Lawrence E. Will collected stories about life in the Glades from the 1890's to the 1930's. These he integrated into his books, along with his personal experiences around Lake Okeechobee and the upper Everglades. His notes, writings, records, maps and charts, along with much of his formidable collection of early documents, photographs, and artifacts have been incorporated into the Lawrence E. Will Collection.
Early Experiences. The son of ta pioneer settler and developer of the region, Mr. Will was one of five brave souls who started the first Glades settlement of Okeelanta in 1913. Among his many pursuits were farming, working on a dredgeboat, and operating freight and passenger boats on the lake and to the coasts in a time before any roads had been built in the Glades.
Okeechobee Hurricane. Lawrence E. Will lived and worked in the Glades during the 1928 hurricane and lived to tell the world about it. To some he is remembered as the Cracker Historian of the Glades. Okeechobee Hurricane, one of his six books about the area in the early 1900's is an often-cited, first-hand account of the catastrophic damage and loss of more than 3,000 lives.