Over time, the picturesque Indian designations of the majority of the local waters in Lake
County have been forgotten, but with respect to the name "Minneola," we proudly hail the Indian
interpretation of "much water."
Shortly after the Civil War, Captain William G. Smith became the first settler to the area.
News of this beautiful region grew; thus a slow, steady influx of settlers began homesteading the
Henry Wilson arrived in 1881, and planted a flourishing grove; which eventually became
Minneola's most famous mainstay. In 1882, Mr. George W. Hull, of Duluth, MN, settled on
nearly 200 acres bordering what was then known as "Cow House Lake." The following year, he
established the first post office, and served as its first postmaster. He is also credited for
founding Minneola, as it was his idea to layout a town site overlooking the shores of the lake.
In 1884, Mr. Hull was instrumental in obtaining the survey and map of the town of
Minneola. Both the town and the lake were named Minneola, a name Mr. Hull's wife had
chosen. The town plat was recorded in Sumterville, as Minneola was then part of Sumter
County. And in 1886, Clarence Marsh, the son of Mr. & Mrs. George Marsh, was the first child
born in Minneola.
The town continued to experience steady growth, attracting new residents and winter
tourists. Minneola was incorporated in 1926, with Archibald A. Pitt serving as the first mayor.
As the community grew, so did support for new business and industry, thus a sawmill, brickyard,
drugstore, church, grocery store, hospital, and railroad, were all established.
For the next half century, the town had relatively slow growth. Minneola became known
for its flourishing citrus groves, however, the hard winter freezes of the late 1980' s brought
disaster to that industry. The 1990' s proved to be quite challenging, and the town struggled for a
new focus. The current emphasis is to concentrate on further growth and development.
Enormous expansion efforts, both residential and commercial, continue to yield considerable
Central Florida's mild winters contribute to Minneola's appeal, making it a very desirable
place to reside. Highway 27 intersects our city, thus providing not only a major corridor, but
also convenient access to several bordering cities. With a major metropolitan area, an
international airport, and major tourist attractions only a short distance away, Minneola has much
to offer. It provides a country setting with the convenience of the big city.
Minneola, a great place to live!