This is a true story of a Florida Pioneer woman, and her family. A story which has not been told much until now. Sadly, having died over fifty years ago, and leaving no heirs, Isabel’s story died along with her.
The year was 1869, young Isabel Marion Clohecy was born in Cincinnati Ohio, to John P. Clohecy, and Bridget his wife. Bridget Hart Clohecy was born one on nine children, in Ireland in 1843, as a young woman she went to Cincinnati Ohio, met and married John P. Clohecy. Soon after Isabel was born, they had another son named John P. Clohecy Jr. . Together they would venture south to Jacksonville Florida in 1874. Shortly after their arrival, an outbreak of “Yellow Fever” erupted, and caused the loss of their young son John. Filled with grief, Isabel and her parents sailed south to Titusville. On November 24, 1874 The young Clohecy family would homestead one hundred and sixty four acres along the Indian river edge, and they called it “Farview”. They were in the wilderness, with one other white Englishman settler named , Thomas Mason, and the cabin of a freed black slave family. Then in 1875 the first “white” child would be born in Tilman, now, the current day “Palm Bay“ , they named him John Hart Clohecy. Anguish would come on them again, in December 1876, while seeking provisions for his small family, sailing south from Titusville, John Sr. fell overboard to his death. Now, Bridget all alone with two small children, in a time when woman had no rights for voting or ownership, she endured.
The young widow, far from realities and friends, undaunted by the terrors of the pathless wilderness about her, determined to carry on, and validate for her babies, the title of a Homestead they would someday be proud of. It was a brave fight, a courageous struggle, as only noble motherhood can inspire. Solitary she would live for five years, raising Isabel, and John, trading with the Indians, and participating in commerce on the Indian River, when of course, the River wasn’t being used as a playground for her children, as it so often was. In 1881 she met and, later married , John M. Minor , he was living at Turkey Creek and he was a manager for Tilman orange groves, for sixty years he would be involved in the Citrus culture. John Minor was the first Palm Bay postman, and a Census taker for the county for sixteen years. He would help Bridget raise young Isabel and John. Bridget and John, would stay married until her death in 1927, she was eighty four years old. John died at Farview in 1940, he was eight seven.
John Hart Clohecy remained with his family, until 1890 when he attended St. Mary’s an all boys school run by the Jesuit Priests, in St. Mary Kansas. At the turn of the century he would return home, where the family had the grove at Farview. Tragically, his life came to an abrupt end in 1930, when while riding with a Melbourne police officer friend, a call came for a disturbance at Lorrines Café in south Melbourne. When his friend did not return, John went into the café to find him, only to meet his death, when he was shot dead by Arron Thomas. The gunman fled on foot and was never brought to justice. He never married or had a family of his own, he was fifty five years old, when he died.