NARRATIVE AND BIOGRAPHCAL
-~ t .~
TEN 3. 0. flUTU
on: L AD.-- 'M
m .L (~~D:P
t~ ~ ", '*;
' l -'^
- n L
. s ', ,
WILLuAM flMONT BLACKMAN
Orange County, Florida
ARraU H. CAWSTON, Daytona Beach
CAPT. B. M. RoINSON W. R. O'NBL
Mas. Joup T. FULLEn Mas. ALTON. B. WHITrAN
MAYvo L. M. AuTRE? H. H. DICKSON
DR. KARt LEHMANN
PRSIDtNT HAMILTON HOLT COL. E. A. DICK
L. W. TLDEN, Winter Garden
WanIu. EDWARS, Zellwood
Ma. J. N. WHarTE, Sanford
TO LUCY WIORTHINGTN BLA.CKMAN-
0 Love, what shows were thine ad mine
In nds of pam and orange blMor.
Of oragea, a., maise and time.
-Tennyson: "The Daisy."
be flodrban's Creeb anb Covenant
Da ccb to the flotoa eratton omf O n's Clob
SBELIEVE IN FLORIDA land of the open ad ftthoml0w sky,
of mbnt stars, of mowntanos opalee clouds, of soft besig-
nant ars, of incest summer, of unatinted and vivifying snsmine,
of responsive and fecund soil.
I BELIEVE IN FLORIDA, uwed on every hand-cooled ad
wamed and clema d ad fed ad decorated-y the awre and
teeming waters of tropic seas, and by countless and spiarkig akes
I BELIEVE IN FLORIDA, and of wide-stretching ad opm
woods, of Utess green prairies and glads, of. dens ad vine-
hug hammocks, of mystriou beys d saumps, a i their various
forms lowly and fruitful; the Sad of fragnt pine ad mourning
cypress, of os-draped oak, of wux maguodia, of conely pam,
of rgd poncia ovf flying vine, and of sy and briliat orchid.
I BELIEVE IN FLORIDA, lad of the orange and.pomelo
and spicy kumquat, of peach and pear ad persimmon and lquat,
of Pineapple ad gue and mango ad avocado; of coa and cotton
and cae and ca*, and of whateer we is anywhere borne of trees
or grows by the soil of the earbh
I BELIEVE IN FLORIDA, the home of creature srnge,
curious and beaif-ti he saria monster, the gliding reptile, the
danMg daatuy awd, the quaic manatee, the egret in somwy
nuptial array, the reosate spon the exuberant mockingbrd, the
flamelike, flteke cardinal, the wood-pcker with tory bill and
the hmming-bird with ruby throat, the painted butterfly sipping
ectar in wnter days.
I BELIEVE IN FLORIDA, land of romati legend d ad-
veturous history, of towns the most ances and the newest, of
swiftly-growing cities, of frms and orchards, and of wide and in-
viting solitudes still awaiting man's coming.
I BELIEVE IN FLORIDA, magnet and meeting-plae for
men-and woms of the North ad the South, the East and the West,
and countries over-sea, American all, one blended and indissoluble
and free people. I believe i her eager boys ad winsome girls, in
her schools and colleges, in her churches of diers faiths, in her in-
stitutions of philathropy and mercy, and in her press, the voice and
-he instructor of her common min ad wi.
IN FINE, I BELIEVE IN FLORIDA, the commonwealth
old yet young, unformed as yet, but papitan t with energy ad far-
ing forth into the future with high hope and swift step; and be-
I COVENANT with all her people of like faith to give myself
to her service, mind d heart and hand and purse, to explore and
develop her hidden resources, to celebrate her prises truthfully, to
win worthy citizens for her void spaces, to till her fields, to keep
pure her politics, to make more efficient her schools, to strengthen
and unify her churches, and thus to make her in full fact wiat she
is by human right and Divne dower,
THE QUEEN OF COMMONWEALTHS
FOREWORD - -
CHAPTER I.-THE BACKGROUND -
CHAPTER IL-THE COUNTY-
EARLY SETTLERS -
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONKRS
THE PUBuc ScHools -
CPUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
THN NEWSPAPER PRss -
BANKING INSTITUTIONS -
FOvU DISASTERS --
COUNTY CHAPTER, AMEICAN RED
EARLY SETTLERS -
THE Town COUNCIL -
THE EGLSH COLONY -
THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, CLUI
WoMN'S OrGANImATIONS -
THE ALmarsoN Pusuc LIBRARY
THE CHURCHES -
AssocIATE CHARnI -
THE ORANGE GuENEAL HOIrrAL
STREETS, LAKES, TREBS -
GREENWOOD CMETY -
T A MfLfl
IV.-WINTER PA -
V.-RoLxNs COLiGE -
VII.-WmINT GARDEN, (
IX.-SOME SMAU.LE COM
ND - -
NE - -
- s -
- S S S C 0
- S a a -
- C *
- a -
- -* - e 83
* S a e 93
S- - 131
- --- 150
S- - 161
- .- 16Z
- e a - 167
- -- 189
COEE OAKLAND 02
- a -
- a -
- a -
- S S
a S -
a a a a a
- a a a
i BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES-
- a - 0 0 0
History of Orange Coruty, Florida
first saw Orange County forty-one years ago, and like most other
fell in love with it promptly and prmamently. I soon after planted
t orange grove, in what was then Orange County, but is now Lake
Many years thereafter I was an almost annual visitor to this re-
nd a zealous student of its conditions and problems; a quarter of a
ago, I made my hme in Orange County.
as rancher and
member of the
particular of tS
president and bank preidnt, and te, when health failed
farmer, president of the Florida Livestc Association and
Florida LiUvstock Sanitary Board and numerous other state-
ons, I have been rather intiately acquainted with the edu-
ia, agricultural, social and religious life of Florida, and in
is portion of the state.
I mention these facts as explaining why I have undertaken to write
the History of Orange County.
This book should perhaps be allied a Story rather than a History. There
are two schools of historical writers; the first, like Freeman, are interested
chiefly in fats and dates, which they set down with meticulous accuracy
and often in dull and dry style; the second, like Macuay and Green, are
interested primarily in people, their character, their aotiva, their way of
making a living, and their influence on their con poraris and descend-
ints. The first are chroniclers, the second are poets, intepreers; the first
take photographs, .the second paint pictures. Both ar useful, but the first
are read only by a few scholars, while the second, because they make the
past times live again, appeal to a wider range of readers.
I like the second sort of historical writings better than the first; and
s, while I have tried to set down facts and dates accurately and in due
order, I have tried also toportray the men and women who have peopled
Orange County and made it what it is, so far as I could do so, "in .their
habit as they lived." And I have sought to make it of such sort that plain
peopleand school children will find pleasure and profit in reading it How
far this effort has been successful, others may judge and time will tenl.
I have read old lte, faded diaries, huge crapboo, stained news-
paper files, ad dusty official reords, and have spet many days talMng
over the old times with the few who still live of the early settlers. And
12 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY '
for all this labor, I have been abundantly rewarded; I have gained a vivid
sense of the vast debt we owe to those who pioneered, moody in poverty,
isolation, and manifold difficulties and discourammnts, but with brave
hearts, in this region now so rich and beautiful. "They rest from their
labors, and their works do follow them."
If the history of Winter Park is recited in fuler and more intimate
detail than that of other communities, this is only because the early settlers
there were wise enough to set down their doings from day to day in diaries
and scrap-books, which a later generation has preserved with piou care.
It is obvious that a detailed history of Orange County from its crea-
tion until now, would require a volume many times as large as this; it has
been necessary to set arbitrary limits. When did the Past end? When did
the Present begin? And so, what is Historic and what is Cont mporaes?
It is hard to say, but I have chosen to make this history end with e doe
of the nineteenth century, and to call the last twenty-seven years "Now."
I have written as fully as I could of the 1880s, much less fully of the 1890s,
and very. sketchily indeed of the early twentieth century, with which many
of my readers are as familiar as I. I have assumed that it is te story of
the early days which would be most interesting, and which ought to be told
before it is too late; other hands will carry the record on. But in my lat
chapter, nevertheless, I have sought to portray Orange County as it is to-
day, the consummation of all that has gone before, and the starting point
for what is to follow.
A word as to the biographical sketches and portraits which institute
Part Two of this work. In the main, these include the me and women
who have evinced their interest in the undertaking by subscribing for the book,
and I thank them for their cooperation, without which I could not have
accomplished the costly task. But a few others have been included, who,
because they are no longer living or for other seasons, could not assist me
in this way; some of them have given me valuable help as members of the
Board of Advisers; some have rendered generous assistance by gathering
materials for my story; and some have read the proofs of various sections.
These sketches are of necessity brief and meager, on account of the
limitations of space, and they do not include to any considerable extent eu-
logies and encomiums, however deserved. Though printed in a separate sec-
tion of the work, I regard these biographies as an essential part of the Story
of Orange County, as they contain a multitude of intimate and persona
details which could not wel be included in the Narrative portion of the book.
Among those who have helped me in my work, I must make mention
of my wife, whose varied, capable, patient and sympathetic assistance during
a prolonged period of illness has made it possible for me to complete the
My work is now finished-a labor of love and. joy-and I am happy
to add as the final word of this prefatory note, that as I have reviewed
the lives, and estimated the characters, of the men and women, living and
dad, who have dwelt in Orange Canty-this ong line of folders, pio-
ers, natives, new-comers, merchants, manufacturers, lawyers, physicians,
poacher, teachers, editors, home-makrs, and the like-I have felt that I
ws in xcedingly good and pleasant company, and that we of the last days
owe a debt to those who have gonebefore, or who still linger beside us,
which we can never repay, except by a consecration like theirs to the serv-
ice of our beautiful city and bountiful county.
W. F. B.
Orlando: Florida, August 15, 1927.
History 4 Orag County, Florida
THE backrolnd of this story of Orange County and its people must
he ought deswher the inm this vdoume. This bcround centuries
dep is googal, geogrphical, ethologic and political; it is pe-
histi taditiml and ioic; t partly dear, partly dim and comfued
rgely trag and Stogether colorful andmaic
It will sui for or purpe to 0 iid the leader that when this ro-
gion was first brmuga to the attntia of urope, it was occupied,s it
no doubt had been cupled from iiemnrial times, by various ktr- of
IaMi--; MiT g" -r Tomokamn Cioam Cr ee Siadles adM others-
who supported mselves chiefly by eating and fhig. They roamed the
coasm ad the nteior, nearly ; th f with a+ another fiwcely,
with sas, bows and arrows, tomahwM and dubs; they cultivated a few.
vealss aw sr, qua, ban and i botsl ; thed engad in athleic sports
and comes; tdy wohippd the .Great Spirit and held festivl for the
sun and mos Where the new coaty omrt houe now mads, Seminoe
chiefs may have dlpemed justice after their crude ard u fahi and
where St. Lueh's Cathedr gaths Chritida worsaipp, the&e edski
may have celebrated the rites and caremoni of their primitive faith, adtrtc-
ing their band in the maoming towaId I rising and in bt. ecesing
toward the stimg s. The scene was the me as now, the am swet
cmm. the sam caik ad ime.s d cypares. the ame arkdibng es.
the ame siumgig birds, tha saoe sand srrs -4 mosqitoes and aMi-
gato, ba the people, nd their mode and quality of life, how different
And mten te ieiquiie voyagers, rn s ad pi m fran over-
sea, mfa rug for new las and tresr e. Firt came the Spanih ex-
plo- DeLao, DeNarvae, DSoW.; then the FrPth cloists, sacred
and upd by dte Spaiards;.then foblowd the first Spiibsprmy,
of nearl two entim e dat n; m the Eaglbh e pre for ome
twenty years; then the second Spnish suprea cyI, from 170 to 1821; then
the premacy of the United State from 1821 until lo rih sed from
the Union i 1861; and finMy, dte an m of the state again to the
Uniok, in 188.
Floida was orgaised as a Trritory Marh 3, 1822, wh.a Governor
and a Lgqidtive Councdlm- of the "mot ft an discreet prsos of
18 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
the Territory,"-and it was admitted to the Union aa state on March 3,
1845. During the various European occupti the history of Florid "was
mo tragedy than a song. Here ex#rnr, brave knights, sldirs of for-
tune, lured by the siren soag of wealth and the hope of glory, suffered and
died and the world knew them no more. Here were armies sacrificed to
satiate the vengeance of European monarchs, massacred by sag reddias
or other vengeful enemies with every refinement of cruelty that an in-
geniou mind could conceive or an experienced hand execute. Here Spanish
and French and English contributed something to the horror-den history
of colonial conquest *. Army after army buried itself in these swamp
and forest bound by the thralldom of stupid traditions, they pursued
the fateful errand of death and failure; no city of gold was their reward,
no temure-mine offered remuneration; only misery and death and the im-
munities of a forgotten grave."*
At last, after these bloody centuries, came, in 1821, the cession of Flor-
ida by Spain to the United States, and a peace which was teceforward
broken only twice, by the two Seminole Wars and by the withdrawal of the
state from the Union and four years more of strife and bloodshed, this
time between brothers. Finally, in 1868 Florida returned to the fold, hav-
ing adopted a new constitution and fulfilled the conditions impoed by the
On July 21, 1821, soon after the cession of the Territory by Spin to
the United States, the following decree was issued, dated at Pensaco:
"By Major-General Andrew Jakso, Governor of the Prov-
inces of the Floridas, exercising the powers of the Captain-Genal
and of the Intendent of the Island of Cuba, and of the Governor
of said Proinces respectively: Whrw from the axtnt of the
cededterritories it become nem ary to make sch division as will
ronte the convene of the inabitms, and the speedy exec-
i of the laws, wherefore, and in virtue of the authority vested in
me by the Government of the United States I do
Sec. 1. That the said Provinces be divided as follows: AU
the country lying between the Perdido and Suwaney rivers, with all
the island therein shall fom one county to be called Esambiu
All tht country lying east of the river Swaney, and every
part of the ceded territories designated a belonging to the
former county, shall form a county to be called St Johns."
OI. Ba runl W"T PwM cc sm~1.- IS.
On DeIber 29, 1824, the Leglati Council created frm-St. Join
County th County of Mosquio embracing the cotry southward from
near St Augsatime to Mone County, which was cated by the san Act,
and westward to M hu Conty This vast ron tainted some 700
resident In 1843 te county sat of Mosquito County was med to -
terpis, no Benso Spri
But the nae Mosqito doe not aee to hve pleased the p -
and no wonder -for on January 30,4145, two months after Frid wa a&
mited to the Unon a a state, an At was approved, "tht from and after
the page of this Act, the ameM of Mosquito Couty in this Territory; be
change. and that said county from henceforth be aed ad designed a
Orange Count." The coayg map d aws the tin and -bondarie
of the county n 1846. This map i take from the euiles Hitory of Vo-
uia County, by coartey of it author, Mr. Daniel Phanst GoC Mr.
Gold w riths a a ta w men ip &r1qn o Ci-Inati aut year, he as
so fortunate a to pick in a eoard-band book Mr of At city a map
about three by four faet in a, corml by the Breas of Topcgrahical
Eqgineen, mowng.at caunoie of Florida. He ad the portion oer-
in Orange County pbt*qra 4 and uasd it in his bo which any, "The
MIrAin buudarm of .Otige waas a arigt ie gii a pail.oc
the Atnth c Odn a Mtle Mouth of the yta t tow of bouo rumnia
weat to about where e toew of Batow is at present ated, the the
boundary Tenduel i a straight Ihi acrmos Lae ApopB k to Le an rtD
tra part of L"b Gmeg wh t a itineoallserl dicLtiom,
rmPngb in a strait ie to ie maoh of Haw Cre c n Duam'. Lak, ow
a prt of Crmes t La and, f w MHaw C vk's north brh to its
head, ClsimDf daghin S-i af Me nlors uth east.W the AMI* c &e at
a point a few .i.ae. ao of Matlanas IlS"
Ta map mho thAtha s ere tae "For in th Oraupe outy of
1846, ndp, Ft. -ut ar the soM ad of IA George, F t King
bury, at ahe nbat cad of Lae Geoq& Madm, n the soum liak
of Lae Moe, ft Lan, a, tw. Swet ide of mLa HaruWy, t Maita,
Ft Ghta, Ft Christms P, Tsayrfto the west of Lake Widerf, Ft M-
Nel, some distant wet of La Pinset, and Ft As, on he Halifax
RiT. The luofh of h- usf ---wtmich ere adotu for the mt
pr- Mt r ssah, mad. of gsthnp- t perpemu&h Ipo-t ug d-
.wold inhm dto attd by -diuM were iadg the
of the S. Jhbn Rie, r e 1m h o t thr bing a tbh lh-
lae .for tbdr 5o u
Orange Cou a we nomw know it and as it wil bdlm t with in this
woak, is a a It, is not nemes- y to detal h ere tb br.proae .by
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
I* t 9
.* *.~ *.
in 1846, including the territory of Voluais, the
Mosquito County, w changed to Orange.
after the name,
PART I-NARRATIVE 21
which the various counties lying to the north, east, south and west were
carved from the territory of Orange ending with Osceoa, Lake and Sen-
inoe; it will suffice to say that the vast unorganized territory of the orig-
inal county as-gradually reduced,and its boundaries rdjustd by process
of give and tae, until it eahed its present proportions, as portrayed in the
map on the following page.
For this map which was drawn expressly for this work, the author is
indebted to Major Charles A. Brown, engineer of Orange County. .
HAVING glanced at the bkdrgroud of Orange County, we will ow
approach its history by the rote which most of the early ttrs
themselves travered, namely, the St. Johns River, and the India
and military tri southward throh he county from Lk MoLe.
The following letter to the author by that jovial and pictsque figure,
Captain T. W. Lund of the Clyde Steamship Company, tols something of
the arl days on the river:
"In the year 1873, June 6,I ame to Florida to visit my parents;
my father was operate a st emboa between Jl ckmiB land Salt
Lak, the latter the nearest point to Titrsvile by water. I was a
boy fqurtn years of aW. We had compettiion the first year oar
temboat was in co
was not enough business
the Lollie Boy left thie h
"In dditimo to cm
vilk Sand Point and the
with tans at Tucawills,
Brantev. a former stae
ion by two other m rs, but as there
for three bos, the Silver Spri and
mines for the Vo my mfther's boat
ting with teams at Salt Lake for Titus-
Indian River country, we also connected
a lading o Lake Jemup, were Mr. G. C.
sato from Oran opetd a
hlre store and warehse from which teais from Maiathd and
Orando hUad ed frit
"At tat time the leading merchants of Orland were W. A.
Patrick, J. R. Montage, J. DeLay, W. G. White and Nat Poyntz,
and perhaps other whm I ever knew.
"The was strong talk of a railroad being blikfrom Tusa-
willa to the points above metined. In fct, Mr. Brantley visited
New York to purha iron for aid ed. It was winter and
he conraed c termiatin t in pi and he died te.
Hi death put an d to the projc
"Capt Jab Broak operated two same to onv ill frao
Jacksonvi leaving the aer place at 10 a. m. daily except Sunday,
oping over night at Patla nti 4 a. am the follow morning,
arriving at Meovilke ad enterprise at about 4 to 6 o'dek in the
"Laer there was als another boat called the Starlight which
was owned by Capt. Cozeer, but this only ran during the winar
mohs for torst; it afterwards caught fire ad bred at Sa-
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
"In December, 1874, my father built a boat
Wdekiwa River. On the 23rd of Dember of that y
the litt stream, but it was so black with fallen tre
plant known as lettuce that we found it a difficult
much headway. We dd, however manage to reach
after removing sunken P s and eating away
using hoes and akes and al kinds of gricultural i
"We continued for a year to operate this boat,
the entrance to the Wekwa Rir with boats to and
to expire the
ear we entered
s and a water
later to make
the ette by
The DeBary-Baya Line ad the Independent Li ran between Jack-
aovile and Sanford in the 70', and in January of 1889, the Clyde Steamship
Company bought out the DeBary Line, which it cotines to operate.
Lading at Melonvile, the settlers and visitor found their way south
through the woods in various primitive vehies or on foo Among these
was Mr. J. O. Fries, who afterward came to know Orange County, its acres,
akes, streams, forests, wild life, and old trails and roads mre intimately than
For a dozen years Mr. Fries lived in Ovedo, and for more than two
score years his home has been in Orldo. For twey-eight years he was
deputy United States surveyor, and for may years county surveyor for
Oranse and Brevard Counties. He also surveyed the Everades for the
United Sta Government and took a censM of the Semile lmias; he spent
three months on this wet task, and e3re 339 ame
One wishes he might know how many thousands of miles Mr. Fries
has tramped, with his instrument ad aitant, through the woods and
swamps of this region, and yet almost eighty-ine years of age, his heart
and wind and legs and mind are ti measurably sud.
Mr. Fries landed in Sanford December 24, 1871, and cam to Orlando
the following day, which was ritmas, to p out the land. And this is
the way he came, and the things he aw. GeorLewis had a team, a
horse and a mule, harnsed largely with bits of rope, and an old lumber
wagon on whose bed severalla il a s were nailed down, to furnish mts
for his passege. Of these there were five, Mr. Fries among them.
The fae for each passenger from Snford to Orando was ten dolla
This losing ad mforble journey began nie o'clock in the morning,
followed the old military trail east of Atamate Spings and Witer Park,
and readied its end in Orldo after drk. And Mr. Fries avers that he
saw bt.e house between Sanford and Orando, and a title store building
at Maitand, t the "metrop of the region.
In Orlando, be remmbers sng the ort bouo and not to exceed
a half don structure, all td. He spet the eight with Mr. Wm. Love.
PART I-NARRATIVE 25
The following morning, Mr. Lewis generously proposed to take him ba to
Sanford for the reduced. um of eight dollars; but Mr. Fries had the same
capable pir of legs which have served him so faithfully ever.since, and none
too much money, and a he set out on foot, after the wag had left, plodding
through ankle-deep sand, passed th wagon at Logwood, and reached San-
ford some hours before Mr. Lewis drove in. That was fifty-six years go.
If anyOne wishe to get a vivid sense of the changes which a half century has
brought, let him -ep this tory in mind while he drives his aomobile over
the hard-surfaced roads between Oriando and Sanford, or sits at the window
of a Pullman car and tas note of the two thriving and beauti cities,
the tacti e town through which he pas, the handsome dwellings th
line the highway, surnm ded. with shrubbery ad flower garden, the churches
and school and filling atios, and the orange groves and tr farms.
Two years after Mr. Frie' jney, Mr. E W. Hec of Logoo
made the ame trip, in part This is his stry of the journey ad of other in-
testing maters, writtenfor this work:
'When the writer arrived in Melovile in November, 1873,
that town consisted of two geral stores, a socalle ho a saloon
and two cottages. This was, the main landin ace for all coming
to what was cthenh Florida. Sanford, three-uarters
of a mile west of Melomvilk, had s general sae, one dweing,
a mail board churd, (Epia pl), and ae drug ato, he proprietor
of which also ept oanse abets in which to dip his victim North.
Mebmllo e i was the distribtig point for Fort Red, Midand,
Orlando and Apopka, and was the head of aviation on thei St,
John River, alhogh small boat plied etwemn that point and
Lakes Jesup and Harney.
"At that time the il arrived at Sanford by boat three times
a week and was distributed th boit de county by a route from
Sanford to Apopka, Maitdd and Or ado, cried in saddle bags
by a manon horse three times a eek; the entire mail for all
these points could have bees put into a ordinary ot poat
"Two diys after arrival, the writer located a homesd upon
which the town of Lgwood is now situated. As there were few
horses in the coutry--nome for hire-thi trip was made on foot,
the party arriving back in Sanford at idnigt after a thity-mile
walk. In the spring of 1874 the writer ad the above anl roue
disontinu d d a rouaeablsh diret from Sanford to Orlando
in Loagwood ad Maitand. The mails wene stil caied in sdd
s for sm tine, each poma st e mail arrived at his pot-
office sorting out his few ltter and di the rest on Soon,
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
however, the coutr
Boston of the same
to lay out. At that
now the corporation
there lived a family
Swas settled up, and a stage line was operated
Sanford and Orlando by Mr. Joseph Bumby.
uned Lngwood after the hautiful suburb of
name which e, as a young engineer, had healed
time there were no other inhbitants in what is
of Loagwood, but on the outskirts at Fairy Lake
named Hartley of which there are now many
descendents still in residence. Homestead set s arrived rapidly
and mot of the vacant land was entered by 1876. In the spring of
1874 the writer made a reomaiance on horseback looking toward
the construction of a railroad from Sanford to the Gulf. Orlando,
which was a mere trading post, grew conideraly in the succeding
five years, and in 1879 the need of transportation had grown so
greatly that the writer believed the time had come for construction,
and with two friends he incorporated the South Florida Railroad
Cmspany, floating the bonds in Bost, and the actual ontruction
was begun in the fall of 1879. The officers of the rad at that time
were, E W. Henck, president; E. T. Crafts, secretary and C. C. Has
"The road read Orlando the latter pan of October, 1880,
and regular daily service between Sanford and Orlando was begun
November 15, M18, connection being made at Sanford with lbots
on the St Johns River. There was no railroad south of Jadkmo-
vile at this time and boat connection was maintained until 1886,
when the Jakonville, Tampa & Key West Railroad reached San-
ford. In 1883 the Florida Midland Railway was incorporated and
45 miles of road was c trcd from Lake Jesup to Kimsmee
via Apopka. By the sudden death of the oatractor of this road this
company was thrown into litigation which was not finished for
some years, when it was sod by order of the United State District
Court and purchased by the Plant interests which had already control
of the South Florida Railroad.
"The whole of Orange County increased rapidly after the con-
struction of the South Florida Railroad and remained as a whole
until 1913 when it was divided into two counties, Orange and Semi-
"Longwood 'points with pride' to the fact that the whole de-
veopmet of this section of Florida was inaugurated by three
Longwood citizens who, unaided cosutrued the first railroad in
this state after the Cvil War, and who had the vision and the nerve
to evolve and carry out a plan for such devuopme t in spite of the
jeers and headshakings of the old railroad magnates in Ja oville
PART I-NARRATIVE 27
and the oppo
th citizens of
Gore, who at a
hado In 1880:
r to ake the ame trip in th e m way was Mr. MaIhon
ig of s tte held in 190, told of his advent to Or-
"I walked over from Sanford, taking two days to mae the
trip. The and was deep and t h d of the road rtcsed oat
unaccontby tang. At about the pr t itrto of.Mgnoia
Avenue and Livings Street, was a littd hooe owned ad o -
pied by a cergmam nmd Beveridg, pastor.of the Prbyterian
unrdh. And a ck to t he at, icernl through the trees, wa
another, the ome of E W. Spier. No other buildings were in
sight, but a man an horsebackd, I iquired bow far it was
to Orhado; the man on orsebak looked me over for several sec-
sized me up for a tenderfoot, and then replied, 'Why you
foo, you'e in Orando now.' There were just twoboums in
I had comn fourteen hundred mis to get to Orao
to go home right th o Bt another quarerof a mile
t me in sht of the like wood curt homus and a luster
at a domen bldings"
So much for the roue by *hic, in the main. OrawngeCouty was reced
and peops d from the world outside inthe early days ad the aspect and
Sate of d nlopnot of the country northward from Orhndo to Lake Mao-
toe. Bt there wae pm s who ame by other pth and to other dti-
nadioam tha Orado. West Onme was tm i, i io, a particardy
attractirevgi, its soil fertile, its suace nduatig and wel-drinsd, its
dcma bidaful, and already in the fifes it was attracting settlers, maily
frm the msothn a some of themamm in caravans o oox-arts-and
mule items and with tdeir daves, a sturdy toL aring land about beau-
tiul Lake Apopa, where the fine towns of Winter Girmd, Om.ee and Oak-
land now and, they devoted temusdv to sing com,, sugarcane, sweet
potte and camt-the Hudmso, the Roper the SSamee the Sp a he
Stwac and'o h.
To the eastward and omhward of what is now Orlando,. the
btrehe vat areas of had, to Kiminme, Ft Cristmas and beyond, hrgl
atwd and much of it mpoy draid, with a santy scattered
ppdts o, and lage Iher of ramp atte.. There was some famanng, bt for
the most pt this relio was demot to the raim of cattle ad ogs.
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
The history of Orange County will be found in detail in the
chapters of this work which are devoted to the several cities and eommli-
ties of the county; only certain outstanding facts relating to the are and
population of the county, its political organization, and its development as a
while will be set down in this dare
The map on page 22 shows the limits of the county, its divisions into
commissioners' districts, and its hard-surfaced roads, completed or pro-
jected, in the year 1927. The county has a maximum length north and
south, of thirty miles, and a maximum width of about forty-eight miles;
it has an area, according to the Soil Survey of the federal Department of
Agriculture, issued in 1922, of 899 square miles, or 575,360 acres.
The following table, compiled frm the decennial reports of the federal
census and the quiquemnial reports of the state cesus, show the growth of
the population from 1850 to 1925:
* It should be rememedin examining the foreging table, that Vo-
hlsia and Brevard Counties were organied add withdrawn from the tr-
ritoy of Grange County during the dade 1850.60, with a m ed pop
ulati of 1,404, that Omo and Lake Couties were organized in the
80's with combined population of 11,167, and that Seminole Comity was
organized in 1913 with a population of 9,43. The joint popular
Orage, Volusa, Brevard, Onoea, Lake ad Seminole Couna,
ducd in Orange County in 1850, was 466 at th me as compa
a populio of all thee several counties in 1925, of 113,676 and of
County alone, of 38325.
The facts to be specially noted reading the mvemet of
ulation are, 1, its growth after the civil War, during the 6s and
diminutio after the "big free'" of. 1904-5 and the great and
tie increase during the lat two decade; it nearly doubled during
years from 1920 to 1925.
A very interming volume, preservedby Mr. A. C. Starbird of Apopa,
is the "Orange County Gaetter," published in 1887 by John R RRidads
& Co., of Jacksov and issud by the Times-Unio pre. It is, the
publishers proudly say, "the firs Conty Directory ever published in the
State of Florida." This G tter includes a dietory whieh purports to give
a fll list of the residents of all t owns and ettlment in the county, and
also a list of all business oncen, casified by towa.
The judicious hisorian will not vouch for te auracy .of all the in-
formation given in this ambitious book but it helps to measure the dhages,
up and down-and mostly up-whida two sre years have wrogh
It gives the population of Ordado as 4,556; "within four years Or-
lando has thrived her then pop tion" it affirm The popmulio of San-
ford, then in Orage County, is not given, but oe father from th di-
rectory that it my have been about900. Kiim e thn alo in Orage
County, had about 500 residents. The pop ton of Apop is given as
947; this figure must have been ery gratifying to the people of Apopka,
at that time, but it is perhaps -les gratifying now, when ae recalls that ac-
cording to the state mnsus of 1925, the population of Apopk was 1,S5,
a gain of fifty-eight in forty years! The puliem gratefully and rhetor-
ically my that they "have expe e nowhere in dtbe Couty of Orane a
more liberal suppo and patroae, a mor hearty weime, than Apopla
as extended andshown, which ilutrates to our satisfaction the mried
worth and deserving success it has ataind." Perhap their grtitude for this
wamn welcome may have lead them to make a generous gus at the siet of
Apopk's population. Tavares .which "id fair to become a railroad cen-
ter of gent important," is credited with a population of 697, and Winter
Park with 613.
Logwood has 1,027 residents, with five durdes, three hotels, eight
ores, and a weekly newspaper, but lms tda sixty names are lied in the
Lowood dctory. AMtemaote Spring is rdited with a pultion of
347, of which only twelve appear in the directly. Maiai d has 400 rai-
dents, Oakland 200, Oco 115, Oiedo 310, and.Lake na 250. One
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
wonders how much trritry was included within the limits of these several
towns and how the coun ws made
The business directory is a tir ad inductive. It list only
seveynty-ae real ate agents in the trritory n corned by Orange, Ose-
l., Lake and S im Couatie, against approxismady 2,600 in Orange
County aone, in 192 According to this dirhtrya, te faor ais had only
oae Ihrm oer, G. E. Macy of Orbdo; two dairi n in Orlado and m
in Winter Park; two m c teaches both in OdrhadM, o being F. N.
Boardmn; three news dele two of them in Orando; bMs newspaper
tee of these
gr apherin ti
ce in Winte
---of the 1,
in Oriandk the Daily
Prgsr. There were
d urgeoIM Winter
ven pysida and
county, he or he be
of ths in Ordoo a
r Park Orlmdo is
WO fruit and vegetable
Record the South Florida S.nin ad
fifteen lawyer in Omrlado, md eve
Park, a mu and healthy pac, is
sIgmThere was oly me smo
Sin Orhado. Of aloon tre wer
d two pool r m, one Orando ad
r'edid with 21 hes, and with about
grower of the whole teritry. Amon
there uch living or weremembrd d mas W. R A A. G.
Branham, F. N. Bon, C. A. Boom, Jseph Bumby, James Deamy,
W. H. Holdn. J. P. Hgey, W. R HUl, the Re. W. WKegwm Prby
teri pastor, G. E. Macy, N. L Miller,J. PRanmore E. W. Spio (post-
ate), the Standard Oil Cmpan J. SmsriM ad H. Swt
The public affairs of the county, as disigu d from t several ao
munitis ae trnsated by four orgaiatio, the Bod of County Cow
m oe, the County School ad, the Court and h County Cawkb of
Camo rce; and to thee may be added as having a si-puli hartr,
the newspaper prss and the bankin iqtutimo
POLITICAL OM IZAnAlON
The Cautitutim of Florid, as
Scontains this daue:
at the gnam
"Immediaely upon the ratifictio of tis Amendmnt the
County Comusmsers of the several acoun of the State doB
dive the respective counties in five cmmisioer' district, to
be numbered respectively from 1 to 5 inclsive, ad each district
sha be as nearly as posail equal in propmtin to popua and
thereafter there shall be in eam of snch distrius a County Com-
misioer, who dsal be aected by the q fd dSctor of aid
county, a t time ad place of ofti for other county oficrs
and a d his office for two yesL"
PART I-NARRATIVE 31
The Costitutio also provides for the section of the following couy
officers, a derk of the Circuit Court, a shrift, ntabls an aesmor of
taxes, a tax collector, a superimtndent of public instruction, and a munty
In accordance with this provision of the Castituti, Orange County
is divided into five districts, each of which has a mreps t the Bord
of County Commissioners. The ditricts, however, as the map revea,
are rkingly unequal in area, and they are perhaps even moe triingly
unequal in populate District No. 5, stretching eastward from ear Or
lado to the St Johns river, with a very spase population has ra-
tion, ad at least a nominal ifluese, on the Board eqal t that of Distric
No. 1, which includes Orlando and Winter Park. This seemsto be hardly
in accord with the terms and intent of the Corntitutio, and hardly fair or
wise; and the disproption seems liy greatly to increase as time goes o,
unlm the territory be redistricd.
The history of the county as a body politic prior to 1869 cannot now
be written, and never herafter an be warit AU the official records ecver-
ing the history of the county from its-organiati to the year 86-e
minutes of the meeatiisof the Bord of Canty Cmmiioners and the
County Shoo Board, and the Court od re dcd to ashe, with
the exception of one or two boo by the fire which detroed the court
Imuse in 1866, an bnmerasran le isfarne from te historic point of view,
a misfortune all-de greater became these records covered e vital and tu-
bulet period of the estaiublihmnt of the Cnfedery, the Civi War and
the early rrect ys. Moetver, no newpper film coveing this
period ae extant, and the re very few persons t living whoe memoi
reach back into and beyond the 186rs even if memory were a trustwor-
thy source of information. The earliest history of Orange County has
been swallowed in oblivion, and we must be content to begin the story
with the year 1869.
Howeer this sems to be the poper place to mke aote of the facts
of priu inter belonging to the arer thim.
The outy sat of Orange Coty, which bad previounsy b at Enter-
pr was removed to Orao in 185. Tbi were thre anddate. fr the
place; Ft, Reed, where mst of the buaess of tde omty was transted;
Apopa, then allied the Lodg; nd what.wa later called Orbdo, Ft. GCd
bedg the onypoint which had amrved at the digityo a ae.
The compete was livd,. Jude J. G Speer "bahoq himself of the fact
that the UMited Stam s was dprivilged to vote whoever he dight be on
election day, so he wet to Sumter County, where a aopany of sodier were
32 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
stationed, and persuaded a mu
them of a good picnic dinner.
and after enjoying the lovely
which they did, thereby swelling
may be thought of the ethics o
that it was Judge Speer who a
made it the county seat
br of them to be here on that day, assuring
Before the noon hour the soldiers were o hand,
diner, rememned that they might vote ere,
g the vote sufficiently for a victory."* Whatever
of this transaction, it is interesting to remember
t only gave its name to the settlement, but also
A very interesting record which was not destroyed by the fire is that
of a warranty deed given to the Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 5,
1857, by Mr. James G. Speed, acting underpower of attorney for Mr. Ben-
Jamin F. Caldwedl of Talladega County, Alabama, which conveys a tract of
laud. "better known as the Town Plot of the village of Orlando, as
the county site of Orange County, containing four acres more or. le," the
consideration being five dollars. This instrument was witnessed by Thomas
H. Harris and John R. Worthington. Mr. Caldwell, an early store-k4per,
appears to have owned eighty acres embracing the site of the present court
As has already been stated, the first court home, a two-story hewn-log
affair, was burned in 1868. It was conjectured at the time that the fire was of
incediary origin, the intention being to destroy inconvenient, and perhaps in-
It has been generally understood that all books belonging to the county
were destroyed by this fire, except one which had been carried to his home the
previous night by the derk of the Court; this was Deed Book D.
However, in rummagig through the shelves in the court house, the
author has found one book of an earlier date which must also have been saved
somehow, somewhere, and by someone; this is the Minutes of the Circuit
Court for the Eastern Circuit, which then incded Orange and St. Lude
Counties. The first entry in this book is dated April 20, 1847, moe than
eighty years ago; the record on
pages, begins again in 1866, and
ovember 18, 1863, with six blank
through the Special Term of July,
This is the first entry: "This being the day appointed by law for the
holding of the Spring Term of the Circuit Court for the counties of Orange
and St. Lude in the Eastern Circuit of Florid, Peter G. Hyrne Clerk and
John Simpson, Sheriff of said County, attended at the court house in Mellon-
vike in said county and the Judge thereof (Tha. Douglas) not being in at-
tendance the court was adjourned purunt to the Statute to 12m tomorrow."
This Judge Douglas had ben elected Judge of the Eastern Circuit in 1845;
the year in which Florida was admitted to the Union and Orange County con-
Mra 8. Orif, il a papw rd bosn '. J ne Is, IS.
titled, and was afterward the firs Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He
was, I believe, a Cticut Yankee, had been in business in the territory of
Indiana, and settled in St Augustine.in 1829.
In the Fall Term, Grory Yae (deewhere spelled Yeall), Felix Livings-
ton, and George R. Fairbanks were "admitted and enrolled as Colelrs of
law and solicitors in hanellery of the Circuitcourt of Orange and St. Lude
Counties, they having confomed to the rule of this Court" Two other names
were added April 4, 1854, those of James B Dawkins and Geo W. Hawkins.
It ems likely that this Go. R. Fairbanks was the distinguished scholar and
publicist of that name wh was bor n New York in 1820, lived in St Au-
gutine ad Fernanda, served in the Confederate Army, and wrote the His-
tory of Plorida which is still a standard work.
At the April Term of 1849, Judge Douglas makes the following elaborate
and handsome apology, and causes it to be enscried in the Minutes:
To all whom it may concern be it known that I Thos. Douglas
Judge of aid Court took page in te Steamboat Sarah Speuding
which left JadmMvi on Monday morning the 16th inst, for this
p that aid Boat is the only one which plies between the said
plans and affords the only oppouity of getting up to Melonville
the aat of Justice whee aid ourt is required to be holden for the
Counties aforesaid, that I took passage in time to have arrived in sea-
on to have opened the Court oa the t day of the peent term, had
not said boat been detained, that aid Boat was detained waiting for
the mail at Palatk & by a fog between Palatka and this place so that
it was impsibe for me to arrive here in time to hold te court on
Tuesday the is day of the tem but is was hold on Wednsday the
smmnd day of the tem and the business trasated, and it is further
ordered that the same be recorded on the Minutes of said cort."
Similar epaa and apologiesare made by Judge Douglas at the
Fall Term 184-which, by the way, was opened by payer by Judge Douglas
a cmmn ble apleand again in the Spring Term of 1851. Mani-
faestly, traportatin on the St. Joms river was at that time irregular and un-
On April 18, 1849, the Grand Jury presented to the court the following
minutes: "We, the Grand Jury of Orange and St Leie Counties beg leave
to offer to the Ha. Tho. Dough. Judge in our comtie our codial thanks
for his services a Presiding Jie also the ame to our solicitor and offers
of the Court in Geeral, ad father we fe ourselves thankful that having no
further business before we retire from this Court trusting that we sha
ntne to see the laws of oar ate and of our country continue in the pese-
abl stand that we at present bast'of."
34 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
At the dose of the Fal Term of 1849, the Grand Jury submitted the fol-
"That inhabitating one of the most exposed and defenseless
frontier Counties they were among the first to feel the pressure of
the disastrous circumstances which have occurred in com equnce of
the hostile demonstration of a portion of the Seminole Indians re-
sulting in the brutal murder of one of our most valued and respected
citizens, Mr. James Barker, in the mutilation of Major Rusel and
the depopulation of the entire county of St Lude.
"That under these circumstances driven from their homes and
forced to hurdle together in hasty defenses we urged our defenseless
condition upon the governor of our state who made answer to our
earnest entreaties and with a promptnes dictated by the highest vir-
tue of humanity and patriotism sent forward for our protection a
force of Volunteers aided by whose presence we have been enabled to
save our property and continue our avocations.
"That we cannot too gratefully approve the prompt action of
our Executive and we do earnestly in this public manner request our
Senators and Representatives in Congress to urge upon the justice
and humanity of that body the speedy payment by the'Governent of
the volunteers so called into servi
"That the Seminoles now remaining in Florida were permitted
to remain in the state against the wishes of our people and that
we have increasingly desired these dangerous neighbors to be re-
moved from our borders, that the neglect to do so hitherto has been
productive of great injury to our county and state and that our
prospects as a people are utterly paralyzed by the present state of
On April 2, 1851, is this minute: "In consequence of the inebriety of
Nicholas Shepherd, a Petty Juror, rendering him unfit to perform the duties
of a Juror, It is ordered that the Sheriff take into custody said Shepherd and
to keep him secure from all intoxicating drinks until tomorrow at 9 o'clock."
There were numerous trials for assault and battery, assault with intent to
kill, murder, larcency, adultery, fornication, divorce, retailing spiritual liquors
without a license, slander and so forth.
On April 5, 1859, the Judge in remanding a certain convict to jail, orders
that "there being no Jail now in the county of Orange nor any nearer than
Ocala in the County of Marion, the Sheriff is ordered to convey said convict
to the Ocala Jail for safe-keeping."
At the dose of the Fall Term of 1859, the Grand Jury, which seems to
have had the homiletic habit, said: "1st We have much to be thankful for in
PART I-NARRATIVE 35
point of health, Having enjoyed r health in the length and
breadth of our County. While we have plenty of the good things of life,
yet we are c aind to coafes that our public morals are not so good as
we could desire to ee still as good as is generally to be found .in most
These were "t good old times;" the Judge leads in prayer, and the
Grand Jury has the spirit of the moralist, te aensor and the prophet. Never-
theess the county seems to have been something ss than a Paradise; human
natur and the vextious problems of community life seem to be much the
,Anothr interesting fact, however, which occurred in this period, may be
set down here; when on January 10, 1861, the secession convention which
had been called by Governor Perry voted that all political connection be-
tween Florida and the government of the United States "ought to be, and
the same is hereby annulled, and said union of states dissolved," the repre-
sentative of Orange County, Hon. William W. Woodruff, voted Nay, with
six other courageous delegates, out of a total vote of 69. Mr. Woodruff
was the father of Mr. Seth Woodruff of Orlando, (see biographical sketch
in Part Two of this work.)
THB DOAD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
The records of the Board of County Comnissioners begin
year 1870, and are continued without break to the present time.
mnbodied in ten ponderous volme, wel-preerved, but the ink
poor and faded, the handwriting difficult to decipher, and the
and grammar often unique. These records have been diligently
for the purposes of this study.
The first volume of these records begins with a list of the qualified
voters of the county, mostly registered during the year 1870, and a few
during the two preceding yeas. The whole number of risterd voters at
that time is given as 494, which seems astoishingly small in relation to the
immense territory then covered by the county, and its population. But tie
negroes, though counted in the anus, were not enrolled as electors, the days
of women's suffrage had no yet arrived and it is likely that a cosidrabe
number of men of voting ap did not take the trouble to qualify as voters
The minutes of the first meeting ae dated September 24, 1869. There
were present, David Mil, president of the Board, A. H. Stockton, clrk,
Hugh S. Parti, John Tanner, and M. M. Mizl, sheri. Fixing the date
of the burning of the old ort home, and indicating the real esate values of
the time, it was voted to py $10 per month rent for the house occupied by
the clerk and Judge of Probte pending the completion of the new court
36 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
house, and it was ordered-perhaps in the hope of rendering another fire less
likely-that the doors of the court house "be kept locked all the time and used
for public meetings, holding courts and preaching, and for no other purpose"
On January 15, 1870, it was voted that the clerk "be paid the sum of seventy-
one dollars and nine cents for services rendered as Clerk of the Board and
other services as per bill filed for the years 1868 and 1869"-truly, a
On February 4, 1871, an account is noted of twenty dollars paid for
"rent of house for the use of the Circuit and other courts of the county, and
for horse-hire and a hand furnished for the use of the court at the fall
The amount due the county for taxes on the assessment rolls for the year
1870 is given as $1,662.57, and the back taxes due as $729.97, a total avail-
able for expenses, provided it was all collected, of $2,382.54. It was voted
that the "Election Precinct be removed from the Lodge (now Apopka) and
the said Precinct be established at Clay Springs in Orange County;" also,
that election precincts be established in the store of I. F. I. Mitchell at Lake
Jesup, and in the home of Henry H. Hodges in the vicinity of Lake Taylor.
At a meeting held July 26, 1870, the following action was taken:
"It is hereby ordered by the Board that the Road Commis-
sioners on the pubick road leading from Orlando and Melonvile be
required to summon all the hands as herein directed Mess. M. J.
Doyle and David Hartly be required to summon all the hands in and
around Mellonville, Mess. M. M. Mizell and James P. Hughey be
required to summon all the hands to the west of said road from
Soldier Creek bridge to Orlando and south of Orando that are
subject to road duty, and they are required to instruct their over-
seers to summon said hands and notify thmn of what kind of a tool
to bring to work with. Both parties on each end of the road will
meet at Soldier Creek bridge on Thursday the eighteenth day of
August and build a good and substanti bridge across said creek
and then work on each end of the road."
On March 4, 1871, it was ordered that "a public road be opened from
Orlando to Ft Christmas by the nearest and m practicable route," and
Messrs. Wilson R. Simmons and John R. A. Tucker were appointed can-
missioners to attend to the matter.
On February 7, 1872, James G. Sper was elected chairman of the
Board and J. P. Hughey clerk; Judge Sper resigned, however, in.the fol-
PART I-NARRATIVE 37
In June, 1872, James G. Speer was elected chairman of the Board.
The financial condition of the county is set forth thus: "County Tax
Assessment for 1871; $4,963.02; uncollected, $1,800; County debt exceeds
$4,000." It was voted to paint the court house "for a sum not to exceed one
hundred and twenty-five dollars to be paid in scrip baring 8% interest, but
livable until--the preant hdMedmas of the annty shall have teen
In 1872, a jail was built at a cost of $1,650 on a lot which cost fifty
dollars; later, a house for the jailer and a wall about the two buildings were
erected for $475.
The new court house bee seem to have buzzed in those early days, as in
later times. The first court house was burned in 1868 and the second one
was "received" from the contractor on September 25, 1869, and "thirty
dollars allowed him for extra work" This structure is aid to have cost
$1,250. The need of a new court house was being agitated.
A highly interesting episode which is not mentioned in the records, may
be referred to here.
There was issued in Orlando in 1906 for a short time only a newspaper
called the Democrat, J.. Holland Starbuck, editor and publisher. In Vol. 1,
number 22, of this paper, which Mrs,.J. H. Davet has preserved, was printed
an article entitled, "Echoes of Dead Days," which gives an account of a
struggle between Geral Sanford and Jacob Summerin to secure the pro-
posed court house for the thriving town of Sanford or the straggling and
struggling settlement of Orlando. Some extracts from this interesting story
are quoted here:
"At the time of which we write, Orlando was duly, by the se-
lection of proper authorities, the seat of county government and the
lawful location of the court house, yet it was scarcely more a town
and had prospects probably less bright to the ordinary eye, than have
some of the country postoffices of the county today which are lo-
cated far from the nearest railroad and have absolutely no apparent
prospects of noticeable growth, yet to the eyes of Mr. Jacob Summer-
lin the town had the brightest of prospects.
"It was at this time that General Sanford, former American
Consul to the Court of Belgium, and a very.pompous northern
gentleman, followed the course of the St. Johns river from
Jacksonville to Mellonville. In 1875, he looked upon his
work and saw that it was good, for he had built a town that in those
days was a model for the section in which it was located, and then he
dreamed his dream, andsaw a city beside the blue waters of Lake
Monroe, a city such as Oange County had never known, and in his
dream, that city which bore his name was the county seat, the home
38 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
of county officials, the business center of affairs. He dreamed his
dream and laid his plans to make the vision real. The county seat
must be moved from Orlando, that little backwoods settlement, lo-
cated among the pine forests, blue lakes, and low rolling hills some
twenty-two miles to the south, and located at Sanford, so certain to
become the great city of southern Florida.
"So the matter stood when the Board of County Commissioners
met in Orlando to make their final decision.
"General Sanford came to the county meat to be present at the
meeting and to personally make his offer to the Board. He came
confident of success, certain of victory. When he arrived in the
little town, he went at once to the Summerlin Hotel, which stood
near where it stands today. Mr. Summerlin at on the porch, smok-
ing a corncob pipe, dressd in rough clothing, a blue flannel shirt,
coarse trousers and heavy shoes. The Geeral gave him one glance
as he crossed the porch and entered the office, swinging a.heavy gold-
headed cane. He was a pompous man, dresed in the most correct
styles of the day, with a high silk hat and spotless inen. At the desk
in the office sat Mr. A. N. Harrigton, clerk of the hotel, and it was
to him that General Sanford addressed his first words, 'Where can
I find this gentleman, this Mr. Jacob Summerlin, who I am inform-
ed, dares to oppose me in my efforts to late the county sat of
Orange County in the town of Sanford? I, Sir, am General San-
ford,' all of which was spoken in a voice plainly audible to Mr. Sum-
merlin. Mr. Harrington took the General to the porch and intro-
duced the two gentlemen. The surprise of the general was apparent
but his words were spoken in a mot cordial manner. He asked what
objection Mr. Summerlin could possibly raise to the change in ques-
tion. He pointed out the advantages which he really believed would
be derived from the movement; he argued, he explained, he grew
eloquent, as he drew a verbal picture of the wonderful growth which
would surely come to Sanford within a few short years, and through
it all Mr. Summerlin sat, an attentive listener, a courteous kindly
gentleman, yet a man with a mind of his own, who had pondered
the matter and who had drawn his own conclusions, and who would
stand by them to the very end.
"Next day, the Commissioners met in Orlando and before them
appeared General Sanford and Mr. Jacob Summerlin. When the
subject came up, General Sanford rose an addressed the Comis-
sioners, every one of whom he had met and talked with personally
previous to the meeting. He explained his propstion, he stated
the case, he was eloquent, he was forceful, he was generous, he of-
fered land and money--money, the scarcest article of the laud-and
PART I-NARRATIVE 39
when he took his seat it is said that there was not one member of the
body not ready to accept his offer. It was then that Mr. Summerlin
spoke for the first time during the m ting. First, he asked if Gen.
Sanford had finished his offer, if he had anything further to say,
to which came the General's reply that he had finished, 'then,' said
Mr. Summerlin, 'I will make my offer. The County has its land for
the court house here in Orlando; leave this point the county seat
and I will build a $10,000 court house, and if the county is ever able'
to pay me for it, all right, and if not, I won't ask to be repaid.'
"It is needless to say that the offer was accepted. The $10,000
was repaid, but not for ten long years."
And now, to recur to the minutes of the Board of County Commission-
ers. Messrs. Frances Foster, W. R. Brown and John Dobb were appointed
a committee to "draw plans and specifications for a court house. The building
is to be Constructed of Wood and to contain Seven Offices and a Court Room;
the Court Room to be sufficiently large to seat five hundred persons, a Brick
Vault to be built in the Clerk's Office for containing the Safe." Mr. W. R.
Brown's plans and specifications were accepted, for which he received twenty-
five dollars. Sealed proposals were invited through the South Florida Journal
and the Weekly Union, and on December 8 the contract was awarded to Mr.
A. M. Hyer for $7,800 in .Orange County bonds. Court House Number two
was sold at "public outcry" in February of 1875, to Mr. C. C. Beasley for
$611.50, "to be removed from present site at once, and to be used by County
Officers until completion of new Court House now under contract."
The building of the new court house seems to have been a lingering
achievement. By November of 1875, a few of the offices were being used and
a watchman was employed to guard the building, at fifty dollars a month.
It was not until February 7, 1876, that the building was "accepted" and rooms
assigned to various officers and judges, the "S. W. Room for the Grand Jury
and Rooms in the Attic for the Petit Jury." An item in the minutes for
October, 1877, records the fact that the old court house had not been paid for,
and it was sold by the county for $500 to Jacob Summerlin.
"The Church" was given permission to hold public services in the court
room, and the "Benevolent Dramatic Association of Orange County" to erect
a stage for a performance; later, the Good Templars and other organizations
also met in the court house.
A good deal is said about paupers and criminals in the records of the
70's. Paupers were boarded with those who would take them, the county pay-
ing from twenty to forty dollars a month for their care. The County Judge
is asked to investigate the conditions of certain persons soliciting hep, and he
"is hereby requested to punish such of said persons as are vagrants and bind
40 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
out such of them as are minors." Mention is made of the county paying
$300 for the amputation of a leg and the subsequent care of one of these
dependents, in the home of Dr. W. A. Shelby.
Rewards of from fifty to two hundred dollars for the apprehension of
murderers and criminals are surprisingly frequent In 1876, it was ordered
that the sheriff should be permitted to use the county convicts for county
work, and that "he be allowed to hire out said Convicts at 25 cts. per day and
their Board, first taking goo ad sufficient security for their Safe Keeping."
The jail was constantly needing repair, and there were frequent additions of
cells, with much complaint of the sort of housekeeping which the quarters
Road-making was even at the earliest recorded time the chief interest
of Orange County. Each of the eleven districts into which the county was
divided had its road commissioner, whose duty it was not only to keep the
public highways in good repair, but who must also locate and pass upon
the opening of new roads. It is several times recorded that these ummis-
sioners were notified "to put the roads in good repair at once, or they will
be reported to the States Attorney for. poecution according to Law."
Hundreds of petitions for the opening of public roads, and the taking over of
private roads by the county are on record, and one wonders why a com-
munity so scant in population needed such a criss-cros of publicly supported
roads, when- travel through the piney woods was so easy and so pleasant.
Each petition to open a road aroused long and bitter opposition, and often
obstructions were built by the protestants and the law had to be called in to
settle the vexed question. Opening a new road meant simply the cutting down
of the trees and the filling up of holes by throwing in sand from the sides.
As late as 1896, after the roads had been worked by contract, the "specifia-
tions for work on Public Roads" read as follows: to be "Kept clear palmetto
and other roots, trees, bushes, etc., for a width of eight feet. Low places to be
causewayed, poles 16 ft long, well covered with dirt Sand kept off bridges."
The contracts were let at prices ranging from $300 to $750 a year, depending
on the length of the road. Innumerable bridges were built, repaired and re-
built. It was not until 1890, that the order was passed that "all timber used
for bridges be creosoted as a measure of economy and safety."
Ferries across the Wekiwa and St. Johns rivers and the Ecnlockhatchee
creek were chartered and licensed to various persons; the tolls were about the
same generally as for that of the Wekiwa ferry at Montgomery's crossing in
1877, which were as follows:
PART I-NARRATIVE 41
Four horses or oxen and tem .............................. $ 1.00
Three hones or oxen and team ....................... 1.00
Two horses or oxen and team ...... ...................... .75
One horse or ox and team 4........................... .40
Saddle horse and rider ............. ........................... .25
Foot passenger ........................... .25
Cow, calf, siep, goat or hog ........................... .10
Expenses for the county for the year ending December 31, 1874, were
$9,99898; among the items were, maintenance of risoers, $17.02; crim-
inal prosecutions, $1,405.75; public buildings and bridges, $2,507.49; fees of
county officers, $1,037.32; asking and collecting taxes, $1,034.75; Board of
Conissioners, $324.98; and general election, $275.65.
The taxes assessed for the year 1874 were: County tax proper, $4,163.48;
County tax special, $2,324.28; licenses, $417.50; and county school tax,
$3,098.30-a total of $10,003.66.
The development of the county seems to have gone forward steadily
during the dead 1880-90, roads and schools claiming much attention. There
was a general increase in the value of property, especially of orange groves.
In 1881, the contract was made for a county map, at a cost of $720, the map
to show all state and United States entries of lands up to March 1,1882. The
court house was the center of the county community life, being used for
cchrh services, lodge meetings, political gatherings, brass-and practice, and
as a skating rink. A petition, signed by a majority of the registered voters, led
in 1883 to the issuing of licenses to sell liquor in the county, and the comn
misioners were overwhelmed with applications; this innovation may have led
to the need for a new jail, which was built in 1884 at a cost of $10,700; this
jail stood on the west side of Orange Avenue at Washington Street, and was
sold, with the lot, to Mr. Braxton Beacham in 1916 for $20,000, when the
present jail at Wall and Court Streets was built at a contract price of $11,000.
In 1885, a northern visitor who owned on hundredand fifty acres of
land on Lake Concord, sent an elaborate address to the commissioners, re-
earsing the beauties of Orlando and its promising future, but regrettin
that the court house should be located in a congested part of the town and with
no prk about it Confident that he owned th ground which in the near
future would be the cnter of a new and finer Orlando, he offered the county
a large t upon which to erect a court house, with substantial financial help
in gifts and loan; a municipal building was also to be erected in this pce.
The Board, in decining the offer, said that the titles to that part of the orig-
inl tract which had ben sold were valid y as long as the court house stood
an sme part of this plot; if it were moved away, th tie i property would re-
vert to the heirs of the donor. Whether this coention was correct or not,
42 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
does not appear from any records which have been consulted; at any rate,
it was festive.
Four years' experience with saloons brought a demand for an election in
September of 1887, "to determine whether or not Spirituous, Vinous, or Malt
Liquors should be sold in the County of Orange;" we may as well dispose at
once of this much-voted upon question by presenting the following table which
shows the comings and goings of the saloon in Orange County.
Year For Selling Against Selling
1887 1,196 1,496
1889 1,171 718
1898 517 551
1900 276 328
1902 624 437
1907 589 592
1911 1,104 1,231
Anticipating, probably, an exciting event which occurred as a farewell
to the 188s, the commissioners went on record in September of 1889, in
favor of erecting a brick court house, thus giving notice as to what was in store
for the town which should win in the agitation then in progress for a change
of the county seat from Orlando to Sanford.
The election occurred December 18, 1889, and resulted in 1,907 votes
for Orlando, 724 for Sanford, and a few scattered votes for favorite home
In April of 1890, advertisements were published in the Manufacturers
Records of Baltimore and several other papers, inviting designs for a brick
court house for the county. Fourteen plans were submitted from eight different
states, and the first choice was given to the plan submitted by Mr. A. S. Wag-
ner of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It was not until the following February,
that bids for building the court house were invited; all the first bids were re-
jected, and a second advertisement was published. On August 5, 1891, the
bid of the W. C. Green Company of Chicago, for $54,937, was accepted. The
vault was to cost $522 extra, and the architect received $1,648.11, plus his
expenses to Orlando, which amounted to $93.20. About $6,000 went into the
furniture, and the Board contributed $300 toward the dock for the bell tower,
the City Council and private citizens making up the full sum.
The old court house was sold to Mr. J. L. Bryan for $600, and was to
be moved to another site. The offices were moved to the Armory Building,
the county paying $400 for the use of the building "if the Court House is
finished by January, 1893." The City Council agreed to give to the county
PART I-NARRATIVE 43
that part of Wall Street "lying North of the Court House except not less than
twenty feet on the north side." A previous act of the Board had given per-
mission to the property owners to closee that part of Court Street north of
Oak and portion of Oak east of Main on the original plan of the town of
Orlando, so far as the county has any right of way thereover by reason of its
ownership of the Court Houe property."
On February 7, 1888, a committee appointed to consider the "feasibility
of establishing a poor farm" reported in a remarkaM document, partly ser-
mon, partly exhortation, largely sentimental, co rning the duty of the com-
munity toward its poor and unfortunate. The committee recommend that
eighty acres of land, close to the town, be sec d by gift or purchase for a
"poor-farm," and that a superintendent's house, a ho al, and two cottage
for white and colored adults, should be built; $3,000 was the estimated cost
of the building.
Two years later, in March of 1890, the land where the County Home
now stands was purchased from M. Virginia Shine for $2,100. The first
buildings were not erected until the Spring of 1892, at a cost of $1,300, and it
was ordered that the institution should be known as the County Home.
Mr. A. J. White was the first warden, at a salary of $450. There was an
orange grove on the property, and.peach and pecan trees were added, one
hundred each, and one hundred grape s. The records show constant solic-
itude for the care of this institution and the welfare of its inmates. The
hospital was built in 1922, and the nurse was paid ten dollars a month.
On the grounds of the County Home there were subsequently built two
cottages for the Parental Home, one for boys and one for girls, at a cost of
$13,490. This excellent institution grew out of the notable work of the
Juvenile Court, which was established in 1921; Mr. Donald A. Chenjy as
appointed as Judge, he having served as the first probation officer of the
county for a year.
The tax levy in 1892 had risento $53,155.22. The first mention of
persons being given permission to arry repeating rifles occurs in the records
for 1892; also the first mention of regulations for the protection of deer.
In 1895, Messrs. Mahlon Gore of Orlado, Dudley W. Adams of Tan-
geri, and Dr. J. J. Harris of.Sanford, were appointed a committee to prepare
and publish a booklet "setting forth the advantages offered by Orage Conty
to settlers and industries," to be distributed at the Cotto States and Inter-
national Exposition in Atlanta that year, and an appropriation of $300 was
made for that purpose; this seems to have been the first publicity publication
by the county, so far as these records show.
Permission was granted to Mr. John M. Lennon in 1895, to eret a
system of telepho poles ad wires along the public highways of the county
"Occupational taxes" wee assessed for the first time in 1895.
44 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
The Good Roads Movement was launched in the Spring of 1896, and is
herald in a resolution presented on May 5, by a committee of the Board
which had been appointed to inspect the work on the road from Winter Park
toward Orlando, upon which the citizens of Winter Park had spread a layer of
clay, and also some shell road, not designated.
The committee commended the "recent experiments which public-spirited
citizens have been making with day and shell," and rrmmended that the
Board take steps to assist in this work. In August of 1896, the Board or-
dered the levy of a tax of three mills for a special fund for "putting day, shell
or other hard substance upon the public roads of the county." The tax was
expected to yield about $11,000, and the county was to pay one-half the cost
of these improvements, if the communities would arrange for the other half.
The day was to be five inches thick in the center of the road, after rolling.
The following scale of pay was adopted: first-class double team and driver,
$3.75 a day; single team and driver, $2.25; laboring men, $1. Land on which
clay was found seems to have varied in price from twenty-five to seventy-five
dollars per acre, and the whole county fell to hauling day and spreading it
on the road.
The commissioners passed a resolution in 1897, urging the citizens to
plant shade trees, especiallyy along the newly-improved highways," and asked
the press "to give prominence to this matter." A Good Roads Congress was
held in Orlando the same year. The Board decided that after January 1, 1898,
the county would construct its own hard-surfaced roads, and voted to em-
ploy a competent person as foreman at fifty dollars a month, with an assistant
at thirty dollars; the county convicts were to do the work, as far as possible.
Mules, horses, wagons, tents, camping outfits, et cet. were purchased, Mesrs.
H. H. Dickson and H. K. Fuller being the committee to procure the outfit.
A feature of these highways was the bicycle path which was built, and which
paralleled the roads in many cases, along the edge of the woods: one of these
followed the east road from Orlando to Winter Park, and returned by the west
road, affording very delightful outing for the bicyclists.
The roads and bridges tax soared to six mills, and by 1908 there were
150 miles of hard-surfaced roads in the county.
The Orlando Water and Light Company, through Hon. J. M. Cheny,
secretary, asked permission in 1908, which was granted, to erect poles and
wires along the public highways between the pumping station and Orlando
and Winter Park, the franchise to continue'for twenty years.
Several attempts were made by the county in the early 90's to buy Rock
Spring for the purpose of using the rock deposit on the roads, and although
the price offered rose from $600 to $1,000 for "certain privileges," and
although the owner was wiping to sell even when the price was $600 the
obstinate wife refused to sign the dotted line, and thus saved for Orange
County one of the beauty spots of Florida, now the Howard A. Kelly Park.
PART I-NARRATIVE 45
The commissioners issued an address to the people in the summer of 1910,
reviewing the road-building operations of the county for the previous fifteen
years, during which time the roads had been constructed from material
found in the county, day and marl. The best of these materials had been
used up, and the roads were so unsatisfactory as to amount to a waste of
money. The commissioners asked for a bond issue of $1,000,000, for the
building of brick roads, nine feet wide with-curbs, at a cost of $8,000 a mile;
the election was held December 7, 1910, and resulted in a vote of 602 for the
bond issue, and 1,357 against it. A Good Roads Mass Meeting.was held in
September of 1913, and the bond election which occurred on November 11
of that year resulted in a vote of 785 to 239 in favor of bonding the county
for $600,000-$00,000 for brick, and $100,000 for day roads.
A second mass-meeting in the interest of a bond issue, held in the court
room June 5, 1921, enthusiastically endorsed a program calling for a bond
issue of $2,500,000 for roads, and $150,000 for enlarging the court house;
the election was held on July 19, and was carried by a vote of 1,445 to 196;
this added thirteen mills to the county taxes for meeting interest charges
and providing a sinking-fund.
The project to enarge the court house was abandoned as not feasible,
and in February of 1924, thecounty bought the property known as Bishop-
stead from the Endowment Fund Corporation of the Diocese of South Flor-
ida, for $250,000, and the city of Orlando bought the court house property
Mr. Murray King's plans for the new court house were accepted before
his death in September of 1925, and his-son has superintnded the eretion
of the noble building. The first shovelful of dirt was thrown out for the
foundation by Captain B. M. Robinson on May 4, 1926, and the building was
accepted on September 5, 1927. The building with furniture, cost $825.000;
the total cost, including the lot, was approximately a million dollars.
Another ass-meeting of citizens on February 9, 1926, resolved on a
bond issue of $7,000,00 for hard-surfaced roads; the election was held
March 26, 1926, and resulted in a vote of 993 for, and 143 against.
In view of the fact that several tracts of land had been deeded to the
county for park purposes, the office of Park Commissioner was created in
June of 1926; Mr. Wilbur Warren was made Park Commissioner.
One has only to compare the following table of millages for the yar
1927 with that of the earliest records given in this History, to understand
what growth Orange County has made in the short space of less than sixty
year, and how great a burdn of taxation the citizens of the county have
voluntarily assumed, to promote this growth:
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Millage for 1927-28
Fine and forfeiture ........................... ............................
Publicity. fund ...............................................................
First bond issue ....................................... ..............
Second bond issue ...... ..........................................
bond issue .... ......... I., ........... d odo.
State and County
taxes .................. ............
In addition to the foregoing, the Special Tax School District taxes
wange from three to seventeen mills.
The following have served as chairmen of the Board of County Com-
missioners during the period under review: David Mizell, 1869-72; James G.
Spar, 1872-73; William H. Holden, 1873-76; John R. Mizell, 1876-77;
James G. Speer, 1877-78; James M. Owens, 1878-81; Dr. King Wylley, 1881-
85; Clinton Johnson 1885-87; B. F. Whiter, 1887-90; C. E. Smith, 1890-
93; A. C. Martin, 1893-94; J. A. McDowell, 1894-95; J. N. Whitner, 1895-
97; H. H. Dickson, 1897-1908; J. H. Lee, 1908-11; M. O. Overstreet, 1911-
20; Arthur Schultz, 1920-25 and L L. Payne, 1925-27.
county officials are as follows:
Board of County Commissioners: Messrs. L. L. Payne, Orlando, chair-
S. S. Sadler, Tangerine; W. T. Chapman
, Winter Garden; CoL R. M.
C. E. Barber, Fort Christmas; Captain B. M. Robinson,
Bond Trustees: Messrs. W. H. Reynolds, Orlando, chairman; Mayor J.
B. Steinmtz, Wekiwa Springs; Mr. J
Circuit Court: F. A. Smith, judge;
. H. Sadler, Oakland
Captain B. M. Robinson, clerk.
Criminal Court of Record: W. L. Tilden, judge; Mr. W. DeLaney Way,
County Court: Victor Hutchins, judge; Mr. W. DeLaney Way, clerk.
Juvenile Court: D. A. Cheney, judge.
Mr. Frank Karel, sheriff and deputies; Mr.
E. A. Taylor, chief of traffic department, with five traffic officers.
fund ......................................... ......
issue .....d.......I....... .......I..&..........
7 ..7 7.
Auditorium, A. C. L. Raiklay Station, Count
Photos. by Robinson
PART I-NARRATIVE 47
Tax Assessor-Mr. Arthur Butt.
Tax Collector-Mr. W. M. Martin.
County Engineer-Major C. E. Browne.
County Surveyor-Mr. E. E. White.
County Home-Mr. John F. Harris, superintendent.
County Parental Home-Mr. M. J. Hardy, superintendent; with a Board
of Governors; connected with the Juvenile Court.
County Physician-Dr. C. D. Christ.
County Demonstration Agent-Mr. K. C. Moore.
County Home Demonstration Agent-Mrs. Nellie W. Taylor.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The history of Orange County, like the history of all other American
communities and of the nation, is in large part the history of its common
schools. Next to the family, the school, and especially the free public
school as it exists in this country, is the most vital and formative factor
in developing the life of the people. Here all the children and youth of
both sexes, at the impressionable age, gather from homes, native and
immigrant, Christian and Jewish and infidel, rich and poor, and not only
receive instruction and acquire the knowledge which is power, but are
also mingled intimately together as companions in study and sport, and
are played upon by a single set of creative and compelling intellectual and
social forces which tend to blend them into one living body. The public
school is also the focus of community interest as no other insti-
tution is, the central point to which the minds and hearts of fathers
and mothers daily turn, from he palace and the hut, from the store and
factory and office and home-for where the treasure is, there will the
heart be also. No doubt, private and parochial schools have their place
in supplementing and stimulating the common schools.
As a background of the history of the public schools of Orange
County, the following account of public education in the state is quoted
from Caroline Mays Brevard's History of Florida:
"The first interest in public education manifested in Flor-
ida was the organization of the Florida, Educational Society in
1831 for the declared purpose of collecting information and pav-
ing the way for the establishment of a school system .... In
1839 the Legislature provided for three trustees in each.town-
ship whose duty it was to look after the sixteenth section, which
had been appropriated by Congress for educational purposes,
48 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
and to see that the rents were applied to the common schools.
As most of the townships had no residents whatever, and there
was little, if any, opportunity to rent lands in the sixteenth or
any other section, this provision had little meaning. Various
changes in the school law of the Territory were made from time
to time. At one time it was the duty of the sheriff 'to attend to
the education of the children of the poor,' and later, in 1845,
the county judges of probate were given charge of the school in-
terests. Up to this time there was little interest in public
education, but Congress now authorized the sale of school lands,
and the register of public lands was made e-offcio superintend
ent of common schools. Public schools had been re-
garded theretofore as 'pauper schools'. The people of the bet-
ter class considered themselves disgraced if their children at-
tended the public school, and the less enlightened class cared
nothing for the opportunities. In 1853, there were re-
ported 16,573 white children of school age in the state and an
appropriation ofL$" 1.07 of public school funds for their edu-
cation-thirty cents per capital. The constitutional convention
of 1865 gave the subject little recognition, but in 1868 another
convention was held, and the resulting constitution provided lib-
erally for a system of public education. It declared that the state
should provide for the education of all children of school age,
established a uniform system of county schools, provided for
state and county superintendence of public instruction, and es-
tablished a state school fund.
"In I885, a new constitution was adopted which not only
preserved all the desirable features of the educational article in
the constitution of 1868, but made several important stps for-
ward, among them being the provision that any community may
levy a special district tax, and that every county must levy a
school tax of not less than three mills and not more than five
Later, laws were enacted permitting a county tax of seven mills, and
then of ten mills.
The history of public instruction in Orange County is told in part
in the chapters of this work which are devoted to the several cities and
towns of the county; here it must suffice to trace this history in outline
as it is found in the records of the County Board of Public Instruction.
Unfortunately, these records, as all other official records prior to the
year 1869, were destroyed by the fire which burned down the first court-
house; we begin with the minutes of the Board meeting of this year.
Oranugt County School Him use
PART I-NARRATIVE 49
The Board of Public Instruction met at the courthouse, December
11, 1869, "for'the purpose of organizing said board." Mr..W. C. Roper
was elected chairman Mr. A. C. Caldwell and Mr. Z. H. Mason were the
other members present, and Mr. W. A. Lovell was elected county super-
intendent and ecetary ofthe Board. The one item of business, tras-
acted was the passing 6f i resolution that "each member of the Board
shall be constituted an examining committee in his neighborhood to ex-
&mine the qualifications of teachers and to grant certificates of compe-
The Board did not meet again until May 27, 1871, when, in addition
to Mr. Roper and Mr. Caldwell, there were present Mr. M. W. Prince
and Mr. James P. Hughey. Mr. Hughey was elected treasurer of the
Board and "ordered to make requisition upon the Comptroller.for the
sum now due for the scholastic years of 1869-70-71" The schools in
the county at this time were: Mellonville, with fifty pupils; Orlando,
with thirty pupils; the Lodge, with twenty-five pupils; Blackwater, with
fifteen pupils; Lake Jesup, with fifteen pupils; and Cross Prairie, with fif-
teen pupils, a total of one hundred and fifty pupils. The Board voted to
"levy a tax of one-tenth of one per cent on all taxable property" for
The teachers received one dollar a month for each pupil, and the
term was three months long, this term being taught at any time during
the year, at the conveenience of the teacher and trustees.
It is evident that there were many private schools in the, county,
and these were converted into public schools from time to time upon ap-
plication of the teacher--nd probably proprietor-the teacher appear-
ing before the Board for examination and acceptance. During the early
seventies, schools were authorized at Ft. Mason, Shingle Creek, -Beaton's
Prairie, the Point, Lake Conway, Lake Tracey, one "in the neighbor-
hood of Henry Overstreet's," and others "near Isaac Winegord's" "near
Mr. Robert Bass' residence" and "in the vicinity of Foster's store."
Among.the teachers of these early days were, N. W. Prince, Dr. E. R.
Prince, Captain B. M. Sims and Messrs. C. A. Boone, J. Jacob, J. JrDavis,
R. N. S. Byrne, C. !Russ, and Daniel H. Thrasher; among the members of
the Board up to 1875 appear the names of Messrs. Francis Epps, William
Hull, William Hunter and S. M. Tucker.
The first few years of the records of the Orange County Board of
Public Intrtin discloe a ehrdic state of difficulty between the
Board and the tax collectors. These officials seemed always reluctant to
part with the funds belonging to the schools and "formal demands" upon
the collector and threats of legal proceedings in fifteen days" are fre-
quent. In 1877, suit wasbrought against the former collector who was
50 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
accused of keeping a larger commission than the law allowed. Later, an
appeal was made to the Attorney General for a decision as to whether the
tax collector had the right to keep any of the school money as a commis-
sion; when the decision was given that the commission should be paid out
of the county fund and not by the school authorities, the Board brought
suit against certain former tax collectors for refunds, but there is no rec-
ord how these cases were settled.
In May, 1874, Mr. W. C. Roper was made county superintendent.
Mr. Roper announced an ambitious program of "twenty-four schools for
the county with an average of twenty-two scholars to each school," a
program which the Board adopted and which was "made a basis of action
to rain funds." A tax which would produce $3,24 was orded, to
cover the expenses of the schools for the years 1874-75. The superin-
tendent's salary was made $600 a year, the treasurer was to receive $60 a
year, and the members of the Board were to be paid $3 a day when in
attendance upon meetings.
By January, 1875, retrenchment became necessary. The super-
intendent's salary was cut in twain, and he was "to be paid $300 in four
Installments in Currency as heretofore." Mr. Roper's minutes look like
blank verse, since he began the first word of each line down the page with
a capital letter.
The superintendent's annual report of May, 1876 gives the number
of schools in the county as forty-six, with an enrollment of 749 pupils.
and $5,047 paid in teacher's salaries. At a special meeting on July 20,
1876, the Board found the school funds exhausted, and ordered all the
schools closed on July 26, not to be reopened until October. The schools
still began and closed for a term of from three to six months, at the will
of the local authorities.
In October of 1876, it was ordered that "In view of the uncertain
condition of the school funds we deem it inexpedient to attempt to continue
the public schools for more than one quarter during the present scholastic
year," and bills were ordered paid "as soon as there is money for this
Spread across an entire page of the record book at this point, in a
new and elaborate script, is the legend, "New Board," and beneath are
the minutes for April 12, 1877. The members of the board are Dr. W.
Kilmer, chairman; J. J. Davis, Esq., and Mr. George H. Hammond, Esq.;
the superintendent is Mr. J. M. Burrall. The superintendent reviewed
the action of the former board in reducing the superintendent's salary
from $600 to $300 a year, and gave copious and cogent reasons for its
restoration to the former amount, and the Board agreed with him. But
the tax-payers do not seem to have acquiesced in the restoration of the
PART I-NARRATIVE 51
larger salary for the superintendent, and in June the grand jury ordered
the $300 basis again, in view of the fact that the school term was to be
only three months.
The Board ignored the ruling of the grand jury, and on-July 16, a
public meeting was held and a resolution adopted denouncing the action
of the Board and declaring $600 an excessive salary; the Board suc-
Early in 1878, Prof. W. P. Haisley, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction, paid Orange County a visit, and an open meeting was held
in Orlando. An interesting report of his address, covering six large
pages, is written into the records of the board. Prof. Haisley was visiting
every county in the state except Dade, there being no school at that time
in Dade County.
In October, 1898, Mr. L. M. Preston and Mr. Franklin Owen were
given the first scholarships from the county to the East Florida Seminary
There follow some of the names of the schools which are found in
the records up to this time:
Shingle Creek, Blackwater, Mellonville, New Hope, Lake Irma, Ben-
ton Prairie, the Lodge-which appears as Apopka City in 1877-Ravens-
wood, Ft Reed, Meeks Mill, La Crescent, New Upsal Ec-a !
chee, Longwood, Lake Virgia-established at the request of Judge
John R. Mizell-Pendryville, changed to Crooked Lake, Cross Prairie,
Oakland, Fairview, Boggy Creek, Long Prairie, Lake Harney, Partins,
Lake Conway, Formosa, Altamonte Springs, Hartford, Maitland, Orange
Church, Ft. Mason, Spring Hill, Akron, Tucker's Mill, Howell Creek, Mt.
Zion, Prospect, Starke, Lake, Zellwood, Clay Springs, Sylvan Lake, the
Point, Golden Lake, Hawkinsville, Ft Christmas, Live Oak Church,
Seneca Lake, Tuscavilla, Sorrento, Harwells, Orange Ridge, Salem, Or-
ange Banks, Dann, Sanford and Orlando; after 1880, the following names
are added: Bethel, Glendale, AltQona, Umatilla, Mt. Dora, Tangerine,
Kissimmee, Pine Castle, Driggs, Paola, Myrtle Lake, Mt Carwel, Tur-
key Creek, Lovells Landing, Seneca, Grand Island, Astor, Rock Springs,
Rock Lake, Bay Ridge, Chuluota, Conquest Church, Oviedo, Round
Lake, Narcoosee, Emeralda, Wekiwa River, Gabriella, Ocoee, Victoria,
Gainesville, Fitzsimmons Mill, Messina; many of these appear for only
one or two terms, and a study of the list indicates in a very instructive
manner the births and deaths, the ups and downs, of the communities of
Mr. I. T. Beeks became superintendent in March, 1879, and served
for eighteen years. Mr. Beeks seems to have been a progressive man, for
he called the teachers of the county together the following August, to
52 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
organize a Teachers Institute. His records are quite remarkable, writ-
ten in a plain, old-fashioned hand, the language elaborate and oratorical.
The complaints of patrons and trustees and teachers are faithfully re-
corded, and the manner in which the Board sought to appease those hold-
ing a grievance who appeared before it is told with painstaking detail.
One gathers from these early records that the members of the successive
Boards well earned the stipend given them. Their time was spent in
seating and unseating trustees, examining teachers for certificates, and
wrestling with the ever-annoying financial shortage, and with the prob-
lem of establishing schools in new communities. In 1880, the superin-
tendent's "salary" was again under fire; it was argued that $600 was
too much, and the county commissioners wanted it reduced by half. The
Board replied that the salary was paid in "county scrip," which was
worth only fifty cents on the dollar, and therefore the $600 ought to
stand; the matter was compromised by paying the superintendent $300 in
United States currency.
An event of interest to the county in March; 1885, was the first
meeting of the County Teachers' Institute, which was held in Orlando,
and was attended by forty-three teachers; state superintendent. A. J.
Russell, and Prof. John A. Graham of the Nashville Normal College were
the leading speakers.
The first Arbor Day was celebrated on February 10, 1886.
In the year 1887, Lake and Osceola Counties were separated from
Orange, the former receiving $521.98 as its share of the school funds,
and the latter $229.59.
The Board bought an Edison mimeograph for the use of the super-
intendent, and the numerous works of art preserved in his records, drawn
by the versatile superintendent himself, attest the pleasure he .took in
this gift; there are teachers' certificates, notifications of appointment,
cards of invitation, poster announcements, all done in sepia, with borders
and garlands of oak and palm, and with artistic lettering, in addition to
the real business for which the machine was intended.
At this time the Board ordered "that we introduce some good
music books for the public schools, and that the teachers be required to
use them each day from 15 to 30 minutes." The superintendent was given
$15 "to defray his expenses to the Superintendent's Congress and
State Teachers' Institute at DeFuniak Springs:" a later entry shows that
there were four hundred in attendance at this meeting, eleven from Or-
This was the year when the school books were sent to Florida by
way of Macon, since "Jacksonville is now infested with yellow fever."
The superintendent's annual report for 18W788, gave the number of
schools in the county as seventy-five, eleven of them colored, the number
PART I-NARRATIVE 53
of pupils as 2,494, 635 of them colored, and the assessed value of property
in the county, real and personal, as $4,652,573. The amount raised for
school purposes from all sources was $17,294.74; the value of school
buildings and grounds was 23,665.00; the salaries paid teachers
amounted to $19,400.99; and the superintendent's salary was $1,512.60.
There is space here to mention only a few of the interesting events
of the decade 1890-1900, during which period the schools grew in size and
system, and buildings were erected in a number of the towns.
The schools had a great Christmas celebration in-1890, when "each
pupil in the public schools regardless of age or condition" who were en-
rolled on the 24th day of December, received a "beautiful chromo" from
the Board, accompanied by a very attractive Christmas card and greet-
ing, the work of Superintendent Becks and his mimeograph.
On January 8. 1892, the cornerstone of the court house was laid,
and there was deposited in it a history of the public schools from 1869 to
1892, prepared by Mr. Beeks, and marked "To an unknown friend in
some future age When this package is opened, we hope to be occupying
a finer structure with the school board, teachers, pupils (graduated) and
this people across the river of life; a building not made with hands. Con-
tinue the good work. 'Deo Volente.' Signed, J. T. Becks, Superintend-
The first class graduated from the Orlando high school April 21.
1892, with an elaborate program in the opera house; there were eleven
in the class.
On October 21, 1892, all the schools of the county participated in a
nation-wide celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of the dis-
covery of America. Superintendent Beeks prepared a very elaborate
program, and 3,692 flags, at a cost of $118, were distributed to the schools
and the school children, in honor of the event. It was estimated that
12670 citizens and 2,96 children participated in the celebration. Mr.
Beeks set a circular to all the parents of the county, calling upon them
"to prepare the children for the -Great Bielas Comet and allay fear in
them." Specimens of the school work of every child in the county were
sent to the World's Fair in Chicago bound in books and with many
photographs; these are now preserved in the National Pedagogic
Museum in Washington.
Mr. W. B. Lynch was elected superintendent in 187. Between the
years 1902 and 1905, practically every school district in the county voted
to become a special chol-tax district. Consolidation'of rural schools
began and the transportation of children by the county authorities wad
54 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
introduced (1902), and grew rapidly in favor. New school houses were
built and high schools were started in Sanford, Apopka, Winter Garden
and Winter Park.
Professor Lynch died in 1911 (see biographical sketch in Part Two
of this work), and was succeeded in office by Rev. Dr. J. F. McKinnon.
The budget for school expenses at this time was about $50,000; teachers'
salaries ranged from $225 a month for the Orlando and Sanford princi-
pals, to $30 per month for the teachers of one-room country schools.
A constitutional amendment in 1912 gave the special school-tax
district power to issue bonds for school houses and equipment, and the
minutes of the Board for the fifteen years since that time are largely
the records of bond issues for school purposes in every district in the
In 1913, Seminole County was formed, and Orange County was re-
districted as follows:
District No. 1-Orlando, Winter Park, Pinecastle, Conway and
District No. 2-Ft. Christmas, Pickett and Fish.
District No. 3-Maitland, Lockhart, Apopka, Bay Ridge, Zellwood,
Clarcona, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Oakland, Orange Center and Gotha.
In 1915, the trustees of the Apopka district asked permission of the
Board to transport children in automobiles, instead of wagons. The
same year the home demonstration work was introduced in the county,
supiprted jointly by the state, the county commissioners and the Board
of Public Instruction, and Miss Harriet Layton was employed as agent.
Three years later, Mrs. Ora D. Layton became the first county social service
worker, and Mrs. Nellie Taylor was appointed as home demonstration
agent. In 1918, one canning club girl was sent for the short course to the
Florida College for Women at Tallahassee, and given $15 toward her ex-
peses; in 1927, Mrs. Taylor took twenty-five girls to Tallahassee for the
short course in demonstration work.
Mr. A. B. Johnson became county superintendent in 1917, and the
ten years during which he has served may well be called the building era
for Orange County's schools. The commodious and handsome buildings
which have been erected do not tell the whole story of the wonderful
progress made by the schools during the past decade, but are only an in-
dication of the growth in efficiency and modern methods which char-
acterizes the school system of Orange County today, under Mr. Johnson's
During the last ten years, the following bond issues for school pur-
poses have been voted, almost without opposition in every case:
The value of school property in the county for the year ending June
30, 1926, was $2,597,025. The budget for 1927-28, as presented by Sup-
erintendent Johnson, is $344,530, which includes $291,105 for salaries,
$10,000 for the social service and health department, $21,425 for trans-
portation, $5,300 for the superintendent's salary and expenses,-$5,500 for
attendance officers and expenses, and $1,000 for-the canning club agent.
The following have served as Chairmen of the Board from 1869 to
the present time:
Mr. W. C. Roper, 1869-1873.
Mr. W. F. Russell, 1873-1875.
Mr. S. M. Tucker, 1875-1876.
Dr. O. P. Preston, 1876-1877.
Dr. W. W. Kilmer, 187-1885.
Col. E. C. Morgan, 1885-1889.
Col. George S. Foote, 1889-1895.
56 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Mr. James DeLaney, 1895-1897.
Rev. R. W. Lawton, 1897-1909, (Mr. Lawton died in office).
Mr. Sidney E. Ives, 1909-1913.
Mr. James A. Knox, 1913-1927.
The following have served as county superintendents:
Mr. W. A. Lovell, 1869-1873.
Mr. W. C. Roper, 1873-1877.
Mr. J. M. Burrall, 1877-1879.
Mr. I.T. Beeks, 1879-1897.
Mayor W. B. Lynch, 1897-1911, (Mr. Lynch died in office).
Dr. J. F. McKinnon, 1911-1917.
Mr. A. B. Johnson, 1917-1927.
In addition to its public schools, the county has four private educational
institutions of importance.
For the history of Rollins College, Winter Park, see Chapter V.
St. Joseph's Academy was founded Oct 7, 1889, four Sisters beginning
the work of teaching at that date. Four years later it became a boarding
school for girls which it continued to be until 1913, when owing to the in-
crased number of day pupils, boarders could no longer be accommodated,
and the dormitories were turned into das-rooms.
For the first twenty-nine years of its existence, St. Joseph's Academy
was merely a grammar school but in the year 1917 the first class of graduates
went forth, and since that time other classes have been graduated.
At present the teaching staff consists of seven Sisters The school is
filled to its capacity, which is a little more than two hundred pupils. The
curriculum is complete in all respects and its graduates enter college with no
The school has a music department and extra-curriculum activities in-
cluding athletics for boys and girls.
The Cathedral School for girls was founded in 1900 by the late Bishop
William Crane Gray, at that time head of the Epicopal Church in South
Florida. Having been presented with a new official residence, e determined
to devote the handsome home he formerly occupied to the oesabshmnt of
a school for girls, a purpose he had long cherished. The vision of the founder
has been abundantly realized, and the school has long since attained a posi-
tion of self-support and popular esteem. From the beginning, the aim has
been to combine in the school-life the three-fold idea of sound learning, ap
proved manners, and practical religion. Thouh intended primarily for
Florid girls, its patronage has xtnded to many northern tta, the ad-
vatags of its happy home life and educational befits making appal
to those who would enjoy the land of sunshine and flowers.
PART I-NARRATIVE 57
The Cathedral School is beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Eola,
near the heart of the city, yet sufficitly retired for the purposes of study.
Thre are five buildings devoted to school use,including auditorium, study-
hall, recreation hall, coms mucrooms, dining-romn and dormitories.
The anurses of instrion. are complete and comprehensive, covering the
college preparatory and genera oures, and the school is a Florida state ac-
credited institution Whil der the c rol of the Episcol Church, the
school is not sectarian, and has always numbered among its teachers ad pupils
members of various Christian d minatio. The first principal of the
school was the late Deacess Harriet Randoph Parkhil, in whose honor
one of the school buildings i named. Rev. Roderick P. Cobb served in that-
capcity for a period of ten years, aad the preset principal is Miss Clara
Burton. Bishop Camero Mann is president of the Board of Trustees, and
Rev. A. E. Johanson i chaphin.
The Robert H. Huigerford Normal and Industrial School is located at
Eatonvile, a negro town adjoining Maitland on the west. This school was
founded by Professor and Ms. Russell C. Calhoun in 1897. Thesetwo capa-
hle and devoted teachers had been students at the Tuskegee Institute, of
which the husband was a graduate.
In the Spring of 1898 Mr E. C. Hungerford of Chester, Connecticut,
who had a winter home in Maitand, gave the school, together with several
relatives and friends, 160 acres of land adjoining Eatonvile, now included
within the corporate limits of the town, as a campus and farm. The first
cash donaion was made by Mi Mary Brown of Winter Park, to whom
reference is made in Chapter Four of this. work; the second gift of $400 came
through Booker T. Washington of Tuskgee. Additional land was bought
from time to time, and the comr stne of Booker T. Washington Hall was
laid in 1899; it was finished ad dedicated the following yer.
Later, Mr. George B. Cluett, the manufacturer of Troy, New York,
gave 8,000 for theer action of a second building, and 4,000 toward the pur-
chase of an orange grove near the campus. O t Hall was burned in 1922,
and was replaced by a stone structure, bearing the ame name, a year and a
half later. Mr. Claet also gave a consider sum to finish the dining-hall.
which he listed should be named Calhou Hal and he contributed $500
annually for current pex e, for a number of years.
Professor Calhoun died November 10, 1910, andMrs. Calhoun served
for twelve years as principal of the school. She was followed by Elijah
Chisho, S. Baer, and J. T. Jan, the present principal
Mrs. Kingi Mars, of Boston and Maitland, left the institution
$5,000 by will at er death.
The school has upwads of a hundred boarding pupils, and a number of
day schors; it aso carri a .Mhool fo adults. An industrial build-
ing for girls is now in prom of costruction.
58 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Orange County Chamber of Commerce was organized June 1922.
The first officers were: President Mr. William Edwards; vice-presidents, Mr.
J. A. Treat, Winter Park, and Mr. J. G. Strozier, Winter Garden; secretary
Mr. E. B. Morrey, Apopka; treasurer Mr. S. S. Sadler, Tangerine.
In September 1922, Mr. Karl Lehmann was employed as secretary on
a half-time basis. In October of that year he began work as full-time sec-
One of the first things done by the organization was to submit to the
people a vote on the question of a one-mill publicity tax to be levied
by the County Commissioners and expended under their direction by the
County Chamber of Commerce in the work of the organization. This
election carried by a vote of more than four to one, and the bill authorizing
this tax levied for two years was enacted by the Legislature in 1923. In
1925 the Legislature passed a bill providing for the levying of this tax
for 1296 and each year thereafter.
The present officers of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce are:
president Mr. William Edwards, Zellwood: vice-president Mr. J. A. Treat,
Winter Park; vice-pesident Mr. S. B. Hull, Oakland; treasurer Mr. S. S.
Sadler, Tangerine; auditor Dr. J. C. McMichael, Windermere; secretary Dr.
Karl Lebmann, Orlando; assistant secretary Mr. Crawford T. Bickford; and
office assistant, Mr. Francis Smathers, both of Orlando.
The members of the Board of Directors are as follows: Apopka, Mr. J.
G. Grossenbacher; Bithlo, Mr. S. S. Philbrick; Clarcona, Mr. E. J. Hobson;
Conway, Dr. W. J. McBurney; Edgewood, Col. R. M. Shearer; Fort Christ-
mas, Mr. L. L. Hardy; Gotha, Mr. E. S. Lawrence: Lockhart, Mr. G. R.
Long; Maitland, Mr. J. H. Hill; North Orlando. Dr. J. A. Pines; Ocoee,
Mr. T. C. Hawthorne; Orlando, Mr. N. P. Yowell; Pinecastle. Mr. P. M.
Shanibarger; Plymouth, Mr. J. G. Grossenbacher; Taft, Mr. G. R. Brickley;
Vineland, Mr. W. L. Shuck: West Side Improvement League. Orlando,
Mr. A. M. Crittenden; Winter Garden, Mr. J. L. Dillard.
The Orange County Chamber of Commerce, with a membership of
4,000 is the largest county Chamber of Commerce in the south. Some idea
of the scope and activity of this organization is seen in the facts presented
in this year's annual report, as follows in part:
"We have conducted a national advertising campaign in
publications with a combined circulation of nearly 600,000 copies.
"We have carefully bulletined to the Chambers of Commerce.
real-estate men in the county, banks and newspapers more than
3,000 names of prospective settlers who have written us as a re-
sult of our national advertising.
"Have secured more than 600 columns of publicity about Or-
ange County in the press of the country. If laid end to end this pub-
licity would stretch one-fifth of a mile.
"The secretary has participated in 7,000 personal interviews
with prospective settlers and others interested in Orange County.
"The secretary has delivered 300 addresses on Florida and
Orange County to more than 50,000 people.
"We handled the publicity features of the Orange County ex-
hibit at the Canadian Exposition in Toronto in August .
"We helped finance the Florida exhibit at the American Legion
convention in Omaha. The Orange County film was shown during
"We arranged for the showing of the Orange County film at
the great southern summer-school for teachers at Peabody College,
"We have helped plan, and participated in, two $10,000 -ad-
vertising campaigns in the newspapers of the state calling attention
to the Orange County and Central Florida section of the state.
"Arranged for the special mass-meeting held to advance the
interests of Central Florida roads before the Legislature, and our
secretary served at secretary of the Florida Good Roads Asso-
ciation formed at that meeting.
"We participated in the World's Advertising Convention at
Houston, Texas, and sent our secretary to assist St. Petersburg
in inviting the next convention.
"We have taken an active part in suppressing and securing the
arrest of fraudulent land operators in this county.
"We sent a delegate to the meeting of the United States Cham-
ber of Commerce in Washington, D. C.
"We granted our secretary a month's vacation, which was
spent in trip of the west, including the Pacific Coast, where much
valuable information was obtained and will serve in strengthening
the work of the Chamber.
"We participated in the activities of the Florida State Commer-
cial Secretaries Association, which organization honored Orange
County by the election of its secretary as president of that body this
"We have actively participated in the work of the Orange
County Beautification Commission.
"We were active in securing and arranging for the operation
of the first Smith-Hughes Agricultural High School in Orange
County, located at Pinecastle.
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
"We handled the publicity incident to the trip of a large party
of Orange County girls to the short course at Tallahassee. This
trip was made under the direction of Mrs. Nellie W. Taylor, and
was one of the most effective bits of publicity for Orange County
"We put the machinery of the Orange County Chamber of
Commerce heartily into the making of the state census, assisting
the county enumerator in every possible way, with the result that
a most complete census was secured. .
"We made addressograph plates and handled the extensive
follow on the 1,200 names secured by the Orlando Realty Board
as the result of the radio broadcasting in Texas.
"We issued seven new pieces of Orange County literature and
maps, and published more than 60,000 copies of these for distri-
"We participated with other organization in sending M4jor
Charles A. Browne to Washington, D. C., to the conference called
by Secretary Herbert Hoover, dealing with important road matters:
also participated in sending Major Browne to Morganton, N. C.,
and Spartanburg, S. C., to important highway meetings.
"We sent our secretary to the convention of the National Asso-
ciation of Commercial Secretaries at Washington, D. C. Partici-
pated in the Better Homes Campaign for Orange County, and helped
entertain the party of Texas citrus growers who visited this county,
"We arranged for representation at the meeting of the Dixie
Highway Association at Rom, Ga., and were responsible for secur-
ing at that meeting the designation of the Cheney Highway as the
connecting link between the East and West Dixie Highway in Flor-
"We sent our secretary to Washington to interview
sentatives of the Bureau of Public Roads, and conducted
tensive correspondence and telegraphic communication which
secured the recognition of State Road No. 2 as a part of the
of United States Highways. .
S"We arranged for the making of a motion picture film
ing two important events of the year, the dediation of the
Highway and bridge, and the movement of a solid trainload o
cattle from this county when the 'no-fence' law went i
"We have written and mailed 24248 letters ad sent out
176895 pieces of printed matter on Orange County including 64,000
PART I-NARRATIVE 61
copies of 'Orange Echoes;' this mail has gone to practically every
section of the world."
The rather remarkable spirit of harmony and cooperation which exists
among the several commmuities of Orange County is no doubt due in large
part to the work of the County Chambr of Commerce, and in particular to
the genial and sympathetic spirit, the tactful manner, and the wise and.com-
prehensive programs of its secretary, Dr. Karl Lehmann.
THE N3WSPAP3R M~S OF ORANGE COUNTY
The following account of the newspaper press of Orange County has been
prepared in the main for this work by Mr. W. M. Glenn, owner and editor of
the Orlando Morning Setinel:
The early history of the Orange County Press is somewhat obscure.
Journalism actively flourished intermittently in the county from the ate
70s and continued to record and chrumide th events of a growing camnity
during the hectic year brought on by a disastrous freeze in the early 9's,
and continuing through two wa, those of 1898 and 1914.
Orange County journalism may be c iderd m three phases; that of
1880 to 1890, when the weddy was udisputed king of the Fourth Ette;
from 1890 to 1910, during whi hre rung up bi-wddies and tri-wo ies.
followed by a demand for a daily newsaper; from 1910 to the present time
the daily newspaper has occupied the r of the tag
During the nearly fifty years which we hav under survey may papers
am unheraded and as ilenly passed into the by-ge days of yetday.
Some of tha seem justified ad d other occupied the Euigh merely as
organs of personal gratification and not with the evidently sincere purple of
serving the mmunity.
The Orange Conty Repot was established in 1880 by S. B. Harring-
ton and was located i a frame iliag north of the present Armory. Com-
ducted by Mr. Harringto for a period of two years te paper psed under
the coatrl of the late Mhlnm Gore who scuessfully conducted and pdblied
the Reporter until 1890. Mr. Gore came from Sioux City, Iowa, and i
survived by Mrs. O. S. Robinson, a daughter, of Gatin Avenue. Mr. Gore
was one of th who not y gave of his talents to the newspaper pro-
fesion but eardy saw the advanu es and poibilitis of ra estate. It might
be aid that Mahlo Gorelaid out de first division that Orange County
had, this being a tract of land on either ide of atlin Avenue and banded
on the north by Lake J ie Jewel and o the south by Lake Gadtl In
1890, Mr Goe iold his intrts in the puication to the ate S. R Hudson,
who published the paper for a period of six years sding out to Josiah Ferris
62 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
in 1896; Mr. Ferris in turn sold the paper to the Reporter-Star Publishing
Company, headed at that time by W. R. O'Neal, president, M. O. Overstreet,
vice-president, N. P. Yowell, secretary and treasurer; they with T. P. War-
low and W. D. Yowell composing the Board of Directors. About 1912 the
Reporter-Star passed into the hands of G. H. Walton of Richmond, Ken-
tucky, and George Kellar, now representative of the Mergenthaler Linotype
Company. In 1913, J. Hugh Reese of Miami became interested in the paper
and later Messrs. R. B. and J. C. Brossier, Mr. Reem's brother-in-law. Save
for the addition of Mr. J. F. Schumann as associate editor, the manage-
ment of the Reporter-Star has been vested with the Messrs. Brosser since
In 1895, the South Florida Sentinel, the forerunner of the present Or-
lando Morning Sentinel, was established by Latimer Clark Vaughn, and the
plant was located in the old building on Pine Street which is north of the
Baptist Church. This old two-story frame building housed the publication
for a number of years, with the composing room on the second floor and the
editorial and business offices on the first floor. Previous to his arrival in
Orlando. Mr. Vaughn had published newspapers in Henderson, North Caro-
lina and Marianna, Florida. It is to his credit that the first Campbell press
which ever cam to Orlando was brought hre and installed. The Campll
press was the pride and joy of Orlando and many a person viewed the intri-
cate, noisy and somewhat cumbersome press in action as it turned out a
paper of huge proportions. Mr. Vaughn, who died two years ago, conducted
the paper for a period of nine years, selling to Josiah Ferris, who came to
Orlando from Tampa in 1885. Before coming to the City Beautiful, Mr.
Ferris was on the case with Col. D. B. McKay, publisher of the Tampa
Times. He was an intimate friend not oly of Col McKay but also of Col.
W. F. Stovall, for many years publisher of the Tampa Tribune. With note-
worthy distinction, Mr. Ferris successfully conducted the South Florida Sen-
tinel from 1894 to 1914, and in 1913 established the Orlado Morning Sen-
.tinel, published every day in the week except Monday morning.
Josiah Ferris, dean of Orange County newspaper men, is a stalwart soul
who has given untiringly of his ability to the upbuilding of Orang County
and Florida, ever mindful of the sacred obligations which rest upon the heart
of every true and honest publisher. He put in the first telegraph service for
a newspaper in Orange County, becmig a member of the International
News Service in 1913 with the advent of the daily publication. In 1912, he
purchased and installed the first perfecting press in Orange. County, the
Miehle; this was a flat-bed press and published four pages at one impression,
the paper then being removed and the reverse side being printed. After that,
the paper went through a somewhat crude folder and eventually mae its
way into the hands of the reer. The paper wasix columns wide, each
column being 13$ ems wide. In 1914, Mr. Ferris was taken ill and the duties
PART I-NARRATIVE 63
of publication devolved upon Mrs. Ferris, who gave every ounce of energy
to carrying on the arduous duties of a daily publication. During that time she
was ably assisted by the late W. S. Branch, who contributed many editorials
and conducted a column of light verse and terse sayings. In November, 1914,
the South Florida Sentinel and the Orlando Morning Sentinel were sold to
W. C. Essington of Nobksvile, Indiana, and W. M. Glenn then of Indiana-
polis, with Mr. Essington as business manager and Mr. Glenn as editor. This
partnership continued under the most pleasing conditions until July 15,
1925, when Mr. Glenn purchased the interest of Mr. Essington and became
ole owner and publisher of the paper. The South Florida Sentinel continued
its career as a weekly until the summer of 1916, when it ceased publication
due to the fact that the public demanded a daily newspaper.
In the early 90's, hard times hit the land, and newspapers felt the pinch
of financial and economical depression, reaching a climax during the panic
of 1893, followed closely by a disastrous freeze which ruined the citrus trees
of Florida. In this period, rival publishers forgot animosities and rushed to
each other's assistance. In the case both of the Reporter and the South
Florida Sentinel, many publication dates were missed,, and it was during this
period that the two Orlando papers consolidated for a brief period, becoming
the Sentinel-Reporter, published by Messrs. Hudson and LaSalle, the latter
representing Mr. Vaughn.
In the fall of 1890 the late Mahlon Gore made a trip to the west carrying
with him a great many pictures of Florida. While in the west he spent an
evening with Mr. S. R. Hudson, a former employer with whom he had
worked in Kansas City, in the early 8Y's. Mr. Gore. had purchased the Or-
lando Reporter, and in 1891 Mr Hudson decided to visit Orlando and make
a. survey of conditions here with a view to buying the paper. Early in March,
1891, he came to Orlando, purchased the Reporter, and in April of that year
returned to Orlando with his family and took over te paper. With him were
Joe M. Rice, a reporter, and Geo. M. Munger, a ompositor. In 1892 he
stated the daily Reporter, the plant being in a building on the lot where the
Angebilt Hotel now stands. The late Chas. Wiemr was a reporter on the
paper and Mr. Ferris was in the composing room pert of the time. Accord-
ing to Mrs. S. R. Hudson and her daughter Miss Hattie Hudson, who reside
in Orlando, Mr. Hudson's Reporter consolidated with the Sntinel in the fall
of 1898 and the plant. was removed to East Pine Street, the publication be-
ing called the Reporter-Sentinel. Mr. Rice went to Virginia and Mr. La-
Salle represented Mr. Vaughn's interest in the Sentinel.
Some time previously to this, Mr. Hudson had purchased the Record,
a paper published when he came to Orlando. The name was dropped from the
Reporter when this paper was combined with the Sentinel. In 1905, the con-
solidatio was discontinued, and Mr. Hudson moved the Reporter into the
Rogers and Martin building, later selling to Mr. Ferris.
64 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
The Orange County Cr of Cmmer issues Orange Echoes
monthly, at twenty-five cents a year.
The Orange Conty Citien, a wel paper, was origilly published in
Apopka by Dr. Geiger, a Baptist peh, who lived in that town and was
beld in high esteem throughout Florida. As a weekly pubiati it ranked
with the best papers of the state for the moal tone of its editorial policy.
Dr. Geiger was appointed o a trav my position by his church,
and found that he mut dispoe of the ppr, much to his reret
Hon. A. B. Newton of Wint'r Garden, repr nt at e in the state Lgis-
lature, bought the paper and moved it to Winter Grde. Mr. Newton,
who previous to coming to Florida hbad been a county upintet of
schools in his native state, continued the hih-rde policy of the Cilian,
but as his business and legislative duties inresed, he found it difficult to
give the ttenti needed the paper a, aft several talks with Mr. C. E.
Howard, who at that time was editor of the Repoter-Str in Orao,
agreed to ell him, stating tht he did so ly because of his ac intae
and agreement with Mr. Howard' prices; the paper was thereafter pb-
lished in Orando.
These policies, under which the paper flourished from first to st, were
mocratic, prohibition and absolutely iendt C character, three traits
that ditinguish its editorial policy and the paper was of the old-fash
ioned type of weekly, largely editorial its phre, it continued tobe positive,
rather than negative on the questions of the day.
After sewn years of service, largely in the pohibitio a th object
of its publication havig be attained, Mr. Howard, having many other
duties, sold the paper to Arthur Ivey, a young reported on the Sentinel, who
after a time discontinued publication.
The Dmocrat was establhed in 1906 J. H. Holland Starbudc editor
and publisher; its life appears to have bee brief.
There are many copies of the Orlndo papers of the early day and the
author of thi historical setch has prd a umber of them bouht to the
office and treasured by various people. The Frida Record i very inteSt-
ing. On Page 1 appear these word. "TMhe of ths pper-Th Orando Daly
Record." Then there appears a ine, "Mar 6, 1893." It was of seven
columns, 13 ems to a column, and marked 24 by 18 hidies. On the editor-
ial masthead appears th nam of Jam Irving Crabbe, ep, Florida
Press Association, affiliated with the Natiol Editorial Assocation. Then
appears the subscription rates ad "tm amsiably i advam" The aes
were, daily one year by mail, $5.00 and weey m year by mail, $1.00.
A copy of the old Orange County Repoh daoed Fdruary 4, 1892, volume
14, number 47, whole number 723, has cme to our amntion being lomed
by F. S. Richards. The paper measure 22% hes by 29. The editorial
Soi lhe (1111iiie a i ifl e( ,
PART I-NARRATIVE 65
masthad read "Mahlo Gore, editor, ad S. R Hudso, publisher With
the volume number and the erial number, the first publication of the Or-
e County Reporter woud me to have occurred setime in the year
1878 On the editorial pe appears this lime "one py n yar, A.0."
In volume 13, pge 9, whole numr 63, published May 15, 1890, Malh
Gore's name appears as editor.
One of the early pblictios was the Orlando Star, a tri-weeay. Volme
1, muer 33, aed to the author, was published Thurday, Septmber 3,
1896. The pe was three ent. On the left dog-ear of page 1 apprs
"for President W. J. Bryan of Nebraka" and on the right ear "for Vic-
president Arthur Sewll of Maine" The Star was published Tuesdy, Thurs-
day and Saturdy; the subsrion rate was onyear *2.00. In the paper
dated Thurdy, Otober 15 189i the names of W. H. Jewel appear as
editor and W. F. Barne as abusne manager. Two days lter, October 17,
the name of C. A. Weimeras dy editorwas added to the above. Peruing
the Orange County Rqepo for May 15, 1890, we discover a paper of large
Proportion; dumy andd dficu to amll., being 5e longer- and five
inches wider tha the tandmrdird upper of tody, which measures 23 by
17%4ind The Repoat of that day was of nine colmns, 13 aem to a
column. In the thirty-meve year old ppr, we find a schedule of the De
Bry Line on the St. John River, eaing Jadoam ill at 33 30 p a nd a
riing at Sanford at eidgt dock de next morning, al a schedule of the
South Florida Railroad,with rt-bond trains leaving at 6:35 p. m., 11:55
a. m., and 200 .p. m. ep Sundy, and at 11:40 p. m daily; southbbound
tndm at 10 4 a. nm, 3:18 p. m, 5 45 p. m., and 6:13 p.. Also the "Tropic
Trunk Lin" the Jasovl Taipa and Key West Syste, only 53 hours
between Orlndo and Jakonve;. alo the schedule of the Tvaes, Orlando
and Atatic Railroad Cmpany, with a schedule between Orhnd and
Tavar by way of Wduiwa, Apop a and Zeulwood, trains having Orando at
5:55 p. m. and 5 40 a. m., aivi at Tavares at 8:15 p m., ad 7:10 a. m.
repetiy, and leaving Tarus at 6:45 p m.n and 640 a. m. arriving at
Orlando at 820 p. ad 9:00 a.-m.
In addition a time-tble of the Orando and Winter Park Railroad ap
pears th in edie station beg Iaemmr Park, Winter Park Bamn
Bur and Rowea. The in etg infrmr i is coneyd that trains wil
etop on sinal only at the Am ade, Cco Street Orange Avr Fair Oak
Highlad, Rowena, Rose Hm Lake ale, Bonme Bumr Ro is Co.ge and
Lakmoot Park. Advertii appears by the Orlando Novelty W hkb, the
South Floida Foundry and Ma Corn s, Curtis and ONeal, ad the
First National ank of Orado a these firms being in binss in Orando
at the p n thme Tre was considerable real estate activity in the early
days. A bhrge8 de the fat page by the Sincla d Agen
offers "high pie hand in healthy loality, from $2.00 to $100 per acre," and
66 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
another by Mahlon Gore exhorts the reader to "get a home on the install-
meat plan," and offers "homes for actual settlers, ten acre tracts, $20.00 to
$50.00 per acre, according to situation and quality," concluding with the
words, "now is the time. The winter of 1889 and 1890 will see these lads all
taken by actual settlers. Come and make selections early;" "let no man make
a purchase until he has carefully examined the situation; buy only god land,
make only good improvements, and you will always be in the lad." W. F.
Banes & Company offer special bargains, but no prices appear.
There were no hypocrites in those days, for one finds fine liquors ad-
vertised for sale by Rogers and Martyn, who evidently conducted a co-
mopolitan saloon in Orlando, with a line which stands out prominently to
the thirsty hypocrite of today. "We pay special attention to the jug trade,"
it says alluringly; "we import our wines and liquors direct from Europe
where we have a special agent. We buy in large quantities for cash, there-
fore we can sell in any quantity, large or small, as cheaply as any firm in the
country and guarantee the quality to be as rprsented Agents for several
good brands of champagne, Scotch and Irish whiskey and direct importation
of choice Ceylon tea. Why send away for your liquors when we can do as
well for you here and you know who you are dling with." The advertise-
ment was marked "599-Y ;" we do not know what this means, but we take it
to mean that 5 stands for May the month of publiatio and the 99 means for
the remainder of the year.
In the early days of 1890, phosphate was coming into its own in the
southern part of Florida, and on the editorial page of the Recorder appears an
analysis of phospatic rock by Thom. R. Baker, professor emeritus in Rolins
College who recently celebrated his ninetieth birtay. Interesting items ch
as these punctuate the journal under survey. "Sdden gust of wind blew down
the file of the Citizens National Bank and ime pedestrians paying along at
the time narrowly escaped injury as the file fell crang to the siwal;"
"excursion tomorrow. An excursion train will go through direct to Clay
Springs without change." "A hail stom visited Apopka Some of the stnes
were said to have been as large as hen's eggs." "Governor Fleming will deliver
the annual address to Rollins College; trans over te Orlando and Winter
Park Railroad will be rn in such a way as to acmmdate all who wish to go
from here to attend the Commcemen Exercises at Rollin College" "trck-
es at Cermont are shipping tomatoes at frm $4 to 8 per standard
crate;" "from all acomts Cedar Key mut be in a deplorable coditio under
the omintim of a besotted ad desperate mayor." "Tbo. A. Johnsto shot
and killed Wm. Lee of Oakland in front of the First National Bank" Here
omes the exciting part of the evide collected by the reporter. "Lee mid,
G-d--y, I've got you now,' and when Lee got within verbal feet of Johs-
ton he rushed his onrs up and struck at Jomton with his and. Johnston
PART I-NARRATIVE 67
then drew his pistol and as his horse fell, shot Lee in the right side, then turned
his horse about ad as both horses were running he shot a seed time and Lee
soo fell from the ddl Johnston checked up his horse, came by Bill
Johnton's house and told him he had shot Wi. Lee and then surrendered
himself to the sheriff."
The names of Major M. R. Marks is given as mayor; John D. Broom
as Judge of the Circuit Court; C. G. Butt as Judge of the Criminal Court;
amd J. L. Bryan as Judge of the County Court W. M. Pog was pastor
of the Methodist Church South, J. G. Patten of the Prebyterian Church,
C. S. Farris of the Baptit Churh, J. Chris Williams of the Cdngregatiol
Church, S B. Carpnter of the Protestant Episcopal Church, F. M. C. Eds
of the Methodist Church ad J. J. Creed of St. James Catholic Church. J.
W. Aderson was president of the Y. M. C. A.; James M. Lane was Wor-
shipful Masr of the Orlado Lodge number 69; C. O. Myers was.High
Prist, Eureka Royal Arch Chapter, mnm r 7; Win H. Jewell was Emhinm
Commander of the Oivet Conam dery, muer 4; A. J. Moseer, Odd Fe-
lows and Carl Warfidd, C. C. Knights of Pythias
Buggies were lling from $50 to $ 150; saddles from $3 to $20 and
bridles from $1 to $5. Rouh pine lumber was quoted at $11 per thoand
feet Good buggy hoes were $125 to $20. Irish potatoes 35 cents per p
aCidkns 30 to 50o mnts pr pound eggs 2 to 55 ants per doe, ow pm
10 nt per quart and strawberries from 10 to 50 nts per quart Papers
from which dipings were take and mentioned in the Record were as fo-
lows: The Lesbrger, the lo n of Tallahase the Jaconville Meto-
poas the Pe cla News, the Fort White Bomer, the St Andrews Me-
nger, the Beieview Blade, th Fernandin News, tie ade City Democrat
the Ddand Record, the De d Agriculturist, the Sumterville Tms,. the
Key West Equator, the Sumtervile Caounty Time, the. Vouiia County
Rctord, the Madiso Rcor, mthe Florida Timne-Ui.a, the Mandarin News,
the Paaa Tun, the Ocal Banr, te Oala Capil, the St. Augusine
News and the Lesburg ComercidaL
Just recently te cam into our hands the first three volumes of
Lochede, a p matiao printed by J. B. H dc, Jr., at LaWood. The first
number was imud July 1,18, and the last June 28, 1889. It was more in
the form of a mnagazn, being three colums wide, containing editoials, news
items and adertir all type hand-st The main attention of the puiaN-
tio was devoted to Winter Park and Rolins Coege. Thre is no indication
who was editor oer, thn information under t mastad which advised
that ommuniatios by mal would be ddred toMr. Hen at Lngwood
and that an officewas maintained at Winer Park, with Charles J. Idd in
charge. The pmiratdn was, entered at the potoffe at Winter Park as
ecod-clm mail matter.
68 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
The Winter Park Pot was established by A. Ellison Adams; during
Mr. Adams' service in the World War, the Post was issued by Mrs. Hiram
Powers and Mis Emly Nichos. It was purchased by Mr. J. H. Wender,
who changed its name to the Florida Post, and whose ambitious eorts to
make it the Republican organ of the state resulted disastrouly to himself,
the stokholdrs and the paper. The Winter Park Herald was then established
by Mr. E. B. Mendoe and Dr. R. F. Hoard. On May 1, 1925, the Herald
was purchased by Mr. William M. Traer of Jacksmville, who incorporated
the Orange Press the following August. In April, 1926, Mr. Traer erected
a fine building in West Morse Boulevard, and enlarged the paper to seven
column Mr. Trer owns all the stock in the Orange Press, Inc.; the paper
now has more than three times the pid circulation that it had when he bought
The students of Rollins College have for many years issued a weekly pub-
licatio known as the Sandpur; the college also publishes Bulltins at frequent
but irregular intervals.
Apopka has a long and interesting newspaper history, but it coma down
to us in fragmmtary condition, due to the fact that the files were not pe-
served; for this reason it has been difficult to get the record of the early pub-
The first paper published in Apopka was established by the Rev. Dr.
Hughes a Baptist clergyman from North Carina who came here in the early
70's, with his brother-in-law, the Hoa. J. J. Combs. This paper had a brief
estnmm though it gave evidence of siderable ability behind it Then
ame Rev. Willis M. Ruse and his so, Rev. A. M. C. Russell, Methodists,
who founded the South Florida Citizen. The Florida Confern transferred
Rev. Rsse to another town and the paper passed into the hands of Rev.
Frank A. Taylor, another Methodist clergym who lopped off the words
"South Floida" from the name, the paper being known as the Apopa Citi-
o. Mr. Taylor sold the paper in a couple of years and the pnt was moved
to another town. .At a later period, George Eugene Bryon established a
paper here, but it did not hat loag; then cme Walter S. Russe, now of
Jacks ill, who for nearly four years published th Apopka City Union.
Mr. Rusll later established the Jacksmnvill Metropoli which was highly
succesful; he old the paper at a good price and it became the present Jack-
sovile Journal.' The next venture in Apopka was made by Fred H. Perry,
who established the Apopka Advertiser which for a time was regarded as one
of the best weekly newspapers in Florida. In spite of this fact, the paper had
a hard rod to travel; it was moved about, and was edited for a time by Mr.
F. S. Witherby, the well-known Apopa merchant of today. There were
other ventures here, among them the Apopka News, of which Mr. Witherby
was business manager.
Next came the splendid Apopka Chief of today, established in 1923 by
Major Albert M. Hall, an eprind newspaper an who came hee frm
Maryland, but who for nearly forty years had labored in the daily newspaper
field in New York state. The Chief has been a success from its first issue.
It is a dean and attractive pper, edited with great are and ability ad is
quoted far and wide. A short time after its estabishment, Mr. Hal or-
ganized the Apopka Printing Comnpny, n pated, and an upo-date
building ws ected in the business direct and equipped with a linotype and
mode machinry throughout
dl work, inuding color and
$50,000 a year. In addition 1
regular pubiations, weekly a
Mr. Hall is president of the a
Mr. D.F. Hall, secretary, and
The Chief is independent
moral questions. It boasts tha
It was somon turning ouat high ss cmmr-
prms work. Today its bsins is runnmmg
o the Chief the company isme several other
ad monthly, including. a high-clad magazine.
npany, Mr. Willia Edwards vte-preid
Mr. C. Ellwood Kalbach general ma ger.
in politics and holds to a high standard on all
t it goes into every home in Apopka and sur-
Ho. A. B. Newton established and edited the first newspaper in Winter
Garde in the early 90's, under the sprightly name, the Ricoche This was
followed by various other ventures, among tmn the Orange County Citizen,
which was moved from Apopka to Winte Garden by Mr. Newtn, and later
sold by him to Mr. C. E Howard of Orlado, where it was published for
several years. At present, the Winter Garden field is ably occupied by the
Journal, which is owned by Mr. Howard Parkr.
During the pst three years, the Eitho Tribune Company has pushed
a weekly paper, printed in St. Cloud, devoted to the interest of Bit and
eastern Orange County; it is edited by Claud F. Johnson, and the sucripti
price is two dollars a year.
Two papers devoted to the interests of the negro population and edited
by a able and rigt-minded man of that race were publied for a Inaser
of years in-Orange County, the Winter Park Advocate, which was arrived
on for ome twelve years, and the Florida Christian Recorder, which was pb
wished for about fifteen years in Orland. The editor and proprietor of both
papers was G. C. Heder who died some ten years ago and whose widow
is a teacher in the Orlando cored high sdcoo
The latest paper to be established in Orange County is the Florida Re-
publican, issued on the fifteenth day of each month in Orlando by the Repub-
licn Publishing Company, and edited by Mr. W. C. Lawson. The first
number of Volumene is dated August 15, 1927.
70 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
There were no organized banks in Orange County prior to 1883. Mr.
W. G. White, merchant, operating a general store located at the corner of
Church Street and Orange Avenue, Orlando, had purchased a large iron safe
for his personal use. Persons living in Orange County availed themselves
of the opportunity of leaving any moneys or valuables that they had with
him in packages for safe keeping. Any drafts or bills of exchange which were
received in payment for cattle sold in Cuba, or for the infrequent shipment
of oranges, or for any other purpose, weremitted by Mr. White to Jack-
sonville and New York merchants in payment of goods which he purchased,
credit being given to the parties who owned it very largely in exchange for
merchandise. There was little need of exchange in the community at that
time, as such real estate as was purchased was paid for in gold, and the casual
traveler in Florida brought currency with him, so that no banking, as the term
is now understood, was necessary. That which was true of Mr. White was
also true of the general stores operated by General Sanford in Mellonville and
by Mr. Bryan in Kissimmee.
On January 23, 1883, a private bank was organized in Sanford known as
the Lyman Bank, with Mr. Moses Lyman as president, Mr. Fay S. Phelps,
cashier, and Mr. Frank Forster, assistant ashier. This bank was re-organ-
ized November 1, 1887, as the First National Bank, with Mr. Frederick H.
Rand, president, Mr. F. W. Lyman of Winter Park, vice-president and Mr.
Frank P. Forster, cashier. This institution has continued to serve the people
of Sanford in a very satisfactory and effective way intil the present time,
Mr. Rand continuing as president until 1918, when he was succeeded by
Mr. Forster, there being but two presidents of the bank in the forty years
of its life. In 1925, the bank erected a new home on the opposite corner
fiom that on which it began business, and has kept the same relive loca-
tion through its entire history.
The Bank of Orlando, an unchartered bank, was located in the one-story
frame building adjoining the Summerlin Hotel, on the northeast corner of
Central Avenue and Main Street, Orland This bank began busi-
ness some time in the latter prt of 1883 with Mr. Charles Joy as pres-
ident, and Mr. Nat Poyntz, as cashier. The records of the state of Florida
do not show that this was a chartered bank. On February 24, 188, the
Bank of Orlando was reorganized and chartered as the Firt National Bank,
with a capital of $50000, Mr. Charles Joy, president, and Mr. J. H. Vivian.
ashier. The directors were, Messrs. Nat Poyntz, John G. Sindair, Wm. J.
SCopeland, T. J. Shine, E. Pringle Hyer and Charles Joy. A brick building
*fo this scoeot of the bmukI ilittim of OruW CoStY. the aSb I.
dbted to his frld, W. R. O'Nel, U D., Chairm of the Bod of Drets of tho
rint Natoml Bmak of Orao.
PART I-NARRATIVE 71
was erected on the northeast corner of Pine Street and Orange Avenue by
Andrew Johnson and the lank was loated in this building when completed.
This bank at once took a prominent place in the financial affairs of South
Florida and was the outstanding bank in all the territory south of Palatka
and Ocala. It increased its business very rapidly, enjoying the confidence
and support of depositors and bankers throughout South Florida. It was
consolidated with the Citizens' Bank on March 22, 1893.
The Citizens' National Bank was organized August 25, 1887, with a
capital of $50,000 and with the following officers: Mr. L. 0. Garrett, pres-
ident, and Mr. H. G. Garrett, cashier; the directors were, Messrs. L. O.
Garrett, H. G. Garrett, Cecil G. Butt, Charles W. Arnold, Henry S. Kedney.
Charles E. Pierce and Alien S. Apgar. The bank was located on the north-
west corner of Central and Orange Avenues, in the'corner room of the San
Juan Hotel It was moved to the two-story brick building on the northwest
corner of Pine and Court Streets and re-organized with Mr. W. L. Palmer
as president and Mr. James L Giles as cashier. On March 22, 1893, the
Citizens Bank was vohutarily liquidated and cosolidated with the First
National Bank of Orlando with the following officers: Mr. Nat Poyntz,
president; Mr. W. L. Palmer, vicepresident; and Mr. James L. Giles, cashier;
its capital was increased to $150,00. The panic of 1893 throughout the
United States seemed not to have ben expected in Florida and least of all
as in any way affecting the consolidated bank, therefore no provision was
made for additional reserves. When the panic became acute, the correspond-
ent banks either could not or would not extend aid, withdrawals affected the
bank as they did all other financial institutions, and a receiver was asked
for on August 14, 1893. The bank was restored to solvency May 21, 1894,
with Mr. W. B. Jackson as president and Mr. I. W. C. Parker as cashier.
The re-opened bank received the confidence of the community, was increas-
ing its deposits, money came out of hiding places and the bank was doing a
satisfactory business. In 1895, the disastrous freeze which affected all South
Florida left little available money in the community and as there seemed no
immediate possibility of borrowers being able to repay the amounts borrowed.
the directors voluntarily closed the bank November 29, 1895, refused to re-
ceive further deposits, and notified all those having money in the bank to
In November, 1893, after the losing of the First National Bank, the
Merchants' Bank was charted by the state with a capital of $25,000, and
opened for business in the old banking room of the First National Bank
with Mr. W. H. Reynolds as president, and Mr. B. H. Kuhl as cashier.
On the reopening of the First National Bank, an attempt was made to con-
solida the Merchants and the First National, and a charter was issued as
a national bank, but the olda was never perfected and the assets
of the Merchants Bank were sl to Messrs. Joseph L Guernsey and Carl
72 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Warfield, who conducted a banking business under the name of Guernsey &
Warfield. This business was later merged with the State Bank of Orlando,
the Merchants Bank being liquidated.
The State Bank of Orlando was organized October 27, 1893, with a cap-
ital of $50,000, Mr. Louis C. Masey, president, Mr. T. Pict Warlow, vie-
president, and Mr. Ingram Fetcher, cashier. This bank was located on the
southeast corner of Pine Street and Orange Avenue, and was converted to a
Bank & Trust Company, October 21, 1919. Through all the vicisitudes and
changes and growth of the community the State Bank has continued to func-
tion and do a safe and conservative banking business under the same man-
agement as when originally organized, and it today has the largest amount
on deposit of any bank between Jacksonville and Tampa.
The Orlando Bank and Trust Company was organized April 17, 1906.
with Judge J. D. Begs as president, Mr. M. M. Smith, vice-president, and
Mr. Thomas Hopkins, cashier. On the death of Judge Beggs, he was suc-
ceeded by Mr. M. M. Smith, who in turn was iscceded by Mr. H. L Bee-
man. This bank was located in the old First National Bank room on the
southwest corner of Orange Avenu and Pine Street continuing in business
there until its removal to the south side of East Pine Street for the purpose
of erecting a new building, which was begun in January, 1923, aid occupied
iMay, 1924. This is a ten-story building and complete in every particular.
The present officers are: Mr. H. L Beeman, president; Mess. W. M.
Davis, R. L. Hyer, and T. H. Evans, vie-pesidnts; Mr. Fred C. Allen,
ashier, and Mr. J. W. McLndon, assistant cashier. This bank has grown
steadily since the day of its oganiztion and hs filled a large place in the
The Peoples' National Bank was organized August 1, 1911, located on
the south side of Pine Street in the Magruder Arcade, with the following
officers: Mr. J. C. Patterson, president; Mr. C. A. Campbe and Mr. C. E.
Johnson, vice-presidents and Mr. W. G. Talton, ashier, and continued in that
location until October 15, 1913, when it was removed to the west side of
South Orange Avenue, between Church and Pine Streets. President Pat-
terson resigned in January, 1914, and was succeeded by Hon. M. 0. Over-
street as president, Mr. Charles P. Dow becoming cashier. In January, 1917,
Mr. Dow was succeeded by Mr. E. G. Hauselt, who continued as ashier
In February, 1920, the name of this bank was changed, by permission of
the Comptrolr, from the Peoples' National Bank to the First National Bank
in Orlando, Mr. Thomas Hopkins succeeding Mr. Overe as president
In December, 1921, Mr. Hopkins resigned and was succeeded by Judge
William T. Bland as president, Mr. L. B. Giles, as vie-preide Mr. W. R.
O'Neal as Chairman of the Board and Mr. I. L. Cook, cashier. The bank
being the only National Bank in Orlando, and a member of the Federal Re-
rve system, has filled a large place i the commute y.
PART I-NARRATIVE 73
The Bank of Orange & Trim Compay was organized October 21,
1919, as a bnk and trunt ay, but was a converin of the Bask of
Orange which was ganied September 25, 1916, with a capital of $50,000.
This bank was located on the north side of Central Avene, between Orange
and Coon Streets, with the foowmg officers: Mr. U. G. Stan, pes-
ident, Mr. J. F. Ange, ie-preidet, and Mr. J. H. Tucker, cashier. This
bank later moved to the room on the notheat onwer of Orange and Wad
Street in the Angbih Hote andced in bsiss until March21, 1927,
when is was volunarily liqid d ad from its aset was organized the Or-
lando Commercial Bank with the following officers: Mr. E. E. McGill pres-
ident, Mr. W. E Martin, vice-presidet, Mr. V. B. Newton, vice-president,
and Mr. W. L Jackson, ashie; it opened for business May 23, 1927, con-
tinuing the location in the ae place as the Bank of Orange & Trust Com-
The Church Stree Bank, oated on the southeast corner of West Church
Street and Hughey Street was organized in May of 1923, with Mr. E P.
Hyer, president, Mr. S. Kendrick Guernsey, vicepresident, and Mr. A. M.
Crittenden, ashier. This bank was oranzed particularly for conveiene
of the residents and buiem men of West Orlando, and has successfully
met this need the same offers continuing siae its organizati.
The North Orndo State Bank opened for business August 16, 1926,
with $50,000 capital, Mr. L. C Masey as president, Mr. C. DeWitt Millr,
vice-president, Mr. J. P. Holbrook, cashier, and Mr. Z. V. Raulerson assist-
ant ashier. Mr. Holbrook later reied as cashier, and Mr. Miller, vice-
president, is acting cashier unt one is appointed
The Bank of Winter Park was opened Oct, 10, 1911, with Dr. W. F.
Blackman as president and Mr. C. D. Powed as cashier. As the needs of the
growing town of Winter Park had been strg and insistent, it was a gaa day
for the town and was made a very.aupious occasion, merchants advertising
20 discount on ach dollar's worth purchased As evidence of support and
appreiation, the sum of $20,000 was depostd on the fiit day. The banking
hum first occupied has enlarge twice, with increase of capit The
present officers are: Mr. E B. Maedsen president, Mr. Frank W. Cady, vice-
president, Mr. H. A. Ward, vie-preident, ad Mr. C. L Sutiff, cashier.
This bak has filled a very imptant place in the community, ad has in-
creased its deposits far beyond that which thepopulati would seem to indi-
The Unio State Bank in Winter Park was organized in 1917 with a
capital of $30000 Dr. C. D. Christ was elected prsidet Mr. Thoas M.
Henkle, viceesident and Mr. Ed. F. Kenel, ashier. The bank has en-
joysd a steady nomal growth, increasing it capital in 1921 to $50000 The
present offers an: Mr Irvng Bah rv, Cairma of the Bad, Mr. D.
K. Dicknson, president, and Mr. Put E. Davis, amier.
74 HISTORY OF- ORANGE COUNTY
The Bank of Winter Garden was organized in 1908, with Mr. D. Mc-
Kinnon as president, Mr. B. T. Boyd, vice-president and Mr. G. T. Smith
as cashier. Mr. McKinnon resigned in 1910 and was succeeded by Mr. Boyd,
who served in that capacity until his death in 1924, when Mr. G. T. Smith was
elected president and continues to serve. The capital is now $25,000.
The First National Bank of Winter Garden was organized in 1919, with
a capital of $25,000, Mr. J. D. McMilan as president, and Mr. A. B. Newton,
cashier. The present officers are: Mr. J. M. Sullivan, president, Mr. A. S.
Ficquette, vice-president, Mr. J. S. Fairchild, vice-president, Mr. M. V. Pil-
cher, cashier, and Mrs. L M. Biggers, assistant cashier.
The Bank of Oakland was organized December 12, 1912, with Mr. J. H.
Sadler as president, Mr. C. H. Tilden, vice-president, and Mr. C. E. Teasley
as cashier. The bank continues to fill a very important place in the com-
munity in which it is located.
The Bank of Ocoee was organized Dec. 20, 1919, Mr. F. H. Maguire,
president, and Dr. M. N. Jenen, cashier, with a capital of $25,000. The
banking house was the first brick business building in Ocee The present
officers are, Mr. D. A. Minor, president, Mr. D. E. Ewing, vice-president,
Mr. D. S. Wurst, cashier.
The State Bank of Apopka was organized in 1887, with Messrs. Joseph
L. Guernsey, E. R., O. W. and A. P. Prince, as directors, Mr. E. R.
Prince served as president and Mr. Joseph L. Guernsey as cashier. This was
an unincorporated bank and dosed in 1892.
The State Bank of Apopka was organized February 12, 1912, with Mr.
C. P. McCall as president, Mr. A. C. Starbird, vice-presidnt and Mr. W.
G. Talton, cashier. President McCall retiring in 1913, Mr. W. R. ONeal
was elected president, serving until 1912, at which time Mr. William Edwards
was elected to succeed him. The deposits in this bank are now more than
a half-million dollars, which is evidence of the esteem and appreciation which
the community holds for the bank.
The total deposits in the thirteen banks of Orange County, on June 30.
1927, amounted to $17, 590,000.9L
Four disasters have befallen Orange County, in common with all
Florida, during the period under review, three of them caused by the
blind and irrestible forces of nature, and the fourth by the cupidity of
man. These disasters were the great storm of 1871, the "big reze" of
1894-95, the protracted drought of 1906V, and the so-called "boom" of
In August of 1871, an unprecented storm of wind and rain occurred.
For forty-eight hours, the tempest raged without intermission; then fol-
. -E 1" I I- A: I .I I. ) ;a
PART I-NARRATIVE 75
lowed a week of calm weather; and then for another orty-eight hours,
"the rain descended, and the floods came, and the hands blew." 'Mr. A.
J. Lovell, of Apopka, reports that a flour barrel hding on end was filled
and overflowed by the rain, that the Wekiwa River was a mile wide, that
the Yowell-Drew corner was four feet or more under water, that the
ground in the flatwoods was saturated to such a depth that horses could
not be driven over it, that thousands of cattle were bogged down and
drowned on the prairies, and that countless numbers of pine trees were
prostrated. Fortunately, most of the houses of that time were built of
heavy logs, and so withstood the onset, but the property loss was great.
No reference is made here to the hurricane which in September, 1926,
devastated the lower East Coast of the state, inasmuch as this did not
reach to Orange County.
The second disaster was the reverse of the first in character-there
was too little water rather than too much. In 1906 -0, occurred a severe
and protracted drought. For more than a year, scarcely any rain fell.
Crops of fruit, grain, and vegetables were destroyed; citrus and ornamen-
tal trees and shrubbery were injured; water courses and lakes were dried
up, live stock suffered for want of both water and grass; and from ten
to fifty per cent of the pine trees of the state were killed, except -o the
lower and moister lands, and many other varieties of forest trees were
injured or destroyed. Naval store operators, lumber men and owners
of timber lands suffered great loss.
The third disaster was the "big freeze" of 1894-95. At this time,
the state.was mainly dependent on citrus fruits for its money income. Di-
versified farming, the growing of vegetables for the market, had not yet
been developed, or hardly thought of Many thousands of people from
the North and West had made their homes in Florida and invested all
their scanty means in orange groves, which yielded them a comfortable
support. And then, "as a thief in the night," crept across the land the
northwest wind, bringing freezing temperatures. The following inter-
esting affidavit may be found in the miscellaneous records of Orange
"On this 8th day of February, A. D. 1896, personally appeared
Benjamin M. Robinson, who being first duly swdrn, deposes and says:
"That on the night of December 29th, 1894, a freeze occurred in
Florida, by reason of which the entire crop of oranges and other fruits
in the County of Orange and other counties was ruined and lost;
"That afterwards, to-wit, on the night of the 7th of February, A.
D. 1895, a still greater freeze occurred, in.fact, the greatest ever known
76 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
in the history of the state, the thermometer reaching as low as 18 degrees
above zero, by reason of which second freeze, almost all of the orange
trees in Orange and other counties were killed to the ground.
"That this affidavit is made and asked to be recorded for the informa-
tion of future generations,"
BtNJAMNm A. RosIsox,
Sworn to and subscribed before me this
8th day of February, A. D. 1896.
J. N. BIADAHAW,
Clerk of the Circuit Court.
The first freeze had denuded the trees of their leaves; in the warm
and moist interval which followed, the cambium layer of the bark had
been deluged with sap, and new growth had been put on, in the des-
perate effort for recovery; the second freeze turned the sap to ice, rap-
tured the bark, practically girdled the trees, and thus destroyed the en-
tire citrus industry of the state.
The trees stood bare, gaunt, pathetic; the ground beneath them was
covered with fallen fruit in layers; the air was laden with the stench
of decaying oranges; the people were shocked, disheartened, apparently
bankrupt and helpless. For them, this was "the abomination of desola-
tion, spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing where it ought not"
Multitudes abandoned their groves and homes, in some cases leaving
tables set and beds unmade, and went away. Business was at a stand-
still, banks failed, all civic and social institutions-churches, schools,
clubs-were partially paralyzed. But many more courageous spirits
stayed on and took up the task of rehabilitation. Dead trees were cut
down and burned, funeral pyres'of extinct hopes, young sprouts thrown
up by still living roots were budded at the ground, nurseries were re-
planted, and the citrus industry slowly came back, reaching finally pro-
portions hardly dreamed of before.
One good result of this calamity was the diversification of agricul-
ture and horticulture which followed. It was now clearly seen that Flor-
ida could no longer be a "one-crop" state. The growing of vegetables
for the winter market was undertaken, staple crops were cultivated, and
dairying and raising of poultry were engaged in, providing thus more
varied, safer and more helpful conditions of life.
The fourth of these disasters was the so-called "boom" of 1925-26.
For this disaster, it should be said at once, the people of Florida
were not primarily and chiefly accountable, though they cannot escape
their share of responsibility for it. Also, it should be said that Orange
County suffered less than many other portions of the state from its ef-
PART I-NARRATIVE 77
No attempt will be made here to analyze thoroughly the causes of
this "boom." It was no doubt brought about largely by the same traits of
human nature, and the same economic forces and conditions, which have
staged similar "booms" periodically, in other parts of the country. And
the mentalunrest, and relative abundance of money which followed the
World War, probably had an influence on the course of events. Also,
the unique attractiveness of the Florida climate, the peculiar magic
which the orange and its culture had long exercised on men's minds, the
crowds of tourists who came to the state every winter and succumbed to
its charms, the rapid, though normal, growth of many of its cities and
towns, the abundance of cheap lands which were available for exploita-
timn, and the advantages which all these conditions provided for public-
ity and advertising campaigns, made, all together, a strong appeal to
speculators in land, and subdivision promoters.
And so they came in increasing throngs from all parts of the-coun-
try, many of than shrewd and experience in the bins of land ex-
ploitation, and set about the task of "selling" the country. No doubt
many of these were honest, both in intent and in methods of operation,
and their work has been of permanent and inestimable value to the state;
but not a few were adventurers, intent only on making a quick '"kll"
of "skimming the cream." Numberless subdivisions were laid out ad-
joining the cities and towns and extending far out into the country;
"improvements" were made, sometimes substantial and sometimes
scanty; alluring promises of further improvements weregiven; more or
less attractive but often flimsy stucco gates were built, opening upon
these developments; wide-stretching areas were laid off in lots and
marked with white stakes like a cemetery; streets and walks were laid
down; and lots were sold to eager purchasers at inflated prices relatively
small initial payments frequently being ad, and obligations incurred
which later turned out to be difficult or impossible of fulfillment.
And in the wake of these speculators, and a result of their public-
ity campaigns, hundreds of thousands of men and women poured into
Florida by train or automobile, from every state in the Union, most of
them with no purpose to become permanent citizens but eager to secure
a share of the "easy money" which they believed awaited them here.
They bought and sold lots, often making handsome profits on paper, and
obligating themselves for deferred payments which they believed could
easily be met
As was inevitable, the local population was infected by the enthu-
tiasm thus kindled. It was contagious, and it became epidemic, almost
78 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
an obsession. Bank clerks, store clerks, teachers, stenographers, nurses,
high school pupils, launched themselves in the real estate business, some
in newly-opened offices, some as peripatetic salesmen on the streets and
from house to house. It is estimated that from three to five thousand
realty operators, of high and low degree, came and went in Orange
County during this period. Ambitious building programs were entered
upon; freight embargos followed: the postal service was disorganized; the
prices of lots and houses and rents were advanced by leaps and bounds;
living expenses were increased; there was only one topic of conversation
on the streets; the passer-by heard only talk of lots, and of thousands and
millions of dollars; some banks and loan companies extended credits un-
duly, though the financial houses of Orange County followed a more
conservative policy than was the case in many other cities; debts were
contracted on a large scale; bond issues were floated by counties and
municipalities for street and road paving and the building of school
houses, perhaps larger and more numerous than normal conditions would
have justified, involving an increased burden of taxation; in short, the en-
tire life of the community was reorganized, on a partly fictitious and
And then came the reaction which might have been expected, but
which many did not anticipate. There was a "slump." Buyers lessened
in number and in eagerness; northern investors became chary; prices
sagged; banks curtailed credits and made demands for impossible pay-
ments; the "binder-boys" from the North returned home or sought fresh
fields for their operations; many of those who had left their positions to
engage in the real estate "game" found themselves out of work; deferred
payments had to be met; foreclosures of mortgages followed; vacant of-
fices and empty houses appeared in the streets. Large suburban and
rural areas which had been cut up into lots, of which a few here and there
had been sold, could not easily be got back into acreage properties, for
use as farms or otherwise. And so the people were faced by new prob-
lems of all sorts which were by no means easy of solution What was
mat tragic in al this, was the ineme by many people of ml mans,
residents and visitors, of all their little property-and its loss.
But as the three earlier disasters passed, so this fourth is passing.
Normal conditions are being restored, values are being stabilized. Of
the multitudes of visitors and investors who were brought into the county
and the state, many were added to its permanent population. The vast
and costly improvements and extensions made by the railroads, public
utility companies and other great corporations, and the hard-surfaced
PART I-NARRATIVE 79
roads and commodious and beautiful school houses which were built, re-
mained to serve the uses of the people and enrich their lives. In Orange
County perhaps a dozen subdivisions were laid out, around the shores of
its entrancing lakes, which are veritable dreams of beauty, and which
will infallibly attract purchasers and homeseekers. What was premature
will become mature with the passing of time; the community will "catch
up with itself" and be all the better off at length for the passing flurry.
ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS
The Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross was organized
as the Orlando Branch of the American Red Cross at a mass meeting held
in the GrmdMjuzan April 19, 1917. Mrs. A. B. Whitman served as
chairman and Miss Eloise Robinson (now Mrs. Roy V. Ott, of Oala), as
secretary. Brief addresses were made on the work and purpose of the Red
Cross by Dr. J. S. MoEwan, Dr. M. B. Swift, Mrs. G. H. Edwards and Mr.
H. H. Didcksa
One hundred and forty members were enrolled at this meeting and the
following officers elected: Mr. N. P. Yowell, chairman; Mrs. W. R.
O'Neal, vice-chairman Miss Elizabeth Rand, secretary, and Mr. S. Waters
Howe, treasurer. Mrs. H. L. Beeman, Mrs. A. B. Whitman and Mr. M. O.
Overtreet were elated to serve with the officers o the executive committee.
Another meeting was held in the Grand Theatre on April 24, when the
offer of the Rosalind cub home as headquarters for the Red Cross was
gladly acpted.' The chairman announced the following committees: pub-
licity; Messrs. C. E. Howard, J. H. Rese and W. M. GlCm; chairman of
finance, Mr. S. A. Jolnson; of membeship. Mrs. Edna Fuller; of work at
hadqu Mts, Mrs. E. G. Haut; purdching, Mrs. G. H. Edwards; cutting,
Mrs. J. W. Sinmmns; distriMbting Mrs. S. E. Ives, Sr.; inspection, Mrs.
Seth Woodruff; surgical and bopital supplies, Mrs J. S. McEwan.
Beginning with May 1, headquarters at Roaalind dub house were
opened daily for work from 9 A. M. to 5 P. M. Sewing mchimes and work
table replaced other furniture, and from tiht time till the dome of the war,
vast quantities of garment and surgical dressings were made and paded
tber, beside the very large amount of similar work done by the Red Cross
anxliaria and units througut Orange County, whose members received
material from the Romlind headquarters and returned the finished articles
for shipment. Hundreds of sweaters, socks, scarfs and caps were knitted;
a report made in August, 1917, gave the number of articles shipped as 4,460,
with value of materials used as $760.
To meet the constant expense of these materials, voluntary gifts were
made beyond the membership fee, many individuals and dubs making a
monthly contribution for this work.
80 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
At this time, state headquarters for Red Cross were located in Jackson-
vile, called the North Florida Chapter, with branches and auxiliaries through-
out the state, instead of the separate county chapters as arranged a few months
later. Miss Ruth Rich, director of branches of the North Florida Chapter,
gave an interesting address on the Red Cross at a meeting held in the Presby-
terian lecture room on May 1. The chairman announced that evening that
Mrs. O'Neal would be unable to serve as vice-chairman, and Mrs. W. G. Mc-
Lean was unanimously elected to that office.
During that first month, large classes were formed in first aid under
Dr. McEwan, and in elementary hygiene and home nursing under Miss
Davids, a Red Cross nurse, and plans were made toward forming the Junior
Red Cross. The latter work was started by Mrs. T. E. F. Hoskins, and was
carried forward under the chairmanship of Mrs. Francis Laughlin, whose
efficient labor found a most willing co-operation from the children of Orange
County, with excellent results in gifts and service.
A report of the North Florida Chapter in the Times-Union for May
27, 1917, gave Orlando as d in membership of the twenty-six branches
and auxiliaries, and added this mention: "Orando branch, when less than a
month old, had enrolled 378 members, a large proportion of these being
subcribig members, while several life members have been enrolled. It is
probable that Orando has the largest proportion of life contributing and sub-
scribing members of any of the branches."
Late in September, 1917, the reorganization of Red Cross branches
into one chapter for each county was advised by southern division head-
quarters, ad a committee to consider such a step was appointed the members
ber Medames McEwan, Edwards, Helten, Reams, Fuller and Dean Glass
pedal Red Cross meeg on October 11, 1917, the Orlando branch
nized as the Orange Conty Chapter, American Red Cros. The
rs were continued and the following directors elected: Dean Glass,
e Whitman, Hdelen, Gi, Abberger and Pedrick The excu-
appointed the following charm : Finance, Mis Maggie Hart;
publicity, Mrs. Edna Fualer; purchasing, Mrs. G. H. Edwards; headquarters,
Mrs. 'E. G. Haust; surgical dreigs, Mrs. W. O. Reams; mnmbersbip,
Mrs. H. Bourne; daesm in srgical drigs, Mrs. T. P. Warlow. Sub-a-
mitee dcaimn were Mrs. A merger, cutting; Mrs. Htzen, distriting;
Mrs. Woodruff, inspection; and Mrs. Edwards, peking.
A committee appointed to draw up a et of rules consisted of Dean Glass,
Mrs. Hamelt and Miss Eliabeth Rand. Later the report of this committee
was accepted with slight atrations. The resignation of Mr. S. Waters Howe
as treasurer was accepted with regret, and Mr. Harry M. Voorhis was ap-
pointed to this office. A committee n civilian relief, with Mr. James M.
Knox as chairman, was appoin December, 1917, this starting the work
which later became the me rvice ecin
PART I-NARRATIVE 81
The first annual Red Cross Roll Call was held just before Christmas,
1917, with Mr. S. Y. Way as chairman. A quota of 800 members had been
signed to Orange County. from division headquarters, and in this, as in
production quotas both before and since, Orange County's chapter kept its
reputation for not merely reaching all quotas, but exceeding them, the total
enrollment at that tne being 978.
Reports of the secretary, Miss Elizabeth Rand, showed a rapid increase
of Red Cross articles, especially in production work, from May, 1917, till
November of 1918. In October, 1918, this chapter had two branches, the
West Orange branch, which included Oakland, Winter Garden, and part of
Ocoee, and the Winter.Park branch; it also had nineteen active auxiliaies
located at Apopka,. Clarcoa, Conway, Drennen, Fairilla, Fort Chritmas,
Formoa, Loddrct, Ocoee, Pinecastle, Tangerine, Taft, Windermere and
Zelwood. A large auxiliary was organized among the colored people of
Orlando; and other auxiliaries among the colored people were formed at
Apopka, Eatonvile, Tangerine and Winter Park.
With the great joy and relief of Armistice Day, came an inevitable re-
action from the log train of alous labor, and a decrease in-Red Cross ac-
tivities with the lessened need for the production work.
Early in March, 1919, at a called meeting of the executive committee, it
was decided to extend the work of the home service section to meet in full
degree the increasing needs of our service men and their families, bth for
men then still in ervie, and for those returning, in their many difficult prob-
lems during the trying re-adjatmet period.
It was decided to elec an executive secretary who would attend a Red
Cross Institute heldin Jacsonville for a special six weeks' course of training
in this work. This training incdied lines of family welfare service, andte
execute committee elected Mi Corinne Robinson to take this work in addi-
tioa to that of the Associated Charities already held, both boards approving
this step with the understanding that the joint work be carried forward from
the am office later.
On May 9, 1919, the home service office was opened, spa being kindly
granted by the Orlando Chamber of Commerce in the old Rosalind dub
hom, where the Angebt hotel now stands. Two years later, the office
moved to the city hal in the old armory building, and later with the city hall
to its present location.
For both white and oaored ex-service men, this work of the Orange
County Red Cross has been of untold help in many ways, and numerous
cdims due from the government have been secured for men who had bee
totally unable to handle these for themselves, because of not knowing how or
where to present sh cims.
Early in 1921, the first Red Cross Ford was purchased, this car being
plied and maintained by the Red Cross for the work both of the Red Cross
and the Associated Charties.
82 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Since the war, the Orange County Chapter has filled frequent requests
from national headquarters for hospital garments and sweaters, also making a
large quantity of kimonos for children in Japan after the earthquake loss
For the past five years, this chapter has supplied Christmas bags for
men in service at foreign stations, and each summer for seven years a large
quantity of warm clothing has been collected and shipped for use in the Near
Those who have served as roll call chairmen are Mr. S. Y. Way, for the
first annual roll call, held in December, 1917: Mr. Wm. E. Castle; Mr. J. Y.
Cheney, who served during two roll calls: Messrs. W. M. Glenn, J. E. Mile-
ham, Dr. M. B. Swift. Karl Lehmann, O. P. Swope and in 1926, Mr. G.
Jackson, Jr., who was chairman for Orlando, and Mrs. Price chairman for
Windermere. For the eleventh annual roll-call, in November of 1927, Mr.
Blame McGrath is chairman.
Mr. N. P. Yowell served most efficiently as chairman from the organi-
zation of this chapter until October 13, 1927. when he resigned through press
of business claims, and Mr. G. Jackson, Jr., was elected chairman. Other
officers are. Mrs. W. C. McLean, vice-chairman; Miss Aha Wright. secretary;
Mr. A. N. Goodwin. treasurer: and Miss Corinne Robinson, secretary of the
home service section.
Immediate Red Cross relief work followed the first tidings of the south
Florida hurricane, Sept. 18, 1926, large quantities of emergency supplies of all
kinds being rushed to both the Miami and the Moore Haven sections, with
workers who rendered notable personal service. Cash contributions from Or-
ange County through the Red Cross for the hurricane relief totalled about
$20000 and many refugees were cared for here.
SIn April,1927, a telegram from National Red Cross headquarters asked
the Orange County Red Cross to raise $3,000 for the Mississippi flood suffer-
ers. This appeal was published in local papers, the chapter officers designated
to receive gifts, and with no personal solicitation whatever, so generous was
the speedy response, that this quota was doubled within one week, and further
gifts gave a $9,000 total through this Red Cross Chapter.
L ONG before Orando had a local habitation and a name," Ft. Gatlin
was etablished by the Federal Government some two miles southeast
of the prI t dty, a of the chain of several forts alog the Idan
trail leading from Lake Moroe to Tampa; these forts were built during the
first Seminole War. Ft. Gatlin was established in 18I3
STher i a tradition that a council of eesentatives of the government
and Indians met bereuner a huge live oak tree, and this oak, now no lger
existing, was lo known as the "Council Oak"
Whether Ft atlin was named for the lake, or the lake for the fort, is
not known. However, in a rent letter to the author, General Lutz Wahl, Ad-
jutnt General of the army, says: "Referring to your inquiry, nothing is
found in the official records here to show for whom Ft. Gtlin, Florida, was
named It is highly problem, however, that it was named in honor of Dr.
John S. Gatlin, assistant surgeon, United States army, who was killed in the
Dade massacre in the present Sumter County, Florida, December 28, 1835, at
which time nearly 100 ldiers were killed by Indians. That officer was born
in North Carolina, and wa appointed from that state. Fort Gatlin was e-
tablished November 9, 1838, and was abandoned November 22, 1849."
On March 27, 192, the Orlndoh Chapt of the Daughters of the Amer
can Revolutioa unveiled a granite marker r the site of the fort, on what is
now known as Gatlin Ar me, with impreive ce at which Miss
Frances E. Gregory, regn, presided, and Mrs. W. C. McLen made an in-
trestig hi trial address. The tablet o this narker carries the folwing
Erectd By The
ORLANDO CHAPTER D. A. R.
Mrch 27, 1924
Making th Se of Fort Gal 1838,
Pinec adland the Coway region received a mber of settlers before
Orlado was m e than a me, a, trading point in a small way, and the site
of the county govern
wi walla Harney, pioer, urnalist, essayist, poet, orange grower.
settled in what is now P cae in 1869 -(ee Biograpial Sketdh in Pat
Two of this work). Leoard Tymer and Charle Sweet came in the seventia ,
and about the ame time th faher of Mr. Geoge Macy built a ame in
Pinecase where he lived until his death; he was ablakmith and arveyor.
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Mr. William Benjamin Hull came to Orange County from Georgia in
1855, and lived during most of the remainder of his life in Conway. (See
Biographical Sketch in Part Two of this work).
Mr. Joseph A. Barber was a native of Orange County, and was born near
Lake Conway December 18, 1860. He was the father of eleven children, the
family being pioneers in the cattle, cotton and citrus industry.
Mr. Andrew J. Barber, son of William, came to the county in 1855; be
served in the Seminole War, and afterward engaged in stock raising and
farming in what is now Osceola County.
In 1872, Messrs. Greenup Arnold, L. J. Griffin, Charles Sweet, and T.
M. Carpenter came to the Conway district from Gadsden County, with their
families, a party of twenty-one. Mr. Arnold homa teded in Conway, and
Mr. Sweet in the heart of what is now Pinecastle; Mr. Carpenter settled in
Conway and later moved to Pinecastle. With Mr. Arnold came his two sons,
the elder of whom took up a homestead in the Conway district, where his
widow now lives; the younger son, J. H. Arnold, is still living in Conway. He
does not recall another person now residing in or about Orlando who was here
when he came. A son of Mr. Griffin, Hon. S. S. Griffin, lives in Orlando,
and has long been an active factor in the business and political life of the
county; an account of his life may be found in the Biographical Section of
this work Part Two, and in the story of Windermere, Chapter IX.
Hon. George W. Crawford came to Conway from Tennessee in 1873,
and engaged in the growing of oranges and the cattle industry. He wa
thrice elected a member of the lower house of the state Legislature, and at the
age of seventy-five years of the Senate. He was connected with the Miell
family, having married Sarah, daughter of David Mixl; she still lives in Or-
lando. For an account of Senator Crawford's highly successful and useful
life, see the Biographical Sketch in Part Two of this work.
Mr. John R. Worthington semsm to have arrived in 1859; he was a prom-
inent man in the community, but little an now be learned of his character
and doings. He built a mal "hot" on the lot where the new court house
now stands, and this was conducted by Mr. and Mrs. William B. Hull; Mr.
Hull was the first mail carrier between Mellonville and Orlando. A sketch
of his life may be found in Part Two of this work.
Mr. James P. Hughey, born in Georgia, came to Orange County in 1855,
bringing his family and household effects in a two-wheeled cart, and unload-
ing them on the west bank of Lake Lucerne, near the site of the present home
of Hon. James L. Gils. He then enlisted in the Seminole War, and on his
return took up 160 acres of land under the armed occupation act, lying between
Lucerne and the prent railroad tracts. During the Civil War, he "made the
journey by mule team twice each month to Gainesville, the the nearest
supply station and
ie, and brought back provisions, clothing and other
84 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Mr. William Benjamin Hull came to Orange County from Georgia in
1855, and lived during most of the remainder of his life in Conway. (See
Biographical Sketch in Part Two of this work).
Mr. Joseph A. Barber was a native of Orange County, and was born near
Lake Conway December 18, 1860. le was the father of eleven children, the
family being pioneers in the cattle, cotton and citrus industry.
Mr. Andrew J. Barber, son of William, came to the county in 1855; he
served in the Seminole War, and afterward engaged in stock raising and
farming in what is now Osceola County.
In 1872, Messrs. Greenup Arnold, L. J. Griffin, Charles Sweet, and T.
M. Carpenter came to the Conway district from Gadsden County, with their
families, a party of twenty-one. Mr. Arnold homesteaded in Conway, and
Mr. Sweet in the heart of what is now Pinecastle; Mr. Carpenter settled in
Conway and later moved to Pinecastle. With Mr. Arnold came his two sons,
the elder of whom took up a homestead in the Conway district, where his
widow now lives; the younger son, J. H. Arnold, is still living in Conway. He
does not recall another person now residing in or about Orlando who was here
when he came. A son of Mr. Griffin, Hon. S. S. Griffin, lives in Orlando,
and has long been an active factor in the business and political life of the
county; an account of his life may be found in the Biographical Section of
this work Part Two, and in the story of Windermere, Chapter IX.
Hon. George W. Crawford came to Conway from Tennessee in 1873,
and engaged in the growing of oranges and the cattle industry. He was
thrice elected a member of the lower house of the state Legislature, and at the
age of seventy-five years of the Senate. He was connected with the Mizell
family, having married Sarah, daughter of David Mizell; she still lives in Or-
lando. For an account of Senator Crawford's highly successful and useful
life. see the Biographical Sketch in Part Two of this work.
Mr. John R. Worthington seems to have arrived in 1859; he was a prom-
inent man in the community, but little can now be learned of his character
and doings. He built a small "hotel" on the lot where the new court house
now stands, and this was conducted by Mr. and Mrs. William B. Hull; Mr.
Hull was the first mail carrier between Mellonville and Orlando. A sketch
of his life may be found in Part Two of this work.
Mr. James P. Hughey, born in Georgia, came to Orange County in 1855,
bringing his family and household effects in a two-wheeled cart, and -unload-
ing them on the west bank of Lake Lucerne. near the site of the present home
of Hon. James L. Giles. He then enlisted in the Seminole War, and on his
return took up 160 acres of land under the armed occupation act, lying-between
Lucerne and the present railroad tracts. During the Civil War, he "made the
journey by mule team twice each month to Gainesville, then the nearest
supply station and postoffice, and brought back provisions, clothing and other
l~~~~~~k~ ~ *: : ~ lr,~J
* 0 W ,1f
*-- .^r I
*-~. *: *
1 )ediction of Mairker, Fort ( itliti
. 1, -
1'111 ~III, in 1\11 illill~llll
PART I-NARRATIVE 85
necessities for the families of his neighbors. During the early days of the
settlement, the planters were greatly annoyed and harassed by gophers, that
fairly swarmed over the land and destroyed their crops. Mr. Hughey suffered
in common with his neighbors, but instead of declaring war to the death
upon the tortoises, he set traps for them and instructed his children to capture
them alive. Then one or twice a week, w n he had a pen full of the creat-
ures, he would load up his cart with them, and on his way to Sanford, for he
was at the time official mail-carrier between the two points, Mr. Hughey
would ford the Maitland branch, and on the further shore liberate the four-
footed pests in the wild land where they would be shut off from the settlement
by the water barrier."*
SMr. Hughey served as derk of the Circuit Court for about a score of
years, and as clerk of the Town Council for a considerable period. His name
is worthily perpetuated in that of an important thoroughfare of the city.
Captain Aaron Jernigan, a veteran of the Seminole War, and a citizen
of substance, lived on what was later called Lake Holden, after Mr. W. H.
Holden had purchased the property from Captain Jernigan on which he built
his home on the north side of the lake.
Thre were fonr Patricks, three brothers and a cousin, William A., James
J., Goffe and "Dink"; William owned property to te southwest of the can-
munity center, and was a partner of Mr. C. A Booe in the mercantile bui-
ness. He later moved to Kissimmee, where he built the first hotel in that
town, and died.
Captain John W. Wofford came from Georgia to Marion County, and
then in 1859 to Orlando. He had been a captain in the Mexican War and a
lieutenant in the Seminole War; e served later also in the Civil War. His
three surviving sons now live in Lockhart
Mr. W. Jacksn Brack, a cattleman from south Florida, was the first
mayor of Orlando, when the town was incorporated in 1875; he returned later
to south Florida and was found dead in the woods, setting on the ground and
leaning against a tree, gun in hand.
Mr. L Purvis, a farmer, lived some two miles east of Orlando, and Mr.
Isaac Winegord a little further out Mr. Winegord was later sheriff of the
Messrs. Isaac Powel and Len. Tyler lived to the southward. Mr. Tyler's
widow lived for a year in Ft Gatlin, as a refugee from hostile attacks by the
Mr. Nat Poyntz appears to have hmesteded in Pinecast, in thei70's;
he later smoved-to Orlando, and was engaged with his brothers in banking,
of which business some amount may be found in a later section of this
chapter. Mr. Poyntz is still living in Boston. A recent issue of a Boston
*ftm arti in the Weekly Repter-Star for October S2, l1l.
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
newspaper contains a portrait of Mr. Poyntz, and says: "Nat Poyntz, 79, sole
survivor of the Confederate army in Massachusetts, the last soldier of the Con-
federacy to be mustered out of the U. S. army service, in May, 1926, and
said to be the oldest member of the American Legion, will spend Memorial
day quietly with friends in Boston."
He had been invited by the United Daughters of the Confederacy of
Boston, of which his daughter with whom he makes his home, Mrs. Walter H.
Fletcher of 51 Norton Street, Dorchester, is a member, to decorate the grave
of a Confederate soldier at Deer Island, who died while a prisoner during the
Civil War. He was the last soldier of the Confederacy in the U. S. service.
Mr. Joseph Bmby came to Orlando in 1873, and was the first railroad
agent in the place; he lived a half-mile north of -the entrance to Grenwood
cemetery (see Biographical sketch in Part Two of this work).
Mr. J. J. Davis, county surveyor, also lived ner the cemetery in the early
Prof. B. Gould, Orlando's second school teacher, came in 1875.
Two Givens brothers, bachelors, lived west of Park Lake at this time.
Mr. E. W. Spier, postmaster for a decade, built and occupied the reidence
since known as the David Lockhart place, probably the oldest house still stand-
ing in Orlando. A Dr. Shelby lived east of lake Eolm, and a Mrs. Terry
owned the forty acre tract on which Admiral Jouet's "Anchorage" afterwards
Mr. J. W. Williams served as the first marshal of the town, and was
shot by a deputy sheriff; the records of the Board of County Cmmnisioners
mention a reward offered for the capture of his slayer, but the reward appears
never to have been aimed
Mr. John Ivey seems to have come in 1858; he lived southwest of the
Five Hodges brothers, Henry, Elias, Samuel, William and John, lived
to the eastward, and Mr. Vincent Lee, a farmer and attlema, settled to the
Mr. L P. Westott came to Orlando from Dtroit, Dec 4, 1875, and en-
gaged in the citrus and nursry busimss; his usery o pied an entire square
between Central Avenue and Church Street, on the east side of Lake Eola.
He built wht is said to have been the fit plastered bose south of Palatha,
just north of the brick court house, taking down the rooming house erected by
Mr. Worthington, and lived there until 1886 when he built a home where the
new court house ow stands. This hose he old to Mrs. Pell of New York
and built on Char Lake, west of the town, later ercting a cottage in Orange
Avenue across the street from the Coliseum. The Diocese of South Florida
acquired the Pell property as an Episcopal esidnc, called Bisopge, and
PART I-NARRATIVE 87
this was sold to the county as the site of the court house Mr. Westcotts mr,
Mr. W. L. Westcott, sti lives in Orando.
Two physicians lived west of the settlement, Drs. Hackney and Jackson.
It appears to have been after the doe of the war that Mr. Nathan Beas-
ley and his so Hiram setld to te west of Orlando; the latter was janitor of
the court hoe fr many years. About this time, Mr. Alex. Powers operated
as a bdutr, selling meats to the settlers from two-wheeled cart; he lived
two or three miles east of the enter.
Mr. David Mizell came to Orange County with his family in 1858, and
built the first house, a log abin, in what is now Winter Park. (See Chaper
V of this work). He afterward lived with a son in Coway, andpurchased a
home from the widow of this on. In the Conway cemetery is a headstone
bearing the inscription, "David Mizl, born February 23, 1804, died January
16, 1884." Mr. Mizell was a member of the state Legislature at the breaking
out of the Civil War. His name appears as chairman of the Board of County
Commissioners in the earliest records which have survived, for the year 1869.
He had five sons, John R., Joshua, Thomas, Morgan and David M., who
was sheriff of the county and who.was killed in the discharge of his duty, his
death leading to a bitter and bloody feud between two faction
A son-in-law of David Mile was William Harrison Holden, a onspic-
uous pioneer of Orange County. Mr. Holden came to Florida in 1848. He
settled first on the Indian Rmer, where he was employed as an army scout,
and carried the mail to the southern prt of the state He later moved to
Enterprise, now Benson Sprigs, importing fine blooded breeding stock for
the cattle business which he carried on at that point; when the Union army
entered the state, Mr Hold's entire stock of cattle was confiscated; he then
moved to Orlando, where he bought from Captain Aaron Jernigan a tract
on the lake which later took his name. This land, together with that pur.
chased from the United States government, comprised an estate of about
twelve hundred acres, and it was Mr. Holden's intention to establish here a fine
stock farm; however, the natives burned his fences, stole and butchered his
cattle, and thus forced him to pasture his stock at the open range in the south-
ern part of the state He.eveatualy gave up the cattle business on a large
cale, keeping only a small herd on hi ome place. The tract which he bought
from Captain Jernigan had m it an old house built of hand-hewn logs, which
had been used as an Indin tockde; the old Tamp trail ran along the sec-
tin line of this property.
Later on, Mr. Holden began his agricultural.and horticultural expei-
ments and development He wanted out a large grove in a variety of citrus
trees; he had a large sugar phnatim; he followed general faing and stoc
raising on a small scale, and he seems to have been the first to raie vegetables
for the market in Orando.
88 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Mr. Holden married Nancy Mizell in 1860; his daughter, Mrs. Lagen-
bach, who still lives on the old home place, on beautiful Lake Holden, recalls
that Orlando comprised in her childhood a small log poatffe, a small frame
store, a rude little court house and a few scattered dwellings, all surrounded
by unbroken forests, and with cow trails for streets. At the front of the single
store, one could buy peg shoes and calico, and in the rear whiskey and other
"necessities of life."
The first school house which Mrs. Lagenbach members was a one-room
shack of unplaned lumber, with a plank floor and wide cracks, a combination
school house and church; as all the razor-ack hogs in the community used
the sand underneath the floor as a rendevous, the school children-and no
doubt the worshipers also-w-ere kept wide awake. Mr. Holden died in May,
Mr. William A. Lovell came from South Carolina in 1854, first to Nig-
gertown near Ocala, then to Mellonvile, then to Orlando, then to Hawkins-
ville on the St. Johns river, and then to Apopka. During the period of his
residence in Orlando, Mr. Lovell was very active and influential in its affairs.
He purchased a steam sawmill, grist mill and cotton gin in what is now Volusia
County, and moved them to the northwest side of Lake Eoa; later, this mill
was sold and moved to Apopka, where it occupied successively several sites,
being moved from place to place by six or eight yoke of oxen. Mr. LoveU
conducted a store in Orlando, and also owned a hotel which was managed by
Mr. C. A. Boone.
Mr. Boone.ame to Orlando in February, 1872, some three years before
the town was incorporated; during the two previous years he had resided
on the Blawater, were he had taught the first public school in Orange
County; he was also the first teacher in the Orlando schools. Mr. Boone was
one of the earliest store keepers in the settlement, in partnership with Mr.
W. A. Patrick. He served for six years in the office of the county clerk, and
then established a hardware business on the site now occupied by the Wool-
worth Company. Mr. Boone was an active member of the Town Council
for many years, and mayor in 1883. He conducted a dairy and nursery busi-
ness for some fifteen years, and originated the Booem's Early Orange, which
is still a standard variety; he afterward served as city clerk, tax assessor and
Mr. George W. Macy came to Orlando October 25, 1875, and set up a
blacksmith shop; his chief business was making branding-irms for the cattle-
men of the region, but he also repaired guns and later wagon and hkboards,
and did the blacksmithing work for the sawmills of the countryside. In 1880
he began the manufacturing of wagou-the Macy Wagon Works-ad built
up a large business. He made many thousands of wagons, sixteen different
sorts of one-horse wagons, and employed some forty work; he received
jp~c~j, .> C,
('l iri I nll-L
fi ( rIz
\\k l11 t
l-I r( 1
I'.pi~)sCo11pil ChurIch. I~iht: I Cath' llc (1 lth:rl. ( e1ilir
L L ,
Top- "ar ()O \Vra(do. Well., -lrl ()r n l 1(, Thirdin
l ttlltn -- irl\ ( )r0l'il!u,
:m11l (C I1't
PART I-NARRATIVE 89
pay for wagons and work mostly in Spanish doubloo, chidens, hogs and
other products. Mr. Macy is still livi in Orlando.
Mr. and Mrs. James DeLaney came from Covington, Georgia, in 1875,
purchased a forty ace tract, extending from Lake Lucerne to Lae Cherol e
and built on it a three-room house. This house was red in what was a
pine thicket, partly cared for the purpo and has sina be lagged; per-
haps Mrs. Deaney is the only rsidet of Orlando who has lived cotinuusl
for more than half a century in one place. From her front door in the first
days, she could se the lights of only four or five buildings, stores and dwell-
ings. The streets were only trails, winding mag the trees, traversed by
two-wheel carts drawn by oxen or cow poi, the man of the family riding the
animal and the cart full of womenfolk and children Gazing in popeyed won-
der at the first window, gla be had ever seen, one of these "cracker" team-
sters overturned his cart gain a stump and lld his human car on the
ground. Montague and Pointz ket a store in Main Street, and Mr. DeLaney
also built a store soon after their arrival. Mrs. DeLaney does not real a
singh person now living in Orando wo was here when she came. The De-
Laney name is perpetuated in that of one of Orlndo's most attractive rsi-
dence streets, and school building
Another woman of distinction who am to Orlando the ma year with
Mrs DeLaney, 1875, was Mrs. Mary Kerr Du, then Mrs. Henry Goe
Fernandez. Mrs Duke taught s ol at Ft Reed and later in Oriando. For
many years she presided over Duke Hall, in which multitudes found a pleas-
ant home, meantime takig an active prt in various dvic, educatoal ad
charitable organizations and movements. Duk Ha, now oducted by her
daughter, Miss Haie G. Fernandez, keeps alive in Orando the name of a
woman greatly esteemed and beloved.
Mr. Edgar A. Richards came to Florida from New Boston, New Hamp-
shire, in 1868 first to Waldo, then Mdlovi, and then Orlando. In 1879,
he built a residence and blackmnith shop on the land now occupied by the home
of Hon. M. O. Overstret, which Mr. Richards had purchased from Mr. Jaob
Summerlin, clearing and grubbing ten acres for Mr. Sumerlin and reeiv-
ing the five acres built as compensation for this work. In 180,
Mr. Richards opened the first undetkig establishmentt in the cou in
Coart Street He was active in dvic and frateal afa, and was a highly
useful citizen. His on, Mr. F. E. Richads, teus of fhig as a boy in a
pod in Main Street, in front of Mrs. James DeLney's house, and in another
pod between the YowellU d Drew bildin aqd the Stae Bank Blding;
She thinks that the David Lodhart hous built by Mr. E W. Speir. posms-
ter for ten years, just east of the Magnlia Seool, is the oldest boe still
standig in Orland; another l mk is the house in Garand Street ilt
by Professor B. would, the second he in the Orlando schools
90 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
Col. W. B. Anno and Mr. John C. Anno came to Orange County in
August, 1877; Mr. L J. Dolis, a native of Tennessee, in 1875; Mr. J. B.
Magruder in 1878, (see Biographical sketch in Part Two of this work); Mr.
Lucius Stebbins, from Hartford, Connecticut, in 1879; Hon. John G. Sinclair,
a leader of the Democratic party of New Hampshire and a member of the
Senate of that state, in 1879; Samuel A. Robinson, a native of Michigan, a
gifted scholar, a skillful engineer, and for many years one of the most con-
spicious figures in the life of the county, as county surveyor, tax collector,
tax assessor, member of the Legislature, member of the Town Counci.and no-
tary public, in October, 1876; somewhat later, Prof. Norman Robinson, Sam-
uel's elder brother, who had bought land in Sanford in 1875, professor of Nat-
ural Science in Rollins and state geologist; Dr. Washington Kilmer in 1872,
first to Altamonte Springs in 1872, and then to Orlando.
Mr. Jacob Summerlin was one of the most notable figures in the early
history of Orlando. He was born in Lake City, February 22, 1820, in a fort
erected as a defence against Indian attacks. His father was an Englishman;
he resigned his commission in the army, came to America, and was given a
grant of land at Mandarin, on the St. Johns river. He later moved to Co-
lumbia County, where he owned a large tract of land, comprising the whole of
what is now Lake City. He gave his son Jacob, a portion of his lands, horses
and negroes, and at the age of sixteen years Jacob went to Bartow, where he
bought lands from time to time from the state, at twenty-five cents per acre,
finally acquiring about half of Polk County, and lands further south. Forsee-
ing the Civil war, he sold his negroes, probably three hundred in number, and
invested the proceeds in cattle, of which he ranged as many as 100,000 head,
finding a market in Cuba. He was known as the "cattle king" of soath
Florida. His name is perpetuated in Bartow in the Summerlin Institute.
In 1867, Mr. Summerlin located his family rLiberty'County, Georgia,
in order that the children might have school privileges, and in 1873 came to
Orlando, where he built the first considerable hotel, the Summerlin Hotel,
still standing in enlarged form, gave Eola pk to the town, defeated Gen.
Sanford in his effort to remove the county seat to Sanford, served on the Town
Council some time. and in many ways played a conspicious and generous
part in the development of the town. Some of thee activities are mentioned
elsewhere in this work. Dressed in a blue serge suit, carrying his cot, which
he never wore, over his left arm, and in cold weather wrapping himself in
a blanket, he was a striking and picturesque figure.
Captain B. M. Robinson, since 1904 cerk of the Circuit Court, recorder
and auditor and ex-offico clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, came
to Orange County in 1874. A Biographical sketch of Capt Robinson may
be found in Part Two of this work.
The foregoing is an incomplete roster of t settlers in and about Orlando
during the 60's and 70's.
PART I-NARRATIVE 91
We will now turn badc a decade or two and see how the earliest of these
Here are two items, taken from the county records, which throw a vivid
light on the social and financial oditios of the time
On Nov. 16,1860, Mr. David Mizel "gave, granted, bargained and sold"
to Ann E. Roberts "a certain negro woman named Harriet aged about twenty-
five years, together with her three children . together with the future
issue and increase of the said negro woman and her children."
Mr. William Mills, on Nov. 1, 1864, gave a promisory note to Mr. J.
G. Speer for $1500 in Confederate treasury notes, with the stipulation that
"if a further depreciation should take place in the Confedrate currency the
said note is to be discharged by the payment of one hundred dollars in gold"
(Deed Book D.)
The late "Uncle Dan" Prescott, shortly before his death in July, 1927,
drew a faithful picture of the life of the farmers and cattlemen of the time, in
conversation with the author of this work.
Daniel W. Prescott was born in Clay County Florida April 15, 1856,
and ame to Orange County with his father's family in 1867, settling ome
thirteen miles south of Orlando. There he afterward took up a homesead,
and devoted himself to raising hos and cattle. In 1914, he moved to the
farm near Pinecastle whe he spent the remainder of his life. Here he died
on July 30, 1927-a friendly soul and a bom story-tller.
Mrs. Prescott's father, W. W. Baxley, operated a watr-power
gin and grist mill about 1862 on the run adding out of Lake Ivanhoe; he ao
operated the first blacknith shop in the mm u near Lake Conway.
He made and repaired the two-wheeled ox-rts which were the in use,
getting his iron from guns, thrown away by the soldiers and others worn out
or broken. He also made fine pocket lives, butcher knives and bowie knives
from discarded files, the lining of the handles made from the brass hoop
from old buckets, and the handles themeves- fashioned from the horns of
bhac The bowie knives were modly for the Indian He also made hos,
rakes, plows that would turn two furrows at once, and other farm imple-
s, harness saddles and bridles.
These versatile and industrious pioneers also made spring whes and
loom; they fashioned beehives from hollow l ; they made hairs, table
bedsteads, side-tables and other articles of furniture. The settlers ranged their
hos and cattlein the woods; thehogs were fed o sweet potatoes, slaughter
unmled and the lard pded i containers made from large gourd The at-
te were also slaughtered, their hair removed from the hides by mean of
lye made from the ashes of oak, the hides tanned in "tan oome" made from
ask brk, and -fashioned into boots and shoes for common and Sunday wear,
o lats which were made from black gum, and with peg cut from m le
92 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
t -- a a a* a
trees brought from the swamps. uer skins were also used for dress soes.
They made their own household implements, largely from gourds, dippers
milk pans, jars for meat and lard, containers for butter, and the like.
They also made their own nothing, from the first process to the last.
They planted cotton, stripped the bols, gained, carded, spun, reeled and
warped the threads, and dyed them with indigo for blue, the bark of the black
jack for brown, and the cotton boom for yellow, and wove the coth on hand-
made, wooden looms. Mr. Prescott still has the cards and spinmig wheel
used in the early days. From these fabrics they made table-cloths, sheets,
pillow cases, quilts, coaterpans, suits and shirts for husbands and son,
stockings, socks, gloves, sunbomets. Hats were woven of palmetto and
grasses and carpets knit with large needles Of these various articles "Aunt
Virginia" has preserved a large number of samples, the colors still fresh and
the fabric intact.
These implements and household utensils and furnishings, the like of
which can hardly be found elsewhere, ought to be secured before it is too
late, if possible, and preserved in some suitable place. It may be suggested
to the Honorable Board of County Commissioners whether space cannot e
provided in the superb new court house for cases in which these and other
records and relics of the early days may be preserved, which would otherwise
be destroyed or lost through the passage of time.
The painer used the cow-pen method of farming, as is still the custom
with the Florida "cracker." Within a fence of split rails the cattle were
penned at night until the soil was sufficiently enriched, when a new pen was
made and the first one planted to sweet potatoes; later, corn and other crops
were grown on this lot for a year or two. They planted and ground sugar-
cane and made their own sugar and syrup; the syrup sold for around fifty
cents a gallon, the drippings for twenty-five cents and the sugar at ten cents
a pound. Their "coffee" was brewed from sweet potatoes cut in cubes, dried
in the sun, parched and ground. When on hunting trips bamboo roots were
macerated in a hollow tree and put in a sack through which water was poured
into a vessel underneath; the water was drained off and pne was made from
the resulting flour.
The people lived chiefly and cheaply on pork beef, grits, sweet pota-
toes, syrup, a little milk and butter, whiskey-which they distilled in con-
siderable quantities--and game and fish, which were abundant; the principal
articles brought in from Fort Reed by ox-teams were salt and some wheat
Everybody wore long hair, which often harbored large and lively col-
onies of cooties; when te hair was trimmed, this was done by means of a
red-hot iron rod; there was a great deal of drunknness, and occasional bitter
and fatal feuds among the cattlems.
A. rti~i' ald lIII lemllient
oif a lilf
:a ( relturlt Ago.
All llalI-Made I lv i 'li l**. ) i
u1l1 "Aull t Vir' iniia
;ul1 (it llir
PART I-NARRATIVE 93
"Uncle Dan" was an ardent fiddler, and remained such allhis life. His
fiddles were made in the early days from gourds, with trying. of catgut or,
that failing, of horse hair. He played at dances and weddings far and wide.
These wedding were prolonged and festive occasis, the guess m i may
miles in ox-arts and wagon and on horseack. and afoot, and the dancing
being proved sometimes for two days and nights; they were feasted on
barbecued beef and pork and sweet potatoes and whiey.
It seems almost inreditable that only sixty years go, life here was so
different, so isolated and primitive, so like in many ways to that of the New
England colonists of some three centuries ago, and the southern m tiers
of later times. Wil the next sixty year bring other changes as startling and
revolutionary as these?
THE TOWN COUNCIL
The period of gestation was now over, and the time was comefor the
birth of a town.
How did the nam Orando come to be adopted by the little settlement?
The matter is in doubt. Three version have been giv; first, that it was
named in honor of one Orlado Reeves, an Idian fighter who was am-
bushed by the Seminos ad killed in "Huhey Bay," to te southward, and
buried in a nearby knoll; second, that "a man named Orlando became very ill
here and was taken into Judge J. G Sper's home and cared for and that he
was afterward in Judg Spes employ; that a cordial friendship sprang up
between the two, and tht Judge Spe named the et n in his honor;"
and thirdly, that Judge Sper, who was a tudmi and lower of Sha ea
named the ple for the leading arater in "As You Like It," being moved
thereto in part perhaps, by his fondness for this friend. This seems the like-
list opinion, and is accepted he
The corporate life of Orando may be traed from year to year in the
minutes of the Town Couil. Here is the first rcod:
On June 3, 1875, a largee assembly of the duly qualified electors of the
village of Orlando ad its immediate vidnage assembled in the ourt hoe
in sad vilge, and organized by Col. R. W. Brome as dairma,
and requesting Mr. J. R. Cohen to ac as sewa ry," the purpose of the meet
mg being to take step looking to the inc ratin of the town. It was voted
that "the met and bounds of aid.town be for the distance of oe mile due
east, onemie due we, am mile e noh and oe ril due sth, fming
a square, the electors within that distance were listed and the result was twenty-
nine nam ," four mrethan requited by law.
On July 21, a seeing wa held at the o house, attended by twenty-
two sector, and it was voted to inorpra t the ton with the name Orando,
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
and a corporation seal was elected. At an adjourned meeting held the fol-
lowing Monday, these officials were chosen: William J. Brack, mayor; James
P. Hughey, clerk; J. W. Williams, marshal; and James R. Montague, Jacob
Summerlin, E. W. Spier, W. C. Stubblefield, E. A. Richards, C. A. Boone,
and J. R. Coben, aldermen.
The first meeting of the Town Council, following incorporation, was
held in the court house on August 4, and Jacb mmlin was elected as
president and Colonel R. W. Broome as attorney. At the next meeting, the
attorney presented for consideration and approval twenty-three ordinances,
all of which were adopted except two, which were voted by the mayor. These
ordinances related to disturbances of the peace, nuisanes, offences against
public decency, the use of fire-arms (this was votedd, the keeping open of
business houses on "the Sabbath day," vagrancy, the "throwing of fire
balls"-whatever these may have have been-stret obtructions (this also
was vetoed), the running at large of animals, the potection of churches and
ceeteries, the showing of "stallions or Jas," the killing the marshal of
any bitch found running at large, drunken and the use of profane and
indecent language, the collecting of fines, the duties officers, licenses, ad
other matters. Additional ordinances were adopted at subseq t ing.
The salary of the marshal was fixed at $300 per anum.
At the next meeting, it was voted to publish the ordinances which had
been adopted in the Mellovile Advertiser, "at a cost of twelve and one-half
cents for every one thousand letters." A tax assessor was subsequently elected,
and apparently a treasurer.
At a meeting on September 2, it was voted that "any person desiring to
build a sidewalk in the town of Orlando shall be allowed to do so at their
own expense provided that the same shall not b more nor less than five feet
wide." Mr E. R. Trafford seems to have "surveyed, defined and established
the boundary lines of the corporation" Oct. 1 and 2; his field otes may b
found in volume 4 of the minutes; his starting point was the center of the
The first reference to a jail is found in the minutes of the meeting held
October 10, and at the same meting an ordinance was adopted authorizingg
the mayor to organize and appoint a police force" On December 9, it was
"ordered that the marshal summon al male persons between the ages of eigh-
teen and forty-five years residing within the corporate limits of Orlado, to
work the public Roads and Strets of the corporation, and that a delinquents
be fined according to the State Rod Law;' among such delinquents were
mentioned at a subsequent meting Mr. C. A. Boone, an alderman, and John
Hughey, and they were fined one dollar each.
On January 28, 1876, it was voted that "three Commissioers of Roads,
Streets and Bridges, etc., be appointed by the president, one from the alder
PART I-NARRATIVE 95
men, and two from the citizens of the corporation, said Commissioners to act
under the supervising control of the marshal," whereupon the president ap-
pointed E. A. Richards, C. D. Sweet and L. P. Westeott as said Commis-
At the meeting held February 3, 1876, it was reported that the assess-
ment roll showed the "local taxable property within the corporation amounted
to the sum of $64,125."
On May 15 of this year, it was voted that "the committee on education
be and they are hereby authorized and requested to solicit and receive contri-
butions i money or land for the purpose of establishing a high school at Or-
At the first anniversary meeting of the Council held July 26. 1876, the
following resolution was adopted: "that the Council hereby heartily render
to our worthy fellow-townsma, W. J. Brak, our thanks for the honesty,
faithfulnes and energy with which he has performed the arduous and impor-
tant duties of mayor during tie year just dosing and further that to him more
than any one man is due the su ss of this, our first year of life."
On August 3, Mr. W. J. Brac was reeleted to serve during the second
year of the corporate life of the town.
In July of 1877, J. H. Allen was elected mayor and J. L. Bryan, clerk
On October 4, 1877, a curious ordinance was adopted providing that
"every owner of any hog or hogs ning at large upon the streets or con-
moas of the Town of Orando, shall be required to ring the same, with a suita-
ble ring through the grizzle of the nose." This ordinance was vetoed by the
Mr. Charles H. Munger was elected mayor for the year 1878
At the meeting which was he July 3, 1879, it was voted that "the map
of the Town of Orlando drawn by Mr. Wetott be accepted as the official
map of the Town and all streets laid down there be ad are declared pb-
lic highways or streets, thirty feet in width. And that a street or highways
in any portion of id town that do not appear on aid map, be and hereby are
dicontinued, except in the original four acres of the Town of Orlando." It
ms likly that these "original four acres" were the area lying between
Coui: and Main streets, and Central Avenue and Oak, ow Wal street, and
terbouts. An ordinance adopted September 13, 188 provided that "all
Streets hereafter laid out shall be from forty to sixty feet wide."
On July 24, 1879, it was reported in the Council that at an election held
that day to determine "whether a new charter should be procured or the pres-
nt charter be surrendered and the orporatio be dissolved"--me question
having arin as to the legality of the existing charter-ev votes were cat
in favor of a ew charter, thirteen in favor of dissoltion and one for "no
orporati." Wereupon, the mayor issued a proclamation that the "mcrpor-
HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY
tion is dissolved by the majority vote of the citizens of Orlando," and it was
ordered that "the boos and paprs of the corporation be deposited in the Cir-
cut Court Clerks Office for safe keeping." Neverthless, although the cor-
poration, and with it the Town Council, were defunct, a meeting of the Coun-
cil was held th following October, bsines was transacted as usual, and an
election was ordered for town officers on November 12; this election resulted
in the choice of A. M. Hyer as mayor.
By what means, and for what reass, the town of Orlando had been re-
suscitated as a body politic between July and October, does not appear in the
records, nor has anyone been found who can supply the missing facts.
In 1880, R. L Summrin was chmen as mayor.
On Nov. 25, 1880, it was declared to be "unlawful for any swine or hogs
(a nice distinction!) to run at large upon the streets of Orlando," and the
marshal was allowed a fee of "Five cents per head for each of head of Hogs
or Swine taken up and impounded by id Town Marshal;" however, this or-
dinance appears to have been vetoed by the mayor.
On Dec. 16, 1880, it was rdee that the marshal proceedd at one to
the erection of a Town Jail, the cost of which shall not exceed fifty dollars "
In 1881, J. L Bryan was elected mayor.
On September 12, 1881, it was voted to instruct the marshal to build a
pound for stray anims at a cost not to exceed fifteen dollars.
On January 20,1882, the mayor, Mr. C. D. Sweet, addressed the Council,
urging, among other mttrs, that a suitable pce be provided for the meetings
of the Council, "more within keeping with the dignity of their office than
when holding court in sme back shed, stable, or o a Dry Goods Box;" that
a safe place be provided for keeping the records of the town, now lying in a
paper box under the desk of one of our merchants and that measures be
taken to establish a town s ol and a ton park.
On April 19, 1882, it was voted to "adopt the original plot of the town of
Orando, toethr with the addition of Jacob Summerlin and Robert R. Reed
as surveyed ad plotted by & A. rRobimc, murveyor."
At this time, there was a good deal of discuion of the bad saitary con-
dition of the town, extending throg e a meetings, and it was decided
to "procure a horse and cart to do scaveger work," but on April 28, a con-
mittee reported that "the town was unable to procure a horse and asked to be
On June 13, 1882, it was voted that an annual salary of fifty dollars be
paid to the mayor for his services, plus a fee of one dollar for each case
brought before the mayor's court, ad that the members of the Council be paid
one doar for each meeting attended by them "Provided tat each member
may be fined in a sum not feeding Two dollars" for unexcused absee
from such mati .
PART I-NARRATIVE 97
The first proposal to bond the town was made at a mting of the Counas
June 27, 1882, for the purpose of building a school house and procuring suit-
hie grounds to this end. It was voted to order ah election for the purpose of
deciding whetr bmnds for this purpose amountig to four thousand dollars,
and bearing interest at the rate of ten per nt per annum, should be issued.
Whether this election was held, and with what results, does not appear in the
In August, 1882, Mr. C. A. Boone was elected mayor and Mr. George C.
Apparently the first notice of sidewalks ordered to be built by the Concil
is in the minutes of the meeting of January 11, 1883, namely, "from the depot
on the north side of Church Street to the corner of Church and Orange,
thee North on the West ide of Orange to the corner of Orange and Pine
streets, th e North on the Wet side of Main Street tothe orr of Central
Avenue ad Main Stret, said sidewalk to be seven feet in width." Numeous
other sdewalks were ordesd at subsequent meetings; indeed, the meetings of
the Council during the year 1883 were largely devoted to the matter of new
streets and sidewalk.
On February 14, 1883 a contract was awarded to Columbs Sweat, "for
clearing trees and sumps from the streets," and the marshal was "instructed
to have a p k closing aid Pine tret at the trscti of Main," and
at a meetg five days later, Pine street from Main to the railroad was ordered
widened from forty to fifty-two feet. On Feruary 26, the opening of a
street was authoried, "b'ginnig at the south end of Orange street ad run-
nin wet to the street passing George Macy's shop the same to be fifty feet
wide;" this was East South street, and it would appeal from the records that
Orange Avenue at this time extded no further south than te present City
On April 20, it was voted to extend Court street to Church street; to
authorize the opening of a sixty foot street besinng at Sooth street bAetwn
the lands of James DeLaney and J. D. Anderson, and r ing outward "to
a bybead and around it, and continuing in a straight line to the cover of
the ands of McRae ad Jefrey. to extend Central Aveue to the east
boundary of thetown to extend Main street south to Lake Lucerne, and that
a drive sixty feet wide be opened around aid lake.
In August of 1883, Mr. J. L Bryan was elected mayor and Mr. George
C. Munger, de
On May 10, 183, "Mr. Jacob Snmrin came before the Board and
stated that he would give t Town of Oriado from forty to sixty fet of lad
around Lake Eola to bek ed for the purpose of a park provided th town
would impoe and keep the same by 0a ting shade trem, making a drive
aro d the margin of the lake, etc.; and on August 29, Mr. Summerin "Upe