Live Oak Plantation, Leon County, Florida

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Location: Leon County, Florida, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Slavery Plantations Black_Heritage
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Plantations Index Slaves of Gov. John Branch, Florida


History of Live Oak Plantation

Live Oak Plantation[1] was established by John Branch (1782-1863)[2] after he arrived in Florida in 1832. John Branch lived there for 15 years, including the period while serving as the Florida Territorial governor. The plantation originally comprised 1560 acres in central Leon County, on the eastern side of Lake Jackson.

  • On June 9, 1870, John Branch's heirs sold Live Oak to Howard S. Case of Columbia, Pennsylvania.
  • The Case family sold the plantation to Edmund Hugh Ronalds of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1877.
  • Dr. Tennent Ronalds, a fellow of the Edinburgh Obstetrical Society, inherited Live Oak upon his brother's death in 1895.
"By 1903 Live Oak boasted a private golf course with a flock of sheep for maintenance of greens and fairways. Live Oak was also extended to 3,226 acres (1,306 ha) and had the first tung tree orchard in Florida. In 1903 an additional 2,246 acres (909 ha) were leased from Ellen Call Long's Orchard Pond Plantation for use in hunting. In 1915 and 1916 Tennent Ronalds purchased Orchard Pond from the Long and Call families. Ronalds also purchased the James Kirksey Plantation. Tennent Ronalds committed suicide on February 24, 1924."[1]
  • Herman C. Fleitman of Stamford, Connecticut purchased the property in 1925.
  • Leon T. Cheek of Jacksonville, Florida purchased the property in 1934. Cheek was a member of the family who owned Cheek and Neal Coffee which later became Maxwell House.
  • In 1948, Live Oak was sold to A. M. Middlebrooks. The property was turned into a housing subdivision.

1860 Leon County Florida Agricultural Census

The Leon County Florida 1860 Agricultural Census shows that Live Oak Plantation had the following:[1]

  • Improved Land: 820 acres (330 ha)
  • Unimproved Land: 260 acres (110 ha)
  • Cash value of plantation: $4000
  • Cash value of farm implements/machinery: $300
  • Cash value of farm animals: $2390[1]
  • Number of slaves: 68
  • Bushels of corn: 2000
  • Bales of cotton: 73


Slaves were mentioned by name in the will of John Branch in 1863.[3] However, it is unclear which plantation they were from, as John Branch owned property in North Carolina, as well as several plantations in Florida. See the free space page for Slaves of Gov. John Branch, Florida.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wikipedia article on Live Oak Planation(,_Florida)
  2. John Branch on Wikipedia(
  3. Probate: "Florida, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1827-1950" Probate Records, 1827-1887, Index to Estates, 1831-1974; Author: Florida. County Judge's Court (Leon County); Probate Place: Leon, Florida Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry Record 8993 #636589 (accessed 8 February 2022) John Branch probate on 25 Feb 1863.

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Category created and added -Gina
posted by Gina (Pocock) Jarvi