Perhaps Oak Hill can take pride, however, in its successful grove operation. Indian River and Oak Hill fruit has long been recognized as select. The big citrus growers were the Edmund Day Co. (called the E. Day Groves), and H.G. Putnam, Shiloh growers were James A. Taylor, George Kuhl and J.E. Pattillo. Others were E.W. and W.C. McCullough, E.C. Stacey, Pearl Travis, H.E. Bennett, Russ and Lee Lyall. Fred Hatch, who built Oak Hill’s Town Hall, now the Village Improvement Assn., J.W. Brown and George I Fullertown. He was active in the Citrus growing business for 30 years throughout the state and was a banker, lawyer, and Volusia Legislator in the 1920s.

In 1925, residents at the incorporation time sought out to hire law enforcement officers who might stop some of the fights and killings which residents throughout Volusia county had heard about. The brawls usually involved turpentine workers, or fishermen after a heavy night of drinking.

Howard G. Putnam, Mayor at that time, along with L.L. Mosby, W. McCullough and W.L. Williams, the commissioners, sought out to hire a police chief. They chose Dave Ritchie, the only paying job, and gave him $100.00 a month.

Oak Hill, Florida, City Jail In 1926, on 123 E. Halifax Ave.

Oak Hill, Florida, City Jail
In 1926, on 123 E. Halifax Ave.

The first step for the town officials to take was buying an old jail building from Daytona Beach. Mosby and Putnam went and got the building; it had two jail cells of frame and metal. They loaded it on flat car of the train and brought it to Oak Hill, placing it by the packing house. Later moving it to the present place, it was bought by Mosby for his real estate business.

It was an unsatisfactory situation, however, as the police chief would begin drinking after he locked up a prisoner and would not return for days.

L. L. Mosby, Sr. Donald Mosby

L. L. Mosby, Sr.
Donald Mosby

L. L. Mosby, Sr. L. L. Mosby, Jr.

L. L. Mosby, Sr.
L. L. Mosby, Jr.

L.L. Mosby, listed as an early settler, is deceased, leaving a widow, Mrs. Muriel Mosby and two sons, Donald and Leonard Jr., three daughters, Patti Nelson, Mary Freida Mosby and Evelyn Linton. Mrs. Mosby now lives at E. Halifax Avenue. Mr. L.L. Mosby was the first man to go to war in World War I from Volusia County. The first jail listed in early records shows that Mr. Mosby and Mr. H.G. Putnam went to Daytona and bought it. It now stands beside his home on Halifax Avenue and he used it has his office. He was a Notary Public and did all kinds of legal work there.

The Williams Home is listed in early history, and is still in good condition, being just repainted and located on S. Gaines Street. Warren Williams and his wife ran a gas station and bar on US1. Warren passed away in 1983.

There are lots of buildings still here since 1910.

Another of the earliest settlers were A.J. Wilson and wife, Ealy Alice Brookes. They had three sons, Morris A., married to Maybelle Smith, both now deceased. James Clifford, married to Eva May Hughes and Lesley Curtis, married to Queenie Redding and two daughters, Lottie Mae Norman and Thelma Sharpe.

L.L. Lafette Mosby was born at Berry Perry, Kentucky, January 27, 1887. His father was J.M. and his mother Amanda (Davis) Mosby. The family are old Kentucky stock, having been pioneers of that state.

Mr. Mosby received his early education in the common schools of Kentucky and at the age of 16 came to Oak Hill, Volusia County, Florida for the purpose of engaging in orange groves. He worked in a store at Oak Hill for 3 years before buying out W.C. Howes general merchandise business, changing the name to “The Oak Hill Dry Goods Store.” This is the oldest store in Oak Hill and one of the oldest in the southern part of Volusia County, having been founded and built by Mr. Howes in 1884.

Mr. Mosby owned 30 acres of orange groves at Oak Hill and was a director of the Oak Hill Citrus Exchange. In addition to this he was also active in various lines of business, being a partner of the firm of Somerset and Mosby, which handled oil, gasoline, etc., at wholesale. He was also engaged in real estate and fire insurance, his being the only firm in that line in the town of Oak Hill He was a large holder of real estate and in fact, he was one of the most prominent men in Oak Hill in this section. He always took an active interest in the affairs of the municipality, having served on the City Council for many years.

His war record is especially deserving of mention for he served with the Engineers Corp of the 81st Division during World War I and was engaged in the “Meuse”, “Vosges”, “Argonni”, and “Verdum” offensives.

General Country Store, 1911.  Pictured are left to right, Buren Baldwin, Horace Bennett, Unknown, Ebinback, and Mr. Robinson, father of Joe Robinson.  Street in front is Halifax Ave as it is called today. Used to be old Dixie Highway.  The Post Office stands here today.

General Country Store, 1911. Pictured are left to right, Buren Baldwin,
Horace Bennett, Unknown, Ebinback, and Mr. Robinson, father of
Joe Robinson. Street in front is Halifax Ave as it is called today.
Used to be old Dixie Highway. The Post Office stands here today.

L.L. Mosby ran the general store from 1906 to 1925. Launches brought in most of the supplies They brought gasoline in 110 gallon drums. Mr. Mosby would send his worse and wagon down to the dock to haul the drums back to his store.

They used to carry everything from hay by the carloads to canned goods to thrashing machines.

The trading area generally included all residents in Shiloh, Clifton, (Allenhurst), Maytown and in the general area of Oak Hill.

The residents raised hogs, cattle orange groves, fished or worked in the turpentine and sawmills owned by the owner and Little Enterprises. Glen Montgomery used to cut wood for the woodburning trains that run down the Florida East Coast Railroad, trains that run on the same tracks laid here now. The railroad was started here in 1892 by the H.M. Flagler and was finished all down the East Coast in 1912. The ones giving right-of-way for the train were Lawrence Johnson, A.J. Wilson, W.C. Howse, A.Q. Goodrich and William Williams, a Negro.

During that time people owned a piece of land and some kind of home. They grew vegetables of all kinds in season, such as corn, sugar cane, sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes. They grew about all they needed except coffee, cloth and brogan shoes. Nearly all had a milk cow or two. Churned their own butter and always had fresh meat. They had chickens, fish and turkey and most all cured their own meat in a smokehouse. If they ran short, they knew their neighbors would share with them. In the old days people looked out for each other, thus making life easier and pleasant.

Mr., L.L. Mosby sold his store to his brother-in-law, Van Buren Baldwin; the store is still in the Baldwin family.

In fraternal affiliations, he was a Master Mason of the New Smyrna Blue Lodge, a member of the Commandery at Daytona Beach and of the Morocco Temple of Shrine at Jacksonville. He was also a member of the Daytona Beach Lodge of Elks.

He was married at Oak Hill, Florida in 1922 to Miss Muriel Kuebler of Golconda Co., Illinois. They had five children: L.L. Mosby Jr., Evelyn Marie, Mary Freida, Donald Mosby and Patti Nelson.

Mrs. Gertrude (Percy) Threkeld and Mrs. V.B. (Mary) Baldwin, Sr., are his sisters, still living in Oak Hill.

L.L. Mosby's 1910 Studebaker. Left rear, "Gertrude Bennett Threlkeld". Center front, "Mary Baldwin", left of her, "Cora Bennett Lopez".

L.L. Mosby’s 1910 Studebaker.
Left rear, “Gertrude Bennett Threlkeld”.
Center front, “Mary Baldwin”, left of her, “Cora Bennett Lopez”.

Mr. Mosby was the first one to own a car here, an E.M.F. The next one owning a car was Frank Montgomery. It was called a “One Lung Cadillac.”

The E.M.F. was a Studebaker. Mr. Mosby had a chauffeur to drive him around.


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