Byrd Spilman Dewey was born February 16, 1856 as Julia Bird Spilman. Byrd was the daughter of Jonathan Edwards Spilman and Eliza Sarah Taylor. Her great-uncle on her maternal side was President Zachary Taylor. Fred S. Dewey and Birdie Spilman were married September 25, 1877 in Salem, Illinois. Fred was the son of Lonson Dewey and Nancy Rice; Fred was a cousin to Admiral George Dewey. Mrs. Dewey was educated in many Kentucky schools, while Fred was a bookkeeper by trade, but also was an expert carpenter. Fred enlisted in the Union army in 1862, in the Missouri infantry. He soon fell ill from tuberculosis, and was discharged from the army not expected to live. While Byrd wrote and painted to help their income many times when Fred was too ill to work, Fred did hold many important positions. He was Dade County Tax Collector and Assessor from 1890-1892, served as county commissioner, deputy county clerk and as a land agent for Henry Flagler’s land sales companies.