ST. CLOUD HISTORY

The Birth of St. Cloud.

The "birth" of modern-day St. Cloud was made possible through the aspirations of a number of men. Hamilton Disston, son of an English immigrant began to visit Florida on fishing trips in the 1870s and was well acquainted with General Henry Shelton Sanford, founder of the City of Sanford. General Sanford is credited with encouraging Disston's interest in developing Florida.

Governor William D. Bloxham joined one of Disston's fishing expeditions and agreed to a contract with Florida's Internal Improvement Fund Trustees. This couldn't have been at a better time because the State of Florida's Internal Improvement Fund (IIF) was in receivership due to its failure to pay off approximately $1 million in claims, a result of Civil War and Reconstruction debt. Disston paid the $1million and agreed to drain Florida's swamp and overflowed lands south of Orlando, an area which included St. Cloud. In return, Disston was to receive one half the land drained. Thus the land for St. Cloud would be acquired.

How St. Cloud Got It's Name

"Some time in the winter of 1886 or 1887, after I had established the first sugar field on the property, an excursion of citizens, school children, and the teachers of Kissimmee, visited the property on board the steamer Okeechobee, (whose 'bones' now lay in East Lake in the Tyson Cove). On that occasion, I requested my guests to suggest a name for the plantations. (I then owned St. Elmo, now Fowler Park also.) Prof. Bridges, principal of the Kissimmee High School, suggested 'St. Cloud', the name of a city in Minnesota. Doubtless the name was originally derived from the French city and given by the early French settlers to the Minnesota settlement." (Quoted by Mrs. Emeline A. Knapp in St. Cloud Tribune article on "Interesting History of the Naming of St. Cloud.")

Mrs. Knapp had this to say, "This to my mind settles the origin of the name of St. Cloud as applied to this City. Prof. Bridges in suggesting the name from Minnesota St. Cloud might possibly have had in mind also the ancient City of St. Cloud located upon the River Seine of France. This City was noted for its great sugar refineries and the first place to manufacture block or loaf sugar... in 535 A.D. St. Cloud was name from Prince Clodoald, or Cloud, who became a monk, and was undoubtedly canonized as a Saint."  She goes on to say " We have on record now the ancient City of St. Cloud in France, the Minnesota St. Cloud and of our own Florida St. Cloud 'The Wonder City.'" as being ways that St. Cloud Florida acquired it's name.

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