Land Sale Lawsuit Lost by Heirs to a Destin Matriarch

Okaloosa Walton College in Niceville has won the court battle over the Mattie Kelly estate. It could mean millions of dollars to the college.

Okaloosa County Circuit Judge Robert Barron ruled Friday the college can sell approximately 12 acres of estate willed to the school by Destin Matriarch Mattie Kelly.

The college plans to sell the property for just over $8 million to a developer. The sale does not include a half-acre tract of land where Kelly’s mausoleum is located. It will be preserved at its current site.

Kelly’s survivors sued Okaloosa Walton College to block the sale, saying she would not have wanted the school to sell the land.

OW President Dr. Bob Richburg says the college foundation will use the money to expand the Mattie Kelly Cultural and Environmental Institute.

The college expects to get another $5 million in matching grants, for a total of $13 million for the institute and its projects