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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Kathleen in Polk County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Socrum

 
 
Socrum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, May 19, 2017
1. Socrum Marker
Inscription.  Settlers from Georgia and the Carolinas began arriving in the Socrum area in the 1840s, before the creation of Polk County in 1861. In August 1851, preaching with baptism was offered at Wm. T. Rushing's homestead at Indian Pond, named for Seminole Indians who inhabited this site. The population grew, drawn by the fertile land and encouraged by federal lands legislation. Religious services, offered by circuit-riding preachers, sustained the spiritual and social foundation of the area. In February 1854, the Hillsborough County Commission approved formation of the "Soak-rum" school house. The first marked internment in the Socrum Cemetery occurred in January, 1856. On October 24, 1863, the congregation at Indian Pond was formally recognized as Bethel Baptist Church with 19 members. Cattle raising, sugar cane, citrus, strawberries and other row crops reached prominence by the 1880s. In January 1907, a Post Office was established. The red brick church building was constructed in 1927-29, the third sanctuary on this site. In 1951, the 100-year practice of baptisms in Indian Pond ended, when a formal baptistery was added. The adjacent fourth sanctuary
The Third Bethel Baptist Sanctuary image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, May 19, 2017
2. The Third Bethel Baptist Sanctuary
As described on the Marker. Completed in 1929.
was completed in 2006.
 
Erected 2017 by Polk County Historical Commission, Bethel Baptist Church, Kathleen Area Historical Society, Friends of Socrum. (Marker Number PCHC-021.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 28° 9.916′ N, 82° 0.645′ W. Marker is near Kathleen, Florida, in Polk County. Marker is at the intersection of West Socrum Loop Road and North Campbell Road, on the right when traveling north on West Socrum Loop Road. The marker is just inside the south entrance to the Bethel Baptist Church. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3125 W Socrum Loop Rd, Lakeland FL 33810, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Carpenters' Home (approx. 5.3 miles away); Lodwick School of Aeronautics (approx. 7.4 miles away); Site of the Camp of The 10th Cavalry, The “Buffalo Soldiers” (approx. 8.7 miles away); Munn Park Historic District (approx. 9 miles away); Munn Park (approx. 9 miles away); Polk Theatre and Office Building (approx. 9 miles away); Polk County Confederate Monument (approx. 9.1 miles away); ‘Mute Swan Protecting Her Cygnets’ (approx. 9.1 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
Socrum Marker and Prayer Garden image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, May 19, 2017
3. Socrum Marker and Prayer Garden
Looking North.
 Kathleen Area Historical Society. For more information on Socrum (Submitted on May 27, 2017, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida.) 
 
J.T. Rushing. First Internment at the Socrum Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, May 19, 2017
4. J.T. Rushing. First Internment at the Socrum Cemetery
William Tillman Rushing 1805-1857. Theopolis Hardy Rushing Sr. 1836-1863. John T. Rushing 1838-1856. Wm. T. Rushing (mentioned on marker) was the Father of T.H. and J.T. Rushing. John was the first interred here and his Father was second. T.H. Rushing died of disease in hospital in Knoxville, TN during the Civil War.
Indian Pond image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, May 19, 2017
5. Indian Pond
Plaque honoring the designer of the Prayer Garden image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, May 19, 2017
6. Plaque honoring the designer of the Prayer Garden
Prayer Garden
Levi Yerkey
Eagle Scout Troop #514
2017
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 4, 2018. It was originally submitted on May 27, 2017, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. This page has been viewed 617 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on June 2, 2017, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 27, 2017, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 24, 2021