The Dillard Family

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The Dillard Family

The Dillard Family

by:
jtracy
June 10, 2017

J. L. Dillard pictured with his wife, Mattie Showalter, and their children, Marvin Dillard, Mable Dillard, and Gladys Dillard, far right. Mr. Dillard was born in Virginia in 1858.

Dillard Street in Winter Garden is named after him as their home was on Dillard Street.

Listen as Larry Grimes, grandson of Mr. Dillard, talks about his family history in Winter Garden in this excerpt from an oral history interview with Mr. Grimes at the Orlando Public Library on February 20, 2017.

LISTEN Part IV (15:05)

West Orange Trail

The wonderful trail that they have out there, the bike trail. And we have a city manager that was the spark plug. He was a local guy, but he was retired military and boy it was military right down the line. And he would get things done you wouldn't think possible. He wouldn't take no for an answer. You know whether it was public or private because he had a goal of what he wanted to see done. And my family happened at that time to own where the trail hit. And we made a deal for the county to buy that so it could be the trail head.

Midland Avenue and Agnes Street

That was the last of my grand dad's estate was that piece of property. That was your family's property dating back to the 1800's, right? Yeah. His house was there on Midland and Agnes and then the rest of that part east of Dillard Street was all orange groves. And, like I say, after he passed, well, the three children divided the rest up into a subdivision called Showalter Park after their mother's maiden name. Which, she was, Mattie Showalter, his first wife. And so, that one little place was left because it was separated from the other. So that just made it ideal, beautiful place. The orange trees that used to be there now are replaced with oak trees because birds and squirrels would drop their acorns across where the orange trees were and that's where oak trees sprouted and grew up. And they look like they were planted in rows....

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