Friday, July 13, 2012

Whitehair: Potent Lawyer with Powerful Connections

From Hodges' scrapbook:  Henry Balch, Executive Editor of The Orlando Sunday Sentinel Star wrote a long article, "Youthful Barrister And Political Boss Has Plenty on Ball, 38-Year Old DeLand Leader Well Known Thruout State as Potent Lawyer With Powerful Connections," encouraging Francis P. Whitehair to enter the 1939 race for Governor of Florida (Senator Hodges and Spessard Holland were also to be on the Demcratic ticket).  He ends with this list, which fascinates me:

"He is:
  1. An A No. 1 lawyer
  2. A citrus grower
  3. Political boss of Volusia County and friend of the mighty in Tallahassee and Washington
  4. A man of substance with a fine personal reputation who can well afford to make the race without soliciting undesirable support and with a burning desire to serve Florida without becoming a multi-millionaire at the expense of the taxpayers.  In other words, he's honest, moderately wealthy and doesn't have to steal.
  5. Father of an attractive family
  6. A practical politician who has attended the last nine regular sessions of the Florida Legislature as well as all special sessions since 1923 as an observer and lobbyist.  HIS YOUTH HELPS
  7. A young man (he'll be 39 Oct. 1)
  8. A God-fearing man.  (He's a member of the First Christian Church).  He's also past exalted ruler of the Elks, belongs to the Masons, chamber of commerce, Florida and American Bar Associations, and all other organizations a man who is going somewhere in politics should be identified with.
  9. A good business man
  10. A good sport.  He took the DeLand ball team over when it was broke and disorganized and spent enough money on it (so much he keeps it a secret from his wife) to give the town a winner.
  11. A fine extemporaneous speaker who disdains planned talks and refuses to use notes.
  12. A vigorous personality with decided opinions on affairs of State but a great willingness to listen and counsel with friends and more experienced acquaintances.
  13. A handsome fellow who would make a hit with the feminine vote with his courtly manner, pleasant smile and robust physique.  (He looks a bit like Clark Gable, except that Gable is taller and won't allow the gray hairs to show at the temple as Whitehair does.)
  14. Keenly alive to all the abuse and trouble he will run into if he decides to listen to the pleadings of his friends but courageous enough to take it and fight back, confident enough not to worry and sure enough of his record to laugh off the mud-slinging any gubernatorial candidate has to weather.

1 comment:

  1. Great post: as a DeLand native, I thank you!

    Would it be possible to see the original article in the Orlando Sentinel? (Or to know the date of the article, at least?)

    Thank you very much.

    Laura Morland