People in Palmetto Schools History

Madame Joe

Mr. & Mrs.Joseph Atzeroth were natives of Bavaira, Germany. They arrived on Terra Ceia April 12, 1843, and bought 46.46 acres bordering the Manatee River in Palmetto in 1850 for $230. They later bought another 38 acres adjacent to their property.

Because she always called her husband Mr. Joe, those who knew her referred to her as Madame Joe.

At first they lived in the partially completed log cabin on the 46 acres, but soon built a larger log house and covered it with clapboards. The log cabin became a store.

Madame Joe was an impressive, forceful character that no one could forget. She became the heroine of many tales of the Manatee frontier.

They sold their land in Palmetto on November 27,1866, and planned to return to Germany. Due to her liver illness, they returned to their farm on Terra Ceia where Mr. Joe died in 1871, and Madame Joe, on January 24, 1902, at 94.

She was described as friendly, understanding, full of vivacity, and loved fun and dancing.

Source - 100 Years in Palmetto by Ruth E. Abel, pp.7-14
Image of Madame Joe Atzeroth
Photos from Palmetto Historical Commission

S.S. Lamb

Palmetto's Founding Father

Manatee County's first road roughly followed what is now U.S. Hwy. 301 north from the Manatee River to Tampa in 1846. It was down this road that 36 year-old Samuel Sparks Lamb came from Clarke County, Mississippi.

He traveled with his wife, five daughters, and a son. He rode a horse, and his family traveled in a wagon pulled by a yoke of oxen.

Lamb acquired 160 acres in what is now Palmetto. He donated many acres for a library, a cemetery, and churches. He built the first brick building, a bank, and laid out the town with a wide main street that ran from the railroad station to the river.

He is described as aloof and stand-offish.

S.S. Lamb died on March 13, 1910. He is buried in the Palma Sola Cemetery on 9th AV in Bradenton.

Source - "Early Settler Helped Palmetto Grow" by Morgan Stinemetz

black and white image of Samuel Sparks Lamb, Palmetto's Founding Father

Frankie A. Howze

Teacher, Librarian, Principal -
Mrs. Frankie A.(McKay) Howze

Black & white photograph of Mrs. Frankie A. Howze Frankie McKay of Chicago came to Palmetto in 1889 to teach in Palmetto's one-room school. Palmetto was a struggling village, recovering from a yellow fever epidemic.

When Mrs. Howze found some of her students were interested in high subjects, she organized classes in literature, Latin, elementary science and algebra, and the nucleus of high school came into being. After sending to Chicago for a model course of study, she divided children into classes and subjects were selected suitable to their age.

Much needed textbooks and other equipment was ordered. Parents and children helped raise the money for these through social functions and plays. Mrs. Howze was reimbursed for the textbooks she had bought. She contributed from her salary to buy the first double school desks. She was a good teacher who not only taught the three "R's", but also self adjustment, good citizenship and religious training.

She taught foreign languages as well as football. She was an excellent role model for young teachers.

Until she retired at the age of 72, Frankie Howze led the young people in daily sitting up exercises. She taught piano and voice. In some families, she taught three generations. In addition to her duties as a teacher, principal of the primary then elementary school, Mrs. Howze also was the local librarian. Mrs. Howze was then called the mother of education in Manatee County. She was honored by her peers. Two schools were named for her. She never stopped learning. After her retirement, she returned to school and earned another degree. Mrs. Howze died on July 29, 1956.

The Palmetto Carnegie Museum, at the Palmetto Historical Park, has a large collection of Frankie Howze memorabilia.

Source - Palmetto Historical Commission

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