Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In General,middle School's Namesakemay Just Be Smith

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In General,middle School's Namesakemay Just Be Smith

Article excerpt

Well, that explains the clanking noise.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that my spirit would return to

drag chains through the chambers of copy editors and street sign

painters should they so distort my name as they had those of

H.B. Philips and W.A. MacDuff, for whom Jacksonville streets

long have been misnamed.

Philips' name originally was attached to the South Jacksonville

highway persistently spelled "Phillips" and MacDuff's (I wrote)

to the west Jacksonville avenue misnamed for lo, these many

years, "McDuff."

But the best intentions go oft awry, as a Scotsman other than

MacDuff once observed.

Although both The Florida Times-Union and Jacksonville Journal

spelled the name of the prominent real estate developer and

businessman "MacDuff" upon his death in 1925, friends and family

report the name actually is Macduff.

So, let us now further rattle some chains . . .

What's the story on that middle school in Springfield?

Times-Union staff writer Stephanie Desmon wrote a story last

week about the reopening of Kirby-Smith Middle School.

The place has undergone a two-year, $14 million expansion and

still has a hyphen.

I never understood this. Not even when I was a student at what

was then Jacksonville's other junior high school, John Gorrie,

which nobody ever spelled John-Gorrie, and Kirby-Smith was our

arch-rival, being the feeder school to Andrew Jackson High

School, which legend insists was supposed to be named Stonewall

Jackson High, but the stonecutter got it wrong so they let it

go.

There is an explanation, of sorts, for Kirby hyphen Smith. But

the fundamental question persists. Why the hyphen? There was an

explanation for two-L Phillips and little-C big-D McDuff, too.

The Springfield middle school was named for our area's genuine

Confederate hero, Edmund Kirby Smith, who was born in St.

Augustine. Kirby was his middle name and his mother's maiden

name.

He was graduated 25th in his class from West Point in 1845. The

next year, he was in the first fighting of the Mexican War. …

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