Alvin and Martha Byler
Alvin Byler was born in 1927 in Middlefield, Ohio. In 1948, he moved to Sarasota, Florida, seeking a warmer climate. Through the Mennonite Church, he met Martha Yoder, whose father had first come to Florida from Ohio in 1928. The Bylers married in 1953 and the following year moved to Calhoun County where Martha’s brother and parents had helped start a Mennonite settlement. People came to Calhoun County from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Delaware. Land was cheap and abundant in this part of Florida. According to Alvin Byler, a member of their congregation bought land for $50 an acre and west of Clarksville in 1948 land was even cheaper: you could buy an acre for as little as $1 and a whole section (640 acres) for $17.
Click here to listen to their recollection about living in Calhoun County
Andrew Ramsey was born in 1923 and is an Apalachicola River Creek Native American living in Blountstown Florida. His family ancestors settled Calhoun County in 1815. Andrew’s Indian name is Vntolv Harjo and under this name he was chief of the Miccosukee band of the Apalachicola Creeks. The Creeks used to share a cultural history with the Seminoles, but following the Treaty of Moultrie Creek in 1823 they became a separate people. The government closed their Indian reservation on the west side of the Apalachicola River in the late 1930s.
Click here to listen to his recollection as an Apalachicola River Creek Native American
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