The Lanier Family: from John to Raymond

 This photo was found on, It shows Isaac Lanier with his third wife, Mary Lula Walker Lanier and an unidentified child.

The Lanier family, like many others, migrated from another state to the wild frontier of Florida. The patriarch, John Lanier, came from Georgia where he was born in 1805. The exact date when John came to Florida is unknown. However, we do know that it was after his first wife’s passing and preceding his marriage to Margaret Hogan in 1839. It was during his time in Florida that he made a name for himself and his family in the cattle industry.

 From 1840 to 1859 the Laniers had a total of eleven children that survived to adulthood. The family moved a lot before settling in Osceola County during the 1860s. Even though most of his children were adults and married most of them followed their father to the open land of Osceola County. By 1860 John was a successful cow rancher with 400 hundred acres of land and, 1900 cattle that grazed on public range. John didn’t do it all on his own however, he employed his two teenage sons, a married son and his black slave as cow hunters. In 1883, John married his third wife, Sarah Rowland, who had his last child in 1885. John lived a long and prosperous life passing away on February 29, 1888 at the age of 83. He left a legacy for his twelve children to live up to.  

It was John’s son, Isaac Lanier who was named his father’s trustee. Isaac, or Uncle Ike, continued his cattle business following the cracker tradition. The other children of John Lanier still lived in the area. Isaac had three wives during his life and a total of 10 children among them, including two sets of twins. It was Isaac’s adopted son, Raymond, who would purchase the house that is on display at the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek.

 The house was originally owned by Jonathan Strickland and his wife. The relationship between the Lanier and Strickland families ran deep. Isaac’s sister, Mary, and her husband, Alfred Campbell, lived next to the Stricklands in 1880. Also, Raymond’s step-sister, Texas, married the Strickland’s son, George. On January 23, 1905, Raymond was sold 160 acres from the Stricklands. Once that happened Raymond sold the house to his father in 1906, but two years later Raymond repurchased the house. Raymond lived in the house with his younger step-brother, Wade and Wade’s new wife Maude Cobb. Raymond’s other step-brother, Kirby, would live with them from time to time when working on the dredge.

 By 1920, Raymond was living alone in the house until two years later at age 49, Raymond married Jessie Lee Bowen. The couple would have three children by 1926. The Lanier house that is on display at the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, helps show case the life of a ranching family in Osceola County during the early years of our county’s history. Plan a visit to the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek to see it.

Source: Woods, Tom. “Osceola County Historical Society Expansion Project.” Osceola County, Fl, Kissimmee.