Polk County, Florida


1860 - 1928

Daniel Webster Stokes was born on March 15, 1860 in Alachua County, Florida. He was the son of Burrell Thomas and Levicy (Altman) Stokes. Burrell was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Confederate Army. He moved his family to Hamilton County, Florida in 1839 and later to Alachua County, Florida. Burrell was living there when the Civil War broke out. He served in Company I, 1st Regiment, Florida Cavalry, and was discharged in the fall of 1862 with maleria. He returned home and moved his family to central Florida.

Dan Stokes went to work for William Henry Willingham near the Kissimmee Lake, which is known as the Kissimmee Island area. It was there he met and married Lucrecia Virginia Lewis, the daughter of Isham and Lucrecia (Kirkland) Lewis. Lucrecia, known as "Babe", was born in February 1862 in Polk County, Florida. She was the granddaughter of Richard Kirkland, R. S. She and Dan were married in the fall of 1885.

Dan and Babe built a home at the Kissimmee Lake area close to the old Stokes Landing, where Captain Clay Johnson and other steamboats stopped on trips along the Kissimmee River. Dan and Babe Stokes had nine children:

1. Robert Tallahassee Stokes, born September 9, 1886; married 1st Dolly Godwin May 5, 1908 at Midland, Polk County, Florida; married 2nd Linnie Gibson-Hunter; married 3rd Leona Lee. He died April 15, 1938 at Lake Wales, Florida and was buried at Lake Wales Cemetery.

2. Julius "Coon" Stokes, born November 26, 1889 on Kissimmee Island, Florida; married Lucinda Mae Rhoden on December 16, 1911 at Midland, Polk County, Florida. He died March 21, 1955 at Lake Wales and is buried there.

3. Curtis "Pete" Litton Stokes, born in 1890 in Polk County, Florida. He married Lilian Brown.

4. Annie Lyle "Lute" Stokes, born June 4, 1892 in Polk County, Florida; married Bus Thomas on January 21, 1912 at Fort Meade, Polk County, Florida.

5. Ruby Stokes, born on September 30, 1895 at Polk County, Florida; married William Clark at Fort Meade, Florida.

6. Emery Stokes, born in 1898 in Polk County, Florida; married Veda Collier.

7. Polson Daniel Stokes, born September 13, 1900 at Polk County, Florida; married Verna Benson.

8. Stanley Stokes, born November 21, 1902 at Polk County, Florida; married Helen Baxter on June 6, 1932 in Ohio; died August 16, 1982 at Bartow, Florida and buried in Bartow Cemetery.

9. Granger Stokes, born January 21, 1906 at Polk County, Florida; married to Jaunita Raulerson on September 5, 1930 at Kissimmee, Florida; died in Bartow, Florida and buried at the Lake Wales Cemetery.

The oldest child of Dan and Babe was named by Chief Tallahassee and given his name. Chief Tallahassee was a frequent visitor to the Stokes home before the birth of the first child and after, always bringing venison and other wild game for his namesake.

Dan and Babe moved, after the third child was born in the log house at Stewart Bend on the Kissimmee Lake, to Midland on Crooked Lake between Frostproof and Fort Meade. Dan built a large two story house at Midland around 1903. Dan had acquired a large turpentine still and around 7,000 acres of land, which he had invested in large herds of cattle and citrus groves. After Babe died on October 29, 1919, Dan moved to Fort Meade and lived for several years. He met and married a much younger woman, Mrs. Bertha Lovell. To them were born four children:

10. Daniel W. Stokes, Jr., born September 4,1922 at Fort Meade, Polk County, Florida; married Marilynn Myers on July 27, 1942 at Palm Beach County, Florida.

11. Mildred Marie Stokes, born December 8, 1924 at Frostproof, Polk County, Florida; married William Eustis Blackwell on December 1, 1943 at Dundee, Florida.

12. Marian Louise Stokes, born January 8, 1926 at Frostproof, Polk County, Florida; married Robert Myric Sanders on June 15, 1947 at Pahokee, Florida.

13. Charles C. Stokes, born January 5, 1929 at Frostproof, Polk County, Florida; married Virginia Lee Smith on October 7, 1955 at Denton, Maryland.

Dan contributed much to the pioneer settlement of central Florida. He had one of the largest herds that roamed the open plains and had long hard drives to the ports for shipments to Cuba and other destinations. Dan died in Frostproof, Polk County, Florida on September 15, 1928 and was buried at the Lake Wales Cemetery. There are many, many members of this great pioneer family still living in central and south Florida.


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