Hon. Newton Amon Blitch

N. A. Blitch was born October 12, 1844 in Marion Co., Florida to the parents of James S. and Martha Ann Willis Blitch. That part of Marion County would later be transferred to Levy County. On September 19, 1863 listed as a resident of Stafford Pond, Levy, County, Newton Blitch  enlisted in the Confederate Army at Camp Call, Florida. He entered as a private and was assigned to the 2nd. Florida Cavalry, Company C. A short time after the war Newton married Henrietta Jane Edwards. They would have seven children three sons and four daughters.

He served in the Florida House of Representatives for Levy County in 1883, and 1887-1891. He was in the Florida Senate for the 21st district from 1893-1903. In 1907 Mr. Blitch was elected to serve on the Railroad Commission for the State of Florida and did so from January 8, 1907 until his death on October 30, 1921. When his time limit was up as Railroad Commissioner in 1910 the Tampa Tribune gave him a fine endorsement saying he was a “good man…one of the best in Florida…and should be retained.” At every term limit Mr. Blitch was re-elected by the people, his public record untarnished. At his death Governor Hardee appointed A. D. Campbell of Chipley to fill his unexpired term.

He became the state supervisor of convicts at a time when the convict leasing program was under fire for the inhumane treatment of prisoners. He traveled the state at intervals inspecting the camps and reporting to the state board on their treatment. In 1919 He was elected commander in chief of the Florida division of the Florida Confederate Veterans at Jacksonville. He quickly organized his staff naming W. E. McGahagin, of Ocklawaha, assistant chief of artillery, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Gen. Alfred Ayer, of Ocala was one of his honorary aides-de-camp.

While living with his wife in a boarding house in Tallahasse, a few months before his death he became very ill and was taken to his daughters home at Starke by his son J. S. Blitch, superintendent of the state prison farm at Raiford, to be cared for. Newspaper accounts say he died at his home in Tallahasse. In his obituary from the Tampa Tribune it says “General Blitch has left a long record of efficient service, of honorable conduct, and of popularity. He closed the chapter of life with a “finis” written only after life’s work may truly be said to have ended." He is buried at Starke, Florida in Bradford County at the Crosby Cemetery. Henrietta died on July 28, 1930 and is buried alongside her husband. 

Author: Linda Flowers

Source: Ocala Evening Star, Ocala Banner, Holmes County Advertiser, Tampa Tribune, Genealogybank & Ancestry


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