Submitted by Descendants: Corey James, Heather Ann, Jason Michael, and Mary Ann Sullivan MAMMEN
Mary Elizabeth Cox was born in South Carolina, 19 November 1812 to Stephen Cox, b. 24 August 1786 and Mary Borono, b. 26 October 1785. The Cox family first appears in the Gadsen County, Florida 1830 census. Mary Elizabeth was the eldest child in the family. Siblings were: Martha Jane, b. 30 October 1815; James Madison, b. 19 February 1819; Charles Henry, b. 04 November 1820; Susannah Emerantha, b. 02 December 1822; Miriam Louisa, b. 14 June 1825; Stephen Edwin, b. 01 August 1831. Her father, Stephen Cox paid cash for 40.2 acres of land in Tallahassee, Florida, 09 January 1841.
Mary Elizabeth Cox married William Hawkins 27 December 1841 in Leon County, Florida. While living in Leon County, she had the following children: William Charles, b. 21 October 1843, James Calhoun, b. 25 January 1848; and Susannah, b. 07 September 1850.
The family became earlier settlers in Manatee County about 1852 where William was a “cracker” cowboy. Through his service in the Seminole Indian Wars, he was issued a land warrant for 150 acres under the Military Bounty Land Act. The area was a wild frontier with a few settlers and over 100 Indians who were reluctant to give up their lands. Fort Brooke offered shelter during their uprisings and on several occasions the Hawkins family sought security there. A Seminole warrior prowling about the Hawkins homestead poked his head through the kitchen window. Mary grabbed a skillet of hot grease, threw it at the Indian and sent him running for the palmetto thickets.
William died in the summer of 1855 and Mary Elizabeth sold the Land Warrant to Quincy Pinchard for $150 on 25 June 1855.
On 16 September 1855, she married a Scotsman and carpenter, John L. McLean. It is noted in William’s probate that McLean charged $10 to build his casket. John McLean enlisted in the Confederate States of America Army 25 April 1862. He died of “disease” in Frankfort, Kentucky a few months later.
11 September 1859, Mary Elizabeth McLean bought an acre of land for $25 in Manatee… a town lot “whereon her dwelling house now stands” on Centre Street.
On 18 September 1863, Mary Elizabeth McLean married John Fisher.
William Charles Hawkins, her son, who was moving to Orange County, FL deeded “all and singular goods, chattels, leases and personal estate” which included one mule, one stock of cattle and one stock of hogs.
Mary Elizabeth Fisher outlived three husbands and died 18 August 1881.
Mary Elizabeth Cox was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2002