The First Settlers of Holmes County --- Thomas Andrews, 1795 - 1858

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(From the book "Heart and History of Holmes County" by Anna Paget Wells (used by permission of the publisher, Sue Cronkite))  This book is chock full of pictures and what has been used within this web site is only a small about of the book.  It can still be ordered from Sue Cronkite or from the Holmes County Advertiser, 112 E Virginia Avenue, Bonifay FL 32425; phone 850-547-2270; fax 850-547-9200

The Andrews family came to Holmes County in the early 1840s. The Federal Census of 1850 for Holmes County lists Thomas Andrews, age 53, farmer, born in Georgia; Mary, 30, Alexander, 26, David, 23; Rachel, 21; Elizabeth,17’; John, 18; Thomas, 15; Robert, 12; all born in Georgia; Elisha, 10, born in Alabama; Martha, 8; Polly, 5, and Sarah 3; all born in Florida.

Thomas Andrews died in 1858 and is buried in the Andrews Cemetery, between Prosperity and Leonia in a heavily wooded area about ¼ mile south of Highway 181. Hurricane Eloise in 1975 damaged the cemetery. Trees feel on the fence and marker were toppled. An area 20 feet wide and 50 feet long had been fenced. When this book was first published, there were three headstones left in the cemetery. A county commissioner told me he had found a marker in Andrews Lake, on the north side of Highway 181. One of the three headstones is in the west end of the cemetery, with another in the east end and one about midway between the two. There appeared to be some unmarked graves.

The inscription on the marker for Thomas reads:

            T Andrews
             Born in Buck County, Georgia, 1795
            Died June 14, 1858
            I have fought a good fight
            And have kept the faith

The inscription on the headstone of his grandson, C W Andrews reads:

            C W Andrews
            Born Apr 19, 1864
            Died Sept 14, 1895
            Farewell my wife and children all
            From you a father Christ doth call

C W Andrews left a wife and three children.

On July 25, 1889, C W Andrews married my father’s sister, Mattie Padgett. After his death, she married John Miller, and they also had three children.

This Andrews family has certainly left its mark on Holmes County. John Andrews, the son of Thomas Andrews, was elected five times to the office of County Treasurer.

John Andrews Marry May Yon. They were the parents of 10 children: Margaret Mozell, Ella Ann, Mary Alice, Joanne Bernice, Abbie Lee, Thomas P, Charles Oscar, Yarborough, Haisley, and Okley.

        1. Margaret Mozelle married John Neel. They settled in the Westville area and reared their family there.

        2. Ella Ann married a Ramsey. In correcting a reference in the first edition of Heart and History of Holmes County which stated that Ella Ann Andrews was the mother of Dana Andrews, the well-known movie star, Lawrence A (Larry) Commander stated in a letter dated Sept 16, 1993, that "Ella Ann Andrews married J A Ramsey, then moved to Texas and no further information is available.

Carver Dana Andrews was the son of Charles Forrest Andrews and Annis Speed. Steve Forrest (actor, writer) is the youngest brother of Dana Andrews. Charles Forrest Andrews was the youngest son of David Andrews, son of Thomas Andrews, born in Burke County, GA, though tombstone says Buck."

        3. Mary Alice (no information)

        4. Joanne Bernice Andrews married Gus Moore. The reared a family in the Ponce de Leon area.

        5. Abbie Lee Andrews married George Stephens. They were the parents of two children, a daughter Addie (Doolan) Stanley and a son, Dr Aubrey Stephens. After George Stephens’ death, Abbie Lee married William Padgett. There were five sons born to this marriage: Brooks, twins Lester and Leslie, Drew and Kyle.

        6. Thomas P Andrews was a prosperous merchant in Ponce de Leon.

        7. Charles O Andrews was a brilliant lawyer. His election to the United States Senate in the 1940s was a matter of pride for Holmes Countians. Charles O Andrews married Margaret Lee Spears.

        8. Yarborough (no information)

        9. Haisley (no information)

        10. Okley (no information)

Pioneer Thomas Andrews appears to have been a widower with 12 children when the 1850 Census was taken. We know he has many descendants in Holmes County, but we don’t know the direct line of all of them.

Miles Andrews settled in the Hurricane Creek community. He married a daughter of Washington Pittman. They were the parents of four sons, Matthew, Alva, Lothair N, and Charles Lester, and two daughters, Beulah and Elberta.

Miles Andrews owned a turpentine still in the Hurricane Creek community during the first decades of the 1900s.

M M Andrews, son of Miles, was a lawyer. He represented Holmes County in the state Legislature during the years 1931 and 1933.

Alva Andrews, Lothair Andrews and Lester Andrews were school principals.

Miles and "Sukey" Andrews’ oldest daughter Beulah Andrews, married Barnard Castello. Their youngest daughter, Elberta Andrews, married Dewey Tadlock, a barber, and they settled in Tallahassee. The Castellos remained in the Hurricane Creek Community.

Another scion of this pioneer Andrews family, Alexander "Zandy" Andrews, settled in the Leonia neighborhood. Alexander Andrews married Eliza Peterson. She was the granddaughter of Ambrose and Amanda Gillman. Alexander and Eliza Andrews were the parents of nine sons and one daughter. The sons were John Andrews, Eugene, Mack, Edward, Reed, Lee, Stephen, Bob, Willie "Dick" and the daughter was Josephine who died at a very young age.

John Andrews married Ann Covington. John feel from a dredge boat and was drowned.

Charles Lester Andrews was the father of Charles, Miles, Seaton, Lillian Emma and Nettie. Charles Andrews was a Baptist evangelist in many places, including Uvalde, Texas, and was the father of Steve Forrest and Carver Andrews. Carver changed his name to Dana Andrews when he became a movie star. It was said his father did not want his son to be an actor and did not want him to drag the name through the movies.

Lillian Emma Andrews, Charles’ sister, married Francis Neel. Lillian was the postmistress at Union, Fla. She was Margarie Scott’s grandmother.

Nettie Andrews married John Monroe Laird and lived in De Funiak Springs.

Seaton Andrews married a Neel.

The old Andrews place was between Sandy Creek and Pleasant Ridge.


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This page was last updated on:  17 June 2002 , 08:42 PM