Will Carleton Daniells, 1882-1973
Will Carleton was born in Wacousta in 1882 and graduated from the Wacousta 10th grade school in 1901 in the same class with Iva Bliss. The following day, he left for New York where he went to work for Ingersoll Watch, testing 2500 watches per day at $9 per week. He followed his older brothers Estee and Allan in working for Ingersoll. In 1902, he went to Fort Worth, Texas, to Draughon’s Business College.
He graduated in 1903 and moved to Chicago where he worked for his brother, Estee, as a shipping clerk at Ingersoll. He held that job until 1906. He also worked at the Auditorium nights and was head usher for Gonzales Church when he injured his knee in a fall on the stairs.
W.C., as he was often known, purchased 40 acres of the King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas, and went there in the spring of 1906. After a year there, he returned to Wacousta long enough to marry Iva Bliss at her family’s farm, “the Pivot”. The wedding was quite a social event in Wacousta, and more will be described about the wedding in the next posting.
The couple spent two years at Santa Maria, Texas, two miles from the Rio Grande, growing cabbages, beans and onions and then two years at Mercedes, Texas. Mary Daniells was born in Mercedes, the only one of the five daughters not born at the Pivot. By the time of her birth, Will and Iva had prospered enough to be able to purchase a glass window for their house. During the family’s time in Texas, Iva maintained a regular correspondence with her mother in Michigan. Those post cards are in the possession of Jim Winegar.
In 1911, the family moved back to Chicago where Will worked for his brother Allan. From 1915-1916, he was in Tavares, Florida, developing groves for D.B. and W. at Lake Harris. He sold watches part time in Florida and South Georgia. In 1919, he was called to New York by his brother Allan to run the watch service bureau. He alternated between New York and Florida. Iva and the four daughters returned to Wacousta during this time, soon to be joined by a fifth daughter in the same year. In 1923, W.C. purchased a home in Eustis, Florida, and the family rejoined him.
Will spent the rest of his career involved with citrus. Working with Frank Savage, he developed the tangelo, a cross between the tangerine and the grapefruit. He became known as the “Tangelo King of Florida” and, at one time, owned the largest acreage of tangelos in the world. He was known as a businessman of upmost integrity and honesty. He died in Eustis in 1973.
Iva Bliss Daniells, 1884-1946
very able musician (pianist, accompanist, member of vocal quartet) and a leader in community affairs. She was president of the Lake County, Florida, PTA, active in church work, and involved in the Eustis, Florida, PEO. She saw to it that all five daughters got through college during the Great Depression. After a two-year fight against cancer, she died at the Pivot in 1946.
The five daughters of W.C. and Iva Daniells were:
Estella Elizabeth (Betty)
Iva Georgean (Jean)