Fort Ogden, Arcadia and Ziba King The Florida Cattle Baron

by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florida)

Ziba King

Ziba King

When Ziba King died in 1901 he reportedly owned 50,000 head of cattle worth $500,000. This represented 10 percent of all the cattle in Florida. He was known as a cattle baron, and his life story is similar to the fictional family created by the late Patrick Smith in his Florida classic "A Land Remembered".

King was a Confederate veteran who moved to Florida after the Civil War. He left the devastation of war torn Georgia with five dollars in his pocket and walked to Florida. He worked at several jobs until he saved enough money to open a dry goods store in Tampa in 1868.

Shortly after that, he moved to the Fort Ogden area and homesteaded 160 acres and also opened a general store. He began to acquire cattle and was also appointed a judge somewhere along the way and was also president of the First National Bank of Arcadia and had prominent positions in several other banks.

Ziba stood 6 foot 6 and weighed 225 pounds and commanded immediate respect when he walked into a room. He was also known as a very good poker player, but one with a soft heart. From time to time he'd play somebody into bankruptcy and then give them some money back so they could make a fresh start.

He owned the local newspaper, was elected to the Florida Senate and was also on the school board. One time he bankrolled the entire school system with his own money. He was active in politics until his final days.

Ziba King and some of his family are buried in a small family plot in Fort Ogden, Florida just west of US-17. The plot is in a community park and is open to the public.

Fort Ogden is south of Arcadia and is on the eastern side of the Peace River.




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Comments for Fort Ogden, Arcadia and Ziba King The Florida Cattle Baron

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Feb 22, 2019
Fort Ogden marriage
by: Kim Saunders Roane

My grandmother and grandfather, Mary Viola Strong and Sidney Slayton Saunders were married in Fort Ogden May in 1904.

I have a copy of their marriage certificate signed by County judge A. E. Pooser.

Feb 21, 2019
Great Granddaddy
by: Aunt B

Loved the story!!! I wonder if my Great Granddaddy worked for him....he was born in Ft. Ogden, and my Great Grandmother was born in Buckingham....

Dec 27, 2018
Florida born, Florida Raised
by: David Lee

I absolutely love your post, what an awesome man.
Thank you so much for sharing about the King.

Dec 27, 2018
Great-Grandparents
by: Carolyn Shiver Callahan

Know the Ft. Ogden cemetery well. My Great-Grandparents are buried there...Joe E and Pearl E Mattair. When my Grandma Belle Mattair and step Dad Preston Mattair were alive we would go to Mattair-Thornton reunions there. Great memories!

Aug 07, 2018
Live nearby
by: Asena Mott

Thank you for posting, and I enjoyed seeing Zibe's post also. Ziba King officiated the wedding for my GGG Grandparents, FCM Boggess and Pauline Seabrook in 1874.

I actually live within walking distance of the King's family cemetery and take the time to go by and read the headstones a couple of times a year.

EDITOR SAYS

Thanks, Asena. If this were Facebook I'd give you a great big LIKE!

May 04, 2018
My Great Great Uncle Zibe (Ziba)
by: Zibe King, Jr.

Love this story! I stand 6 feet 4 and weigh 223 lbs. Zibe (Ziba) was my Great Great Grandmother's brother and she named a son Zibe after her brother. Another sibling, my Great Granddaddy William King named a son Zibe and he was my father. When pronouncing "Zibe" I have to cut it short as it sounds like Ziba if completely pronounced and often people repeat "Ziba"? and I have to say no, it's "Zibe".

EDITOR SAYS

Thanks, Zibe, for the interesting family story. Both Ziba and Zibe are unusual names to me.

Dec 02, 2016
From the wife of his Great Great Great Grandson
by: Lynne O'Neal

Thank you for preserving the memories of Ziba King.

We take a trip out to the family plot yearly to explain to our daughters their relation to Ziba King.

More members of the King family are buried at Oakridge Cemetery in Arcadia.

Jan 12, 2016
Fascinating snippet of Florida history
by: Gillian Birch

What a great little story of Florida history. Thoroughly enjoyed the read which has inspired me to visit Fort Ogden and Arcadia again with renewed interest. Thanks for posting!

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