colcem2.htm    September 5, 2007        Return to the Trilby Colored Cemetery home page.

This page is copied, without photographs, from with the permission of the owner.  Please go to Jeff Cannon's page to see more information about his work and other cemeteries in Pasco County.  

Note: There are several names for the the cemetery mentioned here.  I have heard it referred to as the Black, Colored, and County Cemetery.  Jeff is more contemporary with his use of "African American Cemetery," but the fact of life is that it was the local cemetery that the members of the Negro Race were buried before segregation in businesses and public places was outlawed. The other cemetery in Trilby is referred to as "The Trilby Cemetery."  Whatever the term used to describe it in these pages, there is no intent to embarrass, insult, or defame any person or group of people.  -- R Riley

Pasco County Cemeteries

This page is under construction as information is constantly becoming available.  In the future this site will have a listing of burials and histories for each cemetery and community that formed around them.. Some of the cemeteries listed have since been destroyed and in some cases have homes and businesses built on them while others remain in unfit conditions; very little remains of them. Some of these cemeteries may be known by several names and we have tried to list all known names. This page will be updated on a regular basis so please check back for pictures, maps and any updated information. Any site marked as a ghost cemetery refers to a cemetery that has not been relocated but upon inspection of the site there is no cemetery, these cemeteries have been documented through historical accounts. In some cases these sites may have been developed. Any information contained on this page may not be reproduced without written consent of the author.  Copyright ©2006

Anyone with questions, comments, or additional information can contact the page designer Jeff Cannon

The following is one entry from the home page of Pasco County Cemeteries.

History of Country Cemetery/
Trilby Afro-American Cemetery and The Trilby Community

Section 22 - Township 23 - Range 21


The Trilby Depot as it appeared ca. 1911.  This was the second depot built in Trilby, the first was built at the same location in 1887 along the Orange Belt Railroad.  (Photo courtesy of the Florida State Archives)


Once again upon visiting another of Pasco County's historic cemeteries I am introduced with another unfortunate examples of the many neglected cemeteries throughout Pasco County.  The Country Cemetery or Trilby African American Cemetery, as it is known, dates back to Pasco County's sawmill days and before. During these times it was typical for the African Americans and whites to live on separate sides of the community and this segregation applied to Trilby, which is evident through the two separate cemeteries.  These two sides were usually separated by the railroad tracks that ran through the community.  Many of Pasco's African American cemeteries are so badly damaged and neglected that in many cases there is very little remaining.  Some cemeteries have had homes built atop of them and some of the remaining African American cemeteries are being led to the same destruction.  Please check this web site for other African American cemeteries and information on which cemeteries have been destroyed or are near destruction.  In most cases Pasco County issues the building permits for the homes built on these cemeteries.

Trilby Community History, People and Places
The history of the Town of Trilby is interesting.  The small town was originally known as McLeod, named for the McLeod Family who settled in the area in the late 1870's.  On January 6, 1885 a post office was established in the town of McLeod.  The McLeod post office was only open for three weeks, on January 29, 1885 the post office was renamed to Macon.  As the town grew and railroad companies became interested in Florida, the small town became known as Macon.  As the Orange Belt Railroad was established in the late 1880's and tracks were laid through Florida, several little communities began to prosper and among them was Macon. According to St. Petersburg, Florida: An Oral History, " the Orange Belt Railroad was owned by Russian emigre Peter Demens and was in economic distress when Josef Henschen open his pockets to save the railroad and ensure its arrival in what would become St. Pete.  The first passenger car arrived in St. Pete on June 8, 1888 .  The train consisted of one locomotive named Mattie, which pulled just one passenger car and one empty freight car as it chugged into the dusty development."  The Orange Belt stretched from Sanford, Florida southwest through Pasco County and then to the tip of Pinellas County where the final stop was at St. Petersburg.  Along this route the Orange Belt Railroad intersected with several other Florida Railroads.  Many depots were built along the Orange Belt including one at Macon and the towns surrounding these depots exploded with development.  Not only did the Orange Belt bring passengers to these small towns but there were also goods and freight that could be sold in the town stores.  According to Historic Places of Pasco County, "the original depot was built in Macon in 1887 by Peter Demens himself." By the mid to late 1890's the Orange Belt Railroad was sold and became part of the H.B Plant Railroad System through Florida.  It seems it is at this point that the Town of Macon became known as Trilby and how it received this name is an interesting story.  

According to the May 25th 1897 edition of The Evening Republic, "Trilby Village-- It Has a Svengali Square and a Little Billee Street-- Now that there is a town named Trilby down in Florida, with streets named for the characters of Du Maurier's book, it is fair to assume that for years to come the people of that neighborhood will hear nothing, see nothing, but Svengali, Svengali, Svengali.  The founding and the renaming of this town are part of a good story. It seems that H. B. Plant, the millionaire, who owns all the railroads on the western side of Florida, was called on to name the new town which he caused to have built at the crossing of two of his railroads. There had been a station there before the new town was started, and it had been called Macon. When it was decided to cut down the grade of the railroad at that point the old station house, which was about all there was to the old town of Macon, was left standing high upon the bluff. It had to be torn down, as it was of no use in its lofty altitude above the track. When the old building was demolished the death knell to Macon, Fla., was sounded, and the question was asked Mr. Plant the railroad president: “What shall we name the new town?”

Just at that time the railroad magnate was much absorbed in a second reading of Du Maurier's book, and when the question was asked, he responded: “Let us call the little town site Trilby.” And so it was. Strange to say, the little village at once began to grow. It was put down Trilby on the maps of Florida, and it became conspicuous by reason of the Trilby craze, which was in full frenzy just at that time. Real estate agents took hold and helped to build it up, while the traveling newspaper men passing over the railroad wrote columns about the town that was growing there to perpetuate the name of Du Maurier's book. The town Trilby is to-day a pretentious little place, with a dozen or more stores, shops and dwellings. The streets are named appropriately. The principal square is called Svengali square, and the three leading streets which run parallel and lose themselves in this square are called “Little Billee street,” “Taffy street” and “The Laird.” There are several avenues named after the women folks of the book. —N. Y. Sun."

It seems that it was Henry B. Plant who named the small Pasco County town, Trilby, after the book with the same name published by George Du Maurier in 1894.  It is believed or rumored that Plant decided to change the town name of Macon to Trilby, due to the towns mail being sent to Macon, Georgia on a regular basis.  According to local Trilby Historian Richard Riley, "George Du Maurier(1834-1896) was the grandfather of the novelist Daphne du Maurier and of the Llewelyn-Davies boys who inspired Peter Pan. George was a Frenchman who lived in London and worked for Punch, he created a sensation with his second novel, Trilby, the story of Trilby O'Ferrall, an artist's model, who is transformed into a successful singer under the spell of the evil musical genius, Svengali. Soap, songs, dances, toothpaste, and a town in America were all named for the heroine.  A soft felt hat with an indented crown (worn in the London stage production of a dramatization of the novel) is still called a trilby.

(Photo 2, 3)
(Left) Cover of the 1894 George Du Maurier novel Trilby.  (Right) Illustration from 1894 novel Trilby for which Trilby, Florida was named by H.B. Plant.  (Images courtesy of Richard Riley)

Henry B. Plant was so moved that he not only had the town named Trilby but there were also several streets named after characters in the novel.  Among some of the early street names for the town were: Lou Lou Ave., Little Billee St., Dodd St., Taffy St., The Laird Ave., and Sweet Ave. to name a few.  When the Town site of Trilby was officially surveyed and platted in December of 1896 these names appeared on the plat map. (click here to see 1896 plat map of Trilby)  As you can see from the plat map, Trilby was centered around the location of where two major railroad systems met, both owned by Plant.

As the Town of Trilby grew the name of Macon slowly became a name of the past as everything was changed to the new name of Trilby.  As the railroad became the staple industry of Trilby the population of the small town grew and so did the area surrounding.  As the town grew, more people made Trilby their home, including an African American population who found work through the railroad, local sawmills, and unique to the area was phosphate.  As people began to make Trilby home the need for churches and schools became prevalent.  As early as 1892 school board minutes reflect and show that there was a school established in Macon or Trilby, for the African American children of the community.  According to Pasco County School Board minutes dated July 7, 1892, "A petition was read from the colored patrons at Macon asking for the establishment of a school at that place."  This school was granted and the African American children of Trilby now had a place to receive an education since they were not allowed to attend school with the white children.  According to Pasco County School Board minutes dated October 9, 1893, "On motion a special school for colored children was granted to be taught at Macon. Salary of teacher to be $20 per month and George Burney to be supervisor.”  Many times these special schools held their classes in the local church before the establishment of a permanent structure.

In 1895 an African Methodist Episcopal Church was established to serve the spiritual and likely early educational needs of the African Americans of Trilby.  It was in January of 1895 that the trustees of St. Johns A.M.E. Church in Macon/Trilby began looking for property to build their church.  By January 24th they had located a small lot situated along the railroad tracks at the north end of town.  The lot was being sold by Dade City resident and merchant Nathan H. Garner and his wife Maggie.  According to the 1900 Federal Census, Nathan was born in North Carolina and had been married to Maggie for twelve years.  Nathan and Maggie had two children, Nathan Jr. and Johnell both boys.  According to Pasco County land records, on January 24th 1895 Nathan H. Garner and wife, Maggie W., deeded Lot 3 of Block 1 to the trustees of St. Johns A.M.E. Church in the Town of Macon (Trilby).  It was next to this church that the African American people of Trilby established their own cemetery as burials were not allowed in the local white cemetery.  (Please see more history, about Trilby African American Cemetery, below)

Shortly after in 1897 the Trilby Methodist Church was established.  According to the historic marker on the building, the Trilby Methodist Church was "organized by the Rev. T. H. Sistrunk in 1897 and built by the 12 charter members one year later, the original frame church and steeple of pioneer design has long been a center of community activities.  Moved from near the railroad coal chute to the present site about 1920, it was remodeled in 1978.  The pulpit, handmade by John Spinks, is still in use."

(Photo 4)
Trilby Methodist Church as it looks today.  This church was established in 1897 by Rev. Sistruck and moved to it present location on C.R. 575 ca. 1920

By 1900 Trilby was becoming a significant town in Pasco County.  The town square became more defined and established as businesses found their roots in Trilby.  According to the 1900 and 1910 Federal Censuses many of those living in Trilby were working for the railroad, there are also many listed as farmers.  However, these censuses also list numerous other occupations of those who lived in Trilby.  In 1900 Alexander Golok was listed as the town druggist or pharmacist.  Alexander was born in Scotland in 1862 and came to the United States in 1880, he received citizenship in 1884.  Joseph M. Abbott is listed as town physician.  Joseph was born in Kentucky in 1844.  Joseph later moved on to south east Pasco where the town of Abbott was established, which is known as Zephyrhills today.  The town Justice of the Peace was E. Stafford who was born in Georgia in 1841.  Hugh Britla who was born in North Carolina in 1874 is listed as being the U.S. Mail Carrier.  Hugh may have in fact been the postmaster for Trilby since there is no postmaster listed in the 1900 census.  One of the more unique occupations was held by African American resident Daniel Green.  Daniel Green was born in Florida in 1845 and held the position of telegraph repairer.

By 1910 Dr. Abbott had moved to Zephyrhills and H.O. Bird replaced him as the town physician.  The 1910 Federal Census list H.O Bird as having a general practice in Trilby.  However, W.C. Abbott, Dr. Abbott's son, remained in Trilby and by 1910 was the proprietor and owner of the Trilby Drugstore.  The 1910 census also reveals that William Groter (sic?) had assumed the responsibilities of Trilby's post master.  Among the other businesses established in Trilby were hotels, general stores, meat shops, jewelery stores, restaurants and tailor shops.  These business offered a wide variety of occupations for those who lived in Trilby.  According to the 1910 census, Herrshal Johnson worked as Trilby's jeweler who is also listed as specializing in watches.  Among those listed as being General Store Merchants in the 1910 censuses are W.H. Edwards, Forrest Bankston, Homer Stephanson, Charles Jensen, and A.H. Bankston.  According to East Pasco's Heritage, "Mr. Edward's [W.H. Edwards] Redfront General Merchandise not only had the town's only gas pump but also stocked coffins long before the days of embalming."  It is likely that Redfront's also stocked headstones or grave markers as did most town general stores of the time period.  These general stores also offered other occupations for the people of Trilby.  Basil Keith and L.M. McLeod are listed as general store salesman and Vernon Brown as general store laborer.  T.J. or Thomas Blitch is listed in the 1910 census as proprietor of soda fountain/ confections.  Thomas Blitch was the owner of The Drug Sundries Store, which had Trilby's only soda fountain.  The Drug Sundries Store also severed fresh homemade ice cream and was a popular meeting place for the Town of Trilby, see advertisement below.


(Photo 5)
This photo shows downtown Trilby, the photo was taken from the train depot in ca. 1910.  Pictured from left to right is the Trilby Post Office, John Stephens Feed Store, Trilby Drug Store and Ed's Redfront General Merchandise.   The alley between the Drug Store and Redfront's lead to Railroad Pond were the horses were hitched under the trees according to East Pasco Heritage.   (Photo courtesy of Scott Black)

Many of the African Americans residents of Trilby were either employed by the local railroad or they worked on the local farms.  However there were some African American residents who owned and operated their own businesses.  Nathan and John Porter, brothers, operated their own tailoring business and likely sold clothes to the residents of Trilby.  Nathan was the owner of the shop while his brother John is listed as helper.  Others were employed at other local businesses such as the hotels and restaurants.  For example John Rick is listed as a hotel cook and Donna Dixon as a restaurant cook.  The 1910 census also list Dawson McLain who worked as a barber likely at Vernon Hilliard's Barbershop.

According to East Pasco Heritage, other businesses names in Trilby included "Dick Pitt's Meat Market, Edgar Wade's Drugstore (nonprescription), a cafe and Vernon Hillard's Barbershop.  Mr. Hilliard also worked for the railroad.  There was also Matt Lake's colored rooming house, since Trilby was segregated as most towns of the time period were.  There was Joe Roller's Hotel owned by Harvey Worthington's foster family, Hux's Rooming House and Blue Goose Rooming House."  The 1910 census list Margaret Christopher as a hotel proprietor, however it is not known which hotel she owned.  Lott Allen Jr. is listed as a meat cutter at the town meat shop, likely Dick Pitt's Meat Market.  These businesses along with several other businesses prospered and served the people of Trilby for many years.

On May 23, 1901 Trilby became incorporated for the first time under the Laws of the Florida.  According to documents obtained from the Florida State Archives, "Chapter 5094- No. 210 is An Act to Incorporated the Town of Trilby, in Pasco County, Florida, and Provide for Elections of its Municipal Officers.  Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1.  That the Town of Trilby, in Pasco County, Florida, is hereby incorporated and declared to be a municipal corporation under the name of the Town of Trilby, with the territorial corporate limits as follows, to-wit:  Commencing at the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section twenty-six (26), township twenty-three (23) south, range twenty-one (21), and extending north two thousand and two hundred yards to the northeast corner of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section twenty-three (23); thence west two thousand two hundred yards to the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section twenty-two (22), township twenty-three (23) south, range twenty-one (21); thence south two thousand two hundred yard to the southwest corner of section twenty-seven (27), township twenty-three (23) south, range twenty one (21), thence east to the point of beginning."

From this point the Town of Trilby was supposed to hold a regular election every year to determine a mayor, town council, clerk, tax collector and assessor, marshal, and treasurer; these position were open to all males 21 years or older.  It is not known who held these first positions or the date of the first election if any.  This incorporation was approved by the Legislature of Florida at its eighth regular session April 2 to May 31, 1901.  This first incorporation of Trilby did not last long.  

On May 11, 1909 the Act to Incorporate Trilby was repealed.  According to documents obtained from the Florida State Archives, "Chapter 6106- No. 237 is An Act to Repeal Chapter 5094 of the Laws of Florida, Entitled 'An Act to Incorporate the Town of Trilby, in Pasco County, Florida, and Provide for the Election of Its Municipal Officers.'  Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1.  The Chapter 5094 of the Laws of Florida, entitled 'An Act to incorporate the Town of Trilby, in Pasco County, Florida, and provide for the elections of its municipal officers,' be and the same is hereby repealed."

This repeal was approved by the Legislature of the State of Florida at its twelfth regular session April 6 to June 4 1909.  While there is record of Trilby's incorporation in state records, there is no record of this incorporation in local records.  In most cases there would be records filled with Pasco County.  As previously noted this was the first incorporation, please read about the second incorporation of Trilby below.

According to Historic Places of Pasco County, it was ca. 1902 when the Twin Lakes Masonic Lodge #141 was moved by horse and rollers to Trilby.  The name was then changed to the Trilby Masonic Lodge #141.  The two story building built in January of 1894 served the community of Trilby for many years.  The upstairs was used for Masonic meeting, while the downstairs was used as a dry goods store and living area.  Today the old building is no longer used and sits in disrepair.  The upstairs of the building once used for Masonic meetings still has the raised platform.


(Photo 6)
Above, Exterior view of the old Trilby Masonic Lodge #141 moved from Twin Lakes in 1902.   (Photo 2007)

(Photo 7)
Interior upstairs view where Masonic meetings were held.  The current owner of the property has plans to bulldoze the dilapidated building.  (Photos 2007)

In 1911 Trilby received a major addition to the community, The Florida Tuberculosis Sanatorium.  According to Historic Places of Pasco County, built on "the highest hill in Trilby, Dr. Harvey Byrd built a tuberculosis sanatorium in the summer of 1911.  It was incorporated on January 9, 1914, with a capitalization of $50,000.00.  It is believed to have been the first hospital in Pasco County and the first T.B. sanatorium in Florida.  While the facility was under construction, patients were cared for in a tent and attended by nurse Mamie Hancock.  The finished building had two stories, four gables, and wrap-around banistered porches upstairs and downstairs.  The sanatorium burned down in the spring of 1916."  

According to Pasco County Incorporation Records, "Whereas, William G. DeVane, H.O. Byrd and George T. Butler, filed in the office of the Secretary of the State a proposed Charter of a corporation to be known as THE FLORIDA TUBERCULOSIS SANATORIUM, for the purpose of conducting, operating, maintaining and carrying on a sanatorium of sanatoriums for the treatment of tuberculosis; to treat tubercular and pulmonary diseases in all stages and forms, and to any and all other diseases of every character and description; to make and perform surgical operations incident to the treatment and cure of the diseases."  In addition to the treatment of diseases The Florida Tuberculosis Sanatorium was given the right "to conduct and carry on a trading school for nurses, with power to prescribe a curriculum for the same and grant diplomas upon graduation and completion of said curriculum."  With this provision Dr's. Byrd and DeVane could teach and train nurses.  Dr. William G. DeVane served as President and Dr. H.O. Byrd served as Secretary, Treasurer and General Manager, while George T. Butler was Vice-President.  Charles B. Parkhill and Robert B. Sturkie served as attorneys for the sanatorium; both Parkhill and Sturkie had private practices in law.

By 1912 the Trilby citrus industry had become a profitable business for many residents.  Seeing this as a way to capitalize from the constant and ever growing citrus industry of Trilby, the Florida Citrus Growers' Association was organized.  According to Pasco County Incorporation Records, "On October 12, 1912, W.J. Ellsworth, J.F. Corrigan, and A.C. Johnson" filed a corporation under Florida States Laws.  According to the incorporation, "the proposed Charter of a corporation [was] to be known as the Trilby Citrus Growers' Association, the purpose of this association [was] to build, lease and rent packing houses for the packing of fruit, and produce, which may be grown or controlled by members of this Association."  The principal business of this Association was to be conducted in Trilby and the annual meeting of members was the first Tuesday in May of every year.  A.C. Johnson of Floral City acted as first president, while W.J. Ellsworth of Blanton and J.F. Corrigan of St. Leo served as the first board of directors.

By 1913, four years after the repeal of the first incorporation of Trilby, the Town of Trilby became officially incorporated for the second time.  As previously noted it is not known why the first incorporation of 1901 was repealed but may have been prompted from there be no delegation of city or public officials, since this first group of officials is not known or recorded.  In May of 1913 the decision to re-incorporate was made and the town assembled together to hold a vote electing town officials.  A notice announcing the vote was posted throughout town and according to Pasco County Incorporation records the following information was recorded in May of 1913:  "THE REGISTERED VOTERS OF TRILBY FLA. RESIDING IN THE FOLLOWING DESCRIBED LIMITS.

Notice is here by given to all the registered voters residing in the following described limits to wit:

Commencing at the Northeast corner of NW 1/4 of Southeast 1/4 sec. 22 Township 23 S of Range 21 East, thence west 3/4 of one mile to NW corner of the NW 1/4 of the SW 1/4 sec. 22 Township 23 South of Range 21 East, thence south one and 1/4 miles to the SW corner of the NW 1/4 of the Southwest 1/4 sec 27 Township 23 South of Range 21 east thence east 3/4 mile to the SE-corner of the NW 1/4 of the Southeast 1/4 sec. 27 township 23 south Range 21 east. thence north one and 1/4 miles to point of beginning Embraceing the Town of Trilby Florida. Are required to assemble at the office of T. S. McCorkle in the town of Trilby Fla. on Thursday the first day of May A. D. 1913, at 8 o'clock A. M. To organize a municipal Government, To select a corporate seal and to select by vote a mayor, Clerk, Marshall and five aldermen which shall be known as the City Council.

Names: H. O. Byrd M. D., T. S. McCorkle, J. E. Beach, R. H. Pitts, G. R. Pitts, D. Foster, W. A. J. Prescott, J. W. Brown, S. A. Lewis, W. G. Devane, M. D., L. M. McLeod, W. M. Watkins, W. H. Edwards, Dal Hilliard, H. Cunningham, Forrest Bankston, A. P. Hix, Geo T. Butler, Pierce Kerrell, L. Allen Jr., B. T. Butts, J. A. Bradshaw, J. J. Roller, B. F. Knott, C. F. Croft, R. B. Tyer, W. C. Mock, J. L. Keller, C. H. Tedder, E. G. Worthington, J. D. Turner, W. A. Croft.

Trilby, Florida.
May 1st 1913.

At a call meeting of the voters of the City of Trilby in the County of Pasco in the state of Florida, having assembled themselves together in the office of T. S. McCorkle in the aforesaid town for the purpose of electing City Officers for the town of Trilby, F. Bankston presiding as chairman, Lott Allen, Jr acting Secretary, and citizens proceeded to vote as follows:

Moved and seconded that the incorporate name shall be the Town of Trilby, motion carried,

Moved and seconded that we adopt the Seal of "The Town of Trilby," same was carried -

Citizens proceeded to vote as follows:

For Mayor, Dr. W. G. DeVane, receiving a majority of the votes cast, was declared elected.

For Alderman, F. Bankston, J. J. Roller, R. H. Pitts, W. H. Edwards and Dr. H. O. Byrd, receiving the largest number of votes were declared elected.

For City Clerk, L. Allen, Jr. receiving the largest number of votes for that office was declared elected.

For City Marshal, W. M. Watkins, receiving the largest number of votes was declared elected to that office.

All of said officers taking the following oath, administered by W. P. Edwards, viz:

"That I and each of us, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida against all enemies, domestic and foreign, and that I will bear true faith, loyalty and allegiance to the same, and that I am entitled to hold office under the Constitution; that I will faithfully perform all the duties of the office which I am elected to on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Under Article #100 General Statutes, count was made of number of qualified voters present, same being thirteen (13) Meeting adjourned.

W. P. Edwards, N. P. My commission expires 10/8/1913.

Filed for record May 6th 1913.

(official seal)

A. J. Burnside Clerk

(illegible) D. C.

Following the incorporation of The Florida Tuberculosis Sanatorium by only a few days, the Trilby Ice and Power Company became officially incorporated, on January 13, 1914, to serve the community of Trilby and surrounding areas.  According to Pasco County Incorporation records, this company was formed by W.M. Watkins, D.W. Pinholster Jr. and M.L. McCormick with a capitol investment of $20,000.00, all three men lived in Trilby.  The purpose of  this incorporation was specifically the" owning, constructing, maintaining and operating of an electric light plant or plants for the purpose of furnishing light and power for Trilby, Fla., and such other places as the Directors may select; to own and operate an ice plant or plants for the manufacture and sale of ice; to own and operate a cold storage plant for curing and preserving meats of all kinds, to buy meat and beef and manufacture the same into all kinds of meat products; to own and operate a system of water works in Trilby, Fla., and such other places as the Directors may select."  With the $20,000.00