Learning from the past, living in the moment, and leaving footprints for the future. Stories of lov

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pioneer John Carroll Houston III

John Carroll Houston III was an Indian scout during the Third Seminole War.  It was in the late 1850's when this pioneer arrived in a wooded area he named Arlington, later changed Eau Gallie, Florida with a company of soldiers on an Indian hunt when the territory was just a wilderness.  He fell in love the the area and decided this was where he wanted to build his home and live. 

John Carroll Houston 1813-1885
my great great grandfather
When the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, Congress passed the Arms Occupation Act.  It gave settlers the opportunity to earn title to 160 acres by building a house, living on the land for five years and cultivating five acres.  Further, that they would have to take up arms to protect themselves from the Indians that remained in Florida.  

Houston returned to Enterprise, Florida and obtained a soldier's land grant for 160 acres.  He returned to Eau Gallie, built his home with the aid of the 10 slaves his father had given him, and with his oldest sons, it took nearly a year to build the first hickory log cabin for his family and quarters for his slaves.  Finally, on October 5, 1860, this pioneer returned to Enterprise for his family.  It took three weeks to drive the covered wagons hauled by oxen and the herd of cattle and horses. Houston, after homesteading for two years, was deeded an additional 80 acres of land by Abraham Lincoln for his services as an Indian Scout.  This 80 acres of land he would divide among his daughters for their dowry.

Slaves Quarters

Ten months after Ada Houston and William Roesch married in January, 1885, Ada's father, John C. Houston, died leaving 160 acres.  William filed a claim for this tract of land that the act of Congress had officially approved for Houston back on May 20, 1862, some 23 years earlier and proceeded to build two homes.  However, a dispute arose and construction came to a halt until the government land authorities settled the case. 

Although William claimed ownership to the land, the official document was not signed by President Grover Cleveland, and dated until the fifth day of February 1896, almost 11 years after Houston's death.


  1. John C Houston is my great great great grandfather. My great grandmother Mamie Carter of Eau Gallie Fl was his granddaughter. She donated the cemetary to the EG Garden Club before it fell under the Historical Society

  2. That would make us cousins! I grew up in EG fl . My great grandmother also had a postmasters report from John C Houston as well


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