Historical Markers

Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Madison





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Madison

CAPTAIN RICHARD G. BRADFORD
Location:SW corner of Range & Basin Streets, in front of Co
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: Captain Richard G. Bradford of Madison was killed October 9, 1861, during the Battle of Santa Rosa Island. This battle was fought in an attempt to capture Fort Pickens which protected Pensacola Harbor. Bradford was the first Confederate officer from Florida to die in the War Between the States. In his honor the Legislature voted to change the name of New River County to Bradford County. Gov. John Milton signed the law December 6, 1861.
PIONEER HICKSTOWN BAPTIST CHURCH - FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF MADISON
Location:On Base St. between Orange and Meeting St.
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: Begun here for God's glory in 1835, the church was named Madison Baptist Church in 1854 and received its present name in 1922. Founders were Abraham Moseley and R.J. Mays. Early pastors were B. Fiddler, W.B. Cooper, H.Z. Ardis, and first deacon Elisha Smith. The Florida Baptist Convention formed the State Board of Missions here December, 1880. Members were S.B.Thomas, Sr., J.M. Beggs, B.F. Wardlaw, C.W. Stephens, J.F.B. Mays, W.W. Hall, C.V. Waugh, T.E. Langley and W.N. Chaudoin.
Sponsors: The First Baptist Church of Madison in Cooperation with Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation
THE FOUR FREEDOMS MONUMENT
Location:Four Freedoms Park, Corner of Base & Range St.
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: The Four Freedoms were stated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his Annual Message to Congress, January 6, 1941. Freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear everywhere in the world, became the ideals of American policy. The memorial, symbolizing these aspirations of mankind, was designed by Walter Russell, given by Women's National Institute, and dedicated to the memory of World War II hero, Captain Colin P. Kelly, Jr., June 14, 1944.
Sponsors: Madison County Memorial Post No. 68, The American Legion in Cooperation with Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation
ST. JOHNS SEMINARY OF LEARNING
Location:202 North Duval Street.
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: Madison Lodge Number 11, F.& A.M. founded the St. Johns Seminary of Learning on the southwest corner of this block in 1850. This institution became the basis for Madison High School in 1886. W.B. Cates established the Florida Normal Institute here as part of Madison High School in 1907. The building adjacent to this marker was the dormitory of the Florida Normal Institute. The Institute trained many teachers for all of Florida before closing in 1927.
Sponsors: Madison Lodge Number 11, Free and Accepted Masons in Cooperation with Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation
THE FLORIDA MANUFACTURING COMPANY - world's largest sea island cotton processing plant
Location:900 South Range Street.
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: Captain John L. Inglis began in this area The Florida Manufacturing Company in 1874. This plant ginned as many as ten thousand bales of Sea Island Long Staple Cotton in one year. The thread was widely used for general purposes and making English broadcloth. The plant was acquired by J.& P. Coats in 1890. The compression of seed was added later to ginning and baling of cotton. Activities ended with the coming of the Mexican Boll Weevil in 1916. This warehouse is the only remaining building of the manufacturing complex.
Sponsors: Coats & Clark Inc. in Cooperation with Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation
THE TOWN OF GREENVILLE (frontier sandy ford)
Location:one block south of U.S. 90 in front of Baptist Chu
County: Madison
City: Greenville
Description: Begun as Sandy Ford, 1850, Samuel Williams was the first postmaster in 1854. Called Station 5 on the Pensacola-Georgia R.R., the name Greenville, for Greenville, S.C., came in the 1860's. Elijah Hays helped its expansion after 1876. Incorporated in 1907, W.D. Griffin was the first mayor. An orange producing center prior to 1895, its chief supports now are timber, cattle, and flue-cured tobacco.
Sponsors: The Town Council of Greenville in Cooperation with Department of State, Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties
MADISON OAK RIDGE CEMETERY
Location:601 N.W. Washington Street.
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: An early community cemetery, Oak Ridge presents a profile of North Florida history. Located on approximately eleven acres, the cemetery was established on land donated by two pioneer citizens. Buried here are : William Archer Hammerly, Master Builder; Angus Paterson, former mayor of Madison and delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1885; Cary Augustus Hardee, Governor of Florida; Colin P. Kelly, Jr., World War II hero; and 31 Confederate Soldiers killed at the Battle of Olustee.
Sponsors: T.J. Beggs, Jr., and Sons in Cooperation with Department of State, Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties
CITY OF MADISON - frontier newtown or madison courthouse
Location:South Rutledge at South Horry on City Hall grounds
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: Madison was founded on land secured from Madison C. Livingston, May 2, 1838, and established as the county seat after its removal from San Pedro. An early political center, it was along the escape route of Confederate Secretary of War John C. Breckenridge in 1865. The town played a prominent role in the development of tobacco, livestock raising, and conservation in North Florida. Home of the North Florida Junior College, the area's economy is based on agriculture and industry.
Sponsors: The Madison City Commission in Cooperation with Department of State
THE WARDLAW-SMITH HOUSE
Location:U.S. 90 (Base and Washington Streets).
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: The Wardlaw-Smith House was erected in the early 1860's for Benjamin F. Wardlaw, a prominent local citizen. Following the Civil War Battle of Olustee in February, 1864, it served as a Confederate hospital. This fine example of Greek Revival architecture was acquired in 1871 by Chandler Holmes Smith in whose family it remained for a century. The architectural significance of the Wardlaw-Smith House has been recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey and it is listed in the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.
Sponsors: The Madison Rotary Club in Cooperation with Department of State
DREW MANSION SITE / THE TOWN OF ELLAVILLE
Location:Vicinity of Suwannee River State Park on U.S. 90,
County: Madison
City: near Ellaville
Description: Side 1: Located approximately one-half mile to the northwest is the site of the Drew Mansion, home of George F. Drew, Governor of Florida during the difficult period of readjustment following Civil War Reconstruction, 1877-1881. Built in the late 1860's, the two story mansion with it's beautiful color-matched oak parquet floors was surrounded by formal gardens and was one of the first homes in the area to have modern facilities. This once elegant landmark of Florida's past was destroyed by fire in 1970. Side 2: Closely related to the career of Governor George F. Drew was the sawmill and manufacturing complex of Ellaville, established by Drew in the mid-1860's. The present Route 90 led through this town of several hundred people. The ruins of the sawmill are on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River near its confluence with the Suwannee. Ellaville flourished as long as Yellow Pine lasted. It declined after 1900 and ceased to exist when the Post Office closed in 1942.
Sponsors: The Family of Robert L. Millinor in Cooperation with Department of State
JOHN C. McGEHEE
Location:C.R. 158 southwest of Madison in the Oakland Cemetary
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: Migrating from South Carolina, John Charles McGehee settled in this area of Madison County in the early 1830's. Shortly after his arrival, McGehee began acquiring property. By the outbreak of the Civil War his holdings consisted of nearly three thousand acres. In addition to his agricultural interests, McGehee was a shareholder in the Union Bank of Tallahassee. In 1838 McGehee was appointed to the St. Joseph Convention which drafted Florida's first Constitution. McGehee was nominated to serve as Judge of the Court of Madison County in 1841. As a wealthy slave owner, McGehee became involved in the Southern Rights Association, an organization which opposed federal interference with the rights of the States. A fervent secessionist, McGehee was elected permanent chairman of the Secession Convention which voted 62 to 7 to take Florida out of the Union. After the Civil War, McGehee was involved in railroad construction until his death in 1881. Judge McGehee was buried in the Oakland Cemetery located near the site of this marker.
Sponsors: Sponsored by madison county historical society in cooperation with department of state
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 1898 SANCTUARY
Location:Orange & Pickney Streets.
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: This structure represents an adaptation of the Queen Anne style of architecture to local ecclesiastical needs and traditional building materials. Both the stimulus for constructing a new sanctuary and the idea for its basic design are attributed to the Reverend Stephen Crockett, an Englishman who served as pastor at the time. Crockett's design is unusual for the time and place; however, its most unusual facet remains hidden until the visitor enters: the interior plan is octagonal. The sanctuary was moved to this location in 1956. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Sponsors: sponsored by first baptist church, madison, florida in cooperation with department of state
DIAL-GOZA HOUSE
Location:105 NE. Marion St.
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: This late Victorian mansion was built c. 1880 for Major William H. Dial (1830-1905), a Confederate veteran of the Civil War. Dial was a surveyor who moved from South Carolina to Madison, Florida in the 1850s. This house is one of the finest examples of the Italianate style in north Florida. The building features bay windows, a roof cupola and an unusual bow porch on the main facade. It is lavishly decorated with bracketed cornices, window pediments and other distinctive late 19th century millwork. The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Sponsors: Florida Department of State
RAY CHARLES CHILDHOOD HOME
Location:443 SW Ray Charles Avenue
County: Madison
City: Greenville
Description: This house is a reconstruction of the home where musician Ray Charles (1930-2004) lived with his mother, Aretha Williams, and adopted grandmother, Margaret "Muh" Robinson. Shortly after his birth in 1930 until about the age of five. "RC," as Ray was known by his friends, recieved his first piano instruction from Wiley Pitman, owner of the nearby Red Wing Cafe. Ray and his mother later moved into a small house behind the cafe. At age seven, Ray's sight failed and he was sent to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augestine. The modest wood frame vernacular house he grew up in was probably constructed in the 1920s. It had no electricity or indoor plumbing. Meals were prepared on a wood-burning stove. A fireplace in one of the four small rooms provided warmth, and open windows and doors allowed breezes to cool the house. Because of advanced deterioration, the abandoned house was scheduled for demolition. In 2006, the Town of Greenville purchased the structure to preserve the memory of Ray Charles. With a grant for the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation, the Town completed the reconstruction of the house in 2008.
Sponsors: The Town of Greenville and the Florida Department of State
SUWANNEE RIVER JUNIOR COLLEGE
Location:CR-350A between SW atwater Dr. and SW. Christmas Tree Dr.
County: Madison
City: Madison
Description: Florida's modern commuinty college system partially owes it development to a statewide system of 12 all-black junior colleges that developed a parallel to a system of white junior colleges during the era of segeration. These institutions were very important for a generation of black Floridians whose access to higher education was limited because of segeration and economic hurdles. Established in 1959, Suwannee River Junior College (SRJC) provided the black residents of north florida and south Georgia with post-secondary level educational and cultural enrichment opportunities. Like most other black community college insitutions founded in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the college had a short life span, lasting only seven years. The Suwannee River Junior College is the first college of any in Florida to have a female president. Jenyethel Merritt, a fixture in the local educational establishment, served as president of SRJC for five of the college's seven years. The college closed its doors in 1966, merging with formerly all-white North Florida Junior College.
Sponsors: Madison County Board of Commissioners and The Florida Department of State