May was publicized History Month in a Proclamation presented by Osceola County and the Board of County Commissioners on May 8, 2017.
The Disston Land Company stopped meeting the notes on the mortgage of the St. Cloud Sugar Mill after July 1895 and the sugar mill laid dormant between 1897, and 1901. In 1900, all the mill machinery was sold to Sabal Bros. of Jacksonville but not actually removed from the area. In January, 1901, it was resold to the Redo Brothers of Mexico for a reputed $75,000. John Garrity, who had been in charge of the machinery, serving mainly as a watchman, resigned from the Disston operations and was hired by the Mexican company to supervise the machinery’s relocation. He crated and marked each piece of machinery, which filled between 50 to 60 railroad cars and weighed between 800-1000 tons. It was transported via railroad to Tampa, loaded aboard a Dutch schooner which set out for the long trip around Cape Horn to Mexico. There had been reports the vessel sunk near Cuba, and later near Cape Horn but an outbreak of smallpox on board had forced the captain to land at a small harbor in Chile where the crew was quarantined, thus delaying the journey.
After selling their haberdashery business in Chicago, Emanuel J. “Manny” and Theresa Budinger moved to St. Cloud, Florida in 1944. The Budingers established the Clock and China Museum at 1725 Missouri Avenue in St. Cloud a few years later. They began to collect clocks from all over the world and a museum was established, with a special building to house Theresa’s rare china collection. They charged no admission fee and refused any monetary donations. Theresa realized that with such a large elderly population in the community, St. Cloud should have a hospital so she decided that by accepting donations from the visitors, she could raise funds for this purpose. Once the St. Cloud Hospital Foundation was chartered, clubs and organizations held benefit affairs, giving proceeds to the Foundation. Groundbreaking was held in October 1957 and the hospital officially opened its doors on March 19, 1964.
Every third Thursday of the month the Osceola County Historical Society hosts an interactive reading event. Gather around the fireplace at the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum to listen to a carefully chosen children’s book, whose theme compliments our current temporary exhibit. After storytelling by the fireplace, we move into the Buster Kenton Room to let our creative side run loose as we craft a themed art project. While our event is targeted towards children ages 3 to 6, we welcome kids of all ages to join in the fun of Story Time at the Museum.