Archive for ‘Centennial’

Founders’ Day Photo Contest

By , 13 March, 2010, No Comment

It’s time for another contest!

This time it’s an easy one. Just email your best photo from Founders’ Day to zephyrhills100 {at} gmail(.)com. The judges will choose a photo to represent the entire weekend and the photographer will win a FREE copy of Tapestry – History of Zephyrhills High School and Education in Zephyrhills!

You can enter multiple photos, but all entries must be received by NOON on Monday, March 22, 2010. The winning entry will be selected that week and posted online for everyone to see! Runner-up entries will also be posted. Good luck!

*Official Rules: Sweepstakes open only to legal U.S. residents over the age of 18. Sponsor of this promotion is Gregg Hilferding, 38530 5th Avenue, Zephyrhills, FL 33542. The promotion shall run from 7:00 PM on March 13, 2010 and ends at 12:00 PM on March 22, 2010. Deadline may be extended if a valid entry has not yet been received. ONLY THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE PICTURE MAY ENTER. Photographers retain the copyright to their photographs. By entering the contest, photographers agree to have their submitted photograph displayed on the website without any fee or other form of compensation, and agree that Gregg Hilferding may make and retain copies of the photograph for archival purposes. Sponsor is the sole judging organization whose decisions as to the operation of the Sweepstakes and the selection of the winner is final and binding in all matters. Winner agrees to allow Sponsor to use his or her name and photograph for publicity and promotional purposes without further compensation. Rules subject to change without notice.

Ten Grand Marshalls Selected

By , 11 March, 2010, No Comment

Rosemary Trottman
The nominating committee is proud to announce the selection of TEN Grand Marshalls for the 100th Anniversary Founders’ Day Parade this Saturday. They tabulated all the entries and have confirmed that each of these people will represent one of the decades of Zephyrhills history.

George Neukom, son George III, and grandson George IV
The Neukom family moved from Indiana to Abbott Station now Zephyrhills in 1910. The family operated Neukoms Drugstore from 1921 until closing the store in 2001. George was and is still active in the local business and the citrus industry. George III now operates Neukom Groves, shipping fresh citrus over most of the United States.

Brantley Smith and brother Buddy
The Smith family dates back to the late 1800’s. The Smith brothers played sports at ZHS developed Silverado Golf Course. The family donated land for the YMCA on Eiland Blvd. Involved in local politics, brother Stephan was elected to Zephyrhills City Council, and Buddy’s son Lance Smith is currently seated on the Zephyrhills City Council.

Nathan Geiger
A local family with deep roots in the community, Geiger owned and operated a local grain and feed store.

Coach John Clements
He moved to Zephyrhills in the late 1940’s and coached the Bulldogs baseball team for 21 years. ZHS baseball field named in his honor in 1983.

Helen Winters
Her late husband Gordon opened Winters Park, the oldest park in Zephyrhills and a direct descendant of the “Tin Can Tourists.”

Clyde Bracknell & Bill McGavern
Two former basketball players from the 1962 class B state championship team. Clyde Bracknell, long time city councilman, has the distinction of serving twenty nine years, more than any other council member. Bill McGavern is a local businessman, banker, realtor, and Chairman of the board of HPH Hospice.

Sam Surratt
Local businessman served on city council 1953/1954 and again 1957 to 1976. A lot of changes came to Zephyrhills the most notable the recall election of 1976 and the sale of railroad property.

Nelson Ryman
Moved to Zephyrhills in 1969. Nelson owned and operated H&R Interstate Homes, as a local businessman he was very successful due to the growth of over 55 senior communities that now total over 150 in the area. Nelson is active in the Daybreak Rotary Club of Zephyrhills and has worked for over ten years supporting the orphans at Tytoo Gardens in Haiti.

Irene Dobson
She has been a civil rights activist in the City of Pure Water and has seen many changes including changing the name of 6th Ave. to Martin Luther King Ave.

Marcus & M.J. Price
Representing the new Zephyrhills, husband and wife team Marcus & M.J. Price founded Goin’ Postal, a shipping franchise with over 300 locations. Goin’ Postal has been listed as one of the fastest growing franchises in the country. Watch for their next franchise Hut 8!

Win a FREE copy of Images of America: Zephyrhills!

By , 11 March, 2010, 4 Comments

Images of America - Zephyrhills

Images of America - Zephyrhills

By know you’ve probably heard all about the newest book about Zephyrhills, right? And you know you can buy a copy this Saturday and have it signed by the author, Madonna Jervis Wise, right? What you didn’t know is that you could win a FREE copy!

It’s easy to enter, you just have to find the answers to these five questions somewhere on the website and email your full name and the answers to the email address listed below. We will choose the entrant with the most correct answers to receive a free copy of the book. In the event we receive multiple entries with all five correct answers, we will randomly select the winner from one of those entries.*

Ready? Excited? Here’s the five questions:

  1. Who received the honor of Miss Zephyrhills in 1927? (Hint: She was the first documented Miss Zephyrhills!)
  2. In 1938, Charles Neukom started a tradition at Neukom’s drugstore soda fountain. What was the name of the local dentist who was the first to become a regular at the Scratch Game?
  3. If you were around in the late 1940s and ’50s you may have taken a ride in Willie’s Taxi. Even if you never got a ride, Willie’s Taxi Stand was the place to stop by and get the latest local news. What was Willie’s full first and last name?
  4. West Zephyrhills Elementary School was dedicated during Founders’ Day in 1960. What was the name of the Pasco County School Superintendent who officiated the ceremony?
  5. In 1948, ZHS held a contest for students to name the annual yearbook. Who won five dollars for coming up with the name “The Zephilsco?”

Find the answers to these five questions somewhere on the website (HINT: Use the search field at the top right corner!) and email your answers to zephyrhills100 {at} gmail(.)com today!

Entries must be received no later than Noon on Saturday, March 13, 2010. We will announce the winner on the Facebook page on Saturday and the winner can pick up their book that day!

*Boring Official Rules: Sweepstakes open only to legal U.S. residents over the age of 18. Sponsor of this promotion is Gregg Hilferding, 38530 5th Avenue, Zephyrhills, FL 33542. The promotion shall run from 6:00 PM on March 11, 2010 and ends at 12:00 PM on March 13, 2010. Deadline may be extended if a valid entry has not yet been received. Limit one entry per person. Sponsor is the sole judging organization whose decisions as to the operation of the Sweepstakes and the selection of the winner is final and binding in all matters. Winner agrees to allow Sponsor to use his or her name and photograph for publicity and promotional purposes without further compensation. Rules subject to change without notice.

Parade Lineup

By , 9 March, 2010, No Comment

This post is for parade entrants and contains important information that will help you easily find your spot prior to the beginning of the parade on Saturday morning. Download and print the complete instructions and map to bring with you Saturday!

Parade line-up begins at 8:30 a.m. and will continue through 9:45 a.m. Floats and moving vehicles should arrive early to ensure less congestion for walking & marching units. Any participants not lined up by 9:45 a.m. may lose their assigned spot in the parade line-up. The parade starts promptly at 10:00 a.m.

Main Street staff and/or volunteers will be available to direct you to your assigned parade slot. Please refer to the map attached to the PDF download for your designated spot. (If viewing the map on your computer screen only, you may need to enlarge it to view the smaller print with the parade entry names and line-up spot numbers.)

If you have any questions, please contact the Main Street office at: 813-780-1414 or, on the day of the event, I can be reached via cell phone at (813) 838-2685.We look forward to a successful Founders’ Day celebration and want to thank you for your participation in this community event sponsored by Main Street Zephyrhills, Inc.

Download the PDF for the rest of the instructions

Images of America: Zephyrhills Historical Photo Book Published!

By , 9 March, 2010, 3 Comments

UPDATE! The book is now for sale at multiple locations in Zephyrhills. Check the bottom of the post for a listing!

Thanks to local famous author Madonna Jervis Wise, the Zephyrhills centennial is being commemorated with a book. The book, Images of America: Zephyrhills, is now on sale for $21.99 at local bookstores, independent retailers, and Arcadia Publishing.

Images of America: Zephyrhills is a 128-page book with colloquial anecdotes and over 200 genuine photos from Zephyrhills’ past. Those 200+ photos were chosen from over 700 Madonna collected from families, school archives, all local museum collections, and the Historical societies from West Pasco to Zephyrhills.

Images of America - Zephyrhills

Images of America - Zephyrhills

There is a book signing scheduled to be a part of the Founder’s Day festivities. In tribute to the centennial, the book signing will be held in the place where it all started — the Captain Jeffries House. From 4 PM to 8 PM, there will be complimentary refreshments, books for purchase, and a drawing for chances to win Zephyrhills for free.

Madonna has graciously elected to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the book to the ZHS100 committee. She hopes the book will “honor families and community and authentically depict the all-inclusive experiences of history in shaping development.”

About the Author:

Madonna Jervis Wise

Madonna Jervis Wise

Madonna Wise is the author of the local column Countdown to Centennial with co-author Clereen Brunty. She is also the author of five other books including Wildcat Creek Kids and Tapestry – Zephyrhills. A local historian and educator, Madonna is a 36-year resident of Zephyrhills.

Zephyrhills businesses carrying the book:

Little Angel Christian Bookstore
Moody’s Hardware
Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce
Walgreens #5604
Florida Medical Clinic Pharmacy
Beth’s Books

ZHS100 Merchandise

By , 8 March, 2010, No Comment
ZHS 100 Promo Items Display Board

All photos courtesy of Clereen Brunty

The ZHS100 committee is selling ZHS100 merchandise in honor of the high school’s upcoming centennial. There are shirts, mugs, and bricks from the old building.

ZHS Bricks-1

ZHS Brick

ZHS Centennial mug

ZHS Centennial mug

ZHS Centennial T-shirt Logo

ZHS Centennial T-shirt Logo

T-shirts are $10 each and come in either black or white. They only have medium and large in white, but the black shirt comes in all sizes up to a double X. Coffee mugs and bricks are $10 as well.

The ZHS100 committee is also selling bulldog label pins with traditional school colors. These are on sale to aid in the annual reunion funds for the ZHS Alumni Association.

Centennial Quilts

By , 8 March, 2010, No Comment

ZHS Media Specialist Judy Norris has donated two centennial quilts she designed and handmade to the ZHS100 committee. These quilts are to be raffled off at the ZHS Centennial celebration on Saturday, October 23, 2010. Tickets for the raffle are just $5 each or 3 for $10.

ZHS Centennial Quilt (black center)

ZHS Centennial Quilt (black center)

ZHS Centennial Quilt (white center)

ZHS Centennial Quilt (white center)

Photos courtesy of Clereen Brunty

A Wall of Memories

By , 8 March, 2010, No Comment

Zephyrhills is getting a lot for her centennial! Besides having birthday video shout-outs, an entire book written about her life, and a whole weekend of partying, Zephyrhills is also getting her portrait painted.

104_0804104_0807Two volunteer artists by the name of Barbara Moore and Christi Spoto are painting a mural of Zephyrhills on the Wall of Hynes Discount Aluminum on 5th Avenue. Seeing as how the wall is almost the length of a city block, the finished piece will be huge! Both of these women are amazing. Barbara works during the day; Christie has other commitments and has been away from home for over five weeks now. They are both working hard — and often until dark — to get the mural ready for Founder’s Day.

104_0775104_0773The ladies started painting on January 25, 2010. They would have started earlier, but because Florida weather is so finicky this time of year, they were delayed. As is customary of Zephyrhills residents, the artists were showered with help and friendliness.  Rick Moore and the city workers had a scaffold made for them and placed cones to block off the area; Barbara and Rick donated their truck for paint and ladder storage; Brenda Welcher brought them water and gift certificates from local restaurants. Nearby business owners even offered their bathrooms and stores as an escape from the cold.

104_0791104_0803So far, the mural looks amazing! Its not hard to tell Barbara and Christi have worked extremely hard on this project they call their “wall of memories.” They have incorporated so much into the mural! There are trees (including the Camphor), Zephyr Park, the official centennial logo, schools, drawings of the town, and a train. They will continue to add more to the mural although it looks complete. They’re in for the home stretch, and if the weather permits, Barbara and Christi will be mostly finished by Founder’s Day.

Photos courtesy of Maria Spoto

Zephyrhills 100th Anniversary: Christmas in the Zephyrhills Public Schools

By , 4 March, 2010, No Comment

In the twenty-first century we are poignantly aware of what is politically correct in school and government in regard to religious holidays and cultural diversity via the Supreme Court and regulation. Our Zephyrhills School (ZHS that was originally grade 1 through 12) throughout its 100 years reflected robust Christian traditions. In the early years, weekly chapel events highlighted local ministers and particularly Christmas was a religious event. With this in mind, we hope you will indulge us when we report this week on ‘Christmas’ going-on’s and the public schools. We have captured a few tidbits throughout the centenary and see the recurring themes of tradition, student pageants and community service. These three topics seem to epitomize December events in our Zephyrhills School over time. As always, we scoured through the historical news coverage and came up with some example items.

1887: Celia Anderson in her unpublished manuscript, Earliest Schools in Present Pasco County, reported that before 1887, G.W. Beardon, the first Pasco Superintendent declared a Christmas holiday of just three days off from school.  Did you know that this year in 2009, the students have a holiday of 16 days from December 23rd to January 8th?

1905: Daniel Cripe in It Takes a lot of Living To fill Those 90 Years wrote of the one-room Zephyrhills School that he attended. I remember the community center where all of the important things happened. We had picnic dinners there on the ground quite often and on Christmas we had a program with a Christmas tree and all of the trimmings. People brought presents and hung them on the tree.

1964 and for many years after: ‘White Christmas Collection for Needy Families’—Students at all three schools (Zephyrhills, East and West)  collected baskets of food Music teacher, Alice Zimmerman, coordinated for East and West Schools. For the junior and senior high school the choir was directed by Kaye Henry with a special reading by Joe Maniscalco of the Innkeeper. The Peninsula AAA Club also gave out bicycles but included cycling safety rules to the schools to teach the students. The Junior Chamber of Commerce hosted a gala Christmas party complete with movies at the Home Theatre with goodies arriving on the Zephyrhills Fire Engine. Officers of the chamber were Keith Lane, Woody Johnston and Fred Gore with Freddy Peterson as guest celebrity (area artist) on the fire truck.  Today many food drives originate at the schools. ZHS had a spectacular project coordinated by the ZHS ROTC club just recently that topped off previous drives with tremendous service to the community.

1965: Bulldog Basketball dominated the news in December. The Bulldogs went to a pressing defense and scored 35 points in the third period Friday night to stump the South Sumter Rebels 78 to 58.  Tom Porter scored 26 points for the Bulldogs. This win was the fourth against one loss for the Bulldogs. In the third period the “Dogs got red hot and out-scored the Rebels 35 to 17. Brant Blessing added 17 points and Bob Price 13. Don Woods hit 12, Randy Sperry five. Richard Kinney four and Roy Hutto one for the balanced Bulldogs.

1968: December news again featured basketball…Winners of their opening game of the season and preparing for their first home game here Friday night, were the basketball squad: Keathel Chauncey, Terry Linville, Richard McLellan, Doug Prowant, Rodney Price, Coach Carroll Phillips, Bob Geddes, Dale Palmer, David Krystofiak, Bill Porter, Richard Back and Manager Frankie Hall.

1970: The dynamic Bulldog marching band won superior at the District Marching Competition. When they performed at halftime of the Ft. Meade game, fans gave them superior applause!

1976: The Mouse That Roared,” a musical comedy was  presented by the Drama Class. under the direction of Jean Hawes, drama teacher. Cast included: Ivan Corbin, Alan Corbin, Bonnie Gray, Glen Howard, Jeff DeWitt, Tim Potwin, Beaty Cunningham, Pat Barrentine, Linda Greene, Regina Banks, Marcy Bednar, Carol Jacobs, Debbie Chauncey, Myra Smith, Mindy Smith, Paula Shortt, Tammy Crowe, Sabrina Bruce, Gerri Geddes, Carol Zinn, Carl Forry, Melvin Wade, Kevin Poe and Lenny Bahr.

1979: A new vocal group at ZHS was the Vocal Ensemble which made its first appearance at the annual Christmas Band Concert and sang at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Zephyrhills; they included Karen Holt, John Lovette, Tracy St. Onge, Joey Galyan, Vivian Webb, Kathy O’Malley, Earl Paul, Dottie Fraio, Eddie Hicks, Becky Walters, Joan Hyder and David Wolfe, Sound Engineer with director, Dan Benham.

For next week, we have asked our alumni to write in with their own memories of the holiday time and thoughts of old ZHS.  For Clereen and Madonna, we wish our friends in Zephyrhills the most blessed of Christmas times with joy and happiness. We hope you’ll enjoy a poem we recently uncovered which we think reflects the season.  Let’s paraphrase it and say, “It’s Christmas Time Again at ZHS…”

It’s Christmas Time Again – Bob Lazzar-Atwood
Put your problems on probation
Run your troubles off the track,
Throw your worries out the window
Get the monkeys off your back.
Silence all your inner critics
With your conscience make amends,
And allow yourself some happiness
It’s Christmas time again!
Call a truce with those who bother you
Let all the fighting cease,
Give your differences a breather
And declare a time of peace,
Don’t let angry feelings taint
The precious time you have to spend,
And allow yourself some happiness
It’s Christmas time again!
Like some cool refreshing water
Or a gentle summer breeze,
Like a fresh bouquet of flowers
Or the smell of autumn leaves,
It’s a banquet for the spirit
Filled with family, food and friends,
So allow yourself some happiness
It’s Christmas time again!
Countdown to Centennial

Countdown to Centennial
By Madonna Jervis Wise and Clereen Morrill Brunty of the 100th Anniversary Committee, ZHS. Article originally appeared in the Zephyrhills News on December 24, 2009.

All rights reserved. Photos © Madonna Jervis Wise

Zephyrhills 100th Anniversary: Jo Beddingfield Clark

By , 3 March, 2010, No Comment

We had the opportunity this past week to interview retired ZHS English teacher, Joanne “Jo” Beddingfield Clark. Not unlike our other experiences in conducting interviews with community contributors, we uncovered so much more about this classy lady in addition to her years as an instructor in the public schools. Jo imparted much to the Zephyrhills community throughout her years of service as a civic-minded community participant, Cub Scout leader, PTA organizer, church member, and regular vocalist in community events as well as a teacher. She talked lovingly of her role as a mother and spoke proudly of her five sons and precious grandchildren.

Jo arrived via the railway depot when her husband, Roy Beddingfield and she relocated to Zephyrhills in 1948 and he took a position as foreman of the Seaboard Railroad. Many will recognize Beddingfield who served on the Zephyrhills City Council (the youngest elected official until 2005 when Danny Burgess was elected). He was Zephyrhills Fire Chief and instrumental in the establishment of the first fire department.  Fire-fighting is an important part of Jo’s family heritage. Jo’s father was a fire chief and encouraged his son-in-law in the field and even assisted Roy in developing the specs for the first-ever Zephyrhills fire engine. He also as developed a training program for the department. Perhaps less known was the fact that Roy was quite an athlete and filled in for Coach Johnny Clements in 1948 to prepare the ZHS football team for its season until Clements was released from his professional baseball contract. Unfortunately Roy passed away suddenly in 1978.

When asked to share her most treasured teaching experiences, in her humble manner, Jo told us about the fine teachers she had worked with over time who inspired children and co-workers. She shared about the  years of year-round schools with ’45-15’ and double-sessions and  teaching grades 7 through 12. Her favorite teaching topic was William Shakespeare. Particularly she enjoyed Romeo and Juliet. It was not difficult to interest young ladies in the story with the romantic tales but enticing the young men into the study was more of a challenge. Ingenuously, she wove in the play’s sub-plots of aggression, intrigue and conflict, and ‘voila,’ they were hooked on the classic play as well! She recalled one of her most rewarding adventures was a field trip to the Polk Theatre in Lakeland to see Franco Zeffirelli’s version of Romeo and Juliet. She remembered parent chaperones telling her in astonishment that some of the ZHS students were mouthing the lines from the play in perfect rhythm with the actors.

We learned that Jo was a den mother for her son’s Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for many years and an active member of PTA. Tommy Eikland, Tommy Alston as well as her sons and so many more enjoyed the weekly lessons, crafts and camping adventures. She said sometimes she did a great deal of chauffeuring of the boys to and from meetings. PTA was a significant organization throughout the 1940’s to early 1970’s in Zephyrhills and Jo was there as they developed goals, built and funded projects and worked closely with the schools. The annual Halloween carnival was an event for the entire community and Jo served as Homeroom mother and recalled colorful fun, costumes and frivolity.

As a community member, Jo is particularly proud of the work of the Junior Women’s Club. She was President and served with many others.  Their annual project was the Zephyrhills Follies in conjunction with Founder’s Day and the club produced a rather magnificent talent show. It took place for a few years at the Zephyrhills Theater and later in the Municipal Auditorium for a packed crowd and a two-night performance. Jo was a regular  organizer and well-known as a singer with a melodious trio that also included Jean Murphy and Bobby Hooks (occasionally Elaine Warfield was a part of the group.)  Can you just hear the likes of song titles she shared with us from the era? … Can’t Help Loving That Man; Rag Time Cowboy Joe? She recalled a great dance duet of the Charleston that was performed by Lois Linville and Frances Brown while Libby Peel was usually the music director.

Jo enlightened us about one of the popular local projects of the Junior Women’s Club, a 1950’s cookbook; the introduction of the cookbook states, “The Junior Women’s Club of Zephyrhills, Florida was organized and federated in 1949. Since that time it has been actively engaged in public services such as: welfare and health, polio drive, Sunland Training Center in Gainesville and many other worthwhile projects.” The developers of the cookbook were: Lois Linville, Bobbie Hooks, Mary Ellen Ahrens, Lea Bales, Frances Brown, Betsey Brownlee, Audrey Chenkins, Dorothy Hunter and Georgia Phillips. We asked Jo if we could share one of her authentic 1950’s recipes with our readers from the vintage cookbook and she graciously agreed:

Congealed Vegetable Salad (Asheville Salad)

Bring to boil one can of tomato soup. Stir in one cake of cream cheese and one package of unflavored gelatin which has soaked 10 minutes in ½ cup of cold water. Cool; stir in 1 cup of salad dressing, 1 cup of chopped celery, a little onion and dash of salt.

Perhaps it is somewhat prophetic in the manner in which our lives unfold. Sometimes as we reflect, we see interesting connections… Such was the case for Jo as she recalled that she first heard a young man named John T.V. Clark play a magnificent trumpet solo of Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White at one of these annual follies.  Later after both she and John were widowed, they would forge a wonderful marriage and write many more chapters of Jo’s rich life together.

John T.V. Clark appeared on the scene in Zephyrhills in 1948 and would build the school band program from scratch. In 2008, the new band room at the school site where he taught was named in honor of him and his family attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. While a student at Florida Southern College, John was drafted into World War II service and rose to the rank of second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, flying as the navigator on a B-24 “Liberator” bomber from Shipham Air Force Base England. When the war ended, he resumed his studies in Music and English at Florida Southern.  He obtained his master’s degree in Music from Columbia University. He took the position as Band Director at Zephyrhills High School in the fall of 1948, where he taught for 30 years.  His first wife, Audrey who served as a school social worker for many years in the area, passed away in 1978 and John retired soon after. John and Jo married several years later. Throughout his life, John was very active, playing with various bands in the Tampa Bay area.  His primary instrument was trumpet, but on occasion he played bass guitar, keyboard, and valve trombone.  He backed up such notables as Burt Bacharach, Liberace, Vic Damone, Patty Paige, and Mel Torme.

Jo told us that their first date was to a Jazz concert in Buena Vista but included a dinner at the local Wendy’s, which she always teased John about. It is so clear in talking with Jo that she and John shared a passionate love of the arts.  They clearly envisioned a world that was enriched by music, art and literature and saw it through a lovely filter that they imparted to their hundreds of students throughout time. They both enjoyed traveling after retirement.

Jo has great joy in her sons, Steve Beddingfield, class of 1970; Larry Beddingfield, class of 1973; Kenneth Clark, class of 1972; Steven Clark, class of 1975; and Bruce Clark, class of 1978 and their nine grandchildren.

We invite our readers to enjoy the memory book about John T.V. Clark at: and would ask that you share recollections of Jo Beddingfield Clark and the other community members mentioned in the article. We thank Mrs. Clark for the gracious interview!

Countdown to Centennial

Countdown to Centennial
By Madonna Jervis Wise and Clereen Morrill Brunty of the 100th Anniversary Committee, ZHS. Article originally appeared in the Zephyrhills News on November 26, 2009.

All rights reserved. Photos © Madonna Jervis Wise