April 19, 2009 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams

In school year 1940-41, CHS had a nine months school term but, incredibly, FWHS had a shorter school year, just an eight months term. This understandably rankled some Fort White citizens. Those citizens used this simple arithmetic to explain how badly FWHS graduates were being short-changed.

Students attending FWHS went to school 12 years at eight months per year and got a total of 96 months education. CHS students went to school 12 years at nine months per year and got a total of 108 months of education. Thus, CHS graduates got a full 12 months more education.

Of course, the Fort White citizens were right to complain and soon FWHS got a nine month school year.

It should be said that even though the FWHS students back then were entering the world of work with a full year less formal education than CHS students, they went on to make their mark in the world just as well as high school graduates from anywhere else.


Before 1960, Latin was considered an essential subject in every high school curriculum in Florida, including CHS.

In 1939, Lake City Governor Fred P. Cone said this about the importance of teaching Latin in schools: "For those who teach English in our schools and for all who expect to write, a knowledge of Latin is very beneficial because it provides for a greater facility of language and because it is one of the chief elements from which the English language is derived."

However, now, only two high schools in Florida still teach Latin.


*1945: A tombstone was erected in Memorial Cemetery to mark the gravesite of 22-year-old Fred Kinard, Lake City's highest decorated World War II hero (Navy Cross) who died during the war. His tombstone reads, "He was favored by God and Man."

*1958: Louise Davis married Jeff Goss in the Deep Creek Advent Christian Church just off US 441 North. Louise's father, Elbert Davis, was the primary builder of that church building so Louise was married in the church her father had built.

*1953: Brady Brinkley of Lake Lona won the state 4-H speaking contest and represented Florida in the national oratorical contest in Chicago. His topic was "Democracy".

*1965: Mrs. Graham Spurrier, pianist, of High Springs, was the guest artist at the St. Cecelia Music Club meeting held at the home of Mr. And Mrs. Leslie Soldwell where she played the works of Debussy. Mrs. Spurrier was the wife of Rev. Graham Spurrier of High Springs and the mother of Gator football star, Steve Spurrier.

*1928: An ad in the Lake City Reporter advertised the sale of moonshine whiskey "sold only in pint bottles for twenty five cents." On the front page of the same newspaper there were stories of two arrests of men for making moonshine whiskey.

*2009: Gene Cox's (CHS 1952) funeral was held on the day of his and his

wife Patsy's 51st wedding anniversary and also the birthday of their oldest son, David.


The next CHS 1949-53 reunion will be held Saturday, May 9, at 11:30 a.m. at the Mason City Community Center.This is an 'open reunion' and anybody who would like to attend is invited. Just bring a covered dish. Chicken pilau, drinks, plastic ware, etc. will be provided.

For more reunion information, call Julia Osburn at 386-752-7544.


The High Springs Community Theater (HSCT) will present Oscar Wilde's play, "The Importance of Being Earnest", starting April 24 and running through May 17. Lake City's Stephanie Tyson has a lead role. For ticket information, call The Framery at 386-754-2780 or visit the web site www.myhsct.com.


Two not-too-swift amateur roofers were nailing shingles on a roof when the first roofer noticed that the second would occasionally throw a nail away, so he asked him why he was throwing away good nails. The second roofer explained that some of the nails "had the head on the wrong end". The first roofer said, "But don't throw them away. We can use them on the other side of the house!" square

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