Elbridge Mabrin Whitted was born in Chatham County, North Carolina, February 28, 1824, the son of Jonathan Whitted and Nancy Rogers Clark. Elbridge's great grandfather, Thomas Whitted, Sr., was born about 1754 and married about age 20. His wife's name is not known, but they had nine children, the fourth being a daughter, Mary. The name Whitted has been spelled Whitehead, Whited, Whithed as well as Whitted. Mary was born about 1780 in Orange County, North Carolina. Before marrying Thomas Pleasants on December 9, 1801, Mary gave birth to a son, Jonathan on February 6, 1801, in Orange County, North Carolina.
The court records state the mother of Jonathan as Mary Whithed. The father is not named. In 1806, Jonathan was bound by court order to Isaac Sugars (Shugart) "until he arrives to lawful age to learn the art and mystery of a farmer". Jonathan was four years old at this time. Jonathan could be the son of Isaac Sugars or Thomas Pleasants, but there is no proof at this time. Jonathan was not named in either Thomas and Mary Whithed Pleasants' wills, nor in the will of Isaac Sugars. No one knows with whom Jonathan lived between his birth and age four. Mary and Thomas Pleasants had three other children; the Sugars had two other children.
In 1821, Jonathan married Nancy Rogers Clark in Orange County, North Carolina. Her father may have been Hezekiah Clark, a farmer and neighbor of Isaac Sugars. They had thirteen children---seven boys, four girls, and two children who died very young. Elbridge Mabrin, the second child, was born in 1824 in Chatham County, North Carolina. When he was about ten or eleven, his family moved to Parke County, Indiana. His mother, Nancy, died in 1857, in Ridgeport, Iowa, and his father married Mary Hunter a year later. Jonathan died ten years later, in 1867, in Clinton, Indiana. He was a farmer.
Elbridge and Caroline Whitted had nine children, the first five born in Indiana and the last four in Iowa. Thomas Austin, their seventh child, was born in 1858 in Ridgeport, Iowa, where his family farmed. In 1878, the family moved to Florida. The men went down by mule team, the women by train. They settled in Oneco, not far from Bradenton. Elbridge bought land and started an orange grove. The Manasota Cemetery is on land that once belonged to the Whitteds.
Elbridge died in Oneco, Manatee County, January 6, 1899, of a cerebral hemorrhage, age 76. When Caroline died, a year and a half later, she was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and John Williams, in Tampa City. Both Caroline and Elbridge were buried in New Cemetery, now called Major Adams Cemetery, in Bradenton, Fla.
Thomas Austin Whitted, 7th child of Elbridge and Caroline, was born in 1858 in Boone County, Iowa. His family went from Iowa to Florida in 1878. His parents settled in Oneco, while Thomas (T.A.) worked at a sawmill nearby. In 1884 he went to Disston City (now known as Gulfport) to run a sawmill for George King. In the summer, during the sawmill's slack period, he helped deliver the mail in a sailboat. T.A. planed and sawed much of the lumber used in the first buildings of St. Petersburg.
T.A. served on the town council in 1894-95; he played the double bass viol in St. Petersburg's first orchestra as well as in the first St. Petersburg's band. He was treasurer of the Carpenters Union for eighteen years and a charter member of the IOOF. He was also a member of the Christian Church.
In 1887, Thomas Austin married Julia Jeanettie Phillips of Long Key, Florida. They were the first couple to be married in Long Key. They first met in 1884 and their romance and courtship were carried on by boat trips to and from the mainland. Grandson Eric Whitted described T.A. as a "window and sash man" who put in all the windows and doors in the early homes in the St. Petersburg area. At night, after work, he and Julia went out to Gulfport in a horse and buggy and built their own home by lantern light. Julia was a real personality in early St. Petersburg, active in society and real estate. Julia's niece, Anita Evanco, says her Aunt Nettie had red curly hair, blue grey eyes, played the piano beautifully, and sang opera with a wonderful voice. According to Eric Whitted, his grandmother Julia "wanted to throw the biggest party St. Petersburg ever had." She did, at the Vinoy Park Hotel. Shortly after that, the real estate crash hit St. Petersburg. Because of the expense of the party, his grandparents were unable to pay the taxes on Pass-a-Grille Beach [inherited from Julia's father, Zephaniah Phillips] and they lost it. Eric Whitted felt that the combination of the Depression and the death of his son, Albert, caused T.A. to lose interest in everything. T.A. and Julia celebrated their fifty-ninth anniversary in 1946, just before T.A. died. Julia lived until 1949. Both are buried in Greenwood Cemetery in St. Petersburg.
Photograph of Elbridge Mabrin Whitted, 1824-1899, with some of his brothers and sisters, date and place of photograph unknown. Copy of photograph courtesy of Col. Michael and Anita [Whitted] Evanco.
L to R:Isaac Fadis Whitted, Drucilla Surface, Mary Bennage, Carolyn Kelly, and Elbridge.