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Garrett David Jackson Papers

Identifier: MS 294

Scope and Content

Portions of the collection are related to Jackson's steamboat company, which is mentioned in three ledgers and in correspondence. Six ledgers dated 1889-1896 and correspondence dating to 1901 deal with his work issuing appointments and contracts to mail deliverymen in the southern United States. He ran both these businesses from Eustis, primarily. Other materials include: a diary of Marion Jackson, age 14, which covers life in Eustis; the Jackson family's involvement with church organizations; and some materials on business in Jacksonville. The latter includes a letter about the Jacksonville fire of 1901. There are also several letters relating to Jackson's 1931 land donation of what is now the Levi Jackson State Park (London, Kentucky). Photographs from a family photo album depict Garrett D. Jackson, and friends or relations from Texas.

The collection mainly consists of business ledgers and correspondence. The correspondence is divided into family correspondence and general correspondence. The family correspondence is arranged chronologically in Box 1 and includes the diary of Marion Jackson. The general correspondence is arranged by topic or business in Box 2. The most substantial topics are the steamboat company, the mail contracting business, the millinery company, and Jackson's property and grove management, and church correspondence. Box 3 consists of checks and tax records, and the contents of a photo album are in Box 4. There are fourteen ledgers and two account books in Boxes 5-9.

The ledgers relating to the St. Johns and Ocklawaha River Steamboat Co. and other steamboat lines in Florida provide information about various steamers including: Lavinia, local excursion vessel; Eureka, a local excursion vessel at Silver Springs (the ledgers document operations in 1889-1902); Eulalia, a local excursion vessel (the ledgers document operations in 1893-1903); Metamora (documented operations in 1893-1903); Alligator (documented operations in 1893-1903).


  • Creation: 1875-1933



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Jackson family of Eustis, Florida, was involved in the development of the steamboat industry and management of citrus groves in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Garrett D. Jackson, son of Levi Jackson and Rebecca Freeman, was born in 1850 in Laurel, Kentucky. He married Lily M. Brown (b. 1865) in 1884, and they relocated in 1880 to Grayson, Texas. They had a daughter, Lillian, in 1885 and another, Marion, in 1888. Lillian died shortly after her birth. Around 1890 the family moved to Eustis where they lived until Lily's death in 1929 and Garrett's death in 1930. Marion remained in Florida until her death in 1972. The family attended the First Presbyterian Church of Eustis and was associated with the Florida Christian Evangelistic Association.

Jackson established several businesses in his lifetime. These include the St. Johns and Ocklawaha River Steamboat Company, established circa 1900; a U.S. Mail contracting company; and the Jackson and Hoyt millinery for women and children in Jacksonville.

The St. Johns and Ocklawaha River Steamboat Co. operated from Jacksonville to Eustis in Florida. Jackson was President, based in Eustis circa 1901. Jackson's nephew, R.P. Colyer, managed the Savannah arm of the firm (J.D. Colyer is his brother-in-law). F.J. Longdon was Secretary and Treasurer, DeLand, circa 1901. J.E. Lucas was listed as General Manager, Palatka, circa 1901. Lucas also ran the Lucas New Line, which operated the larger steamships Metamora and Eureka among others. The relationship between Jackson and the Lucas Line is unclear but ledgers show many references to these steamers and to the steamer Alligator. Jackson's steamers in Florida possibly berthed at the Newnan St. waterfront, Jacksonville.

G.D. Jackson and Co., U.S. Mail Contractors, was managed with G.D.'s sister Ella and other family members including L.A. Jackson, J.S. Jackson and possibly his father, Levi. The mail service operated in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida as early as 1887. Other individuals involved are C.A. Potter, D.A. Colyer and the firm Parr and Parrish. The firm had offices in Eustis (main office) and Washington D.C.

Jackson was president and treasurer of the East Jellico Coal Company, Artemis, KY (circa 1898-1899); an agent for the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, London, KY; president of the Manufacturer's Bank, Middleborough, KY (circa early 1890s); and was president of Standard Clothing Company (circa 1901-1907?). Jackson also managed several properties and was involved in supplying labor and goods to citrus groves between Eustis and Tavares, including the Marion Jackson, Badger, and Williamsun groves. In this citrus business he employed laborers named Funderburk, Robert, Hutch, among others.


3.1 Linear feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials



Personal and business records of G.D. Jackson, his wife, Lily, and daughter, Marion Jackson. The collection includes correspondence, ledgers, photos, receipts and other miscellaneous materials. Topics include steamboats, the postal service, and the citrus industry. The family resided mainly in Eustis, Florida.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joshua Chase, 2011.

A Guide to the Garrett David Jackson Papers
Finding aid created by Leigh Stephens
November 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America