Submitted by Descendant: Jackson Lee LANDERS
Mary Virginia Murray-Hall was born 13 February 1823 in Duval County, Florida.
She married John C. Houston in Pablo Beach, Duval County, Florida on 22 September 1836 where they remained until 1842. It was at this time the government was offering 160 acres of land under the “Armed Occupation Act” at what is now Enterprise, Florida. So Mary Virginia, her husband and their 3 young boys left Duval County and headed south. They traveled by steamboat and were literally dropped off with their possessions on the west side of Lake Monroe. One of Mary Virginia’s daughters later wrote that her Mother and Father would have gone back home had the boat been there in the morning.
She was a true pioneer woman, setting out with her husband, small children and a few possessions to a hostile land. There was mile after mile of wilderness in all directions and all comforts had to be rebuilt from scratch. Which they did; within 6 months they had a house and had cleared land so that crops could be planted.
In 1849 Mary Virginia and her family moved once again, this time east to where Osteen is now. By this time there were 5 children in the family. Since there were no schools available Mary Virginia and John were able to hire a teacher to educate their children. In the fall of 1860 the family moved again, this time to Eau Gallie on the Indian River. It took 5 days to move from Osteen south to Eau Gallie. They had an ox team, a mule team, and several riding horses. Life was not easy for Mary Virginia as she had lost 4 children during these years and now had 7 living children.
Shortly after this move, the Civil War broke out. Her husband and son became active in the Confederate Movement during the war. During this time, she and her daughters would weave cloth to sew all the clothes for the family; their father made all their shoes.
Mary Virginia died 13 February 1894 and is buried in the Houston Cemetery in Eau Gallie, Florida. The cemetery is part of a Historic Compound in the Eau Gallie section of Melbourne, Florida. Mary Virginia, and her husband John C. Houston, are regarded as early pioneers and one of the first families to settle in Eau Gallie, Florida.
Mary Virginia Murray-Hall was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2011