|Dr. Bronson's History Page
The Roaring 1920s
ab urbe condita - 355 to 365
|Rudolph Valentino Comes to St. Augustine
In 1920 Rudolph Valentino came to St. Augustine to film "Silent Moments". This was before "The Sheik" and
its subsequent fame. Marguerite Namara was the leading lady in the film. This is one of three surviving films of
Rudolph Valentino from 1920.
Grave of William Wing Loring
May 5, 1920 The grave of William Wing Loring, the Confederate General was moved to the west end of the
Faculty List of Public School is Complete (St. Augustine Evening Record, September 20, 1920)
The St. Augustine public school will be open for the season of 1920-21 Monday next, October 4, commencing
at 9 o'clock. The new supervising principal, Prof. Emmett Taylor, will be in charge, and there will be teachers to
look after every grade in the grammar school and every department to the high school, for Superintendent of
Public Instruction D. D. Corbett has finally completed his faculty. He has had advices from all the teachers on
his revised and completed list that they will report for duty, and it looks as though things might go along very
smoothly for the St. Augustine High and Graded School beginning with the opening date.
There is to be a little change in the school schedule this year, and the readjustment of periods will make the
general recess period come at a different hour from that hitherto observed the new time being from 11:45 to
12:15 o'clock. The closing hour will be 2:30 o'clock.
Miss Eleanor Marshal, who had been selected as the teacher of science and who later notified Superintendent
Corbett of her inability to come to St. Augustine to teach, has reconsidered, so her name is on the faculty list.
The faculty as a whole is as follows:
Prof. Emmett Taylor, supervising principal.
Miss Virginia Williamson, Latin.
Miss Leone Rood, history.
Miss Eleanor Marshall, science.
Miss Jean Eggleston, English.
Miss Emily Williamson, mathematics.
Miss Isabel S. Mays, history and mathematics.
Dr. E. L. Smith, county dentist.
Mrs. Belle Carth, 8th grade A.
Miss Irene Llody, 8th grade B.
Mrs. Gertrude Smith, 7th grade A.
Mrs. Bertha M. Hertz, 7th grade B.
Miss Eva Knutson, 6th grade A.
Mrs. Joy S. Baldwin, 6th grade B.
Mrs. Lema Masters, 5th grade A.
Miss Clara Walls, 5th grade B.
Miss Mary E. Thompson, 4th grade A.
Miss Elise Wallace, 4th grade B.
Miss Ellender Alden, 3rd grade A.
Miss Merle Foster, 3rd grade B.
Miss Alleen Cooper, 2nd grade A.
Miss Elizabeth Gillis, 2nd grade B.
Mrs. L. P. Hawkins, 1st grade A.
Mrs. J. W. Luke, 1st grade B.
Old Horse-Drawn Busses Are Now Things of Past (St. Augustine Evening Record, Oct 19, 1920)
St. Augustine said goodbye, this morning to horse-drawn omnibuses, when L. A. Colee of the St. Augustine
Transfer Company sold six of these vehicles to a Jacksonville concern. The St. Augustine Transfer has for
some years past supplied "bus service for various St. Augustine hotels and during several seasons two or
three motor vehicles were used, but the horse-drawn ones were in service to some extend even last season.
Now, however they have gone the way of other things relegated to the past, and will be seen no more on the
old streets of quaint St. Augustine.
World War I Memorial Plaque November 23, 1920
A memorial plaque was placed in the old Post Office (today's Government house) in honor of the men who had
served St. Johns County in World War I and in memory of those who died during the war.
Thanksgiving Day in St. Augustine (St. Augustine Evening Record, November 24, 1920)
It would seem that everyone in St. Augustine will pause long enough tomorrow to consider their blessings and
render thanks for the good things that have come to them during the year. Business cares will be put aside for
the day and throughout the city the regular routine of work-a-day life will be broken for the observation of this
holiday. Schools, banks, stores of all kinds and the local post office will be closed thoughout the day.
There will be special services in the various churches of the city at which public demonstration will be made of
the grateful spirit that animates the citizens of the city generally for the year of peace and prosperity that had
The entertainment features of the day have not been overlooked, and the theatres of the city have planned for
special programs that are sure to draw large crowds of pleasure seekers. Captain Paul capo has advertised a
very convenient boat schedule to Capo's North Beach, and the Pauline II will undoubtedly carry many to the
shore tomorrow, the weather being ideal for outings of this sort. Those who have autos have the other beaches
on Anastasia to attract them, and St. Augustine Beach is sure to be visited by many during the day. Anastasia
Beach can, of course, be reached by trolley, and offers a delightful place for spending a holiday.
The serving of a bountiful dinner on Thanksgiving day has become traditional, and is symbolic of prosperity
and the reaping of ample harvests. In St. Augustine hotels and restaurants generally delightful menus are to be
served, and a study of the advertisements that appeared in Tuesday's and again in today's issue of the
Evening Record will give to people generally an idea of the delicious meals that can be secured at moderate
rates. The Thanksgiving feast can often be served to families at hotels and restaurants more reasonably than it
can be prepared at home, and for that reason there will be many family parties dining out tomorrow. Hotels
and restaurants making a speciality of the Thanksgiving menus tomorrow include the Hotel St. George, the
Bennett Hotel Dorets. The Monson, which is to serve two elaborate meals one at noon and one at night; Hotel
Kenwood, The Valencia Poinsettia Gridiron, Royal Café, Plaza Restaurant Capo's North Beach Hotel and The
The Shrimping Fleet and Docks (See Benjamin Pictures 1938) (See the Olsens - WPA Oral History)
The San Sebastian River south of King Street would become the home in the 1920s to the St. Augustine
Shrimping Fleet. Families such as the Salvandores, the Fodales, Versaggis, Polis and others became well
known in this fishing business. This industry created an economic boom that would include packing plants,
canning and freezing plants that would ship their products nationally and internationally. In the early days little
gas-driven launches plied the waters till they were replaced by high-bowed Diesel-powered craft 50 or 75 feet
from stem to stern. Fishermen would be on the water for weeks at a time with going from St. Augustine to
Cape Canaveral. More than 2,000 workers (Scandinavians, Portuguese, Italians, Spaniards and African
Americans) would take part in this multi-million dollar business in St. Augustine.
Judge Hughes Will Get Post in New Cabinet (The Bismark Tribune, February 10, 1921)
President-Elect Harding Believed to Have Definitely Settled on New Yorker
Three Others Selected.
Daugherly, Hays and Wallace Slaated for Positions, Is Belief
St. Augustine, Feb. 10.---There are four cabinet appointments which Mr. Harding is believed to have decided
upon. They are: Charles Evans Hughes of New York, for secretary of state; Henry M. Daugherty, for attorney
general; Will Hayes of Indiana, for postmaster-general, and Henry Wallace of Iowa, for secretary of agriculture.
St. Augustine, Fla., Feb 10. -- President-elect Harding after a three weeks vacation today waded into a mass
of correspondence which must be cleared away before he can give final decisions on the personnel of his
cabinet and other major problems.
He returned to St. Augustine last night from his house boat cruise along the coast and established offices in a
hotel here which will be his home until he goes to Washington.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Organized
On February 13, 1921 a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized on 3 Daniel Street in West
Augustine. By 1935 they moved to 58 1/2 St George Street (corner of St. George and Cuna Street at Chauvin
Hall. Chavin Hall was a lodge room for any organization. The Branch President and Presiding Elder from 1921
through 1935 was William K. Bryan. In 1938 the next President was A. S. Kinser.
Flagstaff (World War I Monument)
November 11, 1921 would see a new monument off the plaza along the Bayfront paid for by Dr. Anderson. A
base was erected for a flagstaff designed by C. Adrian Pillars. It contained the city motto and it included
information on the history of St. Augustine and Florida.
President Greets A Florida "Newsie" (The Evening World, March 16, 1922)
"How's Newspaper Business with You?" He Asks Him During St. Augustine Walk.
St. Augustine Fla., March 16 -- President Harding returned to St. Augustine yesterday, played eighteen holes
of golf in the morning and took a walk with Under Secretary of State Fletcher in the afternoon. A reception in
honor of the President and Mrs. Harding was held at the Ponce de Leon Hotel last night.
During his walk, the President stopped in front of stores and shook hands with the people who gathered to see
him. "Have a good time," he said to one group of young men and girls. "How are you?" "I'm mighty glad to see
you." he said to others.
"How's the newspaper business with you?" he asked a newsboy. "You know, I've always been a newspaper
man myself and street sales interest me."
President Harding will return to Washington with a sunburn and an added touch of health, gained from the
Florida golf courses and the Indian River cruise. Others of his party appeared today to have benefited from the
vacation. Both Speaker gillett and Mr. Fletcher are sunburned.
Mr. Harding will play golf today and Friday. He wil be rejoined Friday by Attorney General Daugherty and the
party will return to Washington.
New St. Augustine Bishop Installed (Miami Herald, May 4, 1922)
The Rev. Patrick Barry is Consecrated to Bishopric of Catholic Diocese; Dignitaries Are Present. The Rev.
Patrick Barry was consentrated bishop of the Catholic diocese of St. Augustine in the old cathedral here today
in the presence of a notable gathering of the clergy and laymen.
The Most Rev. Michael J. Curley archbishop of Baltimore, whom Bishop Barry succeeds here, officiated with
the assistance of Bishop John James Monaghan, of Wilmington and Bishop William Turner, of Buffalo. Dr. E.
A. Pace, of Catholic University, Washington, D. C., delivered the consecration sermon.
Low mass was celebrated in the cathedral and admittance to the ceremony was by card only, because of the
limited space. Scores of the clergy and approximately 1,000 laymen witnessed the consecration.
The visit here of Archbishop Curley was regarded as second in importance only to the consecration of Bishop
Barry, the archbishop, as bishop of the diocese, having spent many years here, prior to his elevation to the
Baltimore post. Archbishop Curley is to be the guest of honor at a public reception Thursday evening and will
leave Friday for the east.
Seize Whiskey Boat in St. Augustine (Miami Herald, May 21, 1922)
Sheriff Boyce and deputies early today seized an incoming liquor craft in the river within the city limits and
confiscated the vessel and 120 cases of liquor. The rum runners deserted the craft when warned of the
approach of the officers by pistol shots fired by one of the guards and cut the boat adrift. Sheriff Boyce waded
neck deep into the water to pull the boat in.
18 Men Rescued 4 Lost at Sea in Coast Storm St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet Scattered and Tossed by
Terrific Gale (Miami Herald, May 30, 1922)
The shipping board steamer Sun Dance, wallowing off Mayport tonight awaiting a chance to dash across the
jetties, has aboard 18 survivors of the craft unable to withstand the storm of the last 36 hours. Seven of these
survivors were from the schooner Marian N. Cobb, which was abandoned five miles off the bar today and was
not expected to hold together throughout the night.
Eleven of the rescued men aboard the Sun Dance were from four launches, members of a fleet of seven that
set out from St. Augustine yesterday for the shrimp banks. Of this small fleet four men and two boats are still
missing, while the other craft is known to have been wrecked but the fishermen swam through the sea to safety
at St. Augustine.....
Wireless advices from Captain H. L. Stanford of the Sun Dance, headed for this port from Tampa, and
coming by way of St. Augustine, gave the plight of the Marian N. Cobb and the ill-fated shrimp fleet. The
message from Captain Stanford, whose vessel has been held off the bar since early yesterday afternoon, said
no other craft was in distress in his vicinity. He did not say, however, whether he had rescued the entire crew of
the Marian N. Cobb, and neither did not detail the manner in which the rescue was effected. The schooner
when last seen, he said, was virtually submerged from bow to stern. The boats of the shrimp fleet members of
whose crew he had aboard, were the Arethusa, Trinity, Water Lily and Wolverine No. 6.
Advices from St. Augustine told of the pounding to pieces on the beach there of two more of the small boats.
The entire fleet, St. Augustine advices said, were caught in the gale and prevented from crossing the bar upon
their return to port.
This proved to be their undoing and 11 of the fishermen wer epicked up from hazardous positions atop their
wrecked craft by the Sun Dance.
Shoot Up St. Augustine (Miami Herald, August 24, 1922)
Five men heavily armed, went on a drunken orgy at St. Augustine, tonight and shooting right and left as they
passed through the section known as New Augustine, in an automobile, caused considerable commotion. The
report reached here that grave disorders were occurring.
The sheriff and his forces rushed to the section, while, it is understood, the city's fire department was caleed
into action. Efforts to comunicate with officials of the town were unavailing as they were reported to have gone
to the "scene of the trouble." Residents reached by telephone said that shooting was in progress, but that they
had not felt it incumbent upon themselves to investigate.
The mayor was later reached, and after an investigation, reported that the five men comprised the whole affair.
No houses had been shot into so far as he could learn, and no one had been hurt.
Hastings Potato Growers Association Founded
HPGA was organized in the fall of 1922 by a small group of farmers and occupied rooms in the Byrd Building
until the HPGA headquarters was finished early in 1927. The main purposes of the HPGA were to sell
potatoes grown by its members, to extend the necessary credit to its members, and to supply seed, fertilizer,
and containers to its members. A 1922 study revealed that about 70% of the potato crop that year was
produced by growers whose crops were under contract. The Charter Board of Directors was comprised of C.
H. Campbell, President, and R. T. Hewitt, Vice President (both of Hastings) and R. L. Bothwell (Elkton), H. O.
Hamm (Palatka), A. G. Pellicer (Hastings), Russell F. Proctor (Federal Point), J. L. Middleton (Elkton), A. M.
Stevens (Hastings), and Chas. A. Middleton (Hastings). The First Manager was H. L. Robinson; Secretary-
Treasurer was H. C. McKinney; Field Manager was J. D. Hamilton.
Negro Killed in Ambush (Manatee River Journal, Nov. 16, 1922)
Henry Henderson, a negro, was killed, and Willie Baker, his companion, slightly wounded, the result of an
ambuscade at dusk last night, on a lonely road nine miles from St. Augustine. Someone shot at the two men
with a shotgun loaded with buckshot. Henderson was killed instantly.
New Industry Created (Manatee River Journal, Nov 20, 1922)
Huge Still Captured - A distillery with a capacity of a thousand gallons and said to be worth $#5,000, was
captured in a raid fourteen miles northwest of St. Augustine by Sheriff Boyce and his men last night. Two
hundred and fifty gallons of moonshine and eighty-eight barrels of corn mash were included in the seizures.
The Passing of a Great Woman (Manatee River Journal, 12-21-1922)
Mrs. Mabel Quam Stevens died at her home in St. Augustine Sunday. Death closed a useful life and ended a
career that was unusual. Mrs. Stevens was one of the most noted lecturers on the lyceum platforms of the
country, and an evangelist of unusual power and persuasiveness. She was known for her work throughout the
land. She spent most of her later years in Florida and had spoken from the public platform or from the pulpit in
almost every city in the state.
Many will sincerely mourn her death. [She was buried in Sheridan, Illinois. She was a speaker on the Copit-
Alber Independent Chautauqua Company. She spoke at temperance events and Congregational, Methodist
and Union services. She was a Congregational ordained minister.]
Leaves Bulk of Big Estate to St. Augustine Hospital (Miami Herald 12-23-1922)
Retired Captitalist's Will Makes Many Bequests to Charity in City Where He Lived. The larger portion of the
estate of the late Don H. Bacon, retired capitalist, who died here Sunday, will go to Flagler hospital of this city,
according to the will, which has just been probated. Besides an immediate gift of $50,000 to the hospital, the
will creates a Mary E. Bacon memorial fund from the residue of the estate after carrying out its other provisions.
This is in memory of Mr. Bacon's wife, who died here three years ago. The fund is to be used for upkeep of
five free beds in the hospital. The will also provides that a trust fund for payment of annuities to seven relatives
will revert with principal and earnings to the hospital at the death of the parties concerned. This fund will yield
A trust fund of $20,000 was left Evergreen cemetery, and $25,000 was left the Florida Normal and Industrial
institute, a negro school here. The Kings' Daughters, a charitable organization, was left $1,000 annually.
Gay Season Promised St. Augustine Visitors (Philadelphia Inquirer 12-24-1922)
The opening of the winter season here brings promise of such gaiety as the resort has not known in some
There is an active cottage colony in which several well known Phikladelphia families are included and there is
a round of entertaining from the beginning of the season until its end.
Edmund D. Connor, of Philadelphia, and Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Prettyman, of Philadelphia, members of the
Philadelphia Cricket Club were among the first to play golf at the Country Club this season.
Several Philadelphia families will pass the season at St. Augustine, where the zenith of the season is reached
with the great Washington's Birthday Ball. The annual Ponce de Leon celebration is held early in April.
Webb Building and Dr. Dewitt Webb
The Webb Building at the St. Augustine Historical Society's Oldest House was built in 1923 in the memory of
Dr. Dewitt Webb. Dr. Webb was born December 19, 1840 in Clinton New York. He died in St. Augustine April
12, 1917. He moved to St. Augustine in 1880. He served as president of the St. Augustine Historical Society
and Institute of Science and was a member of the St. Augustine Free Public Library Association. Webb was a
member of the Florida State Legislature and in 1912 was Mayor of St. Augustine. He was a practicing doctor
at Flagler Hospital, the doctor in charge at the State School for the Deaf and Blind, and Acting Assistant
Surgeon and Medical Officer at Fort Marion when the Native Americans were located there in the 1880s.
It was the first independent research library for use by scholars, historians and the public to study the history,
culture and architecture of St. Augustine.
Monument to Juan Ponce de Leon
November 11 of 1923 saw Dr. Anderson unveiling a monument on the plaza to Juan Ponce de Leon modeled
after the San Juan Puerto Rico monument. The Gorham Manufacturing Company of Providence Rhode Island
cast the mould of the statute.
Church of God by Faith
An African American congregation was organized on Tocoi Road in West Augustine in 1923. It was
incorporated in 1932. This independent congregation started holding services in a private dwelling house in
Moultrie until they moved into their present building in October 1927. In the present building they tore out two
partitions and made a place of worship. The pastor lived in the other part of the building. The building was a
square wooden building painted white. The first Pastor was J. D. Patterson Jr. who started in 1927.
Fort Marion and Fort Matanzas Become National Monuments
In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge declared Fort Marion and Fort Matanzas to be national monuments.
Hastings High School Construction Starts May 1924
Construction was started on the new high school. The building was to contain 20 rooms, including 12 standard
classrooms, laboratories, domestic science dept., offices, etc. and, in accordance with the latest health
precepts, a cafeteria where hot food could be served when desirable. The auditorium could accommodate
650 people . . . hot water heat ... electric lighting. Exterior of coquina shell stucco ... Spanish tile roof. The
school was designed by Fred A. Henderich
The day the school opened, the children marched from their old school at Stone's Corner, to the new school,
grade by grade. The Scottish Highlanders Band had performed in St. Augustine and traveled over to Hastings
gave a concert in the band stand the day the new school opened
Dr. Wilma Davis
Also in 1924 Dr. Wilma Davis became the first woman to be ordained a deacon in the Florida Conference of
the Methodist Episcopal Church. Five years she was ordained an elder. She became an associate pastor at
Daytona Beach, but in the depression she returned to St. Augustine and preached in Hastings. She was
baptized in Grace Methodist in 1893 and joined the church in 1899. In the forties she served as Dean of
Women at the University Foundation. This school was held in Kirkside, the old Henry Flagler Mansion.
Calvary Baptist Church
In 1924 the church was organized. It was located at 29 Riberia St. St. Augustine, Southern Baptist
Constituted and incorporated 1934. Services were held in October and November, 1934 in Memorial Lutheran
Church. December 1934, January and February 1935, Y. M. C. A. Building; March 1935 – April 1937, Monson
Hotel Annex, Treasury St. The present white, oblong frame church erected in 1937. Present membership, 82.
Active organizations, Sunday School, Baptist Training Union, Woman’s Missionary Union with 4 Auxiliaries,
Brotherhood. First settled pastor, Rev. D. F. Hickman, 1934-35; Baptist Bible Institute, New Orleans, La.
Present pastor, Rev. Charles M. White, 1938, 53 Orange St., St. Augustine, Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas.
St. Johns Welfare Federation
The St. Johns Welfare Federation was founded in 1920 and incorporated in 1924. The 1924 charter stated the
mission of the Welfare Federation -- "to take care of and look after the indigent, the sick and needy persons in
the City of St. Augustine and County of St. Johns." The organizations that were represented in the foundation
of the St. Johns Welfare Federation were: City Commission, King's Daughters, Sacred Heart Society
(Catholic Relief Association), St. Johns County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Flagler Hospital Auxiliary,
Neil Neighborhood House Auxiliary, Buckingham Smith Benevolent Association, Knights of Columbus,
Benevolent Order of Elks, Woman's Club, Business and Professional Woman's Forum, Catholic Daughters of
America, Rotary Club, Board of Trade Flagler Hotpital Trustees, and St. Johns Medical Association.
Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church
In 1924 the Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed with a building on Saragossa and Riberia
Streets. The church was organized mainly through the efforts of a winter visitor, Mrs. Clara Hinman. It was part
of the United Lutheran Church in America. The building was a rectangular shaped white painted wooden
building. The first clergyman was Rev. E. B. Keisler from 1924-25. He was a graduate of Newbery College in
Newberry South Carolina and the Lutheran Theological School in Columbia, South Carolina. In the 1930s Rev.
C. G. Steele was minister from 1936 through June 5, 1938. Rev. Wheeler of Penny Farms was the supply
pastor after Rev. Steele left. In 1977 the moved to its current location on Route 1 South. It is a member of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Florida-Bahamas Synod. Rev. Kerry Hinkley served as
pastor from 1980 through 2012 for a record 32 years.
Return of Pedro Menendez
In 1924 Pedro Menendez returned to St. Augustine. Or at least his outer coffin did. On August 6th the
delegation from St. Augustine met with King Alfonso of Spain and were given a ball. They returned to St.
Augustine with the coffin but where to put it proved to be a greater problem. Today it is located at the Shrine
Gift Shop. On the statue of Pedro Menendez in front of City Hall is a plaque that gives information about the
coffin (but the plaque is another story).
Seventh Day Adventist
The Seventh Day Adventist church was organized in 1925 and met on the 2nd floor in the Fraternal Building on
102 Charlotte Street. From 1925-1931 the church was called a conference company because they did not
have enough members to be called a church. The earliest clergy person was Rev. Magoon from 1925-1928. In
1938 the pastor as F. c. Webster
McDowell Chapel on 16 Bay View Drive in St. Augustine was founded in 1925 with the assistance of Ancient
City Baptist as part of the Southern Baptist Convention. The first service in the L shape frame building was in
1925. The first pastor was Rev. A. E. Calkins from 1925-29. He was a graduate of the Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary in Louisville Ky. In 1939 the pastor was Rev. J. L. Rosser who was also the pastor of
Ancient City Baptist.
Church of God in Christ
An African American congregation was started on West King Street in the Colee Subdivision in 1924. This
congregation was started in the Odd Fellows Hall on Washington Street from 1925 to 1927. They built a small
wood building in the Colee Subdivision till a new structure was built in 1935. This building was a rectangular
wooden building painted white. The first pastor was H. Britt who served from 1924-28. John H. Pompey was
pastor beginning in 1932.
10 St. Johns Street, West St. Augustine was constituted in 1925, incorporated 1938, under “Ancient City
Baptist Church” corporation. Services were held in a white, rectangular, frame building, erected and
dedicated, 1925. First settled pastor, Rev. A. E. Calkins, 1925-39; Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
Rev. J. L. Hosser pastor from April 1939 address 34 Carrera St., St. Augustine; Roanoke College, Salem,
Va.; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
Church of Christ
It was located on 33 Masters Drive in West Augustine. It was an independent body organized in 1925. The
church was not incorporated. It worshiped for 1 year in a private dwelling, one year in a tent, 1926; 2 years in
the Fraternal Building 1927-1929 on 102 Charlotte Street St. Augustine. No membership roll is kept but the
church was said to have 40 members. The building erected in 1929 has a small tower but no bell. The
clergyman is called an elder. P. L. Copeland from 1925-29 Present pastor Rev. A. Brogdon W 16th St
Steven Vincent Benet
In 1925 Steven Vincent Benet published his novel Spanish Bayonet. The grandson of General Benet had
never been to Florida but wrote his story about the Minorcans coming to New Smyrna.
In 1925 Excelsior School was built. It was the first high school for African-Americans in St. Augustine. The
school building shows the power of the Florida land boom in the 1920s with the Mediterranean Revival
Architecture style. Many famous graduates of Excelsior include: Willie Galimore, Robert "Monk" Myers, Willie
Irvin, Doug Carn and Shirley Myers.
Evelyn Hamblin Center
The Evelyn Hamblen Center opened in the fall of 1925 as the West Augustine Grammar School. The name
would later change to the West Augustine Elementary School. The school was a large elementary school
designed by Fred A. Henderich for 450 elementary students. In 1957 the school would be renamed the Evelyn
Hamblen Elementary in honor of Evelyn Hamblen longtime teacher and vice Principal of Public School #1. She
would later be elected to the school board (and have the distinction as the first elected female official in St.
Johns County) and serve as chairperson until her death in 1943.
Deaths - Mrs. Sarah Capo (April 9, 1926)
Mrs. Sarah Capo, aged 76 years, died Wednesday night at 7 o'clock and leaves many relatives and friends to
mourn her loss. Mrs. Capo was born and raised in St. Augustine and has lived here all her life. For the past 25
years, she has made her home with her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Fred Capo, at No. 24 Cincinnati
Avenue. The deceased is survived by three daughters and two sons: Mrs. Oliver Monson, Mrs. J. H. Manucy,
Mrs. Joseph Ortagus, Fred Capo, all of St. Augustine, and John Capo of Jacksonville, also by 11
The late Mrs. Capo was a devoted mother, and a devout Catholic. She was well known and widely beloved for
her many splendid qualities of heart and mind, and her passing is deeply regretted by all who knew her. The
funeral service was this morning at 9 o'clock with Sanchez and Craig in charge of arrangements.
Labor Day Big Parade Forms at 9:30, Leaves Ft. Marion (St. Augustine Record, September 2 1926)
The complete program for the celebration of Labor Day has been drawn up by the various union committees
and placards have been posted throughout the city advertising the various events and the locations of the
attractions. There will be one more meeting of the committees Sunday for the purpose of bringing all the
arrangements up to date.
The schedule of events for the entire day follows:
9:30 a.m. Union parade from Fort Marion around the Plaza to the speaker's platform where several speakers
will be introduced at 10:30 a.m. This will complete the morning's program and the next event will be at 2:00 p.
m. when an elaborate program of sport and field events will be put on at the Lewis Park. Races and other feats
of all descriptions have been arranged for this period.
Following the field events the F. E. C. Clerks will take on the Gainesville ball club in a game that will give the
fans nine innings filled with the peppiest sort of baseball.
Four bouts have been arranged and the contestants have been secured by the American Legion. The matches
will take place in the early evening and the whole day's activities will wind up with a street dance immediately
following the boxing.
West St. Augustine incorporated into City of St. Augustine (from St. Augustine Evening Record, Dec.
22, 1926) The history of the events which led up to the incorporation of what is known as West St. Augustine
into the city proper or the Corporate City of St. Augustine is rather obscure. There appears to be no written
record pertaining to the actual date upon which the conception of the incorporation took place.
It is, however, well established that the matter had been under consideration for some time previous to the
election of October 9th, 1923, when the city electors voted by a majority of 1,043 to 320 that the section be
made part of the then corporate city of St. Augustine. Two factions were at work in the West St. Augustine
section. One was determinedly against becoming part of the city while another, seemingly more powerful
faction, was agitating for the immediate incorporation.
Early in 1923, matters came to a head with delegations presenting themselves before the city commission
both pro and con. The contention slowly ripened until in September 1923 the commission went on record as
being in favor of a ballot to determine the will of the people both of the West St. Augustine and the City of St.
Augustine relative to the question.
The regular legal forms relating to passage of proper ordinances and resolutions were forthwith gotten under
way on October 9th, 1923, the voting population of St. Augustine went to the polls to determine one and for all
the fate of West Augustine. The result was an overwhelming victory for the incorporation of the new territory
into the city to become part and parcel of the municipality which had become a corporate municipality by act of
the state legislature in 1914 when the first city charter was granted.
Mount Moriah Baptist Church
In 1927 the National Baptist Convention of the United States organized an African American congregation on
Christopher Street in the Colee Sub-Division. This church was a split from St. Mary's Baptists Church on
Washington Street who granted permission to build a church that would be closer to the members' homes that
lived in this area. The services were first held in a galvanized iron building on Tocoi road that had been used
as a store. In 1927 though a permanent building was erected. The church was a rectangular wooden building
with a galvanized roof and no paint. The first pastor was Rev. S. C. Hamilton who served from 1927-1935. He
was a graduate of Nathaniel J. Jardin Theological School in Jacksonville Florida. The second pastor was Rev.
H. J. Jackson who began in 1936. He was educated at Florida Normal and Industrial School in St. Augustine.
Bridge of Lions
In 1927 the Bridge of Lions was constructed. It was originally called the Mantanzas River Bridge (NEVER the
Flagler Bridge). The bridge is 1,545 feet long. J. E. Griener of Baltimore was the engineering firm. The city
raised a 1 million dollar bond for the bridge. It opened on February 26, 1927. On the first day 1,443 autos, 64
trucks, 4 motor cycles, 8 horse carriages, 143 pedestrians and 23 bicycles crossed the bridge. On April 1 the
lights were turned on the bridge. The official opening was April 7, 1927 when the bridge was christened by
Miss Jean Rodenbaugh the daughter of H N Rodenbaugh the vice-president of the FECR. The two lions at the
foot of the bridge were given by the estate of Dr. Andrew Anderson (he had ordered them before his death).
The two Carrera marble lions (picture) are the work of F. Romanelli.
Antioch Baptist Church
An African American church in St. Johns County was part of the National Baptist Convention of the United
States of America, Incorporated Nashville, Tennessee, General State Baptist Convention, St. Johns River
Baptist Association. The church was organized in 1927 but not incorporated. The first building built in 1927
torn down in 1932 and rebuilt. It was a rectangular wooden building, natural wood colour, otherwise not
painted. Cornerstone read Antioch Baptist Church organized February 2, 1927 Pastor J. H. Hankerson 1927-
29 (unknown education) President clergyman J. S. Singleton 1937 Grammar School, St. Augustine Denmark
Quarters, Evergreen Avenue, West Augustine, Florida.
City Commission 1928
Mayor Frank D. Upchurch and Commissioners V. J. Mickler, C. A. Lamont, Elwood Salmon, and Thomas
Emanuel Baptist Church Organized
In 1928 the Emanuel Baptist church was organized by the National Baptist Convention of the United States for
an African American congregation 2/10s of a mile east of Hastings on Bunnell Road (state Road 189) at the
Deep Creek Section. This was a split from the Saint Johns Baptist Church. The church was a rectangular
wooden building not painted with a tower and a bell. The first Pastor was C. H. Morrison.
First National Bank Building
1928 was the first and last skyscraper built in St. Augustine. It's the First National Bank Building located on
Cathedral Place beside the Plaza. The old Lorillard Race Track off State Road 16 was used as an airfield in
Woman's Club Will Present "The Flapper Grandmother" Miss Hines Director (April 25, 1929)
A Musical Comedy Full of Wit and Humor -- Home Talent
The Hastings Woman's Club is sponsoring a play, "The Flapper Grandmother," which will be presented at the
Hastings High school auditorium next Tuesday evening, April 9th, beginning promptly at 8 o'clock.
The costumes are very attractive and the dancers are graceful and unique, the music will be melodious and
catchy, the humor and wit unexcelled. The play will give everyone wonderful ideas for the future and those who
fail to see it will miss one of the best plays ever offered here by home talent.
Midd Edith Glenn Hines, of the Wayne P. Sewell Co., of Atlanta, is the director. Miss Hines will be
remembered by many as the director of "Mrs. and Mr. Polly Tick," which proved to be such a great success.
The "All-Star" cast is composed of home talent and is as follows:
Flapper Grandmother Miss Ruth Wampley
Mat Spriggins Mrs. J. E. Ausley
Andrew Spriggins Dr. Walton
Dr. Tommy Joy Carter Shields
Lena Spriggins Welsh Middleton
Belinda Spriggins Mabel Reinhardt
Dick Tate Donald Hough
Jimmy Swift Jimmie Abbott
Bobby Smith L. W. Shoemaker
Rastus Roy Sykes
Lily L. W. Shoemaker
Count Seekum Rich John Warner
Edward Shoemaker, Harry Rogers, Roy Brenizer
Chorus: Evelyn Byrd, Thelma Smith, Evna Wyllys, Edna Bailey, Dorothy Yelrington, Martha Middleton, Luella
Slappey, Marian Brocklehurst
Door Knobs and Dummies: Mary Elizabeth Dancy, Catherine Dancy, Margaret Jane Hunt, Betty Hamilton,
Accompanist -- Amelia Hough
Matrons: Mrs. John Warner, Mrs. Carter Shields, Mrs. D. W. McElveen
As the Woman's Club will receive a part of the proceeds to carry on its good work in the community, no doubt
but that the play will be presented to a packed house next Tuesday evening. Admission prices are: Children,
354; Adults, 504; and Reserved Seats, 754. The reserved seat tickets are on sale at Coe's Drug Store, but
other tickets will be sold by special committees on the streets and at the auditorium.
St. Johns will send quota to State courses (April 29, 1929)
St. Johns County will send her full quota of home demonstration girls to Tallahassee for the short course held
there annually according to motions made Tuesday morning at the regular meeting of the county commission.
Miss Anna Heist, home demonstration agent of the county, appeared requesting the county to appropriate
funds to the extent of approximately $210 which when added to a donation of $100 which the Model Land
Company has been giving each year for a number of years, would take care of all expenses for the girls at the
state capital for one week during which home economics and agricultural studies are to be carried on by the
state college authorities.
After having examined into the details of the proposal, Commissioner M. H. Bishop moved that funds to the
extent of approximately $10 per girl be appropriated from the agricultural fund and that all St. Johns county's
quota be taken this year.
Fruit Fly Found at Three County Sources (June 7, 1929)
The Mediterranean fruit fly has been found in new areas in St. Johns county. This is the bad news which was
given out Saturday by J. H. Adams, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, who came into this territory recently
to work. Mr. Adams says that in inspecting an old grove at Orangedale he cut numerous specimens of citrus
fruit and found these badly infested with the fruit fly. Two sources of infestation were also found at Elkton and
Medfly Fight Taking Form in This District (June 14, 1929)
Colin D. Gunn is in Charge of Work
Screening of Fruits or Vegetables Impractical, Says Board Heads
The Mediterranean fruit fly eradication campaign is well under way in St. Johns county, according to Colin D.
Gunn, district inspector, with headquarters at Hastings.
There are several crews in the fields now destroying host fruits and vegetables in zone one and the forces are
being enlarged as the work becomes better organized.
4H Club (Friday, July 19, 1929)
4-H Club Girls Will Hold All-Day Meeting at Federal Point
Miss Anna Heist, home demonstration agent of St. Augustine, spent Wednesday in Hastings and arranged an
all-day meeting of the 4-H Club girls to be held at the Club House at Federal Point next Wednesday, July 24th.
The girls are requested to meet at the Club House at 10 o'clock Wednesday morning and each girl will be
expected to bring her lunch. Miss Heist has been instructing the girls in sewing and no doubt the day will be
devoted to this work.
Closing of First National Causes Run (July 26, 1929)
Officers of Other Four Banks Issue Statement Wednesday, P. M.
The people of Hastings as well as of the entire county suffered a severe blow Wednesday shortly before noon
when the First National Bank of st. Augustine closed its doors. The First National has been a great friend to
the people of this section and especially so since the closing of the local bank a year ago.
Most of the business men and farmers here did their banking business through the First National, and the
losses in this immediate section are great...
Pentecostal Holiness Church
This congregation was organized in the old "Tabernacle" in 1929 on 32 W. Leonardi Street. This church was a
frame unpainted rectangular shape. At the end of 1929 this building was torn down and from 1929 through
1932 they were located between King Street and the railroad. The next building was erected in 1932. It was a
frame hall type painted white with a rectangular shape. The first pastor was Rev. C. H. Edenfield who served
from 1929 to 1930. Rev. G. Sigwalt was pastor from 1938.
The Zero Milestone is a coquina sphere 20 feet in circumference. It was placed by the St. Augustine Historical
Society and Institute of Science and erected and dedicated in 1929 by the Exchange Club to mark the
beginning of the "Old Spanish Trail" that would extend from St. Augustine to San Diego, California. This was a
publicity gimmick to make a "historic" trail across America. The milestone itself has been moved to many
locations in St. Augustine from its original site on Fort Marion circle between Bay Street and the City Gates to
various locations around the city civic center.
OST Motorcade Made Good Time to California (October 18, 1929, The Hastings Herald)
Commissioner Elwood C. Salmon, St. Augustine's official representation in the St. Augustine to San Diego,
Cal., motorcade over the Old Spanish Trial, wired City Manager W. N. McDonald Wednesday morning that the
motorcade had arrived as per schedule on Monday and that all the motorists were being royally entertained in
Although his communication was brief, it indicated that the 2,745 mile trip had been accomplished without
Mr. Salmon's first official act upon arriving in San Diego was to deliver the letter which he bore from Mayor
George W. Bassett, Jr., and the coquina minature Zero Marker to the mayor of San Diego, and to take part in
the celebration staged by the Californians at the site of the San Diego Zero Marker.
Mr. Salmon started his return trip to St. Augustine Wednesday but did not state whether or not he would return
upon the same schedule he adopted going out.
The St. Augustine to San Diego motorcade left St. Augustine October 2nd, and arrived in San Diego on Oct.
14th, taking just twelve days for the trip.
Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Minton have taken over the Hotel Hastings and will be in charge during the coming
season. The hotel is being renovated throughout and according to Mr. Minton, the dining service will be the
best that can be had at any hotel of like size along the east coast.
The hotel is owned by Minton Brothers, who also do farming extensively which will enable them to give patrons
of the dining room fresh vegetables, poultry and other farm products at all times. According to present plans,
special Sunday dinners will be a feature under the new management. Most housewives do not care to stand in
their kitchens and cook on Sundays and no doubt many people throughout this section will take advantage of
this service at the hotel.
Hotel Hastings is modern in every way and with the good service promised by both Mr. and Mrs. Minton, will
become one of the most popular hotels in the state.
Go to St. Augustine in the Great Depression
|World War I Flagpole -
Photographer: Gil Wilson
|St. Augustine's Ponce de Leon Statute
Photographer: Gil Wilson
|Old Bridge to Anastasia Island
|Bridge of Lions Completed
|Hastings High School
Photographer: Gil Wilson
|Memorial Lutheran at its current location on Route 1
Photographer: Gil Wilson
|President Warren G. Harding at Castillo
|President Calvin Coolidge
|President Warren G. Harding
a frequent visitor to St. Augustine and
the Ponce de Leon Hotel
New York Public Library
|St. Augustine 1921
|Like us on Facebook
|St. Augustine of Hippo