Palm Beach pioneer named to Women’s Hallby John Kennedy | February 25th, 2013
A Palm Beach County pioneer, Lillie Pierce Voss, was among three women named Monday to the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame by Gov. Rick Scott.
Voss, who died in 1967, is considered the first non-native child born between Jupiter and Miami. Her father, H.D. Pierce, was keeper of the Orange Grove House of Refuge in what is now Delray Beach. Voss was born in 1876 in the house, which served shipwreck survivors and other travelers.
In naming Voss, Scott’s office said her “impact on the state of Florida stemmed from her courage and stamina.” Palm Beach County was a wilderness, and Voss and her family lived off what could be caught in the sea or salvaged.
Histories report that Voss regularly unholstered a gun to ward off rattlesnakes and the occasional thug.
She and a brother later compiled a 260-page manuscript titled Pioneer Life in Southeast Florida, that remains a vibrant chronicle of life in the coastal communities, where fewer than 1,000 people lived between Stuart and Miami as late as the 1890s.
Also named to the hall of fame are Clara Frye (1872-1936), who established the first black hospital in the Tampa area, and Aleene Kidd Mackenzie, 92, of Ocala, a founder of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.
Scott chose the three women from a list of 10 nominees selected by the commission for making significant contributions
to the improvement of life for women and all Floridians. A formal induction ceremony is expected to be held at the Florida Capitol in coming weeks.