Judge Donald Cheney

Judge Donald Cheney

Created: May 29, 2012

Judge Donald Cheney - (Born January 23, 1889) Donald Alexander Cheney was the son of Judge John Moses Cheney who moved here from Massachusetts in 1885.  After attending local public grade schools Donald graduated from Rollins College Academy (prep school) 1907 and Dartmouth College in 1911.  He returned to Orlando to serve as general manager of his family’s Orlando Water and Light Company until it was sold to the city in 1924.  Mr. Cheney formed the county’s first juvenile court 1919 and served as its first judge. Donald Cheney also organized the Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 1922.  Judge Donald Cheney was instrumental in the forming of the Orange County Historical Society.

Topics discussed in this interview include: Part 1: Father from New Hampshire, came to Florida in 1885; attny., took over electric /water plant; house on Honeymoon Row, built home on Lake Concord; bicycles and horses; going to church; school and games; moving buildings; fires; going to Rollins Academy; shopping; fairs; slide, swimming in Lake Eola.  Part 2: hunting trips; freeze of 1895; soldiers here for Spanish – American War; children’s books; dances &dance schools; Sunday School; picnics on trains.  Part 3: Father appointed judge; personality; trials; Republicans; effects of freeze; mother’s education & activities; going to Rollins; driving cows; dances; Donald’s pony, ‘Hiball’; train to Rollins; Dartmouth activities; travel on boats; taking over plant; married 1915.  Part 3: city growth, development, boom; Judge Cheney and Mendelssohn Club, church singing & operas; early highways; early businessmen.

This interview was conducted over two separate days, May 15 (parts 1 and 2) and May 29, 1975 (parts 3 and 4) by Sandra Hinson for the Friends of the Orlando Public Library’s Oral History Committee.  We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center’s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.


Interview Part 1

Interview Part 2

Interview Part 3

Interview Part 4


 Judge Donald A. Cheney


Donald Cheney

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