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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Cloud in Osceola County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Grand Army of the Republic Building

 
 
Grand Army of the Republic Building Marker-Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 26, 2017
1. Grand Army of the Republic Building Marker-Side 1
Inscription.

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a nationwide organization founded in 1866 for Union veterans of the Civil War. The town of St. Cloud was founded in 1909 as a community for Union veterans. The L.L. Mitchell Post #34, named for the first Union veteran to die in St. Cloud, was the local GAR chapter. The post's original hall was located to the rear of this building on land donated by the Seminole Land & Investment Company in 1909. The "old hall" hosted meetings, and other civic and social events. When St. Cloud incorporated in 1911, its first officials were elected in the "old hall." As the town grew, so did GAR membership, and a larger hall was needed. Tampa architect M.W. Chessman was contracted to lead the construction. Many GAR members donated money and volunteered labor. Post secretary E.E. Scranton wrote: "A splendid GAR building has been erected for memory and in honor of the old boys of the Union Army of '62-'65 who saved the country for the generations coming after us, and saved our glorious flag, the Stars and Stripes, from dishonor or disgrace in over 2,000 battles of that great war." During its height, St. Cloud's GAR post was the largest in Florida and the second largest post in the country.
(Continued on other side)
Reverse:
(Continued from other side)
The 150'
Grand Army of the Republic Building Marker-Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 26, 2017
2. Grand Army of the Republic Building Marker-Side 2
x 50' building has three defining features. There are two panels of inscribed brick flanking the entrance that include soldiers' names and their regiments, a public auditorium on the first floor with stage and historic painted curtain, and a private assembly room on the second floor for the GAR. Military and community organizations including the Women's Relief Corps, Army and Navy Union, Sons and Daughters of Union Veterans, Chautauqua Association, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star all met in the hall. In addition, plays, movies, and graduations were presented here. In 1940, the Florida GAR held its last encampment at this site. The last Union veteran in St. Cloud died in 1943. Author Bruce Catton wrote in regard to the passing of Union veterans, "Something deeply and fundamentally American is gone forever." The hall was managed by the Masons until 1971 when it was sold to private owners. Dr. Woodrow and Cherry Everett used the top floor for the Northeast Consortium for Engineering Education Research. Dr. Everett housed many of his Civil War era artifacts in a display room designed for preservation. In 1997, the hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 2017 by St. Cloud Main Street, City of St. Cloud, Sons of Union Veterans, Dr. Woodrow & Cherry Everett, and the Florida Department
Grand Army of the Republic Building and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, December 26, 2017
3. Grand Army of the Republic Building and Marker
of State. (Marker Number F-936.)
 
Location. 28° 14.869′ N, 81° 17.073′ W. Marker is in St. Cloud, Florida, in Osceola County. Marker is at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and 11th Street, on the right when traveling north on Massachusetts Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 Massachusetts Avenue, Saint Cloud FL 34769, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans Memorial Library (within shouting distance of this marker); First National Bank/St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sugar Belt Railway/VFW Post (about 700 feet away); The Thunderstorm Project (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hamilton Disston Sugar Plantation (approx. 1.3 miles away); Osceola County (approx. 8.3 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  GAR Memorial Hall. (Submitted on January 1, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
 
Categories. Fraternal or Sororal OrganizationsSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
Grand Army of the Republic Building in 1910s with 25 veterans. image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Florida Memory
4. Grand Army of the Republic Building in 1910s with 25 veterans.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 64 times since then. Last updated on January 5, 2018, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 1, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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