Topic: The Oral History Program
In 1971 Hatabel Hyer started recording the history of our community and began the Oral History Program.
The Oral History Program
In the early 1970s Hatabel Hyer (a member of one of Orlando’s oldest families) was interested in recording the history of our community and, taking a portable recorder into the homes of older residents to record their stories, she created the Pioneeer Party Line. The interest spread among the members of the Friends of the Orlando Public Library, who took on the project and it became the Oral History Program. Between 1975 and 1978, 144 tapes were recorded of eighty four interviews with Orlandoans, including T.G. Lee (the dairy owner) and Harry P. Leu (of Leu Gardens.)
We are pleased to be able to share these recordings with you. The original cassettes are now a part of the Orange County Regional History Center’s collections, along with transcripts of the recordings. Please visit the history center’s Joseph L. Brechner Research Center to further your research of an Orlando memory.
Erna Achenbach founded and operated one of the earliest and longest running pre-schools in central Florida.
May Hartmyer Allen tells us about life in Taft, Florida back in 1912.
Martin Andersen An interview with the publisher of the Orlando Sentinel and his wife, Gracia Barr.
Carolyn T. Anderson was born and raised in Winter Garden and living in the very same house at the time of this interview.
Rev. Dr. John F. Anderson served as Senior Minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando from December 1, 1958 …
Dixie Barber Mrs. Barber was Supervisor of Elections for 24 years.
Judge Roger A. Barker Born here in 1912, Barker was respected for his kindness, skill and ``extreme intellect.''
Sheriff Jim Black came to Orlando at the age of 17 in 1908 and served the county from January 6, 1941 until January 3, 1949.
Bernie Montague Bogue and Bessie Montague Warren were born and raised here in Orlando.
Eliza Bellamy Booker is about to celebrate her 101st birthday …
John T. Branham, Sr. (better known as Jack) is described by Orlando Sentinel columnist Jean Yothers as an Orlando pioneer.
Mary Branham - Local historian, teacher and lecturer.
A. E. Carpenter, Sr. – Attorney Archer Eugene Carpenter’s family came to Orlando in 1912 when he was 15.
Frank W. Chase, Sr. was born in Sanford, Florida in 1908 and discusses Florida’s citrus industry.
Fanny and Donald Cheney - Hatabel Hyer interviewed Judge Cheney and his wife Fanny Sophia Robinson Cheney on June 20, 1974.
Judge Donald Cheney Life long Orlandoan contributed much to our community including first juvenile court, Boy Scouts, and Historical Society.
Elizabeth Abbott Christ - Daughter of George Abbott and widow of Dr. Calviin D Christ, Elizabeth was active in community club works, president of Sorosis.
Dr. Charles Collins - One of the first OB/Gyn specialists in Orlando
Nixon S. Collins moved here from Chuluota (Florida) in 1920.
Bess Coward - Long time land owner and cattle rancher in East Orange County.
Orville Rhodes Davis - Science teacher, football coach, high-school principal and Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools: a Leader in Education.
Katie Bell Demps - "Oldest woman in Zellwood, Florida."
Rev. Dr. Marshall C. Dendy and wife, Nan - Former senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando from June 1, 1942 to December 1952.
Corbett Dodd started his own dairy business at 17, served as Seminole County commissioner for a dozen years.
Jenkins Dolive - Silent screen hero, WWI veteran, interior decorator.
The Duda Family - Meet the Duda siblings who, with their parents created the central Florida agricultural corporation.
Donald S. Evans - Retired pharmacist and former chairman of the county board of commissioners.
Charlie Finley - Known around town for the family's paint and wallpaper business Mr. Finley was also a cattleman, avid hunter and state Game Warden.
Edward W. Fishback - Machine equiipment salesman, citrus grower, champion trapshooter.
Mrs. Harlow G. Fredrick - Doris A. Fredrick reminisces about the 1920s in Orlando, especially from the standpoint of music.
Viola A. Fosgate - Charles Francis Fosgate and his new bride moved here in 1919 along with his brother, Chester C. Fosgate.
Lester W. Geisler - Mr. Geisler is best know as the achitect of the Hialeah Park Race Track's grandstand and clubhouse facilities.
Norma Gettier - Ms Gettier was one of the founding members of Orlando's first Christian Science Church.
Bishop Henry Irving Louttit - Bishop Louttit served south Florida for thirty years as a leading figure of the religious community.
John H. (Jack) Porter- Mr. Porter was born here in Orlando in 1899.