January 04, 2009 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams

This month Lake City will begin the celebration of its 150th birthday. Here are seven random flashbacks to our town of yesteryear.

*1900: "William T. Strange, age 31, Marshall of Lake City, Florida, died Nov. 28, 1900, from a wound inflicted by an outlaw while in the discharge of duty on Nov. 27, 1900," according to a memorial in this honor.

*1917: The Alabama Paving Co. completed the paving of South Marion Street with bituminous macadam at a cost of $3,624.50, according to a city bill.

*1920: The 1920 CHS football team traveled to Cuba to play The Club Athletico de Cuba of Havana and thus became the first and maybe still only high school football team in the country to play a game outside the USA.

* 1937: CHS sold the first books of season tickets for their home football games. One of the tickets said, "Lake City vs. Open Date. Good if any game is arranged on thIs date."

*1943: CHS principal W. B. Feagle announced that "Lake City high school and elementary school students purchased more than $1,300 in war bonds and stamps on September 13, 1943, to support the war effort."

He added, "The students have agreed to buy three jeeps by Christmas , and on this one day's sale one jeep is already on its way to help fight the war."

*1990: Eight Columbia Countians were recognized as being the most influential individuals in the development of our local public library: Eilleen Brunner, Claudia Clark, Lucy Cole, Bob Garner, Robert Horesovsky, Bob Mann, Del Miles, and Gerald Witt.

*1996: Sara Louise Andrewes Rivers died December 16, 1996, at age 83. She had been named Florida's ‘Teacher of the Year' in 1959, and, all together, taught and counseled local students for more than 40 years.


Rev. and Mrs. E. F. Montgomery, Sr. both had parts at the CHS 1929 graduation program. He read the Scripture and she sang a solo, "Trusting." Fifty years later, two of their sons, James and Ed, also had a part of a CHS graduation program. Rev. Ed gave the prayer and James delivered the message.

So, four members of that one family participated in the two CHS graduation programs.


Ginger Haggerty has been the wonderful church secretary at the First United Methodist Church for 22 years and now will be retiring January 9. The church will honor her with a luncheon immediately following the 11 am service on January 11 .

Congratulations, Ginger! Well done, you good and faithful servant!


High School football coach Robbie Pruitt was one of Florida's most successful coaches and was once employed here briefly-- for one week!

According to School Board records, Coach Pruitt was approved by our School Board as Head Football Coach to begin work on July 24, 1991. He signed a contract but then resigned August 1, 1991.

The School Board ‘rescinded' its hiring action on August 13, 1991.


After the 1997-98 football season, the radio station that got the new contract to announce the CHS football games broke up one of the most veteran sports broadcasting teams in Florida.

All together, Shayne Morgan (5 years), Richard Collins (5 years), Rev. Isadore Williams (23 years), Bo Hendrick (23 years), and Heyward Christie (5 years) had 61 years of experience broadcasting Tiger games.

And, to many, the broadcasts have never been quite the same since then.


In a recent statewide football poll, Coach Demetric Jackson's Fort White Indians ranked fifth in their class. With so much team success and fan enthusiasm for the Indians this season, it's too bad the games were not broadcast on the radio as they were in previous years.

Hopefully, the Indians will be back on the air next season.


The young son of a Marine officer bragged to his dad that he didn't cry when he got his flu shot "because Marine kids don't cry". Then he added, "but, Dad, there sure were a lot of Army and Navy kids in there." square

H. Morris Williams is a local historian and long-time Columbia County resident.