Reverend Ezekiel Glazier was born in Salisbury, Massachusetts, in 1815. He came to the Manatee River area in the 1840s with his wife, Abigail, and their children. He was a minister and a carpenter, supervising the construction of a sugar mill and the main house (known as "Braden Castle") on the Braden Plantation. Ezekiel was soon granted the contract to deliver mail by boat, became the Probate Judge and was the third postmaster. The Glaziers were part of the nine charter members of the first Methodist Society in the area. Ezekiel hand-carved most of the interior woodwork in the new Methodist meeting house. Abigail became known as “Mother Glazier”, and helped local families as a midwife.
In 1860, he received the contract to build the first Manatee County courthouse and jail. This caused a local controversy because Glazier was on the committee that chose the winning bid. In other parts of the large county, this was viewed as those in the Manatee River area showing favoritism to their own. This could be countered by the fact that he was the only person to submit a bid but that wasn’t enough for James Greene. Greene became an outspoken opponent of Glazier in the local papers and called for the county seat to be moved to Pine Level (in present-day DeSoto County). Greene’s objections didn’t hold though and Glazier completed the courthouse in 1860. It was used as a courthouse and a school until the county seat was moved to Pine Level in 1866. Glazier’s courthouse was then retired only six years after being built. The building was purchased and used as a church for the Methodist Society (which Glazier helped charter). Although the jail was never built, the original 1860 courthouse is now located at Manatee Village Historical Park.
Though Northern by birth, Glazier voted to leave the United States at the Florida Secession Convention in 1861. During the Civil War, Glazier distributed aid to families of Confederate soldiers. Later in 1865, he helped Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary of State, escape Florida by taking him to Capt. Frederick Tresca. With the help of Capt. Tresca, Benjamin was able to get to the Bahamas.
Together, Abigail and Ezekiel had seven children including Elizabeth, who married William Wyatt. Their marriage lasted less than two years when Elizabeth died in childbirth. Their child (Fisher Wyatt) was raised by Elizabeth’s mother, Abigail, who had just given birth to a child herself. The boys were said to have been raised like twins.
Another child, Henry T., married Margaret S. Duncan in 1879. They had four children. Henry Glazier and his mother, Abigail, are said to be buried in the Manatee Burying Grounds but, like so many others, their location within its fence is unknown.
Ezekiel Glazier, 1880-1890, Courtesy of Manatee County Public Library Historical Digital Collections
Margaret Glazier, 1880-1890, Courtesy of Manatee County Public Library Historical Digital Collections
Ezekiel Glazier - Grave #69
Margaret S. Glazier - Grave #70