Possessing a name that's guaranteed to give you a chuckle, Florida legislator Link Field Forehand's life is examined today, and I'm proud to relate that the following biography on this obscure Floridian marks the first time a picture of him is available online. A lifelong resident of the Sunshine State, the mysterious Link Forehand has scant information on himself available online, but a 1915 Florida Blue Book (where the above portrait was located) came to my rescue in this regard, helping to furnish many of the facts on Forehand contained herein.
Link Field Forehand was born in Liberty County, Florida on Independence Day 1877, one of six children born to Jeremiah M. and Mary Parish Forehand. Forehand inherited his rather odd name from his paternal grandfather, also named Link Field Forehand. A few variations in spelling have also been found for Forehand's name, among them "Link Fields", "Linkfield" and the abbreviation "L.F. Forehand."
Link Forehand's father Jerry died when his son was just eleven years old, and the young boy received his education in the public schools of Liberty County. Following his graduation Forehand, "by persistent efforts and self sacrificing", went on to enroll at the Florida State College in the late 1890s. He is mentioned as being involved in local merchandising after leaving school and had "good success in his business." Forehand married around 1905 to a Ms. Cassey Stokes who eventually gave birth to four children, Calum (born October 1909), Selma (born 1910), Onis (born December 1913) and Cecil C. (later known as Cary Cecil, born in April 1915).
In November 1914 Forehand was elected by the citizens of Liberty County as their representative in the Florida State House of Representatives, taking his seat at the beginning of the 1915 term. He served as chairman of the legislative committee on Forestry during this term and also held a seat on the committees on Indian Affairs, Insurance, Live Stock, and Privileges and Elections. Busy as a first-term legislator, Forehand received a write up in the 1915 Florida Blue Book, which noted that during his service he "performed the great trust nobly and well. He was a man of forceful type, one who believed firmly and honestly. He showed utter lack of fear and appeared not in the least tender, or backward in his views, whether right or wrong." The below snippets denoting Forehand's service were featured in the aforementioned book.
Link F. Forehand's tenure in the legislature lasted but a short time, being terminated by his unexpected death a little over a year after taking his seat. He died on March 6, 1916, aged only 38 and was interred at the Bristol Cemetery in Bristol, Liberty County, Florida. His untimely death is recorded by a notice on the Rootsweb genealogical website as being the result of "pelegra" (pellagra), a vitamin deficiency disease brought about by the lack of vitamin B3 in one's diet. Following her husband's untimely death, Cassie Stokes Forehand remarried in North Carolina in April 1919 to Gustave Stigwalt, and it is unknown at this time if any children were born to this union. Originally the names of the Forehand children and Cassie Stokes couldn't be found, and a hearty thank goes out to SNIAPH site friend Greg Spadoni for locating those interesting historical tidbits. Greg received an extensive mention in two previous articles on Washington state politician and judge Govnor Teats, which can be viewed here and here. Many thanks again for your help!
You Can Help!!
It's time once again for one of those "You Can Help" segments, and in the case of Mr. Link Field Forehand, it is sorely needed! If any regular readers, Facebook fans, amateur historians or possible relatives have any time on their hands and want an interesting project to fill your time with, see what you can find in terms of information on this man! I'd appreciate anything you might be able to dig up on this uniquely named Florida legislator. As there is next to nothing on the world wide web about this interestingly named man, maybe someone out there knows more about him than what is already mentioned in his article here! I look forward to possibly hearing from you!