Youngest Speaker of the House
1915 - Lacy Day Edge Becomes The Youngest Ever Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
Born in 1891, Lacy "Day" Edge, son of E. E. Edge, was about eight years old when he came to live in Taylorville/Groveland. After which, he would continue on to make many notable accomplishments.
Beginning in 1915, he represented Lake County as a state legislator in the Florida House of Representatives and, in 1923, became the youngest ever Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives at age 25.
He would also serve in the Florida Senate.
He served in five regular and two extra sessions of the House and in two regular and one special session of the Florida Senate.
1914 - Lacy Day Edge - Speaking During His 1st Race for Member of House of Representatives
L. D. Edge (center) During the Signing of a Bill While Serving as State Representative
Memories of Lacy Day Edge
The young Mr. Edge, ommonly known as Day Edge, once told in a speech about how he learned to drive his father's car in 1909. He would often get stuck in the muddy ruts but roads in the area were much improved when the practice of putting pine straw in the dirt ruts became common practice.
One of his granddaughters shared a story of when, during his time as mayor of Groveland, Day Edge became quite upset with someone. Follwing the encounter, he was so ashamed of the way he acted that he fined himself $25 for unruly conduct.
Another of her stories told of how Groveland had a certain citizen who was well known for public inebriation. It was common practice at the time to lock the person up in jail for the night (Much like the character of Otis on the Andy Griffith Show. It is little wonder that Groveland has often been called the real-life Mayberry.)
At the time, Groveland's "jail" was just a block building with a dirt floor behind City Hall. The following morning, the jail was discovered to be empty, except for a note that read:
"Dear Mr. Day,
I dug out and went home. It was too d--- cold!"
Another account told of how Day Edge would make arrangeents with the local grocery stores to anonymously pay the tab for needy families.
Each Christmas, he would have a truck load of oranges delivered to Bethune-Cookman college.
Around 1898, E.E. Edge purchased the Crenshaw holdings south of Lake Louisa, and before the end of 1917 county commissioners appointed Hon. L. D. Edge, of Groveland, H. L. Johnson, and S. S. Fesler to a commission that would have charge over the preliminary work of draining the marsh.
This is what Steve Rajtar wrote for the Groveland Mascotte Historical Trail [Note: There are some errors in the following quote *]:
"The severe freezes in 1894-95 hurt the citrus industry, and this area of Lake County turned to turpentine. T. M. and C. C. Taylor sold their turpentine still in the southern portion of the county and went to Mascotte, planning to start tapping pine trees with a crew of black laborers. However, since Mascotte had never had a black resident, town leader Theodore Ruff refused to let the Taylors set up shop. The Taylors then followed the railroad eastward to a place they named Taylorville, and erected a still on the lot where later L. Day Edge [*E. E. Edge] built his home. His father, Elliott E. Edge, bought out the Taylors in 1899 and laid out the foundation of a town."
L. D. Edge became the first mayor of Groveland when the town was incorporated in 1922.
Referred to as the "Father of the Department of Transportation", L. D. Edge influenced the building of Highway 50 through Groveland.
At E.E. Edge's death in 1934, being one of nine charter members of the First Methodist Church in Groveland, the church voted unanimously to change the name to the Edge Memorial Methodist Church in honor of his support of the church and Methodist-supported missions, including Florida Southern College.
Constructed in 1922, the second oldest building on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, was renamed Edge Hall in 1935 to honor E. E. Edge, who was one of the first large donors to the college.
Edge, and his son Lacy Day Edge, were lifelong members of the church
Following the death of his father in 1934, Lacy Day (commonly known as Day Edge) gave up his rise in politics to return home to assume the responsibilities of running the various Edge businesses.
L. D. Edge standing with the artist during portrait unveiling in Tallahassee, Florida
[Contributors: Mary Helen Myers, Jason Brown, Richard Helfst]