Winter Park’s Schoolhouses

Winter Park’s Schoolhouses

Two of the Best in the County.

At two o’clock on the afternoon of February 11, the bell in the tower of Knowles Public School at Winter Park called a crowed of people together to witness the dedication of that fine building to the cause of public education.

The exercises opened by prayer by Rev. Dr. Hooker, president of Rollins College, which was followed by good music well rendered by the school children, under the leadership of Miss Dart, their much loved teacher.

County superintendent Beeks followed with a very interesting talk on the subject of education, which was listened to with close attention.

After another song by the school, the address of the day was given by Mr. Loring A. Chase.  This address was in Mr. Chase’s usual happy and interesting vein, and was frequently interrupted by applause.

The keys to the building were then presented to Mayor Robt. White jr., by the contractors, Messrs. Coan Bros. and Alcott, who were represented by Mr. Alcott, and Mayor White received them with a very neat, graceful speech.

This then very interesting occasion was then closed, and one of the best pleased audiences we have ever seen dismissed by the benediction by Rev. D. Hooker.

By these exercises the town of Winter Park enters into formal possession what Judge Beeks said is the best public school building in Orange county, and the citizens of the place certainly feel a great pride in its possession.

At 7:30 p. m. our citizens, white and colored, and several visitors gathered in Hannibal square to witness the dedication of School No. 31, as a public school for colored people.

While the crowd was gathering, Prof. Williams led the school in several inspiring songs, and at 8 o’clock a song by the school opened the program.  After Prayer by Prof. S. A. Williams an elegant and witty introductory address was delivered by Mayor Robt. White, Jr., who was followed by Mr. Loring A. Chase in a fifteen minute address that was full of instruction. Judge Beek followed with a few interesting remarks, after which Mr. Chase, by request, read “Banty Tim,” a poem by John Hay, and the audience then called for that eminent and indescribable orator Parson Cornelius Gary.  Following his touching appeal the keys to the building were presented to the mayor by the builder, S. P. Butler, with a few appropriate remarks, and were received by Mr. White in like manner, and with music by the Union cornet band led by Prof. Bacon, and the benediction by Rev. Reuben Thomas the exercises were concluded.

With this, as with the Knowles school for white scholars, Winter Park takes formal possession of best school building in Orange county for a colored school, and we know of no building in the entire State for that purpose as.

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