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By 1858, there were very few Seminoles remaining in Florida.The area that was to become West Palm Beach was settled in the late 1870s and 1880s by a few hundred settlers who called the vicinity "Lake Worth Country." These settlers were a diverse community from different parts of the United States and the world.They were of varied ancestry, but Europeans called them all "Creeks." In Florida, they were known as the Seminole and Miccosukee Indians.The Seminoles clashed with American settlers over land and over escaped slaves who found refuge among them.Europeans found a thriving native population, which they categorized into separate tribes: the Mayaimi in the Lake Okeechobee Basin and the Jaega and Ais people in the East Okeechobee area and on the east coast north of the Tequesta.When the Spanish arrived, there were perhaps about 20,000 Native Americans in south Florida.It is located immediately to the west of the adjacent Palm Beach, which is situated on a barrier island across the Lake Worth Lagoon. West Palm Beach is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,158,824 people in 2017.It is the oldest incorporated municipality in Greater Miami, having been incorporated as a city two years before Miami in November 1894.
Other native peoples from Alabama and Georgia moved into Florida in the early 18th century.
West Palm Beach is located approximately 68 miles (109 km) north of Downtown Miami.
The beginning of the historic period in south Florida is marked by Juan Ponce de León's first contact with native people in 1513.
They included founding families such at the Potters and the Lainharts, who would go on to become leading members of the business community in the fledgling city.
The first white settlers in Palm Beach County lived around Lake Worth, then an enclosed freshwater lake, named for Colonel William Jenkins Worth, who had fought in the Second Seminole War in Florida in 1842. Census counted over 200 people settled along Lake Worth in the vicinity of what would become West Palm Beach.
Flagler paid two area settlers, Captain Porter and Louie Hillhouse, a combined sum of $45,000 for the original town site, stretching from Clear Lake to Lake Worth.