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.
William B. “Dick” Makinson was an ardent sportsman who felt that the Kissimmee River and lake system, although some of the most productive bass fishing waters in Florida, was not utilized by sportsmen. The route through these waters was treacherous with many canals and hundreds of acres of marsh and sawgrass. Makinson felt that there would be safety in numbers if enough boats went through as a caravan. If enough boatmen went often, they would become familiar with the route and dispel the fear that kept many away from one of the least explored areas of Florida.