Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

2022 Members and Visitors Guide for the Punta Gorda Area

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Page 93 of 143

Page 94 2022 Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce Members & Visitors Guide He left the service in 1899, returned to business and in 1902 again ran for and was elected to the state legislature. In 1903 he ran for Speaker of the state legislature and was defeated, receiving only 2 votes, including his own. He remained determined not to give up and developed a reputation for efficiency, moderation, and successful compromise which resulted in his unanimous election as Speaker in 1905. Gilchrist was by then a successful businessman, military veteran, and respected legislator. He ran for governor in 1908 and was easily elected. His campaign adopted the motto "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" to symbolize his refusal to run down his opponents and his willingness to work with all parties. His administration focused on developing public health and infrastructure projects designed to benefit all Floridians. The governor's human side was marked by having his mother serve as "First Lady" during his term in part because of his affection for her and in part because he never married. TREAT FOR KIDS Punta Gorda's children benefit to this day from another of his projects, which involved a bequest which created a trust which provides free ice cream to children at Gilchrist Park in town each Halloween. Numerous charities benefited from his decision to leave his remaining, considerable estate to them. Albert Gilchrist is remembered by historians as one of Florida's most effective governors. Because of his personal modesty and moderate approach to politics his reputation has been somewhat overshadowed by more flamboyant predecessors and successors. Governor Gilchrist died in New York City in 1926 following an operation. His body was returned to Punta Gorda for interment in Indian Springs Cemetery. He is memorialized by the southbound Route 41 bridge over the Peace River and by the creation of Florida's last county, which was named after him. Sun file photo The Arias family were among the hundreds who enjoyed the free ice cream sponsored by the Punta Gorda Masonic Lodge 115. Ross Dorrer hands out ice cream at Gilchrist Park.

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