Personal Papers &Primary ResourcesCollections
Heirs of a Proud Tradition: a History of the Jewish Community of Jacksonville, 1841-1986. [Jacksonville, Fla.? : Jewish Community Alliance of Jacksonville, 1986]
Herbsman, Yael. Index to Florida Jewish History in the American Israelite, 1854-1900. Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries, 1992.
Between 1865 and 1867, George F. Drew (Florida Governor: 1877-1881) established a large lumber company and built numerous sawmills in Ellaville, Florida on the Suwannee River. Louis Bucki, of New York City, became his business partner in 1869, as evidenced by the firm's stationery letterhead of "Drew & Bucki Lumber Company." In 1883, Bucki became the sole proprietor of the firm. With the acquisition came a change of company name to "L. Bucki & Son Lumber Co." (Charles L. Bucki, son.) By this time, the operations of the "Suwannee Steam Saw Mills" had grown into one of the largest enterprises of its kind in the South, with over 1,200 acres near Ellaville, an additional 90,000 acres of timber lands in adjacent areas, and all traversed by a private company railroad. Lumber yards and branch offices were established in New York City and Jacksonville, Florida. A steam schooner, the "Louis Bucki," transported lumber between the two cities. In 1884, the Ellaville mills were destroyed by fire, but the Company immediately announced their plans to rebuild on the site.
Very little biographical information is known about J. D. Bucky. From 1878-1886, Jacob D. Bucky was active as a clothing and "gents" merchant in Jacksonville with a store on 5 West Bay Street. In 1893, Jacob D. Bucky was elected President of the "L. Bucki & Son Lumber Co.," and traveled between their offices in New York City and Jacksonville.
Family members were proprietors of various businesses in Jacksonville; represented in the collection are sons Fred W., Daniel, Milton and Albert J. In particular, numerous letters from Fred Bucky to his father are contained in the collection. Circa 1895, sons Fred and Albert Bucky operated a shoe retail business in Jacksonville, "J. D. Bucky's Sons Shoe Retailers," on 33 West Bay St. In 1901, Fred Bucky was the proprietor of a Jacksonville and Fernandina firm, "Fred'K W. Bucky & Co., Shipping and Forwarding Agents." A June 1902 letterhead shows a new affiliation with the "Jacksonville Lumber Company."
The Bucky family were active members of the Jewish community in Jacksonville in the late nineteenth century, with numerous entries in the "Index to Florida Jewish History in the American Israelite, 1854-1900." A letter in 1907 refers to J. D. Bucky's election as an honorary member of the Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA).
The collection consists of the personal and business correspondence of Bucky Family members and other correspondents from 1893-1915. Most of the letters are incoming correspondence from business associates, close family members, relatives and friends to Jacob (Jake) D. Bucky. Numerous letters from 1893-1895 are written on the "L. Bucki and Son" letterhead stationery.
The business correspondence from 1893 to 1895 refers mainly to payments and shipments of materials. Also included are several telegrams and notes concerning Masonic Hall Lodge dues. Of particular interest are the numerous pieces of letterhead stationery providing documentation for late nineteenth century Jacksonville businesses. In 1903-04, several letters from the Jacksonville law firm of Bisbee and Bedell refer to J. D. Bucki's appearance as a witness in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Fidelity & Deposit Co. vs. L. Bucki and Son Lumber Co. Reference is also made by the law firm to the L. Bucki Company ceasing business early in 1898.
Three letters written by Fred Bucky to his father on May 16, 22, and 30, 1901 are of special note for their glimpse of life in Jacksonville at the beginning of the twentieth century. The contents also provide a brief eyewitness account of the re-building of Jacksonville after the Great Fire on May 3, 1901. On May 22, he relates to his father: "...It is a sad sight to see the once busy bustling prosperous Jacksonville buried in ashes. One cannot imagine how bad it really is unless they could actually see it. A few well insured ones and those whose homes were spared are alright..." On May 30: "... I know what the poor boy has suffered... the fire excitement was too much for his nerves. The re-building of the city is very slow at present, material is hard to get... "
All items are photocopies. Most letters are legible; however, some handwritten letters are difficult to read.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection:
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