Jack Branham, Sr. is remembered as one of Orlando’s most respected businessmen. During World War I he served in the Navy, then attended Rollins College. After a stint in the automobile business he joined with Richard Tucker to form Tucker & Branham Insurance and Mortgage Company in 1925. Mr. Branham also administered the Orange Memorial Hospital, first as treasurer then vice president and then president. He served on the Orlando Utilities Commission during the 1940s and early 1950s and was president for three terms. He also was a director of the First National Bank, a president of the University Club, the Rotary Club and the Orlando Insurer’s Association. Jack Branham served the First Presbyterian Church as a deacon.
Topics discussed in this oral history interview from July 29, 1975:
Partt 1 – family background; Lake Lucerne; school days; burning of the old school house; World War I; personal contact with President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson; football; courtship; Tucker-Branham Insurance; swimming jaybird in Lake Lucerne; killing alligator.
Part 2 – Father; Civil War ancestor; girl watching; McElroy’s; civic work; church; Ocoee Riot; saving Orlando Country Club; paying off debt; Orlando’s turning point.
Part 3 – Tribute to sister, “Miss Mary”; abstaining from smoking / drinking until 21st birthday for parents; founding the University Club; early way of advertising (Tucker-Branham); Miss Mary’s only real sweetheart; Utilities; communion bread; tribute to family. Ms. Yothers records an addendum regarding the Ocoee Riot.
Part 4 – First National Bank burglary; bank power struggle; politics; future of downtown Orlando.
This interview was conducted on 7-29-1975 by Jean Yothers 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
Peruse interviews with more Orlando pioneers.
Interview with Jack Branham, Sr. - Part 2
Interview with Jack Branham, Sr. - Part 3
Interview with Jack Branham, Sr. - Part 4