‘Post Time’: Rediscovering Northwood’s ‘Lost town of Mangonia’


Readers: Elbridge Gale wasn’t in Kansas anymore. The minister, educator and professor of horticulture from the Great Plains had retired in November 1884 and moved with his wife to property along the Intracoastal Waterway. Soon he’d developed a farm growing not wheat or soybeans but mangoes. And given his place an appropriate name: Mangonia.

But this is not the Mangonia that’s now the town of Mangonia Park. This is an area about 2 miles south of that, in West Palm Beach’s Northwood neighborhood.

Now the Northwood Shores Neighborhood Association is pushing for a historical marker for “the lost town of Mangonia,” according to its president, Carl Flick, who’s also a local urban planner and historic preservation advocate.

Here’s more from Carl and from our archives:

When Gale got to what then was called the region, he was the first on the mainland to build a cabin. It’s believed some or all of the original cabin is in the existing structure of the Gale house, at 401 29th St.

At the site, Gale developed what is believed to be the nation’s first fruit-bearing, grafted West Indian mango tree.

“Today, about 80 percent of the world’s commercial mangoes (even in China and India) trace their roots back to the original variety developed here in Northwood,” Flick wrote.

Gale died in 1907.

Perhaps more famous, albeit for a brief stay, is Gale’s daughter, Hattie. She was all of 16, younger than some of her charges, when the school we now refer to as the Little Red Schoolhouse opened in March 1886.

Hattie, who arrived in 1885, taught for only three months before the area hired a teacher for $100. She returned to Kansas State, where she finished her education. She also met Kansas State faculty member William Henry Sanders at a Manhattan, Kansas, train station in 1887. They moved that year to Lake Worth and married on Aug. 24, 1890. She was 20.

Hattie taught in the Mangonia neighborhood. Her husband worked as an engineer on a tug helping build the Overseas Railroad. A 1906 storm drove it out to sea and sank it; several men drowned, but Sanders survived. The couple eventually retired to Central Florida, and Hattie died in Inverness, north of Tampa, on Aug. 1, 1955.

The couple had several children, but only one was still living when Sanders died Sept. 18, 1967, in St. Joseph, Mo. Sanders’ sister, Susan, married Harry DuBois. Their 1898 home, believed to be the second-oldest in the county, is now the DuBois Pioneer Home Museum. She died in 1977 at 101. Her son, John R., married Jupiter pioneer and historian Bessie DuBois. That made Bessie Hattie’s niece by marriage.

Next Week: The lost town of Mangonia.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Cerabino: Florida’s NRA mouthpiece reaches for a silencer
Cerabino: Florida’s NRA mouthpiece reaches for a silencer

Florida’s chief NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer is standing her ground in a whole new way. This month, the 79-year-old grandmother and the guiding hand of permissive gun legislation in Florida for decades, filed a 129-page federal lawsuit that is mostly a compilation of the bitter, profane and sometimes threatening emails she received after the February...
Millions fall for South Carolina dentist in viral ‘In My Fillings’ dance video
Millions fall for South Carolina dentist in viral ‘In My Fillings’ dance video

A dentist in Greenville, South Carolina, is inspiring millions to get their teeth cleaned after taking on the Drake-inspired “In My Feelings” dance challenge. Dr. Rich Constantine’s version of the “shiggy” -- a dance inspired by the rapper -- has over 24 million views on Facebook. >> Read more trending...
Dozens turn out for Riviera town hall in call to action to end violence
Dozens turn out for Riviera town hall in call to action to end violence

Less than a week after two people were gunned down in separate shootings in Riviera Beach, more than 50 concerned citizens gathered for a town hall meeting to voice their concerns about the violence plaguing the city. Those who attended the town hall were adamant that the bloodshed must end and came to make their voices heard. Also in attendance were...
Kick added sugar in sports drinks
Kick added sugar in sports drinks

Nike recently launched a Gatorade-colored collection of Air Jordan sneakers in honor of the sports drink’s famous 1991 “Be Like Mike” advertisement, which encouraged Americans to consume brightly hued sugar water if they wanted to emulate basketball star Michael Jordan. Plenty did. Gatorade is still paying big bucks to professional...
Monitoring your health from your living room
Monitoring your health from your living room

NEW ORLEANS - There were termites in the garage and a $2,100 bill to get rid of them. The mechanic had called to say he didn’t know when the car would be fixed. So after a summer day full of aggravations, 73-year-old Ann Ware wasn’t surprised to see the result when she sat down on her sofa, wrapped a blood pressure cuff around her arm and...
More Stories