Thank you to Larry King (HHS 63) for contributing this image via Left McBride who sent it to me.
Henry H. Filer was a young pioneer in Dade County and he was one of the first Chairmen of the Dade County school system according to a 1925 document that I found on the internet.
Source: http://files.usgwarchives.net/fl/dade/history/1925/historic/womenide58nms.txt This is the text from the document - I'm saving it here in case the site that it is on disappears over time.
Dade County FlArchives History - Books .....Women Identified With Community Service 1925
Copyright. All rights reserved.
File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Joy Fisher http://www.genrecords.net/emailregistry/vols/00001.html#0000031 April 13, 2009, 4:58 am
Book Title: Historical Sketches And Sidelights Of Miami, Florida
WOMEN IDENTIFIED WITH COMMUNITY SERVICE
WOMEN have been identified with Miami's material and spiritual progress from
the day of its birth. As a matter of fact, a woman is responsible for the
existence of Miami as a city. If it were not for the late Mrs. Julia D. Turtle's
generous spirit and business acumen which characterized her negotiations with
the late Henry M. Flagler, relative to the extension of the Florida East Coast
Railway to what was then known as Biscayne Bay country, there would be no city
of Miami today. Unfortunately, Mrs. Tuttle died before her vision of a great
city on the shores of Biscayne Bay and the Miami River had materialized.
Women have distinguished themselves in all of Miami's civic activities of a
creative character. It is chiefly due to a small band of public-spirited women
that this city is noted for its magnificent churches and school buildings. Women
have taken the initiative in the establishment of many of Miami's public
institutions and aided in the creation of the Y.M.C.A., Y.W.C.A. and the City
The abolition of the open saloon in this city, long before the introduction
of national prohibition, is chiefly due to the efforts of a group of church
women led by one of Miami's earliest pioneers, Mrs. Edwin Nelson, who is the
organizer of the local branch of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and for
many years its honored president. She also took a leading part in the
establishment of one of Miami's first churches, namely, the Northern Methodist
church (now known as the White Temple).
The writer recalls four other women pioneers who rendered similar service to
the community in the early establishment of the Southern Methodist, Baptist and
Catholic churches, namely, Mrs. T. N. Gautier, Mrs. E. H. Padgett, Mrs. G. A.
Mills and the late Mrs. Joseph A. McDonald. The first three of this group are
still active supporters of their respective churches. Mrs. Gautier enjoys the
distinction of having operated one of the first popular boarding houses in the
city. In this connection it is gratifying to note that the longevity of Miami's
surviving pioneers is, in a large measure, due to her motherly interest in the
well-being of every one of her numerous boarders (a tribute in which her former
boarders will eagerly join). A wholesome meal in those days was more desirable
than a Flagler Street corner lot.
Another woman who has given, and is still giving, the community faithful and
consistent service, and who is noted for her social service idealism, is Mrs.
Isidor Cohen. Prior to the advent of Miami's Jewish population, Mrs. Cohen had
devoted her energies to all movements tending to the welfare of the general
community. While she is still prominently identified with general community
activities, she has, in the past few years, been preoccupied with Jewish
communal problems requiring her leadership. With a small band of Jewish women
she has succeeded in organizing several societies which are contributing to the
welfare of her co-religionists, as well as to that of the general community.
Mrs. Cohen is a loyal supporter of Miami's pioneer synagogue (Congregation Beth
David), and is superintendent of its Sunday School, without, however, detaching
herself from her former associations, which have been cemented through her long
residence in this city preceding the settlement of the present Jewish population.
Among the women who have achieved distinction in non-sectarian activities,
none deserves more credit than Mrs. Dr. A. J. Myers. This good Christian woman
has dedicated her life to the protection of animals. She is the president of the
society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
The numerous beautiful and imposing school buildings throughout Dade County,
which arrest the attention and captivate the admiration of visitors to Miami,
are the results, in a large measure, of the intensive activities of Miami's
progressive women who stimulated interest in better schoolhouses through their
successful efforts in bringing about the erection of the magnificent Central
Grammar School building in this city. This building was erected in 1911. Upon
its site formerly stood two large frame buildings, in one of which was housed
the grammar and in the other the high school. The first was removed to the south
side, and has been for some years utilized as a lower-grade school, and the
second was moved across the line of the school site, fronting on Northeast Third
Street, between Miami and First avenues, and converted into a hotel.
Credit for the substitution of a modern, fireproof building in place of the
said frame buildings is due to a group of public-spirited women, led by Mrs.
John Sewell, who had associated themselves in an organization that was known as
"The Women's School Improvement Association," with the following officers: Mrs.
John Sewell, president; Mrs. T. V. Moore, first vice-president; Mrs. J. E.
Lummus, second vice-president; Mrs. Isidor Cohen, treasurer; Mrs. Dr. Edwin
Pugh, secretary. Miss Hattie Carpenter, who was then serving her ninth year as
high-school principal, favored the segregation of the grammar and high schools
against the judgment of the said ofganization. Her idea on the subject, however,
eventually bore fruit in the form of a fine high-school building which had been
erected on Northwest Third Avenue, opposite the city park. Two additional
high-school buildings have recently been erected, one in Riverside, the other in
the northwestern section of the city, and others are being planned by the
present school board, of which one of Miami's earliest and youngest pioneers,
Henry H. Filer, is chairman. In this constructive work, the Board has the
valuable cooperation of Dade County's School Superintendent C. M. Fisher, and
Principal A. C. Alleshouse. In this connection, it should be noted that the
School Board has the whole-hearted cooperation of Miami's Kiwanis Club, in its
efforts to meet the rapidly increasing demands for school facilities, created by
the tremendous influx of new residents and winter visitors with children of
school age. The Kiwanis Club favors the increase in teachers' salaries and the
elimination of double sessions. At this writing, a Kiwanis Club committee is
assiduously engaged in solving Dade County's school problems. After much
deliberation, this committee arrived at the conclusion that no permanent
solution could be effected without a moderate increase in taxable property
valuation and a more rigid equalization.
Another group of public-spirited women, composed of the late Mrs. Dr. A.
Light Munroe, Mrs. T. V. Moore and Mrs. Clare Mullet (the latter passed out of
Miami's history some years ago), assisted by the late Rev. Dr. John N.
McGonnigle, Henry M. Flagler's spiritual adviser and intimate friend, succeeded
in securing a very valuable site, at the corner of East Flagler Street and
Second Avenue, for Miami's Women's Club and library, as a gift from Mr. Flagler
(who had also donated sites for several of the city's pioneer churches), upon
which the club erected a building through public subscription. (This valuable
property has recently been sold and a new site selected in the northeastern
section of the city, near the bay. Shortly prior to its sale an addition was
built, through the bounty of Mrs. George W. McGuire, for a children's
department.) In 1913 the club raised a considerable sum of money through the
acquisition of the plant of the Miami Herald, for one day, and the issuing of a
very creditable special edition of that paper. In this enterprise the club
members acted in the capacity of reporters, advertisement solicitors, editors,
publishers and distributors. In raising the rest of the funds valuable
assistance was given by Mrs. J. D. God-man and Mrs. C. M. Terrell.
The Women's Club, since its organization in 1900, has been closely identified
with the progress of Miami and Dade County. Its numerous achievements include
the foundation of the city's only free library, an institution that gave an
impetus to the intellectual life of the community. Its benevolent activities
include the extension of travelers' aid to friendless girls and women landing in
this city in search of employment, rescue work among the unfortunates and other
philanthropic endeavors. This club distinguished itself during the World War
through its participation in all patriotic activities in which its individual
members took leading parts. Its members were important factors in the numerous
successful drives for the benefit of Miami's two notable institutions, namely,
the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A., in many of which activities this enterprising
organization is functioning with increasing vigor and effectiveness. Among its
members are found noted essayists, lecturers, historians, music and art
connoisseurs, prominent among whom are: Mrs. Kate C. Havens, Mrs. John
Aplington, Mrs. R. M. Seymour, Mrs. Mary D. Merrit, Miss Bertha Foster, Mrs. W.
V. Little, Mrs. Clifford H. Reeder, Mrs. Geo. F. Cook, Mrs. W. M. Brown, Mrs. T.
V. Moore, Mrs. William Jennings Bryan, Mrs. Reginald Owen, Mrs. F. M. Hudson,
Mrs. H. S. Jenison, Mrs. G. C. Frissell, and Mrs. L. W. Crow, its present
president. Among the club's surviving organizers are: Mrs. E. C. McAllister,
Mrs. W. H. McIntire, Mrs. Fred. Hand, Mrs. Med. Kellum and Mrs. Dr. J. M.
Jackson. Its first four presidents were: the late Mrs. W. C. Gardner, the late
Mrs. Antoinette Fredrick, the late Mrs. A. Light Monroe, and Mrs. T. V. Moore.
This enterprising organization with the cooperation of the Daughters of the
American Revolution is at present concentrating its efforts on the preservation
of historic Fort Dallas, the old structure which survived innumerable attacks in
the Seminole wars. This impregnable structure is said to have been built in 1832.
Another group of progressive women composed of Mrs. E. B. Douglas, Mrs. Dr.
J. M. Jackson, Mrs. S. B. Dean, Mrs. J. I. Conklin, Mrs. T. V. Moore, Mrs.
Harvey Jarret, Mrs. R. V. Atkisson, the late Mrs. J. F. Chaille, Mrs. J. D.
McKenney, assisted by the Women's Business and Professional League and the
following individual workers, Miss Lulu McLendon, Miss Villona P. Cutler, Mrs.
Kenneth Ashby, Mrs. A. H. Adams, Mrs. R. Marshal Price, Mrs. Van Dern, Mrs. G.
C. Stembler, Miss Marion Manley, Miss Helen Jackson, Mrs. L. J. Pettus, Mrs. W.
M. Arrington, Miss M. Owen, Mrs. H. J. Egger, Mrs. A. E. Lewis, Mrs. S. F.
Jackson, Mrs. John Seybold and many other public-spirited women have rendered
the community invaluable service, by their active participation in the
establishment of Miami's Y.W.C.A. This institution, like its prototype the
Y.M.C.A., is non-sectarian in its administrative policiesóJews and Gentiles are
equally welcome to its hospitality.
Credit for the successful community drives is, in a large measure, due to the
group of enterprising women composed of Mrs. R. B. McLendon, Mrs. A. J. Cushman
and Mrs. D. S. Carrington, who have been directing the work of the women
volunteers from the various churches engaged in the preparation and serving of
meals, at the Y.M.C.A., to the workers in these drives and to the civic clubs
that meet weekly for the promotion of good fellowship and service to the
community. These capable women, through efficient management, have succeeded in
accumulating a considerable fond, derived from the profits of the meals, which
is applied to diverse meritorious causes (one of which is the advancement of
funds, in the form of loans without interest, to worthy boys deserving of a
Women have also been instrumental in providing this community with two other
indispensable institutions, namely, the city hospital and the day nursery. The
former is being fostered by Mrs. Mamie Terrell and other philanthropic women,
and the latter was brought into being by a group of progressive women composed
of Mrs. John Sewell, Miss Sadie Kolb, Mrs. H. J. Egger, Mrs. P. T. Skaggs, Mrs.
T. V. Moore, Mrs. Geo. McKinnon, Mrs. Isidor Cohen and other faithful community
Of Miami's organizations formed and maintained exclusively by women, the
Business and Professional Women's Club has accomplished much in advancing the
social and economic welfare of its members. This progressive club was organized
in 1916. The first board of officers was composed of the following: President,
Mrs. Marjory Stoneman Douglas; Vice-President, Mrs. Antoinette Fredrick;
Recording Secretary, Miss Virginia Price; Treasurer, Miss Effie Price;
Corresponding Secretary, Miss Laura Hauck. The organization meeting was held in
the Southern Business College under the direction of Mrs. Ray Burlingame. The
present (1925) board of officers is composed of the following: President, Miss
Hazel Sheddan; First Vice-President, Miss Mary V. Marrs; Second Vice-President,
Miss Effie Price; Recording Secretary, Miss Josephine Cleveland; Corresponding
Secretary, Miss Margarette L. Riche; and Treasurer, Miss Mertel Loy.
Its present membership is approximately one hundred. The object of the
organization is to bring its members into relations of mutual helpfulness and
cooperation by the exchange of ideas and information, to study social and
economic problems and to promote interests of business women.
In order to increase the effectiveness of the club, it affiliated, on May
12th, 1919, with the State and National Federations. Through this connection it
has been enabled to secure competent help for employers, and to provide
employment for fellow-members from sister organizations planning to remove to
Miami. Mrs. D. W. Whitman, a member of the local organization, represented the
club in forming this coalition.
The Business and Professional Women's Club has, during its career,
participated in many civic movements, including the establishment of a local
branch of the Children's Home of Florida.
HISTORICAL SKETCHES AND SIDELIGHTS OF MIAMI, FLORIDA
BY ISIDOR COHEN
Copyright, 1925, By ISIDOR COHEN, MIAMI, FLORIDA
PRINTED IN THE U. S. A.
UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, MASS.
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