Lt. Col Jacob Wilson Aderhold

of Kissimmee, Osceola county, FL

Researched and written by Lisa K. Slaski

Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Wilson Aderhold was born on 28 Nov 1826 in Bibb or Dekalb county, GA. Much of his early life was spent in and around Macon, GA. As a young man of about 20 years of age he enlisted, apparently under the name Wilson J. Aderhold, as a private in the Georgia Regiment of Volunteers for the Mexican War. He stayed with the company throughout the war, survived battles and disease, earning a fine record as a soldier.

After the Mexican war Jacob returned to Macon and was married on 1 Jun 1848 to Miss Harriet Jane Wagnon also of Macon. She was born about 1830 in Georgia. In 1860 they were living in Godfrey, Bibb county, GA where he is listed as a "sportsman". They had at least one child, a son Henry, who was born about 1854 in GA.

At the start of the Civil War, Jacob organized a company at Macon with himself as Captain (also known as Company A 1st Battalion GA Inf, CSA) on 15 Mar 1861. He was promoted to full Major on 18 Nov 1862 and then to Lieut. Colonel on 20 Nov 1862. Though the company records drop him from the roll on 02 Sep 1863 in Chattanooga, TN , he himself stated that he served until the close of the war and his obituary states that he was awarded a badge of honor for his bravery at the end of the war.

After the war, he again returned to his family in Bibb county where they are found in 1870 residing in Macon. In both the 1870 and 1880 census Jacob has no occupation listed. In 1880 his son, Henry, is living nearby with his wife Rosa and 2 children. There is also a daughter, Ella, age 13 living with Jacob, but she was not in the 1870 census. Jacob and his family remained in Macon until 1880 when, according to his obituary, after his business in Macon failed the family moved to Kissimmee, FL. Harriet died in 1883 and is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery near Kissimmee. On 2 Oct 1883 Ella Aderhold married Robert J. Sears in Orange county, FL. On 8 Sep 1885 Jacob married Miss Mary J. Cross in Orange county (Osceola county was not formed until 1887). She was a generation younger having been born Nov 1865 in GA and was also from Macon. Jacob and Mary had four more children: Viola (born Jan 1889 and possibly married Charles B. Green); Wilson (died about 20 Aug 1896); George (born Oct 1895, died 7 Oct 1907); and Frederick (born Feb 1898).

Jacob's house is said to have been among the first to settle Kissimmee and he built the second house on the site. When Kissimmee's population had risen to several hundred, Jacob built the "Kissimmee Hotel" which later burned down in 1883. In 1887 Jacob was a notary public in the firm of Aderhold & Johnston, real estate agents on Broadway southwest corner Darlington. His residence was on Park between Main ave and Aderhold. He later embarked in the drug business, under the name of Aderhold & Burley.

Jacob was a leader in the growth and development of the city and held many political offices. Among them, he was an early mayor of Kissimmee holding the position in 1891, 1892, a supervisor of registration for the county in 1900 and again mayor for seven years in succession from 1900 to 1906. Because of his interest and encouragement in building the Osceola county seat, he had been called "The Father of Kissimmee" during his own lifetime.

The family was hit by grief in early 1907 when Ella Aderhold Sears died on January 14th. As stated she had been listed as a daughter of Jacob and Harriet Jane Aderhold in the 1880 census, but in her obituary she is stated to be the sister of Mrs. J. W. Aderhold. Then sometime in the spring or summer of the year Jacob's eldest son, George, was afflicted with "affection of the head" which eventually developed into meningitis and he died on 7 Oct 1907. Shortly after this, at the age of 81, Jacob's health was failing and he applied for a pension for his Civil War service from the state of Florida on 19 Oct 1907.

Just before 2 Aug 1909, at the age of 83 and suffering from Brights disease and a cancerous growth on his face, Jacob left Kissimmee to live with his daughter in Tampa (by 1910 she was Mrs. Charles B. Greene). Upon his death in Tampa on 3 Apr 1911, he was the only remaining charter member of the Friendship Lodge No. 10 of the Knights of Pythias of Kissimmee. A large number of those members met his remains at the railroad station and laid them to rest in Rose Hill cemetery with the beautiful and impressive rites of that order, in the presence of a large concourse of sorrowing friends.

Ella Aderhold Sears husband Robert Joseph Sears was the son of Dr. William Joseph Sears who also moved from neighboring Schley county, GA to Kissimmee. Robert and Ella had one son Joe who died in 1956 in Duval county. Robert died in 1953. All three are buried in Rose Hill cemetery. It is uncertain what happened to Henry Aderhold who was living with wife Rosa and 2 children in the 1880 census, but Jacob's obituary states that he has two grandchildren living in California. Jacob's children George and Wilson had died young, prior to Jacob's death. His daughter Viola is likely the daughter in his obituary that is said to be the wife of C. B. Green and Frederick was only 13 years old at the time of his father's death. Henry, Ella, George and Wilson, all having died prior to Jacob's death, are not mentioned in his obituary, nor is Ella's son mentioned.


  • Obituary of Jacob Aderhold, Ella Aderhold Sears and George Aderhold all from the Kissimmee Valley Gazette
  • The Osceola Centennial Book
  • Civil War Service Records online at
  • Civil War Pension file (Confederate) online at the Florida State Archives
  • 1860-1880 census records, Bibb county, GA
  • 1900 census record, Kissimmee, FL
  • 1910 census record, Tampa, FL
  • Georgia Marriage Records online at
  • Richards Orange County Gazetteer, 1887 (online at Central Florida Memory / University of Central Florida Library Collection (Kissimmee starts on page 146)
  • Marriage Records of Orange County Florida Vol. 1
  • Rose Hill cemetery burial records
  • Migration of Schley County Families - GA (online at Migration of Schley County Families)
  • Historical Collections of Georgia by the Rev. George white, M.A., Pudney & Russell, publishers, New York, 1854, under Names of the Officers and Privates of the Georgia Regiment of Volunteers who went to Mexico.

    Update History

    Updated 1/1/2006: corrected name of Robert Joseph Sears father from Dr. John Sears to Dr. William Joseph Sears - correction sent in by Harris Hill, Coordinator, Schley Co., Georgia GenWeb Project


    Copyright 2007: Lisa Slaski

    Donated to the Genealogy Club of Osceola County for posting on their website