This week in West Orange County history

These are the people and events that formed the foundation of West Orange County.

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85 years ago

Demonstrations of Rinso, with free soap and coupons, were given to Winter Garden housewives. Five trained and attractive young ladies were in town to demonstrate Rinso and Lifebuoy soaps.

The results of the annual election of the town of Oakland were as follows: Mayor, R.L. Smith; councilmen for two years, Harold Henschen and E.J. Hancock; town clerk and assessor, L.J. Brock. These, with councilmen who hold over for another year, C.W. Lathrop, Bert Pettit and W.C. McDaniel, constituted the governing body for the year.

Leader Department Store advertised its Easter specials. Silk dresses, sizes 14 to 52, were $2.95, $3.95 and $4.95. Hats were priced for $1, $1.49 and $1.95.


80 years ago

The town of Oakland named Dewey Vick mayor. Mrs. J.E. Clonts was named town clerk. The new councilman and councilwoman were C.M. Tucker and Mrs. Robert Rutherford.

John Arnold was given a supper party in celebration of his birthday. Those included were Robert Freeman; Donald and Billy Jarrett; Rogers and Marion Smith; Stuart Merchant; Richard Cloughley; Lester Arnold; and Mildred, Jimmy and Stanley Wyatt.


50 years ago

Windermere Rotarians and other friends gathered at Town Hall to honor Eunice Parramore with a “This is Your Life” salute. The lifetime Windermere resident was called a “living landmark.”


40 years ago

After reviewing the status of the Tri-City Airport project, the state Department of Transportation has “regretfully” concluded there is “insufficient interest and support by the local governments toward development of the airport in the immediate future.”

Clyde Roberson of Winter Garden emptied his mail sack for the last time after 33 years of service with the U.S. Post Office.



March 25, 1941

The weekly newspaper The West Orange News was published on Fridays in Winter Garden and was touted as the citrus capital (“Winter Garden is the largest shipping center for citrus fruits in the United States”) and a winter home (“Winter Garden’s Trailer City is known by Trailerites as one of the finest in the U.S.”)

The larger front-page photos typically were of national news, such as the country’s participation in World War II, with a couple smaller photos of Winter Garden residents. The March 25, 1941, issue shared news of local men headed to Camp Blanding and Parris Island, a new Rotary Club president, the week’s baseball games, who has donated to the fund to build a gymnasium at Lakeview High School and who has sponsored a child at the Winter Garden Nursery School, and a radio revival at the Baptist church.



Honoring Women’s History Month — Mary V. Tanner (1903-2000) was honored by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation as a Pioneer Businesswoman in a 1999 exhibit at Tanner Hall. (City Clerk E.M. Tanner was her husband.) She moved with her parents to Winter Garden from Andalusia, Alabama, in 1924. The Britt Fruit Company was one of the many businesses where Mary Tanner worked as secretary and bookkeeper. The Tanners invested in citrus groves, and she eventually became a real estate broker and property developer. She also served as historian for First United Methodist Church of Winter Garden, where she compiled and published a history of the church; in 1992, Mary Tanner was named Disciple of the Year thanks to her dedication. Her largesse extended to donating property for the establishment the West Orange YMCA.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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