Good day to all! Did you know one of the area’s early residents was a farmer, circuit-riding preacher, store owner, homesteader, postmaster, real estate salesman, and newspaper columnist? George W. Gatewood, born in 1862, was from Louisville, Kentucky. At around 20 years of age he was a farmhand for Judson Tanner. When Mrs. Tanner took ill, the family decided to sell their farm and move to Florida. Gatewood was asked to come along and help with the move. The nine-week journey, by covered wagon, took them to Fort Dade (Dade City) by late 1882. This column is in memory of Eloise Adams McDougall, Mr. Gatewood’s granddaughter.
After farming in the Fort Dade area for about five years, George decided he wanted to be a preacher. Although never ordained, the Rev. Gatewood received his license to preach from the Fort Dade circuit of the Methodist church. It’s said an acquaintance, upon hearing he was taking up preaching, remarked that Gatewood must have mistaken the voice of a hoot owl for that of the Lord.
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