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CHAIRES, McQueen
Author: The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923,  Vol. III pg. 25

CHAIRES, McQUEEN, a progressive exponent of farm industry in the new
county of Dixie, was born at Cedar Keys, Levy County, Florida, on the 15th of
February, 1871, and is a son of THOMAS PETER CHAIRES, who was born in Leon
County, this state, in 1847, and who died at Old Town, in the present Dixie
County, in the year 1899. GREEN CHAIRES, grandfather of the subject of this
review, was a native of Virginia and a representative of a family there
founded in the Colonial period of our national history. GREEN CHAIRES became
one of the extensive landholders and successful planters in Leon County,
Florida, where he established the town of Chaires, and where he was a leader
in community affairs, especially in church work and in the developing of
schools. From that county he went forth as a loyal soldier of the Confederacy
in the Civil war. His son THOMAS P. having been a lad of but fourteen years
when he entered the Confederate service in the capacity of courier for General
Dickinson, his service having continued during three years of the war.
After the close of the war THOMAS P. CHAIRES became a clerk in a general
store at Cedar Keys, and there was solemnized his marriage to Miss CLARA
McQUEEN, daughter of JAMES McQUEEN, one of the leading citizens of that
section. In 1871 Mr. CHAIRES moved to that part of Lafayette County that is
now included in Dixie County, and he developed one of the large farm estates
of this locality, with incidental prestige as a specially successful
agriculturist and stockgrower. He represented Lafayette County in the Lower
House of the State Legislature, and in 1899 was a member of the State Senate,
as a representative of the Twelfth District, his death having occurred while
he was holding this office. Mr. CHAIRES was a man of energy and marked
business ability, became an extensive buyer and shipper of cattle, and was
also prominently identified with the cedar-lumber business as a representative
of the Eberhard Faber Company, the great pencil manufacturing corporation. He
was affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, and he and his wife, who died in
1895, were zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He gave
freely of his time, influence and money in furthering the development and
prosperity of Lafayette County, and was a citizen who commanded unqualified
popular confidence and good will.
McQUEEN CHAIRES, eldest in a family of four children passed his boyhood
and early youth on the home farm, and his educational advantages included
those of the Kirkwood Military Academy, the East Florida Seminary, the Means
High School of Atlanta, Florida, and the high school at Starke, Florida. At
the age of nineteen years he engaged actively in the buying of cedar lumber,
and identified himself also with the cattle business, he having gained
experience in these lines through former association with his father’s
business affairs. He is now the owner of a large amount of valuable cedar
land in this section of Florida, and his fine stock farm comprises 2,000
acres, his live stock brand being T Fleur de Lis, the T representing the
initial of the first personal name of his father. Mr. CHAIRES was the first
to introduce in this section of his native state sires of the Hereford full-
blood cattle and also Duroc-Jersey swine, and in this and other ways he has
done much to raise live stock standards. His progressiveness is shown equally
in the agricultural department of his farm enterprise, and he has in a
distinct way reputation for leadership in civic and industrial affairs in his
county. He finds his chief diversion in hunting and fishing.
Mr. CHAIRES is influential in the councils and campaign activities of the
democratic party in this part of the state, and in 1909 and 1917 he
represented Lafayette County in the State Legislature. He was prominently
identified with the movement that resulted in the establishment of the new
county of Dixie, and was a member of the Florida State Democratic Committee at
the time when Dixie County was formed. He is a leading member of the Cattle
Men’s Association of Florida, and is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity
and the Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks. He and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South.
In 1902, at Ocala, this state, Mr. CHAIRES wedded Miss RUBY SHEPPARD,
daughter of C. R. M. SHEPPARD, who was for more than twenty years engaged in
the cedar-timber business, in which he was associated with the late THOMAS P.
CHAIRES, father of the subject of this review. The maiden name of the mother
of Mrs. CHAIRES was MARY BARNNETT, and the parents now reside at Newberry,
where the father is living retired. Mrs. SHEPPARD is a kinswoman of ROBERT
BARNNETT, famed in the work of the Methodist Church in the South.

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