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 Andrew Jackson Gibson

Andrew Jackson Gibson

Death 2 Aug 1928 (aged 97–98)
Titusville, Brevard County, Florida, USA
Burial Mims, Brevard County, Florida, USA
Plot Gibson Family Plot
Memorial ID 14064638 · View Source
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Andrew Jackson Gibson was the fourth of nine children, four sons and five daughters, born to a mulatto slave by the name of William, who was the son of an unnamed African female slave and a white planter by the name of William Gibson. Listed in the first United States census taken in 1794, William Gibson was a freeholder of Camden County, Georgia (near Brunswick), of Scottish descent, age 35 years, with a wife, age 19 years, and son Thomas, age 1 year. The 1810 census lists him and family as freeholders of Currituck County, North Carolina (near Elizabeth City), addition of another son James, born in 1804, and the acquisition of a mulatto slave named William, born in 1805. Sometime during the next twelve years, Gibson moved his family to Warren County, Georgia (near Augusta). Two more sons were born, Henry in 1812, and William in 1822. In the 1840 census, Andrew Gibson is listed as being 9 years old, one of nine children sired by the mulatto slave William, and all property of William Gibson, the planter. During the period of 1840 - 1850, William Gibson the planter died, and after his death the mulatto slave William and his off-spring became the property of the eldest son, James Gibson. After 1850, there was no record of the mulatto slave William, but there were records that all of his nine children, including Andrew Gibson remained property of James Gibson until emancipation. Records indicate that none of the children were literate, and following emancipation, some spelled the name with a "p" (Gipson). Andrew's sister Julie, who lived in Jacksonville, Florida during the latter part of the twentieth century spelled her name Gipson. His brother Norman, who lived in Sanford, Florida in the late nineteenth century spelled his name Gibson.

Following emancipation, Andrew and his brother Edward moved to Thomasville, Georgia and later to Monticello, Florida where they lived until 1869. In 1869 they both came to Brevard County and settled at Rockledge. Andrew returned to Monticello in 1872 where he farmed. There he met Miss Miley Macon, and married in 1873. He returned to Florida with his wife and daughter Emily and settled in Titusville in 1876. He became the first black businessman of Titusville when he opened the first barbershop, which catered entirely to white customers, and a shoe repair shop. In 1880 he became Brevard County's first jailer, and fed prisoners meals that he and his wife prepared in their small home. He also worked as the supervisor of the only public road in Brevard County, and held these two public offices at the same time. The county turned the first poor over to him, a man named Stone, whom he took him in and nursed for the county. Andrew saw a need and later initiated the formation of the Brevard County Poor Farm. Gibson opened a restaurant, which was located across the street from the Titus House. It was famous for fresh oysters and seafood, and served meals to both blacks and whites.

In 1886 Andrew, Edward and a railroad worker by the name of Louis Ufollow, started the first black church in Titusville in a little 12 x 12 upright wood shack owned by Andrew. The Missionary Baptist Church was founded and they served as the first deacons. The congregation continued to grow and services were moved to the larger home of Tom Smith. When the need for a larger church became apparent, Louis Ufollow went to Mary Titus to make arrangements to get a lot for a church. *Mrs. Titus donated a lot for a church and a school, and named William Gibson, Isaiah Gory and Lewis Ufollow as trustees. Today the church is known as The Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church and continues to play a central role in the religious life of Titusville's black community. Andrew remained active in the church until his death August 2, 1928. He is buried in the Gibson family plot at LaGrange Cemetery. Andrew was also a member of the Masonic Lodge.

*A warranty deed recorded January 27, 1887 records the following information: An indenture was made on December 17, 1886, between William Gibson, Andrew Gibson, and Edward Gibson, named as Trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mary E. Titus, widow, of the town of Titusville, for the sum of one dollar for a church lot for the use of and benefit of said church. It is described as Lot Number twelve (12), Block number twenty-five (25), as shown on the 1880 map by J. Francis Le Baron and on file at the clerks office in the county of Brevard and State of Florida. This map shows the location of lot 12 to be on the northwest corner of South and Canaveral Streets, and possibly was St. James AME Church, which is presently located on the corner of South Street and Dummit Ave.

Seven of Andrew and Miley Gibson's eight children were born in Titusville, and all were educated here. Although Andrew was illiterate himself, he was a strong advocate of the value and power of education. When public education was not available to black children, he hired a white woman, Mrs. Annie McGrath, to teach his children. He was also a dedicated supporter of Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune in her struggle to establish what has become Bethune-Cookman College at Daytona Beach, Florida.

Victoria Gibson was born September 12, 1887, the eighth and last child of Andrew and Miley. She married Jake Rodgers and they had no children. Victoria and Jake lived in the two story Gibson family home which was located on South Street and Dummitt Avenue. Victoria was also a teacher and during the thirties worked at Titusville Colored School when Harry T. Moore was principle. Out of the eight Gibson children born and raised in Titusville, Victoria remained here with her husband Jake until death. Victoria died May 25, 1965 and is buried in the Gibson family plot at LaGrange Cemetery.

Another daughter, Mamie Gibson Robinson developed a hair care system rivaling Madame C.J. Walker's Poro System. She operated her hair care business at 1314 Nebraska Avenue in Tampa, Florida from 1910 to 1913, where she was also very active in civic affairs.

William Gibson was born December 25, 1865, the son of Edward and Emma (Smith) Gibson. William married Kate Reed in 1890 at Titusville, Florida. Kate was born in 1870, and died October 6, 1926. She is buried in the Gibson Family plot at LaGrange Cemetery. He had two sisters, Addie, born February 19, 1878, and Jerusha (Ziegler) who also lived in Titusville. Addie married Henry R. Rivers, born 1875 and died May 31, 1944. Addie died February 24, 1944, and both are buried at LaGrange Cemetery.

William married Sadye L. Smith, September 5, 1927 in Titusville, Florida. Sadye Gibson became a teacher, and in 1932 taught second grade at Titusville Colored School, where Harriette V. Moore was also a teacher, and Harry T. Moore was the principle. When Sadye had difficulty teaching the history lesson, she would ask Mr. Moore for help, because she knew he was always willing to help one of his teachers. She also taught math at the Gibson School in the late 1950's. Sadye was born May 31, 1904 and died April 12, 1996. William died May 13, 1960. Sadye and William are buried in the Gibson family plot at LaGrange Cemetery.

By: Roz Foster, July 10, 2005
Research Sources: Brevard County Tax Records, Deed and Mortgage Records, County and City of Titusville and Joynerville Maps, U.S. and Brevard County Census, Mortuary Records, Star Advocate Newspapers Articles and Obituaries, Gibson Family Records and Oral Histories.
Believe to be the unmarked grave of Andrew; and the other of Andrew's wife Miley.
Source: Find A Grave member Jon Pomerleau (3.14.2013)

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  • Created by: Shirley Bybee
  • Added: 25 Apr 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14064638
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Andrew Jackson Gibson (1830–2 Aug 1928), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14064638, citing LaGrange Cemetery, Mims, Brevard County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Shirley Bybee (contributor 46787619) .