Ann O’Berry Wilson, a member of the DeVane family, recently donated a collection of papers to Plant City’s Photo Archives and History Center. The DeVane family is one of the city’s pioneer families. Wilson’s family, the O’Berrys, are a pioneer family from Pinellas County. Wilson has spent years collecting records for the O’Berry family, the DeVane family and the Blanton family.
The collection includes genealogical records, family papers, clippings and photographs of the family, with some items dating back to the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War.
In 1869, the DeVane family began settling in Springhead and neighboring areas, including Cork and Plant City proper. The farming family was heavily involved in the community, and served on the Plant City Commission, the Hillsborough County Commission and the School Board. In Plant City, the DeVane Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution was formed. The chapter name was in honor of John DeVane, a Minuteman, and the belonging charter members were all part of the DeVane family.
John DeVane’s son, Benjamin DeVane, fought in the War of 1812 and the Seminole Wars. After the Seminole Wars, he was given land in Madison County, Florida, where he moved in 1848. All six of Benjamin DeVane’s sons served in the Confederate Army in the Civil War. After the Civil War, Benjamin DeVane moved to the Seffner area, and later to Springhead in 1869. Benjamin DeVane was the first of his family in the Plant City area.
One of Benjamin DeVane’s six sons, Samuel Rowan DeVane, moved to Springhead after the Civil War and settled near his father. The homestead later became known as the Elbert Blanton place. Following the death of Benjamin Franklin DeVane, the youngest of the six brothers, three other DeVane children moved to Plant City: George Albert DeVane, Edward Jasper “E.J.” DeVane and Franklin Elbert DeVane.
Dwight DeVane, a historian and folklorist, assisted with the collection process. The collection donated by Wilson is currently being digitized at the Photo Archive and History Center. They will become available in the near future for research purposes.
The non-profit Plant City Photo Archive and History Center is located at 106 S. Evers St. in downtown Plant City.
Contact Emily Topper at email@example.com