The Accursio Family Of Florida City - South Dade News Leader: Florida City

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The Accursio Family Of Florida City

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Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2014 8:59 am

  The Accursios first came to Florida City in about 1939 when the father Lucio (called Jimmy by everyone) came down for health reasons  Wife Maria (called Mary by everyone) and the children waited in Everett a suburb of Boston.  First he came to Jacksonville and St. Augustine and not liking the cold temperatures, then on to Miami and finally FloridaCity.

  The children were in the order of their birth:  Angelo (Jimmy), Frank, Joseph (Joe), Salvatore (Richard), John, Santo (Sam) and Josephine. 

  The pleasant climate attracted the Accursios to FloridaCity. The older boys stayed in Massachusetts.

  Dad Jimmy operated a bar-restaurant in a two story building near the FEC Railway tracks where Rosita’s Restaurant now stands.  The building had four bedrooms upstairs where the Accursio family lived.  Also sold were bakery products. Early memories include the sight and sound of a welding shop behind the building.

  Son Jimmy farmed, Frank stayed up north; Joe was drafted into the Army in January right after Pearl Harbor. Richard, John and Sam were 4 later drafted. Richard was wounded and earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.  Sam broke his leg playing football just before being drafted so his call-up was delayed until he healed but not before he reported to CampBlanding and was sent home.  Later he carried out administrative functions at a base in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Richard and John served in the North African and European Theatres and barely missed being shipped to the Pacific because they had lots of points built up for their combat service.  Frank and Jimmy received deferments because they were engaged in a profession essential to the war effort, farming.

  Josephine attended FloridaCityElementary School where grades4, 5 and 6 all met in one large room.  Mrs. Blackburn (perhaps Rebecca) was the teacher.  Her husband E.B. Blackburn became the principal of the Homestead area schools in June of 1945.  He was a long time local high school teacher and was president of the Rotary Club of Homestead and a Homestead City Councilman.  The first week in school was difficult for Josephine because of the change in culture from primarily New England to southern. Her best friend was Lillian Angelini Calautti.  Later in high school Joe Nesbitt who became Judge Joe Nesbitt called Josephine “Boston” because of her retained accent.  Josephine graduated from high school in 1947 and attended WalshBusinessCollege in Miami.

  After graduation she worked as a secretary in a Miami law firm. Eventually she tired of the long drive and decided to look for employment in Homestead.  She started working for the Sottile family at a time when their South Dade Farmers Bank on South Krome was under construction; it opened on October 12, 1951.  Josephine worked for the Sotttile family’s South Dade Farms, Inc. which administered their extensive land holdings.  Her office was at the same location as the bank, 399 South Krome but as she explained it the company and the bank had separate entrances.  The American Legion Post now occupies the building. She worked at the counter receiving land rent payments.  When James Sottile sent her on errands she drove his large Cadillac which was a joy to a young lady.

  Bob Jensen is Vice President for Community Liason at First National Bank of South Florida, president of the FloridaPioneerMuseum, and a retired Navy commander.

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