Lovell's History

The following information is from the images below.

Lovell Elementary

A school which celebrates the Lovell family as its namesake.


Origin of the Lovell name

Lovell Elementary School was named after William Lovell, one of Apopka’s earliest pioneers. The Lovell family moved from North Georgia to Mellonville (Sanford) prior to the Civil War. It was here where he first became a successful businessman. Mr. Lovell eventually moved his family to a summer home in Apopka. He said it was so he could avoid mosquitoes on the St. Johns River.

Lovell the businessman

During the Civil War, William Lovell enlisted in the Confederate Army. Prior to leaving, Lovell buried four bales of cotton in the ground just as one would save money in the bank. Upon his return, he profited enough from selling his cotton to buy land. In fact, he built a house on what is the current site of the Orlando History Museum. Mr. Lovell also built a dry goods store, a hotel in Orlando, and a landing on Lake Apopka known as “Lovell’s Landing.” This business provided services to farmers after their flat boats hauled crops across the lake. By 1878, Lovell opened another general store on McGee Street.

Lovell the superintendent

William Lovell raised 10 of his 11 children in Apopka. It is believed Lovell’s large family and ability as a businessman are the reasons he was chosen as the first superintendent of Orange County Public Schools. This was in 1869. William Lovell and family members are buried in the cemetery on Highland Street.

Lovell property

One of William A. Lovell’s sons was named Fred. Fred had a son named Charles. Charles was an industrious youth and eventually became a World War 11 pilot, flying a plane for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Charles sent money home for his father to purchase land, so Fred purchased 40 acres. On this land, corn, tomatoes, and peas were grown, and cattle and pigs grazed. This turned out to be the land purchased for the first Lovell Elementary School.

1960s construction and prominent Apopka Leaders

By 1967 two additions were completed at the school to make room for 200 more students. James Peery was one of its early principals. His son is the editor of The Apopka Chief. Kit Land Nelson, the downtown park’s namesake, was a teacher. A PTA scrapbook chronicles events, people and activities at the first Lovell school. The scrapbook has been preserved by secretary Laura Bruehl and her mother, also Lovell secretary.

2015 dedication

The number of students grew greatly between the 1960s and 2000s. So many students had to learn in portable classrooms. By 2015 a renovation of the 1960s buildings and portables was completed so 830 students could attend Lovell. The superintendent was Dr. Barbara Jenkins and Oscar Aguirre was the principal.

Lovell History See above print for full story.

William Lovell’s great-grandsons Kenneth and Fred Savage with great-great-granddaughter, Spring. See above print for full story.

 Lovell school secretary Laura Bruehl and her mom are responsible for saving this early scrapbook.