Captain Henry Monroe Harrington & Polester Raulerson
It is a great honor to be able to recognize the descendants of Captain Henry Monroe Harrington and Polester Raulerson as the 2019 Columbia County Pioneer Family. Both Henry and Polester were among the first white settlers that would call Columbia County home. Both came of age in the late 1830s against the backdrop of the Second Seminole Wars, and like many in the region, the conflict shaped the trajectory of both their lives. Polester and her siblings survived a brutal Indian attack at Ocean Pond that forced them to move to the community of Corinth to seek protection. At the age of 16, Henry enlisted with the Florida Mounted Militia and patrolled the Florida/Georgia border to safeguard civilians and settlers against Creek raids from Georgia. His service also brought him to the community of Corinth where he established a relationship with Polester. They were married in between Henry’s tours of duty, and they established a family over the next two decades.
During the same period, Henry had an illustrious military career achieving the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain during the Second and Third Seminole Wars. The family established a prosperous cattle ranching operation in northern Columbia County where they raised nine children including: William Jasper (1841), Sarah Ann (1842), Mary A. (1845), Missouri Ann (1847), John D. (1849), Henry M. (1851), Liberty Franklin (1853), Susan Harrington (1855), and Lilly Dell (1858). Many of their children remained in the vicinity establishing large families of their own. Henry and Polester were well known and respected during their own lives, and it is a great honor to be able to share their story and honor their descendants as part of the Olustee festival. We look forward to welcoming the family to attend this year’s festivities including the parade and recognition ceremony held in downtown Lake City.