This autobiography was provided by Carolyn Dowling Falls and Marinell Davis, who maintains the
Blanton Town web site.
The first school Mary describes attending is believed to be the Fort Dade School.
Mary Abigail (Howell) Murray
Pre School Days
Perhaps my readers will think I am day dreaming, when I tell you just how long ago since I was born. You will necessarily have to draw on your imagination to see conditions in Florida as it was then.
Just imagine a little curly haired, brown eyed fiery Irish tempered, girl born on a cold, blustery day December 16,  in a small one roomed house one mile south of where Dade City now is located.
No one was there to assist in the event of my entrance, but a "neighbor" woman. Thanks to my mother's robust health not much help was needed while very soon I was able to give a pretty good account of myself even if it was a noisy one.
My parents, while yet in their teens, were the first pioneers to settle middle and south Florida. Soon after the close of the Civil war, when all Negroes were freed, and the large plantations were deserted, my mother's father divided the plantation between the old negroes and gave each two cows and a mule.
He and his family bid farewell to the old home and friends. He put their household goods into two large wagons, drove the cows ahead and tied two young horses behind, and started to a new wild state to start all over.
They traveled slowly but were joined by other families Florida bound for the same reason.
My father J. J. Howell of Valdosta and Savanna [sic] Georgia, with his parents arrived in Florida about the same time that mother's father, Manning Smith of Milledge and Atlanta. They, with the Sumners, Spencers and Durrances settled near each other near Leesburg but not liking the section on account of "chills and fever," came farther south to the high hills of Dade City.
This section had many deep soft water springs, good range for cattle, and rich land for farming.
Times were hard but youth is hopeful. These young people were willing to risk marriage and obligate themselves to rear a family with no asset but willing hands, good health and a stout heart.
My sister Lizzie, was two years before I was born and inherited the love of ease, the easier things to do, love of pretty clothes that our parents had in slavery time in pre war days, while I got a full share of the adventurous and pioneer traits of my Grandfather Smith.
At the age of two years my father went into partnership with "Uncle Johnny" Howell (grandfather) and built the first grist and rice mill that ran by water power near where St. Leo now stands.
Tampa was the nearest Post Office for a long time, and was the only store south of Brooksville and Ocala.
It was necessary to make a trip twice a year for supplies of cloth tobacco, flour and coffee. On one of these trips when I was three years old, they took me, along with a load of chickens, oranges and cotton. I remember how deep the sand was in the road and was afraid the horse would never get the cart out.
I disincly [sic] remember a small red cup on a shelf and striped candy in a jar ("bottle" to me).
My grandfather Smiths family returned to Georgia to live, while he rode back to Florida on horse back, still yearning for adventure of livings [sic] far away from people, with just a gun and his dog. The trip was too severe for weak kidneys. He died within a week after returning. The trip was my first experience with death, in any form.
The next tragic happening was the death of my great grandmother Zeigler that had kept me with her because I was a Mary Howell .
When I was about four years old I was a regular field hand, planting corn, carrying water to the field hands and riding the horses bareback.
The next two years I seem to have lost.
My First School Days
This part of by biography will seem to you to be quoted from some "hear-say's". You must remember that I have been here a long time, and Florida was in the "raw" at that time.
I think that the reason that I recall so much of the incidents, is because at that time, the few people lived far apart and their time and that of their children was too fully occupied with home and farm work to provide a living for their large families. Any break in the general routine, was the topic of conversation for days and the imprint on the mind was indelible.
As a child I was very much interested in people and activities. I recall, as if just yesterday, a visit to my aunts some eight miles away from my home. I wondered why the neighbors were bringing their children and leaving them. Some were in horse carts, while others rode behind theirs [sic] fathers on the horses.
They were soon inside the "parlor," while "Miss Betty" (Murphy) seated them in small chairs and on the floor. I was told that "Miss Betty" was teaching school and the children were pupils. Those were new terms to me but I was quite sure that I wanted to be a "pupil," before I had been there long. "Miss Betty" Murphy, was an educated "old Maid" who had migrated to Tampa a few years before with an old bachelor brother.
My uncle and aunt had met her at the home of friends and learned that she was educated and anxious to go up in the country to locate some homesteads. She offered to teach their four children to pay her board while staying with them. Other people soon made arrangements for their children to enter, by paying a small fee.
My visit was up all to [sic] soon to suit me because I had a severe case of "school" fever. My parents were persuaded by my aunt, and my tears, to leave me there till Miss Betty's stay was up and "school" was over.
This was my introduction to school and was followed by some drilling in A: B, C's [sic] and counting, and some short words as: he me my do, to, taken from the "Blue backed Speller," by my Mother, who always encouraged us to learn, and be educated. Her father was a legislator, and his son Louis Smith, was a secretary connected with the senate just before and during the Civil war.
I was now about six years old and in the fall of eighteen hundred and eighty seven, a man teacher, from the "north" came into the section and was asked to teach which he accepted. About the first of September, my uncle came one day to take to his home to go with his children to school in a rough log one roomed, and squatty house. My mother politely (not meaning it) "didn't see how she could spare me from home." She should have said from baby tending instead of "from home."
We over-persuaded my mother and my father was not interested, as I was not large nor strong enough to be of much service to him in the field.
My anticipations ran high as we set out on that first Monday morning. It was my first lesson in taking something to "teacher," but I was an apt pupil and soon was carrying "teacher" something, confiscated nearly every time. The teacher was Prof. B.L. Blackburn, who in recent years was registration clerk of Hillsborough County. The teachers then were men from the "north" who were educated. Nothing was asked concerning their records or reputations before coming to Florida.
Some of them were fugitives from the laws of their native states. Some were family deserters, who were sure they were free of family shackles, but in some cases they were soon trying to obligate themselves by marrying; of course after posing as single men.
It was a custom then for "teachers" to take turns "boarding around." When it came the week for him to "board" at my Aunt Jane's the spare "company room" was given an extra cleaning and the best embroidered pillow slips, softest feather pillows, and the oldest girls pet patchwork quilt was brought out and used: but what mattered that?
Was it not to be used by "professor," who quite often slipped a sly wink or smile? This visit meant much to these isolated families who were glad to talk with someone who had recently come from the outside world.
The school house was about two miles through the pines and "flat woods." There were several creeks, or "slashes" to be crossed. This was easily done on a "foot log" if there had been no rains lately but if there had been, the "big boys" would hoist the little fellows on their backs and wade across.
In due time we would arrive at, this, to me, was the most wonderful and long desired place.
I did not have any preconceived idea of what the school room should have or not have in the way of furnishing. We, in a crowd, entered the wide, low stepless door to be met by Professor Blackburn, a tall, slender, and sour visaged man about thirty-five years old. I was much disappointed, because he did not look at all as I thot [sic] he ought to look. Something like a god "you know"? He was very severe in his manner and told us curtly to "be seated"; which we did as well as we could. The seats were made of a half of a log with the flat top up, and legs placed in auger holes that were bored in the round rough side. They, (the seats) were too high for the smaller ones therefore it was a problem as to how to get up on them and then stay on them be cause they were backless.
I was very much in awe of him, and more so when I was called to go to his table (desk) to be drilled in counting and A,B,C's. I could not get there fast enough for my foot had become fastened in a crack in the puncheon floor and I was afraid to tell him or call for help.
He was not very kind in helping me out of my dilemma. The snickers which were audible from all parts of the room, increased my embarrassment. I left that afternoon with my opinion of school somewhat changed, how ever [sic] I became accustomed to the sight of the long persimmon switch, that lay across two pegs in the wall just back of the "teacher's" desk.
In a few days I had mastered the A,B,C's and could count nearly to one hundred without missing any.
He had a most fascinating red pencil, that I had admired from afar, but it was the cause of my downfall. My sister was not able to learn her letters, very quickly. Q gave her the most trouble as she could not remember Q even, after I told her it was like an O with a tongue. I was so afraid he would get the switch, that I whispered to her and he promptly whacked me on the head with the red pencil, which changed my mind about the pencil too. I do not like red pencils even now.
This term soon closed and I returned home, a full fledged "pupil" ready to enter another school in the second class, not grade.
My father moved his family near where St. Leo College of San Antonio now stands. This was nearer to Emmaus school, though two and one half distance even now.
I was quite grown up now, and school wise, to be only about eight years old. I proudly took my six year old brother in tow and trudged away down the sandy road while Lizzie, the eldest sister remained at home with one of her customary aches or pains. These pains, miraculously disappeared as soon as we were out of sight.
We were joined by two more children who lived just off the road. We all proudly compared our tin dinner "buckets," and reached the "school house" to find about twenty-five children there before us.
Miss Lizzie Berry, whose home was in Plant city about forty-five miles away, was the teacher. Her frilly laces and ribbons, with the naturally curly black hair, over came us with admiration. Her soft voice and pleasant smile disarmed the proverbial "bad boys", and put the young men of eighteen and twenty years old to combing their hair overtime and putting on their shoes before reaching school. She taught the younger children as kindly as she did the older ones. She brought to us, from one of her Tampa trips some "white" paper and pencils. Would wonders never cease? She sent a note to my father to get a book for me that I needed for myself. I had been borrowing from a cousin.
The new "Blue Backer Speller," came in due time and soon I had advanced to the ba ker, sha dy class which was then about the same as fourth grade now.
Can you imagine an under sized, (not "puny") slip of child about nine years old aspiring to spell with a class of grown young men and women? Not so "smart" but ambitious to know how to read and spell with the best. She had some of the most attractive ways of interesting children.
She cut pieces of white paper, 1=1/2 inch wide and two inches long marked as below. These were given to the ones she thought was the best for that week.
She called these tickets, and the contest to earn them was on. The first that I got was for "spelling." I was so excited that I waited for no one, but ran most of the way home to show it.
Here was born the determination to be a teacher like "Miss Berry," and today I use some of her devices that she used so many years ago.
But I can't hope that my influence will reach so far as hers nor be so lasting.
My Middle School Days
The country was changing very fast, as people were moving in, taking advantage of the homestead law.
The communities now had quite a few children. The parents, even in those days, were much concerned about educating their children. They themselves were denied this privilege because of the effects of the Civil war.
I was now about twelve years old. I think I must have been somewhat precocious because of learning easily, and much in love with books and school. I was called "smart." Now "smart," at this time, was meant to be a compliment and I think it was applied to me because I was able to read well, and had learned to sing the "shaped notes" in "The Old Sacred Harp."
Other pioneer families moved into our little community bringing with them quite a few books, which, to me was a constant source of envy.
We were asked to borrow some of these to read, which we quickly did. My parents came from a long line of educated people, on the maternal side. It is to her that we owe our unflagging interest in education.
The men of the [sic] came together and pooled the little money that they could spare and made plans to build a "school house" as near the center of the community as possible. Now, this house must be located near a spring as wells were hard to dig and were not a success in this limestone section. The building grew daily under the willing hands of the men who offered their services as their donation toward the uplift of the community. It was finished in due time and was visited and admired by all the prospective pupils, which was about twenty in number.
O! this, the most wonderful of all days, had arrived. They came from all directions, supplied with a tin dinner bucket and perhaps some of the more fortunate ones had a book. I was there, all excited and proud because we had a new and "real" school house: this time with wooden, roughly made desks and seats.
We trooped in that "first" morning, arranged ourselves comfortably on the seats and began to "size" up " the teacher." He, as all other teachers at that time, was from the north.
Mr. Brock, "professor," was a short, rather dapper fellow of about thirty-five. He was a Pennsylvanian German, but was a splendid teacher.
I was especially inspired when he taught reading.
Clear speaking, correct pronunciation and inflections were thoroughly taught. Because I was able to read as he wanted it done, I went "head," much to the envy of my closest competitor, a boy of about my own age.
All too soon the term came to a close with "speeches and dialogs," with fond parents looking on and hoping that their son or daughter would get the "head mark" for that time, which would decide the winner for that term.
I was so overcome with joy that when my name was called, I tottered up to receive a pretty volume of Lonfellow's [sic] Poems.
If he had searched every where he could not have found anything that I prized so much.
The color, meant almost as much as the book itself. There was such a drabness, and so little of color or brightness in the lives of poor people, that any thing that broke the monotony or put in some color and brightness, was fully appreciated.
In eighteen eight-six, my father secured 180 acres of homestead land about four miles north west of Dade City. This was a much larger community of Georgia and Tenessee [sic] pioneers to the land of sandspurs, sand gnats, "sand" and mosquitoes. It was here that we were fortunate in having for neighbors the aristocratic families of Doctor Cochrane and Capt. Ravises. I was quite sure the first and only physician in our family for years.
I was very small for my age and at fifteen I was still racing with and playing base ball with the neighborhood boys. I must have been a "tom boy."
I often rode my father's cow pony in rounding up the pen cattle, which was quite a feat, considering her traits of "heading off, cutting out, and bringing in" the strays. This she did according to her code; being the best "cow horse" in the country.
My life grew full and fuller of house and field chores, that must be done with precision and no lagging.
I think I would have fully enjoyed these years in harmonious association with our large [family] of three brothers and five sisters, if it had been arranged by my parents to let me attend the four months schools. They were old fashioned enough to want the boys educated and girls learn only house work. My job was not house work so much but more supervising and at times helping out, gathering and housing crops and judging syrup at "cane grinding" time.
This was not the way I had planned. Imagine if you can, the school children going down the road near the field, calling to me to come along while I, with tears of disappointment blinding me, could do nothing but pick the rows of cotton that were my "stint" to be finished by noon.
Sometimes I was allowed to go to school after potatoes were in, hogs killed and cane grinding done.
I was kept at home to help quite often, and to me, it seemed that it was right in the middle of an exciting contest. My oldest sister did not have to stay out because she must have her "chance." The custom at that time was: the oldest girl in the family must have an opportunity to make herself attractive so as to charm a prospective husband.
Time passed on and I could see nothing in view but field work. I attended school for a short time with Professor Robert M. Ray, a college graduate, inexperienced and only about twenty. He did not have the technique of teaching, even if he had sufficient books, but was a source of information and inspiration that would spur on the dullest laggard.
It was through his encouragement and suggestion that gave me an idea of the way out if I could muster enough courage to force the issue.
My ideal of a teacher and very near friend, in my first years of teaching, was Professor Ray of Plant City and Tampa, who had been my teacher, also years before.
Professor Copenhaver of Harrisburg was my teacher in my last year in the middle grades.
High School Days
This was the greatest adventure of my whole life. I can not yet, imagine how I was lucky enough to get up to Brooksville and make arrangements to pay my board by working in a family.
I owe Professor Mallicoat, the principal of the high school, who was kindness itself, to advise, and arrange work that must be made up so as to be admitted to the graded work, and find a good family that needed my services.
I was not unaware of the hard task that I had set for myself, but I was not prepared for what it [meant to] me when I realized that I was considered a servant by the children of the aristocrats that lived on "the hill." I could see the slant looks, uplifted eyebrows or a cool stare, as I passed.
I was not invited to any parties for the first two years. That was just as well as I had no clothes suitable, and my language and manners were crude, which made me very self conscious. While I was not openly snubbed, still I was not accepted in their midst.
I tried to do the work well in the family for which I worked. They were kind and thotful [sic].
Not being invited out, I had more time to study, and was quite repaid for slights received at their hands, when I was ready with every assignment and made good grades.
This changed their attitude, which was pleasanter but I still held a grudge.
The manners and customs of the refined, cultured class of people interested me and I absorbed these much desired elements.
I found splendid people in the Methodist church that knew my grandfather when he was mail carrier between Jacksonville and Tampa years before.
Minister Norton was there the first and S.G. Meadows was there for a while. Brother Durrance of Wall Springs was minister one year.
In this church I heard the first trained choir sing.
I think I was forever busy setting new goals for myself. I secretly vowed to myself that I would some day sing alto in a large choir. I have seen that dream come true.
During the summer of eighteen ninety four I worked in a Tampa box factory, to earn money to enable me to go back for the finishing year. This year was gratifying. The rough corners had smoothed off and I felt that I could meet them on their grounds. I had a most enjoyable year except a spell of typhoid fever for the first six weeks.
Dear Dr. Stringer attended me daily, refusing any pay. His daughter, Blanche, was my champion at all times. The attentions of a widower distracted my mind for a time, but, I had worked too hard getting through high school to forfeit my chance of teaching after I had dreamed of it for so many years.
Some of the highlights were: singing alto in a duet for commencement, getting a second proposal from the best friend a girl ever had, who stood by during my years of struggle, comforting and encouraging. He had been obliged to go home to Kentucky to be with his mother after the father's death.
I couldn't think of increasing his burden, so declined with sincer [sic] regrets.
I often have letters from them, and they (he) are now urging and congratulating me, same [as] he was in 1896. Then a high school graduation, then this long trek across "no man's land" to a college graduation now. A long call it is since then, but I still live over that finish of work and the graduation dress and shoes that my poor hard working family pooled their bits to provide for me.
Mrs. Nevitte, a dear good woman, eighty years old took me in after the spell of typhoid and taught me to walk.
The principal, teachers, and classmates planned each days work and checked each days finished work, and brought it to me, till I was able to attend.
This made it possible for me to graduate with the class on the night of June 6, 1896.
The members of the class are scattered even as far as San Francisco.
All are living but one. The one that was so nice to me in classes when I needed a friend has passed on. Mrs. Mae Clayton, and Miss Mattie Jordan, graduates of Southern, were members of that class.
Professor Turnley, teacher of English and Arith [sic] the last year, is now County Supt. of Hernando County.
My Later Life
As I reach this last part, words are too weak to truly describe or
express the happenings of these full happy and sad, alike years.
I hesitate to begin so far back to the graduation of 1896 - 6 of June
when I was the happiest girl living when I really held The
Diploma. That was another milestone on my way that meant really just
I took the teacher's examination then being held in Brooksville,
securing a third grade certificate. I was sent to a small country school
of about fifteen pupils. The term was only four months, at $40 a month.
[Note: this was probably the Darby school.]
This seemed a fortune to me, tho it was not much. It made it possible
to attend a Summer Normal school for two months, after which I made a
high second grade.
I was offered a school in a section where I had gone to school at the
time of the "pencil episode."
The building stood near where the old one stood. Nothing was left of
the old one but a pile of clay that was once the chimney. There were
sixty-five pupils ranging from six years to twenty-two years. These
older pupils had been my classmates when I was six, but the school terms
were short and then they were needed to help with the field work as some
mothers were widows, with large families.
These eighteen grown young people appreciated the opportunity to get
more help in arithmetic ennglish [sic] and spelling. At the end of the
month the county Superintendent came to visit and seemed surprised that
I was still there and not disfigured in some way. .
I was surprised at his questions as to the conduct of these grown
pupils. He informed me that they had run the former teacher out, and
that he had been almost afraid to send me down there.
I was lucky enough to confiscate a whiskey flask and a pistol from
some desks [while they] were out playing baseball.
We had three successful happy years. I visit the communities reunion
in that sometimes and some of old bald and stoop shouldered men never
fail to tell me about having to sit "on the front seat."
Some of those boys have become successful businessmen in Tampa, Palm
Beach, and Miami.
In 1900 and 1901 I taught a third grade in the Fort Myers Elementary
Here I had pupils from all classes, from the fishermans children to Doctors, lawer's [sic], tourist's and just common people. I enjoyed the time there especially the "Conch" children from the Florida keys, who told such harrowing tales of shipwrecks on Florida tip. The great variety of tropical fruit kept me tasting them, to learn to like them. The little boy of about three years old that ran away from home each day, still wearing dresses, and slip into my room get on a chair up to the black board. Before the term was up had learned some small words and could write them. ' He has been Fort Myer's mayor once.
For severa1 years my aim was to get into the Tampa schools, because of the possibilities it afforded otherwise than teaching, such as a course in Business College, dressmaking and other things.
I was sent to the small school at Palmetto Beach in the fall of , and have been here ever since.
I have seen County Superintendents come and go, return for the second term, and some attempted a "come back," but failed.
My oldest pupils of the first term thirty-six years ago, have sent their grandchildren to me for the last six years. I earned a shortened name soon after coming here of "Missa Mary," which has been followed by their children and grandchildren.
My name was Howell before marrying. These foreign people found trouble in saying Miss Howell, then I told them that they could say Miss Mary easier. In their own natural way they called me "Missa Mary" and this it is with them still.
These foreign people are loyal friends, if you show that you are interested in them and their children. The children are ambitious and quick to learn where there is not an english [sic] handicap. They are talented in music and drawing, therefore it [is] not uncommon to hear a child of six or seven years old singing operatic airs in assembly.
The first term was held in a small dwelling house with the partition taken out. The owner of the near by cigar factory gave permission to use it till a house shold [sic] be built, which was done three years later.
There were forty pupils the first three years and just one teacher. Soon there was need of another teacher. The school gradually grew to 500 pupils- five hundred pupils in the boom time. The tourist camp is across the street east of the school building and during the boom many northern [sic] brought their families along in quest of work.
The normal attendance is three hundred forty.
I was out [of] the school from nineteen five, I was out of school keeping house and rearing two daughters who are girls that any mother could be proud to own. They both finished high school, the younger at fourteen years of age. She secured a second grade teacher's certificate two weeks after graduating and begun teaching the following Sept. She still teaches in the same school just finishing her tenth year.
When my younger daughter was one year old I begun teaching again in the same school in nineteen ten. I have taught here, been principal ever since. Thirty five years in the same school.
I begun teaching on a second grade certificate, then secured a first grade and made it a life first.
I did all extension work through the university of Florida that was allowed, attended three summer terms there and in Asheville North Carolina one summer.
While there I visited at the home of Thos. J. Dixon, of "Birth of a Nation" fame. Here is he himself. (snapshots)
Sixty miles west of Asheville is the Cherokee Government Reservation. The day we were there was the Indian base ball day. I will tell you about it later if you are interested. It is a combination of tennis football and base ball, played with rackets and a small red wool ball.
This is the girls Social Hall and dormitory. The girls had gone back into [the] mountains till September and classes would begin. The hostess was a Cherokee Vassar graduate.
We went out to Mt. Mitchel about sixteen miles away, and after making many hair pin turns we arrived at Camp Alice which is as far as you can go by car.
(A snapshot is inserted here).
I am standing on the large stone being used in erecting a monument to Capt. Mitchel who lost his life by falling into a spring about fifty feet down to my left.
There were no birds nor butterflies up here and the flowers had no odor.
We passed Junaluska en route and took a freak picture.
We were traveling at about forty miles [per hour]. I placed the kodak on a passengers shoulder and took it while traveling. You see the town across the lake.
(snapshot inserted here)
Shortly after this a cloud came down over us and we froze for a few minutes.
Event No. Three
I had heard of the University of Florida so planned to attend the summer school. This was my first sight of it coming in at the east entrance.
I spent three very pleasant summer terms here.
On the next page you will see a group of school people at Gainesville for an educational meet.
No. 1 Superintendent Sheets,
No. 2 Professor Buholz
No. 3 George Lynch Pinellas Superintendent
No. 4 Jesse Knight Hillsboro County Superintendent.
I have found time to attend the F.E.A. meetings nearly every year.
I am a member of F.E.A, H.E.A, Principal's Council, and Eastern Star.
Event No. Four
My Trip to N.E.A. in Washington, D.C.
For years I had read of the N.E.A.'s being held in the different [states] and wondered if I would ever be able to go. Last year it was held in Washington, D.C. Another dream came true, for I really went.
[I] attended the sessions from eight thirty to three thirty p.m. It seems not true to state that there were thirteen thousand in attendance. They were singing their favorite state songs constantly, while poor little Florida did not cheep once.
On the next page you will see the front and event dining and service room. I often walked down Pennsylvania Avenue and to make it nearer went in at the east entrance passed under this portico where you see the large light and out at the west entrance. (snapshot)
The Congressional Library is an imposing structure. Here you do not see the well. I am on the steps. (snapshot)
The Storm of 1921
The result of the storm in 1921, that washed us out and up the street with our household goods coming behind us on the waves. The launch's stern was in my dining room door. The oak tree at the corner of the house is all that saved it from being battered to pieces.
Event No. Six
A Trip to McCleary's Clinic. in 1931
Busy people do not have time to get away from drudgery, to relax. There comes a time nature rebels and we are forced to take stock, then do something about it.
"You need no medicine. Just pack up and leave to Hot Springs for a rest and baths," said Dr. Hampton in no uncertain tones.
This is the sanatorium and colonic clinic. This being a strictly "Rest Resort" no roosters, dogs, trains, busses and autos are allowed to make noise.
The dog in the fore ground is the only one and he slipped in and took up quarters in a garage.
Excelsior Springs Missouri is the place to go for treatment of colon and rectal trouble. For a quiet rest, with room and board cheap it is unexcelled.
These pupils did not have their names on the "demerit" card during the term in 1933.
Event No. Seven
Winning the Silver Cup Gasparilla of 1915
This class or pupils of DeSoto School (East Tampa) won a second prize silver cup for the best line of march. Marshall Moore, County Superintendent, the man standing near. (snapshot)
Event No. Eight
I was so near yet so far from Peabody College when Miss Minnie Mason of Deland gave me a scholarship that she could not use. I did not have the means to go either; so there was another great chance
Event No. Nine
Life looked rosy to eighteen just after graduation. No one can see
very far ahead. Perhaps it is best, to be not able to vision the
heartaches and frustrated plans.
In 1898, while teaching up in the country, I became very ill. I had
not had any indications of nervous affection.
I did not recuperate very quickly, but went back to my school, to
finish in six. I became unable to sleep or eat. I had developed a
"nervous breakdown." [Note: this was probably the Darby school.]
Dr. Hampton and his wife nursed me through it in their own home.
The 1934-35 DeSoto School Faculty
The 1935 May king and Queen and attendants