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Letters to the Editors

Post office building shouldn't be named for Ted Williams


© St. Petersburg Times
published July 28, 2002

Editor: As members of the Croft family, we protest naming the U.S. Postal Service office in Hernando the Ted Williams Building. He already has his name on one building in Citrus County, the Ted Williams Museum and Hitter's Hall of Fame, which we feel is quite sufficient.

Mr. Williams was born in San Diego and played baseball for the Boston Red Sox, so let the people of those cities petition to have their post offices and/or other buildings named after him.

Mr. Williams had nothing whatsoever to do with the 1891 founding of Hernando, and it is highly probable that, as a relatively newcomer to the area, Mr. Williams knew very little of the history of the town or its people.

Due to the recent situation surrounding the death of Mr. Williams, we feel that the history of Hernando would be better served by not designating the Hernando post office the Ted Williams Building, thereby preserving the heritage of our family and Hernando for future generations.

The population of Hernando has outgrown the present post office building. We need a new and more modern facility, one that will meet the needs of this growing community. At present, the day-to-day postal operations are being divided between the permanent structure and several mobile units. This issue should be addressed before designating a dilapidated building a memorial to anyone.

When we have a new post office building in Hernando, one we can be proud of, then and only then should it be designated a memorial to honor the people who endured extreme hardships and made enormous sacrifices in order for Hernando to become a reality. We feel the Croft-Nickerson Building is a far more appropriate name for our future post office.

Give credit where credit is due. Judge Edward Croft, his son William "Billy" Gilmer Croft and his granddaughter Susan "Aunt Dot" Storey (nee Croft) Nickerson and her husband, Dr. Charles Nickerson, were directly responsible for settling and establishing the town of Hernando.

In 1881, Judge Croft and his wife Susan Storey (nee Reese) Croft established a home in the area of present-day Hernando. Judge Croft served as a Citrus County judge, a lawyer and a notary. He was buried in the Hernando Cemetery in 1896.

The Nickersons had their land platted and surveyed for home sites and businesses in 1881 and named the area Hernando, in honor of explorer Hernando De Soto. The land for the Hernando Cemetery was donated to the community by "Aunt Dot" when her husband died in 1887. He was the first family member to be interred there. She was laid to rest beside her beloved Charley in 1896.

William "Billy" Gilmer Croft was the first postmaster of Hernando.

Additional information on the contributions to local history by the Croft family can be obtained from A Southern Legacy: The House of Croft by Robert W. Croft. A copy of this work isin the Genealogical Reference Section of the Lakes Region Library, 1511 Druid Road, Inverness.
-- William and Ruby Griffin, Hernando

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