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Winter Park Library Archive

The Showalter Family

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Westwood Showalter, Sr. and family, of Fairmont, West Virginia, began coming to Winter Park for the winter months around 1915. Showalter, Sr., was a businessman involved in banking, coal and the Monongahela Rail and River Corporation.

In 1923, Showalter, Sr., purchased a home (known as the Johnson home) at 520 Interlachen Avenue. This became the family residence for his wife, Anna, and their three children: Howard W., Jr.; Emily; and Joseph S. (Sandy).

Howard Westwood Showalter, Jr. (1913 - 1965) attended Park Avenue Elementary School, entering the fourth grade in 1923, when the family moved to Winter Park. He finished the sixth grade in 1925. He then went to St. James Episcopal School in Hagerstown, Maryland, for his high school years. He returned to Winter Park and entered Rollins College in 1932 and graduated with the class of 1936. In the summer of 1936 he attended the School of Mines at the University of West Virginia and went to work as superintendent and general manager of the family's Emily Mine near Morgantown, West Virginia.

In 1942 he enlisted in the Air Corps and after training at Randolph Field, Texas, he instructed Army and Navy cadets in flying. He married Virginia Lee Franz during a three-day leave in 1944.

Joseph S. (Sandy) Showalter (1917 - 1983) also attended Park Avenue Elementary School. He attended Winter Park High School and Rollins College, graduating in 1940. An aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer, Sandy went to work for the Curtis Wright Corporation. His design of the first free-blown bubble cockpit canopy was patented and became a fixture on various types of airplanes.

This collection is based on a scrapbook titled A History of the Showalter Corp. and The Showalter Flying Service, Inc. 1945 To 1975, Compiled by Ford B. Rogers, Jr., President. Pages of the scrapbook are somewhat re-created for display in this site.

This article was written by former archivist, Barbara White, MLIS.