The turpentine camp and the land it was on eventually went into foreclosure (as the
Stephens brothers had mismanaged their money), but that wasn’t the end of the history of
mistreated leased convicts in Southland.
When the railroad was built through the town in the early 1900s, leased prisoners were also
used to build it. Again, mistreatment and abuse was rampant, and many of them died from
construction accidents, disease and murder. Not even 10 years ago an historical interview was
conducted with some of the county’s oldest residents who had lived in El Jobean their entire
lives, who recalled witnessing prisoners being fl ogged to death, and having fi ngers and hands
cut off if there was even a thought they had stolen something.
There are some records though, which may or may not be legitimate, that indicate that
people may have been buried in and around Southland Cemetery prior to the 1800s. Some
local historians say that Spanish-Indian fi sherman may have been buried there as well, as early
as 1760. There are some records that refer to a Spanish mission that was built somewhere near
Southland, to service the Spanish fi shermen who were working there. It is said that many of
those who inhabited the mission died under mysterious circumstance, some in the hands of
rogue fi shermen, others by bandits.
September/Se Sept p pt em embe ber/ be r/ Octo Oc October tobe to ber be r r • 20 2020 2020 20 20 • GA GASP GASPARILLA SP SPAR AR A IL ILLA LA LAMAG MAGAZINE AG AGAZ AZ A IN INE A