Mixsonian Tobias

Andersons Move to Brevard

Tobias, struggled to make ends meet and didn’t feel like he as taking care of the family as well as he would like.  When Rosalie was six things got bad, the cows and pigs started dying and Tobias’ only horse fell into a burning stump hole and was burned so badly Tobias had to shoot her.  Fortunately, Fannie got a letter from her brother Billy Belew who lived in down south in Brevard County on the Indian River.  In the letter Billy said there was a man by the name of Sam Green on who had an orange grove and needed someone to take care of it.  Tobias wrote Mr. Green and got the job, paying $60.00 a month and included a house to live in.  

Tobias chartered a box car with the railroad and packed up everything they owned in it, including the chickens and  had it shipped to Micco on the Indian River.  The following day they got on the train to go to Micco but got on the wrong train at Rochelle and ended up in Gainesville and had to spend the night at the Arlington Hotel.  The next day they boarded the correct train early in the morning and got to Micco late in the day.  

Being only six, Rosalie found their new home to be a wild and strange place, with wild cats, skunks, coons and panthers! The panthers screaming at night would sometimes wake her up.  The mosquitoes were so bad everyone had brushes made from palmetto leaves hanging by the door so as you went in you could brush the mosquitoes away so they would not get into the house. Even so some always got in so they had canopies of cheese cloth over the beds at night.

As the place was strange, Rosalie found beauty in it and loved to explore.  The house had a long dock out into the Indian River and at the end was a boat house with a boat.   Rosalie would spend endless hours on the dock looking at all kinds of fish in the crystal-clear water.  Back home in Marion County they only had a few freshwater fish.  Here there were needle fish, mullet, drum, toad fish, pincushion fish and others she did not know the name for.  Crabs ran on the shoreline at low tide and there were the very strange looking horseshoe crabs the size of a frying pan.   

On Sundays, Tobias would gather the family in the boat and row it the three miles across the river to Pelican Island where they would go to the beach on the ocean side of the Island.  Her mother would pack a picnic lunch which they would sit on the beach and eat and then play in the water or take walks up and down the beach.  Rosalie loved the beauty of it all.  

The first year they lived in a small four-bedroom house but then Mr. Green, who Tobias worked for, suggested they move into his house.  It was a two-story house with seven rooms and there was only him and his niece living there. So they did, with Tobias and his family having the downstairs while Mr. Green and his niece lived upstairs.   The schoolteacher also stayed with them during the school week for she lived across the river on Merritt Island and thus wouldn’t have to cross the river each day.  The small house they first stayed in was used for the schoolhouse where Rosalie, her brother Andrew and couple more kids attended.  Rosalie tells of the negro named Taylor that would pick up the mail at the railroad station twice a day and, rain or shine, row a boat across the Indian River to a small town called Latos on Merritt Island to deliver the mail.  

A couple of years later Mr. Green sold his orange grove and Tobias got a job a few miles north in Bonaventure working for the Mrs. Mims who was widowed and needed someone to manage her family’s orange grove.  Mrs. Mims had three daughters Stella, Gertrude and Callie Rosalie and a son named Robert.   

Rosalie attended second grade in a school that was run by Mr. Hall, a Seventy Day Adventist.  Rosalie said “Papa didn’t believe in all they taught but they were good people and so we went.  It was nice and we learned a lot.  There were just four children in the school.”  

Tobias worked for the Mrs. Mims, three years when then she told Tobias she could no longer pay him the $60 a month.  He had saved $500 by then and thought of buying his own grove on Merritt Island but when he asked his wife Fannie and the children what they wanted they all said they wanted to go back “home” in Marion county.  And so, it was decided, they moved back to Flemington.  

Note: Mrs. Mims (Rebecca Mariah Nail) was the wife of William Jones Mims who died in 1886. Their children were Stella B., Gertrude Eugenia, Callie Nail and  Robert Eugene Mims.   Stella (1875-1967) m. Andrew James Kennedy and is bur. In the Brevard Memorial Park cemetery in Brevard county. Gertrude, (1878-1954) and Callie (1887-1973) are bur. In the Cocoa City Cemetery in Brevard County.  Robert was appointed Postmaster of the Bonaventure, Brevard FL post office on Aug. 26, 1893.  Rosalie mentions that Gertrude worked in the post office.