Miccosukee is a historical small unincorporated community in northeastern Leon County, Florida, United States. It is located at the junction of County Road 59 (Veterans Memorial Drive) and County Road 151 (Moccasin Gap Road). Miccosukee was a major center of the Miccosukee tribe, one of the tribes of the developing Seminole nation, during the 18th century.
The town of Miccosukee or Mikasuki was settled by members of the Miccosukee tribe, a group of Creek origin who had settled in Florida and become part of the developing Seminole nation. The Miccosukee often fought armed battles with white settlers. It was mapped by the British in 1778 and originally called Mikasuki with 60 homes, 28 families, and a town square. Some 70 gunmen protected the town. It was the capital of the short-lived State of Muskogee.
In 1818, Andrew Jackson invaded the village and defeated village chief Kinhagee. In 1831, the U.S. Post Office was built along with schools, churches, and stores. Eventually the area became a center of cotton plantations as was most of Leon County. Miccosukee had 2 cotton plantations nearby in Ingleside Plantation and Blakely Plantation.
After the Civil War, the area reverted to farms and by 1887, the Florida Central Railroad served Miccosukee. During the 1890s, wealthy industrialists bought large tracts of land for quail hunting plantations or estates removing thousands of acres of land from agricultural production. Miccosukee thrived until the boll weevil infestation of 1918. The Great Depression (1929-1935) destroyed Leon County’s agriculture and the railroad pulled out in the mid-1940s.
Signed by Parish and Byrd (probably as postmasters) post office of Miccosukee, Florida was built in 1831. Col. Richard Parish and Benjamin Byrd were two famous men both politically and in business.
Benjamin Byrd – Florida’s First State Treasurer
Son of Benjamin Byrd and Zilphia Hufham was born in Lenoir County, North
Carolina in 1798. He lived in Duplin County, North Carolina prior to coming
to Leon County, Florida. In 1827, he married in Tallahassee Mary Burney, the
daughter of Arthur Burney and Sarah Blount. She had come to Leon County with
her parents from Georgia.
Benjamin Byrd was prominent in the early development of Leon County and
acquired large tracts of land. For several years he was a merchant at
Magnolia on the St Marks River selling groceries, dry goods, hardware,
cutlery, glassware, blacksmith tools, drugs and medicines, wines and whiskey,
shoes and boots, books and stationary for “exchange for cotton, tallow, cow
hides, deer and other skins and other country produce (Magnolia Advertiser –
12 December, 1828.) His wares were shipped from New York and New Orleans by
schooners which docked at the Port of Magnolia.
He bought 671 acres of land in the Magnolia tract for speculation, no doubt,
because the “rapid and almost un-exampled increase of population and
business” was making Magnolia a place of considerable importance.
He was postmaster of Magnolia as well as councilman and a member of the
He served as auctioneer at Magnolia and later as a Justice of the Peace for
In 1839, he moved his mercantile interests from Magnolia to the store in
Miccosukee that had been abandoned by James L. Parish.In July of 1845, the First Assembly of the State of Florida elected Benjamin
Byrd State Treasurer by a vote of 42 to one. He was commissioned 5 August,
1845, and his salary was 800 dollars a year.
The graves of Benjamin’s wife Mary, her parents and children who died prior to Benjamin leaving Leon County for Texas were on a plantation near
Miccosukee in Leon County. In July of 1997 the graves were re-located to the
Indian Springs Church Cemetery in Miccousukee where Mary’s father Arthur
Burney had been a charter member.
Sometime after the death of his wife and during the late 1850’s, Benjamin
and the remainder of his family left Florida and re-located in Polk County,
Texas. (Information provided by John Byrd)
Col. Richard L. Parish was born in N.C. in 1774 and died in 1838. He served under General Richard Keith Call, later the third Territorial Governor of Florida at Withalacoochee.
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Notes & Currency
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