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Newspaper Clippings for

October, 1880

from a loose clipping, source unknown 20 October 1880
Florida Letter
Daytona, Fla., Oct 20, 1880.
Editors Gazette: - We are here in Daytona at last. We did not have a very pleasant time in coming from the fact that our trains failed to connect twice on the route. As we were to be met at Volusia by friends who were to come forty miles with teams, this being behind time, made it very unfortunate. To remedy the evil, I went into the telegraph office at Montgomery to send word of our delay, and while so engaged the train went off and left me, taking wife and children with it. The conductor of the train from Nashville to Montgomery told us we had twenty minutes for breakfast. I was gone about ten minutes and was left. Moral, don't take the word of the conductor of the incoming train as to the length of the stop before you inquire of the conductor of the outgoing train before you go into the telegraph office. I caught up with my family at Eufaula, where they stopped and waited for me, but the accident put us back twenty-four hours more. So instead of being with the people here on the Sabbath we stopped at Volusia and came across to Daytona on Monday. We made two mistakes. I say it for the benefit of future travelers. 1st. We took the Kokomo route which failed twice to connect; and 2nd , I took the word of the conductor as to length of stoppage. If we had avoided these errors we should no doubt have had a pleasant journey. However we are here and the prospect is encouraging. The people received us very cordially and seem very glad to see us. I held my first service on Sabbath last. The village numbers about three hundred people. They are almost entirely from the North and are intelligent and enterprising. The church numbers about eighteen members but there are about forty others who have expressed their desire to join with us as soon as we should get a minister. We worship in the public school house which will seat about a hundred and can be made to accommodate fifty more. The house was built with a view to religious services as well as for a school. In time we shall probably have a church building. The occupation of the people here, aside from merchants and mechanics, is that of fruit culture; mainly oranges, lemons, figs, bananas, and pineapples. The orange is the main dependence. The groves are just beginning to come into bearing, and the owners are hopefully and anxiously looking forward to the time when their groves will come into full bearing, and then the crisis will have been passed. Daytona is comparatively a new place as most of the oldest settlers have been here only about eight or ten years. On the 13th of this month occurred the opening, with appropriate services of "The Daytona Institute for Young Women." It opened with three teachers and twenty pupils in attendance and offers to all students a full course of study in the classics and in the natural sciences. Miss Lucy A. Cross, a graduate of Oberlin, is the principal and she is to be aided by a full faculty of teachers as the school advances. The moral, social, and religious atmosphere of Daytona is all that any one can desire in a place to educate their children. Boys and young men are admitted into the Institute as day scholars. The climate of this coast is very good indeed, being remarkably free from malarious disease. Daytona is practically on the sea coast and has the advantage of the sea breeze. The great need of this region is facilities for transportation. A movement is now on foot, and with almost a certainty of success, for putting on a steamer between this coast and Jacksonville thus assuring access and egress for people as well as for produce. In order to connect the Halifax and Indian rivers so as to be navigable it will be necessary to dredge a channel through water now too shallow, of a few hundred yards. The work has been surveyed and the cost estimated at about $3,000. This work has will open up about two hundred miles of coast to navigation. The productive interests involved will assure its success. On the whole I think that the East coast of Florida, for pleasantness of situation, for the intelligence and culture of its inhabitants, for its social and religious influence, for variety and abundance of production and for healthness of climate offers to the settler more and better inducements than any other part of Florida. As our household goods have not yet arrived we are not keeping house. We expect soon to be in our new home, when we would be very glad indeed to welcome our Northern as well as Southern friends. We have oranges and lemons growing though not in great abundance. We have several hundred orange trees growing which we hope will, one of these days, bear enough to more than support the family. We are as yet comparatively strangers but I think we shall like it her more and more the better we become acquainted.

As to our old friends in Lake we remember them affectionately. We are glad to have such pleasant memories of the past. Often do our thoughts go back to beautiful Waukegan and to warm-hearted Millburn. In imagination we often return to the scenes we so lately left. But we find warm hearts here in Daytona, and we hope to make a pleasant home here, where we may spend our old age and welcome our dear friends to the best the house affords. I have come here under commission from the "Home Missionary Society." I hope to be the instrument in God's hands of great good to the people of this village and vicinity. If the Gazette will publish my letters, our friends in Lake county shall hear from me now and then. I must apologize for the length of this letter. C. M. Bingham.

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