1860 - 1937
George Hamilton Blount was born Feb. 17, 1860 and died July 3, 1937. He was a son of Riley Readding and Jane (Varn) Knight Blount. The following obituary and editorial are from Kyle VanLandingham's collection--transcribed from a copy in the Blount Family File, Polk County Historical Library, Bartow, FL.
LAST RITES FOR GEORGE H. BLOUNT
Who Died Saturday at LaBelle After Lingering Illness
Funeral services for the late George H. Blount, 77, who died Saturday afternoon at the home of his son, William D. Blount, in LaBelle, after a lingering illness, were held here Sunday afternoon at the chapel of the Stephenson Funeral Home.
The Rev. Mr. A. M. Glisson of LaBelle officiated, special music being arranged with solos by Michael Guido.
Pallbearers were Payne M. Sebring, A. M. Wolfe, C. M. Hamrick, H. S. Jones, Tom Michell and Eugene O. Douglas Interment was made in Pinecrest Cemetery.
The deceased was one of the early settlers of this city having for many years operated his own knife making plant on Lemon street. He was among the first of the manufacturers of that part of the state, and for many years conducted a wagon factory located in Titusville which prospered long after automobiles came into general use throughout other sections of the country, because that part of the state had as yet no hard roads.
With the coming of the railroad and the branching out of the paved roads throughout South Florida, he turned his attention to the manufacture of steel knives, and later moved his business to this city where he continued actively until failing health several years ago compelled him to retire.
At the height of his success in this later venture he has furnished knives for the White House kitchen, and for most of the prominent hotels throughout the East and North.
He was a keen student of political and business trends, and an ardent fisherman and hunter, and he numbered among his friends many of the political powers of the early days, and may nationally known sportsmen.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Geneva H. Blount; one son, William D. Blount of LaBelle; one daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Myers, of Tampa; a sister, Mrs. Mary Oeland of Bartow; and a brother, Nathan Blount, of Kissimmee.
All that is mortal of George H. Blount, one of the pioneers of South Florida, lies under a plot of newly turned earth in Pinecrest. With him is buried many a colorful bit of Florida history, those human, first hand anecdotes that made pioneer days stand out in living profile for the listener, told as only he could tell them, while his eyes twinkled in retrospect.
He knew South Florida before Flagler built his railroad, when the man who could shoot the quickest and the strongest ruled the land. When Miami consisted of the two families who homesteaded what was then rocky, swampy, mosquito-ridden country.
Many a time he told the story on himself, told it with a rueful grin, of how he laughed at the Widow Tuttle when she offered him a piece of land and promised to build him a factory there if he would move his wagon manufacturing plan from Titusville. And of how, during the boom, he had gone back and looked at that same site, selling then for $20,000 a front foot.
It's a loss to any community when a man who can see the human side of the upbuilding of that community passes on. Something of the color and richness of it dies with him. And there's something unconquerable about anyone who can laugh at himself, turn his mistakes in judgment into a rollicking good story, and waste no time in futile regrets. It took such men to make this southern tip of the Floridian peninsula what it is today.
May he find that larger joy of vision in those limitless horizons beyond our human ken.