Henry A. DeLand
Sara Parce DeLand
In March 1876, Henry
DeLand took a long overdue vacation to Walterboro, South Carolina
to visit his sister and brother-in-law, O.P. Terry. Mr. Terry convinced
DeLand to accompany him on a trip to Florida to see the land he
had recently purchased.
On the first leg of the
journey, DeLand became disenchanted. He had not been favorably impressed
by the land around the St. John's River and the road to O.P. Terry's
homestead from Enterprise seemed even worse. The weather had been
unseasonably dry so the sand was deep and the underbrush was thick.
Over and over again, DeLand begged him to turn back, but Terry kept
insisting, "Better country beyond." He knew his brother-in-law
well and felt sure, once thy got beyond those first few miles; DeLand
would, "sit up and take notice."
Gradually the countryside
began to change from the flat swampy lands they had traversed to
higher, more rolling terrain with towering pine trees that protected
them from the suns direct rays and the underbrush was not so dense.
DeLand was very impressed with the high and rather rolling land
where you could "see for great distances through the tall pine
Before the day was over
DeLand had bought 159.1 acres of land and had met several of the
settlers in the nearby area. Henry DeLand described them as being
a fine group of people to from the nucleus of a town dedicated to
the advancement of education and culture.
Most of the street names
that we so often take for granted have very interesting stories
behind them. Amelia Avenue, for example is named after Amelia DeLand
Leete, Henry DeLand's sister and wife of the town's first minister,
the Rev. M.S. Leete. Streets like Voorhis Ave, Howry, Clara Avenue,
and Rich Avenue were named after early pioneers. Some names are
more reveling, such as New York Avenue was named after Henry DeLand's
home state of New York. Streets like Georgia, Florida, Kentucky,
Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Delaware, Kansas, and Arizona
were more than likely named by early settlers who came from these
states and claimed a parcel of land, then named in the honor of
their home territories.