October 24, 1923 Highlander

"Who's Who and What's What" Featured in Special Edition

Series: This Week in History | Story 14

Last updated 10/31/2023 at 5:22pm

Courtesy Lake Wales Library Archives

The Lake Wales Highlander of 100 years ago reveals much about the history of our community. Each week the Lake Wales News will publish a front-page image of the former Lake Wales Highlander from 100 years earlier, tracking the growth of the community a century ago, when Florida was in the midst of a great land price boom and rapid population growth. The images are retrieved from the digital archives of the Lake Wales Public Library. The Lake Wales Highlander eventually became The Daily Highlander, and under several different names was published six times a week on Sunday mornings and Monday through Friday afternoons until 1995. The original Lake Wales News was a weekly broadsheet newspaper that also served the community for many decades, later changing to a tabloid format before closing six years ago. Lake Wales was among only a handful of small communities that supported two local newspapers, a mark of the level of literacy and community interest here.

100 years ago the young Highlander newspaper celebrated the area with a 24-page special edition of "Who's Who and What's What" in the Lake Wales area. The edition was packed with facts about the growing community.

Courtesy Lake Wales Library Archives

The Lake Wales area already boasted some 20,000 acres of citrus plantings by 1923, according to the front page of The Highlander's "Who's Who and What's What" special edition. The annual Florida citrus crop was estimated to have reached 20 million boxes of fruit, most of which was shipped fresh to northern markets by rail. Citrus was by far the major industry at that time in the Lake Wales area.

In other news, Mrs. T.L. Wetmore was credited as being one of the first residents of the new town, arriving with Mr. and Mrs. N.E. Stuart on the train. She shared the history of those "Pioneer Days" of ten years before in a story published on the front page of The Highlander.

The front page also featured a rare photograph of Park Avenue storefronts presently being considered for restoration to their original appearance.


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023