SUMNER-L ArchivesArchiver > SUMNER > 2000-03 > 0953642381
From: jbishop <>
Subject: SUMNER, Joseph B; Death Article - Great Life & Story
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 07:39:41 -0500
Hello all you SUMNER researchers,
This is such a fantastic article and life that I wanted to
share it with the list and hope that if I'm not supposed to
do the whole text of the article that the Tribune staff
writer will forgive. You will enjoy this article greatly. I
wish I could have know Joe Sumner; he must have been a
Death Article; Tampa Tribune; Tampa, FL; Saturday, 23 Oct
1993; Metro-1, cont'd on 5;
Hillsborough cowboy' Joseph B. Sumner Sr. dies Friday at
by LINDSAY PETERSON
Tribune Staff Writer
BALM He remembered the long cattle drives, before the open
range was carved up and fenced in.
Joseph B. Sumner Sr. saw Florida transformed from a
frontier to a collection of subdivisions before he died
Friday at his home on Joe Sumner Road. He was 73.
He grew up on a horse alongside his father, Julius
who was one of the biggest land owners and cattlemen in
Hillsborough County. His grandfather, Daniel Joseph Sumner
was a cattleman and civil engineer who surveyed portions of
south Florida. Sumner called himself one of the last of the
Cracker cowboys. In an interview nearly 20 years ago, when
he was working cattle on 4,000 acres of family land, this is
how he described such a character.
"I would say a Cracker cowboy is a native, a man of
land, and all of his life is engrossed in cattle work," he
It started when he was 13, Sumner said, when his
a Lykes Brothers foreman and hired him and his twin brother,
James, to help round up cattle from Manatee County.
Joe Sumner was proud of that and often told the
how his father told the Lykes bosses his boys could do the
work of any man.
"We used to camp on the ground, " he told a reporter
1975. "No sleeping bags, No tents. We used only a blanket
and a slicker. Used palmetto and Spanish moss for pillows.
We were so tired when we Laid down that it didn't matter
where it was. We would have put a blanket on a wood pile."
It was a rough life, a builder of rough men. Sumner
his back chasing a steer through the woods in Manatee County
when his horse slipped and fell on him. But in an interview
in June, he said, "I'd do anything to live it all over
Throughout the 1930s and 40s, Julisu Sumner and his
Emma, acquired more than 15,000 acres in southeast
Joe Sumner left the ranching operation only once,
World War II, when he spend about four years with the
training cadre of the 10th Light Mountain Division in
Colorado and later in the Army veterinary training school.
He was released in 1945 and the next year his world
In 1946, fence laws closed the open range, and the
roundups stopped. But the family operation continued.
They had their own slaughterhouse and feed lot. They
weathered ticks, thieves, soaring costs and slumping prices.
After suffering a stroke, Julius Sumner died in
over the next several years, the Sumner land was divided
among the children.
Sumner attended the Assembly of Free Worship in
He was a member of Florida Cattlemen's Association, the
Florida Cracker Cattle Association, the National Cattlemen's
Association and the American Legion Post in Riverview.
He is survived by his wife, Laura; a son, Joseph B.
Balm; tow daughters, Debra O'Neal of Dade City and Julia
Porter of Balm; tow sisters, Eleanor Thompson of Apollo
Beach and Mary Wilson of Arcadia; four grandchildren.
Arrangements are being handled by Lewers Funeral Home in
Funeral Notice; Tampa Tribune; Tampa, FL; Sun., 24 Oct 1993;
SUMNER Funeral Services for Joseph B. Sumner, Sr. of Balm
will be Monday, 10:30 A.M., from the Chapel of Lewers
Funeral Home. Rev. Glen Holmes, pastor of the Assembly of
Free Worship, Riverview, will officiate. Interment will
follow in Fellowship Cemetery. Pallbearers are Doug Reed,
George Watson, Tom Hurley, Wayne LeValley, Mike Robertson
and Danny Dixon. Honarary pallbearers are Leroy Thompson,
Paul Cannon, Gary Servis, Charlie Buzbee and Grady Sweat.
Mr. Sumner is survived by his wife, Laura Sumner; a son,
Joseph B. Sumner II of Balm; two daughters, Debra O'Neal of
Dade City, Julie Portee of Balm; two sisters, Eleanor
Thompson of Apollo Beach, Mary Wilson of Arcadia; and four
grandchildren Kim, Ashlee, Elizabeth and Joseph Sumner III.
Visitation for family and friends will be Sunday afternoon,
3:00 to 5:00 P.M. at the Chapel of Lewers Funeral Home.
For more SUMNER information on descendants of Joseph
Chestnutt SUMNER Sr. see
Jim in FL
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