Over time, the picturesque Indian names of most of the local waters in Lake County have been forgotten, but with regard to the name "Minneola", the town proudly welcomes the Indian
interpretation for "lots of water".
Soon after the Civil War, Captain William G. Smith became the first settler in the area. News of this beautiful region grew; thus a slow and steady influx of settlers began to take over the area.
Henry Wilson arrived in 1881 and planted a flourishing forest; which eventually became Minneola's most famous mainstay. In 1882, Mr. George W. Hull of Duluth, MN, settled on about 200 acres which bordered what was then known as "Cow House Lake". The following year, he established the first post office and served as its first postmaster. He is also recognized as the founder of Minneola, for it was his idea to plan the city overlooking the lake shores.
In 1884, Mr. Hull's participation was fundamental in the survey and creation of the Minneola city map. Both the city and the lake were named "Minneola", a name Mr. Hull's wife had chosen. The platinum town was recorded in Sumterville, as Minneola was then part of Sumter County. And in 1886, Clarence Marsh, the son of Mr. & Mrs. George Marsh, was the first son born in Minneola.
The city continued to experience constant growth, attracting new residents and winter tourists. Minneola was incorporated in 1926, with Archibald A. Pitt serving as the first mayor. As the community grew, so did support for new businesses and industries such as a sawmill, drugstore, church, grocery store, hospital and railroad.
For the next half century, the city has grown relatively slowly. Minneola became known for its flourishing citrus orchards, however, the harsh winter of the late 1980s brought disaster to this industry. The 1990s proved to be quite challenging, and the city fought for a new focus. The current emphasis is on more growth and development. Huge expansion efforts, both residential and commercial, continue to produce population growth.
The mild winters in central Florida contribute to Minneola's appeal, making it a very attractive place to live. Highway 27 crosses the city, thus providing not only a great corridor, but also convenient access to several neighboring cities. With a large metropolitan area, an international airport, and the main tourist attractions within walking distance, Minneola has much to offer. It provides a country environment with the convenience of the big city. Minneola is definitely a great place to live!
Source: Translated from the official website of Minneola.