February 14, 1890
The dedicating of the two new school buildings here Tuesday, was one of the most remarkable events that have happened in Winter Park. At 2:30, the hour designated for the dedicational exercises the hall over the school was crowded to its utmost with one of the finest audiences ever assembled in Winter Park. In the center was a desk nicely decorated, holding on its center a large bible. To the speakers’ right sat the Town Council, on the left was the ADVOCATE reporter. The Speakers’ stand was occupied by Hon Robert White, Mayor of the town. Mr. L A Chase, the speaker of the day and Hon. J T Beeks, Superintendent Public Instruction of Orange County. The school children occupied the front seats. When were seated, Mayor White arose and announced there would be prayer by the Rev. Dr. E P Hooker, who responded to the call.
After prayer, the school sang a beautiful song followed by a speech from the Hon. J T Becks. In his well prepared remarks, he said that in the year 1622 the Mayflower landed at Plymonth, and it was in the year 1642 when the first school was organized in Massachusetts, and since that time, public schools have fostered in every state in the union. And now our public school attendance numbers more than of any other country in the world. In Orange county our public schools name here 81 and of that number 13 are colored. The number of colored attending school are near 700. Mr. Beek’s speech was filled with information worth knowing. In speaking of the schoolhouse, he congratulated the people of Winter Park upon having the best school buildings in Orange County. After Mr. Beeks had concluded, Mayor White arose and in a few brief embarks, introduced the orator of the day. Mr. L A Chase, the one who had so much to do with the founding of the town. The mentioning of Mr. Chase’s name created an intrusion tie impassion through the hall, which was corroborated by the raps and applauses he received when has arose. The speaker’s voice was good and clear, so it was no difficulty for him to hand down his experience with Winter Park, and his great thoughts with perfect ease. These who had put in their appearance for the hearing the greatest oration ever delivered in Winter Park, must have been satisfied with what they heard. The Speaker paid tributes to all of the older citizen of the town, crediting them for their courage, and energy.
Often he was interrupted by prolonged cheers. Especially was the tribute paid to Mr. Knowles by the speaker. It took Mr. Chase about one hour and twenty minutes to deliver his address.
MAYOR WHITE RECEIVES THE KEYS TO THE SCHOOL…
After Mr. Chase has sat down, Mr. Alcott of the firm of Coan, Bro. & Alcott, who were the builders presented Mayor White with the keys to the school building. Mayor White in a very graceful response accepted the keys, then turning to the audience. He thanked them for their quietness and kind attention. When Mayor White has ended his program. Rev. Dr. Hooker preformed the Benediction.
AT HANIBAL SQUARE
At 8 o’clock p.m. the town officers and many other distinguished visitors, with the people of Hanibal Square, found scats in the colored school room. The speakers consisting of Hon. J T Beeks, Mayor White and Mr. L A Chase, occupied the teacher’s stand. To the left sat the Town Officers and to the right the school children. Teacher Williams occupied a seat with his scholars. The exercises commend by prayer from the teacher- S A Williams, mayor White, in his usual breit and eloquent language, paid high tribute to the colored people for their strict obedience to justice. He credited the colored people with a knowledge unsurpassed by any people, whose opportunities had been better than those of the colored race. Mayor White was enthusiastically cheered throughout his marks. Mr. L A Chase was then introduced as the speaker of the night. Of course the appearance for so much loved by the people of Hanibal Square as Mr. Chase is, could not help but produce showers of cheers. For nearly one hour, worlds of congratulation, and worlds of encouragement tell from his lips filled with flowers and eloquence.
After Mr. Chase had concluded. Mayor White introduced Hon. J T Beeks whose breit and pointed remarks were constantly cheered. Marshal Butler presented the keys of the schoolhouse to mayor White After which the president of the council – Hon H S Chubb, stated fashion cornfield Baptist Deacon whose tact as an ‘orator’ was just grand. This man was Deacon Cornelieus Gary.” Gary came tortb, and all that have heard him, knows of his talent to produce fnn. At the close of Gary’s speech, the Winter Park Union Cornet Band played, and Oh! The sweet strains of their music completed the wishes of all present.