After Lydia Foster Caplinger’s husband died (Samuel Isaac Caplinger) died and she had proved up their homestead and sold it, she moved to a cabin built on the corner of Richard Road and 15th Street (a.k.a. Kings Highway). This was next to my grandfather’s sister, Rose Connet, and her home is now the Montessori school, a beautiful old home.
It was a weekend night and she heard someone prowling around the cabin trying to get in. Taking up her shotgun she warned him away. However he wouldn’t leave so she told him she would shoot him if he didn’t,to leave. Well it turned out he was a drunken black man and he not only didn’t leave but tried to break the door down. So she pulled the trigger and shot him. There was an investigation into this and she was found innocent as she had only been defending herself. The man did recover and served time in jail for his part in this event.
Indians who used to come into town from the Everglades would ask my grandmother to let them sleep on the cabin floor going to and coming home. As a result of the previous shooting incident, they said of her,”You don’t mess with Old Miss, she just as soon shoot you as look at you!”
For those of you who know the Homestead-Redland area, my grandparents homesteaded 160 acres on the southwest corner of Redland Road and Avocado Drive. My grandfather’s sister, Hattie Thomas, her husband and children had the next homestead west of them and they sold it to Old Charlie Fuchs, the founder of Fuch’s Baking Company.