Levy 'Cow hunter' passes away Feb. 7, 2009 by Terry Witt, Staff Writer.
John Clayton "J. C." Partin, Jr., 94, a longtime Levy County resident and one of few surviving "cow hunters" from the days of the open range in Florida, passed away on Feb. 7, 2009.
Partin was born in Kissimmee, Fla. and moved to Levy County with his parents, John, Sr. and Ella (Bass) in 1937. He spent most of his life in Levy and Marion counties as a rancher and farmer.
His son, Bud Partin, said his grandparents brought their cattle by train to Gulf Hammock when they first arrived in Levy County. His father, a teenager at the time, rode the train with the cattle.
"When the train doors opened, the cattle jumped out on the ground in Gulf Hammock, and that's how we got here." Partin said.
Partin said his father was an exceptionally well liked man. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and traveled around the world. He was generous to people, giving them their share and often more.
"He was extremely honest," he said.
J. C. Partin, as many knew him, was a down to earth person who didn't care if people were rich or poor. He didn't pick his friends based on what their status was in society. Partin liked poor and rich alike.
During the time of the cow hunters, cow camps were scattered around the county. The cattle were driven to the camps and penned to allow the cowboys to work on them. One year, J. C. Partin found a teenager at one of the cow camps. The boy said he wanted to go home with Partin. The boy moved in with Grandma and Grandpa Partin, according to Bud Partin.
The boy lived like a member of the Partin family for his entire life. He eventually died when a horse fell on him, but the story of how J. C. Partin took in the young boy illustrates the way he lived his life, his son said.
"He knew a lot about cattle and people and didn't have enemies, Partin said. "Everybody had a tale to tell about him. I was proud to be his son."
The term "cow hunter" comes from a time in old Florida when ranchers hunted for their cattle while the animals grazed on the open range. It was a time when fences didn't exist in Levy County. The cattle roamed free and were marked and branded by the owners.
The Partin family raised long horns. The cattle were called Florida scrub cattle. Cow hunters in the tradition of J. C. Partin were known as crackers. They rode horses and snapped whips above the cattle to drive them. The cracking sound of the whips yielded the name crackers.
"You would hear a bunch of cowboys coming and your could hear the cow whips," he said.
Bud Partin went on many long cattle drives with his father. He said they could leave Bronson and return the same day from Gulf Hammock with the herd. They knew the terrain and how long the cattle drive would take. The only gun they normally carried was for shooting snakes. He said the cattlemen got along well and disputes were rare. They tried to take care of each other and worked together to keep their cattle sorted.
The Partin family still owns quite a bit of land in Levy County and Marion County. Most of it was purchesed years ago for $4 to $5 per acre. Partin can't recall the family paying more than that for a piece of land. Much of the land today is leased to timber companies.
In 1950 or 1951, Partin said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints bought 300,000 acres of land in the Cocoa area of Florida. The church needed cattle for the large holding. J. C. Partin sold church officials 9,000 to 10,000 head of cattle, Partin recalled. And it wasn't all the cattle he owned.
"There were quite a few cattle left, enough to keep us busy," Partin said.
Partin described his dad as a real character. He got the most out of living, and people loved him.
"He enjoyed living...extremely well," he said.
From the Levy County newspaper. February 2009.
J. C. and his wife Callie were the parents of Harold, Lassie Darene, Mlary Jane, J. C. "Bud", 111, and Leroy.
The Story of Gladys
and her three husbands
Oct. 1952, Gladys and Levy Goodson, at Bronson, Florida
Emory and Gladys (Jerrells) Jones at Saint Augustine, Florida., after mama had lost their first child 17 Mar. 1943.
GLADYS JERRELLS GOODSON 1 Feb. 1926-2 Aug. 2004
GLADYS JERRELLS was born to Alex and Hattie (Mathis) Jerrells on the north side of Cow Pond in the north east end of Dixie county, Florida (what is known as the 1st District). She had one sister, Pearl, 7 years older. Soon after the birth of Gladys there came two more children, a brother, Morris and another sister, Cleo. Then five years after Cleo came James William (Jimmie) and 9 years after Jimmie came Mary (Sugie).
Gladys and most of her siblings got their early education at a one room, country school known as Pine Hill. Some of her dear school friends were Mollie Lou Bush, Hettie Copeland and the Dempsey girls. In June 1941, Gladys and Hettie was at a Sunday afternoon party at Jewel Deese home in Hatchbend, Lafayette County, Florida. Gladys was with Dan Wilson and Hettie was with Emory Jones. In May, 1942, Gladys and Emory eloped across the Suwannee River to Trenton, Gilchrist County, Florida, (with the help of Emory's cousin, Daniel Newbern) for a night time wedding at the Judge's home. That was at the end of Gladys' Junior year of school at Cross City.
In March of 1943, Emory and Gladys had a stillborn son who is buried at Rock Sink Baptist Cemetery in the Jerrells plot. Then in Aug. 1944, their daughter, Betty was born at Hob and Mattie Lou (Mills) Simmons home. The young family moved to the Sims place in the river swamp of Hatchbend and share cropped until the big flood of '48 when most of the residents had to move out. From there Gladys and Emory with Betty moved to Orlando to be near Aunt Jonnie (Fletcher) and Uncle Emory Clark and so Emory could get a better job providing for his young family.
By the end of 1950, Gladys was expecting again, this time a son, to be named Marcus Emory. Gladys and Emory seperated on New Year's eve and Mark was born one week later on Jan. 6, 1951. Emory chose to stay in Orlando while Gladys and the two children were at the farm on Cow Pond. Mrs. Ada Delaney was in poor health so Uncle Bob asked Gladys to live with them and that was good, until their home burned near Christmas of 1951, Gladys being such a great cook and house keeper. After that Gladys worked in the fields during tobacco season then she and the two children moved to Bronson to be near the Jerrels family there. Gladys and Emory were divorced in 1952 and Gladys married Levy Wm. Goodson from Bronson, in 1953. About 1957, due to the poor health of Levy the family moved back to the first district of Dixie County while Levy spent much time in the VA Hospital in Lake City. Gladys drove the school bus to Old Town then got the job of keeping the fire tower at Holly Hill. They stayed there until Gldays , Levy and Mark moved back to Bronson where Gladys drove the bus and worked in the school cafeteria until Levy passed away in Nov. 1972. There her dear friends and neighbors were James and Vivian Sims and their family. About 1975 Gladys and Mark moved to Twin Lakes, GA., to be near Betty and her family. When Gladys went back to visit Ms. Vivian, James took the guest bed so Gladys and Vivian could sleep in the same room, (sleep awhile then wake up and talk awhile). In 1976, they were the founding members of the Twin Lakes Apostolic Church (about 2002, they've built a new church named Truth Harbor Apostolic). Granny loved the piano music and singing of her Gd daughter, DeAnna. She had a dear friend whom she had won to the Lord, Louise Sweat, who was visiting for lunch one Saturday, receive a miracle right in her own home. She also 'really liked' to play cupid. She was responsible for the meeting and marriage of her step gd. son, Everett Chadwick and Emily Corbitt. Yea, Yea.
Gladys loved meeting people and was a Stanley Homes Product salesperson and unit manager, and won a 10 day trip to Westfield, Mass. and on to Niagra Falls. She even met an old friend from Dixie Co. while in Valdosta, Ms. Marie Thigpin, and renewed a fond friendship. In 1984, the desire to move back to Dixie and Gladys and Mark had only been there about a week when Emory (her first husband) went out catfishing early on July 18, and fell out of the boat and drowned. It was later that same year, she met J. C. Partin, Jr., (a family member of Vivian's) and married him the end of Nov. J. C. and Gladys lived in Nashville, Arkansas and also kept a home in Cross City and Bronson, as J. C. loved to come home to hunt. In 1991, J. C. and Gladys were divorced and Gladys had permanant residence in Cross City. Only two years later, Gladys built a new home in Hatchbend to be near church and not have to drive back to Cross City at night. She loved being in Hatchbend and being so close to her many friends, especially Daniel and Merle (Tummond) Newbern.
Gladys loved the First District Homecomings, the Chili suppers they had on Halloween, the church campmeetings, going out with her old friend , Hettie. Gladys loved to hunt squirels and at Twin Lakes and Hatchbend , she taught the young boys to kill and clean the squirels, then she cooked them for all to enjoy. She would be so very happy to know her gt gd. daughter, Caity, won first place in state, skeet shooting with her 4-H Club team.
She was a party girl, and truly had a hoot at her 75th Birthday party, "The Little Red Hen" was the program because it so fitted her.
Gladys lived in Hatchbend until early , Monday morning, 2nd of August, 2004, the dreadful, tragic thing happened. Her funeral was at her church with her pastor, Rev. Steve Boyd and Rev. Medric Cohron speaking. Those singing were, Sis, Jackie Boyd, Joy Railey, Donna Hardin "Address Change Notifaction" and Pastor Boyd singing "Heaven's Not That Far Now"
Pallbearers were: Alan Everette, Jr., Everett Byrd, Jerry Herndon, Toby Royal, Kenny Townsend and Justin Boyd with Alan Everette, Sr. as honorary bearer.
Callie was the daughter of Sylvester and Lassie Wilkerson Sims of Chiefland, Levy Co., FL. She was the wife of John Clayton "J. C." Partin, Jr and they were the parents of Harold, Lassie Darlene (b. Apr. 22, 1943 and d. Nov. 18, 1943) , Mary Jane, John C. 111, and Leroy.
Daughter of J.C. and Callie
Birth: Apr. 22, 1943
Death: Nov. 18, 1943
Lassie Darlene Partin
John Clayton “JC” Partin V, 13, of Havana passed away March 21, 2013 at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
The funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Salem United Methodist Church in Havana with Pastor Greg Doss officiating. Interment will be held at 4:00 p.m. at Bronson Cemetery in Bronson Florida ( outside of Gainesville ).The family will receive friends Friday, March 22, 2013 from 1 p.m till 4 p.m. at Faith Funeral Home in Havana (850.539.4300 or www.faithfuneralhome.com).
J C was a 7th grade student at Robert F Munroe. He was a lifetime resident of Havana. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 201 in Quincy were he was Patrol Leader and a Star Scout. He loved baseball. He played and represented Havana 3 years in state tournaments.
He is survived by his parents John Clayton Partin IV and Angela Claiborne Partin of Havana, his paternal grandparents John C Partin III and Donna Cobb Partin of Bronson, FL. One uncle Edward Claiborne ( Patti) of Monticello, FL and three aunts Dina Partin Lago of Perry, Amy Claiborne of Havana and Lisa Bentkofsky (Bob) of Oviedo, FL and many cousins, including one very special cousin, Harry Claiborne.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents Clyde Porter Claiborne and Gloria H. Claiborne.