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(SwStr: t. 974; 1. 205'; b. 35'; dr. 8'86" dph. 11'6", s. 15 k. a. 2 110-pdr. P.r., 4 9" D.sb., i heavy 12-pdr. sb. 1 12-pdr. r., 1 24-pdr.)
The first Osceola, a wooden, side-wheel, double-ended gunboat was launched 29 May 1863 by Curtis and Tilden, Boston delivered to the Navy at the Boston Navy Yard 9 January 1864; and commissioned there 10 February 1864, Comdr J. M. B. Cletz in command.
Oseeola departed Boston 22 April, towing monitor Canor~icus, and reached Hampton Roads 3 May. The next night, the double-ender got underway up the James River in a joint Army-Navy expedition and helped elear a safe path through the Confederate mine field for sister ships and Army transports. The troops landed at Bermuda Hundred, Va. in an operation helping Grant to tighten his squeeze Oll Richmond.
In ensuing months Osceola continued operations on the James River supporting Grant's relentless offensive. She and Miami drove off Southern batteries which were firing on Union transports near Harrison's Landing, Va. This and similar Naval efforts to protect Grant's lines of supply and eommunieations contributed greatly to the success of the campaign against the Confederate capital.
Late in December, Osceola steamed down the coast for the joint attack on Ft. Fisher which protected Wilmington. The Union troops withdrew from their beachheads on Christmas Day, but the Naval commander, Rear Adm. Porter was not to be denied. He returned to the Cape Fear River 13 January and, after 3 days fighting, Ft. Fisher fell.
Osceola decommissioned at Boston Navy Yard 13 May 1865 and was sold at auction 1 October 1867.
History of Osceola County
Formed on May 12th, 1887 from portions of Orange County and Brevard County, Osceola County became Florida's 40th county. Named after the famed Seminole leader, this area was a transportation hub in the late nineteenth century for riverboats and railroad. It readily began a cattle, sugar, and lumber-based economy.
Osceola County's 1,506 square miles include the cities of Kissimmee (incorporated in 1883) and St. Cloud (incorporated in 1911), as well as numerous communities. The city of Kissimmee has always had a strong historical association with the Florida cattle frontier, and the city of St. Cloud has roots that trace back to a northern land baron who began a sugar plantation in 1881.
Osceola County's communities include Narcoossee and Kenansville. Narcoossee is one of Osceola County's oldest settlements and was home to numerous British immigrants who brought with them a love for the sport of polo. In fact, a team was created in 1888 and grew to more than 100 members just two years later. Kenansville is located in southeast Osceola County and was named for railroad mogul Henry Flagler's third wife, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler, once he donated five acres and $6,000 to build a school house in 1911.
The History of the Osceola Mill House
This area of eastern Lancaster County is known as the Pequea Valley for the Pequea Creek which winds throughout the county, surrounds our house on three sides, and empties into the Susquehanna River around what is now known as Holtwood. The earliest of the inhabitants of the land were the Conestoga Tribe of Native Americans who were said to be a peaceful tribe who traded with the European settlers and converted very early to Christianity. The Pequea Valley was included in the original land grant when King Charles II conveyed all of Pennsylvania to William Penn on March 4 1681. European settlers quickly arrived in the new colony, most of them seeking the religious freedom promised by Penn. Upon accepting the charter Penn jubilantly wrote, &ldquoIt is a clear and just thing, and my God who has given it me through many difficulties, will, I believe, bless and make it the seed of a nation.&rdquo The Huguenots settled in nearby Paradise, but the majority of the Valley became the new home for the Swiss-German Mennonite and Amish colonists.
The first owners of the 120 acres of land just south of the Pequea Creek were George MacKerel and his wife Agnes who purchased the land on July 14, 1741. The deed for the land was conveyed by John, Thomas and Richard Penn &ndash three of William Penn&rsquos sons. The land remained largely undeveloped and transferred twice over the next fifteen years until purchased on June 8, 1756, by Samuel Patterson who already owned some of the surrounding acreages in the Valley. At about the same time Patterson also secured the water rights to the Pequea Creek from John Huston who owned the land just to the north side of the creek. Patterson&rsquos plan was to build a dam and flood the land upstream to create a millpond. The ruins of this dam can still be seen across the creek just to the east of the house. It was Samuel Patterson who in 1756 built the original grist mill which still stands next door to us.
Unfortunately, Samuel Patterson did not live long after building the mill. Orphans Court records show that in 1758 the executors of Patterson&rsquos estate &ndash James Patterson and Matthew Slaymaker &ndash sold the 120 acres of land, the grist mill, the water rights, and various houses and other buildings to Jacob Ludwig (sometimes spelled Ludwick) and his wife Elizabeth.
It was Jacob and Elizabeth who in 1766 built the &ldquoMill House Mansion&rdquo as their family home. If you carefully step out onto Osceola Mill Road and look up to the peak of the west-facing wall, you can see the date stone there that reads &ldquoJL.W.E.1766&rdquo which means &ldquoJacob Ludwig and his wife Elizabeth in 1766&rdquo . The house was built of locally-mined limestone in a fine Georgian style. Our Gathering Room was their kitchen or great room with its walk-in hearth and baking ovens. The Living Room and Dining Room with their detailed mantel and woodwork, are thought to be original to the home. The second floor held three bedrooms &ndash what is now The Blue Room and the two bathrooms, The Rose Room and bath, and The Green Room. There is an unsubstantiated legend handed down to us that when he finished building the mansion and moved his family into it, Jacob was visited by the local Church Elders who told him that the house was a bit too fancy for a good Mennonite family and that he should tear it down and start over. Gratefully, he apparently declined and left the Church instead.
The Ludwigs had three children, Jacob, Catherine and Elizabeth who were raised in the house. Land records show that on May 21, 1783 Jacob and Elizabeth Ludwig sold the property to Catherine and her husband George Eckert. George Eckert is said to have expanded both his property holdings surrounding the creek as well as the milling business itself. Assessment lists from 1783 through 1796 list the property of George Eckert as including a grist mill, sawmills, a forge, several horses, cattle and a female servant. Their son, George Eckert, Jr. is noted in local history as an industrialist and quite a wealthy man who used his inherited property and more importantly the inherited water rights to increase his wealth and prominence.
The property was divided over time, but the bulk of the holdings were transferred through the Eckert family for several generations until sold on April 1, 1868 to Israel and Nancy Rohrer. The property transferred at that time included &ldquo31 acres of land, a grist mill, sawmill, plaster mill, a two-story stone house, stone barn, two tenant houses, two stables and water rights&rdquo. Unfortunately, that period was not a good economic period for the State of Pennsylvania. Much of the mining and milling business was leaving the State and going out West, leaving Pennsylvania businesses in dire straits. Israel and Nancy Rohrer lost the property in 1874 to foreclosure in a public sale to David Landis for $17,500. Curiously, David Landis resold the property four days later to Martin Rohrer (a relative?) .
It appears that the mill and property never regained the prosperity once enjoyed under the Ludwig and Eckert Family. Over the next one hundred years the property was transferred, divided, sold and inherited, often for less than the original purchase price. By 1980, the mill, the foreman&rsquos house across the road, and the Mill House Mansion were all separately deeded. The Mill was closed and the building was in total disrepair and in danger of being raised. It was purchased and lovingly restored as a private residence by Charles Shoemaker who remains the current owner. The foreman&rsquos house was purchased by Dr. Edward Frost, a New York City dentist, and his wife who used it as their county get-a-way until he sold it in 2013 to a local Amish neighbor. The Mill House Mansion and approximately one acre of land continued to be a private residence until it was converted to a Bed and Breakfast in the mid-1980s. Several owners have lovingly restored and cared for the home over the years until we bought the Mill House in 2006.
We feel grateful and blessed to be able to be the stewards of this historic home for a period of time. It is our pleasure to continue the loving care of the property and to share it with you, our guests. May you feel the peace and comfort that she has given to families and guests for more than 240 years.
&hellipAnd So Where Did That Name Come From&hellip?
If some of you have traveled through the State of Florida, you will recognize the name Osceola as one which is quite common down there, but not often seen up here in Pennsylvania. How did the Mill come to be named as it is?
History tells us that the original name of the Mill was Springwell Forge, so named by George Eckert in the late 1700s. In The History of Lancaster Countyfirst published in 1883 by Frank Ellis and Samuel Evans, the name was changed to The Osceola Mill by Martin Rohrer, who purchased the property in 1875. To date we have not been able to document why he changed the name &ndash so we can only speculate and share the stories that have been passed down to us.
Chief Osceola was a Seminole who grew in reputation throughout the United States in the mid-1800s for his resistance and leadership during the Second Seminole War. He was born in Georgia about 1804, and his family moved to Florida when he was four years old. He would have grown up during the First Seminole War, learning from tribal leaders about the resistance to Andrew Jackson and the US government&rsquos takeover of Native American land. By 1832, Osceola was a major leader of the Seminole Nation, when the United States offered them a treaty to acquire the land in return for relocation to Oklahoma and peace. Called The Treaty of Payne&rsquos Landing, the agreement was favored by many of the Seminole leaders, but not Osceola. In a much-dramatized account, Osceola rose and plunged his dagger through the agreement, saying &ldquoThis is the only treaty that I will sign with the whites&rdquo. He was imprisoned for his insolence but was later released when he pretended to acquiesce and support the agreement. By December 1832, the Second Seminole War had begun, led by Osceola. While the Chief knew that the Seminole warriors were no match for the white army, for several years he bravely led the resistance from the Seminole base far into the Everglades. In October 1837, Osceola was invited to Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida, supposedly to negotiate a truce and put an end to the conflict. But the invitation was a ruse, and Osceola was immediately captured and imprisoned. He was later moved to Fort Moultrie in South Carolina where he died &ndash probably of malaria &ndash only a few months later.
While in prison at Fort Moultrie, the uproar over the deceitful method of Osceola&rsquos capture grew across the nation. Osceola was visited by many prominent townspeople, included painters George Catlin and Robert Curtis who painted the famous portraits of the Chief which quickly circulated throughout the land and raised the level of the furor. We can only speculate that the news of the controversy spread up here to Pennsylvania, where the support of the oppressed people of the South, including the Underground Railroad, has a long and prominent history. It is not hard to imagine the natural inclination of Martin Rohrer in 1875 to honor this legendary Seminole by naming his newly acquired property and business The Osceola Mill.
Kissimmee Airport: Celebrating 80 years of Aviation History
The first airplane landed in Kissimmee in 1912 and by October 1918, a landing field was in place on the shores of Lake Tohopekaliga near Kissimmee. Pilots would fly in from various areas to make stops before proceeding to other cities.
Plans for a Kissimmee airport began as early as 1933. A May 14, 1933, article in the Orlando Sentinel mentioned the Kissimmee Chamber of Commerce was working to find a suitable location for the airport. The article stated: “Kissimmee will be the southern terminal of the famous St. Johns Airway route, according to plans, and from there airways will radiate to Miami, St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers and other points.”
Kissimmee Valley Gazette, May 12, 1933
Construction of the airport began in October 1933, according to an article in the October 7, 1933, edition of the Orlando Sentinel.
A May 24, 1935, report in the Orlando Sentinel stated a new beacon light was being installed at the airport. The article described the airport as “one of the finer inland Florida stations erected within the past two years and has been built at the expense of the city with FERA help.”
When the Works Project Administration was implemented, 5,000 men were put to work on 56 airport projects in July 1935 the Kissimmee airport was among the sites selected. A newspaper article in August 1935 stated Osceola County had six WPA projects in progress, including the airport, which had received a $10,000 appropriation. In February 1936 additional funding was awarded to improve lighting and landing conditions at the airport.
Even as work progressed on the airport, flying enthusiasts were already enjoying the new airfield. Air shows were popular events as early as 1934, as told by an article in the May 1, 1934, edition of “The Orlando Sentinel”: “First big thrill witnessed at Kissimmee’s new airport was enjoyed by throngs of people watching the stunt flying and parachute jumping Sunday afternoon of Roger Den Rae in his 300 h.p. taper wing plane.”
As the 1930s came to a close, plans for the airport evolved as the U.S. Army Air Forces began eyeing Kissimmee as a possible location for a military airfield.
Military aviation in the United States began with balloons, used for surveying, signaling, and reconnaissance in the Civil War. A civilian organization, the Union Army Balloon Corps, was the first official aviation unit in the US military. World War I (1913-1918) would be a turning point with the use of airplanes to drop bombs over the enemy. The pilot had to fly low and straight making him vulnerable to “anti-aircraft” weapons.
Red Baron Show at Kissimmee Airport. (Undated Photo)
Eventually, pilots started fighting each other in the air by throwing grenades or shooting from the cockpit. They soon realized the best way to shoot each other down was with machine guns mounted on the front of the plane using the German-invented “interrupter” which helped sync the gun with the propeller. “Dogfights” began to take place in the air. Pilots who shot down the enemy planes were known as “aces.” Possibly the most well-known ace, a German named Manfred von Richthofen, the “Red Baron,” defeated 80 pilots. The most victorious American ace was Eddie Rickenbacker, with 26 victories.
By the onset of World War II, airplanes were faster, had better weapon control and used advanced technology. The US Army Air Forces formed in 1941, needed more air bases for the new force.
News articles from July to September of 1940 relate details on plans for a $6,000 60 ft x 60 ft hangar to be built at the Kissimmee airport. Efforts were being made to get the airport certified as “essential to national defense.”
The Orlando Sentinel, August 12, 1940
Hangar Construction, The Kissimmee Gazette, October 25, 1940
The City of Kissimmee was granted government funds to prepare land for an airbase for the training of military pilots in 1941. By 1942, the US Army began putting in barracks, runways, and taxi strips.
The Kissimmee Gazette, January 1, 1943
A January 1, 1943 headline in the Kissimmee Gazette announced, “Army To Take Over Airbase This Weekend.” The first mission assigned to the Kissimmee Army Air Field was to look for Nazi-boats in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Soon after, night fighter squadrons were being trained at the base. When these squadrons moved to California, the Kissimmee AAF was used for testing tactics, equipment, and techniques.
Kissimmee Army Air Field, 1943
Kissimmee Army Air Field Site Plan, 1944. (Framed, Osceola History)
With the end of the war, the Kissimmee AAF was closed July 7, 1945. The city was given the opportunity to purchase back the land in November 1945 to turn it into an executive airport.
- Kissimmee Airport Hangar, June 1946
- Bill Morse, Larry Rogers, Bill See, July 1946
- Bill Wright, 1947
- Airport Administration Building, 1947
- Jimmy Dyer, 1947
1950sKissimmee Airport, 1952
The 1960s brought another period of growth for Kissimmee Airport. Throughout the decade, improvements were made to the facilities including new runway lighting, hangar updates, and installation of a wind signal.
A July 1961 newspaper article stated the airport had invited Martin Co. in Orlando to use the Kissimmee Airport which offered ,000 foot runways, a unicom system, a lounge and the nearby Osceola Golf and Country Club golf course. The airport, it was pointed out, operates seven days a week.”
The airport planned a celebration for the opening of the improved Kissimmee Airport on June 16-17, 1962. It was hoped 10,000 people would attend the two-day event called the “flyin’ iron days of Kissimmee.”
Marathon Aviation Corporation operated the airport in the 1960s. In a February 1, 1963, newspaper article, Marathon owner Terry McCuiston is quoted as saying the future is bright for the airport. “We are making corporate people aware we have this fine field in Kissimmee, and the more we do that, the more they will think of Kissimmee.”
In the mid- and late-1960s, airport and city leaders were also discussing how the development of nearby Disney World would impact airport business. On December 30, 1969, a long-range plan was presented for $1 million in renovations.Air shows continued to be popular events at the airport in the 1960s. Pictured is an ad for a March 1963 show. The airport was also the location of the Kissimmee Kowboy Klassic sports car race in October 1960. In February 1964, the airport hosted an airshow of antique planes. Today the airport continues to be home for many World War II model planes.
- Air Show Crowd, 1970
- Thunderbirds at Florida State Air Fair, 1970s
- Marathon at Airport, 1972
1980sKissimmee Airport, 1980
In a 1986 newspaper article, Airport Manager George Hoagland is quoted as saying the airport is “one of the world’s best kept secrets.” Hoagland was preparing to present a new master plan detailing airport expansion plans through 2004. The plan included a bigger runway, more taxiways more ramps and a perimeter road.
In April 1987, the city received a $396,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Authority for a new taxiway. The state Department of Transportation and the City agreed to each pay a marching share of $22,250 toward the project.
When Hoagland presented the new master plan in 1986, it was projected 84,200 aircraft would take off and land from the airport that year. In 2019, 156,927 aircraft landed or took off from Kissimmee Gateway Airport. In 2020, the consistent high volume of traffic earned ISM a National Airport designation by the FAA. The FAA upgraded the designation from regional to the highest designation as a national asset general aviation airport in 2019 due to the increased traffic and based aircraft information.
April 16, 1986
Women Aviators, 1980s.
1990sKissimmee Airport Terminal Building, 1997
Ribbon cutting for new Air Traffic Control Tower, October 2, 1996
- Tim Shea & Ike Dye in Air Traffic Control Tower, 1990s
- First gathering of Mustangs at Kissimmee Airport. Lee Lauderbach, Angela West, Tim Shea.
- Stallion 51 Hangar
- Fighter Pilots USA, December 2, 1994.
2000 and BeyondKissimmee Gateway Airport Runway
Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM) accommodates general aviation air service 24 hours a day with two paved runways at 5,000 and 6,000 feet. The airport offers flight training schools, new T-hangars, box hangars, a new aerospace park and recreational activities. Kissimmee Airport is home to vintage World War II planes as well as the most modern private jets.
- Kissimmee Gateway Airport
- Kissimmee Gateway Airport
- Plane taking off from Kissimmee Gateway Airport
- AeroStar Training, Flight Simulator
- Aviation Hall of Fame inductee Lee Lauderbach’s company Stallion 51 located at Kissimmee Airport.
- Kissimmee Gateway Airport is preferred by corporate flight departments visiting Central Florida.
Click here to view special Memorial Day 2020 flyover in memory of World War II Veteran Roger Swanson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.68 square miles (17.30 km 2 ), of which 6.48 square miles (16.78 km 2 ) is land and 0.20 square miles (0.52 km 2 ) is water. 
Osceola was named after a Seminole Indian leader of the same name.  Osceola is an anglicised form of Asiyahola: assi, from a ceremonial yaupon holly tea or "black drink" and yaholi, the name of a Creek god intoned when the drink was served.
The Masonic Building stands on the public square in Osceola. Built in 1872, this Italianate building was used by Osceola Lodge No. 77 of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, and the main floor was a bank and hardware store. This building was placed on the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance’s Most Endangered list due to its poor repair and lack of preservation plan.   In 2011 the building was renovated with help from various grants. The second and third floors were converted into upscale apartments. The China Star restaurant was remodeled and now utilizes both halves of the lower level. The exterior received an overdue face lift to restore the building to its original appearance. All of the windows were replaced and the stucco was repaired and painted. Structural improvements included foundation work and a new roof. The front entrances were replaced with a more traditional wood columns and tall glass windows.
Lakeside Casino Resort operates on West Lake. The river boat-themed casino has been in continuous operation since about 2000, although it has been bought and sold twice since it has opened. Terrible Herbst gaming purchased the casino around 2005. After a major renovation to the complex, which included a $1 million 132-foot-tall sign along the adjacent interstate, took place around 2006. The parent company filed for bankruptcy and the casino was sold yet again. The original and familiar Lakeside name was brought back and the large cowboy sign along the interstate was converted into a slightly smaller, more traditional sign.
A Pilot truck stop was built in late 2010 along the interstate, in place of the former Terribles Casino gas station.
|Source: "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2020-03-29 . |
Source: U.S. Decennial Census 
2010 census Edit
At the 2010 census there were 4,929 people, 1,974 households, and 1,208 families living in the city. The population density was 760.6 inhabitants per square mile (293.7/km 2 ). There were 2,184 housing units at an average density of 337.0 per square mile (130.1/km 2 ). The racial makup of the city was 91.0% White, 0.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.2% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.6%. 
Of the 1,974 households 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.8% were non-families. 32.8% of households were one person and 15.8% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.10.
The median age was 36.8 years. 26.1% of residents were under the age of 18 9.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24 23.5% were from 25 to 44 23.8% were from 45 to 64 and 17.3% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.
2000 census Edit
As of the census  of 2000, there were 4,659 people, 1,945 households, and 1,229 families living in the city. The population density was 798.2 people per square mile (308.0/km 2 ). There were 2,118 housing units at an average density of 362.9 per square mile (140.0/km 2 ). The racial makup of the city was 95.73% White, 0.11% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.75% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.25% of the population.
Of the 1,945 households 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were non-families. 31.7% of households were one person and 17.4% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.98.
The age distribution was25.6% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.
The median household income was $32,701 and the median family income was $45,263. Males had a median income of $31,674 versus $21,684 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,244. About 5.2% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Osceola, operating its California Zephyr daily in both directions between Chicago and Emeryville. A bus connection is available from Osceola to Des Moines.
Osceola County, Michigan
When established by the Michigan Legislature on April 1, 1840, it was named Unwattin County,  after Chief Unwattin of the local Ottawa people.  As a representative of the Ottawa nation, he participated in negotiations for the Treaty of Washington (1836) that granted a vast expanse of Michigan to the US Federal Government.  The name was changed March 8, 1843, to Osceola, after the Seminole chief who achieved renown in Florida. 
The county was initially attached for administrative purposes to Ottawa County. In 1855, it was attached to Mason County in 1857, to Newaygo County and in 1859, to Mecosta County. 
As the population increased, separate county government was organized in 1869, with Hersey designated as the county seat. Reed City became the official county seat in 1927.  The county was developed initially for harvesting and processing lumber, and many European Americans came to work in lumbering and the mills.
The low rolling hills  of Osceola County were completely wooded prior to settlement at present about half of the area has been cleared and converted to agricultural or urban use. There are numerous small lakes and ponds scattered across the county the largest is Rose Lake, northeast of LeRoy.  The highest point on the terrain (1722 feet/525 meters ASL) is Grove Hill, in Sherman Township.  According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 573 square miles (1,480 km 2 ), of which 566 square miles (1,470 km 2 ) is land and 6.7 square miles (17 km 2 ) (6.7%) is water.  The county is drained by the Muskegon River and branches of the Manistee River. Osceola County is part of Northern Michigan.
Adjacent counties Edit
Major highways Edit
|US Decennial Census  |
1790-1960  1900-1990 
1990-2000  2010-2018 
2000 census Edit
At the 2000 United States Census,  there were 23,197 people, 8,861 households and 6,415 families in the county. The population density was 41 per square mile (16/km 2 ). There were 12,853 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the county was 97.51% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 0.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 26.0% were of German, 11.9% English, 11.0% American, 8.8% Irish, 6.5% Dutch and 5.2% Polish ancestry. 96.8% spoke English, 1.1% German and 1.0% Spanish as their first language.
There were 8,861 households, of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.01.
27.10% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.
The median household income was $34,102 and the median family income was $39,205. Males had a median income of $29,837 compared with $22,278 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,632. About 9.50% of families and 12.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.90% of those under age 18 and 10.30% of those age 65 or over.
|2020||72.4% 8,928||26.1% 3,214||1.6% 198|
|2016||69.2% 7,336||25.5% 2,705||5.4% 568|
|2012||59.8% 6,141||38.7% 3,981||1.5% 156|
|2008||54.2% 5,973||44.0% 4,855||1.8% 198|
|2004||59.0% 6,599||39.9% 4,467||1.1% 122|
|2000||57.2% 5,680||40.3% 4,006||2.5% 244|
|1996||42.4% 3,855||44.9% 4,085||12.7% 1,150|
|1992||38.5% 3,606||37.6% 3,529||23.9% 2,241|
|1988||64.3% 5,218||35.2% 2,860||0.5% 43|
|1984||73.2% 5,923||26.3% 2,127||0.5% 40|
|1980||60.0% 4,902||32.5% 2,650||7.5% 612|
|1976||62.2% 4,467||36.3% 2,603||1.5% 108|
|1972||70.0% 4,441||26.9% 1,706||3.2% 202|
|1968||63.8% 3,705||26.0% 1,509||10.3% 596|
|1964||48.8% 2,779||50.8% 2,891||0.4% 20|
|1960||76.3% 4,477||23.5% 1,378||0.2% 10|
|1956||78.3% 4,549||21.3% 1,236||0.5% 26|
|1952||78.9% 4,607||19.9% 1,160||1.3% 75|
|1948||68.5% 3,122||28.0% 1,276||3.5% 157|
|1944||73.1% 3,787||25.8% 1,338||1.0% 53|
|1940||72.9% 4,217||26.9% 1,555||0.3% 17|
|1936||56.3% 3,107||36.1% 1,992||7.6% 421|
|1932||55.2% 2,969||43.1% 2,321||1.7% 91|
|1928||86.7% 3,923||12.9% 582||0.5% 22|
|1924||77.8% 3,050||14.4% 566||7.8% 305|
|1920||80.8% 3,603||17.3% 769||1.9% 85|
|1916||61.9% 2,193||36.3% 1,285||1.8% 65|
|1912||37.0% 1,306||17.3% 609||45.7% 1,612|
|1908||74.4% 2,718||21.0% 767||4.6% 169|
|1904||80.2% 2,936||15.4% 562||4.4% 161|
|1900||71.1% 2,635||23.7% 880||5.2% 192|
|1896||62.9% 2,268||32.6% 1,177||4.5% 161|
|1892||51.1% 1,601||34.9% 1,092||14.0% 438|
|1888||57.0% 1,882||33.0% 1,090||10.0% 329|
|1884||58.4% 1,497||30.9% 792||10.7% 273|
The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.
History of Osceola County
Created in 1887, Osceola County is a 1,506 square mile area that serves as the south/central boundary of the Central Florida greater metropolitan area.
The city of Kissimmee, the county seat, is 18 miles due south of Orlando. Osceola's other incorporated city, St. Cloud, is 9 miles east of Kissimmee and approximately 45 miles west of the city of Melbourne on the Atlantic coast.
On July 21, 1821, there were two counties formed in Florida - Escambia to the west and St Johns to the east. From these two counties were formed over sixty counties.
In 1824, the area to the south of St Johns County became Mosquito County, and Enterprise was named the County Seat. The name was changed to Orange County in 1845 when Florida became a state.
Osceola County derives its name from Billy Powell, son of British trader William Powell and his Creek wife Polly Copinger. Born in Alabama in 1804, Powell adopted the name Osceola, which means "black drink crier", at a tribal ceremony around 1820. After leading several small but successful raids against the Army over the next decade, Osceola was captured on Dec. 31, 1837 and died one month later at Fort Moultrie in South Carolina.
J. Luann Griffin designed the official county flag shortly after the county logo was created. She used several elements from it, including the lettering, the oval the date banner and the radiating lines.
Formerly known as Allendale, Kissimmee was incorporated in 1883 by a vote of 33 to 3, four years before the creation of Osceola County as we know it today. Kissimmee was first settled by former confederate major J. H. Allen, who was a riverboat captain. His steamboat, the Mary Belle, was the first cargo steamboat on the Kissimmee River. Visit the link above to learn more.
Makinson Hardware, located in the heart of downtown Kissimmee, is the oldest retail hardware store still in operation in the state of Florida. Founded just one year after arriving in Kissimmee and in 1884 by W.B. Makinson, the first store was a hardware and grocery partnership with friend J.M. Katz.
Formed on May 12th, 1887 from portions of Orange County and Brevard County, Osceola County became Florida's 40th county. Named after the famed Seminole leader, this area was a transportation hub in the late nineteenth century for riverboats and railroad. It readily began a cattle, sugar, and lumber-based economy.
St. Cloud is one of two incorporated cities in Osceola County (the other being Kissimmee). Founded on the former St. Cloud Sugar Plantation on East Lake Tohopekaliga in 1909, St. Cloud was named after a French suburb and was an early home to the largest concentration of Union Army veterans in the South. Visit the link above to learn more.
You'd be hard pressed to hear one now, but starting in the 1860s the cracking sound of cowboys' whips filled the air as they drove herds of lean cattle through the scrub brush of Osceola's open ranges. Heartier Brahma cattle introduced in the 1930s improved on our beef. Visit the link above to find out more.
Osceola County's logo was designed in 1987 by Barni McIntire, a local artist and long-time resident, as part of the county's centennial celebration. Commissioned by the Osceola County Centennial Committee, it was to represent the county's beginning, and highlighted our beautiful weather, economy and heritage. Osceola County paid $170 in 1986 for the Centennial logo, which was trademarked in 2003. The logo as we know it today was approved by Commissioners in 1993.
Latest Osceola County
As a permanent employee, Knepper is on paid suspension until May 24, school district spokesperson Dana Schafer said. After that, she added, he will be on unpaid leave “until the matter of his arrest is resolved and his due process opportunity with the school district’s Human Resources Department has been completed.”
The arrest comes just a week after a another school district employee was arrested by federal investigators for distributing child porn using the KiK instant messaging app, according to court filings.
Joshua Merced-Trychta, 19, is facing up to 20 years in prison after sending photos and videos depicting the rapes of young children to a group chat he ran. A substitute teacher since September, he was fired after his arrest.
The original Museum railway operated out of Stillwater, Minnesota. A very popular venue, urban crowding caused the railway to seek other areas for service. Invited to operate out of Osceola, Wisconsin, the railway moved in 1992, undergoing a name change to Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway and quickly became both a tourist venue for the town, and a means to convey historic presentations to the public.
The line itself has operating rights from Withrow, Minnesota up to Dresser, Wisconsin. Due to climate conditions, the line does not operate in winter.
Under successive railroad ownership of the rail line "right-of-way" itself, the line has continued its mission of historic presentation of the great days of railroading. Operations are currently based in the historic 1916 Soo Line depot, owned by the Osceola Historic Society and leased to the Minnesota Transportation Museum for its rail operations.
The line follows the original route of the Soo Line, running down the bluffs of the St. Croix River, and crossing into Minnesota on the 1887 iron bridge at Cedar Bend, then on to Marine on St. Croix through William O'Brien State Park. At O'Brien State Park, passengers are given a presentation of "reversing the train", as personnel go through the steps of running the engine across switches and a siding, with staff describing what's going on, why things happen in that order, and the importance of safety.
Since most passengers have never seen a railroad up close, this allows train staff the moments to present the history of the line and railroading in general. A great deal of time is covering the various safety aspects of railroading, particularly addressing children of the issues of rail safety. The Museum is a strong supporter of rail safety programs in schools at events across the Midwest.
The railway operates every weekend May through October. On alternating weekends it operates the Osceola and St. Croix Dinner Train.
Meals (both brunch and dinner) are served to dining car passengers "old school" and "first class", by uniformed staff, in a "living history" presentation of what travel by rail was like at the height of rail travel in the U.S., the 1920s‒50s.
The railroad uses historic diesel locomotives from its fleet of Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) locomotives. It uses a variety of passenger cars for historic presentation and tourist runs throughout the operational season. The railroad runs coach trains every weekend in May through October to Marine on St. Croix (Saturdays and Sundays) and to Dresser (on Saturday).
On specific weekends, it operates first-class brunch and dinner trains in Great Northern Railway dining cars, one of which is an open-platform observation car. Another Great Northern lounge/parlor car is expected to be added to the dinner train fleet in the future due to the dinner train's popular demand. The dinner train also runs on special occasions for private parties such as anniversaries, receptions, weddings, and corporate charters. Each run is oriented towards showing how passengers in the great days of rail travel would be encouraged to take specific railways based on the dining options. At various times, information is presented on the immigrant trains, and how each railroad opened up the lands of the west to settlement.
The emphasis of the operation is on the history of the railroads it represents, with information presented in an entertaining format, either during regular scheduled runs or during the Brunch & Dinner Train dates. Each operational coach represents the roads that operated in the Midwest and passengers are encouraged to ask questions about both the history of each and on how railroads assisted in the development of the region.
All operational equipment is serviced at MTM's Jackson Street Roundhouse, a functional railway roundhouse constructed in 1907. The Museum has its headquarters and maintenance base co-located at JSR, which is open to the public for railroad history. Every fall, 2–3 locomotives and up to 5 cars are ferried to St. Paul for annual servicing before returning to Osceola in late spring. Over winter, the maintenance shop demonstrate the servicing and repairs, being one of the few such facilities open to the public.
These are the locomotives that are active or in restoration for service on the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway:
|Burlington Northern Railroad||6234||EMD SD9||1959||2003||Donated 2003||Operational|
|Great Northern Railway||325||EMD SDP40||1966||2008||Donated 2009||Operational|
|Soo Line Railroad||559||EMD GP7||1951||N/A||Purchased 1998||Operational|
|Great Northern Railway||454-A||EMD F7A||1950||1981||2003||In restoration|
|Great Northern Railway||558||EMD SD7||1952||1983||2018||In restoration|
Passenger cars Edit
|Type||Number||Name||Railroad||Trains in use||Notes|
|Streamlined lounge, observation, and business car||A-11||Great Northern Railway||First-class brunch and dinner trains||In service|
|Streamlined parlor-buffet||1084||"Twin Ports"||Great Northern Railway||First-class brunch and dinner trains||In restoration in Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Streamlined ranch/lounge||1244||"White Pines Lake"||Great Northern Railway||First-class||In restoration in Columbus, Ohio|
|Streamlined baggage||265||"Mariah"||Great Northern Railway||All trains||In service, concession car|
|Streamlined coach||1096||Great Northern Railway||Coach class||In service|
|Streamlined coach||1097||Great Northern Railway||First-class brunch and dinner trains||In service, converted to dining car|
|Streamlined coach||1213||Great Northern Railway||Coach class||In service|
|Streamlined coach||1215||"City Of Osceola"||Great Northern Railway||Coach class||Displayed in St. Paul|
|Heavyweight MU trailer commuter coach||2232||Erie Lackawanna Railway||Coach class/pumpkin trains||In service|
|Heavyweight commuter coach||2604||Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad||Coach class and pizza trains||In service|
|Heavyweight commuter coach||2608||Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad||Coach class and pizza trains||In service|
|Heavyweight triple combination||1102||Northern Pacific Railway||U.S. mail car/Railway Express Agency||In service|
Information used in this article is provided by Minnesota Transportation Museum, St. Paul, MN and based entirely on material in MTM archives or equipment inventories of the operating division of the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway. Photos depict actual equipment in appropriate livery for the Railway.
Osceola I SwStr - History
Osceola Adventist Christian school serves the growing Kissimmee area (Celebration, Kissimmee, Poiciana and St. Cloud) in the Orlando-Kissimmee-St. Cloud Metropolitan statistical area. Home to Disney World, there are approximately 300,000 people living in greater incorporated and unincorporated Kissimmee (Celebration, Kissimmee and Poinciana). If this population were completely incorporated into the Kissimmee city limits, Kissimmee would be a city larger than incorporated Orlando.
The need for Adventist Christian education in Kissimmee-St. Cloud was recognized and brought to the attention of the church members. A committee consisting of Pastor Art Stagg, Shirley Gray, Emma Douglas, Jess Wills, and Bruce Hartzog began planning in June of 1984 to open a school for the 1985-1986 school year. When Osceola Adventist Junior Academy, as the school was first known, opened in August 1985, the 15 students and their teacher, Mrs. Rebecca Durichek, met in the Schuler Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church fellowship hall. The following school year the school was moved to the Kissimmee Seventh-day Adventist Church, in a new building built by Don Gray and Michael Gray, and which doubled as both the school and the church fellowship hall. The school at this time had one teacher with 13 students.
To further Adventist education in the area a committee consisting of Pastor Art Stagg, Betty Carey, and Bruce Hartzog was organized to promote and administer what was known as the 120 Club. These were individuals in the Kissimmee-St. Cloud Adventist community who donated monies on a regular basis to support the school. In 1987, Mrs. Minnie Boyer became the teacher, and graduated the first two eighth graders in 1988, Christina Shoemaker and Lisa Hall. By November 1987, the school underwent its first accreditation evaluation, known as the sexennial accreditation. In the spring of 1989, a school building committee was voted by the church. Members of the committee were Lee Scheive, Chuck Gastafson, Brendan White, Minnie Boyer, and Pastor Greve. The committee explored a number of options, finally settling on a modular building, which was voted and accepted by the constituency. The Forest City Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church had a modular building they were looking to sell. An offer of $4,000 was made to the Spanish congregation, which was accepted. The first modular building arrived in May 1990. Mrs. Boyer continued in her teaching role until 1990, graduating the second class of eighth graders, Kathryn Baker, Daryl Bass, and Jason Hunt. In August 1990, Mrs. Juanita Babshaw became the teacher with 14 students.
In the fall of 2010 the school made a dramatic change. The student population jumped to 64. By this time, Dr. Delrose Patterson was the lead teacher, and the school now had three teachers and an agriculture program. In the summer of 2011 Dr. Paterson became very ill, necessitating the school to hire an interim principal for the 2011-2012 school year. Mrs. Nury Perez, the school’s nurturer and Associate Superintendent for the Florida Conference, stepped in to fill this role.
The 2011-2012 school year saw several changes. The name of the school was changed to Osceola Adventist Christian School (OACS), the school added a teacher, and the school enhanced the program by including grades nine and ten through the Forest Lake Academy distance learning program. This brought the school enrollment in grades PK-10 up to 76 students, and for the first time the school had a principal instead of a lead teacher. At the end of the 2011-2012 school year, the board decided to disband the grades nine and ten distance learning program until the school could stablize its PK-8 enrollment. The current goal is to bring the PK-8 enrollement to 120 students. Once this occurs the board would like to add grade nine the first year, and grade ten the second year. Our end goal is to take our physical plant and expand the school to a new campus with an academy serving the south end of the Orlando metropolitan area.
In March of 2012, Mrs. Perez accepted a position working with Florida Virtual School, and Dr. Michael Cookenmaster was asked to serve as the new principal. The school had a brand new home thanks to the efforts of Pastor Ronaldo da Cunha head elder, Don Gray John Beatty Manly Voorheese Nury Perez, and many other volunteers. The new facility offered four self-contained classrooms, multipurpose room serving a divided dual role as art/technology classroom and lunch room, and an administrative office for the secretary/treasurer and seperate office for the principal. Two additional classroms were still housed in two modular trailers near the front entrance of the school. In addition, the fellowship hall, which had served as the “old school” building on the Kissimmee Seventh-day Adventist Church campus became the teacher workroom, kitchen, book depository, and conference room. Under Dr. Cookenmaster the school also embarked upon being a standards-based campus, focusing on the Common Core Standards, and implementing Response to Intervention best practices. In the summer of 2013 the school again undwent a transformation. The "old school" building, now only used on Sabbath mornings for Sabbath School by the Kissimmee Church, was refurbished for use by the school. Under the leadership of elder Don Gray, a permentent partition wall was added to the building so half of the building could function as the new Brown-Dowell Memorial Library. This permitted the library in the main building to be transformed into the new kindergarten classroom, which was previously housed in a portable classroom. The kindergarten portable was transformed into the Title I classroom. The other half of the "old school building" was transformed into the new Child Development Center, housing the school's independent Voluntary Prekindergarten classroom. The OACS board also changed the name of the "old school building" to Gray Hall in honor of the dedication and service of Elder Don Gray, who with his son, Michael, constructed the original building and church. Additionally, the school received a $30,000 playground from UCF Mental Health. In 2014, the school adopted a new logo. In 2015, the school and church paved its parking lot for the first time in its 30 year history. In 2016, the main school building received a new roof.
Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year the Holy Spirit has grown the school an average of 30% each year. In 2015-2016 OACS grew to 93 students, a historic first. OACS serves students in grades PK-8, wth six classroom teachers, a volunteer librarian, a school bus that runs daily, a full time secretary/treasurer, and a Title I program through Osceola County Schools. In April 2017, the school was blessed with an award of an eRate grant by the FCC to help cover 80% of the school's technology infrastructure needs until 2022.
In May 2017, Nieves Jenkins was asked to serve as the principal of OACS and teach grades 4 and 5. Along with teachers: Acnil Samuel (grades 6, 7 and 8), Michele Thomas (grades 2 and 3), Risobel Torres (grade K and 1) and Elisabeth Mercado (VPK), we have seen how the The Holy Spirit has continued to bless the school. It is our prayer to grow daily as we point our students to the Earth Made New.
In June of 2019 OACS restructured grade levels and Mrs. Duany joined the OACS family as the new 1st and 2nd grades teacher along with Mrs. Nieves as the new 7 and 8 grade teacher.