Andrew Green

Andrew Green

By Spessard Stone

Andrew Green, a pioneer settler of Pine Level, Florida, was a post-Civil War Republican official.

Andrew Green was born March 25, 1852 in Hillsborough County, Florida, probably at Simmons Hammock (Seffner). He was the son of James Dopson Green and Eliza (Whidden) Green and a grandson of Willoughby and Eliza (Pennington) Whidden. The Green and Whidden families settled in late 1854 in the Peace River Valley in Hillsborough Co. in the area which in 1855 became Manatee County, the Greens at what in 1856 became Fort Green (named after James D.), the Whiddens near the 1856-founded Fort Hartsuff.

James D. Green became the leader of the yeoman farmer/stockmen of eastern Manatee County. During the Civil War, he served as a 1st lieutenant and captain of Company B, Second Florida Cavalry, U. S. A. After the war, he, representing the native Unionists, for a time was the Republican czar of Manatee County, with power extending statewide. As a young man, Andrew was drawn into Republican politics by his father, James D. Green.

The Florida Conservative Democratic Party confidently anticipated the demise of the Reconstruction with the 1876 elections. So demoralized were Manatee Republicans that they didn't even offer a slate of candidates.

When John F. Bartholf, the Republican clerk of court of Manatee County, submitted his resignation in late August 1876, James D. Green proposed to Republican Governor Marcellus L. Stearns, who was also the party's nominee for governor, that Andrew be appointed clerk. James' aim was to deny Manatee County to the Democrats by having no election as there would be no legal clerk.

Andrew was appointed clerk in October 1876, but the bond for the issuance of his commission was deferred so there could be no valid election in his home county. He refused to proceed with his duties without his commission. Democrat leader Edgar M. Graham via state party leaders learned of the scheme. After Andrew refused to give the voter registration lists to Graham, he and other Manatee Democrats, complying as nearly as possible, proceeded anyway with the November 7 election, in which the Democrats swept the county with 289 votes for George F. Drew for governor and 288 votes for Samuel J. Tilden for president.

Initially, Governor Stearns, by a 400-margin that excluded Manatee as the election was invalidated, was declared to have carried Florida, as well as, Hayes by more than 900. Democrats appealed, and, after much legal maneuvering, the Manatee votes (with others contested) were counted for Drew but were excluded for Tilden, which gave Florida a split ticket of Republican Hayes for president and Democrat Drew for governor. Drew's margin of victory was only 195 votes.

Thus, Andrew and his father were in part responsible for the election of President Hayes. Andrew, his purpose served, was never apparently commissioned as clerk. On January 15, 1877, Governor Drew appointed H. F. Wyatt to the post.

Andrew continued his allegiance with the Republicans and was awarded with a number of federal appointments to local positions. On May 7, 1877, he was approved as a boatman at Manatee but resigned by June 26, 1877. At a mass meeting held at Pine Level on February 17, 1880 Andrew was appointed secretary of the Manatee County Republican Party. On May 20, 1880, Andrew was approved as Deputy Collector at Manatee. On February 14, 1883, he received approval for the appointment of Deputy Collector & Inspector of Customs at Manatee at $1.50 per diem. He in April 1883 was appointed Deputy Collector of the Port of Braidentown (now Bradenton). Andrew of Pine Level in August 1896 was nominated for DeSoto County Assessor. On July 24, 1905, he was appointed Arcadia Postmaster, re-appointed January 18, 1910 and succeeded by William M. Platt on February 20, 1914. In August of 1917, he was serving in a non-federal position as a justice of peace in Arcadia.

Andrew, subsequently, moved to Miami, Florida where he died on Saturday, July 11, 1925 and was buried there.

On May 22, 1877 in Manatee County, Andrew had married Martha E. Mizell, daughter of Enoch Everett and Annie (Jackson) Mizell. She was born May 15, 1859 at Brooksville, Florida and died Friday, December 7, 1945 at Miami and was buried there.

When the 1900 census of DeSoto County was enumerated, Andrew and Martha Green then had ten children and later, reportedly, had more:

1. Herbert Green, born November 1877.
2. Maud Green, born March 1880.
3. Agnes Green, born July 1882.
4. Nellie Green, born August 1885.
5. James Green, born March 1887.
6. Enoch Green, born January 1889.
7. Imogene Green, born October 1891.
8. Ursula Green, born June 1893.
9. Ida Green, born October 1896.
10. Rollo Green, born November 1898.

References not cited include: Canter Brown, Jr., The River of Peace The Nineteenth Century, manuscript, subsequently published 1991 as Florida’s Peace River Frontier; Canter Brown, Jr., notes on Andrew Green; Jerrell H. Shofner, Nor Is It Over Yet Florida in the Era of Reconstruction, 1974); Mrs. Billy Herndon (daughter of Ida Green), Boynton Beach, FL; Florida Union (Jacksonville), October 9, 1876; Tampa Guardian, "Proceedings of a Mass-Meeting Held at Pine Level Feb. 17th 1880," February 28, 1880; "Records Relating to Customhouse Nominations, 1849-1910, RG 56, Box 67 & 68, National Archives; "Republicans of DeSoto," Florida Times-Union, August 20, 1896; Records of Appt. of Postmaster, M-841, Roll # 19, DeSoto County, Fla.

This profile is adapted from The Herald-Advocate (Wauchula, Fla.) of May 4, 1989.

February 15, 2001 & links = October 18, 2001