The Founding of Orlando

When the second Seminole war ended in 1842, American settlers began following soldiers into Central Florida. Originally named Jernigan after Aaron Jernigan who came from Georgia in 1843, the town's name was permanently changed to
Orlando in 1857. The name is credited to Orlando Reeves, a U.S. soldier who was killed in 1835 by an Indian's arrow while on duty at what is now Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando.

For many years Downtown Orlando was settled on cow country. In 1857, Robert Ivey, a soldier in the Seminole wars, homesteaded 640 acres near Lake Eola which his cattle used as a watering hole. In 1873 Jacob Summerlin, known as the "Cattle King of Florida," bought 200 acres around and including Lake Eola.

In July, 1875 by a vote of 22 men from the 85 residents, the City of Orlando was officially incorporated. The land for
Lake Eola was donated to the City of Orlando in 1883 by Jacob Summerlin. Jacob's two sons, Robert and Samuel, are credited with giving the lake its name, Eola, after a lady they both knew.



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This page was enhanced on Tuesday, January 01, 2008