Historic Cemetaries in DeSoto County

Historic cemeteries are located throughout DeSoto County.

The site of Pine Level is in what has always been an extremely hostile environment. This flat woods area during prehistoric times was occupied sporadically by small populations of nomadic hunters.

The period of white and historic Seminole occupation of the area began just prior to the mid-19th century. In a treaty negotiated in 1839 with the Seminole Indians, a portion of the tribe agreed to move east and south of the Peace River, leaving portions of what is today Manatee, Hardee, and Desoto Counties open to settlement.

In 1849, the first government surveys were conducted in the area. People slowly started to move and to settle in the area, with the majority of development occurring along the coast. Those few that did choose to settle in the interior did so along rivers and creeks.

Manatee County was created January 9, 1855, and it contained 5,000 square miles. It extended from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Okeechobee and embraced a tract 60 miles or more in width from north to south. The small village of Manatee, one mile east of Bradenton, was chosen as the County seat. In 1860 Manatee County had a population of 854.

Earlier settlers in eastern Manatee County (many living in the Peace River Valley) soon protested that the village of Manatee was too inconveniently located for many. Some had to travel the entire width of the County to visit the courthouse.

A committee to select a more central site for a new county seat was appointed by the Manatee County Commission and recommended that a site in the SW Quarter, Section 22, Township 378, Range 23E, be designated the county seat, giving it the name Pine Level”. This recommendation