Stephen P. Hooker, a pioneer settler of present-day Ona, Florida, was a cattleman and Confederate soldier.
Stephen Poleman Hooker was born December 23, 1835, Hamilton County, Florida. He was the son of Stephen Caswell and Jane Elizabeth (Smiley) Hooker, who had married in Hamilton County on September 15, 1831. Stephen C. Hooker, the fourth of eight children of Stephen and Elizabeth (Brinton) Hooker, was born on August 11, 1808, Tattnall County, Georgia, and had moved with his parents to Ware County, Georgia about 1825 and in 1830 to Hamilton County. While serving in the militia in the Second Seminole War, he contracted typhoid fever and died from a relapse of it on January 29, 1837. Jane Hooker (born April 9, 1809, Liberty Co., Ga.; died on May 1, 1891, Joshua Creek, Fla.) married (2) in Columbia County, Florida on December 12, 1839 John Parker (born October 16, 1818, Sampson Co., N.C.; died November 10, 1881 at Fort Meade, Fla.).
The Parker family in 1843 moved to Simmons Hammock (Seffner), Hillsborough County, Florida. On August 12, 1850 John Parker was appointed guardian of Stephen P. Hooker and his older brother William John Hooker. About 1856, the family moved to Manatee County and settled in the area of present-day Ona.
In Manatee County, Florida on December 24, 1859 Stephen married Sarah "Sallie" Carlton, born April 14, 1844 in Florida, probably Alachua County, daughter of Alderman and Martha Maria (Alderman) Carlton.
During the Third Seminole War, Stephen P. Hooker served as a private from January 3 to August 20, 1856 in the company of his uncle, Capt. William B. Hooker. From October to December 1856, he served as a private in the company of his stepfather, Capt. John Parker.
The 1860 census of Manatee County enumerated Stephen and Sarah Hooker in household 40/40 in the area now known as Ona. Neighbors included the families of: Irvin and Penelope Locklear, Jesse and Adeline Alderman, Nelson Locklear, John and Jane Parker, Daniel and Sarah Carlton, William Jasper and Fredonia Hooker. (William Jasper Hooker was a son of William B. Hooker.)
In April 1862, Stephen and his brother, William John Hooker, enlisted as privates in Company E, Seventh Florida Infantry, C. S. A. Soon after being mustered in, the Seventh was sent to Tennessee to join the Army of Tennessee. Both brothers died while serving in Co. E. "Register of Officers and Soldiers killed in battle or who died of wounds or disease" has Private Stephen P. Hooker died January 7, 1863 at Morristown, Tennessee. William John Hooker was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on November 28, 1863 and was later killed in battle.
Manatee County Probate Record 1, p. 21, dated April 2, 1863, shows that John Parker petitioned for the letters of administration of the estate of Stephen P. Hooker, deceased. The estate was valued at $4,807.28 and included in part: 300 head of cattle, $2, 100; 200 head of hogs, $400; 1 mare; 1 oxcart, $30; cash, $395; notes, $1,125; 1 cut saw & sundry tools, $25; 2 trunks, $10; 2 tables, $7; bedstead, $15; 2 mattresses, $30; 6 bed quilts, $6; 2 pillows, $4; spinning wheel, $6; 6 shirts, $11.18; 4 chairs, $12; books, $25. Appraisers were Jesse Alderman and Thomas H. Albritton. John Parker was administrator.
In Manatee County on December 14, 1865, Sarah married (2) William C. Hayman, son of James and Delila (Martin) Hayman. Rev. J. M. Hayman, brother of William C., officiated. On June 9, 1868, William C. Hayman was appointed guardian of William H. Hooker, son of Stephen P. and Sarah Hooker; John Parker having made final settlement. In 1872, William C. Hayman was agent for 100 cattle for Wiliam Hooker, minor, while having 100 cattle in his own right.
Sallie and William C. Hayman settled in Owens, Manatee County (now DeSoto County). A Democrat, William C. Hayman in January 1877 was appointed sheriff of Manatee County and served four years. William C. and Sarah Hayman and their children were listed in precinct # 9, Fort Ogden, in the 1880 census of Manatee County. Wm. H. Hooker, son of Stephen and Sarah, as a 20-year-old orphan, was enumerated in a separate household in precinct # 9. A farmer, W. C. Hayman in 1885 had: 200 acres, 6 horses, and 212 cattle. W. C. and Sallie were charter members of Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church of Owens, established August 9, 1884 and donated three acres on which the church was built. Sarah "Sallie" Hayman died June 22, 1887 with burial in Mt. Ephraim Cemetery, Owens, Florida.
Issue of Stephen P. and Sallie (Carlton) Hooker:
1. William Henry Hooker, born January 19, 1861; died December 7, 1931; married in Manatee County on September 28, 1881 Mahala Clementine Langford, daughter of Henry Langford and Jane (Whidden) Langford.
References not cited: Kyle VanLandingham and Virginia Westergard, Parker & Blount in Florida, 1983; miscel. records in South Florida Pioneers.
This article is adapted from the authors profiles in The Herald-Advocate of February 16, 1989, The DeSoto County Times of May 15, 1986, and Lineage of John Carlton, 1999.