Polk County, Florida


1831 - 1900

William A. McClelland was born November 16, 1831 to Silas and Penelope (Anderson) McClelland in Irwin County, Georgia. The McClelland family moved to Hamilton County, Florida in 1836, and then about 1846 moved again to Hichepuckasassa Settlement, Hillsborough County, Florida.

During the Third Seminole Indian War, William A. McClelland enlisted in Captain S. L. Sparkman's Company, Florida Mounted Volunteers on February 17, 1856 at Fort Brooke, (Tampa) Florida. He was discharged on February 17, 1858 at Fort Brooke. At the time of enlistment he was described as five feet eight inches tall, with blue eyes, black hair and dark complexion. He never applied for a pension or bounty land on his service.

Later during the Civil War, William enlisted at Camp Lee, Florida as a private in Company E, 7th Florida Infantry, CSA and was discharged on April 30, 1865 at the close of the war at Macon, Georgia.

On March 27, 1870 in Polk County, Florida, William and Sabra Ann Elizabeth Lunn were married by Rev. Peter C. Hayes. She was born in Decatur County, Georgia, September 1, 1846. Her parents are unknown at this time.

To William and Sabra McClelland, the following children were born:

1. Van Buren McClelland, born December 20, 1870; died December 22, 1901 and was buried in Fitzgerald Cemetery, south of Lakeland, Florida.

2. Vianna McClelland, born c 1872.

3. John J. "Jud Mack" McClelland, born April, 1873; died March 15, 1937; buried at Fitzgerald Cemetery; never married.

4. Sabra Ann McClelland, born November, 1874.

5. Julia Donea McClelland, born May 23, 1876.

6. William H. McClelland, born December 10, 1878.

7. Ruby E. McClelland, born November 18, 1880.

8. Walter I. McClelland, born December, 1881.

9. Calvin S. McClelland, born May 15, 1885.

10. Sebrie McClelland, born December 10, 1888; married Edward C. Spahler February 28, 1905.

11. Susy A. McClelland, born August 14, 1890.

In the 1870 U. S. Census of Polk County, Florida, the McClellands are living in District Eighteen (Medulla) and living next door was Alfred W. Lunn, Mrs. McClelland's brother. William's occupation was given as a farmer.

In the 1900 U. S. Census finds the McClellands living in Precinct 4 (Medulla), Polk County, Florida. The census reports that they have had twelve children with six living. Van Buren, John J., Sabra A., Julia D. and Walter I. were living at home at this time.

On August 16, 1900 in Polk County, William A. McClelland died and was buried in Fitzgerald Cemetery. After his death Sabra applied for a widow's pension based on his service in the Seminole Indian War. She submitted an application August 24, 1902 and another one September 22, 1902. David Crum, James N. Collins, Berrien Platt (a brother-in-law) and Henry Sistrunk all submitted affidavits in support of the application stating they served in the same company with William. She stated in her application that she was fify-six years of age and had lived in Pollk County thirty-three years. She was award a pension of eight dollars per month on Certificate No. 6816. Since she had signed her name as Sabra E. McClelland and Sabra A. McClelland, she furnished an affidavit showing her name to be Sabra Ann Elizabeth (Lunn) McClelland.

On August 19, 1907, she applied for a widow's pension based on William's Confederate service and was awarded a pension of one hundred and twenty dollars a year on Certificate No. 5869.

Van Buren died December 22, 1901 as result of an accident which was reported in Lakeland Ledger December 25, 1901. "A distressing accident occurred near Medulla on Sunday. A party of young men, among them Van Buren McClelland, were speeding their horses, when at a sharp turn in the road McClelland's horse shied, throwing the rider against a tree and injuring him to such an extent that he died within a few hours."

Mrs. Sabra McClelland died September 21, 1921 as reported by the postmaster of Plant City, Florida, and as shown on the inscription on her headstone at the Fitzgerald Cemetery.

SOURCES: Wiliam A. McClelland's Indian War pension application & Sabra Ann Elizabeth McClelland's widow's pension application, National Archives; CSA military records & Mrs. McClelland's widow's pension application for Civil War pension, Florida Archives, Tallahassee, Florida; Polk County marriage records; 1870 & 1900 census of Polk County, Florida; Fitzgerald Cemetery; Lakeland Ledger, Lakeland, Florida, December 25, 1901.


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