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.
This month has been a big one for the Osceola County Historical Society and the construction of the new Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. While work is being done to reconstruct and restore the buildings that have already moved to the new site, the remaining buildings have finally been making the move to their new home.
How the Cadman family of Yorkshire, England, came to reside in Narcoossee is a story that illustrates a major theme of 19thcentury Florida history: how Hamilton Disston’s drainage projects in Central Florida led to real estate speculation, expansion of agriculture and other enterprises, a population and building boom, and construction of new roads, canals and railroads to facilitate commerce in this former backwater area.
When the Cadman’s arrived in New York by ship in 1888 on their way to Florida, they became part of a larger trend: investors – many of them wealthy – attracted to Florida by promises of natural bounty and beauty, temperate climate and commercial opportunity. For the Cadmans, the enticement came by way of family patriarch, Lt. Col. William Edwin Cadman’s younger brother, John Heaton Cadman, Esq., who was involved in a Florida land development project.