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Buried here are members of the Eppes and Shine families, descendants of President Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and the father of the University of Virginia. Francis Wayles Eppes VII, Jefferson's grandson, was born in 1801 to Maria Jefferson and John Eppes. He spent his childhood in the care of Jefferson, who encouraged interests in religion, public service, and education. In 1829, Eppes moved to Tallahassee, where he grew cotton and served as a justice of the peace and intendant (mayor). He helped found St John's Episcopal Church and promoted public schools. He secured the location for the West Florida Seminary, a precursor to Florida State University, and led its governing board through turbulent times. By 1869, Eppes had moved to Orlando to spend his final years as a citrus farmer at his home, Pine Hill on Lake Pineloch. He helped found the First Episcopal Church, now the Cathedral of St. Luke's. After a lifetime of public service and civic leadership, Francis Eppes died on May 30, 1881.
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The Shines were among Orlando's earliest civic-minded families. Three Shine brothers married three daughteres of Francis Eppes, and two of the brothers and their families followed Eppes from Tallahassee to Orlando at the end of the 1860s. David S. Shine, married to Caroline Eppes, became deputy clerk of Orange County and was later appointed postmaster. Captain Thomas J. Shine, married to Martha Eppes, was the director of the First National Bank, a board of trade officer, an alderman, and commander of the Orlando Guards, later named Shine Guards. In 1879, Thomas built a home on Orange Avenue with the first indoor bathroom in Orlando. He named the cross street Jefferson Street in honor of his wife's family. Martha and Caroline Shine served their communities as members of the Rosalind Club, Sorosis, and other charities. The third Shine brother, Dr. William F. Shine, served as a Civil War surgeon and practiced medicine in St. Augustine after the war. He was married to Maria Jefferson Eppes, who founded the St. Augustine Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution that bears her name. The Eppes-Shine family is remembered as one of Orlando's most influential families.