The only child of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Williams, Minnie was born in Ocala on March 6, 1890. Following the death of her father during a circus high wire act, Minnie moved to Kissimmee with her mother in 1903. Minnie stopped attending school upon arriving in Kissimmee when a doctor said if she were “confined to school, she would go blind” due to an unknown condition she’d had since birth. Along with taking care of the house, Minnie assisted her mother with the laundry of turpentine camp workers, using a scrub board and boiling water in a pot.
At the age of 14, Minnie married Louis Greggs on June 6, 1904. They had nine children and also raised a grandson, Louis C. Pinellas Sr. following the death of his parents. Louis Greggs died in 1966 and four of Minnie’s children preceded her in death.
Minnie passed away eight days after her 106th birthday. Her descendants numbered fifty grandchildren, 125 great-grandchildren, 115 great-great-grandchildren, 35 great-great-great grandchildren and several great-great-great-great grandchildren. Minnie was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Kissimmee, Florida.
The Osceola County Historical Society will be hosting its 10th Dine with the Departed event in Rose Hill Cemetery on March 9, 2019. Other prominent African American citizens, such as Scipio Lesesne have been featured at this event in the past.
Sources: “The Orlando Sentinel” issues – February 25, 1990 (from Jovida Fletcher’s interview with Minnie Greggs), March 17, 1996; Find A Grave