Orange County, Florida

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Orange County FLGenWeb: Biographies: Short Biographies



Source: Basic information from "Axtell Genealogy," Compiled by Carson A. Axtell, Fairhaven, Mass., 1945. Additional information from census records, Florida Death Records Index, and City directories, as found by Lisa Slaski, donated to Orange County, FLGenWeb, part of the USGenWeb in 2015.

Jason Axtell, son of Harry Sherman Axtell and Electa Jane Wright, of Delaware County, NY, was born 12 May 1850 in Delaware County, NY. He married about 1878, probably in Delaware County, NY, to Georgia Smith, a daughter of Joshua/Josiah Smith and Mary Bullock, also of Delaware County, NY. Georgia was born 18 Sep 1858. Jason and Georgia are found in the NY census records in Delaware County thru 1880. They are in Broome County, NY from 1892 thru at least 1912. In 1920 they are in Jefferson County, Colorado. The next record is the death of his wife on 3 Dec 1926 Orlando, Orange County, FL and a 1928 City directory listing for Jason in Orlando, FL, prior to his death on 18 Jul 1928 in Orlando, FL. Jason and Georgia are buried in Greenwood cemetery in Orlando. They had one daughter, Grace, born about 1882, who married David W. Evans in 1906.


BAKER, Charles Henry

Source: "Biennial report - Minnesota Hisstorical Society, for the years 1913 and 1914," Saint Paul, Minnesoty, Published by the Society, 1915. Transcribed by Lisa Slaski, donated to Orange County, FLGenWeb, part of the USGenWeb in 2015.

Charles Henry Baker, who was elected a corresponding member on December 12, 1870, was born in Philadelphia on January 3, 1848, and died in Orlando, Florida, on January 23, 1924. He was graduated at the Polytechnic College of Philadelphia in 1866. In the early seventies he worked as a surveyor on the Lake Superior and Mississippi railroad, extending from St. Paul to Duluth, and later he was a mining engineer in Pennsylvania and California. In 1894 he removed to Florida, where his home was at Zellwood, near Orlando. Here he engaged to some extent in engineering and orange growing, but most of his attention was given to studies of the local flora and fauna.


GRAY, William Crane

Source: "Men and Women of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries," L. R. Hamersly & Company, New York City, 1910

Bishop of Southern Florida; born in Larabertville, N. J., Sept G, 1835; son of Joseph L. and Hannah (Price) Gray. He was graduated in 1859 from Kenyon College as B.A., and from Bexley Hall on divinity; and he received the D.D. degree from Kenyon College, 1881, and from the University of the South, 1892. He was ordered deacon in the ministry of the Episcopal Church in 1859 and was ordained priest the following year by Bishop Otey. He was general missionary of the Diocese of Tennessee, 1859-1860, and upon his ordination to the priesthood, he became rector of St. James' Church, Bolivar, Tenn., where he remained until 1881, resigning in 1881 to become rector of the Church of the Advent, Nashville, Tenn. In 1892 he was elected Bishop of Southern Florida, and was consecrated by Bishops Quintard, Dudley, Weed, Nelson and Hale. Bishop Gray has been twice married, first, May 20, 1863, to Margaret Locke Trent and second, Aug. 2, 1877, to Fannie Campbell Bowers. Address: Orlando, Fla.


MILLER, Moses D.

Source: "Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Spring Conferences of 1883," Phillips & Hunt, New York, Walden & Stowe, Cincinnati, 1883.

M. D. Miller died in Apopka, Florida, February 25, 1883. He was born in Washington, Me., March, 1844, and at his death was only thirty-nine years of age. Brother Miller's first appointment was at Cross Hill, in 1872. His subsequent appointments were as follows: Unity, East Pittston, North Searsport, North Penobscot, Round Pond, Westport, Danforth, from which charge he went to die. He was of a family of frail physique, and he inherited in full measure the frailty of his family. As the winter drew on he resolved to try a softer climate, and went to Florida. But it was too late; he could not rally again, and he passed on to where sickness is unknown. A few days before his death he wrote, "I feel the omnipotent Arms beneath me, and in those Arms I am resting." Says a friend, "It was victory to the end" Brother Miller was a sensitive spirit, and as conscientious as sensitive. Always inclined to undervalue himself, he could not push his personal interests. He did not move to the front as rapidly as some, because he always waited to be invited. He was a man of intelligence and ability. Some of his pulpit efforts were superior, and he was always highly esteemed by those whom he served. He was a true man, and never faltered in meeting duty.


Source: "The Miller family: an address delivered before the Miller Family Re-union Association at North Waldoboro, Maine September 7, 1904," by Frank Burton Miller, member of the Main Historical Society, Rockland, Maine, The Caslon Press Print, 1909.

MOSES D. MILLER (son of Godfrey, son of George, son of Frank) was born in Washington, March 7, 1844; died in Apopka, Florida, Feb. 25, 1883; married Eliza A. Garland, Aug. 11, 1869, at Benton by Rev. N. W. Miller. She was born in Winslow, July 22, 1845; died in Portland, May 20, 1882.

Moses D. Miller was born of Methodist stock, and that the home influence was a strongly religious one was shown by the lives there developed. Of the five sons of Godfrey Miller, two entered the Methodist ministry, and the whole family, we are told, were identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Before entering the ministry, Mr. Miller taught several terms of school. His first appointment in the East Maine Conference was at Cross Hill in 1872. His subsequent appointments were as follows: Unity, 1873; East Pittston, 1874-5; North Searsport, 1876; North Penobscot, 1877-8; Round Pond, 1879; Northport, 1880; Danforth, 1881-2.

He was of a family of frail physique, and inherited in full measure the frailty of his family. All his ministerial life was fettered with this disability, and many hours of keen suffering followed his attempts at public speaking. His weakness increasing, and the sea air seeming too harsh for him, he was appointed to the newer regions of the Aroostook at Danforth. He was warmly received, and entered at once with great zeal upon his work. For a while the change seemed to produce favorable results. His return the second year was unanimously requested, and he was re-appointed, but he returned alone. His wife who had been a sharer with him in all his ministerial labors, went from the seat of the annual conference to the Maine General Hospital in the spring of 1882 for the purpose of submitting to a delicate surgical operation. Sinking rapidly and unexpectedly under the operation, Mr. Miller was hastily summoned but when he reached her, she had passed into a condition of unconsciousness from which she never emerged. A few days after his wife's death he suffered a severe hemorrhage which so prostrated him, that he never again entered his pulpit. His people gave him loving and unremitting attention, and released him from all pastoral cares and duties, but his work was done. As the winter advanced, he resolved to try a milder climate and went to Florida, where the end finally came.

Mr. Miller possessed a sensitive nature, and he was as conscientious as he was sensitive. Always inclined to undervalue himself, he could not push his personal interests. He did not move to the front as rapidly as some, because he always waited to be invited. He was a man of intelligence and ability. Some of his pulpit efforts were superior, and he was always highly esteemed by those whom he served. He was a true man and never faltered in meeting his duty. The ministry was his life work, and he did not leave it until death mustered him out.


  • EFFIE A., b. Benton, June 12, 1871; married Fred Tupper of Starks, June 1, 1887.
  • HERBERT C, b. Unity, June 18, 1873.
  • EGLANTINE, b. East Pittston, Aug. 8, 1874.
  • EVA A., b. East Pittston, Feb. 2, 1876.
  • FLORA E., b. Bremen, May 18, 1880.

    REED, William H.

    Source: "History of Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1664-1920," Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1922, Vol. III, pg 301. Transcribed by Lisa Slaski for the Orange county FLGenWeb, part of the USGenWeb, 2010.

    WILLIAM H. REED - Throughout a period of residence in Spring Lake, New Jersey, dating from 1890, William H. Reed has securely entrenched himself in the respect and esteem of his fellowcitizens. He has always taken an active interest in community affairs, and his labors have been an element in the progress of this place, while his efforts in business circles have brought him substantial returns.

    William H. Reed was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, March 26, 1876. He is a son of James Edward and Margaret (Hulschart) Reed. James Edward Reed was born near Lakewood, Ocean county, New Jersey, and early in life was a farmer. He later entered the plumbing business, having in the meantime served his apprenticeship to this trade with Uriah White of Asbury Park, at Como, subsequently removing to Spring Lake, where he continued in this business until 1906. In 1890 he formed the firm of J. E. Reed & Son and established a steam laundry in Spring Lake, in which he was active until 1915, when he retired from business life and removed to Orlando, Florida, where he owns a large orange grove, which occupies the greater part of his time. To Mr. and Mrs. Reed have been born five children: Ada; William H., of further mention; John, formerly a resident of Brooklyn, now deceased; Arthur, a resident of Orlando, Florida; Alma, wife of Clfford Rhodes, of Orlando, Florida.

    William H. Reed received his education in the schools of Como, and then entered his father's employ to learn the plumber's trade. In 1890, when his father established the firm of J. E. Reed & Son, steam laundry, William H. Reed became active in the enterprise, and in 1915, when the elder man discontinued his interest in the business, the son became sole manager of affairs and has thus continued up to the present time. His early training fitted him for carrying on this extensive enterprise which during the last few years has grown to large proportions, due in no small way to the efforts of William H. Reed.

    In politics, Mr. Reed is independent, not having identified himself with any political party, preferring to remain free from all partisan influences in the exercise of his own judgment on public issues. He is a member of the local Board of Health and the Board of Education. In religion he is a Methodist and attends St. Andrew's Church of this denomination, where he is a member of the board of trustees. He affiliates with Wall Lodge, No. 73, Free and Accpted Masons; Goodwin Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Corson Commandery, No. 15, Knights Templar; Salaam Temple, Ancient Arabic Order

    Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and is also a member of the Knights of the Golden Eagle.

    At Belmar, New Jersey, in March, 1899, William H. Reed was united in marriage with Harriett Bareford, daughter of Thomas and Roxanna (Scull) Bareford, residents of Belmar. Mr. and Mrs. Reed are the parents of one child, William Harold, born in December, 1904, a student of Neptune Township High School, class of 1923. The family home is at No. 208 Tuttle avenue, Spring Lake.


    STARBIRD, Clinton V.

    Source: "Biographical review: this volume contains biographical sketches of leading citizens of Oxford and Franklin Counties Maine," Biographical Review Publishing Company, Boston, 1897.

    CLINTON V. STARBIRD, an extensive lumber manufacture of the town of Strong, and Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, was born in Freeman, Me., August 14, 1868. He is a son of Amos D. and Mary J. (Gilkey) Starbird, natives of Freeman, now residing in Florida, and grandson of Moses Starbird, who moved to Freeman from Gorham, Me., and was a prosperous farmer through life.

    Amos D. Starbird was for several years engaged in agricultural pursuits and lumbering in the town of Freeman; but he removed later to Orange County, Florida, where he is now residing, and is identified with the lumber interests of that region. His wife, Mary J. Gilkey, is a daughter of Captain John Gilkey, who moved from Lisbon to this county when a young man, and became a well-to-do farmer in Freeman. Mr. and Mrs. Amos D. Starbird have had eight children, as follows: Edwin R., who wedded Mattie Thompson, and is now a photographer of Brunswick, Me.; Albert W., who married Leola Weymouth, and is now a photographer in Florida; Rose I., wife of W. T. Hinds, a lumber operator and manufacturer of Phillips, Me.; Clinton V., of Strong, to be further mentioned in the next paragraph: Lionel F., who died at the age of twenty-three years; Austin C., who married Cora Love, and is now in the lumber business with his father in Florida; Adelbert M. and Percivilla L., both of whom are residing in Florida, engaged in the lumber business.

    Clinton V. Starbird acquired his education in the common schools. At the age of twenty one he went to Erie County, Pennsylvania, and worked in a grist-mill for a year. He then engaged in lumbering, and for the next three years contracted quite extensively for the cutting of timber. He next operated a saw-mill in Freeman, Me., where he continued in business for four years; and then removing to Strong he built a mill, and engaged in the manufacturing of lumber. Since locating here his business has developed into large proportions, requiring additions to his plant from time to time, in order to meet the increasing demand for his products; and aside from sawing all kinds of building material, including hard-wood flooring and shingles, he makes a specialty of manufacturing packing cases, which are shipped in large quantities to Portland, Boston, and Providence, R.I. Although he has met with serious reverses, having passed through two disastrous fires, he has recovered the lost ground, and his business, to which he has steadily applied himself, is now in a most flourishing condition. In politics he supports the Republican party. He was elected a Selectman in 1894, and is now Chairman of the Board.

    On June 23, 1886, Mr. Starbird was united in marriage with Flora A. Kilkenney, of New Vineyard. She is a daughter of James and Ellen (Brackley) Kilkenney, prosperous farming people of New Vineyard. Mr. and Mrs. Starbird have one son, Raymond A., who was born February 26, 1891.

    Mr. Starbird is Treasurer of Davis Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Strong, acts in the same capacity for Marathon Lodge, Knights of Pythias, and is also a member of the Order of the Golden Cross. He occupies a prominent place among the business men of Franklin County, and is universally respected and esteemed. Mrs. Starbird is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.


    WILSON, Thomas Emmet

    Source: "Men and Women of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries," L. R. Hamersly & Company, New York City, 1910

    Lawyer; born in Putnam Valley, N. Y., Oct. 1, 1847; son of Hugh C. Wilson and Mary F. (Wardell) Wilson. He was educated in the public schools and at the Peekskill Military Academy of Peekskill, N. Y. He was admitted to the bar in Brooklyn, N. Y., in December, 1868, and has since then been actively engaged in the practice of law in Florida. He was State's attorney for the Seventh Judicial District of Florida, 1873-1877, county solicitor for Orange County, Florida, 1873-1877, for Volusia County, Florida, 1874-1877, and for Brevard County, Florida, from 1875 to 1877. He procured the charter for and became attorney, 1879, of the South Florida Railroad, then the most Southern railroad in the United States, and General U. S. Grant turned the first shovel of earth on its construction in March, 18S0; procured the charter for and became attorney of the Florida Midland Railway in March, 1883. He became attorney for the Orange Belt Railway in June, 1886, and procured an extension of the charter to build to St. Petersburg, Fla., and to Sanford, Fla., and procured a charter for the Sanford and Petersburg Railroad; was vice-president and general counsel and a director of the Orange Belt Railway, from 1889 to [?] and general counsel and a director of the Sanford and St. Petersburg Railroad from [?] to 1895. He procured charters of saturation for Sanford, Fla., and St. Petersburg, Fla., both thriving towns and at different times has been their attorney; and he was postmaster at Sanford, 1877-1880. Mr. Wilson has traveled around the world and in 1870 went to Australia and New Zealand and to the borders of the Antarctic Ocean, sailing around the Cape of Good Hope. CarLemwin and islands south of New Zealand. He is a Republican in politics. He is a charter member of the Orange County (Florida) Bar Association; and he was vice-president of the Florida Bar Assciation. He married at Sylvan Lake, Fla. July 9, 1900, Lizzie Anna Fox. Since his marriage he has devoted his time to the general practice of his profession and to his estate, and is one of the largest individual property owners in Sanford, and in Orange County, Florida. Address: Sanford, Fla.


    WRIGHT, Abram Cecil

    Source: "Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography," under the Editorial Supervision of Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL. D., Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, 1915, Vol. V, pg 890. Transcribed by Lisa Slaski, donated to Orange County, FLGenWeb, part of the USGenWeb in 2010.

    Abram Cecil Wright, D. D. S. The course by which this branch of the family of Wright has arrived at Virginia residence almost completes a gigantic triangle upon the map of the United States, a figure beginning in New York, extending westward to Iowa, southeastward to Florida, and then northward to Virginia, the present home and scene of the professional practice of Dr. Abram Cecil Wright, D. D. S.

    Dr. Wright is a son of George Henry Wright, a native of New York state, born in Troy, November 3, 1829. George Henry Wright was a son of Allen M. and Abigail (Valentine) Wright, and in young manhood became a sailor and pilot, many of his voyages being made on the Great Lakes. In 1859 he settled in Wisconsin, and one year later made his home in Des Moines, Iowa, remaining in that state until 1887 and gaining business success and public prominence. He controlled a profitable agency for agricultural implements, his business field a splendid one. and in 1868 became internal revenue assessor of a county in Iowa, and two years later, in 1870, elected to the lower house of the Iowa legislature. In 1887 the family home was changed to Orlando, Florida. George Henry Wright was a man of marked ability, courage and strength of character, and during a long lifetime held the unswerving respect and kindly regard of his associates. He married, October 24, 1854, Sarah Smith, of Penfield, New York, and had issue: Lillie Elizabeth, married (first) George Robinson, deceased, and survives him, a resident of Orlando, Florida; married (second) P. F. Laubach; Charles H., deceased; George Walton, deceased; Sarah Antoinette, deceased ; Frederick B., a resident of Titusville, Florida; Nellie Maud, unmarried, rehides in Atlanta, Georgia; Dr. Abram Cecil, of whom further.

    Dr. Abram Cecil Wright, son of George Henry and Sarah (Smith) Wright, was born in Sioux city, Iowa, October 14, 1879, and when eight years of age accompanied his parents to Orlando, Florida, where he lived until he was twenty years of age. As a youth he attended the public schools of that place, in 1899 coming to Richmond, Virginia, in that city entering the Virginia School of Dentistry. Graduated as a Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1904, he began active practice in Surry county, Virginia, four years afterward returning to Richmond, where he has since practiced. For the past four years his office has been located at No. 2705 East Broad street, and a rapidly growing clientele has made his profession demand his entire time. Expert workmanship and high professional standing explain the popularity he has attained in Richmond, and he is favorably regarded in all dental circles. Dr. Wright is a member of lodge and chapter in the Masonic order, and is otherwise active in fraternal societies as a member of the Modern Woodmen of the World and of the Knights of Pythias. His church is St. John's Protestant Episcopal.

    Dr. Wright married, at Claremont, Virginia, January 1, 1907, Mary E. S., born in Vienna, Wisconsin, daughter of Martin and Mary S. L. Kendall, both of her parents deceased. Dr. and Mrs. Wright are the parents of one son, William Walton, born July 24, 1908.