Benjamin Lanehart was a6 cousin of George W. Lainhart and William M. Lanehart. His name is spelled Lainhart on the pioneer marker but Lanehart in the Dade County deed book.
Lanehart was an old man when he came to the lake country. “Uncle Ben,” as he was affectionately known, applied for a homestead on 8 January 1883 and settled down for life. His land extended from Okeechobee Road to Belvedere Road and from the lake to Dixie Highway. He cleared about 2 acres, put up a palmetto shack, and planted sweet potato and pumpkin.
Ben got his cousin, Will, to build a small, flat- bottomed sailboat for him, and soon was able to navigate around the lake. Few of the settlers had docks, requiring visitors to anchor and wade ashore. Before starting out for a day of socializing, Ben would roll his pants up, nearly to the crotch, to keep them dry, and leave them that way until he returned home. He was a memorable sight, tall and skinny with straggly gray beard, barefoot, long brown legs, standing in the middle of a room, filling his pipe with cut plug and ready to gossip.
Benjamin Lanehart never married. He later sold 10 acres of his land, and willed all the rest to his two spinster sisters, Margaret and Mary J. Lanehart.