Roy Rogers had Trigger, the Lone Ranger had Silver, Hopalong Cassidy had Topper, and Wilbur had Mr. Ed. But none of those spoiled Hollywood horses could hold a candle to Sanford, Florida’s Old Bob.
Local history says that Old Bob was born somewhere around 1877, and unlike those celebrity horses mentioned above, Bob was a working man. Or actually, a working horse. This was in the days before cars and trucks and other modern modes of transportation, and Bob spent 28 years pulling hearses from T.J. Miller’s Funeral Home to the Lakeview Cemetery in Sanford. Whether you were a city leader, a merchant, a laborer, a Civil War veteran, or a child, when your time came, Bob took you for your last ride.
It is said that Bob was a gentle horse and had pulled the hearse to the cemetery so many times over the years that he didn’t even need anybody at the reins. He knew the way and could get there on his own.
Bob, a good natured horse, was a bit of a celebrity in Sanford, and everybody seemed to love him. People gave him apples for treats, and when he was finally retired in 1913, he was put out to pasture locally. Unfortunately, as happens with a lot of hardworking people, too, Bob did not get to enjoy his retirement for very long. He only lived another year, dying in 1914.
What do you do with a celebrity horse who has taken so many of the town’s citizens to their final resting place? The people in Sanford knew the answer to that right away, and Bob was buried under a big tree in Sanford’s Lakeview Cemetery. His grave faces the street, the only grave in the cemetery that does, so Bob can look out over the community that he served for so many years.
The original stone marker for Bob’s grave was vandalized at some point, and when that happened, local businessman Gene Hunt, who owned a monument company, erected a granite headstone over Bob’s grave. His original marker is on display at the Sanford Museum.
The next time you’re in central Florida, make a visit to the friendly city of Sanford and stop by the Lakeview Cemetery to pay your respects to Bob. The cemetery is located on W. 25th Street, off of State Route 46-A, behind the All Souls Catholic Church. Oh, and bring an apple for Bob.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. We have an awesome prize this week, an autographed copy of Learn Google Photos 2020 by Chris Guld from the Geeks on Tour. The book is loaded with easy to understand instructions on how to assemble your lifetime of photo and video memories in one place, and then how to use the program’s powerful tools to edit, organize, and share them, all for free. Chris is a Platinum Level Product Expert for Google Photos and she and her husband Jim have taught classes on computer technology from coast to coast for years. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. Unfortunately, our contests are only open to people with a U.S. mailing address and e-mail address due to shipping costs and restrictions. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – When you ask me what I am doing today, and I say “nothing,” it does not mean I am free to do what you want. It means I am doing nothing.
That’s what you call a devoted employee. I’ll bet Bob never got a raise either.
If he had not been retired his sense of purpose would have kept him alive for many more years.
It’s about time.