William Henry Mapoles, 1878 – 1958
“Bill,” as he was known, was born at
Bill worked for his father in the newspaper business. He met and married Terry Celeste Johnson in 1908 while he was working at the newspaper. Soon the young couple moved to Laurel Hill where they set up their own newspaper. They established the Laurel Hill News in 1909.
In 1913 he ran for office to be a Walton
County State Representative. His
campaign theme was that of creating a new county in the area. He felt it was too far between Milton (the
County Seat of Santa Rosa County) and Defuniak
Springs (the County Seat of Walton County).
It took folks a whole day to travel, one-way, from
It took two more years before forming the
new county was successful. This action
had to be passed by the State Legislature and it was not passed the first
time. There was much opposition. Bill Mapoles
and B.H. Lindsey reintroducted the bill in 1915.
This time the bill was passed. And, on
The first County Seat was at
Crestview was a young, undeveloped
town. Bill’s wife, Celeste, was not
happy with the idea of moving from Laurel Hill to Crestview. After all Laurel Hill was an active and busy
town that had a bank and the
Bill moved his newspaper with them and
renamed it the Okaloosa News. In
September of 1917, Crestview was named the County Seat for
And, now you know why William Henry Mapoles (“Bill”) is known as the Father of Okaloosa County, Florida.