Mr. Alonzo P. Baskin was born January 20, 1844 five miles east of Perry, Houston Co., GA, to the parents of James G. and Sarah Goode Baskin. He enlisted in the Confederate Army serving four years and was considered a "faithful and zealous soldier." That fervent spirit would serve him well as he entered politics some time later. A few years after the war on February 6, 1866, he married Miss Laura White at Perry. Laura sadly passed away on March 9, 1867. Alonzo then married Miss Julia Gates January 15, 1869. They moved to Florida and settled at Marion County in the town of Anthony. Three children were born to this union, Charley, James G. and Kate. Charley unfortunately died in infancy. Alonzo planted an orange grove, bringing it to maturity before the "Great Freeze of 1895-96," where all was lost. Not daunted, he cultivated his land and turned to truck farming becoming quite successful. His marriage ended with Julia's death some thirty years later on July 18, 1899. She was buried in the Anthony Cemetery. Following her death, Alonzo returned to his hometown for a visit where he met and married his third wife, Mrs. Ella Norris on November 1, 1900.
Alonzo Baskin was very much involved in his community and as such was on several boards through the years.He was a business man, farmer, political figure and an all around good person, respected by all who knew him .
He became interested in politics and was described as "a man of strong personality and convictions" and was recognized early as "a leader of men." He was nominated on the legislative ticket and along with Hon.Francis D. Pooser, were the first democrats to represent Marion County. He served in the House of Representatives both 1887 and 1889, respectively. He became enthusiastic in the populist movement and as such was the candidate for governor in 1892, but lost to Hon. H. L. Mitchell. He was a driving force in removing the county from carpetbag rule. His enthusiasm as a populist waned and Alonzo returned to the democratic party and in 1902 was nominated again for the legislature. He turned it down, preferring his life on the farm. He had become a writer of agricultural matters and political themes.
The dream of owning an Orange Grove was always there and in 1906 Alonzo purchased a controlling interest in one in what was then Hillsborough County in the town Largo. He and his wife moved there and just as he was about to enjoy that dream it was cut short by a diagnosis of cancer. His condition was hopeless and on March 22, 1908 at the home of his son, Dr, James G. Baskin, he passed away. The Honorable Alonzo Baskin handled his illness and coming death with courage and dignity, in the same manner he had lived his life. He is buried in the Anthony Cemetery at that place. Ella passed away on November 9, 1935 and is buried at Anthony Cemetery, as well.
Author: Linda Flowers
Source: Ocala Evening Star, Ocala Banner, Tampa Tribune, The People of Lawmaking Florida-1822-2015, Ancestry, Find A Grave