Charles Lee led charmed life farming in Kissimmee

Charles Lee led charmed life farming in Kissimmee

May is Asian Pacific American Month Charles Lee was born as Lee Gwe Sui in March 1855 in Canton, China. His name meant “Charmed Life” and according to family lore, his mother was 60 years old when he, her 16th child was born. Thinking he would die from dysentery as a child, his mother took him to an opium den, hoping the smoke would ease […]

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Jessie Lee Wilder Thacker

Jessie Lee Wilder Thacker

Jess (as she was known) was the eldest of five children born to Augustus “Gus” Wilder and Freddie Leigh Jenning and was descended from Revolutionary War soldier William Wilder.  She was born in Brooksville, Florida on April 20, 1914 but the family soon moved to Clearwater. After high school in Clearwater, she received her A.B. in Economics at Florida State College for Women and taught commercial […]

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Lawrence Silas

Lawrence Silas

Lawrence was born in Kenansville, Florida, on November 8, 1891, to former Georgia slave Tom Silas and his wife Elizabeth, the sixth of thirteen children. Because it was a rural area, Tom built a school and hired a teacher so his children could receive an education.  Upon Tom’s death in 1905, Lawrence, aged fourteen, took over his father’s estate of 160 acres. Having learned the cattle business […]

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