“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sanford in Seminole County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Historical Figures

Sanford est. 1877

Historical Figures Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, August 7, 2021
1. Historical Figures Marker
The Georgetown community has been shaped by active and engaged citizens for more than a century. Through their contributions they have made a profound and lasting impact on the city. Some notable figures included doctors, educators, authors, architects, and business leaders.

Dr. George H. Starke (1998-1978) was a well-respected physician and surgeon who practiced in Sanford for over 50 years. Dr. Starke never demanded money for his services and never refused to provide treatment for a person regardless of race or ability to pay. It was not uncommon for him to receive payment in the form of livestock, vegetables, or other food items. He was the first African American doctor to be accepted as a member of the Seminole County Medical Society and the Florida Medical Association.

Professor Joseph Nathaniel Crooms (1880-1957) was an educator who became the principal of Hopper Academy in 1906. Hopper Academy was the first school for African Americans in Sanford. In 1926 his family donated land for construction of a new, "modern" school in the Goldsboro neighborhood. J.N. Crooms served as Principal there
Historical Figures Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, August 7, 2021
2. Historical Figures Marker
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until 1953. His wife, Wealthy Mable Crooms (1884-1982), worked alondside him at the academy as assistant Principal.

Marie Jones Francis (1907-1988) was a licensed midwife who delivered over 40,000 babies in her 32 career. In 1942 she joined her aging mother Corrie Jones, in practice. Together they owned and operated the “Jones/Francis Maternity Hall” at621E. 6th Street, the former home of Reverend John Hurston. The house served as a maternity ward and school, where Ms. Francis taught nurses how to deliver infants naturally. She worked closely with Dr. George H. Starke, who provided assistance when a mother was experiencing complications.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was an American folklorist, anthropologist, and author. She wrote her first novel, Jonah’s Gourd Vine, while living in Georgetown. Her father, the Reverend John Hurston, was the pastor of Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church on Orange Avenue. He provided some of the inspiration for the main character in her novel, who was also a Zion Hope pastor named John.
Erected by City of Sanford.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEducationScience & Medicine. A significant historical year for this entry is 1877.
Location. 28° 48.509′ 
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N, 81° 15.896′ W. Marker is in Sanford, Florida, in Seminole County. Marker is on Sanford Avenue just south of East 4th Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 416 Sanford Ave, Sanford FL 32771, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sanford Avenue (within shouting distance of this marker); Businesses (within shouting distance of this marker); Vanished Sanford (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Georgetown (about 600 feet away); Sanford Est. 1877 (about 700 feet away); Sanford & Tucker (approx. 0.2 miles away); The E. E. Brady Livery Stable (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Imperial Opera House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sanford.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 8, 2021, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 127 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 8, 2021, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jan. 27, 2023