Joshua Lucas McGahagin was born on November 1, 1816, in Effingham County. Georgia and died on February 5, 1891, in Belleview, Marion County, Florida. About 1836, young Joshua, already an orphan, at about 18 years of age left Georgia and trekked down to Marion County, Florida, where his older brother had relocated a little earlier. His brother, William became a Judge and a member of the Florida Seccission convention. William and his wife would have one child, Willie. William's wife would sie young of consumption and, sad to say, Willie would follow, dying at the age of 21, unmarried of the same disease.
Joshua married twice, the first time to Sarah Adeline Eubank, and on September 16, 1846, married her in Jacksonville, Florida. Joshua and Sarah would have six children. Two sons would die young. Sarah would die a couple of days after the birth, at the age of 28, of her sixth child. Joshua remarried, this time to Margaret Jane Leitner. She was the daughter of Col. George O. Leitner, a wealthy planter from Micanopy. Joshua and Margaret would have eleven children, with two more sons dying young.
During the War Between the States, he served as a Captain in Company K, 1sst Reserves Infantry.
In 1868, after the war, Joshua and daughter, Lula, would travel down to Brazil - probably with Col. Leitner and his family who were making the permanent move down south. Col. Leitner was Joshua's father-in-law. While in Brazil, Lula met and married Lucius A. White Sr., son of Col. Thomas Bannister White and his second wife, Elizabeth Shepherd Kirby.
After about two years in Brazil, Joshua returned to Florida (without his married daughter) and went about the business of settling up and liquidating assets. In 1880 he felt he had arrangements just about finished for the move to Brazil. Most of his investments were liquidated and he still had his cows to gather up and sell. One morning he rode off on a young horse to look for more cows. After some hours the horse came home, dragging him by one foot caught in the stirrup. He had been dragged through bushes, over stumps and rocks, so of course was in terrible condition, though still breathing slightly. He soon died without regaining consciousness. It was supposed the horse became frightened possible by a rattlesnake and bolted, throwing him suddenly from the saddle in such haste he could not free his foot. He was buried in the neighborhood cemetery, Blue Sink, beside his first wife and near his brother and his wife.
Joshua was an honest, clean-living man. He did not drink, swear, make whiskey, or lead a bad life in any particular. He was honored and respected by all who knew him. He would never quarrel. He said it always took two to make a quarrel and he would not be one of them. If anyone began to “fuss” around him, he picked up his hat and left that vicinity. He was devoted to his family, fearless, courageous, and a Christian gentleman.
The only child we will look at is Lula:
1852 - unknown
Alelia Talula McGahagin White
daughter of Capt Joshua McGahagin,
wife of Lucius Alphonso White, Sr.,
and mother of
William A White, Sr. born 1876
Lucius A White, Jr. born 1881
Ernest A White born 1984
Emmet A White born 1887
"Lizzie" Elizabeth White born 1890
Robert A White was also born in 1890 (twins)
Alelia Talula McGahagin traveled from Florida to Brazil with her father after the Civil War. There she met and married Lucius A White, who had come to Brazil from Texas with his father and brother to work with a mining company as a surveyor.
Her first 2 sons were born in Brazil.
The other four children, in Texas.
Lula died sometime after her twins were born in October of 1890.
His first wife Sarah Adeline Eubanks McGahagin (1830-1856) is buried on the north side of him. On his other side is his second wife, Margaret Jane Leitner McGahagin (1838-1896). His brother, William Emmit McGahagin, and his wife, Sarah Eliza McCormick McGahagin, are buried about fifteen feet south of J.L. McGahagin's tombstone.
Joshua left for South America in 1868 taking one of his daughters, Lula, with him. He was back in Marion County in 1870 as he was listed in the Census that year.
After surviving the Civil War and a trip to Brazil, spending hours on horseback, Joshua died when he was thrown from a horse.
Joshua L. McGahagin was a farmer, a sawmill owner, and owned real estate. He owned property in Brazil as well as in this country. He owned a sawmill on Lake Weir. He would barge logs across the lake, take them by ox cart to the Ocklawaha River where they were barged to Jacksonville. He was a Captain in the Confederate Army.
"Longswamp was the name applied to a large area that extended from the site of the present Belleview south and southwestward to the Withlacoochee River. A post office under Joshua L. McGahagin was established for this region on August 29, 1846. Frequently the office was in the home of the postmaster and mail was carried by rider once each week."
"In August of 1850, panic followed after finding an Indian camp nearby on the Withlacoochee. As all Indians were supposedly within a reservation in the Everglades, wild rumors were circulated. On the McGahagin plantation, log barricades were hurriedly erected and settlers from isolated homes rushed here for protection. But the alarm was unjustified. An intensive search disclosed only eleven Indians. These Indians were soon deported back to the Everglades."
These excerpts were taken from a history of Marion County called "Ocali Country, Kingdom of the Sun," by Eloise Robinson (Mrs. Roy V.) Ott and Louis Hickman Chazal.
One day several years after the Civil War, a man who had served under Joshua Lucas MaGahagin's, C.S.A. command, entered the home of his eldest son, William "Billy" Emmit. He saw his father's framed photograph over the mantel and exclaimed, "Why, that's the Ole Warhorse!"
About Margaret Jane Leitner:
Margaret Jane Leitner McGahagin Owens
has a simple tombstone. It states her name, the birth, and death year:
"Margaret McGahagin, 1838-1896."
1st Marriage: Alachua County Marriage Records: Joshua L. McGahagin and Margaret J. Leitner applied for a license and were married on December 13, 1859, by F.C. Johnson, Minister of the Gospel as recorded in Book ?, Page 16.
2nd Marriage: Marion County Marriage Records: J.H. Owens and M.J. McGahagin applied for a marriage license and were married on December 2, 1883 by J.F. Pelot as recorded in the Marion County Marriage Book D, Page 694.
Margaret Jane Leitner was born about 1838 in Richland County, South Carolina, USA to George O Leitner and Cecilia Davis Boyd.
She married Joshua Lucas McGahagin on 13 Dec 1858.
After his death, she married J. H. Owens on 2 Dec 1883. The Ole Warhorse, pp. 57-58, giving his name only as “Mr. Owen”, says he was from South Carolina, and brought to the marriage “a little girl about six”. He is presented there as unable to get along with her sons, and abandoned the marriage, returning to South Carolina with his daughter. The 1885 Florida State Census, giving her name as “Maggie Owens”, has her living with her children, giving her marital status as “widowed”, and her relationship in the household as “mother-in-law”; J. H. Owens is not shown as present.
She died about 1896 in Florida. The Image of her obituary on her FindAGrave memorial gives her name as “Mrs Margaret J. Owens, the image of her headstone shows her name as “Margaret McGahagin”.
Birth date estimated from “He was nearly forty, she was twenty” at their marriage, from The Ole Warhorse, p. 53; FindAGrave memorial gives birth date as 1838.
The FindAGrave memorial weding date as 13 Dec 1859: “1st Marriage: Alachua County Marriage Records: Joshua L. McGahagin and Margaret J. Leitner applied for a license and were married on December 13, 1859 by F.C. Johnson, Minister of the Gospel as recorded in Book ?, Page 16.”
Her FindAGrave Memoral lists her father as George O. Leitner, and links to the memorials of Col George O. Leitner Jr., which lists a daughter Margaret Jane Leitner McGahagin, linking back to her memorial. The Ole Warhorse Says she was “Margaret Leitner, a daughter of Colonel George Leitner” [page 53], and says he came to Florida from South Carolina, and also says that after the Civil War he and his wife moved to Brazil and “they died there” [page 56]; in both of these points it agrees with the FindAGrave memorial, which has George Leitner being born in South Carolina and dying in Brazil.
The Ole Warhorse, page 56, also gives a son, Howard, mentioned as “[o]ne of her brothers”, whom the FindAGrave Memorial mentions in the biography.
The Ole Warhorse
Rosenberger et al., The Ole Warhorse, p. 53.
Marriage to J. H. Owens
Name: J. H. Owens Event Type: Marriage Event Date: 2 Dec 1883 Event Place: Marion, Florida, United States Event Place (Original): Marion, Florida, United States Sex: Male Spouse's Name: M. J. McGahagin Spouse's Sex: Female
"Florida Marriages, 1837-1974", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5ZM-DQ8 : 11 January 2020), M. J. McGahagin in entry for J. H. Owens, 1883.
1885 Florida State Census
Name: Maggie Owens
Event Date: 1885
Residence Place: , Marion, Florida
Marital Status: Widowed
Birth Year (Estimated): 1840
Relationship to Head of Household: Mother-in-law
Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Maggie Owens F 45y
B B Mcgahagin SON M 22y
J L Mcgahagin SON M 19y
J E Mcgahagin SON M 16y
George Mcgahagin SON M 13y
Unice Mcgahagin DAU F 9y
"Florida State Census, 1885,"
database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNJH-GQT : 19 February 2021), Maggie Owens, , Marion, Florida; citing p. , sheet letter B, number , line 9, NARA microfilm publication M845 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 888,970.
Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 21 February 2021), memorial page for Margaret Jane Leitner McGahagin (1838–1896), Find a Grave Memorial no. 27772394, citing Blue Sink Cemetery, Marion County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by C White (contributor 47475761) .
THE OLE WARHORSE
The Ole Warhorse, by Lillian Adeline Rosenberger and Nancy McGahagin Perry, is a brief and somewhat informal biography and genealogy of Joshua Lucas McGahagin by two of his granddaughters. It is undated but appears to have been privately published about 1965. There is no copyright data.
The book comprises two parts, the first being the brief biography and family oral history for Joshua McGahagin, the second part is a listing of his descendants. The information appears to be drawn mostly from some research, but largely from the personal knowledge of the authors and correspondence with other known descendants. Although the sources for various lines of descendants are not given, the unevenness and variation in the presentation of the lines make it appear that much of the data is from correspondence, at most lightly edited.
I am posting here portions of the book, mostly those portions most clearly of genealogical interest. More will be posted as I get around to typing it in. What I have included so far is portions of the first part.
I am working from a personal copy of the book, given to me by one of the authors, my grandmother, Lillian Rosenberger. There is a copy in the Marion County Florida Public Library, call number REF GENEALOGY 929.2 MCGAHAGIN.
The Ole Warhorse
IMMIGRATION TO AMERICA
In Scotland's highlands, three young brothers grew to manhood. All three had longed for adventure and absorbed the tales told by sea captains and others who had made the long perilous voyage of the faraway land of America. They decided to set sail for the land of the West. The words of Horace Greely, "Go West, young man," uttered later, had become a driving urge to them. This was in the mid seventeen hundreds.
Each brother sailed to a different part of the American Atlantic seacoast, one to Connecticut, the second to Delaware Bay, thence to what is now West Virginia, the third to Savannah, Georgia. He, William McGahagin, was the father of our grandfather. He moved to Effingham County, Georgia, and married a Georgia girl, Margaret Lucas. Four children were born to them; two sons, William and Joshua Lucas, and two daughters, Margaret, who married William McCardell, and Sallie, who died at sixteen.
We know nothing of the other two brothers, although we have heard of that name in Northern states. Dr. Lincoln Hully, once president of Stetson University, told of having a college pal named McGahagin in the North and others have mentioned the name in West Virginia.
Grandfather’s parents, William and Margaret McGahagin, did not live very long. Their surviving daughter had married and moved away, the two boys were about eleven and thirteen when they became orphans. One Lucas uncle took one boy into his home. Another took the other. His uncle who took Grandfather soon died also, but his wife continued to keep the boy. It became necessary for Grandfather, aged twelve or thirteen, to help provide for himself and the aunt. He said he plowed all day, clad in an extra-long shirt as his only outer garment. Somehow both boys acquired a good education.
When he was eighteen, Grandfather mounted his horse, already laden with his few clothes, broke off a switch from a big mulberry tree in the yard and set out for Marion County, Florida, where his older brother, William, had already become established. When he arrived at his brother’s, he selected a home plot near a spring about a mile away. There he stuck his mulberry switch into the ground. It grew into a large tree and bore fruit for many years.
He built a house, probably a “double pen,” two large rooms with a large hall between them, possibly with a porch in front and two “shed” rooms in the back. He cleared land and established a plantation, homesteading a patent in 1835, in the Eastern District of Florida and the Second District of Marion County. According to the 1840 census, he owned seventeen male slaves and twenty female slaves.
On one of his trips to Jacksonville or Fernandina for supplies, he met Sarah Adeline Eubank, and on September 16, 1846, he returned to her home and married her. She was seventeen, he was twenty-seven when he brought home his bride. In the 1860 Census, he was listed as a farmer with real estate valued at $14,000 and personal estate of $25,000.
Grandfather put in the first sawmill of the district quite early. He sawed lumber for his next home and to rebuild his brother’s home.
William McGahagin settled about ten miles south of Ocala, possibly on a government land grant. When he was about thirty-seven years of age, he married Sarah E. McCormick, daughter of Paul McCormick who also lived in the Ocala district and had acquired much property. William and Sarah McGahagin had only one son, Willie, born in 1854. ...
Great-Uncle William became a probate judge, also was ex-officio president of the board of county commissioners of Marion County in 1851. Marion County was established in 1844.
He was also a member of the Secession Convention which met in Tallahassee in January 1861. The other delegates from Marion County were S. M. G. Gary and Dr. James B. Owens, “By action taken, Florida became a free and independent nation.”
Sarah McCormick McGahagin died of consumption when Willie was too small to remember her. During the Civil War, his father met an Army Nurse and married her. Her name was Thyrza Brewer. They lived in the Marion County home for a few years [page 5] while William was a probate judge. He became ill one day and a doctor was sent for. Some medicine was left. Thyrza gave it to her husband as directed and soon he died. She thought the medicine caused his death. She continued to live in the home for some years. Sometimes Willie was there; most of the time he was in boarding school in Savannah.
... She finally sold the place and moved back to Georgia.
After her departure, Willie spent his vacations at his Uncle Josh’s home. He was a slim, active, fun-loving boy, six feet two inches tall. As he grew up he liked to ride spirited horses and to attend parties. He often rode to Leesburg to attend a party. He was fairly wealthy even after the war. His favorite relatives were his cousin Addie McGahagin, two years his junior, and her older brother, William, eight years his senior.
When he was about twenty, Willie developed the dread consumption. For a few months, he stayed in the home of his Uncle Josh, where he was well cared for. He [page 6] gave his cousin, Addie, his mother’s jewelry, a gold watch and chain, several broaches, gold pencils, and rings. As he became weaker he went to the home of his cousin, William E. McGahagin in Lake Weir, where he died at the age of twenty-one. He was never married. He gave them his mother’s silverware.
At that time Alachua County extended from somewhere about its present northern limits south to Tampa Bay, east to Lochloosa Creek, Cooter Pond, New River, and Sampson, now roughly Island Grove, Lochloosa, and Citra. Later Alachua County was divided into several counties, Marion being one of the first new counties cut from Alachua.
Grandfather was one of a colony of Homesteaders and settlers of the district. One of these, William Tyner, purchased 2,828 acres. The patent was issued by the President of the United States, November 10, 1850. Great Uncle William McGahagin homesteaded quite a large plantation and his father-in-law, Paul McCormick, had over 800 acres.
William McCardell, who had married Margaret McGahagin, sister of William and Joshua, became the overseer of the William McGahagin plantation. He had acreage of his own and became clerk of Court of Marion County before 1855. The district was somewhat a family affair. The McCardell's has two sons, Joshua and Jim who lived in the Lake Weir district some years later.
Joshua Lucas McGahagin and Sarah Adeline Eubank were married on September 16, 1846. She was about seventeen, he was about twenty-seven. He brought her to his first home and there were six children born to them; William Emmet, Elizabeth, Alelia Tallulah, and Sarah Adeline. Two sons, Stephen Eubank and Jessup Eubank died when small. Grandfather always managed to get a doctor to attend his first wife in childbirth. However, when the youngest, Sarah Adeline, was born, the attending physician did not fully perform his duties and four days later the young mother dies of "childbed fever." She was about twenty-eight.
Grandfather superintended the care of his four children for two years, then married again. This bride was Margaret Leitner, a daughter of Colonel George Leitner, a well-to-do planter in Micanopy. He was nearly forty, she was twenty, not very tall, and had black hair and grey eyes.
Their family consisted of three girls and six sons. Cora was born in 1859, Margaret Jane (Maggie) in 1861, Benjamin Franklin in 1863, Joshua Lucas, Jr., in 1865, in 1867 Wilber was born and died in infancy, James E. (Jim) in 1970 [sic., 1870], George in 1875, Eunice in 1877, The last-child, Howard, only lived about two weeks.
Grandfather reared a total of eleven children, six daughters and five sons reached maturity, and all were married. Four sons had died in infancy.
After his decision to move to Brazil was made, Grandfather also put up a general store in hopes of making a little extra money. Mostly it was run by a Hungarian Jew named Wohl, pronounced “Wool.” He and his sister, Minnie, were traveling and glad to settle down for a time. They had a little apartment in the store. Minnie and Addie, the oldest girl at home, became good friends. Minnie Wohl spent her spare time doing exquisite needlework.
DEATH AND TRIBUTE
In 1880 Grandfather felt he had arrangements just about finished for the move to Brazil. Most of his investments were liquidated and he still had his cows to gather up and sell. One morning he rode off on a young horse to look for more cows. After some hours the horse came home, dragging him by one foot caught in the stirrup. He had been dragged through bushes, over stumps and rocks, so of course was in terrible condition, though still breathing slightly. He soon died without regaining consciousness. It was supposed the horse became frightened possible by a rattlesnake and bolted, throwing Grandfather suddenly from the saddle in such haste he could not free his foot. He was buried in the neighborhood cemetery, Blue Sink, beside his first wife and near his brother and his wife.
Grandfather was an honest, clean-living man. He did not drink, swear, make whiskey, or lead a bad life in any particular. He was honored and respected by all who knew him. He would never quarrel. He said it always took two to make a quarrel and he would not be one of them. If anyone began to “fuss” around him, he picked up his hat and left that vicinity. He was devoted to his family, fearless, courageous, and a Christian gentleman.
After his untimely death, one older daughter wrote to another of him as "our idolized father.”
(NOTE: Joshua went to Brazil, along with his daughter Lula (Alelia Talula). While in Brazil. she married Lucius Alphonsa White Sr., the son of Confederado Col. Thomas Bannister White and Elizabeth Shepherd Kirby. They were married Jun 9, 1873, in the Province of Bahia. - Editor)