The history of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church begins with the arrival of Mr. Anthony Tress from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. He came to Kissimmee in the fall of 1895 on account of poor health and before the end of the year, a Mass was celebrated at the Tropical Hotel by a Jesuit Father from Tampa. Following the arrival of his wife, Annie and two children in 1898, a defunct bank building was used 3 times a year for Mass services. There was only one other Catholic family in town.
My first exposure to the Osceola County Historical Society (OCHS) and resulting enthusiastic desire to join as a member began with a story about growth…
In 2011, a community development plan was being prepared for the Narcoossee Corridor with input from local residents collected via a series of public meetings organized by the Osceola County Planning Department and District 5 Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Jr. As a participant, the topic of local historic preservation came to my attention when information was shared that the historic circa 1886 Narcoossee Schoolhouse was slated to be moved out to the Pioneer Village in Kissimmee.
On August 11, 1908, the Kissimmee Board of Trade was born with its object being “the upbuilding of this city and the advancement of our community in general”, as stated in The Kissimmee Valley Gazette
August 14, 1908 edition. The article also states “Here we have the essential things that are the foundation of a first-class business center and tourist resort – climate, health, and soil and transportation facilities.” Interestingly, those same things are said today.
Every small town has at least one “colorful” character. Rube Lamont fit the bill for Kissimmee and although many people may have never heard of him, his background story is a fascinating one.
Born as Walter Savage in Morris County, New Jersey on June 9, 1876 he was the son of Eli C. and Catherine Savage. Walter was raised in Parsons, Kansas and played pro ball until enlisting in Company A 22nd Kansas Volunteer Infantry during the Spanish-American War. He was discharged November 3, 1898. It is not known when he began to call himself Rube Lamont.
Born on May 26, 1846 in Daviess County, Kentucky to John Gideon Mitchell and Elizabeth L. Allen, Lucius Lantonus Mitchell enlisted as a Private on September 9, 1863 at the age of 17. He mustered into Company D, 35th
KY Infantry, Union Army.
An historical marker in McLean County, Kentucky includes his name among twenty-two men listed as part of a Union force that defeated CSA General Adam R. Johnson’s Partisan Rangers. The unit had camped on nearby land in July of 1864.