At the same time Winter Park was trying to incorporate into a town with the help of Hannibal Square, a man named David Mizell Jr. was purchasing 8 acres of land between Lake Berry, Lake Virginia, and what was to become Lake Mizell, where he built a settlement he called “Lake View” and started to raise cattle.

During his life, Mizell was elected to the Orange County Commission, and the State Legislature and his son David became Orange County Sheriff, followed by his son John who became a judge in the same county.

There seems to be a disagreement on how Sheriff David was killed in 1870 with some stories saying it was during an altercation he was trying to handle resulting from the sale of two cows or, as written on a historic marker at the site, he was …

“… killed from ambush near Holopaw in the line of duty. His burial here by moonlight was first Masonic funeral service in Central Florida, the brethren coming from Apopka Lodge to conduct the rites.”

Either way, he is buried in Leu Gardens on a family plot with an estimated 36 members of his family in the eastern corner of the property, near the entrance to the park on Corrine Drive.

The peaceful little plot is accessible via the gardens or the staff parking lot and crowned with a historic marker and surrounded by large crepe myrtles.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. Where is Sheriff misspelled? I see no mistake in its spelling in the article, anywhere.

    Are you saying Sheriff is the incorrect spelling? If so, you are incorrect as Sheriff is the correct spelling.

    Many folks think it is spelled with 2 r’s, as in Sherriff or Sherrif, both of these being incorrect.

    P.S. tried to use Reply, but it wouldn’t do anything.

  2. I’ve known about the cemetery in Leu Gardens for many, many years. And I stand by the story of the ambush of the sheriff over any other folklore tale told about his demise. Just take one of the moonlight cemetery walks (only on Friday and/or Saturday if a FULL Moon!) at the Orlando Greenwood Cemetery in Florida. The host Don Price will take you through some fantastic history of the cemetery and of Orlando. Reservations ARE Required. It’s about a 2 hour walk, but it is very entertaining, as well as highly educational. Look up Greenwood Cemetery Orlando, FL for further details. Hopefully he is still doing them.