William H. Gleason first came to Florida as an agent of the War Department in 1865. A shrewd businessman and politician, in exchange for digging drainage canals east of Lake Okeechobee, commissioned by the Florida Internal Improvement Board, he was able to purchase 640 acre tracts for the discounted price of $40. One of these is present day Eau Gallie, which Gleason platted along the Indian River. To incentivize settlers, he offered free lots to the first 20 willing to build houses. Gleason’s home on Pineapple Avenue was built in 1892.