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T he Founders
Painting of a young woman Graphic of Passenger Ship

In 1884, Narcoossee was founded by a group of English immigrants. Settlers were persuaded to come to Narcoossee by the newspaper ads that were placed in England and other parts of the United States. These ads promised an annual income of 10,000 dollars once the citrus groves matured. They told of the great health benefits of the weather that is "never extreme". The settlers in Narcoossee came from families of wealth. They were second, third sons of Noblemen who were sent out to find their fortunes.

Two Englishmen, Lieutenant Colonel W. E. Cadman and E. Nelson Fell, bought a large amount of land from Hamilton Disston (At the age of 36, Hamilton Disston was America's largest individual landowner). Some of the settlers were retired professional men and military officers. Others were the younger sons of "gentlemen" who were supported by remittances from home in England, earning them the slightly stigmatized title of "remittance men".

One of the Narcoossee settlers was Mr J. C. Stratford, whose father in England sent him abroad in the late 1800's to fend for himself in the Florida interior. Mr Stratford raised "The Tallulah", a steam ship that had sunk in Lake Kissimmee. He had it repaired and renamed it "The Reindeer". Photo of Garrett

Another settler was Rev. George W. Garrett, a wealthy Englishman from Southampton. In 1890 he bought land on the shore of East Lake Toho in Narcoossee. In England he had invented the world's first mechanically propelled submarine "The Resurgam". Leaving his successful business, of building submarines that were sold in the Mediterranean, he moved his family to Narcoossee and did quite well until the freeze of December 1895 followed shortly by another freeze in February 1896. He moved to New York.

After the drought in 1908, E. Nelson Fell bought 144 square miles of property in Indian River County and left Narcoossee. He took many of the settlers with him where he founded the town of Fellsmere, Florida. The Fells Memorial Cemetery (Narcoossee Cemetery) and Fells Cove water way is named after him.

... The Cadman and Hill families stayed.

The Cadman's built the first packinghouse in 1882. It is the oldest packinghouse in the United States and is still standing today.

Photo of Fred Hill Photo of Jessie Williams

Frederick W. Hill came with the English colonists in the 1880s. He had been a sailor on the Cutty Sark and other merchant ships. In his mid-20s, leaving that service, he ended up in Narcoossee. He became a US citizen and married Jessie Williams, who had originally come from England as a governess for the Nelson Fell's. The Hill's grew oranges and built a house at the SE corner on what is now Narcoossee Road and Jones Road. His youngest son, Victor Hill operated the town general store and the post office in the building now occupied by the feed store. Later Victor Hill, in the 1920s, opened a store in St Cloud and was elected to the Osceola County Commission. He loved Osceola County and kept some property on the lake and frequently hunted and fished on the areas he knew so well. Victor's daughter, Robin (Frederick Hill's granddaughter) has many fond memories of growing up in Narcoossee as a small child.

Land and Transportation...

As railroad tracks spread, travel across land became efficient for people and goods. steamships were used for shipping and transportation between Narcoossee and Kissimmee until the Sugar Belt Railroad was extended from Kissimmee.

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Drawing of a wood stork

Graphic of "Young Woman" obtained from AnfyTeam

The graphics of the steamships are not actual photo's taken in Narcoossee. I do not recall where I obtained them from. If you know where to find them, let me know and I will credit them.