Florida School for the Deaf and Blind St. Augustine, Florida
The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind The school located on San Marco Avenue was founded in 1885 by Thomas Hines Coleman. Governor W. D. Bloxham worked for the State of Florida to appropriate $20,00 for buildings and equipment. The school originally had 20 acres and provided instruction in Linotype operation, gardening, poultry raising, painting, shoe repairing, barbering, cooking, sewing, home-making, laundry work, beauty culture, basketry, rug-weaving, piano-tuning, mattress making, and broom-making. Music training was also given. The school maintained a 476 acre farm at Casa Cola on the North river about 6 miles north of the city. The farm provided fresh food and served as a training ground for agricultural students.
Captain Vaill made a gift of five acres of land to the state to provide an incentive for the building of a state school for the deaf and blind here. Making the address when the tablet was placed in the school was George Cooper Gibbs Sr.
In December of 1884 the Florida Deaf and Blind School was completed in St. Augustine. The schools first graduation was held in 1898 with Artemas W. Pope and Cora Carlton as the first graduates. One former student that almost everyone knows is the famous Ray Charles.
Cary A. White, Sr. Complex, FL School for the Deaf and the Blind FLA Black Heritage Florida Black Heritage Trail The first African American deaf graduate of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind was Cary A. White, Sr. worked at the school for 46 years and was an assistant in the dorm where Ray Charles lived while he was a student at the school.
Mr. Pasco The Rev. Frederick Pasco will leave this city tomorrow to take formal charge of East Florida Seminary at Gainesville. For the past four years Mr. Pasco has been in charge of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute in this city. His management of the affairs of the institute has been and always will be a credit to both Mr. Pasco and the State. Constantly mindful of his obligation to the State, he equally realized and fulfilled his duties to the children under his care. His administration was just, economical and careful, in every instance and from every point of view. No one will miss Mr. Pasco more than the children of the Institute to whom he gave tender and constant care.
Mr. Pasco has been a most enterprising and public spirited citizen of St. Augustine and has always shown himself willing and earnest in helping on any good work. During the time of his residence here, he has filled the pulpits of several of the churches, with great acceptance and the valued talents he possessed and uses for the pleasure and profit of others, have made him a general favorite everywhere. The always kindly and genial manner, of Mr. Pasco, his usefulness and willingness to help everybody, have greatly endeared him to a host of friends, who regret his departure most earnestly but wish him every success in the new and wider field of work to which he goes. The people of St. Augustine congratulate Gainesville on their good fortune in securing so good a citizen as Mr. Pasco.
1900 School Staff The following officers and teachers have been secured by the board of managers for the Deaf and Blind Institute. William B. Hare, superintendent. White Department - W. Hickman Carter, head teacher and supervisor of teaching, Miss Bessie Blaker, teacher of deaf, Miss Nellie M. Taylor, teacher of deaf, Miss Lelia Burns Johnson, teacher of blind Miss Willie McLane, supervisor of girls, Guy L. Bonham, supervisor of boys and teacher of printing, Mrs. William B. Hare, matron. The person for teaching of carpentry and gardening is not yet named. In the colored department no change of teachers has been made.
1910 Head of School Albert H. Walker was president of the State School in 1910. He was from Cedar Springs, South Carolina.
State School is to Open Tomorrow (St. Augustine Evening Record, Sept 14, 1920) The State School for the Deaf and the Blind, of which Dr. Albert H Walker is president, opens tomorrow for the term of 1920-21. Incoming trains today have brought scores of young people from every section of the State, and so thorough has been the preliminary work that following chapel exercises in the school auditorium tomorrow morning, all these young folks will go immediately to their classes and begin the work of the year. There will be no delays, and in this way every moment of the time, which means so much to the young students who have a heavy handicap to overcome will be made to count.
Members of the faculty of the State School, many of whom are new teachers, there having been many vacancies to fill, are now in town, and ready to commence their work.