Lawrence was born in Kenansville, Florida on November 8, 1891, to former Georgia slave Tom Silas and his wife Elizabeth, the sixth of thirteen children. Because it was a rural area, Tom built a school and hired a teacher so his children could receive an education.
The only child of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Williams, Minnie was born in Ocala on March 6, 1890. Following the death of her father during a circus high wire act, Minnie moved to Kissimmee with her mother in 1903. Minnie stopped attending school upon arriving in Kissimmee when a doctor said if she were “confined to school, she would go blind” due to an unknown condition she’d had since birth. Along with taking care of the house, Minnie assisted her mother with the laundry of turpentine camp workers, using a scrub board and boiling water in a pot.
After retiring as an agent for the Prudential Life Insurance Company, Edward and his third wife Anna arrived in St. Cloud in 1936. With Anna’s help, he dedicated himself to bringing happiness at Christmas to children and shut-ins for the next seventeen years of his life.
When Union Veteran John H. DeGraw arrived in St. Cloud, Florida in the fall of 1909, little did he know that when his daughter Myrtle married Victor G. Mapes, three of John’s grandsons – Victor Loris Mapes, Dana Austin Mapes and Theodore Augustus Mapes would serve their country in the 1940s, as John did over seventy-five years earlier.
The youngest of nine children of Matthew and Sarah McMullen, born April 28, 1865; Charles Nathan grew up in Roane, West Virginia, working on the family farm. He was only six months old when his father died. At the age of thirteen, C.N. left home to make his own living.
Prior to being one of the early settlers of St. Cloud, Florida, Levi Shambow was also a pioneer in the cities of Aurora, Illinois, Portland and Eugene, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and Butte, Montana.
The pride of St. Cloud, Florida; in 1925, was the clock attached to the People’s Bank Building located at the corner of Tenth Street and New York Avenue. The clock first chimed on Monday, July 20, 1925, striking various musical combinations arranged for each quarter hour. When the bank failed in 1928, the St. Cloud City Commission voted to purchase the clock, offering $250.00 - the amount to be absorbed in taxes owed.
Topics: Osceola County History
When the ten-year-old wooden Osceola High School burned to the ground on July 7, 1908; the headlines read “Pride of Osceola Is Laid In Ashes”. A committee of citizens was immediately appointed by the School Board to secure plans for the erection of a new school building. Cooper Contracting Company of Fitzgerald, Georgia was awarded the contract for $17,500 to construct the three-story structure using sand lime brick.
Built in 1924-1925, the Interocean Hotel located on Highway 17-92 seven miles south of Kissimmee, Florida; sat empty the year following completion.