CITY OF SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES- The people of DeFuniak Springs are certainly to be commended for the spirit they are manifesting in matters religious and educational. The last number of the Signal bears weighty evidence to the public spirit of DeFuniak’s citizens in the following article:
DeFuniak may now be called “The City of Schools,” since the State Normal School has been located in the eastern portion of the city. Mrs. Cummings has determined that College Hill must be adorned by a beautiful edifice to be used as an institution of learning, and to be known as the DeFuniak Springs Female College. With this object in view, she started out last Tuesday and in one day secured cash donations of more than $1000. So pleased were the friends of the school with her success, that they immediately held a meeting and organized by the election of the following Board of Trustees: Wallace Bruce, A. E. Jones, C. C. Banfill and Charles Everett. The following named came down with their cash to start the school: Mrs. Cummings, two acres of land on College Hill and $200: C. C. Banfill, G. W. Banfill and Chas Everett, 100 each: W. L. Cawthon, Mrs. M. A. Cawthon, Jas A. McLean and Mr. Gonzalez, $25 each ; Chas. Dickerman, S. F. Heath, A. E. Jones, Daniel Campbell, Henry Bovis and Mrs. Brooks, of Virginia, 5100 each. Mrs. Brooks is Mrs. Cummings’ mother and deeply interested in education. When the sum of $2500 shall have been subscribed, the building will be started. Before our paper is dry, this amount will have been subscribed and the school an assured fact. Success to you, Mrs. Cummings. We shall now eagerly look for your next move in the interest of our delightful little city, that must hereafter be known as the “City of Schools and Churches.”
This may be why many people believe the Florida State College for Women — now Florida State University — was started in DeFuniak Springs. That is not true, but what became of this initiative is not known. Please let us know if you can solve the mysteries of who was Mrs. Cummings, where was College Hill, and what became of this idea. Was this, perhaps, to become Palmer College?
[Source: The Daily News (Pensacola, Florida) June 23, 1889, Page 2.]