IN THE BEGINNING,  By:  Robert A. Fisk

This column has written much on roads and in the November 22, 1923 St. Cloud Tribune we find:  “WOULD BUILD NEW ROAD TO ORANGE COUNTY LINE”

“The Narcoossee Board of Trade, at its regular meeting passed a resolution asking an election be held in this Commissioner’s District to issue bonds in sufficient amount to construct a hard surface road from Narcoossee to the Orange County line and also to clay certain roads in that section leading from the proposed hard surfaced road to the orange groves a short distance east and northeast of Narcoossee.

This hard surfaced road would “result in the thousands of cars passing over it on account of saving time, wear of cars and gasoline, to say nothing of the fact that it will traverse as fine a section of country as can be found, the soil for miles each side of the proposed route being particularly adapted to the successful growing of citrus fruit and character of field crops or vegetables, as well as running for several miles along the shores of one of the largest and most picturesque lakes in Florida.  Narcoossee would come into one of the principal cities of inland Florida, for it is blessed by nature with every advantage in the way of perfect health conditions as can be found in the state and climate unsurpassed, being practically immune from frost, because of its location on the east shore of a body of water nine miles long in its length and seven miles wide.”

The editors of the paper and the Board of Trade (similar to the Chamber of Commerce) waxed eloquent in their papers and stories. The reader must remember that the road from Ashton to Narcoossee had been some time in its completion.

Speaking of roads, the Melbourne road was started in 1915 and in 1923 there still was not a bridge at the St. Johns River. The logging train of the Hopkins (now Kemfer) Logging Co. in Deer Park was still transporting the autos on flat cars across the river for 25¢.

The Ford Motor Company Dealer had an ad in the Tribune with a picture of a Ford stating the price of a “New Tudor Sedan was $590, F.O.B. Detroit, fully equipped and a couple of weeks later an ad for a Ford or Sedan for $685, F.O.B. Detroit, fully equipped, and a Touring Sedan at $295, F.O.B. Detroit. Boy!!

Once again there is going to be a discussion on the charter and this is only the third time in 14 years: “TO HOLD MASS MEETING ON JANUARY 16, 1923 AT G. A.R.”

“Wednesday January 16, 1924, a mass meeting is to be held at the G.A.R. Hall, when plans to amend the local charter to permit ladies to serve on the city council without having to be Street Boss and Sanitary Inspectors, etc, will be taken up and discussed.

Under the present charter of St. Cloud, every member of the city council holds some position herewith. The city clerk keeps books and collects taxes, as a member of the council. The tax assessor and auditor is a member of the council. The street gang boss (street commissioner) sits on the council. The treasurer is a councilman and the man that keeps the city clean is also one of the local lawmakers.

It was pointed out that this situation brings out many difficult propositions. Business men who are competent to sit as councilmen and lawmakers for the city, cannot afford, and will not serve in any of the dual capacities required under our charter laws. When the charter was made it was probably just what we needed and an advance step, but the city has grown so that now we would get good businessmen to direct the affairs of the city that will not think of taking some of the places and working with a street crew or sanitary wagon or even keeping books as clerk.

According to the discussions heard by the Tribune reporter the plan is to have a commission form of government. A legislative and executive to make and enforce the laws, with power to employ men to do the jobs required in the different city departments.

One of the main questions is that under the present charter women will not stand for any place of the council, as they do not desire to take up these jobs of city workmen any more than do many of the businessmen.

So far those who have served the city have done so in sacrificing their business interests, because of the conditions imposed on them when they accept a city place.

With the changes proposed, a commission to make and enforce the laws it is thought prominent women will enter the political arena and be candidates for the several city offices.

The change desired must be by the citizens, a plan of change adopted and submitted to the next session of the legislature, and with this idea in view, Dr. F. F. H. Pope and others on a public committee have called a mass meeting to be held in the G.A.R. Hall on Wednesday afternoon January 16. at 2:30 o’clock.”

Well. The city was growing and the changes were necessary as it was no longer a case of possible candidates being retired veterans, but businessmen. Another part of this discussion I’m certain that the readers notice is that in 1918 the council voted in Woman’s Suffrage upon the request of the Woman’s Improvement Club without any hesitation and now the council was asking for the right of the ladies to run for office in the city.  I do not know if there had been any lobbying in the homes or not, but needless to say the men were not anti-ladies.

This column has mentioned several times about the lack of knowledge about the road from Kissimmee to St. Cloud before they built Neptune.  One time Mr. W. B. Makinsom was asked how to get to Narcoossee and he said; “From Kissimmee turn east and follow the road around the edge of the marsh and follow the bottles and he will find Narcoossee.”  I assume that he was referring to the Englishmen’s love of the alcoholic beverages. This item was from Minnie Moore-Willson book:

We do not realize the new road to Melbourne had on the everyday life of the Central Florida until we read the following announcement in the St. Cloud Tribune on December 6, 1923:  “REAL ESTATE LAW TO BE STRICTLY ENFORCED”

“Information has been received that efforts are to be made to strictly enforce the new Florida real estate law, which refers to qualifications and character of real estate agents and prohibits curbstone real estate dealers doing business in the state.

The new law requires the applicant for a state license to give two character references and also makes it compulsory for anyone dealing in or trying to sell real property to have a permanent place of business where a real estate office is conducted.”