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."

Almos D. Titus

Mr. Titus was born in Constantia, Osweto County, New York, May 19, 1841. He enlisted in the 110th New York Regiment, serving a little over three years in the Civil War.

By a marriage in early years, he has one daughter living in Philadelphia. Coming to Lynn Haven in 1911, he later lost his wife, and about seven years ago married Mrs. Hoxter. They have a nice house and lot on Minnesota Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets, with some fruit on the place, consisting of Pears, persimmons, figs, and grapes. Mr. Durham's health is not very good, he feeling the weight of years.

"LYNN HAVEN FREE PRESS", Lynn Haven, Florida
August 28, 1921
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Elisha A. Bradeen

Mr. Bradeen was born in Waterbury, York County, Maine, July 4, 1842, his birth thus celebrating the sixty-sixth anniversary of the birth of our Nation. He enlisted in Company E, 60th Massachusetts Regiment in what was known as the hundred days service call, the time extending so that he was mustered out over four months later. Owing to conditions in his father's family at the time, he did not re-enlsit.

By a marriage when a young man, he had several children. Coming to Lynn Haven in 1911, in Feb. 1916 he married Miss Ida M. Bunnell, with whom he lives in their neat home on two lots on Minnesota Avenue, between Sixth and Seventh streets. There are some oranges and grapes on the place. Mr. Bradeen's health is fairly good for one of his age. He transfered his Grand Army membership to Stanton Post, No. 2, after coming to this place, which Post he has served two years as Commander, and seven years as chaplain. From him much information regarding the post was obtained.

"LYNN HAVEN FREE PRESS", Lynn Haven, Florida
August 28, 1921
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Perry H. Davis

Perry H. Davis was born in Park Co., Indiana, May 29, 1843. He was orphaned at an early age, and when 15 years old went to Illinois to work on a farm. He enlisted in the Civil War June 28, 1861, in Co.. F., 21st Illinois Infantry; was in service a little less than three years, being discharged at Chattanooga, Tenn., May 25, 1864. He was in several engagements, but was not wounded, in speaking of it he said: "The bullets made holes in my clothes but not in my hide." He was sworn into service by U. S. Grant, who at the time was an enlisting officer on the Fair grounds in Springfield, Ill., Grant had with him there his son Fred, then a lad of some 15 years, who rode about on his pony and he and Mr.. Davis used to sleep together sometimes in the grandstand on the grounds. When he had been in service about 18 months, just after the battle of Perrysville, where he shot 87 rounds, he was detailed in what was known as the pioneer corps, whose duty it was to build pontoon bridges, operate saw mills to produce lumber for their use, etc. Mr.. Davis has in his possession a silk flag which the ladies at Paris, Ill., made and presented to his company when they marched away to be sworn into service. It was kept after the War was over by the flagbearer of the company, and at his death, the remaining members of the company voted to give it to Mr.. Davis to keep. The writer saw the remains of what had evidently been a very beautiful flag, now rotted by time, but cherished for the sake of the past, where Mr.. Davis keeps it in a special box, from which it can not longer be taken as it would fall into tatters were it unfolded. Mr.. Davis was married on June 26, 1863, his wife dying in 1888. To this marriage were born seven children, three of whom are now living. He again married in 1891, the second wife dying in 1913. He first came to Lynn Haven in 1911, and in 1913 came here to live. He owns two lots and a house on Florida avenue between Tenth and Eleventh streets, and three other lots near by. He is very feeble, has recently had a severe illness, when he was in bed most of the time for seven weeks. The sight of one eye is entirely gone, the other eye is bad. He is tenderly cared for by his daughter, Mrs.. versa V. Triplett, who has been with him for three years.

"LYNN HAVEN FREE PRESS", Lynn Haven, Florida
October 9, 1926
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Sidney E. Flower

Sidney E. Flower, (cousin of Gov. Flower of New York) was born in Boston, Mass., Dec. 8, 1843. He enlisted on August 21, 1861, in Co.. F., 1st Michigan Cavalry, and at the close of the war, he re-enlisted and was sent west to fight the Indians, thus being in service in all, four years, seven months, and five days.

He was in forty-two general engagements, but was not seriously wounded. He served under Brigade Commander Custer for two years. When his regiment was sent west in Indian warfare, it was scattered along the Ben Holiday Stage line, to escort the stages from station to station. At Stone Wall station, they were surrounded by Indians to the number of about 800; they fought as long as they had any cartridges left, then saddled their horses to attempt a dash out, when suddenly they saw coming over the hill, a column of Kansas cavalry, whereupon the Indians disappeared. In another fight with the Indians at Virginia Dare, the women of the station took an active part, passing out cartridges to the soldiers. An amusing incident occurred at that place. Previous to that time those Indians had been in a fight with soldiers who had a battery; knowing this, the men of Mr. Flower's division mounted a piece of stove pipe on a pair of cart wheels and pointed it at the Indians, who thought it was a cannon, and they ran hastily away.

Mr.. Flower was married on October 13, 1881 In New Jersey; they never had any children. They came to Lynn Haven in 1911, previous to which time they were in Alaska 14 years, located at Sitka most of the time, although Mr. Flower went to Nome in 1900 in search of the gold so many tried to find, he having the usual failure. In Sitka he served several years at post master, also as United States Commissioner.

Mr. and Mrs.. Flower have a pretty house and lot on Eighth street and Pennsylvania avenue, and other property on Virginia, between Sixth and Seventh. His health is very feeble.

"LYNN HAVEN FREE PRESS", Lynn Haven, Florida
October 9, 1926
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge


James L. Smith was born in October, 1821, and died November 11th, 1921, thus rounding out a whole century. He was born in or near Arbroath, County of Forfar, Scotland, about twelve miles from where the narrator, Judge Sturrock, was born, who conducted his funeral obsequies on Saturday last, burial being in Greenwood cemetery.

Born of humble parentage, he grew to boyhood, getting an education suited to his conditions in life, and left home, taking a liking to the sea, going to the Port of Dundee, where he was apprenticed to a ship captain bound for the East Indies, and sailed with him until he reached early manhood, visiting various countries in the far East, finally returning to to London, and while lying there was, with five others of the ship's crew, taken by the Press Gang and placed on board a warship of the British navy, one of the old oaken ships, such as Nelson had at Trafalga, cruising where ever required, returning to London in 1852, where he was in the naval seaport attending the funeral of the great Duke of Wellington in June of that year.

On the breaking out of the Russian war, in 1854, his ship was ordered to the Black Sea and stationed in front of Constantinople, remaining in that vicinity until the fall of Sebastapol in 1855, which ended the Crimean war. By this time he had attained the rank of quartermaster, about as high as one who had risen from the ranks could attain then.

In 1857 the great Sepoy mutiny broke out in India, and his ship was ordered there, where he saw and endured bitter warfare. He was present at Lucknew, when it fell, and the mysterious disappearance of Nina Sahib ended the war. This ship returned to England, where he was honorably discharged. Learning that all his relatives had passed away, or disappeared, he went to Liverpool and shipped in a vessel bound for the West Indies, where he remained until the outbreak of the Civil War in America, when his love of adventure prompted him to become a blockade runner in the Gulf of Mexico, where he had several adventures, but passed through without any bodily harm. At the close of this war he returned to the West Indies, and while there a tropical hurricane came on, with a tidal breaking on his island home, washing way all his belongings, including his trunk, containing his war medals that had been given him by the British and French governments for valuable services, much to his regret, and a great financial loss. Soon after this time he came to Florida, moving from place to place, finally settling on St. Andrew Bay.

He was independent to a marked degree, would accept no favors unless he paid for them, attending to his own affairs and troubling none of his neighbors. With religious matters he had ver little to do, wandering as he did, all over the world, had little opportunity. He had great faith in and love of the poet, Burns, believing as he did that it is the man and not his belongings that count- "That a man's a man for a'that."

He was married here many years ago, and is survived by his wife, his only known relative. He retained his faculties to the end, also his eyesight, which had never failed him, a rather remarkable condition for a centenarian. His home place was his delight; and was kept marvelously clear of all but the growing vegetables, which he raised in profusion for home and market. Mr. Smith was always well thought of by his neighbors, and our citizens, who tender his wife their sympathy. Judge J. Sturrock.


"PANAMA CITY PILOT", Panama City, Florida,
November 17, 1921
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

A. M. Cooper

A. M. Cooper was born in Lorain County, Ohio, Dec. 18, 1848, enlisted 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 23, 1878, he married Miss Carrie Hewett 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 fashion 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

D. A. Brandenberry

Mr. Brandenberry was born in Lorraine County, Ohio, Oct. 28, 1846. Enlisted in the 10th Michigan Cavalry in 1863; served 28 months. An attack of measles, during which for hours he lay on the ground in snow, settled in his eyes, finally totally destroying the sight of one, and weakening the other. Once he was totally blind for three months, again for six months. At this time, one eye is in fair condition, stronger than formerly. On May 19, 1875, in Huron, Michigan, he was married, there having been one child which died, none living. They came to Lynn Haven May 28, 1911, their first home being on Carolina avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets. This they sold, and now have a beautiful modern home at the corner of Indiana and Sixth. This home contains seven rooms and bath, three porches and a second story sun-parlor.

Mr. Brandenberry's health is good, aside from his eye trouble. and we found him busy at work varnishing when called upon.

"LYNN HAVEN FREE PRESS", Lynn Haven, Florida
August 28th, 1921
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Dr. Orren Ellsworth Guiles

Orren Ellsworth Guiles was born on a farm near Ogdensburg, New York, July 11, 1845. His parents were Harris and Elizabeth Farmer Guiles, natives of the Empire State and Scotch descent.

In the fall of 1849 the Guiles family moved to MacComb county, Michigan, where in the virgin woods, 26 miles north of Detroit, they established their new home. The eighty acres pre-emptied by the elder Guiles was heavily wooded and lay three miles, from the nearest settlement road and some seven miles from the village of Utica.

When Orren reached the age of 14 years, his father sent him to Utica to learn the trade of blacksmithing and carriage making, and in 1860, the youth, having served his apprenticeship, went to Austin, Michigan, where he was employed in a blacksmith and carriage shop owned and operated by an older brother. He remained with his brother until August 17, 1861, when he enlisted, and on August 30th was mustered into the U.S. service and assigned to duty with company B of the 5th Michigan Cavalry.

The regiment was soon sent South, and became a part of the Army of the Potomac, participating in the fighting on the Peninsula and elsewhere in the eastern theatre of operations. The 5th was also a part of Sheridan's command in the Shenandoah Valley, where they took a prominent part in the Battle of Winchester, and the other principal engagements of that famous campaign, and in 1863, their brigade passed to the command of General Custer, with whom they remained until the end of the war. The operations of the 5th were entirely in the East, where they were busy from the winter of 1861-62 until Lee's surrender at Appamattox.

After the Grand Review in Washington, Custer's Brigade, being a veteran outfit, was sent West to the plains for service against the redskins, leaving Washington for Fort Leavenworth on May 25, 1865. In this hazardous service, their base was Ft. Benton, in the vicinity of which young Guiles and his comrades continued to make good Indians, out of bad ones until July 3, 1866, when our friend was honorably discharged.

Returning from the West, Mr. Guiles went to work at his old trade in Pontiac, Michigan, also attending night school there. In 1868 he removed to Pleasant Hill, Missouri, and soon after matriculated at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, from which he graduated in 1871. On his return to Pleasant Hill, he was married on February 17, 1871, to Miss Eugenia C. Walker, with whose father, Dr. H. J. Walker, he practiced for eight years. Dr. Guiles and family then removed to Silver Cliff, Colorado, and after four years there moved to aspen, where the doctor was located for 31 years. During his residence in Colorado, he became interested in several mining properties, in addition to his medical practice.

In 1905 he went from Colorado to Oklahoma, where two of his sons were living, and where he remained until 1909, when he made his first trip to Florida. Like many others who came to this state, the doctor tried the East coast first, and passed a year visiting the principal cities between Jacksonville and Miami. The next he spent looking over Central and South Florida, continuing his search for a location, and while in that region heard much about this section, that October 1910, found him in Panama City. Development work at Lynn Haven was then just beginning and when the company put a boat between the two places, Dr. Guiles made frequent trips to the new townsite and finally purchase a lot on Ohio avenue between 12th and 13th streets where his home now stands. When Stanton Post No. 2, G.A.R. was organized in July 1911, Dr. Guiles was made Post Commander.

As we have already seen, the doctor was married on February 17th, 1871, to Miss Eugenia Walker, at Pleasant Hill, Missouri. To this union were born one daughter and three sons. The daughter, Mrs. Ed Hamlin, makes her home in Woodward, Oklahoma. Hugh, the oldest son, is now living in Oregon, and the youngest, J. E. Guiles, is a resident of Miami, Florida. Roy, the second son, who conducted a trucking and transfer business at Tulsa, Oklahoma, was killed on October 10, 1920, when a heavily-laden truck he was driving turned over, crushing him beneath it.

The doctor's second wife was Mrs. Emmeline Green, of this city, who became Mrs. Guiles on July 11, 1920, the groom's 75th birthday anniversary, and who shares with him their pleasant and hospitable home on Ohio avenue. The doctor states that he selected Lynn Haven only, after spending two years visiting all parts of Florida, and that each succeeding day makes him better satisfied with his choice of a place of residence.

"PANAMA CITY PILOT", Panama City, Florida
June 15th, 1922
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Lynn Haven's Old Veterans
The Best Shot in the U.S.Army

J. D. Sayre is the oldest man in Lynn Haven. He is 96 years old, and a G.A.R. veteran. No one would ever believe that he is in the nineties to look at him, for he is more active than many men twenty years his junior. He chops all his own wood, walks briskly about town, and carries his own bundles. He was one of the first to settle here in 1910, and cleared much of his own land. He came from Winfield, Putnam County, West Virginia. He fought as a private in Company A, Ninth West Virginia Infantry. Later two regiments were merged into one and he was transferred to Company B of the Second. He fought in fifteen large battles and twenty smaller ones. Some of the larger ones were Fisher Hill, Cloyd Mountain, Cedar Creek, and the three battles of Winchester. He was taken prisoner twice. The first time being near Limmerville, and the second time on the Plank Road in the Shenandoah Valley. He was knocked down by a shell and shell-shocked but otherwise he was never badly injured.

He is remembered at Washington as the best shot in the United States Army. He was often called upon from other Regiments when the success of a single shot was of the greatest importance. He remembers one case in particular when the enemies' officer of the day was in plain view on a distant hill, but so far away that the men in the company were wasting all the ammunition on him. The commanding officer sent to the next regiment for Private Sayre. He came and was told that if he could hit the enemies' officer who was on the hill, and return alive he could have twenty days leave of absence. Needless to say, he was successful. Mr. Sayre comes from a long lived race. Eight of his grandparents lived 808 years, averaging 101 years apiece. His aunt lived to be 113 years of age. He lives with the Rousch's and they are very proud of their uncle.

"PANAMA CITY PILOT", Panama City, Florida
June 15th, 1922
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

Josiah M. Wills

Josiah M. Wills, son of Enoch and Hannah Ann Wills, was born November 17th, 1846, at Medford, Burlington county, New Jersey, and passed away in St. Andrews, Fla., at 3 o'clock on the morning of December 21st, 1928. His father's people were English and his maternal grandfather Schmeasley, a native of Edinborough, Scotland, set up and operated the first cotton mill in New Jersey.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, young Mr. Wills enlisted in Company I, 21st New Jersey Volunteers, and saw active service with the Union forces until May 3, 1863, when his left knee was shattered by a shell fragment during the second battle of Fredericksburg. Left on the field for dead, the tide of battle swept over him in charge and counter-attack until he was finally picked up by his bunkie and carried to field hospital. From there he was sent on a stretcher to Fredericksburg, but the stretcher bearers, believing him hopelessly wounded, left him in an old barn to die. There he was found by a minister who gave him his first drink of whiskey and who sent a rescue party that conveyed Mr. Wills to a Union hospital in Fredericksburg. He was later removed to another hospital in Washington, D.C. This wound resulted in the amputation of his left leg. As soon as he was discharged from the hospital, he re-enlisted, this time in the 44th U. S. Infantry, for a period of one year, which he spent on duty in Washington.

Following his discharge from the Union service, Mr. Wills went to Camden, N. J., where he learned the shoemaker's trade and secured employment in a shoe factory as a laster. After several years in the shoe factory, he went west to Milwaukee, Wis., where he spent a year at a Soldiers' Home and then engaged in several different business ventures. His next move took him to LeBeau, North Dakota, near which place he took up a homestead and engaged in farming until November, 1888.when he came to St. Andrews, arriving here on his birthday anniversary, the 17th.

His first home here was a small cottage located near the present site of the Methodist Church, which he occupied until March, 1892, when he purchased and moved to the C. H. Hall place on Cincinnati Hill, where the family now resides.

Mr. Wills possessed an active mind and remarkable memory, and his reminiscences of the book days of St. Andrews in the late 80's of the last century were extremely interesting to his younger friends for whom he was ever ready to delve into the early unwritten history of the town. He was generous, charitable, a loyal friend and a splendid neighbor, and will be greatly missed by all who enjoyed his friendship.

Mr. Wills, it is said, operated the first picture show in St. Andrews, and in later years conducted a small grocery store on the premises at his home. Funeral services were held at the family home at 10 o'clock on the morning of December 22nd, the Rev. S. D. Monroe officiating, with interment in Greenwood Cemetery.

Mr. Wills is survived by his widow and two sons, Guy, who makes his home here with his mother, and Ralph who is a quartermaster on the U. S. dredge Wm. T. Rossell, now stationed at Philadelphia. The surviving members of the family have the sincere sympathy of the many warm friends of the deceased in their loss.

January 01, 1929
Submitted by: Barbara Walker Winge

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