The 100-year history of Lincoln Park Academy, one of the first schools for black high school students in
Florida, was discussed during a presentation at the Sunrise Theatre Jan. 14 as part of Indian River Magazine’s
annual Treasure Coast History Festival. The session was hosted by Bernie Woodall, far left, and Veryl Moore,
far right. Panelists were, seated from left, Samuel S. Gaines, Ernestine Trice English, Francenia Tripp Mimms,
Dorothy Jackson, Harry Williams and Dave Perry. Woodall’s story on the school’s history begins on Page 22.
1923 was a pivotal year for Fort Pierce and we’re happy to celebrate a few centennials.
It was that year that the City of Fort Pierce formed its own police department, hiring
a chief and five officers. As Mayor Linda Hudson told Ellen Gillette in Centennial Salute
beginning on page 32, “As the force grew over the century in numbers and expertise,
the Fort Pierce Police Department aspires to the highest standard of professionalism and
excellence. I couldn’t be more proud.’’
1923 was also the year many trace the start of Lincoln Park Academy, one of the first
high schools for black students in Florida. As Bernie Woodall writes in The Best of the
Best beginning on Page 22, it was that year that James Espy of Sandersville, Georgia, was
hired to lead a junior high school with five ninth graders. Seeking to make the school
a full four-year high school, black parents raised money and successfully lobbied the
school superintendent to expand the school, which was named Lincoln Park Academy a
year after opening.
1923 was also the year manufacturing executive R.N. “Pop” Koblegard, a winter resident
since 1906, opened the magnificent Sunrise Theatre in downtown Fort Pierce. It was
touted as Florida’s largest theater between Jacksonville and Miami, and with 1,300 seats
could almost accommodate the entire population of Fort Pierce which was barely more
than 2,000 people in 1923.
1923 was also the year a young lawyer named Alto Lee Adams arrived in Fort Pierce to
open a law practice. He’d later go on to the Florida Supreme Court and to found Adams
Ranch, still operated today by his descendants.
Of course, I’m partial to 1923. That’s the year my grandfather, E.R. “Putz” Enns, and
his two uncles, Paul and Nick Enns, arrived in Fort Pierce from Kansas to plant an orange
grove and begin the Maravilla subdivision. Paul and Nick later purchased the Fort
Pierce News-Tribune and Paul ran it for 30 years.
Whether you and your family have been here
one year or 100 years, let’s all join in celebrating
this great city.
Publisher & Editor
Assistant to the Publisher
Director of Sales
Pattie Durham, Gaettane A. Paul
Susan Burgess, Kerry Firth,
Ellen Gillette, Joe DeSalvo,
Anthony Westbury, Bernie Woodall
Jason Hook, Anthony Inswasty,
Michelle L. Moore-Burney
Digital and Social Media Editor
Send a $20 check with
recipient’s mailing address to
Indian River, 308 Ave. A,
Fort Pierce, FL 34950 or visit
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M A G A Z I N E
Fort Pierce Magazine is
published annually by
Indian River Magazine Inc.,
a locally owned company based at
308 Ave. A, Fort Pierce, FL 34950.
All material contained herein
is copyrighted by
Indian River Magazine Inc.
Member of the St. Lucie County
Chamber of Commerce.
It was a very good year …
Signatures:Signatures 2/25/13 4:25 PM Page 1
Reach Publisher Gregory Enns at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 772.940.9005