History of Walton County, Florida

In writing this history we feel that it is due to the memory of the aborigines, our Scotch pioneers, and for the wholesome benefit of their descendants, who may feel that they have eclipsed them in learning and in the true ways of life in these advanced days of thinking, of education, and of fashion.

We will venture to say just here that there are but few bits of territory to be found anywhere that are so pregnant with readable history, if properly brought out, as this little, once isolated, Walton section. Lying here, as it were, in the protecting arms of her bounding rivers, with these loving daughters keeping faithful watch, with her head lying in the lap of Alabama, that says, "Here let us rest, " while the great Mexican Gulf, at one time, humbly washing her feet with its gentle waves, to make them pure and white like snow, and at another time dashing her angry waves in maddened fury upon her, with hollow murmuring that sickens the heart and threatens destruction. Listen! Jupiter is enraged now, the coruscations of his wrath leap over the deep, the pent-up winds are loosed from their caverns, and old Neptune is riding in glory on the surging waves and through the angry breakers. What a picture! Hugged on either side in the loving arms of unsleeping protection, her head at rest, while her feet are being trampled upon by cruel waves threatening total destruction. Unique though this picture may seem, yet we find that it symbolizes the history of her people.

This little land, in its people, has had the strongest protection and the most gracious plenty, the sweetest rest in peace, and the most heart-wringing sorrows and cruel surges in war. There are episodes of the home- love and of the chase, episodes of peace and of war, and if they fail of being brought out, you may still be sure that they are here.


Table of Contents

Sketches Pertaining to Walton County's History 9
The Finding and Settling of Walton County 13
Col. McKinnon Receives Letter 21
Col. McKinnon's Last Visit Before Moving Family 38
The First Gin, Grist and Saw Mill 56 The Origin of the Euchees 67
A Council Called by Neil McLendon and the Chief 72
Goes in Search 83
The Euchees Depart from Walton 94
Neil McLendon Getting Ready to Leave 98
Settles Near Waco 103
Walton's First Sensation, or Sam Story's and McLendon's Exodus 106
The Indian War 109

The Creek War In Walton 118
Interviewing Times Between the Two Wars 129
Ferocious Animals 139
The Great American Bald Eagle 154
The Negro In Walton 164
Physical Improvements 177
John Newton, The Teacher 181
Medley In Their Physique and in Attaining Aims 184
Newton, the Knox Hill Teacher 189
School in Center of Valley 190
Fourth July 194
Lesson Outside ff Books 201
A Man of Few Words 210
A Man of Prayer 214
Contraband Books 218
His Home 223
He Marries 226
Churches 239
The Ringing Out of the Old and the Ringing of the New 244
Dedication Day 247
She Longs for the Valley Worship 253
The City of Our Dead 256
Mary Gillis 261

The Civil War 269
Re-enlistment Two Companies 274
Leaves Camp Walton 277
On to Vicksburg 282
Battle of Chicamauga 285
General E. Johnson is Superseded by General John B. Hood, Who Goes in Rear of General Sherman 299
General Joseph E. Johnston's Battles and Retreats to Atlanta 291
The Battle of Franklin 301
Lady Sympathizers 308
To Johnson's Island Prison in Lake Erie 310
Walton's Soldier at Home 323
The Ashboth Raid 327
Committee Sent 332
Reclaiming Property and Settling Deserters 337
The Carpet Bag Negro Rule of Reconstruction 340
Sorrow and Progress 348

The Projection of the P. and A. Railroad 350
De Funiak Springs 352
The Florida Chautauqua Established 358
Schools 363
Churches in De Funiak 366
Walton's Daughters 368
The Monument 373
Gov. David S. Walker's Tribute to Walton's Daughters 380


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Walton County originally embraced that territory lying between Black Water Rivet en the west, Choctawhatchie River on the east, Alabama on the north, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south.

This grand old County, large enough for a state, with its primeval forests, beautiful bays, winding rivers, and gushing springs, was formed November 28, A. D. 1828, with an area of 2918 square miles. The first census was taken in A. D. 1830, and showed a population of only 1,207, not quite a half man to the square mile. O, how lonely these individuals must have felt in this wilderness of woods ! The name "Walton " was given to this territory in honor of General Andrew Jackson's efficient aid. Colonel George Walton.