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In Memory: Wagoner Lawrence S. Peacock World War I Casualty

Lawrence Peacock headstone

Lawrence S. Peacock came from a humble background. Born on July 5, 1891 in Spring Garden to parents Samuel D. and Martha (Daugharty) Peacock. Samuel was a farmer and the family lived in Precinct Four according to the 1900 United States Census. Lawrence was the fourth of five children; John, Thomas, Margaret, and Violet. The 1910 United States Census placed the Peacock family at 46 E. New York Avenue.

Young Lawrence appears to have been an industrious young man, not afraid of hard work. He was the owner of a vulcanizing company located in the downtown DeLand area. He regularly advertised in the local newspaper, “Tires and Tubes, All Work Guaranteed”.

Vulcanization is the process of using heat to help harden rubber, thus increasing its lifespan and strength. For more information on vulcanization check the Wikipedia page.

To learn more about the race to unlock the power and secrets of vulcanized rubber, read Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock, and the Race to Unlock the Greatest Industrial Secret of the 19th Century.

 

 

 

A prime bachelor, Lawrence attracted the attentions of young Edith Baguley, “a talented musician and a popular young woman…” The two eligible DeLandites eloped on July 5, 1917. The service was performed by Reverend H. S. Rightmire at the Baptist church in Daytona Beach with only the reverend’s wife and Mrs. M. N. Baguley, Edith’s mother, in attendance.

The newly wed couple briefly honeymooned in St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Pablo Beach, before returning to DeLand.

World events were closing in on young men around the world and Lawrence S. Peacock was no exception. In mid-1918 Peacock received notice that he had been drafted and would be called to active duty.

In preparation for leaving DeLand for an unknown period, Lawrence sold his business to Mr. A. C. Clark, a young man from Miami.

Lawrence was transported to Camp Greenleaf at Fort Oglethorpe, GA for two months of training. His skills and abilities earned him a promotion from Private to Wagoner in Evacuation Ambulance Company No. 19 during his training.

USS George Washington
USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway at sea, 10 May 1918. Photographed from USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15), which was then operating off western France.
US Navy photo # NH 53885 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.

On September 22, 1918, he was sent to Camp Upton on Long Island, NY before being transferred to the Transport S.S. George Washington in preparation for transport to France.

It was during this transport that Peacock contracted pneumonia and passed away onboard. His death on October 9, 1918 was one of only thousands caused as a result of the 1918 influenza outbreak. It is believed the pneumonia was the largest cause of death during the pandemic. 

 

 

 

 

The 1918 influenza outbreak is estimated to have contributed to the deaths of nearly 100 million people. Historian John M. Barry has written what may be the definitive look at this pandemic. The book is accessible and readable for those of us without a scientific background.

 

 

 

The remains of Wagoner Lawrence S. Peacock were buried temporarily in Brest, France, a port city in Brittany, before being returned to DeLand in 1920.

After conclusion of hostilities, the Army returned the remains of Peacock, through New York City, where they were placed aboard a southbound train, with a single soldier accompanying.

Members of the DeLand American Legion Post met the train and carried the remains to an awaiting hearse that secured the body to Allen’s Undertaking Parlors in preparation for the funeral on July 15, 1920.

The funeral was a somber affair. At 2:00 p.m. the parade left Allen’s on their way to Oakdale Cemetery. A squad of uniformed men, followed by the pall bearers, a group of Legionnaires, the family, and finally friends of the deceased made their way through the streets of DeLand.

Once the procession arrived at the cemetery, the flag draped coffin was carried to the burial site with uniformed men at parade rest. Dr. C. L. Collins talked about the war and its impact and provided a biographical sketch of the young soldier. Reverend C. E. Wyatt offered prayer. The service ended with a three-round volley over the grave and the blowing of taps by bugler Feasel.

Lawrence Peacock headstone
The headstone for Wagoner Lawrence Peacock as seen in Oakdale Cemetery, DeLand, FL

In the years following the burial of her husband, Edith was to remarry. On February 11, 1922, she married Pharris M. Stribling, a newspaper printer who worked for the local paper. The 1930 United States Census shows her to already have divorced Stribling and working as a stenographer in North Carolina where she lived with her mother.

A brief search shows that Edith does not appear to have married again. When she passed away on March 4, 1982, Edith was living in San Bernadino, CA.

Edith Irene Baguley Stribling was buried in Henry Cemetery, in Henry, Illinois, the same cemetery as her parents.

 

 

 

 

 

Wagoner Lawrence S. Peacock is memorialized today at the DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum. This project was trumpeted in the local newspaper by DeLand Mayor S. A. Wood on February 19, 1919 and opened in 1920. DeLand Memorial Hospital would serve as the primary medical facility in DeLand until the opening of Fish Memorial Hospital in 1952. Today the building is home to City of DeLand offices and museum exhibits.

DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum
A full exterior view of the circa 1920 DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum building
World War I plaque at DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum
A dedication plaque to West Volusia County soldiers who perished during World War I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original plaque on exterior of Hospital building
An originally placed plaque dedicating the hospital as a Memorial to our boys for service rendered and sacrifice supreme

 

To view other posts related to Oakdale Cemetery, many of them military related, please click here.

Sources:

Multiple issues of the DeLand News were used to compile this article.

www.floridamemory.com

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

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In Memory: Officer Elmer Michael of the DeLand, FL Police Department

Elmer Michael monument detail

Elmer Lunger Michael

Born in West Virginia in 1889, young Elmer Lunger Michael knew the difficulties life could bring. Growing up in Morgan County, he was the eldest of five children born to Albert (might be Tolbert) and Mary Michael. Elmer was to only complete the eighth grade before quitting school, most likely to help his family. By the age of twenty he had left his parents home, was married, and employed as a farmer. Elmer’s World War I draft registration shows him as being of medium height and build with brown hair and blue eyes.

Elmer, and his wife Ida Maud, moved to Volusia County, Florida sometime around 1925/1926. Elmer left the uncertainty of his last job of being a truck driver for what they hoped would be a brighter future in Florida. Elmer and Ida Maud were the parents of two children, Ralph, and Virginia.

In 1926, Elmer had been hired as a police officer with the DeLand police department. This would no doubt have been a welcome job during lean years for a man with no formal education and limited marketable skills.

For those who would harken back to an earlier time when streets were safe, there was little violence, and people had a respect for the law; the story of Elmer Michael is a harsh reminder of the realities in the world.

The Crime

On October 25, officer Michael was working the overnight shift, a shift that might have been considered safe considering DeLand was a small town of around 5,000 residents.

It was during this shift that John Wallace and John McGuire, known criminals from Indiana, were caught in downtown DeLand in a car reported stolen in Daytona Beach. While attempting to apprehend the criminals near the corner of Woodland and Wisconsin Avenues, Michael was shot and wounded. He was also pushed to the ground and received a serious wound to the head.

The following day Florida East Coast Railway workers M. A. Snyder and Walter Minton were both wounded during an encounter with the fugitives in New Smyrna Beach. Snyder received five bullet wounds; and Walter Minton, a special agent out of Palatka where he worked for the Florida East Coast Railway, was shot twice in the arm. Snyder was hospitalized for his wounds while Minton was released from medical care.

John Wallace was arrested later in the day on October 26 after the confrontation with Snyder and Minton. Local reports stated that McGuire was still wanted but Volusia County Sheriff S. E. Stone was confident he would be apprehended shortly.

On November 4, the DeLand Sun News ran an editorial thanking officer Michael and congratulating him on his release from DeLand Memorial Hospital.

Dear Elmer:

That was great news to hear that you are out again after the attempt made on your life recently by auto bandits. Elmer, it is such men as you that keep up the honor of a police force and in whom we have confidence that the law will be enforced. We congratulate you on your fearlessness and the whole of DeLand is happy that you escaped with your life. The next time Elmer any of that type of criminal sticks a gun at you, shoot him first. The country is well rid of such offscourings. (1)

While Sheriff Stone was confident that John Luke McGuire would quickly be apprehended, these thoughts were premature. During the first week in November Stone was working with Fort Wayne, Indiana authorities in order to put together a wanted campaign including photos. McGuire was described as twenty-three years old, five fee six inches tall, gray eyes, blond hair, with a medium build and complexion. The reward for the capture of McGuire was placed at $50. Five hundred copies of the wanted poster were distributed. In addition to the wounding of officer Michael and the FEC workers, McGuire and Wallace were accused in the robbery of a Daytona Beach pharmacy. (2)

The Trials

With McGuire still wanted, prosecutors began their case against John Wallace in December. Judge Marion O. Rowe was expected to announce a trial date when he convened court on December 2. The following day, Wallace, a young man of only twenty, was to plead guilty to three charges: the theft of two automobiles and participating in the robbery of Bogart’s Pharmacy. He received a six-year prison sentence at state prison in Raiford. Wallace was not arraigned that day on charges of assault with intent to kill in the attack on the three wounded men.

Good news reached DeLand in January 1930 where word was received that McGuire had been arrested in Ft. Wayne, IN on a weapons charge. The good news was short lived as Indiana authorities refused to immediately extradite the fugitive to Florida to face charges. McGuire and his attorneys used multiple legal maneuvers, including “witnesses” stating he was in Memphis, TN at the time of the shootings, to prevent his being returned to Florida.

Harry Leslie Indiana Governor
Indiana Governor Harry Leslie courtesy Indiana Historical Bureau

In a scene that is right out of a movie however, on February 26, 1931, Indiana Governor Harry Leslie signed extradition papers. Volusia County Sheriff Stone was there to immediately take possession of the prisoner and begin transporting him to Florida where he would stand trial.

Samuel D. Jackson, the attorney for McGuire was able to obtain a writ of habeas corpus from Marion Circuit Court Judge Harry O. Chamberlain, which would have kept the prisoner from being extradited. Jackson made his petition claiming that McGuire had not been identified by his accusers and the use of questionable witnesses placing the accused in Tennessee on the date of the crime.

With a several hour head start, Sheriff Stone easily outpaced Jackson who was chasing the Florida lawman attempting to serve the writ and keep McGuire in Indiana. Stone drove unimpeded to Florida where McGuire was greeted with six charges in Volusia County, including three assaults with intent to murder.

Judge Bert Fish
Judge Bert Fish courtesy State Archives of Florida

 

The trial of John McGuire began in August 1931 in the courtroom of Judge Bert Fish, a highly respected legal mind who would go on to serve as a foreign ambassador in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.

When the jury returned its verdict on August 17, 1931, McGuire was found guilty. When Judge Fish attempted to talk with McGuire before announcing the sentence the young man had no reply. Fish’s sentence was reported in the paper as follows

I cannot recall anytime in Volusia County in recent years when any man displayed the reckless regard for life and property that you have been convicted of showing. You said nothing in your own defense, and your case does not seem to offer anything that would amend the sentence. As a punishment to you and as an example to others it is the judgement of the law and the sentence of the court that you be confined to the state prison for fifteen years at hard labor. (3)

As defense attorneys are paid to do, McGuire’s attorneys requested a new trial, a request denied by Judge Fish. They were however provided ninety days to present a list of exceptions for the court to consider.

When appeals of the verdict reached the Florida Supreme Court in November 1932, they were denied. A request for a rehearing was also denied, sending McGuire back to the prison at Raiford to continue his sentence.

Death of Elmer Michael

Elmer Michael returned to the DeLand police force after his recouperation though it was reported at the time that Michael never returned to his old self. In February 1942, Michael was admitted to the hospital for what was considered at the time to be a non-life-threatening situation. The local newspaper theorized that over-exertion while making an arrest for public drunkenness may have led to the hospital stay. (4)

On the morning of February 17 Michael unexpectedly passed away having served dutifully for sixteen years on the force. “Mike” as he was known to many local residents and merchants left behind his wife, son, and daughter, along with a community to honor his memory.

Funeral services for the local officer were held on February 19 at First Christian Church with the Reverend Clyde Smith officiating. The local newspaper reported hundreds in attendance at the ceremony and city hall was closed during the service. Fellow police officers served as pallbearers and the local Masonic Lodge handled the burial ceremony at Oakdale Cemetery.

One week after officer Elmer Michael was laid to rest, his son, Ralph Michael was hired by the DeLand Police Department and reported for duty on March 1, 1942.

The March 2, 1942 DeLand Sun News ran a thank you notice from the Michael family for the outpouring of love and support they had received.

Card of Thanks.

We wish to thank our many friends for the beautiful flora offerings and kid expressions of sympathy expressed at the death of our husband and father.

Mrs. E.L. Michael                                                                                                                                                Mrs. Cecil Barnes* (Virginia)
Ralph Michael

Elmer Michael Headstone
Elmer Michael Headstone located in Oakdale Cemetery, DeLand
Elmer Michael Headstone Detail
Detail of Elmer Michael’s headstone including Masonic symbol

The Monument

Some of you may be wondering how I came upon the story of Officer Elmer Michael. Well, as it is for many historians, it was by accident. Often during my lunch break at work, I take a walk, partly for exercise from my desk job, and partly to see what I can find. One day recently was one of those type days.

Elmer Michael Memorial
Elmer Michael Memorial
Elmer Michael Memorial
Elmer Michael Memorial shown facing Woodland Boulevard

I was on my way back to my office, walking along Wisconsin Avenue near Bank of America and the Courtyard by Marriott when I noticed something on the other side of the street, kind of an after thought but what looked to be a piece of concrete that was out of place. I kept walking but it gnawed at me. After a hundred feet or so I just had to go back and see what this was that was located near the hotel.

 

 

 

When I got there, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There, on the sidewalk was a memorial to Officer Elmer “Mike” Michael. The memorial itself is pretty plain and the plaque didn’t give much description but it was more than enough to spark my interest and contained enough information to send me on a newspaper chase that allowed me to write the article above.

Elmer Michael monument detail
The top plaque of the Elmer Michael monument located near the corner of Woodland Blvd. and Wisconsin Avenue

In Memory of

Elmer “Mike” Michael

Outstanding Service in the

Line of Duty for the City of DeLand

DeLand Patrolman

1926-1942

 

Detail of the Law Enforcement Memorial at Historic Courthouse showing Elmer Michael's name
Detail of the Law Enforcement Memorial at the Historic Volusia County Courthouse

 

Officer Michael’s name is also included on the Law Enforcement Memorial Volusia and Flagler Counties that is located at the Indiana Avenue entrance to the Volusia County Historic Courthouse in DeLand.

Ida Maude, the widow of Elmer, lived her remaining years in DeLand. She passed away in February 1986 at the age of 97. Survivors included daughter Virginia, son Ralph, a sister Grace Lintz, and many grand, great grand, and great, great grandchildren. (5)

*As I was researching this article and printing newspaper articles, the name Cecil Barnes struck me but I couldn’t place it immediately. I knew I had seen it before. A quick search of the multiple projects I am working on turned up his name. Not only did the Michael family lose their patriarch, Elmer, in February 1942; daughter Virginia, lost her husband, Staff Sergeant Cecil Barnes, on May 29, 1944 in fighting at Biak Island in present day Indonesia. Staff Sergeant Barnes is buried in Oakdale Cemetery, DeLand. (6)

Cecil Barnes headstone detail
Detail of the headstone for Cecil Barnes
Cecil Barnes headstone
Headstone for Cecil Barnes who was killed in action during World War II

 

 

 

 

 

 

1)DeLand Sun News. November 4, 1929.

2) DeLand Sun News. November 7, 1929.

3)DeLand Sun News. August 17, 1931.

4)DeLand Sun News. February 17, 1942.

5)DeLand Sun News. February 8, 1986.

6)DeLand Sun News. June 8, 1944.

I have not included citations to every piece of information gathered from local newspaper articles. Almost all information was gathered from the DeLand Sun News. There are multiple other articles on the crime, trial, and death outlined above.

If you are interested in law enforcement in Volusia County, you may wish to read my blog post on a mural created for retired officer Francis McBride that is located in downtown DeLand, not far from the memorial to officer Michael.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

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Law Enforcement Memorial Volusia & Flagler Counties located in DeLand, Florida

Volusia and Flagler Law Enforcement Memorial

Courthouses often serve as the home to monuments and memorials of local importance. The Historic Volusia County Courthouse, with entrances on both New York and Indiana Avenues, is no exception. Near the Indiana Avenue, entrance is the Law Enforcement Memorial Volusia and Flagler Counties.

This 3,500-pound marble monument, crafted by Gene Letter, features the names of law enforcement officers from all stripes who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The monument currently contains thirty names.

Dedicated on June 2, 1995, a day designated by Volusia County Council as Law Enforcement Memorial Day, and attended by then state Attorney General Bob Butterworth, the monument serves as reminded of the dangers that law enforcement of all types face every time them go to work.

As then Ponce Inlet Police Chief Todd Hendrickson stated, “I don’t care if your force has 3,000 members or eight like we do, it’s devastating (to lose a fellow officer).”

Over time, I will be researching the story of these officers service and will post a blog entry for them. I will then link the post through their names below. If you have memories of any of these officers, I invite you to leave a respectful comment to this post or use the “contact” function. I would be glad to include your memories in my post. 

Volusia and Flagler Law Enforcement Memorial
Volusia and Flalger Counties Law Enforcement Memorial located outside the Historic Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand

 

Sheriff Jefferson D. Kurtz                             April 25, 1895                 Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff William K. Kremer                  December 10, 1898         Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff Charles M. Kurtz                   September 3, 1907          Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Chief Deputy William P. Edwards                  November 5, 1907           Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff Frank A. Smith                      March 18, 1927               Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Perry Hall                                        August 21, 1927              Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff George Durrance                  August 25, 1927               Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Lewis Tanner                                  October 26, 1930             Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer Benny P. Stricklin                             January 23, 1931               Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer L.B. Hall                                           August 28, 1932               Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer Willie R. Denson                               April 30, 1937                   Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer Elmer L. Michael                               February 17, 1942             DeLand Police Department

Detective Harry F. Raines                             January 13, 1943                Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Trooper Edwin Gasque                                October 26, 1961               Florida Highway Patrol

Deputy Sheriff Alva Hayman                         May 8, 1974                     Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant George Tinsley                              May 7, 1979                      DeLand Police Department

Deputy Sheriff Donald Shackelford                 June 9, 1979                      Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Sam Etheridge                                 December 25, 1980             Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Deputy Sheriff Frank Genovese                     June 3, 1982                       Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Officer Greg J. Sorenson                              July 20, 1982                       Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Deputy Sheriff Stephen Saboda                   November 6, 1982                Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Timonty T. Pollard                           September 22, 1987              Ponce Inlet Police Dept.

Officer Kevin J. Fischer                                September 4, 1998               Daytona Beach Police Dept.

Deputy Sheriff Charles T. Sease                    July 5, 2003                        Flager County Sheriff’s Office

Trooper Darryl L. Haywood, Sr.                    October 2, 2004                   Florida Highway Patrol

Officer Robert F. Grim, Sr.                           November 13, 2004               Ormond Beach Police Dept.

Officer Roy L. Nelson, Jr.                             August 13, 2005                    New Smyrna Beach Police Dept.

Officer Donna Fitzgerald                             June 25, 2008                      Florida Dept. of Corrections

Captain John L. McDonough                        February 16, 2011                  Volusia County Beach Patrol

Officer Thomas Michael Coulter                  May 21, 2018                         Daytona Beach Police Dept.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

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In Memory: Lieutenant Jerry Doyle Blinded During Korean War

Any person who walks cemeteries for any length of time can tell you about
interesting finds. These finds do not always occur in the old sections or in
cemeteries deemed “historic.” The headstone of Jerry Doyle is certainly one of
those that demanded a look into the man’s life.

Jerry Doyle headstone located in Oakdale Cemetery, DeLand, FL

 

Jerry Doyle was born on September 17, 1928 to parents James V. and Nora C.
Doyle in the town of DeLand, Florida. He was the fourth of what would be ten
children. At the time, DeLand was home to around 5,000 residents.

Doyle attended local schools and graduated from DeLand High School in 1946, the
same year he registered for the draft. His 1946 draft card states he stood 5’ 8” and
weighed 135 pounds with brown hair, blue eyes, and a ruddy complexion.

Young Doyle was to attend classes at the University of Florida before receiving his
call to active duty with the rank of First Lieutenant, serving in the 40th Infantry
Division.

Major General Joseph P. Cleland led the 40th Infantry Division, often called the

Courtesy: U.S. National Guard. “The Sunshine Division in Korea.”
https://www.nationalguard.mil/Resources/Image-Gallery/HistoricalPaintings/Heritage-Series/Sunshine-Division-in-Korea/.

Sunshine Division, for much of the Korean War. The troops of the 40th were deployed to Japan in the spring of 1951 for training. In January 1952, the 40th relieved the men of the 24th Infantry Division. They were to serve during the hard fighting at Heartbreak Ridge and at the “Punchbowl” as the war came to an armistice in 1953.

Doyle served faithfully during the war. He was wounded severely in January 1953, during action around the “Punchbowl” when the jeep he was riding in was struck by enemy fire. Lt. Doyle lost his right eye, received a penetrating wound of the brain and a compound fracture of the skull because of the attack. A newspaper report of the time stated that in his present condition, Doyle was satisfactory. It was uncertain how long he would need to remain hospitalized and that he would be removed from his Tokyo hospital room to a facility in the United States as soon as practicable.

Doyle received the Purple Hear in recognition of his injuries.

The seriousness of his injuries led to a prolonged period of recovery. In mid February 1953, the army transferred Doyle back to the United States and he received further treatment at the Travis Air Base Hospital in Fairfield, CA. Later that year he was still hospitalized, receiving a short-term release from the VA Hospital in Hines, IL in order to visit his parents over the holidays.

In what must have been a proud moment, On June 1, 1954, James V. Doyle was
able to initiate his son Jerry into the Veterans of Foreign War, in a meeting held at
the Knights of Pythias Hall.

Jerry Doyle obituary photo

Despite his injuries, Jerry Doyle was to live a long and productive life. His
obituary touted his work with the American Legion, his love of family, and the joy he took in listening to University of Florida football games. In his obituary, Jerry is remembered as expressing no regret over his service or resulting blindness. Military service was what he had to do at the time.

He passed away on December 23, 2016 at the age of 88. Lt. Jerry Eugene Doyle is buried in Oakdale Cemetery, in DeLand, FL.

 

 

 

Sources:

DeLand Sun News. January 20, 1953; February 15, 1953; September 13, 1953;
November 23, 1953; May 31, 1954.

Historical Marker Database. 40th Infantry Division Korean War Memorial.

Orlando Sentinel/Legacy obituary.

U.S. Census 1930 and 1940.

U.S. Korean War Casualties Listing 1950-1957.

U.S. National Guard. “The Sunshine Division in Korea.”

U.S. World War II Draft Cards 1940-1947.

To learn more about the Korean War I recommend The Korean War written by Max Hastings or The Coldest Winter written by Douglas Brinkley. Both are a solid starting point for learning about the Korean conflict.




This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

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Anne Hyde House on the Site of the John Rich Cabin in DeLand, FL

The city of DeLand, Florida is most commonly associated with Henry A. DeLand and John B.
Stetson. They were certainly the movers and shakers that helped bring the town to life. Captain
John Rich is often overlooked in the telling of the history of DeLand. In 1875, Rich built a cabin
in the area that is now New York Avenue, near St. Peter Catholic Church.

It was at the Rich cabin where Henry and Helen DeLand spent their first night in the area in
1876. Of that night, Helen DeLand is quoted as saying that she, “slept on the floor where I could
look out at the stars and put my hand between the logs.” (1)

An image of the Rich cabin is shown in a book published by West Volusia Historical Society. (2)

Westside Settlement Associates
339 W. New York Avenue

Looking at the property today, a visitor will see a large two and one half story building built around 1905 that is home to Westside Settlement Associates. The building is well kept and the grounds manicured. The modern address is 339 W. New York Avenue.

The Florida Master Site File for the property does not provide much information. The building is in the Colonial Revival style, a style that predominated in the early twentieth century. An early resident of the home was Annie Hyde.

The building is not individually eligible for the National Register of Historic Places but is listed as a contributing structure to the West DeLand Residential District that is on the NR. (3)

 

Anne Hyde
Anne Hyde Courtesy Findagrave

Anne Elizabeth Copcutt was born January 15, 1840 in New York City to parents John and Rebecca Copcutt. The family moved to Yonkers in 1854 where John owned more than twenty-five acres. The family must have had some prominence as an obituary states that she met Washington Irving at her grandfather’s home. (4)

Anne was to marry Peter L. Hyde; a marriage that was to end in separation/divorce. The outcome is not 100% certain and records appear to be missing. What is certain is that they did not live together for many years and she is not mentioned in Peter’s obituary when he died in 1925. Peter is buried in Sanford, FL.

 

 

 

According to newspaper death notices, Anne had moved to DeLand in 1899 where she built a
home on Woodland Boulevard in 1907. This date would correspond to her living prior at the
New York Avenue property as referenced in the Florida Master Site File. Ms. Hyde passed away
at her Woodland Boulevard home March 22, 1927. Reverend Harry L. Taylor, the rector at St.
Barnabas Episcopal Church, led a local funeral service before her remains were returned for
burial at St. Johns Cemetery in Yonkers. Ms. Hyde was survived by three children; Mrs.
Gouvernor F. (Rebecca) Peek, Arthur E. Hyde, and Franklyn P. Hyde, and five grandchildren.
(5)

Please click here to find online memorials for Anne and members of her family.

As mentioned earlier, there is nothing left of the Rich cabin; an important location in DeLand
history. On site, however is a small marker designating the location of the Rich cabin and
providing a bit of background information. From the road, this small marker is probably
impossible to see. I happened to spot this on a walk during my lunch break.

John Rich Cabin marker at 339 W. New York Avenue

 

A mural, painted by artists Courtney Canova and Bob Brooks contains a depiction of the John Rich cabin. The mural is located on the northeast corner of Wisconsin and Woodland.

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1) Quoted in Michael G.Schene. Hopes, Dreams, and Promises: A History of Volusia
County, Florida. Daytona Beach: News Journal Corporation, 1976. 89.
2) Evans C. Johnson, editor. William J. Dreggors and John Stephen Hess. A Pictorial
History of West Volusia County 1870-1940. DeLand, West Volusia Historical Society,
1989. 158.
3) Florida Master Site File VO-3600.
4) Yonkers Statesman, March 23, 1927. (Courtesy Findagrave)
5) DeLand Sun News, March 23, 1927.

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Francis “Mac” McBride Mural in Downtown DeLand

Francis "Mac" McBride
Francis "Mac" McBride
Francis “Mac” McBride mural located on Rich Avenue near Woodland Boulevard

If you are standing at the corner of Woodland Boulevard and Rich Avenue next to Dick & Janes Coffe Shop be sure to take a look on the side of the building. Here, near the creepy looking stairs leading down to an empty basement storefront, you will see a mural in honor of Commander Francis “Mac” McBride.

The then 77-year-old McBride retired in 2020 after 45 years on the police force. During this time he made many friends and won the respect and admiration of downtown business owners for his community policing style. He is often remembered for his “Night Eyes” program. As a part of this program he would leave notes for business owners assuring them he had checked on their business during his shift.

 

McBride was honored during his last shift with a retirement party held at the Sanborn Activity Center. After his retirement the beloved officer moved to Alabama to be closer to family.

You may view a brief video of the mural on my YouTube channel. 

Francis Mac McBride
Detail of Mac McBride mural
Detail of Mac McBride mural
Oath of Honor as seen in the Francis “Mac” McBride mural.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in memorials to law enforcement officers, please take a look at my post about the memorial to officer Elmer Michael of the DeLand police force. This monument is located just a short distance from this mural.

 

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In Memory: Sgt. Adam Quinn

After a serious storm that tore through DeLand recently, I stopped to check on the headstone for my grandparents at Oakdale Cemetery. It was on this visit I noticed the headstone for a young man by the name of Adam Quinn. Quinn had served as a Corporal in the United States army and was posthumously promoted to Sergeant. He was only 22 when he died so I thought he could easily have been a casualty of war.

Sgt. Quinn’s military issued headstone
Photo: Robert Redd

Adam Quinn was born June 7, 1985 and was raised in Volusia County, FL. He and his family were active members in the First United Methodist Church of DeLand. In high school Quinn was a member of the Junior ROTC where his instructor, Gary Cornwell, described him as “…a good kid, always trying to do his best. He served in several different leadership roles, and he did well in all of them.”

Sgt. Adam Quinn
Photo courtesy Findagrave.com

Joining the army after graduating in 2003, Quinn completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Quinn served as an automation specialist, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC. Sergeant Quinn was killed when a car bomb detonated near a vehicle he was travelling in near Kabul, Afghanistan on October 6, 2007.

Captain Eric Von Fischer-Benzon, his company commander, said of Quinn after his death, “Quinn was extremely popular and respected by his peers and superiors alike. To him, nothing was a bother, and helping out a fellow soldier or civilian was a genuine pleasure for him.”

Quinn’s numerous awards and decorations included the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist’s Badge.

In October 2014, the DeLand American Legion Post 6 was rededicated and named American Legion Adam Quinn Post 6. Volusia County, Florida proclaimed October 5, 2014 to be Sgt. Adam Quinn Day in honor of this rededication.

If you are interested in killed in action military burials in Oakdale Cemetery, be sure to take a look at my post about William Lee Owen Brown, who perished in Vietnam.

Sources: Daytona Beach News Journal Orlando Sentinel