Pasco’s early law enforcement days were notorious

Pasco County’s early law enforcement days inspired quite a few dramatic stories. An illegal killing captured headlines during Henry C. Griffin’s tenure as sheriff. During his second term, a mob killed two black men who were being held inside the county’s first jail located near downtown Dade City. Will Wright and Sam Williams had been charged in the murders of Dan Childers and J.B. … [Read more...]

She knows local history, and is preserving it

If you want to learn a thing or two about local history — particularly as it pertains to Wesley Chapel, Dade City and Zephyrhills — a telephone call to Madonna Jervis Wise will put you on the right track. Wise has written books about all three communities. “I’ve always been interested in history,” she said. “We’re sitting in my dining room, and these are some of my family heirlooms that … [Read more...]

Sharing the story of women’s progress

Madonna Jervis Wise, a local author who writes primarily about history, has been making the rounds lately, talking about women in the work force and “East Pasco Women Who Rocked.” Her talks, which have been delivered at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village in Dade City, at the East Pasco Networking Group’s breakfast meeting and at the Zephyrhills Public Library, have traced the evolving … [Read more...]

Pioneer descendants receive honor

On the momentous occasion when Florida issued its first drivers’ licenses in 1940, Ruth Smith made history. County Judge O. L. Dayton Jr., pulled a desk into the hallway at the Dade City courthouse and plopped the 17-year-old into a chair in front of a manual typewriter. “People lined up and stood as I typed up the first driver’s license in Pasco County,” said Ruth Smith Adams, now age 93. … [Read more...]

Check out these local authors

If you enjoy learning about local history, love to solve mysteries or are in the mood for a bit of romance, a selection of books by local authors may be right up your alley. More than 20 local authors will gather at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at The Shops at Wiregrass on May 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., to sell their books, field questions on writing and chat with patrons. The … [Read more...]

Preserving stories of Wesley Chapel’s past

Motorists passing through Wesley Chapel today are likely to see it as a place on the move. Within the past decade or so, a landscape once characterized by cattle ranches and citrus groves, has become a place becoming more widely known for its shopping, medical, education and residential options. But, there are plenty of people who remember when the community was more closely associated … [Read more...]

History fair focuses on Wesley Chapel

If you’re curious about the history of Wesley Chapel, there’s a new event designed to help you learn about the community’s past. Pasco-Hernando State College is hosting the Wesley Chapel History Fair on March 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the college’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch, 2727 Mansfield Blvd. The event will be in the college’s conference center. The event will showcase … [Read more...]

Telling Wesley Chapel’s story

Writing about local history is nothing new for Madonna Jervis Wise. The Zephyrhills woman traced the history of Zephyrhills, and also of Dade City, for books published by Arcadia Publishing, of Charleston, South Carolina. Now, she has written another book for the publisher’s Images of America series. This one focuses on Wesley Chapel. When the publisher asked her to do the Wesley … [Read more...]

Seasonal residents find plenty to like about life in Zephyrhills

Motorists cruising through Zephyrhills along State Road 54 or U.S. 301 may not realize what a mecca the city is for residents wanting to escape winter’s chill. If those passing through took a closer look, however, they’d observe the myriad mobile home parks dotting the community. There’s Betmar Acres, at 37145 Lakewood Drive, which founder M.H. Meengs and his partner, George Sprinkle … [Read more...]

Book captures Dade City’s history through photographs

When visitors drop by downtown Dade City, its stately historic courthouse, unique shops and good restaurants likely will impress them. But there’s so much more to Dade City’s story, and Madonna Jervis Wise has captured that through 200 photographs of the people and places in this city that initially was known as Fort Dade. Wise began working on the volume about a year ago. She’d done … [Read more...]