Back in the early 1900s, two men were drinking heavily and started fighting. One was killed on the curve of Old Dixie Highway, known now as Halifax and Gaines Street, in front of what we know as the First Baptist Church corner.
The old Charlie Simmons home was built by a man that Mr. Gaines hired to build for his wife for either a wedding present, or an anniversary present; and is one of the oldest buildings here.
John and Annie (Brooke) Osteen came to Oak Hill in 1905 from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They moved here by boat. He worked in the cattle and orange grove culture. They bought the old Charlie Simmons place; it had a house with seven acres of land. The house still stands. They bought it for $500.00. John and Annie helped organize the First Baptist Church – the one that stands on the corner of E. Halifax and Campton Street. They had ice cream and cake socials to help build that church and the Village Improvement Association building. Mrs. Annie Osteen was one of the ladies that helped. They had six sons and one daughter. The boys were Jack E. Mitchell, Walter, Edgard, Kenneth and John. Their daughter was Nancy E., and only Nancy, Mitchell and John are living.
John G. Dyall and wife Pemmelia E. had six children. One was John Russell, marrying Nancy E. Osteen. They bought their home at Campton Street in 1947. They had seven children, Eunice Dyall Salona, Bobbi Dyall Somerset, John R. Dyall, Jr., Edward L., Pauline D. Hendrix, Katherine D. Parker, and William J. Dyall. The latter two are living here. Another of John G. and Pemmelia E.’ s children is Ida L., (married W.L. Gause) and lived here several years, had two sons Robert and Doyle and five daughters, Jeanette, Harriet, Lois, Lucille and Agnes. Agnes married H.C. Colee in New Smyrna – he is deceased but she still lives at 303 Washington Street. She was a niece of John Russell Dyall from Oak Hill. W.L. and Ida (Dyall) Gause later on moved to New Smyrna and he worked for the police force. The other children of John G. and Pemmelia were George E., Robert E. Lee, and Ada C. Dyall married G.B. Copper, Minnie M. Dyall married Ernest W. McCullough, living at 601 Palmetto; they had one son, C.E. married to Dennise Keany. She is a well-known artist and a teacher of art. George E. married Emma Wright and Robert E. Lee married Ruth Waters.
Ruth Emma “Doerrmann” Treadwell was born February 18, 1920 in Mickleton, New Jersey. She grew up there and graduated from local grade and high schools. A graduate of the Banks Business College in Philadelphia, after which she worked for E.I. Dupont De Nemours and Co., in Deepwater, New Jersey, both before and after she completed two and one half years of service in the Women’s Reserve of the United States Coast Guard.
While in the service, she graduated from court reporters’ school in New York City, Communications School in Atlantic City and the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut; she received a commission of Ensign. In the service, she learned to live and work with Gentiles and Jews, Protestants and Catholics, rich and poor, educated and uneducated – an experience all of us should have.
She was married to Horace E. Treadwell in January 1945 and became a very proud mother of twins, Kenneth and Barbara on June 11, 1948.
She and Horace met while they both were in the Coast Guard. They became residents of Oak Hill in 1954.
She was active and a member of the First Baptist Church here. She was assistant secretary and bookkeeper many years for the Oak Hill Citrus Growers Association; she was also secretary and president of many local civic organizations. She served as secretary and zoning commissioner on the District 5 Zoning Commission for many years.
She was corresponding secretary to the State Democratic Women’s Club of Florida. She served a number of years at Precinct 11, representing our area and always had a deep concern in political affairs and especially in good government. She wanted to be our city commissioner so she could work together, not for individual gains, but to help make it so people that were born here are happy, also those who have married and moved here and those that had come here for employment, retirement or other reasons, are happy and will be happy.
She was a city commissioner in 1966 until her resignation in May 1967, because of her illness that led to her death on June 28, 1967.
She is greatly missed by all in her absence, and greater yet in her home as a mother, wife and family loved ones.
Horace was a member of a large Oak Hill family that has lived here since approximately 1927.
He was in the Coast Guard for several years, then Coast Guard auxiliary until retirement. That is where he met Ruth, who was in the Coast Guard also. They married and had twins, Kenny and Barbara. Ruth passed away in 1967.
He has been very active in many phases of organization, political and civic clubs. He was the Kiwanis Club president twice, chairman of Pancake Day for 15 years, a 25-year member and now a life member.
He was Postmaster here for several years until his retirement. Horace was one of the the main ones for the reactivation of Oak Hill’s charter. He was strongly for it at the time but isn’t today.
When it began as a city again, he was one of the three to win – holding a commissioner’s seat, only before his term ended, he resigned.
His wife today is Jackie (Casad) Treadwell. Her former husband and the Treadwells were friends while they were in the Coast Guard. They reside now at 160 E. Halifax Avenue. This same home used to be the Minnie McCullough boarding house where school teachers lived.