The Ocala Evening Star...10-17-1906...Professor Jasper Hardee Brinson, is a product of Marion County. He was born near Eureka in 1867 to the parents of James J. and Mary Brinson and received all his early training in the public schools of the county, which then in their infancy gave very imperfect facilities for education, but with a zeal and determination born of a commendable thirst for an education he overcame all obstacles and went to school, though many times he would have no lunch for noon and while his schoolmates were feasting on the contents of their dinner buckets, young Brinson was pouring over his books.  Mr. Brinson was born of very poor parents and having to labor in his early youth to aid his father in the support of his numerous family, he had very little opportunity of even attending school. He had to labor on the farm Saturday mornings and evenings and prepare his studies by litewood knot fire at night, thus he struggled on, until he became able to teach, after which he used all his spare time and means between the sessions of school in obtaining a higher education. Though his opportunities were much inferior to those of his fellows he far out stripped them all. His advancement was phenomenal and at a very early age he became the leading pupil of the Ocklawaha school. He attended the Ocala High School in 1883 and soon began teaching in the county schools.

He attended various normals, seminaries and high school and graduated at Bowling Green, Kentucky. He continued to teach normals and business colleges in various towns and cities, in the meantime preparing himself for the practice of law, his chosen profession. Mr. Brinson continued to return to Marion County and teach in the winter. He served as principal of several of the vast county schools and was located at Orange Springs when  legislature made an appropriation to establish a commercial department in the East Florida Seminary at Gainesville, having made a specialty of business and practical education he was early chosen as principal of his department and went to work organizing and equipping same. His work there was eminently successful and satisfactory to the authorities. He remained in charge for four years when the institution was abolished by the famous Buckman bill with all the states school's. He was said to have been one of the best business instructors of the south  and under his able direction that department of the seminary was kept at a higher standard and because of that Professor Brinson services were in immediate demand by Rollins College at Winter Park. He served his second year with them and represented the college for two summers in a traveling capacity. In addition to his regular college duties he was chairman of the faculty committee on publicity. His department was always crowded with students and he had a large number in the various cities of the state holding lucrative positions. He kept well abreast of educational thoughts and attended all the important associations of that character. He was always loyal to his native county and  remained a citizen of Marion owning a home at Eureka on the Ocklawaha River. Possibly, in no way, was his educational work more wide spread and permanent benefit then in his summer normal institutes held at Orange Springs and Ft. McCoy in which many of the counties best teachers were trained. He was an enthusiastic and practical educator, which the county justly felt proud.

In 1908 Professor Brinson was elected Superintendent of Public Schools for Marion County. He served as superintendent from January of 1909 until January of 1920 when he resigned that position to become Florida's first State Agent for Rural Schools for Negroes, a position he began on January 1,1920. (see addendum below)

J. H. Brinson's grandfather came from Georgia and settled near Orange Lake in 1848. His father was a member of the Marion Light Artillery under the command of John M. Martin. He married Margaret Leona Hertel Argo November 1, 1897. They had four children together; Myrtle, Leona, Paul and James Martin. He died December 1962 in Dade County, Florida at the home on one of his children.

Source: Ocala Evening Star
On A Personal Note: Mr. Brinson is my (Linda Flowers) 3rd Great Uncle


A division of negro education is maintained in the States Department of Public Instruction of all the Southern  States. Florida was the last state to establish this division intiating the work in January, 1920. J. H. Brinson then County Superintendent of Public Instruction for Marion County was recognized as being the most "suitable educator" qualified for the postion. of becoming the first State Agent in Florida for Rural Schools for Negroes. Mr. Brinson in January, 1920, a "Southern born white man," became Florida's first State Agent of Rural Schools for Negroes. He held this office from January 1, 1920 to July 1, 1927. Source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (1918-1920) Chapter IX:  Report of Superintendent of Public Instruction (1926-1928) Chapter VIII

Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers

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