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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, COUNTY AGENT AND FLORIDA ADVERTISEMENT

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IN THE BEGINNING  By:  Robert A. Fisk

The August 9th 1923 issue of the St. Cloud Tribune carried the usual Chamber of Commerce report: “CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BOOSTS GROWERS: PARK WORK CONTINUES TO PROGRESS”

“…This was followed by a talk by Mr. C. N. McMullen, who has been spending some time in the northern states. He says that he boosted St. Cloud everywhere he went, and that he had many inquiries relative to this place.  People used to want to go West but now they want to come South and they are coming South and St. Cloud must be prepared to receive more visitors the coming season than ever before.

Mr. McMullen stated that he had been asked to secure information relative to the establishment of a porcelain factory in this locality. He said that the factories in the North are forced to have all their material shipped in from the Southern States, and that they now desire to establish a factory closer to the source of raw material. A committee was appointed to investigate the matter and see what inducement could be offered toward securing one of these factories in this city.

The report of the work in the city park was made by Rev. Landiss and showed that the largest number of workers on the job at one time was on hand last Thursday afternoon. The two croquet courts have been completed and are ready for use. Work is now being pushed on the tennis court and will no doubt be completed in the very near future. Every citizen should take as active interest in the preparation of a tourist playground and if possible be on hand every Thursday afternoon to help the work along it is hoped that the park will be ready for the tourists within the next two or three months, as it will be a big inducement to many of our tourists to return again. Report in full printed elsewhere in this issue.

The band committee reported that a meeting was to be held Wednesday evening and urged all members to be present and to assist in the re-organization of the band.

“Rev. Landiss reported that a meeting of the growers Association is to be held at Center Park tonight and urged as many as possible to be present. The growers of that section are very much interested in the association and a good meeting is anticipated. He stated that the present outlook, in spite of the heavy rain and high water, is very good and that there is more talk of truck growing in this vicinity than ever before. Several new families have moved into this section recently with the idea of going into the trucking business, and altogether the outlook is very encouraging.

President Parker brought, out the point that people should be encouraged to plant smaller tracts stating that a small home garden, especially strawberries, could be planted with very little effort and could more than repay for the time and trouble expended

“The matter of helping the unemployed men of the city was taken up and discussed, with the result that the Chamber of Commerce went on record as willing to lend every aid possible toward getting the unemployed and the employer together. A list of names of men and boys who would be glad of employment whether for an hour or a week, is on hand and any one desiring help should get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce.

The question of the advisability of the business men of the town forming a local credit association was brought up and discussed. It seems that there is some need of such an organization for the protection of the local merchants against people who run accounts for several years without any effort to settle same. The matter was discussed at length but no definite action taken…”

Talk about the “movers and shakers” of the city.  How about the Chamber of Commerce members of St. Cloud?  The Chamber was betting on the growth of the city and promised to help it along.

In the August 16, 1923 issue of the St. Cloud Tribune we find the weekly report of the Chamber of Commerce: “CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LUNCHEON GROWING IN INTEREST AND ATTENDANCE EACH WEEK”

“Each week sees the attendance at the weekly luncheon of the Chamber of Commerce increase since many members who have been on northern trips are returning home and many new matters of business are being presented…

…After the reading of the minutes of the previous session, some interesting letters were read and some report made by committees. One letter of general interest was from L. U. Zimmerman, of the advertising committee, who with his wife is spending a vacation in Pennsylvania. They are enjoying their stay, doing some good boosting for St. Cloud and predict a big season here next winter and wind up with greeting to the members of the Chamber of Commerce and the statement ‘that they will be glad to get back home.’

A letter from a special committee of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of the State of Florida, was read, asking that if St. Cloud desired to bid for locating the new odd Fellows Home in this section, such proposition should be presented to the committee at an early date. This matter was referred to the Board of Governors to confer with the local members of the Odd Fellow Lodge and see what could be done.

A proposition from Comrades Severn and Clark that they would do some advertising at the next G. A. R. encampment was referred to a committee composed of Colvin Parker, Sam Brammar, and M. P. McGill. The proposition was to have a drum corps at the reunion with St. Cloud banners and distribute St. Cloud folders.

The importance of having the place of Mr. L. H. Walson filled as county agriculture agent, was brought out at the meeting by Mr. Sam Brammar and after his remarks a committee of Messrs McMullen, C. Parker and Sam Brammar were appointed to confer with the county commissioners at their next regular session.”

And in that same issue we find: “RESOLUTIONS URGE KEEPING WILSON AS COUNTY AGENT”

“WHEREAS, It has come to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce of Kissimmee, Florida, that Dr. Wilmon Newell, Director of Commerce Extension Service, Gainesville, Florida, has requested that Mr. Leo H. Wilson, County Agent of Osceola County, Florida tender his resignation as such Agent to take effect September 1st, 1923, in order that he may be appointed as County Agent for Lake County, Florida, to succeed Mr. DeBusk, present County Agent of Lake County, Florida, who has been appointed as the Agriculture Department as Instructor of Citrus extension work for the State, and,

WHEREAS, the said Leo H. Wilson has been County Agent for Osceola County for the past four years and has most successfully and consistently performed the duties of his office to the satisfaction of the residents and citizens of the County, and,

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Body that the resignation of Mr. Wilson will be a very serious loss to the industries of the county, especially at this time when certain new industries, such as strawberry industry which he has largely fathered, are just coming to the front, and,

WHEREAS, It is further the sense of this Body that every effort should be made to retain Mr. Wilson as County Agent for this county for the reasons aforesaid.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Chamber of Commerce of Kissimmee, Osceola County, Florida that the said Mr. Leo H. Wilson and the said Dr. Wilmon Newell be petitioned to reconsider the matter of the proposed resignation and that Mr. Wilson be further asked to remain at his present post where he is now so useful and from which he cannot properly be spared,

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the County Commissioners of Osceola County Florida, be petitioned to take such steps as may be necessary to make it possible for Mr. Wilson to remain in his present position without sacrifice,

FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED that separate copies of this petition be delivered to Mr. Leo H. Wilson, Dr. Wilmon Newell and to the County Commissioners of Osceola County, Florida, and a copy of such petition be published in the Kissimmee Valley Gazette in order that the attention of the residents of the County maybe called to the contemplated change.

This the 8th day of August, A. D. 1923.

CARSON FARMER. Pres. A. J. BURROWS, Secy.”

Advertising is done in many ways as can be seen in the following article in that same issue:

“The golden hued special hats with FLORIDA hat bands worn by the Florida Realtors at the national convention in Cleveland this year, which resulted in favorable publicity from all section of the country, are being recommended by the Florida Realtors Association and the Florida Development Board to other organizations for use at national conventions.

The executive committee of the American Legion, Department of Florida, recommended use of the hat at their national convention in San Francisco next October. It is equally suitable for use by men and women, and is made in Florida.”

Along with this, the Florida Funeral Directors Association for many years wore orange jackets and dark blue trousers for conventions. At our 100th Convention in Tallahassee we got some mean looks from all of the F.S.U. students and alumni because the Florida Gators colors are orange and blue!