I know Glades County is not the best in Florida for historic preservation. Fifteen percent of the people in the county are below the poverty level. Moore Haven is the county seat.
One of the more interesting parks in the county is the Ortona Indian Mounds, which was sadly neglected when I visited it a couple years ago.
Next to the mounds is Ortona Cemetery, which has a section of Seminole burials there. It is one of the most unique cemeteries I have seen in Florida, because the graves tell who the person was by objects left behind or the creative head stones that have things like bingo cards or fishing trips on them.
Billy Bowlegs III is buried here. He passed away in 1964 at the age of 103 or 104. Here he is in 1909.
He was a familiar character around the communities of Lake O, and well respected by the folks in Okeechobee and Moore Haven. So much that they even put up a historical marker in his honor at the corner of Highway 27 and state road 78 near Ortona. This stretch of 78 runs from 27 west of Moore Haven to LaBelle.
Unfortunately, the marker is now missing. I drove by there last weekend and noticed it was gone. It was there a couple weeks before. Each historical marker that disappears is a reminder of our history that goes out of the public eye. It is sad when our history disappears like this.
Here is another postcard if BB III and his family.
Thanks to one of the alert residents from Ortona, we have found out that the highway department has temporarily removed the marker for cleaning. I am glad, because I was about ready to go out there with a can of paint and do it myself.