and met the enemy under Stonewall Jackson in a sharp battle at McDowell. The brigade then continued eastward into Virginia and participated in the battles of Cross Keys, Cedar Mountain, Freeman's Ford, Waterloo Bridge, Sulphur Springs and Second Bull Run, where Mr. Cooley received a musket ball in his left arm, a ragged wound that sent him to the hospital and left him with a crippled hand.

Upon his discharge from the hospital, he received a sergeant's warrant and was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Corps, Army of the Potomac, under General Hooker. Then came Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where his command suffered terrible losses. After Gettysbug his outfit was sent to Jacksonville, Florida, where it operated as cavalry and was known as the 75th Mounted Infantry. The 75th participated in the engagements at Fort Wagner, John's Island, Charleston and elsewhere in South Carolina and also in Florida, including the fighting at Gainesville. In 1865 the regiment was stationed at Tallahassee. Sergeant Cooley was honorably discharged before his command on account of his being wounded.

Those who are familiar with the history of the terrible sectional struggle that rocked the nation to its foundation during the sixties of that last century will realize that Mr. Cooley is fully competent to describe the dangers and sufferings experienced by participants in that conflict, and it is greatly to be regretted that we are compelled to omit much that might be intensely interesting- the awful carnage of Bull Run, Gettysburg where, in battle from beginning to end, his regiment lost more than half its strength in killed and wounded. But the arhitrary limits .

Returning from the war, Mr. Cooley again entered Ohio University, alternating his work at college with periods during which he taught school, and on September 29, 1863, he was united in marriage with Miss S. Samantha Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Will Johnson, of Vinton county, adjoining that in which Mr. Cooley was born. Like the Cooley family, the Johnsons were pioneer settlers in that region, influential and richly endowed with the admirable attributes of integrity and industry. To this union were born five children, George J., of Cincinnati; S. Irene, Jennie L. and C. Ernestine, who make their home with their parents here; and John Milton Cooley , of Athens, Ohio.

In accordance with the wishes of the uncle for whom he was named, Mr. Cooley entered the ministry of the Methodist church, devoting his life to that noble work until removing with his family from Athens to McArthur, Ohio, where, after a short residence, he retired from the ministry and returned to their charming home, "Stonehurst," overlooking the beautiful Hocking River in the suburbs of Athens, remaining there until 1911 when, interested by the founding of Lynn Haven, he came to Panama City and thence to the site of what is now our city to view his future place of abode. Mr. Cooley, purchased property here, and in the early days of Lynn Haven erected a modest winter home which was later destroyed by fire. Following this unfortunate occurrence, he sold his home in Athens and in 1918 purchased the commodious residence now occupied by the family, on Alabama avenue, between Third and Fourth streets, in the northwestern part of the city.

On September 29, 1918, just before departing from Athens for Lynn Haven, Mr. and Mrs. Cooley, with all of the children and many relatives, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, a most enjoyable and fitting event to presage their departure for their new home in the sunny Southland, and it is the earnest hope of their many good friends that the estimable couple may long remain with us to contemplate with justifiable pride the lengthening years of a full and well-spent life and that many years may elapse before Captain Cooley is called from his comrades of Stanton Post to answer the last roll call.

"Panama City Pilot", Panama City, Florida
April 27, 1922
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

A. M. Cooper was born in Lorain, Lorain Co., Ohio, Dec. 18, 1848, in Co. G, 142 Indiana Infantry Volunteers, and was honorably discharged on July 14, 1865.

He was a scout under Gen. Thomas in Tennessee and Kentucky, hence was not on the firing line in battle, but did valuable service in another way. October 28, 1878, he married Miss Carrie Hewitt at Winthrop, Mo., she passing away Feb. 16, 1911 at Sulphur Springs, Mo. He came to Lynn Haven in 1912, that same year marrying Mrs. Mary Thomas, his present wife. He owns half a block on the west side, where he built one of the first good houses erected in Lynn Haven. They have on the place persimmons, grapes, oranges, pears, and berries; have this year half acre of corn, some very fine sweet potatoes, and many old fashioned flowers. They also have about 80 chickens, and three fine pigs.

Mr. Cooper's health is not very good, although he is able to do some work about the place.

"Lynn Haven Free Press", Lynn Haven, Florida
October 9, 1926
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Wilbur F. Ward

One of our veterans whom the passing years have apparently, treated very kindly is Wilbur F. Ward, and one is amazed to learn that he was born as long ago as June 1, 1846, and is now in his 76th year. Mr. Ward is a son of the Rev. Ariel and Alethea Souie Ward, his father having been a prominent Methodist minister in the State of Maine, where our esteemed townsman was born in the village of Levant.

His boyhood days were spent on his father's farm and at the outbreak of the Civil War, it was agreed that he should remain on the farm while his older brother joined the Union ranks. This he did for a time, but feeling that he was more needed at the front than at home, young Ward, on September 18, 1863, enlisted in the 19th Army Corps under General Banks.

The first year of his service was passed in Louisiana, where his regiment was engaged in operations over the enemy at Winchester, Cedar Creek (scene of Sheridan's famous ride), and Fisher's Hill.

The night President Lincoln was shot by Booth, their regiment was sent to Washington to form a part of the ring of troops thrown around the city, and later they acted as guards at the Capitol prison. At the great Review, they were the first infantry to follow the mounted troops. It was expected that they would then be mustered out, but instead they were sent to Savannah and marched up into the Carolinas paroling Confederate soldiers. Upon reaching Charleston, S. C., Mr. Ward was honorably discharged on August 22, 1865. Mr. Ward then returned home for a brief visit before going to California to join a brother living there. However, he did not remain in the West, but went home again, then to Lawrence, Mass., where he found employment in a cotton mill and rose from the humble position of bobbin-boy to that of overseer. But despite the progress he had made in that industry, he decided to quit the factory and so returned to the occupation of his youth, and took up farming in Massachusetts, at which he continued until he came to Lynn Haven in 1911. Upon arriving here, Mr. Ward erected a comfortable home on New York avenue, between 13th and 14th streets, which he and his wife now occupy. With the organization of Staunton Post No. 2, G. A. R., he became a member and at present serves the Post in the capacity of Quartermaster. On April 8, 1877, he was united in marriage with Miss Cora Stanley, of Bar Harbour, Maine, whose father, Nathan Stanley, had been fatally wounded in the Union cause at Petersburg, and was buried at Fair Oaks. To them were born four children, two sons and two daughters, all of whom are living. Arthur, the oldest son, served in the Spanish-American War and has for some time been an electrical expect with the Dupont corporation. He had an important part in the building of Hopedale, the famous powder town, and is now with the company in their plant at Washburn, Wis. Albert, the second son, served his country in the World War on the U. S. S. Charleston, which made many trips across the Atlantic guarding convoys of troopships. He is now a resident of Senesca, Kansas. Miss Alice Ward has a number of friends and acquaintances in Lynn Haven, having visited her parents here on several occasions. Some months ago, her health failing, Miss Alice went to Oraville, Calif., where she has been greatly benefited. The other daughter, Miss Alethea, is a valued member of the Massachusetts State Highway Department at Middleborough, Mass. Mrs. Alethea Ward, who came to Lynn Haven with her son and his family, passed away on September 22, 1920.

"Panama City Pilot", Panama City, Florida
May 11, 1922
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

John T. Rowley, who, with Mrs. Rowley, is now spending the summer at their old home in Cleveland, Ohio, was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., May 31, 1838, and received his education prior to the days of public schools as we know them. His father conducted a grocery business and John, after school hours, found employment at the store until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he enlisted on October 8, 1861; in the Hampton Battery, recruited in Pittsburgh. After a short period of preliminary training, this battery was sent to join the Army of the Potomac, with which Mr. Rowley served until his discharge on October 8, 1864.

Among the engagements of note in which the Hampton Battery participated during Mr. Rowley's services, were Mount Jackson, Cedar Mountain, White Sulphur Springs, Chantilly, Winchester, Gettysburg, Cedar Creek, Gaines Cross Roads, United States Ford, Morton's Ford, Freeman's Ford, Rappahannock Station, South Mountain, Antietam, Berryville, Blackburn's Ford, Chancellorsville, Second Battle of Cedar Creek, Second Battle of Winchester, Second Bull Run, Mine Run, Front Royal and numerous others which, although of smaller magnitude, all called for action and an always existent opportunity to make the supreme sacrifice. It is not possible within the scope of this short biographical sketch, to give anything resembling a detailed account of the operations of the Army of the Potomac, but those having any knowledge of the terrible struggle of the Sixties will know, from the imposing list of engagements just given, that Mr. Rowley was decidedly "among those present" in the Eastern theatre of operations.

"My first pension," said Mr. Rowley, "was $6.00 per month, and I am getting $50.00 today. And, as I occasionally hear some old croaker damning the government for spending such vast sums for pensions, I reply; ' Well neighbor, would you stand up and stop lead for $13.00 per month?' And then he thinks; 'Well, my mother never raised her boy to be a soldier!'"

After his discharge from the army, Mr. Rowley entered the sawmill business in Pittsburgh, at which he continued for about twenty years. The mill was of the largest type known at that time and could saw anything from a four foot lath to great timbers ranging from 26 to 62 feet in length, which were used in the construction of huge coal barges, the building of which was also carried on by the sawmill company.

Mr. Rowley was actively engaged until January 5th, 1907, his last service having been with the National Screw and Tack Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, and covered a period of eighteen years. "And then," he continued, "I thought I could live on the Sunny Side of Easy Street, and today I realize that I made no mistake - as "I live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.'"

On May 8, 1872, Mr. Rowley was united in marriage with Miss Mary V. Dallas, in Cleveland. To them were born three children, two daughters and a son. Mr. and Mrs. Rowley, on May 8th last, celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary at the home of a daughter, Mrs. James R. Pearson, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and later fittingly observed Mr. Rowley's 84th birthday anniversary at their own home in Cleveland on May 31st.

Their large circle of warm friends in Lynn Haven await eagerly the pleasing news that "The Rowleys are back," in their charming bungalow home on New York avenue at Fourth street. Prominent and active in all of our winter-time social and civic activities, they are greatly missed while on their annual pilgrimages to the old home in Cleveland, for even in this city of suprisingly young old people, Mr. and Mrs. Rowley are remarkable for their youthful vigor and keen interest in life, and anyone observing Mr. Rowley at work among his trees and flowers can scarcely believe that this white-haired gentleman, clear of eye, his genial countenance aglow with health and vitality, with the quick sureness of youth, has put eight-four years behind him in his life-journey, and the future holds rich promise of many years of health and happiness among his friends and neighbors and his comrades of Staunton Post No. 2. G. A. R.

"Panama City Pilot", Panama City, Florida
August 31, 1922
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Our Bay County readers will be much interested in the following obituary of the Rev. Wiley F. Martin, which is taken from the DeFuniak Breeze of Dec. 28th. Rev. Martin was well known to the citizens of this section, having been for some time the resident clergyman at Millville, where the family resided, and from which place his son, Captain Malley Martin, entered the world war, as Lieutenant of the company that was formed there.

Rev. Martin was highly esteemed by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance, and was a noble Christian leader. His many friends in this section tender their heartfelt sympanthy to the surviving members of his family. Herewith is the breeze's article.

"Rev. Wiley F. Martin well known in DeFuniak and Walton County generally, having resided here for some years, passed away at the home of his sister, Mrs. Docie Crosby on West Romana Street, Pensacola, December 22nd at 5:30 P. M. following a brief illness. Rev. Martin had rounded out some fifty-six years in the ministry and had attainted his eighty-first milestone, a record his children may be justly proud of.

Rev. Martin was born in Jasper County, Georgia, November 12, 1841. He served four years in the Confederate army, having volunteered in Company B, 18th Alabama Infantry from Andalusia. He was married to Nancy Caroline Carvey at Newhope Church, Covington County, November 5, 1865, by Rev. G. W. Kieree. He was ordained to preach in the Missionary Baptist Church and served continuously from 1866 to 1922 in work as pastor, minister and evangelist. His wife died at Millville, Florida, May, 1916.

Rev. Martin is survived by one son, Captain Malley Martin, of Atlanta and one daughter, Mrs. Ella Nix, Columbus, Ga. He is also survived by two sisters, Mrs. Docie Crosby, with who he made his home for the past few years, and Mrs. Gracie Sharpe of Tampa, Fla.

Rev. Martin was a member of Laurel Hill Lodge No. 44 F & A. M., Walton Chapter No. 37 R. A. M. DeFuniak Springs and Andalusia Commandery Knights Templar. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Pensacola, his funeral taking place at that church Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock, rev. A. J. Moncrief officiating, internment wasa made in St. John's Cemetery, the Masonic fraternit of which he was a member performing the last sad ties at the grave."

" ST. ANDREWS BAY NEWS " St. Andrews, Florida, January 2, 1923
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

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