Okeechobee County, 


A Pictorial History--Page 2A

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Palmetto_Shack.jpg (59626 bytes)The third schoolteacher in the pioneer community was Tantie Huckaby, a well-educated lady originally from South Carolina. Contrary to some reports that she was a pushy red-headed spinster, Tantie was actually a prim white-haired lady who had once been married. She opened the doors of learning to her students, always inspiring them to strive for excellence. The citizens of "The Bend" decided in 1902 that mail service was needed, so with the assistance of Robert LaMartin of Bassinger, the Raulerson's obtained a post office which was formally established on April 24, 1902. Mrs. Huckaby suggested that it be named for her and so the post office was officially designated Tantie. First postmaster was Mattie R. Walker, daughter of Peter Raulerson, and wife of Hamp Walker. She served until June 7, 1902, when her father was appointed. Main_Street_Ft_Drum.JPG (52342 bytes)Mail was carried from Quay to Fort Drum by horseback on what was known as a Star Route. Peter Raulerson carried the mail for eighteen months free from Fort Drum to Tantie in order to establish a Star Route between these two communities. The service was one mail in and one mail out each week. Mail service between Tantie and Bassinger was provided by Jim Clements who had obtained the contract for that route.


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About 1905 William H. Raulerson, Peterís elder brother, moved to Tantie. During the 1890ís William brought his family from Bassinger to a point about ten miles north of Lake Okeechobee and established a homestead. About the time he moved on to Tantie, Weyman W. Potter settled near Williamís former homestead. Another early settler of Tantie during the first decade of the twentieth century was Jeremiah Hancock, younger brother of    H. H. Hancock.

lewis_raulerson_store_1905.jpg (99884 bytes)The first store in Tantie was established by Lewis M. Raulerson, son of Peter Raulerson, in 1905. His first permanent structure, which remained in use until 1915, was built on the eastern side of what is now South Parrott Avenue, somewhat south of the present-day Parrott Tire and Appliance Company. To get the merchandise in those days, small boats came from Fort Myers up the Caloosahatchee River, through the canal into Lake Okeechobee and across it and up Taylor Creek to Tantie, a distance of approximately 125 miles. On December 29, 1906, Lewis M. Raulerson was appointed postmaster, having moved the post office from his parentsí home into the store building.

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Success.jpg (51002 bytes)Captain T. A. Bass began large-scale development of the catfish industry on Lake Okeechobee in 1906. His steamer, the Success, carried 6,000 pounds of fish from the lake on its first haul. Fishing camps began to grow along the lake shore. In 1 897 Clifford Clements, a hunter, established Utopia, located between Lettuce and Cypress Creeks. Clements operated a store and taught school but subsequent settlers in the community were fishermen. 

ed_jim_upthegrove.jpg (51521 bytes)Robert Upthegrove settled Upthegrove Beach in 1912 and was joined in 1915 by his brothers Ed and Jim, and their half-brother Barney "Pomp". Adkins. Another fishing community, Eagle Bay, came into being about 1906 when Tom, Nathan, and William Jones moved there. Tom, Wheeler, Louis, and Gusborn Lawrence also fished at the Eagle Bay settlement.



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