OAK HILL, VOLUSIA COUNTY Florida
Established on September 28, 1875

Postmasters:

Seagrave Adams – served before postal systems started (He married the daughter of A.A. Berry, Jennie B. Berry).

  Post Office 1922

Post Office 1922

James Rideout, 1875; Henry S. Baker, 1878; Charles E. Smith, 1879, William C. Howes, 1880; Alexander A. Berry, 1887; William C. Howes, 1889; John H.C. Howes, 1890; Leonard Mosby, 1908; Ernest McCullough, 1915; J. Harry Hilldale, 1922; David L. Hilldale, 1959; Horace E. Treadwell, 1966; and Joyce Marie Ellis, who served as clerk with H.L. Treadwell from 1969-78 (Carole M. Alderman has served as clerk since 1976).

W. F. Burns Elementary School

W. F. Burns Elementary School

Oak Hill Elementary School was dedicated and renamed after a prominent citizen, William F. Burns. It is now called the W.F. Burns Elementary School, dedicated on December 5, 1974. Mr. Burns was a teacher at the school starting the term of 1930-32. and became principal at the start of the term 1936-37 until his retirement in 1957. He had to stop for a few yeas to enter the service, but thzt time was counted as being on his retirement. He and his wife, Lillie, had three children, a son Billy, now a Forest Ranger; a daughter, Mrs. Betty Bellamy, a schoolteacher; and Mrs. Bobbi Walker, a minister’s wife. Mr. Burns passed away May 23, 1975. Mr. Burns passed away on May 23, 1975. The school has an enrollment of 303 with 18 in Headstart.

Oak Hill Citrus Growers Association originated as the New Smyrna Hawks Park Citrus Association in 1909, and moved their facilities to Oak Hill in 1924, building the packing house. Mr. Howard Putnam was the president at that time.

During the 1940s, Mr. J.C. Deal Sr. served as the Association president. Others holding that position since that time have been H.C. Allen, M.W. Ashton, W.F. Burns and Woodrow Stewart.

During a normal season the plant located at 172 Valencia Drive in Oak Hill handled 300,000 boxes of fruit, about one half oranges and one half grapefruit. The Japanese export program started in 1976 and the Oak Hill Association has been an active participant.

Oak Hill Citrus Gowers Association Packing house, one of the oldest buildings here.

Oak Hill Citrus Gowers Association
Packing house, one of the oldest buildings here.

In addition to the packing plan, the Association also has a complete grove care department, including fertilizing cultivation and harvesting.

Since 1950 Mr. John C. Deal Jr. has served as the plant manager, and also is the secretary of the Association. June Hingson is assistant secretary to Mr. Deal. Mr. Danny Lee is the picking foreman. Mr. Woodrow Stewart is president of the Association.

The 1979-80 season started out with the Mims Citrus Growers handling all fruit, but still everything else goes on from this packing house as always before. The reasoning for the Mims Citrus Growers was the volume. The fruit was less because of the freezes since late in 1972. with the worst freeze since 1895 on Christmas Day, 1983 – making the volume of fruit even less.

Mary Adelaide (Redding) Dewees was born in Reddick, Florida on October 20, 1925. After that, her family moved to Immokalee, Florida. There, her father, Robert W. Redding, started the first farming in that area. They were so successful that many others came there and starting farming for themselves. Dotay it is one of the largest farming areas in Florida and also a big citrus producing area.

In 1936, she moved with her family to Wauchula, Florida and lived there until 1944 when she married Adelbert C. Dewees. They were married on August 12, 1944, and lived in Eau Gallie, Florida. In 1945, they moved to Oak Hill, Florida, in a launch. Mrs. Dewees came down with polio in 1946. When she got better, she joined in the church and civic affairs. She also helped the PTA until problems arose with her back. She had many surgeries

Mrs. Dewees was president of the Garden Club in Oak Hill for the end of the 1963-64 term. She had a Junior Garden Club for the school children of Oak Hill where they planted some grass and a Magnolia tree. Soon, they had added shrubbery around the school grounds. They trimmed the shrubs and cut and fertilized the grass.

In 1967, Mrs. Dewees ran unsuccessfully for City Commissioner of Oak Hill and soon found that she could do more far the community as president of the Village Improvement Association. Since then in 1967, she has been a Notary Public and Democratic Committee Woman. She was the very first Avon Lady in Oak Hill for five years, starting in approximately 1950.

She worked from 1968 to 1972 tirelessly it seemed, to acquire the right-of-ways for land so that Volusia County could build the Oak Hill community a park located on Lagoon street and North Gaines Street. Although partially bedridden since 1968, she began in 1974 to seek donations for a skating oval one hundred feet long and fifty feet wide for the five-acre park. The park was dedicated to and named The Mary A. Dewees recreational Facility for Volusia County in 1972. This park has really been a great dream fulfilled for Mary.

Mary A. Dewees Park The south end  of the park is where the skating rink and building was used for different things but mostly for the yearly Seafood Festival.

Mary A. Dewees Park
The south end of the park is where the skating rink and building
was used for different things but mostly for the yearly Seafood Festival.

In years past, she helped to get the streets paved and many other things. The City of Oak Hill, Florida gave Mrs. Dewees a plaque to show their appreciation for the work she did to improve the town. She was called on for many things and was always ready to help. She was a member of the American Legion and while the O.E.O. of Volusia County was still in existence, she was also a member of that.

Adelbert (del) and Mary had three children, Mrs. Mary Anne (James/Jim) Moffett Jr., Mrs. Donia Adelle (Richard Donewald, and Adelbert Seth (Del). Mary Ann and Jim have an eleven-year-old daughter, Krista Anne. Donia has two children, Jefferson Robert Coleman, ten years old and Valerie Eunice Brown, five years old. Del has two sons, Adelbert S II, seven years old and Marcus Aron, five years old.

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