Judge Frank Smith

Judge Frank Smith

August 30, 2016

Orange County Circuit Judge Frank Smith, who was commissioned to serve in the seventeeth circuit in 1925 and again in 1929 for six years.

Listen as Attorney Jim Robinson recalls when Judge Frank Smith would stop and greet the schoolchildren each morning on his way to work at the Orange County Court House.

Excerpt from an oral history interview with Jim Robinson at his home on Lake Conway, March 11, 2016.  LISTEN Part I (20:10)

...My first job, community effort, was I was made Captain of the Delaney School Boy Patrol. And I used to stand on the corner of Delaney and the kids that came walking up Delaney to get across the change in the roadway, I would assist them sort of like people do today helping kids. Anyway, I would do that. Although I did not direct traffic at all.

Judge Frank Smith

And one of the highlights of that experience was Judge Frank Smith, who was a circuit judge, he was the only circuit judge in Orange County at the time. Every morning, he lived on Delaney, he'd come walking up and stopped on the corner and shook hands with all the kids. He walked to his office, downtown Orlando courthouse, every day. I guess round trip, four miles. And one of the things and I mention this, he had a funny thing about what he did. He would shake hands with the kids, but he would hold on to their hand until they said, "Uncle." And he had a son who was a lawyer, became a lawyer. And he had a daughter who was in our class, that is, Betty and mine.

Anyway, I went all the way through there and the principal of the school was an interesting young woman. She, one of the heroes of the early school system in Orange County, was Mollie Ray. And when she retired, Elizabeth Robinson, took her place and then she became principal of Fern Creek Elementary School later. Very important person and very much, her family was involved in the church that I went to, First Presbyterian....


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