Front Cover

Group Title: Florida living
Title: Ink in the sand
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098246/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ink in the sand the first 50 years of the Florida Press Association, 1879-1929
Uniform Title: Florida living
Alternate Title: First 50 years of the Florida Press Association, 1879-1929
First fifty years of the Florida Press Association, 1879-1929
Physical Description: 1 v. (various pagings) : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Jones, John Paul, 1912-
Donor: unknown ( endowment )
Publisher: Florida Living
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1993?
Subject: Journalism -- History -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: An eight part series of articles (from Aug., 1992-Sept., 1993) reprinted from Florida Living magazine.
Statement of Responsibility: by John Paul Jones.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098246
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 57299043


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
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against unscrupulous advertisers
who used the editors' columns to help
sell their merchandise-and then
never paid their advertising bills.
SAs the years went by the associa-
tion became more involved with the
affairs of Florida as an emerging state.
The members used the association's
strength to press for reforms, growth,
promotion of tourism, road building,
better education in the public schools
and universities and, in general, all
legislation that would push Florida
ahead in the brotherhood of states.
Editors of the pre-1900 years were
excellent writers and speakers, but
they were long-winded, prone to
quote the classics, colorful in their
language, and loved to tell a good
story. At conventions they were likely
". i. -to indulge in horseplay and shenani-
gans seldom seen in the sober days of
the businessman-editor who fol-
The linotype room at The Florida Times-Union around the turn of the cen tury. lowed World War II. The editors liked

c7in thkc QXaizd


The First 50 Years
of the Florida
Press Association

study of the history
of the Florida Press
Association (FPA)
during the first 50
years of its existence
is a fascinating expe-
( rience. The period
1879 to 1929 was a particularly inter-
esting half century for Florida jour-
nalism as well as an interesting era in
the life of the state.
The period covered the Spanish-
American War, the yellow fever epi-
demics, World War I, the coming of
age of the automobile and the build-
ing of a network of roads-including

the famous Tamiami Trail through
the heart of the unknown Florida Ev-
erglades. That age also encompassed
the period of building and expansion,
the boom years in the early 1920s and
the final economic collapse in the
The prominent editors before and
after the turn of the century came to
Florida to seek their fortunes or to ply
their trade of journalism in a new and
vigorous land. They were men of vi-
sion and versatility, whose education
had taken them into other professions
before they added that of the journal-
ist to their escutcheon.
They were doctors, lawyers and
educators, as well as writers. Some
had been businessmen, and before
that soldiers in either the Union or
Confederate Army. Many already
had been involved in politics and
many more became immersed in the
game in Florida.
The press association was founded
in Gainesville, Florida, in 1879 by a
handful of editors who banded to-
gether for their protection. They
formed this affiliation primarily

to indulge in "wars of the pen" that
sometimes resulted in severely dam-
aged feelings among their colleagues,
wars that many times came from a
slighting remark in one man's edito-
rial about another editor's town.
The town of an editor was as sacred
as his children and no pen except his
own should be turned against it, just
as no strap except his own should be
applied to the backside of his child.
In this history the writer has made
every effort to clothe the facts of his-
tory with the colorful events that de-
picted the journalists of the day as
flesh and blood creatures and the his-
torical events of Florida as episodes of
drama and reality. The men and
women who travel through these
pages became like companions on a
long and exciting journey, and when
they passed away, one by one, the loss
was never quite erased.
Another point that stands out in
this narrative is the writer's impres-
sion that early journalists had high
opinions of themselves. Even though
these men referred to themselves as
"pen pushers," "quill drivers," "pen-

Florida Living / August 1992

cil pushers," and even "tripod men,"
they loved to hear the mayors of the
towns where they met talk about the
power and glory of the press and the
sanctified atmosphere of the editorial
office-where the editor reigned in
robes of purest white.
That they believed such publicity
is evidenced in their own speeches
and in the news stories announcing
their arrival in a city for an annual
convention, news stories that said,
"The most powerful, the most edu-
cated and the most
beneficent men in "The pr
Florida" had come to
town. Modesty among editors 1
the "pen pushers" was after the
as scarce in those days
as sin in the pulpit. In century
fact, the pulpit and the
press were frequently Floride
linked as the saviors of th r
mankind, their fort
In defense of these ply their
early editors and writ-
ers, it should be said journalism
that they did play an
important part in the and vigo
building of Florida.
They carried the banner of the state
wherever they went and sang Florida's
praises in the national press conven-
tions, in Cuba, in Nassau and at world
press meetings in Geneva, Switzer-
land. They tookleadership roles in the
founding of national and regional
press groups. These men brought bet-
ter government to their villages and
helped them become towns and then
cities. They were proud people-and
they had every right to be.
One word probably sums up the
sweep and scope of the entire 50 years
covered by this history--"builders."
The leaders of the Florida Press
Association during that half century









were builders-builders not only of
newspaper empires in Florida that
became the Jacksonville Times-Unions,
Miami Heralds, Tampa Tribunes, St. Pe-
tersburg Times and Orlando Sentinel-
Stars, but builders of towns and vil-
lages. They were so full of pride and
so high in morale, that they attracted
settlers from all over the world to
make Florida one of the great growth
states in the union.
At the 50 annual meetings of the
association, the building and devel-
opment of Florida and
minent its communities were
always a topic of im-
fore and portance to the editors
rrh of the and, as seen in the fol-
S lowing pages, the as-
aame to sociation worked hard
to get the state to set
o seek up an organization, fi-
nanced by state funds,
es or to spend 365 days a
rade of year promoting Flor-
ida's climate and rec-
in a new rational advantages.
They were builders-
us land." first, last and always.
It should be under-
stood at this point that the main sub-
stance of this report comes from the
reports of the various meetings of the
Florida Press Association and other
press groups as these meetings were
written about and published in the
newspapers of Florida. These are the
things the members of the press said
about themselves and their involve-
ment in the affairs of government,
local and state.
The real history of the Florida Press
Association is best shown by what
happened, or did not happen, at the
state conventions. After some of the
daily newspapers broke away from
the Florida Press Association and
formed the Associated Dai-
lies of Florida, the activities
of that group were also fol-
lowed because, eventually,
the dailies went out of busi-
q ness as a separate associa-
tion and returned to the
FPA. That return did not oc-
cur, however, during the
first 50 years of the Florida
Press Association.

S The newsroom at The Florida
Times-Union at turn of the

The First.1 0 Years

The Florida Press Association was
founded on Feb. 19, 1879, in a brief
night meeting in Gainesville, Florida,
during the Florida State Fair being
held in that city. "Father" of the Press
Association was Hugh Bowen
McCallum, an ordained minister and
newspaper owner-publisher of The
Florida Daily Union in Jacksonville,
who, with a handful of other Florida
newspaper publishers, decided the
state needed an association of news-
paper owners, editors and managers.
McCallum served as president of
the FPA in 1879,1880 and 1881. Other
officers elected at that first meeting
were Dr. J.P. Wall, publisher of The
Sunland Tribune, Tampa, vice-presi-
dent; Fred W. Hoyt, Fernandina Ob-
server and Mirror, secretary, and J.A.
Whitney, Fernandina Express, trea-
An executive committee com-
posed of the following men was
also elected at that first meeting:
D.H. Elliott, Florida Dispatch, Jack-
sonville; J. Ira Gore, Florida Stale Jour-
nal, Cedar Key; George Pratt, Palatka
Herald; C.A. Choate, Seville Indepen-
dent and M. F. McCook, newspaper
affiliation unknown.
Florida's first state journalism or-
ganization was the 16th such group
founded in the United States. Its
founding followed that of the Colo-
rado Press Association in 1878 and
came ahead of the Louisiana Press
Association in 1880. It shared honors
in Florida with the founding of The
Bradford County Telegraph, Starke,
which also claims 1879 as the year of
its birth. Other notable events that
year were the invention of the electric
light bulb by Thomas A. Edison and
the establishment of the F.W.
Woolworth Company.
The year prior to the founding of
the Florida Press Association, Florida
had 33 newspapers, according to
Pettengill's Newspaper Directory and
Advertiser's Handbook, published in
1878. Those newspapers included the
following papers:
Apopka City, Florida Pioneer, Pas-
chal C. Hughes, editor and publisher.
Cedar Key, Florida State Journal,
R.H. McIlvaine, editor and publisher.

Florida Living / August 1992

Fernandina, Express, John A.
Whitney, publisher.
Fort Read, Florida Crescent, F. L.
Robertson, publisher.
Gainesville, Gainesville Times,
E.M. Hampton & Co., publishers.
Jacksonville, Sun and Press, N.K.
Sawyer & Son, publishers.
Jacksonville, Jacksonville Union,
Sidney T. Gates, publisher.
Jacksonville, Florida Agriculturist,
Chas. H. Walton & Co., publishers.
Jacksonville, Florida Baptist, H.B.
McCallum. editor and publisher.
Jacksonville, Semi-Tropical, H.W.
Reed, publisher.
Key West, Key of the Gulf, H.A.
Crane, publisher.
Key West, Dispatch, C.T.F. Clarke,
Lake City, Lake City Reporter,
Charles A. Finley, publisher.
Leesburg, Sumter County Advance,
C.L. Thomas, publisher.
Live Oak, The Expositor, J.C.
Gallahan, publisher.
Madison, The Recorder, E.D. Beggs,
Madison, Sun, Pope & Johnston,
Marianna, The Courier, Joseph M.
Maultsby, publisher.
Milton, Milton Standard, E.B.
Bedford, publisher.
Monticello, The Constitution, F.R.
Fildes & Son, publishers.
Ocala, East Florida Banner, F.E.
Harris, publisher.
Palatka, Eastern Herald, G.W. Pratt,
Pensacola, The Pensacola Herald,
Sam Bard, publisher.
Pensacola, Pensacola Advance, Ad-
vance Printing Co., publishers.
Pensacola, Gazette, J.W. Dorr, pub-
Quincy, Herald, W.W. Keep, Jr.,
St. Augustine, Florida Press, J.O.
Whitney, publisher.
Sanford, South Florida Journal, Way
& Osborn, publishers.
Tallahassee, Floridian, C.E. Dyke,
Tallahassee, Florida Patriot, C.J.
Bemreutter, publisher.
Tallahassee, Florida Immigrant,
Bureau of Immigration, publishers.
Tampa, Tampa Guardian, James T.
Magbee, editor & publisher.
Tampa, Sunland Tribune, Chas. N.
Hawkins, publisher.

FPA's First President

The first president of the Florida
Press Association was Hugh Bowen
McCallum, who served three terms in
that office. He was born in Knox
County, Tennessee, in 1837. When he
was 15 years old, he attended East
Tennessee University for several
terms and during the winter of 1852
began a course of study leading to the
ministry. During the next three years,
he studied at East Tennessee Uni-
versity and Union University at
Murfreesboro. Eventually his health
failed and McCallum had to abandon
his schooling.

e first arrived
in Florida in
1856 and vis-
/ ited the state
v several winters
JW after that, but
he did not remain permanently until
1867. Prior to his permanent resi-
dency in Florida, he settled in Cam-
den, South Carolina, resumed his
theological studies, became a private
in the volunteer army of South Caro-
lina during the Civil War and eventu-
ally became the 15th Regiment's
chaplain. In 1861, he was ordained a
minister in the Baptist faith.
.After the war, Reverend McCal-
lum married Elizabeth H. Haynes-
worth of Camden County and moved
to Lake City, Florida, where he be-
came pastor of the Baptist church and
founded The Florida Baptist Journal.
Several years later, the McCallums
moved to Jacksonville where Rever-
end McCallum started The Florida
Press with W.W. Douglass. The
Florida Press was a strong supporter
of Democratic Party principles and
held an influential position with the
party. The last record of the
newspaper's existence was in Sep-
tember 1880.
During partof that period, the Rev-
erend McCallum also served as pastor
for the Baptist church of Jacksonville.
He was a supply minister for a year
until he could be replaced by another
W.W. Douglass and McCallum
purchased another newspaper, The

Daily Florida Union, from the Stevens
brothers in 1877. This newspaper ad-
vanced to an afternoon daily, then to
apermanentmorningdaily. Douglass
eventually sold out, leaving
McCallum with the ownership. In
1883, McCallum sold The Florida
Union to Jones, Varnum and Com-
pany. This consolidation brought
about a circulation nearly twice as
large as any other Florida daily news-
paper. This consolidation marked the
beginning of The Florida Times-Union
that has continued in Jacksonville
until the present.
In referring to newspapers owned
by McCallum at the time he was
elected president of FPA, sometimes
he was called "editor of The Florida
Baptist," and at other times "owner of
The Daily Florida Union." Actually he
owned both publications.
McCallum did not live to see the
full flowering of this merger. The
Florida Times-Union was only a few
days old when he died. Although he
had been suffering from ill health off
and on for many years, the death was
a great shock to McCallum's friends.
Announcement of the sale of The
Florida Daily Union appeared in the
Jan. 28,1883, issue of The Florida Times,
followed by other notices on Jan. 29
and 30 about the policies of the new
newspaper, but McCallum died on
Jan. 30 and was buried the next day.
The Florida Times in reporting his
death described him as a man of
"wonderful persistency and energy of
character, displayed with a constant
devotion to some high impulse and
McCallum was known throughout
Florida for his editorials and "dis-
played a resolute intent to promote
the public interest and morals as far as
it is possible for an editorial party
exponent to manifest it," the paper
While the first president of the
Florida Press Association was a min-
ister-journalist, the first vice-presi-
dent was a doctor-journalisL
Dr. J.P. Wall received his medical
degree in South Carolina at age 22. He
served during the Civil War as chief
surgeon at a Confederate Army hos-
pital in Richmond, Virginia. After the
war, as a practicing physician in
Tampa, Florida, he lost his wife and a
daughter to yellow fever and, as a
result, became one of the most dedi-

Florida Living / August 1992

Newspaper boys loading The Miami Evening Record in the 1890s.

cated doctors in the state to learn ev-
erything possible about this disease.
He was one of the first physicians to
state his belief that yellow fever was
carried and spread by mosquitoes.
He served in Tampa as a self-ap-
pointed health officer and port physi-
cian. He was mayor of Tampa in 1877
and 1878 and in 1876 his name ap-
peared in the first issue of a new
weekly newspaper, The Sunland Tri-
bune, as an associate editor.

Duel in a Cow Pen

Journalistically, Dr. Wall will be
remembered for his sharp editorial
pen. Many of his fellow editors of
opposing political persuasion, for the
most part, felt his vicious thrusts. At
the time of his death, The Times-Union
related the following story.
"The death of Dr. Wall also reveals
the controversy between him and
Editor F.E. Harris eighteen years
ago, that was about to lead to a duel.
It was during one of the years when
Dr. Wall was a Tampa editor and
the challenger was Editor Harris of
The Ocala Banner. The trouble came
about in this way.
"The Hon. W.P. Haisley, then, as
now, a voter in Tampa, but a resident
in Ocala, was about to make a tour of

the United States and Alaska. Editor
Harris in his paper detailed Mr.
Haisley's prospective journey. As
that memorable trip began and ended
in Tampa, Editor Harris, at the end of
his article innocently inquired,
'Where is Tampa?' This inquiry was
taken by Editor Wall as a reflection on
the good name of a future great city of
the West Gulf Coast.
"Dr. Wall's reply to Editor Harris
started a controversy which contin-
ued until the latter became insulted
and sent Dr. Wall a challenge, which
was accepted. Now came the designa-
tion of the place and naming of weap-
ons by the challenged party. Judge
Editor Harris' rage, disgust, surprise
and then laughter when his second
read himDr. Wall's letter naming place
and character of arms. The letter was:
"'Will meet you at a certain cow-
pen near Brooksville; weapons, shov-
els; distance, ten paces; ammunition,
the droppings of the cattle.'
"Of course it took some time for
Editor Harris to cool down, but as
time passed, all resentment fled, and
when the news of Dr. Wall's death
came none regretted the sad occur-
rence more than the Ocala newspa-
The Times-Union reported Editor
Harris as recalling also when he and
Dr. Wall were tarred with the same
brush. It seems that Harris and Wall
condemned Brooksville and its citi-

zens because Brooksville had so many
murders. Citizens of that city held an
indignation meeting and ended up
warning the two editors that if they
ever came into Herando County,
they would be roughly treated.
Shortly after the indignation meet-
ing, Editor Harris met a long-time
friend from Brooksville, and in dis-
cussion of the affair said, "Why, Jim,
you know better. You knew I told the
truth. Why didn't you stop and tell
them the facts?"
"Oh, yes," replied Jim, laughing.
"That is so, Frank, but it didn't seem
prudent at the time for me to cham-
pion your cause."
Another one of Wall's editorial vic-
tims was said to have been the editor
of The Key of the Gulf in Key West. This
man, H.A. Crane, was nicknamed
"Old Yellow Legs," by Wall, and the
name stuck with him all of his life.
The Sunland Tribune and another
weekly merged in 1893 to become The
Tampa Times. That was in February. In
March, Dr. Wall encouraged Wallace
Fisher Stovall to found The Tampa
Tribune, and the first issue of that
newspaper appeared on Mar. 23,
1893. Dr. Wall contributed editorials
to The Tampa Tribune until his death
at a medical convention in Gainesville
in 1895.
Dr. Wall's death at the Gainesville
medical association meeting was a
dramatic event, as told by a writer for
The Tampa Morning Tribune on page
one on the morning of Apr. 19,1895:
"At 9:30 the chair announced the
reading of a paper on'Public Hygiene
in the Light of Recent Observations
and Experiments by Dr. Wall.' He
came forward and took his stand on
the floor at the left end of the
secretary's table and facing the audi-
ence, looking west. He began reading
from a proof sheet printed by a pub-
lishing concern, and when he had
continued for some ten minutes it was
noticed that he was nervous.
"Someone remarked that Dr. Wall
was more nervous than usual. He
stopped reading and said: 'Hightones
and tony suppers do not seem to
agree with me.' Then he resumed his
reading. He continued a few minutes
when he again became nervous, and
looked like he did not know what
to do with his hands. He would
put them up to his breast and then
thrust them into his pockets, first

Florida Living / August 1992

one and then the other.
"He turned pale and frequently
sipped water. Dr. Caldwell suggested
that he sit down, and he reached his
hand back to take hold of the arm
chair sitting behind, and began to sink
down. He did not get into the chair but
sat on the arm which caused him to
slide down on the floor. When it was
seen he did not get into the chair, Dr.
Sweeting caught him by the arm and
the house rose and crowded around.
"He was laid straight upon the
floor, and the Doctors exhausted ev-
ery means to resuscitate and bring
him back to life. But, alas, all was in
vain, for he gasped once or twice and
his noble spirit took its flight into
realms of eternal light and glory."
Dr. Wall married for the first time
at age 26 and after the death of that
wife from yellow fever in 1871, he
remarried. He was 36 at that time. A
third marriage occurred in 1894 when
he was 58, and in less than a year he
died. It was said that the third mar-
riage occurred so quickly after the
death of his second wife that Dr. Wall
had two mothers-in-law in the same
house with him.

First FPA Meeting

Little is known about the first
meeting of the Florida Press Associa-
tion in Gainesville. A brief account of
the meeting appeared in The Florida
Dispatch of Feb. 26, 1879, listing the
newly-elected officers and conclud-
ing with these words:
"The executive committee have in
charge the preparation of a Constitu-
tion and By-laws for the government
of the Association; also other business
of great importance to the press of the
State, all of which will be reported to
the members at the very earliest mo-
SAs will be indicated later, it was
some months before the first constitu-
tion was adopted, and the "other busi-
ness of great importance to the press
of the State" was not revealed, at least
not in the public press.
It would appear that the strongest
motive for the founding of the state
press association was for publishers
as a whole to deal with what they felt
were unfair tactics by advertising

I -pres- -at Te Forida Tims-U n arod 100.
The pressroom at The Florida Times-Union around 1900.

agencies. On Mar. 5,1879, The Florida
Dispatdc of Live Oak, quoted the fol-
lowing item from The Pensacola Ga-
zette, which discusses some of the
frustrations the newspapermen had
with the agencies:
"Now that there is a Florida Press
Association, perhaps it will address
an 'open letter' to the journalistic fra-
ternity of the State suggesting concert
of action as to advertising agencies.
Reasonable rates could be fixed and
the agencies would come to them, for
their patrons would not allow a whole
State to be left unworked in the adver-
tising of their wares. etc.
"More advertisers would deal di-
rectly with the papers, which would
be better paid to say nothing of saving
the heavy commissions that the
middlemen exact from the papers-
not the advertisers. The assumption
of some of the agencies is of that radi-
cal and overbearing character which
is generally designated as 'cheek.'
"The first copy of one Newspaper
Agency Directory that we saw or heard
of contained a statement that it was
authorized by every paper in the State
of Florida to make binding contracts,
and it also announced the'circulation
of the Gazelle' as well as other papers,
and which was a mere guess and less
than the fact by a third. They send cuts
and stereotypes by mail, directing
publication at absurd rates, and place
the publisher, if he is very conscien-

tious, in the predicament of allowing
them to lose the cut [a metal plate on
a block of wood used for printing
illustrations] or paying postage to
send it back, or complying with the
terms dictated."
The editor of The Florida Dispatch
added a note to the above, saying:
"This is one of the duties outlined for
the Secretary and for the Executive
Committee-investigation as to the
responsibility of such advertising

Jacksonville Meeting

The second meeting of the Florida
Press Association took place in Jack-
sonville on Mar. 2,1880. Members of
the association seemed to be con-
cerned with two matters: the need to
rally support for a House of Represen-
tatives bill that would place printing
paper on a duty-free list and the need
to take action against advertisers and
advertising agents who failed to live
up to their contracts with the newspa-
per publishers. Both items were con-
tained in resolutions adopted at the
Other business consisted of adop-
tion of a constitution and by-laws and
the election of officers. Re-elected
president was H.B. McCallum and

Florida Living / August 1992

Capt. Charles Edward Dyke, of The
Tallahassee Floridian, was named vice-
president The offices of secretary and
treasurer were merged and D.E.
Elliott was elected to the merged posi-
tion. Named to the executive commit-
tee were: W.H. Babcock, newspaper
affiliation unknown; Daniel McAlpin
of The Florida Bulletin, Live Oak; John
A. Whitney, Fernandina Express;
George Pratt, Palatka Herald; and M.F.
McCook, newspaper affiliation un-

< here is no record
available that the
Florida Press Asso-
ciation met in 1881.
The meeting was
scheduled to be held
in Jacksonville in connection with the
Florida State Fair. Mention of this was
made in The Tallahassee Weekly Florid-
ian on Jan. 25, 1881, as follows:
"During the progress of the State
Fair at Jacksonville, this week, the
annual meetings will be held for the
Florida Fruit Growers' Association,
the Florida Agriculture and Mechani-
cal Association, and the State Press
Association. These meetings are im-
portant, and it is hoped that there may
be a'good number of members and
officers at all."
If the meeting was held, atten-
dance must have been poor, since the
officers elected in 1880 to serve for the
period 1880-1881 remained in office
for an extra term and served until the
end of the 1882 meeting. The other
possibility is that there was no official
meeting held in 1881 and the officers
continued to serve an extra year.
The Florida Daily Times of Jackson-
ville reported on Feb. 25,1882, that the
Florida Press Association had met in
Jacksonville the previous day. Presid-
ingwas H.B. McCallum and the secre-
tary was D.H. Elliott. The following
slate of officers was elected to serve
the association:
Captain Charles Edgar Dyke,
president; W.B. Babcock, vice-presi-
dent; D.H. Elliott, secretary-treasurer,
and executive committee members,
G.W. Pratt, Palatka Herald; C.A.
Finley, Lake City Reporter; Fred L.
Robertson, Brooksville Crescent; J. H.
Ancrum, Hamilton County Times, Jas-
per; and C. Codrington, DeLandAgri-
At the 1882 meeting, members

made a beginning at adopting some
professional objectives for the asso-
ciation. After discussing the need to
keep abreast of journalistic affairs in
the state, they adopted a resolution
calling for the president to designate
some member publisher to prepare
and deliver an address at the next
meeting on the subject of journalism
in Florida. The resolution also called
for the president to name a member to
respond to the address.
Two other resolutions dealt with
the old subject of the advertising
agencies. One resolution called upon
the executive committee to prepare a
list of advertising agents "who are
prompt and responsible in their
settlements with members." Mem-
bers also wanted a list prepared of
those agencies that were not prompt
in their payments.
A second resolution asked the ex-
ecutive committee to prepare and
submit to the association members a
schedule of rates to be charged for
foreign advertising. "Foreign" was
the term applied in those days to
nonlocal advertising, meaning chiefly
national advertising that came from
the agencies in the larger cities of the
No thought was given in 1882 to
the fact that such activities as rate-
setting and blacklisting of the agen-
cies that were not prompt in payment
might be illegal, as is the case today.


Charles Edgar Dyke, the new
president, was known throughout
Florida journalism as "the Nestor of
the Florida Press," a term denoting a
distinguished elder statesman of the
profession. He was often referred to
as a "walking encyclopedia of
Dyke was another pastor-journal-
ist. He was born in Stanbridge,
Ontario, Canada, on Jan. 24,1821. He
is believed to have left home in his
midteens after the death of his father
and made his way to Albany, New
York, where he learned the printer's
trade. He worked for Hoe's printing
establishment until he was 18 and
then moved to Apalachicola, Florida,
after reading an advertisement that

printers were wanted in the area.
His next move was to Tallahassee
where he obtained a job with The Flo-
ridian andJournal, and on Oct. 27,1849,
he and RB. Hilton assumed owner-
ship of the paper from A.B. Maxwell.
In the Oct. 27 issue of the paper, Dyke
mentioned his own newspaper career
in these words:
"It will be unnecessary to say in
this connection that the paper, in the
hands of the present proprietors, will
continue to be, as it always has been,
the unflinching advocate and de-
fender of the fundamental principles
of the great Democratic party of the
Union, as they have been handed
down to us by the Fathers of the Re-
public, as well as the fearless and
undisguised opponent of any at-
tempted infringement of the rights of
the South, by any party, faction, or
"Of ourself, however, we may be
allowed the vanity to say, that, man
and boy, some fifteen years of our life
has been spent in the discharge of the
duties incident to a printing office,
nearly nine of which have been
passed in this office. In this length of
time, we have served in all the depart-
ments appertaining to a Job, Book,
and Newspaper establishment-as a
devil [the first office to be filled by all
who seek to become masters of the'art
preservative of all arts'] as journey-
man, as foreman, as junior editor of
The Floridian and Journal, in the edito-
rial management, and business losses
and profits.
"We merely allude, in the off-hand
manner, to these features in our his-
tory by way of showing to our future
readers that we are no stranger to the
arduous duties we have voluntarily
assumed, inconnection with our asso-
ciate on whom indeed will devolve
the larger share of labor in editing the
paper. In our new position, we hope
to render ourselves useful to our
country, our State, and ourself. We
expect to retain the patronage already
so liberally bestowed, and shall en-
deavor, with the hearty co-operation
of our co-laborer, to enlarge the
sphere of our usefulness by extending
the circulation of our paper (already
the largest in the state) and by increas-
ing our facilities for business."
By 1851, Dyke had obtained com-
plete ownership of the newspaper. He
was embroiled in the politics of

Florida Living / August 1992

Florida as few newspapermen were
before him, or have been since. The
Weekly Floridian said of him at his
death, "Though most instrumental in
elevating others to office and having
the highest confidence of the people
as to hisjudgment in selecting proper
men for office, he never sought office
himself and declined high official po-
sitions in the state government more
than once tendered to him."
The Weekly Floridian also reported
that he served as a captain in an artil-
lery unit for the Confederate cause
during the Civil War, and at the end of
the conflict fought to prevent the sale
of West Florida to Alabama by the
carpetbaggers while he was serving
as a commissioner of the state.
Dyke is reported to have attended
the National Democratic Convention
as a delegate in Charleston, South
Carolina, in 1860 and led the Florida
delegation out of the convention over
the slavery issue. Later, at the South-
ern Democratic Convention in Rich-
mond he introduced a resolution en-
dorsing John C. Breckinridge of Ken-
tucky as president.

hen he was 21,
I Dyke chose
and shortly ob-
SV V tainted a license as
a Methodist minis-
ter and was known as a "very elo-
quent and earnest speaker." At that
same age he married Sarah Oliver, a
Tallahassee girl. The couple had two
sons, both of whom died at early ages,
one at 23 and the other at age 31.
Dyke's wife died alter the couple had
been married for 33 years.
In 1877, two years after his wife's
death, Dyke married Emma Wine-
coop, "many years his junior." De-
spite the difference in age, however,
the marriage was described as having
been "a lucky as well as happy draw
in the matrimonial lottery."
Because of poor health, Dyke sold
his paper in1883. He died Feb. 8,1887,
never having recovered from paraly-
sis suffered when he became over-
heated trying to separate two bulls
fighting on his farm near Tallahassee.
On the occasionof his passing, edi-
tor and publisher Charles Dyke re-
ceived all the honor ordinarily ac-
corded to a governor or other high
state official. Flags in Tallahassee

were flown at half-mast and busi-
nesses and government offices were
closed. Courts were adjourned so that
all might attend the funeral.
The Fernandina Mirror reported in
an editorial, bordered in black, that
"in business he was quick, liberal
and successful. In private life he
was gentle, considerate and just.
Floridahaslost one of hergreatestand
best citizens."

State of Journalism

The fifth annual meeting of the
Florida Press Association was held
Feb. 15, 1883, at the Everett House in
Jacksonville. As directed by the mem-
bers in 1882, two publishers opened
the meeting with lengthy addresses
on the "state of journalism."
Charles W. Jones, editor of TheJadc-
sonville Times-Union, welcomed the
newspaper publishers and then made
the point that a "newspaper that is
really a newspaper, or that aims to be
a newspaper, is purely a business en-
terprise, just as a hotel or a steamboat
line is a business enterprise. The pub-
lic has not yet learned this. Newspa-
per men themselves are not as fully
convinced of it as for their own inter-
est they should be. Butexperience, the
one teacher whose lessons cannot be
ignored, is compelling acceptance
even from the most reluctant."
The response by George R.
.Fairbanks of The Fernandina Florida
Mirror concerned the history of news-
papers, the growth of the industry in
Florida from the days of territorial
journalism to 1883. He deplored the
desire of people for news of the "hor-
rors that befall our people." He con-
tinued: "They want all the details.
They become the most exciting of gos-
sips,and the spread of a tale of horror,
which was first announced by two or
three lines of a press dispatch, in the
publication of its afterdetails, spreads
like the comet's tail into infinite
Mr. Fairbanks added, "It has come
to be said that no prudent father of a
family can take home a daily city pa-
per until he has carefully scrutinized
its contents, there being so much pub-
lished which is unfit for the eye of the
young, or of the gentler sex; and if

unfit for them, why fit for anyone?"
In the assembled convention, the
journalists passed a resolution of
sympathy in the death two weeks
prior to the meeting of H.B.
McCallum, the FPA's first president.
At the business session, Dr. J.J.
Harris of The Sanford Journal was
elected president and Charles H.
Jones of The Jacksonville Times-Union
vice president. D.H. Elliott was re-
elected secretary-treasurer. Named to
the executive committee were the
following: J. Ira Gore, Cedar Key Jour-
nal; R. Don McLeod, Tallahassee
Tallahassean; John F. Shecut,
Sumterville Times; George R.
Fairbanks, Fernandina Florida Mirror;
and F.W. Pope, Madison New Era.

Partying Questioned

By resolution, the association
members agreed to hold their sixth
annual meeting at Sanford, the home
of their new president. The Sanford
meeting was especially interesting for
a number of reasons. First, it marked a
departure from the policy of meeting
at the state fair. After the meeting,
President Harris stated in his newspa-
per that the press convention was the
"largest and pleasantest gathering of
newspapermen ever assembled in the
state. .justification of the policy of
removing the annual gathering from
the demoralizing influence of the
State Fair in Jacksonville."
Second, the removalof the meeting
from the Florida State Fair did not
change the complexion of the affair,
since it continued to be mostly social
occasion. The Sanford Journal reported
that the meeting began on Wed-
nesday, Feb. 28,1884, with the arrival
of the paddleboat, The Chatlahoochec,
from Jacksonville "with the main
body of newsmen aboard."
The boat was met at Sanford with
the firing of a cannon and the music of
a brass band. Dinnerwas served after
welcoming speeches and other cer-
emonies. A business session followed
until nearly midnight as the journal-
ists debated their new constitution. A
banquet and more speeches followed
at the Nolan House.
On Thursday morning, the visiting
newsmen visited a citrus grove and

Florida Living / August 1992

Some of the early FPA presidents. Above:
C.O. Codrington (1916). Top right: Bethel
Tatum (1901). Lower left: Gilbert D. Leach
(1921). Lower right: Oscar Conklin (1916).

then departed as guests aboard the
South Florida Train for Tampa to con-
tinue their meeting in the newly con-
structed Tampa Opera House. The
constitution was adopted and a new
slate of officers elected, headed by J.J.
Harris as the holdover president.
At least one newspaper represen-
tative objected to the partying and
junketing, as reported by The Sanford
"There was some argument as to
the worth of the meetings and the
Monticello Constitution wanted to be
enlightened as to the 'real objects of
the Press Association, other than so-
cial reunions.'This feeling was shouted
down by the other papers who felt that
the recent meeting of the Press Asso-
ciation promised to lay the founda-
tion of great usefulness in the future."
Other officers elected at the meet-
ing were: T.K. Spencer, Tampa Tri-
bune, vice president; D.H. Elliott, sec-
retary-treasurer; and executive com-
mittee members: F.E. Harris, Ocala
Banner; Fred L. Robertson, Brooksville
Crescent; Mahlon Gore, Orlando Re-
porter; N.M. Bowen, Tallahassee Florid-
ian; C.A. Finley, Lake City Reporter.
A highlight of the meeting was a
trip to Belair, "the most interesting
orange grove in Florida." A reporter
for The Sanford Journal described the
junket this way:

"Next morning (Thursday) on in-
vitation of General Sanford, the
editors and their families spent an
hour amid the golden glories of
Belair-the most interesting orange
grove in Florida.
"There was no forbidden fruit to us
in all this earthly Eden, and the radi-
ant Eves who bore us company,
tempted us to pluck from every tree
and shrub its fruit and flowers. One
hundred and twenty-five acres, with
12,000 orange trees, groves of lemon
and olive, and gardens of famous
pine-apples, gathered from all coun-
tries to be tested in the soil of Sanford.
"It is the number and value of the
experiments in fruit culture now be-
ing developed at Belair that makes
this the most interesting grove in
Florida. Fruits from all analogous cli-
mates are being tested in this soil, and
the experiments are so valuable to the
future of our fruit that we do not think
the sentiment inappropriate which
was voiced, when, at the drinking of
the flavorous orange wine presented
by Rev. Lyman Phelps, General
Sanford was toasted as the 'Benefac-
tor of Fruit Culture in Florida.'"
SCommenting on 77e Conslitution's
query about the real objectives of the
Florida Press Association, J.J. Harris
wrote at length on the new direction
he expected the association to take

under his presidency, as follows:
"The recent meeting of the Press
Association of Florida promises to lay
the foundation of great usefulness in
the future. All classes of professional
men find advantage in the association
and organization. The bar and the
medical profession have their regular
annual meetings, and discuss matters
of common interest. The Press Asso-
ciation is composed of persons who
wield a powerful influence in mold-
ing public opinion and in directing
public attention to important move-
ments, enterprises and plans which
affect the prosperity and welfare of
the people of the commonwealth.
"It is well, therefore, that those
who fill this important province in the
world of letters should know each
other personally, in friendly inter-
course in which each derives some
benefit from the other. The personali-
ties and invectives which are the bane
of the newspaper press will be less
apparent when personal acquain-
tance shall have given respect and
"It will also contribute to elevating
the general tone of the press, its liter-
ary character, its condensation of
thought and expression and a more
liberal treatment of opposing views.
"Each newspaper is apt to be too
.opinionated, and to meet opposing
views with sharpness or pungent or
personal criticism instead of force of
argument, moderation and gentle but
firm courtesy.
"In future meetings of the Press
Association we hope to see a business
programme adopted, which will
bring out in brief essays upon appro-
priate topics, food for thought and
reflection. Brain food instead of mere
banqueting and physical enjoy-
ment-a due mingling of true ele-
ments of pleasure-something which
will arouse our minds to vigorous
thoughts, and a higher appreciation
of our powers for good and evil. So
shall we make our annual meetings a
source of inspiration and enjoyment."
Powerful language for such a
fledgling group in its sixth year!
In line with these stated objectives
for its meetings, the association
adopted a constitution at Tampa that
said in its preamble: "The object of
this Association shall be the promo-
tion of the interests and amenities of
professional journalism."

Florida Living / August 1992

J.J. Harris, President

Junius J. Harris, the third man to be
elected to the presidency of the asso-
ciation, was born in Washington
County, Georgia, Jan. 11,1834, the son
of Daniel and Vashti (Franklin) Har-
ris. Daniel Harris was a North Caro-
lina planter and Mrs. Harris was a
native of Georgia.
Young Junius developed a taste for
"literary pursuits" at an early age and
entered Emory College at Oxford,
Georgia, after completing his public
school education. He completed the
four-course in literature, graduating
with high honors, and then began a
medical education. He had "read"
medicine with Drs. Henry and Robert
Campbell of Augusta, Georgia, and
completed his medical education at
the Medical College of Georgia in
Augusta, graduating as valedictorian
of his class in 1855.

e practiced
medicine in
County and
Rome, Geor-
gia, but ill
health forced him to give up a large
and growing practice. He moved to
Americus just in time to enlist in the
Confederate Army and served
throughout the war as a private, re-
fusing promotion to higher ranks on
numerous occasions.
After the war, Dr. Harris practiced
in Smithville, Georgia, until 1869 and
then moved to Brunswick, where he
was twice elected mayor of the city. In
1874, he moved to Orange County,
Florida, and began a new life as a
citrus grower. He was so successful in
this effort and so popular in the com-
munity that he was elected to the
Florida State Legislature in 1876 and
re-elected in 1879. In the 1879-80 ses-
sion, he was speaker of the House of
Representatives. He was again
elected in 1881 but declined the nomi-
nation for speaker. He served the
same constituency again in 1883.
In 1882, Dr. Harris moved to
Sanford, Florida, and bought The
South Florida Journal of that city and
renamed it The Sanford Journal. The
paperwas first issued asa weekly, but

in August 1886 it became a daily, said
to be a "bright, spicy little daily" by
one of his biographers.
The new editor was warmly re-
ceived by the other editors of Florida.
The St. John's Weekly expressed the
sentiments of most newspapers, call-
ingHarris "agentlemanof fineeduca-
tion, a ready writer, and a fluent
speaker." Most newspapers wel-
comed him as a Democrat, however,.
The Indian River News commented,
"He will prove a valuable acquisition
to the profession." The Putnam County
Journal commented, "Hereafter the
paper will be conducted as a Demo-
cratic organ."
Dr. Harris's name first appeared
on the editorial page of The South
Florida Journal as editor and propri-
etor on Nov. 23, 1882. He began ap-
peals for subscribers to renew their
subscriptions, saying he proposed "to
make The Journal mutually beneficial
to ourselves and the people." The fol-
lowing month, he announced that his
daughter, Lula Harris, would be the
editor while he was busy in Tallahas-
see with his legislative duties.
Editors were somewhat in awe of
Harris's superior education and often
referred to his scholarly attainments,
as indicated in this statement:
"The Journal ought to be a bonanza
to the man who can 'run a newspa-
per,' and we trust that our friend Har-
ris will prove to bejust that man. He is
a graceful writer who can clothe his
ideas in chaste and expressive lan-
guage, a thorough gentleman and a
man of scholarly attainments. He is
familiar with public affairs in the
State; knows the needs of South
Florida; and his appearance and
knowledge will serve him a good pur-
pose in his new field of labor."
The writer may have meant that he
had some doubts that a man of such
high "scholarly attainments" could
"run a newspaper."
As a footnote on the times, it
should be noted that Harris reported
in his paper that he had received an
editorial chair as a gift from "Messrs.
Adams & Haynes, Furniture dealers
of this city." Acknowledging the gift,
he said, "Gentlemen, we make you
our best bow; may you each, if you
want to,'live a thousand years, and
your shadows never grow less.'"
In March 1887, Harris was ap-
pointed postmaster of Sanford and

Florida Living / August 1992

served in that post for many years. He
was president of the South FPA in
1883 and served on the executive com-
mittee of the Florida Press Association
for three years after stepping down as
the FPA president
Dr. Harris had married R.R.
Mitchell of Floyd County, Georgia, in
1853, and the couple had seven chil-
dren. He was a Master Mason, an Odd
Fellow, and a Knight of Pythias as
well as a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South. Concerning
his editorial ability, his biographer
described him this way:
"As an editor he is one of the most
polished writers of the State. His liter-
ary attainments are of the highest
character. His writings bear the im-
press of a strong mind and a noble
nature. Injournalism, he never stoops
to those low personalities that are so
characteristic of some newspaper
writers. As an affable gentleman he
has few equals. He is a man full of
noble and generous impulses, who
always carefully guards, both in his
conversation and through the col-
umns of his paper, against wounding
the feelings of his fellow-men." 0

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This is the second
part in a continuing
series on the history
of the Florida
Press Association.

ew Orleans
The seventh annual
meeting was sched-
uled for Jacksonville,
Florida, on Feb. 17,
1885. President Harris, however,
called a special meeting for Feb. 11,
since the association had been invited
to New Orleans for the World's Indus-
trial and Cotton Centennial Exposi-
tion. Free transportation had been of-
fered by two railroads.
Fewer than a dozen members
showed up in Jacksonville. A brief
meeting was held there to pass on
member applications and elect a slate
of officers even though the slate had to
be approved in New Orleans at the
regular meeting.
JudgeJ.G. Knapp, Dr. W.B. Babcock
and Dr. J.P. Wheeler were elected hon-
orary members of the association and
W.H. Simpson was placed on the re-
tired list. Both the Savannah, Florida
and Western Railroad and the Florida
Central Railroad had offered to trans-
port the members to New Orleans.
The Savannah, Florida and Western
was selected.
Members of the association, their
wives and children left Jacksonville at
7 a.m. on Feb. 12 on board a special
coach provided by the railroad. A Cap-
tain Tuttle of the Louisville and Nash-
ville Railroad was scheduled to meet
them at Chattahoochee and convey
them the rest of the way. The party was
scheduled to reach New Orleans at
7:03 on the Feb. 13.
On Feb. 17, The Florida Times-Union
editorialized, "We infer that the

Florida Press Association are having a
good time. Accompanying them was a
correspondent of The Times-Union
who was instructed to keep us in-
formed by telegraph. . When last
heard from, he and the Association
had reached Lake de Funiak. After-
wards they must have reached a coun-
try where liquid refreshments were
easier to obtain; and we are justified
in the inference that our correspon-
dent at least is having a pretty good
While in New Orleans, the Florida
visitors attended Florida Day at the
exposition, viewed the Mardi Gras
parade from a grandstand opposite
City Hall, and conducted their annual
meeting on Feb. 17, as scheduled, in
the Ladies' Parlor of the Hotel Windsor.
The following were unanimously
elected: Charles H. Jones, Jacksonville
Times-Union, president; John B.
Johnston, Waldo Advertiser, vice-presi-
dent; D.B. Elliott, Florida Dispatch, sec-
retary-treasurer. Members of the ex-
ecutive committee named were: J.J.
Harris, Sanford Journal; George R.
Fairbanks, Fernandina Florida Mirror;
F.E. Harris, Ocala Banner; Frank
Phillips, Pensacola Advance Gazette; and
Mahlon Gore, Orlando Reporter.
A special committee was named to
select a badge for the association. On
the committee were Charles R. Jones,
John T. Graves, and D.H. Elliott. An-
other committee of Florida publishers
met with editors from other states to
organize a national press association.
Elected president of the new organiza-
tion was B.B. Herbert of Red Wing,
Minnesota. Charles H. Jones, the new
president of the Florida Press Associa-
tion, was elected first vice-president.
The Florida newsmen and their
families returned home on Feb. 20after
agreeing to hold their 1886 meeting in
Gainesville, the city of their founding.
Charles H. Jones, the fourth editor
to hold the presidency of the Florida
Press Association was born in
Talbotton, Georgia, on Mar. 7,1848. He
was only 15 years old when he joined
the Confederate Army and served un-
til the fall of Atlanta, when he was

transferred to the Confederate Navy.
At the close of the Civil War he was a
member of the Georgia Reserves.
From 1865 until 1881, Jones lived in
New York City where he edited maga-
zines such as Appleton's Journal and the
Eclectic Magazine. He is said to have
contributed to many leading publica-
tions of the day and wrote two books.
In 1881, he moved to Jacksonville and
established The Florida Daily Times. The
Times was consolidated with The Jack-
sonville Union in 1882 to form the
present-day Florida Times-Union in
In 1888, Jones sold The Times-Union
and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to
become editor of The Missouri Republi-
can, later called The St. Louis Republican.
Between 1893 and 1897, he edited The
New York World in New York City, and
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in St. Louis
for Joseph Pulitzer.
He was a member of the World's
Columbian Commission and origi-
nated the idea of the Louisiana Pur-
chase Exposition in 1904 in St. Louis.
He played major roles in the Demo-
cratic Party in the elections of 1896 and
1900 by writing the Chicago platform
for the party in 1896 and the Kansas
City platform in 1900. He was a key
figure in the founding of the Interna-
tional Editorial Association in New
Orleans in 1885, and was one of the
primary leaders in the founding of the
American Newspaper Publishers As-
The International Editorial Asso-
ciation became National Editorial As-
sociation at a meeting in Cincinnati,
Feb. 23-25, 1886, and Charles H. Jones
served as its president for the 1887
meeting in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. Jones married twice, the first
time to Elizabeth Cowperthwaite in
1871, and after her death in 1888, he
married L.E. Parsons in 1890. He
moved to Paris, France, and died there
on Jan. 27,1913, at 64 years of age.
Of all the presidents to serve the
Florida Press Association during its
first 50 years, Charles H. Jones was one
of the most distinguished in national

Florida Living / September 1992

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Some New Directions

The eighth annual meeting of the
association was held in the "beautiful
new courthouse" in Gainesville on
Feb. 11-12, 1886. The Florida Times-
Union reported that "about twenty of
the old members were present and
twenty-one new members were ad-
mitted to membership."
This attendance did not suit Presi-
dent Charles H. Jones, who com-
mented in his presidential address, "I
think you will agree with me that the
Association has not, as yet, attained
that truly representative character
which such anAssociation should pos-
sess; that is, it has never yet included a
majority of those in the State engaged
in the pursuit of journalism. It has
seemed to me, if you will pardon me
for saying it, that unless we can enlist
in its active membership at least a ma-
jority of the journalists in the state, it is
hardly worth while to maintain the

he new president re-
viewed the history of the
association, pointing
out that, in his belief, it
had never been much
more than a social orga-
nization, but that it had great potential
to serve the needs of the newspaper
industry of Florida and every effort
should be made to help it attain such
an important goal. He spent much of
the remainder of his address propos-
ing ideas to strengthen the association:

-- He proposed that the annual
meeting be held in May or June instead
of February, saying February was the
busiest time of the year for publishers.
He proposed that the program
for the meeting be "more interesting
and instructive." He suggested that the
by-laws of the association be changed
so that in addition to an address from
the president of the association, another
address pertaining to the profession of
journalism should also be required.
-- He proposed that a member be
designated at each meeting to deliver
an "Annual Poem." "It is reasonable to
suppose that the Florida Press Asso-
ciation comprises within its member-
ship as many mute inglorious Miltons
as any other, and the construction of
the Annual Poem would enable them

to reveal themselves to the world."
-* He called for the selection of a
theme for each meeting that was of
practical importance to the newspaper
profession. "This should be intro-
duced by some member designated to
prepare a concise statement of his
views upon it, the understanding be-
ing that when his paper is read it is
then debated by the members present
with the view to reaching conclusions
thereupon which shall be of practical
utility," he said.
-*- ie asked that the proceedings of
each meeting should include an oppor-
tunity for any member to bring before
the convention any subject "that has
come within the range of his experience
during the year and which is likely to be
of interest to other members."
*- He asked that the association
adopt an official badge, "not a mere
piece of ribbon, which will be thrown
aside when soiled, but a metal badge of
pleasing and appropriate design."
Later in the meeting all proposals
were presented in the form of amend-
ments to the by-lawsand passed unani-
mously by the membership.
Despite the fact that President Jones
pointed to the practice of "junketing"
by members of the association as one
of the evils, he did propose that an
annual junket, or free trip, be taken in
connection with the May or June meet-
ing. He defended the suggestion on
these grounds:
*- "It is the regular practice each
year of other State Associations to
make excursions to some point of in-
-.- "...Excursions cannot fairly be
stigmatized as'junketings.'"
-.* "To his general knowledge an
editor is expected to aid catholicity of
tone, and probably there is no better
way than by travel to acquire by per-
sonal observation this knowledge of
other localities and people and the re-
sulting catholicity of sentiment."
-* ". .and as there is no season of
the year when it is easier for Florida
journalists to leave their work than in
May orJune, so there is no season of the
year when it is pleasanter to make an
excursion say to Washington, New
York, Boston, the Mammoth Cave, the
Luray Caverns, the mountain region
of North Carolina, and similar locali-
ties, to which excursions might be ar-
It was clear that the president was

trying to appease both camps of pub-
lishers, one camp who believed in all
work and no play, and the other who
believed in fun conventions only.
The Gainesville meeting revealed
that the association was not a wealthy
group. The treasurer reported a bank
balance of $70.30.
On the second day of the meeting,
the members elected a new slate of offic-
ers headed by Charles H. Jones, elected
for a second term. The minutes indicated
two dissenting votes, however. Also
elected were F.E. Harris, Ocala Banner,
vice-president; D.H. Elliott, secretary-
treasurer; J.B. Johnston, Pasco County
Denocrat, Dade City; George Fairbanks,
Fernandina Mirror; J.J. Harris, Sanford
Journal; J. Ira Gore, Cedar Key Journal;
and E.D. Oslin, Altoona Register, mem-
bers of the executive committee.

Bad Citrus Publicity

The ninth annual meeting of the
association was held in Fernandina
June 15-16,1887. One of the first acts of
the convention was to elect the follow-
ing new members:

C.E. Merrill, editor-in-chief, Jack-
sonville News-Ilerald
A.O. Wright, Jacksonville News-Her-
aid staff
R. Walpole, editor, Sumlerville
I.J. Halstead, editor, Gainesville
T.W. Moore, publisher, Fernandina
S. Manucy, publisher, Fernandina
C.H. Pratt, editor, Palatka Herald
B.B. Tatum, editor, Bartow Advance-
W.W. Breeze, editor, Temperance
J.M. Osborne, editor, Daytona Mes-
E.W. Peabody, editor, SanfordArgus
E.O. Painter, editor and proprietor,
Florida Agriculturist
S.W. Johnson, editor, Florida Agri-
W.D. Turnley, editor, Lake Weir In-
A.H. Manville, editor, Florida Dis-
Fred F. Heath, editor, Fruit Grower
A.R. Parish, editor, Highland Park
Many of these persons would fig-

Florida Living / September 1992

The Miami News-Metropolis Ifflici bundling in 1923 with a lasebaill score board by whiich
bystanders across the street could watch t h progress; a big league game.

ure prominently in the affairs of the
association in the years ahead.
In his annual report to the member-
ship on the "state of the Association,"
President Jones reported a member-
ship of 69 active members and seven
honorary members. He paid tribute to
former FPA president, Charles E.
Dyke, deceased, in these words:
"One of these, Captain Charles E.
Dyke, was twice the President of our
Association, was the oldest and most
honored member of our profession in
the State, and during the period of his
active work probably exercised wider
sway and a more potent influence than
any other journalist that has ever lived
in Florida.
"For some years prior to his death,
Captain Dyke had retired from the ac-
tive labors of his profession, but his
name was still borne on our rolls as an
honorary member, and I well remem-
ber the deep interest which, up to a
very recent period, he took in the af-
fairs of the State Press Association."
President Jones also reported that
he had been elected president of the
National Editorial Association and
would attend the meeting of that
group in Denver in September 1887.
He stated that Florida was entitled to
send four delegates, in addition to the
president and secretary of the Florida
Press Association. He asked the asso-
ciation for permission to pay the mem-
bership dues for these delegates at the
rate of 25 cents each from the FPA

Florida Living / September 1992

treasury. Concerning the Colorado
meeting, he said:
"In spite of the Inter-State Com-
merce Law it is believed that it will be
possible to arrange with railroads for
the transportation of your delegates to
and from Colorado."
At the Gainesville meeting in 1886,
Florida editors had been upset by the
bad publicity appearing in northern
newspapers as a result of a hard freeze
in Florida. Theeditors felt theaccounts
had been greatly exaggerated and
Florida was made to appear stripped
of all its citrus, including the trees.
Secretary D.B. Elliott reported in
Fernandina how the second meeting
of the National Editorial Association in
Cincinnati had beenused to correct the
stories about Florida's citrus condi-
tion. His report said:
"The next meeting of this Associa-
tion (NEA) was held in Cincinnati, to
which the Florida Press Association
instructed that delegates be sent, and
authorized their appointment by the
President. The secretary secured trans-
portation for this delegation to Cincin-
nati and return. The delegation ar-
ranged to make a display of fruits and
flowers at this meeting, to illustrate
the fact that the citrus family was not
frozen out.
"The secretary purchased the fruit,
paying therefore from the funds of the
Association, had it transported free by
the Southern Express Company, and
arranged in the parlors of the Burnett

House, Cincinnati, in the decoration of
which, with buds, blossoms and flow-
ers, we are greatly indebted to Mrs. A.
S. Mann, wife of delegate, A.S. Mann,
of Brooksville.
"A delegation from the National
Editorial Association was invited to
visit Florida and report upon the con-
dition of its fruit industry. The invita-
tion was accepted, and a delegation
appointed by the Association. These
were carried on a grand tour through
the orange production section of
Florida, and their report heralded
throughout the land-the results and
benefits of all of which can be accred-
ited to the Florida Press Association."

Fairbanks President

New officers elected at the
Fernandina meeting were: George R.
Fairbanks, Fernandina Mirror, presi-
dent; F.E. Harris, Ocala Banner, vice-
president; and D.B. Elliott, secretary-
treasurer. President Fairbanks ap-
pointed a new executive committee, as
follows: J.B. Johnston, Pasco County
Democrat, Dade City; J.J. Harris,
Sanford Journal; R. Walpole, Smnterville
Times; M. Daniel McAlpin, Florida Bul-
letin. Live Oak; and C.E. Merrill, Jack-
sonville Nrews-Herald.
Before adjourning, the members
took the following actions:
-+ Moved that at future meetings,
members be urged to bring their wives
and daughters. -. That the next meet-
ing be in Key West and that the secre-
tary arrange for transportation of the
members. -* That an orator, an essay-
ist and a poet be appointed from
among the membership.
L.C. Vaughn was appointed essay-
ist, John Temple Graves was ap-
pointed orator and C.F. Merrill was
appointed poet.
A committee on "outside advertis-
ing" reported that it had obtained
agreement among the members to the
following minimum rate for advertis-
ing: "one hundred dollars per column
gross, with the addition of 25 percent
for short time advertising, and double
those rates for reading notices, with no
professed position at those rates."
The committee further reported,
sorrowfully, that it had reason to be-
lieve that the agreement had not been
kept by some newspapers and asked if

hef lllustrated Ihiljy I thi-f in' i a mliami, 1 921. Note wtleeklystubscription charge- 15 certs.

it should continue in its efforts to get
the newspapers to accept a minimum
rate. The report was simply filed with-
out the question being answered.
Another resolution was adopted
asking that a law be passed "against
the circulation in this State of that class
of papers of which the 'Police Gazette'
is a type." Even in 1887, this kind of
resolution seems rather astonishing in
the light of the First Amendment. A
second part of the same resolution
called upon the publishers to "scan
more closely the matter of offered ad-
vertisements, especially those of ques-
tionable medicines; and carefully ex-
clude all such as are calculated to of-
fend in this direction."
The new president, Major George
Rainsford Fairbanks, was born in
Watertown, New York, on July 5,1820.
He was educated in Watertown at the
Watertown Academy, and in Montreal,
Canada, at the Petit Seminaire. When he
was 16, he entered the sophomore
class at Union College in Schenectady,
and was graduated in 1839 with a

bachelor's degree. He received his
master's degree from the same college
and then studied law.
In 1842, he was admitted to the
New York Bar, and that same year
became a Clerk of the Superior Court
of East Florida in St. Augustine,
where he lived until 1859.

Sajor Fairbanks was a
prime mover in the
establishment of the
Florida Fruit Ex-
change, and owned
groves on Orange Lake between
Micanopy and Ocala. He was at one
time president of the Florida Horticul-
tural Society.
Fairbanks was also one of the main
promoters of the Florida Historical
Society, serving at one time as its vice
president. He was an honorary mem-
ber of the New York Historical Society,
and before and after the Civil War
lectured on American history at the
University of the South at Sewanee,

Major Fairbanks learned Spanish in
order to study early documents on the
history of Florida. He helped found
Sewanee, and in 1859 built a home
there which was burned by Federal
troops during the war. He helped re-
build the university after the war and
wrote and published its history in
1905. He taught at the University of the
South during the year and spent the
winter in Florida.
Fairbanks was made a major and
quartermaster in the Army of Tennes-
see, CSA, and was placed in charge of
hospital services in Georgia and Ala-
bama until the end of the Civil War.
His parole was signed by Secretary of
State Seward, who had signed his com-
mission as a colonel in the militia of
the state of New York before he moved
to Florida.
On Oct. 8, 1842, Fairbanks married
Sarah C. Wright of Adams, New York,
who died 16 years later in 1858. In 1860,
he married Susan B. Wright, his wife's
widowed sister-in-law.
In 1881, Fairbanks became editor of

Florida Living / September 1992

the newspaper in his winter home
town, The Fernandina Florida Mirror.
Comments on the new editor's perfor-
mance were most favorable. It was
said that he was "getting out one of the
best weeklies in the state" since he had
eliminated advertisements from the
first and second pages and begun to
concentrate on national, state and some
foreign news on the first page and
editorial material on the second page.
Another one of his peers said,
"George Fairbanks.. .was printing a
progressive weekly newspaper in all
phases, and was receiving praise from
all over the South for his improve-
ments in the paper."
In 1885, Major Fairbanks built a
large home in Fernandina and put a lot
of his time and effort toward building
the community and state. The Florida
Mirror is one of the newspapers in the
family tree of the present-day
Fernandina Beach News-Leader, which
traces its beginning back to 1858 by
counting a number of mergers, pur-
chases and successions.
At age 86, Major Fairbanks died on
Aug. 3, 1906, at Sewanee, Tennessee,
and was buried there. During the later
years of his life he had lectured in
American history at the University of
the South.

Key West Convention

The association celebrated its 10th
year by journeying to Key West for the
10th annual convention. Members ar-
rived in Key West aboard a steamer of
the Plant System, the Olivette, from
Tampa on Mar. 6, 1888. They were

greeted by a brass band and a dozen or
more of the city's leading citizens.
Words of welcome were extended by
Judge James W. Locke, who com-
mented on how isolated from the rest
of Florida and the United States the
citizens of Key West felt, "except when
it came time to pay taxes," he said.

She judge's message con-
veyed a feeling of bitter-
ness for the manner in
which his island city had
been neglected by the rest
of the state, and expressed
his delight at the visit of Florida's
newspaper publishers, which, he said,
was an omen for the future.
This feeling of bitterness appar-
ently had been brought about by a
yellow fever epidemic the previous
year, during which the people of Key
West had been quarantined. Some
newspapers to the north had even
pressed for the holding of all peopleon
the island at the point of shotguns, if
Judge Locke concluded his remarks
by saying, "The press is a power for
good, but we cannot deny that it may
be used as to have its good turned into
gall, its sweetness into bitterness. But
we have confidence in you, gentlemen,
and feel that in your hands the trust is
In his response to the welcome,
President Fairbanks revealed how im-
portant he felt the newspapers of
Florida were when he said:

"It is the first time the Florida Press
Association has struck out from terra
firma and entrusted the third estate to
the broad waters, out of sight of land,
k ir. 1 l -I

'. *

bravely risking the tremendous conse-
quences to the State which could ensue
if we were all engulfed in the beautiful
waters of the Gulf of Mexico."
There followed other words of wel-
come and more replies before Presi-
dent Fairbanks began his annual mes-
sage to the members of the association.
"No matter of special importance to
our profession has occurred since our
last annual meeting," he said, adding
that, he would occupy his time with
some thoughts on the functions of
journalism. He emphasized in great
detail that he did not believe the func-
tion of journalism was to provide sen-
sational news for depraved readers.
"First among the promoters of this
deadly sin is the press which fills col-
umns with accounts of crime. There is
no need of this; there is positive detri-
ment to society; yet it goes on without
diminution, this daily spreading for
the people their feast of bloody food.
Every quarrel, every assault, every as-
sassination and murder, must be re-
lated in full, with all the circumstances
and minute descriptions of the actors,
and still better, if possible, with their
portraits and plans and diagrams of
the scenes of action."
President Fairbanks did not like
some sports news and the use of illus-
trations in newspapers. He com-
mented on these matters as follows:

"There is also the base ball column
and racing column, which takes the
place of better and more judicious read-
ing. To say the least, it lowers the stan-
dard of the paper which devotes an
undue space to special reports of base
ball games, horseracing and pugilism.
There is also a growing custom of using
illustrated articles. From the nature of
the case, these are inferior in execution,
often mere caricatures, and the subjects
largely taken from the criminal classes.
One has now to look for the name to tell
whether the picture presented is that of
a noted murderer, a patent medicine
man, or a cabinet officer."
President Fairbanks concluded his
remarks by quoting a Mr. W. Rice of
Massachusetts as to what a newspaper
should be:

"The ideal newspaper is one that
shall publish the correct news of theday
concisely and truthfully; shall not for
Residence in Tallahassee ofN. M. Bowen,
editor of The Floridian and president of the
Florida Press Association in 1889.

Florida Living / September 1992

r 1

fear or favor withhold proper facts;
shall not criticise or expose, roughly,
matters of a private character, but shall
criticise boldly, and without sparing,
hypocrisy, corruption, demagogy,
and self-seeking in public places."
The following new members were
elected at the Key West meeting:
C.M. Sturgis, Church Year, Jackson-
H.S. Allen, New Smyrna Breeze
S.B. Chapin, Gainesville Daily Record
Rev. J. Anderson, Sanford Christian
J.M. Verence, Sanford Journal
F.W. Merrin, Plant City South Florida
H.J. Cooper, Tampa Journal
W.R. Carter, Jacksonville Metropolis
G.M. Mathes, Tampa Tribune
S.L. Bristow, Lakeland Florida Cracker
F.W. Mumby, Jacksonville Churdl Year
A.S. Mann, Brooksville Register
Ramon Rivero y Rivero, Tampa
Revista de Florida
Jose D'Poyle, Key West El Yara
Jose R. Estrada, Key West La Propa-

major concern of the
members at the Key West
meeting was recentaction
by the Florida Legisla-
Shture which reduced the
rate allowed on legal advertising. "The
new rates are entirely inadequate to
compensate for labor and expense of
publishing," the members said in a
strongly worded resolution. The reso-
lution called for the president of the
association to appoint a committee of
members to attend the "next session of
the Legislature, and endeavor to have
the law fixing the price to be paid for
publishing tax sales advertisements so
amended as toprovidejust and proper
compensation for the same, and in the
meantime to formulate an amendment
to the present law."
At the end of the first day of meet-
ings, George R. Fairbanks was re-
elected president and Col. J.H.
Ancrum, publisher of The Hamilton
County Times, Jasper, was elected vice
president. D.H. Elliott continued as
secretary-treasurer. Members of the
executive committee, appointed later,
were: F.E. Harris, Ocala Banner; R.H.
Mcllvaine, Cedar Key Gulf View; N.M.
Bowen, Tallahassee Floridian; L.C.
Vaughn, Orlando Sentinel; and D.

Redmond, Southern Immigrant and
Cultivator, Jacksonville.
When the sessions continued the
next afternoon, L.C. Vaughn, editor of
The Orlando Sentinrl, read a passionate
essay on the state of journalism in
Florida. He began by saying that
Florida had some 100 publications,
"the circulation of which exceeds hun-
dreds of thousands." Commenting on
the technology of the press in those
days, he said:

"Since the introduction of the Press
in Florida, journalism has undergone
several revolutions and is likely to un-
dergo more. Theinvention of the cylin-
der press did as much for the profes-
sion, which now rules the world, as the
discoverer of gunpowder did for the
savage profession, that ruled before.
"The enormous extension of electric
wires and ocean cables have super-
ceded the old correspondent, and now
the Washington letter, with lightning
speed, comes by telegraph. The ac-
count of a great battle fought yester-
day in the Old World is read today in
our columns with as much accuracy
as it is in the community where it
"In the newspaper you purchase
this afternoon you may read the
words, 'Queen Victoria spoke to her
Parliament since the sun rose in Eng-
land, or what a Congress of European
representatives said and did on the
banks of the Bosphorus the evening
before.' The journalist now at one leap
takes the world for his province. The
question arises, what will be the next
revolution? Our newspaper of today
presents as many topics of human in-
terest as the human mind cares to con-
sider. We will not have a greater vari-
ety or quantity, but a superior quality
of matter from the press.
"One does not desire to have great
'masses of undigested news' thrust
upon him, but expects the editor to
select the salient points and present
them in readily comprehensible form.
In the past, the greatest expenditure in
conducting a newspaper was the
white paper; now it is the news; in the
future let us hope it will be the brains."
Mr. Vaughn concluded his essay
with these words, "Gentlemen of the
Florida Press Association, let not the
future of journalism in our glorious
state fall short of the lofty dignity of its
true station, even though society
should fall short in its demands; let it

Florida Living / September 1992

aspire to a higher function than the
mere pleasing of the people. Let's refuse
to listen to the whispers and to move at
the beck of cliques and factions.
"Let us fully appreciate our respon-
sible positions with due regard for
truth and conscience. If we do this,
journalism in Florida have attained its
proper eminence and glory."
Although C.E. Merrill of The Jack-
sonville News-Herald was named
"poet" for the Key West meeting, the
annual poem was delivered by W.D.
Tumley of The Lake Weir Independent.
The poem was a nostalgic, flowery
tribute to Florida and the climate, to
young love and courtship. A later
speaker had this to say about the poem:

"The poem that has been so beauti-
fully recited has also lent its charm to
this very enjoyable occasion; as I lis-
tened to the soft rhythm of its verses,
my heart itself was touched. I felt that
if I were one of the softer sex, I could
not 'say him nay,' who wooed in such
a melodious voice." 0
Part three of the continuing history of
early journalism in Florida will be presented
in our October issue.


Memories .

[ We welcome typed
manuscripts describing
Florida before WW II:
towns. families, personal
experience, businesses.
recreation, etc.

Send articles and photos to: Z.-
102 NE 10th Avenue, Suite 6
Gainesville, Florida 32601


Part three in a
series on the history of
the Florida Press


tih Qawd

Railroad Advertising
"WC, _3"W"

S without automobiles
or any other fast
means of transpor-
tation except trains
and ships, Florida pub-
lishers in the 1880s used
trains and ships for their state meet-
ings, as well as for regional and na-
tional journalism gatherings.
The transportation companies ap-
parently were happy to provide this
service free of charge, or in return for
advertising space, since the newspa-
pers were important organs for build-
ing towns and increasing tourism and
population for the state. For the first
time at a Florida Press Association
meeting this arrangement came un-
der question at the Key West meeting.
Early in the meeting, a committee
was appointed to address the prob-
lem and "bring in a suitable solution"
before adjournment.
The special committee presented a
resolution which called for an end to
the practice of newspapers publish-
ing railroad schedules "and other rail-
road advertising" free in return for
specific trip passes, the committee
asked that the railroad advertising be
done on a contract basis.
The committee went so far as to
suggest a schedule of rates for weekly
newspapers, based on circulation. A
weekly with a circulation of 500, for
example, would receive an annual fee
of S10 per square or $20 per column
inch. A paper of 3,000 circulation
would get three times that amount.
The records of the meeting indi-

cate that no action was taken on this
Another resolution, helpful to Key
West, was passed and ordered sent to
Florida's congressional delegation.
This resolution called for Congress to
release funds for the deepening of
the Northwest Passage at Key West,
saying such action "is of vital impor-
tance to the commerce of the Gulf
States, and especially to Florida and
Key West."
Announcement was made that
there would be a "vaccination mati-
nee" on Mar. 9 for those members
going to Cuba. The announcement
stated, "Dr. Porter will give a matinee
performance, introducing his little
lancet in a series of new and taking
experiments. All who propose visit-
ing the Island of Cuba will find it to
their advantage to be present. Doors
open promptly at 12 o'clock noon."
On Mar. 12, in Key West, members
passed the following resolution be-
fore boarding the S.S. Olivette for their
return to Tampa:
"The Florida Press Association,
having visited Havana, Cuba, feel au-
thorized to say that from all the infor-
mation they could obtain, and from
their own observation, there is no rea-
son at this time why any person should
be deterred from visiting Havana."
This resolution was wired to The
New York World, The Jacksonville News-
Herald, The Atlanta Constitution, The
Savannah News, with a special request
that it be made special to the United
and Associated Press.
Thus, at the end of its first 10 years,
the Florida Press Association had an
active membership of 69 members
from "some hundred Florida news-

papers." It had a constitution and
by-laws, setting forth three kinds of
membership: active, retired and
honorary. For active membership a
person had to be a proprietor, pub-
lisher or editor "of a newspaper
published in Florida, and of such a
character as can be entered in the post
office for mailing as second class mat-
ter." Honorary members were de-
scribed as "patrons of journalism
of noted learning, ability and integrity
of character."
Despite the specifications for ac-
tive membership, such publications
as T7w Florida Baptist Witness, The Fruit
Grower, The Agriculturist, The Church
Year, and The Christian Advocate ap-
peared on the list of active members.
At the end of the 10 years, the mem-
bers had passed from operating pri-
marily as a social organization, that
almost ceased to exist a number of
times, to one with a purpose that
sought to assist its members and bring
them "practical" programs at the an-
nual meetings. Its chief concerns, as
evidenced by the resolutions passed
at meetings, were in the advertising
area and its members' dealings with
advertising agencies. The efforts of
the association to get all member
newspapers to charge the same ad-
vertising rates appeared to be ac-
cepted in principle only.
As was typical of the age, speeches
at meetings were long and filled with
flowery sentences that sought to add
passion, praise and principle to each
speaker's thesis.
Florida editors had high respect
and love for their profession, despite
the fact they lived in an age when it
was considered proper to cut one an-
other to pieces in their columns. This
latter practice was discouraged by the
association officers, who sought to
bring a more gentlemanly approach
to the solutions of news and editorial
differences of opinion.


Between 1889 and 1899, the Florida
Press Association suffered more grow-
ing pains as the organization struggled
for some kind of satisfying identity
within the state community.
Annual conventions were filled
with long discussions of the constitu-
tion and by-laws, and the provisions

Florida Living / October 1992

:L nk in

the QSawd

of these documents were changed
many times.
The extent of the membership was
a subject of much concern and mem-
bership committees were appointed
afresh each year to try to iron out dif-
ferences. Some editors wished to limit
membership to editors and publish-
ers only while others wanted to in-
clude their friends from the railroads
and other Florida business areas.
The push by some members was to
make the association a strong busi-
ness organization that would present
a strong front for the newspapers in
business matters before the state leg-
islature and the Congress of the
United States.
This period marked the first ap-
pearance of female members in the
association, although early in the
association's history members had
been urged to bring their wives and
daughters to convention sessions.
Decades passed before a woman was
elected president of the association.
Association members' deep inter-
est in the growth and development of
Florida came to full flower during this
decade prior to the turn of the century,
as members expressed strong opposi-
tion to the abolition by the state of the
Bureau of Immigration and called for
the reestablishment of the bureau and
passage of a tax to support it.
The main purpose of the bureau
was to attract new residents to
Florida. Members of the press be-
lieved in promoting the state and
were willing to use their newspapers
for such purposes.
Beginning in 1889, the association
adopted a practice of holding a sec-
ond state meeting in May or June, but
called the meeting an "adjourned"
session of the annual meeting held
earlier in the year. This "adjourned"
meeting appeared necessary to com-
plete some business of the association
begun at the earlier meeting, particu-
larly the passage of changes in or ad-
ditions to the FPA Constitution and

Yellow Fever Intervenes
r^-- -
The association met Feb. 13, 1889,
in Pensacola but after a single session
members adjourned that meeting and
then met in St. Augustine on Mar. 28
to complete their business.
The shortness of the Pensacola part
of the meeting may have been due to
the yellow fever epidemics that had
swept Pensacola, Tampa and Jackson-
ville in 1888. A columnist in later years
reported that "the newspaper men
could not meet in Pensacola, as the
troops guarding the city would not
have admitted them. So the meeting
was eventually held in St. Augustine."
As a matter of fact, the editors were
admitted and began their 11th annual
convention in that city. At a morning
business session members discussed
a tax to promote immigration into
Florida and the legal advertising rate
allowed newspapers for public notice
advertising. New members were
elected and then the meeting recessed
for carriage rides around the city and
an afternoon of sailing on Pensacola
Bay, as well as visits to the naval yard
and Fort Pickens.
Attendance at the meeting was
poor despite the fact that transporta-
tion was free on the railroads in
Florida. The meeting was adjourned
and then resumed on Mar. 28 in St.
Augustine. Thirty-five editors at-
tended and were described as "alto-
gether as intelligent a body of men as
ever convened in Florida at one time."
Delegates met to "perfect the orga-
nization," a calling of the roll with
George R. Fairbanks, president, in the
chair. Then came adjournment for
lunch and entertainment at the Ponce
de Leon and Cordova hotels.
President Fairbanks delivered his
annual address, dealing with the yel-
low fever epidemic of the past year
and the prosperous crops of the same
period. He praised two editors of The
Florida Times-Union, Editor-in-Chief
Edwin Martin and City Editor M.R.
Bowden, who died covering the "in-
fested cities."
In its Centennial Edition in 1964,
The Times-Union discussed the yellow
fever epidemic as follows:
"In August of 1888 yellow fever
broke out in the city. Almost over-
night Jacksonville lost half of its
population as thousands of people

panicked and fled to places of refuge
in other states.
"There were more than 4,700 cases
of the fever with 427 deaths among
an epidemic population reduced to
about 2,000 people by the time the
mass exodus was over."
Describing the quarantine as so
severe that towns outside of the Jack-
sonville area threatened bodily harm
to those who ventured into their
towns, the newspaper went on to dis-
cuss the disease itself:
"Nothing was known definitely
about how yellow fever originated
and spread. One writer of the day
summed up a profusion of theories
regarding the disease: 'Some
thought,' he wrote, 'that it traveled
through the ground at a rate of two
miles a day; others thought it came
from the deadly miasmic vapors ris-
ing at night from the swamps and
marshes.' It was generally believed
that the fever could be transmitted by
inanimate objects as well as by people.
Everything was suspect, including
newspapers, furniture, bedding, dry
goods-and even ice and heavy ma-
As a result of these beliefs, quaran-
tine stations were set up just outside
of Jacksonville where newspapers
and mail from the city could be fumi-
gated before being sent on its way.
M.R. Bowden, The Times-Union
City editor, died on Sept. 19, 1888,
from the fever. He had quit his job the
day before to take care of several
members of his family who were
down with the disease. Col. J.J.
Daniel, president of the Florida Pub-
lishing Company, died on Oct. 2,
1888. Friends had urged him to leave
the city for the mountains, but he re-
fused to leave his work. An editorial
in The Si. Louis Republican spoke of
Col. Daniel in this way:
"By the death of Col. Daniel,
Florida loses its most beloved citizen,
and the world loses an honest and
upright man and a Christian gentle-
man. He declined nearly every office
in the gift of the people of the state,
and yet he was continually working in
their service."
Editor Edwin Martin died Oct. 8,
1888. In September he had written a
friend about the danger involved in
continuing to work in the infested city:
"...Of course, I fully appreciate the
dangers we incur here. .but I had

Florida Living / October 1992

rather fail at the post of duty than live
with the consciousness of having de-
serted it ... .1 was called on the other
morning to visit some people who
were on the point of actual need for
food, and it was a privilege to hear
them speak of how good the Lord had
been to them in time of trouble.
"I believe the scourge will result in
much spiritual good here in Jackson-
ville, and while I will not presume to
say that it is a punishment for our sins,
I can say that it has awakened in me a
deeper sense of my dependence on
God and of my duty to my fellow
creatures than I have ever felt before.
"I believe that if He spares me
through this epidemic, I will, with His
help, take a bolder stand for Him than
I have ever done in the past."
Following Editor Martin's death,
The Times-Union said, "He laid down
his life in this cause as truly as ever a
soldier fell upon the battlefield duty."
Prior to the epidemic, Martin had
developed a serious kidney condition
and had been advised to leave Jack-
sonville, since in his condition he
would be a prime target for the fever.
Instead of leaving, however, he sent
his family to safety and arranged his
own affairs in the event he should die.
Topics up for discussion at the St.
Augustine portion of the 1889 meet-
ing included the public notice adver-
tising rate and libel laws.
Members thought that the adver-
tising rates set by the legislature were
too low at one-fourth the charge for
regular commercial advertising. The
libel laws were criticized because they
allowed "the small newspaper bear-
ing no malice to be forced to pay ex-
cessive damages."
The second day of the convention
the editors passed a resolution calling
for the legal advertising rate to be in-
creased to 51.00 per square and 50 cents
for subsequent insertions. If time pay-
ments were granted by the newspa-
per, the editors felt an additional 50
cents per square should be allowed.
The Florida Press Association was
serious about the convention poet. Dr.
R.H. McIlvane, editor of Thl GulfViewu
at Cedar Key, who had been ap-
pointed poet for the convention,
died of yellow fever the day he was
supposed to deliver his poem, so
C. Merrill, editor of Thr Jacksonville
Times-iHerald, read Mcllvane's poem,
"The r 1eg-nd of the Suwannce River."

Advertising offices of The Florida Times Union in Jacksonville in 1911.

President Bowen

The St. Augustine meeting ended
with the election of the following of-
ficers: Newton Marion Bowen, pro-
prietor of The Tallahassee Floridian,
was named president; Mahlon Gore,
one of the owners of The Orange
County Reporter, Orlando, was named
vice president; and D.H. Elliott, editor
of The Florida Dispatch, continued as
Members of the executive commit-
tee were: J.H. Ancrum, Hamilton
County Times, Jasper; E.O. Painter,
Florida Agriculturist; and Messrs.
Humphreys and Berlinger, journalis-
tic affiliations unknown.
President Bowen was born May 17,
1840, near Boston. He moved south
after the Civil War, residing first in
Georgia and arrived in Tallahassee in
1874, where he lived until his death.
He was employed as foreman for
several years on the old Floridian, and
afterwards, on the retirement of
Charles E. Dyke, became owner of the
paper. He was State Printer for many
years and "made a splendid reputa-
tion for his establishment, and for
himself and his partner, J.W. Dorr,
who was The Floridian's editor, for
honest work and fair dealing."
In 1877, Bowen married Miss Bare-
foot of Tallahassee and the cou pie had
four children. He died in Tallahassee
on Oct. 13, 1905, and The Weekly True
Democrat reported, "Newspaper
people throughout theStatewill unite

in sincere regret to learn of the death,
on Friday last, the 13th inst., of Mr.
E.M. Bowen, well known all over
Florida as one of the oldest newspa-
permen. Mr. Bowen had suffered two
or more strokes of paralysis, and for
some time had been in very feeble
health. His indomitable spirit and
cheerful disposition, however, kept
him on his feet, making valiant efforts
to provide a support for his family;
and when the end came it was only a
short time after he had been on the
streets, making his daily rounds."
By the time the Florida Press Asso-
ciation opened its 12th annual meet-
ing in Lake City on May 14, 1890, a
swell of opposition to the way the
association was organized had
reached the point where changes had
to be made.
A contingent of publishers, led by
Mahlon Gore, editor and publisher of
The Orange County Reporter, sought to
reorganize the association into a state
business group that would exist
solely to protect the individual news-
papers in their business dealings.
Two aspects of their businesses
bothered them the most: a) they ob-
jected to their fellow publishers who
constantly changed their advertising
rates to suit their own convenience,
cut rates and did whatever they want-
ed to do to meet competition; and b)
they felt helpless because advertising
agencies could not be trusted to pay
their bills after they had placed adver-
tising, or sought to make better deals
by pressuring for lower rates.

Ilornda givingg / (O tobe-r '1992

c7nk in

the E3md

A reorganization committee re-
ported at Lake City that in the judg-
ment of its members "the press asso-
ciation of Florida ought to be reorga-
nized; that there is not enough time at
this meeting to formulate a plan for
such reorganization, and to arrange a
just and equitable scale of rates for
advertising, and to do all else that the
case seems to require."
The committee, made up of T.T.
Stockton, Mahlon Gore, F.W. Corr,
George R. Fairbanks and C.W.
DaCosta, was asked to report at the
adjourned meeting of the association
in Jacksonville on June 30, 1890. Dur-
ing the interim, the committee was
asked to communicate with all the
newspapers in the state and seek their
The committee faced an enormous
task. Prior to June 30, 1890, it had to
devise a schedule of advertising rates
that would be acceptable to every
newspaper in Florida and write a con-
stitution and by-laws to govern the
new association so strongly that no
member would be able to violate the
new rates without severe penalty. The
constitution and by-laws would, con-
ceivably, lay at rest the long-standing
arguments about which newspapers
and individuals were eligible for
membership in the FPA.
The direction the adjourned meet-
ing might take was foreseen in the
election of Mahlon Gore as the new
president for 1890-1891. D.H. Elliott
was unanimously reelected secretary
and C.H. Pratt of Palatka became the
new vice president.

New members elected at the meet-
ing were:
l.C. Webb, Bradford County Tele-
graph, Starke
H.R. Stoy, Tobacco Plant, Lake City
J. Russell Kennedy, Times, Palatka
James Dickinson, South Florida
Progress, Ft. Meade
J. Ira Gore, Commercial, Cedar Key
John E. Harris, Florida Facts, St.


Jefferson L. Davis, Taylor County
Banner, Perry
M.F. Hood, Marion Free Press,
Lucy Vannevar, Journal, Sanford
John Caldwell, Jasper News, Jasper
E.J. Seymour, News, St. Augustine
Stephen Powers, Dispatch, Farmer
and Fruit Grower, Jacksonville
P.C. Drew, School Journal, Lake
W.H. Murrell, Boomer, Ft. White
W.I. Vason, Dispatch, Farmer and
Fruit Grower, Jacksonville
Fred L. Robertson, Hernando News,
G.I. Metcalf, Indian River News,
P.W. Corr, Home Seeker, Gaines-

Prior to his election as the new
president, Mahlon Gore set the tone of
the meeting and the proposed ad-
journed session in Jacksonville by ad-
vocating reorganization in his open-
ing address. Gore said:
"It seems to me that our Associa-
tion should arrange a schedule of ad-
vertising rates, by inches, based upon
the circulation and character of the
paper. That each publisher should
make known his exact circulation, so
that his advertising rates should be
determined, and that the Association
should provide and inflict a penalty
for any cutting of these rates.
"Such penalty might be expulsion
from the Association, and with-
drawal of journalistic privileges, in-
cluding exchange of papers with the
offenders. Then if we increase our
membership fees and annual dues
and work together to protect our in-
terests and weed out the 'rats,' the
Florida State Press Association will
become a useful institution to which it
will be an honor to belong.
"Our organization, as at present
constituted and conducted, is of little
value. General interests of the guild
are not promoted. Private interests of
members are not protected. We meet
once a year at a cost of a few dollars
and a few days of our time, then go
home and work harder and at lower
prices to reimburse ourselves for the
indulgence. No profession works
harder. No other is so poorly paid.
We are to blame. The errors are of our
own making. Will we perpetuate
them, or will we grapple with the

Florida Living / October 1992

evil and strangle it?"
The language of this address indi-
cates that president-elect Gore re-
garded the press association as a kind
of union, or guild," as he called it, the
major purpose of which was to serve
the members in an economic way.
77e Florida Times-Union reporter
who "covered" these meetings had a
number of observations to make on
the delegates and their various activi-
ties. "Editors are good smokers," he
wrote, "in fact, big smokers, and
Columbia's cigars were loudly appre-
ciated by the good judges."
He observed that "Tom Harris's
forty-inch moustache tickled some
people owing to its size." Concerning
the newly-elected vice president, he
pointed out, "Chas. E. Pratt, the editor
of The Palatka Herald, is the youngest
member of the association, and his
election by acclamation to the vice
presidency, is a well merited compli-
ment, and one that he appreciates. He
is as popular as he is handsome."
Referring to the members of the
association, the reporter concluded
his story about the convention by say-
ing, "The citizens here certainly en-
joyed entertaining such a clever and
distinguished body of gentlemen."


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Part four in
a series on
the history of
the Florida Press

6'I -T


President Mahlon Gore

Mahlon Gore, at the time he was
elected president of the Florida Press
Association, was one of the state's
most respected journalists, having
built T7e Orange County Reporter of
Orlando into one of the area's best
newspapers. He was born on a farm
near Climax, Michigan, Feb. 4, 1837.
At age 15, he ran away from home
and apprenticed himself in the print-
ing business with the Marshall Michi-
gan Statesman. By 18 he believed he
had mastered the business, and with a
desire to see the world, he went west.
During the next five years he held jobs
in "nearly every town between De-
troit and the Mississippi River."
Mr. Gore was a pioneer in journal-
ism in the Dakota Territory, and at
one time edited half of the newspa-
pers in the territory. He married in
1860 and moved to Yanktown, Da-
kota, in 1862. There were only two
papers in the territory.
In 1864, Gore went to Sioux City,
Iowa, where he took charge of Twle
Journal, the first successful newspaper
in that city. The paper sold out after a
few years to George D. Perkins, and in
1874, with H.L. Warner, he estab-
lished The Tribune in the same city-
Sioux City. Health failing, he sold out
that newspaper and spent the next
two and a half years in Colorado, Kan-
sas and Missouri, engaged in no ac-
tive business but attempting to save
his accumulated funds since financial
reverses had overtaken him.

The spring of 1880 found him in
Kansas City in financial and physical
ruin. Hoping to regain his health, he
started south and ended up in Florida.
Mahlon Gore's nephew, Eldon H.
Gore, mentions the Orlando pub-
lisher in his history of Orlando. Con-
cerning Mahlon Gore's entrance into
Orlando he states that Gore arrived in
Florida in 1880 and found there was
no railroad to Orlando, so he went by
boat from Jacksonville to Sanford,
known then as Melonville.
From Sanford he walked to Or-
lando, taking two days for the jour-
ney. The first night was spent on the
road with a man who lived near
Longwood. The next morning Gore
was told to follow the trail through the
woods and it would lead to Orlando.
Several hours later he met a man on a
horse and asked him how he could get
to Orlando. Eldon Gore wrote that the
man replied, "You damn fool, you are
in Orlando already."
Gore is later reported to have said,
"This was my welcome to Orlando
and if anv man was homesick, I
was, and would have turned back
if possible."
Even after he had been told he was
in Orlando already, Gore walked for
another hour before he spotted a
number of small buildings on the far
side of Lake Eola. Eldon wrote that the
city in those days consisted of a few
houses, a small wooden courthouse,
three stores, a saloon and a livery
barn. The population was about 200.
Mahlon Gore stopped at the Lake
House, a hotel and restaurant owned
by S.B. Harrington. Harrington also
owned The Orange County Reporter, a

weekly newspaper which he had
bought from his brother, Arthur
Harrington, and Charles Munger.
The paper had been founded in 1876
by Rufus Russell who sold it when it
failed to pay. The result of Mahlon
Gore's meeting with S.B. Harrington
was the sale of The Reporter to Gore.
Gore moved the paper from a one-
story building on the southwest cor-
ner of Central Avenue and Main
Street to a two-story building on the
north side of the lot where the Angebilt
Hotel later stood. In 1884, a fire de-
stroyed that building and Gore found
himself put out of business. Orlando
citizens came to his aid, however, and
provided money for a new plant.
Mahlon Gore became a prominent
citizen of the area. Between 1894 and
1896 he served three terms as mayor.
He was elected vice president of the
Florida Press Association in 1889 in
Pensacola and was twice elected
president of the association, the first
time in 1890 at Lake City and the
second time in 1891 in Ocala.
Shortly after his election to a sec-
ond term, his health again began to
fail and he soldTce Orange County Re-
porter to Samuel R. Hudson, a mem-
ber of the staff of The Kansas City Star.
He continued his relationship with
the newspaper as a contributing edi-
tor until his death in 1916.

Present at the Lake City meeting
were the following members of the
state press association:
J.B. Humphries, Manatee River
Journal, Bradenton
T.W. Harris, New Capitol, Ocala
C.B. Pendleton, Equator-Democrat,
Key West
G.I. Metcalf, Indian River News,
John Caldwell, Jasper News, Jasper
Lucy Vannevar, Journal, Sanford
T.T. Stockton, Times-Union, Jack-
C.H. Pratt, Herald, Palatka
N. Bowen, Floridian, Tallahassee
T. Oliver, Tobacco Plant, Lake City
H.S. Allyn, New Smyrna
S.R. Bassett, Leader, Kissimmee
J. Russell Kennedy, Times, Palatka
J.H. Ancrum, Times, Jasper
J.Ira Gore, Commercial, Cedar Key
James Dickinson, South Florida
Progress, Fort Meade
James B. Matthews Sentinel,

E.O. Painter, Agriculturist, DeLand
D.J. Heartick, Register, Brooksville
I.C. Webb, Bradford County Tele-
graph, Starke
Fred L. Robertson, Hernando News,
P. Corr, Home Seeker, Gainesville
S. Johnston, Agriculturist, DeLand
Charles W. DaCosta, Dispatch and
Farmer and Fruit Grower, Jacksonville
E.D. Oslin, Florida Facts, St. Francis
John E. Harris, Florida Facts, St.
Stephen Powers, Dispatch and
Farmer and Fruit Grower, Jacksonville
J.M. Rice, Sentinel, Orlando
H.R. Stoy, Tobacco Plant, Lake City
W. Breeze, Home Seeker, Gainesville
E.C. Moore, News, St. Augustine
C.L. Bittinger, Banner, Ocala
M. Hood, Marion Free Press, Ocala
E.J. Seymour, News, St. Augustine
John Frank, Pablo Beach Breeze

That The Florida Times-Union placed
special importance on the adjourned
meeting of the editors in Jacksonville
on June 30 is indicated in the follow-
ing editorial that appeared that day:
"Today's incoming trains will
bring to Jacksonville the editors of
Florida en mass, prepared to affect a
re-organizationof their state press as-
sociation upon such a basis as will
make it of practical advantage to its
members every day in the year. The
selection of this city for holding this
adjourned meeting was a compliment
to the metropolis of the state, which
her citizens fully appreciate, and they
sincerely hope that their distin-
guished visitors may enjoy to the ut-
most the form of entertainment which
it has been decided to offer them."
In a brief item on the editorial page,
The Times-Union again pointed to the
importance of this particular FPA
meeting in these words:
"To-morrow's issue of The Times-
Union will contain a full report of the
proceedings of the Florida Press As-
sociation, including the business
meeting in this city to-day, the literary
exercises at Murray Hall to-night,
personal sketches of the members,
and all the solid information and
small talk incident to the visit of the
"An extra large edition will be is-
sued, and it will be of unusual interest
to the people of Florida. Newsdealers
who have not already ordered extra

Florida Livine / November 1992

copies should do so at once."
The reorganization committee met
the latter part of May at Ormond-on-
the-Halifax, and after two days of de-
liberation drew up a new constitution
and by-laws for the association. This
document was presented to the mem-
bership in Jacksonville at the Board of
Trade rooms. The opening session on
June 30 was described by The Times-
Union as follows:
"At 3:15 p.m. there was a full house
at the board of trade rooms-mem-
bers of the association, citizens, local
reporters, ladies, city officials, rail-
road men, and 'the small boy,' who
always manages to 'get there' some-
how. The association room of the
board of trade quarters was well
filled: nearly a hundred people were
present. Besides the lady members of
the organization, many wives of the
members were in attendance, and a
fine looking set of men and women
the press representatives of Florida
In his opening remarks to the asso-
ciation, President Gore commented
on the presence of the ladies as fol-
"Ladies, our best efforts are made
in your presence in the inspiring pres-
ence and kind counsels of her who
works beside the men. I am glad to see
you here. We need you. We need your
approbation when we do well. We
deserve your disapprobation when
we do ill."

New Constitution

Following these remarks, Presi-
dent Gore called for the presentation
of the new constitution and by-laws.
The document was read in full by T.T.
Stockton. It contained these provi-
Article Two was worded in such a
way as to stress business interests as a
major object of the association. It read:
"The object of the Association shall be
the advancement of the material in-
terests and extension of the social rela-
tions of editors."
Article Four on membership
closed the ranks so that only editors,
managers, publishers or proprietors
"who are actively engaged in journal-
ism of a class which can be mailed as
second class matter, shall be eligible
for membership." Part Two of this

article said: "No proxies shall be al-
lowed at any meetings held by, or on,
excursions arranged.for this associa-
The by-laws were sweeping in
their control over the membership
and the future conduct of the associa-
tion. Applications for membership
had to be in writing, accompanied by
recommendations from two mem-
bers. A membership committee then
reviewed the applications and passed
them along to the membership for
voting with the use of black and white
balls. Three black balls were enough
to deny membership. Each applica-
tion for membership also included a
pledge by the membership seeker that
while the application was pending he
would conform to all the association's
rules and regulations.
Rule Fourteen of the by-laws
sought to force every newspaper in
the state to join up or lose all exchange
privileges. This provision read:
"From and after a period of three
months after the adoption of the con-
stitution and by-laws, it shall be the
duty of the members to withhold all
courtesies of exchange or other jour-
nalistic amenities from all newspa-
pers in Florida who are not members
or whose applications for admission
are not pending; provided, however,
that in case of new papers which may
hereafter be established they shall be
entitled to the courtesy of exchange
until the next annual meeting.
Rules Fifteen through Eighteen set
forth the controls the association
would exerciseoveradvertisingin the
interest of the membership.
Rule Fifteen called for each mem-
ber to provide the association's execu-
tive committee with information con-
cerning any questionable activities of
advertising agencies so the associa-
tion could keep its members informed
as to which were reliable and which
were not.
Rule Sixteen stated that no mem-
ber should pay an advertising agency
more than a 25 percent commission
and should never allow this commis-
sion to be paid directly to the adver-
tiser as a way of cutting rates. The rule
did allow publishers under contracts
at variance with the rule to complete
their contracts.

List ofFPA Constitution Articles con-
tinued in December issue.

Pn~~ -^

Part five in
a series on
the history of
the Florida Press

the Qan

Miami Herald office building in 1927 on South Miami Avenue and Second Street.


Amendment listings continued
from November 1992

Gf ule Seventeen re-
quired every mem-
ber to provide the
secretary of the association with "ex-
act advertising rates" for all classes of
advertising. It required the secretary
to publish the rates and required him
to make corrections in the listings
when rates were changed by any
Any publisher guilty of cutting his
published rates could be suspended
from the association and after that no
member could extend journalistic
courtesies to his newspaper.

Rule Eighteen prohibited any
member from cutting his legal adver-
tising rates or offering any kind of
rebate that would cause his rate to be
below that required by law.
Rule Eleven was one of the most
sweeping in its implications of all the
rules in the new by-laws because it
was an effort on the part of the mem-
bers to police all members and even
try them in a kind of court session on
charges made against them. This pro-
vision read:
"Rule Eleven. It shall be the duty of
the committee on arbitration to re-
ceive complaints of unprofessional
conduct, violations of these rules or
cutting of rates, and arbitrate differ-
ences between members, or between a
member and an editor or publisher
who is outside the association; to try
members upon charges which may

be preferred, and if such charges are
sustained to adjudge the penalty.
Appeals may be made from the
When such an appeal is taken, the
association shall hear evidence and
pass upon the case, the action being
final. When an appeal is taken, the
decision of the committee shall re-
main in force until the case is finally
disposed of by the association."
Through this rule the association
sought not only to keep its own mem-
bers in line but to discipline
nonmembers by withholding "jour-
nalistic privileges" if they were found
guilty of unprofessional conduct. The
nature of the "unprofessional con-
duct" is spelled out in only one in-
stance-rate cutting.
Further discussion of the reorgani-
zation was curtailed so the members
could catch the5 o'clock ferry to Pablo
Beach for dinner and an evening
meeting of speeches and entertain-
ment. The ferry left with about 100
persons on board, half of them wives
and friends of the editors.
A three-car train picked them up
on the other side of the St. Johns River
to take them to Murray Hall at Pablo
Beach. After dinner the editors met in
the hotel's billiard room at 8:15 for the
evening meeting.
The first order of business was the
reading of the new members' names:
John G. Collins, Tallahassean, Talla-
James H.C. Pratt, Herald, Palatka
Phillip Isaacs, Chronicle, Oviedo
W.B. Hill, Enterprise, New Troy
A. Hewitt Hill, Lake Region, Eustis
J.H. Hamilton, Messenger, St.
George P.E. Hart, Blade, Belleview
James S. Gardiner, Times-Courier,
John Cross, Orange Grove,
Sallie E. Cummings, Times,
J.C. Clay, Star, Mannfield
Eugene S. Matthews, Independent,
Foster Park
Annie Hood, Witness, Ocala
A.P. Williamson, Phosphate Field,
Floral City
J.L. Harlow, Messenger, Pasadena
George E. Miles, Star, Mannfield
A.A. Armington, Register, Brooks-
R.M. Andrews, Public Spirit, Cocoa

Florida Living / January 1993

Solon A. Adams, Jacksonville
John C. Witt, News, Pensacola
C.N.S. Wilson, Advocate, Manatee.
George N. Truax, Truth, Tarpon
M.D. Randall, Green Cove Springs,
Green Cove Springs
M.S. Stovall, Times, Sumterville
J.A.K. Stevens, Courier-Informant,
F.H. Stout, Press, Fort Myers
W.R. Shields, Alliance Farmer,
Alex Ramsey, Vindicator, Mount
F.J. Pepper, Arcadian, Arcadia
C.E. Harris, Tribune, Tampa
W.C. Crum, Advocate, Tampa
L.J.J. Nteuwenkamp, Advocate,
Johnson. Times, Apalachicola
John N. Jolly, Journal, Daytona
E.B. Bughardt, Courier, Wildwood
B.E. Prevatt, Record, DeLand
H.V. Sevier, Times-Union, Jackson-
B.H. Eldridge, News, DeLand
Henry Marcotte, Times-Union,
John C. Trice, Tallahassean, Talla-
W.W. Keep, Herald, Quincy
A.C. Turner, Times, Clearwater
W.B. Helvenston, Banner, Live Oak
A.C. Vance, Record, Orlando
J.H. Stoney, Times, Orange City
R.S. Nelson, Breeze, New Smyrna
Chas. A. Choate, Tallahassee
Monthly Bulletin, Tallahassee
A.B. Small, Jasper News, Jasper
C.E. Merrill, Standard, Jacksonville
L.B. Plumer, Congregationalist,
D. Redmond, Farmer and Fruit
James L. Crabbe, Standard, Jack-

The return to Jacksonville was ac-
complished by 8:15 on July 1 for a 9:15
meeting at which time the remaining
provisions of the constitution and by-
laws were discussed and approved
with minor changes. Adjournment
came at 4:30 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m.
about 50 editors and their wives left
on the S.F. & W. train for Chattanooga,
Tennessee, to attend the meeting of
the National Editorial Association.
On July 2, The Florida Times-Union
paid tribute to the members of the
association in an editorial, "A Work

Well Done." The editorial said, in
"Congratulations are in order. The
Florida State Press Association has
done its work well. As an organiza-
tion of the newspaper publishers and
editors of Florida for mutual benefit
and mutual protection, it will hence-
forth be of great service to them in the
conduct of their business.

hey have come to
understand each
other as they never
did before, and these relations will not
only strengthen the professional tie
and prove to be of material aid for the
present, but they will enable the asso-
ciation to better grasp its opportuni-
ties as they may arise in the future and
toso directmatterof legislation affect-
ing the newspaper business that the
best possible results may be secured
from the great expenditure of time
and money and effort which its pros-
ecution necessarily entails.
"At any rate, the association is
stronger than it ever was before, and
must of necessity make it a power in
the state.
"The new constitution and by-laws
were adopted with little friction. It
goes without saying that the press of
the state will watch matters very
closely, and see to it that every regula-
tion is rigidly enforced. Otherwise,
these new instruments will prove to
be only a rope of sand, and no good
can come of the new union.
"Every editor and newspaper in
Florida should now come into the fold
and help to make the association what
it should be-a business organiza-
tion. The Times-Union is very hopeful
of good results to flow from
yesterday's deliberations."
The Times-Union gave this conven-
tion of its fellow editors and publish-
ers columns of space, including pho-
tographic coverage. From time to time
the paper referred to coverage of its
"kodak editor," indicating that in
1890 the word "kodak" was used in-
stead of photo or camera.
Part of The Times-Union coverage
consisted of numerous biographical
sketches of important individuals at
the convention. The biography of the
newly elected vice president is noted
at this point because of his youthful
age to be holding such a statewide
position. He was 26.

Charles W. Pratt, FPA vice presi-
dent, was born in Gadsden County,
Florida, Nov. 18,1864, the third son of
George W. Pratt, a member of the
association's first executive commit-
tee. He moved to Palatka with his
family in March 1869. His first active
journalistic work was in Leesburg,
Florida, where, at the age of 18, on the
death of his brother-in-law, C. L. Tho-
mas, he edited The Sumter County Ad-
vance for five weeks, at the same time
doing all the mechanical work.
At the time of his election to an
office in the Florida Press Association
he was correspondent for a number of
"leading newspapers in the South,"
and for three years had been associate
editor for Florida for The National Edi-
torial Journalist. He was well known in
his area for a personal column,
"Pratt's Prattlings," in The Herald at
During the yellow fever epidemic
of 1888, he changed The Palatka Herald
into a daily, at a time which "seemed
most unpropitious for such a ven-
ture," said The Times-Union. The
newspaper went on to say that Pratt
succeeded with his daily through
untiring energy and perseverance.
In September 1889, Chas. H. Pratt
& Bro. formed a co-partnership with
Pratt Bros. of Leesburg, purchased
The Palatka News, discontinued it, and
at the time of the FPA convention of
1890 were editors and proprietors of
The Palatka Daily and Weekly Herald
and The Leesburg Commercial.
Prior to the opening of the 1891
annual convention at Ocala on Jan. 14,
The Times-Union emphasized the im-
portance of the reorganization of the
association. In an editorial entitled,
"The Florida Press," it stated:
"Today the Florida Press Associa-
tion meets in Ocala-the city of con-
ventions-for a three-day session.
This is the first annual meeting to be
held under the new constitution by
the revivified association. The asso-
ciation was rapidly declining in inter-
est and influence when the editor of
The Orange County Reporter gave it a
"brace" last spring just prior to the
Lake City meeting. The result was a
plan of reorganization, which was
perfected at the meeting in Jackson-
ville last July.
"This was only the beginning of the
work-the initial step. President Gore
is the personification of the idea that

Florida Living / January 1993

the press association in this state
ought to be something or nothing-
and he is on the side that should make
it something. If all the members of the
association make it a point to attend
the first meeting, the progress, useful-
ness, value and influence of the asso-
ciation will be assured. The work
must not be left to a few. The interest
and the effort must be general.

Ocala Meeting

The Florida Press Association's
first session of the Ocala meeting, be-
ginning at 4 p.m. in the reading room
of the "Ocala Rifles," was attended by
only 18 editors when President
Mahlon Gore rapped for order. More
delegates were expected on the night
train and more did arrive in time for
the evening session in the parlor of
the Ocala House. Highlight of the
evening was the address by Mr. Gore.
Two other events drew newsmen
to Ocala for this particular conven-
tion, the Farmers Alliance Exposition
and the "Blue and Gray" reunion. It
was reported that more than 1,000
excursionistss" were on hand for the
Blue and Gray convention.
Despite the small attendance at the
opening FPA session, Ocala's mayor,
Major R.L Anderson, delivered a stir-
ring welcome that reflected some-
what the high esteem in which the
press was held by citizens of the day,
particularly officials. He said, in part:
"We feel it an especial honor to be
thus permitted to open our portals for
the reception of such distinguished
and intelligent guests. The press is
truly the embodiment of the wisdom
and enterprise and progress of the
age.... The press fights the great,
tremendous battle of politics. It com-
bats sin and is the vehicle of the gospel
and wages the warfare of the church
"It is the vanguard in the army of
occupation which moves on and sub-
dues the wilderness of the great West
and South. It is the friend and support
of the family circle and the vigilant
and alert guide of the citizen... .The
citizen must be made to think, and the
newspaper is the force which shall
teach, and it is teaching the citizen to
do so.. .for words are things, and a
small drop of ink falling like dew
upon a thought, produces that which

makes thousands, perhaps millions,
In his annual "state of the press"
speech, President Gore continued to
support the thesis that the press asso-
ciation had taken the right track in its
reorganization. In his introduction he
paid tribute to a fellow editor, Henry
C. Vance of The Orlando Record, who
had died during the year. Part of the
mission of the association in meeting
in Ocala was to examine the phos-
phate mines and learn about phos-
phate and its impact on Florida.
Concerning the discovery of this
substance, President Gore said, "We
are led to believe that our wealth of
climate and fruits is to be eclipsed by
a vastly morevaluable mineralwealth
which had never been dreamed of
until within the past year."

ore went on to point
out the superiority of
journalists over the
phosphate businessman
by stating:
"It is part of our mission to glean all
the facts obtainable, as they are
brought to light and give them to the
world. It is a work of love and patrio-
tism which brings no reward to no
other than that which comes of doing
"The information which we will
disseminate will put thousands of
dollars into the pockets of men who
will forget the source from which it
comes. But there is a bit of compensa-
tion for us in the reflection that in the
great hereafter to which we are going,
we can take with us the conscious
assurance that we have unselfishly
contributed to the advancement and
development of the world, while the
other fellow can take with him neither
phosphate nor dollars to give him a
reflected importance.
"We may well be willing to risk our
record of work accomplished against
his selfish forgetfulness and feel as-
sured that infinite wisdom will place
the jewels where they belong."
President Gore called the libel laws
of Florida "a disgrace to the state." He
said, "No paper can truthfully report
a transaction as a matter of news, in
which an individual may happen to
figure in a disreputable way, without
being liable to a suit for damages, or
even a criminal prosecution.
"There are a few men in the state

who favor this gag law, and who will
do all in their power to perpetuate this
iniquity." He proposed that the asso-
ciation "prepare an address to the
state legislature asking that the
muzzle be removed and placed on the
man who is ashamed to have his acts
brought out into the full light of God's
blessed sunshine."
As the leader of the state press,
Gore's opinions about advertising
and the newspaper business as prac-
ticed in the last decade of the 19th
century in Florida are worth noting.
He dealt at length on these matters in
his annual message:
"The regulations concerning ad-
vertising and advertising rates
adopted by our association have al-
ready proven of advantage to us. For-
eign advertisers are coming grace-
fully to our terms, while the wisdom
and justice of our actions are recog-
nized and approved by home patrons.
"All men like a square deal, and
like to do business with those who do
not need watching, who deal with all
alike, and who are governed by rigid
business rules. The man who demor-
alizes his own business has no right to
find fault if he is not appreciated in his
own town.
"It will be better for us, and more
profitable to advertisers if instead of
spending time figuring ona reduction
of our rates, in their cause, we employ
our talents in making our papers more
meritorious and more valuable to ad-
vertisers as well as readers.
"The paper which will take the
advertisement of a businessman for
the least amount of money is not al-
ways the cheapest paper to advertise
in. With a wise business man an ad-
vertisement is an investment which is
expected to return a profit. It is ex-
pected to bring customers who would
not come otherwise.
There is a difference in customers
also. Some are very desirable. Others
are not To place an advertisement
where it will be read by the greatest
number of desirable customers, and
where a given amount of money ex-
pended will bring the greatest vol-
ume of business, is where the science
of advertising comes in.
"Five dollars in a widely circulated
paper will bring more business than a
whole broadside in-another whose
circulation is limited to a single school
district All newspaper managers are

Florida Living / January 1993

greedy for first class advertisements,
but shrewd businessmen soon learn
to look with some disfavor upon the
paper that offers special inducements
on half pages and whole page loudly
displayed ads.
"A really good paper discourages
'loud' advertisements, because its
manager understands that the public
regards such exhibitionsas it does the
claims of loud talkers. Advertise-
ments to be winning must be 'newsy'
just as much as any other department
of the paper.
"They should deal in facts which
the customer will find to be veritable
facts when he investigates. They
should be candid, crisp and truthful
so as to create and leave pleasant im-
pressions in the minds of readers and
"If a merchant advertises 'great re-
duction in prices' with a mental reser-
vation at the time that he will add
enough to the regular price of his
wares to reimburse him for the cost of
his advertising, a discriminating pub-
lic will discern the fraud, and will
forever after regard his advertise-
ment with suspicion. Such a merchant
will inevitably reach the final conclu-
sion that advertising does not pay.
Advertising does."
Gore spent an equal amount of
time in his address on the need for
Florida to promote its resources
through advertising saying, "The
subject of immigration is one which
may well commend itself to the favor
of the association. The future devel-
opment of Florida and, incidentally,
the success of each one of our papers
depends largely upon the influx of
people and capital to our state."
He pointed out that the Florida tax
of one-eighth of one mill to support
the Bureau of Immigration, charged
with promoting new residents, was
pitifully small. He called for the tax to
be raised to one or two mills on the
Concerning further promotion to
place Florida before the eyes of the
nation, he suggested:
"It is always pleasant to combine
pleasure with business. In direct line
of these ideas I would suggest that the
Florida Press Association arrange an
excursion into the West during the
month of June next. That a committee
be selected at this meeting to arrange
for transportation for the party and

for acar of Florida exhibits; that mem-
bers who go take their wives with
them, and that the trip be made one of
pleasure and relaxation on the one
hand, and a great advertisement for
Florida on the other; that the pilgrim-
age embrace the iron regions of Ala-
bama, the cotton-growing regions of
western Tennessee and eastern Arkan-
sas, and extend as far as the vast grain
fields of the Missouri River region."
President Gore's final words indi-
cated that all was not going as well as
hoped with the new rules of the asso-
ciation. Some members had dropped
out and other prospective members
had failed to join. Like a football
coach, Gore spoke with enthusiasm of
the new program, however.

"The citizen must be

made to think, and the

newspaper is the force

which shall teach, and

it is teaching the

citizen to do so."

"It is but little more than six
months since our association was re-
organized and commenced business
on anew basis. Itis to be regretted that
even one or two of our valued mem-
bers have fainted and fallen by the
wayside; without giving the new
principles a fair and new test.
"There can beno doubt that we are
on the right track. Firmness and con-
sistency will surely bring the victory.
Let us maintain our ground and stand
by the everlasting principles of justice
until those who live by fleecing us
acknowledge our supremacy and the
righteousness of our action, and until
every press association in America
shall take knowledge of us and fall
into line with us."
Eighty-five FPA delegates, many
of whom were women, spent most of
the final day of the convention touring
the phosphate mines at Dunnellon.
There was a banquet of wild game at
the Homosassa Inn before the group
returned to Ocala for a final business
meeting at which Mahlon Gore was
re-elected president. C.B. Pendleton,
Equator-Democrat, Key West, was

named vice-president, and D.H.
Elliott was re-elected secretary-trea-
surer. The Ocala Banner listed the fol-
lowing editors in attendance at the

Mahlon Gore, Reporter, Orlando.
D.H. Elliott, SL Augustine
Charles A. Choate, Agricultural Bul-
letin, Tallahassee
J.C. Webb, Telegraph, Starke
LJ. Brumby, Constitution, Monticello
Capt. J.B. Johnson and Clifford H.
Johnson, Democrat, Dade City
George E.P. Hart, Blade, Belleview
Guy and W.J. Metcalf, News, Indian
C.H. Pratt, Herald, Palatka
J.H. Humphries and wife, Manatee
River Journal
Mrs. Lucie Vannevar, F.A. Mann,
Coast Gazette, Ormond
W.B. Hill, Enterprise, New Troy
A.C. Turner, West Hillsborough
Times, Clearwater Harbor
Will C Shugart, Graphic, DeFuniak
Rev.L D. Plummer, Southern Con-
gregationalist, Jacksonville
C.B. Pendleton, Equator-Democrat,
Key West
S.R. Bassett, wife and daughter,
Leader, Kissimmee
W.S. Turner, Floral City Publishing
J. Edward Strother, Standard,
W.W. Keep, Herald, Quincy
Charles DaCosta, Florida Dispatch
Major George Fairbanks, Mirror,
N. M. Bowen, wife and daughter,
Floridian, Tallahassee
T.T. Stockton, Times-Union, Jackson-
Col. C.E Merrill, Standard, Jackson-
W.T. Randall, Green Cove Springs,
Green Cove Springs

This list of 34 delegates, including
some wives and daughters, probably
is an accurate list of those attending
the 1891 meeting in Ocala, although
newspapers reported that "110 places
were laid" for a Citizen's Dinner
given the press by Ocala residents at
the Ocala House on the first night of
the convention. Those served, how-
ever, included a number of Ocala offi-
cials, wives and friends, as well as
some officials of the exposition and
the "Blue and Gray" gathering. 0

Florida Living / January 1993


0 a

Part six in a series on the history of the Florida Press Association


Poor Country Editor

(7 1892 meeting was sched-
uled to be held in Quincy,
Florida, but was changed by
President Gore to Jacksonville, Jan.
25-26. This meeting apparently was
sparsely attended and produced no
controversies or long debates. Presi-
dent Gore directed almost all of his
annual message to the problem of
immigration into Florida.
He called on the editors to help
change the image of Florida from a
land of swamp south from St Augus-
tine by letting people "know that
Florida as a whole with her cotton and
grainfields in the north, her sugar and
rice fields, her groves and vineyards
in the south, presents greater induce-
ments to the home-seeker and the in-
vestor than any other portions of the
American continent."

Some questions arose over mem-
bership policies. A committee was
appointed to recommend revisions to
the constitution and by-laws concern-
ing membership and report before the
end of the convention.
This committee recommended
that membership be open only to ac-
tive editors, publishers or managers
of Florida newspapers eligible for sec-
ond class mail permits. Thus, the com-
mittee recommended that the associa-
tion vote to uphold the membership
section of the by-laws passed in 1890.
Another amendment called for a
standing membership committee
to pass on eligibility of new ap-
plicants and to purge the rolls at each
Again, this recommendation was a
vote of confidence in favor of action
taken in 1890, except that the new
committee would have the power to
drop non-active members from the
rolls. Both amendments passed.

C.B. Pendleton, editor-publisher
of The Equator-Democrat in Key West,
was elected the new president and
Frank E. Harris, Ocala Banner, was
named vice-president D.H. Elliott
was elected secretary and Charles
W. DaCosta from The Florida Dispatch
became the new treasurer.
The new executive committee ap-
pointed by President Pendleton con-
sisted of S.R. Bassett, Kissimmee
Leader, CE. Merrill, Jacksonville Stan-
dard; T.T. Stockton, Jacksonville Times-
Union; P.W. Corr, Gainesville Home-
Seeker; and CH. Pratt, Palatka Herald.
Those attending the opening ses-
sion in the board of trade rooms, as
listed in press reports, were:
Mahlon Gore, Orlando Reporter
C.B. Pendleton, Key West Equator-
Tom Harris, Ocala New Capitol
Guy I. Metcalf, Juno Tropical Sun
C.E. Merrill, Jacksonville Standard

Florida Living / February 1993



o7nk in

the Cand

Louis J. Brumby, Monticello Consti-
T.T. Stockton, Jacksonville Times-
J. Irving Crabbe, Orlando Record
T.R. Moore, Fernandina Florida Mir-
P.W. Corr, Gainesville Home-Seeker
and Gazette
W.D. Randall, Green Cove Springs
LH. Eldridge, DeLand News
J. Barco, Bronson Times-Democrat
EO. Painter, DeLand Agriculturist
S.A. Adams, South Florida corre-
AM. Williamson, Floral City Phos-

Charles B. Pendleton, the new
president, was one of the most contro-
versial figures in Florida journalism,
and yet, he was elected president of
the association three times, and
served a fourth term by default when
the association failed to meet in 1895.
He thus occupied the president's
chair longer than any other journalist
Pendleton was born in Elizabeth
City, North Carolina, on Apr. 4,1857,
and moved to Florida at age 15 in 1872.
He taught school at Ft Ogden for a
few months and then left Florida for
life in Texas, returning to Florida in
1875. In 1876, he was nominated to the
state legislature from Manatee but
declined the nomination since he was
too young to hold the office.

is name first ap-
peared in Flor-
ida journalistic
history in 1880 when a number of
citizens of KeyWest started a newspa-
per called The Democrat, and asked
Pendleton to be its editor. The author
of a Key West history described
Pendleton in this way:
"His tendency to attack through
the columns of his paper any person
or institution that interfered with
him, or whom he thought stood in his
way politically or otherwise was most
unfortunate. His erratic nature led
him to believe that as a Democrat, he
should attack the Republicans
whether justly or unjustly, and he be-

gan a series of articles defamatory of
Judge W. James Locke of the United
States District Court, which led to a
libel suit in which Mr. Curry, Mr. Tift,
Mr. Moreno and other stockholders of
The Democrat were made defendants.
"The case was amicably adjusted,
but resulted in these gentlemen dis-
posing of their stock, and severing
their connection with the paper. Mr.
Pendleton continued his policy of at-
tack on everyone, and soon included
Mr. William Curry, Dr. Porter and
others, which brought another suit for
libel. He was sued for libel also by Mr.
C.T. Merrill, owner of the Russell
House. This was the only case that
went to court and resulted in a verdict
against Mr. Pendleton.
"Had he been less erratic, he might
have occupied an influential place in
the community for good, but he could
see no good in anyone's opinions but
his own, and to differ with him in any
matter would bring upon the offender
the most unreasonable vituperation."
Pendleton entered politics in 1882
in what was called the "most bitter
election ever held in Monroe
County." He ran against Republican
John Jay Philbrick as the Democratic
nominee for senator. His biographer
described this event as follows:
"Certain disclosures in his private
life shortly after his nomination
caused the Democratic Executive
Committee to request him to with-
draw from the ticket The wing of the
party that had supported him for the
nomination opposed this and Mr.
Pendleton declined to withdraw. Sev-
eral prominent members of the
Democratic Executive Committee
who felt he was not a proper candi-
date for their party, resigned their
position and announced they would
oppose his election."
Troubles in the Republican Party
caused a change in the slate and
Pendleton ended up running against
the incumbent, George W. Allen. De-
spite the fact that Monroe County vot-
ers usually voted solidly for the
Democratic nominee, Allen retained
his seat and Pendleton received only
two votes.
Shortly after the election, however,
the Democratic Executive Commit-
teecomposed of Pendleton support-
ers, challenged the election results,
but Allen still retained his seat. He
resigned later and a special election

was held and Pendleton ended up
going to Tallahassee.
Once in the state capital, he had the
old election re-opened, and the sen-
ate, by a majority of one vote, gave
him the seat. Thus, he became the
representative from the 24th Senato-
rial district and served through 1885.
In 1886, he ran as an independent
candidate for Congress and failed to
carry any county in Florida. In
Wakulla County, he failed to receive
any votes.
In 1885, Pendleton sold his news-
paper but after his second political
defeat started a new paper, The Equa-
tor-El Ecuador, an English and Spanish
daily. In 1888, he bought back his old
Democrat and merged it with the new
paper to create The Equator-Democrat.
Following his final terms as president
of the Florida Press Association,
Pendleton sold his paper to John M.
Caldwell of Jasper, Florida, but re-
gained control of it a few months later.
In 1897, when the paper was de-
scribed as "in its death throes," he
gave up and surrendered control to
his foreman and printers. This move
failed to save the paper, which ex-
pired a few issues later.
Pendleton was one of four Key
West businessmen charged with vio-
lation of the United States Alien Con-
tract Labor laws in 1894. A warrant
was issued for his arrest, but after a
full investigation by the US. District
Court in Key West, all the defendants
were discharged and it was ruled that
no illegal labor contracts had been
In 1896, ex-president Pendleton
gave the welcoming address to the
11th annual convention of the Na-
tional Editorial Association at St. Au-
gustine. The Times-Union reported on
Jan. 23,1896, that "his first mention of
Cuba excited the assemblage to cheers
and each recurring appeal brought
uproarious applause."
The 15th annual meeting of the
association was held in Tallahassee
May 9-10, 1893. This convention re-
vealed a number of things: first, that
the solemn constitution and by-laws
agreements reached in 1890 in Jack-
sonville to remove from the associa-
tion those newspaper publishers who
cut their advertising rates had not
been a success; second, the newspa-
pers were still having trouble getting
the legislature to do their bidding.

Florida Living / February 1993

and third, the editors liked to talk
about themselves as a poor, but
proud, minority group in the state.
In his annual address, President
Pendleton spoke about the advertis-
ing problems. He said, "Then the sub-
ject of advertising presents itself. We
should get more for our advertising
space. We should not sell it to agents
and cooperative newspaper concerns
for little or nothing as many of us are
now compelled to do, under the pre-
sent condition of affairs in the state."
The editors had strongly urged
members of the Florida legislature to
vote state funds for a Florida exhibit at
the Columbian Exposition in Chi-
cago. On this matter, President
Pendleton commented:
"Yes, Florida with her memories of
Columbus and the Spanish regime,
and Chicago with her present tribute
to him, are names to concur with! Yet
I see that of all the states, Florida is the
most poorly represented; I see that her
lawmakers in council assembled
refuse even a tardy and beggarly pit-
tance to do honor to the one that
Florida has more claim to than all
other Americans besides."

S r. Pendleton went on to
l stress how important
4 the newspapers were
to the citizens of Florida in interpret-
ing the activities of the Florida legisla-
ture and recommended that a stand-
ing committee of three be appointed
to provide the press of the state with
suggestions for "legislative reform,
and laws and constitutional amend-
ments for discussion." He admitted
that the newspapers of the state did
cover some legislative news but he
said it was done in a "general way, in
a kind of "fitful dream."
What President Pendleton sug-
gested was something entirely new in
the newspaper world. He wanted the
editors to get involved in the lawmak-
ing process and he wanted them to do
a better job of telling the people of the
state what went on in the legislative
chambers in Tallahassee.
Near the end of his address, the
FPA president painted in bitter
strokes the plight of the country edi-
tor with these remarks:
"It is said that the country newspa-
per, like the Methodist itinerant
preacher, is the harbinger of civiliza-
tion, and like him is the next poorest

paid for all hard workers. The Coun-
try Editor should be placed last, for he
doesn't even get the 'yellow-legged
"The parson makes no enemies
and lives well; the editor fights the
battles of the politicians who usually
give him the go by (all except Uncle
Grover); swears by the town in which
his paper is located; says of all brides
'that they are the most beautiful,' even
writes pleasant things of the groom
who is two years in arrears and also
the father of the bride, who is, possi-
bly a town councilman who has just
voted to give the newspaper, which
has been started to break him down,
the public printing.
"He writes and works for the
party; whips the voters in under pleas
that oftentimes he must know are the
sheerest cant; invites capital by dwell-
ing upon the advantages of the place;
and at the same time goes around the
city'with a patch on his frock behind,'
looking for a better day-the dawn of
that prosperity which he has done
more to bring about than any other
man in the community for his recom-
"But what are the results? That
which he has brought about is often
his curse. His honest criticisms of offi-
cials, his advocacy of measures, his
refusal to be led and used, his failure
to second the schemes of some design-
ing Jack Sharp, which, in larger cities,
might give him a measure of success,
have created antagonisms that, at the
first opportunity, will eventuate in
the establishment of a rival newspa-
per which as a rule succeeds to that
which the other has built up."
The orator chosen for the meeting
was Florida's state treasurer, the Hon-
orable E.E. Collins, a former newspa-
per man. Collins continued in this
same vein, picturing the journalist as
one of the world's forgotten men. He
"Sometimes a man can brave the
journalistic wrath of a nation for a
little while, but soon he will have ca-
lamity for his brother and oblivion for
his portion. He may well take pride in
the present, for to the patient, plod-
ding, fearless editor is due much of
our national greatness.
"Civilization follows the newspa-
per to the frontier, when the poor
fellow, whose desk is a dry goods box,
has made it possible for law and order


Press Association"
-lyrics by John C. Jeffcott

Song performed on Mar. 28,
1900, at closing ceremonies of
the 21st annual FPA session,
Fort Myers, Florida'

We bid you welcome, one and afn,
The Press Association;
Our hopes are great, our means are small,
We live on expectation
We're very grateful for your cal
You Press Association.

You're glad to see us too, I guess,
The Press Association;
We know there's nothing like the press
To cause a nice sensation.
And may our shadow ne'er grow less,
You Press Association.

We'D press you, but we wMI not squeeze
The Press Association
We'll give you fruit from off our trees
That beats the whole creation.
From trees that never felt a freeze,
You Press Association

And when you press the golden fruit
You Press Association;
Then press your lips and press your suit
To sweeten each relation,
And give an extra squeeze to boot
You Press Association.

And when again you homeward press,
You Press Association,
We wish you all a great success
With every publication;
And may all goodness ever bless
The Press Association.

Reprinted from The Fort Myers Press,
Mar. 29, 1900

Florida Living / February 1993

cL7lnk )y


and order to exist"
The orator pictured the editor as
one who never stopped to ask if jour-
nalism paid whenhe entered the busi-
ness. Concerning this editor, he said:
"Watch the columns of a county
newspaper, will you, especially the
local column, and you may note a
song of genuine thankfulness rip-
pling along through it like the music
of a brooklet amid the rocks and
rough places of a barren pasture.
"What ecstasy over a pound of
butter or a couple of links of sausage
and how the editor's grateful soul
thrills at a picked peck of snap beans
and early tomatoes!
"His poetic nature is aroused when
a nosegay of roses or pansies adorns
some abandoned paste pot upon his
windowsill, while a new straw hat
from the big store up the street nearly
brings on a case of spasms. Sweet
potatoes from some admirer's farm
are fatness to his appetite, and a string
of perch will call forth a notice worth
two dollars and thirty cents-regular
rates-while a 20-pound watermelon
is a foretaste for heaven, second to a
section of wedding cake.

e is thankful for every-
thing that comes and
never hesitates to say so.
He laughs and shouts over the lemon-
ade and ice-cream, or the lonesome
oyster of the churchfestival; but if you
want to reach such depths of grati-
tude as plummet line never elsewhere
sounded, or would you gaze upon
mountain tops of praise too lofty for
the flight of the eagle or the eye of
faith, just wait until CoL Lexso sends
around to the sanctum a fat, chunky
bottle with cobwebs covering the un-
broken seal Compatriots, that is bliss
and the limit of human gratitude can
be strained no further!"
The orator's lofty remarks, a con-
vention poem, the president's ad-
dress and a history of printing by T.T.
Stockton of The Florida Times-Union
constituted the "literary activities" of
the convention, without which no
editor's meeting prior to the turn of
the century in Florida was complete.

New members accepted at this
meeting numbered 39, a record num-
ber, although some of these so-called
"new members" were really old
members who had decided to rejoin
the old gang. They were:
T.J. Appleyard, Sanford Chronicle
T.A. Merrin, Plant City Courier
A.D. Roberts, Brooksville Star
S.B. Russ, Ocala New Capitol
H.J. Drane, Lakeland Cracker
W.N. Shine and C.B. Collins, Talla-
hassee Floridian
H.J. Braugher, Grove City Sub-
J.W. White, Jacksonville Journal of
John and W.J. Frank, Jacksonville
Mrs. M.C. Hubbard, Maclenny
H.W. Bennett, Leroy News.
P.V. Leavengood and L.L. Ranny,
Ocala Free Press
E.E Haskell, Palatka Times-Herald
A. Hafuer, Tarpon Springs Truth
J.I. Robertson, Brooksville News-
J. Ira Gore, Arcadia Commercial
F.A. Bailey, San Mateo Item.
F.A. Tillman, Sumterville Times
H.L Dodd, Lake City Reporter
H.B. Taylor, Lake City Tobacco Plant
George M. Truax, Tarpon Springs
RJ. Morgan, Clearwater Harbor
TS. Hamilton, Tampa Tribune
V.B. Hamilton, Wildwood Vidette
J.T. Hearn, Tampa Times
Frank H. Hafner, Grove City Sub-
Guy I. Metcalf, Juno Sun
A.E. Seldon, Bartow Progress
James T. Ball, Key West Advertiser
W.R. Pitts, DeLand Record
D.F. Lyons, San Antonio Herald
CH. Newell, DeFuniak Breeze
Lamont Bailey, Tampa Revita de
E.W. Peabody, Jacksonville Times-
T.J. Cochran, Inverness Phosphate
A. G. Kingsbury, DeLand Irrigator

A corrected list of approximately
85 members, wives, daughters and
newspaper staff members who had
agreed to take the association's excur-
sion to Chicago to attend the
Columbian Exposition was read. A

committee of five members was ap-
pointed, even at so late a date, to im-
plore members of the legislature to
appropriate a special fund for a
Florida exhibit at the exposition.
An official vote was taken among
those persons making the Chicago
trip and all agreed to a stopover at
Mammoth Cave for six hours.
Concerning this Chicago trip,
President Pendleton dosed his an-
nual address by saying in behalf of the
railroads, "Those who do appreciate
us should be remembered, and those
great railroad lines that will carry us
to Chicago should be mentioned in
the terms that they deserve in our
letters home. Such notices are better
than paid advertisements and this
much is due them at our hand."
At the final business session. C.B.
Pendleton was re-elected president;
C.L. Bittinger, Ocala Banner, was
named vice-president; and T.J.
Appleyard, a newcomer, as secretary.
Earlier in the meeting the association
had voted to merge the jobs of secre-
tary and treasurer. With the election
of Mr. Appleyard to the new position,
the 14-year stewardship of D.W.
Elliott, Sanford Herald, came to an end.
Since Mr. Elliott was honored at
the convention by being asked to sit
on the platform with the dignitaries, it
might be assumed that he resigned his
job in favor of another Sanfordite, T.J.
Appleyard of The Sanford Chronicle.
During most of his years as the FPA
secretary, Colonel Elliott was pub-
lisher of The Florida Dispatch, Jackson-
Colonel David Hubbard Elliott,
secretary of the association almost
from its inception, was born July 11,
1840, at Hillsborough, Lawrence
County, Alabama. The family moved
to a plantation adjoining Tuscambia
in 1847, where Mr. Elliott remained
until 1857.
He moved from the plantation to
Gulf Hammock in Levy County,
Florida, that year and then later to the
Suwannee River country in Lafayette
In 1860, Colonel Elliott went to
Texas, then to north Alabama, where
he enlisted in the Alabama state ser-
vice, but was mustered into the Con-
federate Army at Mobile, Alabama, in
1861. His regiment, the Second Ala-
bama, was garrisoned at Fort Gates in
Mobile Bay. He later was stationed on

Florida Living / February 1993

the Mississippi River and still later
enlisted in the cavalry service in the
Kentucky and Tennessee corps and
was captured at the battleof Perryville.
At the close of the Civil Warhe was
sent to Chicago and obtained employ-
ment with a musical instrument*
dealer in that city. Later he traveled
the northwestern territory as a sales-
man for various manufacturers of
musical instruments and other mer-
chandise. He organized and was the
first secretary of the Merchants and
Travelers Association and was instru-
mental in getting repealed a law that
required commercial travelers to be
licensed before "soliciting trade or
selling by sample in Chicago."
Colonel Elliott was business-
manager for several seasons of the
Mendelsohn Quintette Club of
Boston. He was promoter for PS.
Gilmore's peace jubilee in Boston;
was business manager for the
Barnaby concert troupe. From 1869 to
1873 he was general southern and
general western agent of the Kansas
Pacific railway; was present at the
organization of the "Buffalo Bill com-
bination," and was its first business
manager, keeping in advance of the
show from Chicago to the western
and eastern cities, to Boston and New
York, advertising the Kansas and Pa-
cific Railway and its lands, in connec-
tion with the show.

n the spring and summer
f 1873, he was general
passenger agent for the
Memphis and Charleston Railway. In
the summer of 1873 and 1874, he com-
menced service with the then Atlantic
and Gulf Railway as agent for the
transportation of fruits and veg-
etables with headquarters in Live
Oak, Florida.
He founded The Florida Dispatch
and the Florida Dispatch Fast Freight
Line and remained in this service until
the spring of 1887. He was then made
general freight and passenger agent
of the DuBary Line of St.John's River
steamers. He remained with them
until August of 1887 when he was
made general land agent of the South
Florida Railroad and Plant invest-
ment companies. He remained in this
service until Nov. 1,1889, when these
land interests were merged into the
Associated Land Department of
Florida, of which he became the

general land agent.
In 1879, he was one of the organiz-
ers of the Florida Press Association
and was named chairman of the ex-
ecutive committee and one year later
became secretary. He also was one of
the organizers of the National Edito-
rial Association in New Orleans at the
World's Exposition in 1884.

Editorial Excursion

The 1894 annual meeting of the
Florida Press Association was
marked by a complete lack of any kind
of business zeal and interest in adver-
tising and the principles adopted in
1890 that had been so strongly seen in
previous years.
Actually, themeetingwas one long
excursion that began on Sunday,
April 8,in Punta Gorda, and ended in
Tampa on April 14. Between those
two dates, meetings were held in Key
West, aboard the liner, Whitney, en
route to Havana, and in Cuba itself.
What the newspaper reporters
called the "editorial excursion" ar-
rived in Punta Gorda at 11 a.m. by
trainfromnorthern and western parts
of the state. Editors were met at the
depot by a reception committee
which brought refreshments and a
buttonhole bouquet for each press
member. Thestop inPuntaGorda was
brief. Within an hour and a half after
the train arrived the party was aboard
the Morgan steamer, Whitney, headed
down the bay for a stop at Key West
and then Havana. Describing this
event, one journalist wrote:
"The party arrived on a special
train Sunday, 11 a.m., and were met
by a reception committee and es-
corted to long dock and aboard the
Morgan steamship Whitney. Refresh-
ments, fruits and flowers were served
by the committee during the three-
mile run from town to the steamer.
Punta Gorda was highly compli-
mented for her hearty reception and
she maintained her reputation of al-
ways doing the right thing at theright
time with a lavish and unstinted
"The party sailed at 11:30 a.m. and
will return in one week, via Punta
Gorda and Port Tampa. The excur-
sionists are of the handsome, intellec-
tual cream of the state, bound to Cuba

on pleasure bent. The association
passed a strong resolution to congress
for harbor appropriation for the port
of Punta Gorda."
Besides 30 persons in the party not
connected with the press, the excur-
sionists included:

Charles H. Pendleton, FPA presi-
dent, Equator-Democrat, Key West
T.J. Appleyard'and daughter, sec-
retary of the Florida Press Associa-
tion, Sanford Journal
H.H McCreary, T.B. Stringfellow,
T.A. Carroll, Gainesville Sun
S.R. Stoddard, News
Mrs. Annie N. Marcotte, St. Augus-
tine Tatler
S.J. Jourdan and wife, St. Augustine
S.W. Johnson and wife, DeLand
B.C. Foreman, Starke Telegraph
J.M. Rice, Lake City Reporter
M:C. Dovel and wife, Orlando Sen-
F.E. Harris and wife, Ocala Banner
T.W. Harris, T.E. Culverhouse,
Ocala New Capitol
J.H. Humphries and wife, Tampa
Mrs. Vennor and daughter, Miss
Schultz, and Mrs. Lane, Ft. Myers
C.W. DaCosta, DaCosta Publish-
ing House, Jacksonville.
A.D. Williams and wife, Jackson-
ville Echoes of the South
W.R. Carter, Jacksonville Metropolis
J.W. White, Jacksonville Journal of
Thomas R. Townley, J. B. Bowen,
Kissimmee Gazette
W.C. Dodson and wife, Mrs. F.W.
Sams, Palatka Advertizer
D.P. Smith, New Smyrna Breeze
F.A. Bailey, San Mateo Item
John M. Caldwell, Jasper Times
Oscar Clute, Lake City Bulletin
J.K. Smith, Monticello Constitution
H.W. McCreary, Monticello Tribune
A.L Blue, Avon Park Idea
Mrs. Sarah A. Brush, Melbourne
Mrs. S. Powers and daughter, Jack-
sonville Farmer and Fruit Grower
S.W. Harden, Chicago Tribune
W.E. Pabor, Pabor Lake Pineapple
O.J. Farmer, Bronson Times-Demo-
W.H. Bullock, Bartow Courier-In-

l.^rl4l T iirnni / a0 wi,.rv 100'

c;nk in

the &cm C\V

Miss Mary Burke, Bartow South
Florida Progress
W.H. Johnson and wife,
Apalachicola Times
W. Evans Pebble, Ft Meade.
John Frank and wife, W.H. Frank,
Jadcsonville Southern Tourist
J.A. Tilman, Sumterville Times
A.T. Brown, Glennwood News
O.B. Howers, F. Corridor and wife,
Manatee Journal, Bradenton
Joshua Mitchell and wife, Arcadia
Real Estate Journal
HE. Dodd, Lake City Reporter
T. Drew, Plant City Christian Index
O.E. Mitchell, Daytona Journal
B.W. Gilchrist, J.B. Sandlin, J.
Corbett, R. Earnest, G.T. Hubert, T.
Goldstein, Miss Ludwig, Punta Gorda

Another reporter was more spe-
cific about the treatment of the press
group in Punta Gorda during the brief
visit He reported: "At Punta Gorda
they were met by a delegation headed
by Gen. Albert W. Gilchrist, and were
loaded down with floral decorations
and great freezers of ice cream, free
lunches, free passes, free drives, and
free cigars, and the editors were
In Key West, the editors met in the
San Carlos Opera House to hear the
annual address by editor Frank E.
Harris of The Ocala Banner. Mr. Harris
spoke on "Poverty and the Press," or
the relationship of the newspaper to
the poor. The Ocala editor traced the
history of the press and pointed out
that in 1868 Florida had only 10 news-
papers whereas in 1894 that number
had grown to 120.
The speaker then moved to the
subject of the responsibility of the
press, asking the question: What is its
destiny? What is its present mission?
He said:
"If public office is a public trust,
how much greater the public trust of a
newspaper because its power for
good or evil is so much-greater, and it
is in a large sense the custodian of the
public morals, the character of the
people and the life of the nation.
"Each newspaper has a sacred ob-

ligation to the full measure of respon-
"Of all men we should be the most
just and tolerant It should be our
constant aim to protect the weak from
the strong. Between the oppressed
and the oppressor we should stand
with the force of a strong walL"
Mr. Harris told about starving ba-
bies, homeless families and jobless
beggars in the United States. He spoke
of a great revolution that was needed
in which the pen would usurp the
sword and ballots do the work of bul-
lets. He called on the press of Florida
to change the poverty picture, saying:
"Gentlemen of the state of Florida,
we would spur our latent and lan-
guishing energies, nerve our arms
and consecrate our minds and hearts
to the work of changing this unnatu-
ral picture to a more happy and pleas-
ing one.
"With our labor saving machines
and man's triumph over the forces of
nature, compelling them to do his bid-
ding, life should be something more
than a hard, desperate struggle from
the cradle to the grave, and squalor,
and hunger should be the rare excep-
tion and not the rule."

commenting on the exploita-
S) tion of Florida's and the na-
Stion's resources by promoters
of mining and transportation, he said:
"I shall not believe that when the
great God of creation was placing in
the bowels of the earth the coal, and
the oil, and phosphate rock, the gold
and silver and the precious stones,
that He was depositing these things
there for the exclusive use and benefit
of Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Flagler or an-
other individual, and any law that
permits the monopoly of the bounties
of nature by any one individual per-
mits a wrong on every other indi-
vidual throughout the whole uni-
Mr. Harris ended his speech by
calling on the editors of Florida to
consecrate to the high purpose of
striking "the shackles from every in-
dividual slave" and driving "the
pangs of hunger from every home."
He said, "Wherever the press goes, let
it be to the poor as a gleam of sunshine
to the darkened earth."
In later weeks, Editor Harris re-
ported in his Ocala Banner that the
editor of The Pensacola News had been

critical of his speech in Key West As
was the custom, major papers deliv-
ered at the state.press conventions
were made available to the newspa-
per members throughout the state to
run in their newspapers. The editor of
The Pensacola News questioned
whether Mr. Harris "practiced what
he preached," saying, "As custodian
of the public morals, has he not sup-
ported the prize fight and defended
Mr. Harris used a column on page
one to point out that the Pensacola
editor had three times questioned his
(Harris's) stand on these matters and
said that for the third time he would
prove that he had never defended
prize-fighting or lotteries.
An official meeting of the associa-
tion was held aboard the Whitney the
night the press group left Key West
for Havana. At thatmeeting President
Pendleton was re-elected and Mr.
Appleyard was again named secre-
tary. The new vice-president was.
Frank E. Harris of The Ocala Banner.
At a later meeting in Havana, just
prior to the editors' departure for
Florida, "the general passenger
agents of the state were electedhonor-
ary members of the association and
the president directed to place them
on the standing committee on trans-
portation," an honor, the reporter
noted, they no doubt appreciated.
A news story, datelined from
Tampa, Apr. 14, described the arrival
of the association members back in
"The Florida Press Association ar-
rived in this city this morning on its
return from Havana, about a hundred
strong. Mayor Easley, the local press
and a large number of prominent citi-
zens met the party at Port Tampa,
where Mayor Easley welcomed its
members most heartily to Tampa and
extended them every courtesy and
"Special rates were made at the
different hotels and restaurants. The
Consumers and the Tampa Street
Railway companies extended the
quill-drivers the use of their elegant
electric cars, and they were escorted
to West Tampa, the Chapin place and
Ybor City, viewing the sights of the
metropolis of Southern Florida.
"Mayor Easley, who is an old
newspaper man, did himself proud
in entertaining the visiting editors.

Florida Living / February 1993

Three cheers and a tiger were ten-
dered to Captain Douglass for the de-
lightful excursion on the electric road.
It was amusing to see the boys landing
at Port Tampa, each ladened with a
big bunch of cigarettes. Of course, the
editors do not smoke the abominable
things-they were just bringing them
over for some admiring friends."
No record can be found of a meet-
ing of the association in 1895. Lists of
officers elected through the years that
have been preserved by the associa-
tion carry the simple notation, "No
election held; the members visited St.
Augustine." The fact that the 1896
meeting in St. Augustine opened with
T.T. Stockton as acting president and
that Mr. Pendleton was addressing
the members of the National Editorial
Association, also meeting in St Au-
gustine at the same time as the meet-
ing of the Florida Press association,
indicates that no election was held in
1895 and that the association used
1895 primarily to plan the biggest
event in its history, the national meet-
ing of the NEA in Florida.

National Editorial

Association Excursion

A 10-day excursion into Florida in
1896 by some 700 members and wives
of the National Editorial Association
was carried out in cooperation with
the Florida Press Association, whose
members met jointly with the NEA in
St Augustine in January.
The editors arrived in Tampa on
Sunday, Jan. 19,1896, on their way to
St Augustine for their first official
business sessions. In Tampa they vis-
ited the cigar factories and were
guests aboard the steamship Olivette
for a trip down Tampa Bay to the Gulf
of Mexico.
The Florida Press Association, 60
strong, arrived in St Augustine on
Monday for its own business meeting
at the San Marcos Hotel, an estab-
lishment said to have the largest pi-
azza area in the world. The national
editors were expected to leave Tampa
Monday night and arrive in St. Au-
gustine on the Plant system in ap-
proximately 11 Pullman cars. A recep-
tion planned by the ladies for the
visiting editors was described in The

Times-Union as follows:
"The action of the ladies committee
in having their reception and after-
noon tea in Fort Marion, has resulted
in securing the permanent floating of
'Old Glory' from the ramparts of the
ancient fort. Captain Eddie Allen of
the sloop yacht Baldwin has presented
a fine, 40-foot-long flagpole, which
The Times-Union's St Augustine bu-
reau will erect and equip ready for a
United States flag, to be furnished by
Quartermaster Woodward of the
Third Artillery, and which the ladies
will hoist to the breeze at the opening
of their reception of the editors and
party at 3 o'clock Wednesday after-
noon. The ceremonies will be enliv-
ened by patriotic airs by the Third's
superb band."
Tuesday's edition of The Florida
Times-Union devoted more than two
pages to the NEA Floridavisit, saying,
"The delegates to the convention are
from every state in the Union and
territory that wants to get into it. They
are probably the most powerful body
of men on the western hemisphere.
The pen is mightier than the sword,
hence the national editors are an ag-
gregation and condensation of
With more than 70 papers sched-
uled forpresentation atSt. Augustine,
NEA President A.O. Bunnell issued
an injunction against long speeches
and limited each speaker to five min-
utes, which he interpreted to mean
a paper of between 1,200 and 1,400
Floridians on the program and
their speech topics were: "Manage-
ment of a Leading Daily in Florida,"
T.T. Stockton of The Times-Union;
"Commercial Journalism in Florida,"
J.W. White of The Jacksonville Journal of
Commerce; "Clerical Florida Editors,"
Rev. John M. Caldwell, Jasper News;
and "Agricultural Editors in Florida,"
by E.O. Painter, DeLand Agriculturist.
The separate meetings of the
Florida Press Association at the San
Marcos Hotel were sparsely attended.
Only 14 editors were present for a
morning session on Monday, Jan. 20,
and 12 showed up for the evening
meeting at 7:30 p.m. at which time the
following officers were elected: Presi-
dent, T.T. Stockton, Florida Times-
Union, Jacksonville; Vice-president,
J.W. White, Jacksonville Journal of Com-
merce; Secretary, T.J. Appleyard of The

Gate City Chronicle, re-elected; and
Treasurer, B.E. Prevatt, DeLand
The only other business under-
taken by the Florida editors was to
consider some changes in the
organization's constitution and by-
laws. A new section that would have
extended honorary membership to
railway passenger agents was de-
feated but a new section of the same
article was passed that allowed for
honorary memberships to be legal for
all ex-editors and "persons extending
courtesies to the association."
Under a headline, "Noblemen of
the Nation," The Times-Union bureau
reporter in St. Augustine told about
the editors' arrival in the Ancient
"The editors of the nation, seven
hundred strong, with their wives and
sweethearts, arrived in this city at 2
o'clock this afternoon, a little late 'tis
true, but the people of the old town
were none the less cordial in their
welcome. The town was in gala attire,
flags were flying everywhere, and ev-
erything presented a holiday appear-
ance, even to the people, who were in
their Sunday dresses.
"Business was almost entirely sus-
pended to see that the keys of the city
were presented to the visitors, and
that they should have a kind remem-
brance of the hospitality that can be
afforded by the Ancient City.

he editors were driven to
the various hotels, where
they were assigned rooms
for their stay here. After dinner, they
scattered through all of the quaint old
streets, and meandered eastward,
westward, southward and north-
ward, taking in the sea wall, the old
fort, the Ponce de Leon, barracks and
other points of interest They were
pleased beyond measure with what
they saw, and agreed that an ideal
spot has been chosen for the conven-
"Many remarked that of all the cit-
ies in the United States, old St Augus-
tine was the prettiest, and that of all
the people in the United States, those
of St. Augustine were the most hospi-
"No effort was made to begin the
business proceedings, as there was
not sufficient time, and it would have
been difficult to have secured a quo-

Florida Living / February 1993

P7nk in

the a-mnd

rum, so anxious was everybody to see
the city that bears the name of being
the oldest in the United States."
Itwasalsoreported thataTallahas-
see resident presented the St Augus-
tine ladies with three cases of "Florida
grown and made pineapple cham-
pagne" for their reception at Fort
Marion. The same newspaper re-
porter told about the organization of a
"cattle-car dub" by members of the
NEA western division on the trip to
Florida. He said:
"The cattle-car club is composed of
the western contingent from the lands
where the buffalo once ranged. One
of the jolly members of the cattle-
car club is W.E. Bolton, editor of The
Live Stock Inspector, of Woodward,
Oklahoma. Mr. Bolton is in Florida
for the purpose of inducing immi-
gration to the candidate for admis-
sion to the Union. 'With a little more
immigration,' says he, 'we will have
people enough to entitle us to
"He offers beautiful squaws with
heritages of entailed lands and the
'loveliest of divorcelaws. Our divorce
laws,' says Mr. Bolton, 'are the finest
on earth. Chicago is not in it at all. It is
really a fact that in Oklahoma you can
drop a five dollar bill in the slot and
secure a divorce while you wait; while
a ten dollar note will secure one abso-
lute. Oklahoma is the most beautiful
spot under the sun. We came away
from there just to demonstrate how
much better we like it as compared to
other spots when we go back.'"
The Florida writers seemed to
take delight in telling their readers
little anecdotes about their colleagues
from the rest of the nation. An Oregon
editor was said to have had an'affair
of the heart' in Thomasville on the
trip to St Augustine. The writer said,
"If he should chance to return that
way, he may find razors waiting
for him."
Western editors were described as
"great, big strappingsix-footers." The
writer went on to say, "In that country
they evidently act as their own bounc-
ers, and to secure a position on a
newspaper in the far west, one must

not only have brains but muscle
enough to whip every nine men out of
ten that he should chance to meet."
The Texas editors were described
as little fellows, but the writer said
they carry a gun in one boot-leg and a
bowie in the other. Kentucky editors
were said to be delighted with the
mild Florida weather, which they de-
scribed as "mint julep weather," and
then went in search of the "nearest
manufactory of mint juleps."
At the firstjoint business session of
the National Editorial Association
and the Florida Press Association on
Wednesday, Jan. 22, the visitors were
welcomed by Mayor Henry Gaillard,
who spoke for official St Petersburg,
the Rev. J.N. MacGonigle, who spoke
for the citizens and C.B. Pendleton,
immediate past president of the FPA.

n his address, Mr. Pen-
deton touched on condi-
tions in Cuba. It was later
reported that "his first mention of
Cuba excited the assemblage to
cheers, and each recurring appeal
brought appropriate applause, show-
ing that the NEA and Florida Press
Association are a unit for Cuba's rec-
Mr. Pendleton closed his remarks
with another reference to Cuba, as
"Now, brothers of the press, after
leaving SL Augustine, I would like to
welcome you to the city of Key West,
possibly the only tropical city in
America, a city of which it has been
said by one who loves her, 'that it lies
where the waters of the Atlantic and
the Gulf first meet and kiss each
"If you come there, we will give
you a hearty welcome. If you could go
further, say, for instance, to Cuba, we
would give you encouragement, but
today the Cubans are fighting for that
which we obtained in the great war of
the revolution. It is possibly on ac-
count of this war we have no repre-
sentative today from Cuba, but let us
treat that before another annualmeet-
ing, that the representatives of the
press of free Cuba may be with us."
President A.O. Bunnell, address-
ing the Eleventh Annual Convention
of the NEA in St. Augustine, saw far
ahead of his time into the modern
newspaper composing room, when
he said: "...And gigantic steps ahead

are being taken every year. The days
of the Linotype, now being estab-
lished in power, may already benum-
bered by the Monotype which casts
and sets single types and justifies au-
tomatically, and this may be thrown
aside for a photographic newspaper
production, which will do away with
types and presses."
Bunnell called uponhis association
to do something about journalism
education, saying the organization
had been dragging its feet for a de-
"At the first regular convention of
this association, held in Cincinnati,
1886, President Herbert, the origina-
tor of the association, forcefully advo-
cated that among the firstworks of the
association should be the taking of
steps for theestablishment of college
of journalism and the encouraging of
journalistic training in a few of the
existing universities.
"Every succeeding president from
that time on has 'taken steps,' but for
lack of practical propelling force on
the part of the association, these steps
have beensimply up and down move-
ments without any advance. It seems
to me that after ten years of 'marking
time,' at this commencement of our
second decade the sharp command
should be given to'forward march.'
"It has been suggested in this con-
nection that it would be a useful and
pleasant thing to have a course of
reading prepared, covering, say, four
years to embrace such topics as the
English language and literature, po-
litical economy, American history,
American constitutional state and
municipal governments, city and do-
mestic sanitation, ornamentation and
improvement of streets, grounds and
parks, newspaper publishing in all
its branches, including the biogra-
phies of leading editors of the United
States, and to provide for some sys-
tem for examination in this course of
reading from year to year, and at its
conclusion to give a certificate to the
several candidates as having com-
pleted the course of journalistic
reading adopted by the National
Editorial Association; the course
to include topics that are constantly to
be discussed by editors of the papers
in our smaller cities, as well as the
study of papers and treatises directly
bearing upon the business manage-
ment, advertising, circulation, edit-

Florida Living / February 1993

ing, localling, etc., that belong to ev-
eryday newspaper work.
"It is for me to supply on this occa-
sionnot the argument, but the sugges-
tion, foryour prompt and serious con-
Thus, President Bunnell not only
called for action to be taken on col-
leges of journalism, but he spelled out
a course of study not a great deal
different from that used in modern
journalism schools.
Bunnell was ahead of his time with
respect to recognition of women in
journalism. He told the editors, "As I
stand here today surrounded by fel-
low officers, it seems passing strange
to me that not one of them is a woman.
Fellow members, let the future see no
roll call of officers of the convention
that does not include at least one
woman. Woman is eminently capable
of filling a position the highest gift of
this association."
A leading female editor at the con-
vention was Anna M. Hughes
Marcotte, publisher and editor of The
St. Augustine Taller. Mrs. Marcotte
was bornin Williamsport, Pennsylva-
nia, in 1843 and was 52 at the time of
the NEA Florida Convention. She
married Lt. Amos B. Rhodes of the
Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, and
accompanied his regiment at the
battle of Antietam, and at the siege of

(he received a special
permit from General
Morgan, C.S.A., after
the battle of Shelbyville, to go on the
field to rescue the dead body of her
husband. Afterwards, she married
Capt. Henry Marcotte, U.S.A., and
served with him in the Dakota Terri-
tory prior to 1873, frequently having
to defend herself against attacks by
Sioux Indians at Forts Rice and Lin-
coln, and in those troubled and dan-
gerous times she proved that she
could handle a rifle with as much skill
and courage as any soldier.
Mrs. Marcotte was the first white
woman who ever crossed the plains
from Fort Lincoln to where the city of
Fargo now stands. Captain Marcotte
was ordered to make a trail for the
Northern Pacific Railway engineer in j
January 1873, and this remarkable
journey of 233 miles was accom-
plished in sleighs, camping in what-
ever spot fortune might provide.

To give some idea of the hardships
encountered on that journey, espe-
cially by woman, it is only necessary
to state that the mercury during the
entire trip, ranged from 28 degrees to
48 degrees below zero.
In 1891, Mrs. Marcotte became edi-
tor of The St. Augustine News, a society
journal, butonly remained one season
with that publication. In 1892, ap-
peared the first number of The Taller,
which immediately became popular.
Those writing about Mrs. Marcotte
during the NEA Convention said that
her publication "increased in popular
esteem each year, and with her indi-
viduality stamped on every page."
Mrs. Marcotte was said to be "an
indomitable worker, fatigue seems to
be unknown to her, and when not
engaged in her own business affairs,
she is constantly on the alert, doing
good here and there with willing
heart and strong hand. The chief traits
of this remarkable woman may be
summed up as force of character,
strong will, sound common sense,
quickness of perception and withal a
kindliness of manner and disposition,
in all of which she had few equals and
no superior among her sex."
Despite President Bunnell's rec-
ommendations in his annual address,
the committee on the president's
speech, when it reported to the con-
vention, recommended specific ac-
tion on only one topic.
The committee recommended that
the association secretary move imme-
diately to prepare a compilation of the
newspaper laws of the several states
to be ready at the next convention.
Concerning a course in journalism,
the committee simply recommended
that NEA commend the "pioneers
among the collegiate institutions that
have already adopted a special course
of study and endowed a chair for in-
struction in journalism and urge such
colleges and universities as have not
taken this step to take the matter up
for serious consideration In view of
the importance attached."
The president's wish for the asso-
ciation to begin -action on the estab-
lishment of a permanent headquar-
ters for NEA was left to the "best
thoughts of the incoming president."
As for the election of a woman to an
office in the association, it was recom-
mended that a special committee be
appointed to look into the matter. O

Florida Living / February 1993

"Banquetto the
Florida Press Association"
Mar. 28,1900

Oyster Cocktail.
"For this relief much thank.'-Hamlet
Radishes, Olives,
Cream ofCeleri[sic],
Consomme Imperiale
'Slow but sure, like summers advent'-Jenkins
Filetof Caoosahatchee
River Trout,
ala Montreulll,
Potatoes Parislenne.
Trom the rude sea's enraged and foamy mouth.'
-Twelfth Night
SL Julienne.
Then methought I heard a mellow sound.
Boiled Legof
New Green Peas.
"Unlike the editor, green and fesh.'-Anon.
Breastof Chicken
On Crustade, a la Relne.
And count their chickens ere they're hatched.'
Since punch and life so well agree.'-Blaclock.
Roast Wild Turkey,
SweetPotato Dressing,
"But man, curs'd man, on turkeys pray.'-Gay.
Stuffed Tomatoes,
Potato Croquettes,
Asparagus, Sauce Hollandaise.
'Bears vegetables in a gambling way.'-Byron.
'Sparkling bubbles of pure delight'-Jenkins.
"Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.'
Strawberry Ice Cream.
'Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.'
Assorted Cake.
Edam Cheese,American Cheese,
Water Waters, Nuts,
"The last taste of sweets is sweeter last.'-Richard II.
Coffee, Cigars
* Reprinted from The Fort Myers Press,
Mar. 29, 1900



Part seven in a series on the history of the Florida Press Association


Continued from February 1993

he second day of the joint
NEA-Florida Press Asso-
ciation convention was
filled with major addresses on mat-
ters relating to the press. An address
on advertising was directed more to-
ward the need for merchants-adver-
tisers-"to keep faith with their cus-
The merchant "must do as his ad-
vertisements promise; he must not
make claims which he cannot fulfill;
he must not expect advertising to pro-
pel trade against a tide of dishonest
dealing." The speaker indicated that it
was necessary for the newspaper to
educate advertisers in the path of hon-
esty in advertising.
A major paper on "libel laws" was
well received, according to reports of
the convention. Libel had become of
major importance to newspapers

throughout the United States as per-
sons who felt they had been injured by
the press began to use the courts
rather than the horsewhip or their
fists to settle grievances with editors.
T77 Times- Union, in reporting this par-
ticular speech, commented:
"Among the most attentive listen-
ers to the papers relating to the libel
laws was H.H. McCreary of The
Gainesville (Fla.) Daily Sun. Mr.
McCreary probably enjoys a distinc-
tion as defendant in libel suits that no
other member of the association can
boast of, having been sued for crimi-
nal libel by a baseball umpire for criti-
cizing his decisions during the game
between two local clubs."
One of the final acts of the conven-
tion before adjournment for an excur-
sion around Florida was a motion to
table a resolution that called on the
President of the United States to rec-
ognize the "belligerent rights of
Cuba." The motion to table this reso-
lution came only after several hours of

heated debate and "deafening
cheers" when Cuba was mentioned.
The sentiments of the convention
were strongly in favor of the Cubans
but the matter was laid on the table
because cooler heads prevailed with
pleas to leave such matters up to each
individual newspaper and editor.
Before adjournment, the NEA edi-
tors named H.H. Thomas, editor of
The Farmers'Friend ofMechanicsburg,
Pennsylvania, as their president, se-
lected Galveston, Texas as the con-
vention city for 1897 and named W.E.
Pabor of The Pabor Lake Pineapple,
Pabor Lake, Florida, as the poet laure-
ate of the group, for life. Mr. Pabor
already had been elected poet laure-
ate for the Florida Press Association.
Originally, the national editors
had planned to visit the"Biscayne Bay
country" of Florida before returning
home but The Florida Times-Union re-
ported on Jan. 24 that this would not
be possible since the railroad had not
been built south of Lake Worth. Their

Florida Living / March 1993


tour of Florida began in Daytona
Beach on Saturday, Jan. 25, where the
train stopped long enough for a quick
tour of the city. About 100 citizens, the
mayor and members of the city coun-
cil met the train. With them were more
than 60 "conveyances" of private citi-
Those who could find seats were
driven down Ridgewood Avenue, up
the river front, across the upper
bridge, "through the city beautiful,"
to the beach, down the beach to the
lower bridge and back to the station.
The drive was described as the most
beautiful in the "Fountain City," a
name frequently used for Daytona
Beach, along with the words, "the
City Beautiful."
After sightseeing as far south as
Palm Beach, the editors returned to
Jacksonville on Jan. 29, arriving at
11:30 a.m. The trip back up the state
began in Palm Beach at 9 p.m. and
took about 14 hours because of "hot
boxes all along the road." The special
train consisted of 12 coaches and one
baggage car.
In Jacksonville, the "Tripod Men,"
as the editors were called in the local
newspapers, went aboard the Vigilant
on Jan. 30 for a trip on the St. Johns
River. For their entertainment, or-
chestras from both the Windsor and
the St. James hotels provided music.
The Times-Union described the trip on
the river as follows:
"On the trip down the river several
boxes of magnificent Florida oranges
were opened and the golden fruit was
passed around among the guests. All
were delighted and surprised that
such oranges could be had in Florida
since the freeze. After the oranges
came a light lunch, consisting of sand-
wiches, strawberry ice cream, claret
punch, coffee and cigars for all who
cared to smoke."
As the editors concluded their
Florida meeting they were generous
in their praise of the state. Concerning
St. Augustine, one editor called it "the
city of pretty women, fine hotels,
grand churches and fair prices." An-
other said it was the "Italy of
America." A third said, "It is like go-
ing to a foreign country to come here
in January. Am delighted with the
quaint old buildings, the narrow
streets, and with the climate." An-
other said the climate was worth a
million dollars.

Not all were complimentary, how-
ever. An Oklahoman failed to be com-
pletely captivated. He said, "This
town is old enough to have whiskers.
If the streets were kept clean, with
fewer oyster shells spread around, the
city would be more pleasant."
Another editor said the city was
being slowly destroyed by "ruinous
improvements." A third said that St.
Augustine was "almost as full of rare
things as The Times-Union."

On to Nassau

The 1897 meeting of FPA consisted
of a one-day business meeting in
Green Cove Springs on Jan 20, at-
tended by about 30 members, and an
excursion to Nassau in the Bahamas.
The afternoon session, which be-
gan at noon in the courthouse of the
"Parlor City," featured the presi-
dent's address and election of officers
for 1897-1898. In his address, Presi-
dent T.T. Stockton three times
pleaded with the editors to set their
advertising rates and then stand by
them. He urged the members not to
accept payment for their advertising
space "in trade." This emphasis on
advertising rate cutting was a clear
indication that the time spent revising
the association constitution and by-
laws in 1890 to make it impossible for
members to cut rates had been a waste
of time.
The new officers, in addition to
President T.T. Stockton, were: F.L.
Robertson, Hernando News, Brooks-
ville, vice-president; T.J. Appleyard,
Gate City Chronicle, Sanford, secretary
and E.O. Painter, Agriculturist, De-
Land, treasurer.
Thomas Telfair Stockton, who be-
gan his second term as Florida Press
Association president at the Green
Cove Springs meeting, was born in
Quincy, Florida, Oct. 8,1853, and died
in Jacksonville Nov. 30, 1907. His fa-
ther was Col. William Tennent Stock-
ton and his mother was Julia Telfair
Stockton, both of whom were later
with him in the newspaper business
in Jacksonville.
T.T. Stockton's early education
took place in the private schools of
Quincy and the Quincy Academy.
After the death of his father, he as-

sisted his mother in running the fam-
ily plantation until he was 15 and then
he began a career as a civil engineer. A
year later, his family moved to Jack-
sonville and he became associated
with the Southern Express Company,
where he remained in employment
for 12 years. At the time he left the
express company in 1883, he was
route agent for the state of Florida.
Between 1883 and 1886 he was in
the mercantile business in Jackson-
ville as a successful merchant. In 1886,
he and his brothers, and some other
Jacksonville businessmen, bought
The Jacksonville Morning News and The
Jacksonville Herald and combined the
two papers under the name The News-
Herald. Later this same group incor-
porated as the Florida Publishing
Company, which published The
Florida Times-Union in 1888.
T.T. Stockton was treasurer and
business manager. Concerning his
management of The Times-Union, one
biographer wrote: "Under his man-
agement the paper became one of the
leading journals of not only the state
but of the South. He was familiarly
known as 'T.T.' and was a journalist
who took a foremost part in raising
the standards of the profession by
devotion to his calling."
Mr. Stockton was prominent in the
social, civic and economic life of
Duval County and the city of Jackson-
ville up until his death. He belonged
to the Seminole Club, was active in the
old Jacksonville Board of Trade, was
at one time commander of Stonewall
Jackson Camp No. 83, a member of the
United Sons of Confederate Veterans,
and an Elk. In his profession, he was
active in the affairs of the Southern
Publisher's Association.
On May 16,1877, he married Willie
Ann Lawton, daughter of Col.
Winborn J. Lawton and Sarah Lewis
Lawton, both of Georgia. The couple
had five children: Telfair Jr., Winborn
Lawton, Julia Telfair (Mrs. David K.
Catherwood), Mildred Lawton (Mrs.
Horace M. Fox), and Helen Clark.
Mr. Stockton was a strong advo-
cate of responsible journalism. In his
annual address at Green Cove
Springs he said:
"A great field of usefulness is
opening up for the newspapers of
Florida. Shall we embrace the oppor-
tunity to demonstrate the power of
the press, or shall we sit down su-

Florida Living / March 1993

c7_nk in

the 0Cad 'wT'

pinely or more properly speaking, lie
down and die an inglorious death?
"I, for one, say'No. Awake.' Assert
the power which your position gives
you, and let each and every one of us
remember that if we are right for the
discharge of ourwork, it is reasonable
to expect support, cooperation, and
sympathy from fellow members of
the organization to which we-belong.
I have observed-ppers springing up
-all-ovr Florida for the past decade
with verdant growth, which, at first,
promised to harden and grow into
strong journalistic trees, but time has
clearly demonstrated that only a
small proportion of such ventures be-
come a fixed success.
"I have before me a list of the state
papers, numbering in round figures
125. Knowing something of the locali-
ties in which they are published, I am
impressed with the idea that they are,
in the main, of a healthy and thrifty
growth, just such publications as
should lend their best aid to the up-
building of the Florida Press Associa-
tion, which means so much to its
members and the great state in which
we live."
Two things happened at this 1897
meeting that revealed the concern of
the Florida Press Association mem-
bers with the approaching war clouds
over Cuba. Prior to the meeting, a
number of newspapers had editorial-
ized about the long, naked coastlines
that circled Florida, a coastline with-
out adequate defenses against Span-
ish naval guns.
While the FPA was meeting at
Green Cove Springs, the members of
the Coast and Harbor Defense were
meeting in Tampa. One of the actions
of the Florida Press Association was
passage of a resolution expressing
"the hearty sympathy and co-opera-
tion of this association with the ob-
jects of that convention." What the
coast defense members were doing in
Tampa was making long speeches
about the need for adequate defense
of the state's coasts. The editors
agreed heartily with those objectives.
The second thing that happened
was at the "literary" session of the

association on the first night of the
convention. At that time members
heard poet laureate W.E. Pabor read a
poem called "Cuba Libre." This poem
rang out for 27 stanzas that called for
Cuba's freedom. The first two stanzas
were as follows:

From where eternal summer smiles
And rose perfume fills all the breeze,
The Queen Isle of the tropic isles,
Appeals for help across the seas.

From out a blood encrimsoned woe,
From out an agony of pain,
Those Cuban cries forfreedom flow-
Freedom from vassalage to Spain.

Twenty-seven members of the as-
sociation left Jacksonville on the
morning of Jan. 21 on one of the el-
egant coaches of the Florida East
Coast Line, for Miami where they
were scheduled to board the steamer
Monticello for their voyage to Nassau.
Accompanying the party were the fol-
lowing out-of-state journalists:
Charles E. Howard, editor of Farm,
Field and Fireside, Chicago; Joseph N.
Rodgers, managing editor of The
Philadelphia Inquirer; Miss Lottie
Miller of The Cincinnati Enquirer; and
Julian Harris of The Atlanta Constitu-
tion. The Times-Union said concerning
this junket:
"The trip down was highly en-
joyed by the entire party, but espe-
cially by the ladies. It was the first visit
to the east coast of most of the party
and was a revelation to them. Only a
glimpse of the beauties of St. Augus-
tine could be obtained, as we passed
through the Ancient City, but enough
was seen to assure our visitors that it
was no myth.
"At Ormond Beach and Daytona
we caught a glimpse of the Halifax, at
New Smyrna the Hillsborough and 15
miles north of Titusville we came sud-
denly upon the broad expanse of the
famed Indian River, and followed its
banks for many miles. At Rockledge,
our visitors saw their first orange
grove laden with fruit. The palmetto
tree was a mystery to them and when
we reached Palm Beach and looked
upon the coconut tree, illuminated by
the electric lights of the Royal Poinci-
ana, their delight knew no bounds.
"At West Jupiter, Johnny Jumper, a
genuine Seminole Indian, dressed in
true Indian style, boarded the train

and rode with us to West Palm Beach.
He is a fine specimen and attracted a
great deal of attention. He was intro-
duced to the ladies of the party, who
tried to talk to him, but as a conversa-
tionalist Johnny is not a success, how-
ever, he answered as many of their
questions as he could and seemed to
enjoy the admiration his bright cos-
tume elicited."
In 1898, George W. Wilson was
president and editor-in-chief of the
Florida Publishing Company, pub-
lishers of The Florida Times-Union and
Citizen. T.T. Stockton, president of the
Florida Press Association, was busi-
ness manager of the same newspaper.
Wilson was one of the new members
elected at the 1898 convention of FPA
in DeLand on Mar. 22-23.
As this study has already shown,
the leadership of the Florida Publish-
ing Company asserted its influence
over the new press association from
the beginning. It continued this influ-
ence in 1898. Just prior to the opening
of the DeLand convention The Times-
Union and Citizen ran an editorial on
Mar. 21,1898, offering advice on how
the convention should be run, saying:
"Florida editors and publishers
will meet in DeLand tomorrow, and it
is hoped will adhere strictly to the
business programme marked out.
The good that might be done by the
association cannot be exaggerated
and the good that has been done can-
not be overestimated. The press is a
powerful factor in the life of our
American state. Working together for
the people of our state, it can become
almost omnipotent in Florida.
"We are glad that Florida journal-
ists this year will not give their time to
junketing and feasting, for questions
of high import to the profession and
the people will demand their atten-
"Discipline those members who
sell their space for a song or to gain
advantage over a rival. This appeared
to be a splendid maneuver at the time
but dangerous and fatal in the end.
"Along these general lines sug-
gested the association must travel
closely and firmly, if it would prosper
and do good work. A man's political
principles are of no more interest to
the association than his religious be-
lief but the business reputation and
moral standing of its members are of
vital importance."

Florida Living / March 1993

The 1911 composing room at The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville where pages were set up in "flats" (page-size metal frames).

On Sunday, Mar. 6, 1898, The
Times-Union and Citizen published an
advanced agenda for the DeLand
meeting. This agenda contained the
following list of addresses to be made
at the convention:

"Fellowship in Newspaper Work,"
to be delivered by B.B.Tatum of The
Courier-Informant, Bartow
"Florida Reviewed-Its Com-
merce, Agriculture, and Industries,"
by E.O. Painter, Agriculturist, DeLand
"Does It Pay-Job Office with
Newspaper?" by J.E. Trice, Talla-
hassean, Tallahassee
"The Necessity of Maintaining
Rates," by Guy I. Metcalf, Tropical
Sun, West Palm Beach
"Competition Among Newspa-
pers," by J.C. Smith, Constitution,
"Running a Newspaper Success-
fully in a Small Town," L.L. Ramsey,
Free Press, Mayo
"Education of Advertisers and
Subscribers," E.W. Peabody, Times-
Union and Citizen, Jacksonville
"Florida as a Newspaper Field,"
Philip Isaacs, Press, Fort Myers
"Journalistic Etiquette," by L.J.
Brumby, Marion Press, Ocala
"A Country Woman Journalist,"

Mrs. Neva C. Child, DeSoto County
Champion, Arcadia
"Newspaper Men and Advertising
Agents-Their Relation to Each
Other," by Ellis B. Wager, Star,
"Thirty Years a Weekly Newspa-
per Man," by F.A. Mann, News, St.
"The Society Paper in Modern
Journalism," by Miss E. Nellie Beck,
"The Editor as a Traveler," R.J.
Morgan, Sub-Peninsula, St. Peters-
"The Editor and the Schoolmas-
ter," Tom F. McBeath, School Expo-
nent, Jacksonville

As it turned out, most of these
speakers failed to show up at the
meeting or arrived too late to give
their speeches so the only talks pre-
sented were: "The Editor and the
Schoolmaster," "Fellowship in News-
paper Work," "Running a Newspa-
per Successfully in a Small Town,"
and Thirty Years a Weekly Newspa-
per Man."
Association officials were disap-
pointed in the attendance, according
to The Times-Union and Citizen. Only
18 editors and publishers were listed

on the official roster of the conven-
tion, as follows:

E.W. Peabody, Times-Union and
Citizen, Jacksonville
T.T. Stockton, Times-Union and
Citizen, Jacksonville
T.J. Appleyard, Gate City Chronicle,
W.E. Pabor, Pineapple, Lake Pabor
C.L. Bittinger, Star, Ocala
L.L. Ramsey, Free Press, Mayo
Frederick L. Robertson, News-Reg-
ister, Brooksville
L. J. Brumby, Free Press, Ocala
B.B. Tatum, Courier-Informant,
Tom F. McBeath, School Exponent,
S. Weller Johnson, Agriculturist,
B.E. Prevatt, Record, DeLand
E.B. Calhoun, Times-Courier,
E.D. Oslin, Times, Melbourne
J. Ira Gore, Times, St. Petersburg
E.G. Mack, News, Wewahitchka
C.O. Codrington, News, DeLand
E.W. Wager, Star, Titusville

At this DeLand meeting members
of the association showed their first
interest in doing something for edu-

Florida Living / March 1993

QYInk in

the 0 m a71d -N

cation at the university level. On mo-
tion of C.L. Bittinger, the convention
agreed to give a first prize of $15 and
a second prize of $10 to the Stetson
University students who wrote the
two best essays on "Country Journal-
ism." The awards were to be made at
the "coming commencement."
At the annual election of officers,
Fred L. Robertson, News-Register,
Brooksville, was named the new
president., and J.W. White of The Jour-
nal of Commerce, Jacksonville, was
named vice-president. T.J. Apple-
yard, Gate City Chronicle, Sanford, was
re-elected treasurer.
A five-member executive commit-
tee was named as follows: H.H.
McCreary, Sun, Gainesville; John M.
Caldwell, News, Jasper; Frank Harris,
Banner, Ocala; T.T. Stockton, Times-
Union and Citizen, Jacksonville; and
Tom F. McBeath, School Exponent,
New members elected at the same
meeting were:

Theo H. Hartig, Bulletin, Lake
Walter S. Graham, Metropolis,
J.E. Pound, Democrat, Live Oak
Rev. J.B. Ley, Little Methodist,
C.B. Kendall, Times-Herald,
A. Winthrop Sargent, Idea, Avon
Charles Y. Miller, News, Leroy
J.H. Humphries, Journal,
J.J. Ehren, Breeze, New Smyrna
Daniel Giles, Advocate, Westville
Charles V. Hines, Republican,
Rev. L. D. Geiger, Citizen,
Rev. J.C. Porter, Baptist Witness,
George W. Wilson, Times-Union
and Citizen, Jacksonville
P.A. Vans Agnew, Valley Gazette,
Thomas A. Davis, Fair Florida,
W.M. Gore, Times, St. Petersburg

Two resolutions passed at this
meeting are worthy of note. The first
asked for the appointment of a special
committee to work toward getting the
state to send a Florida exhibit to the
Omaha Exposition, and the second to
approve the awarding of two prizes
for the best articles written about
DeLand and published in a member's
newspaper within 60 days after the
close of the convention. First prize
was a gold medal and the second five
dollars in cash.
The first resolution was significant
because it indicated an attitude on the
part of the association members that
the newspapers of Florida, in the ab-
sence of adequate financial support of
a chamber of commerce type develop-
ment of Florida and Florida tourism
by the state, were willing to use their
resources to bring about stronger sup-
The second resolution continued a
practice begun earlier of urging mem-
bers to repay the hospitality shown by
convention host towns by writing fa-
vorable reports in their own newspa-
pers when they returned home.
This practice was, of course, not
inconsistent with the sentiment
shown in the first resolution, namely,
that the members of the press had a
duty toward the citizens of Florida to
help the state grow and prosper.
War clouds in the distance might
have caused the small attendance at
the 1898 convention but if, indeed, the
Cuban situation was on the minds of
the editors, that state of mind did not
show up at the convention itself. No
resolutions were passed on the mat-
ter, no patriotic poems were pre-
sented and no discussions of war
were held. The problem of the inad-
equately defended coastlines never
came up.
The new president of the associa-
tion, Fred L. Robertson, was born in
South Carolina in 1844. He entered
the Army of the Confederacy in 1861
at age 17 and served until the war's
end. He was seriously wounded
twice, first in 1861 and again in 1864.
At the end of the war, Robertson
went to Mexico, where he lived until
1868. He moved to Florida in 1872. He
remained active in Confederate veter-
ans' affairs throughout his life, how-
ever. He was appointed Adjutant
General and Chief of Staff of the
Florida Division, United Confederate

Veterans at the group's inception.
Shortly after arriving in Florida,
Robertson established The South
Florida Journal atSanford. Thiswas the
first newspaper to be published in
Orange County. In 1876, he moved to
Fort Reed and established The Cres-
cent. He relocated that newspaper to
Brooksville in the fall of 1876 and it
was the first newspaper published in
Hernando (punty.
Robertsorifounded The Brooksville
News in 1886 and The Brooksville Regis-
ter in 1891. These two newspapers
were later consolidated and appeared
as The News-Register, which he was
publishing at the time of his election
as the Florida Press president.
Robertson was an early member of
the association, his name appearing
on the roster of the executive commit-
tee of the association as early as 1882,
and like some of his predecessors, he
was active in state politics. He served
as enrolling clerk for the 1881-1883
Florida legislature. As bill secretary of
the Senate in 1895 he was commended
for developing a new document con-
trol system. He was re-elected as bill
Robertson married Margaret
Boswell of Fauquier County, Vir-
ginia. A son, Fred Ion Robertson, was
born at the mother's family home,
"Spring Farm," Virginia on Dec. 31,
1872, and later joined his father in the
newspaper business.

Last Convention

Of the Century

Florida Press Association mem-
bers held their final convention of the
19th century at St. Petersburg as
guests of J. Ira Gore and The St. Peters-
burg Times. About 40 members gath-
ered in the Opera House on Tuesday,
Mar. 28, for the opening ceremonies,
which included an address of wel-
come by the mayor and presentation
of an official key to the city to FPA
president, Fred Robertson.
The meeting was late getting under
way because FPA members, true to
their profession, watched a firehouse
burn for two hours at the end of the
The evening's literary session was

Florida Livine / March 1993

postponed because 20 association
members were detained in Tampa
because of problems with their train
This final meeting of the century
was routine, without any controver-
sies or major debates. Members en-
joyed an oyster roast in the city park,
described as "a roast of gastronomic
perfection." An emotional event of
the meeting was the adoption of a
"daughter" for the association. The
"daughter" was the 7-year-old
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.L.
Bittingerof The Ocala Star. W.E. Pabor,
poet laureate for the association, pre-
sented the "daughter" as he read a
poem to her. The event was described
by the press as follows:
"The history attached to this beau-
tiful incident dates back to six years
ago the coming May, in Tallahassee,
where the state papers then met, prior
to their pilgrimage to the World's
Fair, on which occasion W.E. Pabor
met with the association for the first
time and became acquainted with
Bittinger's blue-eyed girl baby, about
whom he composed a little delicious
poem that gave the little one much
Mr. Pabor met with the association
again at St. Petersburg. At that time he
was inspired to indite the lines to the
little girl who through them became
the daughter of the Florida Press As-
sociation, the trust being accepted by
President J.W. White, in the name of
the association.
Mr. Pabor's reading of the poem
was prefaced by a few remarks, recit-
ing facts given, in which he spoke of
the fact that his footsteps were de-
scending the slopes of life's journey
while those of the young girl were just
entering the ascending slope with an
apparent long vista before her. His
words touched all hearts, bringing
tears to many eyes.
When the State Press Association
went to Chicago in 1893 and was side-
tracked to visit Mammoth Cave, Ken-
tucky, Miss Bassett, 12 years of age
and the daughter of Editor Bassett of
the then Kissimmee Leader, was
adopted as the daughter of the asso-
ciation, but subsequently having mar-
ried, a vacancy was created.
At the proposed "literary" session,
J.W. White read a paper on "The Edi-
tor and the Public." Press reports de-
scribed this speech as "full of good

The 1911 stereotype room of The Florida Times-Union in which metal printing plates
were molded from composed pages in papier-madh mat form.

things." Mrs. Neva C. Child of The
DeSoto County Champion, Arcadia,
spoke on the topic, "A Country
Woman Journalist." She explained
that she had begun her journalism
career in Colorado where she had
been treated "with marked deference
by the men of that state." She ex-
plained that such conduct by the men
of Colorado was "in strong contrast to
that she met as a newspaper woman
in DeSoto County."
F.A. Mann, editor of The St. Augus-
tine News, read a paper on the "Rela-
tion of the Country Editor to Politics,"
and the Rev. J.C. Porter closed the
session with a speech about the
"Home Weekly as an Educator."
Prior to adjournment, the follow-
ing officers were elected to take the
association into the 20th century:
J.W. White, president. Mr. White
had long been associated with The
Journal of Commerce of Jacksonville, but
came to the meeting as the new pub-
lisher of The Fraternal Record, a
monthly magazine he founded and
edited for many years. The new vice-
president was B.B. Tatum of The Cou-
rier-Informant, Bartow. T.J. Apple-
yard, Sanford Chronicle, was re-elected
secretary, and E.W. Peabody, Jackson-
ville Times-Union and Citizen, was
elected treasurer.
James William White, the new
president, was a Canadian. He was

born Nov. 8,1860, inWoodstock, New
Brunswick, Canada. He was educated
in the common and normal schools of
Maine and moved to Florida in 1881
and made his home in Jacksonville,
living for50 years at the same address,
1241 Market St. His father was the
Rev. John T. White, a Baptist minister.
Records show J.W. White began
attending Florida Press Association
meetings in 1893, and in six years rose
in the organization to become presi-
dent, serving two terms. He was
given the title, "Champion joiner of
fraternal organizations in the United
States" by the American Blue Book for
his membership in 74 different frater-
nal groups.
As editor of The Fraternal Record, he
kept up with what went on in Florida
in the fraternal field because he be-
longed to most of the groups. This
title, however, fails to do him justice
because he was active in many non-
fraternal organizations. He was a
member of The Jacksonville Library
Board, a city councilman, a county
commissioner, a member of the Duval
County Board of Public Instruction,
and one of the first presidents of the
Florida Good Roads Association, in
addition to serving as an active mem-
ber of the Florida Press Association.
White died in Jacksonville at age 84
on Jan. 20,1943, and is buried in Ever-
green Cemetery there. 0

lnridla T i'infn / March 1QQ'7





Part eight in a series
on the history of the Florida Press Association
Continued from March 1993


Turn of the Century

t the turn of the century, the
Florida Press Association
A had three clear goals: a) to
change the libel laws of Florida; b) to
help attract more residents to Florida;
and c) to get newspapers to charge
more for their advertising and main-
tain whatever rate was set.
As the first decade moved along, a
number of interesting long-range pro-
grams developed at the state conven-
tions that pointed toward some new
goals for FPA members. These will be
discussed as they were proposed and
put into action.
At the turn of the century, Florida's

10 most populous cities were Jackson-
ville (31,798), Pensacola (19,547),
Tampa (18,942), Key West (16,823), St.
Augustine (4,272), Lake City (4,013),
Gainesville (3,633), Ocala (3,380),
Palatka (3,301), and Fernandina
The state's population was
566,885. The number of newspapers
and periodicals published in the state
by 1905 was 173, including 19 daily
newspapers, four semi-weekly news-
papers, 136 weeklies, two semi-
monthlies and 12 monthlies. In 1905,
31 towns had two or more newspa-
pers, and Miami, with a population of
only 1,681, had seven newspapers,
three of them dailies.
The association's first meeting of
the new century was held at Fort
Myers, a town with a population of

943, according to the 1900 census.
Editors assembled in Punta Gorda on
Monday night, Mar. 26, and left at 7
a.m. the next day by the Plantsteamer,
St. Lucie, for Fort Myers. It was re-
ported that "the wind and tide were
unfavorable, and some of the ladies
were threatened with mal-de-mer,
but fortunately escaped."
The Fort Myers Press discussed
these unfavorable conditions in more
detail, as follows:
"While preparations had been
made to extend a hearty welcome to
the association, the elements were not
in accord with the people of Lee
County, for a terrific gale of rain and
wind broke out Tuesday morning, as
the party embarked on the steamer St.
Lucie, but Captain Fischer was bound
to bring them through, and faced the



i7nk in

the Qband

gale raging over Charlotte Harbor
and successfully weathered it."
En route from Punta Gorda to Fort
Myers, the steamer made stops at St.
James City, Sanibel Island and Punta
Rassa. At Punta Rassa the editors
found the wharf and adjoining build-
ings decorated with flags, flowers and
palms. A huge "welcome" sign had
been fashioned of red and white
Scotch thistle. Greeting them also was
Dr. S.A. Binion, "a noted linguist, au-
thor and translator."
Dr. Binion explained the signifi-
cance of the decorations by saying
that the palm represented peace and
the thistle combativeness, "two
things every editor should have, the
first for ordinary occasions, the latter
to use when assailed."
The St. Lucie docked at Fort Myers
at 4:30 p.m. and again the editors saw
more decorations and a welcome sign
fashioned of tarpon scales.
The first session began at 8 p.m. in
the Baptist Church with President
J.W. White presiding. Dr. J.F. Shands,
a Fort Myers clergyman, delivered the
first major address of the meeting,
paying tribute to the press in these
"A hundred years of victory is dos-
ing the most advanced civilization the
world has known. The chief develop-
ing powers are-pulpit, schoolroom
and press, thrown open for the use
and protection of all classes. I am
called upon to impress upon you that
not least in the development of mod-
em manhood is a free press.
"The newspaper has made itself an
angel of light and comfort; without it
American civilization, humanity,
government, yea, and all that we call
society would disappear before the
brawny arm of unrestrained greed. In
these later years the most welcome
visitant that enters every real Ameri-
can home is the newspaper.
"Noble editors, if we are to main-
tain our place and add to our value
among the nations, you must meet
with and defeat the deepest-laid plans
of the trickster, not only in the time-

honored institutions, known as the
pulpit, the professor's chair, and the
political platform, but everywhere, by
going into every man's home with a
message so stimulating and beautiful
that it will stir the heart and move the
will to righteous action."
During the "literary" program
later in the evening, Philip Izaacs of
The Fort Myers Press addressed the
editors on the subject, "The Editor at
Home." Theo B. Hartig of The East
Floridian, Palatka, discussed the topic,
"Rational Business Methods in Jour-
Three other addresses dosed out
the evening. These included: "How to
Maintain and Increase a Subscription
List," by C.L. Bittinger of The Ocala
Star; "The Morning Newspaper in
National Questions," by George W.
Wilson of The Jacksonville Times-Union
and Citizen; and "The Duty of the Press
to Public Morals," by the Rev. L.D.
Geiger of The Apopka Citizen. Tom F.
McBeath, School Exponent, Jackson-
ville, recited the annual poem.
During the business session on
Wednesday morning, George P. Wil-
son, of The Jacksonville Times-Union
and Citizen, suggested that the asso-
ciation adopt a plan to give up the
reading of papers at the state conven-
tions and substitute a newspaper that
would be published by the members
for one day.

(r. Wilson explained
/ that the papers pre-
:sented at the conven-
tions were prepared long before the
convention and sometimes were not
pertinent to the needs of the day. He
argued that a newspaper, published
during the convention, would be up-
to-date. He suggested that an editor-
in-chief be appointed who would se-
lect various members to write editori-
als, news articles, etc. Prizes were to
be awarded as follows:
"For the best news report of 1,000
words, as a leader, $15; second best, 800
words, S10. Best editorial leader, 800
words, 515; second best editorial sub-
head, 500 words, $10. Best local report,
1,000 words, $15. Best society article,
800 words, $10. Best descriptive ar-
ticle, $15. Best police report, $10. Best
article for women's department, $15.
In addition to these prizes, Mr. B.B.
Tatum of The Miami Metropolis offered

$10 for the best short poem."
The suggestion was adopted and
ordered to be effective at the next state
meeting to be held in Miami. In this
way was born the first state newspa-
per contest program in Florida.
At the business meeting the follow-
ing officers were elected to serve dur-
ing 1900-1901. These were: President,
J.W. White, Fraternal Record, Jackson-
ville; Vice President, B.B. Tatum, Me-
tropolis, Miami; Secretary, T.J.
Appleyard, Inter-Ocean, Key West;
and Treasurer, E.W. Peabody, Times-
Union and Citizen, Jacksonville. Presi-
dent White announced that his execu-
tive committee for the coming year
would be Tom F. McBeath, Theo B.
Hartig, George W. Wilson, R.A.
Russell and Frank Walpole.
Much of the discussion at the busi-
ness meeting concerned the cost of
newsprint and what the members
called the "paper trust." A committee
headed by C.L. Bittinger presented a
resolution calling on the U.S. Senate
.and House of Representatives to stop
the activities of the trust. This resolu-
tion was adopted unanimously.

"Whereas, We, members of the
Florida Press Association, have felt
the pinch of the International Paper
Company trust, and are of the opinion
that we will feel it more severely still
if something is not done to break the
deadly grip of that overbearing, inso-
lent monopoly, and
"Whereas, This rise is a mere tax on
us as publishers. Individually we can
do nothing; the merchant can mark up
his goods; we have no such recourse;
therefore be it
"Resolved, That we as a body be-
lieve that no trust should be fostered
by legislation; that all trusts should
depend upon their own business sa-
gacity, not the protection given them
by the general Government;
Resolved, That holding this belief,
we hereby appeal to our United States
Senators and Congressmen, indi-
vidually, to assist in the repeal of such
tariff duties as serve to protect the
trust in its extortionate charges for
white paper."
At a second "literary session" on
Wednesday night W.E. Pabor, former
poet laureate of the FPA who had
moved from the state, was asked to
read one of his poems. He responded

Florida Living / September 1993





Spectators watching the electronic baseball game board outside The Lakeland Ledger on Oct. 4, 1924, during week of the World Series-
New York Giants versus Washington Senators. The Giants won that game, 4-3, but the Senators won the World Series.

C^T s 4

with a poem called, "The Lady of
Siam." Papers delivered at this ses-
sion included: "Business is Our Busi-
ness," by Frank W. Walpole of The
Palmetto News; "Foreign Advertis-
ing," by E.O. Painter, Agriculturist,
DeLand; "Needed Legislation," by
Fred L. Robertson, The News-Register,
Brooksville; "The Editorial Depart-
ment," by P.A. Vans-Agnew, The Val-
ley Gazette, Kissimmee; "How to
Make the Association a Practical
Benefit," by John C. Trice, The
Tallahassean, Tallahassee.
The official roster of those attend-
ing the Fort Myers meeting contained
the following names:
J.W. White, The Fraternal Record,

B.B. Tatum and wife, Metropolis,
T.J. Appleyard, Inter-Ocean, Key
Major E.A. Peabody and wife,
Times-Union and Citizen, Jacksonville
W.E. Pabor, Pabor Lake
Frank V. Baker and wife, Chronicle,
Frank A. Walpole, News, Palmetto
E.O. Painter and wife, Agricultur-
ist, DeLand
T.E. Arnold and wife, DeLand
J. Ira Gore, Times, St. Petersburg
E.B. Calhoun, Times-Courier,
A. Winthrop Sargent and wife,
Idea, Avon Park
Walter S. Turner, wife and two

children, Journal, Cordeal
C.L. Bittinger, wife and daughter,
Star, Ocala
Dr. and Mrs. Hughes, Daytona
Miss Marie E. Mann, Gazette-News,
Miss Codrington, News, DeLand
Frank Horton and wife, News,
Prof. Tom McBeath and wife,
Florida School Exponent, Jacksonville
I.M. Putnam, Sentinel, High Springs
F. Ion Robertson, News-Register,
Rev. L.D. Geiger, Citizen, Apopka
F.C. Edwards and wife, Micanopy
John Frank, Industrial Florida, Jack-
Theo B. Hartig, East Floridian,


mn-'Anr I ;U;ny / 1001hrr~~

o5n7k in

the G3and

Daniel Gillis, Advocate, Westville
C.Y. Miller and wife, News,
W.H. Lawrence, Republican, Talla-
T.E. Child, Champion, Arcadia

Twenty new members were ac-
cepted into the association at the Fort
Myers meeting, termed a "remark-
able one." TheFortMyers Press said the
meeting was remarkable because "at-
tendance was large and every one was
deeply interested in newspaperwork;
there was more attention paid to busi-
ness, and in devising and discussing
methods of improving the condition
of the association and its members."
Following are the names of the 20
new members accepted into the asso-

Herbert L. Dodd, Reporter, Lake
C.C. Post, Freedom, Seabreeze
Mrs. T.E. Arnold, Agriculturist,
W.B. Harris, Valley Gazette,
Alfred St. Claire-Abrams, Herald,
Miss Marie E. Mann, Gazette-News,
Rev. F.C. Edwards, East Alachua
Citizen, Micanopy
J.E. Low, The Spring, Green Cove
W.D. Commander, The Gazette,
Laurel Hill
Charles A. Wimer, Sub-Peninsula,
St. Petersburg
Frank Horton, DeSoto County News,
John Thomas Porter and H.L. Por-
ter, West Florida Echo, Grand Ridge
Israel M. Putnam, Sentinel, High
Sumter L. Lowry, Southern Pythian,
Frank W. Baker, Gate City Chronicle,
W.M. Featherley, Metropolis,

D.K. Thompson, Record, St. Aug-
Robert McNamee, Evening News,
O.J. Keep, Herald, Quincy

Two other events were highlights
of the press association's meeting in
Fort Myers: an excursion on the
Caloosahatchee River and the final
banquet at the Fort Myers Hotel on
Thursday night. In reporting on the
river trip, The Fort Myers Press ex-
plained to its readers that a few edi-
tors in the state held aloof from the
Florida Press Association because of
the "junketing" trips of the associa-
tion, but, the paper said, it would
guarantee that those complaining edi-
tors knew less about their state than
those who belonged to the association
and took the trips since the associa-
tion met in various parts of the state.

he editors and their wives
went aboard two steamers,
the Grey Eagle and the
Suwannee, for their day-long excur-
sion. The Fort Myers Press described
the trip as follows:
"Both steamers left the Plant
steamboat wharf at 7 a.m. with as jolly
a party of editors, and ladies, together
with a good sprinkling of town
people, as one could find on many a
day's travel. The fun was incessant.
Jokes and pranks were played on each
other, and all hands were 'roasted.'"
Describing a stop at one of the nu-
merous orange groves along the river,
the newspaper said:
"A stop was made at the orange
grove of Mr. E.E. Goodno, who with
his mother welcomed the editors,
loading them down with sprigs of
blossoms until not a lady was without
blossoms. The trees were cleaned of
the few remaining scattering of or-
anges left by the pickers, but Mr.
Goodno complained not, but added
greatly to the pleasure of the visitors."
These scattering of oranges were
not without great value, however,
because the newspaper later reported
on baskets of fruit presented to each
visitor at the evening banquet:
"With grapefruit at $15 per box and
king oranges at $20, it was no easy
matter to ask our citizens to reserve
their fruit for the visits of the editors.
But enough was saved to give each a

good taste of Fort Myers fruits. W;i,
the editors went aboard the St. I vri,
homeward bound, each editor was
presented with a basket upon the
handle of which was tied with ribbon
a tarpon scale, upon which was
printed, 'Compliments of Citizens of
Fort Myers,' with date and occasion of
"Each basket contained three
grapefruit, one king orange, a tanger-
ine, several seedling oranges, kum-
quats, bananas, and a can of catley
guavas from the Seminole Canning
Co., and so the editors were sent on
their way rejoicing, with oft repeated
expressions of thanks to our citizens
for the entertainment received, and
expressions to the effect that their visit
to Ft. Myers would ever be remem-
bered with pleasure and gratifica-
The newspaper described the ban-
quet at the Fort Myers Hotel as such
that the "elaborateness was a surprise
to many accustomed to such func-
tions in large cities." The paper spoke
of the "long verandas, the corridors
and parlors" as being crowded with
the visitors and the regular guests of
the house who "mingled" with the
editors. While the Fort Myers band
played, the guests "promenaded and
conversed." The newspaper said,
"After a while Captain W.O. Rew
brought his new patent phonograph
into the parlor, and showed the differ-
ence in sound between his and the
phonograph now in use. Thus, our
guests while here saw one of the first
phonographs ever made, and also the
latest improved machine."
The editors had visited the Thomas
Edison home and had seen Edison's
original phonograph.
The banquet hall was described by
The Fort Myers Press writer, as follows:
"At 9:30 o'clock the dining-room
doors were thrown open, and a beau-
tiful sight was presented. In the center
of the room was a large floral decora-
tion, while on every hand were flow-
ers and plants from the tropical gar-
dens of Fort Myers. Covers were laid
for 83 persons, and each place was
"Besides the floral decorations, the
ingenious chef had shown his master
hand in several set pieces, that on the
center table being a fantastic piece, on
the side table a ship under full sail,

Florida Living / September 1993

with the letters 'F.P.A.,' thereon was
greatly admired, and on the left side
was the hut of a fisherman, all made of
mutton tallow, and articles which re-
quired the slow work of days to bring
Judged by modern standards, one
of the most remarkable things about
the banquet was the menu. The diners
began with an oyster cocktail and
went on to courses with the following
foods: radishes, olives, cream of cel-
ery and consomme imperial; fillet of
Caloosahatchee River trout, A la
Montreuill; potatoes Parisienne; St.
Julienne; boiled leg of southern mut-
ton, caper sauce; new green peas;
breast of chicken en crusstade, a la
reine; cardinal punch; roast of wild
turkey, sweet potato dressing, cran-
berry sauce; stuffed tomatoes, potato
croquettes, asparagus with sauce
Hollandaise; haut sauterne; salade
russe; strawberry ice cream; cham-
pagne; assorted cake, Edam cheese,
American cheese, water wafers, nuts,
layer raisins; coffee and cigars.

"The fun was

incessant. Jokes

and pranks were

played on each other,

and all hands were


Before the editors left Fort Myers,
they passed a resolution of thanks to
Editor Philip Isaacs of The Fort Myers
Press in which they said:
"This association realizes and ex-
presses with fraternal thanks that Edi-
tor Isaacs of The Fort Myers Press, in the
meeting held, has fulfilled with good
measure, shaken down and running
over, every promise made at St. Pe-
tersburg, and trust that success may
ever be his, and the good work he is
engaged in, of supplying Fort Myers
with a model local paper, worthy of
the invited and hearty support, may
never be lacking the courteous gentle-
man and commendable editor."
The editors returned to Punta
Gorda on the St. Lucie on Friday, and
upon their arrival were greeted by a
large delegation of citizens and given

Fienrwea I ;,ino / !onz-mt._ 100A

ice cream and cake. This act prompted
one member of the editorial party to
ask if they looked hungry, "since ev-
eryone seemed anxious to give them
something to eat." It was reported
that at Arcadia a number of editors
stopped over for a day and were given
a banquet and a ride in the orange

Miami Meeting in 1901

The 1901 meeting of the association
in Miami was important for two rea-
sons: the awarding of the first prizes
given in the history of FPA forjournal-
istic writing, and the publication of
the first copies of The Press Association
Bulletin, a publication written and
edited by members of the association
at the state convention, an on-the-spot
In Mar. 15, 1901, about one week
before the Florida Press Association
was scheduled to meet in Miami, The
Miami Metropolis published the offi-
cial rules governing the first issue of
The Florida Press Association Bulletin
and the writing contests. The article
began by saying: "Interest in The
Florida Press Association Bulletin, to be
edited and published by the associa-
tion at the approaching convention in
Miami, continues to grow, and the
newspaper fraternity of the entire
country is watching for this compos-
ite paper-an innovation that appeals
to all persons indeed who are inter-
ested in newspapers and newspaper
undertakings. The indications are
that there will be spirited contests be-
tween the Florida editors, who will
constitute the staff, in the several lines
of work in which prizes are offered."
The rules specified that at the
morning session on Wednesday, Mar.
20, the association must appoint an
editor-in-chief who would be in full
charge of getting out The Bulletin. The
rules further specified that the editor-
in-chief would be responsible for se-
lecting a staff to handle such areas as
telegraph news, city editor duties,
night city editor duties, editorial writ-
ing, agricultural news, society news,
and the general editing of the paper.
Much of the material to be used in The
Bulletin would come from those

entering the various contests for
which cash prizes were being offered
by The Jacksonville Times-Union and
The areas of competition for these
contests were listed as follows:
"Best editorial on the subject of
"Florida," limited to 800 words. A
subleader editorial on the subject,
"What Makes a Good Newspaper,"
limited to 500 words. Best para-
graphs, to commence with a single
line of seven words and consist of 20
paragraphs. Editorials on the news
and current matters, to be furnished
by the editorial writers. Best local
news story of Miami; 1,000 words for
the lead; no limit as to personals and
news happenings of the day; this re-
port is to consist of all the local inci-
dents of the town for the day and
"Best report of the meeting of the
association: 1,000 words; to consist of
description of individuals, proceed-
ings, amusing incidents, and gro-
tesque situations. Best descriptive ar-
ticle on Miami: 1,000 words; to consist
of the best general description, his-
tory, growth, leading men, and public
institutions. Best news report: 1,000
words; to consist of some imaginary
incident and description of some
great calamity, battle, convention (po-
litical or industrial), riot, storm on
land or sea, fire, inauguration of a
Democratic president in 1905, or any
subject within the discretion of the
party contesting.
"Best compilation of a Woman's
World Department; two columns to
consist of household suggestions,
recipes, fashions, etc. Best society re-
port: 800 words; description of a ball
at Royal Palm. Best report of a police
court proceeding: 800 words; consist-
ing of a description of characters, ap-
pearing daily in a police court of a
large city-pathetic pictures, deprav-
ity, hard core cases and crooks. Best
short poem, subject to be elected by
the contestant."

The main body of the press group
arrived in Miami after an all-day run
from Jacksonville on Mar. 19, via the
Florida East Coast Railway. Editor
B.B. Tatum of The Miami Metropolis
and several Miami officials met the
train in Palm Beach and supplied the
editors and their guests with badges

( Ink in

the Q3and

and gave them free carriage rides to
and from their hotels and about the
city. The majority of the 60 or more
association members on the train
went to the Royal Palm Hotel in Mi-
ami where the press headquarters
had been established.
The convention was called to order
by President J.W. White at 10 a.m. on
Wednesday and one of the first ac-
tions was the organization of the staff
of The Florida Press Association Bulletin.
Frank B. Harris was chosen editor-in-
chief; T.J. Appleyard was named
managing editor; E.O. Painter, agri-
cultural editor; Miss E. Nellie Beck
and Miss Sara Harris, society editors;
and E.W. Peabody and C.B. Smith,
copy editors.
At the Wednesday night "literary"
program the editors heard Tom
McBeath's annual poem, "The Genie
of the Well," said to be the "most
profound of his yearly contribu-
tions." John M. Caldwell read a paper
on "Newspapers: Past and Present,"
and Frank E. Harris addressed the
convention on the topic, "Advice
from an Old Editor to Young Editors."
Two other papers, "Free Advertis-
ing," by Frank Walpole, and "The So-
ciety Column," by Miss Nellie Beck,
closed the evening.
On Thursday morning the annual
election of officers took place with the
following slate being elected without
opposition: President, B.B. Tatum,
Miami Metropolis; Vice President, E.W.
Peabody, Jacksonville Times-Union and
Citizen; Secretary, T.J. Appleyard, Key
West Inter-Ocean; and Treasurer,
Philip Izaac, Fort Myers News Press.
An invitation was extended to the
editors by the Florida Commissioner
to attend the Pan-American Exposi-
tion any time between May and No-
vember. The editors agreed to accept
the invitation and asked that thq trip
to Buffalo be arranged for September.
During the afternoon, the editors of
The Florida Press Association Bulletin
went to work and the remainderof the
group was driven to the tomato and
vegetable farms northwest of town.

The ladies were entertained at a tea
given by Mrs. B.B. Tatum, assisted by
Mrs. William S. Jennings, wife of
Florida's governor.
Thursday night, Governor and
Mrs. Jennings were guests of honor at
a reception at the Royal Palm and
afterward the editors danced until
Friday was a day of mishaps. It
began in the morning when the group
assembled at the Royal Palm to take
carriages to Coconut Grove, but un-
fortunately a Nassau tourist ship
came in late and the tourists took all
the carriages and kept them until it
was too late for the editorial party to
go to Coconut Grove. A substitute trip
up the Miami River was hurriedly
arranged and then at 2 p.m. associa-
tion members boarded the P & 0
steamship, Martinique, commanded
by Captain Dillon, foran excursion on
the bay and a few miles out into the
Atlantic. A writer for The Miami Me-
tropolis described what happened:

"'C.L. Bittinger,

editor of this paper

(The Star) was very

seriously injured

about 9:30 this


"The trip proved thoroughly de-
lightful to all aboard until about a mile
outside when some would suddenly
pale, jump up and make a break for
the cabin. Once inside they were lost
to the sight of deriding friends and
Pursur Ligeur won the everlasting
regard of the victims by professing
ignorance of their whereabouts.
"On the return the steamship was
found stuck in the mud just op-
posite the Royal Palm. The Martinique
soon helped her on her way amid
cheers from those aboard both ships,
but, soon after herself went hard
aground and there she stayed, with a
prospect of awaiting high tide. A few
of the visitors had arranged to leave
on the 8 o'clock train so they went
ashore in launches that came out, but
the crowd generally appeared to An-
joy this unexpected prolongation of

their voyage."
This change in plans ended with
the final business session of the Miami
convention being held on the ship
after the ship's officers served an
'abundance of fine coffee and tea and
a light luncheon.' The 'literary' part of
the program was deleted since the
papers to be presented were at the
Hotel Royal Palm. Most of the busi-
ness of the evening consisted of hear-
ing a report of the resolutions commit-
tee, which produced a lengthy resolu-
tion concerning the publication of The
Florida Press Association Bulletin, as fol-

"Whereas, the publication of The
Annual Bulletin of the association is a
novel, instructive and entertaining
feature of our meeting and the con-
tinuation of its publication at subse-
quent annual meetings will be of great
benefit to us and to our state.
"Therefore, be it resolved: That we
earnestly favor the publication of The
Annual Bulletin and recommend that
in the future the association offer its
own prizes. That the president of the
association appoint a publication
committee whose duty it shall be to
make the necessary arrangements for
its publication and solicit advertise-
ments therefore.
"That due notice be given to those
who are to read papers at the annual
meetings so that the various papers to
be given to the proper committee for
publication in The Bulletin, with the
official report of the proceedings of
the meetings.
"We feel that the initial number of
The Bulletin owing to the circum-
stances under which it was published,
was in every way a success.
"The Bulletin was published after a
night session of the association and
under many disadvantages.
"To those who volunteered their
services in assisting Mr. Tatum in the
mechanical department and making
its publication in a single night, a suc-
cess, we return our fraternal thanks.
"We desire also in this connection
to return thanks to Mr. B.B. Tatum
for his invaluable assistance in this
venture and for the use of TheMetropo-
lis plant, also to Mr. E.T. Byington
of The News for many courtesies
extended by him.
"We feel that the success of The

Bulletin was largely due to The Times-
Union and Citizen for the liberal prizes
offered and for thepublicity given The
Bulletin by this great newspaper. We
therefore return our most sincere and
grateful thanks to The Times-Union and

The tone of thisresolution suggests
that The Bulletin was produced with
great effort and it may have been pre-
sented to put at rest some fears that
the undertaking was too much to
handle. Also, the fact that the resolu-
tion called for advertising to support
future issues of The Bulletin openedup
an entirely new aspect of this project
that may have been responsible for its
eventual demise.
Judges for the writing contest were
out-of-state editors, brought to the
meeting as guests of the Florida Press
Association. They were Frank P.
Glass, general manager of The Mont-
gomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Ala-
bama; Robert Mitchell Floyd of The
Trades Press List, Boston, Mass.; and
C.W. Wilgus, of The Ravenna, Ohio
Republican. Winners in the contest
Editorial Leader, "Florida," Frank
Harris, Ocala Banner; Sub Leader,
"What Makes a Good Newspaper,"
Thomas A. Davis, Peninsula Breeze,
Sea Breeze; Editorial Paragraphs,
Frank A. Mapole, News, Palmetto;
Account of Convention, M. Arter, St.
Petersburg Times; Description of Mi-
ami, M. Arter, St. Petersburg Times;
News Report, Imaginary Happening,
John M. Caldwell, Lake City Index;
Midnight Locals, Philip Isaacs, Fort
Myers Press; Society Reports, Ellis B.
Wagner, Titusville Star; Police Court
Report, F. Ion Robertson, Brooksville
Register; Poem, Tom P. McBeath,
School Exponent, Jacksonville; Write
Up of Dade County Fair, J. M.
Caldwell, Lake City Index.
The Miami Metropolis described the
meeting as the largest in the history of
the association. It reported that 42
new members were accepted at the
Miami meeting, bringing the total
membership to 117. More than 100
persons attended the Miami meeting,
the paper reported.
At this meeting the association
adopted one resolution not concerned
with its own affairs, a resolution ap-
proving the work of the Women's

Christian Temperance Union, and the
State Federation of Women's Clubs
"in endeavoring to upbuild the moral
forces of the State of Florida." The
association said it endorsed the work
of these two organizations in their
efforts to obtain legislation "to amend
our laws relating to the protection of
The guest list at the convention
contained the following names of as-
sociation members and friends:

Col. CC. Post, Seabreeze
Miss H. Burgman, Seabreeze
Thomas A. Davis and wife,
A.T. Cornwall and wife, Bradenton
F.E. Harris and two daughters,
C.Y. Miller and daughter,
CL. Bittinger, wife and daughter,
W.S. Jennings, wife and son,
Miss Grace Mann, Brooksville
H.H. McCreary and wife,
O.J. Farmer and wife, Bronson
F.I. Robertson and daughter,
E.O. Painter and wife, DeLand
H.W. Bishop, wife and child, Eustis
Fred Cubberly, Cedar Key
J.H. Humphries and wife,
W.S. Turner, Cordeal
S.L. Lowry and wife, Tampa
Philip Issacs and son, Fort Myers
S.R. Hudson and wife, Orlando
J.W. White, Jacksonville
L.W. Zim, Evaville
E.W. Peabody and daughter,
F.A. Walpole and wife, Palmetto
Tom F. McBeath and wife, Jackson-
E.G. Mack, Wewahitchka
Don C. McMullen, Clearwater
T.M. Pulestonand wife, Monticello
Miss Stella Puleston, Monticello
Mrs. J.E. Smith, Monticello
Miss Clara Lindsey, Monticello
Miss Ingram, Monticello
Miss Berta Carroll, Monticello
C.B. Smith, Jasper
W.B. Hare, St. Augustine
W.T. Wilson and wife, Apopka
J.C. Burwell and wife, Brooksville
A.S. Mann and wife, Brooksville

T.J. Appleyard, Key West
T.T. Stockton, Jacksonville
F.A. Mann, St. Augustine
J.C. Porter, Ocala
C.R. Oslin, Melbourne
A.G. Moore, Marianna
Miss Marie Mann, Daytona
Miss Nellie Mann, Daytona
E.B. Wager and wife, Titusville
F. Ion Robertson, Brooksville
W.H. Lawrence, Tallahassee
J.M. Caldwell and son, Lake City
M. Arter and wife, St. Petersburg
Guy L. Bonham, St. Augustine
E.V. Blackman and wife, Miami
E.T. Byington and wife, Miami
B.B. Tatum and wife, Miami
Miss E. Nellie Beck, Miami
C.W. Wilgus and wife, Ravenna,
F.P. Glass, Montgomery, Alabama
John M. Glassco, Charleston, Illi-
E.D. Oslin, Southern Pines, North
J.E. Richmond, Honesdale, Penn-
Colonel Brewer, Salvation Army

s a footnote to the Miami
convention, The Miami
AMetropolis reported on
Apr. 5, 1901, the following accident
that involved C.L. Bittinger of The
Ocala Star shortly after he returned
from the convention:

"C.L. Bittinger, editor of this paper
(The Star) was very seriously injured
about 9:30 this morning. He was go-
ing to the southern part of the county
on business and was in a hurry, so
took passage on the morning freight
on the Plant System. He was sitting in
the caboose reading a paper, while
waiting for the train to pull out, and
was near the door, with his back par-
tially toward the opening. The ca-
boose was an old-fashioned one, with
the doors on one side.
"The train crew was shifting cars,
getting the train in readiness and cut
the caboose loose from the train. The
brakes were not put on and it ran
down rapidly and struck some other
cars with a severe jar.
"Mr. Bittinger paid no attention to
the car's movements, as he supposed
it was under control, and when the
collision came he was thrown out of

97nk in
the G3a71d

the door, and in falling caught on his
right hand the weight of his body,
breaking the wrist and shattering the
bone very badly.
"His right ear was torn painfully
and the cartilage cut entirely through,
and his left ankle was painfully,
though not seriously cut. In falling,
Mr. Bittinger struck on the rail and
would have been crushed by the
wheels of the car but rolled himself
out before the wheels caught his body.
"He was assisted home and Dr.
Powers of the Plant System and Dr.
Smith summoned. His injuries were
dressed and the broken wrist set and
put in splints quickly and most skill-
fully and he is now resting as well as
could be expected, though suffering
much pain."
That the Florida Press Association
was not approved by every newspa-
per in Florida is indicated by anedito-
rial note in The Miami Metropolis after
the convention. The comment con-
cerned the editor of The Tampa Tribune
and read as follows:
"The editor of The Tampa Tribune
can make himself the most agreeable
of men, personally, but he certainly
permits his editorial columns to fre-
quently express the most contempt-
ibly narrow and unworthy senti-
ments. For some reason, not publicly
stated, he has for several years vented
an ugly spirit toward the Florida Press
Association that is unworthy of any
respectable newspaper man.
"The Tribune is a fearless paper in
an indefinite sort of way and has a
happy faculty of occasionally striking
a popular chord, but it is rather more
reckless than courageous in its state-
ments, which detracts materially
from its innocence. But its defects
seem constitutional, which is perhaps
natural to a newspaper whose jour-
nalistic knowledge is confined solely
to the life within the walls of its own
business office and composing
Bethel Blanton Tatum, the newly
elected president of the Florida Press
Association, was one of the early lead-

ers in the development of south
Florida, his primary contribution to
Florida journalism being the estab-
lishment of the first daily newspaper
in Dade County, The Miami Daily Me-
tropolis. Tatum purchased the then
weekly Miami Metropolis in 1899, and
continued to publish the newspaper
as a weekly until December of 1903,
when daily publication began. He held
the dual role of editor of The Metropolis
and president of the Miami Printing
Company until Apr. 10,1923, when he
sold the properties to former Ohio gov-
ernor, James M. Cox. Within a few
years, the name of the newspaper was
changed to The Miami Daily News.

"The editor of The
Tampa Tribune can

make himself the most

agreeable of men,

personally, but he
certainly permits his

editorial columns to
frequently express the

most contemptibly

narrow and unworthy

The sale of The Metropolis marked
the end of a 36-year career as a news-
paperman for Tatum that began in
1887 when he bought The Polk County
(Fla.) Informant. He operated that
newspaper for only a few months,
before selling it and establishing The
Advance Courier, which circulated in
the Bartow area. Late in 1888, Tatum
reacquired The Informant, and consoli-
dated the two newspapers under the
name of The Courier-Informant. Less
than a year later, he sold this property
and headed north, where in late 1889
he became editor of The Herald at
Rome, Georgia. That newspaper pub-
lished both a daily and a weekly
During the 1890s, Tatum sold the
Rome newspapers and returned to
Bartow, where he became involved in
the real estate business. During that
time, a stock company of local busi-

nessmen was formed to gain control
of The Courier-Informant, Tatum's old
newspaper. Following purchase of
the paper, Tatum once more became
editor, a position he held until the fall
of 1899 when he purchased The Me-
In addition to his newspaper busi-
ness, Tatum was active in various
other ventures throughout his career.
While in Bartow, he served one term
as mayor and was a member of the city
council for several years. He also was
a director of the Polk County National
Bank. After his location in Miami,
Tatum was an active booster of the
plan to convert the Everglades into
productive farm areas, and devoted
much of his personal time to the pro-
gram. He also was active in both state
and national journalistic organiza-
tions. In addition to his year as presi-
dent of the Florida Press Association,
he served as a delegate to the National
Editorial Association meeting in Buf-
falo, New York in 1901.
After he sold The Miami Metropolis,
Tatum became associated with his
brothers in various real estate corpo-
rations-the Tatum Brothers Com-
pany, Lawrence Estate Land Com-
pany, Miami Traction Company,
Tatum's Ocean Park Company, Mi-
ami Land & Development Company,
and Florida Title & Investment Com-
pany. One biographer wrote that at
one time the Tatum Land Company
controlled more than "200,000 acres of
Everglades lands and was a pioneer
developer of this area."
Tatum was born to the Rev. and
Mrs. A.S. Tatum on Mar. 1, 1864, at
Dawson County, Georgia, where the
elder Tatum was serving as a Baptist
minister. Tatum spent most of his
early years at Adairsville, Georgia. At
age 17, he set out on his own, heading
south into Florida. His first stop was a
brief one in Orlando, before moving
to Kissimmee, where he became a
sawmill hand. About 1884, he moved
to Bartow, where he and his brother
established their own sawmill. Tatum
remained in this occupation for three
years and then turned to the newspa-
per business.
In March 1889, he married Mary
Forsythe, the daughter of Colonel
Forsythe, a prominent attorney in
Rome, Georgia. He later married
Letah Marshall of Kansas City. 0
.t I / - -.. -I I nnl

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