· History ·
there are many sources that speak of the history of Greenwood Cemetery, we
thought it would be more meaningful to hear it "straight from the horse's
mouth." One of the founders of Greenwood was Samuel A. Robinson. In 1915,
Mr. Robinson was asked to provide the local newspaper, The Orlando
Reporter-Star, a brief history of the founding of Greenwood, and following
is a copy of that newspaper article:
"Some time since, Mr. C.
A. Boone and I, who are the only original stockholders of the Orlando
Cemetery Company who now live in Florida, petitioned the Honorable
City Council of Orlando to name said cemetery "Greenwood." After the
publication in the newspapers of a request that names be sent to the
council for consideration, the Honorable Council finally decided upon
the name which we proposed.
As you have asked me to give you the history of the aforesaid
cemetery, I will reply by giving you a brief outline of the situation
from 1876 to the present time.
In 1875, the Town of Orlando was incorporated. It took all of the
twenty-five voters living in the two miles square to legally
incorporate. The importance of a large burial ground was not
contemplated and interments were made in many places in this vicinity.
Some were taken to Conway, some also to Powell's, south of Orlando,
and some to the Beasley plot six miles west of Orlando. Many were
buried at their home grounds, as was David Mizell.
In the north part of Orlando, overlooking Highland lake, many burials
were made, but there is now nothing left there to show a single grave.
Many were buried north of a building which stood on the north side of
Church Street in the east part of the Tremont hotel yard. I think that
there is not a vestige of anything left that will show where Samuel
Russ and many others were buried. The building above referred to was
used as a church and schoolhouse, and was the means of the street
being called 'Church Street.'
The above conditions prevailed until about 1880, when people began to
wake up to the necessity of a proper and permanent place for burial,
but for a long time no one seemed ready to take the full initiative to
secure such a place. In the meantime, Mr. Mahlon Gore, the dean of the
newspaper fraternity of South Florida, did some valiant work through
his newspaper in stirring up people to the necessity of action in the
matter, which finally culminated in eight residents of Orlando joining
together and buying of John W. Anderson, now deceased, twenty-six
acres of land, upon which the original cemetery was laid out.
The stockholders who bought the tract and paid eighteen hundred
dollars for it were as follows: l. P. Wescott, C. A. Boone, James K.
Duke, J. H. livingston, Nat Poyntz, W. R. Anno, James Delaney, and
Samuel A. Robinson. Boone and Robinson only are living in Florida, and
Duke and Poyntz are living elsewhere. The others are all dead. l. P.
Wescott received the deed.
I designed, surveyed and platted the cemetery, and it has been
pronounced by experts as being one of the best original designs.
The City of Lakeland, Florida copied my design in laying out their
cemetery last year.
Several years since the city councilmen purchased the cemetery for
Orlando, and subsequently fourteen acres lying north of it, together
with a tract on the west of it, which has been sold, were added to it.
In 1911, the boundaries of the city were changed by an act of the
legislature, so as to include the forty acres owned by the city. The
city management of the cemetery has been good, and the present council
are very ably upbuilding and beautifying Greenwood.
Samuel A. Robinson
September 14, 1915"