One of the strengths in our area it seems to me is the churches. There are so many fine churches in Orlando and generally speaking Orlando’s a city of Christian faith. When I was young we rarely had any crime and one of the reasons we did not have crime I’m told by older people who knew a great deal more than I was that we had a judicial system where the judges were strict. Particularly the judge of the criminal court, Judge Murphy….
Joseph S. Guernsey speaks on the blessings God has provided in this excerpt from an oral history interview oon Mary 21, 2012. He recalls Orlando business associates such as Fletcher Rush, Carl Langford, Wilson Reid and more who were “men almost above men”.
ABOVE: Photo of the Orlando Federal Savings and Loan Association in downtown Orlando started by Joseph S. Guernsey. Seated L-R: Joseph L. Guernsey Sr., Carl Langford, Wilson Green, ?, Joseph S. Guernsey, Jr., Walter Mulby, Jr., William T. Chennell, W. M. Glenmore, Bill Slemons. Standing L-R: Mrs. Ruby Stanton, Sally Shearouse, Alice Jean Kittinger, Joan Dyer, Mrs. Alvarez (Lavone), Mrs. Joe (Eugenia) Cawthon, Mrs. Harriet Knight Ayers, Christine Smith, Marcia Harris Vorhus, Nancy Banthem, Mary Ann Haves.
On December 21, 1949 the Orlando Federal Savings and Loan Association founded by Joseph S. Guernsey opened in the beautiful colonial style bank building on Orange Avenue where the Orange County Courthouse is today.
Mr. Guernsey reflects on the importance of an attitude of gratitude: A love for our country, a belief in it, and an appreciation for what our forefathers have done. He says, “An attitude of gratitude is one of the most important attitudes that a man or woman can have in life.”
As we reflect on our blessings as a nation and a community, we invite you to listen to the voice of an Orlando forefather, Joseph S. Guernsey.
Joseph S. Guernsey is the grandson of Orlando banking pioneer, Joseph L. Guernsey who came here in 1886, purchased considerable property from the city centre to Colonial Drive, as well as residences on Lake Eola and Lake Ivanhoe. Joseph L. Guernsey’s son, Joseph W. Guernsey, would continue in the family banking business, Guernsey and Warfield, and real estate enterprises. After serving his country as a pilot in WWII and flying as an airline pilot for Pan American, Joseph S. Guernsey returned to Orlando to enter the real estate business. He founded the Florida Mortgage Service, Orlando Federal Savings and Loan Association, served as leader of the realty firm Guernsey, Green and Slemons, and founded Lake Highland Preparatory School in addition to serving in numerous leadership positions in church and civic life.
Listen to the Oral History Interview with Mr. Joseph S. Guernsey conducted by Jane Tracy on May 21, 2012 at his home in Orlando, Florida.
LISTEN Part I (14:19)
LISTEN Part II (14:58)
LISTEN Part III (3:56)
LISTEN Part IV (3:37)
LISTEN Part V (3:04)
LISTEN Part VI (3:38) World War II
Mr. Guernsey was born in Orlando on October 12, 1918 and passed away November 1, 2016. Read his obituary.
For more information, images and audios, search OrlandoMemory.info using the term “Guernsey.”
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