|Dr. Bronson's St. Augustine History Page
The New Freedom and World War I
ab urbe condita - 347 to 355
|Woodrow Wilson and The New Freedom
The platform was an attempt at the Jeffersonian ideal of a nation of small farms (and small businesses). To do
this Wilson would fight against the tariff, the banks and the trusts. The Underwood-Simmons Act reduced tariff
rates. The Federal Reserve Act helped get the nation moving off the restrictive gold standard. The Clayton
Antitrust Act clarified illegal business practices. He also signed a child labor bill, workers' compensation act, 8
hour day for railroad workers and a Federal Farm Loan act.
Death of Henry Flagler
January 15, 1913 Henry Flagler fell down stairs at his home Whitehall in Palm Beach. At this point he was
almost blind and very hard of hearing. He had several rallies but on May 20 died. His body was brought back
to St. Augustine the place of beginning for his Florida career. On May 23 his body laid in state in the rotunda of
the Ponce de Leon Hotel before removal to Memorial Presbyterian Church.
"Women of the Desert" (St. Augustine Evening Record, May 28, 1913)
"Women of the Desert," a Lubin picture taken in St. Augustine early in the spring, delighted the crowds at the
Orpheum theatre Monday night. the local scenes in the fort, the Zorayda club, the Ponce de Leon and at the
beach furnished splendid settings that proved really Oriental for the picture. The "Old Phase" of the Ancient
City as voiced in its architecture was brought out to excellent admarks.
The move was directed by George Nicols, written by E. W. Sargent and starred Ormi Hawley, Edwin Carewe,
Mrs. George O. Nicols, Irving White, John Ince, and Earl Metcalfe
In 1913 a conference was held to talk about a Canada-Florida Road. This would become the Dixie Highway.
Parts of the original brick road can still be seen in Hastings today.
Street Cars Stopped. (The Watchman and Southron, Nov 12, 1913)
Trouble in St. Augustine Over Income Tax.
Because the St. John Electric company neglected to pay its income tax to the city, all its cars were stopped
today by the city authorities and service suspended.
Today's conference between the may and officials of the street railway company failed to result in a settlement,
and tonight police still were on guard at the car barns. No cars were operated today, and none may be run
tomorrow. Another conference between the mayor and officers of the car company is to be held early
Death of Joseph Parrott
The Flagler system was dealt another blow with the death of the administrative heir of Flagler in October 13,
Payments to Catholic Schools ended
On September 9, 1913 a letter was sent to L. A. Colee, the Chairman of the county school board requesting
that the county no longer use any county school funds to support school Nos. 12 and 13. It was viewed as a
violation of Article XII, Section 13 of the state constitution. Also section 6 which stated: "No preference shall be
given by law to any church, sect or mode of worship, and no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury
directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect or religious denominations, or in aid of any sectarian institution."
Poll Tax (St. Augustine Evening Record, March 13, 1914)
No person can vote in the Bond Election April 1st For Good Roads Unless He has Paid His Poll Tax for Both
Years, 1912 and 1913, by Tomorrow Night.
Pay your Poll Tax and Vote for Bonds.
The morning of April 2, 1914 saw the burning of the old Florida House Hotel and with it much of the Bayfront.
The fire destroyed five tourist hotels. The fire was started in the boiler room of the Florida House. Furniture and
belongings were placed on the Fort Green and the Plaza. The County Courthouse, the Opera House and many
houses also burned in this fire.
Big Fire Attacks "Oldest" City in America" (The Day Book, April 2, 1914)
St. Augustine Fla., April 2 -- Fire which has been raging along the bay front of St. Augustine since early today
has destroyed many of the buildings on the water, and six of the smaller hotels, the Vedder, Clairmont,
Magnolia, Munson, Florida and Bennett, have been either destroyed or damaged. The courthouse and a score
of dwellings were also swept away by the flames.
The Vedder House was the oldest hotel in America. The priceless collection of the St. Augustine Historical
Society was kept there. All of the relics were consumed.
An unknown woman leaped from the third floor of the Florida and was taken to a hospital with a broken back.
She cannot recover.
A. Libby, another guest of the hotel, leaped from the second floor, breaking his leg.
The fire started in the kitchen of the Florida House before daybreak. It gained strength, and totally destroyed
the frame structure before the fire department began to fight the flames. Guests fled in their night clothes. All
their valuables were lost.
The two city blocks to which the fire was finally confined are distant from the Ponce de Leon and other big
hotels, and there is no danger to them.
Martial Law in Fire (The Day Book, April 2, 1914)
St. Augustine, Fla., April 2 -- Martial law reigns here today following a great fire along the water front early
today. The court house has been burned, the electric light plant is out of commission and a large part of the
beach section of the city is in danger. The flames are not yet under control.
Tourist Hotels Are Destroyed (The Bemidji Daily Pioneer, April 3, 1914)
Five Wiped Out in Blaze at St. Augustine, Fla.
Many Narrowly Escape
Guests Have Little Warning of Fire, Some of Them Being Carried Down Ladders to Safety---Loss May
St. Augustine, Fla., April 3.---Fire destroyed five tourist hotels, the county courthouse and a number of
residences here. So far as known no lives were lost, through many guests at the Florida, the Munson,
Clairmont, Atlantic and Central hotels, which were destroyed, escaped scantily clad and had no time to save
their personal belongings. Property damage is estimated at $500,000 to $750,000.
Nearly two blocks near the water front were destroyed.
For a time the business section of the city was endangered, but the flames finally were checked by local
fireman and a section of the Jacksonville fire department.
The fire originated in the kitchen of the Florida, a large wooden structure, and spread rapidly. Firemen first
turned their attention to rescuing guests at the Florida, many of whom were carried down ladders.
Guests Flee into Streets.
Occupants of the other hotels were warned of their danger and many fled into the streets without any attempt to
save their personal belongings.
Two persons were injured. An unidentified woman sustained a dislocated neck [Editor: and a broken back]
and probably was fatally hurt when she plunged from the third story of a residence. A. Libby, a guest at the
Florida, broke a leg in leaping from the second floor of the hotel. He will recover.
* * *
With the city crowded with winter visitors hundreds of persons ran excitedly through the streets. Families
became separated and personal effects were scattered everywhere.
Big Fire at St. Augustine (Keowee Courier, April 8, 1914)
Many Injured--One will Die--Loss About $400,000
St. Augustine was visited at an early hour this morning with a spectacular and thrilling conflagration which
caused property losses of about $400,000 a number of serious casalties and the wiping out of more than two
solid blocks of heart of the city. The sleeping community of residents and thousands of visitors were aroused
shortly after 1 o'clock by a general alarm of fire and the center of the city was seen to be a blaze of light, visible
from the very outskirts of the city.
. . .
While a number of people were injured, principally guests of the Florida House, only two were seriously hurt
and one probably fatally. Miss Alice Smith, of Amherst, Nova Scotia, jumped from the thrid story of the hotel
and sustained injuries from which it is believed she cannot recover.
W. F. Giddings, of Granby, Quebec, had a narrow escape, and as a result is laid up in the hospital with a
broken ankle. Mr. Giddings was a guest at the Florida House and occupied a room on the second floor. In
narrating his experience to a press representative, Mr. Giddings stated that he was aroused from sleep by a
cracking noise to find that his room was filled with smoke and flamebreaking through the walls. He was
partially overcome and he blindly made his way to the veranda roof, and after assuming hanging posture at the
cave of the roof he dropped to the ground. He is a heavy man and in falling he broke his ankle and was badly
shaken up by the fall. He will recover.
A number of others were less seriously hurt and a number of them were taken to a hospital.
Hastings and Locals will meet at Lewis Park Thursday (St. Augustine Evening Record , May 24, 1914)
Hastings and St. Augustine will meet in a baseball game at Lewis Park Thursday afternoon. The Hastings
team will be strengthened by the addition of several professional players and the game will without doubt
prove close and interesting. Play will be called at 3:30 sharp. Grand stand admission will be thirty-five cents,
bleachers twenty-five cents, children fifteen cents and automobiles thirty-five cents.
It is expected that the game will prove a swift one and the public is urged to attend.
May 29, 1914 Locals Lost to Hastings Crowd
Game was Lost in the First Inning for St. Augustine
Pruitt, Professional Pitcher for Spud Team, Delivered the Goods -- Game was well played and pleased the
Baseball that thoroughly pleased the fans, especially after the first inning, was produced at Lewis Park
yesterday afternoon when Hastings defeated the St. Augustine regulars by the score of five to three...
A Florida Enchantment
In 1914 Sidney Drew, Edith Stovey, Charles Kent, Mrs. Sidney Drew, Ada Gifford and Ethel Loyd brought star
power to St. Augustine in the filming of A Florida Enchantment. This comedy shows several scenes of St.
Augustine and the film is still available. Archibald Clavering Gunter a writer who stayed at the Cordova
published the book in 1892.
Red-Haired Beauty is Called "Fifth Av." Girl of the Movies (The Day Book, June 3, 1914)
Anna Luther is called the "Fifth avenue" girl of the silent drama. She is peculiarly the type which that name
seems to describe -- tall, lissome, with golden red hair and a startling clear complexion. Her manner, speech
and dress all suggest the fashionable New York thoroughfare, too.
A director saw Miss Luther's photograph in a studio and immediately asked that she come in to see him. He
engaged her at once and she has been playing in the movies nearly ever since. She is with the Lubin
Company at St. Augustine, Fla.
Bridge to be a Fine Structure (St. Augustine Evening Record, July 28, 1914)
Will be Well Lighted for Traffic
Reinforced Concrete Structure is Rapidly Nearing Completion and Will be a Credit to Both County and
City--To Open in a Few Weeks.
Work is now moving with a vim upon the new reinforced concrete bridge over the San Sebastian which will
connect St. Augustine and New Augustine. Contractor Seth Perkins is putting up a bridge that will be a credit
to both city and county.
For some distance the concrete railing has been placed and the flooring cast ready for the pavement. The
gang is busily at work completing this work on the western end now. The rail is finished in rough concrete and
it presents a splendid appearance.
Eight fine electric light standards are being erected and the bridge will be a veritable white way. This is quite
necessary in order to provide properly for traffic.
On each side of the roadway is a sidewalk which will be above the roadway. The bridge is a strong structure
and will doubtless be in use for many a decade with slight repair.
1915 4-H Program Begins in St. Johns County
St. Johns was one of the pioneer counties of the state in adopting the 4-H Club activities for its rural youth.
Girls learned about homemaking and housekeeping and others helped in business careers. Boys were given
scholarships for agricultural training and encouraged to stay on the farm. The University of Florida in
Gainesville had a summer program that was funded in St. Johns County by the board of County
Commissioners and the Model Land Company. By 1937 this program had expanded throughout St. Johns
County under the supervision of Miss Anna E. Heist, the county home demonstration agent, and Loonis Blitch
the county agent. It had clubs in Hastings, Elkton, Moccasin Branch, Moultrie, Riverdale, Tocoi, Bakerville,
Picolata, Mill Creek, Orangedale, Switzerland, Sampson, Palm Valley and West St. Augustine.
Elkton Methodist Episcopal South formed
This Methodist Church lasted until 1927. The church formed in 1914 was located a mile west of Elkton R. R.
Station on Bass Rd. In 1938 the deed was given back to the Trustees of the Church by the Methodist
Episcopal Church and a interdenominational Sunday School was held there. It was a rectangular wooden
church, painted white with a tower and 8 stained glass windows. It was remodeled in 1938. The first Pastor
was Rev. Fletcher who served from 1914-20.
Old Jail (County)
Of course in the Progressive Era one of the concerns would be prison reform. On November 12, 1914 the
County Grand Jury under George D. Young as foreman issued a report on the Jail (old Jail today). The grand
jury found that the bunks downstairs had no mattresses on them as required by state law. Quilts were used but
blankets were required. Wash basin clogged. Toilets in all cells had no tanks which made them impossible to
flush. Kitchen windows had no screens. No towels for prisoners. Bathing tubs should be replaced by showers.
White and colored prisoners mingled together in recreation. There was no care for sick prisoners. No chairs or
benches except in women's cells. Water was kept in bottles that 4 or 5 people used. Prisoners held for trial
were never allowed to have exercise. Young prisoners were held with old and insane people were held in cells
with other people.
Daily Band Concerts to Begin January Fifteenth (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 15, 1915)
Spice's Royal Venetian band has been engaged again for another season. St. Augustine's visitors will again
be delighted by daily concerts. The board of commissioners of the Chamber of Commerce will hold a meeting
especially called for the purpose for Wednesday morning at nine 0'clock. At this meeting the various questions
relating to the head will be considered. Where will it play, when will it play, what committee shall have the
matter in hand, the program, etc. etc., and money. These are among the questions.
Lubin Movie Company Here for Three Months (St. Augustine Evening Record, Jan 11, 1915)
Ready for three months' work here upon some big stories which the company will film George W. Terwilliger
and a party of Lubin stars arrived Sunday and are at the Hotel Alcazar. Mr. Terwilliger was here with a
company for the Lubin people several weeks last spring and made many friends who will be glad to welcome
Miss Ormi Hawley, the noted moving picture actress is the star with the company although all are well known in
filmdom. Others with Mr. Terwilliger are Earle Metcalfe, Kempton Green, Herbert Fortier, William Cooper,
Peter Volkman, May DeMetz, Frances Fortier, Hazel Hubbard and Thorlief Cornellison.
Flagler Hospital Silver Jubilee celebrated March 2, 1915 (see story)
Nombre de Dios Chapel
In 1915 General Hardin gave a gift that enabled the building of a chapel at Nombre de Dios. It is a
representation of the earlier churches that stood at this site.
Started in Mobile, Alabama in 1915 the trail linked St. Augustine with San Diego California. It was completed
in 1929 at the cost of $80,000,000. The giant coquina ball by the St. Augustine Visitors Center is the
beginning of the trail. (Please note you may have to look for it. It has been moved several times.)
Unveiling to be Seen in Movies (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 1, 1916)
Proprietor H. B. Aldrich of the Orpheum theatre has, at great expense, had moving pictures taken of the
ceremonies connected with the unveiling of the Flagler monument in Railway Park last Sunday. These pictures
will be shown at the Orpheum commencing next Friday and continuing Sunday and Monday, this feature, of
course, being in addition to the regular big attractions. The pictures were made by one of the best
photographers connected with a leading moving picture company now at work in Jacksonville and St.
Electing City Commissioner (January 1, 1916)
Theo. V. Pomar, the general auditor for the Florida East Coast Railway was the only candidate to be voted for
Child Delayed Big Production (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 19, 1916)
[Editor: So part of the first vampire move with Theda Bara as the vampire was made in St. Augustine.] Little
Runa Hodges, the clever child actress, who was especially engaged to play the part of the daughter of the
"Fool" in the William Fox production of "A Fool There Was," now "packing'em in" at the Bijou theater, is very
small---but very, very important. So much so, in fact, that while the Florida scenes of the production were being
made she was responsible for an entire day's delay in the production which she attended, as the guest of
honor, a children's lawn party at the palatial St. Augustine home of Dr. James Knight, a prominent physician of
The daughters of Dr. Knight idolized little Runa and their friends joined them in paying tribute to the minature
"queen of the silent drama," while Theda Bara, Edward Jose and the balance of the expensive cast awaited
the pleasure of the children.
Runa's appearance was responsible for a new diversion among the children in St. Augustine. Under her able
direction they played a "movie" gave in which, after watching the grown-up actors of the Fox aggregation, they
endeavored to duplicate their every move.
Movie Gossip (The Day Book, January 27, 1916)
Paramount's "My Lady Incog," featuring Hazel Dawn was filmed in St. Augustine, Fla.
Church of Christ, Scientist Formed
A Church of Christ Scientist formed in 1916 and was located at 15 Carrera Street. From 1916 to June 1921
the congregation would be held in a private dwelling place at 120 La Quinta Place. The building constructed of
wood and painted white with no definite style of architecture. The church would be incorporated in 1938. The
first reader in 1916 was Mrs. Moore Thompson. The second reader was Miss Josephine Bennett. In the 1930s
the readers would be Mrs. Harriet L. Butler and Emma Greenwood.
Sister Mary Thomasine
April 24, 1916 a Warrant was issued for Judge George William Jackson for Sister Mary Thomasine of the
Sisters of St. Joseph, a teacher at St. Benedict School. Her crime was that of a white teacher unlawfully
teaching "Negroes in a negro school." A continuance was requested after she plead not guilty. The bail bond
was set at $25 which she refused to pay. She was taken to the county jail (old jail today). Her lawyers made a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus to Judge George Couper Gibbs. It charged that the Florida statute violated
the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution (due process clause). Judge Gibbs replied that the U.S.
Constitution had nothing to do with education that was a state matter. But he gave the writ based on his
conclusion that the state statute had nothing to do with private education only public. No further attempts were
made against white nuns teaching African-American students.
To Organize Poultry Club (St. Augustine Evening Record, Nov 18, 1916)
Miss Floyd, state poultry agent, will be here Monday and will cooperate with Miss Godbey in organizing a
women's poultry club in St. Augustine. A meeting will be held Monday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the chamber
of commerce building for the purpose of organizing the club and all women who are interested in poultry are
urged to attend. While the meeting is for the purpose of organizing a women's club, all who are interested in
poultry are invited.
Movie Company to Locate Here (St. Augustine Record, Nov 18, 1916)
Herbert Brenon, president of the Herbert Brenon Film Corporation of New York city, has been in
communication with Secretary Kidder of the chamber of commerce, for some time, with a view of bringing a
company of "movie" actors here. Mr. Kidder has just received a letter from Mr. Brenon in which the writer
states that he intends leaving for St. Augustine in a week or ten days with a company of players. He mentions
that he has heard much about the beauty of St. Augustine and that he is coming down now to test the quality of
the locations. The chamber of commerce is keeping in touch with a number of film companies and may be
successful in bringing them to this city for the winter.
[The film was "Heart and Soul" staring Theda Bara as a woman who sacrifices herself for the happiness of her
sister (Clara Whitney). The film was a disaster. The director was J. Gordon Edwards who set the film in
Hawaii. The cast included Alice Gale, Edwin Holt, Walter Law, Glen White John Webb Dillon, Harry Hilliard,
Margaret Lairce, and Kittens Reichert.
His other film which had scenes filmed in St. Augustine in 1917 was "The Eternal Sin or Lucretia Borgia"
staring Florence Reed, William E. Shay, Stephen Grattan, Richard Barthelmess, Alexander Shannon, A. G.
Parker, M. J. Briggs, Edward Thome, Elmer Patterson, Anthony Merlo, Henry Armetta, William Welsh, Juliet
Brenon, Jane Fearnley and Henrietta Gilbert.
In February 1917 Miss Bara planted a tree in the Plaza.]
Presbyterian Prochial and Industrial School
This private school was located on the corner of Central Avenue and Park pl. The term ran from 1st Monday in
October and closed May 15th. Day pupils 1 and 2nd grades were 10 cents per week and 3rd grade and up 15
cents per week. The day nursery was 10 cents per day with boarding also available at $8.00 per month. Prof.
Jas. H. Cooper was principal.
In 1916 Alicia Hospital is destroyed by fire. Through the help of Dr. Anderson and Mrs. Flagler money was
raised to construct a new building. The new hospital is opened on January 5, 1921 with Dr. Anderson as the
chairman of the board.
Schools Cut Back
In 1916 the commercial department, manual training and mechanical drawing departments at the Orange
Street school were abolished due to lack of funds.
In 1916 The Little Links Golf Course was taken over by the army and leveled to make the city's first landing
field. A first school of aviation trained Canadian fliers for military service in Europe. It was completed in
New Adjutant General is Here (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 22, 1917)
Appointed by Governor Sidney J. Catts to be adjutant general of Florida. J. R. Christian arrived in the city this
morning from Tallahassee, prepared to assume his new duties. He is accompanied by W. B. Lanier, of
Jacksonville, who expects to be Mr. Christian's assistant. Mr. Christian is making his headquarters at the Hotel
Marlon for the present and several friends called there this morning to extend to him a welcome to St.
Norma Talmadge Films in St. Augustine (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 26, 1917)
The beautiful Norma Talmadge, who has been seen so often in pictures and is in fact one of the most popular
of screen heroines is to be in St. Augustine tomorrow. Miss Talmadge is playing now as leading lady with the
Crystal Film Company of New York, and has been working in Jacksonville for some little time past. Her
director is now anxious to take some pictures that will work into the present production as a girls' seminary and
show scenes of the life there, and for that reason permission has been asked of President Albert H. Walker of
the State School for the Deaf and the Blind to take pictures at the school tomorrow. President Walker has
granted the request, and Miss Talmadge and the players will come over tomorrow by automobile and spend
the day at the school. The basketball girls of the State school have been asked to give an exhibition basketball
game, scenes from this to be included in the picture that Miss Talmadge's company is producing. [In 1917 she
stared in The Secret of the Storm Country, The Moth, Poppy, The Law of Compensation and Panthea.
Unknown if this filming was part of any of the above films.]
Barbers Arrested for Keeping Open on Sunday (St. Augustine Evening Record, February 12, 1917)
Charged with violating the law by keeping their shops open on Sunday three barber shop proprietors were
arrested this morning and Friday was set for the hearing which will be before Judge Jackson. The barbers had
remained closed on Sundays for about a year, having not only agreed among themselves to take a rest on
Sundays but having enlisted the aid of the sheriff to enforce the law. Through a complaint sent to Tallahassee
when the general agreement was entered into instructions came from the district attorney to Sheriff Perry to
enforce the law wherein barber shops were concerned. Sheriff Perry notified the tonsalor office that they must
obey the law as they had invoked it and that he would arrest all who remained open on Sundays. Several of the
barbers found such a demand for their services as the result of the great influx of visitors that they decided to
accommodate those who needed a shave or hair cut. Complaint was lodged against them and they must
come before the court.
Johnny Ray to Establish Movie Industry Here (St. Augustine Evening Record, February 15, 1917)
Johnny Ray is in St. Augustine looking over the ground with a view of establishing a motion picture studio here.
Mr. Ray arrived here last week and he was joined by Mrs. Ray on Sunday. They are guests of Mrs. E. L.
Leighton on Carrera street.
Mr. Ray proposes to make two-reel comedies here and he intends to start with a small company enlarging as
the business develops. He is not a novice in the motion picture industry, as he has been engaged in the
business as an actor and as a producer. He has a well-equipped studio in Cleveland, O., and his plant has
turned out some pictures that won national recognition. It is his intent to produce two-reel comedies plays with
sufficient plot and real humor to win their way into the hearts of the public. He has secured the services of
Edward McWade, now, in Jacksonville and engaged by Victor Moore...A director and camera men will arrive
shortly and Mr. Hay's company of actors will be drawn from the profession.
Gov. Catts Issues Appeal for Reorganization First Regiment (St. Augustine Evening Record, March 31,
To the Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. March 30 1917
Dear Sir--There seem to be a great many war clouds hovering over our great country and we are anxious to
have Florida come up with her full quota of troops and munitions of war in case war should prevail. Should
there be any special orders that you desire me as governor to put into execution, will you kindly let me have
them at once, as not only am I but every citizen in Florida anxious to do his or her duty for the protection of our
loved flag and the honor of our splendid nation. With best wishes, I am, Yours sincerely,
Sidney J. Catts,
To the Public and Those Who Constitute the First Florida Regiment Infantry:
As conditions confronting us now seem to indicate that war may be declared at any time between this country
and Germany and as the First Regiment Infantry of Florida is in a depleted and run-down condition. I appeal to
the officers and men who constitute the old muster of this company to re-enlist at once in order that we may
have this company at full quota and roll in case hostilities should break out on the Mexican border or from
Germany. The Second Regiment is in splendid condition. It would not be amiss for the citizens of Florida also
to form at once a Third Regiment together with a number of Naval Reserve forces. I earnestly advise that each
and every person who desires to enlist in any of these organizations to write directly to the governor or General
J. B. Christian, Adjutant-general, St. Augustine Fla. I note with pleasure the organization of the National Guard
of Honor among the young women of our State headed by Miss Helen Hunt of Jacksonville, Florida, who have
already offered their services to the State in case of war. Let us be patriotic and ready to strive for our country,
our home, our wives and our God.
With best wishes to you all. I am.
Sidney J. Catts,
Many New Members Added to the Red Cross Auxiliary (St. Augustine Evening Record, April 2, 1917)
Many new names are reported for membership in the St. Augustine Auxiliary of the American Red Cross, and
these include Mrs. Murray W. Seagears, Dr. Andrew Anderson, General and Mrs. Martin Hardin, Mrs. George
Fletcher, Eugene Foye, X. Lopez, Mrs. Andrew Williamson, Mr. Veronica Pomar, Mrs. T. S. Canfield, Mr. and
Mrs. James Flynn of Cleveland, O; Miss Aline Gleason, Miss Lizzie Smith, Mrs. Fethersion Connor, the Misses
Sara and Marie Conniff, Miss Ethel Colee, Miss Viola Duchell, Miss Mary Masters, Miss Mirlam Colee, Miss
Marie Copps, Miss Zelma Paffe. Mrs. Agnes Johns of Pittsburg, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Dismukes, Miss Julia
Jones, Miss Virgina Eates, Mrs. Gladys Eaten, Mrs Rose S. Perkins, William C. Stuart of Detroit, Steward
Cameron of Toronto, Mr. and Mrs. T. V. Pomar, Arthur Slater. The Red Cross booth at the Hotel Ponce de
Leon was busy all day Friday, and resumed activities there today. At the Hotel Alcazar the booth is in charge
of Mrs. George Winslow, and she has had the assistance of Miss Virginia Estes, Mrs. Charles L. Lyon and
Miss Julia Jones.
Recruiting Officer Recruits for the Naval Reserve (St. Augustine Evening Record, April 4, 1917)
Lieut C. D. Holland will be here tomorrow for the purpose of recruiting for the navy and naval reserve. A
telegram was received this afternoon from Lieut. Holland which reads as follows: "Evening Record: Will be in
St. Augustine tomorrow only. Want recruits for the naval reserves and regular navy." He will be here only one
day and all who desire to enlist in the navy or naval reserves should see him as early as possible.
Girls' National Guard of Honor (from St. Augustine Evening Record, April 4, 1917)
A branch of the Girls' National Guard of Honor was organized in St. Augustine. Miss Helen Hunt of Jacksonville
was State manager and Mrs. Lorenzo W. Baldwin of Jacksonville was the assistant State manager. Miss Julia
Jones was the captain of the St. Augustine local guard with Miss Margaret Gibbs as assistant.
The aim and purpose of the organization is to plan a mobilization of resources. All girls will be listed according
to their ability and training and in case of need they may be called upon for service, but only in their own
community. Red Cross classes are encouraged, but first aid classes are arranged for where the girls cannot
secure this training otherwise. The local militia has consented to teach the Guard of Honor girls the use of
firearms for home defense and an automobile squad will be listed.
The Guard of Honor has been endorsed by President Wilson, Secretary of War Baker and others. General
Leonard J. Wood of the United States Army, and Admiral Usher of the United States Navy are members of the
Support of Elks Pledged to President (St. Augustine Evening Record, April 5, 1917)
In connection with the initiation of officers last night the local lodge of Elks passed a resolution commending
President Wilson on the course he has pursued and pledged him the support of the lodge.
The installation of officers was the main feature of business the resolutions on the national crisis being apart
from the regular order. Officers were installed as follows: C. C. Speer, exalted ruler, C. F. Welsa, esteemed
leading knight; E. K Barrett esteemed lecturing knight; J. E. Roach, secretary, L. A. Colee, treasurer; Frank
Jackson. Dolph Bennett is the representative to the grand lodge which will convene this year in Boston.
After the adoption of the resolution the lodge sent the following telegram:
To Honorable Woodrow Wilson,
President of the United States
Washington D. C.
St. Augustine Lodge No. 828 B. P. O. Elks at our last meeting voted unanimously for preparedness and full
support for your stand for American rights and justice and humanity. Dolph Bennett, E. R.; C. F. Welsh,
World War I
On April 6, 1917 the United States Congress declared war on Germany. In the Senate the resolution passed
82 to 6 and in the house the vote was 373 to 50.
World War I would effect small town St. Augustine in the same way that small towns were effected throughout
the United States. (List of African-Americans who participated in World War I from St. Johns County.)
One of the first groups that enlisted was Arnold Melcher. He was sent to the Navy training school in Macon
Bunnell Home Builder. Mr. I. I. Moody was President of the Bunnell State Bank when he wrote the following:
"The potato industry in the southern portion of St. Johns County is our money crop and this is one of the main
reasons why we are growing so rapidly from year to year. Notwithstanding the splendid results that have
already been attained by our farmers, I would say that this industry is still in its infancy, and I predict that the
time will come when our farmers in the Bunnell colony will ship as many potatoes from Bunnell as the farmers
in the whole St. Johns County are shipping now.
"The first man, to my knowledge, who ever tried to grow Irish potatoes in this county for commercial purposes,
was a Mr. Brown, one of the old settlers at Hastings. He came here from Ohio, I believe, a couple of years after
I settled in this county. [ed note: about 1900] Mr. Brown, while living in the north, had been advised by his
physician to seek a milder climate, and he came to Hastings with a carload of furniture. Among other things he
brought with him were about six bushels of potatoes, and before planting time arrived he had eaten at least
one-third of them.
"Being a newcomer, he did not know what could or could not be grown in our country, so said to his wife, as
planting time drew near, "I wonder if a person could grow Irish potatoes in St. Johns County?" "Well, there's
nothing like trying," she replied and so the remainder of the potatoes were planted. His first crop amounted to
16 barrels, which he shipped to Philadelphia, receiving $9 a barrel for same.
"Little did Mr. Brown realize at the time that this was the beginning of a wonderful industry in St. Johns County,
which was destined to make it famous."
City Garden Committee Met and Organized (St. Augustine Evening Record, April 12, 1917)
Sub-committees were appointed yesterday afternoon by the general committee on vegetable gardens, for the
purpose of listing all of the unplanted lots in the city.
The general committee met at 3 o'clock in the city commission chamber with City Manager Miller and
organized. The Chamber of Commerce committee was amalgamated with the city committee and the whole
was organized into a single committee. X. Lopez was chosen for chairman and F. A. Rolleston for secretary.
The committee is composed of the following: X. Lopez, F. A. Rolleston, I. W. Zim, Fred C. Usina, Miss Lois
Godbey, Mrs. Noel W. Mier, C. A. Lamont, Elliott Ashton, F. N. Holmes, Mrs. Aiva H. Perkins, Miss Julia
Jones, Mrs. A. H. Mickler, J. L. Henry, J. E. Cheatham, R. P. Kettle, E. H. Reynolds, Gen. J. C. R. Foster, Mrs.
I. P. Hawkins.
Sub-committees appointed to list unplanted lots in the several wards of the city were as follows: Ward One, F.
A. Rolleston; Ward Two, J. L. Henry; Ward Three, Mrs. Alva H. Perkins; Ward Four, E. H. Reynolds; Ward
Five, Mrs. A. H. Mickler, and Mrs. Noel W. Mier. Each committee was authorized to enlist the assistance of
others to aid them in the work.
It was decided to give every possible aid to the people of this community in cultivating gardens and to use the
committee for a bureau of information. What to plant and how to prepare the ground, with all other information
incidental to the work will be published in The Evening Record, and supplementary information will be
available through the county farm demonstrator, J. E. Cheatham and Miss Goopey, canning club demonstrator.
Those who have their own lots can proceed immediately to prepare the same for cultivation, and those who
are desirous of planting but have no grounds will be assigned lots. They should send in applications at once to
the secretary, F. A. Rolleston, stating how large a plot they can take care of, also in what locality they desire it.
Red Cross Entertainment at the Jefferson (from St. Augustine Evening Record, April 12, 1917)
This evening at the Jefferson theatre, commencing at 8:30 o'clock, the Red Cross Benefit entertainment will
take place. A splendid program has been arranged and will be presented by members of the Catholic Club,
assisted by other local talent and several visiting artists. It is a fine thing that through the energy of these young
people and friends who are assisting them that the St. Augustine Auxiliary of the American Red Cross Society
is enabled to raise a fund that would be impossible under any other circumstances.
Madame Olga Petrova, one of the most beautiful and popular actresses in the movie world, who is at present
in St. Augustine with the Famous Players Lasky Company, has manifested her interest in Red Cross work by
joining the St. Augustine Auxiliary and has also promised to appear tonight on the program at the Jefferson
and thus assist with the entertainment. [She starred in many movies in 1917 including the Secret of Eve. She
was known to have filmed "The Waiting Soul" in St. Augustine with Mahlon Hamilton and Mrs. Mathhilde
Brundage. They used the grounds of the Ponce de Leon Hotel for the movie of a woman who falls in love with a
Dr. Barton B. Bigler, chairman of the St. Augustine Auxiliary of the American Red Cross Society, will make a
brief address on the work of the Red Cross.
Even though the war was on there was still work to be done at home. World War I would never achieve the full
mobilization of World War II in the United States. Plans were being made for the extension of paved roads
throughout St. Johns County opening up rural areas for development.
Supply Company Will Entrain Here Tomorrow (St. Augustine Evening Record, September 13, 1917)
Captain Lloyd Crary of the Supply Company, which has been organized several months, and has been
awaiting orders to entrain for one of the army cantonments, has at last been notified to leave the temporary
headquarters and camp at the Chamber of Commerce building where the boys have been housed.
Accordingly the company will proceed to the Florida East Coast Railway station tomorrow morning at 9:30
o'clock to take the Oversea Limited for Jacksonville en route to one of the cantonments. The news that the
soldier boys were ordered to leave was hailed with joy by every member of the organization. The boys are
anxious to get into active training for the arduous duties that lie before them and are ready to uphold the best
traditions of the Ancient City and the honor of their country and its flag. Undoubtedly many citizens will turn out
tomorrow morning to do honor to the departing troops and a great crowd is expected at the railway station to
give the boys a royal send-off. The Municipal Band will lead the procession from the headquarters on Charlotte
street to the station.
Women of the City Are Registering Today (St. Augustine Evening Record, September 19, 1917)
At the registration headquarters in the Sugar Bowl in the Jefferson theatre building many women of the city
have registered today in accordance and issued to all patriotic ladies to enter their names for such service as
may be convenient and possible for them to render to the nation. This is a purely voluntary and patriotic
movement undertaken to strengthen the hands of the national government in the present war crisis. It is the
duty of every woman to hand in her name and those who do not do so today will have further opportunity on
Statue of General Kirby Smith Completed by Sculptor Pillars (St. Augustine Evening Record Sept 22,
An interesting visitor in the city on Friday was Charles Adrian Pillars of Jacksonville, the noted sculptor who
lately completed a heroic full-size was model for the statue of General E. Kirby Smith, Confederate States
army, executing the commission for the State of Florida. The statue, which is soon to be cast in bronze and
erected in the Hall of Fame in the capitol at Washington, is of particular interest to St. Augustine inasmuch as
General Kirby Smith was born in this city in 1824. He devoted more than twenty years of his life to the
University of the South at Suwanee, Tennessee, and his memory is revered all over the South and beyond the
Mason and Dixon line. The Florida legislature appropriated $10,000 for this State which covers the original
cost. Exact duplicates in genuine bronze, including a marble pedestal, can be secured for $3,000, and a
movement is on foot in the city to secure one to be placed in the Plaza or other suitable place.
Navy League Has Big Display of Garments (St. Augustine Evening Record, Oct. 29, 1917)
Responding nobly to the call upon the women of America to help our armed forces in winning the war the St.
Augustine Section of the Navy League has a display of the work of its members that calls for the highest
In the window of the Navy League room on King street are neat piles of knitted garments. Since August first
the ladies of this section have knitted 91 wool sweaters, 120 wool mufflers, 220 wool wrist lets, 8 wool
helmets. These garments are for the boys of the navy, who will be scouring the wintry seas during the coming
winter, and who being unused to rigorous winter climate of northern Europe would suffer were they not
adequately clothed properly. All over the United States noble women are devoting their time to producing
woolen garments for the boys of our navy. Their work will not only add immeasurably to the comfort of the boys,
but will save many lives.
On August 6th the St. Augustine Section of the Navy League sent a large shipment of woolen garments to
headquarters for distribution in the navy. This section also since then has sent 54 Christmas bags. filled with
much needed little comforts and necessities. Each bag contained tobacco, a pipe, comb, box of talcum
powder, tooth brush, tooth paste, package of chewing gum, handkerchief, deck of playing cards, box of
dominoes, bar of toilet soap, indelible pencil, pen, drinking cup. Some bags contained coin purses, metal
mirrors, hair brushes and tins of candy.
County Farm News (St. Augustine Evening Record, Nov. 17, 1917)
Preparations for the annual exhibit of the Corn, Canning, Pig and Poultry clubs are progressing rapidly now
and everything will be in readiness by Tuesday for the big display. The boys and girls of the several clubs will
come in from the country districts for the day and will enjoy the attending exercises...
County Farm Demonstrator J. E. Cheatham and Miss Lois Godbey, canning club demonstrator, have been
very successful in securing handsome prizes, which will be awarded to the club members.
Santa Claus Invites Children to Send Christmas Letters (St. Augustine Evening Record, Nov. 23, 1917)
North Pole, Nov. 23, 1917
My Dear Little St. Augustine Friends:
Once again I greet you. I wish you a merry Christmas and I hope that you will each and all enjoythe great festive
day. I will, as usual, do what I can to make Christmas a day of unalleyed happiness for you.
For three years my heart has been saddened by the awful war and this year is the saddest of all, as your own
dear country has entered the conflict. I know that the children of the world look to me to brighten the Christmas
season and for the next few weeks I will put sorrow out of my heart and devote my efforts to Christmas
I want the children of St. Augustine to send in their Christmas letters as usual and I will do my best to fill their
orders. The war, however, will interfere very much with my work and I may not be able to bring everything that
you ask, so you must be satisfied with what I can offer. You children of St. Augustine are more fortunate than
your little cousins in Europe, who have been deprived not only of playthings, but of food, clothing and shoes.
They have suffered very much and you must be content if you are deprived of some of the things you have
been accustomed to. Also remember the poor children in your own community and give them the toys you
have left over from last Christmas.
I have arranged with The Evening Record to publish your letters in the Christmas number which will be
published on December 14th, so your letters should be in The Record office in time to be published by that
Told of Army Life (St. Augustine Evening Record November 28, 1917)
At the High School auditorium during chapel hour this morning the teachers and pupils listened with a great
deal of interest to a talk by John Webb, president of the class of '17 who enlisted in the First Florida Hospital
Corps, and has been in training for several months at Camp Wheeler. The stories of army life and experiences
enthused his audience and during his address Mr. Webb made it plain that much of the sickness at the army
cantonments has been the result of inexperience and indiscretion on the part of the new soldiers. Now that they
have learned "the ropes." sickness is disappearing and everybody is well cared for and happy. In fact, Mr.
Webb stated that he had yet to find a single enlisted man of his acquaintance who was willing to escape
military duty and return to civil life. He met with a cordial reception at the hands of his former classmates.
Stuart Pellicer Victim of Pneumonia at Camp Wheeler (St. Augustine Evening Record, November 30,
Stuart Pellicer is the second of the St. Johns county soldier boys to succumb to disease. His body arrived here
from Camp Wheeler this morning and was conveyed to L. F. Sanchez & Craig's undertaking parlors. The
young man had been ill with pneumonia for two or three weeks, and his death was reported during the early
period of his illness, but the report at that time was erroneous.
Two brothers of the young soldier hastened to Camp Wheeler when they first learned of his illness and they
remained with him until it was believed that the crisis had passed and that he was recovering. Evidently he
suffered a relapse after they left. He died Wednesday morning and his relatives were notified yesterday
The young man is survived by his mother, Mrs. Peter Pellicer, who lives south of Moultrie. Several brothers
also survive him. He was born and reared in this county and was a member of the Catholic church. The funeral
will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock from I. F. Sanchez & Craig's undertaking parlors and the interment
will be at San Lorenz cemetery. A squad of eight men from the County Guards will act as an escort of honor
and will fire a salute over the grave.
Thanksgiving Day at Camp Wheeler (St. Augustine Evening Record, December 4, 1917)
The the soldier laddies in camp were well looked after on Thanksgiving day is evidenced from letters that have
been received from the boys during the past two or three days. Ed G. Rogero writes as follows from Camp
Wheeler, Macon Ga:
Editor Evening Record--Enclosed please find menu for Headquarters Company, 124th Infantry. Kindly publish
it for me so the folks can see just how "Our Uncle" has succeeded in making Thanksgiving in camp as much
like home as possible. Our company of 294 men were allowed 449 pounds of turkey. This is one time turkeys
have had a bad day. A number of the boys had their mother or best girl to take dinner with them. The 124th
band is in headquarters company, and after all were seated they struck up with "Hail, Hail, The Gang's All
Here" and "Dixie." It was a "regular" spread and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Underwent Exam (St. Augustine Evening Record, December 5, 1917)
Lee Sink and Benj. Baya returned last night from Jacksonville where they underwent examination at the
recruiting station. Both are endeavoring to enlist in the aviation branch of the signal corps, but as yet they have
not heard the result of the examination. They have been instructed to report again on Friday, and if they have
passed the examination they will leave on Saturday for Fort Scriven, Ga. for preliminary training and from there
will be sent to San Antonio, Texas, for training at the big aviation station.
Observed Lightless Thursdays (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 11, 1918)
Darkened windows in the business district last night gave evidence of the fact that the merchants were
observing the lightless Thursday regulations.
Another St. Augustine Boy is Making Good (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 11, 1918)
Sergeant Joseph R. Beaman, who has been on duty with the Camp Quartermaster at Camp Wheeler,
Georgia, has been promoted to Sergeant First Class and assigned to the Division of Quartermaster at
Division Headquarters, 31st Division, better known as "Dixie Division." This is considered quite a promotion
as only ten enlisted men are allowed to the Division Quartermaster, and the selections are made from over the
whole camp. This department will go to France to take care of the division while the Camp quartermaster will
remain to take care of the camp after the Division moves out.
Heatless Mondays Start Next Week for Ten Week Period (St. Augustine Evening Record, Jan 19, 1918)
Commencing Monday, and continuing on Mondays for ten weeks, the drastic heatless order of the fuel
administrator goes into effect.
The order published in yesterday's issue of The Evening Record will be rigidly enforced. The order affecting
day and the penalty for violating it or the Monday orders is a fine of $5,000 or in default a term of imprisonment
that would extend beyond the period of the war.
Newspapers, magazines, periodicals and all publications that are issued at regular intervals are exempted,
but newspapers are limited to one edition.
All places of amusement must conform to the heatless order. They may operate, provided that they consume
no fuel in heating. Lights are not prohibited under the order.
Stores selling food supplies may be heated up to noon on Monday. Drug stores and all stores selling medical
supplies only, may be heated throughout the day and evening. Business and professional offices, excepting
United States offices, State, county, municipal government offices, transportation companies, offices of banks,
trust companies, physicians and dentists are not permitted to use fuel for heating purposes on Mondays.
The order does not include homes, schools, churches or hotels in its relation to heating.
Fuel Restrictions Affect St. Augustine (St. Augustine Evening Record, January 18, 1918)
St. Augustine concerns are affected to quite an extent by the order of the fuel administrator. Motion-picture
theatres and other theatres and places of amusement deriving heat and power (light comes under the ruling)
must close on Mondays beginning next Monday. The Record job plant is forced to close down today and must
remain closed for five days, as it derives power from the St. Johns Electric plant and heat from the St.
Augustine Gas company both consumers of coal. The order received today does not confine fuel to coal, but
states fuel in a board sense. However, it is interpreted to apply to coal, as the consumption of wood fuel here
would in no manner affect the fuel supply of the country.
The following order was received by A. M. Taylor, fuel administrator for St. Johns county:
"Following important order issued by Administrator Garfield. Until further order of the United States Fuel
Administrator, all persons holding fuel in whatever capacity shall give preference to orders for necessary
b. domestic consumers, hospitals, charitable institutions and army and navy cantonments.
c. public utilities, telephones and telegraph plants
d ships and vessels for bunker purposes
e United States for strictly government purposes not including orders from or for factories or plants working on
contracts for the United States
f. Municipal, county or State governments for necessary public uses.
g. manufacturers of perishable food or of food necessary for immediate consumption.
Negroes Called For War Duty (St. Augustine Evening Record, March 18, 1918)
The War Department has issued orders for the immediate draft of 2,000 negro men from Florida. This action
has been expected for some time, and did not come as a surprise.
The department has repeatedly been called upon recently to draft the negro, men before more whites were
called upon and this was the plan agreed upon by the officials.
It was not stated today where the Florida negroes would be sent, but they will probably go to one of the
Senator Trammell was at the department and was told that the negroes would leave Florida by March 29th.
Taking Pictures in St. Augustine Natural Colors (St. Augustine Evening Record, March 25, 1918)
Ancient City Selected as Site for Series of wonderful Motion Pictures
Cooperation with Dept. of Interior
Whole of United States to be Covered But Start Being Made in Florida.
St. Augustine is honored by having been chosen as the starting point in a series of wonderful motion pictures
in natural colors made by the Natural Colors Motion Picture Patents Company for the National Highway
Association in co-operation with the Department of the Interior at Washington. Now in St. Augustine in active
charge of the operations is F. W. Hochatetter, assisted by M. Alexander Zupnick. Mr. Hochetetter is from the
New York Research Laboratories which are being financed by Paul M. Pierson, a wealthy New York banker,
who has put half a million dollars into the enterprise....
In the year 1917 Colonel A. L. Westgard took more than 200,000 feet of good roads films, these pictures
having already been released through Pathe. Now comes the new process which reproduces the actual
natural colors and by which direct color photographs can be taken by any commercial camera and projected
on any standard projecting machine and normal persistence of vision. ...On Saturday and Sunday pictures
were taken at Lewis Point and over at the beaches and later in the week all the important local points of
interest will be included. ...It was largely through the efforts of City Manager Winton L. Miller that St. Augustine
was selected as the starting point for this splendid undertaking.
Florida Memorial College
In 1918 the Chamber of Commerce persuaded Florida Baptist Academy to move to St. Augustine. It was
renamed the Florida Normal and Industrial Institute later becoming Florida Memorial College. Its most famous
teacher was Sarah Ann Blocker who in November of 2003 was admitted into the Florida Women's Hall of
Fame. It was located on "Old Homes Plantation" a 110 acre campus.
A delegation was sent by the Chamber of Commerce of St. Augustine to Jacksonville in 1917 to visit
President Nathan Collier to encourage the move to St. Augustine. Dr. Andrew Anderson was one of the
delegation who promised to help the institution if it moved to St. Augustine. The school for its part had been
looking for more land in order to provide teacher training courses and agricultural courses. The Academy
moved to St. Augustine on September 24, 1918. In 1924 the first permanent structure was built as Anderson
Hall in memory of the late Dr. Andrew Anderson. That was followed in 1925 by Pickford Hall and in 1927 two
three-story dormitories Bacon Hall and Fisher Hall were completed. In 1931 a gymnasium and swimming pool
were completed. 1935 saw the Lewis Arch was constructed at the entrance. In 1937 a dinning hall and library
Hurst Chapel African Methodist Episcopal
This congregation was formed in June 1918 on 28 1/2 Bernard St. Services were held in a white rectangular
wooden building erected in 1918. This building was remodeled in September 1937. The first pastor was Rev.
J. H. Jones, 1923-1925. In 1938 the pastor was Rev. H. E. Ellison.
St. Johns County Boys to Leave in the Morning (St. Augustine Evening Record, July 15, 1918)
Selectmen entrain at 6:50 o'clock for Camp Shelby, Mississippi -- County guards to Escort Them to Train.
With Old Glory leading them, St. Johns county's quota of selectmen will march through the streets tomorrow
morning from the court house to the railway station, where they will entrain for Camp Shelby, Miss.
This call takes 88 men from this county, one of the largest contingents that this community has been called
upon to furnish. They form the remnant of Class One of the original registrants, but a few of the original class
remaining. However, changes in classification by which a number of men in deferred classes are advanced to
Class One, and the 1918 registrants in Class One are filling in some of the gaps.
Citizens generally favored a big demonstration in honor of these young men who are marching away to join the
colors and to fight for the principles which have made this the greatest nation in the world. Unfortunately the
early hour of departure renders it impossible to carry out plans that were drafted some time ago...
Before leaving the selectmen will be served with breakfast.. The train that is to bear them will bring up 37 men
from points down the coast who are also destined for Camp Shelby. This State furnishes 209 men in this call.
Those who desire to see the boys off must rise early as the train leaves at 6:50 o'clock.
An escort of honor will be composed by the County Guards who will march from the court house to the railway
station with them.
Saint Johns Baptist Church
In 1918 an African American congregation part of the National Baptist Convention of the United States of
America was organized in East Hastings. In 1918 they erected a rectangular wooden building painted white.
The first pastor was Rev. Darling Rivers. In 1937 Rev. Watson was pastor.
Odds and Ends (St. Augustine Evening Record, September 14, 1918)
Gasoline Permits Granted --
Several permits were issued today by Chairman Harry L. Brown, of the St. Johns County Council of National
Defense to automobile owners to drive their cars on Sundays for the purpose of attending to war work or
essential industries. When the use of gasoline on Sunday is necessary to the prosecution of the war, to
agricultural pursuits or essential industry, the permit is readily granted; but in view of the orders to the police
force in regard to the enforcement of the Fuel Administration's gasoline conservation order, it is considered
advisable to secure written permission from the proper officials of the Council of National Defense, which has
authority in such matters.
Will Instruct Colored Registrants --
All colored draft registrants over 19 and under 47 years old, are requested to meet at the colored Odd Fellows'
hall, on Washington street, Monday evening at 7:30 o'clock. Two colored men, Chas. Williams and Ransom
Humphreys, who saw service in the Philippines in the regular army of the United States, will be present to
instruct the men in the rudiments of military training, so that they may faster advance after they are called. It is
earnestly requested that all of the colored registrants be at this important meeting.
Returned to Post--
Lieut. J. L. Crary left yesterday on the return trip to his post at Fort Scriven, Ga. He expressed the hope that he
would soon go across to France.
Important Meeting Called --
An important and urgent meeting of the officers and non-commissioned officers of Company "A" of the St.
Johns County Guards, has been called for 8 o'clock Monday night at company headquarters in the City
building. The attendance of everyone interested is very much desired.
Admitted to School of Nursing --
Miss Catherine E. Gallagher of the Matanzas Apartments has been accepted into the Army School of Nurses,
having successfully passed the examination. She has been assigned to the training unit at Camp Hancock,
Ga., and has been instructed to report with the class entering about October 1st. Miss Gallagher applied to the
headquarters of the Army School of Nursing at Washington and was advised that she would be notified as to
the decision in her case. She has received notice of her admission to the training school, with a letter of
instructions as to the equipment she will require.
More Colored Men To Go --
The local draft board has received an inquiry from State headquarters as to the number of colored men
available for the selective service draft. Men for general military service are needed and they are to be
entrained on September 25th. Sixteen colored men form the residue of the class desired, and it is probable
that they will all be called.
"Flu" Epidemic Under Control (St. Augustine Evening Record, Oct. 10, 1918)
To the list of influenza victims a number of names have been added since yesterday, the majority of them
being from the railroad shops. No serious developments have attended any of the cases, giving further
evidence of the mildness of the epidemic here. Many who have been ill at home or in the hospitals are again
on the streets, having fully recovered from their battle with the "flu" germs.
There has been no increase in the disease here, the number of discharged patients equalling the number of
new cases if not exceeding them. Obeying the instructions of the health authorities, everyone is taking
necessary precautions for safeguarding health and a slight cold is the signal for a consultation with a
physician. The order prohibiting the congregation of crowds has also had splendid effect in holding down the
disease. The panic that attended the introduction of the disease here has abated, but the public continues
using preventative measures and those will have the effect of soon driving out the malady.
Training to be Given Women for Railroad Work (St. Augustine Evening Record, Oct. 11, 1918)
J. D. Rahner, General Passenger Agent F. E. C. Railroad, To Give Out Information.
As young women continue to take the places of the men who have answered the call of their country, the
problem of securing properly trained workers is confronted. The establishment of a school in Jacksonville
where girls will receive a salary while learning their new work will go far toward offering a solution of the
question in this part of the country. In a bulletin just issued by railroad authorities this plan is outlines as follows:
War conditions have created a new problem for the railroads to solve in people to adequately serve the
traveling public in the ticket offices throughout the United States.
Up to the present time these positions have been held by young men, who have been trained to furnish the
prospective passenger with complete information as to routes, train schedules and fares for the proposed trip,
and finally to provide him with the proper ticket to carry him to his destination.
At present so many of these young men have answered the call of the country in defense of American ideals
that the railroads find themselves confronted with a serious depletion of those upon whom they may call for this
service. As a result women are being trained to fill positions in ticket offices as ticket sellers, clerks and
accountants, cashiers and as "information."
Women of good moral character and above the age of 18 years may become students. No previous
experience is necessary and requisites are a high school education, personality, adaptability, health, personal
appearance, common sense and a willingness to enter enthusiastically into the work.
The acceptance of an applicant does not necessarily imply that she will be privileged to remain indefinitely. On
the contrary, she will be retained only as long as she continues to progress and observe the rules laid down.
Any student who fails to measure up in any way may be dropped after a few days' trial.
Compensation for the first two months during training will be $50 a month, this salary to be raised to $75
afterward, should the student be retained the third month.
J. D. Rahner, general passenger agent of the Florida East Coast Railroad, St. Augustine, is in charge of
arrangements for the school and will supply added information in answer to communications addressed to him.
Women have rapidly responded to the call to fill positions left vacant by men entering the service, and no doubt
will qualify for positions in the railway a large number of women in Florida ticket offices in the State. The
opportunity for advancement is good and the work of an interesting character. Classes will be organized in the
near future and a large enrollment is anticipated.
No Services at Churches Sunday (St. Augustine Evening Record, Oct. 12, 1918)
Owing to the continuation of the Spanish influenza epidemic in the city the order closing churches, schools,
theaters, etc., has not been countermanded and remains in full force, so there will be no public religious
services in any of the churches tomorrow.
The order of the Council of Defense was issued one week ago and it has been obeyed with a keen
appreciation of its merits by the pastors and congregations of all religious denominations. The people have
displayed a tendency to co-operate with the authorities in combating the disease and the results have been
most gratifying. While a number of new cases have been reported during the week they were expected, but
there has been no wide spread of the malady, and very few cases have been attended by serious
The embargo on schools and the theaters also on all public gatherings, remains in full effect, but it is possible
that it may be lifted earlier than at first expected, as the disease is decreasing here and will probably be soon
While fully appreciating the danger of the disease the public has used good, common sense and there has
been no panic. Proper precautions have been taken by the great majority and this has minimized the danger.
Fortunately the disease here has been in very mild form, those who have taken care of themselves when the
first symptoms were observed recovering in the course of a few days.
No services will be held at any of the churches in the city until the ban is lifted and due notice will be given when
Dr. D. W. Roberts
In the influenza epidemic that struck St. Augustine as well as the nation after World War I a hero emerged in
the person of Dr. D. W. Roberts (picture and short biography) His unselfish devotion to the people of St.
Augustine resulted in his own untimely death. A baptismal font was contributed by the doctors and others of St.
Johns County for his service. The font is located in St. Paul's AME Zion Church.
November 11, 1918
Armistice signed in France takes effect on the 11th Month, the 11th day at the 11th hour. St. Johns County had
contributed six hundred and fifty men who served in the World War.
In Memorial: William Forward Dyson, Burt Pacetti, Stuart Pellicer, S. Bellamy, S. Tomlinson, E. W. Cornell and I
St Augustine Historical Society Purchases the Gonzalez Alvarez House.
On Nov. 15, 1918 The St. Augustine Historical Society purchased and opened the Gonzalez Alvarez House
(Today's Oldest House) as a museum. Unfortunately this begins the dating of the house. No one in St.
Augustine is ever content with the history of a house they always want it to be the oldest and most important
and the more expansive you can be the better it is. The oldest house was purchased from George Reddington.
From the St. Augustine Evening Record: "There is no question about the antiquity of this old building, as the
Historical Society fully investigated its claims to being the oldest house in the United States before
considering its purchase. As to whether it is actually the oldest house in the United States is a question that
has been disputed by the owners of one or two other aged buildings in this city, but its claim has never been
satisfactorily disproved, so its title to the distinction has not suffered...Much time and money has been
expended in attempts to secure reliable data about the date that the old house was erected. The British
museum in London has been consulted and the Federal archives at Washington and elsewhere have been
probed, the result satisfying the Historical Society that there is no building in the United States that antedates
this time-worn structure."
Union Service of Thanksgiving (St. Augustine Evening Record, Nov. 16, 1918)
Under the auspices of the city commission a union service of praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for the
return of peace will be held in the Plaza tomorrow afternoon at three o'clock. The object of this service is to
give this community and surrounding districts an opportunity, as a united body of Christian men and women of
returning thanks to the Giver of all Good that the terrible war of the last four years is ended. It is hoped and
believed that everyone will want to attend this service, and a cordial invitation is extended, not only to the
citizens of St. Augustine, but also to those of New Augustine, Elkton, Hastings and surrounding districts. The
service will be conducted by the ministers of the city churches, and the combined choirs will lead the singing,
accompanied by the city band, F. A Henderich will have charge of the music. ..speakers included Rev. V. H.
Newkirk, New Augustine; Rev. J. E. Oates, Ancient City Baptist; Dr. Sol C. Dickey, Memorial Presbyterian
church; Rev. Father Barry, Cathedral; Rev. L. Fitz-James Hindry, Trinity Episcopal; Rev Dr. Rutter, Grace
School Children have done well in the United War Drive (St. Augustine Evening Record, Nov, 18, 1918)
The St. Johns county branch of the Boys' and Girls' "Earn and Give" division of the United War Work has to
date turned into the local headquarters $516.70 in cash. Of this amount $246.74 was given through the St.
Augustine High school, but this will be increased by final returns. Hastings school is unofficially reported over
the top, and Elkton and other county schools are known to be progressing toward their quotas. A detailed
report of the public schools and a final statement of the aggregate will be published Tuesday.
All the Catholic schools went over the top by noon Friday, their total amount in cash donations being $240.11
which is $50.11 more than their allotment. Too great credit cannot be given Mrs. Robert Kettle and her
committee for the untiring and systematic efforts attested to by the splendid results obtained.
Mrs. Kettie's report follows:
The work for the United Welfare campaign amongst the children of the parish schools of St. Johns county was
commenced on Monday, November 4, 1918, by the Very Rev. Patrick Barry, rector of the Cathedral and
president of the Parish Catholic War Council. Father Barry visited each room of the Cathedral parish schools
on St. George street, explaining the nature of the drive to the children and exhorting them to "earn and give" as
much as possible so that they might become real "victory boys and girls."
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the Rev. Father Lyons, assistant rector at the Cathedral, acting upon instructions from
Father Barry, superintendent of parish schools, visited each class room at St. Agnes' school in North City,
explaining and instructing the children along the same lines.
November 8th was designated by the campaign committee of the district as the date upon which Right Rev. M.
J. Curley, bishop of the diocese of St. Augustine and president of the Diocesan War Council, was to address
the schools of St. Joseph's Academy in this auditorium, but in view of the influenza epidemic the bishop was
asked to make separate addresses in each school room, which request was at once complied with and all the
rooms visited including twelve grades, the business department and the children's garden.
Colored Doctor Arrives (St. Augustine Evening Record, March 10, 1919)
Dr. Fielding of Jacksonville has moved to this city and has rented the office formerly occupied by the late Dr.
D. W. roberts. The need of a colored doctor has been recognized and a committee had the matter in charge,
but Dr. Fielding came of his own volition. He will have a large field to cover.
Dance Wed. Night In Honor of All Ex-Service Men (St. Augustine Evening Record, September 15, 1919)
Advantage of the opportunity to show some little recognition of the St. Augustine boys who served with the
colors during the war will be taken on Wednesday evening (Constitution Day) when a dance will be given for
the American Legion. The dance will follow the regular program and it is expected all of the ex-service men will
be on hand to participate in the pleasures of the occasion.
Up to the present time St. Augustine has taken no note of the return of the scores of boys who went from here
to offer their lives if necessary on the altar of their country. They were sent off with tears and cheers and nothing
was too good for them when they marched away with the prospect of never returning. Fortunately the boys from
this place all came back from overseas, not a single death thinning their ranks. Some of them were in action
and brought back the scars of war, but all expected to be thrown into the maelstrom of battle.
Other cities gave their returning sons a great ovation, but this was not practicable here owing to the fact that
our boys came back singly, or in small groups of twos and threes. They were nicely scattered throughout many
branches of the service and as they were discharged they returned home quietly and unobtrusively. There was
no chance for paying them the honors which they were entitled to. However, it was generally understood that
when all the boys were back some public demonstration in their honor would be given. The time has arrived for
doing this and the dance to be given Wednesday night is the first step towards recognizing the returned
soldiers, sailors and marines.
Mrs. Noel W. Mier has accepted the chairmanship of a committee of ladies to cooperate with the committee of
the American legion, composed of Maurice O'Brien, Lloyd Clark and Fred McGuire. As yet the hall has not
been definitely decided upon, but the committee will decide upon it today and will announce the same
The people of the city are urged to arrange to attend the dance, thereby displaying their interest in the boys.
Colored People Ask Board for School Building (St. Augustine Evening Record, Oct 10, 1919)
Present Structure is Old and Crowded --- Attendance Has Grown
A large delegation of colored residents of St. Augustine appeared before the county board of public instruction
at the October meeting armed with a largely signed petition for the erection of a new school building. The
present structure known as School No. 2, the Junior St. Augustine High School and Graded School, has been
in use many years. It is a frame building, and has undoubtedly outgrown in a great extent its usefulness. The
attendance has also expanded to such an extent that in some cases the class rooms are over-croweded, and
the colored people feel that they are entitled to better accommodations. The delegation sought information as
to the best method of procedure. Superintendent D. D. Corbett stated that there were two methods that might
be utilized, one the establishment of a special school district, the other a special act by the next session of the
Florida Legislature, authoriing, the issue of time warrants. Members of the delegation thought that it would be
much more feasible to attempt a special district organization, and submit an election for bonds. It was decided
by them to appoint amongst themselves a special committee which shall at once proceed to work out the
details and see what can be done. Members of the delegation were of the opinion that they would receive a
great deal of encouragement from the white residents of the proposed district, which would naturally include
the greater portion of St. Augustine and New Augustine, since colored children attend the school from all this
1919 Sees Largest Enrollment in Public Schools due to new state law
The 1919-20 school year saw a great increase in students with the compulsory school law. (See article for first
day and St. Augustine teachers.) Boys could have work exemptions from attendance at public schools and
had the opportunity for night school attendance.
Roaring 1920s to World War II
|President Woodrow Wilson
|General John Joseph (Black Jack) Pershing
|St. Augustine Record
February 19, 1919
|Madame Olga Petrova
|Florida Governor Sidney J. Catts
Term of Office: 1917-1921
| St. Johns Electric Company Street Car Schedule
(effective January 6th 1914)
South Beach and Alligator Farm
Cars leave bridge every hour at 10 minutes past the hour from 7:10 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. Every 30
minutes from 10:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., leaving bridge at fifteen past and fifteen minutes of the hour.
Anastasia and Lighthouse
Same as South Beach except there will be a car at 7:15 and 10:15 p.m. to Anastasia and return,
City cars leave bridge on hour and half hour from South Street, North City and New Augustine.
City cars run from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
On Nights when there are special plays at Jefferson Theatre
City cars will wait on King Street opposite Theatre if after regular schedule and thence to South
Street, North City and New Augustine.
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