GEORGE PHILIP FAUST 1820 - 1900

George Philip Faust left Germany [1] , possibly the area of Bavaria [2] and arrived in America in 1840 at about the age of 20. According to the Early Vital Records of Pensacola, Florida, Philip [Phillip] Faust’s parents were both born in Germany, though no names are given in this or any other known United States records for his parents. [3] Possibly jumping ship in a Georgia port [4] , he married his first wife Elizabeth in Georgia, and they made their way to middle Florida, probably along the Apalachicola River, as indicated by land sale records [5] . No marriage record has been found for George Philip Faust and Elizabeth thus far. In 1843 George and Elizabeth had their first child, George Phillip Faust, Jr. The 1850 U.S. Census for Jackson County, Florida shows the Faust family residing there, and lists Philip Faust’s occupation as “Merchant.” It also shows that Elizabeth was born in Georgia, and states that their one child, George, Jr., was two years old at the time. [6] There was probably a misreading of the original census by the transcriber, as other records, including family records, would indicate his age was seven (7), not two (2); an easy mistake depending on the hand writing of the original census taker.


In April 1852, George purchased land along the Apalachicola River in Jackson County [7] , and in May 1855 he purchased more land in the same area, apparently on east and west sides of the Apalachicola, his lot being listed under both Gadsden and Jackson counties, in an area where the river divides that section within the township and range boundaries. This land is just west of the city of Chattahoochee [8] .

According to the Florida Juror and Witness Certificates for Franklin county, George P. Faust was a witness before the Grand Jury in 1856, and served on a petit jury in 1857, both probably in Apalachicola. In both instances he is listed as Philip Faust. [9]

George and Elizabeth had three more children: Julia Ann, Francis, and Sara Elizabeth. The same year that her daughter Francis was born, George’s wife Elizabeth died. That same year (1860), George remarried. [10] His second wife was Mary Jane Allen, and they were married 8 April 1860 by Minister W. K. Norton. F. E. de la Rua was Clerk of Circuit Court at the time, and his signature is on the marriage certificate. [11] In 1867, George and Mary’s daughter Jennie was born. [12]


The Federal Census for 1860, Pensacola, shows Philip and Mary Jane, but none of the  children are listed in the census index. [13] After Florida voted for secession on 10 January 1861, the Pensacola Committee on Safety took oaths of allegiance to the Constitution of the Confederate States of America from the city’s citizens. P. Faust is listed among the oath signers for January and February. [14] During the Civil War, a great many Pensacola families left for more peaceful sections of the South. According to the diary, of Dr. John Brosnaham, entry dated 21 July 1863, there were eighty-two inhabitants who decided to stay in Pensacola which had come under Union control. Four Faust family members are shown to have stayed in Pensacola. [15]


George Faust signed a land sale agreement in 1868 for land in Santa Rosa County, on the west shore of Escambia Bay. The land was sold to James R. Lee. [16] Faust was involved in another land agreement in May 1880, this time with his son, Philip Faust, Jr., for the sum of five dollars. [17]   On a subdivision map of Breckenridge & Call, and Henry M. Breckenridge Tracts, there is a parcel of land listed as owned by Julian Edwards and Philip Faust in 1899. W. H. Davinson was the surveyor. [18] This parcel is on Pensacola Bay, and is today part of the Naval Live Oaks Area of Santa Rosa Island National Seashore. It was here that George Faust spent many of his later years. His family, living in Pensacola,  would row across the bay on a skiff to see him on Santa Rosa Island. [19]

During a family gathering in 1986, Mrs. Lena Hendrick, age 101, was recorded giving some description of George Philip Faust’s later years. Mrs. Hendrick was the daughter of Julia Faust, who was the daughter of George P. Faust, Sr. Faust’s great-granddaughter was there and transcribed the recording. According to Mrs. Hendrick, George P. Faust, Sr. was nearly blind from living on the island because of the constant glare of the sun on the sand. Mrs. Hendrick’s sister Kaki had told her that Faust raised vegetables on Santa Rosa Island, including, “beautiful celery.” He used seaweed that washed up along the beach to fertilize the sandy soil. He also had a herd of goats. The elderly Faust left his island home to live in Pensacola with his daughter Sarah Elizabeth Faust Brown, wife of Alexander Joseph Brown. They lived on Main Street. George lived with her because her house had only one step. He used a “white cane with a crooked top,” and enjoyed sitting in a particular chair on the front porch. The lady next door, Mrs. Georgia, had a pet monkey that she kept chained to a tree just on the other side of a fence from Sarah Faust’s property. Mrs. Georgia would often bring the monkey over and “let him love grandpa.” The monkey would even get jealous of the grandchildren, like Mrs. Hendrick, when they would come to see their grandfather. The grandchildren would walk from Muscogee Warf on Sundays, passing by St. John’s Cemetery, and going to Elizabeth Faust Brown’s house to see George P. Faust, Sr. There were no paved streets, only sand. Garden Street had a canal or ditch in the middle of it back then, with boards on either side of the ditch. It was “always full of water.” Passing by the First Methodist Church they would walk on a board sidewalk, in which ladies often caught their heels. [20]


George Philip Faust died 4 October 1900 of Bright’s Disease. He is buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida. [21] Strangely, his Death Certificate indicates his citizenship as Germany. [22] Many of his descendants lived and still live in Pensacola and the surrounding area. [23] His grandson Phillip Hiram Faust was the Supervisor or City Parks in Pensacola for many years, “giving continuous service for 38 years” to the city of Pensacola. [24]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Philip Faust, A Record of His Life

Compiled by Michael Hagans

The University of West Florida

Florida History

Dr. Jane Dysart

June 17, 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Special Thanks to Carolyn Messmer and Glenda Pace, who have researched their great-grandfather and his descendants so well over the years. Their kindness and willingness to be interviewed are greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Sidney Phoenix Thomes and Virginia G. Deagan, eds., Early Vital Records of Pensacola, Florida: Transcribed and Indexed (Pensacola: West Florida Genealogical Society, 1989), 95.

[2] Ancestry.com, “Faust Message Board,” [message on-line by Miranda King]; Phillip and Elizabeth Faust, available from http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/message/an/surnames.faust/

101.108; Internet; accessed 16 May 2002.

[3] Thomes, Early Vital Records of Pensacola, Florida, 95.

[4] Carolyn Messmer and Glenda Pace, interview by author, Cantonment, Fl., 14 June 2002.

[5] Duke Victory, “Jackson County, Florida, Reconstructed Tract Book: Range 6W & 7W; Section 6 - T3N R6W”, [index on-line]; available from: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/

Bluffs/3010/jack-6w.htm; Internet; accessed 16 June 2002.

[6] Rootsweb.com, “1850 Census Transcription, Jackson County, Florida, Households 272-560,” file contributed by Miriam Bailey for use in UWGenWeb Archives, [article on-line]; available from: http://www. rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ifetch2?/u1/data/fl+index+120450958251+F; Internet; accessed 2 June 2002.

[7] Glen Nobles, The Landholders 1826-1893, The Voting Record of 1845, 1850 US Census of Jackson County, Glen’s Stories and Reminiscences, And Some Pioneer Families of Jackson County (Grand Ridge, Florida: Nobles Publishing Company, 2000), 16.

[8] Victory, Reconstructed Tract Book, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Bluffs/3010/jack-6w.htm.

[9] Bouknecht, Carol Cox, Florida Juror and Witness Certificates, Franklin County, 1848, 1850-1860, 1881, 1884 (Tallahassee: n.p., 1991), 17, 24.

[10] Messmer, Interview, 14 June 2002.

[11] Right of Matrimony, Escambia County, Florida [photocopy]; obtained from Carolyn Messmer, Cantonment, Florida; 14 June 2002.

[12] Messmer, Interview.

[13] Ronald Vern Jackson, Florida 1860 Census Index (North Salt Lake, UT: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, Inc., 1984), 81.

[14] Virginia Parks, Alan Rick and Norman Simons, “Pensacola in the Civil War,” Pensacola Historical Society Quarterly vol. IX, 2 (Spring, 1978): 43.

[15] Rootsweb.com, “Pensacola Inhabitants of 1863, From the Diary of Dr. John Brosnaham, 21 July 1863,” Original taken from a clipping in a notebook of Escambia County, Florida Miscellaneous Records in West Florida Regional Library Genealogical Collection, undated and no source; [article on-line]; available from: http://www.rootsweb.com/~nescamb/1863.htm; Internet; [photocopy]; obtained through Carolyn Messmer; accessed 24 April 2001.

[16] Santa Rosa County, Land Sale Records, Book B, 728-729, [photocopy]; Santa Rosa County Court House.

[17] Santa Rosa County, Land Sale Records, Book C, 8, [photocopy]; Santa Rosa County Court House.

[18] Map Indicating Subdivision of Breckenridge & Call, and Henry M. Breckenridge Tracts, [photocopy]; surveyed by W. H. Davinson, 31 July 1899, copy obtained from Carolyn Messmer.

[19] Lena Hendrick, interviewed by Carolyn Messmer, tape recording, 19 January 1986.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Thomes, Early Vital Records of Pensacola, Florida, 95.

[22] Florida, “Certificate of Death,” Office of Vital Statistics, [photocopy], Certified Copy obtained 5 September 1990, provided by Carolyn Messmer.

[23] Various records such as Obituaries in the Pensacola Journal bear this out, as well as information from family trees provided by Carolyn Messmer, 14 June 2002.

[24] Carolyn Messmer and Glenda Pace, Article on File with the Pensacola Historical Society, n.d.