Bradford County Telegraph, 100th Anniversary, July 26, 1979, p12, sect3
Kingsley Lake
Courtesy of Harriett Fuquay



One of articles from the Bradford County Telegraph  Kingsley Lake  Bordered By Three Post Offices Bradford County Telegraph, 100th Anniversary, July 26, 1979, p12, sect3
 Few people living around Kingsley Lake today know  that it was thickly settled by year-round residents a hundred years ago;  had three  post offices, two churches, and a school. In 1886 four residents  advertised the forming of a corporation to operate the Kingsle  Lake Navigation Company, hauling passengers and freight from Lake View, on the south side of the lake, to Kingsley, on the north side. No further mention was made of this enterprise, and it is presumed that it never got off the ground, or rather, never got on the water. At any rate, there are official records of the three post offices: Kingsley, on the north side, Ionia on the west, and Lake View on the south. Kingsley, the largest of the settlements was listed in Volume 1  of the Florida State Gazetteer, 1886-87 as having a population of 200,  first settled in 1879, and H.W. Strong was postmaster. "Vegetables and are the principal shipments. Has Baptist and Methodist churches, public school, steam saw mill, and one store. Mails Tuesday, Thursday and  Saturday. Unimproved land sells at $10 per acre, and improved at $25. Business men, tradesmen, professional men and growers listed  were: J.C. Blanchard, and C. Hartnutt, carpenters, Wm. H. Heappard, justice  of peace, notary public, and real estate agent, M. Kelble, justice of peace,  Rev. L.W. Kickliter, pastor Baptist Church; Wm. C. Ladd, saw mill and  notary public, M.W. Ordway, carpenter; R. Puddy, land agent; A. Smith,  carpenter; H.W. Strong, postmaster and general merchandise; Rev. N. Webster  pastor Methodist Church; A. Strickland, banana grower; A.P. Huggens, M.W. Ordway, J.F. Prevatt, R. Puddy, L.W. Kickliter, J. Osborn, J.Silcox, J.C.  Webb, orange growers, A. Smith, pineapple grower; A.P. Hughes, J.F.  Prevatt, L.W. Kickliter, J. Silcox and A. Strickland, vegetable and truck growers. Ionia is not listed in the directory, and Lakeview is listed  as: "A new settlement and village recently started. Situated on the south  side of Kingsley Lake, 18 miles west of Green Cove Springs, the county  seat, and 3-1/2 miles east of Starke, the nearest railroad station. Has no  post office as yet, or any business pursuit." The distance from Starke,  which would actually be about six miles, was obviously underestimated. In a public notice in the April 10, 1886 issue of The  Telegraph, C.L. Russell, T.R. Brown, R. Puddy, and Wm. C. Ladd advertised the  formation of  the Kingsley Lake Navigation Company with "intention to operate  and maintain in all its detail a steamboat line on Lake Kingsley, from  a point at or near Lake View to a point at or near Kingsley, and between  such points as it may be to our best interest and the interest of the  public." Perhaps the freezes a few years later, which destroyed the  flourishing orange business and caused many groves to be abandoned, including  the fine Sundell Grove on the south side of the lake, caused the steamboat line to fold before it even started. Another directory of the time "Webb's Florida," published in  1885, described Kingsley as "...a small settlement numbering about 200  souls located on the banks of a beautiful lake of that name in the  western part of Clay County. The first settlement was made in 1859 by Mr.  Simeon Strickland, and one other gentleman. A post office was established  in 1880, Mr. H.W. Strong being the present postmaster. Kingsley is a  place highly recommended for invalids." The beauty and activity of Kingsley Lake 92 years ago is  described in the following dispatch, signed "Trix" and published in the Aug. 6,  1887 issue of The Telegraph: A visit to this beautiful sheet of water and the surrounding country is a treat that can be  appreciated by anyone who is not totally dead to the beauties of nature. On the  north shore is the flourishing little settlement of Kingsley. Here we find a post office, saw mill, store, church, hotel, and 12 dwellings. Mr. W.C. Ladd is the postmaster, merchant and saw mill proprietor. He  also owns a great deal of land about this lake, both improved and unimproved. The saw mill is running on full time and things look booming and  bright for this little "Garden of Eden." Mr.  Puddy and his excellent lady have a very handsome place and orange grove  directly on the shore. This is a well cared for and attended place, where  one can see all tropical and semitropical fruits growing profusely. The hospitality of these good people was so great that friends and  even strangers who go to Kingsley Lake are sure to take advantage of  it and spend at least a portion of their time under their care. Here  also is the place where most of the strangers and others go in the  water, from Mr. Puddy's pier and bath house.  Mrs. H.W. Strong has a beautiful residence directly opposite, and a well cared for ground surrounding it. Mrs. Strong also owns several other improved places here, beside wild land about the lake. She keeps her property in good condition and repair, is a good financier, and conducts her  business on businesslike principles.  Mr. Sassee, a gentleman of large means, lately from Wisconsin, has  located here and is preparing to erect himself a large residence on his  improved land and among his orange trees.  Mr. Fred Smith has a beautiful place located on the bank of the lake He  was one of the few strawberry growers who had a profit side of the account. The little grove belonging to Mr. A. P. Hudgins is a real gem, and  would be a rare bargain for some man of means to secure a lake front, as  Mr. H. is obliged to be away and cannot well take care of it. There are a number of other groves here belonging to northern men and those who are so unfortunate as to  be away spending the summer in the North. Among them we may name Mr.  W.H.Heafford, Dr. John Tear, Messrs. McLaughin, Templeton, and  others. It will be but a short time ere this will be one of the best and  most beautiful spots in Florida. Farther around the lake we come to the residence of Mr. John White. He was so unfortunate as to lose his home by fire a short time since, and  has just now completed his new two story one, a decided improvement on  the old. Farther still and almost on the south side is the flourishing  new town of Lake View. It has been but little over a year since the first  stroke of work was done at this place, and now there are 15 good decent houses, not shanties or shells, because there are any number of them  beside a general store, a post office, saw mill, and the company's office, where the gentlemanly Mr. T.R. Brown, with his private secretary, Mr. Sales, preside. Mr. Beck, the mercantile  man reports doing a good business, and has high hopes of the future  of the place. At this place there is to be a camp: meeting held this  winter and a big time expected. Lake View is on high, dry, and rolling  land, well drained. Well located, the lake is its natural attraction. Lots  which were sold at $5 on the start are now selling at three times the  price, with no improvements at all. The  Western R.R. of Florida is nearly complete to this place. The Company  has spent over three thousand dollars in improvements since it started. It  has a bright future. Near here is located the famous Sundell orange  grove, consisting of 12 acres, all with budded orange trees. It is  owned by Mr. Chas. B. Sundell, of Chicago, and is in charge of Mr. Geo.  Hornsby, of  the lake. Mr. C. Northup and son,  Wiliard, each have a nice place next that are in good condition and  looking well. From this point back to Kingsley, the place of beginning, there  is a succession of groves belonging to the following named gentlemen:  Geo. Hornsby J.P. Hicks D.J. Silcox, I.C. Webb A.M. Blanchard, J.C.  Blachard, W.W. Carpenter, F.G. Carpenter, Mrs. E. Howe, Mrs. Burton, Joe  Prevatt, Abe Strickland and others that escape the memory at present. These places are all well attended and are in a flourishing condition.  This section is not much advertised  nor known abroad simply because it is not in Bradford County and the  Clay County folks do not care for them, when they particularly want  anything. There is now a school of considerable size in a flourishing  condition, taught by Miss Annan, a cultured lady, from old Middleburg. With this we will bid adieu to  Kingsley for the  present. Trix, August, 1887