Crestview courthouse to feature historical mementos


staff reports

CRESTVIEW — Two historical mementos from the Florida Capitol will be donated to the Okaloosa County Commission for later display in the county’s new courthouse in Crestview.

One item is an exact facsimile of the handwritten legislation by Rep. William Mapoles creating Okaloosa County in 1917. Mapoles wrote out in longhand the precise description of county lines and boundaries, which became law.

The other is a black and white photograph of Senate President Newman Brackin being ticketed in good humor by the Crestview town marshal for double-parking his horse. The photo was taken in 1949 when Brackin (D-Crestview) served as presiding officer of the state’s upper legislative chamber.

The presentation will take place during the commission meeting Aug. 29 at Crestview’s City Hall.

“I’m delighted to contribute these interesting documents from our past to be displayed in the courthouse of the future,” former Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) said. “Commission Chair Carolyn Ketchel heard about these items and was most gracious in arranging for them to be presented to the county.”

A third historical memento that hung in the Florida Capitol, a picture of Congressman Bob Sikes (D-Crestview) addressing a patriotic day crowd, will adorn the wall of the U.S. House of Representatives office now occupied by Gaetz’s  son, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach). Other Northwest Florida historical items that the State Archives found or reproduced for former Senate President Gaetz are being donated to private and public collections.

Gaetz paid for all archival services and items personally, according to a media release.