(Photos left to right) St. Margaret's Episcopal Church • Guests posing in front of the Fleming House • The Pier at Fleming House • Fleming House side lawn
Photos courtesy of Florida Memory Project. For more information click here
In September of 2003, Betty Jane Stewart and Cecelia “Ceci”
Staley recognized the need for a new DAR chapter to serve the Orange
Park area. Ms. Stewart contacted State Regent Jean Mann who agreed and
the process began. On July 5, 2004, Ms. Stewart was confirmed as Organizing
Regent at the National Board of Management meeting. The chapter was
confirmed on July 5, 2005, with 17 members; 13 new members, two reinstatements,
and two transfers.
The prospective members selected Sophia Fleming as the chapter name. The selection was based on the following history and Sophia’s prominence in the early history of the area.
Sophia Fleming was born Sophia Fatio in 1765, presumably in Switzerland as her father Francis Philipe Fatio came to St. Augustine in 1771 from Switzerland. He established a plantation in St. Augustine and became one of the wealthiest planters in Florida by 1790. George Fleming, whom Sophia Fatio married in 1791, came to St. Augustine about 1783 from Ireland via Charleston, South Carolina. George Fleming petitioned for 1,000 acres on the St. Johns River on October 29, 1790. This was to become part of Fleming Island in Orange Park.
Following their marriage, Sophia and George Fleming began clearing and planting the plantation which he named “Hibernia” after his birthplace in Ireland. They were burned out in 1803 by the Indians along with all others in the area. They returned and began all over again. Sophia and George had three children who lived to maturity; Lewis, George, and Mary Jane Halliday.
Sophia’s father died in May 1820 and her husband died a year later. She continued to work the plantation with the help of her two sons. By 1835 her son Lewis was the master of Hibernia. Sophia died in 1848 and is buried at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church Cemetery. Lewis’ son Francis Philipe became the 14th Governor of Florida.
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Contact Webmaster • This page was last updated March 9, 2013