Osceola County Historical Society Blog

The Hilliard Family

Posted by Anza Bast on Dec 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Pioneer Family, History, Dine with the Departed, Osceola County Historical Society

Ernest P. "Kayo" Murphy

Posted by Anza Bast on Nov 7, 2017 9:00:00 AM

 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.

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Topics: History, Osceola County History, Ernest P. "Kayo" Murphy, Veteran

Shingle Creek Monster: A catfish or more?

Posted by Kayleigh Heister on Oct 26, 2017 10:36:02 AM

 Forty years ago, on November eighth,  people in the Shingle Creek area may have had a real monster on their hands. This story of the Shingle Creek Monster (pictured in this blog) was the headline for the Osceola-Polk section of the Sentinel Star. I followed Frank Carroll's footsteps when writing about this mysterious creature, nicknamed the “Loch Shingle Monster”, which doesn't flow like the Loch Ness Monster.  Many  people that lived in the area brushed off the beliefs that it could have been something other than a very large catfish.  Many made it a personal goal to catch the moster of Shingle Creek, but they all came up empty handed.  

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Topics: History, Around Osceola County, Shingle Creek Monster Catfish

The Monts De Oca Family

Posted by Anza Bast on Sep 7, 2017 4:03:38 PM

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”.

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Topics: History, Monts De Oca Family, Hispanic Heritage Month

$80,000 Cultural Facility Grant awarded to OCHS for 1800s Replica General Store

Posted by Rachel McIntee on Aug 30, 2017 12:59:04 PM

The Osceola County Historical Society received an $80,000 Cultural Facility Grant through the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs. The organization will use the state funds from this grant to continue the next phase of the expansion of the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek (2491 Babb Rd., Kissimmee, FL 34746), which will include the construction and furnishing of a late-1800s replica General Store. The replica General Store is scheduled to be completed this fall and open during the 26th Annual Pioneer Day on November 11, 2017. 

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Topics: History, Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, Expansion, 1800s Replica General Store

War Cake Recipe

Posted by Anza Bast on Aug 25, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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.

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Topics: History, War Cake Recipe, 100 years ago

Toho WaterWorks Summer Camp

Posted by Krystal McIntee on Aug 11, 2017 12:20:53 PM

 Toho Water Authority plays a huge part in the lives of local students in Osceola County. Over the summer, Toho offered their Toho WaterWorks Summer Camp, which ran from July 17, 2017 to July 21, 2017 to about 20 middle school students. Each day, the campers were able to learn about the importance of water through hands-on experiments, group building activities, and tours of various facilities.

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Topics: History, Around Osceola County, Summer Camp, Toho Water Authority

A Brief History of the Silver Spurs Rodeo

Posted by Larissa Bixby on Jul 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The Silver Spurs Riding Club was formed in 1941. They quickly became popular in the region and across the state of Florida. The Spurs were known for their exceptional skill and riding tricks, especially the Quadrille, a square dance performed on horseback.

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Topics: History, Silver Spurs Rodeo

Art in the Archives: The Artist's Experience

Posted by Jeannine Maassen on Jun 27, 2017 10:45:00 AM

I've attended a few of the Art in the Archives Paint Night events held at the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum which are hosted by the Osceola County Historical Society, and each one has been better than the last. It gives us all a chance to pretend we are artists,  we can relax and leave all stress at the door.   No pressure.  Just do your thing and at the end of the night you just might have a masterpiece worthy to hang on the wall.  (Not in my case, but, I do enjoy trying!)

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Topics: History, Osceola County Welcome Center and HIstory Museum, Art, Art in the Archives, Tin Can Tourism

St. Cloud Sugar Mill

Posted by Anza Bast on May 29, 2017 8:30:00 AM

The Disston Land Company stopped meeting the notes on the mortgage of the St. Cloud Sugar Mill after July 1895 and the sugar mill laid dormant between 1897, and 1901. In 1900, all the mill machinery was sold to Sabal Bros. of Jacksonville but not actually removed from the area. In January, 1901, it was resold to the Redo Brothers of Mexico for a reputed $75,000. John Garrity, who had been in charge of the machinery, serving mainly as a watchman, resigned from the Disston operations and was hired by the Mexican company to supervise the machinery’s relocation. He crated and marked each piece of machinery, which filled between 50 to 60 railroad cars and weighed between 800-1000 tons. It was transported via railroad to Tampa, loaded aboard a Dutch schooner which set out for the long trip around Cape Horn to Mexico. There had been reports the vessel sunk near Cuba, and later near Cape Horn but an outbreak of smallpox on board had forced the captain to land at a small harbor in Chile where the crew was quarantined, thus delaying the journey.

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Topics: History, Osceola County History, Hamilton Disston Sugar Plantation and Mill, History Month

About this Blog

The Osceola County Historical Society is focused on preserving Osceola County’s rich, cultural history while sharing it with others. This blog is perfect for just that. 

Remember, here you can find information on:

  • Osceola County History
  • Pioneer Families
  • Events at the Welcome Center and History Museum
  • Much, much more!

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