Stop 26: The 1927 Dade City Grammar School
R. B. Cox Elementary School (Dade City Grammar School)
Schooling in early frontier Florida was always an important value, and with some digging, enthusiastic historians and genealogists may find some of the original structures or sites. (When you visit Stop 9: The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, after checking hours and arranging a visit on your own, be sure to visit the exhibit of frontier school house from a nearby Lacoochee, Florida, and peruse the authentic desks, chalkboards, and artifacts in a personal re-enactment of what the very early schools were like in appearance and in function).
As population grew and particularly for the county seat of Dade City, there was a great push to have an elegantly designed school building. That occurred in the decade of the 1920s. Designed as a classical revival building by Artemus Roberts, the Dade City Grammar School at 37615 Martin Luther King Boulevard was a traditional Florida structure of Tudor Revival Architecture which was popular during boom time Florida. In 2016, a year-long array of festivities for the ninety-year-old school anniversary was a community event with an array of dignitaries; and continued as a year-long event throughout 2016.
At its opening, The Dade City Banner printed the caption, “$150,000 school plant opened in 1927,” although building had begun in 1923. Cleverly, the brick school plant was designed to be cooled by Florida’s natural breezes. J.W Sanders as the first principal was followed by David A. DaBoll.
The school was renamed for popular Pasco School Superintendent, Rodney B. Cox who died in office of cancer at a young age in 1973.
Special permission was given by the School Principal of R.B. Cox Elementary School, Kimberly Natal, and the Pasco County School Board to embed the following 90th Anniversary video of R.B. Cox Elementary which was lovingly compiled by the school staff and Pasco County Media Services in the Dade City Merchants Historical tour.