History Happened Here

A campaign commemorating Florida's diverse cities.
Brought to you by the Florida League of Cities.

Mary Esther

Okaloosa County

Year Founded: 1946


A certain Professor Newton, a Presbyterian minister and teacher who had come to Florida from Pennsylvania, passed through the area in a boat on his way to settle in Walton County. He found it so lovely and peaceful that he marked it in his mind as a place where he would like eventually to have a home. In Walton County, he established Knox Hill School, where he taught for a number of years. But true to his promise to himself, he came back to this spot. One version of the naming of the city says that the two names were those of Newton’s wife and daughter. Another version suggests that they were the names of his two daughters. Both could be true if one daughter had been named after her mother.

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