Born in Hartford County, Maryland on February 23, 1864, William Burroughs Makinson was one of Osceola County’s early pioneers honored in 2011 by the Osceola County Historical Society at their annual Dine with the Departed event. He spent the early years of his life on a farm near Baltimore with his three siblings and parents William T. and Mary L. Makinson. In 1883, W.B. traveled by boat to Jacksonville, then by train to Sanford, Florida, finally arriving in Kissimmee on the first train to make the run from Sanford.
Born in Bedford, Ohio, John Carroll worked for Ohio oil companies until 1936 when he became manager of his father’s 55,000 acre Carrollton Ranch in Deer Park. In 1947, he became Vice President of the First National Bank of Kissimmee, retiring in 1975 as Chairman of the Board. John was one of the sixteen horsemen who rode in the inaugural parade for Governor Spessard Holland in 1941. He was a charter member of the Silver Spurs quadrille, helped organize the Silver Spurs Riding Club and was its first “Big Boss” in 1942. At the age of 81, John was honored by being named “Coca Cola Cowboy” in 1988 by the Club. Bestowed annually since 1982, the honor was given to an Osceola County resident who had worked to promote the rodeo and its way of life. After receiving the honor, he replied “You don’t know what it means to a Yankee to be accepted like I have been.”
Mary Essie Petrie Caldwell was featured at the first Dine with the Departed event hosted by the Osceola County Historical Society in 2010. Of distinguished Hugenot ancestry, Essie, as she was fondly known, was born June 3, 1838 in Cheraw, South Carolina to Reverend George H.W. Petrie and his wife Mary Jane. Rev. Petrie was an eminent clergyman of the Southern Presbyterian Church and Essie’s grandfather was an officer in the American Revolution.
James Kinchen Hilliard was born in Coffee County, Georgia on December 17, 1852. He lost his father in 1863 during the War Between the States. Perhaps to ease the burden of his mother, who was left to rear some of his eleven siblings, James headed to Texas at the age of fourteen. For nine years he roamed the central west encountering Indians and buffalo and gathering tales of his experiences.
Everyone is familiar with sweet potato pie, but have you ever made a sweet potato cake? The following recipe was printed in the local newspaper in 1917.
In 1915, at the age of seventy-seven, Joseph Tripp Burbank was known as the “Champion Combination Drummer of the World” according to the St. Cloud Tribune. Born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania on October 12, 1836, J.T., as he was later known, was one of nine children born to Jacob and Sophia Burbank.
As a boxer in high school, he was always the smallest of the group. The nickname “Kayo”, little brother of cartoon character Moon Mullins, was bestowed upon him. He was born in Brooklyn, Texas; on Christmas Eve in 1916, to A.J. and Florence Murphy and had six brothers and two sisters. The family moved to Kissimmee when Kayo was in second grade. His childhood was spent attending local schools, enjoying summers at the old swimming hole on Mill Slough and climbing up trees to watch movies in an open air theater on the corner of Monument Avenue and the railroad tracks. He later graduated from St. Leo Preparatory College where he excelled in sports and was inducted into the St. Leo College Athletic Hall of Fame.
The replica schoolhouse at the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek is typical of the style that Emma Viola Yowell may have taught in. Born in Illinois about 1862, she began her teaching career there in 1886. After moving to Florida in 1888, Emma taught at the Athens School in Polk County, followed by a transfer to Davenport in 1889. The move to Osceola County in 1890 was the beginning of Emma’s fifty years of service to our community.
Translations of the name Monts De Oca vary as do stories regarding the origin of the family. Ancestry.com tells us it is “ Topographic name from a range of mountains forming the watershed between the rivers Ebro and Duero in northern Spain, named with the plural of monte ‘mountain’ and oca ‘goose’.” The Urban Dictionary defines it as “large hills with an oak forest on top” or “large hills with geese on top”.
When World War I broke out, many food items were rationed, so there was a need for economical recipes using ingredients readily available. This one appeared in a cook book sold for $1.00 to benefit the Red Cross and American Fund for French Wounded. It was also referred to as War Cake.