The Courier June 2015Vol. I, Issue IV ~ MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR ~ Happy Birthday, Jacksonville! Toward the “Big Bicentennial” June 15, 1822, t


The Courier


June 2015

Vol. I, Issue IV




Happy Birthday, Jacksonville!

Toward the “Big Bicentennial”

June 15, 1822, the “official” founding date of Jacksonville, places the city on a seven year countdown to its 200th year! The Jacksonville Historical Society actually selected this June 15th founding date about four decades ago after much research and scholarly discussion—and after much distress that no conclusive date existed.

In fact, an impressive contingent of Jacksonville Historical Society Past Presidents, lead by Herbert Lamson with members James C. Craig and Harold Clark, tirelessly pursued the date. Audrey Broward, with the Jacksonville Public Library and later the JHS librarian, assisted in the search. A review of recorded and unrecorded deeds, court records, wills, memoirs, newspapers, interviews and much more, left them with no conclusive evidence other than an “early June” date in 1822.

Why was June 15th selected? On that day residents of the area petitioned Secretary of State John Quincy Adams for recognition as a “port of entry.” This petition marks the first known use of the name Jacksonville in a written record. It also marks the first “group action” in the town. Encouraged by the Jacksonville Historical Society, in 1965, Mayor Louis Ritter made it all official when he proclaimed June 15th the city’s birthday.

The signature of Jacksonville’s acknowledged founder, Isaiah David Hart, is clearly seen on the port of entry petition. Hart appropriately receives credit as the town’s founder as it was an idea he promoted and he was chief in its implementation. Additionally, along with neighbor John Brady, he gave the land to carve out the original 20 blocks of the town.

So, thank you, past society members for your dogged research to mark and celebrate city history; thank you, Isaiah Hart for your intrepid spirit to found a town at the narrow crossing of the St. Johns River; and thank you, members, for supporting the Jacksonville Historical Society. Without you it would be impossible to preserve and celebrate our unique and incomparable history. Yes, Happy Birthday, Jacksonville, our 193-year old beloved home.



New JHS logo tells an updated story

The logo that the public has associated with the Jacksonville Historical Society for more than 15 years features the towering spiral of Old St. Andrew’s, but it's all too often confused as the logo of a functioning church. A newly adopted logo references its forerunner but clearly portrays the archival repository and the 1878 Old St. Luke’s as the society’s purpose and image—the site is, after all, the actual repository of city history.

The Jacksonville Historical Society’s new logo unveiled in late May, offers a fresh and updated look at the organization. Even though nearly two decades remain on the JHS lease agreement to run Old St. Andrew’s and the JHS raised one million dollars to restore the historic church, the society outright owns Old St. Luke's. The Membership Committee and the Board of Directors decided it was time for the JHS to incorporate an updated statement and look.

To date since the society's 1929 founding, four known logos have been used by the society—and there may be more!




Ed Booth, current President of the JHS. As an experienced pilot, he holds a multi engine Air Transport License issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

New JHS President is longtime history advocate

Newly elected Jacksonville Historical Society President Edward M. Booth Jr., a longtime local history advocate, and a former JHS Vice-President began his term on May 28.

Previously, he lead JHS efforts to save local landmarks through an endangered structures program that garnered considerable media attention. Ed has presented at the JHS Speaker Series on the compelling local story associated with Charles Lindberg’s flight across the Atlantic. He’s also helped rescue many of the area’s aviation documents. During his term, he hopes to encourage individuals to look for rare Jacksonville documents and items “in their attics and closets.” He points to the Lindberg visit as an example and believes there are more photos and film footage that exist.

As a young man, Ed worked with Jacksonville Historical Society Past-President John Ingle in the Laurie Yonge Aviation Society. When the group’s membership dwindled, Ed helped Mr. Ingle save many of the area’s early aviation records and images, now added to Ingle’s aviation collections at the JHS Archives.

Ed’s passion for history and aviation extend to his profession. A partner at the law firm Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., Ed is Board Certified in Aviation Law by The Florida Bar Board of Legal Education and Specialization. He’s served as a member of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority Board of Directors since 2013.

Ed has served as chairman of The Florida Bar Aviation Law Certification Committee, The Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee, and The Florida Bar Grievance Committee, Fourth Judicial Circuit. He was the 2007-8 President of the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, a 1,200 member international bar association founded in 1959.

Ed frequently speaks at seminars around the country on the management of complex litigation. An adjunct faculty member at Jacksonville University at the Davis College of Business, he lectures on aviation related topics, and he is also a frequent guest commentator of Jacksonville’s WJXT Channel 4 on aviation and air safety. Ed has appeared on the newsmagazine Inside Edition and the Chinese network SZMG TV on recent air disasters.

He is a member of The Florida Bar, the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and is admitted to practice in numerous federal courts. Ed is a 28-year member of the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville, the group that generously created the Gingerbread Extravaganza prototype, now the Jacksonville Historical Society’s largest annual fundraiser. He has served as an advisor to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the Episcopal Diocese of Florida.



1959.103.85 Page 84d

The photo requested by the Sandcreek Massacre National Historic Site for the National Park Service Trading Card Program. From the Jacksonville Historical Society, Kellogg Album Collection.

The Kellogg Album

A gem in the Jacksonville Historical Society Archives

This scrapbook of photographs, drawings and embellishments was created by Edward B. Kellogg in the late 1870s. Kellogg was part of the Alvord, Kellogg & Campbell Company, a souvenir shop located at 57 West Bay Street in Jacksonville. The album contains images that were later made into stereographs and sold to Jacksonville tourists at the souvenir shop.

Mr. Kellogg visited St. Augustine in 1877. He likely wanted to see the seventy-two Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho and Caddo Indian prisoners that had been brought to Fort Marion (today Castillo de San Marcos) after the Red River Wars in Oklahoma and Texas.

When the Indian captives arrived at Fort Marion, their hair was cut and they were issued European-style clothing. They were forced to assimilate into the European -American culture. They were taught English and encouraged to produce works of art, later called ledger art, for sale.

After three years of imprisonment, the Indians held at Fort Marion were released to the custody of the Indian Office. Most of them returned to their tribes.

In 2014, the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site contacted the Jacksonville Historical Society to request the use of a photo from the Kellogg Album for their trading card program titled “From Civil War to Civil Rights”. The photo of Medicine Water and his wife, Moshi, who were imprisoned at Fort Marion from 1875 to 1878, completed the series!

"The Jacksonville Historical Society was proud to provide this treasured piece of history," said JHS staff member, Meghan Powell.

To view the trading cards, please visit the NPS Flickr site.

To view the Kellogg Album, please visit Our Collections.



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Leah Mary Cox

Leah Mary Cox

The exhibit remains open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Old St. Luke’s, 314 Palmetto Street, or phone, 665-0064. The exhibit ends July 30.

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James E. Merrill House

JHS Merrill Museum House open for tours!

Our new, excited and energetic volunteer docent team keeps the house open selected days each week.

Take a trip back to Victorian-era Jacksonville with your family, friends or co-workers and learn about one of the most important eras in city history.

Please check the website for available tour days and to reserve your spot.

Rising Sun in the Sunshine State: Japanese Pioneers in the Jacksonville Beach


This new history exhibit opened at the Beaches Branch of the Jacksonville Public Library on Tuesday June 9, 2015 and will continue through the end of July. The exhibit, created by Elsie Oishi— a vital part of the Jacksonville Historical Society's volunteer team as the society's expert genealogist—and Taryn Rodriguez-Boette, the Society’s Associate Director and Archivist, tells the story of Tokutaro Takami, his family and his friends. The Takami family arrived from Japan at the turn of the 20th century. They settled in Duval County, bought property, invested in businesses, educated their children, served in the U.S. military, including World War II, and became an integral part of the American Dream.

Elsie Jun Oishi is Tokutaro's granddaughter and it is from her perspective that the story is told. Her interest in her family’s history started in 1988 after she read an article about the Japanese community in Duval County. It took her 25 years to research her family and to realize that her family was the first Japanese family in Duval County.

The Jacksonville Historical Society was instrumental in helping Elsie research part of her family history, including the fact that her grandfather’s first store was located steps away from the Merrill House on Florida Avenue. Elsie used many research tools available in the archives including school annuals and City Directories.




The Committee


Next Day in the Morning, photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

Upcoming Program Schedule

September Programs: Dates TBA

The Committee: A riveting award-winning documentary, The Committee, explores the Florida Legislature’s activities to eliminate homosexuals from state colleges and universities in the early 1960’s. It was, in fact, a legislative committee, commonly referred to as the Johns Committee, that undertook wide-ranging investigations to expose students and remove professors from Florida’s public institutions of higher learning.

The documentary was produced by the University of Central Florida Honors Advanced Documentary Workshop.

Next Day in the Morning: A production in collaboration with Players by the Sea features the three most powerful women in the world—and their mutual focus—a plot of land in North Florida, today known as Jacksonville. As Europe's dominant countries -- France, Spain, and England vie for the little site on the St. Johns -- explorers are imprisoned and spies are employed. The production commemorates the colony's demise 450 years ago this September.




The Haydon Burns Library in 1965. Photo from the Jacksonville Historical Society Collection.

Haydon Burns Library

When it was built in 1965, the Haydon Burns Library was considered state of the art. When the new library on Hemming Park opened in 2005, the mid-century modern Haydon Burns Library sat vacant and for years, and was a victim of a series of false starts. Eventual owners sold to the Jessie Ball duPont Fund for use as the fund’s headquarters. The building opens officially near the end of June and is a tribute to the legacy of Jessie Ball duPont, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and the building’s original architect, Taylor Hardwick.

In the early 1960’s, the library trustees' building committee and architect Taylor Hardwick visited six significant new libraries throughout the U.S. and incorporated the best of library design into the final concept. Construction costs in 1965 were $3.7 million.

As an important side note to this exciting city center restoration, in May and June the Jacksonville Historical Society received the Taylor Hardwick Collection, including papers, photos and documents. You'll be hearing more about this invaluable collection in future newsletters.




Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

June 1, 1905: Jacksonville Free Public Library opened. In 1902, Andrew Carnegie, steel tycoon and philanthropist, granted the City of Jacksonville $50,000 to build a library. In 1903, H. J. Klutho's Neo-Classical Revival plan was the winner of an architectural design contest to create the building. The building's most prominent feature is the pedimented portico supported by four massive columns. The building served as Jacksonville's main library until 1965.


Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

June 13, 1913: The first trip of the ferryboat Arlington inaugurated the ferry service between East Jacksonville and Arlington. Nearly all of the area ferryboats shared some form of celebrity within the locality. Regularly scheduled ferryboats began running in the vicinity in the late 1860’s. These boats were a crucial method of transportation across the St. Johns, and in fact, ferries were active even after bridges spanned the St. Johns. But alas, the ferries were no longer needed. It is said, many of the ferryboats remnants were used as fill for parts of a South Jacksonville bulkhead. Today, only two ferries remain in Florida, the one at Mayport and a two-car ferry at Lake George with an extremely limited schedule!


John Warren, who resided near the Cowford, had served as a volunteer in Andrew Jackson’s army in West Florida and suggested the “new” town be named for Jackson, Florida’s first military governor and a great hero of the day. At the time, Florida had only been a territory of the U.S. for 11 months.

June 15, 1822: The “established” date by none other than the Jacksonville Historical Society for the founding of Jacksonville. It is known that in early June of the year, Isaiah D. Hart and a group of men at the Cowford laid out the streets of a town, measuring from a bay tree at the river's edge. The first street surveyed was Market Street, followed by Bay Street. An additional twenty blocks were surveyed – the street names resonate with the young nation’s early history as well as the history of the “newly founded” Jacksonville.

June 16, 1942: “In the pre-dawn hours, a German submarine surfaced at Ponte Vedra Beach, a raft was launched, and four men rowed to shore with a cache of materials. After burying boxes of explosives, and changing into street clothes, they walked to the highway and caught a bus to Jacksonville. They were part of part of a larger plan known as Operation Pastorius. The saboteurs were equipped with explosives to destroy electric power stations, water works, rail lines, and major transportation hubs. The four men made their way to downtown Jacksonville where they split up, checking into two of the city’s biggest hotels. Days later, the FBI apprehended the saboteurs in New York and Chicago---and the plot was foiled.


The German Sabotuers invaded U.S. soil at Ponte Vedra, Florida.


James Weldon Johnson, photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

June 17, 1871: James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood and embraced learning early on. His mother read the classics aloud to James and his brother, Rosamond. Both boys showed musical talent at an early age, playing a variety of instruments. He was appointed principal of Stanton School at the remarkably young age of 23, and was the first African American lawyer in Florida. Only days after the city’s Great Fire of 1901, Johnson agreed to meet with an out of town female reporter to discuss the fire’s aftermath. Nearly losing his life to an enraged mob that deemed the meeting improper, Johnson realized it was time to leave the city. Yet his affection for Jacksonville was steadfast; he promised the newly elected Mayor, Duncan Fletcher, to assist the devastated city. After settling in New York, he arranged a benefit that raised thousands for the ravaged Jacksonville. Johnson wrote hundreds of songs, most famously, the Negro National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. He received a diplomatic appointment by President Theodore Roosevelt and tirelessly directed the earliest years of the NAACP. A special legacy for his hometown is his autobiography, Along this Way, offering an extraordinary examination of the city. Jacksonville’s native son was the consummate Renaissance man…a lawyer, educator, civil rights reformer, poet, lyricist, novelist, and teacher.


June 30, 1564: The First Thanksgiving in Colonial America occurred. It all began when Rene de Laudonniere and his ships reached the North Florida coast on June 22. Laudonniere had already visited the area briefly in 1562 with Jean Ribault. On this trip, Laudonniere met with Timucuan Chief Saturiba and explored nearby rivers and soon decided to build a French settlement near the mouth of the St. Johns River. On June 30, he founded the La Caroline Colony and the “First Thanksgiving” in Colonial America occurred.


City of Jacksonville


Our Mission: The mission of the Jacksonville Historical Society is to foster and promote the appreciation of the history of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida by collecting, preserving, presenting, and interpreting that history for the benefit and education of its members, the public and future generations.

Staff: Emily Lisska, Executive Director| Taryn Rodriguez-Boette, Associate Director & Archivist| Meghan Powell, Office Manager & Event Coordinator| Danielle Kendrick, Archives and Office Assistant| Sherrard Ceglia, Archives Assistant| Robert Hughes, Facilities Manager

2015-16 JHS Board Ed Booth, President| Jeffrey Graf, Vice-President| Maggie Means, Secretary| Jeff Bryan, Treasurer | Pat Andrews| Elizabeth Hohl Asbury| Alan Bliss| Jennifer Brower| Jean Grimsley| Cora Hackley| Robert Hennigar| Zilla Hillin| Doug Milne| Christina Parrish| Harry Reagan| Robin Robinson| Lisa Sheppard| Reecy Thornton| Wayne W. Wood

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