1885 - A. L. Stuckey

1885 - J. W. Payne

   In approximately 1885, J. W. Payne, the man responsible for naming Mascotte, laid claim to several thousand acres of wilderness throughout the area of modern day Mascotte and Groveland, forming Payne Enterprise. Payne's primary economic interest was the harvesting for turpentine and timber from the vast pine forests in the area. Both of these ventures proved to be extremely lucrative and there was soon a need for more laborers.
   He brought in Negro laborers who were beginning to migrate from Georgia seeking employment opportunities. Payne began to develop property near the settlement of Mascotte, where he constructed one or two room shanties for the Negros.

1886 - Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church

   These early Negro settlers may have been poor, but they were rich in faith and beleived that "the Lord would see them through".
   This group of early settlers who became members of Mount olive Church were:
      John Baldwin
      Albert Blue
      Israel Gadsen
      Ike Hart
      Ben Maxwell

   While they could remedy their wealth through hard work, they needed a place to build up their spirit.
   Around 1886, at the settlers request for a place to worship, Payne donated a one room shanty that was located, on the south side of today's HWY 50, across from the Cemetary on the Hill. The settlers continued to worship in this small structure for almost five years under the leadership of Rev. B. J. Chasen, J. L. Stephens, and Arch Harris
   In March of 1891, the three men formally chartered the congregation, which was established as Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.
   Rev. B. J. Chasen was the first pastor.
   The early pioneers of the congregation included:
      Mr. and Mrs. Butch Griffin and their children: Bubba Son, Wilbert and Ms. Griffin
      Mr. Billy Allen with his three sons and two daughters
      Mr. Mark McGill
      Mr. John Spaulding

A. L. Stuckey

   A. L. Stuckey, a wealthy merchant from Dade City, purchased some of Payne's land holdings (a portion of which were now owned by the Taylor brothers) and named the village Stuckey, to honor himself.
   To those who grew up in this area, the community was known as "Stuckey's Still", because of the turpentine stills that were built throughout the area.

1910 - More About Mount Olive Church

   In 1910, the Mount Olive Church moved further west into Stuckey. The first site chosen was the lot where the home of Mrs. Tamara Mobley currently stands.

   In this same year, John Spaulding announced his calling to the gospel ministry. In order to further his education, he left for New Jersey where he became the first "Stuckian" to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree. He soon entered Seminary and received a degree in theology. In 1926, Spaulding returned to Florida to pastor five different churches over the years. He later served as District Missionary until his death.

   In 1928, Mount Olive Church moved to its present location.

   Other Mount Olive pastors:
      Rev. F. J. R. Brown
      William Jackson
      C. B. Buggs
      C. C. Carter
      C. B. Buggs (2nd term)
      M. J. Brown (son of F. J. R. Brown)
      R. Montgomery
      Roscoe Godwin
      Rev. Noel Scott

   Rev. Dr. Clarence Southall - Rev. Southall began his ministry at Mount Olive Church in 2001 and continued as pastor there until his passing in December of 2019.
   Clarence served in the Army and as a Sergeant in the National Guard.

Rev. Southall with his wife Linda (Avant), daughters Iva and Stacy, and grandson Christian.

   Rev. Southall often stressed the importance of education. He led by example, having received a Doctorate degree in Theology.

   "God has continued to bless this house under Reverend Dr. Clarence Southall's leadership.
   "Rev. Southall has identified the need for various outreach ministries and is calling upon his congregation to reach out to the unsaved and needy of this community and the surrounding areas."

Over the years, not much has changed at Mount Olive Church. The church is one of the last in the area to continue a legacy of traditional styled sermons and hear songs straight out of the old time hymnals.

1915 - First Black School

   The first school for Blacks in Stuckey was founded in 1915.
   Professor Samuel H. Newsom served as the first teacher.
   Parents were required to pay fifty cents per month for each child as an attendence fee.
   The school term lasted for three months.
   In 1920, Lake County began to pay for the public schooling of the Black students.
   Ms. Annie Surrency was the first public school teacher.
   Succeeding Ms. Surrency were:
   1921 - Ms. Emma Pettigrew
   1922 - Ms. Phillister Robinson
   1923 - Ms. Phillister Robinson and Ms. Mary - The school term was extended to six months.
   1924 - Mrs. Eliza Williams and Ms. Cecilia Pierce
   1925 - Ms. Cecilia Pierce
   1928 - Ms. Arletha James

1919 - E. E. Edge Opens Way for Black Land Owners

   In 1919, E. E. Edge purchased the lands of A. L. Stuckey, among others, in the settlement.
   In 1924, Edge had an unoccupied portion of this area surveyed and subdivided into lots.
   These lots were offered to the local Black family's for purchase. They now had the opportunity to become land owners.

Other Early Families

   Bully Allen
   Taylor and Pauline Bradshaw
   Will and Anna Bronson
   James "Big Jim" and Isabella Brown
   James and Mahalia Bunn
   Will and Nellie Crawford
   Mack and Amanda Durant
   Butch Griffin
   Elliott and Mary Ann Hodges
   Ellis and Mattie "Tiny" Horn
   Henry and Neller Johnson
   Rev. Elijah and Minnie Jones
   Jessie and Frances Jones
   Ivory and Annie "Babe" Kinslow
   Mr. and Mrs. Joe Lee
   Alex and Hattie Linzy (after Hattie passed away Alex married Georgianna Maxwell)
   Ben and Alzda Maxwell
   Mark McGill
   Bruce and Georgianna McKinnon
   Siplins, Mose Cornelious and Isaiah
   John Spaulding
   Mr. and Mrs. Green Stafford
   Mr. and Mrs. Zack Strong
   Henry and Cora Taylor

[Contributors: Mary Helen Myers, Jason Brown]

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