Kenansville, Florida, USA, is an unincorporated community with a population of just under 1000, a large number of which are over the age of 50, located at the junction of Osceola County Road 523 and U.S. Highway 441 in Osceola County, Florida, just 12 miles north of Yeehaw Junction and 27 miles south of St. Cloud. The community is named for Mary Lily Kenan Flagler (from Kenansville, North Carolina), the wife of the prominent railroad entrepreneur Henry Morrison Flagler. Flagler made a deal with the town of "Whittier". He would bring the railroad through the area to assist with their turpentine operations, if they would move to a new location and change the name of the town to "Kenansville" after his new bride. Both parties carried out their end of the agreement.
Once a semi-successful place whose economic activity revolved around turpentine, now cattle ranching is the main economic stay of the area. Hundreds of thousands of acres of State of Florida wildlife preserve lands surround the Kenansville community. Wildlife and bird watchers, as well as fishermen and hunters drive into the community. The Florida Turnpike passes through Kenansville but does not exit there. Children who live in or near the community are bussed to St. Cloud area schools, a 45-minute drive away.
Former PBR bull rider Tater Porter resides here and many Rodeo queens resided in the area, as well as Bruce Vickers, a well known rodeo clown. Many descendants of original homesteaders continue to reside in Kenansville.
The "Heartbreak Hotel" is located in Kenansville. It has been said that Mae Axton played a role in writing the song Heartbreak Hotel, made famous by Elvis Presley, after riding past this hotel on his way to south Florida. The hotel was renovated several years ago. The community did not have electricity until the mid-1950s.(wikipedia)