Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Mizell Family - part 1 of 2

You rabbits who are familiar with Orlando's history have no doubt heard the name Mizell. And, even if you're not, the name still graces a fairly-well traveled road up in adjacent Winter Park.

The name originally belonged to the family that held all the reins of power in this neck of the world during the turbulent years of Reconstruction that followed the Civil War.

In this first of two posts, I want to introduce you to the fellow who established the family here in the long, long ago: David Mizell (1808-1884). When the war was over, he was elected by his friends and family to make the arduous trip up to Tallahassee to craft a new state constitution that the occupation forces would find acceptable.

This accomplished, he returned to become the first chairman of the Orange County Commission. Furthermore, two of his sons were elected Sheriff of Orange County and one as the county judge.

Basically, in the 1870s you couldn't sneeze around here unless the Mizells said "bless you" in advance. All of this, of course, led to a lot of resentment and eventually culminated in a bloody feud with the Barber cattle ranching family. But, more on that tomorrow.

Today, I wanted to show you where the founder of the family was buried at the Conway Cemetery, south of Lake Margaret at 3401 South Conway Road in Orlando.

One might think the grave of a patriarch of such a large and powerful clan would be surrounded by those of his progeny.

But, this is not the case with the Mizells.

As you will learn tomorrow, the more "interesting" members of the family are buried at another location across town.

Stay tuned . . .

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