Washington Mimbs was
born on Wednesday, November 24, 1880 in Homeland, Polk County, FL
.1 George was the son of William B. and Lucinda Roberts Mimbs. George is found in the 1885 census with his
parents.2 Additional information on his parents can be found in the William B. and Lucinda Mimbs History.
George Washington married Mary Lillian Johnson
(daughter of Duncan E. Johnson, Jr. and Mary Jane Taylor)
on Thursday, October 23, 1902 in Bartow, Polk County, FL.3
Mary was born on Tuesday, November 30, 1880
in Bartow,Polk Co.,Fl
George was quite a land
entrepreneur. He purchased 36 acres from his mother on February 23,
from her homestead for $1.00 and other valuable considerations.
5Twenty of these acres were sold back to Lucinda a few months later on August 8, 1904 for
$1.00.6 The other 16 acres were sold to Levi E. Mobley for $80.00 on October 3, 1904.7
acres were purchased from A. W. Taylor on February 25, 1907 for $56.00.8
This piece of property was sold to George’s uncle, James J. "Pokey" Smith, for $50.00 on September 4, 1909.
9 George and Lillian can be found in the 1910 Polk County, FL census dated May 3, 1910.
10 George is farming. On September 15, 1910, George received a 160-acre land patent.
Phosphate rights were reserved for the United States government.11 The land was located near
West Lake Wales, south of the current Highway 60. The next ten years must have been an adventurous
time in George’s life. In the spring of 1914, he and his nephew, Jasper Mimbs,
were brought to trial in Polk County, FL for stealing cattle and changing their brands.
members say he was only retrieving his own cows in the first place.
Because the records no longer exist, the final outcome of these charges is not known.
In the course of the next five years, George sold his homestead to the following: Peace Valley Farms13
– 40 acres for $500.00 (August 20, 1915), Robert N. Jones14 – 40 acres for $10.00
(March 4, 1916), J. C. Thomson15 – 5 acres for $100.00 (March 10, 1916), Arthur Case16 –
15 acres for $200.00 (February 19, 1917), Caroline Baynard17 –
20 acres for $500.00 (April 3, 1919), C. C. Clark18 – 20 acres for $500.00 (November 8, 1919),
Catur C. Clark19 – 20 acres for $1.00 (May 6, 1920).
While he was selling the
homestead, George registered for the draft for
World War I (1917-1918).20According to later census records,
he never served in the military.
On April 7, 1919,Georgepurchased Lot 1 in Block 48 in Lake Wales from
T. W. Page for $1.00.21 He sold this lot toH. W. Hay on May 26, 1922
Other land transactions during the 1920’s
include the purchase of 40 acres from A. T. Mann on August 25, 1925 for
This property was off of Waters Road. Easements were sold to the Florida Public Service Company for $1.00 on
October 5, 192731 and for $3.00 on April 17, 1928.32 Twenty acres was sold back to A. T. Mann on September 15, 1928.33
The other twenty acres was sold to George M. Coates on March 26, 1929.34 A separate 40 acres was sold to A. T. Mann
on August 25, 1926 for $10.00.35
George and Lillian are found
again in the 1930 Polk County census.36 George was farming during the
which began in 1929.Unemployment was great and farmers suffered great losses.On May 28, 1929 George purchased
100 acres from George W. Oliver.37 This land is referred to today as the “McGowan Place.” This property,
with its beautiful oak trees on sandy soil, was the most loved George and Lillian’s family. It was located near Parker Lake.
As usual, when George had the opportunity to sell property, he did so. He sold this land to the following individuals during
the 1930’s: twenty acres to Edith Horton38 for $1.00 on May 19, 1931; five acres to Lugenia Daughtery39 for $1.00
on August 25, 1933; fifteen acres to Elmer Mimbs40 for $1.00 on August 25, 1933; twenty acres to Leroy Mimbs41
on August 25, 1933; twenty acres to Leroy Mimbs42 for $10.00 on April 16, 1934; and twenty acres to Mae McGowan43
for $1.00 on August 29, 1936. George moved his family to Okeechobee, FL. He purchased a farm and planted mostly
green beans for resale. The land, being very low, was flooded. The bean crop was ruined. The family moved back to
Polk County near what is known today as Indian Lake Estates.
members have their own fond memories and special stories to tell
concerning the McGowan Place.
With so many aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, as well as parents and siblings living so close together,
no one could possibly ever be lonesome. Leon Mimbs tells of many trips on horseback, accompanied
by different family members. Leon was very
friendly with all the horses. This caused problems many times,
especially when George would have the horses grinding sugarcane. Leon
would get a little too close
to watch, and the horses would stop working. This would result in a switching using the cane husks.
During the period of time the Mimbs Family lived on the McGowan Place, the minimum wage law was
enacted. The first week of this windfall, Elmer Mimbs worked his forty hours for $40.00, and then
went shopping. When he arrived home, he had purchased a Model T Ford with a rumble seat.
It was filled with groceries and Elmer still had money left in his pocket!44
George and Lillian are found in the 1935 Polk County, FL census.45 George was still farming.
This is the same year the Social Security Act was passed.46 George and Lillian’s sons, Leroy and Elmer,
are living next door to them. Lillian’s mother, Mary Jane Johnson is living a few doors away.
Land transactions during the thirties included the
purchase of 40 acres from W. H. Robbins for $10.00 on April 2, 1934.47
George sold this land to Walter S. Mott on
April 5, 1937 for $10.00.48 - photo of George Washington Mimbs
and Lillian's daughter, Ola Vee, tells the following ... My parents
lived on 100 acres of land between West Scenic Park and
Mt.-Lake-Cut-Off Road. We attended Enterprise Baptist Church. My dad
was a deacon in the church. He had a big mustache and
smoked a pipe. My Mother and Dad were Christians and they raised each one of us in a Christian home. When GW and I
were little children, my folks would carry us to church. Mama would fix a pallet down on the floor, and that's where I would lay
and fall asleep. The preacher would get loud and holler up there and it'd wake me up. Or somebody would shout out
"Amen!" or "Praise the Lord!" and it would wake me up. We went to Sunday School and Church as well as Prayer Meeting, also.
dad raised his own cane and had his own cane mill. Once a year the
church would come ...
everybody came and helped him grind cane and make syrup. And then they cooked some of
it down and had a "candy pullin". That was along about Christmas time every year when I was a
little girl coming up. And all of those people there, we just had great times together.
Daddy also grew corn, a field of tomatoes, peas, and all kinds of vegetables. I don't remember a time
when we didn't have food on the table. He had a smoke house and raised his own meat. He gave
lots away. Widow women were invited to come to the fields and get food. Everyone loved him.
"The Lord blessed him every way in the world."
> photo of George Washington Mimbs <
November 18, 2009