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Joseph S. Guernsey on the Future of Orlando: Then & Now

I think not only is the future extremely bright for Orlando, but I think it is likely to become someday the largest city in Florida… in  this excerpt  (3:04) from an oral history interview on May 26, 2012 Mr. Joseph S. Guernsey shares his perspective on the future of Orlando, then and now.

March 10, 1963 article “A Way to Repay a Blessing” – Bright Future  
As a man with his finger on Central Florida’s economic pulse The Orlando Sentinel asked Mr. Guernsey, “What does he see in Orlando’s future?”

Guernsey replied, “I put that same question to a man I admired very much, N. P. Yowell, the founder of the Yowell Class [First Presbyterian Church], about seven or eight years ago.

“He said during his lifetime he had watched Orlando unfold from a sleepy little village to an empire, and that I would witness the same thing- that it was going to go to even greater progress than he had seen.”

“We may have temporary ups and downs, but I think looking at it over a long pull, it is as optimistic a picture as any spot in the U.S.”

May 26, 2012 Orlando Memory Interview
We asked Mr. Guernsey, “What do you see as the future of Orlando?”

Guernsey replied:  Well I’d like to confirm what I said some 40 years ago. I think not only is the future extremely bright for Orlando, but I think it is likely to become someday the largest city in Florida. We have the Atlantic on one side only an hour away and the Gulf of Mexico to the West only an hour and a half away. We have many lakes. We have a great road system, a great railroad system. We have Sanford, Florida as a riverport and Cocoa as a seaport. And so Orlando is in an ideal situation.  I think the important thing is for our nation the United States to remember and to implement the Constitution of the United States which will continue to make us a great nation as long as we adhere to it. Once we depart from that we’ll have plenty of challenges that we don’t have today.

Joseph S. Guernsey is the grandson of Orlando’s 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 & 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.  

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ATTACHMENTS

The Guernseys
"A Way to Repay a Blessing" , Orlando Sentinel Star , March 10, 1963 article on The Guernsey family. (Part II of II.)
The Guernseys
"A Way to Repay a Blessing" , Orlando Sentinel Star , March 10, 1963 article on The Guernsey family. (Part I of II.)
Joseph S. Guernsey
Orlando Evening Sentinel, October 31, 1949 article on the leadership qualities of Joseph S. Guernsey. Joseph S. Guernsey is the grandson of Orlando's...
Mr. Joseph S. Guernsey
Photo of Joseph S. Guernsey. Joseph S. Guernsey is the grandson of Orlando's banking pioneer, Joseph L. Guernsey who came here in 1886,...
Mr. Joseph S. Guernsey - Part 1



Mr. Joseph S. Guernsey - Part 2



Mr. Joseph S. Guernsey - Part 3



Mr. Joseph S. Guernsey - Part 4



WWII Veteran Joseph S. Guernsey



Joseph S. Guernsey on the Future of Orlando: Then & Now



On Campus with Joesph S. Guernsey, 2012

Joseph S. Guernsey's friendship with Carl Langford started in the second grade at Marks Street School when a bully picked on him and Carl came to his rescue. Mr. Guernsey recalls that Carl Langford, who would later become Mayor Carl Langford, "was a wonderful person, a fellow with a bright mind who was a lot of fun. A fellow who was helpful to me all during my life."

Joseph S. Guernsey, who served as Board Chairman of College of Orlando, would later start Lake Highland Preparatory School at the corner of Marks St.  and Highland Avenue, just a few blocks from where he attended grade school. We asked him about how Lake Highland Preparatory School began which he discusses in this audio excerpt  from an oral history interview on May 21, 2012.

Mr. Guernsey  presently serves on the Board of Trustees for Lake Highland Preparatory School. Regarding the school, Mr. Guernsey says, "I enjoy being there with the wonderful president we have at the school, Warren Hudson; and the wonderful faculty and staff and, of course, the students are incomparable. They're so fine and so bright, so many of them. It helps keep me reasonably young in spirit."

Joseph S. Guernsey is the grandson of Orlando's 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 & 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.




Remembering the Blessings with Joseph S. Guernsey

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 a 2012 oral history interview. He recalls Orlando business associates such as Fletcher Rush, Carl Langford, Wilson Reid and more who were "men almost above men".

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 this Thanksgiving, we invite you to LISTEN (below) 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 & 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.  




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