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Okeechobee County By Kyle S. VanLandingham and Alma Hetherington, Okeechobee County

Copyright l978, by Kyle S. VanLandingham



He was born December 10, 1951 in Fort Impale, Fla., Okeechobee County alderman and Parker pioneer. He grew up in Fort Pierce and graduated from the local high school in 1969. Mr. Van Landingham completed his Bachelor’s Degree. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Maryville, Tennessee College in 1973 and his Juris Doctor degree from Sanford University’s Cumberland School of Law in 1976. St. He is president of the Lucy Historical Society and an active member of the Okeechobee County Historical Society. He’s the author of cousins ​​from florida

Descendants of William H. Willingham, St. Lucie County Painting History from 1565 to 1910, and Kissimmee River Valley Pioneer Families.

Alma Hetherington

Alma Hetherington was born in Tampa on July 20, 1897. Her father, Paul Gibson, was a steamboat leader on the Kissimmee River in the 1880s, and her grandfather Shadrach and her Chandler were Basinger pioneers. Attended high school in Miami, Florida State Women’s College, Florida Southern College, and received her higher education at the University of Miami. She is the woman who taught Hetherington in Okeechobee and Kenansville and was associate editor of St. Cloud News. She is a founding member of the Florida Women’s Press Club, former president of the Osceola County Historical Society, and has written extensively on Florida history.


This project began in early 1977 when I contacted her Mrs. Alma Hetherington of Holly Hill. She had a large collection of newspaper articles and photographs on the history of Okeechobee County. Mrs. Hetherington provided these files. These files are the primary source material for this book. Your two collections

Okeechobee News was invaluable

The Robert L. LaMartin File began in the late 1920s and continues to this day. Another of his collections belongs to the Okeechobee County Historical Society.

During this year, I interviewed many people and acquired many photographs for the book. The resources and people section of the references includes a complete list of those interviewed and provided pictures. Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Okeechobee County has a rich and eventful history. The county remained not incorporated until 1917, but he began writing stories around the time of the Seminole Indian Wars. Her two settlements within the county precinct were Basinger and Fort Drum. Their stories have long remained ignored, but one of my main goals was to tell the stories of these two pioneer communities. Chapter 4 covers the growth of the city of Okeechobee from its beginnings in 1896 through 1917, from the arrival of Peter Laulerson.

Kyle S. Van Landingham

December 1977

Photo Note: There were about 78 photos in the printed book. About 18 of these original photos are currently missing

A collection of things that interest me

A collection of things that interest me

The articles shown here are from the Miami Herald and the Tampa Tribune and are about Okeechobee, Florida. Some items are from his 20 years in the late 1890s and early 20th century, but mostly from his 1920s. Okeechobee was part of a land boom in Florida in the 1920s. As a result, some activities stood in places where commercial buildings and homes remained built. However, much of his real estate activity, especially in 1925 and 1926, was pure speculation, and most of the much-touted subdivisions were never actually inhabited and are now cattle homes. Increase.


course, real estate speculation wasn’t the only activity, and various articles documented social news, road and infrastructure construction, sporting events, and other Okeechobee happenings during this time.

These articles remained obtained through a lengthy search of past online newsletters at The current themes are his to May 1926 and his one piece from 1930. More articles will be extra as time permits.

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