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The city was incorporated in 1885. The area that would become St. Cloud was first settled by Europeans around 1840, when a few families moved into the region from New York and Pennsylvania to escape malaria and yellow fever epidemics. The settlers founded the town of "Osceola" (named after Seminole leader Osceola) at what is now downtown St. Cloud, along a stagecoach line running between Orlando and Fort Myers on Florida's Gulf Coast; it included an inn where travelers could stay overnight before continuing their journey southward through Kissimmee Prairie to Lake Okeechobee then across the Caloosahatchee River via ferry or bridge to Fort Myers Beach on Sanibel Island for recreation or trade with local Calusa Indians who lived there until they were driven out by Spanish soldiers in 1763 during Spain's brief occupation of Florida as part of its war against Britain following Great Britain's defeat of France during its Seven Years' War (1756–1763).