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Who built the oldest house still standing in Miami-Dade County?

Oldest House

The house, circa 1925. HistoryMiami, 1988-212-42.

A veteran of the Mexican War, he returned and married Eveline Aimer around 1848 in South Carolina. An unusual aspect of this union is that Eveline was apparently 17 years older than her husband and she was of mixed ancestry, placing their union's legality in doubt (marriage of a white person and a "creole" being, at that time and place, illegal). In 1855, at the outbreak of the Third Seminole War, Wagner, possibly accompanied by one or two of his older sons, came down to the Miami River area to serve as a sutler, supplying the soldiers stationed at Fort Dallas, near the mouth of that confluence, with provisions and other goods. While thus engaged, he began building a house, located by a creek which flowed into the Miami River a few miles upstream from the fort. With the house completed and the Seminole War over (1858), Wagner sent for his wife and the rest of his children. The home became a focal point of frontier life down here. Indeed, in 1873, Schuyler Colfax, Vice President of the United States during the Grant Administration, was entertained at the Wagner home. A Catholic, he even build a small chapel on his property, the first house of worship in the area since Spanish mission days. The house was moved to its current location in Lummus Park (Miami) in the 1970s. Thus preserved, it is the oldest home in Miami-Dade County.

Answer: William Wagner

Posted at 06:00 AM on March 31, 2014 | Permalink

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