Today in Keys History

Street scene after the Key West fire of 1886.

1866: Ex-Confederate Army Major Lansford Hastings, leading a group of 34 Southerners fleeing northern reconstruction, stopped at Key West on the way to Brazil. During their eight-day stay in Key West, many in the group contracted smallpox. The captain of their ship, seeing little chance of a successful voyage, insisted the group abandon their plans and sail to Mobile, Alabama, which they reluctantly did.

1877: Winner Bethel died in Key West. He was a native of the Bahamas and came to Key West in 1847. He was mayor of Key West from 1872 to 1873. He was also judge of Probate Court.