William Henry Milton

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William Henry Milton

Birthplace: Jefferson, GA, USA
Death: Died in Jackson, FL, USA
Place of Burial: cemetery at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Marianna
Immediate Family:

Son of John Milton, Confederate Governor of Florida and Susan Amanda Milton
Husband of Lucy Hall Hearn and Adelaide Milton
Father of Susan Cobb Milton Atkinson and William Hall Milton, U.S. Senator
Half brother of Jeff Milton, Texas Ranger and Deputy U.S. Marshal and John Milton

Occupation: Major; Field & Staff 5th Battalion Florida Cavalry
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Henry Milton


The following information was provided by Leigh Skinner, a direct descendant of William Henry Milton:

"William Henry Milton, eldest child of John Milton and Susan Amanda Cobb, was born December 4, 1829 in Jefferson County, Georgia. His mother died when he was ten and he moved around with his father until they settled in Marianna, Florida in 1845. He spent the remainder of his life in Marianna, where he became a prominent member of the community. Milton graduated from the University of Georgia, studied law, and was admitted to the Florida bar. He was elected chief clerk of the Florida State House of representatives in 1849, in the same election that his father, John Milton, won a seat in the House. He was an active member of the Democratic Party, especially during the Reconstruction years following the Civil War, serving as chairman of the Jackson County, Democratic party. Like many prominent men of his day, he was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Another active member of the Klan was William Milton's half brother, John Milton, son of Governor John Milton and his second wife, Caroline Howze.

"The Klan was organized in Jackson County in 1867, in response to abuses and

atrocities conducted by the Republican, Reconstruction government. Many illiterate ex-slaves were thrust into positions of political and legal power, backed by "Carpetbaggers" and "Scallywags", from "up north". The Klan concentrated on preventing ex-slaves and Republicans from voting. It also engaged in vigilante action in response to a lack of law enforcement in the community. In 1869, a small race war broke out in Jackson County. When it ended in 1871, over 150 people, both black and white, had been killed in Jackson County alone. Another 70 or so were killed in surrounding areas.

"William Milton was appointed to several judgeships by the Republican governor during Reconstruction but refused them all. In 1877, he was appointed State's Attorney by Governor Drew. He accepted and remained in that position until 1898, when he resigned because of failing health. Milton was also elected to the state legislature, was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1885, and served several terms as mayor of Marianna, Florida.

"When the Civil War broke out, Milton enlisted as a private in the first company organized in Jackson County. However, he soon organized a new company of cavalry and secured the rank of Captain. This group, the 2nd Florida Cavalry, was mustered in on March 10, 1862. It was known as "Milton's Guerillas" and later, as "Milton's Dragoons." The unit was constantly on the move protecting the salt works along the Florida gulf coast and guarding the movement of arms and supplies brought to the beaches by blockade runners. Later, in August 1862 the 5th Florida Cavalry Battalion was organized. Captain Milton was placed in command of company G. He was later promoted to Major and placed in command of the battalion, which was active in state defense and participated in three minor battles, including the battle of Marianna in 1864.

"William Henry Milton married Lucy Hall Hearn December 3, 1857, in Jackson County, Florida. They had seven children. Their first, Susan Amanda, named for her grandmother, was born in 1858. She later married William Atkinson, who became governor of Georgia. Their third child, William Hall, born in 1864, became Florida's U.S. Senator. Milton's wife, Lucy died May 20, 1883 in Newnan, GA. In 1889, he married Adelaide McClellan, but she died a year later.

"Milton lived well, maintaining his home in Marianna and a summer home at Saint Andrews Bay, Panama City, Florida. He owned several plantations in Jackson County and divided his time between them and his law practice. He died August 6, 1900 and was buried in the cemetery at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Marianna."

Children of LUCY HEARN and WILLIAM MILTON are:

           ii. WILLIAM (U. S. SENATOR FROM FL) HALL HEARN, b. 1864.


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William Henry Milton's Timeline

December 4, 1829
Jefferson, GA, USA
Age 30
Greenwood, Jackson County, Florida
March 2, 1864
Age 34
August 6, 1900
Age 70
Jackson, FL, USA
cemetery at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Marianna