The Florida GenWeb
Leesburg became the county seat of
Sumter County when it was created on January 8, 1853. A courthouse was
built on Main Street.
Evander Lee and his wife Susan are among the founders of the
present-day Leesburg. The Lees brought their eight children to the area
in 1857 after they bought 320 acres between Lakes Harris and Griffin
for $3,200 from James C. Fussell.
In 1866, Evander Lee and his younger brother, Calvin, had opened a
store on Main Street. Getting goods for the store involved bringing
them into Silver Springs by boat and the Leesburg by oxcart from there.
Calvin had to tell his suppliers whre to send his groceries, and said
"Send them to Leesburg" thus giving the town a name.
In 1886, fifty-six new homes and businesses were built. The population
increased to 1,650.
Leesburg was the only town south of Jacksonville to have a hard
surfaced street. It was built of red clay by citizens.
In 1887 when Lake County was formed out of Orange and Sumter counties,
Leesburg officials aassumed that because the city was the oldest and
largest town in the new county and already had a courthouse, it would
be named as county seat, but Lees-burg lost out to Tavares.
Return to Lake Co.Page
This page is maintained by
a volunteer of the
GenWeb Project, Inc.
and suggestions will be welcomed.
This page last updated December 4, 2008
FLGenWeb Project, Inc.| AUP | USGenWeb
© 2008 by Fran Smith