Zeb E. Booe

Zeb E. Booe, son of James Moffett Booe and Hannah Maria Spinning, was born 16 Dec 1862 in a log cabin in Fountain CO, IN and died 22 Mar 1951 Bunnell, Flagler CO, FL married 13 Dec 1885, Covington, Fountain CO, IN by Elder D B Burkhart to Ida May Coffing, daughter of Brazier Hunt Coffing and Sarah Catherine Ireland, born 10 Jul 1862, Covington, Fountain CO, IN, died 5 Oct 1952 Bunnell, Flagler CO, FL. Both are buried at Hope, now Flagler Palms Memorial Gardens, Cemetery, Flagler CO, FL.

The family is listed on page 21 of the 1920 census of Flagler County, residing in precinct 2, with his occupation given as "Farming-General."

Zeb began teaching elementary school in Fountain County, Indiana in 1879 at the age of 17. During the summer he worked with his father on the farm, continued teaching and later enrolled as a sophomore in Eureka College. He obtained an Indiana exemption teacher’s certificate which required no further examination as long as he continued to teach (equivalent to a graduate certificate in some states). He continued to help his father on the farm and brick and tile factory and taught school for 20 years in all and served on the Veedersburg Board of Education.

At the end of his 20 years teaching career, Zeb was approached by Mr Austin V Hitch, who offered Zeb one-half interest in his profitable Real Estate and Insurance Business in Yeddo. They opened an office of like kind in Veedersburg, Indiana on 27 Apr 1903, which was named Hitch and Booe Real Estate and Insurance.

Hitch and Booe bought up the various insurance agencies in Veedersburg and conducted an immigration business in Texas. Hitch decided to move to Texas and they dissolved their partnership with Zeb deeding his half-interest in the lands the company owned in Texas with Hitch deeding his half-interest to the several regimental properties the company owned in Indiana.

About this same time, Manly Booe, a second cousin of Zeb’s, was an enthusiastic agent for the Tippecanoe Securities Company which had moved from Lafayette, Indiana to Scranton, PA and was at the time, negotiating a purchase of 32,000 acres from Utley J White in the vicinity of Dupont in now Flagler County, Florida.

Zeb purchased $5,000 of the Dupont Railroad and Land Company Bonds. Other large investors were Charley W Miller of Indianapolis, U S District Attorney; Will R Wood, then a state senator of Lafayette and later a member of Congress; R C Isenbach, a wealthy jeweler, and Dick Stagemeier, a wealthy restauarant operator on Illinois Street in the first block north of Washington Street in Indianapolis.. Each purchaser of bonds was given a bonus according to the acres purchased and these bonus land owners formed a company for the development and operation of these lands. The company formed was named the “Haw Creek Farms Company” and Zeb was named as the General Manager.

In 1913 he moved his family to Florida when he assumed the position as manager of Haw Creek Farms, which consisted of 1,975 acres of timber in the Haw Creek area. Zeb moved his family to Daytona Beach where he had rented a two story frame house by the Halifax River. His father and mother also came down with them to “spend the winter.”

Zeb shipped by freight, two mules, two sows, and one milk cow in one end of a freight car and their furniture and a great deal of family supplies in the other. There was no place in Dupont to locate at the time, so Zeb’s sons, Harry, Warben and Willie, and Will Brown, a cousin of Zeb’s wife, lived in a narrow gage box car on a side tract 1.5 miles from where they cleared land and built a house the first year. (A photograph of this box car and the Booe family is shown on the heading of this page)

Harry Booe was the master fence builder. He lined out for a post setting of hard pine and with the help of some black farm hands, dumped the wire fence around 360 acres of land, The fence was 4 feet high, made out of No. 8 wire, with bared wire for the top and bottom of the fence.

A road was constructed was constructed around each separate 40 acres of land. These roads were made by a light two-horse road grader.

A considerable portion of the land enclosed was prepared for cultivation and large crops of white Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, corn, hay and various kinds of experimental crops were raised such as highland rice, oats, millet and coffir corn, Kudzee plant for pasture, peanuts, carrots, cotton and a few other small varieties.

The Booe’s purchased a farm tractor and truck, and a potato grader. The built the first concrete silo in this portion of the state as well as the first dipping vat of livestock to eliminate the Texas tick fever. They also build a compost vat to dump the barnyard leanings which, when decayed, would be used for fertilizer.

The family build a potato and cabbage packing house with a cooker shop adjoining where they made potato barrels for their own use and many for the neighbors. They also constructed a two-story storage house for the barrels.

They built a narrow gage railroad which came into the packing house next to a platform from which they would load cabbage crates or roll potato barrels onto a flat railroad car. The flat cars were sent to Dupont where their contents were transferred to box cars and sent on to their destinations. When the regular railroad to Dupont was converted to standard grade, the Booe’s converted their side tract fo standard gage as well.

The conversion to standard grade railroad tract allowed farmers to send their crops direct to markets without re-handling in Dupont. Cabbage cars came already iced and were re-iced along the line when necessary.

The largest money crop for the Haw Creek Farms was Irish potatoes. Profits were also made from cabbage, hay and corn which were always in good demand.

Having attempted and failed to get the Volusia County Commission to construct bridges over Haw Creek and Sweet Water Creek to give a fairly good passage from Haw Creek to Bunnell, when discussions of forming a new county were being made, the people of Haw Creek, who were initially opposed, were now in favor.

Flagler CO was formed by act of Legislature in 1917 consisting of the northern part of Volusia CO and the southern part of St Johns CO. Governor Sidney Johnston Catts appointed Frank L Byrd, John Oliver Buckles and Zeb to be members of the first school board. When the appointees met to organize the board, Zeb was elected by the other two members as chairman of the board. He declined to be considered for reelection when his term ended due to the long distance from Haw Creek and the difficulty in transportation to Bunnell.

The Booe sons, who had been most helpful on the farm, could only be paid common pay day wages by the Haw Creek Farms Company, so they decided to leave the farm and go elsewhere for higher wages. Soon after they left, Zeb convinced the directors to replace him as manager and he moved to Dupont around 1920.

While living in Dupont, Zeb worked in Bunnell for Mr. S. R. Fields who had a land sale contract with the Bunnell Development Company. He was employed as a bookkeeper, cashier and letter writer. After he had been employed by Mr Fields for four years, the latter left town, broke and owing Zeb more that $400 dollars which was never paid.

The Bunnell Development Company cancelled the Fields’ contract and the president, Major James Frank Lambert, hired Zed to “clean up” their land sale business.

The Bunnell Development Company went out of business around 1928 owing Zeb about $800 in salary. Not having the cash, they deeded him 82 lots in the black section on Bunnell’s south side (which is probably how Booe Street located there, came into existence). Taxes on the land being high, and Zeb not now having any income, he began to sell off these lots.

By charging no interest on the contracts, the purchaser promised to consume and pay all taxes. Contract price for Zeb’s lots in south Bunnell went from $100 to $250 depending on location.

He was a member of the Christian Church but organized and was superintendent of the Haw Creek Methodist Sunday School. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star.

He served as Mayor of Bunnell from 1924 until 1928 and was County Superintendent of Public Instruction from Jan 1929 to Jan 1937. He was secretary of the Bimini Drainage District in 1937 and in April 1944 was appointed a member of the Board of Public Instruction and served until Jan 1947. The family attended the Bunnell Methodist Church and he served Sunday School Superintendent.

The Booe Family also had an orchestra was in demand for many social functions during the early years of the county.

Mr and Mrs Booe were the parents of six children;

1. Ruth Booe, born about 1886 Fountain CO, IN, died 1891, Fountain CO, IN

2. Fred Simpson Booe, born 20 Feb 1887 Veedersburg, Fountain CO, IN, died 10 June 1953 Bunnell, Flagler CO, FL, buried Hope, now Flagler Memorial Gardens, Cemetery, Flagler CO, FL.. He married in 05 Jul 1930, Martha Nancy (Mattie) Barber, dau of John Benjamin Barber and Mary Smith, born 16 Jul 1858, Appling now Bacon CO, GA, died 10 Jun 1947, Bunnell, Flagler CO, FL. She is buried Espanola Cemetery, Espanola, Flagler CO, FL. No issue.

NOTE: Prior to her marriage to Fred, Mattie was married to Robert Moody (1876-1918). After Fred and she were divorced, she married Edmond Wright (Ed) Cody (1881-1959).

Fred worked for his father, was a trapper and an excellent cartoonist. Fred did daily cartoons for an Indianapolis, Indiana newspaper when he was a resident of that state, but when he moved to Florida he did only an occasional cartoon for his and his friend's pleasure.

In Feb 1928, he drew a series of cartoons advertising Lucky Strike cigarettes, the drawings being displayed in Holden's pharmacy. In Aug 1943, he had three of his cartoons published by the Jacksonville Journal showing Mussolini since his fall from power.

He painted houses, and also painted advertisements for local businesses. He had his paint shop in his father’s garage.

3. Harry Dow Booe, born 13 Dec 1888 Veedersburg, Fountain CO, IN, died 22 Nov 1947, Daytona Beach, Volusia CO, FL, married 02 Dec 1921, DeLand Volusia CO, FL, Clara S. Kinsinger, born 13 Mar 1875, IA, died 24 Nov 1956, Daytona Beach, Volusia CO, FL. Both are buried in Hope, now Flagler Palms Mem Gardens, Cemetery, Flagler CO, FL

Harry was a house painter. Clara was previously married to Frank E. Hoover (1974-1918).

4. James Brazier (Jim) Booe, born 29 Apr 1899, Veedersburg, Fountain CO, IN, killed in action, 07 Dec 1941, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, aboard the Battleship Oklahoma, married 24 Nov 1923, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA, Leverta LeBlanc, dau of Joseph Gustave LeBlanc and Regina Allerman, born 18 Dec 1903, Donaldsonville, Ascension Parish, LA, died 20 Jan 1961, San Diego, San Diego CO, CA.

James moved to now Flagler CO, FL with his parents and four bothers in 1913. He enlisted in the Navy, June 4,1919, and went through boot training at Hampton Roads, VA. A story in the June 5, 1919 edition of The Flagler Tribune says "James Booe of Haw Creek, this county, enlisted in the United States Navy at Jacksonville, being rated as a musician, entering the service immediately. James is the youngest son of Zeb E Booe, one of Flagler county's most influential and progressive farmers." He was in Bunnell on 19 days furlough from Hampton Roads on 16 Jun 1921 according to a story in the Flagler Tribune.

He loved music and continued his music study in the Navy; he was assigned to a band unit and sent to the Panama Canal, aboard the USS Birmingham. In 1922 the band was transferred to the USS Cleveland.

In the winter of 1925, he passed the examination for Band Master and began to serve as Assistant Bandmaster for the band stationed at Pensacola. The band was heard over radio station WCOA at Pensacola in May 1926.

In Nov 1927 he was transferred from the Pensacola NAS to the USS Wright (airplane tender) in port at Norfolk, VA, in March 1928 he was assigned to the carrier USS Lexington based at San Pedro, CA.

In March of 1928 he was back home to Bunnell for a visit while his ship, the new USS Lexington, naval plane carrier, was at Pensacola. He was to rejoin his ship after the visit in Bunnell which was expected to sail for the Pacific Coast.

In July 1928 he notified his parents in Bunnell of the Lexington's record breaking run from San Pedro, CA to Honolulu, Hawaii, a distance of 2,544 land miles in 72 ½ hours, or an average of 35 miles per hour

He was back in Pensacola in 1932 as he was injured in an accident west of the town on Saturday, 5 Mar 1932. He was returning from a trip to AL and about 40 miles west of Pensacola ran into the rear of a parked log truck.

In October 1934 he was promoted to Bandmaster and was serving aboard the USS California at Guantanamo, Cuba.

In Oct 1935 he was the Bandmaster on the USS Saratoga and was selected with his group of musicians to play aboard the USS Houston (Cruiser) which was carrying President Roosevelt on his vacation tour. Later he was transferred to the battleship Oklahoma, as the ship’s bandmaster.

At daybreak, December 7, 1941, the band was assembling on the deck of the USS Oklahoma when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Chief Petty Office Booe went down with his ship.

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter No 86 in Flagler Beach is named in his honor. Issue;

(1) Zeb Joseph Booe, born 17 Aug 1925, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA, died 28 Aug 1925, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA, buried Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA

(2) James Brazier Booe Jr, born 03 Oct 1926, Pensacola, Escambia CO, FL, died 09 Jul 2010, Pleasanton, Alameda CO, CA, probably, married Lily Cornelia Giesick, dau of Heinrich Giesick and Maria Margaretha Gies born 05 Jul 1927, died 01 May 2000, Haywood, Alameda CO, CA.

According to the "Jordan's Cat's Purr," school paper published by the David Starr Jordan High School in Long Beach, CA, James Booe, Jr, a senior was elected student body president to serve during the first semester of the 1943-1944 school year. In Jan 1944, he was elected as president for the second semester being the first time in the history of the school that any student was elected twice.

He like his father, was a trombonist and played the first trombone in the school orchestra, concert and marching bands.

Finished advanced technical training in sonar about Mar 1944 and in May 1944 was at SCTC Terminal Island, San Pedro, CA. Issue:

A. James Brazier Booe, III, born 02 Dec 1954, Los Angeles, Los Angels CO, CA married 16 Oct 1976, Stateline, NV, Lynda Kay Thibodeaux, born 13 May 1957, Contra Costa CO, CA. Issue:

a. James Brazier Booe, IV, born 16 Oct 1980, Alameda CO, CA

b. Jason Andrew Booe, born 02 Mar 1982, Alameda CO, CA

c. Joseph Michael Booe, born 25 Jun1992, Alameda CO, CA

B. Carol Ann Booe, born 20 Sep 1958, Los Angeles, Los Angeles CO, CA, married James Michael Mott, born 17 Sep 1956, San Mateo CO, CA. Issue;

a. Jenna Liliann Mott, born 20 Jun 1991, San Mateo CO, CA

C. Eric Alan Booe, born 09 Dec 1965, Alameda CO, CA, married Mercedes Jean Craig born 31 Dec 1963, Alameda CO, CA. Issue;

a. Cassidey Makenna Booe, born 27 Dec 1993, Santa Clara CO, CA

b. Bridget Haley Booe, born 22 Nov 1995, Santa Clara CO, CA

James Brazier Booe, Jr married 2nd, Judi Splendora Papetti born 21 Feb 1943, Sacramento CO, CA

(2) Bette Jean Booe, b 26 Mar 1933, Long Beach, Los Angeles, CA married Richard L Vincent, born 09 Jun 1931, MI, died 16 Jun 1996, San Diego CO, CA. Issue;

A. Dorinda Lyne Vincent, born 21 Jan 1955, San Diego, San Diego CO, CA, married Ray Langley. Issue:

a. Samantha Carolann Langley, born 21 Dec 1987, San Diego, San Diego CO, CA

B. Timothy M Vincent, born 20 Nov 1946, San Diego CO, CA

C. Barney James Vincent, born 19 Jul 1958, San Diego CO, CA, married 16 Aug 1986, Clark CO, NV, Leslie Ann Young

Barney Vincent married 2nd, 13 Jun 1994, Clark CO, NV. Donna Ray Lakous. Issue;

a. Mariah Vincent born around 1994

b. Justin Vincent born around 1996

D. Randal L (Randy) Vincent born 22 Jan 1960, San Diego CO, CA, married Jill Thigpen, born about 1960. Issue;

a. Nicholas James Vincent, born 12 Jul 1986, San Diego CO, CA

b. Christopher Reed Vincent, born 18 Aug 1988, San Diego CO, CA

5. Warben Richard Booe son of Zeb E. Booe and his wife Ida May Coffing, was born 30 Dee 1891, Veedersburg, Fountain CO, IN, died 09 Nov 1942,, married 17 May 1914, Veedersburg, Fountain CO, IN by Rev Oscar E Kelly to Myrtle A. Purnell, dau of Samuel Joseph Purnell and Odessa Furr, born 11 Nov 1894 Fountain CO, IN, died 16 Sept 1943, Chicago, Cook CO, IL. Both buried Rockfield Cemetery, Veedersburg, Fountain CO, IN. (See sketch on this family)

6. William Frank Booe was born 26 Sept 1895 in Steam Corner, Fountain CO, IN and died 07 Nov 1955, Daytona Beach, Volusia CO, FL. He is buried in Hope, now Flagler Palms Memorial Gardens, Cemetery, Flagler CO, FL, married 26 Sep1917, Crescent City, Putnam CO, FL, Clara Blanche Jones, daughter of Joseph Leon Jones and Rosa Edna Braddock, born 30 Apr 1899, St Mary’s, Camden CO, GA, died 10 Jan 1966, Bunnell General Hospital, Bunnell, Flagler CO, FL, buried Volusia Memorial Gardens, Ormond Beach, Volusia CO, FL.(See sketch on this family)


Source: The First Families of Flagler by Mary Ketus Deen Holland who cited as her sources, Census, Public Records and Margaret Booe Deen (Compiler’s mother)

Additional sources used by the compiler were: World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; WWI Civilian Draft Registrations; WW I, WW II, & Korean War Casualty Listing; California Birth Index, 1905-1995; Florida Marriage Collection, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001; Florida Death Index, 1877-1998; Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941; U.S. Census, 1910, Mill Creek Township, Fountain CO,IN, U.S.Census, 1910, Veedersburg Ward 3, Fountain CO, IN, U.S, Census, 1910, Orleans Ward 3, Dist 52 Orleans Parish, LA, U.S. Census, 1920, Dupont, Flagler CO, FL, U.S. Census, 1930, Bunnell, Flagler CO, FL, 1940 Census, Bunnell, Flagler CO, FL; Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005; the California Birth Index, 1905-1995; Baggett & Summer Funeral Home Records;

The Bunnell Home Builder, Nov 1917, The Flagler Tribune, 14 Aug 1919, 18 Mar 1920, 04 Jan 1923, 09 Jan 1925, 04 May 1926, 03 Feb 1927, 26 Aug 1927, 27 Nov 1927, 23 Feb 1928, 15 Aug 1928, 05 Sep 1929, 17 Dec 1931, 28 Dec 1941, 19 Feb 1942, 11 Jun 1942, 03 Dec 1942, 22 Jul 1943, 05 Aug 1943, 04 Nov 1943, 09 Jan 1947, 19 Feb 1948, 22 Mar 1951,11 Jun 1953; The Times-Advocate (Escondido, CA), 20 Jun 1995; Zeb E Booe’s autobiography; Zeb E Booe’s diaries; and personal knowledge.

Please send questions, corrections or additions to Sisco Deen, P.O. Box 637, Flagler Beach, FL 32136 or email him at Sisco_Deen@hotmail.com