Samuel Anthony Belcher's Descendants
Samuel Anthony Belcher was the son of Elijah Clark Belcher & Emmaline Bruner Arnold of Georgia. During his teen years, Samuel left home and eventually went to Cocoa Florida. where he opened up a general store in the late 1880"s.
It was here that Samuel met Jeannette Augusta King of Kingsland,Camden County, Georgia. Jeanette had accompanied and her brother to Florida for the "salubrious air". Her brother suffered from lung trouble.
Their first two sons, Harold Louden Belcher and Edwin Newton Belcher were born in Brevard Co., Fla. In 1892.
Soon the siren call of Miami beckoned them to South Florida.
No roads had been made that far south, so the young couple boarded a sailing ship bound for Miami.
Samuel Anthony and Jeannette then had a third son, Samuel Anthony Belcher, Jr., who was the first white male born in the new City of Miami.
With his family continuing to grow, Samuel built a house on 12th Avenue in what is now a highly lucretive business district. Sam began a pineapple plantation in Coconut Grove which did not prosper.
Since there were few roads in that area, he then started Belcher Asphalt and Paving Co. This proved to be a very productive business adventure and eventually evolved into the Belcher Oil Co.
In order to temporarily remove his family out of the yellow fever infested Miami summers, Samuel Anthony Belcher also built a house on Lookout Mountain in Georgia.
Sadly it was was on a trip back to Miami, that Samuel Anthony Belcher was killed in an automobile accident. His death occurred in the summer of 1923 on a road between Summerville and Rome, Georgia.
He died at Floyd Hospital in the summer of 1923. He was layed to rest in the Belcher Mausoleum in downtown Miami. Many other Miami pioneers are also buried there.
Samuel Anthony Belcher, Jr. married Edna Ruth Helms. Edna Ruth's father was Edward Helms who had connectiosn with Sam Belcher in the construction business.
Edward Helms was responsible for building most of the coral rock houses that are still standing in Miami.
Samuel and Edna had two sons, Samuel Anthony Belcher III and Bentley Helms Belcher.
Samuel moved his family to SW 20th Road in Miami where the boys grew up.
This was prohibition time and the rum runners were bringing in hooch from the Bahamas and stashing it in a wooded area near the Bay (Biscayne). Rickenbacker Causeway was not built until after WW II.
After school, Sam III would take his shotgun and go into the area and take a little target practice. He was a crack shot!
The rum runners got a bit upset when they saw all the necks of the bottles shot off. They threated to kill whoever was doing it if they ever caught him.
Sam Jr. remarried and had one daughter, Jeannette Ward Belcher.
Sam, Jr. was a pilot during WW I and again in WW II. Sam III followed right along in his fathers footsteps and became a Pan American World Airways Captain for 30 years.
The other Belcher boys became involved in the Belcher Oil Co., which became the employer of a large number of people. Belcher Oil also had a tugboat company and a concrete business. Most of the Belcher boys grandchildren worked in some capacity for the Oil Co. during the summers. This family-owned business was eventually merged with Coastal Oil Co.
There are now at least 6 generations of Belchers living in the South Florida area, all stemming from Samuel Anthony Belcher. They are all scattered from Miami to Ft. Myers and on up into Central Florida.
The name is still carried on by Samuel Anthony Belcher IV.
Edwin Newton Belcher, Sam Jr's brother has also carried his name to Edwin Newton Belcher III.
Margaret Belcher was a sister to Edwin Newton Belcher, Jr. and John Anthony Belcher, daughter of Edwin Newton Belcher.
Harold Louden Belcher served in WW II and died without any children.
All the Belchers were avid hunters and fishermen and they all had boats and were to be found, anywhere from the Bahamas to the Florida Keys where they also had a house on Islamorado as a base.
They worked hard and they played hard and they are still going strong.
Jane Watson Belcher