Submitted by Descendants: Corey James, Heather Ann, Jason Michael, and Mary Ann Sullivan MAMMEN
William Hawkins’ actual birth date is unknown, but the 1850 Leon Co. census record states that he was 50 years old. He migrated to the Territory of Florida from the Greenville area of South Carolina, probably following the death of his first wife (unknown), leaving two unknown children, according to his probate. He settled in Leon Co. near the present State Capitol of Tallahassee.
During the Second Seminole War, William Hawkins answered the muster call for enlistment in Captain Elijah Johnson’s company of the 7th Regiment, 1st Brigade of the Florida Militia. On 20 July 1839, he was ordered back to military duty with Captain James B. Johnson’s company of Mounted Florida Militia under General Zachery Taylor’s Regular Army Corps.
By September 1841, William Hawkins had acquired forty acres of land near the Ockipuchnee River in Leon County. That land today is on Highway 20 not far from the Municipal Airport.
On 27 December 1841, William Hawkins married his second wife, Mary Elizabeth Cox, daughter of Stephen and Mary Cox. This family also migrated from South Carolina.
Three children were born to this union: William Charles Hawkins, b 21 October 1843, John C. Calhoun Hawkins, b 25 January 1848, and Susannah Hawkins, b 25 July 1849.
In 1845, William Hawkins was registered as a voter in Florida’s First Statehood Election.
In 1850, he applied for a land warrant under the Military Bounty Land Act (No. 14262) for 150 acres in Hillsborough County. He probably made the trip to the Tampa Bay area from St. Marks by boat since there were no roads at that time other than a few Indian trails that were unsafe for travel.
Hawkins settled in the Manatee area as a cattleman near Daniel Hawkins (b. 26 Aug 1821) whose relationship is not documented but family lore names him as a brother. Daniel was appointed as administrator of William’s estate following his death in 1853. His 150 acres of bounty land in Hillsborough County was sold for $152. William Hawkins’ widow, Mary Elizabeth Cox married John McLean, a Scottish carpenter who charged $10 to build William’s coffin and they moved to Fogertyville near present day Sarasota. When McLean died of disease during Confederate Army services, Mary Elizabeth married John Fisher and remained in the area.
The administrator of William’s estate made final settlement 14 March 1860, “giving equal distribution among all the heirs but two, who are being in parts unknown:.
William Hawkins was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2002