Short Biographies
of Osceola county, FL

Note: The following biographies are NOT intended to be complete genealogies or even complete biographies. This information is taken primarily from census records and obituaries. Other information is added as it's found.

Morris H. Caldwell

Morris H. Caldwell was born about 1825 in VA. He was married on 11 Feb 1850 to Clarinda D. McCartney in Botetourt county, VA. She was born about 1820 in VA. It appears that she died between 1850 and 1860. He then married Cornelia who was born about 1835 in VA. Morris had the following children: Theodoria A. (b. abt 1857), John M. (b. abt 1859), Mary E. (b. abt 1861), Christian W. (b. abt 1863), Willie O. (b. abt 1865), Arminta (b. abt 1867), Ochrans (or Orleans, Orran, Qeron?) (b. Mar 1870), Oliver B. (b. 1872). Morris married a third time to a Lucinda who was born Mar 1862 and had 8 more children with 6 surviving in 1910: Gertrude (b. May 1886), Lillie (b. Oct 1889), Robert Logan (b. 22 Dec 1895), Jessie (b. Mar 1898), Caroline (b. abt 1901), Luther (b. abt 1904)

Oliver Burns Caldwell was born 2 Aug 1872 in Alleghany county, West Virginia, the son of Morris H. Caldwell of Salem, Va and he died of consumption in Kissimmee, FL on 14 Oct 1905. He was listed as a Hotel Clerk in the 1900 census in Kissimmee.

Arominta E. Caldwell married Walter C. Bass on 10 Mar 1897. Walter was a butcher in Kissimmee. He was born about 1861 and died in 1923. Their children were Helen V. (b. abt 1898), Walter Corydon (b. 9 Jan 1900, jr.), and Harry M. (b. abt 1908).

Willie O'Ella Caldwell was born in May 1865 in VA. She was married about 1890 to Joseph A. Lancaster, a grocer in Kissimmee who was born in Jan 1851 in GA. They had 5 children (one died young): Alice Blanche (b. Nov 1892), Lena B. (b. Feb 1896), Willy J. (b. Dec 1898; son) and Cornelia M. (b. abt 1902). Willie died in 1952.

Source: Census records and obituary of Oliver Burns Caldwell.

Charles A. Carson

Carson, Charles Averette, was born on 10 Nov 1862 in Macon, GA. He was a son of James Alston Carson and Melissa Bryan. His father, James, left home to join the Confederate Army on 1 May 1862, leaving behind his 4 young children and his wife who was pregnant with Charles. Four months later James died in service and Melissa raised her young children on her own. Charles graduated from Mercer University in 1880. He had moved to the Kissimmee, FL area by 1885 where he is found in Orange county (district 9) in the State census. On 5 Jan 1887 he married Annie Bryan in Orange county, they both were "of Kissimmee City". She was born in Nov of 1867. He was a merchant first in a partnership with Elam B. Waters under the firm name of Waters & Carson. He continued in this trade for the rest of his life and added banking before 1920. He became a state senator and president of the state Baptist Convention. Charles died in 1920 and is buried in Rose Hill cemetery. Charles and Annie had 6 children, the following 5 are found in census records: James Milton (b. 16 Dec 1887, Kissimmee), Elizabeth B. (b. Sep 1889), Charles A. jr (b. 26 Apr 1890 or 91?, Kissimmee), Anne B. (b. Sep 1894) and Inez, (b. Aug 1896). All the children were likely born in Kissimmee.


  • 1860, 1870, 1880 Federal Census records: Macon, GA area
  • 1885 Florida State Census: Orange County, district 9
  • 1887 Orange County directory: Kissimmee, FL
  • Orange County Marriage Records: online at Central Florida Genealogical Society
  • 1900, 1910, 1920 Federal Census records: Kissimmee, FL
  • Website: Genealogy of Some Carsons, Johnsons and related families
  • Rose Hill cemetery records, online
  • 2 World Family Tree postings on

    Thomas B. Crocker

    Thomas B. Crocker was born in September 1843 in NY, a son of Samuel and Joanna Crocker. Samuel was born about 1802 and Joanna was born about 1803, both born in Vermont. They had at least three children: Delos, Julia and Thomas (subject of this sketch). I have not found Thomas in the 1870 or 1880 census records, but all others except 1930, he is living in Sardinia, Erie county, NY. In 1930 he is residing in Saint Cloud, FL. Thomas was the newspaper editor of the Sardinia Censor. He was a Civil War veteran:

    Thomas Crocker enlisted as a private on 15 Sep 1861 at the age of 18 in Company H, 44th NY Inf. He was transferred on 10 Oct 1864 to Company A, 140th NY Inf and then to Company A, 5th Veterans NY Inf. on 3 Jun 1865. He applied for a pension in July of 1890 in NY.

    Thomas had at least one child. His son, Mack Brinton Crocker, was born 7 April 1874. He was a photographer in Sardinia in 1900, a steel salesman in 1920 in Philadelphia and by 1930 had moved to Saint Cloud. He was a Spanish War Veteran

    Albert Hantsch

    Albert Hantsch was born about 1831 in Basnig, Saxony. He immigrated in 1854 arriving in New York City on 9 Aug 1854 on the ship Louisiana from Bremen. His place of origin is listed as Meiningen and he is a painter. A Christiane Hantsch, age 29, was traveling with him. About 1855 he had located in Cook County, IL and was naturalized there on 27 Feb 1858.

    At the time Albert enlisted in the Civil War he resided in Belleville, St. Clair county, IL and was occupied as a painter. In 1862, he was single, 28 years old, of light complexion, 5 foot 5 inches tall with blue eyes, and brown hair. He enlisted under the name Albert Handsch at Monee, IL on 15 Aug 1862 and mustered in at Camp Butler, IL on 26 Sep 1862. He served for nearly 3 years and was mustered out in Washington, DC, on 9 Jun 1865. On 12 Oct 1874 he applied for a pension and was granted one under certificate number 148598.

    Before 1870 Albert married Catherine who was born about 1826 in Hesse/Prussia. In the 1870 census he is listed as a peddler and in 1880 he is listed as a whitewasher. Albert and Catherine had two daughters: Bertha (b. abt 1866) and Ida (b. Oct 1869), plus Albert had at least 3 step-daughters: Matilda (b. abt 1856), Lydia (b. abt 1857, m. a man named Brandt) and Rosey (b. abt 1859) [later records state Therese, b. abt 1856 and Magdalena, b. abt 1857]. They resided in Chicago from before 1870 to 1909. On 3 Feb 1904 he was admitted as a resident in the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home.

    On May 21, 1909, 78-year-old Albert Hantsch became (according to most sources) the first settler when he arrived in St. Cloud with two grandchildren and a carload of household goods. He pitched a tent near the building where the engineers and surveyors had their headquarters. He later resided at this address, a Frame Vernacular home built in about 1924 on a 25' lot. Other sources consider W.G. King to be the first permanent settler in St. Cloud, with an arrival date 12 days before Hantsch.

    Moses Katz

    Moses Katz was born Nov 1858 in Maryland. His parents, Kauffman and Henrietta Katz, were born in Germany. He married about 1885 to Susan Belle [Clary?] who was born May 1855 in Kentucky. Her father was born in Virginia and her mother in Kentucky. Moses was a dry goods merchant in Kissimmee and was in business with Louis C. Makinson who was also born in Maryland (Makinson & Katz).

    Census records:
    1880 Maysville, Mason, KY: Merchant
    1900 Kissimmee, Osceola, FL
    1910 Kissimmee, Osceola, FL

    Moses and Susan Belle had two children:

    1. Howard M. Katz, b. Sep 1886 in FL married Adele (b. abt 1897 in MS) had sons Howard M. (b. abt 1917 in MS) and Jon? P. (b. 1919 in FL). He was a dry goods merchant in Kissimmee in 1920
    2. Edgar Douglas Katz, b. 22 Dec 1889 in Kissimmee, FL married Ethel M. (b. about 1895 in PA) had daughter Dorathy (b. abt 1916 in FL)

          1. George F. Kribbs

            KRIBBS, GEORGE F., journalist, lawyer, congressman, was born Nov. 8, 1846, in Clarion county, Pa. After attaining his majority he prepared for college, entering the junior class and graduating in 1873 at Muhlenberg college, Allentown, Pa. He studied law and was admitted to practice in 1875. From 1877 to 1889 he edited the Clarion Democrat, in Clarion, Pa. Since then he has been engaged in the practice of law. He was elected to the fifty-second and re-elected to the fifty-third congress as a democrat. He has been for several years a resident of Narcoossee, Fla.

            Source: Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century. Chicago, IL, USA: American Publishers Association, 1902, page 564.

            The following additional info is from the "Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949," 1950, page 1425

            KRIBBS, George Frederic, ... born on a farm ... attended ... the Emlenton Academy ... mayor in 1876, and again in 1889 ... unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1894 ... served as mayor; president of the board of directors of the Clarion State Normal School; moved to Osceola County, Fla., in 1896 and engaged in orange culture; located in Kissimmee, Fla., in 1907 and reengaged in the practice of law; prosecuting attorney of Osceola County in 1908; judge of the county court in 1909 and 1910; resigned and resumed the practice of law in Kissimmee, Fla., until 1926 when he retired from active pursuits; died in Kissimmee, Fla., September 8, 1938; interment in Rose Hill Cemetery.

            Copyright 2007-2010  Lisa Slaski
            Donated to the Genealogy Club of Osceola County for posting on their website