Bunnell Institute a Great Success
THE ST. AUGUSTINE EVENING RECORD
St. Augustine, Florida
Friday, September 19, 1913
BUNNELL INSTITUTE A GREAT SUCCESS
OVER THREE HUNDRED FARMERS GATHER TO HEAR THE ADDRESSES
Mayor Heath Turned Over Town Keys to Visitors and “Twas a Gala Holiday – Baseball Game Followed Discussion on Farming | Bunnell, Fla., Sept. 19
Precisely at ten o’clock Tuesday the farmers assembled at the academy on Church street, about 300 strong, were they held the first farmer’s institute ever held in this county. At 10:15 President W. M. McCloud called the meeting to order, announced the program for the day and introduced Mayor Heath of Bunnell, who delivered the following welcoming address:
“Ladies and Gentlemen – It affords me great pleasure indeed to meet with you on this occasion – being the first farmer’s institute ever held in this end of the county, and I am indeed proud to have the honor of welcoming you to the biggest little city in the State – Bunnell.
I am proud of this for several reasons. First, because I think this is something that we are badly in need of. Second, I think, in fact I know, that the majority of our farmers need lining up on progressive and intensive farming. Third, because if there is any call of people that lies nearer my heart than another, it is the farming class. I am indeed glad to see so many of you present and in behalf of the citizens of Bunnell I wish to extend to you, one and all, a sincere and hearty welcome.
We want you to make yourselves perfectly at home. The committee of arrangements have spared neither pains nor money in arranging for your comfort and pleasure and we want you to take advantage of this and enjoy the day.
Those of you who are interested in farming and agriculture will be entertained by the two gentlemen who will follow me.
Those of you who would enjoy a ball game, they have arranged for a nice game for your benefit on the ball ground in the southern part of the city and the game will be called at 3 o’clock.
Those of you who enjoy tripping the ‘light fantastic’ have been remembered also as they have arranged for a nice up-to-date dance at the town hall in the Tribune building, where you can enjoy everything in that line from a ‘turkey trot’ down to an old fashioned “square.’
Those of you who are more religiously inclined and would prefer listening to the sweet songs of Zion and are striving to attain that purity of heart which is so essentially necessary to gaining admission into that house ‘not made with hands, eternal and in the heavens,’ they have remembered you also and there will be services at the First Methodist church, just across the street, at 7:30, where you will receive a warm and hearty welcome. No collections will be taken.
And now to you gentleman, I wish to extend the glad hand and welcoming smile in behalf of the citizens of Bunnell and bid you God-speed in the noble work in which you are engaged, and wish to advise you that the executive depart of the city have issued orders to the chief of police to be both deaf and blind to all of your shortcomings so far as common-sense and decency would permit.
The speed limit has been entirely eliminated for the day, so you can go as fast and as far as you like. To further assure you of the very high appreciation of you visit to our town as representatives of the farmers’ institute, I now deliver us to you the keys of the city. These shall be your shibboleth and will pass you into our stores, offices, counting rooms, banks, school houses, churches and even into the sacred domain of our private homes, where you will ever be as welcome as the flowers of May.”
President McCloud then introduced Col. A. P. Spencer of Gainesville, who is connected with the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, in the extension department. Mr. Spencer’s theme was the handling of the soil in this portion of the State, which he handled in a fluent and sensible talk about One hour, which the audience seemed to appreciate very much. Prof. J. B. Watson, entomologist of the Florida Experimental Station at Gainesville, was then introduced and entertained his hearers for nearly an hour on insects, such as enemies to plant life His very sensible and reasonable talk was conclusive proof that he knew what he was talking about.
A few taps of the academy bell announced the dinner hour, when the large audience filed out of the academy and repaired to the nice little grove near by where they were well “fed and watered,” after which they returned to the academy where they were further entertained by Messrs. Watson and Spencer for several hours.
Then came the ball game, which was well played and very exciting, between Espanola and Bunnell, the official count standing 11 to 4 in favor of Bunnell. This is the first of a series of five fames which these two teams propose to play to decide who shall be entitled to the championship.
Then came the dance at 7:30 o’clock in the evening, which was well patronized and large delegations being present from Dupont, St. Johns Park and Espanola. Music was furnished for the entire program both day and night by the Bunnell orchestra, whose inspiring, uplifting and soul stirring melodies were very much appreciated and complimented by both guests and homefolks. The day was a successful and joyous one in every particular.
Chief McKnight upon being interviewed make the following statement; “I have never seen a more orderly crowd. Everyone seemed to be on their good behavior. The absence of booze was noticeable. Everybody was sober and in good humor. No law was broken and no ordinance even fractured.”
Transcribed from micro-film on file at the St. Augustine Historical Society for the Flagler County Historical Society by Sisco Deen on 21 Dec 2012