Monday, January 14, 2013

Joseph Augustine Mora

Joseph Augustine Mora was one of the oldest fishermen in Cortez, Florida when he died in 1931. He was 84 and had lived in the fishing community for almost 50 years. Commercial fishing is a hard life and those that do it don't normally make it to four score, espicially in his generation. 

Tampa Tribune Wednesday, July 8, 1931

His obituary from the Tampa Tribune said he was born in the Canary Islands. On census records his place of birth varied from the Canary Islands in 1880, Cuba in 1900 and Spain in 1910 and later years. He was born March 17, 1847 and died July 6, 1931. He was buried in the Palma Sola Cemetery.

He probably considered himself Spanish. There were Spanish fisherman living in the Cortez area during the fall fishing seasons for at least a hundred years before anyone else settled there. They built shelters out of the palm tree branches and I guess they didn't worry if their homes were washed away during hurricane season. That may be the way to go with a beach house.  

Joseph Mora probably heard of Cortez from some of the descendants of these early Spanish mullet fishermen when he moved there around 1888. He had been fishing in the Key West area before heading north and was listed there on both the 1880 and 1885 census.

Spanish Rancho

He had a total of ten children with nine of them born to his second wife Mary "Minnie" Hazel who he married on July 11, 1891. Minnie died September 12, 1917 one week after the birth of their youngest daughter Sarah Louise Mora Fulford. Minnie was buried in the Palma Sola Cemetery also. There no markers for either her or Joseph in the cemetery. I found an old map of the Palma Sola cemetery lots and it shows he owned Plot 8 in Block C, next to the church building.      

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