Between twelve and one o’clock on the night of July 28, 1917, fire broke out in the W.A. Drawdy store room on Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Cloud, Florida. The fire swept down both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, affecting eighteen businesses before it was brought under control.
An interesting parallel between 1917 and 2017 was found in an April 12, 1917, “St. Cloud Tribune” news article which states,“Mr. H.A. Haymaker of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania purchased the entire block situated between the Atlantic Coast Line depot and the Bank.” The property was unoccupied and used only as a park for a number of years. The article continues, “Mr. Haymaker’s plans involve the erection of a building to cover the entire block, from three to five stories in height, the lower floors to be reserved for stores and business houses, while the upper floors will be finished up in either apartments or for hotel purposes.”
Established in 1884, Narcoossee became a colony comprised of English immigrants. They began to meet for worship services regularly by 1887, sometimes gathering in homes; when weather was pleasant, they would meet outdoors. Soon, consideration was given to building an Episcopal church in Narcoossee and fundraising efforts began. Some funds for the completion of the church in 1897 did come from England, but the majority of money was raised locally.
Rumors circulated over the years claiming that the wood & furnishings were sent over from England. Records show the lumber for the construction of the church and the roof shakes (shingles) came from the Fell-Davidson sawmill in Narcoossee, the bell (from a factory in Ohio) was previously used at the Runnymede Hotel and the Gothic style church was designed by an Orlando architect.
The September 23, 1909 edition of the “St. Cloud Tribune” announced completion of the Hotel St. Cloud, as it was originally named. It was built from material salvaged from the Disston Sugar Mill. Two weeks later the newspaper reported it had been filled to capacity since opening; with many sleeping on cots in the hotel parlor and other available places.
Born on May 26, 1846 in Daviess County, Kentucky to John Gideon Mitchell and Elizabeth L. Allen, Lucius Lantonus Mitchell enlisted as a Private on September 9, 1863 at the age of 17. He mustered into Company D, 35th KY Infantry, Union Army.
While still in its infancy in 1910 and with a huge tent being used for church services and public gatherings, the City of St. Cloud on March 14 of that year, saw the birth of a Woman’s Club. The members dedicated themselves to civic improvements and literary advancement. By October of that year, the By Laws were changed and they became known as the Ladies Improvement Club.